Commentary: The usual political reality
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (5 February) -- The high point in the drama at the House of Representatives was not really the moment of truth on nominal voting, when every lawmaker stood up to decide and explain, if needed, his or her decision.
The feverish pitch was reached in the course of a gradual build-up of excitement and challenge that ended to the filibustering and grandstanding in the august halls of the Lower House.
The issue is not simply a De Venecia-Nograles speakership fight to the hilt; it is more of a leadership tussle in the ever tupsy-turvy life of any House Speaker, De Venecia being the longest serving one for nearly two decades.
At stake was only one coveted seat -- the Speaker's -- but with it goes the pride, status symbol, honor, privilege, perks and freebies, if you will.
That explains why De Venecia did not yield it much too soon for a song, he being a veteran of at least three previous attempts in Congress' version of a coup-de-etat.
That explains, too, why Nograles must wrestle it out at all cost, the gods of heaven and earth have mercy, because to the victor belongs the spoils of victory, and the accompanying crowning glory of success.
Let us grant that the previous Speaker's son started the ball rolling with his disturbing revelations several months ago.
Let us grant that the President's two sons in Congress were deeply involved in this, driven not so much by revenge but by a sincere desire to institute reforms amid the widespread clamor for positive change.
But like any serious matter under consideration that is put to a vote, everything boils down to a numbers' game, or call it a tyranny of numbers, which is what it exactly is in a functional and working democracy.
And so, before passion overtakes reason in the days and months ahead, welcome to the usual even if peculiar political reality in the Philippines.
Now comes the hard part: BUCKLE DOWN TO WORK, you fellas and guys out there, in the comforts of your air-conditioned cocoon -- this time for the sake of taxpayer Juan de la Cruz.
LOCAL FRONT: Rep. Roger Mercado kept to his chest his stand on where to take sides in the De Venecia-Nograles row. Up to the showdown proper, observers were thinking that he will stick it out with the former, even if the same observers were aware he was already running under the KAMPI banner in last year's elections. When he voted "yes" to the motion declaring the Speaker's seat vacant, it was already clear he is now with Nograles.
ODDLY YOURS: Rats or mice possess special agility skills. They can fall from a high of twenty feet without getting injured, jump three feet straight up, or four feet from a standing position. They can swim half-a-mile in water without getting exhausted or tired, and can climb the insides of pipes that measured one-and-one-half to four inches in diameter. Their short, razor-sharp teeth can grow four-and-a-half to five inches per year, and the teeth are so strong to bite aluminum, lead, other metals, and even live wire without getting electrocuted. It is said that in the event of a nuclear war, the only real survivors are the rats. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]