January 24, 2007


Driving home last night close to midnight, I was listening to the late night newscast over the radio; the news bit I caught was about the expulsion case before the House Ethics Committee (an oxymoron, if I ever heard one; apologies to my ethical friends in Congress, you know who you are) filed by Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, otherwise known as the First Gentleman, against Alan Peter Cayetano, Representative from Taguig-Pateros.

Two exchanges caught my attention.

The first involved both Mike Arroyo and Cayetano exchanging barbs about how their alma mater, the Ateneo de Manila (Arroyo and Cayetano both finished law at the Ateneo, something that I can be proud of--that they did not finish law in U.P.; unfortunately, Tinex Jaraula did, but that's another blog altogether), was ashamed of them. Arroyo brought it up first by belittling what Cayetano was asking and how he was asking them by saying that Ateneo was ashamed to be associated with him (Cayetano); never one to let a barb go by without a riposte, the Congressman retorted with a similar comment.

I’m from the Ateneo (not de Manila, Cagayan de Oro more popularly known as Xavier University, not the Xavier in Greenhills but the one in Mindanao) and may I add my Jesuit-trained two bits to this one: as an Atenean, may I confirm that I am absolutely ashamed to be associated with either of you. So, there.

The second exchange involved another Arroyo with Cayetano: Iggy, the hapless younger brother of Mike, who appears perpetually drunk, dazed, bewildered or something much more intoxicating or all four at the same time. Yes, Iggy—Jose Pidal himself.

When quizzed by Cayetano about relatives using aliases, Mike Arroyo promptly denied any such thing, never mind that right beside him was Iggy, who had publicly and several times under oath admitted that he had used the pseudonym (or alias, if you will), Jose Pidal, in connection with election-related spendings. So when asked by Cayetano, Iggy gave an answer out of the Imelda Marcos (vide “the black hole” in the cosmic plan of thing etc. etc.) and Melanie Marquez (remember "Don't judge my brother, he's not a book"?) school of witticisms —something to the effect that he is not yet the First Gentleman, maybe next year.

In the car, I had to figuratively and almost literally pull over as my jaw had dropped and was in danger of hitting the steering wheel and I was laughing so hard I could barely see; you could hear the “thunk” of collective jaws dropping in the hearing room, the muffled snickers even from Arroyo’s most rabid and asinine (and there are a lot of them; soundtrack to this: Patty Page’s “How much is that doggy in the window?”) sycophants. Such was the inanity of the answer.

Of course, Cayetano, being who he is, would not let Iggy off the hook that easily; quickly he inserted the question, “why, is Gloria Arroyo not going to be the President anymore next year?” Mercifully, I reached home before my jaw could drop any lower from any answer that Iggy would give. (NB. I’m not a fan of Cayetano—never have been, never will be. But with the way that Gloria, Mike, Iggy and Mikey, all surnamed Arroyo, have been going at him, hammer and tongs, and with Cayetano’s typical glibness and occasionally inspired witticisms against a totally inept and inarticulate trio of Arroyos, the possibility is that Cayetano might just end up in the Senate--inspite of Cayetano's efforts.)

I felt like I was listening and watching to a totally surreal and twisted episode of The Three Stooges (take your pick who Curly, Larry, Moe and Shemp are from the Congressman from Taguig, the First Gentleman, Jose Pidal and the 4th-rate "actor" who makes Manny Pacquiao look like Oscar-material), except that I wasn't and didn't feel like laughing.

Moral of this not-so-fictional fable: You put enough clowns in the room, you’ll definitely get one heck of a farce.

1 comment:

howie said...

Hi Ted, I was hoping someone would recap that amusing, infuriating exchange between the Arroyos and Cayetano; I didn't catch what Iggy said on the news, only Peter's comeback. What a circus. ; )