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Monday, June 24, 2024

The beheading

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The new Senate President is from Bicol…the first from his region to become Numero Tres in the pecking order of the nation’s leadership

As early as when the HoR and its fronts for the people’s initiative towards cha-cha were blunted by senators understandably jealous of their turf, described by its decapitated president as “the last bastion of our democracy,” the process of shopping around for a replacement began.

Some of the leaders of the entertainers’ bloc started plotting, and proposed one of their members to lead the erstwhile “august” chamber.

The motivation for replacement was not high-minded. It was, as stated in this space then, merely dissatisfaction over “particion de bienes”. Read “bienes” as liempo.

But beheading and replacing require a magic number, in this case, a simple majority of 13 out of 24 nationally elected senators.

The entertainers’ bloc could not gather the magic 13 because their nominee was not acceptable, especially to the prim and proper ladies in the chamber.

Enter Maharlika with her “polvoronic” claims, later bolstered by a “leaked” PDEA operations plan vintage 2012 which allegedly involved no less than a then senator of the realm who a decade later would become president of the land.

One retired or removed PDEA agent surfaced to supposedly clear himself of the provenance of said leaked documents, as he was the signatory to the un-implemented investigation into the affidavit with incriminating pictures of the high-profile personalities.

Then the Senate chairman of the public order and dangerous drugs committee, himself a former chief of the national police, decided to hold hearings in trite “aid of legislation.”

In its first two hearings, the ex-PDEA agent held himself unruffled, his demeanor showing both resolve and credibility, while the spokesmen of the administration were left to mere ministrations of denial, even preposterous claims of artificial intelligence.

The chairman of the committee, given his background as an investigator, declared the leaked documents were “authentic,” and pursued his digging into the case.

That was when the “cassus belli” for leadership change became evident. The early conspirators smelled blood. Now they were certain the palace would not object.

One could deduce the new “players” in the third hearing: a bellicose co-chair who damned the resource person for “lying through his teeth;” a few who suddenly showed up just to mouth platitudes clearly intended to please the “powers that be.”

So the plotters went into high gear last week. They had toyed with the idea of promoting a lady to become the first female senate president, but they could not gather the magic 13.

They had found a new “champion,” acceptable to the ladies who were a formidable the chamber, but equally important, who had no “baggage” that would taint the image of the “august” before the prying eyes of the intelligent among their publics.

Last week, a new knight agreed to be their champion.

The signal to the “powers that be” was his cameo appearance in the PDEA leak probe. It was stellar compared to all others, especially over one who pugnaciously attacked the “witness for the prosecution.”

Still, as they did not want to approach the “steadfast seven” of the incumbent, whose “bienes” they decried, they were short of the clincher.

They had to convince those whose heart belonged to Davao, but whose re-electionist instincts required being on the right side of the political equation. That task was for the new champion to undertake, mismo, which he sealed over the weekend past.

Since his committee hearings were the cassus belli in this latest decapitation, its chair, true to character, did not join the Aeschyliian chorus.

But at the last minute, he changed his mind, with his two partymates prevailing over him, and the new champion willing to accommodate him.

To be sure, uneasy always lies the crown upon the head of the chamber’s president.

Pleasing 315 in the numerous house is easier than pleasing 23 “republics” elected by the nation at large.

Beheading has been a common occurrence in our senate, sans the gore Cassius and Brutus did to Julius Caesar.

The new Senate President is from Bicol, represented his province in three consecutive terms in the House, before becoming senator for two terms, thereafter governor of Sorsogon.

He is the first from his region to become Numero Tres in the pecking order of the nation’s leadership.

The beheaded has bannered his “independence” as reason for his ouster. That is the standard by which the public shall now measure the new leadership.

How will the new head of the chamber make use of this singular opportunity to be in “the arms of the people”?


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