[Author’s note: The following post may provoke individual political warfare. Read at your own risk!]
EARLY THIS MORNING, two simultaneous Senate committee hearings were convened: the first is on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (under the Senate Committee on Local Government, chaired by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.) and the other, on Vice President Binay’s dirty deals (under the Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV).
On the TV coverage tally, four channels were covering the Bangsamoro Basic Law “BBL” hearing (namely: People’s Television, Aksyon TV, CNN Philippines and ABS-CBN News Channel) while two were covering on Binay (namely: GMA News TV and DZMM Teleradyo).
However, the BBL hearing superseded as the focus of today’s national affairs. The reason was not solely because of the fate after the nearly three-month-old Mamasapano incident that spoiled President Noynoy Aquino’s dream on lasting peace in Mindanao after four decades of insurgency and hopelessness but because of one senator, Vicente Sotto III (“Tito Sen”).
At 10:57 a.m., Sen. Sotto walked out of the Senate committee hearing — according to the YouTube video description provided — out of frustration over the refusal of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal to reveal his real identity.
According to ABS-CBN News, Sotto told Sen. Marcos before he stepped out, “I don’t know about the others, but the BBL is a very important piece of legislation, I prefer discussing it with persons that I know. So therefore I will just talk to you, Mr. Chairman, during the plenary.”
Before Sotto encountered Iqbal, the latter has drawn the ire of some lawmakers and critics for using a nom de guerre in dealing with the National Government but Iqbal defended it for the sake of “security.” He will “reveal his identity when the situation ‘normalizes’ when the BBL, enabling the new Bangsamoro region, is enacted into law and ratified in a plebiscite.”
Back to the walkout senator, Sotto was seen again on GMA, about two hours later, as part of Eat Bulaga for the “Problem Solving” subsegment of Juan for All, All for Juan.
According to Christian Anasco, Sen. Sotto wanted to escape the problems on the committee he left. The term “escapism” fits Sotto’s act. Merriam-Webster defines escapism as a “diversion of the mind… to entertainment as an escape from reality or routine.”
With the lexical definition exposed into play, critics of Sotto — aside from RH advocates and stalwarts — would cry foul for not prioritizing his duty as a duly elected senator of the Republic.
He may have been the founder of Eat Bulaga for 35 years but his multitasking skill of involving politics since 1988 (nationally since 1992) came a big question after harnessing the roller coaster ride of mixed feedback from his accomplishments and its transactions.
His term will expire next year and the question will go like this: Will the reputation of Sotto on this matter lose the ground of securing his second consecutive term or will he stay?
The choice is up to all of us.