09 February 2008

Live from the Bastusang Pambansa

The tragi-comedy that happened at the House of Representatives several evenings ago have been described in a variety of ways. Administration congressmen, led by the 2 sons of the President ganged up on de Venecia faster than he could say: "Back off!" However, much as MalacaƱang wanted a "quieter" transition, de Venecia also made sure he delivered a stinging farewell speech against the President, faster than she, too, could say: "Back off!"

Manolo Quezon's article sums up best, for me at least, the circus that was the lynching of the deposed-Speaker Jose de Venecia.

The Long View
Live from the Bastusang Pambansa

By Manuel L. Quezon III

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:57:00 02/06/2008

Speaker: “We will now proceed with nominal voting. Call the roll.”

Clerk: “Aquin, Lahat.”

Aquin: “Mr. Presiding Officer Creature, may I explain my bribe?”

S: “The undistinguished gentleman has three congressional minutes.”

A: “Mr. Speaker, I come here with a heavy heart but a heavier wallet, and for that reason, much as it pains me, in the name of my district, may I manifest my gratitude to the President for this opportunity to prove my loyalty. I vote yes, for change! Not loose change, Mr. Speaker, but the kind of change that stood us in good stead, when we were last in Macao at government expense. Truly, it is a privilege to serve the President’s sons, who are, after all, people, too, and so by serving them, we all serve… the people. I vote YES.”

C: “Garapal, Medio.”

Garapal: “Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Presiding Officer Creature.”

S: “What is the parliamentary inquiry by the undistinguished gentleman?”

G: “May I know if our proceedings are being monitored by Madam?”

S: “The Majority Floor Leader Creature will answer.”

MFL: “Yes, well, ah, the independence of this noble chamber is unquestionable, but yes, I understand that we are being monitored on TV, radio, and of course you, uh, all know the Baranggay Bansot Legislative Liaison Office… they are there, behind the uh, peephole…”

G: “In that case, may I explain my bribe?”

S: “The undistinguished gentleman has three congressional minutes.”

G: “Thank you, Madam, for these thy blessings, which we are about to receive, through Your Excellency’s husband, Our Lord, and the Department of Budget and Management, Amen.”

C: “Rucut, Mando.”

Rucut: “Mr. Presiding Officer Creature, may I explain my bribe?”

S: “Yes. Go ahead.”

R: “My name is Congressman Mando Rucut. R-U-C-U-T. Got it? That is my name, and here is my vote. I vote YES. Let me repeat: YES. YES, YES, YES. That’s me, Mando Rucut. R-U-C-U-T, who voted YES. Thank you. Do I get more since I voted five times?”

S: “Unfortunately, this is the House, not the Comelec, you only get one vote here.”

C: “Saamin, Siempre.”

Saamin: “Point of information, Mr. Speaker, before I explain my bribe.”

S: “What is the point of information?”

Sa: “I would like to know, on behalf of the ten thousand patriotic, able-bodied, spiritually-advanced members of my district, where our uh, err, shall we say, development assistance…”

S: “The undistinguished gentleman is directed to the South Lounge to collect his Success Fee.”

Sa: “Thank you. Without further ado, I vote YES! This country needs change! Lots of it! And now, Mr. Speaker, I must excuse myself to answer a call of nature.”

S: “The undistinguished gentleman need not enlighten the House on the state of his bladder-”

Sa: “Objection, Mr. Speaker! Not that kind of a call of nature!”

S: “In which case you are not required to manifest your intention to go to the South Lounge.”

C: “Son, Second.”

S2: “Hey, you. I will now explain-explain, ha? I expect as much time as I want. Because I like. Mmmkay?”

S: “The distinguished, charming, handsome gentleman from the district in which he was not born, but who has, by the Grace of God, come down from the clouds to demean himself by serving the people, has, of course, unlimited time, in consideration of his esteemed blood ties to our glorious-”

S2: “Shaddap. All of you. I’m not here, ha, as her son but I’m here, ha, as well… I’m here. Got it? So, let me say… WE WIN! THEY LOSE! WE ALWAYS WIN! HAHA! I vote Yes. Because.”

MFL: “Mr. Speaker, may I make a motion to have the immoral, I mean, immortal, words we just heard, framed and distributed to every barangay in this country?”

S: “Any objections? Does anybody dare? Hearing none, so ordered.”

C: “Mesa, Onder D.”

Mesa: “Mr. Speaker, in voting Yes, let me explain my bribe by saying, the only thing permanent in this world is change. We change underwear. We change clothes. We change in appearance. We are always changing, because change is good, the more we change, the better we become, because, in truth, and I say this in all sincerity, with utter conviction, the only time we do not change is when we die. And, Mr. Speaker, to quote the great President Marcos, I do not intend to die!”

S: “The motion is carried. Yoda is deposed. The new speaker, Jar-Jar Binks, will now give his inaugural address.”

Speaker Jar-Jar: “Monsters out there, leaking in here. Weesa all sinking and no power. Whena yousa thinking we are in trouble? Better dead here than deader in the Core. Ye gods, whatta meesa sayin’? Gungans no giben up witout a fight. Wesa warriors! Wesa got a gwand army. Dats why yousa no liken us, I tink.”

(Applause. Meanwhile, Yoda tells the media, “Around the survivors, a perimeter create.”)

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