“(H)is undersecretaries and assistant secretaries and his staff were fully prepared to explain whatever budget items needed explaining to the senators.”
by Ducky Paredes
Manny Pacquiao and Lito Atienza go back a long, long way. When Manny was a struggling boxer in Manila, he met up with Mayor Atienza who liked what he saw and saw some character traits in the young man that he decided would give him a good career as a boxer.
Lito decided to support Manny with a modest allowance that allowed the General Santos native to concentrate on his training. Atienza also allowed him to use the boxing gym of the city for free and gave him housing, The great thing about our boxing champion is that he doe not forget those who helped him when he was not yet the success that he now is.
Thus, for his last bout (where he beat a great boxer – Oscar de la Hoya) he gave his godfather a treat – a trip to La Vegas, which Secretary Lito Atienza of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was happy to accept since it gave him a chance to see his protégé in what turned out to be Pacquiao’s greatest moment.
Since the DENR budget was being heard in the Senate at the time of the big fight, Atienza left La Vegas on the first flight he could get after the bout and hurried to the Senate. In the meantime, he had been roundly castigated by some senators, especially Jamby Madrigal for gallivanting while his presence was required at the Senate to defend his budget.
As Lito explained to the Senators, his undersecretaries and assistant secretaries and his staff were fully prepared to explain whatever budget items needed explaining to the senators. Thus, there was not really any great need for him to be at that budget hearing.
The one senator who took up the cudgels for Atienza was Senator Edong Angara who explained over and over again to his fellows that there was really no great need for Atienza to be physically present at the budget hearing. Of course, Senators who really have not much to contribute to the work of the Senate will take to nit-picking over such trivial matters as why Secretary Atienza prefers being at the fight in Las Vegas to the budget hearing in the Senate. It was really no trivial mater for Lito Atienza; the Pacquiao win was, in a sense, also Lito Atienza’s and the great thing about it is that Manny Pacquiao himself thinks so, too.
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What did I tell you about Ping Lacson’s allowing Malacanang into the Senate when Ping – out of envy and spite – worked to take the Senate Presidency (and he hopes also the 2010 Philippine presidency) from from Senator Manny Villar.
That “Merry Christmas” gift of freedom for Joc-Joc Bolante is a gift to Gloria Arroyo from her loyal senators. My question — and this is the same one that former Blue Ribbon Chair Alan Peter Cayetano is asking – is this: Who will not believe the Senate when it imprisons Joc-Joc for lying to the Committee then releases him for no really good read. Ha Joc-Joc stopped lying? Of course not! So, why is he out?
One Jean Arnault was also jailed by the Senate, also for not telling the truth about a real estate transactin where a presidential brother involved himself. Jean was confined on May 15, 1950 and was in jail at least until March 3, 1953, when he filed for habeas corpus with the courts.
Judge for yourself who is worse – Jean or Joc-Joc? Here is a small sample of Arnault’s testimony that earned him the contempt citation:
“The CHAIRMAN. The other check of P440,000 which you also made on October 29, 1949, is payable to cash; and upon cashing this P440,000 on October 29, 1949, what did you do with that amount?
“Mr. ARNAULT. I turned it over to a certain person.
“The CHAIRMAN. The whole amount of P440,000?
“Mr. ARNAULT. Yes.
“The CHAIRMAN. Who was that certain person to whom you delivered these P440,000 which you cashed on October 29, 1949?
“Mr. ARNAULT. I don’t remember the name; he was a representative of Burt.
“The CHAIRMAN. That representative of Burt to whom you delivered the P440,000 was a Filipino?
“Mr. ARNAULT. I don’t know.
“The CHAIRMAN. You do not remember the name of that representative of Burt to whom you delivered this big amount of P440,000?
“Mr. ARNAULT. I am not sure; I do not remember the name.”
In the 1950’s, P440,00 was a lot of money.
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“Upon Our Own Ground: Philippine Short Stories in English, 1956 to 1972” by Gemino (Jimmy) H. Abad will be launched tomorrow, Dec. 12, Friday, at 4 p.m., in Malcolm Hall, College of Law, UP Diliman campus.
The book will be launched with other UP Centennial titles.
In this two-volume historical anthology are stories by Benjamin Bautista, Nita Umali Berthelsen, Gregorio Brillantes, Elsie Coscolluela, Linda Ty Casper, Ines Taccad Cammayo, Joy Dayrit, Antonio Enriquez, Lazaro Espinosa, Ester Vallado Daroy, Leopoldo Cacnio, Erwin Castillo, Delfin Fresnosa, Antonio S. Gabila, Vicente H. Groyon Jr., Socorro Federis Tate, Benito Lim, Norma Miraflor, Albina Manalo-Dans, Noralyn Mustafa, Dolores Martir, Resil Mojares, Wilfrido Nolledo, E. P. Patanne, Ducky Paredes, Ninotchka Rosca, Wilfredo Pascua Sanchez, Renato Madrid.
Of course, also in the Anthology are stories by NVM Gonzalez, Nick Joaquin, Bienvenido Santos, Edith Tiempo, Gilda Cordero Fernando, Estrella Alfon, Lilia Pablo Amansec, etc.
I am thrilled to be in the same anthology with such great writers, some of whom I read with some awe. Sadly, a previous engagement precludes my staying to the end of the affair. But, if you are so inclined, do come! The launch is open to the public.
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hvp 12.11.08)Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org