It’s hard to tell where Vice President, and radio commentator, Noli de Castro stands nowadays.
On his radio program over DZMM today, he was defending the Justice Department from criticism that it was dragging its feet on the Ampatuan massacre. He said that the government is going slow, not because of special treatment, but because it needs time to gather evidence against the suspects.
“Alam mo naman nga tao ngayon. Poisoned ang mga utak, (You know how people are now. Their minds have been poisoned),” he adds. He repeats this every five minutes, sounding more like a cranky, senile old man out of tune with the current generation each time.
When it came to the Ampatuans, who are widely believed to be behind the massacre, though, he refused to toe the Palace line. While Malacanang has been repeatedly saying that the incident does not mean the end of its friendship with the warlords of Central Mindanao, De Castro pretty much called the family a bunch of terrorists.
“They’re like Osama Bin Laden. The CIA armed him, and he later turned out to be the enemy. We armed them, but they’re actually the enemy,” he tells Cheryl Cosim, whose primary duty as co-host is apparently to be interrupted by the vice president every five seconds. Scratch “pretty much,” he actually said the Ampatuans are terrorists, and government, in effect, is friendly with terrorists.
Possibly true, of course, but the more important question is, what’s the deal with Noli De Castro? He’s been acting less like a politician, and more like an irritable matriarch of late.
He emphatically, and whinily, declared that he would not be running as Sen. Manny Villar, Jr’s vice presidential candidate a few weeks ago. He later used his radio program to defend his bitchiness, and attack a militant group protesting against his housing programs. He called them rude ingrates and said that if people didn’t want to pay off their mortgages on government housing projects, he’d kick them out himself. And now, this.
De Castro was a frontrunner in pre-election surveys last year, but has been steadily losing popularity. Does he now feel that being with Arroyo does count as a kiss of death?
Does he feel betrayed by the masses who once adored him, and is he now lashing out at anyone in reach, including Cheryl Cosim? Or is this part of some long-view master plan that could involve betrayals and sudden defections?