Twenty some days into the new administration, this ‘new’ politics they all promised sounds more and more like the old politics. More accurately, it’s beginning to look a lot like the old old politics of cacique days.
You see, until this week, there were only two serious contenders for the presidency of the Senate: Senators Manuel Villar Jr and Francis Pangilinan. Oddly enough, they were in the same side back when Villar was Senate President with Pangilinan as his Majority Leader. The two have been lobbying to get 13 votes and get majority support in the Senate.
This week, Senator Tito Sotto, whom Pangilinan’s wife Megastar Sharon Cuneta had endorsed in the May elections, said that he wouldn’t support Pangilinan’s bid. Hurt that Sotto didn’t return the favor, Cuneta said that she felt like she had been “stabbed and slapped several times” especially since they are relatives (somehow). “There’s a lot of drama going in the Senate that really hurts me,” she added.
In a press statement, Sotto replies:
I am sorry if Sharon is hurting but the senate presidency transcends family ties. The Senate should be remain (sic) independent and should not be pressured even with family concerns.
And, really, politics should transcend family ties. But it really doesn’t. The fact that Cuneta’s hurt feelings were featured in actual news articles shows that Philippine politics is still just as personal as your typical soap opera (minus the magic and the girls made of magical living water).
Even Sotto’s statement is so showbiz, ending with a cheesy line that belongs more on Boy Abunda’s show than in the august halls of the Upper House: “Whatever my decision will be will not change my feelings towards her.”