The day the impeachment complaint filed by Joey De Venecia was killed
on the House floor, Rep. Monico Puentevella called a press conference to
expose the truth behind anomalous China deals included in the complaint.
He then produced documents to prove that the China deals were hatched in De Venecia’s own house and that the former House Speaker had lobbied for his son, Joey’s, company to get the contract for the National Broadband Network. Puentevella said that the entire impeachment complaint was based on De Venecia sourgraping and wanting political payback.
That ousted house speaker (and Star Wars mainstay) Rep. Jose De Venecia, Jr. was in on the deal, and that he had tried to wrangle the NBN contract for his son is no surprise. In the Shakespearean tragedy that is Philippine politics, De Venecia is Hamlet’s mom: dirty, bloody, protests too much, and, ultimately, is someone’s bitch.
What was shocking was how Puentevella handled what he saw as his “shining moment.” In a classic example of Philippine politicking, Puentevella showed that he was not exposing De Venecia because the guy was corrupt and, as he said, “should be charged with violations of the Ant-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” but because he had dared attack the president.
Asked why only came out with his revelation the day of plenary voting on the impeachment complaint, he replied that he had had to attend some thing or other with the Philippine Sports Commission and wasn’t able to attend the committee hearings on the impeachment.
Which is fine, I guess, if, for some reason goddamned sports is somehow more important than the accountability of the president. Which is, again, fine if the anomalous ZTE-NBN deal hadn’t been exposed years ago with public debates and Senate hearings focused on getting to the bottom of the deal.
But Puentevella only came out then because “he had had enough” of De Venecia blaming the bad deals that he had negotiated on the president, and not because it’s illegal. Which, really, in no uncertain terms, is fucked up by all standards of decency, integrity and justice.
When asked whether his expose of De Venecia’s influence-peddling and general holier-than-thou attitude would lead to an investigation by the House ethics committee, Puentevella said that he would still have to consult with members of his party because he was, as he said, “a team player.” He told teporters that he “want to judge anyone because I don’t want to be judged,” prompting at least two simultaneous and totally spontaneous snorts of derision in the press conference room of the House.
He added that he did not come out with his revelation immediately because he wanted to wait for De Venecia to make a move against the president. Perhaps Puentevella has some sort of selective clairvoyance, being able to foresee De Venecia’s betrayal of the president, but not the trouncing that our Olympic team received in Beijing this year.
More probably, however, Puentevella is representative of the kind of politics and sense of civic duty that our politicians have been exercising since we became a nation.
In perhaps the most painful to watch, and the hammiest performance by a sitting member of Philippine Congress, Puentevella repeated the whole charade on the House floor, hysterically shouting “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” while waving his documents in the air.
Conveniently, or aptly, forgetting, Jack Nicholson’s overly-quoted character in that movie was the bad guy.