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Health alert: Evil wind in Congress

(Article published in the December 10, 2001 issue of TODAY, Business Section)

This is an appeal to the Department of Health to immediately fumigate the halls of Congress. It is very likely that there lurks in every nook and corner of that stogy institution an extremely resistant and easily contracted virus-bacteria combo more virulent than anthrax and more disconcerting than the causative agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Clinical manifestations of infection includes intermittent displays of aggressive and bellicose behavior, sound judgment flown to brutish beasts, and, in general, sober and respectable individuals turned into incredible hulks minus the good heart of the comic book character. Unfortunately, the infected do not go the route of untreated anthrax and mad-cow cases; they instead remain in office throughout their elected terms.

Take the case of a certain one who once upon a time thought his future was with former President Estrada. Forget about his vociferous complaint, made during the height of the Corpus-Lacson verbal war, that the current administration was conducting a demolition campaign against prospective opponents of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections. After all, members of the opposition, an extra dose or two. Moreover, he can be forgiven for feeling bad that the supposed wreckers did they not try to demolish him also. After all, every one has the right to believe he is a presidentiable.










 
What, however, is a sure sign of infection is his recent remark upon being informed that Sen. Joker Arroyo’s blue ribbon committee would summon Pacifico Marcelo by giving the invitation through him. He was reported to have told Senator Arroyo, "You are old enough o know that the duty of the committee is to notify the witness and not through me." Now what has the age of the venerable Joker got to do with Joker’s being able to know how to serve the Committee’s summons? Only an infected person could make that cheap shot which is terribly unbecoming of a well-heeled lawyer who made a fortune lawyering for a dictator and his business cronies.

In the House of Representatives, a certain honorable from the South is a candidate for quarantine. He was reported to have gone ballistic when his application for the transfer of his ten-year multiple entry visa to the United States from his old expired passport to a new one resulted in its cancellation. The cancellation was "without prejudice" which simply meant that he was free to apply for a new visa, after submitting proof of bank accounts, certificate of employment, recent pay slips, copies of land titles and recent credit card billings.

According to him (and this is what gives the fact of his infection of the virulent disease away) the demand for documentation of his worthiness to enter the United States as a tourist, is an insult. He is reported to have said, "They are showing no trust in an official of their host country." As a result he is said to have planned to write the US Embassy to protest and to ask our President to reject the incoming US Ambassador should he show signs of not understanding the Filipino culture, which, apparently by his definition, necessarily includes condescending to the caprices of those in power. The medical prognosis for this one is very bad.

That he wanted his US visa on his expired passport transferred to his new one when all that is needed is to preserve the old passport and present it with the new one upon entry in the land of the free and home of the brave is the first unmistakable sign of infection. That he felt he was insulted when asked to present documents which are all the time and routinely requested of every other Filipino wanting to go to the United States is sign of an already serious case of cranial degeneration. That he does not simply do what is required of him closes the case. On these bases alone (not even taking into consideration the fact that he felt the need to claim that he be trusted), the indications are that his malady is likely beyond cure.

They only saving grace for the infected in Congress such as these men is that they provide us with the theological explanation for the strange story about the savior of the world being laid in a manger, most likely inside a stable. Evangelist Luke clearly wanted to convey the idea that, if man is to find salvation, the savior must work on the asses. Unfortunately, two thousand years after the first Christmas, the asses are as asinine as ever.

 

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