The moment of reckoning is now

FROM THE bottom of my heart, I am encouraging Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. to make a graceful exit while there is still time to repent and make amends for his mistakes. The moment of reckoning is now. Not today, not tomorrow.

Do not prolong your agony, neither give anyone the chance to inflict further emotional harm on you. As you yourself said, what you are going through is nothing but political persecution.

Deep in your heart you believe you have not pocketed even a cent from the government treasury since the time you served as mayor until you became congressman then governor. Fine.

But why is it that, as a veteran lawyer of you caliber, you haven’t gone to court and file the proper charges against those besmirching your reputation and your whole being? Isn’t this strange? And  why haven’t you yourself addressed the accusations?

You’ve been silent for so long. You let your key men do the talking, and it’s obvious they are grasping for words and what to say. It’s like they didn’t know what hit them.

The provincial government of Iloilo under your baton bagged the Seal of Good Governance thrice, something that you said is a barometer of honesty and efficient leadership, and these prove your integrity.

But clearly, the governor is grasping for his last political breath. There’s a Pandora’s box at the capitol and soon it would be opened wide and no one would be able to put back the lid. A trusted political aide is no guarantee. A loyal aide is sometimes only good as long as his master is in power. For others, though, their loyalty goes with them to the grave for they could no longer distinguish truth from fiction.

Is Arthur R. Defensor Jr., congressman, the only one fit to succeed his old man? He is reluctant to accept the challenge and he knows why.

In his nine-year stint as congressman, has he authored a bill which became a law? I don’t know. I’m asking.

I am reminded of a statement many, many years ago from the late congressman Narciso Monfort describing some of his mediocre colleagues in the House: “Pungko, pamati, puli.”

There’s this urban legend about the old man being one of the favorites of then President Cory Aquino in her Cabinet. He knew how to project himself as a humble man. He did not flaunt his wealth. Once in a while he would tell stories about his better-half playing mahjong but only settling for “barya-barya” because that was all she could afford.

But that’s the thing about urban legends. They are myths. Fiction. Fantasy. Thus nobody’s buying them. ([email protected]/PN)

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