Tuesday, June 21, 2005
the man in the hot seat
but there were times when we (when i was still member of the MPC) needed bunye to react on various issues but couldn't contact him. not even thru text. he'd cancel his daily briefings and have his staff tell us he had an emergency meeting somewhere. usually, this happened when there were really big issues that malacanang must react to.
at the house joint hearing on the alleged wiretapped tapes today, i saw him sit patiently thru the seemingly endless debates of the legislators on the rules and parameters of the investigation. but when he testified that it was "at the insistence of the malacanang press corps" that he played the controversial cd's, i immediately texted some of my friends there. jove francisco of abc5 said "may cnabi siya na mali. ibase mo s blog ko that day." gil cabacungan of the inquirer said it was bunye who was "overzealous" in wanting the cd's played. bunye reportedly offered the cd's to the mpc members 4 times. marie pena-ruiz of radyo ng bayan jokingly asked if they (the mpc) would be thrown in jail because of bunye's testimony.
before bunye testified, i was monitoring the hearing at our live set-up at the batasan main lobby. there were several people who stayed behind me and watched the proceedings. when the camera panned to bunye, i heard one of the elderly ladies behind me call him sinungaling, kapal ng mukha.
i dont know if many people feel this way about bunye. but i pity him. he's really a likeable person. he would sometimes go out of his way to give in to unusual interview requests or listen to your rants about the sudden changes in palace security arrangements and promise to do something about it. when he told me i was "more mataray" than the president (which i strongly deny), i didn't get mad. how can i? he was smiling ever so sweetly when he said it. he even apologized to rep. imee marcos when the lady legislator was grilling him this afternoon. imee, out of sheer exasperation at the man who came "from the wrong law school" (ateneo kasi si bunye), asked him if gossip about her and rep cayetano knowing about a destabilization plot was proof that they indeed knew of such a plot.
as the house investigation enters its second day tomorrow, bunye will continue to be in the hot seat. congressmen are expected to probe deeper into the issues and seek clarification on some of bunye's answers (like how the cd's suddenly appeared at his alabang house and on his table, if he was indeed pressured by the mpc to play the cd's, etc). truth is bunye's best defense, but a little charm and wit will surely help.
at 9:30 PM