Extramarital affairs: Alvarez’s unlike De Lima’s, Floirendo’s
In her article titled “The shoe is now on the other foot” (News, 4/2/17), Fe B. Zamora completely missed the issue when she practically accused House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of being “selective in his stand on morality,” citing statements made and research found in social media. Particularly, Zamora unfairly juxtaposed the Speaker’s criticisms of Sen. Leila De Lima’s extramarital affair with her security aide, Ronnie Dayan, with the Speaker’s own personal relationship, as exploited by Cathy Binag, partner of Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.
Zamora failed to point out that Senator De Lima’s illicit love affair was an indispensable factor in the proliferation of illegal drugs in New Bilibid Prison (NBP). To recall, De Lima herself admitted that it was Dayan who recommended the appointment of two former officials of the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor)—Rafael Ragos (as officer in charge) and Franklin Jesus Bucayo (as director). As revealed during the House investigation, it was during their term when the illegal drug trade flourished in NBP.
This could not be said in the case of Speaker Alvarez, in connection with the filing of his complaint before the Ombudsman to investigate the contract between Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc. (Tadeco) and Bucor. To clarify, the main issue here is whether the Floirendo family cheated the Philippine government of billions of pesos, and will continue to do so until the expiration of the contract in 2029. In other words, the Speaker’s personal life has absolutely nothing to do with the real issue at hand.
While Zamora’s article detailed the Speaker’s marital issues, she did not do the same with Representative Floirendo’s or with Binag’s, the source of all this tabloid-level intrigue, thanks to the two public statements she posted on Facebook immediately after news of the Ombudsman complaint came out.
The Speaker does not deny that he has children with multiple partners, or that he has long been estranged from his wife. In the interest of fairness, Binag must answer the same for her credibility must be examined just like any other witness in trial to determine if she is how she projects herself to be.
Another detail that was conspicuously absent would be the status of Representative Floirendo’s marriage with former Miss Universe Margie Moran Floirendo. Perhaps, Binag would like to post another statement on Facebook to clarify this matter.
DARREN M. DE JESUS, head executive assistant, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives
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