Mr. Noted calls to mind Mr. Asterisk
If I were Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, I would have just kept silent when no less than his “ninong,” Sen. Tito Sotto, taunted him as the “Mr. Noted” in the canvassing of the results of the 2004 presidential elections. (Inquirer, 7/31/11)
Kuya Kim of television fame keeps saying, “weather-weather lang yan.” Methinks the more Pangilinan now urges the Department of Justice and the Commission on Elections to “dig deep and leave no stone unturned” in looking into fresh allegations of electoral fraud in 2004, the clearer he is revealing his true colors: “Sa pula, sa puti,” meaning, always going where the wind blows. Neither would his defensive explanation hold water—that as a member of the canvassing board in 2004 he decided “on the basis of evidence available,” and the evidence now surfacing was not available then. The truth is until now—as it was in 2004—there is no clear evidence that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cheated Fernando Poe Jr. in the polls. In fact, according to Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes, the talk of electoral fraud in 2004 still remains hearsay. In other words, then and now, there may be widespread public perception of electoral fraud in 2004, but that is not evidence of GMA’s direct participation in the cheating. That Pangilinan now wants to look for evidence, which is unlike what he wanted in 2004, is a position certainly not dictated by principle, it is double standard adopted for political expedience. Had Pangilinan agreed to Sotto’s call then for the opening of, at least, one—repeat, at least one—ER (electoral return), then maybe he could rightfully claim today to be a principled man. Maybe, just maybe, seven years ago Pangilinan would have found what he wants DOJ and Comelec to find now—under the stones he left unturned.
I am reminded of Assemblyman Homobono Adaza, who was dubbed “Mr. Asterisk” during the Marcos dictatorship. Like Pangilinan in 2004, Adaza was pro-administration in 1986, and he steadfastly ignored every motion of the opposition during the canvassing of the results of the snap presidential elections. The difference is that, many years after, contrary to how Mr. Noted presently behaves, Mr. Asterisk learned how to handle the public ridicule. He chose not to react as defensively as Pangilinan now does; he would just remain silent when confronted about that episode and thus, soon enough, he managed to laugh the issue off and to fade away into virtual public oblivion.
—RUDY L. CORONEL,
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