Monday, January 14, 2013

One-on-One with Senate Bet Cynthia Villar


 The beauteous Marivic Ching, the political officer of senatorial bet Cynthia “Missis Hanep Buhay” Villar, called me last Saturday morning if I could have a one-on-one interview with her boss as she was helicopter-bound to Lingayen to grace the coronation night of Miss Lingayen 2013.
 At the cozy Consuelo’s Restaurant in Lingayen, the former three-term congresswoman told me that since December last year she climbed to No. 4 in the Pulse Asia survey.
 In that poll I saw senatorial reelectionist senators Chiz Escudero landed in No.1 slot, while Loren Legarda was the second placer.
 Re-electionist senator Alan Peter Cayetano ranked in the 3rd and 4th place, while San Juan City Rep, JV Ejercito had a statistical ranking of 3rd to 6th places. Sharing the 4th to 7th places are Villar and Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr.
 With Villar, just like her counterparts in the U.S, cruising through jet the major islands of Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon with an almost daily regularity to consult and introduce livelihood like Coconut net, basket made of the stalks of water lily and pledging to the homeless in Compostella Valley and Davao Oriental to pay the P80 thousand tab for each of their houses, I will not be surprised seeing her stocks soar above the No.4 notch in the future surveys of Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations at the expense of those senatorial bets above her in the December 2012 poll. “Unang-una humingi sa amin ng pagkain tapos tubig, tapos nag-padala kami ng blanket kasi may livelihood kami na blanket lahat ng aming natapos pinadala naming doon. Humingi pa sila ng timba and sumunod pugod at talapal. Ngayon bahay ang hinihingi nila na eighty thousand pesos ang isa”.
She told me that of all cities in Metro Manila, only her city Las Pinas (where this columnist taught there for a while in early 2000s at the University of Perpetual Help owned by the Tamayos of Malasiqui, Pangasinan) has been spared by flood. From her P70 million a year, she bought ten backhoes atop a barge at P1 million each during her three–term or nine years in congress. “Hanggang ngayon iyong sampung backhoe ay nag-di-dredge pa rin ng ka-ilogan namin,” she said.
She explained that the plastic trash the backhoe extracted from the water have been transformed to hollow blocks and mono block chairs. “That’s the livelihood I gave not only to people there but to other marginalized countrymen all over the county”.
She fund the livelihood training and the machine. When I told her that a regional director of public works confided to me before that many congressmen in the region took a cut known as “S.O.P” from government projects except representative Kimi Cojuangco and husband Mark who used to be a former congressman, Villar retorted” Mayaman kasi sila Kimi”.
She said she did not ask for any cut from contractor since she became a solon. She told me a deplorable story about officials from the Department of Public Works & Highway when they gave a P5 million worth of a floating dredging machine (just like what we have in Dagupan City that has been berthing at the “wharf” in Brgy.Pantal).
 “They asked me to sign the receipt paper and we just discovered there the dredging machine was not operational,” she said. Until now she said the decrepit is still there lurking its ugly image of government corruption for everybody to see. She chided the officials of the DPWH when they have the gall to see her again to offer another projects for her to sign. “Niloloko lang nila ang ta-o. Gagamitin pa nila ako”.
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