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Villar should Face the Music

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By Harvey S. Keh WITH the current moves by the allies of the administration to push for Charter Change through a Constituent Assembly, the prevailing Ethics case filed by Senator Jamby Madrigal against former Senate President Manny Villar seems to have taken a back seat in the national consciousness of people. Just recently, a media study came out stating that Villar has already spent more than P300 million for his advertisements and infomercials. I am sure many of us have actually heard Villar's infomercial with Boy Abunda wherein he tries his best to explain to the general public his side on the controversial P200-million C-5 insertion scam. I had lunch two weeks ago with someone who works at one of the major television networks in our country and he told me that this Villar infomercial is easily costing Villar more than P20 million a week which is spent mostly on buying up the necessary airtime needed. Which now goes back to the same question that many of us continue to ask, why doesn't Villar subject himself to an investigation by his own peers at the Senate? His continuous non-appearance and refusal to cooperate in this current ethics investigation all the more leaves many of us to doubt his credibility as a leader. Let us remember that if there is one thing that many Filipinos are disgusted with as regards to this present administration, it is the lack of transparency and accountability. Villar's current stance already shows the Filipino people what we can expect of him and his administration if he does become President of our country. How can we expect him to follow the law when he becomes President if he can't abide by it now that he is only a Senator? Given the fact that maybe many of his colleagues are just using this investigation to drag him down in the current Presidential derby, I believe that this is not enough reason for him to disregard the rules and policies of the same democratic institution that he used to lead. If he is innocent as he claims to be then he need not be afraid to come forward and take part in this investigation. With the media coverage given to the hearings, people will easily see whether his colleagues are impartial or not and it will also give him an opportunity to clean his name in the eyes of the Filipino people. As the Holy Bible states, the Truth will set you free. Instead of spending millions on infomercials trying to clear his name, Villar should just spend a few hours to cooperate and explain himself in front of his fellow senators. If he thinks this issue will just go away and die a natural death, I can assure him and his supporters that it won't given that he has declared himself as a possible Presidentiable in 2010. The millions that he will be able to save can be spent more wisely by providing much needed scholarships to poor but deserving public school students or building homes for the thousands of homeless families in our country. If Villar wants the vote of every Filipino, he should start earning it by coming forward and subjecting himself to the same laws that govern every Filipino regardless of social status or position. Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo School of Government. He is also the Lead Covenor of Kaya Natin! Comments are welcome at harveykeh@gmail.com

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This page contains a single entry by published on June 10, 2009 1:59 PM.

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