Senator Garbage

Let’s not get all confused here. It’s Senator Antonio Trillanes, not the committee report of Senator Richard Gordon on alleged extrajudicial killings, that is a piece of garbage.

I understand that Trillanes has never liked President Rodrigo Duterte and will lash out at anyone who does not hate the President as much as he does. But Trillanes has no call to insult a fellow senator who is a lot more accomplished and respected than he is simply because he sees things differently.

And Trillanes has always been trashy. He trashed the swank Oakwood Hotel with his Magdalo buddies in their well-funded but failed attempt to bring down President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2003; and he trashed the Manila Peninsula in 2007, nearly wrecking the five-star hotel after he and his co-accused in the Oakwood siege escaped from a court hearing in order to make another “political statement.”

The Peninsula caper resulted in my personal favorite among the many photographs of Trillanes, the one where a police official was dragging him out of the hotel by the belt on his waist. Like he was trash being taken out for disposal.

Trillanes was absolutely trashy when he humiliated a decent former soldier named Angelo Reyes in the Senate, forcing Reyes to commit suicide at his mother’s burial plot. And he acted like garbage when he walked out of the Senate after he was accused by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile of selling out his country when he visited China clandestinely (and lucratively, it was said) for a total of 16 times as the “back-channel adviser” of then President Noynoy Aquino; between Aquino and Trillanes, our relations with the Chinese reached their absolute nadir—the very bottom of the stinking dumpsite, so to speak.

Trillanes’ Senate record is as trashy as can be, showing how he spent many millions even while he was in jail and hired the most number of highly-paid consultants, all-time, including his own relatives. He certainly looked like trash as he rifled through the offerings at the Black Friday sale at Macy’s in New York recently, supposedly after a clandestine meeting with the George Soros of the Philippines, the now-famous Loida Nicolas Lewis, chief benefactor of the Yellows.

Trillanes was no less smelly when he accused then-Mayor Duterte of stashing away hundreds of millions of pesos in an Ortigas bank—an allegation during the last overheated campaign that the senator was never able to prove. And he reprised his role as Senate garbage-man when he took in and spirited out the prevaricating Edgar Matobato, the witness at the hearings started by the equally-trashy Leila de Lima and taken over by Gordon.

Now Trillanes is throwing garbage at Gordon, a pre-martial law student leader at Ateneo and 1971 Constitutional Convention delegate, the much-admired longtime mayor of Olongapo City and chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the Red Cross, a multiple-term senator and Cabinet member. Gordon’s report on the EJK killings, which found that the police’s Oplan Tokhang violated suspects’ rights but which chastised both Trillanes and De Lima for their conduct during the hearings, was “a piece of garbage” to him.

“It takes [garbage] to know [garbage],” Gordon replied. I couldn’t agree with Gordon more.

One day, Trillanes will run out of luck and be taken out again (for good, this time) like the trash that he really is. And then it will be good riddance to bad rubbish.

* * *

The University of the Philippines Integrated School is celebrating its centennial tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 10, at the new school grounds inside the Diliman campus in Quezon City. The silver jubilarian Class of 1991 is hosting the historic event.

The spanking new UPIS campus was built by the Ayala group, which received the old sprawling school grounds along Katipunan Avenue and converted it into what is now the UP Town Center mall in exchange. I don’t know if UP got a good deal for the prime property that was made into yet another shopping mecca, but I still miss the old school with its one-story pavilions and airy, well-ventilated classrooms.

The high school served as a laboratory of the nearby College of Education even if, for many years, various UP administrations have debated proposals not only to lease out its high-value Katipunan grounds but to abolish UPIS altogether in order to be able to save the scarce resources of the university for its core colleges. But I think that UP should keep supporting its basic education program, which has produced two presidents of the Republic in Ferdinand Marcos and Fidel Ramos, as well as a host of other notables in all sorts of fields.

I’m proud to have gone to UPIS myself. I’m eternally grateful to have been guided by some of the excellent teachers who have devoted their talents and their lives to educating all the young people who studied there.

UPIS (the result of the integration of the old UP Elementary, High and Preparatory Schools) deserves to continue molding young minds according to the university’s goals of honor and excellence for 100 more years. Mabuhay, UP Naming Mahal!

Topics: Jojo Robles , Senator Garbage , Senator Antonio Trillanes , Senator Richard Gordon , committee report , extrajudicial killings
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