Senator Recto, Vilma Santos, and the RH bill
Dear Senator Recto:
I am not writing you about your attempts to derail the RH Bill since, happily, many others have already done so (Marites Vitug for starters). What worries me most is how you bandy about your connections as if that excuses you from behaving like a decent human being.
Allow me to quote a snippet from July 18, 2010 posted in starforallseasons.wordpress.com.
Using an article in Mr and Ms Magazine (Nov 2005) this snippet describes the first conversation between you, Sen Recto, then a 21-year-old student from La Salle and Vilma Santos:
“While dancing,” reports Vilma, Ralph asked her: “Do you know my father?”
“No,” Vilma answered.
“Do you know Assemblyman Raffy Recto?” Ralph continued. “No,” Vilma replied.
“Are you interested in politics?” Ralph ventured.
“No,” Vilma shrugged.
I mean, really?!!? Are these the sort of questions a smitten young man asks a woman he hopes will be smitten right back?
Wouldn’t most women have brushed him off, refusing to have anything more to do with a man who used his father as a conversation starter? Wouldn’t most women wonder if he would be the same sort of fellow to also bandy his powerful connections under other circumstances?
How many of us have witnessed politicians’ sons enraged because a security guard has not given him the appropriate respect, shouting for all to hear: “Don’t you know who I am?!!? My father is….”
Alas, Vilma Santos didn’t seem to feel this way and now we have you, her husband, as one of 24 people deciding the laws of our nation. And occasionally acting like the stereotypical spoiled La Sallian.
But first, a disclaimer: Having taught and learned from many La Sallians in my life, I know they can be unassuming, fun-loving, hardworking and bright. I know many of them do not fit the stereotype exemplified by the following:
Student 1: Grabe, pare, sa Ateneo, ang hirap ng Philosphy. (In Ateneo, philosophy is so difficult.)
Student 2: Wala yun. Sa UP ang hirap-hirap ng math, chemistry at engineering (That’s nothing, in UP the most difficult subjects are the hard sciences).
Student 3: Naku, yun lang ba? Eh sa La Salle, ang hirap-hirap ng parking (Is that all? Well, in La Salle, what’s most difficult is finding a place to park your car).
However, the stereotype fits Sen Recto to a T.
No, I am not talking about his watering down the Sin Tax bill which, happily, many have brilliantly commented on, but about his foot stamping sore-loser-like behavior after Sen Drilon took over from where he left off.
- Senator Recto insisted his committee report on the sin tax reform bill be withdrawn even though, as Sen Pangilinan commented, it would have saved the Senate time in deliberating on the measure.
- Sen Recto gave the following reasons for his insistence:
- “I wrote it.”
- “Let them write theirs…”
- “It is the product of my own mind."
With the greatest of respect, Sen. Recto, you are paid a substantial amount to be one of 24 senators in our country. The least you can do is:
- Write reports
- Share them with your colleagues (instead of mimicking spoiled brats with their “Belat. This is mine and mine alone, so eat your heart out.”)
- And yes, produce things “with your mind.” I’m unsure if you’re aware of this, Sen Recto, but our reasons for voting you senator are not the same as Ate Vi’s reasons for marrying you. We care not a whit for your face, loins, or sweet nothings. What we do care for is doing what you promised you would during your campaign: work tirelessly to ensure a better life for us Filipinos. Is it unreasonable for us to hope that, at least once in a while, you do make “product(s) with your mind” rather than, for example, products lifted from tobacco and alcohol lobbies?
Today, December 12, you will once again introduce amendments to the RH bill. Happily, the ridiculous ones you first suggested were not accepted. Surely you must’ve had an inkling they wouldn’t be which is why, once again, you used your connections as the way out.
Say the magic words, “my wife, Gov Vilma Santos” or most permutations of these 5 words, and you’re in like flint in the next elections. In fact, methinks you already have that down pat.
How else to explain your using her name twice in practically the same sentence? This was in relation for the amendments you proposed which, true to your penchant for watering down bills which can help the nation (first the Sin Tax, now RH), you explain your behavior by predicting you will have a hard time “explaining the provision to Batangas Governor Vilma Santos,” and foreseeing it will be “very hard for me to go to Batangas and tell them together with my wife (Ms. Vilma Santos)…”
Sen Recto, we all have difficulties facing people whom we have let down. Sen Recto, might I suggest that as an elected representative of all Filipinos, your concern should not be how to explain the bill to one citizen, even if she is your wife, but instead to enact legislation that is to the benefit of all citizens whose well-being you have been chosen to protect. – Rappler.com