Fariñas teases 'ex yellow' Umali in front of LP stalwart Drilon
It was just some months ago when they were all with the then-ruling Liberal Party. But in politics, months could mean a lifetime ago.
Now, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Oriental Mindoro 2nd district Representative Reynaldo Umali have jumped ship and crossed over to President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban.
This is not lost on the two who managed to joke about it in front of LP stalwart, Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon on Tuesday, December 13, at the sidelines of the bicameral conference on the proposed 2017 budget.
Umali arrived late for the budget bicam, as he first filed the criminal complaint against Senator Leila de Lima, his former partymate and Duterte’s fiercest critic, before the Department of Justice for "interfering" in a House probe. Umali, Fariñas, and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also filed an ethics complaint against the senator for the same reason.
Upon arrival, Umali made his presence known to Senate finance committee chair Loren Legarda: “Ma’am, present!”
“Ikaw talaga, ang pilyo mo! Kawawa naman [si De Lima] (You're really naughty. Pity on her),” Legarda replied in jest.
Fariñas and Umali then began their chat, while Drilon was across them. Noticing their former LP boss looking at them, Fariñas laughed and told Drilon, while pointing to Umali: “Ito o, dating dilaw ito eh, kasama nyo dati.” (Here he is, a former yellow, your former ally.)
Drilon said in jest: “Oo, iniwan na kami niyan,” eliciting laughter from some lawmakers nearby. (Yes, he left us already.)
Fariñas might have made the joke but it could very well have applied to him, too. Under former president Benigno Aquino III, Fariñas was pivotal in the impeachment case filed against former chief justice Renato Corona.
When the Commission on Appointments repeatedly bypassed then justice secretary De Lima, it was Fariñas who defended her from the panel and called for her confirmation.
Umali, for his part, is the godfather of one of the senator’s sons.
But now, the two lawmakers are leading the cases and allegations against De Lima. Truly, there are no permanent friends and allies in politics. – Rappler.com
Inside Track is Rappler's intelligencer on people, events, places and everything of public interest. It's a take-off from Newsbreak's Inside Track section. Contributions are most welcome. Just send bits of information to firstname.lastname@example.org.