‘Grandmother’ or ‘godmother Earth?’ Senators tease Villar

Camille Elemia
‘Grandmother’ or ‘godmother Earth?’ Senators tease Villar
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri calls Senator Cynthia Villar as 'grandmother Earth' but Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III says the richest senator should be 'godmother Earth'

It was a light exchange among senators during the 2nd confirmation hearing of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

The target of their jokes? CA member and Senator Cynthia Villar.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri started it when he referred to Senator Loren Legarda as “mother Earth” and Villar as “grandmother Earth.” The remark elicited laughter from CA members and others in the room.

Shortly after, Zubiri corrected himself.

“The National Greening Program is close to our hearts: Me, Mother Earth 1, Mother Earth 2,” Zubiri said, pointing to Legarda and Villar.

“Hindi na po grandmother Earth, mother na po tayo. Ako po’y anak po ninyo,” Zubiri lightly told Villar, who laughed with the rest in the room. (Not grandmother anymore. Mother it is. I myself as your son.)

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III then interjected to further tease Villar and called her “the godmother of the Senate.”

Villar is the richest senator, with a net worth of P 3.6 billion based on her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

“Senator Legarda is Mother Earth. Senator Villar is godmother Earth, not grandmother,” Sotto said, with the audience laughing.

Villar said in jest: “May meaning na naman yan (It has a meaning again).”

Before the hearing was suspended, Senator Panfilo Lacson made a seemingly serious manifestation, which turned out to be a joke.

“Very quickly just so we can suspend this on a happy note. I would just like to echo the correction as manifested by Senator Sotto na mali talagang tawagin si Senator Villar na grandmother, dapat godmother (that it is wrong to call Senator Villa grandmother, it should be godmother.) Dahil ‘pag grandmother Earth, amoy lupa yun (Because if it’s grandmother Earth, that smells like soil),” Lacson jokingly said,

Villar replied in jest: “Galit yan sa akin eh, kaya ganyan yan (He’s mad at me that’s why he’s like that).– Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com