Arroyo, Mendoza treated nation badly over NBN

An Inquirer report says Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza cannot get over his “harrowing” experience when he appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee last month.

Read about Mendoza’s version of reality and his melodramatic performance in a sit-down with Inquirer editors here.

I was there at the Senate plenary hall during all those hearings Mendoza attended and  I could say that Mendoza is trying to put one over the senators who grilled him and the other executive officials.

Consider the following facts Mendoza overlooked in his melodramatic rendering of events:

  1. President Arroyo initially prevented executive officials, including Mendoza, from appearing before the Senate. These Arroyo henchmen were for the longest time insulting the Senate by insisting that the Senate cannot investigate them unless the President agrees, and as if the Senate has no power to summon them.
  2. Mendoza was demolishing Joey de Venecia III before, during and after the Speaker’s son appeared at the Senate. Mendoza called Joey a “talunan” not too sparingly.
  3. Compared with former Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos and CHED Chair Romulo Neri, Mendoza was apparently the least prepared for the Senate hearing. He had to rely repeatedly on a cabal of technical experts to answer for him.

Mendoza says the Senate was unfair to him but forgets the issue’s basics. Had Mendoza answered the Senate’s invitations soon enough, he would have been met with a friendlier tone. Had the DOTC been fortright in telling the public about the NBN and not attempted a cover up via “executive privilege”, the situation wouldn’t have necessitated a showdown between the senators and executive officials on the Senate floor. If Mendoza wishes to clame anyone about this, he should write his boss Mrs. Arroyo and complain.

According to Mendoza:

This is a different Senate. Sometimes you feel sad but I just tried hard to smile every time my staff looked my way. They have to respect us, we feel bad about the whole thing. That is our sentiment. Our purpose in going there was to clarify all issues on procedure and procurement.

Which makes me ask him questions: What kind of Senate does he prefer? A Senate that does not answer questions? A Senate that doesn’t think? A pliant Senate, as subservient perhaps as the House of Representatives? A Senate that spares executive officials from scrutiny, even if the public interest so demands and despite an initial and arrogant refusal to appear before it?

In truth, it was Arroyo, Mendoza, Abalos and Neri who treated the nation badly the scandalous NBN deal.

Mendoza should stop trying to fool the people again.

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