Friday, January 15, 2010

Cortege from Occidental Mindoro

I remember that when Occidental Mindoro Representative Amelita Villarosa was newly appointed deputy speaker of the House of the Representatives she planed home to her congressional district where she was accorded a heroin's welcome. Her supporters were telling that it was a rare and great honor not only to her but also to the province.

As I already said in my previous postings, her designation as deputy speaker of the House meant nothing to me.In fact, it should even be viewed as source of shame rather than honor, and reason for notoriety than good name.

She was named so by no less than Speaker Jose De Venecia – who she subsequently backstabbed after his son and namesake, Jose III, made the exposition about the NBN involving the First Gentleman and for which a golf match was held in Schenzen, China among the company officials and the First Couple. By backstabbing, I mean Villarosa was among those behind the plot of ease De Venecia out of House of Speakership as he was perceived to have abandoned the “Hello, Graci” President. Blood is thicker than water, as the cliché goes.

On the occasion of her being named as deputy speaker, De Venecia justified that it was to address the gender imbalance in the House, so that women legislators will be represented in the House leadership – about which, Villarosa finds it difficult to explain. She was quoted by the media saying that she’s a deputy speaker for everyone, and not just for particular sector. She continued: There is no such position (deputy speaker for women) in the House.

This is not surprising, actually. Since in the first place, political appointments are made not on the basis of merit but on the basis of – frankly said – what one contributes to the political interest of the whoever is the big boss.

In the case of Amelita Villarosa, she must have been made deputy speaker of the House because she was travel companion of her big boss. No, she’s more of a travel attendant. A retinue. A cortege. In Tagalog, taga-bitbit ng maleta ng mas malaking tao kaysa sa kaniya…

And, hey, Occidental Mindoro has sent her to the House for two consecutive terms!

At the very least, Villarosa is alien to women’s causes. In her first term in the House, she filed 57 bills. Out of these, only one may be considered pro-women. It was House Bill 4948, which aims to expand the grounds for legal separation and to amend the definition of psychological incapacity under the Family Code.

In the current congress, she claims to have co-authored two pieces of legislation on women. The first is the Magna Carta for Women that would operationalize the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The second is the Reproductive Health Care bill. (I just do not know whether the members of the Family and Life Apostolate members in every parish in Occidental Mindoro -- who are known supporters of Villarosa -- knew this.)

Over-all, as the current congress is about to close, Villarosa’s appointment as deputy speaker has failed to become a victory for women as it falls short to influence and advance women’s causes – which, whether she likes it or not, is an expectation to her by her own gender group.

In a certain respect, insofar as she is concerned, this is not novel. For, she has more evidently failed to serve her congressional district.

Unfortunately, she’s expected to win her third term in the House. For which, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will again be grateful to the Mindorenos. She would say: “Salamat sa inyo. May taga-buhat na uli ng aking maleta papunta sa ibang bansa…”

No comments: