Never have I been as proud of my congressman as today that I no longer want him to be my congressman. Given the rockstar status he currently enjoys, he has clearly gained a national constituency that should not be ignored.
Considered as the ‘bazooka’ of the prosecution in the impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona, Congressman Rudy Fariñas delivered the closing arguments in a language and manner the masses could understand but with no less strength and sophistication needed to sway even the brightest legal minds. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who has gained the respect and admiration of arguably all Filipinos who watched the proceedings, couldn’t help but remark, “Nalaingka unay” (Sobrang galing mo). That both Enrile and Lito “Ben Tumbling” Lapid admit that it was Fariñas’ summation speech that won them over to convict the Chief Justice is a clear indicator that he will make a good senator of the people—across all social classes.
In his speech, Fariñas underscored the glaring inconsistencies in Corona’s testimony which was well rehearsed, well scripted, truly dramatic, but in the end a monumental flop. The word “palusot,” a trending word in Twitter here in the Philippines and worldwide last May 28, will surely be associated with the Congressman for a long time. I can already imagine campaign slogans like, “Kay Fariñas, bawal ang palusot.”
Based on media tracking of last Monday’s closing arguments, lead prosecutor Niel Tupas, by many yardsticks a certified weakling, logged a disapproval rating of 80.53 percent versus a shameful 19.47 percent approval rating from those who kept track of the last day of the impeachment trial. In stark contrast to this was Deputy Lead Prosecutor Fariñas’ 87.77 percent approval rating. No doubt about it, this son of Ilocos Norte saved the day for the House team in particular, and all truth and justice-seeking Filipinos at large.
It helped that, in his presentation, Fariñas, who in the 1978 bar examination ranked eighth with his 89.9% rating, found no need to flaunt his legal credentials to get his message across, unlike Miriam Defensor Santiago—that grandstanding blabbermouth who barely passed the 1969 bar examinations with a very low score of 76%. “Gago” was how Santiago called the prosecutors on various occassions. But if what Rudy showed in the impeachment trial was gagoness indeed, by every means let us all embrace that. Wah!
Twenty five years after his failed senatorial bid in 1987, Rodolfo “Rudy” Castro Fariñas is today the most qualified person to occupy a seat in the legislature’s upper chamber. He must run for senator next year, lest he does a great injustice to the Filipino people and to his gifts.
In the case of Renato Corona, we have proved that officials who have betrayed the public trust must be shown the door, and be forced to exit. Now, let us prove that we can put in place those we deserve.
Run, Rudy, run. And no excuses, please.