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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/03 May) – Yesterday morning, I went to the capitol grounds which is a favorite site of locals who love to jog or do other forms of exercise. Since my left leg, which had been fractured, can no longer endure jogging continuously for several minutes, I had to alternate between running and brisk-walking. And while doing this routine I overheard an interesting conversation between two walkers who were ahead of me by an arm’s stretch. Their exchange goes something like this:

Walker 1: Pare, will you vote for Migz Zubiri?

Walker 2: Hmmm, I’m not sure, Pare, maybe yes, maybe no, not really sure.

Walker 1: But he’s from Bukidnon, Pare. If he gets elected he can be of great help to the province. Imagine what the P200-million in pork barrel funds annually for each senator can do to our place.

Walker 2: Honestly, Pare, I’m ashamed by what he did in 2007. Have you forgotten? He stole the vote from Senator Koko Pimentel! Besides, I hate the idea of giving pork barrel to lawmakers, that’s a huge source of graft.

Walker 1: Pare, I respect your position on the pork barrel. But as for Migz, he has explained time and again that he was not a part of the fraud. He said he did not know that some people manipulated the results in Maguindanao in his favor.

Walker 2: You believe that crap, Pare? Come on, you’re smarter than that.

Walker 1: But can’t you see, Pare. He resigned his post after knowing the real story. He has delicadeza, hasn’t he? That’s the mark of a great leader, Pare.

Walker 2: Come on, Pare, most people thought Migz resigned only after the evidence of fraud had become overwhelming. If he really has delicadeza, he should have not committed fraud. And I think resignation is not the right term, Pare. Can you give up something which was never yours in the first place?

Walker 1: You’re so cynical, Pare. Can’t you see that Migz was so industrious while he was in the Senate?

Walker 2: You may be right, Pare, about his industry (productiveness). Yet that doesn’t make the fraud in Maguindanao an act of Heaven. A crime is a crime, period.

Walker 1: All right, all right, I’m giving up on the Maguindanao issue. But did you hear Migz’s ad on TV that he will propose as a national program the health program of the provincial government of Bukidnon? I think you’re aware that thousands of poor people in the province have benefited under this program initiated by his father, who is running again for governor.

Walker 2: What benefit, Pare? Haven’t you heard that several patients in Bukidnon’s provincial hospitals have complained about the lack of medicines and poor services?

Walker 2: And one more thing, Pare: Why is the face of Migz’s father prominently etched on the PhilHealth cards given to the people? Is he using his own money for this program?

Walker 1: Next question, Pare.

Time for coffee, I told myself as I headed back home. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at hmcmordeno@gmail.com)

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