The Bourne Legacy director Tony Gilroy reportedly said that he decided to shoot his movie in Manila because it felt so “Bourne”-ish. In his own words he said that the city is “just so colorful and ugly and gritty and raw and stinky and crowded.” The director was spot-on in describing what his naked eyes saw while he was here. What he didn’t see would have made him shake his head in disbelief. Judging from the latest controversy involving our public servants, what goes on behind closed doors inside of our government buildings would make any Hollywood plot pale in comparison.
Apparently, the current government has more secrets than any man or woman in the country can handle in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the storyline that is unfolding before our eyes could not even be considered “Bourne-ish” because the script for the real time suspense/thriller seems to have been written by a third-rate scriptwriter, directed by a fourth-rate director and with the roles performed by fifth-rate actors. Indeed, if the scriptwriter for this latest noontime show had any foresight at all, he would have predicted what the actors were going to do next and how the story would end. Unfortunately, none of the participants can expect anyone to play their part well in this part of the globe.
Among our public officials, one can’t be too sure who is directing and who is just following instructions. In the Senate, it would seem that it was Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who acted as the “Godfather”. During the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona, many thought that he appeared to have steered the majority of the senator-judges onto the path of voting for “conviction”. This was evident in his line of questioning during the trial and his reported “dinner” with some of the junior senators held at Senator Loren Legarda’s house the day before they handed out their ruling against Corona.
Suffice to say, in general, most of the members of Congress deferred to the elderly Senator in more ways than one. However, that privilege seems to be coming to an end for Enrile. Yes, a first time senator, some would even say, a rookie is taking on the elder statesman and has reportedly admitted to trying to topple the seasoned politician from his throne:
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV confirmed on Thursday that he was behind the ouster move against Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile.
“Yes and I haven’t stopped working and hoping for it,” Trillanes told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
“He has lost his moral authority to lead the Senate when he continued to collaborate with GMA,” he said, referring to former President and now Pampanga Representative Glora Macapagal-Arroyo.
I can imagine that Trillanes’s admission above must have been disappointing for Enrile, to say the least. When he branded Trillanes a “coward”, “fraud” and a “fifth columnist”, it must have been in reference to the fact that the convicted mutineer was being ungrateful for what Enrile did for him while he was in prison. Yes, Enrile was visibly upset for being sidelined by Trillanes. He was surprised by Trillanes’s assumed role as a secret envoy for China but what could be annoying him more was Trillanes’s lack of “utang na loob” (“debt of gratitude”). It turns out it was Enrile who “went out of his way” to talk to people to convince them to free Trillanes from incarceration so he can join them in their sessions in the senate. I’ve always wondered who orchestrated Trillanes’s release from prison. It could not have been President BS Aquino’s idea. Obviously, the latter would not have been able to come up with such a scheme on his own.
Having played a key role in the first People Power revolution that toppled his former boss and mentor, former President Ferdinand Marcos, Enrile must have felt sorry for Trillanes for being locked up because Enrile himself escaped jail after mounting a coup d’etat more than once and is even hailed as a “hero” by some circles in Philippine society. But now Enrile must be kicking himself for unleashing what seems like the makings of a monster. If only he had the foresight to realize that Trillanes’s behavior in the past — his seemingly arrogant and unrelenting ways — were all signs indicating what an eager-beaver he really is. Trillanes’s rebellious ways almost a decade ago was a good indication that he couldn’t wait to be the one calling the shots one day.
As if acting like a know-it-all actor, Trillanes appears to have taken the script written for him by Enrile and dumped it in the waste bin. And Trillanes has likely written his own script and taken it straight to the film producers in Malacañang for approval. All he needed was the go-signal from the top and off he goes — to hell with the rest of the cast and crew.
It’s not really clear who asked who but both Trillanes and Malacañang spokespersons were giving conflicting statements regarding Trillanes’s new role. On one hand, a news report says that it wasn’t President BS Aquino’s idea but was Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa’s to use the former rebel soldier as peace negotiator for China. The report claimed that Ochoa asked Trillanes to use the back door to China “in one of their conversations sometime in May this year” as opposed to Ambassador Sonia Brady’s report saying that Trillanes was the one who volunteered to become the “direct channel” between China and Malacañang.
Trillanes cannot even stop himself from boasting about what he has achieved so far. He claims to have averted a war and “boasted that he was able to make 40 Chinese ships leave Panatag Shoal”. That is quite a remarkable feat for someone who does not even want to reveal the details of his negotiations with China.
Meanwhile, it seems it is not enough for Trillanes to brag about his so-called “achievements” in the Philippine-China dispute. He just has to go on and act defensive after he got found out for acting like a special agent. He accused the Americans of getting involved in the conflict and accused Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario of committing treason. He claims that del Rosario is just looking out for the interests of his long-time friend, businessman Manny Pangilinan who also has a stake in the disputed waters around Scarborough shoal. The details of his involvement are still sketchy and pure speculation at this point, of course.
The bottom-line is, Trillanes seems to be doing a bad job at trying to undermine everyone else in order to look good. Maybe the making and shooting of the latest installation of the Bourne series in Manila has inspired Trillanes to be some kind of rogue agent like Jason Bourne. He seriously needs some acting lessons though.
- The Philippines was a crisis waiting to happen even before COVID-19 struck - April 7, 2021
- Leni Robredo’s dishonesty and grandstanding during disasters is turning Filipino voters off - November 20, 2020
- Instead of blaming the gov’t for the rise in COVID-19 cases, people should take responsibility for keeping their communities safe - August 3, 2020
- Maria Ressa’s criminal conviction is a victory for the Filipino people - June 16, 2020
- ABS-CBN shutdown will strengthen Philippine institutions and compel Filipinos to follow the law - May 8, 2020