Iloilo flyover probe: Rhetoric isn’t a commitment

By Alex P. Vidal

“Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.”—Theodore Roosevelt

LET us be clear about this: a “declaration of support” is different from “doing it on my own initiative.”

So let’s not be totally mesmerized and excited when another politician has “supported the call” to conduct a Senate investigation into the scandalous and mysterious P680-million Iloilo flyover project or Ungka flyover (UFO) in Ungka, Pavia.

Senator Imee Marcos told Iloilo reporters May 28 “it is important to look into all this shabby infrastructure. It is apparent that the bridge is very badly constructed and has to be looked into.”

I find Marcos’ words lacking in substance and earnestness.

It appears it was like another rhetoric from a seasoned politician forced to denounce something in a press conference that is already stinking but something vacillating politicians like her wouldn’t really care to take up if nobody had raised it.

In other words, Marcos wouldn’t and couldn’t pick up the cudgels for the Ilonggos by making a lucid and transpicuous commitment to bring the matter herself to the Upper Chamber.

She will have to wait for a colleague to file the resolution and just “support” it; she isn’t the Real McCoy if Ilonggos are waiting for the Knight in the Shining Armor.

The caveat is: if no senator will take up the issue seriously and be heroic and patriotic to sponsor a formal resolution, no senate inquiry will happen in the near future.


The “call” was actually a resolution from the Pavia Sangguniang Bayan (SB) sponsored by Councilor Pyt Trimañez urging the Senate to intervene in the controversy by calling for a formal inquiry.

The municipal resolution came after the Pavia SB “felt hopeless” that the efforts of Makabayan bloc Representatives Raoul Daniel Manuel of Kabataan, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, and France Castro of ACT-Teachers have, so far, yielded negative results in as far as a formal inquiry from the Lower House is concerned.

Months have passed since the lawmakers filed the resolution and it seems, like many pending House resolutions, it is gathering cobwebs and may not be even taken up anytime soon.

It appears no one is willing to grab the bull by the horns as the frustration and revulsion of Ilonggos get stronger and higher day by day.

We just can’t trust the politicians when they openly denounce the alleged irregularities in the expensive flyover project and yet do nothing concrete to at least speed up any investigation that would bring justice to the taxpayers.

“Ang problema ko ang laki-laki pala nang gagamitin sa repair niyan and I’m hopeful that they can come into a cheaper arrangement,” Marcos said.

Problema mo ba talaga, Senador Imee?


We are all excited and timid—whether we root for Celtics or Heat.

As of this writing, the Boston Celtics were on the verge of making history after a dramatic buzzer-beating victory against the Miami Heat to force a Game 7 in the NBA playoffs.

Boston was trying to become the first team to win a playoff series after trailing 3-0.

The winner of that series will play the Denver Nuggets, who swept the Los Angeles Lakers in four games to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in the franchise’s 47-year history.

In New York City, thousands of apartments meant for homeless New Yorkers are sitting vacant amid record homelessness and a continuing influx of migrants, according to documents obtained by the Daily News. Obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request, the documents show that 2,646 of the city’s supportive housing units—which are meant for homeless individuals with a need for social services—were empty on March 31.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)