It was a pitiful sight: the old man Guingona, soaked to the skin, and showing his age. And yet I must also confess to a vague discomfort whenever I hear his son on the radio or see him on TV. Nothing recommends Rep. Teofisto Guingona III except his illustrious name. Thus, when I read the congressman’s statement yesterday, I was moved by his filial devotion, but at the same time I caught myself thinking: It should have been the son’s turn at the front line. Surely his father had done enough.
One of the things I remember most from last year’s elections was the drama in Guingona’s district in Bukidnon. A long-time oppositionist was running for another term in office, as the official candidate of Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino. Enter FPJ and his running mate, Sen. Loren Legarda. Through a political maneuver, the Estrada loyalist suddenly became the unofficial opposition candidate. As it turns out, part of the price FPJ paid for the opportunity to welcome Legarda’s close friend, Vice President Guingona, on board, was the Bukidnon seat for his son.
So much for the politics of principle. True, it is a subject which the young Guingona will perorate on at the drop of a hat (indeed, that’s how he found himself in a position to lecture all and sundry on the politics of courage and decency, by essentially throwing his FPJ-protected hat into a ring the lines of which his father had redrawn).
"There are no warm friendships nor serious alliances with this woman," [Rep. Guingona] said [referring to the President]. "Only frigid temporary alliances of conveniences."
As a certain Estrada loyalist may confirm, Guingona speaks from, ah, deep personal experience.