“I’m just here to observe kung papaano sila mag-conduct ng operation. Pero I am not satisfied.”These were just some of the words that made Edu Manzano clearly disappointed with Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, concerning his duties and responsibilities as Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman. As Edu claimed, he was disappointed because of the fact that Bong was able to make such comments as if Bong himself had done anything significant when he was still the OMB chairman.
Edu and Bong’s verbal blows started after the senator’s raid at Makati Cinema Square last Tuesday, December 4.
Edu laid down the statistics in an interview with ABS-CBN’s showbiz talk show, Entertainment Live, aired yesterday, December 8.
“Mr. Revilla, for 2006, ang Philippine movie industry, umakyat ang draws ng 400 million po. From 1 billion in 2005, to 1.4 billion in 2006. Nagawa n’yo po yun nung time ninyo?” Edu asked.
Everyone would remember that Bong was the Video Regulatory Board (VRB) chairman until Edu replaced him as Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman. Since the issue was all about duty and responsibility, Edu pointed out that taking media coverage on raids wasn’t really part of any operation for that matter.
“Yung pag papalitrato ang hindi ko alam. Hindi ko kasi nakita doon sa duties and responsibilities or functions ng oversight committee,” Edu frankly said, referring to the alleged photo-op that Senator Revilla conducted during a raid at Makati Cinema Square last Tuesday.
ON BONG’S “MOLE” THEORY. Edu has gotten word about Bong’s theory regarding a mole inside the OMB office who tipped off pirated DVD/VCD merchants in exchange for cash.
Edu decided to ease everyone’s minds by saying: “Inuulit ko, mga kaibigan, para ipaalam po sa inyo, ultimo OMB operative hindi alam kung saan kami pupunta. Walang dalang cell phone doon sa area of operation.”
With a little bit of sarcasm, Edu pointed out, “Makakamit kaya namin ang ganitong tagumpay, kung meron talaga kaming mga sinasabing moles?”
ANSWER TO BONG’S CONTINUED CRITICISM. Bong also told the media that Edu was “below average” in terms of doing his job. Edu, on the other hand, was puzzled with Bong’s judgment.
“This is the first time in four years na kinausap niya kami. Ano ang kanyang basis for determining kung gaano kaepektibo ang aming ahensiya? Meron ba siyang bar of excellence? Meron ba siyang nagawa noon na mind-boggling? No.”
“Twenty-six lang ang kasama namin,” Edu continued. “Pero meron pa siyang bitbit na twenty-five members ng media. Ang tanong ko, papaano namin gagawin ang trabaho namin kung kailangan pa namin asikasuhin at ayusin ang kaligtasan ng lahat ng mga sumama?”
“I am in the office almost—hindi ko sinasabing everyday—almost everyday. Doon din kaya, nung panahon niya nandoon siya? Siya ba ag pumipirma o iba ang pumipirma para sa kanya?” asked Edu.
NOT THE FIRST TIME. Edu claimed that this is not the first time Bong has said something ill against him. Edu said, “Minsan, may narinig ako. Tinawagan ko siya at inalam kung meron siyang sinabi talaga. Report ito. Sabi ni Bong, ‘Hindi, hindi ko sinabi ‘yon kaibigan. Hindi totoo ‘yan.’ Kumpare pa tawag sa akin. Tinawagan ko yung reporter, tinanong ko kung puwede ba makita ang tape. Nakita ko, sinabi nga niya [Bong].
“Strike two na. Hindi ako maghihintay ng strike three,” Edu warned.
FOR THE SAKE OF PUBLICITY. A lot of people have questioned Bong’s involvement with this issue. Does Edu believe that Bong did these this as publicity for his upcoming film Resiklo?
An uninterested Edu replied, “Never ako nakialam sa buhay ni Mr. Revilla. Kung ano man ang kanyang dahilan, it’s totally up to him. Huwag lang kami idadamay—ang unit ko at ang aking ahensya—dahil we are doing our job. He has already called me a liar; he’s already made insinuations na ako ay tumatanggap.”
Is he ready to forgive Bong for everything?
“Hindi ako magiging ipokrito, hindi ko kaya,” admitted Edu. “At this point in time, not only have you hurt me, you hurt my family. How can I forgive you? I have children, and they have classmates. Hindi porke’t sorry, e, okay na.
“I may have not voted for you but it doesn’t mean na sisiraan kita. Wala akong milyun-milyong budget sa Senado, wala akong beinteng bodyguard. Mga kaibigan, ang dala ko lang ay ang iniwan sa aking nga aking ama: prinsipyo.”
ELYAS ISABELO SALANGA
Philippine Entertainment Portal