It’s getting ugly

I have read some hillarious news stories since my arrival here in August. (Ask me about the story about impromptu penis enlargement operations at a prison here.) But this one is funny not only because the story itself is ridiculous, but because it also shows that politics here can easily degenerate to, well, a tantrum — as in a 3-year-old-in-a-playground-screaming-about-a-lost-toy tantrum.

I believe it all started Monday: One senator, Miriam Defensor Santiago, announced that former President Aquino and another senator, Franklin Drilon, were involved in a plot to assasinate President Arroyo. This did not sit well with a lot of people, for obvious reasons. But one of the reasons is that most people believe that it’s impossible that, of all people, Aquino, would plot Arroyo’s assasination.

This started quite the argument in Congress, degenerating into a fight about who got the highest score on the bar exam!!!

Now, the Philippines, and Manila in particular, is a small place, especially when we’re talking about the elite. One of the senators denouncing Santiago’s claims, Rolex Suplico, happens to be a former student of Santiago’s. Santiago called him a “dimwit.” And of course he had to respond.

Here’s the story from the Philippine Star. I particularly like the cartoon that goes with it — it seems strangely appropriate to use a cartoon to illustrate this story instead of a photo.

Suplico: I got a higher grade in Bar than Miriam, Philippine Star, Oct. 5, 2005

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