Funny lines, banters fill session hall as 6 senators bid farewell
MANILA, Philippines — It was not the usual goodbyes.
Six senators, whose terms will end on June 30, bid goodbye Tuesday with a bit of sadness but mostly laughter as they cracked jokes and funny lines as they delivered their farewell speeches.
Senator Gringo Honasan was the first to deliver his valedictory speech and the first to hurl humor at the Senate session hall.
As he recalled his beginnings in the Senate, Honasan cited some notable senators he worked with, including the late Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Juan Flavier.
He then stopped after realizing that the two senators he mentioned had already passed away.
“Puro the late… I hope this does not give us an indication of what is to come,” Honasan quipped.
“I know you will miss me because of my deafening silence…” he later said as he looked back at the 21 years he had been in the chamber.
Honasan also apologized to those he might have offended and might have failed.
“I’m truly sorry…” he said.
Senator JV Ejercito, meanwhile, surprised his colleagues when he ended his farewell speech with the playing of his popular campaign jingle. Ejercito lost in his reelection attempt in this year’s polls.
In his speech, Ejercito recognized and thanked each of his colleagues, sometimes teasing them and throwing jokes at some of them.
He thanked Senator Grace Poe, for instance, for endorsing him in the last elections.
“Thank you very much for that. Alam ko na alam mo na ako talaga ang ‘Good one’,” he said using the line in his political ads.
Senator Cynthia Villar, also called by colleagues as “Mama Bear,” did not escape Ejercito’s teasing.
“Salamat sa iyong pagaalaga my Mama Bear during the campaign dahil ako po’y medyo hirap sa pondo, buti na lang ay nandyan ka at ako’y nakakasabay sa Air Villar,” he said.
“Salamat sa pagtrato sa akin bilang inyong anak pero kung i-adopt nyo ako ok lang din at papamanahan,” he said in jest to Villar, the richest member of the Senate.
And to Senator Nancy Binay, Ejercito said he was very happy for her victory in the last elections, adding he would have been “more aggressive” if it were not her who got the 12th and last spot in the senatorial race.
Binay won with a slim lead of 200,000 votes over Ejercito, who was at 13th spot.
Opposition Senator Bam Aquino, who lost his reelection bid in the last May elections, expressed his gratitude to those who supported him not only during the campaign but more importantly during his six years in the Senate.
“Among my colleagues, I’ve found mentors and friends that have come through for me even in the most challenging and intimidating times. Thank you,” he said.
“And within these halls, I’ve come to know fierce allies in the fight against poverty. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with kind and productive people here in the Senate, the Lower House, in the Executive branch of government, in media, in business, in development groups and organizations from various sectors. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat,” Aquino added.
Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Loren Legarda, also delivered their respective farewell speeches while another outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes IV did not give a valedictory address.
Before his speech, Escudero, also poked fun at some of his colleagues.
“Senator JV buong katawan kong inaawat si Sen. Dick na gusto kang interpellate sa mga sinabi mo tungkol sa kanya kanina buti na lang at napagbigyan ako,” he said, referring to Senator Richard Gordon, who is known for his lengthy interpellations and questioning during committee hearings.
“Sabi ni Manong Greg (Honasan) kanina, tinatanong ng ‘seatmates’ saan daw sya pupunta? Ang tanong sa akin ng seatmates kanina, bakit nandito ka pa?”
“Ang sagot ko po ay simple: Pumasok si Manong Greg ng 1995, ang asawa ko pong uuwian mamaya ay ka-edad ng apo n’yang nagturo sa kanyang magdasal,” said Escudero, who is married to actress Heart Evangelista.
Honasan, Trillanes, Legarda, and Escudero, will end their two six-year terms in the Senate on June 30.
Legarda though would still be part of the incoming 18th Congress, but as member of the House of Representatives, as she was elected Representative of Antique while Escudero was elected governor of Sorsogon. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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