Arroyo lawyer butt of ‘cyber BALLying’
His balls are definitely on fire.
Shortly after he vowed to have himself castrated should his client, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, fail to return home, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio’s offer became the hot topic in various social networking sites.
The hashtag #itlognitopacio had been trending in the local topic of microblogging site Twitter since Wednesday, generating thousands of different reactions from Filipino users worldwide.
“Let GMA (former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) go as SC ordered. But pls guard Topacio’s (testicles). National interest demands it. LOL,” tweeted veteran singer-songwriter Jim Paredes.
“I have heard of (people) giving an arm and a leg for a loved one. But a testicular offer for insurance is quite unique,” Paredes added.
The Supreme Court has issued an order permitting the Arroyos to travel overseas but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima blocked their planned departure on Tuesday.
Professional blogger @HecklerForever said: “BREAKING NEWS: Atty. Ferdie Topacio’s balls are crying foul. They claim they’re both victims of ‘Cyber BALLying.’”
“His balls are of no use to him, and so he begs. Please take them,” @kawenMD said.
User Sharmaine Carreon said: “Why so confident about the Arroyos? I’m sure your balls are shrinking now.”
Journalist Carlos Conde said on Twitter, “An important tip: Before you retain a lawyer, make sure he’s got them twos because that means he’s never lost a case.”
“Will the people of Pateros be willing to do the honor of cutting Topacio’s balls out?” said user Petronilo Mendoza
Left or right
A tweet from user Israel Buenaobra said: “The question is not whether the Arroyos will come back or not. It’s whether he’s giving up his left or right NUT?
“Please check if Topacio still has his testes intact. They may have been cut off already. Collateral insurance,” tweeted user ken_see iamkensee.
Real issue muddled
While most users made fun of Topacio’s statement and took it lightly, some lamented that it had muddled the real issue.
“It’s a sad day when a substantive constitutional issue like the right to travel can be overwhelmed by a lawyer’s media stunt,” said law professor Theodore Te.
@imcalledSweet tweeted: “This isn’t Iraq that one can literally bet his balls. Besides, we already have balut. We need justice, not #itlognitopacio.”
“Until now #itlognitopacio is still at the trending topic list. Enough of it please!” @joventots declared.
Even De Lima, who has been at the receiving end of criticisms from Topacio and Arroyo allies, could not help but be amused by the lawyer’s bet.
“It’s very amusing indeed. But maybe he can make another bet, not that one,” De Lima told reporters, chuckling.
In the Senate, a comedian-turned lawmaker came up with his own gag. “I hope and pray that in case that happens, Atty. (Ferdie) Topacio does not live to be a hundred years old,” Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said playfully.
“Otherwise, he would be known as ‘century egg,’” Sotto said. Or Attorney One Ball, a character in Sotto’s old television sitcom “Iskul Bukol.”
No offense meant
In an interview, Topacio said he did not mean to offend anybody or muddle the issue when he made his declaration on national television.
“I just wanted to dispute the allegations that my client was planning to elude justice,” he said.
“As I have said before, I’m confident that my client would return home after his wife had been treated. I’m sure the former First Gentleman would not let me lose my balls,” Topacio said.
In a “gag statement” Topacio e-mailed to select reporters, Mike Arroyo said his lawyer’s testicles were “safe as my wife and I will definitely return to face the baseless charges hurled against us by the present administration.”
“I am a man myself. Therefore, I will not do any act or deed that will seriously jeopardize the health, safety and security of the testicles of any other man, let alone my lawyer,” said a portion of Mike Arroyo’s statement.
He even dared President Aquino to “do likewise” and “remove one of his testicles” if his suspicion that the Arroyos would seek refuge abroad turned out to be wrong.
“President Aquino can do no less. Otherwise, he will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, which is an impeachable offense,” Mike Arroyo said.
“In this case, he will have to make one of the ‘hardest’ decisions in his political life: lose one of his balls, or face impeachment raps.”
With his newfound popularity, Topacio said he might organize a “philanthropic foundation based in Makati City.”
“We shall call it ‘Itlog Co., Makati,’” the lawyer said. With reports from Cathy C. Yamsuan and Inquirer Research
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