A “Bejeweled” Sen. Enrile During a Senate Inquiry

The senators are supposed to be among the best of the lawmakers in the country yet many have been involved in a lot of controversies not just these past few weeks but for a long time now.  It can be disheartening to think that those who are dismayed with what the senators are doing could be correct in their assumptions.

Aside from being among the top players of the hot issue of the pork barrel scam, Sen. Enrile has drawn a lot of flak from netizens when he was caught playing with his electronic tablet.

The Bejeweled Photo

A photo which shows an elderly gentleman playing “Bejeweled” on his tablet in what appears to be a boardroom began circulating various social media in August.  The elderly guy was pictured from the back, his facial features not clear, but the game he was so absorbed with was quite clear on the photo.  When it began circulating the web, the man was clearly identified as Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.  Even if the photo wasn’t clearly showing his face and even if it wasn’t labeled, it was easy to identify that it really was him.  When asked about it, he was even quite proud of his achievements in the game, boasting that he is already on level 271!  How cute is that?

It would have been a cute picture, after all, the older generation is often reluctant to embrace new technology.  Well, that would be cute it if it was taken in a different setting and event, perhaps at home with grand kids at his feet.  But no!  That particular “cute” photo was actually taken during the Senate inquiry regarding the “sex-for-flight” controversy!  Taken in that context, the seemingly “cute” photo turns disgusting.  We want our government officials, especially those who are elected in position, to do their jobs the best they could and the best they should!  It is a sad reality that the people are shortchanged in so many things, including services from the government and the services or work done by our elected officials.

The Angry Bird

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was among the many who weren’t amused with the photo, labeling it as an unparliamentary act especially because it causes disruption and distraction during the session.  She calls for a refinement and updating of the rules on decorum.  Of course, she understands new technology, especially the use of tablets and smart phones to promote a paperless senate but wants the proper use of these gadgets to be defined in the provisions.

Well, Sen. Enrile is an intelligent person who doesn’t even have to memorize scripts for a speech such as the one he was set to do in the inquiry.  He was actually waiting for his turn to speak on the issue and may have been a bit bored because colleague Sen. Jinggoy was taking a long time grilling Philippine Labor Attache Adam Musa who was allegedly involved in the controversy.

Still, even a genius has to learn to respect others and also do his job well.  In a session as serious as an inquiry of a controversial matter, his undivided attention was required.  Could it be old age that is making him soft or is it because he is not the Senate President anymore?

An Electronic Addiction

Many netizens have formed an addiction or attachment of sorts with 1 or more games on electronic gadgets yet it is important to know where your boundaries lie.  Just as kids are not allowed to play with their gadgets while in school and workers not allowed electronic gadgets while at work, senators should also be banned from using such gadgets especially for playing while in any session or official gathering!  That is their work – why should they be above the other workers who are banned from playing while working?  They are not gods!

It is easy to agree with Sen. Miriam.  The senators and other government officials should not play with electronic gadgets while at work, whether they are holding regular business hours or not.  As long as they are at work, they should be prohibited from playing with electronic gadgets.  The “Bejeweled” Sen. Enrile should set a good example to workers and to the people.  We hope he doesn’t do it again!

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