July 21, 2017, 5:01 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4017 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03628 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32436 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02723 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03626 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04054 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63579 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03534 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.60377 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13904 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06579 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30624 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20692 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 405.75598 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04049 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02733 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.57175 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13799 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.59343 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.43535 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98075 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47231 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.59951 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13357 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95278 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19181 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28109 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36583 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46433 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01797 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04244 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01572 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08685 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91021 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 182.75233 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1491 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.14512 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15784 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47422 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13229 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24625 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.54195 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.57844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07211 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30521 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.93595 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 657.62059 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9771 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.6139 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23666 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0906 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38113 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.57681 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.12404 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.24078 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.6366 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00614 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01662 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.364 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 166.08836 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.51277 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.08877 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84435 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25922 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06179 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01258 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02821 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19642 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36735 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.09972 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.52331 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.27726 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16258 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.25578 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70024 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31394 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.54094 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37863 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08672 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2604 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52615 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59972 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17055 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08654 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02835 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00779 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06622 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06654 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0753 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 112.82935 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0738 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08196 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14766 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.61897 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.076 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16004 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26836 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13498 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17451 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45006 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 152.00649 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08634 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 435.85326 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17678 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.43737 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26014 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6897 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04917 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04647 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0711 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61011 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 45.17633 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53223 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.78071 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57377 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 77.82732 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20216 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 459.54601 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18241 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05201 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.77483 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05472 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.82205 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13174 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.06546 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25921 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 105.17835 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.33482 Zimbabwe dollar

The pintakasi and the kulasisi

Given the time and money it wastes, the legislature has come to be our fattest, most cost-ineffective and expensive white elephant. Whenever a scandal erupts within its halls it almost always has little to do with democratic lawmaking, economic governance, educational development, or even about political ideology as democratic space licenses lawmakers to debate. Instead it is always about partisanship, betrayal, backstabbing, the abuse of privilege, thievery of state coffers and downright crude and crass criminality. 

Be it within the House of Representatives built over a mountain of garbage or the Senate settled along cisterns where the metropolis’s untreated sewage is discharged.

And just when we thought we had seen some relief from those monetarily conflicted among the Commission on Appointments who refuse to yield to the most basic and decent act of recusing themselves from deciding the fate of an honest and decent cabinet appointee whose portfolio directly impacts on their personal cashflows, within weeks, again we are assaulted with the noxious stink of base and shameless congressional indecency.

Those we call honorable have discovered deeper depths to sink to and have now ended up in an aptly labeled chicken fight traditionally known as a “pintakasi.” While technically the word has two meanings, one being an “intercessor,” and the other, a cockfighting derby, we loosely refer to the second.

To update on serial congressional scandals, the latest involves a degrading pintakasi among mistresses or concubines colloquially called “kulasisi.” Hence, our title.

In recent history the reputation of our legislative chambers had started sinking into both the slime and mud when the public started viewing congressional hearings as a cheap substitute for TV gameshows, noontime variety shows and the mid-afternoon and early evening telenovelas whether imported or the home-grown tearjerker cum slap-fest variety specifically produced to sell laundry soap.

The impeachment of a former president had started a trend and was an immediate blockbuster that not only rivalled the most tacky and tasteless serials and soaps but, based on what seemed like reality, it depicted the high and mighty as nothing more than lowlife and earthy clowns. 

The first impeachment and another that followed were a series of comic relief ever so briefly interspersed with moments of drama. That it was a tableau of the most ludicrous was nothing new. At least not to those congressional beat reporters who had to suffer the circus on a daily basis seeking signs of intelligent life and a tabloid sound-byte worthy of the six o’clock news.

Unfortunately the networks soon discovered the kitschy entertainment value of politics. When network executives saw the reactions, and the popular following, then they began investing in live TV in the once low-viewership afternoons. Comedy, gross stupidity, insults and the ugly reality of the powerful plotting and squirming in their guilt brought in the ratings and delivered unprecedented bottomline profits. Indeed, there is money to be made in garbage.

And like a backed-up toilet, the new TV stars were full of it.

As politics degraded into cheap and crude entertainment so did legislation. Hearings were un-attended unless these had entertainment value and media coverage. It was a matter of garbage-in and garbage-out. The cast grandstanded with hyperbolic scripts. As the legislature’s cast of characters drew in the worst players, the most ill-experienced and uneducated if not the most unintelligent that constituencies could elect as those who might both represent them on one end while entertain tasteless requisites on another, priorities morphed from serious lawmaking to tragicomic and unproductive sycophantic investigations in aid of politicking.

This sickening scandal among congressional mistresses is perhaps one of the basest examples of what these characters have turned our legislature into.

Foremost is that it is immediately a criminal violation of laws. One, written statutes on adultery, concubinage, bigamy, marital infidelity and psychological abuse crafted by legislators themselves. The other, a rule among decent and civilized men. The statutes on the conduct of all including civil servants impose a fit and proper requisite among public servants encompassing those from the president down to street-sweepers. Somewhere near the bottom are our lawmakers. Likewise, laws on decency need not be read nor written but must be enforced as a much as unwritten constitutions are.

This kulasisi scandal exposes a dishonest double standard among legislators and how they perceive themselves against the public that installed and funds them. Was it not fairly recent that they shamed themselves, giggling like prepubescent testosterone-challenged bullies revelling in the crassest language to berate a lady senator on what they described as her unusual relationship with someone they imagine was beneath her?

Ancient cultures would have condemned their illicit and shameful vices especially when literally exposed centerstage. Their kulasisi would have been stoned as penance. In our case, those involved justified home-breakers simply by declaring it commonplace, proudly defiant and describing sleazy extramarital dalliances as “kaligayahan” or bliss.

As the sovereign constituency, this is our fault. We earmark and waste billions from taxes to fatten the legislature, yet we mindlessly extol and install as lawmakers ethical miscreants who cannot discern right from wrong.
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