May 30, 2017, 9:07 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07364 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.41007 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03564 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31981 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.027 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03589 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0401 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.6166 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03506 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00754 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.21095 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02005 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02781 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13836 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06529 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02005 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29236 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20493 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 401.44376 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04006 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02702 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01963 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.52517 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13741 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.34771 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.64428 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02005 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98697 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47778 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.56126 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13403 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93884 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17475 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28187 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36094 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46049 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01801 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04182 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01561 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01565 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0872 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.90034 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 181.17105 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14734 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.06477 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15626 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47034 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13286 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33467 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.54381 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.31502 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07139 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29406 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.68157 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 650.67176 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99739 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.59535 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22292 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06637 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.36342 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.33948 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.02567 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.04692 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.52055 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00608 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01644 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.22579 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.42751 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.1925 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.06196 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.8448 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25807 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06113 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01244 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02794 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19633 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36344 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.10347 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.33106 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.04492 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16094 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.17866 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6938 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.308 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.38981 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37146 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08585 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26102 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.43674 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59984 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16929 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06136 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02844 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00772 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02005 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06582 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06346 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09846 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07534 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 112.05735 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07301 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08223 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13242 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.43433 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07519 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15815 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2679 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13354 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17503 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02781 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01561 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44528 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.39102 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.96852 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 441.47785 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1749 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.32645 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26048 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.68398 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04812 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04614 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07172 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13474 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60567 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.71626 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52777 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.08743 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02005 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56748 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 76.19812 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20001 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 455.96552 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1526 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05162 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.80971 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05414 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.85342 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13836 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.01103 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26116 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 104.06056 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.25687 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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