Manny Villar sees nothing wrong when he presented himself before the PSE board and lobbied for Vistaland. Villar said he broke no law.
The Nacionalista party standard bearer also defended himself by saying that Senators like him are not required to divest their interests in their companies--the law requires that they just have to divulge it.
I am totally disappointed with Villar---he simply does not get it. The issue is not law--its delicadeza.
Villar has committed the very sin, in fact, the original sin of this administration---the Arroyos are fond of telling the people they broke no law while their very act smacks of immorality, nay, gruesome unethical behavior.
Yes, Senators are not supposed to divest, only divulge their interests in their numerous companies. And yes, probably, he broke no law since the PSE, as correctly defended by Vista Land's lawyer Nalen Galang, is a private institution.
Yet, what Villar just did was actually prove the very fears of the people and why most will not vote for him---he has the tendency to use his position to benefit his numerous companies.
This act of Villar sends a very chilling message to big business---what will prevent Villar from appearing once again before the PSE or any business group and ask for concessions? If we elect Villar as president, what will then prevent him from breathing down hard against his rivals in the real estate business? Nothing, you say. That's precisely it.
When his companies bought land with liens or disputes attached to it and allegedly faked those titles, what will then prevent Villar from similarly doing the same things, and in a grandier fashion, as our president? Nothing, you say. Fact is, Villar will even be more fierce.
Even if the law does not bar Villar as a Senator from appearing before any business group, it is incumbent upon Villar, if he's really an honest, sincere and a good man, not to do things which are unethical.
Galang said when Villar appeared before the PSE, he was doing so not as Senate president but as majority stockholder of Vista Land. Crap.
Do you think Vivien Yuchengco or PSE board chairman Lim welcomed Villar as "Citizen Villar" not as "Senate president Villar" when he appeared before them? Surely Galang is not as stupid as many people think she is. That's a very weak alibi, weaker than ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan's alibi.
Laws are supposed to reflect our concept of morality but if there is no law that exists that bars someone from acting or doing things, then, the only recourse for someone if the law is silent is simply exercising his own moral conscience.
That appearance before the PSE is a moral judgment, not a legal one.
Hence, it's totally abhorrent for a person with a higher social standing like Villar, indeed, expected of him, to exercise the right moral judgment every single time he's faced with acts which the laws are silent.
Is Villar parroting what Arroyo said when she was asked about her call to the Comelec commissioners? She admitted doing the call but defended herself by saying that there is no law that bars her from doing so. Yes, the laws are silent. But its silence does not mean that you or anyone is entitled to do what many think as immoral or unethical.
When Arroyo defended herself by saying that there is no law that bars her from fraternizing or socializing with ZTE-NBN officials at the height of an ongoing bidding for the contract, does it mean that Arroyo broke no law when she and her husband went to Shenzhen to golf with the ZTE officials? Yes, the Arroyos broke no law except the highest law which the people expected them to follow and that is, the moral law.
Villar is hiding behind the technicalities of the law. What he fails to say is simply, he lacks the moral acuity expected of leaders like him. And that's the danger. If we elect Villar, we are electing an Arroyo clone.