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End of the road for Tolentino

You have to hand it to the Palace spinmeisters, praising resigned Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino as someone who stayed true to the straight path. Tolentino’s resignation surprised no one; after all, he had already declared his intention of running for a Senate post in May 2016 and was suddenly noticeably actively going out of town, donating what’s-it’s to provincial LGUs and even reportedly giving away cellular phones with his name on it.

But what’s really funny about it is the way Tolentino’s camp (and therefore this administration as well) is making it sound as if the guy was a poor victim or a sacrificing (not sacrificial, there’s a big diff) lamb or something instead of someone who had it coming. Bags packed, ready to go, Atty. Francis issue an apology over what he said was a mistake that he allowed to happen—referring to that infamous birthday party for Rep. Benjamin Agarao where the Playgirls group became more than a bit naughty and started tweaking and simulating the sexual act.

It is alleged that it was Tolentino who got the services of the girls to liven up the party of the Liberal Party who were celebrating not only the birthday of Aggarao but the swearing-in of the new recruits of the daang matuwad—oops, matuwid— party. The suspicion that it was Tolentino who “gifted” the girls grew stronger when one of them thanked him in public. The resigned MMDA chief though did not admit that it was him who paid for the girls’ services, but why then should he be apologizing if he had nothing to do with their presence and was just an invited guest as he initially claimed?

According to the Tolentino camp, the twerky party cost him a slot in the Liberal Party slate. Really, now. Many noticed that he was noticeably absent in the LP to-do where the senatoriables were present, and stoolies claim that he was “disinvited” because of the embarrassing antics of the girls, what with the videotaped performances going viral, giving birth to the creative streak of Filipinos who used it to create guffaw-worthy memes.

Let’s be honest here, how can you give up something you never had in the first place? Not to add salt to the wounds but, we all know the MMDA honcho has become a source of embarrassment and so Mar Roxas and company had to immediately distance themselves from the embarrassing incident. What—a party where girls were made to look like sex objects? Que barbaridad! Never mind that the girls themselves defended their actions and were offended that people were offended on their behalf.

As our favorite commentator Ted Failon so aptly put it, Tolentino faced a dead end. We knew he was resigning anyway because he was hoping to run for the Senate. And believe us, people especially the residents of Metro Manila were really rooting for him to file his certificate of candidacy earlier than the deadline because they have had enough of him as MMDA chief.  The Laguna party just hastened Tolentino’s exit. Maybe if he owned up early and apologized, saying he had no idea that things would go out of hand because after all, he just wanted to inject a bit of mild risqué fun to the party where the predominant audience was male, then perhaps people would have been more forgiving and understanding. So as people would say nowadays, K Tnx Bye!

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