The curse of the mistresses

When news reports about the feud between House Speaker PantaleonAlvarez and Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. was brought into open and was traced to the quarrel of the Davao lawmakers’ mistresses, my initial reaction to suggest that they be given a copy of Jullie Yap’s book, “Etiquette for Mistresses.”

But I realized that Jullie’s advice are not applicable because the scandal is not a feud between the wife and the mistress. It’s a squabble between mistresses.

Jennifer Vicencio (Alvarez’ mistress) and Cathy Binag (Floirendo’s mistress) area different breed of mistresses. They quarrel over privileges they feel they are entitled to because of their partners’ government position.

If we believe reports what happened at the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, where the conflict reportedly sparked, it was over seats. One version said the seats reserved for Alvarez and his entourage were occupied by Floirendo and Binag.

The other version was there was one vacant seat on stage and Alvarez called Vicencio, who was in the audience with Floirendo and Binag, to join him. Binag reportedly said her congressman-partner has more right to be on the stage than Vicencio.

Whatever version is correct, advice like “Be discreet” and “Never travel together” are not applicable to them because their “husbands” are indiscreet and bring them even to state visits. And President Duterte condones it.

Alvarez justified his having a mistress and even bragged about having several children with other women aside with his legal wife, Emelita Apostol Alvarez that everybody has extra-marital affairs. “Eh sino ba ang walang girlfriend? Hindi ko ’yan tinatago. Kahit si President Duterte inanounce ’yan sa China (Who doesn’t have a girlfriend? I don’t hide that. Even President Duterte announced that in China.)”

When the President was asked about Alvarez admission of extramarital affairs, he shrugged it off saying, " Sino bang walang kaligayahan (Who doesn’t have happiness?)"

He told reporters to find out how many lawmakers have more than one mistress. “Tanungin natin ilan ang lawmakers na may 2,3, 4 na babae, tanungin mo sila. Tanungin mo ang lawmakers, ilan ang lalaki sa buhay nila? Let’s ask how many lawmakers have 2, 3, 4 mistresses. Ask them. Ask lawmakers how many men they have in their life?)"

House Speaker Pantalon Alvarez brings with him Jennifer Vicencio in an official trip – President Duterte’s state visit to Laos. Instagram photo by Rep. Rodolfo Farinas (front).

With the President’s countenance of extramarital affairs of government officials, gone are the days when mistresses are banned from attending presidential official functions.

During the time of the Marcoses, an official of the Metro Manila Development Authority who was trusted by former First Lady Imelda Marcos was known to have a lovely and glamorous mistress. But the woman never set foot in Malacañang.

Members of media who covered duringMarcos time said Imelda’s aversion to mistresses had something to with Marcos’ womanizing. The most publicized affair of Marcos was with the Hollywood starlet Dovie Beams.

In observance of Women’s day last week, the President’s Assistant Communications Secretary Marie Banaag tried to explain away the President’s statements that reflects his low regard of women that “We voted for a President, we did not vote for a priest, we did not vote for a saint.”

The President should be reminded that in his oath of office, he swore to preserve and defend the Constitution.

The Constitution states that “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.”

Mistresses are a curse to thefamily.

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