First, let us get this out of the way: we are not saying that any person should be found guilty just by mere association. There has to be more convincing and proven fact that would link anyone to a crime or illegal act — beyond reasonable doubt, as judges and lawyers like to say.
However, we can’t help but be amazed at how certain things that a person says or does circle back in a manner that speaks of the cliche, ‘a dose of one’s own medicine.’
One person we have in mind is Senator Risa Hontiveros, known to be a mouthpiece of one of the factions opposed to Rodrigo Duterte.
On several occasions, Hontiveros used her bully pulpit to condemn Rodrigo Duterte for his public comment on rape and his war on drugs which the senator labeled as a “deadly failure.”
But when a person she is associated with — not be chance but by choice — is the subject of alleged criminal acts that Hontiveros has openly talked about, then she loses her credibility as well as her integrity to comment on both the war on drugs and rape.
Businessman and alleged Customs “middleman” Kenneth Dong was arrested on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in connection with a rape case. He is the same Dong who is now the subject of a Senate investigation on a P6.2 million shabu shipment from China.
“The 33-year-old Dong found fortune and connections by selling industrial weighing scales. He then opened a construction business, and now owns a luxury club in Cebu.
He was a campaign donor to Senators Risa Hontiveros and Joel Villanueva in the last two elections.
Statements of Contributions and Expenditures show Dong donated P3 million and P5 million in 2013 and 2016 respectively for Hontiveros. He also contributed P3 million to the then-TESDA chief in 2016.
Then, for some interesting turn of events, Hontiveros and Villanueva, along with other politicians, became Dong’s wedding sponsors.
In a recent television interview, Hontiveros described her connection with Dong as “not deep.” Whatever that means.
The fact remains that her association with Dong renders the lady senator void of the moral ascendancy to continue to criticize the president on the two issues.
It would be wise for Hontiveros to recuse herself for now until Dong’s guilt or innocence is decided in a court of law.