Bad blood between Barbers, Pichay started in local politics – Toff
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
MANGALDAN – Pangasinan fourth district Rep. Cristopher ‘Toff’ De Venecia said the near-fisticuff between Congressmen Robert Barbers and Prospero Pichay Jr., started because of “bad blood” between them that started in Surigao Province.
Barbers and Pichay are congressmen of the second and first districts Of Surigao Province.
“That’s what I heard. Again, it was not firsthand information, it was told to me. It also came out in the news,” de Venecia said.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pichay pitted candidates against the Barbers’ clan following Robert’s refusal to toe the line as member of the then ruling party Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats when he signed the failed impeachment complaint against then president Gloria Arroyo, Pichay’s ally, in the middle of 2000s.
In 2007, former Surigao del Norte governor Lyndon Barbers lost his congressional bid against Guillermo Romarate Jr., while Robert won his gubernatorial bid.
It was in 2010 that the Barbers political rule in Surigao del Norte officially ended after Robert lost his reelection bid to Sol Matugas, and Lyndon his mayoralty bid to Ernesto Matugas.
Surigao del Norte was the bailiwick of the Barbers, before the patriarch former congressman and senator Robert Barbers died of heart attack in 2005.
Robert vied for the second district congressional bid in 2013 but lost to Romarate, who finished his three terms until 2016. Robert only regained the seat in 2016 after beating Mary Anne Lucille.
Although De Venecia was reluctant to comment on the brouhaha that lowered the reputation of the August Chamber before the eyes of the tens of millions of television viewers, the new solon said he was in a meeting with Barbers early of that day.
“We have a Dangerous Drugs Committee hearing; you know I don’t comment on that,” he said.
He said Pichay was a friend and fellow member of the Committee on Sports which looks into development of sports among young Filipinos.
“Ally ko rin siya in terms of development, iyong ating sports activity sa mga grass root programs natin. Siguro let the two men settle,” he stressed.
Before the near fistfight, Pichay, in condescension would not allow fellow solons that included Barber to interrupt his motion.
Barber even asked the committee chairman not to entertain Pichay’s motion to invite the senators to deliberate on the revision of the constitution.
“This is a point of order. Let us not be entertaining senseless motions, those are stupid motions. Let’s not pretend to be constitutionalists here,” he said.
After a recess was called by the chairman, Barbers went to the seat of Pichay and cursed him.
“ ‘Put*** Ina mo, nagpe-pretend kang Constitutionalist ka [Son of a whore, you’re pretending to be a Constitutionalist],” he badmouthed.
Pichay throw the same ‘son of a whore” expletive to Barbers and even dared him to have a fisticuffs in the August Chamber after the latter insinuated that they box.
Pichay said he was to file an ethics complaint against Barbers for the latter’s “un-parliamentary” behavior.
“Congress is a chamber representing the people of the Philippines. For you to be saying words like ‘stupid’ and ‘nonsense’, that is unparliamentarily because the Congress is a deliberative body,” Pichay insisted.
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