March 2, 2024

Elections 2025, much more 2028, is far away but “bardagulan” in Congress and the Office of the Vice President has started.
Last week, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was stripped of her designation as deputy speaker (after being earlier demoted from senior deputy speaker) and replaced by Isabela Rep. Antonio Albano to the post. Also replaced was Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.
The decision to remove Arroyo and Ungab came about after the two failed to sign an “important” resolution, referring to House Resolution 1414, which sought to uphold the dignity and integrity of the legislative chamber and express appreciation, solidarity, and support for the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez.
This was in res-ponse to former President Rodrigo Duterte’s vicious attack and tirades on Congress, calling it the “most rotten government organization.”
Duterte’s outburst followed the lower chamber’s decision to reject the 2024 confidential intelligence fund requests of the Office of the Vice President and Department of Education – two government agencies helmed by his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte.
Would he have the same reaction when the Senate acts in the same way? I heard from my grapevine that is the path the senators were taking too.
Posturing for 2028, the turf war started when GMA attempted to kick out Romualdez as Speaker as she did with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez with the help of Sara and Presidential sister Imee Marcos.
Now Imee boldly says “Through thick and thin, I’ll stick with the Dutertes” against her first cousin.
She is quoted as saying “I could not remain silent about the acts of betrayal and discourtesy against Duterte, who had allowed a hero’s burial for my father and in 2015, I was the one and the only governor who declared support for Pres. Duterte. And even if I’d be the only one left, I will stand by him.” That’s Ilokana loyalty at its peak.
So, bardagulan na!
Way back then, the action film of the late action king Fernando Poe Jr. (who baptized me as Agila in the ‘90s) “Kapag puno na ang salop” tackled corruption in the judiciary and confronting his nemesis, Eddie Garcia.
In Tagalog, he uttered “Punong-puno na ang salop, Judge, dapat ka ng kalusin,” and in “Iyo ang Cavite, sa akin ang Tondo, “Kung sa Cavite with Senyor Revilla, father of Bong, “Hindi ka nagsisimba, dito sa Tondo, magsisimba ka ng may bulak sa ilong!”
Another action star, Baguio boy Robinhood Padilla, had famous lines in the movie “Walang Awa Kung Pumatay”. He was Narding, a son of a policeman who was killed when Narding was still a boy. When he grew up, he became a member of a gang and later accused of murdering the daughter of his boss. Thus, he quips “Kung may ranggo ang mga tanga, heneral ka!” His lover was Rita Avila, no relation but wala lang, no connection.
Bardagulans comes from “bardagul” meaning fighting. But in present times, it not only includes fighting but opposing parties or diverging opinions and ideas outwitting each other and mocking those of others.
Sarahad a good one, calling Martin “tamboloslos”.
Bardagulan is no longer about fists and guns but more on words leading to a brawl in the halls of Congress or online.
When before, bardagulan was a language of the poor and unlettered, it has gone up a notch higher and fast and witty retorts are now in fashion regardless of social class. It has evolved into a “weapon of choice”.
For the honorables, too early for politicking as we face heavy challenges at present which they should focus their sights on.
The line of Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto as a nun struggling against injustice and government oppression in Sister Stella L. says it all: “Kung walang kikilos, sinong kikilos? Kung ‘di ngayon, kailan pa?”