MAYOR Vicente Emano drew flak over what has been called by his critics as an “ukay-ukay defense” of the lavish lifestyle of Rep. Jose Benjamin Benaldo of the city’s 1st District.
Emano told local radio on Sunday that Benaldo confided to him that some of the congressman’s fashion accessories were merely imitations, a claim no one seems to be buying.
The so-called “ukay-ukay defense” sparked a flurry of posts on social networking sites and funny text messages, some a bit exaggerated, such as this one: “Buanga nga depensa ni Dongkoy… Naningkamot ang tawo paporma then kulang na lang niya ingnon nga mga baratohon man na kay ukay-ukay man diha sa ‘Night Cafe’ napalit ni Benjo… Sila na nuong duha karon ang laughing stock.”
Lawyer James Judith, a known Emano critic, said the mayor merely added “insult to injury” and showed that “his ‘genius’ is waning out and his age is catching up with him.
“No wonder Emano is getting lame with his excuses.”
Judith said what Emano did was to insult Benaldo and put the congressman in an uncomfortable situation.
Businessman Tito Mora said Emano dealt the biggest blow to Benaldo. His post in the Facebook group “Pulso sa Kagayan” reads: “…the biggest humiliation on Cong. Benaldo came from his benefactor and supposed protector… who said that Cong. Benaldo wears fake accessories. I almost choked on that report.”
Even the kids find the “ukay-ukay defense” to be comical.
Mora said her daughter told him that all her friends were laughing at Emano’s statements.
In other Facebook groups, people described the “ukay-ukay defense” as “ridiculous,” “stupid” and “very lame.”
In jest, Councilor Edgar Cabanlas said Benaldo’s “kutis porcelana” won’t allow the congressman to wear fake “borloloy.” He said Benaldo was probably allergic to “ukay-ukay.”
Cabanlas said, “Very shallow kaayo ang ilang defense. They lost intelligent answers. Ang bakak dili puwede tabunan sa laing bakak.”
He said Benaldo could fabricate stories about his wardrobe and accessories but not his frequent travels abroad, including his trip to Rome with a Russian last June.
This paper was provided a list showing that Benaldo traveled abroad 11 times since he became a congressman two years ago.
“Dili niya mabakak iyang travels abroad because the Bureau of Immigration has a record,” Cabanlas said.
Neither can Benaldo deny that his lifestyle is clearly expensive, Cabanlas said.
A source earlier exposed Benaldo’s mind-boggling lifestyle that included, allegedly, frequent partyings in posh bars and dinners in 5-star hotels in Manila.
The congressman allegedly has a collection of high-priced clothes and accessories by Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Hugo, Boss, Valentino, at least one P40-thousand Ermenegildo Zegna suit and a P12-thousand necktie, and a P1.4-million Rolex watch, among others.
The list of cars he allegedly uses include a Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer, Ford Expedition Gold, Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup, Kia Carnival, Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Patrol, BMW X5 luxury crossover SUV, and a new Chevrolet SUV. (with reports from Lito Rulona)