I FINALLY was able to watch the much-talked about appearance of Mark Jimenez on Korina Sanchez's show on ANC. Watching MJ vent and rant on TV strangely made me think of him as an Imelda Marcos in butch. I was just waiting for him to espouse something like "a hole in the sky and light shining on the Philippines" theory (he came close). Still his appearance was weirdly compelling.
I must say that I gave up having Sunday lunch with MJ and a few other female journalists sometime in 2002-03 because I had to work that day. I wonder if he has changed much from how he was then. I remember after one New Year's celebration that he was the talk of the town because of the expensive fireworks display he put on at his Makati residence. He has been hailed as a "financial genius" and was said to be responsible for brokering the sale of PLDT to Manny Pangilinan's group. I don't remember much about his stint in Congress short as it was, then he left for the US and jailed briefly because of some election-related offense.
He again hogged the headlines sometime in May for donating a huge sum of money to bail out the members of PEP (parents, mostly Pacific Plans planholders) charged with libel by the Yuchengcos. He then made a donation to fund scholarships of the children of PEP who were having difficulty enrolling because of the insufficient funds to pay for their tuition fees. Like everyone else, I suspected an ulterior motive to this donation. Is he running for some political office again?
On Korina's show, he talked about making mistakes, sleeping alone in his "bartolina" at home, how he is willing to talk about (former justice secretary) Nani Perez if asked to testify, how his family has suffered, how it was "EVIL" to steal from the poor and gave the Yuchengcos and the Sobrepeñas (Pacific Plans, CAP) as examples, etc. MJ also deftly parlayed questions about any deals with the presidentita GMA and largely stayed away from directly criticizing her. (Korina for once, was strangely quiet offering only a few questions, bewildered perhaps by all that MJ was saying.)
What's MJ's agenda? He claims he doesn't want to have anything to do with politics as he can do a lot more "for the people" even without an electoral seat. He talked about distributing rosaries to every family nationwide, and about his devotion to the Divine Mercy. He obviously has still more to say on many hot issues and will surely be making more appearances on other talk shows. Yes, folks, we're in the grip of another bad telenovela. I can't wait how this will turn out.
(An aside: My regret about MJ is his sale of Meridian Telekoms to Smart. While it was in MJ's name, this Wifi-broadband provider was top of the line with very efficient customer services and maintenance people. Of course, all that excellence was flushed down the toilet when the lumbering arrogant giant of MVP's creation took over. Sad. But then MJ got a tidy sum from Meridian's sale. Financial genius indeed.)