Is talkative Atong digging his own grave?

By Alex P. Vidal

“I am very talkative.”—Zareen Khan

THERE is a saying that less talk, less mistake; no talk, no mistakes.

The late mercurial former senator Roding Ganzon once said, “Less talk, less mistake; no talk wala utok (no brains).”

Because he talked—and exposed himself in a video posted on social media—too much, gambling sensation Charlie “Atong” Ang may have incriminated himself in the controversial disappearance of 34 sabongeros or cockfighting aficionados and, in the process, dug his own grave.

Weeks before he was tagged by a witness in the senate hearing on the disappearance of the sabongeros mostly in Metro Manila, Ang appeared on a recorded video he posted on social media where he berated the “cheats” in online sabong he and several others separately operate through a franchise, calling them “mga gago (all dumbs).”

Those who had no idea why he was fuming mad in that video became curious.

When the Chinese mestizo former casino buddy of former President Erap Estrada mentioned e-sabong and how the “mga gago na yan” allegedly conned some bettors and created a fake broadcast monitoring system to “sabotage” his e-sabong operation, it’s when some quick-minded netizens began to connect his belligerence to the case of the missing sabongeros.


He couldn’t conceal his anger and talked endlessly even if unnecessary. It’s like throwing himself under the bus for being loquacious.

His behavior and temper may have placed him in a kingsized trouble—both with the families of the abducted sabongeros and the other e-sabong franchisees he had lambasted and accused of conniving to put him down.

In between the release of Atong’s angry video on social media and the appearance of an “eye-witness” pointing to him as the alleged mastermind, he mentioned the names of other e-sabong licensees who may have plotted to destroy his name and even kill him during the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs hearing.

Atong has become a man who knows too much; a talking head who appears to be too big for his breaches and has picked enemies left and right.


Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s quick response to resign from Partido Reforma to run as independent after the party officially endorsed his rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, is a good example of delicadeza.

Although his chances to win against odds in the May 9 presidential election are nil, he continued to earn the respect of independent thinkers because of the way he handled himself in the face of such crisis.

Instead of being humiliated, Lacson faced the issue squarely and called spade a spade admitting it was the party’s president and former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who informed him Wednesday that the party’s slate in Davao del Norte, led by Gov. Edwin Juhabib—party secretary general—chose to endorse another presidential bet.

“Considering it is at the behest of these top-tier officials that I was recruited as a member and the party’s standard-bearer and thereafter elected as its chairman, I believe it’s only decent and proper—consistent with my time-honored uncompromising principles—to make this decision,” Lacson said.

We salute the good senator for his resolve, open-mindedness, sportsmanship and statesmanship amid the recent blow to his candidacy.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)