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Lito Atienza’s fulfilled life

Lito Atienza

FULFILLED – Congressman Lito Atienza (Party List Buhay) treated friends from the entertainment media to post-birthday sumptuous lunch at Ka Tunying Café along Timog, QC. From way back, since he was Manila mayor, Lito (as he wants to be addressed) has always been friendly to movie writers led by Lolit Solis and Jun Nardo.

Asked how old he is, Lito smiles, “Well, Beng and I have just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.” Their romance started on the dance floor, in a manner of speaking, as they were members of the world-renowned Bayanihan Dance Company.

Age doesn’t really matter. What’s important is Lito led a fulfilled life, a good public servant and family man. All his children are successful, among them Kuya Kim. The Atienzas also have two adopted children, a special child and the other totally blind who has a “calendar gift.” Give one’s birthday and in a flash the child knows what day one was born.

To think that the blind child hasn’t seen a calendar. “Paanong di ka maniniwala sa Diyos?” says Lito.

AGREE, DISAGREE – The chat led to President Duterte, who favors the burial of President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Lito agrees with the President. But he was anti-Marcos and was jailed during Martial Law?

Yes, indeed, but after almost 30 years since the death of Marcos, Lito feels, “Panahon nang ilibing si Marcos. Oo, may mga pagkakamali siya, pero marami rin naman siyang mabuting nagawa. He was correct in declaring Martial Law in 1972 as at that time Communist rebels were already knocking on Malacañang door, in a manner of speaking.

However, Lito does not agree with President Duterte in the imposition of the death penalty and the change of government to federal system.

Lito reminds that Buhay is pro-life. As regards the federal system. Lito believes it will divide and not unite the country. Giving more benefits and autonomy to local government as envisioned by the federal system is already provided for by the current Constitution, “Kaya lang di ipinatutupad ng mga dating Presidente.”

TAX BREAK – For the last three years, Lito’s been working in Congress to pass a bill giving the movie industry a tax break for five years. He didn’t succeed. But this time it might be different as he’s been appointed minority senior deputy floorleader, giving him more muscle to have the bill approved.

Lito says the movie industry’s been heavily taxed the past many years. So now that it’s in a bad shape, why not give it a chance to recover through the proposed tax break?

He’s also thinking of limiting importation of Hollywood movies, seeing there were times when foreign films dominated ALL mall theaters nationwide. “Kawawa naman and mga pelikula natin.”