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ROUGH CUTS | Where are ‘In aid of legislation’ laws?

 

 

 

WE SHOULD not miss this one. Last Saturday we were a bit surprised when very early in the morning when we just got up to have our coffee, there were several policemen in our yard in their Type C uniform. But based on their outfit it was easy for us to discern that their purpose was not to make an arrest or go into combat duty. And we were right they were in our compound to check whether or not we were serving hot tsokolate to put some heat inside their stomach.

     The policemen led by the Regional Legal Office XI were out there in our mountain barangay to undertake a tree-planting activity in one sitio close to the bank of the Davao River some four kilometers from our house in Barangay Talandang. Their target community was Sitio Asang, once a hotbed of the New People’s Army (NPA) during its heydays in the middle of the 80s up to the early 90s. It is unfortunate that we could not exactly remember the full name and rank of the lawyer who heads the RLO XI, so we’d rather not name him and take the risk of committing a mistake. That would be disastrous.

     Anyhow, it is worthwhile appreciating the policemen’s activities. If these were intended to serve as part of their community service, or helping make the world a worthy planet to live in, there is no doubt that the policemen involved were not just showing they are after the protection of people from the criminal elements but also in assuring them they are one with those who believe we have responsibilities in protecting the integrity of our environment.

     We take our hat off to the chief of the Regional Legal Office of PRO XI and all the police personnel who shed their sweat in planting the tree seedlings. We also give our heartfelt civilian salute to Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal for his support in making such activity happen in his region.

     But having led in several similar activities while we were still with Davao Light, we suggest that the initiator of the tree planting activities in our place last Saturday, should not just end their project after the last seedling was planted. They or their representative should come back soonest and devise a scheme to engage the community in the maintenance of the seedlings until they can survive on their own.

     If not, such a very laudable project will never go beyond digging the ground and planting the seedlings. It will just be the usual counting of the seedlings planted and nothing more. 

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     We are sharing herewith our thoughts on a message posted on Facebook by the Office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea which could provide more enlightenment to people who may not have enough time to discern the dynamics of the ongoing Congressional investigations on the alleged corruption in certain agencies of government in the current administration. It can easily be noted that the motive of the inquisitors in the Senate and in the Lower House, according to Medialdea, is NOT “in aid of legislation” but more of “in aid of reelection or election to a higher office. 

The scheme they have crafted in conducting the continuing probe, Medialdea added, is quite clear; that they are acting as investigators, prosecutors, and judges at the same time. They too are adopting a manipulative scheme so that whatever transpires during the hearing will immediately form a conclusion in the minds of the public that corruption is already prevalent in the agency or its transactions and that those with a hand in the consummation of the deals are already guilty.

     Indeed the Executive Secretary could not be wrong in claiming that the probers are competing in showing their dramatic skills in making their arguments passionate as if they are really concerned with the people and that they are doing their job to fulfill their mandate in the constitution. But several probes have already been conducted in aid of crafting legislation to prevent the commission of more corruption in government. Yet, we have still to read or hear clearly one specific new law or even amendment to existing laws that have prevented corruption.  In fact, if we have to believe in Senator-boxer Manny Pacquiao, corruption is more prevalent under the present dispensation.  So, what happened to the laws passed as results of Congressional investigations earlier conducted? Flashed down the drain? Blatantly ignored?

     Medialdea lamented that the congressional probers who are supposed to help the government battle the raging pandemic by passing laws that will support the efforts to stop the health emergency are instead calling those tasked to implement the battle plan to explain thus taking away their precious time attending to their work and attend the hearing instead. According to the ES it’s been several days of the continuing inquisition and he is certain that by this time the probers could have already acquired enough documentary and circumstantial evidence from the resource persons that are their suspects at the same time. So the Malacanang executive suggested that why cannot the senators just file the cases in the proper courts or demand from investigating agencies like the NBI, the Ombudsman, or the Civil Service Commission to conduct their own probe so criminal and/or administrative liabilities could be established and the guilty punished accordingly?

     Indeed, why not? Of course, the congressional probers will not do it. They will lose the opportunity for grandstanding and the limelight they will be getting from news and intrigue-initiating media. That is why.

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