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ROUGH CUTS | Stop calling probe invitees ‘resource persons’ 

 

 

 

AGAIN health authorities in the Davao region are sounding a yet more alarming bell adding more panic to the people now suffering from the surge in CoViD 19 cases.

     Yes, we mean the diminishing stocks of what are considered as early medicines that could deter the CoViD infection to human beings. These are the Tocilizungab and the Remdeciver. No less than the top guy of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) admitted the other day in a television interview that the former drug stocks are already exhausted. He however, assured that there are still a few of the Remdeciver that could still be used on patients who might be admitted in hospitals in the next few days.

     The medical director of SPMC though is optimistic that should worse comes to worst the existing alternative drug that the Health Department has and had distributed to CoViD referral facilities will be able to substitute the vanishing stocks of the two earlier-mentioned drugs.

     Whatever this alternative medicine is we can only hope that its efficacy will match that of the Tocilizungab and Remdeciver so brighter hope will be felt by those being treated.

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     What is this we hear about the week-long low pressure or no water at all in certain areas in Panacan, Davao City, specifically at the relocation site? While we are sadden at the suffering the residents in that area are experiencing for days now, we could only imagine how they would have felt if they were residing in Catalunan Grande, specifically at the Pag-ibig Homes Subdivision. It is already almost one year and a half since the water supply vanishes during mornings as early as 8 o’clock and back only between 12 noon or 1 o’clock p.m.

     Repeat, this has been going on for the last one year and a half and the service has not changed. Neither is the reason given that the water interruption is due to upgrading of the water firm’s facilities. It still is the same until now.  While we could have given some consideration if it was only the lowering of water pressure that has been happening in our Catalunan Grande Village because it is on higher ground than the other villages, this understanding does not stand at all. Why, because instead of smaller volume of water flowing out of the faucets there is no water at all. And it is for 4 to 5 hours every day of our lives.

     The situation is almost like our pandemic experience. We have no idea when this will end. We wonder if it would be not much of an unreasonable demand if we request the Church for an Oratio Imperata so we can be helped in seeing through this seemingly unending perdition. 

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     We really agree with arguments that Congress has the Constitutionally-mandated responsibility of conducting investigation of alleged violations of officials in agencies under the other branches of the government. It can even investigate its own people.  But isn’t the mandate specific about the investigation to be conducted “in aid of legislation?” That if in the process of the probe some evidence will be unearthed that will merit filing of either criminal or administrative cases, Congress has to officially turn over the evidence to the proper investigating and prosecuting bodies that have the mandate to file the appropriate charges either criminal or administrative? Has not the Constitution clearly defined the mandate’s purpose which is to help the Congressmen or Senators craft laws that will avoid a repeat of whatever abuse done by certain officials and leave to the proper prosecuting bodies to decide whether the resource person or persons in the probe should officially become a respondent or respondents in a case or cases to be filed against him/her or them? Are those asked to appear in congressional probes invited as “resource persons” so his/her or their answers to probing questions can  become useful inputs in introducing  new bills or amending existing and outmoded ones? 

     Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are easier said than done. After all, no one braggadocio in Congress would want to let go of his or her opportunity to grandstand and have his/her rhetoric noticed by the media. So, what normally happens in congressional probes including the ones being conducted to dig culpabilities of certain government officials and private individuals on the alleged overpriced deal on the purchase of PPEs, is that these have become circuses with the probing lawmakers acting like they were prosecutors and judges at the same time with the resource persons becoming the instant accused.  Would it not be appropriate if the Congressional investigating bodies stop calling those invited as “Resource Persons” and instead call them by other names?

     Or, better still, would it not be proper if the Constitution be amended and the provision on granting Congress the mandate to probe shenanigans “in aid of legislation” be changed allowing Congress to convert itself or its committee into some kind of a “special court” like and impeachment body where the “resource person/s” can be immediately made respondent/s and his case be tried and resolved by the same body and appropriate sentence is meted immediately?

     Perhaps, this way the grandstanders in the probe can justify their behavior.

                                                                                

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