Questionable legislations?-A A +A
Questions that Matter
Thursday, October 11, 2012
ANTI-POLITICAL dynasty law, Freedom of Information Bill and Cybercrime Prevention Act; Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act; the Oil Deregulation Law; and many more beautiful and friendly Philippine legislations are now on the lists of laws to be studied by students of the schools of Law. These are also the topics that would make political science students come out with many opinions. These will give critical minds to talk about in the context of our realities.
These laws are interrelated and correlated with one another. The only problem is that the simple Juan de la Cruz could not comprehend such laws because of their great technicalities. These are the laws that our dear elected legislators have passed for the past years and terms. Let us now try to discuss in layman's terms about these legislations.
St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote that "laws are ordinances of reason promulgated by those who are in-charge of society for the common welfare of the members." If a would-be legislator would go down deeper on the meaning of law, one could develop goose bumps and will not simply join the race for legislators. However, in this country, politicians are computing the "returns of their positions." This is why many of them are looking at their political positions not in terms of service but rather in terms of a position where they could get money.
Now, many papers, local and national, are challenging the power of the anti-political dynasty law. Why is it that it has been passed by Congress and made into a law since the time of Cory Aquino and still we hear of dynasties being created everywhere in the country and particularly in the province of Negros? Big political family names are seen and heard. Why can't the Comelec apply its rules? It is blatant and clear as water that a dynasty is born in many places in the province. Husbands and wives, siblings, parents and children, and relatives of the 1st degree are running here and there. Could not we apply the law? Just asking, but please make us believe in Philippine laws.
The Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act is a law that had been passed to prosecute those in position who had abused the use of the peoples' money. This has been in effect and in fact, many of the opposition of the administration had been tried by this law. Many of the opposition were found guilty and placed under suspension and even under arrest.
Here, today, is a government appointee, who was accused of graft and corruption, and yet is supported by no less than the President to lead a very sensitive position. I hope our legislators will do something about this and implement to the full effect the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. I wish that the Committee on Appointments will not succumb to the pressure of the President and really put into effect the authority of the law upon this fortunate lady, lest the Philippines will once again become a laughingstock of the world. What are the legislators afraid of? Where are the legal minds?
The Cybercrime Protection Law is the hot issue of the day. Many are giving opinions and impressions that this is a law that will really put down the cyber rights of the people and would even encroach on the freedom of expression of most Filipinos. "Shout Outs" from here and there could be read against the Law that was passed hurriedly. To worsen the issue, there were legislators who have not read well the draft but signed the same into a law. Now, we face another similar pattern to the Corona impeachment principle that the complaint was not read well even by those who sat as prosecutors.
Correlative to this is the Freedom of Information bill, which we should really fear. If passed into a law, this will really suppress everything. We could no longer invoke our right to privacy and silence. This will actually give the administration a free hand of all needed information. No one will be free to choose to be silent for once this law is invoked, it will really destroy everything. Are our legislators aware of the effects of this law to our basic rights?
I was in 2nd year college when we went to the streets and called for the Ramos administration to pass the Oil Deregulation Law. It was a time where the then-controlled oil companies shot up the price of oil by 5 pesos. Prices of basic commodities immediately shot up also. Then, the Oil Deregulation Law was passed into a law and the masses were immediately told that there will now be competition in the oil industry arena. Everybody was hopeful and jubilant of the law.
However, today, it was more of a pest and unfortunate event in the lives of the Filipinos. It has made our lives more miserable with the rise and fall of the oil prices in the country. To worsen the matter, there are no uniform prices of oil products in the country. Is this the pro-people, pro-masses law that the administration promised? How much did the oil companies pay our beloved legislators?
These are some of the useless and questionable laws of the Philippines.
Pope John Paul II, Sir Faraon Lopez, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, St. Ezekiel Moreno and St. Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 11, 2012.