Congress probes on lawyers, lawmakers-A A +A
Sunday, June 1, 2014
WHY should the Senate investigate the killings of lawyers but the House of Representatives shouldn’t look into alleged involvement of more than 100 House members in the pork barrel fraud?
Sen. Koko Pimentel in a resolution seeks a committee inquiry on the murder of more than 10 judges, prosecutors and lawyers in the country, including Cebu’s Noel Archival who was killed in the Feb. 18 ambush in Dalaguete town.
But House Speaker Jose Belmonte rejects moves for the House to probe the link of lawmakers to the siphoning of public funds to bogus NGOs of Janet Napoles.
The public has been wary of these investigations that are used at times by legislators to strut and preen or bully witnesses, with little results to justify the cost and time.
Still, if government agencies were to sort out allegations and claims in the Napoles list and Benhur Luy files, that could take a lot longer. That’s where a congressional probe can help.
But how can an investigation on the killing of judges, prosecutors and trial lawyers and new legislation improve their security?
It’s not for lack of laws that lawyers, and other sectors, are exposed to criminals.
Basic causes are inefficient police work, un-enforced gun laws and slow system of justice, which existing statutes already address.
Supreme Court can find out what ails safety measures for its judges. Department of Justice can beef up security of its prosecutors. The PNP can do better to uphold its “serve and protect” mandate.
But no, lawyers--like doctors, accountants or journalists--aren’t special people who need more protection than what others in our society get.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 02, 2014.