CONGRATULATIONS to the Philippine Senate. It has at last done one sensible thing this last midweek. It discontinued its hearing on the case of--was it extra-judicial killings or De Lima or, it was not clear anymore.

Anyway, whatever it was, the case appeared to be a dilemma for the Senate. Now, a dilemma is a dilemma is dilemma. Unsolvable, and, if ever solvable, unpleasant in whatever outcome to choose, especially that the hearers are themselves partially the speakers, discussants and the judges. It is very doubtful even if they can utter the confessional words "mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" (through my fault, through my most grievous fault). Each of them has an interest, individual or organizational, to protect and uphold, all in the guise of the common good. It would, therefore, be much better to adopt the guidance expressed by Secretary Jesus Dureza when he said, "Let the (defects or failures of) past be past; let us go on with a fresh start."

The phrase ìfresh startî sounds refreshing to my spirit. It precludes delaying actions and acrimonious finger-pointing that prevent buckling down to work to implement promptly what platforms the electors voted for last election day. We can only bow our heads in acquiescence.

The majority new faces in the Sangunian of Malibcong, Abra though led by old face Vice Mayor Manuel Duggay, do not fail their community hearers with "Aramid ti pakakitaan!" (Action is the proof). We should add "as well as inaction" because that is what has happened in our national penitentiary, the NBP (National Bilibid Prison). The shady activities that stealthily started there and grew with the passing years became institutionalized and entrenched until no matter what local headship you assign there to administer the institution, it could not do but inevitably fall into the trap of "If you cannot beat 'em, join 'em." This situation in the NBP is a well-known "talk of the town." It explains why that once assigned head of NBP who appeared as one witness in the congressional hearing of the Lower House could only give stammering complicated answers to simple questions of the congressman queror that needed only simple answers. The only thing the poor fellow, who wore a white barong but something like a sheep's clothing, could do best to satisfy complains that cropped up during his incumbency, was to "reshuffle" his poorer underlings. Seven of them, he could at least remembered. If he would do more, like outright removal of hot items, he felt sure that he would himself be reshuffled. He chose to be economically "practical" instead of unthinkingly resigning, members of the Genuine Ilocanoes would say in the expressive Iloco language.

Thus do we second the decision taken by the senators to discontinue their hearing and we may add, to follow the advocacy of Sec. Dureza to forget the past and rather go on with a "fresh start." That is exactly the purpose of limited administration terms, six years in the case of the present administration. That is the purpose of elections. That is the ultimate peaceful remedy in case of defects of an administration. That is the reason why the education department should do its part to produce properly educated electors, candidates, and law-enforcers. That is where church leaders should help the secular government to form a conscienced, civic-minded citizens instead of scandalizing people by their religious divisiveness and rivalry which is caused, like in the case of drugs, by the demon that is money.