DAVAO City Councilor Diosdado Mahipus finds it rather absurd the move of several of his colleagues in the Davao City Council to visit the Bureau of Customs office last Monday to inspect alleged smuggling activities within the BOC. To Mahipus, his fellow councilors were made as "laughing stock" by the BOC when they made the surprise visit supposedly to open some container vans with alleged misdeclared goods.

The councilor from the second district, in a privilege speech in last Tuesday's regular SP session, urged his colleagues to refrain from further investigating the anomaly. "Let us not appear clowns in a circus," Mahipus said.

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Mahipus took notice on the fact that his colleagues, with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and several journalists in tow, were barred from opening the container vans as the inspection violated the country's Tariff and Customs Code.

Another councilor, Bonifacio Militar, took the floor to remind the councilors -- SP Majority Floorleader Danny Dayanghirang, Pilar Braga, Nilo Abellera, Leonardo Avila III, Samuel Bangoy, and Susabel Reta -- that they were acting "funny" when they staged the inspection as lawmakers are there to come up with legislation and that the SP cannot interfere in the contract between of the BoC and the private firm Aquarius Container Yard, which is the one raising the smuggling issue.

Of course, Dayanghirang and the rest of the BOC visitors, reacted strongly against Mahipus and Militar, claiming that what they did was merely to show that goverment is concerned and doing something on smuggling in the Davao Port Area. Dayanghirang further explained that the issue on smuggling and contraband is detrimental to the revenue-making of the government and contributes to corruption.

Rightly said. The local lawmaking body, while it's primary duty is to pass legislations that is beneficial to the city and its people, is also there to safeguard the interest of government, specially taxpayers' money, and getting rid of corruption is one of its utmost concerns.

There are certain limits to a councilor's job, though. He or she cannot act as the police or can easily interfere in the job of BOC officials in running after smuggling as what the existing laws say.

Feeling despised, the City Council eventually moved to erase the words "funny" and clown" from the records of last Tuesday's session. But if the councilors really don't want to be called funny, they must stop acting like one.