Balweg: Senate legislative inquiry, a legislative boomerang

Snapshot Focus

OUR heartfelt greetings to BARP coordinator Madam Eugene Dauz of Tagudin Ilocos Sur on her 83rd birthday anniversary. BARP President/CEO Federico Balanag and an entourage of ten led by Treasurer Julieta Palasi, Auditor Rogelio Urbanozo, Educ. & Membership Chair Dr. Juliet Bagano, secretary Jean Favor, and, of course, faithful driver Crispin Buli-e and four others went to be with her. No time allowance for extension despite teary pleas for auld lang syne from the celebrator

No pass-by greetings even to BARP officers or rank-and-file members in nearby Sudipen or elsewhere along the way, perhaps to save on fuel.


The Diocensan Association of Parish PREX Secretariat is inviting everybody to a Marian recollection on the “eve of Mama Mary’s birthday” on September 7, 2019 (Saturday) at 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Naguilian Road, Baguio City. Holy Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m.

It will be a rare chance to hear and meditate with Rev. Fr. Agerico “Jerry” Orbos, SVD, who will speak and facilitate on the subject at hand. So, “Come one, come all!”


When I watch legislative inquiries in aid of legislation, whether in the Senate or in Congress, I often start with much gusto only to end with an air of “disgust”. The first day of the inquiry on what we may call GCTA (Good Conduct Time Allowance)-Sanchez case in the Senate is a sample for our purpose.

In the above-mentioned case, since it involves a “high-profile” personality and legal issue, who would not be attracted to pay attention to how the legal minds in the Senate would tackle their job, Senators and Congressmen being the lawmakers of the republic? As with other important matters, my attention started focusing on the substance and the form of the inquiry.

In the same above-mentioned case, relative to the function of the committee then in forum, the naturally involved discussion naturally revolved on the GCTA (Good Conduct Time allowance) law made by Congress or Batasan and the Senate. The application of the law to Sanchez was only an occasion for it–the law–to surface to the public and became thankfully an object of scrutiny by the Inquiry Committee.

Except for the usual manifestation of adversarial behavior arising from the adversarial character of accusation and defense by lawyers in court cases, everything was going acceptably fine until one, who otherwise was displaying sensible fluency, added in his concluding remarks that “Faeldon should be removed”, which I think I heard rightly. At this instant my logical sensitivity was jerked to the point of shaking my head side wards.

Why? You make a multi-interpretable law and make me pay for the implementation of that law done in accordance with an interpretation that is unwelcome to you? I could retort and say, “You remove yourself first then I may believe you!”

Of course, this stand was refuted by the citing of a previous Supreme Court decision, but as responsible and thoughtful lawmaker, you should not make things confusing for implementation. Otherwise, don’t be so ready to poise the mortal ax to the head of implementors. What will happen with government if fear will always hover over otherwise capable good intentioned executives. Many have been punished for trying to balance between specific situations and the hardness of the general law.

The lesson of the story then is for lawmakers to know how to make laws with clear rationale and coverage and when they are made, the Department of Education should take over and turn heaven and earth in their curricular offerings in disseminating them so all citizens who are expectedly covered by them will know them for obedience and fulfillment.

If knowledge of the law is relegated only to lawyers, they will be the only ones enjoying life and have it out of the miseries of other people. For sure, as human beings, they themselves will not like that.


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