Thursday, March 6, 2008

Executive department belittles legislature

Why can't Congress, especially the Senate, get the respect it deserves from the Executive Branch of government? And it seemed the former is most often ignored, particularly when it comes to public hearings involving government officials.

Despite everybody's knowledge that all three have branches of government, patterned that after the United States, have equal sharing of recognation and powers as mandated in the country's Constitution, this doesn't give much bearing except when it comes to exposes and revelations by those who were called to give their testimonies under oath.

When it comes to the arresting power of Congress, nobody seems to be intiminated and this mandate is taken lightly even by those who are supposed to recognize it. Take, for example, the case of the failed attempt by members of the Senate arresting team sent to track down Jun Lozada as he landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Philippines.

If their presence had earned the respect of other law enforcement personnel at the NAIA, they could have closely coordinated the matter to the head of the airport management so that they would be allowed to march down the aisles leading to the aircraft tube where Lozada was supposed to come out. Instead, they were just marooned outside, whose eyes have already turned white waiting for nothing but the sea of strange faces coming in and out of the airport premises.With the armed forces and the police under the wings of the executive department, there is no question as to why their presence wasn't felt at all, or the team had not been given the importance it deserves when it comes to arresting those who try to ignore summons of any congressional hearings.

What is so strange about this is that Congress is the body that deliberates and allocates budget for the country's general appropriations act, yet it is the same organization that suffers from the lack of facilities and law enforcement teeth needed to make its presence felt. Perhaps, the only thing that could earn the respect of the congressional arresting team is for them to be equipped with high powered arms, not for showmanship, but for work-related operations such as those
arresting influential people like politicians and other bigwigs in government.

It is hard to imagine that their presence at the NAIA was wasted. Had it not been for the media, Lozada may had been 10 feet below the ground right now. But how come the police security personnel were allowed inside the airport's restricted zones? Had the Senate arresting team made headway inside the airport's tube, the kidnapping issue could have been prevented from being blown up into huge proportions. Now, had they ran on the shoes of the police security personnel sent to fetch and snatch Lozada, I doubt it very much if they would make it face-to-face with the fetchers led by no less than the assistant chief of the airport.

Perhaps, it is about time that the Senate may have to reinvent its security force, and so with the Lower House, so that they cannot just be bullied around by other law enforcement agencies.

No comments: