Preening before the cameras, some of our lawmakers can’t help it. Their baser instincts make political gainers out of them, building their presidential ambitions from the deaths of 44 police officers.
In the Senate hearings on the Mamapasano killings, they fashion themselves as instant war and military experts, pitting the police versus the armed forces, as if in a cockfight.
They like to hear their own voices in their lengthy preambles and “manifestations” instead of asking straightforward and plainspoken questions.
In this probe, the legislators’ job is to gather facts so that they can re-shape laws. This requires humility and openness.
Still, despite the sound and fury of some of the senators, we expect the committee on public order, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, to rise above partisan interests and personal ambitions, and come up with an edifying report. In the absence of a Truth Commission, this is the next-best alternative we have.
To be credible, the Mamasapano report should be both substantial and strategic. It should clear the toxic air by laying down accountabilities, pointing out mistakes, and showing the way forward.
What lessons can be learned? How can the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and the current ceasefire mechanism be improved to avoid similar debacles?
Just as important, this investigation should lead lawmakers to exercise their hardly used, if not forgotten, oversight function. On paper, there exists a congressional oversight committee on the Human Security Act, the country’s anti-terror law.
Congressional oversight has a positive and healthy role. Legislators are supposed to see to it that certain laws are implemented and use their eagle eyes to check on the executive agencies.
It is timely to review the functions of the Anti-Terror Council and its structure which is currently headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. What was its role in “Oplan Exodus” and what should be its role in similar future operations?
To our legislators: the country needs light, not heat. – Rappler.com
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