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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The House of Shame

If the House of Representatives bragged about having the longest privilege hour yesterday in its annals, it would not be a baseless boast. But it would not be because they spent an entire night without sleep and toiling laboriously the night away. Rather, it was the longest hour where the majority of the House unhesitatingly sacrificed the privilege to seek the truth, paraded to dishonor the House, and sold their souls to a committee report which was substantially deficient as much as it was legally untenable. It was indeed their finest moment

Of sham for every method was contrived to prevent the transmittal of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Sham because the procedure was designed to hamper the reception of evidence to determine the truth or falsity of the charges. Sham because the men and women wish to see not, hear not, and speak not the truth. It was indeed their finest moment

Of shame because the House conspired to affirm the Justice Committee Report where facile legal arguments became legal doctrines and where judicial doctrines spliced to make Fr. Bernas sound less than what he meant. Shame because the House conspired to affirm the Justice Committee Report where 2 complaints dismissed on the pretext of prohibited pleadings when case law and procedural rules spoke otherwise.

What then do we do with a House that could not handle the truth? If the House, where the very heart of representative democracy rests, cannot bring itself to allow safe passage for truth, what then is the purpose of having men and women represent us and once in office, turn around and represent the interests of the very iniquity sought to be exorcised? If the House, where the power of the purse rests and which dictates the budget by which other branches of government may live by, can be persuaded by promises of aid and comfort, what then do we do with that House where most of its members will sacrifice the truth for an alleged higher deed of robbing Peter to pay Paul?

And what of the 23 gutless men or women who refused to reveal themselves? For the 23 gutless solons, this was but a game of hide and seek. Hide me if you have not reach 79 for I will not sign. Seek me if you secure 79 for then shall I subscribe. What profiles of courage! For this to them I pray: I wish you no ill in this lifetime and I pray that in the life after, may your souls enjoy everlasting peace in Dante’s Inferno.

What then do we do with the House? Do we burn down the House so that the evil they did will be interred with their bones? Do we put to the stake the witches and warlocks of foul play so this evil may not be conjured up again? Or do we immolate them all and let the fire fall on the just and the unjust?

Desperate times do not necessarily compel us to require desperate measures. But desperate times call for men and women of God to rise above their fears and weaknesses and let truth breathe free. Indeed, these are the times that try men’s souls.

To some, the avenue of dissent has been prepared, no less by two widows, for those who seek to take to the streets. Join them if the events of the House impel you. For others, the avenue of judicial review has been initiated the very moment the House dismissed the impeachment case. Let us then pray for heaven’s light and let it be the lamp to our path and the light to our feet in our search for the truth.

One thing is certain. September 6, 2005 was indeed the House’s finest moment. And it will long be remembered as its glorious day of infamy.

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