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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

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Mexican Standoff

So, the President has grown weary of the incessant Senate posturings on the alleged shenanigans of the Executive Branch. She has adamantly maintained her stance despite pleas to break bread while the Senate has threatened to go to the Supreme Court to break the impasse.

While there is no need to belabor the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 464, its presumptive validity stands and until Davide and company rule against it, the two branches of government are locked in a Mexican standoff.

So, guess who will prevail in this epic locking of horns?

There is much going against the Senate. Unlike the Senate, the Executive Branch is a monolithic giant and the Cabinet members are, until the Hyatt 10 fiasco, loyal alter egos of the president. Generally, they are competent and intellectually prepared to tackle the business of government. Their interests are that of the president’s, their preferences subsumed to hers, they have no will but hers. In short, they serve at the pleasure, whim, and caprice of the president.

Unlike the Cabinet, the Senate is made up of parts which are smaller than the whole. Made of intellects with varying degrees, some brilliant, some asinine, but overall, mostly piddling, with loyalties ever changing like tides rising and falling with the shape of the moon, their interests transient like shifting sands.

Unlike the Cabinet, the Senate is an assembly of conspirators and traitors. They conspire in bands intent on wrestling the mace from the incumbent Senate President. One senator whispers in the shadows in accusatory tones of a senator plotting to assassinate the president. Another senator blurts in anger against the president for favoring a political nemesis. The rest are content to lay low until the right time to strike and claim their hegemony. If the palace is a snake pit, the Senate is a den of Byzantine intrigue.

In addition, the public is already exhausted with the numerous investigations going on without concrete legislative outputs. Senator Villar's investigation on the jueteng did nothing but smear people’s reputations and displayed outlandishly the boorish senators. He did nothing to conduct and end the inquiry in an honorable manner. He still does nothing. No committee report to speak of and no legislative proposal, to say the least.

Perhaps, foremost in his mind, still mulling on how to evict Senator Drilon from the Senate presidency and to prevent Lady Miriam, the adroit interloper, from ascending the throne. Indeed, having seen the Senators grandstand on television, why should the public sympathize with them? Conversely, why should the public not commisserate with Bert Gonzales?

Moreover, one would expect a Senate voice in unison howling in protest against Executive Order No. 464 as an encroachment on its legislative prerogative. None was heard. The Palace senators should realize that they are Senators of the Republic and no longer pawns of the Palace. Any attack on their powers diminishes and dishonors the Senate. If for one moment, they cannot fathom the depth of the transgression by the Executive branch, then they stand no business being in the Senate. Neither do they have the right to sit as elders of the Republic.

If wisdom and intellect are sorely lacking in the Senate, how can one expect the latter to override Executive arrogance? With a dysfunctional Senate like ours, how does one stop the chief executive bully from beating up the legislative wimps in the schoolyard?

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