Sunday, April 27, 2008


Nobility obligates that the elected persons in the Lower Chamber, by virtue of their "high rank," be of honorable, generous and responsible behavior concomitant to their office, as the definition states. May they attend to the daily business of legislation inside the session hall where their presence for a quorum needs to be constantly, repeatedly eternally heralded by the mechanized notes of a sonorous bell. May they, at the very least, be of a disposition as to approximate the adjective attached to their names: "Honorable," or so it says.
We have watched the Lower House for the past years, and we weep. We weep at the billions of pesos spent for the passage of several bills, two-thirds of which do not concern our country. These were bills changing the names of streets and schools, declaring local holidays and such. The hundreds of millions spent on salaries, allowances, bonuses, junkets both domestic and foreign, an almost invisible district staff, brand new SUVs, country club fees, office repairs and renovation, and a host of other expenditures - these are more than enough to make us ache in the innards from the sheer volume and profligacy. We must also add to our pain the "Pork" of 70 million pesos for each conniving congressman/woman, and 200 million pesos for each sinful senator.
This is where most of your taxes go. The toil and sweat of an eight-hour work day for the ordinary employee, the deductions of the compulsory withholding tax, the toll fees, the added payments for VAT and the Extended-VAT when you buy anything other than fresh food - all these go to the billions that support your pseudo-public servant.
Why then do the supposedly "Honorable" personalities in the House of Representatives not attend sessions as regulary as required? Sometimes they stay in their rooms and listen instead to the deliberations from the built-in sound system. Sometimes they lounge at the South Lounge to eat, chat or smoke. Sometimes they are abroad. Sometimes they are present for the roll call and leave shortly after their names have been called. Sometimes they only attend to deliver a self-serving privilege speech after asking an audience to sit at the gallery to listen. Most times they talk about their material wealth, investments and golf. I've always said that the only time congressmen tell the truth is when they call each other "Liars." And we still call them "Honorable?"
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