Thursday, July 09, 2009


CONGRESSIONAL INQUISITIONS

Congressmen and senators who take too much time abusing the privilege hour to harass their political opponents and extort money from businessmen deserve not a bit of respect at all from the citizenry. No less that House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile should quickly act and order a stop to sinister executive speech-making and the abuse of privilege speeches.

For many years, the public has complained about legislators who attack their enemies in privilege speeches, knowing that they may not be sued for libel or slander, because such speeches are covered by parliamentary immunity. So many lives and fortunes have been damaged by irresponsible privilege speeches, so much so that people want to do away with these altogether. If they're not destructive, they're downright boring, having been poorly researched and crafted by mediocre congressional staffers.

Even presidents in the past have been lambasted by legislators who wanted to pressure Malacanang into granting concessions. In a not-so-recent past, one senator became famous for his scathing speeches against Malacanang. He was reported to have collected PhP 500,000 for every speech he delivered on the floor (and another PhP 500,000 for every speech he did not deliver) against a former president. His assistant would deliver to Malacanang a copy of his smoking speech, and presidential aides would be on their feet looking for funds to pay the senator to keep his mouth shut.

Speaker Nograles should strongly advise members of congress from abusing the privilege hour to deliver speeches against their political foes, or force concessions from business firms in a manner condemned as blackmail and extortion. Again, the solons are covered by parliamentary immunity and cannot be brought to court on any issue they discuss during their speech.

I hope the Speaker has never abused the privilege hour and neither has he coerced anybody through the power of cogressional subpoenas. For many businessmen and corporations will surely agree with this because many too have been victimized in the past, and continue to be victimized by abusive privilege speeches. These individuals claim to have been harassed by certain congressional committees which wanted only to fleece them of big amounts under pain of congressional investigations or even through legislation. The privilege hour consumes too much time and can be utilized for deliberations on pending important measures. These measures are always put on hold when solons take to the floor.

On the other hand, committee hearings too have been abused by congressmen, when invited guests are known to be terrorized by brusque legislators. These committee hearings, more often than not, have been transformed into torture chambers and inquisition cells for political and business rivals of lawmakers. And while these hearings are justified as "in aid of legislation," the public knows better and scoffs at them as they usually hide some vile intentions. Clearly, "in aid of legislation" turns out simply as "in aid of extortion." It is said that most government officials (before E.O. 464) quake in their boots and are numbed with fear each time they are called for congressional hearings. This is true especially during budget hearings where executive department officials have to justify their funding requests. It is during these hearings that officials are coerced into agreeing to allocate plum posts for proteges of legislators, or to reserve mouth-watering contracts for their business partners. Several appointive officials report that in consideration and approval of discretionary and intelligence funds, a portion of the outlays have to be reserved for use by the congressmen. As such, the public wishes to inquire from the legislators the following:

- Is this hearing in aid of legislation, or is it in aid of extortion, larceny and re-election?

- How many of you have not made fat sums of money from private individuals and corporations hauled before congressional inquiries?

- How many of you have not earned humongous commissions from contractors you helped win awards from your Countryside Development Fund (CDF)?

- How many of you do not protect vice lords in your respective districts?

- How many of you do not maintain mistresses and have not fathered illegitimate children?

- How many of you have not coerced huge amounts from private corporations as contributions to your campaign funds?

- How many of you were elected in office through terrorism and electoral fraud?

- How many of you do not employ your children and relatives in your office?

- How many of you do not use government-issued vehicles to ferry your wives and children to the beauty salons, groceries and schools?

- How many of you do not employ goons and ex-convicts as your security detail?

- How many of you have not mis-used gargantuan allowances as committee chairmen?

- How many of you do not frequent expensive lewd cathouses and karaoke joints?

- How many of you do not abuse traffic laws and regulations (you and your arrogant security escorts) simply because your vehicle sports a number 7 or a number 8?

- How many of you do not cheat on your income taxes and your SALs?

- How many of you do not disappoint the motherland by having US Green Cards (just in case?)

So, is it still any wonder now why the President wishes to be a member of Congress and be Prime Minister thereafter?

1 comment:

Kim Henares said...

We're ordinary citizens trying to help the Bureau of Internal Revenue reach its P1 Trillion Revenue target.

We recently came across data showing that Cosmetique Asia Silka Papaya has deceptively hidden its real net sales since 2008.

The data has been culled from Silka Papaya's own financial statements as well as from a reputable market research firm.

The first red flags indicating Silka Papaya was evading taxes were clearly visible in its financial statements where it recorded unusually high net sales growth.

Silka Papaya's Net Sales Growth was far above and weirdly consistent when compared to the sales growth of other firms -- with no evidence showing market expansion or market share contraction in other firms.

Its cost of sales was also suspect as it was suspiciously high.

This especially evident when compared with the sales growth of other firms.

Moreover, we compared Silka Papaya's sales as stated in its Financial Statements and its sales as reflected in data from a market research firm. This comparison revealed that Silka Papaya has cheated the government out of more than P700 million to possibly P2 Billion in unpaid taxes.