The endless probes of our Congress PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 September 2017 13:43

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

Whenever something controversial happens in our country you can bet your money that there will be a probe that will be conducted by the Senate or the House.  I don’t really know why that is. My understanding of the two houses of Congress is that we have them so they can pass legislation that will make our society more orderly, legislation that will guide us in our interaction with government and with each other. There are times though when our houses of congress seem to be doing more probes into  various incidents than deliberating on bills that are in accordance with their  defined functions.

The latest is the report that there will be a probe into hazing practices of college  fraternities. This has come up because of the tragic death of a freshman law student  in a university in Manila. I don’t mean to imply here that the death of this student is of little import but surely it is not a matter for the Senate to probe. For one thing there is already a law on the matter of initiation practices of fraternities which was passed some years back.

Another point for us to remember is that the university in question falls under the supervision of CHED, which is a government body. Should not CHED be given the task of looking into the tragedy of the death of Horatio Castillo III? If CHED needs the assistance of an investigative body, then perhaps it can call on the PNP or the NBI. And there is, as well, the university itself which can call on these two government agencies to conduct the investigation.

Does Congress not trust these agencies that it has to do the probe itself?

In doing these probes – the mess at the Bu of Customs, for example- what we see instead is the ruffled feathers of the members of the probe group, the name calling, the threats to file ethics complaints against a member, etc.  and very little by way of concrete facts. And we are told that the probes are in “aid of legislation”.

I have asked the question before: Which are the laws of the land that were the results of these Senate/House probes conducted in aid of legislation?