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TURNING POINT: Quo Vadis Legislative Inquiries

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 20 February) – The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The filing or pendency of a case before any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial or administrative body shall not stop or abate any inquiry conducted to carry out a legislative purpose.

In the advent of the social media, the public is given a fare of the vigorous exercise of this power of the members of the two legislative bodies as they or their different committees dip their fingers in any issue or concern that suit or interest them: corruption, smuggling, prices of commodities, natural calamities, abuse of authority, human trafficking, including celebrity scandal, and many other things under the sun.

In the conduct of inquiry, we witness so-called honorable legislators raising sometimes nonsensical questions, who are incapable of making follow ups to nail a point, who would appear simply as grandstanding with no clear agenda in mind.

And we are not certain if laws were really made or improved as a result of the various inquiries? For instance, among others, had anything come out from the inquiry on the Department of Budget and Management- PhilHealth- Pharmally anomaly, the Bureau of Immigration Pastillas case, the Percy Mabisa Lapid- Bureau of Correction case, the Onion and rice smuggling and cartels, and the Socorro Bayanihan Services Incorporated cult of Senior Agila?

The public ought to know.  The information may yet justify the expensive exercise.

Otherwise, except for their silly entertainment value, these inquiries are but noise and motions signifying nothing.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)

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