OpinionsEcon 101In defense of the amoeba

In defense of the amoeba


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When Sen.Miriam Defensor-Santiago was asked by the counsel of Carlos Garcia to inhibit herself from the legislative inquiry into the AFP fund mess, she exclaimed: “The brain of that lawyer is equivalent to the brain of a one-celled amoeba!”

Former Biology students of Dr. Angel Alcala, our most esteemed professor and renowned scientist, must be squirming in the knowledge of the fact that a one-celled amoeba does not have a brain because it is just a one-celled organism, and a brain is composed of several cells.

This is probably assuming too much that organisms with a brain will be able to have a correct sense of right and wrong.

This is what delineates human beings as supposedly superior beings because their brains allow them to have the power of discernment, free, voluntary, and guided only by their conscience.

But do you really need to have a brain to understand the extent of AFP fund corruption?

The one-celled amoeba has an excuse; human beings do not have an excuse, especially the Generals who were all educated in the prime military academy of the country, and which education was paid for by the Filipino people.

Is this proof they have also lost their conscience? The common saying goes, Makonsyensya naman sila!

The live coverage of the Senate hearings catalogue the hundreds of millions of pesos and dollars, diverted from one account to another, labelled as “sluch fund” , for the personal use of the Generals, as if it was their exclusive right to do.

They used their brains alright, and thus, the documented corruption is staggering and shocking to the conscience of man.

While the Generals wallow from the benefits of their perfidy, the common soldier and his family struggle to meet their requirements of daily living, as well as their tools of the trade.

Watching the footages of the Marines killed by the Abu Sayaff, one cannot help but notice that all the soldiers were wearing worn-out flip- flops. They had no boots, and they had no properly-functioning modern firearms.

Where did all the AFP Modernization funds go? Now we know for a fact what we suspected all along.

Senator Defensor- Santiago, as well as Sen.Antonio Trillanes, and Sen. Chiz Escudero cannot be inhibited from participating in the Senate legislative inquiry because they are elected Senators of the Republic.

Under the doctrine of qualified political agency, they represent the people when they conduct their inquiry. It is as if it was you or me, or the man on the street asking the questions. That is the job of elected senators, and they should not shirk from their duty to conduct the investigation in aid of legislation.

“The power of inquiry — which process to enforce it — is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting conditions which the legislation intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does not itself possess the requisite information – which is not infrequently true-recourse must be had to other who do possess it.” (Arnault vs. Nazareno, 87 Phil.29);.

So the one-celled amoeba has a perfect defense. And we hope those people who have participated in the AFP fund mess can use their brains for the power of discernment, decide to change, and follow: Dito na tayo sa daan na matuwid!

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