Monday, December 21, 2015

Make them criminally liable

Make them criminally liable

Members of Congress should be made to understand that their election to that supposedly august chamber does not give them the license to legislate laws that will suit their fancy.  Whether their proposed bill is a mere exposition of their stupidity, an unmistakable fruit of lobby, or affirmation of their subservience to foreign interest, they should be held criminally and civilly liable for graft and corruption or treason if what they promised in the law they envisioned does not materialize.

The idea of suing members of Congress, city or municipal councils for enacting laws or ordinances that on their face have the markings of a lobby, bribery or a betrayal of public trust, is made most urgent in the wake of the EPIRA Law fiasco.  The order of the day is to set aside those legal formalities to weed out traitors who disguise themselves as honorable lawmakers with the vice of sponsoring money-making laws and ordinances to perpetuate themselves in power.

It is high time for us to tell these crooks to stop their perfidy of fooling the people with the trash they have been legislating.  There is no iota of truth to what they are saying after the elite, their foreign partners, the Church, and their mascot Maoists took over the reins of government.  Today, these hypocrites routinely slander our people about their brand of democracy.  One could discern that almost all the laws they enact are designed and meant to provide privileges to certain businesses, promote monopolies, provide tax exemptions to big corporations, enhance the value of real estate by the rerouting of highways, exempt developers from any zoning regulations, and mind you even rename streets to honor deceased businessmen who contributed nothing to this country except to bribe our lawmakers during their lifetime.  

If Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code punishes members of the Judiciary for knowingly rendering unjust judgment, which often is the result of bribery, or for rendering judgment through negligence borne out of ignorance of the law under Article 205, we see no reason why our lawmakers and councilors cannot be held criminally accountable for the shoddy laws that cause much suffering to our people.  They should not be allowed to shield themselves from the political process of being impeached when it is obvious that these crooks confederate to make use of their power to make money.  

It is beyond doubt that there exists a vast network of corruption in many of the so-called august chambers, and they are all racing to make a big cut on the taxpayers’ money.  These morons should be made to understand the implication of every word they state in the preamble and “whereas” clauses stated in the bill they sponsor. More so if the shoddy laws they legislate turn out to be the exact opposite of what they promised.   The fact that the power generation and transmission industries were privatized on the avowed purpose of bringing down the rates and  did not materialize is more than enough evidence to prosecute them.   

To make myself clear, when those morons in Congress sponsored Electricity, Power and Industry Reform Act or R.A. No. 9136 in June 2001, they in effect made a mockery of what they were expected to do, which is to legislate laws solely for the interest and protection of our people.   Even dogs could readily draw a conclusion that the EPIRA Law is not only a betrayal of the public trust, but an insult to their being canine.   The declaration of policy in Section 2 of that hangman’s law, even dragging the name of the state, is a farce.  To cite a few of those bluffs: “(a) To ensure and accelerate the total electrification of the country; (b)To ensure the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electric  power;  (f) To protect the public interest as it is affected by the rates and services of electric utilities and other providers of electric power;  (h) To promote the utilization of indigenous and new and renewable energy resources in power generation in order to reduce dependence on imported energy;  (j) To establish a strong and purely independent regulatory body and system to ensure consumer protection and enhance the competitive operation of the electricity market;.”

Nothing of their promise to provide electricity at cheaper cost; to use that advantage to promote our market competitiveness; and utilize electricity to develop our economy happened.  In fact, bribe money freely flowed that Speaker Feliciano Sonny Belmonte was tagged by party-list members of Congress Renato Magtubo and anti-Marcos basher Etta Rosales as the “pagador” or bankroller who allegedly ensured the passage of the hangman’s law.

It did not even seep into their brain that their favorite mantra of privatizing the industry would not work unless the owner-oligarchies are given a free hand to dictate their price, thereby reducing to a mere scarecrow the role of the Energy Regulatory Commission.  It was downright criminal to privatize the transmission grid just to allow competition through that World Bank-concocted concept called Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.  Rather, the privatization of the transmission grid only opened a new business for the oligarchs, and their operation was added to the cost which consumers will pay to allow power plant operators to refund for the wheeling charges.

Today, we stand as second to the highest in the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour in the whole of Asia, next to Japan.  Having focused much of their attention on the lobby, they failed to anticipate that competition will never hold water if there are only few players.  Rather, their scheme ended up in the super-rich bonding themselves to form a formidable cartel in the distribution and in the pricing of their commodity.  

Similarly, the trading of electricity ended up as a con game to earn higher commission for the market traders, and the much-vaunted EPIRA Law, made by Mrs. Arroyo as the hallmark of her government’s achievement, ended in total failure.  Even if lowering the cost of electricity was its main objective, that will not happen because deregulation will compel all the players in the industry to jack up their rates, and would not fear losing their buyers.  Their captive customers have no choice but only to select the rope with which they would prefer to hang themselves.


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