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Representation

We cannot understand the flak that Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas is getting for his suggestion that members of the House of Representatives be exempt from minor traffic rules.

Why not grant them this simple courtesy? Our honorable congressmen’s minds are so preoccupied with thoughts of serving the people. It is understandable that they would occasionally slip in their observance of regulations on the road.

It must be assumed that they are en route to important functions every time they are on the road. There are countless bills to be deliberated on. Sometimes there are investigations in aid of legislation to attend. They might be meeting with their party-mates, with whom they share the same deeply-held principles—mind you, it’s not just about political expediency.

They might be on their way to meeting with VIPs like themselves, with whom they would discuss matters of great consequence. They could be seeing their staff members to give them instructions on how to serve their constituents better.

They could be on their way to unwind or be entertained after a stressful day. Everybody needs a break, especially those chosen by the people to represent their interests. These lawmakers need to get back to the job at peak performance. Let us not begrudge them that.

We must also be indulgent of our congressmen’s candid pronouncements. They just want to show the President their unwavering loyalty. Remember, for example, Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez’s threat to abolish agencies that somehow do not toe the line. In the absence of constitutional authority to abolish certain units, they can use the power of the purse instead, to threaten or punish those who do not love this country as they do.

Government agencies must work together. They must be each other’s partners, not critics. How can they be effective if they are not of like mind, or persuasion?

What a thankless job they have, these members of the House. It is so difficult to answer to the constituents who put them in office, even if its only by virtue of a prominent family name—an association by blood or marriage. Government work is tough work. It is doubly hard to represent the interests of the people when it is so convenient to just represent their own.

The people do not see their sacrifices. We do not believe them when they say they have compassion. Instead we accuse them of indifference, of neglect, of evil designs.

We have been too harsh on our congressmen. Let us cut them some slack.

Topics: Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas , House of Representatives members , Traffic rules , Representation
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