>Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson at least is reportedly contemplating resignation from the House of Representatives. But this could be because he has been convicted of drug trafficking not in Manila but in Hong Kong, where the wheels of justice turn quickly and where his guilt beyond reasonable doubt will not take a lifetime to establish with finality. By the time Singson finishes serving his sentence, even in its likely minimum period, his congressional term would have been long over. Resigning his House seat now is the honorable thing to do. Why should he continue receiving the salaries and perks, courtesy of Juan de la Cruz, that are enjoyed by his colleagues?
His lead should be followed by a colleague, Rep. Ruben Ecleo of Dinagat Islands. Ecleo has been ordered arrested after the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction by the Sandiganbayan for a graft case during his stint as mayor of San Jose in Dinagat, Surigao del Norte from 1991 to 1994.
This is how long it takes for justice to be administered in this country; Ecleo is still fighting the SC order and wants his arrest deferred pending his appeal. In the meantime, he wants to continue sitting in the House of Representatives, which means he will continue receiving the salaries and perks of the office, including his multimillion-peso pork barrel allocation. There ought to be a law, but how can you expect such a measure to emanate from this legislature?
Over at the Senate, one of its members is a fugitive, but Panfilo Lacson isn’t going to be expelled unless he is convicted with finality for the murders of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito. That could take two decades. Lacson isn’t expected to be penalized by his peers even for taking flight and evading arrest.
The behavior of these lawmakers reinforces long-held perceptions that in this country, there are two types of justice: one for the poor, and the other for the rich and powerful