IN the world of legislation – law and politics, conflict and opposition – are givens. The entire nature of a democracy is the validity of the viewpoints of the individual, collated into a collective hive-mind and given direction by the government in whom the populace has vested their innate authority in.
It stands to reason then that this wealth of sentiment and input from both the populace, the text of the law, and the personal character of the politician and lawmaker would give rise to many different interpretations of the appropriate course of action.
This appears to be the case for the friction between some members of the city council and the good congressman in the handling of the BCDA issues. Both parties claim to be – and cannot be properly disproven to not be – working in the best interests of the city of Baguio and her people.
There is a larger issue here – the entirety of the revised Baguio City charter is a point of contention as well, but the big, obvious sore spot is the treatment of the BCDA, the folks behind the operation of Camp John Hay.
As with the law itself and so too as with the text of legislation, there are many interpretations of the situation, ranging from in good faith and benefit of the doubt, and more hostile interpretations, to the potentially conspiratorial.
The raw fact is that Baguio’s representative has made moves in the legislative field that have not been well-received by the local lawmakers, who raise many points – for instance, the lack of large-scale public consultation and the non-conduct of a proper plebiscite on top of criticisms that provisions of the laws filed and codified run contrary to the best benefits of the city. Critics of the legislation have pointed out that these have the potential to, and in fact, already have been used to the detriment of the city. The BCDA has already cited Section 55 of the revised charter as part of their appeal in the court of law when pressed by the city to pay taxes after receiving a decision in its favor.
While it is not possible to ascribe entirely what the intent of writing the law in this manner is, whether the council is correct in its denouncement, whether what they call disadvantageous applications was deliberate or oversight, what can be for sure is that something went awry with the art of the deal.
At the very least, there was a breakdown in communication – all parties involved are part of the same local government in different capacities and bound by duty to pursue the same benefit, and despite personal differences, with a unified goal and purity of purpose. People working together will be able to properly cooperate and come up with, at the very least, a tenuous agreement.
To give the benefit of massive, overwhelming doubt, the bare minimum is that those we have empowered by democratic vote must now step up and more properly gain our consensus and enact our will. Our will is to protect our freedoms and our rights – to be allowed to be secure in the lands we live in, and to not have to live in fear in the shadow of a ruling power that cannot be reasoned with, bargained with, or held accountable.