It finally happened. I had a Mercedes moment. Ligot was getting led to the senate jail in TV. I snapped my head up, raised my left eyebrow, and said “hells to the naw”. If I could do the ghetto snap I would have. I should get someone to teach me that.
If you missed it here’s what happened. Ligot was an army guy who got called into a senate inquiry. Ligot really didn’t want to answer any of the questions posed by the senators so he responded by invoking his right against self-incrimination on every single question. Senators didn’t appreciate that and threw his ass in jail for it. It was the plush senate jail they use for high class criminals, but it was still jail.
Senate sound reasonable? Yea? No not really. Why the **** do you have rights when you get penalized for exercising them? Think about it. They are called rights! Not privileges. They should always exist no matter what. If the senate doesn’t want them then they should remove them. Hell they are the senate right? Go amend the constitution! Don’t tell us rights exist one moment then take it away the next.
The senate inquiry was “in aid of legislation”. OK. Fine. I’ll go along with that. Even if you guys never file any new laws due to the information you gained from it. Surely you can find other resource persons that knew about Ligot’s doings and interrogate them instead. The whole process of senate inquiry already functions like a trial. Except the defendant doesn’t get a lawyer that can object or in fact talk at all. Doesn’t get a chance to present his side and call his witnesses. Doesn’t even get the chance to present any documents that help him. Now they want to take away the right against self-incrimination too? Haven’t they taken away enough? They must really suck if they still can’t win when the deck is stacked this badly.
Of course people will say, but what if everyone paraded in front of the senate invokes the right against self-incrimination? Wouldn’t the senate lose teeth? Well I say…. So what? Better the senate lose some teeth than the we lose rights. Those rights are what protect us from them. Every time we lose one we are that much easier to exploit. Besides that’s a slippery slope. The senate will still find some people to testify. Of course the revelations won’t be as sensational but hey we just need the information right? The whole thing isn’t being designed so that the senate can get some media time. No, they wouldn’t do that.
I am well aware that sometimes we get penalized for exercising our rights. We get charged with libel if we take our freedom of speech to far. Our rights even get taken away at times. Our right to liberty gets taken away when a competent court decides that we are guilty of a crime and must be sent to jail. But in every single one of these cases there is a process that we go thru before the rights get taken away from us. We get to present our side and argue before a competent authority and convince them not to take it away. All that we see when they take away our rights in the senate is Jingoy’s smug face saying “Give up your right or go to Jail”. I already said it earlier but I will say it again. Its a hell of a country when we get jailed merely for exercising our rights. **** its not even the legislature’s job to decide when to take away our rights. That’s the function of the judiciary.
I don’t give a fig about Ligot. Honestly? He is probably guilty. What irks me about the whole situation is that in the future I or someone I care about may need to invoke the right against self-incrimination. When that day comes I will be extremely annoyed that I have already unwittingly signed away that right without even fighting for it. Fighting? I would settle for being asked in a referendum on a constitutional change if I would like to give up my rights.