IF the Commission on Audit (COA) had not intervened, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile would have continued authorizing the release of the monthly allocation for the Senate staff of murder-suspect-in-hiding Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.

The COA, which spotted the anomaly, promptly warned the Senate leader to desist or risk facing criminal charge for condoning an illegal transaction.

To make the violation more flagrant, it turned out that the fugitive senator who is wanted on a standing warrant of arrest for murder was himself signing his office allocation while in hiding.

It defies logic that Enrile, and the rest of the senators in fact, were not aware of the illegal transaction but chose to mimic the proverbial monkey who saw nothing, heard nothing and spoke nothing.

This has the effect in all its brazenness of coddling a colleague who is making a mockery of the law the Constitution expects every citizen to obey implicitly.

Who can now blame Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Singson for challenging the Senate to expel Lacson before his own son, Rep. Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson, is expelled by the House for the latter’s drug case in Hong Kong as some congressmen are suggesting.

Why pick on my son, the governor bristled.

“He has only pleaded to illegal possession of drugs and not yet been convicted in the court.”

If he would be found guilty, he added, then Congress could do what it wants.

But he flatly insisted his son is no trafficker, saying he would kill him if he were so, instead of just being a victim.

In any case, Congress is in a quandary.

The public expect it to be decisive in dealing with Singson and Lacson.

Any foot-dragging will only blemish the institution even more.

Correctly, the Aquino Administration is not meddling in this controversy, at least not publicly.

It has to respect a co-equal branch of government.

For that matter, President Aquino overreached when he appeared to chastise the Supreme Court for “singling out” his administration in several rulings that hampered his reform agenda.

The President is entitled to his opinion.

So is the judiciary.

The sooner he comes to grips with the democratic separation of powers, the better for him to run the government efficiently, with malice towards none.