Friday, June 17, 2011

The Presidency should be judged morally

During a dinner last night which I attended, Alex Lacson urged people to judge President Benigno Aquino III on two things: First, he not using public funds for his own personal use and two, he is not abusing his powers. Let's discuss.


On the first take, we really don't know if President Aquino is not using public funds for his personal use. Billions of pesos were allotted as Aquino's intelligence funds, and these are mostly unaccounted. Besides, no one really knows since his term has not finished yet. There is no group that monitors Aquino's spending of the money entrusted to him.


I urged citizen's groups and cause-oriented groups to monitor Aquino's public spending habits. It is too early for anyone to say that he's not toying with public funds.


On the second condition, well, there is evidence that he already abused the powers entrusted to him by the People.


Look, he ignored the findings of the Independent Commission set up to investigate the Rizal hostage crisis. That Commission recommended the filing of administrative charges against his firing buddy, DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno. Aquino did not sign that off. That is a clear abuse of his powers.


There was a recommendation which came from former DOTC Secretary Ping de Jesus recommending that sanctions be imposed against LTO head Virgie Torres. What happened? Torres is expected to regain her post this June 19. Again, Aquino abused his powers.


Seems like Aquino is encouraging the spread of cronyism, a bad sign.


Why protect the likes of Puno and Torres? Likewise, why retain men such as Customs head Lito Alvarez and PCSO head Margie Juico, two officials embroiled in numerous graft cases? They should be fired. 


It is not too late for the President to do the right thing.