Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Diokno goes on leave--is it enough?

Bureau of Corrections chief Ernesto Diokno, a presidential appointee, tendered his leave of absence, not his resignation. In other countries, an official shamed by his own appointing power, leaves office and even commits harakiri.

Not, in these parts, though. Government officials here are as tough skinned as a rhino.

Diokno should have been fired by President Aquino. But no. He just berated him in public, like what Aquino did to his bosom buddy, DILG undersecretary Rico Puno. Puno left the country and went into self-imposed exile, and was never seen in public again. Yet, he retained his post, and possibly the perks attached to it.

In the case of Diokno, it was clear that he is guilty of command responsibility. How would you trust somebody with a very delicate job such as guarding society's scums and criminals, when he was caught with his pants down with this one?

Imagine, a convicted felon, who happens to be a former governor, caught outside the prison's walls, while he enjoyed the high life? Batangas governor Tony Leviste is supposed to be sweating it out along with the rest of the Bilibid population. Yet, the NBI found him resting in his LPL mansion condominium in Makati. 

Leviste reasons that he's a living out inmate. Why was he treated as such? Because he planted trees. Is that it? A convicted and hard-core murderer could actually be declared a living in prisoner just because he planted ten trees? Wow. 

That's the problem with this administration---whenever the people catch one of its members doing something extremely out of tune with the popular policy of "straight road", the obvious escape out was just tender a leave of absence and let the public outroar die out. No head was cut off, and no one hurt. It's time somebody gets hurt because, I don't know if this administration already realised it--that Leviste caper just mocked the Philippine penal and justice system. If that is not a concern, then, there is something extremely wrong with this administration.