Yes, there’s this tenet that an accused should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada are essentially taking this stance amid the plunder and other charges filed against them by the justice department, National Bureau of Investigation and the whistleblowers in the P10 billion PDAF scam allegedly masterminded by fellow accused businesswoman Janet Napoles.
Citing an executive summary of the NBI complaint, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported today, Sept. 17, that the three senators allegedly received a total of P581 million in kickbacks in exchange for Napoles’ use of their pork barrel allocations. Their wasted development funds were intended to reduce poverty in the countryside and help typhoon victims.
Let’s use plain and simple common sense here.
If you, reader of this blog, faces a formal complaint relating to a very serious malpractice or wrongdoing that you’ve allegedly committed at work, won’t you lose face and take the most decent course of action which is to take a temporary leave of absence until the dark clouds over your integrity and character are cleared up sufficiently? Won’t you even resign for being implicated in an alleged anomaly – where there are witnesses and voluminous pieces of evidence against you?
In Japan, some public officials even commit hara-kiri or suicide after getting shamed over major scandals. In the United Kingdom and other countries, officials promptly take a leave of absence or quit their posts to avoid dragging to embarrassing controversies and damaging the image of the institutions that they belong to.
Unfortunately for Pinoys in general, not for Enrile, Estrada and Revilla, these three lawmakers are clearly unwilling to step down even temporarily because what’s foremost in their mind is their selfish personal interests.
Just imagine the immense benefits that Pinoys will reap in the event that all three can muster the guts and decency to step down:
1] The Senate will hopefully get three new members who are more idealistic and committed to rendering no-nonsense public service
2] Momentum in reducing graft in government will get a strong boost
3] Public trust and confidence in the fight against graft and corruption will be strengthened
4] The tarnished image of the Senate will hopefully be repaired
From all indications, Enrile, Estrada and Revilla won’t take any leave of absence even as they vowed to fight off charges against them.
What then should concerned Pinoys do?
Call for their resignation!
All Pinoys deserve better senators – than them.