Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is seeking the cancellation of the passports of senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, as well as more than 30 others, over their alleged involvement in the P10 billion “pork barrel scam” purportedly masterminded by Janet Napoles.
Estrada and company have protested, saying they should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
De Lima was unfazed, arguing the passports of the accused should be cancelled “in the interest of national security.” Under its 2010-1026 National Security Policy, the government considers graft and corruption as a national security issue “because it saps public resources, undermines the morale of the civil service and affects the delivery of basic services,” de Lima said.
Clearly, de Lima is one of the government’s intrepid graft busters.
Graft has bedeviled Juan de la Cruz for many, many years. Let’s face it. Institutionalized corruption can’t be eliminated during President PNoy’s term.
But de Lima’s move, together with graft-busting initiatives of the Ombudsman, Bureau of Internal Revenue, audit commission and related agencies, should provide all Pinoys, including those overseas, with cautious optimism that governance in our country will get better eventually.
As for Estrada and company, who cares if they lose their passports and right to travel?
Getting embroiled in a major controversy should have prompted them to take a leave of absence or even tender their resignation, just like what their overseas peers often do.
But they’re unwilling to do so. Shameless! Kapal mukha!
The fight against grafters is on ….. and it should spare no one, not even senior senators and congressmen.