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To defend the indefensible is the unenviable chore of Omdbusman spokesperson, Jose de Jesus, Jr. He bats for an agency castrated of political will to prosecute big time crooks, as in the P1.4 billion Mega Pacific computer scam
In a letter to Inquirer, De Jesus took issue with “Guns-for-Hire Saloon”( Viewpoint 5/ 25 ). Critics and institutions conclude that the Ombudsman morphed, from a constitutional protector of public interests, into a gunslinger for President Arroyo and family, that column said..
Merceditas Gutierrez is the First Gentleman’ schoolmate. But she performed brilliantly. She’s “unfairly maligned”, claims the spokesman.
He asked for the address of Zeferino Arroyo. The retired Quezon City businessman called for Ms Gutierrez’s disbarment. That’d form a fourth option to three being considered by the incoming regime. These were impeachment, resignation or ouster, said Rep. Erin Tanada.
The spokesman would invite and brief. Mr Arroyo Thus, he’d see the light would on stunning achievements of his boss.
A newpaper is not a directory assistance service. The Opinion editor and I have Mr Arroyo’s address. But we do not make our address books available on demand. Not even to agency megaphones who darkly mutter “libel”.
We’ve forwarded, as a courtesy, the spokesman’s invitation to Mr Arroyo. He can choose to accept or not.
Former senate president Jovito Salonga, ex-Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, Senator Francis Escudero, the UP-based Human Development Network among others, have been more critical of Ms Gutierrez’s performance than Zeferino Arroyo..
Don’t they need to be briefed on the Ms Gutierrez’s “achievements” too?. The Ombdusman’s spokesman, we assume, has their addresses Will Messr Salonga, Marcelia, Escudero, Tanada and Philippine Human Development editors, get an RSVP card?
If so, may I offer unsolicited advice to Mr de Jesus?.:These gentlemen won’t take kindly to murmured threats of libel. So, skip the baloney, son.
The Ombudsman can not, of course, extend such invitations anytime soon. Mr de Jesus’ workload has just “imploded”.
Incoming President Benigno Aquino flayed the “absolution”, by the Ombudsman, for the President and First Gentleman in the $329 million ZTE broadband scam. “Ms Gutierrez has been very, very tardy in investigating the controversies that rocked the Arroyo administration.”
Aquino also cited the P728-million “Joc-Joc” Bolante fertilizer scam. After six years, no charges were filed. “There has been a complete failure of justice,” said the incoming boss of Ms Gutierrez ( and her spokesman ) “There has to be closure.”
Maybe Mr de Jesus should offer to go to Times Street and brief the President elect.? Before doing so, he should get clear in his mind what separates professional spokesmen from tutas ( lapdogs). It is something called: truth.
Look beyond congressmen ( some of them trashed in the last elections) grandstanding for TV cameras at the turtle-paced congressional canvass. A more perceptive portrait of the nation emerges on cyberspace.
Former Notre Dame University president and Oblate father Eliseo Mercado, for example, wrote “The Face of a Noynoy Administration for Mindanao.” Here’s an abridged version.
Is a fresh wind blowing our way? Gone, at least for a while, is the notorious 12-0 win and the 100% voter turn out as dictated by the ruling Lords in Maguindanao.. “In the ARMM, I received so many SMS or text messages, from friends and associates, telling me with pride that Noynoy won in their provinces and cities”.
There were some chaotic precincts. But the military, police and Comelec cooperated. And in the main, elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao were honest.
Still, there are many “unfinished businesses” The virus of “Cinderella” appointments has not been limited to the Supreme Court, Pagcor or Mrs Arroyo’s gardener for RizalPark in Manila. . Officials of the Mindanao Development Authority and the new Commission on Muslim Filipinos are among those tainted by controversial ‘midnight appointments’ by the expiring Arroyo regime.
Implementing rules and of both commissions still have to ironed out. There is an urgent need for new faces and a new wind in the MDA,, if Mindanao’s Peace and Development Plan is to advance..
A new Commission on Muslim Filipinos should not be a mere rehash of the shabby Office of the Muslim Affairs. It could fill the vacuum left by National Commission for Indigenous Peoples. The NCIP — mutated into a body that protected, not the indigenous peoples,. but ‘prerogatives’ of permit holders. It coddled prospective mining companies within the ancestral domain.
Then there is the peace processes. What strategy will a Noynoy Presidency take in resumption of talks.?
“The more decent and honorable move is for the people who have been appointed in those ‘last few minutes’ of the expiring Macapagal-Arroyo administration to tender their ‘courtesy resignation,” Father Mercado writes. But what if they will not do so?.
“The position that the Noynoy Presidency will take vis-a-vis the controversy spawned by the midnight appointments will define and shape the face of the incoming administration” here, Father Mercado writes.
It will signal whether the fresh new wind that is blowing will continue — or die away.. sooner rather than later.