Friendly advices
Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2017 - 4:00pm

“ Public office is a public trust. Public Officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.” This is one of the basic principles enshrined in our Constitution Article XI Section 1) which every public official, whether elected or appointed must uphold and observe.

Obviously the public official most concerned in the observance of this principle is the President or the head of the government who must set the example by seeing to it that he is not tainted with any anomaly and/or with graft and corruption. In observing this principle the President and other officials must show that they are “holding office as a trust of the people whom they represent.”

This is the constitutional principle very much applicable now especially in connection with the on-going exchange of charges and counter charges between Trillanes and Rody on the amassing of unexplained wealth allegedly deposited in banks. The core issue that must be resolved here involves the supposed millions or billions of pesos or $ deposits that Rody and Trillanes are allegedly keeping in their respective banks which are obviously beyond their legitimate earnings as government officials. Actually, the fight between them is conducted only in both social and traditional media where the charges and counter-charges have been posted and aired.

But even if there are no legal cases filed yet, the public must still be convinced by concrete proof about the truth of their respective allegations. And the only legitimate way to do so is by opening the records of their bank accounts. Airing their claims in media will not settle the issue. Bare denials are not enough. Hurling invectives and personally attacking each other like what Rody is doing now, will not suffice to convince the public on who is the liar among them.

In view of the existing law on the secrecy of bank deposits, the best and perhaps the only way to prove the truth or falsity of their respective claims about the huge amounts of deposits that each of them have in their banks, is the issuance of a written waiver that will authorize the banks involved to open the records of their alleged bank accounts.

In this connection Trillanes readily issued said waiver and challenged Rody to do the same. So to prove that he has nothing to hide, Rody should also have issued said waiver. It is not enough for him to merely question the waiver of Trillanes and claim that it is useless and ineffective. The convincing move he should take now is to issue his own waiver of the right to secrecy of his bank deposits. Then he or his people can also use the waiver of Trillanes to find out whether the bank will not really honor it because it is defective. They can also use said waiver to prove that Trillanes indeed has anomalous amounts of deposits in the bank. Rody’s adamant refusal to issue the bank waiver and/or use Trillanes’ waiver somehow give rise to a conclusion that he is trying to steer clear of the controversy by using diversionary tactics to avoid disclosure of his own bank accounts. As a friendly advice therefore, Rody should now meet the issue head-on.

Another issue that he should squarely confront and try to solve is the continuing rise in the killings of suspected drug users and pushers almost daily by the members of the PNP. The shooting of some 10,000 suspects have already attracted international attention because of the apparent impunity being displayed by the law enforcement officers due to Rody’s encouraging statements regarding his war against dangerous drugs which was toned down later on in view of the merciless and apparently illegal killing of three young boys.

Indeed even the Catholic Bishops who kept their silence for quite a long time, have already voiced out their objection to these spate of violent deaths.  Through the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), they issued a pastoral letter asking the faithful to pray the rosary everyday starting Sept. 23, 2017 and for 40 days thereafter, light candles for them as Church bells peal starting at 8 p.m. We are likewise asked to contribute to the support and the schooling of the orphaned children of the victims or of their siblings, or the support and maintenance of their families.

The bishops’ call came out after the lives of Kian de los Santos, 17, Carl Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo de Guzman, 14, “have been snuffed out so cruelly, their dreams and aspirations forever consigned to the sad realm of what could have been but never will be.” The bishops pointed out further that: “When we label members of our society because of the offenses they commit – or that we impute rightly or wrongly against them – as unsalvageable or irreparably damaged, it becomes easier for us to consent to their elimination if not to participate outright in their murder.

We stand firmly against drugs and the death that drugs have caused, but killing is not the solution of the problem. The mercy of the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 in search of the lost sheep is the only reason why we are still here – awa ng Diyos.

The mandate to kill the lost sheep is poison for humanity. The wounded need healing, not more blows, and the fallen need our hands to be able to rise again, not our feet to trample on them xxx.

We intend to offend none but the evil in our midst. We are angry at none but the indifference among us. We fight the darkness not with spark of bullets but with the light of Christ. We beg for prayers and we ask for change of heart in all of us.

Let us turn once more to God, for they who put their trust in bullets and weapons will be confounded. But upon the nation that turns to God and prays, God promises the healing of the land and the calming of the storms that rage in our hearts.

Let the healing begin.”

*      *      *

Email: attyjosesison@gmail.com

 

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