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The LP’s attack dog and asset

September 3, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

RRoy’siPadThe LP’s attack dog and asset
Ronald Roy — Sept. 7, 2016

Sen, Leila de Lima (SDe5) first came to the public’s consciousness when she was appointed human rights chair by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It therefore came as no surprise that the articulate and courageous legal luminary, whose only fear was of the law, would later be appointed justice secretary by Pres. Noynoy Aquino.

Her meteoric rise to popularity earned for her a kuletat finish in the recent senatorial elections. However, after her short and storied stint as a crime buster, it’s sad to note she’s now dunked in deep s – – t, her integrity challenged by allegations she used her cabinet position to collect payoffs from drug lords confined in the national penitentiary, reportedly through her former driver named Ronnie Dayan and, as rumors avouch, a certain Warren, an allegedly good-looking motorcyclist who also later served her as bodyguard.

Appreciation
Let’s appreciate SDe5’s decision to suspend the ongoing war-against-drugs hearings by the senate justice and human rights committee, which she chairs, in order not to embarrass Pres. Rodrigo Duterte (PDu30) who would be leaving for Laos, Cambodia for the ASEAN summit on Sept 6.

In an earlier commentary, I commiserated with SDe5 by saying it was “foul and below the belt” to rake up her private life with what she insisted were unfounded innuendoes of an alleged illicit relationship with Dayan, a married man. I gave her the benefit of the doubt despite a popular view that she was the Yellows’ attack dog.

I was then her biased fan — I’m human after all, he he — so I deliberately omitted citing the legal basis for her investigation and possible administrative punishment. My change of heart had resulted from a steady stream of damning sworn statements, some of which from local officials, that linked her to unlawful narcotic activities. My conscience would forever bother me if I didn’t suppress my misplaced bias.

The applicable law
Under Section 6, Rule 10 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, “an immoral conduct of a government officer or employee may be punished with suspension or dismissal from the service”. What makes matters bad for her is that: even assuming she were not criminally charged, she would still be vulnerable to an administrative suit where guilt can be easily established by mere substantial evidence. May justice be served in whichever way.

The “asset”
Another lady official, one who is widely seen as an “asset” of the Liberal Party, may yet find herself being a respondent in an impeachment trial, depending on the evidence still being assessed by the administration.

The recent statement of PDu30 to review the performance of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (OCCM) so raised her hackles that a no-holds-barred impeachment showdown is expected to erupt between a truculent constitutional officer of the law and her yellow supporters on the one hand, and those who make laws on the other.

In such an event, OCCM’s greatest discomfort would come from the fact that an overwhelming majority of the members of the lower house, a body exclusively vested by the basic charter with the power to impeach, are the President’s rabid supporters. Indeed, she can be easily removed from office for “breach of public trust”, i.e., if the impeachment trial court (ITC) composed of senators sees it that way. The question therefore is: how strong is PDu30’s hold on the senate?

Speculation

If I may speculate, it shouldn’t be difficult for the ITC to oust CCM from office for Breach of Public Trust. It can simply pronounce that “the evidence shows the people have lost their trust in you, because you’ve failed to explain why you have not criminally charged former budget secretary Florencio Abad for his principal role in the unconstitutional PDAF and DAP deals that unduly enriched numerous legislators and other functionaries.

“You have likewise not explained satisfactorily why you didn’t punish then PNP Director General Alan Purissima for his Mamasapano role in defiance of your suspension order. We are therefore forced to believe that your omissions were designed to protect your benefactor, Pres. Benigno S. Aquino lll.”

The ITC may further state that it congratulates her for being a recipient of a Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of her excellent public service, but will likely add that the said prestigious RM Award should not and cannot be used to prove her detractors wrong.

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