DFA official: grafters to be prosecuted PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 June 2015 08:55

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts…” (Isaiah 1:23, the Holy Bible).

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REACTIONS RE DFA PLUNDER RAPS POUR IN: Reactions came pouring in on our column the other day which dealt with a request for help to prosecute top officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) who have been sued for multi-million peso plunder of DFA funds before the Ombudsman. Those who reacted said I must forego considerations of personal friendship and must help stop corruption.

This one (which I translated from Filipino to English) came from Mrs. Estela Mauricio Inog, a sister of my father: “How deep, really, was your relationship with your schoolmates? If you were in their shoes, do you think they will also help you? Were they loyal and true to you when you underwent your own crisis in your life? Were they able to give you any favors?

“Did your relationship with your classmates establish what and who you are now? Did not these people also took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land? If you are to side with those seeking your help to fight plunder and corruption, I am sure your classmates who have been sued will understand you, since you are just doing a job. What really is more important to you—values of human relationships?”

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DFA OFFICIAL: GRAFTERS TO BE PROSECUTED: From Ambassador Eduardo de Vega, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs, DFA: “As a member of the DFA myself, this is news to me. Billions of pesos in plunder? These cases are brought to my attention as Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs at the DFA.  All the Ombudsman cases I know of are cases against DFA officials for non-performance of duty (for example, in failing to provide top assistance to OFWs), but certainly not corruption. We don’t have billions to plunder!

“Perhaps these complainants are retired DFA officers who are just disgruntled that there are other DFA officials who were allowed extension beyond retirement age? There was a case against one official for `plunder’, when all he did was continue to receive salaries and allowances as a sitting Ambassador for the DFA.

“I am a brother Sigma Rhoan, but there is also the lawyer’s oath. So it is up to you to share with me what you speak of, if you feel you may.  I may be able to qualify matters for you. Now if (it) turns out there ARE officials at DFA engaged in this kind of thing (somehow), my office has to prepare the Administrative Charges against them! Thank you, senior brod.”

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“DIG DEEPER INTO DFA SCAM”: From Ricardo Tambong, a fellow member at the Facebook group “Perlas ng Silangan Militant Group”, his response which I also translated from Filipino to English: “Please go ahead, help the complainants, and dig deeper, for the benefit of Filipinos. God bless.”

From Raul J. Barbasa, an economist from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City: “Go, go, go! We cannot forever condone or allow malfeasance to go unpunished.”  From Mindanao broadcaster Joseph Vince Lago Melecio: “The truth must prevail Attorney. If you have to cut off their horns, do so now!”

From Amelia Sotto Santos, Lucy Torres Capuchino, Josie Madriaga, Josefina Edita Flores Mata and many others, and even our regular critic in an Internet group, Ben Rivera, the reaction is for us to proceed with the cases (except that Rivera says another lawyer should handle them). So I guess, the decision is to really help prosecute the plunder case against some DFA officials. God bless us all!

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Ang Tanging Daan” (The Sole Way), a Bible study and prayer session on radio, airs Mondays to Fridays, 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at DWAD 1098 kHz on the AM band. For replays, go to www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan or www.facebook.com/ANDKNK and scroll for “Ang Tanging Daan” broadcasts. Phone: 0922 833 43 96, 0918 574 0193, 0917 984 24 68. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.