Yet another of P-Noy’s shooting partners.
This time it is LTO Chief Virgina Torres. Following a formal investigation, DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima recommended Torres be dismissed for being partial to one of the warring factions in Stradcom, the company that processes the IT functions in the agency.
Torres is also the subject of an administrative complaint for allegedly facilitating the registration of stolen vehicles. She claims she is the victim of a “demolition job’ by criminal elements and has been cleared by DILG chief Robredo.
Ms. Torres was a shooting partner of P-Noy when she was the LTO chief of Tarlac. She is reportedly also a member of the Iglesia Ni Kristo.
President Aquino has rejected De Lima’s recommendation, expressing confidence in embattled Torres. He did not elaborate.
This will be the second time the President has countermanded his Justice Secretary. The first was when he rejected her IIRC recommendation that certain high officials, notably DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno, also a shooting partner of the President, be dismissed for their failings in the Luneta hostage case.
What is it with P-Noy, his shooting partners and Sec. de Lima that they are always in a tussle? They obviously have some heavy karma to work out.
But we digress.
On the Stradcom case the public is confused as to where the truth lies, is it with the President or with his Justice Secretary?
While we would love, as our alpha male, to go with the President on this one, we also need to give credence to Sec. de Lima.
For one thing, as with the Luneta affair, de Lima arrived at her recommendation after a serious study by a panel of Torres’ peers. P-Noy, on the other hand, seems to be acting on instinct or camaraderie for a shooting partner. As with Puno, the President has a soft spot for anybody who has borne arms with him in the past.
This, I guess, is the crux of the matter.
Good governance, as promised by P-Noy on the stump, is about professionalism and transparency, it is about Government making decisions based on a process rather than on arbitrariness or personal considerations. De Lima’s actions on the Luneta and Torres affairs followed a process.
If officials cannot make decisions based on studied judgment, if they are to upstaged by the President with no explanation, they will be discouraged from acting dutifully. We will have a Government of whims.
In a metaphor the President might understand, this Administration cannot be seen to be shooting from the hip.
In fact it would be helpful if, in the spirit of transparency, the Government release the Stradcom panel findings so the public can know. (It might be equally useful if the Palace publish a list of all P-Noy’s shooting partners and their positions, if any, in Government).
In the meantime with two slaps in the face, the question is how long Sec. De Lima will continue to take the humiliation before resigning. To her credit, despite the blush on her cheeks, the DOJ Sec. remains undaunted, accepting it is the President’s prerogative to waste her time and that of her department.
We hope Leila hangs in there since by all accounts she is doing a good job. She has consistently rated well with the public on performance.
On another matter but still on the subject of slaps in the face, the Chinese Government did just that, dismissing our protests over China’s harassment of a Philippine oil exploration vessel.
Just when we thought we were getting chummy with them, getting them to defer the execution of three Filipino drug carriers, the Chinese gave us a lesson in ‘real politik’.
It is not as we have not tried. We did not attend the Nobel Peace Prize awarding of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, we gave them the first peak of the IIRC report, and we sent our future President Jojo Binay on bended kness to plead for the three Filipino drug mules.
This should be a good reminder to the Palace that in politics there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests.
Malacanang should therefore dispense with its begging bowl. Only by standing up to principles and protecting our dignity as a sovereign nation will we earn the respect of the international community.
It is bad enough we are known as a country of household help without reinforcing this image of subservience with our mendicant approach to foreign policy.