A Catholic bishop has expressed doubts on the sincerity of the Aquino administration’s avowed fairness in running after crooks in the government because of its apparent selective rendition of justice.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderik Pabillo, chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, on Friday noted that while members of the opposition have been charged and jailed in connection with the pork barrel scam, nobody from the administration’s allies has been prosecuted.
The pork-scam scandal, according to Pabillo, should not be used to pin down only the members of the political opposition but also the allies of the administration.
“They should go after those involved in the pork barrel scam even if they are allies. It’s more believable if they do that. They should not use ‘tuwid na daan’ in taking down their enemies,” he said during a news conference for the launch of the Serviam Foundation’s “Servant Leadership in Public Service” forum at the Archdiocese of Manila main office in Intramuros, Manila.
Pabillo added that President Benigno Aquino 3rd should use his last remaining year in office to fulfill his promise of “tuwid na daan” or straight path in governance.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. are under police custody in connection with the pork barrel racket.
The Department of Justice is yet to file charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against the third batch of lawmakers, which include administration allies, suspected of also having received kickbacks from diversion of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was recently quoted as saying that they might not be able to file the charges anymore because of more pressing matters on their plate.
Pabillo said people are yet to see “if the path is really straight” because “many are still corrupt and poor.”
“They [Aquino administration] can no longer undo what they failed to do in the last five years but at least they can show that they are serious about it,” he added.
Saying the country is in need of real public servants, Pabillo said, the people should be guided this early on who to choose for President in the 2016 elections.
What the people need, he added, are leaders who lead by serving.