The allegations to PCL elections

aug 19-25, 2010

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY

There’s a running commentary about the ordinariness of the conduct of the Philippine Councilors League-Davao del Norte Chapter last August 13 at the Lakan’s Hotel in Tagum City. The commentary heaped by several seasoned politicians somehow goes this way: that if reelectionist PCL president Helario “Larry” Caminero had lost in the PCL election it was simply because it was “just normal in our elections”. And here we go again with this kind of charade at a time when we have just recoiled from the too heavy political doses of the May 10, 2010 polls.

But we are not finger pointing here unless truth can be ferreted out from the allegations that there was vote-buying in the concluded PCL election, which are per se hard to prove since who else would accept bad allegations. Really, now Boardmember and PCL president Janrey Gavina has still to say for his side and we are not prejudging here but are only reporting without malice that what people speculate, observe and think, even without evidences, are themselves newsworthy knowing that the contended PCL post is a public one and the mandates of the voting councilors are directly attached to public interests.

Really, if allegations were true that there was vote-buying for some (not all) councilors to support the winner PCL president, then those bought, those who gave the money and those operators and bagmen who bought among the councilors were just as guilty to have violated the very own PCL’s slogan, “Public Service Above Self”.

If the allegations broke out in other countries, like Japan, or so we noted, these could easily merit a probe, and certainly the blue ribbon committee can be operationalized to busy itself in probing the allegations. But sadly we have not yet reached such ideal state and sophistication that expects holders of political powers to be beyond suspicion, and a little violation of this principle merits probe for the accused to be either vindicated or found guilty of the allegations thrown at them by the quizzical public rhetorics. Or maybe a local truth commission can be created to ferret out the truth.

While we have been reeling from having none of  a so active prosecutorial culture, and from loving to be always on the comfort zone and on where there is least resistance, we can’t expect for such probe to happen.

A compliment though is in for the people: that while it is one to raise allegations or accuse, it is another to dismiss or ignore those allegations, while only leaving the bar of public opinion to cast judgment on the allegations raised. Sadly, the councilor’s tag Honorable, which Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte wanted to be not used to refer to him (kay hilasan siya) during Davao City council sessions, would suffer a downgrade if the allegations remain to be unanswered from the end of now Boardmember and PCL president Janrey Gavina.  – Cha Monforte

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