The Ombudsman’s Declaration to Investigate Abad on DAP and PDAF is Doubtful, and “clearing” the President is Dubious

The Ombudsman’s Declaration

to Investigate Abad on DAP and PDAF is Doubtful

and “clearing” the President is Dubious

By Apolinario Villalobos

Every time the Chief of the Department of the Budget Management (DBM) releases a certain fund, he has to secure first the approval of the President of the Philippines which is a standard operating procedure. The President on the other hand is supposed to have been briefed on the details surrounding the fund as explained by the Chief of the DBM before the former signs the pertinent documents. Where is the logic then, in the declaration of the Office of the Ombudsman that while it absolves the President on the issues of the PDAF and DAP, the DBM Chief will be investigated? Why is the principle of the command responsibility not applied in this case? On the other hand, the President has a full knowledge of what he was approving, so he cannot just wash his hands.

The act of the Ombudsman is tantamount to a “moro-moro” which is just for show. It is obvious that there is a concerted effort from all sectors of the administration to “clear” the President before he steps out of Malacaἧan in 2016. At the last minute, he even changed his tune on the issue of the Mamasapano, although, it is also doubtful if justice can indeed be reaped while he is still around. His declaration on the Mamasapano massacre also shows another act of washing of hands, and passing of the buck to the incoming administration. Even the Maguindanao Massacre case still has to step on the first base as in the game of baseball, although, the president has made statements about his “giving instructions” to expedite the investigation which just raised the eyebrows of the skeptics.

The Office of the Ombudsman is clearly doing a hectic clearing effort to prevent the filing of cases, or at least reduce their number, as Pnoy will definitely suffer the same fate of Gloria Arroyo, as soon as he steps down. The objective has been implied when the Palace made a follow up statement to the Ombudsman’s declaration, that it has to be “respected”.

Lately, the DBM Chief has sort of complained when he said that he is just recommending and that the President has the final say…so, the picture is clear as regards the guilty party. Could this mean that the latest washing of hands of the President will cause a rift between him and his long-time trusted friend Abad? This happened between Vitangcol, the former chief of the MRT and his boss, Jun Abaya, chief of the DOTC, when the former was suddenly dropped like a hot potato, after a graft case was filed against him. Abaya eventually complained, “bakit ako lang?” (why single me out?, or why only me?), insinuating that all final decisions come from Abaya.

That’s how “colorful” and “suspenseful” are the happenings in the administration of President Pnoy…as he leads the country towards his “tuwid na daan” (straight path”. I just hope that the road does not end at a precarious cliff!