Loads of WHYs
By Johanne Margarette R. Macob
I’VE been to the city of the famed Hundred Islands with colleagues for a couple of times. Why? We want to hear the side of the accused city accountant and treasurer. I believe that they are the most knowledgeable two about the city’s finances and other money-related issues. Just to remind everyone, the city’s mayor, Hernani Braganza, who is running for governor in the May elections, along with the two and some other officials are facing a complaint for plunder, violations of anti-graft and corrupt practices act, and malversation of public funds before the Office of the Ombudsman.
What’s behind all the avoidance? Why have Treasurer Shirley Dela Cruz and Accountant Emelyn Acosta’s been shunning the media and simply been giving a standard response directing us to the city administrator? Dela Cruz even asked us to secure a ‘clearance’ from the Information Office. I clearly didn’t get that one.
I have no problem having to interview City Administrator Wilmer Panabang as well but I still think the two ladies should at least give statements being accountable public officers. Are they are under some directive not to speak? Why?
In media, we always uphold the value of fairness and balance in our reports, it’s about getting the view of the other party.
While I respect their position, I don’t support it. As accountable key persons, they should respond to the allegations regarding the supposed unliquidated cash advances, the intelligence funds, the Commission on Audit (COA) Annual Audit report, even just to clear their names.
While we in the media are performing our tasks as the people’s watchdog, we are not trying to intimidate anyone. It’s simply all about the President’s “matuwid na daan”.
Finally, why didn’t our lawmakers pass the Freedom of Information bill?