CANDIDATES SHOULD SUBMIT AN OMBUDSMAN CLEARANCE FIRST
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said it forthrightly “So many in government are corrupt.” And why not? Her office is recipient of various complaints, serious ones at that pertaining dubious deals and actions by those in government—be it local or national. And responding competently on each complaint is an adroit review and issuance of decision on several cases as if the agency has never knew what holiday is all about.
Looking at the direction of choosing leaders in the forthcoming election is one such exercise where the people will decide on their future. And over here, the Ombudsman has a critical role to play if only possible.
To start with, candidates for public office are screened by Comelec to determine their fitness and qualification to enter public office. And this should include as principal requirement if Comelec intends to level the field for the mandatory submission of a clearance by candidates from the office of the Ombudsman.
Ironically, retirees in government service cannot fulfill the requirements of their application unless Ombudsman has cleared them from any criminal or administrative cases. And, to think that retirees are already bidding public service good-bye and moving onwards to a life of privacy. Government and the public in general have nothing to do with them anymore. They are out already but not without an Ombudsman clearance first.
On the other hand, we have these candidates applying for public office. They wanted to be an active part, on top comparatively, of the social ladder as administrators, formulators and guide of society. All the more, government should be vigilant and stricter about their entry. If the Constitution has allowed any citizen and resident, notwithstanding lack of scholarly credentials, to run for public office, COMELEC, as a Constitutional vanguard, should as a matter of grave import require the submission of an Ombudsman Clearance from candidate-applicants to help the people in determining those whom they intend to vote. With this requirement, government has initially separated the chaff from the grain so to speak. And the people will never be derided for electing someone who will just exploit them.
As it were, there are no controls yet. Parang baliktad ang dating.
What we have right now is a bunch of candidates whose names glisten on the pages of documents bearing the imprint of Napoles’ transactions and related scams. There are political personalities also whose questionable participation in irregularities border on plunders and pillage. And there are more if we would include those charged for misusing PDAF and DAF whatever it is.
Worst, government, COMELEC to say the least, has never made a categorical stand on these shady people who are charged in Ombudsman that would disqualify or at least, defer them from running. Even judicial bodies seem stymied because of technicalities in issuing warrants or instant decision that could help Comelec in the vetting process.
What we have is even more sinister. Malamang pababayaan na lang tumakbo mga kandidato at bahala na ang taong bayan pumili. Palibhasa wala naman iba pang pagpipilian kundi yung mga may record at nakahabla sa Ombudsman, chances are those who will be elected are those questionable ones. Tapos ang sisisihin ay taong bayan dahil sila bumoto sa ganung mga tao.
Let us cut the crap and let government do its principal duty to help the people in their decision-making. Pull out those charged with administrative and/or criminal cases. Better, require, while it is not late, the submission of an Ombudsman clearance as the first step to and as a protective measure for a corrupt free governance.
With this, hindi na masisisi ang mga mamamayan.