Tomas defending Jun Pe-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
HAD Cebu City north district Councilor Agustus Pe Jr. known the meaning of the Spanish word delicadeza, I think he would not have pursued his plan to seek reelection, this time in the south district. I use the word “reelection” because technically that’s what he is running for.
Delicadeza is a Spanish word that has entered the Filipino vocabulary. It means gentleness, softness, delicacy and tactfulness. But in the Philippines, the term means something else. Essentially, this is the virtue of knowing and acting what is proper when you are in a position of authority and trust, such as in public service.
There are two general situations where delicadeza is often invoked. The first one is having the grace to give up one's position of authority when becoming involved in a matter of impropriety. The second situation is when conflict of interest arises. There are plenty of situations where we can apply delicadeza.
Jun Pe’s hidden once hidden plan was to run in the south district. In my previous column, I already cited the provision of the Local Government Code that he would violate once the plan is realized.
What's in being a councilor that Pe won't give up that position? Is it really public service that is driving him to violate the law or is it personal agenda and gain? I heard a lot about Pe, who is Rep. Tomas Osmeña's sidekick. He was nothing before he joined politics. Now he owns farm lands in a mountain barangay and a security agency.
But what probably encouraged him to pursue his plan is because he is being defended by no less than his boss. Had Tomas stopped him from running, I think Jun Pe would not have insisted on it. Tomas, being a legislator, also has no delicadeza. I don't know if he knows the law crafted by his elders in Congress. I think he knows, pero nagpagoryo-goryo lang gyud siya.
In a press conference the other day, Tomas made himself a laughing stock and look stupid. He criticized Team Rama for filing a petition for disqualification against Jun Pe. Why won’t they just let the people decide on Pe's fate, he stressed. He claimed that there is no law above the “will of the people.” Wrong.
Can the “will of the people” correct the law violated by his protege? Osmeña then cited the Aguinaldo doctrine, which is not applicable to Jun Pe's case. Pagkalayo ra sa balaod nga iyang gitandi. I would suggest to the honorable congressman to do research or consult first his lawyers before he opens his mouth on legal matters.
I am not a lawyer but I will lecture Tomas on the Aguinaldo doctrine. This doctrine stemmed from the case of former Cagayan governor Rodolfo Aguinaldo. The Office of the Ombudsman filed criminal and administrative cases against him before the Sandiganbayan. He faced suspension in the administrative aspect.
The case was filed before an election. He managed to get reelected. But still, the anti-graft office insisted on implementing the suspension order. Aguinaldo went to the Supreme Court arguing that he should not be suspended. The High Tribunal supported him.
The Aguinaldo doctrine has been repeatedly upheld by Supreme Court jurisprudence, which moots all administrative cases filed against any public official during his previous term. The central argument of the doctrine is that an erring public official has been forgiven by his constituents as far as his administrative liabilities are concerned That is, if they reelect him.
Mao na siya congressman Tomas. Nakasabot na ka? Puweting layoa sa imong kaso nga gihisgutan kumparar sa kang Jun Pe.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2012.