I CANNOT understand why former governor Lito Coscolluela can simply and flippantly shrug off the graft charge he is facing of before the Sandigan Bayan with the bland statement that he has all the answers to it ready. That the Ombudsman elevated the case to the Sandigan simply means that his answers are insufficient to establish his innocence, which is the reason why the Ombudsman shrugged them off by elevating the graft charges.

But even if he is ready to face the Sandigan Bayan with whatever answers he is keeping up his sleeve, there is a higher court to which he is answerable-the people. Therefore, he should come out with his answers before them rather that keep them to himself as if it were a family heirloom.

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In brief, the former governor stands accused of channeling to himself and his co-accused provincial government funds amounting to P20 million. Dr. Tan’s graftwatch allege that farm implements and medical equipments supposedly bought by that fund were never actually delivered, or if they were, our information was that the repossession by the suppliers of these supplies and equipments were immediately done, as these hardly lodged overnight at the pier. What took a little while longer was the re-delivery of these equipments along a circuitous route to satisfy the curiosity of Graftwatch and their repossession after inspection was conducted.

Is this information correct? Clearly, the Ombudsman who investigated it must have found it to be correct, hence the elevation of the charge.

If it is not, then Gov. Lito must prove that the delivery and acceptance of these agricultural implements and medical equipments were actually as claimed and that these same are presently being used by the recipients.

In other words, it is not enough for Gov. Lito to say that he has all the answers. What he should have done was to have the Ombudsman conduct an ocular inspection of them at the site of delivery and find out for himself if these same were indeed delivered as claimed.

This way, Gov. Lito could have proven the regularity of the purchase and freed himself from the messy prospect of earning a jail term.

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Gov. Lito prides in his reputed integrity. And I believe him. I still do. But this faith in him was somehow shaken by his flippant shrugging off of this graft charge. Does the former governor not realize that this graft charge strikes into the fortress of integrity he had carefully erected around him, and that his failure to explain this charge before his province mates may prove that after all, he too has feet of clay?

I am afraid the immediate effect of his inability to acquit himself before his people would be on his bid to reclaim the governorship. As it is, his candidacy is a long shot. The cards are heavily stacked against him. Quite a number look at his candidacy with dismay and believe it a political suicide. A graft case striking at the heart of the image of incorruptibility he has shrouded himself with would be fatal to his candidacy.

This is why I am surprised why Gov. Lito is keeping his answers to this charge close to his chest.

Or might it be possible that he does not have the answers as the Ombudsman believed, which is why he elevated the charges to the Sandigan Bayan?