The Filipino nation is very much aware that Rep. Gloria Arroyo has been charged under the Anti-Plunder Law for allegedly misusing PCSO intelligence funds. But what the entire Filipino nation does not know is that Deputy Special Prosecutor Corenelio Somido and members of the panel of investigators, which was formed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, dismissed that plunder case for lack of evidence. The only offense found by the Somido panel was a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, particularly “undue benefit to the parties”—a bailable offense.
I wonder why the Somido resolution was never made known to the public when in fact its release would have been a form of compliance with the present administration’s call for government transparency. Was it withheld from the public because there is a cloud of doubt as to the allegation that Arroyo and her coaccused committed plunder?
The Ombudsman was not happy with that dismissal of the plunder charges. Not only did she withhold the release of such resolution dismissing the charges, she also immediately ordered a review of the Somido resolution through another panel of investigators. After the immediate review, the Ombudsman seemed satisfied because the dismissal was reversed—an outcome favorable to those who seem to have an obsession with the prosecution of Arroyo.
If the Somido resolution remains hidden, Filipinos would not know that in the initial investigation on these plunder charges, not enough evidence was found to show that the accused squandered the intelligence funds. It is as if we, the Filipino people, are made to believe only the things that those in power would want us to believe.
With this secrecy and suppression of material information, there is doubt not only as to the guilt of the personalities charged with plunder. In fact, there is more reason for us now to doubt the commitment of incumbent administration officials to their pledge of honesty and transparency.