Local Execs: Senate Probe should lead to Proper Accountability
Lipa City, Batangas - "I'm happy that the Senate investigation on the fertilizer scam has pushed thru after several years of waiting but I believe that the probe shouldn't end with the hearings but with the proper filing of charges to those that will be found guilty during the course of the investigation." This was the answer of multi-awarded Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City to a question asked by a university student leader about the on-going fertilizer scam hearings in one of the open forums at Kaya Natin's Caravan of Good Governance held last Friday at the De La Salle University campuses in Dasmarinas, Cavite and Batangas. Kaya Natin! is a national movement for good governance initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government and is led by local government leaders such as Robredo, Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela, Gov. Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga, Gov. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. of Ifugao and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Robredo further added that he fears that the on-going Senate hearings may just go the route of the previous Senate hearings such as the NBN-ZTE deal wherein there has been no government official who has been held accountable for these anomalous dealings. For her part, Gov. Padaca reiterated the need for Filipinos to be able to elect effective and ethical servant leaders in the upcoming 2010 National Elections and at the same time, for young people to actively be involved in safeguarding the sanctity of the election process by volunteering for election watch groups such as NAMFREL and PPCRV. "We cannot afford to elect government leaders that will just serve the selfish interests of a few and turn a blind eye to the plight of the millions of Filipinos who continue to live in poverty" added Gov. Padaca. Mayor Lorenzo, who comes from Nueva Ecija, considered to be the rice capital of the country, lamented that the fertilizer scam has shown how insensitive many government officials are to the plight of our farmers. According to Mayor Lorenzo, "This controversy is very close to my heart since while I regularly see that our farmers continue to subsist on very meager resources, one of the most important resource in their livelihood which is fertilizers is being used as a money-making venture by a few." Mayor Lorenzo echoed Mayor Robredo's sentiment that the fertilizer scam investigations shouldn't simply be for show but it should be able to hold the guilty parties accountable for their actions.