IN Japan, public officials, whether elected or appointed, will immediately resign once they are involved in a scandal, especially if it involves graft and corruption. Some even commit “hara kiri” (suicide) because of the shame.
Committing suicide is an honorable act for the Japanese. It is part of their culture, their high code of conduct, moral and ethical standard. But here in the Philippines, we have a different culture. I’m not suggesting they commit “hara kiri.” But the culture of some in government is more of “kapalan ng mukha.”
Some officials accused of being involved in scandal and graft and corruption cling to their position. If they are elected, these officials will always claim that they have the mandate of the people so “why should they resign?” If they are appointed, they will wait for the appointing authority to fire them or tell them to resign. They even challenge the accuser to file charges in court and wait for the court to decide, before resigning.
If we were in Japan or if we were Japanese, I think Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Caindec would have already tendered his resignation. But since we are Filipinos in the Philippines, he is clinging to his position. Where is his delicadeza?
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque accused Caindec of extorting money from motorcycle distributors. Roque said the alleged extortion activities of Caindec were in connection with the processing of certificate of registration of vehicles. “I have affidavits to prove that Caindec has been extorting money from motorcycles distributors and this is a matter of public documents already. Nang hindi po pumayag na mas mataas yong kikil na ibibigay sa kanya, saka po siya nagkaroon ng kung anu-anong hadlang,” Roque told Palace reporters.
Roque said he already raised the matter to LTO Chief Edgar Galvante, which prompted the agency to allow vehicle owners to process the registration outside of Cebu. “Zero corruption ang Presidente and huwag kang magkamali na gawin iyong mga ginawa ng ibang mga opisyal na hindi daw ako nagsasalita sa ngalan ng Presidente pagdating sa kurapsiyon. Tingnan po natin, I will bring the matter up now to the top leadership,” Roque said.
But Caindec dismissed the allegation of corruption as a smear campaign. He said: “So, ang akong pangutana, we are the only LTO region investigating a dealership. Well, at least in my opinion, I refused a bribe offer, which led to this extensive investigation. So, kung kami ray ga-investigate, kami ra diay ang corrupt?”
It is public knowledge that LTO is one of the graft-ridden agencies. Despite Caindec projecting himself as incorruptible, the office is still the subject of corruption allegations. Caindec should expose those who attempted to bribe him.
If we recall, I took the cudgels for someone who refused to file a complaint after raising allegations to media against Caindec. I asked the Ombudsman to conduct a lifestyle check on Caindec. I also sent the same letter-request to Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica and President Duterte himself which the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) acknowledged having received a copy. I am still waiting for the result. But, in view of Roque’s allegation, if Caindec has delizadeza, he should resign.