Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The ex-General is back face the music (From Russia with Love,,or with Euro?), from the National Police Commission to the Ombudsman to the Senate to the Philippine media hot on his trail since the time he arrived at the Manila airport on October 21, 2008, returning home from Russia where he and his wife were held before departure for non-declaration of a huge amount of excess Euros (millions of Philippine pesos in conversion) (see previous post). Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Comptroller, retired general Eliseo dela Paz is the man of the moment, the scorching Philippine weather failing in comparison to the hotness of the seat he now occupies. There are early accusations of corruption, of a botched money-laundering scheme, with the former General in danger of losing his still-to-be-released retirement pay while also facing the possibility of spending the rest of his retirement years in jail. Or so say his accusers. Tomorrow he faces the Philippine Senate's investigation, with the feisty Senator Miriam D. Santiago leading the pack of senators hungry for information, for answers to questions long held back by the General's prolonged stay in Russian territory. Now, the Senator, head of the Senate's foreign relations committee, is not known for mincing words and questions against corrupt government personnel. But she is also known for knowing how to give it, to play it up when the news camera is focused on her. Here's hoping she will not use the investigation only as a stage for her sometimes seemingly theatrical acts. Here's hoping the investigation will be worth the taxpayers' money. And that it will lead to strengthened laws that will help the Philippines be a better country. It is, after all, an investigation in aid of legislation, as Senate investigations are premised to be. The General said upon his arrival in Manila that in all his years of service in the force, he had been a committed official. And what happened in Russia was a "lapse" on his part. I wish him luck that in the many investigations he will have to face in the following days, he will be acquitted if he really wasn't into doing some hanky-panky.

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