Vice President Jejomar Binay, who recently resigned from President Aquino’s cabinet of top executive officials, has not been attending Senate hearings regarding corruption charges against him. He contends that he is experiencing political persecution and selective justice, reminiscent of cries of foul play by Senators Revilla, Estrada, and Enrile, who are currently facing formal and official corruption charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Binay has also been telling everyone that the charges against him were prepared by Malacañang to sabotage his presidential bid in 2016. Certainly, he feels that he is the victim in all these circumstances. Unfortunately, this has not helped in his intended bid for the presidency. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Binay fell to second place from 29 percent to 22 percent support from Filipinos. Sen. Grace Poe ranked first with 30 percent.
To be fair, this reluctance to face justice is not exclusive to Binay. We are all averse to confrontation. However, public officials, those who offer themselves out to the public to be voted upon for government office, must be willing to subject themselves to a higher level of scrutiny in order to ensure that the office is being run well, that resources given by the people are spent honestly and wisely, and that there is transparency and accountability in governance.
This watchdog role is primarily carried out by media. And this unique dance between government and media must be carried out not just at the national level, but also in the local and regional. And, dare it be said, more importantly, at the university level.
Make no mistake: the Weekly Sillimanian is a watchdog for truth, an uncompromising beacon for student journalism for 112 long years, longer than most print media out there. Its heritage is quite certain.
By: Andrea Lim, EIC