EDITORIAL - To reveal or not to reveal

EDITORIAL - To reveal or not to reveal

(The Freeman) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

There is now a call to reveal the names of congressmen allegedly linked to corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways.

It all began after the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said they have submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the names of several congressmen who were tagged in anomalies in public works projects. The PACC further said they have already validated the information they submitted.

“To be fair to Congress, the PACC should name the ‘less than 12’ legislators allegedly involved in corruption activities alongside DPWH officials. More importantly, evidence must be presented and cases must be filed... This is not healthy for Congress as an institution. Mahirap pag puro chismis lang. The PACC should walk the talk,” House justice committee vice chairman Alfredo Garbin Jr. was quoted as saying in a report in Philstar.com.

As of this writing the names have not been revealed yet, although this may yet change by the time this editorial sees print.

Some will say yes, why not reveal that list of congressmen? After all, the government several times published a matrix of drug personalities without really being 100% sure about it. They will also point out to the plan to publish the names of so-called terrorists so these individuals or groups can clear themselves of being tagged as such.

So if these can be done to others, why not to congressmen also? What makes them so special? Why not also publish their names so they can be coerced into clearing their names like the ordinary people have to?

Of course, we know that doing so would be highly irregular and outside of due process. If the names came out, the reputations of the congressmen would be besmirched, no matter if the information gathered by the PACC is reliable or not.

Perhaps now some people will see the folly of publishing the names of those merely suspected of being terrorists, or those merely being suspected of involvement in drugs.

By all means, take them to court if you have enough evidence to do so. Otherwise, do not submit them to a trial by publicity.

DPWH
Philstar
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