The Movement for Good Governance
Telephone No.: 898-2913; Telefax: 898-2617E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org; Website:http://mggphilippines.com
April 20, 2012Dear Mr. President,We are deeply disappointed in your decision not to re-appoint Augusto (Gus) Lagman as a Commissionerin the Comelec, and would like to add our voices to the clamor for you to reconsider that decision.Mr. President, the explanation by Sec. Ricky Carandang as to the basis for your decision does not makesense – to spare Gus the humiliation of a rejection by the Commission on Appointments.That suggests that there are valid grounds for rejecting which he would not want to make public. Yetwhat we get from Sec. Carandang’s statement is that there were feelers from some members of theHouse that Gus would be rejected by the Commission on Appointments without mentioning on whatgrounds. The only hint was a euphemistic reference by Sec. Carandang to a “difference of opinion”between Gus and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile with respect to the 1987 senatorial elections.We assume that when you appointed Gus, you did a thorough background check on his integrity andcompetence and that he passed both tests. Gus was endorsed overwhelmingly by the IT community, bypeople who worked as volunteers in election watchdog organizations the past 28 years, by the businesscommunity, church groups, etc. because he was well-known in all those circles as an indefatigablevolunteer who was at the center of citizen parallel count operations.Gus has served our country well. He should be allowed to defend himself publicly from any accusationon his integrity and competence and the President should be the first to uphold that right by re-appointing him and sending out the message to his allies in the Congress that they better have validgrounds to reject him.Does not “daan na matuwid” also mean that those who are willing to serve the government and havethe integrity and competence to do so should be protected from the dirt of politics or the whims of politicians that cannot stand critical public scrutiny? Instead, Gus was unceremoniously set aside even if he was willing to be subjected to the harshest of possible treatment by the Commission of Appointments because he was confident that he could answer the accusations before the public. Arenot people like him worthy of presidential support? Isn’t this a good opportunity to test the efficacy of the system of confirmation which is supposed not only to safeguard the public interest from unworthynominees but is also designed to lay bare for the public to see whenever the process is used for self-aggrandizement and political blackmail?