Resign but not surrender
In other countries like the US where officials resign due to public pressure or in Japan where elected officials or even company officials perform hara kiri or suicide after being publicly disgraced, the resignation of now former Aloguinsan mayor Augustus Caesar Moreno effective yesterday still comes as a surprise.
Here in the Philippines, any elected or appointed public official will usually contest their dismissal from service by seeking refuge in the courts.
The turtle-like pace of the proceedings will only ensure that they get to finish their full terms. Or at least they can last until their benefactor steps down from office.
The strategy among public officials charged with corruption and other cases is to grind it out and take their chances in the country’s legal system rather than resort to hiding, such as in the case of Moreno’s wife, former mayor Cynthia Moreno, who has yet to surrender to police despite attending the recent wedding of her daughter.
Still, Moreno doesn’t have to sweat when he chose to resign since his son, Vice Mayor Ignatius Moreno, was ready to replace him in his post.
As far as Aloguinsan’s political landscape is concerned, it’s all in their family, so to speak, and we highly doubt the younger Moreno would order the police to hunt down his mother and compel her to surrender.
In resigning from his post, Moreno said he doesn’t want his constituents to suffer from a breakdown in services, the same reason that politicians usually cite as an excuse whenever public calls for them to resign begin to ring loud and clear.
Never mind if the existing bureaucracy can continue to ensure the delivery of social services to Aloguinsan residents on the directive of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and there is a clear line of succession in the hierarchy of elected officials as stipulated in the Local Government Code.
The graft case filed against the Morenos dated several years back, and as mentioned above, they chose to grind it out in the courts rather than resign immediately.
For all intents and purposes, it was the practical thing to do for them and other families who’ve spent their lives in public office.
Their mantra is: Never yield your post even in the face of a multitude of charges filed against you lest your political rivals wrest control from you and your chosen successors, i.e, your family.
Just ask the political families in Cebu who’ve survived well into the 21st century even if they insist on their old, tired line that the charges against them were “politically motivated.”
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