Monday, September 10, 2012

Aquino’s trust and confidence on Puno has not wavered, invoking the “ innocent until proven guilty” principle.

We can’t help but compare his leniency with Puno with his hard-heartedness in the cases of Prisco Nilo , the former administrator of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services, and former NBI director Magtanggol Gatdula, both of whom he shamed in public.

In the Aquino administration, there are special people. Rico Puno is obviously is one of them.

After days of deafening silence on the issue of his favorite undersecretary, Rico Puno, in-charge of police matters at the Department of Interior and Local Government, attempting to get hold of the documents in the possession of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, President Aquino finally spoke and revealed that it was upon his orders that Puno did it.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vladivostok, Russia, Aquino disclosed: “Sometime in the early evening (Aug. 18), tumawag sa atin si Secretary Leila de Lima at pinaalalang may mga confidential folders si Secretary Robredo that needed to be secured. I instructed him (Puno) to seal the office of Secretary Robredo to ensure that ‘yung all of these records will be left intact. And that is the extent of the instructions that I gave to him.”

He said his instructions did not include the condo unit of Robredo but he sees nothing wrong with Puno going there with some police officers. “He probably thought there were papers there to secure as well.”

Media has come out with some of the documents on the investigations being conducted by the office of Robredo and one of them was on the planned purchase of assault rifles for the Philippine National Police Special Action Force in the amount of almost P400 million.

Results of the investigation submitted to Robredo ten days before the plane crash showed some questions including overpricing. There was also a comment regarding conflict of interest when Puno traveled to Israel together with retired Police Director Leocadio Santiago, former director of the SAF; Ramiro Lopez III, observer in the Bids and Award Committee of the PNP, National headquarters; and Reynaldo Espenelli, president of R. Espenelli and Co, a proponent in the bidding representing the Israeli Military Industries.

Puno and company’s trip to Israel via Dubai was sponsored by the Israeli arms supplier.

Since the purpose of the sealing the Robredo’s office was to secure the documents on the probes he was conducting, why would Puno, who was a subject of the investigation, be the one to secure it?

Aquino said there are two DILG undersecretaries. One, Austere Panadero, is in-charge of local governments and Puno, who takes charge of the PNP. ““It was logical that Puno handle it since …was in charge of police matters,” he said.

The logic is brilliant in its simplicity.
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