Friday, November 18, 2005


Yesterday, 17 November 2005, The Philippine Star reported that former Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman apologized to the Filipino people for "betraying the public trust". According to the Star,
"Soliman, who took the witness stand in the fourth session of the Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) at the University of Makati, made the disclosure as she also publicly apologized for 'betraying public trust' during her stint in government service under the Arroyo administration."
And how did she betray the public trust?
"Soliman revealed that the DSWD generated the names of indigent families who should become recipients of the PhilHealth cards, which were distributed in areas where support for Mrs. Arroyo was perceived as "weak" and the rival candidate was considered "strong."
She did this because of he fear that "another actor would become president".

Now, I would not want to argue with Ms. Juliano-Soliman's feelings. This is how she feels, and she has a right to it. But I would argue that she need not apologize for her actions. She did nothing wrong. If she really wants to apologize, then she should apologize for her "lapse in judgement" in supporting President Arroyo. She should not apologize for helping her chosen candidate to win.

A friend and I had this conversation a few weeks after the elections. The opposition then were already trumpeting Mrs. Arroyo's strategy of distributing PhilHealth cards, and other goodies to people, basically using her office to enhance her chances of being elected. I argued that she did not do anything illegal, she was doing her functions as President, and distributing PhilHealth cards so some of our countrymen will have the benefit of health insurance is part of her job as President. It just so happened that it was done close to the time of elections. :)

She was the incumbent President, all incumbents use their offices to help their re-election. The opposition knew what they were up against and they still concluded that they could win against her, they had no cause to complain. Unless thay can garner more votes by complaining. :)

My friend countered that she may not have done anything illegal, but it was certainly unethical. I disagree, using your assets to win elections is part of the game of democracy. Actors, like Senator Lito Lapid, use their popularity to win, some people, like Senators Pangilinan and Recto won partially because of their wives, Senator Madrigal won partly because of Judy Ann Santos. You use your strengths, that's the way to win elections.

And that is how we support our candidates. We do what we can so they can win because we believe that they are the best person to lead our country, and we should not apologize for doing that.

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