Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No Peace for de la Paz

I feel kind of sorry for PNP comptroller Eliseo de la Paz. More than a month ago he was set to retire and lead a private life. But days before his retirement, this Russia incident exploded in his face, blowing his credibility up with it. Worse, he might be held liable for administrative and criminal charges.

The presumption of innocence is still on his side. However, there are just some things working against his favor.

He was a comptroller - a person who supervises accounting and financial reporting within an organization. In other words, he was a person who handled PNP money. He was held by Russian authorities in Russia because he was caught carrying oodles of money. The oodles of money - P6.9 million to be exact - were apparently not disclosed to both Russian and Philippine customs. As to why de la Paz was carrying so much money - or where he got it from - is not yet clear. The numerous versions of what transpired doesn't help de la Paz's cause, either.

So yes, de la Paz is still presumed innocent until proven guilty. But he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. He thus has a lot of explaining to do, and a mere "I am sorry, I had a lapse" will just not cut it.

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