The appointment of former colonel Allen Capuyan as the executive director of the national secretariat for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict sends the wrong signal to Filipinos, especially if his involvement in the P6.4 million illegal drugs smuggling controversy hasn’t been fully investigated and declared closed.

Wala na po bang pwedeng ilagay sa pwesto na beyond reproach? Yung walang bahid ng kontrobersiya? If we start appointing people with questionable track records to public offices, we go against the very fiber of good governance. 

Besides, many question this appointment. It gives the impression that instead of being subjected to an independent and exhaustive criminal and administrative probe, Capuyan is being rewarded. Instead of clearing his name before giving him a very crucial role in public service, why are we giving him free rein to operate under questionable circumstances?

Public office is a public trust: this is enshrined in our Constitution. If there is any cloud of doubt on his ability to serve the people, then delay appointment or put someone with unquestionable integrity to the post.

Itigil na po natin ang ganitong panuntunan sa gobyerno. We must not make it public policy to appoint these kinds of personalities to public service. In the same breath, we must not allow plunderers to hold high offices. I appeal to the people not to vote for those who stole from the country’s coffers, many of whom are now free under this administration.

Maraming mabubuti at matutuwid na tao ang nae-etsapwera sa panunungkulan sa gobyerno, at ang hinahayaang mamuno ay yung mga walang integridad at sinungaling dahil hindi daw kailangan ang katapatan pag naglilingkod sa bayan.

Let us change this culture before it eats us as a nation, before our children follow in our footsteps and blur the line between what is wrong and what is right.

Samira Gutoc, an Otso Diretso senatorial candidate, champions peace. She was recognized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as Filipino of the Year in 2017 and by the Junior Chamber International as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).