There is an invitation for former DILG USec. Rico Puno to attend a Senate hearing to be conducted by Sen. Miriam Santiago. Despite the earlier fears by Santiago that the hearing might be sabotaged due to non-conformity of the attendance of fellow senators and Puno, himself, it seems that as of press time, the probe will continue.
Most of the people invited to attend the hearing have confirmed attendance. At least one senator, of the 11 invited, said he will attend. Yet some of the key people who could shed light to the many questions Santiago promises will be answered have opted not to attend and wondered about the entire brouhaha of the situation.
Puno’s daughter has expressed her sentiments. About how her father chose to remain silent – a dignified silence – despite the many allegations and speculations surrounding his government service. She said all her father wanted to do was carry out the task that the President has entrusted him with. He is there only to serve – nothing more, nothing less. His lifestyle has been the same as when before he entered government service. He choose to simply brush off the intrigues surrounding him instead of defending himself – something that has prompted his daughter to speak up on his defense.
Yet I wonder. Do public servants really have the luxury of dignified silence when their service to the public is in question? When their actions are subject to speculations and intrigue, do they have the right to remain silent? Or, as servants concerned about the welfare of the public, isn’t it their duty to speak out and clarify the issues surrounding them? After all, remaining silent will merely increase public mistrust of such individual.
I believe when one enters public service, part of his duty is to constantly assure the public that their trust in him is not misplaced. That the public can trust him no matter what. This is greatly true especially if that public servant has been elected by the people. If he has been appointed by the person the public elected into office, then all the more should he protect his public image because whatever he does is a reflection of the prudence of the official who appointed him.
Hence, to my opinion, Puno should speak up and end his “dignified silence” which at this point in time, has no place anywhere and is totally uncalled for.