2012 was a simpler time. It was the year of the London Olympics, the year former US President Obama won his second term, and it was the year many groups and cultures prophesied to be the end of the world (Dec. 21, 2012). Unfortunately, it was also a year in which Chinese fishermen allegedly harvested endangered species and used cyanide in Carborough Shaol, Ayunging Shoal, and Panganiban Reef. Similar incidents also occurred in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
What else do all these years have in common?
They were under the Aquino administration, which ended in 2016. However, for some strange reason, Chel Diokno seems to think the Duterte government should be held liable for these incidents. As a refresher, in 2012 President Duterte was the vice mayor of Davao City and in 2013 and 2014, he was the mayor of the same. He was no where near a national position yet for some reason he and his Cabinet are being held liable by Diokno for things than happened over half a decade ago.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza asked during oral arguments why Diokno and the Palawan fishermen he represented did not demand justice from the Aquino administration officials who were incumbent when the incidents they referred to occurred.
Diokno’s strange response is that since the previous officials are no longer in office, the incumbent officials of the Duterte Cabinet were “sued in the public capacity as heads of the respective agencies.”
“The omission or violations that were committed as alleged in the petition should have been the subject of some sort of action at the very least by the government — if not by the past administration then by those who succeeded them,” Diokno said.
It should be noted that Diokno is not filing a case against the Aquino administration as well. Just the Duterte government.
However, the Aquino cabinet has been sued many times before after they left office over the many mistakes they made during their tenure. Just some quick examples, the DOTr sued former cabinet members for plunder over the MRT-3 mess and former President Aquino and his Budget secretary Florencio Abad were sued by several groups for charges of graft, technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers and grave misconduct over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
It’s honestly pretty sad and pathetic that Diokno has nothing else to do than to try and pin the responsibility of this on President Duterte. What we’d be more interested in that this tired story is an explanation of the time machine he’s using to try and twist the facts and make up some story which places the blame on the current administration.