DEAR EDITOR – Grateful for a space in which to share my opinion regarding the Leadership Code Commission’s (LCC) imposition of a $4000 penalty on the former Prime Minister Danny Philip for misconduct in office.
There have been a few including Alfred Sasako, our outspoken journalist and a citizen (who spent most of his time outside) have expressed a degree of unfairness by the LLC regarding the disposing of the case, relating to the sale of a government quarter at Tandai Highway to the member for West Honiara Constituency Namson Tran.
The disagreement came about because the LCC has cleared the Commissioner of Lands (COL) and MP for West Honiara, from the hook as it were.
From my layman’s point of view, no one should be unnecessarily victimised, without sufficient evidence to make a case.
I am sure there were evidence laid against the COL and Hon. Tran, but perhaps not convincing enough or the COL who is the custodian of all government lands and perhaps properties as well, may have been acting in accordance with directives from those in authority over him and hence he had to submit accordingly as a public servant .
When you are acting on someone else’s directives or instructions, you will certainly be considered as the perpetrator but in reality you are only doing what those in authority have requested or demand of you to do.
Regarding Hon. Tran, I would see it as a business transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller.
I too had an interest on that property but because I was late in my dealings I lost out, so what!
On that understanding and according to my layman’s view, I think this must have been the situation.
The COL and the Hon. MP, could have been subjected to political influence then, and the LCC being guided by an Act of Parliament must have decided independently, using the act and the national constitution’s relevant provision (s) in arriving at the decision to impose the penalty of $4,000 on Danny Philip.
Yes, the LCC as I know from the public media has invited Hon. Danny Philip to appeal against the sentence invoking his right under our National Constitution and the LCC Act.
My understanding therefore, is that the LCC is very genuine in its deliberations, to accord the right of appeal to the Hon. Danny Philip because the Act says so.
The ball is now in Hon. Danny’s court to tell his side of the story by way of an appeal.
Those sympathisers may became party to the appeal if they so wish but what could they say when they just like me, knowing nothing about the basis on which the LCC made its ruling to clear the COL and Hon. Danny Philip?
Another issue raised was that because LCC comes under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the decision made must have been politically motivated or influenced.
As a law abiding citizen myself, I do not support that suggestion.
It is like saying that because the judicial system of the country is under the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, any decisions made by the judiciary is subject to the influence of the minister responsible.
That is not the case and totally wrong.
If PMO is to interfere, then why create the LCC?
The Hon. Leader of Opposition stated in the media that the decision to free the COL and Hon. Tran and to convict Hon. Philip would seem to have been influenced by the PM.
Let me just ask one question: “Hon. Leader of Opposition, when you were the Prime Minister in the past, did you use your influence in such situations?”
You yourself must have done such a thing, thus making you to suggest that the present PM may have stepped into the same footstep, by the look of the things?
That was your suggestion, not mine and being a onetime prime minister, I expect something better than that.
To pen off, I just wish to say that what I am saying is my own opinion and I am doing so in my own right under our National Constitution.
Hence, so as the rest who have all ready expressed their pros and cons on this issue in the papers so far.
All that is left now is for the Hon. Danny Philip to make his appeal to the LCC if is yet to do so, otherwise the answer is now in his hands.
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