Where is this going?

When the security chief, Godfrey Scicluna, was involved in running over an old man and not immediately prosecuted, there was no reaction from the commissioner or the political class when he resigned.

Cartoon by Mark Scicluna
Cartoon by Mark Scicluna

The decision by the Nationalist party in opposition to focus on the workings of the home affairs minister and then to zoom in on his chief of staff is understandable.

The opposition is, after all, there to monitor the workings of the government.

That our government and its institutions are constantly monitored is important, for the sake of transparency and accountability.

That the chief of staff of the home affairs minister has put himself in a difficult situation is also rather obvious. Surely to take more of a back-burner approach would have led to little or no fuss from the PN.

But seen from the outside and with all the evidence in our hands, what is happening here seems to be a repeat of the events that led to the press conferences in the post-fuel procurement saga.

Then the PN had actively launched a focused attack on then-Labour candidate Manuel Mallia (a former Nationalist), who was at one point remotely involved with one of the companies that was at loggerheads with the notorious oil broker George Farrugia.

In all cases, the aim of the PN was to shoot the messenger and not the message.

Instead of 'confronting' the oil scandal, the PN attempted to deviate public attention.

The same approach was applied by the PN to Toni Abela, the deputy leader of the Labour party, with the blokka silġ episode.

In both cases, the central story - that is, of kickbacks for oil or drug trafficking - was tossed around as if it was Labour that was fomenting it.

But it was essentially not true: the two political figures exited this saga, hardly bruised from the whole event. Surely Manuel Mallia and Toni Abela have realised that they have to be more transparent and open about their work.

In the Daryl Luke Borg affair, the police did not try and conceal the fact that the wrong man was accused of a hold up. They also took some remedial action - sort of.

Jason Azzopardi as the opposition spokesman for Home Affairs is contesting the fact that Silvio Scerri as chief of staff contacted Daryl Luke Borg by using the services of Charles iz-Zambi - a convicted criminal who was involved in the attempted murder of Richard Cachia Caruana.

Silvio Scerri denies that he used iz-Zambi to make contact with Daryl Luke Borg and insists that he was approached and that he simply called on Borg to give testimony to the police board, presided over by Justice Anton Depasquale.

The war of words continues, with Jason Azzopardi now saying that the police commissioner breached data retention rules when he accessed call logs belonging to Darryl Luke Borg.

The plot thickens, and what is clear is that Jason Azzopardi is on a mission to dismantle the credibility of the home affairs minister, his chief of staff and the police commissioner.

That is clear - but beyond that, what is the PN proposing?

Under the Nationalist administration, we were still very much facing a situation where the police force was structured as it is today. Surely, in some things it was in a far worse situation.

When the Kordin correctional facility was faced with serious accusations and incidents of drug abuse, no one resigned, neither the director, nor the home affairs minister.

When criminal cases were botched because of poor police prosecution, no one took responsibility.

When police officers were involved in serious crimes, neither the police commissioner nor the home affairs minister resigned or considered resigning.

When the security chief, Godfrey Scicluna, was involved in running over an old man and not immediately prosecuted, there was no reaction from the commissioner or the political class when he resigned.

There is also some evidence to show that the security service in the previous administration was not fully trustworthy.

The failure of the previous administration to set standards and to uphold good governance and transparency does not excuse the present administration from doing the job right.

It does mean that the police force should be an exemplary one that people look up to. The very fact that one police officer, Elton Taliana - who seems to have been one of the central figures in this botched arraignment - was being investigated for a plethora of reasons goes to prove to what extent the whole matter had deteriorated.

More so when nothing was done about it and the man himself was promoted to inspector, as well as serving as security to a former home affairs minister.

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