by N Mark Castro
Police General Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan was appointed as a candidate for the National Police Chief by President Jokowi, a decision many feel to be influenced by Megawati, chief patron of the president’s political party, PDI-P. Budi is known to be close to Megawati, having served as her security aide during her presidency from 2001 to 2004.
According to this report:
The suspicion was first flagged by the government’s anti-money-laundering watchdog, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, or PPATK, in 2010. The KPK also reportedly issued a red flag against Budi when President Joko Widodo mulled recruiting him as a member of his cabinet prior to his announcement of the cabinet lineup in late October last year.
It was only early this month, however, that the KPK decided to name Budi a suspect, alarmed by the president’s nomination of him as the sole candidate for National Police chief.
Soon thereafter,KPK deputy chief, Bambang Widjojanto was arrested “in connection with a refiled perjury complaint dating back to 2010. That case had been dropped by the police after the Constitutional Court ruled on the regional election dispute at the center of the case, but was recently refiled by Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Sugianto Sabran.
Then comes now the arrest of deputy chief of the commission Adnan Pandu Praja over yet again a refiled case.
What is worth noting is that all directors of the antigraft body KPK are vetted by the House of Representatives, with the issues mentioned already receiving its clarification. So it is quite perplexing that the same House Member would refile a case that had already been cleared both by the Courts and his own parliament.
HISTORY OF KPK-POLICE CLASHES
In 2009 the police likewise arrested KPK leaders Bibit Samad Rianto and Chandra Martha Hamzah over cases that were never proven.
President Yudhoyono used his executive powers to prevent the two from facing trial and were eventually reinstated at the KPK.
That was the first time that the public sided with the integrity of KPK while the police institution, unfortunately, continued to vie for the topmost position of being the most corrupt, as reported by The Jakarta Post.
In 2012 another clash occurred when KPK declared Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo a suspect in a bribery and money laundering case during his tenure as chief of the National Police’s Traffic Corps.
The KPK’s investigators were confronted and held by the police when they tried to raid the traffic corps’ offices for evidence. In retaliation, dozens of police officers surrounded KPK headquarters in a failed attempt to arrest Novel Baswedan, the commission’s chief investigator in Djoko Susilo’s case.
The problem with nuisance investigations and lawsuits is that it prevents the KPK from performing its core duty — to go after the corrupt officials. What is needed is that during their tenure they are immune from such petty lawsuits. After all, they are vetted by the House of Representatives.
If, however, during their tenure they are perceived to participate in illegal acts, then impeach them. At least it would be a legal process based on evidence. By making it too difficult for the police to initiate their investigation via impeachment, they would actually do “real investigative work” instead of just rehashing some issues 4 years later.
It’s the privilege we afford several key government officials so that they are not disrupted from their own work and core objectives. We should extend the same to the only remaining institution that has stood fast in going after the corrupt while maintaining aboveboard conduct from within.
Failure to do so would perpetuate this sinetron that none of us would really like to watch.