Integrity Philippines --------Pinoy Solutions to Corruption

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Pinoy Solutions to Corruption
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Not even people in his circle will be spared in his battle to rid the government of corruption, President Benigno S. Aquino III said...

The Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the plunder case filed against former Laguna governor Teresita Lazaro and 20 other government officials, including Lazaro's son and former provincial administrator Dennis, for lack of evidence.

Former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita is facing a plunder complaint over the alleged anomalous sale of the old Iloilo airport that happened during the term of former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"I was pressured by the President," a newspaper columnist said quoting Romulo Neri who was tasked with evaluating the National Broadband Network project when he headed the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Neri allegedly told Star columnist Jarius Bondoc that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband were involved in pushing for the $329-million NBN deal with a Chinese firm.

Truth commission has box full of evidence of graft under Arroyo...pertaining to at least 10 cases of alleged large-scale graft and corruption

An oversight committee will be created to oversee the utilization of the multibillion-peso budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT)..."to make sure it (P21-billion budget) is supervised and monitored," including the absorptive capacity of the agency implementing the program.

The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) said on Wednesday it had blacklisted Filmal Realty Corp., a sister company of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. Inc. (GA), for allegedly facilitating spurious housing-loan applications. Like GA, Filmal has been removed from the Fund's list of accredited developers, and can no longer deal with Pag-IBIG for the processing and release of housing-loan applications for members. Globe Asiatique was blacklisted by Pag-IBIG more than a week ago.

Budget department working at improving transparency >>> Medhanisms are in place to improve budget transparency under the current administration as a global survey found the country too restrictive of certain information on how public money is allocated and spent.

OFFICER ADMITS ACCEPTING BRIBE: A police officer on Wednesday testified in court that he was paid about $350 by a powerful Muslim clan scion to help carry out the country's worst political massacre. Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon said he received the money from prime suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr. to set up the police checkpoint that stopped the convoy of a rival politician in the southern province of Maguindanao November 23 last year.

SENATOR WANTS FULL ACCOUNTING: Sen. Ralph Recto asked the Energy and Budget departments for a full accounting of the money the government supposedly got from the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project -- the largest natural gas development project in country. "The real status of the Malampaya fund -- including its whereabouts, the disbursements in its name, and the sharing mechanism between the government and its private sector operator -- remains a mystery despite an earlier call for a full disclosure of all its transactions," Recto said.

COMMISSION ON AUDIT Uncovers Huge Perks of Senate Execs >>> Despite launching an all-out probe into the alleged excessive perks and bonuses of board members and top officials of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCC) and government financial institutions (GFIs), the Senate is now the subject of questionable allowances of some of its executives. The Commission on Audit (CoA) is now looking into the alleged huge allowances being received not by the senators, but by some officials of the Senate.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has defended the amount of allowances being received by Senate employees and executives, saying it was normal and justifiable. Enrile, who authorized the alleged excessive allowances, said he adjusted the allowances of the chamber's employees to match their counterparts at the House of Representatives when he first assumed the Senate presidency in 2008. "It's unjust, it's unfair. If one branch of the legislature gets that privilege, I see no reason why I should not extend it to the Senate,"

Palace: Time needed to improve RP image >>> Malacañang yesterday asked for more time for the fledgling Aquino administration to improve the Philippines' ranking in Transparency International's Corruption Index. "We're just four months old. And the fact that we improved in the ranking says something about our determination to promote good governance," presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. Lacierda said government will continue to do its part in promoting good governance, with President Aquino leading by example. "The fact that he is known as a man who is not tainted with corruption speaks for itself and we intend to do that in our ways to promote good governance," he said.

President Benigno Aquino III believes that the Philippines has achieved a momentum in its fight against corruption as the country's ranking in Transparency International's (TI) 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index slightly improved by 5 notches. He said on Wednesday that 5 months into his administration, some corrupt projects or questionable deals have been stopped.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III says he is optimistic his vision for a corruption-free country with a thriving economy could become a reality during his six-year term.

Aquino has time to go after grafters >>> A bachelor President with time in his hands will be the scourge of the bad eggs in government. President Aquino said those who are misleading the Filipino people had better watch out, he has all the time in the world to go after them since he is a bachelor. "There are people with us who are pretenders and cheats. They will be my targets in the coming weeks," Mr. Aquino said in a speech before the Filipino community in Vietnam. "They may think that I don't know what theyre doing. I am a bachelor, which is why I have a lot of free time. I have a lot of time to go after them, and we are going to make an example of them," he said, bringing laughter to the audience.

Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri is set to testify on Wednesday in the graft trial of former Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos in connection with the scrapped US$329 million ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) deal.

The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are calling for the repeal of the Lateral Attrition Law (LAL), Republic Act 9335, that rewards good tax collectors and punishes poor collectors of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), it was learned on Tuesday. In an aide memoire to top finance officials, WB and IMF officials stated that the LAL is not an effective tool in grading the performance of tax collectors as it is anchored solely on individual tax take vis-a-vis collection assignment and their take during the previous year. They added that the LAL follows the quota system which focuses too much on tax collection, destroying in the process voluntary tax compliance on which the country's taxation system is anchored. Records show that the BIR collects roughly 95 percent of its annual take from voluntary compliance and only five percent from tax investigations. The law addresses both low revenue collection performance and graft and corruption in the BIR and BoC through a system of rewards, incentives, and sanctions.

SO YOUNG, SO CORRUPT: Along the dusty streets of one barangay (village) in Pangasinan stand 24 shiny new streetlights. Inscribed on the poles are the words "Project of the Sangguniang Kabataan." The erection of the streetlights cost the youth council P120,000. Twelve percent of the total cost was pocketed by Santino (not his real name), an SK chair, as "reward" from the supplier. Santino describes this as a "standard operation procedure" or "SOP" in the barangay. "Of course the barangay chair knows this. In fact, we even split the money," Santino said. He said the requested budget for the project would not have been released without the approval of the barangay chair who, incidentally, is his uncle.

Sourcing group to launch ethics campaign >>> A supply management group announced on Tuesday that it would roll out a procurement ethics campaign next month in time for the government's scheduled announcement of public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects.

Ethical Procurement Certification Pushed

PALACE PARKS PERKS: Malacañang will continue to implement an order suspending the perks and privileges enjoyed by officials of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs) until the Supreme Court "restrains" it from doing so...

JUDGE MAINTAINS INDEPENDENCE: Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Gabriel Ingles of Branch 58 has opted to waive his stipends from various local government units to maintain judicial independence.

Get back P80m, water agency told >>> The Audit Commission wants the Local Water Utilities Administration to take back the P80 million it advanced to acquire Express Savings Bank Inc. for P480 million, saying the deal is irregular. The state-run water agency was one of the government agencies severely criticized by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III in his State-of-the-Nation Address for the excessive salaries they pay to their officials. Audit Commission documents show that LWUA's million in advance payment for its capital subscription to Express Savings Bank was not supported by any memorandum of agreement or certificates of investment that would protect the water agency.

Bohol joins Transparency International workshop

Broadcaster Threatened In Southern Philippines >>> The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on authorities in the southern Philippines to take immediate action to investigate death threats against Manny Agustero, of dxIF-Bombo Radyo, in Cagayan de Oro. Agustero received four calls on the evening of October 20, after an on-air discussion about alleged illegal gambling operations on October 18, in which he reported that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) had complained to the city council over the alleged proliferation of illegal lottery outlets.

President Benigno Aquino III said he would let the Truth Commission decide whether to probe the alleged involvement of one of his trusted officials, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, in a non-government consortium that supposedly benefited from a government bond flotation in 2001. The Caucus of NGO networks (Code NGO), which Soliman used to head, supposedly earned a P1.4-billion commission from the P10-billion Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificate (PEACe) bonds issued by the government in 2001.

CONSTRUCTION COMPANY to replace riprap; officials may face graft case

LEGAL OFFICER "MOST GUILTY": Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-7 director Benjamin Go yesterday named his chief legal officer is among the "most guilty" persons who participated in the questionable issuance of hundreds of taxi franchises in Metro Cebu

CEBU GOVERNOR & 19 consultants face malversation raps

SEN. GUINGONA BATS FOR A FULL DISCLOSURE OF GOVT'S APPROPRIATION AND EXPENDITURE OF NATIONAL FUNDS: Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III today reiterated his call to reform the current budget system by implementing a policy of full disclosure of the government's transactions most especially on matters pertaining to the appropriation of the national budget and the expenditure of public funds. Guingona, a staunch advocate of transparent, accountable and participatory budget process which started when he was a Congressman of the 2nd district of Bukidnon, stressed that the current budget system has been the source of graft and corruption that was prevalent during the past administration due to the flaws in the budget process. "Our budget system for the past several years is flawed and enables funds to hemorrhage through corrupt and wasteful practices," Guingona added.

Senator seeks transparency in national budget >>> According to the US-based civil society group International Budget Partnership (IBP), the Philippines is one of 74 countries whose budgets failed basic standards of transparency and accountability. "Our budget system, for the past several years, has been flawed and enables funds to hemorrhage through corrupt and wasteful practices..."

Two private respondents in a P73-million tax credit scam plunder case against former Finance Undersecretary Antonio Belicena and several other government officials pressed the Sandiganbayan First Division yesterday to recall the warrants of arrest issued against them.

EX-SOLON TO EXPOSE GRAFT: Former Manila congressman Mark Jimenez is about to make a series of exposés, starting with his testimony in a falsification of documents case against former justice secretary Hernando Perez, his lawyer said yesterday. Accompanied by lawyer Harry Roque, he made a surprise visit at the Sandiganbayan to discuss his testimony with Ombudsman prosecutors for about an hour. "According to him, this will be the beginning of many exposes that he will be providing the nation," Roque said after Jimenez met with government lawyers. "This is the first time that he agreed to give his testimony. His appearance is only the beginning," he added, stressing that the former congressman is planning to expose a lot of anomalies.

SPEAKER: Ombudsman impeachment on hold, for now

SENATOR: BE FAIR - INVESTIGATE BOND CASE >>> The Truth Commission should also investigate Social Welfare Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman for her alleged involvement in a non-government consortium that benefited from a government bond flotation in 2001, Senator Edgardo Angara said

PALACE: No Reason to Probe Soliman

SENATOR: FORGET "TOOTHLESS" SLEUTH: Instead of going with a "toothless" Truth Commission, Senator Edgardo Angara said President Benigno Aquino III should instead make use of existing institutions to prosecute graft and corruption cases. "It's a poor Ombudsman model. (The Ombudsman) has teeth, it has prosecutory power, it has investigative power. The Truth Commission may have investigative and inquiry powers but (it has) no teeth, no claws," Angara said at the weekly Senate forum. Angara, who authored the Ombudsman Law, said that it would not be good for the country to show distrust in existing government institutions like the Sandiganbayan, Office of the Ombudsman, and other similar agencies.

MANILA OFFICIAL DISMISSED: An assistant department head at the Manila City Hall has been dismissed from service because of dishonesty and perjury. The Office of the Ombudsman said Engr. Saturnino Asis Disu, of the department of engineering and public works misdeclared his statement of assets

IMF and U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation Sign First Capacity-Building Partnership Agreement to Help Reform Tax Administration in the Philippines

COA SLAMS PAGCOR OFFICIALS: The Commission on Audit (CoA) has slammed past officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) for allowing three bingo franchisees to get away with some P115 million in income share of the state-owned casino operator. In the 2009 Pagcor annual audit report, CoA also chided the gaming firm for failing to fully allocate mandatory contributions to various programs as provided by law. State auditors said Pagcor should tap the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration to go after two of the franchisees who ran away with P68 million of the state-owned gaming firm's money.

EXECS TO FIGHT CORRUPTION: Business executives in the country are fed up with the prevailing corrupt practices in procurement and supply management and have lined up a series of initiatives aimed at stopping unethical dealings that have cost businesses as much as 50% of their investments here...

UP TO 50% OF PROCUREMENT MAY GO TO CORRUPTION: The cost of corruption may reach as high as 50 percent of the procurement cost of businesses, an industry leader said yesterday. "It's more extreme in certain industries. Government is more susceptible," Charlie P. Villasenor, chairman of the Procurement and Sourcing Institute Asia (PASIA), said.

YOUTHFUL CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS: The national president of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation is facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. Jane Censoria Cajes, ex-officio commissioner of the National Youth Commission (NYC), is accused of engaging in multimillion-peso procurement of goods and services without any public bidding in violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act. The complainants, who like Cajes are from Bohol, also alleged that the youth leader underwent numerous beauty treatments to enhance her looks using the public fund

WESCOM CONDUCTS ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN: Cognizant of its mission to enhance professionalism, promote honesty and integrity in the military service, instill ethical standards and inculcate a strong sense of public accountability among military and civilian personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Office of the Ethical Standard and Public Accountability, AFP (OESPA, AFP) conducted yesterday an information campaign at the headquarters Western Command (WESCOM). This activity hoped to check the corrupt practices in the armed forces. To accomplish this, the OESPA formulated a three-pronged strategy to address the problem of graft and corruption. This strategy advocates values and graft prevention; information campaign being part of the strategy.

SENATOR SAYS TRUTH COMMISSION HAS "IDENTITY CRISIS": A senator believes the Malacañang-created Truth Commission may be having a hard time getting the nod of the Supreme Court on its constitutionality, noting the long time it is taking for the tribunal to rule on the matter. Usually, matters of legality or constitutionality are decided with urgency, Senator Edgardo Angara said. He thinks the Truth Commission, which is tasked to investigate corruption cases committed during the Arroyo administration, was created for the wrong reasons and is having an "identity crisis."... He lamented the creation of the commission also reinforces the public's distrust of an existing institution tasked to battle corruption: the Office of the Ombudsman.

CEBU TELLS OMBUDSMAN TO SPEED UP: Cebu Provincial Board urges Ombudsman-Visayas to speed up investigation into alleged anomalous purchase of Balili property in Tinaan, Naga. The Ombudsman launched a fact-finding investigation into the P98.9 million Capitol transaction based on the requests filed by self-styled graft crusader Crisologo Saavedra and environmental lawyers and media reports that a large portion of the 24.7-hectare property is underwater...The anti-graft body reportedly has completed the investigation long time ago but has not released its findings until now. Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol however said their findings have to be approved by Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

CEBU ANTI-GRAFT SEMINAR SPARSELY ATTENDED: Organizers of a refresher course on anti-graft and corruption were disappointed because a few officials of different government agencies in Cebu City came to participate in the activity. The Transparency International-Philippine Chapter reached just over 60 participants, who, during the seminar-workshop, identified what they believe are effective measures to prevent corruption in their respective offices.

OMBUDSMAN DISMISSES MANILA ENGINEER: The Office of the Ombudsman dismissed from the service and ordered the filing of perjury charges against a ranking official of the city government of Manila for untruthful statements in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN). The anti-graft body found Engineer Saturnino Asis Disu, assistant Department Head III for the locality's Engineering and Public Works Department (DEPW), guilty of dishonesty.

GOVERNMENT WILL CURB SMUGGLING: Despite the counter-charges filed by Pilipinas Shell against officials of the Bureau of Customs, Malacanang said yesterday the Aquino administration is determined to curb smuggling and plug leakages in revenue collection. Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing that not even the move of the giant multinational would deter the government from waging an all-out war against smugglers and tax evaders.

CUSTOMS CHIEF: "AIRTIGHT CASE AGAINST SHELL" >>> Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez expressed confidence yesterday that they have an airtight case on the P24-billion technical smuggling charge they filed against Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC), before the Department of Justice (DOJ)...He said that he expected PSPC to protest but "I said that if based on the documents present it is clear that we have a solid, airtight evidence (against PSPC). I have no choice but to comply. With my audit background, I would not have entered into such (situation) without thoroughly studying (the facts)"...

SENATOR QUESTIONS PAGCOR USE OF FUNDS: Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago called for a Senate inquiry into the use of funds by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to amend the agency's charter and ensure efficiency and transparency...The Commission on Audit (COA) recently questioned Pagcor's purchase of P268-million worth of condominium units, which it deemed unnecessary and unwise.

BUDGET TRANSPARENCY BETTER: The Open Budget Index for 2010 found the Philippines with a rating of 55 out of 100, up from the 48 and 51 in previous years. "Still, the Philippines' score indicates that the government provides the public with only some information on the central government's budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. This makes it challenging for citizens to hold the government accountable for its management of the public's money," the report said.

CHIEF JUSTICE DEFENDS JUDICIAL REVIEW: Speaking during the 49th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Constitution Association the country's top magistrate said judicial review is a power vested on the Supreme Court by the Constitution as the "vanguard of rule of law in our system of government." "When the Supreme Court invokes its power of judicial review, it does not assert its moral or constitutional ascendancy over the other two co-equal branches of government. It only reminds all and sundry of the non-negotiable supremacy of the Constitution"...

BIR CATCHES EX-QUEZON MAYOR: Internal Revenue has filed a complaint against former Quezon City Mayor Brigido Simon Jr. for evading tax examination

SMUGGLING CLOSES CUSTOMS GREEN LANE: The Customs bureau has suspended its green lane for processing shipments following findings that unscrupulous traders are using it to smuggle goods.

MANDALUYONG CONGRATULATED FOR EFFICIENCY REFORMS: An international body has recognized the city government of Mandaluyong for attracting P20 billion in investments through business-registration reforms it has implemented this year. The city was able to reduce the steps for business registration from seven steps to only two, or in just one day from the previous nine days through the Regulatory Simplification project, said the International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. A customer service officer does the paper work, saving businessmen from the hassle of following up their applications. The improved system has resulted in a 10-percent increase in business registrations, from last year...

PLUNDER CASE "FRIVOLOUS": Former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves asked the Department of Justice on Monday to dismiss the plunder case filed against him by self-styled anti-corruption advocate, Danilo Lihaylihay, stemming from the alleged anomalous sale of the old Iloilo airport during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

DBM SUPPORTS TRANSPARENCY: Secretary Florencio B. Abad said that the Department of Budget and Management supports the initiative for budget transparency, stressing that the Aquino government is committed to its promise of transparency, accountability and good governance. "This new government understands very well that prudent and responsible public expenditure management can be best achieved if transparency and accountability are hallmarked in the budget process"...the Department is currently embarking on various initiatives in order to improve transparency, accountability and good governance in the area of public expenditure...including the Reform Budget of 2011 submitted to Congress, the use of new technology available for information management and dissemination, close engagement with civil society organizations throughout the budget process, and other continuing public expenditure reforms...the government is reducing the number of special purpose funds and lump-sum funds, and reforming the way these are being used...the department recently soft-launched a special webpage on the DBM website that discloses information on lump-sum releases made in 2009...the Philippine Government E-Procurement System (PhilGEPS) will be capable of enabling the online bidding of government contracts by the first quarter of next year...DBM is working on are strengthening internal control systems to reduce waste and corruption, improving the predictability of funds and cash releases, improving public expenditure and financial accountability systems, and having a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework...

SMUGGLING CRACKDOWN: Customs seizes smuggled goods worth P40 million...Meanwhile, the Enforcement and Security Service- Port of Manila District Officve apprehended...three Korean-made luxury vehicles worth at least P5 million.

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION LAUDS GOVERNMENT: An international human rights group lauded President Aquino's administration, particularly Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and Bureau of Immigration (BI), for rooting out corruption to fight human trafficking... "the current administration under President Aquino has made rooting out corruption and fighting human trafficking top priorities. To those ends, the administration has taken initial steps to eradicate corruption in its anti-trafficking response, starting with the Bureau of Immigration..."

TRUTH COMMISSION JUST BIDING TIME? >>> The Truth Commission may only be laying the ground work for now - but just in time for after 2012 when there will be a new Ombudsman. The commission, which was created by the Aquino administration to investigate the anomalies during the 9-year term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is just biding its time in order that those who are liable would be rightfully prosecuted.

15 YEAR DELAY COSTS PROSECUTION SUCCESS: The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has dismissed 6 graft charges against 15 Philippine Air Force officers after the Office of the Ombudsman took 15 years to finish the preliminary investigation on the case...the anti-graft court said it was left with no recourse but to dismiss 6 graft charges that also indicted a government auditor and others who represented the supplier-contractors. They were accused of conspiracy to commit fraud after certifying "ghost deliveries" of procured construction materials and supplies worth P89 million for the 5th Fighter Wing, PAF in Basa Airbase, Pampanga. The Court said the Ombudsman violated the constitutional rights of the defendants to due process and to speedy disposition of their case because the preliminary investigation took 15 years to finish. It noted that the complaint against the military officials was filed on December 28, 1994 until the issuance of a resolution dated April 12, 1996. But the case was only filed with the Sandiganbayan on October 6, 2009. "The length of 7 years of review is obviously vexatious and oppressive. Likewise, the length of 15 years to hold the Preliminary Investigation is too long a time to conduct it, considering the circumstances of the case," the Sandiganbayan said. The court said the Ombudsman failed to justify the inordinate delay in the preliminary investigation of the cases. Ombudsman prosecutors had argued that the defendants cannot invoke delay because they failed to assert their rights to speedy resolution of the complaint during its pendency. They said the Ombudsman had to "meticulously and scrupulously" review details and evidence submitted in the complaint.

DELAYED JUSTICE: A former Capitol paymaster was sentenced to suffer a maximum of 20 years imprisonment after she was found guilty of malversation of government funds amounting to more than P1 million 16 years ago. Regional Trial Court Branch 20 Judge Bienvenido Saniel convicted Rebecca delos Reyes yesterday of malversation of public funds after more than a decade trial. Saniel found her guilty of embezzling P1,170,695 government funds in 1994. The amount was part of the P2,027,132 that the provincial government had entrusted to her being a cash disbursing officer.

EQUPMENT KEPT, MALVERSATION CHARGED: A former member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is facing a charge of malversation of public property for his failure to return the hospital equipment issued to him some five years ago. The graft investigation and prosecution officer of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices has filed the case against Maj. Alex Borromeo, now retired and formerly assigned as supply officer of the Camp Lapu-Lapu Station Hospital at the Central Command, Barangay Apas, Cebu City. Borromeo, a resident of Saint Jude Subdivision, Bulacao, Pardo, Cebu City allegedly failed to return, despite demands, hospital supplies worth P91,250 in October 2005.

SENATOR: "DON'T TAP STATE PROSECUTORS FOR TRUTH BODY" >>> Sen. Francis Escudero yesterday cautioned the Truth Commission against tapping the services of state prosecutors in their probe. Escudero said the participation of state prosecutors could be interpreted as prejudging the issues. He said the Truth Commission should just use its budget to hire private lawyers to help them in their investigation. "There may be an issue of prejudgment of the cases if the DOJ (Department of Justice) actively participates in the presentation of evidence before the Truth Commission," Escudero said. "Then later on they would be tasked to file the cases and to determine probable cause (against the accused). It might be unfair to those who will be charged," he added.

FARMERS SAY "BIG LANDLORDS GET BIG PORK": Big landlords in the Philippines will get their own pork barrel amounting to P 4-B in total agrarian reform subsidy courtesy of a party list group supported by the camp of President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III in the last May 2010 elections. Leaders of various farmer groups from Negros Island and Hacienda Luisita sugar estate in Tarlac province said the P 4-B support fund for bridges and infrastructures clinched by Akbayan party list will chiefly benefit the big landlords across the country like the family of President Aquino who still control the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita and the 11 huge land estates in Negros Occidental owned by the President's uncle Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr..."The lands are still in the hands of the landed elite based on the own records of DAR. By design, by orientation and by practical means, the P 4 billion pork barrel fund alloted to fresh agrarian beneficiaries is a misnomer, a wholesale fraud and a triple platinum fund raising campaign for near future high crimes of corruption. It will only benefit the 11 haciendas of Danding in Negros and the President's feudal empire in Hacienda Luisita," the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said.

CONSTITUTION PROHIBITS APPOINTMENT OF AUNT: President Benigno Aquino III will not be appointing his aunt, Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco, to any government position because he is barred by the Constitution from appointing relatives, his spokesman Edwin Lacierda said...

GENDER EQUALITY: POLICEWOMAN charged before regional trial court for allegedly demanding P4,000 for beer and settlement of complaint filed against the complainant.

GRAFT COURT PRESSED TO ARREST FORMER DAVAO MAYOR: State prosecutors have asked the Sandiganbayan to issue a warrant of arrest against former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and five other officials who are accused of illegally demolishing the P2-million canal cover in 2008. The canal cover, a project initiated by former Speaker Prospero Nograles, hampered the cleanup of the canal, thus allowing silt and garbage to accumulate in the waterway, the former mayor said. In memorandum, Assistant Special Prosecutor III Mario Quinit rejected Dterte's argument and said that the city officials destroyed the structure without going through the due process.

SHELL TO SUE "CORRUPT, INCOMPETENT" CUSTOMS EXECS: Taking a combative stance this time, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. on Tuesday said it would file a case against "corrupt and incompetent" Customs officials who misled the Aquino administration into filing a new P24.5-billion tax evasion case against the oil company.

ENERGY DEPT STEERS CLEAR OF SHELL/CUSTOMS TAX ROW: The Department of Energy is taking a step back over the new P24.5-billion tax row between oil giant Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and the Bureau of Customs, stressing that the matter no longer falls under its jurisdiction. Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras explained that since this was a tax issue - specifically, a customs bureau tax claim - the energy department would take a "hands off" stance with the case for now.

PUBLIC WORKS ANNOUNCES NEW TRANSPARENCY PRACTICES: Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) will no longer accept bidding of infrastructure projects. Bidding for infrastructure projects worth more than P50 million will be done in the central office in Manila...Smaller projects will be bid in the engineering district...DPWH-7 regional office wILL focus on data gathering, monitoring and project inspection. To promote transparency, the DPWH will put up tarpaulins to inform the public about their website -- and to encourage people to provide feedback by sending an SMS to 2920 or by accessing the DPWH's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Public complaints and feedback can be made to hotline number 536-3477 and 302-9196... DPWH Secretary has also issued a memorandum prohibiting posting of the name or picture of officials on infrastructure projects of DPWH in line with the thrust of President Aquino.

COA TO PAGCOR: Audit Commission tells Game Corporation Philweb casino deal not fair to government

COA: PAGCOR BOUGHT 66 CONDO UNITS WORTH P 268M >>> COA said that the acquisition by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) of 66 condominium units in Parañaque City worth P267.91 million in 2008, purportedly for its employees, was not only unnecessary but also unwise...Pagcor should either use the units or sell them and stop buying properties that do not help its operations.

PAGCOR BOUGHT PRICEY UNITS, LEFT THEM UNOCCUPIED: Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) bought...pricey condo units which may just end up as casino raffle prizes...the agency initially said that the condos were for its employees, it later told COA that the condos were for "very important guests" for its Parañaque operation...COA found that the units were unoccupied and remained idle after their purchase...COA said that the purchase was unnecessary because Pagcor took out a loan for it and that the money could have been better used for revenue generation or priority projects. It recommended that the condominium units be sold.

SURVEY: INVESTOR CONFIDENCE AT RECORD HIGH >>> "Investors indicate support for President Aquino's campaign platform as 71 percent believe that he should focus on minimizing graft and corruption..."

GRAFT TRIAL NO SHOW: Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos may become as elusive as ever before, even in his own graft case proceedings before the Sandiganbayan. Abalos, who was linked to the mothballed $329-million NBN-ZTE telecommunications deal, executed a waiver of appearance that means he would no longer attend future hearings there. He assured the anti-graft court that he will comply if summoned. He noted, however, that the trial can still proceed in absentia if he fails to heed a subpoena...

COMMISSIONER: "NO WITCH HUNT": A member of the Philippine Truth Commission allayed fears that its proceedings might turn into a witch-hunt against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now a congressional representative of Pampanga. Commissioner Flerida Romero, a retired Supreme Court associate justice, assured Arroyo that she, like all other personalities who might be invited to appear in the commission's hearings, would be "guaranteed due process of law."...We are too steeped in the democratic rules of law to make it a witch-hunt.

ROADBLOCKS TO ACCOUNTABILITY LISTED: FISCAL weakness, loss of public trust and lack of popular support are the three major threats to the civil service that hamper good governance. This was highlighted by former Health Undersecretary Dr. Mario Taguiwalo during the Consultation Workshop on Ethics and Accountability in Government conducted recently by the Civil Service Commission (CSC)..."Regardless of what has happened in the past and what continues to happen now, Filipinos from different sectors of society can do something to strengthen ethical accountability in the civil service..."

AIR FORCE Captain Joenel Pogoy was released on from jail after a two-year detention. Pogoy was jailed after his video detailing irregularities in the Philippine Air Force found its way to YouTube. His video was supposed to have been his scholarly thesis in schooling for promotion within the Air Force...Among the irregularities Pogoy exposed in his thesis are the alleged cannibalizing of airplane parts which are sold outside, the sale of gasoline by pilots, and the lack of concern for the welfare of enlisted personnel.

Sandiganbayan sentences three police officials to maximum of 10 years' imprisonment, orders indemnity to government of P20 million for "ghost purchases" of combat, clothing and other equipment...

TRUTH COMMISSION NOW ACCEPTING CORRUPTION COMPLAINTS >>>>>>>> Primarily will look into cases of large-scale graft and corruption committed by "public officers holding third-level or higher positions and their private sector partners" from 2001 to 2010...Complaints may be sent to the commission's email addresses: and


Philippines' commission says former president implicated in at least 2 corruption cases

Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been implicated in at least two corruption and vote-rigging scandals being investigated as part of her successor's bid to clean government, officials said...Law professor Carlos Medina, a member of the five-member commission set up by President Benigno Aquino III to probe the issue, said the body has an initial list of 23 cases of massive graft and corruption linked to government officials in Arroyo's administration.

Medina said Arroyo would be investigated over allegations she was linked in a bribery scandal involving a $330 million deal with a Chinese telecommunications company that she later aborted after it was decried as overpriced, as well as allegations that she conspired with an election official to commit voter fraud in the 2004 presidential elections...Arroyo has denied any wrongdoing.

Another member of the commission, former Supreme Court Justice Flerida Ruth Romero, said corruption in the Philippines "has reached very alarming levels, and undermined the people's trust and confidence in the government and its institutions." She said the commission's work will "restore the trust and confidence of the people in the government."

Arroyo's allies have filed a petition with the Supreme Court arguing that only Congress can form such a body and that its functions overlap with those of the ombudsman, which investigates and prosecutes complaints against state officials and employees. Romero said the commission for now can only receive complaints but cannot perform other functions. The commission is still awaiting approval of its budget, she said.


They called it a veiled attempt to trifle with the rules of the land to get back at its nemesis, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. "It's like they gave it a gun and they don't care whoever gets hit," said Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who noted that the commission had no budget, its constitutionality was being challenged in the Supreme Court, and that it would only duplicate the review of cases that have been probed to death in Congress. Sen. Joker Arroyo questioned Malacañang's move to create a new body just to go after Arroyo when it would most likely override its findings not to its liking.

"TRUTH" WITNESSES TO BE PROTECTED >>> The chairman of the Truth Commission said the fact-finding body will provide protection to informants and witnesses in large-scale graft and corruption cases that it will investigate.


Retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide has committed to be impartial in the Truth Commission's investigation on corruption scandals during the administration of former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. On Friday, Davide fended off allegations he was indebted to Arroyo, and said there will be no special favors accorded to her in the conduct of the truth body's upcoming probe. "I cannot see any political consideration here. When it comes to public service, you don't really demand much of yourself. Its how you view public service. Its a public trust and therefore, it is a rare and golden opportunity for one to be given that opportunity to serve the country," Davide told reporters after the commission's first press briefing. "My loyalty would always be to the institution, to the people of our country, it is not to the appointing authority," he added. When he was still chief justice, Davide presided over the Senate's impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada.

EX-PRESIDENT "UNFAZED": Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is unfazed at the prospect of being the main target of the Truth Commission's investigation into alleged cases of corruption during her nine-year rule...the body, which is patterned after 17 similar commissions set up in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, has yet to receive any funding from Malacañang more than two months after it was officially created.

MALACANANG: Truth body no more time to waste

PORK SPENT, NO RECALL: Malacañang has failed to recall P16.5 billion in pork barrel funds that then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had released to her congressional allies apparently to boost their candidacy in last May's elections. "We can no longer recall or withdraw the releases. The funds have already been spent," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told The STAR... "The net effect is that we will have a bigger budget deficit this year," he said. Of the 16.5 billion, P10.6 billion was released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), while P3.8 billion was given to local government units (LGUs) as financial subsidy. The balance was made available to certain agencies, including the House of Representatives and the Senate. The huge releases to both the DPWH and LGUs funded the projects and possibly the election campaign of Mrs. Arroyo's congressional allies. Congressmen funnel funds to LGUs in their districts, where they then retrieve the money for their projects, including cash assistance to constituents.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) may run after bank officials who assist tax evaders, including those who extend loans to taxpayers keeping multiple books of accounts, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has said. In a legal opinion, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said officials of banks and other lending or financial institutions who deliberately assist tax evaders in defrauding the government could be held criminally liable under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) or the Tax Reform Act of 1997.

BIR EXEC GUILTY OF DELAYING FRAUD PROBE: For sitting on a tax fraud investigation for three years, a revenue district officer in Mt. Province will be spending a maximum of 13 years in jail. Revenue district officer Peter George Caburao was meted a jail term of six to 13 years for delaying a capital gains tax probe in 1999 when he was still the assistant chief of the Special Investigation Division of the Bureau of the Internal Revenue's regional office here.

Cebu City Medical Center chief told to account for P5M >>> CEBU City councilors yesterday asked CCMC Chief Dr. Myrna Go to account for the P5 million released to the city hospital for dengue response last year, as the mayor sought a listing of all supplies and equipment that private entities donated to the hospital. The requests came as concerns on alleged irregularities at the Cebu City Medical Center were raised

POLICE CORRUPTION AT ITS ROOTS: A month after passing the PNP board exam, a filipina applied for a job as a PNP police officer in Camp Catitipan in Davao City. After waiting for several months, she followed up on her application and spoke with a PNP officer (Sergeant Jerome Santillan) who told her that in order to expedite her hiring for the next enlistment period in January of 2011, she would have to come up with P150,000.

Two police officials in Laguna relieved over jueteng >>> The newly installed police director of Calabarzon has ordered the relief of two police officials for their failure to stamp out jueteng operations in their respective areas of jurisdictions...On his assumption last Oct. 15, Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao directed all provincial directors and chiefs of police and unit commanders to comply with the 100 percent jueteng-free order of Bacalzo. However, a recent raid by the National Bureau of Investigation showed that jueteng operations still persist in San Pablo City, Laguna, where 14 people were arrested and jueteng paraphernalia confiscated. A similar raid previously also resulted to the arrest of 10 people and jueteng paraphernalia in Alaminos, Laguna.

OMBUDSMAN CHARGES 12 WITH LAND FRAUD: Two officials of land agencies and 10 others charged with faking land titles in exchange for money... the NBI found that an official prepared the titles by forging the signatures of deceased persons...

Office of the Ombudsman has loses second criminal case against former officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS), a state-owned pension fund for the military. This was after the Sandiganbayan junked the graft case against four former AFP-RSBS officials concerning the alleged overpricing in the acquisition of residential lots in Tanauan, Batangas in 1997 due to lack of evidence.

HOUSE URGED ANEW: Probe gov't loss in Malampaya project >>> Congress should not let the government get the short end of the stick again in pursuing another project with private companies, according to Mindanao lawmakers who renewed calls for an inquiry into the government's loss of P53 billion in the Malampaya gas project. The Commission on Audit (COA) had earlier found that the corporate income taxes of the service contractors were deducted from the government's 60 percent share of the proceeds from the sale of natural gas and condensates from Malampaya. This had led to government losses amounting to P53.14 billion between 2003 and 2009 and effectively relieved the contractors from the task of paying income taxes, the COA added.

SUPREME COURT GETS TOUGH ON CORRUOPTION: In a bid to show its resolve to stem corruption in the judiciary, the Supreme Court has ordered the dismissal from service of a clerk of court in Bulacan for his failure to remit close to P800,000 in court funds from 2002 to 2004.

COURT AFFIRMS CUSTOMS COLLUSION SUSPENSION: The Supreme Court has affirmed the six-month suspension of a Bureau of Customs official in Zambales for her role in the smuggling of 16 luxury vehicles worth millions of pesos from Subic port in 2007...The case stemmed from her supposed collusion with unscrupulous officials of Hidemitsu Trading Corp. who were able to bring out the imported high-end cars from the Customs warehouse without paying the correct import duties. Cordova purportedly issued a certification stating that import taxes for 14 of the 16 vehicles were already settled by the importer, but records from the Customs showed otherwise.

ADB: INVESTORS DEMAND PREDICTABLE & SECURE ENVIRONMENT: The Philippine government must provide a predictable and secure business environment if it wants investors to commit billions of dollars to its planned infrastructure projects...The poor Southeast Asian nation is trying to attract private funds for long-term infrastructure projects, but corruption, red tape, procedural hassles and regulatory uncertainties are significant deterrents for potential investors. "It needs to go that extra mile and create that credibility that I am taking the right actions, I am addressing taxation issues, I am assuring you, as the investor, that my policies are predictable... my judicial system will uphold your contractual rights," Neeraj Jain, the ADB's country director for the Philippines said.

SOLON: "REPORT CORRUPTION" >>> Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali is calling on the public to report officials who are involved in illegal activities to help the anticorruption drive of the Aquino government.

COA report bares misuse of P39.8M in Vizcaya funds >>> The Commission on Audit (COA) has revealed the alleged misuse of, at least, P39.8 million in Special Education Fund (SEF) that was supposed to support the province's education programs in 2009.

Puno tells why Aquino would think twice before letting him go

PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT' s Scott Amey recently traveled to the Philippines to talk federal contracting and good governance. Here's five factoids related to good governance in the Phillippines that he picked up on his trip:

  1. Only 25 percent of each procurement Peso gets to its intended target.

  2. Some anti-corruption measures have been added to the procurement process: Bid and Award Committees have been created to oversee the contracting system, and NGOs like Procurement Watch, Inc. are selected to participate in government contract bid and award process and submit reports reflecting actual observations on the bidding activity monitored.

  3. The Philippines has nothing equivalent to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and has no whistleblower protection laws.

  4. Instead of hammers and coffee pots, taxpayers in the Philippines are ripped off on hand dryers and motorcycle helmets.

  5. Prosecutions are long and drawn out and the witnesses are offered little actual protection when they step forward to fight corruption.

Click here to go to POGO website for full article


SHELL CASE RIPE FOR COMPROMISE: Neither Shell nor the Aquino administration can afford to lose this high-profile fight. A Solomonic compromise is devoutly to be wished by both parties. Even the judges called upon to rule on the sensitive case(s) are likely to welcome a settlement. You won't spot them in the din and dust of battle, but you can be sure shadowy figures friendly to both sides are already in search of the happy balance.

How to say “no” to corruption

After more than forty years in government service, former (Phillipine) Senator Nene Pimentel is embarking on a crusade to impart to citizens his core values, his wisdom and experience as a public servant.

He has established the Pimentel Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILG), which serves as his springboard in spreading his crusade all over the country...

One of the highlights (a recent) seminar was the discussion by former senator Pimentel on the issue of corruption. The subject of his talk was: As a public official, how do you say “no” to corruption? Let me relay the main points of his discussion.

If you are a public official, the people who will try to corrupt you are your own family members, relatives, and friends.

You do not expect your political adversaries to attempt to corrupt you because they are not in a position to even come near you.

Pimentel advised that in the beginning of one’s term of office, it is best to immediately declare publicly, that you are not going to allow any anomalous, illegal or corrupt transaction from anyone while you are in office.

But even after you have made this declaration, people will still come to you to corrupt you.

How do you say “no” to corruption?

Pimentel advised that to say no to corruption is simply to say it straight, verbally, clearly to persons who attempt to corrupt you.

“Simply say no,” Pimentel says.

And say it clearly and firmly.

“Do not beat around the bush,” he stressed.

Do not entertain the thought of creating justifications. “Do not give the serpent a window of opportunity,” he said. Never discuss in your mind how you can go around the law. If you start entertaining these kinds of thoughts, a corrupt transaction will ensue...

Pimentel also advised that it would be good to accompany your rejection of corruption with a prayer—the Lord’s prayer which says “Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Pimentel reminded that corruption is something that is against the law of God, particularly the ten commandments which mandates that “Thou shalt not steal.”

If the corruptor does not believe in the Bible (because God cannot put one to prison) at least remind him (the corruptor) to believe in the revised penal code which imposes jail penalties to people who corrupt public officials.

Pimentel cited the reasons why people should say “no” to corruption.

  • Corruption is against the law of God and the laws of man.
  • Corruption destroys your self in manner that you cannot realize right away.
  • Corruption destroys your dignity as a human being.
  • Corruption destroys the name that your children carry.
  • Corruption erodes the confidence people entrust in you when they voted you in office.

We recognize that corruption is very hard to resist because of the material and worldly gains it brings.

But rejecting corruption can be done.

You need not be a saint to do it.

Just say “no” and mean it.

From the column "BREATHING SPACE" by JAY ICAMEN DEJARESCO. Click here to read.


Where is the justice?

...As many of us feared he would do, the President spared his friend and shooting buddy, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno, and pinned most of the blame on Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and four police officers.

His decision came a day after Mr.Puno—who has direct supervision of the police—bragged to the press that, given their long history together, the President would indeed have to think twice before letting him go.

The timing of the President’s announcement seemed to cloak Mr. Puno with extraordinary power and influence. Here was a man who could do no wrong, who could walk away unblemished from a sorry mess in his own backyard.

In watering down the recommendations of the investigative panel, which had called for administrative sanctions against Mr. Puno, the President also demonstrated a lack of confidence in the one person who demonstrated competence throughout this whole sad affair, his own Justice Secretary who led the investigation...

In two short days, the President proved there is no impartial justice in his administration after all. There is a vengeful justice against all who were connected with the previous administration, and a gentler, kinder “justice” for friends and allies. How is that taking the moral high ground?

Click here to read full article.


Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, accused of receiving payola from jueteng lords, put himself deeper into the muck by being evasive in answering questions during a Senate investigation into jueteng. Puno admitted that some friends and relatives of his approached him to ask him to meet with certain jueteng lords. He said he rejected these invitations.

Asked who these friends and relatives were, Puno replied that he doesn’t remember anymore. Any person will tell you that this kind of answer immediately arouses suspicion. They were his relatives and friends and he doesn’t remember them?

Puno also said he has a list of jueteng lords they are investigating. Asked for the names on his list, he replied that he would rather not name them because it would alert the jueteng lords and jeopardize their investigation. Another evasion. The jueteng lords already know they are jueteng lords and must be being targeted for investigation and prosecution by the government. No need for Puno to be coy about their identities; many of them are already notorious.

Then he said he would resign but later said he would wait for P-Noy to return from his trip to the United States, as if asking his bosom friend not to accept his resignation.

Puno’s evasive answers bolster the suspicion that he may indeed have received payola from jueteng lords. On the other hand, P-Noy is correct in giving him due process. After all, there is still no evidence that he indeed has been bribed. What we have so far is only hearsay evidence. It is easy for anybody to say that this or that guy has been bribed but proving it is something else. And under our laws proof beyond reasonable doubt is needed before anybody can be convicted. Friend or foe, everybody is entitled to the constitutionally guaranteed right to due process.

How would you like it if you are in Puno’s shoes, accused, convicted and tossed aside on the strength of mere allegations but without any shred of proof?

What is clear is that various cliques in the Aquino administration are at each other’s throats, stabbing one another in the back. What I do not understand is why P-Noy is allowing these things to happen, why he doesn’t put his foot down and tell them to sheath their knives and work together instead of fighting or he would throw them all out on their butts.

Now that the 100-day honeymoon is almost over, I would like to say that one of P-Noy’s flaws is that he is too laid back, too relaxed, not minding the intramurals going on in his immediate family so long as he himself is above it all. He is squandering the tremendous goodwill that the people gave him during the elections.

He is either too weak to stop the wranglings or is actually encouraging them as a “divide-and-rule” tactic to prevent groups from uniting against him and deposing him, as was done against President Joseph Estrada and tried but was not able to be done against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (As I see it, the first didn’t deserve it but the second did.)

This is evident in P-Noy’s appointments to his Cabinet. Knowing that Puno and Jesse Robredo are not exactly friendly with each other, he nevertheless put them together at the Department of Interior and Local Government. It is like putting two dogs in a single cage. Maybe to make them watch and check each other and prevent them from engaging in any hanky-panky.

Result, instead of working together, Robredo and Puno are secretly sniping at each other. Their subordinates are planting stories in media to downgrade each other.

His media people in the Office of the Press Secretary are also feuding so he divided the OPS into three parts and appointed the three feuding lieutenants to head each part with equal rank. It was like having one snake with three heads. Result, the offices whose responsibility it is to inform the people of what the P-Noy administration is doing can’t even agree on what to tell the people. Several times, the three heads have issued contradictory statements.

A good President is like a good orchestra conductor who guides all the members of the orchestra to play good music together. P-Noy is not orchestrating his team members. He is allowing each team member to play his own music so that instead of harmonious music, there is cacophony. Instead of a standing ovation, he is courting boos from the audience.   - Neal Cruz in the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Click here to go to full article


Government officials who have not changed their corrupt ways will soon be named and shamed. Speaking in Isabela province where he attended the 7th Philippine National Corn Congress, President Benigno Aquino III said that there were still officials who are not following his anti-corruption policy. He warned he would soon be announcing who they are. "That [ending corruption] is the central biggest challenge. Some people think I am not serious....they will be in the front pages in the next few days," said Aquino... BUT: Former Sen. Ernesto Maceda warned that the Noynoy administration could be heading in the wrong direction. He said that Aquino promised a "walang corrupt, walang mahirap" policy, but until now, no one has been charged for corruption.

President Aquino said his 100 day-old “war on corruption” has restored business confidence in the Philippines, yielding tens of thousands of new jobs and better economic growth prospects.

AQUINO said he blocked questionable government contracts and withdrew perks enjoyed by executives of government corporations, which, he said, prevented the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers' money... But Aquino lamented that corruption remains a problem, and hit out at political opponents he accused of profiting from the misery of the poor. "We are serious when we say we will walk the straight and narrow path," he said. "Those of you who harm our countrymen, I guarantee you, your days are numbered."...From a past government he likened to three monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil, the President said the nation now has a government who is ready to listen to the people, speak the truth, and promote public interest.

Drops from 41% to 37%
A toothless regulatory environment, undermined in part by political agendas, has pushed Philippine companies to lag behind its Asian counterparts in terms of corporate governance.
According to Corporate Governance Watch 2010 by Hong Kong-based brokerage firm CLSA, "the most disappointing market is the Philippines, which achieved what it has long threatened since we began this survey - last place, with its score dropping from 41% in 2007 to 37%."
Available codes and securities laws, in fact, lag behind international and even regional best practices. The worst thing is that "regulators and companies seem unaware of the problem"...
The Philippines' scores in all categories included in the study in fact fell, with the exception of the accounting and auditing principles...
CLSA also took note of the "corporate governance culture," or the category that broadly looks at what companies, intermediaries, non-profit organization and the media are doing voluntarily to raise standards.
It plunged to 25% from 36% in 2007, the lowest score among the other Asian countries.
"Corruption levels appear to have risen, political interference has increased and, with toothless regulators expected to operate on shoestring budgets, it is perhaps not surprising that some large companies have felt little compunction in dismantling the pre-emption rights of their shareholders"

Click here to read article

Click here to read extract from CG 2010 Report (PDF, 13 pp.)

Good corporate governance has landed

If there is one aspect in the business environment that has improved in the last couple of years, it is in the standard of corporate governance in publicly listed companies, banks and other financial institutions.

As is usual in public-private partnerships, the breakthrough initiatives were led by the private sector, specifically the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the Institute of Solidarity for Asia (ISA), with the full support of the stakeholders of corporations.

After all, the ones who benefit most from good governance are the shareholders, employees, suppliers, financiers and their social contacts, such as the customers, community and environment.

But the private sector initiatives would not have made much impact without the policy and implementation support from its public sector partners.

In this case, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) saw the improving credibility of the local listed companies as a mean of generating more interest in its small market, to make it grow and be comparable with the rest of the region.

Click here to read article



Partner organizations in this website while it was actively publishing news excerpts:


Ehem -- the anti-corruption initiative of the Philippine Jesuits echoes the urgent call for cultural reform against corruption in the Philippines.
Ehem aims at bringing people to a renewed sensitivity to the evil of corruption and its prevalence in ordinary life. It seeks ultimately to make them more intensely aware of their own vulnerability to corruption, their own uncritiqued, often unwitting practice of corruption in daily life.
Ehem hopes to bring people, in the end, to a commitment to live the way of Ehemplo --- critical of corruption, intent on integrity!
Management Association of the Philippines 
MAP is a management organization committed to promoting management excellence. The members of the MAP represent a cross-section of CEOs, COOs and other top executives from the top local and multinational companies operating in the country, including some top officials of government and the academe.

iPro supports the process of reducing corruption by seeking synergies between Government of the Republic of the Philippines agencies and civil society at all levels.

This website primarily serves to gather for research and educational purposes in one single place news and information specifically pertinent to integrity and corruption in the Philippines. The news items, views, editorials and opinions summarized or reported on this website are taken from the general media and reputable blogs, websites, etc., and are exclusively the responsibility of the original sources and/or authors. In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted work on this website is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only. Ref:
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