Pinoy Solutions to Corruption
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LAWYER: Tapping of private law firm shows weakness of impeach case vs Ombudsman >>> The election lawyer of former president
and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has twitted the House prosecution panel over its plan to tap a private
firm in prosecuting impeached Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. "[That] exposes the weakness of the prosecution case," election
lawyer Romulo Macalintal said in a text message. Macalintal observed that the prosecution had impressed on the public that
it had a "strong case" against Gutierrez during the hearings, but that its decision to hire private lawyers belied this.
ARMM LAUNCHES ANTI-CORRUPTION DRIVE: The government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has announced an anti-corruption
campaign that will make use of e-mail and mobile phones in the wake of official audit reports uncovering misuse of public
funds by former officials. The Commission on Audit said it had unearthed "the anomalous disbursement of public funds" from
2008 to 2009 by the administration of former ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan...Acting ARMM Governor Ansaruddin Adiong said they
were serious in rebuilding the regional government's image, which has been tarnished by issues of fund misuse.
PALACE: NO PRESSURE ON GUTIERREZ DEPUTY >>> Malacañang maintained there was no pressure on the part of the Aquino administration
for Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni to quit over numerous complaints against him filed before the Office of the
President. In a statement yesterday, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Jalandoni's decision to resign "is his own,
based on his determination of the strength of the charges filed against him and his potential culpability." "Every public
official has the freedom to choose whether to contest the charges or whether, for their own sake or that of the institution
they serve, to relinquish their post. Nevertheless, what is important is that the processes were followed," Lacierda said.
Jalandoni resigned on Friday, saying he appeared to be next in line among those who are being targeted by Malacañang for dismissal.
Jalandoni said the charges leveled against him were baseless.
DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN MARK JALANDONI QUITS: Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni resigned from his post yesterday, saying
that he appeared to be next in line among those who are being targeted by Malacañang for dismissal. "The charges leveled against
me are baseless," Jalandoni said in a short written statement coursed through Assistant Ombudsman and spokesman Jose de Jesus
Jr. a day after reports that administrative complaints accusing him of various offenses had been filed with the Office of
the President. "In order to spare the Office of the Ombudsman from further controversy, I have tendered my irrevocable resignation
as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon," Jalandoni declared.
ARMM LAUDS GOVERNANCE TRANSPARENCY DRIVE: Residents of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are encouraged by their
present regional governance to be vigilant on how public funds are being handled under a proactive anti-corruption mechanism
conceived by the ARMM Social Fund Program or ASFP, a conduit of two giant foreign funding institutions assisting the region.
The Grievance Redress System (GRS), an electronically-generated quick response mechanism for feedbacks against shadowy fund
handling, is being developed by the ASFP Project Management Office (PMO) in what proponents described as "unprecedented" in
Philippine bureaucracy. ARMM acting Gov. Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong lauded the GRS proposal, saying this boldly backs up his
administration's staunch adherence to transparency, accountability, consultative, and moral governance. Adiong said community
residents should take part in the GRS program since "none of us would want public funds to go to waste or to other unwanted
purpose" especially in the operations of the ASFP, which handles hundreds of millions of pesos worth of projects funded by
the World Bank (WB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
SENATOR DARES AQUINO TO APPLY ANTI-GRAFT DRIVE ON HIS OWN ALLIES TOO: Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, a former ally of ex-President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said on Thursday that President Benigno Aquino III should also go after his own allies for possible
graft and corruption and tax evasion. Zubiri said the tax evasion case filed against Mrs. Arroyos son, party-list Rep. Juan
Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo, appeared to have fit a "template" that would also be used against other Arroyo administration officials.
Another Arroyo ally, chairman Prospero Pichay of the Local Water Utilities Administration, is also facing criminal and administrative
charges over a bank deal. "They filed a case against Pichay. They filed a case against Mikey. It seems that there is a perceived
harassment against the previous administration," Zubiri said in Filipino. "I hope (Aquino officials) won't get personal against
the previous administration."
NO ONE IS UNTOUCHABLE: BIR uses Al Capone method vs Arroyo son >>> No one is untouchable any longer. As the Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR) itself put it, it is using the Al Capone method to nail a son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for
tax fraud. In a move unthinkable for the agency during the nine-year Arroyo administration, the BIR Thursday charged Ang Galing
Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo and his wife, Angela, with evading taxes. Under the net worth method, tax
investigators add up all assets of a subject and subtract all his or her liabilities to calculate the net worth. BIR Commissioner
Kim Jacinto-Henares said the Arroyo couple were found to have a tax liability of at least P73.85 million, including surcharges
and interest...The case against the Arroyo couple was the 37th filed by the BIR under its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program,
a government initiative implemented during the previous administration to shore up government coffers.
COA: ARMM SPENT OVER P1b ON SHADY DEALS >>> Philippines Over P1 billion worth of transactions by the Office of the Regional
Governor (ORG) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao during the period from January 2008 to September 2009 under former
Governor Zaldy Ampatuan had inadequate, spurious or entirely non-existent support documents. This was the central finding
in a 125-page report submitted last March 17 by a team of seven COA auditors to current ARMM Gov. Ansaruddin Adiong...Auditors
noted "total disregard of applicable laws, rules and regulations are evident" in many of the transactions involving the questioned
sum particularly illustrated by grant of P866.51 million in cash advances which accounted to a whopping 80 percent of the
total disbursements of the governors office during that period. While general rules require that payments by government agencies
be made through checks for reasons of security, COA reported "highly improbable daily cash payments" ranging from P7 million
to as high as P13.48 million. "At one point, one accountable officer was holding P99.88 million in cash, which may already
be considered unconscionable in view of the risks involved in maintaining such amount," the team said. "Various purchases
without any public bidding totaled P650.98 million and were supported by three price quotations from various suppliers without
any indicated addresses in most cases." Auditors discovered another stunning detail - the said procurements were paid out
of advances drawn by only one person, chief administrative officer Adham G. Patadon, who was bonded for only P5 million...
CUSTOMS TIGHTENS WATCH ON IMPORTERS: The Bureau of Customs (BoC) has started auditing the insurance declarations of incoming
shipments, following reports of importers underdeclaring their premiums in order to scale down the amount of duties they have
to pay. Customs Commissioner Angelito A. Alvarez ordered the retroactive verification, audit and reconciliation of insurance
declarations of all imports, beginning with those last year...
TWO JUDGES RAISE AQUINO'S HACKLES: President Aquino on Wednesday denounced two judges whose actions "raised several questions"
Without mentioning their names, Mr. Aquino said one of the judges issued an arrest warrant against the entire Board of Trustees
of the Government Service Insurance System while the other barred the Central Bank from disposing of Banco Filipino's assets...
DILG SECRETARY: STRADCOM DATABASE IS CORRUPTED >>> The database of Stradcom Corporation, the information technology provider
of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), is "corrupted," Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse
M. Robredo said. This was the findings of Robredo and LTO Assistant Secretary (Asec) Virgie Torres who recently audited the
system of registration of cars and confirmed that the database of Stradcom is indeed "corrupted." Both government officials
even conducted a secret "experiment" wherein they tried to officially register a non-existent car. But they were only stunned
with the result, since the make-believe car managed to pass the registration process without incurring any questions or hurdles.
"In our experiment, we were able to register a non-existent car with an official receipt (OR), certificate of registrationpt
(CR), verification report, sticker, and plate number. But there was really no car," Robredo told the Manila Bulletin. The
normal car registration process requires the vehicle should be taken by the owner to the LTO office. However, during the test
buy they conducted, there was no need for the team to present any actual vehicle and, instead, managed to acquire plate number
ZNE 491 through a "fixer," someone who claimed to be working for the LTO in Metro Manila, but is actually not an LTO employee.
FINANCE SECRETARY: "The cases that we filed today are testaments to the Aquino administration's continued drive against tax
cheats who think that they are above the law. The ways of the past are over. Let me repeat for those who still believe otherwise
- it is no longer business as usual. The Aquino government is determined to send to jail all tax evaders and smugglers that
rob the Filipino people of their much needed government revenues. Already, we are seeing the fruits of our drive against tax
evaders and smugglers. For the first two months of 2011, BIR and Customs collections were up 10.7 percent and 9.7 percent,
respectively. This helped the government maintain a fiscal deficit of only P8.1 billion from January to February, which was
actually way below the P52.3-billion programmed for the period. It was also much lower than the P70.3 billion posted the same
period last year. We want to continue these gains throughout the year and throughout the rest of the Aquino administration."
CUSTOMS SEES P45b WINDFALL FROM SUITS: THE Customs Bureau said Wednesday it expects to gain a P45-billion windfall if it wins
all the 30 cases it has filed against suspected smugglers, brokers and brokerage companies. The cases involve 145 respondents,
including company owners and Customs brokers importing rice, electronics, sugar, garments, steel, oil, vehicles and petroleum
products. Customs has also charged nine Customs officials assigned at the Manila International Container Port and the Port
of Manila. Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said he had beefed up the agency's legal team to make sure it had airtight
cases before filing them with the Justice Department.
US RETURNS $132,000 IN FORFEITED LIGOT ASSETS: United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. announced Thursday that the US government
has turned over to the Philippines $132,000 worth of forfeited assets of Erlinda Ligot, wife of former military comptroller
Lieutenant General Jacinto Ligot. "Today, I am pleased to announce the first ever return of funds in the asset forfeiture
case where the US government is returning $132,000 to the Philippine government," Thomas announced in a meeting with Justice
Secretary Leila De Lima.
MILITARY PROBES FUND CONVERSION INVOLVING OIL PRODUCTS: Gen. Eduardo Oban, Armed Forces chief of staff, has ordered an investigation
into the alleged conversion of funds for the supply of petroleum, oil and lubricants to the military reportedly involving
hundreds of millions of pesos. The move was prompted by the discovery of the unusually high consumption or delivery of gasoline
and other oil products to the Armed Forces, through the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (J-4), by oil company
Petron. The J-4 is the same office that military whistle blower retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa said was used by alleged corrupt
senior officers in converting hundreds of millions of pesos of military funds...A report said from January up to March 15,
a period of less than three months, the J-4 reportedly recorded a total distribution and consumption of gas for the whole
Armed Forces in the amount of more than P400 million, which is in excess of the allowed amount of less than P150 million...The
investigation will involve looking into the possibility that the petroleum products have been converted into cash by the J-4,
and this could be ascertained, partly by looking into the deliveries for specific units, tag cards and other documents...When
he was appointed as chief of staff last month, Oban immediately looked into the military's logistics and procurement systems
as reform is his leaderships cornerstone. He wanted the reforms, not only at the logistics and procurement offices but even
with the whole Armed Forces, to be immediately felt by foot soldiers. "When I assumed office, I said that the first order
of the day is no to corruption, no to conversion. These should be stopped. From hereon, we will aggressively pursue reforms.
We will give more teeth and muscle to our institutional mechanisms, particularly the internal audit, provost marshal, and
inspector general to really check on all the units and on reforms that we wanted to instituted," he told reporters in one
of his interviews.
GOVERNMENT SUES PICHAY, 4 OTHERS FOR ALLEGED MISUSE OF LWUA FUNDS: Another ally of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
has been charged for the alleged misuse of P400-million fund of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). The Department
of Finance (DOF) filed criminal and administrative charges against former LWUA Chairman Prospero Pichay and members of the
agencys board of trustees...The DOF said Pichay and the other respondents allowed LWUA to purchase 60 percent of the outstanding
shares of stock of "financially troubled" Express Savings Bank, Inc. and for infusing a capital worth P480 million that was
sourced from government coffers.
P-NOY'S REFORMS IN GOVERNANCE CITED: President Aquino deserves praise for appointing whistleblower Heidi Mendoza to the Commission
on Audit but should shed more light on the selection process for other government agencies such as the Commission on Elections,
a transparency watchdog said Wednesday. Vince Lazatin, executive director of the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN),
said he welcomes the appointment of Mendoza as COA commissioner. "We are very happy that Heidi Mendoza is back in the Commission
on Audit. She is the type of person that we need at these kinds of agencies like the COA. I think President Aquino's appointment
of a person like Heidi is a message that he does appreciate...Heidi's dogged determination. We've seen that in her Senate
testimony. She really does not give up and follows the paper trail," he said in an ANC Headstart interview... Lazatin said
Mendoza's appointment and that of former human rights chief Leila de Lima as justice secretary are "parts of a larger puzzle"
in President Aquino's campaign to rid the country of corruption. He said moves to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and
dismiss Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III are also part of the President's anti-corruption campaign. "We are seeing moves
here by the Aquino administration to reformat the frontline agencies tasked with ferreting out corruption, prosecuting corruption,
filing cases, etc," he said. He dismissed criticism by some sectors that Malacañang should focus less on digging up skeletons
and do more to create jobs instead. "Governance is a very important part of our future and looking forward we have to look
at putting a good governance structure and this begins with quality appointments to key posts such as Ombudsman, COA, DOJ
and Supreme Court as well.
PAPER: CORRUPTION RISKS AMONG 50 PITFALLS FOR PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP >>> The effect of corruption and political succession
were listed among 50 potential risks facing the smooth implementation of the public-private partnership (PPP) projects, which
the Aquino administration identified as a cornerstone of its economic development program, a prominent think tank said in
a recent report. Forensic Law and Policy Strategies Inc. (Forensic Solutions) called on government to seriously consider and
review the risks it identified in PPP projects before rushing into its flagship program to avoid unreasonably high tariffs,
finger-pointing, congressional probes plus other woes in the future it said could dent investor confidence in the Aquino administration.
OMG PUSHES MERCI OUSTER, SHE PLEAS "SPARE MY FAMILY": A group calling itself the Oust Merci Gutierrez (OMG) is taking the
fight for the Ombudsman's removal from office right to her door steps. The group, which counts on former Akbayan party-list
Rep. Risa Hontiveros and Black and White Movement member Lea Navarro, on Tuesday said would hold a protest-rally in front
of Gutierrez' house in Pandacan. Gutierrez for her part cried foul over an assault on a constitutional body and an "intrusion
into my family's own privacy." "The incident is lamentable and alarming," she said in a statement appealing for fairness and
respect for her residence and the community she lives in. "To my detractors, please spare my family, please spare my community.
Let's just stick to the issues," said Gutierrez.
LIGOTS SHOW UP IN TAX EVASION HEARING: Former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot and wife, Erlinda, showed up in the initial
hearing of the preliminary investigation on tax evasion charges filed against them before the Department of Justice (DOJ)
last March by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)...Their blood pressure (BP) readings were taken by DOJ clinic staff prior
to the start of proceedings before Assistant State Prosecutor Steward Mariano. Mrs. Ligot's BP was high at 160/100, while
that of her husband's was relatively normal at 150/90...Asked if, contrary to the claim of the BIR, the Ligots filed their
income tax returns (ITR) for the years in question - 2001 for Gen. Ligot and 2001-2004 for Erlinda Ligot - their lawyer said,
"As far as I know, they did not. But there must be a good reason if and when hindi sila nag-file ng ITR." It is not clear
how this admission by Zialcita will come into play in the couple's defense considering that the BIR insists that the couple
failed to declare income amounting to over P41-million in 2001; over P103-million in 2002; close to P166-million in 2003;
and over P148-million in 2004. The BIR also claims the Ligots made over US$2-million deposits at a local bank allegedly used
in making several bank deposits, investments and property acquisitions here and abroad.
HEIDI MENDOZA BACK AT COA BUT GRACE TAN IS NEW CHIEF: ...it's going to be women power at the COA after President Benigno Aquino
III Tuesday appointed Mendoza as COA commissioner and former Finance Undersecretary Grace Pulido-Tan as COA chair...Tan, a
lawyer and certified public accountant (CPA), will replace Reynaldo Villar, whose term as head of the COA, expired on Feb.
2, according to Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang. Tan's term will expire on Feb. 2, 2015...Tan served as finance undersecretary
from May 2003 to February 2005 under the Arroyo administration. She is presently a tax consultant and legal adviser and also
serves as independent director at Asia United Bank and Rural Bank of Angeles. Tan is also currently a professor at the University
of the Philippines, teaching Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. She served as consultant for the Senate ways and means
committee in 2006 and was a commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government from October 2002 to May 2003.
A UP law graduate, she took her Master of Laws at New York University. She is a graduate of Business Administration and Accountancy
at UP... Mendoza, 48, a CPA and career COA official, will assume the post left by Commissioner Evelyn San Buenaventura and
her term will end on Feb. 2, 2018...Mendoza was a United Nations senior external auditor and professional lecturer/trainer/author.
She was a program analyst of the Asian Development Bank from Oct. 1, 2010, to Jan. 21. Her career at the COA started in 1996
as state auditor. From March 2003 to September 2004, Mendoza was financial consultant at the Transparency Group of the Office
of the Presidential Chief of Staff. She was assigned to the Office of the Ombudsman in September 2004 as team leader of the
COA group that investigated Garcia. Mendoza has a Master's degree in National Security Administration at the National Defense
College of the Philippines and a Master's in Public Administration at UP. She is a commerce graduate, major in Accounting
at Sacred Heart College in Quezon province.
MILITARY CORRUPTION WHISTLEBLOWER IS NEW AUDIT COMMISSIONER: Heidi Mendoza gained popularity by exposing the alleged "rotten
system" in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during Senate hearings on the plea bargaining deal entered by government
prosecutors with former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who is facing plunder charges.
HEIDI MENDOZA TAKES UP THE CHALLENGE: Military corruption whistleblower Heidi Mendoza on Tuesday said she is ready to serve
again in the government as a commissioner in the Commission on Audit (COA). Mendoza, who was in Iloilo City when President
Benigno Aquino III announced her appointment, thanked her supporters and also welcomed the appointment of a new COA chairperson.
She said she is ready to return to government...Mendoza said it was not easy for her to reveal alleged corruption in the military
because she may have caused some COA officials to dislike her. She said she is wants to work with new COA chairperson Maria
Gracia Pulido-Tan. "I believe in her competence of course in her moral capital as well so i believe ...together we can run
the agency well," she said. Mendoza also believes that her previous experience in the agency will help implement reforms in
the COA. She is determined to face her critics. "We cannot run all the time.
PCGG TO PROBE SECRET MARCOS WEALTH IN AUSTRALIA: The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) will look into the
reported ill-gotten wealth of the late president Ferdinand Marcos in Australia believed to be under the name of a former swimsuit
model whose daughter was reportedly dropped from a reality TV show after producers learned her father was the Philippine dictator.
"We will look at the money trail and see if the amount to be recovered would be worth the lawyers' fees we would be spending
for it," PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista said
NGOs COME TOGETHER TO HELP GOVERNMENT SHORE UP FINANCES: An alliance of non-government organizations (NGOs) led by Social
Watch Philippines (SWP) has agreed to help the Department of Finance (DoF), Bureau of Customs (BoC) and Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR) raise more revenues to support a pro-poor national budget. "The new plans, strategies and policies of DoF, BIR
and BoC are commendable, but we need assurance that these will be undertaken. It is the role of citizens' groups to see to
it that their targets for reform and contributions for a pro-poor budget are fulfilled and that the revenue targets are reached
with the support," said former national treasurer Leonor Magtolis Briones, SWP lead convenor, during the recently held Second
Open Budget Partnership Forum with the heads of the three agencies. Senator Teofisto Guingona III, who authored nine bills
on budget reforms when he was a congressman and who authored the Bill on People's Participation in Budgeting in the Senate,
organized the forum.
DPWH PARTNERS WITH CSOs TO FIGHT CORRUPTION: The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)...is...partnering with the
CSOs and NGOs in the procurement or bidding process, implementation or actual construction, operation and post project evaluation.
The move is in line with the DPWH transformation framework which Secretary Singson has drawn up for full transparency and
accountability to the people and to reduce corruption. Reacting to the recent Pulse Asia survey where DPWH ranked third among
the government agencies perceived to be corrupt and with a huge decrease of 13.8% from the last year's survey, Singson said
that he was not pleased with the result. He further said that he vows to continue with his fight against corruption at all
levels in the DPWH. Singson said that he is counting much on the CSOs and NGOs in seeing to it that every single cent of taxpayers'
money goes to the right project with the right cost and right quality.
SENATOR CRITICIZES GOVT CORP CONTROL BILL: Senator Joker Arroyo criticized a bill that would allow President Benigno Aquino
III to hand out 1,570 plum positions in government-owned and controlled corporations to his supporters, and in the guise of
instilling financial and fiscal discipline in those organizations. "Translated, this is a patronage bill," Arroyo said of
the bill filed by Senator Franklin Drilon..."The [incumbent] CEOs and directors don't have to be informed or removed. All
that needs to be done is to appoint their successor and pronto, their terms of office automatically end." Drilon claimed there
was a need to reform state-owned corporations and to plug the drain in the national treasury that they supposedly were causing
through inefficiency and corruption.
SOME P-NOY HOUSE ALLIES DEMAND "MONEY" FROM CUSTOMS BUREAU: IT seems that some lawmakers who are supposed allies of President
Benigno C. Aquino III are "laughing" on his "straight path" campaign as a small group of congressmen now allegedly demanding
"grease money" from collectors of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in some major ports of the country. A well-placed source from
one of the House committees who refused to be identified disclosed that the small group of lawmakers is asking the collectors
to give them P500 to P1,000 per container van. The source said the small group of lawmakers comes from a powerful committee
whose task and responsibilities are about "taxation." "Despite P-Noy's 'straight path' campaign, this small group of lawmakers
is trying to play around and find ways how to get around with the President's tough order to push clean governance. Makakapal
OMBUDSMAN DELAYS LEAD TO JUNKING OF CRIMINAL CASE: The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court has dismissed 2 criminal charges against
former Malolos City Mayor Danilo A. Domingo citing unreasonable delay by the Office of the Ombudsman in conducting its investigation
and filing the case. Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval, Sandiganbayan Second Division chairman, upheld Domingo's argument
that his constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases was violated because the informations were filed with the graft
court only on March 5, 2009 more than five years after the complaint was lodged with the Ombudsman. Associate Justices Teresita
Diaz V. Baldos and Maria Cristina J. Cornejo concurred. "The Court found the delay inordinate and unreasonable as to be violative
of the respondent's right to due process and to speedy disposition of cases against him, warranting the dismissal of the criminal
cases," the Sandiganbayan declared.
OMBUDSMAN SLAMMED: Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday blasted the Office of the Ombudsman for openly defying an order
of the Palace for the dismissal of Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III over the case of slain hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza.
She said the defiance exhibited by Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should be dealt with firmly and decisively by the Office
of the President. De Lima echoed the stand of the Palace that the President has disciplinary power over deputies of the Ombudsman
under RA 6670 (Ombudsman Act of 1989). She stressed that while Gutierrez is protected by the law from actions from the President
to protect her independence in prosecuting graft cases against public officials, her deputies do not enjoy the same immunity.
"PUBLIC OPINION SHOULD NOT DICTATE IMPEACHMENT": A House leader allied with former President and now Pampanga Representative
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should not be based on public opinion. "A senator
sitting as a judge in the impeachment court must make his own judgment based on his personal appreciation of the evidence
and the law irrespective of the temper and whim of public opinion," Minority Leader and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: GUTIERREZ'S FATE DEPENDS ALSO ON PUBLIC OPINION >>> In the end, it will not only be the so-called
senator-judges that Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez will have to convince of her innocence. The way Senate Majority Leader
Vicente Sotto III sees it, he and his colleagues, who will sit as judges in the impeachment court that is the Senate for Gutierrez's
trial, will decide Gutierrez's fate based partly on public opinion. "Public opinion or reaction will play a role on how the
issue will be decided," he said.
OPPOSITION LAWMAKER SEES LONG IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: An opposition lawmaker Sunday ruled out the possibility that Ombudsman Merceditas
Gutierrez would be convicted before her retirement in December 2012 in the Senate impeachment trial scheduled to begin next
month. But the House prosecution team is optimistic that it would wrap up the impeachment case against Gutierrez between June
and October because senators would not allow the trial to drag on and affect their congressional duty. "The longer it takes,
the better it is for Merci," Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said amid talk that Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would want
Gutierrez to resign to avoid a full media coverage of corruption charges against the former president.
ARMED FORCES CHIEF BACKS TURNOVER OF BUDGET MANAGEMENT TO DEPT. OF NATIONAL DEFENSE: Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
chief Gen. Eduardo Oban expressed support for proposals to turn over management of the military budget to the Department of
National Defense (DND)..."I would like to emphasize that the soldiers will continue to serve our country. Some of them, a
handful of them, were implicated in corruption but this does not speak for the entire organization," he said. Oban ensured
that abuses such as the diversion of funds and the giving of hefty sums to top officers would not happen under his watch.
Oban expressed his support for a civilian agency to handle the military's budget affairs to disallow any opportunity of corruption
in the ranks. "For as long there is a check and balance and in the spirit of transparency, accountability and fairness, and
for as long as it can respond to the military requirements in the most expeditious and most efficient way, I dont have any
problem with that," Oban said... Oban also exhorted the troops to prove that they are men of honor even in the wake of a recent
Pulse Asia survey showing the AFP is the most corrupt state agency.
ENRILE ADVISES MERCI: STAY OUT OF DEPUTY'S DISMISSAL CASE >>> Saying she already has her own problems to face, Senate President
Juan Ponce Enrile on Sunday advised embattled Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to keep her distance from Malacañang's order
dismissing Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III. Enrile also pointed out Malacañang was well within its rights to order Gonzalez's
dismissal because the President has the power to hire and fire anyone except those who the Constitution and the laws say can
be removed only through impeachment.
BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST CASTS GIANT SHADOW ON SENATE: How do you measure betrayal of public trust? >>> Sen. Francis "Chiz"
Escudero posed this question as he admitted that it is a challenge for him, and maybe the other senators, to establish betrayal
of public trust - the main contention in the six Articles of Impeachment transmitted to the Senate by the House of Representatives
against Ombudsman Merceditas N. Gutierrez. "At the end of the day, all of these are based on betrayal of public trust, not
corruption, not bribery," Escudero said.
DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FIRED OVER HOSTAGE CRISIS: Malacañan has made an example of the accountability it could exact from the Office
of the Ombudsman. In a press briefing, Presidential Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang announced that the Office of
the President (OP) has fired deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III over the case of police officer Rolando Mendoza, the hostage-taker
in the August 2010 Manila hostage incident. Carandang said the decision was signed yesterday (March 31) by Executive Secretary
Paquito Ochoa, Jr.. It cited Gonzalez for alleged gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct in handling the dismissal-complaint
against Mendoza...In its 15-page decision the OP found an inordinate and unjustified delay in the resolution of the motion
for reconsideration Mendoza filed regarding his dismissal from the police servicea clear neglect of the performance of official
duty. It also said that the delay in the resolution of Mendoza's appeal that spanned 9 months constituted a flagrant disregard
of the Office of the Ombudsmans Rules and Procedure. The OP also said there was substantial evidence to prove that Gonzalez
committed gross misconduct for showing undue interest in taking over. The delay was also unjustified since there was no opposition
to Mendoza's appeal. Ochoa added: "The circumstances surrounding the charges of gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct
lent credence to Mendoza's accusation during the hostage incident that Gonzalez was extorting P150,000 from him in exchange
for a favorable decision."
MERCI DEFIES PALACE BY DECLARING DEPUTY ACQUITTED: The embattled Ombudsman, Merceditas Gutierrez, is defying Malacañang by
declaring that her deputy Emilio Gonzalez III, ordered dismissed by the Office of the President on Thursday, has already been
acquitted in an internal probe. According to Gutierrez's official statement, the matter of her deputy's culpability is "legally
final and closed." Gutierrez said that an internal investigation by her office has already found Gonzalez not culpable in
the deadly August 23, 2010, hostage-taking crisis in Luneta.
OMBUDSMAN DEFIANT, WON'T FIRE DEPUTY: The Office of the Ombudsman said it will not implement a Malacañang order dismissing
Deputy Ombudsman Emilio A. Gonzalez III. ...Assistant Ombudsman Jose de Jesus questioned Malacañang's authority to sack Gonzalez
since the Ombudsman's Internal Affairs Board had already cleared him of any offense. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez further
noted that the Ombudsman is independent from any other office of government as shown in Sec. 4, Art. XI, 1987 Constitution
and Section 21 of Republic Act 6770...Gutierrez added: "In view of the foregoing, this Office has considered the matter of
DO Gonzales culpability in the hijacking episode as legally final and closed."
PALACE TO OMBUDSMAN EXEC: APPEAL CASE OR FOLLOW DISMISSAL ORDER >>> Exercise your legal options, or comply with the dismissal
order. These were the options Malacañang presented to Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III, as it disregarded Gonzalezs "acquittal"
by impeached Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. "While we agree there are remedies available to Gonzalez such as filing a motion
for reconsideration with the Office of the President (OP) or seeking relief from higher courts, he must comply with the decision
of the OP, which is considered executory, if he has no plans of making use of available remedies)," deputy presidential spokesperson
Abigail Valte said on government-run dzRB radio... "The Ombudsman, not being a co-equal or separate branch of government or
an appellate court, has no choice but to implement the decision of the OP. Its job is to execute the order," she said.
JUSTICE SECRETARY DE LIMA: DISMISSAL OF OMBUDSMAN EXEC "A GOOD DEVELOPMENT" >>> Justice Secretary Leila de Lima welcomed the
Office of the President's move to dismiss Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III for his alleged delay in resolving the case
of slain police Inspector Rolando Mendoza..."That is our recommendation, so I guess that would really be a positive point
insofar as Hong Kong authorities are concerned. The IIRC [report] was modified by the Palace legal team. But on the matter
about Gonzalez, it was not changed and was adopted," said De Lima...De Lima chaired the Incident Investigation and Review
Committee (IIRC), which investigated the hostage-taking. The IIRC strongly criticized Gonzalez's handling of Mendoza's case.
In its first report, the IIRC recommended that Gonzalez and his boss, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, be penalized for "gross
negligence and grave misconduct in handling the case against Mendoza." The committee noted that it took the Office of the
Ombudsman nine months before acting on Mendoza's appeal. "Ombudsman Gutierrez and Deputy Ombudsman Gonzalez committed serious
disregard of due process, manifest injustice and oppression in failing to provisionally suspend the further implementation
of the judgment of dismissal against Mendoza pending disposition of his unresolved motion for reconsideration," said the first
report. "By allowing Mendozas motion for reconsideration to languish for nine long (9) months without any justification, Ombudsman
Gutierrez and Deputy Ombudsman Gonzalez committed complete and wanton violation of the Ombudsman prescribed rule to resolve
motions for reconsideration in administrative disciplinary cases within five (5) days from submission," it added.
OMBUDSMAN URGED TO HEED PALACE DISMISSAL ORDER: Malacañang said Saturday the Office of Ombudsman has no option but to implement
the Palace's decision to fire Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III for sitting on the case of former Sr. Insp. Rolando Mendoza,
which prompted the dismissed police officer to hold a busload of Hong Kong tourists hostage in August last year. Deputy presidential
spokesperson Abigail Valte acknowledged the decision finding Gonzalez administratively liable for neglect and misconduct amounting
to betrayal of public trust may still be appealed to the Office of the President or the courts but failure to do so within
the allotted time would make the ruling final and executory. Valte was reacting to the Office of the Ombudsman's announced
defiance of the Palace's dismissal order.
OMBUDSMAN ON "TRIAL BY TWITTER": In an age of instantaneous public responses and social networking sites, Ombudsman Merceditas
Gutierrez will probably need to do more than just convince senator-judges that she should keep her post and retire with dignity
next year. Even before the Senate could officially hear the complaints against her, Gutierrez has been subjected to a "trial
by Twitter" as could be gleaned from angry and insulting remarks against her in the popular site during the proceedings at
the House of Representatives.
SOLON: OMBUDSMAN FAILS TO ACT ON SCAM CHARGES VS AGRICULTURE OFFICIALS FOR FERTILIZER FUND PLUNDER >>> Complainants and endorsers
of the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez yesterday bared no case had been filed to date against
former Agriculture Secretary Luis "Cito" Lorenzo and undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante on the plunder of P728 million
fertilizer fund, which according to them, is a clear proof of the Ombudsmans gross inaction and negligence of duty. "As of
last Friday, not a single case was filed by the Ombudsman against former Agriculture Secretary Luis "Cito" Lorenzo and Undersecretary
Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante on the plunder of P728 million fertilizer fund," Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary
general Danilo Ramos, one of the complainants, said during a press briefing at the House of Representatives
DEPT. OF EDUCATION FARES WELL IN CORRUPTION SURVEY: The Department of Education (DepEd) was once again perceived by the public
as one of three government agencies considered least corrupt based on the most recent Pulse Asia survey results. Education
Secretary Armin Luistro welcomed this positive rating and attributed the result to the "continuous serious efforts of management
to stamp out corruption in all levels of operation." Luistro said that DepEd continues to optimize use of the agency's human
and financial resources and move towards zero-corruption. "Our goal is for DepEd to finally be stricken off the list of offices
which are considered corrupt," he stressed. Through the years, there has been a declining public perception of corruption
in DepEd owing to the safeguards and corruption prevention measures initiated during the time of former Secretary Jesli Lapus
and further strengthened by the current DepEd chief.
TWO SENATORS ACCUSED OF BENEFITTING FROM POLL FRAUD: Senators Edgardo Angara and Loren Legarda should be removed from the
Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) because they benefited from electoral fraud along with Juan Miguel Zubiri in the May 2007
polls, losing senatorial bet Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said. In a Motion to Disqualify filed by his father and legal counsel,
former Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, the younger Pimentel wants the SET to disqualify or remove from SET membership the
two senators "not only for ethical reasons but for having benefited from electoral fraud" in the province of South Cotabato.
"Under the circumstances, they cannot be trusted to render a verdict that is based on the requirements of fairness, truth
and justice," the losing senatorial bet said.
P-NOY SAYS FISCAL UNDER PROBE FOR FAVORING DRUG SUSPECTS: President Aquino bared here yesterday that a provincial prosecutor
was under investigation for allegedly favoring drug suspects. "There is a provincial fiscal that has reached my attention
(and) who is suspected to have favored people suspected (to be) engaged in drugs. He is now under investigation, he will go
through the process," the President said..."But if it is proven, I will see to it that he is dismissed from the service and
every sanction that can be placed on him will be done. So, that will be the first case to really show everybody how serious
we are with this," the President said.
SANDIGANBAYAN DECIDES 18 YEAR OLD CASE RULING PRIOR OMBUDSMAN BOTCHED CASE VS 8 EX-PNP OFFICIALS >>> The Sandiganbayan Fifth
Division has acquitted 8 former Philippine National Police (PNP) officials on graft charges concerning alleged spurious purchase
of P20-million worth of uniform and equipment in 1992. The court, in its decision, cited weak evidence submitted by the Office
of the Ombudsman...They were accused of conspiracy in defrauding the government of P20 million that was supposedly issued
for the acquisition of combat clothing and individual equipment for personnel of PNP-Region 7 office. A fact-finding team
formed by the PNP to investigate the transaction reported that no actual purchase took place. Logistics and supply officers
confirmed the result of the probe by saying they received no such supplies. However, the Sandiganbayan, in its 45-page decision,
said the prosecution botched the case by failing to present the original 407 checks issued on August 11 to 14, 1992, which
are crucial evidence in identifying the payees and the negotiation for encashment. Prosecutors merely presented microfilm
copies of the checks that were authenticated by an officer of the Land Bank of the Philippines. According to the graft court,
the microfilm copies only proved the existence of the checks but were insufficient to substantiate their contents, including
establishing who were the payees and who converted them to cash.
CORRUPTION STILL TOP DETERRENT TO US INVESTMENT: The United States has cited various barriers to trade and investments in
the Philippines that block American business entry into the country, but corruption, "a pervasive and longstanding problem
in the Philippines," still tops the list. In its National Trade Estimate (NTE) report posted on its website, the US Trade
Representative said reports of corruption remain common. "Foreign and domestic investors express concern over the propensity
of Philippine courts and regulators to stray beyond matters of legal interpretation into policymaking and about the lack of
transparency in these processes. There also are reports of courts being influenced by bribery and improperly issuing temporary
restraining orders to impede legitimate commerce," the USTR said in the NTE. The report cited that over and above Constitutional
restrictions on ownership of businesses, the Philippines has import policies that bar trade such as in automotive, which hinders
exports of motorcycles from the US; corruption in the customs bureau; inconsistent implementation and delays in government
procurement; non-completion of legislative reforms in intellectual property protection; among other things...The report said
despite efforts of the Philippines to streamline payment and permits processing at many government agencies, reports of corruption
and other irregularities in customs processing persist, including undue and costly delays, continued private-sector involvement
in the valuation process, the use of reference prices rather than declared transaction values, and customs officials seeking
the payment of unrecorded facilitation fees.
GRAFT RAPS FILES VS EX-ENVOY TO UN: The Office of the Ombudsman has filed two corruption charges against former United Nations
Ambassador Lauro Baja Jr. at the Sandiganbayan on Tuesday. In a document filed March 29, the Office of the Special Prosecutor
said internal investigation showed Baja misappropriated government funds and was guilty of violating anti-corruption law in
two separate instances. One of the cases stemmed from the repairs made in the Philippine government's townhouse in New York
City, where Baja used to live as the permanent representative to the UN. The Ombudsman said the repairs made in 2003 were
anomalous, saying no bidding was held for the contractors. Baja also claimed insurance for the alleged loss of his wife's
jewelry in 2006 which he used for personal purpose, the Ombudsman said.
POTATO IMPORTER FACES P380m RAP: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed a multimillion-peso suit yesterday against a major importer
of sliced potatoes, which supplies these products to groceries and giant fast-food chains operating in the country. BOC Commissioner
Angelito Alvarez filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) a P380-million technical smuggling suit against Makati-based
Kool 8 Enterprises for "undervaluation of imports by as much as 62 percent." The shipments of 10.2 million kilos were declared
by the importer to have a dutiable value of only $0.47, equivalent to little more than P20 a kilo. Kool 8 proprietor Ramon
Pinero and Customs broker Ricardo Ebuna were charged with gross undervaluation, falsification and use of falsified documents.
DATA BASE FOR GOVERNMENT HUMAN RESOURCES ORDERED: President Aquino has ordered the establishment of a comprehensive database
of government personnel to effectively manage and control public expenditures and prevent any abusive releases. In Executive
Order No. 31, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) was assigned to prepare an accurate Comprehensive Database on
Government Manpower (CDGM) for the management of Personal Services (PS) appropriations in the next three years. The CDGM will
replace the existing Government Manpower Information System (GMIS), a computer-based management information system on employees
in the Executive, Legislative, and the Judiciary, as well as constitutional offices. The database will now include the military
and other uniformed personnel, casual and contractual government workers, and employees of government-owned and-controlled
corporations (GOCCs), and government financial institutions (GFIs).
ARMED FORCES CORRUPTION ALARMS SOLON: Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna said the AFP
should now make serious reforms to counter the negative public perception, saying it "endangers the lives of the people."
"A continuing drop in the reputation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is dangerous, we have to help as a society to
stop this slide," said Tugna. Tugna said the sense of insecurity as far as safety is concerned is unhealthy for a people and
for the economy. He said the government should hasten the investigation on the corruption in the AFP and immediately suggest
a solid solution and right away work on its implementation.
Click to Follow Aquino's promises on Ethics
NEWS ABOUT CHANGES IN THE COMMISSION
Maria Gracia Pulido Tan new Chair of Commission on Audit
Heidi Mendoza new COA commissioner
Mendoza dared: Start cleaning
A PARTY-LIST lawmaker
yesterday challenged newly-appointed Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner Heidi Mendoza to start cleaning her office of
the so-called undesirables. Alyansa ng mga Grupo ng Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan (AGHAM) Rep. Angelo
Palmones lauded President Aquino for his very sound decision as she urged Mendoza to clean her own backyard first. “I
commend P-Noy for appointing Heidi Mendoza as COA commissioner. It’s indeed a wise pick to get rid of corrupt officials
in the government. Heidi can start in her own backyard,” said Palmones on Mendoza who made series of expose about the
alleged widespread and high-profile corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi”
Barzaga Jr. and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casiņo also commended the decision of President Aquino. “The
President made a very sound decision in appointing Ms. Mendoza at CoA. This would surely boost his campaign against graft
and corruption. This is a very welcome development and a laudable act on the part of the President,”
said Barzaga on the President’s decision which includes the appointment of Finance Undersecretary Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan as chairman of the CoA. Casiņo
said “the appointment of Ms. Heidi Mendoza as COA commissioner can be the best thing that ever happened to the agency
if it is followed by aggressive and concerted actions by COA officials and its rank and file to fulfill the agency’s
mandate.” But Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles challenged the whistle-blower
to perform immediately so that she can deliver her advocacy against graft and corruption. “She better walk the
talk,” said Magsaysay, adding that it is important and crucial now for Mendoza to back up with concrete actions what
she claimed before during congressional inquiries.
Mendoza believes she is welcome at audit body
Newly appointed audit commissioner Heidi Mendoza believes
she is returning to the Commission on Audit with the support of its personnel. Mendoza said Wednesday that she had
talked with CoA personnel before her appointment, and they assured her that they were behind her and her cause to do what
is right. She told the Philippine Dailsy Inquirer that she accepted the position of member of the commission because
she could not turn her back on those who believed in her crusade.
COA folk not exactly jumping for joy at Mendoza's return
Old colleagues at the Commission on Audit (COA) are
not exactly jumping for joy at Heidi Mendoza’s return and are hoping she will put her money where her mouth is - that
is, get rid of scalawags in government.
Some officers and employees are still hurting from
Mendoza’s earlier statements that have tarnished the institution’s name, COA officials said Tuesday.
And they ask, why is she going back now?
Outgoing COA Chair Reynaldo Villar acknowledged the
"Hindi mawawala yun (That can't be helped)," Villar
said. "I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know, with everything she has done… To a certain extent it has
affected the COA, it has damaged its image."
Mendoza earlier said some officials were not supportive
when she was investigating anomalies in the military.
Assistant Commissioner for Finance Isabel Agito said
she was surprised by Mendoza’s return. "After all that she had said about the COA, that it is corrupt, why does she
want to go to a corrupt agency?"
Agito said Mendoza’s "sweeping statements" against
the agency hurt people who felt there were also a lot of very honest workers at the commission.
"I hope she just didn't bring down the institution.
I hope when she comes in, she would do something good to improve the institution," said Director Rolando Macale of the COA
public information office.
Leonor Boado, head of the fraud audit investigation
office, said that the commission had uncovered a lot of anomalies and busted a lot of corruption activities. She was also
surprised that Mendoza would rejoin the audit agency, after all that she had said.
Boado said Mendoza should do what she said she would,
which is to clean up the government.
She also said that regardless of who is heading the
COA, its personnel would continue doing their best to serve the people and protect the institution.
"Officials come and go, but the institution stays.
The institution should be preserved," she said.
As for the incoming COA chair, Villar said it would
be good if she would meet with senior officials to find out what needs to be done at the agency. He also hopes the new chair
would continue with reforms at the commission.
Is Heidi Mendoza in for an unkind welcome at COA?
The appointment of state auditor turned whistle-blower Heidi Mendoza as Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner
has been met with raised eyebrows within the agency she allegedly discredited. Mendoza explains her sentiments about and plans
for the agency in an interview with Jessica Soho on 'State of the Nation
Heidi Mendoza eyes open-door policy in COA
Newly-appointed Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner Heidi Mendoza on Wednesday
said she will adopt an "open-door" policy in the COA that will allow employees to voice their concerns and give suggestions
on how best to clean up the agency.
Speaking to ANC, Mendoza said some COA employees are excited about starting anew
and polishing the image of the commission.
"They know how to conduct audits the way it should be done. Many people are excited
to start and do it the way its supposed to be done. I'm looking at -- what are the possible openings so they can connect and
can express their message and send their reports, I am a bit open to both," she said.
She said she also believes she can do more to change the COA from within, rather
than working outside as a critic.
"When you are outside government, nothing is good enough. When you are inside, somebody
will be knocking at your door and you will have lots of opportunity to extend yourself. I'm opening my door to anyone. Mas
maraming kakatok pag nasa loob ka eh. Kakaunti kakatok pag nasa labas," she said. ...
The COA was previously ranked the 6th most corrupt government agency, according to a
Pulse Asia perception survey.
The survey, conducted last February 24 to March 6, showed that Mendoza was considered
the most credible of 6 personalities involved in the military corruption scandal.
Bayan Muna party-list lawmaker Teddy Casiņo praised Malacaņang for appointing Mendoza
to the COA.
"The appointment of Ms. Heidi Mendoza as COA commissioner can be the best thing that
ever happened to the agency if it is followed by aggressive and concerted actions by COA officials and its rank and file to
fulfill the agency's mandate," he said in a statement.
He added: "Her integrity and competence should be made to infect and animate the entire
bureaucracy. Otherwise she will just end up as a useless decoration."
From Feb. 1 through April
6, 2011 a total of
media articles have mentioned
Heidi Mendoza's role as an auditor and witness in the Philippine military corruption scandals and her appointment to COA.
On YouTube there are about
videos of Heidi or mentioning her testimony or related to
her new post.
I can’t walk from danger all the time – Heidi
by Domingo B. Natividad V
Whistle-blower Heidi Mendoza is back at the Commission on Audit (COA) after being named commissioner
by President Benigno S. Aquino on Tuesday.
Mendoza, in an interview, said she cannot allow herself to walk away from danger all the time.
This, in response to queries why she accepted the position at COA, the institution she left after uncovering anomalous transactions
at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Mendoza revealed in Congressional hearings earlier that she received death threats
and experienced sleepless nights after discovering the extent of corruption in the AFP.
With her appointment, she assured the Filipino nation of a stricter and better auditing service
from COA. Meanwhile, the Filipino public hailed the appointment of Mendoza saying that her person is the kind of people that
COA needs to fight graft and corruption in government...
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT President Benigno Aquino III has appointed whistleblower Heidi Mendoza as commissioner
of the Commission on Audit (COA).
Aquino also named Maria Gracia Pulido Tan as the new COA chairman.
Mendoza worked for the COA for over 20 years and had been part of fraud audit investigations of government transactions.
She made headlines in February after her explosive testimony before Congress on the alleged misuse of military and United
Nations (UN) peacekeeping funds. Mendoza is regarded as an expert in fraud audit investigations in government transactions.
She resigned from the COA in 2005 and had worked with the Asian Development Bank before appearing in the congressional probes. One of her past investigation led to the conviction of ex-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zacaria Candao
for malversation of government funds worth P21 million. Mendoza is a reserve officer in military, with the rank of lieutenant
colonel. She also finished a master's degree in national security at the National Defense College in 2003. ( http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/04/05/11/heidi-mendoza-new-coa-commissioner )
Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan is a lawyer and CPA
Ms. Tan held position of finance undersecretary for revenue operations from 2003 to 2005. She is a director
at the Asia United Bank, and at the Rural Bank of Angeles City.
A former UP law professor, Tan worked for the Kyrgyz Republic from 2008 to 2009, for the Canadian International Development
Agency from 2007 to 2008, and the KPMG Peat Marwick Main and Company in New York.
She used to be an associate at the Sycip Salazar Feliciano and Hernandez and at the Tan and Venturanza Law Offices.
In 2002 to 2003 she was a member of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
Statement by Ricky Carandang, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic
Planning Office: Asked what made Tan more qualified than Mendoza to head
COA, Carandang said aside from being a lawyer, Tan is also a certified public accountant. “She fits the bill
and she’s already had a government experience," he said. He said the President wants to have a mix of people
who, first of all, were in sync with his administration’s vision for good governance and had a mix of administrative,
operational and investigative skills. “Both of these two have (these qualities) so we think that they are highly
qualified and they’ll make a very good team at the helm of COA," Carandang said. He said Aquino considered Mendoza
for COA chairman post “but we wanted a balance of people who had proven administrative and operational experience which
Grace Tan has and of course the investigative abilities and the proven anti-corruption record of Heidi Mendoza. So all of
those factors when into the mix." Tan, prior to her appointment as COA chairman, was a tax consultant and legal adviser. She
is also an independent director of the Asia United Bank and Rural Bank of Angeles. She was a Finance undersecretary
handling the revenue operations group from May 2003 to February 2005. She also served as a commissioner of the Presidential
Commission on Good Government from October 2002 to May 2003. He said the President expects Tan and Mendoza to carry
out the duties of COA in the proper manner and “we believe they have qualifications to serve their posts." Anti-corruption Carandang
believed that Mendoza’s appointment to COA will boost the administration’s drive against corruption. “I
think Ms Mendoza, as we’ve seen, has proven that she is very serious about anti- corruption and we believe that she
will continue the efforts for good governance," he said. Asked if Mendoza could still testify in congressional hearings
with regards to the plea bargaining agreement with former military comptroller Maj. Gen, Carlos Garcia, Carandang said he
is not sure. Mendoza had followed the money trail of transactions by former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who
is facing a P303-million plunder suit at the Sandiganbayan. She resigned from her job at the Asian Development Bank
to prepare for her testimony against Garcia. She appeared at several congressional hearings on the alleged corruption
in the military. Mendoza also hogged the headlines when she accused his former colleagues in the Commission on Audit
of being “politicized." “We have to ask the lawyers whether she would be able to or not. I don’t
know if there are anymore hearings anyway in the Senate. We’ll have to ask for an opinion on that from the lawyers,"
he said. Mendoza was a career officer at the COA. Her curriculum vitae stated that she started as an auditing aide
III with the performance audit office of COA in 1984. “She rose from the ranks due to her consistent dedication
to duty even at the risk of her own life. In 2002, she worked for the issuance of a cease and desist order which saved the
government from at least P188 million worth of fraudulent transactions and eventual filing of a criminal case and the defeat
of a politician during an elections," the document stated. “She also headed the Garcia plunder case financial
investigation in 2004," it further stated. At a forum in San Juan City in February this year, Mendoza said COA needs
more “independence" so that it can better perform its role of looking into books of accounts of various government agencies. “I
look towards that day na ang ipagtatanggol na budget ng COA ay hindi politicized (when COA will defend a budget that is not
politicized)," she said . — – VVP,
Returning hero or villain?
EDITORIAL IN DAILY TRIBUNE
Heidi Mendoza, the military corruption whistle-blower, is back at the Commission on Audit,
not just as a CoA auditor, but as commissioner, although she did say that she had her eye on the CoA chairmanship, which she
failed to get.
But apparently, her return to CoA, as a high ranking official, is not that welcomed by CoA
people, as they reportedly feel that she had cast doubts on the integrity of the CoA and in the process, caused destruction
to the institution, as well as her having given a blanket condemnation of the employees and officers of that agency she had
Every move she makes, every mistake she commits, every action or inaction in whatever her duties
are, will definitely be watched by those in the CoA who feel they have been maligned, because Heidi did not just testify on
the audit report she made on the military but also hit out at the CoA and pointing the finger at its officials and officers
as either having covered up the past misdeeds, or ordered her to go slow, or their generally toeing the Malacaņang line.
That’s just one problem she faces upon her return to the agency, although Heidi claimed
that the CoA people welcome her return.
Another problem for Heidi, along with the new chairman, would be whether they will truly be
independent officials, as they are Noynoy Aquino’s appointees, in that they, as the high officials of CoA, would also
dare bare whatever monkey business exists under the Aquino administration and its executive offices, including the Office
of the President, because as sure as the sun shines, there will always be some irregularities committed which will be found,
but about which the CoA usually doesn’t bare publicly.
And Heidi is pretty vulnerable to such attacks and criticisms, given the fact that even as
she blew the whistle on the military corruption, and even as the media made her out to be such a heroine and a credible whistle-blower,
a recent survey showed that the respondents didn’t find her that credible, with her obtaining only a paltry minority
of some 22 percent, or not even a quarter of the respondents seeing Heidi as a credible witness.
Apparently, the respondents, claimed by the survey firm to represent the Filipino people, have
an entirely different view from that which the media outfits portray as “good” versus “evil” or “credible”
or “not credible.”
It looks like the electronic media are no longer that influential in shaping the public’s
mind or the reflection of the “pulse of the people.” Still, many of the Yellow media have lost considerable credibility
when it comes to news and public affairs, as the respondents don’t appear to agree with media’s portrayal of Heidi
as a heroine. Nor, for that matter, do the survey respondents agree with the Yellow media and the Noynoy’s House members’
claim that the people voted overwhelmingly to have the Ombudsman impeached, since a slim majority — and a very slim
one at that, given the +/-3 percent error margins — agreed.
It may even be worse for Heidi, as she might even be seen by the general public as having blown
the whistle just to get back at her co-workers in CoA, and get, as a reward from Malacaņang, the high CoA post as commissioner.
Truth is, it was fairly easy for Heidi to turn whistle-blower under a new presidency and administration,
especially since today’s presidency and administration are so focused on their politics of hate and vengeance. Anything
that was said to have been hidden and unearthed against the previous administration is always music to the ears of the current
But will whistles be blown by the Noynoy appointees at the CoA and elsewhere where Noynoy’s
appointees are now in power and positions, and all in the name of his claimed daang matuwid which seems to have taken the
same crooked path?
Some things never change. Besides, those who do not toe the Palace line, can always be fired
by Noynoy, as this is now his claim, which ensures definitively, that independence of these constitutional bodies can never
be attained under such a system.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ More IntegriNews HEADLINES
Malacañang is studying whether or not to pursue the administrative cases filed before it against Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon
Mark Jalandoni following his resignation last week.
Bishop hails Heidi Mendoza's appointment to COA
Ombudsman claims credit for money from sale of Ligots' US house
Baguio postmaster charged for malversation
Sandiganbayan freezes Ligots' assets
Sandiganbayan convictS former National Electrification Administration deputy administrator on graft and malversation charges
for loss of government funds amounting to P85 million 11 years ago
Philippine Tax Agency Files Tax Evasion Complaint Vs Congressman Arroyo
Palace: Aquino gov't not targeting Arroyos -
WWII veterans dismayed over corruption in military
First ever: US delivers $132K from Ligot house sale
Church leaders, LGUs to sign covenant for good governance
COA employees express support for new chief
Sans Truth Commission, gov't still investigating anomalies
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon faces complaint
Infanta Mayor insists there's no "jueteng" in her town
BIR files tax evasion charges against Rep. Mikey Arroyo and wife
Palace backs criminal charges vs Arroyo ally
DoJ gives Ligot couple 10 days to answer tax rap
Ombudsman orderS preventive suspension of revenue officer and customs operations officer, both of whom failed lifestyle checks
and failed to report properties in their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth
Prosecutors nix reopening Soriquez's graft trial
Ex-PH envoy wants arrest warrant deferred
Pichay disputes corruption allegations
Mendoza's COA appointment praised
Why Tan is COA chief only until 2015
Deputy ombudsman told: Don't be a Qaddafi
Commission on Elections Chairman denies trying to bribe or blackmail Senator or sending anyone to talk to senator in his behalf
HOW TO SUPPORT CORRUPTION >>> Never speak of it
Don't listen to anything about it Ignore it
Ombudsman acts on charges vs BSP execs
LTO executives oppose reversion to manual transactions
Merci trial could begin late next month
"The Firm" may offer its services to help prosecute Ombud
Aquino appoints Pulido-Tan, Mendoza as chairman/commissioner of COA
Nine Customs officials suspended
Police, NBI may force deputy ombudsman to vacate post, says senator
Three town councilors accuse high officials of municipal government of Infanta, Quezon, of maintaining jueteng operations
under guise of government-sanctioned small town lottery
5 cops in ransom scandal hauled to Manila jail
Ombudsman, Garcia buck OSG motion for inhibition
Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices vows to fight President Aquino's order to dismiss him even
if he reaches Supreme Court.
COA colleagues to welcome back Mendoza (video in Tagalog)
Rallyists to Merci: "OMG," Oust Merceditas Gutierrez
Deputy Ombudsman: I'll do everything vs dismissal order
Nine Customs officials suspended
Dozens of veteran and young lawyers volunteering to join House of Representatives legal team that will prosecute the Ombudsman
Gutierrez deputy: My conscience is clean
Comelec chief denies "bribing" senator
Army cries foul on corruption coverages
Department of Justice affirms charges filed against Bureau of Immigration officer alleged to have facilitated departure of
seven passengers supposed to work abroad using only tourist travel documents
DoJ files charges vs lady immigration officer over human trafficking
Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group files criminal case against three personnel who allegedly extorted P50,000
from TV personality
SENATOR: "Let courts decide firing of Gutierrez's deputy
Senate Minority Leader accuses Elections Chairman of trying to "bribe and blackmail" him in exchange for his confirmation
in powerful Commission on Appointments
Aquino appoints new Comelec, Civil Service commissioners
De Lima to Palace: Deal with Ombudsman defiance severely
JUSTICE Secretary calls for "decisive action" against the Office of the Ombudsman for defying Malacanang's order dismissing
Deputy Ombudsman But a source told the Manila Standard that more heads would roll at the Office of the Ombudsman.
8 cops cleared of 1992 "ghost" purchases
BOHOL: Vice Governor Lim stands by her "reform" policies
Members of the Cagayan de Oro media undergo one-day anti-corruption workshop sponsored by National Union of Journalists of
Palace: Deputy Ombudsman accorded due process
Post of Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III will be declared vacant as soon as decision of Office of President ordering his
removal becomes final and executory
Country's three biggest business groups support Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas decision to close Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage
Bank for "mismanagement."
IMPEACHEMENT PROSECUTION TEAM has congressional break to firm up case, with weekly meetings having started
Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice opposes moves to have him disqualified from plunder case of former military comptroller Carlos
Garcia, saying his son, a government lawyer, has never appeared before his division or filed any motion before it.
Senators caution Ombudsman against defying President's order to dismiss Deputy Ombudsman for inaction on case of former police
officer, saying President has power to "hire and fire."
President warns against foes of "reform agenda"
Government workers reminded of April 30 SALN deadline
Former RP national treasurer receives prestigious award for women leaders
Purisima expresses support for new GSIS directors facing arrest
Lawyer: "Ombudsman's defiance may lead to impeachment"
Garcia lawyer asked to comment on OSG move to disqualify presiding justice
UN team says Aquino administration creating a conducive environment for development...But there still remain impediments such
Ex-Misamis Oriental mayor convicted of 2004 graft
Court of Appeals sets aside order earlier issued by Ombudsman placing one of so-called euro generals under preventive suspension
due to controversial Russian trip in 2008.
Lacson mocked justice system: DOJ chief
Police recover stolen vehicle of COA chief
Add your content here
The choice of Maria Gracia Pulido Tan, a UP Lawyer/CPA as chairman and whistleblower Heidi Mendoza as commissioner of the
Commission on Audit (COA) is most welcome. It is good that an outsider with a fresh outlook was appointed chairman. With the
knowledgeable anti graft crusader Heidi Mendoza as her associate, the two can finally rid COA of corrupt officials and practices.
One practice that the two new COA officials must look into is the appointment of wives, sons and daughters or relatives of
COA auditors to high paying positions in the offices they audit. The COA auditor is the first line of defense against corruption
as shown by the military conversion cases, it can only happen with the cooperation of the auditor. -- Ernesto M. Maceda in
The Philippine Star
The problem is not that government doesn't want to do things for the people, it is that government doesn't want to do things
with the people. If the people figure at all in the equation, it is only as spectators. It is only as audience. It is not
as participants, active or complicit. It is not as players, foreground or background. Which is a pity. Because they are the
ones that ultimately spell the difference in whether or not government can truly push back corruption or not. In other countries,
what would make Gutierrez's defiance completely unthinkable is not just the weight of law, it is the weight of public opinion.
At the very least, that means the weight of culture, which is the values and judgments of society in codified form, permeating
daily life and affecting or dictating the way people think and act. Far more than law, that is what inhibits people from committing
atrocity, that is what compels people to commit suicide when they are deemed to have done so, it is what makes people bury
their heads in shame when they are found out. That is what precludes a scale of defiance or pakapalan, such as Gutierrez shows,
from even being contemplated. -- Conrado de Quiros in Philippine Daily Inquirer
Public funds being misappropriated for Terminal 3
Senators foresaw likely abuse by Ombudsman
What must P-Noy do? My friend suggests the following: First, remove the ombudsman (and replace her with an effective one)
to strike fear in the hearts of the corrupt, and reclaim major artillery in the fight versus corruption. Second, appoint a
new Commission on Audit chairman with the energy, will and savvy to use this institution against corruption. Third, ensure
that changes being introduced in the budget process, particularly in its execution, will mobilize activist groups around the
monitoring and oversight (and exposure of corruption) of public spending. Fourth, conduct a thorough purge of corruption in
the agencies of government most notorious for it. This includes prompt removal of any Aquino appointee who might be proven
guilty of corruption, which would be a most powerful signal to all that this government is indeed serious about corruption.
And fifth, organize a strategic management and policy unit that will help the President on the preventive approaches for eliminating
corruption via policy, organizational and process reforms. This is quite apart from and would complement the punitive function
that the Office of the Ombudsman fulfills. With these, P-Noy can perhaps truly be the clean-up President that he promised
to be. -- Cielito Habito in Philippine Daily Inquirer
Respected economist Bernardo Villegas said that President Aquino was doing very, very poorly in attracting foreign direct
investments (FDIs). That's true. Speaking at the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Angeles City, Villegas pointed
out that the Philippines in 2010 totalled only $1.8 billion in FDIs compared to $10 billion for Indonesia and $7 billion for
Vietnam. In a list of 10 Asian investment areas, the Philippines came out 9th. Prominent UP Economics Professor Benjamin Diokno
also pointed out that all FDIs of our Asian neighbors increased while the Philippines decreased. He analyzed that the main
disincentive of foreign investors is still the continuing corruption in the country as shown by the recent PERC survey...The
President's anti-corruption drive is snagged with the Truth Commission in limbo, the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan uncooperative
and carryover of GMA type corrupt practices still on the scene. And the President's excuse for his lackluster performance
and declining ratings - the media is focusing only on the bad news. If he truly believes that, it is time for him to start
firing his entire Palace communications group. Their Cabinet titles have gone to their heads, their comments too cocky. --
Ernesto M. Maceda in The Philippine Star
The Office of the Ombudsman is a cannibalit preys on its own kind. Its victims are government officials and employees accused
of corruption. Mendoza was fired from the police service for extortion. It was a case of an extortionist being fleeced by
another extortionist. Extorting from government officials and employees facing corruption charges is common at the Office
of the Ombudsman. For sure, former Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia coughed up millions of pesos of money he stole from the Armed Forces
so the Office of the Ombudsman would downgrade his case from plunder to plain corruption. A thief who robs another thief of
his loot is as disgusting as a cannibal who devours human flesh. -- Ramon Tulfo in Philippine Daily Inquirer
Do you view the Armed Forces of the Philippines as the "most corrupt" government agency? (Click to read citizens' opinions
in The Philippine Star)
Precisely because there are ways by which the State can rid itself of an inept or a corrupt deputy ombudsman, there is no
reason to invoke the doctrine of residual powers to justify the President's attempt to unseat a deputy ombudsman. The doctrine
applies only when there is need for the exercise of a power that has not been entrusted by the constitution or the laws to
any specific branch of government. In this case, there are offices of government that can deal with an unworthy deputy ombudsman.
I am not by any means canonizing the ombudsman, her deputies and their investigators. I have heard reports from sources I
have no reason to doubt that not everything has been above board in that office. In fact, I have had personal experience in
the past of the unholy shadows that lurk along the corridors of the Office of the Ombudsman. But that is another thing - and
it does not detract from my conviction that the President is bereft of authority to fire a deputy ombudsman! -- Fr. Ranhilio
Callangan Aquino in Manila Standard
A courageous media colleague...sizes up the Ombudsman in very contemptuous way, saying Ombudsman people have been feasting
on cases involving wealthy respondents and alleging that many cases there have gone haywire on purpose. The Ombudsman is supposed
to be the front line agency against corruption but it has not lived up to its mandate. Over the years, even after its disciplinary
and punitive powers have been enlarged, there was nothing the agency can be proud of. So that beyond all the rhetoric of every
administration against thievery in government and promises to put the scalawags into the pen using the Ombudsman's net, all
the anti-corruption campaigns have simmered down, sadly, into just what they are: worthless rhetoric. -- ROSULO in Catanduanes
We cannot achieve a clean government if those who are tasked to fight corruption are not doing their job or are protecting
the perpetrators of corruption. There is no other better time to fix the system but now. If we want an honest government,
we must start getting rid of officials who do not serve the public interest. It has been the desire and vision of Pres. Noynoy
Aquino to stop the rampant corruption in our land. With the impeachment of Gutierrez, the President can now proceed with his
plans and programs for a clean and honest government - and it won't be too long when the kind of progressive Philippines that
we've been dreaming of will become a reality. -- Alexander Lim in The Bohol Standard
A failure to convict Gutierrez even with strong evidence to impeach her could unleash a tsunami of voter backlash against
12 senators -- whose terms end in 2013 -- who would most likely be running for re-election. They are: Edgardo Angara, Joker
Arroyo, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Ping Lacson, Loren Legarda, Kiko Pangilinan, Antonio
Trillanes IV, Manny Villar, and Juan Miguel Zubiri. In the final analysis, the people want the senator-judges to vote impartially,
fairly, and justly solely on the evidence presented to them. Anything short of that would not be acceptable in the "court
of public opinion." -- Editorial in Zamboanga Today
THERE are 21 people who may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of any of the following: culpable violation
of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. These are the
President, the Vice-President, Members of the Supreme Court, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, the Chairman of
the Commission on Elections, the Chairman of the Commission on Audit and the Ombudsman. The rest of us can be fired because
the boss does not like us...No one seriously doubts that the Philippines is highly corrupt. Nor do we doubt that the resources
designed to bring the allegedly corrupt to justice are failing in their duty. Special prosecutor Wendell Sulit's breathtaking
pronouncement that 'the case against (General) Garcia is not strong' is, for me, a prima facie case for her dismissal. But
there are Wendell Sulits up and down the land. They lurk in Fiscals' offices where their excessive passivity allows influential
or seemingly influential wrongdoers to go scot-free. Merci will receive a fair hearing from the Senators who will respect
the presumption of innocence. But for the rest of us who are tired and angry about the level of corruption and who have heard
the discussions in the House of Representatives cannot but believe that Merci will have an uphill battle in the Senate. The
Prosecution Panel will have prepared well but we can expect surprises from the Defense, which has not, so far, been particularly
articulate in the national conversation about the Ombudsman's performance. But whatever happens, I believe the seriousness
with which Senators are preparing for their responsibilities reflects well on our democratic processes. Permissum Justicia
increbresco! (Let Justice prevail!) -- Neil Honeyman in Sun.Star Bacolod
Unable to bulldoze Gutierrez to step down through all sorts of pressures, including blackening her name in its publicity campaign
in the media in an attempt to influence the Senate in its impeachment trial, the administration has now opened a new front
to attack not only Gutierrez but also the Office of the Ombudsman itself. In what appears to be reckless exercise of presidential
power, the President sacked Gonzalez for his action or inaction on the Mendoza hostage case. The dismissal order pushed Malacañang
to the edge of a potential constitutional confrontation over the issue of the President's powers relative to a constitutionally
protected organ, such as the Office of the Ombudsman...The President may get rid of Gonzalez, but he is not central to the
Gutierrez impeachment case. Mr. Aquino is wasting political resources on the Gonzalez case. The dismissal seeks to blame Gonzalez
for the hostage fiasco. The move against Gonzalez cannot wash the hands of the President of responsibility for the bungled
rescue. It is a scapegoating exercise. The decision to reintroduce that failed hostage crisis nightmare in the public agenda
in the run-up to the Senate trial is a self-destructive public opinion strategy. -- Amando Doronila in Philippine Daily Inquirer
Impunity is a hard habit to break. When the Office of the President dismissed Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III from government
service last Friday, for "gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct constituting betrayal of public trust," the Office of
Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez responded immediately with open defiance ...years of misusing the awesome powers of the Ombudsman
to prosecute lowly officials and protect the higher-ups have taken their toll on the Ombudsman and her lawyers. Last Friday's
knee-jerk reaction tells us the instinct to clear the high and mighty is already second nature. -- Editorial in Inquirer
While many consider the testimonials of Rabusa and former state auditor Heidi Mendoza as a revolutionary step towards a corrupt-free
government, the same revelations also caused Filipinos to be disheartened over government officials, especially those in the
AFP, Pulse Asia survey said...Although it can be disappointing at times, news that denote negative issues challenges the people
to not just sit, watch or be passive, but also to get involved and let their government know that they are willing to extend
help, in whatever way they can, for a better country. It is encouraging that more people are speaking out against those who
have used their public position for their own benefit. The Filipinos have come a long way from their meek ways in the past
to being the outspoken citizens that they are now. They have proven it not once - but many times and it is never to late to
prove it again if it means a better Philippines for the generations to come. -- Editorial in Asian Journal
It seems that even the Aquino administration can't eliminate corruption in the government and may even becomes more horrifying
ill than the previous Arroyo administration despite P-Noy's rallying slogan after his inauguration: "Tapos na ang maliligayang
araw ng masasamang opisyales sa gobyerno". I'm afraid that what P-Noy promised us is merely on paper as results of the latest
survey by Pulse Asia show that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is the most corrupt government agency in the eyes of the
public. The Philippine National Police ranked second to the AFP among the agencies considered the most corrupt. During the
Arroyo administration, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH ) was on topped and long considered the flagship
of corruption of the previous leadership. Now the DPWH came in third. In fourth place was the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR),
followed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Commission on Audit (COA) and Bureau of Customs. Yes, P-Noy maybe
made good his promise that his priority is to run after corrupt public officials, but he didn't tell us that he will merely
re-shuffled corrupt government agencies and let the corrupt officials remained in office and corruption continues to flourish.
Just like changing collar of a dog and the same dog continuously biting us. -- Loreto D. Tinitigan in Mindanao Times
Filipinos become drug mules by choice. They are involved in the process of figuring out how to surreptitiously transport illegal
drugs to another country either by taking advantage of opportunities or overcoming pitfalls which all require the exercise
of ingenuity. If this is the case, the government's intense readiness to intercede for our drug mules presents a central flaw--that
is, the weakening of our determination to take responsibility for the consequences of our own actions, as individuals as well
as a nation. I agree with the anti-crime crusader Teresita Ang-Sees conclusion that the three Filipinos on death row in China
were paid couriers who knew that they were smuggling illegal drugs. Cognizant of this knowledge, they decided to gamble their
lives and lost. -- Efren Padilla in GMANews Online
It is unkind and unjust how a badly timed "survey" intended to measure the sentiment or opinion of some 1,000 to 3,000 +/-
persons about government offices and agencies, now become the justification that would crucify our Armed Forces for their
past sins. Of course the respondents would have a skewed or biased opinion because the poll took place in the middle of a
controversy and an investigation of the AFP that has been building up for months or years! That may not be the intention of
the pollsters or survey agency but the same would happen if you asked the question "Is it hot or is it cold?" on the hottest
week of summer! In spite of public perception, which is erroneous both in facts and chronology, I believe that no less than
the Commander-In-Chief should spend time with the troops and their dependents to reassure them of his, and the nation's trust
and appreciation. The Commander-In-Chief should correct the publics misimpression that the ongoing Senate investigation on
AFP corruption is something that dates back to some five or six years ago, not something thats happening today. -- Cito Beltran
in The Philippine Star
We are waking to the realization that the military, police and even private security institutions harbor perhaps the largest
criminal network unwittingly funded by taxpayers. We are effectively bankrolling the atrocities they inflict, the protection
they provide criminals, and the corruption they nurture. Where they appropriate taxpayer's money into their private coffers,
they are nothing but crooks. In the order of crooks, they are crooks of the worst kind, stealing not just from the public
where economies of scale dilute consequences, but from their subordinates, violating a code of solidarity alternately referred
to as loyalty or brotherhood. Increasing from a previous 8%, the recently polled 49% corruption statistic still does not quite
tell of corruption as eloquently as when we delve into doublespeak. The subculture's lexicon reveals how an institution deodorizes
itself and institutionalizes criminality. The most often used terminology is the word "conversion". In the financial or mathematical
sense conversion involves equal values expressed under different units of measure. In the context of securities, conversion
involves the exchange of convertible security. In the AFP's criminal underworld conversion is when legitimate appropriations
are converted to an unlawful use. The correct technical word is "malversation". The non-technical word is "stealing". Following
recent revelations, criminal malversation was institutionalized through the Provisions for Command-Directed Activities (PCDA)
reserved for the AFP Chief of Staff and his generals The PCDA identifies criminality's provenance. It indicates systematic
plunder where star-rank officers wantonly scrape from other budgetary units to sustain prioritized funds in the PCDA. -- Dean
de la Paz in GMANews Online
Do you agree that Ombudsman Merci Gutierrez's impeachment will boost the fight against corruption, just as the President says?
(Click here to read citizen opinions)
It will take more than reassurances from AFP officers that they have plugged opportunities for corruption to improve the public
image of the military. That image makeover will take time, with people looking out for evidence of lavish lifestyles not just
among AFP officers but also among their wives and children. The public will compare these lifestyles with the welfare of ordinary
soldiers. Transparency in budget and procurement processes in the AFP will also help. Several units have started posting supply
requisitions and expenditures on their websites. Public perceptions change. In the case of the AFP, it must make sure an improvement
in its public image will arise from genuine reform efforts and not from the involvement of another agency in a corruption
scandal. -- Editorial in The Philippine Star
...“As soon as we get convictions and people really wind up in jail, we
think we will experience a J-curve in terms of tax efficiency,” he said. Currently, only 3m-4m Filipinos in a population
of 94m regularly pay income taxes, according to his spokesman...
Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd
(PERC) survey of views on political, institutional
and private sector corruption
Between November 2010 to February 2011 PERC polled respondents on their views on political, institutional and private sector corruption. PERC covered
1,725 middle and senior expatriate business executives working in Asia, the US and Australia. The expatriates were asked to
provide scores only for the country where they were working and their country of origin. Rating are on a scale of
one to 10 -- with 10 being the worst Cambodia
Indonesia (9.25 points)
PHILIPPINES (8.9 points)
Asian average (6.08) (Excludes Australia & USA)
South Korea (5.90)
Hong Kong (1.10)
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of corruption, intent on integrity!
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