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NEWS - May 14 - 24, 2011

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PANEL TO PROBE GMA ON P533-M PLUNDER - The Department of Justice on Monday formed a panel of prosecutors to conduct a preliminary investigation on the P533-million plunder charges against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

JBC WILL NOT EXTEND ENDORSEMENT PERIOD FOR OMBUDSMAN CANDIDATES - The Judicial and Bar Council rejected yesterday calls to extend the period of endorsement for applicants for the next Ombudsman as the council got ready to screen 26 nominees. The eight-man council chaired by Chief Justice Renato Corona had closed the filing of applications and turned down the request of the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN) for an extension of the nomination period to give way to more applicants.

TRUTH COMMISSION'S FATE KNOWN SOON - The Supreme Court will soon issue a decision on a motion for reconsideration filed by Malacañang, which had sought to reverse an earlier ruling by the tribunal that declared an Executive Order (EO) creating the Truth Commission as 'unconstitutional.'

PLUNDER CASE VS GARCIA CAN STILL BE REVIVED - The plunder case against retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), could still be revived, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said yesterday.

OMBUDSMAN SUSPENDS PICHAY - The Office of the Ombudsman yesterday ordered the six-month suspension of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) board chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. for alleged misuse of funds.

EXPANDED LAUNDERING COVERAGE SOUGHT - The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is calling on lawmakers to expand the coverage of the anti-money laundering law to include corruption, plunder and other offenses.

'FITNESS' REQUIRED OF OMBUDSMAN - Malacanang on Thursday seemed to have vagueness written all over it on the matter of what it was looking for in the next Ombudsman, whom President Benigno Aquino 3rd would pick in place of the recently-resigned Merceditas Gutierrez. Fitness of the candidate was the main criterion, according to spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who was rather unclear if he was referring to the physical state of the aspirant.

PHILIPPINES IS NEW W.H.O. AUDITOR - The Philippines has clinched the post of external auditor of the World Health Organization (WHO), presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday night. We just won the position of auditor of the World Health Organization. We beat Germany, France, Spain and Malaysia, Lacierda quoted Commission on Audit (COA) Chair Grace Tan as saying.

SOLIMAN, ABAD IN HOUSE LINE OF FIRE ON CCT PROBE - Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and Budget Secretary Butch Abad may likely find themselves in hot water after House members bared their intention to hold an inquiry into the P2-billion additional budget allotted for the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) program bloating its appropriation this year to P23 billion.

DA CHIEF ASSURES KEEPING EYE ON RICE IMPORTATION - Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has assured his department will keep a tight watch on the country's rice importation to help guard against possible irregularities in such activity.

AQUINO TOP ALLIES CRAM JBC - President Benigno Aquino 3rd apparently would take no prisoners where getting juicy posts in the judiciary for allies he fancies was concerned. With his administration being barely a year old, President Aquino already has stuffed the eight-man Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) with four of his known allies Jose Mejia, Milagros Fernan-Cayosa, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. of Iloilo.

PALACE ELATED OVER LIST OF OMBUDSMAN NOMINEES - Malacañang yesterday kept its ambiguity on its preferred candidate for the next Ombudsman but welcomed Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales acceptance of her nomination to that coveted government position.

3 SANDIGAN JUSTICES FACE CRIMINAL RAPS - Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval and Associate Justices Teresita Diaz-Baldos and Samuel Martires are facing criminal charges for approving the plea bargain agreement between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Garcia Offered More 6 Years Ago than Agreed to in Plea Bargain

GARCIA OFFERED TO RETURN ALL P303M IN 2005 - Former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia had proposed through his legal counsel in 2005, to enter a plea bargain for plunder and return the entire amount of P303 million provided that his wife and three children be excluded from the case, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Humphrey Monteroso said at a forum on corruption held at the Ateneo de Davao University Tuesday morning.

NFA LOST P100B IN 10 YEARS -COA: Huge rice imports and a policy of buying high, selling low and storing long have resulted in the National Food Authority losing more than P100 billion in a span of 10 years, the Commission on Audit said.

25 ACCEPT NOMINATION FOR OMBUDSMAN - JBC: Twenty-five out of 38 personalities seen qualified to become the next Ombudsman have accepted their nomination, according to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

SMUGGLING AT NFA BARED: This was how the audit team hired by the National Food Authority (NFA) described the governments rice importation program in the last three years of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, which saw a rice crisis, soaring prices and huge losses for the grains agency.

PUNO DECLINES OMBUDSMAN POST: Former chief justice Reynato Puno has declined his nomination for the Ombudsman post, saying he has already committed himself to certain projects, especially church work.

PUNO EYED FOR OMBUDSMAN: Will a retired Supreme Court Magistrate become the next Ombudsman? The Manila Times learned that retired High Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno is among the legal luminaries who were endorsed as the next Ombudsman, with retiring Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales reportedly awaiting the endorsement of retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban to become a candidate to replace Merceditas Gutierrez who resigned on May 6 as the countrys top graft-buster.

PAL EMPLOYEE COUNSEL NOMINATED FOR OMBUDSMAN POST: Former government officials nominated the counsel of Philippine Airlines employees to replace Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez whose resignation became effective last May 6.

SENATOR BARES WINDOW OF GRAFT IN AFP: A window of opportunity for corruption threatens to spoil the Armed Forces of the Philippines' combat expense facility if its officials fail to inform the men in the field about the fund's existence, a senator warned Sunday. Sen. Panfilo Lacson, head of the Senate defense committee, said a corrupt and cunning company commander can keep the fund - P100,000 every three months - a secret from his men and even submit a report to higher headquarters that the amount was properly spent.

DE LIMA TO GO AFTER LAWYERS IN PLEA DEAL: Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Friday said that nine former and current officials of the Office of the Ombudsman involved in a plea-bargaining agreement with former military comptroller and now retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia can still be charged in court.

NERI'S CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST- DOJ backs BIR plan to file P13.6M tax evasion case: The Department of Justice recommended the filing of a P13.6-million tax evasion case against former Social Security System president Romulo Neri, representing tax duties of the income he received in 2008 and 2009 as nominee to companies where the state pension fund invested its members money

PALACE WELCOMES ENFORCEMENT OF GONZALEZ'S DISMISSAL: Malacañang welcomed yesterday the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman to finally enforce President Aquinos order to dismiss Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices Emilio Gonzalez III from the service for negligence.

STOP WORKING, DISMISSED DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN ORDERED: Deputy Ombudsman Emilio A. Gonzalez III has been asked to "cease and desist from performing official and administrative functions at the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other law Enforcement Offices" following his dismissal from office...directive by Acting Ombudsman Orlando C. Casimiro... Gonzalez was dismissed by Malacanang after he was found guilty of neglect of duty and gross misconduct for allegedly demanding P150,000 from Captain Rolando Mendoza, who held hostage a busload of Hong Kong tourists at the Quirino Grandstand in August 2010,

NOT ANOTHER CLASSMATE OR FRIEND IN THE OMBUDSMAN: An anticorruption advocacy group on Wednesday called on the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) and President Aquino not to appoint anyone with strong ties to the chief executive or his high-ranking officials as the next Ombudsman.

DEFENSE, AFP CHIEFS PRESENT REFORMS VS GRAFT: Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces Chief General Eduardo Oban on Thursday presented to the Senate measures to curb irregularities in the military, including a lifestyle check on officials and an audit of the intelligence fund. The AFP took a step further by ordering the deposit of P300 million with the national treasury in relation to the United Nations peacekeeping fund to avoid its diversion. "No corrupt practices shall happen under my watch. We will never allow indiscriminate spending. Funds of the DND and the AFP will be properly managed," Gazmin told the Senate blue ribbon committee. Oban told the committee that the more than 100,000-strong military had been "disgraced" by the scandal of past AFP chiefs allegedly pocketing millions of pesos of funds.

SANDIGANBAYAN AQUITS EX-AFP CHIEF OF PERJURY: The Sandiganbayan has acquitted former Armed Forces chief of staff AFP Lisandro Abadia of perjury charges after prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman submitted as evidence mere photocopies of Lisandro's statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for 1993 and 1994. The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division issued its decision last May 10, a day after it approved a controversial plea bargaining agreement between the Omnudsman and former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia.





More IntegriNews


Two ranking officials of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) were found guilty by the Sandiganbayan of unlawfully selling four generators worth P.8 million in 2002.

The Judicial and Bar Council will vote on applications and nominations for the post of Ombudsman on July 4, at the earliest. This, as the Supreme Court said the council will no longer be granting any extension of the application/nomination period for the position.

A watchlist order is now being drafted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against alleged car smuggler Lynard Allan Bigcas after he failed to attend the probe conducted by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Embattled Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Ernesto Diokno on Monday took a leave of absence from his post, pushing aside calls for him to resign outright and save President Benigno Aquino III from further political embarrassment.

The Customs bureau is looking into its own backyard for clues on who may have been involved in the smuggling of fancy cars and high-end motorcycles in Cagayan de Oro port.

THE Sugar Anti-Smuggling Organization and the Bureau of Customs Cebu office formed a joint anti-smuggling task force that aims to put an end to the perennial sugar smuggling problem in the Queen City.

Instead of focusing on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, the government should exert more effort in fighting poverty through anti-corruption measures, world boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao said Sunday.

A Customs official is in hot water for extorting P200,000 for the release of a shipment which was already cleared and inspected by the bureaus Run After the Smugglers (RATS) Group.

THE Commission on Audit (COA) is urging the public to list down and report any government vehicle being used for personal use by a government official. Atty. Alfredo S. Reyes, COA regional director, said the public may also report those vehicles without logos.

A Department of Justice fact-finding body begins its formal investigation on Monday on the possible administrative liabilities of Bureau of Corrections director Ernesto Diokno and other prison officials following the arrest in Makati City of New Bilibid Prisons inmate Jose Antonio Leviste, a homicide convict and former Batangas governor, who managed to leave the state penitentiary unauthorized.

The Office of the Ombudsman has exonerated Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and several members of the Manila City Government and the Manila Police District (MPD) from administrative liability in connection with the city's takeover of a slaughterhouse owned by the family of a Manila councilor

The open secret is unraveling at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, head of the fact-finding panel looking into the prison break of former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste, yesterday expressed dismay over the inhuman conditions of the poor and the comfortable kubol (quarters) of the rich in the state penitentiary.

Malacañang maintained yesterday Local Water Utilities Administration board chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. would have no choice but to follow the suspension order of the Office of the Ombudsman as the Palace would enforce it should he fail to get a temporary restraining order from the courts.

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro is now juggling four jobs at the Office of the Ombudsman as the top three positions at the anti-graft agency remain vacant.

STILL smarting from the fallout from its alleged practice of giving special treatment to prisoners of power and privilege, the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP)the state penitentiaryon Friday was accused of looking the other way while illegal drugs proliferated there.

Two former lawmakers and other former government officials linked to the P728-million fertilizer fund scam will ask the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the cases against them.

Here's a copy of the Civil Service Commissions Resolution dated March 15, 2011, which requires parties requesting copies of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) of government officials to pay P200 per declaration.

The Bureau of Customs on Thursday sued executives of a chemical firm and their customs brokers for allegedly defrauding the government of some P15 million in import duties for various chemicals that they imported since 2009. Charged for technical smuggling in violation of the Tariff and Customs Code were Cleveland Industries president Joana Soat Ing and purchasing manager Anderson Angelo Tang Sy.

President Aquino yesterday called on the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to explain how luxury vehicles and motorcycles have been smuggled into the country.

Phoenix Petroleum on Wednesday filed complaints of libel, grave misconduct and abuse of Authority against Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez before the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City.

TWO advertising agency executives Wednesday filed a P28-million graft complaint against a former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office official accusing him of allegedly demanding a cut from their payments from the PCSO for a number of years.

Whistle-blower Rodolfo Lozada Jr. could not explain why he allowed multimillion-peso anomalies in government projects he handled while acting as personal technical adviser to former National Economic and Development Authority chief Romulo Neri.

Eight members of the Land Transportation Office, including their leader, based in this capital city were apprehended last Monday for bribery during an entrapment conducted by Dipolog City (Zamboanga del Norte) policemen.

Magistrates of the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division are in hot water for approving a controversial plea bargaining agreement between the Office of the Ombudsman and former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, who is facing plunder charges.

Witness Rodolfo 'Jun' Lozada on Tuesday testified that then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had told Romulo Neri to give the $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) project to then Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos.

Defense lawyers cross-examined government witness Rodolfo 'Jun' Lozada at the Sandiganbayan hearing of the case filed against former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos.

Lawyers of former elections chairman Benjamin Abalos bared in court yesterday the involvement of whistleblower Rodolfo Lozada in allegedly anomalous government contracts in the past.

THE OFFICE of the Solicitor General (OSG) has asked the Sandiganbayan to suspend hearings on the criminal cases against a former military official pending an appeal over a controversial plea bargaining agreement (PBA).

The consolidated bill that has yet to be assigned a number seeks to provide protection, security and benefits for whistle-blowers.

The inclusion of the name of the customs collector at the Mindanao Container Port (MCP) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in the 'black book' of suspected vehicle smuggler Lynard Allan Bigcas prompted calls from Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez to investigate operations in the said port.

THE Department of Budget and Management is calling on the heads of departments, bureaus, offices, government agencies and state universities and colleges that are collecting Representation and Transportation Allowances (Rata) to strictly follow the national compensation circular.

Officials of the Bureau of Customs (BoC), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will be called to attend the house hearing into the smuggling of luxury vehicles in the country, when the House Sub-Committee on Customs, Tariff and other Related Taxes resumes its probe on Monday.

The Philippine government overestimated the yearly rice consumption by every Filipino, leading to overimportation in the last three years of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration

Justices of the Sandiganbayans Second Division handling the case of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia have appealed for public understanding over the approval of the plea bargaining agreement with the former general.

Government lawyers asked the Sandiganbayan Second Division to suspend the proceedings on cases connected to former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Comptroller Carlos Garcia.

Malacañang on Tuesday declined to comment if former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may be charged in connection with the alleged 'legalized smuggling' of rice by the National Food Authority.

Former elections chairman Benjamin Abalos had expected millions of dollars in commissions from the Chinese firm ZTE Corp. in connection with the national broadband network (NBN) deal, Rodolfo Lozada told the Sandiganbayan yesterday.

THE Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the complaint filed by environment lawyers against Cebu provincial officials over their alleged failure to provide them documents pertaining to a project that would be implemented at the Balili property.

Retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, who swore in President Benigno S. Aquino III, leads at least 19 nominees and applicants for Ombudsman.

ONE of the most powerful posts in the government, not surprisingly, is coveted by many. The Manila Times learned that at the close of office hours on Monday, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) received 39 names the owners of which either had applied for the Ombudsmans post or had been endorsed for appointment as the countrys next chief graftbuster. Of the 39, twenty-five accepted the endorsement and six turned it down.

At least one governor, two mayors and a Customs official named in the so-called black book of suspected Mindanao car smuggler Lynard Allan Bigcas are facing probe by the National Bureau of Investigations.

The tax evasion case against former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot and wife, Erlinda, nears resolution as the Department of Justice sets its last preliminary investigation hearing on May 27.

The black book of suspected vehicle smuggler Allan Bigcas lists the names of Mindanao government officials who are his alleged clients, a House panel inquiry revealed on Monday.

An official of the Office of the Ombudsman clarified yesterday that if ordered by the Supreme Court, the agency would reinstate dismissed Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices Emilio Gonzalez III.

A proposed law seeking the transfer of whistleblowers or witnesses in high-profile cases from the Department of Justice to the Office of the Ombudsman is close to getting the nod of the House Committee on Justice.

THE Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Finance are set to come up with new policies that would require local government units (LGU) to properly audit their finances before they could be granted loans.

A Davao-based broker implicated in a large-scale smuggling attempt has filed a complaint against the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by accusing its officials of abuse of authority and grave misconduct.

A Bureau of Customs official yesterday said the alleged graft charges filed against her before the Office of the Ombudsman were pure harassment to discredit her anti-smuggling campaign. Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service chief Marissa Rae Galang denied she failed to declare her real property in the Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN) that included a townhouse in Quezon City acquired in 1993.

De Lima not interested in Ombudsman, SC posts

The Sandiganbayan has dismissed a perjury case against former Armed Forces chief Gen. Lisandro Abadia, citing the prosecution's failure to present original documents to prove that he had lied about some information in his statements of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALNs) for 1993 and 1994.

Politics has nothing to do with the filing of tax cases against officials of the previous administration, President Aquino said, even as he stressed that offenders found guilty would be dealt with severely

3 Whistle-blowers want Ex-Solicitor General Chavez as Ombudsman

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has asked the regional offices of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region 10 to submit all documents pertaining to the alleged hot cars seized by authorities in the houses of a businessman accused of smuggling.

The Whistle-blowers Association has nominated former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez to be the next Ombudsman.

Former Iloilo governor Niel Tupas yesterday sought relief from the Supreme Court (SC) on the graft case he is facing at the Sandiganbayan for allegedly granting a quarry permit to a contractor linked to the in-laws of his son, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr.

The case filed by former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo against accused plunderer retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia was ... deficient that it did not even mention Garcias position as comptroller in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in which he should have been accused of having benefited illegally and in turn became the basis for the crime of plunder.

Heidi: Court had enough evidence to junk Garcia deal

Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo on Friday said he is opening the Philippine National Police's (PNP) intelligence fund for audit, a radio report said.

Legal experts agree there was no legal obstacle for former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to order the reinstatement of Customs police chief Jose Yuchongco whom it earlier dismissed from service for alleged graft after the Court of Appeals (CA) junked the latters petition questioning his dismissal.





New Congress, new commitment to stamp out corruption? Thats what the Anti-Money Laundering Council must be hoping for as it presses the 15th Congress to expand the coverage of Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. - Editorial at the Philippine Star

Changing accounting periods and criminal offense - I used to think that changing a taxpayers accounting period is as simple as filing a letter of request with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). However, did you know that one can be charged in court for a criminal offense if he is unaware of the process of changing a taxpayers accounting period? - Rolando Devesa at BusinessWorld

BUREAU OF Corrections Director Ernesto Diokno has given a new meaning to the word corrections. Asked about the VIP treatment given to Antonio Leviste, including several grants of leave in which the former Batangas governor was allowed to leave the premises of the New Bilibid Prisons, Diokno said he had been aware of the prisoners unauthorized trips but dismissed it as just a small matter. - Editorial at the Philippine Daily Inquirer

While the government action against officials of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) was long expected, the seemingly synchronized actions of the Office of the President and the Ombudsman in slapping suspension orders on LWUA Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. and three other officials left a bad taste in the mouth. - Editorial at the Daily Tribune

The issue of the plea bargain of retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia before the Sandiganbayan is inherently a judicial matter. Under the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers, the President cannot interfere during the trial of a criminal case. The State (People of the Philippines), or the Office of the President, is rightfully represented by public/special prosecutors during the trial stage, and by the Office of the Solicitor General when a case is appealed to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. In the Garcia case, the plea bargain agreement was jointly presented by the accused and the government prosecutors. Hence, the trial court had the right to rule on it. - Bonifacio Alentajan, letter at Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Bureau of Corrections is a misnomer. It is a government bureau itself in need of corrections when you hear other horror stories of drug trafficking, prostitutes plying their trade inside prison walls and worst, inmates being let out as guns for hire! - Alejandro del Rosario at ManilaStandardToday

THE STUNNING report that the National Food Authority lost P100 billion in 10 years has drawn justifiable outrage from many sectors. - Editorial at The Philippine Daily Inquirer

The plea bargain between the Office of the Ombudsman and retired Major General Carlos Garcia, former AFP comptroller, has been roundly criticized as a testament that sometimes, crime does pay. It has also been characterized as legally flawed. - Emil Jurado at ManilaStandardToday

THE CONCLUSION of the three-man audit team hired by the Aquino administration to investigate the practices of the National Food Authority in the last decade was about as categorical as it gets: PSF as implemented effectively legalized smuggling. PSF refers to the private sector-financed importation of rice, a controversial initiative which the NFA implemented in the last three years of the previous administration. - Editorial at The Phil Daily Inquirer

In basketball, the offense used to be descriptively called "forcing through." This was a foul on the charging player. No referee, however, is expected to call a foul on the six Comelec commissioners whove rammed through a lone blocker (Commissioner Gus Lagman) to satisfy an ardent desire to buy Smartmatics PCOS machines for the ARMM elections in August. They doubtless intend to get away with sweeping aside prescribed procedures and the warnings of IT experts on the serious flaws of the Smartmatic system. - Rene Azurin at BusinessWorld

The Garcia plea bargain deal poisons the entire truth-finding process set up by the most transparency-obsessed Constitution we have ever had. The deal is a cyanide pill to prevent us from finding out who robbed our soldiers blind. - Theodore Te at Newsbreat

TO SAY that the room full of people who listened to new Ateneo de Davao University president Fr. Joel E. Tabora SJ was impressed is an understatement. In Tuesday's launching of Dr. Ronnie V. Amorado's new book on corruption, "Kakistocracy: Rule of the unprincipled, unethical and unqualified", the mix of government and non-government organization representatives and the academe were more than impressed. Others may even have been a bit perplexed on whether they were listening to a university president or a street parliamentarian. - Editorial at SunStar Davao

The failure that has consistently met the countrys anti-graft crusade since the OMB was created in 1989 cannot be blamed exclusively on single officials, such as Gutierrez or her predecessors. An anti-corruption expert, Tony Kwok Man-wai, was recently reported to have described the OMB as having 'too little power, too few investigators and not enough money.' - Dan Mariano at The Manila Times

As tools in the prevention of corruption, however, the SALN reveals just that, tidbits. Overworked investigators in the Office of the Ombudsman have to depend on outside information, other public records here and abroad, and blind luck to unearth wealth that is out of proportion to an officials legitimate income - Editorial at SunStar Cebu

A timely study published by the Action for Economic Reform assesses the state of the countrys justice system, rule of law, and human rights... One notes that 'the rule of law does not only depend on democratic institutions and processes'... More important is the capacity to deliver on its promises to deliver freedom, equality, peace, security, prosperity and a better quality of life to all citizens - Dr. Florangel Rosario-Braid at The Manila Bulletin

The voluminous Sandiganbayan decision approving the plea bargain agreement between former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia and the prosecutors said a lot about Noynoy and his allies lack of respect for legal procedures as they would rather appeal to the emotions of the public when it comes to delicate legal issues - Editorial at The Daily Tribune

PLEDGE OF REFORM: Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and the Armed Forces of the Philippines top brass displayed impressive resolve in ridding the military of graft and corruption when they testified before the Senate blue ribbon committee last week - Editorial at Inquirer

Whistle-blowing Col. George Rabusa had to scrounge for P200,000 cash last week to reproduce his charge sheet against Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia. Thats one more proof perhaps that the Office of the Ombudsman is uninterested in pursuing any rap against the former Armed Forces comptroller - Jarius Bondoc at The Philippine Star

MORE THAN MONEY: In the two resolutions on the Carlos Garcia plea bargain agreement that the Sandiganbayan issued on May 9, the anti-graft courts Second Division equated the interest of the government with the recovery of property - Phil Daily Inquirer editorial

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Oban Jr. have assured the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which is investigating anomalies in the military, that safeguards have been put in place to plug the loopholes that allowed the diversion of funds. - Alejandro del Rosario at ManilaStandardToday

THE SANDIGANBAYAN'S reputation as being incorruptible has been tainted by its decision favoring the plea bargain entered into by the Office of the Ombudsman and Major General Carlos Garcia. Under the deal, Garcia would get off with a much lighter sentence, for corruption rather than plunder, which is a heinous crime. The deal provides that Garcia return P132 million, which is half of the money he stole from the government. Many believe there's no way Garcia could not have coughed up huge sums of money for some people at the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan. Everybody has a price, it seems. Or most everybody. - Ramon Tulfo in Philippine Daily Inquirer

COURT UPSIDE DOWN: ...the real problem: What is the public to make of the Sandiganbayan's perplexing decision? The issue is not, and has never been, about popularity. It has always been about accountability, about bringing corruption to light and the corrupt to justice. Hiding behind stirring statements expressing independence from public pressure, the justices profess their fealty to duty and the rule of law. In truth, they only deepened public frustration with the fight against corruption. -- Inquirer Editorial

The battle of the AFP against graft and corruption cannot be won by noisy but empty rhetorics we have heard and seen in the Senate inquiry into the Garcia plunder case. It takes the will of the entire AFP uniformed personnel, with their Commander-in-chief fully behind them, to make sure the battle against graft is won in the end. -- Marichu A. Villanueva in The Philippine Star


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Corruption has absolutely nothing to do with culture and everything to do with political and personal will. Those who point to traditions and history are simply making the poorest of excuses and are in basic denial by simply refusing to accept personal and collective responsibility for the state they are in. So says one of the world's leading anti-corruption experts -- Tony Kwok, who spoke at a public forum on Friday at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. As proof, the former Deputy Head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in Hong Kong pointed to the overarching Chinese culture and Confucian traditions in his home town which transformed itself from being one of the most corrupt societies to one of the cleanest. "We love money and wealth creation and the family to us is everything - but the secret is zero tolerance for corruption." The charismatic Kwok took delight in challenging those in the audience who imagined it would take decades for the Philippines to rid itself of the legacy of generations of graft. In Hong Kong, he reminded people, it took just three years.

The Right To Avoid Self-Incrimination:
When Is It Fair For Corruption Suspects to Cite It and When Are They Hiding Behind It?

...some probing media commentators have already asked: Did these investigations provide those accused of corruption and graft due process of the law or were they prosecuted by means of coercion, public humiliation or worse? Were they merely victims of publicity stunts of grandstanding politicians? Is there even a danger that due process and lasting justice be adversely affected by what some may legitimately call a kangaroo court of public opinion - and result in a degree of sympathy that a real court of law could prove to be unwarranted?...





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

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

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