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

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News >>> July 1 - 17, 2010


As part of the Aquino government's crackdown on corruption, all public offices will be audited, starting with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), where a number of suspicious cash disbursements have been discovered recently.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson has affirmed a DPWH order issued by his predecessor, limiting the periods of assignment of regional directors and district engineers... to prevent field officials from becoming beholden to congressmen and other politicians in their areas of assignment...Singson called the directive a "good idea," adding it would boost the Aquino administration's campaign against graft and corruption in government.

Philippines charges former minister with graft

Aquino mulls abolishing Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG)

Aquino chides Ombudsman for 'sins of omission'

Ombudsman impeachment to test Aquino's leadership

You Can Shame Ombudsman but you can't get rid of her - Arroyo ally

The Office of the Ombudsman lost nearly 9 out of every 10 cases it filed before the Sandiganbayan for the first four months of 2010, according to statistics released by the anti-graft court.

"CONFLICT OF INTEREST" HAUNTS 4 CABINET MEN: President Benigno Aquino lll's decision to pick executives from big business for key Cabinet posts has placed his administration in potential conflict-of-interest situations, particularly in state-regulated enterprises, such as power, water, telecommunications and toll roads, lawmakers noted...

Palace leaves Ombudsman's fate to House >>> ...whether or not the Ombudsman could still get Aquino's trust and confidence, his spokesman said, "The Office of the Ombudsman is a constitutional body, is independent of whether the President has give her trust and confidence. It's totally irrelevant because it's a constitutional body in the same manner that the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court justices enjoy the trust and confidence because these are all independent bodies"... The Palace official did not also see the Ombudsman's continued stay in office as a hindrance to the government's fight against corruption.

PACQUIAO TO KNOCK OUT CORRUPTION: Promoter Bob Arum believes that since Manny Pacquiao was elected as Congressman to Sarangani Province on May 10, the world champion boxer "can transform the Filipino nation, rid the country of corruption and be seen as a true leader." "We all know this century is going to be Asia's century, with China, India and Malaysia on the rise, and they can go with that wave. This is an adventure far more important than landing with left and right hands in a ring," promoter Arum told The Telegraph.

Erap: Jueteng can't be stopped >>> Past presidents have failed to stop it so why not legalize it? This is the argument of former president Joseph Estrada in asking President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to legalize the illegal numbers game "jueteng."

Ombudsman assigns anti-graft prosecutor >>> The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas started its fact-finding investigation on the legality of the P500,000 severance pay the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) board gave a former member.

"PORK" use to be published >>> The Aquino administration will continue to provide lawmakers with Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel funds, but how the allocations are utilized will be meticulously recorded and published, according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. "We will release the names of those who received pork barrel," Abad said...

Ombudsman conducting preliminary investigation to determine if six officials of Commission on Elections (Comelec) are liable for graft in connection with botched P700-million ballot secrecy folder deal. Ombudsman's initial field investigation office (FIO)says the six officials may be liable for violating governments procurement law...

Quoting from the Bible, another senator has urged President Benigno Aquino III to investigate allegations that Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez cheated in a golf match and fire him if they were true. But some lawmakers asked that Alvarez be given another chance. "Remember the saying in the Bible: How can you be honest in big things if you cannot be honest in little things?" Sen. Sergio Osmeña III said...

DOJ urged to speed up work on GMA-era cases

OMBUDSMAN: I WON'T RESIGN >>> Close ties with Arroyo no reason to impeach her

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez insists that "there are no grounds for me to be impeached" amid plans by certain groups to file impeachment case against her at the House of Representatives.

Solons find Ombudsman tough to impeach

Ombudsman asked to prove judicial independence

Akbayan to initiate Ombudsman impeachment

Palace eyes removal of Gutierrez as Ombudsman

Eight candidates being considered as next Sandiganbayan presiding justice to replace late presiding justice

Fertilizer scam prober says Lorenzo is "missing link"

Administration pinning hopes on Truth Commission for independent probe of P728-million fertilizer fund scam, but its findings will still be subject to evaluation by Ombudsman.

The Philippines' new government announced Thursday it planned to file one criminal case a week against tax evaders and smugglers as part of its high-profile crackdown on graft. "Every week you will see a case filed, alternating tax evasion with anti-smuggling cases," Purisima told reporters.

Philippine finance secretary sets time to file case against tax evaders >>> Official gives one week to lodge cases as new government seeks to put an end to corruption and raise funds... These efforts will show that the new government is serious in its effort to tackle corruption, to collect more money, and not to raise taxes for Aquino's centrepiece projects for the education, health, and shelter for the poor, said Purisima. Pitching in, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she would help run after tax evaders and smugglers, and vowed to fast track their prosecution. Various government agencies and corporations will also be strictly audited for "leakages," including agencies with sudden high liabilities, said Purisima.

Philippines to catch corrupt officials in cyberspace >>> Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima gives a press conference at the Department of Finance office in Manila. The Philippines' new government said Thursday it planned to catch corrupt officials in cyberspace by using sites such as Facebook and Twitter as forums for the public to report crimes. AFP - The Philippines' new government said Thursday it planned to catch corrupt officials in cyberspace by using sites such as Facebook and Twitter as forums for the public to report crimes. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that his department would soon set up a website with the customs and tax bureaus through which people could anonymously tip off authorities about crimes such as smuggling and tax evasion. "It will be a website (with) integrated Facebook, Twitter and whatever social networking site there is. It will be reachable by SMS (short messaging service) also," Purisima told reporters. "This will allow people to maintain their anonymity in complaining or sending information to us." Purisima said he was inspired by a case in China where someone took a picture of a corrupt bureaucrat wearing an expensive Rolex watch and posted the picture on the Internet, leading to the prosecution of the official. He said that with so many Filipinos carrying camera-equipped mobile phones, it would be harder for smugglers, tax evaders and other criminals to hide evidence of their misdeeds. A common complaint among businessmen is that criminals with links to corrupt officials too easily get away with smuggling and tax evasion because people are too scared to report them. Purisima said this effort was limited to his department and related agencies but added that he expected other departments to set up similar websites which could eventually be linked together. President Benigno Aquino, who won presidential elections in May by a landslide, has vowed to eradicate the corruption that has plagued the Philippines for generations. Aquino took office on June 30, replacing Gloria Arroyo whom he said allowed corruption to thrive during her nine years in power. On Wednesday Aquino endorsed using the Internet in his anti-graft campaign, saying that many cyber-savvy citizens would be eager to help in ferreting out cases of ill-gotten wealth. "You have these eyewitnesses and people who can give us leads on all of these activities. They have the ability to use Facebook... (which) will undoubtedly help in this communication process," Aquino said Wednesday. But Aquino stressed he would not personally go on Facebook or Twitter. "There will be staff members who will help me," he said without elaborating.


The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday said it has included Former Agriculture Secretary Luis "Cito" Lorenzo Jr. on the list of people being investigated for the P728-million fertilizer fund scam. Assistant Ombudsman Jose de Jesus Jr. said the former Agriculture official will be summoned after he was included as a respondent in the supplemental complaint filed on Friday by the Ombudsman's Field Investigation Office (FIO) before the Preliminary Investigation Administrative Adjudication and Monitoring Office (PAMO). Lorenzo and former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante were charged with Malversation of Public Funds or Property and for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act 3019.

Luis "Cito" Lorenzo can provide damning evidence to directly connect former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. said. "He's the missing link. He will give us the complete picture. I'm sure of that. He wants to protect himself and his reputation, and that of his family," Magsaysay said of the former agriculture secretary

Corruption in the peace department

MPC wants Pres-elect Noy to create body to look into OPAPP corruption >>> The Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) has called on President-elect Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino to implement his anti-corruption campaign by creating an independent body, "with civil society representation," to look into the alleged corruption at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

PRESIDENT BENIGNO Simeon C. Aquino III is mulling the abolition of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) whose capability to effectively function has been questioned. "There is PASG but smuggling still exists. What is the justification of its existence?" Mr. Aquino told Palace reporters...

Neophyte congressmen buck cut in pork barrel >>> Quezon Rep. Lorenzo M. Tañada III proposed a P10-million cut from the P70-million Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel of each congressman to help reduce the budget deficit. First-time congressmen, however, decried the proposal, saying the pork barrel is essential in delivering services to constituents.

The first two cases of killings in the Aquino administration should be among the priority cases that the Truth Commission should look into rather than controversies that have already been extensively investigated, a partylist lawmaker said...the newly-formed body "should focus on cases that really need fact-finding, like the extrajudicial killings of activists and journalists, rather than cases that have already been extensively investigated like the graft-ridden NBN-ZTE deal, the fertilizer fund scam and the Hello Garci controversy."

Among the scandals and controversies that the newly installed Aquino administration wants to revisit is the P728 million fertilizer scam, where public funds intended for farmers were allegedly diverted to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's 2004 election campaign.

Coalition of more than 160 civil society groups and personalities asks incoming legislators to adopt and approve "with dispatch" Freedom of Information (FOI) bill

Aquino ally seeks to cut pork by half; no way, says Arroyo party mate

Pork barrel cut is "anti-poor," says solon

The Justice department has put on hold the investigation into the graft complaint a militant group filed against former President Arroyo in connection with the abortive broadband contract with Chinas ZTE Corp. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the probe can only begin after the Truth Commission is officially in business and its members formed.

Aquino may do away with presidential jet

Liberal Party wants to slash the annual pork barrel allocations to P40 million for congressmen and P130 million for senators to avoid imposing new taxes to deal with a ballooning budget deficit. Under current pork barrel rules, congressmen get P70 million each, while senators are allotted P200 million a year.

"Corrupt judges may face dismissal, disbarment" >>> The Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice Renato Corona is bent in weeding out dishonest judges from the bench. Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said he received specific instructions from the chief justice to go after erring judges and court personnel.

Don't single out Arroyo >>> Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales is in favor of a Malacañang move to investigate the alleged crimes of former President Gloria Arroyo. But Rosales is not happy with how things are currently going on in terms of looking into a wide range of controversies surrounding Arroyos nine years in power. He said that if the current administration is serious in putting closure to so many issues of graft of corruption, it should include even the past presidents or administrations. Arroyo, he said, should not be singled out in the bid for justice against the sins of government officials who are now devoid of immunity from lawsuits. "It's just right to bring (before justice) all those who violated the law, not just one person, so that it would (appear) as a lesson to all," said Rosales...

A performance-oriented culture in government >>> There are four key parameters of PGS. These are clear direction for transformation, measurable objectives, performance and anti-corruption oriented, and, lastly, private sector involvement.

Bishops call for vigilance as new Philippines president takes office >>> including pleas to prosecute the people involved in corruption and halt nepotism...Meanwhile...the spokesman of the Cebu Archdiocese, warned of a potential conflict of interest over the appointment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide to the truth commission that will investigate alleged anomalies committed by Arroyo and her officials.

DoH asked for a fresh probe into bidding of H1N1 equipment

Group seeks to revive graft case vs ex-TESDA chief

The Philippines' Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is reorganizing in anticipation of a lot more investigations of suspicious transactions as banks intensify anti-money laundering efforts to comply with regulations, both local and international.

Customs to probe 'raw sugar smuggling'

Department of Justice says it will conduct its own investigation on the criminal complaint filed by partylist group Bayan Muna against former President Arroyo in connection with botched US$329.48 million broadband contract with China's ZTE Corp. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said DOJ has the authority to investigate criminal cases including violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act filed against incumbent and former government officials as per memorandum of agreement it signed with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Ombudsman has last say on what goes to Sandigan -- De Lima

New DoJ chief: Get rid of corruption, shore up competence

On her first day at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Secretary Leila De Lima vowed to resolve all high profile cases expeditiously and competitively while eyeing a review of the department's witness protection program.

Leftwing activists belonging to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya)urged Ombudswoman Atty. Merceditas Gutierrez to resign from her post simultaneously withPresident Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is set to step down tomorrow to pave way for the newly elected President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III. In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Ombudswoman Gutierrez should not wait for her term to expire until 2012, asserting that her immediate departure from the Office of the Ombudsman would allow the anti-graft body to proceed with plunder and other criminal and civil charges filed against President Arroyo and other members of her Cabinet implicated in big time cases of corruption.

Constitutional expert Father Joaquin Bernas, SJ welcomed President Benigno Aquino III's creation of a Truth Commission to investigate anomalies allegedly committed by his predecessor during her nine-year administration. Probably a commission like that is needed because I don't think the Ombudsman is being very effective and the DoJ [Department of Justice] also has a lot of work. I don't expect prosecution of the former president under the present Ombudsman, he told reporters at the Office of the Archdiocese of Manila

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Aquino's Graft Probe Sparks Fears for Economy >>> "Some of the biggest cases already have been investigated over recent years, but didn't result in the high-level convictions some had sought. Critics of the latest effort, including some economists and political analysts, question whether the complaints merit more time and money and potential fallout. Ms. Arroyo is a member of Congress, just elected in May, and still commands respect in some circles, including among many foreign investors who credit her with stabilizing the Philippine economy over the past decade. Those critics say they prefer Manila focus on fiscal reforms that will help lift the economy." ...some economists fault (Aquino's mother, former President) Corazon Aquino for allowing the anticorruption drive to take primacy over key financial reforms needed to prevent the Philippines from slipping behind faster-growing neighbors in Southeast Asia. They fear Mr. Aquino is following the same path. "Obviously it's laudable to have goals of cleaning up government, but you also have to implement laws," which requires a good relationship with other policy makersincluding potentially some allied with Ms. Arroyo," says Frederic Neumann, an economist at HSBC in Hong Kong. "If you come in too aggressively to try to clean up corruption, that might backfire," he adds.

President Benigno Aquino III expects "professionalism, integrity, discipline, valor, and hardwork" from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Arroyo faces 1st corruption case after losing immunity

Arroyo seeks changes to Philippine constitution

Aquino's first directive declares vacant about 4000 executive positions in the bureaucracy

US AMBASSADOR HARRY THOMAS, JR. ON AQUINO INAUGURATION: We were very encouraged yesterday when President Noynoy said that the Philippines is open for business, that he's going to end corruption, that he wants to see international business community here, that well find a level playing field, he said. Such new beginnings have spurred businesses, especially those in the US, to take notice of the Philippines once again, he said. Thomas, who has learned a lot about the Filipino language in his short stay here, said "lagay is my guy" (bribe is my guy) is one he has heard every so often. I think the international business community is concerned with red tape and corruption. They say "lagay is my guy". I think the important thing is you have a new president who promised the Filipino he's going to end corruption and I believe him, he said. The US will hold its end of the deal by working with Aquino, he said.

PRESIDENT Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III's promises of cutting red tape and improving trade-enabling infrastructure in his inauguration speech piqued the interest of business groups which welcomed the attention given to their sector. Business leaders were also generally unfazed by Mr. Aquino's refusal to reconcile with past officials guilty of corruption even as critics had warned against such a divisive position.

Philippines President-elect Benigno Aquino creates commission to investigate alleged graft charges against outgoing president Gloria Arroyo...former Supreme Court chief justice Hilario Davide will head the Truth Commission. In late 2000, Davide presided over the impeachment trial of former president Joseph Estrada at the Senate.

DE LIMA AT DOJ: Tough job for a tough lawyer >>> "With no political baggage and without any trace of corruption, De Lima is in the position to set the example, said the prosecutors we interviewed."

President Benigno Aquino and his team spent their first full day in office...inspecting state coffers as a crucial first step in meeting his vow to root out corruption and help the poor...Aquino has warned massive corruption that infected politics would be rooted out, and in this light his finance secretary promised an unrelenting campaign against tax evaders that could result in prosecutions within days.

AQUINO administration immediately set to work with Malacañang cleaning house and officials promising to fulfill pledges made by the new president.


Philippines' image problem abroad >>> To say that the Philippines has "an image problem" abroad is an understatement. What we have is an image crisis. This has routinely been attributed to "unfair reporting" by the international media and "the endemic corruption" prevailing in our country. Thus, it is hoped that, with the Aquino presidency, the country now has "an opportunity to improve its image," subject only to "fair treatment" by media.

The public was dismayed by news reports that President Benigno Aquino III would retain the pork barrel system, a major source of corruption in the Philippines and a major source of loss of taxpayers money...very shocking, P-Noy announced that he would retain the pork barrel as a concept, whatever that means to him. But to the people, it means half of the budget appropriated for infrastructure projects of members of Congress would continue to be stolen, which would, in turn, result in shoddy and substandard public works projects...The pork barrel system is a major cause of corruption. Everybody knows that, including, deep in their hearts, the members of Congress themselves. In P-Noy the people thought that finally, they have a knight in shining armor who would slay the dragon of corruption and rescue the fair damsel representing Philippine society that is imprisoned in the stone tower. Will P-Noy disappoint them?

"The top post of the Bureau of Customs, said to be one of the most corrupt government agencies, should be held by a person whose honesty, integrity and reputation are almost impeccable or at least, beyond reproach. The moribund financial state of our country and the need for drastic and urgent reforms in government require no less."

FOI ACT: Weapon vs corruption

P-Noy racing against time in fight vs graft


EDITORIAL - Cleaning up Customs  July 13, 2010 

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Amid accusations that he cheated in golf and questions about his honesty as a public servant, new Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez warned that he would go after name-droppers and influence peddlers in his effort to clean up the bureau.

The public skepticism that greeted the warning was expected, considering that similar promises have been made by every new Customs chief. And yet little has changed in the way the Bureau of Customs is perceived by the public, as reflected in surveys: the BOC always competes with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Public Works and Highways as the most corrupt government agency.

Every administration in the recent past has had its personalities linked to those in power who were untouchables in smuggling operations. Everything has been brought into this country with Customs authorities looking the other way: sardines and dressed chicken, fuel and motorcycles, and even drugs and guns. Will it be any different under the new administration?

Smuggling has long been a complaint of legitimate businessmen in this country. Cheap smuggled goods pose unfair competition. Smuggled agricultural products endanger the livelihoods of farmers. Previous administrations have repeatedly made noises about clamping down on smuggling. But the exemption, for whatever reason, of even one influential relative or crony from tariff requirements always served as a signal to the Customs rank and file that promises made about cleaning up the bureau were nothing but rhetoric.

Previous administrations, frustrated over the failure to clean up Customs, created special units outside the bureau to go after smugglers, including their coddlers in the BOC. But officials of both Customs and the special unit usually ended up accusing each other of protecting their own smugglers.

At his inaugural, President Aquino promised to lead by example, kicking it off by eschewing some of the trappings of power including the use of sirens and blinkers. If none of his relatives and friends will get special treatment at Customs for a convincing length of time, it would be a major achievement. And if that example is followed by other top government and Customs officials, public skepticism of reforms in the bureau will finally be overcome.

Transparency by Benjamin E. Diokno >>> All projects funded by public funds, with no exception, should be subject to sunlight. It should not matter whether these projects are financed through general taxation, loans or grants, or whether they are national or local. Public projects should be done through competitive bidding within the procurement rules. This is in keeping with the people's desire for change in the way taxpayers' money is used -- efficiently, effectively, transparently. Each project goes through the process of identification, evaluation, legislative authorization, implementation, and review. The ideal situation is that no project is funded unless it has gone through some form of project benefit-cost analysis. There should be no spur-of-the-moment decision to have an airport in a province of a favored legislator, or a new building in a state university, or a new stretch of cemented road in the neighborhood of a powerful political supporter. Each project has to be socially worthwhile. The process of project identification and evaluation has to be serious and thorough. And that's the job of the National Economic and Development Authority and the concerned agencies through the Infrastructure Coordination Committee. --- First: there should be objective screening of all public projects... --- Second: use the Web site to advertise the funding and progress of projects --- Third: Empower the Ombudsman to conduct post-evaluation analysis.

HOW PRESIDENTS COMMIT BRIBERY: Councilors, barangay officials also have own pork >>> BRIBERY IS A CRIME and a form of corruption that presidents, including the incumbent, P-Noy, routinely promise to stop and punish. Yet every year, when the president presents his administrations proposed budget to Congress, he/she commits bribery. That is by including in the budget proposal appropriations for the congressional pork barrel disguised in innocent-sounding names like Priority Development Assistance Fund or Countrywide Development Fund. Congress is prohibited from adding appropriations not in the original budget proposal of the executive department. It can only subtract from or transfer funds in the original budget. So that if there is no allocation in the budget proposal for pork barrel funds, there will be no pork, no theft of the peoples' money, no corruption. That is not hard to do, is it? But why is it that all presidents include in their budget proposals every year allocations for pork? Because it is their way of bribing legislators to do the presidents wishes, vote for pet bills, elect certain legislators to be Senate president or speaker, vote down impeachment complaints, etc. etc. Cooperate and your pork barrel gets released pronto; don't cooperate and you get nothing. By doing so, presidents, of all people, commit bribery. They become conspirators in corruption. Not only conspirators but the original sinners in the pork barrel thefts by including allocations for pork in their budget proposals. This is in addition to the shopping bags full of cash that a previous president was caught handing to congressmen summoned to Malacañang...

SON RISE: The new President has inherited a country ruled by a kleptocracy, divided by class and shackled by poverty. He must contend with Islamic separatists, communist rebels and the degradation of the fabric of democracy. He also has to wean the economy off its dependence on the $17-billion of annual remittances from Filipinos overseas. Meanwhile, he faces a near-record budget deficit of $3.6-billion. But, above all, his main promise is to fight corruption, which is estimated to siphon more than 30 per cent of the national budget. - Globe & Mail, Canada

LETTER TO INQUIRER: Promise of new day: what happens next?>>> I HAVE WITNESSED FIVE PRESIDENTIAL oath-takings since 1986. Each oath-taking always promised a new day and renewed the hope for national deliverance, despite questions about the new president's moral integrity and capability to lead the nation. Last June 30, I watched President Benigno S. Aquino III deliver his inaugural speech. One could sense his sincerity and will to serve. With an almost untarnished reputation, he came forth as an exact opposite of former President Macapagal-Arroyo. He made a good decision to deliver the speech in Filipino which ordinary people readily understood. The commitment to eradicate corruption and red tape in the bureaucracy is not an easy task because corruption is already a day-to-day practice in most government agencies not only among top level officials but also even among lowly clerks. To stop corruption, we must not rely on the new President alone. As citizens, we must be vigilant and do our share of the struggle. We must obey the simplest laws. Change must also come from us. We do not expect changes overnight, but we hope that in the next six years, Filipinos will be able to shake themselves off the daze from the nine years of nightmare we just have had. - SYLVIA G. REGANIT,Pink Street, Dacoville,Davao City

The people of The Philippines cry out for justice >>> There is a new Philippine president. Noynoy Aquino has stepped into the challenging role as "hope of the nation" and has selected his cabinet that promises a corruption free Philippines. It is particularly outstanding because of the presence of designated Department of Justice secretary, Leila De Lima, the former commissioner of human rights who bravely sought to uncover the bloody hands behind countless assassinations and murders of social activists, human rights workers and leaders of civil society. She had the courage to challenge the police and military that was blocking the commission's investigators who were finally stymied by the judge who would not issue a search warrant for the commission investigators to search a killing field in Davao where body parts were uncovered, some of them of women and children. With this promising start to the new administration of President Aquino, there is optimism that the protection of the most vulnerable in society will take priority and there will be an end to death squads, assassinations, and the rampant violation of human rights by those supposed to protect the citizens from such evils and injustices but are frequently the perpetrators themselves... Secretary of Justice De Lima will clean out the corrupt and incompetent prosecutors, the protectors of child rapists and who take the stuffed envelops and dismisses the complaints despite the most overwhelming of evidence. It is only with her planned overhaul of the department will she be able to dispel the cynicism and lack of trust of the people in the department of justice lost during the past decade. There are good people in the DOJ that must be given a chance to do good and not be overruled by the corrupt officials on the take. - Shay Cullen

Enter the Aquino phase (of hope)

...there is a touch of deja vu in Aquino’s grand strategy. After all, his mother’s efforts to break the back of corruption did not work out. And few Filipinos would remember that Aquino’s predecessor – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – also came to power on the back of another populist revolt in 2001 which brought down Joseph Estrada, another corruption-tainted president.

Aquino has set up a Truth Commission to investigate allegations of graft in the previous administration. This is fine. The critical issue is whether ordinary Filipinos, culturally a tolerant and forgiving people, will themselves change to wield moral force that will impress upon the political classes, enforcement authorities and the judiciary that venality will not be tolerated.

Not a single person during the kleptocracy of Marcos has been convicted. More tellingly, Estrada, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption in 2007, was pardoned by Arroyo, a leader whose integrity many Filipinos question.

Eradicating patronage-based politics, the evil twin of corruption, will be another Herculean task. Doing so will entail ripping out what is at the heart of the Filipino political psyche. This kind of politics was on show last November, when gunmen from a powerful political clan in the south ambushed the entourage of a rival politician, killing 57 people.

No one will dispute Aquino’s assertion that rooting out corruption and patronage will eradicate the poverty that dogs the country. He has stressed there will be no poverty with the absence of corruption. Fine words. It is hoped he will translate them into firm plans to be executed without delay.

In the 1950s, the Philippines was the second-richest country in Asia. Now, it is rather worse off. Nothing short of a wholesale reform of political culture will be enough to turn it around. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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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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