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

FINAL NEWS - SEPT. 16 - 23

Pinoy Solutions to Corruption
Media reports & editorials about " PINOY SOLUTIONS"
PINOY SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION *** Speech by Ex-Governor Grace Padaca at Silliman University
PINOY SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION *** Speech by Senator TG GUINGONA at Silliman University
The New Commission on Audit
US$434-million Millennium Challenge Corp.Grant
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This is a web news agregator website. It publishes headlines and short extracts about corruption from the media in one place. To read the full original article at its source click on the underlined text below. The searcher at the bottom can seek any key word(s) from news excerpts since June, 2010.



World Bank commends Phl for driving governance reforms
World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick today praised President Benigno Aquino III for taking on the challenge of creating more transparent and accountable government to benefit the poor.

“At the heart of President Aquino’s policies is a belief in the power of citizens to hold their government accountable, and that this makes for better governance and a more just society,” said Zoellick.

Under the Aquino administration, the Philippines has seen extensive reforms in its budget management process, such as enhancing transparency and calling on more civil society participation. Other reforms include the governance of state enterprises and strengthening anti-corruption authorities -- the Supreme Audit Institution and the Ombudsman.

The Aquino administration’s effort to stamp out corruption is gaining momentum but may need more push to make it sustainable, according to a US-based group monitoring developments in Asia.

“President Aquino has raised these issues very forcefully, but the system has many elements of corruption and so it’s going to require sustained effort over time and I believe that President Aquino has made a great start in that process, but it will need to be an ongoing process,” Jaime Metzel, executive vice president of Asia Society, said.

“As everybody knows, corruption is the scourge of the Philippines. It has the most talented population maybe in the world but so many Filipinos are helping build other countries and it has become a country that exist largely on remittances,” he said. Metzel said he is confident Aquino can deliver on his promise because he leads by example.

President Aquino’s speech at the 2011 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, September 21, 2011

Ending corruption means not only cleaning up the system, but holding accountable those who have wronged our people. Accountability allows closure to the many sins committed against our people over the past generations. Without accountability, there will be no certainty that others will not follow in the footsteps of those who have wronged our people. Without accountability, the entrenched culture of impunity will remain, the corrupt will continue to flourish and steal, and the atmosphere of doubt and mistrust will continue to linger even as we rebuild our institutions.

Governing with integrity, with transparency and with accountability not only heals a national psyche that has long been characterized by its cynicism and mistrust of government. It also provides the foundation for equitable progress. Good governance, therefore, is good economics.

President Aquino’s speech at the IBM Centennial Forum in New York, September 21, 2011

A society that respects all voices avoids having any individual voice try to drown out the others. And where all can speak and be heard with dignity and good will, there you can find a conversation that leads to a consensus.

What, then, is the future of leadership? What makes a leader? The leader is one who exercises self-control; one who promotes discourse, discourages demagoguery, and seeks consensus. One who holds fast to essential truths without forcing the world to conform to his preconceived notions; one who, in other words, recognizes that legitimacy is built on accountability, and accountability is built not on promises but through results. Ultimately, a leader is one who trusts his people to decide for themselves, and allows them to shape their own future.

Speech of President Aquino at the Asia Society, September 20, 2011

Recognizing our successes in our anti-corruption and good governance efforts, the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation conferred Compact Status on the Philippines, for which we received a 434-million-dollar grant. One of the reasons why the Philippines was found deserving of the grant was the headway we made in fighting corruption in government. The Philippines also takes pride in having been chosen as one of four pilot-partners for President Obama’s Partnership for Growth initiative. Furthermore, most recently, the Philippines was invited to serve in the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership. This is a new multilateral initiative that encourages governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. That we have been chosen to be part of this project is yet another affirmation that the Philippines is a good place to do business in, and a good country to do business with.

President Aquino’s speech at the launch of the Open Government Partnership, September 20, 2011

...Our administration defines accountability in two ways: as a commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards in government, and as an obligation to achieve measurable performance targets and outcomes. To uphold accountability, we have taken a two-pronged approach, focusing on the curative and the preventive. As we vigorously pursue our campaign against those who abused power in the past, we are also strengthening institutions through Open Government...

The long-standing culture of corruption and concealment that had taken root will take time to change...All these efforts are indicators of how serious we are in transforming our system from one that operates through secrecy, impunity, and collusion, into a government that embodies transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement—a government that truly exists for its people.

President Aquino’s speech at “The Power of Open: A Global Discussion,” New York City, September 20, 2011

As a member of the OGP Steering Committee, we are, therefore, not only excited, but derive strength, from working together to achieve our shared aspirations. By means of National Action Plans informed by the successes and lessons each of us can share with each other, the best practices from our individual national milieus can become a source of collective strength, making a living reality of the Declaration of Principles on Open Government.


Business asks gov’t to accelerate spending, pump-prime economy

‘Even with the risk of little corruption seeping in’

The government needs to accelerate spending in the coming months and pump-prime the economy, as a year of review of projects and systems should already be enough to make transactions as corruption-free as possible. Makati Business Club chairman Ramon del Rosario Jr. said the Aquino administration wanted to avoid corruption so much that it hardly implemented any projects during its first year. "Because the government wanted to avoid corruption so much, the pace of government spending became too slow. We can't (avoid corruption) to the extreme that no projects will be implemented. Infrastructure spending is necessary," Del Rosario said. "The government needs to accelerate spending, even with the risk of having a little corruption seep in," Del Rosario added. MBC and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines spearhead the Integrity Initiative, the private sectors answer to the governments thrust to eliminate corruption.


Urban planner sues Angaras over Aurora project

Urban planner Felino Palafox took on the Angaras of Aurora province on Tuesday, filing a criminal complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman against Senator Edgardo Angara for pushing for the Aurora Pacific Ecozone and Freeport Authority (Apeco) despite environmental concerns about the project site.

Palafox also claimed that the senator had a conflict of interest in Apeco as the latter’s family would benefit from the project, which covers 12,400 hectares.

Also named in the complaint for graft and violation of the code of ethics for government officials were the Apeco board of directors, which include Angara’s sister, Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, and his son, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara.

Senator Angara is also accused of benefiting from the P10-billion Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, which has been tainted with irregularities.

Palafox said the officials pushed for the development of the ecozone and ignored his recommendations about the site, which was prone to flooding.

He alleged that Senator Angara violated the antigraft law, which prohibits a member of Congress from acquiring or receiving any personal pecuniary interest in any specific business enterprise to be directly favored by any law or resolution that he had authored and which was approved or adopted by Congress during his term.

The senator was the author of Republic Act No. 9490 creating the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority. It was amended in 2010, and a new law created Apeco.

Palafox took to task the father and son for holding positions in Apeco without forfeiting their seats as lawmakers, which he said violated the Constitution.

ABS-CBN NEWS: Well-known urban planner and architect Felino Palafox Jr. has filed graft and corruption complaints against Senator Edgardo Angara and 4 others for allowing the creation of the economic and freeport zone in Aurora province in northeastern Philippines. In a 5-page complaint filed before the Ombudsman, Palafox said Angara allowed the creation of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (Apeco) even if the area was prone to floods and landslides. Included in the complaint are 4 board directors of the freeport zone.

Angara belies graft rap, hits Palafox

Senator Edgardo Angara lambasted architect Felino Palafox Jr. after the latter accused him of graft in connection with a freeport zone project in Aurora province in northeastern Philippines. In a statement, Angara said he did not benefit from the planning of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone as alleged by Palafox. In fact, "if there was anybody that benefitted from the project, it was Felino Palafox Jr.,...Angara said Palafox asked for a fee of P32 million for the design contract. However, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel later deemed the plan sloppy, the senator said. "It was a sloppy piece of design work that proposed a seaport very near an airport. That shabby piece of architecture would endanger the whole project, according to the agencies that evaluated the technical and environmental soundness of the Palafox master plan," Angara said. Instead of correcting the design, Palafox "engaged in an accusing binge after the rejection of his master plan. He called the ecozone project - that was initiated to lift underdeveloped areas on the coastal areas of Central Luzon into the 21st century - a scam,"


PHILIPPINES SEIZING "RECORD AMOUNTS" OF FAKE GOODS: Philippine authorities are seizing record amounts of fake goods, most of them from China, showing the government's commitment to enforcing intellectual property rights...In the first eight months of 2011, over P3.8 billion ($87.7 million) worth of counterfeit products were picked up, 62 percent up from the same period last year. Seizures of counterfeit goods this year are easily expected to top the record haul of P5.68 billion recorded in 2009

Triple size of Sandiganbayan courts to speed up graft case resolution

Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, filed bill to increase the number of divisions of the Sandiganbayan from its present five to 14 divisions to enhance the court's capacity and speed up the disposition of cases pending in the anti-graft court. "The Sandiganbayan plays a critical role in fighting graft and corruption. Any delay in the resolution of anti-graft cases negatively impacts on its ability to deter others to commit similar acts of corruption. The search for a solution to this critical problem of congested dockets requires recourse to drastic but creative and economical measures," he said. Abaya said that 2,514 graft cases are still pending with the five courts of the Sandiganbayan and the existing five Sandiganbayan divisions can only handle two hearings for graft cases every two months.


Senate body uncovers P7.5B in ‘ghost’ farm-market roads

A Senate oversight committee has unearthed records showing that P7.5 billion from the Department of Agriculture was released from January to June 2010, an election period, Senate finance committee chairman Franklin Drilon said Sunday. Trouble is, the farm-to-market roads, supposed to be constructed using the money, do not exist.

Agence France-Presse

Philippine president visits US on anti-graft efforts

Philippine President Benigno Aquino will mainly discuss anti-corruption and government transparency efforts in a low-key five-day visit to the United States, his spokesman said on Sunday..."The trip to the US is primarily an expression of our government's support for open governance,"..."In fact, the focal department here is not the Department of Foreign Affairs but the Department of Budget and Management... that's been very, very open about transparency,"

THREE EX-DEFENSE EXECS HIT FOR INACTION ON GARCIA: Three key defense officials of the Arroyo administration have been recommended for investigation for allegedly sitting on the military courts conviction of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. The Special Defense Investigation Committee (SDIC) recommended the investigation of former defense chief Norberto Gonzales, former defense undersecretary for legislative affairs Arturo Lomibao, and former undersecretary for legal affairs Arturo Valenzuela.

Government may have to return P135M to revive Garcia’s plunder case

The assets worth P135 million that retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia has turned over to the government may have to be returned if Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ petition to nullify the plea bargain that allowed his earlier release is granted.

This, according to Sandiganbayan spokesperson Renato Bocar, is one of two possible scenarios arising from Morales’ move to revive the P303-million plunder case against the former military comptroller, which was extinguished by the controversial agreement between him and state prosecutors...But the other possible scenario is for the prosecutors to petition the antigraft court to take custody of the assets while the plunder case is pending, Bocar said.

Aquino orders COA, DBM, DOF to automate, integrate  financial systems
To further improve financial control and accountability of public funds, President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Commission on Audit (COA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Department of Finance (DOF) to automate their financial management systems. Executive Order 55 aims to direct the integration and automation of all government financial management systems to make them more effective. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the directive reflects the importance the President orders promoting transparency, accountability and good governance.

He said the creation of an integrated financial management information systems (GIFMIS) provides a transparent and effective way of monitoring the disbursements and appropriation of public funds.

“This integrated system will, among others, allow greater financial management and control at the oversight and agency levels; ensure stricter compliance of the budget to appropriation laws; improve Treasury cash management; and facilitate keeping of general accounts of government and management reporting at various levels of government," Ochoa said.

Ombudsman: Reverse Garcia ruling, try him for plunder

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has asked the anti-graft court to set aside its May 9, 2011 resolution approving the controversial plea bargain agreement (PBA) on the plunder case of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and allow the trial to proceed. Morales beat the deadline and filed a position paper asking the anti-graft court to reject the controversial plea bargain agreement on Garcia's plunder case. In the same paper, Morales asked the court to allow the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to intervene in the case and set aside the ruling that barred the OSG.

Military re-arrests ex-comptroller Garcia
Military officials announced that former comptroller Carlos P. Garcia was arrested this morning at his house in Quezon City. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Oban said in a media forum that Garcia was arrested based on the guilty verdict issued by the military court for the former comptroller's violation of Articles of War 96 (conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman) and 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline)...

Garcia was found guilty of the two Articles of War by the military court on Dec. 3, 2005. He was sentenced to spend two years in military prison with hard labor and ordered discharged from the service. His salary and allowances from the military were also ordered forfeited.

Garcia was arrested at 8:30 a.m. for misdeclaration of Statement of Assets and Liabilities for the year 2002 and 2003. He was also arrested for being a green card holder or acquiring a permanent residence in the United States while serving in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Former Abra municipal officer takes on politically powerful family

One brave soul has mustered the courage to bring the powerful Luna family to court.

Bernadine S. Joson, concurrent secretary to the Sangguniang Bayan of Lagayan, Abra and until recently municipal planning and development coordinator, filed before the Ombudsman charges of plunder, graft and corruption, technical malversation, unethical conduct, and violation of the government procurement reform act against former mayor and congresswoman Cecilia Seares-Luna and her eldest son Jendricks, who is poblacion Lagayan barangay captain.

Also charged were Mayor Purificacion Blaza Paingan, aunt of Cecilia; Vice Mayor Lara Haya Seares Luna; Marissa G. Donato, relative of the Lunas who is the municipal treasurer; Meno C. Dickenson,municipal accountant and Osborne P. Dolaoen, municipal engineer.

In the complaint, filed with counsels Harry Roque and Romel Bagares of Center Law Philippines, Joson said: "The plunder committed by mother and son take together from the years 2003 to 2010 amounts to total of at least Php133,907,142."

Joson’s complaint-affidavit "is a story of how key members of a political family in a small far-flung, underdeveloped town in Abra, over a period of a little more than a decade, in the absence of a viable system of checks and balances, has been raiding and plundering the town’s coffers."

This was possible, she said, because during this period and until now, key members of the family and their cronies controlled key offices of the local government, including the Sangguniang Bayan.

"It is a story of unmitigated greed of government officials in a forgotten town where to date, they perpetuate a reign of fear and plunder," Joson said.

She is doing it because she said she wants to put a stop to "insufferable neglect and indignities" the people of Lagayan (what an apt name for what the Lunas have turned the town into) had borne in silence all these years...

CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS JOIN FRAY: Fiscal autonomy over funds stressed >>> Heads of constitutional offices asked that the budget cuts pooled into miscellaneous personnel benefit fund (MPBF) be restored as they asserted the fiscal independence of their offices as guaranteed by the Constitution. In a letter to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) said they need the funds "in the exigencies of carrying out our respective constitutional tasks." "It is thus our right and responsibility to assert our fiscal autonomy as envisioned under the Constitution and as enunciated in various jurisprudence on the matter," the letter dated August 15 said. The letter was signed by Loretta Ann Rosales, chair of the Commission on Human Rights; Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales; Francisco Duque of the Civil Service Commission; Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes; Commission on Audit Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan, and noted by Supreme Court administrator Midas Marquez.

PLUNDER CHARGES FILED AGAINST DEPUTY SPEAKER, FAMILY: Plunder and graft charges were filed yesterday against House Deputy Speaker Arnulfo P. Fuentebella (4th district, Camarines Sur) for allegedly diverting P80 million worth of government funds to finance personal projects. Also charged were Mr. Fuentebella's wife, who is mayor of Sagnay town in Camarines Sur; and sons, mayor of Tigaon town and commissioner of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Mr. Villafuerte accused the Fuentebellas of violating the Plunder Law, when they allegedly amassed ill-gotten wealth by "misappropriating, misusing and malversing public funds, benefited from government contracts, illegally conveyed government assets, and enriched themselves at the expense of the government."

Solons seek accounting of Malampaya fund

Senators on Thursday demanded a full accounting of some P100 billion in allegedly missing revenue that the government earned from the Malampaya gas project in Palawan province. "We should do something about it. It's mind-boggling that there's P100 billion missing," said Sen. Ralph Recto, chair of the ways and means committee.



More IntegriNews


Petronas charged with P1.058B smuggling complaint

P1B for Arroyo trips unliquidated

PNoy's vision: Hand over better, corrupt-free gov't to next leader

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and the umbrella group Resist Apeco! Defend Aurora Movement say they are supporting the corruption case filed by architect and urban planning expert Felino "Jun" Palafox against Angara and other officials of Apeco.

Governor says evidence in plunder being destroyed

Ex-Ombudsman let Lapids off plunder case before quitting her post

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.

P40 B lost to tax evasion

Sandiganbayan denies petition from Presidential Commission on Good Government to freeze properties of former ambassador Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez and his wife Juliette Gomez-Romualdez seeking to issue a writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment against the properties of the Romualdezes.

Senator questions P650,000 cost to construct just one classroom

Solicitor General asks Ombudsman to issue preventive suspension against 14 top officials of Development Bank of the Philippines in connection with alleged P660 million behest loans extended to businessman Roberto Ongpin

172 luxury vehicles "missing" from Subic Bay Freeport Zone, government could be losing billions of pesos from duties

Garcia suffering from mild hypertension, will remain at the NBP Hospital for 5 days

Sandiganbayan acquits former chief of Armed Forces Retirement Separation and Benefit System over alleged purchase of overpriced lot in Tanauan, Batangas...ruled that prosecution "failed to establish" evidence that would indict him and his staff of receiving alleged kickback amounting to P4.13 million...Earlier Sandiganbayan found him and others guilty of graft for purchasing a different overpriced lot

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III will be in the United States from September 18 to 23 to tout his credentials as a corruption fighter who shares Washington's vision of accountability and good governance

Senator: Past excesses prompt tighter budget control

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office owes government at least P3.6 billion in unpaid taxes from 2007 to 2009

Palace: Aquino unlikely to reduce sentence of ex-AFP comptroller for hiding assets

Palace: Noy committed to FOI, upcoming EO only for classification of documents

Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danny Lim declares war on smuggling

BIR vows to continue drive vs tax cheats

New Bilibid Prisons: No special treatment for Garcia

Ombudsman asks Sandigan to junk Garcia plea bargain

PNoy accused of double talk on Freedpm of Information bill

New Customs chief: PNoy told me to "spare no one" in enforcing the law

Groups lament PNoy's lack of commitment to push for passage of FOI bill

GMA sat on court martial decision vs ex-general Garcia - Palace

Japan praises PNoy's anti-corruption vow

Former congressman Rufino Biazon vows to fight temptation of corruption as he took oath as commissioner of Bureau of Customs

Aquino orders detention of Garcia to Bilibid Prison

Government employees slam Aquino's pork barrel while lending deaf ear to demand for P6000 salary increase

New Customs deputy commissioner for intelligence Danilo Lim to strengthen intelligence network inside Bureau of Customs to rid agency of all corruption

Caloocan City Mayor faces new graft suit

Lawmakers grumbling over "pork"

COA: Cebu City's supplemental budget illegal

THE CONFIRMATION of Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. as chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was deferred anew yesterday over unexplained income in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

Chopper log confirms "Judge Moner" was a passenger

BIR hits doctors, lawyers





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NO TURNING BACK FOR P-NOY: Being emphatic about a "zero tolerance" policy against corruption is something that is easier said than done especially in an Asian country like the Philippines where corruption is endemic. Resisting temptation is hard when it stares you right in the face. And more than the temptation of the flesh one of the hardest to resist is the lucrative promise of easy money plus the propensity for instant gratification. In Asia, corruption has become an open secret with some of our more progressive neighbors permitting it to minimum levels of about 10 percent. P-Noy has stubbornly said that this is a non-negotiable issue as gleaned from his total rejection of a suggestion made by the Makati Business Club whose supposedly morally upright board members are very strong good governance and anti-corruption advocates to allow "minimal bureaucratic corruption" for practical purposes, mainly to speed up infrastructure projects and accelerate the economy as it is reportedly slowing down. I totally understand where the Makati Business Club is coming from since a lot of development projects are left hanging in the balance due to so-called bureaucratic checks and balances which more often than not forces the hand of businessmen to provide incentives to expedite the processing and approval of permits and other paper work. Noynoy however made it very clear that there is no such thing as a gray area when it comes to the issue of corruption, and whether big or small, he makes no distinction. He attributes this idealistic perspective to his Jesuit upbringing at the Ateneo...Obviously, P-Noy knows only too well that the presidency was virtually given to him on a silver platter because of the legacy left by his parents. Maintaining his "name brand" and everything that it supposedly stands for is the benchmark P-Noy has chosen to take the straight and narrow path. For him, and hopefully for the country as well, there will be no turning back as we walk through the straight path, away from the past sins of temptation. -- Babe Romualdez in The Philippine Star

ANGARA VS PALAFOX: The almost boxing-like match between Senator Ed Angara and Architect Jun Palafox is beginning to be a reality show, but it would seem the verbal tussle is reaching serious new levels now that the architect has filed graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against the senator...No doubt this issue is being watched with keen interest by many people, with some rooting for the green architect/urban planner who in the past has also managed to land in newspaper headlines for denouncing the planned hotel-casino project within SBMA, which he said would massacre 366 trees in the area. Palafox was later slapped with a libel case by the SBMA bids and awards committee for claiming that an official had asked him for grease money. There are some however who describe the architect as publicity hungry and believe hes just out for recognition mileage. Aside from firing Palafox from the ecozone project, Apeco has also lodged a complaint against Jun before the Professional Regulations Commission allegedly for violating the code of ethics of architects and environmental planners, describing the urban planners work as sloppy and claiming that he robbed Apeco blind. Spy Bits sources say Angara is already preparing to file a counter criminal fraud case against the architect with the powerful ACCRA law firm (which the senator founded) likely in his corner for legal assistance. -- Babe Romualdez in The Philippine Star

FOI disappointed as I am about the lack of progress in having the Freedom of Information Act enacted, I am not ready to burn bridges with the current administration. In fact, we should rally around like-minded colleagues in government, like Budget Secretary Butch Abad, to achieve the maximum in open and transparent governance. After all, governance is too important to be left to government alone, and that good governance is not simply a matter of opposing the corrupt, but of helping our allies in government move the agenda forward - maybe not in a sprint, but more likely in the marathon that only the most committed can endure. -- Dean Tony LaVina in Manila Standard

PHILIPPINE POLITICS: The fact of the matter is that Philippine oligarchic spoil political system not only overwhelms any good intentioned and reformist Chief Executive but also tolerates a free-for-all electoral hustings based on money politics where the best and the brightest, but poor, have no Chinaman's chance of achieving supreme leadership. When all is said and done, President Benigno Aquino III, with all his noble intentions, rhetorics, catch phrases, and promises will be hard put to transform society without (1) Constitutional revision; (2) continuity of administration, policies, and projects; and (3) drastic electoral reforms. -- Former Press Secretary HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA in Manila Bulletin

JUSTICE DELAYED: This nearly six-year saga of the court martial should indicate that military justice works only if the commander in chief, the final civilian authority, has the political will to enforce the system of reward and punishment, and to foster professional soldiership...the court martial only came after criticisms that the high command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2004 had been foot-dragging on Garcia, who had been charged in the Ombudsman for amassing wealth and making a misdeclaration of his assets and liabilities...the relatively light sentence was not implemented because Arroyo didn't confirm the conviction. The delay in Garcia's sentencing was a blow against justice. President Aquino's gesture of confirming the court martial's decision is a welcome corrective though a belated attempt to restore justice...Since he had been set to retire in November 2004, the delay ensured a sentence after retirement and, therefore, an honorable retirement with his pension and other retirement benefits intact. Garcia's court martial reveals that the old-boy network in the military exists, that "mistahs" form themselves into a fellowship which may be good for morale and support in the arena of war and hostilities, but which also functions as a cabal of mutual protection against systems of transparency and justice...the same forcefulness and firmness should apply in the civilian justice system, the plea bargain between Garcia and the Ombudsman should be dashed. The compromise agreement between resigned ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and Garcia with the Sandiganbayan is simply that, a compromise - a compromise of justice. And justice compromised is justice renounced. -- Inquirer Editorial


BEYOND CONTROL: The President gets billions of pesos in discretionary funds under various guises, among them the Intelligence Fund, Calamity Fund and President's Social Fund. Lawmakers routinely appropriate for themselves several billions more in pork-barrel allocations - P200 million for every senator yearly and P75 million for every congressman. Now everyone wants to have a piece of the action...Now it is the judiciary fighting to retain its version of the pork barrel...The Department of Budget and Management came up with the new system to stop the old practice of many government agencies, including these constitutional offices, of asking for the creation of many new positions, with the corresponding appropriations for salaries and other benefits, leaving the positions unfilled and then distributing the "savings" among their officials and employees as allowances, bonuses or financial assistance...Enforcing this new system of control over the judiciary's budget, however, is not going to be easy for the DBM. Judiciary officials and some powerful lawmakers are opposing it. -- Editorial in Philippine Daily Inquirer

WINDS OF CHANGE?: We're seeing incriminating evidence preserved not just by the underlings of ranking officials - comptrollers, bagmen who insist they were just following orders - but also by those in the private sector who went along with a corrupt system to win government deals. Seeing the formerly all-powerful now being made to account for past misdeeds should make the current batch of influential individuals think twice before engaging in corrupt acts...Corruption is found even in the most advanced economies. But some countries deal with the problem better than others, and it is no coincidence that these countries are among the most prosperous and competitive. In our country, the ongoing investigations into anomalous deals should be pursued to their conclusion, to bring home the message that corruption is a crime, and perpetrators will be brought to justice. We may finally be able to say goodbye to business as usual in government. -- Ana Marie Pamintuan in The Philippine Star

President Aquino’s speech at the 1st Integrity Summit, September 14, 2011

Imagine how much money has been lost over the yearstaxes that could have gone to social services, infrastructure, debt reduction, or national defense. In the past, perhaps you could have justified not paying taxes by saying it would have been used to fatten the wallets of corrupt officials. But as we strive to show you that this is no longer the case, I hope we can urge our fellow citizens to pay their share of taxes. As we continue fixing what is wrong with government, I urge you to stand alongside us and do your part. This will not be easy, but if we work on it -- if we choose not to shirk our responsibilities as individualsthen everybody will get the message and act fast and accordingly. (Click to read full speech)


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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.

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