October 17, 2011
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
Curbing corruption should be the job of all citizens. Everybody has to get into the act because corruption is grand theft of our contribution to nation building.
The thieves in government are directly stealing from citizens who dutifully pay their taxes.
But sometimes all it takes is a "core group" to snowball into a "critical mass" of thoroughly outraged citizens.
For instance, representatives of the business community, law associations, and the Judiciary yesterday signed a covenant to help curb corruption in the country's justice system.
Participants, led by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines that organized the event, said reforming the justice system was one of the key requirements to improve the investment climate.
Signatories to the Citizens Groups' Covenant for Judicial Reforms vowed to help improve the integrity of the judicial system by avoiding giving and accepting bribes.
Among those who signed the document were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Supreme Court Administrator Midas Marquez and representatives of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, Makati Business Club, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Institute of Corporate Directors, Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association, Philippine Bar Association, Philippine Association of Law Schools, and Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
"While the current political administration has made significant strides in curbing corruption in some government agencies,
major challenges remain and need to be addressed immediately," Finex was quoted by a major broadsheet as saying in a statement.
Luckily, the Office of the Ombudsman, the government's anti-graft watchdog, is fast-tracking cases brought before it.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered an investigation into the case against former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo for the allegedly irregular sale ofsecond-hand helicopters to the National Police and formed a team that was expected to finish its task in seven days.
"I thought a new tearn must proceed to investigate the case, taking into consideration the result of investigation by the Senate blue ribbon committee," the same broadsheet quoted Morales as saying a day after senators, led by Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the blue ribbon committee submitted their recommendations to her office following an investigation into the alleged anomalous transaction.
Morales said the team was given seven days to finish its task, after which its findings would be presented to her for consideration.
She said that since the Senate report was detailed, it would lighten the agency's burden.
With everyone on board, the usual thieves in government could be held at bay and hopefully put out of business for good.
Source: People's Journal; Opinion; 15 October 2011