MANILA, Jan 31 (Mabuhay) — President Aquino warned that “another corrupt President” might take the reins of power if no “structural reform” is taken to fight corruption.
Speaking before the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), Aquino admitted that it is not enough to file plunder chargers against former President Arroyo and remove former Chief Justice Renato Corona from his post.
He stressed the need for long-term reforms to be legislated.
“The Filipino people have no doubt taken huge strides towards establishing a culture of fairness and accountability when no less than a former president was charged with plunder, among other things. Our own Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was impeached and stripped of his position when he was found to have lied about more than 98 percent of his cash assets. But while these cases have undeniable impact in our cultural milieu, without structural reform, another corrupt President might one day take the reins of power; another Chief Justice might one day again betray the public trust,” he said.
“The problem of corruption must thus be approached strategically, always with the long-term in mind. Reforms cannot be mere blips in the radar—they must usher in an enduring mainstream of good, honest governance. Only through legislation can the bedrock of inclusiveness and positive, meaningful change be set. As parliamentarians, this is your task, and perhaps you will be interested in the policies that have gotten us to where we are now, and which can also form the basis of change in your respective home countries.”
Aquino shared a number of measures that certain agencies have adopted to curb corruption and promote “transparency” such as the budget department’s policy of zero-budgeting and publishing online disclosures about the budget; the DILG’s requirement for local governments to disclose their finances; and adopting “right bidding procedures.” (MNS)