Outgoing President Benigno “PNoy” S. Aquino III is in faith that he was able to fulfill his vow to fight against corruption during his campaign, although results do not show much.
President Aquino said during a one-on-one interview with PTV-4, a state-run media, that it was during his term that the government was able to arrest corrupt high-ranking officials.
“Hindi naman pwedeng i-reset ‘yung gobyerno. Hindi pwede sisantihin ‘yung buong burukrasya. Okay, so hinabol natin muna ‘yung pinaka-tinatawag na big fish, pinakamalaki para masabi ang mensahe kung kaya ‘yung pinakamalaki, kaya siguro ‘yung mas nasa ilalim.”
(We cannot reset the government. We cannot fire the whole government. Okay, what we did was we went after the what we call ‘big fish’, the biggest ones, so we can send the message that if we can catch the big fish, we can also catch those who are under them.)
Meron tayong 840 plus na kasong ni-file doon sa RIPS, RATE at sa RATS. Ano ba yung mga yun? Revenue in Integrity Protection Service, RIPS. ‘Yung RATE, Run After the Tax Evader. Yung RATS, Run After The Smugglers. Successful ba? Meron tayong na-impeached na chief justice, meron ‘yung nauna sa akin, humaharap ng paglilitis ngayon. May mga senador na humaharap ng maglilitis ngayon. Tapos yung 840 na kaso ni-file."
(We have 840 cases filed under RIPS, RATE and RATS. What are those? Revenue Integrity Protection Service, Run After the Tax Evader, and Run After The Smugglers. Are they successful? We have an impeached chief justice, my predecessor is now facing charges, senators are under trial, and those 840 case we filed.)
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma described the platform of Aquino adminIstration.
"Daang Matuwid sought to address the perceived institutional weakness of the previous national leadership, which the then presidential candidate called out as being in dire need of transformational change on account of the following: It persecutes those who expose the truth about its illegitimacy and corruption; It stays in power by corrupting individuals and institutions; It rewards, rather than punishes, wrongdoing; It weakens the democratic institutions that hold our leaders accountable; and, It has no vision of governance beyond political survival and self-enrichment," Coloma explained.
Aquino government accomplishments
Coloma mentioned some of the achievements of the administration:
-Arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who is temporarily released on bail, Senator Bong Revilla, and Senator Jinggoy Estrada
-Implementation of zero-based budgeting, under which every expenditure should be approved first
-Disclosure of various transactions of the government through the Transparency Seal in agency websites, Citizen’s Charter, and e-procurement
-Passing of the GOCC Governance Act of 2011
-Execution of the 5Rs approach in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – Right Project, Right Cost, Right Quality, Right Time, and Right People – which restricted conspiracy among bidders and eventually resulted to P55.36B in savings from July 2010 to December 2015.
-Filing of over 800 tax-related cases through different government programs like the RIPS, RATS, RATE
-Impeachment of former chief justice Renato Corona
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University of the Philippines (UP) Professor Edna Co recognized all the efforts of the administration.
"I think it was more of a continuing aspiration of the administration and even the succeeding administration rather than a reality that was achieved 100%. But to be fair to the PNoy administration, I would say that even if you look at other countries, there is no country ever that is 100% corruption-free. That’s a starting point,” Co said.
The professor said that albeit the fact that corruption was the biggest issue upon Aquino’s presumption of presidency, he made a good start battling against it.
“The second point I wish to make is he probably started up something in dealing with corruption issues in the Philippines. If you remember when he got in as president, at that point, at that juncture, corruption was the biggest issue that the GMA administration faced," she added.
However, there are some who think that it is a paradox that the administration rallies against corruption, but sent a different message.
Political scientist and De La Salle University Dean Julio Teehankee emphasized that the impeachment of the late Chief Justice Corona proved such contradiction.
"Much of the energy and time and resources of Congress was spent during the impeachment of the former chief justice. While it sent a strong message initially regarding the administration’s commitment to the anti-corruption drive, it raised other questions that revealed the weakness of the current political structure and executive legislative relations,” the political scientist said.
“It revealed the dark side of the use of presidential discretion over the release of funds as seen in DAP controversy and the use of pork barrel in order to pursue legislation. Here you have the paradox of a good government pursuing good governance through use of patronage. That's a big minus to the entire anti-corruption legacy of this administration," Teehankee explained.
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In addition, only fifteen (15) out of the one hundred ninety (190) officials who are involved with the issue on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) are charged before the Sandiganbyan. Eleven (11) of them are temporary released on bail, while only three (3) are detained.
The names below are facing cases before the Sandiganbayan:
Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" P. Ejercito-Estrada (Detained)
Sen. Ramon Bautista Revilla (Detained)
Davao del Sur 1st District Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas (Detained)
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile
Former Benguet Rep. Samuel M. Dangwa
Former Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Constantino G. Jaraula
Former Iloilo 2nd District Rep. Judy Jalbuena Syjuco
Former Cebu 4th District Rep. Clavel Asas-Martinez
Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Arrel Olaño
Former Masbate 3 rd District Rep. Rizalina L. Seachon-Lañete
Former Iloilo 2nd District Rep. Judy Jalbuena Syjuco
Former APEC Party-list Rep. Edgar De Leon Valdez
Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano “Ruffy” Biazon
Former Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Galido Plaza
Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Valencia
South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Arthur Pingoy Jr.
The names below are facing cases before the Ombudsman:
Former Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Salacnib Baterina
Sen. Gregorio Gringo Honasan II
Former Davao del Sur 1st District Rep. Douglas Cagas
Former CIBAC congressman and now Senator-elect Joel Villanueva
Manila 5th District Rep. Amado Bagatsing
Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez
Former Pangasinan 6th District representative and now ABONO Party-List Rep. Conrado EstrellaIII
Former La Union 1st District Rep. Manuel Ortega;
Former ABONO Party-List Rep. Robert Raymund Estrella;
Former Zamboanga del Sur 1st District Rep. Isidro Real, Jr.
La Union 1st District Rep. Victor Francisco Ortega
Their alleged mastermind, Janet Lim-Napoles, is still on detention.
"President Aquino and the members of the Cabinet and the officials appointed by President Aquino have always adhered to the principles of good governance and Daang Matuwid,” Coloma added.
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