Search and You Shall Find in My World

12 November 2009

Corruption in the Philippines: Only the small fish can be fried!

I remember when I was still at the local government of Bohol, the HRMDO always prod me to do my SALN (Statement of Assets and Liabilities) form every year. I have a very little salary and no real estate nor business to brag about, so I always tardy my submission. But still they insisted to the extent of sending official memoranda. 

I've worked hard and anybody from that office could affirm that but government forms were a waste of time. That was why I always question that SALN. No one filled them up seriously. Not even the honorable officials.

Which reminds me of the cases that sprung from not accomplishing the form. And they usually threatened employees with salaries or incomes no bigger than a few thousands. 

Remember Mikey Arroyo (in case you did not know, he is the son of the President of the Republic of the Philippines) bragging about incomes he "forgot" to put in his SALN? No Civil Service Commission came after him. Not even the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Such a sad state indeed. Which brings me to whistle-blowers. Why them too?

The likes of Lozada and de Venecia III who were "pursued by different people" because they opened their mouths and they had a mouthful as their evidence. There was also a female official in the military who claimed funds "donated" by the US of A was misused by the military. And for opening her mouth to whistle and say STOP! she was leveled a graft and corruption case because she was not able to liquidate her 5,000 pesos (or lesser amount, I am not sure) travel expense.

The release of the NBN-ZTE report by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee affirming the bribes and other scandals would surely be just a report. Nothing more. I would be more than happy if it would ever get the attention of the Ombudsman, who, as people have noticed, was not actually working for the benefit of the people.

Meanwhile, the lowly government employees would still fillup their SALN painstakingly for fear of graft and corruption cases.

However, it [Corruption] always means the use of governmental powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Corruption in itself is not a human rights violation, and there is no right to live in a country that is not corrupt or that suffers no corruption. However, corruption does have consequences for human rights:
  • It harms the economy and can create or exacerbate poverty.
  • It destroys democratic government, even if it doesn’t take the very specific form of electoral corruption (hence it violates people’s political rights)
  • Corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law and the effective enforcement of human rights law.

Cartoon and quote from

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