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PIA Press Release

Commentary: On ERAP's verdict and RP's fight vs. corruption

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (12 September) -- The Philippines is identified among the most corrupt countries in Asia. It's a shame and the truth hurts!

Indeed the problem is clearly present and embedded in the government system as it is widespread and has plagued the country for a very long time now and will not be obliterated overnight.

No less than President Arroyo acknowledges this, and was alarmed at the endemic corruption in our government, that she took decisive moves to address the problem in the medium and long terms.

The Philippine government is "very serious" in its fight against corruption. It has engaged the services of Mr. Tony Kwok of Hongkong who is the anti-corruption czar of Hongkong. The government is fighting corruption in terms of criminal justice, administrative controls and procedural reforms. Given priority in these efforts are the revenue agencies which is probably why they have been improving their performance.

Admittedly, while the government was never inutil in its campaign to stamp out corruption in the bureaucracy as evidenced by the many cases filed against government employees involved in various anomalies the nation has largely failed to ran after "big fishes".

Finally, the campaign to catch "big fishes" has began with the conviction of former President Estrada after the nation has failed with the Marcoses.

The case of former President Estrada is the first in the history of the Philippines.

Will his conviction and punishment serve as a deterrent to corruption, especially of the large magnitude variety perpetrated at the highest levels of government?

It should serve as a warning - if a big popular former Chief Executive can be sent to prison for plunder, there is always the possibility that lesser mortals will be caught and punished for similar offenses.

However to win the fight against the corruption menace, government needs everybody's cooperation and support. (PIA La Union) [top]

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