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PIA Press Release

Anti-graft rally held in Davao

by RG Alama

Davao City (20 October) -- More than a thousand people coming from the youth, business, civil society and the government services participated in a rally as part of a comprehensive multi-sectoral campaign against graft and corruption.

The rally which began at around 7 am involved a march by the participants which began at the Ateneo de Davao Jacinto campus and ended at the Holy Cross of Davao College gymnasium (formerly the CYO gym). The participants were led by member of the Multi-Sectoral Anti-Corruption Council (MSACC) led by no-less-than its chairman Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

The MSACC is headed by the office of the Ombudsman with 30 members from the various branches of government and other private sectors. The MSACC serves as a consultative and coordinating body for the National Anti-Corruption Program of Action.

At the HCDC gym a short program was held that included a ribbon cutting ceremony showcasing an exhibit on multi-sectoral best practices in good governance. Davao City Vice-Mayor Sara Duterte joined Ombudsman Gutierrez in the ribbon-cutting.

The Ombudsman along with Chief of Economic Development and Governance for USAID Christian Hougen delivered inspirational messages. The highlight of the morning program was the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Office of the Ombudsman, the Mindanao Business Council led by its President Vicente Lao and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI) led by president Domingo Duerme.

Also held in the gym is a public service mission participated by various government agencies.

At around 11 a.m. the Ombudsman together with her deputy Ombudsmen which included Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Humphrey Monteroso and some of the members of the MSACC faced the media during a press conference held at the Holy Cross Conference room.

In the press conference, the Ombudsman was peppered with questions regarding the investigation on the alleged bribe given to Provincial Governors and Congressmen on their visit to Malacaņang, of which Ombudsman Gutierrez disclosed that she cannot comment on the ongoing probe since there is no definite findings yet.

The Ombudsman called for understanding from the media and appealed to the public to be discerning and critical not to be easily swayed to some quarters which has accused all the Ombudsman's actions to be politically motivated.

"Wag na natin haluin ng politika, pabayaan niyo kami na magtrabaho ng maayos." (let us not mix this with politics, leave us to do our jobs well.) She said that fighting graft and corruption is a very difficult job and would be twice or three times more difficult if the public believes in these unjust accusations.

The Davao rally was the second event for the anti-corruption roadshow after it was launched in Quezon City. The event is aimed at promoting and emphasizing the gains and progress made by different stakeholders in their anti-corruption projects. (PIA XI) [top]

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