I have no doubt that the three senatorial candidates from Ang Kapatiran Party take exception to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s statement that “one who wants big money should run for senator” (Inquirer, 1/11/13). The three seek a senatorial post not because they intend to enrich themselves but simply because they have a definitive and clear-cut platform of government to push, and this platform, they believe, is responsive to the needs of our countrymen.
Way back in the 2010 election campaign period, the AKP senatorial candidates then (I was one of them) gave special emphasis on our good governance thrusts. These included:
1. Abolishing the pork barrel system.
2. Giving high priority and more funds to projects and programs for the underprivileged, the indigenous peoples, the elderly, the prisoners, the disabled, the veterans and the youth; and supporting nongovernment organizations or communities whose projects directly benefit the poor.
3. Conducting a comprehensive debt audit; attaining moral leverage to renegotiate debt; bringing down debt servicing and prioritizing basic public services.
4. Making representations before the Supreme Court to bring about the speedy administration of justice.
5. Ensuring transparency and public accountability in government activities and transactions; reinforcing vigilance against graft and corruption, abuse of authority, and waste in all three branches of the government and at all levels of bureaucracy; ensuring that public officials shun profligacy and live within their means.
6. Prosecuting guilty and corrupt public officials, no matter their position or political ties.
7. Institutionalizing civil society participation in the budget process and passing the freedom of information bill to allow citizens to monitor and exact accountability from public officials.
8. Prosecuting and punishing, by administrative/criminal action, the failure of public officials to liquidate their cash advances within a reasonable period, not exceeding three months.
9. Undertaking a thorough review of the systems and procedures and guidelines on the procurement in all government institutions aimed at forestalling the commission of graft and corruption.
I know how hard the AKP is working toward these goals. The AKP senatorial candidates, should they win, would never betray the public trust by using their public offices to enrich themselves. It is just very unfortunate that many of our people seem to be more interested in seeing the candidates sing, dance and clown around than in listening to their explanation of the importance of their advocacies and how the country and our people could benefit from them.
If only the AKP is given the opportunity to prove its worth by giving some of its members the chance to share the leadership of this country, I think we will have a better Philippines.
—REGINALD B. TAMAYO, member
National Executive Board
Ang Kapatiran Party