By Conrado de Quiros
Edwin Lacierda does not want Al Vitangcol to go on leave and says Vitangcol has earlier done that to give way to an inquiry. Which is all very fine except for one thing: Vitangcol is the general manager of the Metro Rail System, and the one that conducted the inquiry where he went on leave was the Department of Transportation and Communications itself. Naturally, it found him innocent of the crime.
The Supreme Court decision to suspend the ongoing trial of former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia for the lesser crimes of direct bribery and money laundering is a welcome development, a kind of stopping of a runaway legal clock.
Another tool to eliminate bribery and theft in government transactions with citizens, be they individuals or corporations, is within reach.
By Mahar Mangahas
Part of the good news from the 2012 SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption is that the proportion of executives solicited in the past year for a bribe, in connection with a government transaction, is at 48 percent, a record low in this series of 10 surveys since 2000.
If I were a parish treasurer who gets away with habitual traffic violations by paying bribes to traffic enforcers using not my own money but that of the parish, then I am a lawbreaker, briber and a thief. But why call me a thief when I used the money to enrich traffic enforcers and didn’t keep any of it? It’s because, I spent and diminished the parish’s fund for my selfish interest of getting away with violating traffic rules.