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By Artemio V. Panganiban
The Philippines improved its rating in the latest (2012) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International (TI). We now rank 105th (tied with seven others) among 176 countries. We overtook several countries, including our neighbors Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, which were ahead of us in previous CPIs. Last year, the Philippines ranked 129th.
We denounce the Department of the Interior and Local Government team from Manila and its local accomplices for barring local reporters from covering the hearing of the administrative case against Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano last Sept. 10.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
As a historian, I hope that President Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address will contain a reference to the Freedom of Information Act that has been pending in Congress for a long time.
We health workers agree with the decision to remove Chief Justice Renato Corona from office.
Even if we were to grant that former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s signing of a historic waiver of confidentiality on his bank accounts is mere gimmickry (as Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte and Rep. Niel Tupas described it), and an attempt at pathetic “palusot” (as Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas decried it), this does not take away its ability to greatly lessen corruption in our country. For if all elected officials were required to sign such a waiver, this will be a very powerful weapon in the hands of President Aquino: this will make headway for his “matuwid na daan” crusade and appreciably lessen the corruption that sucks away annually around 40 percent of our gross national earnings. It will also promote a culture of transparency, accountability and integrity among our elected leaders, and raise the standard for public service many notches higher.
By Randy David
RIGHT AFTER being removed from his position as Chief Justice, Renato Corona announced that he would go on a lecture tour to launch a crusade for transparency and judicial independence. No doubt, this is an important and timely crusade. But one can’t help asking if the former Chief Justice is the right person to spearhead it. The record shows that he didn’t care much for transparency or judicial independence.
By Amando Doronila
Within hours of the removal of Renato Corona as chief justice after the Senate impeachment court found him guilty of betrayal of public trust for failing to disclose all his bank deposits, the Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday all justices and judges to make public their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) for 2011 in an apparent effort to repair the damage wrought on the reputation of the judiciary by Corona’s 6-month trial.
“Good faith” and “hypocrisy” are being bandied about as though the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona by the Senate impeachment court were a travesty of the highest order. His allies maintain that the nondisclosure of P80.7 million and $2.4 million in bank deposits in his annual statements of assets, liabilities and net worth is a minor matter that is hardly in the league of such impeachable offenses as treason and other high crimes.
The recent initiative of the Department of Budget and Management to make the pork barrel system more transparent and, at least, less vulnerable to corruption, if not totally corruption-free, may not outright achieve its goal, but is in step with good governance. Public expenditure should be as open and transparent as it can be. This [...]
By Guillermo M. Luz
Over the last year, we advocated that transparency can lead to competitiveness and that good governance is good for the economy. Our basic hypothesis is that transparency and good governance basically build trust in an economy and society. Trust creates some benefits, among them the ability to attract more responsible businesses and investors, more competitive and honest bids for public projects, lower-cost and better-quality projects, and ultimately better services and infrastructure for the public.
By Ariel G. Ronquillo
The statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), which all public officials and employees are mandated to file, [is] the means to achieve the policy of accountability of all public officers and employees in the government. By the SALN, the public [is] able to monitor movement in the fortune of a public official; it is a valid check and balance mechanism to verify undisclosed properties and wealth.” (Liberato M. Carabeo v. Court of Appeals et al., GR Nos. 178000 and 178003 dated Dec. 4, 2009)
By Juan L. Mercado
“Focus your light,” grizzled editors often drill into young reporters. “Then, watch the cockroaches skitter. That could well be your story.” This axiom unreels in the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Mondays to Thursdays, starting at 2 p.m. Roaches scrammed from gap-studded statements of assets, liabilities and net worth to glitzy condos. Bank accounts were emptied on the day the articles of impeachment landed in the Senate.