Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano suggested a three-fold approach against corruption to aid the administration achieve its goal of ridding the government of graft and corruption.
First, the senator, a long-time advocate of good governance, pointed out the need for the government to allocate a larger budget to the witness protection program in order to adequately protect the witnesses who have risked their lives in order to bare the truth regarding scams in the government.
“We need a strong ace. Look at what happened to Jun Lozada, to Sandra Cam and to all the other whistleblowers before. There are those who go without security anymore, no longer have jobs and whose families are still in constant danger,” he lamented.
Furthermore, the minority leader expressed his desire that the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, the Whistleblowers Act and the strengthening of the Witness Protection Program be included and prioritized in the Legislative Agenda of the government.
Second, he suggested that the administration appoint point-persons for the cases that need to be resolved.
“We need full-time crusaders. We need people whose full focus is trained on resolving these cases,” he said.
Third, he also stressed the need for lifestyle checks to be institutionalized.
“Why don’t we form an elite team whose only job is to conduct lifestyle checks discretely without any exceptions regardless of position? It can be a presidential commission against graft or an attachment to the Office of the Ombudsman. This can serve as an assurance to the public that the fight against graft is non-stop,” he said.
In this light, Cayetano urged the government to involve non-government organizations (NGOs) and the private sector in its fight against graft and corruption in the country,
“We need a focused powerhouse legal team to serve as the ‘face’ of the fight against corruption. Witnesses, future and present, need to know who are in-charge and whom to go to and approach,” he said.