Cayetano to Palace: Address Deficiencies in Efforts to Fight Corruption

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the government to address its current deficiencies in its efforts to comprehensively fight corruption now that the Aquino administration has started its second year.

The senator pointed out that while the administration has succeeded in keeping itself clean, it still lacks an organized way of going after grafters.
In order to successfully curb graft and corruption, Cayetano noted that anti-graft and corruption programs instituted by the government must take into account the human component of these acts.

He suggested that the government study whether increases for government workers’ salaries will be the appropriate move to give government workers enough income to keep them content and not tempted to resort to graft and corruption.

The minority leader also pointed out that various government agencies need to help out the Office of the Ombudsman by providing them with evidence through their own parallel investigations to sufficiently prop up the charges filed against grafters and corrupt officials.

“When you file cases, the ultimate facts are needed. The evidence may come later but it can be easily gathered if the departments will conduct their own parallel investigations,” said Cayetano adding that the Ombudsman cannot do this alone and the help from the President’s ‘alter-egos’ may be needed.

Cayetano also called on the President to be wary of corrupt officials that may already be lurking within his administration. “It is necessary that the system in place is able to easily detect and apprehend these corrupt officials in order to ensure a clean government for whole duration of his term,” he added.

“Just because you joined a clean government does not mean that you are clean. You not only need good people, you need a good system to catch erring officials. It is very much possible underneath the perception of clean government lie officials putting together a graft-driven program,” he said.

In this light, he also reminded the President to choose wisely the next Ombudsman since the government may have shifted the supposed ‘Truth Commission duties’ to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Furthermore, Cayetano again emphasized the need for Congress to pass the Freedom of Information and Whistleblowers Act as well as to strengthen the Witness Protection Program as essential tools in its fight against graft and corruption.