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Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(


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Separate Opinion : The second most corrupt Posted 01:34am (Mla time) May 21, 2005 By Isagani Cruz Inquirer News Service Editor's Note: Published on page ...

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    Default Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(


    Separate Opinion : The second most corrupt

    Posted 01:34am (Mla time) May 21, 2005
    By Isagani Cruz
    Inquirer News Service



    Editor's Note: Published on page A14 of the May 21, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    IT'S a sign of our times that when the government announces a project of considerable expense, suspicion immediately fastens on the officials who have proposed or are implementing it. Kickbacks are automatically assumed, more often than not, correctly. Public opinion has been so conditioned to accept that graft is an essential vice of every official transaction involving the expenditure of public funds.

    That is why there was little wounded protest, albeit much admission and embarrassment, over the Philippines being ranked next only to Indonesia as the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia. The sad fact is that we were not always thus humiliated for we were regarded as an honest and respectable nation in more honorable times. But not any more.

    Corruption has not only lowered our reputation in the international community but also increased the upkeep of government. The prevalence of graft in many of our public works contracts has increased their cost beyond the original price
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    to the prejudice of the innocent taxpayers. It is well known that legislators earn millions of pesos in payoffs from projects they choose for their pork barrel allocations. And that is only the beginning. There will be more opportunities for "gratitude money" while the project is in progress and until it is finally accomplished.

    The original estimated cost of only P600 million for the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in 1975 increased to P2.3 billion when it was completed in 1985, allegedly because of bribes paid to certain identified individuals including Ferdinand Marcos himself. The defunct Public Estates Authority (PEA) has yet to explain the tremendous expense incurred in the construction of the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Parañaque City, not to mention the PEA-Amari reclamation project earlier exposed.

    There is the scandal in the Department of Public Works and Highways where millions of pesos were spent for the daily ghost repairs of its vehicles which must have been of such inferior quality that they should not have been purchased at all in the first place. This is only one of the many offices in the government saddled with the corruption that now tarnishes and may eventually destroy the Republic of the Philippines.

    The recent revelation of the incredible perquisites enjoyed by the former president of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund demonstrates how pecuniary gluttony can so ravish the public coffers to satisfy personal depravity.

    The abuses are so mind-boggling as to overwhelm the pure in heart with their cynicism and cold-bloodedness. Among them are a P2.2-million Nissan Patrol to supplement 2 Mitsubishi Pajeros, foreign air fare of P2 million for him and his wife, 8 travels to the United States and Europe that cost P6 million, excessive official per diems higher by $300 than the standard amount, a monthly allowance of P25,000 for gas consumption, P960,000 for membership fees, food and drinks in golf and country clubs, and other extravagances.

    The excuse given by Rolando A. Golez, whose resignation was speedily accepted by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is that all the perquisites he exploited were "part of his compensation package" that made all his excesses hunky-dory. It probably did not occur to him that they were immoral and disgusting, or if they did, so what? Decades before, a high government official subordinated public interest to political gain when he scornfully declared, "What are we in power for?" The unrepentant Golez, when pangs of conscience protested, if they did at all, must have also sniffed in self-justification, "What am I in office for?"

    There are those who say that President Arroyo must have known of her appointee's abuses but did nothing to discipline him. Others would go so far as to say that Golez was untouchable as one of her favored protégés, as he was known to often boast. The employees under him had protested his abuses, but were largely ignored, being mere employees and anonymous at that. It was left to Haydee Yorac, ever conscientious and never afraid, to give voice to their complaints so that Malacañang finally had to hear them.

    It is gratifying that the investigation of Golez will reportedly continue notwithstanding his resignation. The fact that a person has left the public service should not operate to absolve him of offenses committed while in office. The investigation of Gen. Angelo Reyes' alleged mansion in Fort Bonifacio was discontinued when he resigned as defense secretary, but it has not been resumed although he is back in the Cabinet. Such a convenient de facto exoneration should not apply to Golez (or Reyes either) and others charged with misuse of public funds for private advantage.

    I once had an amiable conversation in Hong Kong with an American lady who turned suddenly hostile when she learned I was from the Philippines. She recalled an unpleasant experience with our customs authorities and practically accused all of us Filipinos of dishonesty. I retorted huffily that we learned our corruption from her country, but looking back, I feel I may have misstated the case. Right now, truth to tell, it is we who could be teaching the Americans.

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    Default Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    so true. but what's worst is that we all accept it and do nothing about it except try to get a US visa and live there forever.

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    Default Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    and some people think that giving and receiving kickbacks and an overpriced project is ok, as long as there is a project.

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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    top 3 nata karon. yehey

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    C.I.A. Bahalina-boy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    basig kadugayan ma # 1.

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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    not something for us filipinos to be proud of....

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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    I expected as much...

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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    back wer we started. sa time ni marcos. pero sa time ni macros naa tanan ni marcos ang money karon asa man ang kwarta? m sure dili ra jud na ni gma pdng. kinsa pa kaha lain naka kuha sa kwarta sa tao?

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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    hmmm.. bitaw

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    Default Re: Philippines no. 2 in corruption, read and weep :(

    if you think about it at least were in the top of something...

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