• How the people can win in 2016

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    Who will win the next elections? If critics lambasting the two leading political juggernauts are right, whoever wins in 2016, the big loser would be the Filipino people.

    Consider this: only two groups have the resources, machinery, and high-name-recall candidates to win big nationwide:

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s ruling Liberal Party and LP allies, and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance under UNA Chairman and consistent voters survey frontrunner Vice President Jejomar Binay.

    The LP and its die-hard allies have used both Senate and media to warn Filipinos about the Binay family’s widely reported excesses as Makati’s rulers since Corazon Aquino named the rights lawyer as mayor of the country’s financial center a day after she took over as president in the February 1986 People Power Revolution.

    On the other hand, it is getting harder and harder to hide or deny the sleaze spawned by Aquino’s coddling of his “kaklase, kakampi, kabarilan” or KKK cronies. To name just recent anomalies reprising many others in years past:

    • Metro Rail Transit mishaps continue with Aquino never probing the MRT maintenance contract behind the mess, which recalls the attempted $30-million shakedown of Czech rail company Inekon.

    • Customs Commissioner John Sevilla quits under pressure from the politically dominant clique which has ramped up smuggling five-fold to $19 billion a year, also uninvestigated by Aquino.

    • The Commission on Audit reports mammoth waste of funds in the Departments of Agriculture (P15 billion) and Agrarian Reform (P12 billion), whose heads remain despite calls for their removal.

    • COA cites the anomalous channeling of P670 million in Aquino-era pork barrel funds to dubious non-government organizations in Mindanao, bringing to mind NGOs not with accused grafter Janet Lim Napoles and spared from investigation.

    • Justice Secretary Leila de Lima proves the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines right in decrying “selective prosecution” of pork barrel: she says filing new cases, expected to nail administration legislators, is no longer priority.

    • While grilling the Binays, the Senate kid-gloves Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin over the P1.2-billion helicopter deal cancelled after The Manila Times expose.

    All these are on top of the illegal P150-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the COA-reported misallocation of the P40-billion-a-year Conditional Cash Transfer for poor families, and the trebling of pork barrel under Aquino to P20 billion a year.

    Whoever wins, the people lose
    Thus, the voter’s choice for 2016 is down a much decried presidentiables survey leader and Aquino’s annointed, who would be pressured to protect those behind administration excesses (which aren’t over — watch public-private partnership projects worth half a trillion pesos to be awarded in Aquino’s final year).

    What to do? Clearly, depending on the next administration to probe, punish and prevent corruption is iffy, if not foolish. We the people must take action against this enormity.

    To this end, we reiterate our past proposal, now being discussed with governance advocates, is to establish a citizens organization similar to Namfrel, but assisting the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), instead of Comelec.

    With just several hundred OMB investigators and prosecutors watching 1.3 million people in the public sector, and its P3 trillion-plus spending, the chance of corruption being caught is too minuscule to scare the corrupt.

    We need many, many more graftbusters. Hence, a citizens anti-corruption watchdog group should be formed with 13,000 or so volunteers from the ranks of retired bureaucrats, retired or active auditors, lawyers, investigators, and other professionals, as well as civil society and youth.

    That number would yield a ratio of one graftbuster for every 100 state personnel — better than Hong Kong’s feared anti-corruption commission. An initial group of 6,000 or so volunteers could be formed in Metro Manila, focusing on national agencies, Congress, courts in the metropolis, and the military and police headquarters.

    The proposed entity, which can be called Citizens Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG), would monitor major public sector revenue, regulatory and spending activities, and investigate anomalies, with corporate and international funding.

    To ensure integrity, impartiality and broad public support, the CCGG should be led by a governing council of highly respected and non-partisan moral figures. It also needs support from religious, civic, professional, business, labor and other sectoral groups.

    Citizens must take action against graft
    The CCGG’s governing council shall draw up its objectives, operating framework, and funding arrangements. Among parameters to consider:

    • The CCGG shall independently probe anomalies, with priority given to size, prominence and lack of prompt government action; and undertake lifestyle checks.

    • The CCGG shall file charges and investigation reports with agencies that can act on them, including OMB, Office of the President, Civil Service Commission, Supreme Court, National Police Commission, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the agencies of public servants under investigation.

    • The CCGG shall monitor and publicize actions taken on its findings or lack thereof, and file further motions and other measures to expedite cases.

    • The CCGG shall report any lack of cooperation from state officials and agencies, and file needed administrative and legal cases to obtain information and sanction inaction.

    • The CCGG shall protect and support whistleblowers, witnesses, volunteers, civil servants, and other personages facing threats or reprisals for assisting the coalition.

    • The CCGG shall espouse legislative and administrative reforms toward good governance, transparency, and accountability.

    Once created, the coalition can deter would-be grafters, who could be probed by CCGG even if political allies and connections derail or delay official inquiries. Agencies and local governments blocking CCGG would contend with media exposure and cases in the OMB, the Civil Service Commission, and the courts. Investigative reports would be given wide publicity among CCGG member groups and media, to educate the citizenry.

    Probably most important, civil servants privy to irregularities would have a nationwide entity to act on their revelations and accord them protection. Such a threat of exposure from within the bureaucracy would further deter corrupt politicians and officials.

    Many will scoff at CCGG and point out all manner of obstacles to its success. But mobilizing Filipinos against graft still has a better chance of beating it than depending on the next cabal of political bosses to clean up their mess.

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    12 Comments

    1. Kahit ano pa Dakdak nyo mga Filipino walang mangyayari sa corruption na yan? Bakit kanyo? Hindi akma ang current political system ng Pinas. Mantakin naman ninyo – napaka delikado, sensitibo ng pag pili ng presidente ng Pilipinas – pero hawak ng majority BOBOTANTE (karamihan nasa poor sector) ang kapalaran ng bansa!!
      Hangat hindi mag masugpo ang mga BOBOTANTE sa Pinas iyun at iyun padin ang takbo ng Pinas.

      Tama na sobra na! Ibagsak ang mga BOBOTANTE!!

    2. Braincleaner on

      Do this dysfunctional writer sincerely believes that an anti-graft crusades will change a dysfunctional society called the Philippines?

      How can an entire dysfunctional society know the solutions to their problems when they ignore, refuse to know, and accept their concrete conditions as a failed nation state.

      How can an entire society inhabited by people with dysfunctional minds borned-out of brutal 400 years of Spanish and more than a century of US colonization and neo-colonization progress when they have no collective concensus of what constitute their national interests. Consequently, how can they even vote for the right people in government when they have no idea of what exactly constitute their collective interests as a nation?

      This dysfunctional writer would like us to believed that we can change our neo-colonial society by an anti-graft crusade. While neo-colonial forces raids our pockets everyday.That we can progress as a people while our national patrimony, sovereignty, and domestic economy and people, are put on a daily auction to foreign interests.

      These all told are the social basis of corruption. Our society was made to be corrupt because the structures of US neo-colonialism, foreign exploitation and oppression, needs these to be in place! US neo-colonialism and foreign plunder needs a corrupt institution of governance to serve as partners. And it needs an entire people with colonial mentality to elect their own oppressors! Until this writer and everyone of us realised and accept this fact nothing in this failed nation state will ever be right!

    3. Amnata Pundit on

      I agree but with a reservation: who will lead such an effort? I remember that during the PCGG’s time, there were not 13,000 fiscal agents. Im sure the total number of fiscal agents assigned to sort out and clean up the alleged massive corruption of the Marcos regime did not exceed 500. Obviously under the yellow EDSA regime that replaced Marcos, corruption has exploded exponentially that you now see the need for 13,000 “fiscal agents.” If they will not be used for election purposes, Im sure these 13,000 can make a difference in the fight against corruption. Good luck on your search for 13,000 incorruptible fiscal agents.

    4. In a country with a mentality that cheating is of no consequence or not an offense, it is highly doubtful people can measure up to get a winning chance comes 2016. Reading on another column, where it was suggested that a defeated boxer should run for a governatorial slate, and with bloggers consenting to the idea, only indicates that there are still Filipino electorates who had not matured in their political ideology.

      Some Filipinos are thinking small time and short term solution, but the effects of which last long, that in the end it even creates more of problems to be solved. These are the very Filipinos who keeps digging deeper their own grave. Thinking that a popular personality have the wit to tackle national and international issues on diplomacy and politics, being kind in handing out free cash is not enough to tide the country over in times of precarious situation – the bureaucracy involved requires a person of astute intellect.

    5. redvegetarian on

      Your idea is very good. Now the doing part. We have a lot of thinkers but very few doers. Why don’t you start it yourself? There has to be someone to start this. I will volunteer.

    6. Samuel Santos on

      How to survive for another day is the prime concern of most Filipinos – to be able to eat two times a day man lang, kahit na i-skip na yung tanghalian.

    7. We need more graft busters with high salary to avoid temptations of bribery and must adhere to strict compliance to their job or be fired.

      • sonny dela cruz on

        Where can you find one, at least even one. Which government agency is not corrupt, who can investigate. Filipinos wants to know.

      • agree with you that graft busters should be shielded from being compromised by giving them higher salaries than ordinary employees. also the idea of rick saludo of citizens acttion group to combat corruption should be considered. this can help the undermanned coa and ombudsman. this citiizens action group should be protected by enabling law.

    8. We need a Revolutionary government that will clean up the government top to bottom. From corrupt president, tongress senatong bureau of costumes, kkk, corrupt cabinet members especially the corrupt 10 must be thrown to jail and their hidden and can not be explained wealth sequestered and give back to public treasury. Also their relatives and family members investigated for their can not be explained wealth. Next leader should be unforgiving, no kumpadre or kumadre. Like the hacienda luisita must be given to the rightful owners the farmers. No payment should be made to the coquangco (ko-huang-ko), aquino clans that lived on the bloods and sweats of the farmers for so long.

    9. Nancy Bulok Cake on

      Nobody in the Philippines will stop the corruption of the Binays. Even the courts are under the payroll of Binay and with the private army (including the NPAs) of Binay they will just harass anybody who will go against the corruption of the Binays.

    10. sonny dela cruz on

      How the Filipino people can win in 2016 is not the question. How can the Filipino people get the right person to lead the country to help them in their present situation is the question. Remember CHEATING is very rampant during election, even the people itself CHEATS to win their back candidates even though they know he will be a corrupt one once he/she got elected. It is the Filipinos behavior if they want for a change or still make election as their source of income even just for a price of 100 pesos per vote. The government to cheat is also present without any regards to make the country a better place but instead make the country still the empty basket of Asia. RAMPANT CORRUPTIONS and neglect of the institution to work for the people. Mr. SALUDO should look on the records of MR. RICHARD J. GORDON, find it out about him if he is the answer to the country’s problems, that he can make a difference to solve the problems of the country in a short period of time. Remember he got VISION and a very good manager, maybe he will be the people’s answer comes 2016. You can GOOGLE him with his name RICHARD J. GORDON FOR PRESIDENT 2016.