US envoy cited Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for fight vs corruption



The United States Embassy in Manila appeared ambivalent about the Arroyo administration’s fight against corruption, on the one hand citing its “seriousness” in fighting the scourge, and on the other enumerating the many ways corruption was prevalent in the country.

In a Nov. 15, 2007, cable to the Department on State in Washington, D.C., that was leaked by web whistle-blower WikiLeaks, the embassy said the Arroyo administration was “beginning to make strides” against corruption.

$329-million deal

The embassy memo, titled “Corruption in the Philippines: Challenges and Progress,” was sent one month after then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had canceled the $329-million NBN-ZTE deal between the Philippines and China that was allegedly attended by massive corruption involving no less than her husband.

The memo, however, did not mention the NBN-ZTE controversy.

Instead, the embassy said “the recent conviction for plunder of former President Joseph Estrada has highlighted the corruption issue” in the country.

Significant steps

“The Office of the Ombudsman’s prosecution of Estrada for plunder and the Sandiganbayan antigraft court’s unprecedented conviction and 40-year sentence on the former president clearly indicate that the Philippine government is taking significant steps to address the problem…

“While Estrada was pardoned, he was required to forfeit bank accounts and property amassed illegally during his two-year tenure, as decreed by the graft court that found him guilty,” the cable noted.

It added, however, that “tackling corruption remains a central challenge to good governance in the Philippines and ensuring broad-based economic growth.”

“Corruption is also a deterrent to foreign investment, particularly in terms of providing a level playing field for investors and especially for US companies that must comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” it said.

The “good news is that there is a widening recognition of the problem in the Philippines and an increasing groundswell of support to address the issue.”

“Similarly, there are new efforts underway by the government to address key corruption issues and to strengthen those institutions most critical to anticorruption efforts, including the Office of the Ombudsman, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs and the judiciary.

Long legacy

It noted that “corruption in the Philippines has had a long legacy. Most notably during the Marcos era, corruption has been an endemic problem that has contributed significantly to the weakening of many national institutions.”

According to the cable, “while Marcos’ brand of blatant corruption may be a thing of the past, corruption remains a pervasive challenge at all levels of government… The Philippines ranks 131st out of 180 nations in the perception of corruption by business and country analysts.”

According to the embassy, Washington was doing its part in helping fight corruption in the Philippines.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Anonymous

    No wonder there’s nary a taint of graft and corruption during Mrs. Gloria Arroyo’s administration.  For the first time in Philippine political history, under her tutelage and leadership, not a single centavo got stolen.  Mabuhay po kayo Madam sana po habang buhay kayong hindi korrup.

    • Al

      Ha! ha! ha! haaa…..!

  • Anonymous

    US envoy cites OJ simpson during domestic violence month!

    Ooops!  Can we have a “reset button” ?

  • Kotono Yuuki


  • Anonymous

    like dracula in charge of a blood bank!!! lol

  • Ruben

    What ???  Beginning 2007 Arroyo was making strides against corruption.  No, No, No.  On the contrary, the Arroyos doubled their effort to steal money until and even after leaving office.

  • Gilbert Reyes

    I agree, the Arroyo administration was fighting corruption! Corruption was allowed only for the Arroyo family,  particularly for the husband.

  • Anonymous

    Now it is getting clearer  that Arroyo’s presidency is as clean as virgin coconut water. With this Wikki Leaks, source of bad, we see the good.
    GMA was only a victim of bad publicity as she was antipatika or persona non grata to most who hated her.

    With this report, GMA is vindicated.

    • Jaz

      Now it is getting clearer  that Arroyo’s presidency is as clean as virgin coconut water.- Ganun?….weh! hindi….nga?

    • Jaz

      Now it is getting clearer  that Arroyo’s presidency is as clean as virgin coconut water. – Ganun?…weh!…’di nga?

    • Anonymous

      GMA was the epitome of a corrupt politician. During her watch she did not allow any investigations of her shenanigans to prosper by not allowing her cabinet people to enlighten various issues. She thought that in time the people will forget. Like what Marcos did to our country.
      The programs of Pnoy make past politicians accountable of their actions may be the start of a good practice. This will ensure that abusive and corrupt leaders will be brought to justice. In Japan, the slightest hint of impropriety can force the resignation of the Prime Minister. In Korea, past presidents were sent to jail due to embezzlement of a couple of million dollars (a mere pittance compare to the sum of what GMA and her cronies stole). Some of them commit suicide.

      I hope GMA and her elk will follow their steps The Filipino people deserves better and responsible governance.

  • Herbert

    GMA = Corruption. I therefore conclude that base on the formula of corruption, all sides will be canceled, leaving null/nothing. Therefore, the D.C.s notion that there was no corruption is a valid claim. WTF!

  • France

    …”corruption in the Philippines has had a long legacy…”  Corruption was there before, during and after Marcos’ regime.  And even today: the Manila Port Customs is the best example.  Its OK to go after GMA, but most important is what is done for today’s and tomorrow’s corruptions, to stop it ounce and for all.  We are living today, in 2011, not in 2007!  What will be the future is what we need to focus on.

  • Anonymous

    Corruption is deeply rooted, a sin of INIQUITY. It’s a generational sin handed down by our forefathers. It is more of a spiritual problem than a natural one – that’s why people could hardly eradicate it because they have no revelation of what spirituality is differ from their condemning religion.

  • Anonymous

    ““While Estrada was pardoned, he was required to forfeit bank accounts
    and property amassed illegally during his two-year tenure, as decreed by
    the graft court that found him guilty,” the cable noted.”

    Where are these properties now?

  • Anonymous

    Arroyo feels at home when visiting Agusan de Sur. He was spotted with fellow
    giant crocodiles plotting their next plunder.

  • Anonymous

    of Crocodiles” signs are posted in Agusan del Sur. “Beware of Mike
    Arroyo” signs, on the other hand, are posted all over the police

  • Anonymous

    is small compared to Mikey Arroyo, a power-hungry crocodile who eats, drinks,
    and steals public funds all day. Mikey should be the one locked up in a zoo.

  • Anonymous

    kampi pa ni Mikey Arroyo si Hussein Pangandaman kaysa yung sinuntok na security
    guard sa Ayala Technohub. Sana si Mikey na lang sinuntok at sinagasaan.

  • Roberto

    Malamang-lamang si Kenney ang envoy na sinasabi sa title ng article na ito. BFF sila ni GMA, ‘di ba?

  • Anonymous

    First Gentleman Mike Arroyo is sad about the capture of the man-eating
    crocodile in Mindanao last week. Be gentle to his twin brother daw.

  • Anonymous

    God must be punishing us for placing several Arroyo family members
     in Congress. Hope the bill against political dynasty will be passed soon
    to end the reign of the Arroyos.

  • Anonymous

    What???? That means the US embassy in the Philippines is sleeping for a long time or close their eyes during the Arroyo’s administration.Ridiculous assesments and comments like these mocked the Filipinp people in general.Hope this is the last offending comments by the US embassy to the filipino people.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos