Presidential bets weigh in on bribery, corruption | Inquirer News

Presidential bets weigh in on bribery, corruption

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 07:07 PM February 27, 2022

debate cnn

MANILA, Philippines — Nine of the 10 presidential bets were asked on Sunday if they were offered bribes and which government agency they will probe for corruption should they get elected.


During the CNN Philippines’ vice presidential debate, Ernesto Abella who formerly served as Palace spokesperson said he only experienced one incident of an alleged attempted bribery.


“I was really taken aback, he asked for my number, I did not give it and that was it. It was the first I was confronted with the situation. It is a serious problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman said he has not been offered a bribe as he has not occupied a government post. He promised that he will reject any attempt of bribery and promised that he will have send those who will offer him bribes to jail.

“Makukulong ‘yung mago-offer sa’kin kaya wag niyong gagawin (whoever makes an offer to me will be jailed, so don’t do it),” he said.

For his part, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said he experienced being bribed as city mayor with “somebody trying and offering five million a day.”

“Pero tatlong taon na hindi pa sila nakakabalik (But they haven’t been back for three years),” he assured.

He then explained that corruption in the city of Manila “naturally died” after it adopted technology and limited human discretion in government transactions.

“It’s true, they will try they will approach pero depende naman ‘yan, kung talagang gusto mong magayos sa gobyerno kayang gawin ‘yung imposible maging posible,” he said.


(It’s true, they will try, they will approach but it still depends. If you really want to be good with the government you can make the impossible become possible.)

Meanwhile, former defense chief Norberto Gonzales said he never experienced being offered a bribe, but stressed that corruption should be studied “as a system,” rather than just a part of it.

“Ako naniniwala na parang naging sistema na ang korupsyon sa atin, kaya kung saka-sakali pagaaralan natin ang corruption as a system,” he said.

(I believe that corruption seems to have become a system for us, so if by chance we will study corruption as a system.)

Meanwhile Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said he has never accepted any bribe in exchange for public service, even rewards offered during his service with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He also stressed that he never had a pork barrel. “Para kwentas klaras di ko kinuha ang pork barrel. Nananatiling malinis ang aking kamay sa korapsyon (for the record I didn’t take the pork barrel. My hand remains clean of corruption),” the senator said.

Businessman and advocate for federalism Faisal Mangondato, for his part, said the only way to corruption is by transitioning to a new system.

“Itong problema sa korupsyon ay hinding hindi ito masosousyunan hanggant nandito pa rin tayo sa lumang sistema,” he said.

(This problem of corruption will never be solved as long as we are still in the old system.)

Cardiologist and lawyer Dr. Jose Montemayor, meanwhile said he has experience fighting corruption as he was the primary lawyer who filed cases against corruption in the healthcare system.

Senator Manny Pacquiao admitted that he had been offered bribes.

“From then on nakita ko yung sistema ng gobyerno lagi naguusap ng korupsyon pero walang pagbabago,” he said.

(From then on I saw the government system always talking about corruption but nothing has changed.)

He then stressed that corruption in government is the main reason for his decision to run for the presidency.

“Kaya ako tumakbo ang inyong lingkod sa pagkapangulo kasi gusto ko tapusin ang korupsyon, gusto kong tapusin ang cancer ng bansa natin na siyang nagpapahirap ng sambayanang pilipino,” said Pacquiao.

(So I ran for presidency because I want to end corruption, I want to end the cancer of our country that is tormenting the Filipino people.)

“‘Yan ang tanging paraan para magkaroon tayo ng tunay na kaginhawaan,” he added.

(That is the only way for us to have real comfort.)

Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, said one of the first things she did when she was elected congresswoman was to talk to all her district members, including business people, and cleared that they cannot talk to her about contracts, and special favors and preferences.

She also listed bills and laws she filed which focused on making a system that will “force public officials to be good,” including measures on Transparency, Full Disclosure Law, Freedom of Information law, accountability measures and people empowerment measures.

“Dahil palagay ko ito talaga ‘yung pinakamahalaga para mabawasan ‘yung korupsyon,” she said.

(Because I think this is really the most important thing to reduce corruption.)

She also reminded that the Office of the Vice President has received the highest Commission on Audit (COA) audit rating for three consecutive years.

“Pagpapakita na ang resibo nandiyan na talagang ayaw namin sa korupsyon,” she said.

Meanwhile when asked on which specific agency they wanted to investigate for corruption if elected as president, the majority or eight candidates said that they wanted to investigate the Bureau of Customs.

Only Pacquiao said he will wants the Department of Health (DOH) investigated first.

Ten candidates were originally invited for the debates, but former senator Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. declined the invitation.

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