Aquino: My allies are not above the law
How is the administration addressing corruption in the government? Just look at the President’s allies being punished for allegedly engaging in corrupt activities.
President Benigno Aquino III on Friday faced tough questions from members of the electronics sector during the forum of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines in Muntinlupa City.
He spoke before the chief executive officers, presidents and other executives of 260 foreign and Filipino semiconductor and electronics companies in the Philippines at The Bellevue Hotel.
During the open forum, Mario Ravancho, one of the members of the audience, asked the President what the administration was doing to discipline corrupt employees of the government.
Ravancho pointed out that even electronics companies had been victimized by unscrupulous government employees.
“The Philippine electronics industry in general applauds the Excellency for his thrust on good governance, integrity and transparency. It is unfortunate, however, that the electronics companies are still victims of red tape and corruption by the employees of the public sector. What measures are being undertaken to ensure that the administration’s thrusts are trickled down even to the first-level officers?”
President Aquino said his allies were not exempt from the law.
“Well, I think, if you read today’s papers, you will see that even our allies are being made to account by the Ombudsman under the various courts,” he said.
Recently, Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco Sr., a key ally of Aquino and Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, was ordered dismissed for allegedly demanding P3 million from a businessman in 2011.
“That, hopefully, will send a message to everybody that corruption really is not (tolerated in the government),” said Aquino.
The Sandiganbayan also barred the governor’s son, Vladimir Tanco, who was his father’s security officer, from holding public office after they were found guilty of grave misconduct.
Aquino added that corruption in the government would not exist if no one offered bribes to begin with.
“Perhaps, if I may just add, whenever anybody talks about corruption, they talk about the person in government. But what about the necessary partner who is the briber? A bribee doesn’t exist without a briber … I think, it’s very clear—’yung nakikiuusap. Kaya nga nakikiusap dahil malabo,” he said.
“And if both parties, those that feel it’s easier to bribe the person who actually accepts the bribe are, shall we say, brought to a new direction, then I think we will eliminate that idea of corruption,” he added. Julliane Love de Jesus/RC
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