So the Senate has voted that the now former Chief Justice Renato Corona is guilty of not properly declaring his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), and has impeached him from the Supreme Court. Does this mean the start of the end of corruption in the Philippines? In my opinion, far from it. Corona’s conviction is nothing more than political vendetta against his political enemies by that Abnormal in Malacanang.
What, are they going to tell me that Rodolfo Farinas, the Deputy Prosecutor who delivered the closing statements in the Impeachment Process is “not” corrupt? If you could, ask the departed Maria Theresa Carlson, his former wife who he battered and eventually driven to commit suicide.
Or maybe we can ask Senator Franklin Drilon why he always proudly declares himself as on the side of the good, and yet did not bother to take Corona’s challenge of opening all of his bank accounts for scrutiny to prove once and for all his claim of being such a “clean” politician.
‘Opening Bank Accounts for Scrutiny’
Solving corruption in the Philippines will not come by impeaching or imprisoning political enemies, it entails making changes in the SYSTEM. One way of doing that, would be to enforce into LAW that ALL bank accounts and assets of ALL officials and employees of the government, whether they are in Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branch of government during investigations. This will ensure that there will be ample PROOF or EVIDENCE to convict/impeach/etc. any government official accused of wrongdoing before any court.
I remember a year or so ago Senator Alan Peter Cayetano proposing a law similar to the one I described in the above paragraph, but this Administration of the Abnormal conveniently ignored it until it was forgotten. Of course, the Abnormal and his allies would not want such a powerful tool to be used against them and reveal their shenanigans. They instead insist on grandstanding trials against their political enemies to show how supposedly “clean” they are.
‘Transferring Assets to Others’
Some will say that such a law above could be “easily” circumvented by putting assets under the names of relatives, family members, or even friends. But this is not as simple as it first seems. When assets are put under the name of an individual, then that individual by LAW now owns those assets, with little reservation. So this means getting them back could be a complicated thing.
For example, say you have P10 million in cash, and puts it under the name of your brother, or friend. That money is now legally owned by your brother/friend. In other words, he has no obligation anymore to give it back to you if he chooses not to, and there is nothing much you can do legally to get it back. You will have to rely on his good will and trust to give it back to you when you need. But when it comes to wealth, such things are complicated, especially if you have no legal claim to it. Hence, putting assets in the name of relatives/family/friends is not as easy an “escape” as some people claim it is.
Besides, inclusion for the opening of the bank accounts and assets of other people if they are suspected to be in connivance with the government employee under investigation could be included in the said law to give it more “teeth” against these supposed loopholes.
Another important factor of reducing or eliminating corruption in the Philippine government lies not only in the removal from office and/or imprisoning a few high-profile targets, but more importantly in doing so in dozens if not hundreds of corrupt government officials. In other words, its a matter of NUMBERS also.
Even if Corona was impeached, if there are only a few removals/dismissals of corrupt officials in government, then it will not impact much the corruption drive even if the few such targets is in high positions are removed. Corrupt government officials need to feel and see that the corruption drive is WIDESPREAD and LONG-RANGING, instead of being contained only in a few isolated cases.
However, this Administration of the Abnormal has been unable to do anything close to that. They FORCIBLY removed the former Ombudsman Mercedita Guitierrez on the guise that she is hampering the government’s Anti-Corruption drive. And yet what does their appointed Ombudsman do? 10 months into her term, Conchita Morales Carpio’s presence is rarely felt by the public, let alone by corrupt government officials. Aside from acting arrogant in the Senate when testifying against Corona, her actual record is shit. All show, no result.
This Administration of the Abnormal’s refusal to put systemic solutions to solve corruption in the country, and its current dismal record of going after and getting rid of only a few officials shows it is intent only in going after its political opponents, and getting political mileage out of it thru its pro Administration media. It is all for show, as this government is obssessed with putting “shows” or “gimmicks” to keep the masses occupied and stop it from questioning why the country’s economy is still mediocre despite the fact that the Administration is already two years into its term.
Unless concrete solutions are made against corruption, all we will have are these “gimmicks” and political vendetta …