Public told not to tolerate bribery in government-A A +A
Sunday, February 17, 2013
MALACAÑANG urged the public on Sunday not to give gifts or money to any government official or personnel just to avail services rendered by the government.
"Receiving favors or gifts in exchange for doing their duty is a clear violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in reaction to a survey that one in 10 Filipino families gave favor or anything of value to government official or personnel to speed up processes like securing permits and paying taxes.
She said while such cases may still exist in the lower levels of government, “it does not mean that they are tolerated” by the Aquino administration.
She asked the public to report any incident of such malpractice and assured that erring officials will be punished.
“We encourage the public not to give in to these demands and to report these cases to the head of agency or to the Office of the Ombudsman so that these erring officials will be dealt with accordingly," Valte said.
However, the National Statistics Office 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey released last Friday showed that less than one percent of those who were asked to give money reported the incident to the authority.
In the same survey, four of out 10 families had at least one member who purposely seeks help from a government official in order to have smooth transaction in availing government services.
Seventy five percent had done the giving of gifts voluntarily while 25 percent were asked by the government official or personnel.
The highest incidence of giving money or gift was recorded in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) with 42 percent.
In a separate statement, the ruling Liberal Party through its senatorial ticket Team PNoy said the government is not applying kid gloves on allies facing cases for alleged misdeeds.
“Membership in the LP does not give immunity or protection to any member from any accountability process,” said Team PNoy spokesman Miro Quimbo.
The Marikina congressman cited former Isabela Governor now Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca and Presidential Adviser on Environment Protection Neric Acosta, whose cases are still pending in the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
President Benigno Aquino III received criticisms last October when he personally gave P70,000 in exchange for Padaca’s temporary liberty from charges of graft and malversation of public funds for allegedly granting a P25-million hybrid rice project to a non-government organization in 2006.
Still, Quimbo said the government was instrumental in the restoration of public confidence in the legal institutions such as the Office of the Ombudsman and courts.
On Saturday, rival United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said the LP is guilty of harboring previous allies of the Arroyo administration whose cases are allegedly not moving since they transferred to the ruling party.
Quimbo was specifically hit by UNA as one of those who benefitted from switching allegiances, saying he has yet to explain his role in the P7-billion fraudulent loans of home developer Globe Asiatique in 2009.
The lawmaker denied the accusation as the dates of the anomalous transaction were supposedly after he was “unceremoniously” removed as chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG Fund on March 15, 2009.
“I was unceremoniously replaced as CEO of Pag-IBIG Fund precisely because of my refusal to expand the pilot lending window to Globe Asiatique as was being demanded by the developer from Pag-IBIG,” he said. (Jill Beltran/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)