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Aquino worried about bribery report

Four out of 10 businessmen have bribed government officials

Gulf News

Manila: President Benigno Aquino, known for his anti-corruption campaign, has expressed alarm at a survey by the National Statistics Office (NSO) that showed four out of ten businessmen have bribed government officials to facilitate the processing of transactions, a senior official said.

“That kind of statistics is worrisome…. [But] we recognise that these kinds of transactions still exist on the lower level [of government],” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, hinting that corrupt practices are not done at a higher level of government.

Noting that private citizens must do their part to stop corruption in government, Valte said: “We ask the public not to give favour or donations or other things asked for by government officials in exchange for government service.”

“We encourage people to report these things to authorities. We have government websites where these things are discussed. Complaints can be directed to the Office of the Ombudsman,” Valte added.

“[These things are happening] while our efforts mean to clean up things that we don’t like, such as giving favours, gifts or other things in exchange for government service. It is very clear that these are against our anti graft and practices act,” Valte said.

She did not categorically say what the government was doing concretely to stop government officials from continuing their corrupt practices.

When Aquino campaigned for the presidency in May 2010, he talked about the “straight road,” to underline his campaign against graft and corruption.