Manila: President Benigno Aquino vowed to continue fighting corruption, by calling for more structural reforms and legislated measure, as he hinted his desire for the prosecution of former President Gloria Arroyo who is under hospital arrest for alleged juggling of funds while in power from 2001 to 2010.
“Without structural reform, another corrupt president might one day take the reins of power,” said Aquino in a speech at the 5th Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) in suburban Pasay City.
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was also ousted, following his impeachment at the Senate last year for alleged failure to truthfully declare his assets, liabilities and net-worth.
“Reforms cannot be mere lips in the radar; they must usher in an enduring mainstream of good, honest governance. Only through legislation can the bedrock of inclusiveness and positive, meaningful change can be set,” Aquino said, but he did not give details about the kind of legislation he wanted to stop corruption.
Noting how corruption is currently being addressed in the government, Aquino mentioned proper bidding and transparent procurement process, including the establishment of internal mechanism in all government agencies to stop officials from corrupt practices.
Elected local government officials have started to disclose the financial activities of their respective local government units. The department of interior and local government (DILG) should strengthen this procedure, said Aquino.
Looking forward, he added, “We are fully aware that in the coming years, we will continue to grind it out with elements in our respective societies who simply want to profit from the hard work of others who want to establish, or maintain, an undeserved upper hand over the common citizen,”
“The more we share our ideas, the more we listen to one another, the sooner we will achieve our goal of eliminating corruption and reforming the system for the benefit of our peoples,” Aquino added.
Aquino’s statement was made after the Transparency International of the United Kingdom ranked the Philippines as second worst corrupt country due to its defence department’s lack of transparency in its procurement process coupled by weak oversight from the two houses of Congress.