This is from the Philippine newspaper Malaya.
The anti-corruption campaign is very selective. It is important that the wrong people not be charged and the right people be charged.
UNO sees no endto graft under Gloria
THE United Opposition (UNO) yesterday said it does not expect any improvement in the Philippines’ ranking in the Corruption Perception index (CPI) as long as the Arroyo administration is regularly linked to irregularities, ignores corruption charges against its allies and uses the anti-corruption drive selectively to persecute political opponents.
Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay, UNO president, said the administration has been selective in its anti-corruption drive, citing the long-stalled case against former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc Joc" Bolante who is accused of funneling P728 million in agriculture funds to administration allies during the 2004 presidential elections.
"We are not surprised at all by the latest result of the CPI. The Arroyo administration uses a double standard in its so-called campaign against corruption. If the case involves allies and personalities close to the First Family, the administration either ignores the charges and even comes to the defense of those accused," he said.
On Tuesday, the Germany-based TI reported that the Philippines scored only 2.3 out of a possible 10 points in its corruption index for 180 countries. Last year the country earned 2.5 points.
On the other hand, Binay said flimsy and even manufactured allegations are raised against political opponents and critics. "If the allegation involves a critic of Mrs. Arroyo, the administration talks tough and even goes to the extent of imposing sanctions that are later overturned by the courts," he said.
The opposition leader said as long as the administration itself is linked to acts of corruption, coddles allies, and persecutes critics, the Philippines will continue to slip in the corruption rankings.
Citing recent reports of irregularities in the disbursement of funds from the Department of Agriculture’s Ginintuang Masaganang Ani program, Binay said corruption takes away food and income from farmers, rural workers and the poor.
"When Mrs. Arroyo and her supporters grabbed power in 2001, they claimed they will end corruption and restore morality in governance. Seven years of Mrs. Arroyo and corruption has worsened, and the trail of corruption in several cases led all the way to Malacañang," he said.
The Palace said the lower Transparency International rating should serve as a wake up call for everyone, not just government, to do better in the campaign against graft and corruption.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said perception of worsening corruption would negatively impact on the economy.
He said corruption is not tolerated and the government has a continuing campaign against the practice.
He said an educational campaign on how to prevent corruption should be mounted to complement efforts to prosecute offenders.