Enrile said that corruption in the Philippine Government is more rampant than ever and cited corruption cases.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile asserted that corruption is more pervasive now than before.
Enrile, a former Senate President made his appearance at the Upper Chamber as a resource person of the Constitutional Amendments committee, chaired by Sen. Robinhood Carino Padilla. on Wednesday as it tackled the proposed changes in the country's charter.
Corruption refers to the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of many. It usually involves large sums of financial and state resources.
To say that corruption in government is more rampant than ever would mean that even with the ongoing recovery of the Philippines from the pandemic, corruption is still prevalent across the country when so many Filipinos are already being pushed towards poverty.
Padilla asked Enrile during the hearing about an earlier proposal by veteran lawyer Estelito Mendoza to amend the 1987 Constitution so that members of the court would go through the Commission on Appointments (CA) screening procedure.
Enrile proceeded to explain the old system in which the CA’s confirmation was required for all government appointments.
“That system, hindi ko sinasabi na walang corruption noon, meron ding mga corruption dun pero hindi kagaya ngayon,” Inquirer quoted Enrile.
“I’m sorry to say na ngayon sa mga panahon natin, laganap ang corruption. Lahat ng lumpsum money na bina budget ng Kongreso is subject to corruption,’” the 94-year old former legislator added.
Enrile cited the alleged corruption in the implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
TUPAD is a cash-for-work program that provides emergency employment for 10 to 30 days to displaced, seasonal, and underemployed workers during the pandemic.
It was supposed to help them ease the challenges given by the pandemic. Yet, the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged several “deficiencies” in the implementation of the program.
The COA also cited “unsubstantiated claims and lack of documentary requirements,” as well as “insufficient monitoring and validation of the beneficiaries, money remittance centers (MRCs), and [project] proponents.”
“Hindi naman lahat pero karamihan binibulsa yung cash at ginagamit yun sa eleksyon para billhin ang boto ng taumbayan na pulubi,” Enrile said.
Despite the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) tight campaign against vote buying, it is rampant across the country, especially near the election period.
“Ngayon kung ibabalik natin ung sistema na lahat ng presidential appointees ay subject to confirmation, then Congress can now exercise its power to exact accountability for the monies that they appropriate for every department, agency or office in the entire national government,” Enrile pointed out.
In the past, there were also a few corrupt prosecutors. But now, Enrile said that many are languishing in jails because of the slow justice system in the country.
Back in 2019, former senator Leila De Lima introduced a bill to address the ineffective justice system in the Philippines which continues to be slow in prosecuting criminal cases and securing convictions in court.
The pandemic cemented further issues in the justice system like abuse of power, human rights violations, lack of access to the justice system, overcrowded jails, and many more.
“Ang Kongreso nagba-budget na lang, pinababayaan na, hindi na pinakikialaman kung ano ang resulta nung binadyet nila,” Enrile added.
During his term, Enrile asserted that the CA must confirm all appointments, including those of the Supreme Court justices.
“Palagay ko having been a participant of the government under the 1935, 1973, and 1987 and all the Constitutions of the Philippines from Quezon to now, I’d rather that we go back to the system under the 1935 Constitution,” he concluded.
Tags: #Corruption, #Government, #Enrile