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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)


FROM THE TRIBUNE

By Aldrin Cardona - REVOLUTIONS, WASTED
[Edsa, they said, was a successful revolution. It was not. Edsa, they said, was a revolution. It was not. That revolution started from way, way back. It started when the land tillers sought genuine land reform. That revolution started when labor first sought its rights. That revolution had been to many phases before Edsa came and went.
That revolution came into being when Marcos was yet president. It was only Marcos who lit the fuse for it to explode in 1986.]


FEBRUARY 24 -By Aldrin Cardona Thirty years, and I am that old! I was barely 16 when it happened. But at 15, I was (using the words of my grandfather) “overly politicized,” and he had to spank me in the cheek so I would not join the crowd that was starting to gather in Edsa at around this time of February 1986. I wore that red mark on my face like a badge of honor as I joined a couple of hundred thousand strangers gathered several stones throw away from Camps Crame and Aguinaldo. There was no way I could push myself nearer. I was so tired from the long walk. I was hungry and thirsty and had to save what remained of my allowance so I could still return home without being noticed that I was gone, for a while I thought then. When I got home, I waited two days more before the news sent me, my family, my classmates and the whole school into a big rejoice. Marcos had fled to Hawaii. Edsa, they said, was a successful revolution. It was not. Edsa, they said, was a revolution. It was not. That revolution started from way, way back. It started when the land tillers sought genuine land reform. That revolution started when labor first sought its rights. That revolution had been to many phases before Edsa came and went. That revolution came into being when Marcos was yet president. It was only Marcos who lit the fuse for it to explode in 1986. I started joining political rallies at 14. Like the many others of my generation, we thought Philippine politics was divided in the middle of Marcos and Ninoy Aquino. We were wrong. Demands for true change had started when labor rallied around Crisanto Evangelista and through the years when he had founded the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (ca. 1930). READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Gordon seeks to plug LP’s cheating loophole’


FEBRUARY 25 -by Louie Logarta Story of the week from Inquirer radio: Metro Mayors pumalag sa utos ng Edsa People Power Commission para maghakot ng tao sa 30th anniversary ng Edsa I.”  Ha ha ha ha ha! ---Former Sen. Dick Gordon has exposed a loophole in the country’s existing election laws that would allegedly allow candidates of the administration-leaning Liberal Party (LP) to “cheat their way to victory” in the upcoming May elections, which is why he is seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention it might be immediately plugged. Gordon — who was the very first head of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority during the term of President Ramos, former Tourism Secretary of President Arroyo and currently sits as chairman of the Philippine Red Cross — has everything to gain in doing so because he is running once again for the Senate with the Bagumbayan Party. In a petition for mandamus, Gordon said he wants the high tribunal to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) — which is widely known to be packed with Malacañang’s gofers — to issue receipts to voters after having cast their ballots on the day of the elections in a bid to ensure these are properly counted afterwards, thereby surmounting the said cheating mechanism. Gordon explained the Comelec should be directed to enforce Section 7 (e) of the Automated Elections System Law or Republic Act 9369 which calls for the activation of the Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) feature of the vote-counting machines to be used in the May polls to allow for a printed receipt once a ballot is cast. Gordon should know what this is all about, since he claims to have been the principal author of RA 9369 wherein it is explicitly stated that the VVPAT is “one of the minimum system capabilities of the automated election system and a major feature of the automated voting machine.” Under the provisions of RA 9369, Gordon said the order is crystal clear for the Comelec to make full use of the VVPAT. In other words, the poll body, currently headed by Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista who allegedly acted as the campaign manager of Trade Secretary Mar Roxas (now the LP presidential candidate) when he first ran for senator in 2004, has no other choice but to implement the VVPAT. However, it turns out this has not been the case for the longest  time. “The Comelec has been a recidivist in violating RA 9369. The last two automated elections in the country (2010 and 2013) have not been credible because of its failure to implement the safeguards such as presenting the source code for review, the use of digital signatures was disabled and the random manual audit was announced,” Gordon said.“This has got to stop.” He pointed out that Congress enacted RA 9369 in a snap in line with its constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of the ballot. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Benjamin Diokno -Questions on LBP-DBP merger


FEBRUARY 29 -by Benjamin E Diokno
In his final days, President Aquino III is trying to put together the most wide-ranging deal of his adminis-tration: the merger of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Devel-opment Bank of the Philip-pines (DBP). He faces three for-midable questions: Is it legal? Is it ra-tional? Is the timing appropriate?Is it legal? Is Execu-tive Order 198 effecting the merger legal? Worse, is it unconstitutional since it is apparent that the President usurped the legislative power of Congress to legislate? Republic Act No. 85, as amended, created DBP while Republic Act No. 3844, as amended, created the LBP. A law can only be repealed or amended by another law, not by an executive order or presidential issuance, unless the law that created either DBP or LBP expressly authorizes it. But neither the law that created the DBP nor LBP authorizes the President to repeal or amend it. By issuing E.O. 198, the President usurped the power of Congress to legislate. He overextended his executive prerogative. By ordering the dissolution of DBP and subsequently transferred its functions to LBP, President Aquino, in effect, performed two distinct legislative acts: first, he repealed the law that created DBP and second, he amended the charter of the LBP by expanding its functions. But the power to legislate is reserved only to Congress and to the people, through the process of initiative and referendum. The Supreme Court made that crystal clear in its decision on the constitutionally-infirmed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The high court states:  “Only Congress, acting as a bicameral body, and the people, through the process of initiative and referendum, may constitutionally wield legislative power and no other.”  2. Is it rational? One can build a strong case for the merger. In the light of the desire of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to have stronger, better-capitalized banks in the country, there is a strong argument for the merger. READ MORE...

ALSO: Editorial - Stigmas


FEBRUARY 25 -What is being fostered in the recollection of the People Power revolt this year is hatred and not unity which those who have acted as human fodder to stop the soldiers and the tanks at that stretch of Edsa had shouted 30 years ago. The yellow mob unfortunately has made Edsa its own, and again wants to impose its will on the whole nation,chorusing in one voice not to forget the atrocities that happened during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his son Bongbong Marcos, who is now seeking the vice presidency. By extension, those allied with the Marcoses should also be condemned as being part of the “dismal past.” Noynoy said Marcos Jr. should apologize for the supposed abuses that happened during martial law. For somebody who can’t even offer the Hong Kong people a personal apology for the death of eight residents of the Chinese territory who thought that to be a tourist in the Philippines was fun, or for the death of 44 policemen in a botched mission where he should have exercised resoluteness to save lives, it was a stretch to demand that somebody apologizes for alleged excesses not of his doing. The Palace termed the Marcos regime the “darkest chapter in the country’s history.” Noynoy’s mouthpiece Sonny Coloma came up with yet another non sequitur in tasking Marcos “to explain how his own brand of governance will be different from the 21-year authoritarian regime of his father.” A blogger identified with the yellow mob and the Liberal Party (LP) even cobbled up a book that supposedly “recounted the atrocities of the Marcos regime and bring to light stories of torture and repression.” She said her book serves as a warning about the cost of giving up one’s freedom. Repression of rights is not a peculiar characteristic of the Marcos regime, however. According to the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), incidences of rights violations were the highest during the term of Noynoy, even surpassing what he and the yellow mob call the dark chapter of the Marcos dictatorship. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Marring 4Ps’ use


FEBRUARY 28 -With P62.7 billion in a lump sum in the budget allocated to the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program which the government calls the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the distribution of which is dependent on the Liberal Party and yellow disciple Social Works Secretary Dinky Soliman, it takes little for the cash doles to be repackaged into a potent campaign bribe for Mar Roxas and other LP bets. This time, however, Noynoy and his cohorts may have to answer for the misuse of the funds since early this month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) lent $400 million (P19.2 billion at the current P48 to $1 exchange rate) to Noynoy for additional funds to the program. That translates to more P80 billion in cold cash that the yellow mob and the LP have at their disposal to convince or coerce some 4 million families or something like 16 million to 20 million voters who are beneficiaries of the program to vote for Mar in May. It is even doubtful that Mar’s runningmate would benefit from the sinister LP moves since there are strong indications that she is being dropped for her poor showing in the surveys. Already, several reports in the campaign trail point to the misuse of the CCT to boost the flagging chances of Mar in the polls. The administration of Noynoy borrowed the huge amount from ADB supposedly to expand the 4Ps, which of course the foreign aid agency would include those who would support LP candidates. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Revolutions, wasted


By Aldrin Cardona

MANILA, FEBRUARY 29, 2016
(TRIBUNE) Written by Aldrin Cardona Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00 - Thirty years, and I am that old! I was barely 16 when it happened. But at 15, I was (using the words of my grandfather) “overly politicized,” and he had to spank me in the cheek so I would not join the crowd that was starting to gather in Edsa at around this time of February 1986.

I wore that red mark on my face like a badge of honor as I joined a couple of hundred thousand strangers gathered several stones throw away from Camps Crame and Aguinaldo.

There was no way I could push myself nearer. I was so tired from the long walk.

I was hungry and thirsty and had to save what remained of my allowance so I could still return home without being noticed that I was gone, for a while I thought then.

When I got home, I waited two days more before the news sent me, my family, my classmates and the whole school into a big rejoice.

Marcos had fled to Hawaii.

Edsa, they said, was a successful revolution.

It was not.

Edsa, they said, was a revolution.

It was not.

That revolution started from way, way back.

It started when the land tillers sought genuine land reform. That revolution started when labor first sought its rights.
That revolution had been to many phases before Edsa came and went.

That revolution came into being when Marcos was yet president. It was only Marcos who lit the fuse for it to explode in 1986.

I started joining political rallies at 14. Like the many others of my generation, we thought Philippine politics was divided in the middle of Marcos and Ninoy Aquino.

We were wrong.

Demands for true change had started when labor rallied around Crisanto Evangelista and through the years when he had founded the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (ca. 1930).

READ MORE...

And together with other patriots and nationalists, and most were hardly communists, they have banded to fight the Japanese forces and later, the subsequent governments they deemed as American puppets, until their clout and influence over the youth had waned.

Joma Sison broke away from the PKP and lifted the torch of the revolution from 1969 onward. He brought the rest of the Kabataang Makabayan away from the PKP and founded the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and labored to make the CPP the strongest political force of the Left during those most trying times of martial rule.

Thousands of students, workers, farmers and activists had laid their lives for the revolution. Yet, only some of them have joined the masses in Edsa. It was a big blunder for the CPP until it split into so many factions and suffered the same fate that weakened the PKP.

But they were the true heroes of Edsa.

Edsa was just the culmination of one phase of that fight.

Only that the radical Left had failed to pounce on its gains and allowed the return of the oligarchs and the rise of the some members of the middle class to form what system is now prevalent in Philippine politics and economy.

And 30 years after, the masses are still up against the same problems left by Marcos as the Philippines remains marred in poverty, where injustice prevails, where hunger persists, where jobs are scarce, where the dangers of handing back government to leaders with fascist tendencies has become a reality once more, like we have not learned a thing from Edsa, or the decades before it.

Thirty years!

And we are still under an Aquino, one who is not even half as good as his father was, nor was close to his mother who wasted that chance to lead the Philippines to its better years soon after Edsa.

Thirty years! And we have Bongbong Marcos knocking on the doors of Malacañang, or the Coconut Palace where he would just wait and while away time for his grand return to that palace by the river.

Thirty years! And it seems we have never learned.


‘Gordon seeks to plug LP’s cheating loophole’ Written by Louie Logarta Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00


by Louie Logarta

Story of the week from Inquirer radio: Metro Mayors pumalag sa utos ng Edsa People Power Commission para maghakot ng tao sa 30th anniversary ng Edsa I.”

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Former Sen. Dick Gordon has exposed a loophole in the country’s existing election laws that would allegedly allow candidates of the administration-leaning Liberal Party (LP) to “cheat their way to victory” in the upcoming May elections, which is why he is seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention it might be immediately plugged.

Gordon — who was the very first head of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority during the term of President Ramos, former Tourism Secretary of President Arroyo and currently sits as chairman of the Philippine Red Cross — has everything to gain in doing so because he is running once again for the Senate with the Bagumbayan Party.

In a petition for mandamus, Gordon said he wants the high tribunal to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) — which is widely known to be packed with Malacañang’s gofers — to issue receipts to voters after having cast their ballots on the day of the elections in a bid to ensure these are properly counted afterwards, thereby surmounting the said cheating mechanism.

Gordon explained the Comelec should be directed to enforce Section 7 (e) of the Automated Elections System Law or Republic Act 9369 which calls for the activation of the Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) feature of the vote-counting machines to be used in the May polls to allow for a printed receipt once a ballot is cast.

Gordon should know what this is all about, since he claims to have been the principal author of RA 9369 wherein it is explicitly stated that the VVPAT is “one of the minimum system capabilities of the automated election system and a major feature of the automated voting machine.”

Under the provisions of RA 9369, Gordon said the order is crystal clear for the Comelec to make full use of the VVPAT.
In other words, the poll body, currently headed by Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista who allegedly acted as the campaign manager of Trade Secretary Mar Roxas (now the LP presidential candidate) when he first ran for senator in 2004, has no other choice but to implement the VVPAT.

However, it turns out this has not been the case for the longest time.

“The Comelec has been a recidivist in violating RA 9369. The last two automated elections in the country (2010 and 2013) have not been credible because of its failure to implement the safeguards such as presenting the source code for review, the use of digital signatures was disabled and the random manual audit was announced,” Gordon said.
“This has got to stop.”

He pointed out that Congress enacted RA 9369 in a snap in line with its constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of the ballot.

READ MORE...

“The right to suffrage is a powerful tool placed in the hands of every Filipino giving them the ability to change the course of the country’s future. Therefore, it is essential that the sanctity and credibility of our election system be continuously protected from threats putting its results in question. In order for the system to be protected, it is essential that implementation of various security systems must be complied with,” the petition said.

Last week, the Comelec, voting 7-0 en banc, rejected pleas of various poll watchdogs to activate the feature in the voting machines to print receipts, claiming some politicians could use these receipts for vote-buying purposes.

Worse, he said it would add up to seven hours in the voting time considering it takes some 13 seconds to print a receipt.
“The disadvantages of printing the receipts far outweigh the advantages,” Bautista testified before a hearing of the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election process.

Gordon rejected these self-serving assertions, stressing the Comelec would be illegally doing away with an indispensable security feature which was purposely installed to ensure the sanctity, honesty and transparency of the ballot.

Anyway, what the Comelec should have done in the first place was to ask Malacañang for the amendment or repeal of RA 9369 if the feeling was that it was unworkable, instead of unilaterally casting it aside like some wet rag.

Let us be reminded that RA 9369 is an existing law duly passed by both houses of Congress, which means it should be obeyed at all costs. Should the Comelec refuse to do so, then it would be opening itself to future criminal litigation.

That is if either Grace Poe, Miriam Santiago, Rodrigo Duterte or Jojo Binay were to be elected by Filipinos as the next occupant of Malacañang Palace.


Questions on LBP-DBP merger Written by Benjamin E Diokno Monday, 29 February 2016 00:00


by Benjamin E Diokno

In his final days, President Aquino III is trying to put together the most wide-ranging deal of his adminis-tration: the merger of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Devel-opment Bank of the Philip-pines (DBP). He faces three for-midable questions: Is it legal? Is it ra-tional? Is the timing appropriate?

Is it legal?
Is Execu-tive Order 198 effecting the merger legal? Worse, is it unconstitutional since it is apparent that the President usurped the legislative power of Congress to legislate?

Republic Act No. 85, as amended, created DBP while Republic Act No. 3844, as amended, created the LBP. A law can only be repealed or amended by another law, not by an executive order or presidential issuance, unless the law that created either DBP or LBP expressly authorizes it. But neither the law that created the DBP nor LBP authorizes the President to repeal or amend it.

By issuing E.O. 198, the President usurped the power of Congress to legislate. He overextended his executive prerogative.
By ordering the dissolution of DBP and subsequently transferred its functions to LBP, President Aquino, in effect, performed two distinct legislative acts: first, he repealed the law that created DBP and second, he amended the charter of the LBP by expanding its functions.

But the power to legislate is reserved only to Congress and to the people, through the process of initiative and referendum. The Supreme Court made that crystal clear in its decision on the constitutionally-infirmed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The high court states:

“Only Congress, acting as a bicameral body, and the people, through the process of initiative and referendum, may constitutionally wield legislative power and no other.”

2. Is it rational?
One can build a strong case for the merger. In the light of the desire of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to have stronger, better-capitalized banks in the country, there is a strong argument for the merger.

READ MORE...

However, the mission statements of the two banks are not exactly the same. While there are some overlaps in their functions, a competition between the two banks — both official depository banks of the national and local governments and government corporations — might be healthy.

The merger will make the emerging government bank (new LBP) the second biggest bank in the country. Is one big government bank better than two? The merger will make the new LBP the second biggest bank in the country, next to BdO Unibank, but bigger than Metro Bank and Bank of Philippine Islands.

Having a “big” government bank, with virtual monopoly as depository bank of all national government agencies, local government units and those of government corporations, healthy for competition in the bank industry? What’s the newly organized Philippine Commission on Competition’s view on this question?

3. Is the timing appropriate?

With four months to go before he exits Malacañang, why is Mr. Aquino in a rush to marry the two government banks? It is quite reasonable to conclude that the merger won’t be completed before June 30, 2016, the end of President Aquino’s term.
What if the next President and the new Congress have other ideas on the matter? Since the merger is being done through an Executive Order, the next President can undo what Mr. Aquino has done.

Uncertainties are magnified by a ban on personnel movements during the election period.

The apparent haste for the merger leads to speculations of a cover-up. Is President Aquino trying to sweep under the rug some questionable deals made by DBP officials? Who benefited from these dubious deals? Who will eventually be accountable for the losses from the write-offs of these questionable deals?

What will happen to the negative findings by the Commission on Audit regarding DBP’s losses and disallowances involving billions of pesos? Would the criminal and administrative liabilities of concerned DBP officials cease once they are separated from the service due to DBP’s dissolution?

Mr. Aquino went ballistic when Mrs. Arroyo did some midnight appointments and deals, starting with the appointment of then Supreme Court Justice Corona. But he is guilty of doing some midnight appointments and deals himself.

We know that the merger of LBP and DBP won’t be completed before June 30, 2016, when Mr. Aquino steps down from Malacañang.

It would appear that Executive Order 198 did not have the benefit of completed staff work . Its effectiveness is subject to favorable action by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. It did not have the benefit of a study by the newly organized PCC. And I doubt whether the Secretary of Justice has given a favorable opinion on EO 198.

In sum, prudence and transparency dictate that the merger –whether meritorious or unworthy — should be left to discretion of the next President and the new Congress.


Editorial: Stigmas Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00

What is being fostered in the recollection of the People Power revolt this year is hatred and not unity which those who have acted as human fodder to stop the soldiers and the tanks at that stretch of Edsa had shouted 30 years ago.

The yellow mob unfortunately has made Edsa its own, and again wants to impose its will on the whole nation,chorusing in one voice not to forget the atrocities that happened during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his son Bongbong Marcos, who is now seeking the vice presidency.

By extension, those allied with the Marcoses should also be condemned as being part of the “dismal past.”

Noynoy said Marcos Jr. should apologize for the supposed abuses that happened during martial law.

For somebody who can’t even offer the Hong Kong people a personal apology for the death of eight residents of the Chinese territory who thought that to be a tourist in the Philippines was fun, or for the death of 44 policemen in a botched mission where he should have exercised resoluteness to save lives, it was a stretch to demand that somebody apologizes for alleged excesses not of his doing.

The Palace termed the Marcos regime the “darkest chapter in the country’s history.”

Noynoy’s mouthpiece Sonny Coloma came up with yet another non sequitur in tasking Marcos “to explain how his own brand of governance will be different from the 21-year authoritarian regime of his father.”

A blogger identified with the yellow mob and the Liberal Party (LP) even cobbled up a book that supposedly “recounted the atrocities of the Marcos regime and bring to light stories of torture and repression.”

She said her book serves as a warning about the cost of giving up one’s freedom.

Repression of rights is not a peculiar characteristic of the Marcos regime, however.

According to the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), incidences of rights violations were the highest during the term of Noynoy, even surpassing what he and the yellow mob call the dark chapter of the Marcos dictatorship.

READ MORE...

HRW said Aquino’s six-year term in office will end in mid-2016 without achieving his promised goal to significantly improve human rights in the country.

“There has been little accountability for the killings of indigenous leaders, activists, and journalists, and other serious abuses during his administration,” according to HRW.

“Since his election, President Aquino held out the promise of a rights-respecting Philippines for which he has sadly been unable to deliver,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director.

HRW then recounted the series of rights violations that happened just last year: In the first eight months of 2015, Philippine military and paramilitary groups allegedly killed more than a dozen tribal leaders and tribal community members; military operations in areas in Mindanao, heavily populated by indigenous peoples, contributed to the displacement of 243,000 since January, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Many of those displaced faced inadequate food, shelter and health care.

Nine journalists were killed in 2015, three of them over 10 days in August. Only one suspect was reported arrested in these attacks.

Killings of alleged petty criminals, drug dealers and others by “death squads” or contract killers in several cities continued unabated.

In some cases, the killings were publicly encouraged by local officials such as presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, according to HRW.

“While Aquino’s presidency has had a mixed record on rights issues, ultimately he has failed to make the institutional reforms to ensure a lasting positive human rights legacy,” Kline said.

It said the next president must be prepared to tackle deep-seated impunity for abuses by state security forces and the corrupt and politicized criminal justice system.

Thus, while the yellow mob around Noynoy tries to condemn Marcos with a stigma of his father’s martial law regime, the mark of incompetence that bred the same forms of martial law abuses has been affixed on Noynoy.


EDITORIAL: Marring 4Ps’ use Written by Tribune Editorial Sunday, 28 February 2016 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print Be the first to comment!

With P62.7 billion in a lump sum in the budget allocated to the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program which the government calls the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the distribution of which is dependent on the Liberal Party and yellow disciple Social Works Secretary Dinky Soliman, it takes little for the cash doles to be repackaged into a potent campaign bribe for Mar Roxas and other LP bets.

This time, however, Noynoy and his cohorts may have to answer for the misuse of the funds since early this month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) lent $400 million (P19.2 billion at the current P48 to $1 exchange rate) to Noynoy for additional funds to the program.

That translates to more P80 billion in cold cash that the yellow mob and the LP have at their disposal to convince or coerce some 4 million families or something like 16 million to 20 million voters who are beneficiaries of the program to vote for Mar in May. It is even doubtful that Mar’s runningmate would benefit from the sinister LP moves since there are strong indications that she is being dropped for her poor showing in the surveys.

Already, several reports in the campaign trail point to the misuse of the CCT to boost the flagging chances of Mar in the polls.

The administration of Noynoy borrowed the huge amount from ADB supposedly to expand the 4Ps, which of course the foreign aid agency would include those who would support LP candidates.

READ MORE...

The ADB had at several times reminded the government of its zero tolerance on corruption and the misuse of funds.

The multilateral donor has its Office of Anti-Corruption and Integrity (OAI) which it said “ensures that finite development funds entrusted to ADB are not misused.”

“OAI’s mandate is underpinned by ADB’s zero tolerance for corruption. It is aligned with ADB’s broader commitment to combat corruption and improve governance as a core strategic objective of ADB Strategy 2020, and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of 2005 — to which ADB is a signatory — in support of effective, transparent and accountable aid,” it added.

In carrying out OAI’s activities, the head and authorized staff members have unrestricted access to (and may have temporary possession or control of) information and records relating to all ADB activities, personnel and physical property.

The ADB already issued a veiled warning on the government about the misuse of foreign donations and aid to victims of typhoon as it held a long-worded forum in the country in May, 2015 called “Workshop on Corruption Risks and Anti-Corruption Strategies in Climate Aid — Good Governance toward Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in Achieving Objectives of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.”

At the “invitation only” forum were officials of ADB, aid agency German Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, and the Office of the Ombudsman.

The ADB forum featured discussions on “how anti-corruption efforts can be integrated into measures that achieve good governance in the fight against climate change, ensuring transparent, efficient and accountable use of climate finances for effective projects and tangible results.”

The objective of the forum was obviously directed to the administration of Noynoy which was then being accused of diverting foreign donations and relief goods as many in the affected areas complain that government assistance was coming in trickles.

According to the ADB, the workshop it held sought to develop a common understanding of corruption risks, causes and consequences in climate financial flows and uses, including with relevance to natural resource management; examine existing and potential anticorruption strategies to mitigate corruption risks in climate financing and in natural resource management; and formulate concrete recommendations for how to mitigate corruption risk in the flows of climate financing at country level, using the Philippines as a case study.

Likely another long-worded workshop is coming this time on the proper use of CCT or the 4Ps funds using “the Philippines as a case study.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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