ARROYO CALLS ON CONGRESS FOR STRONGER ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW
MANILA, AUGUST 8, 2008 (STAR) President Arroyo has called on Congress to pass a new and comprehensive anti-graft and corruption act to plug loopholes in antiquated laws.
Constancia de Guzman, Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) chair, said Mrs. Arroyo wants a new anti-corruption law passed to allow authorities to decisively deal with grafters and corrupt officials.
“Legal technicalities and loopholes in the laws have hampered the prosecution of suspected grafters,” she said.
De Guzman said the country’s anti-graft and corruption laws were crafted in the 1950s and 1960s.
“But the absence of updated anti-corruption laws did not deter government from ridding (itself of) undesirables in the service,” she said.
“PAGC records showed at least 126 persons have been dismissed, suspended or reprimanded after allegations of corruption have been proven.”
“Public awareness on the heavy impact of corruption and dedication of concerned government agencies as well as people’s organizations to cleanse their offices of malpractices fuelled the growth of graft cases.”
De Guzman said the Philippines has the world’s most number of anti-graft and corruption laws.
But they are already antiquated and some of their provisions are inconsistent with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, she added.
De Guzman said former Army major general Carlos Garcia was able to dodge perjury charges because Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, did not require him to submit statement of assets and liabilities and net worth to his superiors for examination. – Paolo Romero, Reinir Padua
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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