Press Release
March 18, 2010


SORSOGON -- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said corruption is not part and parcel of the Filipino culture as he urged the voters to elect public officials whose service record is not tainted with anomalous transactions.

"Hindi dapat kultura ang sisihin. Wala naman sa kultura natin ang korapsyon. Dapat nating tutukan ang mga lider ng ating bansa dahil sila ang susugpo diyan (we should not blame it on our culture. Corruption is not part of our culture. We should monitor our leaders because they should solve that problem)," Mr. Enrile, a senatorial candidate of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, told radio DZMS in Sorsogon during a successful campaign sortie here.

Mr. Enrile said corruption started after the Americans arrived in the country after World War II. "May edad na ako at alam ko na wala naming corruption sa Pilipinas after World War II. Dumating ang mga Amerikano at doon nag-umpisa ang katiwalian sa gobyerno, (I'm old enough to know that there was no corruption after World War II. It was only when the Americans came after World War II that corruption started,)" he recalled.

Corruption worsened during the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Mr. Enrile said. "Noong panahon ni Marcos ang corruption nasa taas. Sa ibaba, walang korapsyon at nasusugpo namin (corruption was at the upper level at that time. We were able to prevent corruption in the lower level)."

Mr. Enrile acknowledged that the Bureau of Customs was the most corrupt and graft-ridden agency at that time.

Asked if existing anti-corruption measures needed more teeth, Enrile said government has enough laws that penalize grafters in government.

"The point is that they should be implemented. Dapat ikulong lalo na yung malalaking liders, malalaking empleyado ng gobyerno na gumagawa ng katiwalian (we should send big-time grafters to jail)," he stressed.

The latest Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International, a global watchdog, said corruption in the Philippines is still prevalent.

According to the group, 77 percent of Filipinos are convinced that the government's anti-corruption campaign remains ineffective.

At the same time, public officials and civil servants are perceived as the "single institution or sector to be most affected by corruption," Transparency International said.

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