Press Release
October 6, 2010


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona, Jr.

The last hearings of the Blue Ribbon Committee revealed a lot of possible improvement in the systems. On how we run the government and what laws have to be changed and what policies to be done.

Since the past few hearings there have been a lot that had happened. First of all in the part of PCSO, Director Conrado Sabella . The AGM for online lottery has already opted for early retirement while Director Romualdo Quinones, the one in charge of STL has been relieved from his position.

The PNP through General Bacalzo has also launched its one-strike policy against jueteng and its first casualty was Chief Inspector Peter Madria, the police chief of Cabiao Town, Nueva Ecija.

During the last hearing, General Bacalzo reported that according to the reports in the field, the degree of affectation from jueteng operations has gone down as much as 3-5% nationwide.

As for other forms of illegal gambling such as masiao and loteng, it has gone down to as much as 50%.

In the last hearing, we saw how flawed policies can affect the operations of government adversely. We saw that the policy of dividing the command of DILG between the secretaries for DILG matters and Undersecretary for police matters was not conducted to good governance. As they say under the revised administrative code, the responsibility and authority for carrying out the mandate of the department is lodged with the secretary.

Together with the authority and responsibility you have the power of supervision and control. The secretary has the power to review, amend, revise all decisions of their subordinates. But in this case, because the undersecretary is reporting directly to the president then the secretary has no power to review, amend, revise the decisions of the undersecretary. And is for that reason that they say that this policy violates the revise administrative code.

There is also the opposite view that says it does not violates the administrative code because the undersecretary in any case reports directly to t he president. The president has full control of all department and the whole government. Therefore nothing is violated.

Regardless of the legal status of this policy, it is very clear to us. That this policy of dividing a department is not in consonance with good governance. You diffues and confuse the chain of command and information. Sana from the president to the secretary, to the undersecretary, to the chief PNP. Pero ang nangyari ngayon from the president sometimes it goes to the secretary. Sometimes it goes straight to the undersecretary and sometimes it goes to chief PNP. In any case there is confusion and miscoordination. In this policy , we would like to call the executive government to correct this policy. This policy creates confusion. I do remember the very words of the present Secretary of DILG during the hostage incident when he said I'm out of the loop and therefore this policy has to be corrected.

Secondly we saw that the actions of DILG secretary in creating a special projects group to go after illegal gambling and illegal drugs was flawed because according to the present DILG chief , why do we have to create another body for the special projects group to carryout: to conduct raids, arrest all illegal gamblers and drug lords. According to the chief PNP this is already the responsibility of PNP. There is no need of creating another body on top of the PNP and I do agree with the good General.

We also saw how powerless the Anti Money Laudering Council is when it comes to jueteng and other illegal activities. They pointed out that there is this supreme court decision that requires AMLA to first inform the person under investigations before the AMLA can inquire into the bank deposits of the person. It's something like a person going to a person saying: iimbestigahan ka naming, maghanda ka. Siyempre makakapaghanda iyong tao at mawawalan ng ngipin ang AMLA. Kaya ditto klarong klaro na kailanagan natin amyendahan ang batas.

Secondly, since it's creation AMLA has not been able to prosecute anyone for illegal gambling, jueteng or masiao. Clearly there is a need for amending the law on this matter.

In the last hearing also we saw how powerless the BIR was in going against the jueteng lords. The BIR was saying there were two lifestyle checks: how much do they pay in income if ever they pay at all versus how much do they have in assets? Frustratingly they tell us nahihirapan kami sapagakat walang gusto makipag cooperate . kung makipag cooperate man napaka bagal.

Ito another aspect na kailangan ng batas to give more teeth to the BIR when they do lifestyle checks.

Lastly, when we started the first hearing dalawa lang ang solusyon pero the last hearing may bagong lumabas na solusyon. Una, legalized jueteng. Pangalawa, palakasin ang STL at ayusin ng husto para ng sa gayon ay magampanan niya ang layunin. Yung third na tinatawag kong Pontius Pilate solusyon. Maghuhugas kamay ang national government at ibibigay ang problema sa local government. Bahala na each local government whether legalized jueteng or palakasin ang STL.

In the past hearing a lot of government officials especially the present Secretary of DILG expressed that he is in favour of the Pontius Pilate solution of throwing to the local governments the problem on whether or not to legalized jueteng.

I commend the executive branch of government for the steps they have taken so far and we continue to challenge them to investigate, discipline and remove airing officials.

And for the public, we encourage you to continue to be vigilant and indefatigable in your quest for good governance. We should remember that the counterpart of transparency is public participation.

All of us are crying out for change and with change comes patience. For change, "real change always takes time." [1]

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