Press Release
April 12, 2013


Stepping up his call for transparency in government, Sen. Chiz Escudero has called for intensified lifestyle checks on government officials primarily among agencies afflicted with a corrupt image such as the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Escudero said that the political capital that President Benigno Aquino III had built over his administration's relentless drive against corruption can be sustained and enhanced by showing the world that the anti-graft campaign in government will spare no one.

"The Aquino administration has been reaping the rewards of Aquinomics - enhancing the country's competitiveness based on good governance. The next step should be affirming the gains by a show of greater commitment in purging misconduct among public officials and employees through lifestyle checks," Escudero said.

The economy posted a strong 6.6 percent growth last year while the country received its first investments grade rating from credit watchdog Fitch mainly as a result of the improved image of the country among investors.

Escudero earlier issued a challenge among government officials and those seeking public office to make public their financial records through the signing of waivers on the secrecy of bank deposits to accompany the submission of SALNs.

"In the interest of transparency, servants in government without exception should make public their financial records going by the dictum that working in government is a privilege and not a right," Escudero said.

He said his challenge for a bank secrecy waiver also includes his peers in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The reelectionist senator also called on members of Congress to take the lead in the transparency move by enacting a law requiring government officials to sign waivers on the secrecy of bank accounts to open these to government audit.

Escudero had filed Senate bill 107 or the Submission of Waiver of Bank Deposits bill, way back in 2010 that seeks the mandatory signing of bank waivers. The controversy involving the illegal use of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) funds prompted the filing of the bill.

"I will refile the bill in my next Senate term. A similar waiver was required of Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial and it only follows that all those in government service should be subjected to the same rules and standard," Escudero said.

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