Press Release
August 4, 2013


Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago called for a ban on political recommendations, saying the "padrino system" is another deplorable practice of "epal" politicians.

"These epal politicians already have their names on every public infrastructure from their pork barrel funds, and now they want their names attached in people's résumés? The nerve of these people!" the senator said.

Santiago reacted to reports that senators and congressmen recommended the promotion of the alleged "three kings" at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The "three kings" of the BOC are said to be high ranking customs officials backed by powerful politicians.

"Why should a senator or congressman meddle and influence how an agency of the executive branch hires its employees? If the person you backed turns out to be corrupt, what does it say about you as a politician?" Santiago said.

"Worse, the padrino system tends to bypass more qualified individuals to government positions in favor of ones with better political connections. Corrupt na nga, unqualified pa. We should bring back meritocracy to the bureaucracy," the senator said.

Santiago's "Anti-Political Recommendations Bill" seeks to punish the acts of making and soliciting political recommendations from any public official or employee. Violators can be fined up to Php 30,000, or jailed for one year.

The senator said that passing this bill into law will strengthen our bureaucracy by granting the appointing agencies their rightful discretion over the appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation of their employees.

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