Press Release
August 5, 2013

Cayetano : Replace 'Padrino' system with Merit system in government

Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano on Monday said that he supported Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's move to get rid of the "padrino(patron) system" but expressed the need to study how to ensure that appointments and promotions within the government were based purely on merit.

In an ambush interview with reporters, the Majority Leader said that there was a possibility of other influential individuals or groups taking the place of politicians as patrons in backing appointments or promotions.

"It's not just as simple as creating a system that you cannot become padrinos. It's about turning the system into a merit system," he said.

The senator said that it is important to study Sen. Santiago's measure and figure out what is actually "doable" yet the most effective in eradicating corruption in government.

"I support any measure that aims to address the problem of political 'padrinos' but the bigger goal is how to make sure that political decisions such as appointments in government are based on merit," he said adding that this will ensure government is actually doing what is best for its people and not simply influenced by certain powerful individuals.

The "Anti-Political Recommendations Bill" was filed by Sen. Santiago as a response to information on the Bureau of Customs' (BOC) alleged "three kings" who were supposedly connected to powerful lawmakers.

It seeks to make soliciting political recommendations punishable by law. Violators of the said measure could be imprisoned for a year, be fined up to P30,000 and may even face lifetime disqualification from holding public office.

Cayetano compared the rampant corruption and other forms of anomalies in the BOC as the new 'wangwang' irking the President and the people. "A new 'wangwang' reform should take effect in the whole bureaucracy," he said.

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