Press Release
November 25, 2013

Miriam lambasts DILG, PNP during Senate budget hearings

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago criticized the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for its unpreparedness in responding to areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).

"Unprepared, the DILG was flummoxed when local governments in areas severely hit by typhoon Yolanda were made inoperative due to the gravity of damage brought by the disaster. Public safety and delivery of basic services to the citizenry broke down. There was no peace and no order in the days after the deluge; looting and ambushes were rampant," the senator said.

According to Santiago, the government also had to deal with escaped prisoners, women being raped, and reports that members of the National People's Army or NPA terrorized neighborhoods.

In a written inquiry to the DILG, the senator asked, "What measures will the DILG take to prepare itself against these calamities?"

Santiago also inquired about what specific preventive measures the DILG undertook to prevent the breakdown of peace and order.

Santiago, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee against graft and corruption, also slammed the Philippine National Police as the most corrupt institution in the country according to the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

"Every week, one reads reports of police officers being involved in extortion, kidnapping, molestation, rape, murder, organised crime, and other sorts of abuses and acts of corruption. Every year, thousands of administrative cases are filed against police officers for various complaints of misbehaviour, according to police records," Santiago elaborated.

The senator also cited as an example recent reports of a former PNP chief being detained on a corruption charge involving hundreds of millions of pesos.

"Since the DILG is directly responsible for the PNP, what measures will the department take to bring down sharply these horrible violations and abuses committed by police officers?" Santiago asked.

The senator participated in the Senate's plenary budget hearing through written inquiries to government agencies. As of press time, the DILG has yet to send its response to Santiago's questions.

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