Press Release
May 17, 2009

Press statement of Sen. Loren Legarda


The attainment of a more equitable and fair distribution of wealth should be an essential policy of government. This is a matter not just of social justice, nor just of good government, but of good economics.

Without mass purchasing power, our economy cannot prosper because there would be no incentive to more production that is the generator of more jobs. Without a large middle class, our democracy would be frail as it is today. The drastic reduction of poverty would strengthen democracy.

Chief Justice Reynato Puno put his finger on a key problem, the rule of the oligarchs. The next administration should therefore focus on economic restructuring so that people empowerment and poverty reduction will become a reality and not remain a mere rhetorical flourish.

We should restudy our tax system to relieve the poor and the middle class of the greater burden of taxation. Taxation should be based on ability to pay. Government must tighten its tax collection policy so that the wealthy will pay their just share of the costs of government.


The government should give protection to "whistle-blowers" if it is really intent on fighting graft and corruption. If possible, they should be included in the witness protection program in order to enable them freely expose corruption in government transactions.

On the other hand, government agencies accused of being involved in corruption should welcome investigations by Congress, the Ombudsman and the justice department for two major reasons. One is to prove that the accusation is false and thus maintain public confidence, if it is really true that there was no such anomaly.

We should understand that there is greater public interest in cleaning a government agency of corruption than in going after specific individuals for "whistle-blowing". This is what we should remember in the cases of Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian, who could be performing a public service.

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