This early, Mrs. Arroyo’s call to Congress to craft an anti-corruption framework is already as good as sunk, no thanks to her tolerance and continued cover-up of corruption-laden practices in government.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday that Filipinos have yet to see Mrs. Arroyo do something concrete to disabuse their minds that all her statements against graft and corruption are one grand case of lip service.
“Passing the buck on Congress will not do the trick. Instead, it reinforces Mrs. Arroyo’s lack of political will to address corruption, especially so long as this administration initiates, tolerates, and covers up corrupt practices in government,” Lacson said.
He scored the recent use by Malacañang of funds and resources of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and of government-run and government-sequestered television networks to air “primetime smear jobs” against him.
The smear jobs, which involved discredited recycled witnesses, were aired before the lotto draws, when viewers tune in to these stations to see if their tickets bore the winning numbers.
In turn, he noted, the smear jobs were aimed at him in a bid to cover up for the $329.48-million national broadband network mess with ZTE Corp. of China.
On the other hand, Lacson noted Mrs. Arroyo would not have made the call to Congress had a Hong Kong-based firm come out with the results of a survey tagging the Philippines as the most corrupt economy in Asia.
He noted Mrs. Arroyo made the call one day after the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. released results of its survey where expatriate businessmen tagged the Philippines as the most corrupt Asian economy.
“What we Filipinos need is not lip service or knee-jerk reactions. What we need is to see Mrs. Arroyo take concrete measures to fight graft. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. There is no substitute for leadership by example. If you don’t lead by example – or worse, if your subordinates see you doing the opposite of what you preach – they find no reason to follow your orders,” he said.