|Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.|
Monday, July 25, 2011
P’Noy flagship against corruption should be filed by yearend-Sen. Miriam
MANILA, July 26, 2011-“If President Aquino fails to set a deadline, his flagship program against corruption will become unsustainable,” Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said.
Santiago, who won her Magsaysay Award for fighting governmental corruption advised President Aquino that there is a pressing need to set the yearend as the absolute deadline for resolving the entire backlog of cases pending with the Office of the Ombudsman, explaining that the Ombudsman has a term of seven years, and Pres. Aquino should appoint a muscular, adrenaline-packed nominee, because of the high caseload.
“The President should order that in the resolution of cases, priority should be given to criminal cases unearthed recently, such as corruption among generals in the military, generals in the police, and officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Pagcor,” she said, adding that the way to dispose of the backlog is for the President to authorize the justice secretary to appoint special prosecutors with the sole function of resolving pending cases in the Ombudsman.
“Unless the Congress practices self-restraint and shortens public hearings on anomalies, Malacañang should not wait for the result of legislative probes,” she said where the Congress takes forever to investigate anomalies.
She said that we lose a lot of time because the senators and representatives are fishing for evidence. Some of them also try awkwardly to varnish their image in front of the TV cameras where the public gets exasperated.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, she gives the following grades for President Aquino's first year: general administration - 6.5; anticorruption - 7; family behavior – 8,” the senator said, saying that the SONA event should be supported by the entire political community, because it symbolizes national unity.
“All three branches are present in the SONA event, the only time that we are all together. The ceremony is a symbol of governmental unity. It is not the proper venue for political protests, because contrary to misimpression, this is not beneficial to the President. During this event, all of us in the government should be respectful and civilize,” she said.
Santiago is set to start this week her defense of the RH bill in the Senate, by delivering the first of three parts. “My defense on RH bill is over 60 pages long. I have to break it up into three separate speeches,” she said. (Jason de Asis)
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