Corruption? Everything is just silent on the waterfront.
In the beginning there was hope. Then it faded away.
It all started when the President said that he would fire people even just by the “whiff” of corruption. Now in the charges against Philhealth’s executives having allegedly corrupted billions of pesos, the “whiff” became a nauseating stench and had been going on for sometime already and yet nobody was fired. Even up to now.
There were many insider whistle blowers who appeared recently in the Senate pointing their fingers to the corrupt officials at Philhealth and their cohorts outside like doctors and owners of hospitals. Conresswoman Stella Quimbo of Marikina had already blown the lid over Philhealth corruption with full documentation. It was not just hot air she spouted. For her banifides, she has a PhD in Economics from the University of the Philippines and was a professor there.
When she first came out with her expose, a prudent government administration should have immediately acted. More so that Philhealth’s money was the sweat, tears and blood of the people, mostly the ordinary workers. First thing that should have done was to put all those who were allegedly involved under preventive suspension. This should have prevented them from tampering with the evidence against them, particularly the documentary ones. Proving their guilt would have been easy, just a matter of following the audit trail. Now it would be different. Those following the paper trail might have to deal with dead ends along the way.
The suspension of some officials by the Ombudsman was quite late. So we might end up holding the empty bag. The culprits might go scot free after having laughed their way to the banks. Poor Filipinos.
So it is again politics. How it is done here is that if you were appointed by the powers-that-be, you can go scot free no matter how scandalous the matter is. No matter how damning the evidence against you. Even if the money plundered is the sweat, tears and blood of the ordinary people.
Are we going to see an end to this? Not in the foreseeable future. What we will hear is the same thing, “I will fire people even just by the mere whiff of corruption.”
If the government is really sincere in whipping corruption to its knees, effective measures should be institutionalized. But this is nowhere in sight. Look at the executive order mandating “freedom of information”. It still remains the way it is. Just an executive order. The bill in congress that should make it permanent is not moving. No whistle blower protection also. While officials might say this is taken care of by the “Witness Protection Program,” it is not good enough. A whistle blower should also get some reward of anything that might be recovered. This can result in the proliferation of bounty hunters, but so be it. At least the bad guys will be exposed and hunted down.
There are so many other things that can be done such as the law enforcement officials being pushed to be proactive. They should be made busy entrapping corrupt officials who are everywhere. But when it comes to proactive measures, nothing meaningful is being done. Everything is silent on the waterfront.
If all corrupt officials are sent to jail, there might not be any Philippine government to speak of.**