Press Release
July 26, 2011

Cayetano pushes for anti corruption waiver

Cayetano suggests to Aquino: legislative amendment may take years but signing a waiver would only take days. It is all a matter of political will.

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged President Aquino to ask his appointees to sign waivers allowing their bank accounts to be opened in case of involvement in an investigation.

The senator suggested this move in light of the refusal of some government officials such as former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board members and former military comptroller Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and his wife to have their bank accounts opened in spite of the necessity to do so in aid of ongoing investigations.

"We need a law here. But what can be done while waiting for Congress to do so is for the President to challenge his appointees to voluntarily sign waivers that allow their bank accounts to be opened in the event of an investigation. If they are not willing to take on the president's challenge, they can just resign," he said.

He pointed out that this move will be an additional safeguard and confidence-building tool to aid the President in assuring the country that no acts of graft and corruption occur within his administration.

"The appointees of the President serve at the pleasure of the President so he can have his own personal standards imposed on all his appointees," he said.

Cayetano also added that the president can lead by example by doing that. He pointed out that a legislative amendment may take years but signing a waiver would only take days if they decide to make this a policy of the executive. He emphasized that it is all a matter of political will.

"From the Cabinet down, some of them may be career officials or may be protected by the civil service code. But the president can always find ways and means. For example, he can halt the promotion of an official who does not wish to sign the waiver," he added.

The minority leader also noted that while the Executive does not hold the power to ask the Judiciary and the Legislative branches to sign these waivers, he believes that the members of these branches can still conform to this voluntarily instead.

"Personally, I am willing to sign. I'm hoping the other senators and representatives will be willing as well," he said.

Cayetano clarified that this suggested move will show that the fight against corruption of the Aquino government is not a personal attack against the former administration.

"This will strengthen our mechanism that aims to prosecute all corrupt officials and will guarantee that his own appointees will lead by example by imposing upon themselves voluntary higher standards," said Cayetano.

Kung walang itinatago, hindi dapat takot sa ganoong sistema," he concluded.

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