Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Anti Graft law

The Anti graft law (Republic Act No. 3019) must be one of the best pieces of legislation that has come out of the Congress.
There is one rather obscure provision that has taken centerstage in this law, in the wake of the controversial multi-million dollar broadband project now under investigation.
I am referring to the prohibition on certain relatives of influential government officials.
The provision states:
"Section 5. Prohibition on certain relatives. - It shall be unlawful for the spouse or for any relative, by consanguinity or affinity, within the third civil degree, of the President of the Philippines, the Vice President of the Philippines, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to intervene, directly or indirectly, in any business, transaction, contract, or application with the Government: Provided, that this section shall not apply to any person who, prior to the assumption of office of any of the above officials to whom he is related, has been already dealing with the government along the same line of business, nor to any transaction, contract or application already existing or pending at the time of such of such assumption of public office, nor to any application filed by him the approval of which is not discretionary on the part of the official or officials concerned but depends upon compliance with requisites provided by law, or rules or regulations issued pursuant to law, nor to any act lawfuly performed in an official capacityor in the exercise of a profession."


Rolly Cavan. said...

Mr. Editor,

The Anti Graft Law was approved in August 17, 1960. Forty seven years after its approval, the shackles of graft and corruption is stronger than ever,in crippling the integrity of Philippine officials, at the helm, operating the machineries that run the systems of governance in the country. Quantitatively or qualitatively, the Anti Graft Law proved itself useless. Inspite of its nearly half a century of existence. Why? Is it the Pilipino culture that made it difficult to enforce the law - making the Pilipino culture, forgiving, easy to forget, and indecisiveness, the worst obstacle in correcting the ills of society?

An anti graft legislation is of no value - if it is not delivering the results that its framers expected it to perform.

All 16 Sections of the Law could be rewritten to plug any loop hole and make it enforceable. The Anti Graft Law as it stands, is perhaps, great in form only, while it is less in substance.

The results speak for itself. The country is on its knees. Members of Congress could not even craft a legislation that would require themselves to account(privately audited financial report), the pork barrel funds, also known as the community development fund, that each one of them drew from the treasury every year.

Rolly Cavan. said...

Section 9, of the Philippine Anti Graft Law, exhibits the level of sincerity and the token-intent of the Anti Graft Law. For instance, the penalty for filing incorrect statement of assets, or not filing at all, is as low as PHP100.

Penalty imposed on traffic violations in California; driving in the carpool lane, littering, and speeding, is over four hundred times higher. (Illegally driving-in-the-carpool-lane's fine is $1500, or equivalent to PHP 67,500. The legislated penalty provision of the Anti Graft Law is a reflection of the character and sincerity of the Pilipino legislators - whose collective thinking is too far removed from reality.

Section 3 of the Anti Graft Law cites varied instances where a good investigator or officer of the court could find probable cause to indict Abalos and Miguel Arroyo.