By OFELIA EMPIAN
BAGUIO CITY — Atty. Pablito Sanidad, head of the Free Legal Assistance Group expressed his dismay on the outgoing Arroyo administration.
In the Anti-corruption forum spearheaded by the Transparency International held last Tuesday at the Baguio Country Club, Atty Sanidad said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has exercised too much “executive privilege”. He further mentioned that “past presidents never do that” and that “they have respect for checks and balances” in the country.
“(This is) the most hated and most despised administration since Marcos,” Sanidad said.
He further cited the controversial Executive Order (E.O.) 464, as a form of abuse of authority, which requires “all heads of departments of the Executive Branch of the government” to “secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress”. Further, the EO covers ranking officials of the executive departments, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the National Security Council.
In the forum where Sanidad also served as speaker, he mentioned about the megabillion deals that remains unsolved during the President’s reign. Due to this, it leaves a bad impression on the Filipino people. “Ang nagiging perception ng tao, kung thousand thousand lang nanakawin mo, huwag na lang (The perception of the people is if you are only planning to steal thousands of pesos, then that is so petty),” he said.
He further criticized the “slow” process of convicting corruption offenders wherein it takes years before a person guilty of corruption can be convicted.
“Baka patay na ang nagmomonitor eh hindi pa convicted iyong tao (The person monitoring might long be dead before the person gets convicted),” he lamented.
He also mentioned that there is “no centralized unit to execute convictions” that are “affirmed by the Supreme Court” and that the monitoring of persons convicted are not properly handled.
In the meantime, Sanidad expressed his anticipation on the incoming Aquino administration and hopes they will stay true to their campaign promises against corruption.
“Hopefully, the new president will address the problem on corruption,” he said. # nordis.net