MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB E-NEWSLETTERIMHO, many of those who belong to the above organizations are partially complicit for allowing this growing culture of impunity. That's what we get for moving on. Oh well, at least they've belatedly added impunity to their vocabulary, and since the person they are calling into question happens to be the Chairman of the COMELEC, maybe the irony of addressing Gloria Arroyo as 'President' would eventually dawn on them.
7 SEPTEMBER 2007
A Growing Culture of Impunity
We are appalled that the culture of impunity among certain government officials appears to have spread to an extent exceeding that of all past administrations. This impunity seems also increasingly evident in many agencies of government.
A glaring example is that of COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos who had no business in allowing himself to be entertained by officials of ZTE Corporation, a potential contractor of the Republic, particularly considering he had an important electoral exercise to administer. His indiscreet conduct and absence from his official duties could only have happened if he believed he was immune from sanctions. We therefore reiterate our call for Chairman Abalos to resign.
Dept. of Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza needs to think very carefully about the charges leveled against him by Congressman Carlos Padilla. Like other questionable projects, the ZTE deal will be rejected by the court of public opinion and, sooner or later, evaluated and ruled on by our own independent courts of law. Sec. Mendoza should prove his worth and rescind it now.
Should he choose not to do these, we would support a full investigation by the Senate of this highly questionable project given the huge expenditure of public funds involved. We also demand that the government publicly release a copy of the contract as mandated by Article III, Sec. 7 of our Constitution which states that "The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized."
The secrecy about this project, despite repeated demands by the public, is contrary to the principle avowed by this Administration for complete transparency in matters of public interest and to the provisions of Republic Act 7925 which emphasizes that "public telecommunications services shall be provided by private enterprises."
We are heartened by the courage of journalists and fiscalizers who bring to light the anomalous activities of public officials who believe they are protected by their position. We join them and encourage others in expressing public outrage at these questionable acts and the growing culture of political impunity.
We call on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to heed our pleas and take immediate action to rectify blatant wrongdoings of public officials, lest she be accused of condoning them.
Makati Business Club
Management Association of the Philippines
Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines
Foundation for Economic Freedom, Inc.
Action for Economic Reforms
7 September 2007 Copyright 2007 © Makati Business Club
Update Sept-15-2007 3:37pm: Blogger Chyt more thoroughly describes how the MBC have been a bunch of opportunists.