Chiz to do a Lee Kuan
Yew in fight vs. corruption
By Office of Sen. Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY –
Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero on Wednesday said, like Singapore’s Lee
Kuan Yew, he will have no qualms sending top officials to jail and
eliminate government discretion in fighting corruption.
“He (Lee) recruited
the best and the brightest and gave them the salaries they deserved.
When he caught them stealing, he put them in jail,” the 39-year old
lawmaker told a forum of business leaders in Cebu City organized by
the Cebu Business Club and the Makati Business Club.
Lee, who founded and
built Singapore into what it is today, led the city-state for 35 years
as prime minister. He was known for his no-nonsense campaign against
Escudero, who has
consistently ranked high in recent surveys, also said he would
eliminate discretion especially in law-enforcement and
revenue-generating agencies as part of the campaign against
According to World
Bank, half of every peso that can be collected by the Bureau of
Internal Revenue is lost to corruption. The Department of Finance
estimates that 240 billion is lost to corruption annually.
The UN Development
Program, on the other hand, estimates that $1.8 billion a year, or
about 13 percent of the government's annual budget, is lost to
Under the Arroyo
administration, the Philippines’ ranking in Transparency
International’s Corruption Perception Index has spiraled downward. In
2004, it was 102. In 2005, it was 117. In 2006, we were 121st. In
2007, we were ranked 131st. In 2008, we were down to 141st. The
listing runs from the cleanest down to the most corrupt.
Escudero has filed a
bill to require public officials and employees to submit a written
permission or waiver in favor of the Ombudsman to look into all
deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions.
He has also called on
officials to voluntarily disclose their SALs (Statement of Assets and
Asked to enumerate
three things how he would like to be remembered, Escudero said: One,
as one who did not steal a single centavo. Two, one who made education
as the government’s top priority, and three, as the public official
who built the most roads.