Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Corrupt image of the Philippines due to the Arroyo government's white-wash policy when it comes to economic and political controversies

Wednesday March 14, 2007

Corrupt image of the Philippines due to the Arroyo government's white-wash policy when it comes to economic and political controversies

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy's conclusion that the Philippines is perceived by foreign businessmen as the most corrupt economy among 13 countries and territories across Asia. PERC, which provides advice to private firms and governments, polled 1,476 expatriate businessmen in the region in January and February. Of the total, more than 100 were based in the Philippines.

"This is a big blow against Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her attempts to project her administration's success at fighting corruption and turning the Philippines into a haven for foreign investors."

"Pres. Arroyo's own credibility as a political leader and an economic manager is also being criticized here. After all, she cannot say that she has gained headway in the fight against corruption in government when her own legitimacy as president remains under question. For instance, none of the issues dating back to the May 2004 elections have been settled. The Comelec and Malacanang may have closed the book on the Hello, Garci scandal, but no one had forgotten what it is and what it continues to imply for the presidency and its credibility."

"White-washing scandals and controversies has become the expertise of the Arroyo administration. There is never any closure to the corruption issues that members of the First Family have become involved in. Impeachment complaints are crushed by allies of the president even before they have a chance to deliberated upon. The commissions and investigations Pres. Arroyo initiates into various controversies have a tendency to produce weak and unsatisfactory results that leave open more questions instead of resolving them. It's not surprising that the world at large would see the Philippines a country of corruption," he said.

Beltran said that the PERC's recent survey, coupled with the results of the latest SWS survey on the president's low satisfactory ratings all should serve to expose the failure of Pres. Arroyo to convince the public and the international community of the success of her efforts.

"The Philippines is not only a country fraught with corruption, but it's a country swiftly sliding under the dark veil of dictatorship. It's not only that the economy is refusing to take off, but the civil, political and human rights situation in the country has severely deteriorated. The impact of the worsening human rights situation on the international community's perception of the Philippines is no doubt also negative. The Philippines is not a safe and peaceful country to do business in," he said.

Finally, the activist lawmaker said that Pres. Arroyo has no right to blame any one not even the political opposition for her woes.

"If she wants someone to blame, she should look in the mirror and address whom she finds there. She's the one who has refused to heed the warnings and calls of the opposition for genuine solutions to controversial and crucial issues affecting the economy and the political stability of the nation," he said. #


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