Impose death penalty vs. corruption, Pinoys suggest

Nothing less than capital punishment should be meted corrupt public officials, Filipinos suggested in an academic study on anti-corruption strategies.

Three professors from the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG) asked students, civil society and members of the academe nationwide for their suggestions on how to solve the problem of corruption in the Philippines.

In their report titled “From Pinoys to PNoy,” the authors said respondents recommended to President Benigno Aquino III the imposition of the death penalty on crimes involving corruption.

The study, which was presented by the professors on Friday at UP NCPAG, also compiled advice from political experts who proposed enacting an Omnibus Anti-Corruption Code as a guidebook.

Another proposal called for the government to establish parameters in the budget allotted to support anti-corruption agencies and programs at the local and national levels.

Empower the whistleblowers

In addition to enforcing stiff penalties, respondents suggested that whistleblowers be given a share of the corruption money they divulge as an incentive.

Experts, for their part, proposed a comprehensive law protecting whistleblowers.

“The lack of support for whistleblowers discourages other potential whistleblowers to come out,” the study said in part.

According to the report, bills to protect whistleblowers have been filed in the 13th and 14th Congress but were never passed into law despite the surge of whistleblowers who have come forward with tales of corruption during the Arroyo administration.

Key public participation

The study concluded that initiatives to fight corruption over the years failed to prosper because they were viewed as the responsibility of the government. The public “merely watched, kibitzed and criticized.”

On the contrary, “the battle against the cancer of systemic corruption cannot be resolved by government alone,” the study emphasized. “The public must participate. They are part of the solution.”

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