Belmonte rues House's low sincerity score

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2014 09:25 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2014 05:25 AM

MANILA -- House Speaker Sonny Belmonte on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the results of an annual Social Weather Stations survey on the perceived sincerity of government institutions in fighting corruption.

In a text message, Belmonte said: “I’m very disappointed. I believe the House did a creditable job in the period. The scams then referred primarily to people, not members of the 15th Congress. We have to work harder.”

However, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said this is the beginning of worse things for the government.

“Government institutions, even Malacanang, took a hit with the exposition of the pork barrel scam and the DAP and this is just the start. The reputations of these institutions and their occupants will further suffer as more cases of corruption are exposed,” Colmenares said in a separate text message.

Ten government institutions received a downgrade in scores in an annual SWS survey on perceived sincerity in fighting corruption.

Around 951 executives from various parts of the country provided the rating for 24 government institutions, and results showed that the Senate received the biggest downgrade from +36 in 2012 to -8 in 2013.

The House of Representatives also received a significant downgrade from -6 in 2012 to -28 in 2013.

The Bureau of Customs and the Land Transportation Office also received further downgrades and remained at Very Bad and Bad categories, respectively.

On the other hand, the Department of Justice enjoyed the biggest upgrade in terms of perceived sincerity in fighting corruption from -5 in 2012 to +35 in 2013.

The Supreme Court's image also improved from +24 to +36.

The survey was conducted from July 31 to November 29, 2013.

SWS President Mahar Mangahas said highlights of the period involved the PDAF scam, which implicated several lawmakers from both the lower House and the Senate.