Briones: Anti-corruption fight like 'telenovela'

by David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 26 2011 11:11 PM | Updated as of Sep 27 2011 07:11 AM

Former National Treasurer urges 'Cory model' to fight corruption


MANILA, Philippines - A former Cabinet official believes the government of President Benigno Aquino III can eliminate corruption by following the example set by his mother, former President Cory Aquino.

In an interview, former National Treasurer Leonor Magtolis Briones said the younger Aquino would do well to follow the "Cory model" to eliminate corruption in different government agencies and departments one by one.

"Ang Cory model ay simple lang. Cory had no additional budget, did not get money from multinationals. She just made her government work. She appointed Cabinet officials who were responsible and oversaw anti-corruption programs," she told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

Briones said the "Cory model" entails a no-nonsense approach by the Office of the Ombudsman and state auditors to graft.

She said the model will also need the help of the legislature and the judiciary since the 2 other branches of government are tainted with corruption. She said the business community, civil society and media will also play important roles in curbing corruption.

Briones, who served as National Treasurer during the Estrada administration, said she believes that the incumbent President can do better in fighting graft.

"I believe so. For one thing, there's more expertise and experience. There are more groups monitoring corruption. Wag lang tatantanan at titigilan. Wag sa umpisa lang at biglang magsasawa. We have to get the Pinoy way of doing things," she said.

'Like a telenovela'

Briones said anti-corruption efforts are like a "telenovela" in search of a happy ending. She noted that while many irregularities were exposed, there is little to no resolution and the people lost interest.

"Sa telenovela, hindi pwede masyado matagal dahil mawawalan interes ang tao," she said.

She also noted that there should be a "Fear Factor" approach in fighting corruption by ensuring that Filipinos know all the rules. For example, she said many Filipinos who break traffic rules elsewhere are "behaved" when they reach Makati.

"Bakit ang taga-Quezon City kapag pumunta sa Makati ang bait? Kasi alam nila ang traffic mahigpit dun," he said.

Pinoy Solutions to Corruption

Briones recently led a research team to look into “Pinoy Solutions to Corruption” based on the strategy used by the late President Cory Aquino during her administration. The two other members of the team are Profs. Danilo R. Reyes and Ma.Oliva Domingo,

She said her research showed that there have been several "wins" in the fight against corruption in several government agencies through efficient systems and fast delivery of services.

She also mentioned instances of spectacular agency reforms in the past where corruption was stopped in its tracks, like the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Department of Public Highways, the Commission on Audit, and the Philippine National Police.

On the other hand, she also noted that reports of corruption in government started increasing after 2004 despite the rise of several anti-corruption monitoring groups.

Results of the study are set to be presented in a symposium at the National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines on Tuesday.