Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano said corruption was not unusual in government and being in denial about it won't help solve the issue.
Cayetano on Friday reacted to the announcement that 12 members of the House of Representatives allegedly received kickbacks from the government’s public works projects.
"It’s not helpful if we’re in denial," Cayetano said. "Ang adik, bago mo mapagamot, kailangan i-admit niya na nagdodroga siya."
(For a drug addict to be rehabilitated, he must first admit drug use.)
"[So] I think it is very important we have an independent, open and transparent investigation," the lawmaker added.
Cayetano said there have been leads indicating that there could have been collusion between Public Works officials and congressmen.
"Kasi meron pong mga nasa DPWH at even sa congressman na 'yung lifestyle at 'yung dami ng pera, kaiba talaga po sa kapasidad niya," he said.
(There are people in the DPWH, even congressmen, whose lifestyles and wealth exceeded their financial capacity.)
This, however, did not mean that all congressmen were corrupt.
"To say that all congressmen are corrupt is very unfair at hindi totoo. Para mong sinabing ang lahat ng pari, lahat ng businessman, at ng media korap," Cayetano said.
"Let us not jump into conclusions porke sinabi 'yung pangalan ng kongresista, huwag nating sabihing totoo na kaagad 'yun. Paano kung kalaban niya ang nag[papalabas] nu'n?"
(It's like saying all priests, all businessmen, and media members were corrupt. When a congressman is implicated, let's give him the benefit of the doubt. What if the accusations are from political rivals?)
Cayeteno considered corruption in government an "open secret", adding that it doesn't become apparent to the public when the economy is strong.
"Hindi nawala, na-lessen lang sa news kasi gumanda ekonomiya. Sa panahon po ni President Erap [Estrada], President GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo], dahil hirap na hirap po ang mga tao, ang korapsyon ay parating nasa headlines," he said.
"Pero nu'ng gumanda ang ekonomiya, kung hindi pa nagkaroon ng [Janet] Napoles, hindi talaga mabubulgar lahat ng corruption."
(During the time of President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, President GMA, because the people are in poverty, corruption was always in the headlines. When the economy was good, if it weren't for Napoles, corruption wouldn't have been exposed.)
He cited examples of corruption that hit various administrations.
"Palipat-lipat lang 'yan. Department of Agriculture, sa fertilizer, then lilipat sa DepEd, sa libro, then lilipat ng DPWH, nandyan 'yan, so kailangan 'yan, ma-expose, makasuhan, makulong," Cayetano said.
(It goes from one agency to another. At the Department of Agriculture, there was the fertilizer issue. Then it goes to the DepEd, books. Then the DPWH. They need to be exposed, charged and jailed.)