February 16, 2017
Cayetano: Du30 admin's fight vs corruption remains steadfast
There will be no let up in the Duterte administration's drive against corruption, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano assured on Thursday (Feb. 16).
The senator said this on the sidelines of the Senate committee hearing on the alleged bribery in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) involving casino mogul Jack Lam, and also amid recent news of the Solicitor General's recommendation to acquit pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles.
Cayetano stressed that while he wants to hear an explanation regarding the SolGen's decision, and while the truth behind the bribery issue at the BI is yet to be revealed, he remains confident that the Duterte administration will never allow corrupt officials and their cohorts to evade justice.
"Dito kay Napoles, like you, I'm also asking for an explanation... Like you, I also want the SolGen to answer. But I guarantee you that the President will not allow any corruption to happen during the administration. And he will not absolve those who were corrupt in past administrations," the senator said.
In his interpellation during the BI hearing, Cayetano also countered claims that the scandal is an evidence of corruption under the Duterte administration. He said while it is clear that there are proofs of extortion and bribery in the BI, it would be unfair to say that the President had condoned it or was even aware of it.
"May nagpapalabas kasi na this hearing is an evidence of corruption of the Duterte administration, while I think it is the reverse. [DOJ] Secretary [Vitaliano] Aguirre exposed the corruption precisely para lumabas ito. Senator [Richard] Gordon and our colleagues called this hearing para lumabas ang katotohanan," Cayetano said.
"Maging mga committee natin sa Senado are functioning. Itong Jack Lam hearing, nakita niyo, walang tinatago. If the Secretary of Justice was merely keeping quiet, wala sana ito. Kaya nga binulgar as a lesson to all, na kahit gaano kalaki, gaano kataas, hindi papayag ang Pangulo."
He reiterated that, contrary to what critics like Senator Antonio Trillanes IV are claiming, it is not a Duterte policy to condone corruption or promote a "padrino culture" in government.
"A while ago, [Sen. Trillanes] was implying that when you say kapatid ng President... as if involved ang presidente... Mere insinuation that someone is saying, 'malapit ako kay Presidente,' I can say that now. But that doesn't mean that it is true o pababayaan 'yan ng Presidente," Cayetano claimed.
"If [critics]... are linking these issues with corruption and saying that President Duterte believes in corruption, his 30-year record in Davao speaks for itself... The President, hundred percent, walang interes sa pera... So why would he allow people around him to make money? It doesn't make sense," he added.
Cayetano also pointed out that if it weren't for the shortcomings of the past administration, the cases built against those involved in corruption controversies could have been much stronger.
"Kami mismo ay lumaban sa Arroyo administration. Bakit yung finile noong Aquino administration, mahihina ang kaso? We foresaw that at that time dahil yung malalaking kaso katulad ng Hello Garci... nakita namin yung malalakas na kaso, pinabayaan.. Dito kay Napoles... maraming kasama sa kaso na hindi sinama in the last administration," he noted.
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