MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - President Benigno Aquino III renewed his campaign promise to stamp out corruption saying that the judicial reform is part of the administration's anti- corruption drive.
In his speech delivered during yesterday's Cabinet Workshop on Anti-Corruption Strategies, Aquino said the current impeachment trial of the country's Chief Justice is part of his administration 's anti-corruption drive.
"No one should doubt that our justice system is a major battleground for reform. In the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation, it shows that while the Philippines has made progress in terms of fighting corruption, the problem of judicial inefficiency and susceptibility to outside pressures, remains a serious concern," he said.
"We cannot sustainably fight corruption unless we reintroduce a sense of accountability - a sense that, if you commit a crime, you will be punished," Aquino said today.
He cited the case of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo whom he said should be held accountable if proven that she committed corruption.
"If certain elements are still able to prevent Gloria Arroyo, for example, from being held accountable, then it makes a mockery of our anti-corruption efforts," Aquino said.
The President is also hoping that participants in the workshop would be able to help the government in fulfilling its vision of a country that is progressive and corruption-free.
Professor Robert Klitgaard, known as "the world's leading expert on corruption" conducted the workshop. Klitgaard, professor at the Claremont Graduate University where he served as the President from 2005 to 2009, has advised many governments on economic strategy and institutional reform.
Workshop participants include some high-ranking government officials. (From Philstar.com)