April 28, 2012 · Posted in: General
IN THE first two years of his presidency, Benigno S. Aquino III has waged a very public, and some say divisive, war against corruption. The latest manifestation, of course, is the drawn-out impeachment trial of the highest magistrate of the land, Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
But it is a country that has gotten used to public spectacles such as these, touting two public revolts that had ousted presidents who are reported to have amassed money, properties, and in one case, mistresses. Aside from publicly grilling and then ousting these personalities, has the country really gained much in its fight against corruption?
This is one of several questions posed by Sheila Coronel, founding director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and currently director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, in an opinion piece she wrote for Cable News Network’s (CNN) website.
Coronel, who began as a reporter during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and who was instrumental in the PCIJ’s investigations into the mansions and mistresses of ousted President Joseph Estrada, points out that it may not be these public displays of fighting corruption that make a difference. Rather, it would be those quiet efforts to reform systems and processes in the bureaucracy that really have an impact in the corruption fight.
The CNN editorial written by Ms. Coronel may be read here.