Grace Poe’s corruption fight . . . as President in 2016?

Senator Grace Poe, daughter of former movie icon Fernando Poe Jr, never fails to impress. But she also disappoints in certain ways.

Topping the 2010 senatorial elections, with significant help from her father, and getting more votes than veteran senators Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero was impressive.

Late last month, she made another impressive move. She filed a proposed law that first identified the serious weaknesses that plagues the government’s fight against graft and corruption, and then proceeds to recommend bold and courageous steps to resolve those loopholes.

Her proposed new law will go a long way to strengthen and deepen the fight against endemic and rampant corruption that affects nearly everyone in the country, including OFWs and their loved ones back home.

For instance, billions of pesos lost every year to corrupt officials and lower-ranking civil servants means a lot less money that could otherwise help victims of typhoons and the poorest of the poor, resolve the short supply of medicine and medical equipment in public hospitals, etc. etc.

Question: Why didn’t veteran lawyer/senators, like Miriam Santiago, Enrile and Escudero, didn’t see fit to take a very critical look at the Philippines’ deep-rooted and rampant corruption problem and why didn’t they come up with proposed solutions, like Poe? Why is this very important and delicate task being taken up by a neophyte lawmaker, like Poe?

Most Filipinos – except convicted big-time thieves and suspected grafters like vice president Jojo Binay – warmly welcome President Benigno Aquino’s firm commitment to reform and fighting corruption. Savings from corruption means more funds for more roads, schools, support for farmers, medicine for the sick and shelter for typhoon victims.

Poe’s proposed law significantly strengthens the powers of the Ombudsman, the government’s primary agency that fights corruption. A weak Ombudsman means an anemic and pathetic fight against corruption. This is plain and simple common sense. But in focusing her attention to this very serious problem, she displays great vision and strength of character. Fighting big-time grafters can easily put at risk or cost her life – but she appears unmindful. She’s brave. She’s gutsy.

Some of Poe’s proposals are innovative, bold and courageous. For instance, putting a wiretap on suspected big-time grafters. Remember how former president Gloria Arroyo was caught in a tape recorded phone call asking a former Commission on Elections official to ensure that she got over 1 million votes over Fernando Poe in Mindanao? That’s plain election cheating! And she was caught red-handed in that tape recording.

Stronger and swifter Ombudsman powers to check and freeze bank accounts of suspected grafters is another bold proposal that Poe is making. Just look at senator Bong Revilla and wife Lanie Mercado. Right after news broke out that Bong received hundreds of millions of pesos in kickbacks from suspected pork barrel queen Janet Napoles, the actor and wife immediately withdrew huge sums from numerous bank accounts and later closed most of them. What dirty monies can the government later recover from the couple?

Poe’s clear intention to fight graft will undoubtedly endear her no end to President Benigno Aquino who is looking for a successor who can continue his reforms and gains in fighting corruption. He has said that the ruling Liberal Party will consider supporting the presidential bid of a candidate outside the party – presumably Poe – if not Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, a close ally and friend of Aquino.

With Poe not far behind Binay among top choices to become the next president in 2016, the prospects of Poe being endorsed by Aquino and supported by the Liberal Party becomes increasingly likely, potentially derailing Binay’s desperate bid to become president.

There’s one disturbing and disappointing thing though with Poe.

Binay regards her as a political ally. Is this the reason then why she hasn’t said anything at all about the serious corruption allegations against Binay? And with her eerie silence, where does this leave her fight against corruption?

*** NOTES:

These questions will be answered today Dec. 29 at “Pinoy Life” on Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio 3 by Ms Divina Young, formerly a Vice President and branch manager at Bank of America in Florida, formerly hotel manager in Florida and formerly assistant business news editor at the Hongkong Standard, now known as The Standard newspaper.

** To listen live to “Pinoy Life” using your mobile phone, simply download “TuneIn Radio” free apps, go to “Location”, look for Hong Kong and chose “Radio 3 RTHK”

** And if you wish to listen to past episodes of “Pinoy Life”, please visit this web link:

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One thought on “Grace Poe’s corruption fight . . . as President in 2016?

  1. Grace poe is a good example of good politician without any corruption case on her. Even if she is inexperienced I’m sure the people trust on her can help her be a good leader

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