Archive for the ‘honesty’ Category

Sen Dodd brings more doubts on the honesty of government officials

March 20, 2009

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut,) who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee was given preferential treatment by Country Wide Mortgage Co, the leading mortgage company which made bad decisions and needed bail-out from government.

The lawmaker from Connecticut, an ardent democrat and supporter of Obama is under investigation by the senate ethics committee for refinancing his homes with a special rates by the mortgage company—part of the “V.I.P.” program that gave lower than usual rates given to “friends” of the company.

Dodd got a low 4.25 percent interest rate on a $506,000 refinancing loan for his Washington town house, and another low 4.5 percent rate on the $275,000 loan on his East Haddam home—all because he is classified as VIP and friend of Country Wide. —US News / AP (01/23/09)

This is the same 64-year old Dodd who received hefty campaign money from AIG. Now, the senator is being blamed for letting the bonuses to be paid by the American International Group (AIG) to its employees amounting to up to a staggering $165 million. The money however is a drop in the bucket—a small part of the trillions of dollars Barack Obama has planned to spend using American taxpayers’s money. The spending can compromise the finances of the next generation.

After wavering on his role in the AIG mess, Dodd is singled out as the person who added protection in the stimulus package that allowed the giving away of bonuses to AIG executives who were responsible for the company’s failure.

“Republicans are also turning a spotlight on Dodd’s longtime friendship with Edward Downe Jr., a former director of the Bear Stearns investment firm who was snared in an insider trading scandal. Dodd owned a condo with Downe in a fashionable Washington neighborhood but bought out Downe’s share in 1990 after learning Downe was under investigation. Downe eventually pleaded guilty to trading inside information.”—-Yahoo News/ AP (03/20/09, Miga A)

If Obama’s administration is filled with people of shabby integrity, how can America expect a quick recovery from the economic crisis? Many critics think there isn’t much difference in how Capitol Hill is being run. The same rotten greed, denials, and lies are coming out early on in the new administration whose campaign promise is “change.”

The exposure of Dodd comes at a bad time that Treasury secretary Tim Geithner is besieged with calls to resign after accepting a job that looks after public money when he is among those who avoid paying taxes. According to Dodd, Geithner asked him to remove the executive bonus restriction in the big economic stimulus package lawmakers in Capitol Hill approved last month. This decision permitted AIG officials to rake in the controversial bonuses. (Photo Credit: PD)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “AIG’s excessive bonuses of $165 million infuriate Americans” Posted by mesiamd at 3/18/2009


“Not as a lecturer or as a judge,” EU thinks RP must do more to curb corruption

January 28, 2009

Many huge corruption charges in the Philippines involve officials in the highest corridors of power, but almost all of them remain as accusations displayed like dirty laundry for the public to bear. At the cost of the country’s credibility, almost no one gets punished. The entire nation keeps a blind eye of the growing list of scandals whose outcomes are often tip in favor of the crime doers.

For a long time, corruption comes like a foul odor ignored by the government and its citizens. The stench is allowed to stay, follow its course, until it dissipates in the wind. That’s the usual course that has incrementally robbed the country of its shame and dignity. The public is tired, perhaps, about to give up on corruption—for even with laws in place, there is little accountability. There is almost no public outcry of protest.

Illegal deals and criminal transactions occur right on the face of a Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo. Circumventing the law is common, perpetrated by criminals in broad daylight without embarrassment. The hideousness of the corrupt practices has prompted foreign entities like the World Bank (WB) and European Union (EU) to sound their alarm; they point to government deals that smell too stinky to brush aside. The latest is the WB disclosure of fraud in its bank-financed projects.

The president’s husband Jose M. Arroyo, just like in the past, has been linked to greedy collusion schemes. The latest is with the E.C. De Luna Construction Corp, one of the contractors named by the World Bank for rigging the bidding process of road projects funded by foreign money. Officials of the foreign bank are dismayed by the scale of corruption that is traced way back in 2007.

Careful not to rub the sense of shame of Filipinos, WB’s corruption charges which point the complicity of Chinese partners, suggest that the international community can’t just watch the dirty way the government is run. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo continues to play the charade for the nation.

The EU also sounded its concern by offering the Philippines help to fight corruption. Ambassador Alistair MacDonald of the European Commission said in a Commission of Human Rights meeting in Manila that the EU “sees corruption as a symptom of poor governance and lack of transparent, accountable management, and control system. —Philstar (10/28/09, Clapano, JR)

There it is. MacDonald is right in saying that officials, the civil society and media must work together to fight corruption in government by observing “transparent electoral processes and supporting parliamentary and judicial oversight.” The country can’t live with perversion of integrity that is out in the open and politicalized for everyone to see, but can’t do something against it.

Even if the outside world wants to help the Philippines solve corruption, it is still the people who must first reject and work against it. There is no shortage of anti-corruption laws. They are just waiting to be enforced, not by officials who are themselves corrupt, but by those who are committed to move the country ahead.

The fight against corruption needs ethical leaders to help government officials and business leaders reform their ranks. They need moral rejuvenation and accountability which must be taught and applied in the community. With the nation’s fate at stake, there is deep shame when foreigners remind Filipinos of their freedom, duty for country, and moral responsibilities. (Photo Credits: Almostevil665; wdbphoto) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Corruption scandals hurting Filipinos under Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo” Posted by mesiamd at 1/29/2009; “On Philippine Corruption And Our Being Inure To It” Posted by myty555 at 12/16/2008

Corruption scandals hurting Filipinos under Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

January 28, 2009

“The 2006 World Competitiveness Survey by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development ranked the Philippines 60th on bribery and corruption among 61 countries surveyed. In the 2007 report of the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, using a grading system with 10 as the worst possible score, the Philippines got 9.4, worsening sharply from its grade of 7.8 in 2006.

The problem of corruption in the Philippines is getting worse, and it appears that it is not just a problem of perception but an actuality. The corruption cases are increasing not only in number but in the amount of money involved. In the past, the big cases involved tens of millions of pesos; now, the figures run into hundreds of millions and even billions.” —-Inquirer (06/30/08, Editorial, Worsening Corruption)

1. Filipino & Chinese bid-rigging cartel in bank-financed projects exposed by World Bank

2. Jocelyn (JocJoc) Bolante’s P728 Million Fertilizer Fund Scam diverting agricultural funds for the 2004 election campaign of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

3. $329 Million Philippine National Broadband Network-Zhong Xing Telecommunications Deal (NBN/ZTE mess)

4. The $2-million IMPSA (Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona Sociedad Anonima) alleged bribery case involving Justice secretary Hernando Perez to rehabilitate the 750-megawatt Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) power complex in Laguna.

5. The allegedly overpriced P1.2-billion Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard Construction

6. Commission on Elections’ P1.3-billion poll computerization program

7. Pres. Joseph Estrada Plunder Conviction and the Controversial Hasty Pardon

8. “Hello Garci” alleged Election fraud of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

9. Unexplained Wealth of Government and Military Officials—some of them take tasks of “investigating” corruption

10. Money Laundering Schemes like the “Euro Generals Scandal”

11. Maj. General Carlos Garcia’s amassed P143 million wealth in AFP

12. The P500,000 cash-gift distribution (bribe?)in Malacanang Palace in 2007

13. Tax Evasion, Special Purpose Funds & Public Procurement Anomalies

14. Killings, tortures, and disappearances of journalists, plain citizens, and perceived enemies of government

We probably know the brazenness of corruption to a point of surrender. So we either ignore them or we shield ourselves from truth by pretending wrong-doing and perversion will go away. We have our own psychological adaptations that work for sometime just the way we’re tempted to run away from moral rectitude and brush aside responsibility.

The brave among us however face reality as it comes. No matter how hard and hurting, we understand the need to correct our errors. We know life is a succession of battles where courage, tenacity, and optimism are required and apathy has no place. We need integrity as a hedge against fraud; honesty is a positive force to renew society. Consider the corruption in the world. What can we do about it? (Photo Credit: Zero Q)=0=


The 10th simple new year’s resolution

January 5, 2009

When I posted some suggested New Year’s pledges for 2009, I was cut short at number 9. My mind went blank and I needed to blog fast. The last few minutes of my one-hour stay in the public library rolled on quickly. So instead of 10, I ended up with only 9. The shadow of the next person who’d use the PC was already at my back. I needed to give him my spot.

As I drove home, one word cropped in my head—honesty. Be honest! Maybe that was what I wanted for the 10th resolution even if I knew it’s hard to do.

It is said honesty can be a bedfellow of hypocrites. People say a genuinely honest person in this world is nonexistent—a result of our fallen nature. So there we go why some of us won’t attempt to be truthful. Despite the warped suggestion that it’s hypocrisy to try upholding truth, it is still the moral thing to do.

Without pretense, guile, and double talk, we effectively reign over our personal lives. We keep our credibility while we face our problems with dignity. We purge our soul of some of the corruption which ails our world. =0=

RELATED BLOG: “9 simple resolutions for the new year” Posted by mesiamd at 1/04/2009