A formula for corruption

"Privacy is as precious as the air we breathe."



The Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed the implementation of its Memorandum Circular no. 17 series of 2018 which would have required corporations to disclose their ultimate beneficial owners in their General Information Sheets. A beneficial owner is defined as a natural person who ultimately or effectively owns a corporation.

The said circular is a flagrant attempt to violate our right to privacy. It should not only be delayed. It must be scrapped!

The right to privacy, as defined by US Justice Louis Brandeis, is the right to be left alone. It is described by Republic Act 10173 as a fundamental human right, equal to the other fundamental rights of freedom of the press, free expression, equality, religion, the right against exploitation and the right to constitutional remedies.

Santa Banana, so sacred is our right to privacy that the 1987 Constitution prohibited the state from violating it! It's an essential part of freedom which ever individual should protect. It's as precious as the air we breathe.

The SEC, a government agency, however, wants us to give away our right privacy by requiring companies to disclose information which does not need to be disclosed under the Corporation Code.

The SEC is not a lawmaking body! It is simply tasked to execute our laws. Clearly it has no authority to require such a disclosure.

I actually have my doubts on whether Congress would pass such a legislation. Even if it does, I am sure the Supreme Court will strike it down.

This memo is a formula for corruption.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez who has administrative control over the SEC should look into this.

* * *

Speaking of rights, President Rodrigo Duterte and Local Governments Secretary Eduardo Año plan to make the narco-list of 83 politicians available to the public before the midterm elections. But this is a violation of the presumption of innocence.

Malacañang, which has many lawyers, does not seem to care about individual rights. My gulay, the Palace even invokes the State's right to be protected because the list of alleged narco-politicians endangers the security of the state.

So what right should be supreme —the right of the individual or that of the State?

Without human and individual rights, there is no society to speak of. And when there is no society, there can only be anarchy.

What Malacañang and the DILG can do is to validate the list and then file cases in court. Otherwise, multiple suits will be filed against those behind the list—I am sure of it.

Santa Banana, even Aaron Aquino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is wary about the list being made public.

* * *

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo must lie from time to time to protect the credibility of the President.

This was exactly what happened recently—and Panelo is being made to look like a clown.

Recall that he claimed that the government has been receiving wiretaps from various governments on people involved in the drug war, including so-called narco-politicians. And when he was told that these wiretaps were illegally acquired and not admissible as evidence, he backtracked.

He also said PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan was sacked over allegations of corruption. And then he reversed himself, saying that Balutan in fact resigned.

The question is, was Balutan pressured to resign, and by whom?

This calls for a probe. The PCSO is prone to corruption, especially in the granting of permits and licenses in small-town lottery. We the people have the right to know.

* * *

The water crisis affecting Metro Manila is the result of typical government inaction. It really only acts when a problem has already occurred.

Now government is exploring the possibility of tapping deep water wells and even rivers.

Similar problems have occurred before. Soon enough, when the rains come, the problem will be forgotten again.

But this is the reason we have agencies responsible for supplying a steady supply of water at any time of the year.

I wonder, too—what are the geniuses in Maynilad and Manila Water doing?

* * *

It was a good thing that the Commission on Elections did not go through the planned debate among senatorial candidates of the administration and opposition. All of them are saying the same thing, anyway. They are all for the alleviation of poverty, provision of jobs and healthcare, improvement of agriculture. You cannot tell one from the other.

Topics: Securities and Exchange Commission , Commission on Elections , water crisis , Alexander Balutan , Rodrigo Duterte
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