Partido Reporma standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said corrupt politicians should be held accountable for their crimes and be sent to jail.
He said he is not convinced that people who plundered public funds should be given a redemption arc.
“We seem to have lost that sense of accountability. Over time, we have learned to shrug our shoulders over issues of corruption. Some of us even idolize the supposed public servants who got rich through questionable means,” Lacson said.
He said this has emboldened corrupt officials as they keep getting reelected.
The veteran lawmaker and presidential aspirant has a long history of running after corrupt public officials and their cohorts, who either end up in jail or in exile because of strong evidence gathered against them upon investigation.
Lacson said the first major step toward fighting the never-ending problem of corruption is to implement a standard policy against erring government officials and restore a culture of accountability.
“It hurts to see us laugh off the excesses by some government officials. To me, this is a bad sign,” he said, “If there is no accountability, they will get bolder,” Lacson said.
Lacson has maintained a very strong anti-corruption advocacy –”Ubusin ang Magnanakaw” – from his days as Chief of the Philippine National Police to his stint as senator.
If the issue of corruption among government officials is solved, Lacson as much as 50 percent of the nation’s problems are also solved.
Lacson said if he wins the presidency, he will send a clear message to the bureaucracy and the people that he is serious in fighting corruption and establishing transparency by signing a waiver of his rights under the Bank Secrecy Act as his first official act.
“I will lead the way by signing a waiver of my rights under the Bank Secrecy Act,” he said, adding he will encourage all Cabinet members and bureau directors down the line to do the same.