Vice-Presidential aspirant Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan is confident that he has what it takes to fight corruption in government, citing his clean track record throughout his three terms in the Senate.
Pangilinan made the statement as he participated in the Vice Presidential debate hosted by CNN Philippines at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Saturday, February 26.
In response to the question to the candidates about their capacity to fight corruption, Pangilinan, who was elected in the Upper House in 2001, cited his clean track record throughout his three terms.
"Mahalaga sa akin ang tiwala na ibinigay sa akin ng ating mga kababayan kaya tiniyak natin na sa tatlong termino natin, ni minsan hindi tayo nasangkot sa ano mang kaso ng anomalya. So maliwanag 'yan (The public's trust is important to me that's why I ensured that in my three terms, I was never involved in any anomaly. That's clear)," he said.
According to Pangilinan, during his first term as senator, he pushed for the modernization of the country's justice system because this will solve the problem of corruption.
"Dinagdagan natin ang sahod ng mga huwes, binaba natin ang vacancy rate sa huwes noong tayo ay miyembro ng JBC (Judicial and Bar Council), nadagdagan din ang benepisyo ng ating mga prosecutor (We increased the salary of judges, we lowered the vacancy rate when I was member of the JBC, we increased the benefits of prosecutors)," he enumerated.
"'Pag malakas ang sistema ng katarungan, talagang ang corruption mababawasan talaga dahil napaparusahan ang dapat maparusahan (If the justice system is strong, we will be able to eradicate corruption because we can punish those who needs to be punished)," he added.
Aside from the Pangilinan said the country was able to save money when he chaired the National Food Authority (NFA) in 2014.
"For the first time in 42 years, nag-reject ng bid ang NFA dahil masyadong mataas. In fact, apat na beses tayong nag-reject ng bid. Bakit nag-reject? Kasi mataas. Bakit mataas? Dahil merong isinisingit na tongpats (we rejected four bids because they were too high. Why were they high? Because there were inserted amounts)," he said.
"Sa apat nating pag-reject, napababa nila ang presyo ng Thailand at Vietnam ng kanilang ino-offer na bigas at nakatipid tayo ng P7 billion dahil dito. 'Yan ang ating track record (In the four times we rejected bids, we were able to bring the down the rice from Thailand and Vietnam and because of that, we were able to save P7 billion. That's our track record)," he added.