Pimentel urges all branches of gov’t, agencies to hold ‘summit’ on how to fight corruption

All top hands in government should have a "summit" to fight corruption in the country.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III made the call after Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen urged lawyers on Thursday, Jan. 16, to speak out against corruption.

Leonen said corruption still exists in the government, including the judiciary, and remains "a significant factor in engendering inequality in our society."

“Impartiality suffers when corruption infects courts,” Leonen said at the 19th National Convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Davao City, according to a tweet by the Supreme Court public information office.

Pimentel strongly suggested that all the heads of the different branches (Legislative, Executive and Judiciary) and agencies of government "should get together, have a ‘summit’ and come up with specific acts and timetable of these acts on how to fight corruption in our country."

These heads are the President, Vice President, Senate President, House Speaker, Chief Justice, Ombudsman, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner, Department of Public Works (DPWH) secretary, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, and the military.

In so far as the 24-member Senate is concerned, Pimentel said all reports of corruption and or serious irregularities in government procurement and decision- making must be investigated by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee "relentlessly and seriously."

"I think our society has degraded to the point that corruption is now too widespread, hence we need a heavy hand to crack down on it," he stressed.

"And the Blue Ribbon committee is a part of this mechanism which can be used to fight and discourage corruption," he added.