On crushing corruption: Pangilinan banks on long record; Lopez, David cite renewal of faith

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 26) — Three vice presidential candidates on Saturday gave their take on how they will address the problem of graft and corruption if elected for the second highest office.

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan detailed his decades of public service to prove he has what it takes to properly deal with graft and corruption should he win vice president.

The lawmaker said that thorughout the three terms he served as senator, his name was never included in anomalies. He also said that during his term as the chairman of the National Food Authority, he was able to save government funds by rejecting overpriced bids, something he claimed was not common in the agency.

"In fact apat na beses tayong nag reject ng bid. Hindi daw nangyari yan sa 42 taon ng NFA. Bakit nag-reject? Mataas. Bakit mataas? Dahil mayroong isinisingit na tongpats at sa apat nating pagre-reject napababa nila ang presyo ng Thailand at Vietnam ng kanilang ino-offer na bigas at nakatipid nga tayo ng 7 billion pesos dahil dito," he said during the CNN Philippines vice presidential debate.

[Translation: We rejected bids four times. That hasn't happened in NFA in 42 years. We rejected bids because they were too high. Why? ... because it was padded. Due to the rejections, Thailand and Vietnam lowered the price so we were able to save P7 billion because of this.]

Manny Lopez also recounted his experience as a former officer of the NFA, but recalled the reason why he did not succeed in eradicating corruption.

"I fought graft and corruption to the fullest extent of my capability. I lost because there is no political will to fight graft and corruption in our country, it has become endemic. It seems to get worse as we elect more distinguished legislators and officials," he said.

He said there has to be systemic solutions to a systemic problem.

He also said fighting corruption will require "a renewal of our faith, our selves, our country."

Rizalito David had the same stand that strengthening faith will solve the decades-long problem of graft and corruption.

"Nagkukulang tayo sa pag-ibig, hindi political will. Ang corruption ay yumayabong dahil wala tayong pag-ibig sa kapwa," he said. "Lahat ng batas ginawa na natin para maiwasan ang korapsyon pero walang nangyayari, Bakit? ... kasi nasa puso ang kasakiman."

[Translation: We lack in love, not political will. Corruption prospers because we don't have love for our countrymen. We have crafted necessary laws to stop corruption but it is not getting fixed. Why? ... because there is greed in our hearts.]