Robredo for full disclosure policy, nixes turncoatism

PASAY CITY – Vice President Leni Robredo’s first executive order if she gets elected as president is a full disclosure policy in order to promote greater transparency in public service.

During the second installment of the Commission on Elections’ PiliPinas Debates 2022, Robredo said her first EO would require all government offices and instrumentalities to make public all their transactions and contracts “even without need of request from anyone”.

She pointed out that transparency is one of the key elements to combat corruption, which, she said, is a result of both institutional and individual weaknesses. The other elements are accountability and people empowerment.

“Merong tatlong pangangailangan para siguraduhin natin na napipilitan, ‘yung sistema napipilitan niya ang public officials para maging matino at mahusay. ‘Yung number one, accountability. Gaya nung sinabi ni Senator Manny (Pacquiao), dapat ‘yung nagkakasala napaparusahan. Pero equally important and even more important ‘yung transparency at people empowerment kasi eto ‘yung magp-prevent for public officials na gumawa ng mali ‘pag very transparent ang ating processes ,” she said.

She also highlighted other instruments for transparency, such as creating a citizen’s charter and digitizing government services and processes to improve public service delivery.

“Another instrument for transparency ‘yung paggagawa ng citizens charter, na sinasabi natin, alam ng tao kung anong aasahan niya sa pamahalaan pagdating sa mga proseso, (at) ‘yung pag-digitize ng lahat ng proseso para minimal ‘yung human contact (Another instrument for transparency is the citizen’s charter. Through this, the public would know what they would expect in terms of processes and the digitization of all processes for minimal human contact),” she said.

As for people empowerment, she stressed the need to involve the public in decision-making through the creation of people’s councils in local governments, as well as the revival of the bottom-up budgeting scheme.

Robredo said there is a need to pass a law banning political turncoatism in order to strengthen the political party system in the country.

Turncoatism, or jumping from one political party to another, weakens the country’s political party system, as some politicians only use parties for “political convenience”, she said.

She said a law prohibiting turncoatism would compel politicians to join parties because they share the same political ideas and platforms.

Robredo also said it was time to discuss whether to retain the current multi-party system in the country or revive the two-party system.

She suggested the idea of holding a runoff election, or a second election that is held if the top vote-getting candidate in a first election did not achieve the minimum percentage of votes required in that particular area.

The camp of Robredo, meanwhile, disclosed it is mulling to take legal action over online links to an alleged sex video involving Robredo’s eldest daughter Aika that are circulating on social media.

In a statement afternoon, Robredo’s spokesperson, Ibarra Gutierrez, described the move as a “malicious fabrication” to distract the supporters of the vice president for her campaign in the presidential election race.

“This is a malicious fabrication and we have reported it to the platforms concerned to have it taken down. Our lawyers are studying our options for legal action,” Gutierez said.

He said the deeper goal of the distraction ploy is to stir up trouble among Robredo’s supporters and prevent them from converting more people to support her presidential bid.

“Kaya nga ang tamang response dito: Hold the line tayo para sa pag-ibig. Be firm but kind sa pagtatama ng disinformation, kahit gaano ito kawalanghiya (That’s why this is the appropriate response to this: Let us hold the line for love. Be firm but kind in correcting disinformation, no matter how horrible),” he said.

He said the malicious attack against Aika is considered a crime.

“Malinaw na krimen ito. At ang paraan para talunin ang mga ganito once and for all: Manalo tayo sa halalan, ayusin ang sistema, at panagutin ang mga nagkakalat nito (This is clearly a crime. The way to beat this once and for all is: we win the elections, fix the system, and punish the ones spreading this),” he said.

Meanwhile, Robredo encouraged her supporters to not lose focus, stressing that the “best antidote to fake news is truth”.

“Let us not lose focus. Let us continue doing good. This is how I survived the last six years,” Robredo said in a tweet.