Wed, 08 Dec 2021

MANILA - The Philippines is winning its fight to eradicate corruption within the country's military operations, according to German-based anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

In the Transparency International's Government Defence Integrity (GDI) Index, the Philippines received a "C" rating, or a "modest" institutional resilience to corruption rating -- similar to the rating of more than 20 countries that include Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, among others.

"Institutional resilience to corruption is modest across the Philippines' defence institutions," the anti-corruption watchdog said on its website.

Transparency International said oversight of policy-making and procurement by parliament is "particularly weak and transparency remains limited throughout the sector, including with regards to financial management."

It, however, noted that "corruption risk mitigation is relatively robust in military operations."

Malacanang welcomed this recognition, attributing it to Duterte administration's zero tolerance against allegations of irregularities within government agencies and departments.

"While there are areas mentioned by Transparency International that need improvement, such as policymaking and financial management, which the defense and security sector will review and consider to better their mechanisms, the civil society organization acknowledged that corruption risk mitigation in the Philippines is relatively robust in military operations," Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a press statement.

"We credit this to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's zero tolerance against allegations of official malfeasance," he added.

Nograles pointed out that Duterte relieved numerous high-ranking military officials over alleged corruption activities taking place at a military hospital in 2018.

He said the President also announced the dismissal of 261 and suspension of 187 government officials and employees in his weekly Talk to the People Address from November 2020 to June 2021.

Nograles cited the military's Defense System of Management, which institutionalizes the judicious and efficient use of resources in defense acquisitions to ensure transparency and accountability in the procurement process.

He said Duterte also raised the level of professionalism of personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by promoting the welfare of our troops and ensuring they can focus on fulfilling their mandate of protecting the Filipino people.

Meanwhile, he assured that Duterte will fight corruption until his last day in office.

"This relentless drive to have a clean, strong and responsive government will continue until the remainder of the President's term," he said.

The GDI Index is a comprehensive assessment of the quality of institutional controls to manage the risk of corruption in defense and security institutions.

It provides a snapshot of governance within the defense sector in a country. (PNA)

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