To be sure, authoritarian rule prevented the discovery of other incriminating evidence on the legal improprieties of the BNPP contract. Two years later, it recommended further investigation with the view of filing graft charges against the president and her spouse, House Speaker de Venecia and his son, Comelec chairman Abalos, NEDA Secretary Romulo Neri, some whistle-blowers and other government officials involved (SBRC, 2009, pp. The full terms of this license may be seen at Republic Act No. She was succeeded by former Supreme Court associate justice Conchita Carpio-Morales. This led Marcos to order the government bailout and takeover of 13 major Herdis companies and transferred them to the government-owned National Development Company (Branigin, 1984). Batalla, E.V.C. Finally, there is the perceived failure of closure to past scandals by the justice system, as there continues to be a “low risk” of punishment (Quah, 2013, p. 129). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2019), “Corruption and democracy”, Anti-Corruption Module 3: Corruption and Comparative Politics, December, available at: (accessed 7 January 2020). The BNPP was completed in mid-1985 and was prepared to operate in December. The BNPP and NBN–ZTE scandals illustrate cases of corrupt relationships formed at the highest levels of government in contracting large infrastructure projects in the Philippines. At the same time, Philippines Commission on Elections (Comelec) was tarnished by corruption. Some senators including Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jose Ejercito Jr. were jailed in connection with the Napoles pork barrel scam but have been either released on bail or acquitted of plunder charges. According to the 2017 UNU-Wider report (2013 data), tax evasion costs Philippines almost $7.4 billion annually, or 2.7% of its GDP. Neri) from disclosing sensitive information to the public. Such incentives are not only exclusive to politicians, political appointees and professional bureaucrats but also to foreign governments, private firms and individual brokers. Corona, whom Aquino resented for accepting GMA's midnight appointment as chief justice, was later impeached (Batalla et al., 2018b, p. 133). In February 1976, close to two years after the approval of the Westinghouse proposal, the two parties formally signed the final contract. A Senate witness identified other brokers particularly Ruben Reyes, a private businessman and alleged close friend of GMA's brother (SBRC, 2009, p. 62; Sabangan, 2008). However, important pieces of evidence were not properly handled as attested by the testimonies of PCGG personnel in Republic of the Philippines versus Disini et al. In contrast, the civil suit against Disini dragged on for a longer time. However, no amount of damage control could erase the image of the BNPP project as a symbol of Marcos' corruption. Salaverria, L. (2012), “Sandiganbayan orders Marcos crony to return $50-M loot in nuclear plant deal”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 April, available at: sandiganbayan-orders-marcos-crony-to-return-50-m-loot-in-nuclear-plant-deal#ixzz5uMzLke00 (accessed 20 August 2019). These two projects are amongst the most controversial political corruption scandals during the last 50 years. Based on the recommendations of the Puno Commission and PAEC, Marcos directed the NPC to resume construction of the BNPP. Safety considerations for the site transfer raised the cost of the original contract. A week later, the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations Committee (or the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee [SBRC]) began a two-year investigation of possible ethical violations. The Ombudsman argued that the contract was “grossly and manifestly disadvantageous” to the government because (1) the actual cost of the ZTE proposal was US$130 million and therefore overpriced at the signed contract price of US$329 million; (2) the ZTE project covered only 30% of the country compared to the AHI's proposal of 80% coverage and (3) the project was to be financed by a loan from China versus the AHI's BOT proposal which would not entail any cost to government (People of the Philippines vs. Arroyo et al., 2016, p. 2). Third, the lack of transparency in government contracting made the projects susceptible to public allegations of improprieties, which served to bolster the political opposition. It further pointed out the president's tolerance of corruption, as she knew about Abalos' bribe offer to Neri as well as other irregularities in the broadband contract (SBRC, 2009, pp. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. Closure of cases of grand corruption is a serious problem that involves an incoherent and politically vulnerable prosecutorial and justice system.,This paper aims to contribute to research on grand corruption involving the executive branch in the Philippines, particularly in the procurement of large, foreign-funded government projects. Soon after, the accused asked the court to allow them to file a demurrer to evidence. Asian Wall Street Journal (1995), “Westinghouse, Philippines sign settlement on plant”, 16 October, p. 2. Corruption plagues the customs administration, and fraud routinely occurs for companies … © 2015 Nine Media Corp. CNN name, logo and all associated elements ™ and © 2015 Cable News Network. The former is critical for effectiveness; the latter is vital because other efforts have failed. President Rodrigo Duterte’s death squads didn’t kill corruption in the Philippines last year. Sabangan, A.R. Their comparison enhances the understanding of grand corruption in government-initiated projects involving foreign government and corporate entities. 1362 (D.N.J. To construct the narratives of each case, primary and secondary sources are utilized, including court decisions, laws published in the Official Gazette, Senate committee reports, journal articles, biographies and newspaper reports. Duterte on cop who killed mother and son in Tarlac: Lock him up, Locsin, Galvez: PH to receive 30M COVID-19 vaccine doses from Novovax, PH not yet ready to handle Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses by January – Romualdez. Bolongaita, E. (2010), An Exception to the Rule? 90-91). Transparency International, a nonprofit watchdog monitoring the status of global corruption in the public sector, has issued the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2019, showing that the Philippines dropped 14 notches from 99th in year 2018. Batalla, E.V.C. It has many different shapes as well as many various effects, both on the economy and the society at large. Neri had informed GMA of the Abalos bribe offer to him, to which the president advised non-acceptance (SBRC, 2009, p. 49). The SBRC argued that both he and his son attempted to commit graft since by law, relatives of the House Speaker up to the third civil degree, were not supposed to intervene or engage in a business, transaction or contract with the government. Later that year, the Aquino government sued Westinghouse and its engineering subcontractor, Burns and Roe, for bribery, fraud and racketeering before a federal district court in New Jersey (Butterfield, 1988). To dismiss the Disini connection in the Westinghouse deal, Marcos explained that the decision was based on an earlier report of foreign consultants. The FOI Bill is a good solution to fight corruption in the Philippines. Despite the proliferation of anti-corruption laws, a perennially weak accountability environment and the ineffectiveness of the country's anti-corruption agencies encourage strategic rent-seeking by private firms and individuals through deception and bribes (or income transfer) to government officials. At the centre of the political controversy were Comelec Chair Abalos and FG Arroyo, alleged brokers who received commissions for their services. Despite the contract's cancellation, the SBRC decided to continue its investigation. AHI's BOT scheme meant that the private company would run the enterprise until its agreed date of transfer to the government. The final contract revealed three significant changes from the original 1974 proposal. Secure the contract because of those provisions deemed onerous and disadvantageous to the Philippines grand! Years has attributed grand corruption and implementation as it occurs in the Philippines is the norm, not the.... 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