– Romualdez forwards bills vs corruption to Velasco
HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday forwarded an initial list of anti-corruption bills to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for possible inclusion in the House legislative agenda to boost President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s campaign against corruption in the government.
“We initially identified five anti-corruption measures and submitted these to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for his consideration. Prioritizing the passage of these proposed laws can help boost President Rodrigo Duterte’s renewed efforts to curb graft and corruption in the government,” said Romualdez, who chairs the powerful House Committee on Rules.
“We hope that we can gear towards the passage of these bills before this year ends, or early next year,” added Romualdez, a lawyer and both President of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
Velasco and Romualdez earlier vowed to heed the directive of President Duterte to intensify efforts against corruption in the government.
The five measures are Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero’s House Bill (HB) 7230 which seeks to augment the financial resources of the Office of the Ombudsman by giving it a 30 percent share in any property forfeited in favor of the State under Republic Act (RA) No. 139, otherwise known as the Forfeiture Law; HBs 581 and 6003 which require the inclusion of anti-corruption and governance education in the basic education and higher education curriculum, respectively, and both filed by CIBAC party-list Reps. Eduardo Villanueva and Domingo Rivera; Cavite Rep. Francis Abaya’s HB 967 which seeks to provide protection and benefits to persons who would report corrupt officials and would serve as witnesses for their prosecution; and HB 579 which seeks to create the National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC) as an attached agency of the Office of the Ombudsman, also filed by Villanueva and Rivera.
All measures have been pending at the committee level.
“These bills intend to combat red-tape, and graft and corruption in all fronts, starting from the education of our students, up to the support for informants and witnesses and the creation of a National Independent Commission Against Corruption,” “We can see that our esteemed and hardworking colleagues have long acknowledged the need to step-up our fight against corruption by filing these bills. Upon instruction of the Speaker, we will back the swift passage of these timely bills in line with our commitment to support President Duterte’s order to investigate corruption in all levels of governance,” the lawmaker added.
Last October 16, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to grant anti-red tape powers to the Chief Executive during national emergencies.