Santiago’s new bill aims to get rid of “Padrino” system

By , on August 6, 2013


Photo from Sen. Santiago's Wikipedia entry.
Photo from Sen. Santiago’s Wikipedia entry.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is at it again.

In lieu of President Aquino’s dig at several government offices, especially the Bureau of Customs, during his state of the nation address, Santiago has recently filed a bill in an effort to get rid of the “Padrino System” prevailing most government offices. The “Anti-Political Recommendations Bill” aims to prevent legislators from endorsing any individual to any government position.

The senator hopes that this bill will get rid of corrupted officials, like the dubbed “three kings” of BOC, who are reportedly enjoying the protection of influential political figures. She also hopes the bill will help clean up and shape up the Bureau of Internal Revenue headed by Sec. Cesar V. Purisima, the Department of Public Works and Highways headed by Sec. Rogelio Singson, the Department of Transportation and Communications led by Sec. Joseph Abaya, and the Bureau of Immigration, which Santiago used to lead during the administration of Corazon Aquino, is now headed by Officer-in-Charge Seigfried Mison who took the position of Ricardo David Jr. just July 16, 2013.

Late July, President Benigno Aquino III unleashed a vicious hell of words against the Bureau of Customs during his State of the Nation Address, singling the bureau because of its poor performance and unabashed corruption within and around its area of influence.

Decades have proven the existence and prevalence of the albeit “secret” habit of appointing officials into a position in order to gain favor from these newly-appointed individuals.

The “three kings” of BOC are Rogel Gatchalian, whom Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile admitted to endorse during the Arroyo administration; Ricardo Belmonte, the brother of former Quezon City Mayor and now House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr.; and Carlos So, supported by the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo.