Sep 172014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/12/08MANILA2676.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MANILA2676
2008-12-09 09:24
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO1719
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2676 3440924
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090924Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2626
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS MANILA 002676

STATE FOR EEB/IFD/ODF
STATE PASS USAID

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL PGOV ETRD ECON KMCA MCC RP
SUBJECT: Philippine Government Makes Case for MCC Compact Reselection

¶1. (SBU) Summary. The Ambassador was briefed by senior Philippine
officials on Philippine Government anti-corruption initiatives over
the past year. They made the case for Compact reselection by the
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The team highlighted
increased prosecutions of officials accused of corruption, including
of prominent Arroyo administration supporters. They discussed steps
taken on procurement reform and successes in bringing prominent
business groups into the procurement oversight process. The
Ambassador remarked that the 2008 initiatives showed that the
Philippine Government was serious in advancing its fight against
corruption, but that continued progress, particularly in pursuing
high-profile cases, is crucial. End summary.

¶2. (SBU) On December 8, Philippine Secretary of Finance Gary Teves,
Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who is in charge of anti-corruption
efforts, and Secretary of Budget and Management Rolando Andaya met
with the Ambassador to discuss the status of the Philippines’ MCC
program. Teves, reviewing the results of his recent Washington
meetings, noted that the corruption indicator of the MCC is based on
2007 data. He said the government wanted to provide a briefing on
what the Philippine government had done since 2007 to combat
corruption.

¶3. (SBU) The Ombudsman described the Philippine Government’s
anti-corruption initiatives of the past year, noting in particular a
renewed focus on prosecuting those who are charged. Between January
and September 2008, 434 officials were disciplined for corrupt
activities, including 145 firings and another 205 suspensions.
Ombudsman Gutierrez explained that the government conducted 552
lifestyle checks, whose targets included provincial governors and
members of Congress, some of whom were allies of the Arroyo
administration. The conviction rate in corruption cases during the
nine months was 60.95%, according to Gutierrez. Another 815 cases
were dealt with through mediation. Teves said that it will be a
priority to investigate and prosecute more high-level officials, and
in order to make this work, the GRP will emphasize more solid
preparation of cases and cooperation between investigators and
prosecutors.

¶4. (SBU) As the Philippine Government intends to use part of its
MCC assistance to enhance its procurement reform initiatives,
Secretary of Budget and Management Andaya described the work of the
Procurement Transparency Group. The Group seeks to incorporate
civil society into the procurement process, allowing outside groups
and businesses to monitor the bidding process. Six civil society
organizations have become involved, the most prominent of which is
the Makati Business Club, usually a fierce critic of the Arroyo
administration. The Club has concentrated upon public health care
contracting, especially hospital upgrade contracts. Andaya noted
that he expects the private sector groups to be very effective
watchdogs for government procurement.

¶5. (SBU) Secretary Teves restated the commitment of the government
of the Philippines to fight corruption and to meet all its
commitments to the MCC. He said this is a priority of President
Arroyo, who had instructed the team to brief the Ambassador.

KENNEY

   

 

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