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Palace: No need for ‘moral force’

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Gov’t working to stop ‘decay in society’

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:54:00 01/15/2009

Filed Under: Governance, Judiciary (system of justice), Government, Social Issues, Graft & Corruption

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration can cure the country’s ills, especially corruption, even without the “moral force” proposed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, her spokesman said Thursday.

Proof of government’s efforts to fight “moral decay” are the rising prosecution and conviction rates of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court, deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said.

Asked if the government could do without a “moral force,” Golez said: “Of course.”

“That is precisely what the government is doing, trying to mitigate the decay in society. That is the reason why the President has put up some measures [on] how to run after tax cheats run after corrupt officials,” Golez told reporters at the Palace.

“We know that the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan, their prosecution and conviction rates went up, which means systems are moving,” he said.

However, Golez said the Palace agrees with a “moral force” in the “general context” of religious leaders acting as guides.

“We share the same view that religious leaders would act as a moral guide for our citizens,” he said.

Puno issued the call for a “moral force” amid reports of attempts to impeach him for allegedly sitting on a decision in an election dispute.

The opposition and other sectors immediately called the alleged ouster plot against Puno as a move to remove an obstacle to Charter change, which is expected to be brought before the High Court if government attempts to push it again.

On Wednesday, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita dismissed the alleged impeachment plot as “trivial.”

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2009-01-15T08:34:25+00:00UTC01bUTCThu, 15 Jan 2009 08:34:25 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am01

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