Santiago files bill vs ‘padrino system’

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Under the bill, 'padrinos' can face fines of up to P30,000 and imprisonment of up to one year

'BAN PADRINOS.' Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago wants to fine and jail politicians engaging in the 'padrino system.' File photo from Santiago's office

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed a bill seeking to ban the “padrino system,” or the practice of gaining promotion or appointments through political backers. 

In a statement, Santiago said the “padrino system” paves the way not just for corrupt but also unqualified employees to enter the government. 

“Why should a senator or congressman meddle and influence how an agency of the executive branch hires its employees? If the person you backed turns out to be corrupt, what does it say about you as a politician?” Santiago said. 

“Worse, the padrino system tends to bypass more qualified individuals to government positions in favor of ones with better political connections. Corrupt na nga, unqualified pa. We should bring back meritocracy to the bureaucracy,” she added. 

Santiago filed the bill in the wake of reports that senators and congressmen recommended the promotion of the alleged “three kings” at the Bureau of Customs, who are said to enjoy backing of politicians. 

Under the bill, any government official, including senators, representatives, mayors, governors and even justices, caught being a “padrino” could face fines of up to P30,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. 

“These epal politicians already have their names on every public infrastructure from their pork barrel funds, and now they want their names attached in people’s résumés? The nerve of these people!” the senator said.

The violation shall also serve as grounds for the removal or dismissal of a public officer. – Angela Casauay/

Anti-Political Recommendations Bill

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