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MANILA, Philippines — TIME magazine is not the only outfit that names a “Person of the Year”, although people would not want to be recognized by this network.
Since 2012, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has singled out those who “do the most to wreak havoc around the world through organized crime and corruption.”
Its laureates include Russian President Vladimir Putin who got the recognition in 2014, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro outshined US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Erdogan in 2020, and, of course, the Philippines’ very own former president Rodrigo Duterte got the “award” in 2017 for his bloody war on drugs.
This year’s OCCRP “Person of the Year” is María Consuelo Porras, the attorney general of Guatemala. She is the first female recipient of the “award” and in the sea of government leaders and institutions previously recognized, hers comes as she was “an efficient instrument used by the government to eviscerate the rule of law.”
Porras is known as someone who backs and enables the dirty work of corrupt politicians, businessmen, among others, and makes sure they still have access to influence and power. She also faces allegations of protecting her political allies and has targeted journalists and activists.
The Philippines also has a number of people working for the government who would bend over backwards to protect their own interests and in the process, endanger the public and persecute opposition voices. During the Duterte administration, former Solicitor General Jose Calida was seen as the former president’s attack dog.
OCCRP notes that authoritarians are empowered by people like Porras, who are “government servants who corrupt the democratic process while maintaining the illusion of normality.”
“She is not a colorful autocrat but a dry bureaucrat who carries out ‘her duty’ — which is to derail democracy and protect the kleptocratic elite,” the OCCRP said. – Rappler.com