Euromoney delegates hear it first
Fighting corruption, the scourge of the Philippines, was a major platform of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's election campaign in 2004. Elected, one would expect her to be proud of the zeal with which some in her administration are tackling the issue. It seems some of her colleagues were not so certain, however, and chose to take matters into their own hands.
In the middle of a speech at the Euromoney Asia-Pacific Bond Congress in June, finance secretary Cesar Purisima announced that the Bureau of Internal Revenue was filing tax evasion charges against Arthur C Yap, the secretary for agriculture and a long-term supporter of Arroyo – said to be the president's favourite student when she taught economics.
Delegates, surprised at the finance secretary's candour, were then amazed to watch him march from the dais into the VIP lounge to place a call on his cellphone to the president to inform her of what he intended to do. With moves like that, perhaps there is a chance that the government will stamp out corruption after all, with or without the president's full support.