Bill seeking to disqualify corrupt government employees from public office pushed in Congress

According to a GMA News report published on Sunday (September 21), Representative Rufus Rodriguez and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. have filed House Bill 4732, which seeks to impose harsher penalties for corrupt government officials and employees. The two Rodriguezes are pushing to amend Republic Act 1379, the law that prescribes the penalties for public servants who are found guilty of acquiring properties through ill-gotten wealth, et cetera.


H.B. 4732 seeks to extend the maximum jail time from five years to six, as well as raise the fine from the current (measly) P10,000. It also seeks to "perpetually disqualify" government employees who are accomplices to corruption from obtaining public office. Another important amendment is on Section 2-A, where properties acquired during an official’s incumbency "manifestly" or obviously disproportionate to his salary "shall be presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired."


The bill’s explanatory note states that hiding properties acquired through illegal means is now painfully easy to do, creating a need for a stronger law. They said, "The proposed amendments should serve as an effective deterrent to prevent public officials or employees from concealing, destroying or dissipating their unlawfully acquired properties and safeguard the interest of the State in the recovery of said assets which rightfully belong to the people."



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