FIGHT VS. CORRUPTION. Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-list Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva takes his oath of office Wednesday (June 29, 2022). He vowed to intensify his fight against corruption in the government. (Photo courtesy of CIBAC Party-list)

MANILA – Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-list Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva took his oath of office Wednesday, as he vowed to intensify his fight against corruption in the government.

Villanueva was sworn into office by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, and was accompanied by his son, reelected Senator Joel Villanueva at the Supreme Court Complex in Manila.

He said he will devote the next three years of his term to ensure that the next generation will inherit a government that is "significantly less corrupt".

He cited Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which the Philippines got a low score of 33 out of 100 (in a scale of 1 representing the least corrupt and 100 as the most corrupt) indicating “serious corruption problems” in the country.

"We will push and enact legislations aimed ridding government of corruption and at transforming the Philippines into a prosperous country that models affluence as well as moral ascendancy before the eyes of the world,” Villanueva said.

He also pledged to be an objective fiscalizer of the government this coming term.

"We will ensure that this government serves no less than the welfare and interest of the people and pursues no other than the divine purposes of God for this nation,” he said.

He highlighted some legislative priorities such as the creation of the National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC), the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, and the institutionalization of digital government transactions, specifically targeting the elimination of red tape and improving revenue generation.

NICAC is modeled after Hong Kong’s tremendously successful Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), while the FOI has been a “long-drawn aspiration of the Filipino people,” according to Villanueva.

He would also push for the passage of the Magna Carta of Religious Freedom bill, which was already approved on 3rd reading at the House of Representatives during the 18th Congress.

The bill seeks to protect the right of Filipinos to live according to their religious beliefs and convictions, free from any discrimination, harassment, and persecution.

"It likewise aims to promote the free market and openness of religious ideas in the country which will save our people from the dangers of religious fanaticism,” Villanueva said. (PNA)