Three of the Philippines’ most corrupt political leaders rank among the top 10 in the world


MARCOS-ESTRADA-BINDAY-500Why do Filipinos – the great majority of them economically handicapped and socially disadvantaged – allow corrupt public officials to get away with their crimes and, in most cases, reelect or elevate them to higher public office?

Two of the 10 most corrupt leaders in the world are former Philippine presidents who continue to be admired and respected and whose families continue to occupy high and powerful public office. A sitting vice president has already joined the ranks of the two while actively and callously campaigning to be the next president of the country.

Filipinos are predisposed to dismiss corruption allegations as “envy” and consider the amassment of ill-gotten wealth as a right and a privilege for those who have worked their way up the ladder to power (and infamy). Filipinos are prone to adore families that enrich – and then entrench themselves – in public office.

Who are the three Filipino public servants who rank among the World’s 10 Most Corrupt? The Philippine press names them as former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada, and incumbent vice president Jejomar “Jojo” Binay. The three are in good company: the other seven – in no order of importance – are Arnoldo Aleman (the 81st president of Nicaragua), Alberto Fujimori (the 90th president of Peru), Jean-Claude Duvalier (the 33rd president of Haiti), Slobodan Milosevic (the third president of Serbia/Yoguslavia), Sani Abacha (the tenth president of Nigeria), Mobuto Sese Seko (the second president of Congo), and Mohamed Suharto (the second president of Indonesia). Vice president Binay has the distinction of being ranked among the world’s ten most corrupt while only a vice president.

Here’s a look at why the Philippine press ranks each of the three among the world’s top ten:

  1. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos (born 1917, died 1989). The tenth president of the Philippines (1965-1986) started out with noble motives and great deeds for his country and people. Because of his authoritarian bent, he eventually harbored the idea of being president for life – planting the seeds that allowed him to declare martial law toward the end of his second term while his wife and members of her family robbed the country’s treasury and stashed an astounding $10-billion or more in bank accounts around the world. Much – but not all – of the loot has since been returned by the Swiss and other governments to the Philippine treasury. Meanwhile, Marcos’ wife Imelda is a member of the country’s House of Representatives and son Ferdinand Jr. is governor of their home province, Ilocos Norte.
  2. Joseph Ejercito Estrada (real name: Jose Marcelo Ejercito). While in office, the 13th (foreboding?) president of the Philippines (1988-2001) was accused and convicted of plunder (involving PhP78-PhP80 million in “forged” funds) but was granted an “absolute” pardon by succeeding Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The absolute pardon erases the crime and its effects. Because of the pardon, he was able to run again – unsuccessfully – for president. He is currently the elected mayor of the city of Manila. His son Jinggoy, a member of the Philippine senate, is in jail on nonbailable plunder charges.
  3. Jejomar “Jojo” Binay. Accused of being corrupt since 1988 when he was mayor of the city of Makati, Binay is said to have amassed at least PhP100 million worth of real property and investments in the city and elsewhere during the 12 years he was mayor. Under investigation by the Philippine senate’s Blue Ribbon Committee and having been charged with the crime of plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman, the now vice president has consistently brushed aside the accusations as “a political demolition job” aimed at stalling his drive to be president of the country. In addition, he is said to own a 66-hectare farm and ranch in Batangas province that could easily be the envy of the English royal family. Binay’s son, current suspended Makati mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay, has also been charged with the crime of plunder before the Philippines’ Office of the Ombudsman. The vice president’s wife Elenita was a former Makati city mayor and his two daughters Nancy and Abigail are members of the Philippines Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.

Just for the record, the Philippines press is one of the freest in the world and the country’s prosecutorial and judicial systems are among the world’s most incorruptible.

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About Julius Willis

A former Philippines newspaperman and businessman, Julius resettled in California, USA, where he simultaneously worked as an instructional and technical writer and engineering department manager and taught college for 26 years. Now retired, he serves as a member of the City of Hayward's Planning Commission, the Alameda County Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Board of CSU-East Bay's Center For Filipino Studies. He is also on Hayward's General Plan Task Force.
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54 Responses to Three of the Philippines’ most corrupt political leaders rank among the top 10 in the world

  1. uninterested reader says:

    this writer is a crony of the aquinos another puppet of the yellows so blind u didnt mention anything about the evils of the aquinos and friends for so any decades spending peoples money and making loans to fatten their pockets u r a lousy writer a puppet of the us

    Like

  2. Jcabelardo says:

    Who wrote these unproven imaginary facts about Marcos. And Binay and Erap’s cases are pittance compared to the funds mishandled and open book congressional and Seantorial briberies of Pinoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alberto says:

      Who wrote these unproven imaginary facts about Marcos? Only virtually all of our recognized historians whose citations are scrutinized by professional rivals and whose final manuscripts are validated by prominent deans. But of course you prefer blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lol says:

    You forgot the aquino administration from cory to noy and their cronies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leonardo Borja says:

    We beg to disagree. ..
    Our judicial system is corruptible , we cannot understand why a 9- 6 in favor of Poe.It should be unanimous 15-0 or 0-15 .ALL OR NOTHING philosophy must apply .Does it mean that there are also two versions of the Constitution where they based their verdict? Documents presented must also have two interpretations
    Anyway, we’re talking Philippines here,its but just normal here to believe in abnormalities.
    The people are immune to this kind of exploitation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. augie says:

    I am not fan of Marcos, however when i went to his place and having read about his consumed budget for the past 20 years of his regime he only spent 20B (note the source is Philippine treasury) the question is why there are plenty of people accusing him that he amassed plenty of wealth in the government coffer? whom do you believe ? a hearsay or the actual budget the treasury of Ph shown.? those who believe in tales has no own mind

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Philippines Most Corrupt Leaders | MATANG LAWIN

  7. mitch says:

    “the Philippines press is one of the freest in the world” – but not as transparent as it ought to be
    “and the country’s prosecutorial and judicial systems are among the world’s most incorruptible.” – ??? plain questinable. The previous supreme court judge was accused of corruption himself…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. R, Ojerio says:

    Hello, Julius! You are living in a fantasy world—even in the USA —we have laws to follow— these are all allegations only that must be proven in court –just like in the USA– you are finding these individuals guilty without due process… If ever you have evidence to prove them guilty why don’t
    you go provide these to the proper authorities for prosecution. If you don’t have no evidence—-
    just shut up instead of hiding in the USA and say anything! Are you a Christian who believes on the
    10 Commandments!

    Like

    • if i remember correctly US courts found marcos guilty of crimes against filipinos during martial law and his estate (his family) was ordered to pay restitution. now, have they paid those people? of course not, because they do not want to part with any of their plundered money. you want proof of the allegations? what about the Swiss and US siding with the Phil govt and returning Marcos assets to the Phil? Imagine the Swiss doing that? Also, if people like you just open your eyes and brains…. how can Marcos be worth about 10 billion dollars after 20 years in power? For sure he was not that rich before he became President, and I know his salary as president was not that much that he could have amassed that wealth. I also do not recall that he or imelda owned any big business before coming to power in 1966. So where did all that money come from? Oh yes, it all came from that Golden Buddha!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Amor says:

    Hehehe, just wondering where this came from: “the country’s prosecutorial and judicial systems are among the world’s most incorruptible”? Is this journalist deaf & blind?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rey says:

    Ang sarap pakinggan na nababawi natin yong mga perang ninakaw ng mga corrupt sa gobyerno, pero di kaya nanakaw rin uli ng mga suppose to be, na inaasahan nating mga taong magsasaayos ng ating Bansa. Baka di natin alam ? Naloko na tayo noon . . . , naloloko pa tayo uli . . . Kawawa naman tayong mga ordinayong mamayan, tayo-tayo ang nagtutuligsaan. Please . . . Magkaisa tayo para LABANAN ang CORRUPTION . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • kaya dapat lang siguro wag natin ilagay sa pwesto ang mga corrupt. ang mga marcos na corrupt hanggang ngayon nilalagay pa natin sa pwesto. tapos nandyan pa ang mga celebrities na alam natin na wala namang experience pero pinapanalo pa rin natin. kaya tayong mga pilipino, gusto natin lahat mag artista para yumaman, tapos lilipat ang artista sa pulitika kasi mas malaki ang pera dun. at pag nandun na tuloy tuloy na ang pagyaman at pati na rin ang kamag anak pasok na rin. isa lang talaga ang problema ng pilipino….. napaka-stoooopid natin.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ella says:

    All the cases filed to marcos was dismissed. Unreliable source. Misleading information.

    Like

    • Arturo says:

      Then how come Reuters published the article “Philippines to put up for sale seized Marcos property, jewelry” [see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-marcos-idUSKCN0VO1KD?utm_source=Facebook%5D? People like you, Ella, are selling our country, the Philippines, for some measly amount of money, saying lies and stating that Marcos did nothing wrong. You are somewhat like a whore, a prostitute, but a prostitute needs the money for her upkeep, which forces her to suffer prostitution, but you the dirty bitch that you are, do not need to be a whore. You are just selling the country for the most selfish reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rey says:

        Ang sarap pakinggan na nababawi natin yong mga perang ninakaw ng mga corrupt sa gobyerno, pero di kaya nanakaw rin uli ng mga suppose to be, na inaasahan nating mga taong magsasaayos ng ating Bansa. Baka di natin alam ? Naloko na tayo noon . . . , naloloko pa tayo uli . . . Kawawa naman tayong mga ordinayong mamayan, tayo-tayo ang nagtutuligsaan. Please . . . Magkaisa tayo para LABANAN ang CORRUPTION . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      • june says:

        … arturo, can’t you debate without being rude? is that what your parents and teachers taught you? tsk tsk tsk …

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Geronimo Pira says:

    Incorruptibility of the prosecutors and judges (and justices)? Not according to many people, including a Clerk of Court (RTC) who spoke before officers and members of our Rotary Club and the graduate students in my Public Administration classes who were judiciary employees.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tom Borromeo says:

    Don’t know about the prosecutorial and judicial system in the Philippines being one of the most incorruptible in the world. As a matter of fact the reverse is probably true, but to what extent, no one really knows unless you have a case to pursue/follow up.
    Do remember that we are a 3rd World country, very rich in resources, but still predominantly poor.
    For most Filipinos, at the end of the day, putting food on the table/making ends meet is the daily challenge and alas in this daily grind, one tends to leave our civic-mindedness and morality aside in order to properly fend for ourselves.
    With our educational system still problematic, the fact that there are still many many barangays (barrios), towns still without electricity, what is reflected in the news predominantly of (Imperial) Metro Manila, does not reflect what is happening in the provinces.
    Take note, that we are an archipelagic country of 7,107 islands (depending on the tide !), with hundreds of dialects and cultural & ethnic groupings, so how is one supposed to be properly informed as Filipinos ?
    There is a local ‘technique’ when it comes to dealing with media at all it’s levels, and it is called “envelopmental journalism,” and you can guess what crisp ‘pieces of papers’ are found in it.
    I can tell you, it is not a thank you note.
    One might say that (esp. in the far flung provinces), journalists are a dying breed because when one decides to lambast the local ‘powers that be’, your life is literally in your hands, and if those hands do not have that ‘envelope,’ they are summarrily ‘salvaged,’ (killed) and the body dumped in the nearby “kangkungan” (a local wild vegie patch known in English as swamp cabbage).

    And so in the Philippines, with these & the current ‘real politik’ (“MT&BSW” Money talks and B*llSh*t Walks) in mind, one can see how all these corrupt politicians (locally called “TRAPOS” (‘trapo’ meaning in Spanish & Pilipino, ‘a dirty rag’) can get away with what they get away with ! 😉
    And these “TRAPOS” are fomented by the still preponderance of “BOBOTANTES” in a never ending cycle, another of which is to begin again this coming May 2016 !

    Despite our weakness, I still say, “May God bless the Philippines,”
    “MABUHAY ANG PILIPINO,” [“Long Live the Philippines”]

    “MATIRA ANG MATIBAY,” at [“May the Strong Prevail”]
    (because the ‘last man standing’ is always respected)

    “TALO ANG PIKON ! ” [“the quick-tempered, cranky, super-sensitive, quick to anger loses”]
    (because if you lose your cool and esp. personally taunt/attack your opponent,
    you [can] lose your life !)

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good that you expose your assessment publicly as to the corruption of our country’s leadership, but my question how reliable your judgement with this three mentioned individuals? Even our own court was not able to genuinely convict even President Marcos if how true he has the ill-gotten wealth from the purse of the government? As far as i know he is only the president who had many accomplishment during his time of office, instead that we have to criticize him, we have to appreciate of what he has done to the Filipino people…

      Like

      • But do you really believe those three have been HONEST when the majority of Filipinos know they have been corrupt? And are you willing to allow corruption just because they had what you call “many accomplishments”?

        Like

      • I personally know of abuses during marcos’ time. A relative was picked up and slapped around by the military because he spoke out about corruption. But then again, if hundreds of news reports didn’t convince you, I guess I just wasted my two minutes replying here.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Aljeron Altarejos says:

    If I am not guilty, I would Evelin dare my accuser to face me in open forum and lay bare every evidence they possess so I may prove them wrong, unfortunately CORRUPT BINAY could not do that coz he and his family knows that all evidence when open to public scrutiny will definitely show how corrupt the entire family is.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jiggscal says:

    Most filipinos know most of these already. But the problem is these politicians are anle to cover up their corruption through some propaganda activities helping the poor and needy. These minority will then be the ones that become the rabid fanatics that spread the little good that comes out of the very minute portion of the massive graft and corruption being perpetrated by these politicos.

    With proper passage and implementation of the FOI Bill evryone will be more and well informed anout these anomalous practices and actions. God save the PH.

    Just wanted to comment also on the last paragraph… It should say also that Philippine journalism is one of the deadliest industry in the world. Plus, your last statement is not quite accurate in my view. We hear so many cases of “justice for sale”.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Arturo says:

    Hacks like Essex Garcia is one of the factors that make Filipinos re-elect corrupt politicians. Unfortunately, poor education in the population makes them susceptible to unsubstantiated claims made by right-wing commentators like Essex. He is nothing different from that newspaper commentator during the days of Marcos, the idiot with the column entitled “Over A Cup Of Coffee” (His name escapes me right now).

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Loreto Nuico says:

    Julius is right. You know why? Because of all the candidates for President, only vp Binay has no platform against corruption in his campaign.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Danilo Msgno says:

    Erap looks moderate next to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The order should have been like this:
    1. FERDINAND MARCOS
    2. GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO
    3. JEJOMAR BINAY
    4. JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would rate BINAY second most corrupt, why? Coz at least it is an open secret how corrupt Mike Arroyo was, while BINAY, insisting on projecting himself and his family as clean is exactly the same as what judas did to Jesus, if judas betrays Jesus, BINAY did worse, he betrays the entire Filipino people., unfortunately 40 percent of our voting people are still politically illiterate.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. Compared to the others Estrada was small-time. The people were only angered because he acted like he didn’t care what they thought, like he was even boasting about it. Maybe he thought corruption was just normal, that there were no consequences?!

      Like

  19. Essex Garcia says:

    This author (Julius Willis) has no solid evidence about his accusation of Mr. Binay as one of the most corrupt political leaders in the world and yet here he comes blabbering his mouth talking rumors about the man who have done better amongst all other politicians in the Philippines. I’m not a big fan of the vp but instead of spreading these gossips, why not take a deep look of what he have done good to his fellowmen and then say what you have to say (with evidence, of course) afterwards. Another liberal moron who is out to spread false information is what you are, mister.

    Like

    • Anyone that reads your illiterate rant will know better! You should not advertise your incompetence with illogical nonsense.

      Like

      • Billy says:

        Essex is right Julius… The were hundreds of cases filed against the marcoses but they were never convicted, not even once. In fact, when Imelda was acquited in the cases filed against her in the United states, one of the jurors said “it was a silly case”. Gerry Spence, the lawyer of Imelda said “they have this group called the PCGG, they came up with thousands of documents to prove those charges, not even one was strong.” So now, how can one say, especially you Julius that Marcos is one of the most corrupt leaders?

        I know it’s painful buddy, but that’s how it goes… Time for those thumbs down I guess?

        Like

    • Ylimrev says:

      Do you have solid evidence that Binay is not corrupt, that he is impeccable in his record of doing good to the country, that he didn’t amassed all the wealth through corruption…here is your chance. Otherwise, be silent. You are part of the problem…more than Binay himself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • komandante says:

      The evidence is very strong and the ombudsman have already a case for him to answer. It’s people like you that give them the reason to continue and do corruption.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Leam Si says:

      Essex… your idol is doomed. You might as well join him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • James says:

      Someone’s asking for (official) evidence?
      Permission to post video from youtube c/o ABS-CBN:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lito says:

        Baka may ginto rin siya tulad ni Marcos……which brings me to why no presidential candidate ever tackles the issue of the Marcos and Estrada wealth. Is it
        because they have enough money and clout to make you disappear?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Billy says:

        “Inadmissible” yan James…

        Let me get this straight… Trillanes says something, parang galing na sa bibliya? Cmon…

        Like

      • Amor says:

        Our Board of Censors should be tasked by law to screen campaign materials esp those for tv/social media to make sure that their ads are not deceptive.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jitjo says:

      If he is not corrupt, as what you’re saying, then where in the world did he get the money to buy all those properties? Simple question….

      Liked by 1 person

      • most filipinos are not “financially equip” to understand how money works. there are many ways of acquiring properties and companies if you are rubbing elbows with the correct people. me narinig ka bang kumpanya na “sole ownership”? most companies are owned by “investors/franchise owners/corporate partners” — meaning using other people’s money to make them even more richer… and the rich will tell you in close door conversations that they do not have a bit of shame to admit that “using other people’s money is the norm” —- if the project succeeds, they’re the gods… if things spiral down the drains and get shitty, it’s called corruption. as they say.. the road to quick wealth means, losing all morals and principles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Billy says:

        And what made you those are really his? Let me guess… Because trillanes said so?

        Like

      • Arturo says:

        No, NOT Trillianes, you ignoramus. Reuters published the article “Philippines to put up for sale seized Marcos property, jewelry” [see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-marcos-idUSKCN0VO1KD?utm_source=Facebook%5D?%5D That is how we know Marcos’ wealth (and his family’s) was actually obtained by thievery on the Filipino people. People like you, Billy, should be burnt at the stake like the Inquisition used to do on so-called witches. You are lower than the Zika virus that reduce the brains of Filipinos. You are abominable.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Aljeron Altarejos says:

      Essex Garcia is the true moron who do not uses his thinking. Face the accuser and prove them wrong, coz if u don’t then you are guilty as judge.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The evidence is clear and indisputable against Binay. It was raised and proven during the Senate hearings. Why does Binay not answer these allegations? Why do so many “resource persons” go into hiding. The answer is simple – he cannot answer them. Several buildings in Makati were built and fitted out for often double the professionally estimated prices……where did the extra money go? There is no question; to Binay, his family and cronies. It beggars belief that people can be so blind to this clear evidence of corruption.

      I have lived in this country now for five years and despite it being the place of my choosing for the rest of my life, I am excluded from voting, so I have no axe to grind, but I can clearly see the guilt in this case and cannot understand why the wheels of justice are so slow to move, although finally we are seeing some action with the ouster of the child, from the Makati Town Hall. If Binay is elected President, however, God help the Philippines. He will probably appoint a Binay or crony to the Supreme Court, so there is a family member in every branch of Government. The family is a blight on this country.

      Liked by 1 person

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