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					 Investigating Corruption
The Southeast Asian Experience
           Traditionally closed areas
            of public life have been
             made more open and

• What officials own.
• Corruption in public office.
• How decisions and policies
  are made.
• How much elections cost.
• Who finances campaigns.
                I. Investigating
               Assets (the fruits
                 of corruption)
• Comparing asset statements (financial
  disclosures) with actual assets
• Showing disparities between what is
  declared and what is actually owned by
  examining other public records
• Exposing how officials hide assets
  (through dummies) or inflate liabilities
  (through fake loans)
         Investigating Estrada
         First Lead: How we began
• We got reports from that
  fancy mansions were being
  built for mistresses of the
  President. There were
  persistent rumors of big
  amounts of money being given
  to the President in exchange
  for government contracts.
• There were reports that
  mistresses of the President
  were involved in various
What we Found from Corporate

• Estrada and his families are listed as board
  members of 66 corporations but declared less
  than 10 companies in his statement of assets.
  The assets of 14 companies alone total more
  than P600 M (US$12 M).
• But in 1999, Estrada declared a net worth of
  P35.8M (US$760,000) and a net income of
  P2.3M ($46,000).
   Land Records Showed…

17 Properties worth over P2 billion ($40
                         Paper Trail for
                      Investigating Assets

• Statements/Declarations of Assets
• Property Records
  - Land
  - Companies
  - Vehicles
• Licenses and permits (for businesses, etc.)
• Listings, records of trade and professional
• Biographies, news articles, family histories
                        Paper Trail
                 for Investigating Assets
• Houses                            Cars in Congress
• Vehicles (cars, yachts, planes)
• Jewelry, Clothes
• Hobbies, recreation
• Social affiliations
• Bars, restaurants and shops
• Foreign travel
• Schools of children
       II. Investigating Petty

• Interviews with victims or eyewitnesses
• Undercover or surveillance-type
• Simple observation
• Participant-observation
   III. Investigating the
consequences of corruption
   Corruption in Philippine
• Payoffs eat up 20 to 65% of textbook funds.
  Because of corruption, textbook:pupil ratio is
  only 1:6 in grade school and 1:8 in high
  school. The public school system lacks 70
  million textbooks.
• Under-deliveries range from 30 to 60% of the
  total contract. 3.5 million of 15 million
  schoolchildren do not have a desk or chair.
  Validating corruption in the

Bridge in Abra
     Estimating the costs of

Sterilizer bought for                    garbage
$29,000                     Pencils at    can
Actual price: $250.         $2 each
IV. Investigating Conflicts of Interest
Business Interests of Congressmen
  Sector                                   9th House   11th House   12th House
                                           (%)         (%)          (%)

  Agricultural Land                        58          42           39

  Agricultural Enterprises                 32          29           29

  Fisheries                                15          11           8

  Banking                                  9           15           13

  Financial Services                       21          14           13

  Media, Publishing & Telecommunications   11          14           15

  Construction                             11          13           8

  Food Manufacturing                       9           11           10

  Nonfood Manufacturing                    18          17           14
            Databases on line
Assets of officials

Political families
Political Clans

Cost of legislation
Fewer laws, bigger budget
       What types of stories succeed?

• Well documented evidence of
  scandalous, individual
  wrongdoing in high places –
  especially lifestyles
• Sustained reporting on an issue
  of wide public interest – e.g.
• When public is outraged
• When there are reform-oriented
  politicians or factions pushing
  for change
• Timely release
       What types of stories are more
• Systemic, instead of individual,
• Complex stories that are hard to explain
  or to document
• Stories that have no fixed
• Stories that involve conflict of interest
  and other forms of unethical, but not
  necessarily illegal, behavior where the
  wrongdoing is not immediately obvious
Despite more openness,
  money politics and
 corruption continue.
   “The press is generally
   more successful in toppling
   old regimes than in
   positively shaping new
Of 100 Filipino journalists surveyed...

 • 71 had been offered
   money by their sources
 • 33 said they took the
   money: 22 kept it while
   11 turned it over to their
          In Indonesia…
• In 2001, 64 state-owned companies
  and government departments set aside
  $173 million for pembinaan wartawan
  or cultivating journalists.
• Alliance of Independent Journalists’
  2001 survey: 70 percent of journalists
  in East Java and 97 percent in Jakarta
  admitting to taking envelops of cash.
       What needs to be done

• Upgrade research & reporting skills
• Provide editorial support & direction
• Address issues of ethics and journalist’s
• Ensure access to information
• Protect sources
• Protect journalists

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