2 May 2011

Last week, the Philippines Ombudsman resigned amid public disquiet. She faced impeachment for “betraying the public trust” . The allegation is that she failed to act on corruption complaints against former President Arroyo, who, when in Office,  obtained benefits for her family exceeding NZ$450 million from a Chinese telecoms company. The Ombudsman was appointed as the Minister of Justice by the former President before taking on her current role.

This follows the sad experience six months ago where Canada’s integrity commissioner resigned amid similar public concern as she was not carrying out her functions to investigate whistle blower complaints about misconduct in government.

And the former president of Costa Rica who took at least NZ$1,200,000 in bribes from a French telecoms company was sentenced to five years in prison this week.

In each case the first of the expectations of the rule of law, championed by the World Justice Project, have been debased. Good government requires that “the government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.”