Tag Archives: corruption

Philippines: Duterte suspends war on drugs

Source: United Press International

"Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he ordered the National Police to suspend the country's war on drugs and to 'cleanse' itself from corruption. The move comes after the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, 53, who was abducted from his home in October during a raid by rogue anti-drug officers and brought to a headquarters of the National Police Quezon City. Jee was strangled and then cremated, Philippine Justice Department officials said. … Since Duterte's war on drugs began when he became president in June, more than 7,000 people have been killed by police and suspected vigilante groups, officials said. Human rights organizations fear the death toll could be higher. Duterte last week apologized for Jee's death — promising to punish those responsible to a maximum sentence. Officials said those responsible for Jee's death pretended he was still alive to collect a $100,000 ransom from his wife." [editor's note: Does anyone believe the war on drugs is any less corrupting in the US? If so, let's talk about that ocean-front real estate I have for sale in Kansas – TLK] (01/30/17)


Colombia: International ranking shows huge corruption problem remains

Source: PanAm Post

"According to the Corruption Perceptions Index prepared by the NGO Transparency International, in Latin America, Uruguay is the least corrupt country and Venezuela the most corrupt. For its part, Colombia in the measurement that shows the least corrupt to the most corrupt, took the 90th place among 176 countries that were evaluated. The list of countries shows that New Zealand and Denmark are the least corrupt, while Somalia occupies the last position." (01/25/17)


Big Money’s other casualty: Fair courts

Source: The American Prospect

"Record special-interest spending on state supreme court elections in 2016 drew less notice than Donald Trump’s assault on democracy norms, but the upshot is nevertheless dangerous: an erosion of the impartiality of the nation’s courts. Uncapped and underreported outside spending by interest groups dominated judicial elections in 2016 as never before. Special-interest groups spent nearly 50 percent more on TV ads in contests for powerful state supreme court seats than they had in the previous presidential election cycle—$20 million compared with the previous high of $13.5 million in 2012. For the first time, TV spending by deep-pocketed outside groups outstripped spending by the candidates themselves, hitting 55 percent compared with 38 percent in the last presidential election cycle, and diminishing candidates’ ability to control their own messages. A high proportion of that spending happened with zero public disclosure. Since 2004, 19 states have seen at least one million-dollar-plus contest for their state’s top court. In 11 of those 19 jurisdictions, more than half the judges on the state supreme court bench are survivors of these big money brawls." (01/24/17)


Guatemala: Son and brother of president arrested on corruption charges

Source: PanAm Post

"The son and brother of Guatemala President Jimmy Morales were both arrested on corruption charges this week. The brother of the President, Samuel 'Sammy' Morales, as well as son of the President, José Morales Marroquín, were detained by authorities for mismanaging funds tied to a massive breakfast bill at the family restaurant." (01/19/17)


Graft and bribery are big government's byproducts: EU studies

Source: Acton Institute
by Rev. Ben Johnson

"The nation of Spain is prosecuting 37 people — including former officials in the ruling center-Right party — for steering government contracts to their politically connected friends. It will not help the defense that the suspects gave themselves audacious, Godfather-inspired nicknames like Don Vito and 'The Little Meatball.' While a disturbing example in itself, a series of studies show that corruption is becoming a growing threat in the EU — and the larger the government, the greater the level of perfidy." (01/16/17)


South Korea: Prosecutors accuse Samsung heir of bribery

Source: CNet News

"A South Korean prosecutor has requested an arrest warrant be issued for the acting head of Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee. Lee is accused of bribing the suspended South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, in the form of multi-million dollar donations to organisations allegedly connected to President Park, reports The New York Times. Donations were made to two foundations controlled by Park's friend and confidant, Choi Soon-sil. Special prosecutor Park Young-soo last week made the accusation that these donations were bribes, given in exchange to get the South Korean pension fund to back a 2015 merger between two of Samsung Group's holding companies." (01/15/17)


Hog-wild corruption

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Former Arkansas State Rep. Micah Neal pled guilty last week to a felony charge of conspiring 'with an Arkansas state senator to use their official positions to appropriate government money to certain nonprofits in exchange for bribes.' Neal, who embraced graft his first month in office, received $38,000 in 'legislating-around' money between 2013, when he entered the House, and 2015. Court documents mention a number of seasoned conspirators, though not by name. There’s mysterious Senator A, who took Rep. Neal under his crooked wing." (01/10/17)


AR: Judge allegedly exchanged light sentences for sex, pills, money

Source: New York Daily News

"He allegedly used the bench to get women in the bedroom. An Arkansas judge has stepped down after being accused of giving female defendants lenient sentences in exchange for sexual favors. Judge Timothy Parker, of Carroll County, allegedly allowed more than a dozen women to exchange sex acts for better bond or release conditions. He was also accused of swapping cash and prescription pills with some of the women. … The judge left the bench on the last day of 2016, despite denying the allegations, and officials announced his ouster Tuesday. As part of his exit, he will never again be allowed to serve as a judge in the state." (01/05/17)


It's always scummy in the Philadelphia PD

Source: Libertarian Institute
by William Norman Grigg

"Over the past three years, more than 700 drug convictions in Philadelphia have been overturned following the conviction of former Philadelphia PD Officer Jeffrey Walker, who was arrested in an FBI sting operation after planting drugs inside a Philadelphia resident's car and then breaking into the victim's home to steal $15,000 in cash. Walker was charged with attempted robbery and carrying a firearm in the commission of a violent felony, and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. If he serves his entire sentence — which is unlikely — Walker will be incarcerated for about a year and a half longer than LeRoy Gonzalez, who was a victim of what has proven to be standard operating procedure for some elements of the Philadelphia PD." (01/04/17)


House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office

Source: USA Today

"After public denunciations from watchdogs and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans on Tuesday reversed course and dropped plans to gut an independent agency that polices potential ethical wrongdoing by lawmakers. … The about-face came a day after House Republicans met behind closed doors and moved to rein in the office, approved by Congress in 2008 as an independent arm to investigate lawmakers after scandals sent three lawmakers and high-flying lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison." (01/03/17)