The Philippines has competitive politics, a free press and vibrant civil society, yet corruption persists and the country seems mired in endless scandal. President Benigno Aquino III won the 2008 elections by promising to stamp out graft. Yet his government’s efforts have been overshadowed by a widening scandal over the use of “pork barrel” funds. What explains the persistence of corruption in the Philippines? Why is it so difficult to clean up government and electoral politics there? What does the Philippine case illuminate about the patterns and causes of corruption in so-called “third-wave” democracies? And what lessons can the country learn from elsewhere?
Sheila S. Coronel is Director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and is Stabile Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University in New York. She began her reporting career in the Philippines, and in 1989, cofounded the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism to promote investigative reporting on major social issues, including the military, poverty, and corruption. She is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including Coups, Cults & Cannibals, The Rule-makers: How the Wealthy and Well-Born Dominate Congress, and Pork and other Perks: Corruption and Governance in the Philippines. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism in 2003. In 2011, she was awarded the Presidential Teaching Award by Columbia University.
This event is part of the YCAR Philippine Studies Lecture Series. All are welcome.