Because I have too much time on my hands, I read the entertainment news along with local news reports from the Philippines. I ran across a trending article this morning. Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have plead guilty to conspiracy charges in an alleged nationwide college entrance exam cheating scandal. Consequently, I have to wonder should Lori Loughlin have attempted to bribe college officials in the Philippines instead?
“Full House” Going to the “Big House”
You remember Lori Loughlin, right? She was in the popular ABC sitcom “Full House.” The actress attempted to get her two daughters enrolled in the University of Southern California (USC) rowing team. Her daughters, however, are not rowers.
First of all, if you’re going to attempt to bribe someone with a half-million dollars, why pick the rowing team? Wouldn’t the USC’s Women’s basketball team have been a more high profile choice?
Furthermore, what if Loughlin and her husband had decided to enroll their two daughters in a prestigious university in the Philippines. Frankly, I can’t imagine why the couple would want to do this, but roll with me on this, OK?
Because a Google search with the phrase “Philippines College Scandals” brought up a plethora of seamy steamy stories and videos not appropriate for this website, I changed my search term. Moreover, I came up with the hazing issue. The Philippines has more of a problem with the hazing of college fraternity students than any admissions scandal.
Despite laws against dangerous initiation rites, hazing seems to be unstoppable in the Philippines. Hazing deaths in fraternities are too common, not only in the Philippines but throughout the world.
But back to the question : “Should Lori Loughlin have Attempted to Bribe College Officials in the Philippines?”
Despite attempts by President Duterte, corruption worsened in the Philippine government in 2019 as it ranked 113th of 180 countries studied. That’s according to Transparency International, as reported in CNN Philippines. Transparency International issued the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2019 which revealed that the Philippines dropped 14 spots from 99th in the year 2018.
In its current ranking, the Philippines obtained a score of 34, down by 2 points from 36 in 2018.
The CPI scores countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption using a scale of zero to 100. Zero is listed as “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean.”
New Zealand and Denmark topped the corruption index, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland with a score of 86, Singapore with 85, Sweden with 85, and Switzerland with 85.
The bottom countries were Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively.
Therefore, it would be safe to assume that the Philippines still has a major problem with corruption. Hence, is it possible that Lori Loughlin could have bribed college officials in the Philippines and gotten her daughters on a collegiate volleyball team?
With the prevalence of “fixers” in the archipelago, it’s possible. However, I wonder how many college admission officials have even seen “Full House.”
The Guilty Pleas
By the way, Loughlin and her husband had been maintaining their innocence for more than a years prior to their guilty pleas.
As part of the plea agreement, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months in prison and Giannulli will be sentenced to five months in prison. In addition, Loughlin faces a $150,000 fine, two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Giannulli faces a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.
(with reporting from CNN Philippines)