Wednesday, February 27, 2008

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo: Resign or confess?

Between mounting calls for her resignation and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) late night call for her to let her officials spill the beans on corruption in her administration, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will perhaps do what she does best which is to IGNORE IT ALL.

Philippine Bishops Slam Corruption

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Influential Philippine Roman Catholic bishops slammed endemic government corruption Tuesday but stopped short of urging President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign.

The statement by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, issued after a 10-hour emergency meeting, was a small victory for Arroyo's efforts to serve out the last two years of her term amid widespread calls for her to step down.

The bishops' group has played a key role in nonviolent revolts that ousted two leaders in the last two decades, and a strong statement against Arroyo could have bolstered protests against her.

"We strongly condemn the continuing culture of corruption from the top to the bottom of our social and political ladder," the bishops said in a pastoral statement.

"We must seek the truth and we must restore integrity. We are convinced that the search for truth in the midst of charges and allegations must be determined and relentless."

The statement urged Arroyo and her government to fight graft "wherever it is found" and for the president to rescind restrictions on officials testifying without her permission.

One journalist at the Senate pointed out that if Gloria didn't do anything about the IMPSA deal at the start of her assumption after President Joseph Estrada was ousted, what is to say that anyone in her Official Family will get prosecuted and convicted for graft and corruption?

One judges the character of a politician by referring to their actions in the past and Gloria's past goes all the way back to when her own father's (President Diosdado Macapagal) cabinet had been wracked by the Blue Book scandal. Journalists of that day exposed cabinet officials who were receiving bribes from a foreign owned company and before the truth could be known, before the Poor Boy from Lubao could be impeached, those involved in the bribery scandal were sent abroad. It is an old template for covering up corruption but one that sees its use again most especially with the case of Joc-Joc Bolante who is rumored to be still at large and hiding in the United States. At the height of one controversy among many controversies that persistenly hound him, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo was himself sent abroad. Consistently, Gloria's response to allegations of corruption is to hide them in other countries and the most recent example of this maneuver was Jun Lozada -- who had been sent to Hongkong just as news of his testimony at the Senate NBN deal hearings surfaced.

The sad and sorry fact about these current state of affairs is that graft and corruption in government will not stop with the ouster or resignation of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The President is the highest manifestation of our graft ridden and corruption blighted culture and if we want an end to graft and corruption, each one of us has to start with ourselves. After all, despite it being said that she cheated in the 2004 elections, no one really voted for the candidate with integrity and principles. People voted for the candidate who either had money or power or popularity. Ergo, Gloria and if Gloria lost in 2004, we would have had FPJ as President.

The much vaunted search for truth ends no further than from where you are standing right now. Corruption exists in the highest office of the land because Filipinos tolerate it as long as they can benefit from it.

Stop asking or accepting favors from politicians. Stop giving or accepting bribes. Start following rules, regulations, and laws, whether they are traffic rules or bidding rules. Pay the right taxes on every transaction you make. Start reporting and filing complaints against erring government officials and employees.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...