Monday, February 23, 2009

We are all corrupt.

Senator Richard Gordon, in the Executive Summary of the Blue Ribbon Committee preliminary report on the alleged P728 Million Fertilizer Fund Scam.

"Let us not pretend that when the international media tags the Philippines as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, it's only the grafters among us who are under indictment. The label shames us all. 

"Nor is our problem only the way that others see us. Our people are coming dangerously close to believing that nothing can be done about corruption and greed in our country, that everyone's on the take, that it permeates all branches of government, and that working for a larger common good is impossible -- and that Senate Inquiries like ours will come to nothing.

"We can no longer be silent and callous witnesses to rampant acts of corruption and remain blase and unaffected by the many storms of scandals that continually pummel our body politic. We can no longer tolerate the practice of the the art of equivocation and pretense that breeds only suspicion and lies. Constant conflicts continue to sap our moral stamina and instrigate our cynicism. A significant number believe the worst: that we have a flawed socio-political culture where judges and justices toe the administration line, where military officials will always say yes to those in power to ensure future employment in government. Independence of thought, believe and judgement has become a rarity. Everyone is cowed by power, money, pelf, and influence.

"The Senate must not allow this public cynism to have the last word. But if we are to combat this culture of corruption and dispel this cynicism, we have to develop what one writer has called "a concept of enough." We must have to say that this menace must be stopped for the sake of our survival as a nation.

"Change cannot be done overnight, or from a single inquiry, or a piece of legislation. But we believe that every step we take in the fight for integrity in government is a step forward to better governance. We believe that when we succeed in one resolute action to stop graft, we could set off others to do the same. And sooner or later, the time will come when all these efforts will gather together to become an irressistable force that will shatter the wall of graft and corruption in our country."

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