Friday, December 10, 2004

clean hands

Where are the clean hands?

Practically all the branches of the government are graft ridden and corruption filled. A good number of public and private corporations are known to engage in deceitful management and dishonest accounting. The Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Customs and other money making government agencies are not famous for integrity.

Where are the clean hands?

The Department of Justice, the investigative, prosecuting and judicial entities are certainly not beyond suspicion. There are also financial intramurals in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The police ranks are neither free of wranglings about money — who gets what, how much and why.

Where are the clean hands?

Media receives payolas from the entertainment industry, from commercial entities, from drug and jueteng lords. Department stores simply hand out candies instead of money as change. Money changers themselves give less changes. Even market vendors cheat people by rigged weighing machines, by selling hidden rotten goods, by getting more than what they charge the buyers.

It is both a delight and an envy when one hears children singing about their two hands that when held up high, are “so clean and bright”. These are times when it is becoming harder and harder to find it clean hands among many people. More and more hands are soiled by dirty money in particular.

The Country is suffering from the scarcity of “clean hands” in terms of upright public officials, honorable public servants, even-handed businessmen, honest citizens. And this is the fundamental liability of this nation. Underneathour national maldevelopment and cultural deterioration, one will ultimately find “dirty hands” causing them. It is “clean hands” that is the power engine of justice and peace, progress and development. There is no substitute, no option.

20 September 2003