Graft and Corruption seem to have become an expertise of the present Administration. This observation becomes more evident and eminent especially before, during and even long after elections. In effect, there is no day nor occasion in the country that is not accompanied by suspicions and talks of graft and corruption especially so when the government has a hand therein. Rightly or wrongly, there already seems to be a popular tendency of identifying the present Administration with graft and corruption.
The truth is that even the national leadership itself repeatedly and publicly acknowledges the big curse of graft and corruption in government. For this reason, at its own initiative even, the present Administration came up with the brilliant idea of setting aside the amount of no less than two billion pesos to lessen if not totally eradicate graft and corruption in the public sector. The serious and dedicated cleansing work in the government was said to have immediately began in earnest with coordinated efforts of different government agencies.
But surprise, surprise! Or is it? The Transparency International just recently came up with the finding that there is now in fact even more graft and corruption in Philippine Government. In effect, in its latest report, the country as a whole sunk lower in ranking as far as honesty and integrity in government transactions are concerned. Translation: graft and corruption accompany government dealings all over the land even more during these times!
Question: Where is the 2 billion anti-graft and corruption fund? How is such a big funding allocation being spent under the baton of the national leadership itself? Why is there now even more graft and corruption in the government? Is the amount in fact used by the Administration as an excuse precisely to fund its many and different graft and corruption practices? In the event that there is an iota of truth in the alleged malversation of the fund, this would be the height of hypocrisy, the summit of deception.
The people are poor. Many of them are starving. Some of them die for lack of medicine. Millions leave the country to find a living. Women are violated and children are exploited. There are those who even sell their kidneys.
Where have all the money gone? Who pocket much of the direct and indirect taxes paid by the rich and poor alike? Why is graft and corruption still much alive and thriving well in this country? Where is honest and upright governance? Where shall this sunny nation eventually see the sun of hope and promise rise?
+O.V. CRUZ, DD
18 November 2006