Monday, April 28, 2008

Reeling in and Reeking from Corruption

Something must be very wrong in a government that has long since acquired the signal distinction for its outrageous graft and unmitigated corrupt practices in practically all its agencies in all levels. It must be so bad that even the CBCP recently made the frank and candid pronouncement that the corruption was pestering the ruling administration “from top to bottom”. This may be offensive but it is sadly true. Those concerned may register their adamant dissent but they know better.

That the present government is reeling in and reeking from corruption is definitely not only an imaginary conclusion, nor a merely partisan political conviction. There are one too many indicators of such a realization and judgment; to claim the opposite, i.e., that all key public officials in command of power and wealth are eminent for their integrity and outstanding for their honesty – that is big fantasy, pure fairytale. People would certainly hope and every day pray that such endearing attribution were somehow true, somehow credible.

But even elementary reason and simple logic have to take into account the following admittedly unflattering factors publicly pointed out and commonly known: first, there is the long litany of big government deals and contracts loaded with “bukol” and “tongpats”, not to mention the scams ranging from simple street lamppost to interesting fertilizers. Second, there is the consistently big failing grade on the matter of the approval rating of the MalacaƱang occupant. Third, there is the title of the “Most Corrupt” in fact appended to the national leadership.

There are certainly reasons to ask the following simple questions – with all sincerity and good will: when will the nationally known and internationally noted intensive graft and extensive corrupt practices in the government substantially lessen if not completely end? When will the periodic direct and continuous daily indirect taxes paid by no less than about 88 million Filipinos ever somehow and someway go back to them in form of public services? When will the administration ever stop incurring internal and external debts for eventual payment by the people of the Philippines?

There is a stark difference and even manifest contradiction between the official glowing economic statistics and glorious financial indicators, and the sober and sobering realities on the ground and on family tables. As far as the government is concerned, there is so much financial abundance and economic development in the Country that this will become part of the first world in due time. As far as million of people in the Philippines are concerned, they are cuing for rice, counting the few pesos in the pockets and waiting for food coupons. Why? More than the simple and innocent population, the real big culprit is corruption!