“We support the call of the five senior bishops led by Jaro Archbishop ANGEL LAGDAMEO that the time for radical reforms to rebuild our country economically, socially and politically; and to conquer complacency, cynicism and apathy, is NOW. We should NOW prepare for a NEW KIND OF GOVERNANCE.” (MBC, MAP, CNT 20 November 2008).
Thus reads the opening salvo of the official statement, titled “A CALL FOR CHANGE,” issued by the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines and the Coalition for National Transformation. The title is preceded by the distinct phrase “On Worsening Corruption” that is knowingly and repeatedly predicated about how the present government conducts official business and how governance in the Country is done from the national to the local levels.
While the repeated distinguished and disgusting corruption ratings especially appended to the public officials in the Philippines—particularly in the highest stratum of the government hierarchy—is known not only in the Country and the continent but also the world over—for such no less than three discerning and knowledgeable professional associations to still say so, something must be really distorted, callous or amoral in the value system of the ruling administration.
This is not to say that all in government service holding public trust are crooked and corrupt. Instead, the rather few “good apples” so to speak, are buried deep by many “rotten” ones. And this is not only shame but also a serious and even deadly socio-political disease.
The “Call for Change” in the matter of intense and pervasive corruption is certainly not a sheer option—a plain choice or mere alternative. Instead, it is a matter of the necessity of protecting integrity of the land in the order of nature and the imperative of salving the people in the socio-economic sphere.
The same pronouncement “A CALL FOR CHANGE” says as a final salvo: “We can no longer afford to do nothing. In calling for a corruption-free government, change, real change, must come to the Philippines NOW! Our people in desperation can no longer wait.”
The deliberate and candid wording of the above clear, strong and urgent plea is categorically somber in content and critical in context. It forwards three key crucial and standing realities in the Philippine scene: One, positive action is mandatory. Two, an upright government is essential. Three, there is a better future for the Filipinos.
A word of caution is in order: People’s “desperation” is a very dangerous social phenomenon. It is like a big and deadly time-bomb. Just as when a time-bomb explodes it neither sees who are killed nor cares what it destroys, so too when people are desperate, woe to all those whom they perceived as their oppressors, and to those especially whom they know as their exploiters. Now, it cannot be said that the “Call”—pleading, alarm, warning—has not been made and sounded.
December 5, 2008