Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
AS I read in your paper  (Asian Journal – Nov. 8-14, 2013 issue) Greg Macabenta’s column, “A Closer Look at Corruption,” it’s a sad thing to note that we lay the blame on corruption [as] the root cause of poverty and hardships in the Philippines.
He cited the premise: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (If there’s no corruption, there is no poverty). We mourn over the state of corruption and we are prone to think that no amount of corrective measure will prosper.
For instance, how can an elected public official recover the expenses incurred during election campaign? Is he spending and giving away money for free without expectations of returns and even get more?
In the Philippines, I think, even if it were Dr. Jose Rizal who would run for elective public office without money versus a millionaire- opponent,  I doubt he would win.  By the way, I think part of the corrupted money are people’s personal money,  used to bribe government officials and employees (off-record)  in order to get the desired things done.
However, I believe that a good man, wherever he is,is good. Otherwise, he ceases to be good if he turns bad.   [We should give] a pat on the back [to] honest, sincere, and faithful public servants that we can find in their varied area of services. Many of them are unsung heroes.
The good thing to think about  is that the Philippines is not the worst in the world [when it comes to] corruption.  Corruption is an old issue that originated and dates back [to] Eden – the home of the first human family, when Eve [stole] the forbidden fruit without asking permission from the owner – God.
Eve was the first corrupt stealer.
I was amazed in learning and knowing the startling fact reported by TIME Magazine entitled “ Is your government highly corrupt?” (November 4, 2013 issue).  It cited and listed some corrupt governments namely:
Czech Republic  –  94%
Ghana –  89%
US – 73%
Finland – 30%
Sweden  –  14%
The Philippines is not even in the list, and if listed, it could be below par.  Does it sound like music to our ears?  Do we rejoice? Not too bad, and there is hope for change if we aim at improvement, because to improve is to change.
Many unwanted, unfortunate and miserable things had happened, but let us not just mourn them … let us change them and the time for change is NOW.
I believe there is room for improvement. Think of our co-Filipinos, who are behaved  drivers  and follow traffic rules in America, who don’t engage in illegal cutting of trees, who don’t shoot deer and geese and other birds just walking and flying nearby.
It’s just a matter of behaving in the same way, if living in our beloved country. After all, the Philippines is predominantly a Christian country, and God-fearing people are law-abiding citizens.
Yes, there is hope if we feel hopeless. He who cannot discipline himself is a coward – he is afraid of himself. And he who does not change after knowing the truth and what is right, loves himself more than he loves truth.
Man is prone to do evil, but he has the desire to do good… the reason why he makes New Year’s resolutions.
I recall a quotation that runs this way:  “The world today is in want of men, men who cannot be bought nor sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who are true to duty as needle to the pole; men who are not afraid to call sin by its right name;  men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”
Manny P. Mullaneda

Asian Journal Media Center

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