Corruption thrives in RP courtesy of gov’t officials

MANILA, August 4, 2008—Corruption thrives in Philippine government because many of its officials ignore or even engage in it.

This was the consensus of several Church, civil society and government leaders who participated in a conference on corruption at the Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA), July 26-27.

It was a fallow-up of a similar conference a month earlier convened by the Cebu-based Dilaab Foundation, according to a CFA statement.

CFA is a Catholic media center that is spearheading accountability and transparency in public and private sectors, besides educating people to use media for development.

The “Dear Peace” exhibit showcases the creative output and peace aspirations of young Christian and Muslim students who participated in the Peace Camp conducted by the CFA last May 2006 in Taytay, Rizal.
It was upon Museo ng Maynila’s invitation that CFA agreed to mount the Dear Peace exhibit for the Tertulia event. Tertulia is originally a Spanish word for social gatherings that serve as informal platforms for literary and artistic interaction or for sharing expertise and knowledge.

Even if government officials realize the social degradation resulting from corruption, they are reluctant to confront it. Many of them are being elected due to campaign contributions from jueteng lords, drug lords and other unscrupulous patrons, it was pointed out.

Their staying in power is dependent on bribes from the same sources. The former president Joseph Estrada plunder case was cited as proof that even the highest government position can be tainted when malefactors demand payback for their financial support.

Ordinary citizens partake of this unholy partnership when they sell their votes during elections. Or when they fail to probe deeply to check whether candidates have questionable connections.

Part of the solution to corruption may be the election of candidates whose qualifications include a demonstrated commitment against corruption.

The participants were in concurrence that the 2010 election would be the tipping point. They intend to scan the field and scout for alternative candidates who would be better candidates than the usual “presidentiables” and “senatoriables.”
They also agreed to bring together efforts at voters’ education, which they said was a natural complement of anti-corruption. Especially targeted are young voters, who make up the majority of both the electorate and the national population. (Santosh Digal)(CBCPNews)

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