‘Corruption of the best is the worst’

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I remember hearing this said by one of the actors in the erstwhile TV series The West Wing. I quote: “Corruption of the best is the worst.”

After the actor dropped this line, he continued: “We owe it to our fallen soldiers, our protectors of America that as leaders we live a life of integrity, a life of high moral values as we lead our nation with greatness!”

Politics here or elsewhere can be dirty but what really hurts is when the people we voted for, the people whom we thought were the best of the crop have failed us terribly.

Today, some senators and some congressmen are involved in the Janet Napoles/Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.

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Some members of the Philippine National Police were also found to be corrupt in more ways than one. How many more of our supposedly best are corrupt?

The best compliment Sen. Serge Osmeña gave to President Noynoy Aquino was a left-handed one. He said: “The president is an honest man but he is a poor manager!”

For many of us Filipinos we will take an honest man anytime. Managerial bungling can be rectifi ed. However, how does one change a dishonest man? I’m afraid I’ll again have to call the attention of some of our prelates who preach God’s word during masses and yet have forgotten their preaching of “preferential option for the poor, purity and God’s laws.”

Why do I take a potshot at corruption in the church? Because they too are supposedly our best.

After this article, it is going to be a long time again before I start fighting wind mills. Why? At least when I talk about values, principles, etc. to parents, to teachers, to other career people, they listen. By the way, I’d like to thank Norma Borromeo and Ligaya Bataclan for voicing their answers to the challenge Fr. Asandas Balchand S.J. threw at us during the lecture he gave about Pope Francis last March 24. I would also like to thank two beautiful ladies who approached me after the lecture.

They suggested a forum of sorts where both sides can talk openly about the overspending we were talking about. However, when I reached home that night I just felt so tired.

I got a call from one of those who attended the same lecture. She said, “The building you were so against is a done deal. Work will start this April.” She added, “Besides, didn’t you notice that when one starts talking about ticklish things, there will always be someone in the audience who will want to change the topic?” How sad!

Yet so true!

For a week I refused to touch my pen. I just felt helpless. However, since we are in the midst of our Lenten season, I’ve had more time, more opportunities to get spiritually “vulcanized.”

Thank God for the two meditation groups that have buoyed up my spirits again. Every single member of the Wednesday and Friday meditation group serves as my inspiration. They pray a lot, work silently, make use of their own resources and give so much of their time to work for the poor, to help the needy.

I also know for a fact that there are a lot of dedicated priests, nuns and laity who work with no thought of receiving a reward. I just wish that these very people are the ones consulted when we want to do away with so much pomp and splendor during big celebrations.

For us, ordinary members of the church, praise God for the hunger that we still have for God’s word. We have at least two big opportunities to feed on God’s word. The Holy Family Retreat House will have a retreat with Fr. Suico as retreat master on April 11, 12 and 13.

On April 17, 18 and 19, the Sacred Heart Church will be the venue for a triduum with Fr. Villarin S.J. as the retreat master.

The struggle to love all we come to meet can be difficult. We can pray for God’s grace. We can continue praying for the things we cannot upturn or change. We can gather strength to express our love even if the going gets rough. Some people because of what they have been through cannot even believe that they can be loved.

Let us all pray for the people we expect to be the best of the Filipino. We might even need to fast so that they too can return to God shaking off their shackles of corruption. We pray for a great spiritual transformation.

We can start with ourselves first.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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