NO MATTER how respectable a man is, once the stench comes out, it smells just the same.

During the second 2nd Quarterly National Executive Officers-National Board Meeting of the Philippine Councilors' League (PCL), Councilor Sergio Batistis Jr., of Albuera, Leyte, was arrested for selling falsified certificates to fellow councilors.

How shameful for someone in his stature - a public servant who is supposed to put the welfare of the public before his - to do such.

Now back to the stench, the issue seems to revolve solely around Batistis. Why wouldn't it be? He did the wrongdoing by himself. Now if you agree on this, you have just failed to see the greater evil.

It seems though that many of us are missing the whole point that is the long-standing, rotting problem of this country - corruption. Batistis' action surely just scratched the ground.

But, have you also thought of other councilors who have hands in this? Those who bought the falsified certificates, just so they can escape the auditors' notice? The wrongdoing continues for as long as there are others who keep the cycle going. Good thing there were councilors whose hearts ruled conscience that they decided to break the cycle.

At the opening, some delegates were demanding that they stay out of the accommodations prepared by the organizers. This reached the attention of City Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, the president of the PCL-Davao City. But the organizers were firm in not caving in to their demands, as there were still enough hotel rooms to take all of them in. The policy, Dalodo-Ortiz discussed, only allowed them to live out should they run out of available rooms.

The registration fee was P9,800, but should they live out, it would only cost them P6,800. It's hard to jump into conclusion, but it's all up to you how you will judge.