COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
Looking back at the first year of the Aquino administration we see a government bureaucracy undergoing major cleansing and thus making an important step towards change. The unraveling of corruption in the government owned and controlled corporations has taken a domino effect and has spread to the military establishment and even to the church. Other agencies that have been mired in corruption are following suit for the atmosphere of cultural change seems to have taken its way.
If corruption in the past arose only in the high places in government and the private sector, the practice has spread through the rank and file over the years primarily because offenders have not been punished or brought to law. Allowing this culture of corruption to prevail is economically disastrous as corrupt practices only serve as leaks and holes to all the inputs like capital and labor poured into the country. No wonder our economy has continued to stagnate even with the rising entry of foreign capital.
Many would say that P-Noy’s target of running after thieves is being vindictive. I would say that running after thieves is just and the right thing to do. We cannot grow as a nation if we live on the moral decay of the past. There has to be cleansing – spiritual cleansing, and that can be done only by following the rule of law and righting a wrong. To cleanse is basic before putting on something; like the body before healing, a house before moving in, and a plate before eating, or a plot of land before planting.
History takes its own course and as I perceived earlier that the presidency of Benigno Simeon Aquino III has a specific purpose of its own like when his mother Cory was also brought into power, it is to this unfolding of a nation’s history that we should not lose focus on. Even if P-Noy’s role would simply be to cleanse the central bureaucratic agencies that are considered weak that would be significant change enough. For we should try to remember that the government bureaucracy is the force that keeps this country afloat.
And as we move forward to another century of nation building, we must lay a strong foundation for future development efforts to depend on. Otherwise, any successive programs the government would undertake would evaporate into thin air if the central bureaucratic agencies are plagued with corruption. Like instead of building new infrastructures for a modernized community, we ought not to be repairing roads over and over again had they been constructed according to world standards in the first place.
For this present administration, we may not expect major structural change like land to the landless or minimal income inequality as these concerns are determined by congress that is still peopled mostly by political clans with vested interests in big business and big landholdings. With the privatization of the services sectors (e.g. power) pushed by the previous administration, the more we are at the mercy of the oligarchs. So it is for the people to move forward to assert for a bigger representation in congress to challenge oligarchic rule in our midst.
But while P-Noy is struggling his way for a Matuwid Na Daan, it is but imperative for us to support his thrust of treading that straight path. Probably in doing so we won’t have to go through the whole trouble of doing things by trial and error and simply follow the demands of efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Probably in doing so we can have a breath of fresh air. And probably in doing so we will find strength in doing the right thing and regain courage in making a stand.
August 17, 2011