Editorial: Telling it as it is, demanding for what we should be getting

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Friday, January 24, 2014

THE statements of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte about protectors of smugglers in the justice department and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) are nothing new to us.

Every Filipino shares the view that without protectors, these illegal activities will not thrive. No one in his right mind will dispute that belief. Corruption breeds impunity and enhances the environment for greater crimes.

What makes Duterte’s statement shocking is that he said it out loud.


For so long, officials would only hint at it, or chose to remain silent. Now, the gauntlet is thrown, it is up to the agencies involved to say, “We are very clean and not one of us is involved in this.”

We know that is impossible. But we also know that by the way the Secretary of Justice is waging a verbal war against the mayor, this will only generate more verbal attacks.

Thus, what the people can expect is but an entertaining exchange of insults and insinuations.

We shouldn’t be satisfied with that, if we truly care for our country.

The gauntlet has been thrown, let us make sure that the gauntlet is picked up and used to fight corruption and not allowed to just gather rust on the ground or else buried to be forgotten.

Filipinos have long known we have a corruption-riddled bureaucracy. We have seen how huge this corruption is sucking out of the ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes whether they like it or not in the humongous charges in every service or product they buy, and the automatic deductions their wages are subjected to. What do we have to show for this? Politicians with mansions worth hundreds of millions of pesos, while the poor Filipino citizens make do with shacks on land not their own.

The facts made available to us in the past years should be enough to enrage us and make us demand for real changes and not just exchange of words. Corruption that has reached this humongous proportion cannot be solved if we continue to talk and do nothing.

Let us not be satisfied with fingerpointing and fodder to gossip about. Let us demand that all those accused of coddling criminals from whom they line their pockets with to build their multi-million mansions will step forward and prove that not one of their people are doing that.

Bar none.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 25, 2014.


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