Sunday, September 11, 2005

foreign debt

The consequences of politics are immensely potent for either construction or destruction of society. The effects or rather the damage inflicted by martial law on the Filipino people, for instance, has crippled not only the socio-economic facet of the country but even the lives of upcoming generations.

The harm done to the country by a corrupt congressman or any political figure for that matter will imprint a lifetime suffering on people pretty much larger than the disaster caused by Marcopper Mining Corporation in Marinduque or the Ormoc tragedy. Which is why, politics should not be left alone to a select segment of Philippine society—especially to politicians!

Of late, a woman senator has cautioned the Catholic bishops not to be meddling in politics. Invoking the doctrine of separation of Church and State—which is immediately a wrong reference—she thinks that bishops should confine themselves to spiritual matters, as if the bishops and their people, too, won’t get hurt by the selfish scheming of politicians and thieves.

It is very consoling to read Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, OP, in his Reflections on the Role of Bishops in Philippine Politics. He says: “ is impossible to truly love one’s neighbor without engaging in politics. When we confront concrete cases of cruel injustice being inflicted on men and women, our commitment to love inevitably leads us to confrontations with those who control our politics. We immerse ourselves in pastoral visits where we witness the dehumanization caused by political corruption in our slums and neglected barangays. We inevitably find ourselves challenged by the injustices we see to take a stand on public issues. Our Christian love for the poor becomes political by its own inner logic since to practice it requires the mediation of politics.”

If there is any disaster that has befallen on the Filipino people worse than all the natural calamities combined, it is our foreign debt. It is disastrous while it looks benign. It is debilitating as it harnessed as a sanctuary to economic dearth and budgetary shortfall. And it keeps growing by leaps and bounds. The foreign debt facility has been a milking cow of thieves in the government for ages now. Msgr. Lope Robredillo writes our cover story, Forgive Us Our Debts.

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