One cannot imagine of a government or more precisely the highest office of the land harnessing the con game of telling lies as a signature modus operandi of governance—the art of “covering lies with more lies,” or so one opposition senator bluntly puts it of late. Pray to the high heavens this is not the case. Because if it were, a political paranoid won’t find it demented to exclaim the inscriptions to the gates of Dante’s Inferno, “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrante”.
Honesty used to be the best policy. But now it might be too complex for a grader to associate this with the face of the mayor, the congressman or, sadly enough, the residents of Malacañang. “Give it to the Marines,” may be the trite valuation—with apologies to Brigadier General Francisco Gudani, who lost his retirement benefits and a court martial to boot for reportedly telling the truth.
Be that as it may, but Jasmin Nario-Galace, in her Teaching Our Students to Become Peacemakers, propounds the exigency of peer mediation, conflict management and peacekeeping among children in view of the hope that while they are young they can start sowing the seeds of peace that has been too elusive to their predecessors. Indeed, peace is too elusive in an environment of mistrust, deceit and a government suffering with profound credibility crisis.
Credibility crisis precedes all other crises. The footstool of any social malaise is not merely political or social. It is moral. A government that cannot tell the truth or the ramifications of it is doomed—and so are the constituents.
For millions of constituents there is only one way out—to go out! And so we see a burgeoning number of Filipinos looking for bread in other countries. And while we are at it, we also see an unprecedented number of Filipino homes without fathers, mothers or both. There is no misfortune as lamentable as a country of families without parents—and a government whose leaders are accused of withholding the virtue of honesty.