Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Moral Revolution

THE call for moral revolution is nothing new, says the CBCP President. But the resolve is. He says, “As a response to the state of moral bankruptcy in public life, of probably irremediable loss of credibility and trust, a call has been made for ‘moral revolution’. If only to stop our country from continuing to become a ‘social volcano’ (Heaven help us!), we support the ideal of a ‘moral revolution’—moral transformation, moral renewal, moral reform. The CBCP has proposed it before in many ways through the years.”

But of course the Filipino is generally moral. Here and abroad, the Pinoy exudes the values of goodness in a much better degree than his global contemporaries. What is verging on moral bankruptcy, if not indeed has already fallen headlong, is Philippine politics—which is the art of governance and public service. Sadly, politics in this country has degenerated into a convenient arena of graft and corruption. The system of governance is so made up through and through with opportunities for corruption, influence-peddling, buyout of personal or institutional loyalties and the indiscriminate use of public funds for partisan or personal purposes.

If we are what we are today, says an earlier CBCP statement—a country with a very great number of poor and powerless people—one reason is the way we have allowed politics to be debased and prostituted to the low level it is now.

While public office is a public trust that is meant for the good of civil society, politicians look at it as a means of enrichment and a source of influence and power for self and family enlargement. It has become customary for public office to be considered and treated as some sort of private property to be passed on from one generation to another in the manner of “family dynasties” where distinctions are not made between public funds and family or private resources.

Immediately, one shots the questions: why should this be so in a nation where the vast majority of the people are Catholic and Christian? Strangely enough, Philippine politics is largely impervious to the Gospel—it denies, to everybody’s shame, the proud claim to the name Christian.

The call for moral revolution is a tall order, indeed. But it is in order. The immorality of contemporary governance has bludgeoned into endemic and cultural proportions to invite a deeper and more massive revolution—indeed more radical than the euphoric past EDSAs.

The tall order is to unite in a common resolve to clean up and to renew the most harmful aspect of national life—today’s kind of politics.

“Let us do it,” says CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo. “To start this moral revolution, I must cease to be dishonest, unjust and unfair to my fellow Filipinos. I will tell and act on the truth that I confess or affirm. I will return what I have unjustly and deceitfully acquired. Only then can I ask pardon from God and the people I have wronged.”

And, come to think of it, this is the moral fiber from which reconciliations, which is the unceasing call of the present dispensation though gaily unheeded, are made of.

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