TURNING POINT: The Scourges of Corruption

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NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 5 March) – Corruption in government service is dishonesty in its worst form and scale. It subverts and weakens the authority of government and deprives the people of what is rightfully due them.

When a government official accepts money or anything of value for a favor, any or all of the following are meant to happen:

A. A system of doing thing is distorted or sidelined
B. A tax is reduced to a token
C. A penalty is overlooked
D. A payment is avoided
E. A concession, right or permit is granted outside standard requirements
F. Bulk of funds for public programs end in someone’s pocket
G. Work/product quality is compromised becoming a hazard to public safety

Corruption results to inefficiency and ineffectiveness in the service, low revenue collections, substandard and hazardous government projects, environmental and resource degradation, and public resentment and apathy.

The impact of corruption on the economy is crippling. It scares and drives away foreign investors, nullifies job creation opportunities, and pulls employment down to the gutter.

The absence of job opportunities leads to brain drain and labor migration. This denies the country of much needed talents and resources to fuel its own growth and development. Unemployment engenders poverty, low quality of life, lawlessness and political instability.

Indeed, corruption is the worst enemy of development.

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The second Aquino administration showed wisdom in choosing to fight corruption as its platform in improving governance. Its aggressive staunch in netting corrupt top officials and plunderers to jail has earned praises here and outside the country. It has boosted the economy to a level never before experienced by any previous administration.

Expectedly, the no nonsense fight against corruption has earned President BS Aquino a rainbow of adversaries ranging from some old, jaded and dishonored politicians, some corrupted clergy who have become amnesiac of their spiritual calling, the blabbering radical left as usual, to the clueless and nebulous followers and supporters of the crooked political leaders and plunderers who are now in government detention centers.

The coalition of myopic bigots has overblown the unfortunate Mamasapano incident and used it as an axe to cut the President down. Try hard as they may, success would elude them. No right thinking Filipino will approve of removing a President who is known for his honesty and simplicity in favor of a publicly known ostentatious thief.

There is no perfect national leader.

Sir Winston Churchill had his ups and downs in the UK government and politics, the famous of his downhill was the bloody failure of the naval Dardanelles campaign in 1915. Yet he always came back from a political quagmire to become prime minister of the United Kingdom twice and in 2002 was recognized and named as the “greatest Briton” of all times.

J.F. Kennedy had his botched invasion at Bay of Pig in April 1961. He managed, however, to transcend the greatest embarrassment of his political career and turned out as one of the darling presidents of the US.

Indeed, the Mamasapano debacle shook the Aquino leadership. The same, however, would not be able to diminish his performance and achievements at the helm of government. Aquino’s honesty, which helps in lifting the economy from the rut, his unwavering fight and unprecedented success against corruption, and his determination to secure lasting peace in Mindanao, may yet assure him of a favorable niche in history.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph. D., is a former professor and the first chancellor of the Mindanao State University at Naawan.)

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