TURNING POINT: Of Paramours and Corruption

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews /08 April) — It is difficult to imagine how Mrs.  Alvarez, the incumbent President of the Spouses Association in the House of Representatives, felt about her position after the public and sadistic humiliation of being replaced as the lady love of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. And how the children of the couple had taken at heart the infidelity of their father; how the estranged Lolo and the Lola would ever explain to their grandchildren the eroded or broken ties of the family?

Mr Alvarez thought perhaps  that his puppy-like adoration and association with President Duterte  would rub on him the vaunted machismo and  charisma of Tatay Digong which spares the latter from the fallout of his sexual exploits and philandering, the reason probably why the Speaker  admitted publicly that he has a girlfriend and is no longer in good  terms with his wife, and that he had also sired a number of children with different women.

His admission provoked a tsunami of adverse reactions and condemnation that threw him off balance.  In his desperate effort to survive, he had to grab at anything within reach.  Such that in the thick of the cry for his disbarment for the admission, he charged, dragging lawyers  with him to the whirlpool of his sexual scandal, that all lawyers are as guilty as he is; and, hence, if also disbarred like him,  our judicial courts will accordingly run out of counsels and will cease from functioning. Justice, hence, would no longer be served. Is it also possible that the House of Representatives or Congress itself might close shop because of the same immorality issue, a development that many might welcome with glee?

There’s a saying in Tagalog which goes “Ang taong nagigipit kahit sa patalim at tae ay kakapit.” (highlight added) . Alvarez  grabs  and is desperately clutching on  at both so as not to drown in the mire of his stupidity.

The  sexually scandalized political atmosphere turned unexpectedly crazy   when instead of the traditional public fight between the legal wife and the querida of a philandering husband, this time around the hottest House scandal is the amusing, politically devastating   war  between two queridas of two former political bosom buddies now turned enemies as a consequence. It does not help that in apparently trying to defuse the tension between his two strong supporters and allies from Davao the equally scandalous President dismissed as insignificant the moral issue of a husband having other women in his life besides his wife. In defending Alvarez, he said that the Speaker can have as many women or wives he wants because he is not a Catholic.  Duterte in fact rationalized that monogamy is a Christian morality that should not bind non-Christian males to it, even advising morally decadent government officials to eschew Roman Catholicism or Christianity as their religion and declare themselves as atheists to escape legal complications. Indeed, birds of the same feathers f_ck together.

What is now happening in our midst is not really surprising because even prior to Day 1, decency is a virtue that has been held with disdain and contempt by the present administration, whose bold centerpiece governance program is fighting or eradicating corruption, the drug menace and criminality. Our government officials should be reminded that there are laws that criminalize illegally extended families in concubinage, bigamy, and adultery and other forms of immoral acts, relationships and practices prohibited by the  Penal Code, Civil Service Code, and the Code of Ethics for government servants. Surely, they are not exempt from these codes.

Come to think of it, is there anything to expect from criminals to eradicate criminality?

To say also that there is nothing wrong in maintaining relationships with other women as long as they are already rich and well off is no doubt a fogged or drugged thinking.  It is suggesting that a government official would only become corrupt if his paramours are financially struggling because he would then be forced to enrich himself through his position and influence so as to meet and satisfy their needs and wishes and secure further their loyalty and the endearment of the family extensions by providing employment and other special favor to their poor relations.  With rich women, would these pressures be no longer obtaining?

Far from it.  Corruption can, in fact, be richer and juicier with rich paramours. Why? In addition to the above perks and privileges that they will certainly not let pass, if they are in business, big government contracts may be facilitated for them or special concessions, like in franchising, access to new business opportunities, quick and hassle-free government support services for their enterprises may be accorded to them or their close kin with no sweat at all.

How can the government honestly fight corruption and the drug menace, which is also a grave corruption problem, if its enforcing agents are entangled in a web of corruption pressures and possibilities? .  (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan is a retired professor and former chancellor of the Mindanao State University Naawan campus in Misamis Oriental).