TURNING POINT: The Corruption Challenge

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 01 July) — Corruption is dishonesty in the performance of one’s official functions, or the non-performance of one’s function at all  to the great disadvantage of the government.

Smuggling and corruption often go together. They’re there when, for instance, the Bureau of Customs and port authorities have to give a blind eye to the entry of some goods into the country without any documentation and payment of appropriate taxes because some guys up in the totem pole of power are behind it.

PNoy said, “Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap.”

Senator Manny Pacquiao was heard telling people that the present administration is three or several more times corrupt than the previous one.

DU30 was quick in the draw daring Pacquiao to point out a corrupt office under him or face his wrath in the election trail. Digong was clearly inspired by Noynoy’s governance mantra.

Kumpiyansya syang masyado na walang mahirap sa mga bata nya kahit saan mang opisina; kaya, walang sino mang kurap.[Digong was so confident that no one among his men in whatever office is poor; therefore, no one is corrupt.]

Pacman is not a hall-famer boxing champ for nothing. He did not duck but bit the bullet to get the right angle for a wicked left hook at the DOH. The DOH has been the subject of recent senate inquiry for alleged corruption practices, some allegations of which were acknowledged by Secretary Duque himself, like the DOH project on the construction of barangay health stations.

Of course, the worst of corruption is not so much in the overpriced PPEs and medical supplies acquired by the health department in this pandemic but in the operations of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) under the DOH. Corruption in the insurance agency is a colossal thievery that robs Filipino workers and taxpayers of their contributions to the fund. It also violates the right of Filipinos to universal health care, bleeding billions of pesos away from state resources intended for this purpose.

The senators and many others called for the resignation and the filing of charges against Duque over the corruption issues in the health insurance agency. But Duterte, who boasted that heads would roll if he sensed a whiff of corruption, has nonchalantly kept the stinking secretary under his wings.

Pacquiao need not go any farther looking for another corrupt or corrupted office to train his punches. The very office of the president and the challenger himself are worthy of his punches. For all intents and purposes, DU30 was in deep shits of corruption when he tolerated the smuggling and use of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine by the Presidential Security Group and got himself jabbed with the same illegally acquired vaccine.

Pacquiao is jolly pleased with his sparring with the popular strongman; it helps him prepare mentally for his war with Errol Spence, a monumental combat that may yet boost huge his coveted run for the presidency of the country.

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