The battle cry of several presidentiables for the 2010 Philippine presidential elections including that of Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas is solving the corruption problem of the Philippines. Their campaign slogan “Walang mahirap pag walang corrupt” says it all. (Literally this translates as “There is no poor if there is no corruption.”)
It cannot be denied that corruption is indeed one of the main causes of the great disparity between the rich and the poor. The statistical data is overwhelming. Numerous studies show that the more corrupt a country is, the more poor people there are.
Advocating a “NO CORRUPTION” stand is easily said than done. True it is a bold statement and it is a grand statement especially if it is coming from people who do not have any issues of corruption. But it is also a motherhood statement. What I would like to hear from the presidentiables who have impressive resumes, especially from NoyNoy and Mar is specifically how they would fight corruption. What is their master plan for fighting corruption? There is no need to tell us what the effects of corruptions are. We all know that. I’ve checked their website and I did not find one. Drop me a comment if you can find one. Solving the corruption problem is not as easy as just saying no corruption.
So what does no corruption mean for our country? Everybody knows that almost everybody here is corrupt especially the government. This is public knowledge.
There are several implications of a no corruption scenario in the Philippines. But I want to focus in the practice of law since this is one of the dealings with government that I am familiar with. No corruption in law practice means:
1.) No corruption means . . . .No court staff will ask or accept any gifts of any kind from anybody in relation to their work, whether in cash or kind directly or indirectly.
2.) No corruption means . . . Court process servers will do their best to locate the addressee of summons and other court processes and that they will do their jobs without any extra form of compensation from litigants.
3.) No corruption means . . . Prosecutors will resolve criminal cases filed with them the quickest possible time without any form of compensation from private offended parties.
4.) No corruption means . . . Sheriffs will execute the judgment without fear or delay even without the winning party giving them anything in return.
5.) No corruption means . . . Judges will resolve cases speedily and impartially and will have the appearances of impartiality at all times.
Now isn’t that wonderful? Justice will be swift and impartial! It may not be perfect but it will be near ideal. However tell me how this is supposed to happen. How in the world will process servers, sheriffs and all other court personnel do the right thing and not accept anything in cash or in kind. With the culture of corruption that is existing not only in the courts but in all branches of government for decades, with people thinking that nothing goes around in the government without the round, I just really wonder how. How will people finally start saying no corruption?
Having a corruption free Philippines and changing the mindset of people to say no to corruption may seem a Herculean task but it is not an impossible task. More than 40 years ago Singapore and Malaysia said no corruption and look where they are now. It was not impossible for them, I’m sure there is still hope for the Philippines.
However take note that the longer we say no to corruption, the longer it will take for us to really take off as an economy. I read in the news that with the current rate we are growing, we will only equal China’s economy within 25 years and it will take us 75 years to equal the economies of first world countries. This is how backward we are economically.
Let’s all say no to corruption now. It does not have to take a Mahathir or a Lee Kuan Yew to change our country. It all begins with us. While it is true that Walang mahirap pag walang corrupt. It is also true that walang corrupt pag walang nagcocorupt. (There are no corrupt officials if there are is nobody that will feed their corruption)
Mahatma Gandhi once wisely said “Be the change you want to see.” If you want to see a corrupt free Philippines, then stop giving to corrupt officials! SAY NO CORRUPTION !