Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Of moral forces

Chief Justice Reynato Puno is not joining the presidential race in 2010 despite being constantly egged on by a growing number of supporters (here and here) enthralled by his call for a "moral force" in government.

In that interview of January 14, the Chief Justice said: "It is very obvious that the main problem of the country is moral decadence. This is the root cause of the density of power, corruption problem"

"You look at it more deeply. You look at it from its various dimensions. That’s why...it’s time for the moral forces of the country to manifest themselves. They should cease to be an invisible force. They should play a dominant role in redirecting the destiny of our people," he added.

What the Chief Justice is actually calling for is moral integrity. While all politicians profess to take a moral stance in governance, it is the integrity in governance that matters. While the words of politicians are subject to intense scrutiny, unfortunately their actions are not. If only our political leaders faithfully stood by their promises of moral governance even half of the time, we wouldn't be talking about moral forces right now. That is why Puno is calling for "the moral forces of this country to manifest themselves [to] play a dominant role in redirecting the destiny of our people."

Suffice to say with this proposition that the so-called moral forces are not manifesting themselves properly, and in this manner even abetting moral decadence. Our democratic institutions are not lacking in the framework of checks and balances that provide ample opportunity for moral forces to manifest themselves. Unfortunately, some politicians would like us to believe that charter change will magically solve the ills of the nation. The system is already there, it is the people with the integrity to run that system who are missing in action. Likewise missing in action are the ordinary citizens who are not supposed to tolerate public servants who corrupt the system. Evil prevails because evil allows it, not because "good men" do nothing.

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