Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Honesty is such a lonely word

Pope: RP needs ‘honest’ political leaders

MANILA, Oct. 7, 2009— Pope Benedict XVI said the Philippines’ continuing struggle from poverty signals the imperative need for upright political leaders.

Speaking to new Philippines Ambassador to the Vatican Mercedes Arrasitia Tuason, the pope urged public officials to rediscover the real ethical foundation of their political authority.

“The struggle against poverty in the Philippines calls for honesty, integrity and an unwavering fidelity to the principles of justice, especially on the part of those entrusted with positions of governance and public administration,” Benedict XVI said...

Honesty, integrity and an unwavering fidelity to the principles of justice. Got it.
The Pope calls for those qualities in our political leaders and I cannot agree more.
Note that he didn't mention the need for a Law degree, a Masters degree, PHD, a Harvard education, or an IQ of 130++. Our sad history shows we've had an overdose of these lofty qualities in our political leadership while we've had an underdose of honesty, and look where we are now: flooded with poverty. Likewise, American businessmen cannot agree more. Their biggest concern is... you guessed it right: corruption.

Meanwhile, the four prominent presidentiables figured out in a presidential forum lately.
The four laid bare their ideas on pork barrel, the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), Charter change, peace in Mindanao and other issues concerning local autonomy. All four of them delivered intelligent responses, but then again - who among them is being honest? Remember, ALL political leaders in the past looked very good while delivering their political promises. Planning is one thing, acting honestly on it is another.

Speaking of plans, urban-planning expert Felino Palafox Jr. says there is this Metroplan - or the Metro Manila Transport, Land Use and Development Planning Project. This was conceived more than 40 years ago to prevent -- what else but destructive flooding. It seems that National government agencies have been shall we say, less than honest, in approving subdivision plans that conform to land use criteria. And to think that there are about 32 (!) signatures to obtain just to have a development project approved! Read it here.

So it appears we blame "acts of God" too much.

On a different note, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman still sings the same boring tune.
He said that aside from climate change, uncontrolled population growth is equally to blame for last week’s floods in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

Yeah, right. Blame uncontrolled population growth for ALL of our problems: lack of education, healthcare, corruption, trade deficits, heavy debt servicing, unemployment, inflation, global crisis, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and yes - massive floods.

Maybe Lagman is right after all, as there really is an uncontrolled population growth... of dishonest politicians.

As Billy Joel used to sing: Honesty, is such a lonely word...and mostly what I need from you

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