Monday, October 15, 2007


"Loyalty cannot be blueprinted. It cannot be produced on an assembly line. In fact, it cannot be manufactured at all, for its origin is the human heart-the center of self-respect and human dignity. It is a force which leaps into being only when conditions are exactly right for it-and it is a force very sensitive to betrayal." - Maurice R. Franks

Are there still people among us whose value system has not been eroded? Can we still tell right from wrong?

And then there were two. Days after Governor Ed Panlilio of Pampanga admitted receiving a paper bag stuffed with five bundles of thousand peso bills amounting to a cool Php.5M, Bulacan Governor Jonjon Mendoza has admitted to receiving the same amount in a paper bag by an unidentified female Palace factotum as he was leaving Malacanan. Gov. Mendoza also admitted to receiving Gov. Panliliio’s “share” and handing it over to “Among” Ed’s assistant.

The Black & White Movement praises Governors Panlilio and Mendoza for their adherence to transparency and willingness to be held accountable. We also laud Gov. Panlilio’s move to request clarification from the President about what the fund is meant for and the need for an official receipt. It is shocking and highly irregular for public officials to receive money in such a clandestine manner. The lack of proper procedure and transparency taint the act, and so the motives behind these “gifts” and “donations” become questionable.

We have difficulty understanding Press Sec. Ignacio Bunye’s claim that "there is nothing wrong with receiving a donation, provided it is put to good use". Since when is it standard operating procedure for an administration to disburse funds in paper bags? Whose money did they receive? Are these monies public funds? Should these amounts not be properly recorded and receipted?

We are appalled at the apparent nonchalance of some congressmen and governors. Many of them seem to believe that it is a matter of course to receive money from the Palace in this dubious manner. We call on those public officials that still adhere to high moral and ethical standards to come forward and join Messrs. Panlilio and Mendoza as gentlemen.

We are likewise appalled at the stony silence of the bishops who have ceased to be voices in the wilderness, who have become moral dwarfs amongst a conspiracy of the mute. Even the stones cry out for indignation and yet the bishops continue to vacillate and turn a blind eye to the growing festering sight of corruption.

Finally, we are heartened by the call of some senators for an investigation into the allegations that public funds may have been given to public officials as bribes by the present administration. Inaction by government to police itself will further the degradation of our value system.

Loyalty cannot be bought. It must be earned.

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