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Jun 27th
Home Columns Op-Ed Page We Miss the Target When Corruption Is Blamed
We Miss the Target When Corruption Is Blamed PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Op-Ed Page
Written by Gregorio Manabat   
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 21:26

C orruption is the breakdown of one’s moral principles and this is commonly attributed to those who work for the government but it could happen anywhere in small doses.  In the beginning, the common denominator of those who are corrupted is in their conscience; meaning it is the arbiter that controls whether or not a decision to do wrong is to go ahead or stop.  A transformation occurs from hesitancy to total willingness when nobody is looking or no safeguard is installed for its prevention so that the risk of being caught is minimal or altogether absent. Thus, the corrupter’s continued success becomes habitual and addictive like a drug. 


     Along with this success comes illegitimate power working within a legitimate authority, which is the government.  Since the corrupter operates inside the seat of power, it becomes easy to identify those whose reputation is like him (the corrupter) and those he must avoid, as they cannot be corrupted.  Ambitious corrupters usually are not satisfied operating on their own. They take a lot of chances by enlisting willing individuals to join so that a whole organization or a political party is formed.  To make the organization even more powerful, they create allies and if this materializes it would seem they become impregnable from outside threats; or develop strong leverages when making a deal in business or other kinds of entrepreneurship. Because it is a disease, it does not take long for its powerful tentacles to spread all over the land and then it becomes an epidemic; and soon if controls are inadequate, it is accepted by the people as a way of life.


     Corruption as an institution is volatile and can be checked, minimized, mitigated or contained temporarily through media exposure, by the efforts of crusaders and vigilantes every now and then. But year after year, it still exists and becomes rampant where there is something to steal and exploit. The question is, “Why does corruption’s staying power remain unstoppable in our country?” The answer is, “Because it is only a by-product of a more sinister, seductive well-entrenched two evils which are religion and politics.”  


      Between the two, “RELIGION” - by virtue of longevity specifically, the Roman Catholic Church, as introduced by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century, became like a diabolical machine to control, manipulate and exploit the mind. It has caused more damage to the lives of our people.  To this day, I have yet to see or read where in our country, a political party or a political leader is brave enough to voice opposition against the Roman Catholic Church’s power and control over the people.


     POLITICS” came later, after it was introduced specifically by the American conquerors after 1902. It established a puppet government, manned both by Filipino collaborators and Americans. This is the period in which graft and corruption became an art and blossomed. It then flourished moderately thereafter but resumed after independence with the Roxas Administration until it reached the pinnacle of reckless abandon during the Marcos era, and continues today with the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Administration.  This analysis makes it plain to see that both religion and politics are the root causes of the social cancer and the scourge in our society for centuries.  


     For us, Filipinos, the cure for these maladies has been illusive. Why? Because of what political scientists call “Cognitive Dissonance,” which means refusing to process facts that conflict with deeply-held beliefs.  Therefore, with this knowledge and facts at hand, our country’s problems depend on all of us when and where each person should stop, contemplate, examine his/her own being and decide which direction he or she wants to go – to the side of the devil or to the side of truth and the Almighty! # # # 


To contact the author, Gregorio Manabat, please call him up at 714.523.1753 or by e-mail at



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 November 2009 21:32

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