GOD help us! God have mercy on the Filipino people. The list of unresolved cases of social, economic and political concerns keeps piling up. Suicides and homicides have been committed because of extreme unresolved poverty—and these at a time when the peso is claimed to be gaining ground. How long have the poor to wait? And then the murder of a COMELEC official—at a time when COMELEC is facing renewal of its institution.
The alleged bribery of government officials, the deaths resulting from the explosion at the Glorietta and more rece3sntly the bomb explosion at the Batasan Pambansa: these are the social concerns and nagging issues that are crying our for solution and closure.
Add to this list the multi-million peso projects sprawling like white elephants because of substandard qualities and questionable arrangements.
These are not purely socio-economic issues. The Church’s social doctrine (Compendium 330-331) insists on their moral connotations. The relationship between morality and economics and poverty is necessary, intrinsic and reciprocal. On the one hand, it will be unfair to the victims if the real and ultimate culprits are not investigated and made to answer for their actions. On the other hand, each case carries a strong statement about the different levels of leadership as well as about the national state of affairs.
As a response to the state of moral bankruptcy in public life, of probably irremediable loss of credibility and trust, a call has been made for “moral revolution”. If only to stop our country from continuing to become a “social volcano” (Heaven help us!), we support the ideal of a “moral revolution”—moral transformation, moral renewal, moral reform. The CBCP has proposed it before in many ways through the years. And we would like to say it again. Nothing new, but the resolve may be.
We are consoled by the fact that some of our public officials and different sectors of civil society are seeing such a need for “moral revolution”. Sana magpatuloy ito…sana dumami pa ang bilang nila. May this attitude prevail…may the number of good-willed people increase. Not only investigations one after another. In our country where 57% are not affected by the gained power of the peso, where graft and corruption by the mighty in power and influence still hold sway, we are in search for people who would be humble, courageous and decided enough to do a Zacchaeus “Here and now I give half of my possession to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” (Lk 19:8). This is the only violent revolution worthy of the name—it “kills” selfishness.
Let us do it. “To start this moral revolution, I must cease to be dishonest, unjust and unfair to my fellow Filipinos. I will tell and act on the truth that I confess or affirm. I will return what I have unjustly and deceitfully acquired. Only then can I ask pardon from God and the people I have wronged.” Speaking of reconciliation? This is!
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO
Archbishop of Jaro
November 24, 2007