It was courageous but damaging for two officials of government, former Speaker Jose de Venecia and Mr. Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, to expose questionable government deals in millions of dollars including scandalous and immoral kickbacks. It was courageous to come out in the open to “publicly confess” the high level of graft and corruption that they knew all along and “somehow” have been involved in. But it was also damaging to their political career as well as to significant others who are in high governance. Damaging also because they opened themselves to further scrutiny and inquiry. Truth hurts. Truth liberates. But the truth must be served. The truth will set our country free (cf. John 8/32)
Their public confession may be considered a providential event that may yet save our country from being hostage to scandalous and shady government deals that offend the common good and serve only personal, family and group interests. In our last CBCP Statement, the Bishops strongly lamented the absence of social conscience today. This is the root cause of our systemic graft and corruption.
We lament in this season of Lent not only that we are sinners but also that our country has too long been captive to the corruption of people in governance. “We have to confess that corruption is in truth our greatest shame as a people.” The call for a moral revolution has deep implication. The CRUSADE FOR TRUTH being initiated by the Religious like the AMRSP, Civil Groups and Clergy is encouraging, and must be supported by all truth-loving and freedom-loving citizens. Only the truth, not lies and deceits, will set our country free. This truth challenges us now to communal action.
We encourage the “Watch and Pray” activity that will be initiated by the Parish Pastoral Councils for Responsible Voting (PPC-RV). We can also call it PPC for Responsible Citizenship. The flame of “social consciousness and common good” must be kept alive. We suggest the prayer used by the Magnificat Movement, the MAGNIFICAT of Our Lady in Luke 1, 46-55 a prayer for social transformation.
As we said in our last CBCP Statement “let us pray together, reason together, decide together, act together” “towards a more vigorous work for good governance and a more active promotion of responsible citizenship in our society in the light of the Gospel and the Social Teachings of the Church.”
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO
Archbishop of Jaro
February 10, 2008