When I was small my grandmother used to tell me, do not lie. Be honest, liars go to hell. For sometime I did listen to my grandmother’s admonition. I did not cheat during quizzes and periodical tests even if some of my classmates casually did it. Many times I got zero to the dismay of my father. Nevertheless my grandmother was all their to comfort me if my parents scolded me. Having been forbidden to cheat, for moral reasons and fear of hell, I was forced to study my lessons to the fullest to learn and to overcome failures. I barely passed my exams but was very happy with what ever accomplishment I had considering my IQ level. I struggled to finish college with much effort and patience. But I was never a saint to be honest with you; there were occassions I was tempted to cheat. While I tried very hard not to do it, many times I failed. Having been disciplined to comply at all the time to the principle of honesty, I agonized everytime I failed. Yes, I also lost some self-respect for cheating and lying. While leading an honest life is an uphill climb, there is no better option than living on the light of truth. I may not be a saint but I am not also comfortable to with evil and lies.
These thoughts on the values of honesty came into my mind after watching on the TV the press conferences of former Speaker of the House Jose de Venecia where he belied accusations that a provision in the Philippine constitution had been violated in the signing of the contract for a joint oil exploration in the Spratleys of the three claimant countries–Vietnam, China and the Philippines. He affirmed that there is nothing wrong with this venture. Earlier President Arroyo’s administration had been dragged into the ZTE broadband controversy which spark massive protest rallies all over the country. But as always the case in the absence of solid documents, the government dismissed the accusation as pure hearsays and a political noise. And to make matters worse, while this ZTE broadband issue is still hot to the public, another controversy on graft and corruption has again rocked the Arroyo administration; the Spratley deal which is being linked to the ZTE broadband controversy. Because of its sensitive nature, public outrage intensified. There is always that perception that the Arroyo’s administration has sold the Philippine territory to China in favor of soft loans amounting to billions of dollars.
The bottom line of all the political noise, of accusations of corruption against the Arroyo government, is the perception of moral decay in governance. It is not only ineptness and dysfunctionality in leadership that the Arroyo administration is perceived of to be lacking in but as well as credibility.Why do political leaders have difficulty of standing on the moral ground of governance; that public service is a public trust. Why do leaders tend to be dishonest when they should not; is it because of patronage politics which is necessary evil to insulate themselves in power?
When the Senate resumes its investigation on the ZTE scandal, so many disclosures can be heard again from both sides; but there is no assurance that someone asked to tesfify is telling the truth, or only a half-truth? When asked if Senate is already tired investigating alleged anomalous deals involving the government, senator Lacson said never. For as long as there is no closure for truth, to all the cases being investigated in senate, Senate’s inquiry in aid of legislation shall never come to rest.
No amount of concerted effort can always hide the truth, people will always find a way to know the truth. As Christians we believe that lying is forbidden; and liars go to Hell.