“Give credit to where credit is due.” I heard such statement several times from friends who had been frustrated in the awarding of special recognitions to certain individuals or groups perceived to have done great things to their society and environment although they do not actually deserve. They just don’t have the right to be awarded. A sad reality in life there are champions whose winning is questionable. There is a term for this in Filipino, “lutong Makaw.” A half-baked victory?
As far as giving credit is concerned, this is a real one. Lately Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has been praised by a lot of Filipinos from all walks of life, particularly senators and congressmen, for his refusal to accept millions of pesos as bribe for the alleged release of narcotics suspects popularly known as the “Alabang Boys.” Although he has come under fire for exposing an alleged bribery of state prosecutors handling the “Alabang Boys” drug case which was dismissed for what is termed as “mere technicality.”
Similarly a group of former government officials praised the Marine officer assigned at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for being an “exemplary public servant.”
Here is an excerpt of that news form abs-cbnNEWs.com.
“He serves as a dramatic example of the kind of selfless service the majority of government employees offer that put national interest above personal interest. May others like him continue to be living proofs that, as Ninoy Aquino put it, the Filipino is worth dying for,” the FSGO statement said.
Marcelino earlier said he was offered millions of pesos in bribes to release three scions of rich families who were arrested for peddling narcotics in Alabang, Muntinlupa City and Cubao, Quezon City. He said state prosecutors were also offered up to P50 million in bribes to drop the case against the so-called Alabang Boys.
A National Bureau of Investigation probe, however, absolved state prosecutors in the bribery issue and recommended the filing of obstruction of justice charges against Marcelino.
The FSGO, which includes Cabinet members who have resigned from the Arroyo administration, also commended thousands of career public servants who are committed to strengthening the country’s democratic institutions in the service of the people.
They said these nameless government employees, particularly teachers, soldiers, and police officers, have remained true to their oath of office, defending the Constitution, protecting and promoting the public good, refusing to accept bribes of any kind, doing their jobs as best they can, even going beyond the call of duty.
“These public servants form the bulk of our country’s bureaucracy and represent our government at its best. During our stint in government, we met most of these outstanding Filipinos and remember with gratitude and admiration their steadfast integrity in the face of corruption and immorality,” the group said.
Praise be with You
Having served briefly the government in various capacities, I know how difficult it is to work in a system where you are not only overworked but under compensated too. No wonder the culture of corruption thrives in such a system because there are some employees and official who want to make money and increase their income even in illegal ways. Corruption on the other hand is not due to money and wealth alone, it is also of greed, lust, and vices. And corruption like a disease is also communicable. Young and old alike in the government service are susceptible for corruption in the same manner as those who work in the non-government institutions.
I praise every individual who has the light and lead an honest and righteous life in the service. I praise also every citizen in this country who is willing to sacrifice himself in the quest for justice and battle against corruption. Major Ferdinand Marcelino is just one among the many Filipinos who sacrificed themselves to clean this society and government from corruption. Like the rest of Filipinos whose integrity and commitment in public service is without blemish and beyond question, I salute you!