OpinionsEcon 101The task of nation-building

The task of nation-building

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Who should bear the burden of nation-building? The answer of Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon is: “Each one should bear the burden of nation-building; we cannot leave to the government and its officials, it is the duty of each citizen to make sure that he/she had done his/her share.”

We are quick to engage in the blame game when we see that government is not performing its duties and responsibilities as provided in the Constitution.

The three branches of government: legislative, executive and judiciary are the three wheels that make our government run. Each branch has its own powers, blending, overlapping and yet, by itself, has an embedded check and balance system.

These days, the three branches of government are struggling to function — trying to keep themselves on the straight path: Dito tayo sa daang matuwid!

This is the time of reckoning, because according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes, we are at the edge of the aftermath of the “most corrupt government” in recent history.

The indicators are now hugging the headlines, and it is the press who has the burden of informing the people so they will know the facts, and can decide and form their own opinions.

Consider the case of the former comptroller, Gen. Carlos Garcia who had amassed a reported staggering at least P300 million in ill-gotten wealth, discovered and documented by the Commission on Audit.

The paper trail includes vouchers and checks including one for P50 million from the United Nations as reimbursement for the expenses of the peace-keeping forces sent by the Philippines.

This UN check was signed and cashed by General Garcia, and never endorsed to the Treasurer of the Republic of the Philippines.

In fact, the U.S. Customs Service arrested the wife and sons of General Garcia upon their entry to the United States, as they were found in possession of $100,000 in cash which they did not declare. This is the reason why a clear case of plunder was filed.

Recently, Gen. Carlos Garcia entered into plea bargaining, and was able to post bail. Again, we say that each one of us, had the duty to make sure that each citizen, especially those who are in government positions, perform his duties faithfully and with fidelity.

Why was there a plea bargain after the prosecution presented its evidence? This is unusual and irregular in itself. Special Prosecutor Wendell Sulit declared in behalf of the prosecution that they were unfairly being labelled as villains, which is the least hurtful word to describe such an ignominy.

Please do not insult the intelligence of the Filipino people; people do see through the smokescreen from which they hurl their media blitz to cover up such very, very scandalous and shameless line of logic.

The Special prosecutors in this case failed to do their duty faithfully and with fidelity to the Filipino people.

SWS currently released a Hunger Survey showing the increase by at least 30 percent of the people who eat one meal or less in a day.

The P300 million stolen by General Garcia came from the blood, sweat, and tears of the Filipino people, who can hardly meet their daily requirement for food.

How can the Special Prosecutors justify their actions? They say the government could not do anything but make a deal?

This is just a slice of how corruption has eroded the conscience of the people who are tasked to keep government officials in line. It is the Special prosecutors of the Office of Ombudsman the who should go after these plunderers, who have added misery, upon misery to the common people.

How can they look at themselves in the mirror when they had snatched food from the clutches of those who pick food from the garbage of Smokey Mountain?

Why did this happen? It is because greed has taken over the conscience of men and women who, as Special Prosecutors, had the duty to recover the money for the Filipino people and punish the perpetrators.

This is the reason why the wrath of the people is directed at all those people who had no regard for their duties defined under the Constitution, and in so doing, diminish the forces of nation-building.

We support Solicitor Gen. Jose Cadiz in his difficult task of “undoing the malefarous deal”, and proving that the executive and judicial branches of government are doing their job.

The judiciary is the last bastion of democracy. When it falls into disrepute, the whole system falls like a deck of cards. The people will have no means to redress of grievances in an orderly and peaceful manner. We have to see the big picture, beyond our own selfish motives.

Men and women in the judiciary, especially in the Sandiganbayan, have proven a mastery of the law, and are challenged to be faithful in their duty to dispense justice. This is the reason why the men and women in robes have the heroic tasks of keeping the check and balance in this fragile democracy of ours.

This is the time to forestall the descent into darkness, by making plunderers and grafters in government know that Crime does not pay!

Like what Ninoy said during the dark hours of the Marcos years: Pity a nation in need of heroes!”

The call of the hour is for each Filipino to be a true citizen, in thought, in word, and in deed, whether in the public or private sector.

In this day and age, each act showing commitment to the straight and narrow path is an act of self sacrifice because it is easier to follow the tide going for the money, and whatever benefits they get from every transaction, never mind the consequences to the nation.

The task of nation building calls for every citizen to be true to his calling. And in a sense, to be a hero!

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