Sep 082013
With the interfaith vigil against the pork-barrel system, called “EDSA Tayo”, just a few days away, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle over the weekend sought more converts to the burgeoning anti-graft movement as he urged Filipinos to act against corruption.

“We, individuals, should strive to change this system,” said Tagle during the monthly Manila Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly (MAGPAS) at Paco Catholic School. “Let us refuse. We should not comply or agree with practices that are not keeping God’s will and the laws of the land.”

Tagle added Filipinos have a choice: to go along with those who perpetrate corruption, or to express opposition against it.

“Even if we say that corrupt practices are widely accepted in various government offices, we all have the freedom to choose. The political community and our personal families might have greatly influenced us, but we should always remember that we are free to make a choice.”

Tagle recently, and very openly, expressed his views on corruption. Specifically, he has been critical of the pork barrel system, in which lawmakers allegedly scammed billions of pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

A few weeks ago, the cardinal shed tears as he spoke about the “heartbreaking” scam in a press conference at the University of Santo Tomas.

Last month, the cardinal surprised protesters in the so-called Million People March by showing up at the Quirino Grandstand, where he characterized Filipinos as a “people of honor.”

Also during Tagle’s talk during the pastoral assembly, the cardinal called on government officials to be proactive in cleaning up corruption, as doing nothing may give the impression that irregularities were acceptable.

“In the end, each Filipino will become corrupt, thinking that it is part of an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). This should not be the case,” he said.

He added government leaders should think of the nation, instead of enriching themselves. — DVM, GMA News

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