“Sa kasaysayan natin sa bansa ay napakarami na nating narinig, nabunyag na mga pagkakataon ng corruption, ng pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan at yung napakamali sa paggamit ng pera na nakalaan sana sa paglilingkod sa bayan,” Tagle said in an interview on Radyo Veritas. “Sa aking lifetime so far, hindi ito ang first time na tayo ay humaharap sa ganyan, kaya ako ay nalulungkot.”
Tagle recently, and very openly, expressed his views on the pork barrel scam, in which lawmakers allegedly misused billions in pesos of government funds for kickbacks.
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.”
Tagle’s fellow bishops, too, are very open about their views. On Friday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a pastoral statement expressing support for an upcoming prayer vigil against the pork barrel system. The vigil is scheduled on September 11, at the EDSA Shrine.
Meanwhile, in the Radyo Veritas interview, Tagle said political solutions only provide a temporary answer to the problem of corruption. He said that as a cultural problem, it will only be eradicated through “moral transformation and behavioral change” to be led primarily by parents in their households.
“Kung ang corruption, pagnanakaw at paglilinlang ay nakikita mula sa simpleng tahanan, hanggang doon sa kataas-taasan, it must be cultural, so how can we provide a cultural response? Dapat maging ehemplo ng simpleng pamumuhay sa kanilang anak ang mga magulang,” Tagle said.
The cardinal added that the parents’ efforts should be complemented by the diligent teaching of values by the Catholic Church.
He admitted, however, that the Catholic Church had shortcomings in carrying out its duties of conscience formation and imparting lessons on values to its congregation. —
Xianne Arcangel/DVM, GMA News