As Philippine Congress endlessly investigates one scam after the other, majority of Filipinos feel life now is far worse than a year ago as the country continues to suffer the effects of global economic crisis. In a survey conducted among 1,200 adults nationwide from October 14 to 27, 2008 about 58 percent of the respondents said they are worse off now than last year. Incidentally “79 percent of Filipinos considers the national economy to have deteriorated in the past three years – a sentiment shared by big majorities (72% to 86%) in all geographic areas and socio-economic classes” as revealed in a survey conducted by Pulse Asia.
While this is primarily the concern of both the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government, seldom we see legislators and the president express unity of mind and efforts to address people’s needs and economic deprivations. Likewise, President Arroyo as usual is very optimistic about the country’s economic growth despite global crisis, confident that her administration has already installed the necessary economic measures to alleviate poverty and bring about changes and progress.
And this is exactly the message she has been telling to the entire world whenever she was invited to address World Leaders in many economic summits. She awed them with her claims thus greatly applauding her. But this is not what the majority of the Filipinos see. Everyday they hear news about corruption in her government and the involvement of her cabinet people including some people close to her family. The first family however denied any involvement in any scandalous transactions of the government.
Even if Jose de Venecia 2, the former Speaker of the House, and his son Joey de Venecia link the first gentleman and the president with the ZTE-NBN scandalous deal the first family proclaims innocence calling both the father and son as liars. First gentleman Arroyo called Jose de Venecia 2, a liar for linking him with the ZTE-NBN deal in a Justice Committee hearing in Congress. Even in an impeachment complaint filed against the president by the opposition she has nothing to worry about. Her Solon allies will always kill the complaints before it could reach the Senate. It appears then that the Arroyo’s administration is so immaculate and undefiled from graft and corruption contrary to what most of the people believe.
I am reminded of a story in the Bible that illustrates the importance of telling the truth. A king summoned his trusted man and asked if he would push through with his plan to go to war.
“ When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.”
“The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD ?”
“Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.” (1 Kings 22:15-17 )
The greatest kindness we can do to one that is going in a dangerous way, is, to tell him of his danger. To leave the hardened criminal without excuse, and to give a useful lesson to others, Micaiah related his vision. This matter is represented after the manner of men: we are not to imagine that God is ever put upon new counsels; or that he needs to consult with angels, or any creature, about the methods he should take; or that he is the author of sin, or the cause of any man’s telling or believing a lie.
Those that will not have their mistakes set right in time, by the word of God, will be undeceived, when it is too late, by the judgments of God. We should be ashamed of what we call trials, were we to consider what the servants of God have endured. Yet it will be well, if freedom from trouble prove not more hurtful to us; we are more easily allured and bribed into unfaithfulness and conformity to the world, than driven to them. (From Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary)
Is there a reason to be afraid for one to tell the truth? Jun Lozada did it to save this country from the peril of corruption in the government. JDV is now telling everything he knows to correct a wrong-doing. But what’s the prize for telling the truth? Many that includes your comfort, safety, and personal interests, and political career. But there is even a greater reason for telling the truth, you are always on the side of God.