Nobody is Free from Corruption
..but there is a difference in the degree of guilt
By Apolinario Villalobos
To corrupt the mind is to pollute it, an act which is a deviation from what is universally accepted as good. In other words, such act is not only about stealing money from the government coffer or people’s money. It is also about influence-peddling, showing of pornographic films to minors, etc. In this view, practically, everybody is guilty of corruption. However, the degree of guilt differs as regards the situation, environment and objective. That is the reason why Mr. Webster came up with such comparatives as, “bad, worse, and worst”.
An ordinary government clerk who stole a petty cash worth Php200.00 cannot be fairly compared with his boss who accepted “grease money” worth Php1million. Simply put, ordinary Filipinos who are guilty of stealing groceries because of hunger, cannot be fairly compared with rich politicians who are habitually accepting commissions from projects at 30-60 percent, instead of the tolerable and traditional 5 to 10 percent. What they are pocketing are people’s money, yet. Although, the acts of theft are the same, the degree of guilt and objectives are different. In this regard, ordinary Filipinos who themselves, are also guilty of corruption should not be viewed with culpability or hypocrites when they are accusing their fraudulent congressmen and senators, or anybody in the high hierarchy of the government of such act.
It is wrong for others to insist that since nobody is “clean”, no one has the right to accuse a corrupt politician. If that kind of reasoning is followed, then mankind might as well, do away with the “justice system” in any form. Instead, every man should be allowed to apply justice as he sees fit, and the norm, “innocent unless proven guilty” should be done away with, too. Justice should be done on the spot, soon as the culprit is caught without the benefit of a trial.
Today, the world is bereft with greed, and corruption in the government is one of the clear manifestations. Those who sit on the fence and view the happenings around them, one of which is the hurling of accusations to suspected government officials, should not get “hurt” and insist on the familiar and already mentioned line, “innocent unless proven guilty”. They should open their mind and be analytical to understand the situation, instead of bringing out narrow contentions that tend to be one-sided.
Those who are courageous enough to even mentally admit that they are corrupt, should be thankful if their commission is in a lesser degree compared to others, especially, those in the government. But it should not stop them from telling the latter to change their ways or vacate their position…and in bringing out what are in their mind about the matter so that others may know.