Leading without a moral compass


THE Philippines can be likened to a ship, M/V Las Islas Filipinas, floundering in a choppy sea, its moral compass gone haywire from the latest admission of salacious affairs by the Speaker of the House, an elected public official whose position requires moral ascendancy being the fourth highest elective official in the land after the Senate President, the Vice President and the President.

On board this mother ship, the passengers must have been gripped by the fear of getting dashed in the rocks after realizing that they have been, once again, duped and used as mere tools in this game called politics, only to be discarded once their usefulness expires.

In tandem with the absence of moral ascendancy in this code red situation is the lack of accountability among public officials. What happened to the basic principles of checks and balances in government among the judiciary, the legislative and the executive branches? Is it merely an abstract precept or an idea that may or may not be pursued depending on the whims of the leaders in government?

In filing a graft complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr., the House Speaker was rightly claiming a high level of moral ascendancy as a graft buster in his allegations of an anomalous transaction—a land lease deal—between the Bureau of Corrections and a banana plantation owned by the Floirendo family.

He could have claimed an even higher moral ground than the congressman from Davao del Norte if he had simply focused on graft and corruption and had not stooped so low as to discuss sus seres queridos or his loved ones in public.

Instead, he enumerated them and the number of children he sired with three other women, apart from his four children with his estranged wife.

Yes. Graft and corruption is a big deal, an issue that must be pursued until the perpetrators are made to pay to the full extent of the law. The Speaker of the House would have been right in pursuing his case without allowing himself to be distracted by the innuendoes about his life within the intimate confines of his bedroom.

Cornered as an immoral public official by his own admission, he even branded his own undoing as a distraction from the real issue – that Floirendo is a supposedly corrupt public official whose Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. allegedly deprived the government of P13 billion in the BuCor deal.

A distraction? Well, maybe it was. But he allowed himself to be distracted, lose control of the situation and earn the ire of the Gabriela Women’s party. His admission of leading an immoral life “reeks of machismo unbecoming of a public servant, more so of the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” according to Gabriela representatives.

The House Speaker is right in pointing out that graft and corruption is the real issue at hand. He is also right in filing a case against the Davao del Sur representative.

It is also equally true that the distraction is a real issue, because public officials, especially those elected by the people, must stand on higher moral ground if they are to lead the people and their colleagues in the House with conviction without abandoning M/V Las Islas Filipinas and its passengers floundering in the high seas without a moral compass.


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  1. Don’t even talk about it now, there is no such thing – only lying hypocrites can ever claim to have it, like Tatad maybe. If one is clean then “cast that stone.”

    We need a pragmatic, reasonably fair and competent governance. Don’t muddle the issue.

    A country controlled by crooked businesses supported by evil judiciary, with these parasites running the country, and a lazy, stupid, unproductive people (except in procreation), we got our problem now.

    China has no pretension of morality, but look what it has done.

    So don’t talk about it, all pinoys are just easy prostitutes at the slightest chance and opportunity – only different price.

  2. Rene Evidente on

    I really never warmed up to Alvarez. He strikes me as a traditional politician. Indeed he is.

  3. It seems to be a cultural thing. Invariably one of the first questions I’m asked is how many kids I have along with a boastful statement of how many the questioner has!

  4. The question now is WHO will file the complaint against this womanizer house speaker? If this one one goes down the gurgler without much ado, more national fiascos are on hand for that nation. The state itself should file a disbarment case against Alvarez for its ‘duty of care’ towards the population.

    • The Philippines relies on the government agencies not starting investigations on their own, The Philippine law enforcement agencies don’t act like first world agencies that investigate possible graft and corruption unless a citizen files a case and has all the proof to hand to them. The way it usually works it a person informs the Dept of Justice of corruption and then the agencies dismiss the charges for a lack of evidence without doing a proper investigation.

      Corruption thrives in the Philippines due to weak law enforcement, weak congress which is subservient to whoever is president and selected justice practiced by the Ombudsman and Dept of Justice.

      No one on the presidents team is ever convicted and jailed for anything.

  5. Amnata Pundit on

    Isn’t the Church the one that should provide the moral compass in any society? You should have called this the failure of religion, and you know what religion that is , of course.

  6. It is common knowledge that politicians and the rich have mistresses. That is why pinning De Lima for immorality is hypocrisy on the part of those who wanted her disbarred. I am not a fan of De Lima but I never did like the fact that those politicians who hate her guts kept rattling on her sexual immorality. I don’t care if De Lima gets disbarred but I this rule should apply to all politicians and lawyers even if it means a mass disbarment LOL.

  7. The Philippines is becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, otherwise known as Sodomy and Gonorrhea.

    The men violent and unfaithful, the women cheap and easy, the children sold for cybersex.
    No surprise that The Philippines is also a hub for sex trafficking and the world’s number one user of pornhub.

    Corrupt politicians, incompetent bureaucrats, vigilante police, hypocritical priests, and an uncouth president.

    An archipelago of thieves and liars with a damaged culture, a dysfunctional government, and broken families.

    With such role-models is anyone surprised that The Philippines is a divided nation full of anger, inequality, deprivation, and beset by socio-economic failure.

    Welcome aboard the M/V Titanic.
    Icebergs ahead.

    “A nation of sheep will get a government of wolves”
    Edward R. Murrow