Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Saturday chastised corrupt government officials, calling them “thick-faced” and “brave” for stealing public money.
“Yang mga nagnanakaw ng pera ng bayan, ang lakas ng loob niyo. Ang tapang ng apog [Those who steal the people’s money, you are so callous],” Tagle said at the Good Governance Forum held at the San Vicente de Paul Parish in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
The forum, organized by the Diocese of Novaliches, aimed to promote social justice for a better Philippines in preparation for the 2016 elections.
Tagle has been very vocal in expressing his anger at officials, particularly those involved in the pork barrel scam.
He noted that government officials should be brave in fighting “evil” and in defending the rights of the people.
“Gamitin ang katapangan sa pagiging mabuti [use your boldness and audacity to do good],” he said.
He lamented that government officials become “cowards” when they are asked to become Godly, or when they are called upon to become pro-life.
“Pero para sa kalokohan pagkatapang tapang at very creative. Lahat nagagawan ng paraan para sa kasamaan [But when it comes to improper acts they are bold and very creative. They find ways to do what is not right],” he quipped.
The cardinal noted that graft and corruption can destroy a nation.
“People individual and nations get paralyzed when trust is violated. So be trustworthy and help restore trust in the world,” he said.