Praise for someone who walked the narrow road PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:51

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

 

When  I first  read about COA’s Grace Pulido Tan leaving government service I could not help wondering why. The news item simply quoted some of her remarks  to the COA personnel on her last day in office but did not say why she was leaving.  I thought that she might have been appointed to a position in a prestigious international body. It was only later that I learned she was leaving COA because she had reached retirement age.

I can’t help thinking that God must be testing our country and its people. We had Haydee Yorac but God in His wisdom called her home to him. We had Jesse Robredo and he too was called much earlier than we would have wanted.  For the  few years we had Grace Pulido Tan at COA she guided the Commission in catching a good number of people with their hands in the till. There is still a lot to be done by COA but now she is retired and we wonder who might be a worthy replacement for her.

I cannot help wondering either why certain people who should be erased from the roster of  the list of public servants of the Philippines are still around. The Marcoses.  Joseph Estrada. Enrile. They, like the proverbial bad penny, just keeping turning up.

What message is our younger generation receiving from the continued presence of these “not wanted”  in our public service?  That it is okay to steal if you can get away with it?  That the rich and the powerful, who got rich and powerful in the first place by looting the national treasury, can escape what should be their just desserts  because they can hire good lawyers because they are rich and powerful?

The sad part of having someone like Grace Pulido Tan in government service is that she is, or was, a role model of someone at the helm of a key government office like the COA.  And the COA going after the  “crooks” in government, as well as their cohorts, is essential in  the Aquino government’s effort to weed out as much as it can of  the corruption that is already endemic  in our public sector.

I say endemic because of the stories I hear of government employees , say the LTO, mulcting drivers  for as little as P200 just so they don’t have their licenses taken away. Can you imagine what the temptation must be like if one is the approving figure for a public project costing several hundred millions?

I have never met Grace Pulido Tan except in what has been written about her and her work in COA in the newspapers.  Let us petition heaven for another one like her.