Character is an essential requirement PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 October 2014 11:50

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

 

Every day I wait for the Manila paper so I can read for myself  what new developments there are in the on-going saga of “Mr. Deny”  VP Jejomar Binay. Even if he denies all the charges against him I am still amazed at the number of wrong doing attributed to him or his administration in Makati over the years. We still are not done with him and neither with his wife or the current mayor who is also a Binay. What other revelations are we going to know about.

It is a common wisdom that “where there is smoke there is fire.”  Even if we question the motives of Mr. Mercado - and he fits to a T the quotation which I shall adapt as  “hell has no fury like a politician betrayed” -  those information  that Mr. Mercado has provided the public are still enough to make us question very seriously the character of VP Binay.

To Henry Clay is attributed this quotation “ Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.” The question for me right now regarding VP Binay is “ Is he an honorable man?”

Considering that VP Binay has spent the last 4 years or so campaigning for the presidential election which takes place in 2016 this is a valid question to ask and seek for an answer before we become drowned out by the usual hoopla that always accompanies an election.

If VP Binay were simply running for a Makati position there is not such an urgency for me about his  character. It matters some, yes, but not on the same level of  urgency; I don’t live in Makati after all. But I was a teacher for many years and even if I taught chemistry or statistics it was always my objective to contribute to turning out good men and women. And based on what has been revealed  about VP Binay he is not what I would have wanted my students to become.

And to think that  for so many years he  has been president of the Boy Scouts  of the Philippines – that organization which is supposed to be a strong influence on the moral and ethical development of young men. Good Lord!

In fairness to VP Binay, if he really is guilty of those charges leveled against him, he has gotten away with all the things he is said to have done because our processes of governance in the Philippines are  seriously flawed.

Take the SALN.  What is the value of this document which the government official  fills out himself with data he chooses to share  and these data are not validated until the official comes under the microscope for corrupt practices.

And take those audit reports on government projects. Audit reports come out after the project is done and that is when we learn ( if ever) that some items- like the hospital beds for the Makati hospital- are  priced over a thousand percent than the going rates.

Strong characters are good but they have to be helped to stay within the moral and ethical  framework that is desired.