MANILA, May 13, 2010— The head of the Manila’s Roman Catholic Church is asking the country's next president
to address issues of “corruption” that worsened under the Arroyo administration.
Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales who had lived and worked for the poor Filipinos said one hopeful solution to corruption which
further aggravates poverty in the country is “good leadership.”
Yet, he said, many leaders who have made good promises during elections have “failed” to do their mandate.
“Now we have a new set of leaders but what do we expect from them aside from service… leadership. We want our
leaders who will give (good) example,” stressed Rosales.
Hong Kong-based Political & Economy Risk Consultancy Ltd. (PERC) disclosed that in a recent corruption poll the Philippines
is Asia Pacific’s fourth most corrupt economy.
The findings showed that the Philippine standing has slipped by two notches amid political mudslinging before the May 10
The country got the worst score of 9.82 in system effectives “in prosecuting and punishing individuals for corruption”
out of 19 sub-indices.
The Philippines, however, got its best score of 5.75 in the ease of building “an internal culture” organizations
to ensure anti-corruption standards are met.
"Bodies like the Catholic Church and volunteer election watchdog bodies will try to mobilize the masses to fight corruption
when they encounter it, but there is no reason to expect them to be any more successful than they were in previous elections,"
The survey conducted from December to February involved 2,174 mid-level and senior Asian and expatriate business executives
working in 16 economies.
Indonesia remained the most corrupt this year with a score of 9.27 from 8.32 in 2009. It was followed by Cambodia with
9.10 from 7.25 and Vietnam with 8.07 from 7.11.
Aside from corruption, the cardinal urged the country’s new set of leaders to address other issues such as “poverty,
unemployment and peace and order.”
“We want leaders who will be simple. We want our leaders not to be arrogant. We want our leaders to be humble,”
“Give service to the people and when that happened… you know they will love their leaders,” Rosales added.
Arroyo misses chance
Cardinal Rosales earlier said President Arroyo missed out opportunities to be “great leader” when asked to
comment on the nine-year rule of the latter.
He said the outgoing president’s unpopular image brought by various allegations of election fraud, corruption, and
human rights abuses have taken its toll on her government.
“She did not face the challenges that well. She missed a great chance to be a good leader,” said Rosales.
Arroyo, who has just been proclaimed as winner of the congressional seat in Pampanga’s second district yesterday,
was tagged by analysts and surveys as the most unpopular leader since the fall of the dictatorship in 1986.
Some quarters even branded her as worse than the late strongman and ousted Ferdinand Marcos for the crimes she allegedly
committed while in power.
Cardinal Rosales made the statement on Thursday while delivering his homily at a Thanksgiving Mass held at the Manila Cathedral
for the “successful and peaceful” conduct of the automated polls.
The liturgical celebration was attended by Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Delfin Bangit and Philippine National
Police chief Gen. Jesus Verzosa and other ranking military and police officials.
Also in attendance were Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rene Sarmiento and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible
Voting (PPCRV) chairperson Henrietta de Villa.
Rosales said what happened last May 10 is worth thanking because many people from various sectors took part to ensure “clean
and peaceful” elections.
From the voters, Comelec officials, PPCRV volunteers, military, police and even the media, they are all part of the “great
things given by God.”
“How do you call these people? We will call them by one word. They are gifts,” he said.
“Yes, we have to admit there were flaws… it wasn’t perfect and I don’t think (there’s such
one) but by and large it was a successful election… peaceful, honest, and truthful,” added Rosales.