Children can help combat corruption in the country by keeping an eye on their parents and asking them questions that will make them alert, according to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Over Church-run Radio Veritas, Tagle said the massive corruption in the government would need not only political fixes but also cultural solutions that must start at home.
“If corruption exists in homes up to the higher level of government, it must be cultural. So how can we provide a cultural response?” said Tagle, who earlier denounced the massive corruption of the pork barrel system by lawmakers.
“Parents should be good models to their children at home … but for instance, if you see your parents owning three cell phones, maybe you can ask them why they have three when one is enough and where they get the money to buy them and sustain all three,” he said.
“That is a question that will change culture and will make parents alert. It’s not only the elderly who shall look after the children but children should also look after their parents,” he said.
Tagle offered these reminders amid the investigation of the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. The controversy also turned the spotlight on her youngest daughter, Jeane, for her lavish lifestyle in the United States.
The young Napoles had posted photos showing her jewelry, designer shoes and handbags, and Porsche cars on social networking sites.
But her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts have been deactivated after news of the scam involving her mother broke out.
At a news conference last month, Tagle was moved to tears when he spoke about the pork barrel scam. He appealed to politicians who dipped their hands into the national coffers to go to the slums and see how the poor suffer every day.
The archbishop joined the Million People March, the protest action on Aug. 26 at Rizal Park, Manila, calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system and the prosecution of those involved in the scam.
But Tagle over the weekend said the latest controversy involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the official name of the pork barrel, which funds lawmakers’ pet projects, was just among the many instances of massive corruption and abuse of power in the country’s history.
“In my lifetime so far, this is not the first time that we are facing this problem. That’s why I am sad and I think about a song that goes, ‘when will we [they] ever learn?’” he said. The title of the song is “Where have all the flowers gone?”
“We want to contribute to a cultural solution to an increasingly cultural problem. We cannot solve a cultural problem simply by a political solution,” the archbishop said.
He said that moral formation and behavioral change must start at home and that the Catholic Church must continue to persevere in its mission to teach the Gospel and form consciences to help curb corruption in the country.