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SOUL-SEARCHING AMID PORK SCANDAL

Parents plant seeds of corruption–Tagle

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 08:00 AM June 11, 2014

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The p10-billion pork barrel scam is not just about corrupt politicians, but how parents plant the seeds of corruption in raising their children at home, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said on Tuesday.

He said that instead of pointing the finger on a small group, Filipinos in general must engage in soul-searching and in communal examination of consciences to discern the status of the Filipino culture and how it can be “purified.”

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“I just wish that we would set it in a wider context, not only in the politicians but of the whole country and the whole Filipino culture,” Tagle said during a press conference on the 51st International Eucharistic Conference at Arzobispado in Intramuros, Manila.

Tagle was asked about the alleged diversion of the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ghost projects and kickbacks that last week led to the indictment of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

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“This somehow tells something about ourselves, not just about them,” Tagle noted. “I am appealing to everyone, especially the parents, to see how you raise your children, see how in your relationship with them, seeds of corruption are already being sown,” he said.

Parents unwittingly teach their children the concept of bribery in their everyday interaction with them, Tagle said.

“If you tell your child, ‘please go to the bakeshop to buy pandesal’ and the child refuses, then you say, ‘Sige na, we would go to the mall later,’ isn’t that bribery?” said Tagle.

If that child grows up to become, for instance, the secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways or the commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, he or she might also do the same thing and engage in bribery, he said.

“If he is asked, ‘can you do this?’ he would say ‘ayoko,’ and he’ll be offered P1 million and that’s the time he would say ‘sige’” said Tagle. “Where did that person learn it? From papa and mama,” he added.

“So let us not point to just a small group. All of us should engage in soul-searching where is the Filipino culture going or where are our weak points. How do we purify our culture, our schools, our system of reward and punishment,” added the archbishop.

The mishandling of the PDAF must also push Filipinos to undergo “communal examination of conscience,” Tagle said.

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Last year, when the Inquirer broke the story on the pork barrel scam, Tagle, who was moved to tears, appealed to politicians who dipped their hands into the national coffers to go to the slums and see how the poor suffered every day.

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Originally posted: 5:50 pm | Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

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TAGS: bribery, Catholic Church, Children, Culture, Family, Graft and Corruption, Janet Lim Napoles, Luis Antonio Tagle, malversation of public funds, News, Plunder, pork barrel scam, upbringing
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