Shun corruption, Ombudsman urges lawyers
CEBU CITY—Resist temptation. Shun corruption. Live within your means.
Thus were the unsolicited advice of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to government and private workers as the nationwide war against dishonesty and fraud continues.
“Upholding integrity is better appreciated in the context of knowing when to say yes and when to say no. The primary challenge is saying yes in maintaining [uprightness] in all dealings,” she said in her speech delivered during the 30th anniversary of Cebu Lady Lawyers Association (CELLA) at the Casino Español de Cebu in Cebu City on Friday evening.
“Enticements are everywhere. Corruption pervades every sector whether in government or private sector. We join the crusade to end the forces that degrade people’s lives,” she added.
Morales expressed dismay over the actions of some leaders, who instead of serving people, set aside integrity in exchange for money.
“The people should be bothered when the leaders themselves could not figure out what is right and what is wrong either by sheer ignorance of the law or a symptom of a callous conscience,” said the feisty chief anti-graft crusader.
Morales encouraged the lawyers to lead the way in the fight against corruption to promote the common good.
“Those who are able to speak justice must do justice. I, therefore, exhort everyone to lead the way and shine as luminous and incandescent as the pearl. The challenge of upholding integrity is applicable not only for those in public service but in every sector of society,” she said.
To uphold accountability in public service, she said, is to stay humble at all times.
“The Constitution advises public officials to live modest lives. In other words, live within your means. We must reject corruption wholeheartedly and embrace the core values of beauty, wisdom, and integrity,” Morales said.
CELLA was founded by retired Judge Exaltacion Navarro in 1987. The group aimed to involve women lawyers in socio-economic activities, foster camaraderie among themselves, and maintain the ideals of integrity and morality.
CELLA has hosted a weekly radio show on legal matters over dyRC since 1988. It also has a television program over the Cebu Catholic Television Network.
Morales lauded CELLA for continuing to cultivate and inspire more women lawyers to become responsive to the challenge of the times.
“The nation is still confronting the dark vestiges of corruption. CELLA’s spark of heavenly fire, once kindled and set ablaze, can illuminate the (darkness) and ensure that every public fund goes to improving the lives of every Filipino,” she said./lzb
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