School leaders call for moral revolution against corruption | Inquirer Opinion

School leaders call for moral revolution against corruption

08:28 PM September 24, 2013

We, the presidents of Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, and the University of the Philippines, join our faculty, staff and students in their deep concern about, and condemnation of, the misuse of public funds by unscrupulous government officials and their conniving associates. We stand in unity, driven by a keen desire to end the deeply entrenched culture of corruption and patronage in our political system.

Accountability, transparency and other principles of good governance require not only the prudent use of discretionary funds but also the assurance that public funds are used for the genuine needs of our people. We strongly urge our national leaders from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to reexamine how they exercise discretion in allocating and using public funds, to probe into the deeper roots of the pork barrel scam, and to address in particular the culture of corruption that destroys ourselves and communities, especially the poor.

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Our deep gratitude to all those who, driven solely by pure motives and love of country, joined the “Million People March” held all over the country, for their courage, vigilance and leadership in spearheading the new moral revolution against corruption. We join their voices and demands to open all government records to public scrutiny and punish all those involved in the misuse of public funds.

We ask that the institutions tasked by law to ensure accountability in public service, such as the Ombudsman, the Sandiganbayan, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Audit, the Department of Justice, and the Senate blue ribbon committee, expedite their investigations and immediately file the appropriate cases against those involved in corruption. No effort must be spared to ensure that they be punished at the soonest possible time.

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We support the call for the rechanneling of public funds to basic social services, particularly education and health care, so that public investments promote inclusive growth and long-term human and social development.

We call on our faculty, staff, students and respective academic institutions, as well as those of other colleges and universities, to analyze the various issues related to corruption and public accountability (such as the extent of discretion exercised by government officials in the use of public funds, the implementation of projects, the public accounting system, and public budgeting), and to discern from this analysis solutions that are actionable and sustainable. We call on everyone to mobilize and participate in activities that will allow for greater conversations on accountability, such as classroom discussions, forums and mass actions.

By these actions, may we, as institutions of higher learning, continue to do justice to the values that we hold dear—“service of a faith that does justice”; “truth, justice and peace”; and “honor and excellence”—in the service of true participation in nation-building.

—JOSE RAMON T. VILLARIN, SJ,

president, Ateneo de Manila University;

ROSARIO O. LAPUS, president,

Miriam College;

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ALFREDO E. PASCUAL, president,

University of the Philippines

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TAGS: ATENEO, corruption, graft, letters, Million People March, Miriam college, pork barrel scam, schools, UP
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