Fighting poverty but not corruption
“I AM not Binay, I don’t steal,” said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the Binay camp keeps trying to divert to other presidential candidates the “corrupt” tag that seems to stick like glue now to Vice President Jejomar Binay. Some Binay supporters even say “They’re all corrupt, everyone steals, but Binay shares,” thus implying that Binay himself does steal. Binay himself says, “Only the courts can say I’m corrupt.” And only the corrupt would want our relatively corruptible courts to be the sole determinant of corruption.
If only the courts can say one is corrupt, then even the act of stealing isn’t enough to make one a thief; and even the incessant plundering of a nation’s wealth isn’t enough to define the plunderer as corrupt. With Binay’s lawyerly argument, leaders can plunder away until they’re caught, then they can use their power and unexplained wealth to delay legal proceedings long enough for their plunder case to be dismissed on the ground that their right to speedy trial has been violated. Then they can go about threatening those committed to reporting corruption with “See you in court, again.”
Binay insists that poverty, not corruption, is “the moral problem,” as he maneuvers to redefine corruption as benign, making Joseph Goebbels look like his disciple. But corruption is a malignant disease that escalates poverty. So a leader who promises to fight poverty but not corruption in our country is a thief posing as a savior.
Binay claims everything he does is aboveboard and legal, effectively making himself sound like he’s legitimizing corruption. But like Conrado de Quiros said, “Corruption kills” and Binay’s legitimized corruption can kill far more innocent people than Duterte’s war on crime.
Ka Jojo defied the “world’s biggest thief.” Sadly, so many now feel that he has transmogrified into the plunderer he fought so hard against.
—ERNIE LAPUZ,[email protected]
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