PIGS We are Not

Message to The Young Men of De Molay

This is the Year of the Pig. Fortune tellers start telling who is in and who is out, who will get killed and who will survive, who will get rich and who will get poor. And my first message is: You and I are not pigs. We were in created in the image of God. In short, hindi tayo baboy.

And that reminds me of a story.

Once upon a recent time, God sent a saint to earth. His mission was simple: persuade everyone to change his evil ways. The saint came to earth, went to Congress, visited the offices of the BIR and the Bureau of Customs, Malacañang and the LTO, but quite expectedly failed to persuade anyone. Discouraged, he went back to heaven and reported his failure. 

In His almighty kindness, God asked him to try again. He made the mission even easier: persuade animals instead of people.

The saint came again to earth. And while walking he met a pig. He talked to the pig and told the untold story of heaven – peace, happiness, grace. The pig listened and showed interest. Then the pig asked this question in Tagalog: Kung totoo po ang sinasabi ninyo tungkol sa langit, may kaning baboy ba doon para sa akin? May putik bang maliliguan doon?

That is the mentality of the pig. It finds happiness in its own stink. Some people love to wallow in their garbage.

But you and I are not pigs. We have the power to know what is right and keep it. There is another power: that of knowing what is wrong and setting it right.

Sa ating bansa, maraming nangyayari na pambababoy. This is bad enough. It is worse when we give up and begin getting used to it.

Let me tell you some of my experiences.

When I was police provincial commander in Laguna many years back, a common form of pambababoy is jueteng money. The capitalistas and juetengeros give money to the police for protection. You were not in the club if you did not take.

I resisted and rejected every offer. As a result, I was called stupid. I was even smeared. But at the end of the day, we who did not take had peace of mind. This is the kind of peace that money cannot buy. Huwag magpababoy.

When I saved a young boy from his kidnappers in Cebu, I was offered money as a form of gratitude. I did not take any. Why? Ayaw kong babuyin ang aking sinumpaang tungkulin. The giver’s best intention could never make the difference.

When I was Chief PNP, I saw many things wrong. I had to set them right.

It was wrong for a policeman to look shabby in his uniform. I punished the deviants.

It was wrong for a policeman to take money from jueteng and other illegal sources. I dismissed the scalawags. It was wrong for a policeman to engage in kotong. I caught them in the act and shipped them out.

It was wrong for a policeman to indulge in a big tummy. I sent him to fitness rehabilitation.

It was wrong for police senior officers to play golf during office hours. I castigated the golf aficionados.

It was wrong for a policeman to use recovered carnaped vehicles. I shamed the users.

Some police officers hated my guts to set right what was wrong. But the good ones loved me for leading not by book but by example.

In the Senate, people laughed at me at my attitude towards pork barrel. Until today, I still believe that legislation is not a piggery business.

We are a nation of laws, not of men. And certainly, not of pigs.

In a democracy, separation of powers is important. But responsibility for them is even more important.

What is the responsibility of the legislative department? Certainly not pork barrel. It is the creation of the best laws to rule our nation. It is the exercise of our oversight function to see that the laws we pas are adequate and implemented properly. As simple as that, is it not?

I just cannot figure anything more simple.

The argument that not every legislator is corrupt by touching the pork barrel, is irrelevant. You do not need pork to think of a good law. you do not need pork to investigate wrongdoings in aid of legislation. You do not need pork to deliver memorable privilege speeches.

Or do you?

Many legislators do not get corrupted by the pork barrel. That is true. But who can tell me that pork barrel is not a source of graft to those who build the bridges or buy medicines?

Only pigs probably will.

In the executive department, babuyan is real business. Sino ang nambaboy sa atin sa People’s Initiative? You know who.

Walang nambababoy kung walang nagpapababoy. In May this year, we have an opportunity to set right what was wrong in 2004. Huwag na tayo uli magpababoy. Let De Molay show what it has.

I am telling all these things to you because you are the hope of this country. And if I may guide you, bear this line in mind: When you lead people, be sure that you lead them by example. Steadfastness against all odds … Reject the abuses, reject the evil ways of leaders. Set right what is wrong with our government and our society.

That problem with the present administration and its failed leadership is due to its example – bad example. It is incapable of offering itself as a model to anyone. It is incapable of moving the soul, heart and mind of the Filipino.

You and I are going to choose our leaders again in May. A basic question to ask is: does this candidate have the power to lead by example?

A candidate, even if he has the best credentials, cannot lead if he cannot be an example of integrity in character. This time, refuse giving him the benefit of the doubt.

A candidate, even if he has all the talents cannot lead if he cannot be an example of moral courage. This time, delete him from memory.

A candidate, even if he is known in every nook and corner of the country, cannot lead if he cannot be an example of efficiency in work. This time, relegate him to the world of make-believe.

The first principle I learned in the Philippine Military Academy is simple. It says: What is right must be kept right. What is wrong must be set right.

Try it. It works. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.