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People power needs continuing reform

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By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD
WE have just celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the EDSA People Power I Revolution. Months after that historic 1986 Revolution, the late Cardinal Sin lamented: “We have driven out Ali Baba and his 40 thieves. Now we have a new Ali Baba and 40 thieves.”

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Had we really changed a corrupt government? Or had we merely changed the corrupt officials running it with a new set of corrupt ones?

The common perception is that government corruption and dictatorship, which were the principal cause of the bloodless uprising, are very much alive.

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A member of the 1986 Constitutional Convention Florangel Rosario Braid said that the Draft Constitution for the basic structures towards a comprehensive development considers development only in terms of social, economic, political, and environmental perspectives.

But Rosario Braid stresses, “No amount of efficiency in structures will work without thorough RESTRUCTURING and OVERHAUL of our moral values and attitudes.”

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Because of our weak  human nature,  greed and other evil inclinations keep lurking in the minds and hearts of people who, without qualms, will commit sins and corrupt practices.

The Lord teaches: “It’s not the things that  come from outside that make a man unclean… From a man’s heart come  the  evil  desires which lead him to rob, kill, commit adultery, and do all sorts of  evil things” (Mk 7.20).

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Temptations are around us. What’s important is to resist them, especially  when it comes to serious matters affecting national interests, like graft and corruption, illegal practices, or participation in anomalous deals.

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Remember Emilio Advincula, the poor taxi driver struggling to support his family, who captured the admiration of his countrymen?

When he saw the bag left behind by a balikbayan woman on the passenger seat, he was tempted to open it but refused. The bag contained some R2 million in cash and jewelry.

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Asked why he didn’t open it, he replied, “My mother had often told me as a boy: ‘No matter what, never take anything that’s not yours.’”

A study conducted by Reader’s Digest not so long ago called the “Wallet Test” reveals that family upbringing and religion play in setting moral standards.

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Additionally, fear of punishment can reinforce a personal moral conviction. The thought of charges, endless trials, and, if found guilty, the ignominious penalty, like dismissal from service, should be a deterrent.

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In this connection, what needs stressing as an effective remedy is the strict implementation of the law.
If even the big fishes are not above the law, if wrongdoers without fear or favor are put behind bars, then potential criminals will think twice to break the law.

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EDSA I was God’s ways of telling us the need for a CONTINUING moral cleansing, reform, and values formation for those who govern as well as the governed.

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ST. JUDE.  Today, FIRST Thursday, join our novena to St. Jude, Saint of the Impossible, at the Divine Word Shrine, Christ the King Seminary, on E. Rodriguez Boulevard, Quezon City, after the 6 p.m. mass.

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DEATHS. FR. RUBEN MAMUAD, 76,  of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) passed away last February 26 of kidney complications.

His remains lie at the Villa Cristo Rey lobby in Christ the King Seminary compound on E. Rodriguez Boulevard, Quezon City. Interment date not yet known.

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SR. DEOCORA AGCAOILI, SSPS, 90, passed away last Feb. 27. Interment is set on March 2. Wake is at the Holy Spirit Convent, Poinsettia St., Cubao, Q.C.
REQUIESCAT IN PACE.

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