The cost of loving truth

By: Joshua Fidel Feria
April 07, 2018
1675

Photo from the Internet

In August 2013, members of the Letran community linked arms with millions of outraged Filipinos in Luneta Park to call for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), in the aftermath of a political scandal now referred to as the “Pork Barrel Scam."

This was a concerted effort in response to the events of July 2013 where, according to initial reports by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it had been alleged that 28 members of the Congress of the Philippines had misused funds meant for national-level government projects; Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bongbong Marcos and Gregorio Honasan were named in the report, but only Revilla, Enrile, and Estrada were the only politicians incarcerated.

Janet Lim-Napoles, businesswoman and alleged mastermind of the P10 billion PDAF scam, surrendered to then President Benigno Aquino III late in August.

Defrauded by the very people elected to look after the welfare of the citizenry, Letranites, in keeping with its vision to be “ardent lovers of truth”, decided to draw the line and hold these leaders accountable. In an August 2013 report from The LANCE, former Rector and President Rev. Fr. Tamerlane R. Lana, O.P. said the following in a statement: “In the advent of recent events, the allegations and controversies concerning tax payer’s funds spent maliciously for personal gains, and landed in the hands of only a few.”

The former Rector also lent his support, and effectively the Colegio’s, in calling for the abolition of the PDAF. “If this is not met and the system of allocating Priority Development Assistance Fund is only becoming a nest of corruption, then Colegio de San Juan de Letran believes this should be put to an end.”

Nearly five years since the revelations were publicized, Napoles, according to Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes, has been admitted provisionally into the Justice Department’s witness protection program, galvanizing anti-corruption crusaders into action. For her part, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said she plans to block any moves to admit Napoles into the witness protection program.

This move, allegedly with and through the advice of government official pert of this current administration's inner-most circles, is being questioned for its agenda. This coincides with other questionable decisions the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has implemented, including the dropping of cases against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim, a very close “kumpare” of the President.

People are asking: Why? Why now? Why during these times when crucial issues will rely on the independence of the three branches of government when a true principle of check and balances are needed. Will the government use Napoles as a leverage over members of the Legislature indicted in the Pork Barrel Scam? Will this administration use this advantage to sway Congress’ decisions towards issues like Dengvaxia, and the impeachment of Chief Justice-on leave Maria Lourdes Sereno?

As for its cause to hold those in power accountable and to get at the root of all these, where has the Letranite been since?

This is the cost of loving truth; we do not stop, we do not falter, we continue to search and defend the truth.

Thus we call on the entire Letran community, the brave and gallant Knights, to remain vigilant, to question, to contest, and not to remain silent in times like these when the truth will be the only thing that will differentiate us from patronizing, blind followers.

Be aware. Act. Stay in the know.

Comments

  1. SPORTS : CHED AND DOH VISIT LETRAN IN PREPARATION FOR NCAA BUBBLE, COLEGIO NOW APPROVED FOR TRAINING
  2. Stand-up Comedy Culture with The KoolPals
  3. LCES, Finally an Official Alliance of AcadArena
  4. LSC launches “TamBike-an sa Letran”
  5. To The Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  6. To the Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  7. Tokyo 2021: Looking back and moving forward
  8. Exhibiting ‘Resiliency and Creativity’: NCAA Season 96 to kick off on June 13
  9. Join the 18th Muralla Literary Portfolio of The LANCE!
  10. ‘Rise Up, Stronger’: the new theme of NCAA Season 96 stood up headstrong against the virus plight
  11. NCAA ‘Special’ Season 96 to push through with online sporting events in May
  12. Letran alumnus to send Colegio’s 400th Anniversary score and lyrics to the moon
  13. LOOKBACK: A glimpse of Letran’s Yellow Brick Road of Sports in 2020
  14. Two bullets each
  15. DENR awards Colegio with Gawad Maparaan
  16. Letran conducts webinar on violence against women
  17. The Greatest Reset
  18. Who is Mitch?
  19. Lloyd Cadena: More than a vlogger
  20. Long live the King!
  21. Former Tigers Paraiso, Bataller set to become new members of the Knights
  22. Killing our heroes
  23. 'It's not about the position' Partido Muralla vows service despite big loss in execs race
  24. AAL sweeps execs race; PM reserves senate seats in LSC Elections 2020
  25. Students urge suspension of online classes despite memo from VPAA
  26. Please consider suspending online classes
  27. Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19
  28. NCAA Season 95 suspended indefinitely
  29. Letranites express dismay over Paskong Arriba
  30. Quadricentennial Year 4 ends with a double celebration
  31. Letran dethrones San Beda, claims 18th title
  32. Join the 17th Muralla Literary Portfolio of The LANCE!
  33. Dugong Arriba: Kilalanin ang ating Rektor