May 8, 2022 – In an interview in the KBP-COMELEC PiliPinas Forum 2022 aired last May 6, the Honorable Senator Manny Pacquiao alluded to an unnamed DepEd official involved in corruption receiving cuts and/or commissions amounting to 40% of the project cost. When asked to identify, he demurred.

As a public servant, the good senator has every right, legally and morally to assail and put to question whatever wrongdoing, any person or instrumentality of the government for that matter in his quest to eradicate graft and corruption in the bureaucracy.

Within a matter of days, however, the whole nation will troop to the polling station to cast their votes for the next President of the Republic. As we are all aware, the good Senator is a candidate, a viable one for that prestigious office. Therefore, it is a moral duty for the good senator, being a candidate for the highest office in the land, to name names and/ or identify, and not rely on generalities to put down the whole institution of the Department of Education. Even as the COMELEC is the foremost agency tasked with the electoral process, behind every polling precinct and canvassing center are teachers and DepEd officials and employees.

We have 948,270 teachers as well as over 27 million learners. Surely, casting aspersions on the entire institution is very dangerous and might affect public impressions of the integrity of the upcoming electoral results.

While there might still be bad eggs within the organization, the leadership of the Department has seen fit to charge these known implicated and remove those found guilty. It is not, therefore, the time to condemn the whole institution.

To allege wrongdoing, unsupported by specific facts or without naming names, is tantamount to false accusation. The good senator has been in office for more than 9 years, hence, he cannot claim to be morally blameless if the allegation be true, as self-righteousness is consuming. The Good Book instructs, “Let any one of you who is without sin cast the first stone.”

The DepEd wishes the good Senator well in his journey towards the highest post of the land. If victorious, may he pray the famous prayer of Solomon, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong (1 Kings 3:9 NIV).”