Winds of change
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Hounded by renewed allegations of poll fraud in the 2007 elections that have been resurrected by the recent revelations of former elections supervisor Lintang Bedol, detained former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, and the team of policemen who say they were part of special operations to steal election returns and replace them with tampered ones showing pro-Arroyo candidates winning in the elections; Senator Miguel Zubiri surprised the nation when he resigned from the Senate last Wednesday afternoon.Sen. Zubiri’s resignation comes as a pleasant surprise to most Filipinos because we are coming from an era where we have seen politicians and government officials arrogantly refuse to resign or abdicate their hold on power despite being accused of things more serious than benefitting from rigged elections, probably because these misguided souls believe that they have the blessing of their powerful patron to do whatever they want. In his 17-page privilege speech where he announced his resignation, Zubiri said: “No amount of power, position or wealth is worth sacrificing for one’s honor and integrity”. Had he said those words and followed it up with resolute action a few years earlier, he would have been laughed out of the Senate and government service for failing to “get with the program”. But now, under a new administration and leadership that is focused on restoring honesty and decency to our government, a public official’s honor and integrity is starting to regain the value it once had.In 2007, the conditions were there that made it ok to accept a dubious electoral victory. Now, just a year after the new president has made it clear to the nation that all sorts of corruption and dishonesty will no longer be tolerated, after various witnesses and whistle blowers have believed his sincerity and have since emerged from hiding and come out with their versions of the truth, Senator Migs Zubiri must have realized that it was better to save face and resign now rather than lose face completely if and when the various new witnesses and evidence that have been coming out do prove that he benefitted from massive poll fraud.
Sen. Zubiri’s resignation, which was unthinkable just a few years ago, confirms that PNoy’s seemingly tunnel-visioned crusade against corruption is actually changing our society. If a Senator can now value his honor and integrity more than power, position or wealth, then maybe other public officials and even the common man on the street are having that same paradigm shift. There is hope for the Philippines.*