Every which way you look at issues bedeviling us today, there is that nagging word that often comes to mind, and that is “corruption.” Jong Sung You (2018) defines corruption as “untrustworthy behavior, a betrayal of entrusted power, and a breach of interactional or formal justice (which) negatively affects people’s perceptions of fairness and generalized trust.” Filipinos most often associate corruption with morality or conduct/behavior. Its etymology says it all—corruption breaks or destroy people’s trusts. One must break something in order for the act to be considered a corrupt one.
What exactly does a person breaks for that act to be considered corruption? Usually, those charged with corruption are those entrusted with public office. Lockian belief says that the people has this social contract or covenant with their government. The people entrust their governments with their rights, in exchange for government taking care of them, protecting them from dangers and all.
When a public official robs the people of their monies entrusted with government, it is corruption. When a public official uses his power for his own purpose or uses his office for his family to profit from, it is corruption.
Corruption is basically an illicit act and this is exactly why several people associate this behavior with a break from licit or authorized behavior. It is authorized behavior to do business but it is a corruption if the business leads to impoverishment of the people. It is okey for government to hire private firms and transfer the government’s power to them. It is, however, corruption when the private firm gets enormous benefits from the relationship which is above or in excess with what is allowed by law.
When an individual sells illicit drugs, it is corruption. When one leads another to go astray, it is corruption. When someone induces another to do an act which harms another, it is corruption.
When a private individual builds a road using sub-standard materials, it is corruption. When the road he built causes death or destruction of property of another, it is corruption.
We are losing close to a trillion pesos due to corrupt practices, leading many to presume that corruption has institutionalized itself not just in the bureaucracy but even in the private sector.
Corruption, is, destroying, our country, slowly, but surely. Thru incremental fashion, corruption is eroding the very institutions of trusts which people rely on. When trust disappears, our country loses its ability to unify, and with disunification, comes destruction.
Hence, corruption is something which causes war. As Patriots, we are duty bound to lead the charge and end this cause of war. Otherwise, we may yet witness the erosion of our institutions which has kept us united for more than a century.