100% Katolikong Pinoy’s stand on public transparency following the recent controversy regarding the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)

100% KP100%Katolikong Pinoy’s stand on public transparency following the recent controversy regarding the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)

In the Gospel reading of the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar of the Ordinary Form of the Mass (Lk. XVI:1-13, Year C), the Lord reminds us about good stewardship, specifically, good stewardship over financial wealth. The example that the Lord gave is that of the unjust steward who, upon the master’s announcement of him being kicked out of his service, started to think of ways how to lessen the massive impact that would destroy his character by talking to his master’s debtors and settle a deal with them before he is about to be sacked. “To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed,” (v. 3) he remarked of himself. It was written that the master commended the prudent action that he did, lest he be shamed by the reports of his alleged squandering.

In other parts of the Gospels, we also see Christ’s stories about how He became pivotal in changing people’s lives and doing justice for themselves. One example is the rich man, who, after hearing Jesus telling him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor in order to have treasure in heaven (cf. Lk. XVIII:22), was dismayed since he is abounding in wealth though he had followed the commandments rigorously.

Another exemplary figure is Zacchaeus, whose only intention is to see who this Jesus is and what does He look like. When the Lord saw him, he was perplexed to the fact that Jesus was dining in his house, and that he is a tax collector hosting a rabbi. Then while dining, in a sudden outburst of conviction, Zacchaeus told Jesus in the presence of his family and the Apostles: “Behold, Lord, I give one-half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” To this, the Lord replied: “Today salvation has come to this house…. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (cf. Lk. XIX: 8-10)

These are but emphases of the Seventh and Tenth Commandments: “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”

As to the teachings of Holy Mother Church, we firmly believe that everyone should be given what is due to an individual. We, the mystical Body of Christ, also have the responsibility to become the conscience of the state, in the event that the state becomes corrupt.

Quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters when the fundamental rights of a person or the salvation of souls requires it. In the moral order, she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.” (par. 2420)

Furthermore, the Catechism reflects on the Tenth Commandment (and in similarity, also on the Seventh) as follows: “The Tenth Commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass goods without limit. It forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods…” (par. 2536).

With this, it also gave reference to the Catechism of the Council of Trent: “When the Law says ‘You shall not covet,’ these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another’s goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: ‘He who loves money never has money enough.’” (Roman Catechism III, 37; Sir. 5:8–as quoted on CCC par. 2536).

St. John Chrysostom, in his capacity as Archbishop of Constantinople back in his days, condemned the abuse of power of the rulers of the illustrious city, which cost him his reputation as a churchman for speaking the truth and for speaking for what should be the attitude of rulers. Even Pope Innocent I, the Bishop of Rome of John’s time, protested about his banishment from the city. St. John Chrysostom, a faithful servant and high priest of the Lord, died in exile for his convictions.

In the light of these scriptural, magisterial, and historical bases, we, the Administrators of the 100% Katolikong Pinoy Online Ministry, firmly uphold that “there is nothing hidden that will not be made manifest; nor is anything concealed that will not come to light” (cf. Mk. IV:22). We firmly believe that justice should be served as it should be, and that whatever was lost out of fraud should be restored, even if it means imitating Zacchaeus.

We are dismayed with the corruption of our government officials–from the highest posts to the lowest ones–which upon them rests the trust of the Filipino people. Though we commend the non-partisan efforts of our fellow citizens, we are nonetheless worried that there are still some who are either apathetic due to their neutral mentality or excessively zeal for their own interests that they give their own “color” to what ideally should be a “colorless” effort.

We believe that each person should be given what is due to him–that those who are in need be given more, and that those who have excess give away what is beyond their needs to those who need it more. We also believe that if we want to live in a society of equality and justice, one should start from within by casting away the corruption that rots one’s own conscience.

In addition to our advocacies on the promotion of the Catholic faith, the sense of the sacred, and the culture of life–which we, as a Ministry, shall never abandon–we generally stand for the following:

1. that the Philippine government heed the call of the sovereign people to a more transparent public service;
2. that the Philippine government should lead the sovereign people by their morally sound examples;
3. that the Philippine Congress–both the House of Senate and the House of Representatives–must perform their sacred task of promulgating statutes that would promote the common good and nothing else;
4. that everyone involved in the recent scandal regarding the misuse and/or abuse of the Priority Development Assessment Fund (PDAF), colloquially known as the “Pork Barrel Fund”, be rightfully brought to justice; and
5. that the sovereign people, in good faith, continue their clamor for the passage of a statute on the “freedom of information” in the light of public transparency and public trust.

Furthermore, we, as faithful Catholics, additionally stand for the following:

6. that the Church in the Philippines, being the illustrious garrison of the Kingdom of God on earth in the Asia-Pacific region, continue to forward the cause for moral transparency and personal sanctity through leading by example; and
7. that individual Catholics, being informed of this issue, strive to follow the example of Christ and His saints; and continue to fight the moral and social evils that surround them through constant prayer, through the rightful reception of the Sacraments, and, if necessary, through fasting and abstinence.

The Lord ended the story of the unjust steward with this reminder: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also to much; and he who is unjust in a very little thing is unjust also in much” (Lk. XVI:10). We all hope that in our lifetime, we would be accounted for all the trustworthy acts we did to our neighbor and not be liable to their poverty lest we fall from the grace of God.

Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of the Filipino people; of Sts. Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, patrons of our land; and of all the saints of God: May the Lord protect us. Amen.

In Christum Dominum nostrum,

the 100%KP Admins

Ian Joseph Riñon 
Administrator for Liturgy and Sacred Music 
Principal drafter for English and Filipino

Francis Gonzales 
Founder, Moderator, and Senior Administrator 
Translator for Bisaya and Cebuano

Randolf Flores 
Social Media Manager 

Jayson Bayogo 
Administrator for Apologetics 
Translator for Waray

Ryan Rayos 
Administrator for Youth Affairs 

Andrew Calopez 
Administrator for Graphic Design 
Translator for Hiligaynon 

Raymond Bandril 
Administrator for Family and Life Affairs 
Journalist-in-Residence

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