CJ Puno: Pork scam could be the worst to hit gov't
CJ Puno rallies people to march vs pork
MANILA -- Among the many faces leading the protests against corruption in government, an old voice is reemerging to rally the people toward a moral revolution.
On September 21, former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno again showed his brand of activism by rallying members of the Methodist churches in the Philippines to join those seeking justice against the perpetrators of the pork scam.
Puno is the chairman of the Puno Memorial United Methodist Church’s administrative council.
“The [priority development assistance fund] scam is the sad story repeated again and again in the history of governments. But the PDAF scam is more than the story of how our people’s money was pocketed by some lowlifes among our legislators,” Puno said during a gathering at the Good Samaritan Church in Quezon City.
He believes the scam could develop into the “worst to hit our government as trillions of pesos misused by our public officials can still be unearthed by the Commission on Audit. “
Puno said it is disquieting to think of how the public funds were used against the public interest, noting that people’s money were “misused for political patronage; to buy the loyalty of people whose politics is for sale; to corrupt our system of making laws; to corrupt our systems of enforcing our laws; to corrupt our system of election; to perpetuate poverty; in other words, to violate the dignity of our people, to demean our democracy, and worse of all, to defy the sovereignty of God.”
Back when he was Chief Justice, Puno had set goals in attaining justice for the oppressed with his court embedding in the legal system the rights of protection such as the writs of amparo and habeas data.
He would later lead the Moral Force Movement that sought a “transformational leadership” in the 2010 polls.
Today, as a church leader foremost, Puno said the religious should not be fence-sitters in the fight against the abuse of governmental power.
As Methodists, for example, Puno said, “We maintain that the only reason for the existence of government is to serve the people, the only rationale of government is to maintain order by promoting good and not evil, and above all, government must be an instrument of God, hence, no government can subvert the sovereignty of God.”
According to Puno, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible provide records on how people have used the sovereignty of God to thwart evil governments, noting that throughout history, Christians have influenced governments towards the outlawing of infanticides during the Roman Empire; human sacrifices among the Irish, Prussians and Lithuanians; the burning of widows in India; and the binding of women’s feet in China.
He said it is the duty of everyone to exert ethical influence.
“As a church, our duty is to exert a strong ethical influence upon the state. The Christian ethics is written all over our Constitution. The Preamble of our 1987 Constitution demands the establishment of a “regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace,” he said.
"This is not surprising for our Constitution was written by Christians and approved by a Christian nation,” he added.