Dinner that Incited Hunger for Good Governance

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The administration is again being criticized for the controversial dinner that worth a million. On the said evening, Pres. Arroyo and her husband, who were celebrating their wedding anniversary, were invited to a dinner in an expensive restaurant, Le Cirque. One Congressman Martin Rumualdez of Leyte was pinpointed by the administration to have paid the bill which amounted to almost a million pesos. Another bill amounting to P700,000 at Bobby Van's Steakhouse restaurant was again released by The New York Post. The administration’s defense was full of lies and denials and has gone too far to questioning the ethics of media instead of proving that the money was not taken from the blood and sweat of Filipino people.

The dinner news may have satisfied the presidents and other officials’ gluttony but it has incited hunger for Filipino people who strive to work morally to have a decent meal in a day. The sumptuous and expensive meal was not appealing to the poor country. Instead, it incited hunger for good governance. It incited hunger and cravings for a clean and corrupt less president. It did not also fill the people with peace, but created alarums and excursions because the act of the public servant was out of moral and ethical virtue of a public official. It has proven heedless and doubtful commitment of the public officials involved in helping the country and the people prosper.

Given the side of the administration to explain itself, Romualdez denied that he paid for the meal. Press Secretary Remonde said that the amount was exaggerated but failed and persistently hid the true amount of the bill. Atty. Macalintal was also obviously angered and blamed the media, instead, and questioned the morality of the media. Eventually, they are pinpointing at each other as the one who paid for the bill. After what everyone has said, only one thing is clear- they are all lying and trying to cover the president about the issue.

Be that as it may, the President and the officials did not acted according to the moral and ethical virtue of a public servant. It may have not violated any law of the land, but has violated the expectations of the people of their leaders. It has violated the virtues that has been expected of them and violated their pact to God when they were put in the position. The leader of the country did not act like a good father to his family.

According to some law experts, having accepted the “dinner treat” is tantamount to indirect bribery. A million worth of dinner have strings attached to it. Denying would be beyond possible, unless that person is a complete fool. Let’s say that there is no strings attached, but accepting a million worth of dinner attests the existence of greed. With that, the president did not demonstrate the virtue of a conscientious mother advising the right thing to her son. As a president, she should have refused and resisted the dinner which cost an arm and a leg and advised the particular person to use it in s useful manner.

Before spending millions of pesos just for a meal, they should have reflected for a moment about the real situation of the country. Millions of Filipino is suffering from hunger. Hunger is also considered among the causes of death. With a second of prayer before eating, God could have bestowed them the spirit of realization. But with the excitement and hunger, maybe they forgot the prayer before meal.

If the meal was paid by Congressman Romualdez, as the administration asserted, he then should prove that his constituent does not need improvement and that every people in his province does not need money at all. However, he denied to have paid for the meal. The meal has clearly demonstrated hypocrisy. They lived a life in glass houses while the people paying for their salaries are living a life beyond redemption.

Public officials are accountable for their acts. As public figures, they are open for criticisms. The people also have the right to question every act of public officials. And if the people question them for doing the wrong thing, they owe us only explanations not shallow questions. Atty. Macalintal, in defense, questioned the morality of the media. With his tactic, I believe that he is a good lawyer but not that good. Instead of directly answering with yes or no, he raised a new issue which is beyond the topic. If the people would judge him, his alibis are surely denied. Has he also forgotten that the media is the fourth department of the government and the protector of the people? Thanks to media, instead, for they have informed us of the hypocrisy and gluttony of the public officials who ate at Le Cirque and Bobby Van's steakhouse.

here is the news from Washington Post


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