After more than forty years in government service, former Senator Nene Pimentel is embarking on a crusade to impart to fellow citizens his core values, his wisdom and experience as a public servant.
He has established the Pimentel Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILG), which serves as his springboard in spreading his crusade all over the country.
The Institute launched its pilot program in the University of Makati, which has hosted and linked with the institute in holding seminars on governance.
The institute is also trying to link with other schools all over the country who are willing to host the Pimentel Institute as a center for academic advancement or enrichment in the field of government leadership and service.
Because the barangay elections are up coming, the Pimentel Institute is holding seminars to prospective and incumbent barangay officials on the affairs of barangay governance.
The seminar aims to give insights and equip participants with the necessary tools to guide them when they embark in a career in public service.
One of the highlights of the seminar was the discussion by former senator Pimentel on the issue of corruption.
The subject of his talk was: As a public official, how do you say “no” to corruption?
Let me relay the main points of his discussion.
If you are a public official, the people who will try to corrupt you are your own family members, relatives, and friends.
You do not expect your political adversaries to attempt to corrupt you because they are not in a position to even come near you.
Pimentel advised that in the beginning one’s term of office, it is best to immediately declare publicly, that you are not going to allow any anomalous, illegal or corrupt transaction from anyone while you are in office.
But even after you have made this declaration, people will still come to you to corrupt you.
How do you say “no” to corruption?
Pimentel advised that to say no to corruption is simply to say it straight, verbally, clearly to persons who attempt to corrupt you.
“Simply say no,” Pimentel says.
And say it clearly.
“Huwag paligoy-ligoy (Do not beat around the bush),” he stressed.
Do not entertain the thought of creating justifications.
Do not give the serpent a window of opportunity, he said.
Never discuss in your mind how you can go around the law.
If you start entertaining these kind of thoughts, tapos na ang istorya.
A corrupt transaction will ensue.
Before the situation becomes complicated, it is best to immediately declare “Ayaw ko” or “Hindi puwede.”
Pimentel also advised that it would be good to accompany your rejection of corruption with a prayer---the Lord’s prayer which says “Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Pimentel reminded that corruption is something that is against the law of God, particularly the ten commandments which mandates that “Thou shalt not steal.”
If the corruptor does not believe in the Bible (because God cannot put one to prison) at least remind him (the corruptor) to believe in the revised penal code which imposes jail penalties to people who corrupt public officials.
Pimentel cited the reasons why people should say “no” to corruption.
Corruption is against the law of God and the laws of man.
Corruption destroys your self in manner that you cannot realize right away.
Corruption destroys your dignity as a human being.
Corruption destroys the name that your children carry.
Corruption erodes the confidence people entrust in you when they voted you in office.
We recognize that corruption is very hard to resist because of the material and worldly gains it brings.
But rejecting corruption can be done.
You need not be a saint to do it.
Just say “no” and mean it.
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