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MANILA — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle took recently a swipe at corruption, describing those who steal the people’s money as “ang tapang ng apog.”

Tagle gave the scathing remark at the “Good Governance Forum” held recently at the San Vicente de Paul Parish in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, drawing a deafening applause from the audience.

“Yang mga nagnanakaw ng pera ng bayan ang lakas ng loob n’yo. (Those who steal from the country’s coffers have a lot of guts.) Ang tapang ng apog. Very brave,” Tagle said.

Philippine bishops had earlier challenged the laity to choose to be brave.

But Tagle said this is not the kind of bravery that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is asking from the laity in this Year of the Laity. The Manila archbishop was referring to people who have the courage to steal people’s money.

“Hindi ganyang uri ng tapang ang hinihingi sa atin… Gamitin ang katapangan sa pagiging mabuti,” said Tagle. (That is not the kind of bravery that is being asked of us…we should use courage in being good.)

“Kung bakit naman kung kelan tayo tinatawag na maging maka-Diyos, naduduwag. Kapag tinatawag maging makabuhay, naduduwag. Kapag tinatawag maging makatao, makabayan, makakalikasan, naduduwag. Pero para sa kalokohan pag ka tapang-tapang at very creative. Lahat nagagawan ng paraan para sa kasamaan (Why is it that when we are called to be pro-God, -life, -country, and -environment we become coward but when it comes to being mischievous, we are not only brave but very creative as well?),” he said

Cardinal Tagle said the country is thirsting for good governance and this is true for the whole world.

“Ang good governance ay pangangailangan kahit kahilan, kahit saan. Pero sa panahon natin ngayon uhaw na uhaw buong mundo sa good governance,” he told the audience at the forum organized by the Diocese of Novaliches in line with the Church’s commitment to social justice for “a better Philippines” in preparation for the 2016 elections.

Good governance, Tagle said, is needed to restore the people’s trust in their fellowmen and institutions.

“People, individuals, and nations get paralyzed when trust is violated,” he said.

“Ito kailangan ng buong Pilipinas at ng buong daigdig (This is what the Philippines and the world need) so be trustworthy and help restore trust in the world,” Tagle added. (MB)


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