TO IMBIBE truth, honesty, and humility within one’s self is the ultimate step towards achieving wholeness and integrity.

These good-natured thoughts and attempt to present a stand on the ongoing political turmoil affecting the country became the highlights of the Holy Mass dedicated to the pursuit of the truth behind the Arroyo administration’s anomalous multi-million-dollar broadband network deal with Chinese firm Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment, Corp. With UST Rector Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. as main celebrant, the Eucharistic celebration magnified as well the Thomasian community’s apparent position of backing its alumnus, primary whistle-blower Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada, Jr.

Despite buttressing Lozada’s credibility by building up his Thomasian credentials (UST alumni after all have always been trained to uphold the truth in accordance with their Dominican and Aquinian upbringing), De la Rosa did not call for the President to resign. Nor did he call for her ouster.

Instead, the good Rector powerfully situated the political crisis within the more overriding context of a perennial crisis of integrity that has always hounded the Filipino’s moral and social fabric since time immemorial.

“The crisis of integrity involves us all,” Father de la Rosa declared firmly.

Indeed, the lack of humility in accepting one’s shortcomings may only feed into one’s rather proud self-image.

To put a halt to this vicious cycle, as the Rector preferred to put it, he urged the people to stop looking for scapegoats to ease their burden of guilt and failure.

Against the calls for people power, that is, the immediate ouster of the incumbent, the Rector called for patience and long-term conversion. He said that the crisis is very telling about the quality and substance of Philippine democracy.

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In order for the restoration of sanity in the government to start, an enlightened, educated, and competent electoral process should be installed so as to give birth to a democracy that is substantive, responsible and accountable.

The Father Rector pointed to the 2011 election as a chance to reform Philippine democracy. Addressing those who want change now, he complained Filipinos want things in a hurry. “Don’t you notice? We are always in a hurry but always late. Life is not a matter of speed but depth. . . Quick successes usually are a fluke. Real and lasting victories take time.”

What Father de la Rosa called for is, quoting the last line of a poem by the African-American poet Maya Angelou, a “good morning.” What is needed, he said, is “a good beginning.” He added: “In humility, honesty, and integrity, let us ask God to make this beginning happen to us and in our country, through his enduring grace. Amen.”

And we say to that–Amen, indeed.

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