Pangasinan Representative Kimi Cojuangco is one among the first three solons who took Chief Justice Corona’s dare to disclose their bank accounts without any condition to demonstrate their clean and honest intent as public servants. This transpired when Chief Justice Renato Corona who is currently on trial for alleged non-compliance in declaring his true Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) dared the 188 members of the House of Representatives who signed for his impeachment including Senator Franklin Drilon to also disclose their peso and dollar bank deposits as a condition to the waiver that he signed at the witness stand and before the senate-judges.
The lady solon has always believed in an honest system of governance including transparency for those in public office; and she has lived by and nurtured that ideal since her call to public service in 2007. In the spirit of that conviction, she announced her readiness to sign the waiver for confidentiality not because of the juvenile dare from the person who is on trial, but to foster transparency and public accountability in the attempt to decrease corruption in government and perhaps gain the faith and confidence of the people.
Whether the arguments and rationales brought up during the impeachment trial are justified or not, the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona is not only a wakeup call for public servants to clean up their act but could also galvanize a new movement to eradicate corruption in all sectors of the government from the remotest barangay to the Malaca?ang. Another step towards ending corruption is in the hands of the people. When the people place the value of their choices and realize that they can make a meaningful contribution towards change, perhaps they would be less tempted to contribute to the persistent corruption by resisting pittance rewards offered during election time.
The lady solon’s gesture is minuscule in the scheme of things, but it is a step in the right direction and if more public servants and citizens take these baby steps towards good governance, there may well be a chance to usher in a new era of a corruption free Philippines and prosperity for us Filipinos.