I start talking about corruption – its direct correlation with poverty,” he told the PNP. “When I start doing that, they all start looking at their cell phones.”

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong was featured on the news last week for the right reasons, but even though it was a just and appropriate story, it put everyone in an awkward position.

You see, Mayor Benjie discussed corruption as well as good government. He said friends have cautioned him that he is going to step on many toes and it’s better to just keep silent. Ina column , written by Philstar Ana Marie Pamintuan , Mayor Magalong said;

“I don’t think that’s the right attitude,” he said. “We have to do what is right even if it’s unpopular… it’s about time that people should now demand good governance from their political leaders. It will be difficult, there will be a lot of challenges along the way. It will become a journey. Sa akin lang, maumpisahan ko. I may not be able to finish it during my term and during my lifetime, but one way or the other we have started it and hopefully the younger generations will be able to continue and sustain it.”

The Chiefs TV Program interviewed and wanted Magalong to expound on a speech he made last July 3 before the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Crame. The speech addressed proposals to make the military and other uniformed personnel contribute to their pensions to prevent what the economic team leader says is a looming “fiscal collapse.”
While Magalong, a retired PNP general and pensioner, says he is open to the proposal, he said government officials including lawmakers should also do their part in promoting fiscal prudence.

Magalong digressed from his prepared speech and recalled that in several of his recent speeches before mayors and vice governors, the audience listened enthusiastically when he discussed how technology could enhance governance.

“And then I start talking about good governance. I start talking about traditional politics. I start talking about corruption – its direct correlation with poverty,” he told the PNP. “When I start doing that, they all start looking at their cell phones.”

The Speech of Mayor Benjie Magalong created a stir and pointed out the naked reality that people refused to call out as downright obscene.

The unpalatable truth that most of our public leaders carry something that is tucked away in their stomachs, knowing that they are corrupt. And who can blame them—not the people who persistently solicit assistance from and receive endorsement from purported public servants, the public who receives substantial bribes during and in every election.

Magalong is a voice in the wilderness, but it is a voice that must be heard. Even if we have a detached attitude toward all of this, we are conscious of how this nonchalance will ultimately harm us. Our apathy and indifference will be the cause of the impending catastrophe.

Mayor Magalong may cut a strange figure since he is swimming against a powerful stream that is rushing in the opposite way, but his bravery and forward motion are exactly what we need in a time when corruption and the evil it has bred are the norm.