Monday, September 24, 2007

ZTE Contract: The end does not justify the means

In a report, Donald Dee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc. (PCCI), was quoted as saying: The discussion now is too concentrated on corruption rather than the merits (of the ZTE contract.)

Reading between the lines, it appears that if the contract is meritorious, it is just proper that the contract with the ZTE be continued. And supporting this, Sergio Ortiz-Luis, PCCI's honorary chair, spread an emotional blackmail arguing that other countries are watching the Philippines and that if the ZTE contract will not push through, there might be some repercussions on the country particularly on the aspect of trade relations. He even added: There are relationships we should be careful about and our credibility in entering into contracts could be viewed negatively by other countries.

While we agree at the repercussions, what the PCCI is saying is hard to swallow. So if the Malacanang people does it again, we just close our eyes and tell ourselves that it is bad for trade? If the Malacanang people enters into another spurious deal, we just try to pretend we saw nothing because other countries are watching us and voicing what we see might create a negative picture of the Philippines? And, if the Malacanang people does it again, we just try to convince ourselves that we are just having a nightmare and tomorrow we'll wake up hoping for a brand new day?

Swallowing PCCI's stand simply means approving what these Malacanang guys are doing. Swallowing PCCI's stand simply means Filipinos can be easily, and would like to be, fooled. And swallowing PCCI's stand simply means, we agree with corruption, lack of transparency, and lack of accountability.

If the PCCI works like that, and if cowardice is their virtue, so be it. For us, we believe in the opposite. And we believe that the end does not justify the means.

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