Top Christian leaders in the Philippines are sounding the alarm that a "deeply entrenched" culture of corruption is undermining the nation and its recovery from the Haiyan super-typhoon that killed more than 6,200 people on November 8.
"We join the sustained clamor of the people to end the deeply entrenched culture of graft, corruption, and patronage in our political system," said the presidents of four leading colleges and universities in a February 12 statement. They represent the University of the Philippines, Miriam College, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila.
Corruption and the extensive system of political patronage has been an enormous social ill in the Philippines for decades. But post-disaster, the influx of more than $300 million in international aid and the lack of results on the ground have triggered a public uproar.
Since the November 8 disaster, many church leaders have spoken out against corruption, including the influential Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). "What is God telling us at this time? This is a wakeup call when it comes to corruption," said Bishop Efraim Tendero, national director of PCEC, in an interview with CT.
"Christianity is not so deep. Philippines is known as the only Christian nation in Asia, but it is also regarded as the most corrupt nation in this region of the world. How can Christianity and corruption go together? The answer is the great majority of our people who call themselves Christians are nominal."
At the turn of the New Year, many more influential voices have joined the chorus, which signals deepening unhappiness with the government. On February 14, survivors of the Haiyan typhoon (known locally as ...1