Thursday, April 22, 2010
Corruption in the small things
A few weeks ago, I rode a taxi with my mom and my sister to East Avenue to fix my SSS ID application. We were planning to drop off Isis in UP first and then proceed to the SSS office, but Isis forgot her enrollment documents. So, they decided that it was best to drop me off first and then make a round trip to pick up the errant forms.
The taxi was a nice one--clean and new. The driver was pleasant... a little chatty for my taste, but he was courteous enough--he wasn't cursing the traffic or the heat or whatever else taxi drivers curse about.
On the windshield was a campaign sticker for one popular candidate running for president--the one people are lauding for having the guts to put an end to corruption because his mom and dad were not corrupt. And half the time the driver was telling us how much he wanted that candidate to win and that only one passenger expressed an opposing view about his choice for president.
"Dapat hindi corrupt (he should not be corrupt)," he was saying, adding that he's been campaigning for the man for free because he believes the man can end corruption. He also said that if someone is gonna get voted into the presidency, it should be because people really believe in him enough to campaign for him without incentives.
My problem with this is what happened after I got off the cab. My mom told me that after I got off at East Avenue, the driver switched off his meter and drove them all the way back to Eastwood without the meter counting. He charged them a fat 200 pesos when they got home, and refused to take them back to UP because "Ayoko na pumunta doon (I don't want to drive back there)."
It makes me wonder how we as a people expect to eradicate corruption when even the smallest things are not treated with the proper justice. That whole round trip would probably have amounted to 150-160 pesos only (and not 200) if the man didn't switch off his meter.
That cab driver can root for his non-corrupt candidate all he wants, but corruption will not be eradicated if he keeps on treating his passengers unfairly. After all, honest living is not demanded of politicians alone; it is demanded of all of us.