By ARCHBISHOP OSCAR V. CRUZ
DURING these really trying times for the Country and its people, courtesy of the structural corruption and organized graft faithfully observed and actually promoted by no less than the present administration itself, there are repeated calls for the establishment of a “Moral Force”, the founding of a “Third Force” and other similar advocacies. They all have one common denominator, viz., to frontally counter the gross ethical misdeeds and grim moral aberrations of the same ruling administration.
For one reason or another, Malacanang continues to show itself as immune to shame and indifferent to the pervasive resentment and disgust signified by a big majority of the Filipinos against its many and continuous errant acts and erratic actuations. Truth to say, there are well marked indications that the Palace has an amoral value system.
At the center of this mode of sans moral serial thinking, deciding and acting is the big bloated ego of the principal subject party concerned such that everybody and everything else are valued and used according to the former’s own altogether liberal and personal objectives, consequent egoistic preferences and pursuant self-advantages. Needless to say, such a sick and sickening value system, being categorically pro-self, is basically anti-people, contrary to the demand of objective truth and the imperative of social justice.
With ample reason therefore that every now and then, there is a clamor for, the search and observance of “Core Values”, viz., the elementary factors or basic premise whereby human agents think and act right as required by sound reason and consonant will process. It is evident that said “Core Values” has big relevance and practical observance specially on the part of individuals in tenure of public officials who are supposed to be the repositories of public trust. The higher the public office is in the hierarchy of public service, the more such “Core Values” should be observed.
Considering the age, knowledge and experience of the Church, this has long since found and has been likewise long since teaching that there are in reality and truth, four (4) encompassing categories of human patterns of behavioral excellence – which are precisely “Core Values”: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance. Notwithstanding the many and different so called “modern” terminologies according to supposedly updated finding about human nature and behavior, it would be very hard to disprove or displace the aforesaid four “Core Values” according to the proven and settled Church teaching.
In substance: Prudence means the disposition of reason to discern the true good in various circumstances and to choose the right means of having it realized. Justice consists in the constant and strong will to give everybody his or her due, accepting and respecting the rights of others, thereby promoting equity and harmony in human relationships. Fortitude is what makes individuals firm in facing challenges and constant in the pursuit of what is proper, right and just. Temperance is moderation in the enticements of pleasure and the restraint in the allure of power and wealth. Thus are and thereby stand the “Core Values”.