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ETHICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES IN CORRUPTION IN LAW ENFORCEMENT by ATTY. ALAN R. CAÑARES Ethics is the discipline dealing with what is good and bad or right and wrong or with moral duty and obligation. (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary) Why is there a need to discuss ethics? Graft and corruption is basically an ethical problem; a moral issue which has deep cultural roots. The greatest damage of corruption is not the loss of public money but the loss of a national sense of right and wrong. Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country. Karl Krauss The ultimate end in a corrupt act is the pursuit of happiness. What is then the real evil in graft and corruption? GREED Greed is the desire to obtain more money, wealth or material possessions than one needs. Greedy individuals are often believed to be harmful to society as their motives often appear to disregard the welfare of others. (http://en.wikipedia.org) Why do some officials corrupt themselves? The commission of graft and corruption is often traced to poverty, low income, need for decent life, or instinct to survive. But graft and corruption is essentially an evil brought about by greed, materialism, or discontentment. J. van Klavern : Root of corruption lies in the apetitus divitiarum infinitus, the insatiable avarice that is one of the human weaknesses. HUMAN WEAKNESSES • anger • envy • lust • sloth • avarice • pride • gluttony MATERIALISM VANITY GREED DISCONTENT ENVY APATHY Greed is especially most evil in a land of scarcity. As St. Thomas Aquinas puts it “it is a sin directly against one’s neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them.” Three Forms of Greed An obsessive desire for ever more material goods and the attendant power A fearful need to store up surplus goods for a vaguely defined time of want A desire for more earthly goods for their own sake Definitions of Corruption Asian Development Bank : Corruption is the abuse of public or private office for personal gain. It involves behavior on the part of officials in public or private sector, in which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves and/or those close to them, or induce others to do so, by misusing the position in which they are placed. Carl Friedrich : Corruption can be said to exist whenever a power holder is, by monetary or other rewards not legally provided for, induced to the actions which favor whoever provides the rewards and thereby does damage to the public and its interest. Syed Alatas : Corruption is a form of subordination of public interest to private aims involving a violation of the norms of duty and welfare accompanied by secrecy, betrayal, deception and a callous disregard for any consequences suffered by the public. D.H. Bayley : Corruption is the general term covering misuse of authority as a result of consideration of personal gain which need not be monetary. Graft vs. Corruption Graft (internal) - parasite-host relationship parasite – public official host – government Corruption (external) - predator-prey relationship predator – public official prey – public Conflict between ethical and legal standards : There are corrupt acts which are deemed unacceptable by the people but also falls within the ideal acceptable behavior according to culture. Positive Traditional Filipino Values Pakikisama Pakikibagay Utang na Loob Hiya Timbang ng Dugo Pakikisama is the need to associate or get along with others. A person who does not show pakikisama is often ostracized for not being a part of the team or group. Pakikibagay is the need to adjust to circumstances, conditions, or personalities. A person who does not show pakikibagay usually branded as an isolationist or simply out-of-thisworld. Utang na Loob is an act of gratitude. Utang na loob is bigger in magnitude than ordinary debt because personalities are involved. An ungrateful person is usually the subject of distrust. Hiya is the need to act according to one’s regard of other people’s sensitivity. People are ordinarily expected to be sensitive of the feelings of others or be branded as makapal ang mukha. Timbang ng dugo means that family interest is superior to other interest as a result of close family ties. The greatest conflicts are those involving members of the family. Failure to protect the interest of family members is usually seen as a form of betrayal. Society expects or obliges each member to conform to traditional social practices as standards of ethical behavior. Any departure from the social norm is considered deviant behavior and is dealt with accordingly. Negative reactions of the society to any deviant behavior: • pagsaway • pagtikis • pagsumbat • pag-usig • pagganti When positive traditional values are carried to the extreme by people in government, graft and corruption is bred. Corruption transcends all cultures. There are certain practices in our society that seem to have been accepted because we have not been enforcing the rules. Filipino practices with deep cultural roots: 1. Lagayan or suholan 2. Palakasan or sipsipan or lakaran 3. Tulugan or saka na lang or mamaya na 4. Lutuan or laglagan or gapangan or sulutan 5. Aregluhan or ayusan or arboran or lusutan 6. Bigayan or tanggapan Typology of pagtanggap 1. Regalo or bigay or tip a. “wala lang” – future (pakikisama) b. “kapalit” – present (hiya) c. “kabayaran” - past (utang na loob) 2. Padulas (grease money) / langis 3. Hingi / Pitik / Kamig / Arbor 4. Amot / Huthot / Dekwat / Nenok / Buriki/ Umit 5. Kickback / Porsyento / SOP / For the Boys / Kupit / Komisyon/ Subi Typology of pagtanggap 6. Lagay / Suhol 7. Kotong / Tong 8. Kikil /Dugas Gifts may come in various forms: Money Token Free meal Donation Simulated sale commodatum Discounts Entertainment Travel Scholarship Sexual favors Other advantages Jose Almonte : Corruption roots from the lack of the concept of common good, the use of public resources as if they were private, every man for himself, lack of a feeling of oneness and nationalism. Because of our lack of nationalism, our behavior is taken over by narrower values: kanya-kanyahan, utang na loob, lagay-lakad-lusot strategies, ethnic loyalties, extreme familism and personalism. Moral Dilemma: Honesty versus Loyalty Two types of loyalty or allegiance 1. Horizontal or dog loyalty – loyalty to a small group of people due to adherence to traditions or in expectation of personal benefits. 2. Vertical or cat loyalty – loyalty to a large group of people due to personal ideology, belief, conviction, etc. kapamilya kamag-anak kaibigan LOYALTY/ALLEGIANCE TO A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE kasama/kagrupo (horizontal or dog loyalty) kababayan kabaro/kapanalig kakilala PNP LOYALTY/ALLEGIANCE TO A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE (vertical or cat loyalty) Phil. government lipunan (society) bansa (nation) sangkatauhan (humanity) Loyalty Spectrum: kasabwat karamay kakuntsaba kaagapay kampon katuwang kasapakat kabalikat kasangkot katulong Lack of loyalty or allegiance to a large group of people is due to selfish goals in enlistment in law enforcement. Commonly cited reasons for enlistment in law enforcement: • power • income • prestige • security • convenience • loyalty to an ideology, institution or nation • pride in excellent work • desire to serve the public interest AKRASIA Weakness of will There are very few evil men in government but many who succumb to the weakness of the will. Akrasia refers to acting in a way that is contrary to one’s own best interest. Akratic behavior assumes that: Individuals make decisions on a rational basis; Individuals make decisions based only on what is good for themselves; Individuals know what is in their own best interests. Characteristics of Akrasia • exaggerated sense of entitlement - “I deserve this (and even more)” • engaging in self-deception - “I’m a good person; I’m immune.” • rationalization of deviant acts - “Everyone else is doing it.” Four Character Types • Bad • Uncontrolled • Self-Controlled • Excellent The Bad • Preys on others • Only concern is for himself • Actively seeks out corrupt activities • Misuses power for personal gain • Predisposed to corruption • Engages in major criminal acts The Uncontrolled • Can be bought for a price • Even though the officer does not seek out corrupt activities, will take what is offered • Responsible for the code of silence because this officer will not inform on another officer The Self-Controlled • Does the right thing but not for the right reason—the officer is afraid of being caught • Tension between duty and desire • Should this officer abandon development of correct moral habits, the officer may yield to an easier, less ethical decision • Actions would not be the same if invisible (Plato: Ring of Gyges) The Excellent • Respects and loves honesty • Knows who he is and what he stands for • Will never be purposely unethical • Exhibit proactive honesty • Incorruptible Character Excellence A person of excellent character has achieved the disposition to: -- do the right thing -- in the right way -- at the right time -- for the right reason A person of excellent character determines what is right through moral reflection, acts on that discernment openly, even at personal cost. Who am I? •Strong leadership skills •Quick decision makers •Athletic •Ability to empower others •Need to control •Left-hemisphere thinkers •Idea generators •Conceptualizers •Focused on future •Expressive •Motivators •Unstructured •Undergoing change •Searching for something new •Learning and growing •Open to new ideas •Unpredictable •Detail oriented •Highly organized •Loves factual data •Follows directions •Completes projects •Resists making decisions •Left-hemisphere thinkers •Social “people persons” •Pleasers •Team players •Strong interpersonal skills •Good communications •Right-hemisphere thinkers Your typical jobs? •Executive •Manager/supervisor •Entrepreneur •Hospital/school administrator •Politician •Law firm partner •Union organizer •Military officer •Strategic planner •Artist/performer/poet •University professor •International sales •Inventor •Musician •Promoter •Public relations agent •New bosses •New graduates •Entrepreneurs •Entry level employees •Performers •People in mid-life crisis •New retirees •Accountant •Administrator •Administrative assistant •Doctor •Teacher •Computer programmer •Government worker •Bank teller •Teacher/trainer •Nurse/doctor •Salesperson •Secretary •Mental health professional •Human resources manager •Camp counsellor Although graft and corruption can be traced to the moral depravity of some officials, corrupt officials can only act within a corrupt system that breeds the evils of graft and corruption. Even the most righteous and virtuous people in government may succumb to temptation given the opportunities for committing graft and corruption. One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel. Unless the system is checked to eliminate the opportunities to commit the acts, graft and corruption will continue to thrive. Removing a few rotten apples from the barrel will not arrest further spoilage as there would always be apples left to rot inside the barrel given the optimum conditions which speed up the ripening process. If you think fighting corruption is next to impossible, try SUICIDE.