Forum on Corruption in the Senate Tarp 3x5ft         Fr. Xavier “Javy” Alpasa, SJ, the executive director of the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), a non-partisan, church-based, Jesuit-led organization that focuses on the promotion of good governance and disaster preparedness, will tackle the topic corruption in the senate in view of this most devastating scandal ever to hound Philippine legislature in years–the anomaly concerning the illegal use of the Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).  Fr. Javy’s talk will be in a forum sponsored by the Arrupe Office of Social Formation on Wednesday, 19th March 2014, from 3:40 p.m.-5:40 p.m. at F-213 of Finster Hall.  This forum forms part of the university’s continuing observance of the “Atenista Ako, Maligdong!” which is a university-wide campaign on integrity and good governance.

Fr. Javy’s talk will basically cover updates and analysis of the scandal involving the use of the PDAF or pork barrel, contextualized in the light of recent developments that have surfaced within the last few weeks, such as the appearance of Ruby Tuason and other supposed witnesses. The implications of the pork barrel scandal in the coming 2016 national elections will also be treated by Fr. Javy, more specifically its impact on the Aquino administration’s campaign to put an end to the culture of corruption in Philippine politics as brandished in its 2010 election tagline “Daang Matuwid.”  It may well be remembered that in February of 2013, Fr. Javy was also invited by the university during the community reflection session prior to the midterm elections in May of 2013.  He introduced the Pinoy Big Voter (PBB) 2013, the electoral education program of the SLB.

This particular forum is the Arrupe Office’s continuing drive to promote the culture of integrity and good governance by looking at corruption as a social malady that seriously demands a thorough understanding and analysis with the hope that it can generate social, cultural and political renewal. This anticorruption drive aims to provide an appropriate platform for faculty, staff, students and external partners to actively engage in the promotion of the core value of integrity in various aspects of university life, in accordance with the Ignatian values of honesty, accountability, responsible use of freedom, loving service for God’s greater glory (ad majorem Dei gloriam), discernment, faith, social justice and the common good.  In the wider scheme of things, nurturing the culture of integrity, or pagka-maligdong, is then observed in the context of promoting good governance and anticorruption, be it personal, social or institutional.

This forum is a fitting ending to the Ehem! Anticorruption Sensitivity Orientation Workshop which the corps of Arrupe Volunteers conducted to third and fourth year students in participating Theology classes between the last week of February until the first week of March 2013.  The module used in this week-long workshop is the module found in the Ehem! Anticorruption Self-Check Manual formulated by the Society of Jesus.

The Arrupe Office, therefore, invites the members of the Ateneo Community for this important school year-ender forum. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)