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will follow, until the whole world becomes a brighter place to live in.

For the time being, we wait. Armando Tavera, Las Pias City: By being honest in all dealings and transactions. Money talks if we allow it to get in our way. Just say, No sir, thank you if money is handed to you. Lydia Reyes, Bataan: An ordinary citizen can help combat corruption by simply not tolerating it. Pag hiningan ng lagay, be courageous enough na magsumbong. Do not resort to bribery Louie Vallo, Pangasinan: Ordinary citizens are almost always involved in small cases of corruption, like bribery. We can help by starting with ourselves, by shunning the practice of giving padulas or palangis for every transaction we do with the government. Cris Rivera, Rizal: Corruption is a twoway act. Simple Juan and the government must dissuade underthetable transactions. Corruption can be less severe in both hands. Larry Parroco, Quezon City: Huwag magbigay ng suhol as this would only tempt employees to ask for even more graces. Report anomalies to proper authorities. J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Paraaque City: Undisciplined ordinary citizens and those working for the government are a dime a dozen; the disciplined and lawabiding are outnumbered. If you are one of the good ones, and wouldnt mind waiting in line till kingdom come for whatever documents you need without giving any lagay, then that is one way to combat corruption. It really starts with personal discipline. Curing corruption in this country will not happen overnight. Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: Lets forget bribery of all kinds and follow the rule of law; and report information about corrupt public officials, middlemen and unscrupulous persons in all levels of government, without fear, using all kinds of communication. Public concern is the most effective way of combating corruption. Lets do our share now. Rose Leobrera, Manila: An ordinary citizen has no power to fight corruption, because many in government service, though not all, are already used to the system. Nakaugalian na, wika nga. Ive had previous encounters with people in government who asked for lagays before processing requirements. There are some that accorded assistance, expecting nothing in return. When one is insinuating for me to give lagay, I just leave and finish the transaction ASAP, then I transfer to one who provides real service. Joe Nacilla, Las Pias City: Ordinary citizens can help government combat corruption by not giving in to power brokers who are using laws of good intention as a backdoor for corruption. In my case, I was forced to stop my business without even starting it, because I was at the mercy of the small unit of the bureaucracy. I did not give in to the capriciousness of the power broker, resulting in not seeing my business permit for over nine months. If I had to extend my patience, it would have added more cost, stress and mental anguish. Change begins with me Abelardo Abilay, Laguna: Clich as it may sound, we really need to start with ourselves. It takes just one candle to light the night. Everyone must live and lead by example. Eventually, another one Dennis Vibandor, Camarines Sur: All ills of our society begin with an I. We are so selfcentered that we always go for shortcuts to make our lives more convenient. We tend to resort to bribery to fasttrack transactions. Come election time, we always take advantage of the generosity and vulnerability of politicians. Solicitations are made left and right for various activities, to the extent of asking for the payment of their personal electric and water bills as well as hospital bills. The bottomline is, real change should begin with us. William Gonzaga, Marikina City: Simple. Do your part no matter how small. For instance, not placing bets on jueteng is one step to weaken its influence in the community. It is public knowledge that jueteng thrives due to bribes given to authorities in exchange for protection from arrest. Anyway, theres lotto, which is a legal form of gambling that helps charity projects of the government. Many honest people Raymar Gurrea, Bacolod City: I believe that there are so many ordinary citizens out there who remain honest. Probably they could serve as combatants in curbing out corruption. Obey the law Tess Lota Hermano, Muntinlupa City: Ordinary citizens can help combat corruption in government, to wit: Religiously observe and follow all laws, rules and regulations in our country. They must report all forms of corruption in our government that may come to their knowledge. They must not be like Col. George Rabusa, who enjoyed receiving and dancing first to the music to the tune of P500,000 a month before coming out to expose entrenched corruption in the military. He could have saved hundreds of millions of pesos, if not billions, and the reputations of the institutions (PMA and AFP) he dearly loved had he come out earlier. Rico Fabello, Paraaque City: Obeying the law is a good start. Traffic laws are simple and easy to remember. Lets start there. Ishmael Calata, Paraaque City: Ordinary citizens can help the government combat corruption by starting with themselves being lawabiding, giving no chance for the corrupt to do their evil ways. A taxpayer who is truthful in his tax returns has no need to negotiate for his fraudulent entries. Only people who are constantly in a fix and need to squeeze out of it are the ones who resort to padulas in local lingo or petty bribery. Look at willfully and repeatedly errant drivers. With small change, they know they can get away from being issued a ticket. The bottom line here is for everyone to be honest citizens. Vigilance Nescel Panes, Passi, Iloilo: Corruption is the worst inheritance we got from our ancestors. As ordinary citizens, we can combat corruption gradually by being vigilant in campaigning and supporting anticorruption programs of the government. One hand cannot do it alone. With many hands, I believe there is hope, because the only weapon we have is proper education, which is a priceless inheritance. We must safeguard our nation against corrupt practices by using our mouth to speak for the truth, our eyes to seek for justice, and our minds to think rationally.

Germi Sison, Pangasinan: Ordinary citizens can report any anomaly they know to the proper authority. That is one way of helping the government combat corruption. Though it could be dangerous, the government provides protection to tipsters and bear in mind that there is no glory without risking safety. Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: In a government office, when most employees are grafters, they all protect each others hide. So when an ordinary citizen reports something unusual or sinister in his dealings with these public servants, most likely, the culprits will gang up on him, literally or in the court of law. Unless he has something solid to show as proof of corruption, his story will just be another one for the bins. Squeal if we must, but dont quit in this fight to cleanse government. After all, we, the taxpayers, are the boss. Louella Brown, Baguio City: Ordinary citizens can help the government combat corruption by exposing every act of dishonesty they witness in school, the workplace, the market place, the barangay, and elsewhere. Leonard Villa, Batac City: Simply put, we should not be a party to and should not tolerate corruption. Report to authorities any form of corruption that we know, without fear or favor. Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: Citizens should be vigilant in reporting to proper authorities cases of anomalies in government. Diony Yap, Bacolod City: We must report to higher authorities any illegal activities in their areas. Be vigilant. The one you are reporting could be your respectable, highlyeducated neighbor. Lets get real J.T. Fuerte, Metro Manila: Before anyone wastes his breath, lets get practical here. Short of massive sitins, demonstrations or uprisings, does anyone actually believe that this government will listen to ordinary citizens? C.B. Manalastas, Manila: I dont know how, since nobody can be trusted in government. Carmela Ramento, Cagayan de Oro City: Lets get real. What the ordinary citizen says is of no value. One has to unload mountains of evidence before authorities will even move an inch. Jim Veneracion, Naga City: In the Philippine setting, ordinary citizens are just a small voice in the fight against corruption. They were only heard during Edsa 1 and 2. Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: If the late Gen. Angelo Reyes, a former Chief of Staff, was not able to do anything to stop corruption in the military, claiming he didnt have the money and the power to do so, how much more an ordinary citizen? Corruption is in the system. You cant lick them, and in order to survive, you have to join them. Look what they did to Dr. Ortega, to Jun Lozada, and many other whistleblowers. Helpless against corruption Dr. Jose Balcanao, Benguet: Ordinary citizens could hardly help the government combat corruption since they are penniless and powerless. Because of poverty, these ordinary people become leeches of corrupt politicians through small pabaons. Such tradition becomes a cycle of life. With the help of media

June Deoferio, Cavite: I will go to the media to expose corruption that I know of. Lolong Rejano, Marinduque: An ordinary citizen can only take part to help the government combat corruption through media access and Internet technology, sharing what they know about our rotten bureaucracy. However, various professions and multiple sects can boost the advocacy by uniting into one legitimate organization on the Internet. Jun Montebon, Paraaque City: By themselves, ordinary citizens are helpless against corrupt government officials. They need the help of noncorrupt, nononsense crusading media. Richard Decena, Quezon City: Isumbong kay Tulfo, sa Imbestigador, sa XXX at kay Jarius Bondoc. Dont sell your vote Renato Taylan, Ilocos Norte: One should not help corruption to take root by not betting on jueteng and selling ones vote during elections. Juan Deveraturda, Subic, Zambales: People should stop soliciting and asking doleouts from politicians. Patronage politics is the main reason why elective officials are seduced and provoked to resort to corruption. Randolph Hallasgo, Misamis Oriental: Dont vote for a leader prone to be corrupt. Deo Durante, Camarines Sur: Not being part of the tentacles of the ill system is one. Say, during election time, we cant find a good leader if we sell our votes. Reports fall on deaf ears Desuel Pardo, Mandaluyong City: I had been reporting to concerned authorities anomalies or offway activities I had known, but so far none of them ever took any action. It could be that I am a nobody. It is frustrating but I still keep informing them. That is my duty as a civicminded citizen and freedomloving person and I feel great doing good for the country. Robert Young Jr., San Juan: Ordinary citizens can help combat corruption if only government could make it easy and safe to report corruption. Apart from red tape, the government doesnt seem to be interested and does not take action on reported crimes. How many For Official Use Only vehicles used to bring officials children to school or wives to mahjong sessions have been reported? Were any of the officials punished? Kotong cops, jueteng lords, tax evaders, the list is long. The Palace should come out with cell phone numbers texters can send messages to report in confidence, and texters should be informed of the action taken. Elmo Cruz, Manila: Ordinary citizens can help combat corruption by providing the probers even little information that may lead to a wider discovery. Remember, a matchstick can light a lamp that emits light, showing clearly those in darkness. The dilemma, however, is the indifference of some authorities, that instead of entertaining the information being offered, the tipster is in turn investigated as if he is a suspect. Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: It seems that ordinary citizens are helpless. Look at the feedback mechanism put up by PNoy. Nobody cares and listens to what the people say about rampant jueteng

operations in almost all parts of the archipelago. But when money talks, everybody listens. Letters to the editor Miguelito Herrera, Cabanatuan City: Write letters to an editor of a wellknown newspaper or better yet, write directly to our President. Im sure he will read all those letters and take the necessary action for those who commit corruption in government. Trusted justice system must exist Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: An ordinary citizens voice is just a tiny voice that can hardly be heard in the wilderness of graft and corruption. It might become meaningful if we join advocacy groups or civil societies, whose purpose is to fight graft and corruption. However, this is just the basic step, and must be complemented by an honest and trusted investigation and justice system. Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit. NEXT INBOX QUESTION: Do you feel that the government is responsible for the fate of the three Filipino drug mules sentenced to die in China? You may also email your views to: inbox@philstar.com.ph.

3) Stop at least yourself and your family from accepting money, gifts and other goodies from candidates for public office. In other words, dont sell your votes; and 4) Vote for people who possess integrity, courage, independence of mind, competence and have sound advocacies;

III HELP REVERSE THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT by: 1) Participating in anti-corruption forums, gatherings, programs and activities; 2) Joining anti-corruption watchdogs, groups, organizations and social networks, including those in Facebook; 3) Speaking out against corruption in appropriate forums, programs and gatherings; 4) Speaking out against corruption in social networks like Facebook pages; and 5) Speaking out against corruption through the media by calling your favorite radio stations and television network, and by writing your favorite newspapers, magazines and other publications, including campus publications; REFUSE TO COOPERATE with, or be VICTIMIZED by, corrupt public officers. VII VOTE WISELY, and help at least your family, neighbors, friends and co-workers understand the issues involved during elections to enable them to vote wisely: 1) Do not be carried away by paid infomercials and partisan propaganda. No candidate will advertise his deficiencies and sins. Learn about the education, background, track record and advocacies of candidates and political parties; 2) Do not be carried away by bandwagons against your good judgment;