Today is Sunday, August 19, 2018

Building And Maintaining Integrity

By J. Jose C. Reyes, Jr.

All institutions aim for integrity, be it private or government. It is through this virtue that people give their trust and confidence. So, it is the duty of every member of these institutions to build and maintain their integrity. And what better way to build integrity than to start with one's self. Integrity is crucial to the proper discharge of the judicial office and to the personal demeanor of people in the Judiciary.

The recent incident that rocked the Court of Appeals must have been a test of our morality. Have we invested enough time and effort to build and maintain our integrity? Our battle cry, “We shall overcome . . . “ indicates our determination to make more changes, not just institutional but more importantly, within ourselves.

What can we do individually and together with others, to build and maintain integrity? The Court of Appeals has not been remiss nor complacent in building and maintaining the integrity of the institution. Under the Moral Recovery Program of the government pursuant to Executive Order No. 319, an annual Christian Life Program has been conducted by the Couples for Christ since 2004 for Justices, officials and employees of the Court of Appeals. These CLPs together with the regular celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the holding of novenas and recollections are but a few of the activities that the Court has been doing to protect our office. We must pray unceasingly for one another so that we will be able to overcome the challenges that come our way.

As a community, we should work together to fight bribery, bring to light any form of corruption, help bring to office deserving public servants, and institute reforms that will promote greater productivity and public trust.

Reforms need not be gigantic. Even improving courtesy, orderliness and thoroughness in doing our daily tasks are all valuable in bringing us closer to our goals of integrity and good performance. We should cultivate professional ethics among our staff and administer sanctions unflinchingly to those who are uncooperative.

Let us support all forms of activities that promote high standards of ethics, morality and integrity in public service. Let us start to improve ourselves and then, improve our relationship with God, family, workplace and community in the context of Christian faith. With God's help, we shall overcome!

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