MANILA: Pope Francis on Friday (Jan 16) demanded leaders in the Philippines to end “scandalous social inequalities”, hitting out at corruption in a nation where tens of millions of Catholics endure brutal poverty.
Speaking on his visit to the Philippines, he said; “It is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.” He challenged “everyone, at all levels of society, to reject every form of corruption, which diverts resources from the poor”.
After years of corruption and mismanagement, Philippines, once a proud nation with lush fertile landscape and vibrant culture has disintegrated to become one of the poorest nations in Asia where one-quarter of the population, live on the equivalent of US$0.60 a day or less. The country’s abject situation can be epitomised by the huge rubbish dump known as Smokey Mountain in the outskirts of Manila where government’s lethargy and corruption have led to inaction to solving the problem.
As a result of the country’s gloom and wretched condition, millions of talented Pinoys have gone overseas to work as maids, cheap labourers, nightclub entertainers and prostitutes.