Heads Must Roll

Manila Bulletin, August 22, 2006 | Go to article overview

Heads Must Roll


Byline: Gemma Cruz Araneta

IF heads do not roll because of scandalous cheating during the recent nurses' exams, history will not judge the present generation kindly. However, all is not lost as long as there are Filipinos who consistently resist the temptation of being dishonest. I received a consoling letter from one such a "voice in the wilderness." Mr. Rafael C. Santos of Manila started by sharing his adolescent memories: "Sensing that I was having a hard time answering, my seatmate offered to let me copy from him. I just thanked him. 'No, it's my fault. I did not study. It's ok if I get a low grade or even zero.' As expected, I failed the subject."

Years later, as a young bureaucrat, Mr. Santos remained steadfast: "My officemates got angry with me because I always registered my true time of arrival each time I came late (our department then had no bundy clock). Officemates arriving after me were automatically late also. One co-worker, a supervisor at that, reprimanded me for what I was doing, asking me not to write my time of arrival in the logbook whenever I arrived late so that all of the others coming after me would not also be late. Sad to say, the meaning of pakikisama has deteriorated to covering up wrong doings.'' Mr. Santos argued: "My parents taught me never to cheat in anything, big things or small things. Were you not taught by your parents too? My supervisor simply looked at me." You can be sure that if looks could kill, Mr. Santos would have died on the spot.

His story does not end there: "Some two months ago, a background investigation was conducted on me by an official of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as I am applying for the position of Director II. Many of those interviewed answered favorably. One of the interviewees, however, said something unfavorable (he was one of my former supervisors). …

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