Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday reminded newly elected Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials to be mindful of the temptations that come with public service, saying they should always execute and uphold the law in their daily duties.
During the oathtaking of elected officials of Pateros and EMBO barangays on November 7, 2023, Cayetano said temptations can sometimes blur the lines of ethical conduct and commitment to the law.
“When we swear that we will execute and uphold the law, it seems so pure. [Pero] sa araw-araw nating pagpa-public service, alam natin na may mga decision na mabibigat,” he said.
Regarding youth leaders, Cayetano said they might be tempted to follow in the footsteps of corrupt or power-hungry officials if they do not see strong examples of integrity and service in their communities.
“They are our next generation [of leaders]. Lahat ng mali sa generation natin, ‘wag natin ipapamana sa kanila. Ang mga nakikita nilang mga mali ngayon, gagayahin po nila ang mga ‘yan,” he said.
Reiterating his stance against the abolition of the SK, the independent senator provided an analogy that showed how such calls are approaching the problem incorrectly.
“Kung ang teacher tinuturuan ang estudyante ng corruption, ang estudyante ba ang hindi mo papapasukin? ‘Di ba [dapat] ang teacher ang papalitan mo? Bakit sa SK, baligtad? Bakit ang SK ang tatanggalin mo?” he said.
Concluding his speech, Cayetano addressed those who did not succeed in the election by sharing his own experience, stating that the times when he faced defeat were the seasons in his life he experienced growth.
“The seasons in my life na nag-grow talaga ako ay seasons kung saan hindi ako nanalo [sa eleksyon]. During this time, the Lord taught me [na] kung gusto mo [sa] public service, bonus na lang y’ung may pwesto ka,” he said.
He emphasized that a sincere and genuine commitment to serving the public should not be limited to the election period.
“You have to make yourself available, you have to make yourself acceptable, you have to make yourself someone that people can talk to,” he said.