The Rule of the Unprincipled, Unethical and Unqualified
(click here for abstract and image)

Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ
Team Leader, Ehem Anticorruption Movement
Author, Ehemplo: Spirituality of Shared Integrity
in Philippine Church and Society (2010)

Ronnie Amorado has done it again! In the award-winning Fixing Society (2007), he x-rayed the hidden networks of fixers in Philippine bureaucracy. Using innovative methods of fieldwork, he developed a typology of insider and outsider mechanisms of circumventing structures and official bureaucratic processes. Now in Kakistocracy, he does a more sensitive operation of laser scanning the pathetic ways of betraying public trust – betrayals committed by unqualified leaders who insist on being unprincipled, unethical, and totally unworthy of the people’s hope for good governance.
In both cases, Ronnie Amorado goes beyond presenting a depressing diagnosis of what ails Philippine state and society. He offers very concrete recommendations on how to check anomalies and restore trust in public service. His proposals are based on state-of-the-art qualitative investigation techniques, enhanced by his passionate engagement in policy reform and integrity promotion.

Kakistocracy’s coming out of press today could not be more timely. The front pages of national dailies and the prime time news on TV are dominated by the revelations about high ranking military officials pocketing huge slush funds, partly to support the whims of their family members; justices even of the Supreme Court accused of plagiarism and bullying law professors for raising the issue in public; no less than the Ombudsman being implicated in pushing for a highly questionable plea bargaining agreement with a general charged on plunder. Fortunately, the people’s hunger for truth and justice finds a glimmer of hope in the courageous witnessing of Col. George Rabusa and former state auditor Heidi Mendoza – who, by the way, is our colleague, together with Ronnie Amorado, in the Ehem anticorruption movement.

I salute the Ateneo de Davao University’s Research and Publication Office for continuing its commitment of publishing books in the service of the search for deep cultural and structural reforms. The latest of these books are Dory Avisado’s The Intertwining Culture of Patriarchy, Corruption and Impunity and JAJA: Justice for Arbet, Justice for All. Ronnie Amorado’s Kakistocracy is a welcome new volume as it is destined, I confidently say, to become a classic in research-based advocacy and policy study.