Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Honor of Auditors and People of Integrity

I admit I didn't know what the job of an auditor entailed.  It only became clearer in the later years.  Even when my mom became the Director of Internal Audit of the department she worked for, it was still a blur as to what exactly she did except for signing countless papers that piled on her desk.

As I listened in on the tales that my mom and the other retirees told of their experience while holding the same position, I learned of the responsibilities, the detail-oriented work and most especially of the challenges to integrity and value that an auditor came across.  It's not a job for the weak-hearted.

My mom held the post from the time she returned from her last post abroad in 2002 'til she retired and was asked to extend her retirement for another year.  When asked a second time to extend her post, she declined, joking with others that she didn't want to add to her already long list of enemies.  Yes, you run across many people who want to befriend you only to have you approve and sign a paper that showed a "red flag".  And when that paper is not signed or comes back to the owner with a memo, that person suddenly doesn't want to talk to you.  Oh, the tales they would tell, the corruptness of man, all for the love of money.

I write this in the middle of the corruption scandal the AFP is going through in the Senate and Congressional hearings.  I see the likes of Heidi Mendoza, who like my mother, has taken her stance against a corrupt system.  "It was already corrupt when I entered the system", is what the late Angelo Reyes was said to have stated.  "Nagswapang ba ako?  Naghingi?"  No, he didn't need to.  It was given to him on a silver platter, which he accepted, as he was part of the system.  My mother on one of her birthday celebrations at her office, was given gifts from vendors.  Humingi ba siya?  Hindi.  One vendor, thinking that they would "befriend" her by giving her gifts, gave her a cake, not P50 million, just a cake.  "Huwag mong tanggapin. Ibalik mo.", was my mom's order.  "Pero Ma'm...", her assistant looked in dismay.  Sayang naman at umalis na yung nagdeliver eh.  I don't know what happened to the cake, but I think her assistant didn't follow mom's order.

If you believe in something at the core of your being, anything that you become a part of, or any group, company, organization you join, will not dishonor you or bring you dishonor.  Only you dishonor yourself by making mistakes, by making the wrong decisions, by not doing what is right and true, by accepting something that is not yours or by simply keeping quiet.

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