BY DUCKY PAREDES
‘I have to wonder should Corona escape impeachment whether a tattle-tale with a mean streak is the kind of CJ that we deserve.”
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales called Chief Justice Renato Corona a “certified liar” after the CJ told what was clearly an attempt to blacken the image of the former Supreme Court associate justice. Corona told the impeachment court that on her retirement, Morales wanted a larger budget than others received. This was obviously simply not true.
Said Morales: “I am fuming mad. He is a certified liar.”
In fact, she said, nothing of the sort happened. She did not receive the usual retirement pay when she left the Supreme Court in 2010, Corona cut her retirement package to half of what he gave others but she did not complain nor did she ask for anything. She said while it is true that she only got P650,000, barely half of the usual P1.5 million retirement benefit given to previous retirees of the Supreme Court, she did not mind it.
“It’s not true. I did not ask for it. I suffered in silence. I never asked for his consideration, bahala siya,” she said.
Also, “Hindi ako nagpapagamit sa kahit na sino (I never allowed myself to be used by whomever).”
As for the rest of Corona’s story, “I was not salivating to become Chief Justice. Excuse me,” she stressed.
I have to wonder should Corona escape impeachment whether a tattle-tale with a mean streak who will not hesitate to fabricate awful tales about the people he does not like is the kind of CJ that we deserve. While this (being a rumor-monger) is not in the list of the articles of impeachment, isn’t the fact that we have what someone can rightfully call a “certified liar” for our CJ something shameful for us as a nation?
My grandfather (my mother’s father) was Eriberto Misa who was Director of Prisons before independence in 1946 and immediately after the war. (My uncle Eriberto Misa, Jr. was also Prisons Director at a later time.) Among the things that my Lolo Berting believed in was that for the prisoners assigned to his household, he would never choose swindlers, crooks and those involved in money crimes.
He felt that there was no way that he could trust these types. He preferred persons who were in prison for having committed other crimes — even crimes of passion or murder. In his estimation, they may have erred because of passion or were carried away by their emotions. He held that these ones made their mistakes from their being human. He believed that the swindlers and other crooks were beyond saving and would always be unreliable; liars forever.
According to psychologists, lying begins early. By the age of 3, most children know how to fib, and by 6, most lie a few times a day. Experts believe that children learn to lie by observing their parents doing it.
But, while telling white lies such as telling grandma that one likes the shirt that she bought for you even as you know that you will never wear it, there are also lies that are unforgivable, which tend to bring others down in the estimation of one’s listeners.
The sort of untrue tales that the Chief Justice tells about the President — that he is getting back at Corona for his family’s losing their land in Hacienda Luisita — and others are not anything to laugh about.
What they bring out is a major character fault in our present Chief Justice.
How one can be Chief Justice when one cannot even qualify as a reliable witness?
Did Senator Jinggoy set up a trap for our gullible CJ when he asked for a comment on Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales? On hindsight, considering how the CJ answered and the instant caustic reply from the Ombudsman, it sure looked like a set-up. At any rate, this made the CJ look and sound like a totally incredible witness, not to be relied upon to tell things at they are. He made up a story to make the Ombudsman look bad, even painting her as a person unworthy of her position.
In the end, as the Buddhist saying goes, when you point a finger at someone, you have three of your own fingers pointing at you, how Corona answered Senator Jinggoy’s question brought Corona down in the eyes of everyone watching their exchange on television.
As a Rotarian (RC of Pasig, RI District 3800). the Four-Way Test is the cornerstone of all action. It has been for years, and it will be in the future.
“Of the things we think, say or do,
“Is it the truth?
“Is it fair to all concerned?
“Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
“Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
The test is one of the hallmarks of Rotary. Since it was developed in 1932 by Herbert J. Taylor, who later became RI president, it has never ceased to be relevant. Its four brief questions are not based on culture or religion. Instead, they are a simple checklist for ethical behavior.
Would that this would also be the checklist for our public servants for the things that they think, say or do.
“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.” — Thomas Jefferson
“Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies.” — From the Quran.
“Be honest because honesty leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise. Beware of falsehood because it leads to immorality, and immorality leads to Hell.” — Surah 40:28.
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