Issue of October 13, 2019
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The art of lying

In your freshman year Philosophy class, the first line that your college instructor will write on the blackboard is the following:

“A cretin once said, all cretins are liars.”

Cretins or Filipinos, we all have lied at some time or another in our lives.

To quote a five-time Bar flunker, “Clients lie to their lawyers, lawyers lie to judges, and judges lie to their wives.

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Or as another frustrated lawyer also said, “A lie, told often enough, soon becomes truth.”

Not exactly. It merely reaches a point where the liar starts to believe his own lies, even swearing to the heavens that it is so.

“Ammo ni Apo Diyos,” says the witness, looking at the examining prosecutor straight in the eye.

In my nearly 50 years of law practice and seven decades as an observer of human nature and having run afoul of the law more than once in my younger years, I can truthfully say that underworld characters lie better than law enforcers when both are charged with wrongdoing.

The secret is to stick to the truth as close as possible, and not deviate from it entirely, where a contrived defense is nothing but a made up story.

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On trial, an accused with a criminal record as long as his arm, will plead innocent with tears in his eyes, every now and then glancing at his wife and child sitting at the back of the courtroom, there is no hesitation in his answers, said politely, short and to the point.

Even the most experienced trial judge will have a hard time trying to discern whether it is a case of good acting or just the plain and simple truth.

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Now compare that to the so called ninja cops. One comes to court wearing an expensive watch costing six figures.

He then spins a story like the senators taking part in the inquiry were stupid, and not as “smart as he is.”

He is incarcerated for his efforts. Even so, he shows no remorse, like he expects a padrino to spring him from jail soon enough.

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During the entire proceedings, his fellow officers are sporting scowls of indifference – you know, like they expect nothing to come out of it, just like in the past, when instead of being dismissed from the service, were later on reassigned, with their unit head even promoted to chief of police of a resort city.

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But even more intriguing is the supposed link between the lucrative Bilibid drug trade and ninja cops.

Like a Bilibid inmate brags, the only difference between a cop and me is the color of our uniforms – mine is orange while his is colored blue.

Both go well with a black heart – and sharing the good life as well.

But I know one politician who practically perfected the art of lying.

But hey, aren’t all politicians in the same boat?

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But let’s take a closer look at our current mayor.

“One of us here is lying,” Mayor Benjamin Magalong points to PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, “and it is not me.”

Albayalde counters, “Why is everyone ganging up on me, and why only now? Maybe we should just move on, as suggested by President Duterte.”

Not so fast, the Palace replies. Let’s wait for the result of the investigation first.

It is impossible to wriggle out of a hole when truth is not on your side. In the meantime, you need to keep on lying. Maybe too, the truth will set Albayalde free.

We are all swimming in a sea of lies, drowning, drowning, drowning.

Happily, his truth is marching on. All we need to do is cling to it.

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Everything, alas, boils down to one thing – the craving and greed for money.

Today, unlike in the good old days, money will buy you love and respect, gift you with the power to take another pretty wife away from him, also her siblings, and more shuddering, even his daughter when she gets to be of age.

Everyone also gives way when you pass by, greet you good day, even scampering to open the door for you.

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Unlike in sports competitions where the score shows who’s winning, or at least in the lead, in political protests, you only get to know the winner when the decision is announced by the electoral tribunal.

Both the Leni Robredo and Bongbong Marcos camps through their lawyers, even this early, are claiming victory, albeit Robredo supporters keep popping the Martial Law bogey – that a Marcos victory will mark the return of Marcos rule.

Well, not really. President Cory was a God fearing, almost saintly leader, much loved by the Filipino people, but one can’t say the same of her son when he became president. There was even naughty babble that BSA III had plans of becoming like Marcos i.e. extending his term beyond six years.

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It is the oldest defense in the world for those accused of wrongdoing – filing a countercharge or a charge for libel, particularly when alleged honor and integrity is involved. Judges – and the public – of course, know this.

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We were away for a little over a week – helping out a friend about to face a high profile case, of which he claims innocence, legal advice is all, staying in a classy hotel and ogling all the pretty girls passing by, dining in fine restaurants, got to watch the U.P. - F.E.U. game, and enjoying the fun and thrills of the Pitmaster International derby.

Hard on the pocket, however. Hopefully, there will be a next time.

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