"Guilty beyond reasonable doubt." This is the verdict of the Sandigan Bayan on the plunder case charge against our nation's former president. It is the first time in the history of corruption in the Philippines that a highest ranking public official is convicted by a court of law of a crime that many of us may also be found guilty of if we too were in such public office.
While it is unprecedented and historic, it must not be considered alone as a victory for the nation (as what some people proudly conveyed), but also it must be considered a loss for the nation because we have sentenced no less than a former president who could have been a better public servant if only some of us had been persistent and brave enough to confront him while he was yet in the verge of erring while he was still in office. Can we afford to have another case like this in the future? If not, then what should we citizens ought to be doing now before it would be too late?
Conviction is perhaps a good thing, but only to the ears of those who accuse. Pardon is perhaps a bad thing, but only to the ears of those who accuse. Aren't we glad that death penalty was abolished in our nation, or do you regret it has been removed? Should we place life and death under the power of the judge's tongue? Justice is one thing, vengeance is another thing. But too much adversarial politics is a worse thing.
Often we hear lawyers say, "It is better to wrongly free a guilty person than to wrongly convict an innocent man." In some similar sense, how very hard it is to defend and justify a person if he is truly guilty beyond any shadow of doubt. What could an advocate possibly do to justify his client? What could he give in exchange for his client's freedom? What possible motive will the advocate has just in order to even think of doing a noble service which is beyond his normal obligation or call of duty?
Genuine love of God that produces genuine love for fellowmen. This is the only motive that produces genuine zeal for the good of others. And this is exactly what Christ did to mankind before the court of heaven against the Devil's accusation. With mankind's sin of rebellion (the ultimate state of disobedience which the Devil caused -- just like his sin), mankind brought upon himself the inherent penalty of sin, which is spiritual death (a state of total ignorance and separation from God). Christ not only became mankind's advocate but also mankind's savior by taking upon Himself the penalty of sin, which is death, so that mankind will live. And because of Christ's deed, He turned mankind's fall into a great testimony of Love and in effect condemning the Devil of his sin that he so proudly refuse to repent of, because what the Devil is rebelling against God is God's absolute law of Love. After going through sin and all of its consequences and then experiencing the depth of God's love, mercy, & justice, what sinner would not walk the narrow Way of Life instead of straying in the wide way of death? Listen to this verse: Do you despise the riches of God's goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
Nothing will ever separate us from God's love. Listen to Paul in his letter to the Romans:
For I [Paul] am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
And the following verse explains the root of corruption:
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Timothy 6:5-11)
We may be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, but because of Christ's deed we are worthy of forgiveness beyond any reason, so that we may live our lives anew for the Lord -- and this is real victory.
Euphemism in the face of guilt is like taking poison hoping for a cure.