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Saturday, October 27, 2007

To err is human, to forgive divine

The adage to err is human, to forgive divine is only true for errors committed unwittingly or without malice. Blame it on man's frailty for man is, after all, prone to commit errors in judgment. Noone is perfect! as they say. However, what if the error is done deliberately and continuously that it becomes a habit? A habit so bad that it subjected a lot of people as prey to its whimsical disregard for human welfare? Something that is so bad it brought hundreds of people live in abject poverty? Shall we forgive him?

Such is the issue on Erap's having been pardoned by the president of the country. Erap has been found guilty of plunder and was just awaiting execution of his verdict when PGMA granted him pardon, something he earlier stated he would have not accepted for it will mean a few concessions for him, viz., acknowledging that Arroyo is a legitimate president and that it would imply that he is guilty as charged. He took another route when he realized he would soon be sent to jail. Talk about "estoppel" huh, siu?

If I remember correctly, there was at least a proposal in congress to make the crime of plunder be treated as a heinous crime resulting to a death penalty. I do not know if that ever became a law but it just shows how erious the crime is. Someone in congress thinks that the deed is so dastardly that a culprit should be meted
out the death penalty. Why not? We only have to look at our countrymen living in abject poverty to realize that plunder is so immoral that while there are families who barely eat, much less have other essentials in life, there are those who live in extreme luxury out of the nation's treasury, something we all shared to build.

Plunder was proposed to be a heinous crime to become a deterrent for prospective and serving public officials to engage in. Erap's conviction and possible jail term would have set a precedent for all time and should have made these officials realize that the administration meant business. Arroyo did set a precedent. She
re-enforced that in this country, public officials could get away with murder.

OF course, this is all premised under the idea that Erap is guilty. That he had been given a fair trial and that with the battery of lawyers he had, his rights as an accused had been duly protected. If he was wrongly convicted, then that is another story.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous siu said...

Agree, Tito Rolly, by his acceptance of pardon, he has perforce recognized the legitimacy of the arroyo presidency.

But I am greatly concerned about the message the erap pardon brings on the Filipinos - that if you are rich, powerful, and influential you can get away with a crime, no matter how heinous it is. talk about impunity.

re: plunder - it is a heinous crime, but the death penalty has already been lifted on all heinous crimes.

11:51 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

siu Yeah, the death penalty has been lifted but had it not been, the punishment would have been death. This just proves the gravity of the crime committed and yet he is being pardoned. And yes, that is the whole point of my post. The message has been made clear - that you only have to be powerful and rich to get away with any crime.

1:16 PM  
Blogger R Panaderos said...

I don't know if any of your readers remember or have read about the Harry Stonehill case back in the early 1960s. This is about an American who settled and started businesses in our country after the end of the 2nd world war. He was a US Army soldier who came in with the liberating forces. Anyway, he was found guilty and convicted in the early 60s for bribing justices and members of Congress to protect his various businesses in the country. However, as soon as he was about to start serving his sentence, the current President's father, Diosdado Macapagal, decided that it was better to just deport the guy back to the States than have him rot in a Philippine prison. Turn the clock forward 45 years and look what we have? Another Macapagal pardoning a known crook and plunderer.

Old habits die hard, I guess.

12:35 AM  
Blogger ipanema said...

All the Administration, politicians and businessmen can say is for "economic advancement and social harmony?" Who are these morons fooling? Since when did clemency a tool for such?

This sure smells fishy. I bet there is something hidden in all these.

This is very sad indeed.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Bugsybee said...

It's a done deal. Gloria's decision came like a thief in the night. And I am surprised that we seem to have accepted this meekly.

But I hope they write about this in our history books... about Erap and what he did, about Gloria and what she has done. I dread the day when this, er, aberration (for lack of a better term) will be forgotten, just as most of the young people today seem ignorant of what we had suffered under the Marcos regime.

9:45 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

bugsy We do have a short memory and probably no real sense of history as we do not learn.

10:38 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

may natutunan ako sa trial ni erap, bossing: pag nagnakaw ka, dapat milyon milyon imbes na libo libo.

pag libo libo, nakukulong ka. pag milyon milyon, pwede mong gamitin ang pera para hindi ka makulong.

7:43 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Batjay Mukhang ganun na nga ang gustong ipalabas ng episode na ito sa ating history. Sayang ano? P"agkakataon na sana na ipamalas sa sambayanan na kahit sino pwedeng ikulong pag nagkasala. haay buhay

9:53 AM  
Blogger Bugsybee said...

I do heartily agree with Batjay. That also is the message that Arroyo sent to all the other Filipinos. :(

At tsaka, ang kapal din naman ng mukha ng Erap na 'to ... ang dami nyang sinabi just days before Arroyo pardoned him. I was thinking that maybe GMA said, "o, eto na yung pardon to keep your mouth shut."

Lesson no. 2: the loudest quack gets the worm ... yay! ano nga yun?

10:16 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

bugsy Yan pa ang isa. Nakakatawa nga si Erap eh. Nung una, aayaw-ayaw pa sa pardon, tapos nung malapit nang ikulong pwede na ang pardon. Kinain lahat ang pride nya. Bibilib na sana ko eh.

Ano kaya ang gagawin nya ngayon at magbabayad siya ng mahight Php500M? Baka maiba na naman ang ihip ng hangin ano?

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Dr Emer said...

Dapat isang Gov. Ed Panlilio ang maging Pangulo para mabago na ang bulok na sistema, Tito Rolly!

4:39 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Doc Emer Oo nga. May his tribe increase. Imagine, kung di dahil sa kanya, hindi mabubulgar yung pabuya sa mga politikong dumadalaw sa palasyo ng reyna. Ang balita ko e matagal na daw practice yun eh

6:26 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

I just realized i have not responde to some of the comments here and I am sorry for the lapse.

r. panaderos I've only come across the name Harry Stonehill only during the 80's. If you've read Manolo Quezon's article at the Daily Inquirer yesterday, many presidents have indeed used their power to pardon a convicted person. What is it with the President giving pardon for a crime committed against the people, no?

ipanema who knows what her true intentions are? We never knew from the very start.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous trench said...

I dont know... I think its a coverup for her own crimes she's being accused of. I know she has been investigated for her own corruption in the gov't.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous bayi said...

"To err is human, to forgive divine." It's one of the most quoted adages and also one of the most abused. Consequently I see it more as a cliche than an adage. It has become an excuse used by those purportedly to show magnanimity when there isn't any. What's there in the "forgiver" is probably selfishness and a load of ulterior motives.

Isn't this the case in point?

9:10 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

trench You think that could be it? But none of the accusations against her stuck yet. Meaning, she's still on top of her game.

9:33 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

bayi Definitely. The saying has never been abused this much. The sin was committed to thousands upon thousands of people and yet it only needed one powerful person to forgive him. Ay caramba!

9:40 AM  

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