The Running Joke

[Note: This is my personal opinion and does not in any way represent Makati Gospel Church.]

How come there are people who find telling the truth much harder than weaving a lie? This came to my mind when I saw on the news that former Agriculture undersecretary Joselyn “Joc-joc” Bolante had set foot at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday night after fighting his deportation from the USA for two years while in detention there. Joc-Joc is accused of top-level involvement in a P728-million fertilizer fund scam in 2004. When the Ombudsman found as “sufficient in form and substance” the graft complaint filed against him and when the Senate committee on agriculture launched an investigation into the scam, Joc-Joc run away. He claimed though that he hid and sought asylum in the US because he feared for his life and that of his family. (Source: http://inquirer. net/) In a press statement, Joc-Joc claimed that, Many baseless accusations have been thrown against me these past years. I chose to remain silent but I’ve come to realize that the more I remain silent, the more vicious the accusations have become… Now that I am back, I shall now fulfill my promise of saying my piece, giving my side of the story.” Though we have to presume his innocence unless proven guilty, I cannot help but wonder, “Is not flight a sign of guilt?” Joc-Joc may be in mortal danger but in this Internet world, he could have at least e-mailed his side of the story to the media here. In fact, he would still be in hiding had not the US immigration detained him due to an invalid non-immigrant visa. (The US Embassy canceled his visa upon the Philippine Senate’s request.) Joc-Joc’s promise to say his piece appears to be a running joke.

Running from the truth is no laughing matter. We who cast the stones must make sure we have not committed the same. When we lie about our income to save on taxes, when we fail to give the right wages and fail to give it at the right time, when we bribe our way out of a traffic offense or give it to “grease” our papers, when we vote corrupt candidates into office, we are also running away from the truth. It is time to take the truth seriously.

Brethren, “righteousness exalts a nation” (Romans 14:34, NIV)

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