Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This piece was first published in Interaksyon.com on February 29, 2012.
After the prosecution showed the wide disparity between impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona’s undeclared assets and the assets he declared under oath in his SALNs (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and net worth), Corona’s apostles counterattacked with a story lifted from the gospel of John.
They said John wrote that Jesus told a crowd who had gathered to stone a woman caught committing adultery, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. From there they turned to the prosecution panel and the senator judges and asked, “Who among you has never lied in his SALN?”
Apparently, Lent has inspired them to preach and pontificate on the gospel. They would have us believe that the moral of John’s story is Christ wanted the stoners to leave the judging and punishing to Him because He is the only one among them who is without sin or, as they say in the native tongue, “I-pa sa Diyos niyo na lang ang mga makasalanan.”
Ano kayo sinuswerte? But okay, I’ll play along.
“Now I ask you,” as Sen. Joker Arroyo is wont to say in his tortuous soliloquies, but this is me asking myself a question, “why do we even bother to have cops, prosecutors, judges, and jailers if everyone is a sinner anyway and we already have someone who is without sin to cast the first stone?”
The answer to that question is so obvious that I don’t have to be defense counsel Serafin Cuevas to raise a crooked finger and say, “Liding kweschon, Yerenner plis, not only that but it is also rhetorical so it does not require an answer, Yerenner.”
Okay, I will reframe my question, “Are you nuts?”
And the answer to my own question is, “No, because we need order in society and someone has to enforce it. We agreed among ourselves that, although we are all sinners, we have no choice but to employ fellow sinners to act as law enforcers—to be cops, prosecutors, judges, and jailers—so that we don’t have to live like animals, so that our lives do not become nasty, brutish, and short.”
The answer does not end there.
“Because we are all sinners and we appointed fellow sinners to uphold and enforce our rules, the cardinal rule then becomes ‘don’t get caught’ and not ‘he who is without sin cast the first stone’. That’s why when you break the law and you get caught you can’t go around wailing and getting indignant over the fact that you are not the only lawbreaker because, in fact, you are the only one stupid enough to get caught and you are now being stoned so that your fellow sinners can feel good about themselves.”
That brings us to the subject of sacrificial lambs. My good friend Oichi Peeja explained, “A sacrificial lamb is a metaphorical reference to a person or animal sacrificed (killed or discounted in some way) for the common good. The term is derived from the traditions of Abrahamic religion where a lamb is a highly valued possession, but is offered to God as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of Sin.”
Jesus Christ is the quintessential sacrificial lamb. “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” He came to earth and had Himself crucified to atone for and wash away all of our sins.
Similarly, shouldn’t Corona welcome his impeachment as a blessed opportunity to emulate Jesus Christ? Not everybody is chosen to become a sacrificial lamb, the one who will atone for and wash away all the sins of our utterly corrupt society, the one who will make all of us feel good and clean afterwards. It’s a great and distinct honor to be chosen as the sacrificial lamb. It is sacred and saintly. That’s why I don’t understand why Corona has been going around crying and wailing like a spoiled child asking the whole world, “Bakit ako, bakit hindi na lang si Noynoy ang i-sacrifice ninyo?”