“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Known for his flawless logic and lucidity of mind, the late Philippine Senator Claro M. Recto Jr. once argued that “if he was seen walking in the company of prostitutes, it didn’t follow that he was also a prostitute.”
His syllogism thrashed the “tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” dictum.
Illogical: Mar Roxas is a pervert because he was allegedly seen (he denied he saw the bawdy event) in the venue of a lewd show at the birthday bash of Liberal Party (LP) member, Rep. Benjie Agarao, in Laguna recently.
Logical: Not all those present were perverts (except, perhaps, the sponsor or sponsors of the indelicate show). Therefore Roxas, who attended the birthday party but “missed” the spicy episode, could not be a pervert since he was not the sponsor or directly involved when a sexy dancer gyrated scandalously on top of a male guest on stage.
There is a principle in law that says a mere presence in the crime scene does not make one a criminal–except if he is a direct accessory to the unlawful activity.
But since Roxas is a presidential aspirant and it is a political season, every mistake his political party–or members of the political party will commit, will be considered as his albatross.
The political party’s moral standard also instantly became a serious issue as it will determine the kind of governance the party will introduce once they retain Malacanang beyond 2016.
Mar Roxas is guilty by association, his critics will argue.
Association with sponsor (was it Metro Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino?) or sponsors of the lewd act or the LP? Both.
The sponsor or sponsors could also be LP members.
Not all Roman senators connived and stabbed Julius Caesar. Only those who had been mesmerized by Brutus and Cassius helped carry out the murder plot.
Mary Suratt swore before she was executed by hanging on July 7, 1865 in Washington D.C. that her only fault was that she owned the boarding house where murderers of Abraham Lincoln plotted the assassination that changed the course of American history.
Her plea fell on deaf ears.
Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello predicts a bad luck for the entire political party which, he said, could affect Roxas’ presidential bid.
It is not only a case of “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are” but also a case of “with friends like them (sponsors of sexy show), who needs enemies?” the former solon lamented.
While we agree that the incident warrants a call for investigation on the conduct of government officials in violation Section 19 of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), we don’t believe that Roxas should be faulted and crucified only because he was probably “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Roxas may have “walked with the prostitutes, but it did not mean that he was also a prostitute.”