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?”

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • Anonymous

    I still think the one asking for a sacrificial lamb  — that’s you, ManuB —  go front-and-center.

  • Anonymous

    Side-topic:  Is Sereno a “plant” and a mole inside Supreme Korte?  This is a question being asked in  inquirer-dot-net  by  some dude Tiglao.

    And wow!!! The dude Tiglao writes about a Jerry Leal and sugggesting that PersiNoynoy was brains that resulted in Corona bank records being brandished by Tupas team.

    • Manuelbuencamino


      you are always a side topic. So is Tiglao.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, you know why Corona’s a poor poor offering as a sacrificial lamb and why Persssi-Dddente Noyyi-Noy  is the better.

    Corona, ffeer-shhurrr, is tainted.   He ain’t a virgin!!!   Ddduuuhhhh!!

  • Anonymous

    Is this what this is all about???   Some  Freudian thing  and the whole hulla-ballloooo is PersiNoynoy in heat for a virgin to offer “kuno” as a sacrificial lamb?


  • Anonymous

    If you want to be a sacrificial lamb to atone for GulorrrYA or Jinggoy Estrada’s sins, then go… go do…. go pour gasoline on yourself and take to the cleansing by fire.

    Even the Great-UBER-MABAIT  Persi-dente Noyii-noy  is not asking Binay to be a sacrificial lamb, is he????

    Or maybe this is just   PORR-paggaan-da  pogi-points writing  and the message really is  “TARA NA!!!   Lusob, mga mababait na Pill-pino…   sunugin ang Supreme Korte ni CJ Corona!!  EDSA-CATORCE!!!”

  • J_ag

    Collectively the so called “we the people” have a very high tolerance of obviously blatant malfeasance of public officials. 

    I for one do not believe that we have a system of laws in place with men of unwavering commitment to the rule of law and the due process it entails. 

    The system most specially the justice system is extremely dysfunctional. 

    The defense accuses the judges of being on the take. A judge calls out the prosecution as idiots for not being prepared to argue their case. A private lawyer who is a known court room operator deliberately sends a message to the same judge that her strident lecture is falling on deaf ears.  

    And the guy is cited for contempt. 

    Being on the take is a badge of honor in this country. A high position has its entitlements. 

    In a metaphorical sense we need a storming of the Bastille in the country. Those high walls erected preventing laws form being implemented fairly have to be torn down. The letter of the law must conform to the spirit of the law. 

    Otherwise we will never move from this divine right to rule idea. 

    • Manuelbuencamino


      The lady with the blindfold holding those scales speak the truth about our justice system, those scales are for weighing gold. 

      Reformers can start from the top, from the bottom, or everywhere at once. This administration thinks starting from the top will encourage those at the bottom to start their own reforms. The results will be self evident. Time will tell. 

      • J_ag

        Reforms are not the answer. The system has to be upended. That is why a revolution will probably ensue. But it will take some tiome

        • Manuelbuencamino

          Okay. If that’s what turns you on.

  • Doy Santos

    Here for the benefit of those who didn’t read the piece you are alluding to is what was actually said, MB:

    “They who plead with the jurors to go beyond the letter of the law and convict him (Corona) based on some higher principle of justice should in their haste to pass judgement reflect on whether they too would be able to pass the standards they have set for their enemies.They can’t have it both ways. They can’t justify similar offenses committed by people on their side of the fence while throwing the book at those on the opposite side. They need to straighten their crooked halos a bit and think of the implications of their statements. Otherwise the public may grow weary of their double-speak….it would be best to either apply the same standard and level of scrutiny to all or none at all. That is what the term ‘equal treatment under the law’ means.”

    In other words, the point of the article which has been mischaracterized here is not to let Corona off the hook but to have a common yard stick, applying the law equally in evaluating corrupt practices, not to have a double standard (the law applies to all or none at all).

    And to mischaracterize people who have certain opinions that run counter yours by saying they are apostles of one camp or another is a weak form of presenting an argument. But I give you this assurance: I will reserve my pontifications to the season of Lent, when they are at least appropriate, to provide a break from the non-stop pontifications our readers get from those of a different persuasion.

    • GabbyD

      but cusp, no one is justifying similar offenses right? no one is saying that. 

      in fact the goal is the OPPOSITE. we want more transparency w the saln from the SC.

      the question becomes: how do you open up transparency (which we ALL agree is a desirable policy goal) with the supreme court, which is a separate branch and may have different opinions on the value of transparency?

      this is a tough question, as there are MANY moving parts. MOST countries solve this issue through a non-codified, yet followed by all, notion of “judicial restraint”. 

      the courts, including the SC, should try their best to leave POLICY and LAW MAKING to the executive and the legislative branches. 

      note that this notion of judicial restraint is in NO CONSTI anywhere in the world, but i/we know that this is a crucial part of how the co-equal branches get along.

      whenever this is violated, controversy erupts. ALL THE TIME, no exceptions.

    • Manuelbuencamino


       There were headlines pointing to a condominium that Carpio did not own. There were headlines about a house Tupaz allegedly did not declare in his SALN which turns out that it was not yet time to declare it. And then columnists from the anti-Aquino/pro-Corona papers followed up with their double standard spiel. So don’t flatter yourself, you were not the only one who made the common yardstick argument: 

      Now as to your mischaracterization of equal treatment under the law, this is my opinion:

      Equal treatment under the law is not about judges being cleaner than the accused. Equal treatment under the law means that dirty judges must give equal treatment to all those who come before their courts. It is not the judge being judged. The judge can only be called to account when he acts with obvious partiality.

      As to pleading for going beyond the letter of the law, well that depends on how you appreciate an impeachment proceeding. To me an impeachment is not about rules of evidence or legal procedure. To me an impeachment is an inquiry into the moral fitness of an office holder. And so if there are facts, take note of the word facts, that can help senator-judges and the general public appreciate the character of the person then they should be considered and not suppressed just because a rule applicable to a criminal or civil proceeding says so. 

      Here we are checking whether or not a building stands on a solid foundation, that it is not sitting on an earthquake fault. Now suppose one of the engineers discovers that the steel bars used in the building were sub-standard, are you going to say that such finding cannot be considered because the point of the review was to look for earthquake faults and not the construction materials?