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Opinion

You cannot violate the law and claim "good faith"

DIRECT FROM THE LABOR FRONT - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

When  an employee or a manager, or a lower class worker, in the  labor front  is caught diverting the corporate funds intended for marketing and pour them into sales operations, or is discovered to have  misused the company materials for marketing and re-channel them to advertising, he might be dismissed for breach of trust or for loss of confidence. Note that he did not steal them nor derive material advantage over the transactions. But he did disobey the orders of his superiors, and he did defy willfully and knowingly, with full knowledge of the implications, the decisions made by management. When caught and found guilty, he cannot  excuse himself by saying that he did them in good faith. That, with all due respect, is a cheap shot.

Yes, in the context of government, most especially, you cannot make use of GOOD FAITH as a defense because you are not ignorant of the law. You are not uninformed of the rules. You belong to the organization that made the law and formulated the rules. You should be the first to exemplify obedience to law. You took an oath to execute the law and lead in the implementation of the law. If you were a small fry in government, you know very well that you cannot juggle funds, You cannot refuse to buy one item, which was funded to be purchased and, not using them, declare the unused funds as savings. To use that fund for another purpose, no matter how good, would be technical malversation. You cannot malverse technically and claim GOOD FAITH.

Most especially if you are the overall leader of a nation, a company or a labor union, you cannot seek refuge under the mantle of GOOD FAITH. A wrong is a wrong even if your intentions were right, and even if the results were good. The end really does not justify the means. If you recycle a clearly wrong practice and call it by another name, its essence remains the same. It is still wrong. When one act is wrong to a barangay captain, it is wrong when done by mayors, governors, senators or by congressmen. It is wrong when done by a regional director or a cabinet member, and, of course, by the highest official of the land, the President. There is no ifs and buts. there are no gray areas. It is black, not white.

A wrong does not become right because everybody is doing it. It is still wrong even if also done by the Supreme Court, by Congress or by any constitutional body, be it by the Civil Service Commission, by the COMELEC or by COA itself. It is still wrong now even if it were done before, by the PGMA administration, by President Erap or by FVR, President Cory or President Marcos. A wrong knows no venue or timing. It does not matter who did it, neither would it make any difference when nor on where the act was committed. A wrong is a wrong no matter how you embellish it with legalese goobledygook, no matter how you package it with bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. Even if thousands of apologists and sycophants would swear before the Bible that it is right. It is still wrong.

And this wrong can not be simply obliterated by peremptorily brandishing the most convenient blanket defense of ''GOOD FAITH".  Any freshman law student would tell you that when you perpetrate a MALUM PROHIBITUM, (evil because it is explicitly prohibited by law), good faith would not be accepted as a valid defense. You cannot claim that you did not intend to do wrong because intent is not an essential element in '' mala prohibita''. The fact is the highest court of the land has spoken. That it is wrong. So be it.  Its judgment is the final word on the matter. You cannot hint, rather too obviously, on a constitutional crisis if a collision is to erupt between the executive and the judiciary. That is not fair.

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vuukle comment

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

EVEN

FAITH

GOOD

LAW

PRESIDENT CORY

PRESIDENT ERAP

PRESIDENT MARCOS

SUPREME COURT

WRONG

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