“He who comes to court must do so with clean hands”

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

No employer can just terminate the employment of regular employees without just cause or due process. And those who are accusing the President with any impeachable offense should better make sure that their hands are clean. In the same manner, those who are asking the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision should also be prepared to defend the purity of their intentions and the rectitude of all the manners by which they perform their official functions. For the law provides that they cannot cut corners. Neither could they insist on good faith as a blanket defense for their border crossing. They cannot compromise on the letter and the spirit of the law simply on the basis of self-serving claim that their intentions were all for public interest.

This legal maxim is well-settled in this jurisdiction: "He who comes to court must do so with clean hands." And so, a husband who is accusing his wife of adultery should better be sure that there is no sufficient evidence to find him guilty of concubinage. No married person can come to court and ask for judicial annulment of marriage based on the infidelity of the other spouse when in fact he or she is likewise guilty of cheating on his or her partner. In this case, they are ''in pare delicto'' or are in a situation of mutual guilt. The law will leave them where it found them. Not one of them can seek judicial relief from the acts of the other because he or she is without clean hands. The judge will refuse to order annulment. The couple will be condemned to live with each other. They are each other's penalties.

The honorable senator-judges who convicted Chief Justice Corona and impeached him from his position as Chief Justice should make sure that they are not guilty of any shenanigan related to PDAP or DAP. For the failure to submit a properly and accurately prepared STATEMENT OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES AND NETWORTH may be deemed lesser in degree in seriousness than plunder or graft. The accuser, judge, and executioner all rolled into one should have purer hearts and souls than the ones they have charged, prosecuted, convicted and ousted from their lofty position. If it should appear by evidence later on, that the accusers should turn out to be guiltier, then history shall judge both accuser and accused accordingly.

It is very easy to accuse. It is very difficult to prove. The courts, agencies, tribunals, and police stations are clogged with charges, accusations and allegations of crimes, felonies and misdemeanors, and all sort of irregularities. However, in many of these accusations, only a few are proven by sufficient evidence. But, in the process, honors are being besmirched, feelings are wounded, people are subjected to stress, tensions and vexations and large expenses are incurred. Relationships are broken. Trusts are violated. The social standing of people is unduly jeopardized. Jobs are lost. Businesses go bankrupt. And damages are incurred on both sides and also to the communities and the nation.

It has been said, and rightly so, that the Filipinos are highly contentious people, very argumentative, given to debates and antagonistic discussions and discourses. We spend a lot of time in political exchanges of adversarial positions. We love to appear as excellent in forensics and elocution. We are also very litigious people. We are easily provoked to file charges even for petty things and mundane causes of action. And yet, all of us are neither blameless ourselves nor without malice and bad faith. Therefore, we do not deserve any relief from the court. For our accusing fingers are themselves tainted with the dirt of our own spite, envy, self-righteousness, anger and hunger for revenge.

Those who are without fault among us should cast the first stone.


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