Politicians, lawyers, doctors and “liars”

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 3, 2020 - 12:00am

When a priest, a doctor and a lawyer die simultaneously, by car accident or COVID-19, and face the Lord together in the pearly gates of the other world, who among them do you think will be the one to go to heaven, to hell and to purgatory?

Be careful with your answer.

A Roman Catholic priest was giving a weekend retreat for a group of politicians (including many senators and congressmen and congresswomen) in Tagaytay the whole weekend last December. The retreat was scheduled to start in the evening of Friday and to end after dinner time on Sunday.  On the first day, during the orientation, he told the honorable legislators and their spouses: Tomorrow, during the morning mass, I will deliver a sermon about LIARS. To prepare you for this important sermon, please read the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of St Mark, or any chapter of the gospel of St Paul. Out of the 100 who attended the retreat, 55 were lawyers, 22 were doctors, 12 were actors, one was retired Aglipayan bishop and 5 were rich businessmen and traders and 5 former rebels.

The next morning, before he delivered the promised sermon, he asked those who read the seventeenth chapter of St Mark's gospel to please raise their hands, or any chapter of the gospel of St Paul to stand up. All the politicians raised their hands and also stood up, all of them, except one, the retired bishop, who had a problem in hearing. Then the priest smiled and said:  This is the problem that our country is facing today. There is no such thing as the seventeenth chapter of St Mark's Gospel. And St Paul did not write any of the gospels. Only Saints Matthew, Luke, John and Mark did. Which reminds me of one my students in the college of law, who is now a politician. I asked him to recite on the Miranda Doctrine. And he answered me: Sir, I invoke my right to remain silent. Anything I say may be hazardous to my final grades.

A lawyer and a doctor who were brothers had a debate in the dining table. The doctor was accusing his younger brother an attorney, of lying. The doctor said: You lawyers, you write a one hundred-page document and you call it brief. Why can you call a spade a spade. Your language are always lies embellished with high-sounding words to lend them an aura of decency. Can you imagine your term for a lie is terminological inexactitude? You win your cases by twisting, hiding or confusing the truth. The lawyer did not dare to answer his elder brother. This doctor was the one who spent for his law studies and his preparations for the bar exams. He politely told him. Brother, I thank you for not treating your patients effectively for eight years, for a family malady that could be cured in eight days. For if you treated them well and cured them expeditiously and fast, you would not have been able to send me to law school.

Then the lawyers said in a very humble voice. Actually, lawyers never tell lies. They only ask the questions in direct or cross-examination. They do not have control on what the witness would tell the Court. The witnesses are the ones who have sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If the witness would tell lies, he is the one liable for perjury and his soul would be accountable to God. Lawyers are strictly governed by the Code of Professional Responsibility. Hundreds if not thousands of lawyers are disbarred every year for all forms of accusations against them. They are sworn never to delay any man for money or for malice. They have the duty to their clients, to the court to society and to the Integrated Bar. But we have not heard any drunken doctor being stripped of his license for leaving recklessly some bandages, scissors and other things inside the stomachs of their patients.

Lying is not the monopoly of one profession. But negligence and ineptitude may be widespread. When a lawyer loses his case, he is openly criticized, blamed and even maligned. His work is never secret. His client is not put to sleep by anesthesia. And he can appeal the adverse and may yet win in the higher court. But when a doctor, by negligence, incompetence or grave error, causes death to his patient, the result of his blunder is unappealable, final and fatal.A nd since the patient had been put to sleep during the major operation, there is no witness to his mortal mistake. And so, look now, brother, who is more pleasing to the eyes of God. And who is deplorable? Be careful with your answer.

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