Lying through their teeth . . .

Lying through their teeth . . .

Numbers don’t lie. Women lie, men, lie, but numbers don’t lie.

— Mixed martial artist Max Holloway

LAST Saturday (November 6, 2021), we wrote about a shameless hypocrite who doesn’t recognize what truth is—apart from fiction or propaganda.

It appears that they have forgotten what Jehovah, or Yahweh, had expressly commanded as a transgression that should never be committed by any of God’s people—that of “bearing false witness” under the ninth commandment given to Moses when he faced the Creator atop Mount Sinai.

It said: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16), and it specifically forbids “speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating and any way devising and designing to deceive (one’s) neighbor. Also, it prohibits speaking unjustly against (one’s) neighbor to the prejudice of his reputation (which involves the guilty of both).

And in Proverbs 6:16-19, it also stressed that there are six things that the Lord strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

But these are now common practices among our politicians who are very much willing to besmirch and even destroy the reputation of their rivals just to win favor from their constituents, and in this case, now that our elections are nearing in May next year, our electorate who will choose from candidates who are willing to die and kill to get elected and obtain authority, power, and influence.

But surprisingly, our president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte—who is well-known for his jokes and seemingly tactless pronouncements—has signed into law amendments to Republic Act 11594, which now penalizes government officials and employees to a longer prison term and a stiff fine if they are found lying under oath.

Based on the amendments stipulated, lying under oath or perjury will now be punishable with a maximum jail term of 12 years and a fine of up to one million pesos. It’s also ironic that the authors of this measure included one of Duterte’s most strident critics who claimed she herself was a victim of this crime.

And under the new law, any person who knowingly made untruthful statements, and had testified and made affidavits before anyone authorized to administer an oath, shall be penalized with a minimum imprisonment of six years up to a maximum of 10 years. But if the offender is a public officer or employee, the penalty shall be imposed in its maximum period, or 10 years and one day to 12 years.

In addition, this person would be made to pay a fine of up to one million pesos and would be perpetually disqualified from holding any appointive or elective position in government or in any of its agencies, entities, or instrumentalities.

Prior to this amendment, persons found guilty, whether they were state employees or private individuals, were only punished with a jail term of four months and one day to two years and four months, and unfortunately, they were not fined or made to pay any amount as penalty for their crime of perjury.

Proponents of the measure had argued for stiff fines for perjury because many people have changed their stories under oath without compunction and have used false testimonies to support malicious complaints. Senator Leila de Lima, a vocal Duterte critic who is detained on what she calls trumped-up drug charges, was one of the authors of the law to impose harsher penalties for perjury, which she said has been used to harass government critics.

But we question whether this law should only penalize those people who lie only under oath and before a court. How about those politicians and public officials as well as candidates who lie through their teeth and break promises to the people and then just reason out that the promises they made were mere jokes? Shouldn’t they be punished, too?

I heard one of them admit that he found soon enough that his promise of ridding the government of corruption and solving the country’s drug problems turned out to be impossible tasks for anyone holding the presidency. Shouldn’t this guy be punished?

I guess we have to leave to God and His Ten Commandments . . .


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