By now I believe that most of you are already familiar with the latest scandal to rock the Ateneo de Manila University and one of its own, business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan. The whole world by now knows that MVP has committed plagiarism by failing to cite and give reference to JK Rowling, Oprah, Conan O’Brien and even US President Barack Obama when he included parts of their respective speeches into his own.
What’s done is done. The good thing about MVP is that he was man enough to own up to his mistakes and face the consequences whatever it may be. Put this display of character, honor and bravery alongside this moment of carelessness, imprudence and dishonesty, you cannot help but extend to the man the arms of forgiveness.
Of course, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean absolution from the consequences warranted by his mistake. But it’s best that we leave this matter to the Ateneo’s Board of Trustees and MVP himself, surely lawyers would be included in their negotiations as to what happens next. Because after all, the plagiarized speeches of JK Rowling are copyrighted to her.
What I would like to take away from this incident is to hope and call upon our politicians, particularly those running for office in the coming May elections to do an MVP – come clean, man up and face the consequences of lying, cheating and stealing that they have done while they were in government office.
In fact, I hope and pray that they start doing so right at this moment in their campaign. Enough of the fabricated stories, slogans and self-images that are far from who they really are. For honest elections does not only mean the fair and honest casting and counting of votes, but also candidates who are honest themselves.
So that in coming clean, the people may better be informed on whom to vote and whom to prosecute for after all, the law is still the law, and last I looked, lying, cheating and stealing especially while in government is a crime against the people.
This call is made in the spirit of Lent, the season for renewal, repent and asking for forgiveness. For the people already knows who the sinners are, and we’re just waiting for them to come forward, repent, face the consequences and be forgiven.