By Tin Bartolome

Posted at Jun 26 2015 02:29 PM | Updated as of Jun 26 2015 10:29 PM

There is a principle in law that prevents a person from accusing or denying facts because of his previous conduct, allegation or denial. It is called estoppel.

For example, if I have always been a proud member of a group or organization, have been compliant and even supportive, playing my role not just as a member but perhaps even as a leader, I cannot later distance myself and say that I am not at all responsible for anything that group or organization has done. In the same way, if I have consistently denied having been part of a group or organization that is later awarded honors and its members given cash prize, I cannot later claim that I am entitled to a portion of the cash prize nor the honor accorded that organization.

Even without such a legal principle, delicadeza or one’s sense of propriety would be a sufficient guide for a decent person. There are instances when we are unaware of how our words or actions affect others, but a decent and responsible person would feel ill at ease if he makes pronouncements that go against his principles or make promises he cannot (and will not) keep.

A decent person will not criticize another for faults he himself has committed nor condemn someone with equal (or less) guilt. We have a saying, “Bago punahin ang dungis ng iba, linisin muna ang dungis sa sariling mukha” – or something like that. Then there’s this clever reminder about three fingers pointing towards you whenever you point at someone else.

I find it so appalling for someone in a privileged position on whom great doubt has been cast and now finds himself facing (what I consider) strong evidence of guilt, to point an accusing finger at others—whether such accusations are true or not— without first proving his innocence.

When accused, an honorable man would face such accusations and either prove his innocence or admit guilt. He will not act as if there are no such allegations and then point out flaws in others. Though he may claim that he is being persecuted, he will face the issues and answer such accusations. And most of all, a man with integrity will not make excuses that tend to insult the intelligence of those around him.

Whoever believes his claim of innocence is estopped from feeling alluded to!

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.