Friday, February 10, 2012

Restitution

With the reality of a good number of thieves entrusted with public offices supposedly for public service plus the fact of many racketeers specially in the multinational corporate world, and with the well-known wealthy political dynasties not to mention the known gambling agencies with their big-time gambler patrons, it is but right and proper not only to know but to remember well the mandate of restitution of stolen goods – be this in kind or in cash. And the imperative of restitution is not merely a fundamental ethical norm but also a basic moral principle. Otherwise, people would have a Country and a world that would provide a haven for burglars and crooks, swindlers and racketeers – thereby making honesty a joke, integrity a farce.

In so many words, restitution means giving back to the rightful owner what was stolen here from, handing back to the legitimate possessor what was illegitimately taken away from him. Reasons: No one is allowed to steal, irrespective of race, color and creed. That is why “Res clamant dominum” or anything stolen cries for its rightful owner. One therefore earns his keep by the sweat of his brow – neither by thievery nor through dishonesty in general. If it were otherwise, then there is no reason why everybody would not steal from everybody else. This is why even the laws of man forbid and penalize stealing.

In a more systematic consideration, restitution presupposes reformation and conversion. That is to say: The thief undergoes a renewal of life for the better (reformation) plus a change a value system for the good (conversion). This is why restitution is said to be not only right but also proper and just – with the added consideration that it is truth that ushers in justice which in turn brings about peace. It is both irrational and ridiculous to even think that restitution was otherwise, i.e., the thief is free to keep what he has stolen, and free as well to return or not what is not his in the first place.

This is why it is both a fantasy and a futility to even think that restitution is irrelevant to the powerful and influential, the so-called bigwigs in graft and corruption – before and during the present administration. To say sorry and to keep anything stolen from any victim – be this government, any public entity or private person – is but falsity and hypocrisy. This is a good reminder for those still counted among the living as well as for everybody who will eventually die – although too late for those already dead.

It is good to try this weird agenda: Place but a five centavo coin in the hand of a dead man and see if he could take it with him. It is a certainty that when he has already even returned to dust wherefrom he came, the coin however remains in his coffin. Rather eerie but true.