While adopted and invoked in judicial circles – including the now on-going quasi judicial and quasi political Impeachment Trial – the truth of the matter is that the dictum has its premise in the Holy Book, its understanding in the order reason, and its relevance in the field of ethics. In other words, the expression is profound as well as practical, reasonable as well as justifiable. In other words, the maxim has both profound significance and plain relevance.
In the Holy Book, there is the saying that one would know a tree by its fruit. Hence, a bad tree produces bad fruits. So it is the other way around: A good tree bears good fruits. In the order of reason, it is futile to assume that a fool would say words of wisdom, that someone vicious could be the example of virtue. This is simple logic. And in the sphere of ethics, it is inanity to assume that the incarnation of evil would be the example of righteousness, that the personification of depravity would be the origin of integrity. Such is the cause-and-effect principle.
So it is that a poison tree bears but poisonous fruits – in the same way that poisonous seeds are the origin of poison trees. Hence, to expect otherwise is not only contrary to the teaching of the Holy Book but also offensive to the dictate of reason as well as dissonant with principles of ethics. In addition hereto, there is even the moral principle that the end does not justify the means, viz., an honorable and even noble finality cannot cleanse the evil in the vile means used – such as to steal from other in order to help the poor. Otherwise, thievery – just as graft and corruption – would become a virtue.
Now, for a concrete application of the axiom: The Philippine Gambling and Amusing Corporation – PAGCOR – is a poisonous tree! As such, its fruits cannot but be also evil and vile. Here are but a few of the downright poisonous fruits or effects of such a degrading and shameful Government Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC): It seals the hard earnings of people, undermines if not altogether ruin their professions and/or business. It strongly and continuously foments the mentality of chance than the ideal of work and industry. It produces gambling addicts, destroys families, attracts if not also grows gangsters.
As to the on-going talks about classy travels, luxurious accommodations plus other under-the-table deals in conjunction with the PAGCOR leadership, what is new? Such highly questionable practices were but as matter of fact observances in the previous government. And it is exactly the same under the present administration. And to think that there will rise a “Pagcor City” or the like in a choice Metro-Manila land area, the flagship of casinos unlimited. Poor pitiful Philippines (PPP)! It is cursed with poverty and debased by gambling!
No wonder that there is now a newly coined motto: “TUWAD NA DAAN!”