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Rough Cuts: The Lord’s Supper and the new ‘traitors’

During Jesus’ time it was He who knew someone from among His disciples was to betray Him. Today traitors remain unmasked even long after they committed the treachery. Sometimes they even end up catapulted to positions of power as reward for what they did.Luke 22:14-23 says:

14 “When the hour came, Jesus took His place at the table with the apostles.”

15 “He said to them, ‘I have wanted so much to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer’.”

16 “ For, I tell you , I will never eat it until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God”.

17 “Then Jesus took a cup, gave thanks to God, and said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves’.

18 “I tell you that from now on, I will not drink this wine until the Kingdom of God comes.”

19 “Then he took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me’.”

20 “In the same way He gave them the cup after the supper, saying ‘This cup is God’s new covenant sealed with my blood, which is poured out for you’.”

21 “But look! The one who betrays me is here in the table with me!”

22 “The Son of man will die as God has decided, but how terrible for that man who betrays Him!”

23 “Then they began to ask among themselves which one of them it could be who was going to do this.”

In today’s world however, betrayal is common place. Often, the traitor or traitors are already identified and even known by their names. Still, bodies are constituted by government or Congressional committees have to be convened to conduct investigations to help flesh out the truth and expose those who betrayed the people’s trust.

Again, look at the multi-billion peso drug smuggling activities conveniently using the bureaucracy at the Customs. Long before Congress conducted an the inquiry into the circumstances leading to the entry of huge shipment of the illegal drugs shabu hidden inside magnetic lifters, almost every Filipino knew that a prior shipment of the illegal drugs hidden inside hollow tube parts of machineries breezed through the supposed Customs inescapable perimeter.  And from their own issuances, it was clear that the law enforcement authorities already knew who were behind the operation. But no one from among them ever made pre-emptive moves to thwart the shipment. And the smuggling of the illegal drugs happened again. This time the perpetrators became even bolder bringing in through the same Customs facility much bigger value of the illegal drugs. Ironically, the very people who were suspected of facilitating the entry of the banned drugs were known former officers of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) brought in the Customs Bureau by the former top PDEA guy who was moved to the Bureau by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

It was not until the PDEA, under its new leader, unearthed leads on who were behind the shipment, who manipulated the shipment release procedures, and an “outcast” Customs official squealed that both Houses of Congress started their separate probes that slowly unmasked the conspirators and the extent of their involvement in the Customs facility heist.

The busting of the second huge illegal drugs shipment came several months after President Rodrigo Duterte entrusted to his very good friend Ret. Police/General Isidro Lapena the rein of the Customs Bureau. He was hoping the latter could help him cleanse the most corrupt of government agencies more manifested when an earlier big shabu shipment slipped off from the Customs warehouse during Lapena’s predecessor Nicanor Faeldon . That could probably be the reason that he gave Lapena the leeway to bring into the Bureau his own trusted men who, later, turned out to be working for the drug smuggling syndicates earning them millions and millions of pesos for their services.

After the Aaron Aquino-led PDEA busted the magnetic lifter-hidden shabu shipment, the agency’s zealous agents discovered that there were several other lifters that were already withdrawn from the Customs facility. When these were traced, the shabu with estimated value of over P6 billion inside the near solid hiding drums disguised as magnetic lifters were already gone and out into the streets or may be transshipped to other countries. The PDEA agents were beaten to the draw by the smugglers with the support of some extremely corrupt Customs people.

With the Congressional probes over, there were recommendations made by both legislative investigating bodies for the PDEA and the NBI to file necessary charges against certain Customs executives, some other private persons known in the probe to have played some roles in the drug smuggling, and the known alleged members of the drug smuggling syndicates mostly Chinese nationals.

But again, the grind of the cases against the suspected perpetrators is exceedingly slow all reportedly due to the need to dutifully comply with the country’s justice procedures. And the suspects are using this legal processes to the maximum hoping this could allow them to buy more time until eventually the cases will find their way to the canal of forgetfulness.

Certainly, those who engage in this tactic and those who allow the prostitution of the procedures are like the traitors of Jesus time. The former, with their money and connections instigate the creation of mobs, mobilize media to create biased opinion, or call friends in the bureaucracy to exert pressure on those charged to hail them to court. And the latter bunch of “traitors”? They’d rather that they accede to the demands of the mob, bow down to oftentimes judgmental public opinion, or fall under the weight of political pressure.

Yes, we have new breed of traitors in our land and they are no different from the traitors of Jesus Christ’s time.

But will the present generation of traitors willingly carry the outcome of their treachery as their own crosses up to the end of their lives?

Frankly, we do not think so. They just dance the steps mandated by whoever is the new government “choreographer” in accordance with the tempo that is the “in” of the time.

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