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When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will

search for logical grounds in favor of the belief which he finds in himself.
~ Bertrand Russell
A SOUND REASONING is not exclusive to the logicians, philosophers, or scientists. Everyone can be
rational because it is inherent, as human being, to seek the truth based on reason and common sense.
One does need a degree in PhD to be rational, but an attitude with decency, nobility, and humility to
seek the truth that illuminates the condition of humanity and the highest good of the society.
Every day, we are barraged by fallacious arguments from newspaper to television, from social media to
a daily conversation. In social network, for instance, we are quick to react to any popular issue, as if
our mind is programmed to respond and virally spread any hot topic without rationalizing whether
the given data possesses an epistemic value or denuded with meaning and substance.
What is a fallacy and how does it affect our logical reasoning amidst the insalubrious prt--porter
information being guzzled on us by social media, mass media, and mass culture?
THE CORONA FALLACY (Definition and Etymology)
Fallacy, from Latin fallacia literally means deceit, is an error of reasoning or inference, either
deceptive or contradictory in context and substance.
There are various kinds of fallacies that can be found in any argument, written or verbal. The most
recent one is derived from Chief Justice Renato Coronas testimony before the impeachment trial
court on May 22, 2012 before the Philippines Senate. His testimonial discourse, with all due respect to
the Chief Justice, is laden with fallacious inferences and suppositions in an attempt to deviate the
allegation against him on undeclared assets and hidden dollar accounts.
By definition, The Corona Paradox (The Corona Fallacy), as coined by this writer, is a complex fallacy
that circumnavigates on circuitous irrelevant issues, culminating in a new supposition that leads to selfcontradiction (ad absurdum) and implausibility (ad ridiculum) of the proposed argument. It is a
digression from the main thesis, which begets more fallacies in the process of reasoning, thus
subverting the veracity of the argument with absurd and contradictory inferences and conclusions.
This kind of fallacy is common among politicians and government officials who are caught in the
quagmire of corruption, sex scandals, lies, and deceits. Instead of giving a straightforward answer to
the allegation against them, they engage in a litany of denial by redirecting the issue either toward
their self-serving repertoire of achievements or to their political opponents as an orchestrated black
propaganda or smear campaign against them.
Don Jos: Captain Pedro, why dont you expose your unexplained wealth and dollar accounts to the
townsfolk of our barrio?
Captain Pedro: Thats a blatant lie, Don Jos! Im an honest man, I have done many good things to the
barrio, and the whole townsfolk can attest to that. Besides, you are up for revenge against me when I

favored to divide your 99-hectare rice farm to the farmers. I earned my familys wealth through hard
work, my wifes inheritance, and from my mother (tears begin to well up from Captain Pedros eyes).
However, to satisfy your idiotic curiosity, Ill sign a waiver for the investigation of my dollar accounts,
but Ill only release it only to the barrio if you also sign yours so that the townsfolk will also know of
your hidden dollar accounts. Now, the Captain of this barrio wishes to be excused from any of your
nonsense scrutiny.
In this argument, Captain Pedro committed fallacies after fallacies in an attempt to deviate the
accusation against him on his unexplained wealth and dollar accounts.
The first fallacy is Argumentum ad Verecundiam (argument from modesty, or out of authority)
when Don Pedro bellied his opponents invoking his authority as captain of the barrio against his
accuser(s) or my words against theirs.
The second fallacy is Argumentum ad Populum (popular opinion or belief of the people) when Captain
Pedro appealed to the kind indulgence of the townsfolk who could attest to his achievements, and as
an honest captain of the barrio.
The third fallacy is Argumentum ad Hominem when Captain Pedro attacked Don Joss character as
vindictive because he divided the latters rice farm to the farmers.
The fourth fallacy is Argumentum ad Misericordiam (Appeal to Pity) when Captain Pedro cried after
mentioning his mother, seeking sympathy not only from Don Jos but also to the townsfolk of the
The fifth fallacy is The Red Herring (leading to a completely different argument) when Captain
Pedro came up with a new supposition to cover up the allegation against him by proposing to sign
waiver for the investigation of his dollar accounts on condition that Don Jos should also sign a waiver
to expose his own dollar accounts.
The sixth fallacy is the Tu Quoque (they are doing it, so Im doing it too) when Captain Pedro
implied that Don Jos should call it quits (psychological blackmail by self-absolution) because he had
also a hidden dollar accounts (psychological blackmail by implication). In this manner, Captain Pedro
indirectly admitted the accusation against him (a contradiction to his claim that the allegation against
him was a blatant lie and that he was an honest man) with the intention to implicate Don Jos of his
own wrongdoings (transference of guilt).
Consequently, Captain Pedro was shackled by his own self-contradiction and the absurdity of the
condition of his argument.
On May 22, 2012, millions of Filipinos watched the televised testimony of the chief justice of the
Philippine Supreme Court, Renato C. Corona, before the Senate impeachment court due to an allegedly
undeclared assets and dollar bank account deposits on his SALN or Statement of Assets, Liabilities and
Net Worth.

In an attempt to diverge the accusation against him, Corona attacked the incumbent President of the
Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, who allegedly orchestrated the impeachment against him as a
reprisal to his decision to divide the 6,435-hectare Hacienda Luisita (partly owned by the family of the
President) to the farmers.
After an emotionally charged three-hour testimony: from a self-assured posture to a livid voice, from
lachrymose eyes to a docile face, Corona culminated his argument with a proposal that would
dramatically change the 40th impeachment hearing of his case.
He stunningly broached a scheme to sign a waiver authorizing the investigation of all his dollar
accounts. And it was during that particular gripping moment, when Corona flailed his pen in the act of
signing the waiver, that the audience inside the Senate amidst millions of televiewers, who were
favorably awed by his seemingly good-natured intent, seemed to pause in eternal silence--but not for
After signing the waiver, Corona unexpectedly hurled a tsunamic statement that stunned the audience,
transmogrifying their emotional expectations into a bleak landscape of disgust and dismay. He
proposed that he would only release his signed waiver if Senator Franklin Drilon (member of the Senate
impeachment court) and all the 188 lawmakers had already signed theirs in exposing their respective
dollar accounts to the public.
Then, in a dignified and imperious demeanor, he invoked his authority as Chief Justice of the
Philippines by excusing himself from the impeachment hearing, pending the signatures of the 188
lawmakers. Consequently, that defiant gesture had infuriated the Senate President, Senator Juan
Ponce Enrile, calling Coronas act as disrespect of the Senate impeachment court.
On May 28, 2012, he was found guilty and was removed from his office as Chief Justice of the
Philippine Supreme Court when the Senate voted 20 to 3.
Corona could have won the sympathy of the Filipino people (they could have understood, forgiven, and,
in due time, forgotten the allegations against him) had he signed with pure intention and submitted his
waiver with no terms and conditions. But it was too late to swallow back what he had already spitted
out in the Senates courtroom.
Arguably, his challenge that the lawmakers should also sign their respective waivers to expose their
hidden dollar accounts hints a psychological blackmail by self-absolution and by implication
(transference of guilt to the accusers or, in this case, the lawmakers) in his favor.
His proposal elicits an implicit suggestion to be absolved from the issue of dollar accounts, as if he
was blatantly asking the lawmakers to acquit his case (psychological blackmail by self-absolution)
because they, too, have their own hidden dollar accounts (psychological blackmail by implication).
The outright contention of the argument to redirect his own culpability toward the lawmakers is a
digressive paradox of self-contradiction (ad absurdum) leading to an indirect admission of his own guilt
(a contradiction to his testimony that all allegations against him were fabricated lies and that he was
an innocent man with clear conscience).

Worse yet, the improbability (ad ridiculum) on the condition of the waiver educes a stalemate
response since-- as already expected by Corona--the lawmakers will not execute their own waiver
because, in the first place, they are not on trial but Corona himself.
In the end, Corona was trapped by the dilemma of his own convoluted fallacies, or shall we say, The
Corona Paradox!
The elegance of reasoning is intricately woven within an objective proposition of facts and coherent
statements, not by a pullulated travesty of emotional appeals and strategic psychological intimations.
One can cry over the death of ones mother or sibling, but it will not illuminate the Truth if it does not
address the real issue. Emotional sentiments cannot substitute the epistemic value of the truth
because they are subjective and affective experience.
Anyone can twist the truth but not the contingent elements that surround it, i.e., (1) the knower, (2)
the inextricable occurrence of the object to be known, and (3) the empirical existence between the
knower and the object to be known within space and time.
No one can prevent any individual from seeking the object of the truth; neither can anyone hide it
unless he or she is a Super Human Being who can magically deface the occurrence of the truth within
time and space.
The Truth illuminates the human intellect to seek its presence with grace, probity, and rationality, and
not the human intellect to create the Truth in order to illuminate its presence for personal interests.
The truth exists because it is simultaneously and universally felt and perceived by intelligent beings
that live within the perimeters of its ontological presence.
The Truth may be quantifiable but not mutable!