If the case of Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Norman Serphos (see related story) proves anything it’s that honesty is usually the best policy. He had reacted inappropriately on social media to a fatal motorcycle accident.
In his position that was bad enough, but the spokesman subsequently made it a lot worse by denying ever making the remark. Serphos implied that his Facebook account had been hacked and went as far as filing a report to that extent with the police, before the embarrassing reality surfaced.
One must always keep in mind that high-ranking justice officials too are human. In fact, the controversial comment in terms of it being the killed biker’s own fault – presumably for driving in an irresponsible manner – is one which many others may have contemplated or even publicly expressed.
However, when it regards the main spokesperson of the highest law enforcement agency in the land headed by the Attorney-General of Curaçao and St. Maarten, more discretion is clearly called for. Two family members of the crash victim accompanied by their lawyer at any rate saw enough reason to submit a complaint.
It’s not the first time either that statements or press releases attributed to Serphos raised eyebrows in both Dutch Caribbean countries. Nevertheless, had he come clean from the beginning, admitted his mistake and apologized, things might have turned out differently.
Of course, further criminal investigation is being conducted by Aruban authorities and the exact outcome is not yet known. Still, the announced measures to deny him access and request his dismissal leave little room for doubt.
This incident reminds one of the American folk-story in which US President George Washington as six-year-old boy had supposedly cut down his father’s prized cherry tree but chose not to lie about it and try to escape punishment that way. He was consequently praised for at least confessing his deed.
As the saying goes, the truth shall set you free.