Posted by: Mer Pints | September 10, 2008

Judging the Judge—bringing back people’s trust to the judiciary

This is the court of men, not the court of God. Man is not incorruptible, he also commits mistakes. When the court rules with the tag “beyond reasonable doubt”, it simply means the decision is based on facts and merits of evidences. And facts and evidences may not be righteous all the time. That’s why to be fair and honest, facts are should documented, and fully substantiated by evidences. It is only then, after a through scrutiny of facts and evidences, that a rightful decision in court is made. 

But not all decisions made by the court may be absolutely right, that’s why there is a next higher court to sustain the veracity of the decision. If not satisfied by the decision of the appellate court, there is still the Supreme Court to look into it. But even the decision in the Supreme Court could be appealed too because not all parties are amenable to it. 

Talk of the town today the news about Justice Vicente Roxas being stripped off his robe by the Supreme Court due to ‘dishonesty,’ ‘disrespectfulness,’ and ‘undue interest’ in handling the case on the battle for control of the Manila Electric Company between the Lopez family and the GSIS. 

Here is a portion of that report from Purple S. Romero posted at news.abs-cbn.com. 

Justice Vicente Roxas is the third magistrate from the Court of Appeals (CA) to be dismissed in the appellate court’s history after the High Tribunal told him to hang his robe for displaying “dishonesty,” “disrespectfulness” and “undue interest” in the case involving the battle for control of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) between the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Lopez family. 

Roxas received the biggest blow among five CA justices sanctioned Tuesday by the High Court for committing irregularities and improprieties in the Meralco-GSIS case pending before the CA.  

The Supreme Court adopted the findings of the investigating panel composed of retired justices Carolina Griño, Flerida Romero and Romeo Callejo on the bribery scandal and stripped Roxas of all benefits except accrued leave credits. 

Roxas is a member of the Eighth Division which promulgated the July 23 decision favoring the Lopez-owned utility. Along with division chair Justice Bienvenido Reyes and Justice Apolinario Bruselas, Roxas ruled that a regional trial court, and not the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has authority over intra-corporate disputes. 

Sabio is also suspended 

The High Court also ordered the two-month suspension of Sabio, chair of the Special Ninth Division which issued the TRO, on the ground that he conferred with parties interested in the case. 

Sabio talked to his brother, Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chair Camilo Sabio before the TRO was handed down last May 30. The PCGG head tried to convince his brother of the “rightness” of the GSIS position in a phone call.

On July 1, Justice Sabio met with businessman-deal maker Francis Roa de Borja, who purportedly offered him a P10 million bribe in exchange for handing the case over to Reyes, chair of the Eighth division. 

The High Court said Sabio’s acts, along with his refusal to relinquish the chairmanship of the Special Ninth Division to Reyes, made him guilty of simple misconduct. 

While Roxas could still appeal for the decision of the Supreme Court, SC Spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said the it is “immediately executory.” What does this mean, Justice Roxas can no longer preside as a magistrate of the Court of Appeals? But some quarters from the media and even ordinary people on the street have question in mind why the decision came too soon. But there is an explanation to that from the Supreme Court’s spokesperson; the entire nation has closely monitored the case.

Maibabalik pa ba nito ang buong pagtitiwala ng mga tao sa ating mga Korte at mahistrado?

Dahil na rin sa katakot-takot na dami ng mga kasong nagsasaad ng baluktot na sistemang sa pagpapairal ng batas ng pamahalaan, hindi malayong nagdududa na ang karamihan sa mga mamayan sa katapatan ng ating mga korte. Idagdag na natin itong kasong kinasasangkutan ni Justice Vicente Roxas.

Mabilisan ang action ng Suprema Korte dahil ditto nakasalalay ang tiwala at respeto ng mga tao sa ating mga batas at hustisya. Ito nga nagdesisyon na sila. Maaring pag-uusapan din ang desisyon na ito ng matagal ng publiko. Marahil maraming agam-agam, mga pananaw, at kaisipang ang lulutang dito ngunit babalik pa rin tayo sa katanungang maibabalik pa kaya nito ang buong pagtitiwala ng mga tao sa ating mga batas at sa mga nagpapatupad nito kabilang na ang mga hukom pagkatapos nangyari ang mga ganitong kaso?

Marahil ang sagot ay “oo” dahil eto na nga at pilit na nililinis ng ating Korte Suprema ang mga kabulastugang nangyayari ngayon sa mga lower courts. Marahil ang sagot ri ay “hindi” hanggang nandiyan ang mga tusong pulitiko na nagiimpluwensiya sa mga Hukom, at habang may mga hukom naman diyan na may tinatanaw na utang na loob sa mga pulitiko.

Hindi perpekto ang ating mga Korte dahil mga tao rin na may kahinaan ang mga nagpapatupad ng batas at hindi ang Diyos. Ngunit hindi naman ito dahilan para lubos nang mawalan tiwala tayo sa pinaiiral na sistema ng batas sa ating bansa. Kahit papaano dapat ay magtiwala pa rin tayo.

Sa mga panahong ito, mas higit na kailangan ngayon ang tiwala at suporta ng mga tao sa ating hustisya. Huwag husgahan at alisin ang ating tiwala sa mga korte at hukom. Ika nga sa Bibliya, “judge not that ye me not be judged.”

 


Responses

  1. Napapanahon ang disisyon na ito ng Kataastaasang Korte upang manumbalik ang tiwala ng mga tao sa ating mga pinaiiral na batas at hustisya.
    But even the Supreme Court is being closedly watched and monitored by the people after it came out with some unpopular decisions, to name one is the “executive privilege of the president” But being the most supreme court of the land, we still respect the decision of the court.
    Of course nobody is above the law, not even those in the court making the decisions.

  2. I am still confident that we will always have a crdible court of justice for as long as there are good men and women up there. There is no perfect system, but there is one perfect judge up there looking at the acts of men.

  3. Patikim lang ba ito ng SC.
    Actually,The legal system in the Philippines is under fire, and much of the ire is directed at the Judge for dishonest and corrupt actions,Their decision is always base on “Highest Bidder” and the jaded acceptance of the lack of any semblance of truth telling in a courtroom setting.The misrepresentation becomes so rampant,it is difficult for the many honest lawyers to practice in such a system. Ethical lawyers are hard pressed to win their case in such as system unless they rely on similar aggressive adversarial tactics.

    The most frightening measure of what the legal professional has lost is that most trial court judge do not even remember the trust that society once placed on them.If my friend Meztizo want to become Atitiway and came to Philippines to study its laws and customs he could never come up with the idea that the lawyers were the country’s natural aristocracy. Lawyers blame the law schools, the law schools blame the lawyers, the judges blame the lawyers, the lawyers say the clients made them do it. Others blame the culture: It’s a jungle out there; ethical standards are down wherever you look. Wall Street brokers who hold themselves out as agents trade for their own account to their clients’ disadvantage. Even the clergy seem more prone to scandal than they used to be.The loss of ethical fibre at a time when ethical decline is so widespread, Because lawyers and Judge are supposed to be the custodians of a country’s legal and ethical sense.These CA judge that are involved in these scandals must be disbarred.–I think the SC want to clean it’s file and if that the case I will review for a Philippine Bar exam although it has been 30 years ago I enrolled in Law school.

  4. My topic isJob and education – you got a problem with that Renato? Unfortunately, the lack of Education in our society and in our country is not a laughing matter.

    We are suffused with embarrassment in our country about the decline of Education and look for reasons in our government, our churches, our economists, our media. But among the most potent reasons must be the failure of many leaders to accept their role as educators. Philippine law provides free elementary and secondary schooling for all children, but offers little support for specialization beyond basic education. However,There were too many highly educated people chasing too few jobs. What went wrong Virginia?

  5. Tito Cocoy you can still do it now. You are still “young” and capable. The country needs a man of your stature to serve as counsel for the poor and underprivileged.

  6. Mer Pints,
    In Philippine Trial Court battle,to be a known and famous lawyer,you must have a famous name on your calling card.Let’s see:Diokno,Salonga,Talavera.But if your name is Gabino and your clan is not a politician you are only as good as a notary public even you top the Bar exam.

    That is the reason why lawyers run for candidate to a highest post in their province,they run for Congressman even they don’t have a chance to win,people remember there names and that means advertisement.Who knows maybe,a shoplifter or a burglar got caught and he need a lawyer,they will remember, Atty;Gabino who lost the congressional seat.Gabino will be tested on his first legal encounter and if he win the case,he’s the talk of the town but, if he lost! next, he will apply for a job on Comelec and he stayed on the job until his retirement.

    I am waiting for the record.The oldest Filipino to pass the Bar Exam. Tiyak nasa diaryo ang pangalan ko.Hehehehe!

  7. Mer, Manong Cocoy,
    To make a name as a lawyer in the Philippines you need to affiliate yourself to large law firms and then handle criminal cases of well known people and get a name. I only learn of the Fortun brothers during the impeachment trial of Erap. Now the brothers are well known and famous.

    But Manong Cocoy there are so many innocent people serving terms in jail for crimes they have not committed, don’t you think you are needed there? I am a sociologist who worked with the urban poor, like the other lady here, and we had interviewed families of “innocent” convicts who are serving their term in the Bilibid Prison because they were not provided with adequate legal assistance, and many of them are living in extreme poverty because of the lost of their breadwinner.

  8. Secondlady,
    May crush daw sa iyo si Banong at mga tanod ni Kap, hehehe.
    Siguro kapag pumasa sa Bar si Tito Cocoy babaha ang beer sa buong Pilipinas, hehehe. Imagine the oldest man to pass the bar and top ten pa, hehehe.

  9. Hey girl, you are always kidding? Who is Banong?
    Baka ikaw pa. I am glad with your kapilyahan, nakakatanggal ng stress, ha-ha.

  10. Lawyers org. want all the CA judges to resign or retire to restore honor and dignity to the court. Amen to that.

  11. Colegialagirl,
    Kapag naging lawyer na si Kikay ko dito,ako naman ang uuwi diyan at tapusin ko ang kursong abugasya.Babalik ako sa school at ayaw kong sa Recto kukuha ng diploma.Tatangapin kaya ako sa UP? Hehehe!

    Di bale ng hindi top ten basta’t ako ang makabreak ng record na oldest Filipino to pass the bar exam at ipinapangako ko na iyung mga inosenting nakatira sa city jail ay ilalabas ko ng pro bono.Lahat naman na nakakulong doon ay sasabihin nila na inosenti sila.

  12. Naku po tito, sa tindig ninyong iyan pasado kayo kaagad kay Atty. Ely Roque. Kung sa Ateneo naman kayo, maging member muna kayo ng frat doon, wala nang initiation master na kaagad kayo doon.

    Problema lang baka hindi lang kayo maging trial lawyer, maging mahistrado pa kayo ng court of appeals hehehehe.

  13. Maraming mukha ang abogado, may mukhang makabayan, mukhang makatao, mukhang maka-Diyos, mukhang nakatuon sa ating mga batas, at mukhang pera, hahahaha.

  14. Kung magpatuloy sa abogasya si manong Cocoy, siya ay magiging kilabot na abogado, tagapagtanggol ng mga inaapi at tagausig ng mga lumalabag sa batas.

  15. Panalangin ko lang na sana ay maging tapat ang ating hustisya sa paglilingkud sa lipunanang ating ginagalawan.

    May isang hukom na siyang uusig sa lahat pagdating ng araw- Ang Diyos na makapangyarihan. Hindi kayo matakot sa tao, maging ang presidente, matakot kayo sa Diyos.

  16. Nakuha ko lang ito sa ABS-CBN.com
    “…observers say the High Court meted out “uneven” punishment on the justices, at least in the case of Sabio, who many say, should also have been dismissed.”

    Agree ako dito.

  17. Of course,dapat lang na matangalan ng lisensya ang lahat ng mga huwes na nasangkot sa anomalya para maturuan ng leksion at hindi na pamarisan ng iba.

    Akala ko nga ay abugado si Cocoy dahil magaling siyang bumanat.Iyung mga nagpapakilalang Atty kay ET ay dinibate na niya,katulad ni Atty;0202 at Atty;Efren Castro nangamote sila sa kanya.

    Kung magtapos siya ay sigurado ako na chicken-chicken sa kanya ang Bar exama at peanut-peanut pa.Mayayanig ang mga abugado sa kanya pati na ang huwes kapag haharap na siya sa bista.HIHIHIHIH>

  18. pwede bang iinvite na lang ang justice league… hehehehe

  19. Idol Kim,
    Akala kasi ng mga naggagaling-galingan kay Ellen ay kaya nila ang Chief Justice ng Cocoy’s delight, dito sila nagkamali.Kahit atitiway not yet ito hindi mo basta-basta maitaob sa debate.

  20. Doc.B,
    Sabi ni justice Roxas napulitika daw siya. Babalik na lang siya sa paglu-lawyer at wala siyang balak na iyapila ang kanyang kaso.

  21. Dapat nga ay masibak din si Sabio. Bilib din ako sa kanyang kapatid, parang hindi naapektohan sa mga nangyari.

  22. hai buhay pinoy…

  23. One time, Erap got into hot water when he called some judges “hoodlum in robes”. He was pilloried and shred into pieces by some quarters by coming out daw with such outrageous statement na paninirang puri lamang. But it turned out later na totoo nga pala. The life style check kasi naka focus lang mga pulitiko at doon sa mga personalidad in the perceived graft ridden government offices. Akala ng marami, walang suhulan sa hudikatura. Pero matagal nang alingasngas ito.

  24. Malamang talagang hindi na mag-appeal si Justice Roxas. Mantak mo naman, sa Court of Appeals na dating kinabibilangan nya i-file ang kaso, paano yon?

    But with the gravity of his suspension, kung talagang guilty siya without reasonable doubt which resulted to his cidmissal from the service, dapat may kasamang disbarment. Sabi ng ibang marurunong sa batas (marunong din sa batas itong mga nagkakaso), half-baked ang decision sa mga apektadong justices.

  25. Oops, it’s not with the gravity of his suspension, it’s dismissal. Nakatingin kasi ako sa kodak ni Mer Pints, Yhen at Second Lady, hindi na magkatugma ang pagmamakinilya ko. Sorry.

  26. Good morning po sa inyong lahat. Isang maalab na pagbati sa lahat ng mga Filipinong nagmamahal at nagmamalasakit sa bayan.

    Tito Joe,
    Hanggang ngayon pa ay matatag pa rin ang paninindigan ni PCCG chairman Sabio na walang masama sa kanyang pakikipag-usap sa kanyang kapatid na si Justice Sabio. Kahit madisbar pa siya itutuloy pa rin daw niya ang pagiging PCGG chairman. Kung sa Japan ito, nag-resign na ang chairman dahil sa prinsipyo. Bakit hindi ganito sa atin, hehehe.

  27. ms mer, ang bibigat ng topics mo lately. dko maarok.

    nwei, ewan ko ba kung bakit ang mga nasa CA gumagawa ng anomalya?

    ano ba ang coruption? parte na ba talaga ito sa kultura na mga Pilipino?

    magagmot pa ba ito?

  28. Yhen,
    Dahil corrupted ng pulitika ang ating sistema apektado ang lahat kahit ang judiciary ayon sa pananaw ng nakakaraming Pilipino.

    Ang sistema din ng tao ay hindi perpekto, kagaya ng ating mga korte, may mga pagkukulang din at may mga mahistradon ring nagpapagamit.

    Kung bakit nagkakaganito ang ating bansa, maraming bagay ang maiuugnay dito, kultura, pansariling kapakanan, our values system kung saan ay umiiral pa rin ang “utang na loob,” tayo-tayo, Kumpadre system, kamag-anak system, at pagkalasing sa kapangyarihan.

    Tanging Diyos lamang ang may solusyon nito, ngunit responsibilidad din ng bawat anak ng Diyos na ipagtanggol ang katotohanan, katarungan, at kapakanan ng bayan. Tao din ang ginagamit ng Diyos upang isulong ang liwanag ng kanyang katotohanan at katarungan, sa tao, tahanan, lipunan, at pamahalaan. Kasali tayong lahat sa upang pangalagaan ang karangalan at kasagradohan ng ating mga korte. Mahabang ipaliwanag ito, hindi na kaya ng powers ko, hehehe.

  29. Ingit Lang Kayo !–Sabi ni Sabit.Hehehe!

    I wonder, often laugh,sa yabang ni Buratoy, but I am always baffled by the consequences brought about by the only trait that is truly shared by all societies in our country. Like most human idiosyncrasies, arrogance may be voluntary or involuntary, it can have many appearances; it can take the shape of a simple misinterpretation, or escalate into dangerous xenophobia. But sadly it is bad attitude and often brings unwanted consequences.

  30. I know who that Buratoy is, hehehe. Secondlady has a nice comment on arrogance.


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