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Wednesday, January 3, 2007


The debate, so far, has gone this way:

Sec. Gonzales,

"Although it can be conceded that US authorities retain custody of the concerned US personnel by virtue of Article 5, paragraph 6 of the VFA, criminal jurisdiction over Smith is retained by the Philippine courts, owing the criminal jurisdiction being exercised by our courts.”

”Whatever action was taken by the Philippine government it was done in the interest of maintaining the strategic relationship between our two countries.”

“The “noted” remark of the Court of Appeals gave the DILG the opportunity to act on its own, following the argument of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Benjamin Pozon that Smith could be returned to US custody if there is already an agreement between the two countries. Noted is either granted or denied. The CA should have decided and not just say ‘noted.’ That leaves the DILG an opening, an opportunity to act on it. They (CA) should have acted immediately because the petition asked for an urgent reply.”

Ahh. The curse of lawyers. They always end up devising justifications that sound legally feasible in order to exculpate their clients from their misdeeds. In the end, the law gets mangled.

This is what the other side had to say:


“The five respondents (Gonzales, violated Section 3, Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court, which lists "misbehavior of an officer of the court in the performance of his duties or in his official transactions; any unlawful interference with the proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under Section 1 of this rule; and the rescue of a person in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him" as acts constituting indirect contempt. ”

"The act of transferring the custody of the felon Smith was precisely the issue pending with the court. The prayer of the Office of the Solicitor General, on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs, was precisely to transfer the custody of Smith to US authorities." "Failing in their prayer to ask the (CA) to issue a TRO, they unilaterally and in utter disregard and disrespect for the (CA), took the law into their own hands and forcibly transferred custody over Smith to the Americans. This is misbehavior on the part of officers of the court. Apostol and Gonzalez are both members of the Bar and are thus officers of the court. Their declarations "belittle the powers of the court, and urge others to show disdain and disrespect for our courts."

My little understanding of the law naturally brings me to the side of Atty. Ursua. But if I were to believe “His Wetness” Sergio Apostol, upholding this reasoning makes me just another ignoramus on the law.

He could be right. But I’m just too glad Gonzales, Apostol and the rest of this administration’s legal geniuses weren’t my teachers. I should have been cowering in shame already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

salamat sa pagdaan sa blog ko.

mapapadalas din pagdalaw ko dito.