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Friday, August 3, 2007

Love, What Have You done?

“Be mine….and mine alone, and I will be yours and yours alone! I love you forever, I love you for always. As long as i’m living my Tweetie you’ll be!”

This undoubtedly, is one mushy and heartfelt love note, proof of an avowed undying affection.

But it was not one that met the stringent requirements of society and more so the profession that one of the parties embraced.

That party is Atty. Jose Emmanuel “Noli” M. Eala.

I admit, my heart bleeds for him. Familiar as I am with the sacrifices one makes just to have the “Atty.” affixed to his name, it pains me that the privilege is stripped of him, all because of love gone haywire.

In law school, our teachers never get tired reminding us not to ever cross swords with the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional ethics. In this case, Eala’s indiscretion (pursuing an amorous relationship with a married woman while he himself was married) irked the High Court so much as it found him to have shown “disrespect for an institution held sacred by the law” (marriage) and “betrayed his unfitness to be a lawyer”, that it decreed his disbarment.

I think it was too harsh a punishment for Eala, but I surmise the Supreme Court wanted to impart a strong statement. The institution of marriage is now under attack and it is becoming a widespread perception that lawyers are the primary advocates of its dissolution by virtue of annulments. With this decision, the Court seems to reiterate that it’s one thing for lawyers to have the power to facilitate the breakdown of troubled marriages within the bounds defined by law, it’s another to show utter disregard to the sanctity of one by trampling on it while it still exists.

In the case of Chua-Qua vs. Clave (where a teacher fell in love with and eventually married her student), the SC came up with one of the most-quoted legal paeans to love when it said that “love has reasons which reason does not know”. Everybody then agreed. For love indeed traverses intellectual, social and economic boundaries.

But not the lines drawn by law and morals. Here, love alone is not enough.

But who knows? For Noli and his fiancée (or is it now wife?), the disbarment may be a debacle as most of us would see it, but it probably is not sufficient to diminish the sparkle and intensity of the very reason why this happened – their love. They could be happy still.

So I wish them the best of luck. Truth is, I do not see the disbarment as the end of the saga. My crystal ball is blinking “more to come”….

13 comments:

carlotta said...

that's why i don't give a damn about l-o-v-e. puro problema binibigay. oh well.

Jowell said...

^ that's so true! that was sad. no, that was depressing! all those years of hardwork in law school... tsk tsk tsk

di pwede sabihin panyero said...

i had an affair with a married woman once... buti na lang single pa ko.

jc.guiyab said...

ang saya ma-inlove...

does being a faithful husband written in the code of ethics of lawyers?

in the case of chua-qua vs clave, i think it ok cause it is not against their code of ethics.

intsik said...

It is a sad note. LOVE at times is put to such a test. I am positive for Mr. Eala's choices... it maybe difficult to understand or the law may not find love's reason rational... i still am hopeful things will work out for him and his "wife".

Gypsy said...

Looking from another angle--what happened to the love he once declared to his wife? How fickle love can be sometimes...

Freelance*Jervis said...

I agree. The punishment handed down to Eala is harsh and has blatantly missed the target.
Would anyone be stripped of his driver's license because someone is having an extra marital affair? Of course not.
I think Eala didn't commit anything that mars his capacity to practice law.

slim whale said...

i have an uncle, who is also a lawyer, who married two different women, complete with all the supporting legal documents. i don't know how he pulled it off. and he hasn't been disbarred yet.

gibbs cadiz said...

maybe he was disbarred for writing bad love poetry? hehe. :)

aryo said...

carlotta: u don't give a damn about love? talaga lang ha. :-)

jowell: oo nga e. lahat ng pinaghirapan, nawala. well, ganun talaga.

panyero: as if naman it will matter na single ka pa nun. nanulot ka pa rin, he he.

JC: wala naman specific loyalty requirement for married lawyers. the code of ethics simply require lawyers not to besmirch the reputation of the profession.

aryo said...

jervis: problem is, atty. eala knew the rules before he entered the game. his options therefore were either to abide by it or deny the allegations to death. ang problema, inamin, he he.

slimwhale: swerte niya, walang nagreklamo. just like all other cases, there has to be a complaint before disbarment proceeds. unfair, really.

gibbs: wag mataray. i know your writing can put even the justices to shame, he he.

nelo said...

nakakaawa nga si noli eala...

wala talaga sa itsura ang pagiging palikero..hehe! sayang naman yung pagiging attorney nya.

ang kasalanan ni noli eh hindi dahil nagmahal sya kundi nagmahal sya ng may asawa at may asawa rin sya...sana dumaan sila sa proseso ng annulment para hindi sana umabot sa ganyan.

pia said...

hay naku! He deserved what he got, although it sounds kind of unfair, what about the girl? What kind of punishment did she get for ruining so many people's lives?