• A wider cage where the world can stand still


    I TRY to teach my students that a good, or the best, way, to support a legal conclusion is to cite doctrine, case law, jurisprudence, precedents or decided cases. I read that a woman lawyer of the Binays who did just that was chided by the Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ), who could have gently told Panyera that it was perhaps time to abandon binding or persuasive but outdated case law for the wisdom of a new day.

    I wonder if the Enrile bail ruling could have been an easier sell by stressing that Benigno Aquino, Sr., PNoy’s Lolo, in 1946, got a unanimous Supreme Court bail ruling on health grounds, given Bilibid conditions. Lolo was only 46. Treason was the charge. JPE is going on 92. Plunder.

    In Muntinlupa, in September 1947, in an improvised courtroom installed in the combined chapel and moviehouse of the New Bilibid Prison, was held the mass trial of alleged Makapilis, represented by Pio Duran. The trial was to have been held at the Justice of the Peace court but was transferred to the prison compound because of alleged irate spectators who reportedly wanted to manhandle the defendants.

    Prison Superintendent Alfredo Bunye was a private prosecutor in the case of defendants alleged to be directly responsible for the death of the prison official’s father, Ignacio, among others. Special Prosecutor Agapito Conchu was the fiscal after whom a street is named in Malate, walking distance from where we live.

    Benigno, Sr. was Interior Minister during WW II. His chief assistant was Pio Duran, after whom a town in Albay was named. They were arrested for treason, for allegedly collaborating with the Japanese, but all such cases were mooted by Prez Roxas’s amnesty proclamation.

    The SC majority, on top of the Aquino precedent, could have also cited in Enrile the case of Uncle Jovy Salonga, who, in 1980, at 60, charged with a national security offense, was ordered released to Aunt Lydia. Housewife Arrest.

    Erap was accorded resthouse arrest. Plunder. When he fell, he asked that I join his team of lawyers. Let me say that when I suggested “house arrest” – the norm in civilized countries when no risk of flight – it wasn’t true that he had wondered whether his house would also be arrested. But, Kamandag Erap did ask solemnly, “if granted, can I select which house?”

    Suharto was accorded city arrest, in Jakarta. The Constitution’s preamble speaks of a “humane society.” Again, if truly GMA’s spinal operation was mishandled she should be allowed to go home and interact with her district constituents. She caused the death penalty to be repealed. She issued Memo Circular No. 155 to review the records of septuagenarian Correctional Institute for Women (CIW), and I know a number of them – all obscure – benefited.

    The human rights community should welcome the Enrile-Estrada-Salonga-Aquino precedent to spread the cheer and compassion. We should not democratize misery and equalize the suffering. I see absolutely nothing wrong in the Enrile ruling as it only echoed 1946 decisions benefiting Aquino, Sr., Duran, de la Rama, et al.

    It is time to look at suspended sentences, community service, night and weekend service for breadwinners, liberalized probation, etc. Prison congestion continues to be a problem.

    We in MABINI, Lorenzo Tanada, Tito Guingona, Nene Pimentel, Joker Arroyo, Jojobama Binay and I, among others, were all detained during the dictatorship. Nene and Jojobama, more than once. That made us pine for wider cages in which to roam. Having been imprisoned, we cannot be insensitive to the plight of detainees.

    Macoy and Imelda did allow Ninoy to leave for the US for treatment in 1980. Should Ninoy be grateful? The prospect of he dying here scared the bejesus out of them. Should he have said, “TY, brod, binugbog-sarado mo na ko ng pitong taon, ngayon itinayo mo ko, TYTYTYTYTY.” But, Macoy did have a policy of not imprisoning spouses so one could keep the home fires burning. Home fires burning. My thought as I waded in flash-flood waters last Tuesday night, in the wind and rain (K, drizzle). Lakad. Tampisaw. I walked a mile or so from atop the Buendia overpass. Sa baba, after the overpass, flooding. Grabe.

    After an hour in the vehicle, no movement, I left my driver who may be there for hours. Buti malapit sa Palanan. He himself

    got home at four, in Parañaque. First time it happened. Around eight pm then, I was working when a DI (Dance Instructress) called to say she and another DI were stranded near the corner of Taft and Edsa. So I thought of getting them there to go to Solaire. Tuesday is ballroom dancexercising night for me (two very good bands, Highway 54 and Sabor Latino). Usually, I take Buendia, not Edsa.

    Eventually, I managed to walk alone to Cash N Carry (CnC) toward home. Lotsa people, motorists and vehicles, with some greeting me in good cheer.

    A son I had called, fetched me, walking, as it would have taken him forever to get to CnC aboard a vehicle. He advised that we walk to Arellano. Fine. Nearing Dian, unavoidable floodwaters. So walk on water (but not on top of it). Basang basa, hanggang tuhod, all the way to our street (Bigasan). Traffic stalled and balled up everywhere.

    I saw a lot of people and vehicles. Immobile. What I did not see was a cop or anyone from the Barangay, City, Region (Mayors or the MMDA) or National (PNP-HPG) agencies to help the Suffering Bosses and share our pain.

    The other day, I can only hum, la ultima noche que pase contigo. . . . K, solamente. Bueno, el martes que viene.

    I hope that as in the past, I can just meet my DIs in Solaire, not stranded at EDSA calling me for pick-up. Never happened before until PNP-HPG came in but post hoc ego propter hoc (after the fact therefore cuz of the fact) is of course fallacious. But it is also fallacious to praise the unit prematurely.

    January 25 was when special operations troopers went to kill and be killed in Mamasapano (and hardly attracted outside notice), bday anniversary of Prez Cory; September 8 was when Metro Manila Stood Still, birth anniversary of our Lady of Montserrat, a big day in our student days in San Beda.

    PNoy “said that a meeting had been set for next week to ‘discuss the specifics’ of the indictment of over a hundred individuals over the deaths of the SAF commandos and the civilians caught in the crossfire.” PDI, Sept. 9, 2015, p. A17, col. 2. The Mamasapano killers should not be subpoenaed; they should be hunted and terminated with extreme prejudice, Digong Duterte’s formula. But, supposed Sara, 5, and the other Muslims turn out to have been killed by the invading commandos? Fortunes of war.


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    1. Rosauro Feliciano on

      If what is being said here is in connection with the case of Senator Enrile, then we must concentrate our attention to those who are old and languishing in jails all over the country as well.

    2. victor m. hernandez on

      In 1996, there was also flooding. Pasay road, where I worked was flooded. I left office at 5:30 p.m. and got home in Q.C. at almost 3 a.m. the following day. An officemate left office at 4 p.m. and arrived home at Carmona at 5 a.m. Nothing has since then, as far as traffic nd flooding is concerned, it only got worse. There are masterplans to solve this problem, ADB, WB, JICA studies, no leader is bold and courageous enough to implement the plan.

    3. victor m. hernandez on

      As far as Mamaspano encounter goes, it was war. There is rebellion going on there, since no completed peace process. So what is all this prosecution of killers of the 44 SAF? It’s all political as in war, when ERAP ordered the bombing of the MILF lairs; also, political when PNoy authorized peace process with MILF. Indeed, prosecution of those involved in Mamasapano incident is inutile.

    4. Jose A. Oliveros on

      It is not, therefore, entirely true as claimed by some quarters that the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing Sen. Enrile to post bail on the grounds of frail health and age is not without precedent. In his ponencia, Justice Bersamin cited the case of De la Rama versus People’s Court, a 1947 SC decision where the SC allowed De la Rama who was charged with treason which was punishable by death, to post bail because he was suffering from an acute case of diabetes and also because of his age. In the De la Rama decision, the 1947 Supreme Court castigated the People’s Court for not allowing De la Rama to post bail when the same court had previously allowed Pio Duran and BENIGNO AQUINO, SR. to post bail on account of their illnesses and age. The three – de la Rama, Duran and Aquino then were very much younger than Enrile who is 91 years old now. As for GMA, the ailments of de la Rama, Duran and Aquino, Sr. were not as life-threatening as that of GMA.
      The claim, therefore, that the grant of bail to Enrile is a political accommodation is patently baseless in view of the precedent in the de la Rama case

      • ploy lang ni boy sisi yung objection thru leonen. ngayon ginamit ni a MORAL less as her motion for reconsideration. a MORAL less and leonen MUST know the cases that atty saguisag mentioned in his column. these trio of boy sisi, a MORAL less and leonen are fanning the fire coz of people’s hatred for tanda. people has decided that tanda, together with sexy and pogi are guilty as charged. no amount of court ruling in their favor would change that opinion created by the trial by publicity thru the senate, media (inquirer) and the trolls