• The Enrile ruling and human rights


    SPREAD and propagate the compassion, not equalize the suffering or democratize the misery. We may cite the reported and implemented Enrile ruling to alleviate the condition of others. I only go by the papers as I have not accessed the ruling.

    But, upholding humanitarian values by granting bail was done by the Supreme Court in the People’s Court cases of Pio Duran, Benigno Aquino, Sr. (PNoy’s Lolo), Francisco de la Rama, et al. right after WW II.

    MLQ Bar Topnotcher Sandiganbayan Justice Ricardo M. Ilarde (No. 4 in 1955 bar) wrote an edifying Separate Opinion dated June 8, 2001 on the custodial arrangement for Prez Erap, accused of plundering (not philandering; ‘kala ko yon ang pinapasukan ko, after he fell, he, he).

    ?Justice Ilarde?s? point is that a court can order an accused to be detained anywhere, not necessarily in jail, and not to mind the hooting throng. He concluded by quoting the Supreme Court: ?In every case, a judge should endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts and the applicable law unswayed by partisan or personal interests, public opinion or fear of criticism.? Munez v. Arino, 241 SCRA 479, 485 (1995)(citing case).

    Justice Ilarde’s point is that a court can order an accused to be detained anywhere, not necessarily in jail, and not to mind the hooting throng. He concluded by quoting the Supreme Court: “In every case, a judge should endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts and the applicable law unswayed by partisan or personal interests, public opinion or fear of criticism.” Munez v. Arino, 241 SCRA 479, 485 (1995)(citing case).

    He voted for house arrest for Erap. He quoted Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, who supported or accepted house arrest, military detention for servicemen, hospital confinement,and the notion that some people, like a Prez, are in a class by themselves (harder for them to hide, among other things, unlike ordinary Joes who can easily melt in the neighborhood) and that presumption of innocence matters.

    No Jesuitical jiu-jitsu here. So for Erap, ordinary jail in Crame, Sta. Rosa, VMMC and then Tanay resthouse arrest.

    Convicted, I told the Sandiganbayan, Erap was ready to go to Munti but I was ignored, maybe not imprudently, and it sent him back to Tanay.

    House arrest for GMA is easy to defend, given her health condition in a society that per the preamble of the Constitution must be “humane.”

    In 1980 Uncle Jovy Salonga had a short stay in Fort Bonifacio, then hospital arrest, and finally housewife arrest. Uncle wrote: “The dictator’s release order, which arrived, was quite interesting: `Salonga is ordered released from military custody and placed under house arrest under the custody of his wife, Mrs. Lydia Busuego Salonga.’ I thought it was excellent material for humorous conversation and speeches in the future. Indeed, my nephew, Rene Saguisag, wrote a note which I saw in my desk shortly after my release, saying: `Dear Uncle: I pity you. On top of martial law, you are now under marital law.’ I used this as a joke in many speeches, but during the 1992 presidential campaign, a small group of Filipino women warned me it was a ‘sexist joke.’ Not wanting to lose their votes, I dropped it altogether.” J. Salonga, A Journey of Struggle and Hope 316-17 (2001).

    Suharto was accorded “city arrest.”

    The far from novel Enrile ruling should not be criticized but instead seized as a reiteration of old doctrine for countless old jailbirds. Surely humanitarian considerations are not irrelevant in our predominantly Christian society. We all win.

    GMA’s Memo Circular 155 of 2004 in favor of septuagenarian prisoners have benefited inmates in the Correctional Institute for Women. CIW is OK but look at the jailhouses elsewhere, and weep. Cramped, unsanitary, and Tuesday morning last, in QC, where I had a case, many QC jail inmates had handkerchiefs of pieces of cloth over the mouths.

    Undernourished. Sad. You go in a human being, and you go out a brute.

    In early 1983, I called Macoy a “super-subversive” in open court; I was sentenced to a weekend in jail by a QC RTC Judge. I became a Batang City Jail Candidate Member. The warden didn’t put me in a brigada meant for ten but occupied by 40 inmates. He had me sleep in a tejeras in his office and a foot away was another tejeras, assigned to a murder suspect. I was within stabbing distance but I have always believed in the presumption of innocence.

    Tougher was how to explain to my ever-loving Dulce who came that evening, after work-why the guards would not let her in as Mrs. Saguisag. Arlene Babst and Ninez Cacho Olivarez had used that ID or persona. “Dalawa na hong Mrs. Saguisag ang pinapasok namin.” Sabay kamot ng ulo. Eventually, my OAO was allowed in.

    Also tough was, on the third day there was rioting and I was to be released then.

    Chino Roces came, very concerned that an Arrest Search and Seizure Order or some such was being readied for me; he picked me up and drove me home. He ignored red lights. Color-blind pala. Josme!

    Anyway, Manong Johnny should perhaps not have returned to work at once, issuing pro-Gigi Reyes statements. Gigi, I respect very much but so do I, Manang Cristina, who has had to endure Manong’s trysts and dalliances with 38 (at least) girlfriends. But, PNoy does not have the power of Macoy to make her his custodian, A Prisoner of Love.

    On a more elevated plain, we recall what Jesus said, for I was in prison and you visited me. Story of my life during martial law.

    Last Monday I attended a Lingap Kalinga Mass in the QC City Hall Lobby and reunited with Boyet Montiel, Ipe Suzara, Alex Labajo, et al. and first time for me to reconnect with Susan Cellano. Warrior Fr. Archie Intengan, S.J., celebrated Mass for Lingap Bilanggo, founded by KASAPI, marking its 45th anniv.

    Ipe reminded me of that Christmas night in 1982 when the April 6 Liberation Movement accused were given a holiday furlough in. I was a star boarder of my ever-loving wife Dulce, in Palanan, Makati. Accused Pops Baskinas resided just across Vito Cruz. I took French leave, slipped out, and visited him.

    When I returned home, Dulce was crying softly, “Pati ba naman Pasko wala kang panahon sa amin?”

    Right here. Solar plexus. No Rene without Dulce, but I’d then say no one in our family could complain, I was neglecting them equally. Motherland came first.

    I’m still doing the little I could to disprove Chesterton who said Christianity is neither a success nor a failure for the simple reason that it has never been tried.

    Well, this cookie is trying hard.

    A final note: Allan Dori’s father was a lawyer for the Duponts, and his mother lawyered on Wall St., writes James Mill in One Just Man. Al was a New York City Legal Aid Society lawyer although his parents left an estate of seven million dollars. Why? Explains Al: “Something my father told me I have never forgotten, though I have rarely succeeded in living by it. He was spending a lot of time representing an old man who’d open thrown out by his landlord. He was the friend of our doorman or a maid or someone’s chauffeur, I don’t remember. Anyway, he was very poor, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Duponts. I asked my father why he spent so much time on the case. He said, `He is as you are. He laughs, he cries, he fears, he dreams. So be kind. All you can do in life is be kind’.” (At 19 (1976, paperback ed. – given me by Fr. Moran, S.J.)


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    1. Sen. Enrile is released and free. Sen. Saguisag is talking about detention other than the prison cell.

    2. Well written from a pro-PNoy ex-Senator. Leonen? Forget about this lapdog. He and Sereno are of the same group. And let us not forget that it is Marvic Leonen who made the BBL draft and was rewarded by PNoy with a SC seat.

    3. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      28 August 2015

      Let me make it clear thatI have only the highest respect for Lawyer Rene Saguisag..

      Far be it for me to underestimate or to hurt his feelings one way or the other, but I still maintain that the recent Supreme Court decision granting bail to JUAN PONCE ENRILE, on “humanitarian” grounds is one which will go down as one of the worst mistakes the Supreme Court has ever made, and will very likely stigmatize it for a long, long time.

      As if to mock the Court’s favorable ruling, right after gaining his freedom Juan Ponce Enrile proudly said that forthwith he was going back to work! True to his word, he did go back to work–as the Minority Leader of the Senate!

      Talk about a 92-year-old man who is weak and frail and no longer ambulatory who deserves all the consideration that a compassionate Supreme Court–the majority decision written by a “bleeding heart” Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin–had in its power to lavish on him.

      I never thought the beneficiary Juan Ponce Enrile was that “ingrato!”


      • victor m. hernandez on

        A reasonable and strong minority opposition gives a good balance to a majority ruling party; it gives democracy a strong mooring.

    4. Atty Rene Saguisag should be at the supreme court instead of Justice Leonen who only follows what ever his boss wants. Akala mo matalino BOBO pala.

    5. Julie Raymundo on

      Dear sir,
      I read your comment twice to sink in deep, it is wonderful and well said. You used words to describe the meaning, and a reader to sink in what she reads. Love your notes. Thanks.

    6. I think Justice Leonen should now read and perhaps be “moderated” by the lessons ushered by the legal citations of the ever active and reliable Mr. Senator Rene, always the lawyer of the poor and oppressed. Mabuhay ka Mr. Senator!