Hell hath no fury like a Sala scorned

Ellen Tordesillas published it in full first, over at Vera Files, and people have been rolling in the aisles ever since. Just in case you have any doubt that really wrote what he did, here’s the facsimile of it:

Judge Lorredo Order 4 May 09

The background to the order being, that the Judge formerly dismissed Mike Defensor’s perjury charge against Lozada, was overruled by a superior court, and so has to handle the case.

Blogger Et Cetera Et Cetera was frankly puzzled by the order, while Manila Bay Watch was pleased as punch and Smoke was certainly amused. Every lawyer I’ve talked to says this order is unprecedented in terms of the, shall we say, pungent language used. Some lawyers think that aside from the personal pleasure the Judge undoubtedly derived from penning this order, the legal consequences of it will be to ensure that Defensor’s lawyers have a strong case with which to insist that the Judge recuse himself from the case -or be forced to do so, again by a superior court.

Manuel Buencamino in his Business Mirror column today takes a cue from Mark Anthony’s funeral oration in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and proclaims Mike Defensor an honorable man: see Mike Defensor does not lie (“He just sees things in a different light”).

A word on Ako Mismo, which certainly has gotten tongues wagging (and Martin Perez’s blog, AKOMISMO, getting deluged with stray hits), and not a few people feeling patriotic -or merely lusting after one of the attractive dog tags the website offers as an incentive for signing up.

When the site was heralded by a TV ad and a two-page spread in a major daily, I personally wondered if it wasn’t a trial balloon for the presidential candidacy of Manuel V. Pangilinan. Business circles have been abuzz for some months now, about the tycoon’s possible, even probable, presidential aspirations; and there have been those quietly circulating in order to sound out opinions on whether a Pangilinan bid for the presidency would get public support.

One of the site’s endorsers, Maxene Magalona, has come out with a categorical statement that her participation in the ad campaign for the site has nothing to do with anyone’s presidential aspirations. Smart Communications has categorically denied being the owner of the site. From what I’ve heard from people who claim insider knowledge of PLDT, their boss in not interested in the least in becoming the country’s chief executive.

There will be some disappointed by these disavowals, as there were those whose interest was genuinely piqued by the prospect of an MVP bid for the presidency.

There are two blog entries that help explain why the website caused some misgivings in the days leading up to Magalona’s statement. The first is in Baratillo@Cubao, the other, in Constant Random Change, who approach the site from two different ends (one, shall we say, philosophical, the other, technological) but with similar conclusions: the site was opaque in certain respects and the opacity provoked skepticism. It shouldn’t have required a Whois search, for example, simply to determine who owned the site: an advertising agency that has also categorically stated the campaign is its own, as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts.

On another note, please be aware that my entry on The Great Book Blockade of 2009 has had numerous updates added to it, including the side of the Department of Finance (methinks even more incriminating). In addition to those updates, a noteworthy entry’s in Twilight Coven Philippines (hat tip to andrewdrilon) who apparently noticed the sudden death of imported books; Indolent Indio compares the Department of Finance’s current actions to those of Ferdinand Marcos, when he decreed non-compliance with copyright for foreign publishers and authors; and mzeid has an amusing graphic.

Most of all, read this extremely reasonable, and learned, comment on the whole thing by Bibliophile Stalker.

Let me put down some thoughts on how this whole thing is coming together:

1. Once again we see how difficult it is to survey our laws and get an idea of when, precisely, executive agreements were concluded and under what circumstances: a tremendous amount of sleuthing is required which might otherwise be used more productively for other purposes. So let me just reiterate for the record my frustration over the Official Gazette not being put online.

2. The timeline that emerges from the statements of the Department of Finance is that a memorandum was issued on Easter Sunday, which in itself is rather curious. As for the justifications for that memorandum, that a tax was mandated, but for some reason unimplemented for years, there is still some confusion on whether this is actually the case, but what is clear is that the President of the Philippines has the authority to either hold in abeyance, modify, or scrap altogether, such a tax: and that doing so might actually put the country more in harmony with the spirit and actual provisions of the Florence Agreement.

3. Therefore the logical course of action might properly be a petition to the President of the Philippines, coursed through the Secretary of Finance, knowing full well that the petition would still have to be coursed through the Secretary of Justice, and such a petition might best prosper if endorsed by the National Book Development Board (but there is the ethical problem that his son sits on the National Book Development Board; one or the other, or both, might have to inhibit themselves). Another course would be legislation, but executive action would be quicker but liable to modification by future chief executives.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

25 thoughts on “Hell hath no fury like a Sala scorned

  1. On Ako Mismo, I doubt whether Manny Pangilinan would relish the thought of running for President of the Philippines.

    Besides, I have strong reservations about whether the country can be run like a corporation. It may be more like running the mob.

  2. Besides, I have strong reservations about whether the country can be run like a corporation. It may be more like running the mob.
    hahahahahaha! My sentiments exactly, “organized crime” with its hands in everyone’s pockets ruling by extortion, fear, and shared loot.

  3. “So let me just reiterate for the record my frustration over the Official Gazette not being put online.”
    it’s really weird that different govt sites have digital libraries of laws, EOs, court decisions, but the official gazette isn’t online.

  4. turf at its worst, and the lack of an incentive to take an institutional and cohesive look at things. mind you, the up law center could ideally do the same thing but then… ideally you’d need several databases: legislation; executive issuances; departmental orders and regulations; municipal and provincial ordinances; court rulings; all cross-referenced… would be a splendid and necessary project.

  5. mlq3,

    Will Philippine lawyers pay for access to an online Philippine law database?

  6. supremo, i honestly don’t know… it could be done by pooling together the students of several colleges, and gratis, too, i’d think.

  7. I’ve been looking for any related news to that Judge Rolledo’s order releasing Jun Lozada to the Senate custody, found nothing about it in the mainstream media. What’s the reason for that, mlq3, can you tell us? Might there be a gag order from somebody?

  8. defensor is such a fool. i can’t believe he fell for jun lozada once again. what was he thinking? was he thinking that he can just play the wounded soldier in this battle? i’m sorry but he’s mistaken. I don’t like him, and i never will. he is gma’s worst apologist.

  9. Bert, I even heard excerpts from it on “Dos pos Dos” on AM earlier tonight, I think online the simple reality is all news has been swept aside by the big typhoon now plowing through northern luzon.

  10. Let me see . . . the typhoon did provide some news material towards the end of the week.

    But, from where I stand, the news all week was totally dominated by Manny Pacquiao.

    And, I must say, for a good reason. After many years of deprecation, Pacquiao has given Filipinos a reason to feel good about themselves!

  11. Perhaps the contents of Judge Lorredo’s order and its implications to Philippine politics not interesting enough to the pundits even here in Manolo’s blog. Too bad.

  12. Thank you, angela! But the Inquirer published only one third of what the order wish to convey, and that is that Lozada be returned to the senate custody. That is not worth discussing, I think.

    What I think is worth discussing is the more meaty contents of the order, the substance and the form as done by the good judge, which is not very ordinary. IMHO.

  13. ah yes bert, nothing on that from mainstream media. and this is all i could find in the blogosphere, sa facebook pa, when i made silip my daughter’s account, he he. not much rin about the order but more on de judge. at least he is consistent, still playing to the gallery:

    QUOTES from today’s hearing on Jun Lozada’s case at the sala of Judge Jorge Emmanuel Lorredo

    You’ve read the arraignment order from Judge Lorredo, here’s what happened today. These are actual quotes from today’s hearing. You can check footages from the network or accounts from those who also attended the hearing.

    Judge to Sen. Mar Roxas – “Mr.Palengke, tanong ko lang, kung marunong ba kayo magbisikleta ng dalawang gulong, kasi nung huli ko kayong nakita, naka-tatlong gulong kayo”.

    Judge to Public Prosecutor – “Your client (Mike Defensor, who is abroad) should be quarantined first for a week. I will not allow him to enter a court room full of people. Ayoko magkasakit tayo ng swine flu…”

    Judge to Public Prosecutor – “I am hoping that the Holy Spirit will work on your client’s heart…”

    Judge to everyone (on why he cracks jokes) – “Gusto ko sa court room ko, magaan, light lang ang pakiramdam…”

    Judge to the lawyer representing Mayor Lim (but who doesn’t represent Lozada) – “Since you’re not representing Mr. Lozada, you cannot enter an appearance. But you can still stay there (in your seat) since mahirap nang lumabas ng room at marami na masaydong tao….”

    Judge Lorredo, commenting on Jun’s health – “Sabi sa Bible, the body is the temple of the holy spirit…dapat alagaan mo sarili mo.”

    Priest who gives opening prayer – “…and we hope God that one day, Judge Lorredo will be a member of the Court of Appeals…”

    Judge before making his decision on Lozada’s custody – “I already have an outline… I just need to put the finishing touches.”

    IN THE END, DESPITE ALL THE COMEDY, JUDGE LORREDO GRANTS THE MOTION OF THE SENATE TO PLACE LOZADA UNDER THEIR CUSTODY. His safety as a witness in the Senate probe was given due consideration. The Judge said that if the court can order a suspect’s transfer to a hospital, it can also order the transfer of a suspect to another government facility (Senate).

    Round 1 goes to Lozada. Panalo!

    Meanwhile, the public prosecutors have manifested that they want Judge Lorredo to inhibit himself. Boooo!.

  14. angela, the judge’s antics in his sala is as cute as his order, heheh.

    Seriously, the way he did it, what do you think prompted Judge Lorredo to react in such manner as he did in his order? My Manoy Bencard, who is a lawyer in the USofA, you know him, can’t believe it. He thought the judge’s order was written either by ellentordesillas or by DJB, heheh.

  15. DJB can’t believe it himself, unitl he got a pdf copy of the order which he gave Bencard the link.

  16. i think he’s testing the limits of the system and everyone concerned, testing how far he can go, how much he can get away with, before he is thrown out of the case.

    defensor’s lawyers, fortun and narvasa no less, must have known, when defensor appealed the case and the manila rtc obliged, that it would go back to the same judge who had dismissed it na. so the game plan, i suppose, is to get this judge recused, which could be in the offing na nga.

    if/when it happens how will judge lorredo handle it kaya? will he fade back into the woodwork, or will he continue his “advocacy”.

  17. ay, to answer your question. what prompted the judge… eh kasi na-dismiss na niya yung complaint, ‘no, for lack of merit. no inconsistency in lozada’s statements… he must have been so asar to find the case back in his sala…

  18. if/when, angela? well, if ‘when’, i think we have an idea already which side of the fence the judge is standing on. I think he will continue his advocacy, started it already.

    if ‘if’, what do you think?

    If the case stays with him, here are some interesting questions that might be asked:

    -will he really summon GMA and Mike to appear as hostile witnesses when requested by the defense lawyer?
    -will the PSG intervene in a lawful attempt to arrest the president?
    -will he really deputize some citizens to effect the arrest of GMA and mike if the PSG intervene?

    more rhetorical questions later, heheh.

  19. Marahil asar lang si Judge sa basurang bumalik matapos niyang itapon. Kaya nang-aasar. Sana huwag maalis sa kanya ang kaso para makaganti naman ang mga taong asar na asar na. Free side show! It keeps us going.

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