Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Corona Impeachment - 8th Week

The Prosecution Rests Its Case

 The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C Corona has been running for several weeks now and several revelations have come out as a result of the presentation of the evidences against the numerous allegations against the Chief Justice. Despite the wealth of information and the interesting developments that have evolved from the trial and the numerous fora in media I found myself reluctant to put down on paper my thoughts on the matter at this stage of the case. Prior to the impeachment hearing by the Senate and even at the early part of the impeachment proceedings I have poured out my thoughts, responded to other writers’ opinions through my blog, wrote letters to editors, commented on columns  and to those who were inclined to discuss it in e-mails, reactions to my blog and on discussions in person.
Perhaps it is the fact that so much has been aired in conventional media as well as in viral media that almost everything that can be said about the case has been thoroughly aired out from the chronicle of the events, rumours, opinions from every direction and the humorous sidelights that inevitably crop up in cause celebres.
 As an avid anti-Corona advocate I have shared the thoughts of the opinion leaders who personally indict and attack the Chief Justice at the instance of each new revelation of actuations that support the allegations of his betrayal of public trust and the culpable violation of the Constitution. I believe that at this point in time there is enough rope to hang the accused and that we should already stop the needless expense of time and money that the senators incur in the proceedings. It only takes one of the allegations to be proven to impeach the Chief Justice; as Ted Laguatan says the main question to be proven in all these is the fitness; the lack of it, of Renato C Corona to continue in office as chief magistrate, the answer to which is so patently obvious. From another perspective, there are those who say that we should stop the needless use of the citizens money spent in a “moro-moro” which they say will end up on an acquittal of the Chief Justice from any wrong doing evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. I have mentioned before that I have doubts that the Chief Justice will be acquitted by the senate jurors considering that the votes needed for his exoneration is just 8 out of the 23 senators who will vote. From the outset there were already 6 who are avowedly pro-Corona while the rest is a motley group who on the surface are pro Pnoy but with quite a number of them can be easily enticed mostly out of self interest. Would any kind of proof of the chief justice’s culpability no matter how true (short of smoking gun) convince enough senator jurors to vote against him? In the course of a few weeks of proceedings there are closet pro-Corona senators now coming out of the woodwork who signal their leanings by the way they question the prosecution and sometimes join in the bullying frenzy brought about by the haughtiness of some “know it all” senate jurors and the grandstanding of the chief counsel of the defense who is quick to display his knowledge of court procedures in the presentation of witnesses, the proper unfolding of evidence in an admissible and correct form, the appropriate legalese and other court room conventions. Former Justice Cuevas truly displays good knowledge of the law but he uses this knowledge to obstruct the emergence of the truth by preventing the prosecution to develop their case through continuous objection to anything, filibustering even, that the prosecutors have to say to break the train of thought of the exposition of their case. In most cases the defense lead counsel is technically correct and his objections are upheld by the presiding officer. The presiding officer, JP Enrile, on occasion joins the defense counsel in admonishing the prosecution panel for their ineptness. With the lead defense counsel using sarcasm to demean the less experienced prosecution panel members; Senator Miriam Santiago complements him with her histrionics, threats to cite in contempt the prosecutors and ad hominems clothed in colourful but sometimes quaint verbiage. After her arrogant and uncouth behaviour she hies off leaving the rostrum with a plea of temporary intensity causing a hypertensive condition.  This bashing of the prosecution panel should not have happened at all if the presiding officer was consistent on asserting that the impeachment court is “sui generis”, of its own class, and is substantially not governed by conventional litigation rules but by the procedures that they have formulated particular to the impeachment which are deemed supreme against the other branches of government insofar as the impeachment issues are concerned. The defense panel’s composition are made up of high powered lawyers and headed by a known expert lawyer and was a former justice of the Supreme Court whose knowledge of the law and its undertakings sometimes hold in awe even the presiding officer who more often than not sustains the numerous objections that he protests forgetting at most moments that the court he presides in allows common sense over the technicalities of litigation practiced in regular courts hearing criminal, corporate and cases other than impeachment. The presiding officer blew hot and cold with his rulings in the impeachment court. He is too much of a lawyer to disregard the caution to exercise common sense, prudence, conventional notions of right and wrong of the unique court and on occasion lapses into allowing the technicalities applied in litigation as the lead defense takes advantage of.
Just this afternoon we were made to witness important events within the impeachment court from outside.
The lead defense counsel, Justice Cuevas was doing the cross examination of the witnesses from media (ABS CBN) to authenticate the evidences (cd’s of events surrounding the TRO case).  It was a plain and simple process of identifying and authenticating the evidences presented but the lead defense counsel was looking for ways to discredit the witnesses to make it appear that their testimonies are hearsay and not from their own firsthand experience to render their evidences inadmissible. The ludicrousness of the cross examination reached its height when he grilled the cameraman about the workings of a TRO with his characteristic leer waiting to pounce on the hapless cameraman as soon as he makes an erroneous response. Clearly it’s a case of a slick lawyer trying a legal legerdemain which seemed to be the hallmark of the lead defense counsel’s litigation style.

There was a break on the proceedings and the coverage segued into a press briefing with Atty Midas Marquez making announcements at the Supreme Court. The first announcement had to do with the results of the recent bar exams. He was pleased to announce that the recent bar exams had a high rate success, achieving more than 31%. Personally, I feel that the last thing this country needs is another lawyer to join the burgeoning legal profession and the political field. Even before the impeachment case of Renato Corona I have always held most of them suspect of using the law to disadvantage other people and to protect the rights of robber barons, unscrupulous businessmen and institutions, warlords, and drug syndicates. The impeachment case has made this unfortunate feeling even more entrenched in my consciousness. What has crept out from the dark pits into the light of day are crimes brazenly committed because they have the protection of the very arbiters of justice in our land.

Atty Midas Marquez also announced that the Supreme Court, en banc, ruled that TRO to subpoena personnel of the high court is upheld and the administrative employees earlier subpoenaed and heeded the summons on an earlier date were instructed by the Supreme Court not to obey the summons.
Talk about creating a chilling effect which was oft used in defending the Supreme Court in earlier arguments; there could not be a more chilling effect than this to us the citizens where you have a Supreme Court who can just curl up like an armadillo whenever questioned for its actuations and decisions. How can an erring member of the Supreme Court be removed from office if they have the right to stonewall against ferreting evidence from any of their members in an impeachment court? The presiding officer said that their hands are tied because they have to respect the internal rules of the Judiciary the last one of which seemed to be a patched up job to ensure the further impregnability of the dark castle of justice. Despite the explanation made by the presiding officer it leaves the message that the impeachment court seems helpless to secure evidence from them even if subpoenaed. The presiding officer said that they cannot go against the internal rules of any of the branches of government but has the power to decide on the ultimate judgment of the fate Renato C Corona through the votes of two thirds majority of the senate assemblage.

The most surprising event of the afternoon is the pronouncement made by the prosecution to rest their case just on the bases of evidences presented from less than half of the items of listed in the original impeachment complaint. They feel that, thus far, they have presented enough evidence to convict the chief justice. It seems to be a pity that the other items of impeachment were abandoned even if they seem to be reasonable albeit badly crafted. One gets the feeling that the ploy of the other side to humiliate and demean their characters and professional stature through daily diatribes by the lady senator from Iloilo, the lead defense counsel, proCorona senator jurors and at times by the presiding officer himself.

Perhaps it is also the discernment of the prosecution that all the efforts, the money spent and the hours devoted pleading their case may not amount to anything but failure.
I have expressed even before that the impeachment case will not be judged by the merits of the case, political affiliations or love for the Filipino but on the consciences of the senate jurors. If this is so, the Filipino ends up being more wretched than before. Votes will be governed by selfish interests and the senators being what they are; rich, influential, powerful and enjoying the fruits of the current system need to preserve the status quo. The status quo is the goose that lays the golden eggs and very few senators of the land, from my knowledge, past and present, will be willing to bring down the axe on the neck of proverbial goose.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Corona's Speech at the Inauguration of Justicia Room

On the occasion of the blessing of the Justicia Room at the Ateneo Law School, Rockwell Center, Makati City, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona was given the privilege to deliver a speech in front of his contemporaries, former professors and the members of his defense panel in the impeachment case; quite a few, including the head of the defense panel, former justice Cuevas, were alumni of the Ateneo Law school. His speech touched on his academic experience in law school, early career and his topping of the bar examinations. He thanked his mentors for inspiring him to excel in his studies and for the school for moulding and inspiring him to rise to greater heights.

The Chief Justice is now the subject of an impeachment case which if found guilty of the accusations of graft and corruption; betrayal of trust and abuse of authority would have him removed from office, barred from assuming any governmental position as well as from private practice of the legal profession. As he said, “I have nothing to gain and everything to lose”.

The case, to say the least, is a celebrated one and is marred with controversy because of the issues that arose outside of the items in the impeachment case. What started out as a legal tussle involving former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the head of the Department of Justice, Leila de Lima on the issuance of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by the Supreme Court putting in abeyance the hold order barring the former president’s bid to travel for medical treatment outside the country is now a constitutional issue from whence, as suggested by the Corona advocates, a constitutional crisis can ensue.

What the Corona advocates are protesting about, among other things, is that the case has got to do with the question of supremacy among equal branches of government. Their contention is that the Executive branch with the help of the Legislature is imposing on the Supreme Court their authority, inclusive of the interpretation of the law which they insist is the sole responsibility of the Supreme Court. On the other hand the Senate avers that an Impeachment Court has the right to put to practice the rules of such a court as they see fit to allow the ferreting out of the truth unimpeded by the technicalities of regular court proceedings. The Senate Impeachment court is a lawful assemblage which is guaranteed by the constitution as an instrument to oust erring high officials of government. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, a respected constitutionalist and legal expert says that not one of the branches of government has supremacy over the other, only the constitution is supreme over them.

The general public seems to be opposed to the Corona cause which the Corona advocates dismiss as a result of propaganda that the Aquino government has successfully launched. The Corona group argue on the basis of legal tenets which seem to be appreciated only by the legal community—but even then, there are law practitioners who are as intensely opposed. Within the Ateneo alumni there are those who strongly oppose Corona; seeing the ousting of the Chief Justice as linchpin to the government’s effort to eradicate graft and corruption in government as it is intertwined with the wrong doings of the former administration; and there are those, legally inclined, who see it as a threat to the rule of law, unconstitutional and anarchy bound. For many officials and politicians, past and present, see it a threat to the status quo. The success of the eradication of graft and corruption is synonymous to the end of the cornucopia of plenty which they have enjoyed. 

The invitation to speak on the inauguration of the Justicia Room in the Ateneo Law School, needless to say, is a gesture reserved for those, who without a doubt, are honourable and with unimpeachable moral qualities all of which are still to be proved in the case of Corona. If by chance Corona gets impeached it would be a smear to the reputation of the Justicia Room whose inauguration was graced by his presence and oration. It would, also, be an embarrassment to the school to have granted such an honour to someone who might be proven to be an antithesis of what we uphold as the law.

Funny that Corona cites Dean Pompeyo Diaz who was spot on when he made the astute observation that among the many evil people in this world the most dangerous is the one who knows the law but has no conscience. It is a conclusion one can make upon seeing the proliferation of mercenary lawyers who make a living (a lucrative one) taking on hopeless cases which seem indefensible from the very start. What makes it deplorable is that these lawyers are among the most brilliant ones, bar topnotchers from the best of schools who know the law in depth; know them enough to twist it in favour of their clients through skilful manipulation of the technical aspects of the law. We’ve been through this discussion before, with the pro Corona advocates insisting on the literal application of the law without regard to the moral precepts that they are based on; without regard to recognizing what is patently evil and conventionally wrong—judging on the letter of the law and using procedures that ensure “due process” to free the obviously guilty Big Man of wealth and power but seldom protects Juan of humble circumstances and simple perspectives
The tact that the defense panel has taken is the suppression of evidences and testimonies through the knowledge of the intricacies of forensics, evidence presentation, admissibility of testimonies, correctness of form, legalese and just about anything that they can cite to bedevil the prosecutors who are generally inexperienced and ill trained in this art.  
Corona protests that he is being demonized by being depicted as abominable and unworthy. He said it didn’t matter because he alone knows the truth--but sharing the truth of his dollar accounts would have cleared him of the suspicions and the accusations; he has chosen to keep the truth to himself, thereby, strengthening the perception that he really has something to hide.

The impeachment court is sui generis, a unique assemblage of senator jurors who have been tasked to ferret out the truth without being hampered by the technicalities of a regular court—a proceeding that could easily be understood by most of the constituents; relying on what is commonly accepted as fair and judicious assessments of the facts presented; a people’s court, for the lack of a better term.. The judgment would rely on what are perceived as conventionally correct and truthful minus the legal gobbledegook. A court where Juan would have a chance of getting redress.

Corona wanted to make heroic his act by saying that he was willing to lose everything for something he believes in. He should realize that this is his comeuppance; he had it coming to him. The prospect of losing everything stares him in the face but it is not because of defending what he believes in but due to dishonesty, abuse of position and total loss of integrity as Chief Justice.

An e-mail from DJ de Jesus (grupo58) explained that Corona was not the keynote speaker but volunteered to speak when guests were invited to do so.

from DJ de Jesus:
"The event at which he spoke was the rededication of the Justicia Room, which is adorned by portraits of the Justices of the Supreme Court who are also alumni of the law school, from Teehankee to Corona.  Other justices present were invited to speak, but no one (except Corona) came forward to take the floor.  Perhaps, the organizers should have anticipated that Corona would use the event to bolster his side on the impeachment case.  His presence alone should have raised the alarm.  Wnen Fr. Bernie criticized Corona in his PDI column for accepting the "midnight appointment,"Corona reportedly declared that he would never step into the Ateneo again, while Fr. Bernie remained there.
In any event, the impression created in the media that the Ateneo invited Corona to deliver the keynote address at the event, in order to give him a platform to argue his case, I have it on good authority, is mistaken."

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Reprint of The issue is Corona’s guilt, not the prosecutors’ competence By Ted Laguatan

The issue is Corona’s guilt, not the prosecutors’ competence

Like many who follow the Corona impeachment trial, I am often frustrated by the obvious lack of competence shown by the prosecution team. Repeatedly, they fail to do what needs to be done. They are often unprepared, show sophomoric exposure to rules of evidence, lack tactical skills and fail to anticipate that their own witness might turn hostile against them.
But from something bad, something good can sometimes happens.
Let’s take the last point. They brought in the Megaworld witnesses to support their argument that Corona did not declare the correct value in his SALN and to obliquely attack him by showing that he was given an extraordinary 40% discount — subliminally suggesting that this was a bribe.
They should have anticipated that the Megaworld witnesses could easily turn hostile. Certainly, Megaworld would look bad and could be subjected to criminal penalties if they gave the impression that the 40% discount was a bribe.
Predictably the witnesses justified the discount: They claimed the unit was water damaged due to a typhoon and that the economy was bad that year forcing them to sell at a whopping 40% reduction.
But as fate would have it, the error of the prosecution may result in some pay dirt. Senator Sergio Osmena intuitively has requested for detailed records of the purported typhoon damage and possible insurance compensation to Megaworld if any.
The financial records of Megaworld also indicate huge profits for the year 2008, the year the unit was sold.  Moreover, the other comparable units were sold for the market price of around P10 million or more. The Megaworld witnesses also indicated that this was the last unit    available unwittingly indicating the brisk sale of units.
If Megaworld is not able to persuade the public that the reasons they expressed for the price reduction are true – that would make this transaction very suspicious.
On another point, the issue of unjust enrichment or unexplained wealth  would have been a logical and very relevant issue against Corona. That alone, if proven, would mean that he is morally unfit to continue being Chief Justice.
Why the prosecution gave up so easily in allowing the defense’s request to exclude this allegation and supportive evidence indicates poor thinking and technical incompetence. They could have scored heavily if they were allowed to delve into the issue of Corona’s alleged ill gotten wealth.
Nevertheless, evidence consisting of ownership of various properties in Corona’s name and his children’s names which could not be justified by his reported income nor by his     relatives’ incomes — are quite damaging.
These real property ownerships and income reports were presented as evidence by the   prosecution to show that Corona devaluated his assets or omitted important information  in his annual SALN (Statement of liability and Net Worth).
Even if presented not for the purpose of proving ill gotten wealth — inevitably, by implication, like it or not, these series of evidence do suggest that Corona was purchasing various properties in his name and in his children’s name utilizing unexplained money sources. Of course, his lawyers will be given a chance to explain these irregularities.
These eye opening revelations should open the gates for serious consideration by the Ombudsman’s office and the Department of Justice to determine if enough probable cause exists to file various separate criminal charges against Corona and other Justices and  judges with similar indications of probable corruption. Again, they will be afforded due process rights to prove their innocence.
If President Aquino and all of us really and seriously want to clean up corruption for the good of all — we must support all legitimate and legal means to carry out this sacred goal. Clean government will lead to a better life for all.
The prosecution is not exactly a dream team but I have no doubt that they sincerely want to do their best – warts and all. Unlike the defense lawyers whose daily bread comes from doing trials, the prosecutors are limited in trial experience.
A common error which amateur lawyers make: They do not carefully double check the accuracy of their data.
To show the public that they have a strong case, prior to the trial, based on incomplete data — in their enthusiasm — the prosecutors negligently rushed to announce on TV and other media that Corona had some 45 properties.  It turned out later that only some 24 properties were involved.
While those numbers by themselves should be more than enough to place Corona in a bad light, still to be fair, the prosecutors deserve to be rebuked for this negligent presentation.
The majority of the viewing public who want the truth to come out cheer when Senators take up the slack to elicit vital information from witnesses that the prosecutors fail to do.
Unavoidably, the Senator-Judges reveal their positions when they speak. The defense accuses Senator Frank Drilon of being biased on the side of the prosecution and wants him to recuse himself from the trial. On the other hand, the prosecution could say the same thing about Senator Joker Arroyo. Senator-Judges on one side or another have to reveal their cards sooner or later. This is the nature of this impeachment beast.
Another Senator, Gringo Honasan, wants to keep the public from trying the case by muzzling each side’s spokespersons — a clear violation of Constitutional free speech rights. Let the people get as much truth as possible even if mixed with some bovine dung now and then. Adults should be able to decide for themselves who’s telling the truth.
The issue in this impeachment trial is not the competence or incompetence of the prosecution or the defense. The real issue is whether or not Corona should be impeached for repeatedly protecting the interests of the Arroyos above that of the people.
The main focus of this impeachment trial should be on the interest of the people. Specifically, this means having a judicial system with honest fair judges  who provide true justice to the people.
The personal interests of President Aquino, Corona, the Senator-Judges, the Congressperson-prosecutors, the defense lawyers and whoever else – are only relevant here  in so far as they help to promote the people’s interest.
We are a nation in continuous mourning. One third of our people go to bed hungry at night. Mothers and fathers quietly sob watching their sick children waste and eventually die because they cannot afford to buy medicines. Many innocent people are in jail because they cannot afford lawyers. Young people become victims of human traffickers. So many leave their loved ones to work in far hot and cold countries with strange cultures – braving terrible loneliness and all kinds of dangers and risks.
It does not have to be like this. If we have a clean honest efficient government, we can change the Philippines.
Note: Atty. Ted Laguatan is based in the San Francisco area. He is honored by the California State Bar as one of only 29 lawyers officially certified as Expert-Specialists continuously for more than twenty years. He also does human rights and complex litigation cases involving accident injuries and wrongful death. Email laguatanlaw@gmail.com Tel             650 991-1154     

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Corona Impeachment Thus Far

There are just too many technically “innocent” evil men in our society all because of the ability of seasoned lawyers to find loopholes in our legal system and apply them to exonerate persons who obviously are guilty but by some legal sleight of hand are allowed to get away scot-free. As if this is not enough the influence of well placed politicians and high government officials are used to overturn honestly arrived at decisions of the lower courts.
The impeachment court trying the Chief Justice Corona is made up of senator jurors who want to let the truth come out. At the least this is how the impeachment court is defined and at this stage the presiding officer, JP Enrile, seems to be conducting a fairly liberal procedures of the impeachment court. How this will be applied as we get into the crunch point of the proceedings remains to be seen.
Legal luminaries like former justice Cuevas, Dindo de los Angeles and a battery of lawyers who are deemed experts at litigations are pitted against a prosecution panel of congressmen made up of lawyers and non lawyers who hardly have had court experience. Even the outside help from practicing lawyers are not the best that money can buy compared to the powerhouse team of the defense panel. Former Chief Justice Cuevas knows this full well and is having a grand time bamboozling the lightweight opposition to submission. In his frequent objections he makes fun of the lawyers of the other side most of whom were his former students. He facetiously chastises them for being absent in class or for not being attentive during his lectures and the objection almost always turns into a lecture or a remedial review of legal academic subjects. The impeachment court recognizes this and has set up their own rules which may not be constrained by legal protocols, narrow and stretched jurisprudence and other legal technicalities. In some cases the truth is caged by the restrictions of the procedures that are supposed to guard against the curtailment of the rights of the individual often at the expense of abusing of the rights of the larger public or the rest of society. What is inherently evil and what is patently incorrect are sometimes protected by the very laws that are supposed to ensure the reign of civility and morality in our society. How often do we find lawyers and opinion leaders leaning towards the literal applications of the law without regard to the moral precepts which served as bases for such laws?  
Coronarroyo advocates from the senate juror ranks who were shy at the onset are slowly coming out of the woodwork to show their leanings and have joined the bamboozling frenzy of the relatively ill equipped lawyers of the prosecution. Thus far I have already counted seven senator jurors who would be on the side of the Chief Justice needing only one more to swing it in favour of the defense. The feisty now turned testy Miriam Santiago has joined the fray and with her usual bully tactics has irritated, sometimes intimidated the prosecution panel and most of the audiences with her mindless and bombastic tirades. 
I hate to say it but the Senate is not exactly the institution where one finds the most upright of persons. A swing vote is all that is needed and I fear that the price for that will be a tantalizing one when dangled.  All the more Justice Cuevas will be emboldened by this show of support and we can be assured of continuous pedantic filibustering from the head of the defense panel. 
Of late, Cuevas has leaked the information (now denied) that he has been offered a deal by Malacanan which involved his resignation as head of the defense panel in exchange for the dropping of the extortion case against NBI Director Gatdula who happen to be a co-Iglesia member. As Ted Laguatan said, this is nothing but ego tripping for Cuevas and using dirty tricks that puts Malacanan in a bad light. Cuevas has been irresponsible in this recent ploy of his and the INC higher ups are concerned that they have been dragged in an inadvertent light into the controversy.
In the latest impeachment proceedings, Megaworld head of Marketing Noli Hernandez testifies that the 40% reduction/discount is a justified one because of the expediencies surrounding it. It should not have surprised anyone that the prosecution witness would turn “hostile” because anything that they say which proves that they have given special treatment to the Coronas in the purchase of their property will be inimical to them. Being a seasoned Marketing executive he was quite glib and adroit in his testimony, a fact which did not escape the attention of Senator Osmena. His story of how the 40 % (P10 million) reduction/discount was arrived at seemed stretched and contrived at certain points. The cost reduction from the list price of P24 million of the Bellagio top penthouse to P19 million, a P5million reduction, was due to the fact that it was a water damaged unit (typhoon inflicted). The second, which was purported as a  discount of 15% (a little less than P3 million) was for cash discount. The rest has been explained away as pressure coming from the softness of the market after the global financial crisis which sent the financial giants like Lehman Bros., Merryl Lynch, JP Morgan, et al in dire straits. The testimony of Noli Hernandez gave rise to several questions such as the insuring of the unit at construction stage and the insurance claims, the selling of a damaged unit involving liabilities, the cost of rehabilitating the water damaged unit, the strength of the typhoon (as insinuated by Jinggoy Estrada), the existence of an engineering department’s report. Senator Manny Villar, an expert in the real estate and condominium industry cited that 40% discounts are not exactly unheard of because SMDC (Henry Sy) granted a 40% discount to anyone interested in buying SMDC condos. It of course does not bolster the case of the 40% reduction/discount given to Corona because Megaworld had the offer only to a specific individual and not to all. SMDC must have overestimated what the market can bear with their initial price offers and corrected it by granting the substantial discounts to everyone. Hernandez also offered the reason of market softness due to the financial debacle, however, the annual financial statement belies his claim because the company experienced a very profitable year and there was really no need to bring down prices for their units on sale and the specific penthouse unit sold to Corona. The executives of Megaworld Messrs. Ng and Hernandez were understandably cagey and a bit evasive in their statements. Their allegation that they were separately not aware of information with regard to pricing and financial deals is pure fiction. Anyone who has worked with organizations the size of Megaworld would know that executive committee or management committee members would share an awareness of vital information. If you were to ask Mr. Ng about the prices of their units he would easily rattle them off from the top of his head and Mr Hernandez would surely consult the head of finance for deals involving these amounts, just to cite examples of sharing of information at the top.
I have always said that it is almost a certainty that a man of humble resources and simple perspectives will not be served justice while somebody who has a strong support base of money to afford the best lawyers and media mercenaries; and extensive influence is expected to have the odds in his favour for exoneration.
So where lies the truth? So where’s justice?
De Quiros said in an article that the common Juan finds it difficult to find justice because the system favours the elite and that they are left with no other recourse but to seek justice elsewhere by taking the law into their own hands, later as a fugitive of justice vengefully wreaking havoc to society or as an insurgent joining the NPAs.