Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


UNCENSORED by Manuel L. Morató

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Joint Investigation

On the issue of a Chinese ship ramming a Filipino fishing boat, in my opinion, it is better to have a joint investigation in order not to drag the hearing on the differences between the two countries concerned.

In a joint investigation, it will be more spontaneous – what one side says, the other side can immediately answer.

On the other hand, if the investigation is held separately, aside from the fact that it can drag the investigation and will foment more misunderstandings and can lead to more animosity, which I think we must not allow; aside from the fact that politics may possibly enter into play giving the media more grounds to “play.”  That we must all avoid for its such a sensitive issue involving two sovereign countries – Philippines and China that should be in good terms with each other rather than let antagonism reign because we are neighbors.  There is really nothing to gain if one side maintains an antagonistic behavior.

The reason I, in my opinion only, favor a joint investigation is to avoid delays as is common in our courts.  If a party is powerful and influential, it can delay a case to his/her favor.  Instead of creating an environment of understanding, the powerful and influential side will delay the hearings to the disadvantage of the other party with no powerful people behind; and if the hearings turn in favor of the weak and disadvantaged, the powerful side will demand to inhibit the presiding Judge.  The case is raffled off again to another Judge.  That causes further delay to arrive at the truth.  In the meantime, the influential side will have time to intimidate the new Judge who won in the raffle.  This is a reality in our country.

This is the pain we with my siblings are going through.  When we filed a case against one who did us wrong, his powerful backers came into play.  We just could not reach the hearing proper where we could present the falsified documents that we have gathered.

I am experiencing this now together with my sisters who are as well suffering from a very painful case in court, in defense of our late mother’s wishes which was turned upside down by one sibling.

Since April of 2018, we filed the case in court in Quezon City more than a year now.  To date, the case has actually not started in the sense that when last January 21, 2019 was set for the trial proper and presentation of documents, the Judge was made to inhibit by the other party.  Where is justice?  There is truth to the saying that “Justice delayed is Justice denied.”

That’s what we are going through now.  The next Judge who is taking over the case since January 2019 has scheduled a hearing for June 26, 2019 at 2 P.M.  Our lawyer went with a representative of our other lawyer to reschedule the hearing as the Judge was not available.  The court opened at 2 P.M. and surprise of all surprises, one of our two lawyers entered to set a new date, but the other party set it already at 1 P.M. before the court opened and chose his preferred date, August 14, not in the presence of our lawyer; and at 1 P.M. when the court was still closed.  Our lawyer resented what happened for the lawyers of both sides were supposed to do the resetting of the hearing, together.  That would have been the first with the new Judge.  But a party of the opposite side was seen going out of the Judge and his Clerk of Court office beside the courtroom as early as 1:30 when the Court was still closed for the hearing was scheduled at 2 P.M.  The other party must have been there at 1 P.M. to finish his mission at 1:30.  That was not nice.  Improper. 

In the meantime, the excavation continues and really coercing and harassing us.  But the real issue here is ownership of the property of our late mother wherein our ancestral home was demolished by a group who our lawyers have proved through documents which the other party submitted in Court, since the start of the case in April 2018, were all found to be spurious and falsified.

How can this case drag on?

This is the same situation our leaders in this country must be careful of in threshing out what exactly happened in the incident that occurred between a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese ship.  It is definitely more fair to have a joint investigation rather than a separate investigation which opens up to more and more intrigues, which could be disadvantageous to one and all.         

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