Dear Kuya D,
Ako po si Stephanie Paa, Nakatanggap po ako ng subpoena na may kaugnayan sa kasong estafa. First time ko po kasi, ano po ang gagawin ko? Nagpapanic na po ako!! (I recevied a subpoena that has something to do with estafa. This is my first time, what should I do? I am in panic!!)
Based on your question, may balak ka pa bang mag-second time? Una, siguraduhin mo muna na pangalan mo nga ang nasa subpoena at baka sa kapitbahay mo lang pala yan. Pero kung pangalan mo nga e huwag nang magpatumpik tumpik pa at sundin ang mga sumusunod na payo:
1) Don’t panic: Andyan na yan so harapin mo nalang. Once you receive a subpoena, you are actually being directed to answer the complaint within ten (10) days from receipt thereof so focus at huwag magmukmuk sa kwarto, otherwise, warrant of arrest ang susunod na kakatok sayo;
2) Don’t procrastinate: Since you are given only ten (10) days, you have to immediately go to a legit lawyer-batchmate, lawyer-neighbor, lawyer-friend, lawyer-suitor, retained lawyer or any kind of lawyer whom you think can help you. Warning lang, never go to a lawyer-lawyeran or a person who gives advise based on the many cases that he faced as an accused. Ang daming clients who only approached a lawyer on the last minute dahil inuna nila ang pagtatanong sa kanilang mga kaibigan na nagkaroon din ng kaso noon. Kulang nalang e sa bolang crystal sila mag-consult.
3) Follow the advise of your trusted lawyer. Kapag pumunta ka na sa abogado, he will usually advise you whether it is sound to submit a counter-affidavit or just wait for the case to be elevated in court para doon nalang sagutin. Case to case basis yan. Please take note na hindi porket sinabi ng abogado mo na huwag na mag-submit ng counter–affidavit e tinatamad ang abogado, or in the case of private lawyers, hindi porket sinabi nilang mag-submit ng counter –affidavit e mukhang legal fees na sila. Sabi ko nga, lumapit kayo sa abogado na dapat wala kayong trust issues dahil hindi healthy na pinagdududahan niyo ang isa’t isa.
4) Wait and pray. After submitting your counter-affidavit or after deciding not to submit one, wait mo nalang yung resolution ng prosecutor kung dismissed ba yung na-file sayo or naka-hanap ng probable cause kaya i-aakyat siya sa korte. Kapag naakyat na siya sa korte, dun nalang kayo magpakitaan ng ebidensiya.
5) Don’t expect your lawyer to do magic. For many, they hire or go to a lawyer expecting that the lawyer will give them 100% assurance na panalo sila sa kaso. It does not work that way. Lawyers and judges only rely on the evidence at hand. Pero kung madilim ang gilagid mo at gumawa ka ng kung ano anong ebidensiya para lang malusutan ang kaso mo e bahala na kayo ng abogado mo sa buhay niyo because both of you are opening yourselves to criminal liability.
The point is, never ever ignore a subpoena. Instead, immediately visit a private law office or the Public Attorneys Office nearest to you if you are qualified for their services.
This legal opinion is based solely on the question that you asked. The legal remedies may vary if there are additional facts.
Note: This is a 3 year-old post, this blog is no longer answering legal questions due to the lawyer’s heavy workload and to avoid conflict of interest in cases where the inquiry is coming from a non-indigent individual.