AMALAYER – ONE CASE OFF THE COURT DOCKETS.

Note: This article has been migrated from my other website.  I decided to transfer all the articles here before it shuts down.  Read on.

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amalayer1As a public attorney, we help de-clog court dockets by conducting a pre-litigation conference, during which we play the role of a mediator and enlighten both parties of their rights and obligations.  The conference aims to explore possible remedies for the parties to avoid going through the hassle and inconvenience of court proceedings.

As advocates of fairness and equality, we become instant pastors by trying to convince the parties to forgive and start anew.

Let me walk you through a scenario upon the termination of a pre-litigation conference. Some of our clients, after venting and realizing the benefits of offering forgiveness, walk out of our office with a brighter perspective about life.  The forgiven party on the other hand, if wise enough, upon realizing that he was given a second chance will now be extra careful and consider the repercussions of his future actions.  The public attorney, after successfully convincing each party will take a deep breath, sit back, sip his coffee and say that “this is one of the best days ever”.

However, the above scenario more often than not is a product of wishful thinking. There are still many who decide to pursue their case even if it is not worth fighting for.  But mind you, after experiencing a full-blown trial, they would have regretted not forgiving on the outset.  But again, not all cases are the same.  There are still those that necessitate a court battle and per experience this usually happens when the accused in criminal cases is not remorseful.

After watching “Maalaala Mo Kaya”, which featured the life of Paula Jamie Salvosa, the girl who became famous because of her viral video “amalayer”. I Googled her name and found out that she is now a full-time campus minister.  I also read a statement where she said: “Maayos na lahat.  Nakahanda na yung ebidensiya.  Kakasuhan ko sila, because I want to be vindicated.  Pero hindi ko tinuloy, because I got the best lawyer, and that is God.”  Her decision meant one case off the court dockets.

Because Salvosa forgave the person who uploaded the “amalayer” video, I consider her as an ideal client for a public attorney who is swamped with paper works, jail visits, court appearances and client calls.  But more than that, I see her as an example of a person who experienced the beauty and freedom of being forgiven and being able to forgive.

The “amalayer” incident would have been the igniting point for several cases to be filed by the people involved but Salvosa, instead, chose to learn a lesson from it and resolved to settle the matter in her heart, extra-judicially.

I would like to reiterate that one of the most effective methods to de-clog our court dockets is the offering of forgiveness or the asking for it.  I am saying this, not only because of Salvosa’s story, but because I have experienced it.

Just recently, my wife and I could have filed a case against someone for grave oral defamation, but the bigger person in us decided not to.  Besides, we’d better focus in our work and advocacies rather than sow hatred in our hearts.  Again, just like the “amalayer” incident, that is one case off the court dockets!

Indeed, ang buhay ay parang gulong. Some days we are up and some days we are down. There will certainly come a time that we will need to receive someone else’s forgiveness.  Realizing that, I want to say that if it is in our hands to forgive then we’d better.

The next time you feel like suing someone, and especially if it is just for the sake of it, think again.  Forgive, because that will be one case off the court dockets!

Note: This article was published in The Baguio Midland Courier on August 3, 2014.

BAGUIO EVENT: ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN VISITS BAGUIO CITY JUSTICE HALL AND HOW I DEALT WITH THE LIMELIGHT

April 15, 2015 – It was supposed to be an ordinary busy day at the Baguio City Justice Hall and as part of my routine, I have to go up and down the stairways of the “bulwagan”, greet colleagues, attend to clients, shake hands, throw a quick smile and wave here and there.

As a model (in its showbiz sense) Public Attorney, I see to it that I play the part very very well. From my court hearing, I was about to get some records from the office when suddenly, yes, it was very abrupt, I saw someone familiar. It was my good friend (disclaimer: he knows that he is good, but he doesn’t know that I am his friend) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen – in the flesh. Thus, my normal schedule went haywire! (To our valued taxpayers, I assure you that no Public Attorney duties were neglected during this time)

selfie with justice
Justice was busy talking to my other friends so we first decided to have a group selfie which he unintentionally photobombed. Kainis.

People in Baguio love “Justice Marvic”, as I fondly call him (as if), because just like me, he grew up here in the City of Pines. In fact, he graduated valedictorian from Saint Louis University – Boy’s High School. What makes me prouder is that he is the youngest to hold the Associate Justice position since Manuel V. Moran in 1938. I think I already said enough about my friend.  Let me just share to you some of the pictures taken during Justice Marvic’s surprise visit to me (I was surprised, really surprised) at Baguio City Justice Hall. To prove that we really are friends and that I am rubbing elbows with Justice Mavic, Here is a pic. FIRST PIC WITH JUSTICE Justice Mavic, however noticed that there was a space between us so he requested for another shot.  He asked if we could also do jump shot but I reminded him that we are in the justice hall.  Here is the second pic:

SECOND PIC WITH JUSTICE
This one is close to perfect because the gap between us has been bridged (parang ngipin lang?). I was wanting to rub elbows with him but the shoulders will do. Caption: Atty. Dexter Duclan Diwas with Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, friends – for life.

After our pictures were taken, the who’s who of the Baguio City Justice Hall gathered around us:

GROUP PIC
From left to right: Clerk of Court VI & Ex-Officio Sheriff, RTC, of Baguio City Atty. Linda G. Montes –Loloy, Judge Ma. Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera, Judge Jeanylene T. Isip-Fukai, Judge Mona Lisa T. Tabora, Judge Glenda T. Ortiz-Soriano, my friend Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Atty. Dexter D. Diwas, Atty. Althea Rosanna V. Alberto, Atty. Clifford Chan, Lawyer-in-the-making Ms. Marnelli A. Bejar.

If you observe the pic above, parang may balak si Atty. Linda na i-crop ang kanyang picture at kakaiba ang posing niya.  Si Ms. Marnelli naman, kahit hindi mo ipagsiksikan ang sarili mo diyan e hagip ka parin ng camera so okay din kung nagrelax ka, tignan mo kami, mukhang alta. After the picture taking, I sensed that I achieved an instant celebrity status. People from different walks of life started to request a photo with me and forgot about Justice Marvic. Here are the photos:

JUDGE G, DEAN BARLIS, JUDGE ISIP FUKAI
While waiting for me, my official photographer took a photo of Judge Glenda T. Ortiz-Soriano, SLU School of Law Dean Atty. Jason Barlis, and Judge Jeanylene T. Isip-Fukai. With their smiles, it shows how excited they are for my arrival.

Finally, I arrived after a few minutes for the photo shoot:

JUDGE G, DEXTER, DEAN JAYSON
with Judge Glenda T. Ortiz-Soriano who looks stunning with her pearl necklace and Dean Jason Barlis with his pearly white teeth.
SOLO PIC WITH JUDGE JEN
with IBP Baguio-Benguet Chapter First Lady, Judge Jeanylene T. Isip-Fukai.
WITH JUDGE DEBBIE G. DULAY-DEL VAL
with the ever powerful and passionate Judge Debbie G. Dulay-Del Val.
SOLO PIC WITH DEAN JAYSON
with the SLU School of Law Dean Atty. Jason Barlis who now looks like Coco Martin from this angle.
WITH ATTY. JULIET F. TOMA-AC-CAMUYOT, ATTY. IMMANUEL B. AWISAN AND PAO LAWYER OF THE YEAR IN THE CITY OF BAGUIO ATTY. DAISY G. PADOLINA-LIMOS
After work photos with the Family Court Public Attorney, ATTY. JULIET F. TOMA-AC-CAMUYOT, Drugs Court Public Attorney, ATTY. IMMANUEL B. AWISAN and Midland PAO LAWYER OF THE YEAR 2014, ATTY. DAISY G. PADOLINA-LIMOS.
WITH ZANNY RYAN L. QUIROZ, IBP DIRECTOR ATTY. FRANCIS WILLIAM M. ESPINOLA AND ATTY. ANA CRISTINA N. CAWED
with ZANNY RYAN L. QUIROZ, IBP DIRECTOR ATTY. FRANCIS WILLIAM M. ESPINOLA AND ATTY. ANA CRISTINA N. CAWED. Behind us is Atty. Cawed’s Montero named Blackie.  They patiently waited for me outside the justice hall for a photo.
WITH ATTY. RUBIE LORRAINE B. LICTAO AND ATTY. LOUELLA B. NAVARRO
with ATTY. RUBIE LORRAINE B. LICTAO AND ATTY. LOUELLA B. NAVARRO. Wala po kaming madilim na binabalak, sadyang kulang lang ito sa lighting effects.
WITH DEPUTY PUBLIC ATTORNEY OF TUBA BENGUET, ATTY. EDUARD H. RILLORTA
with DISTRICT PUBLIC ATTORNEY OF TUBA BENGUET, ATTY. EDUARD H. RILLORTA. He was my teacher before, and now a boss and a fan. He visited all the way from Tuba, Benguet for this precious photo. “wink wink”
ELMER G. SAYAN, ADMIN BOSS AT PAO OFFICE
with Sir ELMER G. SAYAN of the Public Attorney’s Office. Di ko sana i-pi-post ito kasi ginagaya niya posing ko but what can i do, nandyan na yan.
WITH RONALD %22BROWNIE%22 FROM THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE
with Boss Ronald from the Prosecutor’s Office, also known as Kuya Brownie. I asked him if he was a fan before I agreed for a photo. He said yes, so we agreed to reduce it into writing.
WITH THE SHY SECURITY GUARD OF BAGUIO CITY JUSTICE HALL
The Security Guard who has no idea that he is a fan.

I could not post all the photos but believe you me, there is more! After my Justice Hall appearances, I decided to just retreat to my office and take a photo with myself, just me.  Alone, no crowd, away from the limelight and no media.  I needed some time to internalize what just happened.

DEXTER DIWAS ALONE IN THE OFFICE
with myself.

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Anyways, until my next article.  Who knows, it might be the Chief Justice visiting next time! 🙂