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