When I was working in my Makati law office quite a few years ago, a couple of our paralegals were talking to each other on how their days went…
Said one (the Visayan) paralegal, “I’m so tired, I just got from the D-O-G…”
The other one (the Tagalog) replied, “Huh? Where?”
“Where is this located?” inquired by the Tagalog paralegal again.
“In Manila, near the Supreme Court Padre Faura.”
“Ah, D-O-J! Department of Justice…”
This joke is not funny anymore to me because this is exactly what this Department is turning out to be. Its pronoucements and threats of prosecution have produced a chilling effect of people who want to tell the truth. In my book, that’s infringing on the freedom of the press and the people’s freedom of speech. And believe me, we don’t want to go that path again. This Department has even threatened people in possession of the questioned audio clips with violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, something released by the government it serves in the first place.
It’s getting to be too pro-active for its own good. People are intelligent enough to discern truth from fabrication. Its actions now arouse more suspicion of a cover-up or a whitewash…and has become counterproductive.
I say if people are offended by today’s allegations and pronouncement(s), let them file the cases with this Department first. This Department should never threaten people with suits directly.
Please! Keep this Department on a leash. Please!