Lawyers in the Thick of Issues

Have to admit it was a pretty darn fine good idea (I like the overkill of adjectives…) by Manolo Quezon (Manuel L. Quezon III) to have a chat roundtable discussion among bloggers dubbed as the “Blogs of the Round Table.”

I thought the session was from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., but it turned out to be 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. So I was caught using my consultancy office’s dial-up (that really really sucked) instead of my soho’s fantabulous WiFi DSL connection.

The topic was impeachment, whether it is a political or legal process and what the people would have to watch out for.

Present were, of course, MLQ3 as moderator, and four lawyers, La Vida Lawyer, Edwin Lacierda, Sassy and of course, me and The Ca t.

Apart from technical problems (some of my comments keep on getting lost in cyberspace and my constant disconnections), the discussion went pretty well. There were no grandstanding lawyers getting at each other’s throat. Most were in agreement on the issues posited by our moderator. It’s a good thing there were none of those “old” lawyers around to disagree for the sake of disagreement. Impeachment is both a legal and political process and people have to watch out for the legal maneuverings that will be employed by both camps. I personally made an undertaking to explain these legalities as the saga unfolds…

We should have more of these and with more participants. Congratulations, Manolo for a brilliant idea. But as La Vida suggests, why don’t we try podcasting it?

You can read the transcript here.

Also, I was listening to the radio coming home when lo and behold, a dear and respected teacher of mine, Atty. Avelino Sebastian, Jr. was asked to comment on Congressman Pichay’s statement that election fraud is not a ground for impeachment. He confirmed it was true…

“WHAT!?” like a madman I screamed in the car all by myself. The great Atty. Sebastian making an error?

But just as then, he proved to me that he’s still the master and I’m just his padawan apprentice. He said election fraud is evidence of either betrayal of public trust. He made the brilliant distinction between the grounds for impeachment and what it can subsume. The grounds for impeachment are those found in the Constitution (treason, bribery, graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution and other high crimes, etc.). The others may be evidence of these grounds but not grounds for impeachment per se (by itself).

Hence, he was still correct. The ground is betrayal of public trust. Electoral fraud is not a ground for impeachment because it is not one of those the Constitution mentions. It may be evidence of the President’s betrayal of the public trust, though.

To Atty. Sebastian, you have proven again that I’m not worthy…

I’ll just keep on trying…because lawyers will be in the thick of things to come…

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Lawyers in the Thick of Issues

  1. Punzi,

    Not that I am demystifying your Jedi Master but we used to call him Baste. He was my professor in Wills. And whenever one of us would be slow to answer, he would say “Bilisan niyo’t ako’y maglalaba pa.” Those were the pressure laden days of the terror triumvirate, Baste, Geronimo and Tesoro.

  2. MORE POWER, Atty Punzi! Go peer! Kaya pala di ka umiimik dyan ha, quiet ka lang…email kita soon. Busy lang ako talaga kaya di maka-blog-hop masyado. CHEERS!

  3. @Dawin: I was his favorite. He used to call me everyday, every class I attended. So you could just imagine how hard I hard to study Oblicon, Wills and Banking… I don’t think he’s teaching anymore. Ateneo Law School needs him.

    @Marisol: Thanks…

  4. hello punzi,

    you were good during the round table discussion. sana all your comments were successful, no? para mas masaya. kaya lang, ganun talaga ang tech problems, hassle.

    i am proud to have known you, kahit dito lang sa blogworld! keep it up! make your stand. me K ka naman, e.

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