PCGG, OSG prosecutors a disgrace to legal profession
Former chief justice Artemio Panganiban’s “Fault in dismissal of Marcos wealth cases” (11/24/19) confirms what everyone in the legal profession has known all along. Not only are many judges “for sale” in this country; even more shamelessly so are the prosecutors who make sure “lucrative” cases never see the light of day.
While judges and prosecutors may not be faulted for misreading difficult questions of law and jurisprudence due to often conflicting decisions of the highest court of the land, there is simply no excuse for their blatantly demonstrable ignorance of the basic and elementary rules taught in law school. How did those lawyers ever pass the bar examinations?
Consider this egregious display of sheer stupidity on the part of the supposedly high-caliber lawyers hired (and paid handsomely) by the government’s Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to recover billions of ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses: They only produced “evidence” they ought to know would surely be deemed “inadmissible” and ensure dismissal. Mere photocopies, per se, violate the “best evidence” rule that looks at them as nothing more than worthless scraps of paper.
And the worst part is, it was an issue that could easily be disposed of in just one class recitation in Evidence. Yet, it took the justice system more than 30 years — and at the expense of so much manpower and millions of tax money — to finally put its foot down on such travesty, as observed by letter-writer Grace Po-Quicho (“Colossal bungling,” 11/18/19).
For this irreparable damage to the taxpayers alone, those PCGG and OSG prosecutors should be shown the door and barred from holding public office forever. Nay, they should be disbarred. They are an unmitigated disgrace to public service and the law profession.
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