Celebrity atty, author Sta. Maria warns VP Leni of SC's tendency to rule in favor of Marcoses


BY MELENCIO SANTA MARIA. Melencio Santos Sta. Maria, Jr. known as Atty. Mel Sta. Maria is a Filipino lawyer, broadcaster, professor in Ateneo Law School and dean of Far Eastern University Institute of Law since November 2013 replacing Andres D. Bautista. He is also a legal expert for Relasyon along with News5 head Luchi Cruz-Valdes on DWFM and AksyonTV, as well in Solved na Solved with Gelli de Belen and Arnell Ignacio on TV5. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melencio_Santa_Maria) His book on Persons and Family Relations is available in fine bookstores nationwide. (http://www.rexestore.com/person-and-family-relations/325-persons-and-family-relations-law.html)
Atty. Sta. Maria posted on Facebook: [Quote] In the Senate Press release of June 11, 2016, Bongbong Marcos was quoted as saying "I will eventually take my seat that is being kept warm for me." It was said after the Filipino people voted Leni Robredo as the duly elected Vice President of the Philippines. Now, he is turning to a group of appointed people or majority of them "in robes" ( not the sovereign people) in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to eventually give him that seat.

We must remember also that when President Duterte made his state visit to China in October 2016, the defeated Bongbong Marcos was with him. And in one event, President Duterte introduced him in a very special way "kung manalo siya sa protest niya, baka bago ang ating bise presidente." Also, it has widely been reported that the Duterte Administration is inclined to abolish the PCGG,the government agency tasked with "the recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in the Philippines or abroad." (Executive Order No. 1, 1986). As reported, so far the PCGG has recovered at least P170,000,000,000 of ill gotten wealth and is still trying to recover more.

The regime of Ferdinand Marcos victimized so many by "summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations." These were committed "covering the period from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986". ( Republic Act No. 10368)

Significantly, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, is composed of Supreme Court (SC) justices.

We must remember that majority of the members of the SC favorably voted for the burial of the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The Supreme Court( or majority of them) also favorably granted the motion to dismiss of Imee Marcos in relation to the recognition case of a foreign Judgment which ordered the granting of damages against Imee Marcos ( among others) for the wrongful death of Archimedes Trajano ( G.R. No. 130974).

Also, the Supreme Court (or majority members) also favorably acquitted Imelda Marcos of graft and corruption in relation to the LRTA and Philippine General Hospital Foundation contract of lease.

And now another Marcos case is to be decided -- one which will make Bongbong Marcos the Vice President. Should the Filipino people be anxious? I am. [Unquote]

Atty. Sta. Maria's comments remind us of Pobre v. Santiago. In part, in that case, the Supreme Court held:

"[I]f the people lose their confidence in the honesty and integrity of this Court and believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they might be driven to take the law into their own hands, and disorder and perhaps chaos would be the result.

No lawyer who has taken an oath to maintain the respect due to the courts should be allowed to erode the people’s faith in the judiciary. In this case, the lady senator clearly violated Canon 8, Rule 8.01 and Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which respectively provide:

Canon 8, Rule 8.01.––A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.

Canon 11.––A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to the judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.

Senator/Atty. Santiago is a cut higher than most lawyers. Her achievements speak for themselves. She was a former Regional Trial Court judge, a law professor, an oft-cited authority on constitutional and international law, an author of numerous law textbooks, and an elected senator of the land. Needless to stress, Senator Santiago, as a member of the Bar and officer of the court, like any other, is duty-bound to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court and to maintain the respect due its members. Lawyers in public service are keepers of public faith and are burdened with the higher degree of social responsibility, perhaps higher than their brethren in private practice. Senator Santiago should have known, as any perceptive individual, the impact her statements would make on the people’s faith in the integrity of the courts." (A.C. No. 7399; August 25, 2009)

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