Delicadeza dictates Cuevas to stop lawyering for CJ Corona
Delicadeza dictates Cuevas
to stop lawyering for CJ Corona
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
Editor-in-chief, Dyaryo Magdalo
Lawyers always have "palusot" as a tradition.
Yes, Republic Act 910 explicitly states only about CIVIL, CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS where a Supreme Court justice who retired cannot stand as the counsel against the interest of the government.
The same law also states a prohibition for a retired justice to appear in administrative proceedings. But the prohibition is limited only to the prohibition to receive a fee or payment for appearing as a lawyer of the person accused in administrative proceedings. To be clear, a retired justice can appear as the lawyer of public official accused in an administrative case.
For the layman to understand, an administrative case is one where the purpose is to know whether the person so accused should be punished by suspension or removal from employment or censure or reprimand. Meaning, the issues here involved only violations or accusations of violations with respect to the duties and responsibilities covered by the job or employment.
Now, SINCE THERE IS NO CLEAR CLASSIFICATION AS TO HOW AN IMPEACHMENT CASE CAN BE CLASSIFIED BECAUSE OF ITS NATURE AS BOTH AFFECTED POLITICALLY AND JUDICIALLY WITH RESPECT TO THE DECISION OR JUDGMENT, FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SERAFIN CUEVAS IS DEFINITELY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT TO SAY THAT SINCE IMPEACHMENT CASE IS NOT INCLUDED AND CANNOT BE CLEARLY CLASSIFIED AS EITHER CRIMINAL, CIVIL OR ADMINISTRATIVE HE CANNOT BE COVERED BY THE PROHIBITION.
Another sad fact is that this law (RA 910) does not provide any sanction or punishment for any violation.
But if you would ask me whether this law applies to prohibit Cuevas, I would answer: “YES, HE IS PROHIBITED TO APPEAR IN THE IMPEACHMENT CASE OF CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA.”
My justification rests on the fact that all the prohibitions are based on the theory that a retired justice like him cannot be a lawyer against the government so that this covers also cases where the government is the adverse party.
By standing for CJ Corona there is no question that Cuevas stands as a lawyer going against the government. This is so because the government is just an agent of the people. Now, it is the House of Representatives that stands as the accuser of Corona. But that act of standing as the accuser was an act in compliance with the command of the People of the Philippines in the Constitution for the House of Representatives to file an impeachment complaint whenever any impeachable officer commits acts of betrayal of public trust.
Hence, it necessarily follows that Cuevas is lawyering against the government.
With that established and even if there is an allowance for him to appear as a lawyer in an administrative case, delicadeza dictates Cuevas not to stand as a counsel of Corona.