ALAM's EASTER SUNDAY WITH BARRIO FOLK OF BULACAN

ALAM's EASTER SUNDAY
WITH BARRIO FOLK OF BULACAN

ALAM president Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing speaks to barangay officials and residents of Barangay Sumapang Bata, Malolos City as his way of celebrating Easter Sunday.


ALAM's EASTER SUNDAY
WITH BARRIO FOLK OF BULACAN


Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing, president of Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM), which has filed an application with the Comelec hoping to be granted registration as a political partylist, virtually celebrated Easter Sunday with residents of Barangay Sumapang Bata in Malolos City.

This visit was arranged to talk to residents there for them to know the real score on a land case where the farms, establishments and houses of these residents are situated. 

At the same time, Causing conducted a brief legal clinic to make them knowledgeable on laws about land ownerships.

Causing lectures as farmers and other residents listen.
"I always have that altruistic feeling whenever I teach ordinary people some laws they need most," said Causing, who is also the legal counsel of the National Press Club.

Grateful residents treated Causing, his mother Marianita Catolico Cataluña Causing, his staffers Elmer Rodriguez and Ronelo Cesumision to an Easter Dinner with savorozo pansit and fresh fried catfish.

Mario Chiong Bernardo, a client of Causing, who is a lawyer, won his case before the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, where it is pronounced that he is the legitimate lone heir of Jose Chiong, the owner of a vast tract of lands in Malolos.  The "fake heirs" as ruled by the RTC filed their motion for reconsideration from the decision but it was denied.  Now, these pretenders appealed to the Court of Appeals that is set anytime to hand out its verdict that Causing and Bernardo expect to be favorable to the RTC decision.

Before the decision of the RTC, these residents were paying their rents or tenancy share to the fake owners.  After the coming out of this ruling, these residents were gracious enough to deposit their payments in the bank in favor of whoever finally wins the case.

Causing sought the prayers of these residents in order for the RTC victory be upheld by the Court of Appeals and eventually by the Supreme Court. 

"There are two things in the word: those that we can control that we can do our best to get the best results; and those that we cannot control but we can get a chance to make it happen in your favor if God wills it.  So that everything still rests in the Hands of the Great Divine," Causing passionately told the residents.

Causing, who is fondly called by his colleagues and friends in the media and law practice, simplified the issue of the said case, as merely a question of who between Mario Chiong Bernardo and his opponents are the real heirs.

"My client has presented documents to prove his heredity to Jose Chiong, who is the father of his mother, as proven by the 'lapidas' found in the Malolos Barasoain Church, the birth certificate and baptismal certificates of her mother showing her as a daughter of Jose Chiong, her marriage certificate, Mario Chiong Bernardo's birth certificate and others.  The other party has never presented any documentary evidence, only testimonial claims that were debunked by the RTC," Causing made it clear to the residents, farmers and establishment owners.

Causing also assured the farmers and establishment owners that once the victory of his client will be sealed with finality, he had already convinced his client that these farmers and other residents will be given the benefit because Mario Chiong Bernardo will sell the lands they possessed for a very cheap price so that they can own them legally.

 To this, the residents, farmers and establishment owners saw big hope.

After this, however, Causing talked about his partylist organization, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM), and sought their help to be members of the group.


True Press & People's Justice System lectures


He lectured to them that the party has two main agenda: (a) True Press Freedom; and (b) People's Justice System.

He told them that the true press being advocated by partylist group ALAM or Alab ng Mamamahayag is one where there is no more imprisonment for any published reports that may contain defamation and where the violators of press freedom shall be imprisoned.

Causing stressed, however, that there is a need to protect the gains of press freedom and this can be done only if there is a very effective and efficient justice system and this can be provided by the People's Justice System.

Causing, who is also the president of Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement, Inc. (HMMI), explained to the farmers, establishment owners and other residents that the People's Justice System ALAM is proposing is composed of two bodies.

The first body refers to the body that decides who among the persons arrested or being charged with crimes are to be hailed to court. 

This first body assures fairness that there will be no fabricated charges that would slip against the innocent and at the same time assures that when there are pieces of evidence against anybody that anybody will be hailed for trial even if that anybody is a rich person or is an influential politician or even if the one being charged is a governor or congressman or senator.

At least 23 persons shall be appointed to the first body that may be known as the Investigation Jury to be chosen by raffle from the voters' list and by interviews to trim down the raffled number of persons.  They shall serve for six (6) months and their names and faces shall be kept secret from the public to ensure their independence.  After their term ends, another batch of 23 will take the place and the next batches shall take over every six months thereafter.

The second body is the Trial Jury that shall be formed whenever a trial is necessary because the accused hailed by the Investigation Jury pleaded "not guilty."

The trial jurors of 12 persons shall be chosen for every trial in the same manner as the first body of jury. 

The trial jurors shall serve until the daily trial is completed. 

Depending upon the dangers to life and limb of jurors and their families or possible corruption attempts, the trial jurors shall be kept in a secret place until the trial is completed and they have decided on their verdict.

By this manner, ALAM told the residents and farmers that there will be very slim possibility that the accused may manipulate the decision of guilt or innocence.

The residents responded positively so that the ALAM president distributed membership forms of ALAM.

On pork barrel of P70 million a year for each seat of ALAM partylist, Causing said that the party has already programmed a trust fund for emergency hospital needs of the members of the party, which shall pay for cases of life-and-death situations.

He also said a trust fund would also be set up for ALAM members for their insurance benefits that whenever he or she dies there will at least be something to be left for the family, including expenses for burial.

He also said that a part of the pork barrel shall be for the scholarships for all the members' children.

ALAM will also set up a trust fund for libel cases of all journalists in the country, for bail bonds and their private lawyers accredited by the party.

ALAM president Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing and his mother, Marianita Catolico Cataluña-Causing before leaving for Barangay Sumapang Bata in Malolos City.


The large tract of rice land belonging to Mario Chiong Bernardo, client of ALAM president.

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