I do not know what happens next from this murder attempt against my client, provincial newspaperman Jaime Aquino.

It is now revealed that Jaime told me that at first he was courted by the camp of Hernani Braganza to stand as a propagandist against then incumbent Pangasinan governor Amado T. Espino Jr. 

When Jaime refused, he did not have any idea what would happen next. 

Then, Jaime was surprised to learn that the camp of Braganza got Jaime's 16-yeara-old son, Jestin, to sign a very long Sinumpaang Salaysay where it is stated that the son was with Jaime attending at least three meetings with Espino and Pangasinan 1st District Congressman Jesus "Boying" Celeste where three murder plots where discussed.

The Sinumpaang Salaysay stated that a meeting was held in November 2011 at the Provincial Capitol of Zambales in Iba town and Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane was present.  In this meeting, the Salaysay said that Espino and Celeste discussed with Ebdane in the presence of Jaime and his son that the then Infanta, Pangasinan Mayor Ruperto Martinez must be killed.  The Salaysay also said that the same discussion was continued at El Pescador Resort and Hotel in Bolinao, Pangasinan.  MORE THAN ONE YEAR LATER, or on Dec. 15, 2012, Martinez was shot dead inside the compound of his house in Infanta.

The same Salaysay stated that Jestin was also present in 2006, when he was about 9 years old, when the governor and Celeste discussed how to kill Bayambang town councilor Nato Sabangan.

The same Salaysay said that the minor was also present in May 2012 when the governor and the congressman discussed with Engineer Mencias (father of then Alcala town Vice-Mayor Ray Paolo Mencias who was the opponent of Braganza’s candidate in the mayoral contest in that town) how to kill barangay kagawad Jovencita Gazmin.

What shocked Jaime the most was that he was being charged along with Espino and Celeste for the murder committed against Martinez.

Jaime's mind revolted, asking: Why did they believe in these false stories and why did they not file murder charges relating to the murders of Sabangan and Gazmin.

Jaime’s points are: (1) no father would ever bring a minor son to a meeting where the topic is how to kill another person; and (2) the claim in the Salaysay that Jestin graduated valedictorian of Mapandan Elementary School is belied by the school principal’s certification that the valedictorian was another kid and that Jestin got a general average grade of only 82.05%.

Of course, there were other clear evidence to see clearly that the Salaysay is false and was made to be signed by Jestin by taking advantage of his minority and vulnerability to promises of rewards.

As his lawyer, we exhausted remedies. We filed a petition for the writ of amparo and the Supreme Court granted the petition and directed the Court of Appeals to hear the petition to determine whether there were threats to life, security and liberty of the son.  The Court of Appeals heard the same but it did not believe in our pleas.  Nevertheless, we filed a motion for reconsideration. 

We also filed a damage suit against the NBI chief, the DOJ secretary, a DSWD-NCR official, and other persons for conspiring to cause the minor execute the false Sinumpaang Salaysay, file the same as regular preliminary investigation for the murder of Martinez despite the obvious that the same Salaysay is unsupported by evidence, and causing the threats to life, security and liberty of the minor and the parents. 

We also filed our defenses against the murder charge and the child abuse case the DSWD filed against Jaime.

In our motion for reconsideration with the CA, we pointed out that the threats to life, security and liberty not only of Jestin but also of Jaime's. 

A couple of days after the filing of the same motion, Jaime was shot by three person on a motorcycle at a waiting shed in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.  Jaime was reported to have sensed the attack and he attempted to run to his car but was hit in the process.  Jaime was rushed to Villaflor Hospital in Dagupan City.  Two days ago, the hospital bills ran to more than P200,000 and we do not know where to get the money to pay for his hospitalization.

Yesterday, the PNP reported it arrested two persons as suspects in shooting Jaime.

We have been watching every development with bated breath. What fatal event would happen next?

Our answer has always been: "We do not know."

What we know are three things only.

First, we try our damned best to detect any coming threat. 

Second, if death comes, so be it.  It will happen if it happens.

Third, we will file cases if we would be lucky to survive.

At any rate, I do not discount the possibility that the lawyer will be in the hit list. 
But I beg understanding that I am only doing my professional work of defending the client and nothing more. 

Besides, I am only another ordinary lawyer who has "no bullet proof," as my sister Yogi told me as she wanted me to withdraw from the case to save my life.

I told her, this is a professional commitment in compliance with the true meaning of legal ethics.  If my fate made me a lawyer, let my fate decide what would happen to this lawyer.
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