My husband, a veritable news buff, was scanning the dailies on the internet this morning, when he let out a loud whoop and yelled at me to come pronto. I was running late and wasn’t inclined to stop just to read some web article, but he insisted that it could not wait. It turned out that he had come across the full text of an Order issued by Manila RTC Judge Jorge Emmanuel Lorredo in the controversial perjury case filed by Mike Defensor against Jun Lozada.
The first sentence is innocuous enough. But as the lengthy Order went on, I became more and more dubious about the judge’s state of mind.
In his Order, the judge: a) cites “news reports” of Senators’ intentions; b) manifests partiality for the Catholic priests and nuns; c) encourages the amicable settlement of a criminal case (there is no mention that only the civil aspect will be settled); d) makes extraneous statements about Defensor’s political career and dire predictions about his and his family’s health; e) renders several opinions about many other external characters’ healths and lives as well, as if he was scriptwriting a telenovela; f) projects a bias towards Lozada solely by reason of his being protected by priests and nuns and other people; g) anticipates motions and makes predictive rulings on such conjured motions without qualification as to the grounds therefor; h) resorts to name-calling, e.g., “Mr. Railroadman”; i) invokes the blockbuster possibility of calling Mayor Fred Lim and Senator Ping Lacson and (gasp!) “Sen. Trillanes and his comrades” to battle against the PSG; and then, j) ends his Order by praying that he “may be elevated from a Judge to a Justice” in order to please his parents.
Whatever this judge’s motives are — he may simply wish to be forced to inhibit or he may look to claim his fifteen minutes of infamy– I’m wanting to swoon. While some of the personalities that he mentioned may be highly unpopular, still, the Order is shameful, dimwitted and malicious. At the very least, this judge’s ultimate prayer should be DENIED WITH FINALITY.
Read it to believe. Here is the full text of the Order as reprinted in Ellen Tordesillas’ column in Malaya:
“Accused having been arrested, his arraignment is set to May 7, 2009 at 8:30 in the morning.
In view of the pendency of a motion filed by a priest and a nun involving the custody of accused, and in view of news reports that the Senators would also be filing a motion praying for the custody of accused in the Senate, the resolution of the request for commitment order filed by the police is held in abeyance. All these request/motions shall be heard by this Court on Friday, May 8, 2009, at 8:30 a.m.
Catholic priests and nuns as well as the members/leaders of other religious groups are welcome on said date to participate in the court’s morning prayer before the start of court session. The Supreme Court encourages judges to start court sessions with a prayer.
As I have said during the hearing of accused’s motion for release on recognizance which, by the way, I promptly denied, Mike Defensor should have been there so that I could help him and accused settle their differences. After all, the Supreme Court encourages trial judges to help parties arrive at an amicable settlement.
My words designed to penetrate Defensor’s mind and heart will be many. If I say it orally on May 7, 2009, it will consume too much time to the detriment of the other parties whose cases are also set for said date.
Hence, I have decided to include those words in this order for Defensor to ponder on. I hope that Defensor would be able to clearly so that on May 7, 2009 (accused’s arraignment), there could already be peace between him and Lozada.
Why is it safer for Defensor to settle the case?
Defensor has admitted on TV that this perjury case he is pursuing against Lozada is very bad for his political career. I fully agree with him.
Furthermore, I say that it may be very bad for his health and his family as well. If he gets sick like Mike Arroyo, would not that be bad for him and his family?
The presidents that I have known are only Presidents Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo.
My observation is that of all the presidential spouses, Atty. Mike Arroyo is the one who is very sickly. He has a serious heart disease. He even tries to make us believe that he is in no condition to attend Senate probes.
Imelda was strong during Marcos’ incumbency. Aquino, of course, was a widow during her term. Ming was so healthy and strong during Fidel’s time; and even after Fidel’s term, she was even the president of the Philippine Badminton Association. Dra. Loi was also very strong during Erap’s rather abruptly ended service.
There are those who say that the serious heart disease is some kind of punishment for Atty. Mike Arroyo. I do not know if this is true, for I do not really know how our Lord works, for He does work in mysterious ways. But what I do know is that Lozada is being protected by the Church, by the priests and nuns. That must mean something. Defensor, take note: that must mean something.
I invite Defensor to look closely at the faces of the priests and nuns protecting Lozada; at the faces of the other people openly voicing their support for Lozada. They are guarding Lozada so closely for they feel that what he says is the truth and they fear that the Arroyo administration might harm him because of his expose. That is why his custody during this trial in my court is such a big issue for those who support him.
Now, why are all these so important for Defensor to ponder on? “Simple: if it is true that Mike Arroyo is being punished, Defensor may also be punished with some serious disease. I am sure his loved ones do not want that to happen to him.
But has Defensor not already been punished in some ways? He lost in the last senatorial race because he was perceived to be protecting the first couple during the NBN ZTE deal hearings; because he was perceived to be trying his best to make Lozada stop talking. He used to be presidential chief of staff, now he just has old, dilapidated, rusty trains to play with. At least some of the trains still run. Is Defensor suffering from some kind of political suicidal tendency that he is seeing to it that he will forever be hated by the people and not win in any election at all?
Defensor, on May 7, 2009, when I arraign your enemy, Lozada, you shall have the unique opportunity for cleansing, for healing, for regaining public sympathy. The Court suggests that you do what is right for your sake, for your kids’ sake, for your wife’s sake. I have not talked to Mrs. Defensor, but as an experienced trial judge who deals with human emotions and passions everyday in my courtroom, I am sure that Mrs. Defensor wants peace and good health for you.
Why this case is not to the best interest of the First Couple
Since Defensor is not a trial lawyer, he apparently has not seen the very explosive potential of this case: the First Couple (Gloria and Mike Arroyo) may validly and legally be dragged into the proceedings by Lozada’s defense team. All that the defense team has to do is invoke certain provisions of the Rules of Court. As a fair and impartial judge, I shall have no reason not to grant such request.
It is true that evil, cruel and vindictive regimes can use the law to make their enemies suffer, but it is that very same set of laws that can enable the oppressed (to) fight back. Such is the beauty of the law: that is why many have fallen in love with the law and have become lawyers or judges. As a child, I have dreamed of one day becoming a judge, to apply the law not to destroy lives, but to make lives better. Now, I am in that position, with the help of God. I dispense justice everyday with the aid and guidance I always seek from our Lord.
When this case goes to trial, I will of course allow the prosecution every opportunity to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
When it is the turn of the defense to present evidence, I will also allow the defense every opportunity to raise reasonable doubt or to destroy each and every element of the felony of perjury.
And if there is a motion to present President Gloria or First Gentleman Mike Arroyo as hostile witnesses in order for accused Lozada to establish, I will not hesitate to issue the corresponding subpoena compelling the First Couple to testify as hostile witness for the defense.
If Gloria and Mike refuse to obey the subpoena, I will not hesitate to issue the warrants of arrest against them because it is the constitutional right of Lozada to have the best possible defense. And it is my duty as trial judge to see to it that there is due process in my court.
If the police officers refuse to serve the arrest warrants because Gloria is their boss, then I will be forced to deputize other public officers to serve and implement the arrest warrants.
I need not search hard nor should I wait long, for Manila Mayor Lim and the many senators who wish to take Lozada into their custody may move that they be deputized. Some of these people are lawyers, some of them have extensive police experience, like Mayor Fred Lim and Senator Ping Lacson. They can arrest, handcuff and put behind bars any fugitive.
They are no match against the PSG, the Presidential Security Group? What if Sen. Trillanes and his comrades join the mission to arrest? Get the picture, Mr. Railroadman Defensor?
Defensor, just imagine how powerful a message that would (be) for our people and for the whole world. And just imagine how that would affect the first couple.
I now suggest to Mike Defensor not to think only of himself in his perjury case. The welfare of the First Couple is also involved, as discussed above.
I invite everyone who may come across this order to pray for both Defensor and Lozada, so there may be peace between them.
Please pray also for me, so that I may always be a good, humble, God-fearing and very wise Judge to those who seek justice in my courtroom; and so that I may be elevated from a Judge to a Justice (even though I do not have any political backers) for that would surely make my late father, Jorge Lorredo Jr. (who is now with Jesus in heaven watching me with a smile on his face) and my mother, Mary Lorredo, very proud of their only child.