Bunye: More questions than answers in the SC ruling

THE results of the Bar examinations given last November are expected to be released any day soon this month.

A bar candidate -- Atty. Not-Yet -- is having sleepless nights thinking about how he fared. He confided to a fellow examinee -- Atty. Hopeful --that, he had a tough time in Civil Law.

In fairness, the question could have been answered either in the affirmative or in the negative.

With just a couple of minutes left to submit his examination paper, Atty. Not-Yet answered the question in the affirmative. As an explanation to his answer, Atty. Not-Yet wrote with an asterisk --“Explanation to be submitted separately.”

Fellow examinee Atty. Hopeful -- who fancies himself as a potential topnother -- could only shake his head in disbelief.

“If it is any consolation to Atty. Not-Yet, his case is not unique.” In fact, that is exactly what happened last week, when the Supreme Court ruled on the disqualification case filed against presidentiable Grace Poe.

On the very day that the SC decision came out, our Ateneo Class 64 batch was having its monthly lunch get-together. The class was about evenly divided on the Poe DQ issue.

Class President Jojo Bunag (a former BIR Commissioner) was definite that Grace Poe did not meet the residency requirement. Jojo graduated AB Cum Laude and LLB Class Valedictorian at the Ateneo Law School. He was also a Bar topnother.

Foreign-based Romy Mosqueda (via email) expressed the view that Poe never lost her residency/domicile because of the principle of animus revertendi or intent to return. Romy graduated AB Magna Cum Laude at the Ateneo. He was also Ateneo Student Council President. He finished his law at the University of the Philippines.

Both Jojo and Romy appeared very sure of the correctness of their respective legal positions.

Nine justices concurred with Romy. Six Supreme Court justices agreed with Jojo. But the SC justices did not explain why.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the full ruling would be released in the coming days.

Bitin!

I believe that almost everybody -- especially practitioners and students of law -- would be most interested to look into the reasoning of the Supreme Court. Interested parties now know the WHAT. But they are interested in the more important question WHY?

The Supreme Court is supposed to clarify, not to confuse. An SC ruling becomes part of the law of the land and can be cited as precedent in future similar cases. So the sooner the Supreme Court publishes its full ruling, the better for all concerned.

Caught on cam

Very much in the news last week was a viral video of a taxi driver deliberately ramming a traffic enforcer on duty. The traffic enforcer managed to hang on to the windshield of the taxi for a few seconds before he was thrown to the ground. Luckily, the traffic enforcer escaped with just scratches in the face. CCTV caught the plate number of the errant taxi.

During a confrontation at the police headquarters, the alleged driver claimed to be elsewhere at the time of the incident although the traffic enforcer was definite that the driver was the culprit.

The ramming incident came close in the heels of successive reports of taxi drivers (also caught on cam) verbally abusing and/or physically assaulting their passengers. The altercations usually stemmed (depending on your point of view) from the driver’s refusal to give back exact change or the passenger’s refusal to tip the drivers.

“Mga driver na katulad nila ang nagbibigay sa amin ng masamang pangalan. Humina tuloy ang kita namin,” a cab driver acquaintance lamented.

Because of reports like this, my daughter Frannie now prefers to use Uber. “You feel safe because your ride is documented from start to finish. The plate number of the UBer and the identity of driver are automatically recorded. No haggling over fare. No need to bring exchange amount because the fare is charged to your card. And if you accidentally leave any item in Uber, you are sure to recover it.”

Fake cop rams lady enforcer

A motorcycle-riding “policeman” ignored the hand signals of a female barangay traffic enforcer and just plowed through the hapless enforcer. The “policeman” turned out to a fake.

Fake cop was about to speed away from the scene when he was caught by an off-duty real policeman, with the help of concerned onlookers.

The female traffic enforcer escaped with a sprained foot and was soon back on traffic duty. Fake cop was last seen cooling his heels in a detention cell.

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