GMA lawyer’s statement; Are SONAs necessary?

FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa - The Philippine Star

It is a pity that Amal Clooney who made a name for herself in international law has taken up Maria Ressa’s case. She is not so bright after all.’ – Atty Larry Gadon statement/comment

“Amal Clooney taking on the cases of Rappler’s Maria Ressa may not have been given the full disclosure of the facts and background in connection to these cases.

In my experience working as the Philippine counterpart coordinating lawyer with Amal Clooney and her associates I observed that Amal Clooney was very thorough and diligent in digging into the details of the case in connection with the PCSO plunder case of PGMA which was dismissed by the Supreme Court with overwhelming votes which included even the SC Justices appointed by Noynoy Aquino.

I provided Amal Clooney with all the relevant and material facts to the case and many times they communicated with me through telephone and emails asking for minute details of relevant issues. I provided Amal Clooney with copies of relevant and material records and documents from Sandigan and Ombudsman, nothing was spared because as a lawyer I was aware that disclosure of all facts and records would be necessary to come up with proper legal position on the controversy.

Amal Clooney’s involvement in the case of former President GMA was the issue on the refusal of the Sandiganbayan to grant her bail despite the utter lack of evidence of the prosecution and despite the fact that all co-accused have been granted bail leading to the clear conclusion that the human rights of FPGMA was indeed violated.

Without delving into the guilt of Maria Ressa on her cases, I think Amal Clooney is unaware of the real background of the cyber libel case, that there is a private complainant in this case who has a right to seek justice for whatever transgression and violation committed against him by Maria Ressa and that remains to be seen in the trial of the case.

As far the other case of tax evasion, at the onset it can not be deemed as a political persecution for a lot of big businessmen and huge corporations with much bigger tax liabilities also face same tax collection issues and cases to some extent and they do not cry out loud of human rights violation nor political persecution. Whatever, these can hardly be deemed as political persecution.

In the case of FPGMA , Amal Clooney was provided with all the relevant facts and records because as a lawyer myself I am aware that a full disclosure is necessary to come up with an intelligent stand . In the case of Maria Ressa, Amal Clooney may have been provided with bias information coming from a bias writer or columnist from a bias news outfit.

It would be best for the camp of Maria Ressa to give a full disclosure of the issues, facts and records of her cases as it might even serve her better and to provide Amal Clooney a wider perspective of the issues. Amal Clooney might even find another angle to develop her defence.

I hope the public will not be swayed into thinking that the bigger the name of the lawyer the lesser guilt is deemed on the client as this perception could go the other way around.”

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Are State of the Nation speeches necessary? It is my personal opinion that it is unnecessary – a tradition we have kept even if does not serve nation building. It is useful only if we have a Congress made up of responsible officials who would cooperate what laws are require to continue the Chief Executive’s program. As it is it has become a social event. And through time it became a fashion show. Who can forget one woman senator who came in a backless gown? For those in bleacher seats it was a vulgar sight perhaps not visible on the floor.

The State of the Nation Address or SONA is delivered by the President of the Philippines every year. In it, as Chief Executive he reports on the state of the country, the government’s agenda for the coming year, and proposes to Congress certain legislative measures.

The First Philippine Republic borrowed from the European parliamentary tradition, wherein the head of state ceremonially opened sessions of the National Assembly. According to the 1899 Constitution, the President of the Philippines has the duty to open, suspend, and close Congress. The Constitution also gave the President the power to communicate to Congress through messages to be read to the National Assembly (La Asamblea Nacional) by Secretaries of Government.

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The fish ban by China was only partly covered by media as a bad move. It did not say that the ban was meant to increase fish stocks. So far the fish stocks off the Chinese coast was effective. The ban was directed to both Filipino and Chinese fishermen.

Liu Xinzhong, deputy head of the ministry’s Fishery Administration Bureau, said China will strictly control the size of its deep ocean fishing fleet.

The fishing ban, which started on May 1, covered the entire Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East Sea and the South China Sea north of 12 degrees latitude, the ministry said in January.

The duration of the ban varied from three months to four and a half months, with parts of the Yellow Sea and East Sea under the ban until Sept. 16.

This year’s ban was the longest since they were first imposed in 1995. Only pole fishing was allowed during the ban. The enforcement against illegal fishing has been the strictest in years, with more than 10,300 people punished, Zhang said.

In addition, 1,593 people were handed over to police for possible criminal penalties for fishing ban violations in inland waters, including the Yangtze River and parts of the Yellow River, Zhang said.

Liu Xinzhong, deputy head of the ministry’s Fishery Administration Bureau, said China will strictly control the size of its deep ocean fishing fleet, and fewer than 3,000 Chinese fishing boats will operate in deep waters by 2020.





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