Skip to main content

इन अ लेगालेसे तंगले एंड स्त्रन्गले

In a legalese tangle and strangle

IF memory serves, filmmaker-turned-lawmaker Manuel “Lito” Lapid had crafted the measure that provides copies of court proceedings to a needy litigant who’ll likely bleed his pockets dry pursuing or defending his case… and who’ll likely get his brains tied in clots and knots over whatever such court documents purport to explain.

The language of truth is plain and homey as Marcellinus Ammianus would have it, but legalese can be as binding as a strangle of pubic hairs… why, common sense can hardly squeeze into that density, a train of thought wobbling with the weight of passengers crammed to the rafters, plied off as herd to the slaughter. Maybe, Ammianus was obliquely hinting that legalese is a vehicle for lies and mayhem. As we use words, words use us in turn.

And such usage that cloaks and chokes rather than sheds light cannot dispel the contempt that the man in the street feels toward the judiciary.

Case in point. On September 2010, Ricardo Silverio Jr. sold to Monica Ocampo for P180 million a parcel of land with improvements on 82 Cambridge Circle, Forbes Park, in Makati. Silverio and Ocampo drew up and executed a deed of absolute sale dated September 16, 2010—so the property now belongs to Ocampo.

Ocampo coughed up some more money to have the property registered in her name—to validate, stamp the legal imprimatur of ownership.

Afterward, Ocampo sold off her newly acquired property for P200 million— a January 12, 2011 deed of absolute sale set to full effect the transfer of ownership to the buyer, ZEE2 Resources, Inc. through the firm’s director Rebecca O. Caisip. Again, the firm went through the legal route and had the property duly registered in the name of ZEE2 Resources, Inc.

Here’s the spoiler: all it took was a court ruling to shove out Ocampo and ZEE2 Resources Inc. of legitimate hold on the multi-million peso property. Never mind the nobody who cranked up the ruling, we’re not out to trot out his name, give him 10-sec fame…

But that ruling ran roughshod on the niceties of the Torrens title system, even ran a steamroller on the Bill of Rights enshrined in the fundamental law of the land— “No man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

What could the outfit do but beg the higher courts, hurl a wad of spittle or two at the, gasp, magistrate who honored the nation’s trenchant land registry system and the constitutionally sanctified Bill of Rights by evisceration?

Okay, ZEE2 has to spend some more hiring a battery of lawyers to go begging before the Court of Appeals to step in, do something about that magistrate’s questionable ruling… ah, the wheels of justice can grind s-o-o-o-o s-s-lo-o-w-w…

"A 9mm bullet travels around 1,500 feet per second. It will travel around 2,500 yards before it falls."

That 1991 testosterone chockful of a movie, “Stone Cold” that starred football star Brian Bosworth as violence-prone undercover cop, that was a huge yawn as arch villain Lance Henriksen who was on trial at the Supreme Court whips out a machine pistol and proceeds to perforate the necessary portions in the bodies of the high magistrates en banc… that was so, uh, b-a-a-a-d!

Sometimes, such a gore-splattered footage reels out like a fond dream in these parts where hoodlums in robes have the gall to hold justice in chains… and my barrister beer buddy who’s a senior partner at “The Firm” would have a laugh at this, mwa-ha-ha-haw!


Popular posts from this blog

Every single cell of my body's happy

I got this one from Carmelite Sisters from whose school three of my kids were graduated from. They have this snatch of a song that packs a fusion metal and liebeslaud beat and whose lyrics go like this:

"Every single cell of my body is happy. Every single cell of my body is well. I thank you, Lord. I feel so good. Every single cell of my body is well."

Biology-sharp nerds would readily agree with me in this digression... Over their lifetimes, cells are assaulted by a host of biological insults and injuries. The cells go through such ordeals as infection, trauma, extremes of temperature, exposure to toxins in the environment, and damage from metabolic processes-- this last item is often self-inflicted and includes a merry motley medley of smoking a deck a day of Philip Morris menthols, drinking currant-flavored vodka or suds, overindulgence in red meat or the choicest fat-marbled cuts of poultry and such carcass.

When the damage gets to a certain point, cells self-destruct. T…


Viagra au naturel

IT LOOKED eerie—a blaze of fireflies pulsing like stars in the nippy air, throbbing with mating passions. That show of lights somehow eased the shadows of a Holy Thursday night on a dry river bed a few kilometers trudge up Mount Makiling.

It’s likely that no river has lain in sleep for months on that moss-grown, boulder-strewn bed—except my 20-year old kid Kukudyu and I. We were out to spend the night, do on-site learning sessions by the next day. Usual father-and-son bonding. As the late Benjamin Franklin once begged: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

Past noon from the foot of the mountain’s northern section, it took us four hours ploughing non-stop through prickly bushes and forest undergrowth to get to that site. We got there in one bruised piece. By then, dusk was falling; the sylvan air hummed with a trill of crickets, cicadas, critters nameless in choral orison. That incessant “sh-r-r-e-eemmm---“ layered with “k-kr-r-eeengg--” …