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Rough Cuts | Yes, the victory is far from total

We are requesting for the indulgence of our readers. We failed to have out Rough Cuts Sunday column come out on this space the other day.

I’d blame it on the humongous vehicular traffic on the routes that we took to meet our various appointments last Saturday. When we had our meeting with a former boss at about 3:20 p.m. on that day and were headed home in Catalunan Grande from downtown Davao, we were thrice stuck in traffic.

First at the corners of Quimpo Blvd. and SM Road, then from in front of the GSIS building in Matina up to MacArthur Highway Crossing Catalunan Grande Road, and last from the stretch of Catalunan Grande Road starting from San Isidro Labrador Church to the market area.

That is a distance of roughly six kilometers. However, because of the traffic, it took us about an hour of travel just to reach our residence. So, by the time we were home the deadline of submission for our column was already way beyond past

Since we need to do some proof-reading of our encoded column file before sending the same through e-mail to the editorial office we have to decide to just forego our submission.

Again, we are sorry for the omission, more so because our Sunday’s Rough Cuts deals with the Word of God.
We got an unexpected text message from a friend and colleague in the corporate communication work yesterday.

Earle Ferrer, formerly of National Power Corp. (NPC), then Transco which later on became the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), texted us to extend his advance Christmas greetings. Earle also asked how we are doing after our retirement from Davao Light in addition to having gone back to the journalism practice.

This guy was our favorite source of newsy information on Mindanao’s power situation when we were still active in news reporting. Later, Earle became our partner when we joined Davao Light which sources the bulk of the power it purchases for distribution to end-users from the NPC.

Earle himself had gone into retirement for more than two years already. However, we learned that he is working as consultant of a company engaged in the construction of mini hydro plants. According to our sources his client company is now having mini-hydro projects in Davao Oriental.

This friend of ours Earle is just like rust. The latter does not sleep. It keeps on gnawing itself in anything made or iron. But our friend Earle, well, from the looks of it he just couldn’t stop working.

And this morning he is inviting us along with two other media men friends Ed Fernandez and C.Q. Francisco for coffee. We could not make a definitive commitment because we have earlier appointment schedules. But we will try to catch up.

We agree one hundred percent with the feelings of many observers that the conviction of the primary suspects in the so-called Maguindanao massacre is “not a total victory.”

Yes, indeed. First, our justice system is clear that where there is reasonable doubt on the truth of the allegations and credibility of witnesses and evidence presented in court, the accused stands to get acquittal. Second, the cases against the suspects were filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Again, the Philippine justice system allows filing of motions for reconsideration or appeals of the guilty verdict in the remaining higher courts – the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

So, in the Maguindanao massacre case, much as the victims’ relatives would have wanted that all the accused were convicted, the justice system just could not have their wish come true one hundred percent.

Already the lawyers of the convicted accused, more specifically those of the Ampatuan brothers, have manifested their intention to appeal the RTC judge’s decision.

With the enormous resources of the Ampatuans, it is likely that their lawyers will adopt every trick possible to delay final conviction or to have the verdict by the lower court reversed.

We can only hope that the appellate court or the Supreme Court – assuming that the cases can reach that far – will not dilly-dally in resolving the appealed decision.

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