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ROUGH CUTS |    A judge fairness test – 2




 “What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such thing shameful to be spoken about…”

     This is but a small portion of the Hippocratic Oath that medical doctors swear to shortly after they get their license to practice their profession. A closely similar oath is taken by nurses once they too, are admitted into their practice.  All these indicate one major commitment. That is, for the herein-mentioned professionals to serve humanity regardless of risks and sacrifices attendant to the service while doing their sworn responsibilities.

    The development of the Oath was said to be culled out from the writings of the greatest physician of his time, the Greek Hippocrates, way back some time in 460 to 380 B.C. True or not, we just have to trust history.  After all it is history that makes the present time and the basis o coming up with possible scenarios in the future.

     Why are we taking up this item in our treatise today? It is because what is happening to the medicine practice related profession which to us, and perhaps to some other keen observers of the unfolding events in the country, are agog with efforts by some health workers – doctors and nurses specifically – to come up with a new interpretation of the oath, and perhaps even re-write it in a manner that will suit their personal needs and caprices..

     What we and several others observers are referring to is the somewhat greed-influenced activism of many a doctor and nurse in the country threatening to stop working and responding to the needs of CoViD patients virtually flocking hospitals and as claimed by the complaining health workers, populating the facilities to the brim and overcoming the capability of those attending to them.

     Of course their demand for the appropriate compensation of their efforts is understandable. They really deserve all perks – if we may call them that. But what to us is revolting to the stomach is their threat of resigning from their jobs and/or simply stopping from doing their responsibilities. Why? Are they not aware that there is a global health emergency, not just in the country? They have become so paranoid about the still unfulfilled promise of the government to provide them additional hazard and other allowances and incentives.  And they seem bent on taking the government’s efforts to curb the pandemic hostage by threatening it with work stoppage to force the release of what they are expecting.

     Now, going back to the portion of the Hippocratic Oath we are quoting earlier on this space, can these professionals hold on to their horses of anger or perhaps cleverly camouflaged greed for a little longer? Are they willing to do away with their sworn responsibilities attendant to their profession just so they can have the material and/or financial windfall they so badly salivate? 

     We are sad with this development because we are in the midst of a deadly and economically sapping pandemic. Yet, some of us would rather bargain the lives of other Filipinos just to get what they want. Imagine how vain they are when they claim that the more than P67 billion that was flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) to be  still wanting in explanation as to the manner this was disbursed, was theirs and should have been released to cover the government’s committed financial perks for their services. We thought they were our living heroes?

     Of course we agree one hundred percent that they should be rewarded for their extra efforts and sacrifices. But can they not defer broadcasting it to high heavens that they so badly want it like they could die any time without that money and threatening the government, in the process saying they’d rather see Filipinos dying of CoViD by the hundreds if they fail to get their rewards?

     And above all, how many times rewards become sweeter and meaningful when these are voluntarily given as acknowledgment of service and not demanded?

     We are asking for apologies to the medical professionals who live their lives within the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath. We know there are still many of them.


    A few days back we wrote about the subject of when and in what way a judge’s fairness is put to its acid test.      

     The other day, a person who we believe is perhaps feeling he is getting what could be an unfair treatment by a particular court, called us to express his own experience. He identified himself since we requested him to. However we have to conceal his true identity to give way to his request.

     The guy premised his statements by asking me: Can you blame me Sir, if I feel that I am given a raw deal with this judge? He went on to say that he was informed by a highly credible source that the judge and the counsel of the other party are classmates during their law studies. Besides, certain incidents which have something to do with the progress of our case were, to me, indications of unfairness. I may be wrong to assume this, but consider these sequences: When the other party filed the initial petition prior to the filing of a subsequent complaint, the judge in that particular court gave the respondent a very limited time to file answer despite the fact that movement of people is restrained by various protocols as a result of the raging pandemic. 

     When I (Respondent) filed a Motion and my answer it took the judge more than a week to act on it. But when it was the Complainant’s motion, the court had it granted a day after. There were other motions that I (Respondent) filed later but were only granted partially after a longer period of time waiting. But when it was time for the Complaint to file a motion related to my own Motion that was partially granted, the complainant’s plea was granted quickly by the judge in that particular court and in full.

     Now Sir, can you blame me if I feel that I am treated somewhat unfairly given the circumstances and the possible role of the long friendship of the judge and the complainant’s counsel? I may be wrong of course, but can I be faulted for harboring such suspicion? After all, was it not said by the famous French philosopher Voltaire, that anybody has the right to say or express his/her opinion on a person or his/her actuation even if he/she may not agree with it.




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