By By Fernan A. Gianan
A bad day in a Legazpi City court
posted 29-Apr-2018  ·  
1,378 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

For the first time since 2000, when the responsibility of publishing the Tribune dropped on my lap following the death of founding publisher Fredeswindo Gianan Sr., this writer, along with former columnist Rosulo Manlangit, was convicted of cyber liber as defined by the Cybercrime Law.

It was also the first time that a libel complaint was filed against Tribune writers in a court outside the province of Catanduanes. But it is the seventh time that such a libel complaint had the direct hand or involvement of local politicians and in this case an embittered loser in the 2016 elections.

Manlangit, who has been bedridden after losing part of his left foot as a result of diabetic complications, was unable to attend the April 20 promulgation at the sala of Judge Ignacio Almodovar Jr. at RTC Branch 1 in Legazpi City.

Among the “actors” in the complaint filed by FICELCO power supplier Sunwest Water & Electric Co. (SUWECO), I was the first to arrive at the court. Soon, one of the attorneys from ACCRALaw hired by SUWECO as private prosecutor arrived and sat at one of the benches outside the courtroom.

A few minutes later, one of the signatories in the complaint arrived, talked with the ACCRALaw attorney and then left. He was no longer seen during the promulgation, although he often sat with their lawyers at space occupied by the prosecution and defense during the hearings since 2017.

There were about eight cases decided by Judge Almodovar that morning and all of them were guilty verdicts, including our case which was the last one called. “This is the last time I will be wearing this robe before I go into greener pastures,” the judge said at one point during the proceedings.

Strangely, I did not feel nervous or devastated at all during the reading of the decision’s dispositive portion, which sentenced the two of us to a maximum of three-years’ imprisonment plus damages of about P10 million or so, an amount that is peanuts to the complainant and excessive for the accused.

It must be the peace of mind that association with a religious community (CFC-FFL), the belief that God above always takes care of his flock, and the love of family that guided me that day.

*****

Bad news for teacher applicants at the DepEd Catanduanes Division Office.

Of the total 5,916 teaching positions declared available for the coming school year in the entire Bicol region, only 159 has been allotted for Catanduanes, according to the DepEd regional office.

Camarines Sur gets the bulk of the vacancies with 2,075, followed by Albay (1,255), Masbate (1,093), Camarines Norte (675), and Sorsogon (659).

The openings are also comprised of 2,739 for Kindergarten (teacher I), 3,160 for Junior High School (Teacher II) and 17 for Senior High School (Teacher III). Teacher entry level salary and bonuses comes up to P26,375 a month.

The allocation for Catanduanes is not even enough to accommodate the entire graduating class of education students of public and private schools here.

*****

BOYS WILL BE BOYS. Two bored casino employees are working at the craps table. An attractive blonde woman arrives and bets $20,000 on a single roll of the dice. She says, “I hope you don’t mind, but I feel much luckier when I’m completely nude.”

With that, she strips from the neck down, rolls the dice and yells, “Come on, baby, mama needs new clothes!”

As the dice comes to a stop, she jumps up and down and squeals… “Yes! Yes! I won! I won!”

She hugs each of the dealers, then picks up her winnings and her clothes, and quickly departs.

The dealers stare at each other, dumbfounded. Finally, one of them asks, “What did she roll?”

The other answers, “I don’t know – I thought you were watching.”


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