According to Newsbreak, the Sandiganbayan has withdrawn the arrest issued against Jaime Dichaves, co-defendant of former President Joseph Estrada in the plunder of P4.1 billion in 2002.
Dichaves was abroad and probably had left after he was impleaded as co-defendant of the former President. The recall of the warrant was issued “in absentia.”
Just like what the Court of Appeals did in the case of Ping Lacson, the graft court also demonstrated its capacity to disregard well-settled principle of law for a quick fix and it’s very nightmarish. Somehow I was prophetic enough when I told the Supreme Court in my administrative case that I found it not easy to leave my law practice knowing that if I leave I would have surrendered the battlefield to card-bearing scoundrels. Though I consider myself honest, the SCORP thought otherwise by arguing my case without reading its record. It is pathetic that even the SCORP is reeking with corrupt and incompetent justices.
When I was a student and even during my law practice, it’s knowledge base that once a warrant is issued, it should be accorded with the presumption of regularity. That it was issued by taking into account the rights of the accused. In other words, “due process” was observed, thus the court has issued it.
To contest the validity of the warrant, the adverse party must first submit to the jurisdiction of the court by surrendering his person to the court and then question the legality of the warrant. It is basic legal principle in law that you cannot ask relief from the court whose jurisdiction you would not submit from by avoiding its process. Inasmuch as Dichaves is abroad (or even purposely eluded arrest by going abroad), the court is powerless to grant his motion to eschew the warrant previously issued against him. Even if it is admitted that he has filed a motion to quash the warrant while he was still in the country, his subsequent flight, ipso pacto nullifies his motion. It is considered withdrawn.
Another way of putting it is: You want an umpire in a controversy only if the umpire is in your pocket.
The bastardization of our legal principle is the very reason why Ping Lacson came out from his hiding only after the warrant issued against him was lifted by the Court of Appeals. Unfortunately, it was not Lacson and Dichaves who make a mockery of our judicial system but our jurists themselves.
If those whom we reposed our trust to read the law both in text and in substance read them to suit the predilection of the litigants and not to serve the higher ideals of the law, – then we have forfeited our right to exist as a nation of laws. We deserve to be scratched off from the world map and our islands turned into bottomless sea water – this way, our space is better enjoyed by marine species that can provide nourishment to our neighboring nations whose people stand for something honorable and sublime – while we stand absolutely for nothing!