Smug look Apduhan’s lawyer wears

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Saturday, May 10, 2014


SINCE I have no wish of going to jail for contempt of court, I will not discuss the merits of the serious illegal detention case that Casiano “Tatay Loloy” Apduhan Jr. is now facing before the Toledo Regional Trial Court.

I will instead write about the smug look that Danny Yap, Apduhan’s defense lawyer, wears on his face every time he’s interviewed on television. Danny, by the way, is a veteran practitioner so it is safe to say that he knows how to calculate the odds for or against his clients.
Danny’s latest famous client is said to be a cult leader who promised to his followers salvation from the end of the world. Apduhan allegedly represents himself as Dios Amahan, God the father. He probably knows that the title of God the son has already been claimed by another – and more successful, not to mention wealthier – preacher from Davao. I wonder if anyone has proclaimed himself God the Holy Spirit to complete the Trinity.

His criminal case stemmed from his alleged detention of Emma Nepomuceno, a thirtyish housewife who disappeared without notice to her family and whom the latter would later trace to the house of the cult leader. A team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) “rescued” her from Apduhan’s home.

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Illegal detention is a crime against personal liberty. Its essence is confinement or restriction of the person.

Emma says she sought refuge in God the father’s home after she discovered that her husband was philandering. She resents her rescue and has returned to her supposed captor’s home.

The prosecutors explain that Emma is suffering from a psychological phenomenon in which a hostage shows sympathy and positive feelings towards his/her captor. Stockholm Syndrome, that’s how they call it. She has bonded with her captor in the course of her detention.

That’s an interesting theory and I expect the prosecution to present a battery of expert witnesses to support it. Against their expert opinion is Emma’s simple declaration that she loves it with Dios Amahan and wants to stay in his home.

If it is because she believes only her Tatay Loloy can save her from the end of the world, we do not know for certain. But assuming that Apduhan has misled her with his false claim of the power of salvation, is this sufficient to jail him for illegal detention?

Maybe, the smugness that Danny wears provide a clue on the answer.

***

There are five offices newly created by Talisay City Mayor JVR de los Reyes that duplicate the functions of existing departments, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in a report.

Not so, said one of them. Ask us first before you make conclusions, the Text to the Mayor told the COA. We are more knowledgeable than you are.
The COA auditors are not idiots. They studied the functions of the new offices and compared them with those of the old ones and found them overlapping.

But don’t expect JVR to heed the COA’s advice and abolish the redundant offices. Where will he accommodate his political supporters if he does that?

Those who think that JVR does not know what he is doing should think again. All his actions are well thought of, although not necessarily well-intentioned. From the moment that he assumed office at City Hall, he was already preparing for his re-election. That is why he has packed and continues to pack the city government with his relatives, friends, neighbors and others. If there are no more positions available, he will create them.

Give it to JVR. Despite the funny cowboy hat that he continues to wear, the fellow’s smart. (frank.otherside@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2014.

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