For the love of the job

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


A PROSECUTOR'S job is no walk in the park considering that each of them have to meticulously look into the details of hundreds of cases before resolving them. But for Davao City Prosecution Office assistant prosecution attorney and public information officer Jay Karel P. Sanchez, she has learned to embrace the grind of her job as she finds fulfillment in serving justice to the public.

Sanchez, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said that it has been a challenging job for her even at the start of her career in the prosecution service. Prior to her designation in Davao City in 2011, she was handling high-profile cases mostly involving terrorism back when she was assigned as associate prosecution attorney at the Kidapawan City Prosecution Office in 2009. Plus, she was also an evaluator of the witness protection program which was another risky task as well.

Her designation in Davao City, meanwhile, spelled another challenge for her saying: "I was literally shocked when I was assigned here. That is because the bulk of cases that I handle here is four times the number of the cases that I was handling in Kidapawan City. The degree of difficulty in the cases here is also greater that is why I need to do a lot of research."

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She also noted that the Davao City Prosecution Office has long been having manpower issues claiming that the office lacks the ideal number of prosecutors to ease the congestion of cases.

But despite the challenges, Sanchez said that it has been her fondness of the nature of the work that keeps her going.

"I learned to love the job. There are so many risks involved, but because I love the job and I have helped people attain justice especially to those who can't afford the services of lawyers, it has helped me overcome those challenges. The fact that I can help other people attain justice keeps me motivated and it is basically the reason why I am still here. Hopefully I could stay here much longer so that I could continue my service," Sanchez said.

She also puts much importance to the values of honesty and integrity saying that being true to one's self is a vital key in resolving cases objectively. She also said that it takes diligence and selflessness to thrive in the profession.

For over five years in the prosecution service, Sanchez said she has looked up to the likes of former Kidapawan City Prosecutor Al Calica and recently-retired Davao City Prosecutor Raul Bendigo. Calica, she said, was the one who introduced her to the ropes of the prosecution service. In fact, Calica has been an instrument to her luckiest break in her career as he facilitated her application to the prosecution service.

Bendigo's wisdom, meanwhile, was of great help to the growth of Sanchez as he provided valuable insights in resolving cases while his calm demeanor has inspired her to maintain her composure amid the pressure.
Sanchez, however, said practicing law came by accident. After graduating as cum laude in her bachelor's degree in business administration at the Ateneo de Davao University in 2002, she said she didn't know what to do next, thus, she took up law at the same school. She told herself back then that if she fails a single subject, she'd be quitting law.

Fortunately, she didn't and since then she has stormed through her subjects and eventually passed the BAR exam in 2008.

She then encourages aspiring prosecutors to pursue the profession with gusto not for financial gains but rather for the fulfillment of helping other people. She added that being a prosecutor is a true embodiment of what a lawyer should be.

"If you want to join the prosecution service, we can tell you that there is no money here. But what we have is the fulfillment of getting to serve justice to people and career growth," Sanchez said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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