(The letter is addressed to Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane)

I read in Sun.Star Cebu the report about the inhibition by the provincial prosecutors from the Archival case. In their finest hour, they ran away.

What kind of prosecutors are they? Morag nahadlok sa aswang, nidagan. Lawyer Gloria Dalawampu seems to be correct in saying that “we need men, not boys, to handle the case.”

The case is very simple to resolve, and knowing these people I know they would not hesitate to resolve it in 15 minutes. But something drove them to let go of the case.

They are beyond reproach, honest and incorruptible but maybe someone told them to let go. Sino kaya?

Anyway, if they wanted to file the information they could have easily stated: “The validity and merits of a party’s defense or accusation, as well as the admissibility of testimonies and evidence are better ventilated during trial in open court than in the preliminary investigation.”

There are manual for prosecutors, Supreme Court decisions and the code of conduct of public prosecutors that will corroborate this.

There’s even the Hubert Web case where the Supreme Court ruled: “Probable cause as appreciated during preliminary investigation only presupposes probability of guilt and should be determined in a summary manner; in finding probable cause, facts and circumstances are weighed without resorting to technical rules of evidence but rather based on common sense. It needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not a crime has been commited and that the respondent commited it.”

The Supreme Court summarized probable cause as follows: “Something above suspicion though less of evidence to convict.”

If the prosecutors wanted to dismiss the complaint they could easily rule by stating that the purpose of a preliminary investigation is to prevent the innocent from going into useless protracted trials and useless expense of government’s time and effort, etc.

But to run away from their finest moment is acting like half a man. Atty. Noel Archival, in contrast, wore the red badge of courage and dared to go where angels fear to tread. We should all admire his audacity and guts in defending his client.

Judge Soliver Peras also set the example of courage above and beyond the call of duty.

He didn’t inhibit himself from the Ruben Ecleo case despite threats hurled at him. He promulgated the decision and now stands as a symbol of bravery, courage, determination in the administration of justice.

It is sad that these boys did not follow his example. Maybe one of these days I will invite them to a group dance led by my best friend, state prosecutor Raul Cristoria in the cemetery midnight of New Years Day.

We can all dance like Michael Jackson and I am sure no one will inhibit.--Atty. Vicente Mañalac

Wheelchair

I wanted to buy a new wheelchair for my wife from an establishment but the front-end manager refused to give me the 20 percent senior citizen’s discount for the reason that I did not have a doctor’s prescription.

When I argued that the senior citizens law does not require a doctor’s prescription for wheelchairs, the manager said what they were selling was not a wheelchair but a “transporter,” which is not covered by the SC law.

The firm obviously is violating RA 9257, the expanded senior citizens law. Wheelchair is a generic term which means all chairs with wheels.

I hereby request the Osca chairman to investigate and compel the establishment to sell their ”transporter,” which is a chair with wheels, with 20 percent discount to senior citizens or impose the penalties prescribed in the law.

For reference, I recently bought a scooter/wheelchair in Manila, which is several times more expensive than an ordinary wheelchair, and I was given a 20 percent discount.--Amado F. Cabaero Sr., Senior Citizen ID Card No. 337639