Batas Mauricio .
AS I was writing this, I chanced upon a Facebook post by former Foreign Affairs Secretary and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr., saying he was arrested by the police on account of a warrant of arrest which the Manila Regional Trial Court issued against him.
In his post, Yasay (or Jun to his friends and close associates) clarified that the warrant of arrest against him involved a criminal case against officials of the defunct Banco Filipino where they are being accused of having committed bank anomalies from 2003-2006.
At presstime, according to Jun, he is not going to post bail right away, and would prefer to stay in jail, until he is able to be brought to the judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court, Branch 10, who issued the warrant, to contest what he said was the injustice in his inclusion as an accused in the case. His point is that, he joined Banco Filipino only in 2009, or three years after the alleged bank anomalies were committed.
The arrest (and looming detention) of Yasay is sure to send shockwaves in the legal community. The fact is that, for lawyers like Jun, they would know that a warrant of arrest would be coming in the criminal cases being handled by them.
The reason is that no warrant of arrest will issue to arrest an accused in a criminal case right away. What would come out first is a resolution by the prosecutor (or by the Department of Justice itself) which directs the filing of a criminal case against an accused. Once that resolution is issued, the case would then be filed in court.
The filing of the criminal case in court would then require the judge to study whether there was sufficient basis for its filing. After that study, the warrant of arrest would then be issued. For lawyers who are engaged in daily court battles, they would exert extra effort to monitor what is happening to the case of their clients so that, even before the warrant is issued, they could already post bail for them, thereby allowing them to evade arrest.
In the case of Yasay, however, it would seem to me that he would be fighting for his position that he could not have been involved in any bank fraud which were found to have been committed between 2003-2006 since he was not with the bank (Banco Filipino) yet during those years, he having joined it only in 2009.
This promises to be a big legal battle involving Jun Yasay. From where I sit, I know that somehow, the basis with which he was included an accused in the Banco Filipino case by the Department of Justice would have to be scrutinized carefully, especially with his claim that he was not with the bank yet during the time.
I do not wish to deal here any further on whether Jun is right or not in his position, for this would already be sub judice. But here is one thing I can say about Jun (with whom I ran as a senatorial candidate in 2004 under Aksiyon Demokratiko of then Sen. Raul S. Roco): he is righteous in his ways, whose faith is rooted in the Word of God, the Bible, and who makes it a point to obey God’s commands every second of his life.
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