The Establishment (ABS-CBN News Magandang Umaga) carried an amusing story this morning about the lawyers prosecuting and defending the killer of Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco.
Ms. Yongco was the prosecutor of Ruben Ecleo, Jr., a cult leader accused of murdering his wife in Cebu. She was killed on October 11, 2004 as witnessed by a ten-year old girl. The girl identified a certain Michael Favila as the killer. Mr. Favila was charged yesterday.
In the news, the Establshment showed us that after the charges were levied, and Favila was placed in custody, the lawyers prosecuting and defending Michael Favila got into a light mood, and turned the courtroom into a karaoke bar. The cameras showed Favila's lawyer belting out "Bato sa Buhangin" and thereater, the prosecutor started singing with him. And then, the prosecutor nudged the accused Michael Favila to sing along with them, and the man obliged. After the scene, the camera cuts to news anchor Erwin Tulfo, who couldn't keep himself from editorializing by saying something like, the Chief Justice shouldn't allow this to happen, because it gives the public the impression tha lawyers are not serious about their jobs.
Well, it is really absurd that things like this happen. Erwin Tulfo is right when he says that the scene gives the public a bad impression on the justice system. As regards to the defender of Favila who led everyone in the singing, it could be a ploy, a Sun Tzu technique to disarm the prosecutor and see through her weaknesses as a person (boy, did it work.) But for this prosecutor, I can't find any possible way to defend her actions. Somebody got killed. That somebody is a fellow lawyer who died on active duty, and what does the prosecutor do? Sing "Bato sa Buhangin" with the lawyer of the accused, and even nudge the accused to sing along. Talk about sleeping with the enemy, or should we say singing with the enemy.
I'm sure that prosecutor violated a rule in the book. At the very least, I think it's conduct unbecoming of a prosecutor. The question is do we have time to bother with these things when bigger injustices are left unsolved?