26 July 2005

While the country is riveted with GMA's fate

JOE Perez, Bicol Mail editor and a colleague of mine (left, in shorts) was sent to prison last July 20 by a local judge for an alleged contempt charge. The Philippine Daily Inquirer carried his story yesterday, but most everyone probably didn't care because of GMA's SONA. Bicol Mail's blow-by-blow account of his ordeal can be found here.

We visited him last Thursday (July 21) at the Naga District Jail. We were later joined by Joe Obias, editor of
The Paper, another local publication, who was previously cited for contempt by another judge.

But Joe's case is one for Ripley's, at least in the Philippine setting - with the extraordinary speed that the judge handed his order sending him behind bars. Without clarifying the terms for bail in his order, the judge later made himself scarce after the hearing and well into the weekend break - to ensure that Joe would serve time. And pay the price of press freedom.


Edwin Lacierda said...


It's a pity how swift justice does not play well when needed to be. Incidentally, if you feel that it was wrong for the judge, file a case against him before the Supreme court. They do not suffer fools gladly.

Nice to hear from a Nagueno. I am not one myself but I had the opportunity to work with Sen. Raul Roco in his law firm when I passed the bar. His lasting impact on me was when he told us associates to either dazzle him with our brilliance or baffle him with our bullshit. We did both.

Keep up the good work in Naga City. It is always heralded.