weirdest OLA experience

i know i have a hearing early tomorrow and i should be preparing for it but i just have to blog about this.

during my OLA duty last week, i talked to a 70-year-old woman whom i thought was our client. she looked normal and seemed to have a valid concern. so i told her to come back today with all the documents that we might need to do what she wanted us to do.

she came back this afternoon but to my surprise, she gave me this mean look when i greeted her along the corridor. i was puzzled because as far as i could remember, i was extra nice to her the last time and i couldn't recall anything that i did that could have offended her.

when i went inside the office, i was shocked at what she said to my co-interns. ruby said: "anong ginawa mo kay lola?" to which i replied, "huh? what do you mean?"

apparently, the old lady came up to them and asked that she be assigned to another intern. bastos raw kasi ako. she even asked if "edukado ba yun?" at ang likot-likot ko raw, nanghihingi ba daw ako ng pera.

my co-interns knew me better so they remained calm and continued to listen.

lola: "pakiramdam ko nga sinundan niya ako sa bahay."

at sinabi ko raw na "pa-k*****" (the K tagalog word which i can't even bring myself to utter). "paano kung nabuntis ako? kailangan panagutan nya yun!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. can't keep myself from laughing. i've just been accused of sexually harassing a 70-year-old! good lord! we were laughing in the office the whole afternoon. (not at the client of course, but at the weird accusation).

now i could see the case being called out by the clerk of court: people of the philippines versus navallo, criminal case number so-and-so for sexual harassment. law intern michael jobert navallo, accused.

and i never knew i like old women pala. this made my day.


lawyering, the law, and the law intern

picture this: you are a lawyer for an accused. your client confesses to committing another crime for which another person has been charged. but you are covered by the lawyer-client privilege, hence, you cannot speak about it. what would you do?

would you allow the innocent man to be sentenced to a possible death penalty just to honor the privilege with your client? or would you risk losing your job to prevent an injustice?

hypothetical? nope, it happened in real life. and the innocent man has been languishing in jail for the past 26 years. it's only now that the real culprit is dead that his lawyers are speaking up. (read full story.)

i wondered how these two lawyers managed to live their lives knowing fully well that they're partly responsible for what happened to the poor guy. and what kind of legal ethics allows you to keep quiet while an innocent person rots in jail?

oh well, as prof. te shared during our office of legal aid orientation: conscience is a disease of the brain, fatal for lawyers, but thankfully rare in the profession.

makes you think twice about the profession you're getting into.


it's disappointing to read about cases like these, just when the summer ola has somehow renewed my "interest" in the study of the law. (fyi, the office of legal aid is a required course in the law curriculum where students get to appear in court, write pleadings and handle actual cases. sounds exciting? it sure is, except that it's 2000 units hehe.)

a few months back, during the first sem, i was complaining about the seeming futility of what we were doing, i.e., studying like there's no tomorrow, barely in touch with the world. if you've been reading this blog, you would probably have sensed my desire to pursue another profession.

but i decided to stay, if only to finish it and pass the bar. after that, i'll be free to do what i want.

summer ola changed all that.

last thursday, while i was checking some files in the office, i happened to overhear a conversation between another law intern and a client. the client wanted to inquire about his case but since he had no means of contacting the intern, he decided to go to the office. he would've gone home empty-handed, advised to return another day, had i not recognized the title of the case that had just been turned over to me the previous day. i butted in immediately, that's my case!

good thing i had a good sense of hearing because as it turned out, the client came all the way from Montalban, Rizal, on board his bike! and this is the second time it happened, having gone to malcolm hall two weeks back only to find the office closed. to think that earlier, i was complaining at the back of my mind how i'll ever get to an 8am hearing in montalban on time, when i can barely make it to school at 8am! well, the client just did the seemingly impossible. the case must really matter to him a lot, and i'll be doing him a disservice if i don't give it as much attention.

i must agree with len, a graduating law student, and her take on ola: "i had a feeling of satisfaction that I never got from reading cases, doing well in exams and recits, etc..." this early, i'm saying the same thing, because finally, studying the law will not just be about myself and passing the bar, but it will be about another person, with a face, a name and a cause to fight for.


wish me luck. i'm handling 30 cases this summer and i'm attending my first hearing tomorrow. pre-trial! good thing it's not a criminal case, so no one goes to jail if i mess up!



i want to write about a lot of things but words just fail me now, and i can't find the inspiration to write. it's one of those days when you should be celebrating (because not all people get to celebrate their 23rd birthday) but somehow you know something's missing.

but i'll save you all the crap so let me just say that the past year was one crazy year. and i'm one crazy guy. and despite all that happened, there's plenty of things to be thankful for.

i'm done with my third year, woohoo! (whether i passed my subjects or not, that's another story hehe).

my 5-year tutee graduated from don bosco makati hs last saturday. while i was on my way to my last exam, he texted me: "kuya jobert, ggraduate na po ako mamayang 4, hehe, tnx po sa lahat." wow, all my efforts of learning calculus, trigonometry, algebra, physics, chemistry, and other high school subjects (so i could effectively teach them), not to mention shuttling back and forth from qc to tondo, actually paid off!

i don't know if i should be thankful for the lsg post, given all the work that it entails, but hey, at least i'd be doing something meaningful in the coming months. and i'm in extremely good company (kahit binabara nila jokes ko).

i got into the summer internship program of the office of legal aid. will hopefully appear in court soon!

i'm still in touch with the center, despite recent events. a big part of who i am i owe to them.

my family's having a reunion right now (sans my parents and my brother). i've never received this many kisses on my birthday from my little cousins. and where would you find uncles and cousins singing you a happy birthday in the middle of their drinking spree?

my block is tighter than before. i can't thank them enough for all that they did and are still doing for me. thanks for believing. anything for you guys (basta wag lang illegal, immoral, inter alia haha...).

i've met new friends too from my new block and from elsewhere.

and we're still friends. she greeted me on my birthday :-)

23 is michael jordan's lucky number. hope it will be too for this mj.