out of the pan and into the fire

the department has been consistently in the news these days following the series of natural tragedies triggered by tropical cyclones. illegal logging, presumably, had a huge contribution to the rising death toll. not that i am unaffected, but i doubt whether all this finger pointing is doing any of the victims any good, because regardless of how much you take us to task, many many things will go unnoticed, willingly or willingly, under our very noses. for my part, i can only do so much, and my tasks as part of the legal service have little profound effect on the plight of our flooded countrymen and women.

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we had a staff meeting the other day and i was surprised at the ratio of men and women in our office. it’s probably 2:5. but that is not a shocking observation. what boggles me is the fact that there are actually far too many rank and file who have overlapping responsibilities. that’s why most of these guys end up doing nothing for a full 9 hours. i’ve been given a special assignment though: forestry and protected areas. i wonder whether they took into consideration the fact that i’m into mountaineering. that’s probably the case.

during the meeting, the asec was trying to put in place some kind of system, which on its face is laudable and probably long due. the odd thing is that the lawyers were averse to all of the changes which the asec wanted to introduce, particularly the deadlines. these lawyers are a lazy bunch. and that includes me. i was whispering to myself, if the conditions here become just as stressful as the law firm, might as well go back. the asec’s scheme, though, was reasonable. but the suggestions of many of the lawyers were unreasonable: evident of their predilection to taking their sweet time.

after the meeting, i spent most of that day wondering how i could swerve one decision in favor of a particular respondent. i failed, of course, because he had nothing on his side but a denial. there’s just not enough evidence to support his allegations. too bad. i think the law was rather harsh. but then again we have that dura lex thing.

after work, i hied off to makati to meet with tito mayong and rex about the pilipinas sierra christmas party. i couldn’t help but feel that there was some arm twisting going on, which they did most nicely. they obviously had an agenda, which i just couldn’t turn down. we’ll see how this’ll turn out.

when the meeting was over, i met up with jong and joy. we spent most of the evening at jong’s place in makati. we briefly watched “tap dogs” and had dinner. joy whipped up a rather tasty dish from a can of corned beef. i had a hearing the following day so i had to leave earlier than i wanted.

speaking about the hearing. i was just about to have sophie’s case dismissed on the strength of the affidavit of desistance, but the prosecutor insisted that i include a phrase into the document. for pete’s sake (and sophie’s as well), he’d already checked the affidavit during the last hearing, and it was only now that he’d thought of it. one phrase: misaccounting discovered after the case had been filed. if he informed me of this the last time, then i could have finally said goodbye to this case, and we’d all have merry christmases. but no. what is wrong with this jallorina? yes, the fiscal’s name is la verne jallorina, but no relation though to jay raymund jallorina, although i’d have to say they’re both major pains. so the hearing was moved to today. and you’d never guess but this time, it was the judge who proved to be uncooperative. she’s out on an emergency leave. this is what just irks me about the entire process that makes me want to change careers.