Today was all about connections.
Connection One. I lost an exhibit in my case last week. The original copy of the document that was presented and marked during trial was missing. What I could find in the case folder was only a photocopy thereof. Due to the deadline for the formal offer of my exhibits, I opted to just attach the photocopy, hoping the receiving clerk will not notice it. She did. She called me and told me she cannot accept it because the document that was originally marked was not attached. I told her, it was already beyond recovery and to just accept my pleading – I was ready to face the consequence of my careless act and will simply embrace the harsh order of the court that it is not admissible as evidence. I don’t know what got into her, but she told me she’ll just receive it for purposes of the deadline but said she will just withhold handing it to the judge for the moment. Instead, she told me she will also look for the exhibit in the court’s files in case it’s there. I was so happy, I asked her to give me three working days to look for the exhibit (it’s five days, if you count the weekend). Immediately, I ordered my secretary and our clerk to open up all the folders in our filing cabinets and look for the document in the hope that it was just misplaced. After four days of never-ending flipping of case files, they just managed to organize our files – and not a shadow of that document showed up. I likewise requested my client to look for it in their files too. We had the same result. Defeated by my carelessness, I went to court this morning to tell the kind madam to go on and submit my formal offer of exhibits to the judge for his resolution. When I went in, the Branch Clerk of Court who’s my companero and schoolmate in college of law was inside too. He asked if I found it yet. I said I had no luck and that I will just confront the defendant when he takes the witness stand, telling him the document was only corroborative of the testimonies of our witnesses. Yes, he agreed. Then the kind madam told me that she could just re-mark the photocopy – if I want to, because honestly, she was the one who marked it and the transcript of records reveal that it was indeed identified and marked during trial. So I looked over my companero and asked if I can do that—he said yes. So there.
Connection Two. My labor case client frantically came to visit me this afternoon. She was there about the labor case her employee filed against her. Said employee voluntarily resigned from her job, and who, after my client sent her a demand letter for her existing cash advances of P 26,000.oo, filed a labor case against her, obviously to get back at her. She told me that last week, she followed up the status of her case. Her close friend who was working there relayed to her that the decision for her case was already drafted. She forced her friend on the outcome of the draft and the latter replied that since there was doubt on who was telling the truth between the parties, the decision was in favor of labor, as usual. My client asked what made it tilt in favor the complainant, and her friend replied that it was the affidavit of the witness of the complainant who had claimed that the complainant was truly illegally dismissed. That witness was also a friend of my client and the latter was really flabbergasted why her friend made untruthful allegations in the affidavit. Not about to accept defeat, my client requested her close friend to hold the finalization of the decision until the end of the week, promising that she will be back to submit the affidavit of recantation of the said witness. This afternoon, her friend who stood as witness of the complainant, came with her and we made her another affidavit where she retractred all her untruthful allegations in her previous affidavit. She later told us, she just signed the first affidavit because the complainant was crying and was even threatening to commit suicide if she will not sign it. She said she did not even know what was inside that affidavit she signed.
Connection Three. Have you ever watched Korean dramas where there are these men in black who forcefully enter a house, break the things inside and demand that the protagonist pay up somebody’s debt which has reached to a very substantial amount? I really found these scenes unbelievable. Why can’t the debtors go to the authorities and report the incident for harassment, grave threat, physical injuries? Why do the protagonists end up paying another’s debt when he did not avail it? I just realized today that such scenario does not only exist in Korean dramas, does not only happen in Korea, but also here in the Philippines, where I thought nobody would succumb to useless threats. Today, somebody I know ended up paying an almost seven digit worth of debt. It was not her personal loan. It was for a relative. Her relative already absconded. The gangster creditor knew she was connected with the debtor. No matter how she reasoned that she’s not liable for the debt, the ruthless creditor relentlessly demanded her to pay up. Or she better be careful. Or her family better be careful too. Then the killer creditor was already dropping dates for the deadline of payment, otherwise, otherwise…I told her to report the incident to the authorities so that she can file Grave Threats, but she did not want to. She was terrified. She was afraid for the family. She ended up borrowing that same amount of money so that she can pay the debt.
Yes, connections. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad.