When “Joc Joc” is a joke
The Fourth Estate, or tri-media, even has to misbehave upon Joc Joc’s arrival at the NAIA such that a stricter policy has to be issued to serve public notice that because of such disturbing scuffle, security for media will be at its worst come another similar event. Offhand, shouldn’t NAIA to be blamed for trying to apparently hide Joc Joc from public view and for that matter, within arm’s length from media that already stayed vigil one day ahead?
Compared however to how institutions misbehave as well, NAIA dwarfs in comparison. Senate engages in a tug of war with the Department of Justice as to who should issue arrest order as to take custody of Joc Joc. Ironically, it is St. Lukes that stole the thunder with the possibility that Joc Joc stays in the hospital for as long as either the patient or the doctor so desires. This has been truly anti-climactic to the false excitement stirred.
For another, Senate is trying to pull the rope again – at least, a second time around – from the Ombudsman that has already the jurisdiction over the case when the Senate already transmitted its report. Senator Angara thinks that the SC should step into the case believing that even a single SC justice can in fact issue a temporary restraining order.
So the question is on which legal radar screen must we find Joc Joc? Is Senate the proper forum or is it more likely the Ombudsman? Should DOJ still join the fray? Will the Supreme Court step into the picture in some impromptu decision as to whether the case ought to be reopened and therefore be reinvestigated by the Senate? Should the case be initiated now at the Ombudsman as the proper forum after Senate’s own report has been transmitted thereby making conclusive its findings on Joc Joc’s so-called P700 fertilizer scam? What is the sense of the SC on the matter?
There seems to be of a legal problem on how things could really begin suffice that St. Lukes has become a subway station. While in the hospital to buy time, Joc Joc should be about ready to dispose self whoever takes him next and where. Senate has already prepared the ‘guest room’ for Joc Joc complete with decent amenities – free board and lodging, at Senate or taxpayers’ expense. Depending on which institution takes higher precedence, the Sergeant-At-Arms of the Senate or the NBI of the justice department or the agents of the Ombudsman – whoever – could in fact arrest Joc Joc is no longer of any moment to the viewing universe.
We are into a new kind of legal rigmarole. Is there anything else that the Senate should feast on in the case of Joc Joc? What stones, if any, were left unturned, when Senate already officially and with finality issued its committee report thereby endorsing to the Ombudsman appropriate legal action on Joc Joc? It can effectively mean that the earlier report is set aside if that were at all possible to pave the way for a new and final report after Joc Joc could have been made to appear before the Senate investigation committee and answer all questions – lived on TV. And again, if viciously, Senate will transmit report to the Ombudsman that should now initiate proper legal proceedings. St. Lukes, at anytime of the investigation period, can provide convenient alibi for the inability of Joc Joc to further testify. What do we have next?
Generally speaking, there seems to be nothing more to know than has already been revealed or made public by way of all sorts of news reports and that of the Senate. It should be Joc Joc who should run after our institutions if he were bent to redeem himself, if he can, from the seeming persecution he experienced – in and out of the country. He should present himself voluntarily and with conviction in every public forum available to clear his name, if it were possible at all under the circumstances and weight of evidence offered by a Senate committee report or by COA’s own auditing job.
That Villar appears to be pressing the ball to the disgust of Ping Lacson by announcing he will yet to call a caucus and yet did not yet call one. That the Ombudsman is yet to be in any indicative mood to take jurisdiction over the case and to set a self-imposed deadline to make its disposition over the case complete after some reasonable time is equally disturbing. The House of Representatives might also want a piece of the cake however unthinkingly.
For want of Joc Joc, nothing will be known. There are legal experts who think Joc Joc can opt to speak or not speak. Not few think, the matter has yet to be decided as to who should take jurisdiction and until this can be drawn, Joc Joc is a freeman. By the time one legal loop has been untangled, a new Gordian knot ought to be untangled as to whether Joc Joc, now not an official of the government, can be compelled by any official government body or persona to appear than disappear. Things have become more complicated than simple and that gave Joc Joc a lot of redemption value. Is this part of a higher order of things? Well, maybe yes.
Whether Joc Joc is malingering to be suffering from any kind of illness to evade arrest or further legal action against him is deemed beside the point. Senate, DOJ, Ombudsman, House of Representatives, SC – in running after Joc Joc – are all caught in a legal stampede and where any of these institutions chokes to its death, figuratively speaking, serves as an indication of our damaged psyche. In the end, even with Joc Joc telling us all what he knows, the point is that the beneficiaries have already run away with the loot and are in fact, Scot-free and one poor Joc Joc just provides the immunity blanket for all the thieves in a grand thievery. Where will all this lead us to? Nowhere, just nowhere and Joc Joc will bring us no comfort even if he be found guilty. Pray tell, the present agriculture secretary will not be another Joc Joc in our troubled midst.