By Raïssa Robles
Retired Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas is probably one of the best defense lawyers in the country.
However, he doesn’t seem to do as well during cross-examination.
At least twice, Cuevas has stumbled during cross-examination. He enabled tax chief Kim Henares to enter even more damaging evidence against his client, Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
It was also Cuevas who unwittingly allowed the entry of more bank documents from the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). He tried to recover by taking back this request early this week.
Today, Cuevas – while trying to make small talk with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima – mentioned that he once occupied De Lima’s position as justice secretary.
And so I got curious.
Did Cuevas himself issue the same kind of watchlist orders that De Lima had issued against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? That the Arroyo camp had roundly condemned as unconstitutional, and for which the Corona-led Supreme Court issued a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) in Arroyo’s favor?
It turns out that Cuevas did. He issued several watchlist orders while he was the justice secretary of President Joseph Estrada between July 1, 1998 and February 15, 2000.
I eagerly look forward to Cuevas explaining why it’s wrong for De Lima to issue a watchlist order, while it was right for him to do so when he was the justice secretary.
Take a look at a couple of Cuevas’ watchlist orders:
They can be viewed at the Bureau of Immigration website.
Gloria Arroyo stopped a woman, with an illness and a case just like hers, from leaving the country for four years
How Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got caught in her own mousetrap – halo vest and all
Everything I read from this blog are healthy discussions and opinions. The only question is, at the end of the day WILL THE REAL JUSTICE PREVAIL?
It’s up to the Filipino people, how much they’ll forgive and forget.
Andres Bonifacio says
Hi Raissa, do you have an article on Nani Perez ? Ex BF of Glory and beneficiary of $2M.
I once filed one on him for SCMP.
Is it still possible to read this nani perez brouhaha… Can you pls give me the link..
Thanks and cheers
Andres Bonifacio says
We should let this old man Atty. Serafin Cuevas retire already, he is an example of a corrupt justice defending a corrupt justice.
Hi. can you expose any dirt by someone from the prosecution panel?
can you help?
give me something to follow up.
I will tell you Raissa that Serafin Cuevas will even put inside a small bottle easily an Elephant because of glib mouthedness. His legal court opponents will even believe that what he is saying is in the lawbooks although it just came out of his mind through instinct that is in him even though he is not studying yet to be a lawyer. He has all the reasoning in the world to protect his clients which is a must for him because that is his occuption. Too good that it is only Fortun that was hired by the Ampatuan and not him for he can even make them walk without realy trying hard. By the way I did some research also on him because he is my kababayan although I am a long timer here in North America.
Very nice post, Raissa. What’s your take on Justice Cuevas? Can you write something about him the way you have written on Atty. Estelito Mendoza? If I may, I’d like to invite you to visit this blogpost: http://junbriosolawandbehold.blogspot.com/#!/2012/02/serafin-cuevas-school-of-law.html
I read your blogpost on Enrile.
You didn’t mention two things about him –
He was among those who had refused to open the second envelope during Estrada’s 2001 trial.
H was accused by Pimentel of cheating in the polls. The Senate Electoral Tribunal upheld Pimentel’s accusation.
Your post on Serafin Cuevas is highly interesting –
JPE upclose and personal.
A life in the day of Juan Ponce Enrile, ‘The Senate President is crying. He apologizes, but is unabashed. “I break down every time I recall the first time I met Papa.”’
Tomas Gomez III says
Lest we forget….Serafin Cuevas was the one who administered the oath of office to Arturo
Tolentino as acting President designated by deposed dictator Marcos (from Honolulu) during the Manila Hotel coup d etat of July 6, 1986. What was Cuevas thinking then? That he may become Chief Justice presiding over Manila Hotel’s Food & Beverage operations? Remember also the 30 push ups as punishment for the participating soldiers.
roy marquina says
i wonder if ms. raissa robles a malacanang spokesperson…she knows everything, siya na dapat kailangan sa impeachment trial para matapos na. marami siya sinasabi dito na di malamang alam pa ng publiko. what a researcher?? pero malamang meron kang di alam na nagawa ng time ng mother ni PNOY na si tita cory during her regime na ginawa nilang kabulastugan no ?? it was in pasig brgy. sumilang late 80′ yon. may nahukay na ginto sa amparts (that’s what we call on that place) eh madaling araw yon makailang 10 wheeler ang humakot don at pinatotohanan yan mismo ng guard na nakaassigned don (ngayon under na DPWH yan) e makita niya mismo ang pagkarga ng mga ginto sa truck…e tanong asan na napunta ang mga yan. e d sa gov’t ng time ng mother ni PNOY…nareport na ba yan hindi, kc after few months nawala na lang yung guard don sabi nahulog daw don kc lasing pero di ako naniniwala don sa sabi kc d naman umiinom yung guard kc i personally know him kc that time meron kami canteen suki namin xia. kya pala that time may naramdaman kami mga truck na dumaan and it’s not just an ordinary truck pati military truck gamit din but we ignore it. so cguro nadagdagan ko pa mga kaalaman mo kaso on a wrong side no kc hindi pabor sa mga cojuangco…
Two trolls congregating.
roy marquina says
yung nauna ko nasabi syo na you’re a malacanang spokesperson oo di totoo i’m just speculating sorry for that…napansin ko lang cguro, my deepest apology
roy marquina says
but the second one i’ve mentioned i doubt na gawa gawa yan…
I am an avid reader of your blog and read it first among my email. You’re great Raissa. I wish I had half your gutsiness. Down with the Crook with Superior Intelligence!
Thank you, Lorena.
For My Angel AJ says
More often than not, we always see two sides of case or a story in as much as we consider there is always pro’s and con’s to almoust any action. Be that as it may, it becomes laughable (at other times unnerving) when it involves only one person having opposing views on the same issue. Cuevas and Arroyo (the joker one) as typical examples.
But as a side issue (although relevant and material), I didnt seem to find much of outrage from the Citizenry, moreso from academe even, when the issue of the TRO on WLO/HDO of Arroyo was the case particularly when the SC put into vote whether the conditions as provided for the TRO to take effect were met. It is pretty elementary to think that for the WLO/HDO to be considered non-executable or restrained for continuous execution against the person/s in question, the first two conditions (first-the bond and second-the appointment of legal rep) should be met or complied with. As per the info from SC itself, at that time only the first was met out of the two conditions being considered as the primary controlling factor and the voting goes like 7-6 in favor of non-substantial compliance.
My point here is that how a simple logical/arithmetic question be put into vote practically saying that there are two sides that can be considered? To me it implies that TRO itself is defective in its details simply because the conditions are not properly defined as to how they should be understood and considered and as to how each condition affect/control the overall effect of TRO.
There is also another way to look at it: putting the appreciation of available information on whether conditions are complied with or not practically relegated the SC to a bunch of morons at least 6 of them are.
Did you say morons?
For My Angel AJ says
Yes I did in a respectfully disrespectful manner I think.
There lies the reason why SOJ De Lima is in such a dilemma whether to follow or not to follow the (defective for me) TRO. Who wouldn’t be if in the same position. We are talking here of SUPREME court, the members of which are being considered by many as purest of the pure so much so that most lawyers pertains to them and their words as the law of the land. It takes a revolution to change that thinking at least against the current crop of SCJ’s. Its actually what SOJ De Lima done. She revolted and not heeded the instructions of the SC while most demanded submission.
If I am a lawyer I would honestly tell it to their faces (SC I mean) even if it means I could be disbarred. It is a good thing that I am a chemical engineer but that doesnt mean I am a lesser mortal. My own profession requires good analytical mind. At the end of the day lawyer or not, it all boils down to logic. Unfortunately being logical COULD BE exchanged for material things, and even for the sake of previous benefactors.
You’re a scientist.
You have more reason to feel proud than lawyers do.
We need more of your kind in this country.
Their logic is that the 3rd condition is merely (pronounced ‘mer-li’ as Cuevas does) procedural.
It can easily be remedied even as gloria is already en route to Singapore.
Although it may be said that it’s water under the bridge considering gloria is already behind hospital door, the SC didn’t ask Leila to pay fee and/or put her behind bars for contempt.
Logic tells us they made a mistake…unless “reresbak sila” later on…
SA TOTOO LANG KAYA NAKAPAG ISSUE NANG T.R.O. ANG MGA JUSTICES FAVOR KAY GMA DAHIL MGA TUTA MGA ITO NI GMA, MGA APPOINTEES NI GMA MGA JUSTICES NA ITO KASAMA ANG NAGMAMADALING BUMALIK MULA SA AMERICA SI THIEF JUSTICE NATO CORONA? BAYAD UTANG NA LOOB? BAKA MAY MILLION PESOS KASAMANG BAYAD?
BAKIT KASI MINADALI ANG PAG ISSUE NANG T.R.O. GAYONG HINDI NAMAN NAG AAGAW BUHAY SI G.M.A. KAYA NABISTO MGA GINAGAWA DAHIL PALAGI NA LANG GANITO KAYA NAWALA NA TIWALA NANG TAONGBAYAN SA INYONG MGA TIWALING JUSTICES/TUTA NI G.M.A.?
For My Angel AJ says
The third is just a secondary condition that does not affect the immediate implementation or execution of the TRO. But the first two as I can understand were the primary conditions and the second (appointment of legal rep) was not complied with at that time. (Its a procedural mistake from GMA camp. They booked the tickets, prepared the bond, and they forgot the appointment. They were too preoccupied with mastering their “acts” in order that it would appear believable that GMA “will die any minute” if not allowed to be on the plane. MY BUBUWIT SAYS CORONA WAS SO DISAPPOINTED THAT AFTER ALL HE HAD DONE GMA LAWYERS WERE NOT ABLE TO DELIVER FROM THEIR SIDE…..;) ).
But my original comment was more on the wisdom of the voting for the suppose compliance. The SC do not seem to know what they actually wanted when they set the conditions for the TRO. My point is simple. Lets presume that SC needs immediate compliance for the first two. Do you then need a voting if the facts says the second was not complied with? If Compliance=2 and you get 1 only, would you still put it to vote if it is realy 1 and not 2. On the other hand, if they need only immediate compliance on the first (the bond), again they do need to put it into a vote if compliance is there. Its pretty elementary.
It seems to me that at times, even the simple case that can be equated to a arithmetic mathematical question becomes legal/political that the answer can go both ways.
Read related investigative articles of Raïssa Robles.
The case of Yogie Martirizar and GMA. Is it by fate, by chance, by coincidence or karma?
BTW, both have the same calcium deficiency disorder. And they are bound to see each other in court.
– ‘Who has been prevented from traveling abroad for the last four years by a similar Watchlist Order imposed on her by the government of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’.
– “Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III had actually fought a lonely four-year battle to unseat Zubiri from the Senate and claim it as his. Way back in 2007, he had accused two provincial election officials, Lilian Radam and Yogie Martirizar, of cheating for Zubiri.”
it’s so easy to say that the conditions were not substantially complied with or otherwise. however, a careful and objective reading of the TRO shows how clearly it stated how and when the conditions can be fully met and how and when is the TRO be made effective.
in rendering opinions, much so from “so called” journalists, not only should we consider infos that only favor to our perceived truth but also real facts that speak for themselves, otherwise, we may not only be considered as bias but also bigger morons than the 6 that you mentioned.
Ving C. says
Cuevas is in effect telling the whole world to follow what he says, not what he does. What a hypocrite.
i think doj have been issuing watch list orders ever since but as the name suggests watch list, it only allows the doj to keep watch of those person in the list. it does not prevent them really from going out of the country unless there’s a hold departure order from the court
Kung ganun din lang ang punto, bakit mag i issue pa ng WLO? Eh di panoorin na lang natin sila sa CCTV habang papalabas ng Pinas. pffft..!
In his utterance on that day he believed his group is bestowing paramount importance to several persons’ constitutional right.
But, in his analogy albeit hypothetical, what led him to believe that those persons involved were similarly “being vigorously hounded by political enemies?”
Was that someone being partial to the persons who are subjects of that inquiry?
Please think about it…
Kasi gawain ng patron niyang si GMA to use the WLO to hound their political enemies. Hindi naman political prosecution ang ginagawa ni Sec de Lima but because of strong allegations she committed crimes and a flight risk. Kahit sino including PNoy et al should be treated the same way.
You always fill-out the missing gaps, expose the hypocrisies and untangle the web of lies. Thank you, indeed.
You’re welcome :)
Cuevas is not questioning the constitutionality of a watch list order.
He is questioning if the DOJ secretary has the power to review SC decisions / disobey court orders. In fairness, sec De Lima did say that the conditions were not met, hence, the WLO remains.
I’m curious though that you deemed the merely 2 blunders of justice Cuevas is worth highlighting on this article while the prosecution… well… need I say more? :)
Why are you anonymous? need I say more?
Johnny lin says
Prosecution expected of blunders per Maceda in his column “he said, prosecutors are lightweight while Cuevas is excellent experienced litigator admired by his colleagues”
Cuevas should not have committed one simple error, but two, and the worst part his co lawyers petitioned the court to reject his motion. Shame, shame.
He he he, Cuevas excellent lawyer kuno, napatunayan siya ay matandang ulyanin nagpapogi at tawag sa sarili niya Rogelio de la Rosa kaya white coat favorite suot niya dahil trademark yun ni Rogelio, Ngi ngi ngiii
roy marquina says
what a shame on you…hindi ka cguro tao kung d ka nagkakamali, let’s be polite enough to give comments. pangit kc tingnan, we’re civilized naman cguro. and let the court na lang to decide the fate of the chief justice. character assasination na yan cguro ginagawa mo kaya even the looks of the justice cuevas pinapansin mo pa, it was his job kaya siya nandyan. so please let’s be more courteous to elders no. thanks
Johnny lin says
Respect is earned. Trampling the intelligence of the Filipinos because of his stature does not deserve respect. He started the process. He should not have committed the legal error, based on his experience according to him and followers. His own admirers set up the parameters of his excellence, not me.
He is a stupid elderly man. That is a fact according to my freedom of speech, the same way everyone is exercising each own freedom of speech, like you.
Misplaced tolerance is the opium of Filipino culture. Why keep tolerating Cuevas disrespect of our moral system due to his age? He knew he is old, despite, he chose his current path. Therefore, he knew he could be subjected to ridicule when he makes a blunder.
Ever since Cuevas was young he was bragging he dressed impecably like Rogelio de la Rosa, if you did not know that.
I totally agee with you Johnny. We earn respect with the way we behave ourselves; regardless of age.
royroy royurbot says
I can feel your pain on how you, cuevas,corona, gloria et al are aching to be respected by the mamamayan pero kayo ang may kasalanan nito. You could have been heroes. You were presented a chance, so many chances but neck deep into this culture of impunity and corruption hindi nyo na tuloy nakikita ang whats right. Corruption and impunity dulled your moral values, in power with gloria for a long time nasanay kayo with people bowing to you and pleasing you. Now the once entitled perks and special treatment are no more. The money, great money may be there but the respect is no longer there. Nakakamiss ba? . Ngayon you have to beg for it, pero tama si johhny lin, respect is earned. Pero may pagasa pa kayo, repent.
I second the comment