NUPL, November 14, 2014
The epidemic of corruption: It is really very dirty, shady and slimy out there
The National Union Peoples’ Lawyers deplores the corruption that pervades the justice system as it experienced first hand an attempt to extort from one of its clients in exchange for the dismissal of a case filed against them.
The NUPL solicited the intercession of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and she assigned trusted agents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who laid down the entrapment over lunch today of Assistant City Prosecutor III Raul Y. Desambrana assigned at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.
Desambrana tried to extort money from Dr. Alex Montes and his co-respondent in an obscure nuisance case for unjust vexation filed by a retired military chaplain. Dr. Montes is a pro bono community doctor and was part of the “Morong 43” health workers who were detained by the military in 2010 based on false charges.
Desambrana unilaterally contacted Dr. Montes’ lawyer from the NUPL and openly asked for P80,000.00 as his “SOP” in exchange for the dismissal of the case. And as part of the proposed quid pro quo, he asked the lawyer to draft the resolution of dismissal to be submitted simultaneously with the delivery of the “SOP”.
After consultation with Dr. Montes, the NUPL decided to entrap the prosecutor if only to weed out corrupt prosecutors and somewhat “cleanse” what is generally perceived as a dirty, shady and slimy legal and justice system.
In pursuing the entrapment of Prosecutor Desembrana, the NUPL – aware of the risk of reprisal to its legal practice and advocacy and even brickbats from colleagues who want to play along with the system — intends to send the message that people in power should not get away not only with rights violations but also with their corrupt acts. Perhaps it is a modest contribution to to the curtailment of impunity that has contaminated each nook and crevice of government.
We will not be bought. Nor will we buy justice. We will not allow ourselves to be infected with this epidemic of corruption that further gnaws at our already floundering hopes and aggravates the frustration of the people who are given little fighting chance to “beat the system. ”
Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Secretary General
NUPL Asst. Secgen for Legal Services
Co-Counsel for Dr. Alex Montes