Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sabio the Teacher

Justice Jose L. Sabio, Jr. is all over the news these past few days because of the controversy within the Court of Appeals and the alleged bribery attempt against him. Let me share with you another facet of Justice Jose Sabio, Jr. - that of being a teacher.

I was a student of Justice Jose Sabio, Jr. twice. He is one of the most feared professors in our school because of his reputation as a tough teacher. In fact, his reputation precedes him - many students drop his Criminal Procedure class even before they experience being told to "sit down!" by Justice Sabio. But for those who've chosen to stick it out, I'm sure that most (if not all) have not regretted their decision, especially if they've heard a "that will do" or "thank you" from the eminent Justice after a grueling recitation.

Beneath his gruff demeanor is a man who genuinely wants to share valuable knowledge to his students; a man who exudes integrity that is beyond question. He shares with his students his experiences in the law profession, urging us as he did not to take the easy path just because it's there. That making the harder choices, as long as you keep your credibility intact, is well worth it in the end.

As to the controversy that Justice Sabio is in today, I think that there is no reason not to believe him. There is also no reason for him to expose the bribery attempt just to spite MERALCO at the expense of his credibility. He has worked too hard for what he is today just to squander it away. And for what? For GSIS? I don't think so.

And why does he doggedly insist that the division which he temporarily chairs has jurisdiction over the MERALCO case? Well, I think because he thinks it is just proper to do so. One thing is for sure, he will defend his position up to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court hands down a decision in his favor, he will surely inhibit himself from the case. Surely.

That's what I believe - he was just doing what he thought was correct, although it embroiled him in the ugly rift between Winston Garcia and the Lopezes. But you really can't blame a guy for doing the proper thing, can you?

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