Saturday, June 09, 2007

"Insulted" DILG officer writes

The city operations officer of the Department of Interior and Local Governments in Dumaguete City wrote me a letter, saying he feels insulted about my post in this blog. Here is his letter:

5 June 2007

The Negros Chronicle
Piapi, Dumaguete City

Dear Atty. Dejaresco:

This is in connection with your commentary in the Negros Chronicle where you labeled my opinion dated May 24, 2007 as totally inconsistent, simplistic reasoning, fatally flawed, irrelevant, way off tangent, more confusing and devoid of any legal basis.

At the outset, I would like to inform you that I was not asked by legal people from City Hall to write a separate opinion and as explained in my letter, I wrote it because of doubts cited in your paper that I could be liable as co-conspirator for failure to act on an illegal and irregular act.

I do not wish to debate further on the issue. Likewise, the continuous publication of commentaries on the issue would not change anything because “It is a principle widely accepted that the interpretation placed upon a statute by the executive officers whose duty is to enforce it is entitled to great respect by the Courts. Nevertheless, such an interpretation is not conclusive and will be ignored if judicially found to be erroneous” (People vs. Fernandez, 59 Phils. 272) I respectfully suggest that you take the proper action in Court.

I have never asked favors from politicians, editors, and lawyers, and I can not be ordered around to write separate opinions against my wishes and I take it as an insult when you wrote in your blog that “people from City Hall helped draft the opinion of the DILG Operations Officer”. I believe that knowledge of the law (in this case, the Local Government Code) is not a monopoly of lawyers and I also believe that not all commentaries written by lawyers are well founded on the law.

Modesty aside, my lawyer-son, Atty. Waldemar R. Gravador, who graduated Cum Laude, was the Best Debater in the 1994 SU-UP Diliman Grand Debate and got a rating of 86.85% in the bar, respects my knowledge of the Local Government and does not underestimate my being a non-lawyer.

Again, modesty aside, despite my being a non-lawyer, I have written the counter-affidavits of cases against then Mayor Enrique R. Jariol and Antonio D. Tan, and Mayor Antonio D. Renacia, all of Sibulan filed at the Office of the Ombudsman and all those cases were dismissed. I mention this to prove to you that I am capable of writing my own thoughts and opinions.

Thank you!

Leopoldo Gravador
Department of Interior and Local Government
City Operations Officer

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