Home » Opinion » Medium Rare » Legal dilemma

Legal dilemma

“IF there are 10 bigtime drug lords, I was the lawyer of six of them.”

I had a short conversation with the lawyer (whom we shall call Felix because it’s not his real name) two days before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines cautioned President Duterte against depriving drug traffickers and users of their right to counsel and the best defense available to them.

Atty. Felix said he stopped lawyering as defense counsel for those clients, in fact switched to trading and marketing of a lifestyle product as innocuous as promoting health and beauty, as soon as Digong pushed the war on drugs, vowing to wipe out the menace and its monsters to save a generation of Filipinos.

What happens now to his ex-clients? There’ll be plenty of lawyers to take over. In the land of a million lawyers in the highest echelons of government, the courts, in business and private practice, Atty. Felix chose not to be despised by a fellow-Bedan by giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Besides, promoting health and beauty (to mostly healthy, beautiful women) is much less stressful and its rewards are more serene to be enjoyed.

In another conversation, I listened to the story told by a relative of an addict who will probably never get out of the rehab center where his family pays P50,000 each month to keep him off drugs – an aspiration that has exhausted his parents financially and emotionally. “It has come to a point where pity no longer works,” his cousin admitted, not without chagrin. “Would it be a sin to wish that those same drugs put him out of his misery?”

The addict has all but destroyed his family. Whenever they visited him, he would ask for toothpaste, an electric fan, towels, snacks, until they realized that a tube of toothpaste does not run out nor does a fan pass out in seven days.

“Then it dawned on us,” she sighed with exasperation, “he was trading those things for drugs.” Inside the center.
(Jullie Y. Daza)