Unparalleled Parallelism

LEGALLY SPEAKING No. 3

It just says the justice system of this country sucks” and so it goes for De Quiros. This was his response to comments against his 06 August 2007 article entitled “Wives and Lovers” about Noli Eala’s disbarment due to extramarital affair with a married woman.

I will sum up Wives and Lovers in one sentence: Eala does not deserve to be disbarred. The underlying reason for De Quiros in arriving at this view hinges on parallelism when he said in the penultimate paragraph of the said article that:

Feel free to take the lesson you feel more appropriate: Don’t be unfaithful to your spouse, only to the voters. Or, two, don’t be caught being unfaithful to your spouse, only to the voters. (Emphasis supplied)

The first thing to consider when one adopts parallelism as a means of argument is its propriety, whether the ideas being compared are similar at least in its major points. With all due respect, however, I do not find any similarity between being unfaithful to one’s spouse (first) on one hand and being unfaithful to voters (second) on the other. The parallelism that De Quiros made might be on a different level as what I learned way back in high school. Maybe it would be proper if the issue is unfaithfulness and not disbarment due to unfaithfulness. The parallelism has disregarded several substantial differences between the first and the second instance of unfaithfulness. The following are the list of my hexed distinctions:

1) First instance is administrative, while the second is political in character;

2) The first instance is within the direct control and supervision of the Supreme Court, while the second is properly within the ambit of the Executive Branch;

3) The first instance is more of a private interest as compared with the second which is more of a public concern being the determination of the sovereign will;

4) The success or failure of the prosecution of the first instance and its incidents has no effect, directly or indirectly, with any case involving the second instance and vice versa; and

5) The laws, rules and penalty for disbarment are substantially different from laws, rules and penalties for violation of election laws.

The above-mentioned dissimilarities are the things I had in mind when I read the assailed commentary of De Quiros. And I am trying to justify to myself that De Quiros, one of my favorite “opinion-makers”, would try to paint a picture of similarity between two entirely different issues. I know De Quiros doesn’t mind my justification at all, much less need it.

But where really did the “similarity” lie?

Not all “celebrated cases” decided by the Supreme Court involve a matter of public interest or a matter which will put the very concept of the justice into doubt. Neither does it always involve an appeal to emotion. As the ancient Aristotle puts, “the law is reason, free from passion.We cannot mock the idea of justice merely because we commiserate with the plight of Eala. For me, Eala had to choose and his choice is his personal gratification. Why? He chose love above else. He gave up his “Atty.” to pursue his relationship with a married woman, however wrong or right that is. It is a decision that we have to at least respect. As a lawyer, he knows he admitted all the material charges necessary to make a case for disbarment. And these admissions has impliedly but clearly created an impression that he is ready to leave the bar all in the name of love.

The most fatal of said admissions is his assertion that their relationship is merely “low profile and known only to members of their respective families.” It is as if saying that it is just fine to be illicit provided that no one knows of it. On this point, may we be reminded that a concealed wrong is still the same wrong. It did not become lawful by the mere fact that only a few people know. Otherwise, we can just commit concealed crimes anyway we cannot be considered criminals because it is concealed. That seems to me is the tenor of his argument.

Excuse me, now, what does the justice system have to do with Eala and the voters again?

Or maybe it is not about parallelism at all.

 

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Graphics: UnfaithfuL by 3yOonUAE on www.deviantart.com

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