One of the most ridiculous court decisions I’ve come across is one made by Bacolod City Regional Trial Court Judge Philadelfa Pagapong-Agraviador.
Agraviador recently convicted PO3 Nicolas Tancinco Jr. for shooting to death SPO3 Maximiano Zarsuelo III inside a bar in the city.
Records show Tancinco and Zarsuelo had an altercation inside the bar which escalated into a push and shove, with the latter pointing his gun at Tancinco.
But before Zarsuelo could pull the trigger, Tancinco was able to draw his gun and fire at Zarsuelo three times.
Even a nonlawyer knows Tancinco acted in self-defense.
But Agraviador didn’t buy Tancinco’s argument of self preservation.
“If the accused wanted to defend himself from Zarsuelo he could have shot him in the foot or in the hand holding the gun,” the judge ruled.
The judge apparently has seen a lot of cowboy movies where the main character, the bida (hero), shoots his opponent in the hand during a gunfight in a saloon.
The hero’s opponent survives the gunfight with only a bullet hole in his hand.
Judge Agraviador was detached from reality when she made the decision convicting Tancinco.
When somebody points a gun at you with the intent to kill, you need to stop the aggressor.
If you’re equally armed, stopping him means placing two or three successive shots in the attacker’s chest where the heart is located.
This is what Tancinco did to Zarsuelo.
Aiming at an armed opponent’s hand or foot during a gunfight is not only impractical, it’s downright stupid because he could shoot back and kill you.
When Tancinco shot the aggressive Zarsuelo he meant to stop the latter from harming him.
That Zarsuelo got killed in the process was just too bad, but Tancinco was just defending himself.
Judge Agraviador, obviously not a shooter, apparently doesn’t know the intricacies of a gunfight.
But she could have consulted lawyers who are gun enthusiasts in Bacolod City.
Asking questions about a subject one is ignorant about does not diminish one’s intelligence.
Had the lady judge asked, she wouldn’t have rendered that ridiculous decision.
If the Court of Appeals justices who will hear Tancinco’s appeal uphold Agraviador’s decision, they too are out of touch with reality like her.
* * *
National Museum Director Jeremy Robert Barns, an Australian citizen, and his assistant, Ana Theresa Labrador, are now being investigated by Malacañang for allegedly withdrawing P306.9 million of the museum’s endowment fund from the Land Bank and depositing it in their accounts in two private banks.
This column exposed the two museum executives’ apparently unlawful act since the official and sole depository of government funds is the Land Bank.
Barn’s alleged backer in Malacañang, who is reportedly a very close friend of the handsome Australian, couldn’t defend him.
* * *
Associate Commissioner Siegfred Mison is the Bureau of Immigration’s acting commissioner.
Ricardo David, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces, was sacked as immigration commissioner recently for inefficiency.
Mison, a West Pointer, has a master of laws degree and teaches law at Ateneo de Manila University.
Like his father, retired Lt. Gen. and former customs commissioner Salvador Mison, Siegfred is one honest official at the graft-ridden immigration bureau.