SIQUIJOR – Statement of former Siquijor Governor, Atty. Orlando ‘Shane’ Fua in connection with the Sandiganbayan decision:
“A question I raised against a search done in the middle of the night and my offer to stand in as second witness after nobody stood as one, has gotten me a conviction for obstructing justice.
The case does not involve stealing a single centavo from the funds of government, nor an abuse in the exercise of official duty. It involved an act of pure civic mindedness, so that a friend and a neighbor might be spared needless abuse at the time his house was violated.
The Sandiganbayan has sentenced me to pay a fine of Php 6,000.00 and to suffer perpetual disqualification from office.
I summed up my final appeal this way – How would respondent (me) appear if he did not offer to act as witness to the raid? What if he chose to be one of the kibitzers who simply mingled with the crowd, sharing in the gossip along the dark street while the search was conducted in the house?
Wouldn’t he be regarded as a high official who could not succor to the distress of a constituent? Wouldn’t he be considered a lawyer who cannot stand guard when a constitutional drama is played in his presence? A citizen who has no civic mindedness at all? A neighbor who cannot be sought for help? A friend who cannot be depended on in times of need? He would rather endure punishment if his acts deserve to be punished than earn the disdain and ridicule of his people as feckless, cowardly and heartless leader.
I regret the Sandiganbayan has faulted me for the same statement, finding me motivated with malice when I assisted the search in my own barangay captain’s house. I thought it a Christian gesture at the time. Nothing changes with the way I think of it until now. I will do it time again, to assist any man, friend or foe alike, if I were given the same opportunity.
I could pay the fine of P6,000.00 and stay away from politics forever. It will write finis to the case. But I could not accept that helping someone in need is wrongful. I am just that kind of person, that kind of friend and that kind of man. It is not about being able to run in an election again.
It is about principle, truth and justice.
I wish to inform my FB friends and the world that I am taking the case on appeal to the Supreme Court, maintaining my belief in the justice system and in my own innocence.
God bless our land.”