"The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people!" - Napoleon

Sunday, February 16, 2014

ATTY. FORTUN THE SPOKESMAN GIVES UP ON CEDRIC LEE

Attorney Raymond Fortun, the embattled spokesman of Cedric Lee, has resigned after almost two weeks of defending his client in trimedia. He cited two reasons why he gave up on Cedric Lee: 1) Filipinos are not yet ready to accept some legal concepts as shown by their inability to "temper their emotions". He blamed this on the "inaccurate reportage and the unprofessional actions of certain law enforcement agencies" and 2) Cedric's breach of their agreement that only Atty. Fortun will speak to the media. 


Below is the transcript of his resignation letter.  





Dear Cedric,

I had been engaged as your spokesman with the objective of being the media’s contact person in all legal as well as factual issues as may be consistent with the thrust of your legal counsels. In this regard, I had faithfully complied with this mandate for the past 12 days, even at peril to my own reputation as a lawyer.

Together with this mandate was an agreement that no statements shall by (sic) anybody from your group without the consent/approval of your counsels and/or spokesman. This has been breached last night.

My personal desire to help you notwithstanding the adverse publicity that you have been receiving is precisely to educate the public on the need to temper their emotions in light of your Constitutional rights to due process, to counsel of your choice, to present a valid and lawful defense, and to confront your accusers in the proper legal setting.

The past several days had made me realize that this country is NOT YET READY to accept these legal concepts, to which I squarely lay the blame on inaccurate reportage and the unprofessional actions of certain law enforcement agencies. That being the case and for the earlier reason mentioned, and in light of my inability to perform the functions for which I was hired, I regret that I must resign as your spokesman effective immediately.

Nonetheless, and in light of the lessons I have learned during my short stint as your spokesman, I will henceforth be devoting some of my time to: (i) ask congressmen to enact legislation so that ALL PERSONS who MAY be facing criminal prosecution be duly informed of their rights (e.g. to remain silent, to the presence of a lawyer etc.) before they are interviewed by TV networks. People accused of crimes also have rights which need to be protected against media frenzy and unfair pre-judgments; and (ii) ask the Supreme Court to resolve the issues in respect of the Constitutionality of the Anti-Cybercrime Law, in order to address the matter of cyber-libels against Filipino citizens. People do have the right to express their opinions about issues, but such freedom does not grant a license to bully, hurl invectives or otherwise destroy one’s reputation without factual basis.

I wish you all the best in your case, and may justice prevail.

Very truly yours,

Raymond Fortun

First point, on the reasons that led to his resignation. If Cedric Lee did not breach their agreement as spokesman-client last night, I don't think Atty. Fortun will resign despite his observation that the public is adverse towards Cedric. In my humble opinion, Cedric, who lacks self-restraint, broke their agreement and Atty. Fortun was displeased so he resigned. To blame the public is too much.

In the first place, he decided to accept Cedric as a client when a psychologist was interviewed on tv and interpreted the body language of Cedric. It was not the public's attitude that made him take on the job of a spokesperson. It was, according to him, that "Buzz ng Bayan" segment that made him side with Cedric.

Second point, on this part of his resignation letter: "My personal desire to help you ... is precisely to educate the public on the need to temper their emotions in light of your Constitutional rights to due process, to counsel of your choice, to present a valid and lawful defense, and to confront your accusers in the proper legal setting."  

In my humble opinion, Atty. Fortun has been educating the public on matters of the law, even without serving as the spokesman of some accused persons. Remember his lengthy explanation of Manny Pacquiao's tax problem? We were educated on taxation and on the liabilities of Manny Pacquiao. Many of us understood the case because Attorney Fortun, the lawyer-teacher, not Manny's spokesperson, enlightened us. So I think the good attorney need no further rationalization- that he wanted to help Cedric "to educate the public on the need to temper their emotions". It is simple. Cedric needed his services and he willingly obliged. 

Incidentally, who remembers Atty. Fortun's statement on the kissing scene at the elevator? He said that Cedric and Deniece are not an item. They were not mag-syota. Unfortunately, the public and the attorney have differing opinion. Isn't it that some Filipinos can tell who are mag-syota and who are not sans law degree? His defense of Cedric's kiss was even construed as an attempt to mislead the public. If his explanation was an attempt to educate the public, then he failed as a teacher.

Third and last point, on this part of his statement: "The past several days had made me realize that this country is NOT YET READY to accept these legal concepts, to which I squarely lay the blame on inaccurate reportage and the unprofessional actions of certain law enforcement agencies."

Too late a realization. Didn't he realize this when he defended Erap during the impeachment trial many years ago which led to EDSA Revolution v.2? 

I hope Atty. Fortun will push through with his post-Cedric plans. I agree with Atty. Fortun that "People do have the right to express their opinions about issues, but such freedom does not grant a license to bully, hurl invectives or otherwise destroy one’s reputation without factual basis." I know that even Atty. Fortun was not spared from cyberbullying since he took on the role of Cedric's spokesman. There are many more victims of cyberbullying out there so this is important for everyone. 

So how will Atty. Fortun's resignation affect Cedric? This case has become even more interesting. Or less interesting? What do you think?


29 comments:

  1. tama lang yan! sayang ang credibilidad mo kung itutuloy mo pa yan attorney. magaling ka naman. justice for truth!

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    1. Totally agree. Sayang ang reputation ni Atty. kung cla CL at DC ang ipagtatanggol nia eh ang dami namang evidence na puedeng magpabagsak sa kanila. At tsaka ang mga netizens at publikobd cla titigilan. Mas malakas ang people's power kaysa sa mga naririnig ng mambabatas. Wala clang magagawa pag nangyari yan. The truth will prevail at justice ke Vhong yon.

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  2. wag mo kasi ipaglaban ang mali. di pa huli ang lahat! sana makulong si cedric at deniece. pumanig ka na lang kay vhong!

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    1. Agree. That was a gud decision RF did.

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    2. hindi nya pinag lalaban ang mali ang pinaglalaban nya i educate kayong mga tao na wag maging judgemnental at irespeto ang due process..hindi naman sya legal counsel spokesperson lang sya

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    3. kasama ba sa pag-eeducate ng tao ang pagbibigay nya ng opinyon nya na kabaligtaran ng nakikita sa cctv? sana shut up na lang sya at sabihing hintayin ang paglilitis. hindi yong sya mismo ay judgmental din, kabaligtaran nga lang ng sinasabi ng tao.

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  3. MAHIRAP MAGSALITA PARA SA ISANG TAONG SINUNGALING, PATI IKAW SINUNGALING NA DIN. BUTI NATAUHAN KA NA ATTORNY!

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    1. Totaly agree. Dko pagpapalit ang reputation ko sa isang kasong alam mong tagilid at lalo Nat NBI ang kalaban at people.

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  4. You gained back my respect, Mr. Fortun. Teach Cedric to honor agreements and teach the public to be prudent with their opinions. That was the best thing to do.

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    1. Great decision ni Atty. RF

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  5. Tama ka dyan Mam. Mali naman yatang iblame nya ang public. Nagresign sya dahil sa tigas ng ulo ni cedrick. d marunong sumunod sa sulsol ni rf. ayan tuloy, lalung lumabo ang kaso nya. buti nga sa kanya. bahala na si calleja sa kanya.

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  6. good riddance!!!!!!

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  7. narinig na ang dasal ko. sayang ka raymond fortun kung nagtagal ka pa kay cedric. ingat ka lang, baka sa inis nya na binitawan mo sya, ikaw naman ang mabugbog. ingat lang lagi. wag lang papasiguro. di mo alam ang takbo ng utak ng mga taong napapahiya at mga taong desperado. baka magdilim ng isip nya, ikaw ang gantihan.

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  8. Teka. Why is fortun whining about the public not ready to be fair? di ba immaterial naman ang opinion ng public? It's the prosecutors, defense, witnesses, and the accused who will be facing the judge. Miron lang ang publiko. Don't blame the madlang pipol over this hullabaloo. If we will believe fortun, then he will not ever serve as lawyer kasi kahit kailan, ang madla ay may opinyon sa mga isyu na lumalabas. hindi naman pwedeng hindi mag express ng opinyon ang mga tao. magpakatotoo na lang attorney.

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  9. Sana lang huwag ng batikusin c atty. Fortun kc nagbitiw na sya. So move on na tayong lahat. At sana din may mga natutunan tayong leksyon sa mga pangyayari :) so stop na po ang mga negatives comment kay atty. Mag focus taung netizens sa mismong kaso hindi yung mag ba-bash pa tau ng tao na wala naman ginagawa sa atin na masama. Minsan kc sobra na rin ang iba kung makapag salita bira lang ng bira tila wala din silang pakiramdam.sana lang matapos na at matuldukan na ang pambabatikos kay atty kc nagbitiw na sya.

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    1. tsaka sana tama na din ang pagpapainterview ni attorney. tsaka tama na din ang mga media sa paulit-ulit na pagbabalita ng pagresign ni attorney.

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  10. MAHIRAP MAKIPAGTALO SA MGA TAONG SARADO ANG ISIP.
    Nuon na kasali c atty sa camp nila CL/DC ang dami sinasabi ngaun na nag quit na c atty ang dami pa din sinasabi. Ano ba saan ba lulugar sa inyo c atty. Yung iba naman kung makapag comment sagad hanggang buto pati personal na buhay anak at asawa ni atty binibirada. Hindi tama na maranasan ni atty ang sobra sobrang pambabatikos na below the belt. Sana maisip at makunsensya ang mga taong nagsabi ng hindi maganda kay atty.

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    1. si atty mismo andami pa din sinasabi. nag resign na sya, tama na ang paninisi nya sa publiko.

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  11. Nagtatrabaho lang c atty fortun kaya wag nyo sana personalin.

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    1. nag-oopinyon lang dn ang madlang pipol.

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  12. Ganado si atty magpainterview. feeling showbiz naman ngayon. sya ang tumahimik at tama na ang pagpapaliwanag kasi.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/entertainment/02/17/14/why-fortun-gave-cedric-deniece

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  13. It's a good decision that this attorney resigned. What I hated is him blaming the public. Can he just resign and indicate that he resigned because of breach of contract?

    The attorney said: "... to educate the public on the need to temper their emotions in light of your Constitutional rights to due process, to counsel of your choice, to present a valid and lawful defense, and to confront your accusers in the proper legal setting." Furthermore he said, "Country is NOT YET READY to accept these legal concepts, to which I squarely lay the blame on inaccurate reportage and the unprofessional actions of certain law enforcement agencies."

    Educate? The public knows about due process, counsel of choice, present a valid and lawful defense, and confront accusers in the proper legal setting. What the public hated is the fact that this attorney posted his tipping point was because the accused was an underdog, the expert interpreted the behavior of the accused against the attorney's interpretation, etc. The public knows what this attorney is trying to educate. I think the attorney needs to understand that the public is not stupid. The attorney may know the law because that's what he studied but common sense may be what the public has. I don't think you don't need to be a Harvard graduate to have a common sense.

    Country not ready? inaccurate reportage and the unprofessional actions? I think the attorney has his own world. What is he talking about? What are the inaccurate reportage in this case? The psychologist's interpretation of the movements? I don't think it is not inaccurate but maybe to this self-righteous attorney and photographer. When did he become an expert in psychology? The CCTV is inaccurate? Did you resort to CCTV when your wife was shot, Mr. Attorney? Unprofessional actions? Who did that? Sharing truth to the public is unprofessional? This attorney is just sour graping because he knows there is substantial evidence to defend the accused.

    It is good that this attorney resigned - for his family and reputation. He knows that there is no good defense to this case. First and foremost the accused obviously don't follow agreements. the attorney could not even control his client to stop talking without his consent. Second, there is no objective evidence to defend the accused. So attorney, stop blaming the public for your resignation. Blame yourself for posting in your facebook as a bait for the accused to get you as their spokesperson. Then when the accused got your bait, you could not really do anything since you know that the truth is not in your client's side. Nice move for your publicity.

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  14. Hi Dulz! Regarding your questions, I think Atty. Fortun's resignation has no effect as far as the legal process is concerned because he was only serving as a media spokesman. However, I think it has a more negative impact on Cedric's already damaged public perception of his image.

    It's only my own humble opinion that this case is less interesting due to the absence of Atty. Fortun who is one of the most dynamic and brightest lawyers in the country. His presence as a spokesperson added spice to the controversy, if you will. It is educating if we allow ourselves to resign to the fact that Vhong was beaten (since both parties admitted that a beating of Vhong took place) and with that, he will be getting justice.. sit back, relax, break out the popcorn and enjoy watching how the defense will do its legal maneuvers albeit seemingly overwhelming evidence stacked against them..

    If ever Cedric decide to hire a new legal spokesperson, I hope that the public will take it easy on these lawyers who were just doing their job. Yes, they will get paid fee for service rendered because that is their profession. Let the justice system work like in other countries high profile cases such as OJ Simpson's trial where the "dream team" lawyers were not subjected to public scrutiny and personal insults. They let the due process take its course. Of course, there was a public outrage with OJ but they did not shoot the messenger. Nevertheless, I am moved by Vhong's humbleness admitting his own mistake.. a mistake (no one is perfect) which no person deserves to be strip of dignity and be subjected to brutal beating. I hope justice be served on what Cedric did!

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  15. The anti-cybercrime law has been passed. bashers and bullies are dead.

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