Judge of character

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

Judges preside over court hearings and trials, supervise legal proceedings, and uphold the rights of individuals involved in a legal process. They ensure that trials are conducted according to established rules and procedures, which may include determining how testimony is given and how evidence is submitted.

In criminal cases, judges decide a defendant’s guilt or innocence, while in civil cases, they rule on liability and compensation. Being a court judge is often a thankless job, but it is one that requires an acute sense of justice, fairness, and integrity.

And this is exactly how Ilonggos see current RTC Branch 35 Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo S. Amular—just, fair, and brimming with integrity.

Even before he was transferred to Iloilo RTC Branch 35, Judge Amular has been known to apply the law correctly to ensure that any case is decided in a fair and impartial manner. He is known as a man who will uphold the rights of everyone to the fundamental promise of the justice system: equal justice under the law.

Judge Amular also has a reputation of ensuring that justice is determined by the law and the facts of their case, after everyone involved—regardless of their social status, income, race, beliefs or other factors—has had a fair and equal opportunity to be heard. Indeed, everyone deserves their fair day in court.

In the years that he worked in the RTCs of Mambusao, Capiz, Branch 21, Judge Amular showed fair, impartial, and competent judgment—regardless of the issue.


Toughened by Fate, Strengthened by Faith

Iloilo’s prominent judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 35 has remained stern and serious inside the court of justice while remaining a Godly man outside of it, serving as a lay minister in the Jaro Cathedral.

As they say, however, faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted, and Judge Amular’s faith was tested and strengthened by a tragedy seven years ago. This has not stopped him from being an upright man who guards the justice system of Iloilo. In fact, it has made him an even staunch defender of truth and justice.

The toughened judge pioneered the governments’ Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW) project that aims to implement the speedy administration of justice throughout the province of the Iloilo. Through the services rendered by EJOW, 78 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) were released.

“I have released seven PDLs with cases related to drugs, and I have disposed of 23 cases. There are a lot of us, so meaning if we put our acts together, we can dispose of a lot of cases in one day,” Judge Amular is once quoted as saying.

Aside from doing its share in expediting the administration of justice, the EJOW has also made people aware that the Supreme Court (SC) is doing its share in the country’s democratic processes. “Your courts are here to protect the interest of everybody. Whether you are rich or poor, powerful or have no influence,” Judge Amular stresses.


A Case of Expropriation

When Iloilo RTC Branch 37 Judge Marie Yvette D. Go recently inhibited herself from further hearing the MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE) expropriation case against Panay Electric Company (PECO), the case was re-raffled to Judge Amular.

Before inhibiting herself from the proceedings, Judge Go granted the application of the Ricky Razon-led MORE Electric and Power Corp. to take over the assets of PECO, Iloilo City’s long-time power distributor.

This court ruling contradicted an earlier decision of the Mandaluyong RTC Branch 209 declaring portions of RA 11212, the law which granted MORE the franchise for power distribution in Iloilo, as “void and unconstitutional for infringing on PECO’s rights to due process and equal protection of the law.”

Then, in a resolution dated August 14, 2019, the Supreme Court denied the Razon-owned MORE’s prayer for an issuance of a TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction against the previous Mandaluyong RTC resolution.

Many Ilonggos see Judge Amular’s appointment as a positive development in the expropriation case, since he is known in Iloilo as an unbiased, no-nonsense judicial figure who will ensure that the case will be heard in a fair and objective manner.


A Spotless Record

While Ilonggos remain on the sidelines eagerly awaiting the court decision that will ultimately affect the kind of electric services that they currently enjoy, Judge Amular’s assignment to the expropriation case remains a positive development. His track record of impartiality and immunity from the pressure of big business over the years is seen to ensure equally impartial proceedings.

Although he hasn’t issued any resolution concerning the case as of yet, one thing is for sure, he will be respecting whatever the decision of the Supreme Court may be.

As proof of his no-nonsense impartiality, Judge Amular recently issued a gag order on both PECO and MORE to avoid improper conduct tending directly or indirectly to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice, thereby insulating the court from extraneous influence. He invoked the sub judice rule which restricts comments and disclosures on pending judicial proceedings.