On my way to court in Quezon City, I got a text message from my client, Architect Joel Viray. I represent him in a collection case worth P1,600,000. The case has been pending for 10 years. I was supposed to cross-examine the defendant for that morning’s hearing. Instead, without any reservation from the contending parties, they agreed on a settlement—to donate to the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
How it happened? This was the text of Architect Viray: “Propose that if they will settle, all will be given to the typhoon victims less attorney’s fees…”
I was so heartened by his text message that I replied: “Wow, very noble. Include the attorney’s fees as well.”
When I arrived in court, I eagerly informed the lawyer of the defendant about the text message of my client. I told him that it would be up to the defendant how much she was willing to settle, which amount will be donated to the typhoon victims. My client will not dictate upon the defendant on how much she has to give. Whatever the amount may be, it will be given directly to the victims of Yolanda.
By God’s will, the defendant readily agreed.
The contending parties arrived at a settlement after 10 years only for the sake of the typhoon victims. No amount of money will heal the sufferings of the victims, but if we open our hearts and minds we may be able to uplift the victims from their worsening condition.