Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Life and Love of Noli Eala

Last August 1, 2007, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued a decision which became a much-talked about topic in various legal circles. What makes this case stand apart from the rest?? Well, this case is principally a disbarment case, involves a love triangle (or is that square?), and most importantly, it involves a famous public figure.

Who am I talking about? The PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) Commissioner...or rather, erstwhile Commissioner Noli Eala. The case stems from a complaint filed by Joselano Guevarra against Atty. Jose Emmanuel M. Eala, a.k.a. Noli Eala, before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Committe on Bar Discipline for “grossly immoral conduct and unmitigated violation of the lawyer’s oath.”

According to the statement of facts in this case, Guevarra first met Eala when his then-fiancee Irene Moje introduced Eala to him sometime in January 0f 2000. Eala was then married to another woman with whom he has 3 children. After Guevarra and Irene got married, he noticed that Irene frequently received phone calls from Eala, as well as messages some of which read “I love you” or “I miss you.”

Irene began to go home late at night or early in the morning of the following day. When asked for the reason, she would mention that she stayed the night in her parents’ house or she was just busy with work. They would have constant arguments, resulting in Irene abandoning the conjugal home.

On April 22, 2001, Guevarra went uninvited to Irene’s birthday party. He saw Irene celebrating her birthday with Eala, her family and friends. Guevarra angrily left the venue. Upon arriving home, he went through her belongings and found a love letter which reads:

My everdearest Irene,

By the time you open this, you’ll be moments away from walking down the aisle. I will say a prayer for you that you may find meaning in what you’re about to do.

Sometimes I wonder why we ever met. Is it only for me to find fleeting happiness but experience eternal pain? Is it only for us to find a true love but then lose it again? Or is it because there’s a bigger plan for the two of us?

I hope that you have experienced true happiness with me. I have done everything humanly possible to love you. And today, as you make your vows . . . I make my own vow to YOU!

I will love you for the rest of my life. I loved you from the first time I laid eyes on you, to the time we spent together, up to the final moments of your single life. But more importantly, I will love you until the life in me is gone and until we are together again.

Do not worry about me! I will be happy for you. I have enough memories of us to last me a lifetime. Always remember though that in my heart, in my mind and in my soul, YOU WILL ALWAYS




Afterwards, Guevarra filed a complaint against Eala before the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline for grossly immoral conduct. Among the evidence presented was the birth certificate of Irene’s daughter, pointing to Eala as the father.

Eala for his part does not deny his relationship to Irene but argues that the relationship between them was not carried on under scandalous circumstances. (Errr, I think he might want to retract that statement now.) The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline Investigating Commissioner found the charge against Eala sufficiently proven. This was reversed by the IBP Board of Governors, dismissing the case for lack of merit. The case was immediately brought to the Supreme Court.

The rest, as they say, is history. Eala was found guilty of the charge (eh umamin naman kasi eh) and was DISBARRED for grossly immoral conduct, violation of his oath of office and of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Eala eventually resigned as PBA Commissioner even before the PBA Board members could promulgate their decision to remove him from his position.

First off, how cheesy can a love letter be???!!! "I love you forever, I love you for always, as long as I'm living, my tweety you'll be!" I hope he has other lovable qualities aside from his love letter-writing ability.

Regarding Eala's disbarment and the resulting scandal surrounding him right now, I’m sure he is man enough live with the consequences of his decision, no matter how publicly humiliating it may be. I, for one, am not making any judgments about his actions or his morality because I don’t think I am in a position to do so.

What I’m concerned about is the effect this scandal would have in the lives of his children. Imagine growing up and reading about the Supreme Court decision. Unlike the write-ups which might eventually be forgotten and be hidden behind tons of other write-ups in the Google search engine, the decision of the Supreme Court will be studied and talked about in law school classrooms for decades to come. In cases like these, the children are always the losers.

Final note: You may want to read the full text of the Supreme Court decision here.


ipanema said...

Oh my, what a love letter. I thought this story is only read in teen-age novels. But here we have an evidence.

Know what? I'll give him an A+ for that love letter...hahahaha. I am going to be flattered if I am to be given one worded that way.

hmmmm...IF. A lot of IFs. She should have called off her wedding huh? It could be one less person hurt. Anyway, as I said, it's all IFs. :)

You are right, the children always suffer consequences of some bad decisions. Pity.

kyels said...

My, my ... The love letter's so romantically written. I'd love to receive a letter that's so beautiful; it'll probably cry from reading it.

Like you, I would not judge them or Eala because I'm not in the position to do so. Hopefully he'll be able to live with that Supreme Court decision. It isn't going to be easy, di ba?

Toe said...

Kapatid ba ni Noli Eala si Joey Ayala? Hehehe! :) Yeah, I read the Supreme Court decision. This is the first time I've heard of a disbarment case because of infidelity. I think this is a good precedent. Would make lawyers think twice before they become unfaithful. Has this ever happened to government officials, I wonder... you know... public accountability and ethics and stuff like that. I think it should.

Major Tom said...

Wow, I can't believe it was as dramatic as this where before I just read general details about it. Eala was at the top of his game, top of his career but for even once, he chose not to as professional as possible. So sad what had happened to him---losing his head position and then being disbarred.

Ang hirap ng buhay ngayon para mawalan ng trabaho...

lazarus said...

Amor Vincit Omnia

This is what love can do to any man.

Sidney said...

I am surprised the supreme court meddles with people's love life.
Anyway, people can get crazy when they are in love.

ladybug said...

ipanema> Hahahaha...I guess we have different tastes. I agree with you, they should have called off the wedding. But since she chose to go through with the wedding, dapat stop na muna communication nila ni Eala. Pero buhay nila yun eh. And in the end, kawawa lang mga bata.

ladybug said...

kyels> I would say it's romantic indeed. I dare say it wouldn't be easy handling the controversies surrounding him now. And in such a small legal circle we have here in the Phil. It would be best for him and his family to go abroad and start a new life.

ladybug said...

Toe> Hahahaha...magkapatid nga yata sila, sama mo pa si jaime zobel de ayala. Just kidding. :-D First time lang nga yata ito eh. Regarding public officials, that would give rise to lots of heated debates. Mahirap yata ipatupad iyan.

ladybug said...

major tom> Mahirap nga talaga buhay ngayon. Best thing for him is to start his life anew in a different country or just engage in business. He may apply for reinstatement in a few years if he shows remorse but there are no guarantees.

ladybug said...

lazarus> conquers all. Hahaha...spoken like a true romantic.

ladybug said...

sidney> The system here in the Phil is different from other countries. Here, the Supreme Court directly regulates the admission of lawyers to the Philippine Bar and gives sanctions to erring members.

MOM said...

Wow! Feel na feel ko talaga ang loveletter hehehe!
I'm really shocked kasi I don't expect people like Noli can do such thing. When I was still in PI I watch PBA a lot and remember him.

snglguy said...

This kinda reminds me of the love triangle between King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. The only thing missing here is a round table.

The love letter was kinda cheesy in for my taste. And what did he mean by "AND THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU DO!"? and in capital letters pa? Obvious na may nangyari? Sorry, that's my suspicious mind asking...

One of the worst thing that could happen to a guy is getting cuckolded, he should've sued the unfaithful wife too...

ladybug said...

MOM> Ganyan talaga siguro. And according to Sidney, people can do crazy things when they're in love. Eala must be very in love with Irene to risk his career.

ladybug said...

snglguy> Talagang may nangyari....hahaha! May bunga na nga ang pagmamahalan nila eh. Hay buhay. And unfaithfulness will always be painful for the other spouse, whether it's on the part of the wife or of the husband. :-P

myepinoy said...

This is very informative post.

I never thought that it is or it was mala-telenovela case.

This is indeed a love square story and no doubt if mr eala agrees to have this on film, mahal ang copyright. LOL.

Hindi ba nag counter demanda si Irene considering na nakialam si guevarra sa mga personal effects nya. O there is no such case against pakikialam sa personal effects and privacy?

ladybug said...

myepinoy> Thanks....haha, telenovela talaga. Hindi na nagdemanda si Irene, mas malala naman yata yung kasalanan na ginawa niya kay Guevarra eh, adultery. And besides, they were still married that time.

rowena said...

Hi, I know lots of lawyer-politicians who have mistresses, naku, pag nagkataon, daming madi-disbar nyan...

Anonymous said...

ang kapatid ni Noli Eala si Jovy Eala. I believe that the Eala family is very prominent in San Pablo Laguna. The family owns a hospital and a college nearby.

Anonymous said...

Can you blame Irene Moje for not falling for Mr. Eala? That love letter was just awesome! That was the work of a genius.

Unfortunately, not all brilliant minds are used properly. Mr. Eala should have known better. What he felt for Irene was not love; it was pure lust. And what a price he has to pay for allowing the devil to manipulate his mind.

I have been admiring Mr. Eala as a commentator since the day I learned to love the San Miguel Beermen. That's why his extra-marital affair is shocking news to me. I just hope that he will recognize his sinfulness and get his life back. - Medeon Maraon

Strepsils said...

"...not in a position to judge them..." Well guess what ? you just did !

ladybug said...

anonymous> Thanks for this information.

ladybug said...

medeon maraon> Thanks for passing by. Well, let's just hope for the best.

ladybug said...

strepsils> Thanks for passing by. Can you please point out the exact sentence where I rendered action on his actions or morality??? I kept rereading my post and the only judgment I rendered was on the cheesiness of the love-letter.

Yam said...


You got that right! We just discussed it awhile ago.

My professor even told us that he kept a copy of the letter for reference purposes, hehehe

zngkt said...

love is sacrifice..and sometimes sweetest things comes in great mistakes . we cant blame them they' re inlove.however on my own pov- id rather sacrifice to be in discreet for sake of our children. i love my kids they're my world.

Anonymous said...

so simple, if philippine govertment is open enough to practical reasons, then childrens of these broken families would grow maturely.

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Melvin Ochinang said...

Romans 14:4 says, Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

understanding the above would eventually lead to one's maturity.

no one as is not even one man can be exempted from failing to do what is right, good thing that God is a God of second chance [i just don't understand why many of us people do not know what second chance means] and that He is really loving and full of mercy. coz the book of Hebrew in ch.6 v.10 says, God IS NOT UNRIGHTEOUS [not unfair]...

so in case mr eala, he's just one of us who are subject for committing such err (sin) but can be forgiven by God and pick up the pieces of him in God's loving and merciful arms.

Ric Mr said...

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Thanks again.