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‘Ito Ang Batas’ is public service in action

By Ronald Mangubat
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:10:00 10/01/2010

Filed Under: Entertainment (general), Radio

WEEKDAYS, FROM 6-7 p.m., Atty. Antonio Arellano aka Attorney Aga is heard on dzXL (558 Khz) via his program, ?Ito Ang Batas.? He explains laws to his callers as a doting teacher would to his students.

The nature of the phone-in inquiries varies?from women who want to understand the process of getting a legal separation to scavengers who don?t know how to retrieve their impounded bicycles, as well as employees who want to know how to get their SSS numbers.

Attorney Aga tells it like it is: ?I?m sorry, but I don?t meddle in cases that involve labor unions,? he tells a troubled factory worker, who hasn?t gotten his benefits after getting sacked by his employer. In fact, it?s the absence of ?soft-soaping? and his no-ifs-and-or-buts style that endear Attorney Aga to his listeners. Given the exorbitant fees that some lawyers charge nowadays, it?s no wonder why ?Ito ang Batas? has a growing number of listeners.

For example, a woman who owns a chain of apartments claims that one of her tenants has installed a ?jumper? on his electric meter. But, she was surprised when the good-natured lawyer told her that if the building was listed under her name, it was she who would be accountable to Meralco! The woman graciously accepted Attorney Aga?s explanation.

An illegitimate daughter asked if she had a right to her late father?s property. Attorney Aga emphatically told her, ?You do. A lot of people don?t know that. Come to my office tomorrow, and I?ll explain what you should do.?

To a housewife whose husband has abandoned her for six years and refuses to give

financial support to their children, the lawyer?who?s the father of TV host, Drew Arellano?enumerates possible scenarios: ?He can be charged with violation against women and children, concubinage or bigamy.?

In the process of explaining the law in simple terms, Arellano also prepares complainants for possible difficulties if they choose to pursue their cases. For instance, he told a mother who wanted to sue her daughter for refusing to repay the large amount of money she owed her, ?Mag-ina kayo, so it?s better if you settle it amicably. I?m telling you, psychologically, it would be difficult if the case lands in court.?

?Ito ang Batas? has no dull moments, because Arellano?s explanations are enlightening, and some of the callers? stories are so complex and dramatic that they would put telenovelas to shame.

Attorney Aga goes the extra mile for his listeners. At one point, he told one desperate listener to see him. ?Ako?ng bahala sa pamasahe mo, just come to my office,? he assured the caller. Now that?s public service in action!

E-mail rgmgrinch@yahoo.com.

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