Viray: Jesse, my friend

·2 min read

I AM rich.

Not in terms of money but in number of friends. One of my true friends is Jesse M. Caguiat.

In the field of practice of law, friendships are hard to come by, because the profession is adversarial. Believe it or not, our friendship has endured for more than four (4) decades. We both passed the bar in the late ’70s and we both struggled to carve a name in this highly competitive field. Early on, he said “Let us not handle cases adverse to each other. I will see to it that I will not agree to represent a client where I would have to face you in court.”

One time, Jesse represented a protestee-mayor of a municipality. My son, Raymond was engaged by the opposite party to be his lawyer. What do you know? Jesse promptly withdrew his appearance.

My friend is true to his words. He is dependable. When you are with him, you feel a sense of security that he would be at your side to the end. His legal acumen is beyond question. When I am in doubt, I consult my friend and presto – he has an answer to the most difficult legal question.

He is there in times of need. When my mother was hospitalized way back, he did not hesitate to lend me the full amount.

He is not exactly a saint. He hates to lose – whether in games or arguments.

He has handled cases in court – with a high percentage of winning. He comes prepared for trial. He is a seasoned lawyer.

He has served the government in various capacities. He was Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Pampanga. He was the Provincial Administrator of then-governor Bren Z. Guiao. He was the Chief of Staff of Gen. David in Clark. In all these, he has shown his integrity and competence as a true public servant.

A single flower is worth more than a truckload when given to a person while he lives. Let us tell our friends how valuable they are while they can still appreciate it. I am proud to be known as a friend of Jesse.

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