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Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Morong 43

The group of  Morong 43 is composed of health workers who were (suspected members of NPA- New People’s Army) arrested in the rest house in Morong last February 6, 2010, after 10 months of being detained some of them were released just before Christmas and on the International Human Rights Day.

The 43 health workers were charged before the RTC of Morong with the violations of PD 1866 as amended by the RA 8294 and RA 9516, imposing penalties for illegal possession of grenades and other explosives and violations of COMELEC Resolution No. 8714 in relation to Article 261 of the Election Code, which prohibits any person unless authorized by the COMELEC, to carry firearms outside his residence during the election period.

DOJ said the search warrant used by the military for the arrest was defective and that based on the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, the evidence is not admissible in court.

It’s a lesson for the military to follow the procedures as provided by law. We do not conclude that the members of Morong 43 are innocents but they shall be treated as accused with the same rights as conferred by law.

On the contrary, AFP awarded bronze cross medals those who led in the arrest of the Morong 43.

Bail (A Law Each Day)

This is based on the “A Law Each Day” by Jose Sison of The Philippine Star.

The Facts are as follows:
A criminal complaint was filed by a minor against the vice mayor of their town. Upon finding probable cause against the vice mayor for two counts of violation of Section 5(b) Article III of RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”, the MTC judge forwarded the case to the Office of Provincial Prosecutor.

On September 27, 2004, the assistant provincial prosecutor issued a resolution on review recommending the filing of two separate Informations for violation of said RA 7610 against the vice mayor and cancellation of bail bond set by the MTC judge because the offense is punishable with reclusion perpetua when committed by public officer.

The vice mayor went to hiding and the warrant of arrest was not served.

The RTC judge was reassigned to another district, upon replacement of another judge, the vice mayor voluntarily surrender. He immediately filed an urgent ex parte motion for the grant of bail. On the same day the new judge, granted the motion and ordered the release of the vice mayor.

The minor moved to reconsider the motion but before considering the merits of the motion, the judge ordered the vice mayor to file a comment or opposition within ten days.

The minor’s father filed an administrative case against the new judge because of the differing treatment of the minor and the vice mayor.

The judge contended that crime charged is a bailable offense and when bail is a matter of right no hearing is required.

Is the judge correct?

No, the judge should decide whether the evidence of guilt is strong based on the summary evidence submitted. If the guilt is strong, the judge may discharge the accused upon approval of the bail bond. Moreover the Rues of Court, notice and hearing are required whether the bail is a matter of right and discretion. The hearing is required to determine the weight of the evidence and the amount of the bail bond.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Philippine born Senator in Guam

Shirley Abaniles Mabini, not a descendant of Apolinario Mabini, but he was her inspiration in life. She is the First Philippine born Senator in Guam.

It was a hard life for her, her mother earns a living by washing used bottles and her father as a carpenter. They moved to Guam where her mother plant vegetables at the backyard, her father as a carpenter and she was tasked to collect sea shells and small crabs for them to have meal everyday.

She earned two scholarships upon graduating high school in University of Guam and San Francisco. Now she has master’s decree and Doctoral in Work, Community, and Family Education at the University of Minnesota.

In 2007, she and her friends started a Filipino language FM program in Guam named as a “Damdaming Pinoy” that discussed Filipino sentiments, from education to business and served as a connection of the OFW in Hawaii and US.

She worked as a professor of education and business. She was also appointed as acting director of public library system and as a general manager of television network PBS Guam.

When she ran for office, Mabini said she was never after the prestige and never considered politics as a career, but as “access to the right people who could make a difference.”

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rights of a Stockholder

  1.   Right to attend and vote in person or by proxy at stockholders’ meeting. 
  2.   Right to elect and remove directors. 
  3.    Right to approve certain corporate acts.
  4.  Right to adopt and amend or repeal the by-laws or adopt new by-laws.
  5.  Right to compel the calling of meetings when for any cause there is no authorized person to call such a meeting.
  6. Right to issuance of certificate or stocks or other evidence of stock ownership and be registered as a stockholder.
  7. Right to receive dividends when declared.
  8. Right to participate in the distribution of corporate assets upon dissolution.
  9. Right to transfer of stocks in the corporate books.
  10. Right to pre-emption in the issue of shares.
  11.  Right to inspect corporate books and records.
  12. Right to be furnished the most recent financial statements upon request and to receive financial report of the corporation’s operations.
  13. Right to bring individual and representative or derivative suits.
  14. Right to recover stock unlawfully sold for delinquency.
  15. Right to enter into voting trust agreements.
  16.  Right to demand payment for the value of his shares and withdraw from the corporation in certain cases.
  17.  Right to have the corporation voluntarily dissolved.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


It is a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men. It is also referred to as an extraordinary process of removal exercised by the legislature over a selected member of officials.

Impeachable officials

  1. President
  2. Vice-President
  3. Members of Supreme Court
  4. Members of Constitutional Commission
Grounds for Impeachment
  1. Culpable violation of the Constitution – wrongful, intentional or willful disregard of the fundamental law. The act must be deliberate and motivated by bad faith.
  2. Treason- crime committed by any person who, owing allegiance to the government of the Philippines, levies war against it or adheres to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
  3. Bribery- crime committed by any public officer who shall agree to perform an act, whether or not constituting a crime or refrain from doing an act which he is officially required to do in connection with their performance of his official duties, in consideration of any officer, promise, gift or present received by him personally or through the mediation of another, or who shall accept gifts offered to him by reason of his duties.
  4. Graft and corruption- as enumerated in the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Section 3 of RA 3019 are as follows;
      (a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.
      (b) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.
      (c) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom the public officer, in any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to Section thirteen of this Act.
      (d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof or within one year after its termination.
      (e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.
      (f) Neglecting or refusing, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage, or for the purpose of favoring his own interest or giving undue advantage in favor of or discriminating against any other interested party.
      (g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.
      (h) Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.
      (i) Directly or indirectly becoming interested, for personal gain, or having a material interest in any transaction or act requiring the approval of a board, panel or group of which he is a member, and which exercises discretion in such approval, even if he votes against the same or does not participate in the action of the board, committee, panel or group.  Interest for personal gain shall be presumed against those public officers responsible for the approval of manifestly unlawful, inequitable, or irregular transaction or acts by the board, panel or group to which they belong. 
      (j) Knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favor of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage, or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled.
      (k) Divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons, or releasing such information in advance of its authorized release date.
    5. Betrayal of public trust – Is a new ground added by the Constitutional Commission presumably to cover all other manner of offences unbecoming a public functionary but not punishable under the criminal statues.

Reasons why the Supreme Court ruled in favor Hubert Webb and other co-accused.

  1. Jessica Alfaro, the star witness was working at that time she revealed her story as a NBI asset, one who earned her living by fraternizing with criminals so she could squeal on them to her NBI handlers. She had to live a life of lies to get rewards that would pay for her subsistence and vices.
  1. NBI handlers were making their own investigation about the Vizconde massacre case, and since Jessica Alfaro hanged out at the NBI office and literally lived there, it is possible that she heard evidentiary details and gain access to the documents.
  1. She said that Webb proposed twice to his friends (Gatchalian, Fernandez, Rodriguez, Lejano, Ventura, Estrada and Filart) the gang-rape of Carmela who had hurt Webb, (allegedly Carmela was not faithful). And all his friends consented twice to the plan including Alfaro’s boyfriend. But when they got to the house of Carmela only Webb, Lejano, Ventura and Alfaro entered the house. The others just stayed outside waiting including her boyfriend Estrada, which was inconsistent with the plan.
  1. Norman E. White Jr., the security guard in the Pitong Daan Subdivision confession was inconsistent with that of Alfaro. The security guard also did not notice a policeman (Biong) the one who was tasked to clean the crime scene upon the order of Webb.
   Lauro Vizconde said that Carmela spoke to him about a suitor who she rejected but this was inconsistent with Alfaro’s testimony that they (Carmela and Webb) had an on-going relationship.

  1. The prosecution said the Webb and Carmela were sweethearts but none of Carmela’s friend came forward to talk about their relationship. It is impossible not to notice Hubert Webb because he is a son of a politician. And MR X - the cause of all the trouble who was said to be the lover of Carmela that caused Webb to harm her. No one in the family or friends of Carmela knew about him.
  1. If the court will accept the Alibi of Webb that he was in America during the commission of the crime. All the other co-accused will be acquitted because according to Alfaro Webb led the crime.

SC said “Will the court send the accused to spend the rest of their lives in prison on the testimony of an NBI asset who proposed to her handlers that she take the role of the witness to the Vizconde massacre that she could not produce?”

Facts about Truth Commission.

Executive Order No. 1 establishing Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission)

“Primarily to seek and find the truth of and toward the end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed by public officers and employees , their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from private sector, if any during the previous administrations and thereafter recommend the appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor.”

The Supreme Court said that this is in violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution because this EO1 singled out the past 9-year administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. According to Noynoy he will primarily investigate on the three main issues involving GMA like the Hello Garci Tape – this is about an illegally obtained tape through wire tapping by the military officials during the election of GMA, 728M Fertilizer Scam – wherein Undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante authorized the release to the congressmen of three to five million each for them to buy fertilizer even if their province is fully concreted and NBN ZTE deal – a project to provide telecommunication for public officials for easy dissemination of direction/information of the higher officials to their. According to Supreme Court this should not concentrate on the past administration of GMA only but also the past and future administrations for this order to be valid.

“Article III (Bill of Rights) Section 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. “

Now Noynoy and his legal team are preparing for an appeal to save the truth commission which is his first executive order.


Do we have absolute divorce in the Philippines?

We do not have absolute divorce in the Philippines. Muslim divorce was previously declared valid and recognized under Republic Act No. 394 but this law was valid only for 20 years from June 18, 1949.

Therefore, actions for absolute divorce between Filipinos or between foreigners or between a Filipino and a foreigner will not prosper in the Philippine courts. If said action is brought in a foreign court by a foreigner and the same is granted, the foreign court has jurisdiction to grant the absolute divorce and provided further that said divorce is recognized as valid according to the national law of the parties. If said action is brought in a foreign country by a Filipino citizen, the same even if granted, will not be recognized in the Philippines.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Medical Marijuana

News Archive Microsoft Encarta

“In June 2005 the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 in Gonzales v. Raich that federal antidrug laws take precedence over state laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana. Voters in 11 states had approved so-called medical marijuana laws. The first was California’s Compassionate Use Act in 1996. These laws generally allow patients with diseases such as cancer and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) to grow and use marijuana with a physician’s approval for medical purposes. Although the Court’s ruling in Gonzales v. Raich did not overturn the state laws, it did override any provisions in those laws exempting patients in possession of medical marijuana from federal prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act (part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970). In its majority opinion, the Court held that the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana, even if those activities comply with state law for medical use and the drug does not cross state lines. The dissenting justices, including Chief Justice Rehnquist, warned that an expansive interpretation of the commerce clause would allow federal encroachment of states’ rights. “

Memory failure - alcohol and other depressant drugs (such as marijuana, sedatives, and even antihistamines) are known to impair learning and memory.

Fair use of copyrighted work

The fair use of a copyrighted work for criticism, comment, news, reporting, teaching including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, research and similar purposes is not an infringement of copyright. Recompilation, which is understood to be the reproduction of the code and translation of the forms of the computer program to achieve the inter-operability of an independently created computer program with their programs, may also constitute fair use. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:
a. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes.
b. The nature of the copyrighted work.
c. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole and,
d. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
(The fact that work is unpublished shall not by itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.)


Neutrality is a status imbued with corresponding rights and obligations to remain impartial or unaligned with any of the belligerents in an international conflict.

Duties of the neutral states:

1. Duty of abstention – from giving assistance to either side.
2. Duty of prevention – from being used as base of a belligerent.
3. Duty of acquiescence – to submit to acts belligerents with respect to commerce of its nationals and the same are warranted under international law.
4. Allow passage on maritime belt of territorial (without becoming a military base of a belligerent) but not on internal waters.
5. Not to allow war like activities in its territory (Port calls allowed only for necessary repairs and for vessels in distress, not enhancement of might; not more than 24hours; belligerent vessels must be at least 24 hours apart.)
6. Neutral ports cannot be used as asylum or place for hiding.

To be disarmed and POW’s become free if the belligerent soldiers enter neutral territory.