Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pemberton guilty of homicide in Laude case, sentenced to up to 12 yrs | Inquirer Global Nation

"x x x.

The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court has found Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty of homicide for the killing of Filipino transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.

Pemberton is sentenced to minimum of six years to maximum of 12 years imprisonment.

The court on Tuesday said the prosecution failed to establish that there was aggravating circumstances of treachery and abuse of superior strength so as to convict him of murder.

In August, Pemberton in his testimony admitted choking Laude unconscious during a fight when he discovered she was a transgender.

The court said that when Pemberton met Laude dressed as a schoolgirl and offering sex, he immediately agreed. While inside the motel, he got excited but “felt something different, something that was not supposed to be there and realized that [Laude] was a dude,” which he said he found revolting.

“He was so enraged and in the heat of passion arm-locked, dragged him [Laude] inside the bathroom and dunked his head in the toilet bowl,” the court said, noting all that happened immediately after he discovered that Laude was a man.

Such act, the court said, fell under the mitigating circumstance of “passion and obfuscation” as stated under Article 13 (6) of the Revised Penal Code. IDL/RC

x x x."


Ombudsman files raps vs ex-MRT 3 chief, PH Trams incorporators | ABS-CBN News

"x x x.

MANILA - The Ombudsman has filed charges of graft and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act against former Metro Rail Transit 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III and incorporators of PH Trams over the allegedly anomalous MRT-3 interim maintenance contract in 2012.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed charges against Vitangcol and five directors and incorporators of the Philippine Trams Rail Management and Services Corporation (PH Trams) before the Sandiganbayan.

Also named in the complaint are:

Arturo Soriano
Wilson De Vera
Marlo Dela Cruz
Manolo Maralit
Federico Remo

The Ombudsman earlier identified Soriano as Vitangcol's uncle-in-law.

Based on the Ombudsman's investigations, Vitangcol allegedly conspired with the charged company officials to ensure the awarding of the contract to PH-Trams. This, despite the fact that PH-Trams would have been automatically disqualified from participating in the procurement of the MRT3 maintenance contract because Vitangcol is related to Soriano, who is one of PH Trams' incorporators.

The Ombudsman said Vitangcol, who then acted as the head of the negotiating team and Bids and Awards Committee member, "intentionally concealed" his relationship with Soriano to ensure the awarding, instead of barring PH-Trams from the bidding process.

On the Affidavit of Disclosure submitted to the government, PH Trams allegedly gave a false statement after indicating that "none of PH Trans incorporators is related by consanguinity or affinity up to the third civil degree to the Head of the Procuring Entity, members of the Bids and Awards Committee, Technical Working Group, the BAC Secretariat, and Head of the Project Management Office."

"(Vitangcol) in his official capacity...while having a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in PH Trams, being the nephew-in-law of accused Soriano, with all of the accused fully knowing, yet concealing, such financial or pecuniary interest of Vitangcol in PH Trams," read the Information.

MRT3 entered in a six-month contract with PH-Trans CB&T as an interim maintenance provide of the railway in the amount of US$1.15 million per month. The contract was thrice renewed until September 4, 2013.

x x x."

SC issues TRO vs. Comelec's 'No Bio, No Boto' policy | ABS-CBN News

"x x x.

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has stopped the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from deactivating registered voters who have not had their biometric data taken.

The high court issued the ruling in favor of the plea of several petitioners led by Kabataan Party-list during its en banc session today.

In its petition, Kabataan Party-list assailed the constitutionality of the "No Bio, No Boto" policy of the poll body, which is said to deprive more than three million registered voters without biometrics of their right to participate in the upcoming 2016 synchronized national and local elections.

The Comelec and Office of the Solicitor General were directed to file their comments on the petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days.

In its 32-page petition, Kabataan Party-list said the Comelec's move to deactivate the registration of voters without biometrics is unconstitutional, and asked the high court to strike down certain provisions of Republic Act No. 10367 or "An Act Providing for Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration."

Petitioners also sought the nullification of COMELEC Resolution No. 9721, dated June 26, 2013, Resolution No. 9863, dated April 1, 2014, and Resolution No. 10013, all related to deactivation of voter registration records in the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections.

Petitioners stressed that the said law and Comelec issuances "impose an unconstitutional, additional substantive requirement imposed on the exercise of suffrage, thus violating Section 1, Article V of the 1987 Constitution."

Petitioners noted that the 1987 Constitution explicitly states that "[n]o literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage."

"Secondly, the biometrics validation gravely violates due process as it an unreasonable deprivation of the constitutional right to vote for millions of Filipinos who have failed to register their biometric information despite existing and active registration - in effect a voter's re-registration - for various reasons whether personal or institutional," petitioners said.

x x x."

Graft charges filed vs ex-GSIS president Winston Garcia | ABS-CBN News

"x x x.

MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges against former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president Winston Garcia over the allegedly anomalous contract for the multi-million peso eCard project in 2004.

Also named as respondents in the case are GSIS officials at the time the contract was awarded, including:

- Enriqueta Disuanco, Vice President;
- Benjamin Vivas, Jr., Senior Vice President;
- Hermogenes Concepcion, Jr., Board of Trustees-Chairman;
- Elmer Bautista, Board of Trustees-Member;
- Fulgencio Factoran, Board of Trustees-Member;
- Floriño Ibañez, Board of Trustees-Member;
- Aida Nocete, Board of Trustees-Member;
- Reynaldo Palmiery, Board of Trustees-Member;
- Ellenita Tumala-Martinez, Board of Trustees-Member; and
- Leonora Vasquez-De Jesus, Board of Trustees-Member.

The GSIS entered into a contract with the Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) as the depository bank for the eCard system. The eCard system was supposedly used for loan and benefit transactions of GSIS members.

The Information stated that GSIS awarded the eCard project to UBP "without complying with the requirements/procedures set forth under Section 49 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184, despite the fact that the closing date for submission of bid proposals has not been closed and prior to the recommendation of the Committee tasked to evaluate the proposals."

The Commission on Audit's Annual Audit Report in 2014 stated that the contract did not go through the regular bidding process.

x x x."

The state of civil service in Davao under Duterte. - COA questions Duterte’s 11,000 contractual workers

See - COA questions Duterte’s 11,000 contractual workers

"x x x.

MANILA, Philippines – State auditors are questioning Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s hiring of 11,246 contractual workers in 2014, which cost the city government P708 million.
Doubting the necessity and regularity of 4,754 job orders – all for the city mayor’s office – the Commission on Audit (COA) pointed out that Davao’s lack of clear policy in hiring people fosters patronage.
“The city has no written policy or manual on the hiring of employees particularly under contract of services and job orders. Identification of persons to be hired for such nature rests directly upon the recommendation of the department heads and other officials of the city,” COA noted.
Auditors found that of the 14,499 person on the city government’s payroll, only 3,253 hold regular positions. They get their salaries from the city’s personal services budget.
The 6,081 contractual employees and 5,165 job orders were paid from the maintenance and other operating expenses budget.
COA was also concerned that there were no documents to prove that the non-regulars were actually rendering work. Those assigned to Barangay Cultural Communities and Affairs Division, the city councilors’ offices, and those reporting to barangay chairpersons didn’t have daily time records or attendance logs when doing filed work. Their functions and duties were not specified in their contracts.
“These conditions cast doubt that entries in the daily time record of these employees…are manipulated, thus regularity and validity of the related expenditures could not be ascertained,” the COA report said.
Auditors also noted that some of the contractual employees had been working in the city government for more than a decade, but had not been offered regular posts.
In response to the COA report, Davao City’s Human Resource Management Office said it will formulate a set of guidelines for the hiring of contractual and job order personnel. – Rappler.com
x x x."

Philippines: Probe Mayor’s Alleged ‘Death Squad’ Links | Human Rights Watch

"x x x.

(Manila) – The Philippine government should investigate Davao City’s Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for his possible role in summary executions in the city over the past decade, Human Rights Watch said today. Duterte has continued to espouse the killing of criminal suspects to combat crime in a city that has long had high numbers of apparent “death squad” killings – more than 1,000 since the late 1990s.

Duterte has been mayor of Davao City, located on the main southern island of Mindanao, almost continuously since 1988. He said in a speech on May 15, 2015, that his approach to crime fighting depended on the killing of suspected criminals. “We’re the ninth safest city. How do you think I did it? How did I reach that title among the world’s safest cities? Kill them all [criminals].”

“The Philippine government should take a zero-tolerance approach to any public official who publicly endorses extrajudicial killings as an acceptable means of crime control,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “Duterte’s public support for the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals should prompt a long overdue investigation into Duterte’s possible role in those deaths.”

Duterte has been on a speaking tour across the Philippines for the past six months touting the killing of criminal suspects as an effective crime control technique.

Human Rights Watch documented the existence of the Davao “death squad” and Duterte’s role in it in the 2009 report “You Can Die Anytime.” The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings included the Davao killings in his 2009 investigation and called on the government to end the use of death squads as a means of crime fighting.

The official Commission on Human Rights has also investigated these allegations and in 2012 issued a resolution saying that it found probable cause to recommend that the Office of the Ombudsman file murder charges against Duterte. But the Ombudsman limited its investigation to the police officers implicated in the killings – not Duterte himself – finding 21 of them guilty of “simple neglect of duty,” and fining them the equivalent of a month’s salary. The country’s Court of Appeals later overturned the verdict, saying the Ombudsman merely used statistics against the police officers. To date, not one person has been convicted for involvement in any of the killings.

The Ombudsman has not investigated Duterte for his role in the Davao death squad. Neither has the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which is under the Office of the President and has administrative and supervisory control over municipal governments. The National Bureau of Investigation, which is under the Department of Justice, has likewise failed to probe Duterte’s alleged links to the Davao death squad.

Duterte has a long history of inflammatory public statements that would seem to encourage the extrajudicial killing of suspected criminals. He has commanded his police officers to “shoot to kill” people ranging from suspected criminals to rice smugglers. That rhetoric has fueled protests from human rights groups and the Commission on Human Rights, which denouncedthe mayor for his statement and urged him to “operate on the rule of law.”

Duterte’s Davao City model of extrajudicial killings as a crime-fighting strategy appears to havespread to other cities in the Philippines. United States State Department cables released by WikiLeaks in 2011 noted the apparent rise of municipal government-sanctioned death squads in cities including Cebu City, Toledo, and Carcar.

After a 2014 Human Rights Watch report about the Tagum City death squad in Mindanao, a Department of Justice investigation resulted in charges filed against Tagum City’s former Mayor Rey Uy and 29 other local and police officials for their alleged role in summary killings there. But Philippine authorities have not taken action against other death squad operations.

“The long official tolerance of Duterte’s advocacy of summary killings as effective crime-fighting strategy needs to stop,” Kine said. “The government should send an unambiguous message to Duterte and other officials that support for extrajudicial killings results in an investigation – not in speaking tours.” 

x x x."

Davao death squad, Tagum death squad....and Duterte.

"x x x.
Presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has a supporter in the person of Tagum City Mayor Rey "Chiong" Uy, tagged to be behind an armed paramilitary group behind the kilings in his city. Facebook/Rody Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — An international human rights group said a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party who recently pronounced support for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte is linked to a death squad.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) revived its report on the Tagum Death squad killings following reports that former Tagum City Mayor Rey "Chiong" Uy swung from supporting LP to backing the presidential bid of Duterte.

In the group's May 21, 2014 report "Philippines: Death Squad Linked to Hundreds of Killings," it urged the Philippine government to conduct an investigation into the alleged role of Tagum City officials and police in a decade of murders of criminal suspects.

The group said the government should look into the alleged death squad patterned after the so-called Davao Death Squad linked to Duterte. It suggested that the armed Tagum group caused the 298 killings between January 2007 and March 2013 in Tagum City.

The organization also said that although the killings are attributed to the Tagum squad, no one has been prosecuted so far.President Benigno Aquino III, morever, has largely ignored the cry for justice for extrajudicial killings in the country.

"The Tagum Death Squad was initially a crime-fighting group patterned after the death squad in nearby Davao City, which propelled that city’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, to national fame," the report said.

In May this year, the HRW also urged the government to investigate the alleged Davao Death Squad linked to Duterte. It said the Philippines should not tolerate any government official who publicly endorses extrajudicial killings as a form of crime control.

The HRW has, moreover, published a 103-page report "You Can Die Any Time: Death Squad Killings in Mindanao," on the Davao squad.

Duterte then challenged the HRW to sue him for being tagged in the activities of the paramilitary group. He also retracted his earlier admission that he has links to the armed Davao men saying that the DDS is his principle, Davao Development System, and not the Davao Death Squad.

Uy, meanwhile, denied accusations that he is behind an alleged death squadresponsible for unsolved killings in Tagum City. He claimed the HRW report was a product of black propaganda initiated by his political rivals.

Uy described one of the HRW’s report titled: "One Shot to the Head: Death Squad Killings in Tagum City, Philippines" as "very unfair."

The former mayor, seeking reelection in the 2016 polls, expressed on Saturday support for Duterte’s presidential candidacy.

"We’re throwing our support behind Duterte as it is a once-in-a-blue moon opportunity to have a Mindanaoan running for the presidency," Uy said in a previous report.

x x x."

Monday, November 30, 2015

Probation; Republic Act 10707, amending Presidential Decree 968

"x x x.

Meantime, Aquino also signed into law Republic Act 10707, amending the Marcos-era Presidential Decree 968 that provided rules on convicts who are eligible for pardon (sic) under the old statute.

Section 4 now provides that a judge can grant a convicted felon probation and “suspend” the execution of his sentence, place the defendant on “probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as the regional trial court may deem best.”

This is provided the convicted felon files for such an application to be granted probation.

However, the convicted felon will not be entitled to such probation if he has opted to file an appeal, or has perfected the appeal for the “judgment of conviction imposing a non-probationable penalty.”

x x x."

Republic Act 10706, Seafarers Protection Act

"x x x.

Under Republic Act 10706, entitled “Seafarers Protection Act,” individuals or groups found to have charged seafarers excessively will have to suffer maximum imprisonment of two years, a maximum fine of P100,000 or both.

The same penalty will also apply to every person found to have conspired in this illegal act.

The new law is a combination of Senate Bill 2835 that senators approved last Sept. 21, and House Bill 5268, which the lawmakers passed last Sept. 30 and Aquino signed into law on Nov. 26.

It is a law against ambulance chasing and imposition of excessive fees on Filipino seafarers.

Under the new law, it shall be “unlawful” for any person to solicit, personally or through an agent, from seafarers the pursuit of any claim against their employers for the purpose of recovery of monetary claim, legal interest included, arising from accident, illness or death.

It also provides a threshold fee where suits for recovery of monetary claim or benefit were filed either at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) or the Department of Labor and Employment where such fees “should not exceed 10 percent of the compensation or benefit awarded to the seafarer or his heirs.”

The government observed that some individuals or groups have exploited the compensation system and seafarers have “fallen prey to an unfair scheme” where ambulance chasers charge “exorbitant fees with the promise of huge monetary award.”

x x x."

Duterte admits links to Davao Death Squad | ABS-CBN News

"x x x.
Duterte admits links to Davao Death Squad
Posted at 05/25/15 10:02 AM

DAVAO, Philippines - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has admitted his links to the Davao Death Squad, which is allegedly responsible for summary executions of criminals in the city. He also warned he will kill up to 100,000 criminals if he is elected president.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation into the Davao Death Squad killings and urged the Philippine government not to tolerate a public official who endorses extrajudicial killings.

In a television interview, Duterte was unapologetic about his actions and even dared the group to file a case against him in court.

"Ako, ako daw death squad? True, that's true," he said in an interview with Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa.

"Gusto ko sila pumunta dito. There's no need for you to go to the Ombudsman. There is no requirement that you go to the human rights. File directly in court. Then I'll place you under oath. Just execute an affidavit. Then I'll call you when it's my time for cross-examination. And I will show to the world how stupid you are," he added.

Human Rights Watch earlier denounced the more than 1,000 killings committed by the Davao Death Squad since the late 1990s. Police and local government officials were reported to be involved in the targeted killings of alleged drug dealers and petty criminals, street children and others.

Duterte himself has boasted that Davao has become one of the world's safest cities simply by killing all criminals.

A Commission on Human Rights investigation in 2012 found probable cause to recommend that the Office of the Ombudsman file murder charges against the mayor. The Ombudsman, however, limited its investigation to police officers linked to the killings and found 21 guilty of "simple neglect of duty."

Duterte said the summary executions is one of the reasons he doesn't want to run for higher office in 2016. Duterte ranked 3rd in a recent Social Weather Stations survey on presidential contenders.

He also said that instead of 1,000 dead criminals, the number might rise to 50,000 dead if he is elected president.

"Alam po pag ako ang presidente, I will warn you I do not covet the position. Pag naging presidente ako, magtago na kayo. Yung 1,000 n ayan it would reach 50,000. I will kill all you [expletive] breaking the life of the Filipino miserable. Papatayin ko talaga kayo."

"Manalo ako kasi because of breakdown of law and order. I do not want to commit a crime but if by chance, God will place me there, magbantay kayo. Yung 1,000, magiging 100,000. Dyan mo makita tataba yung isda sa Manila Bay. Dyan ko kayo itapon."

"I do not want to be president. I do not want to kill people so do not elect me as president."

x x x."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advice to a lameduck president | BICOL TODAY

President Benigno S. Aquino III. Photo grab from PNoy facebook page
President Benigno S. Aquino III. Photo grab from PNoy facebook page

By Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr.
Pres. Aquino, as a lameduck president whose term of office ends soon, should avoid irresponsible statements that reveal his insensitivity to public opinion if he wants his bet, Mar Roxas, to win in the next election.
We refer to Aquino’s baseless “conspiracy theory” in re: the mass media’s vigilant coverage of the internationally scandalous and painfully never-ending laglag bala/tanim bala scam at the NAIA terminals.
Instead of issuing unfounded statements that insult the intelligence and self-dignity of the Filipino people (his Bosses, as he claims), he should immediately fire DOTC Sec. Abaya (president, Liberal Party), MIAA GM Honrado (his cousin [?]], and the top Avsecom generals for incompetence and for abetting the corrupt and abusive behavior of the OTS, Avsecom and NAIA security personnel.
He should apply the doctrine of command responsibility against these officials.
The aforecited laglag bala/tanim bala scam is aggravated by Aquino’s refusal to listen to the widespread cries of the working masses for the immediate passage of life-saving income tax reforms and for his lack of interest, if not laziness, to give top priority to the speedy enactment of the much-delayed Anti-Political Dynasty Bill and the Freedom of Information Bill (which have been in limbo in the dusty congressional archives since the ratification of the 1987 Constitution).
If Aquino wants to save his neck from future non-bailable criminal cases by reason of his illegal actions in re the unconstitutional DAP/PDAF funds and the bloody Mamasapano Incident (and other potential irregularities that might soon be discovered by the civil society and the media once he leaves his comfortable office at the Malacanang Palace), he should insure that his presidential bet Roxas win the election next year.
Aquino can achieve that dream only if he disciplines his arrogant mind, controls his sharp tongue, observes genuine humility, and exercises wisdom and fairness in his actions, decisions and statements as a lameduck president.
Otherwise, he will suffer the same humiliating fate of the convicted plunderer Erap and the seriously ill GMA, the two most disdained presidents in recent Philippine history.
Aquino must remember that the first law of nature is IMPERMANENCE. Nothing lasts forever. And the second law of nature is KARMA. One reaps what he sows.
–  – – – –
Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr.
Prof. of Law, FEU (ret.).
Founder, Las Pinas City Bar Assn
Former VP, IBP PPLM Ch.
Partner, Laserna Cueva-Mercader LAW Offices
3rd Placer, 1984 Bar Exams
Blog – attylaserna.blogspot.com

- See more at: http://bicoltoday.com/2015/11/29/advice-to-a-lameduck-president/#sthash.DKGoiiVu.dpuf

Saturday, November 28, 2015

“Metallurgical Engineering Act of 2015”. - Republic Act No. 10688 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

See - Republic Act No. 10688 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

[ Republic Act No. 10688 ]
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Metallurgical Engineering Act of 2015”.
SEC. 2. Statement of Policy. – The State recognizes the importance of metallurgical engineers in nation-building and development. Thus, the State shall develop and nurture competent, virtuous, productive and well-rounded metallurgical engineers whose standard of professional practice and service shall be excellent, world-class and globally competitive through regulatory measures, programs and activities.
SEC. 3. Objectives. – This Act shall govern but shall not be limited to:
(a) The examination, registration and licensure of metallurgical engineers;
(b) The supervision, control and regulation of the practice of metallurgical engineering;
(c) The development and upgrading of the curriculum of the metallurgical engineering profession in conformity with the approved curriculum of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED);
(d) The development of the professional competence of metallurgical engineers through continuing professional education; and
(e) The integration of the metallurgical engineering profession.
SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
(a) Practice of Metallurgical Engineering refers to the offering or rendering of services of any ofr the specialized branches of metallurgy for a fee, salary or other reward or compensation, paid directly or through another person or persons, or even without such reward or compensation. The term shall be synonymous with the term “rendering metallurgical engineering services”.
(b) Metallurgical Engineering refers to the profession which embraces the scientific, engineering, environmental and economic aspects of:
(1) Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy. – Preparation, separation, extraction and purification of ores, metals and mineral products by physical and chemical method such as ore dressing, pyrometallurgical processes such as roasting and smelting, hydrometallurgical processes such as leaching, electrometallurgical processes such as electric smelting and electrolysis and other similar processes;
(2) Adaptive and Physical Metallurgy. – Processes which pertain to the adaptation and application of metals such as melting, casting, forging, rolling, extrusion, welding and other metal working and finishing operations. These include unit operations relating to the control of microstructure of metals and their alloys such as heat treatment and surface hardening, and quality control in allowing operations to meet specification of metal alloys and metallographic studies. These also apply to powder, mechanical, nuclear and vacuum metallurgy; and
(3) Fuel Technology. — Fuel preparation processes such as washing, flotation and heavy media separation including carbonization, gasification and coking operations.
(c) Metallurgical Plant refers to any facility involved in processes which include, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Preparation, separation, concentration of minerals, coal and metallurgical fuels;
(2) Extraction of metals such as hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical and electrometallurgical processes; and
(3) Adaptation and application of metals such as melting, casting, forging, rolling, extrusion, powder metallurgy, heat treatment, welding and other metal working and finishing operations.
(d) Metallurgical Engineer refers to a person who holds a valid certificate of registration and professional identification card issued by the Board of Metallurgical Engineering and the Professional Regulation Commission.
SEC. 5. Scope of Practice. – Metallurgical engineering service shall embrace the following similar services in relation to metallurgical plants:
(a) Consultation, valuation and management services requiring metallurgical engineering skills and know-how;
(b) Engineering design, preparation of plans, specifications and project studies or estimates for metallurgical equipment and processes;
(c) Management or supervision of the testing and commissioning of metallurgical plants;
(d) Management, supervision, operation and auditing of metallurgical plants;
(e) Teaching of metallurgical engineering subjects in government-recognized universities, colleges and schools;
(f) Employment in government as a metallurgical engineer if the nature and character of the work requires professional knowledge of metallurgical engineering;
(g) Metallurgical investigation and testing of mineral and metal products;
(h) Training of metallurgical plant operating personnel;
(i) Research and development;
(j) Participation in the preparation of environmental studies for metallurgical projects and monitoring under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system;
(k) Teaching of metallurgical engineering subjects in any academic program leading to a professional degree, including refresher and review courses; and
(l) Other metallurgical work or service which, in the assessment and opinion of the Board, constitutes the practice of metallurgical engineering.
SEC. 6. Creation and Composition of the Professional Regulatory Board of Metallurgical Engineering. – There is hereby created a Professional Regulatory Board of Metallurgical Engineering, hereinafter called the Board, under the administrative control and supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission, hereinafter called the Commission, to be composed of a chairperson and two (2) members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines from a list of three (3) recommendees for each position, chosen and ranked in the order of preference and submitted by the Commission from a list of five (5) nominees submitted by the duly accredited professional organization of metallurgical engineers in the Philippines. The Board shall be organized not later than six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act.
SEC. 7. Powers and Duties of the Board. — The Board shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) Supervise and regulate the practice of metallurgical engineering profession;
(b) Determine and evaluate the qualifications of the applicants for registration;
(c) Prescribe the subjects in the licensure examinations, determine the syllabi of the subjects and their relative weights, construct the test questions in the examinations, score and rate the examination papers, and submit the examination results to the Commission;
(d) Issue, together with the Commission, certificates of registration and professional identification cards to applicants who have passed the licensure examinations for registered metallurgical engineers;
(e) Issue special/temporary permits to foreign metallurgical engineers to practice the profession;
(f) Inquire into conditions affecting the practice of the profession and adopt measures for the enhancement and maintenance of high professional, ethical and technical standards. Pursuant thereto, the Board may inspect establishments where metallurgical engineers practice their profession such as factories, plants, offices and the like, in order to determine and enforce compliance with the provisions of this Act, and issue certificates of compliance for the purpose;
(g) Assess the faculty and other aspects directly related to the metallurgical engineering program of educational institutions in coordination with the CHED;
(h) Adopt the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act;
(i) Adopt a Code of Ethics and a Code of Professional and Technical Standards for the practice of the metallurgical engineering profession;
(j) Investigate, in accordance with the rules on administrative investigation promulgated by the Commission, violations of this Act and its IRR, the Code of Ethics and the Code of Professional and Technical Standards for Metallurgical Engineers, administrative policies, orders and issuances promulgated by the Board;
(k) Issue subpoena duces tecum to secure the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents in connection with administrative cases before the Board;
(l) Hear and decide administrative cases filed against metallurgical engineers and firms employing metallurgical engineers. The hearing shall be presided by. the chairperson or a member of the Board with the assistance of an attorney of the Commission. The decision of the Board may be appealed to the Commission and to the court within fifteen (15) days from notice, otherwise the decision shall become final and executory;
(m) Administer oaths in connection with the performance of its functions;
(n) Adopt an official seal and prescribe the seal of the metallurgical engineering profession;
(o) Submit an annual report on the proceedings and accomplishments during the year and/or recommendations of the Board to the Commission thirty (30) days after the close of each calendar year;
(p) Prosecute or institute criminal action against any violator of this Act and/or rules and regulations of the Board;
(q) Prescribe guidelines and criteria on the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) program for metallurgical engineers in consultation with the integrated and accredited professional organization of metallurgical engineers; and
(r) Perform regulatory, administrative and quasi-legislative functions as mandated under Republic Act No. 8981, otherwise known as the “PRC Modernization Act of 2000”, and such other functions as may be necessary in order to implement the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 8. Qualifications of the Chairperson and Members of the Board. – The chairperson and members of the Board, at the time of their appointment, must be:
(a) A citizen and a resident of the Philippines;
(b) A holder of a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering as conferred by an engineering school of good standing, recognized and accredited by the government;
(c) A registered metallurgical engineer with a valid certificate of registration and professional identification card and an active practitioner for not less than ten (10) continuous years prior to the appointment;
(d) A person who does not have any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any university, college, school or institution conferring an academic degree necessary for the admission to the practice of metallurgical engineering, or in any institution where review classes in preparation for the licensure examinations for metallurgical engineers are being officially offered or conducted; and hot be a member of the faculty or of the administration thereof prior to appointment to the Board; and
(e) A member of the Accredited Professional Organization (APO) of metallurgical engineers but not a trustee or officer thereof.
SEC. 9. Term of Office. – The chairperson and the members of the Board shall hold office for a term of three (3) years from the date of appointment or until their successors shall have been appointed and duly qualified. They may be reappointed for another term of three (3) years immediately after the expiration of their term but in no case shall the whole term exceed six (6) years. Interim vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term only.
The chairperson and members of the Board shall take the proper oath prior to the assumption of office.
SEC. 10. Compensation of the Board. — The chairperson and members of the Board shall receive compensation and allowances comparable to that being received by the chairperson and members of other professional regulatory boards under the Commission as provided for in the General Appropriations Act.
SEC. 11. Custodian of Records, Secretariat and Support. — All records of the Board, including applications for examinations, examination papers and results, minutes of meetings, deliberations of administrative and other investigative cases involving the Board shall be kept by the Commission. The Commission shall designate the secretary of the Board and shall provide secretariat and other support services to implement the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 12. Grounds for Removal or Suspension of the Chairperson and Members of the Board. – The President of the Philippines, upon the recommendation of the Commission, after due process and administrative investigation conducted by the Commission, may remove or suspend the chairperson or a member of the Board on any of the following grounds:
(a) Gross neglect, incompetence or dishonesty in the discharge of their duties;
(b) Violation of any of the causes/grounds and the prohibited acts provided in this Act and the offenses in the Revised Penal Code, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and other laws; or
(c) Manipulation or rigging of the licensure examination result for metallurgical engineering, disclosure of secret and confidential information on the examination questions prior to the conduct thereof, or tampering of grades.
SEC. 13. Annual Report. — The Board shall submit an annual report to the Commission after the close of each calendar year giving detailed accounts of Board proceedings during the year and embodying such recommendations as the Board may desire to take.
SEC. 14. Passing of Licensure Examination Requirement. – Except as otherwise specifically allowed under this Act, applicants for registration for the practice of metallurgical engineering shall be required to pass a licensure examination as provided for in this Act.
SEC. 15. Holding of Examination. — Examination of candidates applying for registration as metallurgical engineer shall be given at least once a year in such places and dates as the Commission may designate in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 8981.
SEC. 16. Scope of Examination. — Unless modified by the Board and approved by the Commission, the licensure examination shall cover, but shall not be limited to, the following subjects:
(a) Mineral Processing, Extractive Metallurgy, Assaying and Chemistry;
(b) Physical and Applied Metallurgy;
(c) Fuel Technology and Refractory Science;
(d) Engineering Management, Law and Ethics;
(e) Applied Mathematics and Mechanics; and
(f) Any other pertinent subject as the Board may deem necessary to test the applicant’s ability and knowledge to ensure safety, economy, proficiency and environmental compliance in the design, construction, installation, maintenance, operation, organization and management of metallurgical plants: Provided, That the relative weight of (a) and (b) subjects shall not be less than thirty percent (30%) each.
The Board, subject to the approval of the Commission, may amend or revise the subjects, their syllabi, passing average, and the system and procedure in the licensure examinations for the practice of metallurgical engineering and the corresponding weight pursuant to the IRR issued for this purpose. The said subjects and their syllabi may be amended by the Board so as to conform to technological changes brought about by continuing trends in the profession.
SEC. 17. Qualifications of Applicants for Metallurgical Engineer. — Applicants for the licensure examination for metallurgical engineers shall establish to the satisfaction of the Board that they possess the following qualifications:
(a) A citizen of the Philippines or a foreign citizen whose country has reciprocity agreement with the Philippines;
(b) Of good moral character;
(c) A holder of a degree of Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy or related engineering degree majoring in Metallurgical Engineering or Metallurgy from a university, school, college, academy or institute duly constituted and recognized as such by the government; and
(d) Must not have been convicted by a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude.
SEC. 18. Examination Fees. – Any applicant admitted to take the metallurgical engineering examination shall pay such fees as may be prescribed by the Commission before one shall be allowed to take the examination.
SEC. 19. Rating in the Licensure Examination. – To pass the licensure examination for metallurgical engineering, a candidate must obtain a general weighted average of not less than seventy percent (70%) and a rating of not less than fifty percent (50%) in any examination subject.
SEC. 20. Report of Ratings. — The Board shall, within fifteen (15) days from the last day of examinations, report the rating of examinees to the Commission.
SEC. 21. Exemption from Examination. — A person may be registered as metallurgical engineer and given a license to practice as metallurgical engineer without examination, who:
(a) Had graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering before the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 1536, the “Metallurgical Engineering Law of the Philippines” in June 1978 and who, on the date of approval of this Act, had an accumulated fifteen (15) years of experience in any of the metallurgical practice as defined in Section 4 of this Act: Provided, That the said experience is certified by the applicant’s employer/s and approved by the Board; or
(b) Had graduated with a doctorate degree in Metallurgy, Metallurgical Engineering or in related fields:Provided, That the applicant is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy or related engineering degree majoring in Metallurgical Engineering or Metallurgy.
An applicant for exemption from examination shall submit to the Board of Metallurgical Engineering the following:
(1) Diploma or transcript of records; both must be authenticated; and
(2) A metallurgical engineering report/doctoral thesis, which shall serve as a basis whether the applicant, in the opinion of the Board, deserves exemption from examination.
SEC. 22. Qualifications of Applicants for Metallurgical Plant Foreman. – Applicants for a certificate of registration without examination as a metallurgical plant foreman, shall, prior to admission for certification, establish to the satisfaction of the Board that they possess the following qualifications:
(a) A citizen of the Philippines;
(b) Of good reputation and moral character; and
(c) At least a high school graduate with at least ten (10) years of experience in any metallurgical plant as defined in Section 4 of this Act and as certified by the applicant’s present employer, or a graduate of any engineering degree with at least five (5) years of experience in any metallurgical plant as defined in Section 4 of this Act and as certified by the applicant’s present employer/s.
The Board shall, subject to the approval of the Commission, adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to classify metallurgical foremen to such metallurgical plants as concentrators, foundries, smelters, refineries and any other specific classification, as may be found necessary.
SEC. 23. Issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card. — A certificate of registration shall be issued to those who are registered with or without licensure examination subject to payment of fees prescribed by the Commission. It shall bear the signatures of the chairperson of the Commission and of the chairperson and members of the Board, stamped with the official seal of the Commission and of the Board, certifying that’ the person named therein is entitled to all rights and privileges of a registered metallurgical engineer or metallurgical plant foreman with all the privileges appurtenant thereto. Until withdrawn, revoked or suspended in accordance with this Act, it shall remain in full force and effect.
A professional identification card bearing the registration number and date, its validity and expiry duly signed by the chairperson of the Commission shall likewise be issued to every registrant who has paid the prescribed fees.
SEC. 24. Issuance of Certificate of Specialization. – Upon the domination of the APO of metallurgical engineers, the l Board shall issue a certificate of specialization to an applicant who is a registered metallurgical engineer and who has specialized knowledge, training and experience in a specific field of metallurgy and has documented expertise and competence on the same.
SEC.. 25. Seal of a Metallurgical Engineer. – A metallurgical engineer, upon registration and payment of fees and dues to the APO, shall obtain a seal of such design prescribed by the Board, bearing the registrant’s name, certificate number and the legend “Registered Metallurgical Engineer”. Designs, plans, specifications, project feasibility studies, appraisals, valuations, recommendations, technical reports, proposals, and other professional documents involving metallurgy, quarries, colliery works, projects or installations shall be stamped on every sheet with the said seal of the registrant when filed with government authorities or when submitted or used professionally: Provided, That it shall be unlawful for anyone to stamp or seal any document with the said seal after the certificate and/or professional identification card shall have been revoked, cancelled or expired.
SEC. 26. Fees for Registration. — Every person issued a certificate of registration shall pay to the Commission such fees as the Commission may prescribe.
SEC. 27. Issuance of Temporary/Special Permits. — Temporary/Special permits shall be issued to the following upon proper application with the Board:
(a) Foreign metallurgical engineers, recognized as experts in their specific fields of metallurgical engineering, called in by the Republic of the Philippines for consultation or for specific design, installation or project: Provided, That their practice shall be confined to such work only;
(b) Foreign metallurgical engineers who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of specialization, contracted as professors or lecturers on metallurgical engineering subjects by Philippine schools or colleges, institutes or universities on a direct hire or exchange basis, subject to verification of credentials by the Board; or
(c) Foreign metallurgical engineers who are duly registered under the bilateral or multilateral agreements where the Philippines is a signatory: Provided, That all the above shall secure a temporary/special permit from the Board prior to arrival in the country.
SEC. 28. Refusal to Register. – The Board shall not register any successful applicant for registration with or without licensure examination who has been:
(a) Convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(b) Found guilty of immoral or dishonorable conduct by the Board;
(c) Summarily adjudged guilty for violation of the General Instruction to Examinees by the Board; and
(d) Declared of unsound mind by a court of competent jurisdiction.
In refusing such registration, the Board shall give the applicant a written statement setting forth the reasons therefor and shall file a copy thereof in its records.
SEC. 29. Revocation or Suspension of the Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card and Cancellation of Temporary/Special Permit. — The Board shall have the power, upon notice and hearing, to revoke or suspend the certificate of registration and professional identification card of a registered metallurgical engineer or to cancel a temporary/ special permit granted to a foreign metallurgical engineer for violation of any of the grounds or causes provided in Section 28 of this Act, except paragraph (c) thereof, and for any of the following:
(a) Violation of a provision of this Act, its IRR, Code of Ethics and Code of Professional and Technical Standards for the practice of metallurgical engineering;
(b) Perpetration or use of fraud in obtaining one’s certificate of registration, professional identification card or temporary/special permit;
(c) Gross incompetence, negligence or ignorance resulting to death, injury or damage;
(d) Any act of misrepresentation in connection with an alleged performance of metallurgical engineering activities;
(e) Acts inimical to the metallurgical engineering profession;
(f) Gross immorality;
(g) Conviction by final judgment of any act involving moral turpitude;
(h) Aiding or abetting the illegal practice of a nonregistered and non-licensed metallurgical engineer by allowing the use of one’s certificate of registration, professional identification card or temporary/special permit;
(i) Illegal practice of the profession during the suspension from the practice thereof; and
(j) Addiction to drugs or alcohol impairing the ability to practice the profession, or a declaration by a court of competent jurisdiction that the registrant is of unsound mind.
The Board shall periodically evaluate the aforementioned grounds and revise, exclude or add new ones as the need arises subject to the approval by the Commission.
Any person, firm or association may file charges in accordance with the provision of this section against any registrant, or the Board may investigate violation of any of the abovementioned causes. An affidavit-complaint shall be filed together with the affidavits of witnesses and other documentary evidence with the Board through the Legal and Investigation Office. The Board may motu proprioconduct an investigation which shall be embodied in a formal charge to be signed by at least a majority of the members of the Board. The rules on administrative investigation issued by the Commission shall govern the hearing or investigation subject to applicable provisions of this Act, Republic Act No. 8981 and the Rules of Court.
SEC. 30. Reissuance of Revoked Certificate of Registration, Replacement of Lost or Damaged Certificate of Registration, Professional Identification Card or Temporary/Special Permit. – The Board may, upon petition, reinstate or reissue a revoked certificate of registration after two (2) years from the effectivity of the period for revocation, which is the date of surrender of the said certificate and/or the professional identification card if still valid to the Board and/or the Commission. The Board may not require the holder thereof to take another licensure examination. The petitioner shall prove to the Board that one has valid reasons to practice the profession. For the grant of the petition, the Board shall issue a Board Resolution subject to approval by the Commission.
Duplicate copy of lost certificate of registration, professional identification card or temporary/special permit may be reissued in accordance with the rules thereon and upon payment of the prescribed fee therefor.
SEC. 31. Who May Practice Metallurgical Engineering. – Except as may be provided in this Act, only persons properly licensed and registered may practice metallurgical engineering. For purposes of this Act, no firm, partnership, corporation or association may be licensed and registered as such for the practice of metallurgical engineering, but duly licensed and registered metallurgical engineers may form partnerships among themselves or with other licensed and registered engineers and architects and use the title “Metallurgical Engineers”, “Engineers”, or “Engineers and Architects” in their partnership name.
No firm, partnership, corporation or association shall operate a metallurgical plant without a minimum complement of licensed metallurgical engineers pursuant to the IRR issued for this purpose.
SEC. 32. Vested Rights. – All practicing metallurgical engineers who are registered as metallurgical engineers at the time this Act takes effect shall automatically be registered under this Act as registered metallurgical engineers.
SEC. 33. Roster of Metallurgical Engineers. – A roster showing the names, registration numbers and dates of issue and expiry, current addresses, and place of business of all metallurgical engineers shall be prepared and kept by the Commission which shall be made available to interested parties upon formal written request.
SEC. 34. Foreign Reciprocity. – No foreign metallurgical engineer shall be given a certificate of registration/professional license and professional identification card or be entitled to any of the privileges under this Act unless the country or state of which he is a subject or a citizen permits Filipino metallurgical engineer to practice within its territorial limits on the same basis as the subjects or citizens of said country or state.
SEC. 35. Indication of Certificate of Registration, Professional Tax Receipt and APO Membership. – The metallurgical engineer shall be required to indicate the certificate of registration number and the duration of validity, including the professional tax receipt number and APO membership fee receipt number on the documents one signs, uses or issues in connection with the practice of the profession.
SEC. 36. Posting of Certificates. – Registered metallurgical engineers shall post or cause to be posted in a conspicuous place within the office or place of business the certificate of registration as metallurgical engineer, and one shall present the same upon demand of members of the Board or law enforcement officers of the national, provincial, city or municipal governments.
SEC. 37. Continuing Professional Education (CPE) and/or Development Programs. — All registered metallurgical engineers. and metallurgical plant foremen shall comply with pertinent rules and regulations already prescribed by and/or as may be prescribed and promulgated by the Commission and/or the Board, the APO and other government agencies, pursuant to this Act and other relevant laws, international treaties, agreements and/or covenants to which the Philippines is a signatory and has ratified, with respect to CPE and/or development and/or other similar/related programs.
SEC. 38. Integration of the Metallurgical Engineering Professional. – The metallurgical engineering profession shall be integrated into one (1) national professional organization of metallurgical engineers that—is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission {SEC). The Board, subject to approval by the Commission, shall accredit the said organization as the one and only integrated and APO of metallurgical engineers. All metallurgical engineers whose names appear in the registry book of metallurgical engineers shall ipso facto or automatically become members thereof and shall receive all the benefits and privileges appurtenant thereto upon payment of APO membership fees and dues.
Membership in the integrated APO shall not be a bar to membership in other metallurgical engineering organizations.
SEC. 39. Penal Clause. – The following shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than ten thousand pesos (P 10,000.00) but not more than one million pesos (P I,000,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than five (5) years, or both, at the discretion of the court:
(a) Any person who shall practice metallurgical engineering in the Philippines, as defined in this Act, without a valid certificate of registration, a valid professional identification card or a valid temporary/special permit in accordance with the provisions of this Act, unless declared exempt from registration;
(b) Any person presenting or using as one’s own the certificate of registration, professional identification card or temporary/special permit of another;
(c) Any person who shall give any false or forged evidence;
(d) Any person who shall impersonate any registrant of like or different name;
(e) Any person who shall use a revoked or suspended certificate of registration, a valid professional identification card or ajvalid temporary/special permit or an expired/noncurrent professional identification card, or an expired/cancelled temporary/special permit; or
(f) Any person who shall assume, use or advertise any title or description lending to convey the impression that one is a metallurgical engineer without having completed the academic requirements and conferred the appropriate baccalaureate degree for such, or is engaged in the metallurgical engineering practice without holding a valid certificate of registration, a valid professional identification card or a valid temporary/special permit from the Board.
SEC. 40. Legal Effect on Other Professions. – This Act shall not affect or prevent the practice of any other legally recognized profession.
SEC. 41. Enforcement of this Act by the Officers of the Law. — The Board shall be assisted by the Commission in carrying out the provisions of this Act and its IRR and other policies. The lawyers of the Commission shall act as the prosecutors against illegal practitioners and other violations of this Act and its IRR. The duly constituted authorities of government shall likewise assist the Board and the Commission in enforcing the provisions of this Act and its IRR.
SEC. 42. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). – Subject to the approval of the Commission, the Board, in consultation with the APO, shall adopt and promulgate the IRR, the Code of Ethics, and the Code of Professional and Technical Standards for Metallurgical Engineers to carry out the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 43. Funding Provision. – The amount necessary to implement the provisions of this Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
SEC. 44. Transitory Provisions. — (a) After the approval of this Act, metallurgical engineers possessing valid certificates of registration issued under Presidential Decree No. 1536, otherwise known as the “Metallurgical Engineering Law of the Philippines”, shall register with the Board and be issued certificates as registered metallurgical engineers under this Act to replace their original certificates of registration, upon payment of the required fees.
(b) The present chairperson and members of the Board shall automatically be issued certificates of registration as registered metallurgical engineers. They shall continue to function in the Board until such time as a new Board shall be constituted under this Act.
SEC. 45. Separability Clause. – If any section or portion of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, such shall not invalidate any other section of this Act.
SEC. 46. Repealing Clause. – Presidential Decree No. 1536 is hereby repealed. All other laws, parts of law, orders, ordinances or regulations relative to the practice of metallurgical engineering which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SEC. 47. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the country.