Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Supreme Court shames Duterte's name and shame tactic


"x x x.

While the SC said that it is committed in imposing disciplinary action against erring members of the judiciary, it added that it must be "steadfast in our undertaking to not be the instrument that destroys the reputation of any member of the bench by pronouncing guilt based merely on speculation.

The High Tribunal also took the PDEA to task for making claims against the judges "based on long-decided cases and relying on witnesses whose factual assertions were, prima facie, not credible and for failing, despite opportunities given during the Abad Investigation, to present witnesses who could corroborate other material points."

The SC also slammed what it considered the premature announcement of the judges' alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, noting that the judges had been placed in danger because of this.

"In response to this, the Court called upon the various judges organizations (as well as organizations of court personnel) to take up issues that have surfaced in this investigation in order to further enable the rule of law as far as judges' conduct is concerned—so as to protect the lives and reputation of judges and court personnel even as the Court disciplines its own ranks," the SC said.

Justice Marvic Leonen, in his concurring opinion, also slammed the public announcement of the judges' supposed involvement, saying that the allegations were not fully supported by validated evidence.

"All it achieved was to shame the judges and others similarly situated," Leonen said.

He added, "It also dangerously contributes to the President’s public misperception that courts of law are incompetent. The truth is that, in these cases, evidence is not available from the law enforcers, who could have presented opportunities for this court to clean its ranks." – Rappler.com

x x x."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ventilation issues at the hall of justice of Las Pinas



December 5, 2016

HON. IMELDA AGUILAR
Mayor of the City of Las Pinas
City Hall
Las Pinas City

RE : SUGGESTION TO IMPROVE THE VENTILLATION ON 
ALL THE CORRIDORS OF THE HALL OF JUSTICE OF LAS PINAS CITY TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC APPEARING THEREIN

Dear IMELDA:

Mabuhay! Greetings of peace!

First of all, please extend my regards to your good husband and my good friend Mayor Vergel “NENE” Aguilar. May he and your children be happy and well.

I am writing to humbly suggest to your good self, as the local chief executive of our city, that enough numbers of heavy-duty CEILING FANS be installed by the local government of Las Pinas City on all the corridors of the three floors of our Hall of Justice.

I am making the aforementioned suggestion for the sake of the health and general welfare and comfort of the old and weak senior citizens (like me), the persons with disability, the pregnant women, the children, the lawyers, the litigants, the witnesses, the policemen, and the other parties and individuals who appear for trial and other judicial purposes in the Hall of Justice or who transact legal and official business therein.

In the recent months that I have been appearing in the trial courts in our Hall of Justice, I have been suffering from great discomfort and inconvenience and heart and lungs health issues while waiting on the corridors of our Hall of Justice prior to the opening of the courtrooms because of the harmful human heat, air pollutants, and allergens that badly affect the health of the numbers of the general public waiting on the corridors thereof.

This is the common complaint of the general public visiting our Hall of Justice, especially the sickly and weak senior citizens suffering from chronic diseases, like me, and the persons with disability.

Your kind and favorable action on the foregoing matter would be very much appreciated by the undersigned, the general public and the members of the Las Pinas City Bar Association, of which I was the founder in 2001. 

Attached is my business card, for your reference.

Thank you. May God bless you and your family. 


Sincerely,


Atty. Manuel Laserna Jr.
Founder, Las Pinas City Bar Association, 2001
Vice President, IBP Pasay Paranaque Las Pinas 
Muntinlupa Chapter, 2004-2007
Professor of Law, FEU (retired 2006)
Third Place, 1984 Bar Examinations (90.95%)


Cc:

Honorable Executive Judge
Thru: Office of the Clerk of Court
Regional Trial Court 
Hall of Justice
Las Pinas City




















Death Penalty and the Right to Life: A Battle to Defend and Preserve the Filipino Identity - Sen.LEILA DE LIMA

"x x x.

Death Penalty and the Right to Life: A Battle to Defend and Preserve the Filipino Identity


(Speech by Sen. Leila M. de Lima during a forum on “The Right to Life and the Death Penalty” at the Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, last December 2, 2016) 


Good morning! A very invigorating morning to all of you present here today. 

I thank you for the invitation, for it is truly a great opportunity for me to be here today to express my views and my solidarity with those who Stand Against the 

Death Penalty and, more importantly, for those who defend the sanctity of life.

If I ask everyone here this morning, what do you think is a person’s greatest weapon?

Would you answer his or her knowledge?

Power?

Wealth?

Influence?

If you do answer one of those, you are not entirely wrong, but I have a different take on that question. All of those are weapons, but they are useless without one thing: a person’s identity. Without that self-awareness, a person can have no sense of purpose. Without an identity and a sense of purpose, what use is his or her knowledge, power, wealth or influence? They are but aborted potentials that go to waste, for they are not put to use effectively, efficiently or meaningfully. A waste of potential. A waste of life.

When people know who they are and what they stand for, there are no chains that can bind them.

No walls that can cage them.

No fists that can crush them.

No water that can drown them.

No tanks that can break their ranks as they stand together arm in arm.

No guns that can silence them and no hole in the earth deep enough to bury them – for even that ultimate sacrifice will echo through time as their ghosts point their accusing fingers at their executioners.

But when we can’t even see each other for who we are – when we see factions instead of one nation – when we can’t agree on common interests, let alone common values, this period of time will pass with nothing to show but the death of the Filipino spirit, along with the death of the thousands of possible victims of extrajudicial killings thus far this year. As of December 1, according to the PNP there have been a total of 5,845 of persons killed in connection with the War On Drugs since July 1; 2,004 of which are suspected drug personalities supposedly killed in police operations; and 3,841 victims of extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings, as of November 30. 

When we acquiesce to the re-imposition of the Death Penalty, we will not only be signing the death warrant of those who will be killed by judicial fiat or otherwise, we will be signing the death warrant of the Filipino people as a nation – for how can we reconcile sanctioning killing one another in each other’s name?

Thus, that is the question we are here to try to answer today. 

It is not simply whether we are pro- or anti-Death Penalty. The question is deeper than that. We have to ask ourselves, what is it that we value above all?

If we care nothing for the sanctity of human lives and our other inherent and inalienable human rights – so be it, let us allow our society to descend into the chaos of a no-man’s land, where every person and his or her possession are fair game, where the very act of stepping out of your home is an invitation to be victimized, and there are no expectations of the protections of due process, equal protection, justice or rule of law. Just every man and woman for themselves, praying that no one envies or hates them enough to put them on some person’s arbitrary hit list. 

But if there is still a part of us that values our rights and freedoms – that priceless and precious blessing of democracy of exercising them without the fear that all those can and will be taken away at the whim of so-called authorities who operate on the basis of unverified accusations, personal vendettas and, as the recent deaths of even high-valued inmates who were already in custody have shown, the intent not so much as to ferret out the truth about illegal activities, but, in fact, to inter the truth about possible corruption and complicity of favored government authorities in such illegal activities – we must find the willpower and the courage to fight for them.

And yes, it is, indeed, shaping out to be a fight. But no, not a fight that we are called upon to fight with our fists, or weapons, or even words. It is a fight we must fight in our minds: the fight to resist being psychologically and morally broken down by events, until we are mentally and spiritually weakened enough to accept this Culture of Death that is being forced upon us.

Indeed, it is a systematic and egregiously manipulative psychological warfare that is being waged against us, the Filipino nation. 

Step one, sow discord and divisiveness among fellow Filipinos, pitting one against the other with the “if you are not with us, you are against us” mentality, which ignores the need for meaningful discourse and, instead, shoots any attempt at one down to hide the weaknesses and fallacies in their own arguments, aided by the rise of a cyber-trolling and fake news-spreading paid propaganda army. 

Step two, spread fear among the populace through the publication of unverified drug hit lists that are so notoriously unreliable, they included individuals who are already dead. 

Step three, use the war against drugs to sow even greater fear through the unmitigated and even explicitly emboldened use of fatal force against purported drug suspects, that has killed, not just those suspected of involvement with the illegal trade, but also innocent bystanders, including children and victims of mistaken identity. 

Step four, use the war against drugs to slowly chip away the people’s expectation of respect and protection for their rights, including through questionable practices associated with warrantless searches and arrests, and further erosion of such expectation by threats of declaration of a national state of emergency and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

Step five, revise the history of Philippine democracy by giving a hero’s burial to the dictator – whose Martial Law regime saw, not just rampant corruption, but also heinous and gross violations of human rights, including thousands of victims of torture, summary execution, enforced disappearances, politically motivated arrests and imprisonment – in an attempt to obscure the line between out-and-out despotism and heroism, thus paving the way for the reemergence of a similar blight to our democratic way of life.

Step six, a series of disturbing events that appear to be paving the way for the declaration of martial law, or at least the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

All of these things, which by themselves are already far from innocuous, when taken together attain an even greater level of insidiousness that only hints at the true horror that lies in wait for us: they are intended to slowly, but surely break us down. To make as see death as, not just the only workable solution to all of our nation’s woes, but even the “better one”. It is as if they are making us complicit in their crimes by making us accept such an imperfect and truly ineffective, quote-unquote, “solution” as capital punishment is the more acceptable solution than these spate of extrajudicial killings. 

How?

By wearing us down with all the killings that are taking place in our midst on an hourly basis – 1.58 deaths every hour or 38 deaths a day to be exact. The more desensitized we are to the death of our fellow human beings. The less shocking these occurrences become, the more accepting we are of “judicial” killings, perhaps thinking that the latter is the lesser of two evils and, hence, acceptable to a civilized and democratic society that is supposedly governed by the Rule of 
Law.

Make no mistake, however, the revival of the Death Penalty is nothing more than the veritable desperate last stand of a tired, old, narcissist, who likely realizes that his temperament, skills set and parochial approach to governance, which includes his own brand of patronage politics and kumpare system, are ill-suited and, frankly, incapable of finding real and lasting solutions to the problems of the country he swore to serve. Thus, to hide his incompetence and failure, his go-to recourse has been to impose “final solutions” upon the very people he was entrusted to serve and protect, hoping that we are stupid and naive enough to mistake the body count for real accomplishments. 

Yet, the primary argument for death fails: it is not a deterrent. To quote FLAG’s own Primer on the Death Penalty, “Deterrence is not a function of the penalty’s severity, but more a function of the certainty of prosecution and punishment. Very few criminals, if any, consider the penalty in the commission of crimes. What they consider is that they are not caught and, if they are caught, that they can be acquitted. The death penalty does not necessarily determine whether the crime will be committed or not, as there are other factors that come into play, such as need brought about by poverty, environment, education and values.”

The Deterrence Effect is not something that will be achieved by slapping the severest punishment on people, it requires effective law enforcement: from heightened crime prevention efforts and, if those fail, successful and effective crime detection, investigation and prosecution. It requires more effort from law enforcers like the police force than just drawing their guns and shooting at criminals point-blank. At the very least, the police should know the elements of the crimes they are preventing and investigating – a basic skill that Senate hearings have shown is deplorably lacking in some members of the police force, including high-ranking officials.

The fact that our so-called leaders are selling it to us as having such non-existent deterrent effect just goes to show the utter laziness that is infecting our leaders. They would rather kill instead of protect. They would rather risk killing the innocent, rather than make the effort to increase police visibility and enhance their investigative prowess. Apparently, that is too much to ask for.

I firmly disagree. I believe it is possible and it is worth it. That is why I am not only fighting the several legislative measures pending before the Senate that will bring back the death penalty, and championing my own alternative bill imposing qualified reclusion perpetua, but also championing other legislative measures that seek to empower, improve and modernize our criminal justice system to make it more effective and responsive to modern times.

Now, if the deterrent effect is a hoax, why then force this upon us? Perhaps, in reality, it is the retributive aspect of it that they are really working towards. But retribution for what?

Disturbingly, the motivation to hide incompetence is perhaps the more innocuous reason for re-imposing the Death Penalty if compared to another one: the motivation to suppress political dissent and seek retribution against political opponents. As much as regimes have touted the alleged deterrent effect of capital punishment against the commission of crime, what they are often, actually frighteningly useful for are as weapons for political oppression and suppression.

We need only look at our history to see that among the most prominent people who have been sentenced to death are those who have done the most unforgiveable of crimes: they fought for the Filipino people’s freedom. Andres and Procopio Bonifacio, Jose Rizal, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, Wenceslao Vinzons, among many others. 

The death was never as much an effective instrument of justice, as it has been a horrifyingly potent weapon for the politically and militarily powerful to wield against those they seek to oppress and subjugate. Even then, however, seeing as how these victims have gone down in history as heroes and martyrs, death has been quite impotent to suppress their ideals and, to this day, people continue to fight for what is right regardless of the consequences for themselves – as was clearly and heroically displayed during the demonstrations last Wednesday, protesting the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

But that doesn’t stop autocrats, despots and unhinged narcissists from trying to stamp out the idealism in us.

In other words, the absolute worst part of this systematic psychological pressure cooker our own government is attempting to trap us in is that they see the goodness in our people and, instead of nourishing and making us a better and stronger nation by it, they are manipulating and using our very humanity as a weapon against us. 

They are dealing the ultimate blow to us as individuals and as a people: they are stealing our identity and robbing us of our sense of higher purpose. They are committing the biggest crime against democracy – impairing their right to self-determination by disabling them from making informed and well-thought out decisions about their present and their future. It isn’t enough for them to rewrite our past, they want us to write our future in our own blood.

Before that happens, I ask the people here today: do you still know who you are and what your purpose is?

A year ago, I used to know what Filipinos stood for. 

I knew if from the fact that, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being drafted, we not only took active part through our delegation chaired by none other than Carlos P. Romulo, but our delegate was also credited as “evoking the abuses — and worse — of the Nazi regime in Germany” to argue “forcefully against weakening the Declaration’s prohibition of torture by referring to local cultural customs,” saying that “[d]iluting the ban… could provide cover for those who cloak their abhorrent practices in cultural justification.” 

I knew it from the fact that, after decades of suppression under Martial Law rule, our people came together in a peaceful and bloodless revolution that, not only toppled a dictator, but produced a Constitution that embodied human rights and social justice.

I knew it, too, when, seven years ago, we were all collectively outraged by a massacre perpetrated by those who thought that power and influence could give them impunity for killing dozens of innocent people in broad daylight, including women and journalists.

Now, near the end of 2016, after all the deaths and the still rising death toll, after all the wearying news about impunity and misogyny and lack of accountability for deaths happening under highly suspicious circumstances, to say the least: I ask everyone here if they still know who they are and what they stand for. Who do we seek when we look in the mirror? Are we Filipinos who still believe in the worth of Filipino lives – rich or poor? Or are we part of the faceless executioners hiding behind masks of either authority or anonymity?

There are lawyers, media practitioners, human rights advocates, students and public officials present here today. What identity do you assume out in the world? Are you defenders of the Rule of Law? Are you fighters for human rights? 

Or are you among those who are already broken down that you are now prepared to surrender your humanity to those who would not just destroy it, but also use it destroy others? Are you, now, just another cog in this murderous machine? 

Can you still stand up and say that you are not your government? 

Or are you ready to accept defeat? 

I know I may likely be preaching to the choir, but that is the crux of the matter isn’t it? If the members of the choir lose their faith, if they lose their identity, who else will go out there and defend the value of human life out in the world? 

When we speak of people dying, there can be no passive observers. We must take a stand.

No to death penalty. 

No to death. 

No more killings. Enough with the lazy short cuts. 

We want governance from our government, not executions from butchers. 

Let Justice and the Rule of Law have its day.

x x x."

"...I will not allow the Vice Presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted. I will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfill their dream for a better life..." - Vice President Leni Robredo

See - Statement of Vice President Leni Robredo | Leni Robredo Official Website


"x x x.

Statement of Vice President Leni Robredo
4 December 2016

We had hoped this day would not come.

I had been warned of a plot to steal the Vice Presidency. I have chosen to ignore this and focus on the job at hand. But the events of recent days indicate that this plot is now being set into motion.

From the very beginning, the President and I had major differences in principles and values. Since I assumed office, I have been consistent in my opposition to issues such as the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, extra-judicial killings, reinstating death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and sexual attacks against women.

But we both had a mandate to serve the people. I had hoped that this shared commitment to the poor and marginalized would transcend the differences between us. So, I took the job of Housing Secretary when it was offered to me.

In barely five months, we have solid accomplishments in HUDCC. This, despite the obstacles thrown our way, which are:

One, the budget for all key shelter agencies in 2017 has been slashed by more than P19 billion. Two, all our key shelter agency appointment recommendations have not been acted on. Three, the Executive Order designed to make HUDCC effective was not signed.

Then, we received a text message last Saturday from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr., relaying the President’s instruction through Bong Go for me “to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5.”

This is the last straw, because it makes it impossible for me to perform my duties. Hence, I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet on Monday, December 5, 2016. With this resignation, you can expect that I will continue to support the positive initiatives of this administration and oppose those that are inimical to the people’s interest.

However, as your duly elected Vice President, I will not allow the Vice Presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted. I will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfill their dream for a better life
.

x x x."

"Thou shall not donate." - Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

See - Thou shall not donate | Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism


"x x x.

SIDEBAR
Thou shall not donate
by The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5TH, 2016


BY ALL indications, the May 2016 elections are no different from previous polls in which those donating to the campaign coffers of candidates and political parties turn out to be the same business owners and executives yet again. In past elections, the names of the prohibited corporations themselves were listed in the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) that the partisans have filed with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The situation has prompted the Comelec Campaign Finance Office (CFO) to remind candidates running in the 2016 elections that all corporations are not allowed to donate to their campaigns.

The reminder has resulted, however, in more and more names of individual donors, including the majority owners of big companies banned from giving donations, showing up in SOCEs.

————————————————————————————————————————————–
Read previous PCIJ stories on campaign donors:
* In 2013: Firms in the red, gov’t contractors, top donors of Senate bets, parties

* In 2010: Venture capitalists or true believers? Only 308 donors funded campaign for presidency
————————————————————————————————————————————–

A year ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had reiterated and ruled it absolutely taboo for all corporate entities in the country to donate to candidates and political parties.

SEC Opinion No. 15-08 issued on July 27, 2015 bans all companies from donating any amounts to candidates and political parties.

Signed by Camilo S. Correa, SEC general counsel, “by authority of the Commission En Banc,” the ruling states, “Section 36(9) of the Corporation Code imposes an absolute prohibition for corporations, both foreign and domestic, from giving any donations to any political party, candidate, or for the purpose of any partisan political activity.” (underscoring supplied in SEC Opinion No. 15-08)

In Section 144, the Corporation Code or Batas Pambansa Blg. 68 says that “violations of any of the provisions of this Code or its amendments not otherwise specifically penalized therein shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand pesos but not more than ten thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not less than 30 days but nor more than five years, or both, in the discretion of the court.”

The same section of the Code, however, says, “If the violation is committed by a corporation, the same may, after notice and hearing, be dissolved in appropriate proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Unsurprisingly, Rona Ann V. Caritos, executive director of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), thinks that this particular provision in the law should be amended, precisely because lawyers could interpret it in different ways. But at its most basic, she says, the purpose of the prohibition is to prevent conflict of interest.

“If you donate and you’re engaged in a contract with government and the candidate you gave a substantial donation wins in the elections, it’s natural for us to expect that you might get contracts,” she adds.

Caritos even says that it’s LENTE’s stand that the prohibition should extend to a corporation’s board of directors and board of trustees. She argues that such board members are the ones who set the policy or program of the corporation; in short, they have a say on how the company operates.

— PCIJ, December 2016

x x x."

Philippine National Police - Standard Operating Procedures

See - SOP's

Standard Operating Procedures

SOP ON PNP PERSONNEL USING MOTORCYCLES
SOP ON RECOVERED PERSONAL EFFECTS OF VICTIMS
SOP ON PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION OF HEINOUS AND SENSATIONAL CRIMES
SOP ON POLICY FOR THE TRANSFER OF ARRESTED PERSONS OUTSIDE TERRITORIAL AREA
SOP ON THE CONDUCT OF CASE REVIEW
SOP ON INCIDENT RECORDING SYSTEM
SOP ON BOOKING OF ARRESTED SUSPECTS
SOP ON CONDUCT OF CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
SOP ON CREATION AND ACTIVATION OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATION TASK GROUP (SITG) TO HANDLE HEINOUS AND SENSATIONAL CRIMES
GUIDELINES ON THE CONDUCT OF THE DOLE, DILG, DND, DOJ, AFP AND PNP RELATIVE TO THE EXERCISE OF WORKERS' RIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES

Monday, December 5, 2016

R.A. 10640, amending Sec. 21, RA 9165

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10640]

AN ACT TO FURTHER STRENGTHEN THE ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN OF THE GOVERNMENT, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTION 21 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “COMPREHENSIVE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002″, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. – The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:

“(1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, conduct a physical inventory of the seized items and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, with an elected public official and a representative of the National Prosecution Service or the media who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided, That the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures: Provided, finally, That noncompliance of these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures and custody over said items.

“x x x

“(3) A certification of the forensic laboratory examination results, which shall be done by the forensic laboratory examiner, shall be issued immediately upon the receipt of the subject item/s: Provided, That when the volume of dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, and controlled precursors and essential chemicals does not allow the completion of testing within the time frame, a partial laboratory examination report shall be provisionally issued stating therein the quantities of dangerous drugs still to be examined by the forensic laboratory: Provided, however, That a final certification shall be issued immediately upon completion of the said examination and certification;

“x x x.”

SEC. 2. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). – To implement effectively the provisions of Section 21, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) shall issue the necessary guidelines on the IRR for the purpose in consultation with the Department of Justice (DO J) and relevant sectors to curb increasing drug cases.

SEC. 3. Separability Clause. – If any provision or part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

SEC. 4. Repealing Clause. – All laws, presidential decrees or issuances, executive orders, letters of instruction, administrative orders, rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

SEC. 5. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

** This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill 2285 and Senate Bill No. 2273 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on June 9, 2014.

Proper venue in civil cases where the plaintiff is a single proprietorship business - Mangila vs CA : 125027 : August 12, 2002 : J. Carpio : Third Division





"x x x.

Improper Venue

Petitioner assails the filing of this case in the RTC of Pasay and points to a provision in private respondents invoice which contains the following:

3. If court litigation becomes necessary to enforce collection, an additional equivalent (sic) to 25% of the principal amount will be charged. The agreed venue for such action is Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines.[28]

Based on this provision, petitioner contends that the action should have been instituted in the RTC of Makati and to do otherwise would be a ground for the dismissal of the case.

We resolve to dismiss the case on the ground of improper venue but not for the reason stated by petitioner.

The Rules of Court provide that parties to an action may agree in writing on the venue on which an action should be brought.[29] However, a mere stipulation on the venue of an action is not enough to preclude parties from bringing a case in other venues.[30] The parties must be able to show that such stipulation is exclusive. Thus, absent words that show the parties intention to restrict the filing of a suit in a particular place, courts will allow the filing of a case in any venue, as long as jurisdictional requirements are followed. Venue stipulations in a contract, while considered valid and enforceable, do not as a rule supersede the general rule set forth in Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court.[31] In the absence of qualifying or restrictive words, they should be considered merely as an agreement on additional forum, not as limiting venue to the specified place.[32]

In the instant case, the stipulation does not limit the venue exclusively to Makati. There are no qualifying or restrictive words in the invoice that would evince the intention of the parties that Makati is the only or exclusive venue where the action could be instituted. We therefore agree with private respondent that Makati is not the only venue where this case could be filed.

Nevertheless, we hold that Pasay is not the proper venue for this case.

Under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the general rule is venue in personal actions is where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the plaintiff.[33] The exception to this rule is when the parties agree on an exclusive venue other than the places mentioned in the rules. But, as we have discussed, this exception is not applicable in this case. Hence, following the general rule, the instant case may be brought in the place of residence of the plaintiff or defendant, at the election of the plaintiff (private respondent herein).

In the instant case, the residence of private respondent (plaintiff in the lower court) was not alleged in the complaint. Rather, what was alleged was the postal address of her sole proprietorship, Air Swift International. It was only when private respondent testified in court, after petitioner was declared in default, that she mentioned her residence to be in Better Living Subdivision, Paraaque City.

In the earlier case of Sy v. Tyson Enterprises, Inc.,[34] the reverse happened. The plaintiff in that case was Tyson Enterprises, Inc., a corporation owned and managed by Dominador Ti. The complaint, however, did not allege the office or place of business of the corporation, which was in Binondo, Manila. What was alleged was the residence of Dominador Ti, who lived in San Juan, Rizal. The case was filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Pasig. The Court there held that the evident purpose of alleging the address of the corporations president and manager was to justify the filing of the suit in Rizal, Pasig instead of in Manila. Thus, the Court ruled that there was no question that venue was improperly laid in that case and held that the place of business of Tyson Enterpises, Inc. is considered as its residence for purposes of venue. Furthermore, the Court held that the residence of its president is not the residence of the corporation because a corporation has a personality separate and distinct from that of its officers and stockholders.

In the instant case, it was established in the lower court that petitioner resides in San Fernando, Pampanga[35] while private respondent resides in Paraaque City.[36] However, this case was brought in Pasay City, where the business of private respondent is found. This would have been permissible had private respondents business been a corporation, just like the case in Sy v. Tyson Enterprises, Inc. However, as admitted by private respondent in her Complaint[37] in the lower court, her business is a sole proprietorship, and as such, does not have a separate juridical personality that could enable it to file a suit in court.[38] In fact, there is no law authorizing sole proprietorships to file a suit in court.[39]

A sole proprietorship does not possess a juridical personality separate and distinct from the personality of the owner of the enterprise.[40] The law merely recognizes the existence of a sole proprietorship as a form of business organization conducted for profit by a single individual and requires its proprietor or owner to secure licenses and permits, register its business name, and pay taxes to the national government.[41] The law does not vest a separate legal personality on the sole proprietorship or empower it to file or defend an action in court.[42]

Thus, not being vested with legal personality to file this case, the sole proprietorship is not the plaintiff in this case but rather Loreta Guina in her personal capacity. In fact, the complaint in the lower court acknowledges in its caption that the plaintiff and defendant are Loreta Guina and Anita Mangila, respectively. The title of the petition before us does not state, and rightly so, Anita Mangila v. Air Swift International, but rather Anita Mangila v. Loreta Guina. Logically then, it is the residence of private respondent Guina, the proprietor with the juridical personality, which should be considered as one of the proper venues for this case.

All these considered, private respondent should have filed this case either in San Fernando, Pampanga (petitioners residence) or Paraaque (private respondents residence). Since private respondent (complainant below) filed this case in Pasay, we hold that the case should be dismissed on the ground of improper venue.

Although petitioner filed an Urgent Motion to Discharge Attachment in the lower court, petitioner expressly stated that she was filing the motion without submitting to the jurisdiction of the court. At that time, petitioner had not been served the summons and a copy of the complaint.[43] Thereafter, petitioner timely filed a Motion to Dismiss[44] on the ground of improper venue. Rule 16, Section 1 of the Rules of Court provides that a motion to dismiss may be filed [W]ithin the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a claim. Petitioner even raised the issue of improper venue in his Answer[45] as a special and affirmative defense. Petitioner also continued to raise the issue of improper venue in her Petition for Review[46] before this Court. We thus hold that the dismissal of this case on the ground of improper venue is warranted.

The rules on venue, like other procedural rules, are designed to insure a just and orderly administration of justice or the impartial and evenhanded determination of every action and proceeding. Obviously, this objective will not be attained if the plaintiff is given unrestricted freedom to choose where to file the complaint or petition.[47]

x x x."

[G.R. No. 125027. August 12, 2002]
ANITA MANGILA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LORETA GUINA, respondents.

Out of DELICADEZA, the justice secretary should voluntarily inhibit himself from the pending cases and forward them outright to the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation and final disposition.



Although the Ombudsman and the DOJ have the "concurrent jurisdiction" to conduct preliminary investigations of complaints filed against public officials, nonetheless, the DOJ is required to forward to the Ombudsman the results of its preliminary investigations for the latter's final review and disposition.

Only the Ombudsman has the "exclusive original jurisdiction" to file criminal Informations in the Sandiganbayan against high-ranking public officials, like a legislator.

If the justice secretary is perceived by the public to be biased and prejudiced against a legislator for reasons of politics as shown by his past and present press releases,statements and interviews which amount to a prejudgment of the pending cases, my position is that, out of DELICADEZA, the justice secretary should voluntarily inhibit himself from the pending cases and forward them outright to the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation and final disposition.

This is especially true if the respondent is an opposition legislator who is perceived by the people to be the priority target of the political vendetta of the Executive and his party.

When senior lawyers destroy the legal profession and the justice system

When a senior lawyer and jurist, law professor and high-ranking public official influences his brother, who is an appellate justice, to decide a case in favor of one party as against another, such an act constitutes graft and corruption which is punished by Sec. 3 of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 

Unethical senior lawyers like him besmirch the reputation of the legal profession, the law academe and the judiciary. 

This was one reason why Duterte won. The people have been frustrated by opportunists in government and the corruption in the system. They voted for a person who represented himself to be strong, disciplinarian, and action-oriented leader. 

The regret of the people is that the Duterte has turned out to be a brutal tyrant who ignores the rule of law in his rush to impose his distorted version of peace (that is, the peace of the dead).

Making sense of the SC, Marcos burial, and the democratic process - rappler.com

See - Making sense of the SC, Marcos burial, and the democratic process


"x x x.

The majority of the Supreme Court has spoken. It has deferred to the President’s executive power and found that “there is no clear constitutional or legal basis to hold that there was a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction which would justify the Court to interpose its authority to check and override an act entrusted to the judgment of another branch.”

There are a couple of pithy aphorisms that come to mind in trying to make sense of the Supreme Court’s majority decision. There is Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous observation in Northern Securities Co. v. United States, that: “Great cases like hard cases make bad law. For great cases are called great, not by reason of their importance... but because of some accident of immediate overwhelming interest which appeals to the feelings and distorts the judgment.” Then there is also Robert Jackson’s remark in Brown v. Allen, that the Supreme Court is “not final because [it is] infallible, but [it is] infallible only because [it is] final.”

Judicial power is usually described as the power to “settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.” But Article VIII, Section 1 of our 1987 Constitution provides for more: it also includes the ability of the courts to determine “whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.” This “expanded” power of judicial review was proposed by the Framers to minimize the application of the so-called “political question” doctrine — applied so often during the years of the Marcos dictatorship — that holds that some issues in their nature, “are fundamentally political, and not legal” so that if a question is thus fundamentally political, then the court, in deference to the principle of separation of powers — so the logic goes— should refuse to hear the case.

In exercising this specific aspect of judicial review, the Supreme Court has also highlighted what is already patent in the Constitutional text: that for abuse of discretion to merit judicial review, it must be of a grave nature, and by “grave” the Court has said that the exercise of discretion must be characterized by “a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner because of passion or hostility.”

Notwithstanding this general characterization, the boundaries of what constitutes “grave abuse” as applied to particular circumstances have expanded and contracted depending not only upon the specific particularities of a case, but also (and more realistically) according to the individual and collective values, principles and priorities of the judges sitting in judgment on the case.

In Ocampo v. Enriquez, the Supreme Court was able to find, and using what some would characterize as a “narrow and legalistic” approach to the application of its power of judicial review, that the President did not commit any grave abuse of discretion. As honest students of the law, we will probably have to concede that based on these laws (or absence thereof), President Duterte did not, in fact, gravely abuse the exercise of his discretion as Chief Executive of the Philippines. This is notwithstanding the documented human rights violations during the 11 years of Martial Law and beyond and the massive corruption and theft of government resources during his tenure as President. After all, Lady Justice is blind, and the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts (though judicial notice of history is allowed under our Rules of Court). Understood from this standpoint, the decision of the majority can, at the very least, be characterized as legally correct. Could the Supreme Court have decided any differently? Certainly – the dissents penned by Justices Sereno and Carpio more than illustrate this point. But 9 will always be more than 5, and the majority of the Court carried the day.

Where then, does this leave those who are adamant that former president Marcos is not a hero?


On the one hand, the majority’s decision in Ocampo is a fine example of the limits of the judiciary under our tripartite system of government, particularly as regards its power of judicial review. Some have described this as the “counter majoritarian difficulty”: that by exercising its power to nullify the acts of co-equal branches of government (that is, the executive and the legislature), an unelected court could substitute its will for what would effectively be the will of the majority, who have acted through their duly-elected representatives. And this, perhaps, is what the majority in the Ocampo decision is saying: “There are certain things that are better left for history - not this Court - to adjudge. The Court could only do so much in accordance with the clearly established rules and principles. Beyond that, it is ultimately for the people themselves, as the sovereign, to decide, a task that may require the better perspective that the passage of time provides. In the meantime, the country must move on and let this issue rest.”

In other words, the “correctness” of the burial of President Marcos is now a matter to be decided through the democratic process - that is, politically, and not judicially: the remedy, therefore, is now no longer through the courts, but through the legislature, the ballot box, or through the parliament of the streets. Whether that process will be successful for those who decry Marcos’s burial is, unfortunately, a numbers game. And that numbers game has so far tilted towards the 16 million Filipinos who voted President Duterte into power. Without sounding facetious, though: as they say in basketball – bilog ang bola (the ball is round) – and the 16 million today may not be the same million tomorrow, or in one month, or in one year. The legislators who are silent on this issue today, may not be silent on this or other similar issues tomorrow, or in one month, or in one year. Who knows – the President may even change his mind. The wheels of democracy grind slowly in this way but, like history, it grinds (or bends) toward justice. Therefore: No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. [Art. III, Sec. 4, Phil. Const.]

Do I agree that former President Marcos should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani? I do not. To bury him there would be the first step down the slippery slope that will end with a revision of Philippine history: that former president Marcos was anything other than a dictator and a thief. It is not only I who says this, but the Supreme Court also: This case is unique. It should not create a precedent, for the case of a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing 20 years of political, economic and social havoc in the country and who within the short space of 3 years seeks to return, is in a class by itself [Marcos v. Manglapus].

Jefferson says that the price of democracy is vigilance. And in this time of great national divide on what, only 30 years previous in 1986, seemed to be as settled as the triumph of good versus evil, or of the light versus the darkness, the call goes out again to the heroes of EDSA to guard against the dying of that light – or perhaps, more crucially, to pass on that light to the younger generation. By what we have seen of them over the last days – and thankfully - they have accepted this call willingly, and with brave and defiant hands. There may perhaps still be hope, after all. – Rappler.com

PJ Bernardo is a parter at a Singapore-based law firm and practices finance and foreign investment law. He was a member of the faculty of the Ateneo Law School, where he also received is law degree in 2005. He pursued post-graduate studies in international finance at Harvard Law School in 2012. He hopes to return to teaching, his first love, in the very near future.

x x x."

Friday, December 2, 2016

FAST FACTS: What persons with disability are entitled to

See - FAST FACTS: What persons with disability are entitled to


"x x x.

Republic Act 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, defined PWDs as "those suffering from restriction of different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being."

Based on the 2010 Census, there are 1,443,000 PWDs comprising 1.57% of the total population, in the country. In the 2013 elections, there were around 365,000 registered PWD voters.

What benefits are they entitled to based on legislation and government proclamations? Here's what we found.

20% discount on:

hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers
theaters, cinema houses, concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement
medicines in all drugstores
medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees, in all government facilities (subject to guidelines to be issued by DOH in coordination with PhilHealth
medical and dental services, including diagnostic and laboratory fees, and professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities (in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by DOH in coordination with PhilHealth)
domestic air and sea travel
public railways and bus fare
skyways and expressways toll fees (for PWD owning a vehicle)

5% discount on:

basic necessities (rice, corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, infant formulas, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles and other commodities as maybe classified by the DTI and the DA)
prime commodities (fresh fruits, dried, processed and canned pork, beef and poultry, meat, dairy products not falling under basic necessities, noodles, onions, garlic, diapers, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle, paper, school supplies, nipa shingle, plyboard, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, steel wire and other commodities that may be classified by DTI and DA)

NOTE: Total amount of said purchase should not exceed P1,300 per calendar week without carry over of the unused amount


Employment opportunities:

all government agencies, offices or corporations shall reserve at least 1% of all positions for PWDs
private corporations with more than 100 employees are encouraged to reserve at least 1% of all positions for PWDs

Other priviledges:

express lanes in all commercial and government establishments
accessible biometrics registration and voting precincts
designated PWD-friendly public attorneys
educational assistance to pursue primary, secondary, tertiary, post tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education in both public and private schools
protection against verbal and non-verbal ridicule and vilification
P15,000 worth of benefits to qualified PhilHealth members or dependents in need of lower limb prosthesis
establishment of a Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in every province, city and municipality
accessible website of all government agencies

To avail of these priviledges and perks, a PWD should secure and present a PWD ID. Details on registration and application may be found here.

Problems

But despite all these perks, NCDA claims that PWDs still encounter problems such as poverty and discrimination.

Months ago, photos of a disabled person and a dog denied access to a mall became viral. The incident turned out to be a simple misunderstanding, but it raised the issue of whether private establishments are considerate of the needs of PWDs.

Moreover, in the 2013 elections – considered to be more PWD-inclusive compared to past elections – only 82,000 out of the 365,000 registered PWD voters were able to cast their votes.

Many establishments still lack ramps, functioning elevators, and necessary facilities. Also, oppportunities are lost because of lack of proper funding for PWD programs.

In a dialogue, NCDA director Carmen Reyes Zubiaga said that PWDs are "not asking the government for special treatment, but only for them to address our reasonable accommodation.” – Rappler.com

SOURCES: National Council on Disability Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Statistics Authority, previous Rappler stories

x x x."

Discounts, VAT exemptions now available to PWDs

See - Discounts, VAT exemptions now available to PWDs


"x x x.

Discounts, VAT exemptions now available to PWDs

Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo signs the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10754, An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability

Patty Pasion
@pattypasion
Published 7:09 PM, December 01, 2016
Updated 3:02 AM, December 02, 2016

x x x.

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo signed on Thursday, December 1, the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law providing value-added tax (VAT) exemption for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Former President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10754 or An Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability last March 23, granting differently-abled persons with VAT relief and at least 20% discount on specific goods and services. (READ: FAST FACTS: What persons with disability are entitled to)

Based on the signed IRR, these expanded PWDs privileges apply to the following items:

lodging establishments, restaurants, recreation centers
purchase of medicines and food for special medical purpose
medical and dental services
diagnostic and laboratory fees
professional fees of attending doctors
domestic air and sea travel
land travel
funeral and burial services
Vitamins and minerals are included in the discounted medicines PWDs can buy, as long as the purchase is in accordance with the list of the Food and Drug Administration. Herbal medicine for therapeutic use are also included in this category.

Meanwhile, food for special and medical purpose pertains to those intended for the "exclusive or partial feeding" of persons with limited capacity to take, digest, or metabolize ordinary food.

The IRR also mandates transport operators and other establishments to place a signage informing PWDs of their benefits.

Those living with a dependent PWD up to the 4th degree of consanguinity shall be granted the corresponding tax incentives.

All these benefits apply to Filipinos who hold foreign passports but with dual citizenship or those who acquired their Filipino citizenship.


Inclusive rights

Aside from these benefits, the law also reiterates the rights of PWDs that are no different from regularly-abled citizens.

It upholds that they have the right to educational assistance from primary school up until college or when they take technical vocational courses, whether in private or public schools. (READ: Cavite, Cebu schools prepare PWDs for employment)

They are also entitled to the right to social insurance through the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/Pag-ibig).

They should also be given special discounts in buying basic needs and prime commodities, and access to express lanes and government establishments.

In her statement during the signing of the IRR, Taguiwalo said that these provisions have been crafted after consultations with groups and individuals advocating the rights of PWDs. (READ: LGU empowers persons with autism through employment)

The IRR was crafted together with other government agencies: the Department of Health, Department of Finance, and the National Council for Disability Affairs.

"This is a step forward, but it is not our end goal," Taguiwalo reminded her colleagues in government. "The signing of the law is just the start of our task, and it is very crucial that we continue consulting with members of the PWD sector and their organizations."

She added: "We have to ensure that the steps we undertake on their behalf actually respond to their needs and reflect their sentiments when it comes to policies. In the process, we make them our partners in the crafting of laws that aim to serve their interest and the greater good."

– Rappler.com

x x x."

Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) composition - The Manila Times Online

See - JBC votes on two SC vacancies - The Manila Times Online


"x x x.

The seven-man JBC, which is constitutionally mandated to screen and vet nominees to the President for vacant posts in the judiciary and the Offices of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, is headed by Sereno, with ex-officio members Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguierre 2nd, Sen. Richard Gordon and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, head of the Executive Committee; lawyer Jose Mejia representing the academe; Milagros Fernan-Cayosa representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and the newest member retired Judge Toribio Ilao representing the private sector are the other regular members of the JBC.

x x x."

Sereno, JBC overruled - The Manila Times Online

See - Sereno, JBC overruled - The Manila Times Online


"x x x.

THE Supreme Court en banc has overruled Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on the issue of appointments to the judiciary, declaring that the President has the prerogative to appoint any nominee from shortlists submitted by the JBC.

During deliberations on Tuesday, the high tribunal voted unanimously to declare the JBC’s “clustering” scheme unconstitutional and illegal, in a landmark decision that sets the precedent for future vacancies in the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary. Two Supreme Court posts will become vacant this month with the retirement of Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Jose Perez.

The dispute arose in January after then president Benigno Aquino 3rd appointed six new justices to the expanded Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.

Under the clustering scheme introduced by Sereno to the JBC, which screens applicants and recommends nominees to posts in the judiciary, six shortlists containing different sets of names were submitted to Aquino, to choose the 16th to 21st Sandiganbayan associate justices.

Aquino, however, ignored the first shortlist containing nominees for the 16th post, and instead chose two names from the sixth list for the 21st post.

In May, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and several lower court judges questioned the appointments of Geraldine Faith Econg and Michael Frederick Musngi, claiming Aquino violated the Constitution when he picked the two from the sixth short list and dropped the first one.

The high tribunal junked the petitions and validated the appointments made by Aquino.

x x x."

Is approval of the insolvency court needed to foreclose a mortgage? | INQUIRER.net

See - Is approval of the insolvency court needed to foreclose a mortgage? | INQUIRER.net


"x x x.

The Supreme Court held that several provisions of the old Insolvency Act (Act No. 1956) “reveal the necessity for leave of the insolvency court.” In the words of the Court, “With the declaration of insolvency of the debtor, insolvency courts ’obtain full and complete jurisdiction over all property of the insolvent and of all claims by and against [it.]’ It follows that the insolvency court has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the property of the insolvent. Consequently, after the mortgagor-debtor has been declared insolvent and the insolvency court has acquired control of his estate, a mortgagee may not, without the permission of the insolvency court, institute proceedings to enforce its lien. In so doing, it would interfere with the insolvency court’s possession and orderly administration of the insolvent’s properties.”

(Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company vs. S.F. Naguiat Enterprises, Inc., G.R. No. 178407, March 18, 2015)

x x x."

Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/220502/approval-insolvency-court-needed-foreclose-mortgage#ixzz4Rbl8W7bK
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FVR tells cops: Disable, don’t kill, drug suspects | Inquirer News

See - FVR tells cops: Disable, don’t kill, drug suspects | Inquirer News


"x x x.

Concerned about the rising number of drug-related killings in police operations, former President Fidel V. Ramos reminded police that the rules of engagement required them “to shoot to disable and not shoot to kill.”

At the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Tuesday, the 88-year-old Ramos said more drug addicts and pushers were getting killed than drug lords being eliminated or sequestered.

The death toll in President Duterte’s campaign against what he called a “pandemic” has reached 5,000—half of the figure in police operations and the rest blamed largely on vigilantes.


b>“The rule of engagement of police against suspects is shoot to disable and not shoot to kill,” stressed Ramos, who served as the chief of the Philippine Constabulary during the martial law years.

“Unless the person that you are chasing or about to arrest is pointing a gun at you, you aim for his knees. If he is running away, you aim for his buttocks,” he said.

He also reminded the police that there was a “better reason” to keep their targets alive even though wounded in the hospital than dead in a funeral parlor.

“They can provide evidence [and answers as to] who is the mastermind, what is the network, who are your customers, how do you bring in your contraband,” Ramos said.

Asked what worried him the most in the current administration’s bloody war on drugs, he replied: “I have the same fear as everyone else—that drug addicts and buyers are getting killed. But it’s the drug lords that must be eliminated and sequestered.”

He also said that death was a “too easy kind of punishment” for criminals compared to life imprisonment, when they will be tortured by conscience, by their lack of access to their loved ones and by their uselessness while locked up in jail.

“That to me, personally, is a more tormenting kind of torture,” Ramos said.

But in the same breath, he said the Duterte administration must drop its “tunnel vision” in its antidrug campaign, noting that there were other problems plaguing the country, that if addressed might help in the reduction of the illegal drug problem and other crimes.

“The reduction of illegal drugs and the elimination of crime will come as part of the reforms if we have better means of livelihood, better education, transportation, housing, food and cheaper gasoline, etcetera,” he said.

“Although it is a good thing, our fight against drugs, it is not everything,” he said./rga

x x x."

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/849612/fvr-tells-cops-disable-dont-kill-drug-suspects#ixzz4RbjIek5B
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Disbarment cases vs. government lawyers involving the performace of their official duties. - GR 8168.pdf


See - 8168.pdf


"x x x.

Considering that both Exconde and Madrona are public officers being charged for actions, which are allegedly unfair and discriminatory, involving their official functions during their tenure, the present case should be resolved by the Office of the Ombudsman as the appropriate government agency. Indeed, the IBP has no jurisdiction over government lawyers who are charged with administrative offenses involving their official duties. For such acts, government lawyers fall under the disciplinary authority of either their superior21 or the Ombudsman.22 Moreover, an anomalous situation will arise if the IBP asserts jurisdiction and decides against a government lawyer, while the disciplinary authority finds in favor of the government lawyer. 

x x x."

MTC may issue search warrant re crimes within RTC jurisdiction - GR 204419.pdf

See - 204419.pdf


"x x x.

Apparently, in this case, the application for a search warrant was filed within the same judicial region where the crime was allegedly committed. For compelling reasons, the Municipal Trial Court of Gattaran, Cagayan has the authority to issue a search warrant to search and seize the dangerous drugs stated in the application thereof in Aparri, Cagayan, a place that is within the same judicial region.

The fact that the search warrant was issued means that the MTC judge found probable cause to grant the said application after the latter was found by the same judge to have been filed for compelling reasons.

Therefore, Sec. 2, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court was duly complied with.

It must be noted that nothing in the above-quoted rule does it say that the court issuing a search warrant must also have jurisdiction over the offense.

A search warrant may be issued by any court pursuant to Section 2, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and the resultant case may be filed in another court that has jurisdiction over the offense committed.

What controls here is that a search warrant is merely a process, generally issued by a court in the exercise of its ancillary jurisdiction, and not a criminal action to be entertained by a court pursuant to its original jurisdiction.24

Thus, in certain cases when no criminal action has yet been filed, any court may issue a search warrant even though it has no jurisdiction over the offense allegedly committed, provided that all the requirements for the issuance of such warrant are present.

x x x."

2016 Judicial Excellence Awards - JEA-2016.pdf

See - JEA-2016.pdf


"x x x.

Once again, the public is invited to participate in the 2016 Judicial Excellence Awards conducted by the Society for Judicial Excellence in collaboration with the Supreme Court of the Philippines. We are now accepting nominations for outstanding judges and clerks of courts in the different categories, namely, Regional Trial Court Judges; Metropolitan Trial Court/Municipal Trial Court in Cities/Municipal Circuit Trial Court/Municipal Trial Court Judges and Shari'a Circuit Trial Court Judges; Clerks of Court (First and Second Level Courts) and Branch Clerks of Court (First and Second Level Courts).

All nominations should be addressed to the Permanent Secretariat, Society for Judicial Excellence, 2"d Floor, Supreme Court Annex Building, Padre Faura Street, Manila, with Telephone No. (02) 523-1301 or through e-mail at judicialexcellence.sec@ gmail.com.

In selecting the awardees, the Society for Judicial Excellence, through its

Board of Judges, will take into consideration their integrity and moral character as public servants and private citizens, demonstrated competence, efficiency, effectiveness, independence of mind, judicial decorum, and knowledge of law.

The Awards Ceremonies will be held on 15 September 2016.

The deadline for submission of nominations is on 31 May 2016 while_the requirements/accomplished awards forms must be received on or before 29 June 2016. Download Forms from: www.sc.judiciary.2ov.ph

x x x."