Monday, February 23, 2015

Drilon says Purisima could be charged with usurpation of authority | News | GMA News Online

See - Drilon says Purisima could be charged with usurpation of authority | News | GMA News Online





"x xx.

Resigned Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima could be charged with usurpation of authority for giving instructions on a law enforcement mission despite his being suspended from post, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Monday.
 
“The Ombudsman should study the possibility of charging purisima with usurpation of public functions because at the time of his suspension, he was performing functions of a public official who have the power to direct the operations,” Drilon told reporters.
 
“Because (it was) very clear that he gave the go-signal which he should not be doing,” he added.
 
Purisima has been under suspension since December 2014 over graft charges.
 
Drilon said it was clear that Purisima did not follow the order of President Benigno Aquino III for him to coordinate with other officials.
 
During the Senate hearing on Mamasapano clash Monday upon the questioning of Drilon, relieved Special Action Force chief Director Getulio Napeñas Jr. admitted that it was Purisima who gave him the go-signal to push through with the Oplan Exodus. 
 
Drilon read the text message of Purisima to Napeñas on January 13 which said: "OK na, go for the secondary schedule.” Napeñas had recommended to the suspended PNP chief that the SAF set the operation on January 23 to 26.
 
The operation was conducted on January 25 and the SAF troopers were able to shoot Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan dead but 44 of them died during the ensuing hours-long gunfight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its splinter group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Another target, Filipino bomb-maker Basit Usman was able to escape.
 
Drilon said it was also appropriate for the Senate panels probing the Mamasapano incident to include in its recommendation or report the liability of Purisima.
 
“Is there any administrative or criminal  liability for Purisima for having given instructions kahit po suspendido na siya maliwanag na siya pa rin ang nagbibigay ng instruction. Yung sinasabi ni Purisima na advice, ang sabi ni Napeñas yan ay order galing sa taas. So maliwanag na talagang si Purisima ang nagbibigay ng instruction,” he said. —NB, GMA News.
x x x."

JBC finalizes shortlist for Sandiganbayan post vacated by Ong

See - JBC finalizes shortlist for Sandiganbayan post vacated by Ong





"x x x.

MANILA - From an initial list of 38 aspirants, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Monday shortlisted five nominees for the post at the Sandiganbayan left vacant following last year's sacking by the Supreme Court of Associate Justice Gregory Ong.

The JBC said the five candidates, whose names were submitted to the Office of the President for consideration, are Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 207 Judge Philip A. Aguinaldo, Makati City Branch 141 Judge Mary Ann Corpus-Manalac, Quezon City Branch 97 Judge Bernelito R. Fernandez, Assistant Solicitor General Sarah Jane T. Fernandez, and Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano.

Aguinaldo garnered seven votes along with Corpus-Manalac, while the two Fernandez got six each, and Justiniano five votes from the JBC.

Aguinaldo is a former senior state prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DOJ) before he was appointed RTC judge, while Corpus-Manalac is a recipient of many awards including the 2013 Judicial Excellence Award.

Justiniano is a DOJ Undersecretary and part of the panel prosecuting the plunder cases against government officials allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam.

He also served as a lawyer of US Marine Corporal Daniel Smith who was convicted but later acquitted for the 2005 Subic rape case.

Fernandez (Bernelito) is a Quezon City RTC judge while Fernandez (Sarah Jane) is part of the team from the Office of the Solicitor General that successfully argued cases before the SC, such as the reformed value added tax.

Ong was dismissed from the service last year for his supposed links to alleged pork barrel fund scam architect Janet Lim-Napoles.

Under the Constitution, the members of the High Tribunal and the judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the JBC for every vacancy.

The President has 90 days upon receipt of the transmittal letter within which to fill up such vacancies.

x x x."

Filipino woman gets job back | Inquirer Global Nation

See - Filipino woman gets job back | Inquirer Global Nation





"x x x.

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court has upheld the reinstatement of a Filipino employee of Japanese firm Fuji Television Network Inc., saying her termination due to illness was invalid.
In a 45-page decision, the high court’s Second Division affirmed the Court of Appeals’ ruling ordering the reinstatement of Arlene Espiritu as news producer in Fuji’s Manila Bureau, saying she was illegally terminated when the firm learned she was suffering from lung cancer in 2009.
The high court said Espiritu, being a regular employee, had security of tenure.
“The court held that Espiritu had been illegally dismissed since Fuji failed to comply with the requirements of substantive and procedural due process necessary for her dismissal since she was a regular employee,” said the ruling penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
The ruling promulgated on Dec. 3 ordered that “Espiritu’s back wages be computed from June 2009.” Tarra Quismundo and Jerome Aning.
x x x."


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Friday, February 20, 2015

Court convicts land registration aide for soliciting P250k for ‘research’ | News | GMA News Online

See - Court convicts land registration aide for soliciting P250k for ‘research’ | News | GMA News Online





"x x x.

An employee of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) has been convicted for soliciting and receiving about P250,000 in exchange for a favor, the Office of the Ombudsman said.
 
In a statement released on Friday, the Ombudsman said Acting Presiding Judge Lyn Cha of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 38 found Florzerfida Asuncion, LRA administrative aide, guilty of violating Section 7(d) of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
 
The Ombudsman said the evidence presented before the court showed that in 2006, Asuncion demanded P250,000 from Marilou Galenzoga, in exchange for research work on a parcel of property Galenzoga was claiming.
 
It added that Asuncion failed to deliver the results of her research even after the deadline had lapsed.
 
However, when requested to refund the money, Asuncion refused to do so, the Ombudsman said.
 
Instead, it said she promised to "return the money of complainant when she recovers all the money from an alleged group of people who shared in the said money."
 
Section 7(d) of  RA 6713 states that "public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any persons in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office." — Amanda Fernandez/JDS, GMA News.

x x x."

Tanong at Sagot: Pribilehiyo ng mga taong may kapansanan | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

See - Tanong at Sagot: Pribilehiyo ng mga taong may kapansanan | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines





"x x x.

Iba’t ibang pribilehiyo ang nakasaad sa Magna Carta of Disabled Persons atRepublic Act 9442 upang protektahan ang mga taong may kapansanan o PWDs (persons with disabilities).
SINO-SINO ANG MGA TAONG MAY KAPANSANAN?
Itinuturing na may kapansanan ang mga taong may dinaranas na hadlang sa kanilang iba’t ibang kakayahan. Bunga ito ng pinsala sa pag-iisip, katawan, o pandama. Dahil dito, hindi nila nagagawa ang mga aktibidad na itinuturing na pangkaraniwan para sa karamihan.
ANO-ANO ANG MGA ITO?
1. 20% diskuwento
  1. sa mga gamot na mabibili mula sa mga botika, ospital, klinika, at iba pang katulad na establisimyento.
  2. sa mga serbisyong medikal, dental, pati mga bayarin kapag nagpapa-diagnose, laboratory, x-ray, computerized tomography, blood test, at iba pa. Kabilang din dito ang professional fee ng doktor sa lahat ng pribadong ospital.
  3. sa mga teatro, sinehan, konsiyerto, sirkus, karnabal, museo, parke, at iba pang lugar-pangkultura at pang-aliw.
  4. sa pamasahe sa kahit anong uri ng biyahe: karagatan, himpapawid, kalsada, o riles.
    • Sakaling may promo sa barko o eroplano at mas mataas sa 20% ang diskuwentong iniaalok nito, maaaring kunin ng PWD ang promo subalit hindi na idaragdag dito ang 20% orihinal na diskuwento.
    • May 20% diskuwento rin sa mga skyway at expressway, sa kondisyong pagmamay-ari ng PWD ang sasakyan.
2. Espesyal na diskuwento
  1. Para sa mga espesyal na programa, maaaring bigyan ang PWD ng espesyal na diskuwento sa mga pangunahing bilihin mula sa mga supermarket at grocery.
3. Tulong pang-edukasyon
  1. Scholarship, tulong-pinansiyal, at iba pa sa elementarya, sekondarya, tersiyarya, masterado at doktorado, teknikal o bokasyonal na edukasyon sa mga pampubliko at pribadong paaralan.
  2. Suporta sa pagbili ng mga aklat, uniporme, kagamitan sa pag-aaral, at iba pa.
    • Upang makuha ang mga tulong na ito, kailangang maipasa ng PWD ang mga minimum na kahingian ng Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education Department (CHED), Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), at iba pang mga institusyong nagbibigay ng tulong para sa edukasyon ng mga PWD.
4. Express lane
  1. Magkakaroon ng express lane, o espesyal na pila, para sa mga PWD sa lahat ng pribado, komersiyal, at panggobyernong establisimyento. Sakaling wala, prayoridad ng establisimyento ang mga PWD sa kanilang mga transaksiyon.
  2. Inaatasan ang lahat ng establisimyento na magtalaga ng isang tauhan na panguhaning aasikaso sa mga PWD.
5. Insentibo sa buwis
  1. Para sa mga kasal na indibidwal, mayroong P8,000 insentibo sa buwis para sa bawat anak na PWD (di-lalampas sa apat).
  2. Para sa mga solong magulang, mayroong P8,000 insentibo sa buwis para sa bawat anak na PWD (di-lalampas sa apat).

KAILANGAN PA BA NG PWD ID PARA SA MGA PRIBILEHIYO?
Oo.

PAANO MAKUKUHA ANG PWD ID?
Sundin ang sumusunod na hakbang para makakuha ng PWD ID:
  1. Kumuha ng application form mula sa sumusunod:
    • Tanggapan ng Alkalde (Office of the Mayor)
    • Tanggapan ng Kapitan ng Barangay (Office of the Barangay Captain)
    • National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) o katumbas nito sa bawat rehiyon
    • Mga tanggapan ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
    • Mga organisasyong may memorandum of agreement sa Department of Health (DOH)
  2. Sagutan ang application form, maaari itong gawin mismo ng PWD o ng kanyang tagapag-alaga.
  3. Magdala ng dalawang “1×1″ na litrato at idikit ito sa application form.
  4. Magdala ng sertipikasyon ng pagiging PWD mula sa kahit anong lisensiyadong pribado o pampublikong klinika, o doktor mula sa mga ospital. Ilakip sa application form.
  5. Kailangang dalhin o i-upload ng aplikante, tagapag-alaga, o registration center personnel ang application form sa pinakamalapit na City of Municipal Health Office o sa mga satellite office nito sa mga barangay upang beripikahin.
    • Sakaling di nakakikilos ang PWD, pupuntahan siya ng registration center personnel sa kanyang tahanan upang beripikahin ang mga detalye ng aplikasyon at kanyang kapansanan.
    • Ipaaalam sa mga di-tinanggap na aplikasyon ang naging pagkukulang nila at papayagan silang mag-aplay muli.
  6. Sa oras na maberipika, ipadadala ang mga application form sa Health Officer ng Main City o Municipal Health Center. Sasagutan ng Health Officer ang certification form, maglalakip ng control number, at ia-upload ang impormasyon sa Philippine Registry for Persons with Disabilities.
  7. Kailangang dalhin ng aplikante ang aprobadong application form at certificate of disability sa City o Municipal Social Welfare Office o NCDA para makuha ang kanyang ID. x x x."

Tanong at Sagot: Pagrerehistro para sa Halalan | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

See - Tanong at Sagot: Pagrerehistro para sa Halalan | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines





"x x x.

Sa Mayo 2016, muling gaganapin ang halalang pambansa. Bilang demokratikong bansa, may karapatan ang bawat Pilipinong piliin ang kanyang pinuno. At upang makaboto, kailangan munang makapagrehistro ng isang indibidwal bilang opisyal na botante.
Puwede na ba ako magrehistro para sa halalan?
Maaari ka nang magrehistro kung ikaw ay:
  • Mamamayan ng Pilipinas,
  • 18 taong gulang pataas,
  • Residente ng Pilipinas nang di-bababa sa isang taon,
  • Residente ng pook kung saan mo gustong bumoto nang di-bababa sa anim na buwan, at
  • Hindi diskuwalipikado ng batas.
Hindi ka maaaring magrehistro kung ikaw ay:
  • Nakulong nang di-bababa sa isang taon, at nakalaya hindi dahil sa plenary pardon o amnestiya.
  • Nagkasala ng kasong rebelyon, insureksiyon, paglabag ng batas ukol sa armas, o kahit anong krimen laban sa seguridad ng bansa.
  • Wala sa tamang pag-iisip o walang sapat na kakayahan, ayon sa paghuhusga ng kinauukulang awtoridad (makapagrerehistro lamang kung ideklara ng awtoridad na malaya na sa nasabing kalagayan).
Hanggang kailan ako maaaring magrehistro?
Hanggang Oktubre 31, 2015, ang pagrerehistro para sa halalan sa Mayo 2016.
Saan ako pupunta para makapagrehistro?
Maaari kang magparehistro sa mga lokal na tanggapan ng Commission on Elections (COMELEC) o Office of the Election Officer (OEO). Mayroong lokal na COMELEC o OEO sa bawat distrito, lungsod, o munisipalidad. Kadalasang matatagpuan ang mga ito malapit sa munisipyo.
Anong oras bukas ang mga tanggapang ito?
Para sa mga pangunahing lungsod, bukas ang mga tanggapan mula Lunes hanggang Linggo, 8:00 n.u. – 5:00 n.h. Para naman sa iba, Lunes hanggang Biyernes, 8:00 n.u. – 5:00 n.h.
Kailan ko bang personal na pumunta para magparehistro?
Oo. Hindi pahihintulutan ang ibang tao na magrehistro para sa iyo.
Ano’ng kailangan kong dalhin para makapagrehistro?
Dalhin ang sumusunod sa iyong pagrerehistro:
  • Dalawang (2) ID kung saan nakasaad ang iyong litrato, tirahan, at pangalan. Pumili mula sa sumusunod:
Paano ko mapabibilis ang proseso ng pagrerehistro?
Sagutan online ang application form, i-print, at dalhin sa pagrerehistro para makatipid ng oras. Maaari ding i-download ang application form saka ito i-print at sagutan. Tiyaking mayroon kang tatlong (3) kopya ng application form para sa iyong pagrerehistro.
Ano-ano ang mga gagawin pagdating sa COMELEC/OEO?
  1. Beberipikahin ang iyong pagkakakilanlan at tirahan gamit ang iyong ID.
  2. Beberipikahin ang lagay ng iyong pagrerehistro.
  3. Sagutan ang application form. Tiyaking tatlong (3) kopya ang sinagutan mo. Maaari mo nang sagutan ito bago online o i-download ang form bago ka magparehistro para mapabilis ang proseso.
  4. Kukunin ang iyong biometrics (litrato, fingerprint, lagda).
  5. Bibigyan ka ng Acknowledgment Receipt pagkatapos.
Kailangan ba ng Voter’s ID para makaboto?
Hindi. Subalit maaari itong dalhin, o iba pang valid ID sa araw ng halalan.
Paano ako makakukuha ng Voter’s ID?
Kailangan mong magparehistro at siguruhing nakuhaan ka ng biometrics para makakuha. Walang biometrics, walang Voter’s ID.
Kailan ko makukuha ang aking Voter’s ID?
Aabutin nang di-hihigit sa anim (6) na buwan bago mo makuha ang iyong Voter’s ID. Libre ito at maaaring kunin sa tanggapan kung saan ka nagparehistro.
_____________________________________
Para sa karagdagang kaalaman bisitahin ang comelec.gov.ph.
x x x."

Pagcor welcomes SC decision | ABS-CBN News

See - Pagcor welcomes SC decision | ABS-CBN News





"x x x.

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) welcomed the Supreme Court's decision exempting its gaming income from corporate income tax.
Pagcor assistant vice-president for corporate communications Maricar L. Bautista said the SC decision affirms Pagcor's position that imposing a 30 percent corporate income tax on its gaming revenues is illegal.
"Pagcor welcomes the Supreme Court decision which affirms what is provided under the Pagcor charter, Presidential Decree 1869 as amended by Republic Act 9487," she said.
The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that despite amendments to the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), the Pagcor Charter remains in effect.
This means income derived by the Pagcor from its gaming operations such as the operation and licensing of gambling casinos, gaming clubs, and similar amusement establishments, gaming pools and related operations shall not be subjected to corporate income tax.
The BIR had earlier issued a memorandum circular 33-2013, clarifying that Pagcor's income and that of its contractees and licensees are subject to income and franchise taxes.
"As I understand it, the recent Supreme Court decision pertains to Pagcor's concerns only. It didn't touch on the concerns of the licensees," Bautista said.
"The Supreme Court decision will encourage us to work harder so that we can deliver more to the government as there is now a clear cut declaration on Pagcor's tax regime," she added.
Meanwhile, BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares declined to issue a statement on the High Court's decision.
x x x."

Civil Code - Void and Inexistent Contracts (Article 1409-1422)

See - Civil Law Code Memory Update: Void and Inexistent Contracts (Article 1409-1422)





"x x x.

Void and Inexistent Contracts (Article 1409-1422)

CHAPTER 9
VOID AND INEXISTENT CONTRACTS

Art. 1409. The following contracts are inexistent and void from the beginning:
    (1) Those whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy;
    (2) Those which are absolutely simulated or fictitious;
    (3) Those whose cause or object did not exist at the time of the transaction;
    (4) Those whose object is outside the commerce of men;
    (5) Those which contemplate an impossible service;
    (6) Those where the intention of the parties relative to the principal object of the contract cannot be ascertained;
    (7) Those expressly prohibited or declared void by law.
These contracts cannot be ratified

Neither
 can the right to set up the defense of illegality be waived.
Art. 1410. The action or defense for the declaration of the inexistence of a contract does not prescribe.
Art. 1411. When the nullity proceeds from the illegality of the cause or object of the contract, and the act constitutes a criminal offense, both parties being in pari delicto, they shall have no action against each other, and both shall be prosecuted.
Moreover, the provisions of the Penal Code relative to the disposal of effects or instruments of a crime shall be applicable to the things or the price of the contract.
This rule shall be applicable when only one of the parties is guilty;
but the innocent one may claim what he has given, and shall not be bound to comply with his promise. (1305)
Art. 1412. If the act in which the unlawful or forbidden cause consists does not constitute a criminal offense, the following rules shall be observed:
    (1) When the fault is on the part of both contracting parties, neither may recover what he has given by virtue of the contract, or demand the performance of the other's undertaking;
    (2) When only one of the contracting parties is at fault, he cannot recover what he has given by reason of the contract, or ask for the fulfillment of what has been promised him.
    The other, who is not at fault, may demand the return of what he has given without any obligation to comply his promise. (1306)
Art. 1413. Interest paid in excess of the interest allowed by the usury laws may be recovered by the debtor, with interest thereon from the date of the payment.(overturned by CB circulars)
Art. 1414. When money is paid or property delivered for an illegal purpose, the contract may be repudiated by one of the parties before the purpose has been accomplished, or before any damage has been caused to a third person.
In such case, the courts may, if the public interest will thus be subserved,allow the party repudiating the contract to recover the money or property.
Art. 1415. Where one of the parties to an illegal contract is incapable of giving consent, the courts may, if the interest of justice so demands allow recovery of money or property delivered by the incapacitated person.
Art. 1416. When the agreement is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited, and the prohibition by the law is designated for the protection of the plaintiff, he may, if public policy is thereby enhanced, recover what he has paid or delivered.
Art. 1417. When the price of any article or commodity is determined by statute, or by authority of law, any person paying any amount in excess of the maximum price allowed may recover such excess.
Art. 1418. When the law fixes, or authorizes the fixing of the maximum number of hours of labor, and a contract is entered into whereby a laborer undertakes to work longer than the maximum thus fixed, he may demand additional compensation for service rendered beyond the time limit.
Art. 1419. When the law sets, or authorizes the setting of a minimum wage for laborers, and a contract is agreed upon by which a laborer accepts a lower wage, he shall be entitled to recover the deficiency.
Art. 1420. In case of a divisible contract, if the illegal terms can be separatedfrom the legal ones, the latter may be enforced.
Art. 1421. The defense of illegality of contract is not available to third persons whose interests are not directly affected.
Art. 1422. A contract which is the direct result of a previous illegal contract, is also void and inexistent. 
x x x."

IBP asks SC to void Comelec-Smartmatic PCOS repair deal

"The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has asked the Supreme Court to void the agreement between the Commission on Elections and the Smartmatic-TIM for the refurbishment and repair of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to be used in the 2016 elections.
In its 28-page petition, the IBP asked the high court to declare as null and void both Comelec Resolution No. 9922 and the signed contract between the poll body and Smartmatic for alleged violation of Republic Act 9184.
The IBP also wants the SC to issue a temporary restraining order against the Comelec resolution, upon filing of its petition, and a writ of preliminary injunction upon notice and hearing on the case.
The Comelec resolution approved Smartmatic's P300-million "Extended Warranty Proposal (Program 1)" through direct contracting. Under it, the private firm will examine the 80,000 machines for refurbishment, conduct full diagnostic of the machines, and perform maintenance minor repairs.
Citing a "tight time schedule" in the preparations for next year's elections, the Comelec said it decided to do away with public bidding and directly contract Smartmatic in the PCOs maintenance and repair as it would be "too great a risk" to entrust the task to another company.
But in its petition, copies of which were obtained by the media Thursday, the IBP said with the absence of a competitive public bidding, the contract is considered contrary to public policy and should be struck down as "void and inexistent," under Arricle 1409 of the Philippine Civil Code.
The IBP also noted several SC rulings that held that competitive bidding in government procurement is a matter of public policy.
It said by issuing the contested resolution, the Comelec effectively amended Section 50 of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act when it added "tight time schedule" to the three exclusively listed condition for resorting to direct contracting.
The group said Comelec's "tight time schedule" argument to justify resorting to direct contracting "is nothing but a superficial and shallow excuse."
"This is a blatant encroachment on the prerogative of legislature in enacting and amending laws," the IBP said.
"It is a hornbook doctrine in Constitutional Law that administrative agencies are without authority to limit the scope of the statute to less than what it provides, or extend or expand the statute beyond its terms, or any way modify explicit provisions of the law," it added.
The IBP said the Comelec's reference to possible time constraints when it preferred direct contracting over public bidding was "at best, purely speculative."
It further said there could be a suitable substitute to Smartmatic in refurbishing and repairing the counting machines that would offer "more advantageous terms to the government."
The group said the Comelec failed to prove that the diagnostics and repair of the PCOS machines are protected by trade secrets, patents and copyrights owned solely by Smartmatic. —KBK, GMA News."
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has asked the Supreme Court to void the agreement between the Commission on Elections and the Smartmatic-TIM for the...
GMANETWORK.COM

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Judge: Beijing lost that power after signing pact - Nation | The Star Online

See - Judge: Beijing lost that power after signing pact - Nation | The Star Online





"x x x.

KUALA LUMPUR: China has no historical claim to the South China Sea, as it gave up that right when it became a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), according to a Philippine Supreme Court judge.
Justice Antonio Carpio said when a country became a signatory to the UNCLOS, it gave up historical claims in exchange for an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), comprising 200 nautical miles from a country’s coastline.
“Even if they were not signatories, there is no historical proof that they have owned most of the areas they are claiming, such as the Scarborough and Spratly Islands.
“In ancient Chinese maps dating back to the Song and Qing dynasties, the southernmost territory of China has always been Hainan Island, with its ancient names being Zhuya, then Qiongya, and thereafter Qiongzhou.
“However, in more recent maps, the border has extended to a line of nine dashes, looping down to about 1,800km south from Hainan Island, almost near Sabah,” he said when delivering a lecture on the South China Sea dispute at the Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium here on Friday.
The event was jointly organised by the Bar Council, Universiti Malaya and the Philippine Embassy.
The Chinese government has staked its claim to 90% of the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, an archipelago of 750 islands and reefs near the Philippines.
The Philippine government, in response, presented a series of ancient maps which show that islands such as Scarborough were marked as Philippine territory long before it appeared in Chinese maps.
Carpio is visiting Asean countries to deliver a series of lectures on the dispute. Singapore is his first stop.
“We have filed a maritime dispute over China’s claims with the United Nations, and are waiting for a tribunal to decide on the arbitration case.
“Once the tribunal provides its ruling on the matter, we expect China to abide by it, even if they are not participating in the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague,” said Carpio.
The UN tribunal is expected to provide a ruling on the case late this year or early 2016, but Carpio said that would not end the dispute involving the South China Sea, which is either partially or wholly claimed by the Philippines, China, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam.
“I think world opinion will be on our side and I don’t think any country in the world can for long violate international law especially if there’s a ruling by a competent international tribunal.
“If the Philippines wins its case and China refuses to comply with the ruling, we will petition a United Nations council every year until China complies with the decision,” added Carpio.
x x x."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

CRIMES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, GENOCIDE AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY



REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9851

AN ACT DEFINING AND PENALIZING CRIMES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, GENOCIDE AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, ORGANIZING JURISDICTION, DESIGNATING SPECIAL COURTS, AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES


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

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity".

Section 2. Declaration of Principles and State Policies. -

(a) The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to a policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations.

(b) The state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights, including the rights of indigenous cultural communities and other vulnerable groups, such as women and children;

(c) It shall be the responsibility of the State and all other sectors concerned to resolved armed conflict in order to promote the goal of "Children as Zones of Peace";

(d) The state adopts the generally accepted principles of international law, including the Hague Conventions of 1907, the Geneva Conventions on the protection of victims of war and international humanitarian law, as part of the law our nation;

(e) The most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level, in order to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus contribute to the prevention of such crimes, it being the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes;

(f) The State shall guarantee persons suspected or accused of having committed grave crimes under international law all rights necessary to ensure that their trial will be fair and prompt in strict accordance with national and international law and standards for fair trial, It shall also protect victims, witnesses and their families, and provide appropriate redress to victims and their families, It shall ensure that the legal systems in place provide accessible and gender-sensitive avenues of redress for victims of armed conflict, and

(g)The State recognizes that the application of the provisions of this Act shall not affect the legal status of the parties to a conflict, nor give an implied recognition of the status of belligerency

CHAPTER II
DEFINITION OF TERMS

Section 3. For purposes of this Act, the term:

(a) "Apartheid' means inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime

(b) "Arbitrary deportation or forcible transfer of population" means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expultion by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under domestic or international law.

(c) "Armed conflict" means any use of force or armed violence between States or a protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups within that State: Provided, That such force or armed violence gives rise, or may give rise, to a situation to which the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, including their common Article 3, apply. Armed conflict may be international, that is, between two (2) or more States, including belligerent occupation; or non-international, that is, between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups within a state. It does not cover internal disturbances or tensions such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts of a similar nature.

(d) "Armed forces" means all organized armed forces, groups and units that belong to a party to an armed conflict which are under a command responsible to that party for the conduct of its subordinates. Such armed forces shall be subject to an internal disciplinary system which enforces compliance with International Humanitarian Law

(e) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in Section 6 of this Act against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack.

(f) "Effective command and control" or " effective authority and control" means having the material ability to prevent and punish the commission of offenses by subordinates.

(g) "Enforced or involuntary disappearance of persons" means the arrest, detention, or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time

(h) "Enslavement" means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children.

(i) "Extermination" means the international infliction of conditions of life, inter alia, the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of a part of a population.

(j) " Forced pregnancy" means the unlawful confinement of a women to be forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population carrying out other grave violations of international law.

(k) "Hors de Combat" means a person who:

(1) is in the power of an adverse party;

(2) has clearly expressed an intention to surrender; or

(3) has been rendered unconscious or otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness and therefore is incapable of defending himself: Provided, that in any of these cases, the person form any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.

(l) "Military necessity" means the necessity of employing measures which are indispensable to achieve a legitimate aim of the conflict and are not otherwise prohibited by International Humanitarian Law

(m) "Non-defended locality" means a locality that fulfills the following conditions:

(1) all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, must have been evacuated;

(2) no hostile use of fixed military installations or establishments must have been made;

(3) no acts of hostility must have been committed by the authorities or by the population; and

(4) no activities in support of military operations, must have been undertaken.

(n) "No quarter will be given' means refusing to spare the life of anybody, even of persons manifestly unable to defend themselves or who clearly express their intention to surrender.

(o) "Perfidy" means acts which invite the confidence of an adversary to lead him/her to believe he/she is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of International Humanitarian Law, with the intent to betray that confidence, including but not limited to:

(1) feigning an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce;

(2) feigning surrender;

(3) feigning incapacitation by wounds or sickness;

(4) feigning civilian or noncombatant status; and

(5) feigning protective status by use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of a neutral or other State not party to the conflict.

(p) "Persecution" means the international and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of identity of the group or collectivity.

(q) "Protect person" in an armed conflict means:

(1) a person wounded, sick or shipwrecked, whether civilian or military;

(2) a prisoner of war or any person deprived of liberty for reasons related to an armed conflict;

(3) a civilian or any person not taking a direct part or having ceased to take part in the hostilities in the power of the adverse party;

(4) a person who, before the beginning of hostilities, was considered a stateless person or refugee under the relevant international instruments accepted by the parties to the conflict concerned or under the national legislation of the state of refuge or state of residence;

(5) a member of the medical personnel assigned exclusively to medical purposes or to the administration of medical units or to the operation of or administration of medical transports; or

(6) a member of the religious personnel who is exclusively engaged in the work of their ministry and attached to the armed forces of a party to the conflict, its medical units or medical transports, or non-denominational, noncombatant military personnel carrying out functions similar to religious personnel.

(r) " Superior" means:

(1) a military commander or a person effectively acting as a military commander; or

(2) any other superior, in as much as the crimes arose from activities within the effective authority and control of that superior.

(s) "Torture" means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical, mental, or psychological, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions.

(t) "Works and installations containing dangerous forces" means works and installations the attack of which may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population, namely: dams, dikes, and nuclear, electrical generation stations.

CHAPTER III
CRIMES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW,
GENOCIDE AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Section 4. War Crimes. - For the purpose of this Act, "war crimes" or "crimes against Interntional Human Humanitarian Law" means:

(a) In case of an international armed conflict , grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention:

(1) Willful killing;

(2) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;

(3) Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;

(4) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;

(5) Willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial;

(6) Arbitrary deportation or forcible transfer of population or unlawful confinement;

(7) Taking of hostages;

(8) Compelling a prisoner a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power; and

(9) Unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or other protected persons.

(b) In case of a non-international armed conflict, serious violations of common Article 3 to the four (4) Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely , any of the following acts committed against persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including member of the armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause;

(1) Violence to life and person, in particular, willful killings, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(2) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(3) Taking of hostages; and

(4) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally recognized as indispensable.

(c) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely:

(1) Internationally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;

(2) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, object which are not military objectives;

(3) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions or Additional Protocol III in conformity with intentional law;

(4) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as ling as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;

(5) Launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated;

(6) Launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, and causing death or serious injury to body or health .

(7) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives, or making non-defended localities or demilitarized zones the object of attack;

(8) Killing or wounding a person in the knowledge that he/she is hors de combat, including a combatant who, having laid down his/her arms or no longer having means of defense, has surrendered at discretion;

(9) Making improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or the military insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions or other protective signs under International Humanitarian Law, resulting in death, serious personal injury or capture;

(10) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives. In case of doubt whether such building or place has been used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used;

(11) Subjecting persons who are in the power of an adverse party to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind, or to removal of tissue or organs for transplantation, which are neither justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his/her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the health of such person or persons;

(12) Killing, wounding or capturing an adversary by resort to perfidy;

(13) Declaring that no quarter will be given;

(14) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property unless such destruction or seizure is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

(15) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;

(16) Ordering the displacements of the civilian population for reasons related to the conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand;

(17) Transferring, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;

(18) Commiting outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatments;

(19) Commiting rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions or a serious violation of common Article 3 to the Geneva Convensions;

(20) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations;

(21) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indespensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols;

(22) In an international armed conflict, compelling the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war;

(23) In an international armed conflict, declaring abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party;

(24) Commiting any of the following acts:

(i) Conscripting, enlisting or recruiting children under the age of fifteen (15) years into the national armed forces;

(ii) Conscripting, enlisting or recruiting children under the age of eighteen (18) years into an armed force or group other than the national armed forces; and

(iii) Using children under the age of eighteen (18) years to participate actively in hostilities; and

(25) Employing means of warfare which are prohibited under international law, such as:

(i) Poison or poisoned weapons;

(ii) Asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices;

(iii) Bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with hard envelopes which do not entirely cover the core or are pierced with incisions; and

(iv) Weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare which are of the nature to cause superfluous injury or unecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in violation of the international law of armed conflict.

Any person found guilty of commiting any of the acts specified herein shall suffer the penalty provided under Section 7 of this Act.

Section 5. Genocide - (a) For the purpose of this Act, "genocide" means any of the following acts with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, religious, social or any other similar stable and permanent group as such:

(1) Killing members of the group;

(2) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(4) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and

(5) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to directly and publicly incite others to commit genocide.

Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall suffer the penalty provided under Section 7 of this Act.

Section 6. Other Crimes Against Humanity. - For the purpose of this act, "other crimes against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Willful killing;

(b) Extermination;

(c) Enslavement;

(d) Arbitrary deportation or forcible transfer of population;

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

(f) Torture;

(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime defined in this Act;

(i) Enforced or involuntary disappearance of persons;

(j) Apartheid; and

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts specified herein shall suffer the penalty provided under Section 7 of this Act.

CHAPTER IV
PENAL PROVISIONS

Section 7. Penalties. - Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts provided under Sections 4, 5 and 6 of this Act shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium to maximum period and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (Php 100,000.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (Php 500,000.00).

When justified by the extreme gravity of the crime, especially where the commision of any of the crimes specified herein results in death or serious physical injury, or constitutes rape, and considering the individual circumstances of the accused, the penalty of reclusion perpetua and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (Php 500,000.00) to One million pesos (Php 1,000,000.00) shall be imposed.

Any person found guilty of inciting others to commit genocide referred to in Section 5(b) of this Act shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period and a fine ranging from Ten thousand pesos (Php 10,000.00) to Twenty thousand pesos (Php 20,000.00).

In addition, the court shall order the forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived, directly or indirectly, from that crime, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third (3rd) parties. The court shall also impose the corresponding accessory penalties under the Revised Penal Code, especially where the offender is a public officer.

CHAPTER V
SOME PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY

Section 8. Individual Criminal Responsibilities. - (a) In addition to existing provisions in Philippine law on principles of criminal responsibility, a person shall be criminally liable as principal for a crime defined and penalized in this Act if he/she:

(1) Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;

(2) Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;

(3) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of person acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:

(i) be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime defined in this Act; or

(ii) be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime.

(b) A person shall be criminally liable as accomplice for facilitating the commission of a crime defined and penalized in this Act if he/she aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission.

(c) A person shall be criminally liable for a crime defined and penalized in this Act if he/she attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur because of circumstances independent of the person's intention. However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Act for the attempt to commit the same if he/she completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.

Section 9. Irrelevance of Official Capacity. - This Act shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a head of state or government, a member of a government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Act, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence. However:

(a) Immunities or special procedural rules that may be attached to the official capacity of a person under Philippine law other than the established constitutional immunity from suit of the Philippine President during his/her tenure, shall not bar the court from exercising jurisdiction over such a person; and

(b) Immunities that may be attached to the official capacity of a person under international law may limit the application of this Act, nut only within the bounds established under international law.

Section 10. Responsibility of Superiors. - In addition to other grounds of criminal responsibility for crimes defined and penalized under this Act, a superior shall be criminally responsible as a principal for such crimes committed by subordinates under his/her effective command and control, or effective authority and control as the case may be, as a result of his/her failure to properly exercise control over such subordinates, where:

(a) That superior either knew or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes;

(b) That superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his/her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

Section 11. Non-prescription. - The crimes defined and penalized under this Act, their prosecution, and the execution of sentences imposed on their account, shall not be subject to any prescription.

Section 12. Orders from a Superior. - The fact that a crime defined and penalized under this Act has been committed by a person pursuant to an order of a government or a superior, whether military or civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless all of the following elements occur:

(a) The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the government or the superior in question;

(b) The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and

(c) The order was not manifestly unlawful.

For the purposes of this section, orders to commit genocide or other crimes against humanity are manifestly unlawful.

CHAPTER VI
Protection of Victims and Witnesses

Section 13. Protection of Victims and Witnesses. - In addition to existing provisions in Philippine law for the protection of victims and witnesses, the following measures shall be undertaken:

(a) The Philippine court shall take appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and physiological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses. In so doing, the court shall have regard of all relevant factors, including age, gender and health, and the nature of the crime, in particular, but not limited to, where the crime involves sexual or gender violence or violence against children. The prosecutor shall take such measures particularly during the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. These measures shall not be prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and to a fair and impartial trial;

(b) As an exception to the general principle of public hearings, the court may, to protect the victims and witnesses or an accused, conduct any part of the proceedings in camera or allow the presentation of evidence by electronic or other special means. In particular, such measures shall be implemented in the case of the victim of sexual violence or a child who is a victim or is a witness, unless otherwise ordered by the court, having regard to all the circumstances, particularly the views of the victim or witness;

(c) Where the personal interests of the victims are affected, the court shall permit their views and concerns to be presented and considered at stages of the proceedings determined to be appropriate by the court in manner which is not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and impartial trial. Such views and concerns may be presented by the legal representatives of the victims where the court considers it appropriate in accordance with the established rules of procedure and evidence; and

(d) Where the disclosure of evidence or information pursuant to this Act may lead to the grave endangerment of the security of a witness for his/her family, the prosecution may, for the purposes of any proceedings conducted prior to the commencement of the trial, withhold such evidence or information and instead submit a summary thereof. Such measures shall be exercised in a manner which is not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and to a fair and impartial trial.

Section 14. Reparations to Victims. - In addition to existing provisions in Philippine law and procedural rules for reparations to victims, the following measures shall be undertaken:

(a) The court shall follow the principles relating to the reparations to, or in respect of, victims,including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. On this basis, in its decision, the court may, wither upon request or on its own motion in exceptional circumstances, determine the scope and extent of any damage, loss and injury to, or in respect of, victims and state the principles on which it is acting;1avvphi1

(b) The court may make an order directly against a convicted person specifying appropriate reparations to, or in respect of, victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation; and

(c) Before making an order under this section, the court may invite and shall take account of representations from or on behalf of the convicted person, victims or other interested persons.

Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prejudicing the rights of victims under national or international law.

CHAPTER VII
Applicability of International Law and Other Laws

Section 15. Applicability of International Law.- In the application and interpretation of this Act, Philippine courts shall be guided by the following sources:

(a) The 1948 Genocide Convention;

(b) The 1949 Genava Conventions I-IV, their 1977 Additional Protocols I and II and their 2005 Additional Protocol III;

(c) The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, its First Protocol and its 1999 Second Protocol;

(d) The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and its 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict;

(e) The rules and principles of customary international law;

(f) The judicial decisions of international courts and tribunals;

(g) Relevant and applicable international human rights instruments;

(h) Other relevant international treaties and conventions ratified or acceded to by the Republic of the Philippines; and

(i) Teachings of the most highly qualified publicists and authoritative commentaries on the foregoing sources as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of international law.

Section 16. Suppletory Application of the Revised Penal Code and Other General or Special Laws. - The provisions of the Revised Penal Code and other general or special laws shall have a suppletory application to the provisions of this Act.

CHAPTER VII
JURISDICTION

Section 17. Jurisdiction.- The State shall exercise jurisdiction over persons, whether military or civilian, suspected or accused of a crime defined and penalized in this Act, regardless of where the crime is committed, provided, any one of the following conditions is met:

(a) The accused is a Filipino citizen;

(b) The accused, regardless of citizenship or residence, is present in the Philippines; or

(c) The accused has committed the said crime against a Filipino citizen.

In the interest of justice, the relevant Philippine authorities may dispense with the investigation or prosecution of a crime punishable under this Act if another court or international tribunal is already conducting the investigation or undertaking the prosecution of such crime. Instead, the authorities may surrender or extradite suspected or accused persons in the Philippines to the appropriate international court, if any, or to another State pursuant to the applicable extradition laws and treaties.

No criminal proceedings shall be initiated against foreign nationals suspected or accused of having committed the crimes defined and penalized in this Act if they have been tried by a competent court outside the Philippines in respect of the same offense and acquitted, or having been convicted, already served their sentence.

Section 18. Philippine Court, Prosecutors and Investigators. - The Regional Trial Court of the Philippines shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes punishable under this Act. Their judgments may be appealed or elevated to the Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court as provided by law.

The Supreme Court shall designate special courts to try cases involving crimes punishable under this Act. For these cases, the Commission on Human Rights, the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police or other concerned law enforcement agencies shall designate prosecutors or investigators as the case may be.

The State shall ensure that judges, prosecutors and investigators, especially those designated for purposes of this Act, receive effective training in human rights, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law.

CHAPTER IX
FINAL PROVISIONS

Section 19. Separability Clause. - If, for any reason or reasons, any part or provision of this Statute shall be held to be unconstitutional or invalid, other parts or provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Section 20. Repealing Clause. - All laws, presidential decrees and issuances, executive orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Statute are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 21. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers general circulation.

Approved,

Sgd. PROSPERO C. NOGRALES
Speaker of the House of Representative Sgd. JUAN PONCE ENRILE
President of the Senate
This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2669 and House Bill No. 6633 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on October 14, 2009 and October 16, 2009, respectively.

For:

Sgd. MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives

Sgd. EMMA LIRIO-REYES
Secretary of the Senate
Approved:

Sgd. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
President of the Philippines

December 11, 2009