Saturday, June 15, 2019

Possession of illegal drugs; Sec. 11, RA 9165; People of the Philippines vs Rolando Santos Zaragoza (GR 233142, Jan. 17, 2018).

See - https://www.manilatimes.net/the-comprehensive-dangerous-drugs-act/565300/

"x x x.

Section 11. Possession of Dangerous Drugs. – The penalty of xxx (3) Imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) to Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000), if the quantities of dangerous drugs are less than five (5) grams of opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride, marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil, methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu,” or other dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, MDMA or “ecstasy,” PMA, TMA, LSD, GHB, and those similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirements; or less than three hundred (300) grams of marijuana.”

The Supreme Court in the case of People of the Philippines vs Rolando Santos Zaragoza (GR 233142, Jan. 17, 2018), through Associate Justice Samuel Martires discussed possession of illegal drugs, to wit:

“The elements of Section 11 are as follows: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object, which is identified to be prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug. xxx Illegal possession of regulated drugs is mala prohibita, and, as such, criminal intent is not an essential element. However, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus posidendi) the drugs. Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession, but also constructive possession.
Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate possession or control of the accused. On the other hand, constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found.” (Emphasis supplied)


To sustain the conviction of your husband, the prosecution must adduce evidence that the sachet of shabu was recovered from his actual or constructive possession, and that such possession is not authorized by law. It must be proven that the illegal drug was in his immediate possession or control or that the illegal drug is under his dominion and control or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where such drug was found.

To answer your question on penalty, the imposable penalty for violation of Section 11 is imprisonment of 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine ranging from ₱P300,000 to ₱P400,000.
This opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or further elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

x x x."

The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student, according to a new report.


See - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6317783/Incarceration-vs-education-America-spends-prison-does-public-schools.html?fbclid=IwAR2UMLJG91LISiEI1ydbJ1xqpS_XMbrfK8y7GyMw2RCglQ8w18Zb_eB6oD8


"x x x.

Incarceration vs. education: America spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools – and California is the worst.


Most American states spend more on their prisons than they do on education - and California is the worst, investing $64,642 per prisoner compared to $11,495 per student - a $53,146 difference in spending priorities

The reasons include an incarceration rate that has tripled over the past three decades, the higher cost of caring for people in prisons 24 hours a day, and the higher number of workers required to operate a prison

New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island round out the top states spending more on prisons


By VALERIE BAUMAN SOCIAL AFFAIRS REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 23:24 BST, 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 23:40 BST, 25 October 201
8


The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student, according to a new report.
Americans account for 4.4 percent of the global population, but 22 percent of the world’s prison population.


California spends $8.6 billion a year on its prison system, more than any other state, averaging $64,642 per inmate. It’s also the state with the biggest gap between education and prison spending, paying just $11,495 per student for a difference of $53,146, according to a new analysis by personal finance site GoBankingRates.

Several factors play into the imbalance, including U.S. incarceration rates, which have more than tripled over the past three decades – even as crime rates have fallen. During the same period, government spending on K-12 education increased by 107 percent, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Education.

+1

The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student. This map breaks down the spending for those states, per student and per inmate, plus the difference between the two figures

Another factor in the spending gap between education and incarceration is that it takes more workers to run a prison than a school, with each American teacher supervising an average of 20.8 students, while prison guards oversee an average of 5.3 prisoners.

In addition, it costs more to house and feed prisoners three times a day, compared to school children who do not require the same 24-hour oversight.

While it may seem that prison spending and education spending are disparate, experts have drawn correlations between the two.

For example, about 66 percent of state prison inmates haven’t graduated high school, and young black men aged 20-24 without a high school diploma are more likely to be in jail or prison than they are to have a job, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

New York had the second-largest gap between per student and per prisoner costs – and spends more on each than any other state. Spending per student in New York is $22,366, compared to the $69,355 it invests per inmate, for a difference of $46,989.

x x x."

IBP Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution



See - https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=83a6a890-ccfd-4a4d-9460-719e64bbeeca&l=8ET7148


"x x x.

IBP Launches the Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution
Quisumbing Torres






Philippines June 11 2019


The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), driven by its mandate to elevate the standards of the legal profession and to improve the administration of justice in the country, recently launched the Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution -- a non-stock, non-profit arbitral institution that will provide commercial arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services and facilities for parties to disputes.

The PICCR envisions to contribute significantly to the improvement of the administration of justice by promoting the use of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution so as to make them the preferred modes of resolving disputes and to make the Philippines a preferred seat and venue for dispute resolution.

The PICCR's mission is (1) to promote the use of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution by providing facilities and administrative and dispute-management services at par with those of international arbitral institutions, (2) to raise awareness of the benefits of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution throughout the Philippines by regularly collaborating with and tapping the nationwide network and resources of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and (3) to provide intensive and effective training for interested arbitration and alternative dispute resolution practitioners with a view to building the Philippines' capabilities in providing arbitration and alternative dispute resolution services.

The first set of PICCR officers include Sixto Jose Antonio (President), Donemark Calimon, Quisumbing Torres Dispute Resolution Practice Group Head (Secretary General), Julius Anthony Omila (Corporate Secretary), Anna Carmi Calsado-Amoroso (Assistant Corporate Secretary), Carmelita Eleazar (Treasurer), and Marie Fe Galvez-Garcia (Assistant Treasurer).

Appointed as deputies to help the Secretary General are Julius Anthony Omila (Deputy Secretary General for Business Development), Teodoro Kalaw IV (Deputy Secretary General for Education and Accreditation), Maria Celia Poblador (Deputy Secretary General for Operations) and Michael Macapagal (Deputy Secretary General for Case Management).

Michael, Maria Celia and Anna Carmi, are members of the Quisumbing Torres Dispute Resolution Practice Group.

PICCR Arbitration Accreditation Course

Since its launch in February 2019, the PICCR has conducted its first run of the center's accreditation course. The course consists of three modules. Module one introduces participants to the fundamentals of commercial arbitration. Module two, a more intensive course, familiarizes the participants with the PICCR's Arbitration Rules. Module three is an award-writing course intended to prepare participants to the important task of writing awards.

It features practical exercises designed to train participants on how to prepare arbitral awards. A welcome reception for the first set of accredited PICCR arbitrators, including those who have passed Modules one to three, will be held later this month.
x x x."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Whether, under Par.2, Sec. 26, of the Family Code, a Filipino citizen has the capacity to remarry under Philippine law after initiating a divorce proceeding abroad and obtaining a favorable judgment against his or her alien spouse who is capacitated to remarry



See - https://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2018/apr2018/gr_221029_2018.html


G.R. No. 221029, April 24, 2018
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner
vs. MARELYN TANEDO MANALO, Respondent


"x x x.

Now, the Court is tasked to resolve whether, under the same provision [Par.2, Sec. 26, Family Code], a Filipino citizen has the capacity to remarry under Philippine law after initiating a divorce proceeding abroad and obtaining a favorable judgment against his or her alien spouse who is capacitated to remarry. Specifically, Manalo pleads for the recognition of enforcement of the divorced decree rendered by the Japanese court and for the cancellation of the entry of marriage in the local civil registry " in order that it would not appear anymore that she is still married to the said Japanese national who is no longer her husband or is no longer married to her; [and], in the event that [she] decides to be remarried, she shall not be bothered and disturbed by said entry of marriage," and to use her maiden surname.

We rule in the affirmative.
Both Dacasin v. Dacasin28 and Van Dorn29 already recognized a foreign divorce decree that was initiated and obtained by the Filipino spouse and extended its legal effects on the issues of child custody and property relation,respectively.

In Dacasin, post-divorce, the former spouses executed an Agreement for the joint custody of their minor daughter. Later on, the husband who is a US citizen, sued his Filipino wife enforce the Agreement, alleging that it was only the latter who exercised sole custody of their child. The trial court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction, on the ground, among others, that the divorce decree is binding following the "nationality rule" prevailing in this jurisdiction. The husband moved to reconsider, arguing that the divorce decree obtained by his former wife is void, but it was denied. In ruling that the trial court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit bu not to enforce the Agreement, which is void, this Court said:

Nor can petitioner rely on the divorce decree's alleged invalidity - not because the Illinois court lacked jurisdiction or that the divorced decree violated Illinois law, but because the divorce was obtained by his Filipino spouse - to support the Agreement's enforceability . The argument that foreigners in this jurisdiction are not bound by foreign divorce decrees is hardly novel. Van Dron v. Romillo settled the matter by holding that an alien spouse of a Filipino is bound by a divorce decree obtained abroad. There, we dismissed the alien divorcee's Philippine suit for accounting of alleged post-divorce conjugal property and rejected his submission that the foreign divorce (obtained by the Filipino spouse) is not valid in this jurisdiction x x x.30

Van Dorn was decided before the Family Code took into effect. There, a complaint was filed by the ex-husband , who is a US citizen, against his Filipino wife to render an accounting of a business that was alleged to be a conjugal property and to be declared with right to manage the same. Van Dorn moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action was barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings that she initiated, but the trial court denied the motion. On his part, her ex-husband averred that the divorce decree issued by the Nevada court could not prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national policy; that the acts and declaration of a foreign court cannot, especially if the same is contrary to public policy, divest Philippine courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters within its jurisdiction . In dismissing the case filed by the alien spouse, the Court discussed the effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their conjugal property in the Philippines. Thus:

There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the Union. What he is contending in this case is that the divorce is not valid and binding in this jurisdiction, the same being contrary to local law and public policy.

Is it true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorce abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage. As stated by the Federal Supreme Court of the United States in Atherton vs. Atherton, 45 L. Ed. 794,799:

"The purpose and effect of a decree of divorce from the bond of matrimony by a court of competent jurisdiction are to change the existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife, and to free them both from the bond. The marriage tie, when thus severed as stone party, ceases to bind either. A husband without a wife, or a wife without a husband, is unknown to the law. When the law provides in the nature of penalty, that the guilty party shall not marry again, that party, as well as the other, is still absolutely feed from the bond of the former marriage."

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is estopped by his own representation before said court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.

To maintain, as private respondent does, that under our laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wife's obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served.31

In addition, the fact that a validity obtained foreign divorce initiated by the Filipino spouse can be recognized and given legal effects in the Philippines is implied from Our rulings in Fujiki v. Marinay, et al.32 and Medina v. Koike.33

In Fujiki, the Filipino wife, with the help of her husband, who is a Japanese national, was able to obtain a judgment from Japan's family court. Which declared the marriage between her and her second husband, who is a Japanese national, void on the ground of bigamy. In resolving the issue of whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his her spouse and a foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy, We ruled:


Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to recognize the Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy because the judgment concerns his civil status as married to Marinay. For the same reason he has the personality to file a petition under Rule 108 to cancel the entry of marriage between Marinay and Maekara in the civil registry on the basis of the decree of the Japanese Family Court.

There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest in maintaining the integrity of the marriage he contracted and the property relations arising from it. There is also no doubt that he is interested in the cancellation of an entry of a bigamous marriage in the civil registry, which compromises the public record of his marriage. The interest derives from the substantive right of the spouse not only to preserve (or dissolve, in limited instances) his most intimate human relation, but also to protect his property interests that arise by operation of law the moment he contracts marriage. These property interests in marriage included the right to be supported "in keeping with the financial capacity of the family" and preserving the property regime of the marriage.

Property rights are already substantive rights protected by the Constitution, but a spouse's right in a marriage extends further to relational rights recognized under Title III ("Rights and Obligations between Husband and Wife") of the Family Code. x x x34

On the other hand, in Medina, the Filipino wife and her Japanese husband jointly filed for divorce, which was granted.1âwphi1 Subsequently, she filed a petition before the RTC for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and declaration of capacity to remarry pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Article 26. The RTC denied the petition on the ground that the foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien spouse recognizing his capacity to obtain a divorce must be proven in accordance with Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. This Court agreed and ruled that, consistent with Corpuz v. Sto. Tomas, et al.35 and Garcia v. Recio,36 the divorce decree and the national law of the alien spouse must be proven. Instead of dismissing the case, We referred it to the CA for appropriate action including the reception of evidence to determine and resolve the pertinent factual issues.

There is no compelling reason to deviate from the above-mentioned rulings. When this Court recognized a foreign divorce decree that was initiated and obtained by the Filipino spouse and extended its legal effects on the issues of child custody and property relation, it should not stop short in a likewise acknowledging that one of the usual and necessary consequences of absolute divorce is the right to remarry. Indeed, there is no longer a mutual obligation to live together and observe fidelity. When the marriage tie is severed and ceased to exist, the civil status and the domestic relation of the former spouses change as both of them are freed from the marital bond.

x x x."


Despite the fact that petitioner participated in the divorce proceedings in Japan, and even if it is assumed that she initiated the same, she must still be allowed to benefit from the exception provided under Paragraph 2 of Article 26 [Family Code].



See - http://www.chanrobles.com/cralaw/2018julydecisions.php?id=670

G.R. No. 224015, July 23, 2018
STEPHEN I. JUEGO-SAKAI, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.


"x x x.

The issue before Us has already been resolved in the landmark ruling of Republic v. Manalo,11 [G.R. No. 221029, April 24, 2018], the facts of which fall squarely on point with the facts herein. In Manalo, respondent Marelyn Manalo, a Filipino, was married to a Japanese national named Yoshino Minoro. She, however, filed a case for divorce before a Japanese Court, which granted the same and consequently issued a divorce decree dissolving their marriage. Thereafter, she sought to have said decree recognized in the Philippines and to have the entry of her marriage to Minoro in the Civil Registry in San Juan, Metro Manila, cancelled, so that said entry shall not become a hindrance if and when she decides to remarry. The trial court, however, denied Manalo's petition and ruled that Philippine law does not afford Filipinos the right to file for a divorce, whether they are in the country or abroad, if they are married to Filipinos or to foreigners, or if they celebrated their marriage in the Philippines or in another country.


On appeal, however, the Court therein rejected the trial court's view and affirmed, instead, the ruling of the CA. There, the Court held that the fact that it was the Filipino spouse who initiated the proceeding wherein the divorce decree was granted should not affect the application nor remove him from the coverage of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code which states that "where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law." We observed that to interpret the word "obtained" to mean that the divorce proceeding must actually be initiated by the alien spouse would depart from the true intent of the legislature and would otherwise yield conclusions inconsistent with the general purpose of Paragraph 2 of Article 26, which is, specifically, to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after a foreign divorce decree that is effective in the country where it was rendered, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. The subject provision, therefore, should not make a distinction for a Filipino who initiated a foreign divorce proceeding is in the same place and in like circumstance as a Filipino who is at the receiving end of an alien initiated proceeding.12

Applying the foregoing pronouncement to the case at hand, the Court similarly rules that despite the fact that petitioner participated in the divorce proceedings in Japan, and even if it is assumed that she initiated the same, she must still be allowed to benefit from the exception provided under Paragraph 2 of Article 26. Consequently, since her marriage to Toshiharu Sakai had already been dissolved by virtue of the divorce decree they obtained in Japan, thereby capacitating Toshiharu to remarry, petitioner shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

x x x."

Petition for Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment



See - http://www.chanrobles.com/cralaw/2018julydecisions.php?id=670




G.R. No. 224015, July 23, 2018
STEPHEN I. JUEGO-SAKAI, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.


"x x x.

Nevertheless, as similarly held in Manalo, We cannot yet grant petitioner's Petition for Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment for she has yet to comply with certain guidelines before our courts may recognize the subject divorce decree and the effects thereof. Time and again, the Court has held that the starting point in any recognition of a foreign divorce judgment is the acknowledgment that our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign judgments and laws.13 This means that the foreign judgment and its authenticity must be proven as facts under our rules on evidence, together with the alien's applicable national law to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or herself.14 Since both the foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien, recognizing his or her capacity to obtain a divorce, purport to be official acts of a sovereign authority, Section 2415 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court applies.16 Thus, what is required is proof, either by (1) official publications or (2) copies attested by the officer having legal custody of the documents. If the copies of official records are not kept in the Philippines, these must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.17

In the instant case, the Office of the Solicitor General does not dispute the existence of the divorce decree, rendering the same admissible. What remains to be proven, therefore, is the pertinent Japanese Law on divorce considering that Japanese laws on persons and family relations are not among those matters that Filipino judges are supposed to know by reason of their judicial function.18

x x x."

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Conflict scenarios with Russia and China

The State of China’s Economy

What is China’s Grand Strategy?

Justice vs. Social Justice

“Conservative Civil Disobedience?” - Charles Murray

American Contempt for Liberty

Public Choice Theory: Why Government Often Fails

Economics of Immigration: Myths and Realities

Is Immigration a Human Right?

Marriage Equality

Critical Thinking: Fallacies



See - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtKNX4SfKpzWShEUtNiV1QhKG2cP9vbXg



Critical Thinking: Fallacies




Wireless Philosophy



1

7:05


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Formal and Informal Fallacies
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2

6:30


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Equivocation [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




3

3:59


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Fallacy of Composition
Wireless Philosophy




4

4:52


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Fallacy of Division
Wireless Philosophy




5

6:39


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Introduction to Ad Hominem Fallacies
Wireless Philosophy




6

8:11


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Ad Hominem [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




7

3:26


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Affirming The Consequent [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




8

3:36


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Denying The Antecedent
Wireless Philosophy




9

5:42


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




10

4:25


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Appeal to the People [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




11

3:54


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Begging the Question [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




12

5:59


CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Straw Man Fallacy [HD]
Wireless Philosophy




13

6:45


Slippery Slope - Critical Thinking Fallacies | WIRELESS PHILOSOPHY
Wireless Philosophy




14

6:02


Red Herring - Critical Thinking Fallacies | WIRELESS PHILOSOPHY
Wireless Philosophy





















Why You Believe Lies You Hear More Often | Derek Thompson

Government Explained 2: The Special Piece of Paper

Government Explained

The Machinery Of Freedom: Illustrated summary

Law without Government: The Bargaining Mechanism

Law without Government: Conflict Resolution in a Free Society

Law without Government: Principles

Human Rights: Developments - Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC

Humanizing the laws of war

The Limits of Refugee Law - Human Trafficking

Will the Rise of Populism Destroy Liberal Democracy?

Free Speech Online (with Will Duffield)

Estate tax amnesty



See - https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/05/31/bir-releases-regulations-on-estate-tax-amnesty/



"x x x.


BIR releases regulations on estate tax amnesty

Published May 31, 2019, 11:48 AM

By Jun Ramirez


The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) released Friday the much-awaited guideline on the estate tax amnesty in a bid to collect some P6 billion in back taxes from the heirs of decedents.

In signing Revenue Regulations No. 6-2019, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez said the law provides “taxpayers a one-time opportunity to settle estate tax obligations through the program that will give reasonable tax relief to estate with outstanding estate tax liabilities.”

The amnesty covers the estate of the deceased who died on or before Dec. 31, 2017 which liabilities remained unpaid.

Taxpayers are given two years from the effectivity of the guideline to file the Estate Tax Amnesty Return (ETAR), or BIR Form No. 2118-EA in triplicate copies at the revenue district office (RDO) having jurisdiction over the last residence of the deceased.

If the decedent has no legal residence in the country, the return shall be submitted at RDO 39 (South Quezon City).

The amnesty rate of six percent shall be imposed on each decedent’s total net taxable estate at the time of death, without penalties at every stage of transfer of property.

To illustrate, if the original owner of the property died and subsequently his heir also died without paying the estate tax, the surviving heir shall pay both the two cascading six percent amnesty rate.

The rate shall be based on the fair market value of the property at the time of death.

The BIR stressed that the privilege will not be extended to delinquent estate tax liabilities which have become final and executory, in which case the tax amnesty on delinquent accounts may be applied.

Likewise, properties involving unexplained wealth, anti-money laundering and fraud are also excluded.

x x x."

Duterte Supreme Court



See - https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/29/1921803/duterte-appoint-5-more-sc-justices-2019



"x x x.

Duterte to appoint 5 more SC justices in 2019

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2019 - 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) will be dominated by appointees of President Duterte later this year.

With the latest appointment of Associate Justice Henri Jean-Paul Inting, the high court currently has seven appointees of Duterte among its 15 members.

The other six are Associate Justices Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Jose Reyes Jr., Ramon Paul Hernando, Rosmari Carandang and Amy Lazaro-Javier.

But later this year, the President is expected to appoint five more magistrates in the SC due to the retirement of both Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in October and Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Francis Jardeleza in July and September, respectively.

There is also an expected vacancy once Bersamin’s replacement from the high court is appointed.

By that time, there will be a total of 12 Duterte-appointed justices – a clear majority – sitting in the high tribunal that will decide on crucial cases involving the administration, including the Chico River and Kaliwa Dam loan projects with China.

The SC, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, is also expected to act on the election protest of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo from their 2016 vice presidential face-off.

Duterte has actually appointed nine associate justices in the SC so far, but two of them are no longer with the Court.

Samuel Martires was appointed ombudsman in July last year while Noel Tijam retired from the judiciary last January.

x x x."


Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/29/1921803/duterte-appoint-5-more-sc-justices-2019#30QG82G1kDrLYkkr.99

DOJ Free Bar Lectures Day 1

DOJ Free Bar Lectures Day 2

DOJ Free Bar Lectures 2018 - Day 1 | Morning Session

DOJ Free Bar Lectures 2018 - Day 1 | Afternoon Session

DOJ Free Bar Lectures 2018 - Day 2 | Afternoon Session

DOJ Free Bar Lectures 2018 - Day 2 | Morning Session

DOJ Free Bar Lectures Day 1

DOJ Free Bar Lectures Day 2

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Compensation versus Redistribution

Milton Friedman Speaks - Myths That Conceal Reality

Business Law I - Professor Gita Sharma (Fall 2015)



See - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLauepKFT6DK_FfeQhW3mNQFNa7FjQb6ZC



Business Law I - Professor Gita Sharma (Fall 2015)

Rutgers Business School (RBS) - Newark, Course Title: Business Law I, Professor Gita Sharma
Rutgers Accounting Web


1

1:09:42


Legal Heritage and the Digital Age-Business Law 1-Fall 2015(L1)-Professor Sharma
Rutgers Accounting Web




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1:00:56


Courts & Jurisdiction- Business Law I- L1- Professor Sharma
Rutgers Accounting Web




3

54:12


Business Law I: Lecture 2, Chapter 3
Rutgers Accounting Web




4

48:32


Business Law I: Lecture 2, Chapter 4
Rutgers Accounting Web




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1:01:41


Business Law I: Lecture 2, Chapter 5
Rutgers Accounting Web




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54:35


Business Law I: Lecture 3, Chapter 6
Rutgers Accounting Web




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58:54


Business Law I: Lecture 3, Chapter 7
Rutgers Accounting Web




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50:04


Business Law I: Lecture 3, Chapter 8
Rutgers Accounting Web




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Business Law I: Lecture 5, Chapter 12
Rutgers Accounting Web




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Business Law I: Lecture 5, Chapter 13
Rutgers Accounting Web




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Business Law I: Lecture 5, Chapter 14
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Business Law I: Lecture 5, Midterm Review
Rutgers Accounting Web




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Business Law I: Lecture 6, Chapter 15
Rutgers Accounting Web




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55:44


Business Law I: Lecture 6, Chapter 16
Rutgers Accounting Web




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17:03


Business Law I: Lecture 6, Chapter 17
Rutgers Accounting Web




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52:53


Business Law I: Lecture 8, Chapter 47
Rutgers Accounting Web




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Business Law I: Lecture 8, Chapter 48
Rutgers Accounting Web




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Business Law I: Lecture 8, Chapter 49
Rutgers Accounting Web




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53:45


Business Law I: Lecture 10, Chapter 53
Rutgers Accounting Web




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23:28


Business Law I: Lecture 10, Chapter 54
Rutgers Accounting Web




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37:04


Business Law I: Lecture 10, Final Exam Review
Rutgers Accounting Web






















10 Myths About Government Debt

Lawyers: "There are lawyers, specially in government, to whom neither country nor people matter, their sole commitment being to themselves and the power they serve. These are lawyers only in name, because they are themselves disciples of lawlessness and deceit."



See - https://www.bworldonline.com/lawyers-and-lawlessness/



"x x x.


Lawyers and lawlessnessMay 9, 2019 | 9:55 pm

Vantage Point

By Luis V. Teodoro


The Philippines is one of the world’s most lawless countries. But it’s not because it has too few laws or none at all, but because it has too many that are often interpreted in favor of the powerful so as to bring about the exact opposite of their intention, are selectively implemented, or hardly enforced at all.

Intended to democratize the oligarchy-dominated House of Representatives, the party-list law has become just another means for the dynasties to keep their decades-long monopoly on political power. The Constitution protects free expression and press freedom, but not only has the 87-year-old libel law sent journalists to prison, the 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act has even increased the jail time penalty for online libel by one degree.

The Duterte regime proclaims to the rooftops its allegiance to the independence of the legislature and the judiciary. But it has undermined the system of checks and balances that the Constitution mandates as essential to democratic governance.

The very same regime opposed to the Constitutional provision limiting media ownership to Filipinos is using it against online news site Rappler. It is even expanding its meaning to include a ban on foreign funding for non-profit organizations, while its own media system bureaucrats receive direct funding and other forms of support from China, whose occupation of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone it has not even protested.

The same regime media system claims to be opposed to the spread of false information (“fake news”) while itself being its main purveyor, together with the trolls and old media hucksters in print and broadcasting paid out of public funds.

Mr. Duterte has urged Overseas Filipino Workers to return home on the promise of more employment opportunities. But his regime has thrown the country’s ports open to a horde of illegal Chinese workers it insists are better than Filipino workers and who’re royally compensated and housed.


While claiming to be concerned with human lives, it has caused the deaths of thousands in the course of its dubious “war” on drugs in which not only the presumption of innocence and due process have been savaged, but the fundamental right to life as well.

And then there’s the impunity that has enabled not only the killers of journalists to escape punishment but also for plunderers, corrupt officials, world class thieves, mass murderers and abusive State actors to get away with their crimes, and even to remain in power.

But it isn’t only the powerful who mock the very laws they either passed themselves or which they’re mandated to enforce. There’s the same lawlessness among ordinary folk that’s manifest not only in such transgressions as crossing a red light or smoking in enclosed spaces, but also in vote-buying during elections’ being part of the “normal” scheme of things. Thanks to a corrupt political class, together with intimidation and violence, vote buying has made a farce out of Philippine elections in which the right to freely choose to whom the citizenry can delegate its sovereign powers is fundamental.

But as lawless as this country may be, there are over 40,000 lawyers in the rolls of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), or one lawyer per 2,500 people, assuming the population to be 100 million. That compares to 1,300,000 lawyers in the US, which makes the number of lawyers in the Philippines much less in relation to the population.

Some 1,800 new lawyers have just passed the 2018 bar examinations — a small number which has nevertheless once again raised the question of whether the country has too many lawyers. It’s not so much that question that must be asked but whether these new attorneys will be going into law — or were in fact moved to take it in college — only to advance their interests no matter what the cost to the public and Philippine society, or whether they will practice the profession in behalf of the imperative of defending the laws that Philippine experience and history have established as necessary in the making of a democratic and just society.

In the present context in which the threats to them are evident and becoming more and more pronounced, among those laws are those protective of press freedom, free expression, freedom of assembly and association, the right to due process and to be presumed innocent, and those others that are crucial to the completion of the democratization process. Beginning in the revolutionary period of Philippine history, that process has been interrupted, derailed and subverted by foreign invaders, colonialism, imperialism and domestic tyranny.

Corollary to that question is whether the new lawyers will oppose the making of laws restrictive of civil, political and human rights. The passage of such laws, together with the use of State violence, has always been among the weapons of choice of the ruling few. But they have since morphed into bigger and even more urgent threats during the current regime.

Even lawyers committed to the defense of the rights of the voiceless, marginalized and disempowered have themselves been threatened, harassed and even killed. Lawyers are among the few voices of dissent and truth the regime has accused of conspiring with the independent press to overthrow the Duterte regime, in an apparent attempt to manipulate public opinion against the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) as well as Rappler, Vera Files and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).

The temptation to ignore these impending catastrophes to both the rule of law as well as what remains of the already limited democracy of the Philippines in favor of merely serving business and political interests for the sake of self-aggrandizement has always been strong in the professions.

Being a lawyer, a doctor, or, for that matter a journalist, opens many doors for self-advancement, to go through which subservience and obedience to the demands of the powerful is a fundamental requirement. That lesson has been driven into the heads of generations of college students by the Philippine experience with tyrannical rule. The martial law period demonstrated to Filipino professionals the dangers of political engagement, of patriotism, and of service to the people. It presented them with two starkly opposite options: to risk life, limb and fortune by using one’s skills for nation and country, or to advance and flourish by keeping silent, and using those skills solely for one’s own interests.

Doctors can abandon country and people either figuratively or literally by choosing lucrative practice in other countries over serving at home. Journalists can pretend to be ethical while being the captive of various interests. But no lawyer true to his or her calling should abide lawlessness and the rule of force, which are completely contrary to the ethical, professional and practical imperatives of the discipline of law. It helps explain why, despite the dangers, the IBP has remained committed to the rule of law and the defense of human rights, as have such groups as the NUPL. Hopefully the 1,800 new lawyers the Philippines now has will realize that the only alternative to defending the rule of law is to sit by and allow the destruction of everything that the profession they have chosen stands for. There are lawyers, specially in government, to whom neither country nor people matter, their sole commitment being to themselves and the power they serve. These are lawyers only in name, because they are themselves disciples of lawlessness and deceit.

Luis V. Teodoro is on Facebook and Twitter (@luisteodoro).
x x x."

Thursday, May 2, 2019

R.A. 10159, c. 2012; amending Art. 39, Rev. Penal Code on Subsidiary Penalty.



See - https://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2012/ra_10159_2012.html
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10159 April 10, 2012

AN ACT AMENDING ARTICLE 39 OF ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE REVISED PENAL CODE

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

Section 1. Article 39 of Act No. 3815, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:


"Art. 39. Subsidiary Penalty. – If the convict has no property with which to meet the fine mentioned in paragraph 3 of the next preceding article, he shall be subject to a subsidiary personal liability at the rate of one day for each amount equivalent to the highest minimum wage rate prevailing in the Philippines at the time of the rendition of judgment of conviction by the trial court, subject to the following rules:

"1. If the principal penalty imposed be prision correctional or arresto and fine, he shall remain under confinement until his fine referred in the preceding paragraph is satisfied, but his subsidiary imprisonment shall not exceed one-third of the term of the sentence, and in no case shall it continue for more than one year, and no fraction or part of a day shall be counted against the prisoner.

"2. When the principal penalty imposed be only a fine, the subsidiary imprisonment shall not exceed six months, if the culprit shall have been prosecuted for a grave or less grave felony, and shall not exceed fifteen days, if for a fight felony.

"3. When the principal penalty imposed is higher than prision correctional, no subsidiary imprisonment shall be imposed upon the culprit.

"4. If the principal penalty imposed is not to be executed by confinement in a penal institution, but such penalty is of fixed duration, the convict, during the period of time established in the preceding rules, shall continue to suffer the same deprivations as those of which the principal penalty consists.

"5. The subsidiary personal liability which the convict may have suffered by reason of his insolvency shall not relieve him from the fine in case his financial circumstances should improve." (As amended by Republic Act No. 5465, which lapsed into law on April 21, 1969.)

Section 2. 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.

Section 3. Repealing Clause. – All laws, presidential decrees or issuances, executive orders, letters of instruction, administrative orders or rules and regulations which may be inconsistent with this Act shall be deemed repealed, amended or modified accordingly.



Section 4. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ang Nars Partylist Oral Arguments

March 5, 2019 - Pimentel v. Legal Education Board (LEB) Oral Arguments

Dr Ian Bremmer - The Failure of Globalism

Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide | Yuval Noah Harari

Outlook on the Belt and Road Initiative

Addressing the Migration Challenge: The Critical Roles of Agriculture

International Migration and Human Development

Economics Of Migration

Liberal democracy as the path to greater security

Populism, Nationalism, and Electoral Politics: A Global View from the Media

Robert Reich: "Preparing Our Economy for the Impact of Automation & AI" ...

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder

John Judis on "The Populist Explosion"

2017 THE RISE OF THE PEOPLE

Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? -: "A LESSON IN LYING"

Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? - "PUTTING A PRICE TAG ON LIFE".

Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? - "THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER

Human Rights, Populism and the Crisis of Meaning - Dr Waleed Aly

How Pretextual Stops Undermine Police Legitimacy

Noam Chomsky: Who Owns the World? Resistance and Ways Forward

Robert Reich, "The Common Good"

Reich: How Unequal Can America Get?

The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class with Elizabeth Warren

The Costs of Capitalism's Crisis: Who Will Pay?

How Corporations Destroyed American Democracy - Chris Hedges.

CORPORATE FASCISM - The Destruction of America's Middle Class

Big Business Loves Big Government: Cronyism in Politics...

The Mueller Report - A PBS NewsHour/FRONTLINE Special

BBC: Masters of Money - Karl Marx

Inequality - how wealth becomes power

BBC Documentary - The Money Trap - How Banks Control the World Through Debt

The Man versus The State (Essay 4: The Great Political Superstition)

The Man versus The State (Essay 2: The Coming Slavery) by Herbert Spencer

How does IHL regulate cyber warfare? - Dr. Kusnanto Anggoro.

Destruction by China of marine ecology in West Philippine Sea is a crime against humanity.



See - https://globalnation.inquirer.net/173757/ex-philippine-officials-fishermen-file-crimes-against-humanity-case-vs-chinese-president-at-icc?fbclid=IwAR0GnGfxYkp4n4yk9a4AKPEznKTbDexa7cVdVTwENuZHj3b_R9UoB2ZeBw0&utm_expid=.XqNwTug2W6nwDVUSgFJXed.1




"x x x.


Ex-DFA chief Del Rosario, Morales sue China’s Xi at ICC

MOVE MADE ON BEHALF OF FILIPINO FISHERS ‘PERSECUTED AND INJURED’ BY BEIJING’S AGGRESSIVE ISLAND-BUILDING



By: Juliet Labog-Javellana - Director / @julietlabjINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:00 PM March 21, 2019




MANILA, Philippines — In an unusual move, two former high-ranking Philippine government officials have filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court, saying the “atrocious actions of Chinese officials in the South China Sea and within Philippine territory’’ constitute crimes against humanity that the ICC can prosecute.

Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed the complaint, technically called a communication, on behalf of Filipinos and the hundreds of thousands of Filipino fishermen “persecuted and injured’’ by China’s aggressive island-building and occupation of islands in the West Philippine Sea.

“In implementing China’s systematic plan to take over the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials have committed crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court which involve massive, near permanent and devastating environmental damage across nations,’’ the two former officials said in a communication filed with the ICC before the Philippines withdrew from the Rome statute on March 17.

READ: China will soon control strategic waterway

“The situation presented is both unique and relevant in that it presents one of the most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment in humanity’s history, which has not only adversely affected and injured myriad groups of vulnerable fishermen, but present and future generations of people across nations,’’ they said in the communication.

“This has seriously undermined the food and energy security of the coastal states in the South China Sea, including the Philippines,’’ they added.

They said the grave consequences of the Chinese actions justify the involvement of the ICC as one of its principles provide that “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and their effective prosecution must be ensured.’’


“Though widely publicized, these atrocious actions of Chinese officials in the South China Sea and within Philippine territory remain unpunished, and it is only the ICC that can exact accountability on behalf of Filipinos and the international community, respecting the rule of law,’’ they said.


“We urge you to initiate a preliminary examination on this matter, if only so the Court can apprise itself of Chinese crimes committed not only against the Filipino people but also against people of other nations, which crimes are already known to the international community,’’ they said.


Del Rosario told the Inquirer that the communication was filed at the office of ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on March 15, two days before the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute took effect. President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the withdrawal after the ICC opened in February 2018 a “preliminary examination’’ of the crimes against humanity case against him in connection with the bloody war on drugs.


Bensouda stood pat on the ICC’s proceedings against Mr. Duterte even after the withdrawal, saying the court “retains its jurisdiction over crimes committed during the time in which the state was party to the statute.’’


Del Rosario told the Inquirer their representatives filed the communication with Bensouda’s office well before the Philippine withdrawal took effect.


The communication included a 17-page outline of how Xi and other Chinese officials committed crimes against humanity in “implementing China’s systematic plan to control the South China Sea’’ and included testimonies of Filipino fishermen deprived of their livelihood.


They said the ICC’s preliminary examination can be facilitated by the fact that much of the evidence they presented were widespread, highly publicized incidents of Chinese incursions and included those that were already judicially vetted when the Philippines won the South China Sea arbitration against China at the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in 2016.


The attachments included photos of Chinese bases that were exclusively published by the Inquirer in February last year.


READ: EXCLUSIVE: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea


In filing the case, Del Rosario and Morales presented documented cases of Chinese blockade of fishermen in the disputed waters, Chinese destructive fishing activities and dozens of instances where China built military installations on contested islands.


READ: China threatens PH military aircraft in latest flight over South China Sea


They cited the 1987 China installation of a weather radar in Fiery Cross, seizure of Subi Reef in 1988, occupation of Mischief Reef in 1995 and of Scarborough Shoal in 2012, as well as occupation of islands claimed by Vietnam and Malaysia. They said that from 2013, China has started massive illegal reclamations and building of air and naval bases on seven features in the Spratlys. They said one of the military bases has an anchorage larger than Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor.


The case named as “perpetrators’’ Xi, President and leader of China’s Communist Party, foreign minister and state councilor Wang Yi (as primary promoter of China’s plan in the South China Sea, and as such he defends, promotes and facilitates the crimes) and Zhao Jinhua, Chinese ambassador to the Philippines.


They said Xi has been reported to have, over the past several years, “ordered engineers to pile sand onto some of the sea’s disputed offshore reefs, mostly in the Spratlys, with the apparent goal of building military bases these.’’ Under Xi’s command, they said, Beijing has “provided military training and sophisticated communication technology to its fishermen so they can call in the coast guard if they have a run-in with a foreign law enforcement vessel or alert the coast guard of the presence of fishermen from other countries.’’


They said that Zhao wrote in a local paper that China and the Philippines are “separated by only a narrow strip of water, and have been close neighbors for centuries.’’


“This is a continued assertion of China’s unlawful and expansive nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea because the Philippines and China are not ‘separated by only a narrow strip of water’ but instead, by a distance of approximately 580 nautical miles…’’ they said.


They said China’s blockade against Filipino and other fishermen, and tolerance of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by the Chinese, directly caused food and livelihood deprivation to as many as 350,000 Filipino fishermen.


They cited the testimonies of fishermen Crispen Talatagod, Tolomeo Foreones and Jowe Legaspi earlier submitted to the UN arbitral tribunal.


They said the Chinese actions would result in a “fisheries collapse’’ and food shortage over several nations around the disputed waters.


Del Rosario was head of the Department of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2016 when the Philippines filed and won a case an arbitration case against China. The tribunal affirmed the Philippines’ “exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea’’ and invalidated China’s nine-dash line in the disputed South China Sea. Morales was Ombudsman from 2011 to 2018. Both have incurred the ire of Mr. Duterte for their strong stand against issues that are sometimes against his policies.


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x x x."

Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/173757/ex-philippine-officials-fishermen-file-crimes-against-humanity-case-vs-chinese-president-at-icc#ixzz5mAbX9F6R

Weaponizing the law and abusing the justice system - "...But, where law enforcers, prosecutors and judges are vulnerable to intimidation or manipulation because of personal ambition or fear arising from some hidden liability, it is futile to expect the law to serve as a check on the excesses of government."



See - https://opinion.inquirer.net/120466/weaponizing-the-law-2?fbclid=IwAR3XUpiDIk4i3bHQiymOHdGGuUM9glPjAHcBVBg1EDB2W5KEZdWIpQ_uJ3I



"x x x.


Weaponizing the law

By: Randy David - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:10 AM March 31, 2019




A weapon is an object that is used to inflict harm or injury on a person or a group. To “weaponize” is to transform or convert something into an instrument of attack. The implication is that something is deployed in a manner not normally expected. And this, precisely, is what lends “weaponization” its insidious character.

Virtually everything can be weaponized — law, religion, science, art, love, hatred, racial or ethnic prejudice, etc. Concealed behind the veneer of normality, the act of weaponizing rides on the established communication system of the domain in which a thing originally occurs.

Take law as an example. As a functional domain of society, law operates by the code “legal/illegal.” The system determines for itself what is a valid legal communication and what is not. This determination is supposed to be based on the system’s own operational code, not on, say, what is morally acceptable or politically expedient or economically profitable.

All this, of course, does not prevent the filing of criminal charges in order to achieve political or other objectives. Let’s take the situation of Maria Ressa, a respected journalist and CEO of online news agency Rappler, who has been served a slew of arrest warrants and has had to post bail seven times in the last two months in connection with cases filed by various government agencies. Any neutral observer can reasonably conclude that Ressa is being singled out for prosecution because of her critical views of the current administration. But to prove that within the legal system is something else.

Equality before the law is highly valued in all modern legal systems. Indeed, the equal protection of the laws is the first right listed in the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution. “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

This limitation on government’s power seems as clear as day. But, violation of the equal protection clause is not easy to prove. One has to show that the calling out of something as legal or illegal was done unfairly. Prosecutors and judges can always argue that they are just allowing the normal process of the law to take its course. Equal protection is a value that is upheld only in the course of a system’s self-observation. You can assert it only from within the legal system.

If we have strong independent courts that are not beholden to any powers outside the legal system, then it is possible to stop the political weaponization of the law. But, where law enforcers, prosecutors and judges are vulnerable to intimidation or manipulation because of personal ambition or fear arising from some hidden liability, it is futile to expect the law to serve as a check on the excesses of government.

So accustomed are we to regarding the law as the primary instrument of justice that we are incredulous when we see it deployed to achieve unabashedly political ends. The idea seems so absurd when first floated that we think somebody is obviously joking. But incredulity turns to shock as we watch every part of the legal system conspire to transform the joke into reality. The examples in the last three years under the Duterte presidency are too numerous to list down here, but we can name the most glaring.


Who would have thought that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, after five years of leading the country’s highest court, could be removed from her position by “quo warranto” — a legal action that questions a person’s authority to exercise or occupy a public office? But, the Duterte administration, through Solicitor General Jose Calida, managed to show that certain documentary requirements needed in the process of qualifying for the position were not submitted. Therefore, her appointment was null and void ab initio. What makes this devious trick even more shocking is that it was consummated with the overt cooperation and participation of the majority of the high court’s members. I would have thought that it was far easier to question the validity of Rodrigo Duterte’s substitution of Martin Diño as presidential candidate in the 2016 election.

Diño’s certificate of candidacy was, on its face, defective, and, arguably, void ab initio.

And who would have thought that a sitting senator, Leila de Lima, Mr. Duterte’s fiercest critic, could be arrested and detained without bail, for conspiracy to trade in illegal drugs — on the basis of testimonies of convicted drug criminals? The information failed to identify the allegedly traded drugs. Yet, three courts separately found probable cause and ordered her arrest.

But, nothing perhaps can equal the absurdity of reopening the rebellion and coup d’état charges against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, another outspoken critic of Mr. Duterte, on the ground that the amnesty he received, which had prompted the dropping of these charges, was void ab initio. Why was it void? Because, says the Department of Justice, he never filed for amnesty. Proof? The application papers could not be found. Never mind that the custodian of these files is supposed to be the government. And never mind that only Trillanes’ amnesty is being questioned.

The successful deployment of legal processes as a weapon in politics undermines the credibility and stability of society’s normative expectations. As a result, less and less can we rely on judicial outcomes. When this nightmare is over — for everything comes to an end — it is difficult to say how long it will take to repair our damaged legal system.

public.lives@gmail.com

x x x."

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/120466/weaponizing-the-law-2#ixzz5mAY2zIZG

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