Thursday, June 30, 2016

My questions to Duterte

Duterte says he knows what is legal and what is not, that he shall obey the rule of law, that he shall promote positive human values, and that he shall promote unity. 

I ask him:

1. Why did he encourage vigilante justice of and extrajudicial killing by the Davao Death Squads for many years?

2. Why did he allow the NPA court/s to try a kidnapped police officer?

3. Why did he encourage Mindanao businessmen to pay revolutionary taxes to the NPA?

4. Why are his unexplained BPI funds excluded in his SALNs?

5. Why does he continue to maintain his political dynasty in Davao contrary to the Constitution?

6. Why is he unable to explain the COA findings that he abused his power to hire casuals and that he incurred millions to maintain them?

7. Why did he profess to abolish Congress and declare martial law and/or revolutionary government if his anti-crime actions are questioned by Congress and the Commission on Human Rights?

8. Why did he cuss/curse the UN (“Fuck you, UN!) if he says his government would insure that the PH would be a responsible member of the world community?

9. Why does he feel inner satisfaction in unjustly insulting the Catholic Church and its bishops?

10. Why did he feel inner joy in cussing/cursing the Pope? (“Putang ina mo, Pope. Bumalik ka na sa Vatican?”)

11. Why did he insult the memory of the dead/raped Australian missionary by saying that the Mayor must have priority in raping women?

12. Why does he prefer to dialog with the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf while allowing the extrajudicial mass killing of small-time drug “suspects”?

13. Why does he prefer to dialog with and offer the benefit of resignation to drug lord- generals while allowing the extrajudicial killing of small-time drug “suspects”?

14. Why does he cuss and boycott the Mass Media, the only remaining bridge for communication between the government and the people on vital public matters?

15. What is his real agenda with respect to China and the West PH Sea? (Why did he meet with Chinese officials during the election campaign period?)

16. What is his real brand of “socialism”? Is it the Cuban or Venezuelan brand? Does his follow the Marx-Lenin-Mao Tse Tung Thought? Does he subscribe to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat?

17. How deep are his political connections with big miners and Big Business?

18.What is his real agenda behind his plan to revise the Constitution to adopt a so-called Federal Parliamentary System of Government? 

19. Why is his hate against his pet peeve “Imperial Manila” so grave that he promotes divisiveness between Luzon, on one hand, and Visayas/Mindanao, on the other?

20. Up to what extent is he willing to accommodate the hardcore terrorist Communists in his government? 

21. What is his real plan with respect to the political future of the Marcoses?

22. Why does he disrespect and distrust his Vice President Leni Robredo?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dividing assets after legal separation | The Manila Times Online

"x x x.

In the absence of marriage settlement, or when the regime agreed upon is void, the system of absolute community of property as established in this Code shall govern (Article 75, Family Code of the Philippines). Correlative to this provision is Article 90 of the same code, which states that “the provisions of co-ownership shall apply to the absolute community of property between the spouses in all matters not provided for in this chapter.”
The Supreme Court has discussed in Quiao vs Quiao et al. (G. R. No. 176556, July 4, 2012), as to how the Absolute Community of Property be dissolved:
“When a couple enters into a regime of absolute community, the husband and the wife become joint owners of all the properties of the marriage. Whatever property each spouse brings into the marriage, and those acquired during the marriage (except those excluded under Article 92 of the Family Code) form the common mass of the couple’s properties. And when the couple’s marriage or community is dissolved, that common mass is divided between the spouses, or their respective heirs, equally or in the proportion the parties have established, irrespective of the value each one may have originally owned.
Under Article 102 of the Family Code, upon dissolution of marriage, an inventory is prepared, listing separately all the properties of the absolute community and the exclusive properties of each; then the debts and obligations of the absolute community are paid out of the absolute community’s assets and if the community’s properties are insufficient, the separate properties of each of the couple will be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance. Whatever is left of the separate properties will be delivered to each of them. The net remainder of the absolute community is its net assets, which shall be divided between the husband and the wife; and for purposes of computing the net profits subject to forfeiture, said profits shall be the increase in value between the market value of the community property at the time of the celebration of the marriage and the market value at the time of its dissolution.
Applying Article 102 of the Family Code, the net profits requires that we first find the market value of the properties at the time of the community’s dissolution. From the totality of the market value of all the properties, we subtract the debts and obligations of the absolute community and this result to the net assets or net remainder of the properties of the absolute community, from which we deduct the market value of the properties at the time of marriage, which then results to the net profits”.
The net remainder of the properties of Absolute Community of Property shall be divided equally between the husband and wife (Article 102 (4), Ibid). Based from these provisions of law and jurisprudence, it is clear that properties acquired during the marriage shall be divided equally between you and your husband.
x x x."

Modes of appeal from RTC to CA; certiorari is original action, how appealed.


“x x x.

Section 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court states:

(a) Ordinary appeal. – The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. x x x

(b) Petition for review. – The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in accordance with Rule 42. (Emphasis supplied)

x x x x

The Rule is clear. In cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, appeal to the Court of Appeals is taken by filing a notice of appeal. On the other hand, in cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, appeal to the Court of Appeals is by a petition for review under Rule 42.

A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 does not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction from further proceeding has been issued against the public respondent.⁠1  A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is, without a doubt, an original action.⁠2

Since the decision of the RTC in the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 was rendered in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, appeal from the said RTC decision to the Court of Appeals should have been made by filing a notice of appeal, not a petition for review under Rule 42.

X x x.”

The jurisdiction of regional trial courts has been limited to real actions where the assessed value exceeds P20,000.00 or P50,000.00 if the action is filed in Metro Manila. If the assessed value is below the said amounts, the action must be brought before first level courts.


“x x x.

Under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, the plenary action of accion publiciana must be brought before regional trial courts.⁠4 With the modifications introduced by Republic Act No. 7691, the jurisdiction of regional trial courts has been limited to real actions where the assessed value exceeds P20,000.00 or P50,000.00 if the action is filed in Metro Manila. If the assessed value is below the said amounts, the action must be brought before first level courts. As so amended, BP 129 now provides:

Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

x x x x

(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs: Provided, That in cases of land not declared for taxation purposes, the value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots. (Emphasis supplied)

Under BP 129, as amended, jurisdiction even in accion publiciana cases is determined by the assessed value of the property.⁠5 The Court recently explained inSpouses Alcantara v. Nido⁠6 that assessed value is the worth or value of the property as fixed by the taxing authorities for the purpose of determining the applicable tax rate. The assessed value does not necessarily represent the true or market value of the property.⁠7 

In the present case, the complaint,⁠8 which was filed after the enactment of R.A. 7691, contained a statement that, based on the tax declaration⁠9 filed in the Office of the Assessor, the lot subject of the accion publiciana has an assessed value of P48,000.00. A copy of the tax declaration was attached as Annex “B” of the complaint. The subject lot, with an assessed value below the jurisdictional limit of P50,000.00 for Metro Manila, comes within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the MeTC under BP 129, as amended. Thus, the RTC erred in holding that the MeTC had no jurisdiction in this case.

X x x.”

Liberal construction of the rules


“However, in numerous cases, this Court has allowed liberal construction of the rules when to do so would serve the demands of substantial justice. Dismissal of appeals purely on technical grounds is frowned upon. It is better to excuse a technical lapse rather than dispose of a case on technicality, giving a false impression of speedy disposal of cases while actually resulting in more delay, if not a miscarriage of justice.⁠3 In the present case, a dismissal on a technicality would only mean a new round of litigation between the same parties for the same cause of action, over the same subject matter. Thus, notwithstanding petitioner’s wrong mode of appeal, the Court of Appeals should not have so easily dismissed the petition.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Age to no longer be a factor in hiring under new law | Inquirer News

"x x x.

The anti-age discrimination bill seeks to promote equal opportunities in employment for everyone, and makes it a policy of the state to promote the employment of individuals on the basis of their abilities, knowledge, skills and qualifications rather than their age.

The bill makes it unlawful for employers to publish, in any form of media including the internet, job wanted ads that would suggest a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on age.

It also prohibits the requirement of a declaration of age or birth date in the application process, and the rejection of an employment application due to an individual’s age.

It makes it unlawful as well to discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation or privileges of employment on account of age, and deny an employee’s promotion due to age.

Forcibly laying off a worker due to advanced age or imposing early retirement on the basis of an employee’s age are also prohibited under the measure. Leila B. Salaverria

x x x."

How to reconstitute or replace lost/destroyed Land Titles

"x x x.

Reconstitution of Land Titles Under the Republic Act No. 26 as Amended by R.A 6732 Administrative Reconstitution

This is the flowchart of the reconstitution of land titles because there were cases where land titles were lost due to natural calamities such as floods, fires, etc.

reconstitute or replace lost/destroyed land titles: Judicial reconstitution flowchart
Judicial reconstitution flowchart from
Judicial Reconstitution
There are cases where the titles in the Registry of Deeds got lost or destroyed but there were no administrative reconstitution was determined to be inexorable, they need to undergo judicial reconstitution.
Yes, reconstitution of a title requires a bit of hard work and patience; it also needs a lot of time. The process could take months before it is fully complete, sometimes even years. What you need to prepare are legal documents, affixed certifications and clearances, and you need a good counsel to represent you in court hearings and proceedings.
This is a flowchart of judicial reconstitution, from ombudsman website.
reconstitute or replace lost/destroyed land titles: Administrative reconstitution flowchart
Administrative reconstitution flowchart from
If anyhow what you lost is the duplicate of the original owner’s land title, do not panic because it is not the end of the world. The original title might be in the Registry of Deeds or maybe it’s with the owner himself. Section 109 of PD 1529 discusses the procedure in getting a new duplicate of the original document.
Section 109. Notice and replacement of lost duplicate certificate. In case of loss or theft of an owner’s duplicate certificate of title, due notice under oath shall be sent by the owner or by someone in his behalf to the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies as soon as the loss or theft is discovered. If a duplicate certificate is lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced by a person applying for the entry of a new certificate to him or for the registration of any instrument, a sworn statement of the fact of such loss or destruction may be filed by the registered owner or other person in interest and registered.
Upon the petition of the registered owner or other person in interest, the court may, after notice and due hearing, direct the issuance of a new duplicate certificate, which shall contain a memorandum of the fact that it is issued in place of the lost duplicate certificate, but shall in all respects be entitled to like faith and credit as the original duplicate, and shall thereafter be regarded as such for all purposes of this decree.
This is how you reconstitute or replace a lost or damaged land title (Original and duplicate.) Of course, it is better to just prevent a negative outcome from happening rather than curing it. Follow the guidelines I’ve stated above to ensure the completeness of your land title.
x x x."

How to Process Land Transfer in the Philippines

"x x x.

The first thing to do is to provide the documentary requirements set by the Assessor’s Office, Register of Deeds and Treasurer’s Office in your area. Depending upon the agreement of the buyer and seller, but the seller usually file for the tax clearance required by the Treasurer’s Office. To be cleared, it is important to submit receipts and tax declarations of the land to said office. If there are arrears, then it is need to pay them for the transfer to take place.

Secure assessment of Transfer of Taxes from BIR and City Treasurer’s Office and file for Issuance of Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) or BIR clearance from the BIR. The CAR will serve as evidence that the sale has taken place and the taxes has been paid. BIR will ask for documents such as TIN of seller and buyer, Notarized Deed of Sale, certified true copy of the Tax Declaration by the Assessor’s Office, and a copy of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT) or Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT).

Pay the transfer taxes within 60 days from the date of execution of the Deed of Sale to the Treasurer’s Office presenting the CAR from the BIR, Tax Clearance from the Treasurer’s Office, and official receipt of payment of documentary tax from the BIR.

File documents at the Registry of Deeds for the issuance of title. The documents to be presented are the copy of deed of absolute sale, receipt of payment of transfer tax, CAR, tax clearance, and TCT in the name of the seller.
File documents at the Assessor’s Office for the issuance of new Tax Declaration.

x x x.

You may also want to read this:

x x x."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BIR starts issuing eCAR to combat tax syndicates | | Philippine News

"x x x.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has started issuing electronic Certificate Authorizing Registration (eCAR) to stop the sinister activities of tax syndicates responsible for stealing huge amount of capital gains tax (CGT) payments in the process of transferring real estate title from seller to buyer.

In signing Revenue Memorandum Order No. 22-2016, BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares noted that “due to instances in the past where spurious CARs had been presented to the Register of Deeds (RD), the BIR developed the eCAR system” to collect the right amount of transfer taxes.

Henceforth, she said “the issuance of manually prepared CARs as well as the generation and issuance of a tax clearance (TCL) in the integrated tax system (ITS) shall be stopped.”

The BIR chief noted that the government is losing significant amount in CGT and documentary tax due to syndicates that maneuver secretly the registration of fake CARs with RD.

The BIR issues the CAR upon payment 6 percent CGT and 1.5 percent documentary stamp tax which rates are based on the zonal, or fair market value of the property, whichever is higher.

Henares believed that the new system will put an end to the nefarious tax stealing racket.

She explained that the eCAR system is a web-based facility that automates the processing and generation of CAR with bar code and is linked with the Land Registration Authority (LRA).

She added that through the BIR eCar verification system, the LRA-RD can verify online the authenticity of the eCAR presented in support of the transfer.

x x x."


Monsod prefers change in LGU code over federalism | ABS-CBN News

"x x x.

One of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is favoring the amendment to the Local Government Code as a means to the regional development promised by federalism.

Attorney Christian Monsod on Friday said the Constitution allows provinces to convene voluntarily and autonomously pull their resources and push for change in the Local Government Code on the equitable division of the internal revenue allotment (IRA).

"All you need to do is amend the Local Government Code, and say that the IRA, your internal revenue allotment, instead of 40:60, in favor of central, will be reversed. It will be 60:40, in favor of the LGUs," he said on Mornings@ANC.

He added, the local government code also allows the provinces to borrow funds from the national government, much like the promise of federal states being able to raise their own funds.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law, he cited, would allow the state to keep 70% of its resources, and Monsod said the Constitution allows for the provinces to petition to the Congress to create a law that would afford them the same autonomy.

"I think we can change the IRA very quickly by just changing the Local Government Code and you don’t have to wait two years and to put a federal system in place that will have a long transition period anyway," he said.

x xx ."

P.D. No. 1986; MTRCB charter; has no power to control the public cusses of Duterte during presscons?

MTRCB claims it has no power to control the public cusses of Dutertre during live presscons because to do so would violate press freedom and that such a power it is not provided by PD 1986.

Here are the powers of the MTRCB under PD 1986:

"x x x.

Section 3. Powers and Functions. - The BOARD shall have the following functions, powers and duties:

a) To promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary or proper for the implementation of this Act, and the accomplishment of its purposes and objectives, including guidelines and standards for production, advertising and titles. Such rules and regulations shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following their publication in newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines;

b) To screen, review and examine all motion pictures as herein defined, television programs, including publicity materials such as advertisements, trailers and stills, whether such motion pictures and publicity materials be for theatrical or non-theatrical distribution, for television broadcast or for general viewing, imported or produced in the Philippines, and in the latter case, whether they be for local viewing or for export;

c) To approve or disapprove, delete objectionable portions from and/or prohibit the importation, exportation, production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition and/or television broadcast of the motion pictures, television programs and publicity materials subject of the preceding paragraph, which, in the judgment of the board applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard, are objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people, or with a dangerous tendency to encourage the commission of violence or of wrong or crime, such as but not limited to:

i) Those which tend to incite subversion, insurrection, rebellion or sedition against the State, or otherwise threaten the economic and/or political stability of the State;

ii) Those which tend to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or the duly constituted authorities;

iii) Those which glorify criminals or condone crimes;

iv) Those which serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence or pornography;

v) Those which tend to abet the traffic in and use of prohibited drugs;

vi) Those which are libelous or defamatory to the good name and reputation of any person, whether living or dead; and

vii) Those which may constitute contempt of court or of any quasi-judicial tribunal, or pertain to matter which are sub-judice in nature.

Provided, however, That deletions or cuts must not be made on the master negative of the films, and that such master negative shall be deposited with the Film Archives of the Philippines and shall be released for export purposes to the film owner only upon showing of the proper export permit; Provided, finally, That the film owner shall execute his own undertaking that such master negative shall be exclusively used for export purposes and not for local showing;

To supervise, regulate, and grant, deny or cancel, permits for the importation, exportation, production, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition, and/or television broadcast of all motion pictures, television programs and publicity materials, to the end that no such pictures, programs and materials as are determined by the BOARD to be objectionable in accordance with paragraph (c) hereof shall be imported, exported, produced, copied, reproduced, distributed, sold, leased, exhibited and/or broadcast by television;

d) To classify motion pictures, television programs and similar shows into categories such as "G" or "For General Patronage" (all ages admitted), "P" or "Parental Guidance Suggested", "R" or "Restricted" (for adults only), "X" or "Not for Public Viewing", or such other categories as the BOARD may determine for the public interest;

e) To close movie houses and other similar establishments engaged in the public exhibition of motion pictures and television programs which violate the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations promulgated by the BOARD pursuant hereto;

f) To levy, assess and collect, and periodically adjust and revise the rates of, fees and charges for the work of review and examination and for the issuance of thelicensess and permits which the BOARD is authorized to grant in the exercise of its powers and functions and in the performance of its duties and responsibilities;

g) To deputize representatives from the government and from the various associations in the movie industry, whose main duties shall be to help ensure compliance with all laws relative to the importation, exportation, copying, distribution, sale, lease, exhibition and/or television broadcast of motion pictures, television programs, advertisements and publicity materials. For this purpose, the BOARD may constitute such Regulatory Council or Councils composed of representatives from the government and the movie and television industry as may be appropriate to implement the purposes and objectives of this Act. The BOARD may also call on any law enforcement agency for assistance in the implementation and enforcement of its decisions, orders or awards;

h) To cause the prosecution, on behalf of the People of the Philippines, of violators of this Act, of anti-trust, obscenity, censorship and other laws pertinent to the movie and television industry;

i) To prescribe the internal and operational procedures for the exercise of its powers and functions as well as the performance of its duties and responsibilities, including the creation and vesting of authority upon sub-committees of the BOARD for the work of review and other related matters; and

j) To exercise such powers and functions as may be necessary or incidental to the attainment of the purposes and objectives of this Act, and to perform such other related duties and responsibilities as may be directed by the President of the Philippines.

x x x."

Duterte’s statement assaults oath to uphold the law | Cebu Daily News

"x x x.


“BUT for the President-elect to encourage murder as solution assaults the oath he took as a lawyer, as mayor, and soon as president of the country. And that oath is to uphold the law.”

This is the statement of the Cebu Citizen’s Press Council in reaction to the recent pronouncements of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte that corrupt journalists should be killed.

“From a political leader who won on a platform of killing criminals and crime suspects, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s statement about killing corrupt journalists should not shock us anymore. But it still does. Because it demolishes any hope the incoming president will abandon the gospel of death he preached in his campaign and adhere to the rule of law when he assumes office,” the statement signed by CCPC Executive Director Pachico A. Seares read.

x x x."

Competition agency lays down rules | Inquirer Business

"x x x.

The implementing guidelines of the Philippine Competition Act have been laid down Friday in order to take effect this month as the quasijudicial body tasked to ensure fair competition in the business sector aims to swiftly look into recent developments, especially in telecommunications, that may foster uncompetitive business practices.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10667, described as the country’s first foray into antitrust regulation, prohibited anti-competitive agreements, especially those restricting competition in terms of pricing, its components or other terms of trade.

Among or between competitors, the IRR prohibited “setting, limiting or controlling production, markets, technical development, or investment” as well as “dividing or sharing the market, whether by volume of sales or purchases, territory, type of goods or services, buyers or sellers, or any other means” that will “substantially” prevent, restrict or lessen competition.

Also, the rules prohibited abuse of dominant position, through which one or more entities engage in conduct that would substantially prevent, restrict or lessen competition in nine ways, namely:

Selling goods or services below cost with the object of driving competition out of the relevant market;

Imposing barriers to entry or committing acts that prevent competitors from growing within the market in an anti-competitive manner, except those that develop in the market as a result of or arising from a superior product or process, business acumen, or legal rights or laws;

Making a transaction subject to acceptance by the other parties of other obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the transaction;

Setting prices or other terms or conditions that discriminate unreasonably between customers or sellers of the same goods or services, where such customers or sellers are contemporaneously trading on similar terms and conditions, where the effect may be to lessen competition substantially;

Imposing restrictions on the lease or contract for sale or trade of goods or services concerning where, to whom, or in what forms goods or services may be sold or traded;

Making supply of particular goods or services dependent upon the purchase of other goods or services from the supplier which have no direct connection with the main goods or services to be supplied;

Directly or indirectly imposing unfairly low purchase prices for the goods or services of, among others, marginalized agricultural producers, fisherfolk, micro-, small-, medium-scale enterprises, and other marginalized service providers and producers;

Directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling price on their competitors, customers, suppliers, or consumers, provided that prices that develop in the market as a result of or due to a superior product or process, business acumen or legal rights or laws shall not be considered unfair prices, and

Limiting production, markets, or technical development to the prejudice of consumers.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) will likewise thoroughly review mergers and acquisitions by determining their specific impact on their respective markets or sectors.

x x x."

BusinessWorld | The Judicial and Bar Council on trial

"x x x.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is expected to make thousands of appointments during his term as president. 

But none are as crucial as the appointments he will make to the Supreme Court, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan. 

Over the next six years, at least 12 Supreme Court associate justices, all of the top leadership of the Office of the Ombudsman, and at least seven Sandiganbayan justices will all retire. 

The appointments to these bodies share one thing in common: they all pass through the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). 

If you get right down to it, the quality of appointments starts and ends with the JBC. 

So if the president ends up making poor appointments, the heaviest blame should go to them.

x xx ."

Federalism will not solve corruption | Inquirer Opinion

"x x x.

He is yet to give details on the federal form of government that he wishes for the Philippines. However, former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who is the founding father of Duterte’s party, PDP-Laban, espouses a federal government that will have 11 federal states—four in Luzon, four in the Visayas and three in Mindanao.

Under the Pimentel proposal, the four federal states in Luzon will be Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and the Bicol area; the federal states in the Visayas will be Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, and the provinces of Romblon and Palawan; and Mindanao will be composed of the federal states of Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and a separate state for the Bangsamoro.

In most foreign countries with a federal system, the federal government wields powers over foreign affairs and national defense.

Pimentel proposes that a Philippine federal government should additionally retain control over the justice system and the public school system. The rest of governmental powers will be delegated to the autonomous state governments.

It must be pointed out that it is not the nature of a system of government that causes it to fail. It is the people who operate the system of government that will make it fail, or succeed. By merely changing the system of government—without changing the culture of the people who run the government—the same people who cause the failure of the unitary system will make the new federal system fail as well.

As many as 70 percent of Filipino politicians are connected to dynasties who have ruled the towns and provinces for generations. With the powers that these dynasties hold under the present unitary form of government, they have been able to perpetuate themselves in power and amass vast wealth through corruption. How much more influence and wealth will these dynasties monopolize if more powers from the national government are devolved and handed over to their control?

Let us grant for the sake of argument that federalism will work for a Davao City ruled by a Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. But what guarantee do we have when it comes to the politicians who treat the rest of our 145 cities, 1,489 towns, and 81 provinces as though these were their fiefdoms?

A shift to federalism as a formula to address the problem of poverty is a remedy that calls for the reallocation of powers among politicians. Given the prevailing culture of corruption among these politicians, however, federalism will not yield positive results for the country at this time.

What we need at this time is to reallocate more powers to the people, for them to fight the abuse of power of the politicians. We need to arm citizens with a freedom of information law to enable them to easily expose corruption, which is the bigger cause of poverty compared to the perceived dysfunctional nature of the unitary form of government. We need an antidynasty law under which a stint in public office is a public service and not a family business, as many political dynasties have made it. We need an antidynasty law to level the playing field and give well-meaning citizens a chance at public service, instead of allowing government positions to be the birthright of de facto royal dynasties.

x x x."

Lawmakers warn vs Rody ‘kill’ order | The Manila Times Online

"x x x.

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark asking civilians to help the government arrest suspected drug dealers and shoot them if they resist could lead to a more dangerous problem such as a breakdown in law and order in the country, senator-elect Panfilo Lacson and another lawmaker warned on Monday.

Lacson, who served as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during former President Joseph Estrada’s Administration, said that while the law allows citizen’s arrests in which civilians can kill a person in self-defense, ordinary citizens have no proper training to conduct overt operations against criminals.

“I believe that it is not right for an incoming President of the country to encourage the public to take it upon themselves to arrest and kill suspected drug lords because law enforcement authorities might lose control of the situation,” Lacson explained.

He pointed out that validating the list of drug suspects and members of other criminal syndicates entails a series of exchanges of intelligence information among different Intelligence agencies called “intelligence workshops” and undergoes a careful and tedious process that leads to an Order of Battle (OB) list.

Also, the OB is a classified document and declassifying it follows a defined procedure and timeline, hence the public has no direct or indirect access to it.

Duterte, in a speech during his thanksgiving party in Davao on Saturday, encouraged civilians to help him go after illegal drug traders by arresting or even killing them if they resist arrest. He said he was willing to give rewards and medals to those who would be able to kill the real drug dealers.

“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun; you have my support. If a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or a knife, you can kill him. Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal,” the incoming President said.

Senator’s objection

Lacson disagreed with Duterte.

“Private citizens should be encouraged instead to report to authorities the presence of drug pushers and big time drug lords and that is where the incentive of monetary reward should come into play,” the senator-elect said.

He added that no peace-loving citizen needs or deserves a “Wild, Wild West” environment.
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon agreed with Lacson, saying civilians should not make arrests based on a mere suspicion that someone is a drug dealer.

“The license to kill is only for the movies. Hindi puwedeng makakita ka lang ng sumisinghot singhot eh papatayin mo na agad. Hindi uubra ‘yung ganung diskarte (You can’t just shoot someone who is sniffing drugs. That strategy will not work),” Ridon told reporters.

“If it were a legitimate police operation, then that would be the context. We should always respect human rights in implementing the law and enforcing anti-drug operations,” he said.

“There are mechanisms toward fighting illegal drugs. I leave it to the incoming President to clarify the manner of engagement on drug suspects and drug dealers,” he added.

Citizens warned to ‘be careful’
But Sen.Vicente Sotto 3rd sees nothing wrong with Duterte’s pronouncement, saying citizen’s arrest is not a new policy.

“But I would advise the citizens to be very careful because these drug lords are also armed, so they (civilians) should be very careful,” Sotto said in an separate interview.

As for concerns about possible abuse that may be committed by some civilians who will heed Duterte’s call, the senator explained that those who will make false allegations shall also be held accountable.

“If they cannot prove that they arrested a real drug lord they will also be charged and jailed,” Sotto said.

Senate president Franklin Drilon declined to comment on the issue.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), meanwhile, expressed all-out support to Duterte’s proposal for citizens to help the government capture the drug lords in the country.

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16 retired public lawyers file damage suit vs. Budget Secretary Abad   | News | GMA News Online

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Retired members of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Monday filed a damage suit against Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad over the alleged unlawful withholding of their retirement benefits.

In a 52-page “extremely urgent motion” filed with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC), 16 PAO retirees asked for a temporary restraining order (RTO) on the implementation of a March 2016 legal opinion issued by DBM Legal Service chief Rowena Candice Ruiz and approved by Abad.

Citing Section 16 of Republic Act 10071 or the National Prosecution Service Law of 2010 (NAPROSS), the legal opinion submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on March 11 stated that retirement benefits must only be granted to the prosecutors of the National Prosecution Service (NPS), which is under the DOJ, and not to PAO lawyers.

However, in their suit, PAO retirees said Section 16 of the NAPROSS Act only made general enumerations on the ranks of the prosecutors and the corresponding benefits that they must receive and does not expressly state that prosecutors from PAO are exempted from such benefits.

The complainants maintained that there is no provision in the NAPROSS Act that expressly or impliedly repeal Section 5 of RA 9406 or the PAO Law, which states that PAO lawyers and government prosecutors must be provided with equal retirement benefits.

“Republic Act No 9406 entitled ‘An Act Reorganizing and Strengthening the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO)’…aimed to strengthen the PAO, its officials, lawyers and employees. As a form of social legislation, it granted PAO retirees with a well-deserved retirement package,” the petitioners said in their suit.

“Yet, the PAO Law has been repeatedly made the subject of constant belittling by other personalities and entities – sadly part of the government bureaucracy itself. One such instance is the present controversy,” they added.

Aside from a TRO, the petitioners also called for a ruling “anulling and setting aside” the DBM legal opinion.

The petitioners also prayed that “a Writ of Mandamus be issued commanding respondents to immediately release to all PAO retirees [their] retirement benefits” based on the PAO and NAPROSS laws.

“With no more income from any form of employment, we are relying on our retirement package to support our needs for sustenance – utilities, food and most of all, medicines,” the petitioners said.

“Most of us are nearing the end of our days, and slowly, our bodies are beginning to succumb to various forms of illness; yet, we refuse to accept even the remote possibility that we will be abandoned by this government, our former employer, in a hapless state,” they added.

Lastly, the petitioners called on the court to order Abad and Ruiz to pay the PAO retirees P400,000 as exemplary damages and another P400,000 as moral damages for continuously withholding their retirement benefits which, they said, should have been released to them as early as 2010.

“The DBM, Secretary Abad and Atty. Ruiz’s refusal to release the PAO retirees’ claim is tantamount to neglect in the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty…unduly depriving the PAO retirees of their sustenance and comfort, at a time when they badly need the same because they no longer have the capability to earn a livelihood – an irreparable damage,” the petitioners said.

Abad withholds comment

In a text message to GMA News Online, Abad said he has not yet received a copy of the suit, but maintained that his office elevated the matter to the DOJ without any intention to withhold the benefits of the PAO retirees but because of the conflicting interpretations on the implementation of the NAPROSS Law.

"It's hard to comment as I have not seen a copy of the suit filed. We referred this case to the DOJ for their legal opinion because of conflicting interpretations of the provision of the National Prosecution Service Law pertaining to coverage of retirement benefit," Abad said.

Abad said it is now up to the DOJ to decide on the matter.

"If the DOJ tells us that they are covered, we will waste no time in paying their retirement benefits. But if we pay them now and the DOJ subsequently tells us that they are not entitled, do you think it will be easy to recover what has been paid out?" Abad said.

"The wording of the [NAPROSS] Law says that the benefits are 'exclusive' to those in the National Prosecution Service. The PAO retirees say otherwise. Wanting to get an authoritative position, the DBM referred the case to the DOJ," he added. — VVP/KBK, GMA News

- See more at:

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Filing for individual bankruptcy under RA 10142 or the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act or FRIA | Inquirer Business - by Efren Ll. Cruz, Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines

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Question: In other countries, particularly the United States, there are bankruptcy laws pertaining to individuals. Is there such a law in the Philippines? – asked at “Ask a friend, ask Efren” free service available at and Facebook.

Answer: There is such a law in the Philippines and it is called the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act or FRIA.

Republic Act No. 10142 is a law providing for the rehabilitation or liquidation of financially distressed enterprises and individuals.

Let us focus on the provisions of the law for individuals.

Chapter VI of FRIA talks in particular about the insolvency of individual debtors.

FRIA presents three scenarios on dealing with the insolvency, namely: suspension of payments; voluntary liquidation and involuntary liquidation.

Under suspension of payments, an individual debtor may file a (verified) petition that he be declared in the state of suspension of payments by the court of the province or city in which he was a resident for six months prior to the filing.

The minimum evidence to be presented would be: (a) a schedule of debts and liabilities; (b) an inventory of assets; and (c) a proposed agreement with his creditors.

The evidence must show that the individual debtor has sufficient assets to cover all of his debts but not the capacity to meeting the payment of his obligations when they fall due.

The evidence needed for suspension of payments underscores the importance of tracking one’s personal finances through the generation of at least yearly balance sheets and income statements.

Combined with the use of financial ratios, an individual can easily say whether trouble is brewing on the horizon or if financial goals are being met.

Back to suspension of payments, if the court finds merit in the petition filed, it will issue an order calling for a meeting of all creditors named in the schedule of debts and liabilities not less than fifteen days and not more than forty days from the date of the order.

In addition, the court may issue an order suspending any pending execution against the individual debtor except in situations where the properties are held as security by secured creditors.

This suspension of pending execution will lapse when three months have passed without the proposed agreement being accepted by the creditors or as soon as the proposed agreement is denied by the court.

The presence of creditors holding claims amounting to at least three-fifths or sixty percent of the liabilities of the individual debtor is necessary for holding a creditors’ meeting.

The proposed agreement with creditors will be approved if: (a) two-thirds of the creditors voting agree to the proposition; and (b) the claims represented those voting in favor of the proposed agreement amount to at least three-fifths of the total liabilities of the individual debtor.

On the voluntary liquidation, if an individual has insufficient assets to cover his liabilities, which are in excess of five hundred thousand Pesos, he may apply to be discharged from his debts and liabilities by filing a (verified) petition with the court of the province or city in which he was a resident for six months prior to the filing.

The pieces of evidence needed are his schedule of debts and liabilities and inventory of assets. If the court finds merit in the petition, it will issue a liquidation order.

Among others, the liquidation order involves the liquidation of the properties of the individual debtor with the sheriff taking possession and control of all the properties of the individual debtor, except those that may be exempt from execution.

Under involuntary liquidation, any creditor or group of creditors with a claim or claims totaling at least P500,000 may file a (verified) petition for the liquidation of the individual debtor with the court of the province or city in which the individual debtor resides.

Among the allegations to be stated in this petition for involuntary liquidation are that the individual debtor is a flight risk and/or intends to defraud his creditors through various means.

If the court finds merit in the petition for involuntary liquidation, it will issue a liquidation order.

They say the devil is in the details. That is why I advise that you study well the entire law including its implementing rules and regulations or get a lawyer to help you sort things out.

So far we have discussed solving bankruptcy in court or under the law of man.

The best strategy is really to solve bankruptcy under the law of God. Matthew 5:25-26 states: “Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. In truth I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.”

If you want to know more about solving debt problems especially when debt collectors are already on your heels or if you want to help somebody in that predicament, check out our advocacy at EnRich™ Getting Out of Debt or GOOD program at

(Efren Ll. Cruz is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines, personal finance coach, seasoned investment adviser and bestselling author. Questions about the article may be sent by SMS to 0917-505-0709 or emailed to To learn more about value investing strategies, attend the 8th Accredited Financial Analyst program on June 4-July 9. For more details, inquire at or text <name><email><AFA> at 0917-9689774.)

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Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA); tax exemption of up to P150,000 for balikbayan boxes

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OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) got a parting gift from President Aquino on Tuesday---a tax exemption of up to P150,000 for their balikbayan boxes---those packages of happiness sent to loved ones back home.
A month before stepping down at the end of his term, Mr. Aquino signed the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The law increases the tax exemption ceiling for gift packages from OFWs  from P10,000 to P150,000, provided the items are not of commercial quantities.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara thanked the President for signing the measure---long pending in Congress until Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina sparked public outrage when he directed in August last year that the balikbayan boxes be subjected to stringent scrutiny in a purported move to crack down on smuggling.
The backlash prompted lawmakers to pass the bill posthaste.
Given the higher tax-exemption ceiling, there would also be fewer opportunities for corruption or extortion activities in the handling of the balikbayan boxes, said Angara, one of the authors of the bill.
"They can bring home more things to their families. This would bring comfort to their families because they could send home items that they were able to buy at a lower price abroad," Angara told reporters.
"With the increase in the values, we lessen the discretion of the customs officials to inspect goods and collect taxes, thus minimizing cases of corruption and smuggling," he said.
"Let us not punish the OFWs by imposing higher taxes and by supposedly rifling through and stealing the items in balikbayan boxes," he said.
Tax exemption
The law also provides that Filipinos who have stayed in a foreign country for at least 10 years and are returning to the Philippines will be granted tax exemption for personal and household effects not exceeding P350,000 that they will be bringing with them when they go back to the country.
Those who have lived abroad for at least five years, on the other hand, will be entitled to tax and duty free personal and household effects amounting to P250,000. Those who have stayed abroad for less than five years can enjoy a P150,000 tax-free ceiling.
The law requires online customs processing of exports and imports to speed up transactions as well as make them more transparent. The law likewise slaps heftier penalties against violators.
The minimum cost of goods required to undergo formal customs processing has been raised from P10 to P10,000.
This would be beneficial to entrepreneurs who want to send product samples to customers abroad, as they would not be taxed as long as the value of the items is below P10,000, said Angara. "It will facilitate commerce and help small and medium businessmen," he said.
Drop in the bucket
He also said the law sought to ensure that the tax exemption ceilings would be updated regularly, as it provided for automatic indexation of the amounts every three years to account for inflation.
In directing close scrutiny of the OFW gifts last year, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said that the government was losing P50 million a month, or P600 million a year, from tax collections due from 1,000 containers that arrived each month in Philippine ports.
Lawmakers noted that this was just a drop in the bucket compared with the $20 million to $24 million worth of smuggled goods a year based on the disparity between the official data of exports to the country against recorded imports.
"It's a small piece of happiness for our hardworking OFWs," said Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan, who noted that huge containers and luxury cars "glide like invisible phantoms under the noses" of customs people.
OFWs, who number 2.5 million at any given time in a year, prop up the Philippine economy. Last year, their remittances totaled $29.7 billion. That was why the Lina directive last year generated so much indignation.
An Inquirer survey in 2014 showed that the top 10 items Filipinos get through balikbayan boxes were chocolates and candies, clothes, shoes, food and canned goods, toiletries, bags, toys, watches, appliances and gadgets.
Nonintrusive inspection
Angara said balikbayan boxes could still be opened, but customs officials now had less discretion as there would be higher tax exemptions for the goods brought in.
He said he hoped that computerization and better equipment could also lead to the faster release of the items to their consignees.
The law states that the BOC may adopt non-intrusive examination of goods, such as through the use of X-ray machines.
But it could still conduct physical examination of goods in certain conditions.
"The CMTA aims to overhaul and modernize the bureau which has long been perceived as one of the most corrupt and underperforming government agencies in the country," Angara said, noting that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to dismantle the customs bureau.
Another milestone
"President Aquino signing CMTA into law has set the BOC on an even faster pace of reform. Embracing technology and updating regulatory frameworks reduces opportunities for corruption and streamlines client experience with the BOC," Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said in a statement.
"Better institutions deliver better outcomes. We look forward to a stronger, more efficient BOC aiding our bid for trade liberalization and competitiveness," Purisima said.
The signing of the CMTA into law is "truly another milestone for his administration and the continuing reforms we continue to institutionalize in the bureau," said Commissioner Lina. With a report from Ben O. de Vera
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Anti-catcalling ordinance; Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

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In QC, wolf whistles can land you in jail

FINALLY, here's proof that women do not appreciate being subjected to catcalls, wolf whistles and other gestures meant to extoll their looks from men on the streets, and in fact find them threatening and demeaning.
Such acts---long considered by most men as public expressions of interest and admiration for women---are now considered crimes with corresponding fines and a possible jail term for offenders in Quezon City.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has signed into law the city's amended gender and development code, also known as the anti-catcalling ordinance, which imposes a fine and jail term for acts considered as sexual harassment of women in public spaces.
The law made Quezon City the first local government in the country to penalize the street-level harassment of women.
"The primary objective is to change the cultural mindset of males toward females. Women are not sex objects. This is to empower women at the same time," Bautista said of the law that would "supplement other national laws that protect the interest of women."
Among those laws is the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 that criminalizes unwanted sexual attention and conditional sexual favors from persons of authority in the workplace, training venues and educational institutions.
The anti-catcalling ordinance introduced by QC Councilor Lena Marie Juico was approved by the City Council on March 7 and signed into law by Bautista on May 16.
Under the measure, light violations, such as cursing, catcalling, repeatedly asking the subject for a date or her contact number, or taunting a woman with constant talk about sex, are punishable with a fine of from P1,000 to P5,000 or a jail term of up to one month.
Stalking, making offensive mouth, hand or body gestures with the intention to demean or threaten a woman are considered medium violations with the same range of penalties.
Severe violations carry a fine of P3,000 to P5,000 or a jail term of from one month to one year.
These include unnecessary touching, pinching or brushing against the subject's body; public masturbation or lascivious exhibition directed at a woman, and inserting any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth of any person whether of the same or opposite sex.
Bautista said the penalties were the maximum allowed under the Local Government Code.
Women offended by the cited violations may file a complaint in the women's desk that are now part of police precincts. The amendments to Quezon City's gender and development code were introduced after a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which chose Quezon City as one of the pilot areas for its Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Initiative.
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