Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
What's in a name?
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
I am appalled.
I am no fan of politicians. It is always so hard to decipher their actions knowing that majority of the decisions they make are targeted at preserving their votes in the future.
I am no fan of this current President of the Philippines. Imagine my kid asking me what P***** I** means. I answered that it was a bad word that is inappropriate for kids. And when I asked where he last heard it, he said, "President Duterte." How can I justify not using the word because it's bad only for him to hear it no less from the President himself. I have learned to accept the fact that whatever he says would be interpreted correctly by the media, then his minions would later on come up with their own interpretations just to prove that their President meant something else and the media got it all wrong. Despite this, I believed that he should still be given a chance to prove his detractors, me included, wrong. Heck, I even tried to apply for work in a Presidential office just to understand his philosophy and attitude.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Re: Letter of Tony Q. Valenciano, Holding of Religious Rituals at the Hall of Justice Building in Quezon City
Facts: Valenciano wrote several letters to former Chief Justice Renato S. Puno, complaining about the holding of masses during lunch break at the basement of the Quezon City Hall of Justice. He claimed that the religious icons placed there, the electric organ and other items related to the celebration of masses therein violated the separation of the constitutional provision on the separation of the Church and State. He also claimed, among others, that the choir rehearsals disturbed the other employees and that the other employees could no longer attend to their personal necessities as they cannot go to the lavatories which are located near the basement.
Issue: Whether there was a violation of the constitutional provision on the separation of the Church and State with the holding of masses during lunch break at the basement of the Quezon City Hall of Justice.
Held: There was no violation.
The present controversy did not involve a national or local law in conflict with the Free Exercise Clause. Valenciano was merely questioning the propriety of holding religious masses at the basement of the QC Hall of Justice.
By allowing the holding of masses, the Court could not be said to have established Roman Catholicism as an official religion or to have endorsed the same. It also allowed other religious denominations to practice their religion within the courthouses.
Thus, the holding of religious rituals at the Halls of Justice does not amount to a union of Church and State. While the Church and State are separate, the latter still recognizes the inherent right of the people to have some form of belief system. Such is enshrined in our Constitution.
Besides, allowing religion to flourish is not contrary to the principle of separation of Church and State.
In order to give life to the constitutional right of freedom of religion, the State adopts a policy of accommodation - a recognition of the reality that some governmental measures may not be imposed on a certain portion of the population for the reason that these measures are contrary to their religious beliefs. As long as it can be shown that the exercise of the right does not impair the public welfare, the attempt of the State to regulate or prohibit such right would be an unconstitutional encroachment.
There is in this case, merely an accommodation.
First, there is no law, ordinance or circular issued by any duly constitutive authorities expresslly mandating that judicial employees attend the mass.
Second, when judiciary employees attend the masses to profess their faith, it is at their own initiative and on their own free will.
Third, no government funds are being spent because the lighting and airconditioning continue to be operational even if there are no religious rituals being observed.
Fourth, the basement has neither been converted into a Roman Catholic Chapel not has it been permanently appropriated for the exclusive use of the faithful.
Fifth, the allowance of religious masses has not prejudiced other religions.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Long time, no post! To start off the year with good news, Pres. P-noy has signed the Executive Order implementing the increase of the salary of government workers, in response to the deadlock on the Salary Standardization Law in the Congress. So while the legislators are busy campaigning, the President signed this EO since anyway, the increase for the year is already included in the budget.
Here's DBM Secretary Abad's message on the salary increase:
We are happy to announce that the President has signed the DBM-proposed Executive Order modifying the salary schedule and authorizing the grant of additional benefits for both civilian and military and uniformed personnel (MUP).
We commend the President for his swift and decisive action in response to the congressional deadlock on the issue of the indexation of MUP pension, which resulted in the non-passage of the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015 (SSL 2015).
This action by the President leverages the benefits package in order to increase the take-home pay of government employees as stipulated in the proposed SSL bills.
The Executive Order effects compensation adjustments for this year as an interim measure to implement Tranche 1 of the proposed SSL, the full year requirement for which has already been provided in the National budget.
For civilian government personnel, the EO effects the adoption of the same proposals in House Bill 6268 and Senate Bill 2671 for salary increase, the grant of the mid-year bonus equivalent to one month's basic salary, and the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) at P5,000.
GOCCs not covered by the Governance Commission for GOCCs may implement the aforementioned compensation adjustments charged to their corporate funds.
LGUS may also implement the compensation adjustments subject to the Personnel Services limitation under the law.
For MUP, the EO effects the increase of Hazard Pay, and the grant of a substantial Provisional Allowance and an Officers' Allowance in lieu of Base Pay increase. These two new allowances will approximate the remuneration has Base Pay been increased.
The amounts of these allowances are also based on the proposed increases in Base Pay under SSL 2015 bill. This is an interim measure until such time that a pension reform measure is passed in Congress that will mitigate the impact of pension indexation.
The implementation of these compensation adjustments provided in the EO shall be effective January 1, 2016 with respect to all civilian and MUP personnel. With respect to regular members of the Cabinet, the effectivity is on July 1, 2016. For the President, Vice-President, and Members of Congress, the compensation adjustments shall take effect only after the expiration of the respective terms of the incumbents.
We trust that Congress will pass the SSL when it resumes so that the proposed compensation adjustments to be implemented in four tranches over four years will be permanent. With its passage, we will be able to achieve the desired outcome of the of the proposed SSL, which is to bring the compensation of all government workers to at least 70 percent of the market rate.
Source: Official Gazette
For some people, this may appear to be a campaign propaganda of the current administration. I think it is, but it doesn't mean that government employees and their families will vote for P-noy's candidate just because of this increase. I think government employees have their own standards for their chosen candidates and are capable of voting wisely on their own.
I have reservations regarding the amount of the increase though. I was hoping that those in the lower salary grade were given a higher rate of increase. It should not have been based on the percentage of a salary, but a fixed amount to allow everybody to enjoy the same increase. BUT, I believe the purpose of the SSL is to put the salaries of the top managers/officials of the government at par with the salaries of those of equivalent rank in the private sector, hence, the variance in the increase between the rank and files and the bosses.
Still, I will accept the blessing. Thanks, Mr. President!
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
It was a long and arduous task, but you made it!
I especially congratulate Atty. Mark Orline S. Buena - a former student in college sometime in 2004.
Many years ago, when someone asked if all the tears and hardwork during law school were worth it when I became a lawyer. I would immediately say, it's not worth it. At that time, I was working for someone whom I felt looked down on the judiciary - totally contrary to my own views and training.
Now, if someone asks me that question, I would say, "Yes, it was worth it!" without hesitation. You see, if I had not gone to law school, I would not be allowed to teach in college, I would not have met my students (Marian Rivera included), I would not have met Mark.
As early as five years old, I wanted to be a teacher (or a singer). I convinced myself to take up law in college, though I had fleeting thoughts of it in high school. Being waitlisted in the Public Health Program made me decide to take up Political Science. I just wanted to be a teacher and law school made that dream come true.
I remember about four years ago, during our last meeting in an international law class with students taking up Development Studies, the students gave me a choice- leave the room or close my eyes while they do something. I didn't want to stand up, so I closed my eyes. When they let me open it, they had a candle, and what was written on the board was the lyrics of "Thank you" and the whole class sang it to me. I am not really sure which version they sang - Nat King Cole's or Tyler Collins. But it was enough to bring tears to my eyes. It might have been a love song, but the words "thank you" really hit the mark. I have never been thanked like that before in my work as a lawyer.
This morning, I congratulated Mark. You know, after all these years, he kept in touch, an occasional "hi" or "hello" or "how are you" on Yahoo Messenger. And I appreciated it very much. What brought me tears was when I left him a message this morning when the results came out. He was offline, but I still typed "congrats panero!"
His reply really made me feel warm inside.
Who wouldn't be touched by something like that!
To you Mark, you are one of those rare people whose feet never left the ground while reaching for the stars. I am so blessed to have met you and thank you so much for affirming my love for teaching. Congratulations Atty. Mark!
Again, is all the hard work worth it? Yes, because if I hadn't studied law, I wouldn't be in this place right now, happy, loved and appreciated.
To all my good friends who were unsuccessful, I don't know what to say to shoo away the bad feeling, but I hope it is enough to say that I know how it feels, trust me.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
G.R. No. 172537
August 14, 2009
Facts: Petitioner Jethro Intelligence and Security Corporation (Jethro) is a security service contractor with a security service contract agreement with co-petitioner Yakult Phils., Inc. (Yakult). The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Regional Office No. IV conducted an inspection at Yakult’s premises in Calamba, Laguna in the course of which several labor standards violations were noted, including keeping of payrolls and daily time records in the main office, underpayment of wages, overtime pay and other benefits, and non-registration with the DOLE as required under Department Order No. 18-02.
The DOLE Regional Director, noting petitioners’ failure to rectify the violations noted during the above-stated inspection within the period given for the purpose, found them jointly and severally liable to herein respondents for the aggregate amount of EIGHT HUNDRED NINE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED TEN AND 16/100 PESOS (P809,210.16) representing their wage differentials, regular holiday pay, special day premium pay, 13th month pay, overtime pay, service incentive leave pay, night shift differential premium and rest day premium. Petitioners were also ordered to submit proof of payment to the claimants within ten calendar days, failing which the entire award would be doubled, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8188, and the corresponding writs of execution and garnishment would be issued.
Issue: W/N certiorari should be granted (w/n there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the SOLE and W/N the writs of execution and garnishment subsequently issued were not in order since Petitioners have filed the required bond equivalent to the judgment award, and the Regional Director’s Order was not served on their counsel of record.
Ruling: The petition is bereft of merit.
In the case at bar, the Secretary of Labor correctly assumed jurisdiction over the case as it does not come under the exception clause in Art. 128(b) of the Labor Code. While petitioner Jethro appealed the inspection results and there is a need to examine evidentiary matters to resolve the issues raised, the payrolls presented by it were considered in the ordinary course of inspection. While the employment records of the employees could not be expected to be found in Yakult’s premises in Calamba, as Jethro’s offices are in
Monday, March 9, 2015
When I was still waiting for the bar exam results one of my concerns was, "Kapag naging abogado na ako, pano na ako maliligo sa ulan?"Every year, during rainy season, the child in me would always find that perfect opportunity to bathe in the rain, on the street. Nakakahiya kapag abogado na ako!
Now, earning my "atty." didn't prevent me from indulging in that one stupid yet extremely fun activity. I couldn't care less what my neighbors think when they see me outside the house, in the garden, dripping wet and having the time of my life.
And what's more fun, I found a husband who loves bathing in the rain too. And now we have a child with us whenever we dance/play in the rain :)
Going back to those examinees, I wish you lots of luck. Remember, even if you earn your "atty." never forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It's only a title. What you do with your life after you have earned the title is what matters most.
AC No. 7973 and 10457
February 3, 2015
Garcia filed a complaint for disbarment against Sesbreño, claiming that the latter still practices law despite being convicted of homicide in Criminal Case CBU-31733, and despite being on parole and not having fully served his sentence.
Sesbreño argues that his sentence was commuted and the phrase "with the inherent accessory penalty provided by law" was deleted. He also claims that homicide does not involve moral turpitude. He claims that the complaint was purely motivated by bad faith and malice.
According to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines- Committee on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD), the RTC found Sesbreño guilty of murder and was sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua. The Supreme Court (SC) downgraded the crime to homicide and he was sentenced to serve imprisonment of 9 years and 1 day as minimum period and 16 years and 4 months imprisonment as maximum period. It held that homicide may or may not involve moral turpitude to be a ground for dismissal, depending on the circumstances of the crime. It also reviewed the ruling of the SC and found that the circumstances leading to the death of the victim in the criminal case involved moral turpitude.
The IBP-CBD quoted the SC:
"Respondent acted like a god who deserved not to be slighted by a couple of drunks who might have shattered the stillness of the early morning with their boisterous antics...Respondent was not only vindictive without a cause; he was cruel with a misplaced sense of superiority."
Issue: Is moral turpitude involved in a conviction for homicide?
Ruling: Sec. 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states that a member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended as attorney of the Court by reason of his conviction of a crime against moral turpitude. Moral turpitude is an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private duties which a man owes to his fellow men or to society, in general, contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals.
Sesbreño was found to have just indiscriminately fired against the victims, Without being provoked, he fired at them. The SC rejected his argument that the commutation given by the President of the Philippines restored his civil and political rights. There was no mention that the executive clemency was absolute and conditional and restored Sesbreño to his full civil and political rights,
The penalty for Sesbreño's crime was never wiped out. Commutation is a mere reduction of penalty. It only partially extinguished criminal liability.
The SC repeated that the practice of law is not a right, but a privilege. It is granted only to those possessing good moral character. A violation of the high moral standards of the legal profession justifies the imposition of the appropriate penalty against a lawyer, including the penalty of disbarment.
Sesbreño was ordered DISBARRED.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The Memorandum Order specifies the benefits that are subject to withholding tax, namely:
The tax rate shall depend on which bracket the income of an employee falls on.
So there, it's as if we're working our as**s off for the government just so the latter can tax us. Sheesh!
If you want to see the entire contents of this BIR Memo, click here.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
May 4, 2006
FACTS: Respondent Atty. Carmelita Bautista-Lozada was formerly found guilty of violating Rules 15.03 and 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and of willfully disobeying a final and executory decision of the Court of Appeals. She was suspended from the practice of law for two years.
ISSUES: a. Whether or not the administrative complaint is barred by prescription?
b. Whether or not Rule VIII, Section 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the CBD-IBP is valid?
Moreover, assuming that prescription is a valid defense, respondent raised it only at this late stage. We presume she was familiar with that rule yet she failed to invoke it at the earliest opportunity. Instead she opted to insist on her innocence.
Rule VIII, Section 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is hereby declared null and void.
Monday, March 17, 2014
About 5,593 bar applicants were supposed to take the exams. But I've heard of two (2) examinees who were never allowed to complete the four (4) exam days because of... hmmm... let's just say, katigasan ng ulo.
Anyways, to my friends who are waiting for the results this afternoon, good luck, God bless you.
If you pass, then welcome, mga panyero at panyera. Please don't forget to uphold the profession and that it is a noble one, albeit, controversial because of some rotten tomatoes.
If you don't, wala nang five flunk rule ngayon, kaya try and try and try and try lang!!!
Monday, August 26, 2013
|Papasok ka pa ba? |
Photo credit: http://quierosaber.wordpress.com
|If you need to have your house or any part of it that was destroyed by Maring, |
then by all means, take a leave and do it.
Photo credit: www.abc.net.au