Wednesday, August 31, 2005
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Transition Complete

*Taken with a Canon Powershot A300

Finally, I got my Korg X5D synthesizer working on my beautiful iMac G5... Had to turn to the net for help. Since the Korg X5D was an "old" synthesizer, it does not have a USB port. So I had to secure a Yamaha UX-16 USB to Midi cable that likewise cost a pretty penny...

The fact that I got my wires crossed (both literally and figuratively) did not help me any these past days. Apparently, you put the Midi In plug to the Midi Out socket and the Midi Out plug to the Midi In socket in the synth. I though it was in to in and out to out... I was so used to having only one plug (a proprietary PC to Host Port) to contend with when it was then connected to a PC.


To test the set-up, I always use "Bizaare Love Triangle" MIDI file since it tests al 16 Midi tracks. Plus, it sounds impressive...

Like Homer Simpson, I was shouting "D'oh!"

With the final issue out of the way, my transition to the world of Apple is complete. Though I still have to use my laptop while away and maintain my (now old) Duron 850 because my father would still use it and I still have files there that I need. Also, I would still use the laptop as a sequencer when I take the X5D to church...

Wish me and my iMac luck.

Blog Lecture No. 40: Modus Operandi

With the allegations of a grand conspiracy to manipulate the impeachment proceedings, this lecture may be appropriate. But short.


What is the rule on past actions as evidence?

Section 34, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Evidence states:

Sec. 34 Similar acts as evidence. — Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did or did not do the same or similar thing at another time; but it may be received to prove a specific intent or knowledge; identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like.

So as a general rule past actions cannot be used to prove present actions.

That is logical. Just because you did (or did not do) something in the past does not necessarily mean you did (or did not do) something again.

Couple with additional evidence, however, of:

1. Specific intent or knowlege
2. Identity (signature trait as in serial crimes)
3. Plan (independent of the acts)
4. Scheme
5. Habit
6. Custom or usage
7. Similar matters

The past action may be admissible to prove present action because it just accentuates something being done (or not done) with a sense of regularity or habituality.

Any questions?

Blog Lecture No. 39: Verification

Let's get straight to the point, shall we?

When is something verified?

According to Section 4, Rule 7 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure:

A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations therein are true and correct of his knowledge and belief.

A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification based on "information and belief," or upon "knowledge, information and belief," or lacks a proper verification, shall be treated as an unsigned pleading.

When is it not?

When there is only what they call a Jurat. You know that. It goes a little bit like this:

"Subscribed and sworn to before me on _________, affiant showing to me his Community Tax Certificate No. ________, issued at ________ on __________."

Which is common in notarized affidavits.

A verification (though also in affidavit form but separate and distinct from the main body or complaint) should look like this:

"I, ___________, of legal age, Filipino and residing at ___________, after being duly sworn to according to law, hereby depose and say:

1. I have read this Impeachment Complaint and/or caused it to be prepared.

2. The facts therein are true and correct to my own knowledge and belief."

then followed by the Jurat.

What about this thing called a "virtual acknowledgement" where being a lawyer makes anything he executes such?

"Virtual" does not mean "actual" so the answer is "virtually wrong..." or he is "virtually dreaming."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
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Turned on the Anti-Spam

I beg your kind indulgence but I turned the new (or is it recently discovered only?) anti-spam feature of Blogspot. I think all of you in Blogspot should do the same.

So those who are fond on commenting on my blog, "I am sorry" for the additional inconvenience. I just don't want to start my day erasing around 23 spam comments from one or more of my entries...

But please don't let that stop you from speaking out. I welcome all your remarks.

Administration Blogger's Change of Title

Just noticed recently that the administration blogger (or bloggers) changed their blospot from "Rational View" to the "Rational Shpere." (again no link my friends, just look for it and exercise your internet research skills than rely on me to spoonfeed it to you...)

Took me a few seconds to figure out why.

Rather than present its view as "rational," they intend to use reason to run us into circles? Or run rings around us?

Just guessing...

Me and my iMac will be so happy together... (haven't decided on a name for it yet, but I don't usually name my computers. I just refer to them by their processors)

Cat out of the bag...

Thank God for people like Congressman Rodolfo Bacani for still having a conscience.

Of course GMA has each and every right to kill the impeachment complaint, when she feels it is technically infirm.

The problem is, impeachment, as we have pointed out, is both a political and a legal process. Yes they can all go through killing the process with all the technicalities it can find. But I agree with Senator Rene Saguisag (for a change) when he said whatever the process will be, there must be not merely a sense, but actual credibility in the entire process. This simply means, if GMA will be acquitted, she will be acquitted on the merits.

What does this mean? This means the darn thing must go to trial. A painful process, but so be it.

If the Administration congressmen kill the impeachment complaint today, the thing still goes to the plenary (see my blog lecture on this here). With this, the opposition still has two options:

1. Muster the 79 (deadline: before or during plenary)
2. Go to the Supreme Court (but ask for a temporary restraining order/preliminary injuction)

I suggest the opposition simply goes for its 79. For the administration, I suggest they at least let the thing go to trial, for I cannot predict the public's reaction if they kill the impeachment on a technicality.

Writing/calling/texting to your congressman won't help either. They don't have a sense of accountability anymore since they feel they don't owe us a thing. They paid for our votes, remember.

Monday, August 29, 2005
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Finally...

Got my hands on an iMac G5. Thanks to all the people who made it possible. This would be a good diet tool because I would not eat because of it.

I'm exhausted from all that installation(s) I made today. Had to move my Pentium II-350 to my office, my trusty Duron 850 to my father's room and the iMac in the living room (because it could pass for furniture... it's that beautiful...

Only the laptops stay where they are...even the one still on probation (though I had the skin changed to the Microsoft Longhorn [aka Vista])

Just a few issues left, though, such as the user profiles keep on piling up and the installation of my synthesizer, which could wait until later. I'm in no hurry.

May my relationship with it last more than my marriage...

Admiviews bashing

Thank you, thank you!

That's all I can say to the so-called "Administration" for finally putting up a blog of their own. I'll let you google it up because I really don't want to link it here. (Hint: Hunt it down from MLQ3's blog...)

Now, everything is in black and white and we bloggers can now just bash away at will.

Of course, we (or I in particular) will always be fair. Praise in the right places. Bash in the wrong ones (or is it the other way around...). And of course, I will do it in MY BLOG, where I can do (or say) what I please....

Let me start with just some quickies...

"It's the economy, stupid!" by Sec. Rigoberto Tiglao

WRONG! It's the Filipino people's tummy, idiot! (am not referring to Sec. Tiglao, let me make that clear... for libel purposes, of course)

Alternate bash: How would you like your economic numbers, sir? Fried, steamed, roasted, or any other way? No, I will not ask if you want fries with that since you can't afford that, too...

"Who won the elections?" by Sec. Ricardo Saludo

Thanks to all the legal maneuverings employed and continue to be employed on the Filipino people, we will never know, won't we?

Besides, it's very characteristic for people to cite surveys when they are favorable and shun them when they are not. This entry is a prime example of that.

To cite as proof the GMA won, they cite SWS and Pulse Asia, the same survey firms that now say people want her out. Now, SWS and Pulse Asia are being attacked as non-representative of the people's opinions. Reconcile that!

Again, I like to thank them for they will provide endless material for us...

Sunday, August 28, 2005
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Pre-Week is upon you...

To the bar reviewees, this is it. All those additional four years of law school and six months of review has come to the events of the four weeks ahead. To those who have been there before but failed, you know what I will be talking about.

For those who are completely off the loop, the frenzy of activities leading up to those fateful Sundays of bar exams is called the pre-week. We have here your pre-week review classes, your school bar operations, your Saturday night school ceremonies, etc. All the hoopla revolves around the bar examinee, and all activities center on assisting him/her in any way possible.

In our case, we started with the seemingly useless pre-week review, which a lot of my companions chose to skip in favor of further review.

But a tip. Don't skip pre-week review, though it seems one more the same bar review you're probably sick and tired of already.

Why? This is where the reviewer focusses on particular topics he/she feels will come out in the exams. In short, this is a rich source of BAR TIPS. So fight the urge to skip these sessions.

Then, we have our Saturday night ceremonies. In my school, this starts with an anticipated mass @ 5:00 p.m.

Ironic in my case, though. Through my law school years, I have played for our upperclassmen's mass. When my turn came, I was still playing, when I shouldn't be. They could not find a replacement for me at that time, I think...

Immediately after the mass, the crowd breaks in to cheering. Yes, cheering (UAAP style). In out case, you hear "BLUE EAGLE SPELLING," etc. all over again...

Then the reviewees break off and make their arrangements to ensure they arrive at the venue on time. For some people, especially fratmen/sorrority women, they billet themselves in some cheap hotel in Manila so they can easily access Taft.

With some degree of certainty, the "Alay Lakad" (literally "walk-offering," a yearly walkathon event for charity) always runs smack into one of these bar Sundays so there would be a huge traffic to hinder going to DLSU (where the Bar Exams are held since my time).

Through that night, this thing called "Bar Operations" gets into gear, where law professors and student-volunteers produce "bar tips" for their reviewees. Bear in mind, though, that these tips are educated guesses on what will come out in the bar. Sometimes they hit. Sometimes they miss. But ours have a reputation of helping the reviewer a lot.

There is, or there should be, no perfect "bar tips" because that would be called a "leakage" instead.

For the reviewees, I suggest you just try to sleep during the night before the exam. You are going to need all the energy you have during the next day. Besides, you cannot possibly cram all you have reviewed into that one night, anyway so why bother? Just rest so you can read your tips refreshed in the morning.

I will blog about my bar experiences next Saturday. But for now, to the bar reviewees, good luck and have a good pre-week. I heard there will be multiple choice questions this year...

Later...

Saturday, August 27, 2005
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Again for some personal news...

Well, had dinner, halo-halo and coffee with a very good friend yesterday. I picked her up from her house at around 5:30 p.m. and I was surprised how time flew. It always does that in the company of good friends, don't you think?

For a change, the topic was not about me or my problems. It was more about hers. And politics and/or work were completely out of the conversation.

It was a welcome break. I'm already growing weary of telling what happened to me the past three years over and over again... Sometimes, I wish I could just say to them, "Just read my blog..." without sounding like a plug...

Anyway, what was supposed to be another day to take my kids out turned out with a twist. Bea has a sore throat so I have to bring her first to the doctor this morning then go out. But not too much. The bad news about that is she could not attend her friends 7th birthday party.

Nico's doing fine. He's "improving" everyday. I don't know which direction, though...

Of course, it's choir day for me later so I'm likewise fine...

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2005
This day in history from:

Over at lunch yesterday...

After an almost useless meeting with a client yesterday (for that, client will be punished when they get the bill), my two lawyer friends and I were discussing things over lunch at the Podium.

Of course, being lawyers, apart from the speculations on the just-concluded meeting, the topic drifted to politics... and the continuing debate on the rules on impeachment.

It couldn't be avoided. I used to work for the present lead impeachment congressman, also an ex-ES, who is, IMHO, one of the best minds in the country today. My friend used to work for Congressman "Prejudicial Questions." As for my other friend, he is the son of the recently-deceased ex-Congressman, ex-Senator... who was the best president we never had.


But a valid point was raised by one of them. He said, "Why nitpick on the rules? Why go to the Rules of Court and the Rules on Evidence?"

He was right. Whose rules do those serve? That's for the judiciary to govern its own state of affairs. And to use them to serve the legislative branch of this government degrades the entire legislative system in the process. It's like fitting the proverbial square peg into a round hole.

In the final analysis, if the Legislative Branch has a problem with its rules, they better solve it among themselves. There is really no need to tackle technicalities with the rules that were made for another branch of government.

It's so simple. The Legislative branch should not let the Judiciary branch tell it what to do in the same way the Judiciary jealously guards its rules from the clutches of Legislative branch.

And besides, even if some people shall bring such issues to the Supreme Court (which admittedly has the jurisdiction to rule on these matters), Congress could just ignore them (which there were prepared to do during the Davide impeachment) and create new laws (or even a new constitution) to subvert such judicial rulings.

So I say, the time for debate over inappropriate rules is over. Congress, basically, can do the heck it wants, subject to accountability with its constituency, of course. So just shut up and make the decision already...!

It's amazing what roast duck, a dimsum platter, two orders of yang chow fried rice and bottomless green iced tea could do...high blood pressure sets in...

Thursday, August 25, 2005
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Shudder...

Driving home this morning from taking Bea to school, I heard from the radio that Executive Secretary Ermita stated there will be sufficient legal basis to declare martial law in case of unrest once the impeachment complaint is trashed.

Coming from an ex-general, that is no idle threat. But he just revealed their hand and shows they have already considered this a possibility. Extending that further, I think they have considered this as a possible scenario whether the impeachment complaint pushes through or not.

I was just a baby when the Philippines first experienced martial law. Though the martial law provisions now are significantly watered down, a lot can still happen in the now-limited 60 days. Heck, a lot can happen in just one day of captivity without cause or complaint. A gunshot takes way less than a second... Hence, martial law is still a scary possibility, even if it is theoretical to me...

Hence, I feel a sense of great alarm with this development. But this should not daunt us bloggers. Thanks to the internet, we can publish from virtually anywhere.

And to the bloggers abroad, please do us a favor. Don't loose interest in blogging about this country. It is our only hope if this scenario plays out.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005
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System's up!

Have not gotten sleep since last night. I was up the whole time trying to revive my laptop. It just showed the Apple logo (from Flyakite OSX) then that's basically it. It would not boot...

Unfortunately, I had to employ the ultimate solution: a low-level format that took a very long time and an operating system reinstall. Almost called on the warranty because the hard disk sounded weird during the format, which was also unusually long... I thought there would be bad sectors but fortunately, there were none...

I do hope I don't encounter the same problem if and when I get my hands on a Mac...

Slowly, I'm installing the :essentials" first: Office, Firefox, Media Player 10. But only the bare minimum then because I had an important pleading to write this morning and a full day ahead (even sans sleep)... Have not even reloaded my bookmarks...but I reloaded my templates since I rely on these in my work...

Thank God for back-ups, plus my presence of mind to buy a neck-hung MMC/SD card ultra-portable USB 2.0 reader. I did not go for a flash disk strategy since I had a lot of underutilized memory cards. Of course, this strategy was the most economical.

With one of my 128 MB cards, I was able to pre-save my current client files before all these happened. And I'm so glad I did that days ago. The inactives I still have back-ups but I'm still deciding whether to load them or not...

So now, my laptop's on probation, on light duty, so to speak. Limited to work (I'm still saving on my 128 MMC just in case) and blogging. No DVD/CD burning, Flyakite OSX, Konfabulator and those "performance enhancing" utilities that may have been part of the problem... yet. The contents of my laptop hard disk can still fit into a single DVD-R...

Like crystal glass, trust is easily broken and very difficult to repair. Hence, it may take a while before I trust and rely on my laptop again... the same way I relied upon it for the past 7 months.

I still do not know why my hard disk died. I don't take it out as much anymore so corruption of critical file(s) due to impact is probably out of the question... a power surge, perhaps? Or a virus attack?

One good result of all of these is it's working way quicker now than before the hard disk died. Probably because of all the crap I've put in recently... So I'll probably keep this spartan set-up for now... or bring it to the shop just to be sure...

Will try to stay away from blogging about current events today because we all know where this is all heading...OOOOOPPSSS! Me and my big mouth.

Got to go now and catch some Z's. Apart for that pleading, I even had two meetings and a hearing today...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
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Hard Disk Failure

While I'm trying desparately hard to recover my laptop's hard disk, I'm so angy I could not blog today.

Maybe tomorrow, assuming all's well by then.

Later...

Monday, August 22, 2005
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Blogging on a Mac

So here I am blogging on La Vida Lawyer's Macintosh.

I've had experience on a Mac before. When I used Pagemaker to impress my then ex-girlfriend, who did not know how to use it.

She's still on a Mac now. A G3, I think. As for me, like our destinies, however, we parted ways.

Then I used the PowerMac of my boss. Again, like our destinies, we also parted ways.

Anyway...

The Mac has grown up. And I want one. But how?

Sunday, August 21, 2005
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Nearing hell month for Bar Reviewees...

When I took the bar exams ten years ago (ooopppss... that revealed my age...), I measured how near it was on what Grand Slam tennis tournament it was.

The Philippine Bar Exams is held during (yes, DURING) the US Open. So I planned my study schedule using timelines such as I should finished Taxation at the end of the Australian Open, ended my first reading by the French Open, my second reading by Wimbledon, and just finishing up before the start of the US Open, etc. To each his/her own, as Jill always says...

So, when I saw TV plugs on the US Open this weekend, I knew that September, the hell month, is near.

The bar exams, as I have said before, is not just a mental examination. It's not all brains. It tests your entire person. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. Psychologically. And yes, even Spiritually.

I personally know that for a fact.

My college finals consists of one-hour tests. So did my law school finals, which are supposedly dress rehearsals for the bar...

But imagine doing a whole day, with the morning exams at four hours and the afternoon one at three hours. And believe me, you need all that time to even have hope of finishing...and that's coming from a person who, before and after the bar, finished his exams way ahead of time... (I finished the Career Service Executive Exams, an exam with a higher mortality rate than the bar, an hour and half ahead of schedule... with a hangover... and passed)

Then imagine doing it for four Sundays of September... That's the bar exams.

Some people around me do not know this but I took my last two exams (the final Sunday) with a sprained right wrist. Unfortunately, I was right-handed so the injury was on my writing hand. I was writing in agonizing pain, using a full forearm action since my wrist were immobilized, for the hardest exam we took then.

My agony was so noticeable that the proctor and the supervisor already asked me if I wanted to go to the infirmary. Of course I did not want to because I would loose time... The supervisor just whispered to me to just pray...which I did...

Anyway, good luck to all of those who will be taking it this year. I personally know one or two...

I'll blog some more on the bar exams next month, but first, allow me to give you the links to a series of entries I made when the 2005 Bar Exam results came out... my secrets in passing the bar...


Until then... again good luck...

Just for fun

Just for fun, I took another quiz...


Halo-Halo
Halo-Halo: A medley of beans and fruits mixed with
ice, ice cream, and condensed milk


Which Filipino Food Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla



Take it if you want...

Saturday, August 20, 2005
This day in history from:

August 21 Weekend Reflection

Tomorrow is the 22nd death anniversary of Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.

Some points to ponder this weekend:

1. Is the Filipino still worth dying for? Especially when Filipinos nowadays, even if clearly at fault, still have the temerity to get angry at the one(s) they wronged?

2. Is the Philippines still worth living for? Or has it become a country worth leaving?

Think about it this weekend... and let me know what you think, if you can...

Friday, August 19, 2005
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Blog Lecture No. 38: Search and Seizure

Good morning class! Time again for another blog lecture on a hot topic.

What is the rule on search and seizure, at least insofar as this &@$dam^ country is concerned?

Well, the rule is even enshrined in the 1987 Consitution (Section 2, Article II or otherwise known as the "Bill of Rights") as follows:

SEC. 2. The right of the peole to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

So we need a warrant?

Yes. As the general rule. Law enforcement should apply for one first before effecting a search.

How?

It applies for one in court. The simplified procedure, under Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure is as follows:

1. Application for warrant with a competent court

2. Examination of judge of applicant and witnesses to personally determinine probable cause

3. Issuance of warrant.


The warrant cannot be a "general warrant," meaning, it cannot be a fishing expedition. It must state the suspected offense and only be limited to:

(a) Subject of the offense;
(b) Stolen or embezzled and other proceeds, or fruits of the offense; o
(c) Used or intended to be used as the means of committing an offense.
(Section 2, Rule 126, Rules of Criminal Procedure)
It cannot be issued if there is no suspected offense, like "I have not heard from him in over a month now."

You said there are exemptions. What are they?

Warrantless searches and seizures may be made without a warrant in the following instances:

(1) search incident to a lawful arrest, (Section 13, Rule 126)
(2) search of a moving motor vehicle,
(3) search in violation of custom laws,
(4) seizure of the evidence in plain view,
(5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures,
(6) stop and frisk and
(7) exigent and emergency circumstances.
These instances, however do not dispense with the requisite of probable cause before a warrantless search and seizure can be lawfully conducted. In warrantless search cases, probable cause must only be based on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. (People vs. Melly Sarap, et. al., G.R. No. 132165, 26 March 2003)

What if I'm the landlord and I give my consent, will that cut it?

It will only cut the cheeze...

Of course not! The actual occupant must give consent or waive the right to a warrantless seizure and the landlord cannot do it for him.

As a matter of fact even if there is a warrant, this rule applies:

Sec. 8. Search of house, room, or premises to be made in presence of two witnesses. – No search of a house, room, or any other premises shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the absence of the latter, two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality.
Of course, there may be complications such as the lease contract has expired and the landlord is specifically authorized by it to break open the room or house and holding the personal properties therein for purposes of enforcing payment on the lease. But that's another matter...

What can you do if law enforcement violates these rules?

You can file a lot of charges against them, ranging administrative charges for misconduct, criminal charges for, let say obstruction of justice or even plain robbery or theft, plus, a civil case for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code which says:

Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:

xxx

(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures

xxx

In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and may be proved by a preponderance of evidence.

That's all for now...

A shoutout to MLQ3 on this Quezon Day...

Thursday, August 18, 2005
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Blog Lecture No. 37: Many Happy Election Returns

Time for another blog lecture. Let's delve into election law this time.

What are election returns?

Election returns are official tabulations of the results of an election in a given precinct produced by the board of election inspectors. Let me break that down.

1. Official- because none other than election returns are used in canvassing (briefly, when such returns are combined to produce/proclaim a winner), as opposed to another official copy, called the certificate of votes, is likewise a produced by the board of election inspectors, but not considered during a canvass. But certificates of votes have uses. More on that in another blog.

2.Tabulations- because they contain the total number of votes per candidate in a given election, plus the "taras" (you know this, the one-by-one tabulations that always closes per five votes).

3. Results in a given precinct- because this gives the total number of votes per candidate, as well as other pertinent precinct data, such as total number of registered votes, total voters who casted their votes, total ballots used and total spoiled ballots.

4. Produced by the board of election inspectors (BEI)- because this document is prepared, signed and thumbmaked (authenticated) by the BEI, consisting of the precinct chairman, poll clerk and third member.

According to the Omnibus Election Code:

Sec. 212. Election returns. - The board of election inspectors shall prepare the election returns simultaneously with the counting of the votes in the polling place as prescribed in Section 210 hereof. The return shall be prepared in sextuplicate. The recording of votes shall be made as prescribed in said section. The entry of votes in words and figures for each candidate shall be closed with the signature and the clear imprint of the thumbmark of the right hand of all the members, likewise to be affixed in full view of the public, immediately after the last vote recorded or immediately after the name of the candidate who did not receive any vote.

The returns shall also show the date of the election, the polling place, the barangay and the city of municipality in which it was held, the total number of ballots found in the compartment for valid ballots, the total number of valid ballots withdrawn from the compartment for spoiled ballots because they were erroneously placed therein, the total number of excess ballots, the total number of marked or void ballots, and the total number of votes obtained by each candidate, writing out the said number in words and figures and, at the end thereof, the board of election inspectors shall certify that the contents are correct. The returns shall be accomplished in a single sheet of paper, but if this is not possible, additional sheets may be used which shall be prepared in the same manner as the first sheet and likewise certified by the board of election inspectors.

The Commission shall take steps so that the entries on the first copy of the election returns are clearly reproduced on the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth copies thereof, and for this purpose the Commission shall use a special kind of paper.

Immediately upon the accomplishment of the election returns, each copy thereof shall be sealed in the presence of the watchers and the public, and placed in the proper envelope, which shall likewise be sealed and distributed as herein provided.

Any election return with a separately printed serial number or which bears a different serial number from that assigned to the particular polling place concerned shall not be canvassed. This is to be determined by the board of canvassers prior to its canvassing on the basis of the certification of the provincial, city or municipal treasurer as to the serial number of the election return assigned to the said voting precinct, unless the Commission shall order in writing for its canvassing, stating the reason for the variance in serial numbers.

If the signatures and/or thumbmarks of the members of the board of election inspectors or some of them as required in this provision are missing in the election returns, the board of canvassers may summon the members of the board of election inspectors concerned to complete the returns.


How many copies are prepared?

Six copies (Section 184, Omnibus Election Code). Since the paper is carbonized and thus prepared all at the same time, the election returns are all original copies.

Why so many copies? Where do they go?

According to the Omnibus Election Code, as amended:

Sec. 214. Disposition of election returns. -
    1. In a presidential election: the board of election inspectors shall prepare in handwriting and sign the returns of the election in sextuplicate in their respective polling place in a form to be prescribed by the Commission. One copy shall be deposited in the compartment of the ballot box for valid ballots, and in the case of municipalities two copies including the original copy shall be handed to the municipal election registrar who shall immediately deliver the original copy to the provincial election supervisor and forward the other copy to the Commission, and one copy each to the authorized representatives of the accredited political parties. In the case of the cities, the city registrar shall retain the original copy for submission to the provincial election supervisor, and forward the other copy to the Commission.

    2. In the election for Members of the Batasang Pambansa: the original of the election returns shall be delivered to the election registrar of the city or municipality for transmittal to the chairman of the provincial board of canvassers, and direct to the chairman of the city or district board of canvassers in the urbanized cities and the districts of Metropolitan Manila, as the case may be, for use in the canvass. The second copy shall likewise be delivered to the election registrar for transmittal to the Commission. The third copy shall be deposited in the compartment for valid ballots. The fourth copy shall be delivered to the election registrar who shall use said copy in the tabulation of the advance results of the election in the city or municipality. The fifth and sixth copies shall each respectively be delivered to the members representing political parties represented in the board of election inspectors.

    3. In local elections: the original copy of the election returns shall be delivered to the city or municipal board of canvassers as a body for its use in the city of municipal canvass. The second copy shall be delivered to the election registrar of the city or municipality for transmittal to the provincial board of canvassers as a body for its use in the provincial canvass. The third copy shall likewise be delivered to the election registrar for transmittal to the Commission. The fourth copy shall be deposited in the compartment for valid ballots. The fifth and sixth copies shall each respectively be delivered to the members representing the political parties represented in the board of election inspectors.

So, to simplify, the copies are for:

1. The Ballot Box
2. Municipal Election Registrar
3. Provincial Election Supervisor
4. Commission on Elections
5. and 6. The two Dominant Political Parties


These election return copies are idiot-proof. It clearly indicates in the election returns themselves where it goes. The return itself states, "Copy for the Ballot Box," "Copy for the Municipal Election Registrar," and so on...

How do you determine the two dominant parties?

The Commission on Elections makes that determination by resolution before the conduct of elections.


Why are these election returns important?

Using these, one can prove discrepancies in the certificates of canvass, which are the ones considered by the appropriate canvassing board (for the President, that is Congress). These are the building blocks to prove election inconsistencies and fraud, short of recounting the ballots themselves...

So what can you comment about the election returns seized yesterday?

Just this. If the copies seized from that house in San Mateo are the opposition copies of the election returns, there is nothing wrong with this because they are clearly entitled to these copies. Hence, the ISAFP and the CIDG cannot use this is evidence of any crime and should be promptly returned to them.

If, however, these election returns are those that should not belong to them, like the election returns for the ballot box, them the opposition has a big problem... since someone is holding election returns that were not for them...

And what if they don't?

Try charging them with obstruction of justice.

BREAKTIME!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
This day in history from:

Pastime...

I used to have this pastime before I got into blogging. I used to switch channels between SBN 21 and Net 25 when the two shows of Ang Dating Daan ("ADD," the Old Path) and Iglesia Ni Cristo ("INC," Church of Christ) go at each other. When you keep switching between their channels, you can almost hear them debating each other.

As I watch them now (now they're Skycable channels are close together, ADD is now in UNTV 37 and INC has two channels, Net 25 and GEM TV), I'm picking up the pastime again...while blogging away...

Recently, their continuing debacle has likewise included issues such splicing (where ADD claims the INC spliced the voice of Bro. Ely Soriano to distort his intended message.) ADD now counters with the taped voice of INC's main leader, Eraneo Manalo. A microcosm of Filipino society. Even there, splicing is the issue?

If you have the time, try to watch them battle each other. A great way to pass the time!

Don't get me wrong. Of course, I'm not making fun of any of them because I respect these two groups. I'm just surprised there's also splicing issue there...

D-day!

No, not Defensor Day (as you may have noticed, he has replaced Secretary Tiglao as my pet peave...)

The voting on the issue of what impeachment complaint or complaints the House Committee on Justice shall recognize may be conducted today.

The result of this voting will determine the things to come. And ultimately the future of this country.

If the Administration votes to strike out the amended complaint(s), the Opposition will have no other recourse but to take the battle out to the streets. Because the voting today on this will send the signal on things to come. And a walk-out may signal its start...perhaps TODAY.

I think this is not a wise move. It violates the Sun Tzu guy's advise on taking the battle out of the streets. This would be this Administration's Second Envelope. They should handle this situation with all the prudence it can muster.

Just for the record...

Do a Dilangalen on Defensor...

I was watching Korina Sanchez's interview of Atty. Romulo Makalintal on her Tonight on ANC show last night and the guy's a real pro.

Secretary Mike Defensor should try to emulate this guy. Here are some pointers for Sec. Defensor:

1. Atty. Mac knows what he is talking about and he sticks to what he does best. He does not venture out to fields he absolutely knows little about, like audio technology, handwriting, other forensic evidence, etc.

A side anectdote. I know some lawyers who continually cross-examine expert witnesses on their particular field of expertise (armed with a miniscule amount of knowledge on the field) and end up with egg on their faces. My rule in expert witnesses is never to question them on their field of expertise. Question them on things like bias (because he/she is pressumably paid by the party that presents him/her) or on possible wrong factual assumpltions, if you must. But if you need to question an expert witness' opinion, present another expert witness with contrary findings.

2. Atty. Mac knows his laws (in general and election laws in particular), knows it well (let's put is this way, there cannot be a best election lawyer in the Philippines because the other side has to have an equal chance. So if one candidate got Atty. Mac, the other candidate's choice of lawyer is a no-brainer, Atty. Sixto Brillantes), and despite such great knowledge, he obviously took time to still study and prepare for his presentation so does not get sidetracked. He does not venture into complications and presents his side (of course the president's side) in a clear, simple manner.

3. Atty. Mac has an amiable personality and speaks very well. And he speaks fluent Tagalog in a pleasing, modulated voice (he's a press man), without a conyo accent.

Sec. Mike, loose the braces. While it may make you look young (for whatever reason you have), it also makes you less respectable. And with those braces, you sound conyotic, hence unappealing to your target audience you are trying to reach.

4. Atty. Mac convinces you of his side. He does not ram his reasoning down your throat. At the end of your argument with him, you are convinced and you part with him as friends.

Not so with Secretary Mike. He tries to win by inviting attention to himself. His strategy is to lift his own bench, sends you a message that he's a superior being than his audience and hence, alienates them in the process.

The result? A series of blog entries such as found in mine, the PCIJ doing a series on you and an audience not only unconvinced, but also raring to punch holes in his argument even way after the conversation is over, or probably plot to demolish him later on.

So I think the President should do a Dilangalen on Defensor. She should tell him to "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
This day in history from:

Authentication

Secretary Mike Defensor's latest stunt, as I have guessed, has now prompted to the House to authenticate the tapes. (I was looking for an on-line article on this but it's on the front page of today's Philippine Star.)

Then, Michaelangelo Zuce likewise produced a handwritten "bribe list" purportedly by Garci, indicating therein whom to pay and for how much.

What will Secretary Defensor do next? Will he come out, again on DENR time, to produce a report from, oh let's say David S. Moore , Curt Baggett or Jane B. Eakes, CDE, to say that this bribe list was spliced?

Will he come out again and say, "It is Garcilliano's handwriting but he's not the one communicating to us from (place you guess location here)?"

Just kidding...sort of...

Monday, August 15, 2005
This day in history from:

Dear PAGC

Presidential Ant-Graft Commission
State Accounting and Auditing Center (SAAC) Building
Commonwealth Avenue, UP Diliman
Quezon City 1101, Philippines

Attention: HON. CONSTANCIA P. DE GUZMAN, MNSA, PH.D.
Chairperson

Dear Hon. De Guzman:

Kindly investigate the recent activities of Secretary Michael T. Defensor. As appointed secretary of the Department of Evironment and Natural Resources, I believe the country's environment and natural resources should be his priority.

Otherwise, he should ask his boss to transfer him to political affairs or even give him a spot in her "stellar" defense team. But I doubt Atty. Pedro Ferrer will accept him since he already said his findings are useless.

Likewise, an entry or article in the DENR website on the "Dagdag Boses" (voice padding) anomaly is highly inappropriate and may constitute technical malversation of government resources. The entry concerns neither the environment nor natural resources, unless his boss is about to transform this department into the DPER or the "Department of Political Environment and Resources."

I know this Honorable Commission has the motu proprio function to initiate this investigation, even without a formal complainant under Section 4 of Executive Order No. 12, series of 2001. Hence, the Filipino people expects a prompt and appropriate action on the matter.

Very truly yours,

Juan dela Cruz :-(

Sunday, August 14, 2005
This day in history from:

Results of the Fourth Visit

You may be wondering why I blog about the results of every so-called visit of "that girl" to my children...

But first, let's do a recap...

This was the result of the first visit. A non-appearance.

This was the second. Another none-appearance

And the third. And yet another...

And now for the fourth? More of the same. Nothing. Not even a text message... Again, Bea breathed a sigh of relief. Again, I like to emphasize that it is not my obligation to remind her of her visits simply because she also has a copy of our custody agreement and I assume she can read.

Now for the reason I make this entry. Of course, I want this to serve as a record for posterity. And the lawyer in me (again...) likewise tells me to because the visitation arrangements in our custody agreement is up for review nine months from April 2005. Hence, if I make time-stamped recordings of each of her nine visits, I would have basis to maintain the once-a-month visit status quo. I remembered how her lawyer even attempted to bargain for more visits. Her efforts were all in vain...

But at the rate this is all going, she may not even ask for the review... Again, it's not my duty to remind her of her right to such a review, because I'm not her lawyer. But still, I have to record each and every instance she can visit..

So now you understand...

I do, however, wish she would say she's not visiting so I can take my children out...

Again, this is for record purposes.

All in all a good Saturday...


Ever since we became more (or less, but more on the less...) financially stable this year (I'm not saying were out of the woods but I worry less about it today than as late as two months back), I'm trying to take my children out every weekend, again.

I remember when I was still "happily" married and my eldest child, Bea, was never shortchanged in terms of attention, love and yes, material things. Things were better seven years ago. We get to go out every week. With a budding solo career then, I could even "declare" some of my Wednesdays as holidays so I can take my family out. Though not much, God seems to provide when we needed it most...

Bea was therefore never shortchanged then. And I love seeing the look on her face as it lights up upon experiencing new things... the first time she went to a mall, to a park, to a cinema, new toys, etc. There is something about a child's eyes lighting up that likewise lights up my spirit.

Seven years later, things have really changed. Of course, my children don't have their mother anymore. While Bea has had her fill of love and attention from her mother, Nico, separated therefrom at four months, never really experienced what "motherly love" feels like.

Worse, I never really get to take my children out much because of my separation likewise sapped my finances. Hence, I always feel my youngest, Nico, is now at the shorter end of the stick. On everything. Lack of a motherly attention and love. Even in material things. Even in experiencing new things.

I can't even give him a "decent" birthday party since his birthday always falls on the date Bea's tuition payment falls due.

But I hope that will soon change. These days, I try to take my children out every weekend again. Bea is feeling the good effects. As for Nico, I'm seeing more of the light on his eyes as I see his experiencing the outside world. It's a wonderful fatherly feeling to experience again.

For this Saturday, my children attended the birthday party of a friend's youngest child in Gateway mall. You should have seen Nico as he ran about the place, screeming at every new thing, every new experience he had encountered. I hope I can have him catch up on what he's missed...



And Bea? Likewise enjoyed the party... and some sense of life returning back to normal. But of course, you know it will never be...

Sometimes I pity my childred because they will never have that so-called "normal" life. Sometimes I think they need a mother, but I know I just have to be strong and steadfast in fulfilling both roles. Because I have no immediate intention of marrying, or even finding someone else again. Maybe, with God's blessing and my family's help, I can raise them well... alone... There I go again... feeling the same way I was when I posted this entry... I do hope I snap out of it soon...

Choir went moderately well tonight. Not too solid a performance. But passable. The ended the day with fixing my nephew's computer, again while listenning to some client interviews for a new case we're handling.

All in all, it was a pretty good Saturday, especially for my kids. I do hope we get more of the same.

So how about some more pics of my kids...?


Saturday, August 13, 2005
This day in history from:

Spoiler Alert!

If there's one thing that the opposition did right, it was to file that amended complaint.

With the apparent scenario mapped out by Secretary Defensor, et. al., they may have cast enough "reasonable doubt" (and I use this term very loosely) to take this charge out of the public's mind. MLQ3 even went so far as to say that this may provide the backdrop for Congress to dismiss the impeachment complaint(s).

But not if PCIJ has something to say about it. Secretary Defensor's defense (pun intended) wittingly or unwittingly attacked the PCIJ's credibility insofar as these tapes are concerned. But this stirred up to the proverbial hornet's nest. Of course, PCIJ is entitled to defend its credibility, by any and all means at its disposal. Even use Barry Dickey's report against itself.

So where are we at this point? (aka Spoiler Alert!)

1. If Secretary Defensor indeed submits this "newly discovered evidence" (again I use the term loosely given this blog lecture) to Congress, this should be a ground to conduct a hearing, NOT dismiss the complaint outright.

I personally think that the complaints are sufficient in form, that is, they allege impeachable offenses (never mind first if they are true or not). And with this Defensor defense and the answer ex abudante ad cautelam, I think the President has acknowledged that fact indeed. Dismissing the complaint at this point would be too "eager-beaver" and may trigger a "non-calculated" response.

2. Due process would naturally dictate giving a chance to the opposition to answer and/or refute the Barry Dickey findings. Here, the opposition has found a surprise ally in PCIJ.

3. But a hearing would result in a even longer, more drawn out process, which could just as well be the goal of the Defensor defense. This may be just the "delay" they need so the defense can regroup for the other impeachable allegations (like Juetengate and La Vista payola).

4. If this is the case, I have to take my hat off to them. The strategy would be very elaborate and may just work.

So what does the opposition need to do? (aka Spoiler Alert 2)

1. I say fight all the President's move at every turn and play their game, BUT

2. Play a little game of their own. (Here I think another bombshell and 79 signatures would do the trick...)

3. It's really a good thing they alleged other offenses in their complaint. At least if the Hello Garci issue is neutralized they still have other grounds...

Of course, a Senate trial (if at all in the offing) is another matter.

Oh, and by the way, I think the AFP should delay prosecuting Marlon Mendoza and instead focus on somebody we may have already forgotten because of this: the other "Garci," Maj. General Carlos Garcia...who we have not heard from in quite a while...

(Disclaimer: This is purely my opinion on the matter. If you see this scenario forming in the future, at least I can say I called it first...)

Friday, August 12, 2005
This day in history from:

CSI: Manila

Right now, Secretary Mike Defensor is holding press conference in Sulo Hotel essentially debunking the conversations in the Gloriagate tapes. Here, he makes the distinction between authenticating the voices and authenticating the conversations.

"It's her voice but she's not the one talking."

His theory is someone manipulated the words spoken by the President to make it appear that he she wanted to lead by more than one million but this "one million" clip was taken by alleged by a conversation that she asked "is FPJ leading by more than one M?"

Things I like to ask:

1. Why only clips and not the entire 3-hour thing? If your job is on the line, why go stinggy in spending to defend yourself?

2. They already claim that the tapes are inadmissible. So why bother now?

3. What copy were you using?

4. How about admitting talking to a COMELEC official? That amounts to betrayal of public trust.

5. Assuming the "will I still lead..." portion was spliced, how about the one further in the conversation "it cannot be more than one M?"?

6. Of course you're not afraid Secretary Gonzales is going to prosecute you for violation of Republic Act No. 4200?

Congressman Cayetano renewed his challenge in a radio interview. Secretary Defensor called.

Exciting times we live in. People watch too much CSI...How about CSI: Manila next time.

Will blog some more later.

Comments on The President's Possible Legal Strategies

Jove posted on the possible legal arguments and strategies to be employed by the President for the impeachment proceedings. To be clear, I cut and pasted his entry below:

GROUNDS they relied upon: (as is, pati grammar)
-“the so called amended complaint is a sham and unauthorized pleading and therefore procedurally infirm”
-“the so-called amended complaint for impeachment is actually new, different and separate impeachment complaint and , at the time it was filed, was constitutionally impermissible, pursuant to Sec. 3(5), Art. XI of the Constitution, which reads: “No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within the period of one year”
(note: stuff we heard of before)

OTHER GROUNDS:
-filing of Lopez complaint is likewise a violation of the constitutional one year bar rule on initiating impeachment proceedings.
-the honorable congress does not have jurisdiction over the subject matters pleaded in the supplemental complaints, the lopez complaint and he amended complaint considering that:
a) the alleged impeachable acts allegedly committed by president arroyo pertain to acts committed prior to or outside the elected term of office of president arroyo, hence not valid grounds for impeachment.
b) the alleged impeachable acts allegedly committed by president arroyo are in fact accusations of election fraud in connection with the May 2004 presidential elections, which by constitutional mandate, is exclusively lodged with the supreme court sitting as a PET. The election contest against president arroyo has been decided upon in PET case no. 002.
c)the acts alleged relied on illegally wiretapped conversations, which under the constitution in relation to Republic Act No. 4200, otherwise known as the anti wire tapping law, are inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding.


Interesting too, are the notations in the category of DISCUSSIONS and ARGUMENTS: (things they are supposed to say, in defense of their motion, call it a script to answer makukulit questions by media and anti-admin solons) (which by the way, hints that the promised creation of a separate communications team for impeachment matters, is already “created” and functioning.) (in fact, I believe the two sheets of paper containing the details here are actually “media guides”)
-the so-called amended complaint is a procedural “hybrid” composed by an odd and disparate mixture of diverse personalities and entities pursuing varying ideological and political causes.
-the Lozano Impeachment Complaint Cannot Be Amended.
-So-called Amended Complaint Filed in Bad Faith and in Derogation of the Rules of the Court.
-Even if Leave was requested the same would have been denied because the so-called amended complaint substantially altered the original complaint by introducing new causes of action.
-the so-called amended complaint is in reality a New Complaint for Impeachment.
-The so-called amended complaint is prohibited pleading for being in gross and culpable violation of the provision in the constitution which prohibits the initiation of an impeachment proceedings against the same official more than once within a period of one year.
-the lapse of judgment of the opposition and the remedy that is too little and too late.
(do you hear the opposition huffing and puffing about this part? Hehehe)
-what one cannot do directly, he cannot do indirectly. The leaders of the opposition in the House as the new complainants, would like to circumvent and subvert the constitutional provision.
(eto pa isang banat sa opposition, hehehe) (again, as is, pati grammar)
-one final word. The intent of Sec. 3(5), Art. XI of the Consitution.

Then promptly passed the proverbial mike to me in this point.

Some comments are therefore in order:

1. I have tackled the matter of multiple complaints in this entry.

2. I have discussed the issue of amended complaints here.

3. The one the jumped out at me is "the alleged impeachable acts allegedly committed by president arroyo pertain to acts committed prior to or outside the elected term of office of president arroyo, hence not valid grounds for impeachment."

Whoa! I did not see that coming...

Like a splinter in my mind, I kept thinking about it all night.

What it propounded is the theory "the rule is that a public official can not be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor." (Aguinaldo vs. Santos, G.R. No. 94115, 21 August 1992)

However, there is a difference here, in the following senses:

1. An impeachment is not necessarily for administrative misconduct. Impeachment proceedings is not exactly an administrative proceeding, although the penalties are similar to that of administrative charges (removal from office and disqualification).

2. It likewise presupposes a valid re-election, which the pro-impeachment fellows vehemently question. As a matter of fact, poll fraud is one of the acts they used as evidence of the President's "betrayal of public trust."

3. The President's case is peculiar because being "re-elected" to the presidency is a rarity.

My opinion on the matter?

The legal point is so arguable it could go either way.

The President could claim that she is entitled to the benefit of the doctrine I stated above. The pro-impeachment people could argue that hers is a rare case and hence, not covered by this general principle of law.

It would really depend on which side you are on...

Thursday, August 11, 2005
This day in history from:

Blog Lecture No. 36: Initiating an Impeachment Complaint

Let's go to an interesting topic on initiating an impeachment complaint.

For a background, you can go to my previous blog-lecture on impeachment here.

What is the constitutional ban on multilple impeachment?

According to both Section 3(5) Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 14, Rule V of the Rules of Impeachment of the 13th Congress, "No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year."

Does this mean only one complaint can be filed against an impeachable officer can be filed?

Of course... not! The provisions I have quoted above refers to "proceedings" not complaints. There could be many complaints provided there is only one proceeding.

This rule exists to prevent a clever "Impeach Me" strategy that could be employed by an officer susceptible to impeachment.

So when is impeachment deemed initiated?

According to the Rules and Francisco vs. House of Representatives (G.R. No. 160261, 10 November 2003), impeachment is deemed initiated by filing of the complaint and subsequent referral of the same to the House Committe on Justice.

In the present impeachment, since the Speaker of the House referred multiple complaints to the Committee on Justice, all may be considered into one impeachment proceeding. Hence, the subsequent complaints cannot be striken off.

What then is the procedure in the Committee on Justice?

It is found in the Rules of Impeachment of the 13th Congress, downloadable here.

But briefly:

1. The Committee first furnishes a copy of the complaint(s) to the respondent (the person subject of the complaint).

2. Then it requires the respondent to answer within ten (10) days from such receipt. He/she cannot file a motion to dismiss.

3. Complainant(s) can then reply within three (3) days from receipt of the answer.

4. After this pleading stage, the Committee then decides whether the complaint(s) truly alleges impeachable offenses (sufficiency as to form). If does not, it shall forthwith dismiss the complaint outright but reports to the plenary (where it could still be overriden by 1/3 vote).

5. If there is sufficiency as to form, the conduct a hearing to determine if there is probable cause. The only deadline here is there must be a report within 60 session days from referral of the Speaker to the Committee.

6. A majority of committee members finding probable cause is enough to cause the referral to the plenary for impeachment (sufficiency as to substance). If this is the case, the Committee shall transmit the proposed resolution and the articles of impeachment (the impeachment charge sheet, so to speak) to the plenary.

7. A vote of at least 1/3 of the plenary is enough to refer the President for trial. Or an impeachment resolution of at least 1/3 of all House members is enough for such trial. The "creeping impeachment" where a 1/3 endorsement at any stage of the proceedings shall cause the automatic referral to a Senate trial, is still allowed.

What is the effect of an answer filed before?

See my previous post here.

What is the effect of the President's motion to strike the other complaints?

Though named differently, it is, in effect, a motion to dismiss which is prohibited under the rules.

Now, for... breakfast.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
This day in history from:

Blog Lecture No. 35: How can a lawyer bind his client

Hello again class! With the news item the Lawyer Pedro Ferrer, the President's lawyer for the impeachment, already admitted for his client that she was talking to the Commissioner Virgilio "Garci" Garcillano as a backdrop, let us discuss how a lawyer's action can bind his client.

According to the Supreme Court, it is basic doctrine that the authority of an attorney to bind his client as to any admission of facts made by him is limited to matters of judicial procedure. An admission which operates as a waiver, surrender, or destruction of the client’s cause is beyond the scope of the attorney’s implied authority (People vs. Maceda, 73 Phil. 679 [1942], cited in People vs. Hernanes, G.R. No. 139416, 12 March 2002).

Section 23, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states:

Authority of attorneys to bind clients. — Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But they cannot, without special authority, compromise their client's litigation, or receive anything in discharge of client's claim but the full amount in case.


What does this mean?

An attorney can only bind his client in procedural matters. If the lawyer made a mistake as to miss a filing of a pleading, miss a deadline for an appeal, etc., a client is bound by it.

For example, if an attorney neglected to file an appeal on time, the client cannot say that since it was his lawyer's fault, he should not suffer for it.

What are matters of a client's cause?

They are matters relating to very merit of his/her cause of action (translation: the act of ommission by which one party violates the right of another) or defense.

These include admissions of crucial facts tending to incriminate or open someone to liability.

In such matters, can an attorney bind his client?

NO. As he can only bind a client in matters of procedure.

In matters of substance, and a client's cause, however, a lawyer cannot, as stated above.

Is there an exception to this?

Of course. Every rule has an exception.

If the client has specificially authorized his/her client to make such an admission, the lawyers admission would then bind the client.

So what does Pedro Ferrer's apparent admission mean?

Nothing...

Anything else to add?

Just this, according to Rule 138:

Sec. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. - An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the authority under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the name of the person who employed him, and may thereupon make such order as justice requires. An attorney wilfully appearing in court for a person without being employed, unless by leave of the court, may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions.

Sec. 22. Attorney who appears in lower court presumed to represent client on appeal. - An attorney who appears de parte in a case before a lower court shall be presumed to continue representing his client on appeal, unless he files a formal petition withdrawing his appearance in the appellate court.

What does this mean?

Normally an attorney is pressumed to represent his client when he enters his appearance in court and need not present his authority to appear as such, except when there are reasonable grounds to believe otherwise.

Also, an attorney representing a client in a lower court is likewise pressumed to represent his/her in appellate procedings (translation: any type of appeal) unless he formally withdraws.

Spread the Light, Banish the Darkness

An invitation.
SPREAD THE LIGHT. BANISH THE DARKNESS
August 20, 2005 at exactly 6:00 pm.

When an ordinary citizen steals, would an “I am sorry” be enough? When an ordinary citizen lies, would an “I am sorry” be enough? When an ordinary citizen cheats, would an “I am sorry” be enough?

Ask yourself: If you are an employee and your employer catches you cheating, lying and stealing — will an “I am sorry” be sufficient or a “lapse of judgment” be accepted? Or would you stand to lose your job?

What is our country coming to if we hold ordinary Filipinos to higher and stricter standards than we hold the highest official of the land?

This is not to say that the President of the Philippines is guilty of all that she is being accused of. It is only to say two different standards of rules - one for the powerful and one for the powerless — cannot exist if ours is to be a truly democratic and pluralistic society.

This is not the country we want. And so perhaps it is time we do something about it.

If you believe, as we do, that it is time for ordinary Filipinos to stand up and be counted in the fight for TRUTH — as well as for Transparency, for Responsibility, for Unity, for Trust and for Hope — then join us in a simple demonstration of our collective sentiments.

On August 20, Saturday, at exactly 6pm, take a few moments to light a candle in demonstration of our collective effort to take this country back from all who have not been true to it and to all of us ordinary citizens - and to be the first step in bringing about the light that will banish the darkness that hovers over our land!

Spread the light. Banish the darkness. August 20, 2005 at exactly 6:00pm.

CITIZENS FOR TRUTH
Transparency. Responsibility. Unity. Trust. Hope.

The "Academy" vs. the "Prevention Program"

I heard in the radio yesterday a funny but valid comment. While the opposition is running a "Witness Academy," the administration is running the "Witness Prevention Program."

With the proliferation of witnesses and recantations, please bear in mind the following:

1. Corroboration is the key. By corroboration I mean in two senses, namely: internal, where the testimony corroborates itself and external, where other witnesses affirm the same facts testified to by a witness.

2. Back read to my previous post on Impugning a Witness' Testimony. Here, we tackle issues on bias, interest and integrity of a testimony.

3. Finally, the general rule is that recantations are not given much weight in the determination of a case[Tan Ang Bun v. Court of Appeals, et al., G. R. No. L-47747, February 15, 1990, People v. Lao Wan Sing, 46 SCRA 298 (1972), as cited in Lim, Sr. vs. Felix, G.R. Nos. 94054-57, 19 February 1991]. Here, I think the quality of the recantation deserves to be examined through the same standards I have stated above.

4. But generally, I would discard the entire testimony of a recanting witness because I would not know at what point he was telling the truth and what point he was lying. Trust and credibility are like crystal glass. Once broken, it cannot be repaired. The testimony, has already been "tainted."

Just a few reminders to those out there fond of forming opinions about the "Academy" and the "Prevention Program."

Pinoy Teachers Network Feature

It is with some reluctance that I thank the people of Pinoy Teachers Network for featuring me as their Ulirang Guro (Model Teacher), basically because I'm not a teacher by profession. My feelings towards this border on guilt since I feel other "true" teachers deserve to be featured in this section more than me and the other core members have more claim to being featured that I have. The one before me even won the Metrobank Award for Outstanding Teacher.

So now the question I ask myself is: What did I do to deserve this? I have not come up with a satisfactory answer to this.

Anyway, I thank the people who feel I deserve this, especially Marisol and Bing who took pains in reading through the material she asked from me (I sent her blog links instead of writing about myself all over again, given my feelings above).

While actually teaching has crossed my mind (I already approached the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs of the college I attended about the idea), all the things I teach right now can be found in this blog. Be it in law (through my law lectures, now conveniently located in the sideblogs) or in life (my experience teaches people what not to do in relationships...), I hope you can learn something from this blog.

Again, my gratitude. (And let's end this Oscar-like acceptance speech...)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
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Gadgetflash III: Punzi's Day Out

Last Friday, as some sort of break from the past hectic work week, I went to Greenhills again to look for stuff that's not available in the neighborhood malls (see the related post here). This time, I was looking for a particular leather case for my new Nokia 9500 Communicator. The thing is, the case I had did not have a hole for the headset so I could not conceal the phone with it attached.

I wanted something that I can conceal around my big "jolly" belly (sorry Bing, I could not get over your description of me...) with the headset attached so I can use the phone as an MP3 player (with a decent 60 songs) while walking around. For driving and other functions, I use my Bluetooth headset.

I also wanted a case I would not take off the phone anymore, for additional protection (dropping this baby would cost as much as another decent celphone). Hence, I decided that a bi-fold case was the best one for me...

So the night before, I found one that looked like this:

It was very expensive but since it served my purpose, I wanted to buy it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you'll read on...), it did not have a belt-buckle attachment. It was no use to me, so I gave it a pass.

Hence, my trip to the gadget freak's paradise. It was raining quite hard that day so I was having second thoughts about making the trip.

Did the rounds, but found it difficult to locate one. The cases I first found there were not bi-fold.

Then, paydirt! I found this bi-fold leather case with a rubber membrane cover, making the front panel usable even when closed. The design was ingenious! It looked like this:

And the price? About 30% cheaper. So all the effort getting there was so well worth it... Not only does it protect the investment, it was more functional that what I originally wanted...

I even scored a Wireless-G USB adapter for my non-WiFi laptop that day and it now enjoys the benefits of additional network bandwidth. It turns out there is an actual difference between WiFi-B and G. I thought there would be none. Or is it just psychological...?

Monday, August 08, 2005
This day in history from:

Curing the MacEnvies


Finally, I found a cure for my MacEnvies.

No, I did not buy a Mac. But I think I got the next best thing.

It started from blog-hopping towards J. Angelo's blog. He mentioned that he posted an entry in pinoy.tech.blog, that led me to Rain Contreras' entry on FlyakiteOSX, a freeware MacOSX emulated XP skin. It's supposed to emulate the OSX's look and feel...

Of course I installed it and it worked like a charm. Down to the Dock emulator and the cast shadows in the active windows.

Let's just say the MacEnvies was cured with this "little" XP facelift. But at 25.83 Mb, it's a hefty download. If you're still using dial-up, just ask someone with a DSL connection and a flash drive to get it for you...

I had a hard time downloading from the main site. So you can use the alternative link here.

Have fun! If you have the MacEnvies, I hope this helps...

Blog Lecture No. 34: Postponement and Failure of Elections

This will be a very short blog lecture...

What is the legal basis for postponement or declaration of failure of elections?

The bases can be found in Section 5 and 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, otherwise known as the "Omnibus Election Code," as amended, that states:

Sec. 5. Postponement of election. - When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

Sec. 6. Failure of election. - If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

What is the difference between the two?

Simply put, declaration of failure of elections results in the calling of new elections while postponement merely defers the holding of the same elections at a later date.

What are the causes for postponment of elections?

They are for serious causes such as:

1. Violence,
2. Terrorism,
3. Loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records,
4. Force majeure,
5. Other analogous causes

These must be of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision (like the ARMM?).

What are the causes for the declaration of failure of elections?

They are:

1. Force majeure,
2. Violence,
3. Terrorism,
4. Fraud,
5. Other analogous causes

Anything else I should know about?

The Commission of Elections ("COMELEC"), motu propio (on its own motion) or upon petition, may postpone elections. Declaration of Elections can only be initiated by petition. The COMELEC cannot, on its own, declare failure of elections.

Notice that "fraud" is not a ground for postponement but outright failure of elections. Of course, fraud already taints the whole process with irregularities and hence, naturally necessitates holding a new one.

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Side Prayers

PRAYER FOR GENEROSITY
Lord Jesus,
Teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve You as You deserve
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
That I do Your Holy Will. Amen

THE LAWYER'S PRAYER
May every word I speak be from Your Truth...
I ask come from Your Wisdom...
May every case I handle receive Your Guidance...
May every heart, every life I touch, feel Your Love.

THE JABEZ PRAYER
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
"Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your Hand be with me,
that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain."

So God granted him what he requested.

Side Oath

The Lawyer's Oath
I do solemnly swear that
I will maintain allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines,
I will support its Constitution
and obey the laws as well as
the legal orders of the
duly constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood,
nor consent to the doing of any in court;
I will not wittingly or willingly
promote or sue any groundless,
false or unlawful suit,
nor give aid nor consent to the same;
I will delay no man for money or malice,
and will conduct myself as a lawyer
according to the best of my knowledge
and discretion with all good fidelity
as well to the courts as to my clients;
and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation
without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion.
So help me God.

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