Saturday, December 31, 2005
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Happy New Year to all!

We used to light firecrackers and other pyrotechnics come New Year's Eve.

The operative term there is "used."

In New Year's Eve, 1987, at an outdoor street party in our village, my mother was a foot away from being hit by a stray bullet. From that time on, we don't buy firecrackers anymore.

In 1995, the year I was to take the bar exams, I was a New Year's injury statistic.

Right after the revelry and after eating, I just went out to retrieve something outside. Then I felt a very fast object hit me in the head. After a second, I was still alive so it was definitely not a stray bullet (because I was still alive).

But after another second, my eyeglasses curtained blood red. And I was bleeding profusely.

So I was rushed to the hospital. Some photographer wanted to take my picture as a "casualty of the New Year." But I declined.

Gave me a tetanus shot but I didn't need stitches.

Turns out a firecracker exploded nearby cause a small rock to hurl towards my head at great speed. Hey, at least it was not a bullet.

Now, I never go out this time of the year.

So folks be careful out there. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005
This day in history from:

Don't ask me why...

Set my alarm clock (read: celphone) for 2:45 a.m. and my TV to turn on at the same time early this morning because I wanted to watch I'll be there, the debut movie of Charlotte Church, then showing on HBO.

I don't know what is it about this movie that I love. Is it the story that is about a rock star father coming to grips with his 16-year-old daughter he just met? Or is it the 16-year-old Charlotte Church and her angelic voice that peppered the movie?

Whatever it is (or was), it must be compelling because I rarely make efforts to wake up that early on my vacation time just to watch a particular movie. What surprises me even more is I even bought the DVD this afternoon, which I rarely do anymore. For sure, there is something about this movie that I want to watch it over and over again.

Try catching it. It's a good yultide movie. Or am I just such a Charlotte Church fan?

Thursday, December 29, 2005
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Your loss, our gain

For those of you who had missed the PinoyBlog Christmas party last night, there was really nothing to miss, if your goal was to meet other Philippine bloggers. Some mix up caused this one to fizzle out, attendance-wise. Attended only by four bloggers: Yuga, La Vida Lawyer and myself, with Jeff Vergara making a brief appearance. Borcee was missing in action for unknown reasons.

First, I finally met the man who breathed new life into my blog template, Jeff. Again, Jeff I can't thank you enough for what you have done to this blog.

Now, for your loss:

1. You missed the chance to stuff yourself silly with Dads/Saisaki/Kamayan's Ultimate Buffet.

2. You missed the chance to see if we're real people and not just bots (heheheheheheh!)

Our gain:

1. We got to spend quality time with THE future multi-billionaire Philippine blogging mogul. The tips and tricks we got are PRICELESS.

2. We're now considering an entire and separate career in blogging because of this... But of course, we will not give up our day jobs. We'll leave that to the proper night persons.

You (yes you) should have been there. Jeff has the photographic evidence.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005
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The after-birthday entry

To those who greeted me on my birthday, be it by a text message or through a post in this blog, thanks. The small party went well, the food and non-alcoholic drinks were enough and I think there are still some leftovers...

Just fifteen years away before my warranty expires. You see, with my lifestyle and diet, I figured I'm good to last to 50 years. Anything beyond that will be a blessing...

That's long enough to put my kids through school; seeing them married and with kids is a bonus...

Anyway, those who offered me advise for my dilemma, thanks also. It's time to put in more details:

1. Yes, I was invited, by both the bride and groom. Both of them are college batchmates and still my friends and we (as in me and my kids and the couple) do meet sometimes.

2. Not only was I invited, I was likewise asked to play the flute at their wedding mass (the mass songs and the filler songs during the "picture-taken" event and thingies).

On the one hand, I don't know if I have the heart to attend, much less play. Then again, I'm saying to myself, "What is this couple thinking, inviting an old flame of the bride (mutual firsts, if I may add) to their wedding, much less giving a significant role therein?" Or more specifically, "What is this girl thinking?!?!?!?"

On the other hand, I'm through with the "Jedi Mind games" and over-interpretations of actions with this girl and I should take this for what it is: an invite of a friend to attend the most important part of her life/their lives. Plus, it's a chance to jam with the likes of Lionel Valdellon, a very rare opportunity.

What to do, what to do? Well it's still in June and I really don't like to be pressured into deciding at the spur of the moment.

I'll keep you posted. But if you still have some advise for me, I would still welcome and appreciate it.


In another front, I just waited until after my birthday to have my digicam repaired today. But let me tell you first about my trip to Makati. It was fantastic! Just a few minor buildups along EDSA and the whole "OPLAN: DigiCam repair" took less than two hours (i.e., I left the house at 9:30 a.m. in QC, got to the shop in Pasay Road, Makati and got home before 11:00 a.m.).

My camera model was subject of this defect advisory. I thought my camera was not affected (I've been using it for two years) until I used it extensively this month. So I had to bring it in.

If you have an affected camera, I think you should bring it in already. Parts and service are free. It's not everyday that traffic was this light.

That's about it. Now get back to work!

Monday, December 26, 2005
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A Birthday Dilemma

Today I celebrate my 35th birthday. Planned nothing much today. Some relatives are coming over this afternoon and we'll have some spagetti and barbecue (and probably some cake and ice cream). It will be a real children's party, to awaken the inner child in me, as they say...

Reunion went well yesterday but I feel some sorrow because a lot of my relatives already migrated, with some more leaving next year. Anyway, this one was still fun and I will post some pictures over at my Flickr account.

Anyway, back to the point of this birthday post. Let me ask you some hypothetical questions.

Would you attend the wedding of your first love, invited or not?

Even assuming you would, would you even consider playing at his/her wedding?

Me? I don't know. Still in this dilemma.

Sunday, December 25, 2005
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The Work of Christmas

(by Howard Thurman)

When the song of angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone
When the kings and princes are home
When the shepherds are back with their flock
The work of Christmas begins

To find the lost, to heal the broken
To feed the hingry, free the prisoners
To rebuild nations, to bring peace among brothers
To make music in the heart.

A proper holiday greeting!

As you may notice, I chose the safe greeting "Happy Holidays!" as I made my rounds through the blogosphere. I was concerned as I wanted to be politically correct, gender-sensitive, religiously tolerant in my greeting. And this is the best I could find:

Bea and Nico with cousins Merphi and Milka

Insert non-offensive, gender sensitive,
politically-correct, religiously-tolerant

holiday announcement message here
(-- from

Saturday, December 24, 2005
This day in history from:

Night Flight: Live in Digital

Currently listening to some songs from the Night Flight: Live in Digital music compilation of Carlo Santos, the veritable Bukas Palad Online webmaster. Well, he's not just its webmaster, but he also sings in Bukas Palad, too. And his voice is not that bad (Kidding, Carlo! If I had half your voice quality, I would be surrounded by wooed women...). The songs are only released on the web and they're all free downloads, all 11 of them.

It's an interesting experiment. It was an attempt to... oh well, let's just get his take on this from his own words:

I call this collection of pieces "Live in Digital," as it reflects my pursuit of achieving the effect of live instrumentation through digital means. I know I'm far from achieving this (and I have yet a lot to learn), but it doesn't hurt to try =) So as you will hear soon enough, only the guitars and vocals have been recorded live, the rest are through the use of software synths and tone-generators.

I tried (or died trying hehehe) to apply varying musical styles to add diversity in the songs, basically cuz I don't want to be "categorized." To me, music is music, there may be genres, but I never subscribed to the notion of "musical preference." Of course I have my own preferences, but that is a trait which I wish to abolish in the long term. I want to be immersed in music as much as possible, and be able to produce different styles and textures . . . not to please the market (but it would be a bonus if I could), but to appease my appetite, and to develop the ability to make music in its purest sense.
I particularly like "Act of Imagination," because of the flute rifts (albeit the flute portion is synthetic) and the over-all theme of the song is cruising, slowed-down type of music, the type that I particularly enjoy listening to driving home from a long, tough day.

I like "Addicted to Your Smile," despite his claim that is it a sell-out song. I know the beat, the lyrics and the melody is formula but hey, it's catchy.

"Your Majesty" interests me because of our common roots in choir and music ministry.

I'll leave the ecclectic rest for you to discover for yourself.

And to think, borrowing from Eli Buendia, "He did it all by himself," he certainly did a good job.

Hope he has time to do some more. Or he gets to do it commercially (as if he needed commercial success).

Friday, December 23, 2005
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Christmas Work

Whew! The last working day before Christmas and I'm still working.

Just only goes to show that problems pop up and don't observe holidays or have any holiday spirit whatsoever.

Still had some trouble over at my government consultancy. Two, as a matter of fact. Had to work on both on them but most of the tasks shall be finished after the break. That's good news since I want to enjoy the holidays and my birthday (which is the day after Christmas).

Our choir will be playing the last dawn mass tomorrow. And I thought our duties were already finished.

Not complaining, though. I do like choir and that's my stress release.

I'll make my Christmas post for all of you tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll try to get some rest.

Thursday, December 22, 2005
This day in history from:


This day taught me a simple rule: Obey and trust your iMac.

Lindsay told me not to disconnect my iPod while updating. I disobeyed. Not only did I disconnect my iPod, but I also forced Lindsay into a hardware reset, because I thought iTunes already hung.

I was wrong. So what was my punishment?

Nothing much. My iTunes library file got damaged so when I synched my iPod again to it, I grew pale when I discovered that I lost 5/6 of my songs and all my video. And all this hapenned when I was just about to leave the house.

Had to manually reload my uploaded music files to the new library file and re-download some of the podcasts. That took a good hour and a half--an hour and a half I did not have.

So I was late for a friend's holiday party. But it was alright.

And it appears that I still have to work tomorrow. Something urgent came up in my government consultancy.

Oh and I am officially the first blogger to receive the La Vida Lawyer Coffee Mug, according to him.

Anyway, a good thing came up today. I think the die has been cast. My career will take a significant turn next year. It is, more or less, a done deal.

I hope it is for the better. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
This day in history from:

Two Days

In some relatively rare twist of fate, I did not blog for two days so let me tell you what happened since:

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Went to my government consultancy's annual holiday party. It was a whole day, as in literally, a whole day affair. Of course, the german beverages and music from the poor-scoring, music critic Magic Sing flowed freely. Went home 2 'o clock a.m. the next day and just slept for less than two hours because of choir duties.

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Went straight to choir duties (perhaps my last because other choirs will take up the remaining days). Then, I went to Cubao to renew my driver's license. The lines were just as long but at least, it was in the air-conditioned Farmer's Plaza mall. Since I lacked sleep, I spent the rest of the day unconscious.

There, that should be enough explanation why I could not blog these past few days.

Is anyone out there planning to go to the PinoyBlog's second annual Christmas party?

La Vida Lawyer, Borcee and I have already made plans. I hope Jeff is coming too so I can "repay" him properly for what his blog template redesign. He said was 70% going...

Anyway, I have to go. I already have an idea on what to blog about over at the Pinoy.Tech.Blog.

Monday, December 19, 2005
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At last!

Finished the pleading I had to do before I go, more or less, on holiday mode. Took me only a little over an hour to do. My client will take care of the filing because I will not charge him for it, and I charge him minimal if I ever do.

Now there's just one thing I have to finish. No, this is not a pleading but I have to conclude negotiations on this annulment case I am handling. Of course, were not negotiating on the grounds for annulment because that is not allowed. We're only negotiating on the way the property shall be divided among the soon-to-be-former spouses.

Have a party to go to but thinking about not attending. Been so tired lately, plus choir duties tomorrow morning again...

The only thing I can think about the whole Abat incident is this blog lecture I made on arrests. Read it.

But additionally, I agree with the common thinking that the police bungled this one. But so what else is new. Anyone will logically conclude that before you can make a citizen's/warrantless arrest, you have to inform him of the crime he has committed. In Abat's case, even the police are befuddled in this regard. And making a "citizen's arrest" when someone refused your "invitation" clearly shows they don't know how to do their own jobs.

Whatever countercharge the police are facing, they truly deserve. Of course, before you can enforce the law you must know it first, duh!

Sunday, December 18, 2005
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I am an amateur at a lot of things: playing the flute and keyboards, blogging, computing (it's probably not the appropriate verb but I can't of anything more accurate), an amateur in romance (actually, a complete dunce at it) and in relationships.

But I'm a professional lawyer. So one thing I should be professional about is my writing. I am paid to write because that's part of my professional practice.

This means, come hell or high water (pardon to tired cliches), I have to produce documents, pleadings, letters, etc. Somehow, I have to "summon my talent" (or the lack thereof) on a deadline.

I have a pleading due two days ago but I have not written a single line. And I have to send this to my client tomorrow. But the holiday season is getting to me. Not the festivities, mind you, but more on the obligations (the non-professional ones at that) and other distrations.

I have choir duties for most of the midnight masses. Then, I was with Bea for most of the day because of her field demonstration/school fair. That kept me from settling down to produce that overdue pleading. Not that I'm making excuses, of course.

Then my fantastic iPod is keeping me distracted as I continue to watch my downloaded video podcasts and photoalbums on my TV. That, of course, is inexcusable.

Now, I'm blogging away in a stream of consciousness type of entry just to loose the cobwebs. I guess the client has to wait until tomorrow afternoon to get his document.

In the meantime, I'll try to rest first. Maybe that will set the mood. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Saturday, December 17, 2005
This day in history from:

Some podcasts

Now that I essentially uploaded my entire music library, it was time to turn my attention to podcasts.

I started subscribing to the following mix of video and audio podcasts:

1. TikiBar TV (video podcast)
2. This Week in Tech (or "TWIT"; an audio podcast)
3. Digital Life TV (, a video podcast)
4. DIGGnation
5. for videogame updates

Then I subscribe to Philippine podcasts over at the Microwarehouse site but I don't import it to my iPod.

I really miss TechTV (now G4TechTV) because my crappy cable service does not offer it. That's the reason why I'm eating up a lot of their video/audio podcasts.

Bea's still has school until tomorrow (supposedly to mitigate having classes until 21 December, but most probably to promote or "force" us to go the school fair) and I still have that last major thing to do before I go to holiday mode. Add to that triple choir duties (due to the midnight and regular masses), then I guess my weekend's set.

To those of you who are already in holiday more, I envy you but Happy Holidays anyway!

Friday, December 16, 2005
This day in history from:

Cosmetic Surgery...

No, I didn't undergo liposuction, though it seems to be the only way I can trim my pot belly.

I was just driving by to my government consultancy when some traffic congestion greeted me in North Avenue. Nothing major (as you will see later) but slightly irritating.

The cause was these DPWH people blocking a lane because they were painting the street gutters with a checkered black-and-white design. Then the initials of the supposed "benefactor" of this project is boldly emblazoned on their blue shirts and the barriers they use for their "safety," as if we owe her this superficial paint job that only Lord knows if somebody benefited from illegally. The traffic irritation merely put it over the top.

I don't know why they even bother (unless somebody really benefits from it in a big way). It seems to be so futile to do this (it really has not additional safety advantage) again and again, only to have it faded and erased in time, like they way we paint our headstones, mausoleums and crypts during the November holidays. Everything is superficial, a cosmetic window dressing to mask what is really happening.

It really casts a reflection on how we are running (or is it ruining?) things now. It's all cosmetic surgery, treating the superficial instead of what's important. And the darn thing does not even look good.

Oh well! As they say, "Only in the Philippines..."

Thursday, December 15, 2005
This day in history from:

Now it's my turn...

I remember my teen-age years when I used to egg my mother to buy me the shoes in fashion. You see, I never really developed a liking for clothes and I'm not picky when it comes to it until now.

But I was extremely brand-conscious. Especially when it came to my footware. (Until now.)

I remember during high school, I dragged my mother to Greenhills to buy me Sperry Topsiders, Sebago Penny Loafers and Reebok shoes.

Actually, this dragged on to my law school years, when I had her buy me, again in Greenhills, Dr. Marten's Shoes. Not the boots, of course. Just the short lace-ups that proved extremely reliable because I commuted to law school.

I finally got to buy my own shoes when I got a job. I stuck mainly to Dr. Marten's because they have designs I can actually use in court. Of course, I could afford my Florsheim, Bally and Nike, etc.

Yes, I know. I really picky about my footwear.

In some twist of fate, however, I was in Greenhills yesterday. Of course, I bought some accessories for my iPod (another metal case and a strap I can use for biking). But as regards footware, it was my turn to buy one for Bea.

Bea's becoming just as brand conscious as I am. I bought her Christmas present- Havaianas Flip-flops. Looking at these slippers closely, they were just extremely overpriced Spartans or Beach-walks. I mean, extremely overpriced (by at least 10 times)!

Well, I could not protest. It was, as I have figured by now, my turn... and my little girl is growing up... oh no!

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
This day in history from:

Spoke too soon...

So apparently I'm still not in holiday mode. Something came up and now I have two major things due this week.

But the sooner I finish this, the sooner I can party so wish me luck.

Catch you later. I have to meet my new client. Yes, this early.

Monday, December 12, 2005
This day in history from:

Winding down...

It's official.

Aside from a case that's brewing in my government consultancy stint (somebody is asking for a temporary restraining order against us) and an appeal to the Department of Justice, I'm already in holiday mode. Most of the appointments I will be having from this point on will be Christmas parties of clients (and Bea's parties).

Things I intend to do this season:

1. Do some Christmas shopping of my own (my mom already did my Divisoria rounds for me...)

For this, I will go again to that gadgetfreak's paradise called Greenhills. I'm looking for a very rugged case for my iPod, something I can use for biking, since I'm taking it up again. And I promised my favorite niece/godchild that I will buy her 20Gb iPod Photo a pink rubberized skin. Then, I'll look for other accessories for my iPod and probably some PS2 games while I'm at it. Also, I haven't gotten my kids their presents yet.

Of course, I will go there on a weekday, at the earliest possible time to avoid the crowds.

2. Catch up on quality time with my kids.

Recent schedules have left me little quality time with my kids. It does not necessarily entail going out. Just last night, the three of us had a good time just playing around. They were so tired that they dropped like bricks to dreamland afterwards. I'll probably take them out also to see lights or something. Belarmine field (the one fronting The Church of the Gesú) in Ateneo during night masses is a good place to start.

3. Reflect

As I have said before, I need some time to reflect and to plan my next career move. I have approached the crossroads and the choice cannot be delayed any longer.

4. Choir

I have choir obligations during our night masses so I really complete all 9 Novena masses every Christmas because of this. Let's just say I'm forced to good on this one.

5. Be merry and be thankful

I will treat all the parties I will attend as an opportunity to be merry, for a change. No more brooding. No more pondering (about what has happened to me and my kids). It's been too long and it's time to move on.

We will just be thankful that despite all of what has happened to us, WE ARE STILL HERE (ala Morpheus in The Matrix: Reloaded)!

6. Blog

Of course, I will give you a day-to-day account of all of these things, so stay tuned, folks.

Sunday, December 11, 2005
This day in history from:

Results are in...

And now for the results of the eight visit...

(a little fanfare please...)


I'm severely tempted to look for a mother for my children. A mother to my children only, mind you, NOT a wife. But of course, I don't know how that will work.

Saturday, December 10, 2005
This day in history from:

Lindsay's Burden

Finally, I was able to convert my iTunes library from mp3 to aac format. Took Lindsay more than 14 hours to convert all 3100+ songs. This was also the first time I left her on that long.

I made a major fumble so I had to manually delete all mp3's in Lindsay to save on disk space. That took at least another hour before I was able to synchronize my iPod. Because of the size (all mp3s in the iPod were likewise deleted and the aac files were installed), that step took another 30 minutes at least.

Total memory space saved: more than 3 Gb. That's 75% of an iPod mini/nano!

Music quality difference: insignificant to nil.

Hoooray! The exercise was, in my opinion, worth it. And I already set up iTunes so it will import future CDs in aac rather than mp3 format.

On another topic. I really enjoyed Kitchie Nadal's cover of Ligaya in the Ultraelectromagnetic Jam album the most. Such a talented and pretty lady. So now I'm thinking of buying her album already... maybe tomorrow, but "that girl" is due for a scheduled visit. Or course, I'm not expecting her to come tomorrow but she should at least inform me today so we can go out ("we" meaning my kids and I, NOT me and her).

This Christmas visit will be crucial. If she does not visit tomorrow, I can safely say she has completely lost all interest in her kids. If she does not visit tomorrow, I can safely overturn my presumption that she still has a sense of motherhood left in her. In a sense, that will be better for us (my kids and I again). We can truly go on with our lives without her at the back of our minds. You can expect a report on that tomorrow.

If she does visit, Lindsay will have another burden. Lindsay would have to stand the sight of her for at most four hours because I won't. (Lindsay stares out to our living room, the only place where "that girl" can stay during her visit.)

Have to go. Choir practice.

Words of Wisdom

Yesterday was better than the day before.

Started the day chatting with the person involved in "that former special day." I told her I remembered her the day before but could not greet her anymore because it was "inappropriate" (as she was already engaged). To my surprise, she said she also remembered me but like me, she felt greeting me that day was "inappropriate." Ironically, we "greeted" each other the day after, in some twisted way.

What does this mean?

Your guess is as good as mine. But I will not venture one because I'm through with the guessing and mind games that come with male-female interactions and relationships. I remember the time when I spend countless hours talking with a friend on the meaning of what a "prospect" says (or did not say). I'm already weary of that.

So let's just leave it at that, shall we? I'm just putting this down for record purposes.

The highlight of the day, as I have blogged yesterday, is my last hearing for the year. It's basically a pro bono case where I represent some friends.

This hearing was a small triumph for the (human) male species.

The set up was tripartite, one male lawyer (me) and two lady lawyers, before a lady judge. The two lady lawyers eventually ended up bickering over something that took me only a few words to resolve.

To this the judge declared (of course, this is translated and paraphrased already), "That's what I like about men. When they say, decide on something or give their word, that's basically it. They do not often change their minds like us women. They are people of few words and a single resolve, unlike women who fluctuate from black to white almost at whim and end up bickering. When men say it's black, it's black. Women change from black to white, then back again so easily."

Mind you, this came from a lady judge.

In another front, I took La Vida Lawyer's advise and bought Ultraelectromagnetic Jam: The Music of the Eraserheads. It was a good decision. I even bought Anthology and I am listening to them right now in my iPod.

Transported me to my law school/bar review days, which may provide a good segue to another instalment of my law school days series later...

But for now, I'm busy converting my iTunes library from mp3 to aac format. The aac format is supposed to same me a third of my present memory space, without significant loss of music quality. But given the extent of my library, this will take Lindsay overnight. I'm blogging in the meantime, but I anticipate I have to sleep while Lindsay works unattended...

Got to go now. Sleeping time...

Friday, December 09, 2005
This day in history from:

Not a good day

Mutiple Choice:

I could not blog yesterday because:

(a) Had a bloody/bad hearing
(b) Tired from driving for three hours in stop-and-stop traffic
(c) Simply sick and tired
(d) This used to be a special day but I don't want to remember it anymore (No, it's not my wedding anniversary, that was on December 1)
(e) All of the Above
(f) None of the Above

If you answer "E," you are correct. Though the Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (where I played) went pretty well...

But there is something to look forward to today. This will be my last hearing for the year (unless something else comes up, you'll never know.) So I'm expecting some sort of winding down for the year. But I do hope I can still collect on some of my receivables to have a "complete" holiday season...

I need the extra time to ponder about what I want to do about my career. I gave myself until the end of this year for it.

How I wish I had the luxury of a vacation (all by myself without the kids) to go with that reflection period...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005
This day in history from:

Blog Lecture No. 52: Sub Judice

Ok class. I was supposed to move on to paliamentary immunity but I have to sneak this lecture in due to relevance.

What is the sub judice rule?

Of judicial proceedings, not yet decided by a court of law or judge, as long as a matter is sub judice all discussion is prohibited elsewhere.

Is the violation thereof punishable?

It is punishable as indirect contempt of court as "[a]ny improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice."

Why is this so?

Commenting on a case while pending will tend to influence those who will eventually decide it. In order to insulate them from undue influence, any comment or discussion on a pending case is not allowed.

How does this fit in today's proceedings?

There are a lot of factors that militate against Garci's refusal to answer on the ground of sub judice. First, a inquiry in aid of legislation presupposes a higher public interest than a pending case. In the balancing of interests, the inquiry weighs more than the alleged violation of the sub judice rule.

Second, the parliamentary inquiry is, as a general rule, plenary. And if the purpose of the inquiry is gather information and not influence a decision on a pending case, there is no violation of the sub judice rule. The purposes are simply different.

Third, as a co-equal branch of government, I believe congress could be exempt from this rule.

I will withhold other comments on today's events as soon as I can digest them...

Text Votings

Text votings are sure becoming popular these days. But who's to say the result reflects the true text votes cast?

What are the security precautions taken to ensure the integrity of the voting process?

Is there a representative from the Department of Trade and Industry overseeing the vote counting? All it takes is a few keystrokes (with enough access level) to manipulate results, you know...

Just remember that before you plunk down your hard-earned money in voting for your favorite Pinoy Big Brother housemate...

Oh and by the way, Garci is set to appear today so expect another post...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005
This day in history from:

One year ago...

My first entry exactly a year ago was pretty lame considering what I blog about now.

Just made a "small" self-introduction and relayed how I lost my actual first entry. Of course, I was just learning the ropes at the time.

My first experience with the internet was way back in 1991 and I was, more or less, an internet regular since 1996. But it was only last year did we get unlimited and broadband access to the internet. Because of this, gravitating towards blogging was a foregone conclusion, since I also write for a living.

It was a chance to practice my writing, as well as chronicle my life (in the Doogie Houser, M.D. tradition) as it happens. The blog lectures and the sprinkling of commentary was really secondary.

Seeing how far this blog has come (in content and design), it is truly wonderful to look back at what happened this year.

With this entry, therefore, Punzi's Corner Blog marks a year of existence. And as I have said in a past entry:

What a journey it has been
And the end is not in sight
But the stars are out tonight
and they're bound to guide my way.

Monday, December 05, 2005
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I (heart) Apple

As much as I don't want this blog to appear like a shrine dedicated to the virtues of Apple products, I simply cannot help myself since that's my present concern and/or preoccupation.

First, I installed Front Row in Lindsay yesterday. With a certain patch called Front Row Enabler, Front Row can be installed in virtually any Mac, even those without Apple remotes. Got it from PhilMUG's thread here. Lindsay is taking it pretty well but it's not perfectly seamless. The performance drop is noticeable but not significant.

Let me also tell you that of course, I still have a life. Woke up at around 4:00 a.m. so I can leave home at around 5:30 a.m. for a hearing in Antipolo City. The hearing went well, albeit ended at around 11:00 a.m. I have to leave that early for Antipolo hearings because anything later would subject me to huge traffic stress. Also, having the iPod in the car (I used the tape thingy to play it in the car stereo) made the trip more pleasant.

Then, off to my aunt's house for lunch. Her cook was so good, she can even make Tokwa (fried tofu) extra special. I was specifically asked to drop by so I can fix her newly-purchased 29" Wega which she bought after my mom talked her into buying one. She could not buy the same TV my mother bought because her place gets flooded during the rainy season. A big-screen TV was simply too heavy to carry safety during floods.

Oh yes, back to the joys of Apple.

I tried my friend's suggestion for a cheap iPod video cable. It was simply a matter of purchasing a videocam cable and just switching the plugs, as stated in this site. That saved me a ton.

So it is possible to live the Apple lifestyle without the Apple cost of living.

Have to go. Still have some paperwork to do.

Sunday, December 04, 2005
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Gadgetflash IV: Apple products

Apple truly makes superior products. Unfortunately, it comes at a superior cost so the Apple experience cannot be brought to the mainstream. Unless they decide to.

As you may know, Lindsay is about two to three months with me and I have not regretted the decision to get her. It is such a superior machine that like my friend, I wonder why I did not make the transition earlier. And like the Matrix, the experience cannot really explained. You have to experience it for yourself.

Enter this other Apple product: the iPod.

Yes, I know there are a lot of music players in the market, and far more affordable ones at that. But if you can get your hands on one (especially if you aready have an Apple computer), then don't think twice about getting one.

The iPod has evolved into more than just a portable music player. And that's all want to say about it because it's something that, again, has to be experienced. And I don't want this entry to sound too much like a product endorsement.

Saturday, December 03, 2005
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Just finished loading my entire CD collection into my new, white 30G iPod. Took me all day. Now I realize I have a big CD collection, but it never went near half of the thing... I used up less than 14Gb (including a ton of photos and the TikibarTV video podcasts).


Finally, I have one and soon felt all the frustrations of the past weeks melt away as soon as I took this baby for a test drive.

And finally I finished loading it up.

Catch you guys later. I have choir. Then probably download some podcasts sometime afterwards...

Friday, December 02, 2005
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Finger Pointing

Whoever came up with the saying that an accusation may point two fingers at someone but points the rest of the three fingers back at the accuser was so on the money.

Most recent validation:

1. Two Fingers- Thai PM accuses Philippines of rigging SEA Games. Apparently, he could not beleive that such a disunited country (with even the sports program marred by politics) could even fare better than East Timor. Personally, I cannot believe it myself considering the basketball fiasco, but the Philippines is not really known for "utterly blatant hometown decisions," unlike other Asian countries where a Filipino boxer has to knock out his opponent to win the fight. Anything less will be a loss.

2. Three Fingers back- Two Thai officials sanctioned in SEA Games for "shady officiating."

So now who's cheating who?

Thursday, December 01, 2005
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Blog Lecture No. 51: Presidential Immunity

Sorry to have "gone" so long folks.

Been in some sort of dry spell/rut lately. Too much worrying.

But I will try shake it off with a "mini-series" on immunities.

There are three immunities I will tackle in this "mini-series," namely:

1. Presidential Immunity
2. Parliamentary Immunity
3. State Immunity

But I will tackle presidential immunity first.

What is the legal concept of presidential immunity?

Simply put, it is the elementary principle that "incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure." (In re: Bermudez, G.R. No. 76180, 24 October 1986)

Where is this found in the law?

Peculiarly, this concept has no constitutional basis. There is no provision on this in the 1987 Constitution.

The basis can be found in jurisprudence, which forms part of the law of the land.

Why is an incumbent president immune from suit?

"Being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder's time, also demands undivided attention." (from the same case I cited above)

"The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder's time, also demands undivided attention." (Soliven vs. Makasiar, G.R. No. 82585, 14 November 1988)

Hence, the President cannot be thinking of things like Garci, fertilizers, vaccines, etc. The President should be given enough space to concentrate on the job at hand, like bolstering up the economy and stuff like that.

But does this mean an incumbent President is invulnerable (like Superman) to any suit?

Of course not. This does not take away a sitting president's accountability. For that an incumbent president must be impeached first then removed. After this such removed president no longer enjoys immunity.

Does this mean the president, while in office, cannot also sue others?

No. Presidential immunity is a privilege of the president.

Remember the case of President Aquino sued Luis Beltran, et. al. for libel. Part of the defense of Beltran is presidential immunity also carries with it the disability to file suit.

In disposing of this argument, the Supreme Court said in that same case of Soliven vs. Makasiar said:

But this privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the office and may be invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any other person in the President's behalf Thus, an accused in a criminal case in which the President is complainant cannot raise the presidential privilege as a defense to prevent the case from proceeding against such accused.

Moreover, there is nothing in our laws that would prevent the President from waiving the privilege. Thus, if so minded the President may shed the protection afforded by the privilege and submit to the court's jurisdiction. The choice of whether to exercise the privilege or to waive it is solely the President's prerogative. It is a decision that cannot be assumed and imposed by any other person.

So can this immunity be waived?

Yes. If an incumbent President files a suit (be it civil or criminal), such person shed the protection of immunity and submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

What is the scope of such immunity?

According to this link, "immunity should extend only to acts in performance of particular functions of his office because immunities are grounded in "the nature of the function performed, not the identity of the actor who performed it." This was based on the US case of Clinton vs. Jones.

Hence, if an incumbent President is being sued as a private person in a private capacity (not involving the office of the president), the immunity cannot be invoked.

With all due respect to the one that wrote that, I tend to disagree. Based on the concept that an incumbent President must be assured the exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, I submit that privilege of immunity likewise covers all other cases. Such suits can be commenced when the privilege of immunity has been lifted.

Of course, this is just my opinion and there is no court case here that deals with this issue.

So next time, I will lecture on congressional immunity.


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Side Prayers

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

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.

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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