Thursday, August 31, 2006
This day in history from:

I can't believe it

Supernova axed Ryan Star.

And all the while I thought it will be Dilana and Ryan battling it out for front spot in Supernova.

Oh well, it's still their decision. I say Gilby Clark indifferent to his six foot dive from the top of the amplifier stacks...

Maybe in the end, they didn't want to hang around with him when they are not playing any gigs. Hey, it's their band in the end.

The twists get better and better... so stick around.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
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Cheating your way to bar admission

With the recent controversies surrounding the nurses' admission test, the focus now shifts to the bar exams that will start this week.

The bar exams, mind you, is not exempt from controversy. In 2003, there was a leakage in the exams for Mercantile Law which led the Supreme Court to invalidate that portion. I think the reviewer was reprimanded and the one that actually leaked it was disbarred. The official case can be found here.

A part of me is screaming unfair. When I took the bar, my grades in Mercantile and Criminal Law saved me from taking the test again. What if I took the test that year? I could have failed. Why punish the entire lot for the sins of the few. And those who benefitted then were traceable.

I'm just thinking aloud at this point. What will it take to assure passing the bar?

1. Know all the bar examiners. And I don't mean just acquaintances. I mean enough that they will let you give them a sample of your handwriting and pass you...

2. Know the bar chairman. So he/she will let you pull it off...

3. Know the bar confidant and everyone in that office...

4. But of course, the best way is to know the answers. Because knowing the questions is not a guarantee. That's why a leakage is the bar is almost useless.

And if you ever do cheat the system and get admitted to the bar not based on merit, half of the people will vilify and crucify you... The other half will call you a "damn good lawyer."

Oh, you may want to read this from a year ago... and this one too

Good luck! And particularly to you Ron...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This day in history from:

Don't care what you think...

But this has been my favorite song since 1992...

Don't care if it's one of the more worn out songs today.

But I'm featuring the original version...

(Love Moves In) Mysterious Ways
[Julia Fordham]

Who'd have thought
This is how the pieces fit?
You and I
Shouldn't even try making sense of it

I forgot
How we ever came this far
I believe we had reasons
but I don't know what they are
So blame it on my heart, oh

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days
But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways

Heaven knows
Love is just a chance we take
We make plans
But then love demands a leap of faith

So hold me close
And never let me go
'Cause even though we think we know
which way the river flows
That's not the way love goes, no

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days
But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways

Like the ticking of the clock
two hearts beat as one
But I'll never understand
the ways it's done

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days
But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways
Love moves in mysterious ways

Sunday, August 27, 2006
This day in history from:

Was all about the flute...

This weekend was all about the flute.

Those weekly sessions sure did inject adrenalin to my waning interest in music. And it also did wonders for my choir participation...

Now, we're talking music and flute stands, flute pieces and the rich resources like this from the internet and finally finishing Level 1 of the flute lesson book I got eons ago...

Who knows? When I have the time and the money, I may be talkng about formal flute lessons and even commissioning a professional flute from this local craftsman (or perhaps just an upgrade to an intermediate flute) pretty soon...

I've never been this excited or enthusiastic about something for such a long time... Wish me luck...

Saturday, August 26, 2006
This day in history from:

Bar Superstitions and Rituals

For this weekend and remembering those "who are about to die, that salute us...," I like to talk about the topic you see above.

I was very religious but at the same time very superstitious when I was studying law. I think that multiplied by a factor of 10 when I started studying and taking the bar.

Let me see... for the final exams every semester in law school I only wear "approved" shirts. When I say "approved," I mean "proven lucky." I only wear those shirts that I know have given me luck (which then usually translates into shirts I wore when I got a high grade on the test).

Then, I had this particular shirt that for that extra important final exam. It was a t-shirt my ex-girlfriend gave me.

This shirt I wore all four Sundays of my bar exams... I don't know if my friends even noticed this.

I have a friend that had to have the same Saturday night meal (of a Manager's Choice pizza and some Chick 'n Chips from Shakey's) for his entire bar exams.

Then, I didn't want to hear the word "failure" and all its English and Filipino permutations at all during my review, the exams and even while waiting for the results. If I heard any such word, I find a piece of wood to knock on...

Irrational isn't it? But hey, it doesn't hurt to have these rituals and superstitions. I say, do your bar rituals and follow your bar superstitions. Whatever makes you comfortable or whatever calms you down.

To those are about the die next month, we salute you!

Friday, August 25, 2006
This day in history from:


Been really neglecting to blog recently. Beset by a lot of disappointments lately. Add to that a ton of work and you got a recipe for significant blog neglect...

I hope my prospects turn up brighter in the coming days. Because I'm really going to need them to.

Then, I'll probably forget to blog altogether. As my friend says, "Good for business, bad for the blog."

But if you were me, what choice do you have?

Have a nice weekend...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
This day in history from:


I was so not in the mood to blog last weekend that I forgot to mention how my weekend was.

I got a text message Saturday morning from our choir violinist, a stately retired engineer who worked mainly in Hong Kong, asking me to come to his house for a "violin clinic" he was holding for the neighborhood kids. A parent was joining them on the flute but for the past sessions, it was so out of tune. So they asked me to find out what the problem was.

So I arrived at the house and I could not believe who was there. It was Ariel Ureta (he's a neighbor also) and apparently he could play violin and flute. But he was there for violin lessons.

I made some adjustments on the parent's flute and it was fixed. We played a few pieces for Bach and Handel. It was fun.

How was Mr. Ureta? He had a good ear and played well (of course, we were all amateurs) but claimed he could not read music. But when we had a break, I thought we were in his talk show or I was listening to the radio because he's just as talkative at all times. It was very hard to put in a sentence. But I mean this all in a good way because he was fun to be with and had a lot of stories.

So now, we meet every Saturday morning. And who know's? We could make choir instrumentalists out of that group and have ourselves an village orchestra for mass. That would be great.

That was basically the highlight of my weekend...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
This day in history from:

Another lesson about the internet

Sorry for my YouTube blogging streak. Been in a slump lately and I need cheering up.

This video succinctly captures the essence of the internet.

Warning: Some offensive content.

Monday, August 21, 2006
This day in history from:

Even God Can't Change the Past

This is the Charlotte Church I remember, know and love:

Even God Can't Change the Past
(Charlotte Church)

Even God can't change the past
No matter how many tears I've cried
Yes, I thought this love would last
Who am I to question why
Who am I

Darling when I'm hurt
That's when I'm satisfied
Tell me what it's worth
To persue the Holy life
I can see your face
Even when I close my eyes
I can give you love
Even when I've been denied

Who, who's loving who
Who, who's fooling who

Even God can't change the past
No matter how many tears I've cried
Yes, I thought this love would last
Who am I to question why
Who am I

Darling what is love
If it never gets you high
Should we sit and wait
While the wasted years roll by
Is there time to say
If I lied, I apologize
Never go away
Please stay here by my side

Who, who's fooling who
Who, who's loving who

Even God can't change the past
No matter how many tears I've cried
Yes, I thought this dream would last
Who am I to question why
Who am I

They try to break you
They try to steal your stars
If they ever take you
Just remember who you are
They try to hate you
Just like some love bizarre
It's a sign of weakness
To be afraid of what you are

Who, who's loving who
Who, who's fooling who

Even God can't change the past
No matter how many tears I've cried
Yes, I thought this pain would pass
Who am I to question why
Who am I to question why
Who am I to question why

Sunday, August 20, 2006
This day in history from:

I Believe...

Sorry, this is the only video I found in YouTube with Diana Degarmo singing in it (didn't like Fantasia Barrino's version):

I like Avatar, anyway.

I Believe
(version of Diana Degarmo)

Have you ever you ever reached a rainbow's end
And did you find your pot of gold
Ever catch a shooting star
And tell me how high did you soar
Ever felt like you were dreaming
Just to find that you're awake
And the magic that surrounds you
Will lift you up and guide you on your way

I can see it in the stars across the sky
Dreamt a hundred thousand dreams before
Now I finally realize
You see I've waited all my life for this moment to arrive
And finally I believe

When you look out in the distance
you see never was I far
Heaven knows of your existence
And want's you to be everything you are
There's a time for every soul to fly
It's in the eye's of every child
Is that I hope that love can save the world
And oooh we should never let it go


I believe in the impossible
If I reach deep within my heart
Overcome any obstacle
Won't let this dream fall apart
See I strive to be the very best
Shine my light for all to see
Cause anything is possible
When you believe yeah

I can see it in the stars across the sky
Dreamt a hundred thousand dreams before
Now I finally realize
I've waited all my life for this moment to arrive
And finally I believe
Yes I believe

Saturday, August 19, 2006
This day in history from:

When will this week be over?

Things did not go well this week as a crucial meeting did not materialize.

So I need cheering up. Here is another Alyssa Alano song:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
This day in history from:

What's this?

There's a new mini-series on ABC.

But who would have guessed? It will be Ugly Betty, a version of the popular telenovela Yo soy Betty, La Fea (I am Betty, The Ugly One), produced by Salma Hayek, herself a former telenovela star.

See the trailer:

And see a clip from the original telenovela:


I'm tired.

But not sick and tired. At least not yet.

Came from two important meetings. Then I had to review Bea for her quarterlies. Whew! The travails of a superdad!

Anyway, these were good prospects so I hope they push through.

Will blog about them some more when they materialize. In the meantime, I'm not talking anymore else I might jinx them.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006
This day in history from:

It's a joke, right?

Reading the newspaper yesterday, I noticed that my DSL plan has supposedly been upgraded to 1.2 mbps from 768 mbps.

I'm sorry I took so long because I could not hold my laughter any longer...


I'm not even hitting 512 kbps before. How do you expect me to believe I'm going to get 1.2 mpbs?

Of course my DSL provider always has its disclaimers to hide its sorry ass behind. Of course, it will use words such as "up to," "results may vary" and "responsible only for connection up to a single PC."

Well, at least, it has tacitly allowed routers already because before, it didn't.

Monday, August 14, 2006
This day in history from:


Our condolences to the those left behind by ABC-5 reporter Hazel Richeta-Calimag and TV crew members Arnel Guiao and Ismael Cabugaya, who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Read my friend Jove Francisco's poignant entry of the here. He used to work with those who died.

Only goes to show that good Filipinos today end up either abroad or killed by the worthless.

Tale of the Sink

I'm really not in a mood to blog today, simply because of the "flash flood" that happened at the house last night.

Well, my father forgot to turn off the faucet sink when our subdivision water was turned off (for regular rationing). So when the mains came alive, he didn't know water was freely flowing in the upstairs bathroom.

The clogged sink didn't help, either. So the water flooded his bathroom and his room without him realizing it.

And guess what the upstairs floors are made of? You guessed it, wood.

So water seeped downwards and we had our own little rainshower in the living room downstairs...

It was the first time our house was flooded in, I guess, ten years when we were living in Pasig and flood waters actually came into our first floor on a regular basis.

And we spent a good portion of early morning cleaning up the water...


I got to look out for my parents better. They have a creeping condition called A.G.E.

Anyway, check out my latest entry over at the Pinoy Tech Blog on Gadgetless Travel.

Sunday, August 13, 2006
This day in history from:

Sweet Sixteen?

It's the second Sunday of the month again and I'm here to report on the results of the 16th visit...

It's just like the 15 before it. A no-show.

I'm getting tired of this. Only two more visits and it's off to court again to make a report...

Saturday, August 12, 2006
This day in history from:

Real Life Simpsons

Went to Isabela last week with La Vida Lawyer to attend the hearing.

It was one of the smoothest direct examinations I ever saw. Our 94-year old client was one of the most intelligent and most cogent we ever had.

Anyway, enough of that. How about this video depicting the Simpsons intro in as live action people. Take a look:

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 10, 2006
This day in history from:

Thank goodness...

The Philippine government finally dropped its ill-advised plan to send two coast guard ships to help with its evacuation efforts in Lebanon.

Did my blog have an effect in this decision? Of course not!

But of course, I like to think so...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
This day in history from:

Before: EO 464, Now: MC 108





WHEREAS, the principle of separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government is enshrined in the Constitution;

WHEREAS, the Constitution establishes crucial safeguards regarding the power of inquiry of the Legislative branch of government to avoid possible abuse and to safeguard the rights of persons appearing before them as provided under the laws and the Constitution;

WHEREAS, Article VI, Section 21 of the Constitution provides that the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedures, and that the rights of persons appearing in or affective by such inquiries be respected;

WHEREAS, Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution states that the heads of departments may, with the consent of the President, appear before either House of Congress on any matter pertaining to their departments and, when the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, such appearance shall be conducted in executive session;

WHEREAS, there is a need to lay down guidelines for the appearance of departments heads and other officials of the Executive department before either House of Congress to protect the rights of officials appearing therein, ensure the security of confidential information vital to national interest and uphold the Constitutional principle of separation of powers;

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, in its Decision dated 20 April 2006 and Resolution dated 14 July 2006 in the case of Senate of the Philippines, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 169777, has laid down certain rules and guidelines in respect thereof and, there is now a need to consolidate the same with existing policies and guidelines for the observance of all concerned;

WHEREAS, under the Constitution and the 1987 Administrative Code, the President shall have control of all government departments, bureaus and offices and shall ensure that all laws shall be faithfully executed;

In view of the foregoing, the following guidelines are hereby promulgated for the guidance of all officials and employees of the Executive Branch:

SECTION 1. Question Hour. All heads of departments of the Executive branch of government shall secure the consent of the President prior to appearing at a question hour before either House of Congress.

When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall only be conducted in executive session.

SECTION 2. Inquiries in Aid of Legislation.

A. Coverage. – This section shall apply to inquiries made in aid of legislation which may, however, cause disclosures on, or involve matters of, privilege or confidential information, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Conversations and correspondence between the President and other persons on matters of privilege;
(2) State secrets, including military, diplomatic and other national security matters which in the interest of national security should not be divulged;
(3) Information between inter-government agencies prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements;
(4) Discussion in close-door Cabinet meetings, as well as internal deliberations of government officials comprising part of a process by which government decisions are made or policies are formulated; and
(5) Matters affecting national security and public order.

B. Procedure. -

(1) Upon receipt of the request to appear before either House of Congress by any official, said official shall promptly request from Congress information, if it is not so provided in the invitation, regarding the possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry, the subject matter of the inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof;

(2) The official, after obtaining such information, shall forward the request and all pertinent documents, together with a brief background and recommendation, to the President through the Executive Secretary;

(3) The President shall consider whether the subject matter of the inquiry is in aid of legislation and/or fails within the scope of executive privilege;

(4) To ensure that adequate information is obtained, and the President is given sufficient opportunity to discuss and/or consider the subject matter of the inquiry, the officials concerned shall, upon receipt of the request for appearance, request from Congress a reasonable period of time (e.g. fifteen (15) days) prior to any appearance before either House of Congress. Such request for a period shall not constitute a waiver or invocation of executive privilege and the request shall state such fact;

(5) Upon a determination that the subject matter of the inquiry falls within the scope of executive privilege, the President of the Executive Secretary, acting "By order of the President", shall inform the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, of the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made (e.g., whether the information demanded involves military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc.);

(6) During the appearance of the concerned official before either House of Congress, when the security of the State or public interest so requires, the official shall request that the appearance be continued in executive session. If the same is denied, he shall request for a reasonable opportunity to secure the proper confirmation from the President; and

(7) In appearing before either House of Congress, the official shall, at all times, be represented/accompanied by counsel.

SECTION 3. Officials appearing before Congress are reminded that the Rules of Procedure of the Senate and/or the House of Representatives provide rules on questions which may not be asked. Moreover, the Constitution and the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Senate of the Philippines, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., supra., state that the rights of persons appearing in or affected by legislative inquiries shall be respected. Thus, said officials have a right not to answer the following questions. Among others:

(1) Those which contain arguments;
(2) Those which include offensive or unparliamentary language or expression;
(3) Those which pertain to matters sub judice;
(4) Those which refer to the internal affairs of a foreign country or contain unwarranted discourtesy to it;
(5) Those which seek an opinion on a question of law;
(6) Those which relate to matters failing within the responsibility of another department head;
(7) Those which repeat question/s previously asked and answered;
(8) Those which violate the rights of officials as guaranteed under the laws and the Constitution; and
(9) Those which are neither directly material nor pertinent to the subject matter of the inquiry or legislation.

SECTION 4. At all times during their appearance before Congress, officials shall strictly ensure the confidentiality of information covered by executive privilege. If necessary during the course of the inquiry, he shall request for a reasonable opportunity to inform the President that the matters being discussed may fall within the scope of executive privilege.

SECTION 5. Repealing Clause. – All executives issuances, orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Memorandum Circular are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 6. Separability Clause. – If any section or provision of this Memorandum Circular shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other sections or provisions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION 7. Publication. - This Memorandum Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days following the completion of its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

By authority of the President:

Executive Secretary

Manila, Philippines, 27 July 2006

Blog Lecture No. 64: Habeas Corpus

Time for another blog-lecture...

What the hell does habeas corpus mean?

It's a cool latin term meaning "you have the body." (not, your body is a wonderland...)

It is a proceeding where individual held in custody can challenge the propriety of that custody under the law. The prisoner, or some other person on his behalf (for example, where the prisoner is being held incommunicado), may petition the court or an individual judge for a writ of habeas corpus.

The more complete term is habeas corpus ad subjiciendum and this now means "That you may have/hold the body to be subjected to examination."

When is the privilege of this writ suspended?

According to the 1987 Constitution, in cases of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it. (Section 15, Article III)

But the right to bail cannot be impaired despite such a suspension (Section 13, thereof)

How does one go about applying for the issuance of such a writ?

It is delineated in Rule 102 of the Rules of Court:

RULE 102


Sec. 1. To what habeas corpus extends. - Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto.

Sec. 2. Who may grant the writ. - The writ of habeas corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court, or any member thereof, on any day and at any time, or by the Court of Appeals or any member thereof in the instances authorized by law, and if so granted it shall be enforceable anywhere in the Philippines, and may be made returnable before the court or any member thereof, or before the Court of First Instance, or any judge thereof for the hearing and decision on the merits. It may also be granted by a Court of First Instance, or a judge thereof, on any day and at any time, and returnable before himself, enforceable only within his judicial district.

Sec. 3. Requisites of application therefor. - Application for the writ shall be by petition signed and verified either by the party for whose relief it is intended, or by some person on his behalf, and shall set forth:

(a) That the person in whose behalf the application is made is imprisoned or restrained of his liberty;

(b) The officer or name of the person by whom he is so imprisoned or restrained; or, if both are unknown or uncertain, such officer or person may be described by an assumed appellation, and the person who is served with the writ shall be deemed the person intended;

(c) The place where he is so imprisoned or restrained, if known;

(d) A copy of the commitment or cause of detention of such person, if it can be procured without impairing the efficiency of the remedy; or, if the imprisonment or restraint is without any legal authority, such fact shall appear.

Sec. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized. - If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful judgment.

Sec. 5. When the writ must be granted and issued. - A court or judge authorized to grant the writ must, when a petition therefor is presented and it appears that the writ ought to issue, grant the same forthwith, and immediately thereupon the clerk of the court shall issue the writ under the seal of the court; or in case of emergency, the judge may issue the writ under his own hand, and may depute any officer or person to serve it.

Sec. 6. To whom writ directed, and what to require. - In case of imprisonment or restraint by an officer, the writ shall be directed to him, and shall command him to have the body of the person restrained of his liberty before the court or judge designated in the writ at the time and place therein specified. In case of imprisonment or restraint by a person not an officer, the writ shall be directed to an officer, and shall command him to take and have the body of the person restrained of his liberty before the court or judge designated in the writ at the time and place therein specified, and to summon the person by whom he is restrained then and there to appear before said court or judge to show the cause of the imprisonment or restraint. chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 7. How prisoner designated and writ served. - The person to be produced should be designated in the writ by his name, if known, but if his name is not known he may be otherwise described or identified. The writ may be served in any province by the sheriff or other proper officer, or by a person deputed by the court or judge. Service of the writ shall be made by leaving the original with the person to whom it is directed and preserving a copy on which to make return of service. If that person cannot be found, or has not the prisoner in his custody, then the service shall be made on any other person having or exercising such custody.

Sec. 8. How writ executed and returned. - The officer to whom the writ is directed shall convey the person so imprisoned or restrained, and named in the writ, before the judge allowing the writ, or, in case of his absence or disability, before some other judge of the same court, on the day specified in the writ, unless, from sickness or infirmity of the person directed to be produced, such person cannot, without danger, be brought before the court or judge; and the officer shall make due return of the writ, together with the day and the cause of the caption and restraint of such person according to the command thereof.

Sec. 9. Defect of form. - No writ of habeas corpus can be disobeyed for defect of form, if it sufficiently appears therefrom in whose custody or under whose restraint the party imprisoned or restrained is held and the court or judge before whom he is to be brought.

Sec. 10. Contents of return. - When the person to be produced is imprisoned or restrained by an officer, the person who makes the return shall state therein, and in other cases the person in whose custody the prisoner is found shall state, in writing to the court or judge before whom the writ is returnable, plainly and unequivocably:

(a) Whether he has or has not the party in his custody or power, or under restraint;

(b) If he has the party in his custody or power, or under restraint, the authority and the true and whole cause thereof, set forth at large, with a copy of the writ, order, execution, or other process, if any, upon which the party is held;

(c) If the party is in his custody or power or is restrained by him, and is not produced, particularly the nature and gravity of the sickness or infirmity of such party by reason of which he cannot, without danger, be brought before the court or judge;

(d) If he has had the party in his custody or power, or under restraint, and has transferred such custody or restraint to another, particularly to whom, at what time, for what cause, and by what authority such transfer was made.

Sec. 11. Return to be signed and sworn to. - The return or statement shall be signed by the person who makes it; and shall also be sworn to by him if the prisoner is not produced, and in all other cases unless the return is made and signed by a sworn public officer in his official capacity.

Sec. 12. Hearing on return; Adjournments. - When the writ is returned before one judge, at a time when the court is in session, he may forthwith adjourn the case into the court, there to be heard and determined. The court or judge before whom the writ is returned or adjourned must immediately proceed to hear and examine the return, and such other matters as are properly submitted for consideration, unless for good cause shown the hearing is adjourned, in which event the court or judge shall make such order for the safekeeping of the person imprisoned or restrained as the nature of the case requires. If the person imprisoned or restrained is not produced because of his alleged sickness or infirmity, the court or judge must be satisfied that it is so grave that such person cannot be produced without danger, before proceeding to hear and dispose of the matter. On the hearing the court or judge shall disregard matters of form and technicalities in respect to any warrant or order of commitment of a court or officer authorized to commit by law.

Sec. 13. When the return evidence, and when only a plea. - If it appears that the prisoner is in custody under a warrant of commitment in pursuance of law, the return shall be considered prima facie evidence of the cause of restraint; but if he is restrained of his liberty by any alleged private authority, the return shall be considered only as a plea of the facts therein set forth, and the party claiming the custody must prove such facts.

Sec. 14. When person lawfully imprisoned recommitted, and when let to bail. - If it appears that the prisoner was lawfully committed, and is plainly and specifically charged in the warrant of commitment with an offense punishable by death, he shall not be released, discharged, or bailed. If he is lawfully imprisoned or restrained on a charge of having committed an offense not so punishable, he may be recommitted to imprisonment or admitted to bail in the discretion of the court or judge. If he be admitted to bail, he shall forthwith file a bond in such sum as the court or judge deems reasonable, considering the circumstances of the prisoner and the nature of the offense charged, conditioned for his appearance before the court where the offense is properly cognizable to abide its order or judgment; and the court or judge shall certify the proceedings, together with the bond, forthwith to the proper court. If such bond is not so filed, the prisoner shall be recommitted to confinement. chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 15. When prisoner discharged if no appeal. - When the court or judge has examined into the cause of caption and restraint of the prisoner, and is satisfied that he is unlawfully imprisoned or restrained, he shall forthwith order his discharge from confinement, but such discharge shall not be effective until a copy of the order has been served on the officer or person detaining the prisoner. If the officer or person detaining the prisoner does not desire to appeal, the prisoner shall be forthwith released. chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 16. Penalty for refusing to issue writ, or for disobeying the same. - A clerk of a court who refuses to issue the writ after allowance thereof and demand therefor, or a person to whom a writ is directed, who neglects or refuses to obey or make return of the same according to the command thereof, or makes false return thereof, or who, upon demand made by or on behalf of the prisoner, refuses to deliver to the person demanding, within six (6) hours after the demand therefor, a true copy of the warrant or order of commitment, shall forfeit to the party aggrieved the sum of one thousand pesos, to be recovered in a proper action, and may also be punished by the court or judge as for contempt.

Sec. 17. Person discharged not to be again imprisoned. - A person who is set at liberty upon a writ of habeas corpus shall not be again imprisoned for the same offense unless by the lawful order or process of a court having jurisdiction of the cause or offense; and a person who knowingly, contrary to the provisions of this rule, recommits or imprisons, or causes to be committed or imprisoned, for the same offense, or pretended offense, any person so set at liberty, or knowingly aids or assists therein, shall forfeit to the party aggrieved the sum of one thousand pesos, to be recovered in a proper action, notwithstanding any colorable pretense or variation in the warrant of commitment, and may also be punished by the court or judge granting writ as for contempt.

Sec. 18. When prisoner may be removed from one custody to another. - A person committed to prison, or in custody of an officer, for any criminal matter, shall not be removed therefrom into the custody of another officer unless by legal process, or the prisoner be delivered to an inferior officer to carry to jail, or, by order of the proper court or judge, be removed from one place to another within the Philippines for trial, or in case of fire, epidemic, insurrection, or other necessity or public calamity; and a person who, after such commitment, makes, signs, or countersigns any order for such removal contrary to this section, shall forfeit to the party aggrieved the sum of one thousand pesos, to be recovered in a proper action.

Sec. 19. Record of writ, fees and costs. - The proceedings upon a writ of habeas corpus shall be recorded by the clerk of the court, and upon the final disposition of such proceedings the court or judge shall make such order as to costs as the case requires. The fees of officers and witnesses shall be included in the costs taxed, but no officer or person shall have the right to demand payment in advance of any fees to which he is entitled by virtue of the proceedings. When a person confined under color of proceedings in a criminal case is discharged, the costs shall be taxed against the Republic of the Philippines, and paid out of its Treasury; when a person in custody by virtue or under color of proceedings in a civil case is discharged, the costs shall be taxed against him, or against the person who signed the application for the writ, or both, as the court shall direct.

Note: "Court of First Instance" is now "Regional Trial Court"

What is the difference between a writ issued by an appellate court (Supreme Court and Court of Appeals) and a writ issued by the Regional Trial Court?

An appellate court's writ is enforceable anywhere in the Philippines while a Regional Trial Court's writ is limited to the region where it belongs.

When do you need to resort to such a writ?

You need to apply for the following instances:

1. If an alien is illegally detained for deportation;

2. If a detention prisoner failed to post bail and the prosecution repeatedly delays trial, he can apply for a writ to obtain temporary freedom;

3. If a parent deprives the other custody of their child

4. If course, when someone is illegally detained (such as arbitrarily arrested or arrested without a warrant not within a valid warrantless arrest or a defective warrant)

5. If the court issuing the warrant does not have jurisdiction over the subject matter or the person of the accused (such as a civilian held by a military court)

6. If a person is already overstaying as he has already served out his penalty

7. If a person is still in prison when the law that punished him has been repealed

(Thanks to Justice Paras and his book on Civil Procedure (Volume II, First Edition, 1990) for some of the examples)

Monday, August 07, 2006
This day in history from:

Why bother?

Why is the government even bothering to sent ships to Lebanon, even if it will take at least 15 days to arrive in the war-torn area?

A good answer is it gives our government officials an extraordinary opportunity to augment their salaries and become overseas workers, even only for a brief period.

According to Executive Order No. 248, s. 1995, prescribing allowances for government officials traveling abroad:

Sec. 9. PRE-DEPARTURE EXPENSES. - Officials and employees authorized to travel abroad shall be entitled to One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P1,500.00) commutable pre-departure allowance to cover miscellaneous/incidental expenses, such as taxi fare, passport photographs, immunization, visa fees, tips, porterage, and airport terminal fees.

Sec. 10. TRANSPORTATION. - In case officials and employees authorized to travel abroad are not provided with transportation by the host country or sponsoring organization or agency, they shall be allowed official transportation which shall be of the economy class unless otherwise specified in the travel authority and approved by the President.

Sec. 11. CLOTHING ALLOWANCES. - Officials and employees authorized to travel shall be granted clothing allowance equivalent to Four Hundred United States Dollars (US$400.00)

Clothing allowance shall not be granted oftener than once in every twenty-four (24) months and a certification shall be submitted to the effect if no clothing allowance had been received during the next preceding twenty-four (24) months.

Sec. 12. TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AND HOTEL ROOM RATE/PER DIEM. - Officials and employees who travel abroad shall be granted travel allowance of One Hundred United States Dollars (US$100.00) and hotel room/lodging rate of Two Hundred United States Dollars (US$200.00) per day.

Claims for lodging or hotel accommodation shall be allowed only when duly supported by appropriate hotel room bills with official receipts; Provided, That, for the purpose, no certification or affidavit of loss shall be considered or accepted.

Subject to approval of the President, actual travel expenses in excess of the Three Hundred United States Dollars (US$300.00) above-prescribe for travel allowance and hotel room/lodging rate, may be allowed upon certification by the head of agency concerned as absolutely necessary in the performance of an assignment and presentation of hotel room bill with official receipts.

Bear in mind, this does not include hazard pay. And this order may have already been "adjusted" for inflation.

As you can see above, traveling by ship will give the maximum effect for the government official lucky enough to go since most of the allowances are on a daily basis.

I will not be surprised that these ships contain more officials than refugees, just like what we do in international athletic events (where there are more officials and their wives, children, servants and other dependents, than actual athletes).

I can spot this one a mile away. It has "JUNKET" written all over it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006
This day in history from:

The Prayer...

This is probably one of the most sung pieces in recent times. But I still like it.

I was supposed to lecture on habeas corpus but it's a weekend.

The Prayer
(as performed by Charlotte Church and Josh Groban)

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
La luce che to dai

I pray we’ll find your light
Nel cuore restero
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarchi che
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c’e
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
E’il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salvera

Friday, August 04, 2006
This day in history from:

It's about time!

After a controversial extension, Congress terminated the YMN Pacific Consortium deal for the Masinloc power plant and set the stage for a new bidding.

Entering into a new bidding at this stage and with all the controversy will surely push the price of the power plant down. It may even be a calculated move of the supposed YMN investor, Ranhil Berhad, to eventually get the plant for a song and dance routine.

Anyone from PSALM can always argue the losses can be recovered from the bid security that was forfeited. But that security covered losses only for the time between the bid award and the downpayment. It does not cover the government's losses for the extension period.

That controversial extension granted by PSALM can be the "grossly disadvantageous" contract that can be subject of a case against its officials.

I can understand where YMN Pacific was coming from in seeking these extensions. It was seeking to salvage its deposit that would be forfeited. For that amount, I would understand if it would try to "move heaven and earth" to salvage it.

But the government should not tolerate this, first because of the losses I mentioned above and second, of the bad precedent that would be set. It would encourage speculative bidding of government contracts since assignment of interests would be a "convenient" option.

The way I see it, the only asset YMN Pacific had was this bid award, a bit of a sham because it's actually worth nothing as it is revokable anytime.

Now, can you see the logic in seeking the extensions?

Thursday, August 03, 2006
This day in history from:

Serves you right!

Call me callous, but those Lebanese are getting what they deserve, if only for the way they treat our Filipino domestic helpers.

I heard on the radio a little while ago that two Filipino women jumped to their deaths to join the evacuation because their Lebanese employers locked them in their houses. Imagine, they left our compatriots in their houses while they escape to guard their possessions.

If that's the way they treat their fellow human beings, sorry but they don't have the right to demand the same treatment for themselves.

I'm sorry to sound so cold but I that's the way I feel right now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006
This day in history from:

A good idea...

Somebody suggested that the Chief of the Philippine National Police station the kotong cops (corrupt cops) to guard the danger zone in Mt. Mayon.

I think that's a good idea. I like to see them try extort money from a volcano. And if they're engulfed in lava, all the better. That's the only way, I think, they can have statues of themselves.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
This day in history from:

Ramon Magsaysay Awards a slap in NHA's face

My dad mentioned today that Antonio Meloto and the Gawad Kalinga Foundation will receive the 2006 Magsaysay Awards for Community Service.

In Bagong Silang, Meloto immersed himself in the lives of slum dwellers. He learned that "a slum environment develops slum behavior." But he also found goodness, even in the hardened gang members he met there. Slum dwellers needed love and spiritual nourishment, it was clear. But they also needed dignity and decent living conditions. It was not enough to pray for them, he decided. "We should do something!"

Meloto decided to build houses. Drawing support and volunteers from Couples for Christ, he began transforming the neediest area of Bagong Silang into a viable neighborhood with safe, sturdy, and attractive homes—the first Gawad Kalinga village. In doing so, he formulated guidelines for later Gawad Kalinga projects. New homes would be allotted only to the poorest families. They could not be sold. And although the beneficiaries would not have to pay for their new homes, they would have to help Gawad Kalinga’s volunteers build them and to abide by neighborhood covenants. (taken from the link above)

That's a slap in the face of the National Housing Authority, the agency tasked to do this. People and organizations are now being cited for doing the government's job.

Maybe it's time to farm out governmental functions to the private entities. This way, something good will come out of this contractualization craze.

Disaster relief, sustainable development & community service

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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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