Saturday, March 31, 2007
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Bar Anxiety

I thought the results of the 2006 Bar Exams would be out this week. The Supreme Court usually releases the results before Holy Week so as not to prolong the agony of those who wait.

Don't ask me when the Supreme Court will release these results. I don't have access to "privileged information" about that. But the sheer number of examinees last year probably made it difficult for the examiners to meet their deadlines to correct all of them. Hence, the mood of those who are waiting will truly fit the mood next week.

I remember my own agony and anxiety while waiting for my results. Celphones were just in its infancy then (yes, we're that old already). And yes, there were a couple of false alarms. And at that time, I did not want to hear the word "fail" and all its permutations... on a superstitious belief that any mention of that word would be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

But when all the reports jived, we knew that day was the day...

Our bosses (yes, I chose to work a mere month after taking the bar) gave us the day off, but since we were already in the office, we decided to stay and panic.

Then one of our bosses had enough of the tension and took us to Decades Bar (in Makati) to drown our senses in alcohol, where I actually got the news...

I borrowed my dad's analog celphone so my friend can call me about the results.

I don't know the exact time when that celphone rang but when it rang, I could have sworn my heart skipped a beat...

I took a deep breath and answered...

"Congratulations," the voice at the other end of the line said, "you're already a lawyer!"

Took a few moments to sink in... I don't even remember if I thanked my friend for the news, but I paid for the drinks we consumed out of sheer impulse...

Then I picked up the phone to call my mother... but the phone was busy.

When she finally picked up, I angrily said, "Why is the phone busy! I'm already a lawyer!" I never heard my mother scream so loud since...

We parted ways around midnight that night. When I got into the car, that's when it finally hit me. All the years of study and waiting... finally paid off. I could not help but let out a loud scream. Fortunately, I already closed the car doors...

To those who took the 2006 Bar Exams, the best of luck to you all. I tell you, the feeling of passing has never been matched (except, perhaps, the birth of my children). They say the feeling the time you know you passed is better than sex.

I agree.

Happy weekend and to those who wait, take the time next week to reflect... on everything. I know I will.

Friday, March 30, 2007
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Winding down

I took Bea this morning for the last time this school year. Hopefully, when I take her there again, she's already in Grade 3.

Since school's out, I guess I'm also in some sort of a wind down. Well at least, I don't have to get up early in the morning for two months. To me, that's already a vacation.

Holy Week is coming up so work will be on wind down... But my choir duties will pick up.

And unless there's special election work, my schedule next month will also be on wind down...

Looking forward to it already...

Thursday, March 29, 2007
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Blog Lecture No. 72: Illegal detention

Now for another timely topic...

This will be very short and straightforward...

What are the kinds of illegal detention?

It's basically kidnapping, serious illegal detention and slight illegal detention.

What does our penal laws provide?

The Revised Penal Code states:

Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. — Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:

1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than five days.

2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.

3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made.

4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or a public officer.

The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense.

Art. 268. Slight illegal detention. — The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be imposed upon any private individual who shall commit the crimes described in the next preceding article without the attendance of any of circumstances enumerated therein.

The same penalty shall be incurred by anyone who shall furnish the place for the perpetration of the crime.

If the offender shall voluntarily release the person so kidnapped or detained within three days from the commencement of the detention, without having attained the purpose intended, and before the institution of criminal proceedings against him, the penalty shall be prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding seven hundred pesos.

What is kidnapping?

It's a compound of two words: kid and napping (from an obsolete term "napper" meaning a thief). To seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom.

It used to refer only to stealing a child but now covers a person of any age.

What is illegal detention?

This means to jail, cage or any manner of deprivation of liberty. As long as a person is forbidden to leave to place of detention or go anywhere he/she pleases, there is illegal detention.

There is illegal detention if schoolchildren are not allowed to leave a tourist bus.

What makes an illegal detention serious?

It will be serious (and hence, serious penalties) when:

1. If the kidnapping or detention lasted more than five days.

2. If it was committed simulating public authority. (for instance, the kidnapper impersonated a police officer, etc.)

3. If any serious physical injuries was inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him were made.

4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or a public officer.

5. If the kidnapper was for purposes of ransom (known here as a "KFR" or a kidnap-for-ransom); and the law does not seem to require require ransom being actually demanded, but see slight illegal detention below.

What is slight illegal detention?

It is such when:

1. If it does not qualify as serious illegal detention above.

2. If the offender merely furnished the place of detention (unless there is a conspiracy, of course)

3. If the kidnapper offender voluntarily released the person so kidnapped or detained within three days, without having attained the purpose intended, and before the institution of criminal proceedings against him.

So what is the crime committed by that bus hostage-taker?

Serious illegal detention, because he hostaged minors.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
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God of War

Kratos, the God of War (after he defeated Ares) in formidable battle gear

I really wanted to take a break from the ton of work I endured the past two days. But since I spent yesterday at home working, I decided to go out for a little "stroll" away from the house.

Before going home, I decided to score the new God of War 2 since I enjoyed the original game so much. But I only heard about, and actually played the original just now.

And these two games should go down as PS2 classics. In terms of plot, in terms of graphics and playability... God of War 2 is a fitting great game to usher in the era of the PS3... these two games actually stopped me from even thinking about getting a PS3 for a while... and that's good because it still costs an arm and a leg.

What's best of all for me is it allows wide screen and progressive scan and the images in these modes is too stunning...

A definite must-play if you have a PS2...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
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I have noticed this recent phenomenon of commemorating "monthsaries."

What's up with this? The only milestone I know where we should observe this are birth monthsaries, because a new-born child's condition is too uncertain that we should celebrate his/her life every month until reaching one year.

Now, we commemorate monthsaries for relationships...

Why? Are relationships nowadays just as fleeting, just as uncertain that we should be thankful these things last more than a month?

Now I know I'm really getting old... or old-fashioned to be more precise, if you want to call it that.

Rush Break

Just taking a break from all the rush paperwork I got swamped with this morning. I'll blog in more detail later.

Monday, March 26, 2007
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Election Period has begun!

Well, for us lawyers, the election work has begun.

I suddenly found myself in a restaurant in Bulacan to do some election work. And I actually got back just now. Hence, this belated entry.

So I hope we earn a lot this election season. I have a lot of obligations to pay...

As I always say, if you can't stand them, suck them dry (and I don't mean that in a naughty way).

Sunday, March 25, 2007
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Cinema Paradiso

Have you seen this Italian movie?

My ex-girlfriend introduced me to this movie sometime in the early 90's. As in any European title, it focuses more on character, plot and development than production values (like in Hollywood titles).

But what I like about this movie is its soundtrack, that I recently acquired. I think Ennio Morricone can match John Williams any day. But Ennio shows more emotion.

Then I found this album called "Yo-Yo Ma plays Morricone." And it included some Cinema Paradiso themes and his other movie scores.

If you like this kind of music, this is a must-have. I have never stopped playing it every since, be it in Scarlett's iTunes library or in my iPod, in the car or just walking to the chapel.

Fantastic. Beautiful!

And it brings back memories... you know who you are...

Saturday, March 24, 2007
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Session resumed

As I said, I had a grueling work day yesterday because of some matter that needed immediate attention. And as I also said earlier, I came home late so I did not have the time to make an entry yesterday.

I just came back from rejoining my session group. Although our maestro returned from Hongkong two weeks ago, I could not join them for to weeks because of my MCLE seminars. They actually had a session last week that I did not attend. Playing there again after more than a month only showed be how much I missed these sessions.

And the better news is we will be switching to our once-a-month brass sessions next week. I can't wait to test out how much I have progressed in my saxophone playing.

Of course there's choir later and a long practice session for the Holy Week services. Which reminds me. I have to finalize Bea's party by this weekend. That day is fast approaching.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2007
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A ton

After working like a dog (albeit at home) yesterday, I took a break at around 1:00 p.m. to watch Bea's performance in their dramatics club production. My, my little girl is really growing up fast before my eyes... and she was good. Probably the effect of all the drama in her life...

Then, it was back to the salt mines...

But today, it was relatively light. A couple of hours in my consultancy, lunch with my mother at The Block, picked up Bea from school (as well as some PS2 games to which I seem to have re-acquired an addiction because I have been running them in gorgeous "hi-def" resolutions, courtesy of the composite component video cables.) I seem to be hooked on God of War these days and I really look forward to its sequel...

It will be back to "back-breaking" work tomorrow. I will be home late. So I may not have time to post an entry.

Good thing my "chamber sessions" resume on Saturday, as well as choir duties.

But I hope I could see my old law school choirmates on a regular basis... and that's really not that far off.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007
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Are you going?

Attend iBlog 3, the Philippines' 3rd Blogging Summit! Go to iBlog 3 , the Philippines’ 3rd Blogging Summit. Attendance is FREE. Register now to save your seat!
As for me, I think I have a hearing far,far away near the time but I think I can make it. So, I registered anyway.


... Court of Appeals Justice gets the ax... good riddance! (The decision is final and immediately executory. Maybe if he files a motion for reconsideration, the Supreme Court will also take 5 years to decide... but that's just me...)

...Election lawyers are already complaining about the monsters they have created...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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As promised...


Just a few errands yesterday and today and some paperwork.

Oh, we finally revived that old inflatable pool we brought in from the old house. Apparently, we lost some crucial parts from our transfer that my dad remedied using polystyrene plugs.

Nico was speechless with joy, swimming in his own private pool.

If I remember to charge the camera's batteries, I post some pictures.

Sunday, March 18, 2007
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Choir Jam

Barely had enough energy to finish my fourth day of seminars. But I finished it and hence, I complied with my professional obligations (and they don't get to revoke my license).

Since we finished at 6 p.m., I had to rush to my choir practice. I actually arrived 30 minutes late, no thanks to traffic conditions.

Choir went relatively well, relatively considering my energy level and practice time.

But the highlight of the night came afterwards. As I mentioned earlier, I got together with my old law school choirmates as we jammed the night away over a boatload of drinks. So I got home around 4 a.m. because I completely lost track of time...

And I just woke I because of the residual overhang... And I'm just relaxing now...

And I'm still thinking of playing at 4:30 p.m. today...

Enjoy the rest of your day...

Friday, March 16, 2007
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Just came back from the third day of our seminar and I'm exhausted.

So exhausted I skipped dinner, which tells you how exhausted I really am.

It will the be the last day tomorrow. Finally...

I actually forgot that "that girl" has a scheduled visit last Sunday but I forgot to blog her no-show again. Probably, that day was so good it did not want to be spoiled...

Again, I'm getting excited about my small "reunion" with my old law school choirmates. I can't wait... I'm thinking it's a small reward for the grueling seminars we have been attending the past two weeks.

Oh, and I'll blog about what I learned later. Probably. My brain is a little bit scattered right now.

Power Outage

Sorry for not posting yesterday. We had a freak incident at the house and had a power outage. And I used all the reserve power from my UPS to watch American Idol instead of using the computer.

Apparently, ants have made a home for themselves where our power meter was placed, causing the power interruption that lasted until yesterday morning. Anyway, that's already taken cared of.

Today, it's another (and final) round of my compliance seminars so I will be out of commission for most of today and tomorrow. Again, I'll probably blog about what I learned for the next few days. And I'm prepared today because I bought a lot of junk food.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
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A Close Call...

When I reported to my consultancy yesterday, the work that came by needed to be completed with complete materials. And that means working at home, where I have all my "tools."

After a full day of work, I decided to lay low that night. However, I developed what I thought was "gas" pains. But it was so peculiar because I think they were chest pains, that lasted all through the night.

I really thought that was it for me yesterday. For a while, I had a tendency to doze off in the face of that pain. But somehow, I thought that tendency to sleep was my loosing consciousness.

I really thought when I closed my eyes last night, I would never open them again. So, I decided to pray to ask, to make peace with my Maker. I actually did. And I thought about my kids...

But then, I woke up today. I was still in some pain when I did, but it dissipated as the day wore on. And the first thing I did was say thanks for still waking up today.

Now, I feel fine. But I'm not taking any chances. So it's off to my cardiologist as soon as possible. It's been a long time since I last visited him, anyway and he's been my doctor since I was 21 years old. Yes, I had hypertension since I was 21...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
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A Calm Before the Storm

I had some time off yesterday where I went a-wandering around before I picked up Bea from school. Today, it will be just my government consultancy where I will spend more time than usual (because Bea has a school activity and will be late going home).

But things will pick up on Wednesday and Thursday... since I had to squeeze in the things I have to do on Friday within these two days.

I wanted to say something about how the election period is doing (the "convenient" COMELEC fires, the printing office incident, that "convenient" and "target-specific" anti-dynasty party list and that "convenient" blog and how "convenient" the title of this entry to all the topics I covered here) but I'm limiting myself to just potshots... for now. I believe in research (and libel screening) in my blog.

Sunday, March 11, 2007
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Seminar, Second Day

Another 9 hour grueling session.

The focussed more on legal ethics, international environmental law and alternative dispute resolution this time. The subject of mediation for family cases was particularly interesting, I can always use this one in practice.

But time went by better since I was in the company of old friends. Met my old choirmates (during my law school choir stint) and we agreed to reunite the choir next week after the last Saturday session. I can't wait...

I almost missed choir because the session ended at 6 'o clock and my playing was not really good (since I didn't practice at all last week).

And I took the family over that new swanky place over C5 that sell stuff that mostly could not afford... they had a good time.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and still enjoy the whatever's left of it. I did. I hope I enjoy my next week, or have a good one.

Saturday, March 10, 2007
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Not sleepy

For some reason, the alarm in my phone went off, waking me up. When I wake up mid-sleep, I usually find it hard to get back to sleep.

So, this is probably a good time to consolidate what I learned yesterday.

The first lecture was on oral advocacy, basically the art of arguing your cause before a judge. It's basically public speaking fundamentals, put in a way easily swallowed by a lawyer's huge ego.

Next, came a curious subject of "good moral character" requirement in the practice of law. It's basically a legal ethics course. Somehow, lawyers tend to forget what they could and could not do in practice, I suppose.

Then, it's pre-trial. This concerns procedure and actually, the lecturer said mostly things I already know. His lecture was on "prime time" (read: nap time) so I decided to put in my iPod on low volume just to give the lecturer some background music to keep my attention on him. Believe it or not, it helped me concentrate.

Finally, the last lecture was on some topics on Family Law, specifically this "new" law on anti-violence against women and children that I already used to oust a particularly abusive husband out of his own home. And then, came a discussion on adoption, which I can use for an upcoming case.

All in all, a useful seminar for my particular brand of practice.

Anyway, I have to go back to sleep. There's another seminar day today and I need all the rest I can get. The time of this seminar will have me rush to choir... but I suppose I can make it on time.

A great weekend (and week ahead) to us all.

Friday, March 09, 2007
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Meeting Old Friends

Met some old friends over at the seminar.

Learned some new stuff, although I think four topics per day is a little bit steep. But I have to endure it because it's a crash course.

Tell all about it later.

Thursday, March 08, 2007
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By your leave

I will be out of commission for tomorrow and Saturday (as well as next Friday and Saturday) to attend what is called MCLE seminars.

MCLE stands for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. Simply put, the Philippine Bar requires we take 36 units of seminars every three years to update ourselves in the latest legal developments here. Otherwise, we are declared delinquents and lose our licenses to practice law.

I'm not particularly sold on this system. Like doctors, if we don't update ourselves on our own, we loose. The legal system is constantly changing and we have to update ourselves on our own. Otherwise, we loose our cases and eventually, our livelihoods. It's not as if we can get by using "old" laws and legal concepts to win cases or properly advise our clients.

All of these "mandatory" things all seem to spell "r a c k e t" but that's my feeling only. The money I shelled to attend this does not grow on trees.

Anyway, I'll probably try to blog what I've learned for the next few days.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
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Human Security Act of 2007

Have you read the newly signed Republic Act No.9372 or the "Human Security Act of 2007" a.k.a. "The Anti-Terror Bill?"

I'm still in the middle of reading it and it's sending chills down my spine. All I can say for now is henceforth, our freedom, rights and liberties (call that redundant if you want) will all hinge on the law's definition of terrorism.

Expect a court challenge shorty.

Do yourself a favor and download your copy of it from the PCIJ's site here. Or you can read it directly from Dean Jorge Bocobo's post here. Thanks for saving me the trouble of encoding it because it's so long.

Monday, March 05, 2007
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I'm particularly disturbed by this news item that stated the COMELEC was prohibiting people from wearing t-shirts and hats of a candidate unless accompanied by the candidate himself.

I checked the Omnibus Election Code and Section 85 indeed states it was unlawful

"To purchase, manufacture, request, distribute or accept electoral propaganda gadgets, such as pens, lighters, fans of whatever nature, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, shirts, hats, bandanas, matches, cigarettes and the like, except that campaign supporters accompanying a candidate shall be allowed to wear hats and/or shirts or T-shirts advertising a candidate;"

That darn thing should be declared unconstitutional, just as that COMELEC resolution banning stickers was struck down by the Supreme Court in Blo Umpar Adiong vs. COMELEC.

The COMELEC does not have the right to tell me what not to wear. And my endorsement of a candidate and my personal expression of my choice of candidate goes to the heart of freedom of expression. As stated in that case,

"In a series of decisions this Court has held that, even though the governmental purpose be legitimate and substantial, that purpose cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties when the end can be more narrowly achieved. The breadth of legislative abridgment must be viewed in the light of less drastic means for achieving the same basic purpose."

Banning my wearing of a candidate's tshirt without the candidate, therefore, becomes, censorship.

Sunday, March 04, 2007
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Shut Down Day 2007

Spotted this movement daring people not to connect on 24 March 2007.

Here's their promo video on YouTube:

And here's one of the replies:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, March 03, 2007
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Compensating Workday

Because I did not "work" yesterday, it somehow crept this day, as I have a meeting this morning, which may a long one.

That's the opposite of "compensating day off" which is the day off one gets in a workday for showing up for work on one's day off.

So I anticipate no rest (again...) for the day, unless I can grab one on Sunday. And as always, thank God there's choir today...

And I hope the week ahead will be very good for us.

Friday, March 02, 2007
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Punzi the driver

It's back to driver duties for today. I even had to cancel an appointment for this detail.

Drove my mom and my aunts to the mall because of her birthday blowout. Nico joined in as well.

Then I fetched Bea from school and we just arrived.

A little later, we will go somewhere for someone's farewell party.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow as I blog... Hopefully, I'm staying home the whole day.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 01, 2007
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TV Blogging

Finally, I can combine the two things I love to do at the same time: watching TV and surfing the Internet (by the way, what's the verb for using the computer? computing does not quite cut it...)

As I said before, I hooked up Scarlett to the TV and with the extra-long VGA cable I got yesterday (10 meters long), Scarlett can sit in her usual position while I use another keyboard in front of the TV. I'm still getting to used it but I will do this ofter depending how it's going to affect my eyes.

So now, I'm using the PiP function of the TV so I'm watching a show while blogging at the same time.

This will be perfect for live blogging news events...

Schedule today calls for SOHO duty to catch up on some paperwork. So I can fetch Bea today. Hope I can squeeze in some rest time today.

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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