Sunday, October 21, 2012

When will the Philippine allow divorce?

Till death do as part, two people in love promise each other during their marriage. Yet time may find one or both parties unhappy with each other, or one of the parties may descend into alcoholism, workholicism, gambling, spousal abuse, kids abuse and other signs of unhappy marriage.

The Philippines has the singular[1] distinction of being the only country left of honor of not allowing divorce although its Muslim citizens are allowed divorce!. It is surprising that France, Italy, Spain and Ireland, predominantly Catholic countries do allow divorce. What prevents the Philippines from having a law to allow divorce? Why, in the Philippines, rich husbands have mistressees! and wives are known to have paramours or lovers.

Married couples do have the remedy of annulment if their marriage is falling apart, i.e., they fell out of love, but it would be much better if divorce is allowed.

There is no reason to continue without a divorce bill, let us give couples with failing marriages an escape clause to start their lives all over again. It is not only the poor citizens but even Senators![3].

Reference 2 gives a good overview on divorce.


[1] The Vatican is considered a sovereign city-state inside Italy!

[2] Wikipedia article on divoce.

[3] Philipine senators with marriage on the rocks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time to do away with the partylist system!

At this point in time, we can say that not only is the party list system proven unnecessary, but is an added public expense with non-zero accounting. Some of the sitting representatives of partylists are confirmed millionaires and do not even belong to the party list they represent like security guards. Worse, there are cases of OVER REPRESENTATION like the Ako Bicol case. From our reference 1(Inquirer):

The Comelec pointed out Ako Bicol’s expressed objective was to uplift and represent Bicolanos, who already are well represented in Congress.

“If this commission were to allow Ako Bicol’s continued participation in the party-list system, this commission is condoning the continued and blatant violation of the proportional representation of ‘provinces, cities and Metropolitan Manila in accordance with the number of their inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform ad progressive ratio,’” the Comelec said.

Let us stop making Congress a monster. The party list system, which was enacted in 1995 under RA 7941 must go!

Further reading:

  1. Ako Bicol, 12 other part list groups axed

Monday, October 8, 2012

Supreme Court regains our trust!?

We are glad that Pres. Noy's chosen one for the Supreme Court has proven that the SC is an indpendent body that is NOT beholden to anyone.Just now, the Supreme Court has issued a TRO (temporary restraining order) for the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Law after accepting 15 petitions for its decision on the constitutionality of the law after the law was passed by the Senate/Congress and put into law by President Nonoy Aquino last September 12, 2012.

Noy should not get mad over this virtual slap on his palms, nor think of retaliation against the SC. By the constitution, the SC is the mandated LONE supreme power to determine the constitutionality of any acts, ordinances or laws. Noy should be happy that he was not allowed to sink deeper into the quagmire of foolishness or an accomplice party to some sleight of hand int the Senate proceedings, especially the surreptitious entry of Libel provisions in the RA 10175.

The ambiguous and dangerous law must now be resubmitted to both Congress and Senate.
and hopefully any provisions which infringe on the inalienable rights and civil liberties, or are not in consonance with constitution or current International legal oblications must not even see the light of day!

We hope that the SC will be consistent in its decisions, and not wait too long for anger of the people to boil over!

Further reading: issues a TRO on new Cyberlaw!

UST Varsitariian does not speak for ALL UST students regarding RH bill

Please refer to the current editorial in Varsitarian,net: RH bill, Ateneo, and La Salle: Of lemons and cowards., which purports to display the official stand of the UST student and administration of UST regarding the Reproductive Health Act.

Who says religious fanaticism can be found in Muslim counties only? The Varsitarian, the official organ of the student body or the University of the Philippines, has lambasted professors of Lasalle and Ateneo for not kowtowing or blindly follwing the official stand of the Catholic bishops on the RH bill.

We are simply amazed and shocked at the stand of UST's official paper. We suspect that the editorial piece was written not by a student but by someone from the administration of UST. Regardsless who the suthor is, the piece smacks of mindless devotion and intolerance.

We call on the Varsitarian to offer a public apology.

Our leaders love to play blind on the constitutionality of the RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act!

Now we have two leaders who are playing blind to the fact that some provisions are obviously unconstitutional. The first one is incredibly, will you please stop laughing, is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima!

She claims that any legal questions can be addressed in the IRR or the implementent rules and regulation to be crafted with stakeholders (dont you just love to use the word "stakeholders?") We are glad she was not chosen as the Supreme Court Chief Justice.

The next leader is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who blamed Senator Santiago for failing to look into the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act when the bill was still being deliberated in Congress early this year. Of course he failed to mention that the worrisome provisions about libel were SNEAKED in, or inserted by his good ally Senator Vicente Sotto. He added that he was ABSENT at the time the RA 10175 was passed by the Senate. He passed the buck to his fellow senators who failed to QUESTION or check the constitutionality of the cybercrime law during the discussion stage. Enrile now cries out about the inhouse expert, Sen. Miriam Santiago, on the Constitution:

“She could have seen it. She was the expert in constitutional law, I am not saying that I am expert on that but the point is, she could have raised that question when it was being crafted into a law,

He also added the lame excuse "NO LAW IS PERFECT!", and there is NOTHING WRONG if any law is declared unconstitutional. A law is not a perfect document, it is done by human beings! Thus we are heartened that Enrile is not claiming to be a God! when it comes to crafting laws as their mandated job require.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy CasiƱo made the following cogent remarks on the Cybercrime Law:

It is to be remembered for posterity that the House bill APPROVED by the HOUSE, did not contain the questionable provisions found in the Senate version and the passed law. The House version did not contain the ‘electronic libel’ provision found in Section 4 (c) 4... There was no mention at all of the DOJ’s (Department of Justice) ‘blocking access’ power found in Section 19 of the law,” Teddy Casino added.

“Section 4 (b) 4 (cc) of the House bill did not contain the phrase ‘provided that the penalty to be imposed shall be one degree higher than that provided by the Revised Penal Code, and Special Laws.’ “While Section 9 of the House version allowed ‘real time collection of computer data,’ it requires the need to ‘secure a court warrant.’ The Senate version, found in Section 12 of the law, deleted this very important warrant requirement”

Meanwhile the bounds of credulity has been bent so much by the news item[See 2nd reference] that the President may be impeached due to the cybercrime law! We just laugh at this item, and we only surmise that this is only for PUBLICITY purposes!

Further reading:
  1. Cybercrime law constitutional - Enrile, De Lima

  2. Kabataan partylist: Aquino may be impeached for cybercrime law

  3. Colmenares asks SC to nullify Cybercrime Law

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Unwanted influence in the Padaca case: Did Noy forget he is president of the Philippines?

I am still a fan of Grace Padaca, and I believed she won fair and square in the past elections for congressman.

Still I am flummoxed by Noy Aquino's gesture of paying the P70,000 bail on graft charges against Padaca who was recently installed as a Comelec commisioner. Noy Aquino is not just an ordinary citizen, he is the president of the Philippines. He should have let the courts decide on the merits of the case against Grace. Ah, did the successful impeachment drive against former Chief Justice Corona gone to the Predident's head?

The charges against Grace Padaca stemmed from an alleged granting of a P25-million hybrid rice project to a non-government organization without public bidding.See Ref. 1.

I don not feel good about this. Something does not smell good. It is not a fishy smell however. And we cannot suggest an alternative course of action. Shall we just let His Exellency go unscath on this matter?

Did the successful impeachment of former Supreme Court justice Corona gone to the President's head?

Further reading.

  1. Philstar: Padaca not guilty of graft, says Noy

  2. wikipedia article on Grace Padaca

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Internal dissent may lead to Iranian leaders downfall

The harsh economic sanctions may have a telling effect on Iran after all, with the Iranian rial losing 40 % of its value recently, but we know that totalitarian states may live long. Consider North Korea.But unlike North Korea, Iran is a not an atheist state. Iran traded with the rest of the world unlike North Korea which was virtually hermetically sealed against outside forces.

Signs of panic buying are around in Iran, with some people buying rice for a WHOLE year! Iran depended so much on oil exports that it failed to strengthen its domestic economy.

This might force leaders to change their hardline stance regarding nuclear power development. On the other hand, it is a distant possibility that this will force the leaders to intstitute illogivcal draconian measures to the extent of impoverishing or bringing famime to the Iranian people.

We hope not, and Israel can breath a sigh of relief that Irans main enemy is itself and does not have to strike deep into Tehran to destroy nuclear reactors.

Further reading:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Turkey retaliates against Syria shelling across borders!

Syrian government forces might be foolish to shell refugees across Turkey. Such acts can be a valid license for Turkey to shell back government forces fighting refugees who regularly cross the borders.

See Turkish artillery targets Syria

This is a worrisome development but if it hastens a change in government in Syria, with Bashar Assad stepping down, this might be more "acceptable" than having more thousands of dead Sytians and a few Turks.

We call on Bashar to affect a peaceful transition. Am sure that other countries would offer him exile, like the USSR and China. He has crossed the line and his options are shrinking. He needs to think of his future in Syrian history, as right now, he might find it difficult to remove the the man who destroyed Syria. Such dishonor will live longer when the younger Assad is long dead.

Now all three branches are acting stupidly on the cybercrime law!

I thought the Supreme Court will issue a TRO on the implementation of the Cybercrime law. Instead of rising to the occasion by doing its mandated function of determining the constitutionality of the recently passed law, the noble Supreme Court choose to delay deliberations on seven petitions questioning the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Cybercrime law.

Specifically, the SC refused to take a stand on the following sections:

  • Sec 4. which includes cyber defamation, cyber threats and Internet libel in the list of cybercrimes subject to prosecution by the Department of Justice.

  • Sec. 6. which hands down a higher degree of punishment for people found guilty of libel and allows them to be charged separately under the Revised Penal Code for the same offense.

  • Sec 19. which gives the secretary of justice the power to block or restrict access to any content upon prima facie finding of violation of the law even without trial.
The law was passed Sep 14. Thats too long a time for them justices to discuss the merits of the petitions to nullify parts of the Cybercrime Law. Score a -1 for the Concepcion-Morales Ma. Lourdes Sereno led Supreme Court.

Further reading:

Musings from a respected judge on Cybercrime Prevention Law

I am honored to present in this blog a cogent critical analysis of the Cybercrime Prevention Law from a respected friend who is in the legal profession.

Critics of the Cybercrime Prevention Law, mostly from the many users of the popular Internet Social Media Sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are up in arms against this most recent piece of legislation, passed by Philippine Congress.

The Cyber age has brought considerable changes in our way of life as we employ web based technologies in human communication, information dissemination and sharing, instant messaging, and social networking. This medium has opened up vast array of applications that could link communities, organizations, and individuals. Social media is now one of the most powerful source of news, information, opinion, and entertainment. What is amazing is the medium allows for user generated content. There is more unilateral freedom of expression.

The guarantees of free expression, is sacrosanct. The principle remains unchanged, with or without the Internet. The impact of the Social Media, in the protection of this freedom, as well as State restriction from abuse of this freedom, are likely to be debatable issues.

Hackers are now on the rampage cracking government websites as if taunting the government, and show them how vulnerable they could be.

There is no question that censorship in whatever form is repugnant to free speech and press. As the most complex vehicle, in this age, for the expression of ideas, or even of art or entertainment, the Social Media should not be excluded from the protection of this freedom.

I agree with the observation that this law might infringe on free speech, because it seems to impose prior restraint, and subsequent punishment. This is not the same as saying that there should be absolute and unbridled freedom in the internet, which could also be destructive and injurious. We need good law to balance these interests.

Published with permission from the true author who has to remain anonymous.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Campaigns against the cybercrime law heating up in Facebook?

Here is one campaign pooter from "We support Anonymous Philippines"

From Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance:

By approving this law, President Aquino's luster may dim:

A blackout call to protest the Cybercrime Prevention Law:

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