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Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I dream of becoming a lawyer…


Since the bar examinations, I really have not engaged in deep ponderings as regards the probable results.

First, it will just be a useless exercise. No matter how much effort I exert to foretell the future, it still will unfold as it should. So why bother?

Second, I already have scheduled when to really get fidgety and excited about it – only after my other important issue gets resolved. I can only worry about problems one at a time. I surely can’t serve two demanding masters simultaneously.

And since my other major issue is still up there, waylaid in the kingdom beneath the clouds, I have no choice but to consciously avoid any indulgence on the what-ifs of the bar exams. Any conversation getting towards that realm is thus immediately dismissed. And I guess I was quite successful in maintaining my nonchalance. Or so I thought.

Because I just realized, there really is no escaping the subconscious. Repressed thoughts and deep yearnings just have other means of disturbing and creating ripples unto reality.

Through dreams.

I now could count about six times that I vividly dreamt of the results of the examinations. In all those instances, I fortunately passed. (He he. I know what you’re thinking about the proverbial nature of dreams, pero wag naman po sana! Knock on wood!)

That, by far meant six times of waking up frustrated, exhausted and cold. By Jove! Those dreams just seemed so beautifully real! If only I have to power to exchange that world with reality…

When we were in law school, our professors repeatedly warned us that the waiting is the harder part. Probably. No one flourishes under the ominous clouds of uncertainty.

But for the past months, I guess I have successfully diverted my energies to other concerns and have lessened the ravages of frustration and fear -- at least during my waking hours.

It’s when I’m asleep where I’m vulnerable.

Does any one of you know how to suppress one’s dreams?

Nakakailang blow-out na kasi ako sa panaginip. Tapos, wala lang pala. Magastos! (he he)
At kung sakaling baligtad naman ang resulta, sinong idedemanda ko for the moral damage, humiliation and sleepless nights brought about by the false promises?

Help!! :-)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


You were accused of stashing a handsome amount of public funds. These are allegedly kept in the vaults of the Philippine Republic Bank. Ano ang gagawin mo?

Two scenarios:

If you are innocent:

Defend your honor. Sue your accuser and do everything in your power to disprove him. I mean, everything! Give him whatever he asks of you. This includes the waiver that would allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council to request the concerned financial institution to check the veracity of the claim. Sign the waiver and shove it into your persecutor’s ass .. er … face.

Since there really is no account – whether dormant, active, closed or transferred, how will a waiver hurt you? It will simply end up a useless document. Pahiya siya ngayon. Then you’ll be vindicated.

If you are guilty:

Never give any information or document that will lead the investigators to the loot. Ano sila, sinuswerte? You are always presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. Those who allege must produce the evidence.

Confuse the enemy. Engage them in legal reasoning like “why should I sign the waiver when there is nothing to waive in the first place? That’s sheer stupidity! I don’t have an account in PRB Tacloban Branch, period! (Wag magkakamali. Always limit your pronouncements to PRB Tacloban Branch. Nailipat na kasi sa PRB Head Office ang pera at handa na ring ilipat sa ibang bangko, he he).

Challenge your accuser to go to Tacloban and check with the Manager himself. Surely, the latter will swear to his grave that you do not maintain an account with his branch.

Ensure that the investigation is limited to PRB Tacloban. Should they ask about PRB Head Office or any other branch, sigaw agad: “Irrelevant, Your Honor!” Object ‘til your throat explodes. And of course, insult the prosecutor so as to divert his focus.

And most importantly, never forget to bring your friends to the investigation to serve as jury. You will go through the process, but you all know how it will end. (wink wink)

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Promise of Annulment

“Ganun ba talaga yun? Inabandona ka na nga. Ni hindi mo alam kung nasaan sya ngayon. Tapos patuloy ka pa ring itinatali ng batas sa inyong pag-aasawa?”

Or words to that effect.

This was Boy Abunda’s and Cristy Fermin’s lament while interviewing Amy Perez in their talk show’s segment where Perez and her new-found boyfriend publicly ann
ounced their undying devotion to each other and her subsequent “planned” pregnancy. It was a show of love defying all odds, a call for sympathy for a woman unjustly denied of her right to a more meaningful and blissful future.

And who among the viewers would dare disagree with such cry for fairness and justice? In a world where multitudes of marriages have already been officially declared null, why not this one? Isn’t such sweet Princess entitled to find her Prince Charming somewhere, albeit belatedly and after a failed first shot?

Yes, bleeding hearts we could all be, suckers as we are to the melodramatic. But one thing is always left out during discussions of this issue – that the law did not discriminate Perez.

Let’s set the basic parameter in the discussion of the Brix-Amy drama: they both knew what they were getting into when they made their vows and signed that document now condescendingly tagged as a mere “piece of paper”. They knew the law (there is a seminar for all would-be couples) and its effects.

As the Court put it, “to be sure, the couple’s relationship before the marriage and even during their brief union (for well about a year or so) was not all bad. During that relatively short period of time, petitioner was happy and contented with her life in the company of respondent. In fact, by petitioner’s own reckoning, respondent was a responsible and loving husband.”

So what went wrong?

In her petition with the Court, Amy claimed “psychological incapacity” on the part of Brix, citing an alleged mixed personality disorder, a “leaving-the-house” attitude whenever they quarreled, violent tendencies during epileptic attacks, sexual infidelity, abandonment and lack of support, and his preference to spend more time with his band mates than his family.

All sounded valid, right? But then again, what the law requires are manifestations of psychological incapacity, and such is not akin to “irreconcilable differences” which is usually the catch-all reason for US divorces.

The Supreme Court in many previous instances, has realized that this window provided by the law has been abused by lawyers and couples alike that a strict definition has been set.

In Ma. Armida Perez-Ferraris Vs. Brix Ferraris, (G.R. No. 162368), the Supreme Court reiterated that:

The term “psychological incapacity” to be a ground for the nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonia
l bond one is about to assume. As all people may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies, or isolated characteristics associated with certain personality disorders, there is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of “psychological incapacity” to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.” (emphasis mine)

“Indeed, the evidence on record did not convincingly establish that respondent was suffering from psychological incapacity. There is absolutely no showing that his “defects” were already present at the inception of the marriage, or that those are incurable.”

“Quite apart from being plainly self-serving, petitioner’s evidence showed that respondent’s alleged failure to perform his so-called marital obligations was not at all a manifestation of some deep-seated, grave, permanent and incurable psychological malady.”

From my humble point of view, the decision is in all fours with the law and those who object to it should at least read it first.

Indeed, it is unfortunate that there are couples who have to endure the ties of a marriage gone sour. But is it not true that our old folks have always warned us that marriage is “hindi parang kaning isusubo na iluluwa pag napaso”? This has always been the case, so why are couples hoping that the contrary can easily occur, just in case?

Blame it on showbiz, as it has shown Filipinos how easy it is to dissolve marriages. Actors and actresses have become everyone’s envy as they get into marital rigodons like they were simply playing musical chairs. It is just but proper for the Court to put its foot down and put things into their proper perspective.

Lessons? Don’t jump into marriage with very little expectation of the worst. If you get burned, live with it. Or better yet, if you’re afraid to get burned, for gods’ sakes, don’t join the bandwagon.

Further suggestion to our lawmakers: parties declared psychologically incapacitated should not be allowed to re-marry. Not being cognizant of the true nature of a previous marriage makes him similarly incapacitated to contract another. Or, let’s require a psychological clearance before any subsequent marriage for these persons, such that if the latter fails, no dissolution of the marital union shall be allowed.

One final note: Amy, for all intents and purposes, is still very much married to Brix. With her public admission of her new relationship now “blessed” with a child in her womb, doesn’t that make her a self-confessed adulteress?

Paging Brix.. He he.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wow! Shanghai!

My apologies to our Department of Tourism, but I think this catch phrase augurs better with Shanghai. If we talk of amazement, excitement or of extreme awe - I am sure that's just what every visitor feels the moment he gets a full view of this city's fantastic skyline.

One would feel like he's in a city seen in Star Wars. Tatlo piso ang skyscrapers and most of the buildings are of no ordinary design. Well, let's allow the pictures to speak for themselves.

(Yes. There's a Robinson's Galleria at the outskirts of Shanghai.)

And the buildings take a life of their own at night! The entire Citibank building becomes an electronic billboard (with pictures and all), but the rest would not also allow themselves to pale in its shadow. The Pearl Tower (the Eiffel Tower of the East) for one is similarly breath-taking. And the old European-style buildings pose a striking contrast to the imposing new structures, showing every tourist what the word "fusion" means, not only of the old and the new but of the East and the West as well. The pictures below were taken during the chilly river cruise we took (the temperature was below zero), where we were treated to a show of lights from both banks of the Shanghai river.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Back, at last!?

Am back from the week-long trip to Shanghai and Hongkong.

I wish I could fill my blog with the details of the trip, but I still feel tired.

Tired, because things didn't really turn out to be as spectacular as I thought they would be. There were of course exciting moments, but these were also clouded by unexpected dampeners. Twas indeed, sweet and sour. Like chinese pork.

I'll probably just post the pictures in the next few days.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Ni Hao Ma?

Am typing this while at the Hongkong Airport. Our flight to Shanghai is a little delayed.

It's getting pretty nostalgic because I'm again hearing a lot of Mandarin. Feeling Taiwan na naman ako. :-)

Iniwan na ko ng mga kasama ko. Trip nila mag-ikot. Ako, I've got no budget for shopping at the Duty Free shops and neither do I have the patience for window shopping.

Mas maganda pang mag blog na lang. Buti na lang me courtesy internet dito. Naknampatatas, bat sila, naka-isip ng ganito? Siguro naman kaya rin tong ibigay ng PLDT sa Pilipinas.

Masikip na nga ang airport natin, wala pang matinong pampalipas oras.

He he. Reklamador masyado.

See yah!!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Kwentong Bayan

Hindi na nabago ang kwentong ito sa mga sine at telenovela.

Si Aling Pinang, ordinaryong tao. Mahirap. Sunog ang balat at bugbog ang laman sa pagtatrabaho.

Pero sinwerteng magkasupling ng maganda. Si Inday.

Isang araw, habang naliligo sa batis si Inday, napadaan si Senyorito Daniel, anak ng hacienderong si Don Manuel. Guwapo ito, matipuno at talaga namang pantasya ng bayan. Habang sakay ng kanyang dyip, naaninag niya ang maalindog at mahinhing si Inday.

“Puntahan nyo!”, sabi nito sa mga kasama. “Dalhin nyo rito at isama nating mamasyal.”

Kilala ni Inday si Senyorito Daniel. Sino ba ang hindi? Lahat silang naninilbihan sa hacienda ay kilala ang buong angkan ni Don Manuel. Isang malaking kabastusan ang hindi pagkakaalam sa mga diyos-diyosan ng bayan.

Mahinahong sumama si Inday. At syempre, alam na ninyo ang sumunod na kabanata. Hindi nakapagpigil si Senyorito Daniel. Iba kasi ang karisma ni Inday. Sa harap ng mga gwardya’t kabarkada, iginupo nito ang dangal ng dalaga. At pagkatapos, iniwang parang baboy sa gilid ng kalsada.

Bagamat takot, matatag si Inday. Nagsumbong ito sa pulis.

“Si Senyorito Daniel?”, ana ni Tsip. “Imposible yun! Ka-gwapo ng tao e. Kaya nun kunin ang kahit sinong magandang dalaga, dito man o Maynila. Imposibleng mang-rape yun!, Baka naman gusto mo lang malahian at ng maambunan ng swerte. Marami ng ganun.”

Buti na lang napadaan si Attorney. Hindi niya maatim ang pang-aaping nadatnan. Pinaglaban nito ang kaso. At himala! Hindi nauto ang hukom. Panalo si Inday!

Pinakulong ni Judge si Senyorito Daniel. Nagpanting naman ang tenga ni Don Manuel. Nag-uumusok ang bumbunan!

“Sinverguenzang mga patay-gutom yan! Pano nangyari to? Talaga bang gusto nilang matikman ang galit ko? Asan si Mayor?!”

Madaling araw, sumugod si Aling Pinang kina Mayor. Winawasiwas ang itak. Namumula sa galit. “Bakit nyo pinatakas si Senyorito Daniel?!”

“Kailangan natin siyang ilabas sa bilangguan. Patay tayong lahat ke Don Manuel pag hinayaan natin siya dun. Alam nating lahat kung gaano ka tindi ang kapangyarihan ni Don Manuel. Hindi ko kayang sagupain yun,” sagot ni Mayor. "Ayon sa batas ang ginawa ko. Kasama yun sa kasunduan namin para sa patuloy niyang paggabay sa kaunlaran ng bayang 'to."

“Pag nagalit si Don Manuel, hindi lang ikaw ang apektado. Tayong lahat! Sino pa ang lalapitan natin kapag may sakuna? Sino pa ang tutulong sa akin sa mga proyektong bayan? At alam nyo naman, tahimik ang bayang to dahil sa mga gwardya ng hacienda. Marami. Maraming mawawala sa atin pag nagalit si Don Manuel. Lahat kami damay dahil lang sa anak mo.”

“Ipaglaban mo naman ang aming karapatan!”, pagsusumamo ni Aling Pinang. “Inapi kami. Kami dapat ang pinapanigan mo dahil ikaw ang ama ng bayang ito!”

“At ano ang gusto nyo, ha? Sirain ko ang magandang samahan natin ke Don Manuel? Aba naman, mag-isip ka nga! Iisang pamilya lang kayo. Ang isinasaalang-alang ko dito ay ang kapakanan ng buong bayan!”, sagot ng inis na ring si Mayor. "Bakit kasi, naligo si Inday sa batis."

“Hayaan mo na. Gusto mo, tulungan na lang kitang itago sandali si Inday. Ipasadiyos mo na lang ang lahat. Ganyan talaga.”

Nanlumo si Aling Pinang. Di na napigilan ang pag-agos ng luha. Alam nyang wala na siyang magagawa.

Haay. Pilipinas.....

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


The debate, so far, has gone this way:

Sec. Gonzales,

"Although it can be conceded that US authorities retain custody of the concerned US personnel by virtue of Article 5, paragraph 6 of the VFA, criminal jurisdiction over Smith is retained by the Philippine courts, owing the criminal jurisdiction being exercised by our courts.”

”Whatever action was taken by the Philippine government it was done in the interest of maintaining the strategic relationship between our two countries.”

“The “noted” remark of the Court of Appeals gave the DILG the opportunity to act on its own, following the argument of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Benjamin Pozon that Smith could be returned to US custody if there is already an agreement between the two countries. Noted is either granted or denied. The CA should have decided and not just say ‘noted.’ That leaves the DILG an opening, an opportunity to act on it. They (CA) should have acted immediately because the petition asked for an urgent reply.”

Ahh. The curse of lawyers. They always end up devising justifications that sound legally feasible in order to exculpate their clients from their misdeeds. In the end, the law gets mangled.

This is what the other side had to say:


“The five respondents (Gonzales, violated Section 3, Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court, which lists "misbehavior of an officer of the court in the performance of his duties or in his official transactions; any unlawful interference with the proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under Section 1 of this rule; and the rescue of a person in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him" as acts constituting indirect contempt. ”

"The act of transferring the custody of the felon Smith was precisely the issue pending with the court. The prayer of the Office of the Solicitor General, on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs, was precisely to transfer the custody of Smith to US authorities." "Failing in their prayer to ask the (CA) to issue a TRO, they unilaterally and in utter disregard and disrespect for the (CA), took the law into their own hands and forcibly transferred custody over Smith to the Americans. This is misbehavior on the part of officers of the court. Apostol and Gonzalez are both members of the Bar and are thus officers of the court. Their declarations "belittle the powers of the court, and urge others to show disdain and disrespect for our courts."

My little understanding of the law naturally brings me to the side of Atty. Ursua. But if I were to believe “His Wetness” Sergio Apostol, upholding this reasoning makes me just another ignoramus on the law.

He could be right. But I’m just too glad Gonzales, Apostol and the rest of this administration’s legal geniuses weren’t my teachers. I should have been cowering in shame already.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A Toast to 2007

WELCOME 2007!!

This must be the year. I can’t think of any other time.

The wait must end this year. This has to be the time when the complete turn-around will occur.

I am hoping for the best.