Category Archives: Criminal Law

Death Penalty in the Philippines

The incumbent President of the Philippines favors the reimposition of death penalty, also called capital punishment, for certain criminal cases. The lower house of Congress — the House of Representatives — has started the legislative process to enact a law reimposing the death penalty (see House Bill No. 1, proposaing a Death Penalty Law). The debate between those who support the death penalty (“reimpositionists”) and those who oppose it (“abolitionists”) is gaining momentum. With this development, it might be helpful to revisit the history and nature of death penalty in the Philippines. [Feel free to join the discussion, present the pros and cons of the pending bill, through the comment section below.] Continue reading

It's Not Rape: It's a Snuggle with a Struggle

Rape: It’s a Snuggle with a Struggle

Rape is committed in the Philippines every 72 minutes. Someone is likely being raped right now and by the time you’ve finished your lunch, someone has been sexually abused and traumatized. The rape victim could be a total stranger or that person could be your relative. Official figures in 2013 reveal a total of 7,409 reported rape cases. This is a relatively low figure because, fact is, a lot of rape cases are unreported. And the figure increases every year. These are some of the reasons why rape is always a serious problem. It’s never a funny topic, even on t-shirts. Continue reading

Legalize Marijuana in the Philippines?

Marijuana is legal in some US states. In the Philippines, as the law stands today, marijuana is illegal. It is a dangerous drug and the selling/use of marijuana is a criminal offense. Soon it would be completely legal to use marijuana in the Philippines. That is, if Congress passes a proposed bill and President Benigno Aquino signs it into law.   Continue reading

When Killing Your Spouse and his/her Lover is Excused

Last week, a husband was reported to have surprised his wife and her lover inside a motel. The first thing that entered my mind is not about infidelity, but death. Killing someone in flagrante delicto (caught in the act), or death inflicted under exceptional circumstances, does not carry any imprisonment. Continue reading

Premature Marriages as a Crime

As Philippine laws currently stand, the death of either spouse dissolves the marital bond (same effect with annulment or declaration of nullity). This simply means that, subject to compliance with certain requirements, the husband or the wife is free to marry again. There is no legal obstacle for remarriage (and we’ve heard of a plot or two involving a spouse who wants to kill the other spouse so he/she can marry another person). Men may remarry right away. Women, on the other hand, must wait for 301 days or, if pregnant at the time of the husband’s death, must wait until childbirth. [Update: Premature Marriage No Longer a Crime]

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Social Networks, Sex Videos and Blackmail

We received an email regarding voyeurism, a topic which we discussed before (see WHAT VOYEURISM? MEET THE ANTI-PHOTO AND VIDEO VOYEURISM ACT OF 2009 (RA 9995) and Around the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Law). The email asked for information on where to file a complaint for voyeurism and the accompanying threat to publish the sexy photos/videos (basically blackmail), a predicament experienced by many others. The letter reads: Continue reading

How to Test if You’re Drunk

Many of those who drink, and are drunk, rarely admit that they are drunk. A person’s sobriety — or, on the reverse, level of drunkenness — may be the subject of harmless, fun discussion during the drinking session, but it’s a thorny issue when it comes to arresting that person, and throwing him/her in jail, for drunk driving. So, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC), with its battery of experts, decided that there are THREE ways to initially check if you’re sober (or drunk). The 3 Field Sobriety Tests are: Continue reading

Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013


Republic Act No. 10586

“An Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs, And Similar Substances, And For Other Purposes”

Otherwise known as the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013


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Going to Hong Kong? Don’t Bring a Stun Gun

This one has nothing to do with the recent decision of HongKong to require Philippine officials to get a visa, in retaliation against President Aquino’s refusal to give a public apology over the “Quirino massacre“. This one applies to everyone, Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike, and it can save you or your relatives jail time. Continue reading