Category Archives: Criminal Law

Disrespect of the Flag and National Anthem

There’s a recent proposal to change the lyrics of the Philippine National Anthem. There’s also news about 34 people arrested for “disrespecting the flag” in a Batangas cinema (“34 arrested for disrepecting flag in Batangas cinema,” Politiko, accessed on 7 October 2018), and another moviegoer arrested in Cavite for “flag code violation” (“Moviegoer arrested in Cavite for flag code violation,” Sunstar Manila, accessed on 7 October 2018). Let’s discuss the law which governs both the national anthem and the national flag.  Continue reading

The Anti-Bomb Joke Law and Drew Olivar

A criminal case for violation of the “Anti-Bomb Joke Law” will be filed against blogger Drew Olivar, reports quote Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde. Drew Olivar reportedly stated, in a Facebook post which has been taken down: “Ay nakakatakot naman mag-rally sa EDSA, kasi may kumakalat na baka maulit daw yung pagbomba kagaya ng Plaza Miranda! Kung ako sa inyo, hindi na ako pupunta.” Continue reading

Rule on Precautionary Hold Departure Order (A.M. No. 18-07-05-SC; full text)

[In a Resolution dated 7 August 2018, the Supreme Court En Banc approved the proposed Rule on Precautionary Hold Departure Order. It shall take effect within fifteen days following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation. Here’s the full text of the Rule on Precautionary Hold Departure Order (A.M. No. 18-07-05-SC).] Continue reading

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

What is “Premature Marriage” and Is it a Crime?

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, before they can remarry. 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]

Continue reading