Category Archives: Politics & Society

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

SC Upholds Marcos Burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

The Philippine Supreme Court, dismissing the petitions by a 9-5 vote, effectively removed any legal obstacle to the government’s plan to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. For the full text of the Supreme Court Decision in Ocampo et al. vs. Enriquez, G.R. NOS. 225973, click here. Feel free to discuss below.  Continue reading

Salute to the Fallen44

Salute to the Fallen 44

The military band kept on playing. The tune sounds painfully sad. The band kept playing for hours because the honor guards walked slower than slow-motion, perhaps fearful of disturbing the fallen comrade-in-arms inside the coffin. It took hours because there were 42 coffins that came home to Camp Bagong Diwa [Update: Why family of slain SAF from Bicol didn’t wait for Aquino]. The 2 other fallen police officers were buried earlier in accordance with Islamic rites. 44 dead. A lot of officers and gentlemen died performing their sworn duty to protect the country. Continue reading

A Brilliant Template for Metro Manila Traffic?

Traffic is a mundane problem that, unfortunately, adversely affects all aspects of our lives, including the performance of work and the loss of billions annually. Our preoccupation with the topic on traffic can be explained by, among other reasons, the immediate effect on us lawyers (the loss of precious time getting stuck on the road to and from client meetings and court hearings) and the bigger impact on society (if we can’t craft and implement simple rules like those pertaining to traffic, how would we fare with more complex laws?). Indeed, no one can deny that Metro Manila traffic needs urgent, long-term and creative solutions. The solution, for instance, may be more than installing traffic lights and removing the u-turns along Katipunan Avenue. The government is doing something about it, to be sure, although some say it’s far from effective; it’s not even enough. Here’s a video that should stir our thoughts on addressing the traffic problem. The exact system may not work in Metro Manila but what’s important is the principle behind it. What do you think? Continue reading

House Bill No. 4994: Bangsamoro Basic Law (complete text)

[For a meaningful and informed discussion on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, here’s the full text of House Bill No. 4994, reproduced with permission from the Philippine e-Legal Forum. HB 4994 is now considered by the House of Representatives.] Continue reading

Philippines Statement, 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (29 September 2014) by Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario

[Reproduced for reference is the Statement of the Republic of the Philippines, delivered by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario during the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, High Level General Debate, on 29 September 2014 at the General Assembly Hall UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America. Emphasis has been given by certain sectors on the portions on these segments: On Peace, Security and the Rule of Law and On Peacekeeping. Full text 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

The Abad Incident: Statement from the Faculty of the University of the Philippines School of Economics

[Note: On 17 September 2014, University Student Council and the UP School of Economics Student Council (SESC) sponsored a forum on the proposed UP budget. Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad, who was invited as a speaker, attended the forum. After the forum, as Sec. Abad made his way towards his vehicle, members of the STAND UP (Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP) threw crumpled paper, coins and placards at him. The Econ Faculty, through its official statement reproduced below, says it’s hooliganism. The concerned students, on the other hand, say that the real issue is DAP. What do you think? Use the comment section below.] Continue reading

UP Pep Vision 2014UAAPCDC

Equality and Unity, the Vision in UP Pep’s Routine, and Judging based on Facts

It may be a surprise why we’re talking about cheerdance in this blog. We’re supporting the UP Pep Squad and its message/vision during the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition. While the UP Pep Squad fell a little short of reclaiming the championship trophy, it succeeded in driving home a message. The second-place finish of UP Pep Squad must be viewed through the vision weaved into their routine — equality. Pantay-pantay. Continue reading

Boatlift and 9/11: I Never Wanna Say I Should Have

“I have one theory in life. I never wanna say the word ‘I should have’. If  I do it and I fail, I tried. If I do it and I succeed, better for me. And I tell my children the same thing: Never go through life saying ‘I should have;’ if you want to do something you do it.” From Boatlift, a documentary of the boat lift in Lower Manhattan that evacuated more than half a million people in less than 9 hours. Reminds you of the quick response in Yolanda, 11/8. Makes you want to cry. Continue reading