Saturday, December 22, 2007

Carnap me scheme

One of the common modus operandi in insurance fraud is the "carnap-me" scheme.
This is a situation where a car owner insures his vehicle agasint theft or carnapping, then later, have the vehicle carnapped.
The vehicle owner will then report to the insurance company and claim for the insurance proceeds.
In this fradulent scheme, the vehicle owner earns money because of the carnapping.
The "carnapped" vehicle will either be re-sold, after making changes, or it will be chopped to pieces and sold by piece.
Either way the vehilce owner gets income from it.
Aside from this, the vehicle owner gets income from the insurance proceeds due to his fraudulent claim.
For this reason, insurance companies have expert and experienced evaluators to investigate on thier own, whether an insurance claim for theft is a carnap-me scheme.
If the insurance company evaluators discover badges of fraud, or indicators that a claim is a carnap-me scheme, the claim will be denied.
Goin to basics, Insurance is a concept that seeks to indemnify a person for loss arising from an unknown peril.
In carnap-me situations, the insurance is not payable or indemnifiable because the loss did not arise from an unknown peril, but from a previously known, well-planned peril.
As it has been said, insurance is a means to indemniify, not to enrich one person at the expense of another.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The internet gave me the bad news of the passing of Dan Fogelberg.
I am a huge fan of Dan Fogelberg, grew up listening, playing his music.
Dan Fogelberg is the voice behind monstrous ballad hits such as "Longer", "Leader of the band".
In leader of the band, he writes of his father: "His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand."
To me, Dan wanted to describe his father as a man of wisdom, a man who knew better.
See how musicians express?
My other favorite is his version of the Cascades original "Rhythm of the Rain".
Equally memorable is "Believe In Me."
I learned of Dan's passing from the CNN website.
He battled prostate cancer for three years.
Cancer was discovered in the advanced stage in 2004.
He was 58.
I checked his website, and in the "News" section I read the sad announcement.
I also check the DAn Fogelberg fan-based website called living legacy which devotes its space to receive words of sympathies.
There is also a personal note from Dan Fogelberg himself, about his experience.
And he gave a "sermon" on how to prevent prostate cancer.
By the way I love the lyrics of "Leader of the Band"
It was a song Dan made for his father who was a band leader.
One thing adorable about singers/songwriters is that their unique impact to the world is permanently etched in peoples' memories through their music.
The singer comes and goes. They grow old. But their music stays.
In that sense, music defies mortality.
Goodbye Dan.
Thanks for the music.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pre trial rule mis-impression

I had the erroneous mis-impression about a rule in pre-trial proceedings.
It is Section 3 of Rule 18 of the rules on civil procedure.
The existing rule is that the notice of pre-trial shall be served on counsel, or on the party who has no counsel. The counsel served with such notice is charged with the duty of notifying the party represented by him.
The sentence in bold is what kept me ignorant.
For such a long time---until just recently---I had the mis-impression that the notice of pre-trial is to be served separately to the party and to the counsel.
I was living in the dark ages.
The new rule is that the notice of pre-trial is served only on the counsel, and not any more on the party.
The counsel now bears the responsibility of informing his client of the pre-trial.
The rule was changed apparently to save on bond paper.
But more important, the rule now adheres to the principle that notice to counsel is notice to party.
I think the old rule was the source of a lot of 'palusot' by some parties, because at times, there are lapses that ensue on account of the requirement of notifying separately the party and the counsel.
Now it is simpler. Notify only the counsel.
However, if the notice of pre-trial is sent to the party, and not to counsel, this kind of service is insufficient and the party and counsel cannot be penalized if the counsel is not able to attend the pre-trial.
And even if there was a previous agreement among counsels of the schedule of the pre-trial, the notice of pre-trial cannot be dispensed with. It still must be served, according to a Supreme Court decision.
So I ought to remember the new (this is actually not new) rule.
Notice of pre-trial is served only to counsel, no longer to both counsel and party.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Erap protests "most corrupt" hierarchy

Even a six year absence due to "resthouse" arrest has not made a dent on former president Joseph Esrtada's rare talent to amuse.
The former president protested why he is third in the list of "most corrupt" Philippine presidents.
In a survey done by Pulse Asia, the following were the most corrupt Presidents in the order of severity: (1) Gloria Arroyo (2) Ferdinand Marcos (3) Erap Estrada (4) Fidel V. Ramos (5) Corazon Aquino.
Erap says he should not be third most corrupt, but fourth most corrupt.
He says Fidel Ramos should be in the third spot because Ramos administration was marred by graver corrupt deals.
If leaders were labeled as very very corrupt, very corrupt, and just corrupt, it seems Erap is protesting and saying that instead of being labelled as "very corrupt", he should be labled as "corrupt" only.
But corrupt just the same.
Si Erap talaga....
I think he is the only one who can say or do things like these, and get away with it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

'Most corrupt' tag: Fact or perception?

From time to time, we have to review what the meaning of news is.
This comes to light with the recent "news" that a survey among Filipinos showed Gloria Arroyo is the most corrupt President in recent history.
Is this news?
It hogged the headlines. It must be.
Anyway, Gloria Arroyo has responded to this stingy accusation by saying this is merely perception and not based on facts.
Thus, the government says it would be difficult, if not futile to respond to baseless perceptions.
But is the opinion that Mrs. Arroyo is the "most, corrupt president" not based on facts?
When the President called a Comelec Commissioner by phone-- many believe she really called Virgilio "Garci" Garciliano--- at the height of the presidential elections, and was analyzed to have said "yung dagdag, yung dagdag", is this not a fact?
As a matter of fact, the President herself went on nationwide television to say "I'm sorry."
To me, that is a fact.
Why say sorry if the politically debilitating phone-chat was not fact?
When some honorable congressmen admit receiving P500,000 cash in Malcanang, the home of the most senior official, amidst moves in the house to impeach the President, is this not a fact?
When Ed Panlilio, governor of the president's home-province, and the governor of a neighboring province admit have been given P500,000 right in Malcanang, is this not a fact?
Until now there is yet no explanation from the President or her allies convincing enough to dissuade Filipinos from thinking those were bribes.
Filipinos may not be that sophisticated, but definitely they are not dumb, much less stupid.
If these instances are not facts, then I don't know what a fact is.
In fairness to the scientifically selected samples in the survey, and with due respect to the President, I think they based their opinions on established facts, and not perceptions.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mr. policeman what are you doing

This policeman I caught in my cellphone camera doesn't look like he's trying to raid a pirated DVD outlet.
Indeed, he is trying to choose which DVD he is going to take that day without paying.
Those manning these video outlets complained that the policeman would just get any DVD he wants without paying for it.
According to one of the sellers, even the mayor's boys would even pay. Some don't even ask for change.
Indeed, I heard this policman say "Eto, hiramin ko" (I'll borrow this)
The seller said the policeman ain't returning it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Policy Additions Endorsements

I handle a several insurance cases where the issue is the validity of endorsements, riders, attachments, added warranties to insurance policies.
The rule is that anything added, attached to the insurance policy, after its issuance, must be countersigned by the insured. Otherwise, any term, condition set forth in these additions, attachments, riders, warranties would not be binding.
The logic is simple.
Without any countersignature by the insured, there would be no evidence that the insured ever agreed to the additional terms and conditions in the riders, attachments, endorsements after the issuance of the policies.
That is fine.
But what if the terms and conditions added are favorable to the insured, but there is no countersignature by the insured.
Can the insured invoke the unsigned terms and condition in the rider, attachment, endorsement?
Can the insurer claim that the endorsement, rider, attachment, added warranties issued after the policy does not have eny effect because the insured did not counter-sign?
Remember in contracts, it takes two to tango.
A contract is a meeting of the minds between two persons.
If there is no evidence of any meeting of minds, i.e. no counter signature, are the endorsmements, riders, attachments, additional warranties binding?
This is the case I am handling right now.
My position is that if the additions to the policies bear no counter-signatures by the insured, they are non-binding.
Thus, if the insurer cannot invoke the terms and conditions contained in additions to policies that bear no counter-signatures of the insured, then too, the insured cannot invoke additions to policies to which he did not counter-sign.
My position is that what is sauce for the goose, should also be the sauce for the gander.
No person should be denied the equal protection of the laws.
Do you agree?

Friday, December 07, 2007


Yesterday, I received from the mails an invitation from the editor of the weekly student publication of Negros Oriental State University (NORSU):

Good day, Sir!

The NORSUnian, the official weekly student publication of Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) system, will conduct Lakra-Tinta II, a seminar-workshop and fellowship among campus journalists and advisers, on December 7-8, 2007. The theme for this year is “Enhancing Campus Journalism Through Pen and Commitment.”

In case you're in Dumaguete, we would like to invite you as one of our speakers on Friday, December 7. We would love to hear you talk about Media Laws, Roles and Ethics in an hour session.

An estimated of 40+ campus writers and advisers are expected to attend the said seminar, which will be held at the GSP Building. For questions, please contact me via landline no. 225-9400 local 167 or cell number 09169621420.

We hope this invitation will merit your most favorable response. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Merlinda Baliola
Editor in Chief, The NORSUnian

I told Merli I really would have wanted to come, had it not been for pressing engagements which I could no longer cancel.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kool Kristmas

My brother Emem has sent me a link to an online FM radio station in Alaska which is spreading the spirit of Christmas on the airwaves by playing all Christmas songs day-in and day-out on the radio.
So if you want to pipe-in KOOL popular Christmas songs through the internet, tune in to Kool 97.3
Happy listening.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas in the courts

The courst in Makati were very recently the site of chaos and confusion with the un-anticipated walk-out of Senator Antonio Trillanes and General Danilo Lim.
But just a few days after, the courts of Makati was transformed in an instant.
The Makati courts' preparations for Christmas went to high gear.
The lobbies of the 10th, 11th, 33rd, 14th, 15th floors have been elaborately adorned with Christmas decors.
The lobbies in the courts are filled with different ornaments just to fill the minds of litigants with the spirit of Christmas.
Apparently the thrust is for litigants to imbibe the true spirit of Christmas which is to extend the hand of peace agasint their adversaries.
So if you go to the Makati courts, you cannot help but get struck by that sudden gush of light-heartedness, even if you are ready to chop into bits and pieces the testimony of your adversary.
Truth is, there is actually a competition among each floors of the building to find out which floor has the most meaningful decoration.