I just learned the meaning of M.U. I attended an action group session with brothers and sisters of the BCBP last night. I am not actually in the same age bracket with my brods and sis. I was amused at how my brods and sis, couples, shared their anxities as they deal with raising their teen-age children. Their young children come home so early already---early in the morning. Chlidren don;t respond to their text messages. It keeps them (parents) awake all night, waiting for son or daughter to come home. Sometimes, they just fall asleep while waiting for eternity. In the morning, their favorite question would be "What time did Mike come home last night?" Another teen age child of another couple is known to have a girlfried. But in an elevator, a sis saw the teen age son having a lips-to-lips session with another girl in the elevator. Then for the first time I learned the meaning of M.U. Another teen age child was teased about having a relationship. The teen ager said she is not in a relationship. They are just "M.U." What is M.U.? "Mag-Un".
The Constitutions provides a temporary succession to the Presidency in the event that no president-elect and vice-president elect shall have been chosen and qualified. From my vantage point, no hold-over President is allowed after noon of June 30. But, judging the kind of decisions coming from the Supreme Court these days, you’ll never know. There are loose talks from several quarters of a “failure of elections.” The Commission on Elections has debunked such failed election scenarios. But the Constitution is clear that when no President and vice president shall have been chosen or shall have qualified, or where both shall have died or become permanently disabled, the president of the Senate is next in line as acting president. In case of the senate president’s inability, the house speaker acts as president. In case of the inability of the senate president and the house speaker to act as president, the congress shall enact a law providing the manner which one is to act as president. The problem is that the current senate president, Juan Ponce Enrile, is one whose term will expire also on June 30. Enrile is running for re-election. Nonetheless, by noon of June 30, Enrile will no longer be Senate President. Enrile’s current term of office ends at noon on June 30. With it ends his being Senate president. There are suggestions that the Senate should already replace senator Enrile with a senate president whose term won’t end on June 30, but in 2013. Unfortunately, the senate cannot just meet by itself, because it needs the lower house to convene also. The constitution established a congress that is bicameral. These days however, the house cannot muster a quorum because congressmen are busy for the elections. There is one time where the constitution requires the congress to convene after the May elections. The constitution requires congress to convene not later than thirty day after the May 10 elections to canvass the votes for president and vice president. I see this as an opportunity for the senate to place in its agenda, the election of a new senate president whose term will not end on June 30. If this will not happen, there can be a potential problem on temporary succession in case no president and vice president shall have been chosen and qualified, by June 30. Let us assume there is no senate president because Enrile’s term also ends on June 30, and the senate hasn’t elected a new senate president. The house also cannot elect a new speaker by July 1 because under the constitution, congress convenes only on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session. Since congress convenes only on the fourth Monday of July (July 26), it cannot set up a manner of choosing an acting president. Under such a scenario, who will be acting president from noon of June 30 to July 25?
To intensify the investigation of cases in the City, the Dr. Jovito Salonga Center for Law and Development conducted a training for members of the Philippine National Police-Dumaguete City (PNP-Dgte). The one-day training-seminar held at the Moot Court of the Silliman University (SU) College of Law last February 26, 2010 provided the participants with new insights on case investigation following recent jurisprudence, legislative enactments, and legal issuances. Assistant City Prosecutor Angela Charina M. Cortes lectured on the New Rules of Inquest Proceedings and Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). Atty. Ramon Nakao, a faculty member of the SU Law and a known lawyer in criminal law, handled the session on the Preparation of Affidavits of Complaint. On the other hand, City Prosecutor Eliezer P. Escorial talked about the Handling and Processing of Evidence. At the end of the training, student volunteers of the Salonga Center facilitated the Role Playing wherein the participants were confronted with cases on buy-bust operation, kilum-kilum, and children in conflict with the law and were given the chance to apply their newly-acquired knowledge. City Prosecutor Escorial gave his comments and insights based on the law and jurisprudence. Salonga Center Director, Atty. Mikhail Lee L. Maxino expressed his sincerest thanks to the participants and guest speakers for being part of a necessary step in ensuring crime prevention and proper prosecution in the city. He also lauded the PNP-Dgte and the Dumaguete City Peace and Order Council, co-sponsors of the event, and the organizers for the ideas and flow of the program.
The Supreme court keeps on making wrong decisions. I am not sure if again, the Supreme Court will back track and take an about face on their latest ruling. I am already noticing that in our day and age, the present Supreme Court keeps on reversing its own decisions. An example is that decision on cityhood. Another is the decision considering as resigned appointed government officials who run for public office. Recently the Supreme has ruled that President Arroyo can appoint a new chief justice once the current chief justice retires on his birthday on May 17, even with the constitutional ban on midnight appointments.. According to the Supreme Court the constitutional ban against midnight appointments only applies to the executive appointments and not to members of the Supreme Court. The court reason is placements. According to the court , since the ban against midnight appointments is found in the chapter on the executive department, then the ban must only cover executive appointments. I could not control but laugh and shake my head when I read this portion of the decision. I can have an analogy on the court’s weird argument. If a newspaper editor places an ad about a missing person in the obituary section of the paper, then the interpretation must be that the missing person must already be dead. For what reason could there be for the editor to consciously place the missing-person ad in the obituary section, other than the suggestion that such missing person has died? Funny argument isn’t it? I don’t know how the Supreme Court came up with such ruling, when there is nothing in the constitutional ban that exempts the Supreme Court from being covered by the ban on midnight appointments. The Supreme Court made additions to the wordings of the constitution. The Supreme court resorted to interpretation on the pretext of a conflict, or ambiguity. There is no ambiguity. And when there is no ambiguity, you are not supposed to create confusion. The appointment of the next chief justice should be properly left to the incoming president, not to an outgoing president who will become merely a virtual caretaker, in transition to the incoming administration. Not a few law students are now scratching their heads. I say to our law students: Don’t despair. To paraphrase a Chinese saying: We are living in interesting times.
Arnel Pineda should not have said 'sorry'. Nevertheless, the lead star of Journey decided to be just diplomatic by being apologetic . There is nothing to be sorry for. Arnel Pineda sang the national anthem during the Pacquiao-Clottey fight in Arlington, Texas. The National Historical Institute (NHI) didn't like it. Arnel Pineda, lead star of the rock band Journey, is a world superstar now in the musical arena. The National Historical Institute has already initiated moves to prosecute Arnel Pineda for violating the law that prescribes how the national anthem is to be sang. By singing the national anthem the way he did, Arnel Pineda was exercising his basic human right to free expression. It is guaranteed by our constitution. You do not say sorry for following the constitution. Forgive me for saying this, but I think this is one of the stupid laws enacted. It commands us how to sing the national anthem. Here are the reasons why the National historical Institute is wrong in initiating this prosecution against Arnel Pineda. First, the law is unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because it violates the fundamental right to free expression guaranteed in the bill of rights. It is not justified for the NHI to claim that there is a law and they are bound to enforce it. With all due respect, the NHI should not waste its energies and waste people’s taxpayer’s money by enforcing a law of doubtful constitutionality. I am sure the NHI has better things to do. Second. The law is unconstitutional because it deprives every Filipino citizen their right to due process of law. The law prescribes that the national anthem should be sang or rendered they way it was done by Julian Felipe. Now tell me, how many of the ninety million Filipinos have ever heard of the Julian Felipe version of the national anthem? I haven’t. The government has not publicized the version of Julian Felipe of the national anthem. For instance, the government should have enforced the requirement that movie houses, radio and television stations use the version of Julian Felipe when they air the national anthem, so that the people will hear the official version. That is one way of publicizing. But the government hasn’t. So how can we follow a law requiring a manner of rendering the national anthem, when we haven’t heard the prescribed version at all? In other words, the Julian Felipe version cannot be followed for lack of audio publication. That is government’s fault. It’s failure. Third. Arnel Pineda cannot be criminally prosecuted. If there was ever a crime committed by Arnel Pineda by not singing the national anthem as prescribed by law, it was not committed within Philippine territory. Penal laws are territorial in nature. Fourth. The NHI should go around schools during early morning flag raising ceremonies. The NHI will discover how the national anthem is “mangled” as it is sang lazily by students who are most probably still half-asleep. Are we going to send the students to jail, too? For me, how the national anthem is sang is not important. What is important is that it is sang with sincerity, from the heart. I notice almost everytime there is a rendition of the national anthem during Pacquiao fights, the NHI people spring into action and make themselves visible. I am driven to feel these people are just K.S.P. Kulang-Sa-Pansin.
As parents we were made to write a message to our son Joshua, who is attending his first retreat. It was to be in a sealed envelope to be opened and read aloud by Josh in one session of the retreat. This is what we wrote:
March 11, 2010
Our Dearest Joshua.
If God were to ask us to name a gift, besides our Lord Jesus Christ, that we are most thankful for, it is God’s gift of bringing you to our lives. We have become so happy a thousand times over because God gave you to us, Josh. So we take this opportunity to tell you, that we are eternally thankful that you are our son. You are God’s blessing to us, your papa and mama. As your parents, we recognize our role is striving to make you the best that you can be. We want you to know that as your parents, we will provide you the basic tools for you to succeed in life. Your teachers too, are there to guide you, to give you the needed instruments to achieve God’s purpose for you. Eventually, you will be the one to make good use of these tools as you follow God’s instructions. To us you are like a young carpenter who would one day build a house. As parents will will just provide you with tools like hammer, saw, chisel, etc. We, your parents and your teachers, will try to teach you how to use these tools. But ultimately, it will be you who will build the house. We hope you will make good use of these tools, learn to use it the right way, so you will build a beautiful house. We wish to tell you that for us, your success will be measured on how faithful you will be in following the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Success isn't fame, nor fortune. It is not professional titles attained, nor public accolades received. Success is much more than that. So our prayer is that each day, you strive to become a better Christian. It is hard, because many times, you will make mistakes. We all do. But it is ok. Treat these mistakes as a chance to correct your wrongs. Always do good to your classmates, to your friends, your teachers. Do good to those who will need your help, even those you haven't met. By doing good, you are following God’s desires. By doing good, you will make God happy. You will make us happy. Don’t forget to thank the Lord for all the blessings that He has given you. Thank Him everyday when you wake up each morning. Once again, we say thank you, son, for being who you are. May God continue to shower you with bountiful blessings. We love you very much, Josh.
I had the opportunity to examine the certificates of candidacy of the aspirants for top provincial positions in Negros Oriental. This is courtesy of a newly-launched election website www.negor2010.com that had the initiative of publishing on pdf the certificates of candidacy of candidates vying for top positions like governor, vice governor and member of congress, in Negros Oriental. This is good public service for the electorate.
Certificates taken seriously
I was amused examining the candidates’ certificates of candidacy, having myself prepared the certificates of candidacy of those seeking national positions. Preparing and filing of certificates of candidacy is a very serious matter, because any haphazard, careless preparation and filing can lead to a candidate’s disqualification. I noticed many legal defects in the certificates of candidacy of candidates for top provincial positions. These defects created legal grounds for their disqualification. One of the important things candidates must take note is that their certificates of candidacies must be “legally clean” and in order, so it cannot be taken advantage of by rivals.
Not duly sworn
One of the major defects I noted is that many of the certificates of candidacy were not sworn in accordance with law. As a legal requirement, a certificate of candidacy must be sworn in accordance with the law. Otherwise, this can be a ground for disqualification for having filed a certificate of candidacy that is not sworn in accordance with law. I noted many certificates of candidacy were defectively sworn before notaries public because they used cedula which is not competent evidence of identity. The Supreme Court has long ruled against the legality of using cedulas as evidence of identity. In fact, there have been petitions dismissed by the Supreme Court outright, solely for failing to use competent evidence of identity in the verifications. Other certificates of candidacy are worse because no competent evidence of identity was presented before the notary public. Other certificates of candidacy I noted were false entries in the certificates themselves. The following candidates for top positions which used (defective) community tax certificates are: Emilio C. Macias II (for governor), Raul S. Aninon (for congress), Henry Pryde Teves (for congressman). Those who used evidence of identity which looked ostensibly like cedulas are Agustin Ramon M. Perdices (for vice-gov), Marcelo G. Adanza (for congress), Telesforo Diao Jr. (for congress). Those who did not present any evidence of identity before the notary public are: Samuel B. Torres (for vice gov), Mariant-Escano Villegas (for vice-gov), German P. Sarana (for vice gov). Those who used competent evidence of identity are Petit A. Baldado (for governor) used his government I.D. card, George Arnaiz (for congress) who used his driver’s license, Jocelyn S. Limkaichong (for congress) who used her passport, Jacinto V. Paras (for congress) who used his passport, Hector C. Villanueva (for congress) who used his driver’s license.
Factually impossible entries
There are also candidates who wrote factually impossible entries in their certificates. They can be considered false entries. For example George P. Arnaiz candidate for congressman, listed his birthday as 2-21-1955 meaning February 21, 1955. He listed his age as 54 (at the time he filed his certificate). For the entry requiring the “period of residence in the Philippines before May 10, 2010”, Arnaiz listed 55 years and 9 months. This appears factually impossible since on May 9, 2010 (a day before the election) Arnaiz’ period of residence in the Philippines, and on this Earth for that matter, would yet be 55 years, 2 months and 18 days (to be exact) The entry for period of residence placed by Arnaiz in his certificate means he was already a resident in the Philippines even before he was born. This needs an explanation because I don’t quite get it, specially with my deficiency in mathematics. His rival for second district congressman, Hector C. Villanueva is no better, technically speaking. Villanueva listed his birthday as April 15, 1945. For the entry “period of residence in the Philippines before May 10, 2010”, Villanueva listed “65 years and 1 month”. This is also not accurate because on May 9, 2010 ( a day before the election) Villanueva would have been residing in the Philippines only for 65 years and 24 days only. In the civil code, one month means 30 days. Like Arnaiz, Villanueva also claims he has been a resident in the Philippines even before he was born. The third rival, Mr. Aninon is worst. He did not write any entry for the period of residence in the Philippines. There is no way of knowing whether he complied with the constitutional requirement for residency, for congressional aspirants. Other data
From the certificates of candidacy among aspirants for top provincial posts, we gather that the oldest candidate is Emilio C. Macias at 76. Perdices is second oldest at 75 years old. There is no age limit to be a candidate. As long as one is still breathing, he can run for office. We can also gather that all the candidates (for top posts) except one, are fifty years old and above. No candidate for top provincial posts, is in his forties. The youngest is Henry Pryde Teves who is thirty seven. If you want to access the certificates of candidacy for Negros Oriental aspirants, go to www.negor2010.com