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Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

Welcome to our legal news pages. Here is where we provide updates about what's happening in Philippines legal news, and publish helpful articles and tips for Pinoys researching legal matters.

These days, a car is more of a need than a want as it conveniently takes you from point A to point B. What if someone takes away the convenience you enjoy for their own gain? It is indeed devastating and even disheartening to discover that your parked car is nowhere to be found. All the hardwork is wasted upon finding out that your vehicle has been carnapped. You may immediately panic, but it is important to have presence of mind so you can still hold on to essential details, which will help you track your stolen car. 

The details you need to obtain before contacting the authorities are the distinguishing features of your car, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), car's make and model and the license plate number. 

There are instances when your car is parked in a different section. In this case, your car may not be stolen but towed. Before going on panic mode, make sure you verify this information. If your vehicle is being towed, you need to get the contact number of a traffic management or local towing office. 

If you have a car insurance, you should also let the insurance company know about the incident. If you have got a cover that protects your vehicle against theft, you will be able to get an insurance coverage for the vehicle's fair market value. You will need to present a copy of the police report and certificate of registration to your provider. 

Most vehicles are equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) unit that enables car owner to determine where their car is. This car feature will also increase the odds that you are going to recover your car. 

Section 14 of Republic Act No. 6539 provides details on the penalty imposed upon individuals who violate the law:

Section 14. Penalty for Carnapping. Any person who is found guilty of carnapping, as this term is defined in Section two of this Act, shall, irrespective of the value of motor vehicle taken, be punished by imprisonment for not less than fourteen years and eight months and not more than seventeen years and four months, when the carnapping is committed without violence or intimidation of persons, or force upon things; and by imprisonment for not less than seventeen years and four months and not more than thirty years, when the carnapping is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of any person, or force upon things; and the penalty of life imprisonment to death shall be imposed when the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed in the commission of the carnapping.

Pardon and amnesty are two legal terms that bring confusion to those who are not familiar with the specific terms that encompass Philippine law. When it comes to the actions and proceedings relating to amnesty and pardon, there are some factors that must be taken into consideration hence, the distinction. By definition as defined under Section 1 of Proclamation No. 724:

Section 1. Grant of Amnesty. – Amnesty is hereby granted to all persons who shall apply therefor and who have or may have committed crimes, on or before June 1, 1995, in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special laws, including but not limited to the following: rebellion or insurrection; coup d’etat; conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, insurrection, or coup d’etat; disloyalty of public officers or employees; inciting to rebellion or insurrection; sedition; conspiracy to commit sedition; inciting to sedition; illegal assembly; illegal association; direct assault; indirect assault; resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or agents of such person; tumults and other disturbances of public order; unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances; alarms and scandals; illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions, and explosives, committed in furtherance of, incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion and insurrection; and violations of Articles 59 (desertion), 62 (absence without leave), 67 (mutiny or sedition), 68 (failure to suppress mutiny or sedition), 94 (various crimes), 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman), and 97 (general article) of the Articles of War; Provided, That the amnesty shall not cover crimes against chastity and other crimes for personal ends.

On the other hand, pardon is defined under the provisions of Act No. 4103 as:

SEC. 1. Policy Objectives - Under the provisions of Act No. 4103, as amended, otherwise known as the "Indeterminate Sentence Law", which was approved on December 5, 1933, it is the function of the Board of Pardons and Parole to uplift and redeem valuable human material to economic usefulness and to prevent unnecessary and excessive deprivation of personal liberty by way of parole or through executive clemency. Towards this end, the Board undertakes the following:

1. Looks into the physical, mental and moral records of prisoners who are eligible for parole or any form of executive clemency and determines the proper time of release of such prisoners on parole; 

2. Assists in the full rehabilitation of individuals on parole or those under conditional pardon with parole conditions, by way of parole supervision; and, 

3. Recommends to the President of the Philippines the grant of any form of executive clemency to prisoners other than those entitled to parole.

Custody is not only awarded to parents because in the event that the parent is deemed unfit, petition for guardianship can be filed. However, it is also important to note that grounds for petition for guardianship must also be taken into consideration. 

RULE 92

Venue

Section 1. Where to institute proceedings. — Guardianship of a person or estate of a minor or incompetent may be instituted in the Court of First Instance of the province, or in the justice of the peace court of the municipality, or in the municipal court chartered city where the minor or incompetent persons resides, and if he resides in a foreign country, in the Court of First Instance of the province wherein his property or the party thereof is situated; provided, however, that where the value of the property of such minor or incompetent exceeds that jurisdiction of the justice of the peace or municipal court, the proceedings shall be instituted in the Court of First Instance.

In the City of Manila the proceedings shall be instituted in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Section 2. Meaning of word "incompetent." — Under this rule, the word "incompetent" includes persons suffering the penalty of civil interdiction or who are hospitalized lepers, prodigals, deaf and dumb who are unable to read and write, those who are of unsound mind, even though they have lucid intervals, and persons not being of unsound mind, but by reason of age, disease, weak mind, and other similar causes, cannot, without outside aid, take care of themselves and manage their property, becoming thereby an easy prey for deceit and exploitation.

Section 3. Transfer of venue. — The court taking cognizance of a guardianship proceeding, may transfer the same to the court of another province or municipality wherein the ward has acquired real property, if he has transferred thereto his bona-fide residence, and the latter court shall have full jurisdiction to continue the proceedings, without requiring payment of additional court fees.

RULE 93

Appointment of Guardians

Section 1. Who may petition for appointment of guardian for resident. — Any relative, friend, or other person on behalf of a resident minor or incompetent who has no parent or lawful guardian, or the minor himself if fourteen years of age or over, may petition the court having jurisdiction for the appointment of a general guardian for the person or estate, or both, of such minor or incompetent. An officer of the Federal Administration of the United States in the Philippines may also file a petition in favor of a ward thereof, and the Director of Health, in favor of an insane person who should be hospitalized, or in favor of an isolated leper.

Section 2. Contents of petition. — A petition for the appointment of a general guardian must show, so far as known to the petitioner:

(a) The jurisdiction facts;

(b) The minority or incompetency rendering the appointment necessary or convenient;

(c) The names, ages, and residence of the relatives of the minor or incompetent, and of the person having him in their care;

(d) The probable value and character of his estate;

(e) The name of the person for whom letters of guardianship.

The petition shall be verified; but no defect in the petition or verification shall render void the issuance of letters of guardianship.

Section 3. Court to set time for hearing. Notice thereof. — When a petition for the appointment of a general guardian is filed, the court shall fix a time and place for hearing the same, and shall cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons mentioned in the petition residing in the province, including the minor if above 14 years of age or the incompetent himself, and may direct other general or special notice thereof to be given.

Section 4. Opposition to petition. — Any interested person may, by filing a written opposition, contest the petition on the ground of majority of the alleged minor, competency of the alleged incompetent, or the insuitability of the person for whom letters are prayed, and may pray that the petition be dismissed, or that letters of guardianship issue to himself, or to any suitable person named in the opposition.

Section 5. Hearing and order for letters to issue. — At the hearing of the petition the alleged in competent must be present if able to attend, and it must be shown that the required notice has been given. Thereupon the courts shall hear the evidence of the parties in support of their respective allegations, and, if the person in question is a minor, or incompetent it shall be appoint a suitable guardian of his person or estate, or both, with the powers and duties hereinafter specified.

Section 6. When and how guardian for non-resident appointed. Notice. — When a person liable to be put under guardianship resides without the Philippines but the estate therein, any relative or friend of such person, or any one interested in his estate, in expectancy or otherwise, may petition a court having jurisdiction for the appointment of a guardian for the estate, and if, after notice given to such person and in such manner as the court deems proper, by publication or otherwise, and hearing, the court is satisfied that such non-resident is a minor or incompetent rendering a guardian necessary or convenient, it may appoint a guardian for such estate.

Section 7. Parents as guardians. — When the property of the child under parental authority is worth two thousand pesos or less, the father of the mother, without the necessity of court appointment, shall be his legal guardian. When the property of the child is worth more than two thousand pesos, the father or the mother shall be considered guardian of the child's property, with the duties and obligations of guardians under this rules, and shall file the petition required by section 2 hereof. For good reasons the court may, however, appoint another suitable person.

Section 8. Service of judgment. — Final orders or judgments under this rule shall be served upon the civil registrar of the municipality or city where the minor or incompetent person resides or where his property or part thereof is situated.

RULE 94

Bonds of Guardians

Section 1. Bond to be given before issuance of letters. Amount. Condition. — Before a guardian appointed enters upon the execution of his trust, or letters of guardianship issue, he shall give a bond, in such sum as the court directs, conditioned as follows:

(a) To make and return to the court, within three (3) months, a true and complete inventory of all the estate, real and personal, of his ward which shall come to his possession or knowledge of any other person for him;

(b) To faithfully execute the duties of his trust, to manage and dispose of the estate according to these rules for the best interests of the ward, and to provide for the proper care, custody, and education of the ward;

(c) To render a true and just account of all the estate of the ward in his hands, and of all proceeds or interest derived therefrom, and of the management and disposition of the same, at the time designated by these rules and such other times as the courts directs, and at the expiration of his trust to settle his accounts with the court and deliver and pay over all the estate, effects, and moneys remaining in his hands, or due from him on such settlement, to the person lawfully entitled thereto;

(d) To perform all orders of the court by him to be performed.

Section 2. When new bond may be required and old sureties discharged. — Whenever it is deemed necessary, the court may require a new bond to be given by the guardian, and may discharge the sureties on the old bond from further liability, after due notice to interested persons, when no injury can result therefrom to those interested in the estate.

Section 3. Bonds to be filed. Actions thereon. — Every bond given by a guardian shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court, and, in case of the breach of a condition thereof, may be prosecuted in the same proceeding or in a separate action for the use and benefit of the ward or of any other person legally interested in the estate.

RULE 95

Selling and Encumbering Property of Ward

Section 1. Petition of guardian for leave to sell or encumber estate. — When the income of the estate under guardianship is insufficient to maintain the ward and his family, or to maintain and educate the ward when a minor, or when it appears that it is for the benefit of the ward that his real estate or some part thereof be sold, or mortgaged or otherwise encumbered, and the proceeds thereof put out at interest, or invested in some productive security, or in the improvement or security or other real estate of the ward, the guardian may present a verified petition to the court by which he was appointed setting forth such facts, and praying that an order issue authorizing the sale or encumbrance.

Section 2. Order to show cause thereupon. — If it seems probable that such sale or encumbrance is necessary, or would be beneficial to the ward, the court shall make an order directing the next of kin of the ward, and all persons interested in the estate, to appear at a reasonable time and place therein specified to show cause why the prayer of the petition should not be granted.

Section 3. Hearing on return of order. Costs. — At the time and place designated in the order to show cause, the court shall hear the proofs and allegations of the petitioner and next of kin, and other persons interested, together with their witnesses, and grant and refuse the prayer of the petition as the best interest of the ward require. The court shall make such order as to cost of the hearing as may be just.

Section 4. Contents of order for sale or encumbrance, and how long effective. Bond. — If, after full examination, it appears that it is necessary, or would be beneficial to the ward, to sell or encumber the estate, or some portion of it, the court shall order such sale or encumbrance and that the proceeds thereof be expended for the maintenance of the ward and his family, or the education of the ward, if a minor, or for the putting of the same interest, or the investment of the same as the circumstances may require. The order shall specify the causes why the sale or encumbrance is necessary or beneficial, and may direct that estate ordered sold be disposed of at either public or private sale, subject to such conditions as to the time and manner of payment, and security where a part of the payment is deferred as in the discretion of the court are deemed most beneficial to the ward. The original bond of the guardian shall stand as security for the proper appropriation of the proceeds of the sale, but the judge may, if deemed expedient, require an additional bond as a condition for the granting of the order of sale. No order of sale granted in pursuance of this section shall continue in force more than one (1) year after granting the same, without a sale being had.

Section 5. Court may order investment of proceeds and direct management of estate. — The court may authorize and require the guardian to invest the proceeds of sales or encumbrances, and any other of his ward's money in his hands, in real estate or otherwise, as shall be for the best interest of all concerned, and may make such other orders for the management, investment, and disposition of the estate and effects, as circumstances may require.

There are many aspects in family litigation that make any legal situation challenging and one of which is child custody. Even when couples have agreed to separate, the battle seems unending when children are involved. Both parties are fighting over their children, not knowing how to resolve matters relating to child custody. When it comes to custody disputes, there is one thing that must be kept in mind and that is the best interest of the child. This means that the court will decide based on moral and social situations and respective resources. 

There is also a general rule regarding awarding custody over children: "child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise."

However, this rule is not absolute. There are compelling reasons that may deprive a mother of the custody if the child is below seven years of age. Some examples of unsuitability are abandonment, drug addiction, unemployment, insanity and many more. 

Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

Children shall always observe respect and reverence towards their parents and are obliged to obey them as long as the children are under parental authority. 

Art. 212. In case of absence or death of either parent, the parent present shall continue exercising parental authority. The remarriage of the surviving parent shall not affect the parental authority over the children, unless the court appoints another person to be the guardian of the person or property of the children. (n)

Art. 213. In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit. (n)

Art. 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. In case several survive, the one designated by the court, taking into account the same consideration mentioned in the preceding article, shall exercise the authority. 

Art. 215. No descendant shall be compelled, in a criminal case, to testify against his parents and grandparents, except when such testimony is indispensable in a crime against the descendant or by one parent against the other.

How do you define actual or compensatory damages? One situation in which actual damages are awarded is when the defendant has inflicted injury upon the plaintiff. Actual damages or compensatory damages refer to the money paid to the plaintiff to cover for the damages caused by the defendant. Other types of damages also exist and these include property damage, lost wages, medical care and many others.

Actual or Compensatory Damages

ARTICLE 2199. Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual or compensatory damages.

ARTICLE 2200. Indemnification for damages shall comprehend not only the value of the loss suffered, but also that of the profits which the obligee failed to obtain. (1106)

ARTICLE 2201. In contracts and quasi-contracts, the damages for which the obligor who acted in good faith is liable shall be those that are the natural and probable consequences of the breach of the obligation, and which the parties have foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen at the time the obligation was constituted.

In case of fraud, bad faith, malice or wanton attitude, the obligor shall be responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the non-performance of the obligation. (1107a)

ARTICLE 2202. In crimes and quasi-delicts, the defendant shall be liable for all damages which are the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission complained of. It is not necessary that such damages have been foreseen or could have reasonably been foreseen by the defendant.

ARTICLE 2203. The party suffering loss or injury must exercise the diligence of a good father of a family to minimize the damages resulting from the act or omission in question.

ARTICLE 2204. In crimes, the damages to be adjudicated may be respectively increased or lessened according to the aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

ARTICLE 2205. Damages may be recovered:

(1) For loss or impairment of earning capacity in cases of temporary or permanent personal injury;

(2) For injury to the plaintiff's business standing or commercial credit.

ARTICLE 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there may have been mitigating circumstances. In addition:

(1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter; such indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the court, unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability not caused by the defendant, had no earning capacity at the time of his death;

(2) If the deceased was obliged to give support according to the provisions of article 291, the recipient who is not an heir called to the decedent's inheritance by the law of testate or intestate succession, may demand support from the person causing the death, for a period not exceeding five years, the exact duration to be fixed by the court;

(3) The spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased.

ARTICLE 2207. If the plaintiff's property has been insured, and he has received indemnity from the insurance company for the injury or loss arising out of the wrong or breach of contract complained of, the insurance company shall be subrogated to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer or the person who has violated the contract. If the amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cover the injury or loss, the aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the deficiency from the person causing the loss or injury.

ARTICLE 2208. In the absence of stipulation, attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs, cannot be recovered, except:

(1) When exemplary damages are awarded;

(2) When the defendant's act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his interest;

(3) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against the plaintiff;

(4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff;

(5) Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiff's plainly valid, just and demandable claim;

(6) In actions for legal support;

(7) In actions for the recovery of wages of household helpers, laborers and skilled workers;

(8) In actions for indemnity under workmen's compensation and employer's liability laws;

(9) In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;

(10) When at least double judicial costs are awarded;

(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered. 

There are different kinds of damages based on the principles of general law and the most common is moral damage. Someone whose reputation has been tainted due to wrong accusations would cry foul and moral damage will be awarded with sufficient evidence. There are many situations that moral damages may be recovered. 

Moral Damages

ARTICLE 2217. Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury. Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act for omission.

ARTICLE 2218. In the adjudication of moral damages, the sentimental value of property, real or personal, may be considered.

ARTICLE 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;

(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;

(4) Adultery or concubinage;

(5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;

(6) Illegal search;

(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;

(8) Malicious prosecution;

(9) Acts mentioned in article 309;

(10) Acts and actions referred to in articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35. 

The parents of the female seduced, abducted, raped, or abused, referred to in No. 3 of this article, may also recover moral damages.

The spouse, descendants, ascendants, and brothers and sisters may bring the action mentioned in No. 9 of this article, in the order named.

ARTICLE 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the court should find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith.

Swindling or estafa is a crime against property and it is committed using any fraudulent means. Swindling is also an abuse of confidence and there are many ways this crime is committed:

ARTICLE 316. Other Forms of Swindling. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods and a fine of not less than the value of the damage caused and not more than three times such value, shall be imposed upon:

1. Any person who, pretending to be the owner of any real property, shall convey, sell, encumber or mortgage the same.

2. Any person who, knowing that real property is encumbered, shall dispose of the same, although such encumbrance be not recorded.

3. The owner of any personal property who shall wrongfully take it from its lawful possessor, to the prejudice of the latter or any third person.

4. Any person who, to the prejudice of another, shall execute any fictitious contract.

5. Any person who shall accept any compensation given him under the belief that it was in payment of services rendered or labor performed by him, when in fact he did not actually perform such services or labor.

6. Any person who, while being a surety in a bond given in a criminal or civil action, without express authority from the court or before the cancellation of his bond or before being relieved from the obligation contracted by him, shall sell, mortgage, or, in any other manner, encumber the real property or properties with which he guaranteed the fulfillment of such obligation.

ARTICLE 317. Swindling a Minor. — Any person who, taking advantage of the inexperience or emotions or feelings of a minor, to his detriment, shall induce him to assume any obligation or to give any release or execute a transfer of any property right in consideration of some loan of money, credit or other personal property, whether the loan clearly appears in the document or is shown in any other form, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor and a fine of a sum ranging from 10 to 50 per cent of the value of the obligation contracted by the minor.

ARTICLE 318. Other Deceits. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine of not less than the amount of the damage caused and not more than twice such amount shall be imposed upon any person who shall defraud or damage another by any other deceit not mentioned in the preceding articles of this chapter.

Any person who, for profit or gain, shall interpret dreams, make forecasts, tell fortunes, or take advantage of the credulity of the public in any other similar manner, shall suffer the penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.

A marriage is considered null and void once married couples are annulled based on the following grounds under Art. 45 of the Family Code. The case will not prosper if an individual files a case without the grounds for annulment being present. This is why it is no joke to consider ending a marriage because the process is both challenging and tedious. 

Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:

(1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;

(2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

(3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

(5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or

(6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable. 

Art. 46. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 3 of the preceding Article:

(1) Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude;

(2) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband;

(3) Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or

(4) Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage.

No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage. 

Art. 47. The action for annulment of marriage must be filed by the following persons and within the periods indicated herein:

(1) For causes mentioned in number 1 of Article 45 by the party whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent, within five years after attaining the age of twenty-one, or by the parent or guardian or person having legal charge of the minor, at any time before such party has reached the age of twenty-one;

(2) For causes mentioned in number 2 of Article 45, by the same spouse, who had no knowledge of the other's insanity; or by any relative or guardian or person having legal charge of the insane, at any time before the death of either party, or by the insane spouse during a lucid interval or after regaining sanity;

(3) For causes mentioned in number 3 of Article 45, by the injured party, within five years after the discovery of the fraud;

(4) For causes mentioned in number 4 of Article 45, by the injured party, within five years from the time the force, intimidation or undue influence disappeared or ceased;

(5) For causes mentioned in number 5 and 6 of Article 45, by the injured party, within five years after the marriage. 

Women are vulnerable to all types of abuses, but complaints fall on deaf ears because of victim blaming. Any form of sexual abuse is traumatizing to the victim, but the best defense is having presence of mind and deeper understanding of the law. These acts are committed repeatedly as victims are embraced by fear while people who witnessed these acts simply turn a blind eye. Many abusers get out of the situation without getting penalized because of the victims' silence and the society's ignorance.  There are two violations that are usually used for sexual abuse: sexual harassment and acts of lasciviousness. Is there a difference between these terms? 

According to Republic Act 7877, sexual harassment is committed if:

1. The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or  in the employment, re-employment or continued employment  of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions, promotions, or privileges;  or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way  would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;

2. The above acts would impair the employee's rights or  privileges under existing labor laws; or

3. The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile,  or offensive environment for the employee.

b. In an education or training environment, sexual harassment is committed:      

1. Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender;  

2. Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship  or tutorship is entrusted to the offender;            

3. When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving  of a passing grade, or the granting of honors and scholarships,  or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits,  privileges, or consideration; or

4. When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or  apprentice.

Any person who directs or induces another to commit any  act of sexual harassment as herein defined, or who cooperates  in the commission thereof by another without which it would  not have been committed, shall also be held liable under this  Act.

On the other hand, under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code, acts of lasciviousness is committed if:

1. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct.

2. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to sexual abuse.

3. The child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age.

Imprisonment is probably one of the worst life experiences an individual must endure. While committing a crime results in incarceration, the thought of being denied of freedom is just too heavy to bear. To some, hopes are nebulous, but others are still hopeful that they will soon be freed from the invisible shackles of imprisonment. Only time and law can tell. 

Speaking of law, prisoners and their family members must be well aware of the law regarding obtaining release from imprisonment. How is it obtained? Can good conduct give you the freedom you have been longing? Before digging deeper into release from imprisonment, it is important to understand what completion of sentence is. By definition, completion of sentence means that a prisoner has already reached that prescribed period when penalty is served. For instance, if a person is sentenced to 10 years, a discharge paper must be prepared as proof that the person has already completed the sentence. 

Is there huge possibility that a prisoner will be given recommendation of the parole officer due to good conduct? Republic Act 10592 explains Good Conduct Time Allowance:

SEC. 3. Article 97 of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows:

ART. 97. Allowance for good conduct. – The good conduct of any offender qualified for credit for preventive imprisonment pursuant to Article 29 of this Code, or of any convicted prisoner in any penal institution, rehabilitation or detention center or any other local jail shall entitle him to the following deductions from the period of his sentence:

1. During the first two years of imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty days for each month of good behavior during detention;

2. During the third to the fifth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a reduction of twenty-three days for each month of good behavior during detention;

3. During the following years until the tenth year, inclusive, of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of twenty-five days for each month of good behavior during detention;

4. During the eleventh and successive years of his imprisonment, he shall be allowed a deduction of thirty days for each month of good behavior during detention; and

5. At any time during the period of imprisonment, he shall be allowed another deduction of fifteen days, in addition to numbers one to four hereof, for each month of study, teaching or mentoring service time rendered.

If an individual got himself into a situation that leads to his arrest, it is important for persons of authority such as the public officers, to educate the arrested person about his/her rights. The arrested person must be informed of the offense he/she committed. There are cases when public officers violate the law. For an individual who does not have any idea about his rights, unlawful arrest may seem normal. The Republic Act No. 7438 or an "Act defining certain rights of person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation as well as the duties of the arresting, detaining and investigating officers, and providing penalties for violation thereof" provides a comprehensive explanation about the rights of an arrested person and the penalties for public officers who violate the law. 

Republic Act No. 7438

Sec. 2. Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation; Duties of Public Officers. - (a) Any person arrested detained or under custodial investigation shall at all times be assisted by counsel.  

(b) Any public officer or employee, or anyone acting under his order or his place, who arrests, detains or investigates any person for the commission of an offense shall inform the latter, in a language known to and understood by him, of his rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice, who shall at all times be allowed to confer privately with the person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation. If such person cannot afford the services of his own counsel, he must be provided with a competent and independent counsel by the investigating officer. 

(c)  The custodial investigation report shall be reduced to writing by the investigating officer, provided that before such report is signed, or thumbmarked if the person arrested or detained does not know how to read and write, it shall be read and adequately explained to him by his counsel or by the assisting counsel provided by the investigating officer in the language or dialect known to such arrested or detained person, otherwise, such investigation report shall be null and void and of no effect whatsoever. 

(d) Any extrajudicial confession made by a person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel or in the latter's absence, upon a valid waiver, and in the presence of any of the parents, elder brothers and sisters, his spouse, the municipal mayor, the municipal judge, district school supervisor, or priest or minister of the gospel as chosen by him; otherwise, such extrajudicial confession shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding. 

(e) Any waiver by a person arrested or detained under the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, or under custodial investigation, shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel; otherwise the waiver shall be null and void and of no effect. 

(f) Any person arrested or detained or under custodial investigation shall be allowed visits by or conferences with any member of his immediate family, or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel, or by any national non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Commission on Human Rights of by any international non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Office of the President. The person's "immediate family" shall include his or her spouse, fiance or fiancee, parent or child, brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, and guardian or ward. 

As used this Act, "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law. 

Sec. 3. Assisting Counsel. - Assisting counsel is any lawyer, except those directly affected by the case, those charged with conducting preliminary investigation or those charged with the prosecution of crimes. 

The assisting counsel other than the government lawyers shall be entitled to the following fees:  

(a) The amount of One hundred fifty pesos (P150.00) if the suspected person is chargeable with light felonies; 

(b) The amount of Two hundred fifty pesos (P250.00) if the suspected person is chargeable with less grave of grave felonies; 

(c)  The amount of Three hundred fifty pesos (P350.00) if the suspected person is chargeable with a capital offense. 

The fee for the assisting counsel shall be paid by the city or municipality where the custodial investigation is conducted, provided that if the municipality of city cannot pay such fee, the province comprising such municipality or city shall pay the fee: Provided, That the Municipal of City Treasurer must certify that no funds are available to pay the fees of assisting counsel before the province pays said fees. 

In the absence of any lawyer, no custodial investigation shall be conducted and the suspected person can only be detained by the investigating officer in accordance with the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. 

Sec. 4. Penalty Clause. - (a) Any arresting public officer of employee, or any investigating officer, who fails to inform any person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice, shall suffer a fine of Six thousand pesos (P6,000.00) or a penalty of imprisonment of not less than eight (8) years but not more than ten (10) years, or both. The penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification shall also be imposed upon the investigating officer who has been previously convicted of a similar offense. 

The same penalties shall be imposed upon a officer or employee or anyone acting upon orders of such investigating officer or in his place, who fails to provide a competent and independent counsel to a person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation for the commission of an offense if the latter cannot afford the services of his own counsel. 

(b) Any person who obstruct, persons or prohibits any lawyer, any member of the immediate family of a person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation, or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel, from visiting and conferring privately with him, of from examining and treating him, or from ministering to his spiritual needs, at any hour of the day or, in urgent cases, of the night shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than four (4) years nor more than six (6) years, and a fine of four thousand pesos (P4,000.00). 

The provisions of the above Section notwithstanding, any security officer with custodial responsibility over any detainee or prisoner may undertake such reasonable measures as may be necessary to secure his safety and prevent his escape. 

Let's face it, many relationship problems are often due to unresolved conflicts with money. For married couples, issues with property, inheritance and money can result in going separate ways. Even long separation cannot pacify each party and such conflicts can result in unending arguments that will only add insult to injury. Even for unmarried couples, conflicts due to money also exist.  This relationship is often referred to as live-in relationship or common-law marriage. 

Under Article 147 of the Family code:

Art. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former’s efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household.

Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without the consent of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.

When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence of descendants, such share shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of the cohabitation.

In this case, the property acquired by both parties will be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. On the other hand, if prior or existing marriage has not been declared void, Article 148 of the Family Code states that: 

Art. 148. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the preceding Article, only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of money, property, or industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. In the absence of proof to the contrary, their contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of money and evidences of credit.

If one of the parties is validly married to another, his or her share in the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community or conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage. If the party who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her shall be forfeited in the manner provided in the last paragraph of the preceding Article.

The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both parties are in bad faith.

A private act committed in public places is an offense against decency and good customs. For instance, making out is normal for couples, but when the act is committed in public places, it is considered as highly scandalous and offensive to good customs and morals hence, the individuals involved may be charged of the crime of grave scandal.  Other offenses against decency and good customs include:

Art. 200. Grave Scandal

A. Concept: It is a crime consisting of the performance or doing any act which is highly scandalous as to offend against decency and good custom.

1.  The act, either a physical observable activity or audible noise, both of which scandalizes those who see or hear them. As for instance the act of engaging in a torrid kissing, urinating or defecating or going around in scanty attire, or loud obscene sex noises 

2.  They must be done either:  (a) In a public place i.e where people usually go or congregate such as in parks, movie houses, bazaars, malls. In these places the presence of third persons is not required. (b) Within public knowledge or public view. This refers to private houses, rooms, grounds, veranda, but the noises made are so loud or the acts can be seen by third persons. The third person must not however be a Peeping Tom.   

B. The act must not be punished under any other provision of the Code as this is a crime of last resort or a catch-all crime. 

C. The scandalous acts affect public morals or sensitivity and have nothing to do with violations of public peace and tranquility. Thus two persons fighting or shouting at each other in a public place would constitute Alarm and Scandal. But when these same two persons engage in a strip tease contest in full view of people, the act would be Grave Scandal.

Art. 201 Immoral Doctrines, Obscene Publications and Exhibitions and Indecent Shows.

A. Persons or acts  punished:

1.  Those who expound  or proclaim doctrines contrary to public morals

a). As for instance advocating polygamy or wife-swapping or killing off the mental/physical retardates to improve the Filipino race

b). What about advocating same-sex marriage? Or opening an exclusive ”nudist camp”? 

2. In reference to Obscene literature

a). The authors if they had knowledge of the publishing of their works. Thus writing an obscene literature is not per se punished but if the authors said works to be circulated to any third person, then they become liable. If the wok is stolen and circulated without their knowledge, they are not liable. 

b). The editors publishing such literature

c). The owners/operators of the establishment selling the same 

3.   In reference to obscene, indecent, or immoral plays, acts or shows:

a). The persons who exhibit them including the producers, actors, movie house/theater owners

b). These include plays, acts, shows which

(i)  glorify criminals or condone crimes

(ii)  serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence, lust or pornography

(iii)  offend any race or religion

(iv)  tend to abet traffic in and sue of prohibited drugs

(v) are contrary to law, public order, morals, good customs, established policies, lawful orders, decrees and edicts 

4.  Persons who sell, give away, or exhibit films, prints, engravings, sculptures, or literature, which are offensive to morals. Hence mere possession of pornographic literature is not per se punished. It is the act of distributing to people or circulating the same which is punished. Letting one person borrow or read is not however distributing. 

Art. 202. Vagrants and Prostitutes

I.( Is this a crime against status?) There are four kinds of Vagrants:

1.(The Lazy one). A person with no apparent means of subsistence, but physically able to work, neglect to apply himself to some lawful calling

a). It is not being unemployed per se which is punished but the refusal to look for work

2. (The Tourist) Any person found loitering about public or semi public buildings or places, or tramping or wandering about the country or streets without visible means of support

3. (The bugao and maton) An idle or dissolute (immoral, lax, unrestrained) person who lodges in houses of ill fame, ruffians (barairongs in Ilokano) or one who habitually associates with prostitutes

a. Absence of visible means of support is not required hence wealthy people may be vagrants under this mode

4. ( The suspicious stranger) One found loitering in any inhabited or uninhabited place belonging to another without any lawful or justifiable reason

a.The vagrant may have wealth

b.This is a preventive measure to prevent the commission of some other more serious offense

c.The estate is not fenced

Accidents can happen in the workplace. These accidents can cause a personal injury, which may cause an employee to rest for a few days or months until they are capable of nursing themselves back to health. If such employment caused personal injury or illness, is the employer going to pay compensation to the employee? There are many questions that linger in an employee's mind as some workers are not properly compensated. Act. No. 3428 prescribes the compensation, which will be received by employees for illness, personal injuries and even death if these are contracted in the performance of the workers' duties.

Sec. 2. Grounds for Compensation. — When any employee receives a personal injury from any accident due to and in the pursuance of the employment, or contracts any illness directly caused by such employment or the result of the nature of such employment, his employer shall pay compensation in the sums and to the persons hereinafter specified.

Sec. 3. Applicable to Government. — This Act shall also be applicable to the employees and laborers of the Insular Government and of the governments of the provinces, municipalities and all other political subdivisions of the Philippine Islands, employed in the industrial concerns of the Government and in public works.

Sec. 4. Injuries not Covered. — Compensation shall not be allowed for injuries caused (1) by the voluntary intent of the employee to inflict such injury upon himself or another person; (2) by drunkenness on the part of the laborer who had the accident; (3) by notorious negligence of the same.

Sec. 5. Exclusive Right to Compensation. — The right and remedies granted by this Act to an employee by reason of a personal injury entitling him to compensation shall exclude all other rights and remedies accruing to the employee, his personal representatives, dependents or nearest of kin against the employer under the Civil Code and other laws, because of said injury.

Employers contracting laborers in the Philippine Islands for work outside the same may stipulate with such laborers that the remedies prescribed by this Act shall apply exclusively to injuries received outside the Islands through accidents happening in and during the performance of the duties of the employment; and all service contracts made in the manner prescribed in this section shall be presumed to include such agreement.

Sec. 6. Liability of Third Parties. — In case an employee suffers an injury for which compensation is due under this Act by any other person besides his employer, it shall be optional with such injured employee either to claim compensation from his employer, under this Act, or sue such other person for damages, in accordance with law; and in case compensation is claimed and allowed in accordance with this Act, the employer who paid such compensation or was found liable to pay the same, shall succeed the injured employee to the right of recovering from such person what he paid: Provided, That in case the employer recovers from such third person damages in excess of those paid or allowed under this Act, such excess shall be delivered to the injured employee or any other person entitled thereto, after deduction of the expenses of the employer and the cost of the proceedings. The sum paid by the employer for compensation or the amount of compensation to which the employee or his dependents are entitled, shall not be admissible as evidence in any damage suit or action.

Sec. 7. Contract Prohibited. — Any contract, regulation, or device of any sort intended to exempt the employer from all or part of the liability created by this Act shall be null and void.

Sec. 8. Death Benefit. — If the injury received by the employee causes his death within six months from the date of such injury, the employer shall pay the compensation to the persons entitled thereto, and in case there should be none, he shall pay to the person representing the deceased employee the burial expenses, not to exceed one hundred pesos, and shall also pay to or for the following persons, in the order of priority and during the periods hereinafter set forth, a weekly compensation equivalent to the following percentages of the average weekly wages of the employee, as determined in section nineteen of this Act:

(a) To the dependent widow or widower, in case there are no dependent children, forty-five per centum.

(b) To the dependent widow or widower in case there are one or two dependent children, fifty per centum, and if there are three or more dependent children, sixty per centum.

(c) If there is no dependent widow or widower, but a dependent child or children, such child or children shall be paid thirty per centum, with ten per centum additional for each child in excess of two, up to a maximum of fifty per centum, which shall be distributed in equal shares among the children if there be more than one.

(d) If there are no dependent widow, widower, or children, but there is a dependent father or mother, forty per centum to the father or mother if totally dependent, or twenty-five per centum if partly dependent, and if both parents are dependent, each shall be paid one-half of such compensation. If there is no parent, but dependent grandparents, the same compensation shall be paid as to a father or mother.

(e) If there are no dependent widow, widower, child, parents, or grandparent, but there is a dependent grandchild, brother or sister, or two or more such, then twenty-five per centum shall be paid for one dependent and five per centum additional for each additional dependent, up to a maximum of forty per centum, which shall be distributed share and share alike among the dependents if there be more than one.

When several persons are entitled to compensation and there is disagreement concerning the share of the compensation each should receive, the Bureau of Labor shall act as referee and designate the share to be allotted to each dependent; but if the good offices of said Bureau do not meet with the approval of all parties concerned, the courts shall be competent to settle the matter in case an action is brought, and the employer may turn the money over to the court subject to disposal by the same. In case the laborer or employee who had the accident dies and there is no surviving spouse and the dependents or some of them are minors and have no guardian appointed by a court, the employer or concern compelled to pay compensation under this Act shall deposit the money represented by such compensation with the local justice of the peace court if outside the City of Manila, and with the municipal court in said city, and the officers thereof shall order payment to the minors through the municipal treasurer and the city treasurer, as the case may be, without necessity of appointing a guardian. 

Sec. 9. Dependents of the Injured Person. — The following persons, and no others, shall be considered as dependents and entitled to compensation under the provisions of this Act:

A son or daughter, if under eighteen years of age or incapable of supporting him or herself, and unmarried, whether actually dependent on the deceased or not;

The widow, only if she was living with the deceased or was actually dependent upon him, totally or partly;

The widower, only if incapable of supporting himself and actually dependent, totally or partly, upon the deceased on the date of the accident;

A parent of grandparent, only if totally or partly dependent upon the deceased;

A grandchild or brother or sister, only if less than eighteen years of age or incapable of supporting him or herself, and totally dependent upon the deceased. The relation of dependency must exist at the time of the injury.

A foreigner shall not be considered as a dependent within the meaning of this Act if he is not at the time a resident of the Philippine Islands, and any dependent foreigner leaving the Islands shall automatically forfeit all right to any benefit under this Act.

Sec. 10. Periods of Compensation. — The compensation provided for by this Act shall be payable during the following periods:

To a widow, until her death or remarriage; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a widower, during his incapacity; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a son or daughter, until he or she has completed eighteen years of age; but in case a son is unable to support himself and is not married, while such incapacity lasts, but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks in all;

To a parent or grandparent during the continuance of their actual condition of dependency; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a grandchild, brother, or sister, during their condition of dependency, as defined in section nine hereof; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

Upon the expiration of the compensation under this section to any person, to compensation payable to the remaining persons entitled to compensation because the entire period during which they must be paid compensation has not expired, shall be that which such persons would receive if they alone had been entitled to compensation at the time the deceased died. 

You might have surely heard about horror stories involving house owners and contractors because of expectations that were not met. There are also cases when owners bypass hiring contractors and builders and they end up getting unsatisfactory results. Building a home, without a doubt is no joke because it involves spending your hard-earned money. While you are eager to build your dream home, there are other people who are going to make promises and just break them in the end. You may have already thought about building your dream house on your own. After all, the Internet can guide you in the right direction on the materials you need to buy and the requirements you need to comply. 

However, if you want to gain greater peace of mind, you need to consider hiring a building contractor. The reason is simple: These companies or individuals know the ins and outs of construction including the processes and products that will be used. For first-time customers, the process will always be filled with apprehension. This is why, it pays to do your homework so you can be sure that there is a trusted person responsible for the documentation, design and even day-to-day management of the construction process. 

The Advantage of Hiring a Contractor:

Contractors have substantial experience to ensure that costly mistakes and pitfalls are avoided in every construction project. For sure, just like anybody else, you cannot afford to lose a large chunk of money because the contractor neglected the project. Contractors' license is at stake. This is the reason they need to adhere to building codes and local ordinances. In the event your house catches fire, they are the ones who will face any complaint. Contractors have tried and tested strategies and methodologies so each construction project is delivered at faster time and lower cost. When you choose a reliable contractor, you will no longer have to take care of supervising the project yourself. 

Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor:

1. Track Record-always check the contractor's track record so you will know whether or not they have successfully completed projects. Contractors will agree to tour you around projects, which have already been completed. These projects will help you decide whether or not the contractor can be trusted. 

2. Service Cost- the cost of service of most contractors will not be too apart from each other and they will usually provide you a price proposal that is lower than their competitors. Keep in mind that if the rate is too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure the price not too low as you might run the risk of getting your project at an unacceptable state or condition.

Hostage-taking and kidnapping are often used interchangeably to describe a crime, which involves illegal detention. However, if you want to know about the appropriate charges that must be filed in court, it is important to know the distinction between the two legal terms. 

Sec. 2.    Article two hundred sixty-seven of the Revised Penal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 267.    Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. — Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death:

"1.    If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than five days.

"2.    If it shall have been committed simulating public authority. 

"3.    If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if threats to kill him shall have been made.   

"4.    If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or a public officer.

"The penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above mentioned were present in the commission of the offense."

Sec. 3.    Article two hundred and sixty-eight of the Revised Penal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 268.    Slight illegal detention. — The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be imposed upon any private individual who shall commit the crimes described in the next preceding article without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated therein.

"The same penalty shall be incurred by anyone who shall furnish the place for the perpetration of the crime.  

"If the offender shall voluntarily release the person so kidnapped or detained within three days from the commencement of the detention, without having attained the purpose intended, and before the institution of criminal proceedings against him, the penalty shall be prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding seven hundred pesos."

Sec. 4.    Article two hundred and seventy of the Revised Penal Code should be amended to read as follows:

"Art. 270.    Kidnapping and failure to return a minor. — The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who, being entrusted with the custody of a minor person, shall deliberately fail to restore the latter to his parents or guardians."

Sec. 5.    Article two hundred and seventy-one of the Revised Penal Code should be amended to read as follows:

"Art. 271.    Inducing a minor to abandon his home. — The penalty of prision correccional and a fine not exceeding seven hundred pesos shall be imposed upon anyone who shall induce a minor to abandon the home of his parents or guardians or the persons entrusted with his custody.

"If the person committing any of the crimes covered by the two preceding articles shall be the father or the mother of the minor, the penalty shall be arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding three hundred pesos, or both." 

Sec. 6.    Cases 2, 4 and 5 of Article two hundred ninety-four of the Revised Penal Code are hereby amended to read as follows:

"2.    The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua, when the robbery shall have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation, or if by reason or on occasion of such robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 1 of article 263 shall have been inflicted. 

"4.    The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period, if the violence or intimidation employed in the commission of the robbery shall have been carried to a degree clearly unnecessary for the commission of the crime, or when in the course of its execution, the offender shall have inflicted upon any person not responsible for its commission any of the physical injuries covered by subdivisions 3 and 4 of said article 263.  

"5.    The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period in other cases."

Has an employer ever refused you because of your age? A jobseeker is deterred from landing himself/herself a job because of age. With the new law known as the Republic Act 10911 or "An act prohibiting discrimination against any individual in employment on account of age and providing penalties therefore"does not allow employers to deny opportunities to employees on the basis of age. Employment and recruitment agencies are also prohibited from refusing to provide assistance to individuals regardless of their age from seeking employment. 

Sec. 5. Prohibition of Discrimination in Employment on Account of Age

a) It shall be unlawful for an employer to:

1)Print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, in any form of media, including the internet, any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age;

2)Require the declaration of age or birth date during the application process;

3)Decline any employment application because of the individual's age;

4)Discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of such individual's age;

5)Deny any employee's or worker's promotion or opportunity for training because of age;

6)Forcibly lay off an employee or worker because of old age; or

7)Impose early retirement on the basis of such employee's or worker's age.

b)It shall be unlawful for a labor contractor or subcontractor, if any, to refuse to refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of such person's age. 

c) It shall be unlawful for a labor organization to:

1)Deny membership to any individual because of such individual's age;

2)Exclude from its membership any individual because of such individual's age;

3)Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this Act. 

d)It shall be unlawful for a publisher to print or publish any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age.

Sec. 7. Penalty

Any violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of not less than fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) but not more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00, or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years, or both, at the discretion of the court. If the offense is committed by a corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association or other entity, the penalty shall be imposed upon the guilty officer or officers of such corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association or entity. 

Investigation must be conducted to determine if there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed. Once preliminary investigation has been conducted, the prosecutor will determine if there is indeed a probable cause, which refers to the existence of circumstances and facts as would excite the belief. 

A preliminary investigation will be required in warrantless arrests cases. A person who is lawfully arrested without a warrant involving an offense which requires a preliminary investigation, the complaint or information may be filed by a prosecutor without need of such investigation provided an inquest has been conducted in accordance with existing rules.  

RULE 112 - PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

Section  1.  Preliminary  investigation  defined;  when  required.  – Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether  there  is sufficient  ground  to  engender  a  well-founded belief  that  a  crime  has  been  committed  and  the  respondent  is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. 

Except  as  provided  in  Section  7  of  this  Rule,  a  preliminary investigation  is  required  to  be  conducted  before  the  filing  of  a compliant   or   information   for   an   offense   where   the   penalty prescribed  by  law  is  at  least  four  (4)  years,  two  (2)  months  and one (1) day without regard to the fine.  

Procedure in Conducting Preliminary Investigation

The   preliminary   investigation   shall   be conducted in the following manner:

(a)  The  complaint  shall  state  the  address  of  the  respondent  and shall be accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses,  as  well  as  other  supporting  documents  to  establish probable cause. They shall be in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies for the official file. The affidavits shall   be   subscribed   and   sworn   to   before   any   prosecutor   or government  official  authorized  to  administer  oath,  or,  in  their absence  or  unavailability,  before  a  notary  public,  each  of  whom must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied  that  they  voluntarily  executed  and  understood  their affidavits. 

(b)  Within  ten  (10)  days  after  the  filing  of  the  complaint,  the investigating officer shall either dismiss it if he finds no ground to continue  with  the  investigation,  or  issue  a  subpoena  to  the respondent  attaching  to   it  a   copy  of   the  complaint  and  its supporting affidavits and documents. 

The  respondent  shall  have  the  right  to  examine  the  evidence submitted  by  the  complainant  which  he  may  not  have  been furnished  and  to copy  them  at  his  expense.  If  the  evidence  is voluminous,  the  complainant  may  be  required  to  specify  those which  he  intends  to  present against  the  respondent,  and  these shall   be   made   available   for   examination  or   copying   by   the respondent at his expense.

Objects  as  evidence  need  not  be  furnished  a  party  but  shall  be made  available  for  examination,  copying,  or  photographing  at  the expense of the requesting party. 

(c)  Within  ten  (10)  days  from  receipt  of  the  subpoena  with  the complaint and supporting affidavits and documents, the respondent shall  submit  his  counter-affidavit  and  that of  his  witnesses  and other  supporting  documents  relied  upon  for  his  defense.  The counter-affidavits shall be subscribed and sworn to and certified as provided  in  paragraph  (a)  of  this  section,  with  copies  thereof furnished by him  to the complainant.  The respondent shall not be allowed to file a motion to dismiss in lieu of a counter-affidavit. 

(d)  If  the  respondent  cannot  be  subpoenaed,  or  if  subpoenaed, does not submit counter-affidavits within the ten (10) day period, the  investigating  office  shall  resolve  the  complaint  based  on  the evidence presented by the complainant. 

(e)  The  investigating  officer  may  set  a  hearing  if  there  are  facts and issues to be clarified from a party or a witness. The parties can be  present  at  the  hearing  but  without  the  right  to  examine  or cross-examine.  They  may,  however,  submit  to  the  investigating officer  questions  which  may  be  asked  to  the  party  or  witness concerned. 

The hearing shall be held within ten (10) days from submission of the counter-affidavits and other documents or from the expiration of the period for their submission. It shall be terminated within five (5) days. 

(f)  Within  ten  (10)  days  after  the  investigation,  the  investigating officer shall determine whether or not there is sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial. 

Road accidents have been happening regularly and one of the reasons for these mishaps is because of being unmindful of the speed limit, not knowing that exceeding beyond the required speed can put someone's life in danger. There is a new law that will consider the installation of speed limiter in public utility mandatory. This law is known as the Republic Act 10916 or an Act Requiring the Mandatory Installation of Speed Limiter in Public Utility and Certain Types of Vehicles. 

SEC. 4. Mandatory Installation of Speed Limiter. 

- No covered vehicle, following the effectivity of this ACt, shall be allowed to run in any road, street or highway in the Philippines without a standard speed limiter in accordance with the standards and specifications approved by the DOTC: Provided, That in case of vehicles which are already registered with any appropriate agency, this requirement shall be complied with not later than eighteen (18) months from the effectivity of this Act. 

SEC. 5. No Speed Limiter, No Registration

-No covered vehicle shall be registered by the LTO or given a franchise by the LTFRB without the standard speed limiter installed and set in the vehicle in compliance with Section 4 and Section 6 hereof. 

SEC. 6. Setting of Standard

-The DOTC shall, in accordance with acceptable international standards, determine the specifications of the speed limiters that may be allowed to be installed in the covered vehicles. The LTO or the LTFRB, shall supervise and inspect the setting of speed limiter corresponding to the maximum allowed in the route plied by a particular covered vehicle. 

SEC. 7. Accreditation

-The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall accredit persons, establishments or institutions producing, manufacturing or distributing speed limiters in accordance with the specifications and standards as may be determined by the DOTC. For this purpose, the DTI shall issue the necessary certification attesting compliance with such specifications and standards as a prerequisite for registration. 

SEC. 8. Implementing Rules and Regulations

-The DOTC, in coordination with the LTO, LTFRB, DTI and the Department of Science and Technology and in consultation with private stakeholders, shall formulate and promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations of this Act within sixty (60) days upon the effectivity of this Act. 

SEC. 9. Fines/Penalties

-a) The driver who operates a motor vehicle covered by this Act or the owner or operator who allows such driver to operate without the speed limiter herein required shall suffer a fine in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00).

b) The same fine shall be imposed upon the driver, owner or operator who operates or allows a person to operate a motor vehicle with a nonfunctioning or tampered speed limiter. 

In addition to the above fines, a suspension of the driver's license for a period of one (1) month or franchise of a motor vehicle for a period of three (3) months, as the case may be, shall be imposed upon the offender who commits the abovementioned violations for the first time. 

For the commission of any of the foregoing prohibited acts for the second time, the driver's license of the offender shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months or the franchise of a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months, as the case may be, in addition to the fines herein imposed. 

For the subsequent commission of any of the foregoing prohibited acts, the driver's license of the offender shall be revoked or the franchise of a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of one (1) years, as the case may be, in addition to the fines herein imposed. 

c) Any person who is found guilty of tampering as defined in this Act shall suffer a penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than (3) years and a fine of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00)

The provision of this section shall be applied without prejudice to criminal prosecution or civil action under existing applicable laws. 

Under Republic Act 1161 or the Social Security Act of 1997, women workers are only granted 60-day maternity leave for normal childbirth and 78-day maternity leave for caesarean. Senator Risa Hontiveros seeks to revise this law by expanding maternity leave. She authored Senate Bill 1305 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Act, which aims to grant longer leaves for working women and solo mothers. Instead of 60 days, working women will be given 120 days of maternity leave while solo mothers will be granted 150 days. 

SEC. 14-A. Maternity Leave Benefit.

- A female member who has paid at least three (3) monthly contributions in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid a daily maternity benefit equivalent to one hundred percent (100%) of her average daily salary credit for sixty (60) days or seventy-eight (78) days in case of caesarian delivery, subject to the following conditions:

"(a) That the employee shall have notified her employer of her pregnancy and the probable date of her childbirth, which notice shall be transmitted to the SSS in accordance with the rules and regulations it may provide;

"(b) The full payment shall be advanced by the employer within thirty (30) days from the filing of the maternity leave application;

"(c) That payment of daily maternity benefits shall be a bar to the recovery of sickness benefits provided by this Act for the same period for which daily maternity benefits have been received;

"(d) That the maternity benefits provided under this section shall be paid only for the first four (4) deliveries or miscarriages;

"(e) That the SSS shall immediately reimburse the employer of one hundred percent (100%) of the amount of maternity benefits advanced to the employee by the employer upon receipt of satisfactory proof of such payment and legality thereof; and

"(f) That if an employee member should give birth or suffer miscarriage without the required contributions having been remitted for her by her employer to the SSS, or without the latter having been previously notified by the employer of the time of the pregnancy, the employer shall pay to the SSS damages equivalent to the benefits which said employee member would otherwise have been entitled to.

The bill is not only intended to working mothers as the father can also benefit from it when 30 days of the leave credits are allocated to them. The co-authors of the bill include Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Trillanes IV, Francis Pangilinan, Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara and Nancy Binay. The Senate approves the bill on its 3rd and final reading with a vote of 22-0.



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