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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.

Exclusive Property: Administration, Ownership and Possession

Married couples who decide to call it quits often argue about the properties acquired before and during marriage. Matters regarding splitting properties in half between husband and wife are brought to court as couples cannot seem to meet half way. The law has different take on this matter, depending on the circumstances. The Family Code of the Philippines provides a detailed explanation about the law governing marital properties. Since it took effect in 1988, revisions must be taken into account. Hence, couples who got married on August 3, 1988 up to present will no longer follow the law of conjugal property. This is because former-president Corazon Aquino signed the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines. Under the provisions of this law, without marriage settlement or more commonly referred to as prenuptial agreement, a married couple's properties, which are acquired before and during marriage will be considered to be co-owned by the couple. This is called absolute community of property. 

Even properties which have been inherited or donated by either spouse will still be part of the absolute community of property. If couples decide to file a petition for legal separation, annulment or divorce, the legal action will have no effect on the property regime unless judicial separation of properties (where couples are required to split properties in half) has been filed. 

Exclusive Property of Each Spouse

Art. 109. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:

(1) That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;

(2) That which each acquires during the marriage by gratuitous title;

(3) That which is acquired by right of redemption, by barter or by exchange with property belonging to only one of the spouses; and

(4) That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband.

Art. 110. The spouses retain the ownership, possession, administration and enjoyment of their exclusive properties.

Either spouse may, during the marriage, transfer the administration of his or her exclusive property to the other by means of a public instrument, which shall be recorded in the registry of property of the place the property is located.

Art. 111. A spouse of age may mortgage, encumber, alienate or otherwise dispose of his or her exclusive property, without the consent of the other spouse, and appear alone in court to litigate with regard to the same.

Art. 112. The alienation of any exclusive property of a spouse administered by the other automatically terminates the administration over such property and the proceeds of the alienation shall be turned over to the owner-spouse.

Art. 113. Property donated or left by will to the spouses, jointly and with designation of determinate shares, shall pertain to the donee-spouses as his or her own exclusive property, and in the absence of designation, share and share alike, without prejudice to the right of accretion when proper.

Art. 114. If the donations are onerous, the amount of the charges shall be borne by the exclusive property of the donee spouse, whenever they have been advanced by the conjugal partnership of gains.

Art. 115. Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities, gratuities, usufructs and similar benefits shall be governed by the rules on gratuitous or onerous acquisitions as may be proper in each case.

Requirements and Conditions of the Bail

A person who is guilty of a drug-related crime may eventually lose hope because most cases are perceived to be non-bailable. However, the decision on whether a person can post bail will greatly depend on the crime that he has been accused of. Even the evidence of guilt will be taken into consideration. The right to bail is also guaranteed by the Constitution as a person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. 

SEC. 2. Conditions of the Bail; Requirements. – All kinds of bail are subject to the following conditions:

[a] The undertaking shall be effective upon approval and remain in force at all stages of the case, unless sooner cancelled, until the promulgation of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, irrespective of whatever the case was originally filed in or appealed to it;

[b] The accused shall appear before the proper court whenever so required by the court or these Rules;

[c] The failure of the accused to appear at the trial without justification despite due notice to him or his bondsman shall be deemed an express waiver of his right to be present on the date specified in the notice. In such case, the trial may proceed in absentia; and

[d] The bondsman shall surrender the accused to the court for execution of the final judgment.

The original papers shall state the full name and address of the accused, the amount of the undertaking and the conditions herein required. Photographs (passport size) taken recently showing the face, left and right profiles of the accused must be attached thereto. (2a)

SEC.3 No Release or Transfer Except on Order of the Court or Bail. – No person under detention by legal process shall be released or transferred except upon lawful order of the court or when he is admitted to bail as prescribed in this Rule. (n)

SEC.4 Bail, a Matter of Right. – All persons in custody shall: (a) before or after conviction by the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, and (b) before conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, be admitted to bail as a matter of right, with sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as prescribed by law or this Rule. (3a)

SEC.5 Bail, When Discretionary. – Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the court, on application, may admit the accused to bail.

The Court, in its discretion, may allow the accused to continue on provisional liberty under the same bail bond during the period of appeal subject to the consent of the bondsman.

If the Court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six (6) years but not more than twenty (20) years, the accused shall be denied bail, or his bail previously granted shall be cancelled, upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused, of the following or other similar circumstances:

(a) That the accused is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration;

(b) That the accused is found to have previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or has violated the conditions of his bail without valid justification;

(c) That the accused committed the offense while on probation, parole, or under conditional pardon;

(d) That the circumstances of the accused or his indicate the probability of flight of released on bail; or

(e) That there is undue risk that during the pendency of the appeal, the accused may commit another crime.

The appellate court may review the resolution of the Regional Trial Court, on motion and with notice to the adverse party. (n)

SEC. 6 Capital Offense, Defined. – A capital offense, as the term is used in these Rules, is an offense which, under the law existing at the time of its commission and at the time of the application to be admitted to bail, may be punished with death. (4)

SEC.7 Capital Offense or an Offense Punishable by Reclusion Perpetua or Life Imprisonment, Not Bailable. – No person charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong, shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution. (n)

SEC.8 Burden of Proof in Bail application. – At the hearing of an application for admission to bail filed by any person who is in custody for the commission of an offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the prosecution has the burden of showing that evidence of guilt is strong. The evidence presented during the bail hearings shall be considered automatically reproduced at the trial, but upon motion of either party, the court may recall any witness for additional examination unless the witness is dead, outside of the Philippines or otherwise unable to testify. (5a)

SEC. 9 Amount of Bail; Guidelines. – The judge who issued the warrant or granted the application shall fix a reasonable amount of bail considering primarily, but not limited to the following guidelines:

[a] Financial ability of the accused to give bail;

[b] Nature and circumstances of the offense;

[c] Penalty of the offense charged;

[d] Character and reputation of the accused;

[e] Age and health of the accused;

[f] The weight of the evidence against the accused;

[g] Probability of the accused appearing in trial;

[h] Forfeiture of other bonds;

[i] The fact that accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and 

[j] The pendency of other cases in which the accused is under bond.

Excessive bail shall not be required. (6)

The Effect of Property Donations and its Limitations

The deed of donation will only be perfected if it meets the requisites. One of which is that the donor must have the capacity to make the donation. It is also imperative that the donee is entitled to be supported by the donor. 

EFFECT OF DONATIONS AND LIMITATIONS THEREON

Art. 750. The donations may comprehend all the present property of the donor, or part thereof, provided he reserves, in full ownership or in usufruct, sufficient means for the support of himself, and of all relatives who, at the time of the acceptance of the donation, are by law entitled to be supported by the donor. Without such reservation, the donation shall be reduced in petition of any person affected. (634a)

Art. 751. Donations cannot comprehend future property.

By future property is understood anything which the donor cannot dispose of at the time of the donation. (635)

Art. 752. The provisions of Article 750 notwithstanding, no person may give or receive, by way of donation, more than he may give or receive by will.

The donation shall be inofficious in all that it may exceed this limitation. (636)

Art. 753. When a donation is made to several persons jointly, it is understood to be in equal shares, and there shall be no right of accretion among them, unless the donor has otherwise provided.

The preceding paragraph shall not be applicable to donations made to the husband and wife jointly, between whom there shall be a right of accretion, if the contrary has not been provided by the donor. (637)

Art. 754. The donee is subrogated to all the rights and actions which in case of eviction would pertain to the donor. The latter, on the other hand, is not obliged to warrant the things donated, save when the donation is onerous, in which case the donor shall be liable for eviction to the concurrence of the burden.

The donor shall also be liable for eviction or hidden defects in case of bad faith on his part. (638a)

Art. 755. The right to dispose of some of the things donated, or of some amount which shall be a charge thereon, may be reserved by the donor; but if he should die without having made use of this right, the property or amount reserved shall belong to the donee. (639)

Art. 756. The ownership of property may also be donated to one person and the usufruct to another or others, provided all the donees are living at the time of the donation. (640a)

Art. 757. Reversion may be validly established in favor of only the donor for any case and circumstances, but not in favor of other persons unless they are all living at the time of the donation.

Any reversion stipulated by the donor in favor of a third person in violation of what is provided in the preceding paragraph shall be void, but shall not nullify the donation. (614a)

Art. 758. When the donation imposes upon the donee the obligation to pay the debts of the donor, if the clause does not contain any declaration to the contrary, the former is understood to be liable to pay only the debts which appear to have been previously contracted. In no case shall the donee be responsible for the debts exceeding the value of the property donated, unless a contrary intention clearly appears. (642a)

Art. 759. There being no stipulation regarding the payment of debts, the donee shall be responsible therefor only when the donation has been made in fraud of creditors.

The donation is always presumed to be in fraud of creditors, when at the time thereof the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay his debts prior to the donation. (643) 

Pure and Conditional Obligations

Before you agree to sign a contract, you have to make sure that you can fulfill or perform the obligations. Many individuals have found themselves breaching a contract because of not thoroughly reading the terms and conditions. It is important to remember that the obligations bind two or more parties. There are two kinds of obligations: pure and conditional.  What is the difference between these two obligations?

DIFFERENT KINDS OF OBLIGATIONS

SECTION 1. - Pure and Conditional Obligations

Art. 1179. Every obligation whose performance does not depend upon a future or uncertain event, or upon a past event unknown to the parties, is demandable at once.

Every obligation which contains a resolutory condition shall also be demandable, without prejudice to the effects of the happening of the event. (1113)

Art. 1180. When the debtor binds himself to pay when his means permit him to do so, the obligation shall be deemed to be one with a period, subject to the provisions of Article 1197. (n)

Art. 1181. In conditional obligations, the acquisition of rights, as well as the extinguishment or loss of those already acquired, shall depend upon the happening of the event which constitutes the condition. (1114)

Art. 1182. When the fulfillment of the condition depends upon the sole will of the debtor, the conditional obligation shall be void. If it depends upon chance or upon the will of a third person, the obligation shall take effect in conformity with the provisions of this Code. (1115)

Art. 1183. Impossible conditions, those contrary to good customs or public policy and those prohibited by law shall annul the obligation which depends upon them. If the obligation is divisible, that part thereof which is not affected by the impossible or unlawful condition shall be valid.

The condition not to do an impossible thing shall be considered as not having been agreed upon. (1116a)

Art. 1184. The condition that some event happen at a determinate time shall extinguish the obligation as soon as the time expires or if it has become indubitable that the event will not take place. (1117)

Art. 1185. The condition that some event will not happen at a determinate time shall render the obligation effective from the moment the time indicated has elapsed, or if it has become evident that the event cannot occur.

If no time has been fixed, the condition shall be deemed fulfilled at such time as may have probably been contemplated, bearing in mind the nature of the obligation. (1118)

Art. 1186. The condition shall be deemed fulfilled when the obligor voluntarily prevents its fulfillment. (1119)

Art. 1187. The effects of a conditional obligation to give, once the condition has been fulfilled, shall retroact to the day of the constitution of the obligation. Nevertheless, when the obligation imposes reciprocal prestations upon the parties, the fruits and interests during the pendency of the condition shall be deemed to have been mutually compensated. If the obligation is unilateral, the debtor shall appropriate the fruits and interests received, unless from the nature and circumstances of the obligation it should be inferred that the intention of the person constituting the same was different.

In obligations to do and not to do, the courts shall determine, in each case, the retroactive effect of the condition that has been complied with. (1120)

Art. 1188. The creditor may, before the fulfillment of the condition, bring the appropriate actions for the preservation of his right.

The debtor may recover what during the same time he has paid by mistake in case of a suspensive condition. (1121a)

Art. 1189. When the conditions have been imposed with the intention of suspending the efficacy of an obligation to give, the following rules shall be observed in case of the improvement, loss or deterioration of the thing during the pendency of the condition:

(1) If the thing is lost without the fault of the debtor, the obligation shall be extinguished;

(2) If the thing is lost through the fault of the debtor, he shall be obliged to pay damages; it is understood that the thing is lost when it perishes, or goes out of commerce, or disappears in such a way that its existence is unknown or it cannot be recovered;

(3) When the thing deteriorates without the fault of the debtor, the impairment is to be borne by the creditor;

(4) If it deteriorates through the fault of the debtor, the creditor may choose between the rescission of the obligation and its fulfillment, with indemnity for damages in either case;

(5) If the thing is improved by its nature, or by time, the improvement shall inure to the benefit of the creditor;

(6) If it is improved at the expense of the debtor, he shall have no other right than that granted to the usufructuary. (1122)

Art. 1190. When the conditions have for their purpose the extinguishment of an obligation to give, the parties, upon the fulfillment of said conditions, shall return to each other what they have received.

In case of the loss, deterioration or improvement of the thing, the provisions which, with respect to the debtor, are laid down in the preceding article shall be applied to the party who is bound to return.

As for the obligations to do and not to do, the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 1187 shall be observed as regards the effect of the extinguishment of the obligation. (1123)

Art. 1191. The power to rescind obligations is implied in reciprocal ones, in case one of the obligors should not comply with what is incumbent upon him.

The injured party may choose between the fulfillment and the rescission of the obligation, with the payment of damages in either case. He may also seek rescission, even after he has chosen fulfillment, if the latter should become impossible.

The court shall decree the rescission claimed, unless there be just cause authorizing the fixing of a period.

This is understood to be without prejudice to the rights of third persons who have acquired the thing, in accordance with Articles 1385 and 1388 and the Mortgage Law. (1124)

Art. 1192. In case both parties have committed a breach of the obligation, the liability of the first infractor shall be equitably tempered by the courts. If it cannot be determined which of the parties first violated the contract, the same shall be deemed extinguished, and each shall bear his own damages. (n)

Islamic Conversion, Marriage and Divorce

Christians going through Islamic conversion is not a unique story especially if the decision involves gaining civil and religious freedom to remarry without facing the consequences of becoming liable for polygamy or concubinage. Before an individual can decide to convert to Islam, there are still some legalities that should be taken into consideration. Keep in mind that getting converted into Islam is not an easy and instant process. Even if Islamic marriage law and principles allow marrying as many women as you want, you will have to prove that you have the capability to support your wives financially. What does the law say about Islamic conversion, marriage and divorce?

Conversions 

Art. 176. Effect of registration of conversion to Islam. — (1) Registration of a person's conversion to Islam shall constitute a prima facie proof that he professes Islam.

(2)  Whoever disputes the profession or renunciation of Islam by any person shall have the burden of proving the contrary. 

Art. 177. Regulation on conversion. — No conversion of a minor below the age of eighteen years shall be registered by the District or Circuit Registrar without the written consent or permission of the parents or guardian, except when such minor has been emancipated from parental authority in accordance with law. 

Art.  178. Effect of conversion to Islam on marriage. — The conversion of non-Muslim spouses to Islam shall have the legal effect of ratifying their marriage as if the same had been performed in accordance with the provisions of this Code or Muslim law, provided that there is no legal impediment to the marriage under Muslim law. 

Art.  179. Effect of change of religion. — The change of religion by a Muslim shall not have the effect of extinguishing any obligation or liability whatsoever incurred prior to said change. 

CHAPTER I 

Marriage and Divorce

Applicability Clause

Art.  13. Application. — (1) The provisions of this Title shall apply to marriage and divorce wherein both parties are Muslims, or wherein only the male party is a Muslim and the marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim law or this Code in any part of the Philippines. 

(2) In case of marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, solemnized not in accordance with Muslim law or this Code, the Civil Code of the Philippines shall apply.  

(3) Subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, the essential requisites and legal impediments to marriage, divorce, paternity and filiation, guardianship and custody of minors, support and maintenance, claims for customary dower (mahr), betrothal, breach of contract to marry, solemnization and registration of marriage and divorce, rights and obligations between husband and wife parental authority, and the properly relations between husband and wife shall be governed by this Code and other applicable Muslim laws. 

CHAPTER II 

Marriage (Nikah) 

Section 1.  Requisites of Marriage. — 

Art.  14. Nature. — Marriage is not only a civil contract but a social institution. Its nature, consequences and incidents are governed by this Code and the Shari'a and not subject to stipulation, except that the marriage settlements may to a certain extent fix the property relations of the spouses. 

Art.  15. Essential requisites. — No marriage contract shall be perfected unless the following essential requisites are compiled with: 

(a) Legal capacity of the contracting parties; 

(b) Mutual consent of the parties freely given; 

(c) Offer (ijab) and acceptance (qabul) duly witnessed by at least two competent persons after the proper guardian in marriage (wali) has given his consent; and

(d) Stipulation of customary dower (mahr) duly witnessed by two competent persons. 

Art.  16. Capacity to contract marriage. — (1) Any Muslim male at least fifteen years of age and any Muslim female of the age of puberty or upwards and not suffering from any impediment under the provisions of this Code may contract marriage. A female is presumed to have attained puberty upon reaching the age of fifteen. 

(2) However, the Shari'a District Court may, upon petition of a proper wali, order the solemnization of the marriage of a female who though less than fifteen but not below twelve years of age, has attained puberty. 

(3) Marriage through a wali by a minor below the prescribed ages shall be regarded as betrothal and may be annulled upon the petition of either party within four years after attaining the age of puberty, provided no voluntary cohabitation has taken place and the wali who contracted the marriage was other than the father or paternal grandfather. 

Art.  17. Marriage ceremony. — No particular form of marriage ceremony is required but the ijab and the gabul in marriage shall be declared publicly in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and two competent witnesses. This declaration shall be set forth in an instrument in triplicate, signed or marked by the contracting parties and said witnesses, and attested by the person solemnizing the marriage. One copy shall be given to the contracting parties and another sent to the Circuit Registrar by the solemnizing officer who shall keep the third.

Procedures In Correcting Problems On Birth Certificate

Issues with birth certificates such as misspelled first name, wrong gender or no first name should not be ignored. Your birth certificate is an essential document required in enrolling your kids to school, securing a passport, signing up for SSS membership and others. The official website of the Philippine Statistics Authority provides solutions to common problems people encounter when securing their birth certificate. 

Blurred 

If the record of PSA is blurred, the local civil registrar shall be requested to endorse a copy of the birth certificate with clearer entry in the first name to the PSA.

If the record of PSA and civil registry are both blurred, a petition for correction of clerical error under the provisions of R.A. 9048 should be filed.

Wrong Spelling

The wrongly spelled first name in the birth certificate should be corrected by filing a petition for correction of clerical error under the provisions of Republic Act 9048.

No First Name

If the name of the child in the birth certificate is blank, a supplemental report should be filed to supply the missing entry.

 

First name used is different from the first name entered in the birth certificate

If the first name used is different from what is entered in the birth certificate, the first name in the birth certificate shall be changed by filing a petition for change of first name under the provisions of R.A. 9048.

Change of first names like Ma. to Maria should be corrected by filing a petition for change of first name under the provisions of R.A. 9048.

First name is "Baby Boy", "Baby Girl", "Baby", "Boy" and "Girl"

If child is born before 1993

The first name “Baby Boy”, “Baby Girl”, “Baby”, “Boy” and “Girl” as considered as if the first names were omitted, hence these are cases falling under the procedure of supplemental report. (Memorandum Circular dated September 12, 2008 re “Revisions n Paragraph 2, Case No. 1 of Memorandum Circular No. 2007-2008)   

If child is born in 1993 onwards

In 1993 onwards the “Baby Boy”, “Baby Girl”, “Baby”, “Boy” and “Girl” are already considered as a first name and can be corrected by filing a petition for change of first name under R.A. 9048. (Memorandum Circular dated September 12, 2008 re “Revisions n Paragraph 2, Case No. 1 of Memorandum Circular No. 2007-2008)

For more information about supporting documents you need to secure and other problems related to birth certificate, visit Philippine Statistics Authority's website

Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act of 1994

Classes in both public and private schools have officially opened. Since the implementation of K to 12 educational system in 2011, teachers have been in demand. This is because the program requires students to have one year of kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior highschool and two years of senior highschool, which is referred to as grades 11 and 12. The program needs additional teachers to accommodate students advancing to senior high school. For aspiring teachers, the Republic Act No. 7836 or the Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act of 1994 strengthens the supervision and regulation of the practice of teaching in the Philippines. All teachers are required to take and pass Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). 

ARTICLE III

EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION

SECTION 13.    Examination, Registration and License Required. — Except as otherwise specifically allowed under the provisions of this Act, all applicants for registration as professional teachers shall be required to undergo a written examination which shall be given at least once a year in such places and dates as the Board may determine upon approval by the Commission.  A valid certificate of registration and a valid professional license from the Commission are required before any person is allowed to practice as a professional teacher in the Philippines, except as otherwise allowed under this Act.

SECTION 14.    Scope of Examination. — The examinations for the elementary and secondary school teachers shall be separate.  The examination for teachers in the elementary level shall consist of two (2) parts, namely:  professional education and general education.  The examination for teachers in the secondary level shall consist of three (3) parts, namely:  professional education, general education, and field of specialization.

SECTION 15.    Qualification Requirements of Applicants. — No applicant shall be admitted to take the examination unless, on the date of filing of the application, he shall have complied with the following requirements:

(a)    A citizen of the Philippines or an alien whose country has reciprocity with the Philippines in the practice of the teaching profession;

(b)    At least eighteen (18) years of age;

(c)    In good health and of good reputation with high moral values;

(d)    Has not been convicted by final judgment by a court for an offense involving moral turpitude;

(e)    A graduate of a school, college or university recognized by the government and possesses the minimum educational qualifications, as follows:

(1)    For teachers in preschool, a bachelor's degree in early childhood education (BECED) or its equivalent;

(2)    For teachers in the elementary grades, a bachelor's degree in elementary education (BSEED) or its equivalent;

(3)    For teachers in the secondary grades, a bachelor's degree in education or its equivalent with a major and minor, or a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences with at least ten (10) units in professional education; and

(4)    For teachers of vocational and two-year technical courses, a bachelor's degree in the field of specialization or its equivalent, with at least eighteen (18) units in professional education.

SECTION 16.    Report of the Results of the Examination. — The Board shall, within one hundred twenty (120) days after the examination, report the ratings obtained by each candidate to the Professional Regulation Commission for approval and appropriate action.

SECTION 17.    Issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional License. — The registration of a professional teacher commences from the date his name is enrolled in the roster of professional teachers.  

Every registrant who has satisfactorily met all the requirements specified in this Act shall, upon payment of the registration fee, be issued a certificate of registration as a professional teacher bearing the full name of the registrant with serial number and date of issuance signed by the chairman of the Commission and the chairman, vice-chairman, and members of the Board, stamped with the official seal, as evidence that the person named therein is entitled to practice the profession with all the rights and privileges appurtenant thereto.  The certificate shall remain in full force and effect until withdrawn, suspended and/or revoked in accordance with law.

A professional license signed by the chairman of the Commission and bearing the registration number and date of issuance thereof and the month of expiry or renewability shall likewise be issued to every registrant who has paid the annual registration fees for three (3) consecutive years.  This license shall serve as evidence that the licensee can lawfully practice his profession until the expiration of its validity.

SECTION 18.    Oath Before Practice. — Every registrant shall be required to take his professional oath before practicing as a professional teacher.

SECTION 19.    Periodic Merit Examination of Teachers. — To encourage continuing professional growth and development and to provide additional basis for merit promotion, in addition to their performance rating, teachers may take an oral and written examination at least once in five (5) years as basis for merit promotion.  In taking this examination, no fee shall be required.

Sec. 20.    Failure to Pass the Merit Examination. — If a teacher fails to pass the merit examination, he or she shall be allowed to take the examination for a second time.  Should he or she fail to pass the merit examination for the second time, then he or she shall be required to take a DECS accredited refresher course or program before being allowed to retake the examination.

Failure of any permanent teacher to pass the merit examination shall not, however, be used as a ground for his/her dismissal or demotion.

Financial Support For Abandoned Women And Children

Abandoned women and children are living in limbo because aside from finding means to survive, the hopes of receiving support from the child's father are nebulous. Support includes dwelling, sustenance, education, transportation and even medical assistance. Fortunately,  Republic Act No. 9262 gives you the right to compel your spouse or live-in partner to provide financial support. This can be executed by filing a petition for Protection Order. The petition must be filed with the Family Court of the place of residence. 

The court will determine the amount of support in accordance to your needs and the husband's resources. The Protection Order will also give the employer of your husband the authority to remit the support directly. The judge will cite your live in partner or husbandor employer for contempt of court in the event either party disregards the Protection Order. 

SECTION 8. Protection Orders.- A protection order is an order issued under this act for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman or her child specified in Sec. 5 of this Act and granting other necessary relief. The relief granted under a protection order serve the purpose of safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in the victim's daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently regain control over her life. The provisions of the protection order shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies. The protection orders that may be issued under this Act are the barangay protection order (BPO), temporary protection order (TPO) and permanent protection order (PPO). The protection orders that may be issued under this Act shall include any, some or all of the following reliefs:

(a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Sec. 5 of this Act;

(b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;

(c) Removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence of the petitioner, regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of protecting the petitioner, or permanently where no property rights are violated, and if respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent has gathered his things and escort respondent from the residence;

(d) Directing the respondent to stay away from petitioner and designated family or household member at a distance specified by the court, and to stay away from the residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented by the petitioner and any designated family or household member;

(e) Directing lawful possession and use by petitioner of an automobile and other essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and directing the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the petitioner to the residence of the parties to ensure that the petitioner is safely restored to the possession of the automobile and other essential personal effects, or to supervise the petitioner's or respondent's removal of personal belongings;

(f) Granting a temporary or permanent custody of a child/children to the petitioner;

(g) Directing the respondent to provide support to the woman and/or her child if entitled to legal support. Notwithstanding other laws to the contrary, the court shall order an appropriate percentage of the income or salary of the respondent to be withheld regularly by the respondent's employer for the same to be automatically remitted directly to the woman. Failure to remit and/or withhold or any delay in the remittance of support to the woman and/or her child without justifiable cause shall render the respondent or his employer liable for indirect contempt of court;

(h) Prohibition of the respondent from any use or possession of any firearm or deadly weapon and order him to surrender the same to the court for appropriate disposition by the court, including revocation of license and disqualification to apply for any license to use or possess a firearm. If the offender is a law enforcement agent, the court shall order the offender to surrender his firearm and shall direct the appropriate authority to investigate on the offender and take appropriate action on matter;

(i) Restitution for actual damages caused by the violence inflicted, including, but not limited to, property damage, medical expenses, childcare expenses and loss of income;

(j) Directing the DSWD or any appropriate agency to provide petitioner may need; and

(k) Provision of such other forms of relief as the court deems necessary to protect and provide for the safety of the petitioner and any designated family or household member, provided petitioner and any designated family or household member consents to such relief.

Any of the reliefs provided under this Sec. shall be granted even in the absence of a decree of legal separation or annulment or declaration of absolute 'ity of marriage.

The issuance of a BPO or the pendency of an application for BPO shall not preclude a petitioner from applying for, or the court from granting a TPO or PPO.

SECTION 9. Who may file Petition for Protection Orders. – A petition for protection order may be filed by any of the following:

(a) The offended party;

(b) Parents or guardians of the offended party;

(c) Ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;

(d) Officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of local government units (LGUs);

(e) Police officers, preferably those in charge of women and children's desks;

(f) Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad;

(g) Lawyer, counselor, therapist or healthcare provider of the petitioner;

(h) At least two (2) concerned responsible citizens of the city or municipality where the violence against women and their children occurred and who has personal knowledge of the offense committed.

SECTION 10. Where to Apply for a Protection Order. – Applications for BPOs shall follow the rules on venue under Sec. 409 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and its implementing rules and regulations. An application for a TPO or PPO may be filed in the regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, municipal circuit trial court with territorial jurisdiction over the place of residence of the petitioner: Provided, however, That if a family court exists in the place of residence of the petitioner, the application shall be filed with that court.

SECTION 11. How to Apply for a Protection Order. – The application for a protection order must be in writing, signed and verified under oath by the applicant. It may be filed as an independent action or as incidental relief in any civil or criminal case the subject matter or issues thereof partakes of a violence as described in this Act. A standard protection order application form, written in English with translation to the major local languages, shall be made available to facilitate applications for protections order, and shall contain, among other, the following information:

(a) names and addresses of petitioner and respondent;

(b) description of relationships between petitioner and respondent;

(c) a statement of the circumstances of the abuse;

(d) description of the reliefs requested by petitioner as specified in Sec. 8 herein;

(e) request for counsel and reasons for such;

(f) request for waiver of application fees until hearing; and

(g) an attestation that there is no pending application for a protection order in another court.

If the applicants is not the victim, the application must be accompanied by an affidavit of the applicant attesting to (a) the circumstances of the abuse suffered by the victim and (b) the circumstances of consent given by the victim for the filling of the application. When disclosure of the address of the victim will pose danger to her life, it shall be so stated in the application. In such a case, the applicant shall attest that the victim is residing in the municipality or city over which court has territorial jurisdiction, and shall provide a mailing address for purpose of service processing.

An application for protection order filed with a court shall be considered an application for both a TPO and PPO.

Barangay officials and court personnel shall assist applicants in the preparation of the application. Law enforcement agents shall also extend assistance in the application for protection orders in cases brought to their attention.

Crime Against Liberty:Serious Illegal Detention, Kidnapping, Slight Illegal Detention

What is the appropriate charge for someone who has held another person hostage? Hostage-taking is a crime against liberty. Can a hostage taker be charged with serious illegal detention or kidnapping? Here is what the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines has to say about serious illegal detention, kidnapping and slight illegal detention. 

Chapter One

CRIMES AGAINST LIBERTY

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 perpetua 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 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.

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 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.

Art. 269. Unlawful arrest. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who, in any case other than those authorized by law, or without reasonable ground therefor, shall arrest or detain another for the purpose of delivering him to the proper authorities.

Section Two. — Kidnapping of minors

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.

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 parent 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.

Art. 272. Slavery. — The penalty of prision mayor and a fine of not exceeding 10,000 pesos shall be imposed upon anyone who shall purchase, sell, kidnap or detain a human being for the purpose of enslaving him.

If the crime be committed for the purpose of assigning the offended party to some immoral traffic, the penalty shall be imposed in its maximum period.

Art. 273. Exploitation of child labor. — The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon anyone who, under the pretext of reimbursing himself of a debt incurred by an ascendant, guardian or person entrusted with the custody of a minor, shall, against the latter's will, retain him in his service.

Art. 274. Services rendered under compulsion in payment of debt. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who, in order to require or enforce the payment of a debt, shall compel the debtor to work for him, against his will, as household servant or farm laborer.

The Difference Between Immovable And Movable Property

Property ownership has its own classification: movable and immovable property. Movable property refers to personal property, which is either consumable or nonconsumable. On the other hand, immovable property refers to roads, constructions and buildings. They are referred to as immovable because they adhere to the soil. The Civil Code of the Philippines gives a detailed information about the difference between these classifications. 

CHAPTER 1

IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

Art. 415. The following are immovable property:

(1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to the soil;

(2) Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they are attached to the land or form an integral part of an immovable;

(3) Everything attached to an immovable in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without breaking the material or deterioration of the object;

(4) Statues, reliefs, paintings or other objects for use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or on lands by the owner of the immovable in such a manner that it reveals the intention to attach them permanently to the tenements;

(5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works;

(6) Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish ponds or breeding places of similar nature, in case their owner has placed them or preserves them with the intention to have them permanently attached to the land, and forming a permanent part of it; the animals in these places are included;

(7) Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land;

(8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps, while the matter thereof forms part of the bed, and waters either running or stagnant;

(9) Docks and structures which, though floating, are intended by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or coast;

(10) Contracts for public works, and servitudes and other real rights over immovable property. (334a)

CHAPTER 2

MOVABLE PROPERTY

Art. 416. The following things are deemed to be personal property:

(1) Those movables susceptible of appropriation which are not included in the preceding article;

(2) Real property which by any special provision of law is considered as personal property;

(3) Forces of nature which are brought under control by science; and

(4) In general, all things which can be transported from place to place without impairment of the real property to which they are fixed. (335a)

Art. 417. The following are also considered as personal property:

(1) Obligations and actions which have for their object movables or demandable sums; and

(2) Shares of stock of agricultural, commercial and industrial entities, although they may have real estate. (336a)

Art. 418. Movable property is either consumable or nonconsumable. To the first class belong those movables which cannot be used in a manner appropriate to their nature without their being consumed; to the second class belong all the others. (337) 

Adopting A Child According To Philippine Law

Adoption is an available option to those who want to provide love and care to abandoned or neglected children. After all, everyone deserves to live a normal and healthy life. However, no one is above the law. Even when you have pure intentions, adoption will not be considered legal unless it is in accordance with the Philippine law. The court will not honor any verbal agreement as legal procedures must be followed to prevent any issues with parental authority. The Republic Act No. 8552 or better known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 provides details of the adoption process. 

Section 7. Who May Adopt. – The following may adopt:

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee's parent;

(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, Further, That the requirements on residency and certification of the alien's qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following:

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse; or

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.

Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases: 

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided, However, that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or

(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

Section 8. Who May Be Adopted. – The following may be adopted:

(a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;

(b) The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;

(c) An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;

(d) A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;

(e) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or

(f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).

Section 9. Whose Consent is Necessary to the Adoption. – After being properly counseled and informed of his/her right to give or withhold his/her approval of the adoption, the written consent of the following to the adoption is hereby required:

(a) The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over;

(b) The biological parent(s) of the child, if known, or the legal guardian, or the proper government instrumentality which has legal custody of the child;

(c) The legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter(s) and adoptee, if any;

(d) The illegitimate sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter if living with said adopter and the latter's spouse, if any; and

(e) The spouse, if any, of the person adopting or to be adopted.

ARTICLE IV 

PROCEDURE

Section 10. Hurried Decisions. – In all proceedings for adoption, the court shall require proof that the biological parent(s) has been properly counseled to prevent him/her from making hurried decisions caused by strain or anxiety to give up the child, and to sustain that all measures to strengthen the family have been exhausted and that any prolonged stay of the child in his/her own home will be inimical to his/her welfare and interest.

Section 11. Case Study. – No petition for adoption shall be set for hearing unless a licensed social worker of the Department, the social service office of the local government unit, or any child-placing or child-caring agency has made a case study of the adoptee, his/her biological parent(s), as well as the adopter(s), and has submitted the report and recommendations on the matter to the court hearing such petition.

At the time of preparation of the adoptee's case study, the concerned social worker shall confirm with the Civil Registry the real identity and registered name of the adoptee. If the birth of the adoptee was not registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be the responsibility of the concerned social worker to ensure that the adoptee is registered.

The case study on the adoptee shall establish that he/she is legally available for adoption and that the documents to support this fact are valid and authentic. Further, the case study of the adopter(s) shall ascertain his/her genuine intentions and that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.

The Department shall intervene on behalf of the adoptee if it finds, after the conduct of the case studies, that the petition should be denied. The case studies and other relevant documents and records pertaining to the adoptee and the adoption shall be preserved by the Department.

Section 12. Supervised Trial Custody. – No petition for adoption shall be finally granted until the adopter(s) has been given by the court a supervised trial custody period for at least six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship. During said period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in the adopter(s).

The court may motu proprio or upon motion of any party reduce the trial period if it finds the same to be in the best interest of the adoptee, stating the reasons for the reduction of the period. However, for alien adopter(s), he/she must complete the six (6)-month trial custody except for those enumerated in Sec. 7 (b) (i) (ii) (iii).

If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with the prospective adopter(s) through a pre-adoption placement authority issued by the Department, the prospective adopter(s) shall enjoy all the benefits to which biological parent(s) is entitled from the date the adoptee is placed with the prospective adopter(s)

Section 13. Decree of Adoption. – If, after the publication of the order of hearing has been complied with, and no opposition has been interposed to the petition, and after consideration of the case studies, the qualifications of the adopter(s), trial custody report and the evidence submitted, the court is convinced that the petitioners are qualified to adopt, and that the adoption would redound to the best interest of the adoptee, a decree of adoption shall be entered which shall be effective as of the date the original petition was filed. This provision shall also apply in case the petitioner(s) dies before the issuance of the decree of adoption to protect the interest of the adoptee. The decree shall state the name by which the child is to be known.

Section 14. Civil Registry Record. – An amended certificate of birth shall be issued by the Civil Registry, as required by the Rules of Court, attesting to the fact that the adoptee is the child of the adopter(s) by being registered with his/her surname. The original certificate of birth shall be stamped "cancelled" with the annotation of the issuance of an amended birth certificate in its place and shall be sealed in the civil registry records. The new birth certificate to be issued to the adoptee shall not bear any notation that it is an amended issue.

Section 15. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. – All hearings in adoption cases shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public. All records, books, and papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department, or any other agency or institution participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept strictly confidential.

If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third person is necessary for purposes connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the best interest of the adoptee, the court may merit the necessary information to be released, restricting the purposes for which it may be used.

The Nature Of Slander And Libel

The advent of technology such as social media made it easy for rumor mongers and mud-slingers to spread lies and deceptions resulting in tainting an individual's reputation and dignity. These days, destroying a person can be done effortlessly, thanks to a plethora of social media platforms. Fortunately, these acts do not go unpunished because crimes against honor are penalised as stated under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Whether spoken or written, a person who intends to dishonor or discredit a person is held liable for the crime of libel or slander. So, what are the nature and gravity of these crimes?

Art. 353. Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.

Art. 354. Requirement for publicity. — Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases:

1. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and

2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

Art. 355. Libel means by writings or similar means. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

Art. 356. Threatening to publish and offer to present such publication for a compensation. — The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine from 200 to 2,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who threatens another to publish a libel concerning him or the parents, spouse, child, or other members of the family of the latter or upon anyone who shall offer to prevent the publication of such libel for a compensation or money consideration.

Art. 357. Prohibited publication of acts referred to in the course of official proceedings. — The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine of from 20 to 2,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any reporter, editor or manager or a newspaper, daily or magazine, who shall publish facts connected with the private life of another and offensive to the honor, virtue and reputation of said person, even though said publication be made in connection with or under the pretext that it is necessary in the narration of any judicial or administrative proceedings wherein such facts have been mentioned.

Art. 358. Slander. — Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period if it is of a serious and insulting nature; otherwise the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.

Art. 359. Slander by deed. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall perform any act not included and punished in this title, which shall cast dishonor, discredit or contempt upon another person. If said act is not of a serious nature, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos. 

Nature And Effect Of Obligations

There are many things that encompass obligations such as an obligation to provide basic needs to children, deliver goods and services, perform agreements stated on the contract and many others. When these obligations are not fulfilled, the burden will be on the individual who made a promise. Avoiding these obligations have legal implications according to the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. 

NATURE AND EFFECT OF OBLIGATIONS

Art. 1163. Every person obliged to give something is also obliged to take care of it with the proper diligence of a good father of a family, unless the law or the stipulation of the parties requires another standard of care. (1094a)

Art. 1164. The creditor has a right to the fruits of the thing from the time the obligation to deliver it arises. However, he shall acquire no real right over it until the same has been delivered to him. (1095)

Art. 1165. When what is to be delivered is a determinate thing, the creditor, in addition to the right granted him by Article 1170, may compel the debtor to make the delivery.

If the thing is indeterminate or generic, he may ask that the obligation be complied with at the expense of the debtor.

If the obligor delays, or has promised to deliver the same thing to two or more persons who do not have the same interest, he shall be responsible for any fortuitous event until he has effected the delivery. (1096)

Art. 1166. The obligation to give a determinate thing includes that of delivering all its accessions and accessories, even though they may not have been mentioned. (1097a)

Art. 1167. If a person obliged to do something fails to do it, the same shall be executed at his cost.

This same rule shall be observed if he does it in contravention of the tenor of the obligation. Furthermore, it may be decreed that what has been poorly done be undone. (1098)

Art. 1168. When the obligation consists in not doing, and the obligor does what has been forbidden him, it shall also be undone at his expense. (1099a)

Art. 1169. Those obliged to deliver or to do something incur in delay from the time the obligee judicially or extrajudicially demands from them the fulfillment of their obligation.

However, the demand by the creditor shall not be necessary in order that delay may exist:

(1) When the obligation or the law expressly so declare; or

(2) When from the nature and the circumstances of the obligation it appears that the designation of the time when the thing is to be delivered or the service is to be rendered was a controlling motive for the establishment of the contract; or

(3) When demand would be useless, as when the obligor has rendered it beyond his power to perform.

In reciprocal obligations, neither party incurs in delay if the other does not comply or is not ready to comply in a proper manner with what is incumbent upon him. From the moment one of the parties fulfills his obligation, delay by the other begins. (1100a)

Art. 1170. Those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages. (1101)

Art. 1171. Responsibility arising from fraud is demandable in all obligations. Any waiver of an action for future fraud is void. (1102a)

Art. 1172. Responsibility arising from negligence in the performance of every kind of obligation is also demandable, but such liability may be regulated by the courts, according to the circumstances. (1103)

Art. 1173. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of Articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.

If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the performance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required. (1104a)

Art. 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is otherwise declared by stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for those events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable. (1105a)

Art. 1175. Usurious transactions shall be governed by special laws. (n)

Art. 1176. The receipt of the principal by the creditor without reservation with respect to the interest, shall give rise to the presumption that said interest has been paid.

The receipt of a later installment of a debt without reservation as to prior installments, shall likewise raise the presumption that such installments have been paid. (1110a)

Art. 1177. The creditors, after having pursued the property in possession of the debtor to satisfy their claims, may exercise all the rights and bring all the actions of the latter for the same purpose, save those which are inherent in his person; they may also impugn the acts which the debtor may have done to defraud them. (1111)

Art. 1178. Subject to the laws, all rights acquired in virtue of an obligation are transmissible, if there has been no stipulation to the contrary. (1112) 

Changing A Minor's Surname According To The Law

No one can predict what the future will bring for couples. Even when you are compatible, there are still some circumstances that will tear you apart. Even when love bears children, they are the ones who suffer when things go wrong. It is not just a simple battle of custody and support. 

When pride and ego get in the way, there is more to separation than just coming to an agreement. Making sure that nothing and no one will remind you of your ex is part of the moving on process. This is why, some single moms prefer to have their children use their surname instead. 

Unfortunately, it is not an easy process. In fact, it takes more than a simple affidavit to grant such a request. Under Article 376 of the Civil Code, changing one's surname should have judicial authority.

Republic Act No. 9048 provides detailed information about the correct process of filing a petition. 

Section 3. Who May File the Petition and Where. – Any person having direct and personal interest in the correction of a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change of first name or nickname in the civil register may file, in person, a verified petition with the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where the record being sought to be corrected or changed is kept.

In case the petitioner has already migrated to another place in the country and it would not be practical for such party, in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear in person before the local civil registrar keeping the documents to be corrected or changed, the petition may be filed, in person, with the local civil registrar of the place where the interested party is presently residing or domiciled. The two (2) local civil registrars concerned will then communicate to facilitate the processing of the petition.

Citizens of the Philippines who are presently residing or domiciled in foreign countries may file their petition, in person, with the nearest Philippine Consulates.

The petitions filed with the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall be processed in accordance with this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.

All petitions for the clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first names or nicknames may be availed of only once.

Section 4. Grounds for Change of First Name or Nickname. – The petition for change of first name or nickname may be allowed in any of the following cases:

(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.

(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that by that first name or nickname in the community: or

(3) The change will avoid confusion.

Martial Law: Does It Bring Peace Or Panic?

On Monday, Maute Group, an Islamic militant group said to be connected to ISIS brought fear and terror to Marawi. They set city jail on fire, freed 100 inmates, brought panic to hospitals, held civilians captive and even took lives of people. Marawi residents are scared because the worst is yet to come. As residents leave the place, government forces continue to prevent the Islamic group from terrorizing the city. 

Since many lives are at stake and peace cannot be forged, President Duterte had to cut his trip to Russia short to attend to the serious issue that has plagued Marawi. On Wednesday, Duterte placed Mindanao under Martial law with a hint of extending it in Visayas. 

Some supported the move while others want a much better solution than declaring Martial law. For those who were born in the era where the Marcoses reigned supreme, there are apprehensions regarding the implications of Martial law. Will history repeat itself? Is it something that Filipino people should be afraid of? 

The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines define what Martial law is and when it is applicable:

Section 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.

The Congress, if not in session, shall, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call.

The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing.

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in, or directly connected with, invasion.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released.

Physical Injuries: Elements And Penalties

Altercations and misunderstandings often result in inflicting physical pain upon an individual. Whether the injury is slight or serious, the individual who committed the crime has violated law. Physical injuries have varying degrees. The revised penal code defines the elements and penalties for physical injuries. 

PHYSICAL INJURIES

Art. 262. Mutilation. — The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who shall intentionally mutilate another by depriving him, either totally or partially, or some essential organ of reproduction.

Any other intentional mutilation shall be punished by prision mayor in its medium and maximum periods.

Art. 263. Serious physical injuries. — Any person who shall wound, beat, or assault another, shall be guilty of the crime of serious physical injuries and shall suffer:

1. The penalty of prision mayor, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the injured person shall become insane, imbecile, impotent, or blind;

2. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the person injured shall have lost the use of speech or the power to hear or to smell, or shall have lost an eye, a hand, a foot, an arm, or a leg or shall have lost the use of any such member, or shall have become incapacitated for the work in which he was therefor habitually engaged;

3. The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the person injured shall have become deformed, or shall have lost any other part of his body, or shall have lost the use thereof, or shall have been ill or incapacitated for the performance of the work in which he as habitually engaged for a period of more than ninety days;

4. The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if the physical injuries inflicted shall have caused the illness or incapacity for labor of the injured person for more than thirty days.

If the offense shall have been committed against any of the persons enumerated in Article 246, or with attendance of any of the circumstances mentioned in Article 248, the case covered by subdivision number 1 of this Article shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods; the case covered by subdivision number 2 by prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period; the case covered by subdivision number 3 by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods; and the case covered by subdivision number 4 by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not be applicable to a parent who shall inflict physical injuries upon his child by excessive chastisement.

Art. 264. Administering injurious substances or beverages. — The penalties established by the next preceding article shall be applicable in the respective case to any person who, without intent to kill, shall inflict upon another any serious, physical injury, by knowingly administering to him any injurious substance or beverages or by taking advantage of his weakness of mind or credulity.

Art. 265. Less serious physical injuries. — Any person who shall inflict upon another physical injuries not described in the preceding articles, but which shall incapacitate the offended party for labor for ten days or more, or shall require medical assistance for the same period, shall be guilty of less serious physical injuries and shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor.

Whenever less serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted with the manifest intent to kill or offend the injured person, or under circumstances adding ignominy to the offense in addition to the penalty of arresto mayor, a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed. 

Any less serious physical injuries inflicted upon the offender's parents, ascendants, guardians, curators, teachers, or persons of rank, or persons in authority, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, provided that, in the case of persons in authority, the deed does not constitute the crime of assault upon such person.

Art. 266. Slight physical injuries and maltreatment. — The crime of slight physical injuries shall be punished:

1. By arresto menor when the offender has inflicted physical injuries which shall incapacitate the offended party for labor from one to nine days, or shall require medical attendance during the same period.

2. By arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 20 pesos and censure when the offender has caused physical injuries which do not prevent the offended party from engaging in his habitual work nor require medical assistance.

3. By arresto menor in its minimum period or a fine not exceeding 50 pesos when the offender shall ill-treat another by deed without causing any injury.

New Law Prohibits A Two-Wheeled Motorcycle From Taking Small Children For A Ride

Children being taken for a ride on a motorcycle can be witnessed on public roads. Some are wearing a protective gear such as a helmet but others simply wrap their arms around the driver's waist. On May 19, small children are prohibited from riding motorcycles. This rule is in accordance with the Republic Act No. 10666 or the Children's Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015. 

If you are driving a two-wheeled motorcycle, you are no longer allowed to take your children along public roads. This is because drivers will be exposing small children to danger with the sight of fast-moving vehicles and traffic. However, exemptions still apply. The law does not apply to cases of transporting a child to obtain immediate medical attention.  

SEC. 4. Prohibition. – It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a two (2)-wheeled motorcycle with a child on board on public roads where there is heavy volume of vehicles, there is a high density of fast moving vehicles or where a speed limit of more than 60/kph is imposed, unless:

(a) The child passenger can comfortably reach his/her feet on the standard foot peg of the motorcycle;

(b) The child’s arms can reach around and grasp the waist of the motorcycle rider; and

(c) The child is wearing a standard protective helmet referred to under Republic Act No. 10054, otherwise known the “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.”

SEC. 5. Exception. – Notwithstanding the prohibition provided in the preceding section, this Act shall not apply to cases where the child to be transported requires immediate medical attention.

SEC. 6. Penalties. – Any person who operates a motorcycle in violation of Section 4 of this Act shall be fined with an amount of three thousand pesos (P3,000.00) for the first offense; five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) for the second offense; and ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) for the third and succeeding offenses.

Moreover, for the third offense, the driver’s license of the offender shall be suspended for a period of one (1) month.

Violation of these provisions beyond the third time shall result to automatic revocation of the offender’s driver’s license.

SEC. 7. Review of Penalties. – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is hereby empowered to increase or adjust the amounts of fines herein imposed: Provided, That:

(a) The increase or adjustment is made after public consultation once every three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act and in the amount not exceeding twenty percent (20%) of the amounts sought to be increased or adjusted;

(b) A thorough study has been conducted indicating that the existing amounts are no longer an effective deterrent;

(c) Current relevant economic indices, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), have been considered in the determination of the increase or adjustment; and

(d) The increases or adjustment shall only become effective fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

SEC. 8. Qualifying Circumstances. – If, in violation of the provisions of this Act, death shall have resulted or serious or less serious injuries shall have been inflicted upon the child or any other person, a penalty of one (1) year imprisonment shall be imposed upon the motorcycle rider or operator of the motorcycle involved without prejudice to the penalties provided under Act No. 3815, otherwise known as “The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines”, as amended.

New Bill Seeks To Shorten Work Week

Most workers work for 5 to 6 days a week or 8 hours a day as required by the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Art. 83. Normal hours of work. The normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight (8) hours a day.

Health personnel in cities and municipalities with a population of at least one million (1,000,000) or in hospitals and clinics with a bed capacity of at least one hundred (100) shall hold regular office hours for eight (8) hours a day, for five (5) days a week, exclusive of time for meals, except where the exigencies of the service require that such personnel work for six (6) days or forty-eight (48) hours, in which case, they shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least thirty percent (30%) of their regular wage for work on the sixth day. For purposes of this Article, "health personnel" shall include resident physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, laboratory technicians, paramedical technicians, psychologists, midwives, attendants and all other hospital or clinic personnel.

Art. 84. Hours worked. Hours worked shall include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace; and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work.

This has been a common practice, but a new bill aims to compress the work week from 6 days to 4 days. However, with the compressed work week, this will require employees to work more than 8 hours a day. There are mixed reactions regarding this proposition. To some, it is a good idea considering the fact that longer rest days allow you to spend some quality time with your family. To others, this is a disadvantage because compressed work week means longer hours at work. 

House Bill 5068 is waiting for 2nd and 3rd readings. Once the bill passes it will be enacted into a law. 

Disturbance Of Public Order

Have you ever been into an embarrassing situation where someone has challenged you to a fight in a public place? This is considered as serious disturbance of public order. Another instance in this crime is committed is when someone fires a gun within a public building's premise. However, when somebody was hurt, the person is liable for the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to physical injuries.

Chapter Five

PUBLIC DISORDERS

Art. 153. Tumults and other disturbance of public orders; Tumultuous disturbance or interruption liable to cause disturbance. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall cause any serious disturbance in a public place, office, or establishment, or shall interrupt or disturb public performances, functions or gatherings, or peaceful meetings, if the act is not included in the provisions of Articles 131 and 132.

The penalty next higher in degree shall be imposed upon persons causing any disturbance or interruption of a tumultuous character.

The disturbance or interruption shall be deemed to be tumultuous if caused by more than three persons who are armed or provided with means of violence.

The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon any person who in any meeting, association, or public place, shall make any outcry tending to incite rebellion or sedition or in such place shall display placards or emblems which provoke a disturbance of the public order.

The penalty of arresto menor and a fine not to exceed P200 pesos shall be imposed upon these persons who in violation of the provisions contained in the last clause of Article 85, shall bury with pomp the body of a person who has been legally executed.

Art. 154. Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine ranging from P200 to P1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1. Any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the State;

2. Any person who by the same means, or by words, utterances or speeches shall encourage disobedience to the law or to the constituted authorities or praise, justify, or extol any act punished by law;

3. Any person who shall maliciously publish or cause to be published any official resolution or document without proper authority, or before they have been published officially; or

4. Any person who shall print, publish, or distribute or cause to be printed, published, or distributed books, pamphlets, periodicals, or leaflets which do not bear the real printer's name, or which are classified as anonymous.

Art. 155. Alarms and scandals. — The penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding P200 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1. Any person who within any town or public place, shall discharge any firearm, rocket, firecracker, or other explosives calculated to cause alarm or danger;

2. Any person who shall instigate or take an active part in any charivari or other disorderly meeting offensive to another or prejudicial to public tranquility;

3. Any person who, while wandering about at night or while engaged in any other nocturnal amusements, shall disturb the public peace; or

4. Any person who, while intoxicated or otherwise, shall cause any disturbance or scandal in public places, provided that the circumstances of the case shall not make the provisions of Article 153 applicable.

New Law Bans Mobile Phone Use While Driving

These days, multitasking answers the demands of modern living. Everyone is caught juggling different tasks at the same time. So little time, so much to do. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Would you still prefer to multi-task when you know it can pose a threat to your safety? 

When you are multitasking, your effort becomes divided as well. For one task, you can devote 100% of your effort to produce excellent results, but multitasking makes it a challenge to obtain the same result. For instance, texting or calling while driving redirects some of your attention to your mobile phone. When you are on the road, anything that will require you to look away from the road or use your other hand to reply to a text message will challenge your safety.

Texting while driving is an accident waiting to happen. If you cannot avoid using your mobile device, make sure it is hands-free. Hands-free communication device allows you to keep your eyes on the road. 

The new law requires drivers to follow rules and regulations under Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving ACt. 

According to Romeo Vera Cruz, executive director of Land Transportation Office (LTO) drivers are prohibited to use their device even during the temporary stop. 

While there are apps such as Waze that assist drivers in getting from point A to point B, law enforcers are serious about implementing the new law. The device should not cause any distraction to the driver even if they are used for navigation purposes. 

Distracted Driving, under Section 4 of this Act is defined as: 

Sec. 4. Distracted Driving. – Subject to the qualifications in Sections 5 and 6 of this Act, distracted driving refers to the performance by a motorist of any of the following acts in a motor vehicle in motion or temporarily stopped at a red light, whether diplomatic, public or private, which are hereby declared unlawful;

(a) Using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication or to make or receive calls, and other similar acts; and

(b) Using an electronic entertainment or computing device to play games, watch movies, surf the internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculations, and other similar acts.

Anyone caught violating the provision of this Act shall be penalized with:

(a) A fine of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) for the first offense;

(b) A fine of ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) for the second offense;

(c) A fine of fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) and suspension of driver’s license for three (3) months for the third offense; and

(d) A fine of twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) and revocation of driver’s license: Provided, That the implementing agency may increase the amount of fine herein imposed once every five (5) years in the amount not exceeding ten percent (10%) of the existing rates sought to be increased which shall take effect only upon publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation: Provided, further, That a driver of a public utility vehicle, a school bus, a school service vehicle, a common carrier hauling volatile, flammable or toxic material, or a driver who commits an act classified herein as distracted driving within a fifty (50)-meter radius from the school premises shall be subject to a penalty of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) and suspension of one’s driver’s license for three (3) months.

The foregoing penalties shall be imposed without prejudice to other liabilities under the Revised Penal Code or any special law, arising out or on occasion of the herein prohibited acts.

 



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