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.

Basic Discussion On Obstruction Of Justice

There are criminal cases that seem to take ages before a resolution can be made. For influential people who have criminal liability, delaying justice is like a walk in the park because wealth and power dictate how justice will be served. We have witnessed many cases where family members of a prominent political figure are not given the punishment they deserve because they know how to get away with law. However, people who are cradling criminals by delaying or frustrating apprehension and prosecution of offenders are violating Presidential Decree No. 1829 or Obstruction of Justice. 

Presidential Decree No. 1929

SECTION 1. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period, or a fine ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the following acts:

(a) Preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery, misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation, force or threats;

(b) Altering, destroying, suppressing or concealing any paper, record, document, or object with intent to impair its verity, authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or official proceedings in criminal cases, or to be used in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases;

(c) Harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest, prosecution and conviction;

(d) Publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading prosecution or the execution of a judgment, or concealing his true name and other personal circumstances for the same purpose or purposes;

(e) Delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by obstructing the service of process or court orders or disturbing proceedings in the fiscals’ offices, in Tanodbayan, or in the courts;

(f) Making, presenting or using any record, document, paper or object with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases;

(g) Soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to accept any benefit in consideration of abstaining from, discontinuing, or impeding the prosecution of a criminal offender;

(h) Threatening directly or indirectly another with the infliction of any wrong upon his person, honor or property or that of any immediate member or members of his family in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases, or imposing a condition, whether lawful or unlawful, in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of or in official proceedings in criminal cases;

(i) Giving of false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offender or from protecting the life or property of the victim; or fabricating information from the data gathered in confidence by investigating authorities for purposes of background information and not for publication and publishing or disseminating the same to mislead the investigator or the court.

If any of the acts mentioned herein is penalized by any other law with a higher penalty, the higher penalty shall be imposed.

SEC. 2. If any of the foregoing acts is committed by a public official or employee, he shall, in addition to the penalties provided thereunder, suffer perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

SEC. 3. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 16th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-one.

Anti-Photo And Video Voyeurism Act Of 2009

The proliferation of sex videos, sex scandals and nude photos posted on social networking sites such as Facebook is quite alarming considering the fact that most victims are women. Offenders are violating Republic Act No. 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009. How does a person violate the provisions of this law?

Section 3. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of this Act, the term:

(a) "Broadcast" means to make public, by any means, a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons.

(b) "Capture" with respect to an image, means to videotape, photograph, film, record by any means, or broadcast.

(c) "Female breast" means any portion of the female breast.

(d) "Photo or video voyeurism" means the act of taking photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or of capturing an image of the private area of a person or persons without the latter's consent, under circumstances in which such person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy, or the act of selling, copying, reproducing, broadcasting, sharing, showing or exhibiting the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and similar means or device without the written consent of the person/s involved, notwithstanding that consent to record or take photo or video coverage of same was given by such person's.

(e) "Private area of a person" means the naked or undergarment clad genitals, public area, buttocks or female breast of an individual.

(f) "Under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy" means believe that he/she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that an image or a private area of the person was being captured; or circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that a private area of the person would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place.

Section 4. Prohibited Acts. - It is hereby prohibited and declared unlawful for any person:

(a) To take photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or to capture an image of the private area of a person/s such as the naked or undergarment clad genitals, public area, buttocks or female breast without the consent of the person/s involved and under circumstances in which the person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy;

(b) To copy or reproduce, or to cause to be copied or reproduced, such photo or video or recording of sexual act or any similar activity with or without consideration;

(c) To sell or distribute, or cause to be sold or distributed, such photo or video or recording of sexual act, whether it be the original copy or reproduction thereof; or

(d) To publish or broadcast, or cause to be published or broadcast, whether in print or broadcast media, or show or exhibit the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or any similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and other similar means or device.

The prohibition under paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) shall apply notwithstanding that consent to record or take photo or video coverage of the same was given by such person/s. Any person who violates this provision shall be liable for photo or video voyeurism as defined herein.

Section 5. Penalties.

The penalty of imprisonment of not less that three (3) years but not more than seven (7) years and a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of violating Section 4 of this Act.

If the violator is a juridical person, its license or franchise shall be automatically be deemed revoked and the persons liable shall be the officers thereof including the editor and reporter in the case of print media, and the station manager, editor and broadcaster in the case of a broadcast media.

If the offender is a public officer or employee, or a professional, he/she shall be administratively liable.

If the offender is an alien, he/she shall be subject to deportation proceedings after serving his/her sentence and payment of fines.

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 6 of 8 No More Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is a multi-tasking skill many people on the go have learned to acquire. However, a few seconds of distraction can cause road accident. Republic Act No. 10913 or the Act Defining and Penalizing Distracted Driving will put a lid on the injurious and sometimes deadly effects of vehicular accidents due to the unrestrained use of mobile devices. 

Sec. 5. Extent of Coverage

a) The operation of a mobile communications device is not considered to be distracted driving if done using the aid of a hands-free function or similar device such as, but not limited to, a speaker phone, earphones and microphones or other similar devices which allow a person to make and receive calls without having to hold the mobile communication device: Provided, that the place of the mobile communications device or the hands-free device does not interfere with the line of sight of the driver. 

b) Wheeled agricultural machineries such as tractors and construction equipment such as graders, rollers, backhoes, payloaders, cranes, bulldozers, mobile concrete mixers and the like and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, "habal-habal", trolleys, "kuligligs", wagons carriages, carts, sledges, chariots or the like, whether animal or human-powered, are covered by the provisions of this Act as long as the same are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways, or streets or under circumstances where public safety is under consideration. 

c) The provisions of this Act shall not apply to motorists of motor vehicles which are not in motion, except those which are stopped momentarily at a red light, or are pulled over the side of the road in compliance with a traffic regulation.  

Sec. 6. Exemptions

The provisions of this Act shall not apply to the following:

a)A motorist using a mobile phone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services, agency or entity: and

b)A motorist using a mobile phone while operating an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, a fire truck, and other vehicles providing emergency assistance, in the course and scope of his or her duties. 


Those who are found guilty of violating any provision of this Act will be penalized a fine of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00)for the first offense; ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) for the second offense; fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) and suspension of driver's license for three (3) months for the third offense; and 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. 

Truth in Lending Act

No matter how hard you try to make ends meet, there are times when cashflow becomes limited and if you have no one to turn to, lending firms are going to extend a helping hand by assisting you with your financial needs. Most creditors are considered as a breath of fresh air to people who are in need of instant cash. Once approved, the money becomes available within 24 hours and will be repaid on installment basis. 

Although creditors provide financial assistance, borrowers are often in confusion upon finding out that there are finance charges incurred on top of the amount borrowed. This is why creditors or lenders have to educate debtors or borrowers on the terms and conditions. 

The Republic Act No. 3765 provides detailed information of this policy:

Section 4. Any creditor shall furnish to each person to whom credit is extended, prior to the consummation of the transaction, a clear statement in writing setting forth, to the extent applicable and in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board, the following information:

(1) the cash price or delivered price of the property or service to be acquired;

(2) the amounts, if any, to be credited as down payment and/or trade-in;

(3) the difference between the amounts set forth under clauses (1) and (2);

(4) the charges, individually itemized, which are paid or to be paid by such person in connection with the transaction but which are not incident to the extension of credit;

(5) the total amount to be financed;

(6) the finance charge expressed in terms of pesos and centavos; and

(7) the percentage that the finance bears to the total amount to be financed expressed as a simple annual rate on the outstanding unpaid balance of the obligation.

Section 5. The Board shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary or proper in carrying out the provisions of this Act. Any rule or regulation prescribed hereunder may contain such classifications and differentiations as in the judgment of the Board are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of this Act or to prevent circumvention or evasion, or to facilitate the enforcement of this Act, or any rule or regulation issued thereunder.

Section 6. (a) Any creditor who in connection with any credit transaction fails to disclose to any person any information in violation of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder shall be liable to such person in the amount of P100 or in an amount equal to twice the finance charged required by such creditor in connection with such transaction, whichever is the greater, except that such liability shall not exceed P2,000 on any credit transaction. Action to recover such penalty may be brought by such person within one year from the date of the occurrence of the violation, in any court of competent jurisdiction. In any action under this subsection in which any person is entitled to a recovery, the creditor shall be liable for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs as determined by the court.

(b) Except as specified in subsection (a) of this section, nothing contained in this Act or any regulation contained in this Act or any regulation thereunder shall affect the validity or enforceability of any contract or transactions.

(c) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder shall be fined by not less than P1,00 or more than P5,000 or imprisonment for not less than 6 months, nor more than one year or both.

(d) No punishment or penalty provided by this Act shall apply to the Philippine Government or any agency or any political subdivision thereof.

(e) A final judgment hereafter rendered in any criminal proceeding under this Act to the effect that a defendant has willfully violated this Act shall be prima facie evidence against such defendant in an action or proceeding brought by any other party against such defendant under this Act as to all matters respecting which said judgment would be an estoppel as between the parties thereto. 

Rule On Legal Separation

Filing a petition for legal separation is an option married couples consider in place of annulment. However, there are many misconceptions about legal separation and one of which is that when you are legally separated, you are free to marry another individual. 

Before you decide on filing a petition, be sure you are familiar with the rules of court. A summary of the law on legal separation will give you an idea about the process. 


Section 1. Scope. - This Rule shall govern petitions for legal separation under the Family Code of the Philippines.

The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily. 

Sec. 2. Petition. - (a) Who may and when to file. - (1) A petition for legal separation may be filed only by the husband or the wife, as the case may be within five years from the time of the occurrence of any of the following causes:

(a) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner; 

(b) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;

(c) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;

(d) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned;

(e) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent; 

(f) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;

(g) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in or outside the Philippines;

(h) Sexual infidelity or perversion of the respondent;

(i) Attempt on the life of petitioner by the respondent; or 

(j) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

(b) Contents and form. - The petition for legal separation shall: 

(1) Allege the complete facts constituting the cause of action. 

(2) State the names and ages of the common children of the parties, specify the regime governing their property relations, the properties involved, and creditors, if any. If there is no adequate provision in a written agreement between the parties, the petitioner may apply for a provisional order for spousal support, custody and support of common children, visitation rights, administration of community or conjugal property, and other similar matters requiring urgent action,

(3) Be verified and accompanied by a certification against forum shopping. The verification and certification must be personally signed by the petitioner. No petition may be filed solely by counsel or through an attorney-in-fact. If the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification against forum shopping shall be authenticated by the duly authorized officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country

(4) Be filed in six copies. The petitioner shall, within five days from such filing, furnish a copy of the petition to the City or Provincial Prosecutor and the creditors, if any, and submit to the court proof of such service within the same period.cralaw

Failure to comply with the preceding requirements may be a ground for immediate dismissal of the petition. 

(c) Venue. - The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing "or in The case of a non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner.cralaw

Sec. 3. Summons. - The service of summons shall be governed by Rule 14 of the Rules of Court and by the following rules: 

(a) Where the respondent cannot be located at his given address or his whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service of summons may, by leave of court, be effected upon him by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines and in such place as the court may order. In addition, a copy of the summons shall be served on respondent at his last known address by registered mail or by any other means the court may deem sufficient.

(b) The summons to be published shall be contained in an order of the court with the following data; (1) title of the case; (2) docket number; (3) nature of the petition; (4) principal grounds of the petition and the reliefs prayed for, and (5) a directive for respondent to answer within thirty days from the last issue of publication.

Sec. 4. Motion to Dismiss. - No motion to dismiss the petition shall be allowed except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or over the parties; provided, however, that any other ground that might warrant a dismissal of the case may be raised as an affirmative defense in an answer. 

Sec. 5. Answer. - (a) The respondent shall file his answer within fifteen days from receipt of summons, or within thirty days from the last issue of publication in case of service of summons by publication. The answer must be verified by respondent himself and not by counsel or attorney-in-fact. chan robles virtual law library

(b) If the respondent fails to file an answer, the court shall not declare him in default.

(c) Where no answer is filed/or if the answer does not tender an issue the court shall order the public prosecutor to investigate whether collusion exists between the parties.

Sec. 6. Investigation Report of Public Prosecutor. - (a) Within one one month after receipt of the court order mentioned in paragraph (c) of the preceding section, the public prosecutor shall submit a report to the court on whether the parties are in collusion and serve copies on the parties and their respective counsels, if any.

(b) If the public prosecutor finds that collusion exists, he shall state the basis thereof in his report. The parties shall file their respective comments on the finding of collusion within ten days from receipt of copy of the report. The court shall set the report for hearing and if convinced that parties are in collusion, it shall dismiss the petition.

(c) If the public prosecutor reports that no collusion exists, the court shall set the case for pre-trial. It shall be the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the State at the pre-trial.

Sec. 7. Social Worker. - The court may require a social worker to conduct a case study and to submit the corresponding report at least three days before the pre-trial. The court may also require a case study at any stage of the case whenever necessary,

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 5 of 8 Longer Prescriptive Period For Crimes Of Graft And Corruption

Corrupt practices are plaguing the country and it has been a political cancer waiting for a sure-fire antidote. Many people have been caught engaging in graft and corrupt practices, and preventive measures remained futile. There are still people who continue to exploit public funds by leaving a lavish lifestyle. The unexplained wealth convinces law enforcers that something is not right.

We have witnessed a great number of public figures who have been charged of graft and corruption for the past years.  Some ended up in jail while others continue to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. Crime does pay, but if the evidence is weak, perpetrators will continue to roam the streets unscathed. At present, the violators of the Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act will face fifteen (15) years of imprisonment. 

A new law, which will be in conjunction of this act will aim to provide longer prescription period to those who are found violating the law. From 15 years, the prescription will be extended to 20 years. 

In case you are wondering what the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act covers, here is the summary:

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

(b) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.

(c) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom the public officer, in any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to Section thirteen of this Act.

(d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof or within one year after its termination.

(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

(f) Neglecting or refusing, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage, or for the purpose of favoring his own interest or giving undue advantage in favor of or discriminating against any other interested party.

(g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.

(h) Director or indirectly having financing or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.

(i) Directly or indirectly becoming interested, for personal gain, or having a material interest in any transaction or act requiring the approval of a board, panel or group of which he is a member, and which exercises discretion in such approval, even if he votes against the same or does not participate in the action of the board, committee, panel or group.

Interest for personal gain shall be presumed against those public officers responsible for the approval of manifestly unlawful, inequitable, or irregular transaction or acts by the board, panel or group to which they belong.

(j) Knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favor of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage, or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled.

(k) Divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons, or releasing such information in advance of its authorized release date.

The person giving the gift, present, share, percentage or benefit referred to in subparagraphs (b) and (c); or offering or giving to the public officer the employment mentioned in subparagraph (d); or urging the divulging or untimely release of the confidential information referred to in subparagraph (k) of this section shall, together with the offending public officer, be punished under Section nine of this Act and shall be permanently or temporarily disqualified in the discretion of the Court, from transacting business in any form with the Government.

The Philippine Anti-Dummy Law

A couple of friends recently told me how their very clever Philippine attorney got around the Philippine rule that non-Philippine citizens can not own real estate in the Philippines by forming a Philippine corporation. The corporation buys the property, then they use a variety of documents to avoid the 40/60 rule that limits non-citizens equity ownership to 40 percent. This all sounds very nice, but, my question to them, did their attorney discuss the Philippine Anti-Dummy Law with you?

Their question to me, what is the Anti-Dummy Law? My answer, good question. The Anti-Dummy Law is a law created to penalize those who violate foreign equity restrictions and evade nationalization laws of the Philippines. The Anti-Dummy Law prohibits dummy, or using what I call a proxy arrangement to accomplish a transaction not allowed under Philippine law. 

To get around the Philippine land ownership rules for example, non-citizens may arrange for a Filipino citizen to purchase land and register the land title to the Filipino citizen’s name, but with the agreement that the whole right to the land belongs to the foreigner. In this case, the Filipino citizen is the “proxy,” thus the “dummy arrangement.” Another common approach, is to create a corporation. The problem with using a corporation to avoid the land restrictions rules, is the 40-60 ratio that applies (40% foreign ownership, 60% Filipino ownership). Therefore a variety of side agreements are used to keep control of the corporation in the hands of the foreigner.

Again, The Anti-Dummy Law prohibits an arrangement usually done by a foreigner to evade nationality restrictions. If you’re caught violating the Anti-Dummy Law, you can receive a jail sentence for up to 5-15 years or receive a hefty fine. Non-Citizens and Filipino citizens who engaged in the dummy arrangement will both be held liable. 

This is only a limited overview of the broad reaching Anti- Dummy Law. If you are setting up a business or acquiring real property in the Philippines, you need to be aware of how the anti-dummy rules may be applied to the way the transaction is being structured. If you don’t want your dream business or property investment in the Philippines to turn into a legal nightmare. 

Now, my friends have assured me after talking to their attorney, there is nothing to worry about. The anti- dummy rules are not being enforced. However, the law is on the books for a reason. Therefore, this does not mean that the law will be enforced in the future. Should this happen, and you run afoul of the Anti- Dummy Law, it is you, not your attorney or friends that told you that it is okay to violate Philippine law, who is on the legal hook.

Catcalling And Wolf-whistling Can Land You In Jail

A tepid cup of coffee and news just blend well. Whenever there's bad news, the kick I get from caffeine just calms my senses. I was browsing through some interesting online news on a typical Wednesday and one headline caught my eye "Senator files bill penalizing wolf-whistling and catcalling". People who are out on the streets are sometimes infested by fear and paranoia especially the female of the species and the members of the LGBTQ community. Catcalling and wolf-whistling have been a form of entertainment for bystanders. Women have been enveloped by fear because of catcallers on the streets. 

While there is an existing law against sexual harassment, Sen. Risa Hontiveros filed the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 to ensure women and LGBTQ community can walk the streets without feeling unsafe and violated. 

The penalties that will be imposed will depend on the seriousness of the violation.

This bill, if enacted into a law will be in conjunction with Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

SECTION 3. Work, Education or Training -Related, Sexual Harassment Defined. - Work, education or  training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other  person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy  over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor  from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or  requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.

      (a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual  harassment is committed when:

                  (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 ordiminish 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.

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 4 of 8 No Shortchanging Act

Whenever you go to a 'sari-sari' store or a business establishment and the owner or cashier is short of change, they will either give you a candy or tell you that they owe you a few cents. Most buyers do not bother to demand for the exact change. After all, the amount is less than a peso. Although this is a common and acceptable act to people running a business in the Philippines, enacting a bill into a law, which requires establishments to provide exact change will render this practice a violation. 

The law ensures that providing exact change to customers becomes a legal responsibility. Business owners should prepare peso coins to complete the buyer's change. Reasoning that you do not have a few cents to complete the change will no longer be an acceptable excuse. 

In fact, it is much better to provide excess change that give customers less than what you owe them. If you used to consider giving candies as an acceptable option for the lack of loose coins or bills, the law will prohibit this act. Customers are also encouraged to demand for exact change.

Republic Act No. 10909

Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. - For the purpose o this Act, the following terms shall mean:

a)Business establishment - any person, natural or juridical, whether single proprietorship, partnership or corporation, including a government-owned and -controlled corporation or a government entity exercising its proprietary functions, engaged in, or doing business in the Philippines, either in selling goods or providing services;

b) Change - the excess in the payment given by a consumer for goods and services purchased or received from a business establishment;

c) Consumer - a natural person who purchases goods or services in cash;

d) Goods - all types of tangible property that could be bought and sold, and the possession of which could be transferred in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently. 

e) Gross sales - the total invoice value of sales, before deducting for customer discount, allowances and returns;

f) Insufficient change - a change that is less than what is due the consumers;

g) Price - tag any device written, printed, affixed or attached to a good, or displayed in a consumer retail or service establishment for the purpose of indicating the retail price per unit or services;

h) Services - all types of commercial activities which enable the supply, access to, consumption or use of goods, intellectual property or other services; and 

i) Shortchange - the act of giving insufficient or no change to a consumer who purchased a product or service. 

Sec. 6. Penalties. - Any violation of this Act as determined by the DTI under Section 5 hereof shall be punished as follows: for the first offense, a violator shall be fined five hundred pesos (P500.00) or three percent (3%) of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher; for the second offense, a violator shall be fined five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or five percent (5%) of the gross sales whichever is higher; for the third offense, a violator shall be fined fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) or seven percent (7%) of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher, and the license to operate of the business establishment shall be suspended for three (3) months; and for the fourth offense, a violator shall be fined twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000) or ten percent (10%) of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher, and the license to operate of the business establishment shall be revoked. 

No Return, No Exchange Policy: Why It Should Be Prohibited

Most consumers often experience getting their request denied because of the No Return, No Exchange store policy. Do stores really have the right to implement this policy? Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 7394 or also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, consumers have the right to return defective goods or demand remedies in the event that the goods are defective. The presence of this policy is considered as deceptive because if a consumer does not know that the items are defective or imperfect, the sellers should honor complaints and provide warranties to consumers. While there is no specific period within which a buyer may return the purchased item, the rules applied depend on the nature of the purchased goods. 

There are even instances when the store only allows the item be exchanged once. This condition is prohibited because a customer can exchange the item as many times as these are defective as long as the customer opts for replacement. If the store violates the prohibition, the customer can file a complaint with the DTI. 

Consumer Product Quality and Safety

ARTICLE 5.             Declaration of Policy. — It shall be the duty of the State:

a)              to develop and provide safety and quality standards for consumer products, including performance or use-oriented standards, codes of practice and methods of tests;

b)              to assist the consumer in evaluating the quality, including safety, performance and comparative utility of consumer products;

c)              to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products;

d)              to undertake research on quality improvement of products and investigation into causes and prevention of product related deaths, illness and injuries;

e)              to assure the public of the consistency of standardized products.

ARTICLE 6.             Implementing Agencies. — The provisions of this Article and its implementing rules and regulations shall be enforced by:

a)              the Department of Health with respect to food, drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances;

b)              the Department of Agriculture with respect to products related to agriculture, and;

c)              the Department of Trade and Industry with respect to other consumer products not specified above.

ARTICLE 7.             Promulgation and Adoption of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall establish consumer product quality and safety standards which shall consist of one or more of the following:

a)              requirements as to performance, composition, contents, design, construction, finish, packaging of a consumer product;

b)              requirements as to kind, class, grade, dimensions, weights, material;

c)              requirements as to the methods of sampling, tests and codes used to check the quality of the product;

d)              requirements as to precautions in storage, transporting and packaging;

e)              requirements that a consumer product be marked with or accompanied by clear and adequate safety warnings or instructions, or requirements respecting the form of warnings or instructions.

For this purpose, the concerned department shall adopt existing government domestic product quality and safety standards: Provided, That in the absence of such standards, the concerned department shall form specialized technical committees composed of equal number of representatives from each of the Government, business and consumer sectors to formulate, develop and purpose consumer product quality and safety standards. The said technical committees shall consult with the private sector, which may, motu proprio, develop its own quality and safety standards that shall be subject to review and approval of the concerned government agency or agencies after public hearings have been conducted for that purpose; and shall likewise consider existing international standards recognized by the Philippine Government.

ARTICLE 8.             Publication of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall, upon promulgation of the above standards, publish or cause the publication of the same in two (2) newspapers of general circulation at least once a week for a period of not less than one (1) month. It may likewise conduct an information campaign through other means deemed effective to ensure the proper guidance of consumers, businesses, industries and other sectors concerned.

ARTICLE 9.             Effectivity of Rules. — a) Each consumer product standard or safety rule shall specify the date such rule is to take effect, which shall not exceed ninety (90) days from the date promulgated unless the concerned department finds, for good cause shown, that a later effective date is in the public interest and publishes its reasons for such finding. After which, it shall no longer be legal to, or cause to, sell or distribute the consumer product not complying with the standards or rules.

b)              The department may, by regulation, prohibit a manufacturer from stockpiling consumer products so as to prevent such manufacturer from circumventing the purposes of this paragraph. The term “stockpiling” means manufacturing or importing a product between the date of promulgation of its consumer product safety rule and its effective date, at a rate which is significantly greater than the rate at which such product was produced or imported during a base period, as prescribed in the regulation under this paragraph, ending before the date of promulgation of consumer product safety rule.

How Can Landlords And Tenants Meet Halfway?

The Rent Control Act of 2009 used to protect tenants and landlords so both parties can arrive at an agreement. However, the law has already expired on December 31, 2015. While most landlords and tenants in the Philippines rely on verbal agreement, oral contracts are often breached when one party realizes later on, that it was not a fair deal. Even without the written contract, both parties can meet halfway. 

Rent Control Act of 2009

Section 4. Limit on Increases in Rent. - For a period of one (1) year from its effectivity, no increase shall be imposed upon the rent of any residential unit covered by this Act: Provided, That after such period until December 31, 2013, the rent of any residential unit covered by this Act shall not be increased by more than seven percent (7%) annually as long as the unit is occupied by the same lessee: Provided, further, That when the residential unit becomes vacant, the lessor may set the initial rent for the next lessee: Provided, however, That in the case of boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bedspaces offered for rent to students, no increase in rental more than once per year shall be allowed.

Section 5. Coverage of this Act. - All residential units in the National Capital Region and other highly urbanized cities, the total monthly rent for each of which ranges from One peso (P1.00) to Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) and all residential units in all other areas, the total monthly rent for each of which ranges from One peso (P1.00) to Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as of the effectivity date of this Act shall be covered, without prejudice to existing contracts.

Section 6. Authority to Continue Rental Regulation. - Notwithstanding he lapse of the period provided in Section 4 of this Act. the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) is hereby granted the authority to continue the regulation of the rental of certain residential units, to determine the period of regulation and its subsequent extensions if warranted, to determine the residential units covered and to adjust the allowable limit on rental increases per annum, taking into consideration, among others, National Statistics Office (NSO) census on rental units, prevailing rental rates, the monthly inflation rate on rentals of the immediately preceding year, and rental price index.

Section 7. Rent and Requirement of Bank Deposit. - Rent shall be paid in advance within the first five (5) days of every current month or the beginning of the lease agreement unless the contract of lease provides for a later date of payment. The lessor cannot demand more than one (1) month advance rent. Neither can he/she demand more than two (2) months deposit which shall be kept in a bank under the lessor's account name during the entire duration of the lease agreement. Any and all interest that shall accrue therein shall be returned to the lessee at the expiration of the lease contract.

The act covered various aspects of renting a property such as the requirement of bank deposit, rental regulation, policies and much more. Just because the act has expired does not mean landlords and tenants are no longer protected. Both parties have the option to negotiate. In terms of deposits, the tenant and landlord can discuss the option that works for both of them. There are landlords that do not rely on oral contract. This is where a written contract comes in. Written contracts will require tenants a security deposit worth 2 to 3 months' rent. If the tenant does not wish to renew the contract, the deposit will be returned provided, the unpaid bills and deductions for repairs have been made. 

When it comes to the duration of contract, the landlord assumes that the contract has been renewed if the tenant stays in the unit 15 days after the contract has expired. The landlord will furnish a new copy of the contract but with a different term. However, if you are in the lower end of the market, both parties rely on oral contracts. In this case, the landlord has the right to eject a tenant if they fail to pay the rent for three months. Most landlords do not allow subleasing and a violation of which will also be a ground for ejection. If the landlord decides to use the property, the tenant will be given three months' formal notice to vacate the place. 

Problems involving landlords and tenants are usually mediated by town tribunals. Matters will be taken to court if they have not been resolved at the town level. You may also refer to the Civil Code of the Philippines to know the general guideline for the conditions of lease of urban and rural lands. The guidelines can be found in Articles 1654-1688. 

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 3 of 8 Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act

Republic Act 10906 or an "An An act providing stronger measures against unlawful practices, businesses, and schemes of matching and offering Filipinos to foreign nationals for purposes of marriage or common law partnership, repealing for the purpose republic act no. 6955, also referred to as the 'anti-mail order bride law'" is one of the new laws under Duterte administration. This law penalizes an individual engaging in business which involves offering Filipino to foreigners for marriage or common law partnership. Anyone who violates this law will be penalized with 15 years of imprisonment. The person will also pay at least P500,000 thousand pesos as fine. 

Sec. 3. Prohibited Acts - It shall be unlawful for any person, whether natural or juridical, to commit, directly or indirectly, any of the following acts:

a) Engage in any business or scheme for money, profit, material, economic or other consideration which has for its purpose the matching or offering of a Filipino to a foreign nationals for marriage or common law partnership on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction, email, or websites on the internet. 

b) Exhibit, advertise, publish, print, or distribute, or cause the exhibition, advertisement, publication, printing, or distribution of brochures, flyers, or propaganda materials which are calculated to promote the prohibited acts in the preceding paragraph, or to post, advertise, or upload such materails through websites on the internet;

c) Solicit, enlist, or in any manner, attract, or induce any Filipino to become a member in any club or association whose objective is to match Filipino nationals to foreign nationals for the purpose of marriage or common law partnership for a fee; and

d) To use the postal service or any website on the internet to promote the prohibited acts under this section. 

The above notwithstanding, legitimate dating websites, which have for their purpose connecting individuals with shared interests in order to cultivate personal and dating relationships, are not covered by this Act. 

Grounds For Termination Of Employment

Being terminated from employment is one of the most unfortunate events that can happen in an employee's life. Termination may be inevitable especially if the company decides to cut labor cost by means of reducing the number of workers. However, termination also becomes a choice when employees neglect their duties, causing them to fall short of the employer's standard and expectations. Here are different grounds for termination: 

Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

  1. Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work; 
  2. Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
  3. Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;
  4. Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and
  5. Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

Art. 284. Disease as ground for termination. An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.

Art. 285. Termination by employee.

An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages. 

An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes: 

  1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee; 
  2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
  3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and
  4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

Art. 286. When employment not deemed terminated. The bona-fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.

Damage To Property: What Crime Do You Commit?

Perhaps you have that one neighbor you really cannot stand because of their behavior. Whether they create noise pollution or they are plain annoying, there are instances when enough is enough. You may have surely reached your boiling point when your neighbors have caused damage to your property. However, making your neighbor pay for the damages is easier said than done. How can a person be held liable for the crime? What law does he or she violate?


Art. 327. Who are liable for malicious mischief. — Any person who shall deliberately cause the property of another any damage not falling within the terms of the next preceding chapter shall be guilty of malicious mischief.

Art. 328. Special cases of malicious mischief. — Any person who shall cause damage to obstruct the performance of public functions, or using any poisonous or corrosive substance; or spreading any infection or contagion among cattle; or who cause damage to the property of the National Museum or National Library, or to any archive or registry, waterworks, road, promenade, or any other thing used in common by the public, shall be punished:

1. By prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the damage caused exceeds 1,000 pesos;

2. By arresto mayor, if such value does not exceed the abovementioned amount but it is over 200 pesos; and

3. By arresto menor, in such value does not exceed 200 pesos.

Art. 329. Other mischiefs. — The mischiefs not included in the next preceding article shall be punished:

1. By arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the damage caused exceeds 1,000 pesos;

2. By arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if such value is over 200 pesos but does not exceed 1,000 pesos; and

3. By arresto menor or fine of not less than the value of the damage caused and not more than 200 pesos, if the amount involved does not exceed 200 pesos or cannot be estimated.

Art. 330. Damage and obstruction to means of communication. — The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon any person who shall damage any railway, telegraph or telephone lines.

If the damage shall result in any derailment of cars, collision or other accident, the penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed, without prejudice to the criminal liability of the offender for the other consequences of his criminal act.

For the purpose of the provisions of the article, the electric wires, traction cables, signal system and other things pertaining to railways, shall be deemed to constitute an integral part of a railway system.

Art. 331. Destroying or damaging statues, public monuments or paintings. — Any person who shall destroy or damage statues or any other useful or ornamental public monument shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period.

Any person who shall destroy or damage any useful or ornamental painting of a public nature shall suffer the penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 2 of 8 Mandatory Subtitles

Most people consider watching TV as a valuable source of information and a popular form of entertainment. Whether you want to watch local or international news, telenovelas, cartoons, gameshows and whatnot, the television has so much to offer. However, some who suffer from hearing loss or hearing impairment will not be able to enjoy what they are watching. This is why the new law requiring TV stations to include subtitles will make it easier for the deaf community to understand what they are watching. Republic Act No. 10509 or "An act requiring all franchise holders or operators of television stations and producers of television programs to broadcast or present programs with closed captions options, and for other purposes". 

The act will exempt the following:

(a) Public service announcements that are shorter than ten (10) minutes;

(b) Programs shown in the early morning hours from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.;

(c) Programs that are primarily textual in nature; and

(d) When compliance would be economically burdensome.

Section 4. Penalties.— Any franchise holder or operator of television stations and producer of television programs who shall violate the provisions of this Act shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty thousand pesos (₱50.000.00) but not more than one hundred thousand pesos (₱100,000.00) or by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than one (1) year, or both, at the discretion of the court.

In case the offender is a corporation, partnership or association, or any other juridical person, the president, manager, administrator, or person-in-charge of the management of the business who knowingly and willfully voted or assented or acted with bad faith and gross negligence to the unlawful act punishable under this Act shall be liable therefor. In addition, the license or permit to operate its business shall be cancelled.

Section 5. Implementing Rules and Regulations.— The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, in consultation with the National Telecommunications Commission and other concerned agencies and entities, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations within one hundred twenty (120) days from the effectivity date of this Act, including guidelines and applications of exemption, system of warnings, penalties and appeals, and monitoring and compliance.

Alarms And Scandals: How Do You Commit Such A Crime?

I was skimming through a series of bar exam question samples and one question that caught my eye was about alarms and scandals. The question was: Supposed a woman rented a condo unit equipped with indoor swimming pool. One evening, the woman decided to take a swim naked. Although the pool is situated in a private location, people who are renting other units can still get a good view of the woman swimming in her birthday suit. Some people were feasting their eyes and others were taking pictures. Others took offense to the view of the naked woman. Is skinny dipping violating the law on alarms and scandals? For us to know whether or not the woman has violated the law, we need to take a look at the situations in which the crime of alarms and scandals is committed. 

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.

Alarms and scandals are crimes of disturbance. It has to do with bringing disturbance to public peace. Scandalous acts deemed offensive to good customs, morals and public policy are considered as crimes of disturbance. Note that the crime is committed if it is disturbing the peace in public nature. Now going back to the question, is the woman guilty of committing the crime of disturbance?

In the case of going skinny dipping, while the act may seem to be insensitive, it does not necessarily mean it is illegal. While the act caught other people's attention, the pool is situated in a private location. The act was not for everyone's viewing pleasure. Although there were people checking out the woman going skinny dipping, the woman had no intention to cause disturbance. The woman was merely enjoying the water and not to entice other people into ravishing her forms. 

How Does A Person Violate Anti-Fencing Law?

You may have already encountered a person offering you goods and because of an attractive offer, you agree to buying the item at a much cheaper price. However, the item you purchased was stolen and when you were confronted by the real owner of the item, your defense was that you had no idea it was stolen. In this case, are you going to be considered guilty of violating Anti-fencing law? 

Section 3. Penalties. Any person guilty of fencing shall be punished as here under indicated:

(a) The penalty of prision mayor, if the value of the property involved is more than 12,000 pesos but not exceeding 22,000 pesos; if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, the penalty shall be termed reclusion temporal and the accessory penalty pertaining thereto provided in the Revised Penal Code shall also be imposed.

(b) The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the property robbed or stolen is more than 6,000 pesos but not exceeding 12,000 pesos.

(c) The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the property involved is more than 200 pesos but not exceeding 6,000 pesos.

(d) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if the value of the property involved is over 50 pesos but not exceeding 200 pesos.

(e) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period if such value is over five (5) pesos but not exceeding 50 pesos.

(f) The penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period if such value does not exceed 5 pesos.

Section 4. Liability of Officials of Juridical Persons. If the fence is a partnership, firm, corporation or association, the president or the manager or any officer thereof who knows or should have known the commission of the offense shall be liable.

Section 5. Presumption of Fencing. Mere possession of any good, article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.

Section 6. Clearance/Permit to Sell/Used Second Hand Articles. For purposes of this Act, all stores, establishments or entities dealing in the buy and sell of any good, article item, object of anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier thereof, shall before offering the same for sale to the public, secure the necessary clearance or permit from the station commander of the Integrated National Police in the town or city where such store, establishment or entity is located. The Chief of Constabulary/Director General, Integrated National Police shall promulgate such rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section. Any person who fails to secure the clearance or permit required by this section or who violates any of the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall upon conviction be punished as a fence. 

Section 7. Repealing Clause. All laws or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 8. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect upon approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.


Pursuant to Section 6 of Presidential Decree No. 1612, known as the Anti-Fencing Law, the following rules and regulations are hereby promulgated to govern the issuance of clearances/permits to sell used secondhand articles obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier thereof:

I. Definition of Terms

1. "Used secondhand article" shall refer to any goods, article, item, object or anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier, regardless of whether the same has actually or in fact been used.

2. "Unlicensed dealer/supplier" shall refer to any persons, partnership, firm, corporation, association or any other entity or establishment not licensed by the government to engage in the business of dealing in or of supplying the articles defined in the preceding paragraph.

3. "Store", "establishment" or "entity" shall be construed to include any individual dealing in the buying and selling used secondhand articles, as defined in paragraph hereof.

4. "Buy and Sell" refer to the transaction whereby one purchases used secondhand articles for the purpose of resale to third persons.

5. "Station Commander" shall refer to the Station Commander of the Integrated National Police within the territorial limits of the town or city district where the store, establishment or entity dealing in the buying and selling of used secondhand articles is located.

II. Duty to Procure Clearance or Permit

1. No person shall sell or offer to sell to the public any used secondhand article as defined herein without first securing a clearance or permit for the purpose from the proper Station Commander of the Integrated National Police.

2. If the person seeking the clearance or permit is a partnership, firm, corporation, or association or group of individuals, the clearance or permit shall be obtained by or in the name of the president, manager or other responsible officer-in-charge thereof.

3. If a store, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other establishment or entity has a branch or subsidiary and the used secondhand article is acquired by such branch or subsidiary for sale to the public, the said branch or subsidiary shall secure the required clearance or permit.

4. Any goods, article, item, or object or anything of value acquired from any source for which no receipt or equivalent document evidencing the legality of its acquisition could be presented by the present possessor or holder thereof, or the covering receipt, or equivalent document, of which is fake, falsified or irregularly obtained, shall be presumed as having been acquired from an unlicensed dealer or supplier and the possessor or holder thereof must secure the required clearance or permit before the same can be sold or offered for sale to the public.

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 1 of 8 Stricter Anti-Carnapping Law

Carnapping is one of the crimes in the Philippines that the government is still trying to combat considering the fact that there are still many unsolved criminal cases that need extra attention. Law enforcers have now implemented stricter rules with the new anti-carnapping act 2016. Republic Act No. 10883 or the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2016 aims to implement harsher rules and penalties. 

Approved by former president Benigno S. Aquino III on July 17, 2016, this law will be keen on identifying violators of the law. 

Setion 3. Carnapping; Penalties.- Carnapping is the taking, with the intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter's consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things. 

Any person who is found guilty of carnapping shall, regardless of the value of the motor vehicle taken, be punished by imprisonment for not less than twenty (20) years and one (1) day but not more than thirty (30) years, when the carnapping is committed without violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things; and by imprisonment for not less than (30) years and one (1) day but not more than forty (40) years, when the carnapping is committed by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things; and the penalty of life imprisonment shall be imposed when the owner, driver, or occupant of teh carnapped motor vehicle is killed or raped in the commission of the carnapping.

Any person charged with carnapping or when the crime of carnapping is committed by criminal groups, gangs or syndicates or by means of violence or intimidation of any person or persons or forced upon things; or when the owner, driver, passenger or occupant of the carnapped vehicle is killed or raped in the course of carnapping shall be denied bail when the evidence of guilt is strong.  

Section 4. Concealment of Carnapping - Any person who conceals carnapping shall be punished with imprisonment of six (6) years up to twelve (12) years and a fine equal to the amount of the acquisition cost of the motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, or any other part involved in the violation; Provided, that if the person violation any provision of this Act is a juridical person, the penalty herein provided shall be imposed on its president, secretary, and/or members of the board of directors or any of its officers and employees who may have directly participated in the violation. 

Any public official or employee who directly commits unlawful acts defined in this Act or is guilty of gross negligence of duty or connives with or permits the commission of any of the said unlawful acts shall, in addition to the penalty prescribed in the preceding paragraph, be dismissed from the service, and his/her benefits forfeited and shall be permanently disqualified from holding public office. 

Using Privileged Communication As a Defense To Libel

Libel is defined by Art. 252 of the Revised Penal Code as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or 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.

Unlike slander, a person is liable for the crime of libel by means of printing, writing, engraving, or radio and other similar means. These days, media has been instrumental to the widespread of information or sometimes, misinformation. Be it in politics, business, health and whatnot, it plays a huge role in influencing people especially during the 2016 Presidential Election. While most people already know who to root for, a small fraction of voters were still undecided. In this case, they rely heavily on the information they obtain from radio, television and even social media. 

Under Art. 355, libel by means of 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 prisión 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.

Election was also a time for mudslinging and because of this, some decided voters were not yet immune to persuasion. Public figures who want to protect their reputation bring matters to court. Media men who are accused of libel will often use Doctrine of Absolute Privileged Communication as a defense to libel. It is interesting to note that this defense needs to meet the requirement of publicity. 

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.

Senator Eyes To Penalize Facebook To End Fake News Proliferation

Facebook is a social media platform with many purposes. Aside from connecting with loved ones or catching up with friends, it is also a place for speaking one's mind and obtaining a wealth of information. However, it comes with a caveat because it has recently become a breeding ground for half-baked stories and fake news. Aside from fake news, keyboard warriors are also on the look out for someone who is on the other side of the fence. 

Fake news is said to spread digital mayhem. With multitudes of users sharing fake news every day, a senator just cannot turn a blind eye on it. Senator Francis Pangilinan wants to put a lid on spreading fake news by penalizing Facebook because of allowing misinformation to mislead users. 

Is this even a viable option? The idea is tongue-in-cheek considering the fact that any user can feign everything so long as they hide behind the Facebook curtains. Simply put, if you left your door open and a burglar broke into your house, would you pin the blame on your door when burglary occurred because of human error? 

Fake news exists because people continue to read them. At the end of the day, it all boils down to our personal choices. It is not just Facebook, it can be the demons squatting on our shoulder. The thought of penalizing Facebook is so far-fetched. Educate users about social media etiquette before anything else. Let Republic Act 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 be a reminder to think before you click.


SEC. 4. Cybercrime Offenses. — The following acts constitute the offense of cybercrime punishable under this Act:

(a) Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems:

(1) Illegal Access. – The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right.

(2) Illegal Interception. – The interception made by technical means without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data.

(3) Data Interference. — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

(4) System Interference. — The intentional alteration or reckless hindering or interference with the functioning of a computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right or authority, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

(5) Misuse of Devices.

(i) The use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution, or otherwise making available, without right, of:

(aa) A device, including a computer program, designed or adapted primarily for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act; or

(bb) A computer password, access code, or similar data by which the whole or any part of a computer system is capable of being accessed with intent that it be used for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act.

(ii) The possession of an item referred to in paragraphs 5(i)(aa) or (bb) above with intent to use said devices for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this section.

(6) Cyber-squatting. – The acquisition of a domain name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same, if such a domain name is:

(i) Similar, identical, or confusingly similar to an existing trademark registered with the appropriate government agency at the time of the domain name registration:

(ii) Identical or in any way similar with the name of a person other than the registrant, in case of a personal name; and

(iii) Acquired without right or with intellectual property interests in it.

(b) Computer-related Offenses:

(1) Computer-related Forgery. —

(i) The input, alteration, or deletion of any computer data without right resulting in inauthentic data with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were authentic, regardless whether or not the data is directly readable and intelligible; or

(ii) The act of knowingly using computer data which is the product of computer-related forgery as defined herein, for the purpose of perpetuating a fraudulent or dishonest design.

(2) Computer-related Fraud. — The unauthorized input, alteration, or deletion of computer data or program or interference in the functioning of a computer system, causing damage thereby with fraudulent intent: Provided, That if nodamage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower.

(3) Computer-related Identity Theft. – The intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether natural or juridical, without right: Provided, That if no damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower.

(c) Content-related Offenses:

(1) Cybersex. — The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.

(2) Child Pornography. — The unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a computer system: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775.

(3) Unsolicited Commercial Communications. — The transmission of commercial electronic communication with the use of computer system which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services are prohibited unless:

(i) There is prior affirmative consent from the recipient; or

(ii) The primary intent of the communication is for service and/or administrative announcements from the sender to its existing users, subscribers or customers; or

(iii) The following conditions are present:

(aa) The commercial electronic communication contains a simple, valid, and reliable way for the recipient to reject. receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from the same source;

(bb) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely disguise the source of the electronic message; and

(cc) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely include misleading information in any part of the message in order to induce the recipients to read the message.

(4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.