Monday, December 22, 2008

Law School Partying: Curiously Awesome

Last December 18, 2008, my friends from SBC Law & I went to attend a party sponsored by the Law School Government. It was a Gossip Girl themed party. The male to female ratio was really surprising, deflecting from the fact that the law profession is purely dominated by the male species. Besides, what’s the use of a Gossip Girl theme if all the attendees were bro’s. Big Bry was also spinning that night so we’re also there for support.

I never expect this side of law school to be so much fun. Events such as this give us more than just a break from studying and digesting cases--- these events enable us to get to know the fun side of the community we thrive in as law students. Hey, we can’t be serious all the time.

Study hard, party harder!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Can you Dig’ Boorish UP Products?

The "Can You Dig’ It?" series is this blogger’s attempt in hitting the ratio decidendi of a particular case decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. This series of self-authored compendiums is this blogger’s way of suppressing the rigorous life in law school.

Atty. Melvin D.C. Mane vs. Judge Medel Arnaldo B. Belen
June 30, 2008
Carpio Morales, J.

An alumnus of a particular law school has no monopoly of knowledge of the law.
Supreme Court of the Philippines


This case involves a Calamba City regional Trial Court judge who told a lawyer that since the latter is not a product of the UP College of Law, they could not be equals.

In the court proceedings last February 27, 2006, Belen boorishly asked Melvin Mane, the petitioner, if he graduated from the UP College of Law. The petitioner replied that he graduated from Manuel L. Quezon University and was proud of it.

The judge then responded: “Then you’re not from UP. Then you cannot equate yourself to me because there is a saying and I know this, not all law students are created equal, not all law schools are created equal, not all lawyers are created equal despite what the Supreme Being [said] that we all are created equal in His form and substance.

During the subject hearing, not only did the respondent judge make insulting and demeaning remarks to the petitioner but also engaged in unnecessary lecturing and debating. Belen even directed a court employee to show Mane the judge’s statements of assets and liabilities, among others.

Mane filed an administrative complaint shortly after the incident, and the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) found cause to file an administrative case, although the lawyer later withdrew the complaint, admitting his “impulsiveness.” The OCA declared that the withdrawal or desistance of a complainant from pursuing an administrative complaint does not divest the Court of its disciplinary authority over court officials and personnel.

The issue at hand here is plainly whether or not the statements and actions made by the respondent judge during the subject hearing constitute conduct unbecoming of a judge and a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

The Court held Judge Medel Arnaldo Belen GUILTY of conduct unbecoming of a judge. Respondent clearly went out of bounds.

An alumnus of a particular law school has no monopoly of knowledge of the law. By hurdling the Bar Examinations which this Court administers, taking of the Lawyer’s oath, and signing of the Roll of Attorneys, a lawyer is presumed to be competent to discharge his functions and duties as an officer of the court, irrespective of where he obtained his law degree. For a judge to determine the fitness or competence of a lawyer primarily on the basis of his alma mater is clearly an engagement in an argumentum ad hominem.

The Court cited Belen’s violation of Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which mandates that a judge should be courteous to counsel, especially to those who are young and inexperienced and also to all those others appearing or concerned in the administration of justice in the court. He should be courteous and civil, for it is unbecoming of a judge to utter intemperate language during the hearing of a case. He should not interrupt counsel in their arguments except to clarify his mind as to their positions. Nor should he be tempted to an unnecessary display of learning or premature judgment. He may utilize his opportunities to criticize and correct unprofessional conduct of attorneys, brought to his attention, but he may not do so in an insulting manner.

A judge’s official conduct and his behavior in the performance of judicial duties should be free from the appearance of impropriety and must be beyond reproach. He must at all times be temperate in his language for the noble position in the bench demands courteous speech in and out of the Court.

Respondent judge’s insulting statements which tend to question complainant’s capability and credibility stemming from the fact that the latter did not graduated from UP Law school is clearly unwarranted and inexcusable. Respondent opted for a conceited display of arrogance, a conduct that falls below the standard of decorum expected of a judge. If Belen felt that there is a need to admonish complainant Atty. Mane, he should have called him in his chambers where he can advise him privately rather than battering him with insulting remarks and embarrassing questions such as asking him from what school he came from publicly in the courtroom and in the presence of his clients. Humiliating a lawyer is highly reprehensible. It betrays the judge’s lack of patience and temperance. A highly temperamental judge could hardly make decisions with equanimity.

The Court also reminded Belen that judges should always be aware that disrespect to lawyers generates disrespect to them. There must be mutual concession of respect. Respect is not a one-way ticket where the judge should be respected but free to insult lawyers and others who appear in his court. Patience is an essential part of dispensing justice and courtesy is a mark of culture and good breeding.

Respondent Judge was REPRIMANDED and was further warned that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can you Dig’ Piracy?

The “Can You Dig’ It?” series is this blogger’s attempt in hitting the ratio decidendi of a particular case decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. This series of self-authored compendiums is this blogger’s way of suppressing the rigorous life in law school.

People of the Philippine Islands vs. Lol-lo and Saraw
G.R. No. L-17958 February 27, 1922
Malcolm, J.

On or about June 30, 1920, two boats containing Dutch subjects sailed from one Dutch island to another. After navigating for a number of days, the second boat, while still on Dutch East Indies territory, was surrounded by 6 Vintas containing 24 armed Moros, which includes Lol-lo and Saraw. The Moros pretended to ask for food to board the boat. Once on the boat, they attacked some of the men, violated two of the women, and took all of the cargo. The Moros took the two women to the island of Maruro and repeatedly violated them. The two women escaped afterwards. After returning to the island of Tawi-tawi, both Lol-lo and Saraw were captured and charged with the crime of piracy.

Whether the Philippine Courts have jurisdiction over a crime that happened in the high seas

Guilty. Pirates are in law hostis humani generis. Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits. As it is against all so may it be punished by all.
Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation on the high seas, without lawful authority and done animo furandi, and in the spirit and intention of universal hostility.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Precious Adona's FHM Autograph Signing

Slim Oriental Morena Chick with Curves at the Right Places = AWESOMENESS

I attended the FHM Autograph Signing of Precious Adona at Robinson’s Movieworld in Robinson’s Galleria last May 9. The line was long and it was filled up by nerds like me (yeah right! :P).

Presh was really nice to her fans and she was the exact opposite of everything that is snobbish. She was “kalog” enough: she gestured a peace sign like a Japanese Girl whenever her picture was taken. Presh hugged and kissed her female fans. I think that was very sweet of her. And yes she was hot… she wouldn’t be a cover girl if she wasn’t noh? I don’t know what the judges of Be Bench were inhaling when they eliminated her, but hey Presh got up when she fell and right now she’s in front of a huge standing ovation. Pun not intended…

I really think she’s that type of girl you can introduce to your Mom that’s why it saddens me whenever I recall that she did “this movie” to elevate her career in showbiz. What’s even more saddening is that she had scenes in the movie with this asshole. Sigh

"So Are You..."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pilipinas: Laoag City & The Heritage Town of Paoay

The “Pilipinas” series is this blogger’s way of expressing how beautiful the Philippine Islands are. This is a detailed account of his experiences while backpacking through the majestic islands of The Pearl of the Orient.

I have always wanted to go to Ilocos Norte. The province is very rich in culture and heritage. Good thing I was able to avail of Cebu Pacific’s P1 fare. While Senator Trillanes was busy in his latest A-Class Hotel hopping, I was busy preparing for my own personal vacation. This would also be the first time I’ll be traveling with Wiks.

My flight was delayed for an hour (yes, they still get delayed). That gave me an opportunity to see what kinds of people are in the passenger waiting area. I noticed that most of those bound for Laoag City were Chinese businessmen. It seems that the article I read about Ilocos Norte as a casino haven was right after all. After flying for an hour, my plane landed on very rough tarmac.

Laoag International Airport was built from red bricks giving tourists an idea how old school the province is. Also, Ilokanos are known for crafting really nice pottery.

I boarded a jeepney after getting my baggage. Making things a little spontaneous, I decided not to book a hotel beforehand therefore missing an opportunity for a free airport transfer. The jeepney driver and his son provided me assistance in locating my preferred hotel. The driver was so nice he addressed each passenger as either “madam” or “sir.” This strengthens the notion that Ilokanos indeed are one of the nicest peeps here in the Philippines.

It was a good 15 minute ride from the airport to Laoag City proper. Before entering the town proper, you’ll be welcomed by a huge arc before the bridge. The town proper is not that huge but very urbanized compared to other provincial cities.

Because most reviews I read promoted Tiffany’s as the ideal place to stay in downtown Laoag, I decided to book there. Its proximity to the plaza is a plus. Also, there is a Jollibee nearby which is open for 24 hours. I was also excited to have breakfast there… because breakfast at Tiffany’s is always cool.

Tiffany’s interiors were frolicked with old Hollywood pictures. The rate for an overnight stay in a single room was P675. My room rained with blue, orange and purple spots. It somehow looked like a hospital room to me though.

After parking my things in the hotel, I was off to Paoay Church. On my way to the terminal, I noticed that Calesas here are quite wide. I boarded a jeepney and paid a fare of P25 to Paoay. I discovered that jeepney passengers in Ilocos Norte pay only upon arriving to their stop that’s why drivers here make sure they have enough coins for change. The ride to Paoay is approximately 35 minutes with stops at Batac Public Market, which I heard was the largest in Ilocos Norte, and General Ricarte Park.

Paoay Church is heavenly! No wonder it was classified as a heritage treasure by the UNESCO.

At the side of the church are benches made from original Paoay bricks. Behind the church is a tennis court (Ilokanos sure love to play tennis) and a basketball court. I even took a picture of Paoay hoops!

Across the road fronting the church is a souvenir shop. I bought some Ilocos Wine and tried some of its famous empanada. I found out that they use the same breading for Kwek-Kwek. I tried tuna. It took them 10 minutes to cook my order but it was all worth the time.

On my way back to Laoag, I met Vicente Ocol. He was kind enough to make a stop in front of Immaculate Conception Church in Batac for me to take a picture. He also shared a ranting about our country’s current political system and how abundant life was in Ilocos Norte during Macoy’s time. I find him very educational and will share his story on another blog post.

Manong Vicente dropped me in Laoag’s “Barangay Liga Gym” located beside the city hall. I witnessed the championship game between St. Joseph and the team wearing FEU Tamaraw-ish uniforms. I can tell you that they got game. The fans were also very supportive yet very organized. I miss that type of fan support in Pampanga.

I visited St. William’s Cathedral after the pre-Sunday mass. The lighting was superb inside which very well supported the church fa├žade. I saw some of the passengers from the morning’s flight visiting the cathedral.

Outside the church were talented skateboard junkies. The kids were about the age of 7. They reminded me when I got my first skateboard. It was then that I also realized how peaceful it is in Laoag City. If you do those skateboard stunts in the streets in Manila, you’ll get ganged up.

I was excited to try Macy’s Diner below the hotel. Unfortunately, it was too late for me to discover that restaurants here close at 8PM. I had no choice but to grab my Chickenjoy. It was a first for me to have Jollibee on my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Before I went to bed, I watched the Suns burn Superman and his Superfriends. It was an awesome first day for me.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cleaving Myself to Photographs

I love visiting malls on weekday evenings because you don’t get stressed out from the crowd. SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is no exception. Actually, it would be a perfect time to visit MOA these days because the Philippine Institute of Architects is celebrating its 75th Anniversary and is sponsoring a photo exhibit from March 12 to 15, 2008 about the rich history of Pasay City.
I am a photo hobbyist myself so seeing some old photographs provided me tips in improving my angles. There were also pictures of Pasay City’s current structures such as MOA and One Esplanade. Wonderful stained glass shots of catholic churches were also featured.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Last night, I got myself a pair of Sanuk shoes uhmm… I mean sandals because these are not shoes.

Sanuk sandals are very comfortable and very easy to wear. These are perfect since summer is just around the corner. Plus, I get to wear some surfer merchandise. Sweet!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The results are in and it’s now official: I’m returning to my Benedictine roots.

I received a superior rating with only a couple of points shy of an excellent rating. This news may be nothing for you but it is a big deal for me, especially when the other law school denied my admission last year although I know deep inside that I passed its admission tests.

The Big Guy Above always has His reasons. “Salamat po!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fine Time at San Fabian

My Pa is an ardent devotee of the Virgin of Manaoag. Last year, after he got this cool job in an oil company, Pa drove us to the famous pilgrimage site in Manaoag, Pangasinan to give thanks for all the blessings the family has received from The Big Guy above. After hearing mass and lighting our candles, we went to the nearby seaside town of San Fabian.

I have been to San Fabian before and my memories of that trip are somewhat bleak. It was during my kindergarten years when Angel Mama tagged my sister and me along in this pilgrimage trip sponsored by the Golden Babies, a parish group for ladies above fifty years of age. ‘Ma Sisa (RIP), my Grandma’s younger sister and our neighbor, invited us to join the trip. ‘Ma Sisa was also one of the prominent members of the Golden Babies. I think we went there during the rainy season. I remember this because we visited typhoon ravaged churches, one of which had its roof totally destroyed. All I can recall of San Fabian is me building sand castles and catching crabs with other kids along this long stretch of beach.

Our trip last year made me anticipate the enjoyment of coming back to a place I almost lost in my memory. Pa brought us to this spot perfect for reminiscing: San Fabian PTA Beach Resort in Barangay Bolasi.

SFPTABR was established during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos and was formerly known as “The Presidential Resthouse.” It served as a place for the first family to unwind whenever they were in the area. Because of its obvious native characteristics, the main building of the resort is much like a Bahay Kubo Hotel. I was also informed that SFPTABR also has a Presidential Suite. It’s always fascinating to imagine getting pampered in a room fit for a President.

SFPTABR also has a good share of the tourist market which is quite impressive for a simple town resort. I spotted some Caucasians having coffee at the resort’s spacious veranda. I also saw this American lady playing with the local children by the beach. At the beach entrance, there are two markers, shaped like tombs, commemorating the landing of the Japanese Troops at San Fabian Beach during World War II.

The resort also has a swimming pool near its beach front rooms. Its picnic sheds are ideal for relaxation and comfort. I took a nap in one of these. The addition of the sea breeze blowing right through your face and the soothing sound of sea waves just made napping more special. The picnic sheds are also a good venue for studying alone. I saw a girl reading her books in preparation for the Philippine Nursing Board Examinations in one of the sheds.

My return to San Fabian is just as special as the sparkle of its clear blue waters under the summer sun. It would always be nice to escape the city hustle once in awhile to enjoy the serenity of San Fabian beach. My felicitations to Pa for the experience.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The City Hall of San Fernando, Pampanga Employs Lebron James & Dwyane Wade Wannabe’s

Before 2007 came to an end, I went to our city hall to voluntarily pay our real property tax due for 2007 & 2008. As I entered the city hall, I saw cashiers staring blankly towards space. I can’t blame them for being completely useless since people usually go to the city hall to ask for help rather than to pay taxes.

I went to the helpdesk and asked for directions. The girl behind the help desk required me to log my name for every question I asked. I guess she needed proof for her quota or else she won’t get paid.

I went to the real property tax window for my payment but the guy behind it, after being disturbed from his conversation with his peers, requested me to proceed to the real property assessment office because he doesn’t have access to the official receipts issued for real property tax payments from 2006. So instead of making payments easier for the taxpayer, the city hall actually wastes taxpayer time by having an awful, or should I say terrible, document management.

In the real property assessment office, I stood in a small line to wait my turn. I was accommodated by a nice old lady whose name I forgot because she was not wearing any ID. I was there patiently waiting for my turn when D-Wade, aka The Flash, bumped me hard as he drove his paper ball to the makeshift basketball ring inside the assessment office. He was followed by King James who hit my knee as he hurriedly followed The Flash. After driving to the hoop, the former screamed "Dwyaaaaaaaannneee Waaaaaaaaadde!" I was a witness! I was pissed!

The mayor has always been criticized for hiring too many people, not to mention incompetent ones, to do redundant jobs. Witnessing such lunacy is too much for me. If these two douche bags think that playing basketball inside a government office will raise them to NBA glory then the mayor must be a real crack to hire these people. If only they had any form of identification, I swear their names would be posted in this blog entry larger than their butt-fucked assholes.