Monthly Archives: May 2005

Blogloop

I was busy reading other people’s blogs. Then a thought dawned on me. Can I navigate back to by own blogsite using only the blogrolls/links of my blog-friends? Can I form a “blogloop”?

The answer would be an obvious yes, simply because most of the blogs I read and link have linked me back. But the rule is, you have to use the blogrolls (or links page). If the blog has none, then it’s a dead end.

But I had to verify this theory. Also, how long would the chain be?

Initially, I counted 14 blogs long. Of course, it could be longer if I give this more attention.

Here’s my initial “blogloop”:

Punzi
Flisha
Jaleesa
Barenaked
Jeff Vergara
Ron Allan
The J Spot
Bambit
Sam
Prada Mama
Jove
Major Tom
Bing (Warmstone)
Teacher Sol
Alan Joesel
Punzi

Ironically, I had to pull out the old reliable “pencil and paper” for this one.

I think the more accurate term for this is a “blogchain” because it comprises of “links” (get it?).

How about you? How long a “blogloop” can you form? I’m sure it’s longer than this. Or are you thinking, “I have better things to do…”

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What are you “jueteng” for?

My, my, my! How the plot thickens

A word to the beleaguered family. Your counterclaims of “destabilization,” “sedition” and “undermining” are just as well-worn as your adversaries’ alleged tactics. I’m guessing tomorrow, you’ll let out the attack dogs to threaten everyone with prosecution. If that happens, I’m going to post a big “SEE, I WAS RIGHT!” tomorrow.

Now is simply the time to meet the issue head on. How you deal with it may define your days in power. Putting on the chiller with threats of suit may just work in the opposite and instead, fan the flames.

Good thing Miss Universe is on tomorrow. With the Filipino’s legendary short-term memory, this issue may be skirted. Those who can, please vote for our Miss Philippines, Gionna Cabrera, here.

Later…

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Kids’ Update

Seeing the blog of The Prada Mama and how lovely her little angels are, I decided to update you on how my kids are doing. Never mind me, I’m busy as the proverbial bee with work. But somehow, I still find the time to post entries everyday. And I even have some “canned” posts ready for publication, just in case I run out of things to say someday…

My kids are doing fine. Bea, my eldest, only has a week to go before her summer vacation ends. She will be Grade I this June. From what I hear, elementary school today is murder. In my day, there was no “child stress syndrome” and the stuff they teach kids at this age today is so advanced for my taste. I always joked that at the rate the kids are going now, they would not want to attend college anymore.

I also have to furnish her school a copy of my custody order so that she will not be disturbed by that girl in school. Anyway, I can always rely on my sister to guard her there. It’s so reassuring to have a court order, don’t you think? But then again, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance…

She also figured in her first Santacruzan. It’s probably not the last. I have the pictures in my Flickr photo sharing account if you’re interested. Just click the Zeitgeist below.

Nico is also doing fine and I always see some sort of development (motor, physical and even personality) in him everyday. He never ceases to amaze me everyday with his new “antics.” Plus, he’s getting to be more affectionate and hence, more amiable and likeable (lovable).

Only problem is that her nanny is leaving permanently this June and her two other “ates” have “volunteered” to step up to the task (so they can share the nanny’s wages, of course) so I would not have to find a replacement. I basically don’t agree with this new set up but I’m willing to take this as far as it could go. I don’t have the capacity now to increase their pay any other way. Of course, I made it clear that Nico and Bea’s well being are the paramount concern so I will find a replacement immediately if problems occur. On the other hand, though, Bea’s extended hours in school means she’ll need lesser attention from them, anyway. Scholastic attention, I can share with my mom (a retired public school teacher with a career of 40 plus years). No problem in that front.

Well, I basically covered all fronts coming into the school season. Of course, I sometimes think my children could use a mother (but not their mother, mind you) at this point in time. But with a mother like that girl, it’s better they don’t have one. Oh well…

And no, I’m not shopping around for any “mother” candidates now or anytime soon…I’m contented with our present situation so why complicate it?

But I know, we’ll manage in the end, even if I had to take care of them all myself and run a decent law practice at the same time.

In a way, though, I also feel bad for Nico. He does not realize it yet, but the one that mainly takes care of his day-to-day mundane needs is leaving in a few days. But then again, there are people who will stay with him no matter what. Us.

Finally, the so-called “second”visit of that girl is coming up in about two weeks. Judging from the so-called “first” visit, this second visit will have the same results. A no-show.

But just in case she does visit, I was thinking of setting-up my webcam into some sort of surveillance/time lapse system to monitor the visit. Can anyone help me in this regard?

Later…

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Addicted to Vicks…

Blogging is but the newest of my addictions…

Sure, we all have our own little addictions. To some, it’s the vices (sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.) which is bad. Some have good vices (oxymoronic?). To some, it’s gaming, chatting, friendster, surfing, etc.

But I have an addiction that I had since high school. Sniffing Vicks Vaporub.

I have a big jar near my bed for easy access. You can see easily it in the picture of my laptop posted in my friendster account. As a matter of fact, there is also a small vicks container there that I take everywhere I go. And I’m actually sniffing it while blogging right now…

In fact, I immediately buy one from anywhere if I forgot to bring it with me. My high school classmates know this so well that they looked for my Vicks during our 10th anniversary reunion in 1997… Clients are not offended. In fact, they borrow my Vicks whenever they see me using it.

Mind you, I know I’m not alone in this addiction. During our family reunion last Christmas, I went up to the mic and asked, “If you have a Vicks container, please raise it up.” Half the people there raised their Vicks. Genetic and/or hereditary… Some people even raised their “White Flowers.”

Now that’s really hardcore addiction!

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A Blog-lecture on Philippine law

I’m going to do something different today. I’m going to merge my two current activities (namely lawyering and blogging) in this one blog. I believe I’m doing what La Vida Lawyer said he could do, but actually did’nt. He said he could give you this lecture. Of course he can. But I’m actually going to give it to you.

This will probably by the first of many. My first law blog-lecture.

Of course, I will not lecture my entire law school curriculum here. Just those useful to bloggers. And of course, I can only cover Philippine laws. So are you ready class? Let us begin.

A Blog-lecture on Libel

Introduction/Definition:

Libel is defined in Article 353 of the Philippine Revised Penal Code as follows:

A libel is a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act or 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.

For an imputation then to be libelous, hence criminal, the following requisites must concur:

(a) it must be defamatory;
(b) it must be malicious;
(c) it must be given publicity; and
(d) the victim must be identifiable.

By requisites, we mean, all of these must be present in any potential case for libel. Hence, there is no libel of any one of these is absent.

Let us tackle each requisite in seriatim (one after another, in series):

1. Defamatory Imputation

According to Article 353, a defamatory imputation attributes to any legal person (natural or jurdical; alive or dead), any of the following (aka, let’s break it down…):

a. a crime (ex. Mr. X is an estafador, a murderer or [insert your favorite crime here];

b. a vice (ex. Ms. I is an alcoholic, a drug addict, a compulsive gambler, etc.)

c. a defect (ex. Mr. Z’s has only four toenails, or has low sperm count)

d. any act or ommission (ex. Mr. S does/does not donate to the sperm bank, Mr. E conned me out of 50 bucks, etc.)

e. a condition (ex. Mr. MT is pscho, OC or AR)

f. a status (ex. Mr. BF is a bar/board-flunker, an ex-con or an ex-convento)

g. a circumstance (ex. Ms. BK’s car got repossessed, etc.)

that tends to cause the one defamed dishonor, discredit, or contempt. If the person is dead, the foregoing tends to blacken his memory.

The important thing is the effect. If such imputation tends to the dishonor, discredit or contempt, or if the person is dead, tends to blacken his memory, the imputation is defamatory.

The characterization of a statement being defamatory is likewise important because of the next portion.

2. Malicious Intent

There is malice when the author of the imputation is prompted by personal ill-will or spite and speaks not in response to duty but merely to injure the reputation of the person who claims to have been defamed.

Under Philippine laws, every defamatory imputation as stated above is presumed to be malicious, even if true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. Hence, if the imputation is qualified under No. 1, malice is presumed and need not be proven. The burden, then, to prove that it is not malicious shifts to the one accused (the one who made the defamatory imputation).

Truth is therefore not a defense, unless it is shown that the matter charged as libelous was made with good motives and for justifiable ends. Article 361 of the Revised Penal Code provides, in part, as follows:

“ART. 361. Proof of truth. — In every criminal prosecution for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the court and if it appears that the matter charged as libelous is true, and, moreover, that it was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the defendant shall be acquitted.”

This presumtion is not applicable to all cases. In the following situations, however, malice, is not presumed and must, therefore, be also proved to make a libel case:

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.

The privileged character of these communications is not absolute, but merely qualified since they could still be shown to be malicious by proof of actual malice or malice in fact. Here, the burden of proof to prove malice is on the plaintiff or the prosecution.

3. Publication

Publication means “to make public; to make known to people in general; to bring before the public.” In the Philippines, the act of communicating the imputation to a third person already constitutes publication. In letters and correspondences, the cc: is enough to be considered publication.

Specifically put, publication in the law of libel means the making known of the defamatory matter, after it has been written, to some person other than the person of whom it is written. If the statement is sent straight to a person of whom it is written, there is no publication of it.

Putting it out in a blog is definitely publication because third persons definitely read it.

The reason for this is a communication of the defamatory matter to the person defamed cannot injure his reputation though it may wound his self-esteem.

What is punished in libel is the destruction of his reputation, what others think of him and not what he thinks of himself (his self-esteem). The only way that is accomplished is by attacking his good name in public.

4. The person defamed must be identified

Face it. The only way ruin one’s reputation to actually identify the person. Each person’s reputation is unique. If the character attack is general (all/some generals/government officials/[insert your favorite character] are corrupt/immoral/etc.), there is really no particular reputation destroyed. Hence, to prove libel the victim thereof must be identified.

Remember, identified does not equal named. If the description is precise enough that people will make no mistake or reasonably conclude that it is a particular person, there is already identification even if no names were mentioned.

The principles of libel become a little bit more complicated when the victim is a public official. That will have to wait for another blog…next time.

*(taken/derrived mostly from the Supreme Court case Alonzo vs. CA, GR. No. 110088, 01 February 1995 that quotes other cases)

But at this point, do you have any questions class?

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Starstruck…

No matter who you are, you always fail to find the right words when faced with people you idolize.

Yes, I mean, this even applies to me despite attending college twice. (Once for pre-law and the second for law proper, or “Juris Doctor” as conferred upon me).

Despite being a new lawyer way back in 1996 (hey! That’s almost ten years ago…), I was already working for a good half year and was being introduced as a lawyer by the firm I was working for before I even passed the bar (That was scary…what if I didn’t pass?…). One of my first assignments as a newbie lawyer was Assistant Corporate Secretary for our firm’s client, a famous beach resort (where Angelo just spent his vacation on).

As it was a class resort (then a membership club), I was given the royal treatment during my first visit. I mean the works! Free food (always my weakness), amiable and nubile hosts (they were so pretty to look at and some of them are still my friends) and a helicopter ride to the resort!

(An aside: That resort is a four-hour drive from Quezon City, maybe three hours now given the North Luzon Expensiveway. But with a helicopter, you’re there in 15 minutes from Makati! The trip was so short that once, a group left that resort by land at 2:30 pm. We left at about a quarter to 5:00 pm. by helicopter. When I arrived at the law school where I committed to play for that year’s bar reviewees, they were utterly surprized when I said I just arrived from that resort fifteen minutes ago. The ones that left by land were still probably somewhere in the Pampanga that time…Helicopter rides are fantastic, but so scary…)

Now on to the main story. I arrived during the time Michael Biehn and Adrian Paul were shooting a movie nearby and hence, were billeted there. Forget Mr. Biehn, I’ve been following Highlander: the Series back in law school! Since I did not have the time to watch TV during weekdays, I “acquired” the appropriate degree to program my VCR and tape this show. Then, I watch a month’s supply per sitting.

Here I was, standing mere inches away from someone I have only seen (and admired) on TV…There he looked on the thin side. In person, he was a well-built and tall man, with pecs that would make beauty queens insecure about their chests. And he really knew martial arts, not merely acting that he knows.

So the host introduced me to Adrian Paul, and he was so friendly. “Hi, Punzi,” he said. (Of course he said my first name, but I don’t want to say it here….)

Literally looking up to him in utter shock, what did I say in reply?

“Loved you in Highlander!”

OMG! He slowly backed away, probably thinking I was actually “in love” with him. Well, of course not! But that only goes to show (from personal experience) that even a lawyer who uses words for a living cannot find the correct words to say when starstruck…

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Do the math…

There is a serious question that bugs my mind…

How can a President, who probably earns less than a junior executive in a bank, in an economy that is suffering last year and still continues to suffer, given also a world economy under the same hole actually EARN money during these times? She must probably be a financial genius!
I just hope our President transplants her secrets to this personal financial success into the Philippine economy. That’s what we are paying her to do.

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