Thursday, February 21, 2008

Constructive Resignation

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The '87 Constitution provides the following passages with regard to the replacement of the Chief Executive of the Republic. Just a few words to serve as a guide in the process. Beyond these words, any act done in consideration thereof is already unconstitutional and in effect violates or amends it.


  • 1. Section 7, par.4...If at the beginning of the term of the President, the President-elect shall have died or shall have become permanently disabled, the Vice President-elect shall become President..
  • 2. Section 8. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of both the President and Vice-President, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall then act as President until the President or Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified.
Under Section 7, it allows only two instances:

1. Death- the cessation of a person's existence.
2. Permanent Disability- the incapacity to perform normal biological functions. Contemplates a condition which is unexpected or expected but cannot be avoided. Such as a 'myocardial infarction' or commonly known as a heart attack. A failure or loss of capacity to act.

In other instances, permanent disability may be viewed as a state of being unable to perform a task one is hired to do. Losing the substantial requirements. A driver, may be permanently disabled relative to his official function in case he looses a limb in an amputation operation due to diabetes. There is no way the person may recover from such a disability. The person is therefore considered as 'permanently disabled' relative to the employment functions. That's according to the established provisions under the subject of Social Legislation.

The concept of 'recovery' therefore, should be taken relative to disability.
Taking note of the disjunctive word 'OR'.
Section 8 is a recapitulating extension of Section 7. They should be viewed as a singular idea. The interpretation of the succeeding section should not go beyond what is provided as a limitation on the process. In consonance with the doctrine on 'Harmony of Laws', we cannot possibly have two conflicting provisions, one limiting and the other extending. The latter should be guided by the former unless it provides an expressed exception (I am reminded of the Devil's Dictionary).

The two concepts of 'removal from office' and 'resignation', even 'death' must be viewed under 'permanent disability'. Being its most prevailing character. Should a temporary disability be considered?

Herein lies the concept on a Temporary Leave of Absence. The result of course is that the successor will be serving in an 'acting capacity'.
Removal from Office- refers to the constitutionally provided method of impeachment. The 'Articles of Impeachment' from the lower house then the trial at the Senate completes the required stages. A conviction makes the President 'permanently disabled' to hold the position. It may also provide further disabilities to hold any other subsequent public office.
Resignation- an act of submission with a realization that one is unable to perform functions due to a permanent disability. Contemplates an act freely done in consideration of the attendant circumstances, unequivocal, declarative, honest, and based on personal choice. Consenting. An act of will, free from anything that vitiates it. Voluntary, in contrast with the nature of an impeachment which is totally involuntary.

Nixon's controversy may be viewed in this manner, he decided to resign rather than face impeachment. He cannot get away from the evidence gathered. Instead of prolonging his agony towards an evident conclusion, he realized that his acts caused him the loss of his 'moral ascendancy'. Out of respect for the Seat of the Chief Executive, his conscience told him that he no longer deserved the position he held. He was incapacitated in that manner, permanently. Due to his very own conscious acts.


So, where can there be a constructive resignation?

It could possibly exist when there is a presumption of death where the will of the public official cannot be ascertained. One scenario is when he becomes a missing person. The law has adequate provisions on the matter. Including time frames within which a judicial declaration may be sought by any party in interest.

Here, we could safely say that it could also be validly done when there is a willful abandonment of official duties without a justifiable cause.

But what if the abandonment of a duty was caused by external events which are beyond the control of the public official? Would it not constitute a force majeure? Isn't it an exempting element with regard to performing acts under the laws of Obligations and Contracts?

Liability and accountability therefore may not be properly enforced and attached under the given scenario. The external events constitutes a coercive force towards the individual will. Coercion clouds the will to act freely. Just like in a 'shotgun marriage'. Remedy comes when the coercive force has ceased to exist. The reckoning of prescriptive periods.

We also have a doctrine in law which provides that when there is no ambiguity in the provisions, when the law is plain and clear, we should not construe or interpret. We let the words and the spirit stand. Without a need for further interpolations.


The law should not be stretched to make it justify a wrong. It must be solid and stable. Otherwise, it ceases to be one and becomes a tool for evil ends. Any attempt to modify it should be resisted by all means possible.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Google Hacks

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google search engine hacks:

this search input gives mp3 file search results

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) "apocaliptica

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

exploring photoshop filters

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multiframes: filmgrain filter

glass-block filter



mini lens

Friday, February 8, 2008

Libel: Should it be decriminalized?

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The recent ascend of 'boy' Nograles to speakership in the lower house reminds me of a not so recent media incident.

A certain 'lex adonis,' through a popular AM radio broadcast, called him the 'burlesque king' for allegedly running around in a Manila hotel undressed, a very compromising situation. According to the story, the husband of his paramour caught them in bed, hence the nude scene...ha ha!

We Filipinos, indeed have a good sense of humor, lots of creative imagination (after all, what more can most of us do? or are capable of doing these days?), but when it results in a conviction of 'libel', damn! that's a different story. 'lex' now is languishing in jail on a five year sentence handed by the courts. Besides, the woman in the story, a certain news anchor for a TV station, filed a second libel case. That makes him ineligible for a grant of 'probation'.

It appears that he waived the right to defend himself for being unable to afford a lawyer and decided to go in hiding, tried in absentia, was later arrested and jailed. He accordingly receives some 7,500 pesos monthly as a commentator's salary. The government provides you a lawyer in case you can't afford one. His salary is below the required ceiling. Therefore he is qualified to have one from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO). Why was he not advised to avail of it?

A joke taken so seriously from the other end could have very nasty consequences. Just like in the said case. Every student in criminal law can tell you that nobody can be held criminally liable for a joke. Besides, being a congressman and a majority floor leader at that( now, house speaker), who would believe that it really happened? Stating the obvious, people like him never let their guard down.

Common guys! Can't you take a joke?

On the other hand, if you got rid of the regulation, that would only give rise to irresponsible journalism. A weapon mis-used for some other ends. Sana guided din sila sa limitations in the exercise of a right. They should try to discipline their own ranks. Also, an announcer should be solidarily liable with the station/corporate entity. Hindi naman kase gagawin ng employee ang isang bagay kung hindi yun in furtherance with the stations' policy. You may exercise your rights as long as it does not offend the rights of other persons. Siguro di na natin maiwasan yun, human nature is always prone to conflict, lalo na sa politics. A very dirty and dangerous game.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Movies In the Internet

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Fun how tons of movies are available for viewing in the Internet.

Websites not only offer old ones but also the latest releases. Some even offer chat rooms within a screen where we can have a virtual date with a special someone. Name it, its just a matter of search. However, is it really what we want out of the computer? Make it just another 'idiot box'?

I'm not that impressed about using the computer in such a manner. Nothing but an extension of the home entertainment center. It's not doing justice to the computer. Not quite giving it the function that it is truly capable of apart from any other machine.

I do admit there is some variation when it is brought to a level of a Virtual World. Like what I have in Kaneva , where I own a mansion and buy TV sets and program it with my play-list. While I laze in a jacuzzi having a chat with a friend. It's still entertainment taken to the nth degree spiced with a virtual room where I compose all the elements of its design based on solid primitives. That's something else. Truly magnificent!

I guess we have to let people have their way while other people may have their own way too as they see fit. It is indeed a versatile machine in a "world without strangers".

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Writ of HabeasData

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Video Documentary

A new remedy drafted by the Supreme Court. Its sole purpose is to protect individual privacy and integrity.

It is widely practiced in European states. Like the Germanic legislatures. It also has a long history in the Latin American countries.

With it comes the right to access, acquire, delete such data gathered from any automated process. It is basically a personal right. Which means that only the individual concerned may invoke its application. It has a mode of non-transferability.

It is as simple as. I want to know what kind of data is being accumulated about myself. To check its veracity and its use. BTW, does it include my access to porn sites?

ENTER FACEBOOK- Now, just recently an acquaintance in school invited me to register at the social networking site.

One thing that bothered me was its policy. According to the policy, "We may use information about you that we collect from other sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as blogs, instant messaging services and other users of Facebook, to supplement your profile."

It actually undertakes to 'datamine' all that information for transfer to their database. Some kinda "internet police structure". All done in the guise of making your "internet use safer". Crazy! It therefore takes upon itself that access rights of any user. Running counter with the provision on non-transferability nature of the habeas data writ. Through the use of technology it proposes to own all these information and worse of all claims any form of copyright related to its use.

That would be like an encroachment to another jurisdiction beyond one's domain. Unless if the domain accessed requires a prior registration with them, it appears to be highly objectionable.

What about my messenger logs? It becomes their property too? Ha haH!
The policy simply runs afoul with the writ. Meaning, it does not care about your privacy nor integrity. Which is the very evil that the writ wanted to correct.

Scary HUH?

Some Relevant Sites: