Tuesday, December 30, 2008

movies: el greco

here is a plot summary from flixter:

Plot: An epic tale of an uncompromising artist and fighter for freedom, Domenicos Theotokopoulos, known to the world as "El Greco". Set in the 16th century, El Greco's search for freedom and love ranges from the courts of Crete and Venice to Toledo in Spain. Here he is confronted by his greatest adversary: the Holy Inquisition. Never backing down in his stand against the establishment of his day, El Greco's story is one of unusual heroism, betrayal, love, and the power of one man and his creative consciousness to stand up and overcome barbarity and ignorance. An inspiration which lives on to this

during my prelaw college days in architecture, i never heard much of him(till the movie). i heard of michaelangelo( who hasn't?), with his paintings in the ceiling of sistene chapel (where pope's are elected) and being one of the several architects for st. peter's basilica in the vatican.

his personality is intriguing in the sense that he claimed "michaelangelo did not know how to paint." remember that he was a greek, resided(migrated -settled -died) in toledo, during the 'inquisition' period when spain was the only world power after the fall of the roman empire. he was in fact, commissioned to do some artworks for king philip's newly built palace.

somehow, his time affected him so much (tell me of an artist who is not) and found expression in his paintings. paintings where its figures are mis-proportioned to the point of monstrosity. a very telling sign of his time, his day and age where the religious acted as the world highest court of law. magistrates of the most high whose ulterior motives were murder and gain the wealth of jews as a result.

indeed, the illusions of religion created a separate illusion of enemy to justify its existence. however, that's an entirely different story.

Friday, December 26, 2008

reference: WHT on international law

last march 18, 2008, i made a post on "sourcing international law" which became question number one(Ib) in Political Law for the PH bar exams given last September.and which would have led to easy points( i guess that gives me some form of bragging rights..hahah)...just a single click away, the referral link at the bottom of the post gave the exact answer.

the referral link goes to answer it as follows:

How to Know the Difference Between Soft Law and Hard Law (International Law)

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

If you are studying international law, there is a little notion called "soft law" that can sometimes be confusing to understand. Here is how to tell the difference between soft law and hard law in the context of the international legal system.


  1. Learn what the terms "soft law" and "hard law" mean:
    • Soft law means commitments made by negotiating parties that are not legally binding.
    • Hard law means binding laws. To constitute law, a rule, instrument or decision must be authoritative and prescriptive. In international law, hard law includes treaties or international agreements, as well as customary laws. These instruments result in legally enforceable commitments for countries (states) and other international subjects.

  2. Familiarise yourself with the types of legal instruments that make up "hard law" in the context of the international legal system:
    • Treaties (also known as conventions or international agreements)
    • Security Council Resolutions
    • Customary international rules

  3. Familiarise yourself with the types of instruments that tend to be soft law instruments:
    • Most UN General Assembly Resolutions and Declarations (see "Tips" below)
    • Statements, principles, objectives, declarations of principles
    • Guidelines, standards
    • Action plans

  4. Be aware that while soft law is not binding in a legal sense, soft law instruments do carry some authority. Soft law instruments are negotiated in good faith by the negotiating parties who hold some expectation that the non-binding commitments will be met as much as reasonably possible. It is important to note that soft law statements often contain aspirational language that inspires reliance on them to improve policy-making in areas such as the environment, sustainable development and human rights.
  5. Realize that soft law can evolve into hard law. An important role of soft law instruments is their ability to influence the future development of hard law commitments. When analysing international law soft law instruments, keep in mind how this useful and innovative aspect of soft law can be a bridge between no commitments and legally binding commitments.


  • It is helpful to refer to Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice to see which sources of law are considered to form binding international law: treaties, custom and the general principles of international law. Also there are the two subsidiary "sources": judicial decisions and the writings of highly qualified publicists.
  • The General Assembly resolutions are often mistakenly considered binding. Resolutions that relate to "housekeeping" within the internal organisation of the General Assembly are binding on members of the Assembly but other resolutions are not legally binding per se. What is important is to examine whether or not such resolutions have legal effects arising from the subject matter or from the way they are drafted. Some countries do not agree that any legal interpretations arise out of UN GA resolutions, preferring to view them as political aspirations; other countries, however, find some UN resolutions to be authoritative interpretations of the UN Charter. It is complicated and you should do a lot of research!
  • While soft law is also creeping into domestic law, this article is only concerned with international law.


  • Remember that the term "hard law" is only used in contrast to "soft law". Don't walk around calling yourself a "hard law" lawyer. But nobody will mind if you call yourself a hard lawyer... you may not win friends but that is up to you!
  • Be aware that soft law is contentious for some international legal practitioners who do not like the term "law" being used for non-legally binding commitments. Yet, there are good reasons for it being called soft law, so the term endures. Most importantly, soft law commitments influence the creation of hard law over time and soft law instruments will often fill a policy gap while policy parameters are still being worked through.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Know the Difference Between Soft Law and Hard Law (International Law). All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, December 22, 2008

video: los angeles

issue: rights of the unborn

whereas, the constitution under article ii section 12 explicitly and expressly provides that: "...equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn at the moment of conception..." i felt it necessary to expound on the said matter.

what exactly is the right of the unborn?
does it have a right?

lets pick it up from the constitutional convention members...

The formula that is found in the second sentence of section 12 is the product of much debate. It is first of all important to understand what it does not assert. It does not say that the unborn is a legal person; nor does it deny, however, that the state under certain conditions might regard the unborn as a person. It does not assert that that the life of the unborn is placed on exactly the same level as the life of the mother. It recognizes that when necessary to save the life of the mother , it may be necessary and legitimate to sarifice the life of the unborn. It however, denies that the life of the unborn may be sacrificed merely to save the mother from emotional suffering or to spare the child from a life of poverty. The emotional trauma of a mother as well as the welfare of the child after birth ca be attended to through other means such as availing of the resource of welfare agencies. The provision , in fact, is intended primarily to prevent the state from adopting the doctrine in the United States Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade which liberalized abortion laws up to the sixth month of pregnancy by allowing abortion at the discretion of the mother anytime during the first six months when it can be done without danger to the mother.

The unborn's entitlement to protection begins "from conception," that is, from the moment of conception. The intention is to protect life from its beginning, and the assumption is that human life begins at conception and that conception takes place at fertilization. There is however no attempt to pinpoint the exact moment when conception takes place. But while the provision does not assert with certainty when human life precisely begins, it reflects the view that, in dealing with the protection of life, it is necessary to take the safer approach.

Incidentally, too, the respect for life manifested by the provision harmonizes with the abolition of the death penalty and the ban on nuclear arms.-----SOURCE: The 1987 Consti. A Commentary by Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.; pp. 77-78


1. Roe v. Wade does not legalize abortion on the first six months. The period as stated by the controversial case is during the "first trimester". It is either that the convention was mis-informed or deliberately misled.

2. The provision has the effect of over-turning the U.S. Supreme Court. Without arguments, discussion of different views, consultations , public debate and consensus which can only be properly done in the legislature. It is a very broad sweep. Congress being the repository of sovereign will. Just like the way the pope handled the collegial body tasked to study the 'humanae vitae.' The holy-ass overruled it. Typical behavioral pattern. These religious people have no respect for the democratic process. The insertion to the new provision introduces a new subject . The subject is that of the "life of the unborn". A subject which did not exist in the previous 1973 as well as the original 1935 constitutional provisions and which were eventually carried over to the present. Noting the presence of the subjects on 'family as an institution" and "the molding of youth" relative to the mandate for government support-not regulation. Bernas has even admitted that it was basically inserted to counter the possible adoption of roe v. wade in this jurisdiction. It means that Bernas stands above the U.S. Supreme Court with regard to the controversial issue. Inappropriate in the sense that its like he just turned around, pulled down his pants then showed his butt. Abhorent in the sense that it is without regard for "the rule of law." Typical manifestation of "jesuit superiority complex".

3. Abortion of the unborn is basically immoral. The perversion of government/institutions to regulate it is equally unacceptable on grounds of 'due process.' The human body must never be tampered in order to conform with society's demands. To do so, would reduce the citizen to status of an animal. We are not large cattle nor sheep to be herded. Conscience prevails in each individual. The best the government and church can do is provide support in any way possible without being coercive or intrusive towards individual dignity.
Contraception is equally repulsive-it is not a solution. It makes women objects of sexual gratification. However, considering that persons have different outlooks and must be left as a personal option. Following the doctrine of parens patria, the limitation is clear.

4. One effective way to reduce abortion is through economic sufficiency. By providing proper reforms and opportunities for personal development. Where 20% or even less of the country's elite control 80% of the resources there is no social justice. This is the root cause of most social problems. The world's resources is not unlimited. But man's greed has no bounds. The reduction in rates of abortion in the US, for example, may be attributed to government support for 'unwed' mothers in terms of benefits like tax discounts-exemptions or periodic financial allowances for the mother and child. The effectiveness of institutions.

5. Coercion of the mother to give up the child for adoption traumatizes her and leaves a stigma.

6. I strongly believe that the issue on the 'life of the unborn' deserves a separate section within the article. It should not have been inserted in such a manner as to subscribe to the narrow dogmatic prescriptions of the church. This is a patent violation on the constitutional provision for the "separation of church and state." Marriage should be viewed as a solemn agreement between man and woman or two parties. Even without the intervention of the priest. As a civil union of human beings. Otherwise to subscribe to the religious doctrine that marriage is for procreation is to follow an outdated and obsolete idea. What about gay marriages? Adoption? Don't they also result in parenting the child?

7. The section definitely deserves a re-examination, an amendment, a devolution to its original state. The insertion partakes on the nature of fraud if not trickery. A 'rider' within legislative parlance.

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist, section 16


Friday, December 5, 2008

jurisprudence: roe v. wade revisited

with the current bruhaha over proposed house bill on reproductive health, the revisiting of roe v. wade is deemed unavoidable...

chances are if the controversy goes the distance, the supreme court will have the opportunity/occasion to decide on the issue...knowing the court's inclination/penchant to resort to american jurisprudence, the case will definitely carry much weight...

legal case, decided in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court, that held unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion to be unconstitutional. In a 7–2 vote the Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision that a Texas statute criminalizing abortion in most instances violated a woman's constitutional right of privacy, which the court found implicit in the liberty guarantee of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case began in 1970 when Jane Roe (a fictional name used to protect the identity of Norma McCorvey) instituted federal action against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas county, Texas, where Roe resided. The court disagreed with Roe's assertion of an absolute right to terminate pregnancy in any way and at any time and attempted to balance a woman's right of privacy with a state's interest in regulating abortion. The court stated that only a “compelling state interest” justifies regulations limiting “fundamental rights” such as privacy and that legislators must therefore draw statutes narrowly “to express the legitimate state interests at stake.” The court then attempted to balance the state's distinct compelling interests in the health of pregnant women and in the potential life of fetuses. It placed the point after which a state's compelling interest in the pregnant woman's health would allow it to regulate abortion “at approximately the end of the first trimester” of pregnancy. With regard to fetuses, the court located that point at “capability for meaningful life outside the mother's womb,” or viability. The court held that the Texas statute was unconstitutional because of its breadth. Repeated challenges since 1973, such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), have narrowed the scope of Roe v. Wade but have yet to overturn it.


legal case, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992, that redefined several provisions regarding abortion rights as established in Roe v. Wade.

In 1988 and 1989 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, led by Governor Robert Casey, enacted new abortion statutes that required that a woman seeking an abortion give her informed consent, that a minor seeking an abortion obtain parental consent (the provision included a judicial waiver option), that a married woman notify her husband of her intended abortion, and, finally, that clinics provide certain information to a woman seeking an abortion and wait 24 hours before performing the abortion. Before any of these laws could take effect, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania brought suit against the governor, protesting the constitutionality of the statutes.

In a 1992 plurality opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the “essential holding” (i.e., the basic principle) of Roe v. Wade, that women have a right to choose abortion prior to fetal viability, but rejected Roe's trimester-based framework for allowing states to curb the availability of abortion in favour of a more flexible medical definition of viability. The decision restated that the source of the privacy right that undergirds women's right to choose abortion derives from the “due process” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, placing individual decisions about abortion, family planning, marriage, and education within “a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.”The judgment also revised the test that courts use to scrutinize laws relating to abortion, moving to an “undue burden” standard: a law is invalid if its “purpose or effect is toplace substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.” Ultimately, the court upheld all the provisions of the Pennsylvania statute under attack except for the requirement of spousal notification. Many suits brought since Planned Parenthood v. Casey have centred on the meaning of “undue burden.”

int'l. law and statute:
The 20th century has seen statute laws used as a vehicle of social change and as a battleground of conflicting philosophies. The Nazi Third Reich invaded the bedrooms of its citizens before it moved its troops into the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia. It forbade the display of contraceptives, which it condemned as the “by-product of the asphalt civilization.” By contrast, the Proclamation of Teheran in 1968 (paragraph 16) provided “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.” This concept was written into Yugoslavia's constitution, and China officially made family planning an obligation for each citizen. U.S. courts interpreted the constitutional right of privacy to include birth control choices when the Comstock Act was finally overthrown in the cases of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972). In Ireland the case of Mary McGee (1973) reversed an Irish anti-contraceptive law of 1935, and in the Luigi deMarchi case in 1971 the Italian Supreme Court struck down the Fascist laws limiting the availability of contraception. At the other extreme, Singapore has passed legislation removing certain tax credits from couples with three or more children.

By the end of the 19th century almost every nation in the world had passed antiabortion legislation. In the United States restrictive laws were propelled not so much by moral considerations as by the desire of the medical profession to regulate the practices of unqualified doctors.

The 20th century has seen the pendulum swing in the opposite direction, and 70 percent of the world's population now lives in countries where abortion is legally available. The Soviet Union (1920) became the first country in the 20th century to permit legal abortion, and the Scandinavian and most Eastern European countries hadliberal abortion laws by the late 1960s. In Britain the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861 was reversed by the 1967 Abortion Law, and by 1970 Canada and several U.S. states (including New York State) had passed abortion reform legislation. Arguments usually centred on hard cases, such as that of a woman carrying an abnormal fetus or living in extreme poverty. On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional all antiabortion laws remaining in the United States. The Court argued “that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision.” India, China, Australia, Italy, France, The Netherlands, and many other countries decided to permit abortion under statute law or following individual case precedents. It has always been difficult to harmonize statute law with biological processes, and several new therapies, such as the use of drugs to induce delayed menstruation, and even the use of IUD's, have not been clearly defined as falling under the category of either contraception legislation or abortion legislation.

In this most controversial aspect of birth control, legal positions have oscillated, depending on circumstance and on government. In 1935 Joseph Stalin reversed Lenin's liberal abortion law in the Soviet Union, and the Nazis declared abortions to be “acts of sabotage against Germany's racial future.” In 1942 a woman was guillotined in Nazi-dominated France as a punishment for abortion, and in 1943 the government of the Third Reich introduced the death penalty for abortionists who “continually impaired the vitality of the German people.” After the defeat of the U.S. antiabortion laws in 1973, a strong drive was undertaken by antiabortionists in the United States to limit the interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling and, if possible, to reverse that ruling by congressional action, constitutional amendment, or the appointment to the Supreme Court of justices who were against abortion.

The law, by defining marriage age, regulating medical practice, and controlling advertising and such factors as the employment of women, also affects many other variables that determine the size of a family. For example, Section 4(5) of the 1954 British Television Act prohibits the advertising of matrimonial agencies, fortune-tellers, and contraceptives. -------source: ency. britannica

i still have to get hold of the proposed house bill, but my basic stand on the matter, being the hopeless existentialist that i am, is for the freedom of choice...that all else, all things in nature, and the universe revolves around the existence-consciousness of the individual...who must decide intelligently, alone, and for the self...nothing else is greater from this point of departure...the zero point of reference in the relativistic-cartesian coordinate system...out unto the infinite reaches of a pulsating universe...

article II, section 12 of the constitution is referred to by opposition to the bill...the basic law states that human life must be protected by the state from the moment of conception..

it provides that >"The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government."

the above quoted paragraph has its roots from the american constitution as a guarantee for civil liberties under the 'due process' clause...which originally read in the 1935 constitutions as> "artIIsec4. The natural right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency should receive the aid and support of the government."

then in the 1973 charter, it said> "Section 4. The State shall strengthen the family as a basic social institution. The natural right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the aid and support of the government."

if you compared all the only tells about rearing the youth in terms of state support for education and the parents are given primal authority over the state or the final say.

if you take a closer look at that provision, it embraces too many subjects its not as easy as you think...but the dominating element is family as a basic structure of and woman constitutes a family within the jurisdiction even if the relation becomes childless...maybe i'm just naive!

the problem with the latest that it runs counter to the very essence it was suppose to protect ...the civil liberties of the parents in rearing the child. as decided in roe v. wade and despite the fact that it is under still hasn't been 'overturned'...the word 'support' by government is mostly interpreted as 'giving way' or make exemptions under meritorious circumstances.

i believe that the religious should limit their preachings to the pulpit in churches...religion after all is a personal experience. if the faithful goes to the sanctuary then the guiding light is expected to be there. this is what we call the 'hierarchy of spaces' do not seek sanctuary outside in the wall...nor in the ambulatory for those who are uncertain...but in the altar to kneel to your god... majority should respect the stand of a minority which is built-in in a republican system...but the way the bishops of the roman catholic church has been behaving is not even close to is raising hell in every possible venue...

again my basic stand is that the individual should be given the choice, through free will with full knowledge of all the consequences...the choice alone is left to women..not to men in skirts who want to make the choice for them...

one point of contention is the use of 'abortificents' in contraceptives which in fact is plain and simple abortion of a fetus...a fertilized ovum..

through my limited knowledge, contraception simulates pregnancy by inducing through hormonal injections which prohibits the release of female egg-cell in the reproductive system...logically therefore, there can be no possible fertilization in such a condition...definitely, you cannot make a pregnant woman pregnant...

these matters are best left to medical science and documented research...which has not been given much importance in the current controversy(ergo...under the rules of evidence...i need my expert witnesses) true is the saying that empty vessels make the most sound...enough of the paternal resort to religious dogma and is more immoral to deny womanhood the benefit of scientific developments... to give them no choice...and vow to the dictates of an obsolete greco-roman religious model...surprisingly, it was teheran that gave a very rational proclamation on leaving the choice to couples towards responsible parenthood and the spacing of children left to their discretion...

the world is generally in unison except for the catholic church and the fascist-nazi regimes...haha!
they could still be clinging to the parable that "it is easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven" that the reason why they want to make this country poor and the people impoverished? birth control is basically aimed at sustainable development, avoidance of unwanted pregnancies through proper orientation and responsible parenthood...

not too long ago, in the history of mankind, a scientist declared that the sun was the center of the universe...he was instead declared as a heretic by the church for his astronomical discovery...of course, those where the days when the fearsome 'inquisition' was in operation... and they were preaching that the earth was the center of the universe...

probable scenario

if it goes the distance all the way to the SC, one possible scenario is that court will decide that HB5043 is unconstitutional based on the declaration of state principles and policies exemplified in art2sec12. it cannot abdicate its primary role as the final arbiter on constitutional matters.. otherwise they will be accused of interpreting the basic law beyond what is clearly provided. justices may be impeached in the process..

so what? then we have to contend with a conflict of laws. for one, roe v. wade protects the woman's right to privacy...and the keyword is viability of the pregnancy...encroached by the religious theory of conception as the crucial point of pregnancy...this is extreme...somehow it found its way into the constitution...owing perhaps to its verbosity(you can thank bernas for that)...

this concept of being also needs to contend with the civil law provision on the legal concept in the existence of natural person's acquisition of legal personality-within the realm of succession. that is the acquisition of rights...which is much later in the stages of pregnancy...or after birth is a reckoning of a certain period of independent life on its own to be ever considered legally 'BORN' equate the mother's life with the 'stage of conception'...dwells on religious dogma and appears to be a fallacy...for one, it gives the state the right to intervene...from that very point it becomes people v. mother...which is a great danger/threat posed upon the ordinary citizen to be subjected to the power of the state with regard to a very personal matter...hence a transgression to the 'due process clause'...

already, as we write, several and numerous instances of documented illegal abortions transpire...placing great risks to the mother in each instant. this is just one of the evils that the proposed house bill is hoping to correct. the provision of proper health care including professional medical/religious counsellings will be made easily available or even mandatory...

the law cannot exist as a conflicting document in must be in harmony within its own existence and in essence...otherwise, it is not law but falsehood and lies...and at that very instant, it loses its majesty and must be universal in appeal and not subject to the trivializations of a 'parochial mind'... unless we are no longer under a regime of law and justice...and the pope gets to call the shots...haha!
the issue revolves around the right to privacy, the right held most sacred of all is the right most valued among the civilized... any institution which denies you that and transgresses it with impunity and callousness must be resisted and if possible...rejected...