Law Students’ Rules

1. Be a disciplined student. Disobedience dishonors your school and yourself and causes unnecessary suffering; far from weakening the rival school’s to fight, it often strengthens it.
2. Know that your enemy is not your professor nor your classmate.
3. Answer no more than what the question requires.
4. Never discourage your juniors.
5. Care for your schoolmates, be they friend or foe.
6. Treat all people (that includes janitors, security guards, university support staff) with humanity.
7. Never inflict physical or mental torture to anyone, including yourself; if you are tired, take a rest.
8. Do not be hostage of a past failure or a past success.
9. Abstain from all acts of vengeance.
10. Respect all persons and property.
11. Share your resources: samplex, audio codals, compiled lecture notes.
12. Endeavor to prevent any breach of the above rules. Every breach of these Rules is punishable under the Law of Karma.

(Adapted from The Soldier’s Rules, L.C. Green, The Contemporary Law of Armed Conflict, Manchester University Press, [1993])

In defense of #Amalayer

Try falling in LRT/MRT queue for a security check only to have your bag make “sundot” (pronounce in a very conyo manner) with a stick of those guards, and make “siksik” with all those people who are so sweaty, let alone smell like Datu Puti (mapapamukhasim ka pero hindi dahil sa sarap!), after climbing the stairs since the escalator is not working, if at all at a particular station there is.Then fall in another long line for the purchase of a train ticket, which line would not have been as long had all the ticket vending machines were properly functioning.

Somewhere in your commuting journey, you’d surely get to listen to an extemporaneous speaker on a crowded commuter train who speaks with his buddy, or is conversing over the cell phone, on top of his voice and who just wouldn’t run out of something to say. Or that cool dude who, while wearing headphones, plays the music on his phone or ipad so loud that you can still hear it.

Forget basic courtesies and manners when entering or exiting the train otherwise you won’t be able to ride the train or you’d miss your station. To be a gentleman when riding the LRT/MRT is to be a civic hero and a saint rolled into one.

Alas! The Light Rail Transit and the Metro Rail Transit system defies any sense of order; the only rule its administrators, staff and passengers alike understand is the lack of rule. And as Ninoy Aquino would have it, yes, the Filipino is patient (particularly when riding the LRT/ MRT), but there is a limit to his patience. Must we wait until that patience snaps?

And it did snapped. Amalayer’s patience must have snapped!

Well you see, while it was wrong for Paula Jamie Salvosa, the unpopular #AMALAYER who trended both worldwide and in the Philippines, to have tongue-lashed a security guard, she too is also a victim of two things. First, she is a victim of our poor transport system, as most of the masses are. And second, she is a victim of our people’s lack of sense of due process (manifested by our cyber-bullying) . As reported by Yahoo! News, “the man who caught the video admitted that he did not know the passenger’s side of the story, but he added that a bystander told him that the guard scolded the woman for using the wrong entrance.” 

 The video didn’t cover the whole of the story. What if Salvosa was provoked by the lady guard, either intentionally or unintentionally?

The Indispensable Right

What do you think is the most important and indispensable right of a citizen under the Constitution? (A Question from the Law Review Application Exam)

I would like to believe that the most important and indispensable right of a citizen under the Constitution is the right to life for without it there is nothing to speak of. Then I come to the thinking, what is life without liberty? A slave, while living, is dead.

It is therefore the right to liberty, I thought. Then came the question: what is a free life without having to own anything? The pauper, the beggar…they have a free life. But while their soul may be blessed, they are damned. They are suffering the wrath of hell while they are still on earth.

Is is therefore the right to property? Rich men are free and they can own anything they want. But what if they die?

The fundamental rights under the Constitution are interrelated and interdependent. Deprive a man any of these rights and you give him a life he would rather loose. While begging grammatical acceptance since the superlative most can only refer to one, each right is the most important and the most indispensable.

‘Di Bale ng Bokya

Ang pag-aabugasya ay may  kaakibat na matinding  hinagpis at pighati. Sinumang tumatahak ng landas na ito ay kailangan magsakripisyo. Kelangan supilin ang anumang kalabisang kagustuhan na makakasagabal sa pag-aaral. Hindi ito tulad ng sa kolehiyo o sa mataas na paaralan na pwedeng magpapepetik- petiks lang at habulin na lamang ang anumang hindi napag-aralan bago sumapit ang mga takdang pagsusulit. Sa larangang ito, mas nanaig ang konsepto ni John Locke na tabula rasa blank slate kesa sa innate knowledge na sinasabi ni Rene Descartes. 

Sino nga ba ang hindi nag-aral ng batas na kayang ipaliwanag, halimbawa, kung bakit immovable ang mga higaan sa Victoria Court o Sogo Hotel samantalang ito’y madaling maililipat ng kinalalagyan? Na sa uyog at indayog ng mga katawan ng mga magsin- irog (o mga hindi tunay na magkakakilala) na hayok na hayok na isalin ang enerhiya ng kanilang mga pagmamahal (o kung anu man ang tawag dun) sa isa’t isa, ang mga bagay na ito ay natatanyog.

Ang sinumang nag-aabugasya, kapag hindi nag-aral, o mas masaklap ay nag-aral ng mabuti, ay nakararanas ng inevitable na kung tawagin ay bokya, kodak moment, o shotgun/ domino. Ang mga salitang ito ay napagpapalit-palit ng gamit pero ito ay may teknikal na pagkakaiba. Kung sa asignaturang Statutory Construction, parang mga salitang interpretation at construction. Pwede mong ipagpalit ang bawat isa ngunit ang isa ay may ibig sabihin na iba sa isa.

Ang bokya sa law school ay ang pagkakataon kung saan ang isang estudyante ay sumagot ng tama para sa maling tanong o nagbigay ng sagot na sadyang mali. Ang kodak moment naman ay ang pagkakataon kung saan ang isang estudyante ay tumayo at ngumiti lang sa propesor dahil walang maisagot. Ang shotgun/domino naman ay ang pagkakataon kung saan sunod-sunod ang mga natatawag ng propesor pero walang makasagot. Wari mo’y nasa firing range na lahat ng estudyante ay target ng sharpshooter na ey-ti-ti-way at lahat ay natutumba sa ayos na parang mga domino. Ang shotgun/domino ay madalas mangyari kapag nagtanong ang propesor ng wala sa takdang aralin (e.g. Assignment pages  100-200. Question is on page 250), mali ang pagkakasaad ng tanong, o di kaya sadyang institusyon na ng paaralan ang propessor na nagbibigay ng hindi mo maiisip na mga tanong, at kapag binigay na niya ang sagot, marami ang kaakamot sa ulo, sabay sabing: ‘oo nga noh‘ o di kaya ay ‘yun lang pala yun‘.

Kaya kapag hindi nakapag-aral, o kahit nag-aral man, ang dasal ng bawat nag-aabugasya ay sana walang pasok, o di kaya ay may ceasefire. Ang ceasefire ay ang pagkakataon kung saan walang recitation at kung sobrang swerte ng klase, ang propesor pa ang magtatalakay ng takdang aralin na nawa’y parang isang tape recorder na sasabihin lahat ng mga nasa libro. (Flashback:  San Beda Law 1K A.Y. 2009-2010 nagpaceasefire sa Constitutional Law. Atty. AG tinalakay lahat ng nasa libro nina Justice Nachura, Justice Cruz at Fr. Bernas. walang dalang libro si Idol!).

May mga pagkakataon na kailangan maging isang artista. Hindi upang umarte kundi para maging bida sa sariling bersyon ng Mission Impossible– hindi ito isang eksaherasyon. Pa’no mo ipagkakasya sa isang araw ang pagbabasa ng isang daang pahina ng libro (bawal ang basang komiks; at minimum yan), at mga napakahabang kaso. Minsan maiinis ka sa mga tao na nasa likod ng iyong kaso na binabasa dahil kelangan pa nilang magdemandahan sa simpleng away na pwede naman sanang pag-usapan. At kung pinag usapan na lang nila, ay sana wala kang binabasang kaso. Naalala ko tuloy ang pakialamerong si Estrada. Dahil sa pagpuna nya sa buhay pag-ibig ni Escritor, nailathala ang isang napakahabang kaso: Estrada vs. Escritor.

Pag sobrang swerte mo pa, itatanong sa’yo ang mga detalye tulad ng kung sino ang ponente (nagsulat ng kaso). Kung hanggang kaibuturan ang iyong kamalasan, itatanong pa sa’yo ang plate number ng get  a way car, o ang brand ng sabon na ninakaw. (Segue: anung pagkakaiba ng Ultra Tide sa Tide Ultra?)

Kailangan din isaulo ang codal provisions na malamang ay ginawang leisure writing ng mga may akda,  na sa sobrang haba ay pwede ng isali sa essay writing contest. Bago mo sabihin na yakang-yaka naman pala, sa isang asignatura pa lang yan parekoy!

Kaya lahat ng Santo na madadaanan, lalapitan upang humingi ng tulong: pwede bang walang pasok?

At dahil sobrang pinagpala may mga maririnig na mga tunog na mahalimuyak sa pandinig.

*Kulog* *Kidlat* *Hangin* * Ulan*

L1: Pare kanina signal number one na.
L2: Mamaya signal number 3 na yan.
L1: Sana!
—–

*Bagyo*

Unos lamang ang kayang magpatigil ng pasok sa law school– isang bagay na maging ang mga santo ay hindi kayang gawin, dahil may mga propesor na pumapasok pa rin bagamat may misa na ipinagdaraos. Unos lamang ang kayang magsalba ng panandalian sa mga utak na balisa, na naghahangad ng kunting kalinga’t pahinga. Ito ay isang swerte para sa mga mag-aaral. Isang swerte para sa iilan, na kamalasan ng nakararami.

Ilang Pilipino ang sadlak sa dusa…sa kahirapan…sa kapabayaan ng lipunan? Ilang Pilipino ang hindi kayang matulog habang may dumadaang bagyo sa pangamba na anumang oras ay pwedeng bumaha, liparin ang bubong ng kanilang bahay o tangayin ni inang kalikasan ang mismong buong bahay, yun ay kung meron man silang bahay. Marahil, may iilan na ring mga burgis na nauunawan ang ganitong mga pangamba dahil maging sila ay  na-Ondoy, na-Milenyo  o na-Reming.

Dapat nga bang hilingin na walang pasok para lamang hindi mabokya? Kung unos ang sagot sa hiling na ito, ‘di bale na lang. Mas madaling atimin ang isang bokya kesa makita ang maraming tao sa isang sitwasyong walang sinuman ang nais makaranas.

Ang problema ng mga nag aabugasya ay kung panu maaaral ang mga batas. Ito ay sabaw kung ihahalintulad sa suliranin ng iba- kung panu mabuhay sa masalimoot na lipunang ginagalawan.

EPILOGUE
Pagkatapos ng isang bokya…nagmuni-muni sabay sabi sa sarili: pwede bang pagsaluhan na lang ng mundo ang aking pighati? Buhos na ulan mundo’y lunuring tuluyan. 

The Law Student’s Traits.

The law student has shown in his course industry without limits and the patience and forbearance of a slave.

Derogatory epithets are hurled at him, but he laughs these off without murmur;
Insults of ill-bred and insolent professors and classmates are made in his face, but he heeds them not, and he forgets and forgives.

The school takes no note of him, as he appears to be harmless and extremely useful (Adapted from The Alien Retailer’s Traits, Ichong vs. Hernandez, L-7995).

Take Sides

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said that during the massacre of the Jews, “the world did not know [what was happening] and remained silent.”

“We must take sides,” he said. “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”

Love Gone Wrong Should be Punished

This House Believes That Relatives of Criminals who Obstruct Justice Should be Penalized (Opposition)

No amount of filial feelings can justify anyone from obstructing justice.

Ladies and gentlemen, relatives of criminals who obstruct justice should be penalized.

It is submitted that the Revised Penal Code in Article 20 exempts from criminal liability the offender’s spouse, ascendant, descendant, legitimate, natural, and adopted brothers and sisters, or relatives by affinity within the same degrees as the foregoing enumerated relatives as accessories. The exemption provided for in this article is based on the ties of blood and the preservation of the cleanliness of one’s name, which compels one to conceal crimes committed by relatives so near. The law recognizes that they are doing so because they are motivated by their natural affection for the offender.

Presidential Decree No. 1829, Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders, supersedes such provision. The purpose of said law is explained in its preamble to wit: crime and violence continue to proliferate despite the sustained vigorous efforts of the government to effectively contain them; and to discourage public indifference or apathy towards the apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders, it is necessary to penalize acts which obstruct or frustrate or tend to obstruct or frustrate the successful apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders.

Said presidential decree penalizes any person. The law does not qualify whether the person should be a stranger or a relative. Where the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish.

To exempt relatives of criminals from punishment in the commission of the crime obstruction of justice will remove the fang of Presidential Decree No. 1829, and in a more general sense, impair the right and the duty of the state to penalize crimes. The thought of exempting relatives of criminals is practically juxtaposed to saying that a criminal should, instead of seeking the aid of strangers, seek the aid of their relatives who will not be penalized anyway. This is plain injustice.

It must be noted that the State and the offended party, in as much as the accused, is entitled to due process of law. For justice to prevail the scales must be balanced; justice is not to be dispensed for the accused alone. The interests of society and the offended parties which have been wronged must be equally considered. The Supreme Court in the case of Dimatulac vs. Vilon said: A verdict of conviction is not necessarily a denial of justice. Justice must be rendered even-handedly to both the accused, on one hand, and the State and offended party on the other.

Obstruction of justice, whether by a relative or a stranger, is detrimental to the duty and the right of the state to punish crimes. In the case of People vs. Carillo, when a person has proved himself to be a dangerous enemy of society, the latter must protect itself from such enemy. The State has to secure justice. The State has an existence of its own to maintain, a conscience of its own to assert, and moral principles to be vindicated. Penal justice must therefore be exercised by the State in the service and satisfaction of a duty.

Pursuant to Sections 4 and 5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, (t)he prime duty of the government is to serve and protect the people xxx; The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

Should there be ascendancy of natural affection over said right of the state? Certainly no. In the case of People vs. Gutico, the court said, love is not a licence to commit a wrong.

It is error to suppose that there should be ascendancy of filial love, as manifestation of the exercise of the fundamental rights, over authority as this may yield to the prejudice of the equilibrium between authority and liberty.

Furthermore, Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides in part, xxx The natural and primary right and duty of the parents in the rearing of the youth for the civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the government. In said provision, in as much as the State recognizes the right of the parents in the rearing of the youth,  it also imposes to them the solemn duty of rightfully upbringing their children. To allow relatives, specifically parents, to conceal a crime committed by a person is blatantly contradictory to that constitutional mandate. Parents should raise their children as morally upright citizens; not criminals who show no remorse.

Ladies and gentlemen, Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.