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Archive for January, 2010

Is Premature Campaigning Still an Election Offense? The Case of Penera vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 181613; 25 November 2009)

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 29, 2010

In Penera vs. COMELEC (G.R. 181613; 25 November 2009), the Supreme Court reversed its earlier decision (dated 11 September 2009) to disqualify a candidate (Penera) for premature campaigning. According to the High Court, at the time the supposed premature campaigning took place, Penera was not officially a “candidate” albeit she already filed her certificate of candidacy. Under Section 15 of Republic Act 8436, as amended by Republic Act 9369, a person who files his certificate of candidacy is considered a candidate only at the start of the campaign period, and unlawful acts applicable to such candidate take effect only at the start of such campaign period. Construing this law, the Supreme Court concluded that a candidate is liable for an election offense only for acts done during the campaign period, not before. Before the start of the campaign period, such election offenses cannot be committed and any partisan political activity is lawful. (For a comprehensive digest of the case, please click Digested Cases under Tools.)

Frankly and with due respect to the Court, I do not agree with the decision as it practically makes “premature campaigning” impossible to commit. No candidate will ever be held liable for premature campaigning even though this act is still prohibited under our present state of laws. Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code, which prohibits this act, has not been repealed and remains good law.

The essence of premature campaigning is that the promotion/campaign is done outside the campaign period. It does not matter when a person officially becomes a candidate. If he promoted himself for election purposes before the campaign period, he should be disqualified if he pursues his candidacy. Otherwise, the very purpose of the proscription against premature campaigning will be defeated. Indeed, how can we say that the playing field among candidates has been leveled and that we can expect fair elections, when candidates will be allowed to promote themselves in advance and with impunity.

Besides, as observed by the Supreme Court in its earlier (11 September 2009) ruling, the prohibition against premature campaigning, under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code, applies to any person, whether a voter or a candidate. This only underscores that one does not have to be officially a candidate at the time of the alleged premature campaigning to be liable for an election offense.

V

Posted in Election Law, Law School, Political Law | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

REITs in the Philippines, Republic Act No. 9856

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 21, 2010

Republic Act No. 9856 “An Act Providing the Legal Framework for Real Estate Investment Trust and for Other Purposes” (REITS law)

On December 17, 2009, Republic Act No. 9856, more popularly known as the REITS law lapsed into law without the signature of the President. The law seeks to promote the development of the capital market, democratize wealth by broadening the participation of Filipinos in the ownership of real estate, use the capital market as an instrument to help finance and develop infrastructure projects and protect the investing public by providing an enabling regulatory framework.

The law grants several incentives, including tax incentives, to those planning to incorporate as a REIT. For a quick view of the law, click the TOOLS bar then proceed to Laws and Implementing Regulations.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Department of Finance, in consultation with other stakeholders such as the Philippine Stock Exchange and the real estate industry, is mandated to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of the Act.

Should you want a soft copy of the law, email us at mail@lexforiphilippines.com

Posted in Corporate Law, Law School, Laws and Implementing Rules, Taxation | 2 Comments »

Philippine Holidays For the Year 2010

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 19, 2010

Proclamation No. 1841 dated July 24, 2008 listed the holidays and special non-working holidays for the year.

A. Regular Holidays

January 1 – New Year

April 1 – Maundy Thursday

April 2 – Good Friday

April 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan

May 1 – Labor Day

June 14 – Independence Day (in lieu of June 12)

August 30 – National Heroes day

November 29 – Bonifacio Day (in lieu of November 30)

December 25 – Christmas Day

December 27 – Rizal Day (in lieu of December 30)

B. Special Non Working Holiday

August 23 – Ninoy Aquino Day (in lieu of August 21)

November 1 – All Saints Day

December 24 – Additional Special Non-working holiday

December 31 – Last day of the year

Still to be announced is the national holiday for the observance of Eid’l Fitr.

Posted in Labor Law, Law School, Others | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Ang Ladlad- a partylist representative for now

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 13, 2010

The Philippine Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the COMELEC over its decision to disqualify the group “Ang Ladlad” from running as a partylist representative in the coming May 2010 elections. The Supreme Court en banc directed the COMELEC to recognize Ang Ladlad as an accredited partylist group and to include it in the printing of the ballots for the coming May elections pending the Court’s final ruling on the matter.

Posted in Election Law, Political Law, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Marriage Expiration – Best before 10 years

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 12, 2010

A partylist group came up with a proposal that marriages should have an expiry period of 10 years to spare incompatible couples from the hassles of annulment or legal separation. According to the partylist group, the marriage license should carry an expiry period like those of the passport and the driver’s license. Failure to renew the license would automatically end the union.

If we are going to equate marriage with a driver’s license, can we then take the future spouse for a test drive? That way, both persons will be spared from having to go through renewing or not renewing the expirable marriage license and save them money from holding the costly marriage ceremony.

Supposing that marriage will expire in ten years, what will happen to the property relations after 10 years? the validity of contracts entered into by the spouses jointly? Do we liquidate the properties, terminate valid contracts, and tell the children to expect lesser legitimes in the event one or both their parents remarry and have additional children?

In all probability, the partylist group is just generating sound bites for its foray in the political arena (notice that I did not place its name here?) and is not really serious in proposing such a measure.  Otherwise, it is an additional reason why partylist representation in Congress should be scrapped.

Oscar

Posted in Civil Law, Political Law | Tagged: , | 27 Comments »

Republic Act No. 9858 – Legitimation of Children Born to Parents Below Marrying Age

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 11, 2010

On 20 December 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9858 entitled “An Act Providing for the Legitimation of Children Born to Parents Below Marrying Age, Amending for the Purpose the Family Code of the Philippines, as amended.”

Prior to Republic Act 9858, Article 177 of Executive Order No. 209 (“Family Code of the Philippines”) provided that “(o)nly children conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be legitimated.”  Legitimation takes place by a subsequent valid marriage between the parents. (Article 178, Family Code)

One impediment to marriage is minority.  Thus, before Republic Act 9858, if one or both parents are minors at the time of conception of their child, the latter could not be legitimated and would perpetually have the status of an “illegitimate” child unless he is legally adopted (Article 165 in relation to Article 189 of the Family Code).

Republic Act 9858 amended Article 177 of the Family Code such that if the child were born to parents disqualified to marry each other simply because either or both of them were below 18 years of age, he may also be legitimated by the marriage of his parents.  Article 177 of the Family Code now reads:

“Art. 177. Children conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, or were so disqualified only because either or both of them were below eighteen (18) years of age, may be legitimated.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments »

BlogCatalog

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 11, 2010

Academic,  Learning & Educational Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

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Palatino, et al. vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 189868; 15 December 2009

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 8, 2010

Registration of new voters extended by the Supreme Court to January 9, 2010. Under Tools, click Digested Cases to see why.

Posted in Election Law, Political Law | Leave a Comment »

Quinto v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698; 1 December 2009

Posted by lexforiphilippines on January 7, 2010

Are appointive officials who intend to run in the 2010 elections,   automatically resigned from office upon the filing of their Certificate of Candidacy (CoC)? Visit our Tools Section and click Digested Cases for the Supreme Court’s answer to this query.

Posted in Cases, Election Law, Political Law, Remedial Law | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »