ISANG GABING MALIMLIM

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Nakita kita isang gabing malimlim

Nakatingala sa langit, binibilang ang mga bituin

Ako’y napangiti at pinagmasdan ka ng lihim

Hiniling na ako naman ay iyong lingunin kahit saglit

 

Hanggang isang bulalakaw ang biglang napadaan

Iyong hinabol para lang sa isang walang saysay na hiling

Ako’y nakaramdam ng inggit

pagkat mas maliwanag naman ako

di hamak na mas matingkad sa iyong bulalakaw

ngunit di mo nagawa man lang lingunin

 

Bakit kailangang sa kanya ka pa humiling

gayung kaya kong ibigay ang lahat ng iyong nais?

Bakit siya pa ang hanap, liwanag ko ba’y di sasapat?

Ako’y naririto lang at naghihintay

Kung sana lang ay iyong alam

 

Nakita kitang nalungkot nang mawala ang bulalakaw

Di kita iniwan, tanaw-tanaw ka habang hinihiling ako’y iyong mapansin

Ngunit tumindig ka sa iyong pinagkakaupuan

Naglakad palayo nang di man lang ako nililingon

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LAW FOR THE IDIOTS: Day 30 (Detained Persons)

art-125a

photo credit: dollar bill

Ang blog post na ito ay tugon sa request ng isa sa mga commenters natin.  Limang articles ng Revised Penal Code (RPC) ang gusto sana niya ipa-cover pero iisa-isahin natin sila dahil mahina ang kalaban.  Kung susumahin, ang limang articles na ni-request ni Mr. Commenter ay covered ng tinatawag nating mga “Crimes Against the Fundamental Laws of the State”.  Pasok dito ang arbitrary detention at iba pang krimen na ang sangkot ay mga officials gaya ng mga pulis.

Simulan natin sa Article 125 o ang “Delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial authorities.

Please do note of the term delivery of detained persons.  Ibig sabihin, sila iyong mga taong inaresto na walang warrant (magkakaroon tayo ng separate discussion for warrantless arrest).

Pero pwede naman na hilingan ng detained person na magkaroon ng preliminary investigation instead of inquest proceeding.  Yun nga lang, kailangan niyang pumirma ng waiver (Sec. 10, DOJ Circular No. 61, s. 1993).

Bigyan ko kayo ng sinario: halimbawa, nahuli ka without warrant for illegal possession of firearms ng mga pulis.  Pagkahuli sa’yo ay dinetain ka agad sa police station.  Sa pagkakataong ito ay dapat ipaalam sa iyo ang dahilan bakit ka dine-detain.  At kung sakasakaling mag-request ka na makipag-usap sa iyong abogado ay dapat din payagan ka anumang oras.

Eto ngayon ang siste.  Ang sabi sa batas, simula sa oras na idetain ka ay dapat dalhin ka sa “proper judicial authorities”.  May oras kung gaano katagal ka lang pwede nila i-detain.  Kung hindi ka nila madala sa “proper judicial authorities” dapat ay pakawalan ka nila kung hindi ay magiging liable sila under Article 125.

So ilang oras ka lang ba nila dapat i-detain?

Sabi sa Article 125, magdidipende sa krimeng nagawa ang tagal ng pagkaka-detain.  Eto sila:

light penalty (arresto menor, public censure)                 12 hours
correctional penalties (prision correccional, arresto mayor, suspension, destierro)  

18 hours

afflictive or capital penalties (capital punishment: death; afflictive penalties: reclusion perpetua, reclusion temporal, perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification, perpetual or temporary special disqualification, prision mayor)  

36 hours

Nalula ka ba sa mala-Español na terms?  O, eto ang duration niya para di ka na mahirapan:

PENALTY                             DURATION

Arresto menor 1 day to 30 days
Arresto mayor 1 month 1 day to 6 months
Prision correccional 6 months and 1 day to 6 years
Prision mayor 6 years and 1 day to 12 years
Reclusion temporal 12 years and 1 day to 20 years
Reclusion perpetual 20 years and 1 day to 30 years

Eto ngayon ang tanong: sino ba ang tinatawag na “proper judicial authorities”?  Dapat ba sa judge lang na may jurisdiction sa kaso mo?  Eh kung sa fiscal kaya?

Ang sabi ng Supreme Court sa kaso ng Sayo vs The Chief of Police (G.R. No. L-2128 [12 May 1948]), ang fiscal daw ay di kabilang sa tinatawag na “judicial authority”.  Dun mo dalhin sa judge kasi siya ang judicial authority.  Pero noon yun.

Kung titingnan mo, ang kaso ni Sayo ay nangyari noon pang 1940s.  Wala pang inquest proceeding.  Ang inquest proceeding ay ang hearing sa harap ng fiscal para sa mga warrantless arrest.  Parang preliminary investigation din siya.  Ang pagkakaiba nga lang sa inquest na-arresto na yung tao ng walang warrant at mas mabilis ang proseso ng inquest kumpara sa preliminary investigation.

Para sa mas defined na kahulugan ng “inquest”, pinaliwanag ito ng Circular No. 61, s. 1993 ng DOJ as ―

“Inquest is an informal and summary investigation conducted by a public prosecutor in criminal cases involving persons arrested and detained without the benefit of a warrant of arrest issued by the court for the purpose of determining whether or not said persons should remain under custody and correspondingly be charged in court.”

Balik tayo kay Sayo.  So ayun na nga, noong panahon niya di pa nasusulat ang rules para sa inquest proceeding.  Di pa ito uso.  Isa pa, noong panahon ni Sayo magkaiba pa ang rules pagdating sa delivery of persons without warrant sa Maynila kumpara sa mga probinsya.  Wag na natin i-elaborate yun kasi magiging komplikado lang para sa ilan sa inyo.

Segue muna tayo sa kaso ni Agbay vs Ombudsman (G.R. No. 134503, 02 July 1999).  Sa kaso kasing iyon dinemanda nila ang arresting officers kasi lumagpas sila sa oras na dapat lang i-detain ang isang tao.  Dapat daw ay dinala nila agad sa trial court kasi yung judge sa RTC ang proper judicial authority.  Ang nangyari kasi sa kaso ni Agbay, dun dinala ng mga arresting officer si Agbay sa Municipal Circuit Judge para dun gawin ang investigation kung dapat nga bang sampahan ng criminal Information ito sa RTC.  Pumalag ang abogado ni Agbay kasi daw hindi ang filing sa MCTC ang magpapa-interrupt sa pagtakbo ng period na binanggit sa Art. 125.  Kasi nga daw ang purpose ng hearing lang dun sa MCTC ay parang preliminary investigation lang kung dapat bang kasuhan sa RTC si Agbay.  Ang filing daw sa  RTC ang magpapa-interrupt ng running ng period.  So dahil dyan, lagpas na sa period na binanggit sa Art. 125 ang pagkaka-detain kay Agbay.

Pero sabi ng Supreme Court, mali daw sina Agbay.  Kasi nga daw ang salitang “judicial authority” under Art. 125 ay nangangahulugang “the courts of justices or judges of said courts vested with judicial power to order the temporary detention or confinement of a person charged with having committed a public offense”, at kasama dito kahit inferior courts that may be established by law.  Hindi necessary dun mismo sa court na may jurisdiction na dinggin ang kaso ng detainee.

Eto pa ang huling hirit kina Agbay, ang sabi ng Supreme Court: “this Court even made a pronouncement that the delivery of a detained person ‘is a legal one and consists in making a charge or filing a complaint against the prisoner with the proper justice of the peace or judge of Court of First Instance in provinces, and in filing by the city fiscal of an information with the corresponding city courts after an investigation if the evidence against said person warrants.”

Makikita natin dyan ngayon na ang salitang “delivery” is not necessarily actual physical delivery of the detained person.  Pero dapat merong complaint na nai-file.  Makokonsidera na duly complied ng public official ang Art. 125 kung maisampa nila ang complaint sa proper judicial authority.  Pwedeng sa korte (kasi may mga first level courts na nagco-conduct ng preliminary investigation) at pwede ring sa prosecutor.  Although technically di judicial authority ang prosecutor but for purposes of Art. 125, he is considered as one.

 

 

5 Nerve-Wrecking Valentines Date

It is not always roses and chocolates.  Sometimes, it is better to spend Valentine’s Day alone.  Here are five (5) stories of individuals who will never forget that particular day for the rest of their lives and wished that they should have stayed at home alone instead.

  1.  I was having a relationship with a guy via phone only. We haven’t met yet in person and yes, while writing this down I feel totally desperate.  He had this deep voice and his pics in Facebook show that he is not bad looking at all.  I was desperate at that time to have a boyfriend so I was in the “kahit-na-sino-pwede-na” situation.  That’s how pathetic I was.  We decided to finally meet up in person on Valentine’s Day.  I was expecting that it will be a romantic date but when I saw him he had no flowers with him; not even chocolates.  He asked me where I want to go so I replied, “kahit saan”, thinking that he will surprise me.  He told me that he wanted to be alone with me so he asked me if I wanted to go to a motel.  I acceded.  But at the reception, he told me he had no money and told me to pay for the room instead.  In order to ditch the hot stare from the receptionist, I paid the bill while rolling my eyes in disgust.  Yes, I was stupid to pay it.  We were assigned at the second floor.  While following the room boy, this asshole kept on bragging that he was able to bring girls on each floor of that motel.  I just tried to play cool all along.  When we were already inside, he immediately undressed himself and started kissing me.  I told him to lie on the bed first and wait for me for a few minutes since I want to ask the receptionist for the receipt so I can have it reimbursed in our office.  He replied, “bilisan mo ha”.  He was too stupid to buy that one but nothing is more stupid than how I felt that time.  I left the room hurriedly and never returned again.  I immediately blocked him from my Facebook account and erased all traces of him.
  1. I and my boyfriend always avoid dating on Valentine’s Day. We both find it corny.  But then, one Valentine’s Day, we decided to break our rule and decided to give it a try.  We dined at Max’s Restaurant just outside the office.  All along I thought he had a budget for our dinner.  Although I bought extra money with me for emergency purposes, I have no intention of letting him know that since I was looking forward in buying something for myself.  He ordered expensive meals so I was really thinking he had money for our date.  After the meal, he asked the waiter for the bill.  It reached Php1,845.00.  So I grabbed my bag, stood up and told him, “O, bayaran mo na.  CR lang ako.”  He panicked and whispered to me, “Huh?!  Kala ko may dala kang pera!  Wala akong pera!  P600 lang ‘to!”  I felt angry at him but don’t want to tell him that I have a budget so I played a hard joke on him.  I told him, “Ano ka ba?  Wala akong pera!”  He was really sweating as he texted our officemate and his brother to rescue us.  I left him and went to the ladies room.  I took my time inside the ladies room.  When I returned after few agonizing minutes, I told him, “Sige na.  Ako na magbabayad.  Meron pa lang nakaipit sa bulsa ko.”  He did not talk to me for the next 3 days.
  1. I was always the romantic type. I remember way back in college, I had a really cute boyfriend.  We agreed to have a date on Valentine’s Day.  All the time, I was thinking of all romantic things he might do for me.  This time, I want him to feel special too (although deep inside I was really expecting he’ll do more for me).  I bought him a rose and a box of chocolate for a change.  When I saw him at our meeting place, I noticed that he was not carrying anything for me.  I thought, “Sige lang.  Baka surprise.” I handed him his rose and chocolate but he refused to carry them.  Ako daw muna ang maghawak.  We ate in a fast food and …that’s it.  He never even bothered to offer movies.  No flowers for me.  No chocolates.  No whatsoever.  I envy those girls holding flowers or balloons given by their dates or boyfriend.  Worst, he did not even bother to bring me home.  He refused to accept the gifts which I gave him.  I felt terrible that night and I wanted to cry.  Inside the jeepney on my way home, our neighbor saw me and teased me when he saw the rose and the chocolate without knowing that it was actually me who bought those for my boyfriend and that Mr. Asshole had the temerity to order me to bring them home instead.  To my outraged, I threw the rose and the chocolate outside the jeepney.
  1. I and my girlfriend planned to spend our Valentines in my pad where we will both cook a special dinner for two. That afternoon we went to the grocery to buy the ingredients.  We had a heated argument.  She was fuming mad.  As far as a recall, it was only a puny matter which started it.  I know that she really had a temper issue so I just shut my mouth up hoping that it will finally stop her from making a scene.  But the more I refused to respond to her cussing the more she cursed and shouted at the top of her lungs.  It was really embarrassing me and people are already staring at us.  At that time all I really wanted to do was get out of there.  I started to walk away from our cart to cool things off.  But I was not aware that she started looking for me.  At the farthest corner where she saw me she shouted, “Hoy! Putang ina mo!  Bumalik ka dito hayop ka!”  That was the last time I ever talked to her.
  1. I had a relationship before with a married man who has long been separated with his wife, albeit de facto. He could not secure an annulment case because his estranged wife threatened him.  Instead, he converted into Islam so he can marry me.  We decided to go on an out of town trip as our advance Valentine’s Day date.  When we returned to the metro, his estranged wife appeared right at my doorstep and made a scene.  She was cursing and threatening me that if ever I passed the board examination she will file an administrative case against me so I will lose my license.  All the humiliation and threat she made to me went to my senses and I lost my composure.  I threatened her back that if she will not leave me alone I am going to marry her husband under the Sharia Law so the financial support she gets from her husband will be divided since she has to share it with me.  From then on, I never heard from her.  I broke up with my then boyfriend and living a quiet life.

LAW FOR THE IDIOTS: Day 29 (Same Sex Marriage)

Maaari kayang ikasal ang dalawang taong pareho ang kasarian dito sa atin sa Plipinas?  Natural ang sagot ay hindi.

Balikan natin ang pinaka ugat.  Isa sa essential requisites of marriage ang “legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female” (Art. 2, FC).  Bukod dito, dinefine ng ating Family Code ang marriage bilang “a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. (Art. 1, FC)”  Ang sabi pa nga, “It is the foundation of the family and an violable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code.”

Please take note of the word “special contract”.  At dahil special contract yan, di yan gaya ng ibang kontrata na pwedeng magdecide ang contracting parties na ayawan na lang.  Nakikialam ang State natin dahil it is imbued with public interest.

Yang definition na iyan ng marriage sa Family Code natin ang dahilan kung bakit makiki-alam at makiki-alam ang State, whether we like it or not, sa marriage.  Kasi nga, the nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation.  Ang stipulation lang na pinapayagan sa atin with respect to marriage ay yung uri ng stipulation pertaining the properties ng mag-asawa.

 Sa ibang bansa, unti-unting tinatanggap ang same sex marriage in conformity with the right of the members of the third sex to be recognized and build their own family.

Konting background muna.

 As early as the first decade of the 21st century, may mga batas sa iba’t ibang bansa ang nagsulputan para suportahan ang same sex marriage.  As of June 28, 2014, meron ng 16 countries and several sub-national jurisdictions ang nagkakasal sa same sex.  Di magtatagal at ang bilang ng mga bansang sumosoporta sa same sex marriage ay madadagdagan particularly that polls show that there is rising support for legally recognizing same sex marriage.

Noong 2010, nagsagawa ng pag-aaral ang Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health regarding sa epekto ng diskriminasyon sa kalusugan ng mga myembro ng LGB or lesbian, gay and bisexual community.  Dito nga, napagalaman na mas mataas daw ang psychiatric disorders among LGB population living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage.  Would you believe that in this study, the author highlighted the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination sa mga myembro ng LGB.

Eh paano naman sa Pilipinas?

Dito sa Pilipinas patuloy pa rin ang pakikipaglaban ng mga myembro ng LGBT para mabigyan sila ng patas na karapatan gaya ng ibinibigay ng ibang bansa sa kanilang mga nasasakupan.  Ang problema, we belong in a Christian nation.  Mahirap makumbinse di lamang ng gobyerno at simbahan, kundi pati na rin ang lipunan sa kabuuan para mapag-bigyan ang hiling ng mga kapatid natin na magkaroon sila ng same access of marriage.  Although may mga grupong nagkakasal ng same-sex couple, pero it will never change the fact na yung kasal na iyon ay di naman nila mapaparehistro sa Civil Registrar gaya ng ibang kasal na nakagisnan natin and they will never enjoy the same rights given by our law to those who are legally tied to each other.

Babalik at babalik pa rin tayo sa kung ano ba ang nasasaad sa batas natin.  Ang sabi, ang pwede lang daw ikasal ay babae at lalaki.  Period, no erase.  Pagdating sa Constitution, malaki ang pagpapahalaga ng State sa pamilya na kinabibilangan ng lalaking TATAY at babaeng NANAY dahil sa kanila magmumula ang pinaka basic unit ng isang community: ang family.

Ano naman ang masasabi ng CBCP?

Sa website ng CBCP, nagpahayag ng kanyang pananaw si Abp. Oscar V. Cruz, DD.  Ang sabi niya: “Homosexuals are human persons with their intrinsic dignity that should be respected by people of all races, colors, and creeds.  And in the event that a man and another man or a woman and another woman want to live together, this they do at their own personal accountability.  Such togetherness can be called a ‘Partnership,’ a ‘Venture,’ an ‘Agreement’ or whatever -but marriage it is not!  It takes more but mere human preference to alter the Law of Nature.”

Ang taray, di ba?

Oo nga naman.  Mapa civil pa yan o mapa simbahan, di talaga maikakasal kasi nga may requirements tayong sinusunod bilang basehan sino ang pwedeng ikasal.  Kung ang mga kapatid natin sa LGB ay magagawang maikasal sa ibang sect, they may do so at their own free will.  Yun nga lang, gaya ng nabanggit, di pa rin nila ito mapaparehistro sa Civil Registrar and they will never enjoy the benefits of a husband and a wife that is granted by our laws.

Kabilang sa mga rights ng mag-asawa na tinutukoy ko ay ang mga sumusunod:

  • Right to support
  • Right to inherit
  • Right to carry or use the husband’s name
  • Right to conjugal properties
  • Right to fidelity
  • Right to family home (in cases of execution)
  • Right to live together and fix a conjugal home
  • Right to the income and fruits of their separate properties
  • Right of management of household
  • At marami pang iba!

Ang mga nabanggit kong iyan ay base sa kung ano ang nasasaad sa batas natin.  Di ito nangangahulugang di nila totally mae-enjoy ang mga ito.  Well, kung freely and voluntary at walang matataamang ibang taong may higit na karapatan, pwede naman nilang i-practice ang mga nabanggit but they cannot go and ask the court to enforce it against their partner.

Uy teka, bigyan ko lang ng quick idea ang mga kaibigan natin ha.

May dalawa akong sample sa inyo.  Pakinggan ninyo ng maige ang pagkakaiba nitong dalawang kwento.  Although hindi naman directly about same-sex marriage ang mga kaso but it is more on preparatory stage.  Preparatory in a sense na kapwa pareho nilang inaayos ang pagpaparehistro ng kanilang mga kasarian para nga naman di magkaproblema kung later on ay magpakasal na sila.

Unahin na nating yung kaso ng Silverio vs Republic (G.R. No. 174689; Oct. 22, 2007).

Itong si Silverio, pinanganak talaga siyang lalaki but according to him, puso niya ay babae and as a matter of fact, since childhood he had already identified himself as one of the girls.  Kumbaga, structure lang ang pagiging lalaki niya pero babae talaga siya in heart and mind.

So ganito na nga, nagpunta siya sa Thailang at doon nagpa sex alignment.  In other words, nang bumalik siya sa Pilipinas, girlash na siya, as in, mas babae pa siya sa akin tingnan.

At dahil may partner siya at gusto na nilang magpakasal (tutal naman daw ay babae na siya at mami-meet na nila ang essential requisite para maikasal) nagfile siya ngayon ng kaso sa RTC Manila para magpa change of name at mai-correct ang entry na from “MALE” to “FEMALE”.

Of course, na-grant ang petition niya ng RTC Manila.  Ang kaso, nag-apila ang Solicitor General.  Umakyat ngayon sa itaas ang kaso.  Pagdating sa Supreme Court, totally dineny ng Korte ang petition ni Silverio.  Di daw niya pwedeng palitan ang pangalan at kasarian niya.  Bukod dito ang sabi pa ng Korte Suprema, ang pagpapalit ng pangalan ay isang pribilehiyo at hindi isang karapatan.

Teka.  Putulin natin.  Punta muna tayo sa kaso naman ng Republic vs Jennifer Cagndahan (G.R. No. 166676; Sept. 12, 2008).

Itong si Jennifer ay nagfile ng Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate.  Siya kasi ay naregister bilang isang babae.  Pero habang lumalaki siya nagdevelop siya ng secondary male characteristics at na-diagnosed siya ng Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (AHD) or yung condition na kung saan yung tao ay may parehong characteristics ng isang babae at lalaki.

To cut the story short, mas prominent ang male characteristic niya compared sa female.  Di rin siya nag me-mens.  Di rin gaano nagdevelop ang breasts niya.  Maliliit ang ovaries niya.  And for all interests and appearances as well as in mind and in emotion, she has become a male person.

Ang gusto niya ngayon ay payagan siya na mabago ang pangalan niya from Jennifer to Jeff at ang female entry sa birth certificate ay maging male.

Gaya ng kay Silverio, na-grant din ng RTC ang petition niya.  Pero gaya din ng kay Silverio, umapela ang Solicitor General.

Would you believe na dito sa kaso ni Jennifer ay kinampihan siya ng Supreme Court at dinismiss ang argument ng Sol Gen?

Ang sabi daw, yung mga intersex individuals like Jennifer are treated in different ways by different cultures.  Sa ibang kultura nga daw, itong mga intersex individuals are expected to conform to both male and female gender roles.  Simula ng pag-unlad ng medical science particularly in Western societies, yung ibang intersex individuals nga daw ay nag-uundergo ng surgery to define ang mas prominent na gender.  More commonly, ito daw mga intersex individuals suffer from disorder which is almost always recommended to be treated.  According to the Court, “the current state of Philippine statues apparently compels that a person be classified either as male or as a female, but this Court is not controlled by mere appearances when nature itself fundamentally negates such rigid classification.”

Sa kaso ni Jennifer, the Court considered the compassionate calls for recognition of various degrees of intersex as variations which should not be subject to outright denial.

Silverio case vs Cagandahan case

Sa Silverio case, ang pinagbasehan ng petition for change of name niya ay dahil nagpapalit na siya ng kasarian or nagpa “sex realignment” na siya.  Ang pagpapalit ng pangalan niya ay para tumugma sa bago niyang gender ngayon.

Bago ka daw magpapalit ng pangalan, dapat ay maipakita mo ang dalawang bagay:

  • Una, you must present proper or reasonable cause or any compelling reason justifying such change; at
  • Pangalawa, you must show that you will be prejudiced by the use of your true and official name.

Sa kaso ni Silverio, di niya napakita paano ba siya nape-prejudice sa paggamit ng pangalan niya.  Isa pa, wala sa enumeration ng batas providing for those which may be entered into the civil register ang “sex realignment”, gaya ng nangyari kay Silverio.  Ang pwede lang daw ay iyong mga entries gaya ng (1) birth, (2) marriage, (3) death, (4) legal separation, (5) annulment of marriage, (6) judgment declaring marriages void from the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9) acknowledgment of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss, or (12) recovery of citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (16) change of name.

Di daw dyan kasali ang sex realignment.

Pero dito sa kaso naman ni Cagandahan, he simply let nature take its course and has not taken unnatural steps to arrest or interfere with what he was born with.  He could have undergone treatment and steps gaya ng ginawa ni Silverio pero di daw iyon ginawa ni Cagandahan.  Instead, he chose not to do so.  Nature has instead taken its due course in Cagandahan’s development to reveal more fully his male characteristics.

 

 

LAW FOR THE IDIOTS: Day 28 (Benefactor)

Dirty old man; dirty old woman; sugar daddy; sugar mommy…ang haba ng listahan.  In short these terms connote a lover who is too old for his/her partner.  Please don’t misunderstand this as a May-December affair.  Kasi dito sa topic natin ngayon ang younger partner stays only in the relationship because of the benefits he or she gets courtesy of the older partner.

For purposes of our discussion, we will refer the DOM or DOW as “the benefactor.”

 How Philippines view this kind of relationship?

 Dito sa atin sa Pilipinas medyo judgmental and conservative ang mga tao.  Di tayo sanay na malayo-layo ang agwat ng edad ng magkarelasyon.  Conventional kasi ang nakagawian natin o yung tipong either magkasing edad si babae at lalaki or medyo nakatatanda ng konti si lalaki kay babae.

Kapag may nakikita tayong magka-holding hands na isang matanda at isang bata, ina-assume kaagad na pera lang ang habol nung mas bata.  Hinahaluan kaagad ng kulay.

Mainit sa mata ng mga tao ang ganitong klaseng relasyon.  Ginagawang malaking issue similar to that of adultery.  Kasi nga, ang assumption ng mga tao, pineperahan ng isa ang mas nakakatanda at inaabuso naman ng nakakatanda ang mas bata.  Sa isang banda, papasok talaga sa adultery kung may asawa ang babaeng partner at concubinage naman kung ang lalaki naman ang may asawa.

Paano kung may naibigay na ang isa sa kanila?

This pertains to the material things na binibigay ni benefactor kay beneficiary such as condo unit, kotse, alahas or anything of value.  Tapos itong si benefactor pala ay may legal na asawa pala at hindi alam ang pinaggagawa niya.

We can regard this as donation to the mistress. Binigyan mo ng lupa si mistress sabay patayo ng bahay para sa kanya.  Ang katwiran mo matagal na naman kayong hiwalay ng asawa mo at wala na kayong pakialaman.  Ang problema di naman annul or declared void pa ang kasal mo sa asawa.

As I have mentioned, we can consider this as donation.  And donation to a mistress is void.  Walang bisa.  Parang walang nangyari.  Di iyan ikokonsidera sa mata ng batas natin.  As our law is concern, that donation is void and has no effect whatsoever.

In this context, allow me to cite the provision of our Civil Code, particularly Article 739 which states, and I quote:

“Art. 739.  The following donations shall be void:

  1. those made between persons who were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of the donation; x x x”

Sa example natin, si benefactor ay married na.  So in effect, kahit bigyan niya ng bahay at lupa si beneficiary, ito ay void dahil sila ang mga taong tinutukoy na guilty ng adultery at concubinage.

Aside from disqualification from donation, alam din ba ninyo na pwede ring madisqualify ang dalawa from being named as beneficiary sa insurance?

Sa Article 2012 kasi ng Civil Code natin nakasulat doon na, “Any person who is forbidden from receiving any donation under Article 739 cannot be named beneficiary of a life insurance policy by the person who cannot make any donation to him.”

Ngayon, ikokonek lang natin ang binanggit ko sa Article 739.  Kasama dun sa disqualified nga ang mga nagcommit ng adultery and concubinage.

Kung titingnan natin sa isang paspasan, walang problema kung walang aangal di ba?  Paano kung biglang namatay ang kapartner na nagbigay?

Sa law on succession natin, meron tayong term na tinatawag na “COLLATION”.  Eto yung isang paraang na iko-compute lahat lahat ng ari-arian ng namatay para madetermine ang kanyang naiwan at mapagparte-partehan ito ng kanyang mga naiwang mahal sa buhay.  So for purposes of collation, lahat ng naibigay or na-advance ng namatay sa isa sa mahal niya sa buhay ay isasama sa pagdetermine ng kanyang properties.

Take note na sa set-up natin kanina, may mga naibigay na na ari-ariaan yung donor sa partner niyang donee.  Anong mangyayari dyan?  As we have tackled awhile ago, void ang donation na iyon so in other words, whatever was given to the donee will be collated and included in the computation of the legitime or properties of the deceased.

Sample Case: Ching vs Goyako, Jr. et al. (G.R No. 165879; Nov. 10, 2006)

Mag-asawa kasi itong si Joseph at Epifania.  Meron silang lupain sa Cebu na 661 square meters.  Pero dahil Chinese citizens at that time ang mag-asawa, pinangalan muna ang lupa nila sa kapatid ni Epifania (Sulpicia).

So noong 1993, okay na ang citizenship ng mag-asawa, nag-execute ngayon si Sulpicia ng deed of sale in favor of Joseph.  Eto ngayon ang problema: itong si Joseph naman, after ma-transfer ang titulo sa pangalan niya, ay inilipat naman ang title ng lupang iyon sa common-law-wife niya na si Maria (Ching).

Nang mamatay si Joseph noong 1996, nadiscover ng mga anak niya (respondents) na ang ownership ng lupa sa Cebu ay natransfer nga sa common-law wife ng tatay nila na si Maria.  Pero ang version ng mga anak ni Joseph, pinalsika daw ni Maria ang pirma ng tatay nila.  Kaya from there, kinasuhan nila si Maria ng criminal case for falsification.

However, dinismiss ng korte ang kasong falsification na sinampa ng mga anak ni Joseph against kay Maria kasi napatunayan na genuine ang signature ni Joseph sa deed of sale na iyon.

Syempre, umalma ang mga anak ni Joseph.  Umakyat sila sa Court of Appeals.  Pagdating sa Court of Appeals, binaligtad nito ang findings ng lower court at sinabi nito na null and void ang deed of sale ni Joseph kay Maria.

Ang sabi ng CA: ang property na iyon ay na-acquire during the subsistence of Joseph’s marriage with Epifania.  In other words, conjugal yan.  Although lumalabas na matagal ng hiwalay ang dalawa at nagsasama sina Joseph at Maria as common-law spouses, it cannot be denied na wala namang declaration of nullity of marriage na sinampa sa korte para ma-dissolve ng kasal nina Joseph at Epifania.

Kahit na sabihin pa daw na di napatunayan na conjugal ng lupang iyon, still hindi valid ang nagging bentahan dahil common-law spouse ang dalawa.

Sabi daw kasi sa Article 1352 ng Civil Code:

“Contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, produce no effect whatsoever.  The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy.”

At dahil dyan, sabi ng CA, ang contract between Joseph and Maria was null and void.

This time, si Maria naman ng umangal.  Inakyat niya ang kaso sa Supreme Court at kinuwestyon ang naging decision ng CA.  Exclusive property yan ni Joseph eh.  Legitimate common-law spouse kami e.  Bakit di pwede?

Eto ngayon ang sabi ng Supreme Court:

Wag ka daw dyan makulit.  Sabi na nga sa Article 1356 ng Civil Code na “contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, produce no effect whatsoever.  The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy.”

Eh ano daw ba ang sinasabing contracts that are inexistent and void from the beginning as provided by Article 1409 (kinokek sa ibang provision)?  Eto o:

  1. those whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy;
  2. those which are absolutely simulated or fictitious;
  3. those whose cause or object did not exist at the time of the transation;
  4. those whose object is outside the commerce of men;
  5. those which contemplate an impossible service;
  6. those where the intention of the parties relative to the principal object of the contract cannot be ascertained;
  7. those expressly prohibited or declared void by law.

Ang mga uri ng kontratang iyan daw ay di pwedeng i-ratify in the same manner na di pwedeng i-waive ang depensa ng pagiging illegal ng mga ito.

Pero bukod sa batas na ito, may isiningit na isa pang batas ang SC.  Ito ang Article 1490 ng Civil Code na nagsasabi na di daw pwedeng magbenta ng property sa isa’t isa ang mag-asawa unless merong silang napagkasunduang separatin of property or kung meron ng judicial separation of property.

Ang katwiran ng SC, kung yung mag-asawa nga di pinapayagan ng batas natin na magbenta ng ari-arian sa isa’t isa unless otherwise provided by law, ikaw pa kaya na isang common-law wife?  Alamnang mas mataas ang benepisyo mo sa batas kumpara sa totoong asawa di ba?

 

Silip

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Umuwi ako nang bahay na hapong-hapo sa pagod. Alas nueve na ng gabi. Wala pang lutong pang hapunan. Isa pa yang nakakadagdag sa pagod; ang isipin ano ang iluluto ko para sa kanya.

Sinalubong ako ng aming alagang aso. Ang mga kahol lamang niya ang nagsisilbing ingay sa tahimik na 2-bedroom unit ng condominium na tinitirhan naming mag-asawa.  Siguro ay magdadalawang taon na kaming nakatira roon simula ng iregalo iyon sa amin ng mga magulang ng aking asawa sa araw ng kasal namin.  Pero hanggang ngayon ay wala ako ni isang kilalang kapit-bahay.

Naupo ako sa accent chair na nakapwesto patalikod sa balcony.  Isang malamig na hangin ang dumaan sa akin at agad na nagtayuan ang mga balahibo ko. Napukol ang paningin ko sa sliding door sa balcony.

Bakit bukas iyon?

Napakibit-balikat na lamang ako at saka isinara ang sliding door. Marahil ay nakalimutan isara ng aking mister bago siya umalis kanina papuntang opisina.

Dumiretso ako sa kusina at nagbukas ng ref.  Isda na lamang ang iluluto ko para mabilis.

Bumalik ako sa salas at naupo. Dala na rin ng matinding pagod, di ko namalayang ako’y napa-idlip na pala ng nakaupo.

“Pssst…”

Nagulantang ako at napa-upo ng tuwid. Alas nueve y medya na pala. Napansin ko ang aming aso na tahimik na nakaupo sa harap ng guest room.

“Bogart, come here”.

Nilingon lang ako ng aso pero di ito natinag sa kanyang pwesto. Muli, tumitig ito sa pinto ng guest room na bahagyang nakabukas.

Pumikit uli ako. Inaantok talaga ako. Magpadeliver na lang kaya ako sa McDo?

“Psst…”

Napadilat ako. Sino yon?  Parang sa loob lang ng unit nanggagaling ang sitsit. At sa puntong iyon ay naramdaman kong hindi lang ako ang tao sa loob ng aming unit.

“Pssst….”

Bumilis ang takbo ng aking puso at naramdaman ang unti-unting pagtaas ng balahibo ko sa batok. Nagtatakbo ang aso papalayo sa guest room at sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ay napako ang paningin ko sa madilim na kwarto.

Ayun siya. May nakasilip na lalaki. At nang mapansin niya akong nakatingin sa kanya ay nagtago muli ito sa likod ng pinto.

Tinawag ko ang pangalan ng aking asawa at nagbabakasakaling siya ang lalaking iyon.

“Ikaw ba yan?”

Subalit isang pigil na tawa ang sumagot sa akin. Ahhhh…siya nga. Tinatakot lang ako. Sino pa ba eh dadalawa lang kami sa condo.

“Ikaw ha. Di mo na nga ako sinalubong, tinatakot mo pa ako. Sandali lang ha. Give me thirty minutes and dinner will be served.”

Isang pigil na tawa lamang ang sumagot sa akin. Napatawa ako sa pakana ng asawa ko. Pero ang pinagtatakhan ko ay kung bakit hindi bumababa ang pagtayo ng mga balahibo ko sa batok. Dali-dali akong nagtungo sa kusina at tinanggal sa pagkaka-defrost ang isda.

Pero maya-maya lang ay-

“Pssst….!  Pssst….!  Pssst….!”

Paulit-ulit. Parang tinatawag akong bumalik at silipin siya muli sa madilim na guest room.

Ano bang problema niya?!  Heto nga at minamadali ko na ang pagluluto para makakain na siya. Pero―

“Pssst….!  Pssst….!  Pssst….!”

Sumagot na ako, “Wag ka ngang magulo dyan”.

Pero isang pigil na tawa lang ang sumagot sa akin. Napangiti na ako. Sige na nga. Makikipaglaro na nga ako sa kanya.

Pinunasan ko ang mga kamay ko at bumalik sa tapat ng guest room.  Nakapamaywang pa ako habang sinisita siya.

“Hoy lalaki. Bibilangan kita ng sampu at lumabas ka dyan. Kung hindi, ikaw maghuhugas ng plato.”

Muli, isang pigil na tawa lang na nagmumula sa likod ng pinto ng madilim na kwartong iyon ang sumagot sa akin.

“Isa…!”

May sumagot sa kwarto. “Pssst….!”

“Dalawa…!”

Isang pigil na tawa muli at, “Pssst…!”

“Tatlo!”

“Pssst….!”

Bumugtong-hininga ako. Pero sa totoo lang ay di ko mapigilang mapatawa sa pakana ng asawa ko.

“Apat!”

“Pssst…!”

Narinig kong may kilansing ng mga susi sa labas ng main door. Sino yon?  Binalik ko ang pansin sa guest room. At doon nga sa madilim na kwartong iyon ay sinalubong ako ng dalawang pares ng mga mata. Teka, asawa ko ba yon?

Tumunog ang door knob ng main door.  Sinong may susing darating ng ganung oras gayong…

“Mahal?” tawag ko sa guest room.

Pero walang sumagot sa guest room. Bagkus ang inaasahan kong sagot ay nagmula sa labas ng aming unit.

Walang anu-ano’y bumukas ang main door at bumungad sa akin ang aking asawa.

“Mahal,” lumapit siya sa akin at hinalikan ako sa pisngi. “Anong ginagawa mo at nakatayo ka dyan sa tapat ng guest room?  Namumutla ka ata, parang nakakita ka ng multo.”

Subalit hindi ko siya magawang sagutin. Tila nanigas ako sa pagkakatayo sa tapat ng kwartong iyon.

Wala ng sumisitsit. Wala ng sumisilip. May kasama ako kanina sa loob ng aming unit.

And whoever that is, is definitely not my husband.

Bumilang ako ng tatlo at tinulak ang pinto ng guest room. At bumungad sa akin ang tahimik at madilim na kwarto.

Walang tao.

Kinapa ko ang switch at binuksan ang ilaw.  Walang tao.  Nilibot ko nang maige ang aking mga mata.

Pero walang tao.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: www.colourbox.de/bild/eye-bild-7754862

The Day I Fell In Love With ‘Manila’

I rose from the dead and traveled the lonely road.  No more turning backs now…for today, I am bound to find out what awaits me in the land full of promises and hope. img_20371

Today, I will seek refuge to my dreams and allow fate take charge of what was left of me.  I so much loath the land I came from and half convinced that I am ready for another raucous journey.img_20311

I walked through dirt and found her. img_19911

 

There she is.  Lovely and full of life.

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The famous ‘she’.  The muse of the entire universe.  The scorned child of the unknown.  A real bully at the core of the thousand islands.

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Then she smiled at me.  And from then on, that was the most cruel smile I have ever seen that will linger in my memory for the hell I care; a smile from a hypnotic bitch casting a spell to my tormented soul.  And from what I heard, they all call her “Manila”.  Enticing as she sounds, she beckoned me to follow her.

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Let’s play, were the last words she uttered.

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I refused, of course.  I had to.

For a brief spell, our eyes met and I was able to stare at that lovely face -the face of the bitch that reveals nothing but brutal coldness and selfish whims.  I felt at that moment that I can no longer tolerate her exotic charm.  This madness must be stopped.  But wait.  Am I being harangued and bitched by this witch for a brief spell?

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Within a split second, I felt a surge of paralyzing fear.  I was hoping that she would play another cynical scheme on me; that another episodic abuse from one of her sporadic games she mastered will be played on me.

But I was wrong.

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Instead, she just stood there motionless with a face revealing nothing.  She made me watch.  She made me see.  She made me feel.  Even without lifting that playful tongue.

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And then I stood there, virtually nonexistent in front of this condemned damsel.  Seduction was the trick.  But falling for the trick is called “sin”.  Once cornered, it then becomes addictive.  And nobody dares to leave.

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Because her spell lingers on the skin no matter where you are and you will always find your feet turning around and running back to her.  What was with her that keeps me wanting for more?

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I could have turn around and leave.  I have my own life to begin with.  I have my own Manila left at home, waiting for my return.  Equally beautiful, equally enticing, equally productive, and equally popular.  But there is something with this “Manila” that made me wants to stay and start a new beginning.

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And there I was.  Captivated by her lethargic charm I could not afford to recover.

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I don’t belong to her.  I know that.  She was a haven built for the most hardened incorrigibles.  Only the scrupulous few who mastered the uncanny game of life can tolerate her.  Only those who are insensitive to social pretensions can kiss her torridly.

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She sleeps every night with homicidal felons and corporate whoremongers alike.  But not my kind.

Damn!  Not my kind!  Do you hear that?  You envious rumormonger, do you hear that?! 

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Why her?!  Oh good heavens why her?!  She is a career criminal and I am the willing victim.

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Slowly, she drew that little cat’s grin with all the beguiling charm present.  And it’s officially over for me.

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I entered the city in full spirit but dismayed the moment I set my feet on her land.  Dirty.  Polluted.  Savaged.  Abused.  Haven of the social outcasts.  Cursed.

Cursed…

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Then I realized I had enough.  I am not destined to be with her.  The dirty ‘she’.  The cursed ‘she’.  The beautiful and mysterious ‘she’.  At the back of my mind, I wonder how many hapless lost vagrants fell at the palm of her curse.  Damn, this is just not my cup of tea.

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I turned my back and said ‘no’I cannot go with you.  I am bound to live a quiet and peaceful life.  Instead, she just stood there and stared at me, saying nothing.  But her silence is deafening it makes me want to scream.

You haven’t seen the real me, she protested.  Just stay.

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But I turned my back and started walking…walking…away from her.  But each step grew heavy and heavier.  I could not stop thinking about the hypnotic bitch standing and staring behind me.

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But at the back of my head, I was hoping she would say the damn last word and try to stop me.  I wanted her to beg.  To plea.  To make me stay for the last time.  I want to know if she feels the same way for me.  But I heard nothing.  No, not from her.  Not from that beautiful silent bitch.

And I hate her from the core of my bone.

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So I turned my back and met those pair of beautiful eyes.  And from that brief spell, I could not stop cursing myself.  Idiot!  You moron, don’t look at her.  You sonnofabitch don’t fall for her!

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But there it goes; I lost the game she alone had mastered.  I found myself walking back towards her.  And at that instance, I could not think of anything as I grabbed her and held her in my arms.  I felt her in my embrace and could not let her go.  The touch of her skin lingers to my senses.  She is a damn certified witch who casts the most terrifying spell on me.

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And for the first time of my denying existence, I finally understood the disheveled mess she is into.

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She made me see the beauty behind the dirty roads she traveled.  She made me appreciate the dangerous life she takes.  She thought me how to laugh at the pathetic story of hers and how blessed I am at the sanctuary of my room.  She thought me the things that I refused to see in the first place.  She made me believe in convictions I denied ever existed.

 

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And yet, despite the horrifying tales of the million unknown, the sun of the east sets to her feet to remind everyone that her happiness is hers and hers alone, no man can steal.

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This world is indeed dirty, cursed and abused.

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But this dirty, cursed and abused world does not necessarily mean that life has to be one too.

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And I am officially in love with Manila.  My “Manila”.

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PHOTO CREDIT:   Bea C. O’Malley

Joan Barayuga