Sapere Aude

PH legal profession and its aversion to mental health

Today, October 10, World Mental Health Day is celebrated. Like clockwork, I’m reminded on how little to nothing has improved with the IBP in terms of promoting mental wellness and well-being among Filipino lawyers. It seems the masochist perspective of the legal profession remains to be the norm. After all, the law school experience is …

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Earning my Data Protection Officer (DPO) certification

Last May 2021, I had the good fortune to undertake a week-long Data Protection Officer (DPO) certification program and thereafter successfully pass the examination to be properly certified as a DPO by TUVRheinland. Our mentor was no other than “Mr. Privacy”, Dr. Rolando R. Lansingan, CEH, CHFI, CySA (plus), NPC-DPO. He was the former Chief …

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Real cat lawyer did an AMA at Reddit, comments are purrfect and hilarious

“I’m not a cat.” This legal humor will go down in legal history as one of the funniest. With a new found fame, what to do with it? Well, do a Reddit Ask me Anything (AMA). Hilarity ensues, particularly due to witty remarks, with a few coming from fellow lawyers. See: Reddit AMA by the …

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The Philippines has a Fake News law, well sort of…

Under Article 154[1] of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), the following is considered as a criminal offense: “Any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest …

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PH Olympic medalists should financially protect themselves

With the recently concluded 2020/21 Olympics, several articles and online content popped up about previous Filipino Olympic medalists. The somber theme to it all was that they encountered financial difficulties after presumably having earned financial rewards for bringing glory to the Philippines, if today is an indicator. The story is not so different from professional …

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Blog Posts

#AfterSix, Jaime A Zobel de Ayala has a show – wait, what?

Browsing through YouTube looking for a worthwhile content, I came across a familiar face, one any Filipino entrepreneur would easily identify. What made it more eyecatching was that the thumbnail showed him with cue cards and thus suggesting that it is him who is the interviewer. Mr. Jaime A. Zobel de Ayala, or JAZA as …

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Is it discrimination in the workplace if vaccine availability is not an issue?

I overheard a group of employees chatting over taking the vaccine. It appears that they had all taken the Covid-19 vaccine. Their supervisor was telling them that there will come a time that only the vaccinated would be preferred to go to work whenever a lockdown or quarantine restriction would be imposed. To that, the …

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Why prenuptial agreements are valued only by people who worked hard to gain wealth

Those who do not know the value of back-breaking hard work to gain wealth will never understand the importance of a prenuptial agreement. When I was a younger lawyer, I used to tell as much of my friends and relatives that they consider a prenuptial agreement before marrying. Not a single one took my advice. …

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Psychological incapacity as a legal concept, and not a medical condition

The case of Tan-Andal v. Andal (G.R. No. 196359, 11 May 2021) declares psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code as a legal concept, and not a medical condition. Accordingly, testimonies of psychologists or psychiatrists are no longer necessary. This a landmark case and a game changer for the following reasons. 1. Nullity …

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Mother’s surname may be used by legitimate children, says Supreme Court

On the basis of Constitutional provisions on equality of women and men under the law, the Philippine Supreme Court in a recent landmark case expressly allowed a petitioner to use the surname of his mother even if he is born as a legitimate child. The petitioner initiated the case for change of first name from …

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Online wedding? Virtual marriage ceremony in the Philippines

When almost everything is forced online due to the pandemic, the age-old tradition of celebrating marriage is facing an update – i.e. a virtual marriage ceremony in the Philippines. Will it fly or is it dead on its track? What are the concerns? 1. That it is not aligned with religious practices of certain churches, …

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Right against self-incrimination protects innocent persons against their stupid remarks

Lawyers are taught and trained to stop or keep their clients from speaking if they are involved in a criminal case, particularly if they are considered suspects and more so if they are the respondents or the accused. “Invoke your right against self-crimination” or “talk to my lawyer” is what would usually be advised of …

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On freedom of speech by Rowan Atkinson

“The second most precious thing in life is the right to express yourself freely. The most precious thing in life, I think, is food in your mouth, and the third most precious is a roof over your head.”

First online bar exam in the Philippines?

U.S. Michigan State recently conducted their first online bar exam. Although it encountered technical glitches, when the website issuing passwords suddenly crashed, the Michigan Supreme Court announced that it was immediately resolved. With this serving as the test case, is it possible that the Philippines will follow suit with the bar exam next year?

Distributed work for Filipino employees in the Philippines

Matt Mullenweg of WordPress first introduced me to the concept of distributed work a few years back. My first impression was it was another way of describing work from home. You know, new terminology, same old concept. Then, I encountered a separate article in WordPress with an interactive worldmap showing locations of their people working …

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Where is Management Prerogative in Covid-19 discussions on employment?

From lawmakers to the DOLE, discussions and issuances clearly show lack or little understanding on management prerogative. Management prerogative is the general rule. Labor laws and regulations are the exception. Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that management prerogative is an INHERENT RIGHT of the employers. No law is needed to grant that right. In fact, …

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