Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Never-Ending Marcos Burial Issue at Heroes’ Cemetery

September 28, 1989 marks the death anniversary of former President Marcos. There is still a clamor by loyalists to have him buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery). House Resolution No. 1135 was adopted by legislators from the House of Representatives in 2011, appealing to President Noynoy Aquino to have former President Marcos buried at said cemetery. This has also been echoed by his son and namesake Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Legally, Marcos could be buried in this State Cemetery. Republic Act No. 289 entitled, “ An Act Providing for the Construction of a National Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes and Patriots of the Country.” Section 1 of this law defines a National Pantheon as the burial place of the mortal remains of these groups of people. In the case of the Philippines, the Libingan ng mga Bayani serves as the National Pantheon or the State Cemetery of former Presidents and Heroes in the Philippines. This burial site is located in Makati City Metro Manila, near posh subdivisions of Forbes Park, and McKinley Hill and the Bonifacio Global City.

But many sectors have opposed Marcos burial there. Among them is Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) or the Organization of Ex-detainees Against Illegal Detention and Arrest. This organization is composed of Martial Law victims of human rights violations, summary executions, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and detention, hamletting and forced evacuation. Interring Marcos’ remains at the State Cemetery is tantamount to glorifying the memory of a dictator.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is also another sector opposed to Marcos’ burial at the the State Cemetery. According to Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Chairman of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, Marcos was not qualified to be interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he never lived a heroic life. Marcos’ 20-year rule, where more than half of it was under Martial Law, was riddled with corruption and human rights violations.

Even the Makati Business Club opposes the burial of Marcos’ at the State Cemetery. There were questions about origins of his medals and awards received while he was a soldier. He brought suffering upon his compatriots and brought his country to ruin, which is the opposite of what heroes accomplish in their lifetime.

For now, the former President’s remains will have to stay at the Marcos Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Related Links:

A.    Laws

1.     Republic Act No. 289

        Official Gazette volume 44, number 12, page 4738

        (Issue Date: December 1948)

B.  Newspaper Articles (URL Websites):



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Filed under Burial Sites, Cemeteries, Libingan ng mga Bayani, Marcos Burial, National Pantheon

Divorce Law in the Philippines

Didn’t you know that the Philippines had a divorce law? Some would be surprised with this statement, but if one would research on the history of the  customs and practices of the Philippine tribes including past Philippine laws, absolute divorce was already practiced.  Before the Spanish colonial period, certain Philippine tribes already practiced absolute divorce.  Among them were the Gaddang of Nueva Vizcaya, the Igorot and Sagada of the Cordilleras, the Manobos, Bila-ans and Moslems in Mindanao, and the Tagbanwas of Palawan. 

When the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, the only divorce law adopted by the government was the Siete Partidas of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889.  This law only allowed legal separation.  When the Americans took over, they established a system of government similar to that of the mainland.  This also includes a divorce law, which was enacted by the Philippine Legislature in 1917 through ACT No. 2710.  Under this ACT, divorce was  allowed on grounds of adultery.

ACT No. 2710 was repealed by Republic Act No. 386 or the Civil Code of the Philippines enacted on June 18, 1949.  Articles 55 to 67 of the Civil Code only allowed legal separation based on two causes: first, adultery on the part of the wife and concubinage on the part of the husband; and second, an attempt by one spouse against the life of another.  The deliberations of the Civil Code included absolute divorce, but was substituted with legal separation.

During the Martial Law years, former President Ferdinand Marcos instituted a Code of Muslim Personal Laws on February 4, 1977.  Title II, Chapter III of Presidential Decree No. 1083, popularly known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws dealt on divorce or talaq.  But divorce was allowed only between Muslims.

Divorce was allowed on the following grounds under the Revised Family Code.  On July 17, 1987, Executive Order No. 227 was signed into law by the late Corazon C. Aquino.  Article 26 of the Family Code was amended to wit:

“Article 26…Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.”

Many bills on divorce between  married non-Muslim Filipino men and women have been filed up to the present time in Congress.  Deliberations on divorce bills have been contentious issues in the Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic country that does not sanction divorce.  At present, the Philippines and Malta are the only two countries having no divorce law between marriages contracted by its citizens here or abroad.

Related Links:

A.    Laws:

1.      ACTS

a.      ACT No. 2710

         Official Gazette volume 15, number 14, page 580

         (Issue date: April 4, 1917)


a.     Republic Act No. 386 (Hard Copy and On-line Official Gazette)

i.      Official Gazette Supplement (Hard Copy)

         Volume 45, number 6

        (Issue date: August 1949)

ii.    On-line Official Gazette

b.     Presidential Decree No. 1083 or the Code of Muslim Personal Laws

(On-line Official Gazette)

B. URL Websites:





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Filed under Divorce

Gift Certificates/Checks/Cards

Are you an issuer and/or user of GCs in the Philippines?  This stands for gift certificates, gift cards or gift checks.  Starting July 1, 2012, under the Department of Trade and Industry Administrative Order No. 10-04 Series of 2010, expiration dates for gift checks/cards/checks will no longer be applicable to these GCs. 

Section 2 of said Administrative Order defines gift checks/cards/certificates as : instruments issued by a supplier to an individual, partnership or a juridical entity for monetary consideration, evidencing a promise by the issuer that consumer goods or services will be exchanged in favor of the bearer upon presentation of said gift certificate/check/card to the value, credit, specific good, service or event shown in the instrument. All gift checks/certificates/cards with no expiry dates shall be redeemable until used up by the bearer.

Suppliers may refuse to honor gift certificates/checks/cards, under  Section 4 given the following circumstances:

(a) When the gift certificate/check/card is lost due to no fault of the supplier; and

(b) When the gift certificate/check/card is mutilated or defaced due to  no fault of the supplier and such damage prevents the supplier from identifying the security and authenticity features thereof.

However, those not covered are gift certificates/checks/cards that are distributed to consumers under awards, loyalty, or promotional programs, according to  Section 5 of the Administrative Order.

Under Section 6, holders of unused gift checks/certificates/cards issued before the order’s effectivity should be honored, but those bearing expiry dates beyond June 30 should be subject to revalidation or replacement.

This department issuance is pursuant to Chapter I, Title III, Article 52 of Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines and Title X, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292, Series 1987).


Related Links:

 A. Philippine Laws (URL Websites):

  1. Republic Act No. 7394 or the

Consumer Act of the Philippines

On-line Official Gazette)

2. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

Administrative Orders:

DTI Administrative Order No. 10-04 Series 2010

On-line National Administrative Register)

Volume 21, number 3, July – September 2010, page 1575…1.0…1c.1.4q6wlNtgU0Q&Q&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=eb16ecec0618eff0&bpcl=35466521&biw=1280&bih=857

A.    Newspaper Articles (URL Website):

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Filed under Gift Cards, Gift Certificates, Gift Checks

Pag-asa and Typhoons

The storm months are here anew.  This is the season of monsoon rains, gusty winds and Pag-Asa-bashing.  Nineteen typhoons enter the country each year on the average,  and some of them are very destructive especially the super typhoons which can cause destruction in various infrastructures, homes and sources of livelihood.  Typhoon monitoring is vested in Pag-Asa, the Philippine government agency that monitors weather disturbances in the country.

What is Pag-Asa and how was it involved in  storms and monsoons?  Pag-Asa is the acronym of the Philippine Atmospheric,  Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.  It is Filipino for hope…I hope this time they get a more accurate prediction of Philippine weather conditions.  This agency is the equivalent of the United States Meteorological Organization (USWOMO).  How did this agency evolve?

Before January 1, 1865, meteorological observations were made by the Jesuit priests stationed in the Philippines.  It was only after this date that the Jesuits started a systematic recording of these weather phenomena through the Observatorio del Ateneo Municipal, located in the Ateneo campus.   The Spanish Royal Decree of April 28, 1884 recognized the Observatorio as an official institution of the government. 

When the Americans took over, ACT No. 131, enacted by the Philippine Commission, dated May 22, 1901 established the Weather Bureau.  On December 8, 1972, through Presidential Decree No. 78, the Weather Bureau was reorganized into the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical  and Astronomical Services Administration the acronym for Pag-Asa.  This agency, which was formerly under the Department of Commerce and Industry was transferred to the Department of National Defense.

Presidential Decree No. 78 was amended by Presidential Decree No. 1149.   The amendments included the establishment of two additional major units. The Typhoon Moderation Research and Development Office (TMRDO) and the National Flood Forecasting Office (NFFO).  On  September 17, 1984 Executive Order No. 984 transferred the PAGASA from the Ministry of National Defense to the National Science and Technology Authority (NSTA) and also provided from certain changes in its structure.  Executive Order No. 128 dated January 30, 1987,  mandated the reorganization of the NSTA now the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under which the PAGASA belongs.  On  January 1, 1988, pursuant to Executive Order No. 128, the PAGASA was reorganized consisting of (5) major branches and three (3) support units.

As of 2011, Pag-Asa has installed Doppler Weather Radars in critical areas of the country.  This equipment monitors wind movement and the amount of rainfall in a storm.  With the new technological advancements present, a typhoon’s route and strength can now be easily traced and detected although there is no gadget yet that is invented to predict the occurrence of a typhoon.


Related Links:

 I. Spanish Laws

A. Spanish Royal Decree of April 28, 1884

Note: Under the Treaty of Paris signed

between the United States and Spain in 1898,

where Spain ceded the Philippines to the

United States, all Spanish laws were declared

null and void.


I. Philippine Laws (Official Gazette Hard Copy;

On-line Official Gazette Unavailable)


1.   ACT No. 131

     Official Gazette volume 1,

     Page 39

     (Issue date: January 1, 1903)

B. Presidential Decrees

1.    Presidential Decree No. 78

      Official Gazette Supplement

      Volume 68, No. 50, page 9434-1-33

      (Issue date: December 11, 1972)

2. Presidential Decree No. 1149

    Official Gazette Volume 73,

    No. 31, page 7126

    (Issue date: August 1, 1977)

 C. Executive Orders

1.  Executive Order No. 128, Series 1987

     Official Gazette Volume 83, No. 13

     Page 1429

     (Issue date: March 30, 1987)       


III. URL Website

A. Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical

     and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)



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Filed under Pag-Asa, Typhoons, Weather Bureau

Data Privacy Act of 2012… An Antidote to Identity Theft in the Philippines

The Philippines which is the sixth largest social network media user in the world such as Facebook,  is also one of the many countries without a law to protect its social network users from online identity theft.  Identity theft is defined when someone uses your personal information without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. No law has been enacted that penalizes people guilty of identity theft.  They not only occur in social networking sites, but in banking sites as well.  To date, ten Filipinos fall victims per day to identity theft, especially in Metro Manila.

Victims of identity theft

Kryz Uy, a twenty-one year old model, entrepreneur, and blogger was one of the many victims of identity theft. An unidentified user set-up a fake account using her name to sell clothes, purportedly from her.  A maximum of P8,000 was stolen from one of Uy’s followers. Those who were scammed thought that she was the source of all this,  so tried to find a way to clear her name by reporting the matter on Facebook, and even went as far as reporting the incident to proper authorities but to no avail

Gilbert Climaco, a program director and news anchor of the Radio Mindanao Network, was a another victim of identity theft.  In 2010, an unidentified person used a fake Facebook account under his name to extort money. Climaco, back then did not  have any account in any social networking site.  This fake account has messed up his life.”

A bank depositor, who refuses to reveal his identity, lost P87,000 when an unknown cyber-thief succeeded in transferring money from his account to an untraceable account. He was so frustrated because the bank where he kept his money could not do anything about the matter.

In April 2012, a call center agent faced multiple charges after being caught receiving money sent by an Australian man whom she duped through its social networking site Facebook.  The suspect, Louella Tan, created a fake Facebook account using pictures and other personal information  of Fil-Norwegian commercial model Janka Cederstam in her newly created Facebook account  using the name  “Jen Matheson.”   She used this account to sweet talk the Australian in becoming his girlfriend and eventually extorting money from him, claiming that there was no one to support her since whe was allegedly orphaned.  This prompted Cederstam to file a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against the identity thief and a sting operation was set up.  Tan was arrested and was caught collecting themoney sent by the Australian.  She was charged with estafa, violation of the E-Commerce Law, and illegal use of alias, since there was no law against identity theft during that time. 

Legislation on Anti-identity theft

Congress finally approved legislation to counter on-line identity theft through the enactment of Republic Act (RA) No.  10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 which was approved by President Benigno C. Aquino III last August 15, 2012.  The title of this act is : “AN ACT PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL INFORMATION IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS IN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR, CREATING FOR THIS PURPOSE A NATIONAL PRIVACY COMMISSION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” 

The main features of the law are the following:

a.     It mandates government/private entities to protect/ preserve the integrity, security and confidentiality of personal data collected in their operations, in compliance with international data security standards.

b.    The law creates the National Privacy Commission which will monitor and ensure compliance with international standards for data protection.

c.      It penalizes unauthorized processing of personal information with one year to three years’ imprisonment, and a fine of not less than P500,000 and not more than P2 million; imposes a higher penalty of three to six years’ imprisonment, and fine not less than P500,000 and more than P4 million on the unauthorized processing of personal sensitive information.

d.    Accessing personal information and sensitive personal information due to negligence are punishable by one to three years’ imprisonment and fine ranging from P500,000 to P2 million, and three to six years’ imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P4 million, respectively.

e.      It also imposes separate penalties for improper disposal of personal information and sensitive personal information, and processing of personal information and sensitive personal information, as well as unauthorized access or intentional breach, concealment of security breaches, malicious and unauthorized disclosure of false information, among others.

In essence, the law, through the National Privacy Commission, is mandated to enforce policies that balance the right of the person to privacy with the need to speed up the utilization of the Internet.  By establishing a policy framework Internet freedom is protected while making ensuring the safety of cyberspace.

The law was based on Senate Bill No. 2965, which was sponsored by Senator Edgardo Angara.  It   was mainly based  from Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and Council and is at par with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Information Privacy Framework standards.


Related Links:

A.    Articles (URL Website);

B.    Laws/Bills (URL Website):

1.     Bills

        Senate Bill No. 2965

2.    Republic Acts (Official Gazette)

       Republic Act No. 10173


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Filed under Data Privacy, Identity Theft