Viewpoints of Paranoid Law Students

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Ideal and the Reality

This is a little look on how our Government construed or misconstrued, implemented or “misimplemented” this particular provision of our fundamental law to wit: “The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.” (Sec. 1, par. 1, Article XII, 1987 Philippine Constitution)

“A more equitable distribution of opportunities, income and wealth…”

Share of income or consumption (survey year: 2000)
Richest 10%= 36.3%
Richest 20%=52.3%
Poorest 10% =2.2%
Poorest 20%=5.4%
Births attended by Skilled Personnel (survey year: 1999)
Richest 20%=91.9%
Poorest 20%=21.2%
Estimated Earned Income (Annual US$ PPP) (2003)

Adult Literacy rate (% age 15 and above) (2003)
Male=92.5 %
Life Expectancy at Birth (2003)
Male=68.3 years
Female=72.5 years

“...a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all.”

Philippine GDP Annual Growth Rate (1990-2003): 1.2%
(Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, 2005)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I am Freedom

“I am free to speak what I want to say. I am a free man. No one should interfere unto my freedom, curtail my right to speak and express my idea on any matter even to those which is contrary to the belief and ideology of my comrades in the society and adverse to that of the standpoint of the government.”

I am not rebellious when I seek the truth or when I criticize the government for evading to answer my query on the legitimacy of its highest leader (specifically President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) and for exposing its corrupt ways when it enacted its program of giving fertilizers to Congressional representatives whose constituents are people of Manila perhaps to let them grow their crops and farm the city areas and suburbs.

Though I was once condemned when I said in one letter that: “I committed suicide because I am ashamed of our government under (President) Roxas. I cannot hold high my brows to the world with this government.” I also included the words: “Dear wife, write to President Truman and Churchill. Tell them that here in the Philippines our government is infested with many Hitlers and Mussolinis.” I went to jail for writing these words. [See Espuelas vs. People, 90 Phil. 524 (1951)] Nevertheless, despite what has happened to me, I will still continue to expressed my idea and speak what I have in mind.

I already received many blows of contempt from our courts in freely relating my idea and protecting those people from whom I received my enlightenment to the Truth. In the Bar Examination of 1948, I’ve known through a source that there was a leakage which thereafter, I divulge the same in a newspaper. The Court asked me the source of my information which I decline to expose in view of my word to those sources not to tell anyone who they are that they may be protected of the consequences of the revelation. Because of this, I was cited in contempt. [See In Re: Angel Parazo, 82 Phil. 230 (1948)] Moreover, when I criticize the Court for citing me in contempt and adding that the Court committed “so many blunders and injustices”, I was again cited in contempt. [See In Re: Sotto 82 Phil. 595 (1948)] Moreover, when I tried to expose that the Justices of the Court and their families where given a trip to Hong-Kong for giving a decision in favor of the person who made possible such trip, I am again cited in contempt for derogating into the integrity of the Court. [See In Re Jurado A.M. 93-2-037SC, April 6, 1995]

Though I am aware that I am free to speak anything, I do know that I cannot speak any libelous remarks or defame their reputation maliciously against any of my comrades in the society. [See Article 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 363 and 364 of the Revised Penal Code] Moreover, I cannot speak anything which incites others to commit rebellion or insurrection and sedition. [See Article 138 and 142 of the Revised Penal Code] I am likewise aware that I am not protected and guaranteed by our Constitution when I speak or express myself in an obscene manner.

Nevertheless, I am free. I am free to express or convey my ideas to others. God created me with free will, and I should not succumb to the bounds of silence just because when I spoke of the truth, I would find myself in jail or worse, find myself underneath the soil with a marker entitled “Family Remembrance.” I am a free man. I am Freedom.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Studying the Law

Judge Learned Hand once said: “They taught me, not by precept, but by example, that nothing is more commendable, and more fair, than that a man should lay aside all else, and seek truth; not to preach what he might find; and surely not to try to make his views prevail; but, like Lessing, to find his satisfaction in the search itself.”

Studying law is itself a search for the wisdom of the past as applied in the situations of a present case. It also is the act of deciphering the truth behind the words of the commander to effectuate his purpose in promulgating the law and the justice he wittingly imbued within the context of that law. In essence, therefore, it is the act of seeking the truth and justice within the law which is a product of the wisdom of the past.

I entered law school with the same purpose of seeking the wisdom, truth and justice behind the monuments of the law. But I realized that my law school demands not to seek them but to memorize the concrete words that make up the monuments of the law. The prevalent thinking is that “law is nothing but a set of rules to be memorized.” The accuracy of the answer in questions promulgated by the professor in the class is not dependent upon the wisdom, truth and justice that the law embodies but upon the ability of the student to accurately recite the codal provisions.

But I do not disclaim the fact that codal provisions are not to be memorized. In fact, I opined that it must and it is necessary for a law student to make such memorization without which, passing the bar examinations would be an impossible dream. However, emphasis should be given more on the analytical side rather than on the mere recital of a set of rules and maxims because a lawyer or even a judge will never be praise on his ability “to preach what he might find” in the law but how he “seek the truth” and applied the wisdom he had sought in the cases he handle.