Love in Contention

Your Honor,

I know what it is like to give up on people’s logic or, actually, lack of it. How many times have I found myself not wanting to explain because at the back of my head it is just a waste of time to throw pearls to the pigs? How many times did I let go of persuading people from doing what will harm them just because they have decided to turn a deaf ear anyway? For countless times, the man in me would walk away after it screamed “Ahhhh! Forget it!” I have expert knowledge on how easy it is to give up on people. Heaven and hell know.

But Your Honor, how do you do it?

Betrayals after betrayals from generations to generations, Your word stands, “Therefore, I still contend with you and with your children’s children I will contend.” Arguing has never sounded so sweet. You could have walked away and withdrew every favor dispensed. You could have ended everything with finality and easily. But still You are not done arguing and persuading the kids and the rebellious. And it seems that You plan to pursue further.

I don’t think I will ever comprehend Your patience. But if You contending with us still is not seen to be beyond favor, I do not know anymore to myself what kind of callous and disease have infected humanity. You still talking to us and spending time with us even is beyond imagination considering breaches of trust done against You. Far be it from us to take this for granted and to wait for You to stop contending with us before we respond correctly.

This is also to respectfully manifest immeasurable gratitude for not giving up on me. May I act according to the grace granted me to be an agent of court’s compassion and mercy in light of justice.

Your law is perfect, reviving the soul. Your testimony is sure, making wise the simple.

Myself humbly submitted. 18 January 2018. City of Manila.

ender

 

 

Cover image not mine: Retrieved here.

In between Constitutional Provisions – On SEC v. Rappler

Constitutional Supremacy

The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials, must defer. (Cruz, Constitutional Law, 1998, ed., p.4)

Under the doctrine of Constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the Constitution, that law or contract, whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes, is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. (Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, Feb. 3, 1997)

The Supreme Court (SC) is discerning of any attempt to circumvent the Constitution since “as [its] ultimate guardian, the [SC] will never shun, under any reasonable circumstance, the duty of upholding the majesty of the Constitution which it is tasked to defend.” (ibid)

Foreign Equity Restriction

The foreign equity restriction for mass media in the Constitution, thus, is no exception from the provisions that shall be honored considering that we esteem mass media as the fourth estate. Being such, it has the power and influence to make or break national stability and development. Therefore, the State is duty-bound to protect mass media from any foreign influence or interference and to promote independent and unbiased journalism so that the people continue to enjoy it as one of the blessings of democracy.

Revocation

SEC revoked the registration of Rappler, Inc., an online mass media organization, on the ground that it violated the Constitutional provision on foreign equity restriction for mass media.

In the dispositive portion, SEC decision states:

The En Banc hereby imposes the following administrative penalties:

xxx

2) REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION on each respondent – Rappler, Inc. being the mass media entity that sold control to foreigners, and Rappler Holdings Corporation being its alter ego, existing for no other purpose than to effect a deceptive scheme to circumvent the Constitution.

So what does the Constitution say? The Constitutional provision being referred to is Sec. 11, Art. XVI and it states:

Section 11. (1) The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.

The Spirit behind the provision is to promote journalism free from foreign influence that might affect the nation’s independence.

It is crucial to understand, however, what the Constitution means by “ownership and management.” The contention of SEC is that the investment of foreign entity thru Philippine Depositary Receipt (PDR) is tantamount to ownership. Rappler, on the other hand, contends that since the PDR does not give the investor voting rights in the board or say in the daily operations of the news organization, then that cannot fall under ownership and management.

I find it helpful to quote Foreign Investment Act of 1991 Implementing Rules and Regulations (FIA-IRR), which states:

Compliance with the required Filipino ownership of a corporation shall be determined on the basis of outstanding capital stock whether fully paid or not, but only such stocks which are generally entitled to vote are considered.

For stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights is essential. Thus, stocks, the voting rights of which have been assigned or transferred to aliens cannot be considered held by Philippine citizens or Philippine nationals.

So my question is: Does the issuance of the PDR in favor of a foreign entity come with full beneficial ownership coupled with voting rights so that it violates the above-stated Constitutional provision? Rappler says otherwise.

However, the SEC Decision on the nature of the issued PDRs in favor of Omidyar Network, a Delaware-based company owned by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, provides that they contain “repugnant provision.”

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 12.46.31 AM.png

The main issues that I see here, as of now, are as follows:

  1. Whether or not the issuance of PDR with such provision constitute ownership and management;
  2. Whether or not the issuance of PDRs to foreign entities regardless of provision and conditions entails pecuniary interest that is sufficient to be the kind of influence tantamount to ownership and management by foreign entities of mass media and thus unconstitutional; and
  3. Whether or not such violation warrants involuntary dissolution.

I intend to wait for the argument of Rappler lawyers and the decision of the court. It’s going to be a long way to go as I see this being elevated to the Supreme Court. I mean, we are not just talking about foreign equity restriction but freedom of the press in a state still breathing trauma from the pains of martial law.

Independent and Unbiased Journalism

Speaking of independent and unbiased journalism, as much as I strongly stand against foreign interference, this is also to expressly manifest my position against local interference from the government (Oh, especially from a dictatorial government!). I stand for the freedom of the press from censorship or prior restraint and from subsequent punishment unduly curtailing expression. Mass media is the tangible first-layer of our democratic freedom. Any negligence on the part of the people to protect or support those who are genuinely in the frontline of our rights will eventually result to our own imprisonment. Far be it from us to respond a little too late.

 

 

Cover image not mine: retrieved here.

Prayer & Fasting Fail

Your Honor,

Religion aside, she still does not get this prayer and fasting fully. But what she does get from this is that she is that remarkable living sacrifice that crawls off Your altar conveniently. You would always bring her back from times that she would refuse and rebel because she felt like she had not experienced life more. Then she would find herself getting lost and seeking for clues on which way to go when she was the one who got away in the first place.

In her failure, one thing is sure, You keep Your Word. Your word is she will find you when she seeks you with all her heart. In Your goodness, she finds You meeting her instead. In her search, she never fails to realize she is the one found.

Herself respectfully submitted. 13 January 2018.

City of Manila.

ender

 

Until My Heart and Soul are Stirred, Rocked, and Broken

 

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews and all the decorations, too
Until the congregation’s few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social
Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken

Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
Anything that I give all my love is an idol

-Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham

I submit myself to Your process.

Nothing further, Your Honor.

ender

 

 

 

Feature image from this site and not mine.

LAW ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment in Work, Educational, or Training-related Environment

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS AGAINST THE LAW, AGAINST THE POLICY OF THE STATE, IS PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT, SHALL NOT BE TOLERATED AT ALL TIMES, AND IT IS NOT JUST AGAINST WOMEN BUT IT IS ALSO AGAINST MEN.

I have heard of women who got frozen in the middle of trauma of getting violated further and of denial that something wrong did happen to them. I have heard of men who had to keep it to themselves because, in the sphere of sexual harassment, who would listen to men’s complaints? “They must have liked it anyway.” And in the middle of the paralysis and preconceived notions is the inclination to just let it go, shove it down, suppress the truth at the expense of justice and to never talk about it anymore. If I stop thinking about it… maybe it did not happen.

The State (Republic of the Philippines), under the principle of parens patriae, made it as a policy to value dignity and to declare all forms of sexual harassment unlawful and thus intolerable. Republic Act No. 7877 (RA 7877) also known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 was enacted to penalize sexual harassment in work, educational, or training-related environment.

Note: This law is limited to sexual harassment done within the specified environment. So if you got sexually harassed by a stranger, let’s say, in a Philippine jeepney, this is not the law applicable. Other sexual harassments may fall under Art. 366 (Acts of Lasciviousness), and Art. 287 (Light Coercions/Unjust Vexation) of the Revised Penal Code. For other circumstances present, see Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Act of 2004 and Republic Act No. 7610 or the Child Abuse Law.

So when do I know “it really did happen”?

Do my body parts have to be brushed or touched before sexual harassment have to be committed? No. Malicious staring or unwanted attention with sexual overtones from someone at your work or school already constitutes sexual harassment. Stealing a look at someone’s private parts also constitutes sexual harassment.

What is Sexual Harassment?

To give you a proper context, Section 3 of RA 7877 provides for three components of sexual harassment – the who, the where, and the what (what was committed, who committed it, and where it was committed). It states:

Work, Education or Training related Sexual Harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person who, having authority, influence, or moral ascendancy over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.

Three Components:

  1. WHAT – demands, requests, or requirements of any sexual favor whether accepted by the object of said act.
  2. WHO – employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person having influence or moral ascendancy.
  3. WHERE – in a work or training or education environment. (See list below):
    • in the premises of the workplace or office or of the school or training institution;
    • in any place where the parties were found, as a result of work or education or training responsibilities or relations;
    • at work or education- or training-related social functions;
    • while on official business outside the office or school or training institution or
    • during work or school or training-related travel;
    • at official conferences, fora, symposia or training sessions; or
    • by telephone, cellular phone, fax machine or electronic mail.

In explaining what “demand, requests, or requirements of any sexual favor” is, the Supreme Court in Bacsin v. Wahiman, G.R. No. 146053, April 30, 2008, states:

“xxx the demand of a sexual favor need not be explicit or stated. In Domingo v. Rayala,[11] it was held, It is true that this provision calls for a demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.  But it is not necessary that the demand, request, or requirement of a sexual favor be articulated in a categorical oral or written statement.  It may be discerned, with equal certitude, from the acts of the offender. The CSC found, as did the CA, that even without an explicit demand from petitioner his act of mashing the breast of AAA was sufficient to constitute sexual harassment. Moreover, under Section 3 (b) (4) of RA 7877, sexual harassment in an education or training environment is committed (w)hen the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or apprentice.”

In the case of Atty. Susan M. Aquino vs. Hon. Ernesto D. Acosta, A.M. No. CTA-01-1. April 2, 2002, the Supreme Court laid down the elements of work-related sexual harassment and it states:

“a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when:

1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions or privileges; or the refusal to grant sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in anyway would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employees;

2) The above acts would impair the employee’s right or privileges under existing labor laws; or

3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee.’

“Clearly, under the foregoing provisions, the elements of sexual harassment are as follows:

1) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other person has authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another;

2) The authority, influence or moral ascendancy exists in a working environment;

3) The employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, or any other person having authority, influence or moral ascendancy makes a demand, request or requirement of a sexual favor.”

What does “any sexual favor” look like?

Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 01-0940 sheds light on the classification of sexual harassment – grave, less grave, and light offenses.

Grave

  • Unwanted touching of private parts of the body (genitalia, buttocks and breasts);
  • Sexual assault;
  • Malicious touching;
  • Demanding sexual favor in exchange for employment, promotion, local or foreign travels, favorable working conditions or assignments, a passing grade, granting of honors, scholarships and benefits or payment of stipend or allownance; and
  • Other analogous cases.

Less Grave

  • Unwanted touching or brushing against a victim’s body;
  • Pinching not falling under grave offenses;
  • Derogatory or degrading remarks or innuendos directed toward the members of one sex or one’s sexual orientation or used to describe a person;
  • Verbal abuse or threats with sexual overtones; and
  • Other analogous cases.

Light Offenses

  • Persistently telling sexist / smutty jokes or sending these through cellular phones (text), internet (electronic mail) or other similar means, causing embarrassment or offense and carried out after the offender has been advised that they are offensive or embarrassing or, even without such advise, when they are by their nature clearly embarrassing, offensive or vulgar;
  • Malicious leering or ogling;
  • Surreptitiously looking or stealing a look at a persons’ private part or worn undergarments (voyeurism);
  • The display of sexually offensive pictures, materials or graffiti;
  • Unwelcome inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life;
  • Unwelcome sexual flirtation, advances, and propositions;
  • Making offensive hand or body gestures at an official or employee;
  • Persistent unwanted attention with sexual overtones;
  • Unwelcome phone calls with sexual overtones causing discomfort, embarrassment, offense or insult to the receiver; and
  • Other analogous cases.

So what should I do when sexual harassment was committed against me?

Report it to your institution’s authority right away. Better yet, submit a written complaint. If you are a government employee, file a complaint affidavit to the Committee on Decorum and Investigation of your agency and make sure it has Certificate of Non-Forum shopping attached to it. Under the law, the employer or head of office is mandated to act on it immediately upon being informed by the offended party. Otherwise, he or she or they will be solidarily liable.

FAQ:

Q: Does the sexual favor need to be rejected before it constitutes sexual harassment?

A: No. Section 3 of the said act provides that any demand, request, or requirement for any sexual favor whether accepted by object of said act.

Q: Is employer/employee relationship required before one becomes liable for sexual harassment done?

A: No. Section 3 states that any other person having influence or moral ascendancy may be liable for sexual harassment which means that employer/employee relationship is not required.

Q: If employer/employee relationship does not need to exist, may a stranger, not related by work or training, commit a sexual harassment under RA 7877?

A: No. This law only covers sexual harassment in work, education, or training-related environment.

Q: How is sexual harassment done in an education or training-related environment?

A:

  1. Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender;
  2. Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship or tutorship is entrusted to the offender;
  3. When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving of a passing grade, or the granting of honors or scholarships, or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges, or consideration; or
  4. When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the student, trainee or apprentice.

Q: What is the penalty for someone liable for sexual harassment under RA 7877?

A: Imprisonment for not less than one (1) month nor more than 6 months and/or (at court’s discretion) a fine of not less than 10,000.00 Php (around 200 USD) nor more than 20,000.00 Php (around 400 USD).

 

Cover image not mine. Retrieved from this site.

7 New Year’s Resolutions So Bold They’re Offensive

2018 declarations that are too bold to execute but too worth it not to try.

I never did New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs) before. This is the first time and, boooooi, I am telling you these are so bold I am typing them with my left hand covering my eyes. I am not referring to “I will wake up early from now on” type of NYRs but the war-freak NYR type that goes out on the streets and pushes someone’s chest to pick up a fight. It’s almost a letter addressed to hell.

I might need some Tasha Cobbs playlist for this post. In the name of Jesus indeed… Whew!

Without further ado, the following are NYRs that are so bold you will keep your pets away from me (feel free to have them as yours as well):

  1. I will fight back. Gone are the days that you push and mock me thinking you have the last laugh. I will fight back with the little I have knowing that my resources and supplies for every battle have been prepared even before I was born. I will never run out. Power will never run dry. I was marked to get my hands on Earth and to strike your head with my heel. I will train. I will sweat and cry but I will remember my victory is waiting for me. You know it too. I have won even before I started fighting.
  2. I am ending my years-long subscription to fear. Starting this year I am not going to allow fear to control my decisions. No, it will no longer keep me from living the life predestined for me, claiming the promises due me, and dreaming and planning seemingly impossible things. My life will be preoccupied with faith, courage, and power that there will be no room for a hint of fear. I will make fear fear itself. I will make fear regret its existence. I will have no mercy with fear. It will starve to death.
  3. I will fail and lose several times but I will get back up right away. If you think my failures and losses will still intimidate me. Think again because this time I am looking beyond myself and opening my arms to receive what the floodgates of heaven have for me. I am ready for some divine take-over. I will train my recovery time to be faster than the speed of light. Every tripping moment will be the very opportunity to manifest the grace to stand back up stronger. Every time I will lose, I will still win.
  4. I will multiply. Just so you thought “Oh she’s just one person anyway,” get over with your foolishness. I will influence, persuade, and inspire people to get out and shine the light. I will not stay indoors of my selfishness and comfort. I will go out there and tap people to this life of freedom. I will never be alone.
  5. I will forgive while looking straight in your eyes with a sense of victory. I will forgive as soon as I get hurt. I will embrace the process of healing but I will not use it as an excuse to delay myself or someone else. I will compensate offense with love.
  6. I will NEVER quit. No lie, intimidation, and manipulation will make me quit what was set for me to finish. I will finish strong.
  7. I will continue to discover who I am created to be and I will live my identity and purpose WITHOUT SHAME and WITH FULL CONFIDENCE. I am loved. I have been restored, refreshed, and redeemed. I am free from guilt. I am no longer bound. I am victorious. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am worthy.

 

Whatever’s been stopping and holding me in bondage, your days are over.

 

Cover image by Death to Stock Photo

Ex-parte Motion for Leaving Facebook

Respectfully submitting ex-parte motion to leave Facebook before the clock strikes 2018 because I am done with it.

Your Honor,

RESPECTFULLY submitting to you the attached Motion for the Honorable Court’s consideration.

M.

 

EX-PARTE MOTION FOR LEAVING FACEBOOK

COMES NOW, the undersigned counsel, unto this Honorable Court, most respectfully states:

  1. Facebook founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, states in a letter, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected”;
  2. The Honorable Court can definitely take judicial notice of the social impact and relevance of Facebook in everyday lives. The undersigned acknowledges the fact that it is useless to prove an information both judicially and globally recognized;
  3. However, what is beyond judicial and global recognition otherwise speculative is the effect of it on individual lives which vary on behavior – that the movant will, with the indulgence of this Honorable Court, mention on this motion;
  4. In the case of the movant, Facebook used to be a platform to keep families, relatives, and friends updated. It used to be a tool to keep people connected despite distance and time. It still does except this time it has become too much. See Exhibits “A-C”;
  5. Facebook has turned into a black hole of negativity, rage, obscenity, and a show of political and social prowess. It has become an arena of political gladiators trying to win every argument line per line, shade per shade, and angst per angst;
  6. I used to post without worry of condemnation and bullying. But recently I would make sure that everything posted would at least not elicit any raised brow from an intellectual, social, or political snob. It has become the place to impress than to express;
  7. Gradually, I saw myself posting because I wanted to please, perform, cover up, or prove something. #BLESSED #RIGHTEOUS #POLITICALLYCORRECT #DILAWAN #DDS #LOOKHOWDEEPIAM #WITTY #FOLLOWERS #COMMENTS #EXPENSIVE #FOODIE #LIVINGLIFE #NOTREALLY #PRETENTIOUS #POLARIZING #ENOUGH;
  8. Knowing that I cannot and do not want to carry this on in 2018, I gave myself a deadline “before the clock strikes 12, 01/01/18, you better move out to a better place”;
  9. This feels like a better place as of date. It’s quiet, peaceful, and it helps that I am not aware who gets to read or see this save for some of my closest friends that I want to really give updates to; and
  10. This new place is for the new year and I pray that the Court will grant guidance, wisdom, and healing as I go through a new chapter of sharing things that matter.

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that a blessing be ordered for the movant to thrive along with this new platform, that guidance as initially rendered be perpetuated for the Honorable Court’s glory, and for graces of productivity to be judicially dispensed this 2018.

01 January 2018

City of Manila.

ender

 

 

 

EXHIBIT “A”

EXHIBIT “B”

EXHIBIT “C”

Cover image: Death to Stock