"I chose to go to law school because I thought that someday, somehow I'd make a difference." -A.

August 3, 2017

Resolving Insurance Disputes

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Insurance companies have a reputation, arguably deservedly so, for being reluctant to pay out on policies and creating and exploiting loopholes to avoid paying out on legitimate claims. When an insurer acts in this way, they are said to be acting in bad faith and the policy holder may choose to take them to court if they believe they have a strong case. The insurance industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the United States, and while regulations will vary between states there are some aspects of resolving disputes with insurers that are universal. Every state will have a law with a name such as ‘Unfair Insurance Practices Act’ (UIPA) or ‘Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act’ (UCSPA), searching online for similar terms and the name of your state should return the exact legislation in the search results.

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July 22, 2017

Cabutihan vs. Landcenter

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Facts:
  • Cabutihan filed an action for specific performance against Landcenter Construction and Development Corporation with the RTC of Pasig.
  • According to Cabutihan, Landcenter Corporation did not comply with their obligation in a Deed of Undertaking wherein they agreed that Cabutihan would facilitate and assist Landcenter Corporation in recovering a parcel of land located in Paranaque in consideration of 20% of the land to be recovered.
  • Thereafter, Landcenter Corporation filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of improper venue.
  • They contended that since the primary objective of Cabutihan was to recover a property, it is a real action. Hence, the case should have been filed in the RTC of Paranaque where the land is situated pursuant to the rules.
  • The RTC granted the motion to dismiss.
  • Cabutihan assailed the said order.

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July 2, 2017

Legal Name in the Philippines

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Name is defined as a word or set of words by which a person or thing is known, addressed, or referred to. In our jurisdiction, a person’s legal name is composed of two parts namely the given name or proper name (also known as the first name) and the surname or the family name. The legal name of a person is one that is registered with the Civil Registry. Under the Philippines, a person acquires his or her legal name upon the filing of the birth certificate with the Office of the Civil Registrar. The name that appears on the said certificate shall be the legal name that will be used by the said person in exercising his capacity to act under the law and in his fitness of being subject to legal relations.

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June 6, 2017

Worker's Statutory Monetary Benefits (2016 Ed.)

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Issued by:  
Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC)
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
Tel. No. 5273000 locals 303, 308
Telefax No. 527-3478
Email: bwcsecretary@gmail.com
Website: bwc.dole.gov.ph

Click here to download.
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June 2, 2017

History of Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Even before the Spaniards reach the Philippines, Filipinos already have their own set of customs and traditions that they follow from day to day. Whenever there are conflicts that arise among members of a particular community, the practice of the Filipino men and women was to refer the same to their elders. These elders are highly respected in the community, which is the primary reason why Filipinos respect and abide by whatever resolution that the former makes.

In the book of Jim V. Lopez entitled “The Law on Alternative Dispute Resolution: How to Resolve Legal Disputes Without A Courtroom Trial”, the author pointed out the fact that our ancestors have practiced out-of- court settlements during their time. According to him, Jose Rizal said that “Judges were persons of the locality, forming a jury, elected by both parties who knew the case, the customs and usages better than the gowned judge from the outside to make his fortune, to judge the case he does not know and who does not know the usage customs and language of the locality.”

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May 18, 2017

Buan vs. OIC Lopez

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Facts:
  • On August 5, 1986, a Special Civil Action was instituted by the Quiapo Church Vendors against Respondent Gemiliano Lopez who was the then Acting Mayor of Manila.
  • The case prayed for that the Lopez be prohibited from arbitrarily, whimsically and capriciously revoking or cancelling their licenses or permit as well as from threatening the physical demolition of their business stalls.
  • There was also a prayer for issuance of TRO which was granted on the same day.
  • On July 7, 1986, another Special Civil Action of prohibition with preliminary injunction was filed by Samahang Kapatiran Sa Hanap Buhay ng Bagong Lipunan against Lopez.
  • The president of the said organization was Rosalina Buan and its press relations officer was Liza Ocampo.
  • The two individuals are also the petitioners in the case at bar.
  • It must be noted that the petitions is grounded on the same facts. (page 7, left)
  • There was also identity of parties or at least such parties represent the same interests in both actions as well as the identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for. 

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May 3, 2017

CIR vs. Stanley Works Sales

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Facts:

  • Stanley Works Sales Phils., Incorporated is a domestic corporation. Stanley Works filed its Annual Income Tax Return for taxable year 1989 with the BIR.
  • On March 19, 1993, the BIR issued to Stanley Works a Pre-Assessment Notice No. 002523 for 1989 deficiency income tax. It was received by the corporation on April 21, 1993.
  • On May 19, 1993, Stanley Works filed a protest letter and requested reconsideration and cancellation of the assessment.
  • On November 16, 1993, a certain Mr. John Ang, on behalf of the corporation, executed a "Waiver of the Defense of Prescription Under the Statute of Limitations of the National Internal Revenue Code" (Waiver). 
  • The Waiver was not signed by Stanley Works or any of its authorized representatives and did not state the date of acceptance as prescribed under Revenue Memorandum Order No. 20-90.
  • Under the terms of the Waiver, Stanley Works waived its right to raise the defense of prescription under Section 223 of the NIRC of 1977 insofar as the assessment and collection of any deficiency taxes for the year ended December 31, 1989, but not after June 30, 1994. 
  • On March 4, 2002, Stanley Works submitted a Supplemental Memorandum alleging that CIR’s right to collect the alleged deficiency income tax has prescribed.
  • The CTA Division ruled that the request for reconsideration did not suspend the running of the prescriptive period to collect deficiency income tax. This decision was affirmed by the CTA en banc.

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April 29, 2017

Does Rule 108 Allow Sex or Gender Change in the Birth Certificate by Reason of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplaxia?

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Under Rep. Act No. 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Ultimately, we are of the view that where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual, like respondent, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones (androgen) there is preponderant biological support for considering him as being male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed.
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April 21, 2017

Change of Name Under Rule 103

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April 12, 2017

Bar Exam Results 2016

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Date of exam: NOVEMBER 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2016
Release date: MAY 3, 2017

For the complete list, click here
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March 13, 2017

What is Suffrage?

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Definition: The right to vote in the election of officers chosen by the people and in the determination of questions submitted to the people. 

Suffrage applies not only to elections, but may also extend to initiatives, referenda, plebiscite and recall.

Suffrage as a duty is in the nature of a public trust and constitutes a voter a representative of the whole people. This duty requires that the privileged bestowed should be exercised not exclusively for the benefit of the citizen or citizens proferring it but in good faith and with intelligent zeal for the general benefit and welfare of the State. (Cipriano Abanil v. Justice of the Peace Court of Bacolod, Negros Occidental et. al. 70 Phil. 28 (1940)).
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March 6, 2017

Benguet vs. Flores

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Facts:

  • This involves an administrative case filed by Benguet Electric Cooperative against Atty. Flores.
  • The complaint was for the removal of his name in the Roll of Attorneys by reason of forum shopping which amounted to grave misconduct and delay in the administration of justice.
  • There was a case GR. No. 89070 wherein Benguet Electric Cooperative was the winner. 
  • There was a writ of execution ordering the losing board members of  Benguet Cooperative to pay the amount of P344,000 which it paid to one Peter Cosalan during the pendency of the said case.
  • Now, Atty. Flores was the legal counsel of two of the losing board members namely Abundlo Awal and Nicasio Aliping.
  • As the lawyer for Awal and Aliping, Atty. Flores instituted Civil Case No. 2738-R with the RTC of Baguio seeking to enjoin Clerk of Court and others from levying on their properties. However, this was dismissed. (prayer: issuance of TRO and or preliminary writ of injunction pending the resolution of the main action)
  • Thereafter, separate complaints for Judicial Declaration of Family Home Constituted to exempt a property from being levied as a result of the enforcement of the judgment.
  • It was the claim of Benguest that there was forum shopping by reason of the fling of the said complaints as well as there was  a groundless suit for damages against the Sheriff since the said sheriff was only performing his job.
  • The IBP found Atty. Flores guilty and ordered his suspension for 6 months.
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February 14, 2017

Ferrer vs. Bautista

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Facts:
  • The City of Quezon passed two ordinances namely.
  • The first one was the Socialized Housing Tax of QC allowing the imposition of special assessment (1/2 of the assessed valued of land in excess of P100k)
  • The second one was Ordinance No. SP-2235, S-2013 on Garbage Collection Fees imposing fees depending on the amount of the land or floor area).
  • Jose Ferrer, as a property in Quezon City questioned the validity of the city ordinances.
  • According to Ferrer:
    • The city has no power to impose the tax.
    • The SHT violates the rule on equality because it burdens real property owners with expenses to provide funds for the housing of informal settlers.
    • The SHT is confiscatory or oppressive.
  • Also, he assails the validity of the garbage fees imposition because:
    • It violates the rule on double taxation.
    • It violates the rule on equality because the fees are collected from only domestic households and not from restaurants, food courts, fast food chains, and other commercial dining places that spew garbage much more than residential property owners.

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