Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr. was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1985. He was the 3rd placer in the 1984 Philippine Bar Exams (90.95). He specializes in the litigation and appeals of judicial and quasi-judicial cases in Metro Manila. He was a professor of civil law, remedial law, corporate law.
“Section 11. Possession of Dangerous Drugs. – The penalty of xxx (3) Imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) to Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000), if the quantities of dangerous drugs are less than five (5) grams of opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride, marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil, methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu,” or other dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, MDMA or “ecstasy,” PMA, TMA, LSD, GHB, and those similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirements; or less than three hundred (300) grams of marijuana.”
The Supreme Court in the case of People of the Philippines vs Rolando Santos Zaragoza (GR 233142, Jan. 17, 2018), through Associate Justice Samuel Martires discussed possession of illegal drugs, to wit:
“The elements of Section 11 are as follows: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object, which is identified to be prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug. xxx Illegal possession of regulated drugs is mala prohibita, and, as such, criminal intent is not an essential element. However, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus posidendi) the drugs. Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession, but also constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate possession or control of the accused. On the other hand, constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found.” (Emphasis supplied)
To sustain the conviction of your husband, the prosecution must adduce evidence that the sachet of shabu was recovered from his actual or constructive possession, and that such possession is not authorized by law. It must be proven that the illegal drug was in his immediate possession or control or that the illegal drug is under his dominion and control or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where such drug was found.
To answer your question on penalty, the imposable penalty for violation of Section 11 is imprisonment of 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine ranging from ₱P300,000 to ₱P400,000. This opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or further elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com x x x."
Incarceration vs. education: America spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools – and California is the worst.
Most American states spend more on their prisons than they do on education - and California is the worst, investing $64,642 per prisoner compared to $11,495 per student - a $53,146 difference in spending priorities
The reasons include an incarceration rate that has tripled over the past three decades, the higher cost of caring for people in prisons 24 hours a day, and the higher number of workers required to operate a prison
New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island round out the top states spending more on prisons
The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student, according to a new report. Americans account for 4.4 percent of the global population, but 22 percent of the world’s prison population.
California spends $8.6 billion a year on its prison system, more than any other state, averaging $64,642 per inmate. It’s also the state with the biggest gap between education and prison spending, paying just $11,495 per student for a difference of $53,146, according to a new analysis by personal finance site GoBankingRates.
Several factors play into the imbalance, including U.S. incarceration rates, which have more than tripled over the past three decades – even as crime rates have fallen. During the same period, government spending on K-12 education increased by 107 percent, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Education.
The U.S. spends more on prisons and jails than it does on educating children – and 15 states spend at least $27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student. This map breaks down the spending for those states, per student and per inmate, plus the difference between the two figures
Another factor in the spending gap between education and incarceration is that it takes more workers to run a prison than a school, with each American teacher supervising an average of 20.8 students, while prison guards oversee an average of 5.3 prisoners.
In addition, it costs more to house and feed prisoners three times a day, compared to school children who do not require the same 24-hour oversight.
While it may seem that prison spending and education spending are disparate, experts have drawn correlations between the two.
For example, about 66 percent of state prison inmates haven’t graduated high school, and young black men aged 20-24 without a high school diploma are more likely to be in jail or prison than they are to have a job, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
New York had the second-largest gap between per student and per prisoner costs – and spends more on each than any other state. Spending per student in New York is $22,366, compared to the $69,355 it invests per inmate, for a difference of $46,989. x x x."
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), driven by its mandate to elevate the standards of the legal profession and to improve the administration of justice in the country, recently launched the Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution -- a non-stock, non-profit arbitral institution that will provide commercial arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services and facilities for parties to disputes.
The PICCR envisions to contribute significantly to the improvement of the administration of justice by promoting the use of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution so as to make them the preferred modes of resolving disputes and to make the Philippines a preferred seat and venue for dispute resolution.
The PICCR's mission is (1) to promote the use of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution by providing facilities and administrative and dispute-management services at par with those of international arbitral institutions, (2) to raise awareness of the benefits of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution throughout the Philippines by regularly collaborating with and tapping the nationwide network and resources of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and (3) to provide intensive and effective training for interested arbitration and alternative dispute resolution practitioners with a view to building the Philippines' capabilities in providing arbitration and alternative dispute resolution services.
The first set of PICCR officers include Sixto Jose Antonio (President), Donemark Calimon, Quisumbing Torres Dispute Resolution Practice Group Head (Secretary General), Julius Anthony Omila (Corporate Secretary), Anna Carmi Calsado-Amoroso (Assistant Corporate Secretary), Carmelita Eleazar (Treasurer), and Marie Fe Galvez-Garcia (Assistant Treasurer).
Appointed as deputies to help the Secretary General are Julius Anthony Omila (Deputy Secretary General for Business Development), Teodoro Kalaw IV (Deputy Secretary General for Education and Accreditation), Maria Celia Poblador (Deputy Secretary General for Operations) and Michael Macapagal (Deputy Secretary General for Case Management).
Michael, Maria Celia and Anna Carmi, are members of the Quisumbing Torres Dispute Resolution Practice Group.
PICCR Arbitration Accreditation Course
Since its launch in February 2019, the PICCR has conducted its first run of the center's accreditation course. The course consists of three modules. Module one introduces participants to the fundamentals of commercial arbitration. Module two, a more intensive course, familiarizes the participants with the PICCR's Arbitration Rules. Module three is an award-writing course intended to prepare participants to the important task of writing awards.
It features practical exercises designed to train participants on how to prepare arbitral awards. A welcome reception for the first set of accredited PICCR arbitrators, including those who have passed Modules one to three, will be held later this month.
G.R. No. 221029, April 24, 2018 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner vs. MARELYN TANEDO MANALO, Respondent
"x x x.
Now, the Court is tasked to resolve whether, under the same provision [Par.2, Sec. 26, Family Code], a Filipino citizen has the capacity to remarry under Philippine law after initiating a divorce proceeding abroad and obtaining a favorable judgment against his or her alien spouse who is capacitated to remarry. Specifically, Manalo pleads for the recognition of enforcement of the divorced decree rendered by the Japanese court and for the cancellation of the entry of marriage in the local civil registry " in order that it would not appear anymore that she is still married to the said Japanese national who is no longer her husband or is no longer married to her; [and], in the event that [she] decides to be remarried, she shall not be bothered and disturbed by said entry of marriage," and to use her maiden surname.
We rule in the affirmative. Both Dacasin v. Dacasin28 and Van Dorn29 already recognized a foreign divorce decree that was initiated and obtained by the Filipino spouse and extended its legal effects on the issues of child custody and property relation,respectively.
In Dacasin, post-divorce, the former spouses executed an Agreement for the joint custody of their minor daughter. Later on, the husband who is a US citizen, sued his Filipino wife enforce the Agreement, alleging that it was only the latter who exercised sole custody of their child. The trial court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction, on the ground, among others, that the divorce decree is binding following the "nationality rule" prevailing in this jurisdiction. The husband moved to reconsider, arguing that the divorce decree obtained by his former wife is void, but it was denied. In ruling that the trial court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit bu not to enforce the Agreement, which is void, this Court said:
Nor can petitioner rely on the divorce decree's alleged invalidity - not because the Illinois court lacked jurisdiction or that the divorced decree violated Illinois law, but because the divorce was obtained by his Filipino spouse - to support the Agreement's enforceability . The argument that foreigners in this jurisdiction are not bound by foreign divorce decrees is hardly novel. Van Dron v. Romillo settled the matter by holding that an alien spouse of a Filipino is bound by a divorce decree obtained abroad. There, we dismissed the alien divorcee's Philippine suit for accounting of alleged post-divorce conjugal property and rejected his submission that the foreign divorce (obtained by the Filipino spouse) is not valid in this jurisdiction x x x.30
Van Dorn was decided before the Family Code took into effect. There, a complaint was filed by the ex-husband , who is a US citizen, against his Filipino wife to render an accounting of a business that was alleged to be a conjugal property and to be declared with right to manage the same. Van Dorn moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action was barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings that she initiated, but the trial court denied the motion. On his part, her ex-husband averred that the divorce decree issued by the Nevada court could not prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national policy; that the acts and declaration of a foreign court cannot, especially if the same is contrary to public policy, divest Philippine courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters within its jurisdiction . In dismissing the case filed by the alien spouse, the Court discussed the effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their conjugal property in the Philippines. Thus:
There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the Union. What he is contending in this case is that the divorce is not valid and binding in this jurisdiction, the same being contrary to local law and public policy.
Is it true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorce abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage. As stated by the Federal Supreme Court of the United States in Atherton vs. Atherton, 45 L. Ed. 794,799:
"The purpose and effect of a decree of divorce from the bond of matrimony by a court of competent jurisdiction are to change the existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife, and to free them both from the bond. The marriage tie, when thus severed as stone party, ceases to bind either. A husband without a wife, or a wife without a husband, is unknown to the law. When the law provides in the nature of penalty, that the guilty party shall not marry again, that party, as well as the other, is still absolutely feed from the bond of the former marriage."
Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is estopped by his own representation before said court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.
To maintain, as private respondent does, that under our laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wife's obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served.31
In addition, the fact that a validity obtained foreign divorce initiated by the Filipino spouse can be recognized and given legal effects in the Philippines is implied from Our rulings in Fujiki v. Marinay, et al.32 and Medina v. Koike.33
In Fujiki, the Filipino wife, with the help of her husband, who is a Japanese national, was able to obtain a judgment from Japan's family court. Which declared the marriage between her and her second husband, who is a Japanese national, void on the ground of bigamy. In resolving the issue of whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his her spouse and a foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy, We ruled:
Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to recognize the Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy because the judgment concerns his civil status as married to Marinay. For the same reason he has the personality to file a petition under Rule 108 to cancel the entry of marriage between Marinay and Maekara in the civil registry on the basis of the decree of the Japanese Family Court.
There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest in maintaining the integrity of the marriage he contracted and the property relations arising from it. There is also no doubt that he is interested in the cancellation of an entry of a bigamous marriage in the civil registry, which compromises the public record of his marriage. The interest derives from the substantive right of the spouse not only to preserve (or dissolve, in limited instances) his most intimate human relation, but also to protect his property interests that arise by operation of law the moment he contracts marriage. These property interests in marriage included the right to be supported "in keeping with the financial capacity of the family" and preserving the property regime of the marriage.
Property rights are already substantive rights protected by the Constitution, but a spouse's right in a marriage extends further to relational rights recognized under Title III ("Rights and Obligations between Husband and Wife") of the Family Code. x x x34
On the other hand, in Medina, the Filipino wife and her Japanese husband jointly filed for divorce, which was granted.1âwphi1 Subsequently, she filed a petition before the RTC for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and declaration of capacity to remarry pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Article 26. The RTC denied the petition on the ground that the foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien spouse recognizing his capacity to obtain a divorce must be proven in accordance with Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. This Court agreed and ruled that, consistent with Corpuz v. Sto. Tomas, et al.35 and Garcia v. Recio,36 the divorce decree and the national law of the alien spouse must be proven. Instead of dismissing the case, We referred it to the CA for appropriate action including the reception of evidence to determine and resolve the pertinent factual issues.
There is no compelling reason to deviate from the above-mentioned rulings. When this Court recognized a foreign divorce decree that was initiated and obtained by the Filipino spouse and extended its legal effects on the issues of child custody and property relation, it should not stop short in a likewise acknowledging that one of the usual and necessary consequences of absolute divorce is the right to remarry. Indeed, there is no longer a mutual obligation to live together and observe fidelity. When the marriage tie is severed and ceased to exist, the civil status and the domestic relation of the former spouses change as both of them are freed from the marital bond. x x x."
G.R. No. 224015, July 23, 2018 STEPHEN I. JUEGO-SAKAI, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
"x x x.
The issue before Us has already been resolved in the landmark ruling of Republic v. Manalo,11 [G.R. No. 221029, April 24, 2018], the facts of which fall squarely on point with the facts herein. In Manalo, respondent Marelyn Manalo, a Filipino, was married to a Japanese national named Yoshino Minoro. She, however, filed a case for divorce before a Japanese Court, which granted the same and consequently issued a divorce decree dissolving their marriage. Thereafter, she sought to have said decree recognized in the Philippines and to have the entry of her marriage to Minoro in the Civil Registry in San Juan, Metro Manila, cancelled, so that said entry shall not become a hindrance if and when she decides to remarry. The trial court, however, denied Manalo's petition and ruled that Philippine law does not afford Filipinos the right to file for a divorce, whether they are in the country or abroad, if they are married to Filipinos or to foreigners, or if they celebrated their marriage in the Philippines or in another country.
On appeal, however, the Court therein rejected the trial court's view and affirmed, instead, the ruling of the CA. There, the Court held that the fact that it was the Filipino spouse who initiated the proceeding wherein the divorce decree was granted should not affect the application nor remove him from the coverage of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code which states that "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 likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law." We observed that to interpret the word "obtained" to mean that the divorce proceeding must actually be initiated by the alien spouse would depart from the true intent of the legislature and would otherwise yield conclusions inconsistent with the general purpose of Paragraph 2 of Article 26, which is, specifically, to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after a foreign divorce decree that is effective in the country where it was rendered, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. The subject provision, therefore, should not make a distinction for a Filipino who initiated a foreign divorce proceeding is in the same place and in like circumstance as a Filipino who is at the receiving end of an alien initiated proceeding.12
Applying the foregoing pronouncement to the case at hand, the Court similarly rules that despite the fact that petitioner participated in the divorce proceedings in Japan, and even if it is assumed that she initiated the same, she must still be allowed to benefit from the exception provided under Paragraph 2 of Article 26. Consequently, since her marriage to Toshiharu Sakai had already been dissolved by virtue of the divorce decree they obtained in Japan, thereby capacitating Toshiharu to remarry, petitioner shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.
G.R. No. 224015, July 23, 2018 STEPHEN I. JUEGO-SAKAI, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
"x x x.
Nevertheless, as similarly held in Manalo, We cannot yet grant petitioner's Petition for Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment for she has yet to comply with certain guidelines before our courts may recognize the subject divorce decree and the effects thereof. Time and again, the Court has held that the starting point in any recognition of a foreign divorce judgment is the acknowledgment that our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign judgments and laws.13 This means that the foreign judgment and its authenticity must be proven as facts under our rules on evidence, together with the alien's applicable national law to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or herself.14 Since both the foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien, recognizing his or her capacity to obtain a divorce, purport to be official acts of a sovereign authority, Section 2415 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court applies.16 Thus, what is required is proof, either by (1) official publications or (2) copies attested by the officer having legal custody of the documents. If the copies of official records are not kept in the Philippines, these must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.17
In the instant case, the Office of the Solicitor General does not dispute the existence of the divorce decree, rendering the same admissible. What remains to be proven, therefore, is the pertinent Japanese Law on divorce considering that Japanese laws on persons and family relations are not among those matters that Filipino judges are supposed to know by reason of their judicial function.18 x x x."