For many people December signifies a month of celebration, of joyous family gatherings and looking forward to seemingly bright futures. But for many farmers all over the country, December signifies uncertainty over the future of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines. Time is of essence what with two more session days to go for the year. If no action is taken over the pending bills which not only extend the funding for CARP (CARPER Bills), but also institute some much-needed reforms, agrarian reform in our country will be left in limbo, it’s status uncertain and its to-be beneficiaries left hanging.
Yesterday, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabilo and at least twenty farmer-leaders began an indefinite hunger strike. While we support such sacrifice, we cannot help but wonder why such means have to be undertaken in order to show that they are willing to undergo great hardships in order that the CARPER bill be passed. We are deeply saddened by the fact that in order to grab the attention of our leaders, farmers from all over the country have had to march hundreds and even thousands of miles and undergone many hardships and challenges en route to Manila. To our mind, the benefits of the Agrarian Reform Program should accrue to the farmers as a MATTER OF RIGHT, yet, they have to go through great lengths to claim such rights? There’s something very wrong and disturbing about that.
We believe that Agrarian Reform need not be complicated nor cloaked in technicalities. It is a Constitutional mandate which has at its heart social justice. The government does not have an option to institute and implement such a program nor does the Congress have the privilege to pass a related law based on its whims and caprices. It is a DUTY and as such, UNTIL the ends of social justice have been met, it is incumbent upon both our lawmakers to pass laws which will enable the agrarian reform program to continue and the executive branch to ensure that such program is properly, effectively, and equitably implemented.
Justice Jose P. Laurel so aptly and eloquently defined social justice in the case Calalang vs. Williams [70 Phil. 726 (1940)] as being neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy, but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to ensure economic stability of all the component elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutiona lly, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est supremo lex. We believe that an Agrarian Reform Program is one such concrete measure to attain the ‘equalization of social and economic forces so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.”
The Philippines’ has had an Agrarian Reform Program for the past twenty years and while some have benefited from it, many more have yet to reap the benefits it promises. It cannot be left on a standstill at this crucial point in time, it must go on, albeit with much-needed reforms so that the ends of social justice may be met.
We are one with the various groups as we call on our Congress to utilize the last two session days wisely and pass into law HB 4077 and SB 2666 which precisely extend CARP and introduce reforms to the said Program. We challenge those Members of Congress who heretofore remain undecided as to which position to take to think of social justice, of equity, of the plight of the Filipino farmer who has tilled land which he does not own to decide in favor of CARPER. To take no action at this crucial juncture would be fatal to the cause of agrarian reform as the means to attaining social justice and equity. Let us not stand as uninterested spectators but rather, let us be in solidarity with the Filipino farmer and take action. We say that delay will only be inimical and there is no other option but CARPER NOW!
- UP Law Student Government Executive Board 2008-2009
Two years ago, members of the Lower House floated around the idea of amending the Charter. Facing opposition from the Senate, the House gave the Senators three days to agree to a constitutional convention, failing which they would pursue charter change without the participation of the Senate, through a constituent assembly.
Two years ago, people outraged by the Lower House’s disregard for the bicameral nature of Congress assembled in mass protest actions. Eventually, Congress shelved its ill-conceived plans of hastily amending the Constitution.
Two years ago, the UP Law Student Government issued a statement calling the maneuvers of the Congressmen then as “an obvious and grave abuse of power and discretion.”
It is unfortunate that we find ourselves having to do the same thing today, to call on our leaders who never seem to understand that so long as the initiative to amend the Constitution is in blatant disregard of the text and spirit of the fundamental law of the land, and so long as the initiative is to be carried out by people who suffer under an obvious conflict of interest, their calls for cha-cha will always remain suspect.
We, the undersigned students of the University of the Philippines College of Law, denounce the recent moves by our lawmakers in the Lower House to amend the Constitution without the participation of the Upper House, and without the participation of the people.
We are not against the idea of amending the Constitution; perhaps, there really are governmental and policy reforms that warrant the reworking of our Charter.
But we are against the idea of railroading the amendments process and disregarding the very nature of bicameralism. The 1987 Constitution may not speak of the manner by which amendments to the constitution are to be voted upon—that is, whether it is to be voted by all the members of Congress jointly or separately. But this omission does not mean that the framers intended for Congress to vote jointly. If anything, the omission was a mere human oversight, because at the time the 1987 Constitution was being drafted, the original proposal referred to a unicameral Congress similar to that in the 1973 Constitution. Since we ended up with a bicameral legislature, it is but reasonable to say that the general rule for the manner of voting is to vote separately. If laws are passed by the lower and upper Houses separately, why should the process of amending our fundamental law be any different?
We are against the idea of amending the Charter before the 2010 elections, by the very people who stand to directly benefit from it. It is to be noted that several proposals among the 30 cha-cha-related resolutions filed in the 14th Congress call for a shift from a republican to a federal government. Such a change in our political structure would naturally entail talks about term limits, term extensions, and qualifications—matters that we cannot leave to a con-ass that suffers from a conflict of interest. Any amendment to our fundamental law will have far-reaching consequences; thus, the need for our lawmakers and the people to deliberate upon them. There is a venue where proposed amendments may be intelligently discussed and debated, without the trappings of vested political interests. Unfortunately, we do not see the con-ass being championed by administration allies as that kind of venue. Two years ago, the public showed its distrust of this administration spearheading any form of charter change. From 2006 and 2008, nothing has happened to significantly increase public trust in it; in fact, after the numerous scandals and human rights violations that have surfaced since 2006, people’s trust in this administration has plunged even further.
We call on the President to ask her allies to stop any and all attempts to change the charter before the 2010 national elections. It is not enough for Malacañang to deny that it had a hand in the maneuverings of its allies in Congress; being their titular head, PGMA is in the position to stop them if she were really so inclined. We remind her of what she said two years ago, that “Philippine democracy will always find the proper time and opportunity for Charter reform at a time when the people deem it ripe and needful, and in the manner they deem proper.”
We call on our elected leaders to be more circumspect in their actions; to consider, instead, urgent issues that need to be addressed before they adjourn this year: the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program; the Reproductive Health Bill; the Access to Information Bill; the rising incidences of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and harassment of lawyers, activists, peasants and journalists; among others.
We call on our fellow law students and students from other colleges to be vigilant about attempts to undermine the rule of law. Study the issues. Talk to your friends and families about cha-cha. Be involved in actions to safeguard the integrity of our Constitution and its processes. The Constitution may not be perfect, but for now it remains to be the law. To quote our predecessors, “Let us not get caught in the tragedy of being a law student who studies the law in a vacuum and remains in the dark in the midst of surrounding political turmoil. Let us grab this chance to learn the law not just inside Malcolm Hall but to learn it in spite of Malcolm Hall.”
More than that, let us be involved precisely because we are students of Malcolm Hall.
- The Executive Board, UP Law Student Government 2008-2009
Michael Jobert I. Navallo
Alessandra Maria Anna Gloria O. Reyes
Bernice C. Mendoza
Janette T. Lim
Aaron Jarveen O. Ho
Public Relations Officer
Sophia Monica V. San Luis
in cooperation with the Office of the Dean
invites you to
CARP Beyond 2008?
A Forum on the Future of Philippine Agrarian Reform
on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 (International Human Rights Day)
at the Sarmiento Room from 12nn-3PM
*snacks will be served
a Forum on the Future of Philippine Agrarian Reform
It’s quite simple: the land belongs to the farmer and the farmer to the land. This inextricable bond between the farmer and the land he tills is at the heart of the issue of Agrarian Reform. Blood, sweat, and tears have been given up in the farmers’ long drawn out fight for genuine agrarian reform.
Twenty years after Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was enacted, there is once again a clamor not just for Agrarian Reform, but for the extension and reform of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Twenty years have passed and while the objectives of the CARP are honorable and seek to distribute land and effectively redistribute wealth, much has yet to be done given the less than universal and consistent implementation of the law, lack of political will, and the great number of farmers who are yet to reap the benefits of this program.
Twenty years has passed and still, farmers have gone to great lengths to fully claim the land which is rightfully theirs. It was only last year that the Sumilao Farmers walked 1,700 kilometers from Bukidnon to Manila. This year, many farmers’ groups have followed (literally) in their footsteps -- The Banasi Farmers walked more than 400 kilometers, the Calatagan Farmers, among others. There are farmers who are in the twilight of their lives yet have marched hundreds of kilometers not so much for themselves, but for their grandchildren whom they believe can have a better future.
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform is, in theory very promising and revolutionary. The CARP implements the Constitutional blueprint for national development. It is a poverty-alleviation measure that seeks to transform agrarian reform beneficiaries into more productive members of society who can use the land to generate more income for their families. As a major social justice program, the CARP seeks to address the problem of inequitable distribution of land. However, if genuine and comprehensive agrarian reform is truly the end goal, much has yet to be done.
The forum seeks to give an overview of the CARP over the past twenty years as well as the pending reform measures in Congress. It will also be a venue to exchange ideas and insights so as to give a more in-depth understanding of Agrarian Reform in our country.
Speaker: Prof. Rowena Guanzon
When: December 8, 2008, 1:00-3:00pm
Where: Malcolm Theater, UP Law
Brought to you by the Office of the Dean, UP Delta Lambda Sigma Sorority, UP Portia Sorority, UP Women in Law, UP Paralegal Volunteers Organization and the UP Law Student Government
Corruptionary: A Cultural Innovation for Good Governance
NATIONAL STUDY CONFERENCE
When: December 8 & 9, 2008
Where: University Hotel, UP Diliman
Brought to you by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG)
CenPEG is inviting all interested law students to attend a 2-day conference / festival of sorts on CORRUPTION. This is in line with the recent release of the first dictionary on corruption-related words, the Corruptionary.
Notably, Professors Vicky Avena and Harry Roque are speakers in this Conference.
Prof. Avena will be the resource person in "The Rule of Law and Corruptionary", Monday, December 8, 1pm to 230pm.
Prof. Roque will be the speaker in the Workshop on "A Program on the Rule of Law against Corruption", December 9, 1030am to 1230pm.
All these will be held in the University Hotel. Do Come. :)
USC Karolfest 2008
UP Charivari, the Official Chorale of the College of Law, will be competing against other college-based chorales in UP during the annual university carolfest this TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2008, 5:00pm at the UP Theater.
Charivari will be rendering 3 Filipino Christmas songs all composed by UP Alumni.
Admission is FREE! Come and support your friends as the sing for UP Law! God Bless Charivari!
Erwin Arandia (Conductor)
CARP Beyond 2008?
CARP Beyond 2008? Different Perspectives on the Future of the Philippine Agrarian Reform Program
When: December 10, 2008, Wednesday, 12nn to 3pm
Where: Sarmiento Room
When: December 11, 2008, 1:00 to 5:00pm (NO CLASSES - to be confirmed with the OCS)
Where: UP School of Economics Auditorium
Brought to you by the USC.
The USC encourages all iskolar ng bayan to attend the Univesity Convocation this Thursday, December 11 at the School of Economics Auditorium, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The USC has asked Chancellor Cao to suspend classes Thursday afternoon to encourage students to take part and be involved in the assembly.
To be discussed are important campus issues, from updates on the campaigns for Student Demands (regarding free use of university facilities, dormitory issues, lab fee increases, etc.) to the crucial Student Regent Selection Process Referendum. Resolutions will also be drafted regarding the aforementioned issues. All UP Students are strongly encouraged to take part in these crucial endeavors.
University Wide Anti Cha-Cha Vigil
When: December 11, 2008, Thursday, 6:00pm onwards
Where: Academic Oval
Brought to you by the Office of the Dean and the UP Law Student Government
No to CHA-CHA before 2010!
When: December 12, 2008, Friday, afternoon
Where: Ayala, Makati
UP Law Class of 83 Pakain
When: December 13, 2008, 11:30am to 1pm
Where: Malcolm Hall Lobby
Watch out for four major raffle prizes (32-inch Philips LCD) and lots of minor prizes!
MALCOLM MADNESS 2008: Law School Musical
When: December 13, 2008, 6pm onwards
Where: Malcolm Theater, UP Law
Tired of mainstream coverage of issues that affect you and your community? Do you feel that news reports about issues in your community are often slanted or inaccurate? Do you often wish you can report important events happening before your very eyes with the competence and skill of a professional journalist?
Then here is your chance to upgrade your skills! Come and participate in the Pinoy Citizen Journalism Seminar, entitled "May kuwenta ba kamo? E-kuwenta mo!".
On November 29, 2008, from 9 am to 5 pm, ordinary citizens from various communities and sectors will converge at the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) in UP Diliman to talk about the prospects of true citizen empowerment through journalism. Through technological tools like the cellphone, the personal computer, and the digital camera, citizens have the opportunity to report events that unfold before their very eyes, from natural disasters to demolitions, from tragic accidents to state brutality and repression.
The Seminar will have a plenary discussion on the prospects of citizen journalism and the advent of technology that can be used for citizen reporting. In the afternoon, there will be breakout sessions on various journalistic skills, from news and features writing, to photography, videography and science journalism/blogging.
Resource persons include Prof. Danny Arao (UP College of Mass Communications), journalist Iris Pagsanjan (GMA news), photographer Raffy Lerma* (Philippine Daily Inquirer), award-winning blogger and new media advocate Tonyo Cruz, Rowena Carranza-Paraan of NUJP and PCIJ , Dr. Giovanni Tapang (UP College of Science), SIPAT (Sine Patriyotiko) and speakers from Pinoy Weekly and CPU.
No registration fee! Come as you are! It would be better if you have basic tools like laptop or camera with you, but you can do with paper and pen.
Pre-registration will be open soon! First fifty (50) pre-registrants will get a Pinoy Citizen Journalism kit and free lunch!
For more information on the event, visit: http://pinoycitizenjourn.
Gang Leaders (Block Heads):
A - Tim Guanzon (0927-4437902)
B - Diana Bello (0917-8817588)
C - Adrian Arugay (0916-5406398)
D - Jay Yano (0917-8327306)
E - Jan Barcena (0927-3153209)
brought to you by PRO Aaron and his team.
with that said, good luck everyone with the final exams. thank you for volunteering and participating in the activities of the law student government and the bar operations. we apologize for our misgivings. rest assured that next sem we'll try even harder to make things better at malcolm hall. see you and enjoy your break!
MIAMI (AFP) - A Florida judge has deemed unconstitutional a law banningthat show off the wearer's underwear, local media reported Tuesday.
A 17-year-old spent a night in jail last week after police arrested him for wearing low pants in, southeast Florida.
The law banning so-called "saggy pants" was approved by city voters in March after supporters of the bill collected nearly 5,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
The teen would have received a 150 dollars fine or community service, but he spent the night in jail due to a history of marijuana use, the Palm Beach Post newspaper said.
"Somebody help me," said Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle, before giving his decision.
"We're not talking about exposure of buttocks. No! We're talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear are apparently visible to a police officer who then makes an arrest and the basis is he's then held overnight, no bond."
"Your honor, we now have the fashion police," added Carol Bickerstaff, who asked the law be declared "unconstitutional."
The judge agreed with Bickerstaff immediately, reported the Post.
Laws that ban low-slung pants are on the books in several US cities, including Delcambre, Louisiana, where offenders can be fined up to 500 dollars or jailed for up to six months.
Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia are among the larger US cities considering similar measures.
i don't wear baggy pants that show off my underwear. i think it's baduy. but if someone wants to dress that way, who am i to tell him not to dress as he pleases?
neither do i wear sando to school. seldom do i wear slippers. but should we exclude those who choose to dress that way from learning the law in the grand manner?
in the first place, what substantial interest are we advancing in imposing a dress code? the college's concern to look professional? its concern to set itself apart from the rest in diliman? or its goal towards achieving a higher bar passing rate?
having a dress code reinforces the one thing i hate about lawyering: pretense. we put so much premium on our appearance, on our "performance" and decorum in court, but come to think of it, how much have we (lawyers and lawyers-to-be) contributed towards improving this country?
frankly, i have more respect for a jesuit volunteer in slippers sent to some remote area than for a lawyer dressed in an armani suit who thinks of nothing else but billable hours.
the clothes do not make the man. the greatest tragedy is perhaps for a man to be respected solely for the clothes that he wear, and for nothing else.
By Krizna Gomez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:05:00 09/11/2008
One of the memorable sessions we’ve had so far in Political Law Review dealt with “gerrymandering,” the practice of carving up a new province or district from separate and even non-contiguous municipalities that comprise some politicians’ bailiwicks to enable them to preserve their hold on power. And recently just before the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, I saw for myself what gerrymandering actually means.
Before you can reach Buluan, a town in Maguindanao province, you have to pass by another province, Sultan Kudarat. And Shariff Kabunsuan province is so small you can actually drive through its highway without knowing that you are no longer in it. On an area inspection as we prepared to monitor the elections, we were able to go around Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao, and then reach the boundary of Sultan Kudarat in less than two hours.
Maguindanao (which would include Shariff Kabunsuan) is really beautiful. (I never thought I’d find it to be that way, but I can’t think of a better word to describe the place.) On both sides of the road are vast, green tracts of land with mountains stretching to the horizon. The houses are built so far apart that at some points, our local partners would refer to them as a “no man’s land.” And these simple houses are built of nipa.
Then you reach the seat of government, the Provincial Capitol of Maguindanao, and the “palaces” (yes, they have two of those) of the Ampatuan family, which are called “the Malacañang of the Mindanao.” These palaces rise from both sides of the road, one owned by the father, the other by the son. They are grand structures that contrast sharply with the poverty in the region. Joel, our local, said, “May bangko pa ‘yan sa loob” [“It even has a bank inside”].
During that two-hour trip, we passed through countless checkpoints and so many soldiers either walking in file by the side of the road or being transported in trucks and other military vehicles, all in full battle gear. At one checkpoint, the lady lawyer who was with us, and who had just finished praying the rosary, asked the solider, “How old are you?”
The soldier, who was sweating profusely from the heat of his uniform (or from terror) and obviously taken aback by the question, meekly uttered, “Twenty-two po.”
Boy, I’m 23 and I’ve never had to wear grenades around my waist to survive.
That day was yet another day of learning for me, reinforcing what I’ve started to realize since last year: We can never really judge a place and its people, without knowing their lives, how they live, and what they have to contend with every day. It’s so easy for the media to portray this part of the country as a war-torn land and for brilliant legal minds sitting in some comfortable office in Manila to agree with the logical reasoning of the Supreme Court in dissolving an entire province such as Shariff Kabunsuan, or to criticize an alien concept such as the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity based on what we know to be the Constitution and what we fear to lose as a nation should we give away so much independence to some groups.
I, for one, agree with the decision to strike down the law that created the province of Shariff Kabunsuan (like what I said, it’s really absurdly small and very contiguous, and people know that one motive for creating new provinces or towns is to increase the internal revenue allotment). But until that day, I based my beliefs and principles only on what I knew to be right under the law, and I never thought anything else mattered. But when you go to the ground and find out that the Muslims of Shariff Kabunsuan and those of Maguindanao belong to two very different tribes, then the lines lose their clarity. When you see a big streamer hung across the highway that reads, “SUPREME COURT JUSTICES, PLEASE RECONSIDER YOUR DECISION. HAVE MERCY ON US” and supposedly put up by hundreds of employees of the provincial government who suddenly found themselves unemployed and with nowhere else to go, your keen legal mind finds itself confused by a complicated reality. When you hear a decorated military colonel, who has suffered imprisonment for love of country, predicting with conviction that one day, the whole of Mindanao will be separated from the Philippines because it is simply inevitable and it is most needed to avert bloodshed, you begin to question what you know to be the best for the nation or to stop hundreds of 22-year olds from having to kill against their will.
I’m a law student. But on that day, I was a law student who was not reading law books but who was immersed in the poorest, most battered corner on this side of the country.
I’m not saying that we should change what we know of the law because of what we see out there. But maybe, we can start learning how to look at the law minus the unflinching arrogance of our legal education but with a more sensitive eye if not an understanding heart for those who are left to bear the consequences of applying it.
I still think the Supreme Court was right in applying the law in Sema v. Comelec. Perhaps our government negotiators really gave away too much as the price of peace in Mindanao. But what I think cannot feed the families of those who were thrown out of their jobs in Shariff Kabunsuan, or prevent a young man from dying while fighting for peace. It’s tough to be a lawyer in a country that is poor and divided. It is hard to be both right and understanding.
Krizna Gomez, 23, is a fourth-year law student at the Ateneo de Manila University. She was in Cotabato City as part of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections, a group of non-partisan lawyers and law students that monitored the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
thanks to those who helped out at century park and at taft. hope to see you again in the next three saturdays.
congrats to arianne and the rest of the barops team for making it through the first weekend. hopefully wala nang madadampot ng mga police next time (inside joke, sorry sa mga di nakapagbarops).
let me just doze off for the meantime. will try multiply silence for as many days as possible, para makapag-aral naman at magkabuhay din.
ALUMNI, PROFESSORS, STUDENTS, STAFF
UP LAW, Bar Ops na!!!
We are at the Century Park
(by Harrison Plaza)
from Saturday 1pm till Sunday 5pm
all weekends of September.
Please join us in supporting our
2008 BAR TAKERS!!!
Help out, hang out, mingle, socialize, make friends, find love, show your school spirit!!!
Face the Challenge. Be the Strength.
100% LET'S GO UP LAW!!!
P.S. Please wear ONLY UP / UP Law apparel or school colors
Please find attached the letter drafted by the Law Student Government Executive Board on the Dress Code imposed by the Law Library. Hard copies are being given to the blocks through your president or representative. If you agree with the statement, please affix your signature. We hope to submit the letter to Prof. Santos as soon as we get feedback from all the blocks, so please help us expedite the process. Thanks!
Prof. Antonio S. Santos
Head Librarian, Espiritu Hall
UP College of Law Library
Last Thursday, the Law Library posted an announcement prohibiting the wearing of sandos and slippers inside the library. This regulation, which was effective immediately after posting, was imposed without prior notice or consultation with the students—not even with the LSG. Apart from this lack of notice, there are also no clear standards to guide the library personnel and the students as to what counts as inappropriate attire (How is a sando defined? How are slippers defined?).
Since the policy was effective immediately, some students (including non-law students) suddenly found themselves being expelled from the library, or being denied entry because of their "inappropriate attire." On Friday, LSG President Jobert Navallo clarified the matter with you. During that meeting, you cited three grounds to justify the regulation, to wit:
1) MC No. 14, which imposes a dress code for government officials and employees;
2) the Ateneo Law Library's dress code;
3) the UP Main Library's dress code (which allegedly imposes a similar prohibition).
We find however, that these rationales are thoroughly insufficient.
The first ground, which is the memorandum relied upon by the Library, is inapplicable to students. MC No. 14 is a memorandum issued in 1991 by the Civil Service Commission Chair to all government officials and employees, and was merely re-copied and re-released in 1997 by the then Vice Chancellor of UP, Mrs. Perla Legaspi, to UP units. By no stretch of the imagination can we say that law students are government officials and employees, and so from the title alone, it is obvious that such memorandum was never meant to apply to students. Inclusio unius est exclusio alterius.
Even assuming that MC No. 14 is applicable to students, why is it being invoked only now, and why the hurried implementation? Surely it cannot be because of any "urgency," because the university memo was issued ten years ago and no corresponding dress code among students was then imposed. The belated adherence by the College of Law library at the very least warranted prior notice to the student body.
The second reason propounded by your good office is that the Ateneo Law Library imposes a dress code. It does not follow, however, that the UP Law Library should impose the same. If there is anything that has been clear in our minds since day one, it is the fact that UP is not Ateneo. UP is a state university; it has, arguably, students from more diverse social and regional backgrounds; and it has no other graduate school that prescribes a dress code (not even its MBA Program).
In our system, state-operated schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism. School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Students in school as well as out of school are "persons" under our Constitution. They are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect, just as they themselves must respect their obligations to the State. In our system, students may not be regarded as closed-circuit recipients of only that which the State chooses to communicate. They may not be confined to the expression of those sentiments that are officially approved. In the absence of a specific showing of constitutionally valid reasons to regulate their speech, students are entitled to freedom of expression of their views. (Tinker v. Des Moines School District, 393 U.S. 503 , emphasis supplied.)
Law students, in any school, are presumably responsible thinkers. But this should be a natural presumption in a school where the main teaching tool is the Socratic Method. Our professors are here not to define what counts as inappropriate, or to impose a dress code that they believe is appropriate, but to help students realize the correct answer, if there ever is one, in clothing.
Let the students continue to decide for themselves matters that are personal and that have no reasonable relation to their competence in studying the law. Indeed, nobody has ever claimed that UP Law graduates are less likely to act professionally in the field because UP does not impose a dress code the way Ateneo does, or that our lower bar passing rate is attributable to the way we dress.
The final justification is that the UP Main Library has a similar dress code. We find this hard to believe since no official memo has been distributed to the students, given to the USC or published or reported in the Philippine Collegian and, unless the students are apprised of a rule, they cannot reasonably be expected to abide by it.
Assuming however, that such a policy exists, it would still be a non-sequitur. Why should law students be precluded from questioning the Law Library's policy, just because the Main Library has imposed a similar policy? Policies affecting students which are imposed unilaterally and without any consultation should always be subject to attack.
Perhaps what is abnormal in this situation is the fact that the Library has not put forth any substantial interest in regulating the way students dress themselves. In Tinker v. Des Moines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a student's right to free speech (which includes how he dresses) can only be curtailed if the speech would impinge on other student's rights, and if it would result in a substantial disruption / material interference with school activities. No such harm exists with the wearing of slippers and sando (although we have not seen anyone actually wear sando to school). And assuming it does, the harm must be real, and not merely conjectural, and the regulation should be such as to alleviate the harm in a direct and material way. School uniform policies should only be upheld if "it advances important government interests unrelated to the suppression of free speech, and if it does so in ways that effect as minimal a restriction on students' free expression as possible" (Jacobs v. Clark County School District, United States District Court for the District of Nevada, May 12, 2008).
The fundamental freedom of expression has guaranteed, as the history of our country would attest, that the students of the University of the Philippines, particularly of the College of Law, will always be at the forefront of student activism, and consequently, national development. It is for this reason that we regard it with utmost reverence and jealousy.
We therefore call on the UP Law Library to lift the policy and desist from implementing any dress code without first consulting the student body.
The Executive Board
UP Law Student Government 2008-2009
Michael Jobert I. Navallo
Alessandra Maria Anna Gloria O. Reyes
Bernice C. Mendoza
Janette T. Lim
Aaron Jarveen O. Ho
Public Relations Officer
Sophia Monica V. San Luis
Michael Jobert I. Navallo
President, Law Student Government
Mobile: +639279704899 / +639233330885
Yesterday morning, the Law Library posted an announcement from the Law Librarian which prohibits the wearing of sandos and slippers inside the library. This regulation was to be implemented immediately after posting, without prior notice nor consultation with the students, not even with the LSG. The merits and demerits of imposing a dress code inside the library, thus, were not discussed.
This development comes just a few weeks after the General Assembly (a body composed of representatives from the different blocks) turned down a suggestion to enforce a dress code on Mondays. Why the sudden imposition of a dress code in the library? We at the LSG are at a loss ourselves as to the reason.
Upon clarification with the Law Librarian, Prof. Santos cited three grounds to justify the regulation: 1) a memorandum imposing a dress code for government officials and employees; 2) the Ateneo Law Library's dress code; 3) the UP Main Library's dress code (which allegedly imposes a similar prohibition). A fourth reason are the complaints from some professors about the way some students are dressed.
We will not address these grounds in this forum but will rather comment on them in the statement that the LSG EB is preparing. We will forward the EB statement to the General Assembly for consultation with the different blocks before finally submitting it to the Law Librarian.
We are encouraging everyone to send your comments to email@example.com so we can consider your thoughts on the matter. For the meantime, we ask for your patience as we try to address this issue. Thank you!
Michael Jobert I. Navallo
President, Law Student Government
Mobile: +639279704899 / +639233330885
As part of the Centennial Celebrations of the Mass Communication Alumni Association is organizing a grand alumni homecoming on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at the College of grounds starting at 1:00pm dubbed as “UP MASSCOMM AND YOU: PHOTOGRAPHS, MEMORIES ATBP”. This homecoming will be bringing back fondest memories of our college days where we had fun in learning and in doing lots of things. , the College of
This event will include a variety program showcasing CMC talents and the election of the CMC Alumni Association Board comprised of fifteen (15) members.
However, the highlight will be YOU, our dearest alumni! You! Bringing back your CMC memories and sharing it with your batch mates and other alumni.
We would like you to bring your batch memorabilia like the following:
Ø Oldest classcard, Form-5, class paper with grade, script, journalism article, graded exam in bluebook (should be a masscomm subject), course syllabus, student ID card, library borrower’s card, old photo’s etc.
Ø CMC Student Org album, photos or slum book, atbp.
Just present your memorabilia item at the reception desk and you get a prize instantly!
If you have a special collection during your student days you may want to put them on display at the Exhibition Area to be designated by your college.
Let’s bring back our CMC memories, renew our ties with our fellow alumni and college friends and lovers on September 27, 2008. For more details and information, you may access the CMC website at www.cmc.upd.edu.ph or contact us at:
Maryo J. 0917-8907249 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Armi email@example.com / 0917-8129149 /
Katkat firstname.lastname@example.org / 0927-2495820 /
We look forward to seeing you!
Warmest regards, Noted:
Maryo J. De Los Reyes Elena E. Pernia, Ph.D.
Batch 1974 Batch 1976
President, UP-CMCAA Dean, UP-CMC
TODAY (August 27):
10am-12nn Talk by Estelito Mendoza at the College of Law Sta. Ana Room
12nn Mass for Cris Mendez at the NCPAG Atrium to be followed by a short program
2pm Special Mass for UP Bar Candidates
6pm Testimonial Dinner in honor of the late Sen. Lorenzo Tanada at the Executive House
TOMORROW (August 28):
8:30-11:30am Kabuhayan, Karapatan at Katarungan: A Forum on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Violations and Remedies at the College of Law Malcolm Theater with Keynote Speaker Chief Justice Puno
1-5pm The Future of Philippine Elections: Reflections on the ARMM Election with COMELEC Chair Jose Melo
2:30-4:30pm Rethinking the Bangsamoro Crucible: A Reader book launch by CENPEG at the Bulwagang Sala'am, Asian Center/Romulo Hall
530-6:30pm Anti-Frat Violence Candle-Lighting at the Kalayaan Dormitory Steps
If you have time, please drop by at any of these events.
announcement came from Dean Leonen and Chancellor Cao.
Forum on Bangsamoro Juridical Entity Memorandum of Agreement will push thru 1.30 pm today at the Malcolm Theater.
please inform everyone you know.
Michael Jobert I. Navallo
President, UP Law Student Government
Mobile: +639279704899 / +639233330885
The UP Law Student Government
in cooperation with
UP College of Law organizations/sororities/fraternities
FRESHIE WEEK '08
August 19 (Tuesday)
LSG Gawad Kalinga Batch Build
LSG Barops Relay
Ms. Freshie Photoshoot
August 20 (Wednesday)
Scintilla Juris Fraternity Chess Tournament
Law Debate & Moot Court Union (LDMU) Debate Tournament (Eliminations)
August 21 (Thursday)
Portia Sorority Vice Relay
Charivari Videoke Challenge
August 22 (Friday)
Winlaw Guitar Hero Trournament
LDMU Debate Tournament (Finals)
August 23 (Saturday)
Ms. Freshmen Night Pageant
Games by Upsilon Sigma Phi and Delta Lambda Sigma Sorority and MORE!!
See you at Malcolm!
i woke up to 5 text messages and 1 missed call this morning, most of which came from my blockmates. ryan was warning me about an impending conflict in cotabato which he got from our mole in malacanang; tiff was telling me to keep safe while tish texted just to tell me, jobs, uwi ka na.
i don't know if i should feel good about it (your concern dear blockmates is heartwarming) or be more alarmed about recent developments.
but we have to do what we came here for.
so early today we went on an ocular inspection all over shariff kabunsuan and maguindanao. i know i promised my dad i'm not going out of the city but come on, i'm here for the armm elections so i better see the areas where the elections will be held. cotabato city, although the seat of armm, is not even one of them (puzzling, i know). so if i stay in cotabato city, there's nothing to see.
contrary to most people's perception however, shariff kabunsuan and maguindanao are generally peaceful today. except for several checkpoints and a group of soldiers marching with high-powered rifles, and yes, a skirmish in one of the barangays in shariff kabunsuan, most of the reported violence took place in north cotabato, about hmmm, an hour away from the city. what strikes you though is that it's so peaceful, you wonder why there seems to be no activity in the high way on a sunday!
one thing you'll notice also is that it's too clean for an elections. i mean, if there are 7 people running for governor, why do i see only posters of ampatuan all over? there are no signs of his opponents campaigning. i can't even picture out their names, much less their faces.
many observers are saying the contest is over long before election day. i say there seems to be no contest at all!
so why are we still here? well we're here to see how the automated elections will go, if it's feasible at all to adopt the system in the 2010 elections and if so, which among the two systems: one that resembles an upcat exam (shaded ballots read by counting machines) or one where voting is via touchpad (i'll spare you the technical names).
one sad realization during the trip though is seeing huge mansions in the middle of vast fields while lowly nipa huts and dilapidated houses abound next to them. how can you flaunt your wealth in front of people barely able to make ends meet?
the trip took the entire morning. we reached as far as the border of sultan kudarat, the province adjacent to maguindanao. we were back in the city for lunch before we met with the head of the philippine national police in the area. then krizna and i had to finish some things just before the 6pm deployment meeting with the volunteers. had to buy some stuff, have some documents photocopies and look for a tarp printer on a sunday while it's raining.
meeting finally ended at around 9pm but lo and behold we're not yet done. at 12mn, we're still waiting for our posters (which we will post in our vehicles) and we have to deliver them to the different roving teams before dawn!
tomorrow, we leave at 6am for sharif aguak, dropping by at some precincts along the way. we have to be back in cotabato city before lunchtime to prepare for presscon at 1pm. after that, i don't know exactly what will happen. but we'll definitely stay up until the last vote has been counted.
what a long day it's been; the next one is even longer. but the adventure has just begun. good luck to us all.
p.s. it's interesting to meet some old acquaintances while in cotabato city. last night, i met raffy lerma, a former collegian photographer who now works for the inquirer. benjie liwanag of dzbb, whom i first met when i was a trainee reporter in camp crame, is also here. just tonight, i bumped into an orgmate, janice ponce de leon. she is working for probe.
of course, it's also good to meet a lot of new faces, mostly law student volunteers like myself. and people who are connected to you in some way you never imagined.
small world ika nga. too bad we still fight over it.
after that early (mis)adventure at the naia3 terminal this morning (i.e., we got left behind), krizna and i finally arrived in cotabato city at 2pm this afternoon, thanks to pal (down with cebu pacific hehe). we went straight ahead to pacific heights hotel for the meeting with local lente volunteers and other election watchdogs. it's interesting that there's quite a number of citizens' organizations and foreign watchdogs that are taking part in this elections. even more fascinating are the number of law students who are willing to cut class for this initiative.
i'm excited for my job. apart from "municipality-hopping," i was tasked to help out in consolidating reports from different areas in the region and in preparing press releases for the media. sounds familiar? wow, is this college all over again?
we have one whole day to prepare for the elections on monday. lots of work to do tomorrow, but i'm looking forward to it.
so this is me, trying to live my backpack lawyer/journalist dream. never thought this is possible while being in law school. thanks lente.
now, can this trip get any better?
p.s. happy trip sa mga aalis tom for zamboanga, marawi and basilan. berns, arianne, abdel, dianna and kiko, ingat kayo guys! see you wednesday.
we were supposed to take the 10:05 am cebu pacific flight for cotabato. guess what, krizna (from ateneo human rights center and legal network for truthful elections) and i got left behind. well, the plane hasn't actually left yet when we reached naia3 terminal at around 9.30am. they didn't allow us to board the plane anymore (kasi malayo pa raw ang tataxihan ng plane from naia 3 terminal, it's going to cause a lot of delay, etc...). so now we're taking the 12nn pal flight as chance passengers 1 and 2. we're crossing our fingers because the only other way to get there is to take the plane to davao and travel by land to cotabato (which is almost a non-option given the areas that we will have to pass by to get there).
thanks to krizna's pr skills however, i'm confident we'll make it to that flight.
if it makes us feel any better, our boss, atty. chochoi, also missed his flight to zamboanga. ayun, hindi kami mapapagalitan hehe.
wish us luck, not just for our safety and security. i'm more concerned about the lawyer we're supposed to be with (who got on board cebu pacific). when krizna told her that we're going to miss our flight, her reaction was: pano na yan, i spent all my money in bacolod. i'm supposed to check in the hotel as soon as i arrive, i don't have money with me...blah blah
um, kinakabahan ako kung ganito makakasama ko, sorry. she didn't even bother to ask how we'll make it to cotabato. so pano to kung giyera na? oh well...
update: we're taking the 12nn pal flight. confirmed na! we'll board the plane in a while. see you all when we come back. pls. pray for us. we'll be safe. or try to haha.
where did that come from?
i know i know there's been talk about "fear of resurgence of violence" in the armm region because of the suspension of the signing of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domains between the milf and the philippine government. but to say that milf is preparing for war, that's a bit exagg from my point of view.
or maybe they are. regardless. war or not, the armm elections will push through and so will our job in monitoring the automated elections. there's no turning back now. not two days before the scheduled flight!
i tried arguing my way before my parents over ym. i told them that everything will be fine since there'll be lawyers around and that we'll just stay in counting centers. i told them that i think what we're doing is really important that's why i'm willing to cut classes for it (before launching into a discourse on how vital elections are to democracy, how this armm automated elections will affect 2010 elections, and how my presence there will be my own little contribution as a filipino). i tried varying the intonation of my voice, changing the look on my face, god knows what else. i even asked my brother to help me argue my case. alas, it seems that my arguing skills aren't working. after an hour or so of pleading before the chief magistrates, i am unable to convince them to change their minds.
this is terrible. i am 23 years old and yet i can't decide for myself. it's not as if i'm leaving a 2-year-old kid behind should something happen (god forbid). i'm not suicidal but what will happen to the world if we constantly live under the fear of something going wrong? i mean, if you die, it's your time to die, whether you're in maguindanao or not.
of course, i'm not a parent so i may not be able to understand how it is to be worried sick over your beloved child who has gone to some unsafe place. i understand how my parents feel, but does this mean i will never be allowed to go to these places just because they're "unsafe"? what if it's my job to go there to cover these places? (i haven't even told them about what i wanted to do after law school.)
i can argue with them forever but the moment they start talking about working abroad to send me to law school and how they just wish to see me graduate, i just fall on my tracks. how can i argue against that?
how will i ever explain to them that i feel strongly about lente and the whole automated election monitoring thing. we've been preparing for this for months now. i've been looking forward to that trip. and it's not because i just want to. it's because i think i have to.
maybe i'm a bit naive or too idealistic. maybe it's foolish to go to armm these days, as a blockmate of mine would point out. maybe i just have this messianic complex that's misplaced. someone bring me back to my senses please. or let me just rant for a while.
now i'm not sure if i'm going to school today because frankly, i don't know why i should. the only reason i see why we should study the law is for us to apply it and make our own contributions, no matter how little, to improving this country. it shouldn't wait until we graduate; it should start now while we're still in law school.
if i can't even do that, why bother. especially if i really can't see myself making pleadings all day and making millions out of it. and be a waste of space.
thank you LENTE for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. i'll give it my best shot. can't wait!
*additional speakers to be confirmed
For UP boast, judge draws SC reprimand
By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Just because you are a University of the Philippines (UP) law graduate doesn’t make you smarter than others. So says the Supreme Court, in effect.
Saying no school had monopoly of knowledge of the law, the high court reprimanded a Calamba City Regional Trial Court judge who told a lawyer that since the latter did not graduate from the UP College of Law, he and the judge could not be equals.
The court sanctioned Judge Medel Belen with a reprimand after finding him guilty of conduct unbecoming of a judge, and warned him that he would be sanctioned more severely if he repeated such an act.The lawyer, Melvin Mane, had filed a complaint against Belen over the judge’s remarks but later withdrew the complaint, saying he filed it because of his impulsiveness.
But the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) pursued the administrative proceedings against Belen.
In its June 30 decision penned by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, the high court said a lawyer’s competence should not be judged based on the law school he went to.
“An alumnus of a particular law school has no monopoly of knowledge of the law,” the court said.
“By hurdling the bar examinations which this court administers, taking the lawyer’s oath, and signing the Roll of Attorneys, a lawyer is presumed to be competent to discharge his functions and duties as an officer of the court, irrespective of where he obtained his law degree,” the court added.
for the full text of the article: For UP boast, judge draws SC reprimand
for the full text of the supreme court decision: Atty. Melvin Mane v. Judge Medel Belen
in cooperation with
ClickTheCity. com, Chevron, Azta Urban Salon
FEATURING a fashion show of Blue Star Exchange and American Boulevard apparel, a dance exhibition by UP Winlaw and a dance showdown by UP Streetdance Club
ENJOY free-flowing drinks at the bar for an entire hour!
This 19th of July 2008, Saturday, at 8 PM,
Be at ASCEND, Bonifacio High Street.
Tickets at Php300 with free drink!
For ticket inquiries, contact Aya (0917-8037483) or Jus (0923-4003707)
Represent! is also brought to you by American Boulevard.
KICKOFF the new schoolyear by showing your 100% support!
For the benefit of the 2008 UP Bar Operations.