Supreme Court decides on the Cybercrime Prevention Act

February 20, 2014

The Supreme Court has come out with its decision on the validity of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act. In its decision penned by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, the High Court found most of the law to be consistent with the Constitution and only found the following provisions to be unconstitutional:

  • Section 4 (c)(3) (unsolicited commercial communications);
  • Section 12 ( real-time collection of traffic data);
  • Section 19 (restricting or blocking access to computer data); also known as the take-down clause as it authorized the Department of Justice to restrict computer data on the basis of prima facie or initially observed evidence.

Section 5, which is aiding or abetting in the commission of a cybercrime and to the attempt to commit a cybercrime, was declared unconstitutional only in the following cases: child pornography, unsolicited commercial communications, and online libel and will apply to all other cybercrimes outlined in the law. Moreover, Section 7 which provides that apart from prosecution under the law, a cyber criminal can also be prosecuted for same offenses under the Revised Penal Code is unconstitutional only in relation to sections 4(c)(4) (online libel) and 4(c)(2) (child pornography).

As to the provisions on online libel, the SC said that this is constitutional but only the original author of the material shall be held liable. Those who share, like, retweet or reply to the libelous material will not be prosecuted.

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SC lifts five-strike rule for bar examinees

September 4, 2013

The Supreme Court en banc lifted last Tuesday the so-called “five-strike rule” for bar examinees, which states that an unsuccessful bar examinee cannot take the bar exams for more than five times. The five-strike rule was first implemented in 2005 through Bar Matter No. 1161, a resolution which disqualifies bar examinees who fail the bar five times from taking the exams again. The resolution which was promulgated last June 2004, allows a failing bar examinee three tries initially, and a fourth and fifth attempt after a one-year refresher course each time, provided, further, that upon the effectivity of the said resolution, those who have already failed in five (5) or more bar examinations shall be allowed to take only one (1) more bar examination after completing a (1) year refresher course.

The lifting of the rule cannot be applied to this year’s examination, however, as the list of probable bar candidates has already been published. The 2013 Bar Examinations will be held this October.

Related Link: Official 2013 Sample Bar Exam - https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/baradmission/2013/2013-sample-bar-exam.pdf

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Results of 2012 Bar Examinations

March 23, 2013

Only 949 out of a total of 5,343 bar examinees passed the 2012 Bar Examinations held last October. The passing average constitutes merely 17.76% of the total examinees and is the second lowest in Philippine history. According to Associate Justice Martin Villarama, Chairman of the 2012 Bar Exams, the high court followed its yearly tradition and lowered the passing grade from 75% to 70%. Were it not for this liberality of the Supreme Court, only 361 bar examinees would have passed constituting 6.76%.

This year’s bar topnotcher is Ignatius Michael D. Ingles of the Ateneo de Manila University with a score of 85.64%. The rest of the top ten are:

2. KING KAY, Catherine Beatrice O. – Ateneo de Manila University – 84.72%

3. LACSON, April Carmela B. – University of the Philippines- 84.48%

4. ROMUALDO, Xavier Jesus D. – Ateneo de Manila University – 84.10%

5. BASE, Maria Graciela D. – University of the Philippines and MACHUCA, Jose Maria Angel P. – Ateneo de Manila University – 83.99%

6. SALAZAR, Patrick Henry D. – University of the Philippines – 83.71%

7. BARCELONA, Ralph Karlo B. – Aquinas University – 83.43%

8. LLAMAS, Marvyn S. – Ateneo de Manila University – 83.29%

9. LI, Carlo Martin C. – Ateneo de Manila University – 83.27%

10. TIOPIANCO, Francis Paolo P. – University of the Philippines – 83.25%

Click here to view the complete list of successful examinees.

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Republic Act No. 10172 – Correction of Clerical and Typographical Errors in Month and Date of Birth and Sex of a Person Appearing in Civil Register

January 26, 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III recently signed into law Republic Act No. 10172 entitled “An Act Further Authorizing the City or Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General to Correct Clerical or Typographical Errors in the Day and Month in the Date of Birth or Sex of a Person Appearing in the Civil Register Without Need of a Judicial Order Amending for this Purpose Republic Act Numbered Ninety Forty-Eight. The said law amended Republic Act No. 9048, particularly Section 1 thereof and now allows the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general to change or correct without a judicial order, clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname, the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry.

Whereas before it was only clerical or typographical errors and change in the first name or nickname of a person which may be changed or corrected by a city or municipal civil registrar or consul general without a judicial order, RA 10172 now allows changes or corrections in the month and date of birth and sex of a person, even without the person petitioning the court.

WHAT IS A CLERICAL OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR?

As defined under RA 10172, a “clerical or typographical error” refers to a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth, mistake in the entry of day and month in the date of birth or the sex of the person or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, or status of the petitioner.”

FORM AND CONTENTS

So how do you apply for a correction under RA 10172?

The law states that a petition for correction of a clerical or typographical error, or for change of first name or nickname, as the case may be, shall be in the form of an affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The affidavit shall set forth facts necessary to establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters stated. The petitioner shall state the particular erroneous entry or entries, which are sought to be corrected and/or the change sought to be made.

The petition shall be supported with the following documents:

(1) A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed;

(2) At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based; and

(3) Other documents which the petitioner or the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition.

Also, a petition for correction of erroneous entry concerning the date of birth or the sex of a person should be accompanied by earliest school record or earliest school documents such as, but not limited to, medical records, baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities;

Moreover, any entry involving change of gender must be accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant. The petition for change of first name or nickname, or for correction of erroneous entry concerning the day and month in the date of birth or the sex of a person, as the case may be, shall be published at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

Furthermore, the petitioner shall submit a certification from the appropriate law enforcements, agencies that he has no pending case or no criminal record.

The petition and its supporting papers shall be filed in three (3) copies to be distributed as follows: first copy to the concerned city or municipal civil registrar, or the consul general; second copy to the Office of the Civil Registrar General; and third copy to the petitioner.

 

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