Friday, November 28, 2008

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics

Here's an incomplete list of cases for Problem Areas in Legal Ethics under Dean Quitain:
  1. Chavez vs Philippine Estates Authority
  2. Chavez vs NHA
  3. Boracay case digest
  4. Boracay Case
  5. Province of North Cotabato vs The Government of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain

[G.R. No.164527, July 01, 2008]



Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated July 1, 2008

“G.R. No.164527 (Francisco I. Chavez vs. National Housing Authority et al.).- Petitioner filed with this Court a Motion for Reconsideration [Re: Decision dated 15 August 2007] dated September 13, 2007.[1] In the motion, petitioner raises the following issues:

Contrary to this Honorable Court’s Decision, the distinctions laid out by this Honorable Court between the present case and its ruling in Chavez vs. PEA-Amari are, with due respect, clearly baseless.


This Honorable Court gravely erred when it ruled NHA may validly undertake the reclamation of the subject lands, for:

  1. The power to reclaim lands cannot be implied from NHA’s powers to undertake and develop housing projects.

  2. Presidential Decree No. 3-A, which supposedly allows the nation government to undertake reclamation of lands, does not legalize NHA’s act of reclaiming the subject lands.

Contrary to this Honorable Court’s ruling, the required DENR approval cannot be implied from the presidential approval of the project.


This Honorable Court erred in ruling that the reclaimed lands had already been declared alienable and disposable for neither Memorandum Order No. 415 nor Proclamation Nos. 39 and 465 converted the subject lands to alienable and disposable for the very simple reason that, at the time they were issued, the alleged reclaimed lands were still inexistent.


Contrary to this Honorable Court’s ruling, the mere fact that subject lands may be sold to the Smokey Mountain dwellers does not imply that they are no longer needed for public use. In fact, that opportunity proves that the subject lands are needed for public use.


This Honorable Court erred in ruling that there was a public bidding of the reclaimed lands.


Despite the effectivity of the BOT law, R-II Builders, being a private corporation is still barred from acquiring lands of the public domain.


The Operative Fact Doctrine is an equitable doctrine which could not be used to countenance an inequitable result that is contrary to its proper office.


At the very least, the denial of the instant petition is premature as this Honorable Court granted petitioner’s prayer for Mandus to compel respondents to disclose all documents and information relating to the project.[2]

An examination of the issues raised in the Motion for Reconsideration reveals that they are substantially the same issues which have been sufficiently passed upon, extensively discussed, and resolved in the assailed Decision. Thus, further discussion of the points raised in the Motion for Reconsideration would be a mere repetition of the Decision already rendered.

Notably, the last issue raised by petitioner, which is the only new issue in the Motion for Reconsideration, still does not imbue the motion with any merit. Petitioner argues that the denial of the underlying petition was premature after this Court ruled that the National Housing Authority (NHA) must disclose all information and papers regarding the Project.

Such assertion must fail.

The argument all the more serves to confirm this Court’s findings that the petition is without merit. Petitioner is saying will be supported by the information that will revealed from the records of the NHA. Such should not be the case. Petitioner must have a cause of action as basis for filing a petition with this Court anchored on undisputed facts. With the admission that the facts to prop up the petition will still have to be procured from the NHA, then the petition is clearly baseless for want of factual support.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, petitioner‘s Motion for Reconsideration is, for lack of merit, DENIED with finality.

Carpio and Reyes, JJ, no part. Nazario, J., on leave.

Very truly yours,

Clerk of Court


Asst. Clerk of Court

[1] Rollo, pp. 1455-1503.

[2] Id. at 1458-1460.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wills and Succession

Notes from last semester

Conditions for the transmission of successional rights:

1. That indeed, there has been death

2. That the rights or properties are indeed transmissible or descendible

3. That the transferee is still alive (no predecease), willing (no repudiation, and is capacitated to inherit

When may a person’s estate be opened for succession in cases involving presumptive death?

It depends on whether there is ordinary or extraordinary absence.

In case or ordinary absence, the estate may be opened for succession at the end of ten years from the time of absence. However, in case he disappeared at the age of seventy-five (75), he shall be presumed dead for the purpose of opening his succession at the end of five years from the time of disappearance

In case of extraordinary or qualified absence, a person shall be presumed dead for all purposes including the division of the estate among the heirs after four years.

What is the effect of the absentee’s return or reappearance?

If the absentee appears, or his existence is proved, he shall recover his property in the condition it may be found, and the price of any property which may have been alienated or the property acquired therewith; but he cannot claim either fruits or rent.

Essential elements and characteristics of a will (S3E2AT2DUF)

1. Statutory

2. Solemn or formal

3. Strictly a personal act

4. Effective mortis causa

5. Essentially revocable

6. An individual act

7. There must be animus testandi

8. Testator must be capacitated to make a will

9. Disposes of the testator’s estate

10. Unilateral

11. Free from vitiated consent

Requirements of a NOTARIAL or ordinary will (NAAWrLaSSS)

1. All pages shall be Numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page

2. There must be an Attestation clause

3. Acknowledgment before a notary public

4. The will must be in Writing

5. It must be executed in a Language or dialect known to the testator

6. It must be Subscribed at the end of every page thereof by the testator himself or by the testator’s name written by another person in the presence and by the express direction of the testator

7. It must be attested and Subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another

8. The testator or the person requested by him to write his name, and the instrumental witnesses of the will shall Sign each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin

What shall the Attestation Clause state?

1. The number of pages used upon which the will is written

2. That the testator signed, or expressly caused another to sign, the will and every page thereof in the presence of the instrumental witnesses

3. That the instrumental witnesses witnessed and signed the will in the presence of the testator and of one another

Rules when the testator is deaf or deaf-mute:

1. If he cannot read the will, two persons must communicate it to him

2. The two persons designated need not be the attesting witnesses

Rule if the testator is blind

1. The will shall be read to the testator twice: once by one of the subscribing witnesses and once by the notary public.

Formalities required for a Holographic Will (WrLaSAAD)

1. The will must be entirely Written by the hand of the testator himself

2. The Language must be known to the testator

3. The will must be Signed by the testator himself

4. There must be Animus Testandi

5. It must executed at the time that holographic will are Allowed

6. The will must be Dated

Requisites for the validity of documents incorporated by reference (SIDE)

1. It must be Signed by the testator

2. It must be Identified by clear and satisfactory proof as the document or paper referred to therein

3. The will must clearly Describe and identify the same, stating among other things the number of pages thereof

4. The document or paper referred to in the will must be in Existence at the time of the execution of the will

Determination of the Formalities required in making a will

1. Filipino Abroad (815)

a. The place of execution

b. Philippine laws

2. Foreigner in a foreign country (816)

a. The place of nationality (lex nationalii)

b. The place of domicile or residence

c. Philippine law

d. The place of execution

3. Foreigner in the Philippines (817)

a. The law of the place of his nationality (lex nationalii)

b. The law of the Philippines

*Joint wills executed by foreigners abroad and valid in accordance with Art. 816 is considered valid in the Philippines.

What is the Principle of Instanter?

The revocatory clause of a second will takes effect immediately or at the instant the revoking will is made. (Art 837)

Grounds for disallowance of a will (FIFFIM)

1. If the Formalities required have not been complied with

2. If the testator was Insane at the time of its execution, or otherwise incapable of making a will at the time of execution

3. If it was executed through Force or under duress, or the influence of fear or threat (connote the idea of coercion, mental or physical)

4. It the signature of the testator is procured by Fraud (the use of insidious machinations to convince a person to do what he would not ordinarily do)

5. If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and Influence, on the part of the beneficiary or some other person (coercion by virtue of which the judgment of the testator is displaced, and he is induced to do that which he otherwise would not have done)

6. If the testator acted by Mistake or did not intend that the instrument he signed should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto

Requisites for Preterition

1. There is a total omission in the inheritance

2. The omission must be of a compulsory heir

3. The compulsory heir omitted must be in the direct line

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recommended Books for Law School use

The following are the recommended books for this semester:

  1. Taxation 2: Vitug
  2. Labor Relations: Azucena Volume II
  3. Business Organization: Corporation Law by Hector de Leon
  4. Insurance: Insurance Law by Hector de Leon
  5. Torts and Damages: Torts and Damages by Suarez
  6. Special Proceedings: Remedial Law III-A by Herrera

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Labor Relations Cases

I was browsing the internet and I found a collection of labor relations cases which I think would be very helpful in the study of labor relations this semester.

Clicking here would bring you to Supreme Court Decisions on labor cases.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sem break is over!

Alright law school funk people, semestral break is over. I hope you had a great time with your two-week vacation.

I just enrolled earlier today and I paid P2,750.00 as downpayment, that also applies to all third year UM Law students.

Hope to see you all at school! (--,)