Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Property: Does the nullity of a reconstituted lost certificate of title settle the issue of ownership of the property covered by said title?

Unsettled issue
A law each day(KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 23, 2013 - 12:00am
Does the nullity of a reconstituted lost certificate of title settle the issue of ownership of the property covered by said title? This is the question answered in this case between Nora and the spouses Montes.

Nora was the registered owner of 11 adjacent lots covered by TCT Nos. 72654 to 72664. However, the owner’s duplicates of said titles were not in her possession. So she reported to the Register of Deeds that she lost the owner’s duplicate copies of said TCTs and at the same time filed a petition for the issuance of new owner’s copies before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

After due notice and hearing the RTC granted Nora’s petition. Hence, new copies of the 11 TCTs were issued to Nora pursuant to Section 129 of the Land Registration Act.

It turns out however that the TCTs were not actually lost but were in the actual possession of the spouses Montes. So when they learned that new TCTs were issued in the name of Nora, they filed with the RTC a petition for relief from judgment asking that the new owner’s duplicate copies of the 11 TCTs be declared null and void.

The spouses claimed that they had actual possession of the owner’s copies of the TCTs which had been declared lost and cancelled. They alleged that Nora had sold the lands covered by the TCTs to a certain Mr. Lazo before it was subdivided into 11 lots. They further alleged that when Mr. Lazo subdivided the land into 11 lots, the titles remained in the name of Nora because Lazo lacked funds to transfer them in his name. On March 21, 2006, Lazo sold the 11 lots to them and gave them the 11 copies of the TCTs. They said they discovered the RTC decision ordering the issuance of new owner’s copies to Nora when they tried to register the properties in their names, thus prompting them to file this petition for relief from judgment.
The RTC granted the petition of the spouses and restrained and prohibiting the Register of Deeds from accepting/registering any document executed by Nora and any person authorized by her that will in any way encumber or cause the transfer of the property covered by the 11 TCTs. The RTC also set aside its decision granting Nora’s petition for reconstitution of titles and instead dismissed said petition. It also declared as null and void, the new owner’s TCTs in the name of Nora. The RTC said that “when the original owner’s copy of the title is not lost but is in the possession of a new owner, being the alleged buyer, it did not acquire jurisdiction over Nora’s petition for the issuance of new owner’s copies of the eleven TCTs.  Was the RTC correct?
Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Yes. It is judicially settled that a trial court does not acquire jurisdiction over a petition for the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate certificate of title if the original is in fact not lost but in the possession of the alleged buyer.  Such reconstituted certificate is itself void once the existence of the original is unquestionably demonstrated. Nonetheless the nullity of the reconstituted certificate does not by itself settle the issue of ownership over the property; much less does it vest such title upon the holder of the original certificate. The issue of ownership must be litigated in appropriate proceedings. It cannot be determined in an action for the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate certificate of title or in proceedings to annul such newly issued certificate.
In this case, the RTC did not decide the issue of ownership when it permanently enjoined the Register of Deeds from accepting or registering any kind of conveyance that may be executed by Nora to any person except as to the spouses Montes. It did not declare that the spouses Montes are the new owners of the properties. The spouses Montes’ possession of the 11 TCTs is not necessarily equivalent to ownership of the lands covered by the TCTs which must be litigated in another appropriate proceeding. This case is similar to the ruling in the case of Espino vs. Spouses Bulut, G.R. 183811, May 30, 2011.
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Law does not require woman to use surname of husband

Dear PAO,
My husband and I are separated for ten years now. I wanted to use my maiden name in my passport but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) won’t allow me.
They told me to secure a court order annulling my marriage with my husband before I can use my maiden name again in my passport. Why do I have to do this?

Dear Agnes,
The usage of the surname of her husband by a woman who was once married is customary in our country. It may seem mandatory but the law does not require a woman to use her husband’s surname. In fact, the woman is given the freedom to choose whether or not to use her husband’s surname. This is clearly provided under Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, to wit:

“Art. 370. A married woman may use:

(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or

(2) Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname or

(3) Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as Mrs.”

Likewise, the abovementioned law does not mandate a woman to remain using her husband’s surname once she started using it. However, there are instances where she cannot revert to her maiden name. One of these instances is when the woman started using her husband’s name in applying for a passport. The passport law strictly prohibits a married woman from reverting to her maiden name unless she presents a document evidencing that her marriage to her husband has been annulled or declared null and void, a divorce has been decreed by a competent court abroad or her husband is already deceased. This is specifically provided by Republic Act 8239, or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996:

“Sec. 5. Requirements for the Issuance of Passport.—No passport shall be issued to an applicant unless the Secretary” (of the DFA) “or his duly authorized representative is satisfied that the applicant is a Filipino citizen who has complied with the following requirements:


(d) In case of a woman who is married, separated, divorced or widowed or whose marriage has been annulled or declared by court as void, a copy of the certificate of marriage, court decree of separation, divorce or annulment or certificate of death of the deceased spouse duly issued and authenticated by the Office of the Civil Registrar General: Provided, That in case of a divorce decree, annulment or declaration of marriage as void, the woman applicant may revert to the use of her maiden name: Provided, further, That such divorce is recognized under existing laws of the Philippines;


Applying the foregoing to your situation, since you are still married to your husband, you are not yet allowed to use your maiden name in your passport.

Again, we find it necessary to mention that 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 elaborated.

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter

source: Manila Times and Atty. Persida Acosta

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Property: RA 9653 - checkmate Law limits rent hike to seven percent yearly

Dear PAO,
My wife and I are renting a small apartment. Since it is in front of a busy road, we decided to put up a small business stand just right outside our apartment and sell soft drinks, cigarettes and candies.
The income we get from this small business helps us in paying some of our daily expenses. Unfortunately, the owner of our apartment informed us that our rent will increase this year and the increase is about 20 percent of what we are currently paying. According to the owner, we have already converted the apartment to a commercial space, so the increase is justified. But we have not converted the apartment into a commercial space. We still live there and we only sell trivial items. He also said that he will eject us if we do not pay the new rent. Is he correct?

Dear Roger,
It may be said that the nature of the apartment you are leasing has not changed from a residential unit to a commercial unit even if you placed a small business stand in front of your house. It is only when you have substantially transformed the apartment for mainly commercial use that it can be considered as a commercial unit. If the primary use of your apartment remains to be the residence of your family, then it is still considered as a residential unit. It is worth mentioning that under Section 3 [b] of Republic Act [RA] 9653, otherwise known as the Rent Control Act of 2009, residential unit is defined as “an apartment, house and/or land on which another’s dwelling is located and used for residential purposes and shall include not only buildings, part or units thereof used solely as dwelling places, boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bedspaces offered for rent by the owners, x x x but also those used for home industries, retail stores or other business purposes if the owner thereof and his or her family actually live therein and use it principally for dwelling purposes.”

Accordingly, the owner of the apartment which you are renting may not increase your rental fee by 20 percent because RA 9653 limits the allowable increase in rent of a residential unit to a maximum of 7 percent yearly (Sec. 4, id). In addition, he may not simply eject you from the apartment. It is necessary that you have a total of three months in your rental arrears before he can validly file for judicial ejectment (Sec. 9 (b), id).

Notwithstanding, we advise you to consider communicating your concern to the owner of the apartment you are leasing. Perhaps he may reconsider his decision of increasing your rental fee given that what he desires to impose contravenes the provisions of RA 9653. If he insists on the 20 percent increase, you may opt to file a complaint against him. As provided for under Sec. 13, id, a fine of not less than P25,000 nor over P50,000, or imprisonment of not less than one month and one day to not more than six months or both shall be imposed on any person found guilty of violating any provisions of RA 9653.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Friday, January 18, 2013

RA 10175: Libel Liability

What is lascivious?

‘Who is liable for libel? What are justifiable motives? What are good intentions? What is lascivious?’

THERE were some compelling issues that were highlighted in last Tuesday’s oral arguments on the Cybercrime Law (R.A. 10175) at the Supreme Court. One was its being unconstitutional because of overbreadth as forwarded by Atty. Harry Roque.

The online Free Dictionary explains that “In American jurisprudence, the overbreadth doctrine is primarily concerned with facial challenges to laws under the First Amendment.”

The First Amendment (to the United States Constitution) “prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

Roque cited Section 4 (C)1 of the Cybercrime Law which lists Cybersex among punishable acts.
The law defined cybersex as “The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.”

Using the “void for vagueness” doctrine, Roque asked, “What is defamatory? Who is liable for libel? What are justifiable motives? What are good intentions? What is lascivious?”

Then he presented acclaimed works of art with nude figures from the Museum of Modern Arts (New York), Tate Gallery in London, and Sydney Opera House, asking the justices , “Are these slides lascivious?’
Roque noted that the Cybercrime Law didn’t even use the word “pornography.”

Another argument against the Cybercrime Law was the unconstitutionality of the libel provision.

Also included in the list of punishable acts is Libel. Section 4C (4) of the law states “The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”

Roque pointed out the judgment of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that in the case of Alexander Adonis who was imprisoned for two years for libel that the penalty of imprisonment is incompatible with Article 19 of the ICCPR which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

The Philippines has signed and ratified the ICCPR.

Asked by Justice Antonio Carpio what happens when a government ratifies an international treaty, Roque replied, “It becomes part of domestic law.”

Carpio noted that the Cybercrime Law may be unconstitutional since it adopted the libel provision of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) which may no longer be in conformance with Supreme Court decisions and international law.


RAPPLER - Associate Justice Marvic Leonen:
“Technology has evolved in such a way that whoever uses the computer does not need to know the source code of the program, all they have to do is open the software in a website and they can already do what they want. Can you imagine the power of somebody with a 700,000 following [on Twitter] attacking a single person who may not have a Twitter account? What I’m asking is this: Isn’t it the obligation of the State to protect private citizens against these defamatory remarks?”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SC told cybercrime law sucks like vampire

Philippine Daily Inquirer - SERENO TAKES CHARGE Justices of the Supreme Court take their positions in the first oral arguments on the cybercrime law presided over by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno (center). Flanking the Chief Justice are Justices Antonio Carpio and Teresita Leonardo de Castro, as Bienvenido Reyes and Marvic Leonen make their entrance. 

Likening the cybercrime law to a vampire that “sucks the life out of freedom of speech and expression,” Sen. Teofisto Guingona III on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to strike down specific provisions of the law. 

Guingona delivered the opening remarks at the start of oral arguments on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, or Republic Act No. 10175, in yesterday’s en banc session of Supreme Court justices.

The cybercrime law is covered by a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the tribunal following several petitions objecting to its more stringent penalties for libel committed online and a takedown provision that allows the justice department to unilaterally close down a website. Implementation of the law has been suspended for four months until February.

Guingona initially thanked the Supreme Court for the TRO that “has thankfully put to sleep… (this) Cyber-Dracula.”

He urged the tribunal to enact a more permanent ruling on the law “to impale (it) of its ghostly provisions with the stake of reason. As cyber-Dracula lies helpless in its sleep, we plead for the final decisive action to banish our anger, anxiety and fears altogether.”

Twelve justices led by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno were in attendance to question the challenges put up by the petitioners who wanted the high court to strike down the law for allegedly being unconstitutional.

Five provisions
The high court listened to petitioners argue on five provisions of RA 10175 on online libel, cybersex, punishing libel one degree higher than the penalty imposed by the Revised Penal Code, the “take-down” policy that allows the Department of Justice to block or restrict a website with libelous content, the government authority to collect traffic data and penalizing an Internet user who abets a cybercrime.

Harry Roque, among the five designated petitioners-counsels, asked the high court to strike down on the basis of the principle of “overbreadth” (being too general) as well as vague Section 4 (c)4 and 4(1) that criminalizes libel online.

Roque cited for instance the fact that blogs on the Internet had spaces for comments. “What happens now if there is a libelous comment left on the comment space. Are blog owners liable for libel and is reposting links, actionable?” he asked.

Roque also asked whether under this provision social media networking sites like Facebook or Twitter and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) could be held liable for having posts found to contain malicious statements.

Laughter in court
It was the questioning though of Associate Justice Marvic Leonen that brought the audience outside  the court to laughter.

Leonen cited the case of a former UP law student and now lawyer Chris Lao who had been subjected to cyber-bullying. Lao gained Internet infamy when he was videotaped driving his car right through flooded waters.

“Would you agree with me that there were tweets and FB posts that were quite defamatory to Chris Lao?” Leonen asked Roque, who replied that he had no personal knowledge of the posts.

Derek Ramsey’s followers
Leonen then pointed out that some people had a huge following in Twitter like actor Derek Ramsey who had 840,842 followers.

“Some of them have a stronger following which can mean they have the potential and ability to destroy others,” he told Roque.
Leonen asked Roque whether it was not the right of the State then to protect ordinary citizens.

“Therefore, is there not a right of the government, a State interest in coming in  to remove the megaphones of some individuals who are careless?” Leonen said.

For her part, Sereno said she was concerned about people who committed suicide because they could no longer wait for libelous posts against them to be taken down.

Sereno then asked Roque whether the State had the “right to regulate the invasion of privacy.”
Roque said he commiserated with people who ended up killing themselves because of their situation but he also underscored the need to make a “delicate balance of interests.”

Sereno said that the high court was now trying to engage in exercising that balance of interests.
Roque said that according to the UN Human Rights Committee, the way to achieve this balance was decriminalizing libel in a way that people who were victims of libel could seek civil damages against those who offended them.

Several justices agreed with the arguments of Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares that a cyber-offender would be prosecuted for violating both the cybercrime law and the Revised Penal Code, and if found guilty would be penalized one degree higher than the penalty provided under the Code.

Double jeopardy
Colmenares said the provision violated the constitutional prohibitions on double jeopardy, cruel and unjust punishment, and due process.

“The law allows what the Constitution prohibits so that law should be struck down,” he said.
Colmenares also argued that offenses such as libel through newspaper articles did not have a substantial distinction between libel committed via Internet, and information and communication gadgets, which the law penalizes.

“No new elements were added, so the penalty should not be raised,” Colmenares argued, responding to a query from Justice Diosdado Peralta on whether the law practically provided for a different kind of libel.

All libel cyber-libel
Under questioning by Justice Antonio Carpio, Colmenares agreed that all libel would now be practically considered cyber-libel because even newspapers use computers to send and process stories.

This is because the law does not distinguish whether a computer is connected online on not, Carpio said.

Rodel Cruz, who argued against the take-down provision of the law, said the rules concerning warrantless searches and seizures should be the same whether in the real world or in cyberspace.

Cruz said Section 19 was “confisfactory” because it allowed the justice department to restrict or block one’s access to his or her computer data should the agency deemed prima facie or on first appearance that the user was violating the law.

Jesus Disini Jr., who argued against the provision authorizing the government to collect real-time data, agreed with De Castro’s observation that “the coverage [of the provision] is any one or any group.”

“There is no assurance that only real-time data are being collected,” Disini said, adding that netizens could rely only on the “conscience of the law enforcer” that their privacy was not being violated by the data collection.

Person’s identity
Asked by Carpio if collecting real-time data was just like the government asking for one’s mobile phone bill without the name and address of the owner of the account, Disini replied details on the bill could be used to reveal a person’s identity, the people he called or texted, their locations, or even the websites he visited if the cell phone had Internet connection, thus establishing his profile without the person knowing it.

Disini said any collection of real-time data should be covered by a court order so that that precise data to be collected would be specified.

The high court concluded its hearing after more than four hours.

The tribunal will convene again on Jan. 22, this time to listen to the arguments of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza on the government’s stand on the law’s implementation.

Civil Law - Libel: Enrile files P31-M damage suit vs ad veteran

Rappler (December 2012)  - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has filed a P31-M damage suit against veteran advertising executive and Philippine Star columnist Yolanda Villanueva-Ong for a supposedly libelous article that he claimed "besmirched" his reputation and caused him "mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation."
Enrile was offended by Ong's October 16, 2012 column "Like father, like son," which he said had "malicious objective."

"The article characterizes JPE [Enrile] as liar, fraud, and manipulator. It accuses JPE of attempting to "revise history" with a devious purpose of enticing the electorate to support his only son, Juan CastaƱer Ponce Enrile, Jr (popularly known as Jack Enrile), an incumbent congressman in the province of Cagayan and a candidate in the upcoming senatorial elections," according to Enrile's complaint.

Ong's column exposed inconsistencies in claims Enrile made in his book Juan Ponce Enrile: A memoir. Ong cited various accounts of how Enrile admitted after the 1986 "People Power" revolution that the assassination attempt against him - which was one of the reasons used to justify martial law - was staged. He recants this in his book.

The column moves on to discuss the senatorial bid of his son and namesake Cagayan Rep Juan "Jack" Ponce Enrile Jr. She cited the "intrigues" involving Jack - the "urban legend" that he killed the late actor Alfie Anido and the Enriles' supposed involvement in smuggling in Cagayan.

"Defendant Yoly, instead of giving fair comments on JPE as a public official, deliberately focuses on attacking his character with false and defamatory accusations and intrigues affecting his family and personal life," the complaint added.

Enrile asked the court for P30 million in moral damages, P1 million in exemplary damages, and P500,000 in attorney's fees.

The civil case was filed before Branch 118 of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court.

Ong's old anti-Enrile ads
Ong is the managing director of one of the country's leading advertising agencies Campaigns and Grey. The agency produces political advertisements for high-profile politicians, among others.

Ong has her own political advocacies. In 2010, she volunteered her services to the campaign team of President Benigno Aquino III.

In 2001, she was recognized for producing negative advertisements against re-electionist senators who were perceived to be protecting President Joseph Estrada during his impeachment trial then. They voted against the opening of an envelope that supposedly contained crucial evidence against Estrada.

Enrile was among those senators. Ong used old footage of Enrile's involvement in the martial law regime and allegations that he plotted coups against the late President Corazon Aquino. At the end of the ad, this slogan was added: "Ibabalik pa ba natin siya?"

Enrile lost in that elections. But he would return to the Senate in 2004.
Ong: 'I spoke the truth'

Ong stood by her column.

"Initially I was unnerved because this is the first time I was ever sued for anything. But after reflecting and processing, I know I spoke the truth and that made me a bit braver," she told Rappler.
Besides, she wasn't the only one writing about Enrile's inconsistencies, she added.

"All the lawyers I've consulted said there was no libel. Many wrote about Enrile's latest verion of the real or fake assassination attempt. But as far as I know I'm the only one he sued. As a friend said, I have 'arrived,'" Ong added.

The column
Enrile took offense in the following paragraphs in Ong's article. (Emphasis supplied in Enrile's complaint.)
  • Just when we were about to forgive-and-forget Juan Ponce Enrile's checkered past, he himself reminded us of what a wily, shifty chameleon he truly and naturally is.
  • In Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir, and bio-documentary 'Johnny' that aired in ABS-CBN --- he recants his previous recantation of the assassination attempt on him, which Marcos used as one more reason to justify Martial Law xxx Did he expect national amnesia to afflict Filipinos who know the truth?
  • In his attempt to leave an acceptable legacy for posterity and bequeath a Senate seat for junior, the nonagenarian is sanitizing his recollections instead of asking for absolution. Stem cell therapy can deter dementia but it cannot regenerate an innocent man.
  • We are being wooed to perpetuate the 40-years-running Enrile saga. Every night we should pray: Dear God, Make all who want our vote, be the men we want them to be.
  • Another misdeed associated with father-and-son is the alleged rampant car smuggling in Port Irene. In 1995, the Cagayan Export Zone Authority (CEZA) was established through Republic Act 7922, authored by Cagayan native JPE xxx Despite EO156 issued in 2008, which prohibited such importations, smuggling continued. Enrile countered the CEZA is not covered by the prohibition because the imnporters pay the correct duties and taxes. Ford reportedly pulled out its manufacturing business to protest the nefarious activities in CEZA.
The court issued the summon to Ong on December 13. She has 15 days to respond. -

1978 Family Code of the Philippines and Divorce

“Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.” (Title 1, Chapter 1, Article 1)

In addition to the formal mention of marriage with specific reference to “a man and a woman” – which as a matter of course, excludes the so called “Same Sex Marriage” – the more signal contents of the above legal understanding of marriage that make the latter a formal “special contract” according to the Family Code of the Philippines, are the following:

“Permanent Union”: Permanence is a categorical element of marriage. As a union, marriage is insoluble once it is entered into validly by a qualified/capable man and woman. Thus it is that marriage is a covenant between a husband and wife that is lasting, persevering, continuous and stable during the lifetime of the spouses. On the other hand, “Divorce” says and affirms that marriage is but a temporary union subject to the personal desire and/or design of either or both spouses. Precisely, the possibility of “Divorce” is categorically contrary to marriage as a “permanent union.”

“Conjugal Life”: Conjugal life is a constitutional feature of marriage. In other words, in and during marriage, the spouses undergo sadness and delight, paints and joys, successes and failures – together. This is the understanding and reality, the nature and implication of a “conjugal” union, viz., a life of sharing the burdens and rewards, the blessings and difficulties of married life. “Divorce” is thus anything but affirmation of conjugal life in the sense that marriage lasts only long as long as one or both the husband and/or wife want it to be.

“Family Life”: Family life is inherent to marriage. Father, mother, and child/children – this is the standard tripod of marriage. Let it be well noted that the husband and wife as spouses make marriage a “Conjugal Life.” It is their child/children that make them have a live a “Family Life.” It is under the said reality of marriage that the children born therein, are given due importance – even but with the thought that the first casualty/victims of a “broken marriage” or “divorce” is/are nobody else than the child/children both of a conjugal union. Marriage is a free and deliberate choice of the man and woman concerned. But after their marriage-in-fact, to get rid of their marriage is already beyond their merely personal unilateral or bilateral decision. Otherwise, they should not get married at all – even but considering that the qualification of someone as “married” has immediate reference to his or her “status” which does not come or go merely at the will of the husband and/or wife. In more simple words, those who not subscribe to the truth that marriage is a permanent as a conjugal and/or family living, should not get married at all. This is but logical, but rational.

1986 Philippine Constitution and Divorce

“The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.”  (Article 2, Section 12)
Let it be formally and expressly said that while someone must be good for something, not everyone however is fit for marriage intents and purposes. This is a down-to-earth reality that is squarely premised on the inherent nature of and obligations intrinsic to marriage—such as the requirements of mental composition, emotional constitution and physical make-up of the concrete man and/or woman concerned.  One thing is the plain desire of getting married but definitely something else is to have the fitness, the capacity or aptitude for getting married.
It is understandable wherefore that more and more couples do not get married at all—but simply unite and separate at will. In fact, more and more married men and women get married and eventually come to part ways at will—with or without having children.  Thus it is too that more and more children from “broken families” become confused, angry and/or bitter even as they grow in years and realize their predicament of growing without the parenting presence of their fathers and/or mothers.
And yet, there are individuals who furthermore even want to introduce and legalize divorce in the country—as if the fact of divorce and the divorce mentality would promote the right understanding and proper living of the reality of marriage.   The truth of the matter is that divorce promotes divorce just as the possibility of divorce already weakens the resolve to get married for a lifetime—in accord with their own human dignity and pursuant to the inherent rights of the children born of their union.
Divorce is not merely a direct contradiction of the standard Marriage Vows, but also a standing contradiction of the Family Code of the Philippines and furthermore a blatant contradiction of the Constitution of the Philippines. Hence, Filipinos who want divorce introduced and legalized in the country, say but one and the same thing:  Change the working of the Marriage Vows!  Change the Philippine Constitution! Change the Family Code of the Philippines!  How convenient!  How gross!
Thus it is that in the context of a divorce provision, the constitutional principle of the “sanctity of family life” is but a big joke.  That the above likewise constitutional resolve to “protect and strengthen the family” is simply a big lie.  And that the equally constitutional consideration of the family as a “basic autonomous social institution” is but a blatant farce.  What a pity!  What a disaster!