this is the court’s official judgement on the case convicting carlos celdran as guilty of ‘notoriously offending religious feelings”:
we are not a lawyer and these are the points we like to raise on the decision of the court:
- how did the court measure and define “religious feelings”? it’s hard enough to measure and define “feelings” on its own, it gets much harder to define “religious feelings”
- the plaintiff presented a total of 4 witnesses, is 4 enough to define “religious feelings”? and do these feelings represent the whole catholic church? 4 does not make a whole church
- since this concerns feelings of the religious, why did the plaintiff not present the head of the catholic church for the court to measure and define feelings?
here is a brilliant answer to the court’s decision:
full text :
i believe you are still quite incensed about today’s verdict on comrade carlos celdran’s case. i can certainly understand how you feel.
while reading the decision of judge bermejo, i searched for justification for carlos’ conviction. remember that he was prosecuted for the crime of offending the religious feelings under article 133 of the revised penal code. art. 133 states that the penalty shall be imposed “upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.” there has been a lot of back and forth on social media about how backward and stupid this law is. regardless, the fact is that this law exists and can correctly be the basis for conviction if it should be proven that a person was indeed guilty of it.
question is, is carlos celdran guilty? as i said, i think judge bermejo failed to establish a basis for the conviction. note that the law does not criminalize any instance of offending religious feeling. the law requires that the act should be notoriously offensive. what does this mean?
in the case of people vs. reyes, et al. (gr no. l-40577), the supreme court held that “the construction of a fence, even though irritating and vexatious under the circumstances to those present, is not such an act as can be designated as ‘notoriously offensive to the faithful’ as normally such an act would b a matter of complete indifference to those not present, no matter how religious a turn of mind they might be.” note that in this instance, the accused arrived at a venue for pabasa, “carrying bolos and crowbars, and started to construct a barbed wire fence in front of the chapel. xxx a verbal altercation ensued. when the people attending the pabasa in the chapel xxx, they became excited and left the place hurriedly and in such confusion that dishes and saucers were broken and benches toppled over.” the supreme court instead convicted the accused under art. 287 for unjust vexation.
in the case people vs baes (gr no. l-46000), justice laurel, in his dissent, explained how an act could be considered as notoriously offensive: “i believe that an act, in order to be considered as notoriously offensive to the religious feelings, must be one directed against a religious practice or dogma or ritual for the purpose of ridicule; the offender, for instance, mocks, scoffs at or attempts to damage an object of religious veneration; it must be abusive, insulting and obnoxious.” bear in mind that carlos was actually making fun of damaso, a fictional character. his act was not directed against religious practice or dogma. neither was it directed at a religious ritual since mass was not being celebrated at the time that he staged his protest. and even if he were making fun of priests, an act that is not unequivocally shown by the mere raising up of a damaso sign, the test set by justice laurel is still not met considering that priests are not objects of religious veneration (unless the priests present at the time actually think they are).
finally, in the case people vs. nosce (gr no. l-41757), where the accused went so far as to slap a priest in front of a large congregation, the supreme court held that such act did not merit a conviction under art. 133 but is more properly punished under art. 359 for slander by deed.
in the case carlos celdran, judge bermejo characterized the instances of “notorious offenses” to religious feelings thus:
for witness no. 1: “however, it did not take long when she realized that such was not part of the activity, and proceeded in front to find out what happened. she then saw somebody taking the accused and there was already a commotion since he started shouting inside the church. witness was offended and was angryof what happened, since it was a solemn activity which was disrupted and disrespected by accused.”
for witness no. 2: “witness cacal explained that the word ‘damaso’ pertains to a priest, who committed something against the church. although she admitted that she did not know the meaning of the word, however, she claimed that every timeshe hears the word ‘damaso’ it is very traumatic for her.”
for witness no. 3: “he was surprised, offended and angry, since he did not expect such incident will happen, considering it was a solemn celebration.”
comrades, obviously they are a bunch of ultra-sensitive nitwits. it is obvious as well that judge bermejo is either unacquainted with the definition of “notorious” or he has an extremely low treshhold for offense. unfortunately, judge bermejo, under such cognitive and emotional challenges, now proposes to send a man to jail.
it is painfully obvious that the notoriety of offense warranted by art. 133 is not present in this case. this only goes to show, comrades, that we must renew our efforts toward the revolution. we must be ever watchful, especially when the religious are just as happy to lend an invisible cloak to tyranny just so they can vindicate their petty grievances.
charity. indeed. viva la revolucion! and off with their heads!
dear great leader
MANILA, Philippines – Ad veteran Yolanda Ong is turning the tables on Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Enrile wanted Ong to pay him P31.5 million in damages for writing an allegedly libelous column last year that “besmirched” his reputation and caused him social humiliation. (READ: Enrile files P31-M damage suit vs ad veteran)
Ong filed a counterclaim last week, January 17, asking a Pasay court to dismiss the damage suit and make Enrile pay her instead a total of P88 million in damages and P1 million in attorney’s fees.
She did not cause Enrile any damage, she said. His “reputation is not the spotless or untarnished one that he alleges,” reads the complaint.
It is Enrile’s lawsuit that caused her moral and exemplary damages for violating her freedom of speech based on unfounded claims, she said.
In her two counterclaims, Ong asked the court for P30 million in moral damages, P58 million in exemplary damages, and P1 million in attorney’s fees.
And if the court favors Ong, she said she will donate the money to the victims of the Marcos dictatorship.
yoly ong is a well-respected advertising executive in the philippine and co-founder of one of the top 10 advertising ad agencies in the country – Campaigns & Grey. it is a multinational ad agency that handles big international and local advertising clients. ong also writes a column for the Philippine Star.
this is what happened:
The case, which Enrile filed last month, arose from a column that Ong had written on Oct. 16, 2012 entitled “Like father, like son?” Enrile, claiming that the column was libelous, asked the Court to order Ong to pay him P31.5 million in damages for allegedly ruining his reputation.
read the above article in full here: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2013/01/22/899670/reckoning
this is the article that ong wrote that enrile filed a case for libel against ong:
Citizen Y 106 10-16-12 Yoly Villanueva-OngLike Father, like Son?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. His stellar performance at the Corona impeachment leveraged enough glory for his son and namesake to become a strong contender for the Senate. Then he launches his autobiography and bio-documentary that attempt to revise history.It’s almost as if he can’t help but shoot his own foot.And as history and some unassailable sources avow, this would not be the first time Enrile “shot himself’. 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.“This accusation is ridiculous and preposterous. What would I have faked my ambush for?” By that time martial law was already an “irreversible fact” since documents had been signed and the military operation to implement it had started.—–
This fact is further documented in various books written by foreign journalists who covered those perilous years. Time correspondent Sandra Burton, wrote in her book Impossible Dream(1989), “Seasoned observers believed from the start that the attack had been staged. Years later, as he was in the midst of his own revolt from the Marcos regime, Enrile would confirm those suspicions.”Raymond Bonner of the New York Times interviewed Enrile twice in 1985. In his book Waltzing with a Dictator(1988) he wrote, “He was emphatic that the attack on him had not been staged, but in February 1986, after he had broken with Marcos and led the revolt that ousted the Philippine president, Enrile admitted that the attack on his car had been faked”.Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Ellison also wrote in her 1988 book, Imelda,“(Enrile) revealed that he had narrowly escaped injury in a spectacular ambush of his car—an event he conceded in 1986 had been staged.”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.And now the gullible electorate is being enticed to continue Enrile’s political dominion through the son, Jack. By his own narrative, Junior was not close to his father in his younger days. He recalled that as a child, he only watched a movie twice with his dad.The name was a burden for him as he was bullied and beaten up in school for being an Enrile. But today he is closer to his father. “Mas nag-uusap na kami ngayong ako’y nasa 50s, and he is in his 80s,” Jack said. His name is no longer a millstone. He is his father’s son after all.—-source and read in full here: http://blacknwhitemovement.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-case-you-missed-it-like-father-like.html
nancy binay, daughter of vice president jejomar binay will run for senator. she released a tv ad, legally epal, with the tagline “Kay Nancy Binay – mga bata gaganda ang buhay” (With Nancy Binay – children will have a more beautiful life).
the ad positions the senatoriable as pro children with the specific promises of improving education (“gaganda ang edukasyon”) and improving health (gaganda ang kalusugan”) leading to a more beautiful life (“gaganda ang buhay”) for the children.
it is an interesting positioning as it specifically places nancy on a pro-children promise. we do not remember political candidates having taken this positioning in the past. question is, is this enough to get her elected? is children’s good life a compelling proposition to voters? we assume some research has been done on this one.
while nancy’s advertising positioning and promise is specific to pro-children, it is not specific on exactly what she plans to do in promoting the “good life” of children through “good education” and “good health”. it does not specifically answer the question – how will she do it?
in advertising, what is missing is called the “reason why” or the support. it tells the audience how will the candidate deliver the promise, what will she do to make it happen.
from an advertising technical standpoint it does have a “reason why” – it uses her dad, vice president binay with copy that says “mana sa kanyang ama” (“takes up [inherit] from her father”) but does not say any specific action that nancy will take to improve education and health for children. all it does is to ride on the general popularity of her dad. after all, he did get elected vice president in the last presidential elections.
but jejomar is a weak reason why for the promise of children’s welfare – he is not known to be a children’s welfare advocate. in fact his ads during the vice presidential campaign were more on the general progress in the city of makati and the specific benefits residents of makati have gained while he was mayor there, children’s welfare was hardly mentioned.
the reason why, specially in political ads is very important. it gives specific promises as to what plan of action the candidate will do when elected into office. using a reason why that does not connect to the promise is of no help and of no consequence, it is like having none at all.
in this ad, nancy binay gave empty promises that we doubt will get her elected. it’s a WAWAM – what a waste of advertising money.
the first oral arguments challenging the approved Cyber Crime Law, Republic Act 10175 was held january 15, 2013 at the supreme court. this law has been signed by president noynoy aquino but was quickly challenged at the supreme court as unconstitutional by several parties.
the SC issued a restraining order on the implementation of the law until this month. the oral argument by the petitioners were held as part of the process before the supreme court makes a ruling on the petitions. the government will present its side in the next scheduled oral argument.
a total of 15 petitions were lodged at the supreme court.
here are the links to the important information on the issue.
list of petitioners : http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/features/oral_arguments/cybercrime/index.ph
the above link also includes this section : “Consolidated Comment of the Solicitor General” with this as the first paragraph. read the rest in the link above.
the SG’s comments raise these questions:
- didn’t the SG read the law first and give his opinion or recommendation to president aquino before he signed this into law? there is no procedure in malacanang where the SG or justice department first goes through the law submitted for signature to the president?
- the HOR and senate are full of lawyer congressmen and senators, they drafted and approved a law that has unconstitutional provisions in it? all of them missed that part?
this is the link to Petition #15 lodged by the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance, et al. : http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/features/oral_arguments/cybercrime/203518.php
maria ressa of rappler.com interview with atty. imbong, lawyer for petitioners against the RH Law at the SC
a few things:
- atty. imbong keeps referring to the interviewer as “ressa” or in many parts as “riza”. the interviewer’s name is maria ressa.
- the interview questions and answers are actually a rehash of the debates done in twitter on the rh bill specially those raised by the anti rh bill groups who claim to be devout catholics and to a large part those raised in the debates in the senate and congress also raised by the anti rh bill senators and congressmen.
- the interview hardly touched on the points of law, arguments or merits raised by the petitioners against the RH Law at the SC.
- in today’s interview maria ressa of rappler.com had asked the following questions from the #gangsters
- from popi sunga at around 2:50
- ressa extends the invitation from #gangsters for a tweetup with atty imbong at around 5:25 of the 3rd video. ressa also says “guys, gotta get a name that is ano…”