Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lessons in Kung Fu Panda for aspiring lawyers

Following is Wikipedia's posting on Kung Fu Panda, today's top grosser in the box office. I saw the movie last Sunday and I really liked it, one of my top favorites because of the great lessons it imparts. I'll buy a DVD copy of this film for my future kids to watch.

I'll leave it to the readers on what lessons they could learn from the following story that they could use in their quest to become a lawyer.
"Po (Jack Black) is a chubby panda who works in a noodle restaurant owned by his adoptive goose father Mr. Ping (James Hong). He is a kung fu fanatic with secret dreams of becoming a great master in the discipline, however his weight and clumsiness seem to make his goal unattainable; Mr. Ping hopes instead that Po will one day take over the restaurant.

The tortoise Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) has a premonition that the evil snow leopard warrior Tai Lung (Ian McShane), the former student of his own protégé, the red panda Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), will escape from prison and return to threaten the Valley of Peace. While Shifu sends Zeng (Dan Fogler), a messenger goose, to Chorh-Gom Prison to have the security increased, Oogway orders a formal ceremony to choose the mighty Dragon Warrior who can defeat Tai Lung. Everyone assumes that one of the Furious Five — Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (David Cross) — a quintet of supremely skilled martial artists trained by Shifu, will be chosen for this honor.

While the Five demonstrate their skills at the ceremony, Po finds himself locked outside the walled palace square. As a last-ditch attempt to get in, he makes a chair out of fireworks, which sends him flying into the center of the arena. Inspired by this sudden appearance, the old master tortoise designates Po the Dragon Warrior to everyone's shock. Despite Po's protests and Shifu's pleas to reconsider, Oogway stands by his decision.

Revolted at having Po under his tutelage, Shifu attempts to make him quit by berating and humiliating him. The Five similarly dismiss Po as a worthless interloper. Although he becomes aware of Shifu's true intentions and is deeply hurt by his heroes' disdain for him, Po endures their abuse willingly for the dream to become something more than the failure he thinks he is. Master Oogway, still certain that Po is the right choice, gives him sage advice to believe in himself. Eventually, Po endears himself to the Five (except for the disdainful Tigress) with his tenacity, good cooking, and sense of humor.

Meanwhile, Zeng's errand backfires when a tour of the prison given to him by the overly confident head of security, Commander Vachir (Michael Clarke Duncan), inadvertently enables Tai Lung to escape. Tai Lung orders Zeng to send word of his arrival. In the Valley of Peace, Oogway passes away, his final wish that Shifu train Po. However, upon learning of Tai Lung's return, and realizing that he has to face the evil warrior, Po attempts to flee. Shifu stops the panda and promises to train him if he is truly destined to be the Dragon Warrior. When Po confesses his deep self-loathing due to his obesity and his belief that he may never be a match for Tai Lung, Shifu is at a loss for a solution. Overhearing the argument between Po and Shifu, the Five take it upon themselves to intercept Tai Lung. After a long night of pondering, Shifu discovers the following morning that Po is capable of impressive physical feats when motivated by food. Realizing that he has found the right focus for the panda, Shifu leads Po to the countryside for an intensive training regime in which Po is offered food as a reward for learning his lessons properly. As Shifu hopes, Po excels with such motivation and swiftly becomes a skilled combatant.

The Five battle Tai Lung but are eventually paralyzed with a specialized nerve-striking technique. When they return defeated, Shifu decides Po is ready to face the villian and gives him the sacred Dragon Scroll, which promises great power to the possessor. When Po opens it, he finds nothing but a blank reflective surface. Stricken with despair at the scroll's apparent worthlessness, Shifu orders his students to lead the villagers to safety while he stays to delay Tai Lung from pursuing them for as long as he can.

As Po participates in the evacuation, he meets his father, who tries to cheer him up by telling him the secret ingredient of the family's noodle soup: nothing. Things become special, he explains, because people believe them to be special. Realizing that this truth is the very point of the Dragon Scroll, Po rushes off to help Shifu. At this time, Tai Lung attacks Shifu and berates him for not granting him the title of Dragon Warrior just because Master Oogway did not choose him. To remedy that, the leopard wants the Dragon Scroll for himself to complete his training. While fighting, he expresses that he gave in to his aggression and anger so he could make Shifu proud of him. For his part, Shifu is crippled by his profound feelings of guilt and responsibility for his former protégé, whom he loved like a son, turning to darkness.

Tai Lung angrily discovers the Scroll is gone, but he before can kill his former mentor, Po arrives to challenge him. Although Tai Lung scoffs at Po's abilities, the ensuing fight proves Po to be a formidable opponent. Despite Po's skill, Tai Lung temporarily stuns him and gains the Dragon Scroll, but is unable to understand its symbolism. Po tries to explain the wisdom of the scroll to Tai Lung, but the frustrated Tai Lung tries to subdue Po with his nerve strikes. The attack proves useless on the panda, as his nerves are difficult to find due to his body fat. Emboldened, Po counter-attacks with an improvised combat style that takes advantage of his girth to absorb and deflect the force from Tai Lung's attacks back at him. In the end, Po uses the Wuxi Finger Hold on Tai Lung (which he claims to have "figured out" on his own), and destroys him with a devastating explosion that ripples through the valley.

The Five return to the valley to investigate the cause of the explosion and find a slightly dazed but triumphant Po. Deeply impressed at Po's victory, Tigress leads the Five to acknowledge the panda as a Kung Fu master. The villagers, including Po's father, follow suit and hail Po as a hero. Po remembers that his teacher is wounded, and rushes back to Shifu, who is now finally at peace. At first, he appears to be dead, but it turns out that he is only resting after such a trying battle. Both Po and Shifu rest on the floor, but a few seconds later Po suggests to eat now, and Shifu agrees.

A post-credits scene shows that the peach seed that Shifu planted before Oogway's passing has sprouted into a new plant."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Solon seeks cancellation of ship firm's franchise

Speaker Prospero Nograles urged the government to cancel the franchise of Sulpicio Lines, according to the Philippine Star.

Nograles proposed that Sulpicio Lines should be banned from operating in Philippine seas.

“It’s really unthinkable that after all these years we have not learned a lesson from the Doña Paz tragedy. Strike three, even in baseball or softball, means you are out. Three or more sea disasters of the same shipping company is no longer a coincidence,” he said.

He said the Princess of the Stars tragedy off Sibuyan Island in Romblon is the fourth maritime disaster involving Sulpicio-owned vessels.

Government shipping regulators like the Philippine Coast Guard, the MARINA and the DOTC are duty bound to oversee the safety of our shipping industry, Nograles said.

Parañaque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita called yesterday for the resignation of Philippine Coast Guard chief Vice Admiral Tamayo over the sinking of the Princess of the Stars at the height of typhoon Frank.

“Vice Admiral Tamayo should be held responsible for the unimaginable loss of lives for allowing the ferry to depart from the port of Manila despite the onslaught of the typhoon,” he said.

Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez sought yesterday an independent investigation into the sinking of Princess of the Stars.

“The Coast Guard should constitute a board of marine inquiry, per standard operating procedure, consisting of independent merchant marine experts,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said the Coast Guard should implement stricter rules on passenger vessels when there is a typhoon.

Pimentel had filed a bill seeking to give the Coast Guard the primary responsibility of overseeing the safety of life and property at sea.

Sen. Chiz Escudero also filed a bill to reorganize the Coast Guard and clarify the agency’s policies and responsibilities.


Even this early, lawmakers are riding on the bandwagon of condemning the shipping company Sulpicio Lines for the sinking of it ship Mv Princess of the Star off the coast of Sibuyan Island. When everyone should be focused on search and rescue, our lawmakers could not wait for an official investigation before pinpointing on human culprits.

In an archipelago like the Philippines, the domestic shipping industry plays a very important role in the economy, facilitating the movement of goods from island to island. The shipping industry’s invaluable contribution to the economy has led the government to spearhead reforms to establish a more market-oriented, competitive and responsive shipping industry. It is in this light that I find Speaker Nograles' suggestion to cancel the firm's franchise as hastily thought of. Aside from laying blame prematurely, the lawmaker seems to have undermined the years of service of shipping firms like Sulpicio Lines to our economy just because of this tragic incident.

CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY

On a related legal point, our rule states that unless otherwise exempt, no public service shall operate without having been issued a certificate of public convenience (no franchise) or certificate of public convenience and necessity (a prior franchise is required). "Public Service" includes every person who may own, operate, manage, or control in the Philippines for hire or compensation, with general or limited clientele, whether permanent, occasional or accidental, and done for general business purposes, any common carrier (e.i. shipping firm), railroad, street railway, traction railway, subway motor vehicle, steamboat, or steamship line, ferries, and water craft, shipyard, ice-plant, electric light, heat and power or any other public utility. (Commonwealth Act 146, as amended)

The Public Service Commission (now the Maritime Industry Authority for shipping lines) has the power to discipline public service operators. It may suspend or revoke the certificate of public convenience issued, for cause and with proper hearing. But in case of serious or irreparable damage or inconvenience to the public or private interests, the certificate may be suspended even without prior notice. (Soriano vs. Medina, 35 SCRA 335)

Tags: Commercial Law, Current events

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Philippine ferry sinks, 700 aboard missing

Sulpicio Lines vessel Princess of the Stars sank in raging Typhoon Frank on Saturday, with hundreds of passengers, including as many as 45 children, feared dead, according to an Associated Press report.

The ferry had been carrying more than 700 passengers and crew members when it went down on Saturday. Government rescuers had reached the spot near the island Sibuyan, where the passenger ferry had capsized.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is in the United States for a state visit, scolded coast guard officials during a teleconference on Sunday for allowing the ferry to sail despite typhoon warnings. She ordered government agencies to coordinate rescue and relief efforts.

The coast guard said the Princess of the Stars was allowed to leave Manila on Friday evening for Cebu, a city in the central Philippines, because the storm had not yet made landfall.

Coast guard officials said that the ferry should have been big enough to sail, and that a warning issued earlier on Saturday barred only small boats from traveling.


Philippine media have now focused their attention on who are to blame in the tragedy. Despite the urgency of rescuing the survivors and locating the dead, here we are again focusing our attention on who are to blame. Later when the issue subsides, nothing concrete will come out of it as usual. Why don't we just leave it to the proper authorities to look into the causes of the tragedy? Then contribute in later discussions on how to improve our disaster preparedness and warning system.

I understand the ship was allowed to sail because under the rules, a ship that big can sail even under a Signal Number 3 storm. It was only Signal Number 1 when it left the port of Manila for Cebu. The ship's engine however conked out near the Visayas area so it was left at the mercy of the storm. The ship's seaworthiness must be looked into. But this early, let's leave the investigation to the investigators.

PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE

In a related legal issue, there is as we know a presumption of fault or negligence on the part of a common carrier in case of injury or death of a passenger. However, this is not to say that common carriers are absolutely responsible for all the injuries or damages even of the same were caused by a fortuitous event. (Japan Airlines vs. CA, 294 SCRA 19) Among others, this presumption of fault or negligence can be rebutted by proof that the loss or damage was occasioned by a flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity.

Tags: Commercial Law, Current events

Guidelines for the 2008 Philippine Bar Examinations

GUIDELINES FOR 2008 BAR EXAMINATIONS

TO : LAW DEANS

FROM : CHAIRMAN, 2008 BAR EXAMINATIONS

I. SCHEDULE OF 2008 BAR EXAMINATIONS

7 September 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon - Political and Public International Law

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Labor and Social Legislation

14 September 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon - Civil Law

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Taxation

21 September 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon - Mercantile Law

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Criminal Law

28.September 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12 Noon - Remedial Law

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises


II. Venue

DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY, Taft Avenue, Manila

DANTE O.TINGA

Associate Justice & Chairman Committee on the 2008 Bar Examination

WEIGHTS OF SUBJECTS

Bar Examinations

To be held in September 2008

At the De La Salle University Compound

Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila

I. 1st Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weight

8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon - Political and Public International Law 15%

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Labor and Social Legislation 10%

II. 2nd Sunday, September 14, 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon - Civil Law 15%

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Taxation 10%

III. 3rd Sunday, September 21, 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon - Mercantile Law 15%

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Criminal Law 10%

IV. 4lh Sunday, September 28, 2008

8:00 A.M. to 12 Noon - Remedial Law 20%

2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. - Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises 5%


COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION

POLITICAL AND PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW

SEPTEMBER 7, 2008

(First Sunday,Morning)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. Constitutional Law

2. Political Law

3. Administrative Law and Law on Public Officers

EXCLUDE Implementing rules and regulations of different agencies

4. Laws on Suffrage

(a) Party-List Law (R.A. 7941)

(b) Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B.P. Big. 881)

(c) Electoral Reforms Law of 1987 (R.A. No. 6646)

(d) R.A. 7166 - An Act Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and For Electoral Reforms

(e) R.A. 9006 - Fair Election Practice Act

5. Local Government Code (R. A. No.7160) (Basics)
EXCLUDE: Provisions Relating to Local Taxation

6. Public Corporations

7. Public International Law

COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION

LABOR STANDARDS/TERMINATION LAW AND

SOCIAL LEGISLATION

September 7, 2008

(First Sunday, Afternoon)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

I. Labor Laws (Labor Standards Law and Labor Relation Law)

(a) Labor Code of the Philippines (P.D. No. 442, as amended).
Books I, II, III, V, VI and VII

EXCLUDE: Book IV

(b) Thirteenth (13th) Month Pay Law (P.D. No. 851, as amended)

(c) The Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code of the Philippines. (Limited to cases decided by the Supreme Court)

(d) Guidelines for the Exercise of the Right to Organize of Government Employees, etc. (Executive Order No. 180, June 1, 1987).

II. Social Legislation

(a) Social Security Act of 1997 (R.A. No. 8282)

(b) Government Service Insurance Act of 1997 (R.A. No. 8291)

(c) Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (R.A. No. 7877)
EXCLUDE:

Employees Compensation and State Insurance Fund.

COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION CIVIL LAW

September 14,2008

(Second Sunday, Morning)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. Civil Code of the Philippines

INCLUDE The Law on Sale of Subdivision Lots and Condominium

(P.O. No. 957) and the Condominium Act (R.A. 4726)

EXCLUDE the following:

(a) Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines
(P.D.No.1083)

(b) Water Code (P.D. 1067)

(c) The Rental Law (B.P. Blg. 25 and amendments)

(d) Intellectual Property Law

2. The Family Code of the Philippines

EXCLUDE Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603)

3. Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 (R.A. No. 8552)

4. Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (R.A. No. 8043)

5. Property Registration Decree (P.D. No. 1529)

INCLUDE Public Land Law (C.A. No. 141, as amended)

6. Conflict of Laws (Private International Law)


COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION TAXATION

September 14,2008

(Second Sunday, Afternoon)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. General Principles of Taxation

2. National Internal Revenue Code

INCLUDE (a) Comprehensive Tax Reform Act of 1997(R.A. No. 8424)- Provisions in effect

(b) All Value Added Tax (VAT) laws in effect

EXCLUDE Percentage Taxes, Excise Taxes and Documentary Stamp Taxes

3. Tariff and Customs Code

EXCLUDE Arrastre and Classification of Commodities

4. Republic Act No. 1125, Creating the Court of Tax Appeals, as amended

5. The Local Government Code on Taxation


COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION MERCANTILE LAW

September 21, 2008

(Third Sunday, Morning)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. Code of Commerce

(a) Merchants and Commercial Transactions, Articles 1-63

(b) Letters of Credit under the Code of Commerce (Articles 567-572)
INCLUDE the following:

(i). Bulk Sales Law (Act No. 3952)

(ii). The Warehouse Receipts Law (Act No. 2137 in relation to the General Bonded Warehouse Act [Act No. 3893])

(iii). Presidential Decree 115 on Trust Receipts

2. Negotiable Instruments Law (Act No. 2031)

3. Insurance Code (P.O. No. 1460)

INCLUDE Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (R.A. 3591)

4. Transportation Laws

(a) Common Carriers (Civil Code, Arts. 1732 to 1766).

(b) Commercial Contracts for Transportation Overland
(Code of Commerce, Arts. 349 to 379)

(c) Maritime Commerce (Code of Commerce, Arts. 673 to 736; also Arts.
580-584 of Code of Commerce, as superseded by R.A. No. 6106; Arts.
806 to 845 of Code of Commerce; Paragraph 6 of Section 3 of Carriage of
Goods by Sea Act [Com. Act 65])

(d) Public Service Act (Com. Act No. 146), as amended.

(e) The Warsaw Convention of 1929(Limited to the Carrier's Liability).

5. Corporation Law

(a) The Corporation Code (B.P. Blg.68)

(b) Securities Regulation Code (R.A. 8799)

(c) Banking Laws: (General terms and provisions)

i) The New Central Bank Act (R.A. No. 7653) (Basics)

ii) Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits (R.A. No. 1405, as amended)

6. Intellectual Property Code (R.A. No. 8293)(Basics)

EXCLUDE: Implementing Rules and Regulations

7. Special Laws

(a) The Chattel Mortgage Law (Act 1508 in Relation to Arts. 1484, 1485,
2140, and 2141 of the Civil Code)

(b) Real Estate Mortgage Law (Act No. 3135, as amended by R.A. No. 4118)

(c) The Insolvency Law (Act No. 1956) including Rules on Corporate
Rehabilitation (P.D. 902-A)

(d) Truth in Lending Act (R.A. No. 3765)
EXCLUDE the following:

(1) Omnibus Investment Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 226)

(2) Foreign Investment Act of 1991 (R.A. No. 7042)





COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION CRIMINAL LAW

September 21,2008

(Third Sunday, Afternoon)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. The Revised Penal Code (Books I and II), as amended.
EXCLUDE: Penalties for specific felonies

2. Indeterminate Sentence Law

3. Probation Law

4. Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. No. 3019, as amended)

5. Anti-Fencing Law (P.O. No. 1612)

6. Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. Big. 22)

7. Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972(R.A. No. 6425, as amended)

8. Heinous Crimes Act (R.A. No. 7659, as amended)

9. Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (R.A No. 9160)
EXCLUDE: Civil Forfeiture Rules

10. Obstruction of Justice (P.O. 1829)


COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION REMEDIAL LAW

September 28, 2008

Fourth Sunday, Morning

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. The Rules of Court, as amended

(a) 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure

(b) Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (effective December 1, 2000)

(c) Rules on Evidence

(d) Rules on Special Proceedings

2. The 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure

3. Local Government Code on Conciliation Procedures
(Book III, Title I, Chapter 7)

4. The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 (B.P. Big. 129), as amended by
R.A. No. 7691 and rules issued thereunder (emphasis on jurisdiction
excluding purely administrative provisions)

5. Judiciary Act of 1948
EXCLUDE the following:

(a) P.D. No. 946 (Reorganizing the CAR)

(b) Military Justice

6. Jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan

(a) R.A. No. 7975

(b) R.A. No. 8249


COVERAGE OF THE BAR EXAMINATION LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES

September 28, 2008

(Fourth Sunday, Afternoon)

This examination covers decisions of the Supreme Court, promulgated up to 30 June 2007, and Republic Acts, Presidential Decrees and Executive Orders, promulgated up to 31 December 2006.

1. Code of Judicial Conduct

2. Code of Professional Responsibility

3. Grievance Procedures (Rule 139-b, Rules of Court)

4. Legal Forms

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