Monday, January 28, 2008

After the Eureka! (Knowing your Patent Law)

By Siesta-friendly

Would Einstein have been granted a patent for his mass–energy equivalence formula, E = mc2, under our Patent Law? Remember that patentable works involve any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity. Remember too that the mass–energy equivalence formula was used in the development of the atomic bomb. What do you think? Need clues? Okay. There are 3 basic requirements for a work to be patentable: It should be 1) new, 2) involves an inventive step, and 3) is industrially applicable.[1]

Need more help? You’d better be able to answer now after reading that the following works are excluded from patent protection[2]

1. Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

2. Schemes, rules and methods of performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;

3. Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. This provision shall not apply to products and composition for use in any of these methods;

4. Plant varieties or animal breeds or essentially biological process for the production of plants or animals. This provision shall not apply to micro-organisms and non-biological and microbiological processes.
Provisions under this subsection shall not preclude Congress to consider the enactment of a law providing sui generis (read: exclusive) protection of plant varieties and animal breeds and a system of community intellectual rights protection.

5.Aesthetic creations; and

6. Anything which is contrary to public order or morality.

Care for another example? An alleged invention was found to produce the following tile improvements: 1) the tiles produced were suitable for construction and ornamentation being made with the ideal composition of ingredients, that produces tough and durable wall tiles, though thin and light; 2) the ability to engrave deep designs to make the tiles decorative, artistic and suitable for wall ornamentation, and 3) the tiles can be mass produced and can be conveniently handled and packed without any intolerable incidence of breakages. The old types of tiles were usually intended for floors as they were heavy and massive and were neither artistic nor ornamental. Naturally, this improved process of tile-making was found to be patentable having met all the requirements. [3];

3 basic requirements for patentability

1. New vs. Prior Art - To determine what exactly comprises “new” work, the law says a product is not considered new if it forms part of a prior art[4] And prior art are defined as[5]

1) everything which has been made available to the public anywhere in the world, before the filing date or the priority date of the application claiming the invention. (Note that “Priority Date” is the filing date of a foreign patent application for the same invention by the same applicant.), or

2) the whole contents of an application, published, filed or effective in the Philippines, with a filing or priority date that is earlier than the filing or priority date of the application by a different applicant.

2. Inventive Step - An invention involves an inventive step if, having regard to prior art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art at the time of the application filing date or priority date.[6]

3. Industrial Applicability - An invention that can be produced and used in any industry shall be industrially applicable.[7]

Utility Model Registrations

But what if the work is only new and useful (read: industrially applicable) and not really an invention, like the Side Tilting-Dumping Wheelbarrow? Wheelbarrows of different kinds have been around for maybe decades or even hundreds of years so making any new kind of wheelbarrow is not really inventive. However, the Side Tilting-Dumping Wheelbarrow which has been so constructed as to allow easy tilting and dumping on either side was deemed subject to registration.[8] This despite a previous registration given for the Dumping and Detachable Wheelbarrow which was also so constructed as to allow for easy dumping. Both wheelbarrows were thus registered as utility models.

Utility model registrations are granted for “any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity which is new and industrially applicable”.[9] Note the absence of “inventive step” which is required of patented inventions. They’re very similar to patented inventions which is why with certain exceptions, the patent provisions - including the patent exclusions earlier mentioned - also apply to utility models.[10]

Patent Rights

The right to a patent belongs to the inventor, his heirs, or assigns. When 2 or more persons jointly make an invention, the right to a patent belong to them jointly.[11] If 2 or more persons made the invention separately and independently of each other, the right to the patent belongs to the person who filed an application for such invention, or to the applicant who has the earliest filing date or, the earliest priority date.[12]

As regards commissioned inventions[13]

1. Unless otherwise provided in the contract, the person who commissions the work owns the patent.

2. In case the employee made the invention in the course of his employment contract, the patent belongs to:

(a) the employee, if the invention is not a part of his regular duties even if the employee uses the employer’s time, facilities and materials.

(b) the employer, if the invention is the result of the performance of his regularly-assigned duties, unless there is an agreement, express or implied, to the contrary.

A patent confers on its owner the following exclusive rights[14]

a) If a product - to restrain, prohibit and prevent any unauthorized making, use, offering for sale, selling or importation of the product;

b) If a process, to restrain - to prevent or prohibit any unauthorized use of the process, and unauthorized manufacturing, dealing in, using, selling or offering for sale, or importing any product obtained directly or indirectly from such process.

The patent shall be for twenty (20) years from the application filing date.[15] A utility model registration shall expire, without any possibility of renewal, at the end of the 7th year after the application filing date.

Patent Infringement

For this, it’s best to provide an example. And we’ve got a recent and local “David and Goliath” classic. In 1990, Edgardo Vazquez filed a patent application for his invention: a construction method for a prefabricated modular housing unit made up of pre-cast concrete wall (using column panels) and roofing assembly, more popularly known as “Vazbuilt”. His patent application pending, beginning 1992 Vazquez Building Systems Corp. was awarded by Avida Land Corp. construction projects in Laguna and Batangas using the invention. In 1994, the patent was granted to Edgardo who assigned it to Vazquez Corp. 5 years into their business relationship, Vazquez Corp. learned that Avida Corp. had used, without consent, the Vazbuilt method in construction projects in other provinces.

Against Vazquez Corp’s eventual patent infringement suit, Avida claimed that they used a foreign method for which they had obtained a license agreement with a Texas company. The court did not buy Avida’s claims and found that the construction methods used - which included columns with H-shaped panels and grooves for installation - were “substantially similar or identical in appearance and construction with the [Vazbuilt] process of building concrete columns [with] H-shaped section with … opposed grooves … [T]he claim of [Avida Corp.] of differences or dissimilarities can hardly be noticed.”[16] Local inventors thus claimed victory in the court’s judgment awarding P96M++ in actual damages in favor of Vazquez Corp and enjoining Avida from committing acts of infringement against Vazquez Corp. However in this story, Goliath survives and is appealing.

Patent Rights Limitations

With rights there are of course limitations. The patent owner has no right to prevent third parties from making, using, dealing, offering for sale, selling or importing his work, without his authorization, in the following circumstances[17]

1. Using a patented product which has been put on the Philippine market by the owner, or with his express consent, insofar as such use is performed after that product has been so put on said market;

2. If done privately and on a non-commercial scale or for a non-commercial purpose; provided, that it does not significantly prejudice the patent owner’s economic interests;

3. Making or using the product exclusively for the purpose of experiments that relate to the subject matter of the patented invention;

4. Preparation for individual cases, in a pharmacy or by a medical professional, of a medicine in accordance with a medical prescription or acts concerning the medicine so prepared;

5. Where the invention is used in any ship, vessel, aircraft, or land vehicle of any other country entering Philippine territory temporarily or accidentally; provided, that such invention is used exclusively for the needs of the ship, vessel, aircraft, or land vehicle and not used for the manufacturing of anything to be sold within the Philippines.

In addition, any prior user, who, in good faith was using the invention or has undertaken serious preparations to use it in his enterprise or business, before the patent application filing date or priority date, shall have the right to continue such use within the territory where the patent produces its effect.[18]

Compulsory Licensing

The most significant patent right limitation deserves special mention, especially in light of the exploitative (if not inhumane) practices of patent owners, like pharmaceutical companies charging excessive prices for critically-needed medicines. You see, the Director of Legal Affairs of the Intellectual Property Office may grant a license to exploit a patented invention, even without the agreement of the patent owner, in favor of any person who has shown his capability to exploit the invention, under any of the following circumstances[19]

1. National emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency;

2. Where the public interest, in particular, national security, nutrition, health or the development of other vital sectors of the national economy as determined by the appropriate agency of the government, so requires or

3. Where a judicial or administrative body has determined that the manner of exploitation by the patent owner or his licensee is anti-competitive; or

4. In case of public non-commercial use of the patent by the patentee, without satisfactory reason;

5. If the patented invention is not being worked in the Philippines on a commercial scale, although capable of being worked, without satisfactory reason.

With our people barely able to survive on a day-to-day basis let alone afford to get sick, why hasn’t the government stepped in to break the patents over excessively priced and critically-needed medicines? It’s been done by other governments like those of South Africa, Thailand and Brazil. Why hasn’t our government? Ah, well, maybe that’s another post altogether.

In the meantime, Good Luck with your invention!

[1] Sec. 21, R.A. No. 8293 as amended, ‘Intellectual Property Code Of The Philippines”.

[2] Sec. 22, supra.

[3] DOMICIANO A. AGUAS vs. CONRADO G. DE LEON and COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No. L-32160, January 30, 1982.

[4] Sec. 23, ibid.

[5] Sec. 24, ibid.

[6] Sec. 26, ibid.

[7] Sec. 27, ibid.


[9] Sec. 109, ibid.

[10] Sec. 108, ibid.

[11] Sec. 28, ibid.

[12] Sec. 29, ibid.

[13] Sec. 30, ibid.

[14] Sec. 71, ibid.

[15] Sec. 54, ibid.

[16] VAZQUEZ BUILDING SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al. vs. AVIDA LAND CORP, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Civil Case No. Q-99-39485, December 18, 2007.

[17] Sec. 72, ibid.

[18] Sec. 73, ibid.

[19] Sec. 93, ibid.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Balik-Pinoy (How to re-acquire your Philippine citizenship)

By Siesta-friendly

Lost your Philippine citizenship yet you want to avail of its benefits eh? Well, the government thought you might feel that way and so enacted the “Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003” (R.A. 9225).

Take note that if you are already a dual citizen (with Philippine citizenship and foreign citizenship), then you need not apply for dual citizenship. Naturally. But, how do you know you’re already a dual citizen? You first have to know 2 basic doctrines in determining nationality: 1) the jus soli (right of soil) doctrine which states that the place of birth determines one’s nationality and 2) the jus sanguinis (right of birth) doctrine which states that the nationality of one’s parent/s determines one’s nationality.

It is important to know that the Philippines follows the right of birth (jus sanguinis) doctrine to determine its citizen’s nationality. Therefore, wherever you may have been born, as long as at least 1 of your parents was a Philippine citizen at the time of your birth, you are a Philippine citizen at birth. You may also be a citizen of the country where you were born in case such country follows the jus soli doctrine to determine its citizen’s nationality.

Thus, if at least 1 of your parents was a Philippine citizen at the time of your birth and you were born in the U.S. - which follows the jus soli doctrine - then you are a U.S and a Philippine citizen at birth. Under U.S. law, you are a U.S citizen since you were born there and under Philippine law you are a Philippine citizen because at least 1 of your parents was a Philippine citizen at the time of your birth. So it’s not necessary for you to apply for dual citizenship. And you can apply for both U.S. and Philippine passports. Sweet.

You must remember that if your Filipino parent/s lost his/her/their Philippine citizenship at the time of your birth, then you are not a Philippine citizen at birth even if you were born in the Philippines.

Clear? Then on we go to the procedural aspect. There are 4 different application procedures depending on your status:

a) Former natural-born Philippine citizen already in the Philippines and BI (Bureau of Immigration)-registered alien - file a petition under oath (the “Petition for Dual Citizenship and Issuance of Identification Certificate”) with the BI for the cancellation of the ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) and issuance of an Identification Certificate (IC).

b) Former natural-born Philippine citizen who is abroad but a BI-registered alien - file a petition under oath with the nearest Philippine Foreign Post for evaluation. Thereafter, the entire records shall be forwarded to the BI for the cancellation of the ACR and issuance of an IC;

c) Former natural-born Philippine citizen already in the Philippines and not a BI-registered alien - within 60 days from date of arrival, file a petition under oath with the BI for the issuance of an IC;

d) Former natural-born Philippine citizen who is abroad and not a BI-registered alien - file a petition under oath with the nearest Philippine Foreign Post for the issuance of an IC.

The following shall be attached to the petition, which should all be contained in a legal size folder (according to the BI):

1. 2 recent 2 x 2 colored pictures over white background;

2. Proof of being a natural-born Filipino – at least 1 of the following originals with photocopy:

a) Philippine birth certificate certified by the National Statistics Office (NSO);

b) old Philippine passport;

c) voter’s affidavit or voter’s identification card;

d) marriage contract indicating applicant’s Philippine citizenship;

e) such other document/s that would indicate that the applicant is a natural-born Philippine citizen as may be acceptable to the BI (for example, a former Philippine citizen born abroad shall present a copy of the Report of Birth issued by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and, in applicable cases, the original copy of the Birth Certificate by competent foreign authorities).

3. foreign passport;

4. Certificate of Naturalization or an original affidavit stating how foreign citizenship was acquired;

5. if the applicant’s name in the birth certificate or other documents is different from that in the foreign passport and other documents, applicant shall execute an affidavit explaining such difference and attach at least 2 documents showing applicant’s correct name;

6. 2 legal size self-addressed stamped envelopes; and

7. proof of payment of application fee - Original Receipt/s (USD50.00 or Php2,500.00)

If the applicant is a BI-registered alien, the following must also be attached:

1. Original ACR, and
2. Original Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR) or Certificate of Residence for Temporary Visitor (CRTV).

For each of the applicant’s unmarried children below 18 years, the following additional documents are required original and photocopy):

1. 2 recent 2 x 2 colored pictures over white background;
2. birth certificate;
3. foreign passport; and
4. proof of payment of application fee - Original Receipt/s (USD25.00 or Php1,250.00).

And what do you get in return? For starters, the right to vote and the opportunity to be voted for a public office (provided you renounce foreign citizenship). Practice professions limited only to citizens (doctors, lawyers, etc.). Own real estate without limit. Travel in and out of the country without obtaining entry visas or paying immigration fees.

Of course, apart from your rights as Philippine citizen, you will also assume the responsibilities and obligations of one. Like the payment of taxes. Gotcha. As well as the responsibility of shouldering the luxurious lives of politicians and government officials and enduring the reality that you can’t do much about it, except gripe. But I digress. Below is the Oath of Allegiance which is the final act that confers Philippine citizenship and which should give you a general idea of what you could be getting yourself into –

“I,___________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and local orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines, and I hereby declare that I recognise and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto, and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”

Before anything else though, it is strongly suggested that you first consult with your local embassy as regards the effects of your obtaining Philippine citizenship on your current foreign citizenship.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

GIFTS-IN-LAW (Donations and Gifts)

By Obiter07

Having just come out of the Christmas Season (with we hope at least a few pesos left), we will briefly tackle how gifts within a marriage are treated under the law.

ARTICLE 87. Every donation or grant of gratuitous advantage, direct or indirect, between the spouses during the marriage shall be void, except moderate gifts which the spouses may give each other on the occasion of any family rejoicing. The prohibition shall also apply to persons living together as husband and wife without a valid marriage. (133a)

And there is a limit on the gifts that you can give, depending on the property regime which governs the marriage. More on this in a future article. Essentially, the property regime determines who owns what in the marriage.

Under the Family Code, the default or automatic regime in the absence of any contrary agreement is the system of absolute community[1] where the couple pools everything into the marriage. [2] In this instance, there is a limit on what you can give materially to each other, whatever they may say about giving your marriage your all -

ARTICLE 84. If the future spouses agree upon a regime other than the absolute community of property, they cannot donate to each other in their marriage settlements more than one-fifth of their present property. Any excess shall be considered void. Donations of future property shall be governed by the provisions on testamentary succession and the formalities of wills. (130a)

And you can’t just give things away to a third party except again “moderate” gifts -

ARTICLE 125. Neither spouse may donate any conjugal partnership property without the consent of the other. However, either spouse may, without the consent of the other, make moderate donations from the conjugal partnership property for charity or on occasions of family rejoicing or family distress. (174a)

Can you get the gifts back? Yes you can, if you obtain a decree of legal separation -

ARTICLE 64. After the finality of the decree of legal separation, the innocent spouse may revoke the donations made by him or by her in favor of the offending spouse, as well as the designation of the latter as beneficiary in any insurance policy, even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable. The revocation of the donations shall be recorded in the registries of property in the places where the properties are located. Alienations, liens and encumbrances registered in good faith before the recording of the complaint for revocation in the registries of property shall be respected. The revocation of or change in the designation of the insurance beneficiary shall take effect upon written notification thereof to the insured.

The action to revoke the donation under this Article must be brought within five years from the time the decree of legal separation become final. (107a)

What about gifts given to you and your spouse by your third parties (especially doting parents) in consideration of the marriage?[3] Well, if you acted in bad faith, then you have to give them back -

ARTICLE 43. The termination of the subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall produce the following effects:


(3) Donations by reason of marriage shall remain valid, except that if the donee contracted the marriage in bad faith, such donations made to said donee are revoked by operation of law;


ARTICLE 44. If both spouses of the subsequent marriage acted in bad faith, said marriage shall be void ab initio and all donations by reason of marriage and testamentary dispositions made by one in favor of the other are revoked by operation of law. (n)

Or the donors themselves can ask for the gifts back -

ARTICLE 86. A donation by reason of marriage may be revoked by the donor in the following cases:

(1) If the marriage is not celebrated or judicially declared void ab initio except donations made in the marriage settlements, which shall be governed by Article 81;

(2) When the marriage takes place without the consent of the parents or guardian, as required by law;

(3) When the marriage is annulled, and the donee acted in bad faith;

(4) Upon legal separation, the donee being the guilty spouse;

(5) If it is with a resolutory condition and the condition is complied with;

6) When the donee has committed an act of ingratitude as specified by the provisions of the Civil Code on donations in general. (132a)

On another note, apart from making into Santa’s list giving has advantages as tax deductions under Section 38 of the National Internal Revenue Code subject to certain limits. But, you can’t just give everything away -

SECTION 34. Deductions from Gross Income. — Except for taxpayers earning compensation income arising from personal services rendered under an employer-employee relationship where no deductions shall be allowed under this Section other than under Subsection (M) hereof, in computing taxable income subject to income tax under Sections 24(A); 25(A); 26; 27(A), (B) and (C); and 28(A)(1), there shall be allowed the following deductions from gross income:


H (Charitable and Other Contributions –
(1) In General. — Contributions or gifts actually paid or made within the taxable year to, or for the use of the Government of the Philippines or any of its agencies or any political subdivision thereof exclusively for public purposes, or to accredited domestic corporations or associations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, youth and sports development, cultural or educational purposes or for the rehabilitation of veterans, or to social welfare institutions, or to non-government organizations, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Commissioner, no part of the net income of which inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual in an amount not in excess of ten percent (10%) in the case of an individual, and five percent (5%) in the case of a corporation, of the taxpayer’s taxable income derived from trade, business or profession as computed without the benefit of this and the following subparagraphs.

And if you are about to be married, you can ask for gifts not to exceed P10,000 as these are exempt from donor’s tax. If you have enough guests and sponsors this could be quite a hefty sum. The same rule applies for gifts to the to the government or education and charitable institutions -

“SECTION 101. Exemption of Certain Gifts. —The following gifts or donations shall be exempt from the tax provided for in this Chapter:
(A) In the Case of Gifts Made by a Resident. —
(1) Dowries or gifts made on account of marriage and before its celebration or within one year thereafter by parents to each of their legitimate, recognized natural, or adopted children to the extent of the first Ten thousand pesos (P10,000);

(2) Gifts made to or for the use of the National Government or any entity created by any of its agencies which is not conducted for profit, or to any political subdivision of the said Government; and

(3) Gifts in favor of an educational and/or charitable, religious, cultural or social welfare corporation, institution, accredited nongovernment organization, trust or philanthropic organization or research institution or organization: Provided, however, That not more than thirty percent (30%) of said gifts shall be used by such donee for administration purposes. For the purpose of this exemption, a ‘non-profit educational and/or charitable corporation, institution, accredited nongovernment organization, trust or philanthropic organization and/or research institution or organization’ is a school, college or university and/or charitable corporation, accredited nongovernment organization, trust or philanthropic organization and/or research institution or organization, incorporated as a nonstock entity, paying no dividends, governed by trustees who receive no compensation, and devoting all its income, whether students’ fees or gifts, donations, subsidies or other forms of philanthropy, to the accomplishment and promotion of the purposes enumerated in its Articles of Incorporation.

And it pays to know that one can give away at least P100,000 a year without having to pay donor’s taxes. This is even a form of estate planning for some.

Who knew gift-giving could have strict rules? Don’t you just miss Santa’s rule? It was just a matter of being naughty or nice.

[1] Article 75, Family Code.

[2] What Constitutes Community Property
ARTICLE 91. Unless otherwise provided in this Chapter or in the marriage settlements, the community property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter. (197a)

[3] ARTICLE 82. Donations by reason of marriage are those which are made before its celebration, in consideration of the same, and in favor of one or both of the future spouses. (126)

ARTICLE 83. These donations are governed by the rules on ordinary donations established in Title III of Book III of the Civil Code, insofar as they are not modified by the following articles.


Monday, January 7, 2008

GUARANTORS BEWARE (Sureties and Guarantees)

by Obiter07

When it comes to loans, you’ll soon come across friends, colleagues and sometimes even strangers who will ask for your assistance for you to act as a co-maker or guarantor. Maybe it’s for a small business they are setting up, or just to tide them over a passing domestic shortfall. It would do you well to understand what you are signing up for when you do.

It’s hard to say no in such instances because the implied premise is instead of borrowing from you, a friend is just asking you to vouch for his or her credit to the lender, which is not such a big deal. But you may just discover that you signed up for more than you bargained for when the creditor decides to collect from you directly.

How does this come about? This happens when you are asked to act as a guarantor or surety for a loan. This is covered by one provision in the New Civil Code:

“ARTICLE 2047. By guaranty a person, called the guarantor, binds himself to the creditor to fulfill the obligation of the principal debtor in case the latter should fail to do so.

If a person binds himself solidarily with the principal debtor, the provisions of Section 4, Chapter 3, Title I of this Book shall be observed. In such case the contract is called a suretyship. (1822a)”


In a guaranty, you are typically made to pay once the principal borrower fails to fulfill his obligations to pay. And generally, the guarantor may be proceeded against only after all the properties of the debtor has been exhausted which is called the right of excussion.[1] However, excussion is not available in the following instances:

“ARTICLE 2059. The excussion shall not take place:

(1) If the guarantor has expressly renounced it;

(2) If he has bound himself solidarily with the debtor;

(3) In case of insolvency of the debtor;

(4) When he has absconded, or cannot be sued within the Philippines unless he has left a manager or representative;

(5) If it may be presumed that an execution on the property of the principal debtor would not result in the satisfaction of the obligation. (1831a)”

Some lenders require that this right be waived by the guarantor just so as to make you go up the creek at almost the same time as the deadbeat borrower. So always read the fine print to make sure what rights you have and what rights you have waived unknowingly.


In a surety, you bind yourself “solidarily” with the principal debtor. This means that the creditor can choose against whom to collect, either you or the original borrower. For example, you would be asked to sign as a co-maker in a promissory note. It is as if you took out the loan yourself. Your only distinction being is that you may not have gotten a single centavo from the loan, your only benefit being your friend’s gratitude for sticking out your neck. This can be too small a consolation when paying up time comes. Be careful of the language used. If you are “jointly and severally” liable, this is just another way of saying “solidary.”

It should be noted, however, that a “guarantor or surety does not incur liability unless the principal debtor is held liable. It is in this sense that a surety, although solidarily liable with the principal debtor, is different from the debtor. It does not mean, however, that the surety cannot be held liable to the same extent as the principal debtor. The nature and extent of the liabilities of a guarantor or a surety is determined by the clauses in the contract of suretyship (see PCIB v. CA, L-34959, March 18, 1988, 159 SCRA 24). PACIFIC BANKING CORPORATION, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT [G.R. No. 72275. November 13, 1991.]“

This means that in case of a suit or demand, the principal debtor has to be included and his liability determined. You can only be made to pay for the whole thing if the debtor will not pay -

“While a surety is solidarily liable with the principal debtor, his obligation to pay only arises upon the principal debtor’s failure or refusal to pay. A contract of surety is an accessory promise by which a person binds himself to another already bound, and agrees with the creditor to satisfy the obligation if the debtor does not. A surety is an insurer of debt; he promises to pay the principal’s debt if the principal will not pay.”[2]

Consenting to be a surety or a guarantor is an occasion where you will be made to answer for the sins and omissions of someone else. And absolution comes only if you pay for something you did not originally owe, may not have even benefited from and may seriously damage you financially. Be forewarned.

[1] The guarantor cannot be compelled to pay the creditor unless the latter has exhausted all the property of the debtor, and has resorted to all the legal remedies against the debtor. (1830a)

[2] BABST vs. COURT OF APPEALS, et al. [G.R. No. 99398. January 26, 2001.]


Friday, January 4, 2008

Greenpeace: It’s time


December 8, 2007. Manila PHILIPPINES.

Hundreds of students, bikers, runners, volunteers, and supporters in Renewable Energy-themed costumes called for the immediate passage of the Renewable Energy Bill as they marched around the Quezon Memorial Circle to take part in the Global Day of Action Against Climate Change.

© Greenpeace / Luis Liwanag
Source: Greenpeace


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Top 9 alternative 2007 MMFF films

The Top 9 alternative 2007 MMFF films:

9. Desperados – fantasy adventure of a Senator and a Brig. Gen. shot on location inside a hotel

8. Motorsiklo – action-packed thriller about motorcyclists implementing their self-made traffic rules and the sometimes devastating effects

7. Anak ng @#$%&*! – horror suspense about Filipinos trying to return home safe with terrifying twists and turns caused along the way by an evil spirit called MMDA

6. Bugbog, Sakal, Saklolo – epic all-star extravaganza starring MalacaƱang mainstays, the military, farmers, labor leaders, activists, the judiciary and a hero called Amparo

5. Kanal – film noir following the Church’s destiny in its quest for the real treasures of this earth; with memorable supporting performances by the PAGCOR and the ever-popular MalacaƱang mainstays

4. Bahay Luho – eye-opener about the daily greed-filled lives of 2 families: one living in a palace along the Pasig River, the other in a house called Batasan

3. Shake, Rattle and Dole – fantasy ghost story set in a 2-storey house where the seemingly good upper house ghosts frequently search for misdeeds causing much initial shaking and rattling of bureaus and cabinets until a dwarf finds ways to appease them

2. Katas ng Saudi – whodunit mystery where Filipinos discover that, despite all the proclaimed evidence and allegations, the state of the economy is really due to OFW remittances

And the No.1 alternative 2007 MMFF film …

1. Juan Kabisote – comedy drama about an ordinary Filipino finding never-ending amusement at his life of ignorance and suffering. This is a follow-up to the earlier comedy drama Juan Tamad.