Category Archives: Criminal Law

Technical Malversation, Good Intentions and Quick Reaction in Government

There is an understandable expression of frustration, on the part of the public, over the DOH delay in the purchase and release of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies/equipment needed to combat the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). The agencies of the government, as well as the Local Government Units (LGUs), have calamity/emergency funds or quick reaction funds. There are times when funds allocated for a specific purpose or project is not enough and, when rapid action is needed in times of crises or emergencies, the responsible officer is faced with a sensitive issue. 

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Criminal Cases Against LGUs Turning Away Cargoes, Blocking Roads

There are reports that some Local Government Units (LGUs) have been intercepting cargoes, including those delivery food and medical products, and stopping them from entering or passing through their respective territories. Even when these trucks are allowed to pass through, it takes forever to reach their destination because of the endless number of checkpoints and the varying policies implemented in each checkpoint. Worse, there may be instances when roads are blocked and rendered impassable.  

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Fake News and Other Acts Punishable during the COVID-19 Crisis

The Bayanihan to Heal As One Act (Republic Act No. 11469), signed by the President on 24 March 2020, provides for specific acts punishable with imprisonment of two (2) months or a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P1,000,000, or both, at the discretion of the court. The same acts may be penalized under other existing laws.

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Arresting Patients who Lie about Material Travel History, or those who Refuse to Comply with the Quarantine

There are reports that a doctor contracted the Coronavirus 2019 Disease (Covid-19) because a patient lied about her travel history. The doctor subsequently died because of Covid-19. Perhaps it can be argued that the good doctor should have taken the necessary precaution, like wearing personal protective equipment, but that’s not the issue (besides, that is disrespectful to frontliners who risk their life). The question is the legal liability of patients or persons who lie about their travel history, when such information is material during a public health crisis. 

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The Big Fuss about the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act: A Primer on Republic Act No. 11235

Based the posts and memes in social media, it appears that the big fuss about Republic Act No. 11235 (Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act) is centered on the new requirement for a bigger license plates for motorcycles. This new law, however, is more than the size and design of the number plate. Continue reading

Primer on the Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581, as amended by R.A. 10623)

The Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581, as amended by R.A. 10623) fleshes out the State’s policy to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment, as well as the policy to provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations. Continue reading

When the Use of Aliases Violates the Law

“Iqbal’s alleged use of aliases violates law — solon,” states the caption of a news article, referring to the allegation of Davao City Representative Carlo Nogales that the use of an alias by MILF Spokesman Mohagher Iqbal, apparently not his real name, in official documents “violates the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Alias law which prohibit the use of pseudonyms in public documents.” It might be helpful to have a summary of the laws the penalize the use of aliases. Continue reading

Premature Marriage No Longer a Crime

The death of either spouse dissolves the marital bond (same effect with annulment or declaration of nullity). This simply means that, subject to compliance with certain requirements, the husband or the wife is free to marry again. There is no legal obstacle for remarriage (and we’ve heard of a plot or two involving a spouse who wants to kill the other spouse so he/she can marry another person). Men may remarry right away. Women, on the other hand, must wait for 301 days or, if pregnant at the time of the husband’s death, must wait until childbirth, before they can remarry. Continue reading

What You Need to Know Under the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013” (Republic Act 10586): A Primer

The first arrest under Republic Act No. 10586 (also known as the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013? and its Implementing Rules and Regulations was made in March 2015. Whether one subscribes to the policy behind the new law or one would simply avoid the penalty of imprisonment that comes with violations of this law, it is always helpful to be familiar with its basic provisions. After all, ignorance of the law excuses no one. Continue reading