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Philippines Today

Philippines Today

MANILA — The Department of Economic Research (DER) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecasts that inflation rate this month to settle between 4.3 percent and 5.1 percent.


In a statement, the central bank’s think tank has seen price pressures from rice and other agricultural products due to weather-related disruptions driving inflation in June.


Prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) likewise increased this month.


On the other hand, the rollbacks in the pump prices of petroleum products this month will likely offset price pressures.


Reduction in electricity rates in areas serviced by the Manila Electric Co. has also seen to contribute in tempering inflation in June.


“Going forward, the BSP will continue to keep a watchful eye on the risks to the inflation outlook to help ensure price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable growth of the economy,” the DER said.


Inflation data is expected to be released next week.


Inflation rate last month stood at 4.6 percent. 

Is Your Job Wasting Your Life?

Published in Health and Wealth

In recent Gallup Poll, 82% of Americans work for jobs they are not happy but were forced to do for money. They worked for those jobs from age 20 to age 65. The percentage is higher for the Japanese which is 92%. If you are lucky enough to reach the age of 80, then you have 15 years left of what you are happy to do and accomplish a meaningful life or achieve your purpose in life.


This brings you and I to the following questions: Is your job wasting your life? Are you happy with your job? Do you have a meaningful, balance and purposeful life?


For the past 30 years, I've worked full-time as real estate broker. For five years, I was also publisher of the weekly PHILIPPINE EXAMINER and the weekly CALIFORNIA EXAMINER (Northern California Edition). I made good income and money in real estate (land investment, residential and income properties). But my full-time job as real estate broker and newspaper publisher controlled me and adversely affected my health and my family. I had no more time for my beloved wife and my two growing daughters.


Today, I am very happy to do my job as founder of MOBILE SIGNING SERVICES and accredited Notary Public by the Philippine Consul General in San Francisco; active Evangelist with the GOLDEN GATE CHURCH OF CHRIST in San Francisco, California and part-time Broker Associate with Century 21 Real Estate Alliance. I found joy and happiness doing my purpose in life: 1. SERVE MY FELLOWMEN; 2. SERVE, PRAISE AND GLORIFY GOD.


As founder of MOBILE SIGNING SERVICES and accredited Notary Public, it gives me inner joy and happiness serving the sick, physically handicap (e.g. 93-year-old veteran in Antioch, California; bed-ridden client at the Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco, California, physically handicap man on a wheel-chair in Mountain View, California and others) and for individuals and families who can't go to the Philippine Consulate Office in San Francisco, California during regular office hours.


As Evangelist, I'm active, committed and dedicated sharing the gospel, the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Acts 2:37-38, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Acts 22:16), to many lost souls. It gives hope and eternal life beyond the grave. This is the true meaning and purpose of life as concluded by King Solomon, the richest and wisest king during his time (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)


It's not yet late for you to find the job you are happy to do and help you accomplish the true meaning and purpose of your life. You can have a job you enjoy and happy doing it with less money but have more time for your loved ones, your spouse and your children. It's a matter of choosing to satisfy your NEEDS and not your WANTS.


SAVINGS AND CONVENIENCE ON SPA AND AFFIDAVIT AUTHENTICATION: If you are planning to go to the Philippine Consulate Office in San Francisco for the notarization and authentication of Special Power of Attorney (SPA), Affidavits and other documents needed in the Philippines, make sure to request and read first your FREE copy of “SAVINGS AND CONVENIENCE ON SPA AND AFFIDAVIT NOTARIZATION AND AUTHENTICATION.” For your FREE copy, just send a self-addressed-stamped envelop to: MOBILE SIGNING SERVICES, 730 Madrid Street, San Francisco, CA 94112


For immediate help and assistance in the notarization and follow-up authentication of Affidavits, Special Power of Attorney (SPA), Deed of Donation, Parental Travel Permit (PTP), QUITCLAIM DEED, Waiver of Claims, Deed of Extra Judicial Settlement, DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE, and other documents and legal papers needed in the Philippines and in California, just call or text:(650)438-3531 or (415)584-7095 or email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


(ART GABOT MADLAING is a commissioned Notary Public and licensed Real Estate Broker (BRE#00635976) in California since 1981. He is accredited Notary Public by the Philippine Consul General in San Francisco. Art is founder of FITNESS FOR HUMANITY (aka FITNESS FOR CHRIST) and ACAPINOY. He is active Evangelist with the GOLDEN GATE CHURCH OF CHRIST in San Francisco, California.)


Killings of mayors, priests

Published in Editorial & Other Articles

Two days in a row, the lives of two mayors – Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas and Francisco Bote of Gen. Tinio in Nueva Ecija – were snuffed out. Mayor Halili was killed by a sniper’s bullet while he and other officials were singing the national anthem while Mayor Bote was gunned down as he left the NIA offices in Cabanatuan City.


According to reports, at least 14 mayors and vice mayors have been killed during the Duterte administration and  Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra immediately ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a thorough probe on the deaths of at least the latest two victims.


The killings of the mayors came after the killings of priests, prosecutors and judges and other personalities, even in broad daylight and in busy places, making some to conclude that President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-crime campaign is slowly becoming a failure as the criminals seem no longer afraid of the law enforcement authorities. Mr. Duterte himself has admitted he seemed helpless in the fight against drugs and crimes, so he hinted making a proclamation of national emergency throughout the land by way of pressing the campaign.


An anti-crime summit might be in order to address the situation. The participation of the people is also a must in the campaign. Peace and order is sine qua non to progress and development. So, the government should make the anti-crime campaign a priority.

Quo vadis, Sereno?

Published in Perry Scope

Unceremoniously ousted as Chief Justice by an eight-vote majority of the Supreme Court, Maria Lourdes Sereno must be contemplating what her future will be?  During a press conference in the aftermath of the controversial “quo warranto” petition that passed muster of the Supreme Court, Sereno told reporters at a press briefing that she “believes she does not have to hold her old title to continue her fight against President Rodrigo Duterte's policies, which she said have taken a toll on the poor and marginalized.”  It was her opening salvo in her war against the forces led by Duterte who conspired to remove her from the High Court.  Speaking in the vernacular, Sereno said: “Many people are going hungry and many are getting killed.”  It was the perfect message to wage a campaign against the incumbent president.


Sereno’s departure from the Supreme Court opens new doors for her, which is certainly a welcome opportunity to advocate reforms in the country’s judicial system.  And there is no better venue than to serve in the Senate where she could use it as a platform to effect changes in the dysfunctional Judiciary.  The opportunity to do so came from Liberal Party (LP) President Sen. Francis Pangilinan who offered her a spot on the LP’s senatorial slate in next year’s midterm elections.  Pangilinan said Sereno would be a strong addition to the opposition.  “We need strong women in our ticket,” Pangilinan said.


Indeed, Sereno, who has never held an elective office before, would add to the opposition line-up her broad legal and judicial experience, which is sorely lacking in today’s electoral process where candidates for office are usually drawn from the entertainment sector.  In essence, the qualification that is being used in selecting candidates is “popularity,” which of course translates to the ability of candidates to get votes and win elections.  Gone are the days when candidates were some of the best legal minds in the country, the likes of which include Jose P. Laurel, Claro M. Recto, Quentin Paredes, Jose Diokno, Emmanuel Pelaez, and Camilo Osias.  Although Osias was not a lawyer – he was an educator – he was an eloquent orator whose persistent advocacy paid off in 1932 with the passage of the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act, which put the Philippines on the road to independence in 1946.  Today, actors, comedians, TV personalities, basketball players, and boxers dominate the political process.   


Conflicting laws

It is no wonder then that there are a lot of conflicting laws that contravene each other, thus sowing confusion in the interpretation of the law.  Take for example the ouster of Sereno.  The Constitution is very clear as to how Supreme Court justices are removed from office, which is by impeachment.  When the impeachment case against Sereno stalled in the House of Representatives, the Duterte administration resorted to using a quo warranto petition.  But quo warranto has never been used before in lieu of impeachment. Nevertheless, eight of the Supreme Court justices, comprising the majority, voted in favor of the quo warranto petition.  But who is there to challenge the validity of quo warranto among members of the High Court?   In essence, the use of quo warranto to remove Sereno can be best described as “judicial voodoo.” 


Judicial voodoo

In the Supreme Court ruling that absolved Justice Mariano del Castillo of plagiarism“Judicial Voodoo vs. Rule of Law” (November 2, 2010), I wrote: “The Supreme Court ruling defied conventional logic and used convoluted rationale that could only be construed as an aberration – or abrogation – of established norms and standards.   It was classic case of ‘Judicial voodoo’ taking precedence over the rule of law where the magistrates used mumbo-jumbo reasoning [to arrive at a decision].”


“Another controversial ruling of the Supreme Court was when it totally ignored Section 15 Article VII of the Constitution -- which bans midnight appointments – and allowed then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to appoint Justice Renato Corona as Chief Justice during the prohibited period.  This could only be construed as ‘judicial voodoo’ where rule of law was debased for the purpose of circumventing the constitution for the aggrandizement of a few.” [Ibid]


“Sad to say, with Corona at the helm of the Supreme Court until 2018 [Note: Corona was impeached on December 12, 2011] — when he reaches mandatory age retirement — and the other Arroyo appointees holding a majority until then, the Aquino administration would be under the spell of ‘judicial voodooism’ for a long time to come.   Are these the signs that portend to the coming of the Dark Age in Philippine jurisprudence?  Or, are we already at that age?” [Ibid]


In the case of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the quo warranto petition, the majority disregarded the constitutional provision on impeaching constitutional officers and blindly used convoluted reasoning to judicially lynch Sereno.  The sad part is that there was no higher authority that could override the Supreme Court justices’ lack of judicial aptitude in interpreting the Constitution.


The quo warranto petition against Sereno was filed before the Supreme Court by Solicitor General Jose Calida to remove her from her post as the Supreme Court Chief Justice. The petition was made to nullify then President Benigno Aquino III’s appointment of Sereno as Chief Justice of the High Court.  The legal community, including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and a battery of law deans and professors, reportedly denounced Calida’s petition as “unconstitutional.”  Many legal luminaries are of the opinion that allowing Sereno to be ousted via quo warranto not only violated the constitutional provision on impeachable officials and the rule of court, but it would also make justices of the High Court, and the entire Judiciary, vulnerable to undue pressure and intimidation from the President, who is the appointing authority on all judicial appointments, from Municipal Judges to Supreme Court Justices.  


Sereno’s options

With Sereno out of government service, she is faced with four viable options, viz: (1) Retire and write her memoirs; (2) Go back to the practice of law; (3) Form or join a public interest group to advocate for judicial reform; or (4) Run for office.  Under Option 1, Sereno retires and devotes her time to writing her memoirs, which would tell her story and expose the inequity she suffered from the Executive Branch.  But at 58 years of age, she’s too young to go into retirement.  Under Option 2, Sereno goes back to the practice of law, which would be financially rewarding for her.  Under Option 3, Sereno forms or joins a public interest group to advocate for judicial reform and to overhaul or streamline the Judiciary Branch to make it more effective and responsive to the public’s needs.  Under Option 4, Sereno runs for Senator, which would give her the opportunity to pursue her advocacies at the highest legislative level in government.  Winning a Senate seat would effectively vindicate her of the accusations made against her, which led to her ouster from the High Court.   Indeed, the possibility of Sereno running for a Senate seat next year is one of the best news since Duterte became president. Sereno would bring a lot of experience to the Legislative Branch.  Since there are only a few lawmakers who actually know the law, Sereno’s entry into the political arena would be an opportune time for her to serve the public’s interests and make a great deal of difference.


When asked if she’s going to run for office, Sereno said she has yet to discuss the matter with her team because she wants to focus on her legal and political problems for now.   But she should make up her mind soon because there is barely a year left to the 2019 elections.  She should position herself at the head of the pack of senatoriables.  The sooner, the better.  She should also be cognizant that politics is a game where latecomers rarely make it to the finish line.  Indeed, she has only one chance to win a Senate seat.  If she misses that chance, it’s good-bye for her.


So, quo vadis, Sereno? (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


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