Author Archives: engrjhez

About engrjhez

Government Procurement Reform Advocate (GPRA), Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) Certified National Trainer, Earthquake Quick Response Program (EQRP) Volunteer, Civil/Structural Engineer, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Enthusiast, Musician, Poet/Writer, Journalist, Adviser/Counsel, Family Man and Friend.

14@14th, 17@15th: Open Letter To My Close Confidant


Happy Anniversary!

It’s like yesterday when I was still finding time to visit you after my teaching schedule in a university. When I first asked you on the 8th, you deferred your answer. Yeah, December 8 would have been the date when you said “yes”. But maybe timing wasn’t right, and I was right. So when the sun, stars, moon, and the planets aligned on the 15th, and your parents left us to talk alone,  you answered “YES”. Yes, on my favorite number 15.

In the interim, i.e. before marriage I should say, I realized I got more reason everyday to be with you the rest of my life. Each day then, I was thinking of how I can establish my own family with you. It was the most challenging financial days of my life: when I need to support my siblings in college, be a part-breadwinner of the family, and save for the wedding, while still indebted to credit cards.

But all those, I surpassed. We surpassed. That made my 25th birthday special because it was my last birthday as single. Same with your birthday the following month. It was our last birthday celebration before we get married. It was the happiest celebration I had in 25 years of my life. We were blessed with two children, and that meant two more birthday celebrations in addition to our birthdays. Look at them now. Look how we get to have our bloodlines continued in their persons. Look how they looked like me. (LoL)

With all these, let me make a proposition. Let this day and thereafter be another chapter of an even happier relationship. I know I made my promise and I will continue to make sure that promise is fulfilled – just like a continuing mandamus imposed upon myself.

While some people experience “mid-life crisis” at our age, I propose we build “mid-life memories” that we will cherish until our last days. I know sometimes it is expensive to explore, but what the heck?! We can earn money lost. But lost time can not be bought by money.  See how older people regretted not doing things they could have done when they were younger, like to travel. I don’t know how the older us will be like, but I want to know what the present us can do while we still can.

This year’s anniversary, just like 2003, will be a major shift. That, I predict. Next year will be another milestone. We already have several scheduled travel adventures. Some with kids, some #jhezthe2ofus. Next year, I am expecting to have that title everyone is dying to have. We both know that I don’t need another title. Our kids don’t need a parent with another title. They just need us. A title sounds like another person when it’s not. It’s just another profession. Same me. If I will ever get that title, it is just a mere incident and not the objective. I cannot have something I already have. In Criminal Law, it is called “impossible crime” because of inherent impossibility of accomplishment or on account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means. It is me all along without the title. It will still be me with or without the title. The difference will be: we can have an alternative source of income to finance our adventures.

So much for the promises. Let us #jhezenjoythisday!

I love you.

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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Love and Relationships, Personal


#Bar2017 #wrapup

The November Bar Examinations officially ended today. Now it’s “waiting game” to most of examinees until the posting of results. But before that, let me extend my thanks to everyone.

FIRST and foremost, to GOD. It is undisputed that we owe everything to Him who gave us the blessings of life and health everyday. Indeed, without God I AM NOTHING;

SECOND, to my lovely wife: I still recall how you OBJECTED to this choice I made and how hesitant you were to allow me to be incarcerated in this “prison of law”. But after having seen how decided I was then, you yielded. Thank you for your immeasurable support for the past 5 years. I know that no matter how I tried to be as casual as I can be in law school, I still missed most of our children’s milestones and family gatherings. AS I TOLD YOU BEFORE (in the tone of Dean Sundiang), I promise to spend more time with you, and the kids, after the Bar – and you know that I already began fulfilling that promise;

THIRD, to our parents: It may not be manifest but you were always there in silence, in spirit, and in prayers. Under the Rules of Court, your acts, declarations, or omissions are ADMISSIBLE in evidence and may be considered as implied admissions of your invaluable support. I know how proud you were when I started law school, and I hope I can return the favor and meet your expectations more after the release of the results;

FOURTH, to the Arellano University School of Law: I owe everyone in law school, from the highest of the Board to the humblest of utility workers. I cannot enumerate all the support I received from each of you because it is INCAPABLE OF PECUNIARY ESTIMATION. Also, I would not have developed the kind of discipline I had today were it not for our professors on the quality of legal knowledge, training, expertise, and shall I say indoctrination that now composed the anatomical structure of the lawyer I am fast becoming;

FIFTH, to the student organizations Arellano Law Academic Society, Bar Operations Commissions together with the Hotel Ops and Marshalls, Arellano Law Gazette, and Arellano Law Forensic Guild to which I was part: Thank you for abusing your physical, mental, and emotional limits in ensuring your presence will encourage everyone to finish the Bar Examinations strong;

SIXTH, to my classmates, batchmates, and schoolmates: now Attorneys or otherwise. Thank you for believing in the spirit of camaredrie. I cherish the memories we had together in those school years of both hardship and success. As to our fellow Bar Examinees, thank you for your INDISPENSABLE COOPERATION in making the Bar Examinations a success in its own right and found in the place where it should be found, UNBLEMISHED BY ANY ALTERATION OR CIRCUMSTANCES OF SUSPICION;

SEVENTH, to our fellow government officials and employees: who showed the simplest yet sincerest support in a common hope that change happens for the better, and that JUSTICE and fairness would always prevail. Thank you for believing that I can be an instrument of that change through this noble profession;

EIGHT, to the social media: which was to me never a distraction but an opportunity to keep abreast with what is happening around. Various social media groups became the channel of communicating Bar materials that reinforced one’s confidence, either by reading them or by simply knowing to have them in their “boxes”. The social media remained as an outlet of FREE SPEECH;

NINTH, to the Supreme Court (SC): including the Bar Examination Chair, Examiners, and their staff, in successfully returning back the glorious days of taking the Bar Examinations before Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) were introduced. #Bar2017 reverted to the basics and more fundamental questions to test the examinees’ preparation and reasoning #werpa. The “tips” were helpful but practically insufficient (if not useless, and that is the idea so that the integrity of the examination is preserved). Again, one must really study the entire syllabi including its coverage and rely on their “arsenals” accumulated during law school days. LEGAL FORMS are definitely back, and I fully agree that a Bar candidate must at least be able to draft basic legal forms in the course of the examinations. In sum, the questions were fair and reasonable (no need for extensions of time), and the security in the Bar site was as tight as sealing the doors of SC while the questionnaires were being collated. Thank you for this one of a kind experience; and,

Finally, TENTH, to all other persons and entities unmentioned: to whom I made acquaintance with, and never have forgotten to send their simplest cheer and/or good luck in prayer and/or social media, and to the men and women who made the legal profession more profound and exhilirating especially during the Bar season. I will #neverforget being part in the making of this community of advocates.

I purposely did not attempt to mention the individuals with PARTICULARITY because I fear that I may miss one and be piqued by that omission. If you are reading this, you know who you are, and I am talking to you – Thank You!

No other profession comes close to the kind of extravagance and exoticism in preparation for, during, and after the Bar Examination season. Despite the uncertainties, the law profession undoubtedly remains as (one of if not) the most prestigious and most influential profession in this country. Yet, the Bar Examination is only one of the steps in becoming a full fledged lawyer.

Meanwhile, the battle may have ended but the flags will still have to raised. Until then…

Returning all the glory to God.


God bless everyone!

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Posted by on November 26, 2017 in Personal


Look, I Am Ready (L.I.A.R.)

Look, you are ready for the Bar Examinations:

Not because you finished all your target readings, audio notes, and coachings;

Not because you have sufficiently read all those law books, cases, and review materials;

Not because you understood all the principles and doctrines in jurisprudence;

Not because you were able to memorize the provisions of the laws;

But simply because you chose to be ready.

Readiness is a status that starts and ends the time you made a choice.

If you are thinking that readiness is a state of being well-prepared in the sense that you have mastered all the subjects and can confidently say that you can answer every question of law with precision and accuracy; or if you are convinced that you completed all those academic, physical and psychological preparations; then you are missing the point. One is ready if you can manage your innermost fear of being unready. If your concept of readiness is any or all those enumerated above, then you are ready – not because of the fact of preparedness, but because you made a choice, and told yourself that you are ready. That choice placed your fear in a small isolated box, far from your reach.

“What if I really never made sufficient readings?” or “What if I never really understood all those principles of law?” But you see, the lying may be on the other side around. “What If you are simply denying yourself the confidence that you need to be admitted in the Bar?” or “What if you are lying to yourself that you are fit to be in the legal profession?”


Just imagine those sleepy days because you are awake all nights;

Imagine how you were able to finish all those subjects, sometimes after several attempts;

Imagine how you were able to survive four, five, or even more years before you graduated;

Imagine all the milestones, events, and gatherings you have turned down;

Imagine the business or work opportunities lost because of law school;

Imagine all those uncalled pressure you experienced in recitations and exams;

Now, think of those bright days ahead:

Think of how you can sleep all day after this Bar Examinations;

Think of all the time you can spend after this month of November;

Think of those better professional opportunities after you hurdle these;

Think of how you can enjoy doing things you are accustomed of and also help other people;

Think of realizing this dream or calling to be one in the legal profession;

Think of the years ahead with your family and friends;

As to your family and friends: Aren’t they the reason why YOU ARE NOW READY?

Recall how they stood beside you all those years;

Recall how they supported you to all the way, financially and emotionally;

Recall how happy and proud they were on the day of your graduation;

Recall your promises you have partially fulfilled by taking the bar Examinations;

Recall that this November’s undertaking is not for you but for them;

Recall their faces and their smiles as you close your eyes;


Now, take a deep breath, then open your eyes and tell me if you are still not ready.

Of course you are. You already made a choice.




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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Personal


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Laude v. Judge Ginez-Jabalde, et al. G.R. No. 217456, 24 November 2015.


FACTS: This involves the celebrated case of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude (Jennifer) killed at the Celzone Lodge on Ramon Magsaysay Drive in Olongapo City allegedly by 19-year-old US Marine L/CPL Joseph Scott Pemberton (Pemberton). A Complaint for murder was filed by Jennifer’s sibling, Marilou S. Laude, against Pemberton before the Office of the City Prosecutor which Information was later filed with the RTC in Olongapo City.

On 19 December 2014, Pemberton surrendered personally to the RTC Judge and was later arraigned. On the same day of Arraignment petitioner Laude filed an Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Surrender the Custody of Accused to the Olongapo City Jail and a Motion to Allow Media Coverage. The motion was scheduled on 22 December 2014, 2PM. According to petitioners, they were only able to serve the Motion on Pemberton’s counsel through registered mail. In any case, they claim to have also “furnished a copy of the [M]otion personally … at the hearing of the [M]otion.  On 23 December 2014, the Urgent Motion was denied, as well as its motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE: Are the averments of the petitioner, that the 3-day notice rule should be should be liberally applied due to the timing of the arrest and arraignment, tenable?

HELD: NO. Rule 15, Section 4 of the Rules of Court clearly makes it a mandatory rule that the adverse party be given notice of hearing on the motion at least three days prior. Failure to comply with this notice requirement renders the motion defective consistent with protecting the adverse party’s right to procedural due process.

While the general rule is that a motion that fails to comply with the requirements of Rule 15 is a mere scrap of paper, an exception may be made and the motion may still be acted upon by the court, provided doing so will neither cause prejudice to the other party nor violate his or her due process rights. The adverse party must be given time to study the motion in order to enable him or her to prepare properly and engage the arguments of the movant. In this case, the general rule must apply because Pemberton was not given sufficient time to study petitioners’ Motion, thereby depriving him of his right to procedural due process.

Petitioners admit that they personally furnished Pemberton a copy of the Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Surrender Custody of Accused to the Olongapo City Jail only during the hearing. They attempt to elude the consequences of this belated notice by arguing that they also served a copy of the Motion by registered mail on Pemberton’s counsel. They also attempt to underscore the urgency of the Motion by making a reference to the Christmas season and the “series of legal holidays” where courts would be closed. To compound their obfuscation, petitioners claim that the hearing held on December 22, 2014, attended by Pemberton’s counsel sufficiently satisfied the rationale of the three-day notice rule. These circumstances taken together do not cure the Motion’s deficiencies. Even granting that Pemberton’s counsel was able to comment on the motion orally during the hearing, which incidentally was set for another incident, it cannot be said that Pemberton was able to study and prepare for his counterarguments to the issues raised in the Motion. Judge Ginez-J abalde was correct to deny the Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Surrender Custody of Accused to the Olongapo City Jail based on noncompliance of procedural rules. To rule otherwise would be to prejudice Pemberton’s rights as an accused.

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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Procedure, Remedial Law


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Gabucan v. Judge Manta, G.R. No. L-51546, January 28, 1980.



The Court of First Instance of Camiguin in its “decision” for the probate of the will of the late Rogaciano Gabucan, dismissed the proceeding because the requisite documentary stamp was not affixed to the notarial acknowledgment in the will and, hence, according to respondent Judge, it was not admissible in evidence, citing section 238 of the Tax Code, now section 250 of the 1977 Tax Code.



Whether or not the probate of a notarial will should be denied on the ground that it does not bear a thirty-centavo documentary stamp.



NO. What the probate court should have done was to require the petitioner or proponent to affix the requisite thirty-centavo documentary stamp to the notarial acknowledgment of the will which is the taxable portion of that document. That procedure may be implied from the provision of section 238 that the non-admissibility of the document, which does not bear the requisite documentary stamp, subsists only “until the requisite stamp or stamps shall have been affixed thereto and cancelled.” Thus, it was held that the documentary stamp may be affixed at the time the taxable document is presented in evidence. That the lack of the documentary stamp on a document does not invalidate such document.

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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession


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Cruz v. Judge Villasor, G.R. No. L-32213, November 26, 1973.



The probate of the last will and testament of the late Valente Z. Cruz was opposed by petitioner Agapita on the ground of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and undue influence, and that it was not executed in accordance with law. Of the three instrumental witnesses thereto, namely Deogracias T. Jamaloas Jr., Dr. Francisco Pañares and Atty. Angel H. Teves, Jr., one of them, the last named, is at the same time the Notary Public before whom the will was supposed to have been acknowledged.



Whether or not the probate of a will is valid if one of the three instrumental witnessed is the notary public to whom the will was acknowledged.



NO. To allow the notary public to act as third witness, or one the attesting and acknowledging witnesses, would have the effect of having only two attesting witnesses to the will which would be in contravention of the provisions of Article 80 be requiring at least three credible witnesses to act as such and of Article 806 which requires that the testator and the required number of witnesses must appear before the notary public to acknowledge the will. The result would be, as has been said, that only two witnesses appeared before the notary public for or that purpose. In the circumstances, the law would not be duly in observed.


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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession


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Icasiano v. Icasiano, G.R. No. L-18979, June 30, 1964.

[REYES, J.B.L., J.]


Witness Natividad who testified on his failure to sign page three (3) of the original, admits that he may have lifted two pages instead of one when he signed the same, but affirmed that page three (3) was signed in his presence.



Whether or not a will can be probated if one of the witness inadvertently failed to sign one of the pages thereof.



YES. The inadvertent failure of one witness to affix his signature to one page of a testament, due to the simultaneous lifting of two pages in the course of signing, is not per se sufficient to justify denial of probate. Impossibility of substitution of this page is assured not only the fact that the testatrix and two other witnesses did sign the defective page, but also by its bearing the coincident imprint of the seal of the notary public before whom the testament was ratified by testatrix and all three witnesses. The law should not be so strictly and literally interpreted as to penalize the testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a single witness over whose conduct she had no control, where the purpose of the law to guarantee the identity of the testament and its component pages is sufficiently attained, no intentional or deliberate deviation existed, and the evidence on record attests to the full observance of the statutory requisites.

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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession


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