GOOD MORNING JUDGE: The death penalty bill

THE recent television report that the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) will install internet connections in all municipalities in the country is a welcome news. Reports are that unlike South Korea where 93.9% of all its local government units have internet connections, the Philippines has only about 30% internet connections in the local level. Hopefully, the government would be able to source the millions of pesos which may be needed to realize this project. In Naga City, we have several internet connections in some strategic places like the Plaza Rizal and the Central Business District although some say that most often than not the internet connection is weak, or could hardly be accessed. Anyway, let’s look forward to the Philippines as a wifi country with abounding internet cafes. The congressional debate on the passage of the death penalty bill has shown how the opposition congressmen have effectively and eruditely expounded their sound views against the passage of the death penalty. It also showed how the pro-Duterte congressmen have practically railroaded the bill’s passage through the maneuver of the Speaker of the House who is widely known as the President’s lapdog. The bill has already passed third reading and its passage in the Lower House is a foregone conclusion. The bill is expected to go to the Senate for debate and some political pundits have expressed the view that it would be a different story in the Upper House. The Philippine Senate has always been viewed as independent and mature and not beholden to Malacanang and can presumably discuss the death penalty bill on high plane sans political or party consideration. This writer has previously expressed his views against the death penalty in his earlier column. I remain steadfast in my stand. TRIVIA: My sincere greetings and that of my spouse to my former boss, former congressman and Comelec Chairman Ramon H. Felipe, Jr. who will be celebrating his 97th birthday anniversary this coming Saturday, March 11. Before his election to Congress as representative of the then 1st District of Camarines Sur (the province had only two congressional districts then), and his appointment as Comelec Commissioner and later as Chairman thereof, he engaged in lucrative private law practice in Naga and Camarines Sur. My uncle, the late Atty. Ladislao B. Karingal was his law partner then and I had the opportunity to work as messenger and law clerk while I was then studying my pre-law at the Ateneo de Naga. It was then that I found my interest in law as I was often asked to make some researches from the Official Gazette and the Supreme Court Report Annotated (SCRA) for decisions they needed in their pleadings. Little did I know that after passing the Bar examinations in l961 I will be joining the law firm Felipe, Karingal and Felipe Law Office as one of its associates, together with Atty. Geronimo San Jose who later became a municipal judge. I was with the law office as senior partner until my election as member of the Provincial Board of Camarines in l980. Again, congratulations Tio Ramoning and may you have many more birthdays to come! QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “TO LIVE IS NOT JUST TO SURVIVE, BUT TO THRIVE WITH PASSION, COMPASSION, SOME HUMOUR AND STYLE.” MAYA ANGELOU FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “LISTEN TO ME, YOU WHO PURSUE JUSTICE, WHO SEEK THE LORD.” ISAIAH 51:1