Monday, March 06, 2006

Laban o Bawi : Parents’ obligations in handling their children’s property

You probably saw more than a week ago that Channel 7 news broadcast about two grade schoolers who won a million pesos each in the very popular “Laban o Bawi” portion of the noontime show Eat Bulaga.

In the news broadcast, the boy, from his young mind, enumerated all the things that he planned to do with his windfall. Because of his young age, it is most probably his parents who will make decisions on the disposition of that money.

The Family Code, in Articles 225 up to 227, enumerates the legal obligations of parents in handling the property of their children.

Art. 225. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise legal guardianship over the property of the unemancipated common child without the necessity of a court appointment. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

Where the market value of the property or the annual income of the child exceeds P50,000, the parent concerned shall be required to furnish a bond in such amount as the court may determine, but not less than ten per centum (10%) of the value of the property or annual income, to guarantee the performance of the obligations prescribed for general guardians. [emphasis by boldfacing supplied ]

A verified petition for approval of the bond shall be filed in the proper court of the place where the child resides, or, if the child resides in a foreign country, in the proper court of the place where the property or any part thereof is situated.

The petition shall be docketed as a summary special proceeding in which all incidents and issues regarding the performance of the obligations referred to in the second paragraph of this Article shall be heard and resolved.

The ordinary rules on guardianship shall be merely suppletory except when the child is under substitute parental authority, or the guardian is a stranger, or a parent has remarried, in which case the ordinary rules on guardianship shall apply.
Art. 226. The property of the unemancipated child earned or acquired with his work or industry or by onerous or gratuitous title shall belong to the child in ownership and shall be devoted exclusively to the latter's support and education, unless the title or transfer provides otherwise.

The right of the parents over the fruits and income of the child's property shall be limited primarily to the child's support and secondarily to the collective daily needs of the family.
[emphasis by boldfacing supplied ]

Art. 227. If the parents entrust the management or administration of any of their properties to an unemancipated child, the net proceeds of such property shall belong to the owner. The child shall be given a reasonable monthly allowance in an amount not less than that which the owner would have paid if the administrator were a stranger, unless the owner, grants the entire proceeds to the child. In any case, the proceeds thus given in whole or in part shall not be charged to the child's legitime.

Warrantless arrests

Presidential Proclamation 1017 has brought to the fore the issue of warrantless arrests. For the man on the street, his understanding of the law is that a person can only be arrested by the police authorities by virtue of a warrant of arrest. However, with or without PP1017, the Rules of Court provide for certain instances when an arrest can be made even without a warrant.

Essentially, a police officer or a private person may arrest a person without a warrant if such person:

(1) has committed or attempts to commit an offense in his presence;

(2) an offense has been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it;

(3) is an escaped convict.
In warrantless arrests, the fiscal conducts an inquest, not a preliminary investigation. If the accused is held by the police for more than 18, 24 or 36 hours without charges being filed, they will be liable for violation of Art. 125 of the Revised Penal Code (delay in the delivery of prisoners). If the accused however signs a waiver of his detention, he is entitled to a preliminary investigation which must be finished in 15 days. He may however still apply for bail. If the accused does not sign a waiver and charges are filed, he may ask for a preliminary investigation within 5 days of learning of the filing of the information.

When a family member is a drug dependent

What can you do when one of your family members is a drug user and creating emotional psychological, physical, and financial problems for your family?

Well, Republic Act 9165 or The New Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Law provides an answer, specifically, in Section 61 which states:

Compulsory Confinement of a Drug Dependent Who Refuses to Apply Under the Voluntary Submission Program. - Notwithstanding any law, rule and regulation to the contrary, any person determined and found to be dependent on dangerous drugs shall, upon petition by the Board or any of its authorized representative, be confined for treatment and rehabilitation in any Center duly designated or accredited for the purpose.

A petition for the confinement of a person alleged to be dependent on dangerous drugs to a Center may be filed by any person authorized by the Board with Regional Trial Court of the province or city where such person is found.

After the petition is filed, the court, by an order, shall immediately fix a date for the hearing, and a copy of such order shall be served on the person alleged to be dependent on dangerous drugs, and to the one having charge of him.

If after such hearing and the facts so warrant, the court shall order the drug dependent to be examined by two (2) physicians conclude that the respondent is not a drug dependent, the court shall order his/her discharge. If either physician finds him to be a dependent, the court shall conduct a hearing and consider all relevant evidence which may be offered. If the court finds him a drug dependent, it shall issue an order for his/her commitment to a treatment and rehabilitation center under the supervision of the DOH. In any event, the order of discharge or order of confinement or commitment shall be issued not later than fifteen (15) from the filing of the appropriate petition.
You can find the complete text of this law in the website of the House of Representatives.