Thursday, September 4, 2008



VER. 2008.09.01

copyrighted 2008

Researched and prepared by

the PRiMUS Board of Consultants

Prof. Abelardo T. Domondon

Principal Consultant

The term “whatchamacallit” is the shortcut for the question, “What do you call it ?” It is the question that is often asked by a reader when he comes across strange or obscure legal words, phrases and terms that he has never seen before because they are not usually contained in law books, dictionaries, textbooks or other legal literature or even if contained they are rarely given any attention. This is specially true for certain terms in international law where their meaning is different from ordinary usage.

‘LEGAL WHATCHAMACALLIT” is composed of Latin words and maxims, old English words and terms, the short titles given to certain legal doctrines that evolved either from legislation, usage, or doctrinal rulings of various courts, words, phrases and sentences in foreign languages, such as Spanish, French, Italian, etc. Also included are some common terms which are usually misinterpreted as to their meanings as well as some abbreviations. The main purpose of this work is to remove the heavy cloud created by obscure, arcane and pompous words and terms which sometimes result to misinterpretations and ultimately injustice.

While this compilation is secondarily prepared for its “novelty” value and may be referred to when answering the so-called “crazy” questions, whether in the classroom or in the Bar examination, the entries may find their way in formal pleadings or memoranda because some of them were culled from jurisprudential doctrines, or statutory definitions. Otherwise it has no practical value, except for entertainment purposes, for the use of “pedants.” and lay persons who are curious to find out the legal meaning of certain concepts and

The PRiMUS Board of Consultants determine what shall be included in this work and the entries shall be updated from time to time. Howver, it shall be appreciated if suggestions are made for possible inclusion in this work.

Although available for the free use of all, the contents of the LEGAL WHATCHAMACALLITare covered by copyright protection and should never be published (whether through printed media or through the internet) without written permission in writing from PRIMUS Information Center, Inc.


A. This an abbreviation of the Roman word, absolvo, which means to absolve or to acquit from criminal liability.

AB INITIO. A term that means “from the beginning,” at first.” or “from the inception.” [Camid v. Office of the President, 448 SCRA 711 (2005)].

For example, a marriage that is void ab initio is void from the beginning.

ACCION PUBLICIANA. This is a suit for the recovery of possession of the right to possess. Another term for it is an ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year after the occurrence of the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. (Hilario v. Salvador, 457 SCRA 815)

ACCION REINVINDICATORIA. This is a suit which has for its object the recovery of possession over the real property as an owner. (Hilario v. Salvador, 457 SCRA 815)

A COELO USQUE AD CENTRUM. From the heavens to the center of the earth.

AGREMENT. An indication by the receiving State of the acceptability of the person of a diplomatic envoy who is proposed to be appointed by another country. This is to ensure that the diplomatic envoy that is sent to represent his country is not a persona non grata to the receiving State.

AIDE-MEMOIRE. A diplomatic correspondence consisting of a brief summary of oral representations made.

ATTENTAT CLAUSE. This is a provision in an extradition treaty which provides that the assassination of the head of a foreign government or any member his family should not be considered as a political offense, hence extraditable.

AUTO-LIMITATION. The State gives its consent, express or implied, to submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. (Reagan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. L-26379, December 27, 1969)


BELIEF - ACTION DISTINCTION. This a distinction of the concepts of what may properly fall within the constitution protection of freedom of religion. In Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940), Justice Roberts the two concepts – freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is absolute, but in the nature of things, the second cannot be.

The power to regulate must be so exercised so that in attaining a permissible end there must be no undue infringement of the protected freedom to believe. Hence, the freedom to act may be the subject of regulation.

BLOCKADE. In international law, this is a naval operation, usually composed of a flotilla of vessels, which seeks to prevent entrance to the ports of the offending State of properties destined therefor, particularly vessels. There are two kinds of blockade: Hostile blockade and pacific blockade.


BLUE-SKY BARGAINING. In collective bargaining negotiations, the term means making exaggerated or unreasonable proposals. . “Blue-sky bargaining” is indicative of violation of duty to bargain collectively. [Standard Chartered Bank Employees Union (NUBE) v. Confesor, et al., G. R. No. 114974, June 16, 2004 citing Arthur A. Sloane and Fred Witney, Labor Relations, 7th Edition, 1991, p. 195]

BOYCOTT. This is a suspension, by the nationals of one State, of trade relations with nationals of another State.

BRICKER AMENDMENT. This was a controversial proposal for constitutional amendments made sometime in 1953 by then Senator Bricker of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to include “A provision of a treaty which conflicts with this Constitution shall have no force and effect,” and another proposal which states, “A treaty shall become effective as an internal law in the United States only through legislation which would be valid in the absence of treaty.”

A substitute by Senator George provided, “A provision of a treaty or other international agreement which conflicts with this Constitution shall not be of any force or effect.”

The proposed Bricker amendment and the George substitute were in response to the concerns raised by various sectors as a result of the decision in the case of Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 116, 40 S.Ct., 64 L. Ed. 641 (1929) that any and all constitutional limitations could be overridden via the international agreement route. Both proposals however did not obtain the required two-thirds vote for the amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court in Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957) had occasion to state that, “no agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution.”

The reader should take time to compare the above comments with the incorporation clause of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to the effect that, “The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of internal law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.” (Art. II, Sec. 2)

BYSTANDER RULE. Under the bystander rule in all cases of certification elections, whether the petition for certification election is filed by an employer or a legitimate labor organization, the employer shall not be considered a party thereto with a concomitant right to oppose a petition for certification election.

The employer’s participation in such proceedings shall be limited to being notified or informed of petitions of such nature; and submitting the list of employees during the pre-election conference should the Med-Arbiter act favorably on the petition. (Labor Code, Art. 258-A, as inserted by R.A. No. 9481)


CALLING-OUT POWER. Under the “Calling-out Power” of the President under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, the President of the Philippines shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. (Art. VII, Sec. 18, 1st par., 1st sentence,)

CALVO CLAUSE. A clause, suggested by the 19th century Argentinean diplomat Dr. Carlos Calvo, that should be incorporated in public contracts with aliens that disputes arising from the contract shall be settled solely by local remedies. In short, aliens who enter into contractual obligations with nationals of a host State should be treated in the same manner as nationals with regard to remedies for breach of contractual obligations. The aliens waive their right seeking recourse to their home State for the resolution of their claims under the contract.

CALVO DOCTRINE. This was evolved by Dr. Carlos Calvo, a 19th century Argentinean diplomat, to the effect that a legitimate government shall not be held responsible for losses suffered as a result of insurrection or civil war unless it has failed to exercise due diligence in preventing or suppressing the revolution, [United States v. El Salvador, Arbitral Tribunal, 1902 (U.S. Foreign Relations 876 (1902)]

CARTEL. In international law, this is an agreement for non-belligerent intercourse between belligerents in time of war. The agreement usually concerns the exchange and treatment of prisoners. (Paras citing Wilson, Handbook of International Law, p. 413)

In its ordinary sense, it refers to a group of participants in an industry who band together for their protection, setting and controlling the price of goods or services, the quantity to be produced or released in the market or both.

CARTEL SHIPS. These are the vessels used to carry out the cartel agreements, particularly those used for carrying prisoners of war to be exchanged for other prisoners of war. (Paras citing Wilson, Handbook of International Law, p. 413)

CIVIL EMBARGO. Another name for pacific embargo. Refer to PACIFIC EMBARGO.


COMMON HERITAGE OF MANKIND. This is the description that is given to the international area of the sea-bed and its resources and thus, “shall not be subject to appropriation by any means by States or persons,” such area being open to peaceful uses by all States without discrimination, and its exploration and exploitation “shall be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole.” [U. N. General Assembly Res. 2749 (XXV) (1970), The Declaration of Principles Governing the Sea-Bed and Ocean Floor and the Subsoil Thereof Beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction]

COMPENSACION. This is also known as set-off which is a money demand by the defendant against the plaintiff arising upon contract and constituting a debt independent of and unconnected with the cause of actions set forth in the complaint, and may be used to offset a plaintiff’s claim but not to recover affirmatively. (Korea Exchange Bank v. Gonzales, 456 SCRA 224)

CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST. A trust that is created, not by any word evincing a direct intention to create a trust, but by operation of law in order to satisfy the demands of justice and to prevent unjust enrichment. (Bejoc v. Cabreros, 464 SCRA 78)

COURT-PACKING PLAN. This was the attempt on the part of the Roosevelt administration to reform the courts as a result of various reverses it suffered in the U.S. Supreme Court. The so-called “court-packing plan” failed.

From the colloquial point of view, “court-packing” may an action undertaken by an administration to appoint “friendly” magistrates who would rule in favour of the administration.

CRONYISM which involves unduly favoring a crony to the prejudice of public interest is a form of violation of the oath of office which constitute betrayal of the public trust.


DERIVATIVE CITZENSHIP. Derivative Citizenship under Rep. Act No. 9225, the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003 provides that the unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines. (Sec. 4, Rep. Act No. 9225)

DOUBLE CRIMINALITY. Under this principle, extradition is available only when the act is an offense in the two countries involved in extradition. (Cruz, International Law, 2003 ed., p. 205; Coquia and Santiago, International Law and World Organizations, 2005 ed., p. 342)

It is intended to ensure each state that it can rely on reciprocal treatment and that no state will use its processes to surrender a person for contract which it does not characterize as criminal. (Bassiouni, International Extradition, 4th ed., p. 467)

The requirement of double criminality is satisfied even if the act was not punishable in the requested state at the time of its occurrence if it was criminal at the time the request was made. (Ibid., p. 469)


EMBARGO is the forcible detention of properties, usually vessels or aircraft, in one’s country with the end in view of preventing their going to another state.

It may be a general embargo in the sense that it consists in the sequestration of the public or private property of an offending state. [Wilson, Handbook of International Law, (1939), p.229]

It may be a pacific embargo or a hostile embargo. (Fenwick, International Law, p. 433)


ESTRADA DOCTRINE. This is a doctrine promoted by the then Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico Genaro Estrada to the effect that a state should not apply subjective considerations to extending recognition of a new government, but rather accept the existence of that government.

This is also known as the doctrine of effectiveness because it holds that the only test for recognition should be whether or not the government is in effective control of the machinery of state and the government.

EXEQUATOR. 1952-7d


FAIR COMMENT states that fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander.

It means that while in general every discreditable imputations publicly made is deemed false, because every man is presumed innocent until his guilt is judicially proved, and every false imputation is deemed to be malicious, nevertheless, when the discreditable imputation is made against a public person in his official capacity, it is not necessarily actionable.

In order that such discreditable imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a comment based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, so long as it might reasonably be inferred from the facts.” [Filipinas Broadcasting Network Inc. v. Ago Medical and Educational Center Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC-BCCM), et al., G.R. Mo. 141994, January 17, 2005 citing Borjal v. Court of Appe

FILIPINO FIRST” POLICY or “PREFERENTIAL US” CONCEPT. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive. (Sec. 12, Article XII, 1987 Constitution)


GENERAL ACT. Another term for final act or protocol de cloture.

Refer to FINAL ACT.

GENOCIDE means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group such as:

a. Killing members of the group;

b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within groups; and

e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Rome Statute adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on 17 July 1998, Art. 6)


HOSTILE BLOCKADE. This is a naval operation where one country that is at war with another prevent the entry of vessels and/or goods into the port of the other.

Compared with a pacific blockade the flotilla of vessels that enforce the blockade may be situated even within the territorial sea of the state that is blockade.

HOSTILE EMBARGO is an instance where the properties, vessels and aircrafts detained are of the state with which the detaining state is in conflict. (Fenwick, International Law, p. 435)


INTERMEDIATE LEVEL OF SCRUTINY TEST or QUASI-SUSPECT CLASS. The intermediate level of scrutiny (or quasi-suspect class) test. Classification based on gender or legitimacy are not “suspect,” but neither are they judged by the traditional or rational basis test. Intentional discriminations against members of a quasi-suspect class violate equal protection unless they are substantially related to important government objectives. (Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190) Thus, a state law granting a property tax exemption to widows, but not widowers, has been held valid for it furthers the state policy of cushioning the financial impact of spousal loss upon the sex for whom that loss usually impo


JURE GESTIONIS. A state’s private, commercial and proprietary acts which are not immune from suit. (United States v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 487, 490-491)

JURE IMPERII. The sovereign and government acts which is covered by the principle of state immunity from suit. (United States v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 487, 490-491)

Establishment and maintenance of a diplomatic mission is an act jure imperii. Thus, the state of Indonesia may not be sued for acting in such sovereign activity when it entered into a contract for the upkeep or maintenance of air conditioning units, generator sets, electrical facilities, water heaters, and water pumps of the Indonesian Embassy and the official residence of the Indonesian ambassador. (The Republic of Indonesia, et al., v. Vinzon, etc. G. R. No. 154705, June 26, 2003)



LIS PENDENS. The term literally means a pending suit. (Heirs of Eugenio Lopez, Sr. v. Enriquez, 449 SCRA 173) It is usually an inscription on certificates of title on real property or on the registry of property itself to warn the general public that there is a pending litigation involving the property. The buyer of a property with a notice of lis pendens buys that property subject to the outcome of the litigation. If his seller prevails in the suit filed then he steps into the shoes of the seller and there would be no suit that may brought again involving the same issues raised in the suit in which the seller has prevailed. Unfortunately, the same holds true if the seller loses, in which case the buyer also loses .


MIRANDA RIGHTS. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right

a. to be informed of his right to remain silent and

b. to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice.

c. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

Authoritative interpretations of the Miranda rule as embodied in the above Art. III, Sec. 12 (1) require, however, that the crucial question is whether the accused has effectively waived the effectuation of these rights. Accused should be asked whether he was willing to testify even without the assistance of counsel. If he was willing to testify only with the assistance of counsel, he should be asked if he has one. If he said he wanted to have counsel but could not afford one, he should be asked if he wanted one appointed for him. If these questions are not asked there is no effective waiver of the rights to remain silent and to counsel. (People v. Naag, et al., G.R. No. 123860, January 20, 2000)


NEUTRAL REPORTAGE. This is a principle in prosecutions for libel where a republisher who accurately and disinterestedly reports certain defamatory statements against public figures is shielded from liability, regardless of the republisher’s subjective awareness of the truth or falsity of the accusation.

The privilege of neutral reportage applies where the defamed person is a public figure who is involved in an existing controversy, and a party to that controversy makes the defamatory statement. [Filipinas Broadcasting Network, Inc. v. Ago Medical and Educational Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC-BCCM)), 448 SCRA 413; Flor v. People, 454 SCRA 440]

NOTATU DIGNUM. The presumption of regularity in the performance of a judge’s functions, hence bias, prejudice and even undue interest cannot be presumed, specially weighed against a judge’s sacred obligation under oath of office to administer justice without respect to any person and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. [Silverio, Jr. v. Filipino Business Consultants, Inc, 466 SCRA 584 (2005)]

NOTE VERBALE. An unsigned document which contains a resume of diplomatic conversations.


OPERATIVE FACTS DOCTRINE. An unconstitutional law produces legal effect before being declared unconstitutional.

The doctrine of operative fact as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a matter of equity and fair play. (Planters Products, Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation, G. R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008 citing Republic v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 79732, November 8, 1993, 227 SCRA 509) It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. (Planters Products, Inc, supra citing Peralta v. Civil Service Commission, G. R. No. 95832, August 10, 1992, 212 SCRA 425)

OPINIO JURIS. In international law, specifically in the determination of what forms part of customary law to apply in deciding a specific case, opinion juris refers to the material component of the custom or practice to be allied.


PACIFIC BLOCKADE as a method for forcible settlement of an international dispute without the use of arms. It is a naval operation the purpose of which is to prevent entrance to the ports of the offending State of properties destined therefor, particularly vessels. The ultimate objective is to force the offending State to amend its ways or to provide for redress of the grievance against it. (Paras citing Fenwick, International Law, p. 437)

Since there is no state of war yet between the blockading State and the blockaded, the flotilla of vessels that usually enforce the blockade is usually strung outside of the territorial sea of the blockaded State.

PACIFIC or CIVIL EMBARGO is an instance where the properties, vessels or aircraft belong to the state that is detaining. (Fenwick, International Law, p. 435)

PACTA SUNT SERVANDA. A fundamental principle in international law that a treaty must be observed in good faith.

“Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.” (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article 26)

PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE. Objects falling within the plain view of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in evidence.

POSTLIMINIUM. The rule in international law for the revival of rights belonging or pertaining to persons and things that


PRESUMPTIVELY PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION. There is great public interest in preserving the confidentiality of conversation that takes place in the President’s performance of his official duties. [Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, et al., G. R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008 citing United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683) Presidential communications are thus considered as “presumptively privileged.” The presumption is founded on the “President’s generalized interest in confidentiality.” (Ibid.)

The privilege is said to be necessary to guarantee the candor of presidential advisors and to provide “the President and those who assist him with freedom toexploire the alternatives in the process of shaping policis and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately.” (Ibid.)

PRETERITION. This is the omission of the heir in the will, either by not naming him at all or, while mentioning him as father, son, etc., by not instituting him as heir without disinheriting him expressly, nor assigning to him some part of the properties. It is the total omission of a compulsory heir in the direct line from inheritance. There is no preterition where the testator allotted to a descendant a share less than the legitime, since there was no total omission of a forced heir. (J.L.T. Agro, Inc., v. Balansag, 453 SACRA 211)

“The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.

If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without prejudice to the right of representation.” (C.C.P., Art. 354)

PROTOCOL DE CLOTURE. Another term for final act or general act.

Refer to FINAL ACT.



QUESTION HOUR. The practice of members of the Cabinet appearing before Congress is a feature of the parliamentary system of Government where the members of the Cabinet are responsible to the parliament and may be the subject of inquiry on any matter pertaining to their departments. Thus our system of government is strongly presidential but with certain features of the parliamentary system.



REBUS SIC STANTIBUS. This is a doctrine in international law which posits that a treaty is concluded with the implied condition that it is intended to be binding only as long as there is no vital change in circumstances.

RECEZ. The act of a Congress in writing down the result of its deliberations on a particular subject matter. This is done prior to final adjournment,

RECONVENCION. This is of French origin and is another term for recoupment. It means “cutting back of the plaintiff’s claim by the defendant.” It thus implies an admission of the plaintiff’s claim. (Korea Exchange Bank v. Gonzales, 456 SCRA 224)

REGALIAN DOCTRINE. The State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. This is premised on the basic doctrine that all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. [Republic v. Manna Properties ,Inc., etc. citing Pagkatipunan v. Court of Appeals, 429 Phil. 149; 390 SCRA 343 (2002)]

REPRISALS in international law are unfriendly and illegal acts of retaliation, and may be exemplified by confiscation of assets of the other country situated within the territory of the confiscating state. These are different from reprisals perpetrated by belligerents during wartime. [Wilson, Handbook of International Law, (1939), p.288]

RESULTING TRUST. A trust presumed to have been contemplated by the parties, the intention as to which is to be found in the nature of their transaction but not expressed in the deed itself. (Bejoc v. Cabreros, 464 SCRA 78)

RESUME. In international law, this is the act of an international conference in reducing to writing the conclusions of its deliberations on a particular subject.

RETORSIONS are unfriendly but legal acts in retaliation for another’s unfriendly actuations. Examples are discriminatory tariffs. (Fenwick, International Law, p. 433)

RUN-OFF ELECTION. Run-off election, in a certification election, takes place between two unions who received the two highest number of votes where not one of the unions obtained the majority of the valid votes cast, provided that the total union votes is at least 50% of the votes cast. (Labor Code, Art. 256)


SALUS POPULI EST SUPREMA LEX. The safety of the people is the supreme law.

SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. So use your property so as not to harm others.

STATUS QUO. Another term for status quo ante.

STATUS QUO ANTE. This is the last actual, peaceful, and uncontested status that precedes the actual controversy, that which is existing at the time of the filing of the case. (Cortez-Estrada v. Heirs of Domingo Samut/Antonia Samut, 451 SCRA 275)

It is also referred to merely as status quo. (Philippine Ports Authority v. Cipres Stevedoring & Arrastre, Inc., 463 SCRA 358)

The status quo is what is intended to be maintained by the provisional remedies of a temporary restraining order, a writ of prohibitory or mandatory injunction, etc.

STOP AND SEARCH. One form of search on vehicles is the “stop-and-search” without warrant at military or police checkpoints which has been declared to be not illegal per se, for as long as it is warranted by the exigencies of public order and conducted in a way least intrusive to motorists. A checkpoint may either be a mere routine inspection or it may involve an intensive search. (Caballes v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 136292, January 15, 2002)

Routine inspections are not regarded as violative of an individual’s right against unreasonable search. The search which is normally permissible is limited to the following instances:

a. where the officer merely draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle which is parked on the public fair grounds;

b. simply looks into a vehicle;

c. flashes a light therein without opening the car’s doors;

d). where the occupants are not subjected to a physical or body search;

e. where the inspection of the vehicles is limited to a visual search or visual inspection; and

f. where the routine check is conducted at a fixed area. (Caballes v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 136292, January 15, 2002)

The physical intrusion of the body of the police officer into a vehicle allowed him to see and to smell things he could not see or smell from the outside. This violates the constitution.

STRICT SCRUTINY or COMPELLING INTEREST TEST. The strict scrutiny (or compelling interest) test. Government regulation that intentionally discriminates against a “suspect class” such as racial or ethnic minorities, is subject to strict scrutiny and considered to violate the equal protection clause unless found necessary to promote a compelling state interest. A classification is necessary when it is narrowly drawn so that no alternative, less burdensome means is available to accomplish the state interest. Thus, it was held that denial of free public education to the children of illegal aliens imposes an enormous and lasting burden based on a status over which the children have no control is violative of equal protection because there is no showing that such denial furthers a “substantial” state goal. (Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202)

SURFACE BARGAINING. Surface bargaining is defined as “going through the motions of negotiating” without any legal intent to reach an agreement. It is a violation of the duty to bargain collectively. [Standard Chartered Bank Employees Union (NUBE) v. Confesor, et al., G. R. No. 114974, June 16, 2004 citing K-Mart Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, 626 F.2d 704[1980])]

SYMBOLIC SPEECH. This refers to expression which is not communicated primarily through words but through behavior such as burning paper mache images, flags, wearing arm bands, shirts with signs, etc.


TERRY SEARCH. "Stop and frisk" is a "limited protective search of outer clothing for weapons." While probable cause is not required to conduct a "stop and frisk," mere suspicion or a hunch will not invalidate it. (Malacat v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123595, December 12, 1997; People v. Escano, et al., G.R. Nos. 129756-58, January 28, 2000)

TOBAR DOCTRINE. A proposal made by the then Ecuador Foreign Minister Carlos Tobar that a state should not recognize a government that has come into power through unconstitutional means.

TRADITIONAL or RATIONAL BASIS TEST. The traditional (or rational basis) test. The classification is valid if it is rationally related to a constitutionally permissible state interest. The complainant must prove that the classification is “invidious,” “wholly arbitrary,” or ”capricious,” otherwise the classification is presumed to be valid. (Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U.S. 61; McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420; United States Railroad Retirement Board v. Fritz, 449 U.S. 166)

In our jurisdiction the standard and analysis of equal protection challenges have followed the “rational basis” test coupled with a differential attitude to legislative classifications and a reluctance to invalidate a law unless there is a showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. (Central Bank etc., v. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, etc., G. R. No. 148208, December 15, 2004)

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Atty. Domondon will discuss BAR review methods on the first part of the day. Afterwards, you will be given a lot of time to ask questions and discuss specific areas you are concerned about. Finally, you will be taking home a mock bar exam for you to answer. This exam will be checked by Atty. Domondon with feedback focusing on areas where improvement is needed.

When: April 10, 2010
Time: 8 AM - 5 PM
Where: Rm. 410 Windsor Tower, Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Cost: 1000 per person

Please bring sign pens, notebook for note taking, and a bag full of questions to ask Atty. Domondon.

If you are interested to attend, please call or text Leon Valdez at 0917-7936169.
Please tell your friends and spread the word.


Announcement: There are changes for this Sunday's Methods + Workshop. Please take note of the new venue as seen below.

Atty. Domondon will discuss BAR review methods on the first part of the day. Afterwards, you will be given time to ask questions and discuss specific areas you are concerned about. Finally, you will be taking home a mock bar exam for you to answer. This exam will be checked by Atty. Domondon with feedback focusing on areas where improvement is needed.

When: May 9, 2010
Time: 8 AM - 5 PM
Where: Rm. 410 Windsor Tower, Legaspi St., Legaspi Village, Makati.
Cost: 1000 per person

Please bring sign pens, notebook for note taking, and a bag full of questions to ask Atty. Domondon.

If you are interested to attend, please call or text Leon Valdez at 0917-7936169 or Celia Valdez at 0917-7908406.
Please tell your friends and spread the word.

Primus 2010 Wrap-Up Review


Ethics: August 2 & 3

Remedial: August 5 & 6

Criminal: August 10 & 11

Mercantile: August 13 & 14

Tax: August 17 & 18

Civil: August 20 & 21

Labor: August 24 & 25

Political: August 27 & 28

Text Atty. Celia Valdez at 0917-7908406 for inquiries. You may also send an email to for additional inquiries.