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Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a preparation of the

Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug and as
medicine. These are dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistil hemp
plant that yield THC and are smoked in cigarettes for their intoxicating
effect. Marijuana has been used for medical purposes since 2700 BC,
where ancient Greeks and Egyptians used the weed to treat ailments.
It is also believed to be consumed because of its physiological effects.
Marijuana can be consumed in many different ways, such as smoking,
using a vaporizer, brewed as Cannabis tea, or by adding it as an
ingredient in food.
In our country today, marijuana is considered illegal. The
legalization of marijuana can bring both favourable and unfavourable
effects to the society, and the environment. Our government is very
much aware of this and have decided not legalize the drug, despite the
efforts of the citizens of convincing the government to legalize
Tobacco and alcohol, both legal in the Philippines, are two of the
primary causes of deaths.

These have caused 10% and 3.8% of all

deaths in the country, respectively.

Approximately ten Filipinos die

every hour due to tobacco-related diseases. Meanwhile, marijuana

which is considered illegal has not caused any death. Not a single
death has been recorded due to marijuana overdose.
Although marijuana has negative effects to the behaviour, health
and safety of individuals who take these, just like any ordinary drug
(both legal and illegal), it can still be beneficial to the society in many
ways. In a study on marijuana, it proved that it has psychoactive and
physiological effects when consumed. Some effects of consuming
marijuana are: relaxation and the feeling of being high, can relieve
pain, control nausea, stimulate appetite, increase heart rate, dilate
blood vessels, fluctuate blood pressure, decrease short-term memory,
result to dry mouth, impair motor skills and can cause reddening of the
eyes. Marijuana has also been proven to treat pain and muscle
spasticity. A recent study also concluded that marijuana could help
regrow brain cells and could improve memory. Definitely, marijuana
has many benefits and can be used for several purposes.
If marijuana is to be legalized, I believe it would have numerous
good and bad effects. Some of the positive effects of legalizing the

drug are listed below. First, since marijuana is a highly addictive drug,
the demand of marijuana would
drastically increase causing ordinary citizens to supply or engage
in a legal business involving marijuana in order to cope up with the
high demand of the drug. In return, this


more job

opportunities for the Filipinos. Also, terrorists who are potential drug
dealers lose their business as well as their connection with the citizens,
and instead, the cash generated from the sale of marijuana is now
controlled by the law. Taxes arent imposed on marijuana since it is
illegal, so the government cannot gain from it or earn financial funding
to support beneficial government programs and projects.
The second point Id like to mention is that the governments
efforts of prohibiting the drug has failed to control the production and
use of the drug. Millions of Filipinos continue to use marijuana; hence
legalizing the drug would just make it easier for both the government
and the people.
Third, marijuana is a great help to students, workers and even
people with Alzheimers disease because it has been said to improve
memory. Marijuana has been said to prevent memory loss, and
regenerate dead brain cells and has also been proven to prevent brain
inflammation, which is the primary cause of Alzheimers disease. In
other words, legalizing the drug would be a great benefit to the society
and most especially to patients suffering from Alzheimers disease and
other illnesses and ailments.
If marijuana were not to be legalized for the reasons of it being
addictive, harmful to the health and unsafe, may I also point out that
alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal, also have similar, if not
worse, side effects on the behaviour, health and safety of individuals
who take these. Marijuana isnt actually a lethal drug and is safer than
alcohol. If the government is accepting the use of alcohol and
cigarettes, then there shouldnt be a reason why they arent accepting
I believe that too much of anything is poison and that too much
of anything could be harmful, dangerous and damaging. Growing up,
we consider drugs as bad, which is very true, but not all substances
labelled as drugs by the government are equally as harmful,
especially when taken in moderation.

The key to building a responsible, civilized, educated and refined

society is discipline. The country, if it were to legalize marijuana, needs
to discipline its leaders and citizens and make them responsible and
accountable for their actions. Using marijuana is acceptable, as long as
it is taken in reasonable amounts.
Although the debate about the legalization of marijuana in our
country goes on and on, I believe that legalizing marijuana is
absolutely fine as long as it is regulated. After all, the drug cannot
cause much damage when used in moderation. Yes, marijuana has
damaging effects but regulating the use of the drug would minimize
the chance of it being harmful and destructive. I think that even
though the drug has side effects, it still has many uses in the field of
medicine and it is still beneficial to most people, which is why I think
that legalizing the drug isnt a bad thing at all. The society just has to
learn how to balance, control and use the drug justly. Giving new things
a try is one step closer to the improvement and progress of our nation.
Isabela 1st District Representative Rodolfo Albano III filed on May
26, 2014, House Bill 4477 or the Compassionate Use of Medical









stakeholders. The bill provides it is the policy of the State to provide

measures to achieve a balance in the national drug control program so
that patients with debilitating medical condition may receive adequate
amount of treatment and appropriate medications from the regulated
use of dangerous drugs.
Toward this end, the bill provides the State shall legalize and
regulate the medical use of cannabis which has been confirmed to
have beneficial and therapeutic uses to treat chronic or debilitating
disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the
following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain;









characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms,

including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis.








Department of Health (DOH), of a Medical Cannabis Regulatory

Authority, which shall regulate the medical use of cannabis in the
country. It shall be headed by a Director-General who shall be
appointed by the President of the Philippines from the list of specialist
physicians recommended by the Secretary of Health.

The Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority shall issue registered

identification (ID) cards to qualified patients after a careful review of
the documents required by the Authority and included in the
implementing rules and regulations of this Act.
An entity shall operate as a Medical Cannabis Compassionate
Center (MCCC) after approval of its application and registration with
the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority. A MCCC shall guarantee the
appropriate dispensation of cannabis and shall not release more than
the prescribed dosage for one month to a registered qualified patient
or designated caregiver, the bill provides.
Hon. Rodolfo T. Albano III said he recorded use of cannabis as
medicine goes back to about 2,500-10,000 years ago in traditional
Chinese and Indian medicine.
"Modern research has confirmed the beneficial uses of cannabis
in treating and alleviating the pain, nausea and other symptoms
associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions including
cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV-AIDS as found by the National
Institute of Medicine of the US in March, 1999," he said.
Albano further said cannabis has many currently accepted
medical uses in the US, having been recommended by thousands of
licensed physicians and more than 500,000 patients in 21 states with
medical marijuana laws. Like the 20 states and the District of Columbia
in the United States, Israel, Canada, the Netherlands and the Czech
Republic have enacted medical cannabis laws that remove criminal
sanctions for the medical use of cannabis, define eligibility for such
use, and allow some means of access, in most cases, through a
In the Philippines, he said the "Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002"
recognized the medical use of drugs classified as dangerous drugs
including marijuana when it said in Section 2: "The government shall,
however aim to achieve a balance in the national drug control program
so that people with legitimate medical needs are not prevented from
being treated with adequate amounts of appropriate medications,
which include the use of dangerous drugs." It went further in Section
16 when it provided that " the case of medical laboratories and
medical research centers which cultivate or culture marijuana, opium
poppy and other plants, or materials of such dangerous drugs for
medical experiments and research purposes or the creation of new










implementing guidelines for the proper cultivation, culture, handling,

experimentation and disposal of such plants and materials."

Sources (Legalization of Medical Mrijuana):

Manuel J. Laserna Jr. (June 19, 2014). Marijuana for medicinal use;
pending bill. Retrieved from

Euthanasia in the Philippines
Euthanasia is a word coined from Greek in the 17th century
meaning well death. Euthanasia, then, is inducing the painless death
of a person who is severely debilitated for reasons assumed to be
merciful, either through voluntary, nonvoluntary, involuntary means
(Hendin, 2004). Voluntary euthanasia involves the consent of the








conducted when the permission of the patient is unavailable maybe

because of state of coma, or instances when babies are born with
significant birth defects. Involuntary euthanasia is seldom practiced for
it is performed against the will of the patient. All these types of
euthanasia applies methods such as removing the life-supporting
devices, injection of drugs, inhalation of carbon monoxide or helium,
dehydration, and intake of suicide pills. However, moral and ethical
methods, such as voluntary euthanasia, and methods not involving
painful outcomes are the ones commonly practiced. These methods
are done to patients who are terminally-ill; that is patients who have
impossible chance of recovering from the disease, or if ever cured,
does not function in good health and will be under vegetative state.
In the Philippines, euthanasia is not legal for the reason of the








ratification of the Euthanasia Bill. Also, the majority of the Filipinos

value the Christian doctrine as the foundation of their conviction.
However, it is still practiced by some, mostly are from the poor
segment of the country. They have no other choice but to use
euthanasia to stop the patient from suffering, and to avoid expenses







professionals here in the Philippines are not entirely advanced.

Common Filipino physicians may have inadequate skills to efficiently
cure complicated diseases. If medications reach to the point of life-ordeath matter, operations, at times, result to failure, making all
treatments paid by the relatives of the patient result in vain.. Likewise,
medical technologies are not completely available to cure various
diseases; if ever it is, it will cost a tremendous price.
The stand of the Church that euthanasia is still immoral
and unethical is the prime reason of the unacceptability of this.
According to the most recent version of the Catechism of the Catholic

Church (2003), All forms of suicide and euthanasia remain strictly

prohibited Voluntary co-operation in
suicide is contrary to the moral law Sick or handicapped persons
should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible. And according to
Pope John Paul II, Euthanasia must not be called false mercy, and
indeed a disturbing perversion of mercy. True compassion leads to
sharing anothers pain. It does not kill the person whose suffering we
cannot bear. Also, some people believe that compassion is no
guarantee against doing harm. A physician who does not know how to
relieve a patients suffering may compassionately, but inappropriately,
agree to end the patients life. Patient autonomy is just an illusion
when physicians are not trained to assess and treat patient suffering.
The less they know how to treat these suffering, the more they favor
assisted suicide or euthanasia; and the more frequent they do it, the
more they prescribe it. Until, then, the only choices left for patients
become continued agony or a hastened death. A part of the
Hippocratic Oath states that physicians must value the life of their
patient and never suggest anyone a way towards suicide. Under the
Philippine Constitution of 1987 (Article II, Section 11), the State values
the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for
human rights. Therefore, euthanasia contradicts both the Hippocratic
Oath and the Philippine Constitution.

In 2007, Mario Laurel, then 56 and in a coma, died after he was
taken off life support allegedly by his own son upon orders of his exwife, Mary Ann Manansala.
Allegedly upon his mothers instructions, Patrick pulled the plug
on Mario, who was then in a coma. Marios siblings sued Mary Ann and
her son for murder, but the case was dismissed by the prosecutor.
In 2010, the Department of Justice reversed the prosecutors
ruling and ordered the filing of parricide charges against Mary Ann and
her son.
Whether or not Mary Ann Laurel is criminally liable for the death
of her husband.
The Department of Justice held Euthanasia in the Philippines as
in the instant case is still murder and any physician who assists a
person in taking his/her own life is liable for the crime of assisting a
person to commit suicide under the Revised Penal Code.

SOURCES (Euthanasia):

Hendin, H. (2004). The Case Against Physician-Assisted Suicide: For the








Marker, R. (2013). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Frequently Asked





De Guzman, R.A. (2013). Should Euthanasia Be Legalized in the



Morgan, E. (1994). Dealing Creatively with Death. Macmillan
Publishing Company: North Carolina.
Maguire, D.C. (1974). Death by Choice. Schocken Books: NewYork City.
Brodie, H. (1976). Ethical Decisions in Medicine. Little, Brown & CO.:


Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the termination of a
marital union, the cancelling of the legal duties and responsibilities of
marriage and the dissolving of the bonds of matrimony between a
married couple. Divorce can be a stressful experience affecting
finances, living arrangements, household jobs, schedules and more. If
the family includes children, they may be deeply affected. Countries
like Philippines and Vatican City do not allow divorce. The legal process
of divorce may involve issues of alimony (spousal support), child
custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt.
Divorce effects academics, and psychological behavior. Studies have
shown that children from divorced families are more likely to exhibit
such behavioral issues than those from non-divorced families. Divorce
can have a positive effect on families due to less conflict in the home.
There are many instances where the parent-child relationship may
suffer due to divorce. When an adult goes through divorce, financial
support is lost many-a-times. The adult may be obligated to obtain
additional work to maintain financial stability. This can also lead to
negative relationship between the parents and the child. Studies also
show that parental skills also decreases after a divorce.
In some cases, people lose touch with their personal identity and
self-interests during marriage. A divorce may cause a person to reflect
on passions and preferred activities. Being independent again allows
someone time and freedom from pressure, allowing that person to
make choices that are self-serving.
Divorce can also free someone from the emotional control or
abuse that comes with unsuccessful marriages. Spouses sometimes
use emotion, consciously or not, to control the actions and behaviors of
significant others. A divorce may free a person from such controls,
which often leads to a reduction in stress and feelings of inadequacy.
Divorce also opens a person up to the potential of a new
relationship. After a divorce, the person has legal, spiritual and
emotional freedom to pursue a new relationship with someone who
may become a better relational fit.
A divorce may also have financial advantages for some people. A
person awarded a portion of combined assets and income after divorce

may have more financial power than when finances were shared in the
As a general rule, a divorce obtained abroad between two Filipino
citizens is not valid or recognized in the Philippines. This is due to
Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which states that laws
relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal
capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even
though living abroad. Moreover, Paragraph 3 of Article 17 of the same
Code states that prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or
property, and those which have for their object public order, public
policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or
judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed
upon in a foreign country.
The only exception is found in Article 26 of the Family Code of the
Philippines, which states that where a marriage between a Filipino
citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter
validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to
remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under
Philippine law.
The twin elements for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26
are as follows:
1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a
Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse
capacitating him or her to remarry.
However, given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens,
where one party is later naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a
valid divorce decree capacitating him or her to remarry, can the Filipino
spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law? This was the novel
question faced by the Supreme Court in the case of Republic vs.

On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M.

Villanueva at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Lam-an,
Ozamis City. Their marriage was blessed with a son and a daughter,
Kristoffer Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. Orbecido. In
1986, Ciprianos wife left for the United States bringing along their son
Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been
naturalized as an American citizen. Sometime in 2000, Cipriano
learned from his son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree and
then married a certain Innocent Stanley. Cipriano thereafter filed with
the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2
of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Finding merit
in the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, through the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was
In its petition, the OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of
the Family Code is not applicable to the instant case because it only
applies to a valid mixed marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated
between a Filipino citizen and an alien. The proper remedy, according
to the OSG, is to file a petition for annulment or for legal separation.
Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no law that governs respondents
situation. The OSG posits that this is a matter of legislation and not of
judicial determination. For his part, Cipriano admits that Article 26 is
not directly applicable to his case but insists that when his naturalized
alien wife obtained a divorce decree which capacitated her to remarry,
he is likewise capacitated by operation of law pursuant to Section 12,
Article II of the Constitution.
In finding for Orbecido, the Court held that:
Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and
applying the rule of reason, we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26
should be interpreted to include cases involving parties who, at the
time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later
on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a
divorce decree.

The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to

remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the

solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction

absurdity and injustice.

Where the interpretation of a statute

according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous

results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be
construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as
necessary the letter of the law. A statute may therefore be extended
to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they
come within its spirit or intent. If we are to give meaning to the
legislative intent to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino
spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a
divorce is no longer married to the Filipino spouse, then the instant
case must be deemed as coming within the contemplation of
Paragraph 2 of Article 26.
The Court held further that:
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the
time of the celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the
time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse
capacitating the latter to remarry. In this case, when Ciprianos wife
was naturalized as an American citizen, there was still a valid marriage
that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano.

As fate would

have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid

divorce capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the
application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in this case.
Thus Cipriano, the divorced Filipino spouse, should be allowed to
The Court was also unable to sustain the OSGs theory that the
proper remedy of the Filipino spouse is to file either a petition for
annulment or a petition for legal separation. Annulment would be a
long and tedious process, and in this particular case, not even feasible,
considering that the marriage of the parties appears to have all the
badges of validity. On the other hand, legal separation would not be a
sufficient remedy for it would not sever the marriage tie; hence, the
legally separated Filipino spouse would still remain married to the
naturalized alien spouse.

If you do find yourself in a situation similar to that of Cipriano and

want to re-marry, it would be important for you to prove your
allegation that your spouse was naturalized as an American citizen and
you must likewise prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its
conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Furthermore, you must also
show that the divorce decree allows your former spuse to remarry as
specifically required in Article 26.

Otherwise, there would be no

evidence sufficient to declare that your former spouse is capacitated to

enter into another marriage.
To end, let me remind our people: Section 2, Article XV of the
Philippine Constitution binds the state to protect marriage and the
family: Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation
of the family and shall be protected by the State.

Republic vs. Orbecido
GR NO. 154380, October 5, 2005
Cipriano Orbecido III was married with Lady Myros Villanueva on
May 24, 1981 at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in
Ozamis City.

They had a son and a daughter named Kristoffer and

Kimberly, respectively. In 1986, the wife left for US bringing along their
son Kristoffer. A few years later, Orbecido discovered that his wife had
been naturalized as an American citizen and learned from his son that
his wife sometime in 2000 had obtained a divorce decree and married
a certain Stanley. He thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for
authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family
ISSUE: Whether or not Orbecido can remarry under Article 26 of the
Family Code.
The court ruled that taking into consideration the legislative
intent and applying the rule of reason, Article 26 Par.2 should be
interpreted to include cases involving parties who, at the time of the
celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of
them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce
decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if
the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the
Hence, the courts unanimous decision in holding Article 26 Par 2
be interpreted as allowing a Filipino citizen who has been divorced by a
spouse who had acquired a citizenship and remarried, also to remarry
under Philippine law.





Recognition of Divorce in the Philippines