Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Right against Self Incrimination

The Bill of Rights (Article III, Section 17) reads that "No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself."

So why would the senators be annoyed if Napoles keeps on invoking her right against self incrimination?

The senate's problem is that it is acting like it has judicial powers, but in reality, they only have the power to investigate only for the purpose (in aid) of legislation. Their own rules indicate that "the power to conduct investigation in aid of legislation by the Congress calls only the purpose of legitimate inquiry. Under the present Constitution, members of both Houses are prohibited to exercise an abuse of this conduct."

"The power of inquiry and investigation exists not only to enable Congress to discharge effectively its primarily legislative and law making functions. It likewise extends to hearing on other matter within its jurisdiction notably the power to impeach, to propose amendments, and take disciplinary action against its members."

Napoles cannot be impeached since she is not a government official. The Blue Ribbon Committee cannot incarcerate witnesses and resource persons, except in cases of contempt of Congress. So I guess they will contempt Napoles for invoking her right against self incrimination. Shouldn't they take disciplinary action against their own members, Congressmen and Senators instead? They should start at their own backyard and let Napoles answer to the courts. A lot of the people who watched the investigation should not have wasted their time if only Sen. Guingona listened to Sec. De Lima and Ombudsman Carpio-Morales.

Ref.: Philippine Governance and the 1987 Constitution' 2006 Ed. Rex Bookstore. p. 175.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

albedo 0.39

I first read about the word albedo when i purchased a CD by Vangelis with the title Albedo 0.39. Albedo is defined as the reflective power of a surface, often a planet or celestial body, that does not shine by its own light. It is usually measured on a scale from 0 (or having no reflective power) to 1.  The higher the albedo is, the more reflective power its surface has.

I find it interesting that the earth we live in has a higher albedo than that of the moon. The earth has an average albedo of 0.39 while the moon has an average albedo of 0.12. This means that the earth is brighter than the moon since it reflects more of the sun's rays.

If you've been awed by the sight of a full moon on a cloudless night, imagine how awesome it must be to stand on the moon and see the earth beam!

Earthrise. a view of the earth from the moon.

But if we are able to imagine this, the Bible says that we cannot imagine what God has prepared to those whom He loves.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived that God has prepared for those who love Him." -1 Corinthians 2:9

Monday, March 12, 2012

those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength

Isaiah 40: 28-31
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
 the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Leap Year

This year is a leap year. Which means that the month of February will have an extra day on the 29th.
Generally, a leap year occurs in a year evenly divisible by 4, example is in 2008 and this year, 2012.  But there is an exception for this rule.  An exception is if the year is evenly divisible by 100, unless it is evenly divisible by 400. So the years 2100, 2200 and 2300 are not leap years but the year 2400 is a leap year.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

X Marks the Spot

Last week, I read from a local newspaper about this news, and so I checked from the internet.  I found a link on BBC’s website with the title New Australian passports allow third gender option.


The first two paragraphs of the news reads:

Australians have been given a third choice when describing their gender on passport applications, under new guidelines aimed at removing discrimination.


Transgender people and those of ambiguous sex will be able to list their gender as indeterminate, which will be shown on passports as an X.


In some websites related to this news, there was a comment praising Australia for this move and describing it as a “developed country.”  This move is highly probable to become a trend in the future, but I believe that this is definitely not a mark of progress.  Instead, it is a regress in terms of the way people think.  Just because they can’t identify the gender of a person by the way they look, then they create a third sex tag.


If its aim was to prevent discrimination, I think this will pave the way for a more identified discrimination towards homosexuals instead.  They may now be branded as an outsider of the Male or Female gender, just as their passport is marked as X.


I wonder what next people will think.  Will there be a move to have a different Comfort Room for X genders? Will they mark people with the color of their skin next time?