Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Many Relatives Do You Have at the Fourth Civil Degree of Consanguinity or Affinity?

How the Supreme Court Vastly Increased the Right of Nosey Relatives to Know our Data!

An FAQ post at the Philippines E-Legal Forum by the prolific professor and blawger, Fred Pamaos, answers many questions about the writ of habeas data, including
Who may file a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas data?

The petition may be filed by the aggrieved party. However, in cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances, the petition may be filed by:

(a) Any member of the immediate family of the aggrieved party, namely: the spouse, children and parents; or
(b) Any ascendant, descendant or collateral relative of the aggrieved party within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, in default of those mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
But it also raises a fascinating problem in algebra, genealogy and combinatorics that inspired today's post.

How many people could there be within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of a typical Filipino citizen?

Consanguinity refers to all the people your are related to by blood, a biological relationship. Affinity refers to civil relationships arising from marriage (your "in-laws").

Within the first degree of consanguinity are all the people YOU could be related to directly by blood (P=parents as direct ascendants; C=children as direct descendants, S=brothers and sisters as siblings).

Clearly the minimum number of relatives within one degree of consanguinity is two, since we all have two parents. Let us assume that the typical or average number of children for every person who raises a family in a given society is 5. This means the typical or average number of siblings is 4.

Then the typical or average number of relatives within one civil degree of CONSANGUINITY would be 2+4+5 or 11 (ascendants, descendants, and siblings). Assuming further that the typical or average number of spouses is 1, we get a nice even dozen (12) as the typical or average number of people within one civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.

Let us call this number N1==typical or average number of people within one civil degree of consanguinity or affinity in a given society or community.

We are interested of course in a number we could call N4, which is the same number out to the fourth civil degree of relationship or "relativity."

To see how we get to an estimate on the UPPER BOUND or MAXIMUM value of N4, (which is the number of people that the Supreme Court has just granted the right to file a Writ of habeas data on MY behalf) let me first make the following observation:

Since each of my relatives at degree ONE also has the same typical or average number of relatives at degree ONE, this means that my relatives (in-DNA or in-LAW) at degree TWO are all the degree ONE relatives of my degree ONE relatives.

N2=N1 times N1

By a process of logical induction, we may conclude that

N3= N1 cubed and that N4=N1 times N1 times N1 times N1 or 12 to the fourth power 20,736.

Thus, if the typical or average number of children in every generation is assumed to be FIVE (5) the MAXIMUM POSSIBLE number of my relatives out to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity is 20,736 persons.

But this number is not all for how many relatives do I have by affinity?

Well, these are all of the people that are my spouse's relatives out to the THIRD degree of consanguinity or affinity. A LOWER BOUND on this number are just her relatives by consanguinity, which by the same reasons used above would be the cube of the typical number of children or direct descendants in each generation.

For our typical number of 5 children, this means that in the fourth degree of affinity, we could have as many as 12 cubed or 1728.

There are thus 1728+20736=22,464 RELATIVES AND IN-LAWS that the Supreme Court has given the right of their Writ to Habeas My Data.

What a charming irrelevance the Supreme Court has made of the very provision they claim empowers them to establish such Rules of Court:
1987 ART. VIII Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.
The SUPERNAL IRONY of all this is the amazing claim by the Court in its Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data (pdf) that it is protecting my RIGHT TO PRIVACY [SIC!]

...in the blogosphere...

PDI Senior Editor John Nery (Newsstand Blog) proclaims a virtue: “...fairness in procedures for resolving conflicts is the fundamental kind of fairness, and ... it is acknowledged as a value in most cultures, places, and times; fairness in procedure is an invariable value, a constant in human nature.” Even in an inconstant Press I might add! Could PDI be turning towards the light and away from the darkness of Press Freedom Uber Alles? Will that great newspaper ever grow up and become an institution instead of an insurgency? Maybe with John's help...

AMADEO has The Ignatian Perspective ... Jesus Christ surveys the Blogosphere

The Warrior Lawyer points to an essay by Dean Raul Pangalangan in which he addresses institutions:

"Our Constitution was designed so that we can enforce public accountability through the mechanical working of institutional checks and balances. What Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has done is to destroy those institutions and pervert just about all the agencies for public accountability. Impeachment? Just trigger the one-year bar with a bogus complaint, lock in the votes, and divide the spoils with pliant congressmen. The Ombudsman? No worry. It wouldn’t move against the Palace and, even under pain of contempt from the Supreme Court, it hemmed and hawed before it charged anyone for the fraudulent computerization of the Commission on Electins. And the Department of Justice? Oh, that’s just a misnomer.

Amid the debris of failed institutions, only the headstrong whistle-blower remains standing as the last check on presidential abuse. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should know the power of a witness who steps forward to tell the truth. That is how she came to power at EDSA People Power II and, should it come to pass, that is how she may be dethroned as well."
I think this misconstrues what happened at Edsa Dos. It was not Gloria Arroyo destroyed Checks and Balances then, but Hilario Davide and the Supreme Court--by aborting the Impeachment trial of Erap Estrada and nullifying the for-certain verdict of acquittal that the impeachment process was about to produce; by ignoring the explicit provisions on presidential succession and the warning of Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma; by calling Mutiny and Treason "withdrawal of support"; by usurping the SOLE and EXCLUSIVE institutional rights of the Congress over the Accountability of Public Officers ---thus did the Supreme Court destroy Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances!

Are we not utterly lost if the LAST check on presidential abuse is the headstrong whistleblower?

JEGO notes that there are no dinosaurs on Saturn's moon Titan but an awful lot of petrol. No SUVs on Mars, either, despite its steadily shrinking polar ice caps.

Just imagine the poignant photoblography of Senor Enrique in say, the year 2108.

There is even more evidence now that IVAN ABOUT TOWN is really a foodie blogger, not a backpacker. He treks to EAT! (I'm ready. Let's go!)

Groundhogtech reports on the launch in North America of China's first CELL PHONE: the ZTE C88.

The unit will retail for between $129 and $149 and is described as being similar to the highly popular Motorola Razr --- except it's a lot THICKER!

I suppose it's just like the ZTE National Broadband Deal-- no corruption, unless you look under the hood.

I'm writing my 22,436 relatives to moderate their greed. Buy Motorola. It's thinner.

FRED PAMAOS (Philippines e-Legal Forum)
examines how the processes at the Ombudsman affect the Senate investigations into the ZTE NBN deal. He cites the conflicting cases of Bengzon v. Blue Ribbon Committee and Standard Chartered Bank v. Enrile. Read it all.

IS DULMATIN DEAD? ABSCBN NEWS in Manila is reporting on its noon day newscast that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents have arrived in Zamboanga City to perform forensic and DNA examination on a cadaver said to be that of the suspected Bali Bomber, the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah fugitive with a TEN MILLION DOLLAR reward on his head. The report said this "Dulmatin" may have been killed in an encounter between Philippine Marines and Abu Sayyaf terrorists last January 31 in Tawi-tawi, Mindanao Island.

The link to the Rewards for Justice Program is one of the oldest on my blogroll.

SYMBIANIZE has a lot more of this kind of stuff...I call it Lozadiana, pop art being spawned by the scandal.

SOME SENATORS are embarrassing themselves on national TV. For example PIA CAYETANO claims to be interested in the production of methane biogas from sump pumps as an alternative source of energy. What a ditz! Methane IS "biogas". She chairman of the environment committee. I guess she's never heard of Malampaya! Susmaryosep! Here's Wikipedia for you Senator Pia, Your Honor. "When methane-rich gases are produced by the anaerobic decay of non-fossil organic material, these are referred to as biogas."

Ayala Corp.'s slick 3D animation presentation of the Glorietta 2 basement did reveal the space between an old floor and a new floor above the basement, in which a deadly miasma of methane and diesel fumes accumulated and later ignited and exploded.

An earnest and honest question did come from SEN. RODOLFO BIAZON of the Senate Defense Committee. He wondered how "lighter than air gases" like Methane could accumulate in the basement when that space was not strictly speaking air-tight since the basement space communicates with the outside through an open stairwell.

The simple answer is that a lighter than air gas will be trapped in any pocket or subspace of the larger basement space which is HIGHER than the opening to the outside.

Juan Ponce Enrile was good though with: "Maleleche!" as he scolded the Ayala and Makati Supermarket reps.

Marvin Acerson (La Vida Lawyer) made a rare but worthwhile public appearance today on the The Explainer which tackled the hot topic of the week: the Truth.


blackshama said...

Methane is lighter than air since it is less dense.

The fact I learned from my Chemistry 31 course (Organic Chem) is that CH4 is explosive only at a narrow range of 5-15% mixture with air and that the Glorietta mall wasn't completely airtight is gives plausibility to the hypothesis that the mall basement experienced a methane gas explosion.

If the basement was airtight,then the possibility of an explosion is small but the possibility of asphyxiation is high. Methane is an odourless and colourless gas that can displace oxygen. Note that the asphixation concentrations (> 19%) are higher than the explosion concentrations.

The Honourable Senators (and by extension most of the national civic and religious leadership) are prime examples of the lack of science literacy in this country.

DJB Rizalist said...

Some are better than others. But it's amazing how blind these guys can get, even when they are actually doing a good job or trying to. I have so much hope for the Senate among our institutions, even if the Senators often make me wonder why I do.