I will analyze in my column this week President Benigno Aquino III’s controversial Porsche sports car and Aling Dionisia’s (mother of superstar boxer and now Congressman Manny Pacquiao)

Rey Arcilla’s column published in the Filipino Reporter’s issue of Jan. 20, 2011 cited an e-mail from his former colleague in the Foreign Service which drew his attention to the word “discernment,” specifically President Aquino’s seeming lack of it.

He further wrote that Noynoy’s buying a sports car are quite hollow, juvenile even, and only showed his lack of discernment.

However, President Aquino’s controversial purchase of a Porsche is now moot and academic since he has already disposed of the car last week.

On the other hand, Aling Dionisia’s purchase of a million pesos Hermes bag definitely violates Article 25 of the Civil Code.

Article 25 provides as follows:

Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.

Civil Code of the Philippines (Civil Code)

The Civil Code was enacted into law in the Philippines in 1950.

This law was patterned after the Civil Code of Spain which in turn was based from the Napoleonic Code.

It appears that Art. 25 is a new provision in the Civil Code and most probably not included in the Civil Code of Spain or the Napoleonic Code.

At the adoption of the Civil Code in 1950, I have no knowledge of any government survey showing a period of acute public want or emergency in the Philippines.

As reported in the Filipino Reporter’s issue of July 8-14, 2011 captioned “P-Noy sells his Porsche for P4.5-M,” the President’s announcement in January that he had bought the Porsche sparked anger in a country where one in four people lives on a dollar (around P42) or less a day, according to a 2009 government survey.

Article 25

To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any government agency or private charitable institution invoking Art. 25 by instituting civil action to stop persons exhibiting thoughtless extravagance in expense or display against any person.

Accordingly, Art. 25 is a stale provision of the Civil Code.

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