The Apology Act

2008-02-1320apology20compensation20aborigines20rudd20226233In our highly individualistic and litigious society where people have the tendency to sue left and right for being allegedly injured whether unintentionally or maliciously, the Ontario government had followed what other provinces and some countries have done to trim down the number of personal injury lawsuits – legislate the Apology Act.

In a nutshell, the Apology Act allows a person to say sorry to the aggrieved party without fear of “ it being used as evidence of liability in a civil legal proceeding under provincial law”. It other words, expressing an apology doesn’t translate to admission of guilt. An apology tends to mend the heart of the aggrieved and the government hopes that this new law would reduce the incidence of personal injury lawsuits. I’m not so sure how lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases would feel about this but it certainly does look like it might induce their lucrative trade into a permanent recession.

I remember the much publicized case of the Valley Golf Club mauling where Sec. Pangandaman publicly apologized for the incident, where two of his sons got involved. Many people mistook his expression of regret as a confession of guilt. Under the Apology Act such statements cannot be used as evidence of liability on the part of the Pangandamans. It does however promote some sense of conciliation and restoration of civility.

 

POVERTY AS AN EXCUSE FOR INDIGNITY

images1The recently much publicized case of Nicole, the Pinay who recanted her rape statement years after her rapist, an American sailor languished in jail, startled many observers with the incredulous twist to the story. It was learned that she was allegedly handed P100K and an immigrant visa to the U.S. in exchange for the exoneration of the American. As expected, conspiracy theories emerged, the most obvious of them was it was overall a ploy of the American government to repatriate its jailed citizen, at the expense of the mockery of the Phil. justice system. I’m not here to argue about the whys and the wherefores of this case because it has been beaten black and blue in the papers and cyberspace. I am here to say that I am rather surprised at the degree of unanimity of Pinoy commenters who believe that Nicole’s act of selling her soul to the devil, of putting a price tag on her dignity and moral value was justified to extricate herself from poverty. This kind of reasoning seem to pervade people’s minds nowadays that somehow it is justified to rob, steal, kill, sell your body so you can put food on the table for the family. It is a disconcerting feeling really because on one angle the country is on its high road to moral bankruptcy and what is even more frightening is the harrowing thought of the haves who continue to impoverish the have nots so they can exploit them down to their bare souls. When poverty becomes an acceptable excuse for indignity, it is a tell tale sign of an impending collapse of such a society.

MORE IRONIES

– It’s never too late for lady luck to smile at you.  This 90 year old man won the recent Lotto 6/49  jackpot of $4.4 million.  So far this year all I won was a free coffee from the “Open The Rim To Win” contest 🙂 How many cups should I fill up to win a Toyota SUV? 😉  Darn,  if lady luck were to smile at me I hope she doesn’t wait till I’m  90 !

–  There’s a nice Pinoy store here we ocassionally visit because frankly, patrons get irritated by the cashier who is the epitome of Simang, as in “simangot to the max”.  Fortunate for her, being the daughter of the owner makes her quite untouchable 😉  She is probably close if not in her early twenties , doesn’t speak Tagalog, utters words in a monosyllabic manner, never says hi nor smiles at her mom’s loyal patrons. In short, you get the feeling that with the aloofness and  indifference she wants you to get out of the counter fast, much like a robot would. Now, if there is only one reason that tells me not to gore her with my horns – she’s kinda cute hehe 🙂  I’m quite surprised I haven’t lost my amusement with suplada cute women 😎  Last week, the store manifested another specie of her ilk at the backroom food counter – same taciturn and monosyllablic way of dealing with customers.  Surprised ? It was her older sister  ouch 😡 Now this one I could have gored, expect that the food stalls were too high 😆

BOWLING IN THE DARK

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This particular bowling in the dark joint at a trendy suburban mall is overall a nice place to hang around – totally high tech but noisy. If you’re some serious bowler would you relish the idea of looking at the Iron Chef TV show on the large screen TV’s on top of the pins you’re trying to hit ? Let alone shouting at everyone because the darn joint literally vibrates with rock music ? I tell you what though – I liked the darn place 🙂

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33 Responses

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. My fave bowling center here looks like that one. I like it because it’s hip. I just realized I’ve never played since December last year. Time to revisit.

    • Witsandnuts – if I was a serious bowler I wouldn’t come to the place but to have a couple of beers playing with friends or family, the place rocks 🙂

  3. i would agree on the “apology act” if the case is not as extreme as it seems. this may be applicable to some level but not to serious matter that needs to be really litigated at the court..that to my own view.

    haha!don’t know if i got connected with the entry..i only hope.:)

    • NYL – I guess the law simply says that people must not be condemned instantly guilty when they say sorry, esp for unintentional injuries. Of course, every offense needs to be litigated as per due process of law.

  4. IMO, that Act got some twisted logic on it. Why would I apologize if I’m not guilty or my conscience doesn’t bother me in the first place? The mere act of apologizing indicates that I’ve done something wrong and should not be swept under the rug. Dedmahan nalang and let each party’s attorney do the talking.

    I hope this present society collapse so we could start all over again. What our country needs is a total overhaul of its system. A revolution of the masses is not a bad idea.

    I think those two pixies were forced by their parents to help in tending the business. Kaya nakasimangot dahil hindi makalakwatsa.

    That bowling alley was design with the young generation in mind as patrons. I’m surprise that you like it. Me, I tend to withdraw from noisy places.

    • Blogusvox – I believe the Apology Act was triggered by the doctor-patient personal injury lawsuits which the government tries to manage being the universal health care provider in this country. In many instances doctors are sued if their procedures don’t satisfy the patient’s expectations. Doctors are discouraged to empathize with patients even if it is not their fault, for fear that their “sorry that this happened to you ” will be taken as admission of guilt.

      So you think Pinas needs a reboot ? 😆

      These 2 pixies are paid as employees in the store. It’s the usual high strung attitude of Pinoys born here who think that they are a superior specie compared to those born in the islands. In my opinion, it has also to do with the way the parents brought up these kids duh 😦

      I love the joint because it allows everyone to play, children included. It’s not cheap but a family can have fun, noise included 🙂

  5. “When poverty becomes an acceptable excuse for indignity, it is a tell tale sign of an impending collapse of such a society.”>>> really nice point here. it really happens.

    • Dong – it kinda bothers me to think that somehow religion, as fanatic as Pinas is to its religious beliefs and traditions, has failed in its mission to build its values in the human being in our country 😦

  6. bw!
    I’m back again! 🙂 You know what, I have learned to play bowling just this last semester because it was a part of my curriculum, it was fun! although I am really not that good, hahaha i think most of my shots just coincidentally happened! haha

    hope to see you in my sight!

    tc!

    • Piapot – bowling as part of your curriculum? That’s nice. I wish they had golf when I was still going to school 🙂 I bet the bowling in the dark joint would be more fun for you coz here you can put a rail so your ball doesn’t go into the canal . They do it for kids hehe 🙂

  7. if sorry is enough, then why do we have police? hehe ;p

  8. i don’t like talking about Nicole. She’s such a disappointment for an Atenean. LOL.

    Talking about apology, here in Manila the Right of Reply bill has earned criticism from sectors, particularly media organizations. It’s not about apology, but the gist is giving equal space to subjects of news items who feel they were treated badly in the article. So more than a mere apology from the newspaper, for example, the bill seeks that the newspaper gives equal space to subjects to air their side–and this could lead to abuse, specially by politicians.

    • Barrycade – i’ve heard about that right to reply thing and I have my doubts on that too. Most ONLINE news items nowadays have comment columns where as an audience you can agree nor disagree with the author’s article. I guess the printed media is still what most people read these days.

  9. Hah, twice a month blogger ka na? J/K.

    I must really be disconnected with our mother country; I know the news from bloggers nowadays.

    Never ever touched a bowling ball in my life. Will do one of these days to check it off my list of things to do.

    • Ewok – hey, I actually have 3 posts not two 😆 Talk about the power of cyberspace eh? We learn about what’s happening with motherland from the blogs !

      Time for you to take up bowling. It’s a little intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it, it’s fun 🙂 I’ve bowled quite a lot years ago and have a pair of shoes and a bowling ball but I stopped. It’s nice to do it once in a while 🙂

  10. Thanks for all your comments – I will reply to all of them today and visit your respective blogs. I was on a March break for a week which meant I did practically nothing but watch TV and DVDS , took care of my little girl – brought her to the skating lessons everyday, slept a lot and tried to eat less but failed 🙂 Work had increased a bit but not that much. I also bought a new DSLR camera which I’m still trying to figure out how to use intelligently 🙂 Darn, I only did 3 posts this month. I hope to blog and bloghop a bit more next month 🙂

  11. Oooo, a new DSLR, so does this mean you’d be taking more pictures? 😀

    • Sngl – believe it or not, the new toy has been with me for week now but I haven’t stepped out of the house with it yet ! I hope I’ll have the time to get out and take photos but it’s been raining here lately 😦

  12. I think the “problem” with Nicole’s case is that a lot of people identified with Nicole. It was not really about an individual case of rape anymore…. it was more about the “love & hate ” relationship between the Philippines & the US. I guess a lot of Filipinos in one way or the other feels “raped” by the Americans… it was their way of kicking back to Uncle Sam.

    I feel very comfortable in the Philippines, people are extremely friendly and hospitable to foreigners. Some of my best friends are Filipinos but I also know that if I would have a case before a Filipino courtroom I would loose. Not because I am guilty but because I am a foreigner… misplaced patriotism would take over from justice.

    • Sdiney – we can only read the horror stories of the Phil justice system and I agree that there is a love /hate relationship between Pinas and the US that strangely plays itself in this scenario.

      My point of argument is the reaction of people to the case, whereupon it seems acceptable for someone to recant a statement that caused another person to get incarcerated for the sake of money because the money is good for her well being. It is frightening to see values being eroded by poverty.

  13. Apology makes sense but some people have hard hearts.

    I see a lot of bitchy cashiers everywhere !

    That bowling place looks really cool. I love it when people don’t see how horrible I play haha 🙂

    • Irrealis – some people have the heart of stone they say.

      As for bitchy cashiers, I believe there are a lot more bitcy customers 🙂

      Right on – nobody cares how you play, let alone the kids playing with you 🙂

  14. i’m not sure how i feel about the apology act. pambihira naman kung lahat ng bagay nadaan sa sorry patay na siguro lahat ng pilipino.

    sa rape case naman na yan, i like what inquirer sad about it. nag migrate na nga daw itong si nicole kasama ng new american boyfriend niya and this caused the nationj to react violently. as inquirer put it, nicole thinks she was ‘raped’ by a single american and not by the american country. for some reason, the nicole case made me feel the ‘american bullying theory’.

    nako pano yan simangot din ako in social places? LOL but teaching improved my character. but people tell me i am masungit in a cute way LOL may ganun ba?

    i don’t think bowling in the dark will work for me. i can’t even bowl right in broad daylight!

    • Prinsesa – there’s no substitute for justice of course but people shouldn’t be penalized for saying they’re sorry that such a thing happened. Unless they say ” i’m sorry I killed your relative” then it’s a totally different story hehe 🙂

      Well, I’m not impressed with the story to be honest. there’s a lot of holes in it in the first place. I am more upset when people get bought off for their principles.

      As for me, I can live with the simang syndrome basta maganda ang babae hehe 🙂 Try bowling in the dark – you might not want to bowl with the lights on later 🙂

  15. While I was reading the part about the apology act, what entered my mind was an image of GMA on national TV saying “I’m……..sorry.”

    True, poverty is not a reason to do anything unlawful. I hate it when I hear people say that they did something because they had to. I believe there’s always a way —a good way— out of a bad situation.

    Maybe those two girls don’t like working at their parents’ store hehehe. People always tell me they thought I was masungit, mataray, and maarte at first, but later on they discovered me to be kenkoy. 🙂

    The bowling lane looks like a disco. With me not being able to hit pins with bright lights, I don’t know what I will do in that dark place.

    • Kat – as for GMA saying I’m sorry… that’s what we might call a real long shot 🙂

      It does appear that people use poverty as an excuse to break rules. It’s even scarier when you think that poverty has the potential to create demons in society, when the rule of the jungle starts to take over 😦

      A friend of ours who is also patron actually complained about the snobbish attitude of the girl to he mom but you know, it’s the usual ” pasensya na kayo” crap you would hear as an excuse. No one in this country works for free – the children definitely get paid to do the job. I’m not overly concerned coz she hasn’t disrespected me personally but the problem is I have to go back to the darn store because of their spicy empanada hehe 🙂

      It does look and sound like a disco. I don’t mind the noise as long as I am entertained 🙂

  16. The Apology Act is long overdue. I think it should be standard in any democracy. It prevents lawyers from exploiting people.

    Winning a lottery jackpot at 90 is a little too late. Heck, I would rather have 4 million bucks when I’m thirty. I hope my money will last till I’m 90 🙂

    • Natez1 – I do think the Sorry Act makes for a bit more kinder society.

      As for the 4 million lasting a lifetime when you have it at age thirty – dunno’ about that 🙂

  17. lemme just remind everybody that nicole was the victim here, not the aggravator.

    btw, the bowling is glow in the dark!wow

    • Flamindevil – point very well taken. They say there are two kinds of poverty – material poverty and poverty of the spirit and both don’t necessarily go together. In my book, Nicole isn’t completely blameless.

      My little girl can bowl with me in this place without getting intimidated. Just a great place to hang around . If I’m serious with my game though, I go to well lighted, nicely built lanes which are cheaper and equally high tech – minus the TV and music 🙂

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