This is something people don’t fully realize when they leave their Western countries. Nobody is going to protect you. There are no government oversight committees, watchdogs, Better Business Bureau’s, etc. You’re on your own and you better watch your ass.
Here is something basic that you must understand. If you go to a lawyer with a problem and he solves the problem immediately then his income stops abruptly correct? Obviously, this is not in his best interest, is it? Therefore, a fair chance he will not do his utmost to solve your problem for you. There is actually a very good chance that he will exacerbate it to keep the money flowing.
For people used to a litigious society like the US, you’re in for a big surprise here. Court cases can flounder for years for even the most minor of civil cases. Property disputes over titles, business disputes over contracts, partnerships, marital disputes, are all things that you really, really want to settle amongst yourselves. Going to a lawyer is just not a viable solution here.
Suppose you ask your lawyer for advice and, through ignorance or design, he gives you bad advice. What do you think your options are? The Philippine Bar Association cannot help you. Your only recourse is to go to the Supreme Court. File a case against your lawyer. Right, that sounds like fun.
Avoid these situations. Period. Do your due diligence. Do your own research, understand the law, trust no one, verify all documents. Survey the land, build enforceable penalties into contracts and when you sign anything, absolutely make sure that all parties are in front of the notary or lawyer with their ID to sign the papers. Take a picture. Take a video So that no one can deny they were there. Read every paper they ask you to sign. Double-check all the information contained therein. You will be amazed at the inaccuracies you will find I promise.
The list goes on and on but the bottom line is, protect yourself every step of the way.
Unfortunately, this is also true for medical care. We have seen cases where we suspect the doctor intentionally misdiagnosed the illness in order to perpetuate the cure. Again, once cured you stop paying correct?
There is NO medical malpractice in the Philippines.
Always, get a second opinion.
Even much more unfortunate than this is the fact that, for recourse, you must go to a lawyer to get satisfaction or compensation.
When it comes to criminal concerns, settle the issue with the first person. If you run afoul of the law you do not want matters escalating. The more policemen that get involved, the more it will cost you. If you go to the police station, if you go to jail, if you have to go to court, I guarantee it will cost you more money. Whenever possible, settle with the people on the scene at the time. Throw a bunch of money at it because I guarantee you, as things escalate, it will cost you more!
I don’t care if you are guilty or not. Pay, and walk away.
Again, I reiterate, nobody is going to help you. Anybody you try to talk to in the government is going to have their hands out and I also guarantee you their efforts will be feeble and the results dismal. There is literally no margin in it for them to resolve any disputes for anybody.
Here is probably the best example I can give, and yes it happened to me personally. About six years ago I sold a motorcycle to the chief of police in the town where I live. He paid a deposit for the bike, promising the balance in a short time. He absolutely never paid me anything again. Would not see me, would not talk to me, would not entertain me in his office. Eventually, I found out that he had sold the bike. I followed the trail and, just recently, actually last month, I got the bike back by paying the person that had possession of it but only because they had no papers and could not register it. Now, what do you do in a situation like that? Call the cops?