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Case Digest

Case Digest

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Published by: jhad1608 on Jul 10, 2010
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Case Digest
Topic: Treason
Laurel vs. Misa
77 Phil. 856
FACTS:
The accused was charged with treason. During the Japanese occupation, the accusedadhered to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort. He claims that he cannot be tried fortreason since his allegiance to the Philippines was suspended at that time. Also, he claims that hecannot be tried under a change of sovereignty over the country since his acts were against theCommonwealth which was replaced already by the Republic.
HELD/RATIO:
The accused was found guilty. A citizen owes absolute and permanent allegiance tohis government or sovereign. No transfer of sovereignty was made; hence, it is presumed that thePhilippine government still had the power. Moreover, sovereignty cannot be suspended; it is eithersubsisting or eliminated and replaced. Sovereignty per se wasn’t suspended; rather, it was theexercise of sovereignty that was suspended. Thus, there is no suspended allegiance. Regarding thechange of government, there is no such change since the sovereign – the Filipino people – is still thesame. What happened was a mere change of name of government, from Commonwealth to theRepublic of the Philippines.DISSENT: During the long period of Japanese occupation, all the political laws of the Philippineswere suspended. Thus, treason under the Revised Penal Code cannot be punishable where the lawsof the land are momentarily halted. Regarding the change of sovereignty, it is true that thePhilippines wasn’t sovereign at the time of the Commonwealth since it was under the UnitedStates. Hence, the acts of treason done cannot carry over to the new Republic where thePhilippines is now indeed sovereign.
 
G.R. No. L-2318 March 31, 1950PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. TEOFILO PAARRepublic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANCG.R. No. L-2318 March 31, 1950THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
plaintiff-appellee,vs.
TEOFILO PAAR (alias TEOFILO PAJAR, alias BEN PAJAR),
defendant-appellant.
Padilla, Carlos and Fernando for appellant.Office of the Solicitor General Felix Angelo and Assistant Solicitor General Ruperto Kapunan, Jr., for appellee.
TORRES,
J.
:
This is an appeal from a judgment of the now defunct People's Court which found Teofilo Paar guiltyof treason and sentenced him to the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and to pay a fine of P10, 000 andthe costs. The defendant of the fifteen counts, and the prosecution presented evidence to supportonly the allegations made in the first, fourth, seventh and eight counts.From our study of the evidence, we find that as regards the first count, it has been established by theprosecution, and the defense did not deny, that between October, 1944, and February, 1945, TeofiloPaar worked for the Japanese Kempei Tai as an undercover man. In fact, the appellant himself, byhis testimony, and that of his witness Juan S. Alano, admitted that he affiliated himself with theMilitary Police of Baguio. The government witness have, during that period of time, seen him paradingin the streets of Baguio with members of the Kempei Tai, dressed in their uniform and carrying a .45caliber pistol.It is claimed by appellant that he entered the service of the Kempei Tai without the intent of betrayinghis country and his people, and that even if he were responsible for or participated in the arrest of civilians on suspicion of underground activities, he can not be held liable for treason in view of theabsence of the essential elements of adherence. The record, however, shows that his overt actsevidenced his adherence to the enemy, and even in the absence of either proof, the very act of givinginformation to the enemy, constitutes not only giving aid and comfort, but also show adherence to theenemy. It clearly appears that Teofilo Paar joined the Kempei Tai or Japanese Military Police, whosemain purpose was to obtain information and other necessary data to suppress the resistancemovement. This is treasonous adherence which constitutes a violation of article 114 of the RevisedPenal Code.Much emphasis is given by appellant on the allegation that Teofilo Paar joined the Kempei Tai uponthe advise of one Major Laconico of the underground movement. Apart from the fact that he never mentioned Major Laconico to the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps of the USAFFE) when he wasbeing investigated by said organization, if he was really made to join the Kempei Tai in obedience toinstructions of Major Laconico and in furtherance of the resistance movement his direct participationin the activities of the Kempei Tai, for whom he was acting as agent or undercover man, having beenobserved by the witnesses for the prosecution, completely negatives his exculpatory explanations.It stands to reason that, if appellant was really "plated" by Major Laconico in the City of Baguio, as anobserver, to further the resistance movement, he had many other means to accomplish his allegedmission of helping the guerrillas. But his close association with the Kempei Tai, that most hatedorganization of the Japanese invader, his participation in the arrest of several persons who weresubsequently deprived of their freedom and tortured on suspicion that they were sympathetic with theunderground forces, far from convincing us the that he joined the Japanese Military Police for aworthy patriotic purpose, strengthens our belief that he deliberately, for sordid motives, entered theservice of the Kempei Tai, because he thought that Japan would win the last war. .
 
To substantiate count No. 41, the prosecution, through the testimony of Patricia Guerrero, a waitressin the City Lunch Restaurant in Baguio, proved that in the morning of October 3, 1944, while she wasdressing up, she heard a knock on the door of her room on the upper floor of the Mayo Building.Before opening the door, she peeped through the window and saw the accused standing beside acar. When Patricia opened the door of her room she met two members of the Japanese MilitaryPolice who ordered her to dress up because she was to be taken to their headquarters. She wentwith the two Japanese, but when she reached the car, the accused was no longer around. She wasinvestigated and maltreated by the Japanese who wanted to get information about the resistancemovement.As they could not get anything from her, she was made to work as washer-woman in the garrison,until she was released sometime on December 20, 1944. The testimony of Patricia Guerrero was, toa certain extent, corroborated by Carlitos Costales.It is noted, however, that Carlitos Costales did not corroborate the statement of Patricia Guerrero thatshe saw the appellant standing beside a car parked in front of the house and which brought the twoJapanese members of the Military Police who arrested Patricia. it appears, therefore, that while theevidence of the prosecution regarding this count establishes the adherence of the appellant to theenemy, it fails to prove the same overt act as required by law.Three witnesses were put on the stand by the prosecution in support of count No. 7. In December,1944, Melquiades Valdez, assistant sanitary inspector in Baguio, was making an inspection aroundthe market accompanied by Dr. Emilio Reyes. While they were conversing, Teofilo Paar approachedthe group and inquired for Melquiades Valdez. The latter identified himself and par told Dr. Reyes thathe was taking Valdez to the military police for questioning. The accused conducted Valdez to theKempei Tai, and upon arrival the names of Valdez and one Antonio Romero and handed it ton theJapanese guard, saying: here are Valdez and Romero." Valdez was investigated and tortured on thecharge of listening to radio broadcasts from San Francisco and spreading the new heard by him.Regarding the eight counts, it appears at about noon of December 30, 1944, while Dr. Irineo Solanowas in the house of Felisa Caliao, his niece, named Maria Taverna, and informed him that a Filipinoand Japanese were waiting for him. Solano met the visitors, the accused and Japanese. In answer todefendant's query, if he was Irineo Solano, the latter identified himself and the accused told him thathe was to go with the Japanese officer. Doctor Solano was conducted to the Japanese officer. Doctor Solano was conducted to the Japanese Military Police headquarters and once in the garrison, theaccused left the group. Investigated on account of his
guerrilla
activities and his pro-Americanpropaganda work, the doctor was maltreated and was not released until January 14, 1945.The testimony of Doctor Solano was corroborated by that of Felisa Caliao regarding the fact that onDecember 30, 1944, while the doctor was in her house, Solano was taken by a Filipino whohappened to be this appellant; she further said that Paar called for doctor Solano and took him to thecar where a Japanese officer was waiting.The evidence is a very clear from the testimonies of Melquiades Valdez and Dr. Emilio Reyes, thatthe former was arrested and brought to the headquarters of the military police by Teofilo Paar whodelivered him to the Japanese garrison. Soon after the accused delivered Melquiades Valdez toKempei Tai, he was investigated for disseminating news broadcasted by the San Francisco stationknown as KGEI. The testimonies of Valdez and Dr. Reyes are corroborated by a third witness AntonioRomero, who substantially told the court his observations in connection with the arrest of MelquiadesValdez.The testimony of Doctor Solano, corroborated by that of Felisa Caliao, established that the appellantwas responsible for the arrest of the doctor. The appellant alleged that he could not have participatedin the arrest of Melquiades Valdez and Dr. Irineo Solano, because he didn't know either of them. Butit seems to us that his mere denial cannot only by the victim of this treasonable act but also by Dr.Emilio Reyes and Felisa Caliao.Discarding count No. 4 because, as already stated, the evidence presented by the prosecution doesnot apply with the two-witness rule required by article 114 of the Revised Penal Code, we aresatisfied that this appellant who, by his own admission is a Filipino's Court for the crime of treason,not only because of his adherence to the enemy but also on the account of his having committedtreasonable overt acts resulting from his having directly participated in the arrest, detention andtorture of the persons mentioned elsewhere in this decision.

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