You are on page 1of 49

EN BANC According to the Supreme Court, petitioner deserved the damages

[G.R. No. 94723. August 21, 1997.] awarded to her by the court. This Court has no original and exclusive
KAREN E. SALVACION, minor, thru Federico N. Salvacion, Jr., jurisdiction over a petition for declaratory relief; however, exceptions to
father and Natural Guardian, and Spouses FEDERICO N. the rule have been recognized. Thus, where the petition has far-
SALVACION, JR., and EVELINA E. SALVACION, petitioners, vs. reaching implications and raises questions that should be resolved, it
CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, CHINA BANKING may be treated as one for mandamus. The application of the law
CORPORATION and GREG BARTELLI y NORTHCOTT, depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually, if the Court rule that the
respondents. questioned Section 113 of the Central Bank Circular No. 960 which
Erlinda S. Carolino for petitioners. exempt from attachment, garnishment, or an order or process of any
Del Rosario Lim Devera Vigilia & Panganiban for China Banking court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body
Corporation. whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, injustice would result
SYNOPSIS especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused Bartelli.
Greg Bartelli, an American tourist, coaxed and lured petitioner Karen This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code, which provides that
Salvacion, then 12 years old to go with him to his apartment. Therein, "in case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is
Greg detained Karen for four days and raped her several times. After presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.
policemen and people living nearby rescued Karen, Greg was arrested The provisions of Section 113 of CB Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246
and detained at the Makati Municipal Jail. A case for Serious Illegal insofar as it amends Section 8 of R.A. No. 6426 were held to be
Detention and four counts of rape charges were filed against Greg inapplicable to the case because of its peculiar circumstances.
Bartelli. A Civil Case for damages with preliminary attachment was also Respondents were required to comply with the writ of execution issued
filed against him. On the scheduled day of hearing for Bartelli's petition in Civil Case No. 89-3214 and to release to the petitioners the dollar
for bail the latter escaped from jail, thereby causing all criminal cases deposits of Greg Bartelli in such amount as would satisfy the judgment.
filed against him to be archived pending his arrest. Meanwhile, the caDTSE
issuance of the writ of preliminary attachment was granted for the SYLLABUS
petitioners and the writ was issued. However, China Banking 1. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; INSTANT
Corporation failed to honor Notice of Garnishment served by the Deputy PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF TREATED AS A PETITION
Sheriff of Makati. China Banking Corporation invoked Section 113 of the FOR MANDAMUS; THE SUPREME COURT HAS NO ORIGINAL AND
Central Bank Circular No. 960 to the effect that the dollar deposits of EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER A PETITION FOR DECLARATORY
defendant Greg Bartelli are exempt from attachment, garnishment, or RELIEF. — Petitioner deserves to receive the damages awarded to her
any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government by the court. But this petition for declaratory relief can only be
agency or any administrative body whatsoever. Meanwhile, the trial entertained and treated as a petition for mandamus to require
court granted petitioner's motion for leave to serve summons by respondents to honor and comply with the writ of execution in Civil Case
publication in the civil case. Summons was published. Bartelli failed to No. 89-3214. This Court has no original and exclusive jurisdiction over a
file his answer to the complaint and was declared in default. After petition for declaratory relief. However, exceptions to this rule have
hearing ex-parte, the court rendered judgment in favor of petitioner. been recognized. Thus, where the petition has far-reaching implications
Pursuant to an Order granting leave to publish notice of decision, said and raises questions that should be resolved, it may be treated as one
notice was published in the Manila Bulletin. After the lapse of fifteen (15) for mandamus.
days from the date of the last publication of the notice of judgment and 2. COMMERCIAL LAW; SECTION 113 OF CENTRAL BANK
the decision of the trial court had become final, petitioners tried to CIRCULAR NO. 960, PROVIDING THAT FOREIGN CURRENCY
execute on Bartelli's dollar deposit with China Banking Corporation. DEPOSITS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM ATTACHMENT,
Likewise, the bank invoked Section 113 of the Central Bank Circular No. GARNISHMENT OR ANY OTHER ORDER OF ANY COURT OR ANY
960. Thus, petitioner seek relief from the Supreme Court. GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR BODY; HELD INAPPLICABLE TO THIS
CASE BECAUSE OF ITS PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES. — The a.) Immediately upon the filing of this petition, an Order be issued
application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually, if restraining the respondents from applying and enforcing Section 113 of
we rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. Central Bank Circular No. 960; prcd
960 which exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or b.) After hearing, judgment be rendered:
process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any 1.) Declaring the respective rights and duties of petitioners and
administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, respondents;
injustice would result specially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest 2.) Adjudging Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 as
like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, hence void; because its
Code which provides that "in case of doubt in the interpretation or provision that "Foreign currency deposits shall be exempt from
application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court,
right and justice to prevail. "Ninguno non deue enriquecerse legislative body, government agency or any administrative body
tortizeramente con dano de otro." Simply stated, when the statute is whatsoever"
silent or ambiguous, this is one of those fundamental solutions that i.) has taken away the right of petitioners to have the bank deposit
would respond to the vehement urge of conscience. (Padilla vs. Padilla, of defendant Greg Bartelli y Northcott garnished to satisfy the judgment
74 Phil. 377). It would be unthinkable, that the questioned Section 113 rendered in petitioners' favor in violation of substantive due process
of Central Bank No. 960 would be used as a device by accused Greg guaranteed by the Constitution;
Bartelli for wrongdoing, and in so doing, acquitting the guilty at the ii.) has given foreign currency depositors an undue favor or a class
expense of the innocent. Call it what it may — but is there no conflict of privilege in violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution;
legal policy here? Dollar against Peso? Upholding the final and iii.) has provided a safe haven for criminals like the herein
executory judgment of the lower court against the Central Bank Circular respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott since criminals could escape civil
protecting the foreign depositor? Shielding or protecting the dollar liability for their wrongful acts by merely converting their money to a
deposit of a transient alien depositor against injustice to a national and foreign currency and depositing it in a foreign currency deposit account
victim of a crime? This situation calls for fairness against legal tyranny. with an authorized bank.
We definitely cannot have both ways and rest in the belief that we have The antecedent facts:
served the ends of justice. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the provisions of On February 4, 1989, Greg Bartelli y Northcott, an American tourist,
Section 113 of CB Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246, insofar as it coaxed and lured petitioner Karen Salvacion, then 12 years old to go
amends Section 8 of R.A. No. 6426 are hereby held to be with him to his apartment. Therein, Greg Bartelli detained Karen
INAPPLICABLE to this case because of its peculiar circumstances. Salvacion for four days, or up to February 7, 1989 and was able to rape
Respondents are hereby REQUIRED to COMPLY with the writ of the child once on February 4, and three times each day on February 5,
execution issued in Civil Case No. 89-3214, "Karen Salvacion, et al. vs. 6, and 7, 1989. On February 7, 1989, after policemen and people living
Greg Bartelli y Northcott, by Branch CXLIV, RTC Makati and to nearby, rescued Karen, Greg Bartelli was arrested and detained at the
RELEASE to petitioners the dollar deposit of respondent Greg Bartelli y Makati Municipal Jail. The policemen recovered from Bartelli the
Northcott in such amount as would satisfy the judgment. DCHaTc following items: 1.) Dollar Check No. 368, Control No. 021000678-
DECISION 1166111303, US 3,903.20; 2.) COCOBANK Bank Book No. 104-
TORRES, JR., J p: 108758-8 (Peso Acct.); 3.) Dollar Account — China Banking Corp.,
In our predisposition to discover the "original intent" of a statute, courts US$/A#54105028-2; 4.) ID-122-30-8877; 5.) Philippine Money
become the unfeeling pillars of the status quo. Little do we realize that (P234.00) cash; 6.) Door Keys 6 pieces; 7.) Stuffed Doll (Teddy Bear)
statutes or even constitutions are bundles of compromises thrown our used in seducing the complainant.
way by their framers. Unless we exercise vigilance, the statute may On February 16, 1989, Makati Investigating Fiscal Edwin G. Condaya
already be out of tune and irrelevant to our day. filed against Greg Bartelli, Criminal Case No. 801 for Serious Illegal
The petition is for declaratory relief. It prays for the following reliefs: Detention and Criminal Cases Nos. 802, 803, 804 and 805 for four (4)
counts of Rape. On the same day, petitioners filed with the Regional 12 Pres. Osmeña Avenue
Trial Court of Makati Civil Case No. 89-3214 for damages with South Admiral Village
preliminary attachment against Greg Bartelli. On February 24, 1989, the Parañaque, Metro Manila
day there was a scheduled hearing for Bartelli's petition for bail the Dear Ms. Carolino:
latter escaped from jail. "This is in reply to your letter dated April 25, 1989 regarding your inquiry
On February 28, 1989, the court granted the fiscal's Urgent Ex-Parte on Section 113, CB Circular No. 960 (1983).
Motion for the Issuance of Warrant of Arrest and Hold Departure Order. "The cited provision is absolute in application. It does not admit of any
Pending the arrest of the accused Greg Bartelli y Northcott, the criminal exception, nor has the same been repealed nor amended.
cases were archived in an Order dated February 28, 1989. "The purpose of the law is to encourage dollar accounts within the
Meanwhile, in Civil Case No. 89-3214, the Judge issued an Order dated country's banking system which would help in the development of the
February 22, 1989 granting the application of herein petitioners, for the economy. There is no intention to render futile the basic rights of a
issuance of the writ of preliminary attachment. After petitioners gave person as was suggested in your subject letter. The law may be harsh
Bond No. JCL (4) 1981 by FGU Insurance Corporation in the amount of as some perceive it, but it is still the law. Compliance is, therefore,
100,000.00, a Writ of Preliminary Attachment was issued by the trial enjoined.
court on February 28, 1989. "Very truly yours,
On March 1, 1989, the Deputy Sheriff of Makati served a Notice of (SGD) AGAPITO S. FAJARDO
Garnishment on China Banking Corporation. In a letter dated March 13, Director" 1
1989 to the Deputy Sheriff of Makati, China Banking Corporation Meanwhile, on April 10, 1989, the trial court granted petitioner's motion
invoked Republic Act No. 1405 as its answer to the notice of for leave to serve summons by publication in the Civil Case No. 89-
garnishment served on it. On March 15, 1989, Deputy Sheriff of Makati 3214 entitled "Karen Salvacion, et al. vs. Greg Bartelli y Northcott."
Armando De Guzman sent his reply to China Banking Corporation Summons with the complaint was published in the Manila Times once a
saying that the garnishment did not violate the secrecy of bank deposits week for three consecutive weeks. Greg Bartelli failed to file his answer
since the disclosure is merely incidental to a garnishment properly and to the complaint and was declared in default on August 7, 1989. After
legally made by virtue of a court order which has placed the subject hearing the case ex-parte, the court rendered judgment in favor of
deposits in custodia legis. In answer to this letter of the Deputy Sheriff petitioners on March 29, 1990, the dispositive portion of which reads:
of Makati, China Banking Corporation, in a letter dated March 20, 1989, "WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiffs and
invoked Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 to the effect that against defendant, ordering the latter:
the dollar deposits of defendant Greg Bartelli are exempt from "1. To pay plaintiff Karen E. Salvacion the amount of P500,000.00
attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, as moral damages;
legislative body, government agency or any administrative body, "2. To pay her parents, plaintiffs spouses Federico N. Salvacion, Jr.,
whatsoever, and Evelina E. Salvacion the amount of P150,000.00 each or a total of
This prompted the counsel for petitioners to make an inquiry with the P300,000.00 for both of them;
Central Bank in a letter dated April 25, 1989 on whether Section 113 of "3. To pay plaintiffs exemplary damages of P100,000.00; and
CB Circular No. 960 has any exception or whether said section has "4. To pay attorney's fees in an amount equivalent to 25% of the
been repealed or amended since said section has rendered nugatory total amount of damages herein awarded; llcd
the substantive right of the plaintiff to have the claim sought to be "5. To pay litigation expenses of P10,000.00; plus
enforced by the civil action secured by way of the writ of preliminary "6. Costs of the Suit.
attachment as granted to the plaintiff under Rule 57 of the Revised "SO ORDERED."
Rules of Court. The Central Bank responded as follows: The heinous acts of respondent Greg Bartelli which gave rise to the
"May 26, 1989 award were related in graphic detail by the trial court in its decision as
"Ms. Erlinda S. Carolino follows:
"The defendant in this case was originally detained in the municipal jail her maybe his niece was inside. When Karen did not see the alleged
of Makati but was able to escape therefrom on February 24, 1989 as niece inside the house, defendant told her maybe his niece was
per report of the Jail Warden of Makati to the Presiding Judge, upstairs, and invited Karen to go upstairs. (Id., p. 7)
Honorable Manuel M. Cosico of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, "Upon entering the bedroom defendant suddenly locked the door. Karen
Branch 136, where he was charged with four counts of Rape and became nervous because his niece was not there. Defendant got a
Serious Illegal Detention (Crim. Cases Nos. 802 to 805). Accordingly, piece of cotton cord and tied Karen's hands with it, and then he
upon motion of plaintiffs, through counsel, summons was served upon undressed her. Karen cried for help but defendant strangled her. He
defendant by publication in the Manila Times, a newspaper of general took a packing tape and he covered her mouth with it and he circled it
circulation as attested by the Advertising Manager of the Metro Media around her head. (Id., p. 7)
Times, Inc., the publisher of the said newspaper. Defendant, however, "Then, defendant suddenly pushed Karen towards the bed which was
failed to file his answer to the complaint despite the lapse of the period just near the door. He tied her feet and hands spread apart to the bed
of sixty (60) days from the last publication; hence, upon motion of the posts. He knelt in front of her and inserted his finger in her sex organ.
plaintiffs, through counsel, defendant was declared in default and She felt severe pain. She tried to shout but no sound could come out
plaintiffs were authorized to present their evidence ex parte. because there were tapes on her mouth. When defendant withdraw his
"In support of the complaint, plaintiffs presented as witnesses the minor finger it was full of blood and Karen felt more pain after the withdrawal
Karen E. Salvacion, her father, Federico N. Salvacion, Jr., a certain of the finger. (Id., p. 8)
Joseph Aguilar and a certain Liberato Madulio, who gave the following "He then got a Johnson's Baby Oil and he applied it to his sex organ as
testimony: well as to her sex organ. After that he forced his sex organ into her but
"Karen took her first year high school in St. Mary's Academy in Pasay he was not able to do so. While he was doing it, Karen found it difficult
City but has recently transferred to Arellano University for her second to breathe and she perspired a lot while feeling severe pain. She merely
year. presumed that he was able to inset his sex organ a little, because she
"In the afternoon of February 4, 1989, Karen was at the Plaza Fair could not see. Karen could not recall how long the defendant was in that
Makati Cinema, Square, with her friend Edna Tangile whiling away her position. (Id. pp. 8-9)
free time. At about 3:30 p.m. while she was finishing her snack on a "After that, he stood up and went to the bathroom to wash. He also told
concrete bench in front of Plaza Fair, an American approached her. She Karen to take a shower and he untied her hands. Karen could only hear
was then alone because Edna Tangile had already left, and she was the sound of the water while the defendant, she presumed, was in the
about to go home. (TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, pp. 2 to 5) bathroom washing his sex organ. When she took a shower more blood
"The American asked her name and introduced himself as Greg Bartelli. came out from her. In the meantime, defendant changed the mattress
He sat beside her when he talked to her. He said he was a Math because it was full of blood. After the shower, Karen was allowed by
teacher and told her that he has a sister who is a nurse in New York. His defendant to sleep. She fell asleep because she got tired crying. The
sister allegedly has a daughter who is about Karen's age and who was incident happened at about 4:00 p.m. Karen has no way of determining
with him in his house along Kalayaan Avenue. (TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, pp. the exact time because defendant removed her watch. Defendant did
4-5) not care to giver her food before she went to sleep. Karen woke up at
"The American asked Karen what was her favorite subject and she told about 8:00 o'clock the following morning. (Id., pp. 9-10)
him it's Pilipino. He then invited her to go with him to his house where "The following day, February 5, 1989, a Sunday, after a breakfast of
she could teach Pilipino to his niece. He even gave her a stuffed toy to biscuit and coke at about 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. defendant raped Karen
persuade her to teach his niece. (Id., pp. 5-6) while she was still bleeding. For lunch, they also took biscuit and coke.
"They walked from Plaza Fair along Pasong Tamo, turning right to reach She was raped for the second time at about 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. In the
the defendant's house along Kalayaan Avenue. (Id., p. 6) evening, they had rice for dinner which defendant had stored
"When they reached the apartment house, Karen noticed that downstairs; it was he who cooked the rice that is why it looks like
defendant's alleged niece was not outside the house but defendant told "lugaw". For the third time, Karen was raped again during the night.
During those three times defendant succeeded in inserting his sex shouting for about five minutes, she heard many voices. The voices
organ but she could not say whether the organ was inserted wholly. were asking for her name and she gave her name as Karen Salvacion.
"Karen did not see any firearm or any bladed weapon. The defendant After a while, she heard a voice of a woman saying they will just call the
did not tie her hands and feet nor put a tape on her mouth anymore but police. They were also telling her to change her clothes. She went from
she did not cry for help for fear that she might be killed; besides, all the the bathroom to the room but she did not change her clothes being
windows and doors were closed. And even if she shouted for help, afraid that should the neighbors call for the police and the defendant
nobody would hear her. She was so afraid that if somebody would hear see her in different clothes, he might kill her. At that time she was
her and would be able to call the police, it was still possible that as she wearing a T-shirt of the American because the latter washed her dress.
was still inside the house, defendant might kill her. Besides, the (Id., p. 16) cdll
defendant did not leave that Sunday, ruling out her chance to call for "Afterwards, defendant arrived and he opened the door. He asked her if
help. At nighttime he slept with her again. (TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, pp. 12- she had asked for help because there were many policemen outside
14) and she denied it. He told her to change her clothes, and she did
"On February 6, 1989, Monday, Karen was raped three times, once in change to the one she was wearing on Saturday. He instructed her to
the morning for thirty minutes after a breakfast of biscuits; again in the tell the police that she left home and willingly; then he went downstairs
afternoon; and again in the evening. At first, Karen did not know that but he locked the door. She could hear people conversing but she could
there was a window because everything was covered by a carpet, until not understand what they were saying. (Id., p. 19)
defendant opened the window for around fifteen minutes or less to let "When she heard the voices of many people who were conversing
some air in, and she found that the window was covered by styrofoam downstairs, she knocked repeatedly at the door as hard as she could.
and plywood. After that, he again closed the window with a hammer and She heard somebody going upstairs and when the door was opened,
he put the styrofoam, plywood, and carpet back. (Id., pp. 14-15) she saw a policeman. The policemen asked her name and the reason
"That Monday evening, Karen had a chance to call for help, although why she was there. She told him she was kidnapped. Downstairs, he
defendant left but kept the door closed. She went to the bathroom and saw about five policemen in uniform and the defendant was talking to
saw a small window covered by styrofoam and she also spotted a small them. 'Nakikipag-areglo po sa mga pulis,' Karen added. "The policeman
hole. She stepped on the bowl and she cried for help through the hole. told him to just explain at the precinct. (Id., p. 20)
She cried: 'Maawa na po kayo sa akin. Tulungan n'yo akong makalabas They went out of the house and she saw some of her neighbors in front
dito. Kinidnap ako! Somebody heard her. It was a woman, probably a of the house. They rode the car of a certain person she called Kuya Boy
neighbor, but she got angry and said she was 'istorbo'. Karen pleaded together with defendant, the policeman, and two of her neighbors whom
for help and the woman told her to sleep and she will call the police. she called Kuya Bong Lacson and one Ate Nita. They were brought to
She finally fell asleep but no policeman came. (TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, pp. sub-Station I and there she was investigated by a policeman. At about
15-16) 2:00 a.m., her father arrived, followed by her mother together with some
"She woke up at 6:00 o'clock the following morning, and she saw of their neighbors. Then they were brought to the second floor of the
defendant in bed, this time sleeping. She waited for him to wake up. police headquarters. (Id., p. 21)
When he woke up, he again got some food but he always kept the door "At the headquarters, she was asked several questions by the
locked. As usual, she was merely fed with biscuit and coke. On that day, investigator. The written statement she gave to the police was marked
February 7, 1989, she was again raped three times. The first at about as Exhibit A. Then they proceeded to the National Bureau of
6:30 to 7:00 a.m., the second at about 8:30 - 9:00, and the third was Investigation together with the investigator and her parents. At the NBI,
after lunch at 12:00 noon. After he had raped her for the second time he a doctor, a medico-legal officer, examined her private parts. It was
left but only for a short while. Upon his return, he caught her shouting already 3:00 in the early morning of the following day when they
for help but he did not understand what she was shouting about. After reached the NBI. (TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, p. 22) The findings of the
she was raped the third time, he left the house. (TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, medico-legal officer has been marked as Exhibit B.
pp. 16-17) She again went to the bathroom and shouted for help. After
"She was studying at the St. Mary's Academy in Pasay City at the time due process guaranteed by the Constitution; 2.) it has given foreign
of the incident but she subsequently transferred to Apolinario Mabini, currency depositors an undue favor or a class privilege in violation of
Arellano University, situated along Taft Avenue, because she was the equal protection clause of the Constitution; 3.) it has provided a safe
ashamed to be the subject of conversation in the school. She first haven for criminals like the herein respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott
applied for transfer to Jose Abad Santos, Arellano University along Taft since criminals could escape civil liability for their wrongful acts by
Avenue near the Light Rail Transit Station but she was denied merely converting their money to a foreign currency and depositing it in
admission after she told the school the true reason for her transfer. The a foreign currency deposit account with an authorized bank and 4.) The
reason for their denial was that they might be implicated in the case. Monetary Board, in issuing Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No.
(TSN, Aug. 15, 1989, p. 46) 960 has exceeded its delegated quasi-legislative power when it took
xxx xxx xxx away: a.) the plaintiff's substantive right to have the claim sought to be
"After the incident, Karen has changed a lot. She does not play with her enforced by the civil action secured by way of the writ of preliminary
brother and sister anymore, and she is always in a state of shock; she attachment as granted by Rule 57 of the Revised Rules of Court; b.) the
has been absent-minded and is ashamed even to go out of the house. plaintiff's substantive right to have the judgment credit satisfied by way
(TSN, Sept. 12, 1989, p. 10) She appears to be restless or sad. (Id., p. of the writ of execution out of the bank deposit of the judgment debtor
11)The father prays for P500,000.00 moral damages for Karen for this as granted to the judgment creditor by Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of
shocking experience which probably, she would always recall until she Court, which is beyond its power to do so.
reaches old age, and he is not sure if she could ever recover from this On the other hand, respondent Central bank, in its Comment alleges
experience." (TSN, Sept. 24, 1989, pp. 10-11) that the Monetary Board in issuing Section 113 of CB Circular No. 960
Pursuant to an Order granting leave to publish notice of decision, said did not exceed its power or authority because the subject Section is
notice was published in the Manila Bulletin once a week for three copied verbatim from a portion of R.A. No. 6426 as amended by P.D.
consecutive weeks. After the lapse of fifteen (15) days from the date of 1246. Hence, it was not the Monetary Board that grants exemption from
the last publication of the notice of judgment and the decision of the trial attachment or garnishment to foreign currency deposits, but the law
court had become final, petitioners tried to execute on Bartelli's dollar (R.A. 6426 as amended) itself; that it does not violate the substantive
deposit with China Banking Corporation. Likewise, the bank invoked due process guaranteed by the Constitution because a.) it was based
Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960. on a law; b.) the law seems to be reasonable; c.) it is enforced
Thus, petitioners decided to seek relief from this Court. according to regular methods of procedure; and d.) it applies to all
The issues raised and the arguments articulated by the parties boil members of a class.
down to two: Expanding, the Central Bank said; that one reason for exempting the
May this Court entertain the instant petition despite the fact that original foreign currency deposits from attachment, garnishment or any other
jurisdiction in petitions for declaratory relief rests with the lower court? order or process of any court, is to assure the development and speedy
Should Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and Section 8 of growth of the Foreign Currency Deposit System and the Offshore
R.A. 6426, as amended by P.D. 1246, otherwise known as the Foreign Banking System in the Philippines; that another reason is to encourage
Currency Deposit Act be made applicable to a foreign transient? the inflow of foreign currency deposits into the banking institutions
Petitioners aver as heretofore stated that Section 113 of Central Bank thereby placing such institutions more in a position to properly channel
Circular No. 960 providing that "Foreign currency deposits shall be the same to loans and investments in the Philippines, thus directly
exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of contributing to the economic development of the country; that the
any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative subject section is being enforced according to the regular methods of
body whatsoever." should be adjudged as unconstitutional on the procedure; and that it applies to all foreign currency deposits made by
grounds that: 1.) it has taken away the right of petitioners to have the any person and therefore does not violate the equal protection clause of
bank deposit of defendant Greg Bartelli y Northcott garnished to satisfy the Constitution.
the judgment rendered in petitioners' favor in violation of substantive
Respondent Central Bank further avers that the questioned provision is child, having received a favorable judgment in the Civil Case for
needed to promote the public interest and the general welfare; that the damages in the amount of more than P1,000,000.00, which amount
State cannot just stand idly by while a considerable segment of the could alleviate the humiliation, anxiety, and besmirched reputation she
society suffers from economic distress; that the State had to take some had suffered and may continue to suffer for a long, long time; and
measures to encourage economic development; and that in so doing knowing that this person who had wronged her has the money, could
persons and property may be subjected to some kinds of restraints or not, however get the award of damages because of this unreasonable
burdens to secure the general welfare or public interest. Respondent law. This questioned law, therefore makes futile the favorable judgment
Central Bank also alleges that Rule 39 and Rule 57 of the Revised and award of damages that she and her parents fully deserve. As stated
Rules of Court provide that some properties are exempted from by the trial court in its decision.
execution/attachment especially provided by law and R.A. No. 6426 as "Indeed, after hearing the testimony of Karen, the Court believes that it
amended is such a law, in that it specifically provides, among others, was undoubtedly a shocking and traumatic experience she had
that foreign currency deposits shall be exempted from attachment, undergone which could haunt her mind for a long, long time, the mere
garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative recall of which could make her feel so humiliated, as in fact she had
body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever. cdta been actually humiliated once when she was refused admission at the
For its part, respondent China Banking Corporation, aside from giving Abad Santos High School, Arellano University, where she sought to
reasons similar to that of respondent Central Bank, also stated that transfer from another school, simply because the school authorities of
respondent China Bank is not unmindful of the inhuman sufferings the said High School learned about what happened to her and allegedly
experienced by the minor Karen E. Salvacion from the breastly hands of feared that they might be implicated in the case.
Greg Bartelli; that it is only too willing to release the dollar deposit of xxx xxx xxx
Bartelli which may perhaps partly mitigate the sufferings petitioners has The reason for imposing exemplary or corrective damages is due to the
undergone; but it is restrained from doing so in view of R.A. No. 6426 wanton and bestial manner defendant had committed the acts of rape
and Section 113 of Central Bank Circular NO. 960; and that despite the during a period of serious illegal detention of his hapless victim, the
harsh effect of these laws on petitioners, CBC has no other alternative minor Karen Salvacion whose only fault was in her being so naive and
but to follow the same. credulous to believe easily that defendant, an American national, could
This Court finds the petition to be partly meritorious. not have such a bestial desire on her nor capable of committing such a
Petitioner deserves to receive the damages awarded to her by the heinous crime. Being only 12 years old when that unfortunate incident
court. But this petitioner for declaratory relief can only be entertained happened, she has never heard of an old Filipino adage that in every
and treated as a petition for mandamus to require respondents to honor forest there is a snake, . . ." 4
and comply with the writ of execution in Civil Case No. 89-3214. If Karen's sad fate had happened to anybody's own kin, it would be
This Court has no original and exclusive jurisdiction over a petition for difficult for him to fathom how the incentive for foreign currency deposit
declaratory relief. 2 However, exceptions to this rule have been could be more important that his child's rights to said award of
recognized. Thus, where the petition has far-reaching implications and damages; in this case, the victim's claim for damages from this alien
raises questions that should be resolved, it may be treated as one for who had the gall to wrong a child of tender years of a country where he
mandamus. 3 is a mere visitor. This further illustrates the flaw in the questioned
Here is a child, a 12-year old girl, who in her belief that all Americans provisions.
are good, and in her gesture of kindness by teaching his alleged niece It is worth mentioning that R.A. No. 6426 was enacted in 1983 or at a
the Filipino language requested by the American, trustingly went with time when the country's economy was in a shambles; when foreign
said stranger to his apartment, and that she was raped by said investments were minimal and presumably, this was the reason why
American tourist Greg Bartelli. Not once, but ten times. She was said statute was enacted. But the realities of the present times show
detained therein for four (4) days. This American tourist was able to that the country has recovered economically; and even if not, the
escape from the jail and avoid punishment. On the other hand, the questioned law still denies those entitled to due process of law for being
unreasonable and oppressive. The intention of the questioned law may and in a newspaper of national circulation for at least once a week for
be good when enacted. The law failed to anticipate the iniquitous effects three consecutive weeks. In case the Central Bank promulgates new
producing outright injustice and inequality such as the case before us. rules and regulations decreasing the rights of depositors, the rules and
It has thus been said that — regulations at the time the deposit was made shall govern.'
"But I also know, 5 that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with "The aforecited Section 113 was copied from Section 8 of Republic Act
the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, No. 6426, as amended by P.D. 1246, thus:
more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths are 'Sec. 8. Secrecy of Foreign Currency Deposits. — All foreign
disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of currency deposits authorized under this Act, as amended by
circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the Presidential Decree No. 1035, as well as foreign currency deposits
times . . . We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which authorized under Presidential Decree No. 1034, are hereby declared as
fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and, except upon
regimen of their barbarous ancestors." the written permission of the depositor, in no instance shall such foreign
In his Comment, the Solicitor General correctly opined, thus: currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person,
"The present petition has far-reaching implications on the right of a government official, bureau or office whether judicial or administrative or
national to obtain redress for a wrong committed by an alien who takes legislative or any other entity whether public or private: Provided,
refuge under a law and regulation promulgated for a purpose which however, that said foreign currency deposits shall be exempt from
does not contemplate the application thereof envisaged by the alien. attachment, garnishment, or any other order a process of any court,
More specifically, the petition raises the question whether the protection legislative body, government agency or any administrative body
against attachment, garnishment or other court process accorded to whatsoever,' prll
foreign currency deposits by PD No. 1246 and CB Circular No. 960 "The purpose of PD 1246 in according protection against attachment,
applies when the deposit does not come from a lender or investor but garnishment and other court process to foreign currency deposits is
from a mere transient or tourist who is not expected to maintain the stated in its whereases, viz:
deposit in the bank for long. 'WHEREAS, under Republic Act No. 6426, as amended by Presidential
"The resolution of this question is important for the protection of Decree No. 1035, certain Philippine banking institutions and branches
nationals who are victimized in the forum by foreigners who are merely of foreign banks are authorized to accept deposits in foreign currency;
passing through. 'WHEREAS, under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1034
xxx xxx xxx authorizing the establishment of an offshore banking system in the
". . . Respondents China Banking Corporation and Central Bank of the Philippines, offshore banking units are also authorized to receive foreign
Philippines refused to honor the writ of execution issued in Civil Case currency deposits in certain cases;
No. 89-3214 on the strength of the following provision of Central Bank 'WHEREAS, in order to assure the development and speedy growth of
Circular No. 960: the Foreign Currency Deposit System and the Offshore Banking System
'Sec. 113. Exemption from attachment. — Foreign currency in the Philippines, certain incentives were provided for under the two
deposits shall be exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other Systems such as confidentiality of deposits subject to certain exceptions
order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or and tax exemptions on the interest income of depositors who are
any administrative body whatsoever.' nonresidents and are not engaged in trade or business in the
"Central Bank Circular No. 960 was issued pursuant to Section 7 of Philippines;
Republic Act No. 6426: 'WHEREAS, making absolute the protective cloak of confidentiality over
'Sec. 7. Rules and Regulations. — The Monetary Board of the such foreign currency deposits, exempting such deposits from tax, and
Central Bank shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be guaranteeing the vested rights of depositors would better encourage the
necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act which shall take effect inflow of foreign currency deposits into the banking institutions
after the publication of such rules and regulations in the Official Gazette authorized to accept such deposits in the Philippines thereby placing
such institutions more in a position to properly channel the same to second Whereas of PD No. 1034; third Whereas of PD No. 1035). It is
loans and investments in the Philippines, thus directly contributing to the these deposits that are induced by the two laws and given protection
economic development of the country;' and incentives by them.
"Thus, one of the principal purposes of the protection accorded to "Obviously, the foreign currency deposit made by a transient or a tourist
foreign currency deposits is 'to assure the development and speedy is not the kind of deposit encouraged by PD Nos. 1034 and 1035 and
growth of the Foreign Currency Deposit system and the Offshore given incentives and protection by said laws because such depositors
Banking in the Philippines' (3rd Whereas). stays only for a few days in the country and, therefore, will maintain his
"The Offshore Banking System was established by PD. No. 1034. In deposit in the bank only for a short time.
turn, the purposes of PD No. 1034 are as follows: "Respondent Greg Bartelli, as stated, is just a tourist or a transient. He
'WHEREAS, conditions conductive to the establishment of an offshore deposited his dollars with respondent China Banking Corporation only
banking system, such as political stability, a growing economy and for safekeeping during his temporary stay in the Philippines.
adequate communication facilities, among others, exist in the "For the reasons stated above, the Solicitor General thus submits that
Philippines; the dollar deposit of respondent Greg Bartelli is not entitled to the
'WHEREAS, it is in the interest of developing countries to have as wide protection of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and P.D. No.
access as possible to the sources of capital funds for economic 1246 against attachment, garnishment or other court processes." 6
development; In fine, the application of the law depends on the extent of its justice.
'WHEREAS, an offshore banking system based in the Philippines will be Eventually, if we rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank
advantageous and beneficial to the country by increasing our links with Circular No. 960 which exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any
foreign lenders, facilitating the flow of desired investments into the other order or process of any court, legislative body, government
Philippines, creating employment opportunities and expertise in agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign
international finance, and contributing to the national development transient, injustice would result specially to a citizen aggrieved by a
effort. foreign guest like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of
'WHEREAS, the geographical location, physical and human resources, the New Civil Code which provides that "in case of doubt in the
and other positive factors provide the Philippines with the clear potential interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking
to develop as another financial center in Asia;' body intended right and justice to prevail. "Ninguno non deue
"On the other hand, the Foreign Currency Deposit system was created enriquecerse tortizeramente con dano de otro." Simply stated, when the
by PD No. 1035. Its purposes are as follows: statute is silent or ambiguous, this is one of those fundamental solutions
'WHEREAS, the establishment of an offshore banking system in the that would respond to the vehement urge of conscience. (Padilla vs.
Philippines has been authorized under a separate decree; Padilla, 74 Phil. 377).
'WHEREAS, a number of local commercial banks, as depository bank It would be unthinkable, that the questioned Section 113 of Central
under the Foreign Currency Deposit Act (RA No. 6426), have the Bank No. 960 would be used as a device by accused Greg Bartelli for
resources and managerial competence to more actively engage in wrongdoing, and in so doing, acquitting the guilty at the expense of the
foreign exchange transactions and participate in the grant of foreign innocent.
currency loans to resident corporations and firms; Call it what it may — but is there no conflict of legal policy here? Dollar
'WHEREAS, it is timely to expand the foreign currency lending authority against Peso? Upholding the final and executory judgment of the lower
of the said depository banks under RA 6426 and apply to their court against the Central Bank Circular protecting the foreign depositor?
transactions the same taxes as would be applicable to transaction of the Shielding or protecting the dollar deposit of a transient alien depositor
proposed offshore banking units;' against injustice to a national and victim of a crime? This situation calls
"It is evident from the above [Whereas clauses] that the Offshore for fairness against legal tyranny.
Banking System and the Foreign Currency Deposit System were We definitely cannot have both ways and rest in the belief that we have
designed to draw deposits from foreign lenders and investors (Vide served the ends of justice.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the provisions of Section 113 of CB Circular No. 1. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; STATUTES; CONSTRUED
960 and PD No. 1246, insofar as it amends Section 8 of R.A. No. 6426 WITH REFERENCE TO THE INTENDED SCOPE AND PURPOSE. —
are hereby held to be INAPPLICABLE to this case because of its Time and again we have decreed that statutes are to be construed in
peculiar circumstances. Respondents are hereby REQUIRED to the light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be
COMPLY with the writ of execution issued in Civil Case No. 89-3214, remedied. Thus in construing a statute the reason for its enactment
"Karen Salvacion, et al. vs. Greg Bartelli y Northcott, by Branch CXLIV, should be kept in mind and the statute should be construed with
RTC Makati and to RELEASE to petitioners the dollar deposit of reference to the intended scope and purpose. The court may consider
respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott in such amount as would satisfy the spirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead
the judgment. cdll to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose
SO ORDERED. of the lawmakers.
Narvasa, C .J ., Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, 2. ID.; COMMONWEALTH ACT 142, AS AMENDED (AN ACT TO
Vitug, Kapunan, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ ., concur. REGULATE THE USE OF ALIASES); PURPOSE IS TO REGULATE
Padilla, J ., took no part. THE USE OF ALIASES IN BUSINESS TRANSACTION. — The
Mendoza and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ ., are on leave. objective and purpose of C.A. No. 142 have their origin and basis in Act
Footnotes No. 3883, An Act to Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of
1. Annex "R", Petition. Names other than True Names, Prescribing the Duties of the Director of
2. Alliance of Government Workers (AGW) v. Ministry of Labor and the Bureau of Commerce and Industry in its Enforcement, Providing
Employment, 124 SCRA 1. Penalties for Violations thereof, and other purposes, which was
3. Nationalista Party vs. Angelo Bautista, 85 Phil. 101; Aquino vs. approved on 14 November 1931 and amended by Act No. 4147,
Comelec, 62 SCRA 275; and Alliance of Government Workers vs. approved on 28 November 1934. The enactment of C.A. No. 142 as
Minister of Labor and Employment, supra. amended was made primarily to curb the common practice among the
4. Decision, Regional Trial Court, Civil Case No. 89-3214, pp. 9 & Chinese of adopting scores of different names and aliases which
12; Rollo, pp. 66-69. created tremendous confusion in the field of trade. Such a practice
5. Thomas Jefferson, Democracy, ed. Saul K. Padover. (New York, almost bordered on the crime of using fictitious names which for
Penguin, 1946) p. 171. obvious reasons could not be successfully maintained against the
6. Comment of the Solicitor General, Rollo, pp. 128-129; 135-136. Chinese who, rightly or wrongly, claimed they possessed a thousand
and one names. C.A. No. 142 thus penalized the act of using an alias
name, unless such alias was duly authorized by proper judicial
proceedings and recorded in the civil register.
3. CRIMINAL LAW; COMMONWEALTH ACT 142, AS AMENDED
(AN ACT TO REGULATE THE USE OF ALIASES); ALIAS, DEFINED.
— An alias is a name or names used by a person or intended to be
used by him publicly and habitually usually in business transactions in
FIRST DIVISION addition to his real name by which he is registered at birth or baptized
[G.R. No. 112170. April 10, 1996.] the first time or substitute name authorized by a competent authority. A
CESARIO URSUA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND man's name is simply the sound or sounds by which he is commonly
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. designated by his fellows and by which they distinguish him but
Ceferino Padua Law Office for petitioner sometimes a man is known by several different names and these are
The Solicitor General for respondents known as aliases.
SYLLABUS 4. ID.; ID.; USE OF FICTITIOUS NAME IN A SINGLE
TRANSACTION WITHOUT INTENDING TO BE KNOWN BY THIS
NAME IN ADDITION TO HIS REAL NAME, NOT A VIOLATION AGAINST THE STATE AND IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED. — As C.A.
THEREOF. — The use of a fictitious name or a different name No. 142 is a penal statute, it should be construed strictly against the
belonging to another person in a single instance without any sign or State and in favor of the accused. The reason for this principle is the
indication that the user intends to be known by this name in addition to tenderness of the law for the rights of individuals and the object is to
his real name from that day forth does not fall within the prohibition establish a certain rule by conformity to which mankind would be safe,
contained in C.A. No. 142 as amended. and the discretion of the court limited.
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. — This is so in the case at bench. It DECISION
is not disputed that petitioner introduced himself in the Office of the BELLOSILLO, J p:
Ombudsman as "Oscar Perez," which was the name of the messenger This is a petition for a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals
of his lawyer who should have brought the letter to that office in the first which affirmed the conviction of petitioner by the Regional Trial Court of
place instead of petitioner. He did so while merely serving the request of Davao City for violation of Sec. 1 of C.A. No. 142, as amended by R.A.
his lawyer to obtain a copy of the complaint in which petitioner was a No 6085, otherwise known as "An Act to Regulate the Use of Aliases." 1
respondent. There is no question then that "Oscar Perez" is not an alias Petitioner Cesario Ursua was a Community Environment and Natural
name of petitioner. There is no evidence showing that he had used or Resources Officer assigned in Kidapawan, Cotabato. On 9 May 1989
was intending to use that name as his second name in addition to his the Provincial Governor of Cotabato requested the Office of the
real name. The use of the name "Oscar Perez" was made by petitioner Ombudsman in Manila to conduct an investigation on a complaint for
in an isolated transaction where he was not even legally required to bribery, dishonesty, abuse of authority and giving of unwarranted
expose his real identity. For, even if he had identified himself properly at benefits by petitioner and other officials of the Department of
the Office of the Ombudsman, petitioner would still be able to get a copy Environment and Natural Resources. The complaint was initiated by the
of the complaint as a matter of right, and the Office of the Ombudsman Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cotabato through a resolution advising
could not refuse him because the complaint was part of public records the Governor to report the involvement of petitioner and others in the
hence open to inspection and examination by anyone under the proper illegal cutting of mahogany trees and hauling of illegally-cut logs in the
circumstances. While the act of petitioner may be covered by other area. 2
provisions of law, such does not constitute an offense within the concept On 1 August 1989 Atty. Francis Palmones, counsel for petitioner, wrote
of C.A. No. 142 as amended under which he is prosecuted. The the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City requesting that he be
confusion and fraud in business transactions which the anti-alias law furnished copy of the complaint against petitioner. Atty. Palmones then
and its related statutes seek to prevent are not present here as the asked his client Ursua to take his letter-request to the Office of the
circumstances are peculiar and distinct from those contemplated by the Ombudsman because his law firm's messenger, Oscar Perez, had to
legislature in enacting C.A. No. 142 as amended. There exists a valid attend to some personal matters. Before proceeding to the Office of the
presumption that undesirable consequences were never intended by a Ombudsman petitioner talked to Oscar Perez and told him that he was
legislative measure and that a construction of which the statute is fairly reluctant to personally ask for the document since he was one of the
susceptible is favored, which will avoid all objectionable, mischievous, respondents before the Ombudsman. However, Perez advised him not
indefensible, wrongful, evil and injurious consequences. Indeed, our to worry as he could just sign his (Perez) name if ever he would be
mind cannot rest easy on the proposition that petitioner should be required to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. 3
convicted on a law that does not clearly penalize the act done by him. When petitioner arrived at the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City
Wherefore, the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals affirming he was instructed by the security officer to register in the visitors'
that of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City is REVERSED and SET logbook. Instead of writing down his name petitioner wrote the name
ASIDE and petitioner CESARIO URSUA is ACQUITTED of the crime "Oscar Perez" after which he was told to proceed to the Administrative
charged. Division for the copy of the complaint he needed. He handed the letter
6. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; A PENAL STATUTE LIKE of Atty. Palmones to the Chief of the Administrative Division, Ms. Loida
COMMONWEALTH ACT 142, AS AMENDED, CONSTRUED STRICTLY
Kahulugan, who then gave him a copy of the complaint, receipt of which Appeals erred in not considering the defense theory that he was
he acknowledged by writing the name "Oscar Perez." 4 charged under the wrong law. 5
Before petitioner could leave the premises he was greeted by an Time and again we have decreed that statutes are to be construed in
acquaintance, Josefa Amparo, who also worked in the same office. the light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be
They conversed for a while then he left. When Loida learned that the remedied. Thus in construing a statute the reason for its enactment
person who introduced himself as "Oscar Perez" was actually petitioner should be kept in mind and the statute should be construed with
Cesario Ursua, a customer of Josefa Amparo in her gasoline station, reference to the intended scope and purpose. 6 The court may consider
Loida reported the matter to the Deputy Ombudsman who the spirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead
recommended that petitioner be accordingly charged. to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose
On 18 December 1990, after the prosecution had completed the of the lawmakers. 7
presentation of its evidence, petitioner without leave of court filed a For a clear understanding of the purpose of C.A. No. 142 as amended,
demurrer to evidence alleging that the failure of the prosecution to which was allegedly violated by petitioner, and the surrounding
prove that his supposed alias was different from his registered name in circumstances under which the law was enacted, the pertinent
the local civil registry was fatal to its cause. Petitioner argued that no provisions thereof, its amendments and related statutes are herein
document from the local civil registry was presented to show the cited. C.A. No. 142, which was approved on 7 November 1936, and
registered name of accused which according to him was a condition before its amendment by R.A. No. 6085, is entitled An Act to Regulate
sine qua non for the validity of his conviction. llcd the Use of Aliases. It provides as follows:
The trial court rejected his contentions and found him guilty of violating Section 1. Except as a pseudonym for literary purposes, no person
Sec. 1 of C.A. No. 142 as amended by R.A. No. 6085. He was shall use any name different from the one with which he was christened
sentenced to suffer a prison term of one (1) year and one (1) day of or by which he has been known since his childhood, or such substitute
prision correccional minimum as minimum, to four (4) years of prision name as may have been authorized by a competent court. The name
correccional medium as maximum, with all the accessory penalties shall comprise the patronymic name and one or two surnames.
provided for by law, and to pay a fine of P4,000.00 plus costs. Section 2. Any person desiring to use an alias or aliases shall apply
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. for authority therefor in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain
On 31 May 1993 the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of judicial authority for a change of name. Separate proceedings shall be
petitioner but modified the penalty by imposing an indeterminate term of had for each alias, and each new petition shall set forth the original
one (1) year as minimum to three (3) years as maximum and a fine of name and the alias or aliases for the use of which judicial authority has
P5,000.00. been obtained, specifying the proceedings and the date on which such
Petitioner now comes to us for review of his conviction as he reasserts authority was granted. Judicial authorities for the use of aliases shall be
his innocence. He contends that he has not violated C.A. No. 142 as recorded in the proper civil register. . . .
amended by R.A. No. 6085 as he never used any alias name; neither is The above law was subsequently amended by R.A. No. 6085, approved
"Oscar Perez" his alias. An alias, according to him, is a term which on 4 August 1969. As amended, C.A. No. 142 now reads:
connotes the habitual use of another name by which a person is also Section 1. Except as a pseudonym solely for literary, cinema,
known. He claims that he has never been known as "Oscar Perez" and television, radio or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events
that he only used such name on one occasion and it was with the where the use of pseudonym is a normally accepted practice, no person
express consent of Oscar Perez himself. It is his position that an shall use any name different from the one with which he was registered
essential requirement for a conviction under C.A. No. 142 as amended at birth in the office of the local civil registry or with which he was
by R.A. No. 6085 has not been complied with when the prosecution baptized for the first time, or in case of an alien, with which he was
failed to prove that his supposed alias was different from his registered registered in the bureau of immigration upon entry; or such substitute
name in the Registry of Births. He further argues that the Court of name as may have been authorized by a competent court: Provided,
That persons whose births have not been registered in any local civil
registry and who have not been baptized, have one year from the bordered on the crime of using fictitious names which for obvious
approval of this act within which to register their names in the civil reasons could not be successfully maintained against the Chinese who,
registry of their residence. The name shall comprise the patronymic rightly or wrongly, claimed they possessed a thousand and one names.
name and one or two surnames. C.A. No. 142 thus penalized the act of using an alias name, unless such
Sec. 2. Any person desiring to use an alias shall apply for authority alias was duly authorized by proper judicial proceedings and recorded
therefor in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain judicial in the civil register. 9
authority for a change of name and no person shall be allowed to In Yu Kheng Chiau v. Republic 10 the Court had occasion to explain the
secure such judicial authority for more than one alias. The petition for meaning, concept and ill effects of the use of an alias within the purview
an alias shall set forth the person's baptismal and family name and the of C.A. No. 142 when we ruled —
name recorded in the civil registry, if different, his immigrant's name, if There can hardly be any doubt that petitioner's use of alias 'Kheng
an alien, and his pseudonym, if he has such names other than his Chiau Young' in addition to his real name 'Yu Cheng Chiau' would add
original or real name, specifying the reason or reasons for the desired to more confusion. That he is known in his business, as manager of the
alias. The judicial authority for the use of alias, the christian name and Robert Reid, Inc., by the former name, is not sufficient reason to allow
the alien immigrant's name shall be recorded in the proper local civil him its use. After all, petitioner admitted that he is known to his
registry, and no person shall use any name or names other than his associates by both names. In fact, the Anselmo Trinidad, Inc., of which
original or real name unless the same is or are duly recorded in the he is a customer, knows him by his real name. Neither would the fact
proper local civil registry. that he had encountered certain difficulties in his transactions with
The objective and purpose of C.A. No. 142 have their origin and basis in government offices which required him to explain why he bore two
Act No. 3883, An Act to Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of names, justify the grant of his petition, for petitioner could easily avoid
Names other than True Names, Prescribing the Duties of the Director of said difficulties by simply using and sticking only to his real name 'Yu
the Bureau of Commerce And Industry in its Enforcement, Providing Cheng Chiau.'
Penalties for Violations thereof, and for other purposes, which was The fact that petitioner intends to reside permanently in the Philippines,
approved on 14 November 1931 and amended by Act No. 4147, as shown by his having filed a petition for naturalization in Branch V of
approved on 28 November 1934. 8 The pertinent provisions of Act No. the abovementioned court, argues the more against the grant of his
3883 as amended follow — petition, because if naturalized as a Filipino citizen, there would then be
Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to use or sign, on any no necessity for his further using said alias, as it would be contrary to
written or printed receipt including receipt for tax or business or any the usual Filipino way and practice of using only one name in ordinary
written or printed contract not verified by a notary public or on any as well as business transactions. And, as the lower court correctly
written or printed evidence of any agreement or business transactions, observed, if he believes (after he is naturalized) that it would be better
any name used in connection with his business other than his true for him to write his name following the Occidental method, 'he can
name, or keep conspicuously exhibited in plain view in or at the place easily file a petition for change of name, so that in lieu of the name 'Yu
where his business is conducted, if he is engaged in a business, any Kheng Chian,' he can, abandoning the same, ask for authority to adopt
sign announcing a firm name or business name or style without first the name 'Kheng Chiau Young.'
registering such other name, or such firm name, or business name or All things considered, we are of the opinion and so hold, that petitioner
style in the Bureau of Commerce together with his true name and that has not shown satisfactory proper and reasonable grounds under the
of any other person having a joint or common interest with him in such aforequoted provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 142 and the Rules of
contract agreement, business transaction, or business . . . . Court, to warrant the grant of his petition for the use of an alias name.
For a bit of history, the enactment of C.A. No. 142 as amended was Clearly therefore an alias is a name or names used by a person or
made primarily to curb the common practice among the Chinese of intended to be used by him publicly and habitually usually in business
adopting scores of different names and aliases which created transactions in addition to his real name by which he is registered at
tremendous confusion in the field of trade. Such a practice almost birth or baptized the first time or substitute name authorized by a
competent authority. A man's name is simply the sound or sounds by proposition that petitioner should be convicted on a law that does not
which he is commonly designated by his fellows and by which they clearly penalize the act done by him.
distinguish him but sometimes a man is known by several different WHEREFORE, the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals
names and these are known as aliases. 11 Hence, the use of a fictitious affirming that of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City is REVERSED
name or a different name belonging to another person in a single and SET ASIDE and petitioner CESARIO URSUA is ACQUITTED of the
instance without any sign or indication that the user intends to be known crime charged.
by this name in addition to his real name from that day forth does not SO ORDERED.
fall within the prohibition contained in C.A. No. 142 as amended. This is Padilla, Vitug, Kapunan and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ ., concur.
so in the case at bench. Footnotes
It is not disputed that petitioner introduced himself in the Office of the 1. Rollo, pp. 24-37.
Ombudsman as "Oscar Perez," which was the name of the messenger 2. Id., p. 26.
of his lawyer who should have brought the letter to that office in the first 3. Records, p. 7.
place instead of petitioner. He did so while merely serving the request of 4. Rollo, p. 26.
his lawyer to obtain the copy of the complaint in which petitioner was a 5. Id., p. 12.
respondent. There is no question then that "Oscar Perez" is not an alias 6. People v. Purisima, Nos. L-42050-66, 28 November 1978, 86
name of petitioner. There is no evidence showing that he had used or SCRA 524.
was intending to use that name as his second name in addition to his 7. Gregorio, Antonio L., Fundamentals of Criminal Law Review,
real name. The use of the name "Oscar Perez" was made by petitioner 1985 Ed., p. 9; People v. Manantan, No. L-14129, 31 July 1962, 5
in an isolated transaction where he was not even legally required to SCRA 684.
expose his real identity. For, even if he had identified himself properly at 8. Aquino, Ramon C., The Revised Penal Code, 1961 Ed., Vol. II,
the Office of the Ombudsman, petitioner would still be able to get a copy pp. 1008-1009.
of the complaint as a matter of right, and the Office of the Ombudsman 9. Francisco, Vicente J., The Revised Penal Code Annotated, 1954
could not refuse him because the complaint was part of public records Ed., Vol. II, p. 331; Guevarra, Guillermo B., Commentaries on the
hence open to inspection and examination by anyone under the proper Revised Penal Code, 1946 Ed., P. 359.
circumstances. 10. 106 Phil 762 (1959).
While the act of petitioner may be covered by other provisions of law, 11. Words and Phrases, Permanent Edition, Vol. III, West Publishing
such does not constitute an offense within the concept of C.A. No. 142 Co., p. 139.
as amended under which he is prosecuted. The confusion and fraud in 12. See Note 6.
business transactions which the anti-alias law and is related statutes 13. People v. Uy Jui Pio, 102 Phil 679 (1957).
seek to prevent are not present here as the circumstances are peculiar 14. See Note 6.
and distinct from those contemplated by the legislature in enacting C.A.
No. 142 as amended. There exists a valid presumption that undesirable C o p y r i g h t 1 9 9 4 - 1 9 9 9 C D T e c h n o l o g i e s A s i a, I n
consequences were never intended by a legislative measure and that a c.
construction of which the statute is fairly susceptible is favored, which
will avoid all objectionable, mischievous, indefensible, wrongful, evil and
injurious consequences. 12 Moreover, as C.A. No. 142 is a penal
statute, it should be construed strictly against the State and in favor of
the accused. 13 The reason for this principle is the tenderness of the SECOND DIVISION
law for the rights of individuals and the object is to establish a certain [G.R. No. 131270. March 17, 2000.]
rule by conformity to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of PERFECTO PALLADA, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
the court limited. 14 Indeed, our mind cannot rest easy on the PHILIPPINES, respondent.
Ralph Lou I. Willkom for petitioner. separate certificates of origin should be issued for lumber and timber.
The Solicitor General for respondent. Indeed, different certificates of origin are required for timber, lumber and
SYNOPSIS non-timber forest products. As already noted, the opening paragraph of
Valencia Golden Harvest Corporation (VGHC) was engaged in rice BFD Circular No. 10-83 expressly states that the issuance of a separate
milling and trading. In the latter part of 1992, the Department of certificate of origin for lumber is required in order to "pinpoint
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) received reports that accountability and responsibility for shipment of lumber . . . and to have
illegally cut lumber was being delivered to VGHC's warehouse in uniformity in documenting the origin thereof." cSCTID
Valencia, Bukidnon. On the strength of a warrant, the DENR officers, 2. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; PUBLIC DOCUMENTS;
assisted by elements of the Philippine National Police, raided the CERTIFICATE OF TIMBER ORIGIN; NOT CREDIBLE WHERE
company's warehouse and found a large stockpile of lumber of varying NUMEROUS IRREGULARITIES AND DEFECTS WERE FOUND
sizes cut by a chain saw. Thereafter, an information for illegal THEREIN. — Even assuming that a Certificate of Timber Origin could
possession of lumber in violation of Sec. 68 of Revised Forestry Code serve as a substitute for Certificate of Lumber Origin, the trial court and
(P.D. 705, as amended) was filed against petitioner Perfecto Pallada as the Court of Appeals were justified in convicting petitioner, considering
general manager, Noel Sy as assistant operations manager, and the numerous irregularities and defects found in the documents
Francisco Tankiko as president of VGHC. During the trial, the defense presented by the latter. Indeed, aside from the fact that the Certificate of
presented several documents to establish that the possession of the Timber Origin in Exh. 7 bears no date, the dorsal side bears the
seized lumber was legal. However, the trial court did not give credence certification that the logs were "scaled on August 7, 1991," while the
to those documents and instead it convicted the petitioner and receipt attached to that Certificate is dated February 6, 1992. Moreover,
Francisco Tankiko of the offense charged. On appeal, the Court of the four delivery receipts list the sizes and volume of the lumber sold,
Appeals affirmed petitioner's conviction, but acquitted Tankiko. indicating that the company purchased cut lumber from the dealers,
EHcaAI thus belying the testimony of petitioner that when the company bought
In this appeal, the Court ruled that even assuming that a Certificate of the forest products, they were still in the form of flitches and logs, and
Timber Origin could serve as a substitute for Certificate of Lumber they were cut into lumber by the company. These irregularities and
Origin, the trial court and the Court of Appeals were justified in discrepancies make the documents in which they are found not only
convicting petitioner, considering the numerous irregularities and questionable but invalid and, thus, justified the trial court in giving no
defects found in the documents presented by the latter. These credence to the same.
irregularities and discrepancies make the documents in which they are 3. ID.; ID.; CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES; CORPORATE
found not only questionable but invalid and, thus, justified the trial court OFFICER IN CHARGE OF PURCHASE OF LUMBER SHOULD HAVE
in giving no credence to the same. TAKEN STEPS TO CORRECT PATENT IRREGULARITIES FOUND
The decision of the Court of Appeals was AFFIRMED. ON DOCUMENTS; NOT PRESENT IN CASE AT BAR. — What render
SYLLABUS these documents without legal effect are the patent irregularities found
1. POLITICAL LAW; ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; BFD CIRCULAR on their faces. That petitioner may not have any responsibility for such
NO. 10-83; REQUIRES DIFFERENT CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN FOR irregularity is immaterial. In any case, as the corporate officer in charge
TIMBER, LUMBER AND NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS. — The of the purchase of the lumber, petitioner should have noticed such
statement in Mustang Lumber that lumber is merely processed timber obvious irregularities, and he should have taken steps to have them
and, therefore, the word "timber" embraces lumber, was made in corrected. He cannot now feign ignorance and assert that, as far as he
answer to the lower court's ruling in that case that the phrase "possess is concerned, the documents are regular and complete.
timber or other forest products" in §68 of P.D. No. 705 means that only 4. ID.; ID.; DISPUTABLE PRESUMPTIONS; PRESUMPTION OF
those who possess timber and forest products without the documents REGULARITY; NEGATED BY PRESENCE OF GLARING
required by law are criminally liable, while those who possess lumber IRREGULARITIES. — The presence of such glaring irregularities
are not liable. On the other hand, the question in this case is whether negates the presumption that the CTOs were regularly executed by the
DENR officials concerned. The presumption invoked by petitioner that R.L. Rivero Lumberyard's permit to operate had long been
applies only when the public documents are, on their faces, regular and suspended. What is more, the pieces of lumber were cut by chainsaw
properly accomplished. and thus could not have come from a licensed sawmill operator.
5. CRIMINAL LAW; VIOLATION OF SECTION 68 OF The team made an inventory of the seized lumber which, all in all,
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 705; PENALTY. — Art. 309 of the constituted 29,299.25 board feet, worth P488,334.45 in total. The
Revised Penal Code, made applicable to the offense by P.D. No. 705, following day, September 29, 1992, the first batch of lumber, consisting
§68, provides: "ART. 309. Penalties. — Any person guilty of theft shall of 162 pieces measuring 1,954.66 board feet, was taken and
be punished by: 1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and impounded at the FORE stockyard in Sumpong, Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
medium periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than P12,000 The seizure order 4 was served on petitioner Perfecto Pallada as
pesos but does not exceed P22,000 pesos; but if the value of the thing general manager of the company, but he refused to acknowledge it.
stolen exceeds the latter amount, the penalty shall be the maximum On October 1, 1992, the raiding team returned for the remaining lumber.
period of the one prescribed in this paragraph, and one year for each Company president Francisco Tankiko and a certain Isaias Valdehueza,
additional ten thousand pesos, but the total of the penalty which may be who represented himself to be a lawyer, asked for a suspension of the
imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, and in operations to enable them to seek a lifting of the warrant. The motion
connection with the accessory penalties which may be imposed and for was filed with the court which issued the warrant but, on October 5,
the purpose of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be 1992, the motion was denied. 5 Accordingly, the remaining lumber was
termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be. . . "As confiscated. By October 9, 1992, all the lumber in the warehouse had
the lumber involved in this case is worth P488,334.45, and applying the been seized. As before, however, petitioner Pallada refused to sign for
Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty to be imposed should be six the seizure orders issued by the DENR officers (Exhs. E, F & G).
(6) years of prision correccional to twenty (20) years of reclusion On February 23, 1993, petitioner, as general manager, together with
temporal. CADSHI Noel Sy, as assistant operations manager, and Francisco Tankiko, as
DECISION president of the Valencia Golden Harvest Corporation, and Isaias
MENDOZA, J p: Valdehueza, were charged with violation of §68 of P.D. No. 705, as
This is a petition for review of the decision 1 of the Court of Appeals amended. The Information alleged: 6
affirming petitioner's conviction of illegal possession of lumber in That on or about the 1st day of October, 1992, and prior thereto at the
violation of §68 2 of the Revised Forestry Code 3 (P.D. No. 705, as Valencia Golden Harvest Corporation Compound, municipality of
amended) by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Valencia, province of Bukidnon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of
The facts are as follows: this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring,
Sometime in the latter part of 1992, the Department of Environment and confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent of gain, did
Natural Resources (DENR) office in Bukidnon received reports that then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally possess 2,115 pieces
illegally cut lumber was being delivered to the warehouse of the [of] lumber of different dimensions in the total volume of 29,299.25
Valencia Golden Harvest Corporation in Valencia, Bukidnon. The board feet or equivalent to 69.10 cubic meters with an estimated value
company is engaged in rice milling and trading. prcd of FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHT THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED
DENR officers, assisted by elements of the Philippine National Police, THIRTY FOUR PESOS AND 45/100 (P488,334.45) Philippine Currency,
raided the company's warehouse in Poblacion, Valencia on the strength without any authority, license or legal documents from the government,
of a warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, Malaybalay, to the damage and prejudice of the government in the amount of
Bukidnon and found a large stockpile of lumber of varying sizes cut by a P488,334.45.
chain saw. As proof that the company had acquired the lumber by Contrary to and in violation of Section 68, P.D. 705 as amended by E.O.
purchase, petitioner produced two receipts issued by R.L. Rivero 277.
Lumberyard of Maramag, Bukidnon, dated March 6 and 17, 1992. The As all the accused pleaded not guilty, trial ensued. Then on July 27,
DENR officers did not, however, give credit to the receipts considering 1994, judgment was rendered as follows: 7
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding accused Perfecto Exh. 6-C — Tally Sheet, dated December 14, 1992, for 463
Pallada and Francisco Tankiko guilty beyond reasonable doubt of pieces of lumber equivalent to 5,056.94 board feet
having in their possession timber products worth of P488,334.45 without Exh. 6-D — Delivery Receipt, dated December 16, 1991, from
the legal documents as charged in the information in violation of Section WHP Enterprises of Maguing, Lanao del Sur, to the Corporation for the
68 of Presidential Decree 705, as amended and are, therefore, each lumber mentioned in Exh. "6-C"
sentenced to suffer imprisonment of TEN (10) YEARS of prision mayor Exh. 6-F — Cash Voucher for P58,832.45 in payment to WHP
as minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal as Enterprises, dated December 16, 1991, for the 5,056.94 board feet of
maximum. The lumber subject of the crime are confiscated in favor of lumber
the government. Exh. 6-D-1 — [C]arbon copy of Exh. "6-D" above
Accused Isaias Valdehueza and Noel Sy are ACQUITTED for lack of 2. Exh. 7 — CTO, (undated), for 961 pieces of log equivalent to
evidence against them. prLL 25.4 cubic meter[s] taken from the forest area of a certain Somira M.
Petitioner and Francisco Tankiko appealed to the Court of Appeals, Ampuan in Lama Lico, Bombaran of the ARMM
which, on October 31, 1997, affirmed petitioner's conviction but Exh. 7-A — Auxiliary Invoice
acquitted Tankiko for lack of proof of his participation in the purchase or Exh. 7-B — CTA
acquisition of the seized lumber. 8 Exh. 7-C — Tally Sheet, dated February 6, 1992, for 961 pieces
Hence this petition which raises the following issues: 9 of lumber equal to 10,758.2 board feet
I. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS Exh. 7-D — Delivery Receipt to Golden Harvest Corporation
WAS CORRECT IN UPHOLDING THE RULING OF THE TRIAL issued by SMA Trading Company, dated February 6, 1992
COURT THAT THE PROSECUTION HAD PROVED BEYOND Exh. 7-E — Official Receipt for environmental fee issued to
REASONABLE DOUBT THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER Somira M. Ampuan, dated August 9, 1991 LLphil
PALLADA. Exh. 7-F — Cash Voucher for P126,562.05 issued by the
II. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS Corporation in payment to SMA Trading Company for 10,758.02 board
WAS CORRECT IN UPHOLDING THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL feet of lumber, dated February 6, 1992
COURT THAT THE CERTIFICATE OF TIMBER ORIGIN WAS NOT 3. Exh. 8 — CTO for 678 pieces of chain-sawn lumber with an
THE PROPER DOCUMENT TO JUSTIFY PETITIONER'S equivalent volume of 18.93 cubic meter from the forest area of Wahab
POSSESSION OF THE SQUARED TIMBER OR FLITCHES. Pangcoga and H.D. Pangcoga, dated February 25, 1992
III. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS Exh. 8-A — Auxiliary Invoice
WAS CORRECT IN UPHOLDING THE RULING OF THE TRIAL Exh. 8-B — CTA
COURT THAT THE PRESENCE OF ERASURES IN THE Exh. 8-C — Tally Sheet for the 678 pieces of lumber
CERTIFICATE OF TIMBER ORIGIN RENDER THEM VALUELESS AS Exh. 8-D — Delivery Receipt to Golden Harvest Corporation
EVIDENCE. issued by WHP Enterprises,
First. During the trial, the defense presented the following documents, Exh. 8-E — Official Receipt for environmental fee
as summarized by the trial court, to establish that Valencia Golden Exh. 8-F — Cash Voucher for P93,614.50 in payment for
Harvest Corporation's possession of the seized lumber was legal: 10 8,024.99 board feet of lumber issued by the Corporation payable to
1. Exh. 6 — Certificate of Timber Origin (CTO for short), dated WHP Enterprises
December 15, 1991, for 56 pieces of flitches equivalent to 12.23 cubic 4. Exh. 9 — CTO for 426 pieces of logs (?) with an equivalent
meters, transported from Bombaran, Lanao del Sur of the Autonomous volume of 12.24 cubic meters from licensee Somira M. Ampuan of
Region of Muslim Mindanao. Taken from the forest area of Wahab and Lama, Lico, Bombaran, Lanao del Sur, consigned to the Corporation,
H.D. Pangcoga (undated). Stamped "Release 3/2/92"
Exh. 6-A — Auxiliary Invoice Exh. 9-A — Auxiliary Invoice
Exh. 6-B — Certificate of Transport Agreement (CTA, for short) Exh. 9-B — CTA, dated March 20, 1992
Exh. 9-C — Tally Sheet, dated March 20, 1992 Even assuming that a Certificate of Timber Origin could serve as a
Exh. 9-D — Delivery Receipt issued by SMA Trading Company substitute for Certificate of Lumber Origin, the trial court and the Court
to the Corporation, dated March 20, 1992 of Appeals were justified in convicting petitioner, considering the
Exh. 9-E — Official Receipt for environmental fee numerous irregularities and defects found in the documents presented
Exh. 9-F — Cash Voucher, for P64,299.50 to pay [for] 5,189 by the latter. According to the trial court: 16
board feet of lumber Although the CTO marked Exh. "6" mentions 56 pieces of flitches, the
Exh. 9-D-1 — Xerox copy of Exh. "9-D" supporting documents, like the Tally Sheet, the Delivery Receipt from
The trial court acted correctly in not giving credence to the Certificates the lumber dealer and the Cash Voucher describe 463 pieces of lumber.
of Timber Origin presented by petitioner since the lumber held by the ..
company should be covered by Certificates of Lumber Origin. 11 For In like manner, Exh. "7" and Exh. "9" mention 961 and 420 pieces of
indeed, as BFD Circular No. 10-83 12 states in pertinent parts: log, respectively. But the supporting documents describe the forest
In order to provide an effective mechanism to pinpoint accountability product[s] as lumber.
and responsibility for shipment of lumber . . . and to have uniformity in The CTO marked Exh. "[8]" reveals a half-truth: it mentions 678 pieces
documenting the origin thereof, the attached Certificate of Lumber of hand-sawn lumber. Its Auxiliary Invoice also states the same load of
Origin (CLO) . . . which form[s] part of this circular [is] hereby adopted lumber. Someone may have noticed the "mistake" of mentioning lumber
as accountable forms for official use by authorized BFD officers. . . . in the Auxiliary Invoice and so the words "flitches 87 pieces" were
5. Lumber . . . transported/shipped without the necessary written down and enclosed in parenthesis.
Certificate of Lumber Origin (CLO) . . . as herein required shall be The said exhibits also appear to be questionable, [t]hus[:]
considered as proceeding from illegal sources and as such, shall be The CTO marked Exh. "6" is consigned to "any buyer (sic) Cagayan de
subject to confiscation and disposition in accordance with LOI 1020 and Oro", but its Auxiliary Invoice (Exh. "6-A") mentions Valencia Golden
BFD implementing guidelines. Harvest Corporation as the consignee. Moreover, the CTO states (at the
Petitioner contends that the term "timber" includes lumber and, back page) that the same is covered by Auxiliary Invoice No. 00491; in
therefore, the Certificates of Timber Origin and their attachments should fact, the Auxiliary Invoice (Exh. 6-A) has invoice number 000488.
have been considered in establishing the legality of the company's In the CTO marked Exhibit "7", the original typewritten name of the
possession of the lumber. 13 In support of his contention, petitioner consignee was clearly erased and changed to "Valencia Golden Harvest
invokes our ruling in Mustang Lumber, Inc. v. Court of Appeals. 14 Corporation, Valencia, Bukidnon." In the Auxiliary Invoice (Exh. "7-A")
The contention has no merit. The statement in Mustang Lumber that the blank space for the name and address of the consignee was
lumber is merely processed timber and, therefore, the word "timber" smudged with a typewriter correction fluid (the better to erase what was
embraces lumber, was made in answer to the lower court's ruling in that originally typewritten in it?) and changed to "Valencia Golden Harvest
case that the phrase "possess timber or other forest products" in §68 of Corporation, Valencia, Bukidnon."
P.D. No. 705 means that only those who possess timber and forest The CTO marked Exh. "9" and its Auxiliary Invoice marked Exh. "9-A"
products without the documents required by law are criminally liable, [were] "doctored" in the same manner as Exh. "[7]" and Exh. "[7-A]". 17
while those who possess lumber are not liable. On the other hand, the Additionally, all the Auxiliary Invoice were not properly accomplished:
question in this case is whether separate certificates of origin should be the data required to be filled are left in blank. dctai
issued for lumber and timber. Indeed, different certificates of origin are Indeed, aside from the fact that the Certificate of Timber Origin in Exh. 7
required for timber, lumber and non-timber forest products. 15 As bears no date, the dorsal side bears the certification that the logs were
already noted, the opening paragraph of BFD Circular No. 10-83 "scaled on August 7, 1991," while the receipt attached to that Certificate
expressly states that the issuance of a separate certificate of origin for is dated February 6, 1992. Moreover, the four delivery receipts list the
lumber is required in order to "pinpoint accountability and responsibility sizes and volume of the lumber sold, indicating that the company
for shipment of lumber . . . and to have uniformity in documenting the purchased cut lumber from the dealers, thus belying the testimony of
origin thereof." LLphil petitioner that when the company bought the forest products, they were
still in the form of flitches and logs, and they were cut into lumber by the WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals, dated October 31,
company. 18 1997, is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that petitioner is
These irregularities and discrepancies make the documents in which sentenced to six (6) years of prision correccional, as minimum, to
they are found not only questionable but invalid and, thus, justified the twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal, as maximum.
trial court in giving no credence to the same. 19 SO ORDERED.
It is argued that the irregularities in the documentary exhibits should not Bellosillo, Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
be taken against petitioner because the documents came from lumber Footnotes
dealers. In addition, it is contended that the CTOs and Auxiliary 1. Per Justice Minerva P. Gonzaga-Reyes (now Associate Justice
Receipts, being public documents, should be accorded the presumption of this Court), concurred in by Justices B.A. Adefuin-Dela Cruz and
of regularity in their execution. 20 Demetrio G. Demetria.
This contention is untenable. What render these documents without 2. Renumbered §78 by Republic Act No. 7161.
legal effect are the patent irregularities found on their faces. That 3. Cutting, Gathering and/or Collecting Timber, or Other Forest
petitioner may not have any responsibility for such irregularity is Products Without License. — Any person who shall cut, gather, collect,
immaterial. In any case, as the corporate officer in charge of the remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber
purchase of the lumber, petitioner should have noticed such obvious from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land, without
irregularities, and he should have taken steps to have them corrected. any authority, or possess timber or other forest products without the
He cannot now feign ignorance and assert that, as far as he is legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations,
concerned, the documents are regular and complete. 21 shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and
The presence of such glaring irregularities negates the presumption that 310 of the Revised Penal Code: Provided, That in the case of
the CTOs were regularly executed by the DENR officials concerned. partnerships, associations, or corporations, the officers who ordered the
The presumption invoked by petitioner applies only when the public cutting, gathering collection or possession shall be liable, and if such
documents are, on their faces, regular and properly accomplished. 22 officers are aliens, they shall, in addition to the penalty, be deported
Second. The penalty imposed should be modified. Art. 309 of the without further proceedings on the part of the Commission on
Revised Penal Code, made applicable to the offense by P.D. No. 705, Immigration and Deportation.
§68, provides: The Court shall further order the confiscation in favor of
ARTICLE 309. Penalties. — Any person guilty of theft shall be punished the government of the timber or any forest products cut, gathered,
by: collected, removed, or possessed, as well as the machinery, equipment,
1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium implements and tools illegally used in the area where the timber or
periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than P12,000 pesos but forest products are found. (As amended by PD No. 1559, and by EO
does not exceed P22,000 pesos; but if the value of the thing stolen No. 277, prom. July 25, 1987, italics added).
exceeds the latter amount, the penalty shall be the maximum period of 4. Records, p. 28.
the one prescribed in this paragraph, and one year for each additional 5. Id., p. 136-C.
ten thousand pesos, but the total of the penalty which may be imposed 6. Id., p. 1.
shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, and in connection with the 7. Id., p. 255.
accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose of the 8. CA Decision, p. 14; Rollo, p. 28.
other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be termed prision mayor 9. Petition, p. 2; Id., p. 4.
or reclusion temporal, as the case may be. . . . 10. RTC Decision, pp. 3-5; Records, pp. 249-251.
As the lumber involved in this case is worth P488,334.45, and applying 11. Id., p. 5; Id., p. 251.
the Indeterminate Sentence Law, 23 the penalty to be imposed should 12. Issued on February 28, 1983, now superseded by DENR
be six (6) years of prision correccional to twenty (20) years of reclusion Administrative Order No. 07, issued on February 17, 1994.
temporal. LLphil 13. Petition, pp. 5-6; Rollo, pp. 7-8.
14. 257 SCRA 430 (1996). contractions in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses cast doubt
15. DENR Administrative Circular No. 07, §§ 2&17 (series of 1994). on the culpability of the appellant and his guilt for the crime charged.
16. RTC Decision, pp. 5-6; Records, p. 251-252 (emphasis in the DECISION
original). NOCON, J p:
17. The original consignee's name, still legible, reads: Accused-appellant Elmer Maps y de Gula and Serapin de Gula y
"NORTHWEST FOOD PROCESSING CORPORATION, Tongco were both charged with violation of Section 4, Article II of
____________, TAGOLCAN, MIS. OR." Republic Act 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act,
18. TSN, pp. 10, 13 & 22, March 12, 1994. under an information 1 which reads:
19. Compare DENR Administrative Order No. 59-93, series of 1993, "That on or about the 16th day of July 1986, in the Municipality of
§6 in relation to §2.8, which provides that certificates of origin with Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
erased or tampered vital entries, such as the name and address of Honorable Court, the above-named accused without authority of the
consignee, are void (now superseded by DENR Administrative Order law, conspiring with each other, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully,
No. 07, series of 1994.) and feloniously possessed and sell and gave away twelve (12) sticks of
20. Petition, pp. 6-10; Rollo, pp. 8-12. marijuana treated cigarettes, thereby violating Section 4, Article II, in
21. Id., pp. 8-10; Id., pp. 10-12. relation to Section 21, Article IV of R.A. 6425, as amended."
22. See Veloso v. Sandiganbayan, 187 SCRA 504 (1990). Upon arraignment, both accused pleaded not guilty to the crime
23. People v. Simon, 234 SCRA 555 (1994). charged.
After a trial on the merits, Serapio de Gula was acquitted on reasonable
doubt while accused Elmer Mapa was found guilty of the crime charged
and was sentenced accordingly to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. The dispositive portion of the decision 2 reads:
SECOND DIVISION "WHEREFORE, finding the accused Elmer Mapa y de Gula Guilty
[G.R. No. 91014. March 31, 1993.] beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of selling and delivering
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ELMER MAPA Y prohibited drug, consisting of twelve (12) sticks of marijuana cigarettes
DE GULA, accused-appellant. (Indian Hemp) as defined and penalized under Section 4, Article II of
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. Republic Act 6425, as amended, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the
Jose T. Maghari for accused-appellant. penalty of Reclusion Perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed
SYLLABUS by law and to pay a fine of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) with
REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES; the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and
IRRECONCILABLE AND UNEXPLAINED CONTRADICTION the costs of suit.
THEREIN; MAY CAST DOUBT ON THE CULPABILITY OF THE On ground of reasonable doubt, the Court hereby ACQUITS the
ACCUSED AND HIS GUILT FOR THE CRIME CHARGED; CASE AT accused Serapio de Gula y Tongco of the crime charged. Costs de
BAR. — The contradictory testimony of two prosecution witnesses on officio.
who brought the marijuana to the NBI for laboratory examination is The twelve (12) sticks of marijuana cigarettes are hereby confiscated in
significant. Is it police aid Carreon or Pat. Lucero? Carreon never favor of the Government to be turned over to the Dangerous Drugs
testified on the matter or that the specimen submitted to the NBI for Board for proper disposition. 3
examination was the same specimen allegedly taken from the accused. The People's version of the facts is as follows:
Neither was Pat. Lucero's testimony clear on the matter. Obviously, one Acting upon a confidential information that a certain "Elmer" was
of them is lying, Pat. Capangyarihan or Pat. Lucero. On such kind of engaged in drug pushing at T. de Gula St., Marulas Valenzuela, Major
shaky testimony conviction cannot be had. The inconsistencies were Elias Casimiro, Chief of the Valenzuela Police Anti-Narcotics Unit
never explained by the prosecution. Irreconcilable and unexplained dispatched a team composed of Valenzuela policemen, namely: Cpt.
Romeo Martin, Pfc. Pedro Protestante, Patrolmen Eduardo Pabalan, Serapio not to interfere. However, Serapio de Gula insisted that even if
Wilfredo Lucero and a certain Pat. Garcia to conduct a surveillance they were police officers they should nevertheless ask permission from
operation in the area. the owner of the house before entering. In reply the police officers
On July 16, 1986, at around 8 o'clock in the evening, the team launched allegedly manhandled him while one of them entered the house where
a buy-bust operation against accused-appellant at T. de Gula St., accused Elmer Mapa was, pulled him out and brought him to a waiting
Marulas Valenzuela using two (2) P10.00 marked bills. 4 Pat. Mario jeep. Serapio further testified that the four police officers who
Capangyarihan, who then acted as a poseur-buyer together with the manhandled him were Patrolman Puchero, Patrolman Inciong,
confidential informant proceeded to appellant's address at T. de Gula Patrolman Capangyarihan and Patrolman Protestante. 6 Serapio
Street. Upon reaching the place, the confidential informant introduced threatened to file charges against these police officers for mauling him
Pat. Capangyarihan to accused-appellant as a "score" of "damo." Pat. so much so that said officers likewise arrested him. Serapio's testimony
Capangyarihan asked for P20.00 worth of marijuana and then handed is as follows:
to appellant the two (2) marked P10.00 bills. After receipt of the money, "Q Now, after Elmer was pulled outside, how about you, what was
appellant left for a while to get the "marijuana." Later, appellant entered done to you?
the yard of the house with a wooden fence and talked briefly to a certain A The policemen left, I was left behind, then afterwards, the
person (later identified as accused Serapio de Gula) who was seen by person who manhandled me, when he was leaving, I was able to
Pat. Capangyarihan handing over something to appellant. Thereafter, remember him and I told him that I was going to file a case against him
accused-appellant returned and handed over to the poseur-buyer a with the Napolcom, then that said policeman returned and he told me,
plastic bag containing twelve (12) sticks of marijuana cigarettes. Pat. "Kami pala ang isasabit mo, sama ka na rin'. That was what he told
Capangyarihan identified himself as a policeman and grabbed appellant me."' 7
by the arms. Pat. Capangyarihan then signaled his companions to This was corroborated by a defense witness, Antonio Trinidad. In his
come and help him subdue the suspect. At this juncture, Serapio de testimony, Antonio revealed that one unidentified man entered the
Gula approached the police team and told them that appellant is his house and when questioned by Serapio de Gula, the man hit the latter
nephew. The policemen told Serapio that appellant was placed under with gun. He could not do anything, much less the other chess players
arrest for selling "marijuana". Since Pat. Capangyarihan recognized present because guns were poked at them. 8
Serapio as the person with whom appellant talked after receiving the Both the accused were brought to the sub-station where they were
marked bills, Serapio was also arrested. The two (2) marked bills were mauled and forced to admit the charges against them.
retrieved from the accused-appellant. Appellant and Serapio were Serapio remembered Patrolman Inciong going to his cell and showing
brought to the Valenzuela Police headquarters for further investigation. (14) tea bags and jestingly said, "Never will you be able to get out of
The plastic bag containing the twelve (12) sticks of suspected marijuana this jail because we will charge you with drug pushing and we will use
were forwarded to the NBI for examination. Microscopic, chemical and these as evidence against you." 9
chromatographic tests was conducted on the seized articles and all Tarried in jail during the early months of their apprehension, Elmer
yielded "positive results" for "marijuana". Mapa learned that a policeman talked to a certain Dueñas who was
Accused-appellant Elmer Mapa however, disputes the foregoing facts. earlier detained for illegal possession of marijuana, that if he wanted to
Instead, the defense maintains that the facts are as follows: be released, he must give a substitute or "palit-ulo" in jail lingo. That
At around 8 o'clock in the evening of July 16, 1986, while accused upon his apprehension, he learned that Eduardo Dueñas was later
Elmer Mapa was inside their house with his co-accused/uncle Serapio released by the police.
de Gula and their chess club members playing chess, two men with From the foregoing facts, We hold the accused-appellant innocent. The
drawn guns entered the premises of the accused's house without conflicting and contradictory evidence of the prosecution affirms the
permission, calling for accused Elmer Mapa, prompting accused weakness of its case thereby creating reasonable doubt as to his guilt.
Serapio de Gula to tell them, "pare, anong problema, trespassing kayo."
5 In answer, the men identified themselves as policemen and told
We find several glaring inconsistencies and contradictions in the A Subsequently a person pulled Elmer Mapa.
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses as to engender doubt on the Q Who was this person who arrived and pulled Elmer Mapa?
moral certainty of accused-appellant's guilt. LLpr A Serapio de Gula, Sir.
The prosecution presented only two of the members of the buy-bust Q Did Serapio de Gula succeed in pulling out Elmer Mapa from the
operation, whose testimonies unfortunately did not impress this Court. hands of Pat. Capangyarihan?
On the contrary, it weakens the prosecution's case. A No, sir.
Take for instance the testimony of Pat. Capangyarihan who testified that Q What happened alter that?
Serapio was arrested some 9 to 10 meters away from where Elmer A We got hold of Serapio de Gula and asked him why be is
Mapa was standing and that he was not present during the arrest of interfering."
Serapio de Gula. Contrary to his testimony however, Pat. Lucero Q Was, there any answer from him?
testified that when Serapio was apprehended by him Pat. A He told us that Elmer Maps is his nephew.
Capangyarihan was present and saw him effect the arrest. Thus — xxx xxx xxx
Pat. Capangyarihan: Q What did you do after you were informed about that?
"Q Do you know who was that person? A We also got hold of Serapio de Gula and frisked him." 12
A Later on, I came to know the name of that person and it appears Another glaring inconsistency lies in the seized articles. Pat.
that his name is Serapio de Gula. Capangyarihan testifies:
Q And how far were you from them when they talked with each "Q And after Elmer had approached you, what did he do?
other? A He handed me a plastic container containing twelve (12)
A From the witness stand up to that wall, sir (Which was estimated handrolled suspected marijuana cigarettes.
to be 9 to 10 meters). 10 Q And what did you do?
xxx xxx xxx A After Elmer handed to me that suspected handrolled marijuana
Q Mr. Witness, when you accosted Elmer Mapa, you actually were cigarettes, I introduced myself to him and then I arrested him." 13
not aware what happened to Serapio de Gula since you were not On the other hand, Pat. Lucero testified that what Elmer was holding is
present when he was accosted by Pat. Lucero? a tea bag of marijuana and not a plastic container containing twelve
A It was Elmer Mapa who was first accosted and alter he was (12) handrolled marijuana cigarettes.
arrested, my other police companions ran. "Q When you saw Elmer Mapa being held by Pat. Capangyarihan,
Q And they ran towards what direction? did you see him holding the money, referring to accused Elmer Mapa?
A Towards the place where Serapio de Gula was standing. A Yes, sir.
Q And when you said the place where he was standing, it is the Q What was that?
place where he was talking with Elmer Mapa? Q One tea beg of marijuana.
A Yes, Ma'am. xxx xxx xxx
Q And when Pat. Lucero effected the arrest, you were not actually Q What happened to the tea bag being held by Elmer Mapa and
present? two peso bills found in possession of Serapio de Gula?
A I was not there, but I saw that it was, Pat. Lucero who first took A The tea bag of marijuana was brought to the NBI for laboratory
hold of Serapio do Gula. examination. 14
Q Now, since you were not with the team who accosted de Gula, Realizing probably his mistake, Pat. Capangyarihan later on changed
you were not sure that the alleged marked money was recovered from his testimony by stating that he could not remember whether it was a
de Gula? plastic container that was given to him or not. Thus —
A I am sure about that, Ma'am. 11 "Q Mr. Witness, it appears that this alleged marijuana handrolled
Patrolman Lucero on the other hand, testified differently on this matter? cigarettes is contained in an envelope with the marking DDM, etc. Is this
"Q After you approached Pat. Capangyarihan, what happen next?
also the same container when you received the marijuana from the "Q By the way who submitted this alleged marijuana handrolled
accused? cigarettes to the NBI?
A I cannot recall if this was the same thing wherein these 12 sticks A As far as I could remember, it was police aide Carreon who
of marijuana were placed. brought it to the NBI. 17
xxx xxx xxx Pat. Lucero however testified:
Q But you don't recall, Mr. witness, at the time you apprehended "Q You said you forwarded this to the NBI for laboratory
the accused where was this marijuana cigarettes? examination. Did you come to know the result of the examination?
A After having taken these marijuana cigarettes from Mapa, I took A Yes, sir.
hold of them. Q How did you come to know the result?
A Meaning this was not contained in any container? A There was a request to bring to the NBI and I waited for the
A I cannot remember anymore if it was contained in any container result and upon reaching the headquarters, we submit them to the
or not. 15 investigating Fiscal. 18
The trial court observed the strange testimony of Pat. Lucero on a The foregoing contradictory testimony of two prosecution witnesses on
material point on cross examination wherein he admitted that a tea bag who brought the marijuana to the NBI for laboratory examination is
cannot be cigarette sticks. This shows that the prosecution cannot even significant. Is it police aide Carreon or Pat. Lucero?
determine what was really taken from accused-appellant, a tea bag or Carreon never testified on the matter or that the specimen submitted to
cigarette sticks. Thus, the Court inquired: the NBI for examination was the same specimen allegedly taken from
Q Now, Mr. Witness, who was in custody of the alleged tea bag the accused.
which was recovered by the team from Elmer Mapa, who was in Neither was Pat. Lucero's testimony clear on the matter. Obviously, one
possession from the time Elmer Mapa was already arrested up to the of them is lying, Pat. Capangyarihan or Pat. Lucero. On such kind of
time he was brought to the police station? shaky testimony conviction cannot be had.
A It was Pat. Mario Capangyarihan, sir. The inconsistencies were never explained by the prosecution.
Q But you admitted that you have occasion to look at the tea bag? Irreconcilable and unexplained contradictions in the testimonies of the
A Yes, sir. prosecution witnesses cast doubt on the culpability of the appellant and
Q What is the difference between the tea bag and the suspected his guilt for the crime charged. 19
marijuana? What is the difference? As it is, the bungled testimonies of the police officers cannot be given
A Tea bag is like a tea bag, it is square contained like cigarette. credence. We are more inclined to believe the testimony of accused-
Q You will agree with me that as far as I know a roach is like what appellant that he was a "target" to be arrested not for selling marijuana
we call "upos", a cigarette wrapped in a paper. I am referring to the but as a replacement for Eduardo Dueñas who was at the time detained
paper wrapper, rolling paper? in the Municipal Jail, with accused-appellant as the substitute or "palit-
A Yes, Ma'am. ulo" in jail lingo, so that the detainee could be released. LibLex
Q And also you will agree with me that a tea bag cannot be a It would be noteworthy to mention though, that accused-appellant was
cigarette stick. subjected to a drug test to find out whether he was likewise a drug user.
A Yes, Ma'am. 16 It is often observed that a drug pusher usually, if not all the time is also
Not only are there inconsistencies as to what was recovered but also on a drug user. The act of pushing drugs is a means to support his being a
who requested for the seized articles to be examined by the NBI. Pat. drug dependent. For whatever its worth, accused-appellant was found
Capangyarihan testified that it was police aide Carreon who brought the to be drug free. In the NBI Toxicology Report No. TDD-86-646 20
seized articles to the NBI for examination, whereas Pat. Lucero testified blood and urine specimens of Elmer Mapa showed negative results for
that it was he who forwarded the marijuana to the NBI. Thus — the presence of prohibited and or regulated drugs. Though this report
Pat. Capangyarihan: was not presented during trial, such is made part of the records.
The evident falsehood spread on the records before Us creates a 20. Records, p. 19.
nagging doubt on the culpability of the accused-appellant. It is sad to 21. People vs. Garcia, G.R. Nos. 64867-68, 172 SCRA 262 (1989).
state that many innocent people become victims of physical violence
and/or harassment from police officers who are supposed to be the
protectors of the citizenry. We cannot condone such practices to EN BANC
continue in a civilized society. [G.R. Nos. L-6355-56. August 31, 1953.]
While this Court commends the efforts of law enforcement agencies PASTOR M. ENDENCIA and FERNANDO JUGO, plaintiffs-appellees,
who are engaged in the difficult and dangerous task of apprehending vs. SATURNINO DAVID, as Collector of Internal Revenue, defendant-
and prosecuting drug-traffickers, it cannot, however, close its eyes nor appellant.
ignore the many reports of false arrests of innocent persons for Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag and Solicitor Jose P. Alejandro for
extortion purposes and blackmail, or to satisfy some hidden personal appellant.
resentment of the "informer" or law enforcer against the accused. Manuel O. Chan for appellees.
Courts should be vigilant and alert to recognize trumped up drug SYLLABUS
charges lest an innocent man, on the basis of planted evidence, be 1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; TAXATION; INTERPRETATION OF
made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. 21 LAWS, A JUDICIAL FUNCTION. — The Legislature cannot lawfully
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed herefrom is hereby REVERSED, declare the collection of income tax on the salary of a public official,
and the accused-appellant, Elmer Mapa y de Gula, is hereby specially a judicial officer, not a decrease of his salary, after the
ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt of the crime charged. Costs de Supreme Court has found and decided otherwise. "Defining and
officio. interpreting the law is a judicial function and the legislative branch may
SO ORDERED.. not limit or restrict the power granted to the courts by the Constitution."
Narvasa, C .J ., Padilla, Regalado and Campos, Jr., JJ., concur. (Bandy vs. Mickelson et al., 44 N.W., 2nd, 341, 342; see also 11 Am.
Footnotes Jur., 714- 715 and 905.) The act of interpreting the Constitution or any
1. Rollo, p. 1. part thereof by the Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and
2. Rollo, pp. 149-163. established province and jurisdiction of the Judiciary.
3. Id., at. p. 163. 2. ID.; SEPARATION OF POWERS. — Under our system of
4. Exhibits "A", "A-1". constitutional government, the Legislative department is assigned the
5. T.S.N., February 17, 1988, p. 8. power to make and enact laws. The Executive department is charged
6. Id., at. p. 15. with the execution or carrying out of the provisions of said laws. But the
7. Id., at p. 13. interpretation and application of said laws belong exclusively to the
8. T.S.N., July 8, 1988, pp. 7-11. Judicial department. And this authority to interpret and apply the laws
9. Id., at p. 17. extends to the Constitution. Before the courts can determine whether a
10. T.S.N., January 23, 1987, pp. 9-10. law is constitutional or not, it will have to interpret and ascertain the
11. Id., at pp. 19-10. meaning not only of said law, but also of the pertinent portion of the
12. T.S.N., February 9, 1987, pp. 5-6. Constitution in order to decide whether there is a conflict between the
13. T.S.N., January 23, 1987, pp. 10-11. two, because if there is, then the law will have to give way and has to be
14. T.S.N., February 9, 1987, p. 7. declared invalid and unconstitutional.
15. T.SN., June 5, 1987, pp. 5-9. 3. TAXATION; INCOME TAX; TAXING SALARIES OF JUDICIAL
16. T.S.N., February 9, 1987, p. 13. OFFICERS, A DIMINUTION OF THEIR COMPENSATION AS FIXED
17. T.S.N., June 5, 1987, p. 7. BY LAW. — The doctrine laid down in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer (85
18. T.S.N., February 9, 1987, p. 8. Phil., 552) to the effect that the collection of income tax on the salary of
19. People vs. Canela, G.R. No. 97086, 208 SCRA 842 (1992).
a judicial officer is a diminution thereof and so violates the Constitution, considers the pertinent discussion in the Lower House of House Bill No.
is reiterated. 1127 which became Republic Act No. 590.
DECISION For purposes of reference, we are reproducing section 9, Article VIII of
MONTEMAYOR, J p: our Constitution:
This is a joint appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of "SEC. 9. The members of the Supreme Court and all judges of
Manila declaring section 13 of Republic Act No. 590 unconstitutional, inferior courts shall hold office during good behavior, until they reach the
and ordering the appellant Saturnino David as Collector of Internal age of seventy years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties
Revenue to refund to Justice Pastor M. Endencia the sum of P1,744.45, of their office. They shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by
representing the income tax collected on his salary as Associate Justice law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
of the Court of Appeals in 1951, and to Justice Fernando Jugo the Until the Congress shall provide otherwise, the Chief Justice of the
amount of P2,345.46, representing the income tax collected on his Supreme Court shall receive an annual compensation of sixteen
salary from January 1, 1950 to October 19, 1950, as Presiding Justice thousand pesos, and each Associate Justice, fifteen thousand pesos."
of the Court of Appeals, and from October 20, 1950 to December 31, As already stated construing and applying the above constitutional
1950, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, without special provision, we held in the Perfecto case that judicial officers are exempt
pronouncement as to costs. from the payment of income tax on their salaries, because the collection
Because of the similarity of the two cases, involving as they do the thereof by the Government was a decrease or diminution of their
same question of law, they were jointly submitted for determination in salaries during their continuance in office, a thing which is expressly
the lower court. Judge Higinio B. Macadaeg presiding, in a rather prohibited by the Constitution. Thereafter, according to the Solicitor
exhaustive and well considered decision found and held that under the General, because Congress did not favorably receive the decision in the
doctrine laid down by this Court in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, 85 Perfecto case, Congress promulgated Republic Act No. 590, if not to
Phil., 552, the collection of income taxes from the salaries of Justice counteract the ruling in that decision, at least now to authorize and
Jugo and Justice Endencia was a diminution of their compensation and legalize the collection of income tax on the salaries of judicial officers.
therefore was in violation of the Constitution of the Philippines, and so We quote section 13 of Republic Act No. 590:
ordered the refund of said taxes. "SEC. 13. No salary wherever received by any public officer of the
We see no profit and necessity in again discussing and considering the Republic of the Philippines shall be considered as exempt from the
proposition and the arguments pro and con involved in the case of income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be a diminution
Perfecto vs. Meer, supra, which are raised, brought up and presented of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law."
here. In that case, we have held despite the ruling enunciated by the So we have this situation. The Supreme Court in a decision interpreting
United States Federal Supreme Court in the case of O'Malley vs. the Constitution, particularly section 9, Article VIII, has held that judicial
Woodrought 307 U. S., 277, that taxing the salary of a judicial officer in officers are exempt from payment of income tax on their salaries,
the Philippines is a diminution of such salary and so violates the because the collection thereof was a diminution of such salaries,
Constitution. We shall now confine ourselves to a discussion and specifically prohibited by the Constitution. Now comes the Legislature
determination of the remaining question of whether or not Republic Act and in section 13, Republic Act No. 590, says that "no salary wherever
No. 590, particularly section 13, can justify and legalize the collection of received by any public officer of the Republic (naturally including a
income tax on the salary of judicial officers. judicial officer) shall be considered as exempt from the income tax," and
According to the brief of the Solicitor General on behalf of appellant proceeds to declare that payment of said income tax is not a diminution
Collector of Internal Revenue, our decision in the case of Perfecto vs. of his compensation. Can the Legislature validly do this? May the
Meer, supra, was not received favorably by Congress, because Legislature lawfully declare the collection of income tax on the salary of
immediately after its promulgation, Congress enacted Republic Act No. a public official, specially a judicial officer, not a decrease of his salary,
590. To bring home his point, the Solicitor General reproduces what he after the Supreme Court has found and decided otherwise? To
determine this question, we shall have to go back to the fundamental act of interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the Legislature
principles regarding separation of powers. is an invasion of the well-defined and established province and
Under our system of constitutional government, the Legislative jurisdiction of the Judiciary.
department is assigned the power to make and enact laws. The "The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any
Executive department is charged with the execution or carrying out of declaratory act, or act declaratory of what the law was before its
the provisions of said laws. But the interpretation and application of said passage, so as to give it any binding weight with the courts. A legislative
laws belong exclusively to the Judicial department. And this authority to definition of a word as used in a statute is not conclusive of its meaning
interpret and apply the laws extends to the Constitution. Before the as used elsewhere; otherwise, the legislature would be usurping a
courts can determine whether a law is constitutional or not, it will have judicial function in defining a term. (11 Am. Jur., 914, emphasis
to interpret and ascertain the meaning not only of said law, but also of supplied).
the pertinent portion of the Constitution in order to decide whether there "The legislature cannot, upon passing a law which violates a
is a conflict between the two, because if there is, then the law will have constitutional provision, validate it so as to prevent an attack thereon in
to give way and has to be declared invalid and unconstitutional. the courts, by a declaration that it shall be so construed as not to violate
"Defining and interpreting the law is a judicial function and the the constitutional inhibition." (11 Am. Jur., 919, emphasis supplied).
legislative branch may not limit or restrict the power granted to the We have already said that the Legislature under our form of government
courts by the Constitution." (Bandy vs. Mickelson et al., 44 N. W., 2nd is assigned the task and the power to make and enact laws, but not to
341, 342.) interpret them. This is more true with regard to the interpretation of the
"When it is clear that a statute transgresses the authority vested in the basic law, the Constitution, which is not within the sphere of the
legislature by the Constitution, it is the duty of the courts to declare the Legislative department. If the Legislature may declare what a law
act unconstitutional because they cannot shrink from it without violating means, or what a specific portion of the Constitution means, especially
their oaths of office. This duty of the courts to maintain the Constitution after the courts have in actual case ascertain its meaning by
as the fundamental law of the state is imperative and unceasing; and, interpretation and applied it in a decision, this would surely cause
as Chief Justice Marshall said, whenever a statute is in violation of the confusion and instability in judicial processes and court decisions.
fundamental law, the courts must so adjudge and thereby give effect to Under such a system, a final court determination of a case based on a
the Constitution. Any other course would lead to the destruction of the judicial interpretation of the law or of the Constitution may be
Constitution. Since the question as to the constitutionality of a statute is undermined or even annulled by a subsequent and different
a judicial matter, the courts will not decline the exercise of jurisdiction interpretation of the law or of the Constitution by the Legislative
upon the suggestion that action might be taken by political agencies in department. That would be neither wise nor desirable, besides being
disregard of the judgment of the judicial tribunals." 11 Am. Jur., 714- clearly violative of the fundamental principles of our constitutional
715.) system of government, particularly those governing the separation of
"Under the American system of constitutional government, among the powers.
most important functions intrusted to the judiciary are the interpreting of So much for the constitutional aspect of the case. Considering the
Constitutions and, as a closely connected power, the determination of practical side thereof, we believe that the collection of income tax on a
whether laws and acts of the legislature are or are not contrary to the salary is an actual and evident diminution thereof. Under the old system
provisions of the Federal and State Constitutions." (11 Am. Jur., 905.) where the income tax was paid at the end of the year or sometime
By legislative fiat as enunciated in section 13, Republic Act No. 590, thereafter, the decrease may not be so apparent and clear. All that the
Congress says that taxing the salary of a judicial officer is not a official who had previously received his full salary was called upon to
decrease of compensation. This is a clear example of interpretation or do, was to fulfill his obligation and to exercise his privilege of paying his
ascertainment of the meaning of the phrase "which shall not be income tax on his salary. His salary fixed by law was received by him in
diminished during their continuance in office," found in section 9, Article full, and when he later pays his income tax, especially when the amount
VIII of the Constitution, referring to the salaries of judicial officers. This of said tax comes from his other sources of income, he may not fully
realize the fact that his salary had been decreased in the amount of interpreted by the United States Federal Supreme Court and this Court,
said income tax. But under the present system of withholding the is to preserve the independence of the Judiciary, not only of this High
income tax at the source, where the full amount of the income tax Tribunal but of the other courts, whose present membership number
corresponding to his salary is computed in advance and divided into more than 990 judicial officials.
equal portions corresponding to the number of paydays during the year The exemption was not primarily intended to benefit judicial officers, but
and actually deducted from his salary corresponding to each payday, was grounded on public policy. As said by Justice Van Devanter of the
said official actually does not receive his salary in full, because the United States Supreme Court in the case of Evans vs. Gore (253 U. S.,
income tax is deducted therefrom every payday, that is to say, twice a 245):
month. Let us take the case of Justice Endencia. As Associate Justice "The primary purpose of the prohibition against diminution was not to
of the Court of Appeals, his salary is fixed at P12,000 a year, that is to benefit the judges, but, like the clause in respect of tenure, to attract
say, he should receive P1,000 a month or P500 every payday, — good and competent men to the bench and to promote that
fifteenth and end of month. In the present case, the amount collected by independence of action and judgment which is essential to the
the Collector of Internal Revenue on said salary is P1,744.45 for one maintenance of the guaranties, limitations and pervading principles of
year. Divided by twelve (months) we shall have P145.37 a month. And the Constitution and to the administration of justice without respect to
further dividing it by two paydays will bring it down to P72.685, which is persons and with equal concern for the poor and the rich. Such being its
the income tax deducted from and collected on his salary each half purpose, it is to be construed, not as a private grant, but as a limitation
month. So, if Justice Endencia's salary as a judicial officer were not imposed in the public interest; in other words, not restrictively, but in
exempt from payment of the income tax, instead of receiving P500 accord with its spirit and the principle on which it proceeds."
every payday, he would be actually receiving P427.31 only, and instead Having in mind the limited number of judicial officers in the Philippines
of receiving P12,000 a year, he would be receiving but P10,255.55. Is it enjoying this exemption, especially when the great bulk thereof are
not therefore clear that every payday, his salary is actually decreased justices of the peace, many of them receiving, as low as P200 a month,
by P72.685 and every year is decreased by P1,744.45? and considering further the other exemptions allowed by the income tax
Reading the discussion in the lower House in connection with House Bill law, such as P3,000 for a married person and P600 for each
No. 1127, which became Republic Act No. 590, it would seem that one dependent, the amount of national revenue to be derived from income
of the main reasons behind the enactment of the law was the feeling tax on the salaries of judicial officers, were if not for the constitutional
among certain legislators that members of the Supreme Court should exemption, could not be large or substantial. But even if it were
not enjoy any exemption and that as citizens, out of patriotism and love otherwise, it should not affect, much less outweigh the purpose and the
for their country, they should pay income tax on their salaries. It might considerations that prompted the establishment of the constitutional
be stated in this connection that the exemption is not enjoyed by the exemption. In the same case of Evans vs. Gore, supra, the Federal
members of the Supreme Court alone but also by all judicial officers Supreme Court declared "that they (fathers of the Constitution)
including Justices of the Court of Appeals and judges of inferior courts. regarded the independence of the judges as of far greater importance
The exemption also extends to other constitutional officers, like the than any revenue that could come from taxing their salaries."
President of the Republic, the Auditor General, the members of the When a judicial officer assumes office, he does not exactly ask for
Commission on Elections, and possibly members of the Board of Tax exemption from payment of income tax on his salary, as a privilege. It is
Appeals, commissioners of the Public Service Commission, and judges already attached to his office, provided and secured by the fundamental
of the Court of Industrial Relations. Compared to the number of all law, not primarily for his benefit, but based on public interest, to secure
these officials, that of the Supreme Court Justices is relatively and preserve his independence of judicial thought and action. When we
insignificant. There are more than 990 other judicial officers enjoying the come to the members of the Supreme Court, this exemption to them is
exemption, including 15 Justices of the Court of Appeals, about 107 relatively of short duration. Because of the limited membership in this
Judges of First Instance, 38 Municipal Judges and about 830 Justices High Tribunal, eleven, and due to the high standards of experience,
of the Peace. The reason behind the exemption in the Constitution, as practice and training required, one generally enters its portals and
comes to join its membership quite late in life, on the average, around constitutional provision or statute be exempted from his ordinary
his sixtieth year, and being required to retire at seventy, assuming that obligation of paying taxes on his income. Under the same public policy
he does not die or become incapacitated earlier, naturally he is not in a and perhaps for the same it not higher considerations, the framers of
position to receive the benefit of exemption for long. It is rather to the the Constitution deemed it wise and necessary to exempt judicial
justices of the peace that the exemption can give more benefit. They officers from paying taxes on their salaries so as not to decrease their
are relatively more numerous, and because of the meager salary they compensation, thereby insuring the independence of the Judiciary.
receive, they can less afford to pay the income tax on it and its In conclusion we reiterate the doctrine laid down in the case of Perfecto
diminution by the amount of the income tax if paid would be real, vs. Meer, supra, to the effect that the collection of income tax on the
substantial and onerous. salary of a judicial officer is a diminution thereof and so violates the
Considering exemption in the abstract, there is nothing unusual or Constitution. We further hold that the interpretation and application of
abhorrent in it, as long as it is based on public policy or public interest. the Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive province and
While all other citizens are subject to arrest when charged with the jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the
commission of a crime, members of the Senate and House of Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in such
Representatives except in cases of treason, felony and breach of the a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying
peace are exempt from arrest, during their attendance in the session of the hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting said statute,
the Legislature; and while all other citizens are generally liable for any specially when the interpretation sought and provided in said statute
speech, remark or statement, oral or written, tending to cause the runs counter to a previous interpretation already given in a case by the
dishonor, discredit or contempt of a natural or juridical person or to highest court of the land.
blacken the memory of one who is dead, Senators and Congressmen in Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Tuason, Reyes and Labrador, JJ., concur.
making such statements during their sessions are extended immunity Separate Opinions
and exemption. BAUTISTA ANGELO, J., concurring:
And as to tax exemption, there are not a few citizens who enjoy this Without expressing any opinion on the doctrine laid down by this Court
exemption. Persons, natural and juridical, are exempt from taxes on in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, G«R. No. L-2314, in view of the part I
their lands, buildings and improvements thereon when used exclusively had in that case as former Solicitor General, I wish however to state that
for educational purposes, even if they derive income therefrom. (Art. VI, I concur in the opinion of the majority to the effect that section 13,
Sec. 22 [3].) Holders of government bonds are exempted from the Republic Act No. 590, in so far as it provides that taxing of the salary of
payment of taxes on the income or interest they receive therefrom (sec. a judicial officer shall be considered "not to be a diminution of his
29 (b) [4], National Internal Revenue Code as amended by Republic Act compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law", constitutes an
No. 566). Payments or income received by any person residing in the invasion of the province and jurisdiction of the judiciary. In this sense, I
Philippines under the laws of the United States administered by the am of the opinion that said section is null and void, it being a
United States Veterans Administration are exempt from taxation. transgression of the fundamental principle underlying the separation of
(Republic Act No. 360). Funds received by officers and enlisted men of powers.
the Philippine Army who served in the Armed Forces of the United PARAS, C.J., concurring and dissenting:
States, allowances earned by virtue of such services corresponding to I dissent for the same reasons stated in the dissenting opinion of Mr.
the taxable years 1942 to 1945, inclusive, are exempted from income Justice Ozaeta in Perfecto vs. Meer, 85 Phil., 552, in which I concurred.
tax. (Republic Act No. 210). The payment of wages and allowances of But I disagree with the majority in ruling that no legislation may provide
officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines sent to that it be held valid although against a provision of the Constitution.
Korea are also exempted from taxation. (Republic Act No. 815). New
and necessary industries are also exempted from taxation for a certain EN BANC
number of years. (Republic Act No. 35). In other words, for reasons of [G.R. No. L-409. January 30, 1947.]
public policy and public interest, a citizen may justifiably by ANASTACIO LAUREL, petitioner, vs. ERIBERTO MISA, respondent.
Pedro M. Recto and Que Tube C. Makalintal, for petitioner. 6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ARTICLE 114 OF REVISED PENAL CODE,
First Assistant Solicitor General Reyes and Solicitor Hernandez, Jr., for APPLICABILITY OF. — Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code, was
respondent. applicable to treason committed against the national security of the
SYLLABUS legitimate government, because the inhabitants of the occupied territory
1. INTERNATIONAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; ALLEGIANCE were still bound by their allegiance to the latter during the enemy
OF CITIZEN OR SUBJECT TO SOVEREIGN; NATURE OF. — A citizen occupation.
or subject owes, not a qualified and temporary, but an absolute and 7. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; POWER OF MILITARY OCCUPANT TO
permanent allegiance, which consists in the obligation of fidelity and CHANGE LAWS OR MAKE NEW ONES. — Although the military
obedience to his government or sovereign. occupant is enjoined to respect or continue in force, unless absolutely
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; EFFECT OF ENEMY OCCUPATION. — The prevented by the circumstances, those laws that enforce public order
absolute and permanent allegiance of the inhabitants of a territory and regulate the social and commercial life of the country, he has,
occupied by the enemy to their legitimate government or sovereign is nevertheless, all the powers of a de facto government and may, at his
not abrogated or severed by the enemy occupation, because the pleasure, either change the existing laws or make new ones when the
sovereignty of the government or sovereign de jure is not transferred exigencies of the military service demand such action, that is, when it is
thereby to the occupier. necessary for the occupier to do so for the control of the country and
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; SOVEREIGNTY, EFFECT ON, OF ENEMY the protection of his army, subject to the restrictions or limitations
OCCUPATION. — The subsistence of the sovereignty of the legitimate imposed by the Hague Regulations, the usages established by civilized
government in a territory occupied by the military forces of the enemy nations, the laws of humanity and the requirements of public
during a war, "although the former is in fact prevented from exercising conscience.
the supremacy over them" is one of the "rules of international law of our 8. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; MILITARY OCCUPANT CANNOT REPEAL OR
times." SUSPEND OPERATION OF LAW OF TREASON. — Since the
4. ID.; ID.; ID.; "TEMPORARY ALLEGIANCE" SIMILAR TO preservation of the allegiance or the obligation of fidelity and obedience
ALLEGIANCE OF FOREIGNER TO GOVERNMENT OF HIS of a citizen or subject to his government or sovereign does not demand
RESIDENCE. — The words "temporary allegiance," repudiated by from him a positive action, but only passive attitude or forbearance from
Oppenheim and other publicists, as descriptive of the relations borne by adhering to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort, the occupant
the inhabitants of the territory occupied by the enemy toward the has no power, as a corollary of the preceding consideration, to repeal or
military government established over them, may, at most, be considered suspend the operation of the law of treason.
similar to the temporary allegiance which a foreigner owes to the 9. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; SUSPENDED ALLEGIANCE, EFFECT OF
government or sovereign of the territory wherein he resides in return for THEORY OF, ADOPTED. — Adoption of the petitioner's theory of
the protection he receives and does not do away with the absolute and suspended allegiance would lead to disastrous consequences for small
permanent allegiance which the citizen residing in a foreign country and weak nations or states, and would be repugnant to the laws of
owes to his own government or sovereign. humanity and requirements of public conscience, for it would allow
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; TREASON IN FOREIGN COUNTRY AND IN invaders to legally recruit or enlist the Quisling inhabitants of the
TERRITORY UNDER MILITARY OCCUPATION. — Just as a citizen or occupied territory to fight against their own government without the
subject of a government or sovereign may be prosecuted for and latter incurring the risk of being prosecuted for treason, and even
convicted of treason committed in a foreign country, in the same way an compel those who are not to aid them in their military operation against
inhabitant of a territory occupied by the military forces of the enemy the resisting enemy forces in order to completely subdue and conquer
may commit treason against his own legitimate government or the whole nation, and thus deprive them all of their own independence
sovereign if he adheres to the enemies of the latter by giving them aid or sovereignty —such theory would sanction the action of invaders in
and comfort. forcing the people of a free and sovereign country to be a party in the
nefarious task of depriving themselves of their own freedom and
independence and repressing the exercise by them of their own and (2) that there was a change of sovereignty over these Islands upon
sovereignty; in other words, to commit a political suicide. the proclamation of the Philippine Republic:
10. ID., SOVEREIGNTY, IN WHOM DOES IT RESIDE. — "(1) Considering that a citizen or subject owes, not a qualified and
Sovereignty resides in the people of the Philippines. temporary, but an absolute and permanent allegiance, which consists in
11. ID.; ID.; COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES A the obligation of fidelity and obedience to his government or sovereign;
SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT. — The Commonwealth of the and that this absolute and permanent allegiance should not be
Philippines was a sovereign government, though not absolute but confused with the qualified and temporary allegiance which of foreigner
subject to certain limitations imposed in the Independence Act and owes to the government or sovereign of the territory wherein he resides,
incorporated as Ordinance appended to our Constitution. so long as he remains there, in return for the protection he receives,
12. ID.; ID.; ID.; QUESTIONS OF SOVEREIGNTY, POLITICAL. — and which consists in the obedience to the laws of the government or
The question of sovereignty is "a purely political question, the sovereign. (Carlisle vs. United States, 21 Law. ed., 42g; Secretary of
determination of which by the legislative and executive departments of State Webster Report to the President of the United States in the case
any government conclusively binds the judges, as well as all other of Thraser, 6 Web. Works, 526);
officer, citizens and subjects of the country." "Considering that the absolute and permanent allegiance of the
13. ID.; ID.; ID.; PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC, RIGHT OF, TO inhabitants of a territory occupied by the enemy to their legitimate
PROSECUTE TREASON COMMITTED DURING JAPANESE government or sovereign is not abrogated or severed by the enemy
OCCUPATION. — Just as treason may be committed against the occupation, because the sovereignty of the government or sovereign de
Federal as well as against the State Government, in the same way jure is not transferred thereby to the occupier, as we have held in the
treason may have been committed during the Japanese occupation cases of Co Kim Cham v~. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon (75 Phil., 113)
against the sovereignty of the United States as well as against the and of Peralta vs. Director of Prisons (75 Phil., 285), and if it is not
sovereignty of the Philippine Commonwealth; and that the change of transferred to the occupant it must necessarily remain vested in the
our form of government from Commonwealth to Republic does not legitimate government; that the sovereignty vested in the titular
affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason government (which is the supreme power which governs a body politic
committed during the Commonwealth, because it is an offense against or society which constitute the state) must be distinguished from the
the same government and the same sovereign people, for Article XVIII exercise of the rights inherent thereto, and may be destroyed, or
of our Constitution provides that: "The government established by this severed and transferred to another, but it cannot be suspended
Constitution shall be known as the Commonwealth of the Philippines. because the existence of sovereignty cannot be suspended without
Upon the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United putting it out of existence or divesting the possessor thereof at least
States and the proclamation of Philippine Independence, the during the so-called period of suspension; that what may be suspended
Commonwealth of the Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the is the exercise of the rights of sovereignty with the control and
Republic of the Philippines." government of the territory occupied by the enemy passes temporarily
RESOLUTION to the occupant; that the subsistence of the sovereignty of the legitimate
"In G. R. No. L-409, Anastacio Laurel vs. Eriberto Misa, etc., the Court, government in a territory occupied by the military forces of the enemy
acting on the petition for habeas corpus filed by Anastacio Laurel and during the war, 'although the former is in fact prevented from exercising
based on the theory that a Filipino citizen who adhered to the enemy the supremacy over them' is one of the 'rules of international law of our
giving the latter aid and comfort during the Japanese occupation cannot times'; (II Oppenheim, 6th Lauterpach ed., 1944, p. 482), recognized, by
be prosecuted for the crime of treason defined and penalized by article necessary implication, in articles 23, 44, 45, and 52 of Hague
114 of the Revised Penal Code, for the reason (1) that the sovereignty Regulation; and that, as a corollary of the conclusion that the
of the legitimate government in the Philippines and, consequently, the sovereignty itself is not suspended and subsists during the enemy
correlative allegiance of Filipino citizens thereto was then suspended; occupation, the allegiance of the inhabitants to their legitimate
government or sovereign subsists, and therefore there is no such thing
as suspended allegiance, the basic theory on which the whole fabric of citizenship thereof since he has to obey, with certain exceptions, the
the petitioner's contention rests; laws of that country which enforce public order and regulate the social
"Considering that the conclusion that the sovereignty of the United and commercial life, in return for the protection he receives, and would,
States was suspended in Castine, set forth in the decision in the case of on the other hand, lose his original citizenship, because he would not be
United States vs. Rice, 4 Wheaton, 246, 253, decided in 1819, and bound to obey most of the laws of his own government or sovereign,
quoted in our decision in the cases of Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and would not receive, while in a foreign country, the protection he is
and Dizon and Peralta vs. Director of Prisons, supra, in connection with entitled to in his own;
the question, not of sovereignty, but of the existence of a government "Considering that, as a corollary of the suspension of the exercise of
de facto therein and its power to promulgate rules and laws in the rights of sovereignty by the legitimate government in the territory
occupied territory, must have been based, either on the theory adopted occupied by the enemy military forces, because the authority of the
subsequently in the Hague Convention of 1907, that the military legitimate power to govern has passed into the hands of the occupant
occupation of an enemy territory does not transfer the sovereignty, or on (Article 43, Hague Regulations), the political laws which prescribe the
the old theory that such occupation transfers the sovereignty to the reciprocal rights, duties and obligation of government and citizens, are
occupant; that, in the first case, the word 'sovereignty' used therein suspended or in abeyance during military occupation (Co Kim Cham vs.
should be construed to mean the exercise of the rights of sovereignty, Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon, supra), for the only reason that as they
because as this remains vested in the legitimate government and is not exclusively bear relation to the ousted legitimate government, they are
transferred to the occupier, it cannot be suspended without putting it out inoperative or not applicable to the government established by the
of existence or divesting said government thereof; and that in the occupant; that the crimes against national security, such as treason and
second case, that is, if the said conclusion or doctrine refers to the espionage, inciting to war, correspondence with hostile country, flight to
suspension of the sovereignty itself, it has become obsolete after the enemy's country, as well as those against public order, such as
adoption of the Hague Regulations in 1907, and therefore it can not be rebellion, sedition, and disloyalty, illegal possession of firearms, which
applied to the present case; are of political complexion because they bear relation to, and are
"Considering that even adopting the words 'temporary allegiance,' penalized by our Revised Penal Code as crimes against the legitimate
repudiated by Oppenheim and other publicists, as descriptive of the government, are also suspended or become inapplicable as against the
relations borne by the inhabitants of the territory occupied by the enemy occupant, because they can not be committed against the latter (Peralta
toward the military government established over them, such allegiance 1.S. Director of Prisons, supra); and that, while the offenses against
may, at most, be considered similar to the temporary allegiance which a public order to be preserved by the legitimate government were
foreigner owes to the government or sovereign of the territory wherein inapplicable as offenses against the invader for the reason above
he resides in return for the protection he receives as above described, stated, unless adopted by him, were also ill operative as against the
and does not do away with the absolute and permanent allegiance ousted government for the latter was not responsible for the
which the citizen residing in a foreign country owes to his own preservation of the public order in the occupied territory, yet article 114
government or sovereign; that just as a citizen or subject of a of the said Revised Penal Code, was applicable to treason committed
government or sovereign may be prosecuted for and convicted of against the national security of the legitimate government, because the
treason committed in a foreign country, in the same way an inhabitant of inhabitants of the occupied territory were still bound by their allegiance
a territory occupied by the military forces of the enemy may commit to the latter during the enemy occupation;
treason against his own legitimate government or sovereign if he "Considering that, although the military occupant is enjoined to respect
adheres to the enemies of the latter by giving them aid comfort; and that or continue in force, unless absolutely prevented by the circumstances,
if the allegiance of a citizen or subject to his government or sovereign is those laws that enforce public order and regulate the social and
nothing more than obedience to its laws in return for the protection he commercial life of the country, he has, nevertheless, all the powers of a
receives, it would necessarily follow that a citizen who resides in a de facto government and may, at his pleasure, either change the
foreign country or state would, on one hand, ipso facto acquire the existing laws or make new ones when the exigencies of the military
service demand such action, that is, when it is necessary for the theory would sanction the action of invaders in forcing the people of a
occupier to do so for the control of the country and the protection of his free and sovereign country to be a party i n the nefarious task of
army, subject to the restrictions or limitations imposed by the Hague depriving themselves of their own freedom and independence and
Regulations, the usages established by civilized nations, the laws of repressing the exercise by them of their own sovereignty; in other
humanity and the requirements of public conscience ( Peralta vs. words, to commit a political suicide;
Director of Prisons, supra; 1940 United States Rules of Land Warfare "(2) Considering that the crime of treason against the government of
76, 77); and that, consequently, all acts of the military occupant dictated the Philippines defined and penalized in article 114 of the Penal Code,
within these limitations are obligatory upon the inhabitants of the though originally intended to be a crime against said government as
territory, who are bound to obey them, and the laws of the legitimate then organized by authority of the sovereign people of the United
government which have not been adopted, as well and those which, States, exercised through their authorized representative, the Congress
though continued in force, are in conflict with such laws and orders of and the President of the United States, was made, upon the
the occupier, shall be considered as suspended or not in force and establishment of the Commonwealth Government in 1935 , a crime
binding upon said inhabitants; against the Government of the Philippines established by authority of
"Considering that, since the preservation of the allegiance or the the people of the Philippines, in whom the sovereignty resides
obligation of fidelity and obedience of a citizen or subject to his according to section 1, Article II, of the Constitution of the Philippines,
government or sovereign does not demand from him a positive action, by virtue of the provision of section 2, Article XVI thereof, which
but only passive attitude or forbearance from adhering to the enemy by provides that all laws of the Philippine Islands . . . shall remain
giving the latter aid and comfort, the occupant has no power, as a operative, unless inconsistent with this Constitution . . . and all
corollary of the preceding consideration, to repeal or suspend the references in such laws to the Government or officials of the Philippine
operation of the law of treason, essential for the preservation of the Islands, shall be construed, in so far as applicable, to refer to the
allegiance owed by the inhabitants to their legitimate government, or Government and corresponding officials under this Constitution;'
compel them to adhere and give aid and comfort to him; because it is Considering that the Commonwealth of the Philippines was a sovereign
evident that such action is not demanded by the exigencies of the government, though not absolute but subject to certain limitations
military service or not necessary for the control of the inhabitants and imposed in the Independence Act and incorporated as Ordinance
the safety and protection of his army, and because it is tantamount to appended to our Constitution, was recognized not only by the
practically transfer temporarily to the occupant their allegiance to the Legislative Department or Congress of the United States in approving
titular government or sovereign; and that, therefore, if an inhabitant of the Independence Law above quoted and the Constitution of the
the occupied territory were compelled illegally by the military occupant, Philippines, which contains the declaration that 'Sovereignty resides in
through force, threat or intimidation, to give him aid and comfort, the the people and all government authority emanates from them' (section
former may lawfully resist and die if necessary as a hero, or submit 1, Article II), but also by the Executive Department of the United States;
thereto without becoming a traitor; that the late President Roosevelt in one of his messages to Congress
"Considering that adoption of the petitioner's theory of suspended said, among others, 'As I stated on August 12, 1943, the United States
allegiance would lead to disastrous consequences for small and weak in practice regards the Philippines as having now the status as a
nations or states, and would be repugnant to the laws of humanity and government of other independent nations — in fact all the attributes of
requirements of public conscience, for it would allow invaders to legally complete and respected nationhood' (Congressional Record, Vol. 29,
recruit or enlist the Quisling inhabitants of the occupied territory to fight part 6, page 8173); and that it is a principle upheld by the Supreme
against their own government without the latter incurring the risk of Court of the United States in many cases, among them in the case of
being prosecuted for treason, and even compel those who are not to aid Jones vs. United States (137 U. S., 202; 34 Law. ed., 691, 696) that the
them in their military operation against the resisting enemy forces in question of sovereignty is 'a purely political question, the determination
order to completely subdue and conquer the whole nation, and thus of which by the legislative and executive departments of any
deprive them all of their own independence or sovereignty — such
government conclusively binds the judges, as well as all other officers, emergency measure. It remains dormant until the emergency arises.
citizens and subjects of the country.' But as soon as war starts, it is relentlessly put into effect. Any lukewarm
"Considering that section I (1) of the Ordinance appended to the attitude in its enforcement will only be consistent with national harakiri.
Constitution which provides that pending the final and complete All war efforts would be of no avail if they should be allowed to be
withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States 'All citizens of the sabotaged by fifth columnists, by citizens who have sold their country
Philippines shall owe allegiance to the United States', was one of the out to the enemy, or any other kind of traitors, and this would certainly
few limitations of the sovereignty of the Filipino people retained by the be the case if the law cannot be enforced under the theory of
United States, but these limitations do not do away or are not suspension.
inconsistent with said sovereignty, in the same way that the people of Petitioner's thesis that allegiance to our government was suspended
each State of the Union preserves its own sovereignty although limited during enemy occupation is advanced in support of the proposition that,
by that of the United States conferred upon the latter by the States; that since allegiance is identical with obedience to law, during the enemy
just as to reason may be committed against the Federal as well as occupation, the laws of the Commonwealth were suspended. Article 114
against the State Government, in the same way treason may have been of the Revised Penal Code, the law punishing treason, under the theory,
committed during the Japanese occupation against the sovereignty of was one of the laws obedience to which was also suspended.
the United States as well as against the sovereignty of the Philippine Allegiance has been defined as the obligation for fidelity and obedience
Commonwealth; and that the change of our form of government from which the individual owes to his government or his sovereign in return
Commonwealth to Republic does not affect the prosecution of those for the protection which he receives.
charged with the crime of treason committed during the "'Allegiance,' as the term is generally used, means fealty or fidelity to
Commonwealth, because it is an offense against the same government the government of which the person is either a citizen or subject. Murray
and the same sovereign people, for Article XVIII of our Constitution vs. The Charming Betsy, 6 U. S. (2 Cranch), 64, 120; 2 Law. ed., 208.
provides that 'The government established by this Constitution shall be "'Allegiance' was said by Mr. Justice Story to be 'nothing more than the
known as the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Upon the final and tie or duty of obedience of a subject to the sovereign, under whose
complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States and the protection he is.' United States vs. Wong Kim Ark, 18 S. Ct., 456, 461;
proclamation of Philippine independence, the Commonwealth of the 169 U. S., 649; 42 Law. ed., 890.
Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the Republic of the "Allegiance is that duty which is due from every citizen to the state, a
Philippines'; political duty binding on him who enjoys the protection of the
"This Court resolves, without prejudice to write later on a more Commonwealth, to render service and fealty to the federal government.
extended opinion, to deny the petitioner's petition, as it is hereby It is that duty which is reciprocal to the right of protection, arising from
denied, for the reasons above set forth and for others to be stated in the the political relations between the government and the citizen. Wallace
said opinion, without prejudice to concurring opinion therein, if any. vs. Harmstad, 44 Pa. (8 Wright), 492, 501.
Messrs. Justices Paras and Hontiveros dissent in a separate opinion. "By 'allegiance' is meant the obligation to fidelity and obedience which
Mr. Justice Perfecto concurs in a separate opinion." the individual owes to the government under which he lives, or to his
Separate Opinions sovereign, in return for the protection which he receives. It may be an
PERFECTO, J ., concurring: absolute and permanent obligation, or it may be a qualified and
Treason is a war crime. It is not an all-time offense. It cannot be temporary one. A citizen or subject owes an absolute and permanent
committed in peace time. While there is peace, there are no traitors. allegiance to his government or sovereign, or at least until, by some
Treason may be incubated when peace reigns. Treasonable acts may open and distinct act, he renounces it and becomes a citizen or subject
actually be perpetrated during peace, but there are no traitors until war of another government or sovereign, and an alien while domiciled in a
has started. country owes it a temporary allegiance, which is continuous during his
As treason is basically a war crime, it is punished by the state as a residence. Carlisle vs. United States, 83 U. S.(16 Wall.), 147, 154; 21
measure of self-defense and self-preservation. The law of treason is an Law ed., 426.
"'Allegiance,' as defined by Blackstone, 'is the tie or ligament which be tendered to every one upon attaining the age of twelve years." (3 C.
binds the subject to the King, in return for that protection which the King J. S., 'p. 885.)
affords the subject. Allegiance, both expressed and implied, is of two "Allegiance. — The obligation of fidelity and obedience which the
sorts, the one natural, the other local, the former being per actual, the individual owes to the government under which he lives, or to his
latter temporary. Natural allegiance is such as is due from all men born sovereign in return for the protection he receives. 15 R. C. L., 140."
within the King's dominions immediately upon their birth, for (Ballantine Law Dictionary, p. 68.)
immediately upon their birth they are under the King's protection. "'Allegiance,' as its etymology indicates, is the name for the tie which
Natural allegiance is perpetual, and for this reason, evidently founded binds the citizen to his state — the obligation of obedience and support
on the nature of government. Allegiance is a debt due from the subject which he owes to it. The state is the political person to whom this liege
upon an implied contract with the prince that so long as the one affords fealty is due. Its substance is the aggregate of persons owing this
protection the other will demean himself faithfully. Natural-born subjects allegiance. The machinery through which it operates is its government.
have a great variety of rights which they acquire by being born within The persons who operate this machinery constitute its magistency. The
the King's allegiance, which can never be forfeited but by their own rules of conduct which the state utters or enforces are its law, and
misbehavior; but the rights of aliens are much more circumscribed, manifest its will. This will, viewed as legally supreme, is its sovereignty."
being acquired only by residence, and lost whenever they remove. If an (W. W. Willoughby, Citizenship and Allegiance in Constitutional and
alien could acquire a permanent property in lands, he must owe an International Law, 1 American Journal of International Law, p. 915.)
allegiance equally permanent to the King, which would probably be "The obligations flowing from the relation of a state and its nationals are
inconsistent with that which he owes his natural liege lord; besides, that reciprocal in character. This principle had been aptly stated by the
thereby the nation might, in time, be subject to foreign influence and Supreme Court of the United States in its opinion in the case of Luria
feel many other inconveniences.' Indians w ithin the state are not aliens, vs. United States:
but citizens owing allegiance to the government of a state, for they "Citizenship is membership in a political society and implies a duty of
receive protection from the government and are subject to its laws. allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the
They are born in allegiance to the government of the state. Jackson vs. part of the society. These are reciprocal obligations, one being a
Goodell, 20 Johns., 188, 911." (3 Words and Phrases, Permanent ed., compensation for the other." (3 Hackworth, Digest of International Law,
pp. 226-227.) 1942 ed., p. 6.)
"Allegiance. — Fealty or fidelity to the government of which the person "Allegiance. — The tie which binds the citizen to the government, in
is either a citizen or subject; the duty which is due from every citizen to return for the protection which the government affords him. The duty
the state; a political duty, binding on him who enjoys the protection of which the subject owes to the sovereign, correlative with the protection
the commonwealth, to render service and fealty to the federal received.
government; the obligation of fidelity and obedience which the individual "It is a comparatively modern corruption of allegiance (ligeantia), which
owes to the government or to the sovereign under which he lives in is derived from liege (ligius), meaning absolute or unqualified. It
return for the protection he receives; that duty which is reciprocal to the signified originally liege fealty, i. e., absolute and unqualified fealty. 18 L.
right of protection, arising from the political relations between the Q. Rev., 47.
government and the citizen. xxx xxx xxx
"Classification. — Allegiance is of four kinds, namely: (1) Natural "Allegiance may be an absolute and permanent obligation, or it may be
allegiance — that which arises by nature and birth; (2) acquired a qualified and temporary one; the citizen or subject owes the former to
allegiance — that arising through some circumstance or act other than his government or sovereign, until by some act he distinctly renounces
birth, namely, by denotation or naturalization; (3) local allegiance — the it, whilst the alien domiciled in the country owes a temporary and local
arising from residence simply within the country, for however short a allegiance continuing during such residence. (Carlisle vs. United States,
time; and (4) legal allegiance — that arising from oath, taken usually at 16 Wall. [U. S.], 154; 21 Law. ed., 42G." (1 Rouvier's Law Dictionary, p.
the town or reed, for, by the common law, the oath of allegiance might 179.)
The above quotations express ideas that do not fit exactly into the benefits of his protection, may the wife invoke the theory of suspended
Philippine pattern in view of the revolutionary insertion in our loyalty and may she freely share her bed with the assailant of their
Constitution of the fundamental principle that "sovereignty resides in the home? After giving aid and comfort to the assailant and allowing him to
people and all government authority emanates from them.' (Section 1, enjoy her charms during the former's stay in the invaded home, may the
Article II.) The authorities above quoted, judges and juridical publicists wife allege as defense for her adultery the principle of suspended
define allegiance with the idea that sovereignty resides somewhere conjugal fidelity?
else, on symbols or subjects other than the people themselves. Petitioner's thesis on change of sovereignty at the advent of
Although it is possible that they had already discovered that the people independence on July 4, 1946, is unacceptable. We have already
and only the people are the true sovereign, their minds were not yet decided in Brodett vs. De la Rosa and Vda. de Escaler (p. 752, ante)
free from the shackles of the tradition that the powers of sovereignty that the Constitution of the Republic is the same as that of the
have been exercised by princes and monarchs, by sultans and Commonwealth. The advent of independence had the effect of
emperors, by absolute and tyrannical rules whose ideology was best changing the name of our Government and the withdrawal by the
expressed in the famous words of one of the kings of France: "L'etat United States of her power to exercise functions of sovereignty in the
c'est moi," or such other persons or group of persons posing as the Philippines. Such facts did not change the sovereignty of the Filipino
government, as an entity different and in opposition to the people people. That sovereignty, following our constitutional philosophy, has
themselves. Although democracy has been known ever since old existed ever since our people began to exist. It has been recognized by
Greece, and modern democracies function on the assumption that the United States of America, at least since 1935, when President
sovereignty resides in the people, nowhere is such principle more Roosevelt approved our Constitution. By such act, President Roosevetl,
imperative than in the pronouncement embodied in the fundamental law as spokeman of the American people, accepted and recognized the
of our people. principle that sovereignty resides in the people that is, that Philippine
To those who think that sovereignty is an attribute of government, and sovereignty resides in the Filipino people.
not of the people, there may be some plausibility in the proposition that The same sovereignty had been internationally recognized long before
sovereignty was suspended during the enemy occupation, with the the proclamation f independence on July 4, 1946. Since the early part of
consequence that allegiance must also have been suspended, because the Pacific war, President Quezon had been sitting as representative of
our government stopped to function in the country. But the idea cannot a sovereign people in the Allied War Council, and in June, 1945, the
have any place under our Constitution. If sovereignty is an essential same Filipino people took part — outstanding and brilliant, it may be
attribute of our people, according to the basic philosophy of Philippine added — in the drafting and adoption of the charter of the United
democracy, it could not have been suspended during the enemy Nations, the unmistakable forunner of the future democratic constitution
occupation. Sovereignty is the very life of our people, and there is no of the would government envisioned by all those who adhere to the
such thing as "suspended life." There is no possible middle situation principle of unity of all mankind, the early realization of which is
between life and death. Sovereignty is the very essence of the anxiously desired all who want to be spared the sufferings, misery and
personality and existence of our people. Can anyone imagine the disaster of another war.
possibility of "suspended personality" or "suspended existence" of a Under our Constitution, the power to suspend laws is of legislative
people? In no time during enemy occupation have the Filipino people nature and is lodged in Congress. Sometimes it is delegated to the
ceased to be what they are. Chief Executive, such as the power granted by the Election to the
The idea of suspended sovereignty or suspended allegiance is President to suspend the election in certain districts and areas for
incompatible with our Constitution. strong reasons, such as when there is rebellion, or a public calamity, but
There is similarity in characteristics between allegiance to the sovereign it has never been exercised by tribunals. The Supreme Court has the
and a wife's loyalty to her husband. Because some external and power to declare null and void all laws violative of the Constitution, but it
insurmountable force precludes the husband from exercising his marital has no power, authority, or jurisdiction to suspend or declare suspended
powers, functions, and duties, and the wife is thereby deprived of the any valid law, such as the one on treason which petitioner wants to be
included among the laws of ther Commonwealth which, by, his theory of Japanese themselves or by Filipino officers of the puppet government
suspended allegiance and suspended sovereignty, he claims have been they had set up, are null and void, as we have done in our opinions in
suspended during the Japanese occupation. Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon (75 Phil., 113), in Peralta
Suppose President Quezon and his government, instead going from vs. Director of Prison (75, Phil., 285), and in several other cases where
Corregidor to Australia, and later to Washington, had fled to the the same question has been mentioned, we cannot consistently accept
mountains of Luzon, and a group of Filipino renegades should have petitioner's theory.
killed them to serve the interests of the Japanese imperial forces. By If all laws or legislative acts of the enemy during the occupation were
petitioner's theory, those renegades cannot be prosecuted for treason null and void, and as we cannot imagine the existence of organized
or for rebellion or sedition, as the laws punishing them were suspended. society, such as the one constituted by the Filipino people, without laws
Such absurd result betrays the untenability of the theory. governing, it, necessarily we have to conclude that the laws of the
"The defense of the State is a prime duty of Government, and in the Commonwealth were the ones in effect during the occupation and the
fulfillment of that duty all citizens may be required by law to render only ones that could claim obedience from our citizens.
personal, military or civil service." Thus, section 2 of Article II of the Petitioner would want us to accept the thesis that during the occupation
Constitution provides: That duty of defense becomes more imperative in we owed allegiance to the enemy. To give way to that paradoxical and
time of war and when the country is invaded by an aggressor nation. disconcerting allegiance, it is suggested that we accept that our
How can it be fulfilled if the allegiance of the citizens to the sovereign allegiance to our legitimate government was suspended. Petitioner's
people is suspended during enemy occupation? The framers of the proposition has to fall by its own weight, because of its glaring
Constitution surely did not entertain even for a moment the absurdity absurdities. Allegiance, like its synonyms, loyalty and fidelity, is based
that when the allegiance of the citizens to the sovereign people is more on feelings of attraction, love, sympathy, admiration, respect,
needed in the defense of the survival of the state, the same should be veneration, gratitude, amity, understanding, friendliness. These are the
suspended, and that upon such suspension those who may be required feelings or some foe feelings that bind us to our own people, and are
to render personal, military or civil service may claim exemption from the natural roots of the duty of allegiance we owe them. The enemy only
the indispensable duty of serving their country in distress. provokes repelling and repulsive feelings — hate, anger, vexation,
Petitioner advances the theory that protection is the consideration of chagrin, mortification, resentment, contempt, spitefulness. The natural
allegiance. He argues that the Commonwealth Government having incompatibility of political social and ethical ideologies, between our
been incapacitated during enemy occupation to protect the citizens, the people and the Japanese, making impossible the existence of any
latter were relieved of their allegiance to said government. The feeling of attraction between them, aside from the initial fact that the
proposition is untenable. Allegiance to the sovereign is an indispensable Japanese invaded our country as our enemy, was aggravated by the
bond for the existence of society. If that bond is dissolved, society has morbid complexities of haughtiness, braggadocio and beastly brutality
to disintegrate. Whether or not the existence of the latter is the result of of the Nippon soldiers and officers in their dealings with even the most
the social compact mentioned by Roseau, there can be no question that inoffensive of our citizens.
organized society would be dissolved if it is not united by the cohesive Giving bread to our enemy, and, after slapping one side of our face,
power of the citizen's allegiance. Of course, the citizens are entitled to offer him the other to be further slapped, may appear to be divinely
the protection of their government, but whether or not that government charitable, but to make them a reality, it is necessary to change human
fulfills that duty, is immaterial to the need of maintaining the loyalty and nature. Political actions, legal rules, and judicial decisions deal with
fidelity of allegiance, in the same way that the physical forces of human relations, taking man as he is, not as he should be. To love the
attraction should be kept unhampered if the life of an individual should enemy is not natural. As long as human psychology remains as it is, the
continue, irrespective of the ability or inability of his mind to choose the enemy shall always be hated. Is it possible to conceive an allegiance
most effective measures of personal protection. based on hatred?
After declaring that all legislative, executive, and judicial processes lad The Japanese, having waged against us an illegal war condemned by
during and under the Japanese regime, whether executed by the prevailing principles of international law, could not have established in
our country any government that can be legally recognized as de facto. part of our laws by virtue of the provisions of section 3 of Article II of the
They came as bandits and ruffians, and it is inconceivable that banditry Constitution, it seems that there is no alternative but to accept the
and ruffianism can claim any duty of allegiance — even a temporary theory. But the theory has the effect of suspending the laws, especially
one — from a decent people. those political in nature. There is no law more political in nature than the
One of the implications of petitioner's theory, as intimated somewhere, Constitution of the Philippines. The result is an inverted reproduction of
is that the citizens, in case of invasion, are free to do anything not the Greek myth of Saturn devouring his own children. Here, under
forbidden by the Hague Conventions. Anybody will notice immediately petitioner's theory, the offspring devours its parent.
that the result will be the doom of small nations and peoples, by Can we conceive of an instance in which the Constitution was
whetting the covetousness of strong powers prone on imperialistic suspended even for a moment?
practices. In the imminence of invasion, weak-hearted soldiers of the There is conclusive evidence that the legislature, as policy determining
smaller will readily throw away their arms to rally behind palladium of agency of government, even since the Pacific war started on December
the invaders. 7, 1941, intimated that it would not accept the idea that our laws should
Two foot he three great departments of our Government have already be suspended during enemy occupation. It must be remembered that in
rejected petitioner's theory since September 25, 1945, the day when the middle of December, 1941, when Manila and other parts of the
Commonwealth Act No. 682 took effect. By said act, creating the archipelago were under constant bombing by Japanese aircraft and
People's Court to try and decide all cases of crime against national enemy forces had already set foot somewhere in the Philippines, the
security "committed between December 8, 1941 and September 2, Second National Assembly passed Commonwealth Act No. 671, which
1945," (section 2), the legislative and executive have jointly declared came into effect on December 16, 1941. When we approved said act,
that during the period above mentioned, including the time of Japanese we started from the premise that all our laws shall continue in effect
occupation, all laws punishing crimes against national security, including during the emergency, and in said act we even went to the extent of
article 114 of the Revised Penal Code, punishing treason, had reminded authorizing the President "to continue in fore laws and appropriations
in full effect an should be enforced. which would lapse or otherwise become inoperative," (section 2, [d]),
That no one raised a voice in protest against the enactment of said and and also to "promulgate such rules and regulations as he may deem
that no one, at the time the act was being considered by the Senate and necessary to carry out the national policy," (section 2 ), that "the
the House of Representatives, ever dared to expose the useless of existence of war between the United States and other countries of
creating a People's Court to try crimes which, as claimed by petitioner, Europe and Asia, which involves the Philippines, makes it necessary to
could not have been committed as the laws punishing them have been invest the President with extraordinary powers in order to meet the
suspended, is a historical fact of which the Supreme Court may the take resulting emergency." (Section 1.) To give more emphasis to the
judicial notice. This fact shows universal and unanimous agreement of intimation, we provided that the rules and regulations provided "shall be
our people that the laws of the Commonwealth were not suspended and in force and effect until the Congress of the Philippines small otherwise
that the theory of suspended allegiance is just an afterthought provoked provide," foreseeing the possibility that Congress may not meet as
by a desperate effort to help quash the pending treason cases at any scheduled as a result of the emergency, including invasion and
cost. occupation by the enemy. Everybody was then convinced that we did
Among the arguments adduced in favor of petitioner's theory is that it is not have available the necessary means of repelling effectively the
based n generally accepted principles of international law, although this enemy invasion.
argument becomes futile by petitioner's admission that the theory is Maybe it is not out of place to consider that the acceptance of
advantageous to strong powers but harmful to small and weak nations, petitioner's theory of suspended allegiance will cause a great injustice
thus hinting that the latter cannot accept it by heart. Suppose we accept to those who, although innocent, are now under indictment for treason
at face value the premise that the theories, urged by petitioner, of and other crimes involving disloyalty to their country, because their
suspended allegiance and suspended sovereignty are based on cases will be dismissed without the opportunity for them to re vindicate
generally accepted principles of international law. As the latter forms themselves. Having been acquitted upon a mere legal technicality which
appears to us to be wrong, history will indiscriminately classify them no less than 61 civilized nations and governments, among them Japan,
with the other accused who were really traitors to their country. Our had to formulate and solemnly subscribe to the now famous Briand-
conscience revolts against the idea of allowing the innocent ones to go Kellogg Pact in the year 1928. As said by Justice Jackson of the United
down in the memory of future generations with the infamous stigma of States Supreme Court, as chief counsel for the United States in the
having betrayed their own people. They should not be deprived of the prosecution of "Axis war criminals," in his report to President Truman of
opportunity to show through the due process of law that they are free June 7, 1945:
from all blame and that, if they were really patriots, they acted as such "International law is not capable of development by legislation, for there
during the critical period of test. is no continuously sitting international legislature. Innovations and
HILADO, J ., concurring: revisions in international law are brought about by the action of
I concur in the result reached in the majority opinion to the effect that governments designed to meet a change in circumstances. It grows, as
during the so-called Japanese occupation of the Philippines (which was did the common law, through decisions reached from time to time in
nothing more than the occupation of Manila and certain other specific adopting settled principles to new situations.
regions of the Islands which constituted the minor area of the xxx xxx xxx
Archipelago) the allegiance of the citizens of this country to their "After the shock to civilization of the war of 1914-1918, however, a
legitimate government and to the United States was not suspended, as marked reversion to the earlier and sounder doctrines of international
well as the ruling that during the same period there was no change of law took place. By the time the Nazis came to power it was thoroughly
sovereignty here; but my reasons are different and I proceed, to set established that launching an aggressive war or the institution of war by
them forth: treachery was illegal and that the defense of legitimate warfare was no
I. SUSPENDED ALLEGIANCE longer available to those who engaged in such an enterprise. It is high
(a) Before the horror and atrocities of World War I, which were time that we act on the juridical principle that aggressive war-making is
multiplied more than a hundred-fold in World War II, the nations had illegal and criminal.
evolved certain rules and principles which came to be known as "The re-establishment of the principle of justifiable war is traceable in
International Law, governing their conduct with each other and toward many steps. One of the most significant is the Briand-Kellogg Pact of
their respective citizens and inhabitants, in the armed forces or in 1928 by which Germany, Italy, and Japan, in common with the United
civilian life, in time of peace or in time of war. During the ages which States and practically all the nations of the world, renounced war as an
preceded that first world conflict the civilized governments had no instrument of national policy, bound themselves to seek the settlement
realization of the potential excesses of which "men's inhumanity to man" of disputes only by pacific means, and condemned recourse to war for
could be capable. Up to that time war was, at least under certain the solution of international controversies.
conditions, considered as sufficiently justified, and the nations had not "Unless this Pact altered the legal status of wars of aggression, it has
on that account, proscribed nor renounced it as an instrument of no meaning at all and comes close to being an act of deception. In 1932
national policy, or as a means of settling international disputes. It is not Mr. Henry I,. Stimson, as United States Secretary of State, gave voice
for us now to dwell upon the reasons accounting for this historical fact. to the American concept of its effect. He said, 'war between nations was
Suffice it to recognize its existence in history. renounced by the signatories of the Briand-Kellogg Treaty. This means
But when in World War I civilized humanity saw that war could be, as it that it has become illegal throughout practically the entire world It is no
actually was, employed for entirely different reasons and from entirely longer to be the source and subject of rights. It is no longer to the
different motives, compared to previous wars, and the instruments and principle around which the duties, the conduct, and the rights of nations
methods of warfare had been so materially changed as not only to revolve. It is an illegal thing . . .. By that very act we have made
involve the contending armed forces on well defined battlefields or obsolete many legal precedents and have given the legal profession the
areas, on land, in the sea, and in the air, but to spread death and task of re-examining many of its Codes and treaties.'
destruction to the innocent civilian populations and to their properties,
not only in the countries engaged in the conflict but also in neutral ones,
"This Pact constitutes only one reversal of the viewpoint that all war is constitutes an international crime; and the 6th Pan-American
legal and has brought international law into harmony with the common Conference of 1928, which unanimously adopted a resolution stating
sense of mankind — that justifiable war is a crime. that war of aggression constitutes an international crime against the
"Without attempting an exhaustive catalogue, we may mention the human species: which enumeration, he says, is not an attempt at an
Geneva Protocol of 1924 for the Pacific Settlement of International exhaustive catalogue.
Disputes, signed by the representatives of forty-eight governments, It is not disputed that the war started by Japan in the Pacific, first,
which declared that 'a war of aggression constitutes . . . an international against the United States, and later, in rapid succession, against other
crime.' allied nations, was a war of aggression and utterly unjustifiable. More
"The Eighth Assembly of the league of Nations in 1927, on unanimous aggressive still, and more unjustifiable, as admitted on all sides, was its
resolution of the representatives of forty-eight member-nations, attack; against the Philippines and its consequent invasion and
including Germany, declared that a war of aggression constitutes an occupation of certain areas thereof.
international crime. At the Sixth Pan-American Conference of 1928, the Some of the rules and principles of international law which have been
twenty-one American Republics unanimously adopted a resolution cited for petitioner herein in support of his theory of suspended
stating that 'war of aggression constitutes an international crime against allegiance, have been evolved and accepted during those periods of the
the human species.' history of nations when all war was considered legal, as stated by
xxx xxx xxx Justice Jackson, and the others have reference to military occupation in
"We therefore propose to charge that a war of aggression is a crime, the course of really justifiable war.
and that modern international law has abolished the defense that those Japan in subscribing the Briand-Kellogg Pact thirteen years before she
who incite or wage it are engaged in legitimate business. Thus may the started the aggressive war which threw the entire Pacific area into a
forces of the law be mobilized on the side of Peace." (U. S. A. — An seething cauldron from the last month of 1941 to the first week of
American Review," published by the United States Office of War September, 1945, expressly agreed to outlaw, proscribe and renounce
Information, Vol. 2, No. 10; emphasis supplied.) war as an instrument of national policy, and bound herself to seek the
When Justice Jackson speaks of "a marked reversion to the earlier and settlement of her disputes with other nations only by pacific means.
sounder doctrines of international law" and "the re-establishment of the Thus she expressly gave her consent to that modification of the then
principle of justifiable war," he has in mind no other than "the doctrine existing rules and principles of international law governing the matter.
taught by Grotius, the father of international law, that there is a With that modification, all the signatories to the pact necessarily
distinction between the just and the unjust war — the war of defense accepted and bound themselves to abide by all its implications, among
and the war of aggression" to which he alludes in an earlier paragraph them the outlawing, proscription and renunciation of military occupation
of the same report. of another nation's territory in the course of a war thus outlawed,
In the paragraph of said report immediately preceding the one last proscribed and renounced. This is only one way of saying that the rules
above mentioned Justice Jackson says that "international law as taught and principles of international law therefore existing on the subject of
in the 19th and the early part of the 20th century generally declared that military occupation were automatically abrogated and rendered
war-making was not illegal and no crime at law." But, as he says in one ineffective in all future cases of war coming under the ban and
of the paragraphs hereinabove quoted from that report, the Briand- condemnation of the pact.
Kellogg Pact constitutes a reversal of the viewpoint that all war is legal If an unjustifiable war is a crime; if a war of aggression constitutes an
and has brought international law into harmony with the common sense international crime; if such a war is an international crime against the
of mankind — that unjustifiable war is a crime. Then he mentions as human species: a nation which occupies a foreign territory in the course
other reversals of the same viewpoint, the Geneva Protocol of 1924 for of such a war cannot possibly, under any principle of natural or positive
the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, declaring that a war of law, acquire or possess any legitimate power or right growing out or
aggression constitutes an international crime; the 8th assembly of the incident to such occupation. Concretely, Japan in criminally invading the
League of Nations in 1927, declaring that a war of aggression Philippines and occupying certain portions of its territory during the
Pacific war, could not have nor exercise, in the legal sense — and only continuance of the allegiance owed to a nation by its citizens is one of
in this sense should we speak here with respect this country and its those high privileges of citizenship which the law of nations denies to
citizens, any more than could a burglar breaking through a man's house the occupant the power to interfere with.
pretends to have or to exercise any legal power or right within that " . . . His (of occupant) rights are not, however, commensurate with his
house with respect either to the person of the owner or to his property. power. He is thus forbidden to take certain measures which he may be
To recognize in the first instance any legal power or right on the part of able to apply, and that irrespective of their efficacy. The restrictions
the invader, and in the second any legal power or right on the part of the imposed upon him are in theory designed to protect the individual in the
burglar, the same as in case of a military occupant in the course of a enjoyment of some highly important privileges. These concern his
justifiable war, would be nothing short of legalizing the crime itself. It allegiance to the de jure sovereign, his family honor and domestic
would be the most monstrous and unpardonable contradiction to relations, religious convictions, personal service, and connection with or
prosecute, condemn and hang the appropriately called war criminals of residence in the occupied territory.
Germany, Italy, and Japan, and at the same time recognize any "The Hague Regulations declare that the occupant is forbidden to
lawfulness in their occupation of territories they have so barbarously compel the inhabitants to swear allegiance to the hostile power. . . ." (III
and feloniously invaded. And let it not be forgotten that the Philippines is Hyde, International Law, 2d revised ed., pp 1898-1899.)
a member of the United Nations who have instituted and conducted the ". . .Nor may he (occupant) compel them (inhabitants) to take an oath of
so-called war crimes trials. Neither should we lose sight of the further allegiance. Since the authority of the occupant is not sovereignty, the
fact that this government has a representative in the international inhabitants owe no temporary allegiance to him. . . ." (II Oppenheim,
commission currently trying the Japanese war criminals in Tokyo. These International Law, pp. 341-344)
facts leave no room for doubt that this government is in entire accord The occupant's lack of authority to exact an oath of allegiance from the
with the other United Nations in considering the Pacific war started by inhabitants of the occupied territory is but a corollary of the continuance
Japan as a crime. Not only this, but this country had six years before of their allegiance to their own lawful sovereign. This allegiance does
the outbreak of the Pacific war already renounced war as an instrument not consist merely in obedience to the laws of the lawful sovereign, but
of national policy ( Constitution, Article II, section 2), thus in more essentially consists in loyalty or fealty to him. In the same volume
consequence adopting the doctrine of the Briand-Kellogg Pact. and pages of Oppenheim's work above cited, after the passage to the
Consequently, it is submitted that it would be absolutely wrong and effect that the inhabitants of the occupied territory owe no temporary
improper for this Court to apply to the occupation by Japan of certain allegiance to the occupant it is said that "On the other hand, he may
areas of the Philippines during that war the rules and principles of compel them to take an oath — sometimes called an 'oath of neutrality'
international law which might be applicable to a military occupation — willingly to submit to his 'legitimate commands.' Since, naturally, such
occurring in the course of a justifiable war. How can this Court "legitimate commands" include the occupant's laws, it follows that said
recognize any lawfulness or validity in that occupation when our own occupant, where the rule is applicable, has the right to compel the
government has sent a representative to said international commission inhabitants to take an oath of obedience to his laws; and since,
in Tokyo trying the Japanese "war criminals" precisely for the "crimes according to the same rule, he cannot exact from the inhabitants an
against humanity and peace" committed by them during World War II of oath of allegiance, it follows that obedience to his laws, which he can
which said occupation was but part and parcel? In such circumstances exact from them, does not constitute allegiance.
how could such occupation produce no less an effect than the (c) The theory of suspended allegiance is unpatriotic to the last
suspension of the allegiance of our people to their country and degree. To say that when one's country is unable to afford him its
government? protection, he ceases to be bound to it by the sacred ties of allegiance,
(b) But even in the hypothesis — and not more than a mere is to advocate the doctrine that precisely when his country is in such
hypothesis — that when Japan occupied the City of Manila and certain distress, and therefore most needs his loyalty, he is absolved from that
other areas of the Philippines she was engaged in a justifiable war, still loyalty. Love of country should be something permanent and lasting,
the theory of suspended allegiance would not hold good. The ending only in death; loyalty should be its worthy offspring. The outward
manifestation of one or the other may for a time be prevented or Government and corresponding officials under this Constitution" — of
thwarted by the irresistible action of the occupant; but this should not in course, meaning the Commonwealth of the Philippines before, and the
the least extinguish nor obliterate the invisible feelings, and prompting Republic of the Philippines after, independence (Article XVIII). Under
of the spirit. And beyond the unavoidable consequences of the enemy's both governments sovereignty resided and resides in the people (Article
irresistible pressure, those invisible feelings and prompting of the spirit II, section 1). Said sovereignty was never transferred from that people
of the people should never allow them to act, to speak, nor even to think — they are the same people who preserve it to this day. There has
a whit contrary to their Love and loyalty to the Fatherland. For them, never been any change in this respect.
indicted, to face their country and say to it that, because when it was If one committed treason against the people of the Philippines before
overrun and vanquished by the barbarous invader and, in consequence, July 4, 1946, he continues to be criminally liable for the crime to the
was disabled from affording them protection, they were released from same people now. And if, following the literal wording of the Revised
their sacred obligation of allegiance and loyalty, and could therefore Penal Code, as continued by the Constitution, that accused owed
freely adhere to its enemy, giving him aid and comfort, incurring no allegiance upon the commission of the crime to the "Government of the
criminal responsibility therefor, would only tend to aggravate their crime. Philippines," in the textual words of the Constitution (Articles XVI,
II. CHANGE OF SOVEREIGNTY section 2, and XVIII) that was the same government which after
Article II, section 1, of the Constitution provides that "Sovereignty independence became known as the "Republic of the Philippines." The
resides in the people and all government authority emanates from most that can be said is that the sovereignty of the people became
them." The Filipino people are the self-same people before and after complete and absolute after independence — that they became,
Philippine Independence, proclaimed on July 4, 1946. During the life of politically, fully of age, to use a metaphor. But if the responsibility for a
the Commonwealth sovereignty resided in them under the Constitution; crime against a minor is not extinguished by the mere fact of his
after the proclamation of independence that sovereignty remained with becoming of age, why should the responsibility for the crime of treason
them under the very same fundamental law. Article XVIII of the said committed against the Filipino people when they were not fully politically
Constitution stipulates that the government established thereby shall be independent be extinguished after they acquire this status? The
known as the Commonwealth of the Philippines; and that upon the final offended party continues to be the same — only his status has
and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States and the changed.
proclamation of Philippine independence, "The Commonwealth of the PARAS, J ., dissenting:
Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the Republic of the During the long period of Japanese occupation, all the political laws of
Philippines.' Under this provision the Government of the Philippines the Philippines were suspended. This is in full harmony with the
immediately prior to independence was essentially to be the identical generally accepted principles of international law adopted by our
government thereafter — only the name of that government was to be Constitution (Article II, section 3) as a part of the law of the Nation.
changed. Accordingly, we have on more than one occasion already stated that
Both before and after the adoption of the Philippine Constitution the "laws of a political nature or affecting political relations, . . . are
people of the Philippines were and are always the plaintiff in all criminal considered as suspended or in abeyance during the military occupation"
prosecutions, the case being entitled: "The People of the Philippines vs. (Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon, 75 Phil., 113, 124), and
(the defendant or defendants)." This was already true in prosecutions that the rule "that laws of political nature or affecting political relations
under the Revised Penal Code containing the law of treason. "The are considered suspended or in abeyance during the military
Government of the Philippines" spoke of in article 114 of said Code occupation, is intended for the governing of the civil inhabitants of the
merely represents the people of the Philippines. Said code was occupied territory." (Ruffy vs. Chief of Staff, Philippine Army, 75, Phil.,
continued, along with the other laws, by Article XVI, section 2, of the 876,881.)
Constitution, which constitutional provision further directs that "all The principle is recognized by the United States of America, which
references in such laws to the Government or officials of the Philippine admits that the occupant will naturally suspend all laws of a political
Islands shall be construed, in so far as applicable, to refer to the nature and all laws which affect the welfare and safety of his command,
such action to be made known to the inhabitants. (United States Rules the belligerent occupant "takes a further step and by appropriate
of Land Warfare, 1940, Article 287.) As allegiance to the United States affirmative action undertakes to acquire the right of sovereignty for
is an essential element in the crime of treason under article 114 of the himself, . . . the occupant is likely to regard himself as clothed with
Revised Penal Code, and in view of its position in our political structure freedom to endeavor to impregnate the people who inhabit the area
prior to the independence of the Philippines, the rule as interpreted and concerned with his own political ideology, and to make that endeavor
practiced in the United States necessarily has a binding force and effect successful by various forms of pressure exerted upon enemy officials
in the Philippines, to the exclusion of any other construction followed who are permitted to retain the exercise of normal governmental
elsewhere, such as may be inferred, rightly or wrongly, from the isolated functions." (Hyde, International Law, Vol. III, Second Revised Edition,
cases 1 brought to our attention, which, moreover, have entirely 1945, p. 1879.)
different factual bases. The inhabitants of the occupied territory should necessarily be bound to
Corresponding notice was given by the Japanese occupying army, first, the sole authority of the invading power, whose interests and
in the proclamation of its Commander in chief of January 2, 1942, to the requirements are naturally in conflict with those of the displaced
effect that as a "result of the Japanese Military operations, the government, if it is legitimate for the military occupant to demand and
sovereignty of the United States of America over the Philippines has enforce from the inhabitants such obedience as may be necessary for
completely disappeared and the Army hereby proclaims the Military the security of his forces, for the maintenance of law and order, and for
Administration under martial law over the districts occupied by the the proper administration of the country (United States Rules of Land
Army;" secondly, in Order No. 3 of the said Commander in Chief of Warfare, 1940, article 297), and to demand all kinds of services "of such
February 20, 1942, providing that "activities of the administrative organs a nature as not to involve the population in the obligation of taking part
and judicial courts in the Philippines shall be based upon the existing in military operations against their own country" (Hague Regulations,
statutes, orders, ordinances and customs until further orders provided article 52); and if, as we have in effect said, by the surrender the
that they are not inconsistent with the present circumstances under the inhabitants pass under a temporary allegiance to the government of the
Japanese Military Administration;" and, thirdly, in the explanations to occupant and are bound by such laws, and such only, as it chooses to
Order No. 3 reminding that "all laws and regulations of the Philippines recognize and impose, and the belligerent occupant 'is totally
have been suspended since Japanese occupation," and excepting the independent of the constitution and the laws of the territory, since
application of "laws and regulations which are not proper to act under occupation is an aim of warfare, and the maintenance and safety of his
the present situation the Japanese Military Administration," especially forces, and the purpose of war, stand in the foreground of his interest
those "provided with some political purposes." and must be promoted under all circumstances or conditions." (Peralta
The suspension of political laws during enemy occupation is logical, vs. Director of Prisons, 75 Phil., 285, 29a), citing United States vs. Rice,
wise and humane. The latter phase outweighs all other aspects of the 4 Wheaton, 246, and quoting Oppenheim, International Law, Vol. II,
principle aimed more or less at promoting the necessarily selfish Sixth Edition, Revised, 1944, p. 432.)
motives and purposes of a military occupant. It is tuns consoling to note He would be a bigot who cannot or would refuse to see the cruel result
that the powers instrumental in the crystallization of the Hague if the people in an occupied territory were required to obey two
Conventions of 1907 did not forget to declare that they were "animated antagonistic and opposite powers. To emphasize our point, we would
by the desire to serve . . . the interests of humanity and the over adopt the argument, in a reverse order, of Mr. Justice Hilado in Peralta
progressive needs of civilization," and that "in cases not included in the vs. Director of Prisons (75 Phil., 285, 358), contained in the following
Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents passage:
remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of "To have bound those of our people who constituted the great majority
international law, as they result from the usage's established among who never submitted to the Japanese oppressors, by the laws,
civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the regulations, processes and other acts of those two puppet
public conscience." These saving statements come to the aid of the governments, would not only have been utterly unjust and downright
inhabitants in the occupied territory in a situation wherein, even before illegal, but would have placed them in the absurd and impossible
condition of being simultaneously submitted to two mutually hostile against which prosecution and punishment such inhabitants cannot
governments, with their respective constitutional and legislative obviously be protected by their native sovereign, it is hard to understand
enactments and institutions — on the one hand bound to continue how we can justly rule that they may at the same time be prosecuted
owing allegiance to the United States and the Commonwealth and punished for an act penalized by the Revised Penal Code, but
Government, and, on the other, to owe allegiance, if only temporary, to already taken out of the territorial law and penalized as a new offense
Japan." committed against the belligerent occupant.
The only sensible purpose of the treason law — which is of political In Peralta is. Director of Prisons. 75 Phil., 286, 296), we held that "the
complexion and taken out of the territorial law and penalized as a new Constitution of the Commonwealth Government was suspended during
offense committed against the belligerent occupant, incident to a state the occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese forces or the
of war and necessary for the control of the occupant (Alcantara vs. belligerent occupant at regular war with the United States," and the
Director of Prisons, 75 Phil., 494), — must be the preservation of the meaning of the term "suspended" is very plainly expressed in the
nation, certainly not its destruction or extermination. And yet the latter is following passage (page 298):
unwittingly wished by those who are fond of the theory that what is "No objection can be set up to the legality of its provisions in the light of
suspended is merely the exercise of sovereignty by the de jure the precepts of our Commonwealth Constitution relating to the rights of
government or the latter's authority to impose penal sanctions or that, accused under that Constitution, because the latter was not in force
otherwise stated, the suspension refers only to the military occupant. If during the period of the Japanese military occupation, as we have
this were to be the only effect, the rule would be a meaningless and already stated. Nor may said Constitution be applied upon its revival at
superfluous optical illusion, since it is obvious that the fleeing or the time of the re-occupation of the Philippines by virtue of the principle
displaced government cannot, even if it should want, physically assert of postliminium, because 'a constitution should operate prospectively
its authority in a territory actually beyond its reach, and that the only, unless the words employed show a clear intention that it should
occupant, on the other hand, will not take the absurd step of have a retrospective effect,' (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations,
prosecuting and punishing the inhabitants for adhering to and aiding it. seventh edition, page 97, and a case quoted and cited in the foot-note),
If we were to believe the opponents of the rule in question, we have to especially as regards laws of procedure applied to cases already
accept the absurd proposition that the guerrillas can all be prosecuted terminated completely."
with illegal possession of firearms. It should be borne in mind that "the In much the same way, we should hold that no treason could have been
possession by the belligerent occupant of the right to control, maintain committed during the Japanese military occupation against the United
or modify the laws that are to obtain within the occupied area is an States or the Commonwealth Government, because article 114 of the
exclusive one. The territorial sovereign driven therefrom, can not Revised Penal Code was not then in force. Nor may this penal provision
compete with it on an even plane. Thus, if the latter attempts be applied upon its revival at the time of the reoccupation of the
interference, its action is a mere manifestation of belligerent effort to Philippines by virtue of the principle of postliminium, because of the
weaken the enemy. It has no bearing upon the legal quality of what the constitutional inhibition against any ex post facto law and because,
occupant exacts, while it retains control. Thus if the absent territorial under article 22 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal laws shall have a
sovereign, through some quasi-legislative decree, forbids its nationals retroactive effect only in so far as they favor the accused. Why did we
to comply with what the occupant has ordained obedience to such refuse to enforce the Constitution, more essential to sovereignty than
command within the occupied territory would not safeguard the article 114 of the Revised Penal Code ni the aforesaid case of Peralta
individual from prosecution by the occupant." (Hyde, International Law, vs. Director of Prisons if , as alleged by the majority, the suspension
Vol. III, Second Revised Edition, 1945, p. 1886.) was good only as to the military occupant?
As long as we have not outlawed the right of the belligerent occupant to The decision in United States vs. Rice (4 Wheaton, 246), conclusively
prosecute and punish the inhabitants for "war treason" or "war crimes," supports our position. As analyzed and described in United States vs.
as an incident of the state of war and necessity for the control of the Reiter (27 Fed. Cas., 773), that case "was decided by the Supreme
occupied territory and the protection of the army of the occupant, Court of the United States — the court of highest human authority on
that subject — and as the decision was against the United States, and were in no correct sense imported into the United States.' The court
in favor of the authority of Great Britain, its enemy in the war, and was then proceeded to say, that the case is the same as if the port of
made shortly after the occurrence the war out of which it grew; and Castine had been foreign territory, ceded by treaty to the United States,
while no department of this Government was inclined to magnify the and the goods had been imported there previous to its cession. In this
rights of Great Britain or disparage those of its own government, there case they say there would be no pretense to say that American duties
can be no suspicion of bias in the mind of the court in favor of the could be demanded; and upon principles of public or municipal law, the
conclusion at which it arrived, and no doubt that the law seemed to the cases are not distinguishable. They add at the conclusion of the
court to warrant and demand such a decision. That case grew out of the opinion: 'The authorities cited at the bar would, if there were any doubt,
war of 1812, between the United States and Great Britain. It appeared be decisive of the question. But we think it too clear to require any aid
that in September, 1814, the British forces had taken the port of from authority.' Does this case leave room for a doubt whether a country
Castine, in the State of Maine, and held it in military occupation; and held as this was in armed belligerent occupation, is to be governed by
that while it was so held, foreign goods, by the laws of the United States him who holds it, and by him alone? Does it not so decide in terms as
subject to duty, had been introduced into that port without paying duties plain as can be stated? It is asserted by the Supreme Court of the
to the United States. At the close of the war the place was by treaty United States with entire unanimity, the great and venerated Marshall
restored to the United States, and after that was done the Government presiding, and the erudite and accomplished Story delivering the
of the United States sought to recover from the persons so introducing opinion of the court, that such is the law, and it is so adjudged in this
the goods there while in possession of the British, the duties to which by case. Nay, more: it is even adjudged that no other laws could be
the laws of the United States, they would have been liable. The claim of obligatory; that such country, so held, is for the purpose of the
the United States was that its laws were properly in force there, application of the law off its former government to be deemed foreign
although the place was at the time held by the British forces in hostility territory, and that goods imported there (and by parity of reasoning other
to the United States, and the laws, therefore, could not at the time be acts done there) are in no correct sense done within the territory of its
enforced there; and that a court of the United States (the power of that former sovereign, the United States."
government there having since been restored) was bound so to decide. But it is alleged by the majority that the sovereignty spoken of in the
But this illusion of the prosecuting officer there was dispelled by the decision of the United States vs. Rice should be construed to refer to
court in the most summary manner. Mr. Justice Story, that great the exercise of sovereignty, and that, if sovereignty itself was meant, the
luminary of the American bench, being the organ of the court in doctrine has become obsolete after the adoption of the Hague
delivering its opinion, said: 'The single question is whether goods Regulations in 1907. In answer, we may state that sovereignty can have
imported into Castine during its occupation by the enemy are liable to any important significance only when it may be exercised; and, to our
the duties imposed by the revenue laws upon goods imported into the way of thinking, it is immaterial whether the thing held in abeyance is
United States. . . . We are all of opinion that the claim for duties cannot the sovereignty itself or its exercise, because the point cannot nullify,
be sustained. . . .. The sovereignty of the United States over the territory vary, or otherwise vitiate the plain meaning of the doctrinal words "the
was, of course, suspended, and the laws of the United States could no laws of the United States could no longer be rightfully enforced there, or
longer be rightfully enforced there, or be obligatory upon the inhabitants be obligatory upon the inhabitant who remained and submitted to the
who remained and submitted to the conquerors. By the surrender the conquerors." We cannot accept the theory of the majority, without in
inhabitants passed under a temporary allegiance of the British effect violating the rule of international law, hereinabove adverted to,
Government, and were bound by such laws, and such only, as it chose that the possession by the belligerent occupant of the right to control,
to recognize and impose. From the nature of the case no other laws maintain or modify the laws that are to obtain within the occupied area
could be obligatory upon them. . . . Castine was therefore, during this is an exclusive one, and that the territorial sovereign driven therefrom
period, as far as respected our revenue laws, to be deemed a foreign cannot compete with it on an even plane. Neither may the doctrine in
port, and goods imported into it by the inhabitants were subjects to such United States vs. Rice be said to have become obsolete, without
duties only as the British Government chose to require. Such goods repudiating the actual rule prescribed and followed by the United States,
allowing the military occupant to suspend all laws of a political nature territory other than one under belligerent occupation must have been
and even require public officials and the inhabitants to take an oath of contemplated. This would make sense, because treason is a crime "the
fidelity (United States Rules of Land Warfare, 1940, article 309). In fact, direct or indirect purpose of which is the delivery, in whole or in part, of
it is a recognized doctrine of American Constitutional Law that mere the country to a foreign power, or to pave the way for the enemy to
conquest or military occupation of a territory of another State does not obtain dominion over the national territory" (Albert, The Revised Penal
operate to annex such territory to the occupying State, but that the Code, citing 3 Groizard, 14); and, very evidently, a territory already
inhabitants of the occupied district, no longer receiving the protection of under occupation can no longer be "delivered."
their native State, for the time being owe no allegiance to it, and, being The majority likewise argue that the theory of suspended sovereignty or
under the control and protection of the victorious power, owe to that allegiance will enable the military occupant to legally recruit the
power fealty and obedience. ( Willoughby, The Fundamental Concepts inhabitants to fight against their own government, without said
of Public Law [1931], p. 364.) inhabitants being liable for treason. This argument is not correct,
The majority have resorted to distinctions, more apparent than real, if because the suspension does not exempt the occupant from complying
not immaterial, in trying to argue that the law of treason was obligatory with the Hague Regulation (article 52) that allows it to demand all kinds
on the Filipinos during the Japanese occupation. Thus it is insisted that of services provided that they do not involve the population "in the
a citizen or subject owes not a qualified and temporary, but an absolute obligation of taking part in military operations against their own country."
and permanent allegiance, and that "temporary allegiance" to the Neither does the suspension prevent the inhabitants from assuming a
military occupant may be likened to the temporary allegiance which a passive attitude, much less from dying and becoming heroes if
foreigner owes to the government or sovereign of the territory wherein compelled by the occupant to fight against their own country. Any
he resides in return for the protection he receives therefrom. The imperfection in the present state of international law should be
comparison is most unfortunate. Said foreigner is in the territory of a corrected by such world agency as the United Nations organization.
power not hostile to or in actual war with his own government; he is in It is of common knowledge that even with the alleged cooperation
the territory of a power which has not suspended, under the rules of imputed to the collaborators, an alarming number of Filipinos were killed
international law, the laws of political nature of his own government; and or otherwise tortured by the ruthless, or we may say savage, Japanese
the protections received by him from that friendly or neutral power is Army. Which leads to the conclusion that if the Filipinos did not obey the
real, not the kind of protection which the inhabitants of an occupied Japanese commands and feign cooperation, there would not be any
territory can expect from a belligerent army. "It is but reasonable that Filipino nation that could have been liberated. Assuming that the entire
States, when they concede to other States the right to exercise population could go to and live in the mountains, or otherwise fight as
jurisdiction over such of their own nationals as are within the territorial guerrillas — after the formal surrender of our and the American regular
limits of such other States, should insist that those States should fighting forces, — they would have faced certain annihilation by the
provide system of la-v and of courts, and in actual practice, so Japanese, considering the latter's military strength at the time and the
administer them, as to furnish substantial legal justice to alien residents. long period during which they were left militarily unmolested by America.
This does not mean that a State must or should extend to aliens within In this connection, we hate to make reference to the atomic bomb as a
its borders all the civil, or much less, all the political rights or privileges possible means of destruction.
which it grants to its own citizens; but it does mean that aliens must or If a substantial number of guerrillas were able to survive and ultimately
should be given adequate opportunity to have such legal rights as are help in the liberation of the Philippines, it was because the feigned
granted to them by the local law impartially and judicially determined, cooperation of their countrymen enabled them to get food and other aid
and, when thus determined, protected." (Willoughby, The Fundamental necessary in the resistance movement. If they were able to survive, it
Concepts of Public Law [1931], p. 360.) was because they could camouflage themselves in the midst of the
When it is therefore said that a citizen of a sovereign may be civilian population in cities and towns. It is easy to argue now that the
prosecuted for and convicted of treason committed in foreign country or, people could have merely followed their ordinary pursuits of life or
in the language of article 114 of the Revised Penal Code, "elsewhere," a otherwise be indifferent to the occupant. The fundamental defect of this
line of thought is that the Japanese are assumed to be so stupid and likely received summary liquidation or punishments from the guerrillas
dumb as not to notice any such attitude. During belligerent occupation, and the parties injured by their acts, and may be prosecuted as war
"the outstanding fact to be reckoned with is the sharp opposition spies by the military authorities of the returning sovereign; those who
between the inhabitants of the occupied areas and the hostile military committed other common crimes, directly or through the Japanese
force exercising control over them. At heart they remain at war with army, may be prosecuted under the municipal law, and under this
each other. Fear for their own safety may not serve to deter the group, even the spies and informers, Makapili or otherwise, are
inhabitants from taking advantage of opportunities to interfere with the included, for they can be made answerable for any act offensive to
safety and success of the occupant, and in so doing they may arouse person or property; the buy-and-sell opportunists have the war profits
its passions and cause it to take vengeance in cruel fashion. Again, tax to reckon with. We cannot close our eyes to the conspicuous fact
even when it is untainted by such conduct, the occupant as a means of that, in the majority of cases, those responsible for the death of, or
attaining ultimate success in its major conflict may, under plea of military injury to, any Filipino or American at the hands of the Japanese, were
necessity, and regardless of conventional or customary prohibitions, prompted more by personal motives than by a desire to levy war
proceed to utilize the inhabitants within its grip as a convenient means against the United States or to adhere to the occupant. The alleged
of military achievement." (Hyde, International Law, Vol. III, Second spies and informers found in the Japanese occupation the royal road to
Revised Edition [1945], p. 1912.) It should be stressed that the vengeance against personal or political enemies. The recent amnesty
Japanese occupation was not a matter of a few months; it extended granted to the guerrillas for acts, otherwise criminal, committed in the
over a little more than three years. Said occupation was a fact, in spite furtherance of their resistance movement has in a way legalized the
of the "presence of guerrilla bands in barrios and mountains, and even penal sanctions imposed by them upon the real traitors.
in towns of the Philippines whenever these towns were left by Japanese It is only from a realistic, practical and common-sense point of view, and
garrisons or by the detachments of troops sent on patrol to those by remembering that the obedience and cooperation of the Filipinos
places." (Co Kim Clam vs. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon) 75 Phil., 371, were effected while the Japanese were in complete control and
373. ) The law of nations accepts belligerent occupation as a fact to be occupation of the Philippines, when the r mere physical presence
reckoned with, regardless of the merits of the occupant's cause. (Hyde, implied force and pressure — and not after the American forces of
International Law, Second Revised Edition [1945], Vol. III, p. 1879.) liberation had restored the Philippine Government — that we will come
Those who contend or fear that the doctrine herein adhered to will lead to realize that, apart from any rule of international law, it was necessary
to an over-production of traitors, have a wrong and low conception of to release the Filipinos temporarily from the old political tie in the sense
the psychology and patriotism of their countrymen. Patriots are such indicated herein. Otherwise, one is prone to dismiss the reason for such
after their birth in the first place, and no amount of laws or judicial cooperation and obedience. If there were those who did not in any wise
decisions can make or unmake them. On the other hand, the Filipinos cooperate or obey, they can be counted by the fingers, and let their
are not so base as to be insensitive to the thought that the real traitor is names adorn the pages of Philippine history. Essentially, however,
cursed everywhere and in all ages. Our patriots who fought and died everybody who took advantage, to any extent and degree, of the peace
during the last war, and the brave guerrillas who have survived, were and order prevailing during the occupation, for the safety and survival of
undoubtedly motivated by their inborn love of country, and not by such a himself and his family, gave aid and comfort to the enemy.
thing as the treason law. The Filipino people, as a whole, passively Our great liberator himself, General Douglas MacArthur, had considered
opposed the Japanese regime, not out of fear of the treason statute but the laws of the Philippines ineffective during the occupation, and
because they preferred and will prefer the democratic and civilized way restored to their full vigor and force only after the liberation. Thus, in his
of life and American altruism to Japanese barbaric and totalitarian proclamation of October 23, 1944, he ordained that "the laws now
designs. Of course, there are those who might at heart have been pro- existing on the statute bolls of the Commonwealth of the Philippines . . .
Japanese; but they met and will unavoidably meet the necessary are in full force and effect and legally binding upon the people in areas
consequences. The regular soldiers faced the risks of warfare; the spies of the Philippines free of enemy occupation and control," and that "all
and informers subjected themselves to the perils of military operations, laws . . . of any other government in the Philippines than that of the said
Commonwealth are null and void and without legal effect in areas of the on the books to convict guilty Nazis without risking the prestige of our
Philippines free of enemy occupation and control." Repeating what we legal system. It is far, far better that some guilty men escape than that
have said in Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon (76 Phil., 113, the idea of law be endangered. In the long run the idea of law is our
133), "it is to be presumed that General Douglas MacArthur, who was best defense against Nazism in all its forms." These passages were
acting as an agent or a representative of the Government and the taken from the editorial appearing in the Life, May 28, 1945, page 34,
President of the United States, constitutional Commander-in-Chief of and convey ideas worthy of some reflection.
the United States Army, did not intend to act against the principles of the If the Filipinos in fact committed any errors in feigning cooperation and
law of nations asserted by the Supreme Court of the United States from obedience during the Japanese military occupation, they were at most
the early period of its existence, applied by the President of the United — borrowing the famous and significant words of President Roxas —
States, and later embodied in the Hague Conventions of 1907." errors of the mind and not of the heart. We advisedly said "feigning" not
The prohibition in the Hague Conventions (Article 45) against "any as an admission of the fallacy of the theory of suspended allegiance or
pressure on the population to take oath to the hostile power," was sovereignty, but as an affirmation that the Filipinos, contrary to their
inserted for the moral protection and benefit of the inhabitants, and outward attitude, had always remained loyal by feeling and conscience
does not necessarily carry the implication that the latter continue to be to their country.
bound to the political laws of the displaced government. The United Assuming that article 114 of the Revised Penal Code was in force
States, a signatory to the Hague Conventions, has made the point clear, during the Japanese military occupation, the present Republic of the
by admitting that the military occupant can suspend all laws of a political Philippines has no right to prosecute reason committed against the
nature and even require public officials and the inhabitants to take an former sovereignty existing during the Commonwealth Government
oath of fidelity (United States Rules of Land Warfare, 1940, article 309), which was none other than the sovereignty of the United States. This
and as already stated, it is a doctrine of American Constitutional Law court has already held that, upon a change of sovereignty, the
that the inhabitants, no longer receiving the protection of their native provisions of the Penal Code having to do with such subjects as
state, for the time being owe no allegiance to it, and, being under the treason, rebellion and sedition are no longer in force (People vs.
control and protection of the victorious power, owe to that power fealty Perfecto, 43 Phil., 887). It is true that, as contended by the majority,
and obedience. Indeed, what is prohibited is the application of force by section 1 of Article II of the Constitution of the Philippines provides that
the occupant, from which it is fair to deduce that the Conventions do not "sovereignty resides in the people," but this did not make the
altogether outlaw voluntary submission by the population. The only Commonwealth Government or the Filipino people sovereign, because
strong reason for this is undoubtedly the desire of this authors of the said declaration of principle, prior to the independence of the
Conventions to give as much freedom and allowance to the inhabitants Philippines, was subservient to and controlled by the Ordinance
as are necessary for their survival. This is wise and humane, because appended to the Constitution under which, in addition to its manly
the people should be in a better position to know what will save them provisions essentially destructive of the concept of sovereignty, it is
during the military occupation than any exile government. expressly made clear that the sovereignty of the United States over the
"Before he was appointed prosecutor, Justice Jackson made a speech Philippines had not then been withdrawn. The framers of the
in which he warned against the use of the judicial process for non Constitution had to mail said declaration of principle because the
judicial ends, and attached cynics who 'see no reason why courts, just document was ultimately intended for the independent Philippines.
like other agencies, should not be policy weapons. If we want to shoot Otherwise, the Preamble should not have announced that one of the
Germans as a matter of policy, let it be done as such, said he but don't purposes of the Constitution is to secure to the Filipino people and their
hide the deed behind a court. If you are determined to execute a man in posterity the "blessings of independence." No one, we suppose, will
any case there is no occasion for a trial; the world yields no respect for dare allege that the Philippines was an independent county under the
courts that are merely organized to convict.' Mussolini may have got his Commonwealth Government.
just desserts, but nobody supposes he got a fair trial. . . . Let us bear The Commonwealth Government might have been more autonomous
that in mind as we go about punishing criminals. There are enough laws than that existing under the Jones Law, but its non-sovereign status
nevertheless remained unaltered; and what was enjoyed was the considerable size, efficiency of administration demands that certain
exercise of sovereignty delegated by the United States whose autonomous powers of local self-government be granted to particular
sovereignty over the Philippines continued to be complete. districts." (Willoughby, The Fundamental Concepts of Public Law [1931],
"The exercise of Sovereignty May be Delegated. — It has already been pp. 74, 15.)
seen that the exercise of sovereignty is conceived of as delegated by a The majority have drawn an analogy between the Commonwealth
State to the various organs which, collectively, constitute the Government and the States of the American Union which, it is alleged,
Government. For practical political reasons which can be casually preserve their own sovereignty although limited by the United States.
appreciated, it is desirable that the public policies of a State should be This is not true for it has been authoritatively stated that the Constituent
formulated and executed by governmental agencies of its own creation States have no sovereignty of their own, that such autonomous powers
and which are not subject to the control of other States. There is, as they now possess are had and exercised by the express will or by
however, nothing in a nature of sovereignty or of State life which the constitutional forbearance of the national sovereignty, and that the
prevents one State from entrusting the exercise of certain powers to the sovereignty of the United States and the non-sovereign status of the
governmental agencies of another State. Theoretically, indeed, a individual States is no longer contested.
sovereign State may go to any extent in the delegation of the exercise "It is therefore plain that the constituent States have no sovereignty of
of its power to the governmental agencies of other States, those their own, and that such autonomous powers as they now possess are
governmental agencies thus becoming quad hoc parts of the had and exercised by the express will or by the constitutional
governmental machinery of the State whose sovereignty is exercised. At forbearance of the national sovereignty. The Supreme Court of the
the same time these agencies do not cease to be instrumentalities for United States has held that, even when selecting members for the
the expression of the will of the State by which they were originally national legislature, or electing the President, or ratifying proposed
created. amendments to the federal Constitution, the States act, ad hoc, as
"By this delegation the agent State is authorized to express the will of agents of the National Government." (Willoughby, The Fundamental
the delegating State, and the legal hypothesis is that this State Concepts of Public Law [1931], p. 250.)
possesses the legal competence again to draw to itself the exercise, "This is the situation at the present time. The sovereignty of the United
through organs of its own creation, of the powers it has granted. Thus, States and the non-sovereign status of the individual States is no longer
States may concede to colonies almost complete autonomy of contested." (Willoughby, The Fundamental Concepts of Public Law
government and reserve to themselves a right of control of so slight and [1931], pp. 251, 252.)
so negative a character as to make its exercise a rare and improbable Article XVIII of the Constitution provides that "The government
occurrence; yet, so long as such right of control is recognized to exist, established by this Constitution shall be known as the Commonwealth
and the autonomy of the colonies is conceded to be founded upon a of the Philippines. Upon the final and complete withdrawal of the
grant and the continuing consent of the mother countries the sovereignty of the United States and the proclamation of Philippine
sovereignty of those mother countries over them is complete and they independence, the Commonwealth of the Philippines shall thenceforth
are to be considered as possessing only administrative autonomy and be known as the Republic of the Philippines." From this, the deduction
not political independence. Again, as will be more fully discussed in a is made that the Government under the Republic of the Philippines and
later chapter, in the so-called Confederate or Composite State, the under the Commonwealth is the same. We cannot agree. While the
cooperating States may yield to the central Government the exercise of Commonwealth Government possessed administrative autonomy and
almost all of their powers of Government and yet retain their several exercised the sovereignty delegated by the United States and did not
sovereignties. Or, on the other hand, a State may, without parting with cease to be an instrumentality of the latter (Willoughby, The
its sovereignty of lessening its territorial application, yield to the Fundamental Concepts of Public Law [1931], pp. 74, 75), the Republic
governing organs of particular areas such an amplitude of powers as to of the Philippines is an independent State not receiving its power or
create of them bodies-politic endowed with almost all of the sovereignty from the United States. Treason committed against the
characteristics of independent States. In all States, indeed, when of any United States or against its instrumentality, the Commonwealth
Government, which exercised, but did not possess, sovereignty (id., p. Philippine Independence as contemplated in the Tydings McDuffie Law,
49), is therefore not treason against the sovereign and independent it appearing that (1) no less also than the President of the United States
Republic of the Philippines. Article XVIII was inserted in order, merely, to had to issue the proclamation of July 4, 1946, withdrawing the
make the Constitution applicable to the Republic. sovereignty of the United States and recognizing Philippine
Reliance is also placed on section 2 of the Constitution which provides Independence; (2) it was General MacArthur, and not President
that all laws of the Philippine Islands shall remain operative, unless Osmena who was with him, that proclaimed on October 23, 1944, the
inconsistent therewith, until amended, altered, modified or repealed by restoration of the Commonwealth Government; (3) the Philippines was
the Congress of the Philippines, and on section 3 which is to the effect not given official participation in the signing of the Japanese surrender;
that all cases pending in courts shall be heard, tried, and determined (4) the United States Congress, and not the Commonwealth
under the laws then in force, thereby insinuating that these Government, extended the tenure of office of the President and Vice
constitutional provisions authorize the Republic of the Philippines to President of the Philippines.
enforce article 114 of the Revised Penal Code. The error is obvious. The suggestion that as treason may be committed against the Federal
The latter article can remain operative under the present regime if it is as well as against the State Government, in the same way treason may
not inconsistent with the Constitution. The fact remains, however, that have been committed against the sovereignty of the United States as
said penal provision is fundamentally incompatible with the Constitution, well as against the sovereignty of the Philippine Commonwealth, is
in that those liable for treason thereunder should owe allegiance to the immaterial because, as we have already explained, treason against
United States or the Government of the Philippines, the latter being, as either is not and cannot be treason against the new and different
we have already pointed out, a mere instrumentality of the former, sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines.
whereas under the Constitution of the present Republic, the citizens of Footnotes
the Philippines do not and are not required to owe allegiance to the HILADO, J., concurring:
United States. To contend that article 114 must be deemed to have 1. English case of De Jager vs. Attorney General of Naval; Belgian
been modified in the sense that allegiance to the United States is case of Auditeur Militaires vs. Van Dieren; cases of Petain, Laval
deleted, and, as thus modified, should be applied to prior acts, would be and Quisling.
to sanction the enactment and application of an ex post facto law. 2.
In reply to the contention of the respondent that the Supreme Court of
the United States has held in the case of Bradford vs. Chase National
Bank (24 Fed. Supp., 38), that the Philippines had a sovereign status,
though with restrictions, it is sufficient to state that said case must be
taken in the light of a subsequent decision of the same court in
Cincinnati Soap Co. vs. United States (301 U. S., 308), rendered in
May, 1937, wherein it was affirmed that the sovereignty of the United
States over the Philippines had not been withdrawn, with the result that
the earlier case can only be interpreted to refer to the exercise of
sovereignty by the Philippines as delegated by the mother country, the
United States.
No conclusiveness may be conceded to the statement of President
Roosevelt on August 12, 1943, that "the United States in practice
regards the Philippines as having now the status as a government of
other independent nations — in act all the attributes of complete and
respected nationhood," since said statement was not meant as having
accelerated the date, much less as a formal proclamation of the