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MAGNO June 21, 2013 ADAMSON UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OF LAW PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW
governing the trial of accused war criminals, was issued by the President of the Philippines, is valid and constitutional. Article 2 of our Constitution provides in its section 3, that — “The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the of the nation.” In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the United Nation all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and incidental thereto in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable therefor. Consequently in the promulgation and enforcement of Execution Order No. 68 the President of the Philippines has acted in conformity with the generally accepted and policies of international law which are part of the our Constitution. Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nation the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention. Such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory. Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent countries. These rights and obligation were not erased by our assumption of full sovereignty. By the same token war crimes committed against our people and our government while we were a Commonwealth are triable and punishable by our present Republic. Petitioner challenges the participation of two American attorneys on the ground that said attorney's
CASE TITLE: SHIGENORI KURODA, petitioner, vs. Major General RAFAEL JALANDONI, Brigadier General CALIXTO DUQUE, Colonel MARGARITO TORALBA, Colonel IRENEO BUENCONSEJO, Colonel PEDRO TABUENA, Major FEDERICO ARANAS, MELVILLE S. HUSSEY and ROBERT PORT, respondents. CASE NUMBER: G.R. No. L-2662; March 26, 1949; 83 SCRA 171 PONENTE: MORAN, C.J.
Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The Philippines during a period covering 19433 and 19444. Petitioner is now charged before a military Commission with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war." The petitioner contends that the commission is without jurisdiction to try herein petitioner and that the participation of attorneys Melville Hussey and Robert Port a violation of our Constitution for the reason that they are not qualified to practice law in the Philippines and that they have no personality as prosecution the United State not being a party in interest in the case. ISSUES: I. Whether or not Executive Order No. 68 is illegal that it violates not only the provisions of our Constitution and also our local laws. Whether or not Atty. Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port is allowed to practice the law professions in the Philippines.
HELD: Executive Order No. 68, establishing a National War Crimes Office prescribing rule and regulation
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confiscatory. It is only fair and proper that United States. 479 in this wise. after setting forth that he is the owner of a Volkswagen Beetle Car. 479. HON. the implementation of Letter of Instruction No. in his capacity as Minister Of Public Works." The petitioner further contended that. HON. It is of common knowledge that the United State and its people have been equally if not more greatly aggrieved by the crimes with which petitioner stands charged before the Military Commission. arbitrary. another Letter of Instruction 7 the lifting of such suspension and directed the immediate implementation of Letter of Instruction No. 6 Then on June 30. On November 15. was issued on December 2. HON. and HON: BALTAZAR AQUINO. compounded by the fact that I. 229 is hereby amended to read as follows: 3. in his capacity as Minister of Public Highways. EDU. 1977. Model 13035. * * *: " For him they are "oppressive. Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by a special law and not by the Rules of court. vs. it was amended by Letter of Instruction No. Whether the letter of instruction in question has offended against the due process and equal protection safeguards of the Constitution. worded thus: "In pursuance of Letter of Instruction No. unreasonable." It was thus a heavy burden to be shouldered by petitioner. 1974. requiring the use of Early Warning Devices (EWD) on motor vehicle. 229 as amended. JUAN PONCE ENRILE. 229. "Paragraph 3 of Letter of Instruction No.R. ISSUES: CASE TITLE: LEOVILLO C. 229 is oppressive. The petitioner alleged that said Letter of Instruction No. The Land transportation Commissioner shall require every motor vehicle owner to procure from any and present at the registration of his vehicle. respondents. as amended by Letter of Instructions No. II. dated June 30. They were not enforced as President Marcos on January 25. He therefore prayed for a judgment both the assailed Letters of Instructions and Memorandum Circular void and unconstitutional and for a restraining order in the meanwhile. AGUSTIN. 716. 1978. No.are not qualified to practice law in Philippines in accordance with our Rules of court and the appointment of said attorneys as prosecutors is violative of our national sovereignty. Page 2 of 6 . 229 of President Marcos. Transportation and Communications. There is nothing in said executive order which requires that counsel appearing before said commission must be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court. JUINIO. nay unconstitutional and contrary to the precepts of our society. FACTS: The assailed Letter of Instruction No. 229. 1979. "clearly violates the provisions and delegation of police power. Secondly the appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of our nation sovereignty. which has submitted the vindication of crimes against her government and her people to a tribunal of our nation should be allowed representation. 1978. as amended. nay unconstitutional and contrary to the precepts of our compassionate New Society. J. in his capacity as Land Transportation Commissioner. 8 It was not until August 29. Petitioner. unreasonable. one pair of a reflectorized early warning device. as d bed of any brand or make chosen by said motor vehicle owner. ALFREDO L. HELD: The broad and expansive scope of the police power which was originally Identified by Chief Justice Taney of the American Supreme Court in an 1847 decision as "nothing more or less than the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty. ROMEO F. 1976. 32. they are "infected with arbitrariness because it is harsh. already properly equipped when it came out from the assembly lines with blinking lights fore and aft. CASE NUMBER: G. I. L-49112. in his capacity as Minister of National Defense. February 2. 88 SCRA 195 PONENTE: FERNANDO. Alleging that the United State is not a party in interest in the case petitioner challenges the personality of attorneys Hussey and Port as prosecutors. ordered a six-month period of suspension insofar as the installation of early warning device as a pre-registration requirement for motor vehicle was concerned. Whether Letter of Instruction No. arbitrary. petitioner. 1978 that respondent Edu issued Memorandum Circular No. confiscatory. cruel and unconscionable to the motoring public and patently illegal and immoral because they will make manufacturers and dealers instant millionaires at the expense of car owners.
represented by then DFA Secretary Ople. the said Vienna Convention. there is a motor vehicle which is stationary. No. now deceased. ALBERTO ROMULO. 1. 641 SCRA 244 PONENTE: VELASCO. Respondent Alberto Romulo was impleaded in his capacity as then Executive Secretary. as amended." or 4) "welllighted two (2) petroleum lamps because: Being universal among the signatory countries to the said 1968 Vienna Conventions. and visible even under adverse conditions at a distance of at least 400 meters. is “subject to ratification. which was ratified by the Philippine Government under P. agreed with and accepted the US proposals embodied under the US Embassy Note adverted to and put in effect the Agreement with the US government. which resolves itself into the question of whether or not Page 3 of 6 . recommended the enactment of local legislation for the installation of road safety signs and devices. vs. then Ambassador Ricciardone sent US Embassy Note No. who sees a reflectorized rectangular early seaming device installed on the roads. and Rep. 2000. 207. nor oppressive. or in Administrative Order No. was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the period material to this case. LIZA L. in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. any motorist from this country or from any part of the world. and BLAS F. The Philippines is not among the 92. It is not for this country to repudiate a commitment to which it had pledged its word. without thinking. will conclude. Ople. hereinafter) between the USA and the RP. The conclusion reached by this Court that this petition must be dismissed is reinforced by this consideration. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. * * * " It cannot be disputed then that this Declaration of Principle found in the Constitution possesses relevance: "The Philippines * * * adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land * * *. CASE TITLE: BAYAN MUNA. Petitioner’s legal standing. hereinafter). highway. moreover. The petition itself quoted these two whereas clauses of the assailed Letter of Instruction: "[Whereas]. acceptance or approval” by the signatory states. through Charge d’Affaires Manalo. [Whereas]. highways or expressways. Whether or not the Agreement was contracted validly. the Agreementaims to protect what it refers to and defines as “persons” of the RP and US from frivolous and harassment suits that might be brought against them in international tribunals. the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and the United Nations Organization (U. February 1. Via Exchange of Notes No. MAZA. OPLE. ISSUES: I. 2003 (E/N BFO-028-03. 0470 to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) proposing the terms of the nonsurrender bilateral agreement (Agreement. The futility of petitioner's allegations becomes even more apparent considering his failure to lay the necessary factual foundation to rebut the presumption of validity. The Court further added that there is nothing in the questioned Letter of Instruction No. SATUR OCAMPO. II.N.' 2) "battery-powered blinking lights inside motor vehicles. The rather wild and fantastic nature of the charge of oppressiveness of this Letter of Instruction was exposed in the Answer of the Solicitor General thus: "Such early warning device requirement is not an expensive redundancy. for car owners whose cars are already equipped with 1) blinking lights in the fore and aft of said motor vehicles. mandamus and prohibition under Rule 65 assails and seeks to nullify the NonSurrender Agreement concluded by and between the Republic of the Philippines (RP) and the United States of America (USA). signed the Rome Statute which. II. In esse. the hazards posed by such obstructions to traffic have been recognized by international bodies concerned with traffic safety. by its terms. the RP. 2003. Respondents. as represented by Rep. CASE NUMBER: G. 229." 3) "built-in reflectorized tapes on front and rear bumpers of motor vehicles. III." The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals is impressed with such a character. The concept of Pacta sunt servanda stands in the way of such an attitude. BFO-028-03 dated May 13. Rep. or expressway.). No. at war with the principle of international morality. As of the filing of the instant petition.R.. CRISPIN BELTRAN. petitioner.D. Respondent Blas F. This petition for certiorari. JR. 159618. approval and concurrence process. which is. FACTS: Petitioner Bayan Muna is a duly registered party-list group established to represent the marginalized sectors of society. 2011. the RP. On May 9. that somewhere along the travelled portion of that road. J. which requires or compels motor vehicle owners to purchase the early warning device prescribed thereby. stalled or disabled which obstructs or endangers passing traffic. On December 28. only 92 out of the 139 signatory countries appear to have completed the ratification.the particular police power measure challenged was clearly intended to promote public safety.
there is nothing immoral or violative of international law concepts in the act of the Philippines of assuming criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the non- Page 4 of 6 . There are no hard and fast rules on the propriety of entering. because its constitutional efficacy is beyond doubt. The primary consideration in the choice of the form of agreement is the parties’ intent and desire to craft an international agreement in the form they so wish to further their respective interests. while those embodying adjustments of detail carrying out well established national policies and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary nature take the form of executive agreements. surrender agreement over an offense considered criminal by both Philippine laws and the Rome Statute Under international law. what the Agreement contextually prohibits is the surrender by either party of individuals to international tribunals. a ratified treaty. The matter of form takes a back seat when it comes to effectiveness and binding effect of the enforcement of a treaty or an executive agreement. trademark and copyright protection. unlike an executive agreement. virtually abdicated its sovereignty and in the process undermined its treaty obligations under the Rome Statute. patent rights. Whether or not the Agreement. like the ICC. which has not been submitted to the Senate for concurrence. by entering into the Agreement. However. however. or with the consent of the RP or the US. According to petitioner. The Supreme Court held. When suing as a citizen to question the validity of a law or other government action. before the ICC. argues that the Non-Surrender Agreement between the Philippines and the US is of dubious validity. there is no difference between treaties and executive agreements in terms of their binding effects on the contracting states concerned. Persons who may have committed acts penalized under the Rome Statute can be prosecuted and punished in the Philippines or in the US. petitioner’s representatives have complied with the qualifying conditions or specific requirements exacted under the locus standi rule. Petitioner. by entering into the Agreement. a treaty having behind it the authority of the President. contends that the issue of the validity or invalidity of the Agreement carries with it constitutional significance and is of paramount importance that justifies its standing. hence. through its three party-list representatives. This is manifestly incorrect. a petitioner needs to meet certain specific requirements before he can be clothed with standing. takes precedence over any prior statutory enactment. Eastern Sea Trading. contravenes and undermines the Rome Statute and other treaties. the Senate. Suffice it to state in this regard that the non-surrender agreement. is an assertion by the Philippines of its desire to try and punish crimes under its national law. most-favored nation rights. the subject of the Agreement does not fall under any of the subject-categories that are enumerated in the Eastern Sea Trading case that may be covered by an executive agreement. as aptly described by the Solicitor General. as the parties in either international agreement each labor under the pacta sunt servanda principle. Commissioner of Customs v. partaking as it does of the nature of a treaty. the primordial importance to Filipino citizens in general of the issue at hand impels the Court to brush aside the procedural barrier posed by the traditional requirement of locus standi. as long as the negotiating functionaries have remained within their powers. into a treaty or an executive agreement as an instrument of international relations. a treaty has greater “dignity” than an executive agreement. it is always the responsibility and within the prerogative of the RP Petitioner. on a given subject. the Agreement is but a form of affirmance and confirmation of the Philippines’ national criminal jurisdiction. Petitioner relies on the case. in which the Court stated: international agreements involving political issues or changes of national policy and those involving international arrangements of a permanent character usually take the form of treaties. without the consent of the other party. which may desire to prosecute the crime under its existing laws. abdication being done by its waiving or abandoning its right to seek recourse through the Rome Statute of the ICC for erring Americans committing international crimes in the country. that the categorization of subject matters that may be covered by international agreements mentioned in Eastern Sea Trading is not cast in stone. such as commercial/consular relations. The agreement is a recognition of the primacy and competence of the countrys judiciary to try offenses under its national criminal laws and dispense justice fairly and judiciously. contrary to international law principles. III. does thereby abdicate its sovereignty. assuming that all the formalities necessary to bind both countries to the Rome Statute have been met. With this view. labors under the erroneous impression that the Agreement would allow Filipinos and Americans committing high crimes of international concern to escape criminal trial and punishment. postal and navigation arrangements and settlement of claims. Perspective wise. in this case. The RP. In the case at bar.respondents gravely abused their discretion in concluding it. National criminal jurisdiction being primary. At any event. As it were. and the people. Petitioner. The RP. it must be duly concurred in by the Senate.
18. 289. without distinction of any kind. In the same breath. No. Moreover. under our national criminal justice system. Thereafter. 1948. inasmuch as the Commissioner of Immigration believes it is for the best interests of the country to keep him under Page 5 of 6 . 1). 157 F. such as race." which the petitioner claims to be. nations may decide to surrender or waive some aspects of their state power or agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise exclusive and absolute jurisdiction. Thus. The usual underlying consideration in this partial surrender may be the greater benefits derived from a pact or a reciprocal undertaking of one contracting party to grant the same privileges or immunities to the other.either to prosecute criminal offenses equally covered by the Rome Statute or to accede to the jurisdiction of the ICC." And in a resolution entitled "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations of which the Philippines is a member. 290). the Court held the petitioner's detention temporary and said that "temporary detention is a necessary step in the process of exclusion or expulsion of undesirable aliens and that pending arrangements for his deportation. J. may not indefinitely be kept in detention. it ordered that he be deported on the first available transportation to Russia. THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS. regardless of nationality. CASE TITLE: BORIS MEJOFF. the right to life and liberty and all other fundamental rights as applied to all human beings were proclaimed. supra. the Philippines may decide to try “persons” of the US. the US must extend the same privilege to the Philippines with respect to “persons” of the RP committing high crimes within US territorial jurisdiction. that foreign nationals. found that having no travel documents Mejoff was illegally in this country. it was through no fault of theirs that no ship or country would take the petitioner. even if they are "stateless. But the deportation Board taking his case up. not enemy against whom no charge has been made other than that their permission to stay has expired. After the corresponding investigation. September 26. L-4254. and none are in sight. HELD: Aliens illegally staying in the Philippines have no right of asylum therein (Sowapadji vs. at its plenary meeting on December 10. CASE NUMBER: G. By their voluntary act. therefore. colour. ed. he was brought by the armed and belligerent forces of a de facto government whose decrees were law furing the occupation. Wixon. 3) the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of Nation. without inspection and admission by the immigration officials at a designation port of entry and. treaties and international agreements actually have a limiting effect on the otherwise encompassing and absolute nature of sovereignty. Sept. The petitioner's entry into the Philippines was not unlawful. 1951. respondent. petitioner. or it may opt not to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over its erring citizens or over US “persons” committing high crimes in the country and defer to the secondary criminal jurisdiction of the ICC over them. as the term is understood in the Agreement. 90 Phil. and consequently referred the matter to the immigration authorities. FACTS: The petitioner Boris Mejoff is an alien of Russian descent who was brought to this country from Shanghai as a secret operative by the Japanese forces during the latter's regime in these Islands. The protection against deprivation of liberty without due process of law and except for crimes committed against the laws of the land is not limited to Philippine citizens but extends to all residents. the authorities removed him to Bilibid Prison at Muntinglupa where he has been confined up to the present time. the People's Court ordered his release. 1948. vs. that "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this Declaration.R. by its Constitution (Art. the Government has the right to hold the undesirable alien under confinement for a reasonable lenght of time. II. In its first decision. By their nature. although it should be said in justice to the deportation authorities. It is no less true however.. the Board of commissioners of Immigration on April 5. Reports Annotated 70 PONENTE: TUASON. ISSUE: Whether or not the Government has the right to hold the undesirable alien under confinement indefinitely. the Government has not found way and means of removing the petitioner out of the country. Upon liberation he was arrested as a Japanese spy. declared that Mejoff had entered the Philippines illegally in 1944. After repeated failures to ship this deportee abroad. Sec." Over two years having elapsed since the decision aforesaid was promulgated. except enemy aliens. detention while arrangements for his departure are being made. 1946. as impliedly stated in this Court's decision. It was there resolved that "All human beings are born free and equal in degree and rights" (Art.
religion. that such a possibility exists. as in the case of the ten Communists. In U. not having been able to be executed. 201. or other status" (Art. detention or exile" (Art. and fear was expressed that he might join or aid the disloyal elements if allowed to be at large. its underlying principle is of universal application. but the prospects of bringing any against him are slim and remote. Nichols. since the right of accused to bail pending apppeal of his case. its ratio decidendi applies with greater force to the present petition. depends upon the discretion of the court. birth. Bearing in mind. if the only purpose of the detention be to eliminate a danger that is by no means actual. political or other opinion. not only are there no charges pending against the petitioner. whereas the right to be enlarged before formal charges are instituted is absolute. present. 47 Fed. If that case is not comparable with ours on the issues presented.sex. is functus officio and the alien is being held without any authority of law. for the sake of argument. 9). S. If we grant. still the petitioner's unduly prolonged detention would be unwarranted by law and the Constitution. nationality or social origin." It was said or insinuated at the hearing ofthe petition at bar. Japan is no longer at war with the United States or the Philippines. Supp. In fact. property. Page 6 of 6 . the warrant can not be effectuated. vs. 2): that "Every one has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the Constitution or by law" (Art. that "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest. but not alleged in the return. that the petitioner was engaged in subversive activities. or uncontrolable." that "the theory on which the court is given the power to act is that the warrant of deportation.. As already noted. etc. language. it was said that the court "has the power to release from custody an alien who has been detained an unreasonably long period of time by the Department of Justice after it has become apparent that although a warrant for his deportation has been issued. 8).
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