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US vs Go Chico

Facts: On or about the 4th day of August, 1908, appellant Go Chico displayed in one of the windows and one of the show cases of his
store in No. 89 Calle Rosario, Manila, a number of medallions, in the form of a small button, upon which were printed the miniature
faces of Emilio Aguinaldo and the flag or banner or device used during the late insurrection in the Phil. Islands to designate and
identify those in armed insurrection against the United States. On the day previous to the one set forth above, the appellant had
purchased the said medallion sold at a public sale under the authority of the sheriff of the city of Manila. On the day in question, the
appellant was arranging his stock of goods for the purpose of displaying them to the public, and in doing so, he placed the medallions
in his showcase and on one of the windows of his store. The appellant was ignorant of any law against the display of such medallions
and had consequently no corrupt intention. The facts stated above are admitted. The appellant has two propositions for his acquittal:
first is that before a conviction can be had, a criminal intent upon the part of the accused must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Second is that the prohibition of law is directed against the use of identical banners, devices or emblems actually used during the
Philippine insurrection by those in armed rebellion against the United States.
Issue: Whether or not criminal intent is necessary in crimes punishable by special laws.
Held: The court ruled that the act alone, irrespective of its motive, constitutes the crime. The words used during the late insurrection
in the Philippine Islands to designate or identify those in armed rebellion against the United States mean not only the identical flags
actually used in the insurrection, but any flag which is of that type. The description refers not to a particular flag, but to a type of flag.
The literal interpretation of a statute may lead to an absurdity, or evidently fail to give the real intent of the legislature.
"Care must be exercised in distinguishing the difference between the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate the act. ..."
(U.S. vs. Go Chico, 14 Phil., 128.)
Facts: Defendant was carrying firearms and entered into a poling place during election time. He states that he had no intention to
influence the election with his firearm, and was simply passing by when a friend called him over into the said area. He claims he is
not guilty of a violation of section 416 of the Election Law since there was no intent on his part to commit a crime.
Issue: Whether or not criminal intent is necessary in crimes punishable by special laws.
Ruling: The court ruled that the act alone, irrespective of its motive, constitutes the crime. Since it is near impossible to ascertain
whether or not there was intent by Bayona to influence the election, aside from him actually displaying or using his gun at the poling
site, it is understood that the special law described in section 416 of the Election Law is not to be violated and does not require intent
to consider a violation but the mere act described as prohibited therein.
Since it was done intentionally and not by accident, even without intent, Bayona is still guilty by his acts alone.
"The rule is that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal intent, but in those mala prohibita it is sufficient if the prohibited act was
intentionally done."
Dunlao vs CA
Facts: Petitioner was found in possession of property stolen from Lourdes Farms being displayed in his property. He was found guilty
of fencing. He contends that he had no intention of selling the GI pipes for personal gain but was merely having them in safe keeping
until an alleged "Man in a Jeep" left them to him sometime in the afternoon but did not return to claim them.
Issue: Whether or not criminal intent is necessary in crimes punishable by special laws.
Ruling: The court finds against the petitioner, as his very act of displaying the GI pipes is a presumption of Fencing.
Intent is not a necessary factor in crimes punishable by special laws, as the very act itself is already a violation regardless of the intent
of the perpetrator.
Under Presidential Decree 1612, 5 "fencing is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy,
receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object
or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or
There is no question that the farrowing crates and assorted lengths of G.I. pipes were found in the premises of petitioner. The positive
identification by Fortunato Mariquit, an employee of Lourdes Farms, Inc., that these items were previously owned by it gave rise to a
presumption of fencing under the law:
Sec. 5. Presumption of Fencing. Mere possession of any good, article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject
of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.
First of all, contrary to petitioner's contention, intent to gain need not be proved in crimes punishable by a special law such as P.D.

The law has long divided crimes into acts wrong in themselves called "acts mala in se," and acts which would not be wrong but for the
fact that positive law forbids them, called "acts mala prohibita." This distinction is important with reference to the intent with which a
wrongful act is done. The rule on the subject is that in acts mala in se, the intent governs, but in acts mala prohibita, the only inquiry
is, has the law been violated? When an act is illegal, the intent of the offender is immaterial.
Secondly, the law does not require proof of purchase of the stolen articles by petitioner, as mere possession thereof is enough to give
rise to a presumption of fencing.
The Court notes that the stolen articles were found displayed 13 on petitioner's shelves inside his compound. If petitioner were merely
keeping the farrowing crates and G.I. pipes for the men aboard the jeep, why did he display them? When a storeowner displays
articles, it is assumed that he is doing so with the intention of selling them.
Furthermore, the Court finds it strange that petitioner did not even bother to ascertain the identity of the person or persons who
deposited the articles with him.
Garcia Vs CA
Petitioner (Arsenia Garcia) was found guilty of violating Election law when she reduced the number of votes of Sen. Aquilino
Pimentel, Jr. During her duties as part of he election staff. She contends good faith and lack of criminal intent in her defense.
Allegedly she states that the CA erred due to lack of evidence on the intent of the petitioner and actual facts of the incident.
During trial of this case, petitioner admitted that she was indeed the one who announced the figure of 1,921, which was subsequently
entered by then accused Viray in his capacity as secretary of the board.17Petitioner likewise admitted that she was the one who
prepared the COC (Exhibit A-7), though it was not her duty. To our mind, preparing the COC even if it was not her task, manifests an
intention to perpetuate the erroneous entry in the COC.
ISSUE: Is a violation of Section 27(b) of Rep. Act No. 6646, classified under mala in se or mala prohibita? Could good faith and lack
of criminal intent be valid defenses?
RULING: Court Rules to uphold the CA's decision.
Good faith is not a defense in the violation of an election law, which falls under the class of mala prohibita.
Generally, mala in se felonies are defined and penalized in the Revised Penal Code. When the acts complained of are inherently
immoral, they are deemed mala in se, even if they are punished by a special law.8Accordingly, criminal intent must be clearly
established with the other elements of the crime; otherwise, no crime is committed. On the other hand, in crimes that are mala
prohibita, the criminal acts are not inherently immoral but become punishable only because the law says they are forbidden. With
these crimes, the sole issue is whether the law has been violated.9Criminal intent is not necessary where the acts are prohibited for
reasons of public policy.
SEC. 27. Election Offenses.- In addition to the prohibited acts and election offenses enumerated in Sections 261 and 262 of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 881, as amended, the following shall be guilty of an election offense:
(b) Any member of the board of election inspectors or board of canvassers who tampers, increases, or decreases the votes received by
a candidate in any election or any member of the board who refuses, after proper verification and hearing, to credit the correct votes or
deduct such tampered votes.
Clearly, the acts prohibited in Section 27(b) are mala in se.12For otherwise, even errors and mistakes committed due to overwork and
fatigue would be punishable.
Criminal intent is presumed to exist on the part of the person who executes an act which the law punishes, unless the contrary shall
appear.13Thus, whoever invokes good faith as a defense has the burden of proving its existence.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals sustaining petitioners conviction but
increasing the minimum penalty in her sentence to one year instead of six months isAFFIRMED.

US vs PABLO (1916) (Does the state have authority to punish crimes?)

Pablos was a policeman who witnessed a gambling game, upon making arrest, suspects flee the scene and only one is apprehended. In
his statement, Pablos denies seeing Rodrigo and Malicsi during the incident either at the scene or running away. In further
investigations, it was found that Pablo was paid in order to omit the fact that he did see the two suspects flee the scene, making his
testimony an act of perjury.
Andres Pablo was charged with the crime of perjury and was afterwards convicted under Act No. 1697, which (according to the
principle laid down by this court in various decisions that are already well-settled rules of law) repealed the provisions contained in
articles 318 to 324 of the Penal Code relative to false testimony.
At first, Petitioner was acquited due to an interpretation os Act No. 2657 which was understood to repeal punishment for false
"By the second paragraph of the final section of the last article of the Administrative Code, or Act No. 2657, there was
repealed, among the other statutes therein mentioned, the said Act No. 1697 relating to perjury, and the repealing clause of the said
Administrative Code does not say under what other penal law in force the crime of false testimony, at least, if not that of perjury, shall
be punished."
Issue: Does the State have authority to punish crimes?
Ruling: The Court overturns the previous acquital. It also clarifies that penal laws are in force and punishments were not actually
repealed in the case of perjury after careful examination to Act No. 1697 and Act No. 2657
The right of prosecution and punishment for a crime is one of the attributes that by a natural law belongs to the sovereign power
instinctively charged by the common will of the members of society to look after, guard and defend the interests of the community, the
individual and social rights and the liberties of every citizen and the guaranty of the exercise of his rights.
The power to punish evildoers has never been attacked or challenged, as the necessity for its existence has been recognized even by
the most backward peoples. At times the criticism has been made that certain penalties are cruel, barbarous, and atrocious; at other,
that they are light and inadequate to the nature and gravity of the offense, but the imposition of punishment is admitted to be just by
the whole human race, and even barbarians and savages themselves, who are ignorant of all civilization, are no exception.
The accused was driving an automobile at the rate of 30 miles an hour on a highway 6 meter wide, notwithstanding the fact that he had
to pass a narrow space between a wagon standing on one side of the road and a heap of stones on the other side where the were two
young boys, the appellant did not take the precaution required by the circumstances by slowing his machine, and did not proceed with
the vigilant care that under the circumstances an ordinary prudent man would take in order to avoid possible accidents that might
occur, as unfortunately did occur, as his automobile ran over the boy Porfirio Parondo who was instantly killed as the result of the
Issues: Whether or not Act No. 2886, under which the complaint in the present case was filed, is valid and constitutional.
Does the State have authority to punish crimes?
Ruling: Yes it is valid. By virtue of sovereignty of the State (Phil Government) even under US, it is delegated with authority.
The sentence appealed from is hereby affirmed, the appellant being furthermore sentenced to the accessory penalties prescribed in
article 61 of the Penal Code, and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P1,000 and to the payment of the costs of both
instances. So ordered.
For practical reasons, the procedure in criminal matters is not incorporated in the Constitutions of the States, but is left in the hand of
the legislatures, so that it falls within the realm of public statutory law.
each State has the authority, under its police power, to define and punish crimes and to lay down the rules of criminal procedure.
The states, as a part of their police power, have a large measure of discretion in creating and defining criminal offenses.
It is urged the right to prosecute and punish crimes is an attributed of sovereignty. This assertion is right; but it is also true that by
reason of the principle of territoriality as applied in the supression, of crimes, such power is delegated to subordinate government
subdivisions such as territories.

US vs BULL (Jurisdiction)

H.N. Bull in charge of a ship in philippine waters, subjects his cargo of animals to unecessary cruelty (nose rings), not following
proper protocol in securing them during transit as described in section 1 of Act No. 55, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 275. He
claims that Act No. 55 is in violation of the Constitution of the US, and that his boat is registered under the US and therefore the court
has no jurisdiction. As the incident occurred on his, an american boat.
Issue: Whether or not the court has jurisdiction and authority to punish.
The defendant was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency, and to pay the costs. The sentence and judgment is affirmed. So ordered.
The United States has adhered consistently to the view that when a merchant vessel enters a foreign port it is subject to the jurisdiction
of the local authorities, unless the local sovereignty has by act of acquiescence or through treaty arrangements consented to waive a
portion of such jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court of the United States has recently said that the merchant vessels of one country visiting the ports of another for the
purpose of trade, subject themselves to the laws which govern the ports they visit, so long as they remain; and this as well in war as in
peace, unless otherwise provided by treaty.
Conception vs Garcia (1929)
[Latin, We comand.] A writ or order that is issued from a court of superior jurisdiction that commands an inferior tribunal,
corporation,Municipal Corporation, or individual to perform, or refrain from performing, a particular act, the performance or omission
of which is required by law as an obligation.
A writ or order of mandamus is an extraordinary court order because it is made without the benefit of full judicial process, or before a
case has concluded. It may be issued by a court at any time that it is appropriate, but it is usually issued in a case that has already
ex post facto
adj. Latin for "after the fact," which refers to laws adopted after an act is committed making it illegal although it was legal when done,
or increases the penalty for a crime after it is committed. Such laws are specifically prohibited by the U. S. Constitution, Article I,
Section 9. Therefore, if a state legislature or Congress enact new rules of proof or longer sentences, those new rules or sentences do
not apply to crimes committed before the new law was adopted.
Indemnity bond
A bond that promises to indemnify the obligee against losses stemming from the principal's failure to perform.
The husband of the petitioner was found guilty of misappropriating stamps valued at over 200,000 pesos. The court obtained
attachment which was then levied by respondent on the household of the husband, in which petitioner has issued 3rd-party claim. In
September 1929, Respondent, due to the amount of property in custody request an indemnity bond, which is granted in October 1929,
during this time an ammendment is added to Act No. 3531 adding an amendment, in the form of a proviso, to both sections 442 and
451 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The theory underlying the petition is that Act No. 3531 is not applicable to the situation described, and that, if the Act should be
interpreted as applicable thereto, it should be held unconstitutional. if the Act be interpreted as applicable to the subject matter of the
aforesaid attachment, it would thereby be given an ex post facto effect inconsistently with that portion of section 3 of our organic law
which prohibits the enactment of ex post facto laws.
Petitioner request a writ of mandamus against respondant, requiring him to surrender the possession of certain personal property
claimed by the petitioner, as third-party claimant in an attachment issued in the civil case mentioned, with general relief and with
Ruling: The petition is without merit. The arguements of the petitioner are in error as her situation is a civil case, the term ex post facto
is long known to be used only for crimes and penalties. "Statutes making the changes in the remedy or procedure are laws within the
discretion of the lawmaking power, and are valid so long as they do not deprived the accused of any substantial right, or conflict with
specific and applicable provisions of the Federal Constitution (6 R.C.L., p. 294)."
It has long been settled that the phrase "ex post facto laws" is not applicable to civil laws, but to penal and criminal which punish a
party for acts antecedently done which were not punishable at all, or not punishable to the extent or in the manner prescribed. In short
ex post facto laws relate to penal and criminal proceedings, which impose punishment or forfeitures, and not to civil proceedings,
which affect private rights retrospectively.
In response to Kay Villegas Kami request for Declaration of petitioner's rights

An ex post facto law is one which:.

(1) makes criminal an act done before the passage of the law and which was innocent when done, and punishes such an act;
(2) aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed;
(3) changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when committed;
(4) alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction upon less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the
commission of the offense;
(5) assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes penalty or deprivation of a right for something which when
done was lawful; and
(6) deprives a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as the protection of a former
conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty.
Petitioner, in paragraph 7 of its petition, actually impugns because it quoted, only the first paragraph of Sec. 8(a) on the ground that it
violates the due process clause, right of association, and freedom of expression and that it is an ex post facto law.
Ruling: Petition is denied. RA 6132 is not unconstitutional.
The first three grounds were overruled by this Court when it held that the questioned provision is a valid limitation on the due process,
freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and equal protection clauses; for the same is designed to prevent
the clear and present danger of the twin substantive evils, namely, the prostitution of electoral process and denial of the equal
protection of the laws.
From the aforesaid definition as well as classification of ex post facto laws, the constitutional inhibition refers only to criminal laws
which are given retroactive effect.
There is nothing in the law that remotely insinuates that Secs. 8(a) and 18, or any other provision thereof, shall apply to acts carried
out prior to its approval.
People vs Ferrer (Honorable Judge), Co brothers, Tayag (Republic Act 1700, Anti-subverson Act) 1972
A Bill of Attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of
persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial. As with attainder resulting from the normal
judicial process, the effect of such a bill is to nullify the targeted persons civil rights, most notably the right to own property (and thus
pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and, in at least the original usage, the right to life itself.
Facts: Co's group was accused of violating RA 1700. Respondent questions the constitutionality of said Act, saying it is a bill of
Resolving the constitutional issues raised, the trial court, in its resolution of September 15, 1970, declared the statute void on the
grounds that it is a bill of attainder and that it is vague and overboard, and dismissed the informations against the two accused. The
Government appealed.
Issue: The constitutionality of the Anti-Subversion Act, 1 which outlaws the Communist Party of the Philippines and other "subversive
associations," and punishes any person who "knowingly, willfully and by overt acts affiliates himself with, becomes or remains a
member" of the Party or of any other similar "subversive" organization.
Ruling: RA 1700 is constitutional.
Article III, section 1 (11) of the Constitution states that "No bill of attainder or ex port facto law shall be enacted."
RA 1700 is not a bill of attainder, in as much as it affords due process, sufficient proof before conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
The Government has a right to protect itself againstsubversion is a proposition too plain to require elaboration.Self-preservation is the
"ultimate value" of society. It surpasses and transcendes every other value, "for if a society cannot protect its very structure from
armedinternal attack, subordinate value can be protected"
In conclusion, even as we uphold the validity of theAnti-Subversion Act, we cannot overemphasize the needfor prudence and
circumspection in its enforcement, operatingas it does in the sensitive area of freedom of expressionand belief.

Villar vs People of the Philippines

Illegal Recruitment

Petitioner and one Dolores Placa in January 1993, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping one another through
fraudulent representation and deceitful machination, did then and there [willfully], unlawfully and feloniously recruit Nila Panilag for
employment abroad[,] demand and receive the amount ofP6,500.00 Philippine Currency [sic] as placement fee[,] the said accused
being a non-licensee or non-holder of authority to engage in the recruitment of workers abroad to the damage and prejudice of the
herein offended party.
On appeal, the CA noted that the criminal acts alleged to have been committed happened sometime in 1993. However, R.A. No. 8042,
under which petitioner was charged, was approved only on 7 June 1995 and took effect on 15 July 1995. Thus, the Court of Appeals
declared that petitioner should have been charged under the Labor Code, in particular Art. 13(b) thereof, and not under R.A. No. 8042.
The charge was affirmed and modified requiring petitioner to pay 100,000 in damages to the victim instead.
Issue: What are the limitations of the Law in terms of retroactivity?
Ruling: The Petition is Denied.
While there was an erroneous specification of the law violated by petitioner in the Information, the CA was correct in affirming the
RTC's imposition of the penalty for simple illegal recruitment under the Labor Code, the OSG concludes.
The petition is denied. We find no reversible error in the decision arrived at by the Court of Appeals.
The real nature of the crime charged is determined, not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of
the law alleged to have been violatedthese being conclusions of lawbut by the actual recital of facts in the complaint or information.
What controls is not the designation but the description of the offense charged. From a legal point of view, and in a very real sense, it
is of no concern to the accused what the technical name of the crime of which he stands charged is. If the accused performed the acts
alleged in the body of the information, in the manner stated, then he ought to be punished and punished adequately, whatever may be
the name of the crime which those acts constitute.
The basic rule is that a criminal act is punishable under the law in force at the time of its commission.
US vs Sweet
1901 (Jurisdiction)
Sweet commits an offense against a prisoner of war in the pursuing of his duties as an officer of the United States military.
The offense charged in the complaint is punishable under the Penal Code now in force by arresto mayor and a fine of from 325 to
3,250 pesetas. (Art. 418.) By Act No. 136 of the United States Philippine Commission, section 56 (6), Courts of First Instance are
given original jurisdiction "in all criminal cases in which a penalty of more than six months' imprisonment or a fine exceeding one
hundred dollars may be imposed."
Issues: What are the limitations of Jurisdiction in the application of Law?
Does the fact that the alleged offense was committed by an employee of the United States military
the court of jurisdiction?



With no express legislation to the contrary cited; the case is therefore open to the application of the general principle that the
jurisdiction of the civil tribunals is unaffected by the military or other special character of the person brought before them for trial, a
principle firmly established in the law of England and America and which must, we think, prevail under any system of jurisprudence
unless controlled by express legislation to the contrary.
The appellant's claim that the acts alleged to constitute the offense were performed by him in the execution of the orders of his
military superiors may, if true, be available by way of defense upon the merits in the trial in the court below, but can not under this
principle affect the right of that court to take jurisdiction of the case.
criminal responsibility, however, arose from an infraction of the general penal laws
It may be proper to add that there is no actual conflict between the two jurisdictions in the present case nor any claim of jurisdiction on
the part of the military tribunals

SCHNECKENBURGER vs Moran (Judge First Instance Manila)

(Diplomatic Immunity, Jurisdiction)

Uruguay Honorary Consul charged with falsification of a document in the Philippines. He then questions jursidiction of the court
Issue: Whether the original jurisdiction possessed and exercised by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands at the time of the
adoption of the Constitution was exclusive.
Ruling: We conclude, therefore, that the Court of First Instance of Manila has jurisdiction to try the petitioner, an that the petition for a
writ of prohibition must be denied.
This case involves no question of diplomatic immunity. It is well settled that a consul is not entitled to the privileges and immunities
of an ambassador or minister, but is subject to the laws and regulations of the country to which he is accredited.
The conclusion we have reached upon this branch of the case finds support in the pertinent decisions of the Supreme Court of the
United States. The Constitution of the United States provides that the Supreme Court shall have "original jurisdiction" in all cases
affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls.
Valdez vs Lucero (Judge First Instance Ilocos Sur)
Silverio Valdez was prosecuted for murder
That on or about the 17th day of January, 1945, in the barrio of San Julian, municipality of Bantay, province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Hon. Court, the above-named defendant, Silverio Valdez, with intent to kill, and with evident
premeditation and treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously with cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly
augmenting the suffering of one Juan Ponce, kill the latter with bolo, dagger and other weapons and died instantly.
That said Silverio Valdez moved for the dismissal of the foregoing information in the justice of the peace court, alleging that the fiscal
had no authority to file it and that the court acquired no jurisdiction of the defendant, which motion was denied by the justice of the
peace on September 5, 1945; and that since that date accused has been detained as a provincial prisoner in the provincial jail in Vigan,
Ilocos Sur;
The petitioner relies mainly on the provision of article 93 of the Articles of War (Commonwealth Act No. 408) which reads:
1. ART. 93. Murder. Any person subject to military law who commits murder in time of war shall suffer death or imprisonment for
life, as a court-martial may direct.
Issues; Whether the civil courts have jurisdiction to take cognizance of and try the case for murder filed against petitioner Silverio
A soldier of the United States who murders a citizen of the state offends against both the military and the state laws and may be tried
in the state courts.
Although under this section (Art. 92), military authorities have the prior right to try soldier who has murdered a citizen, the soldier
who has committed the crime cannot object to being tried by a state court, where the military authorities have not asserted any right.
Funk vs.. State ([1919], 208 S.W., 509; 84 Tex. Cr. R., 402)
Ruling: Petition is without merit