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Ruffy v.

Chief of Staff
Constitutional Law. Political Law. Effects of Cession.
75 PHIL 875
Ramon Ruffy was the provincial commander stationed in Mindoro at the outbreak of war on
December 8, 1941. When the Japanese forces landed in Mindoro on February 27, 1942,
Mayor Ruffy retreated to the mountains and organized and led a guerrilla outfit known as the
Bolo Combat team of Bolo Area. The case at bar is a petition for prohibition praying that
respondents be commanded to desist from further proceedings in the trial of the petitioners
on the ground that petitioners were not subject to military law at the time of offense.
1. Are the petitioners subject to military law at the time of war and Japanese occupation?
2. Is 93d Article of War constitutional?
Petitioners were subject to military jurisdiction as provided for in Article of War (2d). The Bolo
Area was a contingent of the 6th military district which had been recognized by the United
States army. The petitioners assailed the constitutionality of 93d Article of War on the ground
that it violates Article VIII Section 2 par. 4 of the Constitution which provides that National
Assembly may not deprive the Supreme Court of its original jurisdiction over all criminal
cases in which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment. The petitioners are in
error for courts martial are agencies of executive character and are not a portion of the
judiciary. The petition thus has no merits and is dismissed with costs.


Ruffy vs Chief of
G.R. No. L-533
75 Phil 875
August 20, 1956

Petitioners: Ramon Ruffy, et al.

Respondents: The Chief of Staff, et al.

FACTS: During the Japanese insurrection in the Philippines,

military men were assigned at designated camps or military
bases all over the country. Japanese forces went to Mindoro
thus forcing petitioner and his band move up the mountains
and organize a guerilla outfit and call it the "Bolo area". A
certain Capt. Beloncio relieved Ruffy and fellow petitioners of
their position and duties in the "Bolo area" by the new
authority vested upon him because of the recent change of
command. Capt. Beloncio was thus allegedly slain by Ruffy
and his fellow petitioners.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners were subject to

military law at the time the offense was committed, which
was at the time of war and the Japanese occupancy.

HELD: The Court held that the petitioners were still subject
to military law since members of the Armed Forces were still

covered by the National Defense Act, Articles of War and

other laws even during an occupation. The act of unbecoming
of an officer and a gentleman is considered as a defiance of
95th Article of War held petitioners liable to military
jurisdiction and trial. Moreover, they were operating officers,
which makes them even more eligible for the military court's

In consideration of the foregoing, the petition has no merit

and should be dismissed. Thus, the petition is
hereby DENIED.

Constitutional Law 1: State Functions / Concept of State

(Textbook: Cruz, Professor: Atty. Usita)