Consti: #4

Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1, March 5, 1947

Nature of the Action: This is a petition for prohibition to prevent the
enforcement of a congressional resolution designated “Resolution of both houses
proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines to be appended as
an ordinance thereto”.

Material Facts: Three of the plaintiff senators and eight representatives had
been proclaimed by a majority vote of the Commission on Elections as having
been elected senators and representatives. The three senators were suspended
by the Senate on account of alleged irregularities in their election. The eight
representatives since their election had not been allowed to sit in the lower House
for the same reason, although they had not been formally suspended. As a
consequence these three senators and eight representatives did not take part in
the passage of the congressional resolution, designated "Resolution of both
houses proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines to be
appended as an ordinance thereto," nor was their membership reckoned within
the computation of the necessary three-fourths vote which is required in
proposing an amendment to the Constitution. If these members of Congress had
been counted, the affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would
have been short of the necessary three-fourths vote in either branch of Congress.
The petition for prohibition sought to prevent the enforcement of said
congressional resolution, as it is allegedly contrary to the Constitution. The
respondents deny that this court has jurisdiction, relying on the conclusiveness on
the courts of an enrolled bill or resolution.

Issue: Whether the Court may inquire upon the irregularities in the approval of
the resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

Ruling: Wherefore the petition is dismissed.

Racio decidendi: No, the Court cannot inquire upon the irregularities in the
approval of the resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. It is a
doctrine too well established to need citation of authorities that political questions
are not within the province of the judiciary, except to the extent that power to
deal with such questions has been conferred upon the courts by express
constitutional or statutory provision. This doctrine is predicated on the principle of
the separation of powers. If a political question conclusively binds the judges out
of respect to the political departments, a duly certified law or resolution also
binds the judges under the "enrolled bill rule" born of that respect. If ratification of
an amendment is a political question, a proposal which leads to ratification has to
be a political question. Proposal to amend the Constitution is a highly political
function performed by the Congress in its sovereign legislative capacity and
committed to its charge by the Constitution itself. The exercise of this power is
even in dependent of any intervention by the Chief Executive.

Crim: #13

People vs. Dizon, 84 Phil. 48, June 24, 1949

Nature of Action:

This is a petition for review on view of the judgment of lower court charging
defendant guilty of treason.

Material Facts:

In Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines, defendant, acting as informer or agent
of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines, and for the purpose of giving
and with intent to give aid and/or comfort to the said enemy, with the aid of a
group of armed men who afforded him impunity, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully, feloniously and treasonably lead, accompany and participate in the
apprehension and arrest of Malapitan, Avendano, Angeles, Santos, Lazaga,
Alumno and Aguilar, suspected of being a guerrilla member, and thereupon, the
said accused turn them over to the enemy who brutally maltreated, tortured and
subsequently executed him.

Issue:

Whether the defendant’s acts of active participation with the enemies in the
apprehension of guerrillas and infliction of ill-treatments makes him liable for
treason.

Ruling:

Wherefore the petition is denied. The appealed judgment is affirmed.

Racio Decidendi:
Yes, because defendant’s act constitutes the giving of aid and comfort to
said enemy, and this also clearly indicates the adherence to the enemy which is
one of the modes of committing treason punishable under Article 114, Book II of
the Revised Penal Code.

Crim: #17

US vs. Simeon Magtibay, 2 Phil 705, November 23, 1903

Nature of Action:

This is a petition for review of charging the defendant guilty of treason.

Material Facts:

In the Province of Cavite, it was proved that defendant was a soldier in the
constabulary. On October 27, 1902, he deserted and was captured and according
to the inspector, that defendant had given the arms which he took with him to his
general Montalon. The only wtness to the finding of this commission was the
inspector. Under the act of congress there can be no conviction unless the two
witnesses testify to the same overt act of treason. The act of Congress provides
that there maybe conviction upon confession in open court. The defendant
testified as a witness in his own behalf. He claimed that he had been carried of by
force, he promised to serve them and they made him a lieutenant and gave him a
revolver. He remained with them in two weeks but says it was against his will and
that he had no opportunity to escape.

Issue:

Whether the confession made by the defendant in open court would
conclusively convict him of the crime of treason.

Ruling:

Wherefore the judgment is reversed and the defendant was acquitted.

Racio Decidendi:

This was not a confession contemplated in the law. The confession means a
confession of guilt. It is not only an admission of facts made by the defendant in
giving his testimony after a plea of not guilty, from which admission of his guilt
can be inferred. In this case, there was only an admission but not a confession of
guilt. The evidence required by the act of congress does not appear in this case.