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US vs.

LAGNASON banners, but did carry two large wooden crosses which were
March 28, 1904 captured together with the cannon.
Ponente: Willard, J.
ISSUE/S and RULING:
Act No. 292 of the Philippine Commission: 1. W/N their acts constitute a levying of war? YES
Sec. 1. Every person, resident in the Philippine Islands, owing The acts of violence committed by an armed body of men
allegiance to the United States, or Government of the Philippine Islands, who with the purpose of overthrowing the Government was
levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and levying war against the United States was treason,
comfort within the Philippine Islands or elsewhere is guilty of treason, and whether it was done by ten men or thousand men. (US vs.
upon conviction shall suffer death or, at the discretion of the court, shall be Hanway)
imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five years and fined not less than o No distinction was anywhere made between a
ten thousand dollars. foreign enemy and a rebel or insurgent so far as
Sec. 3. Every person who incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages the act of levying of war is concerned.
in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the US or of the o The defendant was engaged in an attempt to
Government of the Philippine Islands, or the laws thereof, or who gives aid overthrow the Government and was captured
or comfort to anyone engaging in such rebellion or insurrection, shall, upon after an armed contest. It does not matter how
conviction be imprisoned for not more than ten years and be fined not more vain and futile his attempt was; the acts
than ten thousand dollars. performed by him constituted a levying of war.

FACTS: 2. W/N the penalty for the crime of insurrection should be imposed
On October 29, 1902, Dalmacio Lagnason (defendant) with his in accordance with Sec. 3 of Act No. 292? YES
band (Babaylanes which camped in the northern part) of men in Justice Field in US vs. Greathouse: the intent of Congress
arms against the Government of the United States made an attack in Sec. 2 of Act of July, 17, 1862 (now Sec. 5334 of Revised
upon the pueblo of Murcia in Province of Occidental Negros. They Statutes and Sec. 3 of Act No. 292) is 2) to punish
were however driven off by the force of Constabulary. (Note: there treason thereafter committed with death, or fine and
is a similar band, the one led by Dionisio Papa, camped in the imprisonment, in the discretion of court, unless the
southern part) treason consist in engaging in or assisting a rebellion or
Two inspectors of the Constabulary arrived with additional forces insurrection against the authority of the US in which
and left the pueblo in search of the defendant. They located him event the death penalty is to be abandoned and a less
about three kilometers from the pueblo (Iglauaan). penalty inflicted.
Their fight lasted an hour and a half. The defendant was captured The acts committed by the defendant constituted a
in battle and had a Springfield rifle, a revolver, and a talibon. About levying of war as that phrase was understood at the time
twenty of his men were killed. On the side of the Constabulary, the act of the Commission was passed. However, these
two policemen of the vicinity (Tranquilano Toscano and Lazaro same acts constituted rebellion or insurrection within
Quiachon) who were acting as guides were killed. the meaning of Sec. 3 of Act No. 292.
The defendants band consisted of 70-80 men who had for arms Notwithstanding the fact that Congress does have the
five or ten rifles, bolos, daggers, and one small cannon. They wore power to fix the penalty for this crime and the
black shirts, white pantaloons, and black caps. They carried no construction placed upon the act of July 17, 1862, in the
case of Greathouse was that under both sections, the If the intention is to utterly overthrow the Government and
offense constitute treason, but when the treason establish another independent government, the offense is treason.
consisted of engaging in an insurrection or rebellion, it If the intention was simply to obstruct and resist the authority of
could be punished only by imprisonment for not more US or the Government of the Philippines, or the laws thereof, the
than ten years in accordance with Sec. 3 of Act 292. offense is rebellion or insurrection.
It is not necessary to decide on whether testimony of two The defendant constituted not only a warlike assemblage, carrying
witnesses to the same overt act is required or whether the appearance of force in a situation to practice hostilities, but
testimony required in ordinary cases is enough. In this hostilities actually resulted.
case, the overt act was proved by two witnesses. There was levying of war; therefore, the punishment under Section
The defendant is also a native of Cebu and is therefore 1 of Act No. 292 (death or imprisonment and fine under courts
covered both by Sec. 1 and Sec. 3. discretion) should be inflicted.

**The judgment is affirmed with a change of the penalty, however, from Torres, J., dissenting:
death to ten years and a fine of $10,000, money of the United States, with The chiefs and the leaders of the rebellion should be punished
the costs of this instance against the defendant. according to Section 1 of the law, but their subordinates and those
who only take a secondary part in the acts of war or rebellion
McDonough, J.: should be punished in accordance with Section 3 of the same act.
The crime committed is that of insurrection, and that the
conviction should be had under Sec. 3 of Act No. 292 for
insurrection.
It was the intention of the law-making body to create a crime of a
less degree and of less magnitude than that of levying war against
the Government, which new crime was designated as rebellion or
insurrection.

Johnson, J., dissenting:


The facts are sufficient to indicate that the said defendant, with his
associates, intended to overthrow the Government of the United
States, as constituted in the said town of Murcia in the Province of
Occidental Negros. Therefore, the defendant is guilty of the crime
of treason.
Treason may be defined as an organized effort on the part of those
who owe allegiance to a government to overthrow their
government and to establish either another one or lawlessness.
Insurrection is a resistance by unlawful means to the operation of
some particular law or to the constituted authorities.

Cooper, J., dissenting: