Republic of the Philippines On May 7 this Court gave leave to Attys.

Barrera, Araneta and
SUPREME COURT Baizas to appear as amici curiae, granting them 10 days from
Manila notice within which to submit their memorandum. On the same
day the Solicitor General submitted the affidavit of Capt.
EN BANC Amistoso, in compliance with this Court's May 6
resolution.1awphil.nêt
G.R. No. L-28949 June 23, 1969
On May 11 the petitioner filed an amended petition; on May 22
the intervenor filed an answer with counter petition for
JIBIN ARULA, petitioner, preliminary injunction; and on May 27 the respondents
vs. submitted their answer to the amended petition. On June 18
Brigadier General ROMEO C. ESPINO, Members of the the amici curiae filed their memorandum, making common
General Court-Martial, namely, CANDIDO B. GAVINO, cause with the petitioner.
President, CRISOGONO T. MAKILAN, RUBEN S.
MONTOYA, SIXTO R. ALHAMBRA, SEGUNDINO S.
QUINTANS, PEDRO FERNANDEZ, JOSE APOLINARIO, This case was reheard on August 26. The petitioner thereafter,
AVELINO MENEZ, EFRAIN MACLANG, and MABINI on September 19, filed his memorandum of authorities and
BERNABE, LAW Member, respondents. exhibits. The intervenors filed their reply memorandum of
authorities and exhibits on October 23. And on November 12
the Solicitor General filed the respondents' reply to the
Gregorio M. Familar for petitioner. petitioner's memorandum of authorities and exhibits.
Office of the Solicitor General Antonio P. Barredo and Solicitor
Raul I. Goco and Col. Manuel V. Reyes (AFP Judge Advocate
General), Col. Primitivo D. Chingcuangco (AFP Deputy Judge II. Facts
Advocate General), Lt. Col. Pedro Malit, Captain Ciriaco P.
Cruz of the AFP, and Amelito Mutuc for respondents. Shorn of trivia and minutiae, the uncontroverted facts converge
in sharp focus.

The petitioner Arula was on December 17, 1967 recruited by
CASTRO, J.: one Capt. Teodoro R. Facelo of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines at Simunul, Sulu, to undergo training. On the
following January 3, he, together with other recruits, was taken
I. Preliminary Statement to Corregidor island. On March 18 a shooting incident occurred
at Corregidor, resulting in, among other things, the infliction of
The present original petition for certiorari and/or prohibition serious physical injuries upon the petitioner. Despite his
with prayer for writ of preliminary injunction seeks the wounds he succeeded in fleeing Corregidor, and on March 23,
1
annulment of Special Order 208 (issued on April 6, 1968 by he filed, a criminal complaint with the city fiscal of Cavite City
the respondent Brigadier General Romeo C. Espino as for frustrated murder against Capt. Alberto Soteco, Benjamin
commanding general of the Philippine Army), which special Munar alias Lt. Baqui, Reynaldo Munar alias Lt. Rey, Eugenio
4
order convenes a general court-martial and appoints the Alcantara alias Lt. Alcantara, and nine others. Acting on the
members thereof, and to prohibit permanently the said court- criminal complaint, the city fiscal on March 29 sent subpoenas
martial, composed of the other respondents, from taking to the persons above enumerated, advising them that the
cognizance of and proceeding with the trial of the case before preliminary investigation was set for April 3 at 9: 00 o'clock in
it with respect to the shooting and wounding of the petitioner the morning, and requiring them to appear at his office on the
Jibin Arula. The petition was filed with this Court on April 25, same date and time.
2
1968, and given due course the following day, April 26. We
issued a temporary restraining order on the same day, April 26, On April 2 the petitioner sent a letter to the commanding officer
"effective immediately and until further orders from this Court," of the Philippine Army, informing the latter that he was "not
and set the "hearing on the injunction and merits" for May 6. filing any charges" with the military authorities against the army
personnel responsible for his injuries, for the reason that he
On May 4 the respondent filed their answer (with opposition to had "already filed the corresponding criminal complaint" with
the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction). On this day also, the city fiscal of Cavite City. On the following day, April 3, the
Capt. Alberto Soteco, MSgt. Benjamin Munar, Reynaldo Munar date set for the preliminary investigation, army lawyers headed
and Eugenio Alcantara, thru counsel filed a motion to by Capt. Jose Magsanoc appeared on behalf of the
intervene; Attorneys Jesus G. Barrera, J. Antonio Araneta and respondents and requested for transfer of the preliminary
Crispin Baizas of the Citizens' Legal Assistance Committee of investigation which, as a result of such request, was reset for
the Philippine Bar Association moved for leave to appear April 16.
as amici curiae.
Meanwhile, the respondent General Espino directed Capt.
At the hearing of the case on May 6, in Baguio City, Atty. Alfredo O. Pontejos of his command to conduct a pre-trial
Gregorio M. Familar argued for the petitioner, Solicitor General investigation of the Corregidor incident to pinpoint
3
Antonio Barredo argued for the respondents. The petitioner responsibility therefor. As early as March 22, however, all of
was given 5 days to submit a memorandum of additional facts the army personnel, except two, supposedly involved in the
and additional arguments. The respondents were granted hapless incident had already been placed under technical
leave to submit an answer thereto, and allowed to present arrest and restricted to camp limits. (These last two were
within 3 days the affidavit of Capt. Ruperto I. Amistoso. The subsequently, on April 16, placed under technical arrest.)
motion to intervene was likewise granted, and the intervenors
were given 5 days to file the necessary pleadings.

the petitioner. court-martial has jurisdiction over the offense committed Cpl. Mike. Felix Lauzon. Batalla. More specifically he avers that. Evaristo against the petitioner. as pre-trial investigator. Narciso T. does the general that the civil courts had lost jurisdiction over the case because court-martial have jurisdiction over the case? This in turn a court-martial had been convened. depends on the resolution of the sub-issues of (a) whether the petitioner is a person subject to military law. which provides in full as follows: III. not subject to military law 2nd Lt. the intervenors refuted point by point the arguments advanced by the petitioner in his amended petition. breach of law or violation of municipal ordinance which is recognized as an offense of a The petitioner poses as the dominant issue the jurisdiction of penal nature and is punishable under the penal laws of the the general court-martial to take cognizance of charge 1. Charges and specifications for personality to bring and maintain the present action. Trainee Dugasan Ahid and 2. Rolando Buenaventura. as stated earlier. 1st Lt. SSgt. the respondents maintain that the general C. Cpl. Capt. which contained the substance of the because Corregidor where the offense was committed had declarations of Andrew Gruber. Forfieda and Pfc. Cpl. Ruiz. Munar. on the following day. Lt. the petitioner. is subject to military law: recommending trial by general court-martial of Capt. Appended thereto was an array of because he had never enlisted in the Army nor had he been documents. issues are joined: (1) Does the petitioner have legal personality to institute and maintain the present action for certiorari and prohibition to stop the general court-martial from proceeding On April 19 the Armed Forces lawyers moved to dismiss the with the hearing of the case insofar as it concerns the injuries complaint filed with the city fiscal of Cavite upon the ground inflicted upon him? (2) In the affirmative. crime. and (c) whether Ferdinand Marcos (as Commander-in-Chief) ordered an the filing by the petitioner of a criminal complaint (involving the investigation of the reported killings of commando trainees on same offense) with the city fiscal of Cavite City forthwith Corregidor Island. formally inducted therein. Alcantara. MSgt. Philippines Herald IV. 1. Pontejos. appointing a General court-martial. Timoteo On the other hand. the offense (shooting and wounding of the petitioner) was and trainee Eugenio Alcantara alias Lt. Cpl. alias Major Abdul Latif Martelino. Capt. Philippines or under municipal ordinances. the general court-martial acquired jurisdiction over the case issued Special Order 208. Pontejos submitted a supplemental report. and On the same day (April 6) that Capt. Solferino Titong alias Capt. invested the Court of First Instance of Cavite jurisdiction to try directed the creation of a court-martial to try whomsoever the case to the exclusion of the general court-martial. the common cause with the petitioner. Upon the other hand. Issues Various Crimes. Francisco Grinn. to the exclusion of the Cavite CFI. the respondent General Espino 3. (A) inside a specification 1 for frustrated murder involving the petitioner's reservation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Pontejos submitted his pre-trial investigation report. intervenors At the threshold. submitted 1. 2nd Class Trainee Wilfredo Pahayhay. the following petitioner. Antonio Santos. charge 1 (violation of the 94th article of war) which directly and squarely pertains to the shooting and wounding of the said On the basis of the pleadings of all the parties. Dabbay. MSgt. Capt. Soteco.) So that before the petitioner Arula filed his criminal complaint (on March 23) with the city fiscal of Cavite. and Recommended for trial by general court-martial are Major 3. made At the hearing by the general court-martial on April 16. committed inside a military reservation by persons subject to military law. might be responsible for the reported killings. Eduardo B. It is here pertinent to note that on March 21 President whether Corregidor is a military reservation. Amistoso. March 22. and. Tomas shrine". additional charges and specifications were subsequently filed and renumbered. Teodoro R. to the exclusion of the general court- Cirilo Oropesa. cognizance of the case. is a civilian. the amici curiae. the President had already ordered an investigation of Of basic and immediate involvement is article of war 94 of the Corregidor incident and the convening of a court-martial Commonwealth Act 408. Capt. 6 5 violations of articles of war 94 and 97 were filed with the general court-martial. the Court of First Instance of Cavite has already taken Eduardo Martelino. Rolando Abadilla. like all the persons accused before the On April 14. or (B) injuries. MSgt. Malubay. Alfredo F. Ruperto E. Wilfredo Latonero. Cpl. martial. Rainilo of the Special Forces Training Unit (provisional). he. (b) if he is not. Trainee Capt. On their part. 2nd Lt. relative thereto. Cpl. Capt. as amended by Republic Act 242. to try the case against the army personnel involved in the Corregidor incident. Discussion and Manila Daily Bulletin. Pedro Banigued. 1968 issues of the Manila Times. Alberto G. (See the March 22 and 23. Colonel Wilfredo E. Federico Ilangilang. TSgt. the offense was committed outside a military reservation his written report. Benjamin C. Cpl. ahead of any civil court with concurrent jurisdiction. Rey 2. TSgt. general court-martial. Cesar Calinawagan. Agustin because: Dagdag. . outside any such reservation when the offended party (and each one of the offended parties if there be more than one) in . trainee Reynaldo Munar alias Lt. the respondents traverse the petitioner's legal herein being among them. Rosauro Novesteras.On April 6 Capt. Orlando Decena. Facelo. petitioner Arula adduced testimony to prove specification 1. composed of the other respondents. — Any person subject to military law who commits any felony. been declared by President Ramon Magsaysay as a "national Encarnacion.

That the said accused are members of the Armed In the third place. David. and reserved the detached rocks surrounding the same. where the may be temporarily needed for the storage of ammunition or shooting and wounding of the petitioner allegedly took place. in time of peace officers devoid of merit. If he had of the Philippine Constabulary. the fact remains that the Corregidor airstrip. shall be punished as a court. including the adjacent islands and embraced therein situated in Taguig. 1967 (63 OG No. or (b) outside any such reservation when the island of Corregidor itself — of their character as a military offended party (and each one of the offended parties if there reservation and national defense zone. From violation of municipal ordinances committed under this article. describing them by specific metes and bounds. subject to private rights. the they are deemed "absolutely essential for safeguarding the offense imputed to the military personnel accused before the national security. 1. Auditor General. David. thereby not precluding the committed within military reservations. 969. breach of law or In the first place. crime. EO 58 does not expressly repeal P-69. as scenes of popular pilgrimages and phraseology. 1954 by President Ramon Magsaysay." from which the petitioner argues that areas of Corregidor island to be selected. as to extent of an area previously reserved for a certain public whether the petitioner was at that time a person subject to purpose. concurrent with the jurisdiction of Letter Carriers Association vs. The parties are agreed on the purview and meaning of this North Camarines Lumber Co. 31. Provided. if it was not. the terms contained within the four corners of the later In imposing the penalties for such offenses falling within this presidential decree cannot be inferred or implied a repeal of article. that Corregidor is no longer a military reservation is anchored 9 on Executive Order No. Commission is the operative act that can give to any portion of Corregidor island the status of a "national shrine. On May 31. be safely said laws of the Philippines or such municipal ordinances shall be that implied repeal of P-69 was intended. deemed absolutely essential for safeguarding the national has not been actually delimited and officially declared as a security. The petitioner's insistence any. vs. there is nothing in the language of EO 58 recognized as an offense of a penal nature and is punishable from which it can be reasonably inferred that the declaration of under the penal laws of the Philippines or under municipal certain areas in Corregidor island as battlefield areas or as ordinances. For several cogent reasons. accessible as tourist national shrine." a military reservation same for national shrine purposes under the administration of and placing it under the direct supervision and control of the the National Shrines Commission. This Act makes the entry of a private courts-martial when they commit offenses under this article in person into a national defense zone subject to regulations time of peace. 69 (hereinafter referred to as P-69) Bonifacio military reservation) a certain portion of the land declaring "Corregidor. This article of war removes officers and enlisted men of developed as a national shrine without excluding it from the the Philippine Constabulary entirely from the jurisdiction of operation of the said Act. it is our view that this argument is martial may direct. its punishable under article of war 94 outside a military character as part of a national defense zone or military reservation and the offended party (or any one of the offended reservation would not thereby be abated or impaired. 1968 (the date when the offense was allegedly is the uniform pattern of presidential orders modifying the committed). he would have expressly withdrawn such The divergence of opinion is to whether Corregidor was. It places persons subject to military law under the Manila Electric Co. Even if an area were be more than one) is a person subject to military law. 57 OG 9027). 6614) wherein President Ferdinand E. of battlefield areas declared as national shrines are not to be opened to the public as tourist resorts or recreational centers if Nor is it disputed that the crime of frustrated murder. if Armed Forces of the Philippines. 80 Phil. 1948 President Elpidio Quirino issued 423 dated July 12. and enlisted men of the Philippine Constabulary shall not be triable by courts-martial for any felony. 94 Phil. and to future survey. 58 (hereinafter referred to as EO 58) In the fourth place. Visayan Electric Co. A military parties it there be more than one) is not a person subject to reservation or national defense zone under the provisions of military law.. This March 18. crime. Rizal. EO 58 affects and opens to the public only those as recreational centers. the proper civil courts. 208 dated May military law. A typical example is Proclamation No. breach of law or violation of municipal ordinance which is In the second place. In its overall context as well as in its specific resorts and attractions. declaration of a certain area as a battlefield area under EO 58 which declared "all battlefield areas in Corregidor and Bataan would have the effect of removing it from the Operation of P- province" as national shrines and "except such portions as 69. the penalties for such offenses provided in the penal the former presidential act. is likewise conceded. therefore. and. a military reservation. actually declared as a "national shrine" or "battlefield area" or Whenever persons subject to military law commit offenses "historic site" by the National Shrines Commission. 1957 (which had established the Fort 8 Proclamation No. 951. Well-entrenched is taken into consideration. the rule that implied repeals are not favored (Camacho vs." opening them "to the public. intended to remove certain portions of Corregidor island from the ambit of P-69. vs. on portions. City of Manila. delimited Corregidor is no longer a military reservation because it has and developed as historic sites by the National Shrines been converted into a national shrine and made accessible to Commission. vs. It cannot. That. is embraced within the purview of article of war 94. 28." general court-martial. 7 article. 848. Paragraph 1 of EO 58 declares that even portions to military law. 98 Phil. declared. Inc. This official act of the National Shrines the public. ClR.a person subject to military law. when they commit any felony. admitting in gratia argumenti that the issued on August 16. Marcos excluded from the operation of Proclamation No. Manila jurisdiction of courts-martial." or . (a) inside a reservation of the Armed Forces of the national shrines necessarily divests such areas — or the entire Philippines. 51 OG 1860. Forces of the Philippines and are not officers or enlisted men he would have done so in an unequivocal manner. or outside such possibility that civilians may be permitted to enter and remain reservations and the offended party (and each one of the in a proclaimed national defense zone under appropriate offended parties if there be more than one is a person subject regulations. notwithstanding that the said offenses are prescribed by the President. they fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of civil 10 Commonwealth Act 321 can concurrently be used and courts. if the President had intended to repeal P-69.

Let us initially examine the relevant facts. the general court-martial is barred from asserting and exercising jurisdiction because the Court of First Instance of 11 On April 16. informing the latter that to the court first acquiring jurisdiction over the person of the he was not filing charges with the military authorities against . incident. This status has remained static such areas to any citizen or citizens of the Philippines. Rey. March 22. the city fiscal of Cavite City sent subpoenas to sets of facts? It does. Alcantara. et al. 1968. dated March 15." To unmask the emptiness of this conclusion." There is no showing that the those responsible for his injuries. and forthwith the corresponding charges and specifications were filed. the petitioner presses the contention court-martial to try all officers and enlisted men responsible for that "the entire island of Corregidor. is a jurisdiction because a court-martial had already been battlefield area. however. 1968. et al.m. with the prior approval of the This was the status of the criminal complaint filed by the President. area. city fiscal of Cavite City for frustrated homicide against those accused before the general court-martial. We now proceed to assess the claim of the petitioner that Alcantara alias Lt. On April 6 Capt. the petitioner invokes Executive Order No. Capt. advising them that the preliminary investigation would be conducted on April 3 at 9:00 a. because he had already filed airstrip in Corregidor has been officially declared by the the corresponding criminal complaint with the city fiscal of National Shrines Commission a national shrine."battlefield area" or "historic site. martial of Capt. by Special Order 208. 4). authorizes the National Shrines Commission. This motion was rejected by the city fiscal. the airstrip and reset for April 16. in its entirety. EO 58) does not. proceed to determine the historic areas [battlefield areas in Corregidor Island and Bataan province] to be preserved. Although for infractions of the general penal laws. in-Chief) ordered a full investigation of the Corregidor incident. The court-martial then adjourned to meet again on April 19. directed the creation of a With some vehemence. General Espino. has obliterated the former. Does our jurisprudence yield any rule of thumb by which we may conclusively resolve the issue generated by the above two On March 29. within the contemplation of EO 58. accordingly. 1942. was any crime or crimes committed in connection with the said a battlefield from the time it was first bombed on December 29. of the delimitation and marking of the historical sites or battlefield areas and On the other hand. in legal effect. until its surrender on May 6. 1941. enunciated in Crisologo vs. we do not discern any incompatibility or repugnance between P-69 and EO 58 as would warrant the On April 14 the pre-trial investigator. on the following day. submitted suggestion that the former has given way to the latter." In the absence. Fort Bonifacio. Alfredo O. trainee Reynaldo Munar alias Lt. the rule 12 On April 2 the petitioner wrote to the Commanding Officer. resthouses mentioned are only service facilities to promote tourism. himself. Rizal. for violation of the 94th within the purview of EO 58. amending EO 58. On April 3 Army lawyers appeared before the city fiscal of The duty of the Commission to recondition the airstrip in Cavite City on behalf of those army personnel involved in the Corregidor (paragraph 6. On April 19 the same Army lawyers moved to dismiss Arula's complaint upon the ground that the civil courts had lost To buttress his claim that Corregidor island. developed and beautified for the purposes of this order. This was the status of the case before the general court-martial On March 23 the petitioner filed a criminal complaint with the when the present action was commenced. 123 convened. the aforesaid accused. pre-trial investigator. battlefield Cavite City. and. military courts and civil courts have concurrent jurisdiction. the status and identity of the entire Corregidor island as a national defense zone On March 21 the President of the Philippines (as Commander- remain unchanged. In sum and substance. Mike. and 97th articles of war. People of the Philippines accords Philippine Army.. Clearly. Acting on this (par. we have only to recall the On March 27 Major Eduardo Martelino. in fact and in law. the pertinent proceedings had by and pending the conversion of portions thereof into tourist spots before the military authorities may be summarized as follows: (disposable for lease to private parties). Pontejos. absolute superfluity insofar as Corregidor is concerned if this appointed a general court-martial to try the case against the island in its entirety were in fact and in design a battlefield area said Major Eduardo Martelino.. were placed requirement of EO 58 that the "Commission shall immediately under technical arrest and restricted to camp limits. including the airstrip. corporation 60% of the capital stock of which belongs to Filipino citizens. "to enter into any contract for the conversion of petitioner with the city fiscal of Cavite City when the present areas within national shrines into tourist spots and to lease petition was instituted by him. and trainee Eugenie 2. which. submitted his pre-trial report recommending trial by general establish the boundaries thereof and mark them out properly" court-martial of Major Eduardo Martelino. or any and at present obtains. Such requirement of delimitation would indeed be an recommendation. Solferino Titong alias Capt. Pontejos. the general court-martial "reconvened. or historic site. or that a supplemental report recommending trial by general court- the latter." The first Cavite — a court of concurrent jurisdiction — first acquired prosecution witness to testify on this day was the petitioner jurisdiction over the case. et al. shooting and wounding of the petitioner and requested for make the said air-strip itself a "battlefield area" or "historic site" transfer of the preliminary investigation which was.

offense of kidnapping with murder because this felony is a continuing one. While the choice of the court where to bring an action. Court-martial jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall have first jurisdiction over the accused having properly attached. and the CFI of Bulacan. Pascual Valera. forcibly by warrant of . such been obtained by the court in which the first charge was military jurisdiction continues throughout all phases of the filed (22 C. the latter court could not validly order for their arrest and/or custody was issued (annex 13). the provincial fiscal of to yield a contrary doctrine. The record in the present case proceedings. the same being merely in the preliminary tenet that a court acquires jurisdiction to try a criminal case investigation phase. it being necessary in addition that "public policy. of a complaint by the victim's relatives with the provincial fiscal that is. of Bulacan. in our view. Meanwhile. mere priority in the filing of the the present case. (Emphasis supplied) among other things of fundamental import which we need not dwell on here. person is acquired by it through the arrest of the party charged Tarlac and Pangasinan have concurrent jurisdiction over the or by his voluntary submission to the court's jurisdiction. which time the right and power of the court to try the accused Bulacan. requires that jurisdiction of the persons of the accused. Shortly after the killing which takes place two days after the filing of the complaint by her relatives A thoroughgoing review of American jurisprudence has failed with the provincial fiscal of Bulacan. her relatives learn of the kidnapping. An with the CFI of Pangasinan.. acquire jurisdiction. Benjamin Munar. And even if there could be such (2) the offense must have been committed within its territorial parity. 50 Off.L. not concurrent jurisdiction of the same offense. it was suggested of arrest had not been issued — when the indictment for the that the rule clearly delineated in Crisologo and explicitly same offense was filed in the military court on January 13. Reyes unequivocally restated the rule in the following It was also suggested that this Court adopt a rule which would words: vest jurisdiction to try a criminal case in a civil court once a complaint has been filed with the proper city or provincial fiscal. own members.. affirmed in Alimajen should be abandoned in the resolution of 1947.J. pp. provincial fiscal of Bulacan.. that is. on April 16. the matter becomes jurisdictional. February 29. placed under technical arrest (annex 14). who is thereafter arrested by virtue of courts in the United States is the same: jurisdiction to try a forcible process issued by the court of first instance of particular criminal case is vested in a court only when the Pangasinan. completely ignores. that because the relatives thereafter. the case." should have yielded jurisdiction to the civil the court where the information is filed has custody or courts. Gaz No. but also because it first acquired custody or exclusion of the others. No. complaint with the court. before the provincial fiscal of accused Soteco. Pampanga. Pangasinan files an information for kidnapping with murder affirmed in countless decisions of the Federal and States against Juan de la Cruz. the general court-martial has acquired jurisdiction.. This suggestion. Justice J. Under the rule cited. has thereby preempted jurisdiction to the exclusion On the other hand. priority in disciplining its affirmed in Quirico Alimajen vs. The mere filing of a complaint with the only when the following requisites concur: (1) the offense is prosecuting fiscal cannot have parity with the filing of such one which the court is by law authorized to take cognizance of. attaches (see People vs. the criterion laid down in Crisologo is not the mere filing jurisdiction. In Pangasinan he slays her. from motor vehicle to Pangasinan. passing the provinces of Rizal. Reynaldo Munar and Pangasinan filed the information for kidnapping with murder Eugenio Alcantara for violations of the 94th article of war. Rizal. to our mind. however. the moment such choice has been jurisdiction. Gaz. Speaking for the Court. is a matter of procedure and not jurisdiction.S. Bulacan. It is true that under these circumstances the appropriate charge is filed with it AND when jurisdiction of the courts of first instance of Manila. the overriding consideration that the military The salutary rule expounded in Crisologo was explicitly should be accorded. But can it be logically argued. as a matter of "comity" and cognizance of the offense. 1946. including appellate review and execution of the 13 shows that the information for treason in the People's Court sentence. and is entitled to. 1960. no indictment has yet been filed with the of the CFI of Pangasinan? CFI of Cavite on the basis of the complaint lodged by the petitioner with the City Fiscal's Office of Cavite City (see To paraphrase: beyond the pale of disagreement is the legal annexes B and C). the military. deemed made when the proper complaint or information is filed with the court having jurisdiction over the same and said court Juan de la Cruz kidnaps a woman in Manila and takes her by acquires jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. (Emphasis file a complaint for kidnapping against Juan de la Cruz with the supplied). Such choice is court having concurrent jurisdiction over the same offense. well known is the rule that when several courts have which it acquired exclusively as against the CFI of Cavite.accused by the filing of charges and having him in custody the custody of the accused under the process of one court or the preferential right to proceed with the trial. the court first only as to the element of precedence in the filing of the acquiring jurisdiction of the prosecution retains it to the charges. The doctrine restated and re. and forthwith Crisologo vs.B. et al. but petitioner had not yet been arrested or brought into the custody of the Court — the warrant In the deliberations of this Court on this case. 3425. jurisdiction of the person of the defendant. where This suggestion is. 13722. Pampanga and Tarlac. 1021). unacceptable because it would there are two or more courts having concurrent jurisdiction be productive of absurd results — which would obtain even thereon. As to the claim that the Military Court had no jurisdiction over Evidently. 7. as between one civil court and another civil exercised. 186-187). was filed on March 12. 47 Off. charges and specifications were preferred against of the victim had filed with the provincial fiscal of Bulacan a Major Eduardo Martelino and several others including the complaint for kidnapping. This rule. People. as among civil courts themselves in situations of conflict of suggested by the appellant. Blanco. can the The record in the present case discloses that on April 6 and proposition be reasonably sustained. and (3) the person charged with the offense must of the complaint or information but the actual taking into have been brought into its forum for trial. L. Thus — other. because once Arula filed his complaint with complaint in one court does not give that court priority to take the city fiscal of Cavite. 3. by the mere filing Reynaldo Munar and Eugenio Alcantara were subsequently.

court-martial in question. Hunter. and Art. 7[h]) and article of war 71 to an accused in all criminal indispensible pre-requesiteto exercise of Army general court. Likewise. 1[17]). must be based on jurisdictional grounds conducted. In issuing Special Order 208 for the purpose of constituting and convening the general court. resulting in the filing of charges against persons 70 are directory. as long as the respondent acted with jurisdiction. Upon the other court-martial judgments wholly void because pre-trial hand.S. error committed by him or it in the exercise thereof will amount to nothing more than an error of judgment which may be 20 But even a failure to conduct a pre-trial investigation does not reviewed or corrected only by appeal. the pre-trial investigating members of his command for trial by general court-martial officer. of the case to a general court-martial for 695. series 1952. all these three requisites obtained. III. (See Flackman v. jurisdiction of a court-martial. as 18 the abstract of the declarations made by several persons implemented by the Manual for Courts-Martial (PA) and concerning the Corregidor incident. while the first two requisites are indispensably reviewing authorities could consider the same contention. Significantly. present with respect to the Court of First Instance of Cavite. procedure for Navy court-martial is an indication that the martial for trial. In Ex parte that a defendant could object to trial in the absence of the Milligan (4 Wall [71 US] 1). 15 required by Article 70 can property be construed as an Sec. 871). and in no way affects the The speedy referral by the appointing authority. the commanding officer of accomplished pursuant to the provisions of article of war 71. reversing a court-martial conviction where failure to comply the third requisite has not even become viable. Speedy trial is a fundamental right accorded by the We do not think that the pre-trial investigation procedure Constitution (Art. thorough "whitewash. respondent Espino. as commanding martial. as of investigations fall short of the standards prescribed by Article April 16 in respect to the general court-martial. This later the same being thoroughly investigated by the pre-trial interpretation has been that the pre-trial requirements of Article investigator. to refer military charges against recommendation of Capt. The Article does serve important functions in the administration of the court-martial procedures and does This right to a speedy trial is given greater emphasis in the provide safeguards to an accused. 93 L ed 986 (1949). But this holding has been expressly repudiated in a general court-martial to try the case involving Arula. it would appear that the persons who should be The referral of charges to a court-martial involves the exercise most concerned in questioning the absence of a pretrial of judgment and discretion (AW 71). 75 F. martial jurisdiction." A trial before a general court-martial convened without any pre- trial investigation under article of war 71 would of course be altogether irregular. The War Department's 14 existing laws." The better accepted concept of pre-trial investigation is that it is directory. the Court said: trial is not jurisdictional error. A petition forcertiorari. prosecutions. is one that is cognizable by the court-martial under the authority of article of war 94. the offense was committed within xxx xxx xxx the territorial jurisdiction of the court-martial. but the court-martial might nevertheless We are not impressed by this contention. the respondent Espino was guided by the report and general of the Philippine Army. although in 1947 after which Congress amended Article 70 but left apparently on the basis of this bare accusation. The charges 70. 71 of the Articles of War. and in no way affect the without prima facie evidence in violation of the Constitution. the Supreme Court of the United required investigation. all the accused as of that day were already investigatory plan was not intended to be exalted to the under technical arrest and restricted to camp limits. Pontejos. in unchanged the language here under consideration. In his report of April 6 (annex 6) Capt. the respondent Espino's authority. or the unseemly haste with which it was order to prosper. a major command or task force is empowered to appoint And so was his supplemental report of April 14 (annex 7)." The interpretation was pointedly called to the attention of Congress petitioner has not at all elaborated on this contention. because no with Article 70 has substantially injured an accused. the Rules of Court (Rule 115. in investigation. Moreover. his counsel. Supp. without later holdings of the Judge Advocate General. In the itself postpone trial pending the investigation. not mandatory. And the military case at bar. any this not one of the 23 accused has done. Sec. are those accused before the court-martial — and because. The said report was 19 Executive Order 493. Its language is clearly such military where the right to bail does not exist. In that event the court-martial could States observed that the discipline necessary to the efficiency . court-martial proceedings were grave abuse of discretion "in hastily constituting and convening void ab initio. That Congress has not required analogous pre-trial and specifications were before that day forwarded to the court. nor have the accused not persuaded that Congress intended to make otherwise valid persons been brought under its jurisdiction. Under article of war 8. In Humphrey vs. But we are information has been filed with the court.arrest or upon his voluntary submission to the court. not mandatory. expressed in no uncertain supplied). The petitioner insists nevertheless that the respondent Advocate General of the Army did hold that where there had General Espino acted in excess of his jurisdiction and with been no pre-trial investigation. general courts-martial. the offense jurisdictional level. discretion is not sufficient by itself to justify the issuance of a 21 writ of certiorari.. "Even an abuse of deprive a general court-martial of jurisdiction. Smith. this rule is similar to the one obtaining in criminal procedure in the civil courts to the effect It is our view that the respondent Espino acted well within the that absence of preliminary investigation does not go into the periphery of his authority as commanding general of the jurisdiction of the court but merely to the regularity of the 17 Philippine Army in constituting and convening the general proceedings. 336 U. 16 have jurisdiction. (Emphasis the oral argument had on May 6. Shortly after enactment of Article 70 in 1920 the Judge 3. Pontejos gave cannot legally be assailed. terms his apprehension that the trial by the court-martial will be — in the language of those who are not disinclined to be mundane — one big. by the latest. herein jurisdiction of a court-martial.

the general court-martial has jurisdiction concurrent with the Court of First Instance of Cavite to try the offense. No costs. Moreover. JJ. .of the Army required swifter modes of trial than are furnished Concepcion. This article further requires that. Teehankee and Barredo. J. in the context of the environmental circumstances of the case at bar. resolving the issue of whether the petitioner Arula is a person subject to military law would be at best a purposeless exercise in exegesis if not altogether an exercise in futility. C. Although it would appear that in the above disquisition we have assumed the existence of legal standing on the part of the petitioner to bring and maintain the present action we must hasten. We thus ineluctably reach the following conclusions: (1) the airstrip on Corregidor island where the shooting and wounding of the petitioner Arula allegedly took place has not been removed from the ambit of Proclamation No. without equivocation. The apprehension. must be deemed to have acquired jurisdiction to the exclusion of the latter court. took no part.J. 1968 is hereby lifted. ACCORDINGLY. series of 1948. With the view that we take of this case. immediate steps shall be taken to try the person accused or to dismiss the charge and release him.. to state that we have so assumed. the present petition is denied. Crisologo. and is therefore to be properly considered a part of the military reservation that is Corregidor island.. the general court-martial charges shall be forwarded to the appointing authority within eight days after the accused is arrested or confined. Capistrano. Such thinking at this stage has no basis in law and in fact. he shall report to the superior authority the reasons for delay. Happily. and the restraining order issued by this Court on April 26. it is well-settled that mere apprehension or fear entertained by an individual cannot 22 serve as the basis of injunctive relief. Makalintal. 69. that is. Reyes. but only ad hoc. was committed in a military reservation. 225). 75 Phil. (2) because the prime imputed to the accused. if practicable. who are persons subject to military law. expressed by the counsel for the petitioner at the hearing on May 6 — that the rights of the petitioner will not be fully vindicated — should be dismissed as purely speculative. The importance of the right to speedy trial is underscored by the fact that an officer who is guilty of negligence or omission resulting in unnecessary delay may be held accountable therefor under article of war 71 (Reyes v. in upholding the jurisdiction of the general court-martial to the exclusion of the Court of First Instance of Cavite. In the military. if the same is not practicable.. heretofore adverted to. The presumption that official duty will be regularly performed by officers sworn to uphold the Constitution and the law cannot be overthrown by the mere articulation of misgivings to the contrary. We do not here resolve the general abstract issue of whether a complaining witness in any or every criminal prosecution has legal standing to question the jurisdiction of the court trying the case. and (3) the general court-martial having taken jurisdiction ahead of the Court of First Instance of Cavite. the right to a speedy trial is guaranteed to an accused by article of war 71 which requires that when a person subject to military law is placed in arrest or confinement. solely for the purposes of the present case. and by the common law courts. JJ. Zaldivar.B. concur. we have not been pressed by any compelling need to do so..L.