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Marcos vs.

Chief of Staff
GR No. L-4663
GR No. L-4671

FACTS:
1. Alleged that the AFP Military Tribunals unlawfully excluded MARCOS and CONDORDIA from their right to
appear as counsel on the ground that they are DISQUALIFIED/EXEMPTED/INHIBITED from SEC 17,
Article 17 of the Constitution:
1. SEC. 17: No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall directly or indirectly be financially
interested in any contract with the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof, or in any
franchise or special privilege granted by the Congress during his term of office.
2. He shall not appear as counsel before the Electoral Tribunals or before any court in any civil case wherein the
Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof is the adverse party, or in any criminal case wherein
an offer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office

ISSUE:
WON the prohibition contained in the above quoted section 17 of our Constitution is applicable to the
petitioners in the two cases. YES.

HELD:
MARCOS AND CONCONDIA DISQUALIFIED TO APPEAR AS COUNSEL FOR ACCUSED IN COURT-
MARTIALS. AFP DID NOT UNLAWFULLY EXCLUDED THEIR RIGHTS. HENCE, PETITIONS FOR
MANDAMUS ARE DENIED WITH COSTS.

1. MARCOS/CONCORDIA: applicable, because the words "any court" includes the General Court-Martial, and
a court-martial case is a criminal case within the meaning of the above quoted provisions of our Constitution.
1. Words any court, used in prohibiting members of Congress to appear as counsel in any criminal case in
which an officer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office,
refers not only to civil, but also to military courts.
i. General meaning must prevail over restricted meaning UNLESS the nature of the subject matter clearly indicates
that limited sense is intended.
2. It would be a bar to another prosecution for the same case which would result to DOUBLE JEOPARDY.
1. If a court-martial has jurisdiction to try an officer or soldier for a crime, its judgment will be accorded the
finality and conclusiveness as to the issues involved which attend the judgments of a civil court in a case of
which it may legally take cognizance.
2. Restricting our decision to the above question of double jeopardy, the plaintiff in error, having been acquitted
of the crime of homicide, could not be subsequently tried for the same offense in a civil court exercising
authority in that territory.
3. In Sec 17, it is obvious that the reason of prohibiting appearance of members of the Senate/House of
Representatives as counsel for the accused in court-martials, as for inhibiting them to appear as such in civil
courts, because the independence of civil courts judges is guaranteed by our Constitution.
4. Ubieadem ratio ibieademlexi
3. A court-martial is strictly a criminal court. It has no civil jurisdiction; cannot enforce a contract, collect a debt
or award damages in favor of an individual.
1. Judgment is a criminal sentence, not a civil verdict.
2. Proper function is to award punishment upon the ascertainment of guilt.
4. Court-martial is a lawful tribunal existing by same authority that any other exists by, and the military law is a
branch of law as valid as the others.
1. It differs from other laws only because- it applies to officers and soldiers but not to other members of the body
politic, it is limited to beaches of military duty.