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TERRE V. TERRE 5. Jordan has displayed a deeply flawed moral character.

Dorothy Terre first met Jordan Terre when they were 4th year high school supported him, he got her pregnant then he abandoned her. He made
classmates in Cadiz City High School. She was then married to Merlito a mockery of the institution of marriage. Thus, not worthy to be a
Bercenilla. Jordan courted her and this continued when they moved to Manila to member of the Bar.
pursue their education. Jordan, then a freshman law student, told Dorothy that
her marriage with Bercenilla was void ab initio because they are first cousins.
Believing in Jordan and with the consent of her mother and ex-in-laws, she
married Jordan on June 14, 1977. Jordan wrote “single” as Dorothy’s civil status
despite latter’s protests. Jordan said it didn’t matter because marriage was void
to begin with. After their marriage, Dorothy supported Jordan because he was
still studying then. They had a son, Jason, who was born on June 25, 1981.
Shortly after she gave birth, Jordan disappeared. She learned that he married
Vilma Malicdem. Dorothy filed charges for abandonment of minor, bigamy and
grossly immoral conduct. Jordan was already a member of the Bar then.
Jordan claimed that he was unaware of Dorothy’s first marriage and that she
sent her out of the house when he confronted her about it. He contracted the
second marriage, believing that his marriage to Dorothy was void ab initio
because of her prior subsisting marriage.

ISSUE: WON a judicial declaration of nullity is needed to enter into a
subsequent marriage?

HELD: Yes. Jordan Terre disbarred.

1. Jordan failed to rebut evidence presented by Dorothy.
2. Defense of Jordan: he believed in good faith that his prior marriage
with Dorothy was null and void ab initio and that no action for a judicial
declaration of nullity was necessary.
3. Reply of the court:
• The pretended defense is the same argument by which he
had inveigled complainant into believing that her prior
marriage was void (incestuous) and as such she was free to
contract a second marriage. As a lawyer he should know that
a judicial declaration of nullity is required before a second
marriage is contracted.
• Even if we were to assume arguendo that mistaken belief in
good faith, the same result will follow. For if we are to hold
Jordan to his own argument, his first marriage to Dorothy
must be deemed valid, with the result that his second
marriage to Helina must be regarded as bigamous and
criminal in character.
4. As a law student, he should have known that even if Dorothy’s first
marriage was void ab initio, she still needed a judicial declaration
before she can contract another marriage. (GOMEZ V. LIPANA; FC
ART. 40)
People vs. Adriano part of the overt act.”
 Apolinar Adriano, a Filipino citizen who at the time owed allegiance to U.S.  Learned Hand, J., in United States vs. Robinson: "It is necessary to
& the Commonwealth of the Phil., was convicted for treason by the People’s produce 2 direct witnesses to the whole overt act. It may be possible to
Court (…in violation of said allegiance, did then & there willfully, unlawfully, piece bits together of the overt act; but, if so, each bit must have the
criminally & treasonably adhere to the Mil. Forces of Japan in the Phil., support of 2 oaths…Every act, movement, deed, and word of the defendant
against w/c the Phil. & the U.S. were then at war, giving said enemy aid & charged to constitute treason must be supported by the testimony of 2
comfort…That as a member of the Makapili, a mil. org. established & witnesses."
designed to assist & aid militarily the Jap. Imperial Forces in the Phil. in the  Thus, the SC had to set aside the judgment of the TC. Authors of the
said enemy's war efforts & operations against the U.S. & the Phil., the constitutional provision of which our treaon law is a copy purposely made
herein accused bore arm & joined & assisted the Jap. Mil. Forces & the conviction for treason difficult, the rule "severely restrictive." This provision
Makapili Army in armed conflicts & engagements against the U.S. armed is so exacting and so uncompromising in regard to the mount of evidence
forces & the Guerrillas of the Phil. Commonwealth in the Municipalities of that where two or more witnesses give oaths to an overt act and only one of
San Leonardo & Gapan, Prov. of Nueva Ecija, & in the mountains of Luzon, them is believed by the court or jury, the defendant, it has been said and
Phil., sometime bet. Jan. & Apr., 1945.). held, is entitled to discharge, regardless of any moral conviction of the
 Prosecution did not introduce any evidence to substantiate any of the facts culprit's guilt as gauged and tested by he ordinary and natural methods,
alleged except that of defendant's having joined the Makapili org. What the with which we are familiar, of finding the truth. The law should operate with
People's court found is that the accused participated with Japanese soldiers the same inflexibility and rigidity was the American forefathers meant.
in certain raids and in confiscation of personal property.
 The two-witness rule: But Court below said these acts had not been Holding: judgment is reversed, appellant acquitted
established by the testimony of 2 witnesses & thus their only “evidence of
adherence to the enemy”.  HILADO, J ., dissenting: As I see it, being a member of the Makapili during
 Even the findings of the SC are not borne out by the proof of 2 witnesses. the Japanese occupation of those areas of the Philippines referred to in the
No 2 of the prosecution witnesses testified to a single 1 of the various acts information, was one single, continuous, and indivisible overt act of the
of treason imputed by them to the appellant. There is only 1 item on which present accused whereby e gave aid and comfort to the Japanese invaders.
the witnesses agree: it is that the defendant was a Makapili & was seen by The fact at he was seen on a certain day by one of the state witnesses
them in Makapili uniform carrying arms. Yet, again, on this point it cannot be being a member of the Makapili, and was seen by another state witness but
said that 1 witness is corroborated by another if corroboration means that on a different day being a member of the same organization, does not
two witnesses have seen the accused doing at least one particular thing, be mean that his membership on the first day was different or independent
it a routine military chore, or just walking or eating. from his membership on the other day — it was the selfsame membership
 The mere fact of having joined a Makapili org. is evidence of both all the way the enough.
adherence to the enemy & giving him aid & comfort. Unless forced upon  Being a member of the Makapili was an overt act of the accused. My view is
one against his will, membership in the Makapili org. imports treasonable that, the act being single, continuous and indivisible, at least two witnesses
intent, considering the purposes for w/c the org. was created. have testified thereto notwithstanding the fact that one saw it on one day
 At the same time, being a Makapili is in itself constitutive of an overt act. and the other on another day.
The crime of treason was committed if he placed himself at the enemy's call
to fight side be side with him when the opportune time came even though
an opportunity never presented itself. People vs. Prieto [1948]
 But membership as a Makapili, as an overt act, must be established by the ⇒ Eduardo Prieto prosecuted in People’s Court for 7 counts of treason
deposition of two witnesses. Is the 2-witness requirement fulfilled by the ⇒ Plea of guilty for counts 1, 2, 3 and 7; not guilty for counts 4, 5 and 6.
testimony of 1 witness who saw the appellant in Makapili uniform bearing a Counts 1, 2, 3 & 7 provide that:
gun 1 day, another witness another day, & so forth? 1. Prieto’s a member of the Japanese Military Police & he acted as an
 Philippine law on treason is of Anglo-American origin so guidance may be undercover for Jap forces w/purpose of giving aid & comfort to enemy.
sought in American sources: He led Japanese & Filipino undercovers to a barrio to apprehend
 Wharton's Criminal Evidence: “…The rule as adopted in this country by all guerillas & locate hideouts. They allegedly took one Abraham Puno
the constitutional provisions, both state and Federal, properly requires that whom they later tortured & detained at the Japanese detention camp.
two witnesses shall testify to the same overt act…”
 VII Wigmore on Evidence: “Each of the witnesses must testify to the whole
of the overt act; or, if it is separable, there must be two witnesses to each
2. They apprehended brothers Guillermo & Macario Ponce, tortured them, ⇒ Presumption in favor of regularity & legality of trial court proceedings &
then released Guillermo while Macario was detained & was not heard presumption that accused was not denied rt to have a counsel were not
of afterwards. refuted.
3. They apprehended guerilla suspects Damian & Santiago Alilin who
were tortured, detained and subsequently bayonet to death. Holding: Lower Court decision modified.
7. They tortured Antonio Soco & killed Gil Soco for guerilla activities. 1. Prieto not guilty of count 4.
⇒ Special prosecutor: no sufficient evidence to sustain counts 5 & 6 thus, only 2. Guilty of treason as charged in counts 1, 2, 3 & 7.
presented evidence for count 4 by presenting 2 witnesses whose
statements don’t coincide on any single detail
o Juanito Albano: saw Prieto w/Fil undercovers & Japanese soldiers.
They caught a US aviator & they asked Albano to carry American to
town on a sled pulled by a carabao. American was brought to Kempetai
o Valentin Cuison: he saw Prieto following an American whose hands
were tied. Prieto struck the walking American w/a piece of rope. They
were with Japanese & Filipinos. There was no sled.
⇒ Lower Court: Prieto guilty on counts 4, 1, 2, 3 and 7 sentenced to death &
pay P20k fine. Guilty of treason complexed by murder & physical injuries
considered as aggravating circumstances.
⇒ Sol Gen: offense must be complex crime of treason w/homicide.

Issues & Ratio:
1. WON evidence presented WRT Count 4 satisfied the 2-witness rule. –
⇒ They were referring to 2 different occasions. They failed to corroborate
each other not only on the whole overt act but on any part of it.

2. WON other crimes committed (physical injuries, killing) are separate
from treason. – NO.
⇒ Treason requires adherence to the enemy & giving aid & comfort.
⇒ Giving aid & comfort requires some kind of action, deed or physical activity
as opposed to a mental operation. This action is usually a criminal offense
under another penal statute or provision. However, when this criminal
offense is charged as an element of treason, it becomes identified
w/treason & thus, not subject to a separate punishment or combined
w/treason to increase penalty (as per Art. 48).
⇒ Separate punishment for murder or physical injuries may be inflicted if the
gov’t should elect to prosecute accused specifically for those crimes instead
of relying on them as elements of treason.

3. Other issues discussed:
⇒ Brutality (torture, use of painful methods) appreciated as an aggravating
⇒ Plea of guilty appreciated as a mitigating circumstance. Other counts
wherein he pleaded not guilty were not substantiated/abandoned.