Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Xyza Faye Foronda Legal Writing 1 B Title: The People of the Philippine Islands v Gregorio Perfecto 43 Phil 887

7 Procedure and Facts: On August 20, 1920, the Secretary of the Philippine Senate, Fernando M. Guerrero discovered that some vital records which constituted testimonies of witnesses for the investigation of oil companies were missing. On September 7, 1920, the newspaper, La Nacion, edited by Mr. Gregorio Perfecto published an editorial accusing the Philippine Senate for the loss of the said of records. On September 15, 1920, the Senate adopted the resolution thereby authorizing the President of the Senate to indorse to the AttorneyGeneral, for his study and corresponding action, all the papers referring to the case of the newspaper La Nacion and its editor, Mr. Gregorio Perfecto. An information was then filed in the municipal court of the City of Manila by an assistant city fiscal, in which the editorial in question was set out and in which it was alleged that the same constituted a violation of article 256 of the Penal Code. The defendant Gregorio Perfecto was found guilty in the municipal court and again in the Court of First Instance of Manila. Legal Issues: Is Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code still enforceable? Holding: Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code reads as follows, "Any person who, by word, deed, or writing, shall defame, abuse, or insult any Minister of the Crown or other person in authority, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or by reason of such performance, provided that the offensive minister or person, or the offensive writing be not addressed to him, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor. This old provision sought to protect the Ministers of the Crown and other representatives of the King against free speech and action by Spanish subjects. Section 1 of the Philippine Libel Law, Act No. 277 however, defines libel as a "malicious defamation, expressed either in writing, printing, or by signs or pictures, or the like, or public theatrical exhibitions, tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead or to impeach the honesty, virtue, or reputation, or publish the alleged or natural deffects of one who is alive, and thereby expose him to public hatred, contempt or ridicule." Upon enactment of the said law,it has had an repealing effect on Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code. Thus, the defendant can no longer be convicted for violating the said article.

Reasons for the Decision: Three members of the court believe that Article 256 has been abrogated completely by the change from Spanish to American sovereignty over the Philippines, rendering it inconsistent with democratic principles of government. Article 256 of the Penal Code is goes against fundamental principles of the American system of government. This article was crowded out by implication as soon as the United States established its authority in the Philippine Islands Concurring and Dissenting Opinions: Chief Justice Araullo concurs with the acquittal of the accused as he maintains that the facts alleged in the information do not constitute a violation of Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code. Furthermore, he maintains that the said provision has been repealed by the Libel Law. Justice Romualdez concurs with the acquittal of the accused for the reason that the information failed to reveal the accuseds liability either under Article 256 of the Penal Code or the Libel Law. However, he is of the opinion that Article 256 of the Penal Code is still in force, except as it refers to "Ministers of the Crown," which no longer applies in our Government, and to calumny, injuria, or insult, by writing or printing, committed against an authority in the performance of his duties or by reason thereof, which portion was repealed by the Libel Law. Significance of the Decision It is a general principle of the public law that upon acquisition of territory, the previous political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated."Political" is here used to denominate the laws regulating the relations sustained by the inhabitants to the sovereign. Thus, upon a cession of political jurisdiction and legislative power the laws of the country in support of an established religion or abridging the freedom of the press, or authorizing cruel and unusual punishments, and the like, would at once cease to be of obligatory force without any declaration to that effect.

Xyza Faye Foronda Legal Writing 1 B Title: William F. Peralta v. The Director of Prisons 75 Phil 285 Procedure and Facts: Petitioner-defendant is a member of the Metropolitan Constabulary. He was prosecuted for the crime of robbery and was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, which he commenced to serve on August 21, 1944, by the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction, created in section 1 of Ordinance No. 7 promulgated by the President of the so-called Republic of the Philippines. The procedure which followed was a summary one established in Chapter II of Executive Order No. 157 of the Chairman of the Executive Commission. The petition for habeas corpus was prayed for based on the following grounds: (1) that the Court of Special and Executive Criminal Jurisdiction created by Ordinance No. 7 "was a political instrumentality of the military forces of the Japanese Imperial Army, the aims and purposes of which are repugnant to those aims and political purposes of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, as well as those of the United States of America, and therefore, null and void ab initio; (2) that "the petitioner has been deprived of his constitutional rights"; (3) that the petitioner is being punished by a law created to serve the political purpose of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines, (4) that the penalties provided for are much (more) severe than the penalties provided for in the Revised Penal Code." The Solicitor General posited that the acts and proceedings taken and had before the said Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction which resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of the petitioner, should now be denied force and efficacy, and therefore the petition for habeas corpus should be granted. The City Fiscal of Manila however maintains that the said petition should be denied. Legal Issues: Does a sentence served during the military occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese forces, cease to be good and valid ipso facto upon the restoration Commonwealth Government? Holding: Yes. Although a sentence which a defendant began serving during the military occupation of the Philippines is deemed valid and enforceable upon that time, the said sentences loses its validity upon the restoration of the Commonwealth Government, marking the end of the Japanese Regime.

Reasons for the Decision: In the case of Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon, it maintained that, all judgments of political complexion of the courts during the Japanese regime, ceased to be valid upon the reoccupation of the islands by virtue of the principle or right of postliminium. Applying that doctrine to the present case, the sentence which convicted the petitioner of a crime of a political complexion must be considered as having ceased to be valid ipso facto upon the reoccupation or liberation of the Philippines by General Douglas MacArthur.

Significance of the Decision Hall, in his book on International Law, is of the opinion that political acts fall through as whether they introduce any positive change into the organization of the country, or whether they only suspend the working of that already in existence. The execution also of punitive sentences ceases as of course when they have had reference to acts not criminal by the municipal law of the state, such for example as acts directed against the security or control of the invader. The said act falls under a political case, constituting of an offense that is an act in aid or favor of the enemy and is against the welfare, safety and security of the belligerent occupant. The said de facto government having ceased to be in existence, the defendant must no longer come to serve a sentence which, upon the restoration of the Commonwealth Government, is now deemed null and inexistent.