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CRIMES AGAINST NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE enemy occupation, the allegiance of the inhabitants to their
LAW OF NATIONS legitimate government or sovereign subsists, and therefore there is
no such thing as suspended allegiance, the basic theory on which
the whole fabric of the petitioner's contention rests;

G.R. No. L-409 January 30, 1947

Considering that the conclusion that the sovereignty of the United
ANASTACIO LAUREL, petitioner, State was suspended in Castine, set forth in the decision in the case
vs. of United States vs. Rice, 4 Wheaton, 246, 253, decided in 1819,
ERIBERTO MISA, respondent. and quoted in our decision in the cases of Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez
Tan Keh and Dizon and Peralta vs. Director of Prisons, supra, in
Claro M. Recto and Querube C. Makalintal for petitioner. connection with the question, not of sovereignty, but of the existence
First Assistant Solicitor General Reyes and Solicitor of a government de facto therein and its power to promulgate rules
Hernandez, Jr., for respondent. and laws in the occupied territory, must have been based, either on
the theory adopted subsequently in the Hague Convention of 1907,
that the military occupation of an enemy territory does not transfer
RESOLUTION the sovereignty to the occupant; that, in the first case, the word
"sovereignty" used therein should be construed to mean the
In G.R. No. L-409, Anastacio Laurel vs. Eriberto Misa, etc., the exercise of the rights of sovereignty, because as this remains vested
Court, acting on the petition for habeas corpus filed by Anastacio in the legitimate government and is not transferred to the occupier,
Laurel and based on a theory that a Filipino citizen who adhered to it cannot be suspended without putting it out of existence or
the enemy giving the latter aid and comfort during the Japanese divesting said government thereof; and that in the second case, that
occupation cannot be prosecuted for the crime of treason defined is, if the said conclusion or doctrine refers to the suspension of the
and penalized by article 114 of the Revised Penal Code, for the sovereignty itself, it has become obsolete after the adoption of the
reason (1) that the sovereignty of the legitimate government in the Hague Regulations in 1907, and therefore it can not be applied to
Philippines and, consequently, the correlative allegiance of Filipino the present case;
citizens thereto was then suspended; and (2) that there was a
change of sovereignty over these Islands upon the proclamation of Considering that even adopting the words "temporarily allegiance,"
the Philippine Republic: repudiated by Oppenheim and other publicists, as descriptive of the
relations borne by the inhabitants of the territory occupied by the
(1) Considering that a citizen or subject owes, not a qualified and enemy toward the military government established over them, such
temporary, but an absolute and permanent allegiance, which allegiance may, at most, be considered similar to the temporary
consists in the obligation of fidelity and obedience to his government allegiance which a foreigner owes to the government or sovereign
or sovereign; and that this absolute and permanent allegiance of the territory wherein he resides in return for the protection he
should not be confused with the qualified and temporary allegiance receives as above described, and does not do away with the
which a foreigner owes to the government or sovereign of the absolute and permanent allegiance which the citizen residing in a
territory wherein he resides, so long as he remains there, in return foreign country owes to his own government or sovereign; that just
for the protection he receives, and which consists in the obedience as a citizen or subject of a government or sovereign may be
to the laws of the government or sovereign. (Carlisle vs. Unite prosecuted for and convicted of treason committed in a foreign
States, 21 Law. ed., 429; Secretary of State Webster Report to the country, in the same way an inhabitant of a territory occupied by the
President of the United States in the case of Thraser, 6 Web. Works, military forces of the enemy may commit treason against his own
526); legitimate government or sovereign if he adheres to the enemies of
the latter by giving them aid and comfort; and that if the allegiance
of a citizen or subject to his government or sovereign is nothing
Considering that the absolute and permanent allegiance of the more than obedience to its laws in return for the protection he
inhabitants of a territory occupied by the enemy of their legitimate receives, it would necessarily follow that a citizen who resides in a
government or sovereign is not abrogated or severed by the enemy foreign country or state would, on one hand, ipso facto acquire the
occupation, because the sovereignty of the government or citizenship thereof since he has enforce public order and regulate
sovereign de jure is not transferred thereby to the occupier, as we the social and commercial life, in return for the protection he
have held in the cases of Co Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and receives, and would, on the other hand, lose his original citizenship,
Dizon (75 Phil., 113) and of Peralta vs. Director of Prisons (75 Phil., because he would not be bound to obey most of the laws of his own
285), and if it is not transferred to the occupant it must necessarily government or sovereign, and would not receive, while in a foreign
remain vested in the legitimate government; that the sovereignty country, the protection he is entitled to in his own;
vested in the titular government (which is the supreme power which
governs a body politic or society which constitute the state) must be
distinguished from the exercise of the rights inherent thereto, and Considering that, as a corollary of the suspension of the exercise of
may be destroyed, or severed and transferred to another, but it the rights of sovereignty by the legitimate government in the territory
cannot be suspended because the existence of sovereignty cannot occupied by the enemy military forces, because the authority of the
be suspended without putting it out of existence or divesting the legitimate power to govern has passed into the hands of the
possessor thereof at least during the so-called period of suspension; occupant (Article 43, Hague Regulations), the political laws which
that what may be suspended is the exercise of the rights of prescribe the reciprocal rights, duties and obligation of government
sovereignty with the control and government of the territory and citizens, are suspended or in abeyance during military
occupied by the enemy passes temporarily to the occupant; that the occupation (Co Kim cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and dizon, supra), for
subsistence of the sovereignty of the legitimate government in a the only reason that as they exclusively bear relation to the ousted
territory occupied by the military forces of the enemy during the war, legitimate government, they are inoperative or not applicable to the
"although the former is in fact prevented from exercising the government established by the occupant; that the crimes against
supremacy over them" is one of the "rules of international law of our national security, such as treason and espionage; inciting to war,
times"; (II Oppenheim, 6th Lauterpacht ed., 1944, p. 482), correspondence with hostile country, flight to enemy's country, as
recognized, by necessary implication, in articles 23, 44, 45, and 52 well as those against public order, such as rebellion, sedition, and
of Hague Regulation; and that, as a corollary of the conclusion that disloyalty, illegal possession of firearms, which are of political
the sovereignty itself is not suspended and subsists during the complexion because they bear relation to, and are penalized by our
Revised Penal Code as crimes against the legitimate government,

are also suspended or become inapplicable as against the by them of their own sovereignty; in other words, to commit a
occupant, because they can not be committed against the latter political suicide;
(Peralta vs. Director of Prisons, supra); and that, while the offenses
against public order to be preserved by the legitimate government
(2) Considering that the crime of treason against the government of
were inapplicable as offenses against the invader for the reason the Philippines defined and penalized in article 114 of the Penal
above stated, unless adopted by him, were also inoperative as Code, though originally intended to be a crime against said
against the ousted government for the latter was not responsible for government as then organized by authority of the sovereign people
the preservation of the public order in the occupied territory, yet of the United States, exercised through their authorized
article 114 of the said Revised Penal Code, was applicable to representative, the Congress and the President of the United
treason committed against the national security of the legitimate States, was made, upon the establishment of the Commonwealth
government, because the inhabitants of the occupied territory were
Government in 1935, a crime against the Government of the
still bound by their allegiance to the latter during the enemy Philippines established by authority of the people of the Philippines,
in whom the sovereignty resides according to section 1, Article II, of
the Constitution of the Philippines, by virtue of the provision of
Considering that, although the military occupant is enjoined to section 2, Article XVI thereof, which provides that "All laws of the
respect or continue in force, unless absolutely prevented by the Philippine Islands . . . shall remain operative, unless inconsistent
circumstances, those laws that enforce public order and regulate the with this Constitution . . . and all references in such laws to the
social and commercial life of the country, he has, nevertheless, all Government or officials of the Philippine Islands, shall be construed,
the powers of de facto government and may, at his pleasure, either in so far as applicable, to refer to the Government and
change the existing laws or make new ones when the exigencies of corresponding officials under this constitution;
the military service demand such action, that is, when it is necessary
for the occupier to do so for the control of the country and the Considering that the Commonwealth of the Philippines was a
protection of his army, subject to the restrictions or limitations sovereign government, though not absolute but subject to certain
imposed by the Hague Regulations, the usages established by limitations imposed in the Independence Act and incorporated as
civilized nations, the laws of humanity and the requirements of Ordinance appended to our Constitution, was recognized not only
public conscience (Peralta vs. Director of Prisons, supra; 1940
by the Legislative Department or Congress of the United States in
United States Rules of Land Warfare 76, 77); and that, approving the Independence Law above quoted and the
consequently, all acts of the military occupant dictated within these
Constitution of the Philippines, which contains the declaration that
limitations are obligatory upon the inhabitants of the territory, who "Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority
are bound to obey them, and the laws of the legitimate government emanates from them" (section 1, Article II), but also by the Executive
which have not been adopted, as well and those which, though Department of the United States; that the late President Roosevelt
continued in force, are in conflict with such laws and orders of the in one of his messages to Congress said, among others, "As I stated
occupier, shall be considered as suspended or not in force and on August 12, 1943, the United States in practice regards the
binding upon said inhabitants; Philippines as having now the status as a government of other
independent nations — in fact all the attributes of complete and
Considering that, since the preservation of the allegiance or the respected nationhood" (Congressional Record, Vol. 29, part 6, page
obligation of fidelity and obedience of a citizen or subject to his 8173); and that it is a principle upheld by the Supreme Court of the
government or sovereign does not demand from him a positive United States in many cases, among them in the case of Jones vs.
action, but only passive attitude or forbearance from adhering to the United States (137 U.S., 202; 34 Law. ed., 691, 696) that the
enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort, the occupant has no question of sovereignty is "a purely political question, the
power, as a corollary of the preceding consideration, to repeal or determination of which by the legislative and executive departments
suspend the operation of the law of treason, essential for the of any government conclusively binds the judges, as well as all other
preservation of the allegiance owed by the inhabitants to their officers, citizens and subjects of the country.
legitimate government, or compel them to adhere and give aid and
comfort to him; because it is evident that such action is not
Considering that section I (1) of the Ordinance appended to the
demanded by the exigencies of the military service or not necessary Constitution which provides that pending the final and complete
for the control of the inhabitants and the safety and protection of his withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States "All citizens of the
army, and because it is tantamount to practically transfer Philippines shall owe allegiance to the United States", was one of
temporarily to the occupant their allegiance to the titular government the few limitations of the sovereignty of the Filipino people retained
or sovereign; and that, therefore, if an inhabitant of the occupied by the United States, but these limitations do not away or are not
territory were compelled illegally by the military occupant, through inconsistent with said sovereignty, in the same way that the people
force, threat or intimidation, to give him aid and comfort, the former
of each State of the Union preserves its own sovereignty although
may lawfully resist and die if necessary as a hero, or submit thereto limited by that of the United States conferred upon the latter by the
without becoming a traitor;
States; that just as to reason may be committed against the Federal
as well as against the State Government, in the same way treason
Considering that adoption of the petitioner's theory of suspended may have been committed during the Japanese occupation against
allegiance would lead to disastrous consequences for small and the sovereignty of the United States as well as against the
weak nations or states, and would be repugnant to the laws of sovereignty of the Philippine Commonwealth; and that the change
humanity and requirements of public conscience, for it would allow of our form of government from Commonwealth to Republic does
invaders to legally recruit or enlist the Quisling inhabitants of the not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason
occupied territory to fight against their own government without the committed during the Commonwealth, because it is an offense
latter incurring the risk of being prosecuted for treason, and even against the same government and the same sovereign people, for
compel those who are not aid them in their military operation against Article XVIII of our Constitution provides that "The government
the resisting enemy forces in order to completely subdue and established by this constitution shall be known as the
conquer the whole nation, and thus deprive them all of their own Commonwealth of the Philippines. Upon the final and complete
independence or sovereignty — such theory would sanction the withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States and the
action of invaders in forcing the people of a free and sovereign proclamation of Philippine independence, the Commonwealth of the
country to be a party in the nefarious task of depriving themselves Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the Republic of the
of their own freedom and independence and repressing the exercise Philippines";

This Court resolves, without prejudice to write later on a more

extended opinion, to deny the petitioner's petition, as it is hereby
denied, for the reasons above set forth and for others to be stated
in the said opinion, without prejudice to concurring opinion therein,
if any. Messrs. Justices Paras and Hontiveros dissent in a separate
opinion. Mr. justice Perfecto concurs in a separate opinion.

both aged ten years, the People's Court, who heard, observed and
[ GR No. L-322, Jul 28, 1947 ] saw them testify, had the following to say:
DECISION 78 Phil. 721
"The testimony of the last two in particular is entitled to very great
weight. They are simple barrio girls, only ten years old, whose minds
HILADO, J.: have not yet been tainted by feelings of hatred or revenge or by any
desire to be spectacular or to exaggerate. They were straight-
forward and frank in their testimony and did not show any intention
Appellant Pedro Manayao and Filomeno Flores and Raymundo
Flores were charged with the high crime of treason with multiple to appeal to the sentiments of the court. They could nut have been
murder in the People's Court. The Floreses not having been mistaken as to the presence and identity of the accused for they
apprehended, only Manayao was tried. Convicted of the offense know him so well that they referred to him by his pet name of 'Indong
charged against him with the aggravating circumstances of (1) the Pintor' or Pedro, the painter. They could not have erred in the
aid of armed men and (2) the employment or presence of a band in narration of the salient phases of the tragic events of January 29,
the commission of the crime, he was sentenced to death, to pay a 1945, in Banaban, for they were forced eye-witnesses to and were
fine of P20,000, an indemnity of P2,000 to the heirs of each of the involved in the whole tragedy, the burning of the houses and the
persons named in the third paragraph of the decision, and the costs. massacre committed by the accused and his Japanese masters
took place in broad daylight and were not consummated in a fleeting
He has appealed from that decision to this Court.
moment but during a time sufficient for even girls of tender age to
retain a trustworthy mental picture of the unusual event they could
On or about the 27th of January, 1945, the guerrillas raided the not help but witness."
Japanese in sitio Pulong Tindahan, municipality of Angat, Province
of Bulacan. In reprisal, Japanese soldiers and a number of Filipinos
affiliated with the Makapili, among them the instant appellant, Not only this, but the testimony of Clarita Perez and Maria Paulino
is so clear, positive and convincing that it would be sufficient for
conceived the diabolical idea of killing the residents of barrio
Banaban of the same municipality (Exhibits A, C, and C-1). conviction without any further corroboration. Yet, there is ample
Pursuant to this plan, said Japanese soldiers and their Filipino corroborative proof. Thus, Tomas M. Pablo declared that he had
companions, armed with rifles and bayonets, gathered the residents seen the corpses of the massacred residents of Banaban shortly
of Banaban behind the barrio chapel on January 29, 1945. after the happening of the heinous crime (p. 136, t. s. n.). And
Numbering about sixty or seventy, the residents thus assembled appellant himself admitted his participation in the massacre in two
included men, women and children mostly women (Exhibits A, C, sworn statements one made on August 28, 1945, before Lt. Jesus
Cacahit, Detachment Commander of the Angat 23d MP Command
and C-1; pp. 3-16, 29, 30, 65, 102, t. s. n.).
(Exhibit A; pp. 75-77, t. s. n.) and another made on September 5,
1945 before Feliciano F. Torres, Assistant Provincial Fiscal of
The children were placed in a separate group from the men and Bulacan (Exhibits C, C-1; pp. 150-159, t. s. n.).
women the prosecution star witnesses, Maria Paulino and Clarita
Perez, were among the children (pp. 3, 40, t. s. n.). Presently, the
Japanese and their Filipino comrades set the surrounding houses In No. 1 of his assignment of errors, appellant's counsel contends
that appellant was a member of the Armed Forces of Japan, was
on fire (pp. 14, 48, 70, 71, 103, t. s. n.), and proceeded to butcher
all the persons assembled, excepting the small children, thus killing, subject to military law, and not subject to the jurisdiction of the
People's Court; and in No. 2 he advances the theory that appellant
among others, those known by the following names: Patricia, Dodi,
Banda, Tana, Uyang, Mina, Marta, Sana, Eufemia, Doroteo, had lost his Philippine citizenship and was therefore not amenable
Andres, Perly, Tisiang, Urado, Pisan, Dorang, Felisa, and Eulalia to the Philippine law of treason. We cannot uphold either contention.
(pp. 8, 10, 13, 14, 31, 32, 47, 48, 61, 62, 63, t. s. n.). We are of the considered opinion that the Makapili, although
organized to render military aid to the Japanese Army in the
Philippines during the late war, was not a part of said army. It was
Appellant alone killed about six women, two of whom were Patricia an organization of Filipino traitors, pure and simple. As to loss of
and Dodi whom he bayoneted to death in the presence of their Philippine citizenship by appellant, counsel's theory is absolutely
daughters, Maria Paulino and Clarita Perez, respectively (pp. 8, 10, untenable. He invokes in its support paragraphs 3, 4, and 6 of
13, 31, 32, 35, 47, 48, t. s. n.). Patricia and Dodi pleaded with section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 63, providing:
appellant for mercy, he being their relative, but he gave the callous
answer that no mercy would be given them because they were
wives of guerrillas (pp. 10, 42, 43, 49, t. s. n.). "* * * A Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship in any of the following
ways and/or events:

Appellant would also have killed the small children including Clarita
Perez and Maria Paulino if he had been allowed to have his way.
For when all but the small ones had been butchered, he proposed
to kill them too, but the Japanese soldiers interceded, saying that * * * * * * *
the children knew nothing of the matter (pp. 15, 49, 51, 66, 67, t. s.
n.). Appellant insisted in his proposal, arguing that the children "(3) By subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the
would be wives of guerrillas later when they grew up, but the constituton or laws of a foreign country upon attaining twenty-one
Japanese decided to spare them (p. 22, t. s. n.). years of age or more;

The foregoing facts have been clearly established by the testimony "(4) By accepting commission in the military, naval or air service of
of eye-witnesses Clarita Paulino, Maria Perez, and Policarpio Tigas a foreign country;
to the ruthless massacre of Banaban. There is a complete absence
of evidence tending to show motive on the part of these witnesses
for falsely testifying against appellant such a motive is not even * * * * * * *
insinuated by the defendant. Indeed, appellant's counsel frankly
states (p. 3, brief) that he "does not dispute the findings of fact of
the People's Court." Speaking of the testimony of Clarita and Maria,

"(6) By having been declared, by competent authority, a deserter of "But the laws do not admit that the bare commission of a crime
the Philippine Army, Navy, or Air Corps in time of war, unless amounts of itself to a divestment of the character of citizen, and
subsequently a plenary pardon or amnesty has been granted." withdraws the criminal from their coercion. They would never
prescribe an illegal act among the legal modes by which a citizen
There is no evidence that appellant has subscribed to an oath of might disfranchise himself; nor render treason, for instance,
allegiance to support the constitution or laws of Japan. His counsel innocent, by giving it the force of a dissolution of the obligation of
cites (Brief, 4) the fact that in Exhibit A "he subscribed an oath before the criminal to hia country." (Moore, International Law Digest, Vol.
he was admitted into the Makapili association, 'the aim of which was III, p. 731.)
to help Japan in its fight against the Americans and her allies.'" And
counsel contends from this that the oath was in fact one of "696. No person, even when he has renounced or incurred the loss
allegiance to support the constitution and Jaws of Japan. We cannot of his nationality, shall take up arms against his native country; he
uphold such a far-fetched deduction. The members of the Makapili shall be held guilty of a felony and treason, if he does not strictly
could have sworn to help Japan in the war without necessarily observe this duty." (Fiore's International Law Codified, translation
swearing to support her constitution and laws. The famed "Flying from Fifth Italian Edition by Borchard.)
Tiger" who so bravely and resolutely aided China in her war with
Japan certainly did not need to swear to support the Chinese As to the third asignment of error, the Solicitor General agrees with
constitution and laws, even if they had to subscribe to an oath, upon
counsel that it is improper to separately take into account against
entering the organization, to help China fight Japan. During the first appellant the aggravating circumstances of (1) the aid of armed men
World War the "National Volunteers" were organized in the
and (2) the employment of a band in appraising the gravity of the
Philippines, pledged to go to Europe and fight on the side of the crime. We likewise are of the same opinion, considering that under
Allies, particularly of the United States. In order to carry out that paragraph 6 of article 14 of the Revised Penal Code providing that
mission although the war ended before this could be done they "whenever more than three armed malefactors shall have acted
surely did not have to take an oath to support the constitution or together in the commission of an offense it shall be deemed to have
laws of the United States or any of its allies. We do not multiply these been committed by a band," the employment of more than three
examples, for they illustrate a proposition which seems self-evident. armed men is an essential element of and inherent in a band. So
that in appreciating the existence of a band the employment of more
Neither is there any showing of the acceptance by appellant of a than three armed men is automatically included, there being only
commission "in the military, naval, or air service" of Japan. the aggravating circumstance of band to be considered.

Much less is there a scintilla of evidence that appellant had ever As to appellant's fourth assignment of error, the contention is clearly
been declared a deserter in the Philippine Army, Navy or Air Corps unacceptable that appellant acted in obedience to an order issued
nor even that he was a member of said Army, Navy, or Air Corps. by a superior and is therefore exempt from criminal liability, because
he allegedly acted in the fulfillment of a duty incidental to his service
Further, appellant's contention is repugnant to the most for Japan as a member of the Makapili. It is obvious that paragraphs
fundamental and elementary principles governing the duties of a 5 and 6 of article 11 of our Revised Penal Code cannot be construed
as sanctioning as legal acts done in compliance with duties to or
citizen toward his country under our Constitution. Article II, section
2, of said Constitution ordains: orders from a foreign sovereign, any more than obedience to an
illegal order. The construction contended for by appellant could
entail in its potentialities even the destruction of this Republic.
"SEC. 2. The defense of the State is a prime duty of government,
and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may be required by law
to render personal, military or civil service." (Italics supplied.) The contention that as a member of the Makapili appellant had to
obey his Japanese masters under pain of severe penalty, and that
therefore his acts should be considered. as committed under the
This constitutional provision covers both time of peace and time of impulse of an irresistible force or uncontrollable fear of an equal or
war, but it is brought more immediately and peremptorily into play greater injury, is no less repulsive. Appellant voluntarily joined the
when the country is involved in war. During such a period of stress, Makapili with full knowledge of its avowed purpose of rendering
under a constitution enshrining such tenets, the citizen cannot be military aid to Japan. He knew the consequences to be expected if
considered free to cast off his loyalty and obligations toward the the alleged irresistible force or uncontrollable fear subsequently
Fatherland. And it cannot be supposed, without reflecting on the arose, he brought them about himself freely and voluntarily. But this
patriotism and intelligence of the Legislature, that in promulgating is not all; the truth of the matter is, as the Solicitor General well
Commonwealth Act No. 63, under the aegis of our Constitution, it remarks, that "the appellant actually acted with gusto during the
intended (but did not declare) that the duties of the citizen solemnly butchery of Banaban." He was on that occasion even bent on more
proclaimed in the above-quoted constitutional precept could be cruelty than the very ruthless Japanese themselves as regards the
effectively cast off by him even when his country is at war, by the little children. And his Japanese masters so fate willed it were the
simple expedient of subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support very ones who saved the little girls, Clarita Perez and Maria Paulino,
the constitution or laws of a foreign country, and an enemy country who were destined to become the star witnesses against him on the
at that, or by accepting a commission in the military, naval or air day of reckoning.
service of such country, or by deserting from the Philippine Army,
Navy, or Air Corps.
Conformably to the recommendation of the Solicitor General, we
find appellant guilty of the crime of treason with multiple murder
It would shock the conscience of any enlightened citizenry to say committed with the attendance of one aggravating circumstance,
that this appellant, by the very fact of committing the treasonous that of "armed band," thus discarding the first aggravating
acts charged against him, the doing of which under the circumstance considered by the trial court. A majority of the Court
circumstances of record he does not deny, divested himself of his voted to affirm the judgment appealed from, imposing the death
Philippine citizenship and thereby placed himself beyond the arm of penalty, convicting defendant and appellant to pay a fine of
our treason law. For if this were so, his very crime would be the P20,000, an indemnity of P2,000 to the heirs of each of the victims
shield that would protect him from punishment. named in the third paragraph of the lower court's decision, and the
costs. But due to the dissent of Mr. Justice Perfecto from the
imposition of the death penalty, in accordance with the applicable

legal provisions we modify the judgment appealed from as regards

the punishment to be inflicted, and sentence defendant and
appellant Pedro Manayao to the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with
the accessories of article 41 of the Revised Penal Code, to pay a
fine of P20,000, an indemnity of P2,000 to the heirs of each of the
victims named in the third paragraph of the lower court's decision,
and the costs. So ordered.

G.R. No. L-856 April 18, 1949 support of the allegations in court No. 2; this Court is fully
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, convinced that the allegation in said count No. 2 were fully
vs. substantiated by the evidence adduced.
SUSANO PEREZ (alias KID PEREZ), defendant-appellant.
Crispin Oben and Isidro Santiago for appellant .Assistance "As regards count No. 4 —
Solicitor General Manuel P. Barcelona and Solicitor Esmeraldo
Umali for appellee.
Count No. 4 substantially alleges that on July 16, 1942, the two
girls named Eduardo S. Daohog and Eutiquia Lamay, were
TUASON, J.: taken from their homes in Corella, Bohol, by the accused and
his companion named Vicente Bullecer, and delivered to the
Susano Perez alias Kid Perez alias Kid Perez was convicted of Japanese Officer, Dr. Takibayas to satisfy his carnal appetite,
treason by the 5th Division of the People's Court sitting in Cebu City but these two, the accused Susano Perez and his companion
and sentenced to death by electrocution. Vicente Bullecer, before delivering them to said Japanese
Officer, satisfied first their lust; the accused Susano Perez
Seven counts were alleged in the information but the prosecution raping Eduarda S. Daohog and his companion, Vicente
offered evidence only on counts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, all of which, Bullecer, the other girl Eutiquia Lamay. Eduarda S. Daohog,
according to the court, were substantiated. In a unanimous decision, testifying, said: that while on the way to Tagbilaran, the
the trial court found as follows: accused though force and intimidation, raped her in an
uninhabited house; that she resisted with all her force against
the desire of the accused, but of no avail; that upon arriving in
"As regards count No. 1 — Tagbilaran, she was delivered to the Japanese Officer named
Takibayas who also raped her. Eutiquia Lamay testified that on
Count No. 1 alleges that the accused, together with the other July 16, 1942, the accused and his companion, Bullecer, went
Filipinos, recruited, apprehended and commandeered to her house to take her and her sister; that her sister was then
numerous girls and women against their will for the purpose of out of the house; that the accused threatened her with a
using them, as in fact they were used, to satisfy the immoral revolved if she refuses to go; that she was placed in a car
purpose and sexual desire of Colonel Mini, and among such where Eduarda Daohog was; that while they were in the car,
unfortunate victims, were Felina Laput, Eriberta Ramo alias the accused carried Eduarda out of the car, and their
Miami Ramo, Eduarda Daohog, Eutiquia Lamay, Feliciana companion Bullecer took the other witness (Eutiquia Lamay);
Bonalos and Flaviana Bonalos. that when the accused and Eduarda returned to the car, the
latter; Eduarda, covered her face, crying; that later, she and
Eduarda were taken to the Governor's house; that on arriving
It would be unnecessary to recite here the testimonies of all the and in the presence of the Puppet Governor Hontanosas, the
victims of the accused; it sufficient to reproduce here succinctly Governor exclaimed: "I did not call for these girls": but the
the testimony of Eriberta Ramo. She testified that on June 15, accused replied saying: "These girls talked bad against the
1942, the accused came to her house to get her and told her Japanese , and that is why we arrested them"; that the said
that she was wanted in the house of her aunt, but instead, she Governor Hontañosas then, said: "Take them to the Japanese
was brought to the house of the Puppet Governor Agapito "; that the accused and Bullecer brought the two girls to the
Hontanosas; that she escaped and returned to Baclayon her Japanese headquarters; that Eduarda was taken to one room
hometown; that the accused came again and told her that by the Japanese Captain called Dr. Takibayas, and she
Colonel Mini wanted her to be his Information Clerk; that she (Eutiquia Lamay) was taken to another room by another
did not accept the job; that a week later the accused came to Japanese living in that house; that she was raped by that Jap
Baclayon to get her, and succeeded in taking some other girls while in the room; that she resisted all she could, but of no avail.
Puppet Governor Agapito Hontanosas; that Governor
Hontanosas told her that Colonel Mini wanted her to be his
wife; that when she was brought to Colonel Mini the latter had In the light of the testimonies of these two witnesses, Eduarda
nothing on but a "G" string; that he, Colonel Mini threatened her S. Daohog and Eutiquia Lamay, all the allegations in Court No.
with a sword tied her to a bed and with force succeeded in 4 were fully proven beyond reasonable doubt.
having carnal knowledge with her; that on the following night,
again she was brought to Colonel Mini and again she was "As regards count No. 5 —
raped; that finally she was able to escape and stayed in hiding
for three weeks and only came out from the hiding when
Colonel Mini left Tagbilaran. Count No. 5 alleges: That on or about June 4, 1942, the said
accused commandeered Feliciana Bonalos and her sister
Flaviana Bonalos on the pretext that they were to bee taken as
"As regards count No. 2 — witnesses before a Japanese Colonel in the investigation of a
case against a certain Chinese (Insik Eping), and uponarriving
Count No. 2 of the information substantially alleges: That at Tagbilaran, Bohol, the accused brought the aforesaid two
accused in company with some Japanese and Filipinos took girls to the residence of Colonel Mini, Commander of the
Eriberta Ramo and her sister Cleopatra Ramo from their home Japanese Armed Forces in Bohol and by means of violence
in Baclayon to attend a banquet and a dance organized in threat and intimidation, said Japanese Colonel abused and had
honor of Colonel Mini by the Puppet Governor, Agapito sexual intercourse with Flaviana Bonalos; that the accused
Hontanosas in order that said Japanese Colonel might select subsequently of Colonel Mini and through violence, threat and
those first who would later be taken to satisfy his carnal appetite intimidation, succeeded in having carnal knowledge with her
and that by means of threat, force and intimidation, the above against her will; that two days, later, upon the pretext of
mentioned two sister were brought to the headquarters of the conducting the unfortunate girls to their home, said accused
Japanese Commander at the Mission Hospital in Tagbilaran brought the other girls Feliciana Bonalos to a secluded place in
where Eriberta Ramo was forced to lived a life of shame. All Tagbilaran, Bohol, and in the darkness, by mean of threat and
these facts alleged in count No. 2 were testified to by said violence had carnal knowledge with her against her will.
witnesses Eriberta Ramo her mother Mercedes de Ramo. It is
not necessary here to recite once more their testimony in

Feliciana Bonalos testifying in this count, declared that the hospital with a revolver and took them on a car to the office
accused came to get her on the pretext that she was to be used of the Puppet Governor where they were severely
as witness in a case affecting certain Chinaman before Colonel reprimanded by the latter for not attending the dance held
Mini; that she and her younger sister Flaviana were brought in on June and receptions was to select from among them
a car driven by the accused; they were brought to the house of the best girl that would suit the fancy of Colonel Mini for
Colonel Mini; that sister Flaviana was conducted into a room immoral purposes that she and her companions were
and after remaining in the same for about an hour, she came always afraid of the accused Perez whenever he came to
out with her hair and her dress in disorder; that Flaviana told said hospital; that on one occasion, one of the nurses on
her immediately that she was raped against her will by Colonel perceiving the approach of the accused, ran up into her
Mini; that she (Feliciana), after leaving the residence of said room, laid down on bed and simulated to be sick; that said
Jap officer, was taken by Perez to an uninhabited house and accused, not satisfied, went up into the room of that
there by threat and intimidation, the accused succeeded in particular nurse and pulled out the blanket which covered
raping her; that when she returned to her (the witness), her and telling her that it was only her pretext that she was
Flaviana was crying; that the following day while conducting the sick.
two girls back to their hometown, she (Feliciana) was also
raped by the accused in an uninhabited house, against her will. The testimony of Lt. Natividad Barcinas is fully
corroborated by that of Nicanora Ralameda. Said
Victoriana Arayan (mother of Feliciana and Flaviana Bonalos) testimony need not be reproduced here.
testified as following: That on June 15, 1942, the accused came
and told her that the Japanese needed her daughters to be In a carefully written brief for the appellant these findings are not
witnesses; that accordingly, he daughters, under that questioned, but it is contended that the deeds committed by the
understanding, started for Tagbilaran; that later, she went to accused do not constitute treason. The Solicitor General submits
Tagbilaran to look for her daughters and she found them in the the opposite view, and argues that "to maintain and preserve the
office of the Puppet Governor; that on seeing her, both morale of the soldiers has always been, and will always be, a
daughters wept and told her that they were turned over to the fundamental concern of army authorities, for the efficiency of rests
Japanese and raped them; that her daughter Flaviana told her
not only on its physical attributes but also, mainly, on the morale of
(the witness) that after the Japanese had raped her the its soldiers" (citing the annual report of the Chief of Staff, United
accused also raped her (Flaviana) in an uninhabited house;
State Army, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1933).
that the accused did not permit her two daughter to return home
on the pretext that the Puppet Governor was then absent and
in the meanwhile they stayed in the house of the accused If furnishing women for immoral purposes to the enemies was
Perez; that when her daughter returned to her house ultimately, treason because women's company kept up their morale, so
they related to her (mother) what happened; that both fraternizing with them, entertaining them at parties, selling them
daughters told her they would have preferred death rather than food and drinks, and kindred acts, would be treason. For any act of
to have gone to Tagbilaran; that Feliciana told her (the mother) hospitality without doubt produces the same general result. yet by
that the accused had raped her. common agreement those and similar manifestation of sympathy
and attachment are not the kind of disloyalty that are punished as
The information give by Feliciana to her mother is admitted in
evidence as a part of the res gestae regardless of the time that
had elapsed between the occurrence and the time of the In a broad sense, the law of treason does not prescribe all kinds of
information. In the manner these two witnesses testified in social, business and political intercourse between the belligerent
court, there could be no doubt that they were telling the occupants of the invaded country and its inhabitants. In the nature
absolute truth. It is hard to conceived that these girls would of things, the occupation of a country by the enemy is bound to
assume and admit the ignominy they have gone through if they create relations of all sorts between the invaders and the natives.
were not true. The Court is fully convinced that all the What aid and comfort constitute treason must depend upon their
allegations contained in Court No. 5 have been proven by the nature degree and purpose. To draw a line between treasonable
testimonies of these two witnesses beyond reasonable doubt. and untreasonable assistance is not always easy. The scope of
adherence to the enemy is comprehensive, its requirement
indeterminate as was said Cramer vs. United States. 89 Law. ed.,
"As regards count No. 6 — 1441

Count No. 6, alleges: That the accused, together with his As general rule, to be treasonous the extent of the aid and comfort
Filipino companion apprehended Natividad Barcinas, given to the enemies must be to render assistance to them as
Nicanora Ralameda and Teotima Barcinas, nurses of the
enemies and not merely as individuals and in addition, be directly in
provincial hospital, for not having attended a dance and furtherance of the enemies' hostile designs. To make a simple
reception organized by the Puppet Governor in honor of distinction: To lend or give money to an enemy as a friend or out of
Colonel Mini and other Japanese high ranking officers, charity to the beneficiary so that he may buy personal necessities is
which was held in Tagbilaran market on June 25, 1942; to assist him as individual and is not technically traitorous. On the
that upon being brought the Puppet Governor, they were other hand, to lend or give him money to enable him to buy arms or
severely reprimanded by the latter; that on July 8, 1942, ammunition to use in waging war against the giver's country
against said nurses were forced to attend another banquet
enhance his strength and by same count injures the interest of the
and dance in order that the Jap officers Mini and government of the giver. That is treason. (See United
Takibayas might make a selection which girls would suit
States vs. Fricke, 259 F., 673; 63 C.J., 816, 817.)
best their fancy; that the real purpose behind those forcible
invitations was to lure them to the residence of said
Japanese Officer Mini for immoral purposes. Applying these principles to the case at bar, appellant's first
assignment of error is correct. His "commandeering" of women to
satisfy the lust of Japanese officers or men or to enliven the
Natividad Barcinas, a Lieutenant of the P.A., testified at entertainment held in their honor was not treason even though the
length. She declared: That on June 29, 1942, she and
women and the entertainment helped to make life more pleasant for
companion nurses, saw the accused coming to the

the enemies and boost their spirit; he was not guilty any more than
the women themselves would have been if they voluntarily and
willingly had surrendered their bodies or organized the
entertainment. Sexual and social relations with the Japanese did not
directly and materially tend to improve their war efforts or to weaken
the power of the United State. The acts herein charged were not, by
fair implication, calculated to strengthen the Japanese Empire or its
army or to cripple the defense and resistance of the other side.
Whatever favorable effect the defendant's collaboration with the
Japanese might have in their prosecution of the war was trivial,
imperceptible, and unintentional. Intent of disloyalty is a vital
ingredient in the crime of treason, which, in the absence of
admission, may be gathered from the nature and circumstances of
each particular case.

But the accused may be punished for the rape of Eriberta Ramo,
Eduarda Daohog, Eutiquia Lamay and Flaviana Bonalos as
principal by direct participation. Without his cooperation in the
manner above stated, these rapes could not have been committed.

Conviction of the accused of rapes instead of treason finds express

sanction in section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 682, which says:

Provided further, That where, in its opinion, the evidence is not

sufficient to support the offense (treason) charged, the People's
Court may, nevertheless, convict and sentence the accused for any
crime included in the acts alleged in the information and established
by the evidence.

All the above mentioned rapes are alleged in the information and
substantiated by the evidence.

Counsel assails the constitutionality of this of his provision as

violative of section 1, paragraph 17, Article III of the Constitution,
which guarantees to an accused the right "to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him." The contention is
not well taken. The provision in requires that the private crimes of
which an accused of treason may be convicted must be averred in
the information and sustained by evidence. In the light of this
enactment, the defendant was warned of the hazard that he might
be founded guilty of rapes if he was innocent of treason and thus
afforded an opportunity to prepare and meet them. There is no
element of surprise or anomaly involved. In facts under the general
law of criminal procedure convicted for crime different from that
designated in the complaint or information is allowed and practiced,
provided only that such crime "is included or described in the body
of the information, and afterwards justified by the proof presented
during the trial." (People vs. Perez, 45 Phil., 599.)

The defendant personally assaulted and abused two of the offended

girls but these assaults are not charged against him and should be
ruled out. The crime of coercion alleged and founded on count No.
6. need not be noticed in view of the severity of the penalty for the
other crimes which he must suffer.

We find the defendant guilty of four separate crimes of rape and

sentence him for each of them to an indeterminate penalty of from
10 year of prision mayor to 17 year and 4 months of reclusion
temporal, with the accessories of law, to indemnify each of the
offended women in the sum of P3,000, and to pay the costs; it being
understood that the total duration of these penalties shall not exceed
forty years.

Moran, C.J., Feria, Perfecto, Bengzon, Briones and Reyes,

JJ., concur.
Paras, J., reserves his vote. Montemayor, J., concurs in the result.

companions to Yati, Liloan, Cebu, where he was severely

G.R. No. L-399 January 29, 1948 tortured by placing red hot iron on his shoulders, legs and back
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, and from there he was sent back to the Japanese detention
vs. camp in Mandaue and detained for 7 days;
2. On or about October 28, 1944, in the municipality of
Alfonso E. Mendoza for appellant. First Assistant Solicitor General Mandaue, Province of Cebu, Philippines, said accused
Roberto A. Gianzon and Solicitor Isidro C. Borromeo for appellee. acting as an informer and agent for the Japanese Military
Police, with the purpose of giving and with the intent to
TUASON, J.: give aid and comfort to the enemy, did, the, and there
willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and treasonably lead,
guide and accompany a group of Filipino undercovers for
The appellant was prosecuted in the People's Court for treason on
7 counts. After pleading not guilty he entered a plea of guilty to the purpose of apprehending guerrillas and guerrilla
counts 1, 2, 3 and 7, and maintained the original plea to counts 4, suspects; that the herein accused and his companions did
5, and 6. The special prosecutor introduced evidence only on count in fact apprehend Guillermo Ponce and Macario Ponce
4, stating with reference to counts 5 and 6 that he did not have from their house; that said accused and his companions
did tie the hands of said Guillermo Ponce and Macario
sufficient evidence to sustain them. The defendant was found guilty
on count 4 as well as counts 1, 2, 3, and 7 and was sentenced to Ponce behind their backs, giving them first blows on the
face and in other parts of the body and thereafter detained
death and to pay the fine of P20,000.
them at the Kempei Tai Headquarters; that Guillermo
Ponce was released the following day while his brother
Two witnesses gave evidence on count 4 but their statements do was detained and thereafter nothing more was heard of
not coincide on any single detail. Juanito Albano, the first witness, him nor his whereabouts known;
testified that in March, 1945, the accused with other Filipino
undercovers and Japanese soldiers caught an American aviator and
had the witness carry the American to town on a sled pulled by a 3. Sometime during the month of November, 1944, in the
carabao; that on the way, the accused walked behind the sled and Municipality of Mandaue, Province of Cebu, Philippines,
asked the prisoner if the sled was faster than the airplane; that the for the purpose of giving and with the intent to give aid and
American was taken to the Kempetai headquarters, after which he comfort to the enemy and her military forces, said accused
did not know what happened to the flier. Valentin Cuison, the next acting as an enemy undercover did, then and there
wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously, and treasonably lead,
witness, testified that one day in March, 1945, he saw the accused
following an American and the accused were Japanese and other guide and accompany a patrol of some 6 Filipinos and 2
Japanese soldiers to barrio Pakna-an, municipality of
Mandaue for the purpose of apprehending guerrillas and
guerrilla suspects, and said patrol did in fact apprehend as
These witnesses evidently referred to two different occasions. The guerrilla suspects Damian Alilin and Santiago Alilin who
last witness stated that the American was walking as well as his were forthwith tied with a rope, tortured and detained for 6
captors. And there was no sled, he said, nor did he see Juanito days; that on the 7th day said Damian Alilin and Santiago
Albano, except at night when he and Albano had a drink of tuba Alilin were taken about 1/2 kilometer from their home and
together. the accused did bayonet them to death;

This evidence does not testify the two-witness principle. The two 7. In or about November 16, 1944, in Mandaue, in
witnesses failed to corroborate each other not only on the whole conspiracy with the enemy and other Filipinos
overt act but on any part of it. (People vs. Adriano, 44 Off. Gaz., undercovers, said accused did cause the torture of
4300; Cramer vs. U. S., 65 S. Ct. 918.) Antonio Soco and the killing of Gil Soco for guerrilla
The lower court believes that the accused is "guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of treason complexed by murder and The execution of some of the guerrilla suspects mentioned in these
physical injuries," with "the aggravating circumstances mentioned counts and the infliction of physical injuries on others are not
above." Apparently, the court has regarded the murders and offenses separate from treason. Under the Philippine treason law
physical injuries charged in the information, not only as crimes and under the United States constitution defining treason, after
distinct from treason but also as modifying circumstances. The which the former was patterned, there must concur both adherence
Solicitor General agrees with the decision except as to technical to the enemy and giving him aid and comfort. One without the other
designation of the crime. In his opinion, the offense committed by does not make treason.
the appellant is a "complex crime of treason with homicide."
In the nature of things, the giving of aid and comfort can only be
Counts 1, 2, 3 and 7 are as follows: accomplished by some kind of action. Its very nature partakes of a
deed or physical activity as opposed to a mental operation.
1. On or about October 15, 1944, in the municipality of Mandaue, (Cramer vs. U.S., ante.) This deed or physical activity may be, and
Province of Cebu, Philippines, said accused being a member of often is, in itself a criminal offense under another penal statute or
the Japanese Military Police and acting as undercover man for provision. Even so, when the deed is charged as an element of
the Japanese forces with the purpose of giving and with the treason it becomes identified with the latter crime and can not be
intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy did, then and there the subject of a separate punishment, or used in combination with
wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and treasonably lead, guide and treason to increase the penalty as article 48 of the Revised Penal
accompany a patrol of Japanese soldiers and Filipino Code provides. Just as one can not be punished for possessing
undercovers to the barrio of Poknaon, for the purpose of opium in a prosecution for smoking the identical drug, and a robber
apprehending guerrillas and locating their hideouts; that said cannot be held guilty of coercion or trespass to a dwelling in a
accused and his companions did apprehended Abraham Puno, prosecution for robbery, because possession of opium and force
tie his hands behind him and give him fist blows; thereafter said and trespass are inherent in smoking and in robbery respectively,
Abraham Puno was taken by the accused and his Japanese so may not a defendant be made liable for murder as a separate

crime or in conjunction with another offense where, as in this case,

it is averred as a constitutive ingredient of treason. This rule would
not, of course, preclude the punishment of murder or physical
injuries as such if the government should elect to prosecute the
culprit specifically for those crimes instead on relying on them as an
element of treason. it is where murder or physical injuries are
charged as overt acts of treason that they can not be regarded
separately under their general denomination.

However, the brutality with which the killing or physical injuries were
carried out may be taken as an aggravating circumstance. Thus, the
use of torture and other atrocities on the victims instead of the usual
and less painful method of execution will be taken into account to
increase the penalty under the provision of article 14, paragraph 21,
of the Revised Penal Code, since they, as in this case, augmented
the sufferings of the offended parties unnecessarily to the
attainment of the criminal objective.

This aggravating circumstance is compensated by the mitigating

circumstance of plea of guilty. it is true that the accused pleaded not
guilty to counts 4, 5 and 6 but count 4 has not be substantiated while
counts 5 and 6 were abandoned.

In this first assignment of error, counsel seeks reversal of the

judgment because of the trial court's failure to appoint "another
attorney de oficio for the accused in spite of the manifestation of the
attorney de oficio (who defended the accused at the trial) that he
would like to be relieved for obvious reasons."

The appellate tribunal will indulge reasonable presumptions in favor

of the legality and regularity of all the proceedings of the trial court,
including the presumption that the accused was not denied the right
to have counsel. (U.S. vs. Labial, 27 Phil., 82.) It is presumed that
the procedure prescribed by law has been observed unless it is
made to appear expressly to the contrary. (U.S. vs. Escalante, 36
Phil., 743.) The fact that the attorney appointed by the trial court to
aid the defendant in his defense expressed reluctance to accept the
designation because, as the present counsel assumes, he did not
sympathize with the defendant's cause, is not sufficient to overcome
this presumption. The statement of the counsel in the court below
did no necessarily imply that he did not perform his duty to protect
the interest of the accused. As a matter of fact, the present counsel
"sincerely believes that the said Attorney Carin did his best,
although it was not the best of a willing worker." We do not discern
in the record any indication that the former counsel did not conduct
the defense to the best of his ability. if Attorney Carin did his best as
a sworn member of the bar, as the present attorney admits, that was
enough; his sentiments did not cut any influence in the result of the
case and did not imperil the rights of the appellant.

In conclusion, we find the defendant not guilty of count 4 and guilty

of treason as charged in counts 1,2,3 and 7. There being an
aggravating circumstance, the penalty to be imposed is reclusion
perpetua. The judgment of the lower court will be modified in this
respect accordingly. In all other particulars, the same will be
affirmed. it is so ordered, with costs of this instance against the

Moran, C.J., Feria, Pablo, Perfecto, Hilado, Bengzon, and Padilla,

JJ., concur.


I concur in the result. Appellant is guilty of murder.


performed sentry duties and military drills, referred to acts allegedly

G.R. No. L-477 June 30, 1947 committed on different dates without any two witnesses coinciding
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, in any one specified deed. There is only one item on which the
vs. witnesses agree: it is that the defendant was a Makapili and was
APOLINARIO ADRIANO, defendant-appellant. seen by them in Makapili uniform carrying arms. Yet, again, on this
point it cannot be said that one witness is corroborated by another
Remedios P. Nufable for appellant. Assistant Solicitor General if corroboration means that two witnesses have seen the accused
Kapunan, Jr., and Solicitor Lacson for appellee. doing at least one particular thing, it a routine military chore, or just
walking or eating.

We take it that the mere fact of having joined a Makapili organization
is evidence of both adherence to the enemy and giving him aid and
This is an appeal from a judgment of conviction for treason by the comfort. Unless forced upon one against his will, membership in the
People's Court sentencing the accused to life imprisonment, Makapili organization imports treasonable intent, considering the
P10,000 fine, and the costs. purposes for which the organization was created, which, according
to the evidence, were "to accomplish the fulfillment of the obligations
The information charged: assumed by the Philippines in the Pact of Alliance with the Empire
of Japan;" "to shed blood and sacrifice the lives of our people in
order to eradicate Anglo-Saxon influence in East Asia;" "to
That between January and April, 1945 or thereabout, during the collaborate unreservedly and unstintedly with the Imperial Japanese
occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Forces, Army and Navy in the Philippines;" and "to fight the common
in the Province of Nueva Ecija and in the mountains in the enemies." Adherence, unlike overt acts, need not be proved by the
Island of Luzon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this oaths of two witnesses. Criminal intent and knowledge may be
Court, the above-named accused, Apolinario Adriano, who is gather from the testimony of one witness, or from the nature of the
not a foreigner, but a Filipino citizen owing allegiance to the act itself, or from the circumstances surrounding the act.
United States and the Commonwealth of the Philippines, in (Cramer vs. U.S., 65 Sup. Ct., 918.)
violation of said allegiance, did then and there willfully,
criminally and treasonably adhere to the Military Forces of
Japan in the Philippines, against which the Philippines and the At the same time, being a Makapili is in itself constitutive of an overt
United States were then at war, giving the said enemy aid and act. It is not necessary, except for the purpose of increasing the
comfort in the manner as follows: punishment, that the defendant actually went to battle or committed
nefarious acts against his country or countrymen. The crime of
treason was committed if he placed himself at the enemy's call to
That as a member of the Makapili, a military organization fight side by side with him when the opportune time came even
established and designed to assist and aid militarily the though an opportunity never presented itself. Such membership by
Japanese Imperial forces in the Philippines in the said enemy's its very nature gave the enemy aid and comfort. The enemy derived
war efforts and operations against the United States and the psychological comfort in the knowledge that he had on his side
Philippines, the herein accused bore arm and joined and nationals of the country with which his was at war. It furnished the
assisted the Japanese Military Forces and the Makapili Army enemy aid in that his cause was advanced, his forces augmented,
in armed conflicts and engagements against the United States and his courage was enhanced by the knowledge that he could
armed forces and the Guerrillas of the Philippine count on men such as the accused and his kind who were ready to
Commonwealth in the Municipalities of San Leonardo and strike at their own people. The principal effect of it was no difference
Gapan, Province of Nueva Ecija, and in the mountains of from that of enlisting in the invader's army.
Luzon, Philippines, sometime between January and April,
1945. Contrary to Law.
But membership as a Makapili, as an overt act, must be established
by the deposition of two witnesses. Does the evidence in the present
The prosecution did not introduce any evidence to substantiate any case meet this statutory test? Is two-witness requirement fulfilled by
of the facts alleged except that of defendant's having joined the the testimony of one witness who saw the appellant in Makapili
Makapili organization. What the People's Court found is that the uniform bearing a gun one day, another witness another day, and
accused participated with Japanese soldiers in certain raids and in so forth?
confiscation of personal property. The court below, however, said
these acts had not been established by the testimony of two
witnesses, and so regarded them merely as evidence of adherence The Philippine law on treason is of Anglo-American origin and so we
to the enemy. But the court did find established under the two- have to look for guidance from American sources on its meaning
witness rule, so we infer, "that the accused and other Makapilis had and scope. Judicial interpretation has been placed on the two-
their headquarters in the enemy garrison at Gapan, Nueva Ecija; witness principle by American courts, and authoritative text writers
that the accused was in Makapili military uniform; that he was armed have commented on it. We cull from American materials the
with rifle; and that he drilled with other Makapilis under a Japanese following excerpts which appear to carry the stamp of authority.
instructor; . . . that during the same period, the accused in Makapili
military uniform and with a rifle, performed duties as sentry at the Wharton's Criminal Evidence, Vol. 3, section 1396, p. 2282, says:
Japanese garrison and Makapili headquarters in Gapan, Nueva
Ecija;" "that upon the liberation of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, by the
American forces, the accused and other Makapilis retreated to the In England the original Statute of Edward, although requiring
both witnesses to be to the same overt act, was held to mean
mountains with the enemy;" and that "the accused, rifle in hand, later
surrendered to the Americans." that there might be one witness to an overt act and another
witness to another overt act of the same species of treason;
and, in one case it has been intimated that the same
Even the findings of the court recited above in quotations are not construction might apply in this country. But, as Mr. Wigmore
borne out by the proof of two witnesses. No two of the prosecution so succinctly observes: "The opportunity of detecting the falsity
witnesses testified to a single one of the various acts of treason of the testimony, by sequestering the two witnesses and
imputed by them to the appellant. Those who gave evidence that exposing their variance in details, is wholly destroyed by
the accused took part in raids and seizure of personal property, and

permitting them to speak to different acts." The rule as adopted prosecution but because of them. And it was not by whim or by
in this country by all the constitutional provisions, both state accident, but because one of the most venerated of that venerated
and Federal, properly requires that two witnesses shall testify group considered that "prosecutions for treason were generally
to the same overt act. This also is now the rule in England. virulent.'"

More to the point is this statement from VII Wigmore on Evidence, Such is the clear meaning of the two-witness provision of the
3d ed., section 2038, p. 271: American Constitution. By extension, the lawmakers who introduced
that provision into the Philippine statute books must be understood
Each of the witnesses must testify to the whole of the overt act; to have intended that the law should operate with the same
or, if it is separable, there must be two witnesses to each part inflexibility and rigidity as the American forefathers meant.
of the overt act.
The judgment is reversed and the appellant acquitted with costs
Learned Hand, J., in United States vs. Robinson (D.C.S.D., N.Y., charged de oficio.
259 Fed., 685), expressed the same idea: "It is necessary to
produce two direct witnesses to the whole overt act. It may be Moran, C.J., Feria, Pablo, Perfecto, Bengzon, Briones, Hontiveros,
possible to piece bits together of the overt act; but, if so, each and Padilla, JJ., concur. Paras, J., concurs in the result.
bit must have the support of two oaths; . . .." (Copied as footnote in
Wigmore on Evidence,ante.) And in the recent case of
Cramer vs. United States (65 Sup. Ct., 918), decide during the
recent World War, the Federal Supreme Court lays down this
doctrine: "The very minimum function that an overt act must perform
in a treason prosecution is that it shows sufficient action by the
accused, in its setting, to sustain a finding that the accused actually
gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Every act, movement,
deed, and word of the defendant charged to constitute treason must
be supported by the testimony of two witnesses."

In the light of these decisions and opinions we have to set aside the
judgment of the trial court. To the possible objection that the
reasoning by which we have reached this conclusion savors of
sophism, we have only to say that the authors of the constitutional
provision of which our treason law is a copy purposely made
conviction for treason difficult, the rule "severely restrictive." This
provision is so exacting and so uncompromising in regard to the
amount of evidence that where two or more witnesses give oaths to
an overt act and only one of them is believed by the court or jury,
the defendant, it has been said and held, is entitled to discharge,
regardless of any moral conviction of the culprit's guilt as gauged
and tested by the ordinary and natural methods, with which we are
familiar, of finding the truth. Natural inferences, however strong or
conclusive, flowing from other testimony of a most trustworthy
witness or from other sources are unavailing as a substitute for the
needed corroboration in the form of direct testimony of another
eyewitness to the same overt act.

The United States Supreme Court saw the obstacles placed in the
path of the prosecution by a literal interpretation of the rule of two
witnesses but said that the founders of the American government
fully realized the difficulties and went ahead not merely in spite but
because of the objections. (Cramer vs. United States, ante.) More,
the rule, it is said, attracted the members of the Constitutional
Convention "as one of the few doctrines of Evidence entitled to be
guaranteed against legislative change." (Wigmore on Evidence,
ante, section 2039, p. 272, citing Madison's Journal of the Federal
Convention, Scott's ed., II, 564, 566.) Mr. Justice Jackson, who
delivered the majority opinion in the celebrated Cramer case, said:
"It is not difficult to find grounds upon which to quarrel with this
Constitutional provision. Perhaps the farmers placed rather more
reliance on direct testimony than modern researchers in psychology
warrant. Or it may be considered that such a quantitative measure
of proof, such a mechanical calibration of evidence is a crude device
at best or that its protection of innocence is too fortuitous to warrant
so unselective an obstacle to conviction. Certainly the treason rule,
whether wisely or not, is severely restrictive." It must be
remembered, however, that the Constitutional Convention was
warned by James Wilson that "'Treason may sometimes be
practiced in such a manner, as to render proof extremely difficult —
as in a traitorous correspondence with an enemy.' The provision
was adopted not merely in spite of the difficulties it put in the way of

G.R. No. 17958 February 27, 1922 competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee, or into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all
vs. other crimes has no territorial limits. As it is against all so may it be
LOL-LO and SARAW, defendants-appellants. punished by all. Nor does it matter that the crime was committed
within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state, "for those
limits, though neutral to war, are not neutral to crimes." (U.S. vs.
Thos. D. Aitken for appellants. Acting Attorney-General Tuason for
appellee. Furlong [1820], 5 Wheat., 184.)

MALCOLM, J.: The most serious question which is squarely presented to this court
for decision for the first time is whether or not the provisions of the
Penal Code dealing with the crime of piracy are still in force. Article
The days when pirates roamed the seas, when picturesque 153 to 156 of the Penal Code reads as follows:
buccaneers like Captain Avery and Captain Kidd and Bartholomew
Roberts gripped the imagination, when grostesque brutes like
Blackbeard flourished, seem far away in the pages of history and ART. 153. The crime of piracy committed against Spaniards, or
romance. Nevertheless, the record before us tells a tale of twentieth the subjects of another nation not at war with Spain, shall be
century piracy in the south seas, but stripped of all touches of punished with a penalty ranging from cadena
chivalry or of generosity, so as to present a horrible case of rapine temporal to cadena perpetua.
and near murder.
If the crime be committed against nonbelligerent subjects of
another nation at war with Spain, it shall be punished with the
On or about June 30, 1920, two boats left matuta, a Dutch
possession, for Peta, another Dutch possession. In one of the boats penalty of presidio mayor.
was one individual, a Dutch subject, and in the other boat eleven
men, women, and children, likewise subjects of Holland. After a ART. 154. Those who commit the crimes referred to in the first
number of days of navigation, at about 7 o'clock in the evening, the paragraph of the next preceding article shall suffer the penalty
second boat arrived between the Islands of Buang and Bukid in the of cadena perpetua or death, and those who commit the crimes
Dutch East Indies. There the boat was surrounded by referred to in the second paragraph of the same article,
six vintas manned by twenty-four Moros all armed. The Moros first from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua:
asked for food, but once on the Dutch boat, too for themselves all of
the cargo, attacked some of the men, and brutally violated two of
1. Whenever they have seized some vessel by
the women by methods too horrible to the described. All of the boarding or firing upon the same.
persons on the Dutch boat, with the exception of the two young
women, were again placed on it and holes were made in it, the idea
that it would submerge, although as a matter of fact, these people, 2. Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder,
after eleven days of hardship and privation, were succored violating homicide, or by any of the physical injuries specified
them, the Moros finally arrived at Maruro, a Dutch possession. Two in articles four hundred and fourteen and four
of the Moro marauder were Lol-lo, who also raped one of the hundred and fifteen and in paragraphs one and two
women, and Saraw. At Maruro the two women were able to escape. of article four hundred and sixteen.

Lol-lo and Saraw later returned to their home in South Ubian, Tawi- 3. Whenever it is accompanied by any of the offenses
Tawi, Sulu, Philippine Islands. There they were arrested and were against chastity specified in Chapter II, Title IX, of this
charged in the Court of First Instance of Sulu with the crime of book.
piracy. A demurrer was interposed by counsel de officio for the
Moros, based on the grounds that the offense charged was not 4. Whenever the pirates have abandoned any
within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, nor of any court persons without means of saving themselves.
of the Philippine Islands, and that the facts did not constitute a public
offense, under the laws in force in the Philippine Islands. After the
demurrer was overruled by the trial judge, trial was had, and a 5. In every case, the captain or skipper of the pirates.
judgment was rendered finding the two defendants guilty and
sentencing each of them to life imprisonment (cadena perpetua), to ART. 155. With respect to the provisions of this title, as well as
return together with Kinawalang and Maulanis, defendants in all others of this code, when Spain is mentioned it shall be
another case, to the offended parties, the thirty-nine sacks of copras understood as including any part of the national territory.
which had been robbed, or to indemnify them in the amount of 924
rupees, and to pay a one-half part of the costs.
ART. 156. For the purpose of applying the provisions of this
code, every person, who, according to the Constitution of the
A very learned and exhaustive brief has been filed in this court by Monarchy, has the status of a Spaniard shall be considered as
the attorney de officio. By a process of elimination, however, certain such.
questions can be quickly disposed of.
The general rules of public law recognized and acted on by the
The proven facts are not disputed. All of the elements of the crime United States relating to the effect of a transfer of territory from
of piracy are present. Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation on another State to the United States are well-known. The political law
the high seas, without lawful authority and done animo furandi, and of the former sovereignty is necessarily changed. The municipal law
in the spirit and intention of universal hostility. in so far as it is consistent with the Constitution, the laws of the
United States, or the characteristics and institutions of the
It cannot be contended with any degree of force as was done in the government, remains in force. As a corollary to the main rules, laws
lover court and as is again done in this court, that the Court of First subsisting at the time of transfer, designed to secure good order and
Instance was without jurisdiction of the case. Pirates are in peace in the community, which are strictly of a municipal character,
law hostes humani generis. Piracy is a crime not against any continue until by direct action of the new government they are
particular state but against all mankind. It may be punished in the

altered or repealed. (Chicago, Rock Islands, etc., R. Co. vs. McGlinn all religious, military, and civil officers, but only public officers in the
[1885], 114 U.S., 542.) Government of the Philippine Islands.

These principles of the public law were given specific application to Under the construction above indicated, article 153 of the Penal
the Philippines by the Instructions of President McKinley of May 19, Code would read as follows:
1898, to General Wesley Meritt, the Commanding General of the
Army of Occupation in the Philippines, when he said: The crime of piracy committed against citizens of the United
States and citizens of the Philippine Islands, or the subjects of
Though the powers of the military occupant are absolute another nation not at war with the United States, shall be
and supreme, and immediately operate upon the political punished with a penalty ranging from cadena temporal to
condition of the inhabitants, the municipal laws of the cadena perpetua.
conquered territory, such as affect private rights of person
and property, and provide for the punishment of crime, are If the crime be committed against nonbelligerent subjects of
considered as continuing in force, so far as they are another nation at war with the United States, it shall be
compatible with the new order of things, until they are punished with the penalty of presidio mayor.
suspended or superseded by the occupying belligerent;
and practice they are not usually abrogated, but are
allowed to remain in force, and to be administered by the We hold those provisions of the Penal code dealing with the crime
ordinary tribunals, substantially as they were before the of piracy, notably articles 153 and 154, to be still in force in the
occupations. This enlightened practice is so far as Philippines.
possible, to be adhered to on the present occasion.
(Official Gazette, Preliminary Number, Jan. 1, 1903, p. 1. The crime falls under the first paragraph of article 153 of the Penal
See also General Merritt Proclamation of August 14, Code in relation to article 154. There are present at least two of the
1898.) circumstances named in the last cited article as authorizing
either cadena perpetua or death. The crime of piracy was
It cannot admit of doubt that the articles of the Spanish Penal Code accompanied by (1) an offense against chastity and (2) the
dealing with piracy were meant to include the Philippine Islands. abandonment of persons without apparent means of saving
Article 156 of the Penal Code in relation to article 1 of the themselves. It is, therefore, only necessary for us to determine as to
Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, would also make the whether the penalty of cadena perpetua or death should be
provisions of the Code applicable not only to Spaniards but to imposed. In this connection, the trial court, finding present the one
Filipinos. aggravating circumstance of nocturnity, and compensating the
same by the one mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction
provided by article 11, as amended, of the Penal Code, sentenced
The opinion of Grotius was that piracy by the law of nations is the the accused to life imprisonment. At least three aggravating
same thing as piracy by the civil law, and he has never been circumstances, that the wrong done in the commission of the crime
disputed. The specific provisions of the Penal Code are similar in was deliberately augmented by causing other wrongs not necessary
tenor to statutory provisions elsewhere and to the concepts of the for its commission, that advantage was taken of superior strength,
public law. This must necessarily be so, considering that the Penal and that means were employed which added ignominy to the natural
Code finds its inspiration in this respect in the Novelas, the Partidas, effects of the act, must also be taken into consideration in fixing the
and the Novisima Recopilacion. penalty. Considering, therefore, the number and importance of the
qualifying and aggravating circumstances here present, which
The Constitution of the United States declares that the Congress cannot be offset by the sole mitigating circumstance of lack of
shall have the power to define and punish piracies and felonies instruction, and the horrible nature of the crime committed, it
committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations. becomes our duty to impose capital punishment.
(U.S. Const. Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 10.) The Congress, in putting on the
statute books the necessary ancillary legislation, provided that The vote upon the sentence is unanimous with regard to the
whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined
propriety of the imposition of the death penalty upon the defendant
by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the and appellant Lo-lo (the accused who raped on of the women), but
United States, shall be imprisoned for life. (U.S. Crim. Code, sec. is not unanimous with regard to the court, Mr. Justice Romualdez,
290; penalty formerly death: U.S. Rev. Stat., sec. 5368.) The registers his nonconformity. In accordance with provisions of Act
framers of the Constitution and the members of Congress were No. 2726, it results, therefore, that the judgment of the trial court as
content to let a definition of piracy rest on its universal conception to the defendant and appellant Saraw is affirmed, and is reversed
under the law of nations. as to the defendant and appellant Lol-lo, who is found guilty of the
crime of piracy and is sentenced therefor to be hung until dead, at
It is evident that the provisions of the Penal Code now in force in the such time and place as shall be fixed by the judge of first instance
Philippines relating to piracy are not inconsistent with the of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District. The two appellants together
corresponding provisions in force in the United States. with Kinawalang and Maulanis, defendants in another case, shall
indemnify jointly and severally the offended parties in the equivalent
of 924 rupees, and shall pay a one-half part of the costs of both
By the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippine Islands to the
instances. So ordered.
United States. A logical construction of articles of the Penal Code,
like the articles dealing with the crime of piracy, would be that
wherever "Spain" is mentioned, it should be substituted by the words Araullo, C.J., Johnson, Avanceña, Villamor, Ostrand, Johns and
"United States" and wherever "Spaniards" are mentioned, the word Romualdez, JJ., concur.
should be substituted by the expression "citizens of the United
States and citizens of the Philippine Islands." somewhat similar
reasoning led this court in the case of United States vs. Smith
([1919], 39 Phil., 533) to give to the word "authority" as found in the
Penal Code a limited meaning, which would no longer comprehend
G.R. No. L-60100 March 20, 1985

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, could have produced the death of said persons, but nevertheless
vs. did not produce it by reason or cause independent of the will of said
JAIME RODRIGUEZ alias JIMMY alias WILFRED DE LARA y accused, that is, by the timely and able medical assistance rendered
MEDRANO and RICO LOPEZ, accused-appellants. to said victims which prevented death.
G.R. No. L-60768 March 20, 1985
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
CONTRARY TO LAW, with the aggravating circumstances of
vs. treachery, evident premeditation, night time and the use of
DARIO DE REYES alias DARIO DECE RAYMUNDO y superior strength. (pp. 97-98, Rollo of L-61069)
ELAUSA, accused- appellant.
G.R. No. L-61069 March 20, l985
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, Upon arraignment on February 25, 1982, Jaime Rodriguez and Rico
vs. Lopez, assisted by their counsel, pleaded guilty to the charge, were
PETER PONCE y BULAYBULAY alias PETER POWE, accused- convicted on March 5, 1982 and sentenced each "to suffer the
appellant. extreme penalty of death."

Dario Dece Raymundo, upon arraignment, interposed a plea of not

PER CURIAM: guilty. However, he withdrew his plea and substituted it with that of
guilty. On March 10, 1982 he was convicted of the crime charged
and sentenced "to suffer the extreme penalty of death."
Appellants Jaime Rodriguez alias Jimmy alias Wilfred de Lara y
Medrano, Rico Lopez, Davao Reyes alias Dario Dece Raymundo y
Elausa and Peter Ponce y Bulaybulay alias Peter Power were Peter Ponce y Bulaybulay entered the plea of not guilty.
charged of the crime of piracy in an information filed before the then
Court of First Instance of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, which reads: After trial, he was found guilty and was also sentenced "to suffer the
extreme penalty of death."
That on or about 3:15 in the morning of August 31, 1981, at the
vicinity of Muligin Island and within the territorial waters of the No pronouncement was made with respect to the civil liabilities of
Municipality of Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi, Province of Tawi-Tawi, and the four defendants because "there was a separate civil action for
within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, the above-named breach of contract and damages filed with the same trial court in
accused Wilfred de Lara y Medrano, alias Jaime Rodriguez (Jimmy) Civil Case No. N-85 against the several defendants, including the
Dario Dece Raymundo y Elausa; Rico Lopez y Fernandez and Peter four accused aforementioned." (p. 26, L-61069)
Ponce y Bulaybulay alias Peter Power being crew members of the
M/V Noria 767, a barter trade vessel of Philippine registry,
conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one The case of the four convicted defendants is now before Us on
another and armed with bladed weapons and high caliber firearms, automatic review.
to wit: three (3) daggers, two (2) M-14, one (1) garand and one (1)
Browning Automatic Rifle, with intent of gain and by means of Evidence shows that on August 29, 1981, at about 7:30 in the
violence and intimidation upon persons, did then and there willfully evening, the vessel M/V Noria 767, owned and registered in the
and unlawfuflly, and feloniously take, steal and carry away against name of Hadji Noria Indasan left Jolo wharf for Cagayan de Tawi-
the consent of the owners thereof, the equipments and other Tawi. It arrived at the port of Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi the following
persona) properties belonging to the crew members and day, August 30, 1981, at around 2:00 in the afternoon. In the
passengers of the said M/V Noria 767, consisting of cash money evening of the same date, the vessel left for Labuan. On board the
amounting to Three Million Five Hundred Seventeen Thousand vessel were several traders and crew members. Two or three hours
Three Hundred Pesos (P3,517,300.00), personal belongings of after its departure, while sailing about 25 miles from Cagayan de
passengers and crew amounting to One Hundred Thirty Thousand Tawi-Tawi, a commotion occurred in one of the cabins of the vessel.
Pesos (P130,000.00), the vessel's compass, navigational charts
and instruments amounting to Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00)
to the damage and prejudice of the aforementioned owners in the Three witnesses testified on what they saw and heard.
THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED PESOS (P3,687,300.00) Mr. Clyde Que, a passenger, heard noises inside a cabin and, after
Philippine Currency; that by reason of and on the occasion of the awhile, he heard shots being fired. He rushed to the motor launch
said piracy and for the purpose of enabling the abovenamed to hide and on his way through the engine room, he saw appellant
accused to take, steal and carry away the properties Peter Ponce. Then appellants Jaime Rodriguez, Dario Dece and
abovementioned, the herein accused in pursuance to their Rico Lopez, all armed with rifles, started firing towards Que's
conspiracy, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously companions after which they brought Que to the pilot's house to
with intent to kill and with evident premeditation, treacherously handle the steering wheel. He was substituted by Usman, another
attack, assault, stab, shot and, taking advantage of superior passenger, while Que and the other crew members were ordered to
strength, use personal violence upon the persons of Abdusador throw overboard sacks of copra and the dead bodies of Peter
Sumihag, Vicente America, Perhan Tan, Marcos Que, Ismael Chiong, Michael Lao, Casmin Tan and Vicente America. At the time,
Turabin, Mabar Abdurahman, Wadi Aduk Rasdi Alfad, Kasmir Tan, appellant Peter Ponce, armed with a M-14 rifle, stood guard.
Peter Paul Chiong, Juaini Husini Ismael Ombra, Sabturani Ulag,
Mutalib Sarahadil, Bajubar Adam, Quillermo Wee, Reuben Segovia
Hadji Mahalail Alfad, another passenger, heard commotions from
Ho, Michael Lao, Yusop Abubakar, Hahji Hussin Kulavan, Amjad
the motor launch, followed by gunfire. He hid by laying down among
Quezon, Rebuan Majid Edgar Tan, Abdurasul Alialam Federico
the sacks of copra. He saw appellants Peter Ponce, Jaime
Canizares, Omar Tahil Gilbert Que, Arajul Salialam, Masihul
Rodriguez, Rico Lopez and Dario Dece coming down the stairs as
Bandahala, Asola Mohammaddin, Batoto Sulpicio, Sakirani Bassal,
they were firing shots until Fred Canizares and Guilbert Que were
Ibrahim Jamil, Saupi Malang and Gulam Sahiddan, thereby inflicting
hit, their bodies falling upon him. When he tried to move, he realized
upon them multiple gunshot wounds which caused their
that he was also hit on the right side of his stomach. Thereafter, he
instantaneous death and likewise causing physical injuries upon the
pretended to be dead till daytime.
persons of Inggal Issao Abduhasan Indasan Hadji Yusop H. Alfad
and Hadji Mahalail Alfad, thus performing all acts of execution which

Emil Macasaet, Jr., the skipper of the vessel heard the commotion Clearly, the penalty imposable upon persons found guilty of the
from one of the cabins. He ordered his men to open the door but it crime of piracy where rape, murder or homicide is committed is
could not be opened. After awhile, the door opened and he saw a mandatory death penalty. Thus, the lower court committed no error
gun pointed at them. Whereupon, he hid behind the bags of copra in not considering the plea of the three (3) defendants as a mitigating
until appellant Jaime Rodriguez came and fired at him. Luckily, he circumstance. Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code states that:
was not hit. He and some of his men crawled and they took cover in
the bodega of copra. While in hiding there were gunfires coming b) ART. 63. Rules for the application of indivisible penalties.—
from Dario Dece and Peter Ponce. About four (4) hours later, his In all cases in which the law prescribes a single indivisible
Chief Mate Usman persuaded him to come out otherwise something penalty, it shag be applied by the courts regardless of any
worse would happen. He saw Jaime Rodriguez who ordered him to mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have
direct his men to throw the copras as well as the dead bodies
attended the commission of the deed.

With respect to the other assigned errors, We also find them to be

About ten o'clock in the morning of the same day, the vessel devoid of merit. Appellants Peter Ponce gave a statement (Exhibits
reached an island where the four appellants were able to secure "C" to "C-11") to the Malaysian authorities and another statement
pumpboats. Macasaet was ordered to load in one of the pumpboats (Exhibits "I" to "I-15") before the National Bureau of Investigation of
nine (9) attache cases which were full of money. Rico Lopez and
Manila. When said statement (Exhibits "C" to "C-11") was offered in
Jaime Rodriguez boarded one pumpboat, while Peter Ponce and evidence by the prosecution, the same was not objected to by the
Dario Dece boarded another, bringing with them: dressed chicken,
defense, aside from the fact that Peter Ponce, on cross
softdrinks, durian, boxes of ammunitions, gallons of water and some examination, admitted the truthfulness of said declarations, thus:
meat, as well as rifles.

Q And the investigation was reduced into writing is that correct?

Municipal Health Officer Leopoldo Lao went aboard the vessel M/V
Noria when it arrived at Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi on September 2,
1981 and saw at the wharf ten dead bodies, all victims of the sea- A Yes. sir.
jacking, namely: Gulam Sahiddan, Arajul Naran Salialam, Mallang
Saupi, Guilbert Que, Frederico Canizares, Masihul Bandahala, Q And you were investigated by the police authority of Kudat
Ribowan Majid Edgar Tan, Omar Sabdani Tahir and Abdurasul and Kota Kinabalo, is that right?
A Yes, sir. Only in Kudat.
In their brief, appellants Jaime Rodriguez, Rico Lopez and Dario
Dece claim that the trial court erred (1) in imposing the death penalty
to the accused-appellants Jaime Rodriguez alias Wilfred de Lara, Q And that statement you gave to the authority at Kudat, you
Rico Lopez y Fernandez and Davao de Reyes, alias Dario Dece have signed that statement, is that correct?
Raymundo y Elausa despite their plea of guilty; (2) in giving weight
to the alleged sworn statements of Peter Ponce y Bulaybulay, A Yes, sir.
Identified as Exhibits "C" to "C-10" and Exhibits "I to I-5", as
evidence against Peter Ponce y Bulaybulay; (3) in holding that
accused-appellant Peter Ponce y Bulaybulay is guilty of the crime Q And what you stated is all the truth before the authority in
of piracy; (4) in holding that the defense of Peter Ponce y Bulaybulay Kudat?
was merely a denial; and, (5) in holding that Peter Ponce y
Bulaybulay entrusted the P1,700.00 which was his personal money A Yes, sir. (pp. 33-34, tsn, May 28, 1982)
to Atty. Efren Capulong of the National Bureau of Investigation.
Relative to the appeal of appellant Peter Ponce (G.R. No. L-61069),
There is no merit in this appeal of the three named defendants, which We likewise declare to be without merit, evidence shows that
namely: Jaime Rodriguez and Rico Lopez in G.R. No. L-60100, and his participation in the commission of the offense was positively
Dario Dece in G.R. No. L-60768. testified to by the master of the vessel, Emil Macasaet, Jr., and a
passenger, Hadji Mahalail Alfad. Another witness, passenger Clyde
Anent the first assigned error, suffice it to say that Presidential Que also pointed to have seen him (Peter Ponce) armed with an M-
Decree No. 532, otherwise known as the Anti-Piracy Law, amending 14 rifle.
Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code and which took effect on
August 8, 1974, provides: Considering the testimonies of Clyde Que and Emil Macasaet, Jr.
who actually saw appellant Peter Ponce firing his weapon
SEC. 3. Penalties.—Any person who commits piracy or indiscriminately at the passengers and crew members in wanton
highway robbery/brigandage as herein defined, shall, disregard of human lives and the fact that after the looting and
upon conviction by competent court be punished by: killing, appellant Peter Ponce, still armed, joined Dario Dece in one
pumpboat, there can be no question that he was in conspiracy with
the three other defendants. After his arrest, Ponce gave a statement
a) Piracy.—The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium and to the authorities stating therein his participation as well as those of
maximum periods shall be imposed. If physical injuries or other his companions (Exhibits "I" to "I-1").
crimes are committed as a result or on the occasion thereof,
the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed. If rape,
murder or no homocide is committed as a result or on the The four (4) appellants were arrested and detained by the Malaysian
occasion of piracy, or when the offenders abandoned the authorities. On January 8, 1982, the National Bureau of
victims without means of saving themselves, or when the Investigation authorities fetched and brought them to Manila where
seizure is accomplished by firing upon or boarding a vessel, they executed their respective statements after Rico Lopez and
the mandatory penalty of death shall be imposed. (Emphasis Peter Ponce delivered to the NBI, P3,700.00 and P1,700.00,
supplied) respectively, aside from the P527,595.00 and one Rolex watch

which the Malaysian authorities also turned over to the Acting In-
Charge of the NBI in Jolo.

The statement of Ponce (Exhibit " I ") contains the questions and
answers pertinent to Section 20 of the 1973 Constitution, to wit:

l. QUESTION: Mr. Peter Ponce, we are informing you that you

are under investigation here in connection with the robbery
committed on the M/V Noria last August 31, 1981, where you
are an Assistant Engineer. You have a right to remain silent
and to refuse to answer any of our questions here. You have
the right to be represented by counsel of your choice in this
investigation. Should you decide to be represented by a lawyer
but cannot afford one we will provide a lawyer for you free.
Should you decide to give a sworn statement, the same shall
be voluntary and free from force or intimidation or promise of
reward or leniency and anything that you saw here maybe used
for or against you in any court in the Philippines. Now do you
understand an these rights of yours?

ANSWER: Yes, sir.

2. Q: Do you need the services of a lawyer?

A: No, sir.

3. Q: Are you willing to affix your signature hereinbelow to

signify that you so understand all your rights as above stated
and that you do not need the services of a lawyer?

A: Yes, sir. (p. 11 6, Rollo)

Thus, it is clear that Peter Ponce was fully advised of his

constitutional right to remain silent and his right to counsel.

Considering the written statements of all the appellants, (Exhibits

"E", "F", "G", "H", "J" and "K"), interlocking as they are with each
other as each admits his participation and those of the other co-
accused, there is no room for doubt that conspiracy existed among
them. The conduct of appellant

Peter Ponce before, during and after the commission of the crime is
a circumstance showing the presence of conspiracy in the
commission of the crime. As a consequence, every one is
responsible for the crime committed.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED.


Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Abad Santos, Melencio-

Herrera, Plana, Escolin Relova, Gutierrez, Jr., De la Fuente, Cuevas
and Alampay JJ., concur.

Fernando, C.J., took no part,


G.R. No. L-57292 February 18, 1986 WHEREFORE, in view of the fore going
considerations, this Court finds the accused
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, Omar-kayam Kiram and Julaide Siyoh guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
Qualified Piracy with Triple Murder and
vs. Frustrated Murder as defined and penalized
JULAIDE SIYOH, OMAR-KAYAM KIRAM, NAMLI INDANAN and under the provision of Presidential Decree No.
ANDAW JAMAHALI, accused-appellants. 532, and hereby sentences each one of them to
suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH. However,
ABAD SANTOS, J.: considering the provision of Section 106 of the
Code of Mindanao and Sulu, the illiteracy or
ignorance or extreme poverty of the accused
This is an automatic review of the decision of the defunct Court of who are members of the cultural minorities,
First Instance of Basilan, Judge Jainal D. Rasul as ponente, under a regime of so called compassionate
imposing the death penalty. society, a commutation to life imprisonment is
recommended. (Id, p. 130.)
In Criminal Case No. 318 of the aforesaid court, JULAIDE SIYOH,
OMARKAYAM KIRAM, NAMLI INDANAN and ANDAW JAMAHALI In their appeal, Siyoh and Kiram make only one assignment of error:
were accused of qualified piracy with triple murder and frustrated
murder said to have been committed according to the information
That on or about the 14th day of July, 1979, and JULAIDE SIYOH HAS BEEN PROVED
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. (Brief, p. 8.)
viz., at Mataja Is., Municipality of Lantawan,
Province of Basilan, Philippines, the above
named accused, being strangers and without The People's version of the facts is as follows:
lawful authority, armed with firearms and taking
advantage of their superior strength, conspiring Alberto Aurea was a businessman engaged in
and confederating together, aiding and assisting selling dry goods at the Larmitan Public Market,
one with the other, with intent to gain and by the in the province of Basilan (pp. 2-3, tsn). On July
use of violence or intimidation against persons 7, 1979 and on July 10, 1979, Antonio de
and force upon things, did then and there Guzman, Danilo Hiolen, Rodolfo de Castro and
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, fire their Anastacio de Guzman received goods from his
guns into the air and stop the pumpboat wherein store consisting of mosquito nets, blankets, wrist
Rodolfo de Castro, Danilo Hiolen, Anastacio de watch sets and stereophono with total value of
Guzman and Antonio de Guzman were riding, P15,000 more or less (pp. 4-6, tsn). The goods
traveling at that time from the island of Baluk- were received under an agreement that they
Baluk towards Pilas, boarded the said pumpboat would be sold by the above-named persons and
and take, steal and carry away all their cash thereafter they would pay the value of said
money, wrist watches, stereo sets, merchandise goods to Aurea and keep part of the profits for
and other personal belongings amounting to the themselves. However these people neither paid
total amount of P 18,342.00, Philippine the value of the goods to Aurea nor returned the
Currency; that the said accused, on the occasion goods to him (pp. 6-7, tsn). On July 15, 1979,
of the crime herein above-described, taking Aurea was informed by Antonio de Guzman that
advantage that the said victims were at their his group was held up near Baluk- Baluk Island
mercy, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and that his companions were hacked (p. 8, tsn).
and feloniously, with intent to kill, ordered them On July 16, 1979, the bodies of Rodolfo de
to jump into the water, whereupon, the said Castro, Danilo Hiolen and Anastacio de Guzman
accused, fired their guns at them which caused were brought by the PC seaborne patrol to
the death of Rodolfo de Castro, Danilo Hiolen, Isabela, Basilan (pp. 17-18, 29, tsn). Only
Anastacio de Guzman and wounding one Antonio de Guzman survived the incident that
Antonio de Guzman; thus the accused have caused the death of his companions.
performed all the acts of execution which would
have produced the crime of Qualified Piracy with
Quadruple Murder, but which, nevertheless, did It appears that on July 10, 1979, Antonio de
Guzman together with his friends who were also
not produce it by reasons of causes in
dependent of their will, that is, said Antonio de travelling merchants like him, were on their way
to Pilas Island, Province of Basilan, to sell the
Guzman was able to swim to the shore and hid
himself, and due to the timely medical goods they received from Alberto Aurea. The
assistance rendered to said victim, Antonio de goods they brought with them had a total value
Guzman which prevented his death. of P18,000.00 (pp- 36-37, tsn). They left for Pilas
(Expediente, pp. 1-2.) Island at 2:00 p.m. of July 10, 1979 on a
pumpboat. They took their dinner and slept that
night in the house of Omar-kayam Kiram at Pilas
An order of arrest was issued against all of the accused but only Island (pp. 37-38, tsn).
Julaide Siyoh and Omar-kayam Kiram were apprehended. (Id, p. 8.)
The following day, July 11, 1979, de Guzman's
After trial, the court a quo rendered a decision with the following group, together with Kiram and Julaide Siyoh,
dispositive portion. started selling their goods, They were able to sell

goods worth P 3,500.00. On July 12, 1979, the he received first aid treatment. Later he was
group, again accompanied by Kiram and Siyoh, brought to the J.S. Alano Memorial Hospital at
went to sell their goods at another place, Isabela, Basilan province (pp. 66-68, tsn).
Sangbay, where they sold goods worth P
12,000.00 (pp. 40-42, tsn). They returned to On July 15, 1979, while waiting for the dead
Pilas Island at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon and bodies of his companions at the wharf, de
again slept at Kiram's house. However that night Guzman saw Siyoh and Kiram. He pointed them
Kiram did not sleep in his house, and upon out to the PC and the two were arrested before
inquiry the following day when Antonio de they could run. When arrested, Kiram was
Guzman saw him, Kiram told the former that he wearing the pants he took from de Guzman and
slept at the house of Siyoh.
de Guzman had to ask Pat. Bayabas at the
Provincial Jail to get back his pants from Kiram
On that day, July 13, 1979, the group of Antonio (pp. 69-72, tsn).
de Guzman went to Baluk-Baluk, a place
suggested by Kiram. They were able to sell Antonio de Guzman was physically examined at
goods worth P3,000.00 (pp. 43-46, tsn). They the J.S. Alano Memorial Hospital at Isabela,
returned to Pilas Island for the night but Kiram
Basilan and findings showed: 'gunshot wound,
did not sleep with them (p. 47, tsn). scapular area, bilateral, tangenital' (Exh. C,
prosecution). (pp. 134-136, tsn). Dr. Jaime M.
The following day, July 14, 1979, the group Junio, Provincial Health Officer of Basilan,
again went to Baluk-Baluk accompanied by examined the dead bodies of Rodolfo de Castro
Kiram and Siyoh (pp. 48, 50 t.s.n), They used and Danilo Hiolen and issued the corresponding
the pumpboat of Kiram. Kiram and Siyoh were at death certificates (Exhs. D and E, prosecution).
that time armed with 'barongs'. They arrived at (pp. 137-138; 140-141, tsn). (Brief, pp. 5-11.)
Baluk-Baluk at about 10:00 o'clock in the
morning and upon arrival at the place Kiram and As can be seen from the lone assignment of error, the issue is the
Siyoh going ahead of the group went to a house credibility of witnesses. Who should be believed Antonio de
about 15 meters away from the place where the Guzman who was the lone prosecution eye-witness or Siyoh and
group was selling its goods (pp. 50-53, tsn). Kiram the accused-appellants who claims that they were also the
Kiram and Siyoh were seen by the group talking
victims of the crime? The trial court which had the opportunity of
with two persons whose faces the group saw but observing the demeanor of the witnesses and how they testified
could not recognize (pp. 53-54, tsn). After selling
assigned credibility to the former and an examination of the record
their goods, the members of the group, together does not reveal any fact or circumstance of weight and influence
with Kiram and Siyoh, prepared to return to Pilas
which was overlooked or the significance of which was
Island. They rode on a pumpboat where Siyoh misinterpreted as would justify a reversal of the trial court's
positioned himself at the front while Kiram determination. Additionally, the following claims of the appellants
operated the engine. On the way to Pilas Island, are not convincing:
Antonio de Guzman saw another pumpboat
painted red and green about 200 meters away
from their pumpboat (pp. 55, tsn). Shortly after" 1. That if they were the culprits they could have easily robbed their
Kiram turned off the engine of their pumpboat. victims at the Kiram house or on any of the occasions when they
Thereafter two shots were fired from the other were travelling together. Suffice it to say that robbing the victims at
pumpboat as it moved towards them (pp. 57-58, Kiram's house would make Kiram and his family immediately
tsn). There were two persons on the other suspect and robbing the victims before they had sold all their goods
pumpboat who were armed with armantes. De would be premature. However, robbing and killing the victims while
Guzman recognized them to be the same at sea and after they had sold all their goods was both timely and
persons he saw Kiram conversing with in a provided safety from prying eyes.
house at Baluk-Baluk Island. When the boat
came close to them, Kiram threw a rope to the 2. That the accused immediately reported the incident to the PC.
other pumpboat which towed de Guzman's The record does not support this assertion. For as the prosecution
pumpboat towards Mataja Island. On the way to stated: "It is of important consequence to mention that the witness
Mataja Island, Antonio de Guzman and his presented by the defense are all from Pilas Island and friends of the
companions were divested of their money and accused. They claimed to be members of retrieving team for the
their goods by Kiram (pp. 59-61, tsn). Thereafter dead bodies but no PC soldiers were ever presented to attest this
Kiram and his companions ordered the group of fact. The defense may counter why the prosecution also failed to
de Guzman to undress. Taking fancy on the present the Maluso Police Daily Event book? This matter has been
pants of Antonio de Guzman, Kiram put it on. brought by Antonio not to the attention of the PC or Police but to an
With everybody undressed, Kiram said 'It was army detachment. The Army is known to have no docket book, so
good to kill all of you'. After that remark, Siyoh why take the pain in locating the army soldiers with whom the report
hacked Danilo Hiolen while Kiram hacked was made? (Memorandum, p. 7.) And Judge Rasul also makes this
Rodolfo de Castro. Antonio de Guzman jumped observation: "..., this Court is puzzled, assuming the version of the
into the water. As he was swimming away from defense to be true, why the lone survivor Antonio de Guzman as
the pumpboat, the two companions of Kiram having been allegedly helped by the accused testified against them.
fired at him, injuring his back (pp. 62-65, tsn). But Indeed, no evidence was presented and nothing can be inferred
he was able to reach a mangrove where he from the evidence of the defense so far presented showing reason
stayed till nightfall. When he left the mangrove, why the lone survivor should pervert the truth or fabricate or
he saw the dead bodies of Anastacio de manufacture such heinous crime as qualified piracy with triple
Guzman, Danilo Hiolen and Rodolfo de Castro. murders and frustrated murder? The point which makes us doubt
He was picked up by a fishing boat and brought the version of the defense is the role taken by the PC to whom the
to the Philippine Army station at Maluso where report was allegedly made by the accused immediately after the

commission of the offense. Instead of helping the accused, the PC WHEREFORE, finding the decision under review to be in accord
law enforcement agency in Isabela, perhaps not crediting the report with both the facts and the law, it is affirmed with the following
of the accused or believing in the version of the report made by the modifications: (a) for lack of necessary votes the penalty imposed
lone survivor Antonio de Guzman, acted consistently with the latter's shall be reclusion perpetua; and (b) each of the appellants shall pay
report and placed the accused under detention for investigation." in solidum to the heirs of each of the deceased indemnity in the
(Expediente, pp. 127-128.) amount of P30,000.00. No special pronouncement as to costs.

3. That the affidavits of Dolores de Guzman, wife of the deceased SO ORDERED.

Anastacio de Guzman, and Primitiva de Castro, wife of the
deceased Rodolfo de Castro, state that Antonio de Guzman
informed them shortly after the incident that their husbands were
killed by the companions of Siyoh and Kiram. The thrust of the
appellants' claim, therefore, is that Namli Indanan and Andaw
Jamahali were the killers and not the former. But this claim is
baseless in the face of the proven conspiracy among the accused
for as Judge Rasul has stated:

It is believed that conspiracy as alleged in the

information is sufficiently proved in this case. In
fact the following facts appear to have been
established to show clearly conspiracy: A) On
July 14, 1979, while peddling, the survivor-
witness Tony de Guzman noticed that near the
window of a dilapidated house, both accused
were talking to two (2) armed strange-looking
men at Baluk-Baluk Island; B) When the
pumpboat was chased and overtaken, the
survivor-witness Tony de Guzman recognized
their captors to be the same two (2) armed
strangers to whom the two accused talked in
Baluk- Baluk Island near the dilapidated house;
C) The two accused, without order from the two
armed strangers transferred the unsold goods to
the captors' banca; D) That Tony de Guzman
and companion peddlers were divested of their
jewelries and cash and undressed while the two
accused remained unharmed or not molested.
These concerted actions on their part prove
conspiracy and make them equally liable for the
same crime (People vs. Pedro, 16 SCRA 57;
People vs. lndic 10 SCRA 130). The
convergence of the will of the conspirators in the
scheming and execution of the crime amply
justifies the imputation of all of them the act of
any of them (People vs. Peralta, 25 SCRA, 759).
(Id., pp. 128-129.)

4. That there is no evidence Anastacio de Guzman was killed

together with Rodolfo de Castro and Danilo Hiolen because his
remains were never recovered. There is no reason to suppose that
Anastacio de Guzman is still alive or that he died in a manner
different from his companions. The incident took place on July 14,
1979 and when the trial court decided the case on June 8, 1981
Anastacio de Guzman was still missing. But the number of persons
killed on the occasion of piracy is not material. P.D. No. 532
considers qualified piracy, i.e. rape, murder or homicide is
committed as a result or on the occasion of piracy, as a special
complex crime punishable by death regardless of the number of

5. That the death certificates are vague as to the nature of the

injuries sustained by the victims; were they hacked wounds or
gunshot wounds? The cause of death stated for Rodolfo de Castro
and Danilo Hiolen is: "Hemorrhage due to hacked wounds, possible
gunshot wounds." (Exhs. D and E.) The cause is consistent with the
testimony of Antonio de Guzman that the victims were hacked; that
the appellants were armed with "barongs" while Indanan and
Jamahali were armed with armalites.

G.R. No. 81567 July 9, 1990 Efren H. Mercado for petitioner in G.R. No. 83162.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS Banzuela, Flores, Miralles, Raneses, Sy, Taquio & Association for
OF ROBERTO UMIL, ROLANDO DURAL and RENATO petitioner in G.R. No. 85727.
FELICITAS V. SESE, petitioners,
Josefina G. Campbell-Castillo for petitioners in G.R. No. 86332.
RAMON MONTANO, BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER The Solicitor General for the respondents.
AGUIRRE, respondents.
G.R. Nos. 84581-82 July 9, 1990
The are eight (8) petitioners for habeas corpus filed before the
AMELIA ROQUE and WILFREDO BUENAOBRA, petitioners, Court, which have been consolidated because of the similarity of
vs. issues raised, praying for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus,
GEN. RENATO DE VILLA and GEN. RAMON ordering the respective respondents to produce the bodies of the
MONTANO, respondents. persons named therein and to explain why they should not be set at
liberty without further delay.
G.R. Nos. 84583-84 July 9, 1990
In their respective Returns, the respondents uniformly assert that
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is not available to the
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS petitioners as they have been legally arrested and are detained by
OF ATTY. DOMINGO T. ANONUEVO and RAMON CASIPLE. virtue of valid informations filed in court against them.
HON. FIDEL V. RAMOS, GEN. RENATO S. DE VILLA, COL. The petitioners counter that their detention is unlawful as their
EVARISTO CARINO, LT. COL. REX D. PIAD, T/SGT. CONRADO arrests were made without warrant and, that no preliminary
DE TORRES, S/SGT. ARNOLD DURIAN, and Commanding investigation was first conducted, so that the informations filed
Officer, PC-INP Detention Center, Camp Crame, Quezon against them are null and void.
City, respondents.
The Court has carefully reviewed the contentions of the parties in
G.R. No. 83162 July 9, 1990 their respective pleadings, and it finds that the persons detained
have not been illegally arrested nor arbitrarily deprived of their
constitutional right to liberty, and that the circumstances attending
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION FOR HABEAS these cases do not warrant their release on habeas corpus.
VIRGILIO A. OCAYA, petitioner,
vs. The arrest of a person without a warrant of arrest or previous
BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, COL. HERCULES complaint is recognized in law. The occasions or instances when
CATALUNA, COL. NESTOR MARIANO, respondents. such an arrest may be effected are clearly spelled out in Section 5,
Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, as amended, which provides:
G.R. No. 85727 July 9, 1990
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. — A peace officer or a
private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
vs. (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed,
BRIG. GEN. ALFREDO S. LIM, COL. RICARDO is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
REYES, respondents.
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has
G.R. No. 86332 July 9, 1990 personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested
has committed it; and
OF NARCISO B. NAZARENO. ALFREDO (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped
NAZARENO, petitioner, from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final
vs. judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has
THE STATION COMMANDER OF THE MUNTINGLUPA POLICE escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
STATION, Muntinglupa, Metro Manila, P/SGT. JACINTO
MEDINA, P/SGT. ELADIO TAGLE, P/SGT. LEVI SOLEDAD, and In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person
P/SGT. MAURO AROJADO, respondents. arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest
police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in
Efren H. Mercado for petitioners in G.R. No. 81567. accordance with Rule 112, Section 7.

Ricardo C. Valmonte for petitioners in G.R. Nos. 84581-82. An arrest without a warrant of arrest, under Section 5 paragraphs
(a) and (b) of Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, as amended, is justified
when the person arrested is caught in flagranti delicto, viz., in the
Ramon S. Esguerra, Barbara Anne C. Migallos and Agripino G. act of committing an offense; or when an offense has just been
Morga for petitioners in G.R. Nos. 84583-84.
committed and the person making the arrest has personal

knowledge of the facts indicating that the person arrested has As to Rolando Dural, it clearly appears that he was not arrested
committed it. The rationale behind lawful arrests, without warrant, while in the act of shooting the two (2) CAPCOM soldiers
was stated by this Court in the case of People vs. Kagui aforementioned. Nor was he arrested just after the commission of
Malasugui 1 thus: the said offense for his arrest came a day after the said shooting
incident. Seemingly, his arrest without warrant is unjustified.
To hold that no criminal can, in any case, be arrested and searched
for the evidence and tokens of his crime without a warrant, would be However, Rolando Dural was arrested for being a member of the
to leave society, to a large extent, at the mercy of the shrewdest, New Peoples Army (NPA), an outlawed subversive organization.
the most expert, and the most depraved of criminals, facilitating their Subversion being a continuing offense, the arrest of Rolando Dural
escape in many instances. without warrant is justified as it can be said that he was committing
an offense when arrested. The crimes of rebellion, subversion,
conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes or
The record of the instant cases would show that the persons in
whose behalf these petitions for habeas corpus have been filed, had offenses committed in furtherance thereof or in connection therewith
freshly committed or were actually committing an offense, when constitute direct assaults against the State and are in the nature
apprehended, so that their arrests without a warrant were clearly of continuing crimes. As stated by the Court in an earlier case:
justified, and that they are, further, detained by virtue of valid
informations filed against them in court. From the facts as above-narrated, the claim of the petitioners that
they were initially arrested illegally is, therefore, without basis in law
A brief narration of the facts and events surrounding each of the and in fact. The crimes of insurrection or rebellion, subversion,
eight (8) petitions is in order. conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and other crimes and
offenses committed in the furtherance, on the occasion thereof, or
incident thereto, or in connection therewith under Presidential
I Proclamation No. 2045, are all in the nature of continuing offenses
which set them apart from the common offenses, aside from their
In G.R. No. 81567 (Umil vs. Ramos), the record shows that, on 1 essentially involving a massive conspiracy of nationwide magnitude.
February 1988, the Regional Intelligence Operations Unit of the Clearly then, the arrest of the herein detainees was well within the
Capital Command (RIOU-CAPCOM) received confidential bounds of the law and existing jurisprudence in our jurisdiction.
information about a member of the NPA Sparrow Unit (liquidation
squad) being treated for a gunshot wound at the St. Agnes Hospital 2. The arrest of persons involved in the rebellion whether as its
in Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City. Upon verification, it was found fighting armed elements, or for committing non-violent acts but in
that the wounded person, who was listed in the hospital records as furtherance of the rebellion, is more an act of capturing them in the
Ronnie Javelon, is actually Rolando Dural, a member of the NPA course of an armed conflict, to quell the rebellion, than for the
liquidation squad, responsible for the killing of two (2) CAPCOM purpose of immediately prosecuting them in court for a statutory
soldiers the day before, or on 31 January 1988, in Macanining offense. The arrest, therefore, need not follow the usual procedure
Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. In view of this verification, in the prosecution of offenses which requires the determination by
Rolando Dural was transferred to the Regional Medical Services of a judge of the existence of probable cause before the issuance of a
the CAPCOM, for security reasons. While confined thereat, or on 4 judicial warrant of arrest and the granting of bail if the offense is
February 1988, Rolando Dural was positively identified by bailable. Obviously, the absence of a judicial warrant is no legal
eyewitnesses as the gunman who went on top of the hood of the impediment to arresting or capturing persons committing overt acts
CAPCOM mobile patrol car, and fired at the two (2) CAPCOM of violence against government forces, or any other milder acts but
soldiers seated inside the car identified as T/Sgt. Carlos Pabon and equally in pursuance of the rebellious movement. The arrest or
CIC Renato Manligot. capture is thus impelled by the exigencies of the situation that
involves the very survival of society and its government and duly
As a consequence of this positive identification, Rolando Dural was constituted authorities. If killing and other acts of violence against
referred to the Caloocan City Fiscal who conducted an inquest and the rebels find justification in the exigencies of armed hostilities
thereafter filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an which is of the essence of waging a rebellion or insurrection, most
information charging Rolando Dural alias Ronnie Javelon with the assuredly so in case of invasion, merely seizing their persons and
crime of "Double Murder with Assault Upon Agents of Persons in detaining them while any of these contingencies continues cannot
Authority." The case was docketed therein as Criminal Case No. C- be less justified. . . . 3
30112 and no bail was recommended. On 15 February 1988, the
information was amended to include, as defendant, Bernardo Itucal, The record, moreover, shows that the criminal case filed
Jr. who, at the filing of the original information, was still unidentified. against Rolando Dural and Bernardo Itucal, Jr. for "Double Murder,
etc." was tried in the court below and at the conclusion thereof, or
Meanwhile, on 6 February 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was on 17 August 1988, Rolando Dural and Bernardo Itucal, Jr. were
filed with this Court on behalf of Roberto Umil, Rolando Dural, found guilty of the charge and sentenced accordingly. Rolando
and Renato Villanueva. The Court issued the writ of habeas Dural is now serving the sentence imposed upon him by the trial
corpus on 9 February 1988 and the respondents filed a Return of court. Thus, the writ of habeas corpus is no longer available to him.
the Writ on 12 February 1988. Thereafter, the parties were heard on For, as held in the early case of U.S. vs. Wilson: 4
15 February 1988.
In this case, whatever may be said about the manner of his arrest,
On 26 February 1988, however, Roberto Umil and Renato the fact remains that the defendant was actually in court in the
Villanueva posted bail before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City custody of the law on March 29, when a complaint sufficient in form
where charges for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act had been and substance was read to him. To this he pleaded not guilty. The
filed against them, and they were accordingly released. The petition trial followed, in which, and in the judgment of guilty pronounced by
for habeas corpus, insofar as Umil and Villanueva are concerned, is the court, we find no error. Whether, if there were irregularities in
now moot and academic and is accordingly dismissed, since the writ bringing him personally before the court, he could have been
of habeas corpus does not lie in favor of an accused in a criminal released on a writ of habeas corpus or now has a civil action for
case who has been released on bail. 2 damages against the person who arrested him we need not inquire.
It is enough to say that such irregularities are not sufficient to set

aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint and Headquarters for investigation. When questioned, he refused to give
after a trial free from error. a written statement, although he admitted that he was a staff
member of the executive committee of the NUFC and a ranking
member of the International Department of the Communist Party of
the Philippines (CPP).

In G.R. Nos. 84581-82 (Roque vs. De Villa), the arrest of Amelia

Roque and Wilfredo Buenaobra, without warrant, is also justified. At about 8:00 o'clock in the evening of the same day (12 August
1988), Wilfredo Buenaobra arrived at the house of Renato
When apprehended at the house of Renato Constantino in Marikina
Heights, Marikina, Metro Manila, Wilfredo Buenaobra admitted that Constantino in the Villaluz Compound. When accosted, he
he was an NPA courier and he had with him letters to Renato readily admitted to the military agents that he is a regular member
Constantino and other members of the rebel group. Amelia Roque, of the CPP/NPA and that he went to the place to deliver letters to
upon the other hand, was a member of the National United Front "Ka Mong", referring to Renato Constatino, and other members of
Commission, in charge of finance, and admitted ownership of the rebel group. On further questioning, he also admitted that he is
subversive documents found in the house of her sister in Caloocan known as "Ka Miller" and that he was from Barangay San Pedro,
City. She was also in possession of ammunition and a fragmentation Lopez, Quezon. Among the items taken from him were the following:
grenade for which she had no permit or authority to possess.
(1) Handwritten letter addressed to "Ka Bing & Co. from A & Co."
dated August 11, 1988;
The record of these two (2) cases shows that on 27 June 1988, one
Rogelio Ramos y Ibanes, a member of the NPA, who had
surrendered to the military authorities, told military agents about the (2) Handwritten letter addressed to "ROD from VIC (Schell datre)"
operations of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the dated August 11, 1988;
New Peoples Army (NPA) in Metro Manila. He identified some of his
former comrades as "Ka Mong", a staff member of the (3) Handwritten letter addressed to "Suzie" from "Vic", dated August
Communications and Transportation Bureau; "Ka Nelia", a staff 11, 1988.
member in charge of finance; "Ka Miller", an NPA courier from
Sorsogon and Lopez, Quezon; "Ka Ted", and "Ka Totoy". He also
pointed to a certain house occupied by Renato Constantino located Also found Buenaobra's possession was a piece of paper containing
in the Villaluz Compound, Molave St., Marikina Heights, Marikina, a written but jumbled telephone number of Florida M. Roque, sister
Metro Manila, which is used as a safehouse of the National United of Amelia Roque alias "Ka Nelia", at 69 Geronimo St., Caloocan
Front Commission (NUFC) of the CPP-NPA. City. Acting on the lead provided as to the whereabouts of Amelia
Roque, the military agents went to the given address the next day
(13 August 1988). They arrived at the place at about 11:00 o'clock
In view of these revelations, the Constantino house was placed in the morning. After identifying themselves as military agents and
under military surveillance and on 12 August 1988, pursuant to a after seeking permission to search the place, which was granted,
search warrant issued by Judge Eutropio Migrino of the Regional the military agents conducted a search in the presence of the
Trial Court of Pasig, a search of the house was conducted at about occupants of the house and the barangay captain of the place, one
5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, by a combined team of the Criminal Jesus D. Olba.
Investigation Service, National Capital District (CIS-NCD) and the
Constabulary Security Group (CSG). In the course of the search,
the following articles were found and taken under proper receipt: The military agents found the place to be another safehouse of the
NUFC/CPP. They found ledgers, journals, vouchers, bank deposit
books, folders, computer diskettes, and subversive documents as
a) One (1) Colt M16A1 long rifle with defaced serial number; well as live ammunition for a .38 SPL Winchester, 11 rounds of live
ammunition for a cal. .45, 19 rounds of live ammunition for an M16
b) One (1) Cal. .380 ACT/9mm Model PPK/8 SN: 260577 & Rifle, and a fragmentation grenade. As a result, Amelia Roque and
2605778; the other occupants of the house were brought to the PC-CIS
Headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City, for investigation.
c) Two (2) fragmentation hand grenades; Amelia Roque admitted to the investigators that the voluminous
documents belonged to her and that the other occupants of the
house had no knowledge of them. As a result, the said other
d) Fifty-six (56) live ammunition for Cal. 5.56 mm; occupants of the house were released from custody.

e) Five (5) live ammunition for Cal. .380; On 15 August 1988, Amelia Roque was brought to the Caloocan
City Fiscal for inquest after which an information charging her with
f) One (1) ICOM VHF FM Radio Transciever SN: 14903 violation of PD 1866 was filed with the Regional Trial Court of
Caloocan City. The case is docketed therein as Criminal Case No.
C-1196. Another information for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act
g) One (1) Regulated power supply 220V AC; was filed against Amelia Roque before the Metropolitan Trial Court
of Caloocan City, which is docketed therein as Criminal Case No.
h) One (1) Antennae (adjustable); C-150458.

i) One (1) Speaker with cord ALEXAR; An information for violation of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed
against Wilfredo Buenaobra before the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Marikina, Metro Manila. The case is docketed therein as Criminal
j) Voluminous Subversive documents. Case No. 23715. Bail was set at P4,000.00.

When confronted, Renato Constatino could not produce any permit On 24 August 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed before
or authority to possess the firearms, ammunition, radio and other this Court on behalf of Amelia Roque and Wilfredo Buenaobra. At
communications equipment. Hence, he was brought to the CIS the hearing of the case, however, Wilfredo Buenaobra manifested

his desire to stay in the PC-INP Stockade at Camp Crame, Quezon The petitioners' (Anonuevo and Casiple) claim that they were
City. According, the petition for habeas corpus filed on his behalf is unlawfully arrested because there was no previous warrant of
now moot and academic. Only the petition of Amelia Roque remains arrest, is without merit The record shows that Domingo Anonuevo
for resolution. and Ramon Casiple were carrying unlicensed firearms and
ammunition in their person when they were apprehended.
The contention of respondents that petitioners Roque and
Buenaobra are officers and/or members of the National United Front There is also no merit in the contention that the informations filed
Commission (NUFC) of the CPP was not controverted or traversed against them are null and void for want of a preliminary investigation.
by said petitioners. The contention must be deemed admitted. 5 As The filing of an information, without a preliminary investigation
officers and/or members of the NUFC-CPP, their arrest, without having been first conducted, is sanctioned by the Rules. Sec. 7,
warrant, was justified for the same reasons earlier stated vis-a- Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, as amended, reads:
vis Rolando Dural. The arrest without warrant of Roque was
additionally justified as she was, at the time of apprehension, in Sec. 7. When accused lawfully arrested without a warrant. — When
possession of ammunitions without license to possess them. a person is lawfully arrested without a warrant for an offense
cognizable by the Regional Trial Court the complaint or information
III may be filed by the offended party, peace officer or fiscal without a
preliminary investigation having been first conducted, on the basis
of the affidavit of the offended party or arresting officer or person.
In G.R. Nos. 84583-84 (Anonuevo vs. Ramos), the arrest
of Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, without warrant, is also
justified under the rules. Both are admittedly members of the However, before the filing of such complaint or information, the
standing committee of the NUFC and, when apprehended in the person arrested may ask for a preliminary investigation by a proper
house of Renato Constatino, they had a bag containing subversive officer in accordance with this Rule, but he must sign a waiver of the
materials, and both carried firearms and ammunition for which they provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended,
had no license to possess or carry. with the assistance of a lawyer and in case of non-availability of a
lawyer, a responsible person of his choice. Notwithstanding such
The record of these two (2) cases shows that at about 7:30 o'clock waiver, he may apply for bail as provided in the corresponding rule
and the investigation must be terminated within fifteen (15) days
in the evening of 13 August 1988, Domingo T. Anonuevo and
Ramon Casiple arrived at the house of Renato Constatino at from its inception.
Marikina Heights, Marikina, which was still under surveillance by
military agents. The military agents noticed bulging objects on their If the case has been filed in court without a preliminary investigation
waist lines. When frisked, the agents found them to be loaded guns. having been first conducted, the accused may within five (5) days
Anonuevo and Casiple were asked to show their permit or license from the time he learns of the filing of the information, ask for a
to possess or carry firearms and ammunition, but they could not preliminary investigation with the same right to adduced evidence in
produce any. Hence, they were brought to PC Headquarters for his favor in the manner prescribed in this Rule.
investigation. Found in their possession were the following articles:
The petitioners Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, however,
a) Voluminous subversive documents refused to sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended. In the informations filed against
them, the prosecutor made identical certifications, as follows:
b) One (1) Cal. 7.65 MOD 83 2C Pistol SN: 001412 with one (1)
magazine for Cal. 7.65 containing ten (10) live ammunition of same
caliber; This is to certify that the accused has been charged in accordance
with Sec. 7, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, that
no preliminary investigation was conducted because the accused
c) One (1) Cal. 7.65 Pietro Barreta SN; A18868 last digit tampered
with one (1) magazine containing five (5) live ammunition of same has not made and signed a waiver of the provisions of Art. 125 of
caliber. the Revised Penal Code, as amended; that based on the evidence
presented, there is reasonable ground to believe that the crime has
been committed, and that the accused is probably guilty thereof.
At the PC Stockade, Domingo Anonuevo was identified as "Ka Ted",
and Ramon Casiple as "Ka Totoy" of the CPP, by their comrades
who had previously surrendered to the military. Nor did petitioners ask for a preliminary investigation after the
informations had been filed against them in court. Petitioners cannot
now claim that they have been deprived of their constitutional right
On 15 August 1988, the record of the investigation and other to due process.
documentary evidence were forwarded to the Provincial Fiscal at
Pasig, Metro Manila, who conducted an inquest, after which
Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple were charged with violation IV
of Presidential Decree No. 1866 before the Regional Trial Court of
Pasig, Metro Manila. The cases are docketed therein as Criminal In G.R. No. 83162 (Ocaya vs. Aguirre), the arrest without warrant,
Cases Nos. 74386 ad 74387, respectively. No bail was of Vicky Ocaya is justified under the Rules, since she had with her
recommended. unlicensed ammunition when she was arrested. The record of this
case shows that on 12 May 1988, agents of the PC Intelligence and
On 24 August 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with this Investigation of the Rizal PC-INP Command, armed with a search
Court on behalf of Domingo Anonuevo and Ramon Casiple, alleging warrant issued by Judge Eutropio Migrino of the Regional Trial
Court of Pasig, Metro Manila, conducted a search of a house located
that the said Anonuevo and Casiple were unlawfully arrested
without a warrant and that the informations filed against them are at Block 19, Phase II, Marikina Green Heights, Marikina, Metro
Manila, believed to be occupied by Benito Tiamson, head of the
null and void for having been filed without prior hearing and
preliminary investigation. On 30 August 1988, the Court issued the CPP-NPA. In the course of the search, Vicky Ocaya arrived in a car
writ of habeas corpus, and after the respondents had filed a Return driven by Danny Rivera. Subversive documents and several rounds
of the Writ, the parties were heard. of ammunition for a .45 cal. pistol were found in the car of Vicky

Ocaya. As a result, Vicky Ocaya and Danny Rivera were brought to Buenaobra admitted that he is a NPA courier and was there to
the PC Headquarters for investigation. When Vicky Ocaya could not deliver the letters to Constantino.
produce any permit or authorization to possess the ammunition, an
information charging her with violation of PD 1866 was filed with the
Subsequently, less than twenty four hours after the arrest of
Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila. The case is docketed Constantino and Buenaobra, petitioners Anonuevo and Casiple
therein as Criminal Case No. 73447. Danny Rivera, on the other arrived at Constantino's place. Would it be unreasonable for the
hand, was released from custody. military agents to believe that petitioners Anonuevo and Casiple are
among those expected to visit Constantino's residence considering
On 17 May 1988, a petition for habeas corpus was filed, with this that Constatino's information was true, in that Buenaobra did come
Court on behalf of Vicky Ocaya and Danny Rivera. It was alleged to that place? Was it unreasonable under the circumstances, on the
therein that Vicky Ocaya was illegally arrested and detained, and part of the military agents, not to frisk and search anyone who
denied the right to a preliminary investigation. should visit the residence of Constantino, such as petitioners
Anonuevo and Casiple? Must this Honorable Court yield to
Anonuevo and Casiple's flimsy and bare assertion that they went to
It would appear, however, that Vicky Ocaya was arrested in flagranti
delicto so that her arrest without a warrant is justified. No preliminary visit Constantino, who was to leave for Saudi Arabia on the day they
investigation was conducted because she was arrested without a were arrested thereat?
warrant and she refused to waive the provisions of Article 125 of the
Revised Penal Code, pursuant to Sec. 7, Rule 112 of the Rule of As to petitioner Roque, was it unreasonable for the military
Court, as amended. authorities to effect her arrest without warrant considering that it was
Buenaobra who provided the leads on her identity? It cannot be
denied that Buenaobra had connection with Roque. Because the
former has the phone number of the latter. Why the necessity of
jumbling Roque's telephone number as written on a piece of paper
The petitioners Vicky Ocaya, Domingo Anonuevo, Ramon Casiple, taken from Buenaobra's possession? Petitioners Roque and
and Amelia Roque claim that the firearms, ammunition and Buenaobra have not offered any plausible reason so far.
subversive documents alleged to have been found in their
possession when they were arrested, did not belong to them, but
were "planted" by the military agents to justify their illegal arrest. In all the above incidents, respondents maintain that they acted
reasonably, under the time, place and circumstances of the events
in question, especially considering that at the time of petitioner's
The petitioners, however, have not introduced any evidence to arrest, incriminatory evidence, i.e, firearms, ammunitions and/or
support their aforesaid claim. On the other hand, no evil motive or subversive documents were found in their possession.
ill-will on the part of the arresting officers that would cause the said
arresting officers in these cases to accuse the petitioners falsely,
has been shown. Besides, the arresting officers in these cases do Petitioners, when arrested, were neither taking their snacks nor
not appear to be seekers of glory and bounty hunters for, as counsel innocently visiting a camp, but were arrested in such time, place and
for the petitioners Anonuevo and Casiple say, "there is absolutely circumstances, from which one can reasonably conclude tat they
nothing in the evidence submitted during the inquest that petitioners were up to a sinister plot, involving utmost secrecy and
are on the 'AFP Order of Battle with a reward of P150,000.00 each comprehensive conspiracy.
on their heads.'" 6 On the other hand, as pointed out by the Solicitor
General, the arrest of the petitioners is not a product of a witch hunt IV
or a fishing expedition, but the result of an in-depth surveillance of
NPA safehouses pointed to by no less than former comrades of the
In. G.R. No. 85727 (Espiritu vs. Lim), the release on habeas
petitioners in the rebel movement. corpus of the petitioner Deogracias Espiritu, who is detained by
virtue of an Information for Violation of Article 142 of the Revised
The Solicitor General, in his Consolidated Memorandum, aptly Penal Code (Inciting to Sedition) filed with the Regional Trial Court
observes: of Manila, is similarly not warranted.

. . . . To reiterate, the focal point in the case of petitioners Roque, The record of the case shows that the said petitioner is the General
Buenaobra, Anonuevo and Casiple, was the lawful search and Secretary of the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators
seizure conducted by the military at the residence of Renato Nationwide (PISTON), an association of drivers and operators of
Constantino at Villaluz Compound, Molave St., Marikina Heights, public service vehicles in the Philippines, organized for their mutual
Marikina, Metro Manila. The raid at Constantino's residence, was aid and protection.
not a witch hunting or fishing expedition on the part of the military. It
was a result of an in-depth military surveillance coupled with the
Petitioner claims that at about 5:00 o'clock in the morning of 23
leads provided by former members of the underground subversive
November 1988, while he was sleeping in his home located at 363
organizations. That raid produced positive results. to date, nobody Valencia St., Sta. Mesa, Manila, he was awakened by his sister
has disputed the fact that the residence of Constantino when raided
Maria Paz Lalic who told him that a group of persons wanted to hire
yielded communication equipment, firearms and ammunitions, as his jeepney. When he went down to talk to them, he was
well as subversive documents. immediately put under arrest. When he asked for the warrant of
arrest, the men, headed by Col. Ricardo Reyes, bodily lifted him and
The military agents working on the information provided by placed him in their owner-type jeepney. He demanded that his
Constantino that other members of his group were coming to his sister, Maria Paz Lalic, be allowed to accompany him, but the men
place, reasonably conducted a "stake-out" operation whereby some did not accede to his request and hurriedly sped away.
members of the raiding team were left behind the place. True
enough, barely two hours after the raid and Constantino's arrest,
He was brought to Police Station No. 8 of the Western Police District
petitioner Buenaobra arrived at Constantino's residence. He acted at Blumentritt, Manila where he was interrogated and detained.
suspiciously and when frisked and searched by the military Then, at about 9:00 o'clock of the same morning, he was brought
authorities, found in his person were letters. They are no ordinary
before the respondent Lim and, there and then, the said respondent
letters, as even a cursory reading would show. Not only that,

ordered his arrest and detention. He was thereafter brought to the him to the police headquarters for questioning. Obviously, the
General Assignment Section, Investigation Division of the Western evidence of petitioner's guilt is strong because on 3 January 1989,
Police District under Police Capt. Cresenciano A. Cabasal where he an information charging Narciso Nazareno, Ramil Regala, and two
was detained, restrained and deprived of his liberty. 7 (2) others, with the killing of Romulo Bunye II was filed with the
Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila. The case is docketed
therein as Criminal Case No. 731.
The respondents claim however, that the detention of the petitioner
is justified in view of the Information filed against him before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, docketed therein as Criminal Case On 7 January 1989, Narciso Nazareno filed a motion to post bail,
No. 88-683-85, charging him with violation of Art. 142 of the Revised but the motion was denied by the trial court in an order dated 10
Penal Code (Inciting to Sedition). January 1989, even as the motion to post bail, earlier filed by his co-
accused, Manuel Laureaga, was granted by the same trial court.
The respondents also claim that the petitioner was lawfully arrested
without a judicial warrant of arrest since petitioner when arrested On 13 January 1989, a petition for habeas corpus was filed with this
had in fact just committed an offense in that in the afternoon of 22 Court on behalf of Narciso Nazareno and on 13 January 1989, the
November 1988, during a press conference at the National Press Court issued the writ of habeas corpus, returnable to the Presiding
Club. Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Biñan, Laguna, Branch 24,
ordering said court to hear the case on 30 January 1989 and
thereafter resolve the petition.
Deogracias Espiritu through tri-media was heard urging all drivers
and operators to go on nationwide strike on November 23, 1988, to
force the government to give into their demands to lower the prices At the conclusion of the hearing, or on 1 February 1989, the
of spare parts, commodities, water and the immediate release from Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Biñan, Laguna issued
detention of the president of the PISTON (Pinag-isang Samahan ng a resolution denying the petition for habeas corpus, it appearing that
Tsuper Operators Nationwide). Further, we heard Deogracias the said Narciso Nazareno is in the custody of the respondents by
Espiritu taking the place of PISTON president Medardo Roda and reason of an information filed against him with the Regional Trial
also announced the formation of the Alliance Drivers Association to Court of Makati, Metro Manila which had taken cognizance of said
go on nationwide strike on November 23, 1988. 8 case and had, in fact, denied the motion for bail filed by said Narciso
Nazareno (presumably because of the strength of the evidence
Policemen waited for petitioner outside the National Pres Club in against him).
order to investigate him, but he gave the lawmen the slip. 9 He was
next seen at about 5:00 o'clock that afternoon at a gathering of The findings of the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of
drivers and symphatizers at the corner of Magsaysay Blvd. and Biñan, Laguna are based upon the facts and the law. Consequently,
Valencia Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila where he was heard to say: we will not disturb the same. Evidently, the arrest of Nazareno was
effected by the police without warrant pursuant to Sec. 5(b), Rule
Bukas tuloy ang welga natin, sumagot na ang Cebu at Bicol na 113, Rules of Court after he was positively implicated by his co-
kasali sila, at hindi tayo titigil hanggang hindi binibigay ng gobyerno accused Ramil Regala in the killing of Romulo Bunye
ni Cory ang gusto nating pagbaba ng halaga ng spare parts, bilihin II; and after investigation by the police authorities. As held in People
at and pagpapalaya sa ating pinuno na si Ka Roda hanggang sa vs. Ancheta: 12
magkagulo na. 10 (emphasis supplied)
The obligation of an agent of authority to make an arrest by reason
The police finally caught up with the petitioner on 23 November of a crime, does not presuppose as a necessary requisite for the
1988. He was invited for questioning and brought to police fulfillment thereof, the indubitable existence of a crime. For the
headquarters after which an Information for violation of Art. 142 of detention to be perfectly legal, it is sufficient that the agent or person
the Revised Penal Code was filed against him before the Regional in authority making the arrest has reasonably sufficient grounds to
believe the existence of an act having the characteristics of a crime
Trial Court of Manila. 11
and that the same grounds exist to believe that the person sought
to be detained participated therein.
Since the arrest of the petitioner without a warrant was in
accordance with the provisions of Rule 113, Sec. 5(b) of the Rules
of Court and that the petitioner is detained by virtue of a valid VIII
information filed with the competent court, he may not be released
on habeas corpus. He may, however be released upon posting bail It is to be noted that, in all the petitions here considered, criminal
as recommended. However, we find the amount of the charges have been filed in the proper courts against the petitioners.
recommended bail (P60,000.00) excessive and we reduce it to The rule is, that if a person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is
P10,000.00 only. in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court judge,
and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process or
VII make the order, of if such person is charged before any court, the
writ of habeas corpus will not be allowed. Section 4, Rule 102, Rules
of Court, as amended is quite explicit in providing that:
In G.R. No. 86332 (Nazareno vs. Station Commander), we also find
no merit in the submission of Narciso Nazarenothat he was illegally
arrested and is unlawfully detained. The record of this case shows Sec. 4. When writ is allowed or discharge authorized. — If it appears
that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody
that at about 8:30 o'clock in the morning of 14 December 1988, one
Romulo Bunye II was killed by a group of men near the corner of T. of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of
Molina and Mendiola Streets in Alabang, Muntinglupa, Metro a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge
Manila. One of the suspects in the killing was Ramil Regal who was had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make
arrested by the police on 28 December 1988. Upon questioning, the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears
Regal pointed to Narciso Nazareno as on of his companions in the after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by
killing of the said Romulo Bunye II. In view thereof, the police reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or
order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the
officers, without warrant, picked up Narciso Nazareno and brought
discharge of a person charged with a convicted of an offense in the

Philippines or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful

judgment. (emphasis supplied)

At this point, we refer to petitioner's plea for the Court of re-examine

and, thereafter, abandon its pronouncement in Ilagan
vs. Enrile, 13 that a writ of habeas corpus is no longer available after
an information is filed against the person detained and a warrant of
arrest or an order of commitment, is issued by the court where said
information has been filed. 14 The petitioners claim that the said
ruling, which was handed down during the past dictatorial regime to
enforce and strengthen said regime, has no place under the present
democratic dispensation and collides with the basic, fundamental,
and constitutional rights of the people. Petitioners point out that the
said doctrine makes possible the arrest and detention of innocent
persons despite lack of evidence against them, and, most often, it
is only after a petition for habeas corpus is filed before the court that
the military authorities file the criminal information in the courts of
law to be able to hide behind the protective mantle of the said
doctrine. This, petitioners assert, stands as an obstacle to the
freedom and liberty of the people and permits lawless and arbitrary
State action.

We find, however, no compelling reason to abandon the said

doctrine. It is based upon express provision of the Rules of Court
and the exigencies served by the law. The fears expressed by the
petitioners are not really unremediable. As the Court sees it, re-
examination or reappraisal, with a view to its abandonment, of the
Ilagan case doctrine is not the answer. The answer and the better
practice would be, not to limit the function of the habeas corpus to a
mere inquiry as to whether or not the court which issued the
process, judgment or order of commitment or before whom the
detained person is charged, had jurisdiction or not to issue the
process, judgment or order or to take cognizance of the case, but
rather, as the Court itself states in Morales, Jr. vs. Enrile, 15 "in all
petitions for habeas corpus the court must inquire into every phase
and aspect of petitioner's detention-from the moment petition was
taken into custody up to the moment the court passes upon the
merits of the petition;" and "only after such a scrutiny can the court
satisfy itself that the due process clause of our Constitution has in
fact been satisfied." This is exactly what the Court has done in the
petitions at bar. This is what should henceforth be done in all future
cases of habeas corpus. In Short, all cases involving deprivation of
individual liberty should be promptly brought to the courts for their
immediate scrutiny and disposition.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED, except that in

G.R. No. 85727 (Espiritu vs. Lim), the bail bond for petitioner's
provisional liberty is hereby ordered reduced from P60,000.00 to
P10,000.00. No costs.