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Co Kim Chan vs.

Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon *** Dizon is the Judge of First Instance of Manila *** de jure according to rightful entitlement *** de facto in fact, whether by rightful entitlement or not The case: a petition for mandamus where petitioner prays that the respondent Judge be ordered to continue the proceedings which were initiated during the Japanese military occupation Contention of respondent: Judge refused to continue proceedings because: The Oct. 23, 1944 proclamation of Gen. Douglas MacArthur invalidated all judicial proceedings and judgments of the courts of the Philippine under the Philippine Executive Commission and the Republic of the Philippines established during the Japanese military occupation. Absence of an enabling law granting jurisdiction to lower courts to continue with judicial proceedings He contends that the government established during the Japanese occupation was not a de facto government.


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January 2, 1942 Imperial Japanese occupied Manila. The Commander-in-chief established a military administration and that all laws now in force in the Commonwealth, as well as executive and judicial institutions, shall continue to be effective. Public officials shall also remain in their present posts. January 23, 1942 the Philippine Executive Commission (a civil government) was organized pursuant to Order No. 1. Jose Vargas was appointed chairman. February 20, 1942 - The commander-in-chief passed Order No. 3 (the basic principles to be observed by the Philippine Executive Commission in exercising legislative, executive and judicial powers) Section 1 of Order no. 2 states that: activities of the administrative organs and judicial courts in the Philippines shall be based upon the existing statutes, orders, ordinances and customs Vargas issued EO nos. 1 and 4 saying that the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Courts of First Instance and the Justice of peace and municipal courts under the Commonwealth were continued with the same jurisdiction in conformity with Order No. 3. October 14, 1943 the so-called Republic of the Philippines was inaugurated but there was no substantial change effected in the organization and jurisdiction of the courts October 23, 1944 Gen. Douglas MacArthur issued a proclamation to the people of the Philippines (p.120) which, among others, said ..all laws and regulations and processes of any other government in the Philippines than that of the said Commonwealth are null and void and without legal effect in areas of the Philippines free of enemy occupation and control February 27, 1945 Gen. MacArthur solemnly declared the full powers and responsibilities under the constitution restored to the Commonwealth whose seat is reestablished as provided by law

WON the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts existing in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation were good and valid and remained even after the liberalization and reoccupation of the Philippines by the US Yes they are good and valid and remained even after liberalization and reoccupation Legal truism in political and international law: All acts and proceedings of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of a de facto government are good and valid Question: whether the governments established in the Phils. during the Japanese military occupation were de facto governments There are 3 kinds of a de facto government o Government de facto in a proper legal sense (not concerned with this one) o Government which is established and maintained by military forces who invade and occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of the war, and which is denominated a government of paramount force o Government which is established as an independent government by the inhabitants of a country who rise in insurrection against the parent state The second kind of de facto government o Has to distinguishing characteristics: a) its existence is maintained by active military power and b) it must be obeyed in civil matters by private citizens o According to Art. 43 Section 3 of the Hague Conventions of 1907, the occupant has the right and is burdened with the duty to insure public order and safety during his military occupation. He also possesses all the powers of a de facto government. o Theoretically, local and civil administration is suspended in a military occupation and the invader should take the administration into his own hands. But in practice, this is NOT the case. The local ordinary tribunals are authorized to continue administering justice. The governments established during the Japanese military occupation was the second kind of de facto government.

Philippine Executive Commission: the fact that this was a civil and not a military government and was run by Filipinos not by Japanese nationals, is of no consequence. It still met the characteristics of a de facto government o So-called Republic of the Philippines was in truth just a government established by the Japanese forces of the occupation and not a grant for independence and sovereignty of the Philippines. According to Art. 45 of the Hague Conventions of 1907, the Japanese had no right to bestow upon the Philippines independence because they are only a de facto government and not a de jure government (the one who rightly is sovereign over us aka the US). Since the Japanese governments are de facto governments, the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts of justice, which are not political in complexion, were good and valid. Principle of Postliminy (a principle of international law): the fact that a territory, which has been occupied by an enemy, comes again into the power of its legitimate government or sovereignty, does not wipe out the effects done by an invader. Were it otherwise, the social life of a community would always be paralyzed by an invasion. When Gen. MacArthur declared in his October 23,2944 proclamation that the laws were null and void, indicated that the judicial acts and proceedings of the Japanese occupation was not invalid ab initio.

WON the Oct. 23, 1944 proclamation of Gen. MacArthur has invalidated all judgments and judicial acts and proceedings of the courts No. Presumption of MacArthurs intent o Since the previous issue resolved that the governments during the Japanese occupation were de facto government and that judicial acts and proceedings are deemed good and valid law, it couldnt have been the intention of Gen. MacArthur when he said the phrase processes of any other government to refer to judicial processes. He might be referring to governmental processes other than the judicial processes or court proceedings. Because if he did refer to judicial processes then he would be violating principles of international law. o A rule in statutory construction states that a statute ought never to be construed to violate the law of nations if any other possible construction remains o It is to be presumed that Gen. MacArthur, who was acting as a representative of the Government and the president of the US, did not intend to act against the principles of the law of the nations. o Besides, MacArthur did not expressly say that he declared null and void the judicial processes of any other government. He could have said it point blank if he wanted to. There would be great inconvenience and public hardship if it the MacArthur proclamation was interpreted as invalidating all judgments and judicial acts of the courts. o Example: it would have to be expected that litigants would not willingly submit their litigation to courts whose judgments or decisions may afterwards be annulled by a de jure government It was impliedly confirmed by EO no. 37 that the proclamation did not invalidate the courts proceedings during the Japanese occupation. o The EO provides for the abolition of Court of Appeals and that all cases which have heretofore been duly appealed to the CA shall be transmitted to the SC for final decision. o Recognizes the existence of certain cases tried during the Japanese occupation in the Court of First Instance that are now on appeal.

If the judicial acts and proceedings werent invalidated by the proclamation, WON the present Commonwealth courts (which were the same courts existing prior to, and continued during, the Japanese military occupation of the Philippines) may continue those proceedings pending in the courts at the time the Philippines were reoccupied and liberated by the US, and the Commonwealth of the Philippines was reestablished. Yes, they may continue. The governments during the Japanese occupation adopted the set-up of the previous Commonwealth. In the reestablishment of the government, it would be deemed as just continuing on the same principles of format. Taylor argues that a state or other governmental entity, upon the removal of a foreign military force, resumes its old place with its rights and duties substantially unimpaired A legal maxim states that: law once established continues until changed by some competent legislative power. It is not changed merely by change of sovereignty There is no need for a proclamation proclaiming that laws and courts are expressly continued, it is generally implied.

DECISION: The court of first instance of Manila has jurisdiction to continue to final judgment the proceedings in the present civil case A writ of mandamus be issued to the judge to continue with the proceedings

DISSENTING: Perfecto, J. Gen. MacArthur had full legal authority to issue the October Proclamation and that no principle of international law is violated by said proclamation. The annulment of all the acts of the governments under the Japanese regime, executive, legislative and judicial, is legal and justified by the wrongs committed by the Japanese.

When MacArthur proclaimed and declared in the October Proclamation that all laws, regulations and processes of the Japanese sponsored governments are null and void and without effect, he meant exactly what he said. When he said all processes he meant all and not just some The Commonwealth tribunals have no jurisdiction to take cognizance of nor to continue the judicial proceedings under the Japanese regime The petition has no merits at all Petition denied.