Laurel vs. Misa
Laurel vs. Misa 77 Phil. 856
FACTS: The accused was charged with treason. During the Japanese occupation, the accused adhered to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort. He claims that he cannot be tried for treason since his allegiance to the Philippines was suspended at that time. Also, he claims that he cannot be tried under a change of sovereignty over the country since his acts were against the Commonwealth which was replaced already by the Republic. HELD/RATIO: The accused was found guilty. A citizen owes absolute and permanent allegiance to his government or sovereign. No transfer of sovereignty was made; hence, it is presumed that the Philippine government still had the power. Moreover, sovereignty cannot be suspended; it is either subsisting or eliminated and replaced. Sovereignty per se wasn’t suspended; rather, it was the exercise of sovereignty that was suspended. Thus, there is no suspended allegiance. Regarding the change of government, there is no such change since the sovereign – the Filipino people – is still the same. What happened was a mere change of name of government, from Commonwealth to the Republic of the Philippines. DISSENT: During the long period of Japanese occupation, all the political laws of the Philippines were suspended. Thus, treason under the Revised Penal Code cannot be punishable where the laws of the land are momentarily halted. Regarding the change of sovereignty, it is true that the Philippines wasn’t sovereign at the time of the Commonwealth since it was under the United States. Hence, the acts of treason done cannot carry over to the new Republic where the Philippines is now indeed sovereign.
ZACARIAS VILLAVICENCIO, ET AL.,
JUSTO LUKBAN, ET AL.,
respondents. March 25, 1919
Facts: Justo Lukban, who was then the Mayor of the City of Manila, ordered the deportation of 170 prostitutes to Davao. His reason for doing so was to preserve the morals of the people of Manila. He claimed that the prostitutes were sent to Davao, purportedly, to work for an haciendero Feliciano Ynigo. The prostitutes were confined in houses from October 16 to 18 of that year before being boarded, at the dead of night, in two boats bound for Davao. The women were under the assumption that they were being transported to another police station while Ynigo, the haciendero from Davao, had no idea that the women being sent to work for him were actually prostitutes. The families of the prostitutes came forward to file charges against Lukban,Anton Hohmann, the Chief of Police, and Francisco Sales, the Governor of Davao. They prayed for a writ of habeas corpus to be issued against the respondents to compel them to bring back the 170 women who were deported to Mindanao against their will. During the trial, it came out that, indeed, the women were deported without their consent. In effect, Lukban forcibly assigned them a new domicile. Most of all, there was no law or order authorizing Lukban's deportation of the 170prostitutes. Issue
Whether we are a government of laws or a government of men.
We are clearly a government of laws. Lukban committed a grave abuse of discretion by deporting the prostitutes to a new domicile against their will. There is no law expressly authorizing his action. On the contrary, there is a law punishing public officials, not expressly authorized by law or regulation, who compels any person to change his residence. Furthermore, the prostitutes are still, as citizens of the Philippines, entitled to the same rights, as stipulated in the Bill of Rights, as every other citizen. Their choice of profession should not be a cause for discrimination. It may make some, like Lukban, quite uncomfortable but it does not authorize anyone to compel said prostitutes to isolate themselves from the rest of the human race. These women have been deprived of their liberty by being exiled to Davao without even being given the...
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