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The United States VS Juan Pons

GR NO. L-11530


Petitioner: Juan Pons

Respondent: The United States

1. W/N the court can look to legislative
journals as proof of when the
adjournment of Legislature happened
2. W/N the court can go behind the
legislative journals to determine the
date of adjournment

Gabino Beliso, Juan Pons and Jacinto
Lacarte were charged with the crime of
illegal importation of Opium.
Juan Pons and Gabino Beliso were
tried separately. Both were found
guilty and both appealed but Beliso
later withdrew his appeal.
Pons questioned the validity of Act.
2381 and offered to prove that the last
day of the special session of the
Philippine Legislature for 1914 was the
28th day of February; that Act No.
2381, under which Pons must be
punished if found guilty, was not
passed or approved on the 28th of
February but on March 1 of that year;
and that, therefore, the same is null
and void.

1. Yes. Section 275 of the Code of Civil Procedure
provides that the existence of the "official acts of the
legislative, executive, and judicial departments of
the United States and of the Philippine Islands ...
shall be judicially recognized by the court without
the introduction of proof

Official documents may be proved through:

The proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or
of any legislative body that may be provided for the
Philippine Islands, or of Congress, by the journals
of those bodies or of either house thereof

2. The court did not go behind the legislative journals
when such journals are already clear and explicit
(about when Act No. 2381 was adjourned). to
inquiry into the veracity (accuracy) of the journals
of the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as we
have said, clear and explicit, would be to interfere
with the legitimate powers and functions of the
Legislature. The journals already say that the
Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February
28, 1914.