You are on page 1of 74

Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. L-37396 April 30, 1979
MARCELINO LONTOK, JR., petitioner,
vs.
HON. ALFREDO GORGONIO, as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of San Juan,
Rizal, respondent.
Marcelino Lontok, Jr., in his own behalf.
Office of the Solicitor General for respondent.

AQUINO, J.:
This case is about the propriety of an information containing the charge of "reckless imprudence
resulting in damage to property and multiple physical injuries".
On March 29, 1973, Marcelino Lontok, Jr. was charged with that delito compuesto in
the municipal court of San Juan, Rizal. In the information, it was alleged that on November 14,
1972, while Lontok was recklessly driving hisMercedes Benz car, he bumped a passenger jeep
and caused damaged to it in the sum of P780 and that the bumping also caused physical injuries
to three passengers who were incapacitated from performing their customary labor for a period
of less than ten days (Criminal Case No. 26116).
Lontok filed a motion to quash that part of the information wherein the offense of lesiones
leves through reckless imprudence is charged. He contended that, because that offense prescribes
in two months and it was committed on November 14, 1972, the last day of the sixty-day period
for filing the charge as to that offense was January 14, 1973. He prayed that the information be
amended by excluding that light offense.
The fiscal opposed the motion to quash. The municipal court denied it. Lontok pleaded not guilty
upon arraignment. But instead of going to trial, he filed in this Court on August 30, 1973 a
petition wherein he prayed that the amendment of the information be ordered by deleting the
portion thereof wherein the offense of slight physical injuries through reckless imprudence
discharged.
The Solicitor General in his comment agrees with Lontok's view that damage to property through
reckless imprudence cannot be complexed with a light offense, that the light offense had already
prescribed, and that two informations should have been filed. He manifested that he would ask

the prosecuting fiscal to amend the information. Nevertheless, he concluded that since Lontok
did not raise any jurisdictional issue, his petition for certiorari was not proper and, therefore, it
should be dismissed.
The issue is whether Lontok, over his objection, can be tried by the municipal court on an
information charging the complex crime of damage to property in the sum of p780 and lesiones
leves through reckless imprudence.
We hold that he should be tried only for damage to property through reckless imprudence,
which, being punished by a maximum fine of P2,340, a correctional penalty, is a less grave
felony (Arts. 9, 25 and 26 and 365, RevisedPenal Code). As such, it cannot be complexed with
the light offense of lesiones leves through reckless imprudence which, as correctly contended by
Lontok, had already prescribed since that crime prescribes in sixty days.
There is a complex crime when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies
or when a grave or less grave offense is a means of committing another grave or less grave
offense.
As originally enacted, article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provided that the crime is complex
when a single act constitutes two or more crimes, or when an offense is a necessary means of
committing the other. Commonwealth Act No. 4000 amended article 48 by substituting the
words "grave or less grave felonies" for the word "crimes" in the original version, thus
eliminating a light felony as a component part of a complex crime.
Parenthetically, it may be noted in passing that the concept of complex crime was applied
in criminal negligenceor quasi offenses (People vs. Lara, 75 Phil. 786 and People vs. Agito, 103
Phil. 526, regarding multiple homicide through reckless imprudence; People vs. Rodis, 105 Phil.
1294, regarding malversation through falsification by reckless negligence; Samson vs. Court of
Appeals, 103 Phil. 277, regarding estafa through falsification by reckless negligence; Angeles vs.
Jose, 96 Phil. 151; Lapuz vs. Court of Appeals, 94 Phil, 710 and People vs. Vendiola, 115 Phil.
122, regarding homicide, grave physical injuries and grave damage to property, all through
reckless imprudence.).
In all the foregoing cases, it is assumed that reckless imprudence is not a crime in itself but is
simply a way of committing a crime and it merely determines a lower degree of criminal
liability. Negligence becomes a punishable act when it results in a crime (People vs. Faller 67
Phil. 529).
Applying article 48, it follows that if one offense is light. there is no complex crime. The
resulting offenses may be treated as a separate or the light felony may be absorbed by the grave
felony. Thus, the light felonies of damage to property and slight physical injuries, both resulting
from a single act of imprudence, do not constitute a complex crime. They cannot be charged in
one information. They are separate offenses subject to distinct penalties (People vs. Turla, 50
Phil. 1001; See People vs. Estipona, 70 Phil. 513).

Where the single act of imprudence resulted in double less serious physical injuries, damage to
property amounting to P10,000 and slight physical injuries, a chief of police did not err in filing
a separate complaint for the slight physical injuries and another complaint for the lesiones menos
graves and damage to property (Arcaya vs. Teleron, L-37446, May 31, 1974, 5 7 SCRA 363,
365).
A chief of police likewise did not err in filing separate complaints for slight physical injuries and
grave oral defamation committed on the same occasion by one person against the same victim
(Manduriao vs. Habana, L- 28069, August 18, 1977,78 SCRA 241).
Where a complaint for slight physical injuries and grave threats was filed in the justice of the
peace court under the old Judiciary Law, the said court had jurisdiction to try the slight physical
injuries case and could only undertake the preliminary investigation of the latter offense (People
vs. Linatoc, 74 Phil. 586. See People vs. Acierto 57 Phil. 614 and People vs. Benitez, 73 Phil.
671).
The case of Angeles vs. Jose, 96 Phil. 151, cited by investigating fiscal, is different from the
instant case because in that case the negligent act resulted in the offenses of lesiones menos
graves and damage to property which were both less grave felonies and which, therefore,
constituted a complex crime
In the instant case, following the ruling in the Turla case, the offense of lesiones leves through
reckless imprudence should have been charged in a separate information. And since, as a light
offense, it prescribes in two months, Lontok's criminal liability therefor was already extinguished
(Arts. 89151, 90 and 91, Revised Penal Code in relation to sec. 2[e] and [f] Rule 117, Rules of
Court). The trial court committed a grave abuse of discretion in not sustaining Lontok's motion
to quash that part of the information charging him with that light offense.
WHEREFORE, the lower court's orders of May 21 and July 12, 1973 are set aside. It is ordered
to try Lontok only for damage to property through reckless imprudence. The information need
not be amended, it being understood that Lontok has no more culpability for the offense of slight
physical injuries through reckless imprudence charged therein. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Fernando C.J. (Acting ), Barredo, Antonio, Concepcion, Jr. and Santos, JJ., concur,
Abad Santos, J., took no part.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC
G.R. No. L-6025

May 30, 1964

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, ET AL., accused,
AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, ET AL., defendants-appellants.
----------------------------G.R. No. L-6026

May 30, 1964

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
BAYANI ESPIRITU, ET AL., accused,
BAYANI ESPIRITU and TEOPISTA VALERIO, defendants-appellants.
LABRADOR, J.:
This is the appeal prosecuted by the defendants from the judgment rendered by the Court of First
Instance of Manila, Hon. Agustin P. Montesa, presiding, in its Criminal Case No. 15841, People
vs. Amado V. Hernandez, et al., and Criminal Case No. 15479, People vs. Bayani Espiritu, et al.
In Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is for Rebellion with Multiple
Murder, Arsons and Robberies; the appellants are Amado V. Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Genaro de
la Cruz, Amado Racanday, Fermin Rodillas and Julian Lumanog; Aquilino Bunsol, Adriano
Samson and Andres Baisa, Jr. were among those sentenced in the judgment appealed from, but
they have withdrawn their appeal. In Criminal Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is
for rebellion with murders, arsons and kidnappings; the accused are Bayani Espiritu Teopista
Valerio and Andres Balsa, Jr.; they all appealed but Andres Balsa, Jr. withdrew his appeal.
The information filed against defendants Hernandez and others in Criminal Case No. 15481
alleged:
I. That on or about March 15, 1945, and for some time before the said date and
continuously thereafter, until the present time, in the City of Manila, Philippines, and the
place which they had chosen as the nervecenter of all their rebellious activities in the
different parts of the Philippines, the said accused, conspiring, confederating and
cooperating with each other, as well as with the thirty-one (31) defendants charged in
Criminal Cases Nos. 19071, 14082, 14270, 14315 and 14344 of the Court of First
Instance of Manila (decided May 11, 1951) and also with others whose whereabouts and
identities are still unknown, the said accused and their other co-conspirators, being then
high ranking officers and/or members of, or otherwise affiliated with the Communist
Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.), which is now actively engaged in an armed rebellion
against the Government of the Philippines thru act theretofore committed and planned to
be further committed in Manila and other places in the Philippines, and of which party

the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan"(H.M.B.) otherwise or formerly known as the


"Hukbalahaps" (Huks), unlawfully and did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously help, support, promote, maintain, cause, direct and/or command the
"Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) or the "Hukbalahaps" (Huks) to rise
publicly and take arms against the Republic of the Philippines, or otherwise participate in
such armed public uprising, for the purpose of removing the territory of the Philippines
from the allegiance to the government and laws thereof as in fact the said "Hukbong
Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" or "Hukbalahaps" have risen publicly and taken arms to attain
the said purpose by then and there making armed raids, sorties and ambushes, attacks
against police, constabulary and army detachments as well as innocent civilians, and as a
necessary means to commit the crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in
furtherance thereof, have then and there committed acts of murder, pillage, looting,
plunder, arson, and planned destruction of private and public property to create and
spread chaos, disorder, terror, and fear so as to facilitate the accomplishment of the
aforesaid purpose, as. follows, to wit: (Enumeration of thirteen attacks on government
forces or civilians by Huks on May 6, 1946, August 6, 1946, April 10, 1947, May 9,
1947, August 19, 1947, June, 1946, April 28, 1949, August 25, 1950, August 26, 1950,
August 25, 1950, September 12, 1950, March 28, 1950 and March 29, 1950.)
II. That during the period of time and under the same circumstances herein-above
indicated the said accused in the above-entitled case, conspiring among themselves and
with several others as aforesaid, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously organized,
established, led and/or maintained the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO), formerly
known as the Committee on Labor Organizations (CLO), with central offices in Manila
and chapters and affiliated or associated labor unions and other "mass organizations" in
different places in the Philippines, as an active agency, organ, and instrumentality of the
Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.) and as such agency, organ, and
instrumentality, to fully cooperate in, and synchronize its activities as the CLO thus
organized, established, led and/or maintained by the herein accused and their coconspirators, has in fact fully cooperated in and synchronized its activities with the
activities of the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) and other organs, agencies,
and instrumentalities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.), to thereby
assure, facilitate, and effect the complete and permanent success of the above-mentioned
armed rebellion against the Government of the Philippines.
The information filed against the defendants in Criminal Case No. 15479, Bayani Espiritu
Andres Baisa, Jr. and Teopista Valerio, alleges:
That on or about the 6th day of May, 1946, and for sometime prior and subsequent
thereto and continuously up to the present time, in the City of Manila, the seat of the
government of the Republic of the Philippines, which the herein accused have intended to
overthrow, and the place chosen for that purpose as the nerve center of all their rebellious
atrocities in the different parts of the country, the said accused being then high
ranking officials and/or members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.)
and/or of the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) otherwise or formerly known
as the "Hukbalahaps" (HUKS), the latter being the armed forces of said Communist Party

of the Philippines; having come to an agreement with the 29 of the 31 accused in


Criminal Cases Nos. 14071, 14082, 14270, 14315, 14344 of the Court of First Instance of
Manila and decided to commit the crime of rebellion, and therefore, conspiring and
confederating with all of the 29 accused in said criminal cases, acting in accordance with
their conspiracy and in furtherance thereof, together with many others whose
whereabouts and identities are still unknown up to the filing of this information, and
helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously promote
maintain, cause, direct and/or command the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan", (HMB)
or the Hukbalahaps (HUKS) to rise publicly and take Arms against the Government or
otherwise participate therein for the purpose of overthrowing the same, as in fact, the said
"Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" or Hukbalahap (HUKS) have risen publicly and
taken arms against the Government, by then and there making armed raids, sorties and
ambushes, attacks against police, constabulary and army detachment, and as a necessary
means to commit the crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in furtherance
thereof, by then and there committing wanton acts of murder, spoilage, looting, arson,
kidnappings, planned destruction of private and public buildings, to create and spread
terrorism in order to facilitate the accomplishment of the aforesaid purpose, as follows to
wit: (Enumeration of thirteen attacks on Government forces or civilians by Huks on May
6, 1946. August 6, 1946, April 10, 1947, May 9, 1947, August 19, 1947, June 1946, April
28, 1949, August 25, 1950, August 26, 1950, August 25, 1950, September 12, 1950,
March 28, 1950 and March 29, 1950).
A joint trial of both cases was held, after which the court rendered the decision subject of the
present appeals.
APPEAL OF AMADO V. HERNANDEZ
After trial the Court of First Instance found, as against appellant Amado V. Hernandez, the
following: (1) that he is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines and as such had
aliases, namely, Victor or Soliman; (2) that he was furnished copies of "Titis", a Communist
publication, as well as other publications of the Party; (3) that he held the position of President of
the Congress of Labor Organizations; (4) that he had close connections with the Secretariat of
the Communist Party and held continuous communications with its leaders and its members; (5)
that he furnished a mimeographing machine used by the Communist Party, as well as clothes and
supplies for the military operations of the Huks; (6) that he had contacted well-known
Communists coming to the Philippines and had gone abroad to the WFTU conference Brussels,
Belgium as a delegate of the CLO, etc. Evidence was also received by the court that Hernandez
made various speeches encouraging the people to join in the Huk movement in the provinces.
The court also found that there was a close tie-up between the Communist Party and the
Congress of Labor Organizations, of which Hernandez was the President, and that this Congress
was organized by Hernandez in conjunction with other Huks, namely: Alfredo Saulo, Mariano
Balgos, Guillermo Capadocia, etc.

We will now consider the nature and character of both the testimonial as well as the documentary
evidence, independently of each other, to find out if the said evidence supports the findings of
the court.
Testimonial Evidence
Amado V. Hernandez took the oath as member of the Communist Party in the month of October,
1947, at the offices of the Congress of Labor Organizations at 2070 Azcarraga in the presence of
Guillermo Capadocia, Ramon Espiritu, Pedro Castro, Andres Balsa, etc. As a Communist he was
given the pseudonyms of Victor and Soliman, and received copies of the Communist paper
"Titis". He made various speeches on the following dates and occasions:
(1) On August 29, 1948 before the Democratic Peace Rally of the CLO at Plaza Miranda,
in which he announced that the people will soon meet their dear comrade in the person of
Comrade Luis Taruc.
(2) On September 4, 1948 he conferred with Hindu Khomal Goufar at the Escolta, at
which occasion Balgos told Goufar that the PKM, CLO and the Huks are in one effort
that the PKM are the peasants in the field and the Huks are the armed forces of the
Communist Party; and the CLO falls under the TUD of the Communist
Party. 1wph1.t
(3) On October 2, 1948 he went abroad to attend the Second Annual Convention of the
World Federation of Trade Unions and after arrival from abroad a dinner was given to
him by the people of Gagalangin, at which Hernandez delivered a speech and he said that
he preferred to go with the Huks because he felt safer with them than with the authorities
of the Government.
(4) In April, 1949, he made a speech before a group of tenants in Malabon attacking the
frauds in the 1947 elections, graft and corruption in the elections and that if improvement
cannot be made by the ballots, they could be made by bullets; and enjoined the people to
go to the hills and join Luis Taruc the head of the dissidents in the Philippines.
(5) On October 2, 1949 he delivered a speech on the occasion of the commemoration of
the World Peace at the CLO headquarters at 330 P. Campa. He attacked the city mayor
and incited the people to go to Balintawak and see Bonifacio there and thereafter join
four comrades under the leadership of Luis Taruc.
(6) On October 16, 1949 he delivered a speech before a convention of the unemployed at
330 P. Campa. He asked the unemployed to approve a resolution urging the Government
to give them jobs. In conclusion he said that if the Government fails to give them jobs the
only way out was to join the revolutionary forces fighting in the hills. He further said that
Mao Tse Tung, leader of the People's Army in China, drove Chiang Kai Shek from his
country, and that Luis Taruc was also being chased by Government forces run by puppets
like Quirino, etc.

(7) On January 13, 1950 there was another meeting at 330 P. Campa. In his talk
Hernandez expressed regret that two foremost leaders of the CLO, Balgos and Capadocia,
had gone to the field to join the liberation army of the HMB, justifying their going out
and becoming heroes by fighting in the fields against Government forces until the
ultimate goal is achieved.
The above evidence was testified to by Florentino Diolata who was the official photographer of
the CLO since August, 1948.
On the tie-up between the Communist Party and the CLO Guillermo Calayag, a Communist and
a Huk from 1942 to 1950, explained:
(1) The ultimate goal of the Communist Party is to overthrow the president government
by force of aims and violence; thru armed revolution and replace it with the so-called
dictatorship of the proletariat the Communist Party carries its program of armed
overthrow of the present government by organizing the HMB and other forms of
organization's such as the CLO, PKM, union organizations, and the professional and
intellectual group; the CLO was organized by the Trade Union Division TUD of the
Communist Party.
(2) A good majority of the members of the Executive Committee and the Central
Committee of the CLO were also top ranking officials of the Communist Party; activities
undertaken by the TUD - the vital undertaking of the TUD is to see that the directives
coming from the organizational bureau of the Communist Party can be discussed within
the CLO especially the Executive Committee. And it is a fact that since a good majority
of the members of the Executive Committee are party members, there is no time, there is
no single time that those directives and decisions of the organizational department, thru
the TUD are being objected to by the Executive Committee of the CLO. These directives
refer to how the CLO will conduct its functions. The executive committee is under the
chairmanship of accused Amado V. Hernandez.
(3) The CLO played its role in the overall Communist program of armed overthrow of the
present government and its replacement by the dictatorship of the proletariat by means of
propaganda - by propagating the principles of Communism, by giving monetary aid,
clothing, medicine and other forms of material help to the HMB. This role is manifested
in the very constitution of the CLO itself which expounded the theory of classless society
and the eradication of social classes (par. 5, Sec. 1, Art. 2, page 18 of the CLO
Constitution contained in the Fourth Annual Convention Souvenir Program of the CLO
Exh. "V-1579"). Thru propaganda, the CLO promoted the aims of Communist Party and
disseminated Communist ideas by:
(a) The conspicuous display of the portrait or, pictures of Crisanto Evangelista
(Exh. V-1662), founder of Communism in the Philippines, in the session hall of
the CLO headquarters at 2070 Azcarraga and then at 330 P. Campa;

(b) The distribution of foreign communist reading materials such as the World
Federation of Trade Union Magazine, International Union of Students magazine,
Voice magazine of the marine cooks of the CLO, World Committee of the
Defenders of the Peace magazine, Free Bulgaria magazine, Soviet Russia Today
magazine and World Federation of Democratic Youth magazine (Exhs. V-911, V907, V-910, V-899, V-912, V-853, W-996 and V-967);
(c) The publication and distribution of some local subversive publications such as
the "Titis", "Bisig", Kidlat", which are Communist Party organs; "The Philippine
Labor Demands Justice" and "Hands Off Korea" authored by accused Amado V.
Hernandez;
(d) Principles of Communism were also propagated thru lectures, meetings, and
by means of organization of committees in the educational department as well as
researches in the Worker's Institute of the CLO.
(4) The CLO also helped carry out the program of the Communist Party thru infiltration
of party members and selected leaders of the HMB within the trade unions under the
control of the CLO. The Communist Party thru the CLO assigned Communist Party
leaders and organizers to different factories in order to organize unions. After the
organization of the union, it will affiliate itself with the CLO thru the Communist leaders
and the CLO in turn, will register said union with the Department of Labor; and the
orientation and indoctrination of the workers is continued in the line of class struggle.
After this orientation and infiltration of the Communist Party members and selected
leaders of the HMB with the trade unions under the control of the CLO is already
achieved and the group made strong enough to carry out its aims, they will begin the
sporadic strikes and the liquidation of anti-labor elements and anti-Communist elements
and will create a so-called revolutionary crisis. That revolutionary crisis will be done for
the party to give directives to the HMB who are fighting in the countrysides and made
them come to the city gates. The entry of the HMB is being paved by the simultaneous
and sporadic strikes, by ultimate general strikes thru the management of the CLO.
Important Documents Submitted at Trial
1. Documents which proved that Amado V. Hernandez used the aliases "Victor", or was
referred to as "Victor" or "Soliman".
(a) Letter dated April 23, 1950 (signed) by Victor addressed to Julie telling the
latter of his sympathies for other communists, describing his experiences with
Communists abroad, telling Julie to dispose of materials that may be sent by
Victor. (Exh. D-2001-2004)
(b) "Paano Maisasagawa, etc." mentions different groups of labor unions of
which Victor heads one group, consisting of the MRRCO, PTLD, PGWU,
EMWU and IRWU (Exh. C-2001-2008) Cadres assigned to different industries.
(Exh. V-40-41)

(c) Handwritten certificate of Honofre Mangila states that he knew Amado


Hernandez as Victor from co-party members Hugo and Ely. (Exh. LL)
(d) Letter of Elias to Ka Eto requesting the latter to deliver attached letter to
Victor. (Exh. 1103)
(e) Saulo's letter about his escape, asks Victor why his press statement was not
published in the newspapers. (Exh. C-362) Letter was however published by
Hernandez in the Daily Mirror.
(f) Letter of Taruc to Maclang directing the latter to give copy of Huk Story to
Victor. (Exh. D-463-64)
(g) Notes of Salome Cruz, Huk courier, stating that she went to Soliman at
Pampanga St. to bring to the latter communications from the Communist Party.
(Exh. D-1203) That Soliman was given copies of "Titis". (Exh. D-1209)
(h) SEC directions to Politburo members, Soliman not to be involved with
Nacionalista Rebels. (Exh. F-92-93. SEC)
(i) Letter of SEC to Politburo reporting that Saulo be sent out and Soliman has
"tendencies of careerism and tendency to want to deal with leaders of the party";
that he should be asked to choose to go underground or fight legally. (Exh. F-562)
(j) Explanation given by Hernandez why he did not join Saulo in going
underground. (Exh. V-87) (1) His election as councilor until December, 1951.
(Exhs. V-42, W-9) (2) His election as President of CLO until August of following
year. (Exhs. V-42, W-9)
2. Letters and Messages of Hernandez.
(a) To Lyden Henry and Harry Reich, tells Huks still fighting. (Exh. V-80)
(b) To SOBSI Jakarta that Filipinos are joining other communist countries of
the East. (Exh. V-82)
(c) Press release on Saulo's disappearance published by Amado Hernandez. (Exh.
W-116-120)
(d) To Hugh and Eddie, July 8, 1949 Extends greetings to National Union of
Marine Cooks and Stewards, states that labor has one common struggle "the
liberation of all the peoples from the chains of tyranny, fascism and imperialism".
(Exh. V-259)
(e) To Kas. Pablo and Estrada - talks of the fight - fight of labor. (Exh. V-85-89)

(f) Appeal to the Women and Asia. (Exh. V-5-10)


(g) Letter to Julie (Exh. V-2001-2004)
(h) Letter to Chan Lieu - states that leaders during the war are being persecuted,
like Taruc. Tells of reward of P100,000.00 on Taruc's head. (Exh. X-85-88)
(i) Letter to John Gates of the Daily Worker condemns Wall Street maneuvers;
corruption and graft in Quirino administration, etc. (Exh. V-83)
(j) Cablegram: CLO join ILWU commends Harry Bridges, US Communist. (Exh.
V-79)
(k) Communication of Hernandez to CLO at MRRCO Praises Balgos and
Capadocia for joining the Huks. (Exhs. V-12-22, V-289)
(l) "Philippine labor Demands Justice" Attacks czars of Wall Street and U.S.
Army and Government. (Exh. V-94) .
(m) Letter to Taruc June 28, 1948.-States solidarity among the CLO Huks and
PKM. Attacks North Atlantic Pact. Praises Mao Tse Tung (contained in Exh. V94)
(n) "Philippines Is Not A Paradise" States of a delegation to Roxas attacking
unemployment. (Exh. V-90-93)
(o) Article "Progressive Philippines" (Exh. V-287)
(p) Article "Hands Off Korea" (Exhs. V-488-494, 495-501, 509-515, W-25-26)
(q) "Limang Buwang Balak Sa Pagpapalakas Ng Organisasyon". (Exh. X-35-38)
(r) Press statement of Hernandez opposes acceptance of decorations from
Greece by Romulo. (Exh. V-72)
3. Other Activities of Hernandez.
(a) Hernandez received clothes from Pres. Lines thru P. Campa, which clothes he
sent to the field. Letters show of sending of supplies to Huks. (Exh. S-383)
(b) Hernandez was asked to furnish portable typewriter, which he did furnish to
Huks. (Exh. C-364)
(c) Hernandez brought Taruc's letter about facts and incidents about Huks to
Bulosan for inclusion in Bulosan's book. (Exh. FF-1)

(d) Had conference with Kumar Goshal a Hindu, about the Huks and their armed
forces. (Photographs, Exhs. X-6 RR-54-55A)
(e) Supervised taking of pictures of sons of Capadocia and Joven. (Photographs,
Exhs. T-1, RR-136-138A)
(f) Had knowledge of the going underground of Capadocia and Balgos and issued
press release about their going underground. (Exh. F-91)
(g) Victor mentioned to continue as contact for Chino. (Exh. C-362)
(h) Taruc's letter to Maclang shows that Soliman had sent 7 lessons to Taruc.
(Exh. D-451-451-A)
(i) Associated with fellow ranking Communist leaders.
The Court upon consideration of the evidence submitted, found (1) that the Communist Party
was fully organized as a party and in order to carry out its aims and policies a established a
National Congress, a Central Committee (CC), Politburo PB, Secretariat (SEC), Organization
Bureau (OB), and National Courier or Communication Division (NCD), each body performing
functions indicated in their respective names; (2) that in a meeting held on August 11, 1950 the
SEC discussed the creation of a Military Committee of the Party and a new GHQ, under which
on September 29, 1950 the SEC organized a special warfare division, with a technological
division; (3) that on May 5, 1950 a body known as the National Intelligence Division was
created, to gather essential military intelligence and, in general, all information useful for the
conduct of the armed struggle (4) that a National Finance Committee was also organized as a
part of the Politburo and answerable to it; (5) that the country was divided into 10 Recos, the
10th Reco comprising the Manila and suburbs command; (6) that since November, 1949 the CPP
had declared the existence of a revolutionary situation and since then the Party had gone
underground and the CPP is leading the armed struggle for national liberation, and called on the
people to organize guerrillas and coordinate with the HMB on the decisive struggle and final
overthrow of the imperialist government; (7) that in accordance with such plan the CPP prepared
plans for expansion and development not only of the Party but also of the HMB; the expansion
of the cadres from 3,600 in July 1950 to 56,000 in September 1951, the HMB from 10,800 in
July 1950 to 172,000 in September 1951, et seq.
Around the month of January, 1950 it was decided by the CPP to intensify HMB military
operations for political purposes. The Politburo sanctioned the attacks made by the Huks on the
anniversary of the HMB on March 25, 1950. The HMB attacks that were reported to the PB were
those made in May, 1946; June, 1946; April 10, 1947; May 9, 1947; August 19, 1947; August
25, 1950; August 26, 1950; October 15 and 17, 1950; May 6, 1946; August 6, 1946; April 10,
1947; May 9, 1947; August 19, 1947; April 29, 1949; August 25, 1950; August 26, 1950;
September 12, 1950; March 26, 1950; March 29, 1950.
The theory of the prosecution, as stated in the lower court's decision, is as follows:

The evidence does not show that the defendants in these cases now before this Court had
taken a direct part in those raids and in the commission of the crimes that had been
committed. It is not, however, the theory of the prosecution that they in fact had direct
participation in the commission of the same but rather that the defendants in these cases
have cooperated, conspired and confederated with the Communist Party in the
prosecution and successful accomplishment of the aims and purposes of the said Party
thru the organization called the CLO (Congress of Labor Organizations).
The Court found that the CLO is independent and separate from the CPP, organized under the
same pattern as the CPP, having its own National Congress, a Central Committee (which acts in
the absence of and in representation of the National Congress), an Executive Committee (which
acts when the National Congress and the Executive Committee are not in session), and seven
permanent Committees, namely, of Organization, Unemployment and Public Relations, Different
Strikes and Pickets, Finance, Auditing, Legislation and Political Action. Members of the
Communist Party dominate the committees of the CLO. The supposed tie-up between CPP and
the CLO of which Hernandez was the President, is described by the court below in finding, thus:
Just how the CLO coordinates its functions with the Communist Party organ under which it
operates was explained by witness Guillermo S. Calayag, one-time ranking member of the
Communist Party and the CLO who typewrites the "Patnubay sa Education" from a handwritten
draft of Capadocia, which is one of the texts used in the Worker's institute of the CLO.
According to him, the CLO plays its role by means of propaganda, giving monetary aid,
clothing, medicine and other material forms of help to the HMB, which constitutes the armed
forces of the Communist Party. Propaganda is done by lectures, meetings, and the organization
of committees of the educational department as well as researches at the CLO Worker's Institute.
Another way of helping the Communist Party of the Philippines is by allowing the
Communist Party leaders to act as organizers in the different factories in forming a union.
These Party Members help workers in the factories to agitate for the eradication of social
classes and ultimately effect the total emancipation of the working classes thru the
establishment of the so-called dictatorship of the proletariat. It is the duty of these
Communist Party members to indoctrinate uninitiated workers in the union to become
proselytes of the Communist Party ideology. After the right number is secured and a
union is formed under a communist leader, this union is affiliated with the CLO and this
in turn registers the same with the Department of Labor. The orientation and
indoctrination of the masses is continued with the help of the CLO. The primary
objective of the CLO is to create what is called a revolutionary crisis. It seeks to attain
this objective by first making demands from the employers for concessions which
become more and more unreasonable until the employers would find it difficult to grant
the same. Then a strike is declared. But the strikes are only preparation for the ultimate
attainment of the Communist goal of armed overthrow of the government. After the
workers in the factories have already struck in general at the behest of the Communist
Party thru the CLO a critical point is reached when a signal is given for the armed forces
of the Communist Party, the HMB, to intervene and carry the revolution now being
conducted outside to within the city.

On the basis of the above findings, the court below found Hernandez guilty as principal of the
crime charged against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the
accessories provided by law, and to pay the proportionate amount of the costs.
Our study of the testimonial and documentary evidence, especially those cited by the Court in its
decision and by the Solicitor General in his brief, discloses that defendant-appellant Amado V.
Hernandez, as a Communist, was an active advocate of the principles of Communism, frequently
exhorting his hearers to follow the footsteps of Taruc and join the uprising of the laboring classes
against capitalism and more specifically against America and the Quirino administration, which
he dubbed as a regime of puppets of American imperialism. But beyond the open advocacy of
Communistic Theory there appears no evidence that he actually participated in the actual
conspiracy to overthrow by force the constituted authority.
Hernandez is the founder and head of the CLO. As such, what was his relation to the rebellion?
If, as testified to by Guillermo S. Calayag, the CLO plays merely the role of propagation by
lectures, meetings and organization of committees of education by Communists; if, as stated, the
CLO merely allowed Communist Party leaders to act as organizers in the different factories, to
indoctrinate the CLO members into the Communist Party and proselytize them to the Communist
ideology; if, as also indicated by Calayag, the CLO purports to attain the ultimate overthrow of
the Government first by making demands from employers for concessions until the employers
find it difficult to grant the same, at which time a strike is declared; if it is only after the various
strikes have been carried out and a crisis is thereby developed among the laboring class, that the
Communist forces would intervene and carry the revolution it is apparent that the CLO was
merely a stepping stone in the preparation of the laborers for the Communist' ultimate revolution.
In other words, the CLO had no function but that of indoctrination and preparation of the
members for the uprising that would come. It was only a preparatory organization prior to
revolution, not the revolution itself. The leader of the CLO therefore, namely Hernandez, cannot
be considered as a leader in actual rebellion or of the actual uprising subject of the accusation.
Hernandez, as President of the CLO therefore, by his presidency and leadership of the CLO
cannot be considered as having actually risen up in arms in rebellion against the Government of
the Philippines, or taken part in the conspiracy to commit the rebellion as charged against him in
the present case; he was merely a propagandist and indoctrinator of Communism, he was not a
Communist conspiring to commit the actual rebellion by the mere fact of his presidency of the
CLO.
The court below declares that since November 1949 the Communist Party of the Philippines had
declared the existence of the revolutionary situation and since then the Party had gone
underground, with the CPP leading the struggle for national integration and that in the month of
January 1950, it was decided by the said Party to intensify the HMB military operations for
political purposes. The court implicates the appellant Hernandez as a co-conspirator in this
resolution or acts of the Communist Party by his mere membership thereto. We find this
conclusion unwarranted. The seditious speeches of Hernandez took place before November,
1949 when the CPP went underground. The court below has not been able to point out, nor have
We been able to find among all acts attributed to Hernandez, any single fact or act of his from
which it may be inferred that he took part in the deliberations declaring the existence of a
revolutionary situation, or that he had gone underground. As a matter of fact the prosecution's

evidence is to the effect that Hernandez refused to go underground preferring to engage in what
they consider the legal battle for the cause.
We have also looked into the different documents which have been presented at the time of the
trial and which were confiscated from the office of the Politburo of the Communist Party. The
speeches of Hernandez were delivered before the declaration by the Communist Party of a state
of revolutionary situation in 1949. Neither was it shown that Hernandez was a member of the
Executive Committee, or of the SEC, or of the Politburo of the Communist Party; so NO
presumption can arise that he had taken part in the accord or conspiracy declaring a revolution.
In short, there has been no evidence, direct or indirect, to relate or connect the appellant
Hernandez with the uprising or the resolution to continue or maintain said uprising, his
participation in the deliberations leading to the uprising being inferred only from the fact that he
was a communist.
The practice among the top Communists, as declared by the trial court appears to have been for
important members, if they intend actually to join the rebellion, to go underground, which meant
leaving the city, disappearing from sight and/or secretly joining the forces in the field.
The document, Exhibit F-562, which is quoted in the decision, contains the directive of the SEC
of September 1, 1950, to Saulo and Hernandez, which reads:
11. In view of the new developments in the city, send out Elias who prefers to work
outside. Present problem of fighting legally to Com. Soliman. If Soliman is prepared for
martyrdom, retain him to fight legally. If not, send him out with Elias. Same goes with
Com. Mino and other relatively exposed mass leaders.
And the lower court itself found that whereas Saulo went underground and joined the
underground forces outside the City, Hernandez remained in the City, engaged in the work of
propaganda, making speeches and causing the publication of such matters as the Communist
Party leaders directed him to publish.
That Hernandez refused to go underground is a fact which is further corroborated by the
following reasons (excuses) given by him for not going underground, namely (1) that his term of
councilor of the City of Manila was to extend to December, 1951; and (2) that he was elected
President of the CLO for a term which was to end the year 1951.
As a matter of fact the SEC gave instructions to Hernandez not to be involved with Nacionalista
Rebels, and reported to the Politburo that Hernandez "has tendencies of careerism, and tending to
want to deal with leaders of the Nacionalista Party instead of following CPP organizational
procedures."
The court below further found that Hernandez had been furnishing supplies for the Huks in the
field. But the very document dated December 3, 1949, Exhibit D-420422, cited in the decision
(printed, p. 49), is to the effect that clothes and shoes that Hernandez was supposed to have sent
have not been received. It is true that some clothes had been sent thru him to the field, but these
clothes had come from a crew member of a ship of the American President Lines. He also, upon

request, sent a portable typewriter to the SEC or Politburo. Furthermore, a certain Niagara
Duplicating machine received by Hernandez from one Rolland Scott Bullard a crew member of
the SS President Cleveland, appease later to have been forwarded by him to the officers of the
SEC or the Politburo.
Lastly, it further appears that Taruc and other CPP leaders used to send notes to appellant
Hernandez, who in turn issued press releases for which he found space in the local papers. His
acts in this respect belong to the category of propaganda, to which he appears to have limited his
actions as a Communist.
The acts of the appellant as thus explained and analyzed fall under the category of acts of
propaganda, but do not prove that he actually and in fact conspired with the leaders of the
Communist Party in the uprising or in the actual rebellion, for which acts he is charged in the
information. And his refusal to go underground because of his political commitments occasioned
by his term of election as president of the CLO and the impressions caused by his acts on the
Communist leaders, to the effect that he was in direct communication or understanding with the
Nacionalista Party to which he was affiliated, creates in Us the reasonable doubt that it was not
his Communistic leanings but his political ambitions, that motivated his speeches sympathizing
with the Huks. For which reason We hold that the evidence submitted fails to prove beyond
reasonable doubt that he has conspired in the instigation of the rebellion for which he is held to
account in this criminal case.
The question that next comes up for resolution is: Does his or anyone's membership in the
Communist Party per se render Hernandez or any Communist guilty of conspiracy to commit
rebellion under the provisions of Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code? The pertinent provision
reads:
ART. 136. Conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection. The
conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection shall be punished,
respectively, by prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine which shall not
exceed 5,000 pesos, and by prision correccional in its medium period and a fine not
exceeding 2,000 pesos.
The advocacy of Communism or Communistic theory and principle is not to be considered as a
criminal act of conspiracy unless transformed or converted into an advocacy of action. In the
very nature of things, mere advocacy of a theory or principle is insufficient unless the communist
advocates action, immediate and positive, the actual agreement to start an uprising or rebellion or
an agreement forged to use force and violence in an uprising of the working class to overthrow
constituted authority and seize the reins of Government itself. Unless action is actually advocated
or intended or contemplated, the Communist is a mere theorist, merely holding belief in the
supremacy of the proletariat a Communist does not yet advocate the seizing of the reins of
Government by it. As a theorist the Communist is not yet actually considered as engaging in the
criminal field subject to punishment. Only when the Communist advocates action and actual
uprising, war or otherwise, does he become guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion. Borrowing
the language of the Supreme Court of the United States:

In our jurisprudence guilt is personal, and when the imposition of punishment on a status
or on conduct can only be justified by reference to the relationship of that status or
conduct to other concededly criminal activity (here advocacy of violent overthrow), that
relationship must be sufficiently substantial to satisfy the concept of personal guilt in
order to withstand attack under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Membership, without more, in an organization engaged in illegal advocacy, it is now
said, has not heretofore been recognized by this Court to be such a relationship. ... .
What must be met, then, is the argument that membership, even when accompanied by
the elements of knowledge and specific intent, affords an insufficient quantum of
participation in the organization's alleged criminal activity, that is, an insufficiently
significant form of aid and encouragement to permit the imposition of criminal sanctions
on that basis. It must indeed be recognized that a person who merely becomes a member
of an illegal organization, by that "act" alone need be doing nothing more than signifying
his assent to its purposes and activities on one hand, and providing, on the other, only the
sort of moral encouragement which comes from the knowledge that others believe in
what the organization is doing. It may indeed be argued that such assent and
encouragement do fall short of the concrete, practical impetus given to a criminal
enterprise which is lent for instance by a commitment on the part of the conspirator to act
in furtherance of that enterprise. A member, as distinguished from a conspirator, may
indicate his approval of a criminal enterprise by the very fact of his membership without
thereby necessarily committing himself to further it by any act or course of conduct
whatever. (Scales v. United States, 367 U.S. 203, 6 L. ed. 782)
The most important activity of appellant Hernandez appears to be the propagation of
improvement of conditions of labor through his organization, the CLO. While the CLO of which
he is the founder and active president, has communistic tendencies, its activity refers to the
strengthening of the unity and cooperation between labor elements and preparing them for
struggle; they are not yet indoctrinated in the need of an actual war with or against Capitalism.
The appellant was a politician and a labor leader and it is not unreasonable to suspect that his
labor activities especially in connection with the CLO and other trade unions, were impelled and
fostered by the desire to secure the labor vote to support his political ambitions. It is doubtful
whether his desire to foster the labor union of which he was the head was impelled by an actual
desire to advance the cause of Communism, not merely to advance his political aspirations.
Insofar as the appellant's alleged activities as a Communist are concerned, We have not found,
nor has any particular act on his part been pointed to Us, which would indicate that he had
advocated action or the use of force in securing the ends of Communism. True it is, he had
friends among the leaders of the Communist Party, and especially the heads of the rebellion, but
this notwithstanding, evidence is wanting to show that he ever attended their meetings, or
collaborated and conspired with said leaders in planning and encouraging the acts of rebellion, or
advancing the cause thereof. Insofar as the furnishing of the mimeograph machine and clothes is
concerned, it appears that he acted merely as an intermediary, who passed said machine and
clothes on to others. It does not appear that he himself furnished funds or material help of his
own to the members of the rebellion or to the forces of the rebellion in the field.

But the very act or conduct of his in refusing to go underground, in spite of the apparent desire of
the chief of the rebellion, is clear proof of his non-participation in the conspiracy to engage in or
to foster the rebellion or the uprising.
We next consider the question as to whether the fact that Hernandez delivered speeches of
propaganda in favor of Communism and in favor of rebellion can be considered as a criminal act
of conspiracy to commit rebellion as defined in the law. In this respect, the mere fact of his
giving and rendering speeches favoring Communism would not make him guilty of conspiracy,
because there was no evidence that the hearers of his speeches of propaganda then and there
agreed to rise up in arms for the purpose of obtaining the overthrow of the democratic
government as envisaged by the principles of Communism. To this effect is the following
comment of Viada:
CUESTION 10. El que hace propaganda entre sus convecinos, induciendoles a que el dia
que se anunciara la subasta de consumes se echaran a la calle para conseguir aunque
fuera preciso acudir a la fuerza el reparto entre los vecinos ricos solamente, sera
responsable de un delito de conspiracion para la sedicion? El Tribunal Supreme ha
resuelto la negative al casar cierta sentencia de la Audiencia de Valencia, que entendio lo
contrario: "Considerando que, con areglo a lo que dispone el art. 4. del Codigo Penal, hay
conspiracion cuando dos o mas personas se conciertan para la execution de un delito y
resuelven cmeterlo; y no constando que existiera ese concierto en cuanto a los hechos que
se refieren en la tercera pregunta del veredicto, pues en ella solo se habla de los actos de
induccion que el procesado realizo, sin expresar el efecto que la mismo produjo en el
animo de las personas a quienes se dirigian, ni si estas aceptaron o no lo que se las
propuso, resulta evidence que faltan los clementos integrantes de la conspiracion, etc."
(Se. de 5 de Julio de 1907, Gaceta de 7 de Enero de 1909.) (Viada, Tomo I, Codigo
Penal, p. 152)
In view of all the above circumstances We find that there is no concrete evidence proving
beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant (Hernandez) actually participated in the rebellion or
in any act of conspiracy to commit or foster the cause of the rebellion. We are constrained, in
view of these circumstances, to absolve, as We hereby absolve, the appellant Amado V.
Hernandez from the crime charged, with a proportionate share of the costs de oficio.
APPEAL OF OTHER DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS
All the other defendants were found guilty as accomplices in the crime of rebellion as charged in
the information and were each sentenced to suffer the penalty of 10 years and 1 day of prision
mayor, with the accessories provided by law, and to pay their proportionate share of the costs.
Legal Considerations. Before proceeding to consider the appeals of the other defendants, it is
believed useful if not necessary to lay dawn the circumstances or facts that may be determinative
of their criminal responsibility or the existence or nature thereof. To begin with, as We have
exhaustively discussed in relation to the appeal of Hernandez, we do not believe that mere
membership in the Communist Party or in the CLO renders the member liable, either of rebellion
or of conspiracy to commit rebellion, because mere membership and nothing more merely

implies advocacy of abstract theory or principle without any action being induced thereby; and
that such advocacy becomes criminal only if it is coupled with action or advocacy of action,
namely, actual rebellion or conspiracy to commit rebellion, or acts conducive thereto or evincing
the same.
On the other hand, membership in the HMB (Hukbalahap) implies participation in an actual
uprising or rebellion to secure, as the Huks pretend, the liberation of the peasants and laboring
class from thraldom. By membership in the HMB, one already advocates uprising and the use of
force, and by such membership he agrees or conspires that force be used to secure the ends of the
party. Such membership, therefore, even if there is nothing more, renders the member guilty of
conspiracy to commit rebellion punishable by law.
And when a Huk member, not content with his membership, does anything to promote the ends
of the rebellion like soliciting contributions, or acting as courier, he thereby becomes guilty of
conspiracy, unless he takes to the field and joins in the rebellion or uprising, in which latter case
he commits rebellion.
In U.S. v. Vergara, infra, the defendants organized a secret society commonly known as the
"Katipunan", the purpose of which was to overthrow the government by force. Each of the
defendants on various times solicited funds from the people of Mexico, Pampanga. The Court
held that the defendants were guilty of conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or
insurrection and not of rebellion or insurrection itself. Thus, the Court ruled that:
From the evidence adduced in this case we are of the opinion that the said defendants are
guilty, not of inciting, setting or foot, or assisting or engaging in rebellion, but rather of
the crime of conspiring to overthrow, put down, and destroy by force the Government of
the United States in the Philippine Islands, and therefore we find that said defendants, and
each of them, did, together with others, in the months of February and March, 1903, in
the Province of Pampanga, Philippine Islands, conspire to overthrow, put down, and to
destroy by force the Government of the United States in the Philippine Islands. (U.S. v.
Vergara, et al., 3 Phil. 432, 434.)
JUAN J. CRUZ
The court found him to be a Communist with various aliases, a member of the Central
Committee of the CLO member of the Central Committee of the CPP and as such committed to
the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat To the same effect is the testimony of
Guillermo Calayag.
There is no evidence to connect him with the rebellion or to the conspiracy to commit rebellion.
He should therefore be absolved of the charges contained in the information.
AMADO RACANDAY

The trial court found him guilty as a Communist, a Secretary and Executive Committee member
of the CLO a communications center of the Communist Party, having been found in possession
of letters from Federico Maclang to Salome Cruz, and solicitor of contributions for the Huks.
Racanday admits being a member of the Executive Committee of the CLO Editor of the Kidlat of
the Government Workers Union, receiving copies of the Titis. Calayag testified that he was a
member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party entrusted with the duty of receiving
directives of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party.
The letters found in his possession are dated February 14, 1950, before the Communist Party
went underground. We have been unable to find the evidence upon which the court bases its
conclusion that he received contributions for the Huks. With these circumstances in mind, We
are not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that as a Communist he took part in the conspiracy
among the officials of the Communist Party to take part and support the rebellion of the Huks.
We are, therefore, constrained to absolve him of the charges filed against him.
GENARO DE LA CRUZ
The court found him to be a Communist since 1945, an officer of an organized Communist
branch in Pasay City, a member of the Central Committee and Treasurer of the CLO. He
admitted his membership and his position as member of the executive committee and treasurer of
the CLO these facts being corroborated by the witness Guillermo Calayag.
His membership in the Communist Party dates as far back as the year 1945. As a communist,
Genaro de la Cruz received quotas and monetary contributions coming from the areas under his
jurisdiction, and one time he made a receipt from a member from Caloocan at the CLO
headquarters at Azcarraga signing the receipt as "Gonzalo" which is one of his aliases. He also
distributed copies of the "Titis" magazine. `
While his membership in the Communist Party plus his having received contributions for the
party indicate that he is an active member, it was not shown that the contributions that he
received from Communist Party members were received around the year 1950 when the Central
Committee of the Communist Party had already agreed to conspire and go underground and
support the Huk rebellion. Under these circumstances We cannot find him guilty of conspiracy to
commit rebellion because of the lack of evidence to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
JULIAN LUMANOG
The court found him to be an organizer of HMB among the mill workers, solicited contributions
for the HMB and Central Committee member of the CLO as per Testimony of Guillermo
Calayag.
He admitted that he joined the Communist Party because he was made to believe that the Party is
for the welfare of the laborers. He also admitted being a member of the Central Committee of the

CLO Calayag testified that Lumanog organized the HMB units of the Communist Party in the
Lumber Unions and attended a Communist meeting held by Maclang.
Domingo Clarin testified that he (Julian Lumanog) used to give the money collected by him to
one Nicasio Pamintuan, one of the members of the HMB Special Unit Trigger Squad) in Manila
for the use of the said unit.
Considering that the HMB was engaged in a rebellion to overthrow the government, it is evident
that by giving his contributions he actually participated in the conspiracy to overthrow the
government and should, therefore, be held liable for such conspiracy, and should be sentenced
accordingly.
FERMIN RODILLAS
The trial court found that Fermin Rodillas was a member of the CPP and the CLO that his
activities consisted in soliciting contributions, in cash and in kind, from city residents for the use
of the HMB, turning over said collections to the Party; that he has given asylum to a wanted
Hukbalahap at his house at Juan Luna St., Gagalangin, which house was used as Military post.
The above findings of the court are fully supported by the testimony of Domingo Clarin.
Considering that while he has not actually taken part in the rebellion, he has shown sympathy
with the cause by soliciting contributions for it and had given shelter to the Huks. We feel that
the court was fully justified in finding him guilty, but We hold that he should be declared liable
merely as a co-conspirator in the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion, and should be
sentenced accordingly.
BAYANI ESPIRITU
This appellant was found by the court to be a Communist, he having admitted membership in the
Communist Party since 1945; that his duties as a Communist was to help in the office of the
National Finance Committee, assorting papers and written documents; that sometimes he
accompanied the purchaser of medicines, shoes, papers, foodstuffs and clothing to be given to
the Huks; that he is a member of the Communication Division of the CPP in Manila, in charge of
distribution of letters or communications; that he admits having written to Salome Cruz, courier
of the Communist Party, when he asked for his necessities, such as money and shoes, etc.
The facts found by the court are sufficiently supported by the communications and evidence
submitted by the prosecution. The exhibits show that he was in constant communication with the
communists; serving them as courier. His oath as a member of the Communist Party was
submitted in court and in it he admits obedience to all orders of the Party and to propagate the
stability of the PKP.
Considering that the PKP was engaged in an actual uprising against the constituted Government
and that Bayani Espiritu was in constant communication with the Communist Party and served it
as courier, We believe that the court was fully justified in finding him guilty. However, We

believe that not having actually taken up arms in the uprising he may only be declared guilty of
conspiracy to commit rebellion.
TEOPISTA VALERIO
The court below found that this appellant joined the Communists in 1938 in San Luis,
Pampanga, under Casto Alejandrino, who later became her common-law husband; that her
aliases are "Estrella" and "Star"; that she was found in possession of various documents written
to top Communists like Alejandrino, Lava and Romy, as well as a letter from Taruc
congratulating her for the delivers, of a son.
Jose Taguiang testified that she was a member of the Provincial Committee of the CPP in Nueva
Ecija, later Chairman of the Finance Department, and then promoted to Finance Officer of the
Central Luzon Committee. Alicia Vergara, a Huk courier, testified that she delivered letter from
the mountains to Teopista Valerie, who was in turn also a courier.
Without considering the close relationship that she had with top Communist Casto Alejandrino,
We are satisfied that she herself was, aside from being a Huk courier, also a Huk, a member of
the HMB from 1942 to 1951. As she was a Communist and at the same time a member of the
HMB, and considering that the HMB was engaged in an uprising to uproot the legitimate
government, there cannot be any question that she was in conspiracy with the other members of
her Party against the constituted government. We hold, therefore, that the evidence proves
beyond reasonable doubt that she is guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion.
DEFENDANTS NOT INCLUDED IN DECISION
In Crim. Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) the charge against Guillermo Capadocia, Mariano
P. Balgos, Alfredo B. Saulo and Jacobo Espino was dismissed because they have not been
apprehended at the time of the trial.
PEOPLE VS. EVANGELISTA, 57 PHIL. 354 AND
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1700, DISTINGUISHED
In the case at bar the prosecution is for actual rebellion which consists in rising publicly and
taking aims against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said
Government or its laws, the territory of the Philippines, or any part thereof, etc., a crime defined
in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code; whereas Evangelista was charged and convicted for
inciting to rebellion under Art. 138, Revised Penal Code (formerly Sec. 2, Act No. 292). As the
specific charge against appellants is that of rising up in arms in actual rebellion against the
Government, they cannot be held guilty of inciting the people to arms under Article 138, which
is a different offense.
On the other hand, Rep. Act 1700, known as the Anti-subversion Act, which penalizes
membership in any organization or association committed to subvert the Government, cannot be
applied to the appellants because said Act was approved on June 20, 1957 and was not in force at
the time of the commission of the acts charged against appellants (committed 1945-1950) ; the

Anti-Subversion Act punishes participation or membership in an organization committed to


overthrow the duly constituted Government, a crime district from that of actual rebellion with
which appellants are charged.
CONCLUSION
WHEREFORE, in Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) defendants-appellants Amado V.
Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Amado Racanday and Genaro de la Cruz are absolved from the charges
contained in the information, with their proportionate share of the costs de oficio. The
defendants-appellants Julian Lumanog and Fermin Rodillas in Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R.
No. L-6025) and the defendants-appellants Bayani Espiritu and Teopista Valerio in Criminal
Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) are hereby found guilty of the crime of conspiracy to commit
rebellion, as defined and punished in Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code, and each and
everyone of them is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for five years, four months and
twenty-one days of prision correccional, and to pay a fine of P5,000.00, with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay their proportional share of the costs. So ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon and Makalintal, JJ.,
concur.
Padilla, Barrera and Regala, JJ., took no part.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 92163 June 5, 1990
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS. JUAN PONCE
ENRILE, petitioner
vs.
JUDGE JAIME SALAZAR (Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City
[Br. 103], SENIOR STATE PROSECUTOR AURELIO TRAMPE, PROSECUTOR
FERDINAND R. ABESAMIS, AND CITY ASSISTANT CITY PROSECUTOR EULOGIO
MANANQUIL, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR ALFREDO
LIM, BRIG. GEN. EDGAR DULA TORRES (Superintendent of the Northern Police
District) AND/ OR ANY AND ALL PERSONS WHO MAY HAVE ACTUAL CUSTODY
OVER THE PERSON OF JUAN PONCE ENRILE, respondents.
G.R. No. 92164 June 5, 1990

SPS. REBECCO E. PANLILIO AND ERLINDA E. PANLILIO, petitioners,


vs.
PROSECUTORS FERNANDO DE LEON, AURELIO C. TRAMPE, FFRDINAND R.
ABESAMIS, AND EULOGIO C. MANANQUIL, and HON. JAIME W. SALAZAR, JR., in
his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch
103, respondents.

NARVASA, J.:
Thirty-four years after it wrote history into our criminal jurisprudence, People vs.
Hernandez 1 once more takes center stage as the focus of a confrontation at law that would reexamine, if not the validity of its doctrine, the limits of its applicability. To be sure, the
intervening period saw a number of similar cases 2 that took issue with the ruling-all with a
marked lack of success-but none, it would Beem, where season and circumstance had more
effectively conspired to attract wide public attention and excite impassioned debate, even among
laymen; none, certainly, which has seen quite the kind and range of arguments that are now
brought to bear on the same question.
The facts are not in dispute. In the afternoon of February 27, 1990, Senate Minority Floor
Leader Juan PonceEnrile was arrested by law enforcement officers led by Director Alfredo Lim
of the National Bureau of Investigationon the strength of a warrant issued by Hon. Jaime Salazar
of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 103, in Criminal Case No. 9010941. The
warrant had issued on an information signed and earlier that day filed by a panel of prosecutors
composed of Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe, State Prosecutor Ferdinand R.
Abesamis and Assistant City Prosecutor Eulogio Mananquil, Jr., charging Senator Enrile, the
spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and Gregorio Honasan with the crime of rebellion with
murder and multiple frustrated murder allegedly committed during the period of the failed coup
attempt from November 29 to December 10, 1990. Senator Enrile was taken to and held
overnight at the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue, Manila, without bail, none having been
recommended in the information and none fixed in the arrest warrant. The following morning,
February 28, 1990, he was brought to Camp Tomas Karingal in Quezon City where he was given
over to the custody of the Superintendent of the Northern Police District, Brig. Gen. Edgardo
Dula Torres. 3
On the same date of February 28, 1990, Senator Enrile, through counsel, filed the petition
for habeas corpusherein (which was followed by a supplemental petition filed on March 2,
1990), alleging that he was deprived of his constitutional rights in being, or having been:
(a) held to answer for criminal offense which does not exist in the statute books;
(b) charged with a criminal offense in an information for which no complaint was
initially filed or preliminary investigation was conducted, hence was denied due
process;

(c) denied his right to bail; and


(d) arrested and detained on the strength of a warrant issued without the judge
who issued it first having personally determined the existence of probable cause. 4
The Court issued the writ prayed for, returnable March 5, 1990 and set the plea for hearing on
March 6, 1990. 5On March 5, 1990, the Solicitor General filed a consolidated return 6 for the
respondents in this case and in G.R. No. 921647 Which had been contemporaneously but
separately filed by two of Senator Enrile's co-accused, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio,
and raised similar questions. Said return urged that the petitioners' case does not fall within
the Hernandezruling because-and this is putting it very simply-the information
in Hernandez charged murders and other common crimes committed as a necessary means for
the commission of rebellion, whereas the information against Sen. Enrile et al.charged murder
and frustrated murder committed on the occasion, but not in furtherance, of rebellion. Stated
otherwise, the Solicitor General would distinguish between the complex crime ("delito
complejo") arising from an offense being a necessary means for committing another, which
is referred to in the second clause of Article 48, Revised Penal Code, and is the subject of
the Hernandez ruling, and the compound crime ("delito compuesto") arising from a single act
constituting two or more grave or less grave offenses referred to in the first clause of the same
paragraph, with which Hernandez was not concerned and to which, therefore, it should not
apply.
The parties were heard in oral argument, as scheduled, on March 6, 1990, after which the Court
issued its Resolution of the same date 8 granting Senator Enrile and the Panlilio spouses
provisional liberty conditioned upon their filing, within 24 hours from notice, cash or surety
bonds of P100,000.00 (for Senator Enrile) and P200,000.00 (for the Panlilios), respectively. The
Resolution stated that it was issued without prejudice to a more extended resolution on the matter
of the provisional liberty of the petitioners and stressed that it was not passing upon the legal
issues raised in both cases. Four Members of the Court 9 voted against granting bail to Senator
Enrile, and two 10 against granting bail to the Panlilios.
The Court now addresses those issues insofar as they are raised and litigated in Senator Enrile's
petition, G.R. No. 92163.
The parties' oral and written pleas presented the Court with the following options:
(a) abandon Hernandez and adopt the minority view expressed in the main dissent
of Justice Montemayor in said case that rebellion cannot absorb more serious
crimes, and that under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code rebellion may
properly be complexed with common offenses, so-called; this option was
suggested by the Solicitor General in oral argument although it is not offered in
his written pleadings;
(b) hold Hernandez applicable only to offenses committed in furtherance, or as a
necessary means for the commission, of rebellion, but not to acts committed in the

course of a rebellion which also constitute "common" crimes of grave or less


grave character;
(c) maintain Hernandez as applying to make rebellion absorb all other offenses
committed in its course, whether or not necessary to its commission or in
furtherance thereof.
On the first option, eleven (11) Members of the Court voted against abandoning Hernandez. Two
(2) Members felt that the doctrine should be re-examined. 10-A In the view of the majority, the
ruling remains good law, its substantive and logical bases have withstood all subsequent
challenges and no new ones are presented here persuasive enough to warrant a complete reversal.
This view is reinforced by the fact that not too long ago, the incumbent President, exercising her
powers under the 1986 Freedom Constitution, saw fit to repeal, among others, Presidential
Decree No. 942 of the former regime which precisely sought to nullify or
neutralize Hernandez by enacting a new provision (Art. 142-A) into the Revised Penal Code to
the effect that "(w)hen by reason, or on the occasion, of any of the crimes penalized in this
Chapter (Chapter I of Title 3, which includes rebellion), acts which constitute offenses upon
which graver penalties are imposed by law are committed, the penalty for the most serious
offense in its maximum period shall be imposed upon the offender."' 11In thus acting, the
President in effect by legislative flat reinstated Hernandez as binding doctrine with the effect of
law. The Court can do no less than accord it the same recognition, absent any sufficiently
powerful reason against so doing.
On the second option, the Court unanimously voted to reject the theory that Hernandez is, or
should be, limited in its application to offenses committed as a necessary means for the
commission of rebellion and that the ruling should not be interpreted as prohibiting the
complexing of rebellion with other common crimes committed on the occasion, but not in
furtherance, thereof. While four Members of the Court felt that the proponents' arguments were
not entirely devoid of merit, the consensus was that they were not sufficient to overcome what
appears to be the real thrust of Hernandez to rule out the complexing of rebellion with any other
offense committed in its course under either of the aforecited clauses of Article 48, as is made
clear by the following excerpt from the majority opinion in that case:
There is one other reason-and a fundamental one at that-why Article 48 of our
Penal Code cannot be applied in the case at bar. If murder were not complexed
with rebellion, and the two crimes were punished separately (assuming that this
could be done), the following penalties would be imposable upon the movant,
namely: (1) for the crime of rebellion, a fine not exceeding P20,000 and prision
mayor, in the corresponding period, depending upon the modifying circumstances
present, but never exceeding 12 years of prision mayor, and (2) for the crime of
murder, reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, depending upon the
modifying circumstances present. in other words, in the absence of aggravating
circumstances, the extreme penalty could not be imposed upon him. However,
under Article 48 said penalty would have to be meted out to him, even in the
absence of a single aggravating circumstance. Thus, said provision, if construed

in conformity with the theory of the prosecution, would be unfavorable to the


movant.
Upon the other hand, said Article 48 was enacted for the purpose of favoring the
culprit, not of sentencing him to a penalty more severe than that which would be
proper if the several acts performed by him were punished separately. In the
words of Rodriguez Navarro:
La unificacion de penas en los casos de concurso de delitos a que
hace referencia este articulo (75 del Codigo de 1932), esta basado
francamente en el principio pro reo.' (II Doctrina Penal del
Tribunal Supremo de Espana, p. 2168.)
We are aware of the fact that this observation refers to Article 71 (later 75) of the
Spanish Penal Code (the counterpart of our Article 48), as amended in 1908 and
then in 1932, reading:
Las disposiciones del articulo anterior no son aplicables en el caso
de que un solo hecho constituya dos o mas delitos, o cuando el uno
de ellos sea medio necesario para cometer el otro.
En estos casos solo se impondra la pena correspondiente al delito
mas grave en su grado maximo, hasta el limite que represents la
suma de las que pudieran imponerse, penando separadamente los
delitos.
Cuando la pena asi computada exceda de este limite, se
sancionaran los delitos por separado. (Rodriguez Navarro,
Doctrina Penal del Tribunal Supremo, Vol. II, p. 2163)
and that our Article 48 does not contain the qualification inserted in said
amendment, restricting the imposition of the penalty for the graver offense in its
maximum period to the case when it does not exceed the sum total of the penalties
imposable if the acts charged were dealt with separately. The absence of said
limitation in our Penal Code does not, to our mind, affect substantially the spirit
of said Article 48. Indeed, if one act constitutes two or more offenses, there can be
no reason to inflict a punishment graver than that prescribed for each one of said
offenses put together. In directing that the penalty for the graver offense be, in
such case, imposed in its maximum period, Article 48 could have had no other
purpose than to prescribe a penalty lower than the aggregate of the penalties for
each offense, if imposed separately. The reason for this benevolent spirit of article
48 is readily discernible. When two or more crimes are the result of a single act,
the offender is deemed less perverse than when he commits said crimes thru
separate and distinct acts. Instead of sentencing him for each crime independently
from the other, he must suffer the maximum of the penalty for the more serious

one, on the assumption that it is less grave than the sum total of the separate
penalties for each offense. 12
The rejection of both options shapes and determines the primary ruling of the Court, which is
that Hernandezremains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with
any other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a means necessary to its
commission or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes rebellion.
This, however, does not write finis to the case. Petitioner's guilt or innocence is not here inquired
into, much less adjudged. That is for the trial court to do at the proper time. The Court's ruling
merely provides a take-off point for the disposition of other questions relevant to the petitioner's
complaints about the denial of his rights and to the propriety of the recourse he has taken.
The Court rules further (by a vote of 11 to 3) that the information filed against the petitioner does
in fact charge an offense. Disregarding the objectionable phrasing that would complex rebellion
with murder and multiple frustrated murder, that indictment is to be read as charging simple
rebellion. Thus, in Hernandez, the Court said:
In conclusion, we hold that, under the allegations of the amended
information against defendant-appellant Amado V. Hernandez, the murders,
arsons and robberies described therein are mere ingredients of the crime of
rebellion allegedly committed by said defendants, as means "necessary" (4) for
the perpetration of said offense of rebellion; that the crime charged in the
aforementioned amended information is, therefore, simple rebellion, not the
complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder, arsons and robberies; that the
maximum penalty imposable under such charge cannot exceed twelve (12) years
of prision mayor and a fine of P2H,HHH; and that, in conformity with the policy
of this court in dealing with accused persons amenable to a similar punishment,
said defendant may be allowed bail. 13
The plaint of petitioner's counsel that he is charged with a crime that does not exist in the statute
books, while technically correct so far as the Court has ruled that rebellion may not be
complexed with other offenses committed on the occasion thereof, must therefore be dismissed
as a mere flight of rhetoric. Read in the context of Hernandez, the information does indeed
charge the petitioner with a crime defined and punished by the Revised Penal Code: simple
rebellion.
Was the petitioner charged without a complaint having been initially filed and/or preliminary
investigation conducted? The record shows otherwise, that a complaint against petitioner for
simple rebellion was filed by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, and that on
the strength of said complaint a preliminary investigation was conducted by the respondent
prosecutors, culminating in the filing of the questioned information. 14 There is nothing
inherently irregular or contrary to law in filing against a respondent an indictment for an offense
different from what is charged in the initiatory complaint, if warranted by the evidence
developed during the preliminary investigation.

It is also contended that the respondent Judge issued the warrant for petitioner's arrest without
first personallydetermining the existence of probable cause by examining under oath or
affirmation the complainant and his witnesses, in violation of Art. III, sec. 2, of the
Constitution. 15 This Court has already ruled, however, that it is not the unavoidable duty of the
judge to make such a personal examination, it being sufficient that he follows established
procedure by personally evaluating the report and the supporting documents submitted by the
prosecutor. 16 Petitioner claims that the warrant of arrest issued barely one hour and twenty
minutes after the case was raffled off to the respondent Judge, which hardly gave the latter
sufficient time to personally go over the voluminous records of the preliminary
investigation. 17 Merely because said respondent had what some might consider only a relatively
brief period within which to comply with that duty, gives no reason to assume that he had not, or
could not have, so complied; nor does that single circumstance suffice to overcome the legal
presumption that official duty has been regularly performed.
Petitioner finally claims that he was denied the right to bail. In the light of the Court's
reaffirmation of Hernandezas applicable to petitioner's case, and of the logical and necessary
corollary that the information against him should be considered as charging only the crime of
simple rebellion, which is bailable before conviction, that must now be accepted as a correct
proposition. But the question remains: Given the facts from which this case arose, was a petition
for habeas corpus in this Court the appropriate vehicle for asserting a right to bail or vindicating
its denial?
The criminal case before the respondent Judge was the normal venue for invoking the petitioner's
right to have provisional liberty pending trial and judgment. The original jurisdiction to grant or
deny bail rested with said respondent. The correct course was for petitioner to invoke that
jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to bail, claiming a right to bail per se by reason of
the weakness of the evidence against him. Only after that remedy was denied by the trial court
should the review jurisdiction of this Court have been invoked, and even then, not without first
applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also available there.
Even acceptance of petitioner's premise that going by the Hernandez ruling, the information
charges a non-existent crime or, contrarily, theorizing on the same basis that it charges more than
one offense, would not excuse or justify his improper choice of remedies. Under either
hypothesis, the obvious recourse would have been a motion to quash brought in the criminal
action before the respondent Judge. 18
There thus seems to be no question that All the grounds upon which petitioner has founded the
present petition, whether these went into the substance of what is charged in the information or
imputed error or omission on the part of the prosecuting panel or of the respondent Judge in
dealing with the charges against him, were originally justiciable in the criminal case before said
Judge and should have been brought up there instead of directly to this Court.
There was and is no reason to assume that the resolution of any of these questions was beyond
the ability or competence of the respondent Judge-indeed such an assumption would be
demeaning and less than fair to our trial courts; none whatever to hold them to be of such
complexity or transcendental importance as to disqualify every court, except this Court, from

deciding them; none, in short that would justify by passing established judicial processes
designed to orderly move litigation through the hierarchy of our courts. Parenthentically, this is
the reason behind the vote of four Members of the Court against the grant of bail to petitioner:
the view that the trial court should not thus be precipitately ousted of its original jurisdiction to
grant or deny bail, and if it erred in that matter, denied an opportunity to correct its error. It
makes no difference that the respondent Judge here issued a warrant of arrest fixing no bail.
Immemorial practice sanctions simply following the prosecutor's recommendation regarding
bail, though it may be perceived as the better course for the judge motu proprio to set a bail
hearing where a capital offense is charged. 19 It is, in any event, incumbent on the accused as to
whom no bail has been recommended or fixed to claim the right to a bail hearing and thereby put
to proof the strength or weakness of the evidence against him.
It is apropos to point out that the present petition has triggered a rush to this Court of other
parties in a similar situation, all apparently taking their cue from it, distrustful or contemptuous
of the efficacy of seeking recourse in the regular manner just outlined. The proliferation of such
pleas has only contributed to the delay that the petitioner may have hoped to avoid by coming
directly to this Court.
Not only because popular interest seems focused on the outcome of the present petition, but also
because to wash the Court's hand off it on jurisdictional grounds would only compound the delay
that it has already gone through, the Court now decides the same on the merits. But in so doing,
the Court cannot express too strongly the view that said petition interdicted the ordered and
orderly progression of proceedings that should have started with the trial court and reached this
Court only if the relief appealed for was denied by the former and, in a proper case, by the Court
of Appeals on review.
Let it be made very clear that hereafter the Court will no longer countenance, but will give short
shrift to, pleas like the present, that clearly short-circuit the judicial process and burden it with
the resolution of issues properly within the original competence of the lower courts. What has
thus far been stated is equally applicable to and decisive of the petition of the Panlilio spouses
(G.R. No. 92164) which is virtually Identical to that of petitioner Enrile in factualmilieu and is
therefore determinable on the same principles already set forth. Said spouses have uncontestedly
pleaded 20 that warrants of arrest issued against them as co-accused of petitioner Enrile in
Criminal Case No. 90-10941, that when they appeared before NBI Director Alfredo Lim in the
afternoon of March 1, 1990, they were taken into custody and detained without bail on the
strength of said warrants in violation-they claim-of their constitutional rights.
It may be that in the light of contemporary events, the act of rebellion has lost that quitessentiany
quixotic quality that justifies the relative leniency with which it is regarded and punished by law,
that present-day rebels are less impelled by love of country than by lust for power and have
become no better than mere terrorists to whom nothing, not even the sanctity of human life, is
allowed to stand in the way of their ambitions. Nothing so underscores this aberration as the rash
of seemingly senseless killings, bombings, kidnappings and assorted mayhem so much in the
news these days, as often perpetrated against innocent civilians as against the military, but by
and large attributable to, or even claimed by so-called rebels to be part of, an ongoing rebellion.

It is enough to give anyone pause-and the Court is no exception-that not even the crowded streets
of our capital City seem safe from such unsettling violence that is disruptive of the public peace
and stymies every effort at national economic recovery. There is an apparent need to restructure
the law on rebellion, either to raise the penalty therefor or to clearly define and delimit the other
offenses to be considered as absorbed thereby, so that it cannot be conveniently utilized as the
umbrella for every sort of illegal activity undertaken in its name. The Court has no power to
effect such change, for it can only interpret the law as it stands at any given time, and what is
needed lies beyond interpretation. Hopefully, Congress will perceive the need for promptly
seizing the initiative in this matter, which is properly within its province.
WHEREFORE, the Court reiterates that based on the doctrine enunciated in People vs.
Hernandez, the questioned information filed against petitioners Juan Ponce Enrile and the
spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio must be read as charging simple rebellion only, hence said
petitioners are entitled to bail, before final conviction, as a matter of right. The Court's earlier
grant of bail to petitioners being merely provisional in character, the proceedings in both cases
are ordered REMANDED to the respondent Judge to fix the amount of bail to be posted by the
petitioners. Once bail is fixed by said respondent for any of the petitioners, the corresponding
bail bond flied with this Court shall become functus oficio. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
Cruz, Gancayco and Regalado, JJ., concur.
Medialdea, J., concurs in G.R. No. 92164 but took no part in G.R. No. 92163.
Cortes and Grio-Aquino, JJ., are on leave.

Separate Opinions

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring:


I join my colleagues in holding that the Hernandez doctrine, which has been with us for the past
three decades, remains good law and, thus, should remain undisturbed, despite periodic
challenges to it that, ironically, have only served to strengthen its pronouncements.
I take exception to the view, however, that habeas corpus was not the proper remedy.
Had the Information filed below charged merely the simple crime of Rebellion, that proposition
could have been plausible. But that Information charged Rebellion complexed with Murder and
Multiple Frustrated Murder, a crime which does not exist in our statute books. The charge was

obviously intended to make the penalty for the most serious offense in its maximum period
imposable upon the offender pursuant to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, no bail was
recommended in the Information nor was any prescribed in the Warrant of Arrest issued by the
Trial Court.
Under the attendant circumstances, therefore, to have filed a Motion to Quash before the lower
Court would not have brought about the speedy relief from unlawful restraint that petitioner was
seeking. During the pendency of said Motion before the lower Court, petitioner could have
continued to languish in detention. Besides, the Writ ofHabeas Corpus may still issue even if
another remedy, which is less effective, may be availed of (Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24
SCRA 663).
It is true that habeas corpus would ordinarily not he when a person is under custody by virtue of
a process issued by a Court.
The Court, however, must have jurisdiction to issue the process. In this case, the Court below
must be deemed to have been ousted of jurisdiction when it illegally curtailed petitioner's liberty.
Habeas corpus is thus available.
The writ of habeas corpus is available to relieve persons from unlawful restraint.
But where the detention or confinement is the result of a process issued by the
court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or sentence, the writ ordinarily cannot be
availed of. It may still be invoked though if the process, judgment or sentence
proceeded from a court or tribunal the jurisdiction of which may be assailed.
Even if it had authority to act at the outset, it is now the prevailing doctrine that a
deprivation of constitutional right, if shown to exist, would oust it of jurisdiction.
In such a case, habeas corpus could be relied upon to regain one's
liberty (Celeste vs. People, 31 SCRA 391) [Emphasis emphasis].
The Petition for habeas corpus was precisely premised on the violation of petitioner's
constitutional right to bail inasmuch as rebellion, under the present state of the law, is a bailable
offense and the crime for which petitioner stands accused of and for which he was denied bail is
non-existent in law.
While litigants should, as a rule, ascend the steps of the judicial ladder, nothing should stop this
Court from taking cognizance of petitions brought before it raising urgent constitutional issues,
any procedural flaw notwithstanding.
The rules on habeas corpus are to be liberally construed (Ganaway v. Quilen, 42
Phil. 805), the writ of habeas corpus being the fundamental instrument for
safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action. The
scope and flexibility of the writ-its capacity to reach all manner of illegal
detention-its ability to cut through barriers of form and procedural mazes-have
always been emphasized and jealously guarded by courts and lawmakers
(Gumabon v. Director of Bureau of Prisons, 37 SCRA 420) [emphasis supplied].

The proliferation of cases in this Court, which followed in the wake of this Petition, was brought
about by the insistence of the prosecution to charge the crime of Rebellion complexed with other
common offenses notwithstanding the fact that this Court had not yet ruled on the validity of that
charge and had granted provisional liberty to petitioner.
If, indeed, it is desired to make the crime of Rebellion a capital offense (now punishable
by reclusion perpetua), the remedy lies in legislation. But Article 142-A 1 of the Revised Penal
Code, along with P.D. No. 942, were repealed, for being "repressive," by EO No. 187 on 5 June
1987. EO 187 further explicitly provided that Article 134 (and others enumerated) of the Revised
Penal Code was "restored to its full force and effect as it existed before said amendatory
decrees." Having been so repealed, this Court is bereft of power to legislate into existence, under
the guise of re-examining a settled doctrine, a "creature unknown in law"- the complex crime of
Rebellion with Murder. The remand of the case to the lower Court for further proceedings is in
order. The Writ of Habeas Corpus has served its purpose.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J., concurring:


I join the Court's decision to grant the petition. In reiterating the rule that under existing law
rebellion may not be complexed with murder, the Court emphasizes that it cannot legislate a
new-crime into existence nor prescribe a penalty for its commission. That function is exclusively
for Congress.
I write this separate opinion to make clear how I view certain issues arising from these cases,
especially on how the defective informations filed by the prosecutors should have been treated.
I agree with the ponente that a petition for habeas corpus is ordinarily not the proper procedure to
assert the right to bail. Under the special circumstances of this case, however, the petitioners had
no other recourse. They had to come to us.
First, the trial court was certainly aware of the decision in People v. Hernandez, 99 Phil. 515
(1956) that there is no such crime in our statute books as rebellion complexed with murder, that
murder committed in connection with a rebellion is absorbed by the crime of rebellion, and that a
resort to arms resulting in the destruction of life or property constitutes neither two or more
offenses nor a complex crime but one crime-rebellion pure and simple.
Second, Hernandez has been the law for 34 years. It has been reiterated in equally sensational
cases. All lawyers and even law students are aware of the doctrine. Attempts to have the doctrine
re-examined have been consistently rejected by this Court.
Third, President Marcos through the use of his then legislative powers, issued Pres. Decree 942,
thereby installing the new crime of rebellion complexed with offenses like murder where graver
penalties are imposed by law. However, President Aquino using her then legislative powers
expressly repealed PD 942 by issuing Exec. Order 187. She thereby erased the crime of rebellion
complexed with murder and made it clear that theHernandez doctrine remains the controlling

rule. The prosecution has not explained why it insists on resurrecting an offense expressly wiped
out by the President. The prosecution, in effect, questions the action of the President in repealing
a repressive decree, a decree which, according to the repeal order, is violative of human rights.
Fourth, any re-examination of the Hernandez doctrine brings the ex post facto principle into the
picture. Decisions of this Court form part of our legal system. Even if we declare that rebellion
may be complexed with murder, our declaration can not be made retroactive where the effect is
to imprison a person for a crime which did not exist until the Supreme Court reversed itself.
And fifth, the attempts to distinguish this case from the Hernandez case by stressing that the
killings charged in the information were committed "on the occasion of, but not a necessary
means for, the commission of rebellion" result in outlandish consequences and ignore the basic
nature of rebellion. Thus, under the prosecution theory a bomb dropped on PTV-4 which kills
government troopers results in simple rebellion because the act is a necessary means to make the
rebellion succeed. However, if the same bomb also kills some civilians in the neighborhood, the
dropping of the bomb becomes rebellion complexed with murder because the killing of civilians
is not necessary for the success of a rebellion and, therefore, the killings are only "on the
occasion of but not a 'necessary means for' the commission of rebellion.
This argument is puerile.
The crime of rebellion consists of many acts. The dropping of one bomb cannot be isolated as a
separate crime of rebellion. Neither should the dropping of one hundred bombs or the firing of
thousands of machine gun bullets be broken up into a hundred or thousands of separate offenses,
if each bomb or each bullet happens to result in the destruction of life and property. The same act
cannot be punishable by separate penalties depending on what strikes the fancy of prosecutorspunishment for the killing of soldiers or retribution for the deaths of civilians. The prosecution
also loses sight of the regrettable fact that in total war and in rebellion the killing of civilians, the
laying waste of civilian economies, the massacre of innocent people, the blowing up of passenger
airplanes, and other acts of terrorism are all used by those engaged in rebellion. We cannot and
should not try to ascertain the intent of rebels for each single act unless the act is plainly not
connected to the rebellion. We cannot use Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code in lieu of still-tobe-enacted legislation. The killing of civilians during a rebel attack on military facilities furthers
the rebellion and is part of the rebellion.
The trial court was certainly aware of all the above considerations. I cannot understand why the
trial Judge issued the warrant of arrest which categorically states therein that the accused was not
entitled to bail. The petitioner was compelled to come to us so he would not be arrested without
bail for a nonexistent crime. The trial court forgot to apply an established doctrine of the
Supreme Court. Worse, it issued a warrant which reversed 34 years of established procedure
based on a well-known Supreme Court ruling.
All courts should remember that they form part of an independent judicial system; they do not
belong to the prosecution service. A court should never play into the hands of the prosecution
and blindly comply with its erroneous manifestations. Faced with an information charging a

manifestly non-existent crime, the duty of a trial court is to throw it out. Or, at the very least and
where possible, make it conform to the law.
A lower court cannot re-examine and reverse a decision of the Supreme Court especially a
decision consistently followed for 34 years. Where a Judge disagrees with a Supreme Court
ruling, he is free to express his reservations in the body of his decision, order, or resolution.
However, any judgment he renders, any order he prescribes, and any processes he issues must
follow the Supreme Court precedent. A trial court has no jurisdiction to reverse or ignore
precedents of the Supreme Court. In this particular case, it should have been the Solicitor
General coming to this Court to question the lower court's rejection of the application for a
warrant of arrest without bail. It should have been the Solicitor-General provoking the issue of
re-examination instead of the petitioners asking to be freed from their arrest for a non-existent
crime.
The principle bears repeating:
Respondent Court of Appeals really was devoid of any choice at all. It could not
have ruled in any other way on the legal question raised. This Tribunal having
spoken, its duty was to obey. It is as simple as that. There is relevance to this
excerpt from Barrera v. Barrera. (L-31589, July 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 98) 'The
delicate task of ascertaining the significance that attaches to a constitutional or
statutory provision, an executive order, a procedural norm or a municipal
ordinance is committed to the judiciary. It thus discharges a role no less crucial
than that appertaining to the other two departments in the maintenance of the rule
of law. To assure stability in legal relations and avoid confusion, it has to speak
with one voice. It does so with finality, logically and rightly, through the highest
judicial organ, this Court. What it says then should be definitive and authoritative,
binding on those occupying the lower ranks in the judicial hierarchy. They have to
defer and to submit.' (Ibid, 107. The opinion of Justice Laurel in People v. Vera,
65 Phil. 56 [1937] was cited). The ensuing paragraph of the opinion in Barrera
further emphasizes the point: Such a thought was reiterated in an opinion of
Justice J.B.L. Reyes and further emphasized in these words: 'Judge Gaudencio
Cloribel need not be reminded that the Supreme Court, by tradition and in our
system of judicial administration, has the last word on what the law is; it is the
final arbiter of any justifiable controversy. There is only one Supreme Court from
whose decisions all other courts should take their bearings. (Ibid. Justice J.B.L.
Reyes spoke thus in Albert v. Court of First Instance of Manila (Br. VI), L-26364,
May 29, 1968, 23 SCRA 948, 961. (Tugade v. Court of Appeals, 85 SCRA 226
[1978]. See also Albert v. Court of First Instance, 23 SCRA 948 [1968] and VirJen Shipping and Marine Services, Inc. v. NLRC, 125 SCRA 577 [1983])
I find the situation in Spouses Panlilio v. Prosecutors Fernando de Leon, et al. even more
inexplicable. In the case of the Panlilios, any probable cause to commit the non- existent crime of
rebellion complexed with murder exists only in the minds of the prosecutors, not in the records
of the case.

I have gone over the records and pleadings furnished to the members of the Supreme Court. I
listened intently to the oral arguments during the hearing and it was quite apparent that the
constitutional requirement of probable cause was not satisfied. In fact, in answer to my query for
any other proofs to support the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the answer was that the evidence
would be submitted in due time to the trial court.
The spouses Panlilio and one parent have been in the restaurant business for decades. Under the
records of these petitions, any restaurant owner or hotel manager who serves food to rebels is a
co-conspirator in the rebellion. The absurdity of this proposition is apparent if we bear in mind
that rebels ride in buses and jeepneys, eat meals in rural houses when mealtime finds them in the
vicinity, join weddings, fiestas, and other parties, play basketball with barrio youths, attend
masses and church services and otherwise mix with people in various gatherings. Even if the
hosts recognize them to be rebels and fail to shoo them away, it does not necessarily follow that
the former are co-conspirators in a rebellion.
The only basis for probable cause shown by the records of the Panlilio case is the alleged fact
that the petitioners served food to rebels at the Enrile household and a hotel supervisor asked two
or three of their waiters, without reason, to go on a vacation. Clearly, a much, much stronger
showing of probable cause must be shown.
In Salonga v. Cruz Pao, 134 SCRA 438 (1985), then Senator Salonga was charged as a
conspirator in the heinous bombing of innocent civilians because the man who planted the bomb
had, sometime earlier, appeared in a group photograph taken during a birthday party in the
United States with the Senator and other guests. It was a case of conspiracy proved through a
group picture. Here, it is a case of conspiracy sought to proved through the catering of food.
The Court in Salonga stressed:
The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to secure the innocent against hasty,
malicious and oppressive prosecution, and to protect him from an open and public
accusation of crime, from the trouble, expense and anxiety of a public trial, and
also to protect the state from useless and expensive trials. (Trocio v. Manta, 118
SCRA 241; citing Hashimn v. Boncan, 71 Phil. 216). The right to a preliminary
investigation is a statutory grant, and to withhold it would be to transgress
constitutional due process. (See People v. Oandasa, 25 SCRA 277) However, in
order to satisfy the due process clause it is not enough that the preliminary
investigation is conducted in the sense of making sure that a transgressor shall not
escape with impunity. A preliminary investigation serves not only the purposes of
the State. More important, it is a part of the guarantees of freedom and fair play
which are birthrights of all who live in our country. It is, therefore, imperative
upon the fiscal or the judge as the case may be, to relieve the accused from the
pain of going through a trial once it is ascertained that the evidence is insufficient
to sustain a prima facie case or that no probable cause exists to form a sufficient
belief as to the guilt of the accused. Although there is no general formula or fixed
rule for the determination of probable cause since the same must be decided in the
light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its existence depends to a

large degree upon the finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination,
such a finding should not disregard the facts before the judge nor run counter to
the clear dictates of reason (See La Chemise Lacoste, S.A. v. Fernandez, 129
SCRA 391). The judge or fiscal, therefore, should not go on with the prosecution
in the hope that some credible evidence might later turn up during trial for this
would be a flagrant violation of a basic right which the courts are created to
uphold. It bears repeating that the judiciary lives up to its mission by vitalizing
and not denigrating constitutional rights. So it has been before. It should continue
to be so. (id., pp. 461- 462)
Because of the foregoing, I take exception to that part of the ponencia which will read the
informations as charging simple rebellion. This case did not arise from innocent error. If an
information charges murder but its contents show only the ingredients of homicide, the Judge
may rightly read it as charging homicide. In these cases, however, there is a deliberate attempt to
charge the petitioners for an offense which this Court has ruled as non-existent. The prosecution
wanted Hernandez to be reversed. Since the prosecution has filed informations for a crime
which, under our rulings, does not exist, those informations should be treated as null and void.
New informations charging the correct offense should be filed. And in G.R. No. 92164, an extra
effort should be made to see whether or not the Principle in Salonga v. Cruz Patio, et al.
(supra) has been violated.
The Court is not, in any way, preventing the Government from using more effective weapons to
suppress rebellion. If the Government feels that the current situation calls for the imposition of
more severe penalties like death or the creation of new crimes like rebellion complexed with
murder, the remedy is with Congress, not the courts.
I, therefore, vote to GRANT the petitions and to ORDER the respondent court to DISMISS the
void informations for a non-existent crime.

FELICIANO, J., concurring:


I concur in the result reached by the majority of the Court.
I believe that there are certain aspects of the Hernandez doctrine that, as an abstract question of
law, could stand reexamination or clarification. I have in mind in particular matters such as the
correct or appropriate relationship between Article 134 and Article 135 of the Revised Penal
Code. This is a matter which relates to the legal concept of rebellion in our legal system. If one
examines the actual terms of Article 134 (entitled: "Rebellion or Insurrection-How Committed"),
it would appear that this Article specifies both the overt acts and the criminal purpose which,
when put together, would constitute the offense of rebellion. Thus, Article 134 states that "the
crime of rebellion is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the Government "(i.e.,
the overt acts comprising rebellion), "for the purpose of (i.e., the specific criminal intent or
political objective) removing from the allegiance to said government or its laws the territory of
the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, or any body of land, naval or other armed

forces, or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of their powers or
prerogatives." At the same time, Article 135 (entitled: "Penalty for Rebellion or Insurrection.")
sets out a listing of acts or particular measures which appear to fall under the rubric of rebellion
or insurrection: "engaging in war against the forces of the Government, destroying property or
committing serious violence, exacting contributions or diverting public funds from the lawful
purpose for which they have been appropriated." Are these modalities of rebellion generally? Or
are they particular modes by which those "who promote [ ], maintain [ ] or head [ ] a rebellion
or insurrection" commit rebellion, or particular modes of participation in a rebellion by public
officers or employees? Clearly, the scope of the legal concept of rebellion relates to the
distinction between, on the one hand, the indispensable acts or ingredients of the crime of
rebellion under the Revised Penal Code and, on the other hand, differing optional modes of
seeking to carry out the political or social objective of the rebellion or insurrection.
The difficulty that is at once raised by any effort to examine once more even the above threshold
questions is that the results of such re-examination may well be that acts which under
the Hernandez doctrine are absorbed into rebellion, may be characterized as separate or discrete
offenses which, as a matter of law, can either be prosecuted separately from rebellion or
prosecuted under the provisions of Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, which (both Clause 1
and Clause 2 thereof) clearly envisage the existence of at least two (2) distinct offenses. To reach
such a conclusion in the case at bar, would, as far as I can see, result in colliding with the
fundamental non-retroactivity principle (Article 4, Civil Code; Article 22, Revised Penal Code;
both in relation to Article 8, Civil Code).
The non-retroactivity rule applies to statutes principally. But, statutes do not exist in the abstract
but rather bear upon the lives of people with the specific form given them by judicial decisions
interpreting their norms. Judicial decisions construing statutory norms give specific shape and
content to such norms. In time, the statutory norms become encrusted with the glosses placed
upon them by the courts and the glosses become integral with the norms (Cf Caltex v. Palomar,
18 SCRA 247 [1966]). Thus, while in legal theory, judicial interpretation of a statute becomes
part of the law as of the date that the law was originally enacted, I believe this theory is not to be
applied rigorously where a new judicial doctrine is announced, in particular one overruling a
previous existing doctrine of long standing (here, 36 years) and most specially not where the
statute construed is criminal in nature and the new doctrine is more onerous for the accused than
the pre-existing one (People v. Jabinal, 55 SCRA 607 [1974]; People v. Licera, 65 SCRA 270
[1975]; Gumabon v. Director of Prisons, 37 SCRA 420 [1971]). Moreover, the non-retroactivity
rule whether in respect of legislative acts or judicial decisions has constitutional implications.
The prevailing rule in the United States is that a judicial decision that retroactively renders an act
criminal or enhances the severity of the penalty prescribed for an offense, is vulnerable to
constitutional challenge based upon the rule against ex post facto laws and the due process clause
(Bouie v. City of Columbia, 378 US 347,12 L. Ed. 2d 894 [1964]; Marks v. U.S., 43 US 188, 51
L. Ed. 2d 260 [1977]; Devine v. New Mexico Department of Corrections, 866 F. 2d 339 [1989]).
It is urged by the Solicitor General that the non-retroactivity principle does not present any real
problem for the reason that the Hernandez doctrine was based upon Article 48, second clause, of
the Revised Penal Code and not upon the first clause thereof, while it is precisely the first clause
of Article 48 that the Government here invokes. It is, however, open to serious doubt

whether Hernandez can reasonably be so simply and sharply characterized. And assuming
the Hernandez could be so characterized, subsequent cases refer to the Hernandezdoctrine in
terms which do not distinguish clearly between the first clause and the second clause of Article
48 (e.g., People v. Geronimo, 100 Phil. 90 [1956]; People v. Rodriguez, 107 Phil. 659 [1960]).
Thus, it appears to me that the critical question would be whether a man of ordinary intelligence
would have necessarily read or understood the Hernandez doctrine as referring exclusively to
Article 48, second clause. Put in slightly different terms, the important question would be
whether the new doctrine here proposed by the Government could fairly have been derived by a
man of average intelligence (or counsel of average competence in the law) from an examination
of Articles 134 and 135 of the Revised Penal Code as interpreted by the Court in
the Hernandez and subsequent cases. To formulate the question ill these terms would almost be
to compel a negative answer, especially in view of the conclusions reached by the Court and its
several Members today.
Finally, there appears to be no question that the new doctrine that the Government would have us
discover for the first time since the promulgation of the Revised Penal Code in 1932, would be
more onerous for the respondent accused than the simple application of the Hernandez doctrine
that murders which have been committed on the occasion of and in furtherance of the crime of
rebellion must be deemed absorbed in the offense of simple rebellion.
I agree therefore that the information in this case must be viewed as charging only the crime of
simple rebellion.

FERNAN, C.J., concurring and dissenting:


I am constrained to write this separate opinion on what seems to be a rigid adherence to the 1956
ruling of the Court. The numerous challenges to the doctrine enunciated in the case of People vs.
Hernandez, 99 Phil. 515 (1956) should at once demonstrate the need to redefine the applicability
of said doctrine so as to make it conformable with accepted and well-settled principles of
criminal law and jurisprudence.
To my mind, the Hernandez doctrine should not be interpreted as an all-embracing authority for
the rule that all common crimes committed on the occasion, or in furtherance of, or in connection
with, rebellion are absorbed by the latter. To that extent, I cannot go along with the view of the
majority in the instant case that 'Hernandez remains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the
complexing of rebellion with any other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a
means necessary to its commission or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes
rebellion" (p. 9, Decision).
The Hernandez doctrine has served the purpose for which it was appealed by the Court in 1956
during the communist-inspired rebellion of the Huks. The changes in our society in the span of
34 years since then have far-reaching effects on the all-embracing applicability of the doctrine
considering the emergence of alternative modes of seizing the powers of the duly constituted
Government not contemplated in Articles 134 and 135 of the Revised Penal Code and their

consequent effects on the lives of our people. The doctrine was good law then, but I believe that
there is a certain aspect of the Hernandez doctrine that needs clarification.
With all due respect to the views of my brethren in the Court, I believe that the Court, in the
instant case, should have further considered that distinction between acts or offenses which
are indispensable in the commission of rebellion, on the one hand, and those acts or offenses that
are merely necessary but not indispensable in the commission of rebellion, on the other. The
majority of the Court is correct in adopting, albeit impliedly, the view in Hernandez case that
when an offense perpetrated as a necessary means of committing another, which is an element of
the latter, the resulting interlocking crimes should be considered as only one simple offense and
must be deemed outside the operation of the complex crime provision (Article 48) of the Revised
Penal Code. As in the case of Hernandez, the Court, however, failed in the instant case to
distinguish what is indispensable from what is merely necessary in the commission of an offense,
resulting thus in the rule that common crimes like murder, arson, robbery, etc. committed in the
course or on the occasion of rebellion are absorbed or included in the latter as elements thereof.
The relevance of the distinction is significant, more particularly, if applied to contemporaneous
events happening in our country today. Theoretically, a crime which is indispensable in the
commission of another must necessarily be an element of the latter; but a crime that is merely
necessary but not indispensable in the commission of another is not an element of the latter, and
if and when actually committed, brings the interlocking crime within the operation of the
complex crime provision (Art. 48) of the Revised Penal Code. With that distinction, common
crimes committed against Government forces and property in the course of rebellion are properly
considered indispensable overt acts of rebellion and are logically absorbed in it as virtual
ingredients or elements thereof, but common crimes committed against the civilian population in
the course or on the occasion of rebellion and in furtherance thereof, may be necessary but not
indispensable in committing the latter, and may, therefore, not be considered as elements of the
said crime of rebellion. To illustrate, the deaths occurring during armed confrontation or clashes
between government forces and the rebels are absorbed in the rebellion, and would be those
resulting from the bombing of military camps and installations, as these acts are indispensable in
carrying out the rebellion. But deliberately shooting down an unarmed innocent civilian to instill
fear or create chaos among the people, although done in the furtherance of the rebellion, should
not be absorbed in the crime of rebellion as the felonious act is merely necessary, but not
indispensable. In the latter case, Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code should apply.
The occurrence of a coup d' etat in our country as a mode of seizing the powers of the dulyconstituted government by staging surprise attacks or occupying centers of powers, of which this
Court should take judicial notice, has introduced a new dimension to the interpretation of the
provisions on rebellion and insurrection in the Revised Penal Code. Generally, as a mode of
seizing the powers of the duly constituted government, it falls within the contemplation of
rebellion under the Revised Penal Code, but, strictly construed, a coup d'etat per se is a class by
itself. The manner of its execution and the extent and magnitude of its effects on the lives of the
people distinguish a coup d'etat from the traditional definition and modes of commission
attached by the Revised Penal Code to the crime of rebellion as applied by the Court to the
communist-inspired rebellion of the 1950's. A coup d'etat may be executed successfully without
its perpetrators resorting to the commission of other serious crimes such as murder, arson,

kidnapping, robbery, etc. because of the element of surprise and the precise timing of its
execution. In extreme cases where murder, arson, robbery, and other common crimes are
committed on the occasion of a coup d' etat, the distinction referred to above on what is
necessary and what is indispensable in the commission of the coup d'etat should be painstakingly
considered as the Court should have done in the case of herein petitioners.
I concur in the result insofar as the other issues are resolved by the Court but I take exception to
the vote of the majority on the broad application of the Hernandez doctrine.
BIDIN, J., concurring and dissenting:
I concur with the majority opinion except as regards the dispositive portion thereof which orders
the remand of the case to the respondent judge for further proceedings to fix the amount of bail
to be posted by the petitioner.
I submit that the proceedings need not be remanded to the respondent judge for the purpose of
fixing bail since we have construed the indictment herein as charging simple rebellion, an
offense which is bailable. Consequently,habeas corpus is the proper remedy available to
petitioner as an accused who had been charged with simple rebellion, a bailable offense but who
had been denied his right to bail by the respondent judge in violation of petitioner's constitutional
right to bail. In view thereof, the responsibility of fixing the amount of bail and approval thereof
when filed, devolves upon us, if complete relief is to be accorded to petitioner in the instant
proceedings.
It is indubitable that before conviction, admission to bail is a matter of right to the defendant,
accused before the Regional Trial Court of an offense less than capital (Section 13 Article III,
Constitution and Section 3, Rule 114). Petitioner is, before Us, on a petition for habeas
corpus praying, among others, for his provisional release on bail. Since the offense charged
(construed as simple rebellion) admits of bail, it is incumbent upon us m the exercise of our
jurisdiction over the petition for habeas corpus (Section 5 (1), Article VIII, Constitution; Section
2, Rule 102), to grant petitioner his right to bail and having admitted him to bail, to fix the
amount thereof in such sums as the court deems reasonable. Thereafter, the rules require that "the
proceedings together with the bond" shall forthwith be certified to the respondent trial court
(Section 14, Rule 102).
Accordingly, the cash bond in the amount of P 100,000.00 posted by petitioner for his
provisional release pursuant to our resolution dated March 6, 1990 should now be deemed and
admitted as his bail bond for his provisional release in the case (simple rebellion) pending before
the respondent judge, without necessity of a remand for further proceedings, conditioned for his
(petitioner's) appearance before the trial court to abide its order or judgment in the said case.

SARMIENTO, J., concurring and dissenting:

I agree that People v. Hernandez 1 should abide. More than three decades after which it was
penned, it has firmly settled in the tomes of our jurisprudence as correct doctrine.
As Hernandez put it, rebellion means "engaging m war against the forces of the
government," 2 which implies "resort to arms, requisition of property and services, collection of
taxes and contributions, restraint of liberty, damage to property, physical injuries and loss of life,
and the hunger, illness and unhappiness that war leaves in its wake. ..." 3whether committed in
furtherance, of as a necessary means for the commission, or in the course, of rebellion. To say
that rebellion may be complexed with any other offense, in this case murder, is to play into a
contradiction in terms because exactly, rebellion includes murder, among other possible crimes.
I also agree that the information may stand as an accusation for simple rebellion. Since the acts
complained of as constituting rebellion have been embodied in the information, mention therein
of murder as a complexing offense is a surplusage, because in any case, the crime of rebellion is
left fully described. 4
At any rate, the government need only amend the information by a clerical correction, since an
amendment will not alter its substance.
I dissent, however, insofar as the majority orders the remand of the matter of bail to the lower
court. I take it that when we, in our Resolution of March 6, 1990, granted the petitioner
"provisional liberty" upon the filing of a bond of P100,000.00, we granted him bail. The fact that
we gave him "provisional liberty" is in my view, of no moment, because bail means provisional
liberty. It will serve no useful purpose to have the trial court hear the incident again when we
ourselves have been satisfied that the petitioner is entitled to temporary freedom.

PADILLA, J., dissenting:


I concur in the majority opinion insofar as it holds that the ruling in People vs. Hernandez, 99
Phil. 515 "remains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with any
other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a means necessary to its commission
or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes rebellion."
I dissent, however, from the majority opinion insofar as it holds that the information in question,
while charging the complex crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder, "is to
be read as charging simple rebellion."
The present cases are to be distinguished from the Hernandez case in at least one (1) material
respect. In theHernandez case, this Court was confronted with an appealed case, i.e., Hernandez
had been convicted by the trial court of the complex crime of rebellion with murder, arson and
robbery, and his plea to be released on bail before the Supreme Court, pending appeal, gave birth
to the now celebrated Hernandez doctrine that the crime of rebellion complexed with murder,
arson and robbery does not exist. In the present cases, on the other hand, the Court is confronted

with an original case, i.e., where an information has been recently filed in the trial court and the
petitioners have not even pleaded thereto.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court, in the Hernandez case, was "ground-breaking" on the issue of
whether rebellion can be complexed with murder, arson, robbery, etc. In the present cases, on the
other hand, the prosecution and the lower court, not only had the Hernandez doctrine (as case
law), but Executive Order No. 187 of President Corazon C. Aquino dated 5 June 1987 (as
statutory law) to bind them to the legal proposition that the crime of rebellion complexed with
murder, and multiple frustrated murder does not exist.
And yet, notwithstanding these unmistakable and controlling beacon lights-absent when this
Court laid down theHernandez doctrine-the prosecution has insisted in filing, and the lower court
has persisted in hearing, an information charging the petitioners with rebellion complexed with
murder an multiple frustrated murder. That information is clearly a nullity and plainly void ab
initio. Its head should not be allowed to surface. As a nullity in substantive law, it charges
nothing; it has given rise to nothing. The warrants of arrest issued pursuant thereto are as null
and void as the information on which they are anchored. And, since the entire question of the
information's validity is before the Court in these habeas corpus cases, I venture to say that the
information is fatally defective,even under procedural law, because it charges more than one (1)
offense (Sec. 13, Rule 110, Rules of Court).
I submit then that it is not for this Court to energize a dead and, at best, fatally decrepit
information by labelling or "baptizing" it differently from what it announces itself to be. The
prosecution must file an entirely new and properinformation, for this entire exercise to merit the
serious consideration of the courts.
ACCORDINGLY, I vote to GRANT the petitions, QUASH the warrants of arrest, and ORDER
the information for rebellion complexed with murder and multiple frustrated murder in Criminal
Case Nos. 90-10941, RTC of Quezon City, DISMISSED.
Consequently, the petitioners should be ordered permanently released and their bails cancelled.
Paras, J., concurs.

Separate Opinions
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring:
I join my colleagues in holding that the Hernandez doctrine, which has been with us for the past
three decades, remains good law and, thus, should remain undisturbed, despite periodic
challenges to it that, ironically, have only served to strengthen its pronouncements.

I take exception to the view, however, that habeas corpus was not the proper remedy.
Had the Information filed below charged merely the simple crime of Rebellion, that proposition
could have been plausible. But that Information charged Rebellion complexed with Murder and
Multiple Frustrated Murder, a crime which does not exist in our statute books. The charge was
obviously intended to make the penalty for the most serious offense in its maximum period
imposable upon the offender pursuant to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, no bail was
recommended in the Information nor was any prescribed in the Warrant of Arrest issued by the
Trial Court.
Under the attendant circumstances, therefore, to have filed a Motion to Quash before the lower
Court would not have brought about the speedy relief from unlawful restraint that petitioner was
seeking. During the pendency of said Motion before the lower Court, petitioner could have
continued to languish in detention. Besides, the Writ ofHabeas Corpus may still issue even if
another remedy, which is less effective, may be availed of (Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24
SCRA 663).
It is true that habeas corpus would ordinarily not he when a person is under custody by virtue of
a process issued by a Court.
The Court, however, must have jurisdiction to issue the process. In this case, the Court below
must be deemed to have been ousted of jurisdiction when it illegally curtailed petitioner's liberty.
Habeas corpus is thus available.
The writ of habeas corpus is available to relieve persons from unlawful restraint.
But where the detention or confinement is the result of a process issued by the
court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or sentence, the writ ordinarily cannot be
availed of. It may still be invoked though if the process, judgment or sentence
proceeded from a court or tribunal the jurisdiction of which may be assailed.
Even if it had authority to act at the outset, it is now the prevailing doctrine that a
deprivation of constitutional right, if shown to exist, would oust it of jurisdiction.
In such a case, habeas corpus could be relied upon to regain one's
liberty (Celeste vs. People, 31 SCRA 391) [Emphasis emphasis].
The Petition for habeas corpus was precisely premised on the violation of petitioner's
constitutional right to bail inasmuch as rebellion, under the present state of the law, is a bailable
offense and the crime for which petitioner stands accused of and for which he was denied bail is
non-existent in law.
While litigants should, as a rule, ascend the steps of the judicial ladder, nothing should stop this
Court from taking cognizance of petitions brought before it raising urgent constitutional issues,
any procedural flaw notwithstanding.
The rules on habeas corpus are to be liberally construed (Ganaway v. Quilen, 42
Phil. 805), the writ of habeas corpus being the fundamental instrument for
safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action. The

scope and flexibility of the writ-its capacity to reach all manner of illegal
detention-its ability to cut through barriers of form and procedural mazes-have
always been emphasized and jealously guarded by courts and lawmakers
(Gumabon v. Director of Bureau of Prisons, 37 SCRA 420) [emphasis supplied].
The proliferation of cases in this Court, which followed in the wake of this Petition, was brought
about by the insistence of the prosecution to charge the crime of Rebellion complexed with other
common offenses notwithstanding the fact that this Court had not yet ruled on the validity of that
charge and had granted provisional liberty to petitioner.
If, indeed, it is desired to make the crime of Rebellion a capital offense (now punishable
by reclusion perpetua), the remedy lies in legislation. But Article 142-A 1 of the Revised Penal
Code, along with P.D. No. 942, were repealed, for being "repressive," by EO No. 187 on 5 June
1987. EO 187 further explicitly provided that Article 134 (and others enumerated) of the Revised
Penal Code was "restored to its full force and effect as it existed before said amendatory
decrees." Having been so repealed, this Court is bereft of power to legislate into existence, under
the guise of re-examining a settled doctrine, a "creature unknown in law"- the complex crime of
Rebellion with Murder. The remand of the case to the lower Court for further proceedings is in
order. The Writ of Habeas Corpus has served its purpose.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J., concurring:


I join the Court's decision to grant the petition. In reiterating the rule that under existing law
rebellion may not be complexed with murder, the Court emphasizes that it cannot legislate a
new-crime into existence nor prescribe a penalty for its commission. That function is exclusively
for Congress.
I write this separate opinion to make clear how I view certain issues arising from these cases,
especially on how the defective informations filed by the prosecutors should have been treated.
I agree with the ponente that a petition for habeas corpus is ordinarily not the proper procedure to
assert the right to bail. Under the special circumstances of this case, however, the petitioners had
no other recourse. They had to come to us.
First, the trial court was certainly aware of the decision in People v. Hernandez, 99 Phil. 515
(1956) that there is no such crime in our statute books as rebellion complexed with murder, that
murder committed in connection with a rebellion is absorbed by the crime of rebellion, and that a
resort to arms resulting in the destruction of life or property constitutes neither two or more
offenses nor a complex crime but one crime-rebellion pure and simple.
Second, Hernandez has been the law for 34 years. It has been reiterated in equally sensational
cases. All lawyers and even law students are aware of the doctrine. Attempts to have the doctrine
re-examined have been consistently rejected by this Court.

Third, President Marcos through the use of his then legislative powers, issued Pres. Decree 942,
thereby installing the new crime of rebellion complexed with offenses like murder where graver
penalties are imposed by law. However, President Aquino using her then legislative powers
expressly repealed PD 942 by issuing Exec. Order 187. She thereby erased the crime of rebellion
complexed with murder and made it clear that theHernandez doctrine remains the controlling
rule. The prosecution has not explained why it insists on resurrecting an offense expressly wiped
out by the President. The prosecution, in effect, questions the action of the President in repealing
a repressive decree, a decree which, according to the repeal order, is violative of human rights.
Fourth, any re-examination of the Hernandez doctrine brings the ex post facto principle into the
picture. Decisions of this Court form part of our legal system. Even if we declare that rebellion
may be complexed with murder, our declaration can not be made retroactive where the effect is
to imprison a person for a crime which did not exist until the Supreme Court reversed itself.
And fifth, the attempts to distinguish this case from the Hernandez case by stressing that the
killings charged in the information were committed "on the occasion of, but not a necessary
means for, the commission of rebellion" result in outlandish consequences and ignore the basic
nature of rebellion. Thus, under the prosecution theory a bomb dropped on PTV-4 which kills
government troopers results in simple rebellion because the act is a necessary means to make the
rebellion succeed. However, if the same bomb also kills some civilians in the neighborhood, the
dropping of the bomb becomes rebellion complexed with murder because the killing of civilians
is not necessary for the success of a rebellion and, therefore, the killings are only "on the
occasion of but not a 'necessary means for' the commission of rebellion.
This argument is puerile.
The crime of rebellion consists of many acts. The dropping of one bomb cannot be isolated as a
separate crime of rebellion. Neither should the dropping of one hundred bombs or the firing of
thousands of machine gun bullets be broken up into a hundred or thousands of separate offenses,
if each bomb or each bullet happens to result in the destruction of life and property. The same act
cannot be punishable by separate penalties depending on what strikes the fancy of prosecutorspunishment for the killing of soldiers or retribution for the deaths of civilians. The prosecution
also loses sight of the regrettable fact that in total war and in rebellion the killing of civilians, the
laying waste of civilian economies, the massacre of innocent people, the blowing up of passenger
airplanes, and other acts of terrorism are all used by those engaged in rebellion. We cannot and
should not try to ascertain the intent of rebels for each single act unless the act is plainly not
connected to the rebellion. We cannot use Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code in lieu of still-tobe-enacted legislation. The killing of civilians during a rebel attack on military facilities furthers
the rebellion and is part of the rebellion.
The trial court was certainly aware of all the above considerations. I cannot understand why the
trial Judge issued the warrant of arrest which categorically states therein that the accused was not
entitled to bail. The petitioner was compelled to come to us so he would not be arrested without
bail for a nonexistent crime. The trial court forgot to apply an established doctrine of the
Supreme Court. Worse, it issued a warrant which reversed 34 years of established procedure
based on a well-known Supreme Court ruling.

All courts should remember that they form part of an independent judicial system; they do not
belong to the prosecution service. A court should never play into the hands of the prosecution
and blindly comply with its erroneous manifestations. Faced with an information charging a
manifestly non-existent crime, the duty of a trial court is to throw it out. Or, at the very least and
where possible, make it conform to the law.
A lower court cannot re-examine and reverse a decision of the Supreme Court especially a
decision consistently followed for 34 years. Where a Judge disagrees with a Supreme Court
ruling, he is free to express his reservations in the body of his decision, order, or resolution.
However, any judgment he renders, any order he prescribes, and any processes he issues must
follow the Supreme Court precedent. A trial court has no jurisdiction to reverse or ignore
precedents of the Supreme Court. In this particular case, it should have been the Solicitor
General coming to this Court to question the lower court's rejection of the application for a
warrant of arrest without bail. It should have been the Solicitor-General provoking the issue of
re-examination instead of the petitioners asking to be freed from their arrest for a non-existent
crime.
The principle bears repeating:
Respondent Court of Appeals really was devoid of any choice at all. It could not
have ruled in any other way on the legal question raised. This Tribunal having
spoken, its duty was to obey. It is as simple as that. There is relevance to this
excerpt from Barrera v. Barrera. (L-31589, July 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 98) 'The
delicate task of ascertaining the significance that attaches to a constitutional or
statutory provision, an executive order, a procedural norm or a municipal
ordinance is committed to the judiciary. It thus discharges a role no less crucial
than that appertaining to the other two departments in the maintenance of the rule
of law. To assure stability in legal relations and avoid confusion, it has to speak
with one voice. It does so with finality, logically and rightly, through the highest
judicial organ, this Court. What it says then should be definitive and authoritative,
binding on those occupying the lower ranks in the judicial hierarchy. They have to
defer and to submit.' (Ibid, 107. The opinion of Justice Laurel in People v. Vera,
65 Phil. 56 [1937] was cited). The ensuing paragraph of the opinion in Barrera
further emphasizes the point: Such a thought was reiterated in an opinion of
Justice J.B.L. Reyes and further emphasized in these words: 'Judge Gaudencio
Cloribel need not be reminded that the Supreme Court, by tradition and in our
system of judicial administration, has the last word on what the law is; it is the
final arbiter of any justifiable controversy. There is only one Supreme Court from
whose decisions all other courts should take their bearings. (Ibid. Justice J.B.L.
Reyes spoke thus in Albert v. Court of First Instance of Manila (Br. VI), L-26364,
May 29, 1968, 23 SCRA 948, 961. (Tugade v. Court of Appeals, 85 SCRA 226
[1978]. See also Albert v. Court of First Instance, 23 SCRA 948 [1968] and VirJen Shipping and Marine Services, Inc. v. NLRC, 125 SCRA 577 [1983])
I find the situation in Spouses Panlilio v. Prosecutors Fernando de Leon, et al. even more
inexplicable. In the case of the Panlilios, any probable cause to commit the non- existent crime of

rebellion complexed with murder exists only in the minds of the prosecutors, not in the records
of the case.
I have gone over the records and pleadings furnished to the members of the Supreme Court. I
listened intently to the oral arguments during the hearing and it was quite apparent that the
constitutional requirement of probable cause was not satisfied. In fact, in answer to my query for
any other proofs to support the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the answer was that the evidence
would be submitted in due time to the trial court.
The spouses Panlilio and one parent have been in the restaurant business for decades. Under the
records of these petitions, any restaurant owner or hotel manager who serves food to rebels is a
co-conspirator in the rebellion. The absurdity of this proposition is apparent if we bear in mind
that rebels ride in buses and jeepneys, eat meals in rural houses when mealtime finds them in the
vicinity, join weddings, fiestas, and other parties, play basketball with barrio youths, attend
masses and church services and otherwise mix with people in various gatherings. Even if the
hosts recognize them to be rebels and fail to shoo them away, it does not necessarily follow that
the former are co-conspirators in a rebellion.
The only basis for probable cause shown by the records of the Panlilio case is the alleged fact
that the petitioners served food to rebels at the Enrile household and a hotel supervisor asked two
or three of their waiters, without reason, to go on a vacation. Clearly, a much, much stronger
showing of probable cause must be shown.
In Salonga v. Cruz Pao, 134 SCRA 438 (1985), then Senator Salonga was charged as a
conspirator in the heinous bombing of innocent civilians because the man who planted the bomb
had, sometime earlier, appeared in a group photograph taken during a birthday party in the
United States with the Senator and other guests. It was a case of conspiracy proved through a
group picture. Here, it is a case of conspiracy sought to proved through the catering of food.
The Court in Salonga stressed:
The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to secure the innocent against hasty,
malicious and oppressive prosecution, and to protect him from an open and public
accusation of crime, from the trouble, expense and anxiety of a public trial, and
also to protect the state from useless and expensive trials. (Trocio v. Manta, 118
SCRA 241; citing Hashimn v. Boncan, 71 Phil. 216). The right to a preliminary
investigation is a statutory grant, and to withhold it would be to transgress
constitutional due process. (See People v. Oandasa, 25 SCRA 277) However, in
order to satisfy the due process clause it is not enough that the preliminary
investigation is conducted in the sense of making sure that a transgressor shall not
escape with impunity. A preliminary investigation serves not only the purposes of
the State. More important, it is a part of the guarantees of freedom and fair play
which are birthrights of all who live in our country. It is, therefore, imperative
upon the fiscal or the judge as the case may be, to relieve the accused from the
pain of going through a trial once it is ascertained that the evidence is insufficient
to sustain a prima facie case or that no probable cause exists to form a sufficient

belief as to the guilt of the accused. Although there is no general formula or fixed
rule for the determination of probable cause since the same must be decided in the
light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its existence depends to a
large degree upon the finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination,
such a finding should not disregard the facts before the judge nor run counter to
the clear dictates of reason (See La Chemise Lacoste, S.A. v. Fernandez, 129
SCRA 391). The judge or fiscal, therefore, should not go on with the prosecution
in the hope that some credible evidence might later turn up during trial for this
would be a flagrant violation of a basic right which the courts are created to
uphold. It bears repeating that the judiciary lives up to its mission by vitalizing
and not denigrating constitutional rights. So it has been before. It should continue
to be so. (id., pp. 461- 462)
Because of the foregoing, I take exception to that part of the ponencia which will read the
informations as charging simple rebellion. This case did not arise from innocent error. If an
information charges murder but its contents show only the ingredients of homicide, the Judge
may rightly read it as charging homicide. In these cases, however, there is a deliberate attempt to
charge the petitioners for an offense which this Court has ruled as non-existent. The prosecution
wanted Hernandez to be reversed. Since the prosecution has filed informations for a crime
which, under our rulings, does not exist, those informations should be treated as null and void.
New informations charging the correct offense should be filed. And in G.R. No. 92164, an extra
effort should be made to see whether or not the Principle in Salonga v. Cruz Patio, et al.
(supra) has been violated.
The Court is not, in any way, preventing the Government from using more effective weapons to
suppress rebellion. If the Government feels that the current situation calls for the imposition of
more severe penalties like death or the creation of new crimes like rebellion complexed with
murder, the remedy is with Congress, not the courts.
I, therefore, vote to GRANT the petitions and to ORDER the respondent court to DISMISS the
void informations for a non-existent crime.

FELICIANO, J., concurring:


I concur in the result reached by the majority of the Court.
I believe that there are certain aspects of the Hernandez doctrine that, as an abstract question of
law, could stand reexamination or clarification. I have in mind in particular matters such as the
correct or appropriate relationship between Article 134 and Article 135 of the Revised Penal
Code. This is a matter which relates to the legal concept of rebellion in our legal system. If one
examines the actual terms of Article 134 (entitled: "Rebellion or Insurrection-How Committed"),
it would appear that this Article specifies both the overt acts and the criminal purpose which,
when put together, would constitute the offense of rebellion. Thus, Article 134 states that "the
crime of rebellion is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the Government "(i.e.,

the overt acts comprising rebellion), "for the purpose of (i.e., the specific criminal intent or
political objective) removing from the allegiance to said government or its laws the territory of
the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, or any body of land, naval or other armed
forces, or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of their powers or
prerogatives." At the same time, Article 135 (entitled: "Penalty for Rebellion or Insurrection.")
sets out a listing of acts or particular measures which appear to fall under the rubric of rebellion
or insurrection: "engaging in war against the forces of the Government, destroying property or
committing serious violence, exacting contributions or diverting public funds from the lawful
purpose for which they have been appropriated." Are these modalities of rebellion generally? Or
are they particular modes by which those "who promote [ ], maintain [ ] or head [ ] a rebellion
or insurrection" commit rebellion, or particular modes of participation in a rebellion by public
officers or employees? Clearly, the scope of the legal concept of rebellion relates to the
distinction between, on the one hand, the indispensable acts or ingredients of the crime of
rebellion under the Revised Penal Code and, on the other hand, differing optional modes of
seeking to carry out the political or social objective of the rebellion or insurrection.
The difficulty that is at once raised by any effort to examine once more even the above threshold
questions is that the results of such re-examination may well be that acts which under
the Hernandez doctrine are absorbed into rebellion, may be characterized as separate or discrete
offenses which, as a matter of law, can either be prosecuted separately from rebellion or
prosecuted under the provisions of Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, which (both Clause 1
and Clause 2 thereof) clearly envisage the existence of at least two (2) distinct offenses. To reach
such a conclusion in the case at bar, would, as far as I can see, result in colliding with the
fundamental non-retroactivity principle (Article 4, Civil Code; Article 22, Revised Penal Code;
both in relation to Article 8, Civil Code).
The non-retroactivity rule applies to statutes principally. But, statutes do not exist in the abstract
but rather bear upon the lives of people with the specific form given them by judicial decisions
interpreting their norms. Judicial decisions construing statutory norms give specific shape and
content to such norms. In time, the statutory norms become encrusted with the glosses placed
upon them by the courts and the glosses become integral with the norms (Cf Caltex v. Palomar,
18 SCRA 247 [1966]). Thus, while in legal theory, judicial interpretation of a statute becomes
part of the law as of the date that the law was originally enacted, I believe this theory is not to be
applied rigorously where a new judicial doctrine is announced, in particular one overruling a
previous existing doctrine of long standing (here, 36 years) and most specially not where the
statute construed is criminal in nature and the new doctrine is more onerous for the accused than
the pre-existing one (People v. Jabinal, 55 SCRA 607 [1974]; People v. Licera, 65 SCRA 270
[1975]; Gumabon v. Director of Prisons, 37 SCRA 420 [1971]). Moreover, the non-retroactivity
rule whether in respect of legislative acts or judicial decisions has constitutional implications.
The prevailing rule in the United States is that a judicial decision that retroactively renders an act
criminal or enhances the severity of the penalty prescribed for an offense, is vulnerable to
constitutional challenge based upon the rule against ex post facto laws and the due process clause
(Bouie v. City of Columbia, 378 US 347,12 L. Ed. 2d 894 [1964]; Marks v. U.S., 43 US 188, 51
L. Ed. 2d 260 [1977]; Devine v. New Mexico Department of Corrections, 866 F. 2d 339 [1989]).

It is urged by the Solicitor General that the non-retroactivity principle does not present any real
problem for the reason that the Hernandez doctrine was based upon Article 48, second clause, of
the Revised Penal Code and not upon the first clause thereof, while it is precisely the first clause
of Article 48 that the Government here invokes. It is, however, open to serious doubt
whether Hernandez can reasonably be so simply and sharply characterized. And assuming
the Hernandez could be so characterized, subsequent cases refer to the Hernandezdoctrine in
terms which do not distinguish clearly between the first clause and the second clause of Article
48 (e.g., People v. Geronimo, 100 Phil. 90 [1956]; People v. Rodriguez, 107 Phil. 659 [1960]).
Thus, it appears to me that the critical question would be whether a man of ordinary intelligence
would have necessarily read or understood the Hernandez doctrine as referring exclusively to
Article 48, second clause. Put in slightly different terms, the important question would be
whether the new doctrine here proposed by the Government could fairly have been derived by a
man of average intelligence (or counsel of average competence in the law) from an examination
of Articles 134 and 135 of the Revised Penal Code as interpreted by the Court in
the Hernandez and subsequent cases. To formulate the question ill these terms would almost be
to compel a negative answer, especially in view of the conclusions reached by the Court and its
several Members today.
Finally, there appears to be no question that the new doctrine that the Government would have us
discover for the first time since the promulgation of the Revised Penal Code in 1932, would be
more onerous for the respondent accused than the simple application of the Hernandez doctrine
that murders which have been committed on the occasion of and in furtherance of the crime of
rebellion must be deemed absorbed in the offense of simple rebellion.
I agree therefore that the information in this case must be viewed as charging only the crime of
simple rebellion.

FERNAN, C.J., concurring and dissenting:


I am constrained to write this separate opinion on what seems to be a rigid adherence to the 1956
ruling of the Court. The numerous challenges to the doctrine enunciated in the case of People vs.
Hernandez, 99 Phil. 515 (1956) should at once demonstrate the need to redefine the applicability
of said doctrine so as to make it conformable with accepted and well-settled principles of
criminal law and jurisprudence.
To my mind, the Hernandez doctrine should not be interpreted as an all-embracing authority for
the rule that all common crimes committed on the occasion, or in furtherance of, or in connection
with, rebellion are absorbed by the latter. To that extent, I cannot go along with the view of the
majority in the instant case that 'Hernandez remains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the
complexing of rebellion with any other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a
means necessary to its commission or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes
rebellion" (p. 9, Decision).

The Hernandez doctrine has served the purpose for which it was appealed by the Court in 1956
during the communist-inspired rebellion of the Huks. The changes in our society in the span of
34 years since then have far-reaching effects on the all-embracing applicability of the doctrine
considering the emergence of alternative modes of seizing the powers of the duly constituted
Government not contemplated in Articles 134 and 135 of the Revised Penal Code and their
consequent effects on the lives of our people. The doctrine was good law then, but I believe that
there is a certain aspect of the Hernandez doctrine that needs clarification.
With all due respect to the views of my brethren in the Court, I believe that the Court, in the
instant case, should have further considered that distinction between acts or offenses which
are indispensable in the commission of rebellion, on the one hand, and those acts or offenses that
are merely necessary but not indispensable in the commission of rebellion, on the other. The
majority of the Court is correct in adopting, albeit impliedly, the view in Hernandez case that
when an offense perpetrated as a necessary means of committing another, which is an element of
the latter, the resulting interlocking crimes should be considered as only one simple offense and
must be deemed outside the operation of the complex crime provision (Article 48) of the Revised
Penal Code. As in the case of Hernandez, the Court, however, failed in the instant case to
distinguish what is indispensable from what is merely necessary in the commission of an offense,
resulting thus in the rule that common crimes like murder, arson, robbery, etc. committed in the
course or on the occasion of rebellion are absorbed or included in the latter as elements thereof.
The relevance of the distinction is significant, more particularly, if applied to contemporaneous
events happening in our country today. Theoretically, a crime which is indispensable in the
commission of another must necessarily be an element of the latter; but a crime that is merely
necessary but not indispensable in the commission of another is not an element of the latter, and
if and when actually committed, brings the interlocking crime within the operation of the
complex crime provision (Art. 48) of the Revised Penal Code. With that distinction, common
crimes committed against Government forces and property in the course of rebellion are properly
considered indispensable overt acts of rebellion and are logically absorbed in it as virtual
ingredients or elements thereof, but common crimes committed against the civilian population in
the course or on the occasion of rebellion and in furtherance thereof, may be necessary but not
indispensable in committing the latter, and may, therefore, not be considered as elements of the
said crime of rebellion. To illustrate, the deaths occurring during armed confrontation or clashes
between government forces and the rebels are absorbed in the rebellion, and would be those
resulting from the bombing of military camps and installations, as these acts are indispensable in
carrying out the rebellion. But deliberately shooting down an unarmed innocent civilian to instill
fear or create chaos among the people, although done in the furtherance of the rebellion, should
not be absorbed in the crime of rebellion as the felonious act is merely necessary, but not
indispensable. In the latter case, Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code should apply.
The occurrence of a coup d' etat in our country as a mode of seizing the powers of the dulyconstituted government by staging surprise attacks or occupying centers of powers, of which this
Court should take judicial notice, has introduced a new dimension to the interpretation of the
provisions on rebellion and insurrection in the Revised Penal Code. Generally, as a mode of
seizing the powers of the duly constituted government, it falls within the contemplation of
rebellion under the Revised Penal Code, but, strictly construed, a coup d'etat per se is a class by

itself. The manner of its execution and the extent and magnitude of its effects on the lives of the
people distinguish a coup d'etat from the traditional definition and modes of commission
attached by the Revised Penal Code to the crime of rebellion as applied by the Court to the
communist-inspired rebellion of the 1950's. A coup d'etat may be executed successfully without
its perpetrators resorting to the commission of other serious crimes such as murder, arson,
kidnapping, robbery, etc. because of the element of surprise and the precise timing of its
execution. In extreme cases where murder, arson, robbery, and other common crimes are
committed on the occasion of a coup d' etat, the distinction referred to above on what is
necessary and what is indispensable in the commission of the coup d'etat should be painstakingly
considered as the Court should have done in the case of herein petitioners.
I concur in the result insofar as the other issues are resolved by the Court but I take exception to
the vote of the majority on the broad application of the Hernandez doctrine.
BIDIN, J., concurring and dissenting:
I concur with the majority opinion except as regards the dispositive portion thereof which orders
the remand of the case to the respondent judge for further proceedings to fix the amount of bail
to be posted by the petitioner.
I submit that the proceedings need not be remanded to the respondent judge for the purpose of
fixing bail since we have construed the indictment herein as charging simple rebellion, an
offense which is bailable. Consequently,habeas corpus is the proper remedy available to
petitioner as an accused who had been charged with simple rebellion, a bailable offense but who
had been denied his right to bail by the respondent judge in violation of petitioner's constitutional
right to bail. In view thereof, the responsibility of fixing the amount of bail and approval thereof
when filed, devolves upon us, if complete relief is to be accorded to petitioner in the instant
proceedings.
It is indubitable that before conviction, admission to bail is a matter of right to the defendant,
accused before the Regional Trial Court of an offense less than capital (Section 13 Article III,
Constitution and Section 3, Rule 114). Petitioner is, before Us, on a petition for habeas
corpus praying, among others, for his provisional release on bail. Since the offense charged
(construed as simple rebellion) admits of bail, it is incumbent upon us m the exercise of our
jurisdiction over the petition for habeas corpus (Section 5 (1), Article VIII, Constitution; Section
2, Rule 102), to grant petitioner his right to bail and having admitted him to bail, to fix the
amount thereof in such sums as the court deems reasonable. Thereafter, the rules require that "the
proceedings together with the bond" shall forthwith be certified to the respondent trial court
(Section 14, Rule 102).
Accordingly, the cash bond in the amount of P 100,000.00 posted by petitioner for his
provisional release pursuant to our resolution dated March 6, 1990 should now be deemed and
admitted as his bail bond for his provisional release in the case (simple rebellion) pending before
the respondent judge, without necessity of a remand for further proceedings, conditioned for his
(petitioner's) appearance before the trial court to abide its order or judgment in the said case.

SARMIENTO, J., concurring and dissenting:


I agree that People v. Hernandez 1 should abide. More than three decades after which it was
penned, it has firmly settled in the tomes of our jurisprudence as correct doctrine.
As Hernandez put it, rebellion means "engaging m war against the forces of the
government," 2 which implies "resort to arms, requisition of property and services, collection of
taxes and contributions, restraint of liberty, damage to property, physical injuries and loss of life,
and the hunger, illness and unhappiness that war leaves in its wake. ..." 3whether committed in
furtherance, of as a necessary means for the commission, or in the course, of rebellion. To say
that rebellion may be complexed with any other offense, in this case murder, is to play into a
contradiction in terms because exactly, rebellion includes murder, among other possible crimes.
I also agree that the information may stand as an accusation for simple rebellion. Since the acts
complained of as constituting rebellion have been embodied in the information, mention therein
of murder as a complexing offense is a surplusage, because in any case, the crime of rebellion is
left fully described. 4
At any rate, the government need only amend the information by a clerical correction, since an
amendment will not alter its substance.
I dissent, however, insofar as the majority orders the remand of the matter of bail to the lower
court. I take it that when we, in our Resolution of March 6, 1990, granted the petitioner
"provisional liberty" upon the filing of a bond of P100,000.00, we granted him bail. The fact that
we gave him "provisional liberty" is in my view, of no moment, because bail means provisional
liberty. It will serve no useful purpose to have the trial court hear the incident again when we
ourselves have been satisfied that the petitioner is entitled to temporary freedom.

PADILLA, J., dissenting:


I concur in the majority opinion insofar as it holds that the ruling in People vs. Hernandez, 99
Phil. 515 "remains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with any
other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a means necessary to its commission
or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes rebellion."
I dissent, however, from the majority opinion insofar as it holds that the information in question,
while charging the complex crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder, "is to
be read as charging simple rebellion."
The present cases are to be distinguished from the Hernandez case in at least one (1) material
respect. In theHernandez case, this Court was confronted with an appealed case, i.e., Hernandez
had been convicted by the trial court of the complex crime of rebellion with murder, arson and

robbery, and his plea to be released on bail before the Supreme Court, pending appeal, gave birth
to the now celebrated Hernandez doctrine that the crime of rebellion complexed with murder,
arson and robbery does not exist. In the present cases, on the other hand, the Court is confronted
with an original case, i.e., where an information has been recently filed in the trial court and the
petitioners have not even pleaded thereto.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court, in the Hernandez case, was "ground-breaking" on the issue of
whether rebellion can be complexed with murder, arson, robbery, etc. In the present cases, on the
other hand, the prosecution and the lower court, not only had the Hernandez doctrine (as case
law), but Executive Order No. 187 of President Corazon C. Aquino dated 5 June 1987 (as
statutory law) to bind them to the legal proposition that the crime of rebellion complexed with
murder, and multiple frustrated murder does not exist.
And yet, notwithstanding these unmistakable and controlling beacon lights-absent when this
Court laid down theHernandez doctrine-the prosecution has insisted in filing, and the lower court
has persisted in hearing, an information charging the petitioners with rebellion complexed with
murder an multiple frustrated murder. That information is clearly a nullity and plainly void ab
initio. Its head should not be allowed to surface. As a nullity in substantive law, it charges
nothing; it has given rise to nothing. The warrants of arrest issued pursuant thereto are as null
and void as the information on which they are anchored. And, since the entire question of the
information's validity is before the Court in these habeas corpus cases, I venture to say that the
information is fatally defective,even under procedural law, because it charges more than one (1)
offense (Sec. 13, Rule 110, Rules of Court).
I submit then that it is not for this Court to energize a dead and, at best, fatally decrepit
information by labelling or "baptizing" it differently from what it announces itself to be. The
prosecution must file an entirely new and properinformation, for this entire exercise to merit the
serious consideration of the courts.
ACCORDINGLY, I vote to GRANT the petitions, QUASH the warrants of arrest, and ORDER
the information for rebellion complexed with murder and multiple frustrated murder in Criminal
Case Nos. 90-10941, RTC of Quezon City, DISMISSED.
Consequently, the petitioners should be ordered permanently released and their bails cancelled.
Paras, J., concurs.

Footnotes
1 99 Phil. 515 (1956).
2 People vs. Lava, 28 SCRA 72 (1956); People vs. Geronimo, 100 Phil. 90
(1956); People vs. Romagosa, 103 Phil. 20 (1958); and People vs. Rodriguez, 107
Phil. 659 (1960).

3 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, pp. 32-34.


4 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, pp. 34 et seq.
5 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, p. 26.
6 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, pp. 305-359.
7 Originally a petition for certiorari and prohibition which the Court, upon
motion of the petitioners, resolved to treat as a petition for habeas corpus; Rollo,
G.R. No. 92164, pp. 128-129.
8 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, pp. 407-411.
9 Fernan, C.J., and Narvasa, Cortes and Grino-Aquino, JJ.
10 Fernan, C.J. and Narvasa, J.
10-A Two Members a on leave.
11 Executive Order No. 187 issued June 5, 1987.
12 People vs. Hernandez, supra at 541-543.
13 Id., at 551.
14 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, pp. 78-79 and 73-76.
14 Supra, footnote 4.
15 Soliven vs. Makasiar, 167 SCRA 394.
17 Rollo, G.R. No. 92163, pp. 46-47.
18 Sec. 2, Rule 117, Rules of Court.
19 Ocampo vs. Bernabe, 77 Phil. 55.
20 Rollo, G.R. No. 92164, pp. 124-125.
Melencio-Herrera, J., Opinion
1 "ART. 142-A-Cases where other offenses are committed.-When by reason or on
the occasion of any of the crimes penalized in this Chapter, acts which constitute
offenses upon which graver penalties are imposed by law are committed, the

penalty for the most serious offense in its maximum period shall be imposed upon
the offender."
Sarmiento, J., Concurring
1 99 Phil. 515 (1956).
2 Supra, 520.
3 Supra, 521.
4 US v. Santiago, 41 Phil. 793 (1917).

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-19660

May 24, 1966

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff and appellant,


vs.
AMBROCIO CANO Y PINEDA, defendant and appellee.
Office of the Solicitor General Arturo A. Alafriz, Assistant Solicitor General Pacifico P. de
Castro and Solicitor R. I. Goco for plaintiff and appellant.
Angel A. Sison for plaintiff and appellant as private prosecutor.
G. F. Yabut, R. Monterey and F. R. Sotto for defendant and appellee.
CONCEPCION, J.:
Appeal, taken by the prosecution, from an order of the Court of First Instance of Pampanga.
On or about August 2, 1961, the Provincial Fiscal of Pampanga filed with the said court an
information accusing defendant-appellee Ambrocio Cano y Pineda of the crime of damage to
property with multiple physical injuries, thru reckless imprudence, alleging:
That on or about the 21st day of September, 1960, on the National Highway at San Isidro,
municipality of San Fernando, Province of Pampanga, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused Ambrocio Cano y Pineda,
being then the driver and person in charge of La Mallorca Pambusco bus with body No.

846, Plate No. TPU 23177 (Pampanga '60), in utter disregard of traffic rules and
regulations and without exercising due precaution to avoid accident to persons and/or
damage to property, and by driving at a speed more than that allowed by law and on the
wrong side of the road, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously drive,
manage and operate said vehicle in a careless, negligent and imprudent manner, causing,
as a result thereof the said bus driven by him to hit and bump a Philippine Rabbit Bus
with body No. 257, bearing Plate No. TPU-25589 (Tarlac '60), then driven by Clemente
Calixto y Onia, thereby causing damages to the said Philippine Rabbit Bus in the amount
of P5,023.55, to the damage and prejudice of the owner, the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines,
Inc., in the said amount of P5,023.55, Philippines Currency, and on the same occasion
inflicting physical injuries to the passengers of said buses, namely, Francisco Feliciano,
Hilario Pasamonte Linda Ongria, Lorenzo Calixto, whose physical injuries, barring
complications, required and will require medical attendance for a period of not less than
three (3) months; Regina Mendoza de Gacuain, Virginia Camba, Francisco Guevarra,
George Sebastian, Francisco Rabago, Oscar Favorito, Lida Toledo, whose physical
injuries, barring complications, required and will require medical attendance for a period
ranging from one week to one month; Adelaida Buenconsejo Vda. de Shaup, Eulogio
Catalico, Marina Gonzales, Abraham Serrano, Epifanio Payas, Seprando Fontanilla,
Pedro Bingcang, Tomas Ortega, Mateo Estaris, Andres Espinosa, Ligaya Garcia, Romeo
Rivera, Mateo Estacio, Jaime Castillo, Clemente Calixto, Dedicacion San Juan, Antonio
Calixto, Teofilo Raon, Francisco Mallari, Alfonso Aquino, Esmeralda Cayasi, Salvacion
Vda. de Ortega, Patrocinio Caasi, Lily Ortarsa, Eulogio Canlas, Esperanza de la Cruz,
Benita Cesar, Laulita Batalia, Miguela Quilay, Benjamin Tiglao, Ligaya Garcia Bindua,
Marlita Balmonte, Geronimo Briones, Juan Velasco, Tomasa Mateo, and Bobby Galhoun
whose physical injuries, barring complications required and will require medical
attendance for a period ranging from seven to nine days, and incapacitate said injured
persons from performing their customary labor for the same period of time,
respectively.1wph1.t
All contrary to law.
Upon arraignment,1 defendant entered a plea of not guilty. Months later,2 he filed a motion to
quash the information upon the ground:
1. That the crime charged, slight physical injuries thru reckless imprudence, has already
prescribed;
2. That this Honorable Court has no jurisdiction of the crime charged, slight physical
injuries thru reckless imprudence; and
3. That the crime of slight physical injuries thru reckless imprudence cannot be
complexed with damage to property, serious and less serious physical injuries thru
reckless imprudence.
After due hearing, the lower court issued an order3 holding that, "without discussing whether or
not this particular misdemeanor of slight physical injuries" through reckless imprudence

"has prescribed ... it is clear that said misdemeanor cannot validly be complexed with grave or
less grave felonies", and, accordingly, granting the motion to quash and ordering the prosecution
"to amend the information within ten (10) days" from notice, by "deleting therefrom all reference
to slight physical injuries". A reconsideration of this order having been denied, the prosecution
interposed the present appeal.
The order appealed from is predicated upon the theory that the offense of slight physical injuries
thru reckless negligence cannot be complexed with that of damage to property with multiple
physical injuries thru reckless imprudence, because "misdemeanor" may not, under Article 48 of
the Revised Penal Code, be complexed with grave or less grave felonies.
However, the information herein does not purport to complex the offense of slight physical
injuries with reckless negligence with that of damage to property and serious and less serious
physical injuries thru reckless imprudence. It is merely alleged in the information that, thru
reckless negligence of the defendant, the bus driven by him hit another bus causing upon some of
its passengers serious physical injuries, upon others less serious physical injuries and upon still
others slight physical injuries, in addition to damage to property. Appellee and the lower court
have seemingly assumed that said information thereby charges two offenses, namely (1) slight
physical injuries thru reckless imprudence; and (2) damage to property, and serious and less
serious physical injuries, thru reckless negligence which are sought to be complexed. This
assumption is, in turn, apparently premised upon the predicate that the effect or consequence of
defendants negligence, not the negligence itself, is the principal or vital factor in said offenses.
Such predicate is not altogether accurate.
As early as July 28, 1955 this Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, had the occasion to
state, in Quizon vs. Justice of the Peace of Bacolor, Pampanga (G.R. No. L-6641), that:
The proposition (inferred from Art. 3 of the Revised Penal Code) that "reckless
imprudence is not a crime in itself but simply a way of committing it and merely
determines a lower degree of criminal liability" is too broad to deserve unqualified
assent. There are crimes that by their structure can not be committed through imprudence:
murder, treason, robbery, malicious mischief, etc. In truth, criminal negligence in our
Revised Penal Code is treated as a mere quasi-offense, and dealt separately from wilful
offenses. It is not a mere question of classification or terminology. In intentional crimes,
the act itself is punished; in negligence or imprudence, what is principally penalized
is the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the dangerous recklessness, lack of care
or foresight, the "imprudencia punible." Much of the confusion has arisen from the
common use of such descriptive phrases as "homicide through reckless imprudence", and
the like; when the strict technical offense is more accurately, "reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide", or "simple imprudence causing damages to property."
Were criminal negligence but a modality in the commission of felonies, operating only to
reduce the penalty therefor, then it would be absorbed in the mitigating circumstances of
Article 13, specially the lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as the one actually
committed. Furthermore, tile theory would require that the corresponding penalty should
be fixed in proportion to the penalty prescribed for each crime when committed wilfully.

For each penalty for the wilful offense, there would then be a corresponding penalty for
the negligent variety. But instead, our Revised Penal Code (Art. 365) fixes the penalty for
reckless imprudence at arresto mayor maximum, to prision correccional minimum if the
wilful act would constitute a grave felony, notwithstanding that the penalty for the latter
could range all the way from prision mayor to death, according to the case. It can be seen
that the actual penalty for criminal negligence bears no relation to the individual wilful
crime, but is set in relation to a whole class, or series, of crimes.
Thirdly, regardless of whether the issue adverted to above should be decided in the affirmative or
in the negative the proper procedure for the lower court was to reserve the resolution thereof
until after the case has been heard on the merits, when decision is rendered thereon, there being
no question that the court has jurisdiction and can properly try the defendant for damage to
property and serious or less serious physical injuries thru reckless negligence. It may not be
amiss to add that the purpose of Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code in complexing several
felonies resulting from a single act, or one which is a necessary means to commit another, is to
favor the accused by prescribing the imposition of the penalty for the most serious crime, instead
of the penalties for each one of the aforesaid crimes which, put together, may be graver than the
penalty for the most serious offense.
Fourthly, from the viewpoint both of trial practices and justice, it is, to say the least, doubtful
whether the prosecution should split the action against the defendant, by filing against him
several informations, namely, one for damage to property and serious and less serious physical
injuries, thru, reckless negligence, before the court of first instance, and another for slight
physical injuries thru reckless negligence, before the justice of the peace of municipal court. One
thing is, however, certain. Such splitting of the action would work unnecessary inconvenience to
the administration of justice in general and to the accused in particular, for it would require the
presentation of substantially the same evidence before two different courts, the municipal court
and the court of first instance. Worse, still, in the event of conviction in the municipal court and
appeal to the court of first instance, said evidence would still have to be introduced once more in
the latter court.
Wherefore, the order appealed from is hereby set aside and the case remanded to the lower court
for trial on the merits and the rendition of the judgment that the facts proven and the applicable
law may warrant, with the costs of this instance against the defendant-appellee, It is so ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon,
J.P., Zaldivar and Sanchez, JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1

On August 23, 1961.

On January 18, 1962.

On March 6, 1962.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-26222

July 21, 1967

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,


vs.
HONORABLE JUDGE HERNANDO PINEDA of the Court of First Instance of Lanao del
Norte;
and TOMAS NARBASA, TAMBAC ALINDO and RUFINO BORRES, respondents.
Dominador L. Padilla for petitioner.
Narbasa, Tambac Alindo and Borres for respondents.
SANCHEZ, J.:
Respondents Tomas Narbasa, Tambac Alindo and Rufino Borres stand indicted before the Court
of First Instance of Lanao del Norte, as principals, in five (5) separate cases, four for murder, viz:
Criminal Case 1246 murder of Neceforo Mendoza;
Criminal Case 1247 murder of Epifania Mendoza;
Criminal Case 1248 frustrated murder of Valeriana Bontilao de Mendoza;
Criminal Case 1249 murder of Teofilo Mendoza;
Criminal Case 1250 murder of Marcelo Mendoza.
The five informations were planted upon facts gathered by the prosecuting attorney from his
investigation. Of course, the truth of these facts is yet to be tested in the crucible of a fulldress trial on the merits.
The indictments are bottomed upon the following alleged pivotal facts:
On the night of July 29, 1965, the occupants of the home of the spouses Teofilo Mendoza and
Valeriana Bontilao de Mendoza in Pugaan City of Iligan, were asleep. It was then that guns
(rifle, caliber 22) and paliuntod(homemade gun) were fired in rapid succession from outside
the house. Teofilo Mendoza fell dead. Thereafter, defendants below destroyed the door of the

house, entered therein, and let loose several shots killing Neceforo Mendoza, all minor
children of the couple and wounding Valeriana Bontilao de Mendoza.
Two of the three defendants in the five criminal cases heretofore listed Tomas Narbasa and
Tambak Alindo moved for a consolidation thereof "into one (1) criminal case." Their plea is
that "said cases arose out of the same incident and motivated by one impulse."
Giving the nod to defendants' claim, respondent Judge, in an order dated May 13, 1966, directed
the City Fiscal to unify all the five criminal cases, and to file one single information in Case
1246. He also ordered that the other four cases, Nos. 1247, 1248, 1249 and 1250 "be dropped
from the docket."
The City Fiscal balked at the foregoing order, sought reconsideration thereof, upon the ground
that "more than one gun was used, more than one shot was fired and more than one victim was
killed." The defense opposed.
On May 31, 1966, respondent Judge denied the motion to reconsider. He took the position that
the acts complained of "stemmed out of a series of continuing acts on the part of the accused, not
by different and separate sets of shots, moved by one impulse and should therefore be treated as
one crime though the series of shots killed more than one victim;" and that only one information
for multiple murder should be filed, to obviate the necessity of trying five cases instead of one."
Primarily to annul respondent Judge's orders of May 13, 1966 and May 31, 1966, as having been
issued without or in excess of jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion, the People came
to this Court on certiorari with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction, and for other reliefs.
This Court, on July 1, 1966, issued the cease-and-desist order prayed for.
The question here presented, simply is this: Should there be one information, either for the
complex crime of murder and frustrated murder or for the complex crime of robbery with
multiple homicide and frustrated homicide? Or, should the five indictments remain as they are?
1. The case before us calls into question the applicability of Article 48 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, which reads:
Art. 48. Penalty for complex crimes. When a single act constitutes two or more grave
or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other,
the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its
maximum period.
Read as it should be, Article 48 provides for two classes of crimes where a single penalty is to be
imposed: first, where a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies (delito
compuesto); and, second, when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other (delito
complejo).1

Best exemplified by the first of the two cases is where one shot from a gun results in the death of
two or more persons. Jurisprudence teaches that, in this factual setting, the complex crime
defined in the first part of Article 48 finds application.2 A similar rule obtains where one stabbed
another and the weapon pierced the latter's body through and wounded another. The first died
instantaneously; the second, seven days later. This Court convicted the assailant of double
murder.3 So where a person plants a bomb in an airplane and the bomb explodes, with the result
that a number of persons are killed, that single act again produces a complex crime.4
A different rule governs where separate and distinct acts result in a number killed. Deeply rooted
is the doctrine that when various victims expire from separate shots, such acts constitute separate
and distinct crimes.5 Thus, where the six defendants, with others (armed with pistols, carbines
and also a submachine gun and Garand rifles), fired volleys into a house killing eleven and
wounding several others, each of the said accused is "guilty of as many crimes of murder as there
were deaths (eleven).6 Again, eleven persons were indicted for quadruple murder with the use
of bolos, a pistol, a barbed arrow and a piece of bamboo of a man, his common-law wife, and
their two children in cold blood. The accused were found guilty by the trial court of such offense.
This Court, in reversing this ruling below, held that "[t]he four victims were not killed by a
single act but by various acts committed on different occasions and by different parties"; that
such acts "may not be regarded as constituting one single crime"; and that "[t]hey should be held
as separate and distinct crimes."7 And a third. At the commencement exercises of an
elementary school, "a shot suddenly rang out" followed by a "series of shots" from a pistol.
Two persons lay dead and a third seriously wounded but who later on also died. This Court there
ruled that there were "three distinct and separate murders" committed by appellant Juan
Mones.8 And finally, inPeople vs. Gatbunton, L-2435, May 10, 1950, the spouses Mariano
Sebastian and Maxima Capule who were asleep were killed by one burst of machinegun
fire; and then, by a second burst of machinegun fire, two of the couple's children also asleep
were killed. The accused, Tomas Gatbunton, was found guilty by the trial court of quadruple
murder. On appeal, this Court declared that "appellant must be declared guilty of four murders."9
The present ease is to be differentiated from People vs. Lawas, L-7618-20, June 30, 1955. There,
on a single occasion, about fifty Maranaos were killed by a group of home guards. It was held
that there was only one complex crime. In that case, however, there was no conspiracy to
perpetuate the killing. In the case at bar, defendants performed several acts. And the informations
charge conspiracy amongst them. Needless to state, the act of one is the act of all.10 Not material
here, therefore is the finding in Lawas that "it is impossible to ascertain the individual deaths
caused by each and everyone" of the accused. It is to be borne in mind, at this point, that apply
the first half of Article 48, heretofore quoted, there must be singularity of criminal act;
singularity of criminal impulse is not written into the law.11
The respondent Judge reasons out in his order of May 31, 1966 that consolidation of the five
cases into one would have the salutary effect of obviating the necessity of trying five cases
instead of one. To save time, indeed, is laudable. Nonetheless, the statute confers upon the trial
judge the power to try these cases jointly, such that the fear entertained by respondent Judge
could easily be remedied.12

Upon the facts and the law, we hold that the City Fiscal of Iligan City correctly presented the
five separate informations four for murder and one for frustrated murder.
2. We have not overlooked the suggestion in the record that, because of an affidavit of one of the
witnesses, possibility exists that the real intent of the culprits was to commit robbery, and that the
acts constituting murders and frustrated murder complained of were committed in pursuance
thereof. If true, this would bring the case within the coverage of the second portion of Article 48,
which treats as a complex crime a case where an offense is a necessary means for committing the
other.
A rule of presumption long familiar, however, is that official duty has been regularly
performed.13 If the Fiscal has not seen fit to give weight to said affidavit wherein it is alleged that
certain personal properties (transistor radio and money) were taken away by the culprits after the
shooting, we are not to jettison the prosecutor's opinion thereon. The Fiscal could have had
reasons for his act. For one thing, there is the grave problem of proving the elements of that
offense robbery. For another, the act could have been but a blind to cover up the real intent to
kill. Appropriately to be noted here is that all the informations charged evident premeditation.
With ponderables and imponderables, we are reluctant to hazard a guess as to the reasons for the
Fiscal's action. We are not now to say that, on this point, the Fiscal has abused his discretion.
A prosecuting attorney, by the nature of his office, is under no compulsion to file a particular
criminal information where he is not convinced that he has evidence to prop up the averments
thereof, or that the evidence at hand points to a different conclusion. This is not to discount the
possibility of the commission of abuses on the part of the prosecutor. But we must have to
recognize that a prosecuting attorney should not be unduly compelled to work against his
conviction. In case of doubt, we should give him the benefit thereof. A contrary rule may result
in our courts being unnecessarily swamped with unmeritorious cases. Worse still, a criminal
suspect's right to due process the sporting idea of fair play may be transgressed. So it is,
that in People vs. Sope 75 Phil. 810, 815, this Court made the pronouncement that "[i]t is very
logical that the prosecuting attorney, being the one charged with the prosecution of offenses,
should determine the information to be filed and cannot be controlled by the off ended party."14
3. The impact of respondent Judge's orders is that his judgment is to be substituted for that of the
prosecutor's on the matter of what crime is to be filed in court. The question of instituting a
criminal charge is one addressed to the sound discretion of the investigating Fiscal. The
information he lodges in court must have to be supported by facts brought about by an inquiry
made by him. It stands to reason then to say that in a clash of views between the judge who did
not investigate and the fiscal who did, or between the fiscal and the offended party or the
defendant, those of the Fiscal's should normally prevail. In this regard, he cannot ordinarily be
subject to dictation. We are not to be understood as saying that criminal prosecution may not be
blocked in exceptional cases. A relief in equity "may be availed of to stop it purported
enforcement of a criminal law where it is necessary (a) for the orderly administration of justice;
(b) to prevent the use of the strong arm of the law in an oppressive and vindictive manner; (c) to
avoid multiplicity of actions; (d) to afford adequate protection to constitutional rights; and (e) in
proper cases, because the statute relied upon is unconstitutional or was 'held invalid.' "15 Nothing
in the record would as much as intimate that the present case fits into any of the situations just
recited.1wph1.t

And at this distance and in the absence of any compelling fact or circumstance, we are loathe to
tag the City Fiscal of Iligan City with abuse of discretion in filing separate cases for murder and
frustrated murder, instead of a single case for the complex crime of robbery with homicide and
frustrated homicide under the provisions of Article 294 (1) of the Revised Penal Code or, for that
matter, for multiple murder and frustrated murder. We state that, here, the Fiscal's discretion
should not be controlled.
Upon the record as it stands, the writ of certiorari prayed for is hereby granted; the orders of
respondent Judge of May 13, 1965 and May 31, 1966 are hereby set and declared null and void,
and, in consequence, the writ of preliminary injunction heretofore issued is made permanent
insofar as it stops enforcement of the said orders; and the respondent Judge, or whoever takes his
place, is hereby directed to reinstate Criminal Cases 1246, 1247, 1248, 1249 and 1250 as they
were commenced, and to take steps towards the final determination thereof.
Costs against respondents Tomas Narbasa, Tambac Alindo and Rutino Borres. So ordered.
Reyes, J.B.L., Makalintal, Bengzon J.P., Zaldivar, Castro, Angeles and Fernando, JJ., concur.
Concepcion, C.J. and Dizon, J., took no part.
Footnotes
1

Tomo I, Cuello Colon, Derecho Penal, 1960 ed., p. 635.

In People vs. Pama (C.A.), 44 O.G. No. 9, pp. 3339, 3345-3346, where four bullets were
fired causing four mortal wounds to a person, but one of which also struck a child
resulting in the latter's death, the Court of Appeals held that, by the one single shot, a
single information should have been filed to cover both deaths, and a single penalty
should be imposed.
In People vs. Buyco, 80 Phil. 58, 67-69, where the accused fired several bullets in
succession from a submachine gun with a single pull of the trigger, killing one
person with treachery and another only accidentally, this Court, citing II Viada,
5th ed., p. 629, categorized the facts as constituting one single act a complex
crime of murder and homicide. Cf. People vs. Gatbunton, infra.
In People vs. Deveza (C.A.), 44 O.G. No. 5, pp. 1501, 1507-1511, one shot from a
pistol caused the death of a person and serious physical injuries to another; the
court considered the factual situation as a complex crime of homicide and serious
physical injuries.
3

People vs. Balotol, 84 Phil. 289, 290-291.

People vs. Largo, 99 Phil. 1061-1062. In pari materia, see: People vs. Fulgencio, L5370, November 10, 1952; People vs. Guillen, 85 Phil. 307, 318-319. See also: Angeles
vs. Jose, 96 Phil. 151, 152.

People vs. Pardo, 79 Phil. 568, 577-578; People vs. Buyco, supra, at p. 69; People vs.
Ordonio, 82 Phil. 324, 334; People vs. Chan, 90 Phil. 1, 5; People vs. Basarain, L-6690,
May 24, 1955; People vs. Moro, L-6771, May 28, 1957; People vs. Remolino, L-14008,
September 30, 1960. See also: People vs. Torres, L-4642, May 29, 1953.
6

People vs. Macaso, 85 Phil. 819, 828.

People vs. Daligdig, 89 Phil. 598, 615.

People vs. Mones, 86 Phil. 331, 333, 339.

To the same effect: People vs. Desierto, (C.A.) 45 O.G. No. 10, pp. 4542, 4549-4550.

10

People vs. Masin, 64 Phil. 757, 767, citing cases; People vs. Timbang, 74 Phil. 295,
299; People vs. Santos, 84 Phil. 97, 104; People vs. Domenden L-17822, October 30,
1962; People vs. Ambran, L-15581, April 29, 1963.
11

See I Padilla, Criminal Law, 1964 ed., p. 548, at footnote.

12

Section 15, Rule 119, Rules of Court, reads:


"SEC 15. Consolidation of trials of related offenses. Charges for offenses
founded on the same facts, or which form or are a part of a series of offenses of
the same or similar character may, in the discretion of the court, be tried jointly."

13

Section 5 (m), Rule 131, Rules of Court.

14

See: Gonzales vs. Court of First Instance of Bulacan, 63 Phil. 846, 855, citing cases;
Zulueta vs. Nicolas 102 Phil. 944, 946, citing People vs. Liggayu, 97 Phil. 865, and
People vs. Natoza 100 Phil. 533; Bagatua vs. Revilla, L-12247, August 26, 1958.
15

Hernandez vs. Albano, L-19272, January 25, 1967, citing cases.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-1477

January 18, 1950

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JULIO GUILLEN, defendant-appellant.
Mariano A. Albert for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Bautista Angelo and Solicitor Francisco A. Carreon for
appellee.
PER CURIAM, J.:
This case is before us for review of, and by virtue of appeal from, the judgment rendered by the
Court of First Instance of Manila in case No. 2746, whereby Julio Guillen y Corpus, or Julio C.
Guillen, is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and multiple frustrated
murder, as charged in the information, and is sentenced to the penalty of death, to indemnify the
of the deceased Simeon Valera (or Barrela) in the sum of P2,000 and to pay the costs.
Upon arraignment the accused entered a plea of not guilty to the charges contained in the
information.
Then the case was tried in one of the branches of the Court of First Instance of Manila presided
over by the honorable Buenaventura Ocampo who, after the submission of the evidence of the
prosecution and the defense, rendered judgment as above stated.
In this connection it should be stated that, at the beginning of the trial and before arraignment,
counsel de oficiofor the accused moved that the mental condition of Guillen be examined. The
court, notwithstanding that it had found out from the answers of the accused to questions
propounded to him in order to test the soundness of his mind, that he was not suffering from any
mental derangement, ordered that Julio Guillen be confined for Hospital, there to be examined by
medical experts who should report their findings accordingly. This was done, and, according to
the report of the board of medical experts, presided over by Dr. Fernandez of the National
Psychopathic Hospital, Julio Guillen was not insane. Said report (Exhibit L), under the heading
"Formulation and Diagnosis," at pages 13 and 14, reads:
FORMULATION AND DIAGNOSIS
Julio C. Guillen was placed under constant observation since admission. There was not a
single moment during his whole 24 hours daily, that he was not under observation.
The motive behind the commission of the crime is stated above. The veracity of this
motivation was determined in the Narcosynthesis. That the narco-synthesis was
successful was checked up the day after the test. The narco-synthesis proved not only
reveal any conflict or complex that may explain a delusional or hallucinatory motive
behind the act.
Our observation and examination failed to elicit any sign or symptom of insanity in Mr.
Julio C. Guillen. He was found to be intelligent, always able to differentiate right from

wrong, fully aware of the nature of the crime he committed and is equally decided to
suffer for it in any manner or form.
His version of the circumstances of the crime, his conduct and conversation relative
thereto, the motives, temptations and provocations that preceded the act, were all those of
an individual with a sound mind.
On the other hand he is an man of strong will and conviction and once arriving at a
decision he executes, irrespective of consequences and as in this case, the commission of
the act at Plaza Miranda.
What is of some interest in the personality of Julio C. Guillen is his commission of some
overt acts. This is seen not only in the present instance, but sometime when
an employee in la Clementina Cigar Factory he engaged in a boxing bout Mr. Manzano, a
Span-wanted to abuse the women cigar makers, and felt it his duty to defend them. One
time he ran after a policeman with a knife in hand after being provoked to a fight several
times. He even challenged Congressman Nueno to a fight sometime before when Mr.
Nueno was running for a seat in the Municipal Board of the City of Manila, after hearing
him deliver one of his apparently outspoken speeches.
All these mean a defect in his personality characterized by a weakness of censorship
especially in relation to rationalization about the consequences of his acts.
In view of the above findings it is our considered opinion that Julio C. Guillen is not
insane but is an individual with a personality defect which in Psychiatry is termed,
Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority.
Final Diagnosis
Not insane: Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority, without psychosis.
In view of the above-quoted findings of the medical board, and notwithstanding the contrary
opinion of one Dr. Alvarez, who was asked by the defense to give his opinion on the matter, the
court ruled that Guillen, not being insane, could be tired, as he was tired, for the offenses he
committed on the date in question.
THE FACTS
Upon careful perusal of the evidence and the briefs submitted by counsel for the accused, the
Solicitor General and their respective memoranda, we find that there is no disagreement between
the prosecution and the defense, as to the essential facts which caused the filing of the present
criminal case against this accused. Those facts may be stated as follows:
On the dates mentioned in this decision, Julio Guillen y Corpus, although not affirmed with any
particular political group, has voted for the defeated candidate in the presidential elections held
in 1946. Manuel A. Roxas, the successful candidate, assumed the office of President of the

Commonwealth and subsequently President of the President of the Philippine Republic.


According to Guillen, he became disappointed in President Roxas for his alleged failure to
redeem the pledges and fulfill the promises made by him during the presidential election
campaign; and his disappointment was aggravated when, according to him, President Roxas,
instead of looking after the interest of his country, sponsored and campaigned for the approval of
the so-called "parity" measure. Hence he determined to assassinate the President.
After he had pondered for some time over the ways and means of assassinating President Roxas,
the opportunity presented itself on the night of March 10, 1947, when at a popular meeting held
by the Liberal Party at Plaza de Miranda, Quiapo, Manila attended by a big crowd, President
Roxas, accompanied by his wife and daughter and surrounded by a number of ladies and
gentlemen prominent in government and politics, stood on a platform erected for that purpose
and delivered his speech expounding and trying to convince his thousand of listeners of the
advantages to be gained by the Philippines, should the constitutional amendment granting
American citizens the same rights granted to Filipino nationals be adopted.
Guillen had first intended to use a revolver for the accomplishment of his purpose, but having
lost said firearm, which was duly licensed, he thought of two hand grenades which were given
him by an American soldier in the early days of the liberation of Manila in exchange for two
bottles of whisky. He had likewise been weighing the chances of killing President Roxas, either
by going to Malacaan, or following his intended victim in the latter's trips to provinces, for
instance, to Tayabas (now Quezon) where the President was scheduled to speak, but having
encountered many difficulties, he decided to carry out his plan at the pro-parity meeting held at
Plaza de Miranda on the night of March 10, 1947.
On the morning of that he went to the house of Amando Hernandez whom he requested to
prepare for him a document (Exhibit B), in accordance with their pervious understanding in the
preceding afternoon, when they met at the premises of the Manila Jockey Club on the occasion
of an "anti-parity" meeting held there. On account of its materially in this case, we deem it
proper to quote hereunder the contents of said document. An English translation (Exhibit B-2)
from its original Tagalog reads:
FOR THE SAKE OF A FREE PHILIPPINES
I am the only one responsible for what happened. I conceived it, I planned it, and I
carried it out all by myself alone. It took me many days and nights pondering over this
act, talking to my own conscience, to my God, until I reached my conclusion. It was my
duty.
I did not expected to live long; I only had on life to spare. And had I expected to lives to
spare, I would not have hesitated either ton sacrifice it for the sake of a principle which
was the welfare of the people.
Thousands have died in Bataan; many more have mourned the loss of their husbands, of
their sons, and there are millions now suffering. Their deeds bore no fruits; their hopes
were frustrated.

I was told by my conscience and by my God that there was a man to be blamed for all
this: he had deceived the people, he had astounded them with no other purpose than to
entice them; he even went to the extent of risking the heritage of our future generations.
For these reasons he should not continue any longer. His life would mean nothing as
compared with the welfare of eighteen million souls. And why should I not give up my
life too if only the good of those eighteen million souls.
These are the reasons which impelled me to do what I did and I am willing to bear up the
consequences of my act. I t matters not if others will curse me. Time and history will
show, I am sure, that I have only displayed a high degree of patriotism in my
performance of my said act.
Hurrah for a free Philippines.
Cheers for the happiness of every Filipino home.
May God pity on me.
Amen.
JULIO C. GUILLEN
A copy (Exhibit B-1) of the original in Tagalog (Exhibit B), made at the request of Guillen by
his nephew, was handed to him only at about 6 o'clock in the afternoon of March 10, 1947, for
which reason said Exhibit B-1 appears unsigned, because he was in a hurry for that meeting at
Plaza de Miranda.
When he reached Plaza de Miranda, Guillen was carrying two hand grenades concealed in a
paper bag which also contained peanuts. He buried one of the hand grenades (Exhibit D), in a
plant pot located close to the platform, and when he decided to carry out his evil purpose he
stood on the chair on which he had been sitting and, from a distance of about seven meters, he
hurled the grenade at the President when the latter had just closed his speech, was being
congratulated by Ambassador Romulo and was about to leave the platform.
General Castaeda, who was on the platform, saw the smoking, hissing, grenade and without
losing his presence of mind, kicked it away from the platform, along the stairway, and towards
an open space where the general thought the grenade was likely to do the least harm; and,
covering the President with his body, shouted to the crowd that everybody should lie down. The
grenade fell to the ground and exploded in the middle of a group of persons who were standing
close to the platform. Confusion ensued, and the crowd dispersed in a panic. It was found that the
fragments of the grenade had seriously injured Simeon Varela (or Barrela ) who died on the
following day as the result of mortal wounds caused by the fragments of the grenade (Exhibits F
and F-1) Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio Maglalang.

Guillen was arrested by members of the Police Department about two hours after the occurrence.
It appears that one Angel Garcia, who was one spectators at that meeting, saw how a person who
was standing next to him hurled an object at the platform and, after the explosion, ran away
towards a barber shop located near the platform at Plaza de Miranda. Suspecting that person was
the thrower of the object that exploded, Garcia went after him and had almost succeeded in
holding him, but Guillen offered stiff resistance, got loose from Garcia and managed to escape.
Garcia pursued him, but some detectives, mistaking the former for the real criminal and the
author of the explosion, placed him under arrest. In the meantime, while the City Mayor and
some agents of the Manila Police Department were investigating the affair, one Manuel Robles
volunteered the information that the person with whom Angel Garcia was wrestling was Julio
Guillen; that he (Manuel Robles) was acquainted with Julio Guillen for the previous ten years
and had seen each other in the plaza a few moments previous to the explosion.
The police operatives interrogated Garcia and Robles, and Julio Guillen was, within two hours
after the occurrence, found in his home at 1724 Juan Luna Street, Manila, brought to the police
headquarters and identified by Angel Garcia, as the same person who hurled towards the
platform the object which exploded and whom Garcia tried to hold when he was running away.
During the investigation conducted by the police he readily admitted his responsibility, although
at the same time he tried to justify his action in throwing the bomb at President Roxas. He also
indicated to his captors the place where he had hidden his so called last will quoted above and
marked Exhibit B, which was then unsigned by him and subsequently signed at the police
headquarters.
Re-enacting the crime (Exhibit C), he pointed out to the police where he had buried (Exhibit C1) the other hand grenade (Exhibit D), and, in the presence of witnesses he signed a statement
which contained his answers to question propounded to him by Major A. Quintos of the Manila
Police, who investigated him soon after his arrest (Exhibit E). From a perusal of his voluntary
statement, we are satisfied that it tallies exactly with the declarations and made by him on the
witness stand during the trial of this case.
THE ISSUES
In the brief submitted by counsel de oficio for this appellant, several errors are assigned allegedly
committed by the trial court, namely: first, "in finding the appellant guilty of murder for the
death of Simeon Varela"; second, "in declaring the appellant guilty of the complex crime of
murder and multiple frustrated murder"; third, "in applying sub-section 1 of article 49 of the
Revised Penal Code in determining the penalty to be imposed upon the accused"; and fourth, "in
considering the concurrence of the aggravating circumstances of nocturnity and of contempt of
public authorities in the commission of crime."
The evidence for the prosecution, supported by the brazen statements made by the accused,
shows beyond any shadow of doubt that, when Guillen attended that meeting, carrying with him
two hand grenades, to put into execution his preconceived plan to assassinate President Roxas,
he knew fully well that, by throwing one of those two hand grenades in his possession at
President Roxas, and causing it to explode, he could not prevent the persons who were around

his main and intended victim from being killed or at least injured, due to the highly explosive
nature of the bomb employed by him to carry out his evil purpose.
Guillen, testifying in his own behalf, in answer to questions propounded by the trial judge (page
96 of transcript) supports our conclusion. He stated that he performed the act voluntarily; that his
purpose was to kill the President, but that it did not make any difference to him if there were
some people around the President when he hurled that bomb, because the killing of those who
surrounded the President was tantamount to killing the President, in view of the fact that those
persons, being loyal to the President being loyal to the President, were identified with the latter.
In other word, although it was not his main intention to kill the persons surrounding the
President, he felt no conjunction in killing them also in order to attain his main purpose of killing
the President.
The facts do not support the contention of counsel for appellant that the latter is guilty only of
homicide through reckless imprudence in regard to the death of Simeon Varela and of less
serious physical injuries in regard to Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio
Maglalang, and that he should be sentenced to the corresponding penalties for the different
felonies committed, the sum total of which shall not exceed three times the penalty to be
imposed for the most serious crime in accordance with article 70 in relation to article 74 of the
Revised Penal Code.
In throwing hand grenade at the President with the intention of killing him, the appellant acted
with malice. He is therefore liable for all the consequences of his wrongful act; for in accordance
with article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by any person committing
felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. In
criminal negligence, the injury caused to another should be unintentional, it being simply the
incident of another act performed without malice. (People vs. Sara, 55 Phil., 939.) In the words
of Viada, "in order that an act may be qualified as imprudence it is necessary that either malice
nor intention to cause injury should intervene; where such intention exists, the act should
qualified by the felony it has produced even though it may not have been the intention of the
actor to cause an evil of such gravity as that produced.' (Viada's Comments on the Penal Code,
vol. 7, 5th ed., p.7.) And, as held by this Court, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act is
essentially inconsistent with the idea of reckless imprudence. (People vs. Nanquil, 43 Phil., 232.)
Where such unlawful act is wilfully done, a mistake in the identity of the intended victim cannot
be considered as reckless imprudence. (People vs. Gona, 54 Phil., 605)
Squarely on the point by counsel is the following decision of the Supreme Court of Spain:
Cuestion 62. Se presenta A, a las ocho de la noche, en el estanco de B a comprar tabaco,
y habiendose negado este a darselo al fiado, se retira a quel sin mediar entre ambos
disputa alguna; pero; trnscurrido un cuarto de hora, hallandose el estanquero despachando
a C, se oye la detonacion de un arma de fuego disparada por A desde la calle, quedando
muertos en el acto C y el estanquero; supuesta la no intencion en A de matar a C y si solo
al estanquero, cabe calificar la muerte de este de homicidio y la de c de imprudencia
temeraria? La Sala de lo Criminal de la Auudiencia de Granada lo estimo asi, y
condeno al procesado a catorse anos de reclusion por el homivcidio y a un ao de prision

correctional por la imprudencia. Aparte de que la muerte del estanquero debio calificarse
de assesinato y no de homicidio, por haberse ejecutado con aleviosa. es evidente que la
muerte de C, suponiendo que no se propusiera ejecutaria el procesado, no pudo
calificarse de imprudencia teme raria, sino que tambien debio declararsele responsable de
la misma, a tenor de lo puesto en este apartado ultimo del articulo; y que siendo ambas
muertes producidas por un solo hecho, o sea por un solo disparo, debio imponerse al reo
la pena del delito de asesinato en el grado maximo, a tenor de lo dispuesto en el art. 90
del Codigo, o sea la pena de muerte. Se ve, pues, claramente que en el antedicha
sentencia, aparte de otros articulos del Codigo, se infringio por la Sala la disposicion de
este apartado ultimo del articulo muy principalmente, y asi lo declaro el Tribunal
Supremo en S. de 18 junio de 1872. (Gaceta de 1,0 de agosto.) (I Viada, 5th Ed., p. 42.)
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides as follows:
Art. 48. Penalty for Complex Crimes. When a single act constitutes two or more grave
or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other,
the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its
maximum period.
We think it is the above-quoted article and not paragraph 1 of article 49 that is applicable. The
case before us is clearly governed by the first clause of article 48 because by a single act, that a
throwing highly explosive hand grenade at President Roxas, the accused committed two grave
felonies, namely: (1) murder, of which Simeon Varela was the victim; and (2) multiple attempted
murder, of which President Roxas, Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio
Maglalang were the injured parties.
The killing of Simeon Varela was attended by the qualifying circumstance of treachery. In the
case of People vs. Mabug-at, supra, this court held that the qualifying circumstance of treachery
may be properly considered, even when the victim of the attack was not the one whom the
defendant intended to kill, if it appears from the evidence that neither of the two persons could in
any manner put up defense against the attack, or become aware of it. In the same case it was held
that the qualifying circumstance of premeditation may not be properly taken into the account
when the person whom the defendant proposed to kill was different from the one who became
his victim.
There can be no question that the accused attempted to kill President Roxas by throwing a hand
grenade at him with the intention to kill him, thereby commencing the commission of a felony by
over acts, but he did not succeed in assassinating him "by reason of some cause or accident other
than his own spontaneous desistance." For the same reason we qualify the injuries caused on the
four other persons already named as merely attempted and not frustrated murder.
In this connection, it should be stated that , although there is abundant proof that , in violation of
the provisions of article 148 of the Revised Penal Code, the accused Guillen has committed
among others the offense of assault upon a person in authority, for in fact his efforts were
directed towards the execution of his main purpose of eliminating President Roxas for his failure
to redeem his electoral campaign promises, by throwing at him in his official capacity as the

Chief Executive of the nation the hand grenade in question, yet, in view of the appropriate
allegation charging Guillen with the commission of said offense, we shall refrain making a
finding to that effect.
The complex crimes of murder and multiple attempted murder committed by the accused with
the single act of throwing a hand grenade at the President, was attended by the various
aggravating circumstances alleged in the information, without any mitigating circumstance. But
we do not deem it necessary to consider said aggravating circumstances because in any event
article 48 of the Revised Penal Code above-quoted requires that the penalty for the most serious
of said crimes be applied in its maximum period. The penalty for murder is reclusion temporalin
its maximum period to death. (Art. 248.)
It is our painful duty to apply the law and mete out to the accused the extreme penalty provided
by it upon the facts and circumstances hereinabove narrated.
The sentence of the trial court being correct, we have no alternative but to affirm it, and we
hereby do so by a unanimous vote. The death sentence shall be executed in accordance with
article 81 of the Revised Penal Code, under authority of the Director of Prisons, on such working
day as the trial court may fix within 30 days from the date the record shall have been remanded.
It is so ordered.
Moran, C.J., Ozaeta, Paras, Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes and Torres,
JJ., concur.