Uploaded by Justine Wars

case digests on criminal law (treason)

Facts: Anthony Cramer, the defendant herein, on or about June 23, 1942, at the Southern District of New York and within
the jurisdiction of this Court, did accompany, confer, treat, and counsel with Werner Thiel, an enemy of the United States,
for a period of time at the Twin Oaks Inn at Lexington Avenue and 44th Street, and at Thompson's Cafeteria on 42nd Street
between Lexington and Vanderbilt Avenues, both in the City and New York, for the purpose of giving and with intent to give
aid and comfort to said enemy, Werner Thiel."
By direct testimony of two or more witnesses, it was established that Cramer met Thiel and Kerling on the occasions and at
the places charged; that they drank together, and that they engaged long and earnestly in conversation.
Issue: is the appellant guilty of treason
Held: No. the crime of treason consists of two elements: adherence to the enemy and rendering him aid and comfort. by
definition, made treason consist of something outward and visible and capable of direct proof, the framers turned to
safeguarding procedures of trial, and ordained that "No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of
two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court." overt acts must be established by direct evidence,
and the direct testimony must be that of two witnesses, instead of one. The two-witness principle is to interdict imputation
of incriminating acts to the accused by circumstantial evidence or by the testimony of a single witness
There is no two-witness proof of what they said, nor in what language they conversed. There is no showing that Cramer
gave them any information whatever of value to their mission, or indeed that he had any to give. No effort at secrecy is
shown, for they met in public places. Cramer furnished them no shelter, nothing that can be called sustenance or supplies,
and there is no evidence that he gave them encouragement or counsel, or even paid for their drinks.
facts: Pedro Marcaida was convicted of the crime of treason. The defense contends that the evidence in the records does
not prove the Philippine citizenship and alliance of the accused Commonwealth government. There is no proof that he was
a resident of the Philippines and a Spanish subject on April 11, 1899.
Issue: can he be held guilty for treason
Held: If the accused is Filipino, he must loyalty to the Commonwealth Government and must be convicted of treason; but if
you are a foreigner, you cannot be punished for acts committed by him before the amendment of article 114 of the Revised
Penal Code. As the evidence does not establish in a clear way that the accused is Filipino, he cannot be criminally
responsible for the crime of treason
Facts: accused Francisco Abad was found guilty on three counts of the complex crime of treason with homicide. The
information charges appellant of the crime of treason as defined and penalized under article 114 of the Revised Penal Code
by giving aid and comfort to the Empire of Japan and the Japanese Imperial Forces.
The first question raised by appellant is that the lower court erred in finding the accused guilty on the first count,
notwithstanding the fact only one witness testified to the overt act alleged therein.
The Solicitor General advances the theory that where the overt act is simple, continuous and composite, made up of, or
proved by several circumstances, and passing through stages, it is not necessary that there should be two witnesses to
each circumstance at each stage.
Issue: w/n two-witness rule can be exempted in this case
Held: The two-witness rule must be adhered to as to each and everyone of all the external manifestations of the overt act
in issue. Appellant's going to the Ibarra house, in search of the revolver, is a single overt act, distinct and independent from
appellant's overt act in requiring Magno Ibarra, when the latter went to the garrison, to produce his revolver. Although both
overt acts are inter-related. it would be too much to strain the imagination if they should be identified as a single act or even
as different manifestations, phases, or stage of the same overt act.
The pronouncement appears to be based on the testimonies of Publio Dumaual, Rafael Guillermo, and Agustin de la Cruz,
each one of whom testified about facts not alleged in any of the counts of the information, and their testimonies on said
facts appear not to be corroborated by another witness, as required by the two-witness rule.
Facts: This petition for mandamus in which petitioner prays that the respondent judge of the lower court be ordered to
continue the proceedings in civil case No. 3012 of said court, which were initiated under the regime of the so-called Republic
of the Philippines established during the Japanese military occupation of these Islands.
The respondent judge refused to take cognizance of and continue the proceedings in said case on the ground that the
proclamation issued on October 23, 1944, by General Douglas MacArthur had the effect of invalidating and nullifying all
judicial proceedings and judgements of the court of the Philippines under the Philippine Executive Commission and the
Republic of the Philippines established during the Japanese military occupation, and that, furthermore, the lower courts
have no jurisdiction to take cognizance of and continue judicial proceedings pending in the courts of the defunct Republic
of the Philippines in the absence of an enabling law granting such authority. And the same respondent, in his answer and
memorandum filed in this Court, contends that the government established in the Philippines during the Japanese
occupation were no de facto governments.
Issue: was the contention of the judge correct
Held: no. The governments by the Philippine Executive Commission and the Republic of the Philippines during the Japanese
military occupation being de facto governments, it necessarily follows that the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts of
justice of those governments, which are not of a political complexion, were good and valid, and, by virtue of the well-known
principle of postliminy (postliminium) in international law, remained good and valid after the liberation or reoccupation of the
Philippines by the American and Filipino forces under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur.
According to that well-known principle in international law, the fact that a territory which has been occupied by an enemy
comes again into the power of its legitimate government of sovereignty, "does not, except in a very few cases, wipe out the
effects of acts done by an invader, which for one reason or another it is within his competence to do. Thus judicial acts done
under his control, when they are not of a political complexion, administrative acts so done, to the extent that they take effect
during the continuance of his control, and the various acts done during the same time by private persons under the sanction
of municipal law, remain good.
Facts: Anastacio Laurel vs. Eriberto Misa, etc., the Court, acting on the petition for habeas corpus filed by Anastacio Laurel
and based on a theory that a Filipino citizen who adhered to the enemy giving the latter aid and comfort during the Japanese
occupation cannot be prosecuted for the crime of treason defined and penalized by article 114 of the Revised Penal Code,
for the reason (1) that the sovereignty of the legitimate government in the Philippines and, consequently, the correlative
allegiance of Filipino citizens thereto was then suspended; and (2) that there was a change of sovereignty over these Islands
upon the proclamation of the Philippine Republic
Issue: w/n anastacio’s contention is right
Held: yes, the absolute and permanent allegiance of the inhabitants of a territory occupied by the enemy of their legitimate
government or sovereign is not abrogated or severed by the enemy occupation, because the sovereignty of the government
or sovereign de jure is not transferred thereby to the occupier and if it is not transferred to the occupant it must necessarily
remain vested in the legitimate government.
Facts: On or about the 27th of January, 1945, the guerrillas raided the Japanese in Sitio Pulong Tindahan, Municipality of
Angat, Province of Bulacan. In reprisal, Japanese soldiers and a number of Filipinos affiliated with the Makapili, among
them the instant appellant, conceived the diabolical idea of killing the residents of Barrio Banaban of the same municipality
Pursuant to this plan, said Japanese soldiers and their Filipino companions, armed with rifles and bayonets, gathered the
residents of Banaban behind the barrio chapel on January 29, 1945.
Issue: w/n him being a makapili excludes him from owing allegiance TO pHIL.
Held: no. the Court is of the considered opinion that the Makapili, although organized to render military aid to the Japanese
Army in the Philippines during the late war, was not a part of said army. It was an organization of Filipino traitors, pure and
simple. As to loss of Philippine citizenship by appellant, counsel's theory is absolutely untenable.
No person, even when he has renounced or incurred the loss of his nationality, shall take up arms against his native
country; he shall be held guilty of a felony and treason, if he does not strictly observe this duty. (Fiore's International
Law Codified, translation from Fifth Italian Edition by Borchard.)
Facts: Appellant Pedro T. Villanueva was sentenced to death by the Fifth Division of the defunct People's Court for the
crime of treason. appellant was accused of treason on ten counts, but the prosecution adduced evidence only on seven of
them. The lower court found that Counts 1 and 2 were not proven, and convicted the accused on Counts 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
The prosecution established that during the Japanese occupation, appellant, who is a Filipino citizen, and owing allegiance
to the United States of America and the Commonwealth of the Philippines, gave the enemy aid and comfort by rendering
service with the Japanese Imperial Army as secret agent, informer and spy, of its Detective Force in the province of Iloilo,
and that in the performance of such service, he participated actively and directly in the punitive expeditions periodically
made by the Japanese forces in the guerilla-infested areas of the province of Iloilo, and committed robberies, arson and
Issue: w/n appellant is guilty of committing treason
Held: yes. appellant not only participated actively in the punitive raids made by the Japanese soldiers and in arresting and
killing Filipino Guerrillas, but personally manhandled Gloria Escorido, a girl barely 16 years of age at the time (Count 10),
and killed in cold blood Cosme Calacasan by bayoneting him three times (Count 8), Julia Cabilitasan by likewise bayoneting
her three times, with the added ignominy of stripping her stark naked moments before killing her (Count 9), and Sofia
Tambirao (Count 10.) These specific overt acts of appellant as testified to by eyewitnesses who have survived the harrowing
massacres, speak eloquently that his adherence to the enemy in giving it aid and comfort, was accompanied by cruelty and
ruthlessness, in wanton disregard of the feelings and decency of his fellow citizens.
Anent the defense of duress allegedly exerted by the Japanese upon appellant for which he had to serve in the detective
force of the Japanese Army, we agree with the Solicitor General that "except the lone and self-serving testimony of the
appellant that he was coerced to cooperate with and serve the Japanese soldiers, there is not an iota of proof that he was
in fact compelled or coerced by the Japanese. Much less is there any evidence showing that the alleged compulsion or
coercion was grave and imminent."
Facts: Susano Perez alias Kid Perez alias Kid Perez was convicted of treason by the 5th Division of the People's Court
sitting in Cebu City and sentenced to death by electrocution. Seven counts were alleged in the information but the
prosecution offered evidence only on counts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.
The accused, together with the other Filipinos, recruited, apprehended and commandeered numerous girls and women
against their will for the purpose of using them, as in fact they were used, to satisfy the immoral purpose and sexual desire
of Colonel Mini.
Issue: w/n the acts of the accused constitute treason
Held: no. As general rule, to be treasonous the extent of the aid and comfort given to the enemies must be to render
assistance to them as enemies and not merely as individuals and in addition, be directly in furtherance of the enemies'
hostile designs. . His "commandeering" of women to satisfy the lust of Japanese officers or men or to enliven the
entertainment held in their honor was not treason even though the women and the entertainment helped to make life more
pleasant for the enemies and boost their spirit; he was not guilty any more than the women themselves would have been if
they voluntarily and willingly had surrendered their bodies or organized the entertainment. Sexual and social relations with
the Japanese did not directly and materially tend to improve their war efforts or to weaken the power of the United State.
The acts herein charged were not, by fair implication, calculated to strengthen the Japanese Empire or its army or to cripple
the defense and resistance of the other side.
Facts: accused, Apolinario Adriano, who is not a foreigner, but a Filipino citizen owing allegiance to the United States and
the Commonwealth of the Philippines, in violation of said allegiance, did then and there willfully, criminally and treasonably
adhere to the Military Forces of Japan in the Philippines, against which the Philippines and the United States were then at
war, giving the said enemy aid and comfort
That as a member of the Makapili, a military organization established and designed to assist and aid militarily the Japanese
Imperial forces in the Philippines in the said enemy's war efforts and operations against the United States and the
Philippines, the herein accused bore arm and joined and assisted the Japanese Military Forces and the Makapili Army in
armed conflicts and engagements against the United States armed forces and the Guerrillas of the Philippine
Commonwealth in the Municipalities of San Leonardo and Gapan, Province of Nueva Ecija, and in the mountains of Luzon,
Philippines, sometime between January and April, 1945
The prosecution did not introduce any evidence to substantiate any of the facts alleged except that of defendant's having
joined the Makapili organization.
Issue: is the accused guilty of treason beyond reasonable doubt
Held: No. In regard to the amount of evidence that where two or more witnesses give oaths to an overt act and only one of
them is believed by the court or jury, the defendant, it has been said and held, is entitled to discharge, regardless of any
moral conviction of the culprit's guilt as gauged and tested by the ordinary and natural methods, with which we are familiar,
of finding the truth. Natural inferences, however strong or conclusive, flowing from other testimony of a most trustworthy
witness or from other sources are unavailing as a substitute for the needed corroboration in the form of direct testimony of
another eyewitness to the same overt act.
Adherence, unlike overt acts, need not be proved by the oaths of two witnesses. Criminal intent and knowledge may be
gather from the testimony of one witness, or from the nature of the act itself, or from the circumstances surrounding the act.
Facts: The appellants Francisco Bautista, Aniceto de Guzman, and Tomas Puzon, were convicted in the Court of First
Instance of Manila of the crime of conspiracy to overthrow, put down, and destroy by force the Government of the United
States in the Philippine Islands and the Government of the Philippine Islands, as defined and penalized in section 4 of Act
No. 292 of the Philippine Commission.
The evidence of record conclusively establishes that during the latter part of the year 1903 a junta was organized and a
conspiracy entered into by a number of Filipinos, resident in the city of Hongkong, for the purpose of overthrowing the
Government of the United States in the Philippine Islands by force of arms and establishing in its stead a government to be
known as the Republica Universal Democratica Filipina. Prim Ruiz was recognized as the titular head of this conspiracy
and one Artemio Ricarte as chief of the military forces to the organized in the Philippines in the furtherance of the plans of
the conspirators.
It appears from the evidence that the appellant Francisco Bautista, a resident of the city of Manila, was an intimate friend of
the said Ricarte; that Ricarte wrote and notified Bautista of his coming to Manila and that, to aid him in his journey, Bautista
forwarded to him secretly 200 pesos; that after the arrival of Ricarte, Bautista was present, taking part in several of the
above-mentioned meetings whereat the plans of the conspirators were discussed and perfected, and that at one of these
meetings Bautista, in answer to a question of Ricarte, assured him that the necessary preparations had been made and
that he "held the people in readiness."
It further appears that appellant, Tomas Puzon, united with the conspirators through the agency of one Jose R. Muñoz, who
was proven to have been a prime leader of the movement, in the intimate confidence of Ricarte, and by him authorized to
distribute bonds and nominate and appoint certain officials, including a brigadier-general of the signal corps of the proposed
revolutionary forces; that at the time when the conspiracy was being brought to a head in the city of Manila, Puzon held
several conferences with the said Muñoz whereat plans were made for the coming insurrection; that at one of these
conferences Muñoz offered Puzon a commission as brigadier-general of the signal corps and undertook to do his part in
organizing the troops; and that at a later conference he assured the said Muñoz that he had things in readiness, meaning
thereby that he had duly organized in accordance with the terms of his commission.
Issue: w/n appellants are guilty of conspiracy
Held: In the case at bar is to be distinguished from these and like cases by the fact that the record clearly disclose that the
accused actually and voluntarily accepted the appointment in question and in doing so assumed all the obligations implied
by such acceptance, and that the charge in this case is that of conspiracy, and the fact that the accused accepted the
appointment is taken into consideration merely as evidence of his criminal relations with the conspirators
Indeed, cases are not unknown in the annals of criminal prosecutions wherein it has been proven that such appointments
have been concealed in the baggage or among the papers of the accused persons, so that when later discovered by the
officers of the law they might be used as evidence against the accused. But where a genuine conspiracy is shown to have
existed as in this case, and it is proven that the accused voluntarily accepted an appointment as an officer in that conspiracy,
we think that this fact may properly be taken into consideration as evidence of his relations with the conspirators.
the judgment and sentence before us, the said Anecito de Guzman should be acquitted of the crime with which he is charged
and set a liberty forthwith, and that the judgment and sentence of the trial court, in so far as it applies to Francisco Bautista
and Tomas Puzon, should be, and is hereby, affirmed.
Facts: In November 2000, as an offshoot of the impeachment proceedings against Joseph Ejercito Estrada, then President
of the Republic of the Philippines, five criminal complaints against the former President and members of his family, his
associates, friends and conspirators were filed with the respondent Office of the Ombudsman
On April 30, 2001, petitioner filed a "Very Urgent Omnibus Motion"2 alleging that: (1) no probable cause exists to put him on
trial and hold him liable for plunder, it appearing that he was only allegedly involved in illegal gambling and not in a "series
or combination of overt or criminal acts" as required in R.A. No. 7080; and (2) he is entitled to bail as a matter of right.
Petitioner prayed that he be excluded from the Amended Information and be discharged from custody
WON the charge should be dismissed on the ground that the allegation of conspiracy is too general? --- no
Held: A study of the United States Code ought to be instructive. It principally punishes two (2) crimes of
conspiracy27 – conspiracy to commit any offense or to defraud the United States, and conspiracy to impede or injure officer.
Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States is penalized under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371.
Section 371 of 18 U.S.C. punishes two acts: (1) conspiracy to commit any offense against the United States; and (2)
conspiracy to defraud the United States or any agency thereof. The conspiracy to "commit any offense against the United
States" refers to an act made a crime by federal laws
The basic difference in the concept of conspiracy notwithstanding, a study of the American case law on how conspiracy
should be alleged will reveal that it is not necessary for the indictment to include particularities of time, place,
circumstances or causes, in stating the manner and means of effecting the object of the conspiracy. Such specificity
of detail falls within the scope of a bill of particulars.37 An indictment for conspiracy is sufficient where it alleges: (1) the
agreement; (2) the offense-object toward which the agreement was directed; and (3) the overt acts performed in furtherance
of the agreement.38
when conspiracy is charged as a crime, the act of conspiring and all the elements of said crime must be set forth
in the complaint or information.
In People v. Quitlong,52 we ruled on how conspiracy as the mode of committing the offense should be alleged in the
Information, viz:
"x x x. In embodying the essential elements of the crime charged, the information must set forth the facts and circumstances
that have a bearing on the culpability and liability of the accused so that the accused can properly prepare for and undertake
his defense. One such fact or circumstance in a complaint against two or more accused persons is that of conspiracy. Quite
unlike the omission of an ordinary recital of fact which, if not excepted from or objected to during trial, may be corrected or
supplied by competent proof, an allegation, however, of conspiracy, or one that would impute criminal liability to an
accused for the act of another or others, is indispensable in order to hold such person, regardless of the nature
and extent of his own participation, equally guilty with the other or others in the commission of the crime. Where
conspiracy exists and can rightly be appreciated, the individual acts done to perpetrate the felony becomes of secondary
importance, the act of one being imputable to all the others (People v. Ilano, 313 SCRA 442). Verily, an accused must know
from the information whether he faces a criminal responsibility not only for his acts but also for the acts of his co-accused
as well.”
Following the stream of our own jurisprudence, it is enough to allege conspiracy as a mode in the commission of
an offense in either of the following manner: (1) by use of the word "conspire," or its derivatives or synonyms, such as
confederate, connive, collude, etc;53 or (2) by allegations of basic facts constituting the conspiracy in a manner that a person
of common understanding would know what is intended, and with such precision as would enable the accused to
competently enter a plea to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts.54
The allegation of conspiracy in the information must not be confused with the adequacy of evidence that may be
required to prove it. A conspiracy is proved by evidence of actual cooperation; of acts indicative of an agreement, a
common purpose or design, a concerted action or concurrence of sentiments to commit the felony and actually pursue it. 55 A
statement of this evidence is not necessary in the information.
Following the ruling in Quitlong, these words are sufficient to allege the conspiracy of the accused with the former President
in committing the crime of plunder.