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Rubi, et al. (Manguianes) v. The Provincial Board of Mindoro

Rubi, et al. (Manguianes) v. The Provincial Board of Mindoro
G.R. No. L-14078
March 7, 1919
This is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the
Province of Mindoro. It is alleged that the Maguianes are being illegally deprived of their
liberty by the provincial officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be
held on the reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is
said to be held under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having
run away form the reservation.
It thus appears that the provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board
thereof directed the Manguianes in question to take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the
shore of Lake Naujan, selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial
board. The action was taken in accordance with section 2145 of the Administrative Code of
1917, and was duly approved by the Secretary of the Interior as required by said action.
Petitioners, however, challenge the validity of this section of the Administrative Code. This,
therefore, becomes the paramount question which the court is called upon the decide.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows:
SEC. 2145. Establishment of non-Christina upon sites selected by provincial
governor. — With the prior approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor
of any province in which non-Christian inhabitants are found is authorized, when such
a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such
inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be
selected by him an approved by the provincial board.
In connection with the above-quoted provisions, there should be noted section 2759 of
the same Code, which read as follows:
SEC. 2759. Refusal of a non-Christian to take up appointed habitation. — Any nonChristian who shall refuse to comply with the directions lawfully given by a
provincial governor, pursuant to section two thousand one hundred and forty-five of
this Code, to take up habitation upon a site designated by said governor shall upon
conviction be imprisonment for a period not exceeding sixty days.
Whether petitioners are being retrained of liberty without due process of law
NO. One cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered without when
the degree of civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own
good and the general good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not
been followed. To go back to our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the
law, there exists a law; the law seems to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular
methods of procedure prescribed; and it applies alike to all of a class.
We are of the opinion that action pursuant to section 2145 of the Administrative Code
does not deprive a person of his liberty without due process of law and does not deny to him
the equal protection of the laws, and that confinement in reservations in accordance with said
section does not constitute slavery and involuntary servitude. We are further of the opinion
that section 2145 of the Administrative Code is a legitimate exertion of the police power,
somewhat analogous to the Indian policy of the United States. Section 2145 of the
Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional.
Petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas corpus
can, therefore, not issue.