Thursday, December 17, 2009

77 PHIL 856

Laurel vs. Misa
77 Phil. 856

FACTS: The accused was charged with treason. During the Japanese occupation, the accused adhered to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort. He claims that he cannot be tried for treason since his allegiance to the Philippines was suspended at that time. Also, he claims that he cannot be tried under a change of sovereignty over the country since his acts were against the Commonwealth which was replaced already by the Republic.

HELD: The accused was found guilty. A citizen owes absolute and permanent allegiance to his government or sovereign. No transfer of sovereignty was made; hence, it is presumed that the Philippine government still had the power. Moreover, sovereignty cannot be suspended; it is either subsisting or eliminated and replaced. Sovereignty per se wasn’t suspended; rather, it was the exercise of sovereignty that was suspended. Thus, there is no suspended allegiance. Regarding the change of government, there is no such change since the sovereign – the Filipino people – is still the same. What happened was a mere change of name of government, from Commonwealth to the Republic of the Philippines.