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Justice, Felix Frankfurter, Advice to a Young Man Interested in Going Into Law

In May 1954, M. Paul Claussen, Jr., a 12-year-old boy living in Alexandria, Virginia, sent a letter to Mr. Justice Felix
Frankfurter in which he wrote that he was interested in going into the law as a career and requested advice as to some
ways to start preparing myself while still in junior high school. This is the reply he received:
My dear Paul:
No one can be a truly competent lawyer unless he is a cultivated man. If I were you, I would forget all about any technical
preparation for the law. The best way to prepare for the law is to come to the study of the law as a well-read person. Thus
alone can one acquire the capacity to use the English language on paper and in speech and with the habits of clear
thinking which only a truly liberal education can give. No less important for a lawyer is the cultivation of the imaginative
faculties by reading poetry, seeing great paintings, in the original or in the easily available reproductions, and listening to
great music. Stock your mind with the deposit of much good reading, and wide and deepen your feelings by experiencing
vicariously as much as possible the wonderful mysteries of the universe, and forget all about your future career. With good
wishes,
Sincerely yours,
Felix Frankfurter

Jose Dalisay, Jr., Jose W. Diokno: The Scholar-Warrior

BY JOSE DALISAY, JR.


To young Filipinos for whom EDSA 1 and the martial-law dictatorship are now vague if not vanished memories, the name
of Jose Wright DioknoPepe to his friends and contemporariesmay be a distant echo. It is a name often spoken in
the same breath as Ninoy Aquino, Tanny Taada, Chino Roces, Jovy Salonga, Gasty Ortigas, and a few other battlescarred fighters for freedom, but the association, while uplifting for all, tends to blur the individual in favor of the group, as
these unselfish gentlemen would have preferred.
But every hero is individually formed in the crucible of struggle, every heroic act individually chosen. Each hero emerges
like a pearl in an oyster from the womb of resistance, their brightest and strongest qualities rising to the surface, the
hardened accretions of personal values tested in the arena of public issues.
For a man such as Pepe Dioknochampion of human rights, nationalism, and Philippine sovereigntyheroism was
never something to be actively sought by an illustrious few. It was, rather, a collective virtue immanent in the people, a
people awakened to their rights, opportunities, and civic responsibilities. It was a hero who led a consistent life of thinking
the right ideas and doing the right thingsa life which, by its very nature, and despite its search for quietude in a roiling
universe, would inevitably court danger and alarm.
Dioknos was such a life, that of a lover of books who enjoyed nothing more than to lie prone in his library, devouring tome
after tome of fiction, education, and legal philosophy, and yet who could not and did not refuse to march in the streets or
argue in court as an impassioned combatant for his most cherished principles.
Unlike some of his contemporaries, Diokno was never flashy, never sought attention except to pursue or prove a point. He
came from a conservative, fairly privileged background, but eschewed flamboyance; he was very well educated and
literate in several languages, but forsook bombast for substance. He had a wry sense of humordemonstrated by a
possibly apocryphal story about his deadpan reaction to his reported dourness (You know meDiokno, no joke.)but
he preferred to laugh at the jokes of others. He was, at one time, a Secretary of Justice and then a Senator of the
Republicbut he campaigned alone, traveled without bodyguards, and never kept or fired a gun in his political life. When
he died, it was in the company of those he held dearesthis family, and his books.
Family background
Many of those books came from the library of his father Ramon, himself a lawyer who rose to be become a senator and
later a Justice of the Supreme Court. Ramons father, in turn, was the son of a revolutionary general, Ananias Diokno, who
had liberated much of Panay from the Spaniards in 1898. The Dioknos hailed from Taal, Batangas, but Pepe was born in
Manila on Feb. 26, 1922, to Ramon and his wife Leonor Wright, an American mestiza. (When Pepes daughter Maris took
this subject up with him and asked him if his lineage therefore made him one-fourth or one-eighth American, Pepe huffed
and said, One hundred percent Filipino!)
It was a large family; Ramon had married Leonor after the death of his first wife, and there were ten children in the brood
(Pepe himself, by coincidence, would also have ten children). As the son of a general who went on to fight the Americans,

Ramon Dioknodespite the irony of marrying a mestizaloathed the United States and forbade the speaking of English
in his home. Thus Pepe grew up speaking Spanish, and learned English only from a tutor, as part of his schooling.
Ramon Diokno had been an active lawyer and political figure, serving as a councilor in Batangas and later as a campaign
manager for and counsel to President Manuel L. Quezon before serving in the Senate and the Supreme Court. Not
surprisingly, he wanted his son Jose to take up law as well; a half-brother of Pepes had also finished law, but died young.
The boy resisted and, after graduating as valedictorian of his high school class in De La Salle College in 1937, he studied
commerce instead. Thanks to repeated acceleration, he graduated at the tender age of 17 also from La Salle, summa
cum laude. He took the CPA board examinationsfor which he had to secure special dispensation, since he was too
youngand topped them with a rating of 81.18 percent.
Self-taught bar-topnotcher
At this point, he could no longer ignore his fathers suasions, and he enrolled in law at the University of Sto. Tomas. He
had wanted to go to the University of the Philippines and would later send his own children there, but his conservative
Catholic parents would have none of it. As it happened, after just a year of study, the Second World War broke out. Pepes
father told him to use the time to read, and picked out the books for him to plow through. Pepes passion for learning
manifested itself immediately; after reading a couple of books, he went to the old man and asked to be tested, but the old
manas Maris Diokno recalls her fathers storytold him, You either know it or you dont. Just read.
He continued reading, and when the war was over he took the bar exams in 1944 under a special dispensation from the
Court, since he had never completed his law degree. Again Pepe Diokno topped them with a rating of 95.3 percent
along with Jovito Salonga, who had gone the full route. At this time, his father took ill and asked him to take over the firm.
One of his first important cases, as it turned out, involved defending his father. Ramon Diokno ran for the Senate in the
first postwar government in 1946, and won, but he objected to parity rights for American businessmena nationalist
stance supported by Jesus Lava, Luis Taruc, and the communist-affiliated Democratic Alliance in the Lower House. To
punish Ramon, his enemies filed a case of election fraud against him. Pepe rose to his fathers defense, and eventually
they won the case, but only at the end of the term in 1949. The father-and-son team must have made quite an impression;
Lorenzo Taada would later recall the young Pepe assisting his father in court, the both of them blessed with
phenomenally photographic memories. (After winning his case, Ramon Diokno was then appointed to the Supreme Court,
and died in Baguio during one of the tribunals summer sessions.)
Young lawyer
In the meanwhile Pepes life took another happy turn. He had met a pretty Bulakea named Carmen Reyes Icasiano at a
party; they had come with their respective dates. But Pepe and Nena soon fell in love, and they were married in 1949,
after a two-year courtship. All in all, they would have ten children: Carmen Leonor, Jose Ramon, Maria de la Paz, Maria
Serena, Maria Teresa, Maria Socorro, Jose Miguel, Jose Manuel, Maria Victoria, and Martin Jose. The last, Pepe and
Nena took in as a two-week old infant in 1967.
Pepe Diokno the young lawyer found corporate law remunerative but boring. He took on some corporate cases, but what
he really enjoyed was litigation, the presentation of evidence. Again the passion showed in his eloquence; when he
argued a case before the Supreme Court, other lawyers flocked to watch him and to listen to him argue fluently in both
English and Spanish.
One of Pepes clients and closest friends was Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson, a powerful politician who was poised to run
for the presidency. Diokno had successfully defended the outspoken Lacson against a libel charge, stemming from
Lacsons acerbic attacks on his radio program; Lacson also wrote a column for a newspaper that Pepe edited. Maris
Diokno remembers how close the mayor became to the family, who were then living in a house in Paraaque, near the
Baclaran church. Lacson used to go the house at six in the morning and cook breakfast for everyone before waking them
up.
Secretary of Justice
In 1961, Diokno was appointed Justice Secretary by President Diosdado Macapagal. It was a political anomaly, because
Macapagal was a Liberal Party stalwart while Diokno was a lifelong Nacionalista. But Macapagal had asked the capable
Lacsondespite Lacsons also being a Nacionalistato help run his presidential campaign, and Lacson had agreed only
on condition that Diokno be appointed to head Justice if Macapagal won. And so it happened.
In any event the union did not last long; in March 1962, Sec. Diokno ordered a raid on a firm owned by American
businessman Harry S. Stonehill, who was suspected of tax evasion and bribery, among other crimes. Stonehill reputedly
bragged about having big-name politicians in his pocketbut Jose W. Diokno was not one of them. The arrest and the
subsequent corruption scandal resulted in an embarrassed Macapagal having to fire several Cabinet members
including, inexplicably, Sec. Diokno, who had found the temerity to arrest Stonehill. He simply received a letter from the
President, accepting a resignation he never submitted, Maris recalls.
Diokno received death threats because of the Stonehill case; the family had to move important papers from one hiding
place to another, and Mayor Lacson assigned them a driver, a big, dark plainclothesman from the Manila Police
Department.
Senator

In 1963, Pepe Diokno was invited by the Nacionalistas to run for the Senate, and he agreed. He won, and would serve
two terms: from 1963 to 1969, and from 1969 until the declaration of martial law in 1972.
For the growing Diokno family, it was a happy interlude. The girls came to his office after school and played in the
anteroom until it was time to go. It was a family that prayed the rosary every night, led by Pepe himself. Family outings
usually meant piling up in the big black car for a trip to the PECO bookstore, where they would stay all day, poring over
books. Whenever Pepe and Nena went abroad, the children got more boxes of books, such as those by Enid Blyton. (The
only exception, Maris says, was a brother of Pepes who had aged with a childs mind, and for him Pepe always had a
toy.)
Pepe himself loved novels about cowboys and Indians, devouring them while lying flat on his stomach. After lunch and his
afternoon siesta, he listened to Tony Falcon, Agent X-44; he also loved kung fu movies. He was generous with money, but
he never kept money in his pockets; he gave everything to Nena. So he often found himself strapped for cash, and Nena
would have to run after him before leaving the house to make sure his wallet had something in it.
At work in the Senate, Diokno quickly established himself as a nationalist and reformer. But he also pushed to promote
Philippine businesson fair terms. The activist-writer Ed Garcia reports that: On the floor of the Senate, he did not
hesitate to articulate his thoughts on economic self-reliance and self-determination in the face of the continued stay of
foreign military bases which, he argued, justified foreign intervention in Philippine affairs.
As lawmaker, he successfully fought the oil companies and masterminded the signing into law of the Oil Industry
Commission Bill. He is the acknowledged father of the Board of Investments and author of the Investment Incentives Act.
He also authored Joint Resolution No. 2, which set the policies for economic development and social progress, and coauthored the Export Incentives Act and the Revised Election Law, among others. For his performance as legislator, Pepe
Diokno was cited Outstanding Senator by the Free Press for four successive years beginning 1967. (Garcia, 57)
Nationalist
It was typical of Diokno to mince no words in propounding his principles. In a speech before an American audience in
1968delivered in a bastion of gentility called the Westchester Country Clubhe launched into a comprehensive and
well-measured but clearly critical speech explaining Philippine economic nationalism. The Philippines, Diokno said, had a
dream: It is the dream to join the modern world without sacrificing democracy to dictatorship, as others are doing; not at
the expense of the poorwho have paid the price elsewherebut of those who reaped the benefits of colonialism and
therefore can afford the cost of modernization. Philippine nationalism is determined to achieve this dream. It knows it must
restructure the Philippine economy and Philippine society to do so. It knows it will be difficult and painful. All it asks of your
people and your government is your understanding and, if you deem it worthwhile, your help to make the process faster,
less painful.; and if you do not deem it worthwhile, to leave us alone.
Let us do it as we believe it must be done, not as you would do it in our place. Let us make our mistakes, not suffer
yours. With your help or despite your hindrance, Philippine nationalism will do the job. No one else can. (Manalang,
102)
When he finished, his editor would note, there was no applause.
Martial Law
By the early 70s the political climate was darkening, and Pepe Diokno was beginning to sense an alarming shift in the
wind, toward authoritarianism. When Marcos suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, Diokno resigned from
the Nacionalista Party in protest, and took to the streets with the other members of the Movement of Concerned Citizens
for Civil Liberties (MCCCL). He had cast his lot with the resistance.
And so it happened that when Marcos declared martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, Pepe Diokno was among those first
enemies of the State arrested by the military in the early morning hours of September 23.
They had just prayed the novena, and the young Dioknos were planning to step out for a movie with their friends, but their
parents forbade them because of the bombings that had been going on. Just then five or six carloads of armed soldiers
arrived to invite Sen. Diokno to join them. They had no warrant, and had cut the Dioknos phone line. To avoid any more
trouble for his family, Diokno changed from his pajamas and went with the soldiers to Camp Crame, accompanied by his
young son Mike. He was later moved to Fort Bonifacio, there to join the likes of Ninoy Aquino, Chino Roces, Teddy Locsin
Sr., Voltaire Garcia, Nap Rama, Jose Mari Velez, and his other comrades in the civil liberties movement. The country had
been plunged into the maw of martial law, realizing his worst expectations.
Solitary confinement
The close-knit Dioknos were devastated by his arrest and imprisonment, especially when he was transferred, along with
Ninoy Aquino, to solitary confinement in Laur, Nueva Ecija. We didnt know where he had gone, Maris remembers. One
day the military just came and dropped off his belongings, including his underwear, except his papers, which the military
kept.
Laur brought together two of the keenest minds of the resistance to the dictatorship: Diokno and Ninoy Aquino, ten years
his junior, equally impassioned but much more voluble. Ninoy looked up to Pepe as a kind of older brother, Maris says.

Ninoy was a raconteur, with lots of stories. Dad was quiet and enjoyed listening and laughing along. Unlike Ninoy,
Pepes fight with Marcos never had a personal element; he had never had a face-to-face confrontation with Marcos, and
never would.
Solitary confinement would both strain and strengthen the spirit of the two men. Nena Diokno herself was a strong,
intelligent woman. Your mother is really strong and she kept me going, Pepe would later tell Maris. Pepe Diokno forbade
his family to cry in the presence of the guards. Dont give the military the pleasure of seeing you in pain, he told his
children. The only exception was his aunt Paz Wilson, the sister of his mother (who had already died by then), who had
virtually raised him. She often cried during her visits. Pepes solitary imprisonment at Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija
(with Ninoy in a separate cell) was a painful moment for the family. Upon seeing their faces as the Diokno family left the
visiting area, Cory Aquino and her children prepared themselves for the worst. It was rare to see the Dioknos in tears.
The whole familyeven Paz, who was in her 90shad to submit to a strip search when they came to visit him, and again
when they stepped out. The family endured the discomfort and the humiliation to spend precious time with him.
Release
Back in Fort Bonifacio, they brought him booksin French and Spanish, so no one could censor them, as they did the
English texts; Pepe and Nena also spoke in Spanish, or one of the children would play the guitar and the rest would sing
to drown out their parents voices. The family brought in food; he brought out coffee for Nena. When allowed to spend the
day in his cell, usually on a Sunday, they would lay out a mat on the grass and all lie there, next to each other. Whenever
his roses bloomed he would say his release was nearing; the children harvested peanuts and weeded his tiny garden.
Once, while he was still in prison, Nena brought him disastrous news: the building that housed his library on M. H. del
Pilar had been burned in a suspicious fire. He had known that library so well that he could ask for a book and specify from
memory which shelf it was on. Thankfully, unknown to him and with uncanny intuition, Nena had earlier moved most of his
books to the house, where they lay in topsy-turvy heapsbut safely.
On Sept. 11, 1974Ferdinand Marcoss 57th birthday, and almost two years since he was picked upPepe Diokno was
released from prison. He had never been charged with anything.
Free Legal Assistance Group
Sharpened and toughened by his imprisonment, Diokno plunged, to provide legal help to political detainees and other
martial-law victimsand long before other prominent lawyers and organizations took up the cause of human rightshe
set up the Free Legal Assistance Group. His concerns soon expanded to other causes and constituencies, including tribal
groups threatened by exploitation and military atrocities, peasants, social workers, and other activists. He worked with
Sister Mariani Dimaranan in Task Force Detainees, which had been set up by the Association of Major Religious Superiors
of the Philippines to protect the rights of martial law victims and to document cases of torture, summary execution, and
disappearances.
He had no fear of being arrested again, and went around and outside the country to speak against tyranny and abuse in
the Philippines. But his was no message of gloom and doom; he could see beyond the immediate horizon into a new
dawning of freedom. In one of his most oft-quoted speeches, he said:
And so law in the land died. I grieve for it but I do not despair over it. I know, with a certainty no argument can turn, no
wind can shake, that from its dust will rise a new and better law: more just, more human, and more humane. When that
will happen, I know not. That it will happen, I know. (Manalang, 76)
Against the regimes reasoning that authoritarianism was needed to spur development, he argued:
Development is not just providing people with adequate food, clothing, and shelter; many prisons do as much.
Development is also people deciding what food, clothing, and shelter are adequate, and how they are to be provided.
Authoritarianism does not let people decide; its basic premise is that people do not know how to decide. So it promotes
repression, not development, repression that prevents meaningful change, and preserves the structure of power and
privilege. (Manalang, 42)
Conversely, as Ed Garcia observed, (Diokno) did not confine his defense of human rights merely to victims of civil and
political rights violations but extended his efforts to promote economic, social, and cultural rights as well. (Garcia, 66-67)
Ka Pepe was often approached for legal help by members of the Communist Party, and he gave help freely; more than
once they asked him to join and even lead them, but he consistently declined. In a speech before the BishopsBusinessmens Conference of the Philippines in April 1985, he argued forcefully and cogently for the legalization of the
Communist Party, maintaining that It is unjust to prosecute a person for his political beliefs. (Manalang, 53) But he
refused to believe in the necessity of armed struggle. There were not very many among those who suffered during the
long period of martial law who believed that the dictatorship could be overthrown without resort to arms, Garcia notes.
What singled Pepe Diokno out was that he not only believed it was possible to do so but that more than anything else he
worked relentlessly to build an active resistance of citizens that was necessary to make it happen. (Garcia, 67)
People Power

To this end, in March 1983, he co-founded KAAKBAY (the Movement for Philippine Sovereignty and Democracy). It took
on issues such as elections, the US military bases, and other nationalist concerns. As immersed as he had long been in
the struggle for human rights and civil liberties, the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in August 1983 further spurred his
involvement in a broadening network of resistance groups, including the Justice for Aquino, Justice for All (JAJA)
movement, and the Kongreso ng Mamamayang Pilipino (KOMPIL).
When the inevitable happened and EDSA 1 erupted in February 1986, Pepeever the thinking manwas initially
doubtful. He refused to go when this happened in EDSA, says Maris. There was a feeling that this was a military
attempt to save their necks and the people were simply being used to cover that action.
Even when he later agreed to serve the Aquino government as chairman of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights
and chairman of the government panel in charge of negotiations with rebel forces, he never forgot the need for vigilance,
reminding his countrymen that: Above all, we can strengthen the President by pointing out what she is doing that is
wrong. I think we weaken her if we support everything she does even when we do not agree with that she is doing. Yesmen are not compatible with democracy. People expect our President and public officials to make mistakesbut of
course, to correct them as soon as they are convinced that they have erred. How can they know they have erred, if we do
not tell them so? (162)
As he had feared, the fairy-tale unity of what Maris (as Dr. Ma. Serena Diokno, the professor of history) would describe as
someone who was for agrarian reform sitting next to someone who would refuse to give up their land sitting next to
someone who simply wanted US nuclear weapons and the bases out, next to someone who said we need the Americans
soon unraveled. These contradictions and tensions tragically exploded in what would be known as the Mendiola
Massacre of Jan. 22, 1987, during which 15 peacefully protesting farmers were shot dead by government troops
practically at the doorsteps of the Palace. In deep disgust and even greater sadness, Jose W. Diokno resigned from his
two positions. It was the only time we saw him near tears, Maris says.
Death and legacy
By theneven much earlierDiokno was facing his own death. In 1984, he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He
had smoked all his adult life, as did Nena. In October 1986, they took him to Manila Doctors Hospital for a blood
transfusion; things looked very bleak at that point, and when Maris asked the doctor how much time they had left with him,
he told her a matter of days. But Pepe himself thought otherwise; I know Im dying, he said, but not just yet. He had
the transfusion stopped and asked to be brought home; he didnt want to die in the hospital.
He lived for four more months. They had brought him down to lie among his books, which was where he died, in peace
and free of pain, at 2:40 am on Feb. 27, 1987. He had just turned 65.
Disease had ravaged his body, and creeping blindness had stilled his writing, but he was lucid to the last. The children
remember him at his hopeful, fighting, smiling best, dreaming of justice on earth, and justice in time. In 1981, in a speech
on The Filipino Concept of Justice, Jose W. Diokno took that dream in his hands and said:
Are these standards impossible to meet? If you mean meet completely and immediately, they are. But only yesterday in
world time, it was thought impossible to land on the moon. And not too long ago, Aristotleone of the wisest of men
justified slavery as natural and listed torture as a source of evidence. So standards thought too high today may well turn
out to be too low tomorrow. But whether they do so or not is not really important. What Nikos Kazantsakis said of freedom
can be said of justice: the superior virtue is not to receive justice, it is to fight relentlessly for itto struggle for justice in
time, yet under the aspect of eternity. (Manalang, 31)
Upon Dioknos death, President Aquino declared a period of national mourning, and in 2004, President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo issued an order declaring a national day of remembrance on his 17th death anniversary. Some lawmakers
sponsored a bill to rename Taft Avenue to Diokno Avenue. None of those encomiums resonate more than Pepe Dioknos
own words and the strength of his faith in a better future. When he observed a young woman cradling her husband who
had been horribly tortured, he saw not despair but hope:
As I looked at the couple, I saw in them the face of every Filipino; and I knew then that martial law could crush our
bodies; it could break our minds; but it could not conquer our spirit. It may silence our voice and seel our eyes; but it
cannot kill our hope nor obliterate our vision. We will struggle on, no matter how long it takes or what it costs, until we
establish a just community of free men and women in our land, deciding together, working and striving together, but also
singing and dancing, laughing and living together. That is the ultimate lesson. (Manalang, 45)

READINGS
A.

16

Abraham Genesis 18:16-32

Then the men got up from their meal and looked out toward Sodom. As they left, Abraham went with them to send them
on their way.

17

Should I hide my plan from Abraham? the LORD asked. 18 For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty
nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons
and their families to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have
promised.

20

So the LORD told Abraham, I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant.
am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.

21

22

The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the LORDremained with Abraham. 23 Abraham approached him
and said, Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24 Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there
in the citywill you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25 Surely you wouldnt do such a thing, destroying
the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely
you wouldnt do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?

26

And the LORD replied, If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.

27

Then Abraham spoke again. Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and
ashes.28 Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of
five? And the LORD said, I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.

29

Then Abraham pressed his request further. Suppose there are only forty?

And the LORD replied, I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.

30

Please dont be angry, my Lord, Abraham pleaded. Let me speaksuppose only thirty righteous people are found?

And the LORD replied, I will not destroy it if I find thirty.

31

Then Abraham said, Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continuesuppose there are only twenty?

And the LORD replied, Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.

32

Finally, Abraham said, Lord, please dont be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found
there? And the LORD replied, Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.

B.

St. Thomas More

Thomas More was born in London on February 7, 1478. His father, Sir John More, was a lawyer and judge who rose to
prominence during the reign of Edward IV. His connections and wealth would help his son, Thomas, rise in station as a
young man. Thomas' mother was Agnes Graunger, the first wife of John More. John would have four wives during his life,
but they each died, leaving John as a widower. Thomas had two brothers and three sisters, but three of his siblings died
within a year of their birth. Such tragedies were common in England during this time.

It is likely that Thomas was positively influenced from a young age by his mother and siblings. He also attended St.
Anthony's School, which was said to be one of the best schools in London at that time. In 1490, he became a household
page to John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England. Archbishop Morton was a
Renaissance man and inspired Thomas to pursue his own education.
Thomas More entered Oxford in 1492, where he would learn Latin, Greek and prepare for his future studies. In 1494, he
left Oxford to become a lawyer and he trained in London until 1502 when he was finally approved to begin practice.
Almost as soon as More became a lawyer, he found himself contemplating another path in life. For two years, between
1503 and 1504, More lived next to a Carthusian monastery and he found himself called to follow their lifestyle of simple
piety. He often joined their spiritual exercises.
By 1504, More had decided to remain in the secular world, and stood for election to Parliament. But he did not forget the
pious monks who inspired his practice of the faith.
Thomas More married his first wife, Jane Colt in 1505. They would have four children together before her death in 1511.
Their marriage was reportedly happy and Thomas often tutored her in music and literature.
After Jane's death in 1511, Thomas quickly remarried to Alice Harpur Middleton, who was a wealthy widow. Alice was not
particularly attractive, and her temperament was less docile than Jane's. The wedding took place less than a month after
Jane's passing and was poorly received by his friends.
It was rumored that Thomas married her because he wanted a stepmother for his four children, and she was a woman of
wealth and means. It is believed the pair knew each other for some time prior to their marriage. They would have no
children together. Thomas accepted Alice's daughter from her previous marriage as his own.
Thomas was considered a doting father, and he often wrote letters to his children when he was away on work. He also
insisted that his daughters receive the same education as his son. His daughters were well known for their academic
accomplishments.
In 1504, More was elected to Parliament to represent the region of Great Yarmouth, and in 1510 rose to represent
London. During his service to the people of London, he earned a reputation as being honest and effective. He became a
Privy Counselor in 1514.
More also honed his skills as a theologian and a writer. Among his most famous works is "Utopia," about a fictional,
idealistic island society. The work is widely regarded as part satire, part social commentary, part suggestion. Utopia is
considered one of the greatest works of the late Renaissance and was widely read during the Enlightenment period. It
remains well by scholars read today.
From 1517 on, Henry VIII took a liking to Thomas More, and gave him posts of ever increasing responsibility. In 1521, he
was knighted and made Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer.
The King's trust in More grew with time and More was soon made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which gave him
authority over the northern portion of England on behalf of Henry.
More became Lord Chancellor in 1529.
More was immediately effective, working with speed and precision that is admired today. He was likely one of Henry VIII's
most effective servants, and was fiercely loyal to the king.
During his tenure as Lord Chancellor, More prosecuted those accused of heresy and worked tirelessly to defend the
Catholic faith in England. This was an arduous, but achievable task as long as he enjoyed Henry's favor. However, in
1530, as Henry worked to obtain an annulment from his wife, Catherine, Moore refused to sign a letter to the Pope,
requesting an annulment. This was More's first time crossing Henry.
The relationship between More and Henry became strained again when seeking to isolate More, Henry purged many of
the clergy who supported the Pope. It became clear to all that Henry was prepared to break away from the Church in
Rome, something More knew he could not condone.
In 1532, More found himself unable to work for Henry VIII, whom he felt had lost his way as a Catholic. Faced with the
prospect of being compelled to actively support Henry's schism with the Church, More offered his resignation, citing failing
health. Henry accepted it, although he was unhappy with what he viewed as flagging loyalty.

In 1533, More refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boylen, who was now the Queen of England. More instead wrote
a letter of congratulations. The letter, as opposed to his direct presence offended Henry greatly. The king viewed More's
absence as an insult to his new queen and an undermining of his authority as head of the church and state.
Henry then had charges trumped up against More, but More's own integrity protected him. In the first instance, he was
accused of accepting bribes, but there was simply no evidence that could be obtained or manufactured. He was then
accused of conspiracy against the king, because he allegedly consulted with a nun who prophesied against Henry and his
wife, Anne. However, More was able to produce a letter in which he specifically instructed the nun, Elizabeth Barton, not
to interfere with politics.
On April 13, 1534, More was ordered to take an oath, acknowledging the legitimicies of Anne's position as queen, of
Henry's self-granted annulment from Catherine, and the superior position of the King as head of the church. More
accepted Henry's marriage to Anne, but refused to acknowledge Henry as head of the church, or his annulment from
Catherine. This led to his arrest and imprisonment. He was locked away in the Tower of London.
He faced trial on July 1 and was convicted by a court that included Anne Boylen's own father, brother and uncle, hardly an
impartial jury. Still, More had one thing going for him. He could not break the law of which he was accused if he remained
silent. However, he had no defense against treachery, and several dubious witnesses were able to contrive a story that he
had spoken words that had the same effect as treason.
Despite a brilliant defense of himself and persuasive testimony, grounded in truth and fact, More was convicted in fifteen
minutes. The court sentenced him to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, which was the traditional punishment for treason.
Henry was pleased with the outcome, although likely upset that one of his favorite advisers refused, even upon pain of
death, to sanction his annulment and break from Rome. Henry was a Machiavellian king and while he may have regretted
the loss of More, he was more intent upon retaining his authority.
As a final act of mercy, Henry commuted More's punishment to mere decapitation.
More ascended the scaffold on July 6, 1535, joking to his executioners to help him up the scaffold, but that he would see
himself down. He then made a final statement, proclaiming that he was "the king's good servant, but God's first."
Following his death, it was revealed that More wore a hair shirt, a garment destined to be itchy, and worn to as a sign of
atonement and repentance. It became obvious to all that he was a man of deep piety, asceticism, voluntary self discipline,
and penitence.
More's decapitated body was buried in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London, in an unmarked grave.
His head was put on display, but his daughter Margaret possibly bribed someone to take it down. The skull may be in the
vault of a church in Canterbury.
Thomas More has been widely remembered as a man of tremendous integrity, and he has since been described as a
martyr and canonized a saint.
Pope Leo XIII beatified More in 1886, and he was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 19, 1935.
His feast day is June 22.
He is the patron saint of adopted children lawyers, civil servants, politicians, and difficult marriages.

C.

Abraham Lincoln (Case vs. Snow Brothers)


D.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of the Indian
independence movement in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to
independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorificMahatma (Sanskrit:
"high-souled", "venerable")[3]applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa, [4]is now used worldwide. He is also
called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for "father",[5] "papa"[5][6]) in India. In common parlance in India he is often
called Gandhiji. He is unofficially called the Father of the Nation.[7][8]
Born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat, western India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple,
London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian
community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban

labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National
Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and
ethnic amity, ending untouchability, but above all for achievingSwaraj or self-rule.
Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in
1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in
both South Africa and India. Gandhi attempted to practise nonviolence and truth in all situations, and advocated that
others do the same. He lived modestly in aself-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and
shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as a
means of both self-purification and social protest.
Gandhi's vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism, however, was challenged in the early 1940s by a
new Muslim nationalism which was demanding a separate Muslim homeland carved out of India. [9] Eventually, in August
1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire [9] was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindumajority India and Muslim Pakistan.[10] As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands,
religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjaband Bengal. Eschewing the official celebration of independence in
Delhi, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to provide solace. In the months following, he undertook several fasts
unto death to promote religious harmony. The last of these, undertaken on 12 January 1948 at age 78, [11] also had the
indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. [11] Some Indians thought Gandhi was too
accommodating.[11][12] Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, assassinated Gandhi on 30 January 1948 by firing three
bullets into his chest at point-blank range.[12]
His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day
of Nonviolence.
Early life and background
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi[13] was born on 2 October 1869 [1] to a Hindu Modh Baniya family[14] in Porbandar (also
known as Sudamapuri), a coastal town on the Kathiawar Peninsula and then part of the small princely state of Porbandar
in the Kathiawar Agency of the Indian Empire. His father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi (18221885), served as
the diwan (chief minister) of Porbandar state.[citation needed]
The Gandhi family originated from the village of Kutiana in what was then Junagadh State.[15] In the late 17th or early 18th
century, one Lalji Gandhi moved to Porbandar and entered the service of its ruler, the Rana. Successive generations of
the family served as civil servants in the state administration before Uttamchand, Mohandas's grandfather,
became diwan in the early 19th century under the then Rana of Porbandar, Khimojiraji. [15][16] In 1831, Rana Khimojiraji died
suddenly and was succeeded by his 12-year-old only son, Vikmatji. [16] As a result, Rana Khimojirajji's widow, Rani
Rupaliba, became regent for her son. She soon fell out with Uttamchand and forced him to return to his ancestral village
in Junagadh. While in Junagadh, Uttamchand appeared before its Nawab and saluted him with his left hand instead of his
right, replying that his right hand was pledged to Porbandar's service. [15] In 1841, Vikmatji assumed the throne and
reinstated Uttamchand as his diwan.[citation needed]
In 1847, Rana Vikmatji appointed Uttamchand's son, Karamchand, as diwan after disagreeing with Uttamchand over the
state's maintenance of a British garrison. [15] Although he only had an elementary education and had previously been a
clerk in the state administration, Karamchand proved a capable chief minister.[17] During his tenure, Karamchand married
four times. His first two wives died young, after each had given birth to a daughter, and his third marriage was childless. In
1857, Karamchand sought his third wife's permission to remarry; that year, he married Putlibai (18441891), who also
came from Junagadh,[15] and was from a Pranami Vaishnava family.[18][19][20][21] Karamchand and Putlibai had three children
over the ensuing decade, a son, Laxmidas (c. 1860 March 1914), a daughter, Raliatbehn (18621960) and another son,
Karsandas (c. 18661913).[22][23]
On 2 October 1869, Putlibai gave birth to her last child, Mohandas, in a dark, windowless ground-floor room of the Gandhi
family residence in Porbandar city. As a child, Gandhi was described by his sister Raliat as "restless as mercury, either
playing or roaming about. One of his favourite pastimes was twisting dogs' ears." [24] The Indian classics, especially the
stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. In his autobiography, he
admits that they left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra
to myself times without number." Gandhi's early self-identification with truth and love as supreme values is traceable to
these epic characters.[25][26]
The family's religious background was eclectic. Gandhi's father was Hindu[27] and his mother was from a Pranami
Vaishnava family. Religious figures were frequent visitors to the home. [28] Gandhi was deeply influenced by his mother
Putlibai, an extremely pious lady who "would not think of taking her meals without her daily prayers...she would take the
hardest vows and keep them without flinching. To keep two or three consecutive fasts was nothing to her." [29]

In the year of Mohandas's birth, Rana Vikmatji was exiled, stripped of direct administrative power and demoted in rank by
the British political agent, after having ordered the brutal executions of a slave and an Arab bodyguard. Possibly as a
result, in 1874 Karamchand left Porbandar for the smaller state of Rajkot, where he became a counsellor to its ruler, the
Thakur Sahib; though Rajkot was a less prestigious state than Porbandar, the British regional political agency was located
there, which gave the state's diwan a measure of security.[30] In 1876, Karamchand became diwan of Rajkot and was
succeeded as diwan of Porbandar by his brother Tulsidas. His family then rejoined him in Rajkot. [31]
On 21 January 1879, Mohandas entered the local taluk (district) school in Rajkot, not far from his home. At school, he was
taught the rudiments of arithmetic, history, the Gujarati language and geography. [31] Despite being only an average student
in his year there, in October 1880 he sat the entrance examinations for Kathiawar High School, also in Rajkot. He passed
the examinations with a creditable average of 64 percent and was enrolled the following year. [32] During his years at the
high school, Mohandas intensively studied the English language for the first time, along with continuing his lessons in
arithmetic, Gujarati, history and geography.[32] His attendance and marks remained mediocre to average, possibly due to
Karamchand falling ill in 1882 and Mohandas spending more time at home as a result. [32] Gandhi shone neither in the
classroom nor on the playing field. One of the terminal reports rated him as "good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in
Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting".
While at high school, Mohandas came into contact with students of other castes and faiths, including several Parsis and
Muslims. A Muslim friend of his elder brother Karsandas, named Sheikh Mehtab, befriended Mohandas and encouraged
the strictly vegetarian boy to try eating meat to improve his stamina. He also took Mohandas to a brothel one day, though
Mohandas "was struck blind and dumb in this den of vice," rebuffed the prostitutes' advances and was promptly sent out
of the brothel. As experimenting with meat-eating and carnal pleasures only brought Mohandas mental anguish, he
abandoned both and the company of Mehtab, though they would maintain their association for many years afterwards. [33]
In May 1883, the 13-year-old Mohandas was married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia (her first name was
usually shortened to "Kasturba", and affectionately to "Ba") in an arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the
region at that time.[34] In the process, he lost a year at school. [35] Recalling the day of their marriage, he once said, "As we
didn't know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives."
However, as was prevailing tradition, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from
her husband.[36] Writing many years later, Mohandas described with regret the lustful feelings he felt for his young bride,
"even at school I used to think of her, and the thought of nightfall and our subsequent meeting was ever haunting me." [37]
In late 1885, Karamchand died, on a night when Mohandas had just left his father to sleep with his wife, despite the fact
she was pregnant.[38] The couple's first child was born shortly after, but survived only a few days. The double tragedy
haunted Mohandas throughout his life, "the shame, to which I have referred in a foregoing chapter, was this of my carnal
desire even at the critical hour of my father's death, which demanded wakeful service. It is a blot I have never been able to
efface or forget...I was weighed and found unpardonably wanting because my mind was at the same moment in the grip of
lust.[38][39] Mohandas and Kasturba had four more children, all sons: Harilal, born in 1888; Manilal, born in 1892; Ramdas,
born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900.[34]
In November 1887, he sat the regional matriculation exams in Ahmedabad, writing exams in arithmetic, history,
geography, natural science, English and Gujarati. He passed with an overall average of 40 percent, ranking 404th of 823
successful matriculates.[40] In January 1888, he enrolled at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar State, then the sole degreegranting institution of higher education in the region. During his first and only term there, he suffered from headaches and
strong feelings of homesickness, did very poorly in his exams in April and withdrew from the college at the end of the
term, returning to Porbandar.[41]
English barrister
As the best-educated of his brothers, Gandhi was seen by his family as the best candidate to one day succeed his father
and his uncle Tulsidas as diwan.[42] Mavji Dave, a Brahmin priest and family friend, advised Gandhi and his family that he
should qualify as a barrister in London, after which he would be certain to achieve the diwanship.[43] Initially, Putlibai did
not want her youngest son to leave India and travel across the "black waters", thereby losing his caste. Gandhi's uncle
Tulsidas also tried to dissuade his nephew. Finally, Gandhi made a vow to his mother in the presence of a Jain monk to
observe the precepts of sexual abstinence as well as abstinence from meat and alcohol, after which Putlibai gave her
permission and blessing.[41][44] In July, Kasturba gave birth to the couple's first surviving son, Harilal. [45]
On 10 August 1888, Gandhi left Porbandar for Bombay (Mumbai). Upon arrival in the port, he was met by the head of the
Modh Bania community, who had known Gandhi's family. Having learned of Gandhi's plans, he and other elders warned
Gandhi that he would be excommunicated if he did not obey their wishes and remain in India. After Gandhi reiterated his
intentions to leave for England, the elders declared him an outcast. [45]
In London, Gandhi studied law and jurisprudence and enrolled at the Inner Temple with the intention of becoming
a barrister. His time in London was influenced by the vow he had made to his mother. Gandhi tried to adopt "English"

customs, including taking dancing lessons. However, he could not appreciate the bland vegetarian food offered by his
landlady and was frequently hungry until he found one of London's few vegetarian restaurants. Influenced by Henry
Salt's writing, he joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its executive committee, [46] and started a
local Bayswater chapter.[20] Some of the vegetarians he met were members of the Theosophical Society, which had been
founded in 1875 to further universal brotherhood, and which was devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu literature.
They encouraged Gandhi to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita both in translation as well as in the original. [46] Not
having shown interest in religion before, he became interested in religious thought.
Gandhi was called to the bar in June 1891 and then left London for India, where he learned that his mother had died while
he was in London and that his family had kept the news from him. [46] His attempts at establishing a law practice
in Bombay failed because he was psychologically unable to cross-question witnesses. He returned to Rajkot to make a
modest living drafting petitions for litigants, but he was forced to stop when he ran foul of a British officer. [20][46] In 1893, he
accepted a year-long contract from Dada Abdulla & Co., an Indian firm, to a post in the Colony of Natal, South Africa, also
a part of the British Empire.[20]
Civil rights activist in South Africa (18931914)
Gandhi was 24 when he arrived in South Africa [47] in 1893 to work as a legal representative for the Muslim Indian Traders
based in the city of Pretoria. He spent 21 years in South Africa, where he developed his political views, ethics and political
leadership skills.[48]
Indians in South Africa included wealthy Muslims, who employed Gandhi as a lawyer, and impoverished Hindu indentured
labourers with very limited rights. Gandhi considered them all to be Indians, taking a lifetime view that "Indianness"
transcended religion and caste. He believed he could bridge historic differences, especially regarding religion, and he took
that belief back to India where he tried to implement it. The South African experience exposed handicaps to Gandhi that
he had not known about. He realised he was out of contact with the enormous complexities of religious and cultural life in
India, and believed he understood India by getting to know and leading Indians in South Africa. [49]
In South Africa, Gandhi faced the discrimination directed at all coloured people. He was thrown off a train
at Pietermaritzburg after refusing to move from the first-class. He protested and was allowed on first class the next day.
[50]
Travelling farther on by stagecoach, he was beaten by a driver for refusing to move to make room for a European
passenger.[51] He suffered other hardships on the journey as well, including being barred from several hotels. In another
incident, the magistrate of a Durban court ordered Gandhi to remove his turban, which he refused to do. [52] Indians were
not allowed to walk on public footpaths in South Africa. Mr. Gandhi was kicked by a police officer out of the footpath onto
the street without warning.[53]
These events were a turning point in Gandhi's life and shaped his social activism and awakened him to social injustice.
After witnessing racism, prejudice, and injustice against Indians in South Africa, Gandhi began to question his place in
society and his people's standing in the British Empire.[54]
Gandhi extended his original period of stay in South Africa to assist Indians in opposing a bill to deny them the right to
vote. He askedJoseph Chamberlain, the British Colonial Secretary, to reconsider his position on this bill. [48] Though unable
to halt the bill's passage, his campaign was successful in drawing attention to the grievances of Indians in South Africa.
He helped found the Natal Indian Congress in 1894,[20][50] and through this organisation, he moulded the Indian community
of South Africa into a unified political force. In January 1897, when Gandhi landed in Durban, a mob of white settlers
attacked him[55] and he escaped only through the efforts of the wife of the police superintendent. However, he refused to
press charges against any member of the mob, stating it was one of his principles not to seek redress for a personal
wrong in a court of law.[20]
In 1906, the Transvaal government promulgated a new Act compelling registration of the colony's Indian and Chinese
populations. At a mass protest meeting held in Johannesburg on 11 September that year, Gandhi adopted his still evolving
methodology of Satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or nonviolent protest, for the first time. [56] He urged Indians to defy the
new law and to suffer the punishments for doing so. The community adopted this plan, and during the ensuing seven-year
struggle, thousands of Indians were jailed, flogged, or shot for striking, refusing to register, for burning their registration
cards or engaging in other forms of nonviolent resistance. The smaller population of Chinese in South Africa also aligned
themselves with the movement and were also jailed for defying registration laws. [57] The government successfully
repressed the protesters, but the public outcry over the harsh treatment of peaceful Indian protesters by the South African
government forced South African leader Jan Christiaan Smuts, himself a philosopher, to negotiate a compromise with
Gandhi. Gandhi's ideas took shape, and the concept of Satyagraha matured during this struggle.
When he returned to India in 1915, he was proficient at public speaking, fund-raising, negotiations, media relations, and
self-promotion.[58] Gandhi developed these skills in the context of his South African law practice. [59]

Gandhi and the Africans


Gandhi focused his attention on Indians while in South Africa and opposed the idea that Indians should be treated at the
same level as native Africans while in South Africa. [60][61][62] He also stated that he believed "that the white race of South
Africa should be the predominating race."[63]After several incidents with Whites in South Africa, Gandhi began to change
his thinking and apparently increased his interest in politics. [64] White rule enforced strict segregation among all races and
generated conflict between these communities. Bhana and Vahed argue that Gandhi, at first, shared racial notions
prevalent of the times and that his experiences in jail sensitised him to the plight of South Africa's indigenous peoples. [65]
During the Boer War, Gandhi volunteered in 1900 to form a group of stretcher-bearers as the Natal Indian Ambulance
Corps. He wanted to disprove the British idea that Hindus were not fit for "manly" activities involving danger and exertion.
Gandhi raised eleven hundred Indian volunteers. They were trained and medically certified to serve on the front lines.
They were auxiliaries at the Battle of Colenso to a White volunteer ambulance corps; then at Spion Kop Gandhi and his
bearers moved to the front line and had to carry wounded soldiers for miles to a field hospital because the terrain was too
rough for the ambulances. Gandhi was pleased when someone said that European ambulance corpsmen could not make
the trip under the heat without food or water. General Redvers Buller mentioned the courage of the Indians in his dispatch.
Gandhi and thirty-seven other Indians received the Boer War Medal.[66]
In 1906, when the British declared war against the Zulu Kingdom in Natal, Gandhi encouraged the British to recruit
Indians.[67] He argued that Indians should support the war efforts to legitimise their claims to full citizenship. [67] The British
accepted Gandhi's offer to let a detachment of 20 Indians volunteer as a stretcher-bearer corps to treat wounded British
soldiers. This corps was commanded by Gandhi and operated for less than two months. [68] The experience taught him it
was hopeless to directly challenge the overwhelming military power of the British armyhe decided it could only be
resisted in nonviolent fashion by the pure of heart. [69]
In 1910, Gandhi established an idealistic community called 'Tolstoy Farm' near Johannesburg, where he nurtured his
policy of peaceful resistance.[70]
In the years after black South Africans gained the right to vote in South Africa (1994), Gandhi was proclaimed a national
hero with numerous monuments.[71]
Struggle for Indian Independence (191547)
At the request of Gokhale, conveyed to him by C.F. Andrews, Gandhi returned to India in 1915. He brought an
international reputation as a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and organiser. He joined the Indian National Congress and
was introduced to Indian issues, politics and the Indian people primarily by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Gokhale was a key
leader of the Congress Party best known for his restraint and moderation, and his insistence on working inside the
system. Gandhi took Gokhale's liberal approach based on British Whiggish traditions and transformed it to make it look
wholly Indian.[72]
Gandhi took leadership of the Congress in 1920 and began escalating demands until on 26 January 1930 the Indian
National Congress declared the independence of India. The British did not recognise the declaration but negotiations
ensued, with the Congress taking a role in provincial government in the late 1930s. Gandhi and the Congress withdrew
their support of the Raj when the Viceroy declared war on Germany in September 1939 without consultation. Tensions
escalated until Gandhi demanded immediate independence in 1942 and the British responded by imprisoning him and
tens of thousands of Congress leaders. Meanwhile, the Muslim League did co-operate with Britain and moved, against
Gandhi's strong opposition, to demands for a totally separate Muslim state of Pakistan. In August 1947 the British
partitioned the land with India and Pakistan each achieving independence on terms that Gandhi disapproved. [73]
Role in World War I
See also: The role of India in World War I
In April 1918, during the latter part of World War I, the Viceroy invited Gandhi to a War Conference in Delhi. [74] Perhaps to
show his support for the Empire and help his case for India's independence, [75] Gandhi agreed to actively recruit Indians
for the war effort.[76] In contrast to the Zulu War of 1906 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914, when he recruited
volunteers for the Ambulance Corps, this time Gandhi attempted to recruit combatants. In a June 1918 leaflet entitled
"Appeal for Enlistment", Gandhi wrote "To bring about such a state of things we should have the ability to defend
ourselves, that is, the ability to bear arms and to use them...If we want to learn the use of arms with the greatest possible
despatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army." [77] He did, however, stipulate in a letter to the Viceroy's private
secretary that he "personally will not kill or injure anybody, friend or foe." [78]
Gandhi's war recruitment campaign brought into question his consistency on nonviolence. Gandhi's private
secretary noted that "The question of the consistency between his creed of 'Ahimsa' (nonviolence) and his recruiting
campaign was raised not only then but has been discussed ever since." [76]

Champaran and Kheda


Main article: Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha
Gandhi's first major achievements came in 1918 with the Champaran and Kheda agitations of Bihar and Gujarat. The
Champaran agitation pitted the local peasantry against their largely British landlords who were backed by the local
administration. The peasantry was forced to grow Indigo, a cash crop whose demand had been declining over two
decades, and were forced to sell their crops to the planters at a fixed price. Unhappy with this, the peasantry appealed to
Gandhi at his ashram in Ahmedabad. Pursuing a strategy of nonviolent protest, Gandhi took the administration by surprise
and won concessions from the authorities.[79]
In 1918, Kheda was hit by floods and famine and the peasantry was demanding relief from taxes. Gandhi moved his
headquarters toNadiad,[80] organising scores of supporters and fresh volunteers from the region, the most notable
being Vallabhbhai Patel.[81] Using non-co-operation as a technique, Gandhi initiated a signature campaign where peasants
pledged non-payment of revenue even under the threat of confiscation of land. A social boycott
of mamlatdars and talatdars (revenue officials within the district) accompanied the agitation. Gandhi worked hard to win
public support for the agitation across the country. For five months, the administration refused but finally in end-May 1918,
the Government gave way on important provisions and relaxed the conditions of payment of revenue tax until the famine
ended. In Kheda, Vallabhbhai Patel represented the farmers in negotiations with the British, who suspended revenue
collection and released all the prisoners.[82]
Khilafat movement
In 1919, Gandhi, with his weak position in Congress, decided to broaden his political base by increasing his appeal to
Muslims. The opportunity came in the form of the Khilafat movement, a worldwide protest by Muslims against the
collapsing status of the Caliph, the leader of their religion. The Ottoman Empire had lost the First World War and was
dismembered, as Muslims feared for the safety of the holy places and the prestige of their religion. [83] Although Gandhi did
not originate the All-India Muslim Conference, [84] which directed the movement in India, he soon became its most
prominent spokesman and attracted a strong base of Muslim support with local chapters in all Muslim centres in India.
[85]
As a mark of solidarity with Indian Muslims he returned the medals that had been bestowed on him by the British
government for his work in the Boer and Zulu Wars. He believed that the British government was not being honest in its
dealings with Muslims on the Khilafat issue. His success made him India's first national leader with a multicultural base
and facilitated his rise to power within Congress, which had previously been unable to influence many Indian Muslims. In
1920 Gandhi became a major leader in Congress.[86][87] By the end of 1922 the Khilafat movement had collapsed. [88]
Gandhi always fought against "communalism", which pitted Muslims against Hindus in Indian politics, but he could not
reverse the rapid growth of communalism after 1922. Deadly religious riots broke out in numerous cities, including 91
in Uttar Pradesh alone.[89][90] At the leadership level, the proportion of Muslims among delegates to Congress fell sharply,
from 11% in 1921 to under 4% in 1923.[91]
Non-co-operation
Main article: Non-cooperation movement
In his famous book Hind Swaraj (1909) Gandhi declared that British rule was established in India with the co-operation of
Indians and had survived only because of this co-operation. If Indians refused to co-operate, British rule would collapse
and swaraj would come.[92]
With Congress now behind him in 1920, Gandhi had the base to employ non-co-operation, nonviolence and peaceful
resistance as his "weapons" in the struggle against the British Raj. His wide popularity among both Hindus and Muslims
made his leadership possible; he even convinced the extreme faction of Muslims to support peaceful non-co-operation.
[85]
The spark that ignited a national protest was overwhelming anger at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (or Amritsar
massacre) of hundreds of peaceful civilians by British troops in Punjab. Many Britons celebrated the action as needed to
prevent another violent uprising similar to the Rebellion of 1857, an attitude that caused many Indian leaders to decide the
Raj was controlled by their enemies. Gandhi criticised both the actions of the British Raj and the retaliatory violence of
Indians. He authored the resolution offering condolences to British civilian victims and condemning the riots which, after
initial opposition in the party, was accepted following Gandhi's emotional speech advocating his principle that all violence
was evil and could not be justified.[93]
After the massacre and subsequent violence, Gandhi began to focus on winning complete self-government and control of
all Indian government institutions, maturing soon intoSwaraj or complete individual, spiritual, political independence.
[94]
During this period, Gandhi claimed to be a "highly orthodox Hindu" and in January 1921 during a speech at
atemple in Vadtal, he spoke of the relevance of non-co-operation to Hindu Dharma, "At this holy place, I declare, if you
want to protect your 'Hindu Dharma', non-cooperation is first as well as the last lesson you must learn up." [95]
Sabarmati Ashram, Gandhi's home in Gujarat as seen in 2006.

In December 1921, Gandhi was invested with executive authority on behalf of the Indian National Congress. Under his
leadership, the Congress was reorganised with a new constitution, with the goal of Swaraj. Membership in the party was
opened to anyone prepared to pay a token fee. A hierarchy of committees was set up to improve discipline, transforming
the party from an elite organisation to one of mass national appeal. Gandhi expanded his nonviolence platform to include
the swadeshi policythe boycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. Linked to this was his advocacy
that khadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles. Gandhi exhorted Indian men and
women, rich or poor, to spend time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement.[96]
Gandhi even invented a small, portable spinning wheel that could be folded into the size of a small typewriter. [97] This was
a strategy to inculcate discipline and dedication to weeding out the unwilling and ambitious and to include women in the
movement at a time when many thought that such activities were not respectable activities for women. In addition to
boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott British educational institutions and law courts, to resign
from government employment, and to forsake British titles and honours.[98]
"Non-cooperation" enjoyed widespread appeal and success, increasing excitement and participation from all strata of
Indian society. Yet, just as the movement reached its apex, it ended abruptly as a result of a violent clash in the town of
Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, in February 1922. Fearing that the movement was about to take a turn towards violence,
and convinced that this would be the undoing of all his work, Gandhi called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience.
[99]
This was the third time that Gandhi had called off a major campaign. [100] Gandhi was arrested on 10 March 1922, tried
for sedition, and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. He began his sentence on 18 March 1922. He was released in
February 1924 for an appendicitis operation, having served only two years.[101]
Without Gandhi's unifying personality, the Indian National Congress began to splinter during his years in prison, splitting
into two factions, one led by Chitta Ranjan Das and Motilal Nehru favouring party participation in the legislatures, and the
other led by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, opposing this move. Furthermore, co-operation
among Hindus and Muslims, which had been strong at the height of the nonviolence campaign, was breaking down.
Gandhi attempted to bridge these differences through many means, including a three-week fast in the autumn of 1924, but
with limited success.[102] In this year, Gandhi was persuaded to preside over the Congress session to be held in Belgaum.
Gandhi agreed to become president of the session on one condition: that Congressmen should take to wearing homespun
khadi. In his long political career, this was the only time when he presided over a Congress session. [103]
Salt Satyagraha (Salt March)
Gandhi stayed out of active politics and, as such, the limelight for most of the 1920s. He focused instead on resolving the
wedge between the Swaraj Party and the Indian National Congress, and expanding initiatives against untouchability,
alcoholism, ignorance, and poverty. He returned to the fore in 1928. In the preceding year, the British government had
appointed a new constitutional reform commission under Sir John Simon, which did not include any Indian as its member.
The result was a boycott of the commission by Indian political parties. Gandhi pushed through a resolution at the Calcutta
Congress in December 1928 calling on the British government to grant India dominion status or face a new campaign of
non-co-operation with complete independence for the country as its goal. Gandhi had not only moderated the views of
younger men like Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, who sought a demand for immediate independence, but
also reduced his own call to a one-year wait, instead of two. [104]
The British did not respond. On 31 December 1929, the flag of India was unfurled in Lahore. 26 January 1930 was
celebrated as India's Independence Day by the Indian National Congress meeting in Lahore. This day was
commemorated by almost every other Indian organisation. Gandhi then launched a new Satyagraha against the tax on
salt in March 1930. This was highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from 12 March to 6 April, where he marched
388 kilometres (241 mi) from Ahmedabad to Dandi, Gujarat to make salt himself. Thousands of Indians joined him on this
march to the sea. This campaign was one of his most successful at upsetting British hold on India; Britain responded by
imprisoning over 60,000 people.[105]
Women
Gandhi strongly favoured the emancipation of women, and he went so far as to say that "the women have come to look
upon me as one of themselves." He opposed purdah, child marriage, untouchability, and the extreme oppression of Hindu
widows, up to and includingsati. He especially recruited women to participate in the salt tax campaigns and the boycott of
foreign products.[106] Sarma concludes that Gandhi's success in enlisting women in his campaigns, including the salt tax
campaign, the anti-untouchability campaign and the peasant movement, gave many women a new self-confidence and
dignity in the mainstream of Indian public life.[107]
Gandhi as folk hero
Congress in the 1920s appealed to peasants by portraying Gandhi as a sort of messiah, a strategy that succeeded in
incorporating radical forces within the peasantry into the nonviolent resistance movement. In thousands of villages plays

were performed that presented Gandhi as the reincarnation of earlier Indian nationalist leaders, or even as a demigod.
The plays built support among illiterate peasants steeped in traditional Hindu culture. Similar messianic imagery appeared
in popular songs and poems, and in Congress-sponsored religious pageants and celebrations. The result was that Gandhi
became not only a folk hero but the Congress was widely seen in the villages as his sacred instrument. [108]
Negotiations
The government, represented by Lord Irwin, decided to negotiate with Gandhi. The GandhiIrwin Pact was signed in
March 1931. The British Government agreed to free all political prisoners, in return for the suspension of the civil
disobedience movement. Also as a result of the pact, Gandhi was invited to attend the Round Table Conference in London
as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. The conference was a disappointment to Gandhi and the
nationalists, because it focused on the Indian princes and Indian minorities rather than on a transfer of power. Lord Irwin's
successor, Lord Willingdon, taking a hard line against nationalism, began a new campaign of controlling and subduing the
nationalist movement. Gandhi was again arrested, and the government tried and failed to negate his influence by
completely isolating him from his followers.[109]
In Britain, Winston Churchill, a prominent Conservative politician who was then out of office, became a vigorous and
articulate critic of Gandhi and opponent of his long-term plans. Churchill often ridiculed Gandhi, saying in a widely
reported 1931 speech:
It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a
type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace....to parley on equal terms
with the representative of the King-Emperor.[110]
Untouchables
In 1932, through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar, the government granted untouchables separate
electorates under the new constitution, known as theCommunal Award. In protest, Gandhi embarked on a six-day fast
on 20 September 1932, while he was imprisoned at the Yerwada Jail, Pune.[111] The resulting public outcry
successfully forced the government to adopt an equitable arrangement (Poona Pact) through negotiations mediated
by Madan Mohan Malviya and Palwankar Baloo.[111] This was the start of a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the
lives of the untouchables, whom he named Harijans, the children of God.[112] On 8 September 1931, Gandhi who was
sailing on SS Rajputana, to the second Round Table Conference in London, met Meher Baba in his cabin on board
the ship, and discussed issues of untouchables, politics, state Independence and spirituality.[113]
On 8 May 1933, Gandhi began a 21-day fast of self-purification and launched a one-year campaign to help the
Harijan movement.[114] This new campaign was not universally embraced within the Dalit community, as Ambedkar
condemned Gandhi's use of the term Harijans as saying that Dalits were socially immature, and that privileged caste
Indians played a paternalistic role. Ambedkar and his allies also felt Gandhi was undermining Dalit political rights.
Gandhi had also refused to support the untouchables in 192425 when they were campaigning for the right to pray in
temples. Because of Gandhi's actions, Ambedkar described him as "devious and untrustworthy". [100] Gandhi, although
born into theVaishya caste, insisted that he was able to speak on behalf of Dalits, despite the presence of Dalit
activists such as Ambedkar.[115] Gandhi and Ambedkar often clashed because Ambedkar sought to remove the Dalits
out of the Hindu community, while Gandhi tried to save Hinduism by exorcising untouchability. Ambedkar complained
that Gandhi moved too slowly, while Hindu traditionalists said Gandhi was a dangerous radical who rejected scripture.
In a 1955 interview to BBC, Ambedkar alleged that Gandhi expressed diverging views in the English and Gujarati
papers he edited.[116] He accused Gandhi of being a closet supporter of the caste system, the varnashram dharma.
Guha noted in 2012 that, "Ideologues have carried these old rivalries into the present, with the demonization of
Gandhi now common among politicians who presume to speak in Ambedkar's name." [117]
Congress politics
In 1934 Gandhi resigned from Congress party membership. He did not disagree with the party's position but felt that if
he resigned, his popularity with Indians would cease to stifle the party's membership, which actually varied, including
communists, socialists, trade unionists, students, religious conservatives, and those with pro-business convictions,
and that these various voices would get a chance to make themselves heard. Gandhi also wanted to avoid being a
target for Raj propaganda by leading a party that had temporarily accepted political accommodation with the Raj. [118]
Gandhi returned to active politics again in 1936, with the Nehru presidency and the Lucknow session of the Congress.
Although Gandhi wanted a total focus on the task of winning independence and not speculation about India's future,
he did not restrain the Congress from adopting socialism as its goal. Gandhi had a clash with Subhas Chandra Bose,
who had been elected president in 1938, and who had previously expressed a lack of faith in nonviolence as a means
of protest.[119] Despite Gandhi's opposition, Bose won a second term as Congress President, against Gandhi's
nominee, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya; but left the Congress when the All-India leaders resigned en masse in protest of

his abandonment of the principles introduced by Gandhi. [120][121] Gandhi declared that Sitaramayya's defeat was his
defeat.[122]
World War II and Quit India movement
Gandhi initially favoured offering "nonviolent moral support" to the British effort when World War II broke out in 1939,
but the Congressional leaders were offended by the unilateral inclusion of India in the war without consultation of the
people's representatives. All Congressmen resigned from office. [123] After long deliberations, Gandhi declared that
India could not be party to a war ostensibly being fought for democratic freedom while that freedom was denied to
India itself. As the war progressed, Gandhi intensified his demand for independence, calling for the British to Quit
India in a speech at Gowalia Tank Maidan. This was Gandhi's and the Congress Party's most definitive revolt aimed
at securing the British exit from India.[124]
Gandhi was criticised by some Congress party members and other Indian political groups, both pro-British and antiBritish. Some felt that not supporting Britain more in its struggle against Nazi Germany was unethical. Others felt that
Gandhi's refusal for India to participate in the war was insufficient and more direct opposition should be taken, while
Britain fought against Nazism, it continued to refuse to grant India Independence. Quit India became the most forceful
movement in the history of the struggle, with mass arrests and violence on an unprecedented scale. [125]
In 1942, although still committed in his efforts to "launch a nonviolent movement", Gandhi clarified that the movement
would not be stopped by individual acts of violence, saying that the "ordered anarchy" of "the present system of
administration" was "worse than real anarchy."[126][127] He called on all Congressmen and Indians to maintain discipline
via ahimsa, and Karo ya maro ("Do or die") in the cause of ultimate freedom. [128]
Gandhi and the entire Congress Working Committee were arrested in Bombay by the British on 9 August 1942.
Gandhi was held for two years in the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. It was here that Gandhi suffered two terrible blows in
his personal life. His 50-year-old secretary Mahadev Desai died of a heart attack 6 days later and his wife Kasturba
died after 18 months' imprisonment on 22 February 1944; six weeks later Gandhi suffered a severe malaria attack. He
was released before the end of the war on 6 May 1944 because of his failing health and necessary surgery; the Raj
did not want him to die in prison and enrage the nation. He came out of detention to an altered political scene
the Muslim League for example, which a few years earlier had appeared marginal, "now occupied the centre of the
political stage"[129] and the topic of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's campaign for Pakistan was a major talking point. Gandhi
met Jinnah in September 1944 in Bombay but Jinnah rejected, on the grounds that it fell short of a fully independent
Pakistan, his proposal of the right of Muslim provinces to opt out of substantial parts of the forthcoming political union.
[130][131]

While the leaders of Congress languished in jail, the other parties supported the war and gained organizational
strength. Underground publications flailed at the ruthless suppression of Congress, but it had little control over events.
[132]
At the end of the war, the British gave clear indications that power would be transferred to Indian hands. At this
point Gandhi called off the struggle, and around 100,000 political prisoners were released, including the Congress's
leadership.[133]
Partition and independence, 1947
As a rule, Gandhi was opposed to the concept of partition as it contradicted his vision of religious unity.[134] Concerning
the partition of India to create Pakistan, while the Indian National Congress and Gandhi called for the British to quit
India, the Muslim League passed a resolution for them to divide and quit, in 1943. [135] Gandhi suggested an
agreement which required the Congress and Muslim League to co-operate and attain independence under a
provisional government, thereafter, the question of partition could be resolved by a plebiscite in the districts with a
Muslim majority.[136] When Jinnah called for Direct Action, on 16 August 1946, Gandhi was infuriated and personally
visited the most riot-prone areas to stop the massacres. [137] He made strong efforts to unite the Indian Hindus,
Muslims, and Christians and struggled for the emancipation of the "untouchables" in Hindu society.[138]
India's partition and independence were accompanied by more than half a million killed in riots as 1012 million
Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims crossed the borders dividing India and Pakistan. [139] Gandhi, having vowed to spend the
day of independence fasting and spinning, was in Calcutta on 15 August 1947 where he prayed, confronted rioters
and worked with Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy to stop the communal killing.[140] But for his teachings, the efforts of his
followers, and his own presence, there perhaps could have been much more bloodshed during the partition,
according to prominent Norwegian historian, Jens Arup Seip.[141]
Stanley Wolpert has argued, the "plan to carve up British India was never approved of or accepted by Gandhi...who
realised too late that his closest comrades and disciples were more interested in power than principle, and that his
own vision had long been clouded by the illusion that the struggle he led for India's independence was a nonviolent
one."[142]

Assassination

Memorial at the former Birla House, New Delhi, where Gandhi was assassinated at 5:17 pm on 30 January 1948 on
his way to a prayer meeting. Stylised footsteps are shown leading to the memorial.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated in the garden of the former Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti) at
5:17 pm on 30 January 1948. Accompanied by his grandnieces, Gandhi was on his way to address a prayer meeting,
when his assassin, Nathuram Godse, fired three bullets from a Beretta 9 mm pistol into his chest at point-blank range.
[143]
Godse was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi guilty of favouring
Pakistan and strongly opposed the doctrine of nonviolence. [144]Godse and his co-conspirator were tried and executed
in 1949. Gandhi's memorial (or Samdhi) at Rj Ght, New Delhi, bears the epigraph "H Ram" (Devanagari: !
or, He Rm), which may be translated as "Oh God". These are widely believed to be Gandhi's last words after he
was shot, though the veracity of this statement has been disputed. [145] Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the
nation through radio:[146]
Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know
what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more.
Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years,
we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions
and millions in this country.Jawaharlal Nehru's address to Gandhi [147]
Gandhi's death was mourned nationwide. Over two million people joined the five-mile long funeral procession that
took over five hours to reach Raj Ghat from Birla house, where he was assassinated. Gandhi's body was transported
on a weapons carrier, whose chassis was dismantled overnight to allow a high-floor to be installed so that people
could catch a glimpse of his body. The engine of the vehicle was not used; instead four drag-ropes manned by 50
people each pulled the vehicle.[148] All Indian-owned establishments in London remained closed in mourning as
thousands of people from all faiths and denominations and Indians from all over Britain converged at India House in
London.[149]
While India mourned and communal (inter-religious) violence escalated, there were calls for retaliation, and even an
invasion of Pakistan by the Indian army. Nehru and Patel, the two strongest figures in the government and in
Congress, had been pulling in opposite directions; the assassination pushed them together. They agreed the first
objective must be to calm the hysteria. [150] They called on Indians to honour Gandhi's memory and even more his
ideals.[151] They used the assassination to consolidate the authority of the new Indian state. The government made
sure everyone knew the guilty party was not a Muslim. Congress tightly controlled the epic public displays of grief
over a two-week periodthe funeral, mortuary rituals and distribution of the martyr's ashesas millions participated
and hundreds of millions watched. The goal was to assert the power of the government and legitimise the Congress
Party's control. This move built upon the massive outpouring of Hindu expressions of grief. The government
suppressed the RSS, the Muslim National Guards, and the Khaksars, with some 200,000 arrests. Gandhi's death and
funeral linked the distant state with the Indian people and made more understand why religious parties were being
suppressed during the transition to independence for the Indian people. [152]
Ashes
By Hindu tradition the ashes were to be spread on a river. Gandhi's ashes were poured into urns which were sent
across India for memorial services. [153] Most were immersed at the Sangam at Allahabad on 12 February 1948, but
some were secretly taken away. In 1997, Tushar Gandhi immersed the contents of one urn, found in a bank vault and
reclaimed through the courts, at the Sangam at Allahabad. [154][155] Some of Gandhi's ashes were scattered at the
source of the Nile River near Jinja, Uganda, and a memorial plaque marks the event. On 30 January 2008, the
contents of another urn were immersed at Girgaum Chowpatty. Another urn is at the palace of the Aga
Khan in Pune[154] (where Gandhi had been imprisoned from 1942 to 1944) and another in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Lake Shrine in Los Angeles.[156]
Principles, practices and beliefs
Main article: Gandhism
Gandhism designates the ideas and principles Gandhi promoted. Of central importance is nonviolent resistance.
A Gandhian can mean either an individual who follows, or a specific philosophy which is attributed to, Gandhism.
[79]
M. M. Sankhdher argues that Gandhism is not a systematic position in metaphysics or in political philosophy.
Rather, it is a political creed, an economic doctrine, a religious outlook, a moral precept, and especially, a
humanitarian world view. It is an effort not to systematise wisdom but to transform society and is based on an undying
faith in the goodness of human nature. [157] However Gandhi himself did not approve of the notion of "Gandhism", as
he explained in 1936:

There is no such thing as "Gandhism", and I do not want to leave any sect after me. I do not claim to have originated
any new principle or doctrine. I have simply tried in my own way to apply the eternal truths to our daily life and
problems...The opinions I have formed and the conclusions I have arrived at are not final. I may change them
tomorrow. I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills. [158]
Influences
Gandhi with famous poetRabindranath Tagore, 1940
Historian R.B. Cribb argues that Gandhi's thought evolved over time, with his early ideas becoming the core or
scaffolding for his mature philosophy. In London he committed himself to truthfulness, temperance, chastity, and
vegetarianism. His return to India to work as a lawyer was a failure, so he went to South Africa for a quarter century,
where he absorbed ideas from many sources, most of them non-Indian. [159]Gandhi grew up in an eclectic religious
atmosphere and throughout his life searched for insights from many religious traditions. [160] He was exposed
to Jain ideas through his mother who was in contact with Jain monks. Themes from Jainism that Gandhi absorbed
included asceticism; compassion for all forms of life; the importance of vows for self-discipline; vegetarianism; fasting
for self-purification; mutual tolerance among people of different creeds; and "syadvad", the idea that all views of truth
are partial, a doctrine that lies at the root of Satyagraha. [161] He received much of his influence from Jainism
particularly during his younger years.[162]
Gandhi's London experience provided a solid philosophical base focused on truthfulness, temperance, chastity, and
vegetarianism. When he returned to India in 1891, his outlook was parochial and he could not make a living as a
lawyer. This challenged his belief that practicality and morality necessarily coincided. By moving in 1893 to South
Africa he found a solution to this problem and developed the central concepts of his mature philosophy. [163] N. A.
Toothi[164] felt that Gandhi was influenced by the reforms and teachings of Swaminarayan, stating "Close parallels do
exist in programs of social reform based on to nonviolence, truth-telling, cleanliness, temperance and upliftment of the
masses."[165] Vallabhbhai Patel, who grew up in aSwaminarayan household was attracted to Gandhi due to this aspect
of Gandhi's doctrine.[166]
Gandhi's ethical thinking was heavily influenced by a handful of books, which he repeatedly meditated upon. They
included especially Plato's Apology and John Ruskin's Unto this Last (1862) (both of which he translated into his
native Gujarati); William Salter's Ethical Religion (1889); Henry David Thoreau's On the Duty of Civil
Disobedience (1849); and Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894). Ruskin inspired his decision to live
an austere life on a commune, at first on the Phoenix Farm in Natal and then on the Tolstoy Farm just outside
Johannesburg, South Africa.[49]
Balkrishna Gokhale argues that Gandhi took his philosophy of history from Hinduism and Jainism, supplemented by
selected Christian traditions and ideas of Tolstoy and Ruskin. Hinduism provided central concepts of God's role in
history, of man as the battleground of forces of virtue and sin, and of the potential of love as an historical force. From
Jainism, Gandhi took the idea of applying nonviolence to human situations and the theory that Absolute Reality can
be comprehended only relatively in human affairs.[167]
Historian Howard Spodek argues for the importance of the culture of Gujarat in shaping Gandhi's methods. Spodek
finds that some of Gandhi's most effective methods such as fasting, non-co-operation and appeals to the justice and
compassion of the rulers were learned as a youth in Gujarat. Later on, the financial, cultural, organizational and
geographical support needed to bring his campaigns to a national audience were drawn from Ahmedabad and
Gujarat, his Indian residence 19151930.[168]
Tolstoy
Along with the book mentioned above, in 1908 Leo Tolstoy wrote A Letter to a Hindu, which said that only by using
love as a weapon throughpassive resistance could the Indian people overthrow colonial rule. In 1909, Gandhi wrote to
Tolstoy seeking advice and permission to republish A Letter to a Hindu in Gujarati. Tolstoy responded and the two
continued a correspondence until Tolstoy's death in 1910 (Tolstoy's last letter was to Gandhi). [169] The letters concern
practical and theological applications of nonviolence. [170] Gandhi saw himself a disciple of Tolstoy, for they agreed
regarding opposition to state authority and colonialism; both hated violence and preached non-resistance. However,
they differed sharply on political strategy. Gandhi called for political involvement; he was a nationalist and was
prepared to use nonviolent force. He was also willing to compromise. [171] It was at Tolstoy Farm where Gandhi
and Hermann Kallenbach systematically trained their disciples in the philosophy of nonviolence. [172]
Truth and Satyagraha
"God is truth. The way to truth lies through ahimsa (nonviolence)" Sabarmati 13 March 1927

Gandhi dedicated his life to the wider purpose of discovering truth, or Satya. He tried to achieve this by learning from
his own mistakes and conducting experiments on himself. He called his autobiography The Story of My Experiments
with Truth.[173]
Bruce Watson argues that Gandhi based Satyagraha on the Vedantic ideal of self-realization, and notes it also
contains Jain and Buddhist notions of nonviolence, vegetarianism, the avoidance of killing, and 'agape' (universal
love). Gandhi also borrowed Christian-Islamic ideas of equality, the brotherhood of man, and the concept of turning
the other cheek.[174]
Gandhi stated that the most important battle to fight was overcoming his own demons, fears, and insecurities. Gandhi
summarised his beliefs first when he said "God is Truth". He would later change this statement to "Truth is God".
Thus, satya (truth) in Gandhi's philosophy is "God".[175]
The essence of Satyagraha (a name Gandhi invented meaning "adherence to truth" [176]) is that it seeks to eliminate
antagonisms without harming the antagonists themselves and seeks to transform or "purify" it to a higher level. A
euphemism sometimes used for Satyagraha is that it is a "silent force" or a "soul force" (a term also used by Martin
Luther King Jr. during his famous "I Have a Dream" speech). It arms the individual with moral power rather than
physical power. Satyagraha is also termed a "universal force", as it essentially "makes no distinction between
kinsmen and strangers, young and old, man and woman, friend and foe." [177]
Gandhi wrote: "There must be no impatience, no barbarity, no insolence, no undue pressure. If we want to cultivate a
true spirit of democracy, we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause." [178] Civil
disobedience and non-co-operation as practised under Satyagraha are based on the "law of suffering", [179] a doctrine
thatthe endurance of suffering is a means to an end. This end usually implies a moral upliftment or progress of an
individual or society. Therefore, non-co-operation in Satyagraha is in fact a means to secure the co-operation of the
opponent consistently with truth and justice.[180]
Nonviolence
Although Gandhi was not the originator of the principle of nonviolence, he was the first to apply it in the political field
on a large scale.[181] The concept of nonviolence (ahimsa) and nonresistance has a long history in Indian religious
thought. Gandhi explains his philosophy and way of life in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth.
Gandhi realised later that this level of nonviolence required incredible faith and courage, which he believed everyone
did not possess. He therefore advised that everyone need not keep to nonviolence, especially if it were used as a
cover for cowardice, saying, "where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise
violence."[182][183]
Gandhi thus came under some political fire for his criticism of those who attempted to achieve independence through
more violent means. His refusal to protest against the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Udham
Singh and Rajguru were sources of condemnation among some parties.[184][185]
Of this criticism, Gandhi stated, "There was a time when people listened to me because I showed them how to give
fight to the British without arms when they had no arms ... but today I am told that my nonviolence can be of no avail
against the [HinduMuslim riots] and, therefore, people should arm themselves for self-defense." [186]
Gandhi's views came under heavy criticism in Britain when it was under attack from Nazi Germany, and later when
the Holocaustwas revealed. He told the British people in 1940, "I would like you to lay down the arms you have as
being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the
countries you call your possessions... If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they
do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will
refuse to owe allegiance to them." [187] George Orwellremarked that Gandhi's methods confronted 'an old-fashioned
and rather shaky despotism which treated him in a fairly chivalrous way', not a totalitarian Power, 'where political
opponents simply disappear.'[188]
In a post-war interview in 1946, he said, "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the
Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from
cliffs... It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany... As it is they succumbed anyway in their
millions."[189] Gandhi believed this act of "collective suicide", in response to the Holocaust, "would have been heroism".
[190]

Muslims
One of Gandhi's major strategies, first in South Africa and then in India, was uniting Muslims and Hindus to work
together in opposition to British imperialism. In 191922 he won strong Muslim support for his leadership in

the Khilafat Movement to support the historic Ottoman Caliphate. By 1924, that Muslim support had largely
evaporated.[191][192]
Jews
In 1931, he suggested that while he could understand the desire of European Jews to emigrate to Palestine, he
opposed any movement that supported British colonialism or violence. Muslims throughout India and the Middle East
strongly opposed the Zionist plan for a Jewish state in Palestine, and Gandhi (and Congress) supported the Muslims
in this regard. By the 1930s all major political groups in India opposed a Jewish state in Palestine. [193]
This led to discussions concerning the persecution of the Jews in Germany and the emigration of Jews from Europe
to Palestine, which Gandhi framed through the lens ofSatyagraha.[140][194] In 1937, Gandhi discussed Zionism with his
close Jewish friend Hermann Kallenbach. [195] He said that Zionism was not the right answer to the Jewish
problem[196] and instead recommended Satyagraha. Gandhi thought the Zionists in Palestine represented European
imperialism and used violence to achieve their goals; he argued that "the Jews should disclaim any intention of
realizing their aspiration under the protection of arms and should rely wholly on the goodwill of Arabs. No exception
can possibly be taken to the natural desire of the Jews to found a home in Palestine. But they must wait for its
fulfillment till Arab opinion is ripe for it." [140] In 1938, Gandhi stated that his "sympathies are all with the Jews. I have
known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions." Philosopher Martin Buber was
highly critical of Gandhi's approach and in 1939 wrote an open letter to him on the subject. Gandhi reiterated his
stance on the use of Satyagraha in Palestine in 1947. [197]
Vegetarianism, food, and animals
Stephen Hay argues that Gandhi looked into numerous religious and intellectual currents during his stay in London .
He especially appreciated how the theosophical movementencouraged a religious eclecticism and an antipathy
to atheism. Hay says the vegetarian movement had the greatest impact for it was Gandhi's point of entry into other
reformist agendas of the time.[198] The idea of vegetarianism is deeply ingrained in Hindu and Jain traditions in India,
especially in his native Gujarat. [199] Gandhi was close to the chairman of the London Vegetarian Society, Dr. Josiah
Oldfield, and corresponded with Henry Stephens Salt, a vegetarian campaigner. Gandhi became a strict vegetarian.
He wrote the bookThe Moral Basis of Vegetarianism and wrote for the London Vegetarian Society's publication.
[200]
Gandhi was somewhat of a food faddist. There is a wide spread rumour that Gandhi took his own goat all the way
to London which is wrong.[201]
Gandhi noted in The Story of My Experiments with Truth, that vegetarianism was the beginning of his deep
commitment to Brahmacharya; without total control of the palate, his success in following Brahmacharya would likely
falter. "You wish to know what the marks of a man are who wants to realise Truth which is God", he wrote. "He must
reduce himself to zero and have perfect control over all his senses-beginning with the palate or tongue." [202][203] Gandhi
also stated that he followed a fruitarian diet for five years but discontinued it due to pleurisy and pressure from his
doctor. He thereafter resumed a vegetarian diet. Gandhi also opposed vivisection: "Vivisection in my opinion is the
blackest of all the blackest crimes that man is at present committing against god and his fair creation." [204]
Fasting
Gandhi used fasting as a political device, often threatening suicide unless demands were met. Congress publicised
the fasts as a political action that generated widespread sympathy. In response the government tried to manipulate
news coverage to minimise his challenge to the Raj. He fasted in 1932 to protest the voting scheme for separate
political representation for Dalits; Gandhi did not want them segregated. The government stopped the London press
from showing photographs of his emaciated body, because it would elicit sympathy. Gandhi's 1943 hunger strike took
place during a two-year prison term for the anticolonial Quit India movement. The government called on nutritional
experts to demystify his action, and again no photos were allowed. However, his final fast in 1948, after India was
independent, was lauded by the British press and this time did include full-length photos. [205]
Alter argues that Gandhi's fixation on diet and celibacy were much deeper than exercises in self-discipline. Rather, his
beliefs regarding health offered a critique of both the traditional Hindu system of ayurvedic medicine and Western
concepts. This challenge was integral to his deeper challenge to tradition and modernity, as health and nonviolence
became part of the same ethics.[206]
Brahmacharya, celibacy
In 1906 Gandhi, although married and a father, vowed to abstain from sexual relations. In the 1940s, in his midseventies, he brought his grandniece Manubehn to sleep naked in his bed as part of a spiritual experiment in which
Gandhi could test himself as a "brahmachari". Several other young women and girls also sometimes shared his bed
as part of his experiments.[207] Most of the girls were postpubertal, but some were younger.[208] Gandhi's behaviour was

widely discussed and criticised by family members and leading politicians, including Nehru. His "half naked" costume
had long been the topic of ridicule in Britain and America. [209] Some members of his staff resigned, including two
editors of his newspaper who left after refusing to print parts of Gandhi's sermons dealing with his sleeping
arrangements. But Gandhi said that if he would not let Manu sleep with him, it would be a sign of weakness. [210]
Gandhi discussed his experiment with friends and relations; most disagreed and the experiment ceased in 1947.
[211]
Religious studies scholar Veena Howard argues that Gandhi made "creative use" [212]:130 of his celibacy and his
authority as a mahatma "to reinterpret religious norms and confront unjust social and religious conventions relegating
women to lower status." [212]:130 According to Howard, Gandhi "developed his discourse as a religious renouncer within
India's traditions to confront repressive social and religious customs regarding women and to bring them into the
public sphere, during a time when the discourse on celibacy was typically imbued with masculine rhetoric and
misogynist inferences.... his writings show a consistent evolution of his thought toward creating an equal playing field
for members of both sexes and even elevating women to a higher planeall through his discourse and unorthodox
practice of brahmacharya."[212]:137
Nai Talim, basic education
Main article: Nai Talim
Gandhi's educational policies reflected Nai Talim ('Basic Education for all'), a spiritual principle which states that
knowledge and work are not separate. It was a reaction against the British educational system and colonialism in
general, which had the negative effect of making Indian children alienated and career-based; it promoted disdain for
manual work, the development of a new elite class, and the increasing problems of industrialisation and urbanisation.
The three pillars of Gandhi's pedagogy were its focus on the lifelong character of education, its social character and
its form as a holistic process. For Gandhi, education is 'the moral development of the person', a process that is by
definition 'lifelong'.[213]
Nai Talim evolved out of the spiritually oriented education program at Tolstoy Farm in South Africa, and Gandhi's work
at the ashram at Sevagram after 1937. [214] After 1947 the Nehru government's vision of an industrialised,
centrally planned economy had scant place for Gandhi's village-oriented approach. [215]
Swaraj, self-rule
Main article: Swaraj
Rudolph argues that after a false start in trying to emulate the English in an attempt to overcome his timidity, Gandhi
discovered the inner courage he was seeking by helping his countrymen in South Africa. The new courage consisted
of observing the traditional Bengali way of "self-suffering" and, in finding his own courage, he was enabled also to
point out the way of 'Satyagraha' and 'ahimsa' to the whole of India. [216] Gandhi's writings expressed four meanings of
freedom: as India's national independence; as individual political freedom; as group freedom from poverty; and as the
capacity for personal self-rule.[217]
Gandhi was a self-described philosophical anarchist,[218] and his vision of India meant an India without an underlying
government.[219] He once said that "the ideally nonviolent state would be an ordered anarchy." [220] While political
systems are largely hierarchical, with each layer of authority from the individual to the central government have
increasing levels of authority over the layer below, Gandhi believed that society should be the exact opposite, where
nothing is done without the consent of anyone, down to the individual. His idea was that true self-rule in a country
means that every person rules his or herself and that there is no state which enforces laws upon the people. [221]
This would be achieved over time with nonviolent conflict mediation, as power is divested from layers of hierarchical
authorities, ultimately to the individual, which would come to embody the ethic of nonviolence. Rather than a system
where rights are enforced by a higher authority, people are self-governed by mutual responsibilities. On returning from
South Africa, when Gandhi received a letter asking for his participation in writing a world charter for human rights, he
responded saying, "in my experience, it is far more important to have a charter for human duties." [222]
An independent India did not mean merely transferring the established British administrative structure into Indian
hands. He warned, "you would make India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not Hindustan but
Englishtan. This is not the Swaraj I want." [223] Tewari argues that Gandhi saw democracy as more than a system of
government; it meant promoting both individuality and the self-discipline of the community. Democracy was a moral
system that distributed power and assisted the development of every social class, especially the lowest. It meant
settling disputes in a nonviolent manner; it required freedom of thought and expression. For Gandhi, democracy was
a way of life.[224]
Gandhian economics
Main article: Gandhian economics

A free India for Gandhi meant the flourishing of thousands of self-sufficient small communities who rule themselves
without hindering others. Gandhian economics focused on the need for economic self-sufficiency at the village level.
His policy of "sarvodaya"[225] called for ending poverty through improved agriculture and small-scale cottage industries
in every village.[226] Gandhi challenged Nehru and the modernizers in the late 1930s who called for rapid
industrialisation on the Soviet model; Gandhi denounced that as dehumanising and contrary to the needs of the
villages where the great majority of the people lived. [227] After Gandhi's death, Nehru led India to large-scale planning
that emphasised modernisation and heavy industry, while modernising agriculture through irrigation. Historian
Kuruvilla Pandikattu says "it was Nehru's vision, not Gandhi's, that was eventually preferred by the Indian
State."[228] After Gandhi's death, activists inspired by his vision promoted their opposition to industrialisation through
the teachings of Gandhian economics. According to Gandhi, "Poverty is the worst form of violence." [citation needed]
Criticism
In 2016, a group of Ghanaian academics, students and artists called for the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi
from a university campus. They accused Gandhi of being racist towards black people by holding the view that Indians
were higher than them.[229][230] This view was also held by two South African professors Ashwin Desai and Goolam
Vahed who claimed that Gandhi described black Africans as savage, raw and living a life of indolence and
nakedness. Gandhi also demanded separate entrances for blacks and Indians at the Durban post office while he was
living in South Africa.[231]
Literary works

Young India, a weekly journal published by Gandhi from 1919 to 1932


Gandhi was a prolific writer. One of Gandhi's earliest publications, Hind Swaraj, published in Gujarati in 1909, is
recognised[by whom?] as the intellectual blueprint of India's independence movement. The book was translated into
English the next year, with a copyright legend that read "No Rights Reserved". [232] For decades he edited several
newspapers including Harijan in Gujarati, in Hindi and in the English language; Indian Opinionwhile in South Africa
and, Young India, in English, and Navajivan, a Gujarati monthly, on his return to India. Later, Navajivan was also
published in Hindi. In addition, he wrote letters almost every day to individuals and newspapers. [233]
Gandhi also wrote several books including his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Gujart
" "), of which he bought the entire first edition to make sure it was reprinted. [100] His
other autobiographies included: Satyagraha in South Africa about his struggle there, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home
Rule, a political pamphlet, and a paraphrase in Gujarati of John Ruskin's Unto This Last.[234] This last essay can be
considered his programme on economics. He also wrote extensively on vegetarianism, diet and health, religion, social
reforms, etc. Gandhi usually wrote in Gujarati, though he also revised the Hindi and English translations of his books.
[235]

Gandhi's complete works were published by the Indian government under the name The Collected Works of
Mahatma Gandhi in the 1960s. The writings comprise about 50,000 pages published in about a hundred volumes. In
2000, a revised edition of the complete works sparked a controversy, as it contained a large number of errors and
omissions.[236] The Indian government later withdrew the revised edition. [237]
Legacy and depictions in popular culture
See also: List of artistic depictions of Mahatma Gandhi and List of roads named after Mahatma Gandhi

The word Mahatma, while often mistaken for Gandhi's given name in the West, is taken from
the Sanskrit words maha (meaning Great) and atma (meaning Soul). Rabindranath Tagore is said to have
accorded the title to Gandhi.[238] In his autobiography, Gandhi nevertheless explains that he never valued the title,
and was often pained by it.[239][240][241]

Innumerable streets, roads and localities in India are named after M.K.Gandhi. These include M.G.Road (the main
street of a number of Indian cities including Mumbai andBangalore), Gandhi Market (near Sion, Mumbai)
and Gandhinagar (the capital of the state of Gujarat, Gandhi's birthplace).[242]

Followers and international influence


Gandhi influenced important leaders and political movements. Leaders of the civil rights movement in the United
States, including Martin Luther King, James Lawson, and James Bevel, drew from the writings of Gandhi in the
development of their own theories about nonviolence. [243][244][245] King said "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma
Gandhi the tactics."[246] King sometimes referred to Gandhi as "the little brown saint." [247] Anti-apartheid activist and
former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was inspired by Gandhi.[248] Others include Khan Abdul Ghaffar
Khan,[249] Steve Biko, and Aung San Suu Kyi.[250]

In his early years, the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was a follower of the nonviolent resistance
philosophy of Gandhi.[248]Bhana and Vahed commented on these events as "Gandhi inspired succeeding generations
of South African activists seeking to end White rule. This legacy connects him to Nelson Mandela...in a sense
Mandela completed what Gandhi started."[65]
Gandhi's life and teachings inspired many who specifically referred to Gandhi as their mentor or who dedicated their
lives to spreading Gandhi's ideas. In Europe, Romain Rolland was the first to discuss Gandhi in his 1924
book Mahatma Gandhi, and Brazilian anarchist and feminist Maria Lacerda de Moura wrote about Gandhi in her work
on pacifism. In 1931, notable European physicist Albert Einstein exchanged written letters with Gandhi, and called
him "a role model for the generations to come" in a letter writing about him. [251] Einstein said of Gandhi:
Mahatma Gandhi's life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane
means for the liberation war of an oppressed country, and practised it with greatest energy and devotion. The moral
influence he had on the consciously thinking human being of the entire civilised world will probably be much more
lasting than it seems in our time with its overestimation of brutal violent forces. Because lasting will only be the work
of such statesmen who wake up and strengthen the moral power of their people through their example and
educational works. We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a
role model for the generations to come.
Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.
Lanza del Vasto went to India in 1936 intending to live with Gandhi; he later returned to Europe to spread Gandhi's
philosophy and founded the Community of the Ark in 1948 (modelled after Gandhi's ashrams). Madeleine
Slade (known as "Mirabehn") was the daughter of a British admiral who spent much of her adult life in India as a
devotee of Gandhi.[252][253]
In addition, the British musician John Lennon referred to Gandhi when discussing his views on nonviolence. [254] At
the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2007, former US Vice-President and environmentalist Al
Gore spoke of Gandhi's influence on him.[255]
US President Barack Obama in a 2010 address to the Parliament of India said that:
I am mindful that I might not be standing before you today, as President of the United States, had it not been for
Gandhi and the message he shared with America and the world. [256]
Obama in September 2009 said that his biggest inspiration came from Mahatma Gandhi. His reply was in response to
the question 'Who was the one person, dead or live, that you would choose to dine with?'. He continued that "He's
somebody I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. King with his message of nonviolence. He ended up doing so
much and changed the world just by the power of his ethics." [257]
Time Magazine named The 14th Dalai Lama, Lech Wasa, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Aung San Suu
Kyi, Benigno Aquino, Jr.,Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela as Children of Gandhi and his spiritual heirs to
nonviolence.[258] The Mahatma Gandhi District inHouston, Texas, United States, an ethnic Indian enclave, is officially
named after Gandhi.[259]
Global holidays
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared Gandhi's birthday 2 October as "the International Day of
Nonviolence."[260] First proposed by UNESCO in 1948, as the School Day of Nonviolence and Peace (DENIP in
Spanish),[261] 30 January is observed as the School Day of Nonviolence and Peace in schools of many countries[262] In
countries with a Southern Hemisphere school calendar, it is observed on 30 March. [262]
Time magazine named Gandhi the Man of the Year in 1930. Gandhi was also the runner-up to Albert Einstein as
"Person of the Century"[263]at the end of 1999. The Government of India awarded the annual Gandhi Peace Prize to
distinguished social workers, world leaders and citizens.Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa's struggle to
eradicate racial discrimination and segregation, was a prominent non-Indian recipient. In 2011, Time magazine
named Gandhi as one of the top 25 political icons of all time. [264]
Gandhi did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, although he was nominated five times between 1937 and 1948,
including the first-ever nomination by the American Friends Service Committee,[265] though he made the short list only
twice, in 1937 and 1947.[138] Decades later, the Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission, and
admitted to deeply divided nationalistic opinion denying the award. [138] Gandhi was nominated in 1948 but was
assassinated before nominations closed. That year, the committee chose not to award the peace prize stating that
"there was no suitable living candidate" and later research shows that the possibility of awarding the prize

posthumously to Gandhi was discussed and that the reference to no suitable living candidate was to Gandhi. [138] Geir
Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2006 said, "The greatest omission in our 106 year history is
undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace
prize, whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question". [266] When the 14th Dalai Lama was awarded
the Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma
Gandhi".[138]
Father of the Nation
Indians widely describe Gandhi as the father of the nation (Hindi: ).[7][8] The title "The Father of the Nation" for
Gandhi is not an official title and has not been officially accorded by Government of India. An RTI query filed by a 10year-old girl from Lucknow in February 2012 revealed thatPMO has no records of ever according such title to
Gandhi. MHA and National Archives of India also communicated of not having any records. Origin of this title is traced
back to aradio address (on Singapore radio) on 6 Jul 1944 by Subhash Chandra Bose where Bose addressed Gandhi
as "The Father of the Nation". On 28 April 1947, Sarojini Naidu during a conference also referred Gandhi as "Father
of the Nation".[267][268] The RTI applicant had also pleaded for Gandhi to be officially declared as "Father of the Nation"
to which the MHA informed that Gandhi cannot be accorded with the title by Government of India since the Indian
constitution does not permit any titles except educational and military titles. [268]
Film, theatre and literature
A 5 hours, 9 minutes long biographical documentary film, [269] Mahatma: Life of Gandhi, 18691948, made
by Vithalbhai Jhaveri[270] in 1968, quoting Gandhi's words and using black & white archival footage and photographs,
captures the history of those times. Ben Kingsley portrayed him in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film Gandhi, which
won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The 1996 film The Making of the Mahatma documented Gandhi's time in
South Africa and his transformation from an inexperienced barrister to recognised political leader. [271] Gandhi was a
central figure in the 2006 Bollywood comedy film Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Jahnu Barua's Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin
Mara (I did not kill Gandhi), places contemporary society as a backdrop with its vanishing memory of Gandhi's values
as a metaphor for the senile forgetfulness of the protagonist of his 2005 film, [272] writesVinay Lal.[273]
Anti-Gandhi themes have also been showcased through films and plays. The 1995 Marathi play Gandhi Virudh
Gandhi explored the relationship between Gandhi and his son Harilal. The 2007 film, Gandhi, My Father was inspired
on the same theme. The 1989 Marathi play Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy and the 1997 Hindi play Gandhi
Ambedkar criticised Gandhi and his principles.[274][275]
Several biographers have undertaken the task of describing Gandhi's life. Among them are D. G. Tendulkar with
his Mahatma. Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in eight volumes, and Pyarelal and Sushila Nayyar with
their Mahatma Gandhi in 10 volumes. The 2010 biography, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With
India by Joseph Lelyveld contained controversial material speculating about Gandhi's sexual life. [276] Lelyveld,
however, stated that the press coverage "grossly distort[s]" the overall message of the book. [277] The 2014
film Welcome Back Gandhi takes a fictionalised look at how Gandhi might react to modern day India. [278]
"Mahatma Gandhi" is used by Cole Porter in his lyrics for the song You're the Top which is included in the 1934
musical Anything Goes. In the song Porter rhymes "Mahatma Gandhi' with "Napoleon Brandy."
Current impact within India
India, with its rapid economic modernisation and urbanisation, has rejected Gandhi's economics[279] but accepted
much of his politics and continues to revere his memory. Reporter Jim Yardley notes that, "modern India is hardly a
Gandhian nation, if it ever was one. His vision of a village-dominated economy was shunted aside during his lifetime
as rural romanticism, and his call for a national ethos of personal austerity and nonviolence has proved antithetical to
the goals of an aspiring economic and military power." By contrast Gandhi is "given full credit for India's political
identity as a tolerant, secular democracy."
Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, is a national holiday in India, Gandhi Jayanti. Gandhi's image also appears on paper
currency of all denominations issued by Reserve Bank of India, except for the one rupee note. [281] Gandhi's date of
death, 30 January, is commemorated as a Martyrs' Day in India.[282]
There are three temples in India dedicated to Gandhi. [283] One is located at Sambalpur in Orissa and the second at
Nidaghatta village near Kadur in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka and the third one at Chityal in the district
of Nalgonda, Telangana.[283][284] The Gandhi Memorial in Kanyakumari resembles central Indian Hindu temples and
the Tamukkam or Summer Palace in Madurai now houses the Mahatma Gandhi Museum.[285]

E.

Jose W. Diokno

Jose "Pepe" Wright Diokno (February 26, 1922 February 27, 1987) was a Filipino nationalist. He served as Senator of
the Philippines, Secretary of Justice, founding chair of the Commission on Human Rights, and founder of the Free Legal
Assistance Group.
Diokno is the only person to top both the Philippine Bar Examination and the board exam for Certified Public
Accountants (CPA). His career was dedicated to the promotion of human rights, the defense of Philippine sovereignty, and
the enactment pro-Filipino economic legislation.
In 2004, Diokno was posthumously conferred the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Supremothe Philippines' highest
honor.[2]February 27 is celebrated in the country as Jose W. Diokno Day.[3]
Early life and education
Jose W. Diokno was born in Manila on Feb. 26, 1922, to Ramon Diokno, a former senator and Justice of the Supreme
Court, and Leonor Wright, a British mestiza. His grandfather was Ananias Diokno, a general in the Philippine
Revolution and the Philippine-American War.
In 1937, Diokno graduated as valedictorian of his high school class at De La Salle College, Manila, and went on to study
commerce, also at De La Salle University. he graduated from college summa cum laude at age 17. Diokno took the CPA
board examinationsfor which he had to secure special dispensation, since he was too young. [4]
After Diokno enrolled in law at the University of Santo Tomas, his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.
During the war, Diokno continued his education by reading his father's law books. When the war was over, he was granted
a special dispensation by the Supreme Court of the Philippines and allowed to take the Philippine Bar
Examination despite having never completed a law degree.[4]
Secretary of Justice
Immediately after passing the Bar, Diokno embarked on his law practice, handling and winning high-profile cases, such as
successfully battling libel charges against Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson, and winning an election case on behalf of his
father, Ramon.
With his reputation as a legal practitioner, in 1961, Diokno was appointed Secretary of Justice by President Diosdado
Macapagal.
In March 1962, Diokno ordered a raid on a firm owned by Harry S. Stonehill, an American businessman who was
suspected of tax evasion and bribing public officials, among other crimes. Diokno's investigation of Stonehill further
revealed corruption within government ranks, and as Secretary of Justice, he prepared to prosecute those involved.
However, President Macapagal intervened, accepting a deal that absolved Stonehill in exchange for his deportment, then
ordering Diokno to resign. Diokno questioned Macapagal's actions, saying, "How can the government now prosecute the
corrupted when it has allowed the corrupter to go?" [5]
Senator
Months later, Diokno ran for senator under the Nacionalista Party in the 1963 elections, and won.
Senator Diokno became chairman of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, and worked for the passage of pro-Filipino
legislation, including what is considered to be the most important incentive law in the country, RA 5186, also known as the
Investment Incentives Act of 1967, which provides incentives to Filipino investors and entrepreneurs in order to place
control of the Philippine economy in the hands of Filipinos. It also led to the foundation of the Board of Investments, the
premier government agency responsible for propagating investments in the Philippines.
Diokno authored the Oil Industry Commission Bill and the Joint Resolution No. 2, which set the policies for economic
development and social progress. He also co-authored the Export Incentives Act of 1970 and the Revised Election Law,
among many others.
For his performance as legislator, Diokno was named Outstanding Senator by the Philippines Free Press from 1967 to
1970, making him the only legislator to receive the recognition for four successive years.

Martial Law
In the early 1970s, Diokno sensed a shift in the Marcos presidency toward authoritarianism. Diokno and Ferdinand
Marcos were members of the Nacionalista Party, but when Marcos suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,
Diokno resigned from the party in protest and took to the streets. [4]
Following the Jabidah Massacre, where 14 Muslim youths were gunned down in Corregidor by Marcos' military, Diokno
called on the administration to respect its citizens, saying in an oft-quoted speech, "No cause is more worthy than the
cause of human rights... they are what makes a man human. Deny them and you deny man's humanity." [6]
Diokno's second term as Senator was cut short on Sept. 21, 1972, when Marcos declared Martial Law. Shortly after the
declaration, Diokno was arrested by the dictatorship. Six carloads of armed soldiers visited Diokno at his home to invite
him for questioning. They had no warrant. [4] Diokno was then brought to Camp Crame, and later, Fort Bonifacio, where he
was detained along with Ninoy Aquino and Chino Roces. Diokno and Aquino, whom the dictatorship considered their
foremost opponents, were later transferred to solitary confinement in Laur, Nueva Ecija.
Diokno spent nearly two years in detention. No charge was ever filed against him. Diokno was released arbitrarily on
Sept. 11, 1974Marcoss 57th birthday.
Human rights work
Immediately after his release, Diokno set up the Free Legal Assistance Group in 1974, which gave free legal services to
the victims of martial law. It was the first and largest association of human rights attorneys ever assembled in the nation.
In court, Diokno personally defended tribal groups, peasants, social workers threatened by exploitation and military
atrocities. He was also involved in documenting cases of torture, summary execution, and disappearances under the
Marcos regime.[4]
Diokno had no fear of being arrested again, and went around and outside the Philippines, spreading a message of hope
and democracy. In another oft-quoted speech, he once quipped:
And so law in the land died. I grieve for it but I do not despair over it. I know, with a certainty no argument can turn, no
wind can shake, that from its dust will rise a new and better law: more just, more human, and more humane. When that
will happen, I know not. That it will happen, I know.[6]
People Power
After the 1986 People Power Revolution, Diokno was appointed by President Corazon Aquino as founding chairman of
the Presidential Committee on Human Rights, and tasked to lead a government panel to negotiate for the return of rebel
forces to the government folds.
Diokno would be disappointed, however, by the Mendiola Massacre of January 22, 1987, where 15 farmers staging a
peaceful rally in Mendiola were gunned down by the military under Aquino. Diokno resigned from his two government
posts in deep disgust and great sadness. Daughter Maris says, "It was the only time we saw him near tears. [4]
Death and legacy
In 1984, even before People Power, Diokno had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He had smoked all his adult
life. Diokno continued to work, despite his illness, until his death on Feb. 27, 1987one day after his 65th birthday.
Following Diokno's death, President Cory Aquino declared March 212, 1987 as a period of national mourning.
Expressing her grief, Aquino said, "Pepe braved the Marcos dictatorship with a dignified and eloquent courage our country
will long remember."[7] She quoted what her husband Ninoy would often tell his friends that he was "the one man he would
unquestioningly follow to the ends of the earth."
In 2004, Diokno was posthumously conferred the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Supremothe Philippines' highest
honor.[2] February 27 is celebrated in the country as Jose W. Diokno Day.[3]
In 2005, the first ever "Ka Pepe Diokno Champion of Human Rights" award was given to Voltaire Y. Rosales, Executive
Judge of Tanauan, Batangas for his effort in protecting the downtrodden. Subsequent annual awards have been given to
worthy candidates who, in their life and death, fulfilled the values of protecting human rights just as Senator Diokno. [8]
In 2007, by virtue of Republic Act No. 9468, Bay Boulevard, a 4.38 kilometer road in Pasay and Paraaque cities was
renamed Jose Diokno Boulevard in his honor and memory.

Personal life
Sen. Diokno was married to Carmen Icasiano, with whom he had ten (10) children: Carmen Leonor, Jose Ramon, Maria
de la Paz, Maria Serena, Maria Teresa, Maria Socorro, Jose Miguel, Jose Manuel, Maria Victoria and Martin Jose.
Maria Serena, or "Maris," a historian, is the current chair of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and
former Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of the Philippines.
Jose Manuel, or "Chel," is a human rights lawyer, Chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group, Founding Dean of
the De La Salle University College of Law, and former Special Counsel of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
His grandson Jose Lorenzo "Pepe" Diokno is the executive director of alternative education group Rock Ed
Philippines[9] and is best known a motion picture director, producer andscreenwriter whose debut film, Engkwentro won
the Venice Film Festivals Lion of the Future Award in 2009, as well as Venices Orizzonti Prize, the NETPAC Award for
Best Asian Film, and the Gawad Urian for Best Editing.
Publications
A Nation for Our Children, a collection of Jose W. Dioknos essays and speeches on human rights, nationalism, and
Philippine sovereignty, was published in 1987 by the Diokno Foundation. The collection is named after Diokno's popular
speech, in which he says,
There is one dream that all Filipinos share: that our children may have a better life than we have had. So there is one
vision that is distinctly Filipino: the vision to make this country, our country, a nation for our children. [6]
Several parts of the book are now accessible online, at The Diokno Foundation
Famous quotes

"No cause is more worthy than the cause of human rights... they are what makes a man human. Deny them and
you deny man's humanity."

"There is one dream that we all Filipinos share: that our children may have a better life than we have had. To
make this country, our country, a nation for our children."

"Law in the land died. I grieve for it but I do not despair over it. I know, with a certainty no argument can turn, no
wind can shake, that from its dust will rise a new and better law: more just, more human, and more humane. When
that will happen, I know not. That it will happen, I know."

"We are one nation with one future, a future that will be as bright or as dark as we remain united or divided."

"Authoritarianism does not let people decide; its basic premise is that people do not know how to decide. It
promotes repression that prevents meaningful change, and preserves the structure of power and privilege."

"Yes-men are not compatible with democracy. We can strengthen our leaders by pointing out what they are doing
that is wrong."

"The point is not to make a perfect world, just a better one and that is difficult enough."

"Do not forget: We Filipinos are the first Asian people who revolted against a western imperial power, Spain; the
first who adopted a democratic republican constitution in Asia, the Malolos Constitution; the first to fight the first major
war of the twentieth century against another western imperial power, the United States of America. There is no
insurmountable barrier that could stop us from becoming what we want to be."

"All of us are Filipinos not only because we are brothers in blood, but because we are all brothers in tears; not
because we all share the same land, but because we share the same dream."

"Reality is often much more beautiful than anything that we can conceive of. If we can release the creative energy
of our people, then we will have a nation full of hope and full of joy, full of life and full of love a nation that may not
be a nation for our children but which will be a nation of our children."

CASES
A.

RULE 138: Attorneys and Admission to Bar

Section 1. Who may practice law. Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in
accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.
Section 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a
citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and resident of the Philippines; and must produce
before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude,
have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines.
B.

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL.,

DIOKNO, J.:
In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as Republic Act No. 972, popularly known
as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953." Under the Rules of Court governing admission to the bar, "in order that a candidate (for admission to
the Bar) may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all
subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject." (Rule 127, sec. 14, Rules of Court). Nevertheless, considering the varying
difficulties of the different bar examinations held since 1946 and the varying degree of strictness with which the examination papers
were graded, this court passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an average of only 72 per cent in 1946, 69
per cent in 1947, 70 per cent in 1948, and 74 per cent in 1949. In 1950 to 1953, the 74 per cent was raised to 75 per cent.
Believing themselves as fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by this court, and feeling conscious of having
been discriminated against (See Explanatory Note to R.A. No. 972), unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a few
percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar agitated in Congress for, and secured in 1951 the passage of Senate Bill No. 12
which, among others, reduced the passing general average in bar examinations to 70 per cent effective since 1946. The President
requested the views of this court on the bill. Complying with that request, seven members of the court subscribed to and submitted
written comments adverse thereto, and shortly thereafter the President vetoed it. Congress did not override the veto. Instead, it
approved Senate Bill No. 371, embodying substantially the provisions of the vetoed bill. Although the members of this court reiterated
their unfavorable views on the matter, the President allowed the bill to become a law on June 21, 1953 without his signature. The law,
which incidentally was enacted in an election year, reads in full as follows:
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972 AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM NINETEEN HUNDRED AND
FORTY-SIX UP TO AND INCLUDING NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section fourteen, Rule numbered one hundred twenty-seven of the Rules of Court,
any bar candidate who obtained a general average of seventy per cent in any bar examinations after July fourth, nineteen hundred
and forty-six up to the August nineteen hundred and fifty-one bar examinations; seventy-one per cent in the nineteen hundred and
fifty-two bar examinations; seventy-two per cent in the in the nineteen hundred and fifty-three bar examinations; seventy-three per
cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-four bar examinations; seventy-four per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-five bar
examinations without a candidate obtaining a grade below fifty per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the
corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar: Provided, however, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact onehalf or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the next whole number.
SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of seventy-five per cent in any subject in any bar examination after July fourth,
nineteen hundred and forty-six shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be
included in computing the passing general average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may
take.
SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. Enacted on June 21, 1953, without the Executive approval.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar invoking its provisions, while
others whose motions for the revision of their examination papers were still pending also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional
ground for admission. There are also others who have sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the
law in question. To avoid injustice to individual petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of
whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972. Unfortunately, the court has found no reason to revise their grades. If they are to
be admitted to the bar, it must be pursuant to Republic Act No. 972 which, if declared valid, should be applied equally to all concerned
whether they have filed petitions or not. A complete list of the petitioners, properly classified, affected by this decision, as well as a more
detailed account of the history of Republic Act No. 972, are appended to this decision as Annexes I and II. And to realize more readily
the effects of the law, the following statistical data are set forth:
(1) The unsuccessful bar candidates who are to be benefited by section 1 of Republic Act No. 972 total 1,168, classified as follows:***
Of the total 1,168 candidates, 92 have passed in subsequent examination, and only 586 have filed either motions for admission to the
bar pursuant to said Republic Act, or mere motions for reconsideration.
(2) In addition, some other 10 unsuccessful candidates are to be benefited by section 2 of said Republic Act. These candidates had
each taken from two to five different examinations, but failed to obtain a passing average in any of them. Consolidating, however, their
highest grades in different subjects in previous examinations, with their latest marks, they would be sufficient to reach the passing
average as provided for by Republic Act No. 972.
(3) The total number of candidates to be benefited by this Republic Acts is therefore 1,094, of which only 604 have filed petitions. Of
these 604 petitioners, 33 who failed in 1946 to 1951 had individually presented motions for reconsideration which were denied, while
125 unsuccessful candidates of 1952, and 56 of 1953, had presented similar motions, which are still pending because they could be
favorably affected by Republic Act No. 972, although as has been already stated, this tribunal finds no sufficient reasons to
reconsider their grades
UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
Having been called upon to enforce a law of far-reaching effects on the practice of the legal profession and the administration of justice,
and because some doubts have been expressed as to its validity, the court set the hearing of the afore-mentioned petitions for
admission on the sole question of whether or not Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional.
We have been enlightened in the study of this question by the brilliant assistance of the members of the bar who have amply argued,
orally an in writing, on the various aspects in which the question may be gleaned. The valuable studies of Messrs. E. Voltaire Garcia,
Vicente J. Francisco, Vicente Pelaez and Buenaventura Evangelista, in favor of the validity of the law, and of the U.P. Women's
Lawyers' Circle, the Solicitor General, Messrs. Arturo A. Alafriz, Enrique M. Fernando, Vicente Abad Santos, Carlos A. Barrios, Vicente
del Rosario, Juan de Blancaflor, Mamerto V. Gonzales, and Roman Ozaeta against it, aside from the memoranda of counsel for
petitioners, Messrs. Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo and Antonio Enrile Inton, and of petitioners Cabrera, Macasaet
and Galema themselves, has greatly helped us in this task. The legal researchers of the court have exhausted almost all Philippine and
American jurisprudence on the matter. The question has been the object of intense deliberation for a long time by the Tribunal, and

finally, after the voting, the preparation of the majority opinion was assigned to a new member in order to place it as humanly as
possible above all suspicion of prejudice or partiality.
Republic Act No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who suffered from insufficiency of
reading materials and inadequate preparation. Quoting a portion of the Explanatory Note of the proposed bill, its author Honorable
Senator Pablo Angeles David stated:
The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade is the tremendous handicap which students during the years
immediately after the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of
the preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation.
Of the 9,675 candidates who took the examinations from 1946 to 1952, 5,236 passed. And now it is claimed that in addition 604
candidates be admitted (which in reality total 1,094), because they suffered from "insufficiency of reading materials" and of "inadequacy
of preparation."
By its declared objective, the law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who confessedly had inadequate
preparation for the practice of the profession, as was exactly found by this Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. The public interest
demands of legal profession adequate preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problem evolved by the times become
more difficult. An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital requisites for the practice of law that should be developed constantly and
maintained firmly. To the legal profession is entrusted the protection of property, life, honor and civil liberties. To approve officially of
those inadequately prepared individuals to dedicate themselves to such a delicate mission is to create a serious social danger.
Moreover, the statement that there was an insufficiency of legal reading materials is grossly exaggerated. There were abundant
materials. Decisions of this court alone in mimeographed copies were made available to the public during those years and private
enterprises had also published them in monthly magazines and annual digests. The Official Gazette had been published continuously.
Books and magazines published abroad have entered without restriction since 1945. Many law books, some even with revised and
enlarged editions have been printed locally during those periods. A new set of Philippine Reports began to be published since 1946,
which continued to be supplemented by the addition of new volumes. Those are facts of public knowledge.
Notwithstanding all these, if the law in question is valid, it has to be enforced.
The question is not new in its fundamental aspect or from the point of view of applicable principles, but the resolution of the question
would have been easier had an identical case of similar background been picked out from the jurisprudence we daily consult. Is there
any precedent in the long Anglo-Saxon legal history, from which has been directly derived the judicial system established here with its
lofty ideals by the Congress of the United States, and which we have preserved and attempted to improve, or in our contemporaneous
judicial history of more than half a century? From the citations of those defending the law, we can not find a case in which the validity of
a similar law had been sustained, while those against its validity cite, among others, the cases of Day ( In re Day, 54 NE 646), of
Cannon (State vs. Cannon, 240 NW, 441), the opinion of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1932 (81 ALR 1061), of Guaria (24
Phil., 37), aside from the opinion of the President which is expressed in his vote of the original bill and which the postponement of the
contested law respects.
This law has no precedent in its favor. When similar laws in other countries had been promulgated, the judiciary immediately declared
them without force or effect. It is not within our power to offer a precedent to uphold the disputed law.
To be exact, we ought to state here that we have examined carefully the case that has been cited to us as a favorable precedent of the
law that of Cooper (22 NY, 81), where the Court of Appeals of New York revoked the decision of the Supreme court of that State,
denying the petition of Cooper to be admitted to the practice of law under the provisions of a statute concerning the school of law of
Columbia College promulgated on April 7, 1860, which was declared by the Court of Appeals to be consistent with the Constitution of
the state of New York.
It appears that the Constitution of New York at that time provided:
They (i.e., the judges) shall not hold any other office of public trust. All votes for either of them for any elective office except that of
the Court of Appeals, given by the Legislature or the people, shall be void. They shall not exercise any power of appointment to
public office. Any male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, of good moral character, and who possesses the requisite
qualifications of learning and ability, shall be entitled to admission to practice in all the courts of this State. (p. 93).
According to the Court of Appeals, the object of the constitutional precept is as follows:
Attorneys, solicitors, etc., were public officers; the power of appointing them had previously rested with the judges, and this was the
principal appointing power which they possessed. The convention was evidently dissatisfied with the manner in which this power
had been exercised, and with the restrictions which the judges had imposed upon admission to practice before them. The
prohibitory clause in the section quoted was aimed directly at this power, and the insertion of the provision" expecting the
admission of attorneys, in this particular section of the Constitution, evidently arose from its connection with the object of this
prohibitory clause. There is nothing indicative of confidence in the courts or of a disposition to preserve any portion of their power
over this subject, unless the Supreme Court is right in the inference it draws from the use of the word `admission' in the action
referred to. It is urged that the admission spoken of must be by the court; that to admit means to grant leave, and that the power of
granting necessarily implies the power of refusing, and of course the right of determining whether the applicant possesses the
requisite qualifications to entitle him to admission.
These positions may all be conceded, without affecting the validity of the act. (p. 93.)
Now, with respect to the law of April 7, 1860, the decision seems to indicate that it provided that the possession of a diploma of the
school of law of Columbia College conferring the degree of Bachelor of Laws was evidence of the legal qualifications that the
constitution required of applicants for admission to the Bar. The decision does not however quote the text of the law, which we cannot
find in any public or accessible private library in the country.
In the case of Cooper, supra, to make the law consistent with the Constitution of New York, the Court of Appeals said of the object of
the law:
The motive for passing the act in question is apparent. Columbia College being an institution of established reputation, and
having a law department under the charge of able professors, the students in which department were not only subjected to a
formal examination by the law committee of the institution, but to a certain definite period of study before being entitled to a
diploma of being graduates, the Legislature evidently, and no doubt justly, considered this examination, together with the
preliminary study required by the act, as fully equivalent as a test of legal requirements, to the ordinary examination by the
court; and as rendering the latter examination, to which no definite period of preliminary study was essential, unnecessary and
burdensome.
The act was obviously passed with reference to the learning and ability of the applicant, and for the mere purpose of
substituting the examination by the law committee of the college for that of the court. It could have had no other object, and
hence no greater scope should be given to its provisions. We cannot suppose that the Legislature designed entirely to
dispense with the plain and explicit requirements of the Constitution; and the act contains nothing whatever to indicate an
intention that the authorities of the college should inquire as to the age, citizenship, etc., of the students before granting a
diploma. The only rational interpretation of which the act admits is, that it was intended to make the college diploma competent
evidence as to the legal attainments of the applicant, and nothing else. To this extent alone it operates as a modification of preexisting statutes, and it is to be read in connection with these statutes and with the Constitution itself in order to determine the
present condition of the law on the subject. (p.89)
xxx
xxx
xxx
The Legislature has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of admission, that has simply prescribed what
shall be competent evidence in certain cases upon that question. (p.93)

From the foregoing, the complete inapplicability of the case of Cooper with that at bar may be clearly seen. Please note only the
following distinctions:
(1) The law of New York does not require that any candidate of Columbia College who failed in the bar examinations be admitted to the
practice of law.
(2) The law of New York according to the very decision of Cooper, has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of
admission of attorney at law; in effect, it does not decree the admission of any lawyer.
(3) The Constitution of New York at that time and that of the Philippines are entirely different on the matter of admission of the practice
of law.
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law
in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been disputably a judicial function and responsibility. Because of this
attribute, its continuous and zealous possession and exercise by the judicial power have been demonstrated during more than six
centuries, which certainly "constitutes the most solid of titles." Even considering the power granted to Congress by our Constitution to
repeal, alter supplement the rules promulgated by this Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, to our judgment and
proposition that the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of the attorneys at law is a legislative function, properly
belonging to Congress, is unacceptable. The function requires (1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete facts,
whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals. and (3) decision as to whether these facts are governed by the rules and
principles; in effect, a judicial function of the highest degree. And it becomes more undisputably judicial, and not legislative, if previous
judicial resolutions on the petitions of these same individuals are attempted to be revoked or modified.
We have said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting, suspending, disbarring and reinstating
attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly judicial. A comprehensive and conscientious study of this matter had
been undertaken in the case of State vs. Cannon (1932) 240 NW 441, in which the validity of a legislative enactment providing that
Cannon be permitted to practice before the courts was discussed. From the text of this decision we quote the following paragraphs:
This statute presents an assertion of legislative power without parallel in the history of the English speaking people so far as
we have been able to ascertain. There has been much uncertainty as to the extent of the power of the Legislature to prescribe
the ultimate qualifications of attorney at law has been expressly committed to the courts, and the act of admission has always
been regarded as a judicial function. This act purports to constitute Mr. Cannon an attorney at law, and in this respect it stands
alone as an assertion of legislative power. (p. 444)
Under the Constitution all legislative power is vested in a Senate and Assembly. (Section 1, art. 4.) In so far as the prescribing
of qualifications for admission to the bar are legislative in character, the Legislature is acting within its constitutional authority
when it sets up and prescribes such qualifications. (p. 444)
But when the Legislature has prescribed those qualifications which in its judgment will serve the purpose of legitimate
legislative solicitude, is the power of the court to impose other and further exactions and qualifications foreclosed or
exhausted? (p. 444)
Under our Constitution the judicial and legislative departments are distinct, independent, and coordinate branches of the
government. Neither branch enjoys all the powers of sovereignty which properly belongs to its department. Neither department
should so act as to embarrass the other in the discharge of its respective functions. That was the scheme and thought of the
people setting upon the form of government under which we exist. State vs. Hastings, 10 Wis., 525; Attorney General ex rel.
Bashford vs. Barstow, 4 Wis., 567. (p. 445)
The judicial department of government is responsible for the plane upon which the administration of justice is maintained. Its
responsibility in this respect is exclusive. By committing a portion of the powers of sovereignty to the judicial department of our
state government, under 42a scheme which it was supposed rendered it immune from embarrassment or interference by any
other department of government, the courts cannot escape responsibility fir the manner in which the powers of sovereignty
thus committed to the judicial department are exercised. (p. 445)
The relation at the bar to the courts is a peculiar and intimate relationship. The bar is an attache of the courts. The quality of
justice dispense by the courts depends in no small degree upon the integrity of its bar. An unfaithful bar may easily bring
scandal and reproach to the administration of justice and bring the courts themselves into disrepute. (p.445)
Through all time courts have exercised a direct and severe supervision over their bars, at least in the English speaking
countries. (p. 445)
After explaining the history of the case, the Court ends thus:
Our conclusion may be epitomized as follows: For more than six centuries prior to the adoption of our Constitution, the courts
of England, concededly subordinate to Parliament since the Revolution of 1688, had exercise the right of determining who
should be admitted to the practice of law, which, as was said in Matter of the Sergeant's at Law, 6 Bingham's New Cases 235,
"constitutes the most solid of all titles." If the courts and judicial power be regarded as an entity, the power to determine who
should be admitted to practice law is a constituent element of that entity. It may be difficult to isolate that element and say with
assurance that it is either a part of the inherent power of the court, or an essential element of the judicial power exercised by
the court, but that it is a power belonging to the judicial entity and made of not only a sovereign institution, but made of it a
separate independent, and coordinate branch of the government. They took this institution along with the power traditionally
exercise to determine who should constitute its attorney at law. There is no express provision in the Constitution which
indicates an intent that this traditional power of the judicial department should in any manner be subject to legislative control.
Perhaps the dominant thought of the framers of our constitution was to make the three great departments of government
separate and independent of one another. The idea that the Legislature might embarrass the judicial department by
prescribing inadequate qualifications for attorneys at law is inconsistent with the dominant purpose of making the judicial
independent of the legislative department, and such a purpose should not be inferred in the absence of express constitutional
provisions. While the legislature may legislate with respect to the qualifications of attorneys, but is incidental merely to its
general and unquestioned power to protect the public interest. When it does legislate a fixing a standard of qualifications
required of attorneys at law in order that public interests may be protected, such qualifications do not constitute only a
minimum standard and limit the class from which the court must make its selection. Such legislative qualifications do not
constitute the ultimate qualifications beyond which the court cannot go in fixing additional qualifications deemed necessary by
the course of the proper administration of judicial functions. There is no legislative power to compel courts to admit to their
bars persons deemed by them unfit to exercise the prerogatives of an attorney at law. (p. 450)
Furthermore, it is an unlawful attempt to exercise the power of appointment. It is quite likely true that the legislature may
exercise the power of appointment when it is in pursuance of a legislative functions. However, the authorities are well-nigh
unanimous that the power to admit attorneys to the practice of law is a judicial function. In all of the states, except New Jersey
(In re Reisch, 83 N.J. Eq. 82, 90 A. 12), so far as our investigation reveals, attorneys receive their formal license to practice
law by their admission as members of the bar of the court so admitting. Cor. Jur. 572; Ex parte Secombre, 19 How. 9,15 L. Ed.
565; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333, 18 L. Ed. 366; Randall vs. Brigham, 7 Wall. 53, 19 L. Ed. 285; Hanson vs. Grattan, 48 Kan,
843, 115 P. 646, 34 L.R.A. 519; Danforth vs. Egan, 23 S. D. 43, 119 N.W. 1021, 130 Am. St. Rep. 1030, 20 Ann. Cas. 413.
The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it having been so generally
held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the judgment of the court, and an attempt as this on the part
of the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most exceedingly uncommon, it seems clear that the licensing of an
attorney is and always has been a purely judicial function, no matter where the power to determine the qualifications may
reside. (p. 451)

In that same year of 1932, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, in answering a consultation of the Senate of that State, 180 NE 725,
said:
It is indispensible to the administration of justice and to interpretation of the laws that there be members of the bar of sufficient
ability, adequate learning and sound moral character. This arises from the need of enlightened assistance to the honest, and
restraining authority over the knavish, litigant. It is highly important, also that the public be protected from incompetent and
vicious practitioners, whose opportunity for doing mischief is wide. It was said by Cardoz, C.L., in People ex rel. Karlin vs.
Culkin, 242 N.Y. 456, 470, 471, 162 N.E. 487, 489, 60 A.L.R. 851: "Membership in the bar is a privilege burden with
conditions." One is admitted to the bar "for something more than private gain." He becomes an "officer of the court", and ,like
the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the end of justice. His cooperation with the court is due "whenever justice
would be imperiled if cooperation was withheld." Without such attorneys at law the judicial department of government would be
hampered in the performance of its duties. That has been the history of attorneys under the common law, both in this country
and England. Admission to practice as an attorney at law is almost without exception conceded to be a judicial function.
Petition to that end is filed in courts, as are other proceedings invoking judicial action. Admission to the bar is accomplish and
made open and notorious by a decision of the court entered upon its records. The establishment by the Constitution of the
judicial department conferred authority necessary to the exercise of its powers as a coordinate department of government. It is
an inherent power of such a department of government ultimately to determine the qualifications of those to be admitted to
practice in its courts, for assisting in its work, and to protect itself in this respect from the unfit, those lacking in sufficient
learning, and those not possessing good moral character. Chief Justice Taney stated succinctly and with finality in Ex
parte Secombe, 19 How. 9, 13, 15 L. Ed. 565, "It has been well settled, by the rules and practice of common-law courts, that it
rests exclusively with the court to determine who is qualified to become one of its officers, as an attorney and counselor, and
for what cause he ought to be removed." (p.727)
In the case of Day and others who collectively filed a petition to secure license to practice the legal profession by virtue of a law of state
(In re Day, 54 NE 646), the court said in part:
In the case of Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall, 333, 18 L. Ed. 366, the court, holding the test oath for attorneys to be unconstitutional,
explained the nature of the attorney's office as follows: "They are officers of the court, admitted as such by its order, upon
evidence of their possessing sufficient legal learning and fair private character. It has always been the general practice in this
country to obtain this evidence by an examination of the parties. In this court the fact of the admission of such officers in the
highest court of the states to which they, respectively, belong for, three years preceding their application, is regarded as
sufficient evidence of the possession of the requisite legal learning, and the statement of counsel moving their admission
sufficient evidence that their private and professional character is fair. The order of admission is the judgment of the court that
the parties possess the requisite qualifications as attorneys and counselors, and are entitled to appear as such and conduct
causes therein. From its entry the parties become officers of the court, and are responsible to it for professional misconduct.
They hold their office during good behavior, and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by the
judgment of the court after opportunity to be heard has been afforded. Ex parte Hoyfron, admission or their exclusion is not the
exercise of a mere ministerial power. It is the exercise of judicial power, and has been so held in numerous cases. It was so
held by the court of appeals of New York in the matter of the application of Cooper for admission. Re Cooper 22 N. Y. 81.
"Attorneys and Counselors", said that court, "are not only officers of the court, but officers whose duties relate almost
exclusively to proceedings of a judicial nature; and hence their appointment may, with propriety, be entrusted to the court, and
the latter, in performing his duty, may very justly considered as engaged in the exercise of their appropriate judicial functions."
(pp. 650-651).
We quote from other cases, the following pertinent portions:
Admission to practice of law is almost without exception conceded everywhere to be the exercise of a judicial function, and this
opinion need not be burdened with citations in this point. Admission to practice have also been held to be the exercise of one
of the inherent powers of the court. Re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 Pac. 906.
Admission to the practice of law is the exercise of a judicial function, and is an inherent power of the court. A.C.
Brydonjack, vs. State Bar of California, 281 Pac. 1018; See Annotation on Power of Legislature respecting admission to bar,
65, A.L. R. 1512.
On this matter there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative departments of the government.
The distinction between the functions of the legislative and the judicial departments is that it is the province of the legislature to
establish rules that shall regulate and govern in matters of transactions occurring subsequent to the legislative action, while
the judiciary determines rights and obligations with reference to transactions that are past or conditions that exist at the time of
the exercise of judicial power, and the distinction is a vital one and not subject to alteration or change either by legislative
action or by judicial decree.
The judiciary cannot consent that its province shall be invaded by either of the other departments of the government. 16
C.J.S., Constitutional Law, p. 229.
If the legislature cannot thus indirectly control the action of the courts by requiring of them construction of the law according to
its own views, it is very plain it cannot do so directly, by settling aside their judgments, compelling them to grant new trials,
ordering the discharge of offenders, or directing what particular steps shall be taken in the progress of a judicial inquiry.
Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 192.
In decreeing the bar candidates who obtained in the bar examinations of 1946 to 1952, a general average of 70 per cent without falling
below 50 per cent in any subject, be admitted in mass to the practice of law, the disputed law is not a legislation; it is a judgment a
judgment revoking those promulgated by this Court during the aforecited year affecting the bar candidates concerned; and although this
Court certainly can revoke these judgments even now, for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this Court, and not the
legislative nor executive department, that may be so. Any attempt on the part of any of these departments would be a clear usurpation
of its functions, as is the case with the law in question.
That the Constitution has conferred on Congress the power to repeal, alter or supplement the rule promulgated by this Tribunal,
concerning the admission to the practice of law, is no valid argument. Section 13, article VIII of the Constitution provides:
Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all
courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not
diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice and procedure are hereby repealed as
statutes, and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The
Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the
admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. Constitution of the Philippines, Art. VIII, sec. 13.
It will be noted that the Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal responsibilities concerning the admission to
the practice of law. the primary power and responsibility which the Constitution recognizes continue to reside in this Court. Had
Congress found that this Court has not promulgated any rule on the matter, it would have nothing over which to exercise the power
granted to it. Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules promulgated by this Court, but the authority and responsibility over
the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law and their supervision remain vested in the Supreme
Court. The power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules does not signify nor permit that Congress substitute or take the place of this
Tribunal in the exercise of its primary power on the matter. The Constitution does not say nor mean that Congress may admit, suspend,
disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to the practice of law. Its power is limited to repeal,
modify or supplement the existing rules on the matter, if according to its judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession

requires it. But this power does not relieve this Court of its responsibility to admit, suspend, disbar and reinstate attorneys at law and
supervise the practice of the legal profession.
Being coordinate and independent branches, the power to promulgate and enforce rules for the admission to the practice of law and the
concurrent power to repeal, alter and supplement them may and should be exercised with the respect that each owes to the other,
giving careful consideration to the responsibility which the nature of each department requires. These powers have existed together for
centuries without diminution on each part; the harmonious delimitation being found in that the legislature may and should examine if the
existing rules on the admission to the Bar respond to the demands which public interest requires of a Bar endowed with high virtues,
culture, training and responsibility. The legislature may, by means of appeal, amendment or supplemental rules, fill up any deficiency
that it may find, and the judicial power, which has the inherent responsibility for a good and efficient administration of justice and the
supervision of the practice of the legal profession, should consider these reforms as the minimum standards for the elevation of the
profession, and see to it that with these reforms the lofty objective that is desired in the exercise of its traditional duty of admitting,
suspending, disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law is realized. They are powers which, exercise within their proper constitutional
limits, are not repugnant, but rather complementary to each other in attaining the establishment of a Bar that would respond to the
increasing and exacting necessities of the administration of justice.
The case of Guaria (1913) 24 Phil., 37, illustrates our criterion. Guaria took examination and failed by a few points to obtain the
general average. A recently enacted law provided that one who had been appointed to the position of Fiscal may be admitted to the
practice of law without a previous examination. The Government appointed Guaria and he discharged the duties of Fiscal in a remote
province. This tribunal refused to give his license without previous examinations. The court said:
Relying upon the provisions of section 2 of Act No. 1597, the applicant in this case seeks admission to the bar, without taking
the prescribed examination, on the ground that he holds the office of provincial fiscal for the Province of Batanes.
Section 2 of Act No. 1597, enacted February 28, 1907, is as follows:
Sec. 2. Paragraph one of section thirteen of Act Numbered One Hundred and ninety, entitled "An Act providing a Code of
Procedure in Civil Actions and Special Proceedings in the Philippine Islands," is hereby amended to read as follows:
1. Those who have been duly licensed under the laws and orders of the Islands under the sovereignty of Spain or of the
United States and are in good and regular standing as members of the bar of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption
of this code; Provided, That any person who, prior to the passage of this act, or at any time thereafter, shall have held, under
the authority of the United States, the position of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of First Instance, or judge or
associate judge of the Court of Land Registration, of the Philippine Islands, or the position of Attorney General, Solicitor
General, Assistant Attorney General, assistant attorney in the office of the Attorney General, prosecuting attorney for the City
of Manila, city attorney of Manila, assistant city attorney of Manila, provincial fiscal, attorney for the Moro Province, or assistant
attorney for the Moro Province, may be licensed to practice law in the courts of the Philippine Islands without an examination,
upon motion before the Supreme Court and establishing such fact to the satisfaction of said court.
The records of this court disclose that on a former occasion this appellant took, and failed to pass the prescribed examination.
The report of the examining board, dated March 23, 1907, shows that he received an average of only 71 per cent in the
various branches of legal learning upon which he was examined, thus falling four points short of the required percentage of 75.
We would be delinquent in the performance of our duty to the public and to the bar, if, in the face of this affirmative indication
of the deficiency of the applicant in the required qualifications of learning in the law at the time when he presented his former
application for admission to the bar, we should grant him license to practice law in the courts of these Islands, without first
satisfying ourselves that despite his failure to pass the examination on that occasion, he now "possesses the necessary
qualifications of learning and ability."
But it is contented that under the provisions of the above-cited statute the applicant is entitled as of right to be admitted to the
bar without taking the prescribed examination "upon motion before the Supreme Court" accompanied by satisfactory proof that
he has held and now holds the office of provincial fiscal of the Province of Batanes. It is urged that having in mind the object
which the legislator apparently sought to attain in enacting the above-cited amendment to the earlier statute, and in view of the
context generally and especially of the fact that the amendment was inserted as a proviso in that section of the original Act
which specifically provides for the admission of certain candidates without examination. It is contented that this mandatory
construction is imperatively required in order to give effect to the apparent intention of the legislator, and to the candidate's
claim de jure to have the power exercised.
And after copying article 9 of Act of July 1, 1902 of the Congress of the United States, articles 2, 16 and 17 of Act No. 136, and articles
13 to 16 of Act 190, the Court continued:
Manifestly, the jurisdiction thus conferred upon this court by the commission and confirmed to it by the Act of Congress would
be limited and restricted, and in a case such as that under consideration wholly destroyed, by giving the word "may," as used
in the above citation from Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, or of any Act of Congress prescribing, defining or limiting the power
conferred upon the commission is to that extent invalid and void, as transcending its rightful limits and authority.
Speaking on the application of the law to those who were appointed to the positions enumerated, and with particular emphasis in the
case of Guaria, the Court held:
In the various cases wherein applications for the admission to the bar under the provisions of this statute have been
considered heretofore, we have accepted the fact that such appointments had been made as satisfactory evidence of the
qualifications of the applicant. But in all of those cases we had reason to believe that the applicants had been practicing
attorneys prior to the date of their appointment.
In the case under consideration, however, it affirmatively appears that the applicant was not and never had been practicing
attorney in this or any other jurisdiction prior to the date of his appointment as provincial fiscal, and it further affirmatively
appears that he was deficient in the required qualifications at the time when he last applied for admission to the bar.
In the light of this affirmative proof of his defieciency on that occasion, we do not think that his appointment to the office of
provincial fiscal is in itself satisfactory proof if his possession of the necessary qualifications of learning and ability. We
conclude therefore that this application for license to practice in the courts of the Philippines, should be denied.
In view, however, of the fact that when he took the examination he fell only four points short of the necessary grade to entitle
him to a license to practice; and in view also of the fact that since that time he has held the responsible office of the governor
of the Province of Sorsogon and presumably gave evidence of such marked ability in the performance of the duties of that
office that the Chief Executive, with the consent and approval of the Philippine Commission, sought to retain him in the
Government service by appointing him to the office of provincial fiscal, we think we would be justified under the above-cited
provisions of Act No. 1597 in waiving in his case the ordinary examination prescribed by general rule, provided he offers
satisfactory evidence of his proficiency in a special examination which will be given him by a committee of the court upon his
application therefor, without prejudice to his right, if he desires so to do, to present himself at any of the ordinary examinations
prescribed by general rule. (In re Guaria, pp. 48-49.)
It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to this Court, and the law
passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the
license.
The law in question, like those in the case of Day and Cannon, has been found also to suffer from the fatal defect of being a class
legislation, and that if it has intended to make a classification, it is arbitrary and unreasonable.
In the case of Day, a law enacted on February 21, 1899 required of the Supreme Court, until December 31 of that year, to grant license
for the practice of law to those students who began studying before November 4, 1897, and had studied for two years and presented a
diploma issued by a school of law, or to those who had studied in a law office and would pass an examination, or to those who had

studied for three years if they commenced their studies after the aforementioned date. The Supreme Court declared that this law was
unconstitutional being, among others, a class legislation. The Court said:
This is an application to this court for admission to the bar of this state by virtue of diplomas from law schools issued to the
applicants. The act of the general assembly passed in 1899, under which the application is made, is entitled "An act to amend
section 1 of an act entitled "An act to revise the law in relation to attorneys and counselors," approved March 28, 1884, in force
July 1, 1874." The amendment, so far as it appears in the enacting clause, consists in the addition to the section of the
following: "And every application for a license who shall comply with the rules of the supreme court in regard to admission to
the bar in force at the time such applicant commend the study of law, either in a law or office or a law school or college, shall
be granted a license under this act notwithstanding any subsequent changes in said rules". In re Day et al, 54 N.Y., p. 646.
. . . After said provision there is a double proviso, one branch of which is that up to December 31, 1899, this court shall grant a
license of admittance to the bar to the holder of every diploma regularly issued by any law school regularly organized under
the laws of this state, whose regular course of law studies is two years, and requiring an attendance by the student of at least
36 weeks in each of such years, and showing that the student began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897, and
accompanied with the usual proofs of good moral character. The other branch of the proviso is that any student who has
studied law for two years in a law office, or part of such time in a law office, "and part in the aforesaid law school," and whose
course of study began prior to November 4, 1897, shall be admitted upon a satisfactory examination by the examining board in
the branches now required by the rules of this court. If the right to admission exists at all, it is by virtue of the proviso, which, it
is claimed, confers substantial rights and privileges upon the persons named therein, and establishes rules of legislative
creation for their admission to the bar. (p. 647.)
Considering the proviso, however, as an enactment, it is clearly a special legislation, prohibited by the constitution, and invalid
as such. If the legislature had any right to admit attorneys to practice in the courts and take part in the administration of justice,
and could prescribe the character of evidence which should be received by the court as conclusive of the requisite learning
and ability of persons to practice law, it could only be done by a general law, persons or classes of persons. Const. art 4,
section 2. The right to practice law is a privilege, and a license for that purpose makes the holder an officer of the court, and
confers upon him the right to appear for litigants, to argue causes, and to collect fees therefor, and creates certain exemptions,
such as from jury services and arrest on civil process while attending court. The law conferring such privileges must be
general in its operation. No doubt the legislature, in framing an enactment for that purpose, may classify persons so long as
the law establishing classes in general, and has some reasonable relation to the end sought. There must be some difference
which furnishes a reasonable basis for different one, having no just relation to the subject of the legislation. Braceville Coal
Co. vs. People, 147 Ill. 66, 35 N.E. 62; Ritchie vs. People, 155 Ill. 98, 40 N.E. 454; Railroad Co. vs. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 17
Sup. Ct. 255.
The length of time a physician has practiced, and the skill acquired by experience, may furnish a basis for classification
(Williams vs. People 121 Ill. 48, II N.E. 881); but the place where such physician has resided and practiced his profession
cannot furnish such basis, and is an arbitrary discrimination, making an enactment based upon it void (State vs. Pennyeor, 65
N.E. 113, 18 Atl. 878). Here the legislature undertakes to say what shall serve as a test of fitness for the profession of the law,
and plainly, any classification must have some reference to learning, character, or ability to engage in such practice. The
proviso is limited, first, to a class of persons who began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897. This class is subdivided
into two classes First, those presenting diplomas issued by any law school of this state before December 31, 1899; and,
second, those who studied law for the period of two years in a law office, or part of the time in a law school and part in a law
office, who are to be admitted upon examination in the subjects specified in the present rules of this court, and as to this latter
subdivision there seems to be no limit of time for making application for admission. As to both classes, the conditions of the
rules are dispensed with, and as between the two different conditions and limits of time are fixed. No course of study is
prescribed for the law school, but a diploma granted upon the completion of any sort of course its managers may prescribe is
made all-sufficient. Can there be anything with relation to the qualifications or fitness of persons to practice law resting upon
the mere date of November 4, 1897, which will furnish a basis of classification. Plainly not. Those who began the study of law
November 4th could qualify themselves to practice in two years as well as those who began on the 3rd. The classes named in
the proviso need spend only two years in study, while those who commenced the next day must spend three years, although
they would complete two years before the time limit. The one who commenced on the 3rd. If possessed of a diploma, is to be
admitted without examination before December 31, 1899, and without any prescribed course of study, while as to the other the
prescribed course must be pursued, and the diploma is utterly useless. Such classification cannot rest upon any natural
reason, or bear any just relation to the subject sought, and none is suggested. The proviso is for the sole purpose of bestowing
privileges upon certain defined persons. (pp. 647-648.)
In the case of Cannon above cited, State vs. Cannon, 240 N.W. 441, where the legislature attempted by law to reinstate Cannon to the
practice of law, the court also held with regards to its aspect of being a class legislation:
But the statute is invalid for another reason. If it be granted that the legislature has power to prescribe ultimately and definitely
the qualifications upon which courts must admit and license those applying as attorneys at law, that power can not be
exercised in the manner here attempted. That power must be exercised through general laws which will apply to all alike and
accord equal opportunity to all. Speaking of the right of the Legislature to exact qualifications of those desiring to pursue
chosen callings, Mr. Justice Field in the case of Dent. vs. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 121, 9 S. Ct. 232, 233, 32 L. Ed. 626,
said: "It is undoubtedly the right of every citizen of the United States to follow any lawful calling, business or profession he may
choose, subject only to such restrictions as are imposed upon all persons of like age, sex, and condition." This right may in
many respects be considered as a distinguishing feature of our republican institutions. Here all vocations are all open to every
one on like conditions. All may be pursued as sources of livelihood, some requiring years of study and great learning for their
successful prosecution. The interest, or, as it is sometimes termed, the "estate" acquired in them that is, the right to
continue their prosecution is often of great value to the possessors and cannot be arbitrarily taken from them, any more
than their real or personal property can be thus taken. It is fundamental under our system of government that all similarly
situated and possessing equal qualifications shall enjoy equal opportunities. Even statutes regulating the practice of medicine,
requiring medications to establish the possession on the part of the application of his proper qualifications before he may be
licensed to practice, have been challenged, and courts have seriously considered whether the exemption from such
examinations of those practicing in the state at the time of the enactment of the law rendered such law unconstitutional
because of infringement upon this general principle. State vs. Thomas Call, 121 N.C. 643, 28 S.E. 517; see, also, The State ex
rel. Winkler vs. Rosenberg, 101 Wis. 172, 76 N.W. 345; State vs. Whitcom, 122 Wis. 110, 99 N.W. 468.
This law singles out Mr. Cannon and assumes to confer upon him the right to practice law and to constitute him an officer of
this Court as a mere matter of legislative grace or favor. It is not material that he had once established his right to practice law
and that one time he possessed the requisite learning and other qualifications to entitle him to that right. That fact in no matter
affect the power of the Legislature to select from the great body of the public an individual upon whom it would confer its
favors.
A statute of the state of Minnesota (Laws 1929, c. 424) commanded the Supreme Court to admit to the practice of law without
examination, all who had served in the military or naval forces of the United States during the World War and received a
honorable discharge therefrom and who (were disabled therein or thereby within the purview of the Act of Congress approved
June 7th, 1924, known as "World War Veteran's Act, 1924 and whose disability is rated at least ten per cent thereunder at the
time of the passage of this Act." This Act was held |unconstitutional on the ground that it clearly violated the quality clauses of
the constitution of that state. In re Application of George W. Humphrey, 178 Minn. 331, 227 N.W. 179.

A good summary of a classification constitutionally acceptable is explained in 12 Am. Jur. 151-153 as follows:
The general rule is well settled by unanimity of the authorities that a classification to be valid must rest upon material
differences between the person included in it and those excluded and, furthermore, must be based upon substantial
distinctions. As the rule has sometimes avoided the constitutional prohibition, must be founded upon pertinent and real
differences, as distinguished from irrelevant and artificial ones. Therefore, any law that is made applicable to one class of
citizens only must be based on some substantial difference between the situation of that class and other individuals to which it
does not apply and must rest on some reason on which it can be defended. In other words, there must be such a difference
between the situation and circumstances of all the members of the class and the situation and circumstances of all other
members of the state in relation to the subjects of the discriminatory legislation as presents a just and natural cause for the
difference made in their liabilities and burdens and in their rights and privileges. A law is not general because it operates on all
within a clause unless there is a substantial reason why it is made to operate on that class only, and not generally on all. (12
Am. Jur. pp. 151-153.)
Pursuant to the law in question, those who, without a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, have obtained a general average of 69.5
per cent in the bar examinations in 1946 to 1951, 70.5 per cent in 1952, 71.5 per cent in 1953, and those will obtain 72.5 per cent in
1954, and 73.5 per cent in 1955, will be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar,
notwithstanding that the rules require a minimum general average of 75 per cent, which has been invariably followed since 1950. Is
there any motive of the nature indicated by the abovementioned authorities, for this classification ? If there is none, and none has been
given, then the classification is fatally defective.
It was indicated that those who failed in 1944, 1941 or the years before, with the general average indicated, were not included because
the Tribunal has no record of the unsuccessful candidates of those years. This fact does not justify the unexplained classification of
unsuccessful candidates by years, from 1946-1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955. Neither is the exclusion of those who failed before said
years under the same conditions justified. The fact that this Court has no record of examinations prior to 1946 does not signify that no
one concerned may prove by some other means his right to an equal consideration.
To defend the disputed law from being declared unconstitutional on account of its retroactivity, it is argued that it is curative, and that in
such form it is constitutional. What does Rep. Act 972 intend to cure ? Only from 1946 to 1949 were there cases in which the Tribunal
permitted admission to the bar of candidates who did not obtain the general average of 75 per cent: in 1946 those who obtained only 72
per cent; in the 1947 and those who had 69 per cent or more; in 1948, 70 per cent and in 1949, 74 per cent; and in 1950 to 1953, those
who obtained 74 per cent, which was considered by the Court as equivalent to 75 per cent as prescribed by the Rules, by reason of
circumstances deemed to be sufficiently justifiable. These changes in the passing averages during those years were all that could be
objected to or criticized. Now, it is desired to undo what had been done cancel the license that was issued to those who did not
obtain the prescribed 75 per cent ? Certainly not. The disputed law clearly does not propose to do so. Concededly, it approves what has
been done by this Tribunal. What Congress lamented is that the Court did not consider 69.5 per cent obtained by those candidates who
failed in 1946 to 1952 as sufficient to qualify them to practice law. Hence, it is the lack of will or defect of judgment of the Court that is
being cured, and to complete the cure of this infirmity, the effectivity of the disputed law is being extended up to the years 1953, 1954
and 1955, increasing each year the general average by one per cent, with the order that said candidates be admitted to the Bar. This
purpose, manifest in the said law, is the best proof that what the law attempts to amend and correct are not the rules promulgated, but
the will or judgment of the Court, by means of simply taking its place. This is doing directly what the Tribunal should have done during
those years according to the judgment of Congress. In other words, the power exercised was not to repeal, alter or supplement the
rules, which continue in force. What was done was to stop or suspend them. And this power is not included in what the Constitution has
granted to Congress, because it falls within the power to apply the rules. This power corresponds to the judiciary, to which such duty
been confided.
Article 2 of the law in question permits partial passing of examinations, at indefinite intervals. The grave defect of this system is that it
does not take into account that the laws and jurisprudence are not stationary, and when a candidate finally receives his certificate, it
may happen that the existing laws and jurisprudence are already different, seriously affecting in this manner his usefulness. The system
that the said law prescribes was used in the first bar examinations of this country, but was abandoned for this and other disadvantages.
In this case, however, the fatal defect is that the article is not expressed in the title will have temporary effect only from 1946 to 1955,
the text of article 2 establishes a permanent system for an indefinite time. This is contrary to Section 21 (1), article VI of the
Constitution, which vitiates and annuls article 2 completely; and because it is inseparable from article 1, it is obvious that its nullity affect
the entire law.
Laws are unconstitutional on the following grounds: first, because they are not within the legislative powers of Congress to enact, or
Congress has exceeded its powers; second, because they create or establish arbitrary methods or forms that infringe constitutional
principles; and third, because their purposes or effects violate the Constitution or its basic principles. As has already been seen, the
contested law suffers from these fatal defects.
Summarizing, we are of the opinion and hereby declare that Republic Act No. 972 is unconstitutional and therefore, void, and without
any force nor effect for the following reasons, to wit:
1. Because its declared purpose is to admit 810 candidates who failed in the bar examinations of 1946-1952, and who, it admits, are
certainly inadequately prepared to practice law, as was exactly found by this Court in the aforesaid years. It decrees the admission to
the Bar of these candidates, depriving this Tribunal of the opportunity to determine if they are at present already prepared to become
members of the Bar. It obliges the Tribunal to perform something contrary to reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a manifest
encroachment on the constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court.
2. Because it is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of this Court on the petitions of these 810 candidates, without having
examined their respective examination papers, and although it is admitted that this Tribunal may reconsider said resolution at any time
for justifiable reasons, only this Court and no other may revise and alter them. In attempting to do it directly Republic Act No. 972
violated the Constitution.
3. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules on admission to the Bar.
Such additional or amendatory rules are, as they ought to be, intended to regulate acts subsequent to its promulgation and should tend
to improve and elevate the practice of law, and this Tribunal shall consider these rules as minimum norms towards that end in the
admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of lawyers to the Bar, inasmuch as a good bar assists immensely in the daily
performance of judicial functions and is essential to a worthy administration of justice. It is therefore the primary and inherent
prerogative of the Supreme Court to render the ultimate decision on who may be admitted and may continue in the practice of law
according to existing rules.
4. The reason advanced for the pretended classification of candidates, which the law makes, is contrary to facts which are of general
knowledge and does not justify the admission to the Bar of law students inadequately prepared. The pretended classification is
arbitrary. It is undoubtedly a class legislation.
5. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the Constitution enjoins, and being
inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the entire law is void.
6. Lacking in eight votes to declare the nullity of that part of article 1 referring to the examinations of 1953 to 1955, said part of article 1,
insofar as it concerns the examinations in those years, shall continue in force.
RESOLUTION
Upon mature deliberation by this Court, after hearing and availing of the magnificent and impassioned discussion of the contested law
by our Chief Justice at the opening and close of the debate among the members of the Court, and after hearing the judicious
observations of two of our beloved colleagues who since the beginning have announced their decision not to take part in voting, we, the

eight members of the Court who subscribed to this decision have voted and resolved, and have decided for the Court, and under the
authority of the same:
1. That (a) the portion of article 1 of Republic Act No. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952, and (b) all of article 2 of said
law are unconstitutional and, therefore, void and without force and effect.
2. That, for lack of unanimity in the eight Justices, that part of article 1 which refers to the examinations subsequent to the approval of
the law, that is from 1953 to 1955 inclusive, is valid and shall continue to be in force, in conformity with section 10, article VII of the
Constitution.
Consequently, (1) all the above-mentioned petitions of the candidates who failed in the examinations of 1946 to 1952 inclusive are
denied, and (2) all candidates who in the examinations of 1953 obtained a general average of 71.5 per cent or more, without having a
grade below 50 per cent in any subject, are considered as having passed, whether they have filed petitions for admission or not. After
this decision has become final, they shall be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar on
the date or dates that the chief Justice may set. So ordered.
Bengzon, Montemayor, Jugo, Labrador, Pablo, Padilla, and Reyes, JJ., concur.
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
A resume of pertinent facts concerning the bar examinations of 1946 to 1953 inclusive follows:
A list of petitioners for admission to the Bar under Republic Act No. 972, grouped by the years in which they took the bar examinations,
with annotations as to who had presented motions for reconsideration which were denied (MRD), and who filed mere motions for
reconsideration without invoking said law, which are still pending, follows:
PETITIONER UNDER THE BAR FLUNKERS' LAW
A list of those who petitioned for the consolidation of their grades in subjects passed in previous examinations, showing the
years in which they took the examinations together with their grades and averages, and those who had filed motions for
reconsideration which were denied, indicated by the initials MRD, follows:
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 72
Finally, with regards to the examinations of 1953, while some candidates--85 in all--presented motions for reconsideration of their
grades, others invoked the provisions of Republic Act No. 972. A list of those candidates separating those who filed mere motions for
reconsideration (56) from those who invoked the aforesaid Republic act, is as follows:
1953 PETITIONERS FOR RECONSIDERATION
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
There are the unsuccessful candidates totaling 604 directly affected by this resolution. Adding 490 candidates who have not presented
any petition, they reach a total of 1,094.
The Enactment of Republic Act No. 972
As will be observed from Annex I, this Court reduced to 72 per cent the passing general average in the bar examination of august and
November of 1946; 69 per cent in 1947; 70 per cent in 1948; 74 per cent in 1949; maintaining the prescribed 75 per cent since 1950,
but raising to 75 per cent those who obtained 74 per cent since 1950. This caused the introduction in 1951, in the Senate of the
Philippines of Bill No. 12 which was intended to amend Sections 5, 9, 12, 14 and 16 of Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, concerning the
admission of attorneys-at-law to the practice of the profession. The amendments embrace many interesting matters, but those referring
to sections 14 and 16 immediately concern us. The proposed amendment is as follows:
SEC. 14. Passing average. In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed the examinations successfully, he
must have obtained a general average of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the
average, the foregoing subjects shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 20 per cent; Land Registration and
Mortgages, 5 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law, 10 per cent; Political Law, 10 per cent; International Law, 5
per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent; Social Legislation, 5 per cent; Taxation,
5 per cent. Unsuccessful candidates shall not be required to take another examination in any subject in which they have
obtained a rating of 70 per cent or higher and such rating shall be taken into account in determining their general average in
any subsequent examinations: Provided, however, That if the candidate fails to get a general average of 70 per cent in his
third examination, he shall lose the benefit of having already passed some subjects and shall be required to the examination in
all the subjects.
SEC. 16. Admission and oath of successful applicants. Any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in
all subjects without falling below 50 per cent in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, or who has been
otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall be allowed to take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the
corresponding oath of office. (Arts. 4 and 5, 8, No. 12).
With the bill was an Explanatory Note, the portion pertinent to the matter before us being:
It seems to be unfair that unsuccessful candidates at bar examinations should be compelled to repeat even those subjects
which they have previously passed. This is not the case in any other government examination. The Rules of Court have
therefore been amended in this measure to give a candidate due credit for any subject which he has previously passed with a
rating of 75 per cent or higher."
Senate Bill No. 12 having been approved by Congress on May 3, 1951, the President requested the comments of this Tribunal before
acting on the same. The comment was signed by seven Justices while three chose to refrain from making any and one took no part.
With regards to the matter that interests us, the Court said:
The next amendment is of section 14 of Rule 127. One part of this amendment provides that if a bar candidate obtains 70 per
cent or higher in any subject, although failing to pass the examination, he need not be examined in said subject in his next
examination. This is a sort of passing the Bar Examination on the installment plan, one or two or three subjects at a time. The
trouble with this proposed system is that although it makes it easier and more convenient for the candidate because he may in
an examination prepare himself on only one or two subjects so as to insure passing them, by the time that he has passed the
last required subjects, which may be several years away from the time that he reviewed and passed the firs subjects, he shall
have forgotten the principles and theories contained in those subjects and remembers only those of the one or two subjects
that he had last reviewed and passed. This is highly possible because there is nothing in the law which requires a candidate to
continue taking the Bar examinations every year in succession. The only condition imposed is that a candidate, on this plan,
must pass the examination in no more that three installments; but there is no limitation as to the time or number of years
intervening between each examination taken. This would defeat the object and the requirements of the law and the Court in
admitting persons to the practice of law. When a person is so admitted, it is to be presumed and presupposed that he
possesses the knowledge and proficiency in the law and the knowledge of all law subjects required in bar examinations, so as
presently to be able to practice the legal profession and adequately render the legal service required by prospective clients.
But this would not hold true of the candidates who may have obtained a passing grade on any five subjects eight years ago,
another three subjects one year later, and the last two subjects the present year. We believe that the present system of
requiring a candidate to obtain a passing general average with no grade in any subject below 50 per cent is more desirable
and satisfactory. It requires one to be all around, and prepared in all required legal subjects at the time of admission to the
practice of law.
xxx
xxx
xxx
We now come to the last amendment, that of section 16 of Rule 127. This amendment provides that any application who has
obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination

held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office. In other words,
Bar candidates who obtained not less than 70 per cent in any examination since the year 1946 without failing below 50 per
cent in any subject, despite their non-admission to the Bar by the Supreme Court because they failed to obtain a passing
general average in any of those years, will be admitted to the Bar. This provision is not only prospective but retroactive in its
effects.
We have already stated in our comment on the next preceding amendment that we are not exactly in favor of reducing the
passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent to govern even in the future. As to the validity of making such
reduction retroactive, we have serious legal doubts. We should not lose sight of the fact that after every bar examinations, the
Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general
average grade, but also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed. The present
amendment would have the effect of repudiating, reversing and revoking the Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting
the petitions of those who may have obtained an average of 70 per cent or more but less than the general passing average
fixed for that year. It is clear that this question involves legal implications, and this phase of the amendment if finally enacted
into law might have to go thru a legal test. As one member of the Court remarked during the discussion, when a court renders
a decision or promulgate a resolution or order on the basis of and in accordance with a certain law or rule then in force, the
subsequent amendment or even repeal of said law or rule may not affect the final decision, order, or resolution already
promulgated, in the sense of revoking or rendering it void and of no effect.
Another aspect of this question to be considered is the fact that members of the bar are officers of the courts, including the
Supreme Court. When a Bar candidate is admitted to the Bar, the Supreme Court impliedly regards him as a person fit,
competent and qualified to be its officer. Conversely, when it refused and denied admission to the Bar to a candidate who in
any year since 1946 may have obtained a general average of 70 per cent but less than that required for that year in order to
pass, the Supreme Court equally and impliedly considered and declared that he was not prepared, ready, competent and
qualified to be its officer. The present amendment giving retroactivity to the reduction of the passing general average runs
counter to all these acts and resolutions of the Supreme Court and practically and in effect says that a candidate not accepted,
and even rejected by the Court to be its officer because he was unprepared, undeserving and unqualified, nevertheless and in
spite of all, must be admitted and allowed by this Court to serve as its officer. We repeat, that this is another important aspect
of the question to be carefully and seriously considered.
The President vetoed the bill on June 16, 1951, stating the following:
I am fully in accord with the avowed objection of the bill, namely, to elevate the standard of the legal profession and maintain it
on a high level. This is not achieved, however, by admitting to practice precisely a special class who have failed in the bar
examination, Moreover, the bill contains provisions to which I find serious fundamental objections.
Section 5 provides that any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without failing below
50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribed the
corresponding oath of office. This provision constitutes class legislation, benefiting as it does specifically one group of persons,
namely, the unsuccessful candidates in the 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 bar examinations.
The same provision undertakes to revoke or set aside final resolutions of the Supreme Court made in accordance with the law
then in force. It should be noted that after every bar examination the Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not
only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general average but also rejecting and denying the petitions for
reconsideration of those who have failed. The provision under consideration would have the effect of revoking the Supreme
Court's resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may have failed to obtain the passing average fixed for that
year. Said provision also sets a bad precedent in that the Government would be morally obliged to grant a similar privilege to
those who have failed in the examinations for admission to other professions such as medicine, engineering, architecture and
certified public accountancy.
Consequently, the bill was returned to the Congress of the Philippines, but it was not repassed by 2/3 vote of each House as prescribed
by section 20, article VI of the Constitution. Instead Bill No. 371 was presented in the Senate. It reads as follows:
AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM 1946 UP TO AND INCLUDING 1953
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate who obtained a
general average of 70 per cent in any bar examinations after July 4, 1946 up to the August 1951 Bar examinations; 71 per
cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in the 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; 74 per
cent in 1955 bar examinations without a candidate obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take
and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar; Provided, however, That 75 per cent passing
general average shall be restored in all succeeding examinations; and Provided, finally, That for the purpose of this Act, any
exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the next whole number.
SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any bar examination after July 4, 1945 shall
be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing
general average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may take.
SEC. 3. This bill shall take effect upon its approval.
With the following explanatory note:
This is a revised Bar bill to meet the objections of the President and to afford another opportunity to those who feel themselves
discriminated by the Supreme Court from 1946 to 1951 when those who would otherwise have passed the bar examination
but were arbitrarily not so considered by altering its previous decisions of the passing mark. The Supreme Court has been
altering the passing mark from 69 in 1947 to 74 in 1951. In order to cure the apparent arbitrary fixing of passing grades and to
give satisfaction to all parties concerned, it is proposed in this bill a gradual increase in the general averages for passing the
bar examinations as follows; For 1946 to 1951 bar examinations, 70 per cent; for 1952 bar examination, 71 per cent; for 1953
bar examination, 72 per cent; for 1954 bar examination, 73 percent; and for 1955 bar examination, 74 per cent. Thus in 1956
the passing mark will be restored with the condition that the candidate shall not obtain in any subject a grade of below 50 per
cent. The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade, is the tremendous handicap which students during the
years immediately after the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the
inadequacy of the preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation. It is believed that by 1956 the preparation
of our students as well as the available reading materials will be under normal conditions, if not improved from those years
preceding the last world war.
In this will we eliminated altogether the idea of having our Supreme Court assumed the supervision as well as the
administration of the study of law which was objected to by the President in the Bar Bill of 1951.
The President in vetoing the Bar Bill last year stated among his objections that the bill would admit to the practice of law "a
special class who failed in the bar examination". He considered the bill a class legislation. This contention, however, is not, in
good conscience, correct because Congress is merely supplementing what the Supreme Court have already established as
precedent by making as low as 69 per cent the passing mark of those who took the Bar examination in 1947. These bar
candidates for who this bill should be enacted, considered themselves as having passed the bar examination on the strength
of the established precedent of our Supreme Court and were fully aware of the insurmountable difficulties and handicaps
which they were unavoidably placed. We believe that such precedent cannot or could not have been altered, constitutionally,
by the Supreme Court, without giving due consideration to the rights already accrued or vested in the bar candidates who took

the examination when the precedent was not yet altered, or in effect, was still enforced and without being inconsistent with the
principles of their previous resolutions.
If this bill would be enacted, it shall be considered as a simple curative act or corrective statute which Congress has the power
to enact. The requirement of a "valid classification" as against class legislation, is very expressed in the following American
Jurisprudence:
A valid classification must include all who naturally belong to the class, all who possess a common disability, attribute, or
classification, and there must be a "natural" and substantial differentiation between those included in the class and those it
leaves untouched. When a class is accepted by the Court as "natural" it cannot be again split and then have the dissevered
factions of the original unit designated with different rules established for each. (Fountain Park Co. vs. Rensier, 199 Ind. 95, N.
E. 465 (1926).
Another case penned by Justice Cardozo: "Time with its tides brings new conditions which must be cared for by new laws.
Sometimes the new conditions affect the members of a class. If so, the correcting statute must apply to all alike. Sometimes
the condition affect only a few. If so, the correcting statute may be as narrow as the mischief. The constitution does not prohibit
special laws inflexibly and always. It permits them when there are special evils with which the general laws are incompetent to
cope. The special public purpose will sustain the special form. . . . The problem in the last analysis is one of legislative policy,
with a wide margin of discretion conceded to the lawmakers. Only in the case of plain abuse will there be revision by the court.
(In Williams vs. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 286 U. S. 36, 77 L. Ed. 1015, 53 Sup. Ct. 431). (1932)
This bill has all the earmarks of a corrective statute which always retroacts to the extent of the care of correction only as in this
case from 1946 when the Supreme Court first deviated from the rule of 75 per cent in the Rules of Court.
For the foregoing purposes the approval of this bill is earnestly recommended.
(Sgd.)
Senator

PABLO

ANGELES

DAVID

Without much debate, the revised bill was passed by Congress as above transcribed. The President again asked the comments of this
Court, which endorsed the following:
Respectfully returned to the Honorable, the Acting Executive Secretary, Manila, with the information that, with respect to
Senate Bill No. 371, the members of the Court are taking the same views they expressed on Senate Bill No. 12 passed by
Congress in May, 1951, contained in the first indorsement of the undersigned dated June 5, 1951, to the Assistant Executive
Secretary.
(Sgd.) RICARDO PARAS
The President allowed the period within which the bill should be signed to pass without vetoing it, by virtue of which it became a law on
June 21, 1953 (Sec. 20, Art. VI, Constitution) numbered 972 (many times erroneously cited as No. 974).
It may be mentioned in passing that 1953 was an election year, and that both the President and the author of the Bill were candidates
for re-election, together, however, they lost in the polls.
Separate Opinions
LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:
The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court, because lawyers are members of
the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of
powers. The power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the
power to promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the
Constitution to the Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the holding of examination,
the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when
a candidate has made or has not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court.
I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of the congressional prerogative
of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per
cent in 1955 should be considered as having passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this
Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is
necessary to show that it is an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as
discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing
grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?
I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rule-making power of Congress, because it
is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members thereof, and because it is discriminatory.
PARAS, C.J., dissenting:
Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed his examinations
successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.'
This passing mark has always been adhered to, with certain exception presently to be specified.
With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates included only those who
obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages
ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946
the list first released containing the names of successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent
or more; but, upon motion for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by
resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average of 73
per cent or more but below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been released, and
on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948.
With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948, in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who
obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed
petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect made 69
per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being noticed perhaps, to an
amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.
Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly ranged from 69 to 73 per cent,
filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.
In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys, presidents of bar
associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a bill providing, among others, for the reduction of
the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was
vetoed by the President mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo.
In 1953, the Congress passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference that in the
later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the
inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the
examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by bar applicants, were eliminated. This
second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the President by merely not signing it within the required period; and
in doing so the President gave due respect to the will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first
vetoed by him.

Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any examinations after July 4, 1946
up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar
examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be
allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination
after July 4, 1946, shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in
computing the passing in any subsequent examinations.
Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No. 972 and failed to obtain the
necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions, praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under
and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution
of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized
representatives of bar associations, were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing
being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations
and the matter" involved "a new question of public interest."
All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law is inherently judicial, are
immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in Article VII, section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and
the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish,
increase or modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes
and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall
have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to
the practice of law in the Philippines.
Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the
practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules. Little intelligence is necessary to see that the
power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to the practice of law is concurrent.
The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held prior to its approval, is
unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the practice of law the various
petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my opinion this view is erroneous. In the first
place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court
expressly fix certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar matters, specially on motions for
reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which
the motion were filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and admission to the
practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be entrusted, under the Constitution and our
Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word,
because bar examinations and the admission to the practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no
more than the function of other examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except
only when they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny due process and equal
protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or
vested rights, and denies to no one the right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative
statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by this Court of different passing general averages in
certain years.
Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because we no longer have any record
of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during
said period. It may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At
any rate, in the matter of classification, the reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the
Congress held public hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative judgment
derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.
As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative Department, it is sufficient to
state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial
adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired
in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three
branches of the Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided by the Court in favor of
one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained
the general average prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would
provide that those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be
allowed to practice law, because said statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court,
namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent.
Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred by the Constitution, may
pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the
date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69
per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed
petitions for reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the examinations held in August
1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at 75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we
are to admit that the Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the practice of law, that the
latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general average.
Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, since this Court had already
adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and 70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should
not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many
instances had doubted the propriety of legislative enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that
ground.
To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest, is to assume that the matter
of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress
held public hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had
taken all the circumstances into account before passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress,
representing the people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972
as an expression of the will of the people through their duly elected representatives.
I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent power to repeal, alter, or
supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same
way that this Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can and should only hope that
the right men are put in the right places in our Government.
Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its entirety.
Separate Opinions
LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:

The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court, because lawyers are members of
the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of
powers. The power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the
power to promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the
Constitution to the Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the holding of examination,
the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when
a candidate has made or has not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court.
I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of the congressional prerogative
of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per
cent in 1955 should be considered as having passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this
Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is
necessary to show that it is an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as
discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing
grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?
I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rule-making power of Congress, because it
is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members thereof, and because it is discriminatory.
PARAS, C.J., dissenting:
Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed his examinations
successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.'
This passing mark has always been adhered to, with certain exception presently to be specified.
With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates included only those who
obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages
ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946
the list first released containing the names of successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent
or more; but, upon motion for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by
resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average of 73
per cent or more but below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been released, and
on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948.
With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948, in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who
obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed
petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect made 69
per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being noticed perhaps, to an
amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.
Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly ranged from 69 to 73 per cent,
filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.
In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys, presidents of bar
associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a bill providing, among others, for the reduction of
the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was
vetoed by the President mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo.
In 1953, the Congress passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference that in the
later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the
inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the
examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by bar applicants, were eliminated. This
second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the President by merely not signing it within the required period; and
in doing so the President gave due respect to the will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first
vetoed by him.
Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any examinations after July 4, 1946
up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar
examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be
allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination
after July 4, 1946, shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in
computing the passing in any subsequent examinations.
Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No. 972 and failed to obtain the
necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions, praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under
and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution
of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized
representatives of bar associations, were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing
being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations
and the matter" involved "a new question of public interest."
All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law is inherently judicial, are
immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in Article VII, section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the
admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or
modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared
Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to
repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the
Philippines.
Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the
practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules. Little intelligence is necessary to see that the
power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to the practice of law is concurrent.
The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held prior to its approval, is
unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the practice of law the various
petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my opinion this view is erroneous. In the first
place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court
expressly fix certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar matters, specially on motions for
reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which
the motion were filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and admission to the
practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be entrusted, under the Constitution and our
Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word,
because bar examinations and the admission to the practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no
more than the function of other examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except
only when they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny due process and equal
protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or

vested rights, and denies to no one the right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative
statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by this Court of different passing general averages in
certain years.
Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because we no longer have any record
of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during
said period. It may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At
any rate, in the matter of classification, the reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the
Congress held public hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative judgment
derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.
As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative Department, it is sufficient to
state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial
adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired
in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three
branches of the Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided by the Court in favor of
one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained
the general average prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would
provide that those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be
allowed to practice law, because said statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court,
namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent.
Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred by the Constitution, may
pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the
date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69
per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed
petitions for reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the examinations held in August
1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at 75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we
are to admit that the Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the practice of law, that the
latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general average.
Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, since this Court had already
adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and 70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should
not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many
instances had doubted the propriety of legislative enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that
ground.
To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest, is to assume that the matter
of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress
held public hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had
taken all the circumstances into account before passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress,
representing the people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972
as an expression of the will of the people through their duly elected representatives.
I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent power to repeal, alter, or
supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same
way that this Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can and should only hope that
the right men are put in the right places in our Government.
Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its entirety.
C.

IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES.

On December 1, 1972, the Commission on Bar Integration 1 submitted its Report dated November 30, 1972, with the "earnest
recommendation" on the basis of the said Report and the proceedings had in Administrative Case No. 526 2 of the Court, and
"consistently with the views and counsel received from its [the Commission's] Board of Consultants, as well as the overwhelming
nationwide sentiment of the Philippine Bench and Bar" that "this Honorable Court ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as soon
as possible through the adoption and promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule."
The petition in Adm. Case No. 526 formally prays the Court to order the integration of the Philippine Bar, after due hearing, giving
recognition as far as possible and practicable to existing provincial and other local Bar associations. On August 16, 1962, arguments in
favor of as well as in opposition to the petition were orally expounded before the Court. Written oppositions were admitted, 3 and all
parties were thereafter granted leave to file written memoranda. 4
Since then, the Court has closely observed and followed significant developments relative to the matter of the integration of the Bar in
this jurisdiction.
In 1970, convinced from preliminary surveys that there had grown a strong nationwide sentiment in favor of Bar integration, the Court
created the Commission on Bar Integration for the purpose of ascertaining the advisability of unifying the Philippine Bar.
In September, 1971, Congress passed House Bill No. 3277 entitled "An Act Providing for the Integration of the Philippine Bar, and
Appropriating Funds Therefor." The measure was signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 17, 1971 and took effect on
the same day as Rep. Act 6397. This law provides as follows:
SECTION 1. Within two years from the approval of this Act, the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of
the Philippine Bar under such conditions as it shall see fit in order to raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the
administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively.
SEC. 2. The sum of five hundred thousand pesos is hereby appropriated, out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise
appropriated, to carry out the purposes of this Act. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for the same purpose shall be
included in the annual appropriations for the Supreme Court.
SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
The Report of the Commission abounds with argument on the constitutionality of Bar integration and contains all necessary factual data
bearing on the advisability (practicability and necessity) of Bar integration. Also embodied therein are the views, opinions, sentiments,
comments and observations of the rank and file of the Philippine lawyer population relative to Bar integration, as well as a proposed
integration Court Rule drafted by the Commission and presented to them by that body in a national Bar plebiscite. There is thus
sufficient basis as well as ample material upon which the Court may decide whether or not to integrate the Philippine Bar at this time.
The following are the pertinent issues:
(1) Does the Court have the power to integrate the Philippine Bar?
(2) Would the integration of the Bar be constitutional?
(3) Should the Court ordain the integration of the Bar at this time?
A resolution of these issues requires, at the outset, a statement of the meaning of Bar integration. It will suffice, for this purpose, to
adopt the concept given by the Commission on Bar Integration on pages 3 to 5 of its Report, thus:

Integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification of the entire lawyer population of the Philippines. This
requires membership and financial support (in reasonable amount) of every attorney as conditions sine qua non to the practice of
law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court.
The term "Bar" refers to the collectivity of all persons whose names appear in the Roll of Attorneys. An Integrated Bar (or Unified
Bar) perforce must include all lawyers.
Complete unification is not possible unless it is decreed by an entity with power to do so: the State. Bar integration, therefore,
signifies the setting up by Government authority of a national organization of the legal profession based on the recognition of the
lawyer as an officer of the court.
Designed to improve the position of the Bar as an instrumentality of justice and the Rule of Law, integration fosters cohesion
among lawyers, and ensures, through their own organized action and participation, the promotion of the objectives of the legal
profession, pursuant to the principle of maximum Bar autonomy with minimum supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court.
The purposes of an integrated Bar, in general, are:
(1) Assist in the administration of justice;
(2) Foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity, learning, professional competence, public service and
conduct;
(3) Safeguard the professional interests of its members;
(4) Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood;
(5) Provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, practice and procedure, and the relations of the
Bar to the Bench and to the public, and publish information relating thereto;
(6) Encourage and foster legal education;
(7) Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law, and make reports and recommendations
thereon; and
(8) Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility effectively.
Integration of the Bar will, among other things, make it possible for the legal profession to:
(1) Render more effective assistance in maintaining the Rule of Law;
(2) Protect lawyers and litigants against the abuse of tyrannical judges and prosecuting officers;
(3) Discharge, fully and properly, its responsibility in the disciplining and/or removal of incompetent and unworthy judges and
prosecuting officers;
(4) Shield the judiciary, which traditionally cannot defend itself except within its own forum, from the assaults that politics and selfinterest may level at it, and assist it to maintain its integrity, impartiality and independence;
(5) Have an effective voice in the selection of judges and prosecuting officers;
(6) Prevent the unauthorized practice of law, and break up any monopoly of local practice maintained through influence or position;
(7) Establish welfare funds for families of disabled and deceased lawyers;
(8) Provide placement services, and establish legal aid offices and set up lawyer reference services throughout the country so that
the poor may not lack competent legal service;
(9) Distribute educational and informational materials that are difficult to obtain in many of our provinces;
(10) Devise and maintain a program of continuing legal education for practising attorneys in order to elevate the standards of the
profession throughout the country;
(11) Enforce rigid ethical standards, and promulgate minimum fees schedules;
(12) Create law centers and establish law libraries for legal research;
(13) Conduct campaigns to educate the people on their legal rights and obligations, on the importance of preventive legal advice,
and on the functions and duties of the Filipino lawyer; and
(14) Generate and maintain pervasive and meaningful country-wide involvement of the lawyer population in the solution of the
multifarious problems that afflict the nation.
Anent the first issue, the Court is of the view that it may integrate the Philippine Bar in the exercise of its power, under Article VIII,
Sec. 13 of the Constitution, "to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to
the practice of law." Indeed, the power to integrate is an inherent part of the Court's constitutional authority over the Bar. In
providing that "the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar," Republic Act 6397
neither confers a new power nor restricts the Court's inherent power, but is a mere legislative declaration that the integration of the
Bar will promote public interest or, more specifically, will "raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of
justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively."
Resolution of the second issue whether the unification of the Bar would be constitutional hinges on the effects of Bar
integration on the lawyer's constitutional rights of freedom of association and freedom of speech, and on the nature of the dues
exacted from him.
The Court approvingly quotes the following pertinent discussion made by the Commission on Bar Integration pages 44 to 49 of its
Report:
Constitutionality of Bar Integration
Judicial Pronouncements.
In all cases where the validity of Bar integration measures has been put in issue, the Courts have upheld their constitutionality.
The judicial pronouncements support this reasoning:
Courts have inherent power to supervise and regulate the practice of law.
The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege; a privilege, moreover, clothed with public interest, because a lawyer
owes duties not only to his client, but also to his brethren in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation; and takes part in one of
the most important functions of the State, the administration of justice, as an officer of the court.
Because the practice of law is privilege clothed with public interest, it is far and just that the exercise of that privilege be
regulated to assure compliance with the lawyer's public responsibilities.
These public responsibilities can best be discharged through collective action; but there can be no collective action without an
organized body; no organized body can operate effectively without incurring expenses; therefore, it is fair and just that all attorneys
be required to contribute to the support of such organized body; and, given existing Bar conditions, the most efficient means of
doing so is by integrating the Bar through a rule of court that requires all lawyers to pay annual dues to the Integrated Bar.
1. Freedom of Association.
To compel a lawyer to be a member of an integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom to associate (or the corollary
right not to associate).
Integration does not make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not already a member. He became a member of the Bar
when he passed the Bar examinations. All that integration actually does is to provide an official national organization for the welldefined but unorganized and incohesive group of which every lawyer is already a member.
Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not attend the meetings of his
Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The body compulsion to which he is subjected is the
payment of annual dues.
Otherwise stated, membership in the Unified Bar imposes only the duty to pay dues in reasonable amount. The issue therefore, is
a question of compelled financial support of group activities, not involuntary membership in any other aspect.
The greater part of Unified Bar activities serves the function of elevating the educational and ethical standards of the Bar to the end
of improving the quality of the legal service available to the people. The Supreme Court, in order to further the State's legitimate

interest in elevating the quality of professional services, may require that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be
shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of the regulatory program the lawyers.
Assuming that Bar integration does compel a lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar, such compulsion is justified as an
exercise of the police power of the State. The legal profession has long been regarded as a proper subject of legislative regulation
and control. Moreover, the inherent power of the Supreme Court to regulate the Bar includes the authority to integrate the Bar.
2. Regulatory Fee.
For the Court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean that the Court levies a tax.
A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is an exaction for regulation, while the purpose of a tax is revenue. If the Court has
inherent power to regulate the Bar, it follows that as an incident to regulation, it may impose a membership fee for that purpose. It
would not be possible to push through an Integrated Bar program without means to defray the concomitant expenses. The doctrine
of implied powers necessarily includes the power to impose such an exaction.
The only limitation upon the State's power to regulate the Bar is that the regulation does not impose an unconstitutional burden.
The public interest promoted by the integration of the Bar far outweighs the inconsequential inconvenience to a member that might
result from his required payment of annual dues.
3. Freedom of Speech.
A lawyer is free, as he has always been, to voice his views on any subject in any manner he wishes, even though such views be
opposed to positions taken by the Unified Bar.
For the Integrated Bar to use a member's due to promote measures to which said member is opposed, would not nullify or
adversely affect his freedom of speech.
Since a State may constitutionally condition the right to practice law upon membership in the Integrated Bar, it is difficult to
understand why it should become unconstitutional for the Bar to use the member's dues to fulfill the very purposes for which it was
established.
The objection would make every Governmental exaction the material of a "free speech" issue. Even the income tax would be
suspect. The objection would carry us to lengths that have never been dreamed of. The conscientious objector, if his liberties were
to be thus extended, might refuse to contribute taxes in furtherance of war or of any other end condemned by his conscience as
irreligious or immoral. The right of private judgment has never yet been exalted above the powers and the compulsion of the
agencies of Government.
4. Fair to All Lawyers.
Bar integration is not unfair to lawyers already practising because although the requirement to pay annual dues is a new regulation,
it will give the members of the Bar a new system which they hitherto have not had and through which, by proper work, they will
receive benefits they have not heretofore enjoyed, and discharge their public responsibilities in a more effective manner than they
have been able to do in the past. Because the requirement to pay dues is a valid exercise of regulatory power by the Court,
because it will apply equally to all lawyers, young and old, at the time Bar integration takes effect, and because it is a new
regulation in exchange for new benefits, it is not retroactive, it is not unequal, it is not unfair.
To resolve the third and final issue whether the Court should ordain the integration of the Bar at this time requires a careful
overview of the practicability and necessity as well as the advantages and disadvantages of Bar integration.
In many other jurisdictions, notably in England, Canada and the United States, Bar integration has yielded the following benefits: (1)
improved discipline among the members of the Bar; (2) greater influence and ascendancy of the Bar; (3) better and more meaningful
participation of the individual lawyer in the activities of the Integrated Bar; (4) greater Bar facilities and services; (5) elimination of
unauthorized practice; (6) avoidance of costly membership campaigns; (7) establishment of an official status for the Bar; (8) more
cohesive profession; and (9) better and more effective discharge by the Bar of its obligations and responsibilities to its members, to the
courts, and to the public. No less than these salutary consequences are envisioned and in fact expected from the unification of the
Philippine Bar.
Upon the other hand, it has been variously argued that in the event of integration, Government authority will dominate the Bar; local Bar
associations will be weakened; cliquism will be the inevitable result; effective lobbying will not be possible; the Bar will become an
impersonal Bar; and politics will intrude into its affairs.
It is noteworthy, however, that these and other evils prophesied by opponents of Bar integration have failed to materialize in over fifty
years of Bar integration experience in England, Canada and the United States. In all the jurisdictions where the Integrated Bar has been
tried, none of the abuses or evils feared has arisen; on the other hand, it has restored public confidence in the Bar, enlarged
professional consciousness, energized the Bar's responsibilities to the public, and vastly improved the administration of justice.
How do the Filipino lawyers themselves regard Bar integration? The official statistics compiled by the Commission on Bar integration
show that in the national poll recently conducted by the Commission in the matter of the integration of the Philippine Bar, of a total of
15,090 lawyers from all over the archipelago who have turned in their individual responses, 14,555 (or 96.45 per cent) voted in favor of
Bar integration, while only 378 (or 2.51 per cent) voted against it, and 157 (or 1.04 per cent) are non-commital. In addition, a total of
eighty (80) local Bar association and lawyers' groups all over the Philippines have submitted resolutions and other expressions of
unqualified endorsement and/or support for Bar integration, while not a single local Bar association or lawyers' group has expressed
opposed position thereto. Finally, of the 13,802 individual lawyers who cast their plebiscite ballots on the proposed integration Court
Rule drafted by the Commission, 12,855 (or 93.14 per cent) voted in favor thereof, 662 (or 4.80 per cent) vote against it, and 285 (or
2.06 per cent) are non-committal. 5 All these clearly indicate an overwhelming nationwide demand for Bar integration at this time.
The Court is fully convinced, after a thoroughgoing conscientious study of all the arguments adduced in Adm. Case No. 526 and the
authoritative materials and the mass of factual data contained in the exhaustive Report of the Commission on Bar Integration, that the
integration of the Philippine Bar is "perfectly constitutional and legally unobjectionable," within the context of contemporary conditions in
the Philippines, has become an imperative means to raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice,
and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility fully and effectively.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court, by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution, hereby ordains the
integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the attached COURT RULE, effective on January 16, 1973.
D.

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMISSION TO THE BAR AND OATH-TAKING OF SUCCESSFUL BAR APPLICANT AL C.
ARGOSINO, petitioner.

A criminal information was filed on 4 February 1992 with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 101, charging Mr. A.C.
Argosino along with thirteen (13) other individuals, with the crime of homicide in connection with the death of one Raul Camaligan on 8
September 1991. The death of Raul Camaligan stemmed from the infliction of severe physical injuries upon him in the course of
"hazing" conducted as part of university fraternity initiation rites. Mr. Argosino and his co-accused then entered into plea bargaining with
the prosecution and as a result of such bargaining, pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of homicide through reckless imprudence. This
plea was accepted by the trial court. In a judgment dated 11 February 1993, each of the fourteen (14) accused individuals was
sentenced to suffer imprisonment for a period ranging from two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years.
Eleven (11) days later, Mr. Argosino and his colleagues filed an application for probation with the lower court. The application for
probation was granted in an Order dated 18 June 1993 issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Pedro T. Santiago. The period of
probation was set at two (2) years, counted from the probationer's initial report to the probation officer assigned to supervise him.
Less than a month later, on 13 July 1993, Mr. Argosino filed a Petition for Admission to Take the 1993 Bar Examinations. In this Petition,
he disclosed the fact of his criminal conviction and his then probation status. He was allowed to take the 1993 Bar Examinations in this

Court's En Banc Resolution dated 14 August 1993. 1 He passed the Bar Examination. He was not, however, allowed to take the lawyer's
oath of office.
On 15 April 1994, Mr. Argosino filed a Petition with this Court to allow him to take the attorney's oath of office and to admit him to the
practice of law, averring that Judge Pedro T. Santiago had terminated his probation period by virtue of an Order dated 11 April 1994. We
note that his probation period did not last for more than ten (10) months from the time of the Order of Judge Santiago granting him
probation dated 18 June 1993. Since then, Mr. Argosino has filed three (3) Motions for Early Resolution of his Petition for Admission to
the Bar.
The practice of law is not a natural, absolute or constitutional right to be granted to everyone who demands it. Rather, it is a
high personal privilege limited to citizens of good moral character, with special educational qualifications, duly ascertained and
certified. 2 The essentiality of good moral character in those who would be lawyers is stressed in the following excerpts which we quote
with approval and which we regard as having persuasive effect:
In Re Farmer: 3
xxx xxx xxx
This "upright character" prescribed by the statute, as a condition precedent to the applicant's right to receive a license to practice
law in North Carolina, and of which he must, in addition to other requisites, satisfy the court, includes all the elements necessary to
make up such a character. It is something more than an absence of bad character. It is the good name which the applicant has
acquired, or should have acquired, through association with his fellows. It means that he must have conducted himself as a man of
upright character ordinarily would, or should, or does. Such character expresses itself, not in negatives nor in following the line of
least resistance, but quite often, in the will to do the unpleasant thing if it is right, and the resolve not to do the pleasant thing if it is
wrong. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
And we may pause to say that this requirement of the statute is eminently proper. Consider for a moment the duties of a lawyer. He
is sought as counsellor, and his advice comes home, in its ultimate effect, to every man's fireside. Vast interests are committed to
his care; he is the recipient of unbounded trust and confidence; he deals with is client's property, reputation, his life, his all. An
attorney at law is a sworn officer of the Court, whose chief concern, as such, is to aid the administration of justice. . . .
xxx xxx xxx 4
In Re Application of Kaufman, 5 citing Re Law Examination of 1926 (1926) 191 Wis 359, 210 NW 710:
It can also be truthfully said that there exists nowhere greater temptations to deviate from the straight and narrow path than in the
multiplicity of circumstances that arise in the practice of profession. For these reasons the wisdom of requiring an applicant for
admission to the bar to possess a high moral standard therefore becomes clearly apparent, and the board of bar examiners as an
arm of the court, is required to cause a minute examination to be made of the moral standard of each candidate for admission to
practice. . . . It needs no further argument, therefore, to arrive at the conclusion that the highest degree of scrutiny must be
exercised as to the moral character of a candidate who presents himself for admission to the bar. The evil must, if possible, be
successfully met at its very source, and prevented, for, after a lawyer has once been admitted, and has pursued his profession,
and has established himself therein, a far more difficult situation is presented to the court when proceedings are instituted for
disbarment and for the recalling and annulment of his license.
In Re Keenan: 6
The right to practice law is not one of the inherent rights of every citizen, as in the right to carry on an ordinary trade or business. It
is a peculiar privilege granted and continued only to those who demonstrate special fitness in intellectual attainment and in moral
character. All may aspire to it on an absolutely equal basis, but not all will attain it. Elaborate machinery has been set up to test
applicants by standards fair to all and to separate the fit from the unfit. Only those who pass the test are allowed to enter the
profession, and only those who maintain the standards are allowed to remain in it.
Re Rouss: 7
Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions, and a fair private and professional character is one of them; to
refuse admission to an unworthy applicant is not to punish him for past offense: an examination into character, like the examination
into learning, is merely a test of fitness.
Cobb vs. Judge of Superior Court: 8
Attorney's are licensed because of their learning and ability, so that they may not only protect the rights and interests of their
clients, but be able to assist court in the trial of the cause. Yet what protection to clients or assistance to courts could such agents
give? They are required to be of good moral character, so that the agents and officers of the court, which they are, may not bring
discredit upon the due administration of the law, and it is of the highest possible consequence that both those who have not such
qualifications in the first instance, or who, having had them, have fallen therefrom, shall not be permitted to appear in courts to aid
in the administration of justice.
It has also been stressed that the requirement of good moral character is, in fact, of greater importance so far as the general public and
the proper administration of justice are concerned, than the possession of legal learning:
. . . (In re Applicants for License, 55 S.E. 635, 143 N.C. 1, 10 L.R.A. [N.S.] 288, 10 Ann./Cas. 187):
The public policy of our state has always been to admit no person to the practice of the law unless he covered an upright moral
character. The possession of this by the attorney is more important, if anything, to the public and to the proper administration of
justice than legal learning. Legal learning may be acquired in after years, but if the applicant passes the threshold of the bar with a
bad moral character the chances are that his character will remain bad, and that he will become a disgrace instead of an ornament
to his great calling a curse instead of a benefit to his community a Quirk, a Gammon or a Snap, instead of a Davis, a Smith or
a Ruffin. 9
All aspects of moral character and behavior may be inquired into in respect of those seeking admission to the Bar. The scope of such
inquiry is, indeed, said to be properly broader than inquiry into the moral proceedings for disbarment:
Re Stepsay: 10
The inquiry as to the moral character of an attorney in a proceeding for his admission to practice is broader in scope than in a
disbarment proceeding.
Re Wells: 11
. . . that an applicant's contention that upon application for admission to the California Bar the court cannot reject him for want of
good moral character unless it appears that he has been guilty of acts which would be cause for his disbarment or suspension,
could not be sustained; that the inquiry is broader in its scope than that in a disbarment proceeding, and the court may receive any
evidence which tends to show the applicant's character as respects honesty, integrity, and general morality, and may no doubt
refuse admission upon proofs that might not establish his guilt of any of the acts declared to be causes for disbarment.
The requirement of good moral character to be satisfied by those who would seek admission to the bar must of necessity be more
stringent than the norm of conduct expected from members of the general public. There is a very real need to prevent a general
perception that entry into the legal profession is open to individuals with inadequate moral qualifications. The growth of such a
perception would signal the progressive destruction of our people's confidence in their courts of law and in our legal system as we know
it. 12
Mr. Argosino's participation in the deplorable "hazing" activities certainly fell far short of the required standard of good moral character.
The deliberate (rather than merely accidental or inadvertent) infliction of severe physical injuries which proximately led to the death of
the unfortunate Raul Camaligan, certainly indicated serious character flaws on the part of those who inflicted such injuries. Mr. Argosino
and his co-accused had failed to discharge their moral duty to protect the life and well-being of a "neophyte" who had, by seeking
admission to the fraternity involved, reposed trust and confidence in all of them that, at the very least, he would not be beaten and

kicked to death like a useless stray dog. Thus, participation in the prolonged and mindless physical beatings inflicted upon Raul
Camaligan constituted evident rejection of that moral duty and was totally irresponsible behavior, which makes impossible a finding that
the participant was then possessed of good moral character.
Now that the original period of probation granted by the trial court has expired, the Court is prepared to consider de novo the question
of whether applicant A.C. Argosino has purged himself of the obvious deficiency in moral character referred to above. We stress that
good moral character is a requirement possession of which must be demonstrated not only at the time of application for permission to
take the bar examinations but also, and more importantly, at the time of application for admission to the bar and to take the attorney's
oath of office.
Mr. Argosino must, therefore, submit to this Court, for its examination and consideration, evidence that he may be now regarded as
complying with the requirement of good moral character imposed upon those seeking admission to the bar. His evidence may
consist, inter alia, of sworn certifications from responsible members of the community who have a good reputation for truth and who
have actually known Mr. Argosino for a significant period of time, particularly since the judgment of conviction was rendered by Judge
Santiago. He should show to the Court how he has tried to make up for the senseless killing of a helpless student to the family of the
deceased student and to the community at large. Mr. Argosino must, in other words, submit relevant evidence to show that he is a
different person now, that he has become morally fit for admission to the ancient and learned profession of the law.
Finally, Mr. Argosino is hereby DIRECTED to inform this Court, by appropriate written manifestation, of the names and addresses of the
father and mother (in default thereof, brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul Camaligan), within ten (10) day from notice hereof. Let a copy
of this Resolution be furnished to the parents or brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul Camaligan.

E.
G.R. No. 151258
February 1, 2012
ARTEMIO VILLAREAL, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
x-----------------------x
G.R. No. 154954 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, vs. The HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
x-----------------------x
G.R. No. 155101 FIDELITO DIZON, Petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
x-----------------------x
G.R. Nos. 178057 & 178080 GERARDA H. VILLA, Petitioner, vs. MANUEL LORENZO ESCALONA II, MARCUS JOEL CAPELLAN
RAMOS, CRISANTO CRUZ SARUCA, Jr., and ANSELMO ADRIANO, Respondents.
SERENO, J.:
The public outrage over the death of Leonardo "Lenny" Villa the victim in this case on 10 February 1991 led to a very strong clamor
to put an end to hazing.1 Due in large part to the brave efforts of his mother, petitioner Gerarda Villa, groups were organized,
condemning his senseless and tragic death. This widespread condemnation prompted Congress to enact a special law, which became
effective in 1995, that would criminalize hazing. 2 The intent of the law was to discourage members from making hazing a requirement
for joining their sorority, fraternity, organization, or association. 3 Moreover, the law was meant to counteract the exculpatory implications
of "consent" and "initial innocent act" in the conduct of initiation rites by making the mere act of hazing punishable or mala prohibita.4
Sadly, the Lenny Villa tragedy did not discourage hazing activities in the country.5 Within a year of his death, six more cases of hazingrelated deaths emerged those of Frederick Cahiyang of the University of Visayas in Cebu; Raul Camaligan of San Beda College;
Felipe Narne of Pamantasan ng Araullo in Cabanatuan City; Dennis Cenedoza of the Cavite Naval Training Center; Joselito Mangga of
the Philippine Merchant Marine Institute; and Joselito Hernandez of the University of the Philippines in Baguio City.6
Although courts must not remain indifferent to public sentiments, in this case the general condemnation of a hazing-related death, they
are still bound to observe a fundamental principle in our criminal justice system "[N]o act constitutes a crime unless it is made so by
law."7 Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege. Even if an act is viewed by a large section of the populace as immoral or injurious, it
cannot be considered a crime, absent any law prohibiting its commission. As interpreters of the law, judges are called upon to set aside
emotion, to resist being swayed by strong public sentiments, and to rule strictly based on the elements of the offense and the facts
allowed in evidence.
Before the Court are the consolidated cases docketed as G.R. No. 151258 (Villareal v. People), G.R. No. 154954 (People v. Court of
Appeals), G.R. No. 155101 (Dizon v. People), and G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 (Villa v. Escalona).
Facts
The pertinent facts, as determined by the Court of Appeals (CA)8 and the trial court,9 are as follows:
In February 1991, seven freshmen law students of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law signified their intention to join the
Aquila Legis Juris Fraternity (Aquila Fraternity). They were Caesar "Bogs" Asuncion, Samuel "Sam" Belleza, Bienvenido "Bien"
Marquez III, Roberto Francis "Bert" Navera, Geronimo "Randy" Recinto, Felix Sy, Jr., and Leonardo "Lenny" Villa (neophytes).
On the night of 8 February 1991, the neophytes were met by some members of the Aquila Fraternity (Aquilans) at the lobby of the
Ateneo Law School. They all proceeded to Rufos Restaurant to have dinner. Afterwards, they went to the house of Michael Musngi,
also an Aquilan, who briefed the neophytes on what to expect during the initiation rites. The latter were informed that there would be
physical beatings, and that they could quit at any time. Their initiation rites were scheduled to last for three days. After their "briefing,"
they were brought to the Almeda Compound in Caloocan City for the commencement of their initiation.
Even before the neophytes got off the van, they had already received threats and insults from the Aquilans. As soon as the neophytes
alighted from the van and walked towards the pelota court of the Almeda compound, some of the Aquilans delivered physical blows to
them. The neophytes were then subjected to traditional forms of Aquilan "initiation rites." These rites included the "Indian Run," which
required the neophytes to run a gauntlet of two parallel rows of Aquilans, each row delivering blows to the neophytes; the "Bicol
Express," which obliged the neophytes to sit on the floor with their backs against the wall and their legs outstretched while the Aquilans
walked, jumped, or ran over their legs; the "Rounds," in which the neophytes were held at the back of their pants by the "auxiliaries"
(the Aquilans charged with the duty of lending assistance to neophytes during initiation rites), while the latter were being hit with fist
blows on their arms or with knee blows on their thighs by two Aquilans; and the "Auxies Privilege Round," in which the auxiliaries were
given the opportunity to inflict physical pain on the neophytes. During this time, the neophytes were also indoctrinated with the fraternity
principles. They survived their first day of initiation.
On the morning of their second day 9 February 1991 the neophytes were made to present comic plays and to play rough
basketball. They were also required to memorize and recite the Aquila Fraternitys principles. Whenever they would give a wrong
answer, they would be hit on their arms or legs. Late in the afternoon, the Aquilans revived the initiation rites proper and proceeded to
torment them physically and psychologically. The neophytes were subjected to the same manner of hazing that they endured on the
first day of initiation. After a few hours, the initiation for the day officially ended.
After a while, accused non-resident or alumni fraternity members10 Fidelito Dizon (Dizon) and Artemio Villareal (Villareal) demanded that
the rites be reopened. The head of initiation rites, Nelson Victorino (Victorino), initially refused. Upon the insistence of Dizon and
Villareal, however, he reopened the initiation rites. The fraternity members, including Dizon and Villareal, then subjected the neophytes
to "paddling" and to additional rounds of physical pain. Lenny received several paddle blows, one of which was so strong it sent him
sprawling to the ground. The neophytes heard him complaining of intense pain and difficulty in breathing. After their last session of

physical beatings, Lenny could no longer walk. He had to be carried by the auxiliaries to the carport. Again, the initiation for the day was
officially ended, and the neophytes started eating dinner. They then slept at the carport.
After an hour of sleep, the neophytes were suddenly roused by Lennys shivering and incoherent mumblings. Initially, Villareal and
Dizon dismissed these rumblings, as they thought he was just overacting. When they realized, though, that Lenny was really feeling
cold, some of the Aquilans started helping him. They removed his clothes and helped him through a sleeping bag to keep him warm.
When his condition worsened, the Aquilans rushed him to the hospital. Lenny was pronounced dead on arrival.
Consequently, a criminal case for homicide was filed against the following 35 Aquilans:
In Criminal Case No. C-38340(91)
1. Fidelito Dizon (Dizon)
2. Artemio Villareal (Villareal)
3. Efren de Leon (De Leon)
4. Vincent Tecson (Tecson)
5. Junel Anthony Ama (Ama)
6. Antonio Mariano Almeda (Almeda)
7. Renato Bantug, Jr. (Bantug)
8. Nelson Victorino (Victorino)
9. Eulogio Sabban (Sabban)
10. Joseph Lledo (Lledo)
11. Etienne Guerrero (Guerrero)
12. Michael Musngi (Musngi)
13. Jonas Karl Perez (Perez)
14. Paul Angelo Santos (Santos)
15. Ronan de Guzman (De Guzman)
16. Antonio General (General)
17. Jaime Maria Flores II (Flores)
18. Dalmacio Lim, Jr. (Lim)
19. Ernesto Jose Montecillo (Montecillo)
20. Santiago Ranada III (Ranada)
21. Zosimo Mendoza (Mendoza)
22. Vicente Verdadero (Verdadero)
23. Amante Purisima II (Purisima)
24. Jude Fernandez (J. Fernandez)
25. Adel Abas (Abas)
26. Percival Brigola (Brigola)
In Criminal Case No. C-38340
1. Manuel Escalona II (Escalona)
2. Crisanto Saruca, Jr. (Saruca)
3. Anselmo Adriano (Adriano)
4. Marcus Joel Ramos (Ramos)
5. Reynaldo Concepcion (Concepcion)
6. Florentino Ampil (Ampil)
7. Enrico de Vera III (De Vera)
8. Stanley Fernandez (S. Fernandez)
9. Noel Cabangon (Cabangon)
Twenty-six of the accused Aquilans in Criminal Case No. C-38340(91) were jointly tried.11 On the other hand, the trial against the
remaining nine accused in Criminal Case No. C-38340 was held in abeyance due to certain matters that had to be resolved first.12
On 8 November 1993, the trial court rendered judgment in Criminal Case No. C-38340(91), holding the 26 accused guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide, penalized with reclusion temporal under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code. 13 A few
weeks after the trial court rendered its judgment, or on 29 November 1993, Criminal Case No. C-38340 against the remaining nine
accused commenced anew.14
On 10 January 2002, the CA in (CA-G.R. No. 15520) 15 set aside the finding of conspiracy by the trial court in Criminal Case No. C38340(91) and modified the criminal liability of each of the accused according to individual participation. Accused De Leon had by then
passed away, so the following Decision applied only to the remaining 25 accused, viz:
1. Nineteen of the accused-appellants Victorino, Sabban, Lledo, Guerrero, Musngi, Perez, De Guzman, Santos, General,
Flores, Lim, Montecillo, Ranada, Mendoza, Verdadero, Purisima, Fernandez, Abas, and Brigola (Victorino et al.) were
acquitted, as their individual guilt was not established by proof beyond reasonable doubt.
2. Four of the accused-appellants Vincent Tecson, Junel Anthony Ama, Antonio Mariano Almeda, and Renato Bantug, Jr.
(Tecson et al.) were found guilty of the crime of slight physical injuries and sentenced to 20 days of arresto menor. They
were also ordered to jointly pay the heirs of the victim the sum of P30,000 as indemnity.
3. Two of the accused-appellants Fidelito Dizon and Artemio Villareal were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code. Having found no mitigating or aggravating circumstance, the
CA sentenced them to an indeterminate sentence of 10 years of prision mayor to 17 years of reclusion temporal. They were
also ordered to indemnify, jointly and severally, the heirs of Lenny Villa in the sum of P 50,000 and to pay the additional
amount of P 1,000,000 by way of moral damages.
On 5 August 2002, the trial court in Criminal Case No. 38340 dismissed the charge against accused Concepcion on the ground of
violation of his right to speedy trial. 16 Meanwhile, on different dates between the years 2003 and 2005, the trial court denied the
respective Motions to Dismiss of accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.17 On 25 October 2006, the CA in CA-G.R. SP Nos.
89060 & 9015318 reversed the trial courts Orders and dismissed the criminal case against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano on
the basis of violation of their right to speedy trial.19
From the aforementioned Decisions, the five (5) consolidated Petitions were individually brought before this Court.
G.R. No. 151258 Villareal v. People
The instant case refers to accused Villareals Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. The Petition raises two reversible errors
allegedly committed by the CA in its Decision dated 10 January 2002 in CA-G.R. No. 15520 first, denial of due process; and, second,
conviction absent proof beyond reasonable doubt.20
While the Petition was pending before this Court, counsel for petitioner Villareal filed a Notice of Death of Party on 10 August 2011.
According to the Notice, petitioner Villareal died on 13 March 2011. Counsel thus asserts that the subject matter of the Petition
previously filed by petitioner does not survive the death of the accused.
G.R. No. 155101 Dizon v. People
Accused Dizon filed a Rule 45 Petition for Review on Certiorari, questioning the CAs Decision dated 10 January 2002 and Resolution
dated 30 August 2002 in CA-G.R. No. 15520. 21 Petitioner sets forth two main issues first, that he was denied due process when the
CA sustained the trial courts forfeiture of his right to present evidence; and, second, that he was deprived of due process when the CA
did not apply to him the same "ratio decidendi that served as basis of acquittal of the other accused."22

As regards the first issue, the trial court made a ruling, which forfeited Dizons right to present evidence during trial. The trial court
expected Dizon to present evidence on an earlier date since a co-accused, Antonio General, no longer presented separate evidence
during trial. According to Dizon, his right should not have been considered as waived because he was justified in asking for a
postponement. He argues that he did not ask for a resetting of any of the hearing dates and in fact insisted that he was ready to present
evidence on the original pre-assigned schedule, and not on an earlier hearing date.
Regarding the second issue, petitioner contends that he should have likewise been acquitted, like the other accused, since his acts
were also part of the traditional initiation rites and were not tainted by evil motives.23 He claims that the additional paddling session was
part of the official activity of the fraternity. He also points out that one of the neophytes admitted that the chairperson of the initiation
rites "decided that [Lenny] was fit enough to undergo the initiation so Mr. Villareal proceeded to do the paddling." 24 Further, petitioner
echoes the argument of the Solicitor General that "the individual blows inflicted by Dizon and Villareal could not have resulted in
Lennys death."25 The Solicitor General purportedly averred that, "on the contrary, Dr. Arizala testified that the injuries suffered by Lenny
could not be considered fatal if taken individually, but if taken collectively, the result is the violent death of the victim."26
Petitioner then counters the finding of the CA that he was motivated by ill will. He claims that Lennys father could not have stolen the
parking space of Dizons father, since the latter did not have a car, and their fathers did not work in the same place or office. Revenge
for the loss of the parking space was the alleged ill motive of Dizon. According to petitioner, his utterances regarding a stolen parking
space were only part of the "psychological initiation." He then cites the testimony of Lennys co-neophyte witness Marquez who
admitted knowing "it was not true and that he was just making it up."27
Further, petitioner argues that his alleged motivation of ill will was negated by his show of concern for Villa after the initiation rites. Dizon
alludes to the testimony of one of the neophytes, who mentioned that the former had kicked the leg of the neophyte and told him to
switch places with Lenny to prevent the latters chills. When the chills did not stop, Dizon, together with Victorino, helped Lenny through
a sleeping bag and made him sit on a chair. According to petitioner, his alleged ill motivation is contradicted by his manifestation of
compassion and concern for the victims well-being.
G.R. No. 154954 People v. Court of Appeals
This Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 seeks the reversal of the CAs Decision dated 10 January 2002 and Resolution dated 30
August 2002 in CA-G.R. No. 15520, insofar as it acquitted 19 (Victorino et al.) and convicted 4 (Tecson et al.) of the accused Aquilans
of the lesser crime of slight physical injuries.28 According to the Solicitor General, the CA erred in holding that there could have been no
conspiracy to commit hazing, as hazing or fraternity initiation had not yet been criminalized at the time Lenny died.
In the alternative, petitioner claims that the ruling of the trial court should have been upheld, inasmuch as it found that there was
conspiracy to inflict physical injuries on Lenny. Since the injuries led to the victims death, petitioner posits that the accused Aquilans are
criminally liable for the resulting crime of homicide, pursuant to Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code. 29 The said article provides:
"Criminal liability shall be incurred [b]y any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that
which he intended."
Petitioner also argues that the rule on double jeopardy is inapplicable. According to the Solicitor General, the CA acted with grave
abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, in setting aside the trial courts finding of conspiracy and in ruling that
the criminal liability of all the accused must be based on their individual participation in the commission of the crime.
G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 Villa v. Escalona
Petitioner Villa filed the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari, praying for the reversal of the CAs Decision dated 25 October 2006
and Resolution dated 17 May 2007 in CA-G.R. S.P. Nos. 89060 and 90153. 30 The Petition involves the dismissal of the criminal charge
filed against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.
Due to "several pending incidents," the trial court ordered a separate trial for accused Escalona, Saruca, Adriano, Ramos, Ampil,
Concepcion, De Vera, S. Fernandez, and Cabangon (Criminal Case No. C-38340) to commence after proceedings against the 26 other
accused in Criminal Case No. C-38340(91) shall have terminated. On 8 November 1993, the trial court found the 26 accused guilty
beyond reasonable doubt. As a result, the proceedings in Criminal Case No. C-38340 involving the nine other co-accused
recommenced on 29 November 1993. For "various reasons," the initial trial of the case did not commence until 28 March 2005, or
almost 12 years after the arraignment of the nine accused.
Petitioner Villa assails the CAs dismissal of the criminal case involving 4 of the 9 accused, namely, Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano. She argues that the accused failed to assert their right to speedy trial within a reasonable period of time. She also points out
that the prosecution cannot be faulted for the delay, as the original records and the required evidence were not at its disposal, but were
still in the appellate court.
We resolve herein the various issues that we group into five.
Issues
1. Whether the forfeiture of petitioner Dizons right to present evidence constitutes denial of due process;
2. Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it dismissed the case
against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano for violation of the right of the accused to speedy trial;
3. Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when it set aside the
finding of conspiracy by the trial court and adjudicated the liability of each accused according to individual participation;
4. Whether accused Dizon is guilty of homicide; and
5. Whether the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it pronounced Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug guilty only of
slight physical injuries.
Discussion
Resolution on Preliminary Matters
G.R. No. 151258 Villareal v. People
In a Notice dated 26 September 2011 and while the Petition was pending resolution, this Court took note of counsel for petitioners
Notice of Death of Party.
According to Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability for personal penalties is totally extinguished by the death of the
convict. In contrast, criminal liability for pecuniary penalties is extinguished if the offender dies prior to final judgment. The term
"personal penalties" refers to the service of personal or imprisonment penalties, 31 while the term "pecuniary penalties" (las pecuniarias)
refers to fines and costs,32 including civil liability predicated on the criminal offense complained of (i.e., civil liability ex
delicto).33 However, civil liability based on a source of obligation other than the delict survives the death of the accused and is
recoverable through a separate civil action.34
Thus, we hold that the death of petitioner Villareal extinguished his criminal liability for both personal and pecuniary penalties, including
his civil liability directly arising from the delict complained of. Consequently, his Petition is hereby dismissed, and the criminal case
against him deemed closed and terminated.
G.R. No. 155101 (Dizon v. People)
In an Order dated 28 July 1993, the trial court set the dates for the reception of evidence for accused-petitioner Dizon on the 8th, 15th,
and 22nd of September; and the 5th and 12 of October 1993. 35 The Order likewise stated that "it will not entertain any postponement
and that all the accused who have not yet presented their respective evidence should be ready at all times down the line, with their
evidence on all said dates. Failure on their part to present evidence when required shall therefore be construed as waiver to present
evidence."36
However, on 19 August 1993, counsel for another accused manifested in open court that his client Antonio General would no longer
present separate evidence. Instead, the counsel would adopt the testimonial evidence of the other accused who had already
testified.37 Because of this development and pursuant to the trial courts Order that the parties "should be ready at all times down the
line," the trial court expected Dizon to present evidence on the next trial date 25 August 1993 instead of his originally assigned

dates. The original dates were supposed to start two weeks later, or on 8 September 1993. 38 Counsel for accused Dizon was not able to
present evidence on the accelerated date. To address the situation, counsel filed a Constancia on 25 August 1993, alleging that he had
to appear in a previously scheduled case, and that he would be ready to present evidence on the dates originally assigned to his
clients.39 The trial court denied the Manifestation on the same date and treated the Constancia as a motion for postponement, in
violation of the three-day-notice rule under the Rules of Court. 40 Consequently, the trial court ruled that the failure of Dizon to present
evidence amounted to a waiver of that right.41
Accused-petitioner Dizon thus argues that he was deprived of due process of law when the trial court forfeited his right to present
evidence. According to him, the postponement of the 25 August 1993 hearing should have been considered justified, since his original
pre-assigned trial dates were not supposed to start until 8 September 1993, when he was scheduled to present evidence. He posits
that he was ready to present evidence on the dates assigned to him. He also points out that he did not ask for a resetting of any of the
said hearing dates; that he in fact insisted on being allowed to present evidence on the dates fixed by the trial court. Thus, he contends
that the trial court erred in accelerating the schedule of presentation of evidence, thereby invalidating the finding of his guilt.
The right of the accused to present evidence is guaranteed by no less than the Constitution itself. 42 Article III, Section 14(2) thereof,
provides that "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel" This constitutional
right includes the right to present evidence in ones defense,43 as well as the right to be present and defend oneself in person at every
stage of the proceedings.44
In Crisostomo v. Sandiganbayan,45 the Sandiganbayan set the hearing of the defenses presentation of evidence for 21, 22 and 23 June
1995. The 21 June 1995 hearing was cancelled due to "lack of quorum in the regular membership" of the Sandiganbayans Second
Division and upon the agreement of the parties. The hearing was reset for the next day, 22 June 1995, but Crisostomo and his counsel
failed to attend. The Sandiganbayan, on the very same day, issued an Order directing the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of
Crisostomo and the confiscation of his surety bond. The Order further declared that he had waived his right to present evidence
because of his nonappearance at "yesterdays and todays scheduled hearings." In ruling against the Order, we held thus:
Under Section 2(c), Rule 114 and Section 1(c), Rule 115 of the Rules of Court, Crisostomos non-appearance during the 22 June 1995
trial was merely a waiver of his right to be present for trial on such date only and not for the succeeding trial dates
xxx
xxx
xxx
Moreover, Crisostomos absence on the 22 June 1995 hearing should not have been deemed as a waiver of his right to present
evidence. While constitutional rights may be waived, such waiver must be clear and must be coupled with an actual intention to
relinquish the right. Crisostomo did not voluntarily waive in person or even through his counsel the right to present evidence. The
Sandiganbayan imposed the waiver due to the agreement of the prosecution, Calingayan, and Calingayan's counsel.
In criminal cases where the imposable penalty may be death, as in the present case, the court is called upon to see to it that the
accused is personally made aware of the consequences of a waiver of the right to present evidence. In fact, it is not enough that the
accused is simply warned of the consequences of another failure to attend the succeeding hearings. The court must first explain to the
accused personally in clear terms the exact nature and consequences of a waiver. Crisostomo was not even forewarned. The
Sandiganbayan simply went ahead to deprive Crisostomo of his right to present evidence without even allowing Crisostomo to explain
his absence on the 22 June 1995 hearing.
Clearly, the waiver of the right to present evidence in a criminal case involving a grave penalty is not assumed and taken lightly. The
presence of the accused and his counsel is indispensable so that the court could personally conduct a searching inquiry into the waiver
x x x.46 (Emphasis supplied)
The trial court should not have deemed the failure of petitioner to present evidence on 25 August 1993 as a waiver of his right to
present evidence. On the contrary, it should have considered the excuse of counsel justified, especially since counsel for another
accused General had made a last-minute adoption of testimonial evidence that freed up the succeeding trial dates; and since Dizon
was not scheduled to testify until two weeks later. At any rate, the trial court pre-assigned five hearing dates for the reception of
evidence. If it really wanted to impose its Order strictly, the most it could have done was to forfeit one out of the five days set for Dizons
testimonial evidence. Stripping the accused of all his pre-assigned trial dates constitutes a patent denial of the constitutionally
guaranteed right to due process.
Nevertheless, as in the case of an improvident guilty plea, an invalid waiver of the right to present evidence and be heard does not per
se work to vacate a finding of guilt in the criminal case or to enforce an automatic remand of the case to the trial court. 47 In People v.
Bodoso, we ruled that where facts have adequately been represented in a criminal case, and no procedural unfairness or irregularity
has prejudiced either the prosecution or the defense as a result of the invalid waiver, the rule is that a guilty verdict may nevertheless
be upheld if the judgment is supported beyond reasonable doubt by the evidence on record.48
We do not see any material inadequacy in the relevant facts on record to resolve the case at bar. Neither can we see any "procedural
unfairness or irregularity" that would substantially prejudice either the prosecution or the defense as a result of the invalid waiver. In
fact, the arguments set forth by accused Dizon in his Petition corroborate the material facts relevant to decide the matter. Instead, what
he is really contesting in his Petition is the application of the law to the facts by the trial court and the CA. Petitioner Dizon admits direct
participation in the hazing of Lenny Villa by alleging in his Petition that "all actions of the petitioner were part of the traditional rites," and
that "the alleged extension of the initiation rites was not outside the official activity of the fraternity." 49He even argues that "Dizon did not
request for the extension and he participated only after the activity was sanctioned."50
For one reason or another, the case has been passed or turned over from one judge or justice to another at the trial court, at the CA,
and even at the Supreme Court. Remanding the case for the reception of the evidence of petitioner Dizon would only inflict further
injustice on the parties. This case has been going on for almost two decades. Its resolution is long overdue. Since the key facts
necessary to decide the case have already been determined, we shall proceed to decide it.
G.R. Nos. 178057 and 178080 (Villa v. Escalona)
Petitioner Villa argues that the case against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano should not have been dismissed, since they failed
to assert their right to speedy trial within a reasonable period of time. She points out that the accused failed to raise a protest during the
dormancy of the criminal case against them, and that they asserted their right only after the trial court had dismissed the case against
their co-accused Concepcion. Petitioner also emphasizes that the trial court denied the respective Motions to Dismiss filed by Saruca,
Escalona, Ramos, and Adriano, because it found that "the prosecution could not be faulted for the delay in the movement of this case
when the original records and the evidence it may require were not at its disposal as these were in the Court of Appeals."51
The right of the accused to a speedy trial has been enshrined in Sections 14(2) and 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. 52 This right
requires that there be a trial free from vexatious, capricious or oppressive delays. 53 The right is deemed violated when the proceeding is
attended with unjustified postponements of trial, or when a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the case being tried and for
no cause or justifiable motive. 54 In determining the right of the accused to speedy trial, courts should do more than a mathematical
computation of the number of postponements of the scheduled hearings of the case. 55 The conduct of both the prosecution and the
defense must be weighed.56 Also to be considered are factors such as the length of delay, the assertion or non-assertion of the right,
and the prejudice wrought upon the defendant.57
We have consistently ruled in a long line of cases that a dismissal of the case pursuant to the right of the accused to speedy trial is
tantamount to acquittal.58 As a consequence, an appeal or a reconsideration of the dismissal would amount to a violation of the principle
of double jeopardy.59 As we have previously discussed, however, where the dismissal of the case is capricious, certiorari lies. 60 The rule
on double jeopardy is not triggered when a petition challenges the validity of the order of dismissal instead of the correctness
thereof.61 Rather, grave abuse of discretion amounts to lack of jurisdiction, and lack of jurisdiction prevents double jeopardy from
attaching.62
We do not see grave abuse of discretion in the CAs dismissal of the case against accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano on
the basis of the violation of their right to speedy trial. The court held thus:

An examination of the procedural history of this case would reveal that the following factors contributed to the slow progress of the
proceedings in the case below:
xxx
xxx
xxx
5) The fact that the records of the case were elevated to the Court of Appeals and the prosecutions failure to comply with the order of
the court a quo requiring them to secure certified true copies of the same.
xxx
xxx
xxx
While we are prepared to concede that some of the foregoing factors that contributed to the delay of the trial of the petitioners are
justifiable, We nonetheless hold that their right to speedy trial has been utterly violated in this case x x x.
xxx
xxx
xxx
[T]he absence of the records in the trial court [was] due to the fact that the records of the case were elevated to the Court of Appeals,
and the prosecutions failure to comply with the order of the court a quo requiring it to secure certified true copies of the same. What is
glaring from the records is the fact that as early as September 21, 1995, the court a quo already issued an Order requiring the
prosecution, through the Department of Justice, to secure the complete records of the case from the Court of Appeals. The prosecution
did not comply with the said Order as in fact, the same directive was repeated by the court a quo in an Order dated December 27,
1995. Still, there was no compliance on the part of the prosecution. It is not stated when such order was complied with. It appears,
however, that even until August 5, 2002, the said records were still not at the disposal of the trial court because the lack of it was made
the basis of the said court in granting the motion to dismiss filed by co-accused Concepcion x x x.
xxx
xxx
xxx
It is likewise noticeable that from December 27, 1995, until August 5, 2002, or for a period of almost seven years, there was no action at
all on the part of the court a quo. Except for the pleadings filed by both the prosecution and the petitioners, the latest of which was on
January 29, 1996, followed by petitioner Sarucas motion to set case for trial on August 17, 1998 which the court did not act upon, the
case remained dormant for a considerable length of time. This prolonged inactivity whatsoever is precisely the kind of delay that the
constitution frowns upon x x x.63(Emphasis supplied)
This Court points out that on 10 January 1992, the final amended Information was filed against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, Ampil, S.
Fernandez, Adriano, Cabangon, Concepcion, and De Vera. 64 On 29 November 1993, they were all arraigned. 65 Unfortunately, the initial
trial of the case did not commence until 28 March 2005 or almost 12 years after arraignment.66
As illustrated in our ruling in Abardo v. Sandiganbayan, the unexplained interval or inactivity of the Sandiganbayan for close to five
years since the arraignment of the accused amounts to an unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases a clear violation of the right
of the accused to a speedy disposition of cases.67 Thus, we held:
The delay in this case measures up to the unreasonableness of the delay in the disposition of cases in Angchangco, Jr. vs.
Ombudsman, where the Court found the delay of six years by the Ombudsman in resolving the criminal complaints to be violative of the
constitutionally guaranteed right to a speedy disposition of cases; similarly, in Roque vs. Office of the Ombudsman, where the Court
held that the delay of almost six years disregarded the Ombudsman's duty to act promptly on complaints before him; and in Cervantes
vs. Sandiganbayan, where the Court held that the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in not quashing the information which
was filed six years after the initiatory complaint was filed and thereby depriving petitioner of his right to a speedy disposition of the case.
So it must be in the instant case, where the reinvestigation by the Ombudsman has dragged on for a decade already. 68 (Emphasis
supplied)
From the foregoing principles, we affirm the ruling of the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 89060 that accused Escalona et al.s right to speedy
trial was violated. Since there is nothing in the records that would show that the subject of this Petition includes accused Ampil, S.
Fernandez, Cabangon, and De Vera, the effects of this ruling shall be limited to accused Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano.
G.R. No. 154954 (People v. Court of Appeals)
The rule on double jeopardy is one of the pillars of our criminal justice system. It dictates that when a person is charged with an offense,
and the case is terminated either by acquittal or conviction or in any other manner without the consent of the accused the accused
cannot again be charged with the same or an identical offense. 69 This principle is founded upon the law of reason, justice and
conscience.70 It is embodied in the civil law maxim non bis in idem found in the common law of England and undoubtedly in every
system of jurisprudence.71 It found expression in the Spanish Law, in the Constitution of the United States, and in our own Constitution
as one of the fundamental rights of the citizen,72 viz:
Article III Bill of Rights
Section 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an
ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
Rule 117, Section 7 of the Rules of Court, which implements this particular constitutional right, provides as follows:73
SEC. 7. Former conviction or acquittal; double jeopardy. When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or the case against him
dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or
information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the
charge, the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense
charged, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily
included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information.
The rule on double jeopardy thus prohibits the state from appealing the judgment in order to reverse the acquittal or to increase the
penalty imposed either through a regular appeal under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court or through an appeal by certiorari on pure
questions of law under Rule 45 of the same Rules. 74 The requisites for invoking double jeopardy are the following: (a) there is a valid
complaint or information; (b) it is filed before a competent court; (c) the defendant pleaded to the charge; and (d) the defendant was
acquitted or convicted, or the case against him or her was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the defendants express
consent.75
As we have reiterated in People v. Court of Appeals and Galicia, "[a] verdict of acquittal is immediately final and a reexamination of the
merits of such acquittal, even in the appellate courts, will put the accused in jeopardy for the same offense. The finality-of-acquittal
doctrine has several avowed purposes. Primarily, it prevents the State from using its criminal processes as an instrument of harassment
to wear out the accused by a multitude of cases with accumulated trials. It also serves the additional purpose of precluding the State,
following an acquittal, from successively retrying the defendant in the hope of securing a conviction. And finally, it prevents the State,
following conviction, from retrying the defendant again in the hope of securing a greater penalty." 76 We further stressed that "an
acquitted defendant is entitled to the right of repose as a direct consequence of the finality of his acquittal."77
This prohibition, however, is not absolute. The state may challenge the lower courts acquittal of the accused or the imposition of a
lower penalty on the latter in the following recognized exceptions: (1) where the prosecution is deprived of a fair opportunity to
prosecute and prove its case, tantamount to a deprivation of due process;78 (2) where there is a finding of mistrial;79 or (3) where there
has been a grave abuse of discretion.80
The third instance refers to this Courts judicial power under Rule 65 to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. 81 Here, the party
asking for the review must show the presence of a whimsical or capricious exercise of judgment equivalent to lack of jurisdiction; a
patent and gross abuse of discretion amounting to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty imposed by law
or to act in contemplation of law; an exercise of power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility; 82 or a
blatant abuse of authority to a point so grave and so severe as to deprive the court of its very power to dispense justice. 83 In such an
event, the accused cannot be considered to be at risk of double jeopardy.84
The Solicitor General filed a Rule 65 Petition for Certiorari, which seeks the reversal of (1) the acquittal of Victorino et al. and (2) the
conviction of Tecson et al. for the lesser crime of slight physical injuries, both on the basis of a misappreciation of facts and evidence.

According to the Petition, "the decision of the Court of Appeals is not in accordance with law because private complainant and petitioner
were denied due process of law when the public respondent completely ignored the a) Position Paper x x x b) the Motion for Partial
Reconsideration x x x and c) the petitioners Comment x x x." 85 Allegedly, the CA ignored evidence when it adopted the theory of
individual responsibility; set aside the finding of conspiracy by the trial court; and failed to apply Article 4 of the Revised Penal
Code.86 The Solicitor General also assails the finding that the physical blows were inflicted only by Dizon and Villareal, as well as the
appreciation of Lenny Villas consent to hazing.87
In our view, what the Petition seeks is that we reexamine, reassess, and reweigh the probative value of the evidence presented by the
parties.88 In People v. Maquiling, we held that grave abuse of discretion cannot be attributed to a court simply because it allegedly
misappreciated the facts and the evidence.89 Mere errors of judgment are correctible by an appeal or a petition for review under Rule 45
of the Rules of Court, and not by an application for a writ of certiorari. 90 Therefore, pursuant to the rule on double jeopardy, we are
constrained to deny the Petition contra Victorino et al. the 19 acquitted fraternity members.
We, however, modify the assailed judgment as regards Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug the four fraternity members convicted of
slight physical injuries.
Indeed, we have ruled in a line of cases that the rule on double jeopardy similarly applies when the state seeks the imposition of a
higher penalty against the accused.91 We have also recognized, however, that certiorari may be used to correct an abusive judgment
upon a clear demonstration that the lower court blatantly abused its authority to a point so grave as to deprive it of its very power to
dispense justice.92 The present case is one of those instances of grave abuse of discretion.
In imposing the penalty of slight physical injuries on Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug, the CA reasoned thus:
Based on the medical findings, it would appear that with the exclusion of the fatal wounds inflicted by the accused Dizon and Villareal,
the injuries sustained by the victim as a result of the physical punishment heaped on him were serious in nature. However, by reason of
the death of the victim, there can be no precise means to determine the duration of the incapacity or the medical attendance required.
To do so, at this stage would be merely speculative. In a prosecution for this crime where the category of the offense and the severity of
the penalty depend on the period of illness or incapacity for labor, the length of this period must likewise be proved beyond reasonable
doubt in much the same manner as the same act charged [People v. Codilla, CA-G.R. No. 4079-R, June 26, 1950]. And when proof of
the said period is absent, the crime committed should be deemed only as slight physical injuries [People v. De los Santos, CA, 59 O.G.
4393, citing People v. Penesa, 81 Phil. 398]. As such, this Court is constrained to rule that the injuries inflicted by the appellants,
Tecson, Ama, Almeda and Bantug, Jr., are only slight and not serious, in nature.93 (Emphasis supplied and citations included)
The appellate court relied on our ruling in People v. Penesa 94 in finding that the four accused should be held guilty only of slight physical
injuries. According to the CA, because of "the death of the victim, there can be no precise means to determine the duration of the
incapacity or medical attendance required."95 The reliance on Penesa was utterly misplaced. A review of that case would reveal that the
accused therein was guilty merely of slight physical injuries, because the victims injuries neither caused incapacity for labor nor
required medical attendance.96 Furthermore, he did not die.97 His injuries were not even serious.98 Since Penesa involved a case in
which the victim allegedly suffered physical injuries and not death, the ruling cited by the CA was patently inapplicable.
On the contrary, the CAs ultimate conclusion that Tecson, Ama, Almeda, and Bantug were liable merely for slight physical injuries
grossly contradicts its own findings of fact. According to the court, the four accused "were found to have inflicted more than the usual
punishment undertaken during such initiation rites on the person of Villa." 99It then adopted the NBI medico-legal officers findings that
the antecedent cause of Lenny Villas death was the "multiple traumatic injuries" he suffered from the initiation rites. 100 Considering that
the CA found that the "physical punishment heaped on [Lenny Villa was] serious in nature," 101 it was patently erroneous for the court to
limit the criminal liability to slight physical injuries, which is a light felony.
Article 4(1) of the Revised Penal Code dictates that the perpetrator shall be liable for the consequences of an act, even if its result is
different from that intended. Thus, once a person is found to have committed an initial felonious act, such as the unlawful infliction of
physical injuries that results in the death of the victim, courts are required to automatically apply the legal framework governing the
destruction of life. This rule is mandatory, and not subject to discretion.
The CAs application of the legal framework governing physical injuries punished under Articles 262 to 266 for intentional felonies and
Article 365 for culpable felonies is therefore tantamount to a whimsical, capricious, and abusive exercise of judgment amounting to
lack of jurisdiction. According to the Revised Penal Code, the mandatory and legally imposable penalty in case the victim dies should
be based on the framework governing the destruction of the life of a person, punished under Articles 246 to 261 for intentional felonies
and Article 365 for culpable felonies, and not under the aforementioned provisions. We emphasize that these two types of felonies are
distinct from and legally inconsistent with each other, in that the accused cannot be held criminally liable for physical injuries when
actual death occurs.102
Attributing criminal liability solely to Villareal and Dizon as if only their acts, in and of themselves, caused the death of Lenny Villa is
contrary to the CAs own findings. From proof that the death of the victim was the cumulative effect of the multiple injuries he
suffered,103 the only logical conclusion is that criminal responsibility should redound to all those who have been proven to have directly
participated in the infliction of physical injuries on Lenny. The accumulation of bruising on his body caused him to suffer cardiac arrest.
Accordingly, we find that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in finding Tecson, Ama,
Almeda, and Bantug criminally liable for slight physical injuries. As an allowable exception to the rule on double jeopardy, we therefore
give due course to the Petition in G.R. No. 154954.
Resolution on Ultimate Findings
According to the trial court, although hazing was not (at the time) punishable as a crime, the intentional infliction of physical injuries on
Villa was nonetheless a felonious act under Articles 263 to 266 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, in ruling against the accused, the
court a quo found that pursuant to Article 4(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the accused fraternity members were guilty of homicide, as it
was the direct, natural and logical consequence of the physical injuries they had intentionally inflicted.104
The CA modified the trial courts finding of criminal liability. It ruled that there could have been no conspiracy since the neophytes,
including Lenny Villa, had knowingly consented to the conduct of hazing during their initiation rites. The accused fraternity members,
therefore, were liable only for the consequences of their individual acts. Accordingly, 19 of the accused Victorino et al. were
acquitted; 4 of them Tecson et al. were found guilty of slight physical injuries; and the remaining 2 Dizon and Villareal were
found guilty of homicide.
The issue at hand does not concern a typical criminal case wherein the perpetrator clearly commits a felony in order to take revenge
upon, to gain advantage over, to harm maliciously, or to get even with, the victim. Rather, the case involves an ex ante situation in
which a man driven by his own desire to join a society of men pledged to go through physically and psychologically strenuous
admission rituals, just so he could enter the fraternity. Thus, in order to understand how our criminal laws apply to such situation absent
the Anti-Hazing Law, we deem it necessary to make a brief exposition on the underlying concepts shaping intentional felonies, as well
as on the nature of physical and psychological initiations widely known as hazing.
Intentional Felony and Conspiracy
Our Revised Penal Code belongs to the classical school of thought. 105 The classical theory posits that a human person is essentially a
moral creature with an absolute free will to choose between good and evil. 106 It asserts that one should only be adjudged or held
accountable for wrongful acts so long as free will appears unimpaired. 107 The basic postulate of the classical penal system is that
humans are rational and calculating beings who guide their actions with reference to the principles of pleasure and pain.108 They refrain
from criminal acts if threatened with punishment sufficient to cancel the hope of possible gain or advantage in committing the
crime.109 Here, criminal liability is thus based on the free will and moral blame of the actor.110 The identity of mens rea defined as a
guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose or criminal intent is the predominant consideration. 111 Thus, it is not enough to do what the
law prohibits.112 In order for an intentional felony to exist, it is necessary that the act be committed by means of dolo or "malice."113

The term "dolo" or "malice" is a complex idea involving the elements of freedom, intelligence, and intent. 114 The first element, freedom,
refers to an act done with deliberation and with power to choose between two things. 115The second element, intelligence, concerns the
ability to determine the morality of human acts, as well as the capacity to distinguish between a licit and an illicit act. 116 The last element,
intent, involves an aim or a determination to do a certain act.117
The element of intent on which this Court shall focus is described as the state of mind accompanying an act, especially a forbidden
act.118 It refers to the purpose of the mind and the resolve with which a person proceeds. 119 It does not refer to mere will, for the latter
pertains to the act, while intent concerns the result of the act. 120 While motive is the "moving power" that impels one to action for a
definite result, intent is the "purpose" of using a particular means to produce the result. 121 On the other hand, the term "felonious"
means, inter alia, malicious, villainous, and/or proceeding from an evil heart or purpose. 122 With these elements taken together, the
requirement of intent in intentional felony must refer to malicious intent, which is a vicious and malevolent state of mind accompanying
a forbidden act. Stated otherwise, intentional felony requires the existence of dolus malus that the act or omission be done "willfully,"
"maliciously," "with deliberate evil intent," and "with malice aforethought." 123 The maxim is actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea a
crime is not committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of is innocent. 124 As is required of the other elements of
a felony, the existence of malicious intent must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.125
In turn, the existence of malicious intent is necessary in order for conspiracy to attach. Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code which
provides that "conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to
commit it" is to be interpreted to refer only to felonies committed by means of dolo or malice. The phrase "coming to an agreement"
connotes the existence of a prefaced "intent" to cause injury to another, an element present only in intentional felonies. In culpable
felonies or criminal negligence, the injury inflicted on another is unintentional, the wrong done being simply the result of an act
performed without malice or criminal design. 126 Here, a person performs an initial lawful deed; however, due to negligence, imprudence,
lack of foresight, or lack of skill, the deed results in a wrongful act. 127 Verily, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act, which is a requisite
in conspiracy, is inconsistent with the idea of a felony committed by means of culpa.128
The presence of an initial malicious intent to commit a felony is thus a vital ingredient in establishing the commission of the intentional
felony of homicide.129 Being mala in se, the felony of homicide requires the existence of malice or dolo 130 immediately before or
simultaneously with the infliction of injuries. 131 Intent to kill or animus interficendi cannot and should not be inferred, unless there is
proof beyond reasonable doubt of such intent. 132 Furthermore, the victims death must not have been the product of accident, natural
cause, or suicide.133 If death resulted from an act executed without malice or criminal intent but with lack of foresight, carelessness, or
negligence the act must be qualified as reckless or simple negligence or imprudence resulting in homicide.134
Hazing and other forms of initiation rites
The notion of hazing is not a recent development in our society.135 It is said that, throughout history, hazing in some form or another has
been associated with organizations ranging from military groups to indigenous tribes. 136 Some say that elements of hazing can be
traced back to the Middle Ages, during which new students who enrolled in European universities worked as servants for
upperclassmen.137 It is believed that the concept of hazing is rooted in ancient Greece,138 where young men recruited into the military
were tested with pain or challenged to demonstrate the limits of their loyalty and to prepare the recruits for battle. 139 Modern fraternities
and sororities espouse some connection to these values of ancient Greek civilization. 140 According to a scholar, this concept lends
historical legitimacy to a "tradition" or "ritual" whereby prospective members are asked to prove their worthiness and loyalty to the
organization in which they seek to attain membership through hazing.141
Thus, it is said that in the Greek fraternity system, custom requires a student wishing to join an organization to receive an invitation in
order to be a neophyte for a particular chapter.142 The neophyte period is usually one to two semesters long. 143 During the "program,"
neophytes are required to interview and to get to know the active members of the chapter; to learn chapter history; to understand the
principles of the organization; to maintain a specified grade point average; to participate in the organizations activities; and to show
dignity and respect for their fellow neophytes, the organization, and its active and alumni members. 144 Some chapters require the
initiation activities for a recruit to involve hazing acts during the entire neophyte stage.145
Hazing, as commonly understood, involves an initiation rite or ritual that serves as prerequisite for admission to an organization. 146 In
hazing, the "recruit," "pledge," "neophyte," "initiate," "applicant" or any other term by which the organization may refer to such a
person is generally placed in embarrassing or humiliating situations, like being forced to do menial, silly, foolish, or other similar tasks
or activities.147 It encompasses different forms of conduct that humiliate, degrade, abuse, or physically endanger those who desire
membership in the organization.148 These acts usually involve physical or psychological suffering or injury.149
The concept of initiation rites in the country is nothing new. In fact, more than a century ago, our national hero Andres Bonifacio
organized a secret society named Kataastaasan Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (The Highest and Most
Venerable Association of the Sons and Daughters of the Nation).150 The Katipunan, or KKK, started as a small confraternity believed to
be inspired by European Freemasonry, as well as by confraternities or sodalities approved by the Catholic Church. 151 The Katipunans
ideology was brought home to each member through the societys initiation ritual.152 It is said that initiates were brought to a dark room,
lit by a single point of illumination, and were asked a series of questions to determine their fitness, loyalty, courage, and
resolve.153 They were made to go through vigorous trials such as "pagsuot sa isang lungga" or "[pagtalon] sa balon." 154 It
would seem that they were also made to withstand the blow of "pangherong bakal sa pisngi" and to endure a "matalas na
punyal."155 As a final step in the ritual, the neophyte Katipunero was made to sign membership papers with the his own
blood.156
It is believed that the Greek fraternity system was transported by the Americans to the Philippines in the late 19th century. As can be
seen in the following instances, the manner of hazing in the United States was jarringly similar to that inflicted by the Aquila Fraternity
on Lenny Villa.
Early in 1865, upperclassmen at West Point Academy forced the fourth classmen to do exhausting physical exercises that sometimes
resulted in permanent physical damage; to eat or drink unpalatable foods; and in various ways to humiliate themselves. 157 In 1901,
General Douglas MacArthur got involved in a congressional investigation of hazing at the academy during his second year at West
Point.158
In Easler v. Hejaz Temple of Greenville, decided in 1985, the candidate-victim was injured during the shriners hazing event, which was
part of the initiation ceremonies for Hejaz membership. 159 The ritual involved what was known as the "mattress-rotating barrel trick." 160 It
required each candidate to slide down an eight to nine-foot-high metal board onto connected mattresses leading to a barrel, over which
the candidate was required to climb. 161 Members of Hejaz would stand on each side of the mattresses and barrel and fun-paddle
candidates en route to the barrel.162
In a video footage taken in 1991, U.S. Marine paratroopers in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were seen performing a ceremony in
which they pinned paratrooper jump wings directly onto the neophyte paratroopers chests. 163 The victims were shown writhing and
crying out in pain as others pounded the spiked medals through the shirts and into the chests of the victims.164
In State v. Allen, decided in 1995, the Southeast Missouri State University chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi invited male students to enter
into a pledgeship program.165 The fraternity members subjected the pledges to repeated physical abuse including repeated, open-hand
strikes at the nape, the chest, and the back; caning of the bare soles of the feet and buttocks; blows to the back with the use of a heavy
book and a cookie sheet while the pledges were on their hands and knees; various kicks and punches to the body; and "body
slamming," an activity in which active members of the fraternity lifted pledges up in the air and dropped them to the ground. 166 The
fraternity members then put the pledges through a seven-station circle of physical abuse.167
In Ex Parte Barran, decided in 1998, the pledge-victim went through hazing by fraternity members of the Kappa Alpha Order at the
Auburn University in Alabama.168 The hazing included the following: (1) having to dig a ditch and jump into it after it had been filled with
water, urine, feces, dinner leftovers, and vomit; (2) receiving paddlings on the buttocks; (3) being pushed and kicked, often onto walls or
into pits and trash cans; (4) eating foods like peppers, hot sauce, butter, and "yerks" (a mixture of hot sauce, mayonnaise, butter,

beans, and other items); (5) doing chores for the fraternity and its members, such as cleaning the fraternity house and yard, being
designated as driver, and running errands; (6) appearing regularly at 2 a.m. "meetings," during which the pledges would be hazed for a
couple of hours; and (7) "running the gauntlet," during which the pledges were pushed, kicked, and hit as they ran down a hallway and
descended down a flight of stairs.169
In Lloyd v. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, decided in 1999, the victim Sylvester Lloyd was accepted to pledge at the Cornell University
chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.170 He participated in initiation activities, which included various forms of physical beatings and
torture, psychological coercion and embarrassment.171
In Kenner v. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, decided in 2002, the initiate-victim suffered injuries from hazing activities during the fraternitys
initiation rites.172 Kenner and the other initiates went through psychological and physical hazing, including being paddled on the buttocks
for more than 200 times.173
In Morton v. State, Marcus Jones a university student in Florida sought initiation into the campus chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi
Fraternity during the 2005-06 academic year.174 The pledges efforts to join the fraternity culminated in a series of initiation rituals
conducted in four nights. Jones, together with other candidates, was blindfolded, verbally harassed, and caned on his face and
buttocks.175 In these rituals described as "preliminaries," which lasted for two evenings, he received approximately 60 canings on his
buttocks.176 During the last two days of the hazing, the rituals intensified. 177 The pledges sustained roughly 210 cane strikes during the
four-night initiation.178 Jones and several other candidates passed out.179
The purported raison dtre behind hazing practices is the proverbial "birth by fire," through which the pledge who has successfully
withstood the hazing proves his or her worth.180 Some organizations even believe that hazing is the path to enlightenment. It is said that
this process enables the organization to establish unity among the pledges and, hence, reinforces and ensures the future of the
organization.181 Alleged benefits of joining include leadership opportunities; improved academic performance; higher self-esteem;
professional networking opportunities; and the esprit dcorp associated with close, almost filial, friendship and common cause.182
Anti-Hazing laws in the U.S.
The first hazing statute in the U.S. appeared in 1874 in response to hazing in the military. 183 The hazing of recruits and plebes in the
armed services was so prevalent that Congress prohibited all forms of military hazing, harmful or not. 184 It was not until 1901 that Illinois
passed the first state anti-hazing law, criminalizing conduct "whereby any one sustains an injury to his [or her] person therefrom."185
However, it was not until the 1980s and 1990s, due in large part to the efforts of the Committee to Halt Useless College Killings and
other similar organizations, that states increasingly began to enact legislation prohibiting and/or criminalizing hazing. 186 As of 2008, all
but six states had enacted criminal or civil statutes proscribing hazing. 187 Most anti-hazing laws in the U.S. treat hazing as a
misdemeanor and carry relatively light consequences for even the most severe situations. 188 Only a few states with anti-hazing laws
consider hazing as a felony in case death or great bodily harm occurs.189
Under the laws of Illinois, hazing is a Class A misdemeanor, except hazing that results in death or great bodily harm, which is a Class 4
felony.190 In a Class 4 felony, a sentence of imprisonment shall be for a term of not less than one year and not more than three
years.191 Indiana criminal law provides that a person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally performs hazing that results in serious
bodily injury to a person commits criminal recklessness, a Class D felony.192
The offense becomes a Class C felony if committed by means of a deadly weapon. 193 As an element of a Class C felony criminal
recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury, death falls under the category of "serious bodily injury." 194 A person who commits a
Class C felony is imprisoned for a fixed term of between two (2) and eight (8) years, with the advisory sentence being four (4)
years.195 Pursuant to Missouri law, hazing is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the act creates a substantial risk to the life of the student or
prospective member, in which case it becomes a Class C felony.196 A Class C felony provides for an imprisonment term not to exceed
seven years.197
In Texas, hazing that causes the death of another is a state jail felony. 198 An individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony is punished
by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or not less than 180 days. 199 Under Utah law, if hazing results in
serious bodily injury, the hazer is guilty of a third-degree felony. 200 A person who has been convicted of a third-degree felony may be
sentenced to imprisonment for a term not to exceed five years. 201 West Virginia law provides that if the act of hazing would otherwise be
deemed a felony, the hazer may be found guilty thereof and subject to penalties provided therefor. 202 In Wisconsin, a person is guilty of
a Class G felony if hazing results in the death of another.203 A Class G felony carries a fine not to exceed $25,000 or imprisonment not
to exceed 10 years, or both.204
In certain states in the U.S., victims of hazing were left with limited remedies, as there was no hazing statute. 205This situation was
exemplified in Ballou v. Sigma Nu General Fraternity, wherein Barry Ballous family resorted to a civil action for wrongful death, since
there was no anti-hazing statute in South Carolina until 1994.206
The existence of animus interficendi or intent to kill not proven beyond reasonable doubt
The presence of an ex ante situation in this case, fraternity initiation rites does not automatically amount to the absence of malicious
intent or dolus malus. If it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the perpetrators were equipped with a guilty mind whether or not
there is a contextual background or factual premise they are still criminally liable for intentional felony.
The trial court, the CA, and the Solicitor General are all in agreement that with the exception of Villareal and Dizon accused Tecson,
Ama, Almeda, and Bantug did not have the animus interficendi or intent to kill Lenny Villa or the other neophytes. We shall no longer
disturb this finding.
As regards Villareal and Dizon, the CA modified the Decision of the trial court and found that the two accused had the animus
interficendi or intent to kill Lenny Villa, not merely to inflict physical injuries on him. It justified its finding of homicide against Dizon by
holding that he had apparently been motivated by ill will while beating up Villa. Dizon kept repeating that his fathers parking space had
been stolen by the victims father.207 As to Villareal, the court said that the accused suspected the family of Bienvenido Marquez, one of
the neophytes, to have had a hand in the death of Villareals brother.208 The CA then ruled as follows:
The two had their own axes to grind against Villa and Marquez. It was very clear that they acted with evil and criminal intent. The
evidence on this matter is unrebutted and so for the death of Villa, appellants Dizon and Villareal must and should face the
consequence of their acts, that is, to be held liable for the crime of homicide.209 (Emphasis supplied)
We cannot subscribe to this conclusion.
The appellate court relied mainly on the testimony of Bienvenido Marquez to determine the existence of animus interficendi. For a full
appreciation of the context in which the supposed utterances were made, the Court deems it necessary to reproduce the relevant
portions of witness Marquezs testimony:
Witness We were brought up into [Michael Musngis] room and we were briefed as to what to expect during the next three days and we
were told the members of the fraternity and their batch and we were also told about the fraternity song, sir.
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Witness We were escorted out of [Michael Musngis] house and we were made to ride a van and we were brought to another place in
Kalookan City which I later found to be the place of Mariano Almeda, sir.
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Witness Upon arrival, we were instructed to bow our head down and to link our arms and then the driver of the van and other members
of the Aquilans who were inside left us inside the van, sir.
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Witness We heard voices shouted outside the van to the effect, "Villa akin ka," "Asuncion Patay ka" and the people outside pound the
van, rock the van, sir.
Atty. Tadiar Will you please recall in what tone of voice and how strong a voice these remarks uttered upon your arrival?
Witness Some were almost shouting, you could feel the sense of excitement in their voices, sir.
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Atty. Tadiar During all these times that the van was being rocked through and through, what were the voices or utterances that you
heard?
Witness "Villa akin ka," "Asuncion patay ka," "Recinto patay ka sa amin," etc., sir.
Atty. Tadiar And those utterances and threats, how long did they continue during the rocking of the van which lasted for 5 minutes?
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Witness Even after they rocked the van, we still kept on hearing voices, sir.
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Atty. Tadiar During the time that this rounds [of physical beating] were being inflicted, was there any utterances by anybody?
Witness Yes sir. Some were piercing, some were discouraging, and some were encouraging others who were pounding and beating us,
it was just like a fiesta atmosphere, actually some of them enjoyed looking us being pounded, sir.
Atty. Tadiar Do you recall what were those voices that you heard?
Witness One particular utterance always said was, they asked us whether "matigas pa yan, kayang-kaya pa niyan."
Atty. Tadiar Do you know who in particular uttered those particular words that you quote?
Witness I cannot particularly point to because there were utterances simultaneously, I could not really pin point who uttered those
words, sir.
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Atty. Tadiar Were there any utterances that you heard during the conduct of this Bicol Express?
Witness Yes, sir I heard utterances.
Atty. Tadiar Will you please recall to this Honorable Court what were the utterances that you remember?
Witness For example, one person particularly Boyet Dizon stepped on my thigh, he would say that and I quote "ito, yung pamilya nito
ay pinapatay yung kapatid ko," so that would in turn sort of justifying him in inflicting more serious pain on me. So instead of just
walking, he would jump on my thighs and then after on was Lenny Villa. He was saying to the effect that "this guy, his father stole the
parking space of my father," sir. So, thats why he inflicted more pain on Villa and that went on, sir.
Atty. Tadiar And you were referring to which particular accused?
Witness Boyet Dizon, sir.
Atty. Tadiar When Boyet Dizon at that particular time was accusing you of having your family have his brother killed, what was your
response?
Witness Of course, I knew sir that it was not true and that he was just making it up sir. So he said that I knew nothing of that incident.
However, he just in fact after the Bicol Express, he kept on uttering those words/statements so that it would in turn justify him and to
give me harder blows, sir.
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Atty. Tadiar You mentioned about Dizon in particular mentioning that Lenny Villas father stole the parking space allotted for his father,
do you recall who were within hearing distance when that utterance was made?
Witness Yes, sir. All of the neophytes heard that utterance, sir.
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Witness There were different times made this accusation so there were different people who heard from time to time, sir.
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Atty. Tadiar Can you tell the Honorable Court when was the next accusation against Lenny Villas father was made?
Witness When we were line up against the wall, Boyet Dizon came near to us and when Lenny Villas turn, I heard him uttered those
statements, sir.
Atty. Tadiar What happened after he made this accusation to Lenny Villas father?
Witness He continued to inflict blows on Lenny Villa.
Atty. Tadiar How were those blows inflicted?
Witness There were slaps and he knelt on Lenny Villas thighs and sometime he stand up and he kicked his thighs and sometimes
jumped at it, sir.
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Atty. Tadiar We would go on to the second day but not right now. You mentioned also that accusations made by Dizon "you or your
family had his brother killed," can you inform this Honorable Court what exactly were the accusations that were charged against you
while inflicting blows upon you in particular?
Witness While he was inflicting blows upon me, he told me in particular if I knew that his family who had his brother killed, and he said
that his brother was an NPA, sir so I knew that it was just a story that he made up and I said that I knew nothing about it and he
continued inflicting blows on me, sir. And another incident was when a talk was being given, Dizon was on another part of the pelota
court and I was sort of looking and we saw that he was drinking beer, and he said and I quote: "Marquez, Marquez, ano ang tinitingintingin mo diyan, ikaw yung pamilya mo ang nagpapatay sa aking kapatid, yari ka sa akin," sir.
Atty. Tadiar What else?
Witness Thats all, sir.
Atty. Tadiar And on that first night of February 8, 1991, did ever a doctor or a physician came around as promised to you earlier?
Witness No, sir.210 (Emphasis supplied)
On cross-examination, witness Bienvenido Marquez testified thus:
Judge Purisima When you testified on direct examination Mr. Marquez, have you stated that there was a briefing that was conducted
immediately before your initiation as regards to what to expect during the initiation, did I hear you right?
Witness Yes, sir.
Judge Purisima Who did the briefing?
Witness Mr. Michael Musngi, sir and Nelson Victorino.
Judge Purisima Will you kindly tell the Honorable Court what they told you to expect during the initiation?
Witness They told us at the time we would be brought to a particular place, we would be mocked at, sir.
Judge Purisima So, you expected to be mocked at, ridiculed, humiliated etc., and the likes?
Witness Yes, sir.
Judge Purisima You were also told beforehand that there would be physical contact?
Witness Yes, sir at the briefing.
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Witness Yes, sir, because they informed that we could immediately go back to school. All the bruises would be limited to our arms and
legs, sir. So, if we wear the regular school uniforms like long sleeves, it would be covered actually so we have no thinking that our face
would be slapped, sir.
Judge Purisima So, you mean to say that beforehand that you would have bruises on your body but that will be covered?
Witness Yes, sir.
JudgePurisima So, what kind of physical contact or implements that you expect that would create bruises to your body?
Witness At that point I am already sure that there would be hitting by a paddling or paddle, sir.
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Judge Purisima Now, will you admit Mr. Marquez that much of the initiation procedures is psychological in nature?
Witness Combination, sir.211 (Emphasis supplied)
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Atty. Jimenez The initiation that was conducted did not consist only of physical initiation, meaning body contact, is that correct?

Witness Yes, sir.


Atty. Jimenez Part of the initiation was the so-called psychological initiation, correct?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez And this consisted of making you believe of things calculated to terrify you, scare you, correct?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez In other words, the initiating masters made belief situation intended to, I repeat, terrify you, frighten you, scare you into
perhaps quitting the initiation, is this correct?
Witness Sometimes sir, yes.
Atty. Jimenez You said on direct that while Mr. Dizon was initiating you, he said or he was supposed to have said according to you that
your family were responsible for the killing of his brother who was an NPA, do you remember saying that?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez You also said in connection with that statement said to you by Dizon that you did not believe him because that is not true,
correct?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez In other words, he was only psychologizing you perhaps, the purpose as I have mentioned before, terrifying you, scaring
you or frightening you into quitting the initiation, this is correct?
Witness No, sir, perhaps it is one but the main reason, I think, why he was saying those things was because he wanted to inflict injury.
Atty. Jimenez He did not tell that to you. That is your only perception, correct?
Witness No, sir, because at one point, while he was telling this to Villareal, he was hitting me.
Atty. Jimenez But did you not say earlier that you [were] subjected to the same forms of initiation by all the initiating masters? You said
that earlier, right?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez Are you saying also that the others who jumped on you or kicked you said something similar as was told to you by Mr.
Dizon?
Witness No, sir.
Atty. Jimenez But the fact remains that in the Bicol Express for instance, the masters would run on your thighs, right?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez This was the regular procedure that was followed by the initiating masters not only on you but also on the other
neophytes?
Witness Yes, sir.
Atty. Jimenez In other words, it is fair to say that whatever forms of initiation was administered by one master, was also administered by
one master on a neophyte, was also administered by another master on the other neophyte, this is correct?
Witness Yes, sir.212 (Emphasis supplied)
According to the Solicitor General himself, the ill motives attributed by the CA to Dizon and Villareal were "baseless," 213 since the
statements of the accused were "just part of the psychological initiation calculated to instill fear on the part of the neophytes"; that
"[t]here is no element of truth in it as testified by Bienvenido Marquez"; and that the "harsh words uttered by Petitioner and Villareal are
part of tradition concurred and accepted by all the fraternity members during their initiation rites."214
We agree with the Solicitor General.
The foregoing testimony of witness Marquez reveals a glaring mistake of substantial proportion on the part of the CA it mistook the
utterances of Dizon for those of Villareal. Such inaccuracy cannot be tolerated, especially because it was the CAs primary basis for
finding that Villarreal had the intent to kill Lenny Villa, thereby making Villareal guilty of the intentional felony of homicide. To repeat,
according to Bienvenido Marquezs testimony, as reproduced above, it was Dizon who uttered both "accusations" against Villa and
Marquez; Villareal had no participation whatsoever in the specific threats referred to by the CA. It was "Boyet Dizon [who] stepped on
[Marquezs] thigh"; and who told witness Marquez, "[I]to, yung pamilya nito ay pinapatay yung kapatid ko." It was also Dizon who
jumped on Villas thighs while saying, "[T]his guy, his father stole the parking space of my father." With the testimony clarified, we find
that the CA had no basis for concluding the existence of intent to kill based solely thereon.
As to the existence of animus interficendi on the part of Dizon, we refer to the entire factual milieu and contextual premise of the
incident to fully appreciate and understand the testimony of witness Marquez. At the outset, the neophytes were briefed that they would
be subjected to psychological pressure in order to scare them. They knew that they would be mocked, ridiculed, and intimidated. They
heard fraternity members shout, "Patay ka, Recinto," "Yari ka, Recinto," "Villa, akin ka," "Asuncion, gulpi ka," "Putang ina mo,
Asuncion," "Putang ina nyo, patay kayo sa amin," or some other words to that effect. 215 While beating the neophytes, Dizon accused
Marquez of the death of the formers purported NPA brother, and then blamed Lenny Villas father for stealing the parking space of
Dizons father. According to the Solicitor General, these statements, including those of the accused Dizon, were all part of the
psychological initiation employed by the Aquila Fraternity.216
Thus, to our understanding, accused Dizons way of inflicting psychological pressure was through hurling make-believe accusations at
the initiates. He concocted the fictitious stories, so that he could "justify" giving the neophytes harder blows, all in the context of
fraternity initiation and role playing. Even one of the neophytes admitted that the accusations were untrue and made-up.
The infliction of psychological pressure is not unusual in the conduct of hazing. In fact, during the Senate deliberations on the then
proposed Anti-Hazing Law, former Senator Lina spoke as follows:
Senator Lina. -- so as to capture the intent that we conveyed during the period of interpellations on why we included the phrase "or
psychological pain and suffering."
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So that if no direct physical harm is inflicted upon the neophyte or the recruit but the recruit or neophyte is made to undergo certain acts
which I already described yesterday, like playing the Russian roulette extensively to test the readiness and the willingness of the
neophyte or recruit to continue his desire to be a member of the fraternity, sorority or similar organization or playing and putting a noose
on the neck of the neophyte or recruit, making the recruit or neophyte stand on the ledge of the fourth floor of the building facing
outside, asking him to jump outside after making him turn around several times but the reality is that he will be made to jump towards
the inside portion of the building these are the mental or psychological tests that are resorted to by these organizations, sororities or
fraternities. The doctors who appeared during the public hearing testified that such acts can result in some mental aberration, that they
can even lead to psychosis, neurosis or insanity. This is what we want to prevent.217 (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, without proof beyond reasonable doubt, Dizons behavior must not be automatically viewed as evidence of a genuine, evil
motivation to kill Lenny Villa. Rather, it must be taken within the context of the fraternitys psychological initiation. This Court points out
that it was not even established whether the fathers of Dizon and Villa really had any familiarity with each other as would lend credence
to the veracity of Dizons threats. The testimony of Lennys co-neophyte, Marquez, only confirmed this view. According to Marquez, he
"knew it was not true and that [Dizon] was just making it up." 218 Even the trial court did not give weight to the utterances of Dizon as
constituting intent to kill: "[T]he cumulative acts of all the accused were not directed toward killing Villa, but merely to inflict physical
harm as part of the fraternity initiation rites x x x."219 The Solicitor General shares the same view.
Verily, we cannot sustain the CA in finding the accused Dizon guilty of homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code on the
basis of the existence of intent to kill. Animus interficendi cannot and should not be inferred unless there is proof beyond reasonable
doubt of such intent.220 Instead, we adopt and reinstate the finding of the trial court in part, insofar as it ruled that none of the fraternity
members had the specific intent to kill Lenny Villa.221
The existence of animus iniuriandi or malicious intent to injure not proven beyond reasonable doubt

The Solicitor General argues, instead, that there was an intent to inflict physical injuries on Lenny Villa. Echoing the Decision of the trial
court, the Solicitor General then posits that since all of the accused fraternity members conspired to inflict physical injuries on Lenny
Villa and death ensued, all of them should be liable for the crime of homicide pursuant to Article 4(1) of the Revised Penal Code.
In order to be found guilty of any of the felonious acts under Articles 262 to 266 of the Revised Penal Code, 222the employment of
physical injuries must be coupled with dolus malus. As an act that is mala in se, the existence of malicious intent is fundamental, since
injury arises from the mental state of the wrongdoer iniuria ex affectu facientis consistat. If there is no criminal intent, the accused
cannot be found guilty of an intentional felony. Thus, in case of physical injuries under the Revised Penal Code, there must be a specific
animus iniuriandi or malicious intention to do wrong against the physical integrity or well-being of a person, so as to incapacitate and
deprive the victim of certain bodily functions. Without proof beyond reasonable doubt of the required animus iniuriandi, the overt act of
inflicting physical injuries per se merely satisfies the elements of freedom and intelligence in an intentional felony. The commission of
the act does not, in itself, make a man guilty unless his intentions are.223
Thus, we have ruled in a number of instances224 that the mere infliction of physical injuries, absent malicious intent, does not make a
person automatically liable for an intentional felony. In Bagajo v. People,225 the accused teacher, using a bamboo stick, whipped one of
her students behind her legs and thighs as a form of discipline. The student suffered lesions and bruises from the corporal punishment.
In reversing the trial courts finding of criminal liability for slight physical injuries, this Court stated thus: "Independently of any civil or
administrative responsibility [w]e are persuaded that she did not do what she had done with criminal intent the means she actually
used was moderate and that she was not motivated by ill-will, hatred or any malevolent intent." Considering the applicable laws, we
then ruled that "as a matter of law, petitioner did not incur any criminal liability for her act of whipping her pupil." In People v.
Carmen,226 the accused members of the religious group known as the Missionaries of Our Lady of Fatima under the guise of a "ritual
or treatment" plunged the head of the victim into a barrel of water, banged his head against a bench, pounded his chest with fists, and
stabbed him on the side with a kitchen knife, in order to cure him of "nervous breakdown" by expelling through those means the bad
spirits possessing him. The collective acts of the group caused the death of the victim. Since malicious intent was not proven, we
reversed the trial courts finding of liability for murder under Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code and instead ruled that the accused
should be held criminally liable for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 thereof.
Indeed, the threshold question is whether the accuseds initial acts of inflicting physical pain on the neophytes were attended by animus
iniuriandi amounting to a felonious act punishable under the Revised Penal Code, thereby making it subject to Article 4(1) thereof. In
People v. Regato, we ruled that malicious intent must be judged by the action, conduct, and external acts of the accused. 227 What
persons do is the best index of their intention. 228 We have also ruled that the method employed, the kind of weapon used, and the parts
of the body on which the injury was inflicted may be determinative of the intent of the perpetrator. 229 The Court shall thus examine the
whole contextual background surrounding the death of Lenny Villa.
Lenny died during Aquilas fraternity initiation rites. The night before the commencement of the rites, they were briefed on what to
expect. They were told that there would be physical beatings, that the whole event would last for three days, and that they could quit
anytime. On their first night, they were subjected to "traditional" initiation rites, including the "Indian Run," "Bicol Express," "Rounds,"
and the "Auxies Privilege Round." The beatings were predominantly directed at the neophytes arms and legs.
In the morning of their second day of initiation, they were made to present comic plays and to play rough basketball. They were also
required to memorize and recite the Aquila Fraternitys principles. Late in the afternoon, they were once again subjected to "traditional"
initiation rituals. When the rituals were officially reopened on the insistence of Dizon and Villareal, the neophytes were subjected to
another "traditional" ritual paddling by the fraternity.
During the whole initiation rites, auxiliaries were assigned to the neophytes. The auxiliaries protected the neophytes by functioning as
human barriers and shielding them from those who were designated to inflict physical and psychological pain on the initiates. 230 It was
their regular duty to stop foul or excessive physical blows; to help the neophytes to "pump" their legs in order that their blood would
circulate; to facilitate a rest interval after every physical activity or "round"; to serve food and water; to tell jokes; to coach the initiates;
and to give them whatever they needed.
These rituals were performed with Lennys consent.231 A few days before the "rites," he asked both his parents for permission to join the
Aquila Fraternity.232 His father knew that Lenny would go through an initiation process and would be gone for three days. 233 The CA
found as follows:
It is worth pointing out that the neophytes willingly and voluntarily consented to undergo physical initiation and hazing. As can be
gleaned from the narration of facts, they voluntarily agreed to join the initiation rites to become members of the Aquila Legis Fraternity.
Prior to the initiation, they were given briefings on what to expect. It is of common knowledge that before admission in a fraternity, the
neophytes will undergo a rite of passage. Thus, they were made aware that traditional methods such as mocking, psychological tests
and physical punishment would take place. They knew that the initiation would involve beatings and other forms of hazing. They were
also told of their right and opportunity to quit at any time they wanted to. In fact, prosecution witness Navera testified that accused
Tecson told him that "after a week, you can already play basketball." Prosecution witness Marquez for his part, admitted that he knew
that the initiates would be hit "in the arms and legs," that a wooden paddle would be used to hit them and that he expected bruises on
his arms and legs. Indeed, there can be no fraternity initiation without consenting neophytes.234 (Emphasis supplied)
Even after going through Aquilas grueling traditional rituals during the first day, Lenny continued his participation and finished the
second day of initiation.
Based on the foregoing contextual background, and absent further proof showing clear malicious intent, we are constrained to rule that
the specific animus iniuriandi was not present in this case. Even if the specific acts of punching, kicking, paddling, and other modes of
inflicting physical pain were done voluntarily, freely, and with intelligence, thereby satisfying the elements of freedom and intelligence in
the felony of physical injuries, the fundamental ingredient of criminal intent was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. On the contrary,
all that was proven was that the acts were done pursuant to tradition. Although the additional "rounds" on the second night were held
upon the insistence of Villareal and Dizon, the initiations were officially reopened with the consent of the head of the initiation rites; and
the accused fraternity members still participated in the rituals, including the paddling, which were performed pursuant to tradition. Other
than the paddle, no other "weapon" was used to inflict injuries on Lenny. The targeted body parts were predominantly the legs and the
arms. The designation of roles, including the role of auxiliaries, which were assigned for the specific purpose of lending assistance to
and taking care of the neophytes during the initiation rites, further belied the presence of malicious intent. All those who wished to join
the fraternity went through the same process of "traditional" initiation; there is no proof that Lenny Villa was specifically targeted or
given a different treatment. We stress that Congress itself recognized that hazing is uniquely different from common crimes. 235 The
totality of the circumstances must therefore be taken into consideration.
The underlying context and motive in which the infliction of physical injuries was rooted may also be determined by Lennys continued
participation in the initiation and consent to the method used even after the first day. The following discussion of the framers of the 1995
Anti-Hazing Law is enlightening:
Senator Guingona. Most of these acts, if not all, are already punished under the Revised Penal Code.
Senator Lina. That is correct, Mr. President.
Senator Guingona. If hazing is done at present and it results in death, the charge would be murder or homicide.
Senator Lina. That is correct, Mr. President.
Senator Guingona. If it does not result in death, it may be frustrated homicide or serious physical injuries.
Senator Lina. That is correct, Mr. President.
Senator Guingona. Or, if the person who commits sexual abuse does so it can be penalized under rape or acts of lasciviousness.
Senator Lina. That is correct, Mr. President.
Senator Guingona. So, what is the rationale for making a new offense under this definition of the crime of hazing?

Senator Lina. To discourage persons or group of persons either composing a sorority, fraternity or any association from making this
requirement of initiation that has already resulted in these specific acts or results, Mr. President.
That is the main rationale. We want to send a strong signal across the land that no group or association can require the act of physical
initiation before a person can become a member without being held criminally liable.
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Senator Guingona. Yes, but what would be the rationale for that imposition? Because the distinguished Sponsor has said that he is not
punishing a mere organization, he is not seeking the punishment of an initiation into a club or organization, he is seeking the
punishment of certain acts that resulted in death, et cetera as a result of hazing which are already covered crimes.
The penalty is increased in one, because we would like to discourage hazing, abusive hazing, but it may be a legitimate defense for
invoking two or more charges or offenses, because these very same acts are already punishable under the Revised Penal Code.
That is my difficulty, Mr. President.
Senator Lina. x x x
Another point, Mr. President, is this, and this is a very telling difference: When a person or group of persons resort to hazing as a
requirement for gaining entry into an organization, the intent to commit a wrong is not visible or is not present, Mr. President. Whereas,
in these specific crimes, Mr. President, let us say there is death or there is homicide, mutilation, if one files a case, then the intention to
commit a wrong has to be proven. But if the crime of hazing is the basis, what is important is the result from the act of hazing.
To me, that is the basic difference and that is what will prevent or deter the sororities or fraternities; that they should really shun this
activity called "hazing." Because, initially, these fraternities or sororities do not even consider having a neophyte killed or maimed or that
acts of lasciviousness are even committed initially, Mr. President.
So, what we want to discourage is the so-called initial innocent act. That is why there is need to institute this kind of hazing. Ganiyan po
ang nangyari. Ang fraternity o ang sorority ay magre-recruit. Wala talaga silang intensiyong makamatay. Hindi ko na babanggitin at
buhay pa iyong kaso. Pero dito sa anim o pito na namatay nitong nakaraang taon, walang intensiyong patayin talaga iyong neophyte.
So, kung maghihintay pa tayo, na saka lamang natin isasakdal ng murder kung namatay na, ay after the fact ho iyon. Pero, kung
sasabihin natin sa mga kabataan na: "Huwag ninyong gagawin iyong hazing. Iyan ay kasalanan at kung mamatay diyan, mataas ang
penalty sa inyo."
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Senator Guingona. I join the lofty motives, Mr. President, of the distinguished Sponsor. But I am again disturbed by his statement that
the prosecution does not have to prove the intent that resulted in the death, that resulted in the serious physical injuries, that resulted in
the acts of lasciviousness or deranged mind. We do not have to prove the willful intent of the accused in proving or establishing the
crime of hazing. This seems, to me, a novel situation where we create the special crime without having to go into the intent, which is
one of the basic elements of any crime.
If there is no intent, there is no crime. If the intent were merely to initiate, then there is no offense. And even the distinguished Sponsor
admits that the organization, the intent to initiate, the intent to have a new society or a new club is, per se, not punishable at all. What
are punishable are the acts that lead to the result. But if these results are not going to be proven by intent, but just because there was
hazing, I am afraid that it will disturb the basic concepts of the Revised Penal Code, Mr. President.
Senator Lina. Mr. President, the act of hazing, precisely, is being criminalized because in the context of what is happening in the
sororities and fraternities, when they conduct hazing, no one will admit that their intention is to maim or to kill. So, we are already
criminalizing the fact of inflicting physical pain. Mr. President, it is a criminal act and we want it stopped, deterred, discouraged.
If that occurs, under this law, there is no necessity to prove that the masters intended to kill or the masters intended to maim. What is
important is the result of the act of hazing. Otherwise, the masters or those who inflict the physical pain can easily escape responsibility
and say, "We did not have the intention to kill. This is part of our initiation rites. This is normal. We do not have any intention to kill or
maim."
This is the lusot, Mr. President. They might as well have been charged therefore with the ordinary crime of homicide, mutilation, et
cetera, where the prosecution will have a difficulty proving the elements if they are separate offenses.
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Senator Guingona. Mr. President, assuming there was a group that initiated and a person died. The charge is murder. My question is:
Under this bill if it becomes a law, would the prosecution have to prove conspiracy or not anymore?
Senator Lina. Mr. President, if the person is present during hazing x x x
Senator Guingona. The persons are present. First, would the prosecution have to prove conspiracy? Second, would the prosecution
have to prove intent to kill or not?
Senator Lina. No more. As to the second question, Mr. President, if that occurs, there is no need to prove intent to kill.
Senator Guingona. But the charge is murder.
Senator Lina. That is why I said that it should not be murder. It should be hazing, Mr. President. 236 (Emphasis supplied)
During a discussion between Senator Biazon and Senator Lina on the issue of whether to include sodomy as a punishable act under
the Anti-Hazing Law, Senator Lina further clarified thus:
Senator Biazon. Mr. President, this Representation has no objection to the inclusion of sodomy as one of the conditions resulting from
hazing as necessary to be punished. However, the act of sodomy can be committed by two persons with or without consent.
To make it clearer, what is being punished here is the commission of sodomy forced into another individual by another individual. I
move, Mr. President, that sodomy be modified by the phrase "without consent" for purposes of this section.
Senator Lina. I am afraid, Mr. President, that if we qualify sodomy with the concept that it is only going to aggravate the crime of hazing
if it is done without consent will change a lot of concepts here. Because the results from hazing aggravate the offense with or without
consent. In fact, when a person joins a fraternity, sorority, or any association for that matter, it can be with or without the consent of the
intended victim. The fact that a person joins a sorority or fraternity with his consent does not negate the crime of hazing.
This is a proposed law intended to protect the citizens from the malpractices that attend initiation which may have been announced with
or without physical infliction of pain or injury, Mr. President. Regardless of whether there is announcement that there will be physical
hazing or whether there is none, and therefore, the neophyte is duped into joining a fraternity is of no moment. What is important is that
there is an infliction of physical pain.
The bottom line of this law is that a citizen even has to be protected from himself if he joins a fraternity, so that at a certain point in time,
the State, the individual, or the parents of the victim can run after the perpetrators of the crime, regardless of whether or not there was
consent on the part of the victim.
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Senator Lina. Mr. President, I understand the position taken by the distinguished Gentleman from Cavite and Metro Manila. It is correct
that society sometimes adopts new mores, traditions, and practices.
In this bill, we are not going to encroach into the private proclivities of some individuals when they do their acts in private as we do not
take a peek into the private rooms of couples. They can do their thing if they want to make love in ways that are not considered
acceptable by the mainstream of society. That is not something that the State should prohibit.
But sodomy in this case is connected with hazing, Mr. President. Such that the act may even be entered into with consent. It is not only
sodomy. The infliction of pain may be done with the consent of the neophyte. If the law is passed, that does not make the act of hazing
not punishable because the neophyte accepted the infliction of pain upon himself.
If the victim suffers from serious physical injuries, but the initiator said, "Well, he allowed it upon himself. He consented to it." So, if we
allow that reasoning that sodomy was done with the consent of the victim, then we would not have passed any law at all. There will be
no significance if we pass this bill, because it will always be a defense that the victim allowed the infliction of pain or suffering. He
accepted it as part of the initiation rites.

But precisely, Mr. President that is one thing that we would want to prohibit. That the defense of consent will not apply because the very
act of inflicting physical pain or psychological suffering is, by itself, a punishable act. The result of the act of hazing, like death or
physical injuries merely aggravates the act with higher penalties. But the defense of consent is not going to nullify the criminal nature of
the act.
So, if we accept the amendment that sodomy can only aggravate the offense if it is committed without consent of the victim, then the
whole foundation of this proposed law will collapse.
Senator Biazon. Thank you, Mr. President.
Senator Lina. Thank you very much.
The President. Is there any objection to the committee amendment? (Silence.) The Chair hears none; the same is approved.237
(Emphasis supplied)
Realizing the implication of removing the states burden to prove intent, Senator Lina, the principal author of the Senate Bill, said:
I am very happy that the distinguished Minority Leader brought out the idea of intent or whether there it is mala inse or mala prohibita.
There can be a radical amendment if that is the point that he wants to go to.
If we agree on the concept, then, maybe, we can just make this a special law on hazing. We will not include this anymore under the
Revised Penal Code. That is a possibility. I will not foreclose that suggestion, Mr. President.238(Emphasis supplied)
Thus, having in mind the potential conflict between the proposed law and the core principle of mala in se adhered to under the Revised
Penal Code, Congress did not simply enact an amendment thereto. Instead, it created a special law on hazing, founded upon the
principle of mala prohibita. This dilemma faced by Congress is further proof of how the nature of hazing unique as against typical
crimes cast a cloud of doubt on whether society considered the act as an inherently wrong conduct or mala in se at the time. It is safe
to presume that Lennys parents would not have consented239 to his participation in Aquila Fraternitys initiation rites if the practice of
hazing were considered by them as mala in se.
Furthermore, in Vedaa v. Valencia (1998), we noted through Associate Justice (now retired Chief Justice) Hilario Davide that "in our
nations very recent history, the people have spoken, through Congress, to deem conduct constitutive of hazing, [an] act[] previously
considered harmless by custom, as criminal."240 Although it may be regarded as a simple obiter dictum, the statement nonetheless
shows recognition that hazing or the conduct of initiation rites through physical and/or psychological suffering has not been
traditionally criminalized. Prior to the 1995 Anti-Hazing Law, there was to some extent a lacuna in the law; hazing was not clearly
considered an intentional felony. And when there is doubt on the interpretation of criminal laws, all must be resolved in favor of the
accused. In dubio pro reo.
For the foregoing reasons, and as a matter of law, the Court is constrained to rule against the trial courts finding of malicious intent to
inflict physical injuries on Lenny Villa, there being no proof beyond reasonable doubt of the existence of malicious intent to inflict
physical injuries or animus iniuriandi as required in mala in se cases, considering the contextual background of his death, the unique
nature of hazing, and absent a law prohibiting hazing.
The accused fraternity members guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide
The absence of malicious intent does not automatically mean, however, that the accused fraternity members are ultimately devoid of
criminal liability. The Revised Penal Code also punishes felonies that are committed by means of fault (culpa). According to Article 3
thereof, there is fault when the wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, or lack of skill.
Reckless imprudence or negligence consists of a voluntary act done without malice, from which an immediate personal harm, injury or
material damage results by reason of an inexcusable lack of precaution or advertence on the part of the person committing it. 241 In this
case, the danger is visible and consciously appreciated by the actor.242 In contrast, simple imprudence or negligence comprises an act
done without grave fault, from which an injury or material damage ensues by reason of a mere lack of foresight or skill. 243 Here, the
threatened harm is not immediate, and the danger is not openly visible. 244
The test245 for determining whether or not a person is negligent in doing an act is as follows: Would a prudent man in the position of the
person to whom negligence is attributed foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course about to be
pursued? If so, the law imposes on the doer the duty to take precaution against the mischievous results of the act. Failure to do so
constitutes negligence.246
As we held in Gaid v. People, for a person to avoid being charged with recklessness, the degree of precaution and diligence required
varies with the degree of the danger involved.247 If, on account of a certain line of conduct, the danger of causing harm to another
person is great, the individual who chooses to follow that particular course of conduct is bound to be very careful, in order to prevent or
avoid damage or injury.248 In contrast, if the danger is minor, not much care is required. 249 It is thus possible that there are countless
degrees of precaution or diligence that may be required of an individual, "from a transitory glance of care to the most vigilant
effort."250The duty of the person to employ more or less degree of care will depend upon the circumstances of each particular case.251
There was patent recklessness in the hazing of Lenny Villa.
According to the NBI medico-legal officer, Lenny died of cardiac failure secondary to multiple traumatic injuries. 252The officer explained
that cardiac failure refers to the failure of the heart to work as a pump and as part of the circulatory system due to the lack of blood. 253 In
the present case, the victims heart could no longer work as a pumping organ, because it was deprived of its requisite blood and
oxygen.254 The deprivation was due to the "channeling" of the blood supply from the entire circulatory system including the heart,
arteries, veins, venules, and capillaries to the thigh, leg, and arm areas of Lenny, thus causing the formation of multiple hematomas or
blood clots.255 The multiple hematomas were wide, thick, and deep, 256 indicating that these could have resulted mainly from injuries
sustained by the victim from fist blows, knee blows, paddles, or the like.257 Repeated blows to those areas caused the blood to gradually
ooze out of the capillaries until the circulating blood became so markedly diminished as to produce death. 258 The officer also found that
the brain, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestines, and all other organs seen in the abdominals, as well as the thoracic organ in the lungs,
were pale due to the lack of blood, which was redirected to the thighs and forearms. 259 It was concluded that there was nothing in the
heart that would indicate that the victim suffered from a previous cardiac arrest or disease.260
The multiple hematomas or bruises found in Lenny Villas arms and thighs, resulting from repeated blows to those areas, caused the
loss of blood from his vital organs and led to his eventual death. These hematomas must be taken in the light of the hazing activities
performed on him by the Aquila Fraternity. According to the testimonies of the co-neophytes of Lenny, they were punched, kicked,
elbowed, kneed, stamped on; and hit with different objects on their arms, legs, and thighs. 261 They were also "paddled" at the back of
their thighs or legs;262 and slapped on their faces.263 They were made to play rough basketball.264 Witness Marquez testified on Lenny,
saying: "[T]inamaan daw sya sa spine." 265 The NBI medico-legal officer explained that the death of the victim was the cumulative effect
of the multiple injuries suffered by the latter.266 The relevant portion of the testimony is as follows:
Atty. Tadiar Doctor, there was, rather, it was your testimony on various cross examinations of defense counsels that the injuries that you
have enumerated on the body of the deceased Lenny Villa previously marked as Exhibit "G-1" to "G-14" individually by themselves
would not cause the death of the victim. The question I am going to propound to you is what is the cumulative effect of all of these
injuries marked from Exhibit "G-1" to "G-14"?
Witness All together nothing in concert to cause to the demise of the victim. So, it is not fair for us to isolate such injuries here because
we are talking of the whole body. At the same manner that as a car would not run minus one (1) wheel. No, the more humane in human
approach is to interpret all those injuries in whole and not in part.267
There is also evidence to show that some of the accused fraternity members were drinking during the initiation rites.268
Consequently, the collective acts of the fraternity members were tantamount to recklessness, which made the resulting death of Lenny
a culpable felony. It must be remembered that organizations owe to their initiates a duty of care not to cause them injury in the
process.269 With the foregoing facts, we rule that the accused are guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Since the NBI
medico-legal officer found that the victims death was the cumulative effect of the injuries suffered, criminal responsibility redounds to all
those who directly participated in and contributed to the infliction of physical injuries.

It appears from the aforementioned facts that the incident may have been prevented, or at least mitigated, had the alumni of Aquila
Fraternity accused Dizon and Villareal restrained themselves from insisting on reopening the initiation rites. Although this point did
not matter in the end, as records would show that the other fraternity members participated in the reopened initiation rites having in
mind the concept of "seniority" in fraternities the implication of the presence of alumni should be seen as a point of review in future
legislation. We further note that some of the fraternity members were intoxicated during Lennys initiation rites. In this light, the Court
submits to Congress, for legislative consideration, the amendment of the Anti-Hazing Law to include the fact of intoxication and the
presence of non-resident or alumni fraternity members during hazing as aggravating circumstances that would increase the applicable
penalties.
It is truly astonishing how men would wittingly or unwittingly impose the misery of hazing and employ appalling rituals in the name of
brotherhood. There must be a better way to establish "kinship." A neophyte admitted that he joined the fraternity to have more friends
and to avail himself of the benefits it offered, such as tips during bar examinations. 270 Another initiate did not give up, because he feared
being looked down upon as a quitter, and because he felt he did not have a choice. 271 Thus, for Lenny Villa and the other neophytes,
joining the Aquila Fraternity entailed a leap in the dark. By giving consent under the circumstances, they left their fates in the hands of
the fraternity members. Unfortunately, the hands to which lives were entrusted were barbaric as they were reckless.
Our finding of criminal liability for the felony of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide shall cover only accused Tecson, Ama,
Almeda, Bantug, and Dizon. Had the Anti-Hazing Law been in effect then, these five accused fraternity members would have all been
convicted of the crime of hazing punishable by reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment).272 Since there was no law prohibiting the act of
hazing when Lenny died, we are constrained to rule according to existing laws at the time of his death. The CA found that the
prosecution failed to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, Victorino et al.s individual participation in the infliction of physical injuries upon
Lenny Villa.273As to accused Villareal, his criminal liability was totally extinguished by the fact of his death, pursuant to Article 89 of the
Revised Penal Code.
Furthermore, our ruling herein shall be interpreted without prejudice to the applicability of the Anti-Hazing Law to subsequent cases.
Furthermore, the modification of criminal liability from slight physical injuries to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide shall apply
only with respect to accused Almeda, Ama, Bantug, and Tecson.
The accused liable to pay damages
The CA awarded damages in favor of the heirs of Lenny Villa in the amounts of P 50,000 as civil indemnity ex delicto and P 1,000,000
as moral damages, to be jointly and severally paid by accused Dizon and Villareal. It also awarded the amount of P 30,000 as
indemnity to be jointly and severally paid by accused Almeda, Ama, Bantug, and Tecson.1wphi1
Civil indemnity ex delicto is automatically awarded for the sole fact of death of the victim. 274 In accordance with prevailing
jurisprudence,275 we sustain the CAs award of indemnity in the amount of P 50,000.
The heirs of the victim are entitled to actual or compensatory damages, including expenses incurred in connection with the death of the
victim, so long as the claim is supported by tangible documents. 276 Though we are prepared to award actual damages, the Court is
prevented from granting them, since the records are bereft of any evidence to show that actual expenses were incurred or proven
during trial. Furthermore, in the appeal, the Solicitor General does not interpose any claim for actual damages.277
The heirs of the deceased may recover moral damages for the grief suffered on account of the victims death. 278This penalty is pursuant
to Article 2206(3) of the Civil Code, which provides that the "spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and the ascendants of the
deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased." 279 Thus, we hereby we affirm the
CAs award of moral damages in the amount of P 1,000,000.
WHEREFORE, the appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 155101 finding petitioner Fidelito Dizon guilty of homicide is hereby MODIFIED and
set aside IN PART. The appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 154954 finding Antonio Mariano Almeda, Junel Anthony Ama, Renato
Bantug, Jr., and Vincent Tecson guilty of the crime of slight physical injuries is also MODIFIED and set aside in part. Instead, Fidelito
Dizon, Antonio Mariano Almeda, Junel Anthony Ama, Renato Bantug, Jr., and Vincent Tecson are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide defined and penalized under Article 365 in relation to Article 249 of the Revised Penal
Code. They are hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate prison term of four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as
minimum, to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional, as maximum. In addition, accused are ORDERED jointly and
severally to pay the heirs of Lenny Villa civil indemnity ex delicto in the amount of P 50,000, and moral damages in the amount
of P 1,000,000, plus legal interest on all damages awarded at the rate of 12% from the date of the finality of this Decision until
satisfaction.280 Costs de oficio.
The appealed Judgment in G.R. No. 154954, acquitting Victorino et al., is hereby affirmed. The appealed Judgments in G.R. Nos.
178057 & 178080, dismissing the criminal case filed against Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano, are likewise affirmed. Finally,
pursuant to Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the Petition in G.R. No. 151258 is hereby dismissed, and the criminal case against
Artemio Villareal deemed closed and TERMINATED.
Let copies of this Decision be furnished to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for possible
consideration of the amendment of the Anti-Hazing Law to include the fact of intoxication and the presence of non-resident or alumni
fraternity members during hazing as aggravating circumstances that would increase the applicable penalties.