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People vs Lol-lo and Maraw

43 Phil 19

Facts: On or about 30 June 1920: Two boats left Matuta, a Dutch possession, for Peta, another Dutch
possession. Boat 1 had one Dutch subject while Boat 2 had 11 men, women and children, likewise from
Holland. After several days, at 7pm, Boat 2 arrived in Buang and Bukid in the Dutch East Indies. Here,
the boat was surrounded by 6 vintas, manned by 24 armed Moros.The Moros first asked for food, but
once in the boat, took all the cargo, attacked some of the men, and brutally violated 2 of the women. The
Moros took the 2 women with them, placed holes in the ship to let it sink, and left the people there. After
11 days, the Moros arrived at Maruro, a Dutch possession.The two Moro marauders were identified as
Lol-lo, as the one who raped one of the women, and Saraw.While in Maruro, the two women were able to
escape.One day, Lol-lo and Saraw went home to South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu. Here, they were arrested
and charged with piracy at the CFI. The Moros interposed a demurrer, saying that the charge was not
within the jurisdiction of the CFI, nor of any court in the Philippines. They were saying that the facts did
not constitute a public offense under Philippine laws.
The demurrer was overruled, and Lol-lo and Saraw were found guilty, and were both sentenced to life
imprisonment, together with Kinawalang and Maulanis, two other defendants in another case. In addition
to imprisonment, they were ordered to return the 39 sacks of copra they robbed, or to indemnify the
offended parties 924 rupees, and to pay one-half of the costs.

Issue: Did the CFI in the Philippines have jurisdiction over Lol-lo and Saraw?

Held : YES. First of all, the facts can’t be disputed. All the elements of the crime of piracy were there.
Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation on the high seas, without lawful authority and done animo
furandi, and in the spirit and intention of universal hostility. The CFI has jurisdiction because pirates are
in law hostes humani generis. Piracy is a crime against all mankind, therefore, it can be punished in any
competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found. The jurisdiction of piracy has no
territorial limits. The crime is against all mankind, so it is also punished by all. It doesn’t matter that the
crime was committed within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state. Those limits, though neutral
to war, are not neutral to crimes. Art. 153 of the Penal Code refers to the crime of piracy “committed
against Spaniards, or subjects of another nation not war with Spain shall be punished with a penalty
ranging from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua. If the crime is against nonbelligerent subjects of
another nation at war with Spain, it shell be punished with the penalty of presidio mayor.”

Since Spain already ceded the Philippines to the US, the rule is that “the political law of the former
sovereignty is necessarily changed. But corollary to this rule, laws subsisting at the time of transfer,
designed to secure good order and peace in the community, which are strictly of a municipal character,
continue until by direct action of the new government they are altered or repealed.
The instructions of President McKniley on May 19, 1989 to General Wesley Merrit, Commanding
General of the Army of Occupation in the Philippines, was clear that municipal laws that provide for the
punishment of crime, are considered continuing in force so far as they are compatible with the new order
of things until superseded.
Espuelas v People
G.R. No. L-2990
On June 9 and June 24, 1947, both dates inclusive, in the town of Tagbilaran, Bohol, Oscar Espuelas y
Mendoza had his picture taken, making it to appear as if he were hanging lifeless at the end of a piece of
rope suspended form the limb of the tree, when in truth and in fact, he was merely standing on a barrel.
After securing copies of his photograph, Espuelas sent copies of same to Free Press, the Evening News,
the Bisayas, Lamdang of general circulation and other local periodicals in the Province of Bohol but also
throughout the Philippines and abroad, for their publication with a suicide note or letter, wherein he made
to appear that it was written by a fictitious suicide, Alberto Reveniera and addressed to the latter's
supposed wife translation of which letter or note, stating his dismay and administration of President
Roxas, pointing out the situation in Central Luzon and Leyte, and directing his wife his dear wife to write
to President Truman and Churchill of US and tell them that in the Philippines the government is infested
with many Hitlers and Mussolinis.

Issue:Whether the accused is liable of seditious libel under Art. 142 of the RPC against the Government
of the Philippines?

Held: Yes. The accused must therefore be found guilty as charged. And there being no question as to the
legality of the penalty imposed on him, the decision will be affirmed with costs.

Analyzed for meaning and weighed in its consequences, the article written bybthe accused, cannot fail to
impress thinking persons that it seeks to sow the seeds of sedition and strife. The infuriating language is
not a sincere effort to persuade, what with the writer's simulated suicide and false claim to martyrdom and
what with is failure to particularize. When the use irritating language centers not on persuading the
readers but on creating disturbances, the rationable of free speech cannot apply and the speaker or writer
is removed from the protection of the constitutional guaranty.

If it be argued that the article does not discredit the entire governmental structure but only President
Roxas and his men, the reply is that article 142 punishes not only all libels against the Government but
also "libels against any of the duly constituted authorities thereof." The "Roxas people" in the
Government obviously refer of least to the President, his Cabinet and the majority of legislators to whom
the adjectives dirty, Hitlers and Mussolinis were naturally directed. On this score alone the conviction
could be upheld.

Regarding the publication, it suggests or incites rebellious conspiracies or riots and tends to stir up people
against the constituted authorities, or to provoke violence from opposition who may seek to silence the
writer. Which is the sum and substance of the offense under consideration.

The essence of seditious libel may be said to its immediate tendency to stir up general discontent to the
pitch of illegal courses; that is to say to induce people to resort to illegal methods other than those
provided by the Constitution, in order to repress the evils which press upon their minds.