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Laurel vs. Misa Case Digest Topic: Treason

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Case Digest
Laurel vs. Misa
Topic: Treason
Laurel vs. Misa
77 Phil. 856
FACTS: The accused was charged with treason. During the Japanese occupation, the accused
adhered to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort. He claims that he cannot be tried for
treason since his allegiance to the Philippines was suspended at that time. Also, he claims that he
cannot be tried under a change of sovereignty over the country since his acts were against the
Commonwealth which was replaced already by the Republic.
HELD/RATIO: The accused was found guilty. A citizen owes absolute and permanent allegiance to
his government or sovereign. No transfer of sovereignty was made; hence, it is presumed that the
Philippine government still had the power. Moreover, sovereignty cannot be suspended; it is either
subsisting or eliminated and replaced. Sovereignty per se wasn’t suspended; rather, it was the
exercise of sovereignty that was suspended. Thus, there is no suspended allegiance. Regarding the
change of government, there is no such change since the sovereign the Filipino people is still the
same. What happened was a mere change of name of government, from Commonwealth to the
Republic of the Philippines.
DISSENT: During the long period of Japanese occupation, all the political laws of the Philippines
were suspended. Thus, treason under the Revised Penal Code cannot be punishable where the laws
of the land are momentarily halted. Regarding the change of sovereignty, it is true that the
Philippines wasn’t sovereign at the time of the Commonwealth since it was under the United
States. Hence, the acts of treason done cannot carry over to the new Republic where the
Philippines is now indeed sovereign.

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G.R. No. L-2318 March 31, 1950
PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. vs. TEOFILO PAAR
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-2318 March 31, 1950
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
TEOFILO PAAR (alias TEOFILO PAJAR, alias BEN PAJAR), defendant-appellant.
Padilla, Carlos and Fernando for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Angelo and Assistant Solicitor General Ruperto Kapunan, Jr., for
appellee.
TORRES, J.:
This is an appeal from a judgment of the now defunct People's Court which found Teofilo Paar guilty of
treason and sentenced him to the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and to pay a fine of P10, 000 and the
costs. The defendant of the fifteen counts, and the prosecution presented evidence to support only the
allegations made in the first, fourth, seventh and eight counts.
From our study of the evidence, we find that as regards the first count, it has been established by the
prosecution, and the defense did not deny, that between October, 1944, and February, 1945, Teofilo
Paar worked for the Japanese Kempei Tai as an undercover man. In fact, the appellant himself, by his
testimony, and that of his witness Juan S. Alano, admitted that he affiliated himself with the Military
Police of Baguio. The government witness have, during that period of time, seen him parading in the
streets of Baguio with members of the Kempei Tai, dressed in their uniform and carrying a .45 caliber
pistol.
It is claimed by appellant that he entered the service of the Kempei Tai without the intent of betraying
his country and his people, and that even if he were responsible for or participated in the arrest of
civilians on suspicion of underground activities, he can not be held liable for treason in view of the
absence of the essential elements of adherence. The record, however, shows that his overt acts
evidenced his adherence to the enemy, and even in the absence of either proof, the very act of giving
information to the enemy, constitutes not only giving aid and comfort, but also show adherence to the
enemy. It clearly appears that Teofilo Paar joined the Kempei Tai or Japanese Military Police, whose
main purpose was to obtain information and other necessary data to suppress the resistance
movement. This is treasonous adherence which constitutes a violation of article 114 of the Revised
Penal Code.
Much emphasis is given by appellant on the allegation that Teofilo Paar joined the Kempei Tai upon
the advise of one Major Laconico of the underground movement. Apart from the fact that he never
mentioned Major Laconico to the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps of the USAFFE) when he was being
investigated by said organization, if he was really made to join the Kempei Tai in obedience to
instructions of Major Laconico and in furtherance of the resistance movement his direct participation in
the activities of the Kempei Tai, for whom he was acting as agent or undercover man, having been
observed by the witnesses for the prosecution, completely negatives his exculpatory explanations.
It stands to reason that, if appellant was really "plated" by Major Laconico in the City of Baguio, as an
observer, to further the resistance movement, he had many other means to accomplish his alleged
mission of helping the guerrillas. But his close association with the Kempei Tai, that most hated
organization of the Japanese invader, his participation in the arrest of several persons who were
subsequently deprived of their freedom and tortured on suspicion that they were sympathetic with the
underground forces, far from convincing us the that he joined the Japanese Military Police for a worthy
patriotic purpose, strengthens our belief that he deliberately, for sordid motives, entered the service of
the Kempei Tai, because he thought that Japan would win the last war. .

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 Case Digest Laurel vs. Misa Topic: Treason Laurel vs. Misa 77 Phil. 856 FACTS: The accused was charged with treason. During the Japanese occupation, the accused adhered to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort. He claims that he cannot be tried for treason since his allegiance to the Philippines was suspended at that time. Also, he claims that he cannot be tried under a change of sovereignty over the country since his acts were against the Commonwealth which was replaced already by the Republic. HELD/RATIO: The accused was found guilty. A citizen owes absolute and permanent allegiance to his government or sovereign. No transfer of sovereignty was made; hence, it is presumed that the Philippine government still had the power. Moreover, sovereignty cannot be suspended; it is either subsisting or eliminated and replaced. Sovereignty per se wasn’t suspended; rather, it was the exercise of sovereignty that was suspended. Thus, there is no suspended allegiance. Regarding the change of government, there is no such change since the sovereign – the Filipino people – is still the same. What happened was a mere change of name of government, from Commonwealth to the Republic of the Philippines. DISSENT: During the long period of Japanese occupation, all the political laws of the Philippines were suspended. Thus, treason under the Revised Penal Code cannot be punishable where the laws of the land are momentarily halted. Regarding the change of sovereignty, it is tr ...
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