G.R. No.L-18924 October 19, 1922
· appellee is accused of having illegally smoked opium, aboard the merchant vessel Changsa of English nationality while said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay two and a half miles from the shores of the city.
· Lower court dismissed the case
ISSUE: W/N the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over crime committed aboard merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdiction waters
HELD: The order appealed from is revoked and the cause ordered remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings in accordance with law, without special findings as to costs.
· 2 fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with International Law
- French rule-according to which crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessels should not be prosecuted in the courts of the country within whose territorial jurisdiction they were committed
UNLESS: their commission affects the peace and security of the territory
- English rule
-based on the territorial principle and followed in the United States
-according to which crimes perpetrated under such circumstances are in general triable in the courts of the country within territory they were committed.
· As to whether the United States has ever consented by treaty or otherwise to renouncing such jurisdiction or a part thereof, we find nothing to this effect so far as England is concerned, to which nation the ship where the crime in question was committed belongs.
· mere possession of opium aboard a foreign vessel in transit was held by this court not triable by or courts, because it being the primary object of our Opium Law to protect the inhabitants of the Philippines against the disastrous effects entailed by the use of this drug, its mere possession in such a ship, without being used in our territory, does not being about in the said territory those effects that our statute contemplates avoiding. Hence such a mere possession is not considered a disturbance of the public order.
· to smoke opium within our territorial limits, even though aboard a foreign merchant ship, is certainly a breach of the public order here established, because it causes such drug to produce its pernicious effects within our territory. It seriously contravenes the purpose that our Legislature has in mind in enacting the aforesaid repressive statute.