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Crim Law 1 Case Digest: People v. Ah Chong (1910)

People v. Ah Chong 15 Phil. 488
G.R. No. L-5272  March 19, 1910
CARSON, J.

Lesson: mistake of fact, definition of felony

Laws: Article 1 RPC, Art 3 RPC

FACTS:
•    August 14, 1908 About 10 pm: Ah Chong, a cook was suddenly awakened by some trying to force open the door of the room. He sat up in bed and called out twice, "Who is there?" He heard no answer and was convinced by the noise at the door that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon forcing his way into the room.  The defendant, fearing that the intruder was a robber or a thief, leaped to his feet and called out. "If you enter the room, I will kill you." At that moment he was struck just above the knee by the edge of the chair (thought to be an unlawful aggression) which had been placed against the door.  Seizing a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out wildly at the intruder who, it afterwards turned out, was his roommate, Pascual who is a house boy or muchacho who in the spirit of mischief was playing a trick on him
•    Seeing that Pascual was wounded, he called to his employers and ran back to his room to secure bandages to bind up Pascual's wounds.
•    There had been several robberies not long prior to the date of the incident, one of which took place in a house where he was employed as cook so he kept a knife under his pillow for his personal protection.
•    trial court held it as simple homicide

ISSUE: W/N defendant can be held criminally responsible who, by reason of a mistake as to the facts, does an act for which he would be exempt from criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but which would constitute the crime of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the true state of the facts at the time when he committed the act.

HELD:  trial court should be reversed, and the defendant acquitted of the crime
NO.
•    GR: acts constituting the crime or offense must be committed with malice or with criminal intent in order that the actor may be held criminally liable
EX: it appears that he is exempted from liability under one or other of the express provisions of article 8 of the code
•    Article 1 RPC of the Penal Code is as follows:
Crimes or misdemeanors are voluntary acts and ommissions punished by law.
o    A person voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor shall incur criminal liability, even though the wrongful act committed be different from that which he had intended to commit.
o    voluntary act is a free, intelligent, and intentional act
o    "malice" signifying the intent
o    Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea - "the act itself does not make man guilty unless his intention were so
o    “ Actus me incito factus non est meus actus” - an act done by me against my will is not my act
•    GR: courts have recognized the power of the legislature to forbid, in a limited class of cases, the doing of certain acts, and to make their commission criminal WITHOUT regard to the intent of the doer
•    EX: intention of the lawmaker to make the commission of certain acts criminal without regard to the intent of the doer is clear and beyond question the statute will not be so construed
•    ignorantia facti excusat applies only when the mistake is committed without fault or carelessness
•    defendant at the time, he acted in good faith, without malice, or criminal intent, in the belief that he was doing no more than exercising his legitimate right of self-defense; that had the facts been as he believed them to be he would have been wholly exempt from criminal liability on account of his act; and that he can not be said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness or even carelessness in falling into his mistake as to the facts, or in the means adopted by him to defend himself from the imminent danger which he believe threatened his person and his property and the property under his charge.

Jurisprudence: G.R. No. L-5272 March 19, 1910

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-5272             March 19, 1910
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
AH CHONG, defendant-appellant.
Gibb & Gale, for appellant.
Attorney-General Villamor, for appellee.
CARSON, J.:
The evidence as to many of the essential and vital facts in this case is limited to the testimony of the accused himself, because from the very nature of these facts and from the circumstances surrounding the incident upon which these proceedings rest, no other evidence as to these facts was available either to the prosecution or to the defense. We think, however, that, giving the accused the benefit of the doubt as to the weight of the evidence touching those details of the incident as to which there can be said to be any doubt, the following statement of the material facts disclose by the record may be taken to be substantially correct:
The defendant, Ah Chong, was employed as a cook at "Officers' quarters, No. 27," Fort Mc Kinley, Rizal Province, and at the same place Pascual Gualberto, deceased, was employed as a house boy or muchacho. "Officers' quarters No. 27" as a detached house situates some 40 meters from the nearest building, and in August, 19087, was occupied solely as an officers' mess or club. No one slept in the house except the two servants, who jointly occupied a small room toward the rear of the building, the door of which opened upon a narrow porch running along the side of the building, by which communication was had with the other part of the house. This porch was covered by a heavy growth of vines for its entire length and height. The door of the room was not furnished with a permanent bolt or lock, and occupants, as a measure of security, had attached a small hook or catch on the inside of the door, and were in the habit of reinforcing this somewhat insecure means of fastening the door by placing against it a chair. In the room there was but one small window, which, like the door, opened on the porch. Aside from the door and window, there were no other openings of any kind in the room.
On the night of August 14, 1908, at about 10 o'clock, the defendant, who had received for the night, was suddenly awakened by some trying to force open the door of the room. He sat up in bed and called out twice, "Who is there?" He heard no answer and was convinced by the noise at the door that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon forcing his way into the room. Due to the heavy growth of vines along the front of the porch, the room was very dark, and the defendant, fearing that the intruder was a robber or a thief, leaped to his feet and called out. "If you enter the room, I will kill you." At that moment he was struck just above the knee by the edge of the chair which had been placed against the door. In the darkness and confusion the defendant thought that the blow had been inflicted by the person who had forced the door open, whom he supposed to be a burglar, though in the light of after events, it is probable that the chair was merely thrown back into the room by the sudden opening of the door against which it rested. Seizing a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out wildly at the intruder who, it afterwards turned out, was his roommate, Pascual. Pascual ran out upon the porch and fell down on the steps in a desperately wounded condition, followed by the defendant, who immediately recognized him in the moonlight. Seeing that Pascual was wounded, he called to his employers who slept in the next house, No. 28, and ran back to his room to secure bandages to bind up Pascual's wounds.
There had been several robberies in Fort McKinley not long prior to the date of the incident just described, one of which took place in a house in which the defendant was employed as cook; and as defendant alleges, it was because of these repeated robberies he kept a knife under his pillow for his personal protection.
The deceased and the accused, who roomed together and who appear to have on friendly and amicable terms prior to the fatal incident, had an understanding that when either returned at night, he should knock at the door and acquiant his companion with his identity. Pascual had left the house early in the evening and gone for a walk with his friends, Celestino Quiambao and Mariano Ibañez, servants employed at officers' quarters No. 28, the nearest house to the mess hall. The three returned from their walk at about 10 o'clock, and Celestino and Mariano stopped at their room at No. 28, Pascual going on to his room at No. 27. A few moments after the party separated, Celestino and Mariano heard cries for assistance and upon returning to No. 27 found Pascual sitting on the back steps fatally wounded in the stomach, whereupon one of them ran back to No. 28 and called Liuetenants Jacobs and Healy, who immediately went to the aid of the wounded man.
The defendant then and there admitted that he had stabbed his roommate, but said that he did it under the impression that Pascual was "a ladron" because he forced open the door of their sleeping room, despite defendant's warnings.
No reasonable explanation of the remarkable conduct on the part of Pascuals suggests itself, unless it be that the boy in a spirit of mischief was playing a trick on his Chinese roommate, and sought to frightened him by forcing his way into the room, refusing to give his name or say who he was, in order to make Ah Chong believe that he was being attacked by a robber.
Defendant was placed under arrest forthwith, and Pascual was conveyed to the military hospital, where he died from the effects of the wound on the following day.
The defendant was charged with the crime of assassination, tried, and found guilty by the trial court of simple homicide, with extenuating circumstances, and sentenced to six years and one day presidio mayor, the minimum penalty prescribed by law.
At the trial in the court below the defendant admitted that he killed his roommate, Pascual Gualberto, but insisted that he struck the fatal blow without any intent to do a wrongful act, in the exercise of his lawful right of self-defense.
Article 8 of the Penal Code provides that —
The following are not delinquent and are therefore exempt from criminal liability:
xxx             xxx             xxx
4 He who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided there are the following attendant circumstances:
(1) Illegal aggression.
(2) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it.
(3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.
Under these provisions we think that there can be no doubt that defendant would be entitle to complete exception from criminal liability for the death of the victim of his fatal blow, if the intruder who forced open the door of his room had been in fact a dangerous thief or "ladron," as the defendant believed him to be. No one, under such circumstances, would doubt the right of the defendant to resist and repel such an intrusion, and the thief having forced open the door notwithstanding defendant's thrice-repeated warning to desist, and his threat that he would kill the intruder if he persisted in his attempt, it will not be questioned that in the darkness of the night, in a small room, with no means of escape, with the thief advancing upon him despite his warnings defendant would have been wholly justified in using any available weapon to defend himself from such an assault, and in striking promptly, without waiting for the thief to discover his whereabouts and deliver the first blow.
But the evidence clearly discloses that the intruder was not a thief or a "ladron." That neither the defendant nor his property nor any of the property under his charge was in real danger at the time when he struck the fatal blow. That there was no such "unlawful aggression" on the part of a thief or "ladron" as defendant believed he was repelling and resisting, and that there was no real "necessity" for the use of the knife to defend his person or his property or the property under his charge.
The question then squarely presents it self, whether in this jurisdiction one can be held criminally responsible who, by reason of a mistake as to the facts, does an act for which he would be exempt from criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but which would constitute the crime of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the true state of the facts at the time when he committed the act. To this question we think there can be but one answer, and we hold that under such circumstances there is no criminal liability, provided always that the alleged ignorance or mistake or fact was not due to negligence or bad faith.
In broader terms, ignorance or mistake of fact, if such ignorance or mistake of fact is sufficient to negative a particular intent which under the law is a necessary ingredient of the offense charged (e.g., in larcerny, animus furendi; in murder, malice; in crimes intent) "cancels the presumption of intent," and works an acquittal; except in those cases where the circumstances demand a conviction under the penal provisions touching criminal negligence; and in cases where, under the provisions of article 1 of the Penal Code one voluntarily committing a crime or misdeamor incurs criminal liability for any wrongful act committed by him, even though it be different from that which he intended to commit. (Wharton's Criminal Law, sec. 87 and cases cited; McClain's Crim. Law, sec. 133 and cases cited; Pettit vs. S., 28 Tex. Ap., 240; Commonwealth vs. Power, 7 Met., 596; Yates vs. People, 32 N.Y., 509; Isham vs. State, 38 Ala., 213; Commonwealth vs. Rogers, 7 Met., 500.)
The general proposition thus stated hardly admits of discussion, and the only question worthy of consideration is whether malice or criminal intent is an essential element or ingredient of the crimes of homicide and assassination as defined and penalized in the Penal Code. It has been said that since the definitions there given of these as well as most other crimes and offense therein defined, do not specifically and expressly declare that the acts constituting the crime or offense must be committed with malice or with criminal intent in order that the actor may be held criminally liable, the commission of the acts set out in the various definitions subjects the actor to the penalties described therein, unless it appears that he is exempted from liability under one or other of the express provisions of article 8 of the code, which treats of exemption. But while it is true that contrary to the general rule of legislative enactment in the United States, the definitions of crimes and offenses as set out in the Penal Code rarely contain provisions expressly declaring that malice or criminal intent is an essential ingredient of the crime, nevertheless, the general provisions of article 1 of the code clearly indicate that malice, or criminal intent in some form, is an essential requisite of all crimes and offense therein defined, in the absence of express provisions modifying the general rule, such as are those touching liability resulting from acts negligently or imprudently committed, and acts done by one voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor, where the act committed is different from that which he intended to commit. And it is to be observed that even these exceptions are more apparent than real, for "There is little distinction, except in degree, between a will to do a wrongful thing and indifference whether it is done or not. Therefore carelessness is criminal, and within limits supplies the place of the affirmative criminal intent" (Bishop's New Criminal Law, vol. 1, s. 313); and, again, "There is so little difference between a disposition to do a great harm and a disposition to do harm that one of them may very well be looked upon as the measure of the other. Since, therefore, the guilt of a crime consists in the disposition to do harm, which the criminal shows by committing it, and since this disposition is greater or less in proportion to the harm which is done by the crime, the consequence is that the guilt of the crime follows the same proportion; it is greater or less according as the crime in its own nature does greater or less harm" (Ruth. Ints. C. 18, p. 11); or, as it has been otherwise stated, the thing done, having proceeded from a corrupt mid, is to be viewed the same whether the corruption was of one particular form or another.
Article 1 of the Penal Code is as follows:
Crimes or misdemeanors are voluntary acts and ommissions punished by law.
Acts and omissions punished by law are always presumed to be voluntarily unless the contrary shall appear.
An person voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor shall incur criminal liability, even though the wrongful act committed be different from that which he had intended to commit.
The celebrated Spanish jurist Pacheco, discussing the meaning of the word "voluntary" as used in this article, say that a voluntary act is a free, intelligent, and intentional act, and roundly asserts that without intention (intention to do wrong or criminal intention) there can be no crime; and that the word "voluntary" implies and includes the words "con malicia," which were expressly set out in the definition of the word "crime" in the code of 1822, but omitted from the code of 1870, because, as Pacheco insists, their use in the former code was redundant, being implied and included in the word "voluntary." (Pacheco, Codigo Penal, vol. 1, p. 74.)
Viada, while insisting that the absence of intention to commit the crime can only be said to exempt from criminal responsibility when the act which was actually intended to be done was in itself a lawful one, and in the absence of negligence or imprudence, nevertheless admits and recognizes in his discussion of the provisions of this article of the code that in general without intention there can be no crime. (Viada, vol. 1, p. 16.) And, as we have shown above, the exceptions insisted upon by Viada are more apparent than real.
Silvela, in discussing the doctrine herein laid down, says:
In fact, it is sufficient to remember the first article, which declared that where there is no intention there is no crime . . . in order to affirm, without fear of mistake, that under our code there can be no crime if there is no act, an act which must fall within the sphere of ethics if there is no moral injury. (Vol. 2, the Criminal Law, folio 169.)
And to the same effect are various decisions of the supreme court of Spain, as, for example in its sentence of May 31, 1882, in which it made use of the following language:
It is necessary that this act, in order to constitute a crime, involve all the malice which is supposed from the operation of the will and an intent to cause the injury which may be the object of the crime.
And again in its sentence of March 16, 1892, wherein it held that "considering that, whatever may be the civil effects of the inscription of his three sons, made by the appellant in the civil registry and in the parochial church, there can be no crime because of the lack of the necessary element or criminal intention, which characterizes every action or ommission punished by law; nor is he guilty of criminal negligence."
And to the same effect in its sentence of December 30, 1896, it made use of the following language:
. . . Considering that the moral element of the crime, that is, intent or malice or their absence in the commission of an act defined and punished by law as criminal, is not a necessary question of fact submitted to the exclusive judgment and decision of the trial court.
That the author of the Penal Code deemed criminal intent or malice to be an essential element of the various crimes and misdemeanors therein defined becomes clear also from an examination of the provisions of article 568, which are as follows:
He who shall execute through reckless negligence an act that, if done with malice, would constitute a grave crime, shall be punished with the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum degree, to prision correccional in its minimum degrees if it shall constitute a less grave crime.
He who in violation of the regulations shall commit a crime through simple imprudence or negligence shall incur the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum degrees.
In the application of these penalties the courts shall proceed according to their discretion, without being subject to the rules prescribed in article 81.
The provisions of this article shall not be applicable if the penalty prescribed for the crime is equal to or less than those contained in the first paragraph thereof, in which case the courts shall apply the next one thereto in the degree which they may consider proper.
The word "malice" in this article is manifestly substantially equivalent to the words "criminal intent," and the direct inference from its provisions is that the commission of the acts contemplated therein, in the absence of malice (criminal intent), negligence, and imprudence, does not impose any criminal liability on the actor.
The word "voluntary" as used in article 1 of the Penal Code would seem to approximate in meaning the word "willful" as used in English and American statute to designate a form of criminal intent. It has been said that while the word "willful" sometimes means little more than intentionally or designedly, yet it is more frequently understood to extent a little further and approximate the idea of the milder kind of legal malice; that is, it signifies an evil intent without justifiable excuse. In one case it was said to mean, as employed in a statute in contemplation, "wantonly" or "causelessly;" in another, "without reasonable grounds to believe the thing lawful." And Shaw, C. J., once said that ordinarily in a statute it means "not merely `voluntarily' but with a bad purpose; in other words, corruptly." In English and the American statutes defining crimes "malice," "malicious," "maliciously," and "malice aforethought" are words indicating intent, more purely technical than "willful" or willfully," but "the difference between them is not great;" the word "malice" not often being understood to require general malevolence toward a particular individual, and signifying rather the intent from our legal justification. (Bishop's New Criminal Law, vol. 1, secs. 428 and 429, and cases cited.)
But even in the absence of express words in a statute, setting out a condition in the definition of a crime that it be committed "voluntarily," willfully," "maliciously" "with malice aforethought," or in one of the various modes generally construed to imply a criminal intent, we think that reasoning from general principles it will always be found that with the rare exceptions hereinafter mentioned, to constitute a crime evil intent must combine with an act. Mr. Bishop, who supports his position with numerous citations from the decided cases, thus forcely present this doctrine:
In no one thing does criminal jurisprudence differ more from civil than in the rule as to the intent. In controversies between private parties the quo animo with which a thing was done is sometimes important, not always; but crime proceeds only from a criminal mind. So that —
There can be no crime, large or small, without an evil mind. In other words, punishment is the sentence of wickedness, without which it can not be. And neither in philosophical speculation nor in religious or mortal sentiment would any people in any age allow that a man should be deemed guilty unless his mind was so. It is therefore a principle of our legal system, as probably it is of every other, that the essence of an offense is the wrongful intent, without which it can not exists. We find this doctrine confirmed by —
Legal maxims. — The ancient wisdom of the law, equally with the modern, is distinct on this subject. It consequently has supplied to us such maxims as Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, "the act itself does not make man guilty unless his intention were so;" Actus me incito factus non est meus actus, "an act done by me against my will is not my act;" and others of the like sort. In this, as just said, criminal jurisprudence differs from civil. So also —
Moral science and moral sentiment teach the same thing. "By reference to the intention, we inculpate or exculpate others or ourselves without any respect to the happiness or misery actually produced. Let the result of an action be what it may, we hold a man guilty simply on the ground of intention; or, on the dame ground, we hold him innocent." The calm judgment of mankind keeps this doctrine among its jewels. In times of excitement, when vengeance takes the place of justice, every guard around the innocent is cast down. But with the return of reason comes the public voice that where the mind is pure, he who differs in act from his neighbors does not offend. And —
In the spontaneous judgment which springs from the nature given by God to man, no one deems another to deserve punishment for what he did from an upright mind, destitute of every form of evil. And whenever a person is made to suffer a punishment which the community deems not his due, so far from its placing an evil mark upon him, it elevates him to the seat of the martyr. Even infancy itself spontaneously pleads the want of bad intent in justification of what has the appearance of wrong, with the utmost confidence that the plea, if its truth is credited, will be accepted as good. Now these facts are only the voice of nature uttering one of her immutable truths. It is, then, the doctrine of the law, superior to all other doctrines, because first in nature from which the law itself proceeds, that no man is to be punished as a criminal unless his intent is wrong. (Bishop's New Criminal Law, vol. 1, secs. 286 to 290.)
Compelled by necessity, "the great master of all things," an apparent departure from this doctrine of abstract justice result from the adoption of the arbitrary rule that Ignorantia juris non excusat ("Ignorance of the law excuses no man"), without which justice could not be administered in our tribunals; and compelled also by the same doctrine of necessity, the courts have recognized the power of the legislature to forbid, in a limited class of cases, the doing of certain acts, and to make their commission criminal without regard to the intent of the doer. Without discussing these exceptional cases at length, it is sufficient here to say that the courts have always held that unless the intention of the lawmaker to make the commission of certain acts criminal without regard to the intent of the doer is clear and beyond question the statute will not be so construed (cases cited in Cyc., vol. 12, p. 158, notes 76 and 77); and the rule that ignorance of the law excuses no man has been said not to be a real departure from the law's fundamental principle that crime exists only where the mind is at fault, because "the evil purpose need not be to break the law, and if suffices if it is simply to do the thing which the law in fact forbids." (Bishop's New Criminal Law, sec. 300, and cases cited.)
But, however this may be, there is no technical rule, and no pressing necessity therefore, requiring mistake in fact to be dealt with otherwise that in strict accord with the principles of abstract justice. On the contrary, the maxim here is Ignorantia facti excusat ("Ignorance or mistake in point of fact is, in all cases of supposed offense, a sufficient excuse"). (Brown's Leg. Max., 2d ed., 190.)
Since evil intent is in general an inseparable element in every crime, any such mistake of fact as shows the act committed to have proceeded from no sort of evil in the mind necessarily relieves the actor from criminal liability provided always there is no fault or negligence on his part; and as laid down by Baron Parke, "The guilt of the accused must depend on the circumstances as they appear to him." (Reg. vs. Thurborn, 1 Den. C., 387; P. vs. Anderson, 44 Cal.., 65; P. vs. Lamb, 54 Barb., 342; Yates vs. P., 32 N. Y., 509; Patterson vs. P., 46 Barb., 625; Reg. vs. Cohen, 8 Cox C. C., 41; P. vs. Miles, 55 Cal., 207, 209; Nalley vs. S., 28 Tex. Ap., 387.) That is to say, the question as to whether he honestly, in good faith, and without fault or negligence fell into the mistake is to be determined by the circumstances as they appeared to him at the time when the mistake was made, and the effect which the surrounding circumstances might reasonably be expected to have on his mind, in forming the intent, criminal or other wise, upon which he acted.
If, in language not uncommon in the cases, one has reasonable cause to believe the existence of facts which will justify a killing — or, in terms more nicely in accord with the principles on which the rule is founded, if without fault or carelessness he does believe them — he is legally guiltless of the homicide; though he mistook the facts, and so the life of an innocent person is unfortunately extinguished. In other words, and with reference to the right of self-defense and the not quite harmonious authorities, it is the doctrine of reason and sufficiently sustained in adjudication, that notwithstanding some decisions apparently adverse, whenever a man undertakes self-defense, he is justified in acting on the facts as they appear to him. If, without fault or carelessness, he is misled concerning them, and defends himself correctly according to what he thus supposes the facts to be the law will not punish him though they are in truth otherwise, and he was really no occassion for the extreme measures. (Bishop's New Criminal Law, sec. 305, and large array of cases there cited.)
The common illustration in the American and English textbooks of the application of this rule is the case where a man, masked and disguised as a footpad, at night and on a lonely road, "holds up" his friends in a spirit of mischief, and with leveled pistol demands his money or his life, but is killed by his friend under the mistaken belief that the attack is a real one, that the pistol leveled at his head is loaded, and that his life and property are in imminent danger at the hands of the aggressor. No one will doubt that if the facts were such as the slayer believed them to be he would be innocent of the commission of any crime and wholly exempt from criminal liability, although if he knew the real state of the facts when he took the life of his friend he would undoubtedly be guilty of the crime of homicide or assassination. Under such circumstances, proof of his innocent mistake of the facts overcomes the presumption of malice or criminal intent, and (since malice or criminal intent is a necessary ingredient of the "act punished by law" in cases of homicide or assassination) overcomes at the same time the presumption established in article 1 of the code, that the "act punished by law" was committed "voluntarily."
Parson, C.J., in the Massachusetts court, once said:
If the party killing had reasonable grounds for believing that the person slain had a felonious design against him, and under that supposition killed him, although it should afterwards appear that there was no such design, it will not be murder, but it will be either manslaughter or excusable homicide, according to the degree of caution used and the probable grounds of such belief. (Charge to the grand jury in Selfridge's case, Whart, Hom., 417, 418, Lloyd's report of the case, p.7.)
In this case, Parker, J., charging the petit jury, enforced the doctrine as follows:
A, in the peaceable pursuit of his affairs, sees B rushing rapidly toward him, with an outstretched arms and a pistol in his hand, and using violent menaces against his life as he advances. Having approached near enough in the same attitude, A, who has a club in his hand, strikes B over the head before or at the instant the pistol is discharged; and of the wound B dies. It turns out the pistol was loaded with powder only, and that the real design of B was only to terrify A. Will any reasonable man say that A is more criminal that he would have been if there had been a bullet in the pistol? Those who hold such doctrine must require that a man so attacked must, before he strikes the assailant, stop and ascertain how the pistol is loaded — a doctrine which would entirely take away the essential right of self-defense. And when it is considered that the jury who try the cause, and not the party killing, are to judge of the reasonable grounds of his apprehension, no danger can be supposed to flow from this principle. (Lloyd's Rep., p. 160.)
To the same effect are various decisions of the supreme court of Spain, cited by Viada, a few of which are here set out in full because the facts are somewhat analogous to those in the case at bar.
QUESTION III. When it is shown that the accused was sitting at his hearth, at night, in company only of his wife, without other light than reflected from the fire, and that the man with his back to the door was attending to the fire, there suddenly entered a person whom he did not see or know, who struck him one or two blows, producing a contusion on the shoulder, because of which he turned, seized the person and took from his the stick with which he had undoubtedly been struck, and gave the unknown person a blow, knocking him to the floor, and afterwards striking him another blow on the head, leaving the unknown lying on the floor, and left the house. It turned out the unknown person was his father-in-law, to whom he rendered assistance as soon as he learned his identity, and who died in about six days in consequence of cerebral congestion resulting from the blow. The accused, who confessed the facts, had always sustained pleasant relations with his father-in-law, whom he visited during his sickness, demonstrating great grief over the occurrence. Shall he be considered free from criminal responsibility, as having acted in self-defense, with all the circumstances related in paragraph 4, article 8, of the Penal Code? The criminal branch of the Audiencia of Valladolid found that he was an illegal aggressor, without sufficient provocation, and that there did not exists rational necessity for the employment of the force used, and in accordance with articles 419 and 87 of the Penal Code condemned him to twenty months of imprisonment, with accessory penalty and costs. Upon appeal by the accused, he was acquitted by the supreme court, under the following sentence: "Considering, from the facts found by the sentence to have been proven, that the accused was surprised from behind, at night, in his house beside his wife who was nursing her child, was attacked, struck, and beaten, without being able to distinguish with which they might have executed their criminal intent, because of the there was no other than fire light in the room, and considering that in such a situation and when the acts executed demonstrated that they might endanger his existence, and possibly that of his wife and child, more especially because his assailant was unknown, he should have defended himself, and in doing so with the same stick with which he was attacked, he did not exceed the limits of self-defense, nor did he use means which were not rationally necessary, particularly because the instrument with which he killed was the one which he took from his assailant, and was capable of producing death, and in the darkness of the house and the consteration which naturally resulted from such strong aggression, it was not given him to known or distinguish whether there was one or more assailants, nor the arms which they might bear, not that which they might accomplish, and considering that the lower court did not find from the accepted facts that there existed rational necessity for the means employed, and that it did not apply paragraph 4 of article 8 of the Penal Code, it erred, etc." (Sentence of supreme court of Spain, February 28, 1876.) (Viada, Vol. I, p. 266.) .
QUESTION XIX. A person returning, at night, to his house, which was situated in a retired part of the city, upon arriving at a point where there was no light, heard the voice of a man, at a distance of some 8 paces, saying: "Face down, hand over you money!" because of which, and almost at the same money, he fired two shots from his pistol, distinguishing immediately the voice of one of his friends (who had before simulated a different voice) saying, "Oh! they have killed me," and hastening to his assistance, finding the body lying upon the ground, he cried, "Miguel, Miguel, speak, for God's sake, or I am ruined," realizing that he had been the victim of a joke, and not receiving a reply, and observing that his friend was a corpse, he retired from the place. Shall he be declared exempt in toto from responsibility as the author of this homicide, as having acted in just self-defense under the circumstances defined in paragraph 4, article 8, Penal Code? The criminal branch of the Audiencia of Malaga did not so find, but only found in favor of the accused two of the requisites of said article, but not that of the reasonableness of the means employed to repel the attack, and, therefore, condemned the accused to eight years and one day of prison mayor, etc. The supreme court acquitted the accused on his appeal from this sentence, holding that the accused was acting under a justifiable and excusable mistake of fact as to the identity of the person calling to him, and that under the circumstances, the darkness and remoteness, etc., the means employed were rational and the shooting justifiable. (Sentence supreme court, March 17, 1885.) (Viada, Vol. I, p. 136.)
QUESTION VI. The owner of a mill, situated in a remote spot, is awakened, at night, by a large stone thrown against his window — at this, he puts his head out of the window and inquires what is wanted, and is answered "the delivery of all of his money, otherwise his house would be burned" — because of which, and observing in an alley adjacent to the mill four individuals, one of whom addressed him with blasphemy, he fired his pistol at one the men, who, on the next morning was found dead on the same spot. Shall this man be declared exempt from criminal responsibility as having acted in just self-defense with all of the requisites of law? The criminal branch of the requisites of law? The criminal branch of the Audiencia of Zaragoza finds that there existed in favor of the accused a majority of the requisites to exempt him from criminal responsibility, but not that of reasonable necessity for the means, employed, and condemned the accused to twelve months of prision correctional for the homicide committed. Upon appeal, the supreme court acquitted the condemned, finding that the accused, in firing at the malefactors, who attack his mill at night in a remote spot by threatening robbery and incendiarism, was acting in just self-defense of his person, property, and family. (Sentence of May 23, 1877). (I Viada, p. 128.)
A careful examination of the facts as disclosed in the case at bar convinces us that the defendant Chinaman struck the fatal blow alleged in the information in the firm belief that the intruder who forced open the door of his sleeping room was a thief, from whose assault he was in imminent peril, both of his life and of his property and of the property committed to his charge; that in view of all the circumstances, as they must have presented themselves to the defendant at the time, he acted in good faith, without malice, or criminal intent, in the belief that he was doing no more than exercising his legitimate right of self-defense; that had the facts been as he believed them to be he would have been wholly exempt from criminal liability on account of his act; and that he can not be said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness or even carelessness in falling into his mistake as to the facts, or in the means adopted by him to defend himself from the imminent danger which he believe threatened his person and his property and the property under his charge.
The judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court should be reversed, and the defendant acquitted of the crime with which he is charged and his bail bond exonerated, with the costs of both instance de oficio. So ordered.
Johnson Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.
Arellano, C.J., and Mapa, J., dissent.

Crim Law 1 Case Digest: People v. Lol-lo & Saraw (1922)

People v. Lol-lo & Saraw, 43 Phil. 19
G.R. No. 17958 February 27, 1922.
MALCOLM, J.

FACTS:
•    2 boats of Dutch possession left matuta.  In 1 of the boats was 1 individual, a Dutch subject, and in the other boat 11 men, women, and children, subjects of Holland.  The 2nd boat arrived between the Islands of Buang and Bukid in the Dutch East Indies. There the boat was surrounded by 6 vintas manned by 24 Moros all armed. The Moros first asked for food, but once on the Dutch boat, too for themselves all of the cargo, attacked some of the men, and brutally violated 2 of the women. All of the persons on the Dutch boat, except the 2 young women, were again placed on it and holes were made in it, the idea that it would submerge.  The Moros finally arrived at Maruro, a Dutch possession. 2 of the Moro marauder were Lol-lo, who also raped one of the women, and Saraw. At Maruro the 2 women were able to escape.
•    Lol-lo and Saraw later returned to their home in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Philippine Islands. There they were arrested and were charged in the Court of First Instance of Sulu with the crime of piracy
•    All of the elements of the crime of piracy are present. 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.
•    Pirates are in law hostes humani generis.
•    Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits.
•    As it is against all so may it be punished by all. Nor does it matter that the crime was committed within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state, "for those limits, though neutral to war, are not neutral to crimes."

ISSUE: W/N the provisions of the Penal Code dealing with the crime of piracy are still in force.

HELD: In accordance with provisions of Act No. 2726, the defendant and appellant Lol-lo, who is found guilty of the crime of piracy and is sentenced therefor to be hung until dead.

YES.
    Penal code dealing with the crime of piracy, notably articles 153 and 154, to be still in force in the Philippines.
    The crime of piracy was accompanied by (1) an offense against chastity and (2) the abandonment of persons without apparent means of saving themselves. It is, therefore, only necessary for us to determine as to whether the penalty of cadena perpetua or death should be imposed.
    At least 3 aggravating circumstances, that the wrong done in the commission of the crime was deliberately augmented by causing other wrongs not necessary for its commission, that advantage was taken of superior strength, and that means were employed which added ignominy to the natural effects of the act, must also be taken into consideration in fixing the penalty.

Jurisprudence: G.R. No. 17958 February 27, 1922

EN BANC
G.R. No. 17958             February 27, 1922
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
LOL-LO and SARAW, defendants-appellants.
Thos. D. Aitken for appellants.
Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee.
MALCOLM, J.:
The days when pirates roamed the seas, when picturesque buccaneers like Captain Avery and Captain Kidd and Bartholomew Roberts gripped the imagination, when grostesque brutes like Blackbeard flourished, seem far away in the pages of history and romance. Nevertheless, the record before us tells a tale of twentieth century piracy in the south seas, but stripped of all touches of chivalry or of generosity, so as to present a horrible case of rapine and near murder.
On or about June 30, 1920, two boats left matuta, a Dutch possession, for Peta, another Dutch possession. In one of the boats was one individual, a Dutch subject, and in the other boat eleven men, women, and children, likewise subjects of Holland. After a number of days of navigation, at about 7 o'clock in the evening, the second boat arrived between the Islands of Buang and Bukid in the Dutch East Indies. There the boat was surrounded by six vintas manned by twenty-four Moros all armed. The Moros first asked for food, but once on the Dutch boat, too for themselves all of the cargo, attacked some of the men, and brutally violated two of the women by methods too horrible to the described. All of the persons on the Dutch boat, with the exception of the two young women, were again placed on it and holes were made in it, the idea that it would submerge, although as a matter of fact, these people, after eleven days of hardship and privation, were succored violating them, the Moros finally arrived at Maruro, a Dutch possession. Two of the Moro marauder were Lol-lo, who also raped one of the women, and Saraw. At Maruro the two women were able to escape.
Lol-lo and Saraw later returned to their home in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Philippine Islands. There they were arrested and were charged in the Court of First Instance of Sulu with the crime of piracy. A demurrer was interposed by counsel de officio for the Moros, based on the grounds that the offense charged was not within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, nor of any court of the Philippine Islands, and that the facts did not constitute a public offense, under the laws in force in the Philippine Islands. After the demurrer was overruled by the trial judge, trial was had, and a judgment was rendered finding the two defendants guilty and sentencing each of them to life imprisonment (cadena perpetua), to return together with Kinawalang and Maulanis, defendants in another case, to the offended parties, the thirty-nine sacks of copras which had been robbed, or to indemnify them in the amount of 924 rupees, and to pay a one-half part of the costs.
A very learned and exhaustive brief has been filed in this court by the attorney de officio. By a process of elimination, however, certain questions can be quickly disposed of.
The proven facts are not disputed. All of the elements of the crime of piracy are present. 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.
It cannot be contended with any degree of force as was done in the lover court and as is again done in this court, that the Court of First Instance was without jurisdiction of the case. Pirates are in law hostes humani generis. Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits. As it is against all so may it be punished by all. Nor does it matter that the crime was committed within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state, "for those limits, though neutral to war, are not neutral to crimes." (U.S. vs. Furlong [1820], 5 Wheat., 184.)
The most serious question which is squarely presented to this court for decision for the first time is whether or not the provisions of the Penal Code dealing with the crime of piracy are still in force. Article 153 to 156 of the Penal Code reads as follows:
ART. 153. The crime of piracy committed against Spaniards, or the subjects of another nation not at war with Spain, shall be punished with a penalty ranging from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua.
If the crime be committed against nonbelligerent subjects of another nation at war with Spain, it shall be punished with the penalty of presidio mayor.
ART. 154. Those who commit the crimes referred to in the first paragraph of the next preceding article shall suffer the penalty of cadena perpetua or death, and those who commit the crimes referred to in the second paragraph of the same article, from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua:
1. Whenever they have seized some vessel by boarding or firing upon the same.
2. Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, or by any of the physical injuries specified in articles four hundred and fourteen and four hundred and fifteen and in paragraphs one and two of article four hundred and sixteen.
3. Whenever it is accompanied by any of the offenses against chastity specified in Chapter II, Title IX, of this book.
4. Whenever the pirates have abandoned any persons without means of saving themselves.
5. In every case, the captain or skipper of the pirates.
ART. 155. With respect to the provisions of this title, as well as all others of this code, when Spain is mentioned it shall be understood as including any part of the national territory.
ART. 156. For the purpose of applying the provisions of this code, every person, who, according to the Constitution of the Monarchy, has the status of a Spaniard shall be considered as such.
The general rules of public law recognized and acted on by the United States relating to the effect of a transfer of territory from another State to the United States are well-known. The political law of the former sovereignty is necessarily changed. The municipal law in so far as it is consistent with the Constitution, the laws of the United States, or the characteristics and institutions of the government, remains in force. As a corollary to the main rules, 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. (Chicago, Rock Islands, etc., R. Co. vs. McGlinn [1885], 114 U.S., 542.)
These principles of the public law were given specific application to the Philippines by the Instructions of President McKinley of May 19, 1898, to General Wesley Meritt, the Commanding General of the Army of Occupation in the Philippines, when he said:
Though the powers of the military occupant are absolute and supreme, and immediately operate upon the political condition of the inhabitants, the municipal laws of the conquered territory, such as affect private rights of person and property, and provide for the punishment of crime, are considered as continuing in force, so far as they are compatible with the new order of things, until they are suspended or superseded by the occupying belligerent; and practice they are not usually abrogated, but are allowed to remain in force, and to be administered by the ordinary tribunals, substantially as they were before the occupations. This enlightened practice is so far as possible, to be adhered to on the present occasion. (Official Gazette, Preliminary Number, Jan. 1, 1903, p. 1. See also General Merritt Proclamation of August 14, 1898.)
It cannot admit of doubt that the articles of the Spanish Penal Code dealing with piracy were meant to include the Philippine Islands. Article 156 of the Penal Code in relation to article 1 of the Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, would also make the provisions of the Code applicable not only to Spaniards but to Filipinos.
The opinion of Grotius was that piracy by the law of nations is the same thing as piracy by the civil law, and he has never been disputed. The specific provisions of the Penal Code are similar in tenor to statutory provisions elsewhere and to the concepts of the public law. This must necessarily be so, considering that the Penal Code finds its inspiration in this respect in the Novelas, the Partidas, and the Novisima Recopilacion.
The Constitution of the United States declares that the Congress shall have the power to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations. (U.S. Const. Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 10.) The Congress, in putting on the statute books the necessary ancillary legislation, provided that whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life. (U.S. Crim. Code, sec. 290; penalty formerly death: U.S. Rev. Stat., sec. 5368.) The framers of the Constitution and the members of Congress were content to let a definition of piracy rest on its universal conception under the law of nations.
It is evident that the provisions of the Penal Code now in force in the Philippines relating to piracy are not inconsistent with the corresponding provisions in force in the United States.
By the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippine Islands to the United States. A logical construction of articles of the Penal Code, like the articles dealing with the crime of piracy, would be that wherever "Spain" is mentioned, it should be substituted by the words "United States" and wherever "Spaniards" are mentioned, the word should be substituted by the expression "citizens of the United States and citizens of the Philippine Islands." somewhat similar reasoning led this court in the case of United States vs. Smith ([1919], 39 Phil., 533) to give to the word "authority" as found in the Penal Code a limited meaning, which would no longer comprehend all religious, military, and civil officers, but only public officers in the Government of the Philippine Islands.
Under the construction above indicated, article 153 of the Penal Code would read as follows:
The crime of piracy committed against citizens of the United States and citizens of the Philippine Islands, or the subjects of another nation not at war with the United States, shall be punished with a penalty ranging from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua.
If the crime be committed against nonbelligerent subjects of another nation at war with the United States, it shall be punished with the penalty of presidio mayor.
We hold those provisions of the Penal code dealing with the crime of piracy, notably articles 153 and 154, to be still in force in the Philippines.
The crime falls under the first paragraph of article 153 of the Penal Code in relation to article 154. There are present at least two of the circumstances named in the last cited article as authorizing either cadena perpetua or death. The crime of piracy was accompanied by (1) an offense against chastity and (2) the abandonment of persons without apparent means of saving themselves. It is, therefore, only necessary for us to determine as to whether the penalty of cadena perpetua or death should be imposed. In this connection, the trial court, finding present the one aggravating circumstance of nocturnity, and compensating the same by the one mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction provided by article 11, as amended, of the Penal Code, sentenced the accused to life imprisonment. At least three aggravating circumstances, that the wrong done in the commission of the crime was deliberately augmented by causing other wrongs not necessary for its commission, that advantage was taken of superior strength, and that means were employed which added ignominy to the natural effects of the act, must also be taken into consideration in fixing the penalty. Considering, therefore, the number and importance of the qualifying and aggravating circumstances here present, which cannot be offset by the sole mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction, and the horrible nature of the crime committed, it becomes our duty to impose capital punishment.
The vote upon the sentence is unanimous with regard to the propriety of the imposition of the death penalty upon the defendant and appellant Lo-lo (the accused who raped on of the women), but is not unanimous with regard to the court, Mr. Justice Romualdez, registers his nonconformity. In accordance with provisions of Act No. 2726, it results, therefore, that the judgment of the trial court as to the defendant and appellant Saraw is affirmed, and is reversed as to the defendant and appellant Lol-lo, who is found guilty of the crime of piracy and is sentenced therefor to be hung until dead, at such time and place as shall be fixed by the judge of first instance of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District. The two appellants together with Kinawalang and Maulanis, defendants in another case, shall indemnify jointly and severally the offended parties in the equivalent of 924 rupees, and shall pay a one-half part of the costs of both instances. So ordered.
Araullo, C.J., Johnson, Avanceña, Villamor, Ostrand, Johns and Romualdez, JJ., concur.

Crim Law 1 Case Digest: People v. Wong Cheng (1922)

People v. Wong Cheng, 46 Phil. 729
G.R. No.L-18924 October 19, 1922
ROMUALDEZ, J.

FACTS:
·         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.
YES.
·         2 fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with International Law
  1. 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
  1. 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.

Jurisprudence: G.R. No. L-18924 October 19, 1922

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-18924             October 19, 1922
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
WONG CHENG (alias WONG CHUN), defendant-appellee.
Attorney-General Villa-Real for appellant.
Eduardo Gutierrez Repide for appellee.

ROMUALDEZ, J.:
          In this appeal the Attorney-General urges the revocation of the order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, sustaining the demurrer presented by the defendant to the information that initiated this case and in which the 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.
          The demurrer alleged lack of jurisdiction on the part of the lower court, which so held and dismissed the case.
          The question that presents itself for our consideration is whether such ruling is erroneous or not; and it will or will not be erroneous according as said court has or has no jurisdiction over said offense.
          The point at issue is whether the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over crime, like the one herein involved, committed aboard merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdiction waters. 1awph!l.net
          There are two fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with International Law; to wit, the 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; and the 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. Of this two rules, it is the last one that obtains in this jurisdiction, because at present the theories and jurisprudence prevailing in the United States on this matter are authority in the Philippines which is now a territory of the United States.
          In the cases of The Schooner Exchange vs. M'Faddon and Others (7 Cranch [U. S.], 116), Chief Justice Marshall said:
          . . . When merchant vessels enter for the purposes of trade, it would be obviously inconvenient and dangerous to society, and would subject the laws to continual infraction, and the government to degradation, if such individuals or merchants did not owe temporary and local allegiance, and were not amenable to the jurisdiction of the country. . . .
          In United States vs. Bull (15 Phil., 7), this court held:
          . . . No court of the Philippine Islands had jurisdiction over an offense or crime committed on the high seas or within the territorial waters of any other country, but when she came within three miles of a line drawn from the headlands, which embrace the entrance to Manila Bay, she was within territorial waters, and a new set of principles became applicable. (Wheaton, International Law [Dana ed.], p. 255, note 105; Bonfils, Le Droit Int., secs. 490 et seq.; Latour, La Mer Ter., ch. 1.) The ship and her crew were then subject to the jurisdiction of the territorial sovereign subject to such limitations as have been conceded by that sovereignty through the proper political agency. . . .
          It is true that in certain cases the comity of nations is observed, as in Mali and Wildenhus vs. Keeper of the Common Jail (120 U.., 1), wherein it was said that:
          . . . The principle which governs the whole matter is this: Disorder which disturb only the peace of the ship or those on board are to be dealt with exclusively by the sovereignty of the home of the ship, but those which disturb the public peace may be suppressed, and, if need be, the offenders punished by the proper authorities of the local jurisdiction. It may not be easy at all times to determine which of the two jurisdictions a particular act of disorder belongs. Much will undoubtedly depend on the attending circumstances of the particular case, but all must concede that felonious homicide is a subject for the local jurisdiction, and that if the proper authorities are proceeding with the case in the regular way the consul has no right to interfere to prevent it.
          Hence in United States vs. Look Chaw (18 Phil., 573), this court held that:
          Although the mere possession of an article of prohibited use in the Philippine Islands, aboard a foreign vessel in transit in any local port, does not, as a general rule, constitute a crime triable by the courts of the Islands, such vessels being considered as an extension of its own nationality, the same rule does not apply when the article, the use of which is prohibited in the Islands, is landed from the vessels upon Philippine soil; in such a case an open violation of the laws of the land is committed with respect to which, as it is a violation of the penal law in force at the place of the commission of the crime, no court other than that established in the said place has jurisdiction of the offense, in the absence of an agreement under an international treaty.
          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. Besides, in his work "Treaties, Conventions, etc.," volume 1, page 625, Malloy says the following:
          There shall be between the territories of the United States of America, and all the territories of His Britanic Majesty in Europe, a reciprocal liberty of commerce. The inhabitants of the two countries, respectively, shall have liberty freely and securely to come with their ships and cargoes to all such places, ports and rivers, in the territories aforesaid, to which other foreigners are permitted to come, to enter into the same, and to remain and reside in any parts of the said territories, respectively; also to hire and occupy houses and warehouses for the purposes of their commerce; and, generally, the merchants and traders of each nation respectively shall enjoy the most complete protection and security for their commerce, but subject always to the laws and statutes of the two countries, respectively. (Art. 1, Commerce and Navigation Convention.)
          We have seen that the 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.
          But 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. Moreover, as the Attorney-General aptly observes:
          . . . The idea of a person smoking opium securely on board a foreign vessel at anchor in the port of Manila in open defiance of the local authorities, who are impotent to lay hands on him, is simply subversive of public order. It requires no unusual stretch of the imagination to conceive that a foreign ship may come into the port of Manila and allow or solicit Chinese residents to smoke opium on board.
          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. So ordered.
Araullo, C.J., Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, Villamor, Ostrand and Johns, JJ., concur.

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