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Human Rights Law Case Digest: Kurodo v. Jandaloni (1949)

G.R. No. L-2662             March 26, 1949

Lessons Applicable: Generally accepted principles of international law

Laws Applicable:

  • Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The Philippines during a period covering 1943 and 1944 who is now charged before a military Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war"
  • File a petition seeking to establish the illegality of Executive Order No. 68 of the President of the Philippines: 
    • to enjoin and prohibit Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port from participating in the prosecution of his case; and  - not attorneys authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines is a diminution of our personality as an independent state and their appointment as prosecutor are a violation of our Constitution for the reason that they are not qualified to practice law in the Philippines and not interested party in the case
    • to permanently prohibit respondents from proceeding with the case - Executive Order No. 68 is illegal on the ground that it violates not only the provision of our constitutional law but also our local laws to say nothing of the fact (that) the Philippines is not a signatory nor an adherent to the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and therefore petitioners is charged of 'crimes' not based on law, national and international
ISSUE: W/N  Executive Order No. 68 is valid
    • President as Commander in Chief is fully empowered to consummate this unfinished aspect of war namely the trial and punishment of war criminal through the issuance and enforcement of Executive Order No. 68
    • Such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory.
      • It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law.
    • when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent countries 
    • the appointment of the 2 American attorneys is not violative of our nation sovereignty. It is only fair and proper that United States, which has submitted the vindication of crimes against her government and her people to a tribunal of our nation should be allowed representation in the trial of those very crimes