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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-6025

May 30, 1964

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, ET AL., accused,
AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, ET AL., defendants-appellants.
----------------------------G.R. No. L-6026

May 30, 1964

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
BAYANI ESPIRITU, ET AL., accused,
BAYANI ESPIRITU and TEOPISTA VALERIO, defendants-appellants.
LABRADOR, J.:
This is the appeal prosecuted by the defendants from the judgment rendered by the Court of
First Instance of Manila, Hon. Agustin P. Montesa, presiding, in its Criminal Case No.
15841, People vs. Amado V. Hernandez, et al., and Criminal Case No. 15479, People vs.
Bayani Espiritu, et al. In Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is for
Rebellion with Multiple Murder, Arsons and Robberies; the appellants are Amado V.
Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Genaro de la Cruz, Amado Racanday, Fermin Rodillas and Julian
Lumanog; Aquilino Bunsol, Adriano Samson and Andres Baisa, Jr. were among those
sentenced in the judgment appealed from, but they have withdrawn their appeal. In Criminal
Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is for rebellion with murders, arsons and
kidnappings; the accused are Bayani Espiritu Teopista Valerio and Andres Balsa, Jr.; they all
appealed but Andres Balsa, Jr. withdrew his appeal.
The information filed against defendants Hernandez and others in Criminal Case No. 15481
alleged:
I. That on or about March 15, 1945, and for some time before the said date and
continuously thereafter, until the present time, in the City of Manila, Philippines,
and the place which they had chosen as the nerve center of all their rebellious
activities in the different parts of the Philippines, the said accused, conspiring,
confederating and cooperating with each other, as well as with the thirty-one (31)
defendants charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 19071, 14082, 14270, 14315 and
14344 of the Court of First Instance of Manila (decided May 11, 1951) and also
with others whose whereabouts and identities are still unknown, the said accused
and their other co-conspirators, being then high ranking officers and/or members

of, or otherwise affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.),
which is now actively engaged in an armed rebellion against the Government of the
Philippines thru act theretofore committed and planned to be further committed in
Manila and other places in the Philippines, and of which party the "Hukbong
Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan"(H.M.B.) otherwise or formerly known as the
"Hukbalahaps" (Huks), unlawfully and did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously help, support, promote, maintain, cause, direct and/or command the
"Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) or the "Hukbalahaps" (Huks) to rise
publicly and take arms against the Republic of the Philippines, or otherwise
participate in such armed public uprising, for the purpose of removing the
territory of the Philippines from the allegiance to the government and laws thereof
as in fact the said "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" or "Hukbalahaps" have risen
publicly and taken arms to attain the said purpose by then and there making
armed raids, sorties and ambushes, attacks against police, constabulary and army
detachments as well as innocent civilians, and as a necessary means to commit
the crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in furtherance thereof, have
then and there committed acts of murder, pillage, looting, plunder, arson, and
planned destruction of private and public property to create and spread chaos,
disorder, terror, and fear so as to facilitate the accomplishment of the aforesaid
purpose, as. follows, to wit: (Enumeration of thirteen attacks on government forces
or civilians by Huks on May 6, 1946, August 6, 1946, April 10, 1947, May 9, 1947,
August 19, 1947, June, 1946, April 28, 1949, August 25, 1950, August 26, 1950,
August 25, 1950, September 12, 1950, March 28, 1950 and March 29, 1950.)
II. That during the period of time and under the same circumstances herein-above
indicated the said accused in the above-entitled case, conspiring among
themselves and with several others as aforesaid, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously organized, established, led and/or maintained the Congress of Labor
Organizations (CLO), formerly known as the Committee on Labor Organizations
(CLO), with central offices in Manila and chapters and affiliated or associated labor
unions and other "mass organizations" in different places in the Philippines, as an
active agency, organ, and instrumentality of the Communist Party of the
Philippines (P.K.P.) and as such agency, organ, and instrumentality, to fully
cooperate in, and synchronize its activities as the CLO thus organized,
established, led and/or maintained by the herein accused and their coconspirators, has in fact fully cooperated in and synchronized its activities with the
activities of the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) and other organs,
agencies, and instrumentalities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.),
to thereby assure, facilitate, and effect the complete and permanent success of the
above-mentioned armed rebellion against the Government of the Philippines.
The information filed against the defendants in Criminal Case No. 15479, Bayani Espiritu
Andres Baisa, Jr. and Teopista Valerio, alleges:
That on or about the 6th day of May, 1946, and for sometime prior and subsequent
thereto and continuously up to the present time, in the City of Manila, the seat of
the government of the Republic of the Philippines, which the herein accused have
intended to overthrow, and the place chosen for that purpose as the nerve center of
all their rebellious atrocities in the different parts of the country, the said accused
being then high ranking officials and/or members of the Communist Party of the
Philippines (P.K.P.) and/or of the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.)
otherwise or formerly known as the "Hukbalahaps" (HUKS), the latter being the

armed forces of said Communist Party of the Philippines; having come to an


agreement with the 29 of the 31 accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 14071, 14082,
14270, 14315, 14344 of the Court of First Instance of Manila and decided to
commit the crime of rebellion, and therefore, conspiring and confederating with all
of the 29 accused in said criminal cases, acting in accordance with their
conspiracy and in furtherance thereof, together with many others whose
whereabouts and identities are still unknown up to the filing of this information,
and helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
promote maintain, cause, direct and/or command the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng
Bayan", (HMB) or the Hukbalahaps (HUKS) to rise publicly and take Arms against
the Government or otherwise participate therein for the purpose of overthrowing
the same, as in fact, the said "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" or Hukbalahap
(HUKS) have risen publicly and taken arms against the Government, by then and
there making armed raids, sorties and ambushes, attacks against police,
constabulary and army detachment, and as a necessary means to commit the
crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in furtherance thereof, by then and
there committing wanton acts of murder, spoilage, looting, arson, kidnappings,
planned destruction of private and public buildings, to create and spread terrorism
in order to facilitate the accomplishment of the aforesaid purpose, as follows to wit:
(Enumeration of thirteen attacks on Government forces or civilians by Huks on
May 6, 1946. August 6, 1946, April 10, 1947, May 9, 1947, August 19, 1947, June
1946, April 28, 1949, August 25, 1950, August 26, 1950, August 25, 1950,
September 12, 1950, March 28, 1950 and March 29, 1950).
A joint trial of both cases was held, after which the court rendered the decision subject of the
present appeals.
APPEAL OF AMADO V. HERNANDEZ
After trial the Court of First Instance found, as against appellant Amado V. Hernandez, the
following: (1) that he is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines and as such had
aliases, namely, Victor or Soliman; (2) that he was furnished copies of "Titis", a Communist
publication, as well as other publications of the Party; (3) that he held the position of
President of the Congress of Labor Organizations; (4) that he had close connections with the
Secretariat of the Communist Party and held continuous communications with its leaders
and its members; (5) that he furnished a mimeographing machine used by the Communist
Party, as well as clothes and supplies for the military operations of the Huks; (6) that he had
contacted well-known Communists coming to the Philippines and had gone abroad to the
WFTU conference Brussels, Belgium as a delegate of the CLO, etc. Evidence was also received
by the court that Hernandez made various speeches encouraging the people to join in the
Huk movement in the provinces.
The court also found that there was a close tie-up between the Communist Party and the
Congress of Labor Organizations, of which Hernandez was the President, and that this
Congress was organized by Hernandez in conjunction with other Huks, namely: Alfredo
Saulo, Mariano Balgos, Guillermo Capadocia, etc.
We will now consider the nature and character of both the testimonial as well as the
documentary evidence, independently of each other, to find out if the said evidence supports
the findings of the court.
Testimonial Evidence

Amado V. Hernandez took the oath as member of the Communist Party in the month of
October, 1947, at the offices of the Congress of Labor Organizations at 2070 Azcarraga in the
presence of Guillermo Capadocia, Ramon Espiritu, Pedro Castro, Andres Balsa, etc. As a
Communist he was given the pseudonyms of Victor and Soliman, and received copies of the
Communist paper "Titis". He made various speeches on the following dates and occasions:
(1) On August 29, 1948 before the Democratic Peace Rally of the CLO at Plaza
Miranda, in which he announced that the people will soon meet their dear comrade
in the person of Comrade Luis Taruc.
(2) On September 4, 1948 he conferred with Hindu Khomal Goufar at the Escolta,
at which occasion Balgos told Goufar that the PKM, CLO and the Huks are in one
effort that the PKM are the peasants in the field and the Huks are the armed
forces of the Communist Party; and the CLO falls under the TUD of the
Communist Party. 1wph1.t
(3) On October 2, 1948 he went abroad to attend the Second Annual Convention of
the World Federation of Trade Unions and after arrival from abroad a dinner was
given to him by the people of Gagalangin, at which Hernandez delivered a speech
and he said that he preferred to go with the Huks because he felt safer with them
than with the authorities of the Government.
(4) In April, 1949, he made a speech before a group of tenants in Malabon
attacking the frauds in the 1947 elections, graft and corruption in the elections
and that if improvement cannot be made by the ballots, they could be made by
bullets; and enjoined the people to go to the hills and join Luis Taruc the head of
the dissidents in the Philippines.
(5) On October 2, 1949 he delivered a speech on the occasion of the
commemoration of the World Peace at the CLO headquarters at 330 P. Campa. He
attacked the city mayor and incited the people to go to Balintawak and see
Bonifacio there and thereafter join four comrades under the leadership of Luis
Taruc.
(6) On October 16, 1949 he delivered a speech before a convention of the
unemployed at 330 P. Campa. He asked the unemployed to approve a resolution
urging the Government to give them jobs. In conclusion he said that if the
Government fails to give them jobs the only way out was to join the revolutionary
forces fighting in the hills. He further said that Mao Tse Tung, leader of the People's
Army in China, drove Chiang Kai Shek from his country, and that Luis Taruc was
also being chased by Government forces run by puppets like Quirino, etc.
(7) On January 13, 1950 there was another meeting at 330 P. Campa. In his talk
Hernandez expressed regret that two foremost leaders of the CLO, Balgos and
Capadocia, had gone to the field to join the liberation army of the HMB, justifying
their going out and becoming heroes by fighting in the fields against Government
forces until the ultimate goal is achieved.
The above evidence was testified to by Florentino Diolata who was the official photographer of
the CLO since August, 1948.

On the tie-up between the Communist Party and the CLO Guillermo Calayag, a Communist
and a Huk from 1942 to 1950, explained:
(1) The ultimate goal of the Communist Party is to overthrow the president
government by force of aims and violence; thru armed revolution and replace it
with the so-called dictatorship of the proletariat the Communist Party carries its
program of armed overthrow of the present government by organizing the HMB and
other forms of organization's such as the CLO, PKM, union organizations, and the
professional and intellectual group; the CLO was organized by the Trade Union
Division TUD of the Communist Party.
(2) A good majority of the members of the Executive Committee and the Central
Committee of the CLO were also top ranking officials of the Communist Party;
activities undertaken by the TUD - the vital undertaking of the TUD is to see that
the directives coming from the organizational bureau of the Communist Party can
be discussed within the CLO especially the Executive Committee. And it is a fact
that since a good majority of the members of the Executive Committee are party
members, there is no time, there is no single time that those directives and
decisions of the organizational department, thru the TUD are being objected to by
the Executive Committee of the CLO. These directives refer to how the CLO will
conduct its functions. The executive committee is under the chairmanship of
accused Amado V. Hernandez.
(3) The CLO played its role in the overall Communist program of armed overthrow
of the present government and its replacement by the dictatorship of the
proletariat by means of propaganda - by propagating the principles of
Communism, by giving monetary aid, clothing, medicine and other forms of
material help to the HMB. This role is manifested in the very constitution of the
CLO itself which expounded the theory of classless society and the eradication of
social classes (par. 5, Sec. 1, Art. 2, page 18 of the CLO Constitution contained in
the Fourth Annual Convention Souvenir Program of the CLO Exh. "V-1579"). Thru
propaganda, the CLO promoted the aims of Communist Party and disseminated
Communist ideas by:
(a) The conspicuous display of the portrait or, pictures of Crisanto
Evangelista (Exh. V-1662), founder of Communism in the Philippines, in
the session hall of the CLO headquarters at 2070 Azcarraga and then at
330 P. Campa;
(b) The distribution of foreign communist reading materials such as the
World Federation of Trade Union Magazine, International Union of
Students magazine, Voice magazine of the marine cooks of the CLO,
World Committee of the Defenders of the Peace magazine, Free Bulgaria
magazine, Soviet Russia Today magazine and World Federation of
Democratic Youth magazine (Exhs. V-911, V-907, V-910, V-899, V-912,
V-853, W-996 and V-967);
(c) The publication and distribution of some local subversive
publications such as the "Titis", "Bisig", Kidlat", which are Communist
Party organs; "The Philippine Labor Demands Justice" and "Hands Off
Korea" authored by accused Amado V. Hernandez;

(d) Principles of Communism were also propagated thru lectures,


meetings, and by means of organization of committees in the educational
department as well as researches in the Worker's Institute of the CLO.
(4) The CLO also helped carry out the program of the Communist Party thru
infiltration of party members and selected leaders of the HMB within the trade
unions under the control of the CLO. The Communist Party thru the CLO assigned
Communist Party leaders and organizers to different factories in order to organize
unions. After the organization of the union, it will affiliate itself with the CLO thru
the Communist leaders and the CLO in turn, will register said union with the
Department of Labor; and the orientation and indoctrination of the workers is
continued in the line of class struggle. After this orientation and infiltration of the
Communist Party members and selected leaders of the HMB with the trade unions
under the control of the CLO is already achieved and the group made strong
enough to carry out its aims, they will begin the sporadic strikes and the
liquidation of anti-labor elements and anti-Communist elements and will create a
so-called revolutionary crisis. That revolutionary crisis will be done for the party to
give directives to the HMB who are fighting in the countrysides and made them
come to the city gates. The entry of the HMB is being paved by the simultaneous
and sporadic strikes, by ultimate general strikes thru the management of the CLO.
Important Documents Submitted at Trial
1. Documents which proved that Amado V. Hernandez used the aliases "Victor", or
was referred to as "Victor" or "Soliman".
(a) Letter dated April 23, 1950 (signed) by Victor addressed to Julie
telling the latter of his sympathies for other communists, describing his
experiences with Communists abroad, telling Julie to dispose of
materials that may be sent by Victor. (Exh. D-2001-2004)
(b) "Paano Maisasagawa, etc." mentions different groups of labor
unions of which Victor heads one group, consisting of the MRRCO,
PTLD, PGWU, EMWU and IRWU (Exh. C-2001-2008) Cadres assigned to
different industries. (Exh. V-40-41)
(c) Handwritten certificate of Honofre Mangila states that he knew
Amado Hernandez as Victor from co-party members Hugo and Ely. (Exh.
LL)
(d) Letter of Elias to Ka Eto requesting the latter to deliver attached letter
to Victor. (Exh. 1103)
(e) Saulo's letter about his escape, asks Victor why his press statement
was not published in the newspapers. (Exh. C-362) Letter was however
published by Hernandez in the Daily Mirror.
(f) Letter of Taruc to Maclang directing the latter to give copy of Huk
Story to Victor. (Exh. D-463-64)

(g) Notes of Salome Cruz, Huk courier, stating that she went to Soliman
at Pampanga St. to bring to the latter communications from the
Communist Party. (Exh. D-1203) That Soliman was given copies of
"Titis". (Exh. D-1209)
(h) SEC directions to Politburo members, Soliman not to be involved with
Nacionalista Rebels. (Exh. F-92-93. SEC)
(i) Letter of SEC to Politburo reporting that Saulo be sent out and
Soliman has "tendencies of careerism and tendency to want to deal with
leaders of the party"; that he should be asked to choose to go
underground or fight legally. (Exh. F-562)
(j) Explanation given by Hernandez why he did not join Saulo in going
underground. (Exh. V-87) (1) His election as councilor until December,
1951. (Exhs. V-42, W-9) (2) His election as President of CLO until August
of following year. (Exhs. V-42, W-9)
2. Letters and Messages of Hernandez.
(a) To Lyden Henry and Harry Reich, tells Huks still fighting. (Exh. V-80)
(b) To SOBSI Jakarta that Filipinos are joining other communist
countries of the East. (Exh. V-82)
(c) Press release on Saulo's disappearance published by Amado
Hernandez. (Exh. W-116-120)
(d) To Hugh and Eddie, July 8, 1949 Extends greetings to National
Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards, states that labor has one common
struggle "the liberation of all the peoples from the chains of tyranny,
fascism and imperialism". (Exh. V-259)
(e) To Kas. Pablo and Estrada - talks of the fight - fight of labor. (Exh. V85-89)
(f) Appeal to the Women and Asia. (Exh. V-5-10)
(g) Letter to Julie (Exh. V-2001-2004)
(h) Letter to Chan Lieu - states that leaders during the war are being
persecuted, like Taruc. Tells of reward of P100,000.00 on Taruc's head.
(Exh. X-85-88)
(i) Letter to John Gates of the Daily Worker condemns Wall Street
maneuvers; corruption and graft in Quirino administration, etc. (Exh. V83)

(j) Cablegram: CLO join ILWU commends Harry Bridges, US Communist.


(Exh. V-79)
(k) Communication of Hernandez to CLO at MRRCO Praises Balgos
and Capadocia for joining the Huks. (Exhs. V-12-22, V-289)
(l) "Philippine labor Demands Justice" Attacks czars of Wall Street and
U.S. Army and Government. (Exh. V-94) .
(m) Letter to Taruc June 28, 1948.-States solidarity among the CLO
Huks and PKM. Attacks North Atlantic Pact. Praises Mao Tse Tung
(contained in Exh. V-94)
(n) "Philippines Is Not A Paradise" States of a delegation to Roxas
attacking unemployment. (Exh. V-90-93)
(o) Article "Progressive Philippines" (Exh. V-287)
(p) Article "Hands Off Korea" (Exhs. V-488-494, 495-501, 509-515, W25-26)
(q) "Limang Buwang Balak Sa Pagpapalakas Ng Organisasyon". (Exh. X35-38)
(r) Press statement of Hernandez opposes acceptance of decorations
from Greece by Romulo. (Exh. V-72)
3. Other Activities of Hernandez.
(a) Hernandez received clothes from Pres. Lines thru P. Campa, which
clothes he sent to the field. Letters show of sending of supplies to Huks.
(Exh. S-383)
(b) Hernandez was asked to furnish portable typewriter, which he did
furnish to Huks. (Exh. C-364)
(c) Hernandez brought Taruc's letter about facts and incidents about
Huks to Bulosan for inclusion in Bulosan's book. (Exh. FF-1)
(d) Had conference with Kumar Goshal a Hindu, about the Huks and
their armed forces. (Photographs, Exhs. X-6 RR-54-55A)
(e) Supervised taking of pictures of sons of Capadocia and Joven.
(Photographs, Exhs. T-1, RR-136-138A)
(f) Had knowledge of the going underground of Capadocia and Balgos
and issued press release about their going underground. (Exh. F-91)

(g) Victor mentioned to continue as contact for Chino. (Exh. C-362)


(h) Taruc's letter to Maclang shows that Soliman had sent 7 lessons to
Taruc. (Exh. D-451-451-A)
(i) Associated with fellow ranking Communist leaders.
The Court upon consideration of the evidence submitted, found (1) that the Communist Party
was fully organized as a party and in order to carry out its aims and policies a established a
National Congress, a Central Committee (CC), Politburo PB, Secretariat (SEC), Organization
Bureau (OB), and National Courier or Communication Division (NCD), each body performing
functions indicated in their respective names; (2) that in a meeting held on August 11, 1950
the SEC discussed the creation of a Military Committee of the Party and a new GHQ, under
which on September 29, 1950 the SEC organized a special warfare division, with a
technological division; (3) that on May 5, 1950 a body known as the National Intelligence
Division was created, to gather essential military intelligence and, in general, all information
useful for the conduct of the armed struggle (4) that a National Finance Committee was also
organized as a part of the Politburo and answerable to it; (5) that the country was divided into
10 Recos, the 10th Reco comprising the Manila and suburbs command; (6) that since
November, 1949 the CPP had declared the existence of a revolutionary situation and since
then the Party had gone underground and the CPP is leading the armed struggle for national
liberation, and called on the people to organize guerrillas and coordinate with the HMB on
the decisive struggle and final overthrow of the imperialist government; (7) that in accordance
with such plan the CPP prepared plans for expansion and development not only of the Party
but also of the HMB; the expansion of the cadres from 3,600 in July 1950 to 56,000 in
September 1951, the HMB from 10,800 in July 1950 to 172,000 in September 1951, et seq.
Around the month of January, 1950 it was decided by the CPP to intensify HMB military
operations for political purposes. The Politburo sanctioned the attacks made by the Huks on
the anniversary of the HMB on March 25, 1950. The HMB attacks that were reported to the
PB were those made in May, 1946; June, 1946; April 10, 1947; May 9, 1947; August 19,
1947; August 25, 1950; August 26, 1950; October 15 and 17, 1950; May 6, 1946; August 6,
1946; April 10, 1947; May 9, 1947; August 19, 1947; April 29, 1949; August 25, 1950;
August 26, 1950; September 12, 1950; March 26, 1950; March 29, 1950.
The theory of the prosecution, as stated in the lower court's decision, is as follows:
The evidence does not show that the defendants in these cases now before this
Court had taken a direct part in those raids and in the commission of the crimes
that had been committed. It is not, however, the theory of the prosecution that
they in fact had direct participation in the commission of the same but rather that
the defendants in these cases have cooperated, conspired and confederated with
the Communist Party in the prosecution and successful accomplishment of the
aims and purposes of the said Party thru the organization called the CLO
(Congress of Labor Organizations).
The Court found that the CLO is independent and separate from the CPP, organized under
the same pattern as the CPP, having its own National Congress, a Central Committee (which
acts in the absence of and in representation of the National Congress), an Executive
Committee (which acts when the National Congress and the Executive Committee are not in
session), and seven permanent Committees, namely, of Organization, Unemployment and
Public Relations, Different Strikes and Pickets, Finance, Auditing, Legislation and Political

Action. Members of the Communist Party dominate the committees of the CLO. The supposed
tie-up between CPP and the CLO of which Hernandez was the President, is described by the
court below in finding, thus:
Just how the CLO coordinates its functions with the Communist Party organ under which it
operates was explained by witness Guillermo S. Calayag, one-time ranking member of the
Communist Party and the CLO who typewrites the "Patnubay sa Education" from a
handwritten draft of Capadocia, which is one of the texts used in the Worker's institute of the
CLO. According to him, the CLO plays its role by means of propaganda, giving monetary aid,
clothing, medicine and other material forms of help to the HMB, which constitutes the armed
forces of the Communist Party. Propaganda is done by lectures, meetings, and the
organization of committees of the educational department as well as researches at the CLO
Worker's Institute.
Another way of helping the Communist Party of the Philippines is by allowing the
Communist Party leaders to act as organizers in the different factories in forming a
union. These Party Members help workers in the factories to agitate for the
eradication of social classes and ultimately effect the total emancipation of the
working classes thru the establishment of the so-called dictatorship of the
proletariat. It is the duty of these Communist Party members to indoctrinate
uninitiated workers in the union to become proselytes of the Communist Party
ideology. After the right number is secured and a union is formed under a
communist leader, this union is affiliated with the CLO and this in turn registers
the same with the Department of Labor. The orientation and indoctrination of the
masses is continued with the help of the CLO. The primary objective of the CLO is
to create what is called a revolutionary crisis. It seeks to attain this objective by
first making demands from the employers for concessions which become more and
more unreasonable until the employers would find it difficult to grant the same.
Then a strike is declared. But the strikes are only preparation for the ultimate
attainment of the Communist goal of armed overthrow of the government. After the
workers in the factories have already struck in general at the behest of the
Communist Party thru the CLO a critical point is reached when a signal is given
for the armed forces of the Communist Party, the HMB, to intervene and carry the
revolution now being conducted outside to within the city.
On the basis of the above findings, the court below found Hernandez guilty as principal of the
crime charged against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with
the accessories provided by law, and to pay the proportionate amount of the costs.
Our study of the testimonial and documentary evidence, especially those cited by the Court
in its decision and by the Solicitor General in his brief, discloses that defendant-appellant
Amado V. Hernandez, as a Communist, was an active advocate of the principles of
Communism, frequently exhorting his hearers to follow the footsteps of Taruc and join the
uprising of the laboring classes against capitalism and more specifically against America and
the Quirino administration, which he dubbed as a regime of puppets of American
imperialism. But beyond the open advocacy of Communistic Theory there appears no
evidence that he actually participated in the actual conspiracy to overthrow by force the
constituted authority.
Hernandez is the founder and head of the CLO. As such, what was his relation to the
rebellion? If, as testified to by Guillermo S. Calayag, the CLO plays merely the role of
propagation by lectures, meetings and organization of committees of education by
Communists; if, as stated, the CLO merely allowed Communist Party leaders to act as

organizers in the different factories, to indoctrinate the CLO members into the Communist
Party and proselytize them to the Communist ideology; if, as also indicated by Calayag, the
CLO purports to attain the ultimate overthrow of the Government first by making demands
from employers for concessions until the employers find it difficult to grant the same, at
which time a strike is declared; if it is only after the various strikes have been carried out and
a crisis is thereby developed among the laboring class, that the Communist forces would
intervene and carry the revolution it is apparent that the CLO was merely a stepping stone
in the preparation of the laborers for the Communist' ultimate revolution. In other words, the
CLO had no function but that of indoctrination and preparation of the members for the
uprising that would come. It was only a preparatory organization prior to revolution, not the
revolution itself. The leader of the CLO therefore, namely Hernandez, cannot be considered as
a leader in actual rebellion or of the actual uprising subject of the accusation. Hernandez, as
President of the CLO therefore, by his presidency and leadership of the CLO cannot be
considered as having actually risen up in arms in rebellion against the Government of the
Philippines, or taken part in the conspiracy to commit the rebellion as charged against him in
the present case; he was merely a propagandist and indoctrinator of Communism, he was not
a Communist conspiring to commit the actual rebellion by the mere fact of his presidency of
the CLO.
The court below declares that since November 1949 the Communist Party of the Philippines
had declared the existence of the revolutionary situation and since then the Party had gone
underground, with the CPP leading the struggle for national integration and that in the
month of January 1950, it was decided by the said Party to intensify the HMB military
operations for political purposes. The court implicates the appellant Hernandez as a coconspirator in this resolution or acts of the Communist Party by his mere membership
thereto. We find this conclusion unwarranted. The seditious speeches of Hernandez took
place before November, 1949 when the CPP went underground. The court below has not been
able to point out, nor have We been able to find among all acts attributed to Hernandez, any
single fact or act of his from which it may be inferred that he took part in the deliberations
declaring the existence of a revolutionary situation, or that he had gone underground. As a
matter of fact the prosecution's evidence is to the effect that Hernandez refused to go
underground preferring to engage in what they consider the legal battle for the cause.
We have also looked into the different documents which have been presented at the time of
the trial and which were confiscated from the office of the Politburo of the Communist Party.
The speeches of Hernandez were delivered before the declaration by the Communist Party of a
state of revolutionary situation in 1949. Neither was it shown that Hernandez was a member
of the Executive Committee, or of the SEC, or of the Politburo of the Communist Party; so NO
presumption can arise that he had taken part in the accord or conspiracy declaring a
revolution. In short, there has been no evidence, direct or indirect, to relate or connect the
appellant Hernandez with the uprising or the resolution to continue or maintain said
uprising, his participation in the deliberations leading to the uprising being inferred only
from the fact that he was a communist.
The practice among the top Communists, as declared by the trial court appears to have been
for important members, if they intend actually to join the rebellion, to go underground, which
meant leaving the city, disappearing from sight and/or secretly joining the forces in the field.
The document, Exhibit F-562, which is quoted in the decision, contains the directive of the
SEC of September 1, 1950, to Saulo and Hernandez, which reads:
11. In view of the new developments in the city, send out Elias who prefers to work
outside. Present problem of fighting legally to Com. Soliman. If Soliman is prepared

for martyrdom, retain him to fight legally. If not, send him out with Elias. Same
goes with Com. Mino and other relatively exposed mass leaders.
And the lower court itself found that whereas Saulo went underground and joined the
underground forces outside the City, Hernandez remained in the City, engaged in the work of
propaganda, making speeches and causing the publication of such matters as the
Communist Party leaders directed him to publish.
That Hernandez refused to go underground is a fact which is further corroborated by the
following reasons (excuses) given by him for not going underground, namely (1) that his term
of councilor of the City of Manila was to extend to December, 1951; and (2) that he was
elected President of the CLO for a term which was to end the year 1951.
As a matter of fact the SEC gave instructions to Hernandez not to be involved with
Nacionalista Rebels, and reported to the Politburo that Hernandez "has tendencies of
careerism, and tending to want to deal with leaders of the Nacionalista Party instead of
following CPP organizational procedures."
The court below further found that Hernandez had been furnishing supplies for the Huks in
the field. But the very document dated December 3, 1949, Exhibit D-420422, cited in the
decision (printed, p. 49), is to the effect that clothes and shoes that Hernandez was supposed
to have sent have not been received. It is true that some clothes had been sent thru him to
the field, but these clothes had come from a crew member of a ship of the American President
Lines. He also, upon request, sent a portable typewriter to the SEC or Politburo.
Furthermore, a certain Niagara Duplicating machine received by Hernandez from one Rolland
Scott Bullard a crew member of the SS President Cleveland, appease later to have been
forwarded by him to the officers of the SEC or the Politburo.
Lastly, it further appears that Taruc and other CPP leaders used to send notes to appellant
Hernandez, who in turn issued press releases for which he found space in the local papers.
His acts in this respect belong to the category of propaganda, to which he appears to have
limited his actions as a Communist.
The acts of the appellant as thus explained and analyzed fall under the category of acts of
propaganda, but do not prove that he actually and in fact conspired with the leaders of the
Communist Party in the uprising or in the actual rebellion, for which acts he is charged in
the information. And his refusal to go underground because of his political commitments
occasioned by his term of election as president of the CLO and the impressions caused by his
acts on the Communist leaders, to the effect that he was in direct communication or
understanding with the Nacionalista Party to which he was affiliated, creates in Us the
reasonable doubt that it was not his Communistic leanings but his political ambitions, that
motivated his speeches sympathizing with the Huks. For which reason We hold that the
evidence submitted fails to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he has conspired in the
instigation of the rebellion for which he is held to account in this criminal case.
The question that next comes up for resolution is: Does his or anyone's membership in the
Communist Party per se render Hernandez or any Communist guilty of conspiracy to commit
rebellion under the provisions of Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code? The pertinent
provision reads:

ART. 136. Conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection. The


conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection shall be punished,
respectively, by prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine which shall
not exceed 5,000 pesos, and by prision correccional in its medium period and a fine
not exceeding 2,000 pesos.

suspect that his labor activities especially in connection with the CLO and other trade
unions, were impelled and fostered by the desire to secure the labor vote to support his
political ambitions. It is doubtful whether his desire to foster the labor union of which he was
the head was impelled by an actual desire to advance the cause of Communism, not merely to
advance his political aspirations.

The advocacy of Communism or Communistic theory and principle is not to be considered as


a criminal act of conspiracy unless transformed or converted into an advocacy of action. In
the very nature of things, mere advocacy of a theory or principle is insufficient unless the
communist advocates action, immediate and positive, the actual agreement to start an
uprising or rebellion or an agreement forged to use force and violence in an uprising of the
working class to overthrow constituted authority and seize the reins of Government itself.
Unless action is actually advocated or intended or contemplated, the Communist is a mere
theorist, merely holding belief in the supremacy of the proletariat a Communist does not yet
advocate the seizing of the reins of Government by it. As a theorist the Communist is not yet
actually considered as engaging in the criminal field subject to punishment. Only when the
Communist advocates action and actual uprising, war or otherwise, does he become guilty of
conspiracy to commit rebellion. Borrowing the language of the Supreme Court of the United
States:

Insofar as the appellant's alleged activities as a Communist are concerned, We have not
found, nor has any particular act on his part been pointed to Us, which would indicate that
he had advocated action or the use of force in securing the ends of Communism. True it is,
he had friends among the leaders of the Communist Party, and especially the heads of the
rebellion, but this notwithstanding, evidence is wanting to show that he ever attended their
meetings, or collaborated and conspired with said leaders in planning and encouraging the
acts of rebellion, or advancing the cause thereof. Insofar as the furnishing of the mimeograph
machine and clothes is concerned, it appears that he acted merely as an intermediary, who
passed said machine and clothes on to others. It does not appear that he himself furnished
funds or material help of his own to the members of the rebellion or to the forces of the
rebellion in the field.

In our jurisprudence guilt is personal, and when the imposition of punishment on


a status or on conduct can only be justified by reference to the relationship of that
status or conduct to other concededly criminal activity (here advocacy of violent
overthrow), that relationship must be sufficiently substantial to satisfy the concept
of personal guilt in order to withstand attack under the Due Process Clause of the
Fifth Amendment. Membership, without more, in an organization engaged in illegal
advocacy, it is now said, has not heretofore been recognized by this Court to be
such a relationship. ... .
What must be met, then, is the argument that membership, even when
accompanied by the elements of knowledge and specific intent, affords an
insufficient quantum of participation in the organization's alleged criminal activity,
that is, an insufficiently significant form of aid and encouragement to permit the
imposition of criminal sanctions on that basis. It must indeed be recognized that a
person who merely becomes a member of an illegal organization, by that "act" alone
need be doing nothing more than signifying his assent to its purposes and
activities on one hand, and providing, on the other, only the sort of moral
encouragement which comes from the knowledge that others believe in what the
organization is doing. It may indeed be argued that such assent and
encouragement do fall short of the concrete, practical impetus given to a criminal
enterprise which is lent for instance by a commitment on the part of the
conspirator to act in furtherance of that enterprise. A member, as distinguished
from a conspirator, may indicate his approval of a criminal enterprise by the very
fact of his membership without thereby necessarily committing himself to further it
by any act or course of conduct whatever. (Scales v. United States, 367 U.S. 203, 6
L. ed. 782)
The most important activity of appellant Hernandez appears to be the propagation of
improvement of conditions of labor through his organization, the CLO. While the CLO of
which he is the founder and active president, has communistic tendencies, its activity refers
to the strengthening of the unity and cooperation between labor elements and preparing them
for struggle; they are not yet indoctrinated in the need of an actual war with or against
Capitalism. The appellant was a politician and a labor leader and it is not unreasonable to

But the very act or conduct of his in refusing to go underground, in spite of the apparent
desire of the chief of the rebellion, is clear proof of his non-participation in the conspiracy to
engage in or to foster the rebellion or the uprising.
We next consider the question as to whether the fact that Hernandez delivered speeches of
propaganda in favor of Communism and in favor of rebellion can be considered as a criminal
act of conspiracy to commit rebellion as defined in the law. In this respect, the mere fact of
his giving and rendering speeches favoring Communism would not make him guilty of
conspiracy, because there was no evidence that the hearers of his speeches of propaganda
then and there agreed to rise up in arms for the purpose of obtaining the overthrow of the
democratic government as envisaged by the principles of Communism. To this effect is the
following comment of Viada:
CUESTION 10. El que hace propaganda entre sus convecinos, induciendoles a que
el dia que se anunciara la subasta de consumes se echaran a la calle para
conseguir aunque fuera preciso acudir a la fuerza el reparto entre los vecinos ricos
solamente, sera responsable de un delito de conspiracion para la sedicion? El
Tribunal Supreme ha resuelto la negative al casar cierta sentencia de la Audiencia
de Valencia, que entendio lo contrario: "Considerando que, con areglo a lo que
dispone el art. 4. del Codigo Penal, hay conspiracion cuando dos o mas personas
se conciertan para la execution de un delito y resuelven cmeterlo; y no constando
que existiera ese concierto en cuanto a los hechos que se refieren en la tercera
pregunta del veredicto, pues en ella solo se habla de los actos de induccion que el
procesado realizo, sin expresar el efecto que la mismo produjo en el animo de las
personas a quienes se dirigian, ni si estas aceptaron o no lo que se las propuso,
resulta evidence que faltan los clementos integrantes de la conspiracion, etc." (Se.
de 5 de Julio de 1907, Gaceta de 7 de Enero de 1909.) (Viada, Tomo I, Codigo
Penal, p. 152)
In view of all the above circumstances We find that there is no concrete evidence proving
beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant (Hernandez) actually participated in the rebellion
or in any act of conspiracy to commit or foster the cause of the rebellion. We are constrained,
in view of these circumstances, to absolve, as We hereby absolve, the appellant Amado V.
Hernandez from the crime charged, with a proportionate share of the costs de oficio.

APPEAL OF OTHER DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS


All the other defendants were found guilty as accomplices in the crime of rebellion as charged
in the information and were each sentenced to suffer the penalty of 10 years and 1 day
of prision mayor, with the accessories provided by law, and to pay their proportionate share of
the costs.

to the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat To the same effect is the testimony
of Guillermo Calayag.
There is no evidence to connect him with the rebellion or to the conspiracy to commit
rebellion. He should therefore be absolved of the charges contained in the information.
AMADO RACANDAY

Legal Considerations. Before proceeding to consider the appeals of the other defendants, it
is believed useful if not necessary to lay dawn the circumstances or facts that may be
determinative of their criminal responsibility or the existence or nature thereof. To begin with,
as We have exhaustively discussed in relation to the appeal of Hernandez, we do not believe
that mere membership in the Communist Party or in the CLO renders the member liable,
either of rebellion or of conspiracy to commit rebellion, because mere membership and
nothing more merely implies advocacy of abstract theory or principle without any action
being induced thereby; and that such advocacy becomes criminal only if it is coupled with
action or advocacy of action, namely, actual rebellion or conspiracy to commit rebellion, or
acts conducive thereto or evincing the same.
On the other hand, membership in the HMB (Hukbalahap) implies participation in an actual
uprising or rebellion to secure, as the Huks pretend, the liberation of the peasants and
laboring class from thraldom. By membership in the HMB, one already advocates uprising
and the use of force, and by such membership he agrees or conspires that force be used to
secure the ends of the party. Such membership, therefore, even if there is nothing more,
renders the member guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion punishable by law.
And when a Huk member, not content with his membership, does anything to promote the
ends of the rebellion like soliciting contributions, or acting as courier, he thereby becomes
guilty of conspiracy, unless he takes to the field and joins in the rebellion or uprising, in
which latter case he commits rebellion.
In U.S. v. Vergara, infra, the defendants organized a secret society commonly known as the
"Katipunan", the purpose of which was to overthrow the government by force. Each of the
defendants on various times solicited funds from the people of Mexico, Pampanga. The Court
held that the defendants were guilty of conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or
insurrection and not of rebellion or insurrection itself. Thus, the Court ruled that:
From the evidence adduced in this case we are of the opinion that the said
defendants are guilty, not of inciting, setting or foot, or assisting or engaging in
rebellion, but rather of the crime of conspiring to overthrow, put down, and destroy
by force the Government of the United States in the Philippine Islands, and
therefore we find that said defendants, and each of them, did, together with others,
in the months of February and March, 1903, in the Province of Pampanga,
Philippine Islands, conspire to overthrow, put down, and to destroy by force the
Government of the United States in the Philippine Islands. (U.S. v. Vergara, et al., 3
Phil. 432, 434.)
JUAN J. CRUZ
The court found him to be a Communist with various aliases, a member of the Central
Committee of the CLO member of the Central Committee of the CPP and as such committed

The trial court found him guilty as a Communist, a Secretary and Executive Committee
member of the CLO a communications center of the Communist Party, having been found in
possession of letters from Federico Maclang to Salome Cruz, and solicitor of contributions for
the Huks.
Racanday admits being a member of the Executive Committee of the CLO Editor of the Kidlat
of the Government Workers Union, receiving copies of the Titis. Calayag testified that he was
a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party entrusted with the duty of
receiving directives of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party.
The letters found in his possession are dated February 14, 1950, before the Communist Party
went underground. We have been unable to find the evidence upon which the court bases its
conclusion that he received contributions for the Huks. With these circumstances in mind,
We are not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that as a Communist he took part in the
conspiracy among the officials of the Communist Party to take part and support the rebellion
of the Huks.
We are, therefore, constrained to absolve him of the charges filed against him.
GENARO DE LA CRUZ
The court found him to be a Communist since 1945, an officer of an organized Communist
branch in Pasay City, a member of the Central Committee and Treasurer of the CLO. He
admitted his membership and his position as member of the executive committee and
treasurer of the CLO these facts being corroborated by the witness Guillermo Calayag.
His membership in the Communist Party dates as far back as the year 1945. As a
communist, Genaro de la Cruz received quotas and monetary contributions coming from the
areas under his jurisdiction, and one time he made a receipt from a member from Caloocan
at the CLO headquarters at Azcarraga signing the receipt as "Gonzalo" which is one of his
aliases. He also distributed copies of the "Titis" magazine. `
While his membership in the Communist Party plus his having received contributions for the
party indicate that he is an active member, it was not shown that the contributions that he
received from Communist Party members were received around the year 1950 when the
Central Committee of the Communist Party had already agreed to conspire and go
underground and support the Huk rebellion. Under these circumstances We cannot find him
guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion because of the lack of evidence to prove his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt.
JULIAN LUMANOG

The court found him to be an organizer of HMB among the mill workers, solicited
contributions for the HMB and Central Committee member of the CLO as per Testimony of
Guillermo Calayag.
He admitted that he joined the Communist Party because he was made to believe that the
Party is for the welfare of the laborers. He also admitted being a member of the Central
Committee of the CLO Calayag testified that Lumanog organized the HMB units of the
Communist Party in the Lumber Unions and attended a Communist meeting held by
Maclang.

Considering that the PKP was engaged in an actual uprising against the constituted
Government and that Bayani Espiritu was in constant communication with the Communist
Party and served it as courier, We believe that the court was fully justified in finding him
guilty. However, We believe that not having actually taken up arms in the uprising he may
only be declared guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion.
TEOPISTA VALERIO

Domingo Clarin testified that he (Julian Lumanog) used to give the money collected by him to
one Nicasio Pamintuan, one of the members of the HMB Special Unit Trigger Squad) in
Manila for the use of the said unit.

The court below found that this appellant joined the Communists in 1938 in San Luis,
Pampanga, under Casto Alejandrino, who later became her common-law husband; that her
aliases are "Estrella" and "Star"; that she was found in possession of various documents
written to top Communists like Alejandrino, Lava and Romy, as well as a letter from Taruc
congratulating her for the delivers, of a son.

Considering that the HMB was engaged in a rebellion to overthrow the government, it is
evident that by giving his contributions he actually participated in the conspiracy to
overthrow the government and should, therefore, be held liable for such conspiracy, and
should be sentenced accordingly.

Jose Taguiang testified that she was a member of the Provincial Committee of the CPP in
Nueva Ecija, later Chairman of the Finance Department, and then promoted to Finance
Officer of the Central Luzon Committee. Alicia Vergara, a Huk courier, testified that she
delivered letter from the mountains to Teopista Valerie, who was in turn also a courier.

FERMIN RODILLAS

Without considering the close relationship that she had with top Communist Casto
Alejandrino, We are satisfied that she herself was, aside from being a Huk courier, also a
Huk, a member of the HMB from 1942 to 1951. As she was a Communist and at the same
time a member of the HMB, and considering that the HMB was engaged in an uprising to
uproot the legitimate government, there cannot be any question that she was in conspiracy
with the other members of her Party against the constituted government. We hold, therefore,
that the evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that she is guilty of conspiracy to commit
rebellion.

The trial court found that Fermin Rodillas was a member of the CPP and the CLO that his
activities consisted in soliciting contributions, in cash and in kind, from city residents for the
use of the HMB, turning over said collections to the Party; that he has given asylum to a
wanted Hukbalahap at his house at Juan Luna St., Gagalangin, which house was used as
Military post. The above findings of the court are fully supported by the testimony of Domingo
Clarin.
Considering that while he has not actually taken part in the rebellion, he has shown
sympathy with the cause by soliciting contributions for it and had given shelter to the Huks.
We feel that the court was fully justified in finding him guilty, but We hold that he should be
declared liable merely as a co-conspirator in the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion, and
should be sentenced accordingly.
BAYANI ESPIRITU
This appellant was found by the court to be a Communist, he having admitted membership in
the Communist Party since 1945; that his duties as a Communist was to help in the office of
the National Finance Committee, assorting papers and written documents; that sometimes he
accompanied the purchaser of medicines, shoes, papers, foodstuffs and clothing to be given
to the Huks; that he is a member of the Communication Division of the CPP in Manila, in
charge of distribution of letters or communications; that he admits having written to Salome
Cruz, courier of the Communist Party, when he asked for his necessities, such as money and
shoes, etc.
The facts found by the court are sufficiently supported by the communications and evidence
submitted by the prosecution. The exhibits show that he was in constant communication
with the communists; serving them as courier. His oath as a member of the Communist Party
was submitted in court and in it he admits obedience to all orders of the Party and to
propagate the stability of the PKP.

DEFENDANTS NOT INCLUDED IN DECISION


In Crim. Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) the charge against Guillermo Capadocia, Mariano
P. Balgos, Alfredo B. Saulo and Jacobo Espino was dismissed because they have not been
apprehended at the time of the trial.
PEOPLE VS. EVANGELISTA, 57 PHIL. 354 AND
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1700, DISTINGUISHED
In the case at bar the prosecution is for actual rebellion which consists in rising publicly and
taking aims against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said
Government or its laws, the territory of the Philippines, or any part thereof, etc., a crime
defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code; whereas Evangelista was charged and
convicted for inciting to rebellion under Art. 138, Revised Penal Code (formerly Sec. 2, Act No.
292). As the specific charge against appellants is that of rising up in arms in actual rebellion
against the Government, they cannot be held guilty of inciting the people to arms under
Article 138, which is a different offense.
On the other hand, Rep. Act 1700, known as the Anti-subversion Act, which penalizes
membership in any organization or association committed to subvert the Government, cannot
be applied to the appellants because said Act was approved on June 20, 1957 and was not in
force at the time of the commission of the acts charged against appellants (committed 19451950) ; the Anti-Subversion Act punishes participation or membership in an organization

committed to overthrow the duly constituted Government, a crime district from that of actual
rebellion with which appellants are charged.

NARVASA, J.:
Thirty-four years after it wrote history into our criminal jurisprudence, People vs.

CONCLUSION

Hernandez

WHEREFORE, in Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) defendants-appellants Amado
V. Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Amado Racanday and Genaro de la Cruz are absolved from the
charges contained in the information, with their proportionate share of the costs de oficio.
The defendants-appellants Julian Lumanog and Fermin Rodillas in Criminal Case No. 15841
(G.R. No. L-6025) and the defendants-appellants Bayani Espiritu and Teopista Valerio in
Criminal Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) are hereby found guilty of the crime of conspiracy
to commit rebellion, as defined and punished in Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code, and
each and everyone of them is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for five years, four
months and twenty-one days of prision correccional, and to pay a fine of P5,000.00, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay their proportional share of the
costs. So ordered.

once more takes center stage as the focus of a confrontation at law that would

re-examine, if not the validity of its doctrine, the limits of its applicability. To be sure, the
intervening period saw a number of similar cases

that took issue with the ruling-all with a

marked lack of success-but none, it would Beem, where season and circumstance had more
effectively conspired to attract wide public attention and excite impassioned debate, even
among laymen; none, certainly, which has seen quite the kind and range of arguments that
are now brought to bear on the same question.
The facts are not in dispute. In the afternoon of February 27, 1990, Senate Minority Floor
Leader Juan Ponce Enrile was arrested by law enforcement officers led by Director Alfredo
Lim of the National Bureau of Investigation on the strength of a warrant issued by Hon.
Jaime Salazar of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 103, in Criminal Case No.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

9010941. The warrant had issued on an information signed and earlier that day filed by a
panel of prosecutors composed of Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe, State Prosecutor
Ferdinand R. Abesamis and Assistant City Prosecutor Eulogio Mananquil, Jr., charging
Senator Enrile, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and Gregorio Honasan with the
crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder allegedly committed during
the period of the failed coup attempt from November 29 to December 10, 1990. Senator Enrile
was taken to and held overnight at the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue, Manila, without

G.R. No. 92163 June 5, 1990

bail, none having been recommended in the information and none fixed in the arrest warrant.
The following morning, February 28, 1990, he was brought to Camp Tomas Karingal in

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS. JUAN PONCE


ENRILE, petitioner

Quezon City where he was given over to the custody of the Superintendent of the Northern
Police District, Brig. Gen. Edgardo Dula Torres. 3

vs.
JUDGE JAIME SALAZAR (Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City
[Br. 103], SENIOR STATE PROSECUTOR AURELIO TRAMPE, PROSECUTOR FERDINAND
R. ABESAMIS, AND CITY ASSISTANT CITY PROSECUTOR EULOGIO MANANQUIL,

On the same date of February 28, 1990, Senator Enrile, through counsel, filed the petition
for habeas corpusherein (which was followed by a supplemental petition filed on March 2,
1990), alleging that he was deprived of his constitutional rights in being, or having been:

NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR ALFREDO LIM, BRIG. GEN. EDGAR


DULA TORRES (Superintendent of the Northern Police District) AND/ OR ANY AND ALL
PERSONS WHO MAY HAVE ACTUAL CUSTODY OVER THE PERSON OF JUAN PONCE

(a) held to answer for criminal offense which does not exist in the statute
books;

ENRILE, respondents.
(b) charged with a criminal offense in an information for which no
G.R. No. 92164 June 5, 1990
SPS. REBECCO E. PANLILIO AND ERLINDA E. PANLILIO, petitioners,
vs.
PROSECUTORS FERNANDO DE LEON, AURELIO C. TRAMPE, FFRDINAND R. ABESAMIS,
AND EULOGIO C. MANANQUIL, and HON. JAIME W. SALAZAR, JR., in his capacity as
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 103, respondents.

complaint was initially filed or preliminary investigation was conducted,


hence was denied due process;
(c) denied his right to bail; and
(d) arrested and detained on the strength of a warrant issued without
the judge who issued it first having personally determined the existence
of probable cause.

The Court issued the writ prayed for, returnable March 5, 1990 and set the plea for hearing

On the first option, eleven (11) Members of the Court voted against abandoning Hernandez.

on March 6, 1990. 5On March 5, 1990, the Solicitor General filed a consolidated return

Two (2) Members felt that the doctrine should be re-examined.

for

-A In the view of the majority,

10

the respondents in this case and in G.R. No. 921647 Which had been contemporaneously but

the ruling remains good law, its substantive and logical bases have withstood all subsequent

separately filed by two of Senator Enrile's co-accused, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda

challenges and no new ones are presented here persuasive enough to warrant a complete

Panlilio, and raised similar questions. Said return urged that the petitioners' case does not

reversal. This view is reinforced by the fact that not too long ago, the incumbent President,

fall within the Hernandezruling because-and this is putting it very simply-the information

exercising her powers under the 1986 Freedom Constitution, saw fit to repeal, among others,

in Hernandez charged murders and other common crimes committed as a necessary means

Presidential Decree No. 942 of the former regime which precisely sought to nullify or

for the commission of rebellion, whereas the information against Sen. Enrile et al.charged

neutralize Hernandez by enacting a new provision (Art. 142-A) into the Revised Penal Code to

murder and frustrated murder committed on the occasion, but not in furtherance, of

the effect that "(w)hen by reason, or on the occasion, of any of the crimes penalized in this

rebellion. Stated otherwise, the Solicitor General would distinguish between the complex

Chapter (Chapter I of Title 3, which includes rebellion), acts which constitute offenses upon

crime ("delito complejo") arising from an offense being a necessary means for committing

which graver penalties are imposed by law are committed, the penalty for the most serious

another, which is referred to in the second clause of Article 48, Revised Penal Code, and is

offense in its maximum period shall be imposed upon the offender."'

the subject of the Hernandez ruling, and the compound crime ("delito compuesto") arising

President in effect by legislative flat reinstated Hernandez as binding doctrine with the effect

from a single act constituting two or more grave or less grave offenses referred to in the first

of law. The Court can do no less than accord it the same recognition, absent any sufficiently

clause of the same paragraph, with which Hernandez was not concerned and to which,

powerful reason against so doing.

11

In thus acting, the

therefore, it should not apply.


On the second option, the Court unanimously voted to reject the theory that Hernandez is, or
The parties were heard in oral argument, as scheduled, on March 6, 1990, after which the
Court issued its Resolution of the same date

granting Senator Enrile and the Panlilio

spouses provisional liberty conditioned upon their filing, within 24 hours from notice, cash or
surety bonds of P100,000.00 (for Senator Enrile) and P200,000.00 (for the Panlilios),
respectively. The Resolution stated that it was issued without prejudice to a more extended
resolution on the matter of the provisional liberty of the petitioners and stressed that it was
not passing upon the legal issues raised in both cases. Four Members of the Court
against granting bail to Senator Enrile, and two

10

voted

against granting bail to the Panlilios.

The Court now addresses those issues insofar as they are raised and litigated in Senator
Enrile's petition, G.R. No. 92163.
The parties' oral and written pleas presented the Court with the following options:

should be, limited in its application to offenses committed as a necessary means for the
commission of rebellion and that the ruling should not be interpreted as prohibiting the
complexing of rebellion with other common crimes committed on the occasion, but not in
furtherance, thereof. While four Members of the Court felt that the proponents' arguments
were not entirely devoid of merit, the consensus was that they were not sufficient to overcome
what appears to be the real thrust of Hernandez to rule out the complexing of rebellion with
any other offense committed in its course under either of the aforecited clauses of Article 48,
as is made clear by the following excerpt from the majority opinion in that case:
There is one other reason-and a fundamental one at that-why Article 48
of our Penal Code cannot be applied in the case at bar. If murder were
not complexed with rebellion, and the two crimes were punished
separately (assuming that this could be done), the following penalties
would be imposable upon the movant, namely: (1) for the crime of
rebellion, a fine not exceeding P20,000 and prision mayor, in the

(a) abandon Hernandez and adopt the minority view expressed in the

corresponding period, depending upon the modifying circumstances

main dissent of Justice Montemayor in said case that rebellion cannot

present, but never exceeding 12 years of prision mayor, and (2) for the

absorb more serious crimes, and that under Article 48 of the Revised

crime of murder, reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death,

Penal Code rebellion may properly be complexed with common offenses,

depending upon the modifying circumstances present. in other words, in

so-called; this option was suggested by the Solicitor General in oral

the absence of aggravating circumstances, the extreme penalty could not

argument although it is not offered in his written pleadings;

be imposed upon him. However, under Article 48 said penalty would


have to be meted out to him, even in the absence of a single aggravating

(b) hold Hernandez applicable only to offenses committed in


furtherance, or as a necessary means for the commission, of rebellion,

circumstance. Thus, said provision, if construed in conformity with the


theory of the prosecution, would be unfavorable to the movant.

but not to acts committed in the course of a rebellion which also


constitute "common" crimes of grave or less grave character;

Upon the other hand, said Article 48 was enacted for the purpose
of favoring the culprit, not of sentencing him to a penalty more

(c) maintain Hernandez as applying to make rebellion absorb all other


offenses committed in its course, whether or not necessary to its
commission or in furtherance thereof.

severe than that which would be proper if the several acts performed by
him were punished separately. In the words of Rodriguez Navarro:

La unificacion de penas en los casos de concurso

The rejection of both options shapes and determines the primary ruling of the Court, which

de delitos a que hace referencia este articulo (75 del

is that Hernandezremains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion

Codigo de 1932), esta basado francamente en el

with any other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a means necessary to its

principio pro reo.' (II Doctrina Penal del Tribunal

commission or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes rebellion.

Supremo de Espana, p. 2168.)


This, however, does not write finis to the case. Petitioner's guilt or innocence is not here
We are aware of the fact that this observation refers to Article 71 (later

inquired into, much less adjudged. That is for the trial court to do at the proper time. The

75) of the Spanish Penal Code (the counterpart of our Article 48), as

Court's ruling merely provides a take-off point for the disposition of other questions relevant

amended in 1908 and then in 1932, reading:

to the petitioner's complaints about the denial of his rights and to the propriety of the
recourse he has taken.

Las disposiciones del articulo anterior no son


aplicables en el caso de que un solo hecho

The Court rules further (by a vote of 11 to 3) that the information filed against the petitioner

constituya dos o mas delitos, o cuando el uno de

does in fact charge an offense. Disregarding the objectionable phrasing that would complex

ellos sea medio necesario para cometer el otro.

rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder, that indictment is to be read as
charging simple rebellion. Thus, in Hernandez, the Court said:

En estos casos solo se impondra la pena


correspondiente al delito mas grave en su grado

In conclusion, we hold that, under the allegations of the amended

maximo, hasta el limite que represents la suma de

information against defendant-appellant Amado V. Hernandez, the

las que pudieran imponerse, penando

murders, arsons and robberies described therein are mere ingredients of

separadamente los delitos.

the crime of rebellion allegedly committed by said defendants, as means


"necessary" (4) for the perpetration of said offense of rebellion; that the
crime charged in the aforementioned amended information is, therefore,

Cuando la pena asi computada exceda de este

simple rebellion, not the complex crime of rebellion with multiple

limite, se sancionaran los delitos por separado.

murder, arsons and robberies; that the maximum penalty imposable

(Rodriguez Navarro, Doctrina Penal del Tribunal

under such charge cannot exceed twelve (12) years of prision mayor and

Supremo, Vol. II, p. 2163)

a fine of P2H,HHH; and that, in conformity with the policy of this court
in dealing with accused persons amenable to a similar punishment, said

and that our Article 48 does not contain the qualification inserted in

defendant may be allowed bail.

said amendment, restricting the imposition of the penalty for the graver

13

offense in its maximum period to the case when it does not exceed the
sum total of the penalties imposable if the acts charged were dealt with

The plaint of petitioner's counsel that he is charged with a crime that does not exist in the

separately. The absence of said limitation in our Penal Code does not, to

statute books, while technically correct so far as the Court has ruled that rebellion may not

our mind, affect substantially the spirit of said Article 48. Indeed, if one

be complexed with other offenses committed on the occasion thereof, must therefore be

act constitutes two or more offenses, there can be no reason to inflict a

dismissed as a mere flight of rhetoric. Read in the context of Hernandez, the information does

punishment graver than that prescribed for each one of said offenses

indeed charge the petitioner with a crime defined and punished by the Revised Penal Code:

put together. In directing that the penalty for the graver offense be, in

simple rebellion.

such case, imposed in its maximum period, Article 48 could have had no
other purpose than to prescribe a penalty lower than the aggregate of
the penalties for each offense, if imposed separately. The reason for this
benevolent spirit of article 48 is readily discernible. When two or more
crimes are the result of a single act, the offender is deemed less perverse
than when he commits said crimes thru separate and distinct acts.
Instead of sentencing him for each crime independently from the other,
he must suffer the maximum of the penalty for the more serious one, on
the assumption that it is less grave than the sum total of the separate
penalties for each offense.

12

Was the petitioner charged without a complaint having been initially filed and/or preliminary
investigation conducted? The record shows otherwise, that a complaint against petitioner for
simple rebellion was filed by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, and that on
the strength of said complaint a preliminary investigation was conducted by the respondent
prosecutors, culminating in the filing of the questioned information.

14

There is nothing

inherently irregular or contrary to law in filing against a respondent an indictment for an


offense different from what is charged in the initiatory complaint, if warranted by the
evidence developed during the preliminary investigation.

It is also contended that the respondent Judge issued the warrant for petitioner's arrest

be demeaning and less than fair to our trial courts; none whatever to hold them to be of such

without first personallydetermining the existence of probable cause by examining under oath

complexity or transcendental importance as to disqualify every court, except this Court, from

or affirmation the complainant and his witnesses, in violation of Art. III, sec. 2, of the

deciding them; none, in short that would justify by passing established judicial processes

Constitution.

15

This Court has already ruled, however, that it is not the unavoidable duty of

designed to orderly move litigation through the hierarchy of our courts. Parenthentically, this

the judge to make such a personal examination, it being sufficient that he follows established

is the reason behind the vote of four Members of the Court against the grant of bail to

procedure by personally evaluating the report and the supporting documents submitted by

petitioner: the view that the trial court should not thus be precipitately ousted of its original

the prosecutor. 16 Petitioner claims that the warrant of arrest issued barely one hour and

jurisdiction to grant or deny bail, and if it erred in that matter, denied an opportunity to

twenty minutes after the case was raffled off to the respondent Judge, which hardly gave the
latter sufficient time to personally go over the voluminous records of the preliminary
investigation.

17

Merely because said respondent had what some might consider only a

relatively brief period within which to comply with that duty, gives no reason to assume that
he had not, or could not have, so complied; nor does that single circumstance suffice to
overcome the legal presumption that official duty has been regularly performed.
Petitioner finally claims that he was denied the right to bail. In the light of the Court's
reaffirmation of Hernandezas applicable to petitioner's case, and of the logical and necessary
corollary that the information against him should be considered as charging only the crime of
simple rebellion, which is bailable before conviction, that must now be accepted as a correct
proposition. But the question remains: Given the facts from which this case arose, was a
petition for habeas corpus in this Court the appropriate vehicle for asserting a right to bail or

correct its error. It makes no difference that the respondent Judge here issued a warrant of
arrest fixing no bail. Immemorial practice sanctions simply following the prosecutor's
recommendation regarding bail, though it may be perceived as the better course for the
judge motu proprio to set a bail hearing where a capital offense is charged. 19 It is, in any
event, incumbent on the accused as to whom no bail has been recommended or fixed to claim
the right to a bail hearing and thereby put to proof the strength or weakness of the evidence
against him.
It is apropos to point out that the present petition has triggered a rush to this Court of other
parties in a similar situation, all apparently taking their cue from it, distrustful or
contemptuous of the efficacy of seeking recourse in the regular manner just outlined. The
proliferation of such pleas has only contributed to the delay that the petitioner may have
hoped to avoid by coming directly to this Court.

vindicating its denial?


Not only because popular interest seems focused on the outcome of the present petition, but
The criminal case before the respondent Judge was the normal venue for invoking the
petitioner's right to have provisional liberty pending trial and judgment. The original
jurisdiction to grant or deny bail rested with said respondent. The correct course was for
petitioner to invoke that jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to bail, claiming a right
to bail per se by reason of the weakness of the evidence against him. Only after that remedy
was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court have been invoked,

also because to wash the Court's hand off it on jurisdictional grounds would only compound
the delay that it has already gone through, the Court now decides the same on the merits.
But in so doing, the Court cannot express too strongly the view that said petition interdicted
the ordered and orderly progression of proceedings that should have started with the trial
court and reached this Court only if the relief appealed for was denied by the former and, in a
proper case, by the Court of Appeals on review.

and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also
available there.

Let it be made very clear that hereafter the Court will no longer countenance, but will give
short shrift to, pleas like the present, that clearly short-circuit the judicial process and

Even acceptance of petitioner's premise that going by the Hernandez ruling, the information
charges a non-existent crime or, contrarily, theorizing on the same basis that it charges more
than one offense, would not excuse or justify his improper choice of remedies. Under either
hypothesis, the obvious recourse would have been a motion to quash brought in the criminal
action before the respondent Judge.

18

There thus seems to be no question that All the grounds upon which petitioner has founded
the present petition, whether these went into the substance of what is charged in the
information or imputed error or omission on the part of the prosecuting panel or of the
respondent Judge in dealing with the charges against him, were originally justiciable in the
criminal case before said Judge and should have been brought up there instead of directly to
this Court.
There was and is no reason to assume that the resolution of any of these questions was
beyond the ability or competence of the respondent Judge-indeed such an assumption would

burden it with the resolution of issues properly within the original competence of the lower
courts. What has thus far been stated is equally applicable to and decisive of the petition of
the Panlilio spouses (G.R. No. 92164) which is virtually Identical to that of petitioner Enrile in
factualmilieu and is therefore determinable on the same principles already set forth. Said
spouses have uncontestedly pleaded

20

that warrants of arrest issued against them as co-

accused of petitioner Enrile in Criminal Case No. 90-10941, that when they appeared before
NBI Director Alfredo Lim in the afternoon of March 1, 1990, they were taken into custody and
detained without bail on the strength of said warrants in violation-they claim-of their
constitutional rights.
It may be that in the light of contemporary events, the act of rebellion has lost that
quitessentiany quixotic quality that justifies the relative leniency with which it is regarded
and punished by law, that present-day rebels are less impelled by love of country than by lust
for power and have become no better than mere terrorists to whom nothing, not even the
sanctity of human life, is allowed to stand in the way of their ambitions. Nothing so
underscores this aberration as the rash of seemingly senseless killings, bombings,

kidnappings and assorted mayhem so much in the news these days, as often perpetrated
against innocent civilians as against the military, but by and large attributable to, or even
claimed by so-called rebels to be part of, an ongoing rebellion.
It is enough to give anyone pause-and the Court is no exception-that not even the crowded
streets of our capital City seem safe from such unsettling violence that is disruptive of the
public peace and stymies every effort at national economic recovery. There is an apparent
need to restructure the law on rebellion, either to raise the penalty therefor or to clearly
define and delimit the other offenses to be considered as absorbed thereby, so that it cannot

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:


Together with the filing of an information charging Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as having
committed rebellion complexed with murder

with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,

government prosecutors filed another information charging him for violation of Presidential
Decree No. 1829 with the Regional Trial Court of Makati. The second information reads:

be conveniently utilized as the umbrella for every sort of illegal activity undertaken in its
name. The Court has no power to effect such change, for it can only interpret the law as it

That on or about the 1st day of December 1989, at Dasmarias Village,

stands at any given time, and what is needed lies beyond interpretation. Hopefully, Congress

Makati, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable

will perceive the need for promptly seizing the initiative in this matter, which is properly

Court, the above-named accused, having reasonable ground to believe or

within its province.

suspect that Ex-Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan has committed a crime,


did then and there unlawfully, feloniously, willfully and knowingly
obstruct, impede, frustrate or delay the apprehension of said Ex. Lt. Col.

WHEREFORE, the Court reiterates that based on the doctrine enunciated in People vs.

Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan by harboring or concealing him in his house.

Hernandez, the questioned information filed against petitioners Juan Ponce Enrile and the
spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio must be read as charging simple rebellion only, hence
said petitioners are entitled to bail, before final conviction, as a matter of right. The Court's

On March 2, 1990, the petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion (a) to hold in abeyance the

earlier grant of bail to petitioners being merely provisional in character, the proceedings in

issuance of a warrant of arrest pending personal determination by the court of probable

both cases are ordered REMANDED to the respondent Judge to fix the amount of bail to be

cause, and (b) to dismiss the case and expunge the information from the record.

posted by the petitioners. Once bail is fixed by said respondent for any of the petitioners, the
corresponding bail bond flied with this Court shall become functus oficio. No pronouncement
as to costs.

On March 16, 1990, respondent Judge Ignacio Capulong, as pairing judge of respondent
Judge Omar Amin, denied Senator Enrile's Omnibus motion on the basis of a finding that
"there (was) probable cause to hold the accused Juan Ponce Enrile liable for violation of PD
No. 1829."

SO ORDERED
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT

On March 21, 1990, the petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration and to Quash/Dismiss
the Information on the grounds that:

Manila
(a) The facts charged do not constitute an offense;
EN BANC
(b) The respondent court's finding of probable cause was devoid of factual and legal basis;
G.R. No. 93335 September 13, 1990
JUAN PONCE ENRILE, petitioner,
vs.
HON. OMAR U. AMIN, Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 135,
HON. IGNACIO M. CAPULONG, Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court of Makati,
Branch 134, Pairing Judge, SPECIAL COMPOSITE TEAM of: Senior State Prosecutor
AURELIO TRAMPE, State Prosecutor FERDINAND ABESAMIS and Asst. City Prosecutor
EULOGIO MANANQUIL; and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,respondents.
Ponce Enrile, Cayetano, Reyes & Manalastas Law Offices for petitioner.

and
(c) The pending charge of rebellion complexed with murder and frustrated murder against
Senator Enrile as alleged co-conspirator of Col. Honasan, on the basis of their alleged
meeting on December 1, 1989 preclude the prosecution of the Senator for harboring or
concealing the Colonel on the same occasion under PD 1829.
On May 10, 1990, the respondent court issued an order denying the motion for
reconsideration for alleged lack of merit and setting Senator Enrile's arraignment to May 30,
1990.

The petitioner comes to this Court on certiorari imputing grave abuse of discretion amounting

unintended effect of an activity that commutes rebellion. (Emphasis

to lack or excess of jurisdiction committed by the respondent court in refusing to quash/

supplied)

dismiss the information on the following grounds, to wit:


This doctrine is applicable in the case at bar. If a person can not be charged with the complex
I. The facts charged do not constitute an offense;

crime of rebellion for the greater penalty to be applied, neither can he be charged separately
for two (2) different offenses where one is a constitutive or component element or committed

II. The alleged harboring or concealing by Sen. Enrile of Col. Honasan in

in furtherance of rebellion.

a supposed meeting on 1 December 1989 is absorbed in, or is a


component element of, the "complexed" rebellion presently charged

The petitioner is presently charged with having violated PD No. 1829 particularly Section 1 (c)

against Sen. Enrile as alleged co-conspirator of Col. Honasan on the

which states:

basis of the same meeting on 1 December 1989;


SECTION 1. The penalty of prison correccional in its maximum period,
III. The orderly administration of Justice requires that there be only one

or a fine ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 pesos or both, shall be imposed

prosecution for all the component acts of rebellion;

upon any person who knowingly or wilfully obstructs, impedes,


frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation
and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the following

IV. There is no probable cause to hold Sen. Enrile for trial for alleged
violation of Presidential Decree No. 1829;

acts:

V. No preliminary investigation was conducted for alleged violation of

xxx xxx xxx

Presidential Decree No. 1829. The preliminary investigation, held only


for rebellion, was marred by patent irregularities resulting in denial of

(c) harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he

due process.

knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect has committed


any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest,
prosecution and conviction.

On May 20, 1990 we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from
conducting further proceedings in Criminal Case No. 90-777 until otherwise directed by this
Court.

xxx xxx xxx

The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not the petitioner could be separately charged for

The prosecution in this Makati case alleges that the petitioner entertained and

violation of PD No. 1829 notwithstanding the rebellion case earlier filed against him.

accommodated Col. Honasan by giving him food and comfort on December 1, 1989 in his
house. Knowing that Colonel Honasan is a fugitive from justice, Sen. Enrile allegedly did not

Respondent Judge Amin sustained the charge of violation of PD No. 1829 notwithstanding
the rebellion case filed against the petitioner on the theory that the former involves a special

do anything to have Honasan arrested or apprehended. And because of such failure the
petitioner prevented Col. Honasan's arrest and conviction in violation of Section 1 (c) of PD

law while the latter is based on the Revised Penal Code or a general law.

No. 1829.

The resolution of the above issue brings us anew to the case of People v. Hernandez (99 Phil.

The rebellion charges filed against the petitioner in Quezon City were based on the affidavits

515 [1956]) the rulings of which were recently repeated in the petition for habeas corpus
of Juan Ponce Enrile v. Judge Salazar,(G.R. Nos. 92163 and 92164, June 5, 1990).
The Enrile case gave this Court the occasion to reiterate the long standing proscription
against splitting the component offenses of rebellion and subjecting them to separate
prosecutions, a procedure reprobated in the Hernandez case. This Court recently declared:
The rejection of both options shapes and determines the primary ruling
of the Court, which thatHernandez remains binding doctrine operating
to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with any other offense committed
on the occasion thereof, either as a means to its commission or as an

executed by three (3) employees of the Silahis International Hotel who stated that the fugitive
Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan and some 100 rebel soldiers attended the mass and birthday
party held at the residence of the petitioner in the evening of December 1, 1989. The
information (Annex "C", p. 3) particularly reads that on "or about 6:30 p.m., 1 December,
1989, Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan conferred with accused Senator Juan Ponce Enrile
accompanied by about 100 fully armed rebel soldiers wearing white armed patches". The
prosecution thereby concluded that:
In such a situation, Sen. Enrile's talking with rebel leader Col. Gregorio
"Gringo" Honasan in his house in the presence of about 100 uniformed

soldiers who were fully armed, can be inferred that they were co-

In the nature of things, the giving of aid and comfort can only be

conspirators in the failed December coup. (Annex A, Rollo, p. 65;

accomplished by some kind of action. Its very nature partakes of a deed

Emphasis supplied)

or physical activity as opposed to a mental operation. (Cramer v. U.S.,


ante) This deed or physical activity may be, and often is, in itself a
criminal offense under another penal statute or provision. Even so,

As can be readily seen, the factual allegations supporting the rebellion charge constitute or

when the deed is charged as an element of treason it becomes Identified

include the very incident which gave rise to the charge of the violation under Presidential

with the latter crime and can not be the subject of a separate

Decree No. 1829. Under the Department of Justice resolution (Annex A, Rollo, p. 49) there is

punishment, or used in combination with treason to increase the

only one crime of rebellion complexed with murder and multiple frustrated murder but there

penalty as article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides. Just as one can

could be 101 separate and independent prosecutions for harboring and concealing" Honasan

not be punished for possessing opium in a prosecution for smoking the

and 100 other armed rebels under PD No. 1829. The splitting of component elements is

Identical drug, and a robber cannot be held guilty of coercion or

readily apparent.

trespass to a dwelling in a prosecution for robbery, because possession


of opium and force and trespass are inherent in smoking and in robbery

The petitioner is now facing charges of rebellion in conspiracy with the fugitive Col. Gringo

respectively, so may not a defendant be made liable for murder as a

Honasan. Necessarily, being in conspiracy with Honasan, petitioners alleged act of harboring

separate crime or in conjunction with another offense where, as in this

or concealing was for no other purpose but in furtherance of the crime of rebellion thus

case, it is averred as a constitutive ingredient of treason.

constitute a component thereof. it was motivated by the single intent or resolution to commit
the crime of rebellion. As held in People v. Hernandez, supra:
In short, political crimes are those directly aimed against the political
order, as well as such common crimes as may be committed to achieve
a political purpose. The decisive factor is the intent or motive. (p. 536)
The crime of rebellion consists of many acts. It is described as a vast movement of men and a
complex net of intrigues and plots. (People v. Almasan [CA] O.G. 1932). Jurisprudence tells
us that acts committed in furtherance of the rebellion though crimes in themselves are
deemed absorbed in the one single crime of rebellion. (People v. Geronimo, 100 Phil. 90
[1956]; People v. Santos, 104 Phil. 551 [1958]; People v. Rodriguez, 107 Phil. 659 [1960];
People v. Lava, 28 SCRA 72 [1969]). In this case, the act of harboring or concealing Col.
Honasan is clearly a mere component or ingredient of rebellion or an act done in furtherance
of the rebellion. It cannot therefore be made the basis of a separate charge. The case of People
v. Prieto

(80 Phil., 138 [1948]) is instructive:

The prosecution tries to distinguish by contending that harboring or concealing a fugitive is


punishable under a special law while the rebellion case is based on the Revised Penal Code;
hence, prosecution under one law will not bar a prosecution under the other. This argument
is specious in rebellion cases.
In the light of the Hernandez doctrine the prosecution's theory must fail. The rationale
remains the same. All crimes, whether punishable under a special law or general law, which
are mere components or ingredients, or committed in furtherance thereof, become absorbed
in the crime of rebellion and can not be isolated and charged as separate crimes in
themselves. Thus:
This does not detract, however, from the rule that the ingredients of a
crime form part and parcel thereof, and hence, are absorbed by the
same and cannot be punished either separately therefrom or by the
application of Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. ... (People v.
Hernandez, supra, at p. 528)
The Hernandez and other related cases mention common crimes as absorbed in the crime of
rebellion. These common crimes refer to all acts of violence such as murder, arson, robbery,
kidnapping etc. as provided in the Revised Penal Code. The attendant circumstances in the
instant case, however, constrain us to rule that the theory of absorption in rebellion cases
must not confine itself to common crimes but also to offenses under special laws which are
perpetrated in furtherance of the political offense.
The conversation and, therefore, alleged conspiring of Senator Ponce Enrile with Colonel
Honasan is too intimately tied up with his allegedly harboring and concealing Honasan for
practically the same act to form two separate crimes of rebellion and violation of PD No. 1829.

Clearly, the petitioner's alleged act of harboring or concealing which was based on his acts of

the Court in Hernandez, Geronimo and Rodriguez find no application in

conspiring with Honasan was committed in connection with or in furtherance of rebellion and

this case.

must now be deemed as absorbed by, merged in, and Identified with the crime of rebellion
punished in Articles 134 and 135 of the RPC.

The Court in the above case upheld the prosecution for illegal possession of firearms under
PD 1866 because no separate prosecution for subversion or rebellion had been filed.

The

Thus, national, as well as international, laws and jurisprudence

prosecution must make up its mind whether to charge Senator Ponce Enrile with rebellion

overwhelmingly favor the proposition that common crimes, perpetrated

alone or to drop the rebellion case and charge him with murder and multiple frustrated

in furtherance of a political offense, are divested of their character as

murder and also violation of P.D. 1829. It cannot complex the rebellion with murder and

"common" offenses, and assume the political complexion of the main

multiple frustrated murder. Neither can it prosecute him for rebellion in Quezon City and

crime of which they are mere ingredients, and consequently, cannot be

violation of PD 1829 in Makati. It should be noted that there is in fact a separate prosecution

punished separately from the principal offense, or complexed with the

for rebellion already filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In such a case, the

same, to justify the imposition of a graver penalty. (People v.

independent prosecution under PD 1829 can not prosper.

Hernandez, supra, p. 541)


As we have earlier mentioned, the intent or motive is a decisive factor. If Senator Ponce Enrile
In People v. Elias Rodriguez, 107 Phil. 659 [1960], the accused, after having pleaded guilty

is not charged with rebellion and he harbored or concealed Colonel Honasan simply because

and convicted of the crime of rebellion, faced an independent prosecution for illegal

the latter is a friend and former associate, the motive for the act is completely different. But if

possession of firearms. The Court ruled:

the act is committed with political or social motives, that is in furtherance of rebellion, then it
should be deemed to form part of the crime of rebellion instead of being punished separately.

An examination of the record, however, discloses that the crime with


which the accused is charged in the present case which is that of illegal

In view of the foregoing, the petitioner can not be tried separately under PD 1829 in addition

possession of firearm and ammunition is already absorbed as a

to his being prosecuted in the rebellion case. With this ruling, there is no need for the Court

necessary element or ingredient in the crime of rebellion with which the

to pass upon the other issues raised by the petitioner.

same accused is charged with other persons in a separate case and


wherein he pleaded guilty and was convicted. (at page 662)

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Information in Criminal Case No. 90-777 is
QUASHED. The writ of preliminary injunction, enjoining respondent Judges and their

xxx xxx xxx

successors in Criminal Case No. 90-777, Regional Trial Court of Makati, from holding the
arraignment of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and from conducting further proceedings therein is

[T]he conclusion is inescapable that the crime with which the accused is

made permanent.

charged in the present case is already absorbed in the rebellion case and
so to press it further now would be to place him in double jeopardy. (at

SO ORDERED.

page 663)
Noteworthy is the recent case of Misolas v. Panga, (G.R. No. 83341, January 30, 1990) where

PEOPLE VS HERNANDEZ (G.R. NO. L-6025)

the Court had the occasion to pass upon a nearly similar issue. In this case, the petitioner

Facts: This is the appeal prosecuted by the defendants from the judgment rendered by the

Misolas, an alleged member of the New Peoples Army (NPA), was charged with illegal

Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Agustin P. Montesa, presiding, in its Criminal Case

possession of firearms and ammunitions in furtherance of subversion under Section 1 of PD

No. 15841, People vs. Amado V. Hernandez, et al., and Criminal Case No. 15479, People vs.

1866. In his motion to quash the information, the petitioner based his arguments on

Bayani Espiritu, et al. In Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is for

the Hernandez and Geronimo rulings on the doctrine of absorption of common in rebellion.

Rebellion with Multiple Murder, Arsons and Robberies. The appellants are Amado V.

The Court, however, clarified, to wit:

Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Genaro de la Cruz, Amado Racanday, Fermin Rodillas and Julian
Lumanog; Aquilino Bunsol, Adriano Samson and Andres Baisa, Jr. were among those

... in the present case, petitioner is being charged specifically for the
qualified offense of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition under
PD 1866. HE IS NOT BEING CHARGED WITH THE COMPLEX CRIME
OF SUBVERSION WITH ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS.
NEITHER IS HE BEING SEPARATELY CHARGED FOR SUBVERSION
AND FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS. Thus, the rulings of

sentenced in the judgment appealed from, but they have withdrawn their appeal. In Criminal
Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) the charge is for rebellion with murders, arsons and
kidnappings. The accused are Bayani Espiritu Teopista Valerio and Andres Balsa, Jr.; they all
appealed but Andres Balsa, Jr. withdrew his appeal.

A joint trial of both cases was held, after which the court rendered the decision subject of the

The warrant had issued on an information signed and earlier that day filed by a panel of

present appeals.

prosecutors composed of Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe, State Prosecutor

Issue: Whether or not the defendants-appelants are liable for the crime of conspiracy and

Ferdinand R. Abesamis and Assistant City Prosecutor Eulogio Mananquil Jr., charging

proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection under Art. 136 of the RPC?

Senator Enrile, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and Gregorio Honasan with the
crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder allegedly committed during

Held: The court found defendants-appellants Hernandez, member of the Communist Party of

the period of the failed coup attempt from November 29 to December 10, 1990.

the Philippines, President of the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO), had close
connections with the Secretariat of the Communist Party and held continuous

Senator Enrile was taken to and held overnight at the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue,

communications with its leaders and its members, and others, guilty as principal of the

Manila, without bail, none having been recommended in the information and none fixed in

crime charged against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua

the arrest warrant. The following morning, February 28, 1990, he was brought to Camp

with the accessories provided by law, and to pay the proportionate amount of the costs.

Tomas Karingal in Quezon City where he was given over to the custody of the Superintendent
of the Northern Police District, Brig. Gen. Edgardo Dula Torres.

In the testimonies shown in court, it further appears that Taruc and other CPP leaders used
to send notes to appellant Hernandez, who in turn issued press releases for which he found

On the same date of February 28, 1990, Senator enrile, through counsel, filed a petition for

space in the local papers. His acts in this respect belong to the category of propaganda, to

habeas corpus herein (which was followed by a supplemental petition filed on March 2, 1990),

which he appears to have limited his actions as a Communist.

alleging that he was deprived of his constitutional rights.

However, in their appeal, defendants-appellants Amado V. Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Amado


Racanday and Genaro de la Cruz are absolved from the charges contained in the information,

Issue: Whether the petitioner has committed complex crimes (delito compelio) arising from an

with their proportionate share of the costs de oficio.

offense being a necessary for committing another which is referred to in the second clause of
Art. 48 of the RPC.

But other defendants-appellants, namely, Julian Lumanog and Fermin Rodillas, Bayani

Held: There is one other reason and a fundamental one at that why Article 48 of the RPC

Espiritu and Teopista Valerio were found guilty of the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion,

cannot be applied in the case at bar. If murder were not complexed with rebellion, and the

as defined and punished in Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code, and each and everyone of

two crimes were punished separately (assuming that this could be done), the following

them is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for five years, four months and twenty-one

penalties would be imposable upon the movant namely; (1) for the crime of rebellion, a fine

days of prision correccional, and to pay a fine of P5,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in

not exceeding P20,000 and prision mayor, in the corresponding period, dependingupon the

case of insolvency and to pay their proportional share of the costs.

modifying circumstances present, but never exceeding 12 years of prision mayor, and (2) for

Advocacy of Communism put into Action

the crime of murder, reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, depending upon the
modifying circumstances present.

The advocacy of Communism or Communistic theory and principle is not to be considered as

In other words, in the absence of aggravating circumstances, the extreme penalty could not

a criminal act of conspiracy unless transformed or converted into an advocacy of action. In

be imposed upon him. However, Art. 48 said penalty could not have to be meted out to him,

the very nature of things, mere advocacy of a theory or principle is insufficient unless the

even in the absence of a single aggravating circumstance. Thus, said provision, if construed

communist advocates action, immediate and positive, the actual agreement to start an

in conformity with the theory of the prosecution, would be unfavorable to the movant.

uprising or rebellion or an agreement forged to use force and violence in an uprising of the
working class to overthrow constituted authority and seize the reins of Government itself.

The plaint of petitioners counsel that he is charged with a crime that does not exist in the

Unless action is actually advocated or intended or contemplated, the Communist is a mere

statute books, while technically correct so far as the Court has ruled that rebellion may not

theorist, merely holding belief in the supremacy of the proletariat a Communist does not yet

be complexed with other offenses committed on the occasion thereof, must therefore be

advocate the seizing of the reins of Government by it. As a theorist the Communist is not yet

dismissed as a mere flight of rhethoric. Read in the context of Hernandez, the information

actually considered as engaging in the criminal field subject to punishment. Only when the

does indeed charge the petitioner with a crime defined and punished by the RPC; simple

Communist advocates action and actual uprising, war or otherwise, does he become guilty of

rebellion.

conspiracy to commit rebellion.


Petitioner finally claims that he was denied the right to bail. In the light of the Courts
PONCE ENRILE VS. SALAZAR (G.R. NO. 92163)

reaffirmation of Hernandez as applicable to petitioners case, and of the logical and necessary
corollary that the information against him should be considered as charging only the crime of

Facts: In the afternoon of February 27, 1990, Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce

simple rebellion, which is bailable before conviction, that must now be accepted as a correct

Enrile was arrested by law enforcement officers led by Director Alfredo Lim of the NBI on the

proposition. But the question remains: Given the facts from which this case arose, was a

strength of a warrant issued by Hon. Jaime Salazar of the RTC of Quezon City Branch 103 in

petition for habeas corpus in this Court the appropriate vehicle for asserting a right or

Criminal Case No. 9010941.

vindicating its denial? The criminal case before the respondent Judge was the normal venue
for invoking the petitioners right to have provisional libery pending trial and judgment. The
original jurisdiction to grant or deny bail rested with said respondent. The correct course was

for petitioner to invoke that jurisdiction by filing petition to be admitted to bail, claiming a

frustrated murder against Enrile as alleged co-conspirator of Col. Honosan, on the basis of

right to bail per se by reason of the weakness of the evidence against him. Only after that

their alleged meeting on December 1, 1989 preclude the prosecution of the Senator for

remedy was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court have been

harbouring or concealing the Colonel on the same occasion under PD 1829. However, this

invoked, and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief

motion was denied.

was also available there.


Issue: Whether or not the petitioner could be separately charged for violation of PD No. 1829
The Court reiterates that based on the doctrine enunciated in People vs Hernandez, the

notwithstanding the rebellion case earlier filed against him.

questioned information filed against petitioners Juan Ponce Enrile and the spouses Rebecco
and Erlinda Panlilio must be read as charging simple rebellion only, hence said petitioners are
entitled to bail, before final conviction, as a matter of right. The Courts earlier grant bail to
petitioners being merely provisional in character, the proceedings in both cases are ordered
remanded to the respondent Judge to fix the amount of bail to be posted by the petitioners.
Once bail is fixed by said respondent for any of the petitioners, the corresponding bail bond

Held: No, Enrile could not be separately charged for violation of PD 1829.
The rejection of both options shapes and determines the primary ruling of the Court, which
that Hernandez remains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion
with any other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as a means to its

filed with this Court shall become functus oficio.

commission or as an unintended effect of an activity that commutes rebellion.

ENRILE vs. AMIN (G.R. No. 93335)

crime of rebellion for the greater penalty to be applied, neither can he be charged separately

Facts: Together with the filing of an information charging Enrile as having committed

in furtherance of rebellion.

rebellion complexed with murder, government prosecutors filed another information charging

This doctrine is applicable in the case at bar. If a person cannot be charged with the complex
for two (2) different offenses where one is a constitutive or component element or committed

him for violation of PD No. 1829. The second information reads:

The crime of rebellion consists of many acts. It is described as a vast movement of men and a

That on or about the 1st day of December 1989, at Dasmarias Village, Makati, Metro Manila

of the rebellion though crimes in themselves are deemed absorbed in the one single crime of

and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, having

rebellion. In this case, the act of harboring or concealing Col. Honasan is clearly a mere

reasonable ground to believe or suspect that Ex-Col. Gregorio Gringo Honasan has

component or ingredient of rebellion or an act done in furtherance of the rebellion. It cannot

committed a crime, did then and there unlawfully, feloniously, willfully and knowingly

therefore be made the basis of a separate charge.

obstruct, impede, frustrate or delay the apprehension of said Ex. Lt. Col. Gregorio Gringo
Honasan by harboring or concealing him in his house.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration and to Quash/Dismiss the information (second
information) on the ground that the pending charge of rebellion complexed with murder and

complex net of intrigues and plots. Jurisprudence tells us that acts committed in furtherance