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TitleCriminal Law 2 Cases Batch 2
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Republic of the Philippines



G.R. No. L-11870 October 16, 1961

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
BENITO CRUZ, ET AL., defendants.

Cipriano Manansala and Jose Lao for defendants-appellants.
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.


Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal convicting
appellants Paterno Cruz and Benito Cruz of "rebellion with robbery with
homicide," and appellant Fermin Tolentino of "rebellion with arson, with
murder and robbery." The case is before us, the penalty imposed upon
appellants being life imprisonment.

On or about November 23, 1953, the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal filed with the
Court of First Instance of said province an information accusing said
appellants, together with Elpidio Gantan (alias Marco
Polo, alias Acosta, aliasMaralva), Domingo de la Torre
(alias Meding, alias Espiritu), Espiridion Salcedo (alias Lafredo), and Amado
Sanchez Cruz (alias Enriquez) of the "complex crime of rebellion, with
multiple murder, robberies and arsons," allegedly committed as follows:

That on or about May 28, 1946, and for sometime prior and
subsequent thereto and continuously up to the present time, in the
province of Rizal, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court and in other municipalities, cities and provinces
and other parts of the country where they have chosen to carry out
their rebellious activities, the said accused, being then ranking
officers and/or members of, or otherwise affiliated with the
Communist Party of the Philippines and the "Hukbong

Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan (HMB)" otherwise known as the
Hukbalahap (HUK), the latter being the armed force of said
Communist Party, having come to an agreement and having
decided to commit the crime of rebellion, and, thereby conspiring
and confederating among themselves together with all of the 31
accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 14071, 14082, 14270, 14315 and
14344 (Politburo Cases) in the Court of First Instance of Manila,
with other members, officers and/or affiliates of the Communist
Party of the Philippines and the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan
(HMB)" or HUKS and many others whose identities and
whereabouts are still unknown, acting in accordance with their
conspiracy and in the furtherance thereof, and mutually helping one
another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously help,
support, promote, direct and/or command the "Hukbong
Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan (HMB)" or the Hukbalahap (HUK) to rise
publicly and take up arms against the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines, or otherwise participate in such public uprising
for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the said
government and laws thereof, the territory of the Philippines or
portion thereof, as in fact the said "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng
Bayan (HMB)" or the HUKS, pursuant to such conspiracy, have
risen publicly and taken up arms against the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines to attain said purpose by then and there
making armed raids, sorties, ambushes and attacks against the
Philippine Constabulary, the Civilian Guards, the Police and Army
patrols and other detachments constituted and organized by the
government of the Philippines, as well as upon ordinary civilians,
and as a necessary means to commit the crime of Rebellion in
connection therewith and in the furtherance thereof, have the and
there committed wanton acts of murders, pillages, lootings,
plunders, arsons and planned destructions of private and public
properties to create and spread disorders, terrors, confusions,
chaos and fear among the population and by the use of force and
intimidation, organized different barrio organizations to secure
supplies and materials for the support and maintenance of said
uprisings, to wit:


That on or about March 20, 1951, at about 8:30 o'clock in the
evening, in the municipality of Antipolo, province of Rizal, the herein
accused BENITO CRUZ, leading some armed members of the
"Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan", including the accused herein

Page 49

bail, before final conviction, as a matter of right. The Court's earlier grant of
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 flied with
this Court shall become functus oficio. No pronouncement as to costs.


Cruz, Gancayco and Regalado, JJ., concur.

Medialdea, J., concurs in G.R. No. 92164 but took no part in G.R. No.

Cortes and Griño-Aquino, JJ., are on leave.

Separate Opinions

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring:

I join my colleagues in holding that the Hernandez doctrine, which has been
with us for the past three decades, remains good law and, thus, should
remain undisturbed, despite periodic challenges to it that, ironically, have
only served to strengthen its pronouncements.

I take exception to the view, however, that habeas corpus was not the proper

Had the Information filed below charged merely the simple crime of
Rebellion, that proposition could have been plausible. But that Information
charged Rebellion complexed with Murder and Multiple Frustrated Murder, a

crime which does not exist in our statute books. The charge was obviously
intended to make the penalty for the most serious offense in its maximum
period imposable upon the offender pursuant to Article 48 of the Revised
Penal Code. Thus, no bail was recommended in the Information nor was any
prescribed in the Warrant of Arrest issued by the Trial Court.

Under the attendant circumstances, therefore, to have filed a Motion to
Quash before the lower Court would not have brought about the speedy
relief from unlawful restraint that petitioner was seeking. During the
pendency of said Motion before the lower Court, petitioner could have
continued to languish in detention. Besides, the Writ ofHabeas Corpus may
still issue even if another remedy, which is less effective, may be availed of
(Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA 663).

It is true that habeas corpus would ordinarily not he when a person is under
custody by virtue of a process issued by a Court.

The Court, however, must have jurisdiction to issue the process. In this case,
the Court below must be deemed to have been ousted of jurisdiction when it
illegally curtailed petitioner's liberty. Habeas corpus is thus available.

The writ of habeas corpus is available to relieve persons
from unlawful restraint. But where the detention or
confinement is the result of a process issued by the court
or judge or by virtue of a judgment or sentence, the writ
ordinarily cannot be availed of. It may still be invoked
though if the process, judgment or sentence proceeded
from a court or tribunal the jurisdiction of which may be
assailed. Even if it had authority to act at the outset, it is
now the prevailing doctrine that a deprivation of
constitutional right, if shown to exist, would oust it of
jurisdiction. In such a case, habeas corpus could be relied
upon to regain one's liberty (Celeste vs. People, 31 SCRA
391) [Emphasis emphasis].

The Petition for habeas corpus was precisely premised on the violation of
petitioner's constitutional right to bail inasmuch as rebellion, under the
present state of the law, is a bailable offense and the crime for which

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