Legally Yours,  Political Law

Ruffy v. Chief of Staff

Ramon Ruffy was the provincial commander stationed in Mindoro at the outbreak of war on December 8, 1941. When the Japanese forces landed in Mindoro on February 27, 1942, Mayor Ruffy retreated to the mountains and organized and led a guerrilla outfit known as the Bolo Combat team of Bolo Area. The case at bar is a petition for prohibition praying that respondents be commanded to desist from further proceedings in the trial of the petitioners on the ground that petitioners were not subject to military law at the time of the offense.

1.    Are the petitioners subject to military law at the time of war and Japanese occupation?
2.    Is 93d Article of War constitutional?

Petitioners were subject to military jurisdiction as provided for in Article of War (2d). The Bolo Area was a contingent of the 6th military district which had been recognized by the United States Army. The petitioners assailed the constitutionality of 93d Article of War on the ground that it violates Article VIII Section 2 par. 4 of the Constitution which provides that “National Assembly may not deprive the Supreme Court of its original jurisdiction over all criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment”. The petitioners are in error for courts-martial are agencies of executive character and are not a portion of the judiciary. The petition thus has no merits and is dismissed with costs.

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