Legally Yours,  Political Law

Co Kim Cham v. Valdez Tan Keh

Constitutional Law. Political Law. Effects of Cession.
75 PHIL 113
The respondent judge refused to take cognizance of the case and to continue the proceedings in petitioner’s case on the ground that the proclamation, issued on October 23, 1944, by General Douglas MacArthur had invalidated and nullified all judicial proceedings and judgments of the court during the Japanese occupation. Respondent contends that the lower courts have no jurisdiction to continue pending judicial proceedings and that the government established during the Japanese occupation was no de facto government.
ISSUES:1.    Do the judicial acts and proceedings of the court during the Japanese occupation remain good and valid?
2.    Did the proclamation of MacArthur invalidate all judgments and judicial acts and proceedings of said court?
3.    May the present courts continue those proceedings pending in said courts?

It is evident that the Philippine Executive Commission was a civil government established by military forces and thus a de facto government of the second kind. Legislative, as well as judicial, acts of de facto governments, which are not of political complexion, remain valid after reoccupation. It is presumed that the proclamation of General MacArthur did not specifically refer to judicial processes thus it has not invalidated all the judgments and proceedings of the courts during the Japanese regime. The existence of the courts depends upon the laws which create and confer upon them their jurisdiction. Such laws, not political in nature, are not abrogated by a change of sovereignty and continue in force until repealed by legislative acts. It is thus obvious that the present courts have jurisdiction to continue proceedings in cases, not of political complexion.

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