Decision Batas Pambansa 6
Decision Batas Pambansa 6 MTCC...
Republic of the Philippines 8th Judicial Region ________________ ______________ PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff;
Criminal Case No. _________ For: VIOLATION OF BP BLG. 6
-versus______________ Accused. x-------------------------------------------x
RESOLUTION For resolution is a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the facts charged in the information do not constitute an offense. Defense argues that the accused is charged with a crime which is penalized under Batas Pambansa Bilang 6, an amendment mainly as to penalty of Presidential Decree No. 9. It adds that the Supreme Court in People vs. Purisima had set the elements of the crime under P. D. No. 9, which was affirmed in a more recent case of People vs. Lasana, to wit: First, the carrying outside one’s residence of any bladed weapon, blunt, or pointed weapon, etc., not used as a necessary tool or implement for a livelihood; and, Second, that the act of carrying the weapon was either in furtherance of, or to abet, or in connection with subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos, or public disorder.
Moreover, defense asserts that the affidavits of the government witnesses do not contain any allegation about the second element mentioned above. On the other hand, the prosecution vehemently objects to the motion of dismissal and argues that while it subscribes to the pronouncement of the High Court in People vs. Purisima dated November 20, 1978, its effect was not carried out in the amendatory law (B.P. Blg. 6) dated November 21, 1978. Otherwise, the lawmakers would have included those two elements in the new law. According to the prosecution, the provisions of the B. P. Blg. 6 are clear, plain and free from ambiguity – it must be given its literal meaning and applied without interpretation. The Court’s Ruling This Court shares the view of the accused. While the prosecution is correct in citing that B.P. Blg. 6, which was enacted one day after the case of People vs. Purisima, does not embody or expressly provide the second element required in Page 1 of 4
that case, it does not mean, however, that said case is already abandoned or no longer effective. In People vs. Lasanas, et al.,1 a more recent decision dated July 7, 1987, the Supreme Court quoted and applied its ruling in the case of Purisima on the issue of whether or not an information on violation of Paragraph 3 of P.D. No. 9 is defective when it does not contain the second element mentioned in said case. The relevant portion of the aforesaid case is as follows: The undersigned City Fiscal accuses Rogelio Lasanas for violation of General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 in relation to Presidential Decree No. 9, as implemented by Letter of Instruction, DND No. 707, committed as follows: That on or about the 10th day of July, 1974, in the City of Iloilo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this court, said accused, with deliberate intent and without any justifiable motive, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally carry outside of his residence one (1) knife which is a deadly weapon and which, at that time, was not being used by him as a necessary implement for his livelihood or occupation or in connection therewith. Contrary to law. While the information failed to Identify the specific paragraph of P.D. No. 9 alleged to have been violated by accused Lasanas, even a cursory examination of P.D. No. 9 will show that the information must have been intended to refer to paragraph 3 of P.D. No. 9 which provided as follows: 3. It is unlawful to carry outside of residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as "fanknife," "spear," "dagger," "bolo," "balisong," "barong," "kris," or club, except where such articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood and while being used in connection therewith; and any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission may direct." In People vs. Purisima,9 Mme. Justice Munoz Palma speaking for the Court, in a tour de force of statutory construction, addressed the question of: "What----are the elements of the offense treated in [paragraph 3 of] the Presidential Decree [No. 9] in question?": We hold that the offense carries two elements: first the carrying outside one's residence of any bladed, blunt, or pointed weapon, etc. not used as a necessary tool or implement for a livelihood; and second that the act of carrying the weapon was either in furtherance of, or to abet, or in connection with subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos, or public disorder. It is the second element which removes the act of carrying a deadly weapon, if concealed, outside of the scope of the statute or the city ordinance mentioned above. In other words, a simple act of carrying any of the weapons described in the presidential decree is not a criminal offense in itself. What makes the act criminal or punishable under the decree is the motivation behind it, Without that motivation, the act falls within the purview of the city ordinance or some statute when the circumstances so warrant.10 Applying the doctrine of Purisima, it is plain that the information filed in Criminal Case No. 5055 was fatally defective. That information failed to charge the commission of acts constitutive of the second element of the offense sought to be charged-i.e., that the carrying of the weapon was in furtherance of, or to abet, or in connection with 1
G.R. Nos. L-48879-82, July 7, 1987
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"subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violation, criminality, chaos or public disorder." Thus, the information failed to charge an offense under P.D. No. 9, paragraph 3 with the result that accused Lasanas could not have been lawfully convicted of such offense under the information as actually filed.
In the case at hand, it is undisputed that the Information dated October 12, 2015, lacks the allegation constituting the second element mentioned above. While it may be argued that the aforesaid Lasanas case was prosecuted under P. D. No. 9 and not under B. P. Blg. 6, the same does not matter because a closer look at the two laws reveals that what really differs between the two is only the penalty. This is very clear upon comparison of the two laws as shown below: BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 6, November 21, 1978 AN ACT REDUCING THE PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF BLADED, POINTED OR BLUNT WEAPONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NUMBERED NINE. Section 1. Paragraph three of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine is hereby amended to read as follows: "3. It is unlawful to carry outside of one's residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as "knife", "spear", "pana", "dagger", "bolo", "barong", "kris", or "chako", except where such articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood or in pursuit of a lawful activity. Any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than one year or a fine of not less than Two Hundred Pesos nor more than Two Thousand Pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine as the Court may direct." (emphasis supplied) PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 9 October 2, 1972 DECLARING VIOLATIONS OF GENERAL ORDERS NO. 6 AND NO. 7 DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1972 AND SEPTEMBER 23, 1972, RESPECTIVELY, TO BE UNLAWFUL AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR. 3. It is unlawful to carry outside of residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as "fanknife," "spear," "dagger," "bolo," "balisong," "barong," "kris," or club, except where such articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood and while being used in connection therewith; and any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission may direct. (emphasis supplied)
As shown in the Purisima and Lasanas cases, the issue on what constitutes the crime of violation of Paragraph 3 of P. D. 9 has already been settled. The Supreme Court interpreted it as one that requires the presence of two elements. And when that paragraph was copied to B. P. Blg. 6, except as to the penalty, it stands to reason that the interpretation on the Purisima case as to the elements of that paragraph in P. D. No. 9, remains the same. Under Article 8 of the New Civil Code – “Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines.” In effect, judicial decisions, although in themselves not laws, assume the same authority as the statute itself and, until authoritatively abandoned, necessarily become, to the extent that they are applicable, the criteria which must Page 3 of 4
control the actuations not only of those called upon to abide thereby but also those duty bound to enforce obedience thereto.2 These decisions also constitute evidence of what the law means. The application and interpretation placed by the Supreme Court upon a law is part of the law as of the date of the enactment of the said law since the Court’s application and interpretation merely established the contemporaneous legislative intent that the construed law purports to carry into effect. 3 The settled rule supported by numerous authorities is a restatement of the legal maxim “legis interpretation legis vim obtinet” – the interpretation placed upon the written law by competent court has the force of law.4 Indeed, it is the duty of judges to apply the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court. 5 Moreover, the contention of the prosecution that the provisions of Section 3 of B.P. Blg. 6 being crystal clear and patent, are not therefore susceptible of any other interpretation – is untenable because as earlier stated, Section 3 of B.P. Blg. 6 differs only with Paragraph 3 of P. D. 9 as to penalty. If it was then appropriate, the “plain meaning rule” or verbe legis in statutory construction could have been adopted by the Supreme Court at that time they decide the Purisima case. HOWEVER, since the defect in the information can be cured by amendment, as prayed for, the prosecution is given ten (10) days from receipt hereof to correct the defect by amendment. It is understood that the motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or information still suffers from the same defect despite the amendment. SO ORDERED. _________
_ Presiding Judge
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Caltex, Inc. vs. Palomar, 18 SCRA 247. People vs. Licera, 65 SCRA 270. People vs. Jabinal, 55 SCRA 607. Secretary of Justice vs. Catolico 68 SCRA 62; Albert vs. CFI, 23 SCRA 948.
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