Court Documents
Maximo Abad and Pedro Lardizabal
Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila
G.R. No. L-976 October 22, 1902
THE UNITED STATES, complainant-appellee, vs. MAXIMO ABAD, defendant-appellant.
Perfecto Gabriel and Pablo Borbon, for appellee.
Office of the Solicitor-General Araneta, for appellee.

The offense with which the defendant was charged and of which he has been convicted is
that defined in section 14 of Act No. 292 of the United States Philippine Commission,
which is as follows: "Any person who shall have taken any oath before any military officer
under the Civil Government of the Philippine Islands, whether such official so
administering the oath was specially authorized by law so to do or not, in which oath the
affiant is substance engaged to recognize or accept the supreme authority of the United
States of America in these Islands or to maintain true faith and allegiance thereto or to
obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated by its duly constituted authorities
and who shall, after the passage of this act, violate the terms and provisions of such oath
or any of such terms or provisions, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two
thousand dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding ten years, or both."

The defendant is a former insurgent officer and is entitled to the benefit of the
proclamation of amnesty if the offense is one of those to which the proclamation applies.
Assuming, for the purposes of the present motion, that the defendant is guilty of the
offense, there is no evidence in the record showing that it was committed pursuant to
orders issued by the civil or military insurrectionary authorities, or that it grew out of
internal political feuds or dissensions between Filipinos and Spaniards of the Spanish
authorities, or that it resulted from internal political feuds or dissensions among the
Filipinos themselves. If it is covered by the amnesty it must be because it is embraced
within the words employed in the proclamation to designate the first class of offenses
amnestied, namely, "offenses of treason and sedition."
If these words are to be given a construction in accordance with their strict technical
signification, there will be some difficulty in holding that they include the offense in
question. Treason is defined in section 1 of Act No. 292 to consist in levying war against
the United States or the Government of the Philippine Islands, or adhering to their
enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the Philippine Islands or elsewhere. Sedition
is defined in section 5 of the same act as the rising publicly and tumultuously in order to
obtain by force or outside of legal methods certain enumerated objects of a political
character. A violation of an oath containing the comprehensive engagements of that in
question may be committed without by the same act committing either the crime of treason
or that of sedition as thus defined, as, for example, in the case of a conspiracy to commit
these crimes or to commit the crime of insurrection. (Act No. 292, secs. 3, 4, 7.) And,
conversely, the crime of treason or that of sedition may be committed, without a violation
of the oath of allegiance when it is committed, as it, of course, may be, by a person who
has never taken such oath. The acts, therefore, by which the offense of violation of oaths
of allegiance, as defined in section 14 of Act No. 292, is committed, is not necessarily
identical, although it may be in particular cases, with that by which the technical crime of
treason or that of sedition is committed. And in all cases the offense of violation of an oath
of allegiance involves, in a sense, an element, namely, the breaking of an express
promise, which may not be present in treason or sedition.

In the present case the act by which the defendant is found by the court below to have
violated the oath was that of denying to an officer of the United States Army the existence
of certain rifles, which had been concealed by his orders at the time of his surrender in
April, 1901, and of the existence and whereabouts of which he was cognizant at the time
of the denial. If this act was a violation of the oath, which upon the evidence in the case
may be doubtful, it was probably also an act of treason, as being an act of adhering to the
enemies of the United States, giving them aid and comfort, and if the element of breach of
promise is to be regarded as merely an incidental circumstance forming no part of the
essence of the crime of violation of oaths of allegiance, the offense in this particular case
might, perhaps, be held to be covered by the amnesty as being, in substance, treason
though prosecuted under another name.
We prefer, however, to base our decision upon a broader ground, and one which will
cover all cases of prosecution for the offense of violation of oaths of allegiance.
There are a variety of offenses in the criminal codes of all countries which are not directed
primarily against individuals, but rather against the existence of the state, the authority of
the government or the general public tranquility. All or nearly all of the offenses created
and defined in Act No. 292 are distinctly of this character. Among them are treason
properly so called (section 1), misprision of treason (section 2), insurrection (section 3),
conspiracy to commit treason or insurrection (section 4), sedition properly so called
(section 5 and 6), conspiracy to commit sedition (section 7), seditious words and libels
(section 8), the formation of secret political societies (section 9), and finally the offense in
question (section 14). The line of distinction between some of these offenses is often
difficult to draw. They are all closely related and may all be embraced under the general
description of offenses of a treasonable and seditious nature. When the framer of the
proclamation used the words "treason and sedition" to describe the purely political
offenses covered by the amnesty, we think it was his intention, without specially
enumerating the political offenses defined in Act No. 292, to include them all under those
two general

Treason, in its more general sense, is the "violation by a subject of his allegiance to his
sovereign or liege lord, or to the supreme authority of the state." (Century Dictionary.)
Sedition, in its more general sense, is "the raising of commotion or disturbances in the
state." (Bouvier's Law Dictionary, title "Sedition.") Technical terms of the law when used in
a statute are ordinarily to be given their technical signification. But in construing an
executive act of the character of this proclamation, as in construing a remedial statute, a
court is justified in applying a more liberal rule of construction in order to effectuate, if
possible, the beneficient purpose intended. Certainly a limitation of the words in question
to their literal and technical signification would utterly defeat the unmistakable general
object of the amnesty. Upon such a construction treason, the highest of all political
crimes, a crime which may be punished by death under section 1 of Act No. 292, would be
included in the amnesty, while insurrection, which is a crime of precisely the same nature
and differs from it solely in being inferior in degree and punishable by fine and
imprisonment only, would be excluded. A construction leading to such manifest
inconsistencies could be accepted only when the language admitted of no other. We think
the construction suggested as the true one though somewhat less restricted that the
precise legal signification of the terms "treason" and "sedition" might warrant, may be
adopted without doing violence to the language of the proclamation, and there is no room
for doubt in our minds that by adopting that construction we carry out the real intention of
the President.
We hold, therefore, that the offense of violation of oaths of allegiance, being one of the
political offenses defined in Act No. 292, is included in the general words "treason and
sedition," as used in the proclamation. The defendant is entitled to the benefits of the
proclamation, and upon filing in this court the prescribed oath the cause will be returned to
the court below with directions that he be discharged. So ordered.
Arellano, C.J., Torres, Cooper, and Willard, JJ., concur.
Smith and Mapa, JJ., did not sit in this case.

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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila
G.R. No. 900 February 14, 1903
THE UNITED STATES, complainant-appellee, vs. PEDRO LARDIZABAL,
Gibbs and Kincaid, for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Araneta, for appellee.

It appears that the act with which the accused is charged is that he, while commanding
officer of a column of the Filipino army operating in the Island of Marinduque, at a time
when he had in his possession an American prisoner of war, having ordered a retreat on
account of the immediate presence of the enemy, and considering that the prisoner owing
to his weak condition could not keep up with the forced marches of the column, and that in
case of his being left where he was he might indicate the direction taken by the column
and thus expose it to the danger of falling into the hands of the enemy, directed that this
prisoner be executed, an act which unquestionably constitutes a violation of the laws of

The purpose of the proclamation of amnesty in favor of the "insurgents who have been
until recently resisting the authority of sovereignty of the United States" is "to relieve them
from the penalty to which they might have rendered themselves liable by reason of their
participation in the insurrections mentioned and by reason of having committed during
such insurrections acts in violation of the law."

With regard to Lardizabal's participation in the insurrection it was not necessary for him to
avail himself of the benefits of the amnesty inasmuch as he had voluntarily surrendered
prior to the promulgation thereof. He was prosecuted on a criminal charge for an act done
by him during the insurrection, but this was not an isolated act such as a "political offense
committed during the insurrection pursuant to orders issued by the civil or military
insurrectionary authorities," but was a measure which, whether necessary or not, was
inherent in the military operations of the preservation of the troops commanded by him
and of which he was the supreme officer on that island. It was an act which, while from the
standpoint of military law might be regarded as one of cruelty, was at the same time one
depending absolutely upon the discretion of an officer in charge of a command for
securing the safety of the troops under his control and constitutes no other offense than
that of sedition, within which term the war itself is included by the letter and spirit of the
proclamation. Therefore as the principal offenses of treason and sedition, committed by
those who, by reason of their participation in the insurrections mentioned, were
undergoing prosecution at the time of the publication of the amnesty proclamation fall
within its scope, and as the accused took part against the United States in the
insurrection by placing himself at the head of an armed troop, which in his judgment could
not be saved from falling into the hands of the enemy except by means of the removal of a
prisoner of war who could have put upon the tracks of the retreating forces the army
which was entering the island, he is in our opinion guilty of an act which, although a
violation of the laws of war, is one which was inherent in his military operations, and in
consequence must be considered as an act of sedition. Lardizabal is, therefore, entitled to
the benefits of the amnesty proclamation.

We therefore hold that he is entitled to the amnesty, upon condition of taking the oath
prescribed by the proclamation, upon which the criminal case brought against him for
murder shall be dismissed.

Torres and Cooper, JJ., concur.
Ladd, J., concurs in the results of this opinion.
Willard, J., dissents.
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