Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1950 > December 1950 Decisions > G.R. No. L-3460 December 29, 1950 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO F. MORPUS

087 Phil 824:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-3460. December 29, 1950.]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARIANO MORPUS Y FELINGGON, Defendant-Appellee.

Solicitor General Felix Bautista Angelo and Solicitor Pacifico P. de Castro, for Appellant.

Jose Q. Calingo, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. CRIMINAL LAW; ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS; SECTION 878 WITH SECTION 2692 OF REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE CODE AS LASTLY AMENDED APPLIED. — Section 878 in connection with section 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 56 and further amended by Republic Act No. 4 up to August 31, 1946 by reason of section 2 of said amendatory Republic Act and the proclamation of the President issued with reference thereto, "criminal liability for mere possession of firearms and ammunition" was in effect "temporarily lifted" or suspended so much so that mere possession before august 31, 1946 was not punishable. However, on august 31, 1946, the suspension terminated; and thereafter the general rule making it unlawful to manufacture, sell, possess etc., firearms and ammunition again prevailed. Consequently an individual found in possession of firearms without license after August 31, 1946, violates the law on the matter, unless he proves some valid defense or exculpation.


D E C I S I O N


BENGZON, J.:


On September 16, 1949, Mariano Morpus y Felinggon was charged in the Court of First Instance of Manila with a violation of section 878 in connection with section 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 56, and further amended by Republic Act No. 4, in an information alleging:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That on or about the 15th of September, 1949, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession and under his control a .32 caliber revolver with no trademark and serial number, without having first secured the necessary permit therefor." (p. 1, rec.)

Relying on the authority of People v. Santos Lopez y Jacinto (45 Off. Gaz., No. 5, 2089; 79 Phil., 658), the defendant filed a motion to quash on the ground that the information does not state facts sufficient to constitute an offense. Over the written opposition of the prosecution, the lower court sustained the motion and dismissed the information with costs de oficio. From the order of dismissal, the fiscal appealed.

The lower court based its order mainly on the authority of People v. Santos Lopez y Jacinto. The prosecution in this appeal disputes the applicability of that doctrine to the situation of Mariano Morpus y Felinggon.

We are all of the opinion that the Santos Lopez case does not apply. Therein the possession of firearms and ammunition occurred on August 21, 1946; whereas Morpus possession was alleged to be on September 15, 1949. Distinque temporal et concordabis jura. Distinguish time and you will harmonize laws. Up to August 31, 1946 — by reason of section 2 of Republic Act No. 4 and the proclamation of the President — "criminal liability for mere possession of firearms and ammunition" was in effect "temporarily lifted" or suspended. Wherefore Santos Lopez’ mere possession before August 31, 1946 was not punishable. That was our holding in the Santos-Lopez decision. However, on August 31, 1946 the suspension terminated; and thereafter the general rule making it unlawful to manufacture, sell, possess etc., firearms and ammunition again prevailed. Consequently the herein appellee having been allegedly found in possession of firearms after August 31, 1946, (more specifically on September 15, 1949) he transgressed the law on the matter, unless he proved some valid defense or exculpation.

It should be stated in this connection that, as prayed by counsel for appellee, the arguments presented in People v. Rivera (R. G. No. L-3337) have all been considered in deciding this appeal.

The appealed order is reversed with costs against appellee.

Moran, C.J., Pablo, Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes and Jugo, concur.

Moran, C.J., Mr. Justice Paras and Mr. Justice Feria voted to reverse.




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