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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 13862. April 15, 1918. ]

In re R. McCULLOCH DICK.

Kincaid & Perkins, W. H. Lawrence and D. R. Williams for Petitioner.

Acting Attorney-General Paredes, for the Government.

SYLLABUS


1. EXECUTION; STAY; GROUNDS. — Under the settled practice of this court, the execution of its judgment is temporarily stayed or suspended when timely application is made therefor, in any case wherein it is made to appear that the petitioner desires to make application for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States; that he will diligently prosecute the prescribed remedy and intends to take the necessary steps to submit his application without unnecessary delay; that his application for suspension of execution of our judgment is made in good faith and not merely for the purpose of securing delay, nor based on frivolous grounds; and that the execution of the judgment would subject him to irreparable loss, damage, or injury in the event of its subsequent reversal of the Supreme Court of the United States.

2. ID.; ID.; HOW LONG. — Under the law and established practice, this court has power to suspend the execution of its judgment, and to withhold an order remanding a petitioner in habeas corpus proceedings for deportation, for a period of time sufficient to give him a suitable opportunity to apply for a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the United States.

3. ID.; ID.; CUSTODY OF PETITIONER. — In such cases, it is the duty of the court and it has the power to adopt such measures as may be appropriate and necessary to take the petitioner into its custody, and to provide for his safe keeping while in its custody, until a full, fair and final adjudication has been had of all the questions raised in the course of the proceedings.

4. ID.; ID.; RELEASE OF PETITIONER ON BAIL. — Under the circumstances set out in the opinion and in the absence of objection by the Solicitor-General representing the Chief Executive, the petitioner was released on bail conditioned upon his remaining subject to the orders of the court and keeping the peace pending the period during which the judgment of the court remanding him to custody was stayed, in order to give him an opportunity to make application for review of the judgment by the Supreme Court of the United States.

5. ID.; ID.; ID.; DISCRETION; RIGHT OF PETITIONER. — The discretion to let to bail in such cases, is a sound judicial discretion to be exercised in the light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances. The most that the petitioner in such cases is entitled to demand, as of right, is that under the transcendent authority of the writ of habeas corpus, the court should stay the course of the deportation proceedings and, if necessary, take him into its custody long enough to secure a full and final adjudication of the legality of the deportation order.

6. ID.; ID.; ID.; OBJECTION BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE; SEC. 69, ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917. — Although the petitioner, in the absence of objection by the Solicitor-General, was let to bail when the stay of execution was granted, this court should not, under existing conditions, maintain its order granting bail over well-founded objection by the Chief Executive, who is, primarily, charged with the maintenance of the pace and safety of the Islands; it appearing that, as a result of an investigation lawfully held under his direction, in pursuance of the authority conferred upon him in section 69 of the Administrative Code, the Governor-General has adjudged the petitioner "an undesirable alien whose presence in the Philippine Islands is a menace to the peace and safety of the community."cralaw virtua1aw library

7. HABEAS CORPUS; LIMITATION OF POWERS OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE. — In the very nature of things the right of he Chief Executive to exercise his lawful powers without the interference of the courts must give way, so far as that may be necessary to secure a full, fair, and final adjudication by the courts of a question as to the legality and existence of powers which he assumes to exercise, when that question is raised in habeas corpus proceedings by a petitioner alleging that he has been unlawfully deprived of his liberty.

Per MALCOLM, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

8. APPEAL TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT; STAY; BAIL. — When proper steps are taken to perfect an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands has the power to stay its judgment and in proper cases to admit to bail. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands subsists until the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court attaches.

9. ID.; ID.; ID. — The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands should not appear to discourage appeals to the United States Supreme Court.

10. ID.; ID.; ID. — Pending appeal to the United States Supreme Court, release under bail is a matter inherently within the discretion of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. The status quo is ordinarily to be preserved.

11. ID.; ID.; ID. — The practice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands in criminal cases has been to admit to bail pending appeal.

12. ID.; ID.; ID. — While the instant proceedings are civil in nature, nevertheless the contemplated deportation is by way of punishment. The effect of imprisonment in criminal cases and of deportation is not dissimilar.

13. ID.; ID.; ID. — Petitioner, through habeas corpus proceedings, endeavored to obtain his release from custody. The majority of the court decided on the issues presented that the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands possesses the power to deport aliens, and that with this official act the court will not presume to interfere. At the same time the court stayed its judgment and ordered the petitioner admitted to bail. Thereafter, the Attorney-General by motion asked the court to vacate this order. The majority would now by suggestion to the Attorney-General reverse the former action of the court whereby the petitioner was admitted to bail and would have the petitioner imprisoned pending appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Held: That the original action of this court in the exercise of its discretion in staying proceedings in order that the petitioner could have a reasonable time to secure from the United States Supreme Court an allowance of an appeal for the purpose of determining whether his attempted deportation is authorized, and in admitting petitioner to bail, should not be disturbed.


D E C I S I O N


CARSON, J.:


The Solicitor-General moves the court to revoke its orders providing for a stay of execution of its judgment pending proceedings looking to a review of the judgment by the Supreme Court of the United States and not to exceed three months; and, further, to remand the petitioner to the custody of the chief of police of the city of Manila, so that the order of deportation may be executed forthwith.

Since the enactment by Congress of the Amendments to the Judicial Code (1916) which require litigants in this court, seeking review of our judgments by the Supreme Court of the United States, to institute proceedings to that end by filing an application for a writ of certiorari in the clerk’s office of the Supreme Court of the United States, we have adopted the practice of temporarily staying or suspending the execution of our judgments, when timely application is made therefor, in any case wherein it is made to appear that the applicant desires to make application for such writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States; that he will diligently prosecute the prescribed remedy and intends to take the necessary steps to submit his application without unnecessary delay; that his application for suspension of execution of our judgment is made in good faith and not merely for the purpose of securing delay, nor based on frivolous grounds; and that the execution of the judgment would subject him to irreparable loss, damage, or injury in the event of its subsequent reversal by the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the absence of the statutory rules governing the procedure in such cases, our practice has been to direct the clerk of the court, in cases heard on appeal, to retain the record of the cause in his hands without certifying our judgment to the court below; and in cases heard in the exercise of our original jurisdiction, to retain control over the record without certifying our judgment to the "inferior tribunal, corporation, board or person" charged with its execution or with obedience to its mandate, until a day fixed in the order, or until the further order of the court.

Suspensions or stays of execution under this practice have usually been limited to a period of from two to three months, which experience has shown to be sufficient, under ordinary circumstances, to give the applicant an opportunity to file his petition for the writ of certiorari in the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the instant case timely application was made for suspension of the execution of our judgment remanding the petitioner to the custody of the chief of police for compliance with the deportation order; and it was shown to the satisfaction of the court that the application was made in good faith, and that the applicant would suffer irreparable injury by the execution of the deportation order, if the Supreme Court of the United States should thereafter reverse our judgment and accept the views of the four members of this court who dissented therefrom, and were of opinion that the deportation order was "without warrant of law."cralaw virtua1aw library

No objection having been made to the motion for a stay of execution of our judgment remanding the petitioner, an order was entered in accordance with the established practice above set out.

At the same time, the petitioner (who, by virtue of the suspending order remained in the custody of the court) was released from the technical custody of our sheriff, and set at liberty upon his filing an approved bond in the sum of P20,000, which, under the exceptional circumstances of the case, was conditioned not merely upon his remaining within the jurisdiction of the court and subject to its order at all times pending the proceedings looking to the review of our judgment, but also upon his keeping the peace and not being guilty of any of offense against the public order and tranquility, nor inciting others to like conduct throughout that period.

The Solicitor-General prays for an order vacating these orders providing for a stay or suspension of the execution of our judgment and setting the petitioner at liberty on bail, on the ground that we have no jurisdiction to issue such orders; and on the further ground that, granting, for the sake of argument, that we have jurisdiction in the premises, the facts disclosed by the record do not justify us in maintaining these orders in force under existing conditions in the Philippine Islands.

The Solicitor-General contends that this court having declared, upon full consideration of law and the facts, that the Governor-General is vested with power to deport the petitioner, we have no power, under our own rulings, to interfere with or to control his action in the premises.

But it is equally true that by entering upon the inquiry as to whether the Governor-General was lawfully clothed with power to deport the petitioner, we recognized the power and duty of the court to adjudicate the question raised by the petitioner as to the power of the Governor-General in the premises; and asserted our authority, under the law, to have the body of the petitioner brought before us in habeas corpus proceedings, and placed at our disposal pending the final disposition of the questions thus submitted for adjudication.

In the very nature of things the right of the Chief Executive to exercise his lawful powers without the interference of the court must give way, so far as that may be necessary to secure a full, fair, and final adjudication by the courts of a question as to the legality and existence of powers which he assumes to exercise, when that question is raised in habeas corpus proceedings by a petitioner alleging that he has been unlawfully deprived of his liberty.

The petitioner in the instant case is now under the custody of this court, pending the final adjudication of the question raised by him as to the existence and legality of the power asserted by the Governor-General in ordering his deportion; and although this court has solemnly declared that the Governor-General is lawfully vested with such power, there can be no question as to the right of the petitioner to apply to the Supreme Court of the United States for a review of our judgment.

We are satisfied that under the law and the settled practice of this court, we have jurisdiction to suspend the execution of our judgment, and to withhold the order remanding the petitioner for deportation for a period of time sufficient to give him a suitable opportunity to apply for a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the United States. (U. S. v. Lim, 36 Phil. Rep., 682; Compagnie de Commerce et de Navigation D’Extreme Orient v. Hamburg Amerika Packetfacht Actien Gesellschaft, 36 Phil. Rep., 590; E. Viegelmann & Co. v. Collector of Customs, 37 Phil. Rep., 10; R. G. No. 11899, Ynchausti & Co. v. Board of Public Utility Commissioners.)

As a corollary to our ruling that we have jurisdiction temporarily to stay or suspend execution of our judgment remanding the petitioner to the custody of the officer who delivered him to the custody of the court in compliance with the writ of habeas corpus, it follows that it is our duty and that we have the power to adopt such measures as may be appropriate and necessary for his safe-keeping while in our custody, and to secure compliance with our judgment remanding him to the custody of the chief of police for deportation, if and when the order staying or suspending execution of that judgment is vacated.

But while we entertain no doubt as to our jurisdiction to provide for a temporary stay or suspension of execution of our judgment remanding the petitioner, and pending such stay, to provide for his retention in our custody, either in the hands of our sheriff or at liberty under bail; we are forcibly impressed with the representations of the Solicitor-General as to the impropriety of maintaining the order letting him to bail, over the objection of the Chief Executive, who is primarily charged with the maintenance of the peace, good order, and safety of these Islands.

As the Solicitor-General well says, the logical and necessary conclusion to be derived from the record of these proceedings, read together with the opinion of the court, is that the petitioner "is an undesirable alien, whose presence in the Philippine Islands is a menace to the peace and safety of the community." The Governor-General, in the lawful exercise of the authority conferred upon him under section 69 of the Administrative Code, has so declared, after prior investigation of the course of which the petitioner had full opportunity to be heard in his own behalf; and this court has expressly held that we are not at liberty in the course of these proceedings to reexamine or to controvert the sufficiency of the evidence on which he based his conclusions.

Indeed, it was the knowledge of these findings by the Governor-General as disclosed by the record, which caused us to condition the letting of the petitioner to bail upon the execution of a bond in a substantial sum, conditioned not merely upon his holding himself subject to the orders of he court pending the stay of execution of our judgment, but also upon his keeping the peace throughout that period.

At that time no objection had been filed by the Solicitor-General to the motion of petitioner to suspend our judgment pending proceedings looking to its review by the Supreme Court of the United States; and, in the absence of objection, we conceived that the convenience of the petitioner might properly be consulted by setting him at liberty under a substantial bond conditioned as we have just indicated.

But it now becomes our duty to consider whether the order letting the petitioner to bail should be maintained in force over objection interposed by the Solicitor-General on behalf of the Chief Executive; and notwithstanding his representations that as "an undesirable alien whose presence in the Philippine Islands is a menace to the peace and safety of the community" the petitioner should be deported forthwith, and certainly should not be at large to continue his pernicious activities at will, during the more or less prolonged period of the suspension of execution of our judgment remanding him to the custody of the chief of police.

In this connection, our attention has been called to the fact that the petitioner is the proprietor and editor of a weekly newspaper of considerable circulation and as such has it within his power, if at large, to place more or less serious obstacles in the way of measures contemplated by the executive and legislative authorities for the recruiting and organization of native troops destined to the service of the United States in the present war. Indeed, the Solicitor-General asserts that the first issue of that newspaper following the promulgation of the decision of this court, contains matter well calculated to create and foment racial prejudices and differences, highly detrimental to the general welfare and good order of the Islands, and especially to be deprecated at this time when the utmost peace and harmony should prevail in the face of a common enemy.

But without stopping to consider whether there is anything in this issue of the Free Press which supports the contentions of the Solicitor-General, we cannot escape the conviction that there is a manifest inconsistency between the rulings upon which our judgment was based, and the maintenance in force of our order setting the petitioner at large on bail, over the objection of the Solicitor-General representing the Chief Executive.

Having held that the Governor-General was lawfully authorized to institute and maintain deportation proceedings against the petitioner under the provisions of section 69 of the Administrative Code; and having declared that we have no jurisdiction in these habeas corpus proceedings to reexamine or controvert the sufficiency of the evidence on which he based his rulings in the course of these proceedings; and the Governor-General having declared, as a result of an investigation lawfully held under his direction, that the petitioner is "an undesirable alien, whose presence in the Philippine Islands is a menace to the peace and safety of the community;" it would seem to be a flagrant abuse of our discretion to turn him loose upon the community at such a time as this, in the face of the insistent objection of the Chief Executive who is primarily charged with the maintenance of the safety, peace, and good order of these Islands.

The most that the petitioner is entitled to demand, as of right, is that under the transcendent authority of its writ of habeas corpus, this court should stay the course of the deportation proceedings, and, if necessary, take him into the custody of the court itself, long enough to secure a full and final adjudication of the legality of the deportation order. He cannot demand that he be released from custody until that question is determined in his favor; though, as we have said, the court may, in its discretion, let him to bail pending the proceedings.

But this discretion is a sound judicial discretion to be exercised in the light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances. After having held that a petitioner in habeas corpus proceedings had been lawfully adjudged a dangerous lunatic or a desperate criminal no court would be justified, except under the most extraordinary circumstances, in letting him to bail merely for the purpose of securing a review of the proceedings by a superior’ court. So this court, after upholding the legality of the order deporting the petitioner, and of the proceedings wherein he was adjudged "an undesirable alien whose presence in the Philippine Islands is a menace to the peace and safety of the community" cannot consistently turn him loose upon the community under bail, for the more or less prolonged period necessary to secure a review of the proceedings by the Supreme Court of the United States, when objection to that course is interposed by the executive officer more especially charged with the maintenance of the peace and safety of the community.

What has been said in some of the federal courts of the United States as to the propriety of exercising the discretionary power to grant bail in favor of Chinese persons, pending deportation proceedings against them, in ordinary cases wherein it was not asserted that the presence of such persons was a menace to the peace, safety, good order or health of the community, has, of course, no real bearing in cases wherein the ground upon which the deportation order is based is that the deportee is a menace to the peace, good order and safety of the community, or a dangerous anarchist, or a person afflicted with a loathsome and communicable disease, or the like.

We have concluded, therefore, that while we should and must deny the motion of the Solicitor-General to vacate our order staying the execution of our judgment, and to turn the petitioner over to the chief of police for deportation forthwith, we would not be justified in maintaining in force the order letting the petitioner to bail, over the well-founded objection of the Chief Executive, who is primarily charged with the conservation of the peace, safety, and good order of the Islands. Accordingly, we will entertain a new or an amended motion by the Solicitor-General to take the petitioner into the immediate custody of the court, to cancel the bond upon which he is now at large, and thereafter (since our sheriff is not provided with appropriate facilities to hold the petitioner in detention for a more or less prolonged period), to turn him over to the custody of the chief of police of the city of Manila or such other officer as may be designated by the Chief Executive, for detention pending the stay of execution of our judgment in these habeas corpus proceedings.

The motion of the Solicitor-General, in the form in which it has been submitted, should be and is hereby denied.

Arellano, C.J., Torres and Araullo, JJ., concur.

Avanceña, J., reserves his vote.

Separate Opinions


MALCOLM, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

We never believe in running with the hares and coursing with the hounds. Either the chief of police of the city of Manila as the official representative of the Chief Executive has custody of the petitioner, or the courts have custody. If the chief of police has custody, the motion of the Attorney-General to vacate the order issued by this court should be granted and the petitioner should be turned over to the representative of the Governor-General for such action as the judgment of the latter shall dictate. The decision of the majority of this court, if followed to its logical conclusion, might permit of no other action. If the courts retain custody of the petitioner, the motion of the Attorney-General should be denied. The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands having taken jurisdiction, such jurisdiction should subsist until the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States attaches. But as between these two possibilities there can be no compromise.

Let us notice briefly what has happened. Disregarding the dissenting opinions and stating the proposition in most general terms, the court has decided that the Governor-General possesses the power to deport aliens and that with this official act the courts will not presume to interfere. That judgment, as is our right, the court has suspended, and has admitted petitioner to bail because of his announced desire to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The case may now be considered as on the way to the higher tribunal. All this means that the judgment has not gone out to the Chief Executive but has been stayed in order to permit of appeal to the United States Supreme Court and in order to protect the rights of the petitioner, pending decision by that court. The important question (although apparently the other members of the court do not consider, it so) is whether pending an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States from a final decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands declining to grant the writ of habeas corpus, the latter court has the right to admit petitioner to bail.

It is a policy inherent in democracy to admit to bail any person arrested in any kind of proceeding except for contempt and for capital offenses. The practice of this court in criminal cases has heretofore been to admit to bail pending an appeal. This is merely applied justice for it may well be that our decision is wrong. The reversal of the decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands in the Weems case 1 is an instance of the unexpected taking place. Surely it would come with an illgrace from this court to treat dissatisfied litigants harshly, or to appear to discourage appeals, or to force a party to surrender the constitutional right which the Organic Law has given him. Accordingly a person who ultimately may be declared innocent should not be made to suffer unnecessarily. We should not stand idly by and see a sentence served before the case can be submitted and decided by the appellate court.

Now, of course, habeas corpus proceedings are civil and not criminal in nature. Nevertheless, deportation is by way of punishment. The effect of imprisonment and deportation is not dissimilar. Just as it is not fair to force an accused person to serve his sentence before a decision can be reached in the United States Supreme Court, so would it be not fair to permit a petitioner in habeas corpus to be deported before he can submit his case. To paraphrase language of the United States Supreme Court which has heretofore met with the approval of this court, it is a serious thing to detain a foreigner who, as in this case, has been in this country a number of years, and to order his deportation without giving him a full opportunity to assert his rights and exhaust his remedies before competent courts. (Liu Hop Fong v. United States [1908], 209 U. S., 453, followed in a decision handed down by Justice Willard and concurred in by the Chief Justice and Justices Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Carson and Tracey, U. S. v. Go-Siaco [1909], 12 Phil., 490.) The hands of authority should be stayed, if it is legally possible, until it is finally determined whether the power to deport exists.

From the authorities can be sifted out the deduction that pending appeal release under bail is a matter inherently within the discretion of the court. The status quo is ordinarily to be preserved. This means that petitioner remains in the custody of the courts, either under bail or, when necessary to safeguard the public welfare, in detention in the hands of its officer to await the outcome of his appeal. (There can be noted as corroborative authority the following: U. S. v. Go-Siaco [1909], 12 Phil., 490; U. S. v. Lao Chueco [1917], 37 Phil. Rep., 53; In re McKane [1894], 61 Fed. . 205: Ex parte Green [1908], 165 Fed., 557; U. S. Revised Statutes in connection with Jugiro v. Brush [1891], 140 U. S., 291; Lau Ow Bew v. U. S. [1891], 141 U. S. 583; Fong Yue Ting v. U. S. [1893], 149 U. S., 698; Li Sing v. U. S. [1901], 180 U. S., 486; Wright v. Henkel [1903], 190 U. S., 40; Liu Hop Fong v. U. S. [1908], 209 U. S., 453; Rule 34, United States Supreme Court; Bouve, Exclusion and Expulsion of Aliens in the United States, pages 664-667.) The majority decision admits the force of all this but then diverges to a contradictory conclusion.

The original action of this court, in the exercise of its discretion, in staying the proceedings in order that the petitioner can have a reasonable time to secure from the United States Supreme Court the allowance of an appeal for the purpose of determining whether his attempted deportation is authorized, and in admitting the petitioner to bail, is believed to be in accord with federal practice. More important still, such action conforms to reason and justice. No change has taken place since the petitioner was released on bail which would warrant the modification of the order contemplated by the decision of the majority upon the pending matter. The motion should be denied, without qualification.

Street and Fisher, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. Decided January 23, 1918, not published.

1. 7 Phil. Rep., 241; 217 U. S., 349.

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