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Republic Act No. 516

PHILIPPINE LAWS, STATUTES AND CODES - CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY

REPUBLIC ACTS




REPUBLIC ACT NO. 516
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 516 - AN ACT TO AMEND OR REPEAL CERTAIN SECTION OF COMMONWEALTH ACT NUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHT, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE ARTICLES OF WAR, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO

Section 1. Article one of Commonwealth Act Numbered Four hundred and eight is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 1. Definitions. – The following words when used in these articles shall be construed in the sense indicated in this article, unless the context shows that a different sense is intended, namely:

"(a) The word "officer" shall be construed to refer to a commissioned officer, including a commissioned member of the nurse corps;

"(b) The word "soldier" shall be construed as including a noncommissioned officer, a private, or any other enlisted man;

"(c) The word "company" shall be understood as including a troop, battery, or commissioned vessels;

"(d) The word "battalion" shall be understood as including a squadron,r or naval."

Sec. 2. Article four of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 4. Who may serve on courts-martial. – All officers in active duty in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or in the Philippine Constabulary shall be competent to serve on courts-martial for the trial of any person who may lawfully be brought before such courts for trial.

"Enlisted persons in the active military service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or of the Philippine Constabulary shall be competent to serve on general and special courts-martial for the trial of enlisted persons or trainees when requested in writing by the accused at any time prior to the convening of the court: Provided, That the competency of enlisted men to serve shall be subject to the conditions prescribed in this and other articles, and in no case shall the number of enlisted men detailed exceed one-third of the total membership of the court.

"When appointing courts-martial, the appointing authority shall detail as members thereof those officers of the command and, when eligible and available, those enlisted persons of the command who, in his opinion, are best qualified for the duty by reason of age, training, experience, and judicial temperament; and officers and enlisted persons having less than two years' service shall not, if it can be avoided without manifest injury to the service, be appointed as members of courts-martial in excess of the minority membership thereof. No person shall sit as member of a general or special court-martial when he is the accuser or a witness for the prosecution."

Sec. 3. Articles five and six of the same Act are hereby amended by deleting from each of said articles the word "officers" and substituting therefor the word "members."

Sec. 4. Article eight of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 8. General courts-martials. – The President of the Philippines, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Chief of Constabulary and, when empowered by the President, the commanding officer of a major command or task force, the commanding officer of a division, the commanding officer of a military area, the superintendent of the Military Academy, the commanding officer of a separate brigade or body of troops may appoint general courts-martial; but when such commander is the accuser or the prosecutor of the person or persons to be tried, the court shall be appointed by superior competent authority.

"The authority appointing a general court-martial shall detail as one of the members thereto a member of the bar, hereafter called law member, who shall be an officer of the Judge Advocate General's Service or an officer of some other branch of the service who is a member of the bar and certified by the Judge Advocate General to be qualified for such detail. No general court-martial shall receive evidence or vote upon its findings or sentence in the absence of the law member regularly detailed. The law member, in addition to his duties as a member, shall perform such other duties as the President may by regulations prescribe."

Sec. 5. Article nine of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 9. Special courts-martial. – The commanding officer of a major command, task force, military area, or division and, when empowered by the President, the commanding officer of a garrison, fort, camp, brigade, regiment, detached battalion or squadron, or other detached command or place, zone or commissioned vessel where troops are on duty may appoint special courts-martial; but when any such commanding officer is the accuser or the prosecutor of the person or persons to be tried, the court shall be appointed by superior authority, and may in any case be appointed by superior authority when by the latter deemed desirable."

Sec. 6. Article ten of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 10. Summary courts-martial. – The commanding officer of a garrison, fort, camp, or other place where troops are on duty, and the commanding officer of a regiment, commissioned vessel, detached battalion, detached company, or other detachment may appoint summary courts-martial; but such summary courts-martial may in any case be appointed by superior authority when by the latter deemed desirable: Provided, That when but one officer is present with a command he shall be the summary courts-martial of that command and shall hear and determine cases brought before him."

Sec. 7. Article twelve of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 12. General courts-martial. – General courts-martial shall have power to try any person subject to military law for any crime or offense made punishable by these articles, and any other person who by law of war is subject to trial by military tribunals: Provided, That no officer shall be brought to trial before a general court-martial appointed by the Superintendent of the Military Academy: Provided, further, That general courts-martial shall have the power to adjudge any punishment authorized by law or the customs of the service, including a bad-conduct discharge, and that in the Philippine Navy, general courts-martial may impose deprivation of liberty on shore as a punishment and in imposing a sentence of confinement may include in the sentence solitary confinement not exceeding thirty days, or solitary confinement on diminished rations not exceeding thirty days: And provided, further, That the officer competent to appoint a general court-martial for the trial of any particular case may, when in his judgment the interest of the service shall so require, cause any case to be tried by a special court-martial notwithstanding the limitations upon the jurisdiction of the special court-martial as to offenses set out in article thirteen; but the limitations upon jurisdiction as to persons and upon punishing power set out in said article shall be observed."

Sec. 8. Article thirteen of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 13. Special courts-martial. – Special courts-martial shall have the power to try any person subject to military law for any crime or offense not capital made punishable by these articles. Special courts-martial shall not have the power to adjudge dishonorable discharge or dismissal or confinement in excess of six months, nor to adjudge forfeiture of more than two-thirds pay per month for a period of not exceeding six months. Subject to approval of the sentence by an officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction and subject to appellate review by the Judge Advocate General, a special court-martial may adjudge a bad-conduct discharge in addition to any other authorized punishment: Provided, That a bad-conduct discharge shall not be adjudged by a special court-martial unless a complete record of the proceedings of and testimony admitted by the Court is taken in the case: And provided, further, That in the Philippine Navy, special courts-martial may also impose deprivation of liberty on shore as a punishment and in imposing a sentence of confinement may include in the sentence solitary confinement not exceeding thirty days, or solitary confinement on diminished rations not exceeding thirty days."

Sec. 9. Article fourteen of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 14. Summary courts-martial. – Summary courts-martial shall have power to try any person subject to military law, except an officer, a cadet, a flying cadet or probationary second lieutenant, for any crime or offense not capital made punishable by these article: Provided, That non-commissioned officers shall not, if they object thereto, be brought to trial before a summary court-martial without the authority of the officer competent to bring them to trial before a special courts-martial: Provided, further, That the President may, by regulations, except from the jurisdiction of summary courts-martial any class or classes of persons subject to military law.

"Summary courts-martial shall not have power to adjudge confinement in excess of one month, restriction to limits for more than three months or forfeiture or detention of more than two-thirds of one months' pay: Provided, That in the Philippine Navy, summary courts-martial may also impose deprivation of liberty on shore as a punishment and in imposing a sentence of confinement may include in the sentence solitary confinement not exceeding fifteen days, or solitary confinement on diminished rations not exceeding fifteen days."

Section 10. Article sixteen of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 16. Persons in the military service, how triable. – Officers shall be triable by general and special courts-martial, and in no case shall an officer, when it can be avoided, be tried by officers inferior to him in rank. No enlisted person may sit as a member of a court-martial for the trial of another enlisted person or trainee who is assigned to the same company."

Section 11. Article thirty of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 30. Method of voting. – Voting by members of a general or special court-martial upon questions of challenge, on the findings, and on the sentence shall be by secret written ballot. The junior member of the court shall in each case count the votes, which count shall be checked by the president, who shall forthwith announce the result of the ballot to the members of the court. The law member of a general court-martial, or the president of a special court-martial, shall rule in open court upon interlocutory questions, other than challenge, arising during the proceedings: Provided, That if any member objects to a ruling of the law member of a general court-martial upon a motion for a finding of not guilty or on question of the accused's sanity, or if any member objects to any ruling of the president of a special court-martial as hereinabove provided, the court shall be cleared and closed and the question decided by a majority vote, viva voce, beginning with the junior in rank. A ruling made by the law member of a general court-martial upon any interlocutory question other than a motion for a finding of not guilty, or the accused's sanity, shall be final and shall constitute the ruling of the court; but the law member in any case may consult with the court, in closed session, before making a ruling and may change any ruling made at any time during the trial. It shall be the duty of the law member of a general court-martial or the president of a special court-martial, before a vote is taken, to advise the court that the accused must be presumed to be innocent until his guilt is established by legal and competent evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and that in the case being considered, if there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, the doubt shall be resolved in the accused's favor and he shall be acquitted; if there is a reasonable doubt as to the degree of guilt, the findings must be in a lower degree as to which there is no such doubt; that the burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused is upon the government."

Section 12. Article thirty-eight of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 38. As to time. – Except for desertion, murder or rape committed in time of war, or for mutiny or for war offenses, no person subject to military law shall be liable to be tried or punished by a court-martial for any crime or offense committed more than two years before the arraignment of such person: Provided, That for desertion in time of peace or for any crime or offense punishable under article ninety-four and ninety- five of these articles, the period of limitations upon trial and punishment by courts-martial shall be three years from the time the offense was committed: Provided, further, That the period of any absence of the accused from the jurisdiction of the Philippines, and also any period during which by reason of some manifest impediment the accused shall not have been amenable to military justice, shall be excluded in computing the aforesaid periods of limitations: And provided, also, That in any case of any offense the trial of which in time of war shall be certified by the Secretary of National Defense to be detrimental to the prosecution of the war or inimical to the nation's security, the periods of limitations herein provided for the trial of the said offense shall be extended to the duration of the war and six months thereafter: Provided, finally, That this article shall not have the effect to authorize the trial or punishment for any crime or offense barred by the provisions of existing law."

Section 13. Article forty-five of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 45. Action by convening authority. – Under such regulations as may be prescribed by the President, every record of trial by general court-martial or military commission, or record of trial by special court-martial in which a bad-conduct discharge has been adjudged and approved by the authority appointing the court, received by a reviewing or confirming authority shall be referred by him, before he acts thereon, to his staff judge advocate or the Judge Advocate General. No sentence of a court-martial shall be carried into execution until the same shall have been approved by the officer appointing the court or by the officer commanding for the time being: Provided, That no sentence of a special courts-martial which includes a bad-conduct discharge shall be carried into execution until, in addition to the approval of the convening authority, the same shall have been approved by an officer authorized to appoint a general court-martial."

Section 14. Article fifty of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended by (1) changing the title thereof so as to read: "Appellate Review"; (2) deleting entirely from the said article the fourth paragraph beginning with the words "When the President or any reviewing or confirming authority disapproves or vacates a sentence the execution of which has not heretofore been duly entered" and ending with the words "to the Chief of Staff for the action of the President", and (3) by amending the third paragraph thereof to read as follows:

"No authority shall order the execution of any other sentence of a court-martial involving the penalty of death, dismissal not suspended, dishonorable discharge not suspended, bad-conduct discharge not suspended, or confinement in a penitentiary, unless and until the board of review shall, with the approval of the Judge Advocate General, have held the record of trial upon which such sentence is based legally sufficient to support the sentence; except that the proper reviewing or confirming authority may, upon his approval of a sentence involving dishonorable discharge, bad-conduct discharge or confinement in a penitentiary, order its execution if it is based solely upon findings of guilty of a charge or charges and a specification or specifications to which the accused has pleaded guilty. When the board of review, with the approval of the Judge Advocate General, holds the record in a case in which the order of execution has been withheld under the provisions of this paragraph legally sufficient to support the findings and sentence, the Judge Advocate General shall so advise the reviewing or confirming authority from whom the record was received, who may thereupon order the execution of the sentence. When in a case in which the order of execution has been withheld under the provisions of this paragraph, the board of review holds the record the trial legally insufficient to support the findings or sentence, either in whole or in part, or that errors of law have been committed injuriously affecting the substantial rights of the accused, and the Judge Advocate General concurs in such holding of the board of review, such findings and sentence shall be vacated in whole or in part in accord with such holding and the recommendations of the Judge Advocate General thereon, and the record shall be transmitted through the proper channels to the convening authority for a rehearing or such other action as may be proper. In the event that the Judge Advocate General shall not concur in the holding of the board of review, the Judge Advocate General shall forward all the papers in the case, including the opinion of the board of review and his dissent therefrom, directly to the Chief of Staff for the action of the President, who may confirm the action of the reviewing authority or confirming authority below, in whole or in part, with or without remission, mitigation, or commutation, or may disapprove, in whole or in part, any finding of guilty, and may disapprove or vacate the sentence, in whole or in part."

Section 15. Two new articles, designated as article fifty-A and article fifty-B, are hereby inserted between articles fifty and fifty-one of the same Act, as amended, which shall read as follows:

"Art. 50-A. Rehearing. – When the President or any reviewing or confirming authority disapproves or vacates a sentence the execution of which has not heretofore been duly ordered, he may authorize or direct a rehearing. Such rehearing shall take place before a court composed of officers, or officers and enlisted men, not members of the court which first heard the case. Upon such rehearing the accused shall not be tried for any offense of which he was not found guilty by the first court, and no sentence in excess of or more severe than the original sentence shall be imposed unless the sentence be based upon a finding of guilty of an offense not considered upon the merits in the original proceedings: Provided, That such rehearing shall be had in all cases where a finding and sentence have been vacated by reason of the action of the board of review approved by the Judge Advocate General holding the record of trial, legally insufficient to support the findings or sentence, or errors of law have been committed injuriously affecting the substantial rights of the accused unless in accord with such action, and the recommendations of the Judge Advocate General thereon, the findings or sentence are approved in part only, or the record is returned for revision, or unless the case is dismissed by order of the reviewing or confirming authority. After any such rehearing had on the order of the President, the record of trial shall, after examination by the board of review, be transmitted by the Judge Advocate General, with the Board's opinion and his recommendations to the Chief of Staff for the action of the President.

"Art. 50-B. Petition for new trial. – Under such regulations as the President may prescribe, the Chief of Staff or the Chief of Constabulary is authorized upon application of an accused person, and upon good cause shown, in his discretion, to grant a new trial, or to vacate a sentence, restore rights, privileges, and property affected by such sentence, and substitute for a dismissal, dishonorable discharge, or bad-conduct discharge previously executed a form of discharge authorized for administrative issuance, in any court-martial case in which application is made within one year after final disposition of the case upon initial appellate review: Provided, That with regard to cases involving offenses committed during World War II, the application for new trial may be made within one year after termination of the war, or after its final disposition upon initial appellate review as herein provided, whichever is the later: Provided, That only one such application for a new trial may be entertained with regard to any one case: And provided, further, That all action by the Chief of Staff or the Chief of Constabulary pursuant to this article, and all proceedings, findings, and sentences on new trials under this article, as approved, reviewed or confirmed under articles forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight and fifty, and all dismissals and discharges carried into execution pursuant to sentences adjudged on new trials and approved, reviewed, or confirmed, shall be final and conclusive; and orders publishing the action of the Chief of Staff or the Chief of Constabulary or the proceedings on new trial, and all action taken pursuant to such proceedings, shall be binding upon all departments, courts, agencies, and officers of the Government of the Philippines."

Section 16. Article fifty-two of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 52. Suspension of sentence. – The authority competent to order the execution of the sentence of a court-martial may, at the time of the approval of such sentence, or at any time thereafter, while the sentence is being served, suspend the execution, in whole or in part, of any such sentence as does not extend to death, and may restore the person under sentence to duty during such suspension. A sentence, or any part thereof, which has been so suspended may be remitted, in whole or in part, by the officer who suspended the same except in cases of persons confined in the penitentiaries, by his successor in office, or by any officer exercising appropriate court-martial jurisdiction over the command in which the person under sentence may be serving at the time, and, subject to the foregoing exceptions, the same authority may vacate the order of suspension at any time and order the execution of the sentence or the suspended part thereof in so far as the same shall not have been previously remitted, subject to like power of suspension. The death or honorable discharge of a person under a suspended sentence shall operate as a complete remission of any unexecuted or unremitted part of such sentence: Provided, That no sentence approved or confirmed by the President shall be suspended by any other authority."

Section 17. A new article, to be designated as Article eighty-eight-A, is hereby inserted between Articles eighty-eight and eighty-nine of the same Act, which shall read as follows:

"Art. 88-A. Unlawfully influencing action of court. – Any authority appointing a general, special, or summary court-martial, or any other commanding officer, who shall censure, reprimand, or admonish such court, or any member thereof, with respect to the findings or sentence adjudged by the court, or with respect to any other exercise, by such court or any member thereof, of its or his judicial responsibility, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. Any person subject to military law who shall attempt to coerce or unlawfully influence the action of a court-martial or any military court or commission, or any member thereof, in reaching the findings or sentence in any case, or the action of an appointing or reviewing or confirming authority with respect to his judicial act, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."

Section 18. Article ninety-five of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 95. Frauds against the Government. – Any person subject to military law who makes or causes to be made any claim against the Government or any officer thereof, knowing such claim to be false or fraudulent; or

"Who presents or causes to be presented to any person in the civil or military service thereof, for approval or payment, any claim against the Government, or any officer thereof, knowing such claim to be false or fraudulent; or

"Who enters into any agreement or conspiracy to defraud the Government by obtaining, ording others to obtain the allowance or payment of any false of fraudulent claim; or

"Who, for the purpose of obtaining, ording others to obtain the approval, allowance, or payment of any claim against the Government or against any officer thereof, makes or uses, procures, or advises the making or use of, any writing or other paper knowing the same to contain any false or fraudulent statements; or

"Who, for the purpose of obtaining, ording others to obtain, the approval, allowance, or payment of any claim against the Government or any officer thereof, maker or procures, or advises the making of, any oath to any fact or to any writing or other paper knowing such oath to be false; or

"Who, for the purpose of obtaining, ording others to obtain, the approval, allowance, or payment of any claim against the Government or any officer thereof, forges or counterfeits, or procures or advises the forging or counterfeiting of any signature upon any writing or other paper, or uses; or procures, or advises the use of any such signature, knowing the same to be forged or counterfeited; or

"Who, having charge, possession, custody or control of any money or other property of the Government furnished or intended for the military service thereof, knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, to any person having authority to receive the same, any amount thereof less than that for which he receives a certificate or receipt; or

"Who, being authorized to make or deliver any paper certifying the receipt of any property of the Government furnished or intended for the military service thereof, makes or delivers to any person such writing, without having full knowledge of the truth of the statements therein contained and with intent to defraud the Government; or

"Who steals, embezzles, knowingly or wilfully misappropriates, applies to his own use or benefit or wrongfully or knowingly sells or disposes of any ordinance, arms, equipment, ammunition, clothing, subsistence stores, money, or other property of the Government furnished or intended for the military service thereof; or

"Who knowingly purchases or receives in pledge for any obligation or indebtedness from any soldier, officer, or other person who is part of or employed in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or in the Philippine Constabulary, any ordinance, arms, equipment, ammunition, clothing, subsistence stores, or other property of the Government, such soldier, officer, or other person not having lawful right to sell or pledge the same; or

"Who enters into any agreement or conspires to commit any of the offenses aforesaid;

"Shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by fine or imprisonment, or by such other punishment as a court-martial may adjudge, or by any or all of said penalties. And if any person, being guilty of any of the offenses aforesaid while in the service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or of the Philippine Constabulary receives his discharge or is dismissed from the service, he shall continue to be liable to be arrested and held for trial and sentence by a court-martial in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had not received such discharge nor been dismissed. And if any officer, being guilty, while in the service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or of the Philippine Constabulary of embezzlement of ration savings, post exchange, company, or other like funds, or of embezzlement of money or other property intrusted to his charge by an enlisted man or men, receives his discharge, or is dismissed, or is dropped from the rolls, he shall continue to be liable to be arrested and held for trial and sentence by a court-martial in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had not been so discharged, dismissed, or dropped from the rolls."

Section 19. Article one hundred and five of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 105. Disciplinary powers of commanding officers. – Under such regulations as the President may prescribe, the commanding officer of any detachment, company, squadron, commissioned vessel, or higher command may, for minor offenses, impose disciplinary punishments upon persons of his command without the intervention of a court-martial, unless the accused demands trial by court-martial.

"The disciplinary punishments authorized by this article may include admonition, reprimand, withholding or privileges for not exceeding one week, extra fatigue for not exceeding one week, restriction to certain specified limits for not exceeding one week, hard labor without confinement for not exceeding one week, or any combination of such punishments for not exceeding one week, but shall not include forfeiture of pay or confinement under guard; except that any officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction may, under the provisions of this article, also impose upon an officer of his command below the grade of brigadier general a forfeiture of not more than one-half of such officer's monthly pay for three months: Provided, That in the Philippine Navy, a commander of a commissioned vessel may also impose as a punishment on a commissioned officer, suspension from duty, arrest or confinement such suspension, arrest or confinement not to continue longer than ten days: And provided, further, That under this article no commander of a commissioned vessel shall impose on any petty officer or person of inferior rating for a single offense, or at any one time, any other than one of the following punishments:

"First. Confinement not exceeding ten days.

"Second. Solitary confinement, on diminished rations, not exceeding five days.

"Third. Solitary confinement not exceeding seven days.

"Fourth. Deprivation of liberty on shore.

"A person punished under authority of this article, who deems his punishments unjust or disproportionate to the offense, may through the proper channel, appeal to the next superior authority, but may in the meantime be required to undergo the punishment adjudged. The commanding officer who imposes the punishment, his successor in command and superior authority, shall have the power to mitigate or remit any unexecuted portion of the punishment. The imposition and enforcement of disciplinary punishment under authority of this article for any act or omission shall not be a bar to trial by court-martial for a crime or offense growing out of the same act or omission; but the fact that a disciplinary punishment has been enforced may be shown by the accused upon trial, and when so shown shall be considered in determining the measures of punishment to be adjudged in the event of a finding of guilty."

Sec. 20. Article one hundred and nine of the same Act as amended by Republic Act Numbered two hundred and forty-two, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Art. 109. Soldiers – Separation from the service. – No enlisted man, in the military service of the Philippines or in the Philippine Constabulary shall be discharged from said service without a certificate of discharge, signed by a field officer of the regiment or other organization to which the enlisted man belongs or by the commanding officer when no such field officer is present, and no enlisted man shall be discharged from said service before his term of service has expired, except by order of the President, the Chief of Staff, the Chief of Constabulary, by sentence of a general court-martial or by sentence of bad-conduct discharge of a special court-martial."

Sec. 21. The words "a member of the nurse corps", or "members of the nurse corps" appearing in any article of Commonwealth Act Numbered Four hundred and eight, as amended except Article one as herein amended, shall be and are hereby deleted.

Sec. 22. Article forty-three of the same act is hereby repealed.

Sec. 23. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: June 14, 1950

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