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different portions of the islands, from time to time, was a military one, carried on solely by the power of the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, and so continued down to the 4th day of July, 1902, at which time the official proclamation of peace was made.
The second section of the act'' Temporarily to provide for the administration of the affairs of civil government in the Philippine Islands, and for other purposes," enacted by Congress on July 11, 1802, expressly treats the establishment of the tariff of duties and taxes as action by the "President of the United States, by virtue of the authority vested in him as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy." The same section by its terms ratifies and approves the tariff-re\ision act and gives to it all the sanction that Congress could give. That section reads:
"That the action of the President of the United States heretofore taken by virtue of the authority vested in him as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, as set forth in his order of July 12, 1898, whereby a tariff of duties and taxes as set forth by said order was to be levied and collected at all ports and places in the Philippine Islands upon passing to the occupation and possession of the forces of the United States, together with the subsequent amendments of said order, are hereby approved, ratified, and confirmed, and the actions of the authorities of the government of the Philippine Islands, taken in accordance with the provisions of said order and subsequent amendments, are hereby approved."
The tariff-revision act was passed by the Commission in pursuance of an amendment to the order of the President dated July 12, 1898, whereby a tariff of duties was ordered to be levied, and the action of the Commission in enacting that law was in obedience to an amendment to the said order. Its action therefore has by Congress been distinctly approved, ratified, and confirmed. It is unnecessary to discuss the effects that this ratification of the act of the Commission by Congress, as well as its ratification by the act of March 8, 1902, has upon customs duties before that time levied and collected further than to say that the two acts of Congress referred to constitute the most complete recognition of the exercise of the war power in assessing and collecting the duties in controversy that it is in the power of Congress to make. Both branches of the political department of the Government—the Executive and Congress—have united in declaring the tariffrevision act to be a war measure taken in time of actual war.
It necessarily follows from the foregoing facts that the duties in question were lawfully assessed by virtue of the exercise of the war power by the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, and that their imposition and collection were lawful.
Attention should also be called to the "Spooner amendment to the army appropriation bill," approved March 2, 1901, which provided, among other things:
"All military, civil, and judicial powers necessary to govern the Philippine Islands, acquired from Spain by the treaty concluded at Paris on the tenth day of December, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and at Washington on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred, shall, until otherwise provided by Congress, be vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall direct, for the establishment cf civil government and for maintaining and protecting the inhabitants of said islands in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion."
Without discussing the question of a delegation of the powers of Congress to the President, or a delegation of the powers of the President to subordinate officials, it is apparent that this legislation was based upon the war powers of the nation, and was in line with legislation that had been enacted after the close of the civil war in relation to the States that had recently been in insurrection in what are known as the "reconstruction acts," whereby military governments were authorized to provide for good order by martial rule in the several States mentioned. The Supreme Court repeatedly refused to interfere with the operation of the reconstruction acts or the exercise of authority conferred thereby. State of Mississippi v. Johnson (4 Wall., 475); State of Georgia v. Stanton (6 Wall., 50); Handlin v. Wickliffe (12 Wall., 174); White v. Hart (18 Wall., 646).
What was said by this e/mrt in the decision of appeal No. 8. by the present appellants, in regard to the appeal being without prejudice to their right to proceed in other courts, need not be here restated in detail, but is here reaffirmed.
The judgment is that the action of the collector of customs is affirmed, without costs to either party.
Henry C. Ides, President.
C. S. Arellano, Judge.
A true copy
[seal.] A. S. Crossfield,
Judge and Ex Officio Clerk of Court.
[Court of customs appeals, Philippine Islands. Case No. 24.]
On February 11,1902, the appellants paid to the collector of customs, at the port of Manila, the sum of $80.91, as duties on goods imported from Spain to Manila. The duties were paid under protest, in the following form:
"In our opinion these duties have been collected illegally, and we therefore beg to state that we pay these duties only under protest, and that they are to be repaid in case American and Spanish goods will become free of customs-house duties by law."
The manifest purpose of the protest is to vindicate the claim that by virtue of article 4 of the treaty of Paris, whereby the Philippine Islands are ceded to the United States, Spanish merchandise is entitled to enter the Philippine Islands on the same terms as merchandise imported from the United States. No discrimination is made by the law under which the duties in question were assessed and collected between merchandise imported from the United States and similar merchandise imported from Spain. All imported merchandise of the same kind is assessed in the same way and at the same rates, without regard to the country of origin. The duties were assessed by virtue of act No. 230 of the Philippine Commission, which act has been decided by this court to be valid, in appeal No. 18, Warner, Barnes & Co., Limited, appellants, under authority given by the President of the United States, as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, and by virtue of the war power vested in him.
The result is that the judgment of the collector of customs is affirmed without costs to either party.
Henry C. Ide, President.
C. S. Arellano, Judge.
A true copy.
[seal.] A. S. Crossfield,
Judge and Ex Officio Clerk of Court.
[Court of customs appeals, Philippine Islands. Case No. 48.]
"We hereby protest against your decision, liquidation, and assessment of duties as made by you on our importations below mentioned * * * claiming that the same are imported from Spain into the Philippines, the latter being apart of the United States, and as no import duty can be legally imposed on merchandise brought from one part of the United States into another, we hold also, that under the treaty of peace with Spain (art. 4) no import duty can be lawfully assessed on goods of Spanish manufacture brought into the Philippine Islands and not at the rate as charged by you; and we give notice that we pay all other higher rates than is claimed above as the legal rate under compulsion and to obtain possession of our goods."
The protest was overruled and was followed by an appeal to this court in due form. The essential facts of this caseare the same as those in appeal No. 18, Warner, Barnes & Co., Limited, appellants, except that the goods in the present case were imported from Spain, and are entitled to such protection as the treaty of Paris gives them. In both the duties were imposed by virtue of the act of Congress approved March 8, 1902, entitled "An act temporarily to provide revenue for the Philippine Islands, and for other purposes."
Article IV of the treaty of Paris, between the United States and Spain, reads as follows:
"The United States will, for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of the ratification of the present treaty, admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States."
The duties which are the subject of this appeal are in all respects the same as those imposed upon merchandise imported into the Philippine Islands from the United States, and, therefore, in accordance with the decision in appeal No. 18, were lawful.
The result is that the judgment of the collector of customs is affirmed, without costs to either party.
Henry C. Ide, President. We concur.
C. S. Arellano, Judge. A. S. Crosspield, Judge. A true copy. [seal.] A. S. Crossfield,
Judge and Ex Officio Clerk of Court.
REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, RELATING TO THE ORGANIZATION OF HIS OFFICE AND THE BUSINESS TRANSACTED THEREIN, FROM THE DATE OF ITS ORGANIZATION ON JULY 16, 1901, TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1902.
I have the honor, in compliance with the request of the honorable the secretary of finance and justice, to submit the following statement covering the organization of the office of the attorney-general and the character and volume of the business transacted therein from the date of the organization of the office on July 16, 1901, to September 1, 1902.
ORGANIZATION AND DUTIES.
The office of the attorney-general of the Philippine Islands was organized on July 16, 1901, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III of act 136 of the United States Philippine Commission, and consisted of an attorney-general, a solicitor-general, an assistant attorney-general, a chief clerk, a disbursing clerk, two stenographers, and three escribientes. The duties of the office, as prescribed by law, are as follows:
(a) To attend the sessions of the supreme court and prosecute or defend therein all cases, civil and criminal, to which the United States or the government of the Philippine Islands is a party.
(6) To supervise the work of the provincial fiscals throughout the archipelago.
(c) To give opinions in writing to the chief executive and to the legislative body of the islands, the auditor of the public accounts, the insular treasurer, the general superintendent of public instruction, the trustee of any government institution, the provincial fiscals, and the chiefs of the various bureaus organized under the executive departments.
(d) To appoint employees, such as stenographers, escribientes, typewriters etc.. for all the courts of first instance in the islands.
(e) To appear and represent the government in all cases trieu in the court oi customs appeals.
(/) An additional dutv has been imposed upon the office by the practice adopted by the chief executive of referring all pardon cases to this office before taking action thereon.
SUMMARY OF SEMIANNUAL REPORTS.
The scope and volume of #he work of the office are indicated by a summary of my semiannual reports. These reports cover the work of the office for a period of eleven and one-half months, beginning with July 16,1901, and ending with July 1,1902, and are as follows:
Number of written opinions rendered by the attorney-general to the civil governor, the members of the Commission, the heads of departments, and other civil officials, including fiscals, justices of the peace, presidentes, etc.. 408 Cases returned to the supreme court with the opinion of the solicitor-general. 402
Number of cases returned to the supreme court briefed and argued 67
Subordinate officials for court of first instance appointed by attorney-general. 218
Number of official communications other than written opinions ..." 2,068
Number of petitions for pardon passed upon 171
In addition to the above, a large number of convictions have been secured by the supervisor of fiscals in the provinces, several trips have been made by the assistant attorney-general to the provinces for the adjustment of important matters, and a number of petitions for removal of presidentes have been examined and passed upon by this office.
The testimony in the San Jose College case has been concluded and the record printed both in Spanish and English, and brief of plaintiffs written by the attorneygeneral and filed in the supreme court.
After six months' experience, it became manifest to the Commission that the force as originally provided for was inadequate for the transaction of the volume of business that came into this office. Consequently, on the 31st of December, 1901, a law was passed amending act 136, increasing the salaries of its officials and augmenting the office force, which is now as follows: Attorney-general, solicitor-general, assistant attorney-general, supervisor of fiscals, chief clerk, four assistant attorneys-general, a disbursing officer, five stenographers, two record clerks, four escribientes, and one messenger.
CLASSIFICATION OF SUBJECTS COVERED BY OPINIONS.
It is but natural that the opinions of the office during the transition period through which we are passing should take a wide range and cover a great variety of subjects. Prior to the treaty of Paris, the Spanish law was the law of the land in these islands. The Spanish law is based upon the principles of the Roman law. After the acquisition of these islands by the United States, the local laws were modified by orders of the military governor until the United States Philippine Commission became the legislative branch of the military government. The Commission has added to the existing body of laws a large number of acts which amend or repeal the Spanish laws and the existing military orders on the subjects with which itdealt. These military orders and acts of the Commission very naturally bear theimpress of the principles of the common law on account of the previous training of those who promulgated them. As a result we have a system of law based upon the Roman law, modified by important and, in some instances, hastily drawn legislation, which is permeated by the spirit of the common law. The task of interpreting and harmonizing the laws as they now stand has been a difficult and interesting one. An examination of the opinions of the office discloses the fact that they naturally fall under the following classification: Judicial opinions, political opinions, opinions on the church-property cases, pardons, and opinions on miscellaneous subjects.
Judicial.—The judicial work of the office has consisted principally in the dispatch of all the cases brought under the Spanish Government and pending in the supreme court at the time of its reorganization under the laws organizing the courts of justice in these islands; in representing the United States in the prosecution of criminal cases taken to the supreme court, either on appeal by the parties or in cases where the judgment of the lower court must be approved by the supreme court; in representing the government of the Philippine Islands in certain civil suits brought before the supreme court; in representing and defending public officials having charge of prisoners in habeas corpus matters where the arrest is deemed legal; since the organization of the court of customs appeals in likewise representing the government in that court in the prosecution of offenses punishable under the customs administrative act; and, finally, in directing and supervising the provincial fiscals by sending representatives of this office to aid said fiscals in the investigation and prosecution of persons charged with criminal offenses. At the date of the organization of the office there were records of about 400 criminal cases pending in the supreme court, which were immediately lodged in this office for examination and report. All of these cases have been dispatched within the period covered by this report.
Political.—Those opinions rendered at the request of the various heads of departments on questions relating to the duties of each department, the extent of their power, and their relations to the people may properly be called political. Many opinions of a similar character have been rendered at the request of provincial boards, municipal councils, and provincial and municipal officials in respect to their powers and duties and the relationship which exists between the province and municipality as established by the municipal code and the provincial government act. The civil governor, commissioners, and executive secretaries have submitted many questions relating to the interpretation of the laws. These consultations gave rise to a set of opinions which have endeavored to harmonize the conflict between the different laws, to indicate the manner in which the want of details and imperfections of the laws should in practice be overcome, and to recommend to the Commission, when deemed proper, the enactment of new laws or amendments in amplification and correction of existing legislation.
The church-property cases.—Another important branch of the work of the office is that which has arisen in connection with the so-called church-property cases. The Crown of Spain was very closely associated with the church—in partnership, so to speak—and there were a great many public trusts which were administered through the clericals, especially the educational trusts, because the clericals were interested in education. The problem which now confronts us is to determine whether these trusts were being administered civilly, or whether they were being administered as pious and religious institutions. When the rights of the Spanish Government passed to a government which can have no such partnership with the church, the question presented is an exceedingly nice one to determine as to whether these trusts should be administered by civil trustees appointed by the Government or should pass to the Catholic Church as pious trusts.
Prominent among these trust matters is the San Jose College case. The United States Philippine Commission, soon after its arrival in these islands, granted a public hearing in this case and disposed of the matter, so far as the Commission was concerned, by passing an act providing for the appointment of a board of trustees, whose duty it should be to conduct the College of San Jose as a school of medicine and pharmacy and to bring an action against the representatives of the church for the possession of said college, and vesting the supreme court of the Philippine Islands with jurisdiction to hear and determine the controversy. Pursuant to the provisions of this act a suit was instituted. After the issues were made up, a special commissioner was appointed by the court to take testimony. The taking of testimony was concluded in February of this year, and the record was printed in Spanish and English and filed with the court on the 7th day of June. Thereupon plaintiff's brief was prepared in this office and filed with the court on the 1st day of July, 1902, pursuant to the rule of the court relating to the filing of briefs in this cause.
In addition to the work done in this case, opinions have been rendered by the office on the legal status of the Hospicio de San Jose, Hospital de San Juan de Dios, and a partial investigation has been made of the condition of affairs of the San Lazaro estate. The fate of all of these cases will likely be determined by the decision in the San Jose" College case. This case is now pending before the supreme court, but is not likely to be heard until an effort has been made to adjust all matters of dispute between the church and the government through the agency of the civil governor and the apostolic delegate.
Pardons.—The total number of petitions for pardon that have come into the office is 264. Of this number, 171 have been acted upon, while 93 still remain under consideration.
The pardon work has not been free from difficulty. The civil government fell heir to a large number of prisoners serving sentences imposed upon them by Spanish civil courts and Spanish courts-martial. In the former cases, the majority of the records had been destroyed during the insurrections and wars which have harassed the country since 1896. In the latter, the records have been removed to Spain and are, therefore, inaccessible. The inquisitorial criminal procedure under the Spanish law and the delays in trying ceases in a great many instances deprived accused persons of an opportunity to defend themselves. It is also true that trials by courts-martial were of such character that a defendant's rights were often completely ignored. Humanity and justice required that petitions from these unfortunate people be liberally granted, but the danger of turning at large professional criminals, ladrones, to further afflict a country already suffering from this pest was one not to be lightly considered.
Upon the termination of the purely military government all those prisoners convicted by provost courts were turned over to the civil authorities. It has been difficult to deal with this class of cases for the reason that these courts kept no records beyond noting the charges, specifications, findings, and sentence. It necessarily happens that sentences of military courts are rigorous, and it has therefore been the policy of this department to recommend a remission of at least the fines, in ordinary cases.
Finally, the amnesty proclamation of July 4, last, has been the source of many petitions for pardon. It has not always been easy to determine from the facts presented whether the offenses came within the proclamation or not, especially those denominated "political" offenses, since for its determination all depends upon the motive which induced its commission, and a clear line has never been drawn between insurgents who come within the clause and ladrones who do not.