Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can you Dig’ Piracy?

The “Can You Dig’ It?” series is this blogger’s attempt in hitting the ratio decidendi of a particular case decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. This series of self-authored compendiums is this blogger’s way of suppressing the rigorous life in law school.

People of the Philippine Islands vs. Lol-lo and Saraw
G.R. No. L-17958 February 27, 1922
Malcolm, J.

On or about June 30, 1920, two boats containing Dutch subjects sailed from one Dutch island to another. After navigating for a number of days, the second boat, while still on Dutch East Indies territory, was surrounded by 6 Vintas containing 24 armed Moros, which includes Lol-lo and Saraw. The Moros pretended to ask for food to board the boat. Once on the boat, they attacked some of the men, violated two of the women, and took all of the cargo. The Moros took the two women to the island of Maruro and repeatedly violated them. The two women escaped afterwards. After returning to the island of Tawi-tawi, both Lol-lo and Saraw were captured and charged with the crime of piracy.

Whether the Philippine Courts have jurisdiction over a crime that happened in the high seas

Guilty. Pirates are in law hostis humani generis. Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits. As it is against all so may it be punished by all.
Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation on the high seas, without lawful authority and done animo furandi, and in the spirit and intention of universal hostility.