REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
MANILA

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
OF THE PHILIPPINES

ORDINANCE NO. 7

CREATING COURTS OF SPECIAL AND EXCLUSIVE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION TO TRY CRIMES AND OFFENSES PENALIZED BY ACT NO. 65 AND OTHER CRIMES AND OFFENSES, FIXING THE PENALTY FOR SUCH OTHER CRIMES AND OFFENSES, PROVIDING A SUMMARY PROCEDURE FOR THE TRIAL OF OFFENDERS, AND SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGES OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS WITH RESPECT TO PERSONS ACCUSED OF, OR UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR, ANY OF THE CRIMES AND OFFENSES TRIABLE BY SAID COURTS.

There being an urgent necessity for waging an immediate and relentless campaign against certain classes of crimes and offenses and expediting the trial and determination thereof in order to hasten the re-establishment of peace and order throughout the country and promote a feeling of security among the people conducive to the earlier return of normalcy in our national life; and pursuant to the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution and laws of Philippines, the National Assembly not being in session I, Jose P. Laurel President of the Republic of the Philippines, do hereby promulgate this Ordinance.

SECTION 1. There is hereby created in every province and city throughout the Philippines one or more courts of special criminal jurisdiction as the President of the Republic of the r Philippines may determine upon recommendation of the Minister of Justice, which courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to try and determine crimes and offenses penalized by Act 65 entitled “An Act imposing heavier penalties for crimes involving robbery, bribery, falsification, frauds, illegal exactions and transactions, malversation of public funds and infidelity as defined in the Revised Penal Code and violations of food control laws, when committed by public officers and employees, and for similar offenses when committed by private individuals or entities, and providing for a summary procedure for the trial of such offenders.”

SEC. 2. The special courts herein created shall also have exclusive jurisdiction to try the following crimes and offenses:

(a) Crimes against national security and the law of nations, as defined in articles 114 to 123 (Book II, Title I), of the Revised Penal Code;

(b) Crimes against public order, as defined in articles 134 to 160 (Book II, Title III) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended;

(c) Brigandage, as defined in articles 306 and 307 (Book II, Title X, Chapter II) of the Revised Penal Code;

(d) Arson and other crimes involving destruction, as defined in articles 320 to 326 (Book II, Title X, Chapter VIII) of the Revised Penal Code;

(e) Illegal detention committed by private individuals and kidnapping of minors, as de-< fined in articles 267, 268, and 270 of the Revised Penal Code;

(f) Illegal possession of firearms, as defined in Executive Order No. 26 of the Chairman of the Executive Commission, dated October 12, 1943.

SEC. 3. Each of these special courts shall be presided by one Judge of First Instance to be appointed or designated by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, with the advice of the Supreme Court. There shall also be a special prosecutor in each special court to be designated by the President. The clerical and other subordinate personnel of the Court of First Instance of the province or city in which the special court herein created shall be sitting shall act in the same capacity in the latter court.

SEC. 4. The crimes and offenses enumerated in section 2 hereof shall be punishable with the same penalties now fixed by the law defining them, but the court may impose a longer term of imprisonment, or imprisonment for life or death where not already fixed by law, taking into consideration the nature and gravity of the offense, the perversity of the means employed by the accused, and the effect on the social and economic life of the people as a result of the commission of the crime. The court may, in its discretion, give effect or make inapplicable the rules for the graduation of penalties taking into consideration the attending circumstances (mitigating, aggravating or alternative) contained in Section Two, Chapter Four, Title III, Book I, of the Revised Penal Code.

SEC. 5. The trial of the cases arising under sections 1 and 2 hereof shall be started within two days after the filing of the corresponding information, shall be summary in procedure, and shall aim at their expeditious and prompt disposition. Technicalities shall be avoided and all measures calculated to serve this end shall be taken by the trial judge. Said cases shal1 be decided within four days after the same are submitted for decision. The summary procedure provided in Act No. 65 in so far as not inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, shall govern the trial of the cases enumerated in said sections 1 and 2 hereof.

SEC. 6. The decisions of the special courts herein created shall be final except where the penalty imposed is death, in which case the records of the particular case shall be elevated en consulta to a special division of the Supreme Court composed of three members to be designated by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. The clerk of each special court, upon the promulgation of a decision imposing the death penalty, shall immediately forward the records of the case to the special division of the Supreme Court herein created, which shall decide the case within fifteen days from the receipt of the records, thereof.

SEC. 7. The interest of public safety so requiring it, the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus are hereby suspended with respect to persons accused of, or under investigation for, any of the crimes and offenses enumerated in sections 1 and 2 hereof.

SEC. 8. All laws, rules or orders, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions hereof, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SEC. 9. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its promulgation.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty-four, and of the Republic of the Philippines, the first.

(Sgd.) JOSE P. LAUREL
President of the Republic
of the Philippines

By the President:

(Sgd.) PEDRO SABIDO
Executive Secretary

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library