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Republic of the Philippines

8th Judicial Region


________________
______________
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Plaintiff;

Criminal Case No. _________


For:
VIOLATION OF BP BLG. 6

-versus______________
Accused.
x-------------------------------------------x

RESOLUTION
For resolution is a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the facts charged in
the information do not constitute an offense.
Defense argues that the accused is charged with a crime which is penalized
under Batas Pambansa Bilang 6, an amendment mainly as to penalty of
Presidential Decree No. 9. It adds that the Supreme Court in People vs. Purisima
had set the elements of the crime under P. D. No. 9, which was affirmed in a more
recent case of People vs. Lasana, to wit:
First, the carrying outside ones residence of any bladed weapon, blunt, or
pointed weapon, etc., not used as a necessary tool or implement for a livelihood; and,
Second, that the act of carrying the weapon was either in furtherance of, or to
abet, or in connection with subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence,
criminality, chaos, or public disorder.

Moreover, defense asserts that the affidavits of the government witnesses do


not contain any allegation about the second element mentioned above.
On the other hand, the prosecution vehemently objects to the motion of
dismissal and argues that while it subscribes to the pronouncement of the High
Court in People vs. Purisima dated November 20, 1978, its effect was not carried
out in the amendatory law (B.P. Blg. 6) dated November 21, 1978. Otherwise, the
lawmakers would have included those two elements in the new law.
According to the prosecution, the provisions of the B. P. Blg. 6 are clear,
plain and free from ambiguity it must be given its literal meaning and applied
without interpretation.
The Courts Ruling
This Court shares the view of the accused. While the prosecution is correct
in citing that B.P. Blg. 6, which was enacted one day after the case of People vs.
Purisima, does not embody or expressly provide the second element required in
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that case, it does not mean, however, that said case is already abandoned or no
longer effective.
In People vs. Lasanas, et al.,1 a more recent decision dated July 7, 1987, the
Supreme Court quoted and applied its ruling in the case of Purisima on the issue of
whether or not an information on violation of Paragraph 3 of P.D. No. 9 is
defective when it does not contain the second element mentioned in said case. The
relevant portion of the aforesaid case is as follows:
The undersigned City Fiscal accuses Rogelio Lasanas for violation of General
Orders Nos. 6 and 7 in relation to Presidential Decree No. 9, as implemented by Letter
of Instruction, DND No. 707, committed as follows:
That on or about the 10th day of July, 1974, in the City of Iloilo,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this court, said accused, with deliberate
intent and without any justifiable motive, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and criminally carry outside of his residence one (1) knife which is a deadly
weapon and which, at that time, was not being used by him as a necessary
implement for his livelihood or occupation or in connection therewith.
Contrary to law.
While the information failed to Identify the specific paragraph of P.D. No. 9
alleged to have been violated by accused Lasanas, even a cursory examination of P.D.
No. 9 will show that the information must have been intended to refer to paragraph 3 of
P.D. No. 9 which provided as follows:
3. It is unlawful to carry outside of residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon
such as "fanknife," "spear," "dagger," "bolo," "balisong," "barong," "kris," or club, except
where such articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood
and while being used in connection therewith; and any person found guilty thereof shall
suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years as a Military
Court/Tribunal/Commission may direct."
In People vs. Purisima,9 Mme. Justice Munoz Palma speaking for the Court, in a
tour de force of statutory construction, addressed the question of: "What----are the
elements of the offense treated in [paragraph 3 of] the Presidential Decree [No. 9] in
question?":
We hold that the offense carries two elements: first the carrying outside one's
residence of any bladed, blunt, or pointed weapon, etc. not used as a necessary tool or
implement for a livelihood; and second that the act of carrying the weapon was either in
furtherance of, or to abet, or in connection with subversion, rebellion, insurrection,
lawless violence, criminality, chaos, or public disorder.
It is the second element which removes the act of carrying a deadly weapon, if
concealed, outside of the scope of the statute or the city ordinance mentioned above. In
other words, a simple act of carrying any of the weapons described in the presidential
decree is not a criminal offense in itself. What makes the act criminal or punishable
under the decree is the motivation behind it, Without that motivation, the act falls within
the purview of the city ordinance or some statute when the circumstances so warrant.10
Applying the doctrine of Purisima, it is plain that the information filed in Criminal
Case No. 5055 was fatally defective. That information failed to charge the commission of
acts constitutive of the second element of the offense sought to be charged-i.e., that the
carrying of the weapon was in furtherance of, or to abet, or in connection with
1

G.R. Nos. L-48879-82, July 7, 1987

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"subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violation, criminality, chaos or public


disorder." Thus, the information failed to charge an offense under P.D. No. 9, paragraph
3 with the result that accused Lasanas could not have been lawfully convicted of such
offense under the information as actually filed.

In the case at hand, it is undisputed that the Information dated October 12,
2015, lacks the allegation constituting the second element mentioned above.
While it may be argued that the aforesaid Lasanas case was prosecuted
under P. D. No. 9 and not under B. P. Blg. 6, the same does not matter because a
closer look at the two laws reveals that what really differs between the two is only
the penalty. This is very clear upon comparison of the two laws as shown below:
BATAS PAMBANSA Blg. 6, November 21, 1978
AN ACT REDUCING THE PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF BLADED, POINTED
OR BLUNT WEAPONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NUMBERED NINE.
Section 1. Paragraph three of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine is hereby amended to read
as follows:
"3. It is unlawful to carry outside of one's residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such
as "knife", "spear", "pana", "dagger", "bolo", "barong", "kris", or "chako", except where such
articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood or in pursuit of a
lawful activity. Any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not
less than one month nor more than one year or a fine of not less than Two Hundred
Pesos nor more than Two Thousand Pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine as the
Court may direct." (emphasis supplied)
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 9 October 2, 1972
DECLARING VIOLATIONS OF GENERAL ORDERS NO. 6 AND NO. 7 DATED SEPTEMBER
22, 1972 AND SEPTEMBER 23, 1972, RESPECTIVELY, TO BE UNLAWFUL AND PROVIDING
PENALTIES THEREFOR.
3. It is unlawful to carry outside of residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as
"fanknife," "spear," "dagger," "bolo," "balisong," "barong," "kris," or club, except where such
articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood and while being
used in connection therewith; and any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of
imprisonment ranging from five to ten years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission
may direct. (emphasis supplied)

As shown in the Purisima and Lasanas cases, the issue on what constitutes
the crime of violation of Paragraph 3 of P. D. 9 has already been settled. The
Supreme Court interpreted it as one that requires the presence of two elements.
And when that paragraph was copied to B. P. Blg. 6, except as to the penalty, it
stands to reason that the interpretation on the Purisima case as to the elements of
that paragraph in P. D. No. 9, remains the same.
Under Article 8 of the New Civil Code Judicial decisions applying or
interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the
Philippines. In effect, judicial decisions, although in themselves not laws, assume
the same authority as the statute itself and, until authoritatively abandoned,
necessarily become, to the extent that they are applicable, the criteria which must
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control the actuations not only of those called upon to abide thereby but also those
duty bound to enforce obedience thereto.2 These decisions also constitute evidence
of what the law means. The application and interpretation placed by the Supreme
Court upon a law is part of the law as of the date of the enactment of the said law
since the Courts application and interpretation merely established the
contemporaneous legislative intent that the construed law purports to carry into
effect. 3
The settled rule supported by numerous authorities is a restatement of the
legal maxim legis interpretation legis vim obtinet the interpretation placed
upon the written law by competent court has the force of law.4 Indeed, it is the duty
of judges to apply the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court. 5
Moreover, the contention of the prosecution that the provisions of Section 3
of B.P. Blg. 6 being crystal clear and patent, are not therefore susceptible of any
other interpretation is untenable because as earlier stated, Section 3 of B.P. Blg. 6
differs only with Paragraph 3 of P. D. 9 as to penalty. If it was then appropriate, the
plain meaning rule or verbe legis in statutory construction could have been
adopted by the Supreme Court at that time they decide the Purisima case.
HOWEVER, since the defect in the information can be cured by
amendment, as prayed for, the prosecution is given ten (10) days from receipt
hereof to correct the defect by amendment. It is understood that the motion shall be
granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or
information still suffers from the same defect despite the amendment.
SO ORDERED.
_________

_
Presiding Judge

2
3
4
5

Caltex, Inc. vs. Palomar, 18 SCRA 247.


People vs. Licera, 65 SCRA 270.
People vs. Jabinal, 55 SCRA 607.
Secretary of Justice vs. Catolico 68 SCRA 62; Albert vs. CFI, 23 SCRA 948.

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