Sunteți pe pagina 1din 1

US v Pons (1916)

Doctrine:

Legislative journals are the acts of the Government or sovereign itself. From their very nature and object
the records of the Legislature are as important as those of the judiciary, and to inquiry into the veracity of
the journals of the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as we have said, clear and explicit, would be to
violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought
into existence.

Facts:

Sometime in 1915, Pons, Beliso and Larsarte were charged with the crime of illegal importation of opium
punishable under Act 2381. Pons and Beliso were tried separately. Each were found guilty of the crime
charged. Counsel of Pons contends that the last day of the special session of the Phil. Legislature of 1914
was on the 28th day of Feb. that Act 2381 under which Pons must be punished if found guilty, was not
passed or approved on the 28th day of Feb. but on March 1 and that therefore the same act is void.

Counsel of Pons further alleged that the assembly’s clock was stopped on Feb. 28 at midnight and left so
until the determination of the discussion of all pending matters, amongst which Act 2381. To prove such
allegations, counsel argued that the court should go beyond the proceedings of the legislature as
recorded in the journals.

Issue:

Whether the court may go beyond the recitals of legislative journal for the purpose of determining the
date of adjournment when such journals are clear.

Ruling: NO

Legislative journals are the acts of the Government or sovereign itself. From their very nature and object
the records of the Legislature are as important as those of the judiciary, and to inquiry into the veracity of
the journals of the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as we have said, clear and explicit, would be to
violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought
into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the Government, and to interfere
with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature.