January 1, 2018

Act No. 178 Restoring Batangas, Cebu and Bohol to the Executive Control of the Military Governor

Image extracted from the 1898 book "Yesterday in the Philippines."
Image extracted from the 1898 book "Yesterday in the Philippines."
Because of the outbreak of the Philippine-American War in 1899, initially many provinces around the Philippines were administered by the Americans through the United States Army. Batangas among the provinces which vigorously resisted American rule, the unwelcome arrivals, by an act of the Philippine Commission, which was tasked with the establishment of a new civilian government in the islands, nonetheless felt it necessary to place the province under military jurisdiction.

The decision to do so was by way of an act published in 19011, which placed not only Batangas but also Bohol and Cebu under the control of the Military Governor. The contents of the act are provided below:
AN ACT RESTORING THE PROVINCES OF BATANGAS, CEBU AND BOHOL TO THE EXECUTIVE CONTROL OF THE MILITARY GOVERNOR

By authority of the President of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, That:

Whereas in the provinces of Batangas, Cebu and Bohol, which have been organized as provinces under the provincial government act, armed insurrection continues, and in the opinion of the commission it will facilitate the pacification of these provinces to remove them from the executive control of the civil governor and to put them under the executive control of the military governor.

Section 1. The provincial and municipal officers of the provinces of Batangas, Cebu and Bohol shall report to the military governor, and the military governor shall have the power to remove them and appoint others in their places, anything in the provincial act, the special acts organizing such provinces, or the municipal code to the contrary notwithstanding.

Section 2. In case of military necessity, the military governor shall have the power to suspend the operation of any part of of the laws of the commission applicable to the government of the provinces above named, and to substitute therefore, temporarily, general orders having the effect of law.

Section 3. The writ of habeas corpus in the civil courts of the three provinces named shall not issue therefrom for the release of prisoners detained by order of the military governor or his duly authorized military subordinates.

Section 4. The courts established by the commission in the three provinces above named shall continue to discharge their ordinary functions, civil and criminal, provided that the military governor is empowered to provide for the trial of ordinary crimes and misdemeanors by military commissions and provost courts, and to designate what of the ordinary crimes and misdemeanors shall be tried before such commissions or provost courts, and what crimes, if any, shall be tried in the civil courts.

Section 5. The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the same is hereby expedited in accordance of section 2 of “An act prescribing the order of procedure by the commission in the enactment of laws,” passed September 26, 1900.

Section 6. This act shall take effect on its passage.

Enacted July 17, 1901

By Command of Major-General (Adna) Chaffee

W.P. Hall
Assistant Adjutant-General

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Notes and references:
1 Extracted from “Report of the United States Philippine Commission for the Secretary of War for the Period from December 1, 1900 to October 15, 1901,” published 1901 by the Division of Insular Affairs, United States War Department.

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