January 1, 2018

Act Number 421 Repealing Previous Acts which Placed Batangas under the Military Governor, 1902

Image extracted from the 1900 book "History and Description of Picturesque Philippines."
Image extracted from the 1900 book "History and Description of Picturesque Philippines."
At the height of the Philippine American War, the Province of Batangas along with several others in the country were placed under the administration of the Military Governor, as opposed to the Civil Governor under whom areas that were already considered “pacified” were placed under. In other words, Batangas was under the jurisdiction of the United States Army, and some privileges normally guaranteed under a democracy such as the writ of habeas corpus were suspended.

General Miguel Malvar’s surrender in April 1902, however, for all intents and purposes ended the war not only in Batangas but in the entire country. With the war ended, it was no longer necessary to keep the province under military control, hence Act Number 421 of the Philippine Commission1 was passed to restore the province to the Civil Governor instead. Below are the contents of the act:
AN ACT repealing act numbered one hundred and seventy-three and so much of section one of act numbered two hundred and seventy-two as forbids the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus against a military officer or soldier who is detaining a prisoner in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Tayabas, Samar, Cebu, and Bohol, or other organized provinces.

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

Whereas armed insurrection no longer exists in the Province of Batangas, and by separate Acts heretofore enacted by the Commission Act Numbered One hundred and seventy-three, entitled “An Act restoring the Provinces of Batangas, Cebu, and Bohol to the executive control of the Military Governor,” has been repealed in so far as it applied to the Provinces of Cebu and Bohol, leaving it operative alone in said Province of Batangas:

SECTION 1. On and after July fourth, nineteen hundred and two, the provincial and municipal officers of the Province of Batangas shall no longer report to the Military Governor, nor shall he have power to remove them and appoint others in their places, as is provided in Act Numbered One hundred and seventy-three; and said provincial and municipal officers, from and after said date, shall be under the exclusive executive direction and control of the Civil Governor.



SEC. 2. From and after the date aforesaid the Military Governor shall not have the power to suspend the operation of any part of the laws of the Commission for the government of the Province of Batangas and substitute therefore temporary general orders of his own having the effect of law. The full jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance for the Province of Batangas, as provided by Act Numbered One hundred and thirty-six and amendments thereto, is reestablished in said province, including the right to issue the writ of habeas corpus in all cases as provided by law, and military commissions and provost courts shall no longer have jurisdiction and authority to try crimes and misdemeanors, as provided in Act Numbered One hundred and seventy-three, but the same shall only be triable in the civil courts.

SEC. 3. Said Act Numbered One hundred and seventy-three and all other Acts in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

SEC. 4. So much of section one of Act Numbered Two hundred and seventy-two, entitled “An Act amending Chapter XXVI, relating to proceedings in habeas corpus, of Act Numbered One hundred and ninety, providing for a code of procedure in civil actions and special proceedings,” as forbids the issuing of any writ of habeas corpus against a military officer or soldier who is detaining a prisoner in the Provinces of Batangas, La Laguna, Tayabas, Samar, Cebu, and Bohol, or in any other province which has been organized under “The Provincial Government Act,” or by a special Act, or which may be hereafter so organized, is hereby expressly repealed.

SEC. 5. The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the same is hereby expedited in accordance with section two of “An Act prescribing the order of procedure by the Commission in the enactment of laws,” passed September twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred.

SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect on July fourth, nineteen hundred and two.

Enacted, June 23, 1902.
Below are scans of the historical document:
Image source:  HathiTrust.
Image source:  HathiTrust.
Image source:  HathiTrust.
Image source:  HathiTrust.

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Notes and references:
1Acts of the Philippine commission, no. 1-1800.,” online at HathiTrust.

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