G.R. No. L-2662 – 83 Phil. 171 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Declaration of Principles and State Policies – Doctrine of Incorporation; The Hague Convention – Generally Accepted Principles of International Law – The Philippines can try war crimes
Shigenori Kuroda was the highest ranking Japanese officer stationed in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation. He was then charged before the Military Commission, headed by Major General Rafael Jalandoni, due to the atrocities that were done against non combatant civilians and prisoners during the war. His trial was in pursuant to Executive Order No. 68 which established the National War Crimes Office and prescribing rules and regulations governing the trial of accused war criminals. Kuroda is questioning the legality of the said EO arguing that the same is not provided for in the Constitution. He further underscores the fact that the Philippines is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Rules and Regulations Covering Land Warfare hence we cannot impose against him any criminal charges because it has no laws to base on, national or international.
ISSUE: Whether or not Kuroda can be charged in Philippine courts?
HELD: Yes. EO No. 68 is constitutional hence the Philippine courts can take cognizance of the case at bar. EO No 68 is pursuant to the constitutional provision which provides: “the Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the nation.” The Hague Convention and other similar conventions whose principles are generally accepted are hence considered as part of the law of the land.