Political Law

People of the Philippines vs Tranquilino Lagman

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G.R. No. L-45892 – 66 Phil. 13 – Political Law – Basic Principles – Elements of a State; Sovereignty – Defense of State

In 1936, Tranquilino Lagman reached the age of 20. He was being compelled by Section 60 of Commonwealth Act 1 (National Defense Law) to join the military service. Lagman refused to do so because he has a father to support, has no military leanings and he does not wish to kill or be killed. Lagman further assailed the constitutionality of the said law.

ISSUE: Whether or not the National Defense Law is constitutional.

HELD: Yes. The duty of the Government to defend the State cannot be performed except through an army. To leave the organization of an army to the will of the citizens would be to make this duty of the Government excusable should there be no sufficient men who volunteer to enlist therein. Hence, the National Defense Law, in so far as it establishes compulsory military service, does not go against this constitutional provision but is, on the contrary, in faithful compliance therewith. The defense of the State is a prime duty of government, and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may be required by law to render personal military or civil service.

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