Suspension of political laws; enemies in arms

THE SUSPENSION OF POLITICAL LAWS DURING BELLIGERENT OCCUPATION DOES NOT APPLY TO THE ENEMIES IN ARMS. The rule invoked by counsel, namely, that laws of political nature or affecting political relations are considered superseded or in abeyance during the military occupation, is intended for the governing of the civil inhabitants of the occupied territory. It is not intended for and does not bind the enemies in arms. This is self-evident from the very nature of things. The paradox of a contrary ruling should readily manifest itself. Under the petitioners' theory, the forces of resistance operating in an occupied territory would have to abide by the outlawing of their own existence. They would be stripped of the very lifeblood of an army, the right and the ability to maintain order and discipline within the organization and to try the men guilty of breach thereof. (Ruffy vs. Chief of Staff; G.R. No. L-533, August 20, 1946)