People Of The Philippines V. Amado V. Hernandez Et.Al. G.R. No. L-6025, May 30, 1964

Fact:
The information filed against defendants Hernandez and others in Criminal Case No. 15481 alleged that on or about March 15, 1945, and for some time before the said date and continuously thereafter, until the present time, in the City of Manila, Philippines, and the place which they had chosen as the nerve center of all their rebellious activities in the different parts of the Philippines, the said accused, conspiring, confederating and cooperating with each other, as well as with the thirty-one (31) defendants charged in Criminal Cases of the Court of First Instance of Manila (decided May 11, 1951) and also with others whose whereabouts and identities are still unknown, the said accused and their other co-conspirators, being then high ranking officers and/or members of, or otherwise affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.), which is now actively engaged in an armed rebellion against the Government of the Philippines thru act theretofore committed and planned to be further committed in Manila and other places in the Philippines. That during the period of time and under the same circumstances herein-above indicated the said accused in the above-entitled case, conspiring among themselves and with several others as aforesaid, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously organized, established, led and/or maintained the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO), formerly known as the Committee on Labor Organizations (CLO), with central offices in Manila and chapters and affiliated or associated labor unions and other “mass organizations” in different places in the Philippines, as an active agency, organ, and instrumentality of the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.) and as such agency, organ, and instrumentality, to fully cooperate in, and synchronize its activities – as the CLO thus organized, established, led and/or maintained by the herein accused and their co-conspirators, has in fact fully cooperated in and synchronized its activities with the activities of the “Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan” (H.M.B.) and other organs, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.), to thereby assure, facilitate, and effect the complete and permanent success of the above-mentioned armed rebellion against the Government of the Philippines.

Issue:
Whether the Defendant-Appellant is guilty of the crimes in relation to Rebellion for being a member or sympathizer of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Held:
No, The advocacy of Communism or Communistic theory and principle is not to be considered as a criminal act of conspiracy unless transformed or converted into an advocacy of action. In the very nature of things, mere advocacy of a theory or principle is insufficient unless the communist advocates action, immediate and positive, the actual agreement to start an uprising or rebellion or an agreement forged to use force and violence in an uprising of the working class to overthrow constituted authority and seize the reins of Government itself. Unless action is actually advocated or intended or contemplated, the Communist is a mere theorist, merely holding belief in the supremacy of the proletariat a Communist does not yet advocate the seizing of the reins of Government by it. As a theorist the Communist is not yet actually considered as engaging in the criminal field subject to punishment. Only when the Communist advocates action and actual uprising, war or otherwise, does he become guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion. The most important activity of the appellant Hernandez appears to be the propagation of improvement of conditions of labor through his organization, the CLO. While the CLO of which he is the founder and active president, has communistic tendencies, its activity refers to the strengthening of the unity and cooperation between labor elements and preparing them for struggle; they are not yet indoctrinated in the need of an actual war with or against Capitalism. The appellant was a politician and a labor leader and it is not unreasonable to suspect that his labor activities especially in connection with the CLO and other trade unions, were impelled and fostered by the desire to secure the labor vote to support his political ambitions. It is doubtful whether his desire to foster the labor union of which he was the head was impelled by an actual desire to advance the cause of Communism, not merely to advance his political aspirations. Insofar as the appellant’s alleged activities as a Communist are concerned, the court have not found, nor has any particular act on his part been pointed to the court, which would indicate that he had advocated action or the use of force in securing the ends of Communism. True it is, he had friends among the leaders of the Communist Party, and especially the heads of the rebellion, but this notwithstanding, evidence is wanting to show that he ever attended their meetings, or collaborated and conspired with said leaders in planning and encouraging the acts of rebellion, or advancing the cause thereof. Insofar as the furnishing of the mimeograph machine and clothes is concerned, it appears that he acted merely as an intermediary, who passed said machine and clothes on to others. It does not appear that he himself furnished funds or material help of his own to the members of the rebellion or to the forces of the rebellion in the field. The Court find that there is no concrete evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant actually participated in the rebellion or in any act of conspiracy to commit or foster the cause of the rebellion. The court absolves the appellant from the crime charged as the mere fact of his giving and rendering speeches favoring Communism would not make him guilty of conspiracy because there was no evidence that the hearers of his speeches of propaganda then and there agreed to rise up in arms for the purpose of obtaining the overthrow of the democratic government as envisaged by the principles of Communism.

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