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Treason, Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Art. 114. Treason - Any Filipino citizen who levies war against the Philippines or adheres to her enemies, giving them aid or comfort within the Philippines or elsewhere, shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death and shall pay a fine not to exceed Four million pesos (₱4,000,000).No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two (2) witnesses at least to the same overt act or on confession of the accused in open court.Likewise, an alien, residing in the Philippines, who commits act of treason as defined in paragraph 1 of this article shall be punished by reclusion temporal to death and shall pay a fine not to exceed Four million pesos (₱4,000,000). (Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. 10951)

a. War crime

Treason is a war crime. It is not an all-time offense. It cannot be committed in peace time. While there is peace, there are no traitors. Treason may be incubated when peace reigns. Treasonable acts may actually be perpetrated during peace, but there are no traitors until war has started. (J. Perfecto, Concurring Opinion in Laurel v. Misa, supra.)

2. Modes of commission

2 modes of committing treason:

1) Levying war against the Philippines; or,

2) Adhering to the enemies, giving them aid or comfort within the country or elsewhere.

a. Levying war

Elements:

1) There is a war;

2) The offender owes allegiance to the Government of the Philippines (for resident aliens: temporary allegiance); and...

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