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Military Justice

I.       Definition of Terms:

          Military Justice- is a system of enforcing discipline and administering criminal law in the military service.

          Articles of War- (Commonwealth Act Nr 408) The law that governs the conduct of military personnel and provides a procedures by which persons subject to military law who breaks these rules may be punished.


II.     Objectives of Military Justice:

             1. Enforce discipline

             2. Administer criminal offense


III. Sources of Military Jurisdiction:

            1. Constitution

           2. Specific provisions of the Constitution relating to such jurisdiction being found in the power granted to the national assembly.

            3. Authority vested in the President as Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces.

            4. International Law


IV.     3 Kinds of Military Jurisdiction:

            1. To be exercised both in peace and war.

            2. To be exercised in time of foreign war within country occupied by rebels as belligerents.

           3. To be exercised in time of invasion, insurrection within the Philippine territory or during rebellion when limits of the territory maintain adherence to our national government policy and when public danger requires its exercise.


V.     Agencies through which Military Law Jurisdiction is exercised:

         1. Court Martial

        a. General Court Martial

        b. Special Court Martial

        c. Summary Court Martial

        2. Commanding Officer- this is in AW 105 under the exercise of the disciplinary power of the Commanding Officer.

          3. Court of Inquiry- which is found in AW 98-105.

          4. Other Military tribunals.



            A. Persons subject to Military Law

                     1. All officers and soldiers in the active service.

                    2. Trainee while undergoing or rendering military service.

                    3. Draftees while undergoing or rendering military service.

                    4. Cadets of the Philippine Military Academy.

                    5. Flying cadets of the PAF Flying course.       

                    6. Probationary and Lieutenant.

                 7. All detainees to the camp and all persons accompanying or serving with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the field in times of war or when martial law is declared.

                    8. All persons serving sentences imposed by Court Martial.


            B. Court Martial

                 -is a military court created pursuant to the Articles of War whose function is to decide whether a person amenable to trial there under has committed a violation thereof, and if found him guilty, to adjudge the authorized punishment for the offense.


            C. Types of Court Martial and Compositions

                 1. General Court Martial- any number of officers not less than five (5).

     2. Special Court Martial- any number of officers not less than three (3).

     3. Summary Court Martial- consist of one (1) officer.


         D. Jurisdiction of Court Martial:

                 1. Persons triable by:

             a. General Court Martial

    1) Civilians in certain specific cases. AW 2, 31, 82, 83, 95 and PD 1850.

    2) Persons subject to military law.

    3) Persons who by law of war subject to trial by Military Tribunal (AW 12).

 b. Special Court Martial - persons subject to military law, except persons of actual, relative or assimilates rank of 2LT or above (AW 13 as amended in relation to Sec 14 MCM).

c. Summary Court Martial- Pvt, Pfc, Cpl, Sgt, and SSg may be tried if they do not object are triable by competent officers to convene and to try the accused. (AW 14 as amended in relation to Sec. 16 MCM.


2. Offense triable by:

           a. General Court Martial -Any offense made punishable by AW and Laws of war (AW 12).

                       b. Special Court Martial- any crime or offense not capital (AW 13).

                       c. Summary Court Martial- any crimes not capital (AW 14).


3.   Judiciary Offense- all offense that are triable by court martial.

4.   Non- judiciary Offense- all violations of regulation, policies and rules that are not triable by court martial.


E.     Authorized Punishment:


1. General Court Martial- Any punishment authorized by the customs of the service including a bad conduct discharge. In the PN deprivation of liberty on shore and solitary confinement or diminished relations not to exceed 30 days (AW 12).

 2. Special Court Martial

a. Confinement not to exceed six (6) months.

b. Restriction to limits not to exceed three (3) months.

c. Forfeiture or detention of pay not to exceed 2/3 of one (1) month pay.

3.  Summary Court Martial

                  a. Confinement not to exceed one (1) month

                  b. Restriction to limits not to exceed three (3) months

                  c.  Forefeiture or detention of pay not to exceed three 93) months


In PN same as General Court Martial but not to exceed 15 days (AW14).


F.     Persons who may serve in Court Martial:

             1. All Commissioned Officers on active duty.

2. Enlisted Personnel or trainees, provided the accused request in writing at any time prior to the conveying of the court.


G.     Persons authorized to create Court:

             1. General Court Martial

         a. The President of the Philippines

         b. The Chief of Staff

         c. The Chief, Philippine Constabulary

        d. Commanding General, Philippine Army

        e. Commanding General, Philippine Air Force

        f. FOIC, Philippine Navy

        g. Superintendent PMA except for trial of an Officer.

        h. Commanding Officer of major separate brigade or body of troops.


2. Special Court Martial

  a. Those persons who can appoint GCM

  b. Commanding Officer of a major command, task force, division.

  c. Commanding Officer of Garrison, Fort, Camps, Brigade, Regiment, detached Battalion or Squad or other detached command or place, zone or commissioned vessels where troops are on duty.


3. Summary Court Martial

  a. All persons who can appoint GCM.

  b. Commanding Officer of Garrison, Fort, Camp, or other place where troops are on duty, Regiment, Detached Battalion and detached Company.





Art. 54. Fraudulent Enlistment

Art. 55. Officer making unlawful Enlistment

Art. 56. False Muster

Art. 57. False Returns- Omission to render returns



Art. 58. Certain Acts to Constitute Desertion

Art. 59. Desertion

Art. 60. Advising or Aiding another to Desert

Art. 61. Entertaining a Deserter

Art. 62. Absence Without Official Leave



Art. 63. Disrespect toward the President, Vice president, Congress of the Philippines,

or Secretary of National Defense

Art. 64. Disrespect toward superior officer

Art. 65. Assaulting or Willfully Disobeying Superior officers

Art. 66. Insubordination conduct toward Non-Commissioned Officer

Art. 67. Mutiny or Sedition

Art. 68. Failure to suppress mutiny or sedition

Art. 69. Quarrels; Prays; Disorders



Art. 70. Arrest or confinement

Art. 71. Charges Action upon

Art. 72. Refusal to Receive and Keep Prisoners

Art. 73. Report of prisoners received

Art. 74. Releasing Prisoner without Proper Authority

Art. 75. Delivery of Offenders without Proper Authority



Art. 76. Misbehavior Before the Enemy

Art. 77. Subordinates Compelling Commander to Surrender

Art. 78. Improper Use of countersign

Art. 79. Forcing or safeguard

Art. 80. Captured Property to be Secured for to be secured for Public Service

Art. 81. Dealing in Captured or Abandoned Property

Art. 82. Relieving, Corresponding with, or Aiding the Enemy.

Art. 83. Spies



Art. 84. Military Property Willful or Negligent Loss, Damage or Wrongful Disposition

Art. 85. Waste or Unlawful Disposition of Military Property Issued to Soldiers

Art. 86. Drunk on Duty

Art. 87. Misbehavior of Sentinel

Art. 91. Provoking speeches or gestures

Art. 92. Dueling

Art. 93. Murder Rape

Art. 94. Various Crimes

Art. 95. Frauds against the Government

Art. 96. Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a Gentleman

Art. 105. Disciplinary Powers of Commanding Officers