Soriano v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Railroad Crossing

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1956-1957)

CITATION: 352 US 270 (1957)
ARGUED: Dec 05, 1956
DECIDED: Jan 14, 1957

Facts of the case


Media for Soriano v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 05, 1956 (Part 2) in Soriano v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 05, 1956 (Part 1) in Soriano v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 49, Jose Soriano, Petitioner, versus The United States.

Prew Savoy:

Prew Savoy, for the petitioner.

Earl Warren:

You may -- you may proceed Mr. Savoy.

Prew Savoy:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Court for its consideration.

After the situation arose in November, a reason of the Maritima case below which was there involved, we were to present the original issue in the Soriano case.

This case comes to this Court by certiorari to the Court of Claims.

Now, the decision in the Soriano case was based upon Logronio versus United States in which that Court held that the guerrilla activities involved in the Philippines did not produce attack of the United States, so that the Court of Claims had no jurisdiction.

My argument will be devoted to that question urging that a debt of the United State was created by reason of the guerrilla activities during the period January 1942 to January 1945 and that the United States being liable, it is a matter of which the Court of Claims has jurisdiction.

The second part of the case will be on the question involved in the Maritima case which will be argued by Mr. George Foley where the court below which had held for some five years that the six-year limiting statute was applicable to all these claims, no longer applied but more -- did not suspend the operation of the statute of limitations, but it had been suspended by the training with the Enemy Act and that that created a new legal disability, so that it fell within the saving provision and there was only a three-year statute of limitation.

If petitioner is correct, the simplest file in the Court of Claims more than three years after, the claim accrued but less then six years.

If the Maritima case is correct, then since it was filed more than three year, thereafter, the Court does not have jurisdiction.

The two cases are thus interdependent.

The specific question arising on open grant in the Logronio is this, a Filipino civilian furnish supplies and equipments to organize and recognize Filipino guerrillas on the Island of Negros who were acting under orders of General MacArthur and who had been recognized by it.

The requisitions were -- we allege by U.S. Army Forces officers and distinguished from U.S. Army, the regular Army is defined in Section II.

They gave receipts, promising that the U.S. Army would repay upon its promise return by MacArthur, which were relied upon.

It was a meaning of demands but that created a contract.

When MacArthur returned in 1944, the same guerrillas who had been recognized during that interim period, which I will discuss it right after my statement but we're again recognized first by Osmeńa, Commander in Chief of the Philippine Army, as elements of that Army, and then while the sixth and eighth United States Army under General Sutherland, Krueger and Dunkel, as elements of United States Army Forces in the Far East under command of General MacArthur.

The Government in its statement for question has left out reference to the second recognition which does become important.

Now, the facts are simply these, and there -- there is no general disagreement because there are mainly statutes events of which the Court takes judicial notice and military orders which are in the appendices to the extent we have found applicable.

From 1898 to 1946, the Philippines were a territorial possession of the United States.

Petitioner, during the pertinent dates from the time -- the first date we will use will be July 26, 1941, he was a national of the United States, a citizen of the Philippines, residing in the Philippine Islands.

On -- in March 1934, the United States Congress has a -- a -- an Independence Act containing 12 obligatory provisions to be contained in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines until they became independent which would be approximately 1946.

Two of these provisions are very important, and one, this is for allegiance to the United States.

Second, it provides that the United State had the right to maintain armed forces in the Philippines and the right to order into such armed forces all organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

A Constitution was adopted in 1935 and the first Act of the Commonwealth was to create a Philippine Army.

As Japan stated to surround the Philippines towards the middle of July 1941, President Roosevelt, on the recommendation of General MacArthur, from with that time was military adviser to the Philippines, issued a military order as Commander and Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and which he called an order into the service of the armed forces of the United States, all the organized forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

On the same date, he created through the War Department what we call USAFFE, United States Army Forces in the Far East.

MacArthur resigned as adviser, he was made a brigadier general, he was placed in Commanding -- as Commanding Officer of USAFFE.

In October, the Philippine constabulary was -- by orders of the War Department, induction into the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, December 18, the Philippine Army was so inducted.

They were the predominant troops when Japan landed in the Island of Luzon, Mindanao and started its entry into the Philippines.