People of the Philippines vs Wong Cheng
GR no. L-18924
Wong Cheng was on board the English vessel Changsa smoked opium while the said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay two and a half miles from the shores of the city.
Whether or not the court has jurisdiction over the ship
International law has 2 rules regarding the jurisdiction of a court over a ship. The first one is the French rule where in the court has no jurisdiction over a ship carrying a foreign flag. On the other hand, the English rule based on the rule that any crime committed within the territory of a specific country is triable in courts of the country where the crime was committed. During the time when this crime was committed by the defendant, the Philippines was an American territory, thus follows the English rule which the United States is following. Mere possession of opium in a foreign vessel in transit is not considered a disturbance if public order. However, to smoke opium within our territorial limits is a breach of public order because it causes such drug to produce its pernicious effects within our territory.