fact that the Philippine Government owned 99% of the stock of the Philippine National Bank. However, the record shows that there are approximately 80 other individual stockholders and that this bank is a distinct legal entity that is engaged in private business. It has been consistently held that banks of this type, such as federal or national banks, which contain private interests are private corporations in which the Government has an interest, as distinguished from being a department of the Government. United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corp. v. Western Union Tel. Co., 1928, 275 U.S. 415, 48 S. Ct. 198, 72 L. Ed. 345; National Labor Relations Board v. Bank of America, 130 F.2d 624. This Court finds that the Philippine National Bank was a private commercial bank
Having established the foregoing, the question still remains whether the taking on March 2, 1945, was lawful, for if answered affirmatively, this would transfer ownership of the money to the Japanese.
It is a recognized right of a belligerent occupant to levy contributions and make requisitions for the needs of the army. Hague Regulations, Arts. 49, 51, 52; Thorington v. Smith, 8 Wall. 1, 19 L. Ed. 361. Contributions are generally held to be money payments, while requisitions refer to the taking of articles for consumption or use, as distinguished from money. The distinction is unimportant in this case for the taking was of a particular kind of money peculiarly adapted for the purpose the Japanese had in mind, namely, 'that they might use that money to purchase from the Filipinos some foodstuff and supplies.' Transcript, pgs. 329, 330.
When this money was taken from the Bacolod branch of the Philippine National Bank, Mr. Yoshida of the Bank of Taiwan gave a receipt for said money. He was thus acting in compliance with Hague Regulations, Articles 51 and 52, which require such receipt. Also, the testimony of Mr. Buenaventura indicates that he regarded the transaction as one for which the Philippine National Bank would be compensated, for he stated that by agreement with Mr. Yoshida he entered the transaction as 'Due from Taiwan Bank -- Special Account.' The Court finds that the transaction was a lawful one and, therefore, ownership passed to the Japanese.
This plaintiff also relies on the doctrine of 'post liminium'. This is a fiction of civil law by which persons or things taken by the enemy are restored to their former status on coming again under the power of the nation to which they formerly belonged. This doctrine, or fiction, is recognized by the law of nations. However, before this doctrine can be relied upon there must be a preliminary showing that the taking was unlawful for property that has been lawfully taken by an enemy is not subject to this doctrine. Acts that are done, once and for all, that are within an invader's competence to perform are valid. United States v. Rice, 4 Wheat. 246, 4 L. Ed. 562; Oppenheim's International Law (7th Ed., Vol. II, Sec. 169). As pointed out previously, the act of the Japanese was lawful and, therefore, the doctrine of 'post liminium' does not apply to the present situation.
It has not been proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the money captured by the United States Army was the same money that the Philippine National Bank, Bacolod branch, turned over to the Bank of Taiwan in March, 1945. Thus, neither plaintiff has carried the burden of proof that is necessary in this proceeding to establish a legal or equitable title in the vested property.
Finally, as a matter of law, neither plaintiff made out a case. The Bank of the Philippine Islands turned over its money in a lawful transaction, so it has no claim to the vested property. The Philippine National Bank, a private corporation, turned over its money to the Japanese pursuant to a valid requisition which passed title to the Japanese. Thus, the property when captured and later vested was enemy property.
Counsel will submit appropriate order.
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