The United States, plaintiff-appellee, vs. M. J. Limsiongco, Vicente Yap, Yap Bun, Tan Fong, Sing Joy, Chino Saya (alias) Isaias Javier, Lim Liongco, Sing Yang, Lorenzo Pavia And Mariano Tan-Congco, defendants-appellants.
Issue: Whether or not section 138 of the Administrative Code which authorizes divisions in the Supreme Court had diminished the authority of the Supreme Court to hear and determine causes.
Ruling: No. The Supreme Court remains a unit notwithstanding it works in divisions. Although it may have two divisions, it is but a single court. Actions considered in any one of these divisions and decisions rendered therein are, in effect, by the same Tribunal. The two divisions of this court are not to be considered as two separate and distinct courts but as divisions of one and the same court. In the exact words of the law which is questioned, the Supreme Court shall, as a body, sit in banc, but it may sit in divisions. In addition, the Supreme Court held that the Philippine Legislature had power to enact law authorizing the Supreme Court to sit either in banc or in divisions to transact business.