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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5270 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
H. N. BULL, defendant-appellant.

Bruce & Lawrence, for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

ELLIOTT, J.:

The appellant was convicted in the Court of First Instance of a violation of section 1 of Act No. 55, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 275, and
from the judgment entered thereon appealed to this court, where under proper assignments of error he contends: (1) that the complaint does
not state facts sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court; (2) that under the evidence the trial court was without jurisdiction to hear and
determine the case; (3) that Act No. 55 as amended is in violation of certain provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and void as
applied to the facts of this case; and (4) that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction.

The information alleges:

That on and for many months prior to the 2d day of December, 1908, the said H. N. Bull was then and there master of a steam sailing vessel
known as the steamship Standard, which vessel was then and there engaged in carrying and transporting cattle, carabaos, and other animals
from a foreign port and city of Manila, Philippine Islands; that the said accused H. N. Bull, while master of said vessel, as aforesaid, on or about
the 2d day of December, 1908, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and wrongly carry, transport, and bring into the port and city of Manila,
aboard said vessel, from the port of Ampieng, Formosa, six hundred and seventy-seven (677) head of cattle and carabaos, without providing
suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the said animals, in this, to wit, that
the said H. N. Bull, master, as aforesaid, did then and there fail to provide stalls for said animals so in transit and suitable means for trying and
securing said animals in a proper manner, and did then and there cause some of said animals to be tied by means of rings passed through their
noses, and allow and permit others to be transported loose in the hold and on the deck of said vessel without being tied or secured in stalls,
and all without bedding; that by reason of the aforesaid neglect and failure of the accused to provide suitable means for securing said animals
while so in transit, the noses of some of said animals were cruelly torn, and many of said animals were tossed about upon the decks and hold of
said vessel, and cruelly wounded, bruised, and killed.

All contrary to the provisions of Acts No. 55 and No. 275 of the Philippine Commission.

Section 1 of Act No. 55, which went into effect January 1, 1901, provides that —

The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep, swine, or other animals, from one port in the
Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall carry with them, upon the vessels carrying
such animals, sufficient forage and fresh water to provide for the suitable sustenance of such animals during the ordinary period occupied by
the vessel in passage from the port of shipment to the port of debarkation, and shall cause such animals to be provided with adequate forage
and fresh water at least once in every twenty-four hours from the time that the animals are embarked to the time of their final debarkation.

By Act No. 275, enacted October 23, 1901, Act No. 55 was amended by adding to section 1 thereof the following:

The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep, swine, or other animals from one port in the
Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall provide suitable means for securing such
animals while in transit so as to avoid all cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the animals, and suitable and proper facilities for loading and
unloading cattle or other animals upon or from vessels upon which they are transported, without cruelty or unnecessary suffering. It is hereby
made unlawful to load or unload cattle upon or from vessels by swinging them over the side by means of ropes or chains attached to the
thorns.

Section 3 of Act No. 55 provides that —


Any owner or master of a vessel, or custodian of such animals, who knowingly and willfully fails to comply with the provisions of section one,
shall, for every such failure, be liable to pay a penalty of not less that one hundred dollars nor more that five hundred dollars, United States
money, for each offense. Prosecution under this Act may be instituted in any Court of First Instance or any provost court organized in the
province or port in which such animals are disembarked.

1. It is contended that the information is insufficient because it does not state that the court was sitting at a port where the cattle were
disembarked, or that the offense was committed on board a vessel registered and licensed under the laws of the Philippine Islands.

Act No. 55 confers jurisdiction over the offense created thereby on Courts of First Instance or any provost court organized in the province or
port in which such animals are disembarked, and there is nothing inconsistent therewith in Act No. 136, which provides generally for the
organization of the courts of the Philippine Islands. Act No. 400 merely extends the general jurisdiction of the courts over certain offenses
committed on the high seas, or beyond the jurisdiction of any country, or within any of the waters of the Philippine Islands on board a ship or
water craft of any kind registered or licensed in the Philippine Islands, in accordance with the laws thereof. (U.S. vs. Fowler, 1 Phil. Rep., 614.)
This jurisdiction may be exercised by the Court of First Instance in any province into which such ship or water upon which the offense or crime
was committed shall come after the commission thereof. Had this offense been committed upon a ship carrying a Philippine registry, there
could have been no doubt of the Jurisdiction of the court, because it is expressly conferred, and the Act is in accordance with well recognized
and established public law. But the Standard was a Norwegian vessel, and it is conceded that it was not registered or licensed in the Philippine
Islands under the laws thereof. We have then the question whether the court had jurisdiction over an offense of this character, committed on
board a foreign ship by the master thereof, when the neglect and omission which constitutes the offense continued during the time the ship
was within the territorial waters of the United States. No court of the Philippine Islands had jurisdiction over an offenses or crime committed on
the high seas or within the territorial waters of any other country, but when she came within 3 miles of a line drawn from the headlines which
embrace the entrance to Manila Bay, she was within territorial waters, and a new set of principles became applicable. (Wheaton, Int. Law (Dana
ed.), p. 255, note 105; Bonfils, Le Droit Int., sec 490 et seq.; Latour, La Mer Ter., ch. 1.) The ship and her crew were then subject to the
jurisdiction of the territorial sovereign subject through the proper political agency. This offense was committed within territorial waters. From
the line which determines these waters the Standard must have traveled at least 25 miles before she came to anchor. During that part of her
voyage the violation of the statue continued, and as far as the jurisdiction of the court is concerned, it is immaterial that the same conditions
may have existed while the vessel was on the high seas. The offense, assuming that it originated at the port of departure in Formosa, was a
continuing one, and every element necessary to constitute it existed during the voyage across the territorial waters. The completed forbidden
act was done within American waters, and the court therefore had jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the offense and the person of the
offender.

The offense then was thus committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, but the objection to the jurisdiction raises the further
question whether that jurisdiction is restricted by the fact of the nationality of the ship. Every. Every state has complete control and jurisdiction
over its territorial waters. According to strict legal right, even public vessels may not enter the ports of a friendly power without permission, but
it is now conceded that in the absence of a prohibition such ports are considered as open to the public ship of all friendly powers. The
exemption of such vessels from local jurisdiction while within such waters was not established until within comparatively recent times. In 1794,
Attorney-General Bradford, and in 1796 Attorney-General Lee, rendered opinions to the effect that "the laws of nations invest the commander
of a foreign ship of war with no exemption from the jurisdiction of the country into which he comes." (1, Op. U.S. Attys. Gen., 46, 87.) This
theory was also supported by Lord Stowell in an opinion given by him to the British Government as late as 1820. In the leading case of the
Schooner Exchange vs. McFadden (7 Cranch (U.S.), 116, 144), Chief Justice Marshall said that the implied license under which such vessels enter
a friendly port may reasonably be construed as "containing exemption from the jurisdiction of the sovereign within whose territory she claims
the rights of hospitality." The principle was accepted by the Geneva Arbitration Tribunal, which announced that "the priviledge of
exterritoriality accorded to vessels of war has been admitted in the law of nations; not as an absolute right, but solely as a proceeding founded
on the principle of courtesy and mutual deference between nations."
(2 Moore, Int. Law Dig., secs. 252 and 254; Hall, Int. Law, sec. 55; Taylor, Int. Law, sec. 256; Ortolan, Dip de la Mer, 2. C.X.)

Such vessels are therefore permitted during times of peace to come and go freely. Local official exercise but little control over their actions, and
offenses committed by their crew are justiciable by their own officers acting under the laws to which they primarily owe allegiance. This
limitation upon the general principle of territorial sovereignty is based entirely upon comity and convenience, and finds its justification in the
fact that experience shows that such vessels are generally careful to respect local laws and regulation which are essential to the health, order,
and well-being of the port. But comity and convenience does not require the extension of the same degree of exemption to merchant vessels.
There are two well-defined theories as to extent of the immunities ordinarily granted to them, According to the French theory and practice,
matters happening on board a merchant ship which do not concern the tranquillity of the port or persons foreign to the crew, are justiciable
only by the court of the country to which the vessel belongs. The French courts therefore claim exclusive jurisdiction over crimes committed on
board French merchant vessels in foreign ports by one member of the crew against another. (See Bonfils, Le Droit Int. (quat. ed.), secs. 624-628;
Martens, Le Droit Int., tome 2, pp. 338, 339; Ortolan, Dip. de la Mer, tit. 1, p. 292; Masse, Droit Int., tome 2, p. 63.) Such jurisdiction has never
been admitted or claim by Great Britain as a right, although she has frequently conceded it by treaties. (Halleck, Int. Law (Baker's ed.), vol. 1,
231; British Territorial Waters Act, 1878.) Writers who consider exterritoriality as a fact instead of a theory have sought to restrict local
jurisdiction, but Hall, who is doubtless the leading English authority, says that —

It is admitted by the most thoroughgoing asserters of the territoriality of merchant vessels that so soon as the latter enter the ports of a foreign
state they become subject to the local jurisdiction on all points in which the interests of the country are touched. (Hall, Int. Law, p. 263.)
The United States has adhered consistently to the view that when a merchant vessel enters a foreign port it is subject to the jurisdiction of the
local authorities, unless the local sovereignty has by act of acquiescence or through treaty arrangements consented to waive a portion of such
jurisdiction. (15 Op. Attys. Gen., U. S., 178; 2 Moore, Int. Law Dig., sec. 204; article by Dean Gregory, Mich. Law Review, Vol. II, No. 5.) Chief
Justice Marshall, in the case of the Exchange, said that —

When merchant vessels enter for the purpose of trade, in would be obviously in convinient and dangerous to society and would subject the
laws to continual infraction and the government to degradation if such individual merchants did not owe temporary and local allegiance, and
were not amendable to the jurisdiction of the country.

The Supreme Court of the United States has recently said that the merchant vessels of one country visiting the ports of another for the purpose
of trade, subject themselves to the laws which govern the ports they visit, so long as they remain; and this as well in war as in peace, unless
otherwise provided by treaty. (U. S. vs. Diekelman, 92 U. S., 520-525.)

Certain limitations upon the jurisdiction of the local courts are imposed by article 13 of the treaty of commerce and navigation between
Sweden and Norway and the United States, of July 4, 1827, which concedes to the consul, vice-consuls, or consular agents of each country "The
right to sit as judges and arbitrators in such differences as may arise between the captains and crews of the vessels belonging to the nation
whose interests are committed to their charge, without the interference of the local authorities, unless the conduct of the crews or of the
captains should disturb the order or tranquillity of the country." (Comp. of Treaties in Force, 1904, p. 754.) This exception applies to
controversies between the members of the ship's company, and particularly to disputes regarding wages. (2 Moore, Int. Law Dig., sec. 206, p.
318; Tellefsen vs. Fee, 168 Mass., 188.) The order and tranquillity of the country are affected by many events which do not amount to a riot or
general public disturbance. Thus an assault by one member of the crew upon another, committed upon the ship, of which the public may have
no knowledge whatever, is not by this treaty withdrawn from the cognizance of the local authorities.

In 1876 the mates of the Swedish bark Frederike and Carolina engaged in a "quarrel" on board the vessel in the port of Galveston, Texas. They
were prosecuted before a justice of the peace, but the United States district attorney was instructed by the Government to take the necessary
steps to have the proceedings dismissed, and the aid of the governor of Texas was invoked with the view to "guard against a repetition of
similar proceedings." (Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, to Mr. Grip, Swedish and Norwegian charged, May 16, 1876; Moore, Int. Law Dig.) It does not
appear that this "quarrel" was of such a nature as to amount to a breach of the criminal laws of Texas, but when in 1879 the mate for the
Norwegian bark Livingston was prosecuted in the courts of Philadelphia County for an assault and battery committed on board the ship while
lying in the port of Philadelphia, it was held that there was nothing in the treaty which deprived the local courts of jurisdiction.
(Commonwealth vs. Luckness, 14 Phila. (Pa.), 363.) Representations were made through diplomatic channels to the State Department, and on
July 30, 1880, Mr. Evarts, Secretary of State, wrote to Count Lewenhaupt, the Swedish and Norwegian minister, as follows:

I have the honor to state that I have given the matter careful consideration in connection with the views and suggestion of your note and the
provisions of the thirteenth article of the treaty of 1827 between the United States and Sweden and Norway. The stipulations contained in the
last clause of that article . . . are those under which it is contended by you that jurisdiction is conferred on the consular officers, not only in
regard to such differences of a civil nature growing out of the contract of engagement of the seamen, but also as to disposing of controversies
resulting from personal violence involving offense for which the party may be held amenable under the local criminal law.

This Government does not view the article in question as susceptible of such broad interpretation. The jurisdiction conferred upon the consuls
is conceived to be limited to their right to sit as judges or abitrators in such differences as may arise between captains and crews of the vessels,
where such differences do not involve on the part of the captain or crew a disturbance of the order or tranquillity of the country. When,
however, a complaint is made to a local magistrate, either by the captain or one or more of the crew of the vessel, involving the disturbance of
the order or tranquillity of the country, it is competent for such magistrate to take cognizance of the matter in furtherance of the local laws, and
under such circumstances in the United States it becomes a public duty which the judge or magistrate is not at liberty voluntarily to forego. In
all such cases it must necessarily be left to the local judicial authorities whether the procedure shall take place in the United States or in
Sweden to determine if in fact there had been such disturbance of the local order and tranquillity, and if the complaint is supported by such
proof as results in the conviction of the party accused, to visit upon the offenders such punishment as may be defined against the offense by
the municipal law of the place." (Moore, Int. Law Dig., vol. 2, p. 315.)

The treaty does not therefore deprive the local courts of jurisdiction over offenses committed on board a merchant vessel by one member of
the crew against another which amount to a disturbance of the order or tranquillity of the country, and a fair and reasonable construction of
the language requires un to hold that any violation of criminal laws disturbs the order or traquillity of the country. The offense with which the
appellant is charged had nothing to so with any difference between the captain and the crew. It was a violation by the master of the criminal
law of the country into whose port he came. We thus find that neither by reason of the nationality of the vessel, the place of the commission of
the offense, or the prohibitions of any treaty or general principle of public law, are the court of the Philippine Islands deprived of jurisdiction
over the offense charged in the information in this case.

It is further contended that the complaint is defective because it does not allege that the animals were disembarked at the port of Manila, an
allegation which it is claimed is essential to the jurisdiction of the court sitting at that port. To hold with the appellant upon this issue would be
to construe the language of the complaint very strictly against the Government. The disembarkation of the animals is not necessary in order to
constitute the completed offense, and a reasonable construction of the language of the statute confers jurisdiction upon the court sitting at the
port into which the animals are bought. They are then within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, and the mere fact of their disembarkation
is immaterial so far as jurisdiction is concerned. This might be different if the disembarkation of the animals constituted a constitutional
element in the offense, but it does not.

It is also contended that the information is insufficient because it fails to allege that the defendant knowingly and willfully failed to provide
suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering. The allegation of the complaint that
the act was committed willfully includes the allegation that it was committed knowingly. As said in Woodhouse vs. Rio Grande R.R. Company
(67 Texas, 416), "the word 'willfully' carries the idea, when used in connection with an act forbidden by law, that the act must be done
knowingly or intentionally; that, with knowledge, the will consented to, designed, and directed the act." So in Wong vs. City of Astoria (13
Oregon, 538), it was said: "The first one is that the complaint did not show, in the words of the ordinance, that the appellant 'knowingly' did the
act complained of. This point, I think, was fully answered by the respondent's counsel — that the words 'willfully' and 'knowingly' conveyed the
same meaning. To 'willfully' do an act implies that it was done by design — done for a certain purpose; and I think that it would necessarily
follow that it was 'knowingly' done." To the same effect is Johnson vs. The People (94 Ill., 505), which seems to be on all fours with the present
case.

The evidence shows not only that the defendant's acts were knowingly done, but his defense rests upon the assertion that "according to his
experience, the system of carrying cattle loose upon the decks and in the hold is preferable and more secure to the life and comfort of the
animals." It was conclusively proven that what was done was done knowingly and intentionally.

In charging an offense under section 6 of General Orders, No. 58, paragraph 3, it is only necessary to state the act or omission complained of as
constituting a crime or public offense in ordinary and concise language, without repitition. It need not necessarily be in the words of the statute,
but it must be in such form as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended and the court to pronounce judgment
according to right. A complaint which complies with this requirement is good. (U.S. vs. Sarabia, 4 Phil. Rep., 556.)

The Act, which is in the English language, impose upon the master of a vessel the duty to "provide suitable means for securing such animals
while in transit, so as to avoid all cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the animals." The allegation of the complaint as it reads in English is that
the defendant willfully, unlawfully, and wrongfully carried the cattle "without providing suitable means for securing said animals while in
transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the said animals in this . . . that by reason of the aforesaid neglect and failure of the
accused to provide suitable means for securing said animals were cruelty torn, and many of said animals were tossed about upon the decks and
hold of said vessels, and cruelty wounded, bruised, and killed."

The appellant contends that the language of the Spanish text of the information does not charge him with failure to provide "sufficient" and
"adequate" means. The words used are "medios suficientes" and "medios adecuados." In view of the fact that the original complaint was
prepared in English, and that the word "suitable" is translatable by the words "adecuado," "suficiente," and "conveniente," according to the
context and circumstances, we determine this point against the appellant, particularly in view of the fact that the objection was not made in
the court below, and that the evidence clearly shows a failure to provide "suitable means for the protection of the animals."

2. The appellant's arguments against the constitutionality of Act No. 55 and the amendment thereto seems to rest upon a fundamentally
erroneous conception of the constitutional law of these Islands. The statute penalizes acts and ommissions incidental to the transportation of
live stock between foreign ports and ports of the Philippine Islands, and had a similar statute regulating commerce with its ports been enacted
by the legislature of one of the States of the Union, it would doubtless have been in violation of Article I, section 3, of the Constitution of the
United States. (Stubbs vs. People (Colo.), 11 L. R. A., N. S., 1071.)

But the Philippine Islands is not a State, and its relation to the United States is controlled by constitutional principles different from those which
apply to States of the Union. The importance of the question thus presented requires a statement of the principles which govern those
relations, and consideration of the nature and extent of the legislative power of the Philippine Commission and the Legislature of the
Philippines. After much discussion and considerable diversity of opinion certain applicable constitutional doctrines are established.

The Constitution confers upon the United States the express power to make war and treaties, and it has the power possessed by all nations to
acquire territory by conquest or treaty. Territory thus acquired belongs to the United States, and to guard against the possibility of the power of
Congress to provide for its government being questioned, the framers of the Constitution provided in express terms that Congress should have
the power "to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting territory and other property belonging to the United States."
(Art. IV, sec. 3, par. 3.) Upon the acquisition of the territory by the United States, and until it is formally incorporated into the Union, the duty of
providing a government therefor devolves upon Congress. It may govern the territory by its direct acts, or it may create a local government, and
delegate thereto the ordinary powers required for local government. (Binns vs. U. S., 194 U. S., 486.) This has been the usual procedure.
Congress has provided such governments for territories which were within the Union, and for newly acquired territory not yet incorporated
therein. It has been customary to organize a government with the ordinary separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial, and to
prescribe in an organic act certain general conditions in accordance with which the local government should act. The organic act thus became
the constitution of the government of the territory which had not been formally incorporated into the Union, and the validity of legislation
enacted by the local legislature was determined by its conformity with the requirements of such organic act. (National Bank vs. Yankton, 11
Otto (U. S.), 129.) To the legislative body of the local government Congress has delegated that portion of legislative power which in its wisdom
it deemed necessary for the government of the territory, reserving, however, the right to annul the action of the local legislature and itself
legislate directly for the territory. This power has been exercised during the entire period of the history of the United States. The right of
Congress to delegate such legislative power can no longer be seriously questioned. (Dorr vs. U. S., 195 U. S., 138; U. S. vs. Heinszen, 206 U. S.,
370, 385.)

The Constitution of the United States does not by its own force operate within such territory, although the liberality of Congress in legislating
the Constitution into contiguous territory tended to create an impression upon the minds of many people that it went there by its own force.
(Downes vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 289.) In legislating with reference to this territory, the power of Congress is limited only by those prohibitions of
the Constitution which go to the very root of its power to act at all, irrespective of time or place. In all other respects it is plenary. (De
Lima vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 1; Downes vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 244; Hawaii vs. Mankichi, 190 U. S., 197; Dorr vs. U. S., 195 U. S., 138;
Rassmussen vs. U. S., 197 U. S., 516.)

This power has been exercised by Congress throughout the whole history of the United States, and legislation founded on the theory was
enacted long prior to the acquisition of the present Insular possessions. Section 1891 of the Revised Statutes of 1878 provides that "The
Constitution and all laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and effect within all the organized
territories, and in every Territory hereafter organized, as elsewhere within the United States." When Congress organized a civil government for
the Philippines, it expressly provided that this section of the Revised Statutes should not apply to the Philippine Islands. (Sec. 1, Act of 1902.)

In providing for the government of the territory which was acquired by the United States as a result of the war with Spain, the executive and
legislative authorities have consistently proceeded in conformity with the principles above state. The city of Manila was surrendered to the
United States on August 13, 1898, and the military commander was directed to hold the city, bay, and harbor, pending the conclusion of a
peace which should determine the control, disposition, and government of the Islands. The duty then devolved upon the American authorities
to preserve peace and protect person and property within the occupied territory. Provision therefor was made by proper orders, and on August
26 General Merritt assumed the duties of military governor. The treaty of peace was signed December 10, 1898. On the 22d of December,
1898, the President announced that the destruction of the Spanish fleet and the surrender of the city had practically effected the conquest of
the Philippine Islands and the suspension of the Spanish sovereignty therein, and that by the treaty of peace the future control, disposition, and
government of the Islands had been ceded to the United States. During the periods of strict military occupation, before the treaty of peace was
ratified, and the interim thereafter, until Congress acted (Santiago vs. Noueral, 214 U.S., 260), the territory was governed under the military
authority of the President as commander in chief. Long before Congress took any action, the President organized a civil government which,
however, had its legal justification, like the purely military government which it gradually superseded, in the war power. The military power of
the President embraced legislative, executive personally, or through such military or civil agents as he chose to select. As stated by Secretary
Root in his report for 1901 —

The military power in exercise in a territory under military occupation includes executive, legislative, and judicial authority. It not infrequently
happens that in a single order of a military commander can be found the exercise of all three of these different powers — the exercise of the
legislative powers by provisions prescribing a rule of action; of judicial power by determination of right; and the executive power by the
enforcement of the rules prescribed and the rights determined.

President McKinley desired to transform military into civil government as rapidly as conditions would permit. After full investigation, the
organization of civil government was initiated by the appointment of a commission to which civil authority was to be gradually transferred. On
September 1, 1900, the authority to exercise, subject to the approval of the President. "that part of the military power of the President in the
Philippine Islands which is legislative in its character" was transferred from the military government to the Commission, to be exercised under
such rules and regulations as should be prescribed by the Secretary of War, until such time as complete civil government should be established,
or congress otherwise provided. The legislative power thus conferred upon the Commission was declared to include "the making of rules and
orders having the effect of law for the raising of revenue by taxes, customs duties, and imposts; the appropriation and expenditure of public
funds of the Islands; the establishment of an educational system to secure an efficient civil service; the organization and establishment of
courts; the organization and establishment of municipal and departmental government, and all other matters of a civil nature which the
military governor is now competent to provide by rules or orders of a legislative character." This grant of legislative power to the Commission
was to be exercised in conformity with certain declared general principles, and subject to certain specific restrictions for the protection of
individual rights. The Commission were to bear in mind that the government to be instituted was "not for our satisfaction or for the expression
of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Island, and the measures adopted should
be made to conforms to their customs, their habits, and even their prejudices, to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment of the
indispensable requisites of just and effective government." The specific restrictions upon legislative power were found in the declarations that
"no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; that private property shall not be taken for public use
without just compensation; that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his
favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense; that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishment inflicted; that no person shall be put twice in jeopardy for the same offense or be compelled in any criminal case to be a
witness against himself; that the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; that neither slavery nor
involuntary servitude shall exist except as a punishment for crime; that no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed; that no law shall
be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or of the rights of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the Government
for a redress of grievances; that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that
the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed."
To prevent any question as to the legality of these proceedings being raised, the Spooner amendment to the Army Appropriation Bill passed
March 2, 1901, provided that "all military, civil, and judicial powers necessary to govern the Philippine Islands . . . shall until otherwise provided
by Congress be vested in such person and persons, and shall be exercised in such manner, as the President of the United States shall direct, for
the establishment of civil government, and for maintaining and protecting the inhabitants of said Islands in the free enjoyment of their liberty,
property, and religion." Thereafter, on July 4, 1901, the authority, which had been exercised previously by the military governor, was
transferred to that official. The government thus created by virtue of the authority of the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and
Navy continued to administer the affairs of the Islands under the direction of the President until by the Act of July 1, 1902, Congress assumed
control of the situation by the enactment of a law which, in connection with the instructions of April 7, 1900, constitutes the organic law of the
Philippine Islands.

The Act of July 1, 1902, made no substancial changes in the form of government which the President had erected. Congress adopted the system
which was in operation, and approved the action of the President in organizing the government. Substantially all the limitations which had been
imposed on the legislative power by the President's instructions were included in the law, Congress thus extending to the Islands by legislative
act nor the Constitution, but all its provisions for the protection of the rights and privileges of individuals which were appropriate under the
conditions. The action of the President in creating the Commission with designated powers of government, in creating the office of the
Governor-General and Vice-Governor-General, and through the Commission establishing certain executive departments, was expressly
approved and ratified. Subsequently the action of the President in imposing a tariff before and after the ratification of the treaty of peace was
also ratified and approved by Congress. (Act of March 8, 1902; Act of July 1, 1902; U.S. vs. Heinszen, 206 U.S., 370; Lincoln vs. U.S., 197 U.S.,
419.) Until otherwise provided by law the Islands were to continue to be governed "as thereby and herein provided." In the future the enacting
clause of all statutes should read "By authority of the United States" instead of "By the authority of the President." In the course of time the
legislative authority of the Commission in all parts of the Islands not inhabited by Moros or non-Christian tribes was to be transferred to a
legislature consisting of two houses — the Philippine Commission and the Philippine Assembly. The government of the Islands was thus
assumed by Congress under its power to govern newly acquired territory not incorporated into the United States.

This Government of the Philippine Islands is not a State or a Territory, although its form and organization somewhat resembles that of both. It
stands outside of the constitutional relation which unites the States and Territories into the Union. The authority for its creation and
maintenance is derived from the Constitution of the United States, which, however, operates on the President and Congress, and not directly
on the Philippine Government. It is the creation of the United States, acting through the President and Congress, both deriving power from the
same source, but from different parts thereof. For its powers and the limitations thereon the Government of the Philippines looked to the
orders of the President before Congress acted and the Acts of Congress after it assumed control. Its organic laws are derived from the formally
and legally expressed will of the President and Congress, instead of the popular sovereign constituency which lies upon any subject relating to
the Philippines is primarily in Congress, and when it exercise such power its act is from the viewpoint of the Philippines the legal equivalent of
an amendment of a constitution in the United States.

Within the limits of its authority the Government of the Philippines is a complete governmental organism with executive, legislative, and
judicial departments exercising the functions commonly assigned to such departments. The separation of powers is as complete as in most
governments. In neither Federal nor State governments is this separation such as is implied in the abstract statement of the doctrine. For
instance, in the Federal Government the Senate exercises executive powers, and the President to some extent controls legislation through the
veto power. In a State the veto power enables him to exercise much control over legislation. The Governor-General, the head of the executive
department in the Philippine Government, is a member of the Philippine Commission, but as executive he has no veto power. The President
and Congress framed the government on the model with which Americans are familiar, and which has proven best adapted for the
advancement of the public interests and the protection of individual rights and priviliges.

In instituting this form of government of intention must have been to adopt the general constitutional doctrined which are inherent in the
system. Hence, under it the Legislature must enact laws subject to the limitations of the organic laws, as Congress must act under the national
Constitution, and the States under the national and state constitutions. The executive must execute such laws as are constitutionally enacted.
The judiciary, as in all governments operating under written constitutions, must determine the validity of legislative enactments, as well as the
legality of all private and official acts. In performing these functions it acts with the same independence as the Federal and State judiciaries in
the United States. Under no other constitutional theory could there be that government of laws and not of men which is essential for the
protection of rights under a free and orderly government.

Such being the constitutional theory of the Government of the Philippine Islands, it is apparent that the courts must consider the question of
the validity of an act of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, as a State court considers an act of the State legislature. The
Federal Government exercises such powers only as are expressly or impliedly granted to it by the Constitution of the United States, while the
States exercise all powers which have not been granted to the central government. The former operates under grants, the latter subject to
restrictions. The validity of an Act of Congress depends upon whether the Constitution of the United States contains a grant of express or
implied authority to enact it. An act of a State legislature is valid unless the Federal or State constitution expressly or impliedly prohibits its
enaction. An Act of the legislative authority of the Philippines Government which has not been expressly disapproved by Congress is valid
unless its subject-matter has been covered by congressional legislation, or its enactment forbidden by some provision of the organic laws.

The legislative power of the Government of the Philippines is granted in general terms subject to specific limitations. The general grant is not
alone of power to legislate on certain subjects, but to exercise the legislative power subject to the restrictions stated. It is true that specific
authority is conferred upon the Philippine Government relative to certain subjects of legislation, and that Congress has itself legislated upon
certain other subjects. These, however, should be viewed simply as enactments on matters wherein Congress was fully informed and ready to
act, and not as implying any restriction upon the local legislative authority in other matters. (See Opinion of Atty. Gen. of U. S., April 16, 1908.)

The fact that Congress reserved the power to annul specific acts of legislation by the Government of the Philippine tends strongly to confirm
the view that for purposes of construction the Government of the Philippines should be regarded as one of general instead of enumerated
legislative powers. The situation was unusual. The new government was to operate far from the source of its authority. To relieve Congress
from the necessity of legislating with reference to details, it was thought better to grant general legislative power to the new government,
subject to broad and easily understood prohibitions, and reserve to Congress the power to annul its acts if they met with disapproval. It was
therefore provided "that all laws passed by the Government of the Philippine Islands shall be reported to Congress, which hereby reserves the
power and authority to annul the same." (Act of Congress, July 1, 1902, sec. 86.) This provision does not suspend the acts of the Legislature of
the Philippines until approved by Congress, or when approved, expressly or by acquiescence, make them the laws of Congress. They are valid
acts of the Government of the Philippine Islands until annulled. (Miners Bank vs. Iowa, 12 How. (U. S.), 1.)

In order to determine the validity of Act No. 55 we must then ascertain whether the Legislature has been expressly or implication forbidden to
enact it. Section 3, Article IV, of the Constitution of the United States operated only upon the States of the Union. It has no application to the
Government of the Philippine Islands. The power to regulate foreign commerce is vested in Congress, and by virtue of its power to govern the
territory belonging to the United States, it may regulate foreign commerce with such territory. It may do this directly, or indirectly through a
legislative body created by it, to which its power in this respect if delegate. Congress has by direct legislation determined the duties which shall
be paid upon goods imported into the Philippines, and it has expressly authorized the Government of the Philippines to provide for the needs of
commerce by improving harbors and navigable waters. A few other specific provisions relating to foreign commerce may be found in the Acts of
Congress, but its general regulation is left to the Government of the Philippines, subject to the reserved power of Congress to annul such
legislation as does not meet with its approval. The express limitations upon the power of the Commission and Legislature to legislate do not
affect the authority with respect to the regulation of commerce with foreign countries. Act No. 55 was enacted before Congress took over the
control of the Islands, and this act was amended by Act No. 275 after the Spooner amendment of March 2, 1901, was passed. The military
government, and the civil government instituted by the President, had the power, whether it be called legislative or administrative, to regulate
commerce between foreign nations and the ports of the territory. (Cross vs. Harrison, 16 How. (U.S.), 164, 190; Hamilton vs. Dillin, 21 Wall.
(U.S.), 73, 87.) This Act has remained in force since its enactment without annulment or other action by Congress, and must be presumed to
have met with its approval. We are therefore satisfied that the Commission had, and the Legislature now has, full constitutional power to enact
laws for the regulation of commerce between foreign countries and the ports of the Philippine Islands, and that Act No. 55, as amended by Act
No. 275, is valid.

3. Whether a certain method of handling cattle is suitable within the meaning of the Act can not be left to the judgment of the master of the
ship. It is a question which must be determined by the court from the evidence. On December 2, 1908, the defendant Bull brought into and
disembarked in the port and city of Manila certain cattle, which came from the port of Ampieng, Formosa, without providing suitable means for
securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering to said animals, contrary to the provisions of section 1 of
Act No. 55, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 275. The trial court found the following facts, all of which are fully sustained by the evidence:

That the defendant, H. N. Bull, as captain and master of the Norwegian steamer known as the Standard, for a period of six months or
thereabouts prior to the 2d day of December, 1908, was engaged in the transportation of cattle and carabaos from Chines and Japanese ports
to and into the city of Manila, Philippine Islands.

That on the 2d day of December, 1908, the defendant, as such master and captain as aforesaid, brought into the city of Manila, aboard said
ship, a large number of cattle, which ship was anchored, under the directions of the said defendant, behind the breakwaters in front of the city
of Manila, in Manila Bay, and within the jurisdiction of this court; and that fifteen of said cattle then and there had broken legs and three others
of said cattle were dead, having broken legs; and also that said cattle were transported and carried upon said ship as aforesaid by the
defendant, upon the deck and in the hold of said ship, without suitable precaution and care for the transportation of said animals, and to avoid
danger and risk to their lives and security; and further that said cattle were so transported abroad said ship by the defendant and brought into
the said bay, and into the city of Manila, without any provisions being made whatever upon said decks of said ship and in the hold thereof to
maintain said cattle in a suitable condition and position for such transportation.

That a suitable and practicable manner in which to transport cattle abroad steamship coming into Manila Bay and unloading in the city of
Manila is by way of individual stalls for such cattle, providing partitions between the cattle and supports at the front sides, and rear thereof,
and cross-cleats upon the floor on which they stand and are transported, of that in case of storms, which are common in this community at sea,
such cattle may be able to stand without slipping and pitching and falling, individually or collectively, and to avoid the production of panics and
hazard to the animals on account or cattle were transported in this case. Captain Summerville of the steamship Taming, a very intelligent and
experienced seaman, has testified, as a witness in behalf of the Government, and stated positively that since the introduction in the ships with
which he is acquainted of the stall system for the transportation of animals and cattle he has suffered no loss whatever during the last year. The
defendant has testified, as a witness in his own behalf, that according to his experience the system of carrying cattle loose upon the decks and
in the hold is preferable and more secure to the life and comfort of the animals, but this theory of the case is not maintainable, either by the
proofs or common reason. It can not be urged with logic that, for instance, three hundred cattle supports for the feet and without stalls or any
other protection for them individually can safely and suitably carried in times of storm upon the decks and in the holds of ships; such a theory is
against the law of nature. One animal falling or pitching, if he is untied or unprotected, might produce a serious panic and the wounding of half
the animals upon the ship if transported in the manner found in this case.
The defendant was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency, and to pay the costs. The sentence and judgment is affirmed. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Johnson, Carson and Moreland, JJ., concur.


Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5887 December 16, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
LOOK CHAW (alias LUK CHIU), defendant-appellant.

Thos. D. Aitken for appellant.


Attorney-General Villamor for appellee.

ARELLANO, C. J.:

The first complaint filed against the defendant, in the Court of First Instance of Cebu, stated that he "carried, kept, possessed and had in his
possession and control, 96 kilogrammes of opium," and that "he had been surprised in the act of selling 1,000 pesos worth prepared opium."

The defense presented a demurrer based on two grounds, the second of which was the more than one crime was charged in the complaint. The
demurrer was sustained, as the court found that the complaint contained two charges, one, for the unlawful possession of opium, and the
other, for the unlawful sale of opium, and, consequence of that ruling, it ordered that the fiscal should separated one charge from the other
and file a complaint for each violation; this, the fiscal did, and this cause concerns only the unlawful possession of opium. It is registered as No.
375, in the Court of First Instance of Cebu, and as No. 5887 on the general docket of this court.

The facts of the case are contained in the following finding of the trial court:

The evidence, it says, shows that between 11 and 12 o'clock a. m. on the present month (stated as August 19, 1909), several
persons, among them Messrs. Jacks and Milliron, chief of the department of the port of Cebu and internal-revenue agent of Cebu,
respectively, went abroad the steamship Erroll to inspect and search its cargo, and found, first in a cabin near the saloon, one sack
(Exhibit A) and afterwards in the hold, another sack (Exhibit B). The sack referred to as Exhibit A contained 49 cans of opium, and the
other, Exhibit B, the larger sack, also contained several cans of the same substance. The hold, in which the sack mentioned in Exhibit
B was found, was under the defendant's control, who moreover, freely and of his own will and accord admitted that this sack, as
well as the other referred to in Exhibit B and found in the cabin, belonged to him. The said defendant also stated, freely and
voluntarily, that he had bought these sacks of opium, in Hongkong with the intention of selling them as contraband in Mexico or
Vera Cruz, and that, as his hold had already been searched several times for opium, he ordered two other Chinamen to keep the
sack. Exhibit A.

It is to be taken into account that the two sacks of opium, designated as Exhibits A and B, properly constitute the corpus delicti. Moreover,
another lot of four cans of opium, marked, as Exhibit C, was the subject matter of investigation at the trial, and with respect to which the chief
of the department of the port of Cebu testified that they were found in the part of the ship where the firemen habitually sleep, and that they
were delivered to the first officer of the ship to be returned to the said firemen after the vessel should have left the Philippines, because the
firemen and crew of foreign vessels, pursuant to the instructions he had from the Manila custom-house, were permitted to retain certain
amounts of opium, always provided it should not be taken shore.

And, finally, another can of opium, marked "Exhibit D," is also corpus delicti and important as evidence in this cause. With regard to this the
internal-revenue agent testified as follows:itc-alf

FISCAL. What is it?

WITNESS. It is a can opium which was bought from the defendant by a secret-service agent and taken to the office of the governor
to prove that the accused had opium in his possession to sell.

On motion by the defense, the court ruled that this answer might be stricken out "because it refers to a sale." But, with respect to this answer,
the chief of the department of customs had already given this testimony, to wit:
FISCAL. Who asked you to search the vessel?

WITNESS. The internal-revenue agent came to my office and said that a party brought him a sample of opium and that the same
party knew that there was more opium on board the steamer, and the agent asked that the vessel be searched.

The defense moved that this testimony be rejected, on the ground of its being hearsay evidence, and the court only ordered that the part
thereof "that there was more opium, on board the vessel" be stricken out.

The defense, to abbreviate proceedings, admitted that the receptacles mentioned as Exhibits A, B, and C, contained opium and were found on
board the steamship Erroll, a vessel of English nationality, and that it was true that the defendant stated that these sacks of opium were his and
that he had them in his possession.

According to the testimony of the internal-revenue agent, the defendant stated to him, in the presence of the provincial fiscal, of a Chinese
interpreter (who afterwards was not needed, because the defendant spoke English), the warden of the jail, and four guards, that the opium
seized in the vessel had been bought by him in Hongkong, at three pesos for each round can and five pesos for each one of the others, for the
purpose of selling it, as contraband, in Mexico and Puerto de Vera Cruz; that on the 15th the vessel arrived at Cebu, and on the same day he
sold opium; that he had tried to sell opium for P16 a can; that he had a contract to sell an amount of the value of about P500; that the opium
found in the room of the other two Chinamen prosecuted in another cause, was his, and that he had left it in their stateroom to avoid its being
found in his room, which had already been searched many times; and that, according to the defendant, the contents of the large sack was 80
cans of opium, and of the small one, 49, and the total number, 129.

It was established that the steamship Erroll was of English nationality, that it came from Hongkong, and that it was bound for Mexico, via the
call ports of Manila and Cebu.

The defense moved for a dismissal of the case, on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction to try the same and the facts concerned
therein did not constitute a crime. The fiscal, at the conclusion of his argument, asked that the maximum penalty of the law be imposed upon
the defendant, in view of the considerable amount of opium seized. The court ruled that it did not lack jurisdiction, inasmuch as the crime had
been committed within its district, on the wharf of Cebu.

The court sentenced the defendant to five years' imprisonment, to pay a fine of P10,000, with additional subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency, though not to exceed one third of the principal penalty, and to the payment of the costs. It further ordered the confiscation, in favor
of the Insular Government, of the exhibits presented in the case, and that, in the event of an appeal being taken or a bond given, or when the
sentenced should have been served, the defendant be not released from custody, but turned over to the customs authorities for the purpose of
the fulfillment of the existing laws on immigration.

From this judgment, the defendant appealed to this court.lawphi1.net

The appeal having been heard, together with the allegations made therein by the parties, it is found: That, although the mere possession of a
thing of prohibited use in these Islands, aboard a foreign vessel in transit, in any of their ports, does not, as a general rule, constitute a crime
triable by the courts of this country, on account of such vessel being considered as an extension of its own nationality, the same rule does not
apply when the article, whose use is prohibited within the Philippine Islands, in the present case a can of opium, is landed from the vessel upon
Philippine soil, thus committing an open violation of the laws of the land, with respect to which, as it is a violation of the penal law in force at
the place of the commission of the crime, only the court established in that said place itself had competent jurisdiction, in the absence of an
agreement under an international treaty.

It is also found: That, even admitting that the quantity of the drug seized, the subject matter of the present case, was considerable, it does not
appear that, on such account, the two penalties fixed by the law on the subject, should be imposed in the maximum degree.

Therefore, reducing the imprisonment and the fine imposed to six months and P1,000, respectively, we affirm in all other respects the
judgment appealed from, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.

Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Carson, Moreland and Trent, JJ., concur.


Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-13005 October 10, 1917

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
AH SING, defendant-appellant.

Antonio Sanz for appellant.


Acting Attorney-General Paredes for appellee.

MALCOLM, J.:

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Cebu finding the defendant guilty of a violation of section 4 of Act No. 2381
(the Opium Law), and sentencing him to two years imprisonment, to pay a fine of P300 or to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency, and to pay the costs.

The following facts are fully proven: The defendant is a subject of China employed as a fireman on the steamship Shun Chang. The Shun
Chang is a foreign steamer which arrived at the port of Cebu on April 25, 1917, after a voyage direct from the port of Saigon. The defendant
bought eight cans of opium in Saigon, brought them on board the steamship Shun Chang, and had them in his possession during the trip from
Saigon to Cebu. When the steamer anchored in the port of Cebu on April 25, 1917, the authorities on making a search found the eight cans of
opium above mentioned hidden in the ashes below the boiler of the steamer's engine. The defendant confessed that he was the owner of this
opium, and that he had purchased it in Saigon. He did not confess, however, as to his purpose in buying the opium. He did not say that it was
his intention to import the prohibited drug into the Philippine Islands. No other evidence direct or indirect, to show that the intention of the
accused was to import illegally this opium into the Philippine Islands, was introduced.

Has the crime of illegal importation of opium into the Philippine Islands been proven?

Two decisions of this Court are cited in the judgment of the trial court, but with the intimation that there exists inconsistently between the
doctrines laid down in the two cases. However, neither decision is directly a precedent on the facts before us.

In the case of United States vs. Look Chaw ([1910], 18 Phil., 573), in the opinion handed down by the Chief Justice, it is found —

That, although the mere possession of a thing of prohibited use in these Islands, aboard a foreign vessel in transit, in any of their
ports, does not, as a general rule, constitute a crime triable by the courts of this country, on account of such vessel being considered
as an extension of its own nationality, the same rule does no apply when the article, whose use is prohibited within the Philippine
Islands, in the present case a can of opium, is landed from the vessel upon Philippine soil, thus committing an open violation of the
laws of the land, with respect to which, as it is a violation of the penal law in force at the place of the commission of the crime, only
the court established in the said place itself has competent jurisdiction, in the absence of an agreement under an international
treaty.1awphil.net

A marked difference between the facts in the Look Chaw case and the facts in the present instance is readily observable. In the Look Chaw case,
the charge case the illegal possession and sale of opium — in the present case the charge as illegal importation of opium; in the Look Chaw case
the foreign vessel was in transit — in the present case the foreign vessel was not in transit; in the Look Chaw case the opium was landed from
the vessel upon Philippine soil — in the present case of United States vs. Jose ([1916], 34 Phil., 840), the main point, and the one on which
resolution turned, was that in a prosecution based on the illegal importation of opium or other prohibited drug, the Government must prove, or
offer evidence sufficient to raise a presumption, that the vessel from which the drug is discharged came into Philippine waters from a foreign
country with the drug on board. In the Jose case, the defendants were acquitted because it was not proved that the opium was imported from
a foreign country; in the present case there is no question but what the opium came from Saigon to Cebu. However, in the opinion in the Jose
case, we find the following which may be obiter dicta, but which at least is interesting as showing the view of the writer of the opinion:

The importation was complete, to say the least, when the ship carrying it anchored in Subic Bay. It was not necessary that the opium
discharged or that it be taken from the ship. It was sufficient that the opium was brought into the waters of the Philippine Islands on
a boat destined for a Philippine port and which subsequently anchored in a port of the Philippine Islands with intent to discharge its
cargo.

Resolving whatever doubt was exist as to the authority of the views just quoted, we return to an examination of the applicable provisions of the
law. It is to be noted that section 4 of Act No. 2381 begins, "Any person who shall unlawfully import or bring any prohibited drug into the
Philippine Islands." "Import" and "bring" are synonymous terms. The Federal Courts of the United States have held that the mere act of going
into a port, without breaking bulk, is prima facie evidence of importation. (The Mary [U. S.], 16 Fed. Cas., 932, 933.) And again, the importation
is not the making entry of goods at the custom house, but merely the bringing them into port; and the importation is complete before entry of
the Custom House. (U. S. vs. Lyman [U. S.], 26, Fed. Cas., 1024, 1028; Perots vs. U. S., 19 Fed. Cas., 258.) As applied to the Opium Law, we
expressly hold that any person unlawfully imports or brings any prohibited drug into the Philippine Islands, when the prohibited drug is found
under this person's control on a vessel which has come direct from a foreign country and is within the jurisdictional limits of the Philippine
Islands. In such case, a person is guilty of illegal importation of the drug unless contrary circumstances exist or the defense proves otherwise.
Applied to the facts herein, it would be absurb to think that the accused was merely carrying opium back and forth between Saigon and Cebu
for the mere pleasure of so doing. It would likewise be impossible to conceive that the accused needed so large an amount of opium for his
personal use. No better explanation being possible, the logical deduction is that the defendant intended this opium to be brought into the
Philippine Islands. We accordingly find that there was illegal importation of opium from a foreign country into the Philippine Islands. To
anticipate any possible misunderstanding, let it be said that these statements do not relate to foreign vessels in transit, a situation not present.

The defendant and appellant, having been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt as charged and the sentence of the trial court being within
the limits provided by law, it results that the judgment must be affirmed with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Johnson, Carson, Araullo and Street, JJ., concur.


Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 17958 February 27, 1922

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
LOL-LO and SARAW, defendants-appellants.

Thos. D. Aitken for appellants.


Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee.

MALCOLM, J.:

The days when pirates roamed the seas, when picturesque buccaneers like Captain Avery and Captain Kidd and Bartholomew Roberts gripped
the imagination, when grostesque brutes like Blackbeard flourished, seem far away in the pages of history and romance. Nevertheless, the
record before us tells a tale of twentieth century piracy in the south seas, but stripped of all touches of chivalry or of generosity, so as to
present a horrible case of rapine and near murder.

On or about June 30, 1920, two boats left matuta, a Dutch possession, for Peta, another Dutch possession. In one of the boats was one
individual, a Dutch subject, and in the other boat eleven men, women, and children, likewise subjects of Holland. After a number of days of
navigation, at about 7 o'clock in the evening, the second boat arrived between the Islands of Buang and Bukid in the Dutch East Indies. There
the boat was surrounded by six vintas manned by twenty-four Moros all armed. The Moros first asked for food, but once on the Dutch boat, too
for themselves all of the cargo, attacked some of the men, and brutally violated two of the women by methods too horrible to the described.
All of the persons on the Dutch boat, with the exception of the two young women, were again placed on it and holes were made in it, the idea
that it would submerge, although as a matter of fact, these people, after eleven days of hardship and privation, were succored violating them,
the Moros finally arrived at Maruro, a Dutch possession. Two of the Moro marauder were Lol-lo, who also raped one of the women, and Saraw.
At Maruro the two women were able to escape.

Lol-lo and Saraw later returned to their home in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Philippine Islands. There they were arrested and were charged in
the Court of First Instance of Sulu with the crime of piracy. A demurrer was interposed by counsel de officio for the Moros, based on the
grounds that the offense charged was not within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, nor of any court of the Philippine Islands, and
that the facts did not constitute a public offense, under the laws in force in the Philippine Islands. After the demurrer was overruled by the trial
judge, trial was had, and a judgment was rendered finding the two defendants guilty and sentencing each of them to life imprisonment (cadena
perpetua), to return together with Kinawalang and Maulanis, defendants in another case, to the offended parties, the thirty-nine sacks of
copras which had been robbed, or to indemnify them in the amount of 924 rupees, and to pay a one-half part of the costs.

A very learned and exhaustive brief has been filed in this court by the attorney de officio. By a process of elimination, however, certain
questions can be quickly disposed of.

The proven facts are not disputed. All of the elements of the crime of piracy are present. Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation on the high
seas, without lawful authority and done animo furandi, and in the spirit and intention of universal hostility.

It cannot be contended with any degree of force as was done in the lover court and as is again done in this court, that the Court of First
Instance was without jurisdiction of the case. Pirates are in law hostes humani generis. Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but
against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be
carried. The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits. As it is against all so may it be punished by all. Nor does it
matter that the crime was committed within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state, "for those limits, though neutral to war, are not
neutral to crimes." (U.S. vs. Furlong [1820], 5 Wheat., 184.)

The most serious question which is squarely presented to this court for decision for the first time is whether or not the provisions of the Penal
Code dealing with the crime of piracy are still in force. Article 153 to 156 of the Penal Code reads as follows:

ART. 153. The crime of piracy committed against Spaniards, or the subjects of another nation not at war with Spain, shall be
punished with a penalty ranging from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua.
If the crime be committed against nonbelligerent subjects of another nation at war with Spain, it shall be punished with the penalty
of presidio mayor.

ART. 154. Those who commit the crimes referred to in the first paragraph of the next preceding article shall suffer the penalty
of cadena perpetua or death, and those who commit the crimes referred to in the second paragraph of the same article,
from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua:

1. Whenever they have seized some vessel by boarding or firing upon the same.

2. Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, or by any of the physical injuries specified in articles four
hundred and fourteen and four hundred and fifteen and in paragraphs one and two of article four hundred and sixteen.

3. Whenever it is accompanied by any of the offenses against chastity specified in Chapter II, Title IX, of this book.

4. Whenever the pirates have abandoned any persons without means of saving themselves.

5. In every case, the captain or skipper of the pirates.

ART. 155. With respect to the provisions of this title, as well as all others of this code, when Spain is mentioned it shall be
understood as including any part of the national territory.

ART. 156. For the purpose of applying the provisions of this code, every person, who, according to the Constitution of the Monarchy,
has the status of a Spaniard shall be considered as such.

The general rules of public law recognized and acted on by the United States relating to the effect of a transfer of territory from another State
to the United States are well-known. The political law of the former sovereignty is necessarily changed. The municipal law in so far as it is
consistent with the Constitution, the laws of the United States, or the characteristics and institutions of the government, remains in force. As a
corollary to the main rules, laws subsisting at the time of transfer, designed to secure good order and peace in the community, which are
strictly of a municipal character, continue until by direct action of the new government they are altered or repealed. (Chicago, Rock Islands,
etc., R. Co. vs. McGlinn [1885], 114 U.S., 542.)

These principles of the public law were given specific application to the Philippines by the Instructions of President McKinley of May 19, 1898,
to General Wesley Meritt, the Commanding General of the Army of Occupation in the Philippines, when he said:

Though the powers of the military occupant are absolute and supreme, and immediately operate upon the political condition of the
inhabitants, the municipal laws of the conquered territory, such as affect private rights of person and property, and provide for the
punishment of crime, are considered as continuing in force, so far as they are compatible with the new order of things, until they are
suspended or superseded by the occupying belligerent; and practice they are not usually abrogated, but are allowed to remain in
force, and to be administered by the ordinary tribunals, substantially as they were before the occupations. This enlightened practice
is so far as possible, to be adhered to on the present occasion. (Official Gazette, Preliminary Number, Jan. 1, 1903, p. 1. See also
General Merritt Proclamation of August 14, 1898.)

It cannot admit of doubt that the articles of the Spanish Penal Code dealing with piracy were meant to include the Philippine Islands. Article 156
of the Penal Code in relation to article 1 of the Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, would also make the provisions of the Code applicable
not only to Spaniards but to Filipinos.

The opinion of Grotius was that piracy by the law of nations is the same thing as piracy by the civil law, and he has never been disputed. The
specific provisions of the Penal Code are similar in tenor to statutory provisions elsewhere and to the concepts of the public law. This must
necessarily be so, considering that the Penal Code finds its inspiration in this respect in the Novelas, the Partidas, and the Novisima
Recopilacion.

The Constitution of the United States declares that the Congress shall have the power to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on
the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations. (U.S. Const. Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 10.) The Congress, in putting on the statute books the
necessary ancillary legislation, provided that whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is
afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life. (U.S. Crim. Code, sec. 290; penalty formerly death: U.S. Rev.
Stat., sec. 5368.) The framers of the Constitution and the members of Congress were content to let a definition of piracy rest on its universal
conception under the law of nations.
It is evident that the provisions of the Penal Code now in force in the Philippines relating to piracy are not inconsistent with the corresponding
provisions in force in the United States.

By the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippine Islands to the United States. A logical construction of articles of the Penal Code, like the
articles dealing with the crime of piracy, would be that wherever "Spain" is mentioned, it should be substituted by the words "United States"
and wherever "Spaniards" are mentioned, the word should be substituted by the expression "citizens of the United States and citizens of the
Philippine Islands." somewhat similar reasoning led this court in the case of United States vs. Smith ([1919], 39 Phil., 533) to give to the word
"authority" as found in the Penal Code a limited meaning, which would no longer comprehend all religious, military, and civil officers, but only
public officers in the Government of the Philippine Islands.

Under the construction above indicated, article 153 of the Penal Code would read as follows:

The crime of piracy committed against citizens of the United States and citizens of the Philippine Islands, or the subjects of another
nation not at war with the United States, shall be punished with a penalty ranging from cadena temporal to cadena perpetua.

If the crime be committed against nonbelligerent subjects of another nation at war with the United States, it shall be punished with
the penalty of presidio mayor.

We hold those provisions of the Penal code dealing with the crime of piracy, notably articles 153 and 154, to be still in force in the Philippines.

The crime falls under the first paragraph of article 153 of the Penal Code in relation to article 154. There are present at least two of the
circumstances named in the last cited article as authorizing either cadena perpetua or death. The crime of piracy was accompanied by (1) an
offense against chastity and (2) the abandonment of persons without apparent means of saving themselves. It is, therefore, only necessary for
us to determine as to whether the penalty of cadena perpetua or death should be imposed. In this connection, the trial court, finding present
the one aggravating circumstance of nocturnity, and compensating the same by the one mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction provided
by article 11, as amended, of the Penal Code, sentenced the accused to life imprisonment. At least three aggravating circumstances, that the
wrong done in the commission of the crime was deliberately augmented by causing other wrongs not necessary for its commission, that
advantage was taken of superior strength, and that means were employed which added ignominy to the natural effects of the act, must also be
taken into consideration in fixing the penalty. Considering, therefore, the number and importance of the qualifying and aggravating
circumstances here present, which cannot be offset by the sole mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction, and the horrible nature of the
crime committed, it becomes our duty to impose capital punishment.

The vote upon the sentence is unanimous with regard to the propriety of the imposition of the death penalty upon the defendant and appellant
Lo-lo (the accused who raped on of the women), but is not unanimous with regard to the court, Mr. Justice Romualdez, registers his
nonconformity. In accordance with provisions of Act No. 2726, it results, therefore, that the judgment of the trial court as to the defendant and
appellant Saraw is affirmed, and is reversed as to the defendant and appellant Lol-lo, who is found guilty of the crime of piracy and is sentenced
therefor to be hung until dead, at such time and place as shall be fixed by the judge of first instance of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District. The
two appellants together with Kinawalang and Maulanis, defendants in another case, shall indemnify jointly and severally the offended parties in
the equivalent of 924 rupees, and shall pay a one-half part of the costs of both instances. So ordered.

Araullo, C.J., Johnson, Avanceña, Villamor, Ostrand, Johns and Romualdez, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-18924 October 19, 1922

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellant,


vs.
WONG CHENG (alias WONG CHUN), defendant-appellee.

Attorney-General Villa-Real for appellant.


Eduardo Gutierrez Repide for appellee.

ROMUALDEZ, J.:

In this appeal the Attorney-General urges the revocation of the order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, sustaining the demurrer
presented by the defendant to the information that initiated this case and in which the appellee is accused of having illegally smoked opium,
aboard the merchant vessel Changsa of English nationality while said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay two and a half miles from the shores of
the city.

The demurrer alleged lack of jurisdiction on the part of the lower court, which so held and dismissed the case.

The question that presents itself for our consideration is whether such ruling is erroneous or not; and it will or will not be erroneous according
as said court has or has no jurisdiction over said offense.

The point at issue is whether the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over crime, like the one herein involved, committed aboard
merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdiction waters. 1awph!l.net

There are two fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with International Law; to wit, the French rule, according to which
crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessels should not be prosecuted in the courts of the country within whose territorial jurisdiction
they were committed, unless their commission affects the peace and security of the territory; and the English rule, based on the territorial
principle and followed in the United States, according to which, crimes perpetrated under such circumstances are in general triable in the
courts of the country within territory they were committed. Of this two rules, it is the last one that obtains in this jurisdiction, because at
present the theories and jurisprudence prevailing in the United States on this matter are authority in the Philippines which is now a territory of
the United States.

In the cases of The Schooner Exchange vs. M'Faddon and Others (7 Cranch [U. S.], 116), Chief Justice Marshall said:

. . . When merchant vessels enter for the purposes of trade, it would be obviously inconvenient and dangerous to society, and would
subject the laws to continual infraction, and the government to degradation, if such individuals or merchants did not owe temporary
and local allegiance, and were not amenable to the jurisdiction of the country. . . .

In United States vs. Bull (15 Phil., 7), this court held:

. . . No court of the Philippine Islands had jurisdiction over an offense or crime committed on the high seas or within the territorial
waters of any other country, but when she came within three miles of a line drawn from the headlands, which embrace the entrance
to Manila Bay, she was within territorial waters, and a new set of principles became applicable. (Wheaton, International Law [Dana
ed.], p. 255, note 105; Bonfils, Le Droit Int., secs. 490 et seq.; Latour, La Mer Ter., ch. 1.) The ship and her crew were then subject to
the jurisdiction of the territorial sovereign subject to such limitations as have been conceded by that sovereignty through the proper
political agency. . . .

It is true that in certain cases the comity of nations is observed, as in Mali and Wildenhus vs. Keeper of the Common Jail (120 U.., 1), wherein it
was said that:

. . . The principle which governs the whole matter is this: Disorder which disturb only the peace of the ship or those on board are to
be dealt with exclusively by the sovereignty of the home of the ship, but those which disturb the public peace may be suppressed,
and, if need be, the offenders punished by the proper authorities of the local jurisdiction. It may not be easy at all times to
determine which of the two jurisdictions a particular act of disorder belongs. Much will undoubtedly depend on the attending
circumstances of the particular case, but all must concede that felonious homicide is a subject for the local jurisdiction, and that if
the proper authorities are proceeding with the case in the regular way the consul has no right to interfere to prevent it.

Hence in United States vs. Look Chaw (18 Phil., 573), this court held that:

Although the mere possession of an article of prohibited use in the Philippine Islands, aboard a foreign vessel in transit in any local
port, does not, as a general rule, constitute a crime triable by the courts of the Islands, such vessels being considered as an extension
of its own nationality, the same rule does not apply when the article, the use of which is prohibited in the Islands, is landed from the
vessels upon Philippine soil; in such a case an open violation of the laws of the land is committed with respect to which, as it is a
violation of the penal law in force at the place of the commission of the crime, no court other than that established in the said place
has jurisdiction of the offense, in the absence of an agreement under an international treaty.

As to whether the United States has ever consented by treaty or otherwise to renouncing such jurisdiction or a part thereof, we find nothing to
this effect so far as England is concerned, to which nation the ship where the crime in question was committed belongs. Besides, in his work
"Treaties, Conventions, etc.," volume 1, page 625, Malloy says the following:

There shall be between the territories of the United States of America, and all the territories of His Britanic Majesty in Europe, a
reciprocal liberty of commerce. The inhabitants of the two countries, respectively, shall have liberty freely and securely to come with
their ships and cargoes to all such places, ports and rivers, in the territories aforesaid, to which other foreigners are permitted to
come, to enter into the same, and to remain and reside in any parts of the said territories, respectively; also to hire and occupy
houses and warehouses for the purposes of their commerce; and, generally, the merchants and traders of each nation respectively
shall enjoy the most complete protection and security for their commerce, but subject always to the laws and statutes of the two
countries, respectively. (Art. 1, Commerce and Navigation Convention.)

We have seen that the mere possession of opium aboard a foreign vessel in transit was held by this court not triable by or courts, because it
being the primary object of our Opium Law to protect the inhabitants of the Philippines against the disastrous effects entailed by the use of this
drug, its mere possession in such a ship, without being used in our territory, does not being about in the said territory those effects that our
statute contemplates avoiding. Hence such a mere possession is not considered a disturbance of the public order.

But to smoke opium within our territorial limits, even though aboard a foreign merchant ship, is certainly a breach of the public order here
established, because it causes such drug to produce its pernicious effects within our territory. It seriously contravenes the purpose that our
Legislature has in mind in enacting the aforesaid repressive statute. Moreover, as the Attorney-General aptly observes:

. . . The idea of a person smoking opium securely on board a foreign vessel at anchor in the port of Manila in open defiance of the
local authorities, who are impotent to lay hands on him, is simply subversive of public order. It requires no unusual stretch of the
imagination to conceive that a foreign ship may come into the port of Manila and allow or solicit Chinese residents to smoke opium
on board.

The order appealed from is revoked and the cause ordered remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings in accordance with law,
without special findings as to costs. So ordered.

Araullo, C.J., Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, Villamor, Ostrand and Johns, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-30026 January 30, 1971

MARIO GUMABON, BLAS BAGOLBAGOL, GAUDENCIO AGAPITO, EPIFANIO PADUA and PATERNO PALMARES, petitioners,
vs.
THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS, respondent.

Jose W. Diokno for petitioners.

Office of the Solicitor General Felix V. Makasiar, Assistant Solicitor General Antonio A. Torres and Solicitor Eduardo C. Abaya for respondent.

FERNANDO, J.:

Habeas corpus, the great writ of liberty, is relied upon by petitioners, five in number, for their release from imprisonment. Meted out life terms
for the complex crime of rebellion with murder and other crimes, they would invoke the People v. Hernandez1 doctrine, negating the existence
of such an offense, a ruling that unfortunately for them was not handed down until after their convictions had become final. Nor is this the first
instance, a proceeding of this character was instituted, as in Pomeroy v. Director of Prisons,2 likewise a petition for habeas corpus, a similar
question was presented. The answer given was in the negative. Petitioners plead for a new look on the matter. They would premise their stand
on the denial of equal protection if their plea would not be granted. Moreover they did invoke the codal provision that judicial decisions shall
form part of the legal system of the Philippines,3 necessarily resulting in the conclusion that the Hernandez decision once promulgated calls for
a retroactive effect under the explicit mandate of the Revised Penal Code as to penal laws having such character even if at the time of their
application a final sentence has been rendered "and the convict is serving the same."4 These arguments carry considerable persuasion.
Accordingly we find for petitioners, without going so far as to overrule Pomeroy.

Petitioner Mario Gumabon, after pleading guilty, was sentenced on May 5, 1953 to suffer reclusion perpetua for the complex crime of rebellion
with multiple murder, robbery, arson and kidnapping. Petitioners Gaudencio Agapito, Paterno Palmares and Epifanio Padua, likewise pleaded
guilty to the complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder and other offenses, and were similarly made to suffer the same penalty in
decisions rendered, as to the first two, on March 8, 1954 and, as to the third, on December 15, 1955. The last petitioner, Blas Bagolbagol, stood
trial also for the complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder and other offenses and on January 12, 1954 penalized with reclusion
perpetua. Each of the petitioners has been since then imprisoned by virtue of the above convictions. Each of them has served more than 13
years.5

Subsequently, in People v. Hernandez,6 as above noted, this Court ruled that the information against the accused in that case for rebellion
complexed with murder, arson and robbery was not warranted under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, there being no such complex
offense.7 In the recently-decided case of People vs. Lava,8 we expressly reaffirmed the ruling in the Hernandez case rejecting the plea of the
Solicitor General for the abandonment of such doctrine. It is the contention of each of the petitioners that he has served, in the light of the
above, more than the maximum penalty that could have been imposed upon him. He is thus entitled to freedom, his continued detention being
illegal.9

The fear that the Pomeroy ruling stands as an obstacle to their release on a habeas corpus proceeding prompted petitioners, as had been
mentioned, to ask that it be appraised anew and, if necessary, discarded. We can resolve the present petition without doing so. The plea there
made was unconvincing, there being a failure to invoke the contentions now pressed vigorously by their counsel, Attorney Jose W. Diokno, as
to the existence of a denial of a constitutional right that would suffice to raise a serious jurisdictional question and the retroactive effect to be
given a judicial decision favorable to one already sentenced to a final judgment under Art. 22 of the Revised Penal Code. To repeat, these two
grounds carry weight. We have to grant this petition.

1. The fundamental issue, to repeat, is the availability of the writ of habeas corpus under the circumstances disclosed. Its latitudinarian scope to
assure that illegality of restraint and detention be avoided is one of the truisms of the law. It is not known as the writ of liberty for nothing. The
writ imposes on judges the grave responsibility of ascertaining whether there is any legal justification for a deprivation of physical freedom.
Unless there be such a showing, the confinement must thereby cease. If there be a valid sentence it cannot, even for a moment, be extended
beyond the period provided for by law. Any deviation from the legal norms call for the termination of the imprisonment.
Rightly then could Chafee refer to the writ as "the most important human rights provision" in the fundamental law. 10Nor is such praise unique.
Cooley spoke of it as "one of the principal safeguards to personal liberty." 11 For Willoughby, it is "the greatest of the safeguards erected by the
civil law against arbitrary and illegal imprisonment by whomsoever detention may be exercised or ordered." 12 Burdick echoed a similar
sentiment, referring to it as "one of the most important bulwarks of liberty." 13 Fraenkel made it unanimous, for to him, "without it much else
would be of no avail." 14 Thereby the rule of law is assured.

A full awareness of the potentialities of the writ of habeas corpus in the defense of liberty coupled with its limitations may be detected in the
opinions of former Chief Justices Arellano, 15 Avanceña, 16 Abad Santos, 17 Paras, 18Bengzon, 19 and the present Chief Justice. 20 It fell to Justice
Malcolm's lot, however to emphasize quite a few times the breadth of its amplitude and of its reach. In Villavicencio v. Lukban, 21 the remedy
came in handy to challenge the validity of the order of the then respondent Mayor of Manila who, for the best of reasons but without legal
justification, ordered the transportation of more than 150 inmates of houses of ill-repute to Davao. After referring to the writ of habeas corpus
as having been devised and existing "as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint" the opinion of Justice
Malcolm continued: "The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as
distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of action is
sufficient." 22

The liberality with which the judiciary is to construe habeas corpus petitions even if presented in pleadings on their face devoid of merit was
demonstrated in Ganaway v. Quilen, 23 where this Court, again through Justice Malcolm, stated: "As standing alone the petition for habeas
corpus was fatally defective in its allegations, this court, on its motion, ordered before it the record of the lower court in the case
entitled Thomas Casey, et al. v. George Ganaway." 24 It is to Justice Malcolm likewise in Conde v. Rivera, 25 to whom is traceable the doctrine,
one that broadens the field of the operation of the writ, that a disregard of the constitutional right to speedy trial ousts the court of jurisdiction
and entitles the accused if "restrained of his liberty, by habeas corpus to obtain his
freedom." 26

So it is in the United States. An 1830 decision 27 of Chief Justice Marshall put the matter thus: "The writ of habeas corpus is a high prerogative
writ, known to the common law, the great object of which is the liberation of those who may be imprisoned without sufficient cause." Then
there is this affirmation from an 1869 decision 28 of the then Chief Justice Chase: "The great writ of habeas corpus has been for centuries
esteemed the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom." The passing of the years has only served to confirm its primacy as a
weapon on in the cause of liberty. Only the other year, Justice Fortas spoke for the United States Supreme Court thus: "The writ of habeas
corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action. ... The scope and flexibility
of the writ — its capacity to reach all manner of illegal detention — its ability to cut through barriers of form and procedural mazes — have
always been emphasized and jealously guarded by courts and lawmakers. The very nature of the writ demands that it be administered with the
initiative and flexibility essential to insure that miscarriages of justice within its reach are surfaced and corrected." 29 Justice Fortas explicitly
made reference to Blackstone, who spoke of it as "the great and efficacious writ, in all manner of illegal confinement." Implicit in his just
estimate of its pre-eminent role is his adoption of Holmes' famous dissent in Frank v. Mangum: 30 "But habeas corpus cuts through all forms and
goes to the very tissue of the structure."

2. Where, however, the detention complained of finds its origin in what has been judicially ordained, the range of inquiry in a habeas corpus
proceeding is considerably narrowed. For if "the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued
by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process,
render the judgment, or make the order," the writ does not lie. 31 That principle dates back to 1902, 32 when this Court announced that habeas
corpus was unavailing where the person detained was in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or magistrate. This is
understandable, as during the time the Philippines was under American rule, there was necessarily an adherence to authoritative doctrines of
constitutional law there followed.

One such principle is the requirement that there be a finding of jurisdictional defect. As summarized by Justice Bradley in Ex parte Siebold, an
1880 decision: "The only ground on which this court, or any court, without some special statute authorizing it, will give relief on habeas corpus
to a prisoner under conviction and sentence of another court is the want of jurisdiction in such court over the person or the cause, or some
other matter rendering its proceedings void." 33

There is the fundamental exception though, that must ever be kept in mind. Once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the
court that rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas corpus is the appropriate remedy to assail the legality of the
detention. 34

3. Petitioners precisely assert a deprivation of a constitutional right, namely, the denial of equal protection. According to their petition: "In the
case at bar, the petitioners were convicted by Courts of First Instance for the very same rebellion for which Hernandez, Geronimo, and others
were convicted. The law under which they were convicted is the very same law under which the latter were convicted. It had not and has not
been changed. For the same crime, committed under the same law, how can we, in conscience, allow petitioners to suffer life imprisonment,
while others can suffer only prision mayor?" 35

They would thus stress that, contrary to the mandate of equal protection, people similarly situated were not similarly dealt with. What is
required under this required constitutional guarantee is the uniform operation of legal norms so that all persons under similar circumstances
would be accorded the same treatment both in the privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. As was noted in a recent decision:
"Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be given to every person
under circumstances, which if not identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of burden or charges, those that fall within a class
should be treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on some in the group equally binding on the rest." 36

The argument of petitioners thus possesses a persuasive ring. The continued incarceration after the twelve-year period when such is the
maximum length of imprisonment in accordance with our controlling doctrine, when others similarly convicted have been freed, is fraught with
implications at war with equal protection. That is not to give it life. On the contrary, it would render it nugatory. Otherwise, what would happen
is that for an identical offense, the only distinction lying in the finality of the conviction of one being before the Hernandez ruling and the other
after, a person duly sentenced for the same crime would be made to suffer different penalties. Moreover, as noted in the petition before us,
after our ruling in People v. Lava, petitioners who were mere followers would be made to languish in jail for perhaps the rest of their natural
lives when the leaders had been duly considered as having paid their penalty to society, and freed. Such a deplorable result is to be avoided.

4. Petitioners likewise, as was made mention at the outset, would rely on Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code which requires that penal
judgment be given a retroactive effect. In support of their contention, petitioners cite U.S. v. Macasaet, 37 U.S. vs.Parrone, 38 U.S. v.
Almencion, 39 People v. Moran, 40 and People v. Parel. 41 While reference in the above provision is made not to judicial decisions but to
legislative acts, petitioners entertain the view that it would be merely an exaltation of the literal to deny its application to a case like the
present. Such a belief has a firmer foundation. As was previously noted, the Civil Code provides that judicial decisions applying or interpreting
the Constitution, as well as legislation, form part of our legal system. Petitioners would even find support in the well-known dictum of Bishop
Hoadley:

"Whoever hath an absolute authority to interpret any written or spoken laws, it is he who is truly the law-giver to all intents and purposes, and
not the person who first thought or spoke them." It is to be admitted that constitutional law scholars, notably
Frankfurter, 42 Powell, 43 and Thayer, 44 in discussing judicial review as well as the jurist John Chipman Gray, were much impressed with the truth
and the soundness of the above observations. We do not have to go that far though. Enough for present purposes that both the Civil Code and
the Revised Penal Code allow, if they do not call for, a retroactive application.

It being undeniable that if the Hernandez ruling were to be given a retroactive effect petitioners had served the full term for which they could
have been legally committed, is habeas corpus the appropriate remedy? The answer cannot be in doubt. As far back as 1910 the prevailing
doctrine was announced in Cruz v. Director of Prisons. 45Thus: "The courts uniformly hold that where a sentence imposes punishment in excess
of the power of the court to impose, such sentence is void as to the excess, and some of the courts hold that the sentence is void in toto; but
the weight of authority sustains the proposition that such a sentence is void only as to the excess imposed in case the parts are separable, the
rule being that the petitioner is not entitled to his discharge on a writ of habeas corpus unless he has served out so much of the sentence as
was valid." 46 There is a reiteration of such a principle in Director v. Director of Prisons 47 where it was explicitly announced by this Court "that
the only means of giving retroactive effect to a penal provision favorable to the accused ... is the writ of habeas corpus." 48 While the above
decision speaks of a trial judge losing jurisdiction over the case, insofar as the remedy of habeas corpus is concerned, the emphatic affirmation
that it is the only means of benefiting the accused by the retroactive character of a favorable decision holds true. Petitioners clearly have thus
successfully sustained the burden of justifying their release.

WHEREFORE, the petition for habeas corpus is granted, and it is ordered that petitioners be forthwith set at liberty.

Dizon and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, C.J., concurs in the result.

Castro and Makasiar, JJ., took no part.

Separate Opinions

TEEHANKEE, J., concurring and dissenting:

The petitioners at bar, three of whom pleaded guilty1 and two of whom stood
trial,2 were meted out life terms in 1953, 1954 and 1955 for the so-called complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder and other crimes,
and have served or are now entering into their 17th year of imprisonment, save for petitioner Epifanio Padua who was sentenced on December
15, 1955 and is completing his 15th year of imprisonment, (excluding the periods they were under pre-conviction detention). The leaders of the
rebellion who were meted out death and life sentences for the same charge by the Court of First Instance of Manila had their sentences
reduced last near to ten years of prision mayor by the Court in People v. Lava,3 wherein the Court expressly re-affirmed the doctrine first laid
down in 1956 in People vs. Hernandez,4 that the crime of rebellion cannot be complexed with other common crimes since such common crimes
"assume the political complexion of the main crime of which they are mere ingredients and consequently cannot be punished separately from
the principal offense, or complexed with the same, to justify the imposition of a graver penalty." The Court rejected therein the State's plea for
the reexamination and setting aside of such doctrine, declaring that "(T)his Court has given this plea of the Solicitor General a very serious
consideration, but after a mature deliberation the members of this Court have decided to maintain that ruling in the Hernandez case and to
adhere to what this Court said in that case." The said leaders have since been duly freed as having served out their penalty, but their followers,
herein petitioners, are still serving their life sentences.

I concede the validity of the ruling in Pomeroy vs. Director of Prisons5 that "(W)ith reference to persons in custody pursuant to a final judgment,
the rule is that the writ of habeas corpus can issue only for want of jurisdiction of the sentencing court, and cannot function as a writ of error."
"I grant, too, that at the time of the Pomeroy decision in 1960, as noted therein, "the existence of the 'complexed' rebellion (was) still upheld by
a sizable number of lawyers, prosecutors, judges and even justices of this Court." But with the doctrine first enunciated in 1956 in Hernandez by
a bare six-to-four majority vote having withstood the test of time6 and having been just last year unreservedly reaffirmed without a single
dissent in Lava, it cannot now be gainsaid that it is now part of our legal system that the crime of "complexed" rebellion does not exist in our
Revised Penal Code. No prosecutor would now file an information for "complexed" rebellion but simply for the offense of simple rebellion as
defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, and even if such an information for "complexed" rebellion to be so filed, the trial courts would
be bound to quash such information as not charging an offense on the strength of Lava and Hernandez.

Petitioners have therefore properly invoked in their favor the provisions of Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code that:

ART. 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws.—Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the person
guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in rule 5 of article 62 of this Code, although at the
time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same.

in relation to the provisions of Article 8 of the Civil Code that "(J)udicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form
a part of the legal system of the Philippines."

The situation of petitioners is no different than it would be if, say, the penalty of reclusion perpetua were imposed by statute for the crime of
simple rebellion at the time of their conviction and they were accordingly sentenced, and the statutory penalty were now reduced to prision
mayor or 12 years imprisonment; having served out the maximum penalty of 12 years now imposed by the amended statute, they would be
entitled to invoke the retroactive effect of the statute favoring them.lâwphî1.ñèt The only difference between the situation given and the
present case is that here it is this Supreme Court, interpreting the laws in discharge of its constitutional prerogative, that has laid down the
doctrine since Hernandez in 1956 that no offense of "complexed" rebellion exists and petitioners should therefore be now equally entitled to
the retroactive favorable effect of such doctrine.

The actual case of petitioners is that at the time of their conviction, it was
believed — erroneously — that the crime committed by them was punishable by life imprisonment, but the Court has subsequently judicially
determined it not be so and that the maximum imposable penalty is prision mayor or 12 years. Petitioners-convicts are entitled to the benefit
of this later judicial declaration, just as if a statutory amendment had been enacted—not because the sentencing court had no jurisdiction or is
now ousted of jurisdiction. The writ prayed for should issue, since as held in Directo vs. Director of Prisons,7 "the only means of giving
retroactive effect to a penal provision favorable to the accused where the trial judge has lost jurisdiction over the case, is the writ of habeas
corpus."

The question of jurisdiction of the sentencing court therefore is moot, for it is universally recognized that relief by habeas corpus may be
properly sought in cases of imposition of excessive penalty, such that the part of the sentence beyond or in excess of the power of the court to
impose is held void, the applicant having already served out the entire part of the sentence within the court's power. 8 As pointed out by the
Court in Rodriguez vs. Director of Prisons,9 furthermore, "Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code ... extends its benefits even to convicts serving
sentence, and the only legal remedy open to them to make use of such benefits is the writ of habeas corpus inasmuch as, if the penalty
imposed upon them under the former penal law was decreased by the revised code, the excess has become illegal."

Regardless, therefore, of whether the trial courts that sentenced petitioners to life sentences had jurisdiction or not to impose such penalty, or
were right or wrong in imposing such penalty, the only relevant question now is whether petitioners have served the maximum — and lesser —
sentence of prision mayor that this Court has by firm judicial doctrine since 1956 determined to be the penalty that the Revised Penal Code
fixes for the crime of rebellion. Since they have actually served much more than the maximum imposable penalty, the excess of the sentence
imposed upon them over the imposable maximum of twelve years of prision mayor cannot but be declared illegal and they should now be set
free.

In People vs. Parel, 10 the Court held that the provisions of a new law (Act 3030) for the prescription of certain election offenses (fixing the same
at one year after commission) were more favorable to the accused than those of the pre-existing law and were therefore retroactive as to the
same offenses committed before the enactment of the new law. In meeting the objection that the reduced prescription period was by its terms
applicable only to offenses resulting from the new law (which amended the pre-existing Election Law) and could not be given retroactive effect,
the Court found "that practically all of the offenses defined in the former law are also defined in the same language in Act 3030 (the new law),
the only difference being that the penalties have been increased." Holding that the retroactivity clause of Article 22 of the Penal Code must
apply in all in which the new law is more favorable to the accused, in the absence of any express statutory exception, the Court drew this
analogy: "Let us suppose that a statute is enacted defining the crime of murder in the same language in which it is defined in the Penal Code,
but providing that the maximum penalty for the crime defined in the new statute shall be life imprisonment, the statute containing no provision
that it shall not be retroactive in its effect. Would anyone then maintain that the death penalty might still be imposed for murder committed
before the new statute was enacted?"

The case at bar for petitioners is much stronger. Here, there is no question even as to the enactment of a law statute describing the crime in the
same language and imposing a lesser penalty, but the settled doctrine of this Court that there does not exist in our legal system the complex
crime of rebellion of which the petitioners stand convicted, "since rebellion cannot form a complex with common crimes, because the latter are
either absorbed by the rebellion itself or are punishable as independent offenses." 11 Petitioners here have been convicted for the very same
rebellion and under the very same law for which their leaders, Jose Lava et al., have been convicted. Yet, while their leaders have since been
freed after serving their sentences of ten years of prision mayor, petitioners as mere followers are serving out the life sentences imposed on
them, notwithstanding their already having served out much more than the maximum penalty of twelve years of prision mayor imposable upon
them. The fact that the legal doubts about the non-existence of the crime of "complexed" rebellion were cleared up only in 1956 after they had
already been convicted and were serving their sentences does not make the excess in the penalty imposed upon them beyond the maximum of
twelve years any less illegal.

The rule of prospective and non-retroactive operation of judicial doctrines, and its corollary rule of the law of the case, have no application
here. These salutary rules decree that rights of parties having been decisively settled and determined by final judgment of the court of
competent jurisdiction with the party adversely affected having had the opportunity to raise in the case all relevant questions, the decision
becomes the law of the case, and vested rights would be impaired, judicial chaos and disorder ensue and litigation would be never-ending and
would become more intolerable than the wrongs it is intended to redress, should an adjudicated case be reopened simply because in another
and subsequent case, this Court adopted a new or different construction of the law under which a different result of the adjudicated case might
have been obtained. Here, the whole question
turns — simply — on the nature of the crime of rebellion as defined in section 134 of the Revised Penal Code and the maximum penalty
imposable therefor under section 135 of the same Code. As this Court had ruled since 1956--which is now settled doctrine—that only the crime
of simple rebellion exists in our legal system for which the maximum penalty of prision mayor may be imposed, the excess of the life sentences
imposed upon petitioners over the imposable maximum of prision mayor cannot stand and must necessarily be declared void.

Prescinding then from the question of jurisdiction of the sentencing courts, the case at bar presents a clear case of an excess in penalty imposed
beyond twelve years of prision mayor which has become illegal by virtue of this Court's settled doctrine that the crime of rebellion cannot be
complexed with other common crimes. On this ground, as well as on the further and more fundamental ground that to hold them liable to
continue serving life sentences for a crime that the law—at the time of their conviction as well as now—punishes only with prision mayor which
they have more than fully served, would be to deny them their constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of the law.

Any further detention of petitioners, in my view as above discussed, is illegal and unconstitutional and the petition for habeas corpus should be
granted and petitioners forthwith set at liberty.

Reyes, J.B.L., Makalintal and Villamor, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions

TEEHANKEE, J., concurring and dissenting:

The petitioners at bar, three of whom pleaded guilty1 and two of whom stood
trial,2 were meted out life terms in 1953, 1954 and 1955 for the so-called complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder and other crimes,
and have served or are now entering into their 17th year of imprisonment, save for petitioner Epifanio Padua who was sentenced on December
15, 1955 and is completing his 15th year of imprisonment, (excluding the periods they were under pre-conviction detention). The leaders of the
rebellion who were meted out death and life sentences for the same charge by the Court of First Instance of Manila had their sentences
reduced last near to ten years of prision mayor by the Court in People v. Lava,3 wherein the Court expressly re-affirmed the doctrine first laid
down in 1956 in People vs. Hernandez,4 that the crime of rebellion cannot be complexed with other common crimes since such common crimes
"assume the political complexion of the main crime of which they are mere ingredients and consequently cannot be punished separately from
the principal offense, or complexed with the same, to justify the imposition of a graver penalty." The Court rejected therein the State's plea for
the reexamination and setting aside of such doctrine, declaring that "(T)his Court has given this plea of the Solicitor General a very serious
consideration, but after a mature deliberation the members of this Court have decided to maintain that ruling in the Hernandez case and to
adhere to what this Court said in that case." The said leaders have since been duly freed as having served out their penalty, but their followers,
herein petitioners, are still serving their life sentences.

I concede the validity of the ruling in Pomeroy vs. Director of Prisons5 that "(W)ith reference to persons in custody pursuant to a final judgment,
the rule is that the writ of habeas corpus can issue only for want of jurisdiction of the sentencing court, and cannot function as a writ of error."
"I grant, too, that at the time of the Pomeroy decision in 1960, as noted therein, "the existence of the 'complexed' rebellion (was) still upheld by
a sizable number of lawyers, prosecutors, judges and even justices of this Court." But with the doctrine first enunciated in 1956 in Hernandez by
a bare six-to-four majority vote having withstood the test of time6 and having been just last year unreservedly reaffirmed without a single
dissent in Lava, it cannot now be gainsaid that it is now part of our legal system that the crime of "complexed" rebellion does not exist in our
Revised Penal Code. No prosecutor would now file an information for "complexed" rebellion but simply for the offense of simple rebellion as
defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, and even if such an information for "complexed" rebellion to be so filed, the trial courts would
be bound to quash such information as not charging an offense on the strength of Lava and Hernandez.

Petitioners have therefore properly invoked in their favor the provisions of Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code that:

ART. 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws.—Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the person
guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in rule 5 of article 62 of this Code, although at the
time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same.

in relation to the provisions of Article 8 of the Civil Code that "(J)udicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form
a part of the legal system of the Philippines."

The situation of petitioners is no different than it would be if, say, the penalty of reclusion perpetua were imposed by statute for the crime of
simple rebellion at the time of their conviction and they were accordingly sentenced, and the statutory penalty were now reduced to prision
mayor or 12 years imprisonment; having served out the maximum penalty of 12 years now imposed by the amended statute, they would be
entitled to invoke the retroactive effect of the statute favoring them. The only difference between the situation given and the present case is
that here it is this Supreme Court, interpreting the laws in discharge of its constitutional prerogative, that has laid down the doctrine
since Hernandez in 1956 that no offense of "complexed" rebellion exists and petitioners should therefore be now equally entitled to the
retroactive favorable effect of such doctrine.

The actual case of petitioners is that at the time of their conviction, it was
believed — erroneously — that the crime committed by them was punishable by life imprisonment, but the Court has subsequently judicially
determined it not be so and that the maximum imposable penalty is prision mayor or 12 years. Petitioners-convicts are entitled to the benefit
of this later judicial declaration, just as if a statutory amendment had been enacted—not because the sentencing court had no jurisdiction or is
now ousted of jurisdiction. The writ prayed for should issue, since as held in Directo vs. Director of Prisons,7 "the only means of giving
retroactive effect to a penal provision favorable to the accused where the trial judge has lost jurisdiction over the case, is the writ of habeas
corpus."

The question of jurisdiction of the sentencing court therefore is moot, for it is universally recognized that relief by habeas corpus may be
properly sought in cases of imposition of excessive penalty, such that the part of the sentence beyond or in excess of the power of the court to
impose is held void, the applicant having already served out the entire part of the sentence within the court's power. 8 As pointed out by the
Court in Rodriguez vs. Director of Prisons,9 furthermore, "Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code ... extends its benefits even to convicts serving
sentence, and the only legal remedy open to them to make use of such benefits is the writ of habeas corpus inasmuch as, if the penalty
imposed upon them under the former penal law was decreased by the revised code, the excess has become illegal."

Regardless, therefore, of whether the trial courts that sentenced petitioners to life sentences had jurisdiction or not to impose such penalty, or
were right or wrong in imposing such penalty, the only relevant question now is whether petitioners have served the maximum — and lesser —
sentence of prision mayor that this Court has by firm judicial doctrine since 1956 determined to be the penalty that the Revised Penal Code
fixes for the crime of rebellion. Since they have actually served much more than the maximum imposable penalty, the excess of the sentence
imposed upon them over the imposable maximum of twelve years of prision mayor cannot but be declared illegal and they should now be set
free.

In People vs. Parel, 10 the Court held that the provisions of a new law (Act 3030) for the prescription of certain election offenses (fixing the same
at one year after commission) were more favorable to the accused than those of the pre-existing law and were therefore retroactive as to the
same offenses committed before the enactment of the new law. In meeting the objection that the reduced prescription period was by its terms
applicable only to offenses resulting from the new law (which amended the pre-existing Election Law) and could not be given retroactive effect,
the Court found "that practically all of the offenses defined in the former law are also defined in the same language in Act 3030 (the new law),
the only difference being that the penalties have been increased." Holding that the retroactivity clause of Article 22 of the Penal Code must
apply in all in which the new law is more favorable to the accused, in the absence of any express statutory exception, the Court drew this
analogy: "Let us suppose that a statute is enacted defining the crime of murder in the same language in which it is defined in the Penal Code,
but providing that the maximum penalty for the crime defined in the new statute shall be life imprisonment, the statute containing no provision
that it shall not be retroactive in its effect. Would anyone then maintain that the death penalty might still be imposed for murder committed
before the new statute was enacted?"

The case at bar for petitioners is much stronger. Here, there is no question even as to the enactment of a law statute describing the crime in the
same language and imposing a lesser penalty, but the settled doctrine of this Court that there does not exist in our legal system the complex
crime of rebellion of which the petitioners stand convicted, "since rebellion cannot form a complex with common crimes, because the latter are
either absorbed by the rebellion itself or are punishable as independent offenses." 11 Petitioners here have been convicted for the very same
rebellion and under the very same law for which their leaders, Jose Lava et al., have been convicted. Yet, while their leaders have since been
freed after serving their sentences of ten years of prision mayor, petitioners as mere followers are serving out the life sentences imposed on
them, notwithstanding their already having served out much more than the maximum penalty of twelve years of prision mayor imposable upon
them. The fact that the legal doubts about the non-existence of the crime of "complexed" rebellion were cleared up only in 1956 after they had
already been convicted and were serving their sentences does not make the excess in the penalty imposed upon them beyond the maximum of
twelve years any less illegal.

The rule of prospective and non-retroactive operation of judicial doctrines, and its corollary rule of the law of the case, have no application
here. These salutary rules decree that rights of parties having been decisively settled and determined by final judgment of the court of
competent jurisdiction with the party adversely affected having had the opportunity to raise in the case all relevant questions, the decision
becomes the law of the case, and vested rights would be impaired, judicial chaos and disorder ensue and litigation would be never-ending and
would become more intolerable than the wrongs it is intended to redress, should an adjudicated case be reopened simply because in another
and subsequent case, this Court adopted a new or different construction of the law under which a different result of the adjudicated case might
have been obtained. Here, the whole question
turns — simply — on the nature of the crime of rebellion as defined in section 134 of the Revised Penal Code and the maximum penalty
imposable therefor under section 135 of the same Code. As this Court had ruled since 1956--which is now settled doctrine—that only the crime
of simple rebellion exists in our legal system for which the maximum penalty of prision mayor may be imposed, the excess of the life sentences
imposed upon petitioners over the imposable maximum of prision mayor cannot stand and must necessarily be declared void.

Prescinding then from the question of jurisdiction of the sentencing courts, the case at bar presents a clear case of an excess in penalty imposed
beyond twelve years of prision mayor which has become illegal by virtue of this Court's settled doctrine that the crime of rebellion cannot be
complexed with other common crimes. On this ground, as well as on the further and more fundamental ground that to hold them liable to
continue serving life sentences for a crime that the law—at the time of their conviction as well as now—punishes only with prision mayor which
they have more than fully served, would be to deny them their constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of the law.

Any further detention of petitioners, in my view as above discussed, is illegal and unconstitutional and the petition for habeas corpus should be
granted and petitioners forthwith set at liberty.
FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 4935. October 25, 1909. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JAMES L. BROBST, Defendant-Appellant.

Kincaid & Hurd for Appellant.

Attorney-General Villamor for Appellee.

SYLLABUS

1. HOMICIDE; RIGHT TO EJECT TRESPASSERS; CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. — The right to use force or violence in the expulsion of an
intruder upon one’s premises, when it exists, is strictly limited to the use of such a degree of force as may be necessary under all the
circumstances, to obtain the end in view; and the use of excessive force if unlawful.

2. ID.; DEATH RESULTING FROM A BLOW; REASONABLE DOUBT. — Held, That proof that a heavy blow with the closed fist, over the
lower left ribs, inflicted upon a person in apparent good health, was followed by the death of that person in less than two hours,
sustains a finding that death resulted from the infliction of the blow, in the absence of proof of any intervening cause, and the
circumstances being such as to afford no ground for reasonable doubt that no extraneous cause did in fact intervene.

3. ID.; ID.; ID.; EVIDENCE. — The doubt to the benefit of which accused persons are entitled on a criminal trial is a reasonable doubt,
and not a mere whimsical or fanciful doubt, based on imagined but wholly improbable possibilities, and unsupported by evidence.

4. ID.; ID. — Held, That death may result from a blow over or near the heart or in the abdominal region, notwithstanding the fact
that the blow leaves no outward mark of violence.

5. ID.; ID. — Where death results as the direct consequence of the use of illegal violence, the mere fact that the diseased or
weakened condition of the injured person contributed to his death, does not relieve the illegal aggressor of criminal responsibility .

6. ID.; ID.; INTENTION; CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. — One is not relieved, under the law in these Islands, from criminal liability for
the natural consequences for one’s illegal acts, merely because one does not intend to produce such consequences.

7. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. — But in such cases, the lack of intention, while it does not exempt from criminal liability, taken into consideration
as an extenuating circumstance.

DECISION

CARSON, J. :

The defendant, James L. Brobst, and another American named Mann, were engaged in work on a mine located in the municipality of
Masbate, where they gave employment to a number of native laborers. Mann discharged one of these laborers named Simeon
Saldivar, warned him not to come back on the premises, and told the defendant not to employ him again, because he was a thief
and a disturbing element with the other laborers. A few days afterwards, some time after 6 o’clock on the morning of the 10th of
July, 1907, Saldivar, in company with three or four others, went to the mine to look for work. The defendant, who at the time was
dressing himself inside his tent, which was erected on the mining property, when he caught sight of Saldivar, ordered him off the
place, ex-claiming in bad Spanish, "Sigue, Vamus!" (Begone). Saldivar made no move to leave, and although the order was repeated,
merely smiled or grinned at the defendant, where-upon the latter became enraged, took three steps toward Saldivar, and struck
him a powerful blow with his closed fist on the left side, just over the lower ribs, at the point where the handle of Saldivar’s bolo lay
against the belt from which it was suspended. On being struck, Saldivar threw up his hands, staggered (dio vueltas — spun around
helplessly) and without saying a word, went away in the direction of his sister’s house, which stood about 200 yards (100 brazas)
away, and about 100 feet up the side of a hill. He died as he reached the door of the house and was buried some two or three days
later.

The trial court found the defendant guilty of the crime of homicide (homicidio), marked with the extenuating circumstances, denied
in subsections 3 and 7 of article 9 of the Penal Code, in that the defendant "had no intention of committing so grave an injury as
that which he inflicted," and that he struck the blow "under such powerful excitement as would naturally produce entire loss of
reason and self-control." Sentence of sic years and one day of prision mayor was imposed, and from this sentence defendant
appealed to this court.

Counsel for the appellant, relying mainly on appellant’s claim that he did not strike Saldivar, and that he merely pushed him lightly
with the back of his open hand, and relying also on the lack of satisfactory proof of the existence of lesions or external marks of
violence on the body of the deceased, contend: first, that the evidence fails to sustain a finding that the deceased came to his death
as a result of injuries inflicted by the defendant; and, second, that even if it be a fact that the defendant, in laying his hand upon the
deceased, contributed to his death, nevertheless, since the defendant had a perfect right to eject the deceased from the mining
property, he can not be held criminally liable for unintentional injuries inflicted in the lawful exercise of this right.

Two witnesses, Dagapdap and Yotiga, who were standing close by at the time, swore positively that the blow was delivered with the
closed fist, from the shoulder (de dentro para fuera), and that it was a hard blow; Dagapdap testifying that, "Al pegar el puñetazo,
Simeon dio vueltas, y despues se marcho" (when the blow was struck, Simeon staggered and afterwards went away); and Yotiga
that "despues de dar el golpe se retrocedio’y levanto los brazos" (after the blow was struck, he backed away and threw up his
arms). The testimony of these witnesses is clear, positive, and definite and is wholly uncontradicted, except for the improbable
story told by the accused in his own behalf, when he testified that he testified that seeing Saldivar standing outside his tent, he told
him twice to go away and then stepped up to him and pushed him lightly with the back of his hand, which came in contact with the
handle of Saldivar’s bolo, but not with sufficient force to push him back or do him any injury. If it had been necessary to use force to
compel Saldivar to leave the place, it is at least highly improbable that the accused approaching him from the front would have
lightly placed the back of his open right hand on Saldivar’s left side, without attempting to seize him, or to compel him to give
ground.

Pedro Leocampo, the only other witness called at the trial who appears to have been present when the incident occurred,
corroborated the testimony of the witnesses Dagapdap and Yotiga as to all that occurred prior to the actual infliction of the blow,
which he did not see. He testified that at the time when the accused, standing in his tent, ordered the deceased to leave, standing
in his tent, ordered the deceased to leave, he, the witness, was eating his breakfast, with his back to the accused and the deceased;
that hearing the order, he turned his head and saw the accused start toward the deceased with his arm outstretched, but that at
that moment he turned away and did not see the accused actually come up to, strike or touch the deceased; that when he saw the
accused approaching the deceased, the accused did not have his fist clenched, but that he could not say whether the blow was
struck with the open hand or the closed fist, because at the moment when it is said the accused came up to and touched or struck
the deceased, the witness’s head was so turned that he could not and did not see what took place.

No evidence was introduced at the trial which in any wise tends to put in doubt the truth of the testimony of these witnesses as to
the fact that they were present at the time when and the place where the incident occurred; and of this fact we are satisfied that
there can be no reasonable doubt, although, as frequently happens when ignorant witnesses are testifying in the courts in these
Islands, their evidence is conflicting as to the precise hour by the clock when it took place.

Some attempt is made to discredit the testimony of Yotiga, because it appears from the record that in answer to certain questions
on his examination-in-chief, he stated that when the blow was struck he was some hundred brazas (200 yards) away. It developed,
however, on examination by the trial judge, that this answer was given under the impression that the question asked was the
distance from the mine to the house of the sister of the deceased, as to which considerable testimony was taken; and it is very clear
from all the testimony that both these witnesses were standing within a few yards of the defendant when he struck the blow.

The testimony of Dagapdap is also criticized because, in answer to the opening questions on the examination-in-chief, he spoke of
the blow inflicted as a bofetada (a slap with the open hand on the cheek), which, later on in his testimony, he changed to the word
puñetazo (a blow with the first), as a result, it is intimated, of suggestive questions by counsel for the prosecution. We do not think
this criticism well founded, or that the language of the witness on which it rests sustains the inference sought to be drawn
therefrom. In the first place, it must not be forgotten that the witness was manifestly an ignorant man, unskilled in the use of
words, and testifying in a remote province in a native dialect; and that his testimony was interpreted into the Spanish of the record
by an interpreter who might well have been mistaken in selecting the precise Spanish equivalent of the word or words actually used
by the witness, and whose use of Spanish throughout the record does not demonstrate such precision and nicety in the use of
words as to justify the laying of too much stress on the phrasing adopted by him in the haste of interpretation in the course of a trial
in open court: so that, in our opinion, the detailed description of the manner in which the blow was inflicted, as given by the witness
without suggestion or assistance of any kind, is much more decisive as to its nature than the word by which reference to it was
made. And in the second place, as appears from the Diccionario Enciclopedico de la Lengua Castellana and the Diccionario de la
Lengua por la Academia Española, the word "bofetada," when used strictly, connotes not merely a blow with the open hand, but
such a blow struck on the cheek or side of the face, a meaning which the whole testimony or the witness clearly discloses it was not
his intention to give to whatever word he did actually make use of in referring to the act. The definition of the word "bofetada," as
given in the former dictionary, is "a blow which is given on the cheek (mejilla) with the open hand," and in the latter is "a blow given
the open hand, on the side of the face (carrillo) or cheek (mejilla) of another."cralaw virtua1aw library

It has also been suggested that the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution is inherently improbable, because, as it is said, if
the blow had been struck as describe by them, the injured person would necessarily have "doubled up or over," and not, as appears
from their testimony, thrown up his hands and staggered away. No expert testimony was introduced at the trial upon this point,
and while it may, perhaps, be admitted that if the blow took effect in the abdominal region, common experience would justify us in
expecting as a result of the blow, that the injured person would "double up or over," it must not be forgotten that the blow having
been delivered over the ribs on the left side, it may as well have taken effect in the region of the heart; in the absence of expert
testimony, we do not think in that event, evidence that the injured person threw up his hands and staggered away is necessarily in
conflict the evidence of the witnesses for the prosecution as to the weight of the blow and the place where it was inflicted.

We are satisfied that the evidence of record leaves no room for reasonable doubt with his closed first; and that whatever authority
the defendant may have had to eject the deceased from the mining property and to use physical force to that end in case of need,
the blow thus struck was far in excess of such authority, and was, therefore, unlawful, and can not be excused or justified as an
exercise of necessary force in the exercise of a right. The defendant’s own testimony does not indicate that there was any danger to
be apprehended from Saldivar, and there is nothing in the record which would indicate that he would offer a violent or even a
substantial to an attempt to expel him from the mining property.

We are satisfied also that the deceased came to his death as result of the blow inflicted by the defendant. Two or three days prior
to his death he was employed as a laborer in defendant’s mine; his sister testified that on the morning of the day he died, he left
her house in apparent good health and went to the mines to look for work; a short time afterwards he received a violent blow on
his lower left side, a region of the body where many of the vital organs are located; and immediately thereafter, he started up the
short trail leading to his sister’s house, and died as he reached the door. In the absence of evidence of any intervening cause, we
think there can be no reasonable doubt that his death resulted from the blow.

Counsel for appellant suggest that death may have been the result of some cause unknown, such as a fall, an assault by robbers, or
perchance a suicidal frenzy, intervening between the time when the accused was last seen starting up the 200-yard trail to his
sister’s house, and the time when, as she testified, he died just as he reached her door, on his way back from the mine; and that the
accused in entitled to the benefit of the doubt. But the doubt which must be decided in favor of an accused person in a criminal trial
is a reasonable doubt, and not a mere whimsical and fanciful doubt, based upon imagined but wholly improbable possibilities,
unsupported by evidence; and while we do not hold that it is absolutely and morally impossible that some other cause could have
intervened to bring about the death of Saldivar, we do hold that there can be no reasonable doubt in the mind of a reasonable man
that death was in fact brought about by the blow inflicted by the accused, and was not the result of some independent cause
intervening during the very short period of time prior to his death, during which he was not under observation by witnesses called
at the trial.

Counsel for the appellant enlarge on the fact that accepting defendant’s statement that he sent the deceased away from the mines
about a quarter past six, it would appear from the testimony of the sister of the deceased that about two hours may have elapsed
between that time and the time when he arrived at her house. The sister fixed the time of the arrival of her brother at from 7 to 8
o’clock or possibly a little later; but she appears to have been an ignorant woman who did not know how to read the face of a clock,
and it is quite clear that hers was no more than a rough estimate, based on the height of the sun, and the most that can fairly be
inferred from the testimony is that the deceased was struck early on the morning in question, and that not long afterwards on the
same morning, he died at the door of his sister’s house 200 yards away. But even if it be granted that two hours actually did elapse
from the time the deceased left that mines, until he reached his sister’s house, this interval is not long enough to materially weaken
the inference that the death resulted from the blow.

It is true that no autopsy was had on the body of the deceased, and that a medical officer called in by the accused who saw the
body, but who does not appear to have examined it very closely , certified that he found no outward lesions or mark or violence;
but this evidence is not sufficient to negative the existence of internal lesions, for he medical authorities inform us that death may
and often does result from a blow over or near the heart of in the abdominal region, notwithstanding the fact that the blow leaves
no outward mark of violence; and there is evidence in the record of the discovery on the cadaver of two suspicious black spots, one
about the place where the blow was struck, and another at or near the umbilicus, though the evidence fails to disclose the precise
nature of these discolorations. (Medical Jurisprudence, Taylor, 12th Am. Ed., pp. 310 and 388; Moulin’s Treatise on Surgery,
Hamilton, part 2, chap. 1, p. 151; Tratado de Medicina Legal por Legran de Sulle, Vol. II, pp. 206,207.)

It has been suggested that the deceased may have had a weak heart or some other diseased organ, and that but for such physical
defect death might not have ensued from the mere force of the blow inflicted by the defendant. There is no evidence to this effect,
and on the contrary there is testimony in the record that on the morning before he died he was in apparent good health; and the
fact that a few days before, he was able to work in the mines, and that he came to the mines that day in search of work, renders it
highly improbable that he was suffering at that time from any grave organic weakness. But however this may have been, it has been
frequently and justly decided that where death result as a direct consequence of the use of illegal violence, the mere fact that the
diseased or weakened condition of the injured person contributed to his death, does not relieve the illegal aggressor of criminal
responsibility. (U. S. v. Luciano, 2 Phil. Rep., 96; U. S. v. Montes, 6 Phil. Rep., 443; see also decisions of supreme court of Spain,
March 10, 1871, and June 26, 1880.)

Counsel for appellant also contend that even if it be granted that in unlawfully exercising force upon the person of the deceased,
the appellant caused or contributed to his death, nevertheless he should at most be convicted of homicidio por imprudencia
temeraria (homicide as a result of reckless negligence), because, manifestly, the unlawful act was not committed with intent to kill,
and because, as counsel contend, the striking of the blow by the appellant was not an act adapted, or likely (idoneo) to inflict a
death wound under ordinary circumstances, or reasonably calculated so to do. In support of this contention counsel cite decisions
of the supreme court of Spain of November 9, 1885, February 10, 1876, July 5, 1888, and July 12, 1890, and appears to rely
especially on the former decision wherein sentence of homicidio por imprudencia temeraria was imposed, the court holding "que es
condicion esencial del delito de homicidio, que el hecho material de que resulte sea umpulsado por voluntad libre encaminada por
acto idoneo a causar la muerte o algun mal fisico que pro consecuencia natural la produzca."cralaw virtua1aw library

In that case, however, it was proven, and the court found that not only did the defendant no intend to kill the deceased but also
that he did not intend to do him any physical injury whatever; but in the case at bar the evidence conclusively establishes the
voluntary, intentional, and unlawful infliction by the accused of a severe blow on the person of the deceased; and while it is true
that the accused does not appear to have intended to take the life of his victim, there can be no doubt that in thus striking the
deceased, he intended to do him some injury, at least to the extent of inflicting some degree of physical pain upon him, and he is,
therefore, criminally responsible for the natural, even if unexpected results of his act, under the provisions of article 1 of the Penal
Code, which prescribes that —

"Any person voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor shall incur criminal liability, even though the wrongful act committed
be different from that which he had intended to commit."cralaw virtua1aw library

In such cases the law in these Islands does not excuse one from liability for the natural consequences of his illegal acts merely
because he did not intend to produce such consequence, but it does take that fact into consideration as an extenuating
circumstance, as did the trial judge in this case.

What has been said sufficiently disposes of all errors assigned by counsel for appellant, except certain alleged errors of procedure in
the court below which we do not think it necessary to discuss, because even if it be admitted that such errors were committed, they
do not appear to have in any wise prejudiced the substantial rights of the defendant.

The judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court should be and are hereby affirmed, with the costs of this
instance against the Appellant. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres and Mapa, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions

MORELAND, J., with whom concurs Johnson, J., dissenting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The facts in this case, as claimed by the Government, are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The defendant, James L. Brobst, and another American, named Mann, were engaged in working a mine belonging to them, located
in the municipality of Masbate, where they gave employment to a number of native laborers. Mann discharged one of these
laborers, named Simeon Saldivar, ejected him forcibly from the premises and warned him no to come back, and told the defendant
no to employ him again or permit him to be upon the premises because he was a thief and a disturbing element with the other
laborers. A few days afterwards, at about 6 o’clock in the morning or a bout the 10th of July, 1907, Saldivar, in company with three
or four others, went to the mine ostensibly to look for work. The defendant, who at that time was dressing himself inside his tent,
which was erected on the mining property, catching sought of Saldivar, ordered him off the place. Saldivar made no move to leave,
and, although the orders was repeated, still did not leave, although he said and did nothing whatever; whereupon, as claimed by
the Government, the defendant became enraged, took three steps towards Saldivar and struck him a powerful blow with his fist on
the left side, just over the lower ribs. Saldivar turned around, without saying a word, and went in the direction of his sister’s house,
which stood about 200 yards away and about 100 feet up the side of a hill. He was not seen by anybody after starting toward the
house. About two hours later, slightly more of less, he came to the front door of the house in a dying condition. He died just after
being carried into the house and was buried two or three days later.

The trial court found the defendant guilty of the crime of homicide, marked with the extenuating circumstances defined in
subsections 3 and 7 of article 9 of the Penal Code in that the defendant had no intention of committing so grave an injury as that
which he inflicted and that he struck the blow under such powerful excitement as would naturally produce entire loss of reason and
self-control. Sentence of six years and one day of prision mayor was imposed, and from this sentence the defendant appealed to
this court.

The claim of the defendant is that he was not enraged, that he did not strike Saldivar, the decedent, a blow with his fist or a blow in
any other manner, but that he simply stepped up to the decedent, put his open hand against him and pushed him gently
backwards.

To secure a conviction it was necessary for the Government to prove, first, that the defendant unlawfully injured the decedent, and,
second, that the decedent died because of that injury.

In this case the death is admitted. The cause of death is in dispute. The Government seeks to prove the cause of death by
circumstantial evidence. The prosecution asserts that it has proved by direct evidence a blow or push delivered by the defendant to
the person of the decedent, and, the subsequent death being admitted, asks the court to make the deduction that the one resulted
from the other. No autopsy was had. No examination of the body, either before or after death, which merits the slightest
consideration, was made by the prosecution. No expert testimony worthy of the name was produce by the Government as to the
cause of death. Such as was given is not only wholly valueless, but positively ridiculous.

The prosecution claims to have proved by reliable evidence, and rests its case wholly upon that proposition, that the defendant
administered a powerful blow with the closed fist in the lower left side; that the death of decedent occurred very soon thereafter,
and that therefore, the irresistible inference is that he injury caused the death. The claim of a proper conviction rests upon the
proposition laid down generally by the authorities that where there has been inflicted an injury sufficient to produce death,
followed by the demise of the injured person, the presumption arises that the injury was the cause of death, and, if no other cause
is suggested by the evidence, the conclusion becomes practically irresistible and need not be corroborated by expert testimony. It
should be noted here, however, in order to avoid confusion, that if there is no injury sufficient to produce death, then that
presumption does not arise and no conclusion as to the cause of death can be indulged without additional proof.

The first question to be decided in this case is, Was the blow one which, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, was sufficient to
produce death? If it was, and that fact is established by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, then the conviction of the
defendant might possibly be sustained — a proposition not necessary to decide under my view of the case. If it was not, then, there
being an absolute failure of proof as to the cause of death, the judgment of conviction must be reversed.

The resolution of this question depends, in this particular case, wholly upon the nature and character of the blow delivered.

After a very careful and thorough examination of the proof adduced at the trial, I can not bring myself to believe that the
prosecution has established satisfactorily that the blow complained of was sufficient to produce death.

I am not convinced that the claim of the Government that the alleged blow was delivered with the clenched hand, or fist, has been
sustained. Three witnesses were sworn on behalf of the Government to the question of the blow alleged to have been delivered by
the defendant to the decedent. One of them, Pedro Leocampo, testified flatly and directly that the push or blow (he does not
designate by express words which it was) was administered with the open hand. At page 19 and following pages of the evidence he
declares that, at the beginning of the incident in question between the defendant and the decedent, he had his back toward the
participants, eating his breakfast; that he heard the defendant say to the decedent, "Fuera, go ahead, vamus," and immediately
turning his head he saw the defendant with his open hand extending toward and touching the body of the decedent; that he saw
decedent then turn and walk away. Later, in replying to questions put by the trial judge, he said he was not quite sure whether the
open hand of defendant actually touched decedent’s body or not. It is unquestionable, however, that the movement of the
defendant’s hand which he saw was the blow or push which it is claimed caused the fatal injury; because it is admitted by all, and
the evidence also on that point is undisputed, that what the witness saw was at least the critical part of the incident — the delivery
of the alleged blow. Moreover, it is conceded that the alleged blow was not delivered until after the defendant had uttered the
words referred to and had stepped forward at least one peace; and it is nowhere asserted or claimed by anybody that the
defendant extended his hand toward the decedent more than once or that more than one blow was given. It is evident, therefore,
that what the witness saw was the delivery of the very blow or push which the prosecution claims was the cause of death. If can not
well be imagined, in view of the testimony given by this witness, how the Government could fairly claim otherwise. These
conclusion as it is found in the record. In answer to a question put by the fiscal on direct examination he said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"T. Que estuve de espalda con ellos y el americano no ha dicho nada y momentos despues dejo: ’fuera,’ ’go ahead,’ le vi que tenia la
mano abierta y esta mano toco el cuerpo de Simeon, pero no he visto como estabe."cralaw virtua1aw library

After cross-examination the court questioned the witness as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"J. Oyo Vd. ruido de algun golpe cuando el acusado Brobst dijo ’fuera de aqui?’ — T. No he oido el golpe.

"J. En el momento de decir ’fuera de aqui,’ a que distancia estabe Simeon del acusado? T. A distancia de mas de una vara.

"J. Y vio Vd. al acusado empujar al occiso Simeon? — T. No puedo decir si el acusado empujo a Simeon.

"J. Vio Vd. a Simeon Saldivar retroceder en el momento de decir el acusado ’fuera de aqui? — T. He visto retroceder y dar las
espaldas.

"J. Cuando hizo el ademan de empujarle, como tenia el puno — cerrado o abierto? — T. Tenia la mano abierta.

"J. En que forma? — T. Tenia abierta la mano."cralaw virtua1aw library

The testimony of this witness clearly discloses the fact that he saw the critical part of the event, that is, the part wherein the hand of
the defendant touched the body of the decedent in the alleged blow. At that moment the hand of the defendant was open.

The witness Miguel Yotiga, another witness called by the Government, testified on pages 2,3, and 4 of the record that during the
month of July, 1907, he was at the place questions and answer, among others:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"F. Sabe Vd. se durante el mes de Julio de 1907 que estuvo Vd. trabajando alli ha occurrido alguna cosa extraoridinaria? — T. Se,
senor.

"F. Que es? — T. El haber abofeteado el americano a untao.

"F. Estaba Vd. presente? — T. Se, señor.

"F. Relate Ve. fielmente en este juzgado todo lo que Vd. ha presenciado desde el principio hasta el fin. — T. Yo he sido asalariado
por el para acarrear arroz. Cuando llegue en las minmas era ya de noche, y al requerir nuestro salario nos dijo Cristobal que nos
dormiriamos alli porque el americano estabe ya durmiendo y que Vds. pueden salir muy temprano por la manana. Se nos dio el
salario per el acarreo del arroz, y despues de darnos el salario se nos dijo que quedaramos para desayunar. Despues de desayunar
llegaron tambien 4 hombres; el cocinero me dijo: ’Miguel, presente Vd. a estos 4 hombres por si el Sr. Brobst los quiere empliar en
el trabajo.’ Brobst so aim pueden trabajar esos 4 hombres. El Sr. Brobst se levanto para ver a aquellos 4 hombres, al ultimo de los
cuales le pego una bofetada, y yo habia visto la bofetada que le dio en la cintura en el bolo colocado en la cintura, e
inmediatamente el hombre se dirigio a la casa de su hermana.

"F. A que distancia estaba Vd. de Mr. Brobst cuando dio el puñetazo a aquel individuo? — T. Uns distancia de 10 metros.

"F. Sabe Vd. por que el acusado habia dado puñetazo a aquel? — T. Que yo le he visto pegar con el bofeton, pero que no se el
motivo.

"F. Cruzaron entre ellos alguna disputa o rina antes que el acusado haya dado el golpe? — T. No se nada, unicamente he visto que
cuando llegaba Mr. Brobst dio el puñetazo."cralaw virtua1aw library

Later on the witness says, in reply to leading questions, that the blow was struck with the closes hand and was a heavy one.

It will be observed from this testimony that the witness, in making his statement in narrative form and without the influence which
particular words in questions frequently exerts on simple-minded witnesses, used the words abofeteado and bofetada in speaking
of the kind of blow which the defendant administered to the decedent. The word bofetada, as well as abofeteado, means a blow
with the open hand. It does not mean a severe blow, and particularly not a blow with the fist or closed hand. It is much nearer in
character to a push than it is to a puñetazo, which is always a blow with the fist. It is a light slap rather than a blow. It is the
diminutive of the word bofeton; that is to say, if it can be called a blow at all, it is a gentler blow than would be signified if the word
bofeton were use. All of the dictionaries say that puñetazo is a blow with the clenched hand, or fist, and that bofetada is a blow
with the open hand. The dictionaries also say, in giving the definition of bofeton, that it is the aumentativo de bofetada. In his
testimony on pages 2, 3, and 4, the witness continually and persistently used the word bofetada in describing the blow given by the
defendant to the decedent until the word puñetazo was suggested to him or put into his mouth, as it were, by the questions of the
fiscal. Then the witness himself picked up the word and thereafter used it. No amount or species of word torture can make the
word "slap" mean a blow with the fist. No more can bofetada be made to mean puñetazo. A witness who, in describing the same
blow, first uses the word bofetada and then, after suggestion, changes it to puñetazo, provokes a contradiction in his testimony,
which, if not explained, militates strongly against his credibility. This is especially so when the change in the word goes to the very
essence of the cause of action, as it does in this case. This whole case depends upon whether the word puñetazo or the word
bofetada correctly describes the event out of which this action grows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

It is but repeating the general experience of those familiar with the trial of causes to say that suggestions to a witness by the form
and specific wording of a question are of very frequent occurrence. The suggestion produces the same result whether wilfully made
and received or innocently indulged, as was undoubtedly the case here on the part of the fiscal. In the case of an ignorant or
simpleminded witness, his vocabulary being limited, he catches very readily, as a rule, the words used by the interrogator and, in his
answers, uses the exact words in which the question is propounded, without, perhaps, being in the least conscious that the words
he assumes do not exactly, sometimes not all closely, represent what he really wants to express. These suggestions display one of
the vices found by the courts in what are termed "leading questions," and furnish a reason for the rule uniformly enforced in trial
courts that they will not be permitted.

The questions and answers already quoted illustrate this vice forcibly as to the use by the witness Yotiga of the words bofetada and
puñetazo. On page 5 of the evidence occurs another illustration. There the fact sought to be elicited was whether the blow was
gentle or severe. "F. Hizo despacio o fuerte? — T. Fuerte." On page 12, 19, and 24 the following occurs:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"F. Donde toco — directamente en el cuerpo o en el bolo? — T. Dio en el bolo.

"F. En que parte del bolo — en la vaina o en el puno? — T. En el puno del bolo.

"F. Era fuerte el puñetazo of flojo? — T. Fuerte.

"F. Cuando el acusado pego a Simeon Saldivar, estaba riendose o estaba furioso? — T. Furioso.

"F. Tenia cerrado el puno o abierto la mano? — T. Cerrado la mano."cralaw virtua1aw library

In these illustrations, it will be observed, the witness is presented by the questions with only two words to make use of in answering
— one word the very extreme in one direction and the other word the very extreme in the other. The ignorant or simple-minded
witness whose vocabulary is extremely limited, who is unused to court proceedings, is strongly tempted, and in many instances is
virtually forced, to accept one word or the other and thereby assume one extreme or the other in making his answers, although the
word made use of may not within many degrees express his real meaning. All of these questions were leading and suggestive, and,
judging from the testimony given anterior to those questions, especially by the witness Yotiga, led to very marked contradictions of,
or, at least, changes in, the evidence as previously presented.

The third and last witness for the Government who testified as to the blow was Fermin Dagapdap. In describing the blow this
witness from the first used the word puñetazo. This witness, however, stated that he was at the time of the occurrence about 100
brazas (600 feet) from the participants. Later in his testimony he attempts to claim that he gaves 100 brazas as the distance which
the decedents was from his brother’s house at the time of the occurrence. This, however, is very difficult to believe in view of the
evidence which he gave, as shown on page 25, which follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"F. A que distancia estaba Vd. de los dos cuando dio el puñetazo? — T. Unas 100 brazas.

"F. Vd. estaba a 100 brazas de distancia? — T. Se, senor.

"F. Indique Vd. aqui la distancia aproxemadamente de las 100 brazas que Vd. dice. — T. Aquella casa de techo de hierro.

"F. Esa es la distancia donde Vd. estaba cuando dio el punetazo a Simeon Saldivar? — T. Si, señor."cralaw virtua1aw library

If, after all that questioning as to the distance he was away from the scene of the occurrence, and if, after all the effort which the
fiscal evidently made to induce in him a proper comprehension of the nature of the question, the witness did not then understand,
he displayed qualities, or the lack of them, which justly lead to the conclusion that his testimony ought not to be given any weight
whatever, especially where it is in conflict with the testimony of any witness more reliable. Moreover, his manifest evasions on
cross-examination materially weaken any claim which may be made in favor of his credibility.

These witnesses for the Government are in conflict in other particulars. Yotiga declared that the incident occurred at eight o’clock in
the morning. Dagapdap swore that it occurred at four o’clock in the morning. Yotiga declared that if happened while the workmen
were eating breakfast; Dagapdap averred that it took place after breakfast and while the men were working.

It seems to me, therefore, that the direct testimony adduced by the Government to prove that the defendant delivered against the
body of decedent a blow with his fist, is conspicuously weak, particularly when we take into consideration that one of the
Government witnesses flatly contradicts the other two in every important point; and that testimony, taken in connection with all
the circumstances surrounding and accompanying the incident, seems rather to support the testimony and claim of the defendant
that he did not strike the decedent with his fist but gave him a push with his open hand.

The following are the said circumstances, present at the very time the act complained of was committed, which go to prove that the
blow, alleged to have been delivered against the body of the decedent was not blow at all in the real sense of the word and was
wholly insufficient ordinarily speaking, to cause any injury whatever:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The decedent at the time showed absolutely no signs of having been injured in the slightest degree.

(a) The three witnesses for the prosecution above referred to, Yotiga, Dagapdap and Leocampo, if their testimony is to be believed,
unite in declaring that they were looking the decedent full in the face when the alleged blow was struck and that they saw thereon
nothing but a perfectly natural expression. There is not the slightest evidence to show that the countenance of the decedent
betrayed even the faintest appearance of Spain, distress or discomfort at the time the blow was delivered or at any time thereafter
so long as he was observed.

(b) Nobody heard any blow struck. It is concealed by every witness for the Government that there was no sound of a blow. There
were at the place where the incident occurred about twenty men, all of them as close to the participants as were the three
witnesses for the Government and yet, so far as can be gathered, not a person heard the sound of a blow. In fact, only three of the
twenty (the witnesses for the Government) knew that anything unusual had happened at all.

(c) The decedent gave no cry of pain, made no exclamation, uttered no sound. This is the uncontradicted proof.

(d) The decedent did not reel or stagger backward, forward or sideways, nor did he lose his equilibrium in any way.

This is established by uncontradicted proof. Every witness for the Government declares that after the delivery of the alleged blow
the decedent remained in a perfectly upright attitude and in a natural position; and that immediately after receiving the blow he
turned and walked away.

One of the witnesses, after being sharply questioned by the fiscal, stated that on the delivery of the blow the decedent stepped
back, threw up his arms and walked away. The following is his testimony:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"El Sr. Brobst . . . le pego una bofetada y yo habia visto la bofetada que le dio en la cintura en el bolo colocado en la cintura e
immediatamente el hombre se dirigio a la casa de su hermana.

"F. En que posicion se quedo aquel individuo en el mismo momento de recibir el golpe? — T. Que inmediatamente de haber
recibido el puñetazo se marcho.

"F. Yo le pregunto a Vd. en el mismo momento de haber dado el puñetazo. — T. Que despues de dar el golpe se retrocedioy levanto
los brazos yen seguida se marcho."cralaw virtua1aw library
It will be observed, from the evidence quoted, that the witness testified at first the decedent did nothing on receiving the blow
except to turn and walk away. This testimony the witness repeats in response to a second question of the fiscal. The third question
as to the same point was evidently very sharply put by the fiscal, and that effort drew from the witness the additional statement,
quite inconsistent with his two previous ones, that the decedent stepped back and threw up his arms. Neither of the other two
witnesses for the Government saw this latter manifestation on the part of the decedent. One of them, Leocampo, testifies directly
that no such thing happened, and the other, Dagapdap, although one of those who claimed to have been a eyewitness of the whole
affair and who assumed to describe the whole incident in detail, fails to mention the very important fact, if it is a fact, that the
decedent threw up his arms. He testified that the decedent simply whirled around and walked away.

The claim of the prosecution that the decedent staggered at the time of the alleged blow is based upon the translation of "dio
vueltas." One of the Government’s witnesses says that on the delivery of the blow the decedent "dio vueltas y se marcho." So far as
my researches go, no such interpretation can be given those words. They do not mean that he "staggered." They mean simply that
he turned or whirled around. This might follow a blow or a push. No other witness uses these same words; but the other two
witnesses for the Government, in describing the same act of the decedent, used words which, it may fairly be assumed, in order to
maintain as much harmony as possible in the testimony of the Government’s witnesses, were intended to mean the same thing.
Such words are "se dirigio a la casa," and "volvi la cara y se marcho el difunto." These words were used by the other two
Government witnesses in describing the very same act to which the other Government witness applied the description "dio
vueltas." Those words can not possibly be construed to mean that the decedent staggered.

(e) The decedent, according to the testimony of the prosecution, did not attempt to ward off, dodge or escape the blow in any way.

He had abundant opportunity to do so. It is nowhere denied, but always admitted, that the defendant twice ordered the decedent
to leave the place and after delivering the order the second time advanced toward him a peace or two. The decedent was fully
warned. Yet the witnesses of the prosecution claim that, up to the time the blow touched him, he made no move whatever. It is
unbelievable that the decedent would permit the defendant to walk up to him, after due warning, and plant a powerful blow in his
abdomen without any effort to dodge or escape and without the slightest effort to ward off the blow by movement of body, hand,
or arm. The throwing of the arms down to protect the abdomen in such a case is involuntary and almost inevitable; and the fact that
he did not do so points strongly to the conclusion that he was not struck as claimed.

(f) The body of decedent exhibited no external sign of injury after death.

Two witnesses were sworn by the prosecution as to signs of injury upon the body of the decedent. One, the father of decedent,
laborer, testified that at 4 o’clock of the afternoon of the day after the alleged injury (the alleged injury occurred at about 6 a. m.)
he examined the body of decedent and found a black spot about the size of a peso on the left side. The other witness, Alejandro
Santiago, 70 years, farmer and herbalist, declared that he examined the body, he does not remember when, and found a black spot
on the ribs (he does not remember on which side of the body) and another one on the navel. The cause of these spots, if they really
existed, is pure speculation. Certainly one blow could not make both. They may have been caused by the decedent falling or by
handling the at the time of or subsequent to death, or by ecchymosis. No one knows. Certain it is that an examination of the body
by a licensed physician, Hans Hoch, made the day of the alleged injury, some hours thereafter, disclosed, so the physician testified,
absolutely no external sign or evidence of injury. While the absence of external signs of injury is not conclusive that there was no
injury, still such signs are usual in cases of this character and their absence is significant and important.

The weight of the testimony produced seems, therefore, to be that there were no external signs of injury upon the body of
decedent — certainly none that were fairly traceable to the blow, even if delivered in the manner and with the force claimed by the
Government.

It seems to me, therefore, that there is an essential and fatal conflict in the evidence of the prosecution. The prosecution claims
(and portions of the direct testimony of some of its witnesses tend to prove) that the defendant gave the decedent a powerful blow
with his fist, full in the left side; on the other hand, other positions of that testimony are utterly and destructively contradictory to
that claim. It is contrary to the universal experience of life to assert that a man, receiving in his lower left side a powerful blow with
the fist, a blow which, it is claimed, was sufficiently forcible to cause death within a short time, can maintain an erect and natural
posture and exhibit absolutely no signs of pain. Experience also demonstrates that it is little short of the impossible that one
receiving such a blow would throw his arms up. I do not believe a case can be cited where that has occurred. It is the experience of
mankind that under such circumstances the person always throws his arms down. Such a blow in or about the abdomen or in the
lower ribs produces such a shock to the nervous system, causes such a contraction of all the muscles thereabouts, induces such a
difficulty of respiration, and such great pain, that the person so struck is not only wholly unable to throw his arms up but he is
absolutely incapable of maintaining the body in an erect position. He involuntarily and inevitably throws the arms down the
abdomen and bends the body forward at the hips. In other words, using which almost universal experience has taught accurately
describes the position necessarily assumed by the one receiving such a blow, he would "double up like a jackknife." The claim that
the blow was a powerful one delivered with the fist is so utterly inconsistent with the appearance and conduct of the decedent at
the time of the assault subsequent thereto as to lead almost necessarily to the conclusion that no such blow was struck. Granting
such a blow, it would be little short of the impossible, it certainly would be most extraordinary, for the decedent to exhibit no signs
of pain, maintain an erect and natural position, preserve perfectly his equilibrium with the exception of stepping backward a little,
turn in the ordinary way and walk off the premises at his usual and natural gait and with his usual and natural carriage. The entire
absence of symptoms or evidence of injury at the time of the act complained of is, in my judgment, of the very gravest importance.
It speaks louder and stronger and clearer than all the other evidence in the case as to whether or not the decedent was actually
injured at that time.

On the other hand, the theory and claim of the defendant, that he simply stepped forward and pushed the decedent backward
lightly with the open hand, after ordering him to leave, explains fully and satisfactorily every fact and every circumstance above
mentioned as being so utterly inconsistent with the claim of the prosecution.

(1) It explains why the decedent did not try to dodge or escape or protect himself by movement of the body, or by using the hands
and arms to defend himself from the assault of this enraged and furious men. There was no violence from which he needed to
protect himself.

(2) It explains why there was no cry of pain, no appearance of distress, no reeling, staggering, falling, doubling up or other exhibition
or sign of injury. It explains why he did not at once drop to the ground, as he naturally and almost inevitably would on receiving a
blow such as is sought to be established by the prosecution. There was no violence or force to cause any of these things.

(3) It explains why decedent was able to walk away promptly at his usual gait and with his customary carriage.

(4) It explains why there was no satisfactory proof of marks of violence or external signs of injury on the body of the decedent.

(5) It explains why nobody of all who were present heard the sound of a blow, not even the witnesses for the prosecution.

(6) It explains why, among the twenty persons there present, only a very small per cent knew that anything unusual had taken
place.

(7) It explains why the witness Yotiga first used the word "bofetada" instead of" puñetazo" or "golpe."

(8) It explains why the witness Leocampo testified that the defendant’s hand was open at the very time of its contact with
decedent’s person.

(9) It explains the entire lack of reason or motive on the part of defendant inducing him to inflict on the decedent punishment as
severe as would follow such a blow.

It seems, therefore, to be demonstrated from the evidence that the prosecution has not only not sufficiently substantiated its claim
that the blow was delivered with the fist, but has failed as well to show that any blow, in the real sense of that term, was struck.
Rather the strong tendency of the proof, taken as a whole, together with all the circumstances, is to support the contention of the
defendant that he simply pushed the decedent back with the open hand. That being so, it is perfectly apparent that such an act was
utterly insufficient to produce death.

As stated at the outset, the Government rests its case wholly upon the proposition laid down by the authorities that where there
has been inflicted an injury sufficient to produce death, followed by the demise of the injured person, the presumption arise that
the injury was the cause of death, and, if no other cause is suggested by the evidence, the conclusion becomes practically irresistible
and need not be corroborated by expert testimony. But it must always be remembered that the basis of and the reason for that
presumption is the injury sufficient to produce death. If the injury is not one capable of producing death, ordinarily speaking, then
no such presumption can possibly arise. The law invariably requires that there be established by clearest proof the connection
between the injury and the death, making the one result of the other. Where the injury is one capable of producing death that
connection of cause and effect is established between the injury and death by the inherent nature of the act — its sufficiency to
produce death. But where the act is one not sufficient to produce death, then the relation of cause and effect is not established for
the reason that the act fails of the very quality from which the presumption of cause and effect springs, namely, its capability of
producing death. In such a case, when the Government has proved simply the injury and death, it has done nothing. The connection
between the two is wholly lacking. It is indispensable to a conviction in such case that the Government prove the cause of death;
and that cause must be proved in addition to the fact of injury. This the Government has wholly failed to do. No effort was made to
do so. The Government rested its case entirely upon the presumption, which it assumed arose by reason of the injury and death, to
establish the relation of cause and effect between them. No autopsy was held. No one knows the cause of death. The incident
occurred at about 6 o’clock a.m. The decedent died at about 8 o’clock the same morning. He left the scene of the event instantly.
He was not seen again by anybody, so far as the evidence shows, until the very moment of his death. Where he was, what he did,
and what happened to him during the two hours intervening the evidence does not disclose.

It being fairly established by the evidence that the defendant simply pushed the decedent, the remaining question is simple. The
land and premises where the event transpired belonged to the defendant. The decedent, according to the evidence, was known to
the defendant as a thief and as maker of mischief among the workers in the mines. Only two days before the event from which this
suit arose defendant had seen the decedent forcibly ejected from these same premises by one Mann, a partner of defendant; and
the defendant was at that time advised by Mann that the decedent was a mischief-maker and a thief and should not be allowed
about the mines. The defendant had a right to protect his property from invasion particularly by such as he believed decedent to be;
and if, being upon the premises, decedent refused to leave when given fair warning, the defendant had a right to eject him
therefrom using no more force than was necessary to that end. (Cooley, Torts, 1st Ed., 167; McCarty v. Fremont, 23 Cal., 196;
Woodman v. Howell, 45 Ill., 367; Bucher v. Parmelee, 9 Vt., 352; People v. Payne, 8 Cal., 341; People v. Batchelder, 27 Cal., 69.)
That he did not use more force than was necessary is established by the evidence as shown by the preceding discussion.

Wills, on Circumstantial Evidence, says on page 291:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"(3) In the proof of criminal homicide the true cause of death must be clearly established; and the possibility of accounting for the
event by self-inflicted violence, accident or natural cause, excluded; and only when it has been proven that no other hypothesis will
explain all the conditions of the case can it be safely and justly concluded that it has been caused by intentional injury. But, in
accordance with the principles which govern the proof of every other element of the corpus delicti, it is not necessary that the
cause of death should be verified by direct and positive evidence; it is sufficient if it be proven by circumstantial evidence, which
produces a moral conviction in the minds of the jury, equivalent to that which is the result of positive and direct evidence."cralaw
virtua1aw library

In the People v. Bennet (49 N. Y., 144) the court said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"In determining a question of fact from circumstantial evidence, there are two general rules to be observed: (1) The hypothesis of
delinquency or guilt should flow naturally from the facts proved, and be consistent with them all. (2) The evidence must be such as
to exclude, to a moral certainty, every hypothesis but that of his guilt of the offense imputed to him; or, in other words, the facts
proved must all be consistent with and point to his guilt not only, but they must be inconsistent with his innocence."cralaw
virtua1aw library

"On an indictment for murder, the prosecutor must prove that the blows caused the death; but, if he proves that the blows were
given by dangerous weapon — were followed by insensibility or other alarming symptoms, and soon afterward by death; this is
sufficient to impose it on the accused, to show that the death was occasioned by some other cause." (U.S. v. Wiltberger, Fed, Cas.
No. 16738)

"On trial for murder, the State’s failure to prove by what means the deceased came to his death is fatal to its case." (Cole v. The
State, 56 Ark., 50.)

"In order that a defendant may be properly convicted by circumstantial evidence, all the circumstances proved must be consistent
with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and, at the same time, inconsistent with the hypothesis
that he is innocent, and with every other rational hypothesis except that of guilt."cralaw virtua1aw library

(12 Cyc., 488; U.S. v. Reyes, 3 Phil. Rep., 3; People v. Ward, 105 Cal., 335; Carlton v. The People, 150 Ill., 181; State v. Vinson, 37 La.
Ann., 792; Commonwealth v. Costley, 118 Mass., 1; People v. Aikin, 66 Mich., 460; U.S. v. Reder, 69 Fed. Rep., 965.)

The judgment of conviction should be reversed, the defendant declared not guilty and his discharge from custody ordered.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. L-35574 September 28, 1984

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
VALENTINA MANANQUIL Y LAREDO, defendant-appellant.

The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.

Herminio Sugay for defendant-appellant.

CUEVAS, J.:

In an amended Information 1 filed before the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, VALENTINA MANANQUIL y LAREDO was accused of
PARRICIDE allegedly committed as follows:

That on or about the 6th day of March, 1965, in Pasay City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Hon. Court, the
abovenamed accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with evident premeditation, that is, having
conceived and deliberated to kill her husband, Elias Day y Pablo, with whom she was united in lawful wedlock, enter (sic)
the NAWASA building situated at Pasay City, where said Elias Day y Pablo was working as a security guard; and the said
accused, having in her possession a bottle containing gasoline suddenly and without warning, poured the contents on the
person of her husband, Elias Day y Pablo, ignited the gasoline, as a result of which, said Elias Day y Pablo suffered
burns and injuries which subsequently caused his death.

Contrary to law 2

Tried after pleading "NOT GUILTY" upon arraignment, accused was convicted and thereafter sentenced to reclusion perpetua to indemnify the
heirs of the deceased in the amount of P12,000.00; and to pay costs.

From the aforesaid judgment, she ventilated an appeal to the then Court of Appeals (which referred the appeal to us considering that the
penalty imposed was reclusion perpetua, assailing her aforesaid conviction and contending that the trial court erred: 1) in convicting her solely
on the basis of the alleged extrajudicial confession; 2) in finding that Pneumonia was a complication of the burns sustained by the victim; 3) in
not finding her not to have cause the death of the deceased; and 4) in not acquitting her at least on ground of reasonable doubt.

The prosecution's version of the incident as summarized in the People's Brief is as follows:

On March 6, 1965, at about 11:00 o'clock in the evening, appellant went to the NAWASA Building at Pasay City where her
husband was then working as a security guard. She had just purchased ten (10) centavo worth of gasoline from the Esso
Gasoline Station at Taft Avenue which she placed in a coffee bottle (t.s.n., p. 13, January 13, 1969). She was angry of her
husband, Elias Day y Pablo, because the latter had burned her clothing, was maintaining a mistress and had been taking
all the food from their house. Upon reaching the NAWASA Building, she knocked at the door. Immediately, after the door
was opened, Elias Day shouted at the appellant and castigated her saying, "PUTA BUGUIAN LAKAW GALIGAON" (t.s.n., p.
14, Id). The appellant tired of hearing the victim, then got the bottle of gasoline and poured the contents thereof on the
face of the victim (t.s.n., p. 14, Id). Then, she got a matchbox and set the polo shirt of the victim a flame. (Exhs. "A" and
"A-1", p. 197, Rec.)

The appellant was investigated by elements of the Pasay City Police to whom she gave a written statement (Exh. "A", p.
197, Rec.) where she admitted having burned the victim.

Upon the other hand, the victim was taken first to the Philippine General Hospital and then to the Trinity General
Hospital at Sta. Ana, Manila, when he died on March 10, 1965. (Exh. "C", p. 208, rec.) due to pneumonia, lobar bilateral
Burns 2 secondary. 3
Appellant's story on the other hand runs, thus:

It was before 10:00 o'clock p.m. when appellant returned from Olongapo City. She fed her grandson and put him to bed.
After filing the tank with water, she remembered that the next day was a Sunday and she had to go to church. Her shoes
were dirty but there was no gasoline with which to clean them. Taking with her an empty bottle of Hemo, she left for a
nearby gasoline station and bought ten centavos worth of gasoline. Then she remembered that her husband needed
gasoline for his lighter so she dropped by his place of work. (p. 13, Ibid.)

Appellant saw her husband inside a bonding of the NAWASA standing by the window. As the iron grille was open, she
entered and knocked at the wooden door. Elias opened the door, but when he saw his wife he shouted at her. Appellant
said that she had brought the gasoline which he needed for his lighter, but Elias, who was under the influence of liquor,
cursed her thus: "PUTA BUGUIAN LAKAW GALIGAON". Elias continued shouting and cursing even as appellant told him
that she had come just to bring the gasoline that he wanted. Appellant trembled and became dizzy. She was beside
herself and did not know that she was sprinkling the gasoline on her husband's face. She was tired and dizzy and had to
sit down for a while. Then she remembered her grandson who was alone in the house so she went home leaving her
husband who was walking to and fro and not paying attention to her. (pp. 13-14, Ibid., p. 2, March 20, 1969)

She went to bed but could not sleep. She went back to the NAWASA compound to apologize to her husband. Upon
reaching the NAWASA, however, she found that police officers were present. Her husband was walking all around still
fuming mad, and when he saw her he chased her. A policeman pulled appellant aside and asked if she was the wife of
Elias. When she replied in the affirmative, the police officer accused her of burning her husband. She denied the
accusation. But the police took her to the headquarters, and prepared a written statement, Exhibits A, A-1. Appellant was
made to sign said statement upon a promise that she would be released if she signed it. Although she did not know the
contents, she signed it because of the promise. (pp. 14-16. Id.; p. 5, March 20,1969) 4

Appellant's assigned errors boil down to two (2) main issues: (1) whether or not appellant's extrajudicial confession was voluntarily given; and
(2) whether or not the burns sustained by the victim contributed to cause pneumonia which was the cause of the victim's death.

Right after the burning incident, appellant was picked up by the police operatives of Pasay City. She was thereafter investigated by Sgt.
Leopoldo Garcia of the Pasay City Police who took her statement in Tagalog and in Question and Answer form which was reduced into
writing. 5 After Sgt. Garcia was through taking her statement, she was brought to Fiscal Paredes who asked her questions regarding the said
statement and its execution and before whom said statement was subscribed and sworn to by her. In that investigation, appellant categorically
admitted having thrown gasoline at her husband and thereafter set him aflame as evidenced by this pertinent portion of her statement-

T Ano ang nangyari at iyong binuksan ng gasolina ang iyong asawa na si Elias Day?

S Dahil may sala siya, at sinunog niya ang aking mga damit, at may babae pa, at saka lahat ng aming
pagkain sa bahay ay hinahakot.

T Ng dahil dito sa mga binanggit mong ito ay ano ang ginawa mo sa iyong asawa?

S Ako po ay nagdilim ang aking isipan at ang ginawa ko ay naisip kong buhusan ng gasolina, kaya ang
aking ginawa ay bumili ako ng halagang 10 sentimos sa Esso Gasoline Station sa Tall Avenue at inilagay
ko sa isang boti.

T Pagkatapos na ikaw ay makabili ng gasolina sa station ng Esso sa Taft Avenue dito sa Pasay City, ay ano
ang ginawa mo?

S Ako po ay nagpunta sa kanya na pinaggoguardiahan sa Nawasa at pagdating ko nuon ay kumatok ako


sa pintuan ng Nawasa, at nang marinig niya ang aking katok sa pinto ay binuksan niya ang pintuan, at
pagkabukas ng pintuan ay nakita niya ako, at nagalit siya at ako ay minura ng puta putan Ina mo, lalakad
ka ng gabi, at namumuta raw ako, at pagkatapos na ako ay mamura ay hinahabol pa ako ng suntok, kayat
ang ginawa ko po kinuha ko ang aking dalang bote na may gasolina at aking ibinuhos sa kanyang
katawan at aking kinuha ang posporo at aking sinindihang at hangang magliyab ang suot niyang polo
shirt, na may guhit na itim at puti.

T Alam mo ba na kung ano ang iyong ginawa sa iyong asawa kanginang humigit kumulang na mag-iika
alas 11:00 ng gabi Marzo 6, 1965?

S Opo, aking sinunog ang aking asawa. (Exhs. A & A-1 Emphasis supplied)
She would now like her aforesaid extrajudicial confession discredited by asserting that she did not understand its contents because she is not a
Tagala aside from having reached only the primary grades; and furthermore, that said statement was signed by her merely upon the promise of
the policemen that she will later be released.

We find appellant's aforesaid assertions a mere pretense too flimsy to be accepted as true. For the truth is that appellant knew and understood
Tagalog despite her not being a Tagala, having stayed in Manila since 1951, continuously up to the time of the burning incident in question for
which she was investigated. During this period of almost fourteen years, she was in daily association with Tagalogs communicating with them in
Pilipino. This is clear from her admission on cross-examination which runs thus-

Q But you can understand Tagalog because of the length of time that you litem been living here in Manila?

A Yes.

Q And as a matter of fact, when you buy something from the store, you speak Tagalog?

A Yes.

Q And when you ride in a jeep or bus, you speak Tagalog?

A Yes.

Q And you were well understood by these Tagalog people?

A Yes.

Q And as a matter of fact, you can understand Tagalog?

A Yes,

Q And you can also read Tagalog?

A Yes.

Q You can read?

A Yes, but I do not litem interest to read. TSN, March 29, 1969, pp. 11-12).

All through shout the entire investigation and even at the time appellant A as before Fiscal Paredes, before whom she subscribed and swore to
the truth of an what appeared in her statement, 6 no denunciation of any sort was made nor levelled by her against the police investigators.
Neither was there any complaint aired by her to the effect that she merely affixed her signatures thereto because of the promise by the police
that she will be released later. We therefore find her aforesaid claim highly incredible and a mere concoction. For why will the police still resort
to such trickery when the very sworn statement given by her proved by its contents that appellant was indeed very cooperative. In fact, almost
all the recitals and narrations appearing in the said statement were practically repeated by her on the witness stand thus authenticating the
truth and veracity of her declarations contained therein. Moreover, We find said statement replete with details which could not litem been
possibly supplied by the police investigators who litem no previous knowledge of, nor acquaintance with her and the victim, especially with
respect to the circumstances and incidents which preceded the fatal incident that brought about the death of the latter. We therefore find no
error in the trial court's pronouncement that appellant's sworn statement was voluntarily given by her; that she fully understood its contents;
and that she willingly affixed her signatures thereto.

Well settled is the rule that extrajudicial confession may be regarded as conclusive proof of guilt when taken without maltreatment or
intimidation 7 and may serve as a basis of the declarant's conviction. 8 It is presumed to be voluntary until the contrary is proven. The burden of
proof is upon the person who gave the confession. 9 That presumption has not been overcome in the instant case.

Indeed the trial court could not be faulted for relying heavily on accused-appellant's sworn statement in assessing her guhit since it was given
shortly after the incident took place. By then, she had yet no time to concoct any fabrication favorable to her. Shock by the aftermath
consequences of her criminal design she must litem been motivated by no other purpose except to admit the undeniable. On the other hand,
when she took the witness stand, disclaiming any responsibility for the burning of her husband, it was already January 13, 1969 . . . more than
five years after the incident and decidedly after she had the benefit of too many consultations.
That appellant has murder in her heart and meant to do harm to her husband when she went to the latter's place of work on that fatal night
and intended an the consequences of her nefarious act finds clearer manifestation and added support in her total indifference and seemingly
unperturbed concern over the fate that had befallen the victim . . . her husband . . . especially at times when he needed her most. Being the
wife, she must be the closest to him and the hardest hit by the mishap if she has not authored the same nor voluntarily participated therein.
She was then reasonably expected to come to his succor and alleviate him from his sufferings. And yet, the records do not show her having
seen her husband even once while the latter lay seriously ill at the hospital hovering between life and death. Neither did she attend his funeral
nor was she ever present during the wake while the victim's remains lay in state. That she was under detention does not excuse nor justify
those glaring and significant omissions. For she could litem asked the court's permission for any of the enumerated undertakings which we
believe would not litem been denied. But she did not even attempt.

Indeed, the more we scrutinize appellant's alibi and explanation, we become more convinced of the falsity and incredibility of her assertions.
For instance, her claim that her purpose in buying gasoline at so an unholy hour of the night, past ten o clock in the evening, solely for the
purpose of cleaning her shoes which she would wear in going to church the following Sunday, hardly recommend acceptance. That she dropped
at her husband's place of work also at the middle of the night for no other purpose except to deliver to him gasoline for his cigarette lighter, is
likewise too taxing upon one's credulity . . . more so if we litem to consider the previous spat she had with the deceased in the morning of that
fatal day.

In her vain attempt to exculpate herself, appellant would like Us to believe that her husband died of pneumonia because the latter drank liquor
as shown by the toxicology report indicating presence of alcohol in the victim's body. Hence, assuming she set her husband on fire, she is not
criminally liable for her husband's death.

We are not persuaded by appellant's aforesaid ratiocination

The claim that the victim drank liquor while confined in the hospital would not suffice to exculpate the appellant. For as testified by Dr. Reyes,
pneumonia could not be caused by taking alcohol. In fact, alcohol, according to him, unless taken in excessive dosage so as to produce an
almost comatose condition would not cause suffocation nor effect a diminution of the oxygen content of the body. 10 In fine, as correctly
pointed out by the Hon. Solicitor General, the victim's taking of liquor was not an efficient supervening cause of his death which took place on
March 10, 1965, just four days after the burning.

The cause of death as shown by the necropsy report is pneumonia, lobar bilateral. Burns 2' secondary. There is no question that the burns
sustained by the victim as shown by The post-mortem findings immunity about 62% of the victim's entire body. The evidence shows that
pneumonia was a mere complication of the burns sustained. While accepting pneumonia as the immediate cause of death, the court a quo held
on to state that this could not litem resulted had not the victim suffered from second degree burns. It concluded, and rightly so, that with
pneumonia having developed, the burns became as to the cause of death, merely contributory. We agree.

Appellant's case falls squarely under Art, 4, Par. 1 of the Revised Penal Code which provides:

Art. 4. Criminal Liability. — Criminal liability shall be incurred.

1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.

the essential requisites of which are: (a) that an intentional felony has been committed; and (b) that the wrong done to the aggrieved party be
the direct, natural and logical consequence of the felony committed by the offender. 11

The reason for the rule as spelled out in the earlier cases of PP vs. Moldes, 61 Phil. 1, 3 & 4; and PP vs. Quianzon, 62 Phil. 162, citing 13 RCL 748,
751 is as follows —

One who inflicts injury on another is deemed guilty of homicide if the injury contributes immediately or immediately to
the death of such other. The fact that other causes contribute to the death does not relieve the actor of responsibility. He
would still be liable "even if the deceased might litem recovered if he had taken proper care of himself, or submitted to
surgical operation, or that unskilled or improper treatment aggravated the wound and contributed to the death, or that
death was men." caused by a surgical operation rendered necessary by the condition of the wound. The principle on
which this rule is founded is one of universal application. It lies at the foundation of criminal jurisprudence. It is that every
person is held to contemplate and be responsible for the natural consequences of his own acts. If a person inflicts a
wound with a deadly weapon in a manner as to put life in jeopardy, and death follows as a consequence of this felonious
and wicked act, it does not alter its nature or diminish its criminality to prove that other causes cooperated in producing
the fatal result. Neglect of the wound or its unskilled and improper treatment which are themselves consequences of the
criminal act, must in law be deemed to litem been among those which are in contemplation of the guilty party and for
which he must be responsible The rule has its foundation on a wise and practical policy. A different doctrine would tend
to give immunity to crime and to take away from human life a salutary and essential safeguard. Amidst the conflicting
theories of medical men and the uncertainties attendant upon the treatment of bodily ailments and injuries it would be
easy in many cases of homicide to raise a doubt as to the immediate cause of death, and thereby open a wide door by
which persons guilty of the highest crime might escape conviction and punishment.

In convicting the accused, the trial court imposed upon her the obligation to indemnify the heirs of the deceased only in the amount of
P12,000.00. That should now be increased to P30,000.00.

WHEREFORE, except as thus modified, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with costs against appellant.

It appearing however that appellant Valentina Mananquil is now 71 years of age, this Court recommends her for executive clemency. For the
purpose, let His Excellency, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, be furnished with a copy of this decision thru the Hon. Minister of Justice.

SO ORDERED.

Makasiar (Chairman), Aquino, Abad Santos and Escolin, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, Jr. and Guerrero, JJ., are on leave.


DIVISION

[ GR No. 75369, Nov 26, 1990 ]

PEOPLE v. FERNANDO ILIGAN Y JAMITO

DECISION

FERNAN, C.J.:

In this appeal, uncle and nepnew, Fernando Iligan and Edmundo Asis, seek a reversal of the decision of the then Court of First Instance
of CamarinesNorte, Branch II[1] convicting them of the crime of murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to
indemnify the heirs of Esmeraldo Quiñones, Jr. in the amounts of P30,000 for the latter's death and P256,960 representing the victim's
unrealized income.

On October 21, 1980, the following information for murder was filed against Fernando Iligan, Edmundo Asis and Juan Macandog:

"That on or about 3:00 a.m., August 4, 1980, at sitio Lico II, barangay Sto. Domingo, municipality of Vinzons, province of Camarines Norte,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the above named accused, conspiring and mutually helping one another, with
treachery and evident premeditation, one of the accused Fernando Iligan armed with a bolo (sinampalok) and with deliberate intent to kill, did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, gang up and in a sudden unexpected manner, hacked Esmeraldo Quiñones, Jr., on his face,
thus causing fatal injuries on the latter's face which resulted to (sic) the death of said Emeraldo Quiñones.
"CONTRARY TO LAW."

Juan Macandog was never apprehended and he remains at large. At their arraignment on January 12, 1981
Fernando Iligan and Edmundo Asis pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Thereafter, the prosecution presented the following version of the
commission of the crime:

At around 2:00 o'clock in the morning of August 4, 1980, Esmeraldo Quiñones, Jr. and his companions, Zaldy Asis and Felix Lukban, were
walking home from barangay Sto. Domingo, Vinzons, Camarines Norte after attending a barrio fiesta dance. In front of the ricemill of a
certain Almadrones, they met the accused Fernando Iligan, his nephew, Edmundo Asis, and Juan Macandog. Edmundo Asis pushed ("winahi")
them aside thereby prompting ZaldyAsis to box him.[2] Felix Lukban quickly told the group of the accused that they had no desire to
fight.[3] Fernando Iligan, upon seeing his nephew fall, drew from his back a bolo and hacked Zaldy Asis but missed. Terrified, the trio ran
pursued by the three accused. They ran for about half an hour, passing by the house of Quiñones, Jr. They stopped running only upon seeing
that they were no longer being chased. After resting for a short while, Quiñones, Jr. invited the two to accompany him to his house so that he
could change to his working clothes and report for work as a bus conductor.[4]

While the trio were walking towards the house of Quiñones, Jr., the three accused suddenly emerged on the roadside and without a word,
Fernando Iliganhacked Quiñones, Jr. with his bolo hitting him on the forehead and causing him to fall down. [5] Horrified,
Felix Lukban and Zaldy Asis fled to a distance of 200 meters, but returned walking after they heard shouts of people. Zaldy Asis specifically
heard someone shout "May nadale na."[6]

On the spot where Quiñones, Jr. was hacked, Zaldy Asis and Felix Lukban saw him already dead with his head busted.[7] They helped the brother
of Quiñones, Jr. in carrying him to their house.[8]

That same day, August 4, 1980, the body of Quiñones, Jr. was autopsied at the Funeraria Belmonte in Labo, Camarines Norte by the municipal
health officer, Dr. Marcelito E. Abas. The postmortem examination report which is found at the back of the death certificate reveals
that Esmeraldo Quiñones, Jr., who was 21 years old when he died, sustained the following injuries:

"1. Shock and massive cerebral hemorrhages due to multiple fracture of the entire half of the frontal left, temporal, parietal and occipital bone
of the head, with massive maceration of the brain tissue.
"2. Other findings - Incised wound at the right eyebrow, medial aspect measuring about 4 cms. in length, 0.5 cm. in width and 0.5 cm. in depth,
abrasion on the left shoulder and right side of the neck."[9]

The death certificate also indicates that Quiñones, Jr. died of "shock and massive cerebral hemorrhages due to a vehicular accident."
The defendants denied having perpetrated the crime. They alleged that they were in their respective houses at the time the crime was
committed.

Accused Fernando Iligan testified that at around midnight of August 4, 1980, he left his house to fetch his visitors at the dance hall.[10] Along the
way, he met his nephew, Edmundo Asis, whom he presumed was drunk. He invited his nephew to accompany him to the dance hall. However,
they were not able to reach their destination because Edmundo was boxed by somebody whom he (Edmundo) sideswiped.[11] Instead,
Fernando Iligan brought his nephew home.[12] On their way, they were overtaken by Juliano Mendoza whom Fernando Iligan invited to his
house to help him cook.[13] After bringing his nephew home, Fernando Iligan and Juliano Mendoza proceeded to Iligan's house and arrived there
between 1:30 and 2:00 o'clock in the morning of the same day.[14]

Edmundo Asis corroborated Iligan's testimony. He testified that while they were walking in front of the Almadrones ricemill, he sideswiped
someone whom he did not recognize because there were several persons around. He said, "Sorry, pare" but the person to whom he addressed
his apology boxed him on his left face. He fell down and Iligan helped him. Later, Iligan accompanied him to his home
in Lico II.[15] After Iligan and Juliano Mendoza had left his house, he slept and woke up at 7:00 o'clock the following morning.[16]

The defense made capital of the testimony of prosecution witness Dr. Abas to the effect that Quiñones, Jr. died because of a vehicular
accident. In ruling out said theory, however, the lower court, in its decision of May 7, 1986, said:

"The accused, to augment their alibi, have pointed to this Court that the Certificate of Death have shown that the victim's death was caused by
a vehicular accident. To this, notwithstanding, the Court cannot give credit for some reasons. First, the fact of the alleged vehicular accident
has not been fully established. Second, Esmeraldo Quiñones, Sr., (the) father of the victim, testified that Dr. Abas told him that if his son was
hacked by a bolo on the face and then run over the entire head by a vehicle's tire, then that hacking on the face could not be visibly seen on the
head (t.s.n., pp. 16-17, October 13, 1981). Third, Exhibit '2' (the photograph of the victim taken immediately after his body had been brought
home) is a hard evidence. It will attestly (sic) show that the entire head was not crushed by any vehicle. On the contrary, it shows that only half
of the face and head, was damaged with the wound starting on a sharp edge horizontally. There are contusions and abrasions on the upper left
shoulder and on the neck while the body downwards has none of it, while on the right forehead there is another wound caused by a sharp
instrument. Therefore, it is simple, that if the victim was run over by a vehicle, the other half portion of his head and downward part of his
body must have been likewise seriously damaged, which there are none."[17]

The lower court also found that Iligan's group conspired to kill anyone or all members of the group of the victim to vindicate the boxing on the
face of Edmundo Asis. It appreciated the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and treachery and accordingly
convicted Iligan and Edmundo Asisof the crime of murder and imposed on them the aforementioned penalty.

Iligan and Edmundo Asis interposed this appeal professing innocence of the crime for which they were convicted. For the second time, they
attributedQuiñones, Jr.'s death to a vehicular accident.

No eyewitnesses were presented to prove that Quiñones, Jr. was run over by a vehicle. The defense relies on the testimony of Dr. Abas, a
prosecution witness, who swore that the multiple fracture on the head of Quiñones, Jr. was caused by a vehicular accident[18] which opinion
was earlier put in writing by the same witness in the postmortem examination. Dr. Abas justified his conclusion by what he considered as tire
marks on the victim's left shoulder and the right side of his neck.[19] He also testified that the incised wound located at the victim's right
eyebrow could have been caused by a sharp bolo but it was so superficial that it could not have caused the victim's death.[20]

Circumstantial evidence on record indeed point to the veracity of the actual occurrence of the vehicular mishap. One such evidence is the
testimony of prosecution witness Zaldy Asis that when he helped bring home the body of Quiñones, Jr., he told the victim's
father, Esmeraldo Quiñones, Sr. that "before Esmeraldo Quiñones (Jr.) was run over by a vehicle, he was hacked by Fernando Iligan."[21] When
asked why he mentioned an automobile, ZaldyAsis said that he did not notice any vehicle around but he mentioned it "because his (Quiñones,
Jr.) head was busted."[22] It is therefore not farfetched to conclude that Zaldy Asis had actual knowledge of said accident but for understandable
reasons he declined to declare it in court. Defense witness Marciano Mago, the barangay captain of Sto. Domingo, also testified that when he
went to the scene of the crime, he saw bits of the brain of the victim scattered across the road where he also saw tire marks.[23]

For its part, the prosecution, through the victim's father, presented evidence to the effect that Iligan authored the maceration of half of the
victim's head. Quiñones, Sr. testified that from their house, which was about five meters away from the road, he saw Fernando Iligan holding a
"sinampalok" as he, together with Edmundo Asis and Juan Macandog, chased someone. During the second time that he saw the three accused,
he heard Iligan say, "Dali, ayosna yan."[24] Hence, the lower court concluded that the victim's head was "chopped" resulting in the splattering of
his brain all over the place.[25] It should be emphasized, however, that the testimony came from a biased witness and it was uncorroborated.

While the factual findings of the trial court are generally given due respect by the appellate court, an appeal of a criminal case throws it open
for a complete review of all errors, by commission or omission, as may be imputable to the trial court. [26] In this instance, the lower court erred
in finding that the maceration of one half of the head of the victim was also caused by Iligan for the evidence on record point to a different
conclusion. We are convinced beyond peradventure that indeed, after Quiñones, Jr. had fallen from the bolo-hacking perpetrated by Iligan, he
was run over by a vehicle. This finding, however, does not in any way exonerate Iligan from liability for the death of Quiñones, Jr.
Under Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability shall be incurred "by any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful
act done be different from that which he intended." Based on the doctrine that "el que es causa de la causa es causa del mal causado" (he who
is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused),[27] the essential requisites of Article 4 are: (a) that an intentional felony has been
committed, and (b) that the wrong done to the aggrieved party be the direct, natural and logical consequence of the felony committed by the
offender.[28] We hold that these requisites are present in this case.

The intentional felony committed was the hacking of the head of Quiñones, Jr. by Iligan. That it was considered as superficial by the physician
who autopsied Quiñones is beside the point. What is material is that by the instrument used in hacking Quiñones, Jr. and the location of
the wound, the assault was meant not only to immobilize the victim but to do away with him as it was directed at a vital and delicate part of the
body: the head.[29]

The hacking incident happened on the national highway[30] where vehicles are expected to pass any moment. One such vehicle passed
seconds laterwhen Lukban and Zaldy Asis, running scared and having barely negotiated the distance of around 200 meters, heard shouts of
people. Quiñones, Jr., weakened by the hacking blow which sent him to the cemented highway, was run over by a vehicle.

Under these circumstances, we hold that while Iligan's hacking of Quiñones, Jr.'s head might not have been the direct cause, it was the
proximate cause of the latter's death. Proximate legal cause is defined as "that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by
setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its
immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first
acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have
reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom."[31] In other
words, the sequence of events from Iligan's assault on him to the time Quiñones, Jr. was run over by a vehicle is, considering the very short
span of time between them, one unbroken chain of events. Having triggered such events, Iligan cannot escape liability.

We agree with the lower court that the defense of alibi cannot turn the tide in favor of Iligan because he was positively seen at the scene of the
crime and identified by the prosecution witnesses.[32]

But we disagree with the lower court with regards to its findings on the aggravating circumstances of treachery and evident
premeditation. Treachery has been appreciated by the lower court in view of the suddenness of the attack on the group of Quiñones,
Jr. Suddenness of such attack, however, does not by itself show treachery.[33] There must be evidence that the mode of attack was consciously
adopted by the appellant to make it impossible or hard for the person attacked to defend himself.[34] In this case, the hacking
of Edmundo Asis by Iligan followed by the chasing of the trio by the group of Iliganwas a warning to the deceased and his companions of the
hostile attitude of the appellants. The group of Quiñones, Jr. was therefore placed on guard for any subsequent attacks against them.[35]

The requisites necessary to appreciate evident premeditation have likewise not been met in this case. Thus, the prosecution failed to prove all
of the following: (a) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the accused had clung to
their determination to commit the crime; and (c) the lapse of sufficient length of time between the determination and execution to allow him
to reflect upon the consequences of his act.[36]

Absent any qualifying circumstances, Iligan must be held liable only for homicide. Again, contrary to the lower court's finding, proof beyond
reasonable doubt has not been established to hold Edmundo Asis liable as Iligan's co-conspirator. Edmundo Asis did not take any active part in
the infliction of thewound on the head of Quiñones, Jr. which led to his running over by a vehicle and consequent death. As earlier pointed
out, the testimony that he was carrying a stone at the scene of the crime hardly merits credibility being uncorroborated and coming from
an undeniably biased witness. Having been the companion of Iligan, Edmundo Asis must have known of the former's criminal intent but mere
knowledge, acquiescence or approval of the act without cooperation or agreement to cooperate, is not enough to constitute one a party to a
conspiracy. There must be intentional participation in the act with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose.[37] Such being
the case, his mere presence at the scene of the crime did not make him a co-conspirator, a co-principal or an accomplice to the assault
perpetrated by Iligan.[38] Edmundo Asis therefore deserves exoneration.

There being no mitigating circumstances, the penalty imposable on Iligan is reclusion temporal medium (Arts. 249 and 64, Revised Penal
Code). Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the proper penalty is that within the range of prision mayor as minimum and reclusion
temporal medium as maximum. We find insufficient proof to warrant the award of P256,960 for the victim's unrealized income and therefore,
the same is disallowed.

WHEREFORE, appellant Fernando Iligan y Jamito is hereby convicted of the crime of homicide for which he is imposed the indeterminate
penalty of six(6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of
reclusion temporal medium as maximum and he shall indemnify the heirs of Esmeraldo Quiñones, Jr. in the amount of fifty thousand pesos
(P50,000). Appellant Edmundo Asis is hereby acquitted of the crime charged against him. Costs against appellant Iligan.

SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-1477 January 18, 1950

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JULIO GUILLEN, defendant-appellant.

Mariano A. Albert for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor General Felix Bautista Angelo and Solicitor Francisco A. Carreon for appellee.

PER CURIAM, J.:

This case is before us for review of, and by virtue of appeal from, the judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Manila in case No.
2746, whereby Julio Guillen y Corpus, or Julio C. Guillen, is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and multiple
frustrated murder, as charged in the information, and is sentenced to the penalty of death, to indemnify the of the deceased Simeon Valera (or
Barrela) in the sum of P2,000 and to pay the costs.

Upon arraignment the accused entered a plea of not guilty to the charges contained in the information.

Then the case was tried in one of the branches of the Court of First Instance of Manila presided over by the honorable Buenaventura Ocampo
who, after the submission of the evidence of the prosecution and the defense, rendered judgment as above stated.

In this connection it should be stated that, at the beginning of the trial and before arraignment, counsel de oficio for the accused moved that
the mental condition of Guillen be examined. The court, notwithstanding that it had found out from the answers of the accused to questions
propounded to him in order to test the soundness of his mind, that he was not suffering from any mental derangement, ordered that Julio
Guillen be confined for Hospital, there to be examined by medical experts who should report their findings accordingly. This was done, and,
according to the report of the board of medical experts, presided over by Dr. Fernandez of the National Psychopathic Hospital, Julio Guillen was
not insane. Said report (Exhibit L), under the heading "Formulation and Diagnosis," at pages 13 and 14, reads:

FORMULATION AND DIAGNOSIS

Julio C. Guillen was placed under constant observation since admission. There was not a single moment during his whole 24 hours
daily, that he was not under observation.

The motive behind the commission of the crime is stated above. The veracity of this motivation was determined in the
Narcosynthesis. That the narco-synthesis was successful was checked up the day after the test. The narco-synthesis proved not only
reveal any conflict or complex that may explain a delusional or hallucinatory motive behind the act.

Our observation and examination failed to elicit any sign or symptom of insanity in Mr. Julio C. Guillen. He was found to be
intelligent, always able to differentiate right from wrong, fully aware of the nature of the crime he committed and is equally decided
to suffer for it in any manner or form.

His version of the circumstances of the crime, his conduct and conversation relative thereto, the motives, temptations and
provocations that preceded the act, were all those of an individual with a sound mind.

On the other hand he is an man of strong will and conviction and once arriving at a decision he executes, irrespective of
consequences and as in this case, the commission of the act at Plaza Miranda.

What is of some interest in the personality of Julio C. Guillen is his commission of some overt acts. This is seen not only in the
present instance, but sometime when an employee in la Clementina Cigar Factory he engaged in a boxing bout Mr. Manzano, a
Span-wanted to abuse the women cigar makers, and felt it his duty to defend them. One time he ran after a policeman with a knife
in hand after being provoked to a fight several times. He even challenged Congressman Nueno to a fight sometime before when Mr.
Nueno was running for a seat in the Municipal Board of the City of Manila, after hearing him deliver one of his apparently outspoken
speeches.
All these mean a defect in his personality characterized by a weakness of censorship especially in relation to rationalization about
the consequences of his acts.

In view of the above findings it is our considered opinion that Julio C. Guillen is not insane but is an individual with a personality
defect which in Psychiatry is termed, Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority.

Final Diagnosis

Not insane: Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority, without psychosis.

In view of the above-quoted findings of the medical board, and notwithstanding the contrary opinion of one Dr. Alvarez, who was asked by the
defense to give his opinion on the matter, the court ruled that Guillen, not being insane, could be tired, as he was tired, for the offenses he
committed on the date in question.

THE FACTS

Upon careful perusal of the evidence and the briefs submitted by counsel for the accused, the Solicitor General and their respective
memoranda, we find that there is no disagreement between the prosecution and the defense, as to the essential facts which caused the filing
of the present criminal case against this accused. Those facts may be stated as follows:

On the dates mentioned in this decision, Julio Guillen y Corpus, although not affirmed with any particular political group, has voted for the
defeated candidate in the presidential elections held in 1946. Manuel A. Roxas, the successful candidate, assumed the office of President of the
Commonwealth and subsequently President of the President of the Philippine Republic. According to Guillen, he became disappointed in
President Roxas for his alleged failure to redeem the pledges and fulfill the promises made by him during the presidential election campaign;
and his disappointment was aggravated when, according to him, President Roxas, instead of looking after the interest of his country, sponsored
and campaigned for the approval of the so-called "parity" measure. Hence he determined to assassinate the President.

After he had pondered for some time over the ways and means of assassinating President Roxas, the opportunity presented itself on the night
of March 10, 1947, when at a popular meeting held by the Liberal Party at Plaza de Miranda, Quiapo, Manila attended by a big crowd, President
Roxas, accompanied by his wife and daughter and surrounded by a number of ladies and gentlemen prominent in government and politics,
stood on a platform erected for that purpose and delivered his speech expounding and trying to convince his thousand of listeners of the
advantages to be gained by the Philippines, should the constitutional amendment granting American citizens the same rights granted to Filipino
nationals be adopted.

Guillen had first intended to use a revolver for the accomplishment of his purpose, but having lost said firearm, which was duly licensed, he
thought of two hand grenades which were given him by an American soldier in the early days of the liberation of Manila in exchange for two
bottles of whisky. He had likewise been weighing the chances of killing President Roxas, either by going to Malacañan, or following his intended
victim in the latter's trips to provinces, for instance, to Tayabas (now Quezon) where the President was scheduled to speak, but having
encountered many difficulties, he decided to carry out his plan at the pro-parity meeting held at Plaza de Miranda on the night of March 10,
1947.

On the morning of that he went to the house of Amando Hernandez whom he requested to prepare for him a document (Exhibit B), in
accordance with their pervious understanding in the preceding afternoon, when they met at the premises of the Manila Jockey Club on the
occasion of an "anti-parity" meeting held there. On account of its materially in this case, we deem it proper to quote hereunder the contents of
said document. An English translation (Exhibit B-2) from its original Tagalog reads:

FOR THE SAKE OF A FREE PHILIPPINES

I am the only one responsible for what happened. I conceived it, I planned it, and I carried it out all by myself alone. It took me many
days and nights pondering over this act, talking to my own conscience, to my God, until I reached my conclusion. It was my duty.

I did not expected to live long; I only had on life to spare. And had I expected to lives to spare, I would not have hesitated either ton
sacrifice it for the sake of a principle which was the welfare of the people.

Thousands have died in Bataan; many more have mourned the loss of their husbands, of their sons, and there are millions now
suffering. Their deeds bore no fruits; their hopes were frustrated.

I was told by my conscience and by my God that there was a man to be blamed for all this: he had deceived the people, he had
astounded them with no other purpose than to entice them; he even went to the extent of risking the heritage of our future
generations. For these reasons he should not continue any longer. His life would mean nothing as compared with the welfare of
eighteen million souls. And why should I not give up my life too if only the good of those eighteen million souls.

These are the reasons which impelled me to do what I did and I am willing to bear up the consequences of my act. I t matters not if
others will curse me. Time and history will show, I am sure, that I have only displayed a high degree of patriotism in my performance
of my said act.

Hurrah for a free Philippines.

Cheers for the happiness of every Filipino home.

May God pity on me.

Amen.

JULIO C. GUILLEN

A copy (Exhibit B-1) of the original in Tagalog (Exhibit B), made at the request of Guillen by his nephew, was handed to him only at about 6
o'clock in the afternoon of March 10, 1947, for which reason said Exhibit B-1 appears unsigned, because he was in a hurry for that meeting at
Plaza de Miranda.

When he reached Plaza de Miranda, Guillen was carrying two hand grenades concealed in a paper bag which also contained peanuts. He buried
one of the hand grenades (Exhibit D), in a plant pot located close to the platform, and when he decided to carry out his evil purpose he stood
on the chair on which he had been sitting and, from a distance of about seven meters, he hurled the grenade at the President when the latter
had just closed his speech, was being congratulated by Ambassador Romulo and was about to leave the platform.

General Castañeda, who was on the platform, saw the smoking, hissing, grenade and without losing his presence of mind, kicked it away from
the platform, along the stairway, and towards an open space where the general thought the grenade was likely to do the least harm; and,
covering the President with his body, shouted to the crowd that everybody should lie down. The grenade fell to the ground and exploded in the
middle of a group of persons who were standing close to the platform. Confusion ensued, and the crowd dispersed in a panic. It was found that
the fragments of the grenade had seriously injured Simeon Varela (or Barrela ) — who died on the following day as the result of mortal wounds
caused by the fragments of the grenade (Exhibits F and F-1) — Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio Maglalang.

Guillen was arrested by members of the Police Department about two hours after the occurrence. It appears that one Angel Garcia, who was
one spectators at that meeting, saw how a person who was standing next to him hurled an object at the platform and, after the explosion, ran
away towards a barber shop located near the platform at Plaza de Miranda. Suspecting that person was the thrower of the object that
exploded, Garcia went after him and had almost succeeded in holding him, but Guillen offered stiff resistance, got loose from Garcia and
managed to escape. Garcia pursued him, but some detectives, mistaking the former for the real criminal and the author of the explosion,
placed him under arrest. In the meantime, while the City Mayor and some agents of the Manila Police Department were investigating the affair,
one Manuel Robles volunteered the information that the person with whom Angel Garcia was wrestling was Julio Guillen; that he (Manuel
Robles) was acquainted with Julio Guillen for the previous ten years and had seen each other in the plaza a few moments previous to the
explosion.

The police operatives interrogated Garcia and Robles, and Julio Guillen was, within two hours after the occurrence, found in his home at 1724
Juan Luna Street, Manila, brought to the police headquarters and identified by Angel Garcia, as the same person who hurled towards the
platform the object which exploded and whom Garcia tried to hold when he was running away.

During the investigation conducted by the police he readily admitted his responsibility, although at the same time he tried to justify his action in
throwing the bomb at President Roxas. He also indicated to his captors the place where he had hidden his so called last will quoted above and
marked Exhibit B, which was then unsigned by him and subsequently signed at the police headquarters.

Re-enacting the crime (Exhibit C), he pointed out to the police where he had buried (Exhibit C-1) the other hand grenade (Exhibit D), and, in the
presence of witnesses he signed a statement which contained his answers to question propounded to him by Major A. Quintos of the Manila
Police, who investigated him soon after his arrest (Exhibit E). From a perusal of his voluntary statement, we are satisfied that it tallies exactly
with the declarations and made by him on the witness stand during the trial of this case.
THE ISSUES

In the brief submitted by counsel de oficio for this appellant, several errors are assigned allegedly committed by the trial court, namely: first, "in
finding the appellant guilty of murder for the death of Simeon Varela"; second, "in declaring the appellant guilty of the complex crime of
murder and multiple frustrated murder"; third, "in applying sub-section 1 of article 49 of the Revised Penal Code in determining the penalty to
be imposed upon the accused"; andfourth, "in considering the concurrence of the aggravating circumstances of nocturnity and of contempt of
public authorities in the commission of crime."

The evidence for the prosecution, supported by the brazen statements made by the accused, shows beyond any shadow of doubt that, when
Guillen attended that meeting, carrying with him two hand grenades, to put into execution his preconceived plan to assassinate President
Roxas, he knew fully well that, by throwing one of those two hand grenades in his possession at President Roxas, and causing it to explode, he
could not prevent the persons who were around his main and intended victim from being killed or at least injured, due to the highly explosive
nature of the bomb employed by him to carry out his evil purpose.

Guillen, testifying in his own behalf, in answer to questions propounded by the trial judge (page 96 of transcript) supports our conclusion. He
stated that he performed the act voluntarily; that his purpose was to kill the President, but that it did not make any difference to him if there
were some people around the President when he hurled that bomb, because the killing of those who surrounded the President was
tantamount to killing the President, in view of the fact that those persons, being loyal to the President being loyal to the President, were
identified with the latter. In other word, although it was not his main intention to kill the persons surrounding the President, he felt no
conjunction in killing them also in order to attain his main purpose of killing the President.

The facts do not support the contention of counsel for appellant that the latter is guilty only of homicide through reckless imprudence in regard
to the death of Simeon Varela and of less serious physical injuries in regard to Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio Maglalang, and
that he should be sentenced to the corresponding penalties for the different felonies committed, the sum total of which shall not exceed three
times the penalty to be imposed for the most serious crime in accordance with article 70 in relation to article 74 of the Revised Penal Code.

In throwing hand grenade at the President with the intention of killing him, the appellant acted with malice. He is therefore liable for all the
consequences of his wrongful act; for in accordance with article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by any person
committing felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. In criminal negligence, the injury caused to
another should be unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act performed without malice. (People vs. Sara, 55 Phil., 939.) In the
words of Viada, "in order that an act may be qualified as imprudence it is necessary that either malice nor intention to cause injury should
intervene; where such intention exists, the act should qualified by the felony it has produced even though it may not have been the intention of
the actor to cause an evil of such gravity as that produced.' (Viada's Comments on the Penal Code, vol. 7, 5th ed., p.7.) And, as held by this
Court, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act is essentially inconsistent with the idea of reckless imprudence. (People vs. Nanquil, 43 Phil.,
232.) Where such unlawful act is wilfully done, a mistake in the identity of the intended victim cannot be considered as reckless imprudence.
(People vs. Gona, 54 Phil., 605)

Squarely on the point by counsel is the following decision of the Supreme Court of Spain:

Cuestion 62. Se presenta A, a las ocho de la noche, en el estanco de B a comprar tabaco, y habiendose negado este a darselo al fiado,
se retira a quel sin mediar entre ambos disputa alguna; pero; trnscurrido un cuarto de hora, hallandose el estanquero despachando
a C, se oye la detonacion de un arma de fuego disparada por A desde la calle, quedando muertos en el acto C y el estanquero;
supuesta la no intencion en A de matar a C y si solo al estanquero, cabe calificar la muerte de este de homicidio y la de c de
imprudencia temeraria? — La Sala de lo Criminal de la Auudiencia de Granada lo estimo asi, y condeno al procesado a catorse anos
de reclusion por el homivcidio y a un año de prision correctional por la imprudencia. Aparte de que la muerte del estanquero debio
calificarse de assesinato y no de homicidio, por haberse ejecutado con aleviosa. es evidente que la muerte de C, suponiendo que no
se propusiera ejecutaria el procesado, no pudo calificarse de imprudencia teme raria, sino que tambien debio declararsele
responsable de la misma, a tenor de lo puesto en este apartado ultimo del articulo; y que siendo ambas muertes producidas por un
solo hecho, o sea por un solo disparo, debio imponerse al reo la pena del delito de asesinato en el grado maximo, a tenor de lo
dispuesto en el art. 90 del Codigo, o sea la pena de muerte. Se ve, pues, claramente que en el antedicha sentencia, aparte de otros
articulos del Codigo, se infringio por la Sala la disposicion de este apartado ultimo del articulo muy principalmente, y asi lo declaro el
Tribunal Supremo en S. de 18 junio de 1872. (Gaceta de 1,0 de agosto.) (I Viada, 5th Ed., p. 42.)

Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides as follows:

Art. 48. Penalty for Complex Crimes. — When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is
a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its
maximum period.

We think it is the above-quoted article and not paragraph 1 of article 49 that is applicable. The case before us is clearly governed by the first
clause of article 48 because by a single act, that a throwing highly explosive hand grenade at President Roxas, the accused committed two grave
felonies, namely: (1) murder, of which Simeon Varela was the victim; and (2) multiple attempted murder, of which President Roxas, Alfredo Eva,
Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio Maglalang were the injured parties.

The killing of Simeon Varela was attended by the qualifying circumstance of treachery. In the case of People vs. Mabug-at, supra, this court held
that the qualifying circumstance of treachery may be properly considered, even when the victim of the attack was not the one whom the
defendant intended to kill, if it appears from the evidence that neither of the two persons could in any manner put up defense against the
attack, or become aware of it. In the same case it was held that the qualifying circumstance of premeditation may not be properly taken into
the account when the person whom the defendant proposed to kill was different from the one who became his victim.

There can be no question that the accused attempted to kill President Roxas by throwing a hand grenade at him with the intention to kill him,
thereby commencing the commission of a felony by over acts, but he did not succeed in assassinating him "by reason of some cause or accident
other than his own spontaneous desistance." For the same reason we qualify the injuries caused on the four other persons already named as
merely attempted and not frustrated murder.

In this connection, it should be stated that , although there is abundant proof that , in violation of the provisions of article 148 of the Revised
Penal Code, the accused Guillen has committed among others the offense of assault upon a person in authority, for in fact his efforts were
directed towards the execution of his main purpose of eliminating President Roxas for his failure to redeem his electoral campaign promises, by
throwing at him in his official capacity as the Chief Executive of the nation the hand grenade in question, yet, in view of the appropriate
allegation charging Guillen with the commission of said offense, we shall refrain making a finding to that effect.

The complex crimes of murder and multiple attempted murder committed by the accused with the single act of throwing a hand grenade at the
President, was attended by the various aggravating circumstances alleged in the information, without any mitigating circumstance. But we do
not deem it necessary to consider said aggravating circumstances because in any event article 48 of the Revised Penal Code above-quoted
requires that the penalty for the most serious of said crimes be applied in its maximum period. The penalty for murder is reclusion temporal in
its maximum period to death. (Art. 248.)

It is our painful duty to apply the law and mete out to the accused the extreme penalty provided by it upon the facts and circumstances
hereinabove narrated.

The sentence of the trial court being correct, we have no alternative but to affirm it, and we hereby do so by a unanimous vote. The death
sentence shall be executed in accordance with article 81 of the Revised Penal Code, under authority of the Director of Prisons, on such working
day as the trial court may fix within 30 days from the date the record shall have been remanded. It is so ordered.

Moran, C.J., Ozaeta, Paras, Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes and Torres, JJ., concur.
EN BANC

G.R. No. L-38773 December 19, 1933

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. GINES ALBURQUERQUE Y SANCHEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

Gibbs and McDonough and Roman Ozaeta, for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellee.

AVANCEÑA, C.J.: chanrobles virtual law library

The judgment appealed from finds the appellants Gines Alburquerque guilty of the crime of homicide committed on the person of Manuel
Osma and sentences him to eight years and one day of prision mayor, and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P1,000, with
costs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

The appellant herein, who is a widower of fifty-five years of age and father of nine living children, has been suffering from partial paralysis for
some time, walks dragging one leg and has lost control of the movement of his right arm. He has been unable to work since he suffered the
stroke of paralysis. One of his daughters was named Maria and another, are married, while still another one is a nun. With the exemption of the
other married daughter and the nun, of all of them, including the appellant, live with Maria upon whom they depend for
support.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Among the daughters living with Maria, one named Pilar became acquainted and had intimate relations later with the deceased Manuel Osma
about the end of the year 1928. It was then that the appellant became acquainted with the deceased who frequently visited Pilar in his house.
The relations between Pilar and the deceased culminated in Pilar's giving birth to a child. The appellant did not know that his daughter's
relations with the deceased had gone to such extremes, that he had to be deceived with the information that she had gone to her godfather's
house in Singalong, when in fact she had been taken to the Chinese Hospital for delivery. The appellant learned the truth only when Pilar
returned home with her child.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Naturally the appellant was deeply affected by this incident, since which time he has appeared sad and worried not only because of the
dishonor it brought upon his family but also because the child meant an added burden to Maria upon whom they all depended for support. For
some time the appellant wrote letters, that at times were hostile and threatening and at other times entreating the deceased to legitimize his
union with Pilar by marrying her, or at least, to support her and his child. Although the deceased agreed to give the child a monthly allowance
by way of support, he never complied with his promise.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

The appellant was in such a mood when he presented himself one day at the office where the deceased worked and asked leave of the
manager thereof to speak to Osma. They both went downstairs. What happened later, nobody witnessed. But the undisputed fact is that on
that occasion the appellant inflicted a wound at the base of the neck of the deceased, causing his death.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles
virtual law library

After excluding the improbable portions thereof, the court infers from the testimony of the appellant that he proposed to said deceased to
marry his daughter and that, upon hearing that the latter refused to do so, he whipped out his penknife. Upon seeing the appellant's attitude,
the deceased tried to seize him by the neck whereupon the said appellant stabbed him on the face with the said penknife. Due to his lack of
control of the movement of his arm, the weapon landed on the base of the neck of the deceased.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual
law library

The trial court found that the appellant did not intend to cause so grave an injury as the death of the deceased. We find that his conclusion is
supported by the evidence. In his testimony the appellant emphatically affirmed that he only wanted to inflict a wound that would leave a
permanent scar on the face of the deceased, or one that would compel him to remain in the hospital for a week or two but never intended to
kill him, because then it would frustrate his plan of compelling him to marry or, at least, support his daughter. The appellant had stated this
intention in some of his letters to the deceased by way of a threat to induce him to accept his proposal for the benefit of his daughter. That the
act of the appellant in stabbing the deceased resulted in the fatal wound at the base of his neck, was due solely to the fact hereinbefore
mentioned that appellant did not have control of his right arm on account of paralysis and the blow, although intended for the face, landed at
the base of the neck.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Therefore, the mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to cause so grave an injury as the death of the deceased as well as those of his
having voluntarily surrendered himself to the authorities, and acted under the influence of passion and obfuscation, should be taken into
consideration in favor of the appellant.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Under the facts above stated, we cannot entertain the appellant's contention that he acted in legitimate self-defense inasmuch as he provoked
and commenced the aggression by whipping out and brandishing his penknife.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
The defense likewise claims that, at all events, article 49 of the Revised Penal Code, which refers to cases where the crime committed is
different from that intended by the accused, should be applied herein. This article is a reproduction of article 64 of the old Code and has been
interpreted as applicable only in cases where the crime befalls a different person (decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain of October 20, 1897,
and June 28,1899), which is not the case herein.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

The facts as herein proven constitute the crime of homicide defined and penalized in article 249 of the Revised Penal Code with reclusion
temporal. In view of the concurrence therein of three mitigating circumstances without any aggravating circumstance, the penalty next lower in
degree, that is prision mayor, should be imposed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Wherefore, pursuant to the provisions of Act No. 4103, the appellant is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of from one (1)
year of prision correccional to eight (8) years and (1) day of prision mayor, affirming the judgment appealed from in all other respects, with the
costs. So ordered.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

Street, Abad Santos, Vickers, and Butte, JJ., concur.


Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-10126 October 22, 1957

SALUD VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN and the minors NORMA, LUZVIMINDA, ELENITA, OSCAR and ALFREDO BATACLAN, represented by their
Natural guardian, SALUD VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN, plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
MARIANO MEDINA, defendant-appellant.

Lope E. Adriano, Emmanuel Andamo and Jose R. Francisco for plaintiffs-appellants.


Fortunato Jose for defendant and appellant.

MONTEMAYOR, J.:

Shortly after midnight, on September 13, 1952 bus no. 30 of the Medina Transportation, operated by its owner defendant Mariano Medina
under a certificate of public convenience, left the town of Amadeo, Cavite, on its way to Pasay City, driven by its regular chauffeur, Conrado
Saylon. There were about eighteen passengers, including the driver and conductor. Among the passengers were Juan Bataclan, seated beside
and to the right of the driver, Felipe Lara, sated to the right of Bataclan, another passenger apparently from the Visayan Islands whom the
witnesses just called Visaya, apparently not knowing his name, seated in the left side of the driver, and a woman named Natalia Villanueva,
seated just behind the four last mentioned. At about 2:00 o'clock that same morning, while the bus was running within the jurisdiction of Imus,
Cavite, one of the front tires burst and the vehicle began to zig-zag until it fell into a canal or ditch on the right side of the road and turned
turtle. Some of the passengers managed to leave the bus the best way they could, others had to be helped or pulled out, while the three
passengers seated beside the driver, named Bataclan, Lara and the Visayan and the woman behind them named Natalia Villanueva, could not
get out of the overturned bus. Some of the passengers, after they had clambered up to the road, heard groans and moans from inside the bus,
particularly, shouts for help from Bataclan and Lara, who said they could not get out of the bus. There is nothing in the evidence to show
whether or not the passengers already free from the wreck, including the driver and the conductor, made any attempt to pull out or extricate
and rescue the four passengers trapped inside the vehicle, but calls or shouts for help were made to the houses in the neighborhood. After half
an hour, came about ten men, one of them carrying a lighted torch made of bamboo with a wick on one end, evidently fueled with petroleum.
These men presumably approach the overturned bus, and almost immediately, a fierce fire started, burning and all but consuming the bus,
including the four passengers trapped inside it. It would appear that as the bus overturned, gasoline began to leak and escape from the gasoline
tank on the side of the chassis, spreading over and permeating the body of the bus and the ground under and around it, and that the lighted
torch brought by one of the men who answered the call for help set it on fire.

That same day, the charred bodies of the four deemed passengers inside the bus were removed and duly identified that of Juan Bataclan. By
reason of his death, his widow, Salud Villanueva, in her name and in behalf of her five minor children, brought the present suit to recover from
Mariano Medina compensatory, moral, and exemplary damages and attorney's fees in the total amount of P87,150. After trial, the Court of
First Instance of Cavite awarded P1,000 to the plaintiffs plus P600 as attorney's fee, plus P100, the value of the merchandise being carried by
Bataclan to Pasay City for sale and which was lost in the fire. The plaintiffs and the defendants appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals,
but the latter endorsed the appeal to us because of the value involved in the claim in the complaint.

Our new Civil Code amply provides for the responsibility of common carrier to its passengers and their goods. For purposes of reference, we are
reproducing the pertinent codal provisions:

ART. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary
diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the safety of the passengers transported by them, according to all the
circumstances of each case.

Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in articles 1734, 1735, and 1745, Nos. 5, 6, and 7,
while the extra ordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers is further set forth in articles 1755 and 1756.

ART. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using the
utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the circumstances.

ART. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted
negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755
ART. 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the negligence or willful acts of the former's
employees, although such employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of the order of the common
carriers.

This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in
the selection and supervision of their employees.

ART. 1763. A common carrier responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account of the willful acts or negligence of other
passengers or of strangers, if the common carrier's employees through the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family
could have prevented or stopped the act or omission.

We agree with the trial court that the case involves a breach of contract of transportation for hire, the Medina Transportation having
undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to his destination, Pasay City. We also agree with the trial court that there was negligence on the part of the
defendant, through his agent, the driver Saylon. There is evidence to show that at the time of the blow out, the bus was speeding, as testified
to by one of the passengers, and as shown by the fact that according to the testimony of the witnesses, including that of the defense, from the
point where one of the front tires burst up to the canal where the bus overturned after zig-zaging, there was a distance of about 150 meters.
The chauffeur, after the blow-out, must have applied the brakes in order to stop the bus, but because of the velocity at which the bus must
have been running, its momentum carried it over a distance of 150 meters before it fell into the canal and turned turtle.

There is no question that under the circumstances, the defendant carrier is liable. The only question is to what degree. The trial court was of
the opinion that the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was not the overturning of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus,
including himself and his co-passengers who were unable to leave it; that at the time the fire started, Bataclan, though he must have suffered
physical injuries, perhaps serious, was still alive, and so damages were awarded, not for his death, but for the physical injuries suffered by him.
We disagree. A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found in Volume 38, pages 695-696 of American jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-
appellants in their brief. It is as follows:

. . . 'that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred.' And more comprehensively, 'the proximate legal cause is that acting first and
producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of
events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the
injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the
first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or
default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.

It may be that ordinarily, when a passenger bus overturns, and pins down a passenger, merely causing him physical injuries, if through some
event, unexpected and extraordinary, the overturned bus is set on fire, say, by lightning, or if some highwaymen after looting the vehicle sets it
on fire, and the passenger is burned to death, one might still contend that the proximate cause of his death was the fire and not the
overturning of the vehicle. But in the present case under the circumstances obtaining in the same, we do not hesitate to hold that the
proximate cause was the overturning of the bus, this for the reason that when the vehicle turned not only on its side but completely on its back,
the leaking of the gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men with a lighted torch was in response to
the call for help, made not only by the passengers, but most probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves, and that because it was
dark (about 2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to carry a light with them, and coming as they did from a rural area where lanterns and
flashlights were not available; and what was more natural than that said rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and
effect the rescue requested from them. In other words, the coming of the men with a torch was to be expected and was a natural sequence of
the overturning of the bus, the trapping of some of its passengers and the call for outside help. What is more, the burning of the bus can also in
part be attributed to the negligence of the carrier, through is driver and its conductor. According to the witness, the driver and the conductor
were on the road walking back and forth. They, or at least, the driver should and must have known that in the position in which the overturned
bus was, gasoline could and must have leaked from the gasoline tank and soaked the area in and around the bus, this aside from the fact that
gasoline when spilled, specially over a large area, can be smelt and directed even from a distance, and yet neither the driver nor the conductor
would appear to have cautioned or taken steps to warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted torch too near the bus. Said negligence on the part
of the agents of the carrier come under the codal provisions above-reproduced, particularly, Articles 1733, 1759 and 1763.

As regard the damages to which plaintiffs are entitled, considering the earning capacity of the deceased, as well as the other elements entering
into a damage award, we are satisfied that the amount of SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS would constitute satisfactory compensation, this to
include compensatory, moral, and other damages. We also believe that plaintiffs are entitled to attorney's fees, and assessing the legal services
rendered by plaintiffs' attorneys not only in the trial court, but also in the course of the appeal, and not losing sight of the able briefs prepared
by them, the attorney's fees may well be fixed at EIGHT HUNDRED (P800) PESOS for the loss of merchandise carried by the deceased in the bus,
is adequate and will not be disturbed.

There is one phase of this case which disturbs if it does not shock us. According to the evidence, one of the passengers who, because of the
injuries suffered by her, was hospitalized, and while in the hospital, she was visited by the defendant Mariano Medina, and in the course of his
visit, she overheard him speaking to one of his bus inspectors, telling said inspector to have the tires of the bus changed immediately because
they were already old, and that as a matter of fact, he had been telling the driver to change the said tires, but that the driver did not follow his
instructions. If this be true, it goes to prove that the driver had not been diligent and had not taken the necessary precautions to insure the
safety of his passengers. Had he changed the tires, specially those in front, with new ones, as he had been instructed to do, probably, despite
his speeding, as we have already stated, the blow out would not have occurred. All in all, there is reason to believe that the driver operated and
drove his vehicle negligently, resulting in the death of four of his passengers, physical injuries to others, and the complete loss and destruction
of their goods, and yet the criminal case against him, on motion of the fiscal and with his consent, was provisionally dismissed, because
according to the fiscal, the witnesses on whose testimony he was banking to support the complaint, either failed or appear or were reluctant to
testify. But the record of the case before us shows the several witnesses, passengers, in that bus, willingly and unhesitatingly testified in court
to the effect of the said driver was negligent. In the public interest the prosecution of said erring driver should be pursued, this, not only as a
matter of justice, but for the promotion of the safety of passengers on public utility buses. Let a copy of this decision be furnished the
Department of Justice and the Provincial Fiscal of Cavite.

In view of the foregoing, with the modification that the damages awarded by the trial court are increased from ONE THOUSAND (P1,000) PESOS
TO SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS, and from SIX HUNDRED PESOS TO EIGHT HUNDRED (P800) PESOS, for the death of Bataclan and for the
attorney's fees, respectively, the decision appealed is from hereby affirmed, with costs.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 80762 March 19, 1990

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
FAUSTA GONZALES, AUGUSTO GONZALES, CUSTODIO GONZALES, SR., CUSTODIO GONZALES, JR., NERIO GONZALES and ROGELIO LANIDA,
accused, CUSTODIO GONZALES, SR., accused-appellant.

SARMIENTO, J.:

In a decision 1 dated October 31, 1984, the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo, Branch XXXVIII (38), in Criminal Case No. 13661, entitled "People of the
Philippines vs. Fausta Gonzales, Augusto Gonzales, Custodia Gonzales, Custodio Gonzales, Jr., Nerio Gonzales and Rogelio Lanida," found all the
accused, except Rogelio Lanida who eluded arrest and up to now has remain at large and not yet arrained, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of murder as defined under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. They were sentenced "to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of
twelve (12) years and one (1) day to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased
victim in the amount of P40,000.00, plus moral damages in the sum of P14,000.00 and to pay the costs." 2 The victim was Lloyd Peñacerrada,
44, landowner, and a resident of Barangay Aspera, Sara, Iloilo.

Through their counsel, all the accused, except of course Rogelio Lanida, filed a notice of appeal from the trial court's decision. During the
pendency of their appeal and before judgment thereon could be rendered by the Court of Appeals, however, all the accused-appellants, except
Custodio Gonzales, Sr., withdrew their appeal and chose instead to pursue their respective applications for parole before the then Ministry,
now Department, of Justice, Parole Division. 3

On October 27, 1987, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision 4 on the appeal of Custodio Gonzales, Sr. It modified the appealed decision in
that the lone appellant was sentenced to reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of Lloyd Peñacerrada in the amount of P30,000.00. In all
other respect, the decision of the trial court was affirmed. Further, on the basis of our ruling in People vs. Ramos, 5 the appellate court certified
this case to us for review.6

The antecedent facts are as follows:

At around 9:00 o'clock in the evening of February 21, 1981, Bartolome Paja, the barangay captain of Barangay Tipacla, Ajuy, Iloilo, was
awakened from his sleep by the spouses Augusto and Fausta Gonzales. Augusto informed Paja that his wife had just killed their landlord, Lloyd
Peñacerrada, and thus would like to surrender to the authorities. Seeing Augusto still holding the knife allegedly used in the killing and Fausta
with her dress smeared with blood, Paja immediately ordered a nephew of his to take the spouses to the police authorities at the Municipal
Hall in Poblacion, Ajuy. As instructed, Paja's nephew brought the Gonzales spouses, who "backrode" on his motorcycle, to the municipal
building. 7 Upon reaching the Ajuy Police sub-station, the couple informed the police on duty of the incident. That same night, Patrolman
Salvador Centeno of the Ajuy Police Force and the Gonzales spouses went back to Barangay Tipacla. Reaching Barangay Tipacla the group went
to Paja's residence where Fausta was made to stay, while Paja, Patrolman Centeno, and Augusto proceeded to the latter's residence at Sitio
Nabitasan where the killing incident allegedly occurred. 8 There they saw the lifeless body of Lloyd Peñacerrada, clad only in an underwear,
sprawled face down inside the bedroom. 9 The group stayed for about an hour during which time Patrolman Centeno inspected the scene and
started to make a rough sketch thereof and the immediate surroundings. 10 The next day, February 22, 1981, at around 7:00 o'clock in the
morning, Patrolman Centeno, accompanied by a photographer, went back to the scene of the killing to conduct further investigations. Fausta
Gonzales, on the other hand, was brought back that same day by Barangay Captain Paja to the police substation in Ajuy. When Patrolman
Centeno and his companion arrived at Sitio Nabitasan, two members of the 321st P.C. Company stationed in Sara, Iloilo, who had likewise been
informed of the incident, were already there conducting their own investigation. Patrolman Centeno continued with his sketch; photographs of
the scene were likewise taken. The body of the victim was then brought to the Municipal Hall of Ajuy for autopsy.

The autopsy of Lloyd Peñacerrada's cadaver was performed at about 11:20 a.m. on February 22, 1981; after completed, a report was made with
the following findings:

PHYSICAL FINDINGS

1. Deceased is about 5 ft. and 4 inches in height, body moderately built and on cadaveric rigidity.
EXTERNAL FINDINGS

1. Puncture wound, 1 cm. in width, 9 cm. in length, located at the lower 3rd anterior aspect of the arm, right, directed upward to the
right axillary pit.

2. Stab wound, thru and thru, located at the proximal 3rd, forearm right, posterior aspect with an entrance of 5 cm. in width and 9
cm. in length with an exit at the middle 3rd, posterior aspect of the forearm, right, with 1 cm. wound exit.

3. Stab wound, thru and thru, located at the middle 3rd, posterior aspect of the forearm right, 1 cm. in width.

4. Incised wound, 4 cm. long, depth visualizing the right lateral border of the sternum, 6th and 7th ribs, right located 1.5 inches
below the right nipple.

5. Stab wound, 2 cm. in width, 10.5 cm. in depth, directed inward to the thoracic cavity right, located at the left midclavicular line at
the level of the 5th rib left.

6. Stab wound, 2 cm. in width, 9.5 cm. in depth directed toward the right thoracic cavity, located at the mid left scapular line at the
level of the 8th intercostal space.

7. Puncture wound, 1 cm. in width, located at the base of the left armpit directed toward the left thoracic cavity.

8. Puncture wound, 1 cm. in width, 11 cm. in length, directed toward the left deltoid muscle, located at the upper 3rd axilla left.

9. Puncture wound, 3 cm in width, 11.5 cm in length, located at the anterior aspect, proximal 3rd arm left, directed downward.

10. Stab wound, thru and thru, 2.5 cm. in width, and 5 cm. in length, medial aspect, palm right.

11. Stabwound, 4 cm.in width, iliac area, right, directed inward with portion of large intestine and mysentery coming out.

12. Stab wound, 4 cm. in width, located at the posterior portion of the shoulder, right, directed downward to the aspex of the light
thoracic cavity.

13. Incised wound, 1 cm. in width, 10 cm. in length, located at the medial portion of the medial border of the right scapula.

14. Incised wound, 1 cm. in width, 4.5 cm. in length, located at the posterior aspect of the right elbow.

15. Incised wound, 1 cm. in width, 2 cm. in length, located at the posterior portion, middle 3rd, forearm, right.

16. Lacerated wound at the anterior tantanelle with fissural fracture of the skull.

INTERNAL FINDINGS:

1. Stab wound No. 5, injuring the left ventricle of the heart.

2. Stab wound No. 6, severely injuring the right lower lobe of the lungs.

3. Stab wound No. 7, injuring the right middle lobe of the lungs.

4. Stab wound No. 11, injuring the descending colon of the large intestine, thru and thru.

5. Stab wound No. 12, severely injuring the apex of the right lungs (sic).

CAUSE OF DEATH:

MASSIVE HEMMORRHAGE DUE TO MULTIPLE LACERATED, STABBED (sic), INCISED AND PUNCTURED WOUNDS.
The autopsy report thus showed that Dr. Rojas "found sixteen (16) wounds, five (5) of which are fatal because they penetrated the internal
organs, heart, lungs and intestines of the deceased." 12

On February 23, two days after the incident, Augusto Gonzales appeared before the police sub-station in the poblacion of Ajuy and voluntarily
surrendered to Police Corporal Ben Sazon for detention and protective custody for "having been involved" in the killing of Lloyd Peñacerrada.
He requested that he be taken to the P.C. headquarters in Sara, Iloilo where his wife, Fausta, was already detained having been indorsed
thereat by the Ajuy police force. 13

Based on the foregoing and on the investigations conducted by the Ajuy police force and the 321st P.C. Company, an information for murder
dated August 26, 1981, was filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Iloilo against the spouses Augusto and Fausta Gonzales. The information read as
follows:

The undersigned Provincial Fiscal accuses FAUSTA GONZALES and AUGUSTO GONZALES of the crime of MURDER
committed as follows:

That on or about the 21st day of February, 1981, in the Municipality of Ajuy, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Court, the above-named accused with four other companions whose identities are still unknown and
are still at large, armed with sharp-pointed and deadly weapons, conspiring, confederating and helping each other, with
treachery and evident premeditation, with deliberate intent and decided purpose to kill, and taking advantage of their
superior strength and number, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, stab, hack, hit and
wound Lloyd D. Peñacerrada, with the weapons with which said accused were provided at the time, thereby inflicting
upon said Lloyd D. Peñacerrada multiple wounds on different parts of his body as shown by autopsy report attached to
the record of this case which multifarious wounds caused the immediate death of said Lloyd D. Peñacerrada.

CONTRARY TO LAW.

Iloilo City, August 26, 1981. 14

When arraigned on September 16, 1981, Augusto and Fausta both entered a plea of not guilty. Before trial, however, Jose Huntoria 15 who
claimed to have witnessed the killing of Lloyd Peñacerrada, presented himself to Nanie Peñacerrada, the victim's widow, on October 6, 1981,
and volunteered to testify for the prosecution. A reinvestigation of the case was therefore conducted by the Provincial Fiscal of Iloilo on the
basis of which an Amended Information, 16 dated March 3, 1982, naming as additional accused Custodio Gonzales, Sr. (the herein appellant),
Custodio Gonzales, Jr., Nerio Gonzales, and Rogelio Lanida, was filed. Again, all the accused except as earlier explained, Lanida, pleaded not
guilty to the crime.

At the trial, the prosecution presented Dr. Jesus Rojas, the Rural Health physician of Ajuy who conducted the autopsy on the body of the victim;
Bartolome Paja, the barangay captain of Barangay Tipacla; Patrolman Salvador Centeno and Corporal Ben Sazon of the Ajuy Police Force; Sgt.
(ret) Nicolas Belicanao and Sgt. Reynaldo Palomo of the 321st P.C. Company based in Sara, Iloilo; Jose Huntoria; and Nanie Peñacerrada, the
widow.

Dr. Jesus Rojas testified that he performed the autopsy on the body of the deceased Lloyd Penacerrada at around 11:20 a.m. on February 22,
1981 after it was taken to the municipal hall of Ajuy. 17 His findings revealed that the victim suffered from 16 wounds comprising of four (4)
punctured wounds, seven (7) stab wounds, four (4) incised wounds, and one (1) lacerated wound. In his testimony, Dr. Rojas, while admitting
the possibility that only one weapon might have caused all the wounds (except the lacerated wound) inflicted on the victim, nevertheless
opined that due to the number and different characteristics of the wounds, the probability that at least two instruments were used is
high. 18 The police authorities and the P.C. operatives for their part testified on the aspect of the investigation they respectively conducted in
relation to the incident. Nanie Peñacerrada testified mainly on the expenses she incurred by reason of the death of her husband while Barangay
Captain Bartolome Paja related the events surrounding the surrender of the spouses Augusto and Fausta Gonzales to him, the location of the
houses of the accused, as well as on other matters.

By and large, the prosecution's case rested on Huntoria's alleged eyewitness account of the incident. According to Huntoria, who gave his age
as 30 when he testified on July 27, 1982, 19 at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon on February 21, 1981, he left his work at Barangay Central, in Ajuy,
Iloilo where he was employed as a tractor driver by one Mr. Piccio, and walked home; 20 he took a short-cut route. 21 While passing at the
vicinity of the Gonzales spouses' house at around 8:00 o'clock in the evening, he heard cries for help. 22 Curiosity prompted him to approach the
place where the shouts were emanating. When he was some 15 to 20 meters away, he hid himself behind a clump of banana
trees. 23 From where he stood, he allegedly saw all the accused ganging upon and takings turns in stabbing and hacking the victim Lloyd
Peñacerrada, near a "linasan" or threshing platform. He said he clearly recognized all the accused as the place was then awash in
moonlight. 24 Huntoria further recounted that after the accused were through in stabbing and hacking the victim, they then lifted his body and
carried it into the house of the Gonzales spouses which was situated some 20 to 25 meters away from the "linasan". 25 Huntoria then
proceeded on his way home. Upon reaching his house, he related what he saw to his mother and to his wife 26 before he went to
sleep. 27Huntoria explained that he did not immediately report to the police authorities what he witnessed for fear of his life. 28 In October 1981
however, eight months after the extraordinary incident he allegedly witnessed, bothered by his conscience plus the fact that his father was
formerly a tenant of the victim which, to his mind, made him likewise a tenant of the latter, he thought of helping the victim's widow, Nanie
Peñacerrada. Hence, out of his volition, he travelled from his place at Sitio Nabitasan, in Barangay Tipacla Municipality of Ajuy, to Sara, Iloilo
where Mrs. Peñacerrada lived, and related to her what he saw on February 21, 1981. 29

Except Fausta who admitted killing Lloyd Peñacerrada in defense of her honor as the deceased attempted to rape her, all the accused denied
participation in the crime. The herein accused-appellant, Custodio Gonzales, Sr., claimed that he was asleep 30 in his house which was located
some one kilometer away from the scene of the crime 31 when the incident happened. He asserted that he only came to know of it after his
grandchildren by Augusto and Fausta Gonzales went to his house that night of February 21, 1981 to inform him. 32

The trial court disregarded the version of the defense; it believed the testimony of Huntoria.

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, Custodia Gonzales, Sr., the lone appellant, contended that the trial court erred in convicting him on the basis
of the testimony of Jose Huntoria, the lone alleged eyewitness, and in not appreciating his defense of alibi.

The Court of Appeals found no merit in both assigned errors. In upholding Huntoria's testimony, the appellate court held that:

. . . Huntoria positively identified all the accused, including the herein accused-appellant, as the assailants of Peñacerrada.
(TSN, p. 43, July 27, 1982) The claim that Huntoria would have difficulty recognizing the assailant at a distance of 15 to 20
meters is without merit, considering that Huntoria knew all the accused. (Id., pp. 37-39) If Huntoria could not say who
was hacking and who was stabbing the deceased, it was only because the assailant were moving around the victim.

As for the delay in reporting the incident to the authorities, we think that Huntoria's explanation is satisfactory. He said
he feared for his life. (Id., pp. 50-51, 65) As stated in People vs. Realon, 99 SCRA 442, 450 (1980): "The natural reticence of
most people to get involved in a criminal case is of judicial notice. As held in People v. Delfin, '. . . the initial reluctance of
witnesses in this country to volunteer information about a criminal case and their unwillingness to be involved in or
dragged into criminal investigations is common, and has been judicially declared not to affect credibility.'"

It is noteworthy that the accused-appellant self admitted that he had known Huntoria for about 10 years and that he and
Huntoria were in good terms and had no misunderstanding whatsoever. (TSN, p. 33, July 18, 1984) He said that he could
not think of any reason why Huntoria should implicate him. (Id., p. 34) Thus, Huntoria's credibility. is beyond question. 33

The Court of Appeals likewise rejected the appellant's defense of alibi. 34 The appellate court, however, found the sentence imposed by the trial
court on the accused-appellant erroneous. Said the appellate court:

Finally, we find that the trial court erroneously sentenced the accused-appellant to 12 years and 1 day to 17 years and 4
months of reclusion temporal. The penalty for murder under Article 248 is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to
death. As there was no mitigating or aggravating circumstance, the imposible penalty should be reclusion perpetua.
Consequently, the appeal should have been brought to the Supreme Court. With regard to the indemnity for death, the
award of P40,000.00 should be reduced to P30,000.00, in accordance with the rulings of the Supreme Court. (E.g., People
v. De la Fuente, 126 SCRA 518 (1983); People v. Atanacio, 128 SCRA 31 (1984); People v. Rado, 128 SCRA 43 (1984);
People v. Bautista, G.R. No. 68731, Feb. 27, 1987).35

The case, as mentioned earlier, is now before us upon certification by the Court of Appeals, the penalty imposed being reclusion perpetua.

After a careful review of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, we find the same insufficient to convict the appellant of the crime charged.

To begin with, the investigation conducted by the police authorities leave much to be desired. Patrolman Centeno of the Ajuy police force in his
sworn statements 36 even gave the date of the commission of the crime as "March 21, 1981." Moreover, the sketch 37 he made of the scene is of
little help. While indicated thereon are the alleged various blood stains and their locations relative to the scene of the crime, there was
however no indication as to their quantity. This is rather unfortunate for the prosecution because, considering that there are two versions
proferred on where the killing was carried out, the extent of blood stains found would have provided a more definite clue as to which version is
more credible. If, as the version of the defense puts it, the killing transpired inside the bedroom of the Gonzales spouses, there would have
been more blood stains inside the couple's bedroom or even on the ground directly under it. And this circumstance would provide an additional
mooring to the claim of attempted rape asseverated by Fausta. On the other hand, if the prosecution's version that the killing was committed in
the field near the linasan is the truth, then blood stains in that place would have been more than in any other place.

The same sloppiness characterizes the investigation conducted by the other authorities. Police Corporal Ben Sazon who claimed that accused
Augusto Gonzales surrendered to him on February 23, 1981 failed to state clearly the reason for the "surrender." It would even appear that
Augusto "surrendered" just so he could be safe from possible revenge by the victim's kins. Corporal Sazon likewise admitted that Augusto never
mentioned to him the participation of other persons in the killing of the victim. Finally, without any evidence on that point, P.C. investigators of
the 321st P.C. Company who likewise conducted an investigation of the killing mentioned in their criminal complaint 38 four other unnamed
persons, aside from the spouses Augusto and Fausta Gonzales, to have conspired in killing Lloyd Peñacerrada.

Now on the medical evidence. Dr. Rojas opined that it is possible that the sixteen wounds described in the autopsy report were caused by two
or more bladed instruments. Nonetheless, he admitted the possibility that one bladed instrument might have caused all. Thus, insofar as Dr.
Rojas' testimony and the autopsy report are concerned, Fausta Gonzales' admission that she alone was responsible for the killing appears not at
all too impossible. And then there is the positive testimony of Dr. Rojas that there were only five wounds that could be fatal out of the sixteen
described in the autopsy report. We shall discuss more the significance of these wounds later.

It is thus clear from the foregoing that if the conviction of the appellant by the lower courts is to be sustained, it can only be on the basis of the
testimony of Huntoria, the self-proclaimed eyewitness. Hence, a meticulous scrutiny of Huntoria's testimony is compelling.

To recollect, Huntoria testified that he clearly saw all the accused, including the appellant, take turns in hacking and stabbing Lloyd
Peñacerrada, at about 8:00 o'clock in the evening, on February 21, 1981, in the field near a "linasan" while he (Huntoria) stood concealed
behind a clump of banana trees some 15 to 20 meters away from where the crime was being committed. According to him, he recognized the
six accused as the malefactors because the scene was then illuminated by the moon. He further stated that the stabbing and hacking took
about an hour. But on cross-examination, Huntoria admitted that he could not determine who among the six accused did the stabbing and/or
hacking and what particular weapon was used by each of them.

ATTY. GATON (defense counsel on cross-examination):

Q And you said that the moon was bright, is it correct?

A Yes, Sir.

Q And you would like us to understand that you saw the hacking and the stabbing, at that distance by the herein accused
as identified by you?

A Yes, sir, because the moon was brightly shining.

Q If you saw the stabbing and the hacking, will you please tell this Honorable Court who was hacking the victim?

A Because they were surrounding Peñacerrada and were in constant movement, I could not determine who did the
hacking.

ATTY. GATON:

The interpretation is not clear.

COURT:

They were doing it rapidly.

A The moving around or the hacking or the "labu" or "bunu" is rapid. I only saw the rapid movement of their arms, Your
Honor, and I cannot determine who was hacking and who was stabbing. But I saw the hacking and the stabbing blow.

ATTY. GATON:

Q You cannot positively identify before this Court who really hacked Lloyd Peñacerrada?

A Yes sir, I cannot positively tell who did the hacking.

Q And likewise you cannot positively tell this Honorable Court who did the stabbing?

A Yes sir, and because of the rapid movements.


Q I noticed in your direct testimony that you could not even identify the weapons used because according to you it was
just flashing?

A Yes, sir.39

(Emphasis supplied)

From his very testimony, Huntoria failed to impute a definite and specific act committed, or contributed, by the appellant in the killing of Lloyd
Peñacerrada.

It also bears stressing that there is nothing in the findings of the trial court and of the Court of Appeals which would categorize the criminal
liability of the appellant as a principal by direct participation under Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code. Likewise, there is nothing
in the evidence for the prosecution that inculpates him by inducement, under paragraph 2 of the same Article 17, or by indispensable
cooperation under paragraph 3 thereof. What then was the direct part in the killing did the appellant perform to support the ultimate
punishment imposed by the Court of Appeals on him?

Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code provides how criminal liability is incurred.

Art. 4. Criminal liability — Criminal liability shall be incurred:

1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.

2. By any person performing an act which would be an offense against persons or property, were it not for the inherent
impossibility of its accomplishment or on account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.

(Emphasis supplied.)

Thus, one of the means by which criminal liability is incurred is through the commission of a felony. Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, on the
other hand, provides how felonies are committed.

Art. 3. Definition — Acts and omissions punishable by law are felonies (delitos).

Felonies are committed not only by means of deceit (dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).

There is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate intent; and there is fault when the wrongful act results from
imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, or lack of skill.

(Emphasis supplied.)

Thus, the elements of felonies in general are: (1) there must be an act or omission; (2) the act or omission must be punishable under the
Revised Penal Code; and (3) the act is performed or the omission incurred by means of deceit or fault.

Here, while the prosecution accuses, and the two lower courts both found, that the appellant has committed a felony in the killing of Lloyd
Peñacerrada, forsooth there is paucity of proof as to what act was performed by the appellant. It has been said that "act," as used in Article 3 of
the Revised Penal Code, must be understood as "any bodily movement tending to produce some effect in the external world." 40 In this
instance, there must therefore be shown an "act" committed by the appellant which would have inflicted any harm to the body of the victim
that produced his death.

Yet, even Huntoria, as earlier emphasized, admitted quite candidly that he did not see who "stabbed" or who "hacked" the victim. Thus this
principal witness did not say, because he could not whether the appellant "hacked or "stabbed" victim. In fact, Huntoria does not know what
specific act was performed by the appellant. This lack of specificity then makes the case fall short of the test laid down by Article 3 of the
Revised Penal Code previously discussed. Furthermore, the fact that the victim sustained only five fatal wounds out of the total of sixteen
inflicted, as adverted to above, while there are six accused charged as principals, it follows to reason that one of the six accused could not have
caused or dealt a fatal wound. And this one could as well be the appellant, granted ex gratia argumenti that he took part in the hacking and
stabbing alleged by Huntoria. And why not him? Is he not after all the oldest (already sexagenarian at that time) and practically the father of the
five accused? And pursuing this argument to the limits of its logic, it is possible, nay even probable, that only four, or three, or two of the
accused could have inflicted all the five fatal wounds to the exclusion of two, three, or four of them. And stretching the logic further, it is
possible, nay probable, that all the fatal wounds, including even all the non-fatal wounds, could have been dealt by Fausta in rage against the
assault on her womanhood and honor. But more importantly, there being not an iota of evidence that the appellant caused any of the said five
fatal wounds, coupled with the prosecution's failure to prove the presence of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt, the appellant's conviction
can not be sustained.

Additionally, Huntoria's credibility as a witness is likewise tarnished by the fact that he only came out to testify in October 1981, or eight long
months since he allegedly saw the killing on February 21, 1981. While ordinarily the failure of a witness to report at once to the police
authorities the crime he
had witnessed should not be taken against him and should not affect his credibility, 41 here, the unreasonable delay in Huntoria's coming out
engenders doubt on his veracity. 42 If the silence of coming out an alleged eyewitness for several weeks renders his credibility doubtful, 43 the
more it should be for one who was mute for eight months. Further, Huntoria's long delay in reveiling what he allegedly witnessed, has not been
satisfactorily explained. His lame excuse that he feared his life would be endangered is too pat to be believed. There is no showing that he was
threatened by the accused or by anybody. And if it were true that he feared a possible retaliation from the accused, 44 why did he finally
volunteer to testify considering that except for the spouses Augusto and Fausta Gonzales who were already under police custody, the rest of
the accused were then still free and around; they were not yet named in the original information, 45 thus the supposed danger on Huntoria's life
would still be clear and present when he testified.

Moreover, Huntoria is not exactly a disinterested witness as portrayed by the prosecution. He admitted that he was a tenant of the deceased.
In fact, he stated that one of the principal reasons why he testified was because the victim was also his landlord.

xxx xxx xxx

Q Now, Mr. Huntoria, why did it take you so long from the time you saw the stabbing and hacking
of Lloyd Peñacerrada when you told Mrs. Peñacerrada about what happened to her husband?

A At first I was then afraid to tell anybody else but because I was haunted by my conscience
and secondly the victim was also my landlord I revealed what I saw to the wife of the victim.46

xxx xxx xxx

(Emphasis ours.)

At this juncture, it may be relevant to remind that under our socioeconomic set-up, a tenant owes the very source of his livelihood, if not
existence itself, from his landlord who provides him with the land to till. In this milieu, tenants like Huntoria are naturally beholden to their
landlords and seek ways and means to ingratiate themselves with the latter. In this instance, volunteering his services as a purported
eyewitness and providing that material testimony which would lead to the conviction of the entire family of Augusto Gonzales whose wife,
Fausta, has confessed to the killing of Lloyd Peñacerrada, would, in a perverted sense, be a way by which Huntoria sought to ingratiate himself
with the surviving family of his deceased landlord. This is especially so because the need to get into the good graces of his landlord's family
assumed a greater urgency considering that he ceased to be employed as early as May 1981. 47 Volunteering his services would alleviate the
financial distress he was in. And Huntoria proved quite sagacious in his choice of action for shortly after he volunteered and presented himself
to the victim's widow, he was taken under the protective wings of the victim's uncle, one Dr. Biclar, who gave him employment and provided
lodging for his family. 48 Given all the foregoing circumstances, we can not help but dismiss Huntoria as an unreliable witness, to say the least.

At any rate, there is another reason why we find the alleged participation of the appellant in the killing of Lloyd Peñacerrada doubtful — it is
contrary to our customs and traditions. Under the Filipino family tradition and culture, aging parents are sheltered and insulated by their adult
children from any possible physical and emotional harm. It is therefore improbable for the other accused who are much younger and at the
prime of their manhood, to summon the aid or allow the participation of their 65-year old 49 father, the appellant, in the killing of their lone
adversary, granting that the victim was indeed an adversary. And considering that the appellant's residence was about one kilometer from the
scene of the crime, 50 we seriously doubt that the appellant went there just for the purpose of aiding his three robust male sons (Custodia Jr.,
Nerio, and Augusta), not to mention the brother and sister, Rogelio and Fausta, in the killing of Lloyd Peñacerrada, even if the latter were a
perceived enemy.

Finally, while indeed alibi is a weak defense, 51 under appropriate circumstances, like in the instant case in which the participation of the
appellant is not beyond cavil it may be considered as exculpatory. Courts should not at once look with disfavor at the defense of alibi for if
taken in the light of the other evidence on record, it may be sufficient to acquit the accused. 52

In fine, the guilt of the appellant has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the appellant is hereby ACQUITTED. Costs de oficio.

SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-35748 December 14, 1931

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
ROMANA SILVESTRE and MARTIN ATIENZA, defendants-appellants.

Teofilo Mendoza for appellants.


Attorney-General Jaranilla for appellee.

VILLA-REAL, J.:

Martin Atienza and Romana Silvestre appeal to this court from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan convicting them upon the
information of the crime of arson as follows: The former as principal by direct participation, sentenced to fourteen years, eight months, and
one day of cadena temporal, in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 550, Penal Code; and the latter as accomplice, sentenced to six years and
one day of presidio mayor; and both are further sentenced to the accessories of the law, and to pay each of the persons whose houses were
destroyed by the fire, jointly and severally, the amount set forth in the information, with costs.

Counsel appointed by the court to defend the accused- appellants de oficio, after delivering his argument, prayed for the affirmance of the
judgment with reference to the appellant Martin Atienza, and makes the following assignments of error with reference to Romana Silvestre, to
wit:

1. The lower court erred in convincing Romana Silvestre as accomplice of the crime charged in the information.

2. Finally, the court erred in not acquitting said defendant from the information upon the ground of insufficient evidence, or at the
least, of reasonable doubt.

The following facts were proved at the hearing beyond a reasonable doubt:

Romana Silvestre, wife of Domingo Joaquin by her second marriage, cohabited with her codefendant Martin Atienza from the month of March,
1930, in the barrio of Masocol, municipality of Paombong, Province of Bulacan. On May 16, 1930, the complaining husband, Domingo Joaquin,
filed with the justice of the peace for that municipality, a sworn complaint for adultery, supported by affidavits of Gerardo Cabigao and Castor
de la Cruz (Exhibit B). On the same date, May 16, 1930, the said accused were arrested on a warrant issued by said justice of the peace. On the
20th of the month, they were released on bail, each giving a personal bond of P6,000. Pending the preliminary investigation of the case, the
two defendants begged the municipal president of Paombong, Francisco Suerte Felipe, to speak to the complaint, Domingo Joaquin, urging him
to withdraw the complaint, the two accused binding themselves to discontinue cohabitation, and promising not to live again in the barrio of
Masocol; Martin Atienza voluntarily signed the promise (Exhibit A). The municipal president transmitted the defendants' petition to the
complaining husband, lending it his support. Domingo Joaquin acceded to it, and on May 20, 1930, filed a motion for the dismissal of his
complaint. In consideration of this petition, the justice of the peace of Paombong dismissed the adultery case commenced against the accused,
and cancelled the bonds given by them, with the costs against the complainant.

The accused then left the barrio of Masocol and went to live in that of Santo Niño, in the same municipality of Paombong.

About November 20, 1930, the accused Romana Silvestre met her son by her former marriage, Nicolas de la Cruz, in the barrio of Santo Niño,
and under pretext of asking him for some nipa leaves, followed him home to the village of Masocol, and remained there. The accused, Martin
Atienza, who had continued to cohabit with said Romana Silvestre, followed her and lived in the home of Nicolas de la Cruz. On the night of
November 25, 1930, while Nicolas de la Cruz and his wife, Antonia de la Cruz, were gathered together with the appellants herein after supper,
Martin Atienza told said couple to take their furniture out of the house because he was going to set fire to it. Upon being asked by Nicolas and
Antonia why he wanted to set fire to the house, he answered that that was the only way he could be revenged upon the people of Masocol
who, he said, had instigated the charge of adultery against him and his codefendant, Romana Silvestre. As Martin Atienza was at that time
armed with a pistol, no one dared say anything to him, not even Romana Silvestre, who was about a meter away from her codefendant.
Alarmed at what Martin Atienza had said, the couple left the house at once to communicate with the barrio lieutenant, Buenaventura Ania, as
to what they had just heard Martin Atienza say; but they had hardly gone a hundred arms' length when they heard cries of "Fire! Fire!" Turning
back they saw their home in flames, and ran back to it; but seeing that the fire had assumed considerable proportions, Antonia took refuge in
the schoolhouse with her 1 year old babe in her arms, while Nicolas went to the home of his parents-in-law, took up the furniture he had
deposited there, and carried it to the schoolhouse. The fire destroyed about forty-eight houses. Tomas Santiago coming from the barrio
artesian well, and Tomas Gonzalez, teacher at the barrio school of Masocol, and Felipe Clemente, an old man 61 years of age, coming from their
homes, to the house on fire, saw Martin Atienza going away from the house where the fire started, and Romana Silvestre leaving it.lawphil.net

As stated in the beginning, counsel appointed by this court to defend the accused-appellant de oficio, prays for the affirmance of the judgment
appealed from with reference to defendant Martin Atienza. The facts related heretofore, proved beyond a reasonable doubt at the hearing,
justify this petition of the de oficio counsel, and establish beyond a reasonable doubt said defendant's guilt of arson as charged, as principal by
direct participation.

With respect to the accused-appellant Romana Silvestre, the only evidence of record against her are: That, being married, she lived
adulterously with her codefendant Martin Atienza, a married man; that both were denounced for adultery by Domingo Joaquin, Romana
Silvestre's second husband; that in view of the petition of the accused, who promised to discontinue their life together, and to leave the barrio
of Masocol, and through the good offices of the municipal president of Paombong, the complaining husband asked for the dismissal of the
complaint; that in pursuance of their promise, both of the accused went to lived in the barrio of Santo Niño, in the same municipality; that
under pretext for some nipa leaves from her son by her former marriage, Nicolas de la Cruz, who had gone to the barrio of Santo Niño, Romana
Silvestre followed him to his house in the barrio of Masocol on November 23, 1930, and remained there; that her codefendant, Martin Atienza
followed her, and stayed with his coaccused in the same house; that on the night of November 25, 1930, at about 8 o'clock, while all were
gathered together at home after supper, Martin Atienza expressed his intention of burning the house as the only means of taking his revenge
on the Masocol resident, who had instigated Domingo Joaquin to file the complaint for adultery against them, which compelled them to leave
the barrio of Masocol; that Romana Silvestre listened to her codefendant's threat without raising a protest, and did not give the alarm when the
latter set fire to the house. Upon the strength of these facts, the court below found her guilty of arson as accomplice.

Article 14 of the Penal Code, considered in connection with article 13, defines an accomplice to be one who does not take a direct part in the
commission of the act, who does not force or induce other to commit it, nor cooperates in the commission of the act by another act without
which it would not have been accomplished, yet cooperates in the execution of the act by previous or simultaneous actions.

Now then, which previous or simultaneous acts complicate Romana Silvestre in the crime of arson committed by her codefendant Martin
Atienza? Is it her silence when he told the spouses, Nicolas de la Cruz and Antonia de la Cruz, to take away their furniture because he was going
to set fire to their house as the only means of revenging himself on the barrio residents, her passive presence when Martin Atienza set fire to
the house, where there is no evidence of conspiracy or cooperation, and her failure to give the alarm when the house was already on fire?

The complicity which is penalized requires a certain degree of cooperation, whether moral, through advice, encouragement, or agreement, or
material, through external acts. In the case of the accused-appellant Romana Silvestre, there is no evidence of moral or material cooperation,
and none of an agreement to commit the crime in question. Her mere presence and silence while they are simultaneous acts, do not constitute
cooperation, for it does not appear that they encouraged or nerved Martin Atienza to commit the crime of arson; and as for her failure to give
the alarm, that being a subsequent act it does not make her liable as an accomplice.

The trial court found the accused-appellant Martin Atienza guilty of arson, defined and penalized in article 550, paragraph 2, of the Penal Code,
which reads as follows:

ART. 550. The penalty of cadena temporal shall be imposed upon:

xxx xxx xxx

2. Any person who shall set fire to any inhabited house or any building in which people are accustomed to meet together, without
knowing whether or not such building or house was occupied at the time, or any freight train in motion, if the damage caused in
such cases shall exceed six thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas.

While the defendant indeed knew that besides himself and his codefendant, Romana Silvestre, there was nobody in De la Cruz's house at the
moment of setting fire to it, he cannot be convicted merely arson less serious than what the trial court sentenced him for, inasmuch as that
house was the means of destroying the others, and he did not know whether these were occupied at the time or not. If the greater seriousness
of setting fire to an inhabited house, when the incendiary does not know whether there are people in it at the time, depends upon the danger
to which the inmates are exposed, not less serious is the arson committed by setting fire to inhabited houses by means of another inhabited
house which the firebrand knew to be empty at the moment of committing the act, if he did not know whether there were people or not in the
others, inasmuch as the same danger exists.

With the evidence produced at the trial, the accused-appellant Martin Atienza might have been convicted of the crime of arson in the most
serious degree provided for in article 549 of the Penal Code, if the information had alleged that at the time of setting fire to the house, the
defendant knew that the other houses were occupied, taking into account that barrio residents are accustomed to retire at the tolling of the
bell for the souls in purgatory, i.e., at 8 o'clock at night.

For all the foregoing considerations, we are of the opinion and so hold, that: (1) Mere passive presence at the scene of another's crime, mere
silence and failure to give the alarm, without evidence of agreement or conspiracy, do not constitute the cooperation required by article 14 of
the Penal Code for complicity in the commission of the crime witnessed passively, or with regard to which one has kept silent; and (2) he who
desiring to burn the houses in a barrio, without knowing whether there are people in them or not, sets fire to one known to be vacant at the
time, which results in destroying the rest, commits the crime of arson, defined and penalized in article 550, paragraph 2, Penal Code.

By virtue wherefore, the judgment appealed from is modified as follows: It is affirmed with reference to the accused-appellant Martin Atienza,
and reversed with reference to the accused-appellant Romana Silvestre, who is hereby acquitted with
one-half of the costs de oficio. So ordered.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 17584 March 8, 1922

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
GREGORIO SANTIAGO, defendant-appellant.

L. Porter Hamilton for appellant.


Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee.

ROMUALDEZ, J.:

Having caused the death of Porfirio Parondo, a boy 7 years old, by striking him with automobile that he was driving, the herein appellant was
prosecuted for the crime of homicide by reckless negligence and was sentenced to suffer one year and one day of prision correccional, and to
pay the costs of the trial.

Not agreeable with that sentence he now comes to this court alleging that the court below committed four errors, to wit:

1. The trial court erred in not taking judicial notice of the fact that the appellant was being prosecuted in conformity with Act No.
2886 of the Philippine Legislature and that the Act is unconstitutional and gave no jurisdiction in this case.

2. The lower court erred in not dismissing the complaint after the presentation of the evidence in the case, if not before, for the
reason that said Act No. 2886 is unconstitutional and the proceedings had in the case under the provisions of the Act constitute a
prosecution of appellant without due process of law.

3. The court a quo erred in not finding that it lacked jurisdiction over the person of the accused and over the subject- matter of the
complaint.

4. The trial court erred in finding the appellant guilty of the crime charged and in sentencing him to one year and one day of prison
correccional and to the payment of costs.

With regard to the questions of fact, we have to say that we have examined the record and find that the conclusions of the trial judge, as
contained in his well-written decision, are sufficiently sustained by the evidence submitted.

The accused was driving an automobile at the rate of 30 miles an hour on a highway 6 meter wide, notwithstanding the fact that he had to pass
a narrow space between a wagon standing on one side of the road and a heap of stones on the other side where the were two young boys, the
appellant did not take the precaution required by the circumstances by slowing his machine, and did not proceed with the vigilant care that
under the circumstances an ordinary prudent man would take in order to avoid possible accidents that might occur, as unfortunately did occur,
as his automobile ran over the boy Porfirio Parondo who was instantly killed as the result of the accident.

These facts are so well established in the records that there cannot be a shade of doubt about them.

Coming now to the other assignments of error, it will be seen that they deal with the fundamental questions as to whether or not Act No. 2886,
under which the complaint in the present case was filed, is valid and constitutional.

This Act is attacked on account of the amendments that it introduces in General Orders No. 58, the defense arguing that the Philippine
Legislature was, and is, not authorized to amend General Orders No. 58, as it did by amending section 2 thereof because its provisions have the
character of constitutional law. Said section 2 provides as follows:

All prosecutions for public offenses shall be in the name of the United States against the persons charged with the offenses. (G. O.
No. 58, sec. 2 ).
Act No. 2886, which amends it, by virtue of which the People of the Philippine Island is made the plaintiff in this information, contains the
following provisions in section 1:

SECTION 1. Section two of General Orders, Numbered Fifty-eight, series of nineteen hundred, is hereby amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 2. All prosecutions for public offenses shall be in the name of the People of the Philippine Islands against the
persons charged with the offense."

Let us examine the question.

For practical reasons, the procedure in criminal matters is not incorporated in the Constitutions of the States, but is left in the hand of the
legislatures, so that it falls within the realm of public statutory law.

As has been said by Chief Justice Marshall:

A constitution, to contain an accurate detail of all the Subdivisions of which its great powers will admit, and of all the means by
which they may be carried into execution, would partake of a prolixity of a legal code, and could scarcely be embraced by the human
mind. It would probably never be understood by the public. (M'Culloch vs. Maryland [1819], 4 Wheat., 316, 407; 4 L. ed., 579.)

That is why, in pursuance of the Constitution of the United States, each States, each State has the authority, under its police power, to define
and punish crimes and to lay down the rules of criminal procedure.

The states, as a part of their police power, have a large measure of discretion in creating and defining criminal offenses. . . .

A Statute relating to criminal procedure is void as a denial of the equal protection of the laws if it prescribes a different procedure in
the case of persons in like situation. Subject to this limitation, however, the legislature has large measure of discretion in prescribing
the modes of criminal procedure. . . . (12 C.J., 1185, 1186. See Collins vs. Johnston, 237 U.S., 502; 35 s. Ct. Rep. 649; 59 L. ed., 1071;
Shevlin-Carpenter Co. vs. Minnesota, 218 U.S., 57; 30 S. Ct. Rep., 663; 54 L. ed., 930; Lynn vs. Flancders, 141 Ga., 500; 81 S.E., 205.)

This power of the States of the North American Union was also granted to its territories such as the Philippines:

The plenary legislative power which Congress possesses over the territories and possessions of the United States may be exercised
by that body itself, or, as is much more often the case, it may be delegated to a local agency, such as a legislature, the organization
of which proceeds upon much the same lines as in the several States or in Congress, which is often taken as a model, and whose
powers are limited by the Organic Act; but within the scope of such act is has complete authority to legislate, . . . and in general, to
legislate upon all subjects within the police power of the territory. (38 Cyc., 205-207.)

The powers of the territorial legislatures are derived from Congress. By act of Congress their power extends "to all rightful subjects
of legislation not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States;" and this includes the power to define and punish
crimes. (16 C. J., 62.)

And in the exercise of such powers the military government of the army of occupation, functioning as a territorial legislature, thought it
convenient to establish new rules of procedure in criminal matters, by the issuance of General Orders No. 58, the preamble of which reads:

In the interests of justice, and to safeguard the civil liberties of the inhabitants of these Islands, the criminal code of procedure now
in force therein is hereby amended in certain of its important provisions, as indicated in the following enumerated sections.
(Emphasis ours.)

Its main purpose is, therefore, limited to criminal procedure and its intention is to give to its provisions the effect of law in criminal matters. For
that reason it provides in section 1 that:

The following provisions shall have the force and effect of law in criminal matters in the Philippine Islands from and after the 15th
day of May, 1900, but existing laws on the same subjects shall remain valid except in so far as hereinafter modified or repealed
expressly or by necessary implication.

From what has been said it clearly follows that the provisions of this General Order do not the nature of constitutional law either by reason of
its character or by reason of the authority that enacted it into law.
It cannot be said that it has acquired this character because this order was made its own by the Congress of the United States for, as a mater of
fact, this body never adopted it as a law of its own creation either before the promulgation of Act No. 2886, herein discussed, or, to our
knowledge, to this date.

Since the provisions of this General Order have the character of statutory law, the power of the Legislature to amend it is self-evident, even if
the question is considered only on principle. Our present Legislature, which has enacted Act No. 2886, the subject of our inquiry, is the legal
successor to the Military Government as a legislative body.

Since the advent of the American sovereignty in the Philippines the legislative branch of our government has undergone transformations and
has developed itself until it attained its present form. Firstly, it was the Military Government of the army of occupation which, in accordance
with international law and practice, was vested with legislative functions and in fact did legislate; afterwards, complying with the instructions of
President McKinley which later were ratified by Congress (sec. 1 of the Act of July 1, 1902) the legislative powers of the Military Government
were transferred to the Philippine Commission; then, under the provisions of section 7 of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, the Philippine
Assembly was created and it functioned as a colegislative body with the Philippine Commission. Finally, by virtue of the provisions of sections
12 of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, known as the Jones Law, the Philippine Commission gave way to the Philippine Senate, the
Philippine Assembly became the House of Representatives, and thus was formed the present Legislature composed of two Houses which has
enacted the aforesaid Act No. 2886.

As a matter of fact, Act No. 2886 is not the first law that amends General Orders No. 58. The Philippine Commission, at various times, had
amended it by the enactment of laws among which we may cite Act No. 194, regarding preliminary investigation, Act No. 440 relating to
counsels de oficio and Act No. 590 about preliminary investigations by justices of the peace of provincial capitals. Later on, and before the
enactment of Act No. 2886, herein controverted, the Legislature had also amended this General Orders No. 58 by the enactment of Act No.
2677 regarding appeals to the Supreme Court of causes originating in the justice of the peace courts and by Act No. 2709 which deals with the
exclusion of accused persons from the information in order to be utilized as state's witnesses.

These amendments repeatedly made by the Philippine Commission as well as by our present Legislature are perfectly within the scope of the
powers of the said legislative bodies as the successors of the Military Government that promulgated General Orders No. 58.

No proof is required to demonstrate that the present Legislature had, and had, the power to enact and amend laws. (U.S. vs. Bull. 15 Phil., 7.)
That it has the power to legislate on criminal matters is very evident from the wording of section 7 of the Jones Law which says:

That the legislative authority herein provided shall have power, when not inconsistent with this Act, by due enactment to amend,
alter, modify, or repeal any law, civil or criminal, continued in force by this Act as it may from time to time see fit.

It is urged the right to prosecute and punish crimes is an attributed of sovereignty. This assertion is right; but it is also true that by reason of the
principle of territoriality as applied in the supression, of crimes, such power is delegated to subordinate government subdivisions such as
territories. As we have seen in the beginning, the territorial legislatures have the power to define and punish crimes, a power also possessed by
the Philippine Legislature by virtue of the provisions of sections 7, already quoted, of the Jones Law. These territorial governments are local
agencies of the Federal Government, wherein sovereignty resides; and when the territorial government of the Philippines prosecutes and
punishes public crimes it does so by virtue of the authority delegated to it by the supreme power of the Nation.

This delegation may be made either expressly as in the case of the several States of the Union and incorporated territories like Porto Rico and
Hawaii, or tacitly as is the case with the Philippines, which is an organized territory though not incorporated with the Union. (Malcolm,
Philippine Constitutional Law, 181-205.)

This tacit delegation to our Government needs no demonstration. As a matter of fact, the crimes committed within our territory, even before
section 2 of General Orders No. 58 was amended, were prosecuted and punished in this jurisdiction as is done at present; but then as now the
repression of crimes was done, and is still done, under the sovereign authority of the United States, whose name appears as the heading in all
pleadings in criminal causes and in other judicial papers and notarial acts.

The use of such a heading is prescribed for civil cases in form 1 of section 784 of the Code of Civil Procedure; in criminal causes the constant
practice followed in this jurisdiction established its use; and in notarial matters its use is provided by section 127 of Act No. 496. This long
continued practice in criminal matters and the legal provision relating to civil cases and notarial acts have not been amended by any law, much
less by Act No. 2886, the subject of the present inquiry.

There is not a single constitutional provision applicable to the Philippines prescribing the name to be used as party plaintiff in criminal cases.

The fact that the political status of this country is as yet undetermined and in a transitory stage, is, in our opinion, responsible for the fact that
there is no positive provision in our constitutional law regarding the use of the name of the People of the Philippine Islands, as party plaintiff, in
criminal prosecutions, as is otherwise the case in the respective constitutional charters of the States of the Union and incorporated territories
— a situation which must not be understood as depriving the Government of the Philippines of its power, however delegated, to prosecute
public crimes. The fact is undeniable that the present government of the Philippines, created by the Congress of the United States, is
autonomous.

This autonomy of the Government of the Philippines reaches all judicial actions, the case at bar being one of them; as an example of such
autonomy, this Government, the same as that of Hawaii and Porto Rico (People of Porto Rico vs. Rosaly y Castillo [1913], 227 U.S., 270; 57 L.
ed., 507; 33 Sup. Ct. Rep., 352) cannot be sued without its consent. (Merritt vs. Government of the Philippine Islands, 34 Phil., 311; L. S. Moon &
Co. vs. Harrison, p. 27, ante.) The doctrine, laid down in these cases, acknowledges the prerogative of personality in the Government of the
Philippines, which, if it is sufficient to shield it from any responsibility in court in its own name unless it consents thereto, it should be also, as
sufficiently authoritative in law, to give that government the right to prosecute in court in its own name whomsoever violates within its
territory the penal laws in force therein.

However, limiting ourselves to the question relative to the form of the complaint in criminal matters, it is within the power of the Legislature to
prescribe the form of the criminal complaint as long as the constitutional provision of the accused to be informed of the nature of the
accusation is not violated.

Under the Constitution of the United States and by like provisions in the constitutions of the various states, the accused is entitled to
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him . . .

It is within the power of the legislatures under such a constitutional provision to prescribe the form of the indictment or information,
and such form may omit averments regarded as necessary at common law. (22 Cyc., 285.)

All these considerations a priori are strengthened a posteriori by the important reason disclosed by the following fact — that the Congress has
tacitly approved Act No. 2886. Both the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, section 86, and the Jones Law, last paragraph of section 19, provide that
all the laws enacted by the Government of the Philippines or its Legislature shall be forwarded to the Congress of the United States, which body
reserves the right and power to annul them. And presuming, as legally we must, that the provisions of these laws have been complied with, it is
undisputed that the Congress of the United States did not annul any of those acts already adverted to — Nos. 194, 440, 490 (of the Philippine
Commission), and 2677, 2709 and the one now in question No. 2886 (of the present Legislature) — all of which were amendatory of General
Orders No. 58. The Act now under discussion (No. 2886) took effect on February 24, 1920, and the criminal complaint in this case was filed on
May 10, 1920. The silence of Congress regarding those laws amendatory of the said General Order must be considered as an act of approval.

If Congress fails to notice or take action on any territorial legislation the reasonable inference is that it approves such act. (26 R.C.L.,
679; vide Clinton vs. Englebrcht, 13 Wall., 434; 20 [L. ed.] 659; Tiaco vs. Forbes, 228 U.S., 549; 33 S. Ct. Rep., 585; 57 [L. ed.], 960;
Nixon vs. Reid, 8 S.d., 507; 67 N.W., 57; 32 L.R.A., 315.)

Furthermore, supposing for the sake of argument, that the mention of the People of the Philippine Islands as plaintiff in the title of the
information constitutes a vice or defect, the same is not fatal when, as in the present case, it was not objected to in the court below.

An indictment must, in many states under express statutory or constitutional provision, show by its title or by proper recitals in the
caption or elsewhere that the prosecution is in the name and by the authority of the state, the commonwealth, or the people of the
state, according to the practice in the particular jurisdictions; but omissions or defects in this respect may be supplied or cured by
other parts of the records, and the omissions of such a recital or defects therein, even when required by the constitution or by
statute, is a defect of form within a statute requiring exceptions for defect of form to be made before trial. (23 Cyc., 237, 238.)

We hold that the provisions of sections 2 of General Orders No. 58, as amended by Act No. 2886, do not partake of the same character as the
provisions of a constitution; that the said Act No. 2886 is valid and is not violative of any constitutional provisions and that the court a quo did
not commit any of the errors assigned.

The sentence appealed from is hereby affirmed, the appellant being furthermore sentenced to the accessory penalties prescribed in article 61
of the Penal Code, and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P1,000 and to the payment of the costs of both instances. So
ordered.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-11676 October 17, 1916

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
ANDRES PABLO, defendant-appellant.

Alfonso E. Mendoza for appellant.


Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee.

TORRES, J.:

At about noon of the 21st of October, 1915, Andres Pablo, a policeman of the municipality of Balanga, went by order of his chief to the barrio of
Tuyo to raid a jueteng game which, according to the information lodged, was being conducted in that place; but before the said officer arrived
there the players, perhaps advised of his approach by a spy, left and ran away; however, on his arrival at a vacant lot the defendant there found
Francisco Dato and, at a short distance away, a low table. After a search of the premises he also found thereon a tambiolo (receptacle) and
37 bolas (balls). Notwithstanding that the officer had seen the men Maximo Malicsi and Antonio Rodrigo leave the said lot, yet, as at first he
had seen no material proof that the game was being played, he refrained from arresting them, and on leaving the place only arrested Francisco
Daro, who had remained there.

In reporting to his chief what had occurred, the policeman presented a memorandum containing the following statement: "In the barrio of Tuyo
I raided a jueteng na bilat game, seized a tambiolo and bolas, and saw the cabecillas Maximo MAlicsi and Antonio Rodrigo and the gambler
Francisco Dato. I saw the two cabecillas escape."

In consequence, chief of police Jose D. Reyes, on October 22, 1915, filed a complaint in the court of justice of the peace charging the said
Rodrigo, Malicsi, and Dato with having gambled at jueteng, in violation of municipal ordinance No. 5. As a result of this complaint the accused
were arrested, but were afterwards admitted to bail.

At the hearing of the case Francisco Dato pleaded guilty. The other two accused, Maximo Malicsi and Antonio Rodrigo, pleaded not guilty;
therefore, during the trial the chief of police presented the memorandum exhibited by the policeman Andres Pablo, who testified under oath
that on the date mentioned he and Tomas de Leon went to the said barrio to raid a jueteng game, but that before they arrived there they saw
from afar that some persons started to run toward the hills; that when witness and his companion arrived at a vacant lot they saw Francisco
Dato and a low table there, and the table caused them to suspect that a jueteng game was being carried on; that in fact they did find on one
side of the lot a tambiolo and 37 bolas, but that they did not see the accused Rodrigo and Malicsi on the said lot, nor did they see them run; and
that only afterwards did the witness learn that these latter were the cabecillas or ringleaders in the jueteng game, from information given him
by an unknown person. In view of this testimony by the police officer who made the arrest and of the other evidence adduced at the trial the
court acquitted the defendants Antonio Rodrigo and Maximo Malicsi and sentenced only Francisco Dato, as a gambler.

Before the case came to trial in the justice of the peace court the policeman Andres Pablo had an interview and conference with the accused
Malicsi and ROdrigo in the house of Valentin Sioson. On this occasion he was instructed not to testify against Malicsi and Rodrigo, and in fact
received through Gregorio Ganzon the sum of P5.

By reason of the foregoing and after making a preliminary investigation the provincial fiscal, on December 1, 1915, filed an information in the
Court of First Instance of Bataan charging Andres Pablo with the crime of perjury, under the provisions of section 3 of Act No. 1697. The
following is an extract from the complaint:

That on or about November 6, 1915, in the municipality of Balanga, Bataan, P.I., and within the jurisdiction of this court, the said
accused, Andres Pablo, during the hearing in the justice of the peace court of Balanga of the criminal cause No. 787, entitled the
United States vs. Antonio Rodrigo and Maximo Malicsi, for violation of Municipal Ordinance No. 5 of the municipality of Balanga, did,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously affirm and swear in legal form before the justice of the peace court as follow: `We did not there
overtake the accused Antonio Rodrigo and Maximo Malicsi, nor did we even see them run,' the said statement being utterly false, as
the accused well knew that it was, and material to the decision of the said criminal cause No. 787, United States vs. Antonio Rodrigo
and Maximo Malicsi. An act committed with violation of law.

The case came to trial and on December 28, 1915, the court rendered judgment therein sentencing the defendant to the penalty of two years'
imprisonment, to pay a fine of P100 and, in case of insolvency, to the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment, and to pay the costs. The
defendant was also disqualified from thereafter holding any public office and from testifying in the courts of the Philippine Islands until the said
disqualification should be removed. From this judgment he appealed.

Francisco Dato, on testifying as a witness, said that when the policemen Andres Pablo and Tomas de Leon arrived at the place where
the jueteng was being played, they found the defendant gamblers, Malicsi and Rodrigo; that, prior to the hearing of the case in the justice of
the peace court, Malicsi and Rodrigo ordered him to call Andres Pablo, who, together with witness, went to the house of Valentin Sioson,
where they held a conference; that witness pleaded guilty in the justice of the peace court, in fulfillment of his part of an agreement made
between himself and his two coaccused, Malicsi and Rodrigo, who promised him that they would support his family during the time he might
be a prisoner in jail; that Andres Pablo did not know that they were gamblers, because he did not find them in the place where the game was in
progress, but that when witness was being taken to the municipal building by the policemen he told them who the gamblers were who had run
away and whom Andres Pablo could have seen.

Maximo Malicsi corroborated the foregoing testimony and further stated that, on the arrival of the policemen who made the arrest and while
they were looking for the tambiolo, he succeeded in escaping; that Andres Pablo had known him for a long time and could have arrested him
had he wished to do so; that prior to the hearing he and his codefendants, ROdrigo and Dato, did in fact meet in the house of Valentin Sioson,
on which occasion they agreed that they would give the policemen Andres Pablo P20, provided witness and Rodrigo were excluded from the
charge; and that only P15 was delivered to the said Pablo, through Gregorio Ganzon. This statement was corroborated by the latter, though he
said nothing about what amount of money he delivered to the policeman Pablo.

The defendant Andres Pablo testified under oath that, on his being asked by the justice of the peace how he could have seen Maximo Malicsi
and Antonio Rodrigo, he replied that he did not see them at the place where the game was being conducted nor did he see them run away from
there, for he only found the table, the tambiolo, the bolas, and Francisco Dato; that he did not surprise the game because the players ran away
before he arrived on the lot where, after fifteen minutes' search, he found only the tambiolo and the bolas; that on arriving at the place where
the game was played, they found only Francisco Dato and some women in the Street, and as Dato had already gone away, witness' companion,
the policeman Tomas de Leon, got on his bicycle and went after him; and that he found the tambiolo at a distance of about 6 meters from a low
table standing on the lot.

From the facts above related, it is concluded that the defendant Andres Pablo, who pleaded not guilty, falsely testified under oath in the justice
of the peace court of Balanga, Bataan, in saying he had not seen the alleged gamblers Maximo Malicsi and Antonio Rodrigo in the place where,
according to the complaint filed, the game of jueteng was being played and where the defendant and his companion, the policeman Tomas de
Leon, had found a table, tambiolo and bolas, used in the game of jueteng, while it was proved at the trial that he did not them and did overtake
them while they were still in the place where the game was being played. But notwithstanding his having seen them there, upon testifying in
the cause prosecuted against these men and another for gambling, he stated that he had not seen them there, knowing that he was not telling
the truth and was false to the oath he had taken, and he did so willfully and deliberately on account of his agreement with the men, Malicsi and
Rodrigo, and in consideration of a bribe of P15 which he had received in payment for his false testimony he afterwards gave.

Francisco Dato and Gregorio Ganzon corroborated the assertion that the policeman Andres Pablo undertook to exclude the gamblers, Malicsi
and Rodrigo, from the charge and from his testimony in consideration for P15 which he received through Gregorio Ganzon.

Andres Pablo was charged with the crime of perjury and was afterwards convicted under Act No. 1697, which (according to the principle laid
down by this court in various decisions that are already well-settled rules of law) repealed the provisions contained in articles 318 to 324 of the
Penal Code relative to false testimony.

By the second paragraph of the final section of the last article of the Administrative Code, or Act No. 2657, there was repealed, among the
other statutes therein mentioned, the said Act No. 1697 relating to perjury, and the repealing clause of the said Administrative Code does not
say under what other penal law in force the crime of false testimony, at least, if not that of perjury, shall be punished.

Under these circumstances, may the crime of perjury or of false testimony go unpunished, and is there no penal sanction whatever in this
country for this crime? May the truth be freely perverted in testimony given under oath and which, for the very reason that it may save a guilty
person from punishment, may also result in the conviction and punishment of an innocent person? If all this is not possible and is not right
before the law and good morals in a society of even mediocre culture, it must be acknowledged that it is imperatively necessary to punish the
crime of perjury or of false testimony — a crime which can produce incalculable and far-reaching harm to society and cause infinite disturbance
of social order.

The right of prosecution and punishment for a crime is one of the attributes that by a natural law belongs to the sovereign power instinctively
charged by the common will of the members of society to look after, guard and defend the interests of the community, the individual and social
rights and the liberties of every citizen and the guaranty of the exercise of his rights.
The power to punish evildoers has never been attacked or challenged, as the necessity for its existence has been recognized even by the most
backward peoples. At times the criticism has been made that certain penalties are cruel, barbarous, and atrocious; at other, that they are light
and inadequate to the nature and gravity of the offense, but the imposition of punishment is admitted to be just by the whole human race, and
even barbarians and savages themselves, who are ignorant of all civilization, are no exception.lawphil.net

Notwithstanding that the said Act No. 1697 (which, as interpreted by this court in its decisions, was deemed to have repealed the
aforementioned article of the Penal Code relating to false testimony, comprised within the term of perjury) did not expressly repeal the said
articles of the Penal Code; and as the said final article of the Administrative Code, in totally repealing Act No. 1697, does not explicitly provide
that the mentioned articles of the Penal Code are also repealed, the will of the legislation not being expressly and clearly stated with respect to
the complete or partial repeal of the said articles of the Penal Code, in the manner that it has totally repealed the said Act No. 1697 relating its
perjury; and, furthermore, as it is imperative that society punish those of its members who are guilty of perjury or false testimony, and it cannot
be conceived that these crimes should go unpunished or be freely committed without punishment of any kind, it must be conceded that there
must be in this country some prior, preexistent law that punishes perjury or false testimony.

There certainly are laws which deal with perjury or false testimony, like Law 7 et seq. of Title 2, third Partida.

However, since the Penal Code went into force, the crime of false testimony has been punished under the said articles of the said Code, which
as we have already said, have not been specifically repealed by the said Act No. 1697, but since its enactment, have not been applied, by the
mere interpretation given to them by this court in its decisions; yet, from the moment that Act was repealed by the Administrative Code, the
needs of society have made it necessary that the said articles 318 to 324 should be deemed to be in force, inasmuch as the Administrative
Code, in repealing the said Act relating to perjury, has not explicitly provided that the said articles of the Penal Code have likewise been
repealed.

This manner of understanding and construing the statutes applicable to the crime of false testimony or perjury is in harmony with the provision
of Law 11, Title 2, Book 3, of the Novisima Recopilacion which says::

All the laws of the kingdom, not expressly repealed by other subsequent laws, must be literally obeyed and the excuse that they are
not in use cannot avail; for the Catholic kings and their successors so ordered in numerous laws, and so also have I ordered on
different occasions, and even though they were repealed, it is seen that they have been revived by the decree which I issued in
conformity with them although they were not expressly designated. The council will be informed thereof and will take account of
the importance of the matter.

It is, then, assumed that the said articles of the Penal Code are in force and are properly applicable to crimes of false testimony. Therefore, in
consideration of the fact that in the case at bar the evidence shows it to have been duly proven that the defendant, Andres Pablo, in testifying
in the cause prosecuted for gambling at jueteng, perverted the truth, for the purpose of favoring the alleged gamblers, Maximo Malicsi and
Antonio Rodrigo, with the aggravating circumstance of the crime being committed through bribery, for it was also proved that the defendant
Pablo received P15 in order that he should make no mention of the said two gamblers in his sworn testimony, whereby he knowingly perverted
the truth, we hold that, in the commission of the crime of false testimony, there concurred the aggravating circumstance of price or reward,
No. 3 of article 10 of the Code, with no mitigating circumstance to offset the effects of the said aggravating one; wherefore the defendant has
incurred the maximum period of the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum degree to prision correccional in its medium degree, and a fine.

For the foregoing reasons, we hereby reverse the judgment appealed from and sentence Andres Pablo to the penalty of two years four months
and one day of prision correccional, to pay a fine of 1,000 pesetas, and, in case of insolvency, to suffer the corresponding subsidiary
imprisonment, which shall not exceed one-third of the principal penalty. He shall also pay the costs of both instances. So ordered.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 448 September 20, 1901

THE UNITED STATES, complainant-appellee,


vs.
PHILIP K. SWEET, defendant-appellant.

Theofilus B. Steele, for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Araneta, for appellee.

LADD, J.:

The offense charged in the complaint is punishable under the Penal Code now in force by arresto mayor and a fine of from 325 to 3,250
pesetas. (Art. 418.) By Act No. 136 of the United States Philippine Commission, section 56 (6), Courts of First Instance are given original
jurisdiction "in all criminal cases in which a penalty of more than six months' imprisonment or a fine exceeding one hundred dollars may be
imposed." The offense was therefore cognizable by the court below unless the fact that the appellant was at the time of its alleged commission
an employee of the United States military authorities in the Philippine Islands, and the further fact that the person upon whom it is alleged to
have been committed was a prisoner of war in the custody of such authorities, are sufficient to deprive it of jurisdiction. We must assume that
both these facts are true, as found, either upon sufficient evidence or upon the admissions of the prosecuting attorney, by the court below.

Setting aside the claim that the appellant was "acting in the line of duty" at the time the alleged offense was committed, which is not supported
by the findings or by any evidence which appears in the record, the contention that the court was without jurisdiction, as we understand it, is
reducible to two propositions: First, that an assault committed by a soldier or military employee upon a prisoner of war is not an offense under
the Penal Code; and second, that if it is an offense under the Code, nevertheless the military character sustained by the person charged with
the offense at the time of its commission exempts him from the ordinary jurisdiction of the civil tribunals.

As to the first proposition, it is true, as pointed out by counsel, that an assault of the character charged in the complaint committed in time of
war by a military person upon a prisoner of war is punishable as an offense under the Spanish Code of Military Justice (art. 232), and it is also
true that under the provisions of the same Code (arts. 4, 5) the military tribunals have, with certain exceptions which it is not material to state,
exclusive cognizance of all offenses, whether of a purely military nature or otherwise, committed by military persons. But the fact that the acts
charged in the complaint would be punishable as an offense under the Spanish military legislation does not render them any less an offense
under the article of the Penal Code above cited. There is nothing in the language of that article to indicate that it does not apply to all persons
within the territorial jurisdiction of the law. Under articles 4 and 5 of the Code of Military Justice above cited a military person could not be
brought to trial before a civil tribunal for an assault upon a prisoner of war, but by the commission of that offense he incurred a criminal
responsibility for which he was amenable only to the military jurisdiction. That criminal responsibility, however, arose from an infraction of the
general penal laws, although the same acts, viewed in another aspect, might also, if committed in time of war, constitute an infraction of the
military code. We are unable to see how these provisions of the Spanish Military Code, no longer in force here and which indeed never had any
application to the Army of the United States, can in any possible view have the effect claimed for them by counsel for the appellant.

The second question is, Does the fact that the alleged offense was committed by an employee of the United States military authorities deprive
the court of jurisdiction? We have been cited to no provision in the legislation of Congress, and to none in the local legislation, which has the
effect of limiting, as respects employees of the United States military establishment, the general jurisdiction conferred upon the Courts of First
Instance by Act No. 136 of the United States Philippine Commission above cited, and we are not aware of the existence of any such provision.
The case is therefore open to the application of the general principle that the jurisdiction of the civil tribunals is unaffected by the military or
other special character of the person brought before them for trial, a principle firmly established in the law of England and America and which
must, we think, prevail under any system of jurisprudence unless controlled by express legislation to the contrary. (United States vs. Clark, 31
Fed. Rep., 710.) The appellant's claim that the acts alleged to constitute the offense were performed by him in the execution of the orders of his
military superiors may, if true, be available by way of defense upon the merits in the trial in the court below, but can not under this principle
affect the right of that court to take jurisdiction of the case.

Whether under a similar state of facts to that which appears in this case a court of one of the United States would have jurisdiction to try the
offender against the State laws (see In re Fair, 100 Fed. Rep., 149), it is not necessary to consider. The present is not a case where the courts of
one government are attempting to exercise jurisdiction over the military agents or employees of another and distinct government, because the
court asserting jurisdiction here derives its existence and powers from the same Government under the authority of which the acts alleged to
constitute the offense are claimed to have been performed.
It may be proper to add that there is no actual conflict between the two jurisdictions in the present case nor any claim of jurisdiction on the
part of the military tribunals. On the contrary it appears from the findings of the court below that the complaint was entered by order of the
commanding general of the Division of the Philippines, a fact not important, perhaps, as regards the technical question of jurisdiction, but
which relieves the case from any practical embarrassment which might result from a claim on the part of the military tribunals to exclusive
cognizance of the offense.

The order of the court below is affirmed with costs to the appellant.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Willard, and Mapa, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions

COOPER, J., concurring:

I concur in the result of the decision of the court, but am not prepared to assent to all that is said in the opinion. An offense charged against a
military officer, acting under the order of his superior, unless the illegality of the order is so clearly shown on its face that a man of ordinary
sense and understanding would know when he heard it read or given that the order was illegal, and when the alleged criminal act was done
within the scope of his authority as such officer, in good faith and without malice, and where the offense is against the military law — that is,
such law as relates to the discipline and efficiency of the Army, or rules and orders promulgated by the Secretary of War to aid military officers
in the proper enforcement of the custody of prisoners — is not within the jurisdiction of the courts of the Civil Government. (In re Fair, 100 Fed.
Rep., 149.) The civil courts, however, may examine the evidence for the purpose of determining whether the act alleged to be criminal was
done in the performance of duty under the circumstances above indicated, but should cease to exercise jurisdiction upon such facts appearing.