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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.

Araullo, C.J., Street, Malcolm, Avancea and Villamor, JJ., concur.


Ostrand and Johns, JJ., concur in the result.

Xxx

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 Avancea 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 thecabecillas Maximo MAlicsi and Antonio Rodrigo and the gambler
Francisco Dato. I saw the two cabecillasescape."

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.

Johnson, Carson, Trent and Araullo, JJ., concur.


Moreland, J., concurs in the result .

Xx

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 steamshipShun 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.

Xx

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. L-1988 February 24, 1948

JESUS MIQUIABAS, petitioner,


vs.
COMMANDING GENERAL, PHILIPPINE-RYUKYUS COMMAND, UNITED STATES
ARMY, respondents.

Lorenzo Sumulong and Esteban P. Garcia for petitioner.


J. A. Wolfson for respondent.

MORAN, C.J.:

This is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Jesus Miquiabas against the Commanding
General Philippine-Ryukyus Command, United States Army, who is alleged to have petitioner under
custody and to have appointed a General Court-Martial to try petitioner in connection with an offense
over which the said court has no jurisdiction.

Petitioner is a Filipino citizen and a civilian employee of the United States Army in the Philippines,
who has been charged with disposing in the Port of Manila Area of things belonging to the United
States Army, in violation of the 94th Article of War of the United States. He has been arrested for
that reason and a General Court-Martial appointed by respondent tried and found him guilty and
sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment. This sentence, however, is not yet final for it is still subject
to review.

It may be stated as a rule that the Philippines, being a sovereign nation, has jurisdiction over all
offenses committed within its territory, but it may, by treaty or by agreement, consent that the United
States or any other foreign nation, shall exercise jurisdiction over certain offenses committed within
certain portions of said territory. On March 11, 1947, the Republic of the Philippines and the
Government of the United States of America, entered into an agreement concerning military bases,
and Article XIII thereof is as follows:

JURISDICTION

1. The Philippines consents that the United States shall have the right to exercise jurisdiction
over the following offenses:

(a) Any offense committed by any person within any base except where the offender
and offended parties are both Philippine citizens (not members of the armed forces
of the United States on active duty) or the offense is against the security of the
Philippines;

(b) Any offense committed outside the bases by any member of the armed forces of
the United States in which the offended party is also a member of the armed forces
of the United States; and

(c) Any offense committed outside the bases by any member of the armed forces of
the United States against the security of the United States.
2. The Philippines shall have the right to exercise jurisdiction over all other offenses
committed outside the bases by any member of the armed forces of the United States.

3. Whenever for special reasons the United States may desire not to exercise the jurisdiction
reserved to it in paragraphs 1 and 6 of this Article, the officer holding the offender in custody
shall so notify the fiscal (prosecuting attorney) of the city or province in which the offense has
been committed within ten days after his arrest, and in such case the Philippines shall
exercise jurisdiction.

4. Whenever for special reasons the Philippines may desire not to exercise the jurisdiction
reserved to it in paragraph 2 of this Article, the fiscal (prosecuting attorney) of the city or
province where the offense has been committed shall so notify the officer holding the
offender in custody within ten days after his arrest, and in such a case the United States
shall be free to exercise jurisdiction. If any offense falling under paragraph 2 of this article is
committed by any member of the armed forces of the United States.

(a) While engaged in the actual performance of a specific military duty, or

(b) during a period of national emergency declared by either Government and the
fiscal (prosecuting attorney) so finds from the evidence, he shall immediately notify
the officer holding the offender in custody that the United States is free to exercise
jurisdiction. In the event the fiscal (prosecuting attorney) finds that the offense was
not committed in the actual performance of a specific military duty, the offender's
commanding officer shall have the right to appeal from such finding to the Secretary
of Justice within ten days from the receipt of the decision of the fiscal and the
decision of the Secretary of Justice shall be final.

5. In all cases over which the Philippines exercises jurisdiction the custody of the accused,
pending trial and final judgment, shall be entrusted without delay to the commanding officer
of the nearest base, who shall acknowledge in writing that such accused has been delivered
to him for custody pending trial in a competent court of the Philippines and that he will be
held ready to appear and will be produced before said court when required by it. The
commanding officer shall be furnished by the fiscal (prosecuting attorney) with a copy of the
information against the accused upon the filing of the original in the competent court.

6. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, it is naturally agreed that in time of war the
United States shall have the right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over any offenses which
may be committed by members of the armed forces of the United States in the Philippines.

7. The United States agrees that it will not grant asylum in any of the bases to any person
fleeing from the lawful jurisdiction of the Philippines. Should such person be found in any
base, he will be surrendered on demand to the competent authorities of the Philippines.

8. In every case in which jurisdiction over an offense is exercised by the United States, the
offended party may institute a separate civil action against the offender in the proper court of
the Philippines to enforce the civil liability which under the laws of the Philippines may arise
from the offense.

Under paragraph 1 (a), the General Court-Martial would have jurisdiction over the criminal case
against petitioner if the offense had been committed within a base. Under paragraph 1 (b), if the
offense had been committed outside a base, still the General Court-Martial would have jurisdiction if
the offense had been committed by a "member of the armed forces of the United States" there being
no question that the offended party in this case is the United States. It is not necessary therefore, to
consider whether the offense is against "the security of the United States" under paragraph 1 (c), or
whether petitioner committed it in "the actual performance of a specific military duty" or in time of a
declared "national emergency" under paragraph 4, or whether we are still in a state of war under
paragraph 6, for in all these instances the military jurisdiction depends also upon whether the
offender is a member of the armed forces of the United States. We shall then determine in this case
(1) whether the offense has been committed within or without a base, and, in the second instance,
(2) whether the offender is or is not a member of the armed forces of the United States.

As to the first question, Article XXVI of the Agreement provides that "bases are those area named in
Annex A and Annex B and such additional areas as may be acquired for military purposes pursuant
to the terms of this Agreement." Among the areas specified in Annexes A and B, there is none that
has reference to the Port Area of Manila where the offense has allegedly been committed. On the
contrary, it appears in Annex A that "army communications system" is included, but with "the
deletion of all stations in the Port of Manila Area."

Paragraph 2 of Article XXI is invoked by respondent. The whole article is as follows:

TEMPORARY INSTALLATIONS

1. It is mutually agreed that the United States shall retain the right to occupy temporary
quarters and installations now existing outside the bases mentioned in Annex A and Annex
B, for such reasonable time, not exceeding two years, as may be necessary to develop
adequate facilities within the bases for the United States armed forces. If circumstances
require an extension of time, such a period will be fixed by mutual agreement of the two
Governments; but such extension shall not apply to the existing temporary quarters and
installations within the limits of the City of Manila and shall in no case exceed a period of
three years.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the Port of Manila reservation
with boundaries as of 1941 will be available for use to the United States armed forces until
such time as other arrangements can be made for the supply of the bases by mutual
agreement of the two Governments.

3. The terms of this agreement pertaining to bases shall be applicable to temporary quarters
and installations referred to in paragraph 1 of this article while they are so occupied by the
armed forces of the United States; provided, that offenses committed within the temporary
quarters and installations located within the present limits of the City of Manila shall not be
considered as offenses within the bases but shall be governed by the provisions of Article
XIII, paragraphs 2 and 4, except that the election not to exercise the jurisdiction reserved to
the Philippines shall be made by the Secretary of Justice. It is agreed that the United States
shall have full use and full control of all these quarters and installations while they are
occupied by the armed forces of the United States, including the exercise of such measures
as may be necessary to police said quarters for the security of the personnel and property
therein.

The subject matter of this article, as indicated by its heading, is "Temporary Installations." Paragraph
1 refers to temporary quarters and installations existing outside the bases specified in Annex A and
Annex B, which may be retained by the United States armed forces for such reasonable time as may
be necessary not exceeding two years in duration, extendible fro not more than three years, the
extension not being applicable to existing temporary quarters and installations within the limits of the
City of Manila.
Paragraph 2, of Article XXI, refers to the Port of Manila Reservation, which will be available for use
to the United States armed forces, also as a temporary quarters and installations, its temporariness
not being for a definite period of time, but "until such time as other arrangements can be made for
supply of the bases by mutual agreement of the two Governments." There is in paragraph 2
absolutely nothing that may be construed as placing the Port of Manila Reservation in the category
of a permanent base.

Paragraph 3, of Article XXI, provides "that offenses committed within the temporary quarters and
installations located within the present limits of the City of Manila shall not be considered as offenses
within the bases but shall be governed by the provisions of Article XIII, paragraphs 2 and 4."
Therefore, the offense at bar cannot be considered as committed within, but without, a base, since it
has been committed in the Port of Manila Area, which is not one of the bases mentioned in Annexes
A and B to the Agreement, and is merely temporary quarters located within the present limits of the
City of Manila.

The next inquiry is whether or not the offender may be considered as a member of the armed forces
of the United States under Article XIII, paragraph 1 (b). As above stated, petitioner is a Filipino
citizen and a civilian employee of the United States Army in the Philippines. Under the terms of the
Agreement, a civilian employee cannot be considered as a member of the armed forces of the
United States. Articles XI, XVI and XVIII of the Agreement make mention of civilian employees
separately from members of the armed forces of the United States, which is a conclusive indication
that under said Agreement armed forces do not include civilian employees.

Respondent invokes Articles II of the Articles of War of the United States, which enumerates, among
the persons subject to military law, persons accompanying or serving with the armies of the United
States. But this case should be decided not under the Articles of War, but under the terms of the
Base Agreement between the United States and the Philippines. And not because a person is
subject to military law under the Articles of War does he become, for that reason alone, a member of
the armed forces under the Base Agreement. And even under the Articles of War, the mere fact that
a civilian employee is in the service of the United States Army does not make him a member of the
armed forces of the United States. Otherwise, it would have been necessary for said Article to
enumerate civilian employees separately from members of the armed forces of the United States.

Respondent maintains that petitioner has no cause of action because the Secretary of Justice had
not notified the officer holding the petitioner in custody whether or not the Philippines desired to
retain jurisdiction under Article XXI, paragraph 3, of the Military Base Agreement. It is sufficient to
state in this connection that in cases like the present where the offender is a civilian employee and
not a member of the Unites States armed forces, no waiver can be made either by the prosecuting
attorney of by the Secretary of Justice, under paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article XIII in connection with
paragraph 3 of Article XXI, of the Agreement.

We are, therefore, of the opinion and so hold, that the General Court-Martial appointed by
respondent has no jurisdiction to try petitioner for the offense allegedly committed by him and,
consequently, the judgment rendered by said court sentencing the petitioner to 15 years'
imprisonment is null and void for lack of jurisdiction.

It is ordered that petitioner be released immediately by respondent without prejudice to any criminal
action which may be instituted in the proper court of the Philippines.

Let a copy of this decision be sent immediately to the Honorable, Secretary of Justice.

Paras, Feria, Pablo, Hilado, Bengzon, Briones, Padilla, and Tuason, JJ, concur.
Separate Opinions

PERFECTO, J., concurring:

One of the attributes of national sovereignty is the power to try and punish offenses, criminal and
otherwise. The exercise of that power is, by virtue of express provision of our Constitution, vested in
the Supreme Court and in inferior courts established by law. (Sec. 1, Art. VIII) The fundamental law
refers to inferior courts created by an enactment of a national legislature, Assembly or Congress, not
to foreign courts martial, created by foreign countries.

All this is in accordance with elemental principles of political law.

If petitioner is liable for a criminal offense, according to our laws, the jurisdiction to try him belongs to
a justice of the peace or municipal court or to a court of first instance.

The jurisdiction can be transferred to other courts by virtue of a law that may be enacted to said
effect. The law, to be effective, must not violate the constitutional Bill of Rights, among them the
guarantee of fair trial in favor of an accused, the equal protection of the law, the due process of law,
the guarantees against illegal detentions and searches, and others.

Petitioner is a Filipino citizen and a civilian employee of the U. S. Army, rendering services in the
Philippines. He attacks the power of the Commanding General, Philippine Ryukus Command, U.S.
Army, to have him under military custody and tried by a general court-martial of said army.
Respondent invokes, in opposing the petition, the provisions of the agreement on military Bases
entered into by the Republic of the Philippines and the government of the United States of America
on March 14, 1947.

The agreement appears to be a concession to two weaknesses: the American distrust in Philippine
tribunals and Filipino yielding to much distrust; on one hand, undisguised prejudice, national,
racial, or otherwise, on the other, meek submission to the natural consequences of an
unreasonable prejudice; on one side, the haughtiness of a powerful nation, proud in the
consciousness of its power, on the other, the moral surrender of a new nation, not yet so sure in the
exercise to their fullness of sovereign prerogatives. Extra-territoriality is wrong per se.

It is, therefore, assailable on two opposing fronts. On constitutional ground, it is hardly defensible.

The Bill of Rights has been embodied in the Constitution for the protection of all human beings within
the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines. All persons covered by the waivers made in the
agreement, whether Americans or Filipinos, whether citizens or aliens, are denied the constitutional
guarantee of the equal protection of the law. Their fundamental rights are safeguarded by the
Constitution, and the agreement places them outside the Constitution.

Our conclusion is, therefore, that the agreement in question, so far as it stipulates waiver of the
jurisdiction of our courts of justice on the class of persons mentioned therein, is null and void, being
in open conflict with clear provisions of our fundamental law.

Upon this ground, petitioner is entitled to be released by respondent and by the court martial which
tried him.
Even in the erroneous hypothesis that the waiver clauses of the agreement are valid, we concur in
the reasoning of the Chief Justice in support of the position that petitioner is not comprehended in
said waiver clauses. With more reason, respondent has no power nor jurisdiction to hold petitioner in
confinement, nor to have him tried by a U.S. army court-martial.

Notice must be served to the whole world that, in rendering the decision in this case, the Supreme
Court, in the fullness of judicial maturity, acted not as a mere agency of national sovereignty, but in
the consciousness that the administration of justice, more than national, is a human function,
untethered by the narrow provincialism of the points of view of a country, but founded on the
universal and permanent interests of mankind, as expressed in principles with equal value
regardless of the hemisphere of the latitude where a person may be placed.

There is a suggestion that, because it has not found articulate expression in this case, it should be
ignored, when it is boiling in many minds, and it is that respondent, shielded by his military power
and the overwhelming national power of his country, may ignore our decision, and we will be
powerless to enforce it. The fact that respondent appeared before us, through counsel, without any
reservation, answers the suggestion, and gives full justice to the sense of moral values of the
respondent.

Besides, in the present state of international affairs, when America is engaged in the noble task of
making a reality the ideal of one world, it can not compromise its moral leadership by any showing of
reckless disregard to the decision of a court of justice. The cry that there must be one world or none
can receive but one satisfactory answer; the reality of world justice. Only in justice hinges the
salvation of humanity. Only justice can give real peace and provide the basis for contentment and
happiness.

We concur in the decision, ordering the immediate release of the petitioner.

xx

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 abitratorsin 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 andwillfully 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
Wongvs. 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
Limavs. 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; Lincolnvs. 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.
(Crossvs. 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.

Xx

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. 1aw ph!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, Avancea, Villamor, Ostrand and Johns, JJ., concur.

Xx

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 thecorpus 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.

Xx

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, Avancea, Villamor, Ostrand, Johns and Romualdez, JJ., concur.

Xx

Article 3

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5272 March 19, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
AH CHONG, defendant-appellant.

Gibb & Gale, for appellant.


Attorney-General Villamor, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

The evidence as to many of the essential and vital facts in this case is limited to the testimony of the
accused himself, because from the very nature of these facts and from the circumstances
surrounding the incident upon which these proceedings rest, no other evidence as to these facts was
available either to the prosecution or to the defense. We think, however, that, giving the accused the
benefit of the doubt as to the weight of the evidence touching those details of the incident as to
which there can be said to be any doubt, the following statement of the material facts disclose by the
record may be taken to be substantially correct:

The defendant, Ah Chong, was employed as a cook at "Officers' quarters, No. 27," Fort Mc Kinley,
Rizal Province, and at the same place Pascual Gualberto, deceased, was employed as a house boy
or muchacho. "Officers' quarters No. 27" as a detached house situates some 40 meters from the
nearest building, and in August, 19087, was occupied solely as an officers' mess or club. No one
slept in the house except the two servants, who jointly occupied a small room toward the rear of the
building, the door of which opened upon a narrow porch running along the side of the building, by
which communication was had with the other part of the house. This porch was covered by a heavy
growth of vines for its entire length and height. The door of the room was not furnished with a
permanent bolt or lock, and occupants, as a measure of security, had attached a small hook or catch
on the inside of the door, and were in the habit of reinforcing this somewhat insecure means of
fastening the door by placing against it a chair. In the room there was but one small window, which,
like the door, opened on the porch. Aside from the door and window, there were no other openings
of any kind in the room.

On the night of August 14, 1908, at about 10 o'clock, the defendant, who had received for the night,
was suddenly awakened by some trying to force open the door of the room. He sat up in bed and
called out twice, "Who is there?" He heard no answer and was convinced by the noise at the door
that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon forcing his way into the room. Due to the
heavy growth of vines along the front of the porch, the room was very dark, and the defendant,
fearing that the intruder was a robber or a thief, leaped to his feet and called out. "If you enter the
room, I will kill you." At that moment he was struck just above the knee by the edge of the chair
which had been placed against the door. In the darkness and confusion the defendant thought that
the blow had been inflicted by the person who had forced the door open, whom he supposed to be a
burglar, though in the light of after events, it is probable that the chair was merely thrown back into
the room by the sudden opening of the door against which it rested. Seizing a common kitchen knife
which he kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out wildly at the intruder who, it afterwards
turned out, was his roommate, Pascual. Pascual ran out upon the porch and fell down on the steps
in a desperately wounded condition, followed by the defendant, who immediately recognized him in
the moonlight. Seeing that Pascual was wounded, he called to his employers who slept in the next
house, No. 28, and ran back to his room to secure bandages to bind up Pascual's wounds.

There had been several robberies in Fort McKinley not long prior to the date of the incident just
described, one of which took place in a house in which the defendant was employed as cook; and as
defendant alleges, it was because of these repeated robberies he kept a knife under his pillow for his
personal protection.

The deceased and the accused, who roomed together and who appear to have on friendly and
amicable terms prior to the fatal incident, had an understanding that when either returned at night,
he should knock at the door and acquiant his companion with his identity. Pascual had left the house
early in the evening and gone for a walk with his friends, Celestino Quiambao and Mariano Ibaez,
servants employed at officers' quarters No. 28, the nearest house to the mess hall. The three
returned from their walk at about 10 o'clock, and Celestino and Mariano stopped at their room at No.
28, Pascual going on to his room at No. 27. A few moments after the party separated, Celestino and
Mariano heard cries for assistance and upon returning to No. 27 found Pascual sitting on the back
steps fatally wounded in the stomach, whereupon one of them ran back to No. 28 and called
Liuetenants Jacobs and Healy, who immediately went to the aid of the wounded man.

The defendant then and there admitted that he had stabbed his roommate, but said that he did it
under the impression that Pascual was "a ladron" because he forced open the door of their sleeping
room, despite defendant's warnings.

No reasonable explanation of the remarkable conduct on the part of Pascuals suggests itself, unless
it be that the boy in a spirit of mischief was playing a trick on his Chinese roommate, and sought to
frightened him by forcing his way into the room, refusing to give his name or say who he was, in
order to make Ah Chong believe that he was being attacked by a robber.

Defendant was placed under arrest forthwith, and Pascual was conveyed to the military hospital,
where he died from the effects of the wound on the following day.

The defendant was charged with the crime of assassination, tried, and found guilty by the trial court
of simple homicide, with extenuating circumstances, and sentenced to six years and one
day presidio mayor, the minimum penalty prescribed by law.

At the trial in the court below the defendant admitted that he killed his roommate, Pascual Gualberto,
but insisted that he struck the fatal blow without any intent to do a wrongful act, in the exercise of his
lawful right of self-defense.

Article 8 of the Penal Code provides that


The following are not delinquent and are therefore exempt from criminal liability:

xxx xxx xxx

4 He who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided there are the following attendant
circumstances:

(1) Illegal aggression.

(2) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it.

(3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

Under these provisions we think that there can be no doubt that defendant would be entitle to
complete exception from criminal liability for the death of the victim of his fatal blow, if the intruder
who forced open the door of his room had been in fact a dangerous thief or "ladron," as the
defendant believed him to be. No one, under such circumstances, would doubt the right of the
defendant to resist and repel such an intrusion, and the thief having forced open the door
notwithstanding defendant's thrice-repeated warning to desist, and his threat that he would kill the
intruder if he persisted in his attempt, it will not be questioned that in the darkness of the night, in a
small room, with no means of escape, with the thief advancing upon him despite his warnings
defendant would have been wholly justified in using any available weapon to defend himself from
such an assault, and in striking promptly, without waiting for the thief to discover his whereabouts
and deliver the first blow.

But the evidence clearly discloses that the intruder was not a thief or a "ladron." That neither the
defendant nor his property nor any of the property under his charge was in real danger at the time
when he struck the fatal blow. That there was no such "unlawful aggression" on the part of a thief or
"ladron" as defendant believed he was repelling and resisting, and that there was no real "necessity"
for the use of the knife to defend his person or his property or the property under his charge.

The question then squarely presents it self, whether in this jurisdiction one can be held criminally
responsible who, by reason of a mistake as to the facts, does an act for which he would be exempt
from criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but which would constitute the
crime of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the true state of the facts at the time when
he committed the act. To this question we think there can be but one answer, and we hold that under
such circumstances there is no criminal liability, provided always that the alleged ignorance or
mistake or fact was not due to negligence or bad faith.

In broader terms, ignorance or mistake of fact, if such ignorance or mistake of fact is sufficient to
negative a particular intent which under the law is a necessary ingredient of the offense charged
(e.g., in larcerny, animus furendi; in murder, malice; in crimes intent) "cancels the presumption of
intent," and works an acquittal; except in those cases where the circumstances demand a conviction
under the penal provisions touching criminal negligence; and in cases where, under the provisions of
article 1 of the Penal Code one voluntarily committing a crime or misdeamor incurs criminal liability
for any wrongful act committed by him, even though it be different from that which he intended to
commit. (Wharton's Criminal Law, sec. 87 and cases cited; McClain's Crim. Law, sec. 133 and cases
cited; Pettit vs. S., 28 Tex. Ap., 240; Commonwealth vs. Power, 7 Met., 596; Yates vs. People, 32
N.Y., 509; Isham vs. State, 38 Ala., 213; Commonwealth vs. Rogers, 7 Met., 500.)

The general proposition thus stated hardly admits of discussion, and the only question worthy of
consideration is whether malice or criminal intent is an essential element or ingredient of the crimes
of homicide and assassination as defined and penalized in the Penal Code. It has been said that
since the definitions there given of these as well as most other crimes and offense therein defined,
do not specifically and expressly declare that the acts constituting the crime or offense must be
committed with malice or with criminal intent in order that the actor may be held criminally liable, the
commission of the acts set out in the various definitions subjects the actor to the penalties described
therein, unless it appears that he is exempted from liability under one or other of the express
provisions of article 8 of the code, which treats of exemption. But while it is true that contrary to the
general rule of legislative enactment in the United States, the definitions of crimes and offenses as
set out in the Penal Code rarely contain provisions expressly declaring that malice or criminal intent
is an essential ingredient of the crime, nevertheless, the general provisions of article 1 of the code
clearly indicate that malice, or criminal intent in some form, is an essential requisite of all crimes and
offense therein defined, in the absence of express provisions modifying the general rule, such as are
those touching liability resulting from acts negligently or imprudently committed, and acts done by
one voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor, where the act committed is different from that
which he intended to commit. And it is to be observed that even these exceptions are more apparent
than real, for "There is little distinction, except in degree, between a will to do a wrongful thing and
indifference whether it is done or not. Therefore carelessness is criminal, and within limits supplies
the place of the affirmative criminal intent" (Bishop's New Criminal Law, vol. 1, s. 313); and, again,
"There is so little difference between a disposition to do a great harm and a disposition to do harm
that one of them may very well be looked upon as the measure of the other. Since, therefore, the
guilt of a crime consists in the disposition to do harm, which the criminal shows by committing it, and
since this disposition is greater or less in proportion to the harm which is done by the crime, the
consequence is that the guilt of the crime follows the same proportion; it is greater or less according
as the crime in its own nature does greater or less harm" (Ruth. Ints. C. 18, p. 11); or, as it has been
otherwise stated, the thing done, having proceeded from a corrupt mid, is to be viewed the same
whether the corruption was of one particular form or another.

Article 1 of the Penal Code is as follows:

Crimes or misdemeanors are voluntary acts and ommissions punished by law.

Acts and omissions punished by law are always presumed to be voluntarily unless the
contrary shall appear.

An 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.

The celebrated Spanish jurist Pacheco, discussing the meaning of the word "voluntary" as used in
this article, say that a voluntary act is a free, intelligent, and intentional act, and roundly asserts that
without intention (intention to do wrong or criminal intention) there can be no crime; and that the
word "voluntary" implies and includes the words "con malicia," which were expressly set out in the
definition of the word "crime" in the code of 1822, but omitted from the code of 1870, because, as
Pacheco insists, their use in the former code was redundant, being implied and included in the word
"voluntary." (Pacheco, Codigo Penal, vol. 1, p. 74.)

Viada, while insisting that the absence of intention to commit the crime can only be said to exempt
from criminal responsibility when the act which was actually intended to be done was in itself a lawful
one, and in the absence of negligence or imprudence, nevertheless admits and recognizes in his
discussion of the provisions of this article of the code that in general without intention there can be
no crime. (Viada, vol. 1, p. 16.) And, as we have shown above, the exceptions insisted upon by
Viada are more apparent than real.
Silvela, in discussing the doctrine herein laid down, says:

In fact, it is sufficient to remember the first article, which declared that where there is no
intention there is no crime . . . in order to affirm, without fear of mistake, that under our code
there can be no crime if there is no act, an act which must fall within the sphere of ethics if
there is no moral injury. (Vol. 2, the Criminal Law, folio 169.)

And to the same effect are various decisions of the supreme court of Spain, as, for example in its
sentence of May 31, 1882, in which it made use of the following language:

It is necessary that this act, in order to constitute a crime, involve all the malice which is
supposed from the operation of the will and an intent to cause the injury which may be the
object of the crime.

And again in its sentence of March 16, 1892, wherein it held that "considering that, whatever may be
the civil effects of the inscription of his three sons, made by the appellant in the civil registry and in
the parochial church, there can be no crime because of the lack of the necessary element or criminal
intention, which characterizes every action or ommission punished by law; nor is he guilty of criminal
negligence."

And to the same effect in its sentence of December 30, 1896, it made use of the following language:

. . . Considering that the moral element of the crime, that is, intent or malice or their absence
in the commission of an act defined and punished by law as criminal, is not a necessary
question of fact submitted to the exclusive judgment and decision of the trial court.

That the author of the Penal Code deemed criminal intent or malice to be an essential element of the
various crimes and misdemeanors therein defined becomes clear also from an examination of the
provisions of article 568, which are as follows:

He who shall execute through reckless negligence an act that, if done with malice, would
constitute a grave crime, shall be punished with the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum
degree, to prision correccional in its minimum degrees if it shall constitute a less grave crime.

He who in violation of the regulations shall commit a crime through simple imprudence or
negligence shall incur the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum degrees.

In the application of these penalties the courts shall proceed according to their discretion,
without being subject to the rules prescribed in article 81.

The provisions of this article shall not be applicable if the penalty prescribed for the crime is
equal to or less than those contained in the first paragraph thereof, in which case the courts
shall apply the next one thereto in the degree which they may consider proper.

The word "malice" in this article is manifestly substantially equivalent to the words "criminal intent,"
and the direct inference from its provisions is that the commission of the acts contemplated therein,
in the absence of malice (criminal intent), negligence, and imprudence, does not impose any criminal
liability on the actor.

The word "voluntary" as used in article 1 of the Penal Code would seem to approximate in meaning
the word "willful" as used in English and American statute to designate a form of criminal intent. It
has been said that while the word "willful" sometimes means little more than intentionally or
designedly, yet it is more frequently understood to extent a little further and approximate the idea of
the milder kind of legal malice; that is, it signifies an evil intent without justifiable excuse. In one case
it was said to mean, as employed in a statute in contemplation, "wantonly" or "causelessly;" in
another, "without reasonable grounds to believe the thing lawful." And Shaw, C. J., once said that
ordinarily in a statute it means "not merely `voluntarily' but with a bad purpose; in other words,
corruptly." In English and the American statutes defining crimes "malice," "malicious," "maliciously,"
and "malice aforethought" are words indicating intent, more purely technical than "willful" or willfully,"
but "the difference between them is not great;" the word "malice" not often being understood to
require general malevolence toward a particular individual, and signifying rather the intent from our
legal justification. (Bishop's New Criminal Law, vol. 1, secs. 428 and 429, and cases cited.)

But even in the absence of express words in a statute, setting out a condition in the definition of a
crime that it be committed "voluntarily," willfully," "maliciously" "with malice aforethought," or in one of
the various modes generally construed to imply a criminal intent, we think that reasoning from
general principles it will always be found that with the rare exceptions hereinafter mentioned, to
constitute a crime evil intent must combine with an act. Mr. Bishop, who supports his position with
numerous citations from the decided cases, thus forcely present this doctrine:

In no one thing does criminal jurisprudence differ more from civil than in the rule as to the
intent. In controversies between private parties the quo animo with which a thing was done is
sometimes important, not always; but crime proceeds only from a criminal mind. So that

There can be no crime, large or small, without an evil mind. In other words, punishment is
the sentence of wickedness, without which it can not be. And neither in philosophical
speculation nor in religious or mortal sentiment would any people in any age allow that a
man should be deemed guilty unless his mind was so. It is therefore a principle of our legal
system, as probably it is of every other, that the essence of an offense is the wrongful intent,
without which it can not exists. We find this doctrine confirmed by

Legal maxims. The ancient wisdom of the law, equally with the modern, is distinct on this
subject. It consequently has supplied to us such maxims as Actus non facit reum nisi mens
sit rea, "the act itself does not make man guilty unless his intention were so;" Actus me incito
factus non est meus actus, "an act done by me against my will is not my act;" and others of
the like sort. In this, as just said, criminal jurisprudence differs from civil. So also

Moral science and moral sentiment teach the same thing. "By reference to the intention, we
inculpate or exculpate others or ourselves without any respect to the happiness or misery
actually produced. Let the result of an action be what it may, we hold a man guilty simply on
the ground of intention; or, on the dame ground, we hold him innocent." The calm judgment
of mankind keeps this doctrine among its jewels. In times of excitement, when vengeance
takes the place of justice, every guard around the innocent is cast down. But with the return
of reason comes the public voice that where the mind is pure, he who differs in act from his
neighbors does not offend. And

In the spontaneous judgment which springs from the nature given by God to man, no one
deems another to deserve punishment for what he did from an upright mind, destitute of
every form of evil. And whenever a person is made to suffer a punishment which the
community deems not his due, so far from its placing an evil mark upon him, it elevates him
to the seat of the martyr. Even infancy itself spontaneously pleads the want of bad intent in
justification of what has the appearance of wrong, with the utmost confidence that the plea, if
its truth is credited, will be accepted as good. Now these facts are only the voice of nature
uttering one of her immutable truths. It is, then, the doctrine of the law, superior to all other
doctrines, because first in nature from which the law itself proceeds, that no man is to be
punished as a criminal unless his intent is wrong. (Bishop's New Criminal Law, vol. 1, secs.
286 to 290.)

Compelled by necessity, "the great master of all things," an apparent departure from this doctrine of
abstract justice result from the adoption of the arbitrary rule that Ignorantia juris non
excusat ("Ignorance of the law excuses no man"), without which justice could not be administered in
our tribunals; and compelled also by the same doctrine of necessity, the courts have recognized the
power of the legislature to forbid, in a limited class of cases, the doing of certain acts, and to make
their commission criminal without regard to the intent of the doer. Without discussing these
exceptional cases at length, it is sufficient here to say that the courts have always held that unless
the intention of the lawmaker to make the commission of certain acts criminal without regard to the
intent of the doer is clear and beyond question the statute will not be so construed (cases cited in
Cyc., vol. 12, p. 158, notes 76 and 77); and the rule that ignorance of the law excuses no man has
been said not to be a real departure from the law's fundamental principle that crime exists only
where the mind is at fault, because "the evil purpose need not be to break the law, and if suffices if it
is simply to do the thing which the law in fact forbids." (Bishop's New Criminal Law, sec. 300, and
cases cited.)

But, however this may be, there is no technical rule, and no pressing necessity therefore, requiring
mistake in fact to be dealt with otherwise that in strict accord with the principles of abstract justice.
On the contrary, the maxim here is Ignorantia facti excusat ("Ignorance or mistake in point of fact is,
in all cases of supposed offense, a sufficient excuse"). (Brown's Leg. Max., 2d ed., 190.)

Since evil intent is in general an inseparable element in every crime, any such mistake of fact as
shows the act committed to have proceeded from no sort of evil in the mind necessarily relieves the
actor from criminal liability provided always there is no fault or negligence on his part; and as laid
down by Baron Parke, "The guilt of the accused must depend on the circumstances as they appear
to him." (Reg. vs. Thurborn, 1 Den. C., 387; P. vs.Anderson, 44 Cal.., 65; P. vs. Lamb, 54 Barb.,
342; Yates vs. P., 32 N. Y., 509; Patterson vs. P., 46 Barb., 625; Reg. vs. Cohen, 8 Cox C. C., 41;
P. vs. Miles, 55 Cal., 207, 209; Nalley vs. S., 28 Tex. Ap., 387.) That is to say, the question as to
whether he honestly, in good faith, and without fault or negligence fell into the mistake is to be
determined by the circumstances as they appeared to him at the time when the mistake was made,
and the effect which the surrounding circumstances might reasonably be expected to have on his
mind, in forming the intent, criminal or other wise, upon which he acted.

If, in language not uncommon in the cases, one has reasonable cause to believe the
existence of facts which will justify a killing or, in terms more nicely in accord with the
principles on which the rule is founded, if without fault or carelessness he does believe them
he is legally guiltless of the homicide; though he mistook the facts, and so the life of an
innocent person is unfortunately extinguished. In other words, and with reference to the right
of self-defense and the not quite harmonious authorities, it is the doctrine of reason and
sufficiently sustained in adjudication, that notwithstanding some decisions apparently
adverse, whenever a man undertakes self-defense, he is justified in acting on the facts as
they appear to him. If, without fault or carelessness, he is misled concerning them, and
defends himself correctly according to what he thus supposes the facts to be the law will not
punish him though they are in truth otherwise, and he was really no occassion for the
extreme measures. (Bishop's New Criminal Law, sec. 305, and large array of cases there
cited.)
The common illustration in the American and English textbooks of the application of this rule is the
case where a man, masked and disguised as a footpad, at night and on a lonely road, "holds up" his
friends in a spirit of mischief, and with leveled pistol demands his money or his life, but is killed by
his friend under the mistaken belief that the attack is a real one, that the pistol leveled at his head is
loaded, and that his life and property are in imminent danger at the hands of the aggressor. No one
will doubt that if the facts were such as the slayer believed them to be he would be innocent of the
commission of any crime and wholly exempt from criminal liability, although if he knew the real state
of the facts when he took the life of his friend he would undoubtedly be guilty of the crime of
homicide or assassination. Under such circumstances, proof of his innocent mistake of the facts
overcomes the presumption of malice or criminal intent, and (since malice or criminal intent is a
necessary ingredient of the "act punished by law" in cases of homicide or assassination) overcomes
at the same time the presumption established in article 1 of the code, that the "act punished by law"
was committed "voluntarily."

Parson, C.J., in the Massachusetts court, once said:

If the party killing had reasonable grounds for believing that the person slain had a felonious
design against him, and under that supposition killed him, although it should afterwards
appear that there was no such design, it will not be murder, but it will be either manslaughter
or excusable homicide, according to the degree of caution used and the probable grounds of
such belief. (Charge to the grand jury in Selfridge's case, Whart, Hom., 417, 418, Lloyd's
report of the case, p.7.)

In this case, Parker, J., charging the petit jury, enforced the doctrine as follows:

A, in the peaceable pursuit of his affairs, sees B rushing rapidly toward him, with an
outstretched arms and a pistol in his hand, and using violent menaces against his life as he
advances. Having approached near enough in the same attitude, A, who has a club in his
hand, strikes B over the head before or at the instant the pistol is discharged; and of the
wound B dies. It turns out the pistol was loaded with powder only, and that the real design of
B was only to terrify A. Will any reasonable man say that A is more criminal that he would
have been if there had been a bullet in the pistol? Those who hold such doctrine must
require that a man so attacked must, before he strikes the assailant, stop and ascertain how
the pistol is loaded a doctrine which would entirely take away the essential right of self-
defense. And when it is considered that the jury who try the cause, and not the party killing,
are to judge of the reasonable grounds of his apprehension, no danger can be supposed to
flow from this principle. (Lloyd's Rep., p. 160.)

To the same effect are various decisions of the supreme court of Spain, cited by Viada, a few of
which are here set out in full because the facts are somewhat analogous to those in the case at bar.

QUESTION III. When it is shown that the accused was sitting at his hearth, at night, in
company only of his wife, without other light than reflected from the fire, and that the man
with his back to the door was attending to the fire, there suddenly entered a person whom he
did not see or know, who struck him one or two blows, producing a contusion on the
shoulder, because of which he turned, seized the person and took from his the stick with
which he had undoubtedly been struck, and gave the unknown person a blow, knocking him
to the floor, and afterwards striking him another blow on the head, leaving the unknown lying
on the floor, and left the house. It turned out the unknown person was his father-in-law, to
whom he rendered assistance as soon as he learned his identity, and who died in about six
days in consequence of cerebral congestion resulting from the blow. The accused, who
confessed the facts, had always sustained pleasant relations with his father-in-law, whom he
visited during his sickness, demonstrating great grief over the occurrence. Shall he be
considered free from criminal responsibility, as having acted in self-defense, with all the
circumstances related in paragraph 4, article 8, of the Penal Code? The criminal branch of
theAudiencia of Valladolid found that he was an illegal aggressor, without sufficient
provocation, and that there did not exists rational necessity for the employment of the force
used, and in accordance with articles 419 and 87 of the Penal Code condemned him to
twenty months of imprisonment, with accessory penalty and costs. Upon appeal by the
accused, he was acquitted by the supreme court, under the following sentence:
"Considering, from the facts found by the sentence to have been proven, that the accused
was surprised from behind, at night, in his house beside his wife who was nursing her child,
was attacked, struck, and beaten, without being able to distinguish with which they might
have executed their criminal intent, because of the there was no other than fire light in the
room, and considering that in such a situation and when the acts executed demonstrated
that they might endanger his existence, and possibly that of his wife and child, more
especially because his assailant was unknown, he should have defended himself, and in
doing so with the same stick with which he was attacked, he did not exceed the limits of self-
defense, nor did he use means which were not rationally necessary, particularly because the
instrument with which he killed was the one which he took from his assailant, and was
capable of producing death, and in the darkness of the house and the consteration which
naturally resulted from such strong aggression, it was not given him to known or distinguish
whether there was one or more assailants, nor the arms which they might bear, not that
which they might accomplish, and considering that the lower court did not find from the
accepted facts that there existed rational necessity for the means employed, and that it did
not apply paragraph 4 of article 8 of the Penal Code, it erred, etc." (Sentence of supreme
court of Spain, February 28, 1876.) (Viada, Vol. I, p. 266.) .

QUESTION XIX. A person returning, at night, to his house, which was situated in a retired
part of the city, upon arriving at a point where there was no light, heard the voice of a man, at
a distance of some 8 paces, saying: "Face down, hand over you money!" because of which,
and almost at the same money, he fired two shots from his pistol, distinguishing immediately
the voice of one of his friends (who had before simulated a different voice) saying, "Oh! they
have killed me," and hastening to his assistance, finding the body lying upon the ground, he
cried, "Miguel, Miguel, speak, for God's sake, or I am ruined," realizing that he had been the
victim of a joke, and not receiving a reply, and observing that his friend was a corpse, he
retired from the place. Shall he be declared exempt in toto from responsibility as the author
of this homicide, as having acted in just self-defense under the circumstances defined in
paragraph 4, article 8, Penal Code? The criminal branch of the Audiencia of Malaga did not
so find, but only found in favor of the accused two of the requisites of said article, but not that
of the reasonableness of the means employed to repel the attack, and, therefore,
condemned the accused to eight years and one day of prison mayor, etc. The supreme court
acquitted the accused on his appeal from this sentence, holding that the accused was acting
under a justifiable and excusable mistake of fact as to the identity of the person calling to
him, and that under the circumstances, the darkness and remoteness, etc., the means
employed were rational and the shooting justifiable. (Sentence supreme court, March 17,
1885.) (Viada, Vol. I, p. 136.)

QUESTION VI. The owner of a mill, situated in a remote spot, is awakened, at night, by a
large stone thrown against his window at this, he puts his head out of the window and
inquires what is wanted, and is answered "the delivery of all of his money, otherwise his
house would be burned" because of which, and observing in an alley adjacent to the mill
four individuals, one of whom addressed him with blasphemy, he fired his pistol at one the
men, who, on the next morning was found dead on the same spot. Shall this man be
declared exempt from criminal responsibility as having acted in just self-defense with all of
the requisites of law? The criminal branch of the requisites of law? The criminal branch of
the Audiencia of Zaragoza finds that there existed in favor of the accused a majority of the
requisites to exempt him from criminal responsibility, but not that of reasonable necessity for
the means, employed, and condemned the accused to twelve months of prision
correctional for the homicide committed. Upon appeal, the supreme court acquitted the
condemned, finding that the accused, in firing at the malefactors, who attack his mill at night
in a remote spot by threatening robbery and incendiarism, was acting in just self-defense of
his person, property, and family. (Sentence of May 23, 1877). (I Viada, p. 128.)

A careful examination of the facts as disclosed in the case at bar convinces us that the defendant
Chinaman struck the fatal blow alleged in the information in the firm belief that the intruder who
forced open the door of his sleeping room was a thief, from whose assault he was in imminent peril,
both of his life and of his property and of the property committed to his charge; that in view of all the
circumstances, as they must have presented themselves to the defendant at the time, he acted in
good faith, without malice, or criminal intent, in the belief that he was doing no more than exercising
his legitimate right of self-defense; that had the facts been as he believed them to be he would have
been wholly exempt from criminal liability on account of his act; and that he can not be said to have
been guilty of negligence or recklessness or even carelessness in falling into his mistake as to the
facts, or in the means adopted by him to defend himself from the imminent danger which he believe
threatened his person and his property and the property under his charge.

The judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court should be reversed, and the
defendant acquitted of the crime with which he is charged and his bail bond exonerated, with the
costs of both instance de oficio. So ordered.

Johnson Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.


Arellano, C.J., and Mapa, J., dissent.

Separate Opinions

TORRES, J., dissenting:

The writer, with due respect to the opinion of the majority of the court, believes that, according to the
merits of the case, the crime of homicide by reckless negligence, defined and punishes in article 568
of the Penal Code, was committed, inasmuch as the victim was wilfully (voluntariomente) killed, and
while the act was done without malice or criminal intent it was, however, executed with real
negligence, for the acts committed by the deceased could not warrant the aggression by the
defendant under the erroneous belief on the part of the accused that the person who assaulted him
was a malefactor; the defendant therefore incurred responsibility in attacking with a knife the person
who was accustomed to enter said room, without any justifiable motive.

By reason of the nature of the crime committed, in the opinion of the undersigned the accused
should be sentenced to the penalty of one year and one month of prision correctional, to suffer the
accessory penalties provided in article 61, and to pay an indemnify of P1,000 to the heirs of the
deceased, with the costs of both instances, thereby reversing the judgment appealed from.

Xx
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-47722 July 27, 1943

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
ANTONIO Z. OANIS and ALBERTO GALANTA, defendants-appellants.

Antonio Z. Oanis in his own behalf.


Maximo L. Valenzuela for appellant Galanta.
Acting Solicitor-General Ibaez and Assistant Attorney Torres for appellee.

MORAN, J.:

Charged with the crime of murder of one Serapio Tecson, the accused Antonio Z. Oanis and Alberto
Galanta, chief of police of Cabanatuan and corporal of the Philippine Constabulary, respectively,
were, after due trial, found guilty by the lower court of homicide through reckless imprudence and
were sentenced each to an indeterminate penalty of from one year and six months to two years and
two months of prison correccional and to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of the deceased in
the amount of P1,000. Defendants appealed separately from this judgment.

In the afternoon of December 24, 1938. Captain Godofredo Monsod, Constabulary Provincial
Inspector at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, received from Major Guido a telegram of the following tenor:
"Information received escaped convict Anselmo Balagtas with bailarina and Irene in Cabanatuan get
him dead or alive." Captain Monsod accordingly called for his first sergeant and asked that he be
given four men. Defendant corporal Alberto Galanta, and privates Nicomedes Oralo, Venancio
Serna and D. Fernandez, upon order of their sergeant, reported at the office of the Provincial
Inspector where they were shown a copy of the above-quoted telegram and a newspaper clipping
containing a picture of Balagtas. They were instructed to arrest Balagtas and, if overpowered, to
follow the instruction contained in the telegram. The same instruction was given to the chief of police
Oanis who was likewise called by the Provincial Inspector. When the chief of police was asked
whether he knew one Irene, a bailarina, he answered that he knew one of loose morals of the same
name. Upon request of the Provincial Inspector, the chief of police tried to locate some of his men to
guide the constabulary soldiers in ascertaining Balagtas' whereabouts, and failing to see anyone of
them he volunteered to go with the party. The Provincial Inspector divided the party into two groups
with defendants Oanis and Galanta, and private Fernandez taking the route to Rizal street leading to
the house where Irene was supposedly living. When this group arrived at Irene's house, Oanis
approached one Brigida Mallare, who was then stripping banana stalks, and asked her where Irene's
room was. Brigida indicated the place and upon further inquiry also said that Irene was sleeping with
her paramour. Brigida trembling, immediately returned to her own room which was very near that
occupied by Irene and her paramour. Defendants Oanis and Galanta then went to the room of Irene,
and an seeing a man sleeping with his back towards the door where they were, simultaneously or
successively fired at him with their .32 and .45 caliber revolvers. Awakened by the gunshots, Irene
saw her paramour already wounded, and looking at the door where the shots came, she saw the
defendants still firing at him. Shocked by the entire scene. Irene fainted; it turned out later that the
person shot and killed was not the notorious criminal Anselmo Balagtas but a peaceful and innocent
citizen named Serapio Tecson, Irene's paramour. The Provincial Inspector, informed of the killing,
repaired to the scene and when he asked as to who killed the deceased. Galanta, referring to
himself and to Oanis, answered: "We two, sir." The corpse was thereafter brought to the provincial
hospital and upon autopsy by Dr. Ricardo de Castro, multiple gunshot wounds inflicted by a .32 and
a .45 caliber revolvers were found on Tecson's body which caused his death.

These are the facts as found by the trial court and fully supported by the evidence, particularly by the
testimony of Irene Requinea. Appellants gave, however, a different version of the tragedy. According
to Appellant Galanta, when he and chief of police Oanis arrived at the house, the latter asked Brigida
where Irene's room was. Brigida indicated the place, and upon further inquiry as to the whereabouts
of Anselmo Balagtas, she said that he too was sleeping in the same room. Oanis went to the room
thus indicated and upon opening the curtain covering the door, he said: "If you are Balagtas, stand
up." Tecson, the supposed Balagtas, and Irene woke up and as the former was about to sit up in
bed. Oanis fired at him. Wounded, Tecson leaned towards the door, and Oanis receded and
shouted: "That is Balagtas." Galanta then fired at Tecson.

On the other hand, Oanis testified that after he had opened the curtain covering the door and after
having said, "if you are Balagtas stand up." Galanta at once fired at Tecson, the supposed Balagtas,
while the latter was still lying on bed, and continued firing until he had exhausted his bullets: that it
was only thereafter that he, Oanis, entered the door and upon seeing the supposed Balagtas, who
was then apparently watching and picking up something from the floor, he fired at him.

The trial court refused to believe the appellants. Their testimonies are certainly incredible not only
because they are vitiated by a natural urge to exculpate themselves of the crime, but also because
they are materially contradictory. Oasis averred that be fired at Tecson when the latter was
apparently watching somebody in an attitudes of picking up something from the floor; on the other
hand, Galanta testified that Oasis shot Tecson while the latter was about to sit up in bed immediately
after he was awakened by a noise. Galanta testified that he fired at Tecson, the supposed Balagtas,
when the latter was rushing at him. But Oanis assured that when Galanta shot Tecson, the latter
was still lying on bed. It is apparent from these contradictions that when each of the appellants tries
to exculpate himself of the crime charged, he is at once belied by the other; but their mutual
incriminating averments dovetail with and corroborate substantially, the testimony of Irene Requinea.
It should be recalled that, according to Requinea, Tecson was still sleeping in bed when he was shot
to death by appellants. And this, to a certain extent, is confirmed by both appellants themselves in
their mutual recriminations. According, to Galanta, Oanis shot Tecson when the latter was still in bed
about to sit up just after he was awakened by a noise. And Oanis assured that when Galanta shot
Tecson, the latter was still lying in bed. Thus corroborated, and considering that the trial court had
the opportunity to observe her demeanor on the stand, we believe and so hold that no error was
committed in accepting her testimony and in rejecting the exculpatory pretensions of the two
appellants. Furthermore, a careful examination of Irene's testimony will show not only that her
version of the tragedy is not concocted but that it contains all indicia of veracity. In her cross-
examination, even misleading questions had been put which were unsuccessful, the witness having
stuck to the truth in every detail of the occurrence. Under these circumstances, we do not feel
ourselves justified in disturbing the findings of fact made by the trial court.

The true fact, therefore, of the case is that, while Tecson was sleeping in his room with his back
towards the door, Oanis and Galanta, on sight, fired at him simultaneously or successively, believing
him to be Anselmo Balagtas but without having made previously any reasonable inquiry as to his
identity. And the question is whether or not they may, upon such fact, be held responsible for the
death thus caused to Tecson. It is contended that, as appellants acted in innocent mistake of fact in
the honest performance of their official duties, both of them believing that Tecson was Balagtas, they
incur no criminal liability. Sustaining this theory in part, the lower court held and so declared them
guilty of the crime of homicide through reckless imprudence. We are of the opinion, however, that,
under the circumstances of the case, the crime committed by appellants is murder through specially
mitigated by circumstances to be mentioned below.
In support of the theory of non-liability by reasons of honest mistake of fact, appellants rely on the
case of U.S. v. Ah Chong, 15 Phil., 488. The maxim is ignorantia facti excusat, but this applies only
when the mistake is committed without fault or carelessness. In the Ah Chong case, defendant
therein after having gone to bed was awakened by someone trying to open the door. He called out
twice, "who is there," but received no answer. Fearing that the intruder was a robber, he leaped from
his bed and called out again., "If you enter the room I will kill you." But at that precise moment, he
was struck by a chair which had been placed against the door and believing that he was then being
attacked, he seized a kitchen knife and struck and fatally wounded the intruder who turned out to be
his room-mate. A common illustration of innocent mistake of fact is the case of a man who was
marked as a footpad at night and in a lonely road held up a friend in a spirit of mischief, and with
leveled, pistol demanded his money or life. He was killed by his friend under the mistaken belief that
the attack was real, that the pistol leveled at his head was loaded and that his life and property were
in imminent danger at the hands of the aggressor. In these instances, there is an innocent mistake of
fact committed without any fault or carelessness because the accused, having no time or opportunity
to make a further inquiry, and being pressed by circumstances to act immediately, had no alternative
but to take the facts as they then appeared to him, and such facts justified his act of killing. In the
instant case, appellants, unlike the accused in the instances cited, found no circumstances
whatsoever which would press them to immediate action. The person in the room being then asleep,
appellants had ample time and opportunity to ascertain his identity without hazard to themselves,
and could even effect a bloodless arrest if any reasonable effort to that end had been made, as the
victim was unarmed, according to Irene Requinea. This, indeed, is the only legitimate course of
action for appellants to follow even if the victim was really Balagtas, as they were instructed not to
kill Balagtas at sight but to arrest him, and to get him dead or alive only if resistance or aggression is
offered by him.

Although an officer in making a lawful arrest is justified in using such force as is reasonably
necessary to secure and detain the offender, overcome his resistance, prevent his escape,
recapture him if he escapes, and protect himself from bodily harm (People vs. Delima, 46 Phil, 738),
yet he is never justified in using unnecessary force or in treating him with wanton violence, or in
resorting to dangerous means when the arrest could be effected otherwise (6 C.J.S., par. 13, p.
612). The doctrine is restated in the new Rules of Court thus: "No unnecessary or unreasonable
force shall be used in making an arrest, and the person arrested shall not be subject to any greater
restraint than is necessary for his detention." (Rule 109, sec. 2, par. 2). And a peace officer cannot
claim exemption from criminal liability if he uses unnecessary force or violence in making an arrest
(5 C.J., p. 753; U.S.vs. Mendoza, 2 Phil., 109). It may be true that Anselmo Balagtas was a
notorious criminal, a life-termer, a fugitive from justice and a menace to the peace of the community,
but these facts alone constitute no justification for killing him when in effecting his arrest, he offers no
resistance or in fact no resistance can be offered, as when he is asleep. This, in effect, is the
principle laid down, although upon different facts, in U.S. vs. Donoso (3 Phil., 234, 242).

It is, however, suggested that a notorious criminal "must be taken by storm" without regard to his
right to life which he has by such notoriety already forfeited. We may approve of this standard of
official conduct where the criminal offers resistance or does something which places his captors in
danger of imminent attack. Otherwise we cannot see how, as in the present case, the mere fact of
notoriety can make the life of a criminal a mere trifle in the hands of the officers of the law. Notoriety
rightly supplies a basis for redoubled official alertness and vigilance; it never can justify precipitate
action at the cost of human life. Where, as here, the precipitate action of the appellants has cost an
innocent life and there exist no circumstances whatsoever to warrant action of such character in the
mind of a reasonably prudent man, condemnation not condonation should be the rule;
otherwise we should offer a premium to crime in the shelter of official actuation.

The crime committed by appellants is not merely criminal negligence, the killing being intentional and
not accidental. 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, "para que se celifique un hecho de imprudencia es preciso que no haya mediado en
el malicia ni intencion alguna de daar; existiendo esa intencion, debera calificarse el hecho del
delito que ha producido, por mas que no haya sido la intencion del agente el causar un mal de tanta
gravedad como el que se produjo." (Tomo 7, Viada Codigo Penal Comentado, 5.a ed. pag. 7). And,
as once 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; People vs. Bindor, 56 Phil., 16),
and 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) to support a plea of
mitigated liability.

As the deceased was killed while asleep, the crime committed is murder with the qualifying
circumstance ofalevosia. There is, however, a mitigating circumstance of weight consisting in the
incomplete justifying circumstance defined in article 11, No. 5, of the Revised Penal Code. According
to such legal provision, a person incurs no criminal liability when he acts in the fulfillment of a duty or
in the lawful exercise of a right or office. There are two requisites in order that the circumstance may
be taken as a justifying one: (a) that the offender acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful
exercise of a right; and (b) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the
due performance of such duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office. In the instance case, only
the first requisite is present appellants have acted in the performance of a duty. The second
requisite is wanting for the crime by them committed is not the necessary consequence of a due
performance of their duty. Their duty was to arrest Balagtas or to get him dead or alive if resistance
is offered by him and they are overpowered. But through impatience or over-anxiety or in their desire
to take no chances, they have exceeded in the fulfillment of such duty by killing the person whom
they believed to be Balagtas without any resistance from him and without making any previous
inquiry as to his identity. According to article 69 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty lower by one
or two degrees than that prescribed by law shall, in such case, be imposed.

For all the foregoing, the judgment is modified and appellants are hereby declared guilty of murder
with the mitigating circumstance above mentioned, and accordingly sentenced to an indeterminate
penalty of from five (5) years of prision correctional to fifteen (15) years of reclusion temporal, with
the accessories of the law, and to pay the heirs of the deceased Serapio Tecson jointly and severally
an indemnity of P2,000, with costs.

Yulo, C.J., Bocobo, Generoso and Lopez Vito, A., concur.

Separate Opinions

PARAS, J., dissenting:

Anselmo Balagtas, a life termer and notorious criminal, managed to escape and flee form Manila to
the provinces. Receiving information to the effect that he was staying with one Irene in Cabanatuan,
Nueva Ecija, the office of the Constabulary in Manila ordered the Provincial Inspector in Cabanatuan
by telegram dispatched on December 25, 1938, to get Balagtas "dead or alive". Among those
assigned to the task of carrying out the said order, were Antonio Z. Oanis, chief of police of
Cabanatuan, and Alberto Galanta, a Constabulary corporal, to whom the telegram received by the
Provincial Inspector and a newspaper picture of Balagtas were shown. Oanis, Galanta and a
Constabulary private, after being told by the Provincial Inspector to gather information about
Balagtas, "to arrest him and, if overpowered, to follow the instructions contained in the telegram,"
proceeded to the place where the house of Irene was located. Upon arriving thereat, Oanis
approached Brigida Mallari, who was then gathering banana stalks in the yard, and inquired for the
room of Irene. After Mallari had pointed out the room, she was asked by Oanis to tell where Irene's
paramour, Balagtas, was, whereupon Mallari answered that he was sleeping with Irene. Upon
reaching the room indicated, Oanis and Galanta, after the former had shouted "Stand up, if you are
Balagtas," started shooting the man who was found by them lying down beside a woman. The man
was thereby killed, but Balagtas was still alive, for it turned out that the person shot by Oanis and
Galanta was one Serapio Tecson.

Consequently, Oanis and Galanta were charged with having committed murder. The Court of First
Instance of Nueva Ecija, however, convicted them only of homicide through reckless imprudence
and sentenced them each to suffer the indeterminate penalty of from 1 year and 6 months to 2 years
and 2 months of prision correctional, to jointly and severally indemnify the heirs of Serapio Tecson in
the amount of P1,000, and to pay the costs. Oanis and Galanta have appealed.

In accomplishing the acts with which the appellants were charged, they undoubtedly followed the
order issued by the Constabulary authorities in Manila requiring the Provincial Inspector in
Cabanatuan to get Balagtas dead or alive, in the honest belief that Serapio Tecson was Anselmo
Balagtas. As the latter became a fugitive criminal, with revolvers in his possession and a record that
made him extremely dangerous and a public terror, the Constabulary authorities were justified in
ordering his arrest, whether dead or alive. In view of said order and the danger faced by the
appellants in carrying it out, they cannot be said to have acted feloniously in shooting the person
honestly believed by them to be the wanted man. Conscious of the fact that Balagtas would rather
kill than be captured, the appellants did not want to take chances and should not be penalized for
such prudence. On the contrary, they should be commended for their bravery and courage bordering
on recklessness because, without knowing or ascertaining whether the wanted man was in fact
asleep in his room, they proceeded thereto without hesitation and thereby exposed their lives to
danger.

The Solicitor-General, however, contends that the appellants were authorized to use their revolvers
only after being overpowered by Balagtas. In the first place, the alleged instruction by the Provincial
Inspector to that effect, was in violation of the express order given by the Constabulary authorities in
Manila and which was shown to the appellants. In the second place, it would indeed be suicidal for
the appellants or, for that matter, any agent of the authority to have waited until they have been
overpowered before trying to put our such a character as Balagtas. In the third place, it is immaterial
whether or not the instruction given by the Provincial Inspector was legitimate and proper, because
the facts exist that the appellants acted in conformity with the express order of superior Constabulary
authorities, the legality or propriety of which is not herein questioned.

The theory of the prosecution has acquired some plausibility, though quite psychological or
sentimental, in view only of the fact that it was not Balagtas who was actually killed, but an "innocent
man . . . while he was deeply asleep." Anybody's heart will be profoundly grieved by the trade, but in
time will be consoled by the realization that the life of Serapio Tecson was not vainly sacrificed, for
the incident will always serve as a loud warning to any one desiring to follow in the footsteps of
Anselmo Balagtas that in due time the duly constituted authorities will, upon proper order, enforce
the summary forfeiture of his life.

In my opinion, therefore, the appellants are not criminally liable if the person killed by them was in
fact Anselmo Balagtas for the reason that they did so in the fulfillment of their duty and in obedience
to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose (Revised Penal Code, art. 11, pars. 5 and
6). They also cannot be held criminally liable even if the person killed by them was not Anselmo
Balagtas, but Serapio Tecson, because they did so under an honest mistake of fact not due to
negligence or bad faith. (U.S. vs. Ah Chong, 15 Phil., 488).

It is true that, under article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by any person
committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended; but said
article is clearly inapplicable since the killing of the person who was believed to be Balagtas was, as
already stated, not wrongful or felonious.

The case of U.S. vs. Mendieta (34 Phil., 242), cited by the Solicitor-General, is not in point,
inasmuch as the defendant therein, who intended to injure Hilario Lauigan with whom he had a
quarrel, but killed another by mistake, would not be exempted from criminal liability if he actually
injured or killed Hilario Lauigan, there being a malicious design on his part. The other case involved
by the prosecution is U.S. vs. Donoso (3 Phil., 234). This is also not in point, as it appears that the
defendants therein killed one Pedro Almasan after he had already surrendered and allowed himself
to be bound and that the said defendants did not have lawful instructions from superior authorities to
capture Almasan dead or alive.

The appealed judgment should therefore be reversed and the appellants, Antonio Z. Oanis and
Alberto Galanta, acquitted, with costs de oficio.

HONTIVEROS, J., dissenting:

According to the opinion of the majority, it is proper to follow the rule that a notorious criminal "must
be taken by storm without regard to his life which he has, by his conduct, already forfeited,"
whenever said criminal offers resistance or does something which places his captors in danger of
imminent attack. Precisely, the situation which confronted the accused-appellants Antonio Z. Oanis
and Alberto Galanta in the afternoon of December 24, 1938, was very similar to this. It must be
remembered that both officers received instructions to get Balagtas "dead or alive" and according to
the attitude of not only the said appellants but also of Capt. Monsod, constabulary provincial
inspector of Nueva Ecija, it may be assumed that said instructions gave more emphasis to the first
part; namely, to take him dead. It appears in the record that after the shooting, and having been
informed of the case, Capt. Monsod stated that Oanis and Galanta might be decorated for what they
had done. That was when all parties concerned honestly believed that the dead person was
Balagtas himself, a dangerous criminal who had escaped from his guards and was supposedly
armed with a .45 caliber pistol Brigida Mallari, the person whom the appellants met upon arriving at
the house of Irene Requinea, supposed mistress of Balagtas, informed them that said Balagtas was
upstairs. Appellants found there asleep a man closely resembling the wanted criminal. Oanis said: If
you are Balagtas stand up," But the supposed criminal showed his intention to attack the appellants,
a conduct easily explained by the fact that he should have felt offended by the intrusion of persons in
the room where he was peacefully lying down with his mistress. In such predicament, it was nothing
but human on the part of the appellants to employ force and to make use of their weapons in order
to repel the imminent attack by a person who, according to their belief, was Balagtas It was
unfortunate, however that an innocent man was actually killed. But taking into consideration the facts
of the case, it is, according to my humble opinion, proper to apply herein the doctrine laid down in
the case of U.S. vs. Ah Chong (15 Phil., 488). In the instant case we have, as in the case supra, an
innocent mistake of fact committed without any fault or carelessness on the part of the accused, who
having no time to make a further inquiry, had no alternative but to take the facts as they appeared to
them and act immediately.
The decision of the majority, in recognition of the special circumstances of this case which favored
the accused-appellants, arrives at the conclusion that an incomplete justifying circumstance may be
invoked, and therefore, according to Article 69 of the Revised Penal Code, the imposable penalty
should be one which is lower by one or two degrees than that prescribed by law. This incomplete
justifying circumstance is that defined in Article 11, No. 5 of the Revised Penal Code, in favor of "a
person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office." I believe that
the application of this circumstance is not proper. Article 69 of the Revised Penal Code provides as
follows:

Art. 69. Penalty to be imposed when the crime committed is not wholly excusable. A
penalty lower by one or two degrees than that prescribed by law shall be imposed if the deed
is not wholly excusable by reason of the lack of some of the conditions required to justify the
same or to exempt from criminal liability in the several cases mentioned in articles 11 and 12,
provided that the majority of such conditions be present. The courts shall impose the penalty
in the period which may be deemed proper, in view of the number and nature of the
conditions of exemption present or lacking.

This provision has been copied almost verbatim from Article 84 of the old Penal Code of the
Philippines, and which was also taken from Article 87 of the Spanish Penal Code of 1870.

Judge Guillermo Guevara, one of the members of the Committee created by Administrative Order
No. 94 of the Department of Justice for the drafting of the Revised Penal Code, in commenting on
Article 69, said that the justifying circumstances and circumstances exempting from liability which
are the subject matter of this article are the following: self-defense, defense of relatives, defense of
strangers, state of necessity and injury caused by mere accident. Accordingly, justifying
circumstance No. 5 of Article 11 dealing with the fulfillment of a duty or the lawful exercise of a right,
calling or office, cannot be placed within its scope.

The eminent treatiser of criminal law Mr. Groizard, in his commentary of Article 87 of the Spanish
Penal Code of 1870 which is the source of Article 69 of our Code says:

Ni tratandose de la imbecilidad, ni de la locura, ni de la menor edad, ni del que obra


violentado por una fuerza inrresistible o impulsado por miedo insuperable de un mal igual o
mayor, o en cumplimiento de un deber, o en el ejercito legitimo de un derecho, oficio o
cargo, o en virtud de obediencia debida, ni del que incurre en alguna omision hallandose
impedido por causa legitima o insuperable, puede tener aplicacion al articulo que
comentamos. Y la razon es obvia. En ninguna de estas execiones hay pluralidad de
requisitos. La irrespondabilidad depende de una sola condicion. Hay o no perturbacion de la
razon; el autor del hecho es o no menor de nueve aos; existe o no violencia material o
moral irresistible, etc., etc.; tal es lo que respectivamente hay que examinar y resolver para
declarar la culpabilidad o inculpabilidad. Es, por lo tanto, imposible que acontezca lo que el
texto que va al frente de estas lineas rquiere, para que se imponga al autor del hecho la
penalidad excepcional que establece; esto es, que falten algunos requisitos de los que la ley
exige para eximir de responsabilidad, y que concurran el mayor numero de ellos, toda vez
que, en los casos referidos, la ley no exige multiples condiciones.

It must be taken into account the fact according to Article 69 a penalty lower by one or two degrees
than that prescribed by law shall be imposed if the deed is not wholly excusable by reason of the
lack of some of the conditions required by the law to justify the same or exempt from criminal liability.
The word "conditions" should not be confused with the word "requisites". In dealing with justifying
circumstance No. 5 Judge Guevara states: "There are two requisites in order that this circumstance
may be taken into account: (a) That the offender acted in the performance of his duty or in the lawful
exercise of a right; and (b) That the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of
the performance of a duty or the lawful exercise of a right or office." It is evident that these two
requisites concur in the present case if we consider the intimate connection between the order given
to the appellant by Capt. Monsod, the showing to them of the telegram from Manila to get Balagtas
who was with a bailarina named Irene, the conduct of said appellants in questioning Brigida Mallari
and giving a warning to the supposed criminal when both found him with Irene, and the statement
made by Capt. Monsod after the shooting.

If appellant Oanis is entitled to a reversal of the decision of the court below, there are more reasons
in favor of the acquittal of appellant Galanta. According to the evidence no bullet from the gun fired
by this accused ever hit Serapio Tecson. Galanta was armed in the afternoon of December 24,
1938, with a .45 caliber revolver (Exhibit L). He so testified and was corroborated by the
unchallenged testimony of his superior officer Sgt. Valeriano Serafica. According to this witness,
since Galanta was made a corporal of the Constabulary he was given, as part of his equipment,
revolver Exhibit L with a serial No. 37121. This gun had been constantly used by Galanta, and,
according to Sgt. Pedro Marasigan, who accompanied said accused when he took it from his trunk in
the barracks on the night of December 24, 1938, upon order of Captain Monsod, it was the same
revolver which was given to the witness with five .45 caliber bullets and one empty shell. Fourteen
unused bullets were also taken from Galanta by Sergeant Serafica, thus completing his regular
equipment of twenty bullets which he had on the morning of December 24, 1938, when Sergeant
Serafica made the usual inspection of the firearms in the possession of the non-commissioned
officers and privates of the constabulary post at Cabanatuan. Galanta stated that he had fired only
one shot and missed. This testimony is corroborated by that of a ballistic expert who testified that
bullets exhibits F and O, the first being extracted from the head of the deceased, causing wound
No. 3 of autopsy report Exhibit C and the second found at the place of the shooting, had not been
fired from revolver Exhibit L nor from any other revolver of the constabulary station in Cabanatuan. It
was impossible for the accused Galanta to have substituted his revolver because when Exhibit L
was taken from him nobody in the barracks doubted that the deceased was none other than
Balagtas. Moreover, Exhibit L was not out of order and therefore there was no reason why Galanta
should carry along another gun, according to the natural course of things. On the other hand, aside
from wound No. 3 as above stated, no other wound may be said to have been caused by a .45
caliber revolver bullet. Doctor Castro's record gives the conclusion that wound No. 2 must have been
caused by a .45 caliber revolver bullet. Doctor Castro's record gives the conclusion that wound No. 2
must have been caused by a .45 caliber bullet, but inasmuch as the diameter of the wound's
entrance was only 8 mm., the caliber should be .32 and not .45, because according to the medico-
legal expert who testified in this case, a bullet of a .45 caliber will produce a wound entrance with
either 11 mm. or 12 mm. diameter. All other wounds found by the surgeon who performed the
autopsy appeared to have been caused by bullets of a lesser caliber. In consequence, it can be
stated that no bullet fired by Galanta did ever hit or kill Serapio Tecson and therefore there is no
reason why he should be declared criminally responsible for said death.

Xx

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-42288 February 16, 1935


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
CORNELIO BAYONA, defendant-appellant.

Gervasio Diaz for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellee.

VICKERS, J.:

This is an appeal from a decision of Judge Braulio Bejasa in the Court of First Instance of Capiz,
finding the defendant guilty of a violation of section 416 of the Election Law and sentencing him to
suffer imprisonment for thirty days and to pay a fine of P50, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency, and to pay the costs.

The facts as found by the trial judge are as follows:

A eso de las once de la maana del dia 5 de junio de 1934, mientras se celebrahan las
elecciones generales en el precinto electoral numero 4, situado en el Barrio de Aranguel del
Municipio de Pilar, Provincia de Capiz, el aqui acusado fue sorprendido por Jose E.
Desiderio, que era entonces el representante del Departamento del Interior para inspecionar
las elecciones generales en la Provincia de Capiz, y por el comandante de la Constabularia
F.B. Agdamag que iba en aquella ocasion con el citado Jose E. Desiderio, portando en su
cinto el revolver Colt de calibre 32, No. 195382, Exhibit A, dentro del cerco que rodeaba el
edificio destinado para el citado colegio electoral numero 4 y a una distancia de 22 metros
del referido colegio electoral. Inmediatament Jose E. Desiderio se incauto del revolver en
cuestion.

La defensa, por medio del testimonio de Jose D. Benliro y de Dioscoro Buenvenida, trato de
establecer que el aqui acusado paro en la calle que daba frente al colegio electoral numero
4 a invitacion de dicho Jose D. Benliro y con el objeto de suplicarle al mencionado acusado
para llevar a su casa a los electores del citado Jose D. Benliro que ya habian terminado de
votar, y que cuando llegaron Jose E. Desidierio y el comadante F.B. Agdamag, el aqui
acusado estaba en la calle. Desde el colegio electoral hasta el sitio en que, segun dichos
testigos, estaba el acusado cuando se le quito el revolver Exhibit a, hay una distancia de 27
metros.

Appellant's attorney makes the following assignments of error:

1. El Juzgado a quo erro al declarar que el apelante fue sorprendido con su revolver dentro
del cerco de la casa escuela del Barrio de Aranguel, Municipio de Pilar, que fue habilitado
como colegio electoral.

2. El Juzgado a quo erro al declarar al apelante culpable de la infraccion de la Ley Electoral


querrellada y, por consiguiente, al condenarle a prision y multa.

As to the question of fact raised by the first assignment of error, it is sufficient to say that the record
shows that both Jose E. Desiderio, a representative of the Department of the Interior, and Major
Agdamag of the Philippine Constabulary, who had been designated to supervise the elections in the
Province of Capiz, testified positively that the defendant was within the fence surrounding the polling
place when Desiderio took possession of the revolver the defendant was carrying. This also
disposes of that part of the argument under the second assignment of error based on the theory that
the defendant was in a public road, where he had a right to be, when he was arrested. The latter part
of the argument under the second assignment of error is that if it be conceded that the defendant
went inside of the fence, he is nevertheless not guilty of a violation of the Election Law, because he
was called by a friend and merely approached him to find out what he wanted and had no interest in
the election; that there were many people in the public road in front of the polling place, and the
defendant could not leave his revolver in his automobile, which he himself was driving, without
running the risk of losing it and thereby incurring in a violation of the law.

As to the contention that the defendant could not leave his revolver in his automobile without the risk
of losing it because he was alone, it is sufficient to say that under the circumstances it was not
necessary for the defendant to leave his automobile merely because somebody standing near the
polling place had called him, nor does the record show that it was necessary for the defendant to
carry arms on that occasion.

The Solicitor-General argues that since the Government does not especially construct buildings for
electoral precincts but merely utilizes whatever building there may be available, and all election
precincts are within fifty meters from some road, a literal application of the law would be absurd,
because members of the police force or Constabulary in pursuit of a criminal would be included in
that prohibition and could not use the road in question if they were carrying firearms; that people
living in the vicinity of electoral precincts would be prohibited from cleaning or handling their firearms
within their own residences on registration and election days;

That the object of the Legislature was merely to prohibit the display of firearms with intention to
influence in any way the free and voluntary exercise of suffrage;

That if the real object of the Legislature was to insure the free exercise of suffrage, the prohibition in
question should only be applied when the facts reveal that the carrying of the firearms was intended
for the purpose of using them directly or indirectly to influence the free choice of the electors (citing
the decision of this court in the case of People vs. Urdeleon [G.R. No. 31536, promulgated
November 20, 1929, not reported], where a policeman, who had been sent to a polling place to
preserve order on the request of the chairman of the board of election inspectors, was acquitted);
that in the case at bar there is no evidence that the defendant went to the election precinct either to
vote or to work for the candidacy of anyone, but on the other hand the evidence shows that the
defendant had no intention to go to the electoral precinct; that he was merely passing along the road
in front of the building where the election was being held when a friend of his called him; that while in
the strict, narrow interpretation of the law the defendant is guilty, it would be inhuman and
unreasonable to convict him.

We cannot accept the reasons advanced by the Solicitor-General for the acquittal of the defendant.
The law which the defendant violated is a statutory provision, and the intent with which he violated it
is immaterial. It may be conceded that the defendant did not intend to intimidate any elector or to
violate the law in any other way, but when he got out of his automobile and carried his revolver
inside of the fence surrounding the polling place, he committed the act complained of, and he
committed it willfully. The act prohibited by the Election Law was complete. The intention to
intimidate the voters or to interfere otherwise with the election is not made an essential element of
the offense. Unless such an offender actually makes use of his revolver, it would be extremely
difficult, if not impossible, to prove that he intended to intimidate the voters.

The rule is that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal intent, but in those mala prohibita it is
sufficient if the prohibited act was intentionally done. "Care must be exercised in distinguishing the
difference between the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate the act. ..." (U.S. vs.
Go Chico, 14 Phil., 128.)
While it is true that, as a rule and on principles of abstract justice, men are not and should
not be held criminally responsible for acts committed by them without guilty knowledge and
criminal or at least evil intent (Bishop's New Crim. Law, vol. I, sec. 286), the courts have
always recognized the power of the legislature, on grounds of public policy and compelled by
necessity, "the great master of things", to forbid in a limited class of cases the doing of
certain acts, and to make their commission criminal without regard to the intent of the doer.
(U.S. vs. Go Chico, 14 Phil., 128; U.S. vs. Ah Chong, 15 Phil., 488.) In such cases no judicial
authority has the power to require, in the enforcement of the law, such knowledge or motive
to be shown. (U.S. vs. Siy Cong Bieng and Co Kong, 30 Phil., 577.)

The cases suggested by the Solicitor-General do not seem to us to present any difficulty in the
enforcement of the law. If a man with a revolver merely passes along a public road on election day,
within fifty meters of a polling place, he does not violate the provision of law in question, because he
had no intent to perpetrate the act prohibited, and the same thing would be true of a peace officer in
pursuing a criminal; nor would the prohibition extend to persons living within fifty meters of a polling
place, who merely clean or handle their firearms within their own residences on election day, as they
would not be carrying firearms within the contemplation of the law; and as to the decision in the case
of People vs. Urdeleon, supra, we have recently held in the case of People vs. Ayre, and
Degracia (p. 169, ante), that a policeman who goes to a polling place on the request of the board of
election inspectors for the purpose of maintaining order is authorized by law to carry his arms.

If we were to adopt the specious reasoning that the appellant should be acquitted because it was not
proved that he tried to influence or intended to influence the mind of any voter, anybody could sell
intoxicating liquor or hold a cockfight or a horse race on election day with impunity.

As to the severity of the minimum penalty provided by law for a violation of the provision in question,
that is a matter for the Chief Executive or the Legislature.

For the foregoing reasons, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with the costs against the
appellant.

Avancea, C.J., Street, Abad Santos, and Hull, JJ., concur.

Xx

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 4963 September 15, 1909

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
GO CHICO, defendant-appellant.

Gibbs and Gale for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey for appellee.

MORELAND, J.:
The defendant is charged with the violation of section 1 of Act No. 1696 of the Philippine
Commission, which reads as follows:

Any person who shall expose, or cause or permit to be exposed, to public view on his own
premises, or who shall expose, or cause to be exposed, to public view, either on his own
premises or elsewhere, any flag, banner, emblem, or device used during the late insurrection
in the Philippine Islands to designate or identify those in armed rebellion against the United
States, or any flag, banner, emblem, or device used or adopted at any time by the public
enemies of the United States in the Philippine Island for the purpose of public disorder or of
rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States in the Philippine Islands, or
any flag, banner, emblem, or device of the Katipunan Society, or which is commonly known
as such, shall be punished by a fine of not less that five hundred pesos for more than five
thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than five years,
or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

The defendant was tried in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila on the 8th day of
September, 1908. After hearing the evidence adduced the court adjudged the defendant guilty of the
crime charged and sentenced him under that judgment to pay a fine of P500, Philippine currency,
and to pay the costs of the action, and to suffer subsidiary imprisonment during the time and in the
form and in the place prescribed by law until said fine should be paid. From that judgment and
sentence the defendant appealed to this court.

A careful examination of the record brought to this court discloses the following facts:

That on or about the 4th day of August, 1908, in the city of Manila, the appellant Go Chico displayed
in one of the windows and one of the show cases of his store, No. 89 Calle Rosario, a number of
medallions, in the form of a small button, upon the faces of which were imprinted in miniature the
picture of Emilio Aguinaldo, and the flag or banner or device used during the late insurrection in the
Philippine Islands to designate and identify those in armed insurrection against the United States.
On the day previous to the one above set forth the appellant had purchased the stock of goods in
said store, of which the medallions formed a part, at a public sale made under authority of the sheriff
of the city of Manila. On the day in question, the 4th of August aforesaid, the appellant was arranging
his stock of goods for the purpose of displaying them to the public and in so doing placed in his
showcase and in one of the windows of his store the medallions described. The appellant was
ignorant of the existence of a law against the display of the medallions in question and had
consequently no corrupt intention. The facts above stated are admitted.

The appellant rests his right to acquittal upon two propositions:

First. That before a conviction under the law cited can be had, a criminal intent upon the part of the
accused must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Second. That the prohibition of the law is directed against the use of the identical banners, devices,
or emblems actually used during the Philippine insurrection by those in armed rebellion against the
United States.

In the opinion of this court it is not necessary that the appellant should have acted with the criminal
intent. In many crimes, made such by statutory enactment, the intention of the person who commits
the crime is entirely immaterial. This is necessarily so. If it were not, the statute as a deterrent
influence would be substantially worthless. It would be impossible of execution. In many cases the
act complained of is itself that which produces the pernicious effect which the statute seeks to avoid.
In those cases the pernicious effect is produced with precisely the same force and result whether the
intention of the person performing the act is good or bad. The case at bar is a perfect illustration of
this. The display of a flag or emblem used particularly within a recent period, by the enemies of the
Government tends to incite resistance to governmental functions and insurrection against
governmental authority just as effectively if made in the best of good faith as if made with the most
corrupt intent. The display itself, without the intervention of any other factor, is the evil. It is quite
different from that large class of crimes, made such by the common law or by statute, in which the
injurious effect upon the public depends upon the corrupt intention of the person perpetrating the act.
If A discharges a loaded gun and kills B, the interest which society has in the act depends, not upon
B's death, upon the intention with which A consummated the act. If the gun were discharged
intentionally, with the purpose of accomplishing the death of B, then society has been injured and its
security violated; but if the gun was discharged accidentally on the part of A, then society, strictly
speaking, has no concern in the matter, even though the death of B results. The reason for this is
that A does not become a danger to society and institutions until he becomes a person with a corrupt
mind. The mere discharge of the gun and the death of B do not of themselves make him so. With
those two facts must go the corrupt intent to kill. In the case at bar, however, the evil to society and
the Governmental does not depend upon the state of mind of the one who displays the banner, but
upon the effect which that display has upon the public mind. In the one case the public is affected by
the intention of the actor; in the other by the act itself.

It is stated in volume 12 of Cyc., page 148, that

The legislature, however, may forbid the doing of an act and make its commission a crime
without regard to the intent of the doer, and if such an intention appears the courts must give
it effect although the intention may have been innocent. Whether or not in a given case the
statute is to be so construed is to be determined by the court by considering the subject-
matter of the prohibition as well as the language of the statute, and thus ascertaining the
intention of the legislature.

In the case of The People vs. Kibler (106 N. Y., 321) the defendant was charged with the sale of
adulterated milk under a statute reading as follows:

No person or persons shall sell or exchange or expose for sale or exchange any impure,
unhealthy, adulterated, of unwholesome milk.

It was proved in that case that one Vandeburg purchased at the defendant's store 1 pint of milk
which was shown to contain a very small percentage of water more than that permitted by the
statute. There was no dispute about the facts, but the objection made by the defendant was that he
was not allowed, upon the trial, to show an absence of criminal intent, or to go the jury upon the
question whether it existed, but was condemned under a charge from the court which made his
intent totally immaterial and his guilt consist in having sold the adulterated article whether he knew it
or not and however carefully he may have sought to keep on hand and sell the genuine article.

The opinion of the court in that case says:

As the law stands, knowledge or intention forms no elements of the offense. The act alone,
irrespective of its motive, constitutes the crime.

xxx xxx xxx

It is notorious that the adulteration of food products has grown to proportions so enormous
as to menace the health and safety of the people. Ingenuity keeps pace with greed, and the
careless and heedless consumers are exposed to increasing perils. To redress such evils is
a plain duty but a difficult task. Experience has taught the lesson that repressive measures
which depend for their efficiency upon proof of the dealer's knowledge or of his intent to
deceive and defraud are of title use and rarely accomplish their purpose. Such an
emergency may justify legislation which throws upon the seller the entire responsibility of the
purity and soundness of what he sells and compels him to know and certain.

In the case of Gardner vs. The People (62 N. Y., 299) the question arose under a statute which
provided that an inspector of elections of the city of New York should not be removed from office
except "after notice in writing to the officer sought to be removed, which notice shall set forth clearly
and distinctly the reasons for his removal," and further provided that any person who removed such
an officer without such notice should be guilty of a misdemeanor. An officer named Sheridan was
removed by Gardener, the defendant, without notice. Gardener was arrested and convicted of a
misdemeanor under the statute. He appealed from the judgment of conviction and the opinion from
which the following quotation is made was written upon the decision of that appeal. Chief Justice
Church, writing the opinion of the court, says in relation to criminal intent:

In short, the defense was an honest misconstruction of the law under legal device. The court
ruled out the evidence offered, and held that intentionally doing the act prohibited constituted
the offense. It is quite clear that the facts offered to be shown, if true, would relieve the
defendant from the imputation of a corrupt intent, and, indeed, from any intent to violate the
statute. The defendants made a mistake of law. Such mistakes do not excuse the
commission of prohibited acts. "The rule on the subject appears to be, that in acts mala in
se, intent governs but in those mala prohibit a, the only inquiry is, has the law been violated?

xxx xxx xxx

The authorities seem to establish that sustain and indictment for doing a prohibited act, it is
sufficient to prove that the act was knowingly and intentionally done.

xxx xxx xxx

In this case, if the defendants could have shown that they believed that in fact notice had
been given to the inspector, although it had not, they would not have been guilty of the
offense, because the intention to do the act would have been wanting. Their plea is: True, we
intended to remove the inspector without notice, but we thought the law permitted it. This
was a mistake of law, and is not strictly a defense.

xxx xxx xxx

If the offense is merely technical, the punishment can be made correspondingly nominal;
while a rule requiring proof of a criminal intent to violate the statute, independent of an intent
to do the act which the statute declares shall constitute the offense, would, in many cases,
prevent the restraining influence which the statute was designed to secure.

In the case of Fiedler vs. Darrin (50 N.Y., 437) the court says:

But when an act is illegal, the intent of the offender is immaterial.

In the case of The Commonwealth vs. Murphy (165 Mass., 66) the court says:
In general, it may be said that there must be malus animus, or a criminal intent. But there is a
large class of cases in which, on grounds of public policy, certain acts are made punishable
without proof that the defendant understands the facts that give character to his act.

In such cases it is deemed best to require everybody at his peril to ascertain whether his act
comes within the legislative prohibition.

xxx xxx xxx

Considering the nature of the offense, the purpose to be accomplished, the practical
methods available for the enforcement of the law, and such other matters as throw light upon
the meaning of the language, the question in interpreting a criminal statute is whether the
intention of the legislature was to make knowledge of the facts an essential element of the
offense, or to put upon everyone the burden of finding out whether his contemplated act is
prohibited, and of refraining from it if it is.

In the case of Halsted vs. The State (41 N. J. L., 552; 32 Am. Rep., 247), the question of a criminal
intent arose under a statute, under which the defendant was convicted of a crime, providing that if
any township committee or other body shall disburse or vote for the disbursement of public moneys
in excess of appropriations made for the purpose, the persons constituting such board shall be guilty
of a crime. The defendant was one who violated this law by voting to incur obligations in excess of
the appropriation. He was convicted and appealed and the opinion from which the quotation is taken
was written upon a decision of that appeal. That court says:

When the State had closed, the defense offered to show that the defendant, in aiding in the
passage and effectuation of the resolution which I have pronounced to be illegal, did so
under the advice of counsel and in good faith, and from pure and honest motives, and that
he therein exercise due care and caution.

xxx xxx xxx

As there is an undoubted competency in the lawmaker to declare an act criminal, irrespective


of the knowledge or motive of the doer of such act, there can be of necessity, no judicial
authority having the power to require, in the enforcement of the law, such knowledge or
motive to be shown. In such instances the entire function of the court is to find out the
intention of the legislature, and to enforce the law in absolute conformity to such intention.
And in looking over the decided cases on the subject it will be found that in the considered
adjudications this inquiry has been the judicial guide.

In the case of Rex vs. Ogden (6 C. & P., 631; 25 E. C. L., 611), the prisoner was indicted for
unlawfully transposing from one piece of wrought plate to another the lion-poisson contrary to the
statutes. It was conceded that the act was done without any fraudulent intention. The court said:

There are no words in the act of Parliament referring to any fraudulent intention. The words
of it are, 'Shall transpose or remove, or cause of procure to be transposed or removed, from
one piece of wrought plate to another.

In the case of The State vs. McBrayer (98 N. C., 623) the court stated:

It is a mistaken notion that positive, willful intent to violate the criminal law is an essential
ingredient in every criminal offense, and that where is an absence of such intent there is no
offense; this is especially true as to statutory offenses. When the statute plainly forbids an
act to be done, and it is done by some person, the law implies conclusively the guilty intent,
although the offender was honestly mistaken as to the meaning of the law he violates. When
the language is plain and positive, and the offense is not made to depend upon the positive,
willful intent and purpose, nothing is left to interpretation.

In the case of the Commonwealth vs. Weiss (139 Pa. St., 247), the question arose on an appeal by
the defendant from a judgment requiring him to pay a penalty for a violation of the statute of the
State which provided that any person would be liable to pay a penalty "who shall manufacture, sell,
or offer or expose for sale, or have in his possession with intent to sell," oleomargarine, etc. At the
trial the defendant requested the court to instruct the injury that if they believed, from the evidence,
that the defendant did not knowingly furnish or authorize to be furnished, or knew of there furnished,
to any of his customers any oleomargarine, but, as far as he knew, furnished genuine butter, then
the verdict must be for the defendant. The court refused to make the charge as requested and that is
the only point upon which the defendant appealed.

The court says:

The prohibition is absolute and general; it could not be expressed in terms more explicit and
comprehensive. The statutory definition of the offense embraces no word implying that the
forbidden act shall be done knowingly or willfully, and if it did, the designed purpose of the
act would be practically defeated. The intention of the legislature is plain, that persons
engaged in the traffic so engage in it at their peril and that they can not set up their ignorance
of the nature and qualities of the commodities they sell, as a defense.

The following authorities are to the same effect: State vs. Gould (40 Ia., 374);
Commonwealth vs. Farren (9 Allen, 489); Commonwealth vs. Nichols (10 Allen, 199);
Commonwealth vs. Boyton (2 Allen, 160); Wharton's Criminal Law, section 2442;
Commonwealth vs. Sellers (130 Pa., 32); 3 Greenleaf on Evidence, section 21; Farrell vs. The State
(32 Ohio State, 456); Beekman vs. Anthony (56 Miss., 446); The People vs. Roby (52 Mich., 577).

It is clear from the authorities cited that in the act under consideration the legislature did not intend
that a criminal intent should be a necessary element of the crime. The statutory definition of the
offense embraces no word implying that the prohibited act shall be done knowingly or willfully. The
wording is plain. The Act means what it says. Nothing is left to the interpretation.

Care must be exercised in distiguishing the differences between the intent to commit the crime and
the intent to perpetrate the act. The accused did not consciously intend to commit a crime; but he did
intend to commit an act, and the act is, by the very nature of things, the crime itself intent and all.
The wording of the law is such that the intent and the act are inseparable. The act is the crime. The
accused intended to put the device in his window. Nothing more is required to commit the crime.

We do not believe that the second proposition of the accused, namely, that the law is applicable only
to the identical banners, etc., actually used in the late insurrection, and not to duplicates of those
banners, can be sustained.

It is impossible that the Commission should have intended to prohibit the display of the flag or flags
actually used in the insurrection, and, at the same time, permit exact duplicates thereof (saving,
perhaps, size) to be displayed without hindrance. In the case before us, to say that the display of a
certain banner is a crime and that the display of its exact duplicate is not is to say nonsense. The
rules governing the interpretation of statutes are rules of construction not destruction. To give the
interpretation contended for by the appellant would, as to this particular provision, nullify the statute
altogether.

The words "used during the late insurrection in the Philippine Islands to designate or identity those in
armed rebellion against the United States" mean not only the identical flags actually used in the
insurrection, but any flag which is of that type. This description refers not to a particular flag, but to a
type of flag. That phrase was used because there was and is no other way of describing that type of
flag. While different words might be employed, according to the taste of the draftsman, the method of
description would have to be the same. There is no concrete word known by which that flag could be
aptly or properly described. There was no opportunity, within the scope of a legislative enactment, to
describe the physical details. It had no characteristics whatever, apart from its use in the
insurrection, by which it could, in such enactment, be identified. The great and the only characteristic
which it had upon the which the Commission could seize as a means of description and identification
was the fact that it was used in the insurrection. There was, therefore, absolutely no way in which
the Commission could, in the Act, describe the flag except by reciting where and how it was used. It
must not be forgotten that the Commission, by the words and phrases used, was not attempting to
describe a particular flag, but a type of flag. They were not describing a flag used upon a particular
field or in a certain battle, but a type of flag used by an army a flag under which many persons
rallied and which stirred their sentiments and feelings wherever seen or in whatever form it
appeared. It is a mere incident of description that the flag was used upon a particular field or in a
particular battle. They were describing the flag not a flag. It has a quality and significance and an
entity apart from any place where or form in which it was used.

Language is rarely so free from ambiguity as to be incapable of being used in more than one
sense, and the literal interpretation of a statute may lead to an absurdity or evidently fail to
give the real intent of the legislature. When this is the case, resort is had to the principle that
the spirit of a law controls the letter, so that a thing which is within the intention of a statute is
as much within the statute as if it were within the letter, and a thing which is within the letter
of the statute is not within the statute unless it be within the intention of the makers, and the
statute should be construed as to advance the remedy and suppress the mischief
contemplated by the framers. (U. S. vs. Kirby, 7 Wall., 487; State Bolden, 107 La., 116, 118;
U.S.vs. Buchanan, 9 Fed. Rep., 689; Green vs. Kemp, 13 Mass., 515; Lake Shore R. R.
Co. vs. Roach, 80 N. Y., 339; Delafield vs. Brady, 108 N. Y., 524 Doyle vs. Doyle, 50 Ohio
State, 330.)

The intention of the legislature and the object aimed at, being the fundamental inquiry in
judicial construction, are to control the literal interpretation of particular language in a statute,
and language capable of more than one meaning is to be taken in that sense which will
harmonize with such intention and object, and effect the purpose of the enactment. (26 Am.
& Eng. Ency. of Law., 602.)

Literally hundreds of cases might be cited to sustain this proposition.

The preamble is no part of the statute, but as setting out the object and intention of the
legislature, it is considered in the construction of an act. Therefore, whenever there is
ambiguity, or wherever the words of the act have more than one meaning, and there is no
doubt as to the subject-matter to which they are to be applied, the preamble may be used."
(U. S. vs. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 91 U. S., 72; Platt vs. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 99 U. S.,
48; Myer vs. Western Car Co., 102 U. S., 1; Holy Trinity Church vs. U. S., 143 U. S., 457;
Coosaw Mining Co. vs. South Carolina, 144 U. S., 550; Cohn vs. Barrett, 5 Cal., 195;
Barnes vs.Jones, 51 Cal., 303; Field vs. Gooding, 106 Mass., 310; People vs. Molineaux, 40
N. Y., 113; Smith vs. The People, 47 N. Y., 330; The People vs. Davenport, 91 N.Y., 547;
The People vs. O'Brien, 111 N.Y., 1)

The statute, then, being penal, must be construed with such strictness as to carefully
safeguard the rights of the defendant and at the same time preserve the obvious intention of
the legislature. If the language be plain, it will be construed as it reads, and the words of the
statute given their full meaning; if ambiguous, the court will lean more strongly in favor of the
defendant than it would if the statute were remedial. In both cases it will endeavor to effect
substantial justice." (Bolles vs. Outing Co., 175 U. S., 262, 265; U. S. vs.Wiltberger, 5
Wheat., 76, 95; U. S. vs. Reese, 92 U. S., 214)

It is said that notwithstanding this rule (the penal statutes must be construde strictly) the
intention of the lawmakers must govern in the construction of penal as well as other statutes.
This is true, but this is not a new, independent rule which subverts the old. It is a modification
of the known maxim and amounts to this -- that though penal statutes are to be construed
strictly, they are not be construed so strictly as to defeat the obvious purpose of the
legislature. (U. S. vs. Wiltberger, 5 Wheat., 76; Taylor vs. Goodwin, L. R. 4, Q. B. Civ., 228.)

In the latter case it was held that under a statute which imposed a penalty for "furiously driving any
sort of carriage" a person could be convicted for immoderately driving a bicycle.

It is presumed that the legislature intends to impart to its enactments such a meaning as will
render then operative and effective, and to prevent persons from eluding or defeating them.
Accordingly, in case of any doubt or obscurity, the construction will be such as to carry out
these objects. (Black, Interpretation of Laws, p. 106.)

In The People vs. Supervisors (43 N. Y., 130) the court said:

The occasion of the enactment of a law always be referred to in interpreting and giving effect
to it. The court should place itself in the situation of the legislature and ascertain the
necessity and probable object of the statute, and then give such construction to the language
used as to carry the intention of the legislature into effect so far as it can be ascertained from
the terms of the statute itself. (U. S. vs. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 91 U. S., 72, 79.)

We do not believe that in construing the statute in question there is necessity requiring that clauses
should be taken from the position given them and placed in other portions of the statute in order to
give the whole Act a reasonable meaning. Leaving all of the clauses located as they now are in the
statute, a reasonable interpretation, based upon the plain and ordinary meaning of the words used,
requires that the Act should be held applicable to the case at bar.

The judgment of the court below and the sentence imposed thereunder are hereby affirmed. So
ordered.

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

Xx

Article 4
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 42607 September 28, 1935

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JUAN QUIANZON, defendant-appellant.

Pedro B. Pobre for appellant.


Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellee.

RECTO, J.:

Charged with and convicted of the crime of homicide in the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte,
and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from six years and one day of prision mayor, as
minimum to fourteen years, seven months and one day of reclusion temporal, as maximum, Juan
Quianzon appeal to this court for the review of the case.

On February 1, 1934, a novena for the suffrage of the soul of the deceased person was being held in
the house of Victoria Cacpal in a barrio, near the poblacion, of the municipality of Paoay, Ilocos
Norte, with the usual attendance of the relatives and friends. The incident that led to the filling of
these charges took place between 3 to 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Andres Aribuabo, one of the
persons present, went to ask for food of Juan Quianzon, then in the kitchen, who, to all
appearances, had the victuals in his care. It was the second or third time that Aribuabo approached
Quianzon with the same purpose whereupon the latter, greatly peeved, took hold of a firebrand and
applied ran to the place where the people were gathered exclaiming that he is wounded and was
dying. Raising his shirt, he showed to those present a wound in his abdomen below the navel.
Aribuabo died as a result of this wound on the tenth day after the incident.

There is no conflict between the prosecution and the defense as regards the foregoing facts. The
question to be determined is who wounded Aribuabo. The prosecution claims that it was Juan
Quianzon and, to prove it, called Simeon Cacpal, Roman Bagabay, Gregorio Dumlao and Julian
Llaguno to the witness stand.

The first witness, Simeon Cacpal, claims to have witnessed the wounding of Andres Aribuabo in the
abdomen by Juan Quianzon. However, we find the testimony of this witness so improbable,
incongruent and contradictory that we consider meritorious the claim of the defense that it was an
error of the lower court to have taken it into consideration in formulating the findings of its judgment.
Not so with respect to the testimony of the other witnesses. Roman Bagabay, one of the persons
present at said gathering, testified that he saw Juan Quianzon apply a firebrand to the neck of
Andres Aribuabo who shortly afterwards went toward the place where the witness and the other
guests were gathered, telling that he was wounded and was going to die and naming Juan Quianzon
as the person who wounded him. He also testified that Juan Quianzon, upon being asked
immediately by him about the incident, admitted to him attacked Aribuabo with a bamboo spit.
Gregorio Dumalao, a barrio lieutenant, who, upon being informed of the incident, forthwith conducted
an investigation, questioned Aribuabo and the latter told him that it was the accused who had
wounded him. He likewise questioned the accused and the latter, in turn, stated that he had
wounded the deceased with a bamboo spit. Upon being brought before Juan Llaguno, chief of police
of Paoay, for questioning, Quianzon confessed to Llaguno that he had applied a firebrand to
Aribuabo's neck and had later wounded him with a bamboo spit. Before the chief of police could put
this confession of Quianzon in writing, the later retracted, denying that he had wounded Aribuabo,
for which reason in the affidavit Exhibit B the fact of having applied a firebrand to Aribuabo's neck
appears admitted by Quianzon but not of having wounded the deceased with a bamboo spit.

The disinterestedness of these three witnesses for the prosecution, Bagabay, Dumalo and Llaguno,
is not questioned by the defense. Neither the accused, in his testimony, nor his counsel, in the brief
filed by him in this court, was able to assign any unlawful, corrupt or wicked motive that might have
actuated them to testify falsely in this case and knowingly bring about the imprisonment of an
innocent person. Bagabay is not even a relative of the deceased. Dumlao, the barrio lieutenant, is a
nephew of the accused. Llaguno, chief of police of Paoay, is an officer of the law whose intervention
of this case was purely in compliance with his official duties. All the appellant has been able to state
in his brief to question the credibility of these witnesses is that they were contradicted by Simeon
Cacpal, the other witness for the prosecution, who testified that he had not seen them speak neither
to Aribuabo nor to Quianzon in the afternoon of the crime. But the position of the defense in invoking
Simeon Cacpal's testimony for the purpose of discrediting the other witnesses for the prosecution is
untenable, after having vigorously impeached said testimony, branding it as improbable, incongruent
and contradictory. If Cacpal is a false witness and the court believes this claim of the defense as
true , none of his statements may be taken into account or should exert any influence in the
consideration of the other evidence in the case.

After discharging testimony of Simeon Cacpal, the evidence presented by the prosecution relative to
the appellant's criminal liability for the death of Andres Aribuabo, briefly consists, first, in the victim's
statement immediately after receiving the wound, naming the accused as the author of the
aggression, and the admission forthwith made by the accused that he had applied a firebrand to
Aribuabo's neck and had wounded him, besides, with a bamboo spit. Both statements are competent
evidence in the law, admissible as a part of the res gestae(section 279 and 298, No. 7, of the Code
of Civil Procedure; U.S. vs. Macuti, 26 Phil., 170; People vs. Portento and Portento, 48 Phil., 971).
Second, in the extrajudicial confession of the accused to the barrio lieutenant, Dumlao, and later to
the chief of police Llaguno, in the same afternoon of the crime, that he was the author of Aribuabo's
wound and that he had inflicted it by means of a bamboo spit. Inasmuch as this confession, although
extrajudicial, is strongly corroborated and appears to have been made by the accused freely and
voluntarily, it constitutes evidence against him relative to his liability as author of the crime charged
(U.S. vs. so Fo, 23 Phil., 379; People vs. Cabrera, 43 Phil., 64, 82; U.S. vs. Jamino, 3 P.R.A., 52;
Francisco's Quizzer on Evidence).

The defense of the accused consisted simply in denying that he had wounded the deceased and
that he had confessed his guilt to the witnesses Bagabay, Dumlao and Llaguno. But such denial
cannot prevail against the adverse testimony of these three veracious and disinterested witnesses,
all the more because neither the accused nor any other witness for the defense has stated or
insinuated that another person, not the accused, might be the author of the wound which resulted in
Aribuabo's death, and because it is admitted by the defense that it was the accused, whom Aribuabo
had been pestering with request for food, who attacked the latter, burning his neck with a firebrand,
afetr which Aribuaboappeared wounded in the abdomen, without the accused and the witnesses for
the defense explaining how and by whom the aggression had been made.

It is contended by the defense that even granting that it was the accused who inflicted the wound
which resulted in Aribuabo's death, he should not be convicted of homicide but only of serious
physical injuries because said wound was not necessarily fatal and the deceased would have
survived it had he not twice removed the drainage which Dr. Mendoza had placed to control or
isolate the infection. This contention is without merit. According to the physician who examined
whether he could survive or not." It was a wound in the abdomen which occasionally results in
traumatic peritonitis. The infection was cause by the fecal matter from the large intestine which has
been perforated. The possibility, admitted by said physician that the patient might have survived said
wound had he not removed the drainage, does not mean that the act of the patient was the real
cause of his death. Even without said act the fatal consequence could have followed, and the fact
that the patient had so acted in a paroxysm of pain does not alter the juridical consequences of the
punishable act of the accused.

One who inflicts an injury on another is deemed by the law to be guilty of homicide if the
injury contributes mediately or immediately to the death of such other. The fact that the other
causes contribute to the death does not relieve the actor of responsibility. . . . (13 R. C.L.,
748.)

Furthermore, it does not appear that the patient, in removing the drainage, had acted voluntarily and
with the knowledge that he was performing an act prejudicial to his health, inasmuch as self-
preservation is the strongest instinct in living beings. It much be assumed, therefore, that he
unconsciously did so due to his pathological condition and to his state of nervousness and
restlessness on account of the horrible physical pain caused by the wound, aggravated by the
contract of the drainage tube with the inflammed peritoneum. "When the peritonitis is due to
traumatism, or to a perforation of the stomach, intestine or gall-bladder, etc., it is indicated by violent
shivering and pain first localized at a point in the abdomen, extending later to the entire abdominal
wall; acute intolerable pain, which is aggravated by the slightest movement, becoming unbearable
upon contact with the hand, a rag, or the bedclothes. The pain is continuous but it gives frequent
paroxysms. The abdomen is swollen, tense. Vomittings of the greenish matter, which are very
annoying and terribly painful, take from the beginning and continue while the disease lasts." (XVI
Spanish-America Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 176; see also XXI Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911 ed.,
171.) If to this is added the fact that the victim in this case was mentally deranged, according to the
defense itself, it becomes more evident that the accused is wrong in imputing the natural
consequences of his criminal act to an act of his victim.

The question herein raised by the appellant has already been finally settled by jurisprudence. The
Supreme Court of Spain, in a decision of April 3, 1879, said in the case similar to the present, the
following: "Inasmuch as a man is responsible for the consequences of his act and in this case the
physical condition and temperament of the offended party nowise lessen the evil, the seriousness
whereof is to be judged, not by the violence of the means employed, but by the result actually
produced; and as the wound which the appellant inflicted upon the deceased was the cause which
determined his death, without his being able to counteract its effects, it is evident that the act in
question should be qualified as homicide, etc."

In the case of People vs. Almonte (56 Phil., 54), the abdominal wound was less serious than that
received by Aribuabo in this case, as it was not penetrating, merely involving the muscular tissue. In
said case the death of the victim was due to a secondary hemorrhage produced twenty-four hours
after the wound had been inflicted, because of the "bodily movements of the patient, who was in a
state of nervousness, sitting up in bed, getting up and pacing about the room, as as a consequence
of which he internal vessels, already congested because of the wound, bled, and the hemorrhage
thus produced caused his death." The court in deciding the question stated that "when a person dies
in consequence of an internal hemorrhage brought on by moving about against the doctor's orders,
not because of carelessness or a desire to increase the criminal liability of his assailant, but because
of his nervous condition due to the wound inflicted by said assailant, the crime is homicide and not
merely slight physical injuries, simply because the doctor was of the opinion that the wound might
have healed in seven days."

The grounds for this rule of jurisprudence are correctly set forth in 13 R.C.L., 751, as follows:
While the courts may have vacilated from time to time it may be taken to be settled rule of
the common law that on who inflicts an injury on another will be held responsible for his
death, although it may appear that the deceased might have recovered if he had taken
proper care of himself, or submitted to a surgical operation, or that unskilled or improper
treatment aggravated the wound and contributed to the death, or that death was immediately
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, and lies at the
foundation of the criminal jurisprudence. It is, that every person is to be held to contemplate
and to be responsible for the natural consequences of his own acts. If a person inflicts a
wound with a deadly weapon in such 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 co-operated in producing the fatal result. Indeed, it may
be said that neglect of the wound or its unskillful and improper treatment, which are of
themselves consequences of the criminal act, which might naturally follow in any case, must
in law be deemed to have been among those which were in contemplation of the guilty party,
and for which he is to be held responsible. But, however, this may be, the rule surely seems
to have its foundation in 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.
Amid the conflicting theories of the 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 to open a wide door by which
persons guilty of the highest crime might escape conviction and punishment.

Assuming that we should disregard Simeon Cacpal's testimony, there is no evidence of record that
the crime charged was committed by means of the knife, Exhibit A, and we only have the
extrajudicial admission of the accused that he had committed it by means of a bamboo spit with
which the wound of the deceased might have been caused because, according to the physician who
testified in this case, it was produced by a "sharp and penetrating" instrument.

Inasmuch as the mitigating circumstances of lack of instruction and of intention to commit so grave a
wrong as the committed should be taken into consideration in favor of the appellant, without any
aggravating circumstances adverse to him, we modify the appealed judgment by sentencing him to
an indeterminate penalty with a minimum of four years of prision correccional and a maximum of a
eight years of prision mayor, affirming it in all other respect, with cost to said appellant.

Avancea, C.J., Abad Santos, Hull, and Vickers, JJ., concur.