G. R. No. No. 1345. December 29, 1903

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3 Phil. 110

[ G. R. No. No. 1345. December 29, 1903 ]




The defendant,  Jose Montafio, was  charged with being accessory to the crime of robbery in a gang, committed in the month of  January, 1902, in the barrio  of Napnapin, in the town of Tigbauan, by more than three armed  men, who, in the nighttime, with force and arms committed a robbery and carried  away  as the  proceeds thereof eight carabaos.

There is evidence in the case to show that soon after the robbery four of these carabaos were found in the possession of the defendant at Alimodian; that the defendant was informed  that these carabaos had  been stolen; and that the credentials of  Ownership were exhibited to him by the rightful owners; that the defendant stated that if  he had known that the carabaos had been stolen he would not have bought them, and that he  asked to  be paid one-half of the price of the carabaos as  a condition of delivering them to the owners.

The owners testified that they then stated to the defendant that they had  not the money with which to make this payment,  but that they would go to their homes and return with the money.  This they did the  next  day,  but then the defendant stated that he had returned the carabaos to the men from whom he had bought them; and so the owners were not able to recover possession  of their property by  reason  of  the disposal  of the  same by  the defendant  after he had been informed that  the carabaos had been taken from  the owners through robbery.

The defendant denied that he had had these carabaos in his possession; denied that he had promised to return them on payment of half  the price which he had paid for  the same, and  denied that he had had any conversation with the owners about the same.  He also produced witnesses whose testimony tended to prove an alibi,  but this branch of the proof was weak,  and the contradictory  statements of the defendant had the effect of weakening his testimony also.

The court below, evidently believing the evidence produced by the prosecution, found the defendant guilty and sentenced him  to serve a  term of four months  of arresto mayor, together with the  corresponding accessories and indemnification and to the payment of the costs.

In order to convict the defendant of the crime of being accessory to the crime of robbery committed as shown by the evidence in this case, it was not necessary to show that he had participated therein.  It  was sufficient to  show that he had knowledge of it, and the proof shows that lie acquired such knowledge when he was told by the owners that these carabaos had been taken away from the owners by robbery.  After having obtained  this knowledge  he disposed of the property  or concealed the same  so that the owners were deprived of their property the body and effects of the crime.  (See art. 15, Penal Code.)

We are  of opinion, however, that in sentencing the  defendant an error was committed by the court below.   As the punishment provided for the crime of robo en cuadrilla is that designated in No. 5 of article 503 of the Penal Code in its maximum grade,  the penalty corresponding to  an accessory after the fact is not  that of arresto  mayor in its maximum grade  the punishment fixed for an accomplice  but  a correctional fine.   (Arts. 26, 67,  and 68 of the Penal Code.)

The judgment below is therefore reversed and judgment ordered  as follows: That the said Jose”  Montano be sentenced to pay a fine of 2,500 pesetas, and, if he fail to pay said fine,  that he be  imprisoned  until the same shall be paid, but  such imprisonment not to exceed  one month. (Art. 92, Penal Code.)

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

Date created: April 16, 2014


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