G.R. No. 1406. January 06, 1904

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3 Phil. 140

[ G.R. No. 1406. January 06, 1904 ]




On May 26, 1903, the provincial fiscal of Iloilo filed an
information in the Court of First Instance of that province charging
Roscoe C. Cox with the crime of assaulting an officer of the law. The
information alleged that at 9 o’clock on the night of Tuesday, the
10th of February last,while on duty in General Hughes Street in the
city of Iloilo, the policeman Damaso Gonzalez was approached by three
American soldiers. The accused, who was one of the trio, asked
Gonzalez if he wished to fight, and immediately after, without giving
the latter time to reply, seized him by the throat Having succeeded,
with the aid of the other two soldiers, in overcoming the policeman,
the accused possessed himself of the club which Gonzalez carried, and
with it struck the latter several blows, causing the wounds described
in the medical statement exhibited, Gonzalez thereupon shouted for
help. Two citizens ran to his aid, at sight of whom the accused and
his two companions took to flight.

The information having been admitted, the trial began George M.
Saul, E. J. Saul, the policeman Damaso Gonzalez, and the police
sergeant Pedro Carpio, witnesses for the prosecution, testified that
on the night and in the street referred to the policeman Gonzalez,
who was on patrol duty, encountered three American soldiers; that one
of these, the defendant herein, asked the officer if he wanted to
fight, to which the latter replied in the negative; that the
defendant repeated the question, and then, without waiting for a
reply, seized Gonzalez by the throat, threw him to the ground, and
struck him several blows with the club which he succeeded in
Arresting from the policeman;that the latter thereupon shouted for
help, and, having succeeded in regaining his feet, recovered the
possession of the club which his assailant had taken from him; that
at this point two native residents came to the aid of Gonzalez, who
ordered his assailant to stand where he was; that as the latter took
no notice of the command and began to run Gonzalez discharged his
revolver four times and started off in pursuit, followed by another
policeman patrolling Duran Street; that the soldier was here
overtaken, and, after a struggle between the two policemen and the
accused, the three fell to the ground, all more or less injured; that
at this moment Captain Ferry appeared on the scene. and that he, with
the help of several citizens, carried the wounded soldier to the
hospital, one of the policemen being borne by others to the house of
Mr. Saul.

It seems that the policeman who responded to the calls of Gonzalez
was the sergeant Pedro Carpio, and that he assisted Gonzalez in the
struggle resulting from the effort to arrest the defendant when he
attempted to escape. Captain Ferry and Sergeant Cerera apparently
arrived on the scene as the three men fell to the ground. The
witnesses who testified stated that they were able to identify the
defendant, Cox, as the man arrested on the night in question for the
reason that there was a full moon at the time and because they had
looked at him carefully. The first witness, George M. Saul, also
testified that he thought the defendant was drunk at the time, as he
staggered when he walked.

The accused pleaded not guilty, but presented no evidence on his
own behalf. The judge below, in view of the fact that the defendant’s
attorney admitted the identification of the accused by the witness C.
R. Maun, and the truth of the doctor’s statement that the contusions
sustained by Gonzalez were seven to ten days in healing, rendered
judgment on the 8th Of June declaring the defendant guilty of breach
of the peace and condemned him to the payment of a fine of 125
pesetas and costs. From this decision the prosecution appealed.

The facts set forth constitute the crime of assault on a police
officer, covered by articles 249 and 250 of the Penal Code. The
municipal policeman Damaso Gonzalez, while patrolling one of the
streets of the city of Iloilo in the performance of his duty, was
assaulted by the defendant and two others. It was not shown at the
trial that the policeman gave any cause for this aggression.

Among others, those are guilty of the crime of assault upon an
officer of the law who either actually attack such an officer, or who
employ force against him or threaten him with violence, or make other
equally serious resistance to him, while he is performing the duties
of his office or by reason thereof. (Art. 249 of the Code.)

Notwithstanding the defendant’s plea of not guilty it is
nevertheless indubitable that he was the author of the crime in
question. He was pursued by Gonzalez after the assault, was later
arrested by Gonzalez and the other policeman who came to the latter’s
aid, and has since been identified by the victim of the assault. It
can not be questioned that the defendant is the person who was taken
in charge by Captain Ferry, of the American Army, after the
occurrence. This took place in the presence of several
who, attracted by the cries of the injured policeman and by the
revolver shots following immediately after, had also run to his

It is, therefore, a fact fully proven by the evidence in the case
that the defendant, Roscoe C. Cox, without previous provocation or
other justifiable motive, assaulted the policeman Damaso Gonzalez,
who was at the time discharging his duties as such officer,
inflicting upon him injuries more or less serious. The defendant
should therefore be condemned, as author by direct participation of
the crime of assaulting a police officer, to the penalty of prision
in its minimum and medium grades, together with the
fine provided in the last paragraph of article 250 of the Penal Code,
there having been present in the commission of the crime none of the
four circumstances mentioned in article 250 above cited. Since the
accused was intoxicated at the time of the commission of the offense,
the sixth mitigating circumstance mentioned in article 9 of the Penal
Code should be considered present. There are no aggravating
circumstances to offset the effects of this mitigating circumstance,
and the penalty should accordingly be fixed in its minimum grade.

For the reasons above set forth we think the sentence appealed
should be reversed and the accused Roscoe C. Cox condemned to the
penalty of six months and one day of prision correctional
together with the accessories mentioned in article 61 of the Penal
Code, to the payment of a fine of 375 pesetas, or, in case of
insolvency, to suffer the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment at
the rate of one day for each 12 1/2 pesetas unpaid, and to the
payment of the costs.

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

Date created: January 07, 2019


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