G.R. No. 1245. March 21, 1904

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3 Phil. 437

[ G.R. No. 1245. March 21, 1904 ]




On November 17, 1902, the provincial fiscal filed an information in the Court
of First Instance of Misamis charging Casiano Saadlucap with the crime of
murder, in that the said Saadlucap in 1899, with evident premeditation, in
Julao-julao, of the capital of Misamis, with a cutting weapon, killed an old
woman named Ines Acosta, contrary to the statute in the case made and

The accused pleaded not guilty. From the testimony of Andres Baal and that of
an fidel Moro named Danga, given at the trial, it appears that one morning in
the year 1899 about 8 o’clock, the day and month not appearing, the witnesses,
who were going to assist the accused in gathering cocoanuts, found him with
blood stains upon his clothing, near the corpse of a woman lying face down ward
with spots of blood on the shoulder; that the accused told them that he had
killed the woman because she had told Fausto Sarenas that lie, the accused, had
stolen some bananas belonging to the said Sarenas; that he then asked the
witnesses to assist him in taking the corpse to the place where he proposed to
bury it; that they refused to do this and ran away; that impelled by curiosity
they concealed themselves behind some bushes and then saw him, aided by his
wife, Saturnina by name, bury the corpse near a clump of bamboo; that after
Danga was imprisoned, for some reason which does not appear, the body was
exhumed; that the witness Baal was subsequently informed by Fausto Sarenas that
the accused had told the said Sarenas that he had killed the old woman Ines;
this was three months after the occurrence.

Fausto Sarenas testified that Ines Acosta lived in a shed belonging to him
from 1898 to 1900; that she died in 1900, three months after the Americans
arrived at Cagayan; that on account of the woman’s disappearance he instituted a
search for her; that a year afterwards the accused, who had lived near the
witness’s land long before the death of Ines and who was known to the witness,
as he frequently came to his house, told him that he was the one who had killed
the woman; that this statement was made by the accused one morning in the
presence of the witness’s wife; that the accused made this confession upon being
questioned by the witness, who knew the facts before hand, having been informed
thereof by the said Danga and Baal; that the corpse was disinterred in December,

Carpio Nery testified that one day while the accused was in his house he
asked him to state why he had killed the woman, Ines; that the accused replied
it was because she had charged him with stealing bananas, and stated further
that on that occasion he, the accused, had asked the witnesses Danga and Baal to
help him gather cocoa nuts, but that upon seeing the corpse of the woman they
ran away; that the witness asked the accused this question as he had already
heard the facts from others. Albina Tabacuan testified that she heard of the
occurrence after the accused was in jail.

Upon this testimony, on February 9, 1903, the1 judge below rendered a
decision convicting the accused and condemning him to the penalty of life
imprisonment (cadena perpetua) with the costs de oficio, from
which decision the defendant appealed.

From the testimony of credible witnesses it has been shown that Ines Acosta
was mortally wounded in the shoulder with a pocketknife and that her body was
buried in the field a short distance from the house of the accused. In view of
the fact that no qualifying circumstance was present in the commission of the
crime which would justify a higher classification, the offense must be regarded
as homicide, defined and punished in article 404 of the Penal Code.

Although the accused pleaded not guilty to the crime of which he was charged,
the proof of his guilt is entirely sufficient. We have not only the testimony of
the two witnesses who saw him, his clothes stained with blood, burying the
corpse of Ines Acosta, and the fact that she disappeared from that time on and
that her body was found when it was exhumed in December, 1901, but we also have
the testimony of two others, one of whom was the employer of the deceased, who
affirmed that they heard the accused confess that he had killed the woman whose
body was buried some 15 brazas from his house, from which place it was
subsequently exhumed in the presence of Fausto Sarenas, the employer of the
deceased. Consequently the guilt of Casiano Saadlucap as sole principal, by
direct participation, of the crime of which he is charged, is

In the commission of the crime aggravating circumstance No. 20 of article 10
of the Penal Code must be considered against the accused by reason of the sex
and advanced age of the deceased, there being no mitigating circumstances to
offset these.

Although the defendant was charged with murder in the information, he can,
nevertheless, under the provisions of the law of procedure, be convicted of
homicide, for this offense may be considered as included in the crime of murder,
as the violent killing of a human being may constitute either of these

For the reasons stated we are of the opinion that the judgment below should
be reversed and Casiano Saadlucap convicted of the crime of homicide and
sentenced to seventeen years four months and one day of reclusion
with the accessory penalties of absolute temporary
disqualification to its full extent, and subjection to the vigilance of the
authorities during the period of the penalty and for another equal period to run
from the date of its expiration, to the payment of 1,000 Insular pesos to the
heirs of the deceased, and to the costs of both instances. Judgment will be
entered accordingly and the case remanded to the court below for execution
thereof, with a certified copy of this decision. So ordered.

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

Date created: January 18, 2019


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