G.R. No. 1590. April 16, 1904

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3 Phil. 719

[ G.R. No. 1590. April 16, 1904 ]




October 3, 1903, the provincial fiscal of Bulacan filed a complaint
in the Court of First instance of that province charging Telesforo
Roraldo and Felix Adajar with the crime of insurrection, in that they,
on or about the end of the year 1902, and until they were captured
about .the month of September of the year following, promoted and
voluntarily and criminally abetted, within that province, an
insurrection against the United States and the Government of these
Islands, contrary to the statute in the case made and provided.

An amended complaint having been filed, the case went to trial. The
court, in view of the evidence introduced, rendered a judgment finding
the defendant Roraldo guilty of the crime of insurrection and condemned
him to the penalty of eight years’ imprisonment and to the payment of a
fine of $4,000 and the costs. He acquitted Felix Adajar, the evidence
against him not being sufficient, without prejudice to a prosecution
against him for the prohibited use of firearms. Against this-decision
the defendant Roraldo appealed to this court.

From the proceedings at the trial it appears that a number of
witnesses were examined. Lieut. Lorenzo Ramos, of the Constabulary,
testified that some months ago the two accused were sent to him at
Meycauayan by Captain Warren, the charge being that Adajar was a
lieutenant and Roraldo a sergeant of the band led by one Contreras, an
insurgent chief; that this statement was confirmed by Domingo Arellano
and Rafael Rivero, his spies; that when Adajar was arrested a .45
caliber Colt’s revolver was found in his possession, the weapon having
been discovered in a clump of bamboo near his house; that the seizure
of this weapon took place in the presence of the spy, Arellano, and the
policeman, Fortunato Sulit; that as a result of the investigation made,
Felix Adajar confessed to him spontaneously that he was appointed a
lieutenant under Contreras and had been with the latter in the
mountains for one week; that he subsequently returned to the town for
the purpose of collecting contributions, and that on account of
Governor Tecson’s operations against the insurgents Adajar went to the
Province of Bataan, where he was arrested; that the other accused,
Telesforo Roraldo, also stated to him that he was a member of the
police of the municipality of Meycauayan; that he deserted with his
companions, taking with him his arms; that he joined the Contreras
party. That when Contreras’s band was dispersed, Roraldo went to the
Province of Bataan, where he was employed by the parish priest of one
of the towns of that province; that he had delivered his gun to one
Capt. Jorge San Pedro, who subsequently surrendered in this city; these
statements were made by Roraldo voluntarily, the witness adding that
the accused joined the insurgents voluntarily and were not captured
by them.

The two witnesses, Domingo Arellano and Rafael Rivero, affirm that
on different occasions they were captured by Telesforo Roraldo; that he
took them into the mountains, where they saw a number of persons, many
of whom had firearms of different kinds. That these persons constituted
the Katipunan under the command of Contreras; that their
purpose was to invade the towns and attack the Constabulary for the
purpose of seizing their guns; that a number of other individuals had
been captured besides themselves. The witness Arellano stated that he
had succeeded in returning to the town of Meycauayan some weeks
afterwards with the permission of the chief, Oontreras; that while with
the band of insurgents he saw the accused Roraldo. Rafael Rivero
testified that when he was captured by Roraldo the latter was
accompanied by another man armed with a gun, but that he did not see
Felix Adajar among the members of the band while he was in the
mountains with them before his escape.

From the facts stated it appears that the case offers sufficient
evidence of the existence of the crime, and of the guilt of Telesforo
Roraldo. It is unquestionable that this man, in violation of his duty
and of the oath taken by him as a municipal policeman of the town of
Meycauayan, abandoned his post with a number of other persons, and
joined the band commanded by Ciriaco Contreras, taking part in acts of
insurrection or rebellion, and efficiently cooperating with that
rebellious band against the Government established in these Islands,
and against the laws which guarantee the peace and tranquillity of the
inhabitants. Consequently he is the author of the crime by direct
participation as a subaltern of the band, and as such is subject to the
penalty prescribed in section 3 of Act No. 292, passed November 4, 1901.

Notwithstanding the denial of the accused and his excuse that while
he was a municipal policeman he was captured by Contreras and his band,
who took him into the mountains, where he acted for them as cook for
one week, until he succeeded in making his escape, the fact is that the
evidence of or the prosecution in the case, far from being overcome by
the allegations of the accused, show beyond a doubt that he has
committed the crime punished by the section cited of Act No. 292, he
having abandoned his post with his arms and having taken part in the
insurrection or rebellion against the established Government and its
agents, voluntarily becoming a member of an organized band which
frequently attacked and resisted the forces of the constituted
authorities against the law, and by giving positive and efficient aid
to the rebels in arms. The allegations of the defendant can not be
admitted, there being no evidence to show that he was in fact captured,
and that he only acted as cook, without having been an active member of
the band. Furthermore, if it were true that he was the victim of a
sequestration, and that he was held against his will by the members of
the band, as soon as he recovered his liberty, he would have
immediately presented himself to the authorities. This he did not do.
Therefore his statements can not be regarded as worthy of belief more
especially in view of the fact that they are in contradiction of the
testimony of the Constabulary lieutenant, Lorenzo Ramos.

For the reasons stated we are of the opinion that the judgment
appealed must be confirmed in so far as it imposes upon the accused
Telesforo Roraldo the penalty of eight years imprisonment and a fine of
$4,000, the accused to pay one-half of the costs of both instances.
This case will be returned to the trial court with a certified copy of
this decision, and judgment to be entered in accordance herewith for
the execution thereof. So ordered.

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

Date created: December 06, 2018


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