G.R. No. 1192. December 19, 1904

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4 Phil. 87

[ G.R. No. 1192. December 19, 1904 ]




The case now before the court is one of robbery “en cuadrilla”
committed by a gang of five armed men, on the 22d day of June, 1902, between 10
and 11 o’clock in the evening. The robbers broke into a camarin situated in the
suburb of Bangildapo, municipality of Lubao, Pampanga, belonging to Mauricio L.
de la Cruz, and, by force and intimidation, took and carried away some sugar and
other goods amounting to 17 pesos and 40 centavos, and also a carabao, worth
about 30 pesos, although this animal was recovered shortly afterwards.

The existence and reality of the crime is fully demonstrated by the testimony
of the eyewitnesses Fabian Diua and Victor Maris, who were in the camarin at the
time the crime was committed and in which place they were attacked by the
accused with bolos. The guilt of the accused also appears confirmed in the
proceedings of the case by the declarations of four individuals called Tiburcio
Miranda, Silvino Belleza, Clemente Carlos, and Silvino Sabado, all of them
witnesses for the defense, who affirm having heard of the robbery, which was
public in Lubao and other surrounding municipalities.

Of the five accused, two of them, Eugenio Lingad and Felix Morales, died
during the course of the proceedings, and those surviving, called Lorenzo Castro
alias Proceso, Melencio Jimenez, and Juan Lingad, pleaded “not guilty” when
arraigned. However, the evidence in the case proves clearly that the latter
three, together with the two deceased, are guilty of the crime of robbery
“en cuadrilla,” for which they are now prosecuted.

The eyewitness, Fabian Diua, who was in charge of the camarin, testified as
to the details of the said robbery, and was able to recognize the five accused,
who were all in habitants of the same town, since the latter, on breaking
violently into the camarin, revived the flames of the fire that was burning
there, in order to light the interior of the said camarin; and if the other
witness, Victor Maris, who substantially corroborated Diua’s testimony, did not
furnish as many details as Diua, it was due to the fact that the robbers forced
him to lay with his face down on the ground, and covered him with a mat, but he
affirms to have heard the noise when the robbers broke the molds and casks to
carry away the sugar that was contained in them.

These declarations, each consistent with the other, and all uncontested; the
fact that the stolen carabao was found and recovered in a place not far from the
house of Lorenzo Castro, and the circumstance that the accused were neighbors of
a suburb of the municipality of Lubao, and that therefore it was easy for them
to approach the place where the robbery was committed, are all conclusive proof
of the guilt of the accused, notwithstanding the alibi they pretended to
establish, which indeed, has not been duly justified, since the declarations of
the witnesses for the defense refer only to the night of the 23d—the day
following that on which the robbery was committed. Furthermore, there is a lack
of precision and clearness in these declarations besides their improbability.
But even granting that the day of the occurrence was the 23d, the alibi alleged
by the accused can not be considered as proved, and for this reason it can not
neutralize the result of the evidence against them.

The sentence appealed from should be affirmed. In this judgment the court,
considering the concurrence of the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity,
without any extenuation, sentenced each one of the accused to nine year’s of
presidio mayor, with the accessory penalties determined in article 57
of the Penal Code; to the restitution of the stolen goods or the payment of
their value, without being subject to subsidiary imprisonment on account of the
character of the principal penalty, and, furthermore, sentencing each one to the
payment of one-fifth of the costs.

The case was finally dismissed as regards the two deceased, with the costs
de oficio.

In view, therefore, of all the considerations stated, we are of opinion that
the judgment appealed from must be affirmed, with the costs in this instance
charged in the same way as in the former, and that the case be remanded to the
court of its origin with a certified copy of this decision and of the judgment
that shall be rendered for the execution thereof. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ.,

Date created: April 23, 2014


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