G.R. No. 1657. February 01, 1905

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4 Phil. 181

[ G.R. No. 1657. February 01, 1905 ]




On December 29, 1902, a complaint was filed by the provincial fiscal
charging Sulpicio Alifio and Enrique Delima with the crime of bandolerismo.
The complaint stated that before and after November 12, 1902, on which
date Act No. 518 was passed, the defendants tried and still try to form
and did form a band of brigands within the jurisdiction of the
municipalities of Talisay, Pardo, and Minglanilla, Province of Cebu,
with the object of stealing carabaos and other personal property of the
residents of said towns by means of force and violence. That each and
every one of the defendants assisted and does assist the bands of
ladrones commanded by the Tabal brothers, giving them information about
the movements of the police, purchasing the effects stolen by them, and
giving them whatever they might be in need of, all with criminal intent
and contrary to law.

The case having come up for trial by virtue of the complaint, five
of the defendants below were acquitted and the trial was continued only
as to Sulpicio Alino and Enrique Delima, who were sentenced, the former
to life imprisonment (prision perpetua) and the latter to
twenty years’ imprisonment. The evidence adduced in this case does not
show in any way that the facts above stated are true. The guilt of the
defendants does not appear from the evidence adduced in the case, and
therefore the judgment below should be reversed and the defendants

The innocence of a defendant in a criminal case is always presumed
until the contrary is proven according to law, and in case of
reasonable doubt and when the guilt of a defendant does not appear
satisfactorily proven the said defendant should be acquitted, according
to section 57 of General Orders, No. 58, of April 23, 1900. It has not
been sufficiently proven in the case that the two defendants had
organized a band of armed ladrones with the object of robbing, nor that
they formed a band after the act against bandolerismo was
passed. It has not been established that the defendants assisted the
band of brigands commanded by the Tabal brothers, nor that they gave
this band any information about the movements of the police.

The testimony of Julio Villaviles, the husband of the alleged victim
of the robbery of 12 pesos, is conflicting with the testimony of Lieut.
Jacinto Canido, of the barrio ot Libo, and the testimony of these two
witnesses is not sufficient to prove the robbery nor that the
defendants were principals in same. Canido did not witness the
execution of the crime; he asserts the crime was committed because he
heard Villaviles say that the crime had been committed. Villaviles says
that he was the only eyewitness of the robbery; that he was some
distance away when it took place and was hidden from the view of the
robbers. His testimony is not corroborated by anybody; on the contrary,
it is refuted by the evidence adduced by the defense. There must also
be taken into consideration that the lieutenant of the barrio, Jacinto
Canido, was the only one who saw the defendant Enrique Delima among the
group of six; but the husband of the alleged victim of the robbery,
Villaviles, did not see the defendant among the twenty-one individuals.
That the defendant Alino was a revolutionist can not serve as a
foundation for convicting him of the crime of bandolerismo,
much less so if we take into consideration that this defendant took the
oath of allegiance in December, 1902, and that the governor of the
province testified in his favor.

By virtue of the considerations above stated, we are of the opinion
that the judgment below should be reversed and the defendants, Sulpicio
Alino and Enrique Delima, acquitted, with the costs de oficio, and that they be immediately released if they are not held for any other crime.

This case to be remanded to the court below with a certified copy of
this decision and of the judgment which shall be rendered in accordance
herewith. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 23, 2014


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