G.R. No. 1940. February 06, 1905

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4 Phil. 198

[ G.R. No. 1940. February 06, 1905 ]




In a complaint dated February 1, 1904, the provincial fiscal of
Bulacan charged Nicolas Palilio and Emiliano Gonzalez with the crime of
robbery en cuadrilia. The complaint states that on or about
December 17, 1903, at 10 o’clock in the evening, the defendants, with
other unknown persons, provided with firearms, raided and robbed the
house of Emeterio Puno and Ponciana Salazar, husband and wife, after
having bound the former and threatened the latter; that they afterwards
took and carried away some money and other personal property amounting
in value to 15 pesos, Mexican, with the intention of profiting thereby
and contrary to law.

That case having come up for trial in pursuance of said complaint,
it appears from the evidence that about 10 o’clock on the evening of
December 17, 1903, some individuals came to the house of Emeterio Puno
and asked for a person by the name of “Nazario;” that when Ponciana
Salazar looked out of the window to see who they were she saw that they
were armed; that Ponciana went immediately to a room separated from the
house by a small bamboo bridge; that at that time two of the
individuals came into the house and tied her husband around the elbows,
took him downstairs and out of the house to a place where some bananas
grew; that there they mistreated him by striking him with the butt of a
revolver and asked him for money; that afterwards and because he was
unable to give them any money, they conducted him to his store and
there they took and carried away some packages of cigarretes, bread,
and soap amounting to the value of 2 pesos; that Puno observed that the
robbers had taken from the house two hats and a pair of shoes, of the
value of 8 pesos; that he identified among the malefactors the
defendant Nicolas Palilio; that he knew him of old. This latter fact is
proven because at the time he was testifying before the court he
pointed him out without any hesitation. Ponciana Salazar stated that
she did not recognize any one of the malefactors. The facts constitute
the crime of robbery en cuadrilla, as defined and
punished by article 502 and subsection 5 of article 503, in connection
with articles 504 and 505 of the Penal Code.

The robbery was committed by more than three persons, which brings it within the definition of cuadrilla
as given in the law. Nicolas Palilio pleaded not guilty.
Notwithstanding this, and in spite of his exculpatory statements, there
is sufficient evidence in the case to clearly convince the mind of his
guilt as principal in the crime for which he is now prosecuted. The
testimony of Emeterio Puno, corroborated by that of the justice of the
peace of Hagonoy, before whom Palilio testified that he had been taken
prisoner and conducted by some malefactors to the neighborhood of the
robbed house without justifying his presence there, as well as the
testimony of Valentin Trono, shows sufficiently and beyond a reasonable
doubt that Nicolas Palilio was in the raided house and in the
neighborhood thereof. These statements must be taken as true; the
injured man, Puno, did not influence his wife to testify in the same
terms as himself, and, further, there is no contradiction in the
evidence, and for these reasons their testimony should be given
credence over that of the defense, which offered the mother-in-law of
the defendant to establish an alibi.

We agree with the court below as to the existence of the extenuating
circumstance in the commission of the crime, as well as the aggravating
circumstance which counter- balances same. For this reason the penalty
prescribed by law should be imposed in its minimum degree. It must be
observed that this decision can in no way refer to Emiliano Gonzalez,
because he was acquitted by the court below.

Therefore, by virtue of the foregoing reasons, we are of the opinion
that the judgment below, rendered on the 8th of April, 1904, should be
affirmed and Nicolas Palilio sentenced to six years ten months and one
day of presidio mayor, to pay the sum of 18 pesos to the
injured party, with the accessories provided for in article 57 of the
Penal Code, and to pay one-half of the costs of the court below and
full costs in this instance.

This case to be remanded to the court below, together with a
certified copy of this decision and of the judgement 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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