G.R. No. 1731. February 13, 1905

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4 Phil. 209

[ G.R. No. 1731. February 13, 1905 ]




In a complaint dated November 24,1903, the defendants, Daniel
Marinay, Hermenegildo Repoberbio, Juan Pitonjera, Teodosio Reoperes,
Eduardo Sabaybay, Teofilo Bobis, Pedro Villes, Mariano Ortenero,
Ricardo Beguillas, Miguel Abichuela, Florentino Casimiro, and Ramon
Oliquino were charged with the crime of bandolerismo. The
complaint stated that from November 12, 1902, up to November 15, 1903,
the defendants conspired together and formed a band of brigands; that
the object of said band was to steal carabaos and other personal
property by means of force and violence; that this band roamed over the
country through the Provinces of Albay, Ambos Camarines, and Sorsogon;
that all the members of this band were armed with deadly weapons; all
contrary to law. The case coming on to be tried by virtue of the
aforesaid complaint, as a result of the evidence adduced by the
prosecution, the judge, on December 7, 1903, sentenced Daniel Marinay,
Hermenegildo Repoberbio, and Juan Pitonjera to the death penalty;
Miguel Abichuela and Florentino Casimiro were sentenced to cadena perpetua;
Teofilo Bobis was sentenced to thirty years’ imprisonment; Teodosio
Reoperes, Eduardo Sabaybay, and Pedro Villes to twenty-five years’
imprisonment, and Ricardo Beguillas, Mariano Ortenero, and Ramon
Olequino to twenty years’ imprisonment. None of these defendants
appealed, and this case has been brought up to this court en consulta as regards the death penalty imposed on Daniel Marinay, Hermenegildo Repoberbio, and Juan Pitonjera.

It is clearly proven by the testimony of competent witnesses and by
documentary evidence that between November 12,1902, and October, 1903,
quite a good-sized band of brigands was formed between the Provinces of
Albay, Sorsogon, and Ambos Camarines; that the members of this band
conspired together for the purpose of stealing carabaos and other
personal property and to commit other crimes against the peaceable
inhabitants of the barrios and pueblos of the aforesaid provinces by
means of force and violence; that for this purpose they were armed with
deadly weapons of different kinds and roamed over the country and the
mountains; that sometimes it was united and at other times separated
into small parts; that the organization of this band was of a military
character and had officers of different ranks, all of them under the
command of Simeon Ola; that this band was formed with a political
object; that the members of the band swore allegiance to a flag called
“the national flag;” that its name was to cover up the real purpose of
the band, viz, that of robbery, abduction, rape, murder, and other
crimes, as is proven fully by the evidence adduced in this case; that
said band spread panic among the inhabitants of the towns in the said
provinces and disturbed the public order. These facts constitute,
beyond doubt, the crime of bandolerismo as defined and punished by section 1 of Act No. 518, enacted November 12,1902.

The evidence establishes that a goodly band of male-factors was
formed in these provinces; that they conspired together to rob the
people and to commit other crimes against their property and persons by
means of force and violence. It is also fully proven in the case.that
they were members of this band which was of a military character and
organized for political purposes; that they committed several raids and
robberies in certain houses of peaceable inhabitants; that they
abducted some women, raped them, took some of the inhabitants
prisoners, and murdered several people who were peaceable and
defenseless. Among its various crimes this band attacked and robbed, on
February 27, 1903, the Constabulary cuartel situated in the pueblo of
Oas, on which occasion they killed a municipal policeman and wounded
several members of the Constabulary; they also took and carried away
forty-seven guns with their munitions, and one revolver. On July 13 of
the same year they entered the town of Bato, Province of Camarines, and
raided the municipal building, taking therefrom three shotguns, three
rifles, the electric bell of the municipality, the president’s cane,
and three sacks of rice; they also wounded the policeman, Francisco
Martinez, who resisted them. The members of this band also raided the
barrio of Buraburahan, town of Buhi, Ambos Camarines, and, after
burning some houses, they took four women and two men prisoners; the
women were raped by the brigands. And so it is seen that the members of
said band not only conspired together and organized for the purpose of
robbery and committing other crimes against property and persons by
means of force and violence but they pursued their criminal purpose
further, committing murder, taking the inhabitants prisoners, and
committing rape on defenseless women, showing by this the most degraded
criminality. The case then presents facts more than sufficient, when
considered with sound reason, to produce on the mind a clear conviction
of the guilt of each one of the three defendants sentenced to death.
They are criminally liable as principals in said crime of bandolerismo.
They not only committed crimes against property and persons but also
are guilty of abduction and rape; they took the inhabitants prisoners
and murdered several of them.

The judgment brought here en consulta has become final as
to the other nine defendants because they did not appeal to this court.
Considering, therefore, only the facts proven against each and every
one of these three defendants who were sentenced to the death penalty,
it appears that Daniel Marinay was the chief of a part of said band,
composed of twenty persons, armed with deadly weapons; that this
division of the band, in its raids through the territory surrounding
the town of Guinobatan, about the month of February, 1903, took Silvino
Padre prisoner and, by order of Marinay and Miguel Abichuela, they
killed him. The body of said Padre was found on the fifth day
thereafter in the country, with a wound in the neck; that in the
following March this division, commanded by said Daniel Marinay,
entered the barrio of Inascan, town of Guinobatan, raided the store of
Ong Pooco, a Chinaman, and stole therefrom nine sacks of rice, several
cans of sardines, cigarettes, soap, and 108.50 pesos in money; that in
the month of February, 1903, Marinay and his companions took Lorenzo
(or Florencio) Cervantes and Paulina Orpiada, his wife, prisoners, who
were living at the time in the barrio of Carabidab; that said
malefactors pretended to be members of the secret service; that Marinay
and one of his subordinates, Esperidion Tolosa, killed Cervantes in
Baliti, town of Guinobatan, and Marinay kept the wife as his mistress,
the latter being held prisoner for eight months; that Apolonio and
Telesforo Alevanto, brothers, were also taken prisoners in the month of
March of the same year by another division of the band under the
command of Juan Pitonjera, the latter ordering the said Telesforo
Alevanto to be killed, this order being executed by one of the brigands
in the presence of Apolonio Alevanto, and the reason given for such
killing being that Telesforo was a member of the Constabulary. Apolonio
Alevanto succeeded in escaping and went back to his town. All this took
place in Amibling, town of Guinobatan.

Hermenegildo Repoberbio was a lieutenant of the band and commanded
seven armed men. This part of the band took a child prisoner and killed
its father, Jacobo Cabansal, because, according to them, he had allowed
two persons who were being held by said bands as spies to escape; that
one evening in the month of April, 1903, by order of Colonel Magno, an
old man named Hilario Quadra and a young man named Vicente Quadra were
killed as spies by said lieutenant, Hermenegildo Repoberbio, in the
barrio of Talisay, pueblo of Oas.

It is clearly proven that these three defendants, as well as the
other members of the band, were armed with firearms and other deadly
weapons; that they roamed over the country, mountains, and barrios of
the said provinces; that some of them killed certain persons as spies.
One witness acknowledged and affirmed the genuineness of the documents
which were captured with the brigands and which appear in the record of
the case. Antonio Loame, clerk of Simeon Ola, testified to the same
facts and also indentified said documents. Among these documents are
several oaths of allegiance of the members of said band; there is also
a list of the members of the band and several communications between
the chiefs of same regarding their doings and their attacks on the
police. The witnesses Juan Nas, Canuto Oyales, Atanacio Potong, and the
Chinaman Ong Pooco sustain the charges against Daniel Marinay; they are
eyewitnesses of the crimes committed and they affirm that Marinay was
the principal in the murder of Silvino Padre and the one who directed
the robbery of the store of Ong Pooco. The witness Esperidion Tolosa
testifies also that Marinay was the one who ordered the death of
Lorenzo (or Florencio) Cervantes; this latter fact was also testified
to by the witness Paulina Orpiada, Cervantes’ wife. The killing of
Jacobo Cabansal by order of Hermenegildo Repoberbio is corroborated by
the testimony of Basilio Alano and Permin Rayton; the killing of
Hilario and Vicente Quadra by order of Repoberbio is corroborated by
the testimony of Manuel Recting and Braulio Rabonsa, who were
eyewitnesses to the same. The witness Apolonio Alevanto testifies to
the killing of his brother, Telesforo, by order of Juan Pitonjera.

The denial made by the three defendants, Marinay, Repoberbio, and
Pitonjera, and the excuses made by them as regards the murders
committed by them, which they state they did in compliance with orders
of their superior chiefs, can in no way relieve them from the charges
made against them or exempt them from liability. They acted illegally
when they complied with orders contrary to law, which orders they were
not obliged to obey, the same being unlawful and coming from superior
officers who had no power or authority to issue the same. Superior
chiefs of a band of brigands are not clothed with any authority to
order the death of any person, and their subordinates are not obliged
to obey them; and if they do, both are directly responsible for the
crimes which they commit.

By reason, therefore, of the facts above stated, of the reasons stated in the judgment brought here en consulta, the three defendants are found guilty of the crime of bandolerismo
in committing which several murders resulted, as well as abductions,
sequestrations, and rape. We are of the opinion that in justice the
judgment below, rendered December 7, 1903, should be affirmed as to the
penalty of death imposed upon the defendants Daniel Marinay, Juan
Pitonjera, and Hermenegildo Repoberbio. This penalty shall be carried
out in the public square of the capital of Albay on a day and at an
hour (not a legal holiday) to be appointed by,the judge of the district
and in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 451, dated September
2, 1902. The defendants are also sentenced to pay one-twelfth of the
costs each; this case to be remanded to the court below with a
certified copy of this decision and of the judgment to be rendered in
accordance herewith. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 24, 2014


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