G.R. No. 1420. March 10, 1905

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4 Phil. 246

[ G.R. No. 1420. March 10, 1905 ]




Benito Castroverde, the appellant in this case, was convicted in the
Court of First Instance of Iloilo of the crime of robbery by an armed
band (robo en cuadrilla) and sentenced to eight years’
imprisonment and to pay an indemnity of 90 pesos to said Gabriel
Pageatipunan, the owner of the stolen property, and costs, with the
alternative sentence of imprisonment of one day for each 12 pesetas of
said costs and indemnity in case of insolvency, with all other
accessories of said sentence. The evidence adduced at the trial fully
sustains the findings of fact in the sentence, as set out in the
opinion of the trial court, and establishes the guilt of the appellant
beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the course of the decision, however, the trial court states that
“the evidence discloses that said crime was deliberately premeditated
and with the assistance of armed persons, which the court regards as
aggravating circumstances under the provisions of article 10 of the
Penal Code.”

Upon conviction of the charge of robbery by an armed band, neither
of these facts can properly be regarded as aggravating circumstances
under the provisions of said article. Deliberate premeditation is an
inherent qualification of the crimes of robbery, theft, and analogous
offenses, and therefore ought not to be taken into consideration under
the provisions of the said article as an aggravating circumstance, as
the legislature, in fixing the penalty for these offenses, necessarily
had in mind, as an essential ingredient of the particular offense to be
penalized, the fact that in the very nature of things it must have been
committed with deliberate premeditation; and the Penal Code, in article
504, specifically provides the punishment which must be imposed in all
cases where robbery has been committed “by an armed band,” and
therefore in such cases this circumstance should not be taken into
consideration the second time as an aggravating circumstance under the
provisions of article 10.

The above-mentioned article 504 of the Penal Code, taken in
connection with paragraph 5 of article 503 of said code, penalizes the
crime for which the appellant in this case was convicted with the
maximum degree of presidio correccional to presidio mayor in its medium degree; that is to say, from six years to ten years and one day of presidio mayor.

We are of opinion, further, that the trial court erred in imposing
upon the accused an alternative sentence in case of insolvency, of
subsidiary imprisonment on account of the unpaid costs, and civil
indemnification allowed the owner of the stolen property. There is no
provision in the Spanish Penal Code for the imposition of subsidiary
imprisonment on account of unpaid costs in criminal, cases; and article
51 of said Penal Code prohibits the imposition of subsidiary
imprisonment on account of failure to pay the civil indemnification
allowed in criminal cases where the principal penalty imposed is of a
higher grade in the scale of penalties than that of presidio correccional.

Modified in accordance with the foregoing principles and fixing the principal penalty at eight years of presidio mayor,
and remitting the subsidiary imprisonment imposed by the trial court,
the sentence appealed from in this case should be affirmed and the
costs of this appeal imposed upon the appellant. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 24, 2014


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