G.R. No. 1716. March 14, 1905

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4 Phil. 274

[ G.R. No. 1716. March 14, 1905 ]




The appellants in this case were found guilty of the crime of
brigandage, as defined and penalized by section 1 of Act No. 518 of the
Philippine Commission, and the trial court imposed the sentence of
death upon Diego Felizardo and Mariano Colocado, sentence of thirty
years’ imprisonment upon Angel Maglambayan, and sentence of twenty
years’ imprisonment upon Isaias Aguasa, Alejandro de Jesus, Melesio
Alcantara, Eugenio Campaner, Juan Maglian, Juan Magsino Surigayan,
Candido Puspos, Dalmacio Silang, Vicente Collarin, Raymundo Garcia,
Ildefonso Malinis, Jose Sapalasan, Sotero Parales, Feliciano
Manalaysay, Faustino Remulla, Benito Hermitano, Paulino Casilao, Irineo
Buclatin, Leoncio Gendive, Nicolas Pato, Tito Paglinauan, Cipriano
Naglian, Catnlino Patan, Agustin de los Santos, Segundo Gendive, Jose
Colocado, Domingo Medina, Gervasio Lumucso, Remigio Agco, Jorge
Descalzo, Adriano Lacaran, Jacinto Usong, Felipe Clarete, Paulino
Candava, Silvestre Cusar (alias Cabayo), Lazaro Ordonez, and Antonio Paraiso.

It appearing that Mariano Colocado and Dalmacio Silang have died in
Bilibid Prison pending their appeal to this court, the information and
all the proceedings had thereon should be dismissed as to them.

“We think there is reasonable doubt as to the guilt of Agustin de
los Santos, Paulino Candava, and Nicolas Pato, and that they should
therefore be acquitted.

The evidence adduced at the trial fully establishes the guilt of
each and all of the other appellants beyond a reasonable doubt, and we
are of opinion that the sentence imposed upon each and all of them
should be affirmed, except only the sentence of death imposed upon
Diego Felizardo, which should be reduced to imprisonment for thirty
years. There is no evidence in the record which goes to show that the
said Diego Felizardo was a chief or leader of the band of brigands of
which he was a member, nor that he took a direct part in any of the
murders or assassinations with which the said band was charged, and
without proof of one or the other of these aggravating circumstances we
do not think that capital punishment should be inflicted.

Counsel for the appellants assigns as error the action of the trial
court in dismissing the information as to some of those who were
included in the same charge upon which they were convicted and
permitting the Government to make use of the persons thus discharged as
witnesses; having admitted their guilt of crime of which appellants
were convicted, their evidence should not have been taken into
consideration. While it is true that the evidence of witnesses of this
character is subject to the gravest suspicion and, taken by itself,
might not be sufficient to justify a conviction, nevertheless the
proceeding subjected to is specifically authorized under section 34 of
General Orders, No. 58; and in.this case the evidence offered by these
witnesses was substantiated by that of many others, both as to the
existence of the band of brigands and the connection of the accused
with the same, and there was no error in the proceedings prejudicial to
the interests’of the accused.

We are of opinion, therefore, that the sentence of the trial court
should be affirmed as to all the appellants except the said Mariano
Colocado, Dalmacio Silang, Agustin de los Santos,. Paulino Candava, and
Nicolas Pato, as to whom, for the reasons herein stated, said sentence
should be, and is hereby, reversed, and, further, except as to the
death penalty imposed upon the said Diego Felizardo, which should be,
and is hereby, reversed, and a sentence of thirty years’ imprisonment
imposed in its stead.

A proportionate part of the costs of the appeal is imposed upon each
of the appellants, except those as to whom the charge is dismissed, and
as to them the costs are declared de oficio. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 24, 2014


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