G.R. No. 2012. March 17, 1905

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4 Phil. 295

[ G.R. No. 2012. March 17, 1905 ]




In a complaint dated April 4, 1904, the provincial fiscal of the
Province of Rizal charged Engracio Angel, Pablo Angel, and Saturnino
Angel with the crime of double murder in that these defendants did, on
the morning of the 18th day of May, 1899, willfully, illegally,
treacherously, and with premeditation kill Leonarda Geronimo and her
daughter, Rosa Garcia, a girl of very tender age; that the defendants
did the killing with cutting and blunt weapons and contrary to law.

After the trial was held the court, on April 29, 1904, sentenced Engracio Angel (alias Feliciano Angel), Pablo Angel, and Saturnino Angel to cadena perpetua with the accessories, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of 1,000 pesos, and to pay the costs.

On the trial of the case it was proven that on the morning of said
day at about 3 o’clock the defendants Engracio Angel and Pablo Angel
entered the banca which was anchored near the place called Bacog,
jurisdiction of the town of Malabon, Province of Rizal; that Manuel
Garcia, his wife, Leonarda Geronimo, and their child, a young girl 7
years of age, together with Rufino Dizon and Jose Castillo, were aboard
said banca; that after having bound all the men and compelled them to
lie face downwards they demanded of Leonarda all the money which she
had and, notwithstanding that the woman gave them the sum of 14 pesos,
they searched the trunks and finding nothing they demanded more money
from Leonarda; that she could not give them any more, and then the
defendants Engracio and Pablo seized her and took her to the stern of
the boat, she taking with her the child in her arms, and threw her into
the hold where the pigs were kept; they immediately went down to her
and dealt her several blows on the head with their bolos; that as a
result of these blows she died; that she was wounded in the neck and
both her hands were cut off; that they then disappeared. The child Rosa
was taken from the hold alive, but from that day she lost her appetite
and grew thin and in spite of the milk which they gave her she finally
died, fourteen days later, without the cause of her death being known.
That during the assault Saturnino Angel remained on shore on the bank
of the river watching Roberto Oliveros, who had been taken prisoner.
That said Saturnino now and then shouted loudly in tagalo “Don’t be
afraid,” and at other times compelled Oliveros to shout the same words.

From the facts stated and which have been clearly proven in this
case, the commission of the crime of murder appears fully proven.
Leonarda Geronimo was the victim, she being of the weaker sex and
defenseless on board of the boat and in view of the suddenness of the
attack, that this aggression was made by two armed men and it was
difficult, if not impossible, for her to defend herself or flee, and
for this reason we must consider as having existed in the commission of
the crime the qualifying circumstance of treachery (alevosia),
which carries with it a severer penalty, in accordance with the
provisions of article 403 of the Penal Code and with the decisions of
the supreme court of Spain dated January 24 and February 5, 1881.

There is not sufficient evidence to prove that the death of the
young girl, Rosa Garcia, which occurred fourteen days after the affray
took place, resulted from the fact of her having been thrown into the
hold, and therefore this court will abstain from considering this fact
in its opinion. Nor shall this court take into consideration the
robbery committed by the defendants before the murder of Leonarda,
because such robbery is not the subject of the complaint.

The three defendants, Saturnino, Engracio, and Pablo, all of them
surnamed Angel, are equally liable as principals in the crime of
murder, for which they are prosecuted. Notwithstanding the fact that
they pleaded not guilty, and notwithstanding their allegations in
trying to establish their innocence, the testimony of the two
eye-witnesses who saw the assault perpetrated in the boat and the
aggression against the woman, Leonarda, her dead body being found after
the defendants left the boat, and the statements of Ruperto or Roberto
Oliveros, who corroborates the statements of the other two witnesses,
show beyond reasonable doubt that the three defendants are guilty of
the crime charged against them. Engracio and Pablo went aboard the
banca and committed the crime of murder while Saturnino remained on
shore watching, aiding, and abetting the material execution of the
crime. The liability of the defendant Saturnino is equal to that of his
codefendants, because, although he did not go on board the banca nor
did he take any material participation in the commission of the crime,
yet he cooperated in a direct manner in the execution of the crime by
watching, aiding, and abetting his codefendants and guarded them from
being surprised, and therefore it is undeniable that the three
defendants conspired together and came to an understanding previously
to carry out the crime.

In the commission of the crime we must consider the existence of the
aggravating circumstance of nocturnity. This circumstance is
counterbalanced by that provided for in article 11 of the Penal Code,
considering the special conditions prevailing at the time the crime was
committed, due to the disorder the towns of Malabon and Navotas and
other towns were in, and also on account of the resistance interposed
by some of the inhabitants of some of the towns against the
authorities. Therefore the proper penalty should be imposed in its
medium degree.

By virtue, then, of the reasons above stated and of those stated in
the judgment below, we are of the opinion that the judgment below
should be affirmed, with one-third of the costs in this instance to
each of the three defendants. It being understood that these defendants
are also sentenced to indemnify, jointly and severally, the heirs of
the deceased in the sum of 1,000 pesos. This case to be returned to the
court below together 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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