G.R. No. 1557. April 17, 1905

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4 Phil. 419

[ G.R. No. 1557. April 17, 1905 ]




The existence of the crime having been proven, as well as the
defendant’s guilt, by positive evidence consisting of articles found in
his possession at the time of his arrest, and strengthened furthermore
by the testimony of a great number of witnesses, the defendant should
be convicted.

As to the first error alleged by the defendant, there is no
foundation of fact. It does not appear that the defendant asked for any
time within which to answer to the complaint. As to the second error
alleged by the defense, there is a foundation of fact, for the reason
that the defendant, assisted by his attorney at the beginning of the
trial, asked for two days within which to prepare his defense, but
there is no foundation of law, as defendant was not denied any inherent
right when he was denied time and an adjournment of the trial was
refused. Eleven days had already elapsed since his answer to the
complaint, he having pleaded not guilty, and this was sufficient time
for him to prepare his defense, and in fact he had so prepared, because
he immediately presented his witnesses. If on answering the complaint
he did so without the assistance of a lawyer, this would not be ground
for alleging a defect in the procedure. To be able to urge this, it
should first appear that the defendant had asked for the assistance of
a lawyer to answer the complaint and that the trial had proceeded
without any attention being paid to his request.

The court did not err when it denied defendant’s motion to suppress
the testimony of the witnesses Crame, Brown, Domingo, and Pascual; at
least, no legal reason appears why their testimony should be stricken
out. The testimony of the first two relates to the arrest and the
articles found in the possession of the defendant at the time of his
arrest; and that of the latter two does not establish the facts of the
participation with which the defendant is charged, and, above all, this
case is not one of mere conspiracy where the testimony of an accomplice
should be rejected, unless the conspiracy be proven by other means.

Nor has the court erred in eliminating the testimony of Mauricio
Buenaventura, a witness for the defense, as regards the fact of his
having given the bands of Faustino Guillermo and Luciano San Miguel a
different character from that which they are credited with in this
case, since it was established that said bands had the character which
was imputed to them, regardless of said testimony, when we take into
consideration the acts of robbery committed by said bands, as they
appear in the case.

Nor for the mere reason that the motion for a new trial was denied,
it being based on the fact that the defendant had answered to the
complaint without the assistance of a lawyer, has the court erred as to
the law, as at first sight might appear by reason of the absence of
such assistance.

It remains then that the defendant, Amado Santos, was sentenced
according to the evidence in the case, but according to the doctrine
established by this court the acts executed by the bands and the
participation of the defendant therein are not sufficient for the
imposing on the defendant of the death penalty. We are of the opinion
that temporary imprisonment is the proper penalty.

Therefore, in accordance with section 1 of Act No. 518, we sentence
Amado Santos to twenty-five years’ imprisonment and the costs. So

Torres, Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.

Date created: April 24, 2014


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