G.R. No. 1486. April 18, 1905

Please log in to request a case brief.

4 Phil. 427

[ G.R. No. 1486. April 18, 1905 ]




With the exception of Toribio Racero, Man Latiran, Marcelo Laves,
and Rufino Valenzuelo, who were acquitted, all the other defendants in
this case are appellants. The judgment appealed from declares them
guilty of insurrection and sentences them to the penalty of ten years’
imprisonment in accordance with section 3 of Act No. 292, which defines
and punishes said crime.

It is a fact fully proven at the trial that on the first days of the
month of April of the year 1903, and under the command of one Flores
Echevarria, a great number of individuals gathered at the place called
Manila, jurisdiction and town of Agusan, Province of Cagayan de
Misamis, with the object of rebelling against the Government, their
plan being to attack and take possession by means of force of said town
of Agusan, and of the principal town of the province, which they did
not accomplish because they were surprised on the morning of April 11
at their headquarters in Manila by some of the Constabulary forces,
which succeeded in dispersing them after an engagement in which some
were killed and wounded and during which some of the defendants in this
case were captured.

We consider also as proven that the defendants Agustin Abiniao,
Dimas Ebuesa, Cornelio Sea, Jose Abales, Pedro Labonos, Gaudencio
Ebuesa, Catalino Jablan, Simplicio Jablan, Margarito Quina, Aquilino
Opog, Antonio Baconguis, Narciso Saldua, Cleto Dacutanan, Miguel
Asinero, Bartolome Paca, Inocentes Pagutayao, Dionisio Eduria, Pedro
Bacol, and Anastasio Bacallan formed part of this band of insurgents.
All these defendants, with several more, up to the number of over two
hundred according to the testimony of the witnesses for the
prosecution, were gathered in the town of Manila preparing to attack
the forces of the Government for two or three days previous to the 11th
of April, and almost all of them took part in the encounter on said
date, six of them having “been captured during the fight.

The judgment appealed from is in conformity with the facts of the
case and must, therefore, be affirmed as regards these individuals. In
addition to the sentence imposed on them in the judgment, each one of
the defendants shall be sentenced to a fine of P500, Philippine
currency, for the reason that section 3 of Act No. 292 punishes the
crime of insurrection with the joint penalty of imprisonment and fine,
which shall not exceed ten years’ imprisonment and P10,000,

As regards the other defendants, their guilt does not appear
sufficiently proven in the case. There is absolutely no proof which
convicts the defendant Sintino Balanbang. No witness speaks of him. His
name does not even appear in the declarations for the prosecution in
the case. As against Florencio Racines, Felipe Baconguis, and Vidal
Racero, there is only hearsay evidence and suspicions based on their
more or less frequent intercourse with individuals who were in prison
for the crime of insurrection, or who were detained as insurgents in
the Province of Cagayan de Misamis. There is no witness who testifies
of his own personal knowledge that these individuals promoted, aided,
or abetted any insurrection, or that they took part or acquiesced in it
in any manner, as is necessary and indispensable in order to convict
them of the crime with which they are charged. The fact of some
ammunition being found in the possession of Florencio Racines and
Felipe Baconguis, although this fact was not satisfactorily explained
by them on the trial, does not prove, in itself, that they had
committed the crime of insurrection and rebellion.

The same thing must be said as to Victor Carpio, against whom there
is only the testimony of one witness, who declares of his own personal
knowledge only that said defendant had an interview with one Flores
Echevarria in Manila on the night of Holy Thursday in the year 1903.
The motive, object, and ends of said interview not having been shown,
we can not in any way consider such fact as sufficient proof of the
guilt of that defendant.

Dionisio Baconguis is a child 14 years of age, and there exists no
data in the case to convince us of his capacity or discretion to take
part in an armed rebellion.

As regards Gerardo Labnutin, there is the testimony of only one
witness, who affirms to have seen him once in Manila. The defendant
Bartolome Binayhao is also in the same condition. The peculiar,
isolated testimony which there is against each one of these defendants
does not appear corroborated by any other data in the case, and as each
one of the defendants declared in his own behalf and denied,
strenuously, having been at Manila, for this reason we do not believe
that the proof of their guilt is conclusive and we feel that they also
are entitled to be acquitted.

By virtue of what we have stated above, we reverse the judgment
appealed from as regards the defendants Florencio Racines, Vidal
Racero, Victor Carpio, Felipe Baconguis, Gerardo Labnutin, Dionisio
Baconguis, Bartolome Binayhao, and Sintino Balanbang, whom we freely
acquit, with the costs corresponding to them in this instance de oficio.
We affirm the judgment as regards the other appellants, on whom we in
addition impose a line of P500, Philippine currency, each, and the
costs in this instance pro rata. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 24, 2014


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Apply Filters