G.R. No. 1181. April 27, 1905

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4 Phil. 476

[ G.R. No. 1181. April 27, 1905 ]




By virtue of a complaint filed by Felix Villa, on April 26, 1902,
charging his wife, Eugenia Rabano, and Engracio Villafuerte with the
crime of adultery, this case was brought against the defendants as
principals in said crime.

From the record it appears fully proven by the testimony of three
witnesses that Engracio Villafuerte frequented the house of the
complainant, Felix Villa, usually at a time when the latter was absent
from his house. That Villafuerte left his mother’s house and went to
live at the house of the offended party three weeks before April 20 of
last year. That on the latter day and at a late hour in the evening the
two defendants were surprised and seen at a time when they were lying
together in the complainant’s own house, and then the husband and the
witness who accompanied him, having learned what was happening in the
interior of the house of the former, went and whipped his wife. That
because of information one night, the husband and the witness Basilio
Navela, a member of the police force in the town of Lucena, and one
other, saw the two defendants one night in Villafuerte’s house and from
the outside they saw that the defendants were lying together in the
interior of the room, inside of a storehouse, and on the following
morning when Eugenia Rabano came out she was arrested by them and taken
to the police station.

The witness Maria Origenes, a child 10 years old, who lived in the
house of the complainant, states that on a certain occasion, while the
complainant was absent from the house, she saw both defendants, whom
she called “sweethearts,” in the act of carnal intercourse.

The above-stated facts, fully proven in this case, are clothed with
all the characteristics of the crime of adultery provided for and
punished in article 433 of the Penal Code, with the penalty of prision correccional
in its medium to its maximum degree. The guilt of the two defendants
appears sufficiently established in this case as principals in the
commission of said crime. Notwithstanding the fact that the defendants
pleaded not guilty of the crime charged against them and that no
certificate appears in the record of the case to establish the fact of
the marriage of the complainant to the defendant Eugenia Rabano, still
the case offers sufficient and complete proof that Eugenia Rabano was
married to the complainant and that, notwithstanding her condition of
being a married woman, she carried on illicit intercourse and relations
with Engracio Villafuerte, who is not her husband. These acts executed
by them constitute the crime of adultery, and therefore, being
criminally liable for this crime, they have incurred the penalty
provided for in the above-mentioned article of the Penal Code.

Villa and Rabano lived as husband and wife in their own house when
Villafuerte came to interfere with the marital relations and disturb
their peace, and for the reason that the fact of Villa and Rabano were
united by matrimony was not questioned, the presumption of their being
married must be admitted as a legal fact, in the absence of any proof
to the contrary, since even the statements of the witnesses for the
defense affirm this presumption. And yet, even paying less attention to
this presumption than to the presumption of innocence of the
defendants, it is true that in the complaint it is affirmed by the
complainant that Eugenia Rabano is his legitimate wife, and in addition
it appears proven on the trial that they were united, by the bonds of
matrimony, which is affirmed not only by the witnesses for the
prosecution but also by those of the defense, which produces on the
mind a clear conviction of the guilt of the two defendants. If Eugenia
Rabano were not united with Felix Villa by the bonds of matrimony and
lived with him only in a state of concubinage, not only the woman but
also Villafuerte would have so stated, and they would have denied and
contradicted the complaint and would not have consented that in their
presence the witnesses for the prosecution and their own witnesses
should call Villa and Rabano husband and wife. The fact that they
remained silent and did not dare to deny the truth of the marriage
bonds which united them was, because they are convinced of their guilt
and especially the woman, of her criminal and nefarious infidelity and
so, with such proof of their guilt, the presumption of innocence can
not be sustained.

In the commission of the crime there are no extenuating
circumstances or aggravating circumstances to be considered, for which
reason the penalty imposed in the medium degree is in accordance with
the law.

Therefore, we are of the opinion that the judgment appealed from
should be affirmed and the defendants sentenced to the penalty of three
years six months and twenty-one days of prision correctional
and to pay the costs, one-half each, it being understood that they are
relieved from subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency for the
payment of the costs. This case to be returned to the court below with
a certified copy of this decision and of the judgment, which shall be
rendered in accordance herewith. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Mapa, and Johnson, JJ., concur.
Carson, J., reserves his opinion.

Date created: April 24, 2014


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