G.R. No. 1298. May 01, 1905

Please log in to request a case brief.

4 Phil. 506

[ G.R. No. 1298. May 01, 1905 ]




The information filed in this case is as follows:

“In the Court of First Instance of the Province of
Batangas. Seventh Judicial District. March 7, 1903. The undersigned
accuses Juan Singuimuto of the crime of estafa, as follows:

That the said Juan Singuimuto, in the town of Batangas, Province of
Batangas, received 300 sacks of rice from Lieutenant William H. Bell,
commissary of the United States military post, who was responsible for
the distribution, purchase, and sale of Government rice in the said
Province of Batangas, using for this purpose two orders (vales)
issued in favor of the accused by the said Lieutenant William H. Bell,
to wit: One for 100 sacks of rice, valued at 525 pesos, Mexican
currency, being at the rate of 5.25 pesos, Mexican currency, per
sack—this on or about the 16th day of July, 1902; and the other for 200
sacks valued at 1,050 pesos, Mexican currency, being at the rate of
5.25 pesos, Mexican currency, for each sack—this on or about the 13th
day of October, 1902.

“Second. That the accused received
the said 300 sacks of rice on commission to sell them, and to pay the
amount received, when sold, to Lieutenant William H. Bell, through the
municipal president, Sr. Jose Villanueva.

“Third. That the
accused not only has failed to deliver the amount received from said
sales, but he has denied receiving the said 100 and 200 sacks of rice.

“Fourth. That these acts were committed contrary to law.”

There is no evidence in the case upon which to base a finding that
the rice in question was in fact delivered to the accused, unless full
faith and credit be given the testimony of the witness Isabelo Javier,
who stated that he received the said order from Lieutenant Bell and
delivered the same to the accused, and that the accused, through his
agents, received said rice from the Government warehouseman in
pursuance of said order.

This witness, when first called, stated that as a friend of the
accused he had acted as interpreter in the transactions had with the
officer in charge of the distribution of the Government rice at
Batangas, and that except on the 14th and 15th of October the accused
never bought or dealt in Government rice, and that on those occasions
he paid cash for all rice received.

Upon being recalled for the prosecution, he swore that this evidence
was false, and that the truth was that the officer had given him the
orders mentioned in the information for delivery to the accused, that
he had delivered said orders, and that the accused had received the
rice mentioned in the said information from the Government warehouseman
at or about the date of the execution of said orders. He also gave the
names of a number of drivers of carabao carts, on which he alleged the
rice in question had been hauled away by the accused, but all of these
persons who were called as witnesses positively denied having hauled
the rice in question and contradicted the statements of the witness
upon this point.

We do not think that the uncorroborated evidence of this witness is
sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence in favor of the
accused, and we are of opinion that there exists a reasonable doubt as
to the alleged delivery of the rice in question.

The sentence appealed from is reversed, and the accused acquitted of the charge against him, with the costs de oficio in both instances.

Arellano, C. J., Mapa and Willard, JJ., concur.



From the new evidence taken in the new trial had in this case, it
appears that Juan Villano affirms to have seen ten of the various
witnesses examined in this case, and whose names he gives, occupied in
transporting rice in carts at about 10 o’clock in the morning of a day
the date of which he could not remember, but it was about two years
ago, and that they were unloading the rice in the storehouse belonging
to the defendant who, together with Vito Alindungan, received and piled
the rice inside of the storehouse. Another witness affirms (p. 185)
what the witnesses preceding him testified to, adding that the rice was
carried to the store of the defendant in July and October, 1902, in the
morning, and that it came from the storehouse of the Government,
situated on the shore, and that several of the witnesses examined, cart
drivers, and whose names he does not state, were transporting the rice
in carts. That the one who received and took the sacks of rice was a
son-in-law of the defendant, “Goyo” or “Gregorio,” assisted by Isabelo
Javier, and as the witness was in the employ of the defendant, he was
ordered to arrange the stacking of the sacks of rice received.

Taking into consideration what these two witnesses testified, and
also taking into consideration the statements made by Isabelo Javier,
supporting the testimony of the majority of the witnesses examined who
were cart drivers, and finally what the witnesses Petronilo Marcial and
Pelagio Quino stated regarding the disappearance of a certain quantity
of rice which was in charge of Lieutenant Bell, and finally taking the
result of the case altogether, corroborating the charges, and also what
the witnesses Fortunato Hernandez and Felix Javier declare, I reassert
here my former opinion rendered on the decision of the case No. 1298,
dated January 14,1904,[1] and of which this forms a part.



I think the evidence disclosed by the record shows that the
defendant is guilty of the crime charged and that the sentence below
should be affirmed.

[1] 3 Phil. Rep., 176.

Date created: April 24, 2014


Leave a Reply

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

Apply Filters