G.R. No. 2284. October 20, 1905

Please log in to request a case brief.

5 Phil. 149

[ G.R. No. 2284. October 20, 1905 ]




The defendant in this case is charged with the crime of
falsification of a public document, defined and penalized in paragraphs
4 and 7 of article 300 of the Penal Code.

The trial court, after considering the complaint and the proof
introduced at the hearing of the case, rendered judgment on the 4th of
November, 1904, convicting the defendant Jose Paraiso of the crime
charged in the complaint, and sentenced him to the penalty of fourteen
years eight months and one day of imprisonment, and to suffer the
accessory penalties of article 56 of the same code, and to the payment
of a fine of 5,001 pesetas, or its equivalent in Philippine currency,
with costs.

It was proven during the trial of this case that the defendant, Jose
Paraiso, was a municipal treasurer, and that he also performed the
duties of deputy provincial treasurer, and that as such official, and
taking advantage of his office, he collected from some of the residents
of the town of Lumbang certain sums of money in excess of the actual
amount authorized by law for poll tax certificates issued to them, and
failed to pay the same to the provincial treasurer; that
notwithstanding this he entered upon the stubs of the said certificates
smaller amounts than those actually collected, thus retaining for his
own personal use a major part of the money thus collected; that in
making out his abstracts of collections with reference to the stubs,he
certified the same as correct, and presented them officially to the
provincial treasurer, thereby committing a falsification in that he
failed to state the truth in the narration of the facts, and concealed
the exact amounts collected by him, with intent to gain, and to this
effect he made certain changes and alterations upon the stubs, in
violation of the law.

This is not a case of falsification of poll-tax certificates, as provided for in articles 306 and 307 of the Penal Code.

The crime established, and that for which the defendant is directly
responsible, is that of having presented an abstract of collections
showing amounts falsely entered upon the stubs of certain poll-tax
certificates, certified to as an official document, containing the
amounts collected for certificates issued, upon which said abstract of
collections there appear amounts smaller than those shown on the
certificates to the taxpayers.

The provincial treasurer, Mr. Lamb, after explaining that the
amounts shown on the abstract of collections were a resume of the
amounts shown on the stubs, and that the total amount shown on the
stubs was the only amount paid by the defendant to the treasurer,
stated that the abstracts of collections that had been exhibited to him
for identification were the same ones that were presented and signed by
the municipal treasurer, Jose Paraiso.

Mr. Lamb further identified the signatures appearing upon the
certificates that he then had before him, he being well acquainted with
the signature of the defendant, which appeared in many letters and
notes that he had received from him. This witness further testified
that the amounts shown on some of the certificates issued by the
accused were larger than those appearing on the abstracts, referring,
among others to the certificate issued to Pedro Rabie, from whom the
defendant received the amount of 6 pesos, whereas in the stub
corresponding to the said certificate the amount of 2 pesos was
entered. His testimony was corroborated in this respect by Manuel Abad,
the clerk of the defendant, who also testified that when the provincial
treasurer went to Lumbang in order to investigate the accounts of the
municipal treasurer he asked the president of the municipality why the
sum of 6 pesos had been charged for some of the certificates; this in
the presence of three other persons besides himself and Mr. Lukenbill,
who stated that the stubs of the certificates were compared by him with
the abstract of collections signed by the accused Paraiso and found
jthose marked “A” and “H” to correspond with each other, but that the
amounts entered upon some of the certificates did not correspond with
their respective stubs. The treasurer, Mr. Lamb, further testified that
the accused had admitted to him that he had in fact issued certificates
for an amount different than that appearing on the stubs, and asked him
to protect him, promising that he would not do it again.

The forty certificates issued by the accused show different
amounts-that is to say, G, 5, 4, and 3 pesos in a majority of
them-which said amounts were larger than those appearing on the
corresponding stubs, and as the official abstracts made out and
presented by the accused to the provincial treasurer showed smaller
amounts falsely entered upon the stubs, there is no doubt that the
defendant committed the crime of falsification, with intent to gain,
upon the stubs of the certificates, and particularly upon the official
abstracts presented to the provincial treasurer, which said crime is
defined and punished in paragraphs 4 and 7 of article 300 of the Penal

The defendant pleaded not guilty, and presented various witnesses,
whose testimony can not, however, overcome the evidence introduced by
the prosecution; nor can the two certificates exhibited by the defense
have this effect, because the very fact that some of these certificates
issued and signed by the accused correspond with the stubs, and the
further fact that he presented an abstract as to the amounts shown on
the stubs corresponding to their certificates, is the best proof of the
fact that the certificates introduced in this case were genuine, and
were actually issued by the accused, and not by any employee of his.

As to the allegation of the defense relative to the multiplicity of
the crimes charged in the complaint, it will be noticed that the
defendant is charged with one single crime of falsification, although
in order to better establish the criminality of the accused it became
necessary for the prosecution to make a detailed statement of the
various criminal acts committed by the accused. If there was any doubt
at all, the defense could have excepted by demurrer to the sufficiency
of the complaint in which several crimes were charged, but the fact is
that neither the accused nor his counsel took advantage of any such
exception, nor was any motion made to have the defendant charged with
only one crime.

Therefore this is not a case in which the defendant is charged with
two or more offenses, for which various penalties may be imposed, nor
is it a case of various crimes punished with a single penalty, in
accordance with articles 87 and 89 of the Penal Code. Consequently the
provisions of section 11 of General Orders, No. 58, have not been
infringed by the trial court.

The accused, Jose Paraiso, was charged with the crime of
falsification of a public document, and notwithstanding the fact that
the complaint contains various charges of falsification commited by the
accused, the fact remains that no exception having been taken by the
defense to the said complaint, no reason exists why the judgment
appealed from convicting the defendant of a single crime should be held
defective. The judgment of the trial court is in strict conformance
with the proof presented by the prosecution, as well as the defense,
and the merits of the case and the law applicable thereto. There is no
doubt that the defendant is guilty, and that, as has been demonstrated,
had acquired the reprehensible habit of falsifying documents for the
purpose of gain.

There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances to be
considered in this case, the judgment of the trial court should be
confirmed, with costs to the defendant. Let the cause be returned to
the trial court, with a certified copy of this decision, and also of
the final judgment that may be entered in accordance therewith, for its
execution. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 28, 2014


Leave a Reply

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

Apply Filters