G.R. No. 2184. November 11, 1905

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5 Phil. 269

[ G.R. No. 2184. November 11, 1905 ]

THE UNITED STATES, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE, VS. APOLONIO PALANCA, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.

D E C I S I O N



TORRES, J.:

On the 27th of May, 1904, the defendant, Apolonio Palanca, was
charged by the provincial fiscal of La Laguna with the crime of
homicide committed as follows: Between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening
of April 30,1904, the accused attacked the deceased Jose Monteagudo in
Calle Dolores, town of Nagcarlang, La Laguna, inflicting upon his body
with a bolo several wounds which resulted in his death shortly
afterwards, contrary to the statute in such case made and provided.

After hearing the evidence introduced at the trial, the court, on
August 12 following, entered judgment convicting the accused of the
crime charged in the complaint and sentenced him to twelve years and
one day imprisonment (reclusion temporal), to indemnify the
heirs of the deceased in the amount of 1,000 pesos, Philippine
currency, and to pay the costs. From this judgment the defendant
appealed.

It was conclusively proved at the trial of this case that on the
night in question several young men (among them being Sergio Cruzare,
Luis Gosaico, Crisanto Gosaico, Melchor Angeles, Bernardo Ibanez, and
Jose Monteagudo) gathered in the street referred to; that the
defendant, Apolonio Palanca, approached them, and calling Sergio
Cruzare, asked him whether his brother-in-law Monteagudo was among
those present. Upon being answered in the affirmative, Palanca called
to Monteagudo and stabbed him with a bolo; that the young men in the
group heard the deceased cry out that he had been stabbed by the
defendant, and they immediately ran to his assistance; that the
deceased then repeated that Palanca had stabbed him; that Bernardo
Ibanez asked Palanca why he had stabbed the deceased, and Palanca
rushed at him threatening to kill everyone present; that Ibanez then
went in search of the police, who arrived shortly afterwards and
arrested the defendant. The witnesses further testified that they had
seen the deceased, who died an hour later, his clothes being saturated
with blood.

According to the autopsy made by the president of the local board of
health who shortly after the occurrence went to the drug store where
Monteagudo had been taken for treatment, he found the latter in a dying
condition with a wound in the left forearm, severing the humeral and
other arteries, causing a hemorrhage which the said president of the
board of health was unable to stop. The wound was inflicted with an
ordinary bolo.

The act committed by the accused constitutes the crime of homicide
as defined and punished in article 404 of the Penal Code. There is no
evidence that the commission of the crime was attended by any
circumstance which would increase the penalty.

The evidence introduced by the prosecution shows that Apolonio
Palanca is the sole author of the death of Jose Monteagudo. The defense
was unable to overcome the positive testimony of the prosecution,
notwithstanding the denial of the accused that he killed the deceased,
his plea of not guilty, and the evidence introduced by him at the trial
to establish his innocence.

It was Palanca who, prior to the occurrence, ascertained from Sergio
Cruzare that the deceased was among those present and who called to
Monteagudo, who, shortly after he had approached Palanca, was heard to
cry that he had been stabbed by the latter, repeating the same thing in
the presence of certain witnesses before he died. Palanca attempted to
attack with his bolo the young men who were present, particularly
Ibanez, upon the latter asking him why he had stabbed the deceased.
There is no doubt, therefore, that Palanca killed Jose Monteagudo. The
allegation that Eusebio Vita, one of the policemen called by the eye
witnesses, was the aggressor, is not borne out by the record. When the
police arrived at the place of the occurrence, the deceased had already
been wounded. Moreover, according to the testimony of the defense, the
policeman was armed with a dagger, while the proof shows that deceased
was wounded with a bolo.

The only witness who testified in support of the contention of the
defense was Mariano Manas, but he was not present at the time of the
killing. When he arrived, Monteagudo had, according to the testimony of
Manas himself, already been wounded. He did not see anyone else stab
the deceased, but was informed at the place where the killing occurred
that Palanca was the one who did the killing.

We agree with the trial court that the extenuating circumstance of
paragraph 5, article 9, of the Penal Code should be taken into
consideration. There being no aggravating circumstances, the penalty
should therefore be imposed in its minimum degree.

Even admitting that the statements made by the witnesses in the
affidavits presented with the motion for a new trial were true, they
could not overcome the proof introduced by the prosecution. Nor has it
been shown that the evidence sought to be introduced at the new trial
could not by the exercise of due diligence, have been discovered before
the trial in the court below. The evidence could not therefore be
considered “newly discovered,” under section 42 of General Orders, No. 58, and the rule laid down by this court in the case of the United States vs. Francisco de Leon (1 Phil. Rep., 188).

The judgment appealed from should be affirmed with costs of this
instance, and the accused further sentenced to the accessory penalties
prescribed by article 59 of the Penal Code, and to pay an
indemnification of 1,000 pesos to the heirs of the deceased. Let the
case be remanded to the trial court with a certified copy of the
judgment entered in accordance herewith for execution. So ordered.

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






Date created: April 28, 2014




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