G.R. No. 2075. December 20, 1905

Please log in to request a case brief.

5 Phil. 444

[ G.R. No. 2075. December 20, 1905 ]




The accused in this case was convicted of the crime of brigandage,
as denned and penalized in section 4 of Act No. 518 of the Philippine

Evidence was introduced by the prosecution which tended to show that
between the months of August, 1902, and April, 1903, the accused was in
communication with the bandits who at that time infested the Province
of Cavite, aiding them by furnishing supplies and information; and that
in the month of April, 1903, the accused sent such information to the
band of brigands under the command of Montalan that they were enabled
to enter and sack the town of Silang on an occasion when the detachment
of Constabulary usually stationed there was temporarily absent; and
that on this occasion the accused joined the bandits in person and
aided and assisted them in looting the town.

The defense introduced evidence to prove that at the time when the
accused is charged with giving aid and assistance to the bandits, he
was in fact acting as local commander of the volunteers of the town of
Silang, who were organized under the direction and control of the
provincial governor for the purpose of combating and suppressing the
brigand and ladrone movement in the Province of Cavite, and
testimony was introduced which, if it be accepted as true, would prove
that on the occasion of the said attack on the town of Silang the
accused was absent visiting friends in the town of Imus.

If we could implicitly rely upon the testimony of the witnesses for
the prosecution there would be no doubt of the guilt of the accused,
aggravated by his betrayal of the confidence and trust imposed, upon
him by his acceptance of the obligation resulting from his appointment
as chief of the volunteers of Silang. It appears, however, that all the
important witnesses for the Government were either officers and
soldiers or secret-service men in the pay of the Constabulary, and that
the complaining witness, who instituted these proceedings, was one
Estrella, a lieutenant of Constabulary, between whom and the accused
there existed a state of deadly enmity, the accused, prior to the
filing of this charge, having been instrumental in the institution of
criminal proceedings against Estrella on the charge of the
assassination of a prisoner. Furthermore, the evidence as to the more
essential allegations which tend to prove the guilt of the accused
rests almost exclusively on the testimony of informers, themselves
prisoners in the hands of the Constabulary and charged with the very
crime of which the accused was convicted, so that if full faith and
credit be not given to their testimony there is nothing in the record
which would prove that the accused had had any relations with the
brigands which might not readily be explained by the faithful and
conscientious performance of his duties as chief of volunteers.

In view of the deadly hatred which existed between the complaining
witness and the accused, and in view of the character of the witnesses
for the prosecution and of their defendant relation to the accuser, we
do not think that their testimony should be accepted without conclusive
corroborative evidence in support of their statements. We do not find
such corroborative evidence in the record, and, on the contrary,
evidence was introduced by the defense which tends to prove that the
accused was not in the town of Silang at the time of the alleged
attack, and that at the time when he was charged with aiding and
assisting the brigands he was actually engaged in an effort to capture
and suppress them, under the order and direction of the provincial

The evidence in the record is not sufficient to sustain a finding of
the guilt of the accused, and the judgment and sentence appealed from
should be reversed, and the accused acquitted of the crime with which
he is charged, and the bond for his appearance canceled, with the costs
of both instances de oficio. Judgment will be entered in accordance herewith and the record returned forthwith to the trial court. So ordered.

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

Date created: April 28, 2014


Leave a Reply

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

Apply Filters