G.R. No. 1737. January 25, 1906

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G.R. No. 1737

[ G.R. No. 1737. January 25, 1906 ]




The defendants have been charged in the Court of First Instance of Albay with the crime of bandolerismo.
After the trial was held the judge found them guilty and sentenced the
defendants to the death penalty. The case has been brought before this
court en consulta.

It is clearly proven that the defendants formed part of a band
commanded by Magno Ragel, Patino as major, and Tibis as captain.
Several witnesses testified to this fact and it has also been proven by
the confession of the defendants themselves when’ testifying in their
own behalf. It is also proven that the said band was composed of about
twenty-five or thirty individuals; that they were armed with guns and
had some engagements with the Constabulary forces; that in one of these
encounters the chief, Magno Ragel, was killed. There is also proof
going to show the character and purpose of this band in that it
committed several robberies in different places and on different
occasions. A witness for the prosecution, Alipio Olgina, who had been a
member of a band commanded by Lazaro Toledo, gives an account of
several robberies perpetrated by the said band in several towns
together with the band of Ragel. Another witness, Sabino Fumario, who
had been a member of the latter’s band, states that on one occasion
they attacked the cuartel of the Constabulary in the town of Oas, and
that in this attack they succeeded in taking forty-seven guns belonging
to the Constabulary. One of the most important robberies committed by
the band of Ragel was that committed on Frederick Braun in the month of
May, 1903, while he was in a small boat om his way to Sorsogon, having
on board twenty-seven bales of abaca and 300 pesos in money. Some
members of the band took possession of the cargo and held Braun and his
servant, Mateo Dulan, prisoners. Mateo Dulan testified as a witness for
the prosecution and gave all the details concerning this latter
occurrence. The defendant Patino was appointed by Magno Ragel to take
possession of the cargo of the boat, which appears from the testimony
of said Patino and that of Anselmo Pulvinar. On this particular
occasion the band was not satisfied with committing the robbery only,
but they also killed Frederick Braun while he was their prisoner and
unable to defend himself. This act was executed with circumstances
repugnant in the extreme and which circumstances reveal great
perversion in the criminal. They made two attempts against the life of
Braun; the first time they did not succeed in killing him because, when
they struck and wounded him in the neck and in the arm, Braun succeeded
in making his escape before they could give him the fatal blow. For
this reason the defendant Patino ordered his codefendant, Pio Tibis, to
search for their victim and finish him. Tibis found Braun seated on the beach mid complaining of the pain from the wound in his neck.
All this is stated by Tibis himself. The manner in which Braun was
killed is described by the witness Esteban Bundri in the following
terms: Three soldiers md Captain Pio [Tibis] held the American; I myself took hold of him. We
were all armed with bolos. When we arrived at 8aban, Captain Pio
ordered me to kill him. I killed him because I was afraid. The
American’s elbotvs were tied, and while thus bound Pio Tibis told me to
cut his neck. As he was mov- ing and struggling, I struck him in the
face and then Pio Tibis ordered a soldier to hold the American by the
hair, Wv order that he might not move. I then struck him in the neck,
the American dying instantly * * *.
Tibis afterwards wrote a letter to Patifio, giving him an account of having complied with his orders and telling him that he sent therewith the left ear of the American* * *. The genuineness of this letter was acknowledged by the defendant Tibis at the trial of the case.

The band of Magno Ragel, according to the evidence adduced at the
trial, had all the characteristics of a band of brigands as defined in
section 1 of Act No. 518, because this band was composed of more than
three individuals, carried deadly weapons, roamed over the country,
going from place to place and from town to town, for the purpose of
robbing. This last circumstance constitutes proof that said band had
for its object robbery, even granting that it had other ends, as
alleged by the defense. The penalty prescribed by law for the crime of bandolerismo is
that of death or imprisonment for a period of not less than twenty
years, in the discretion of the court. Taking into consideration the
seriousness of the crimes committed by the band, in some of which
crimes the defendants took part directly, and taking into consideration
also the fact of the defendants having been officers in this band, we
believe that the death penalty imposed upon them by the court below is

In this judgment the defendants are also sentenced to pay 1,000
pesos to the family of the deceased Frederick Braun. We believe that
this part of the judgment is not in accordance with the law. The trial
against them was held exclusively for the crime of bandolerismo,and
Act No. 518, which defines and punishes this crime, does not recite
among it’s penalties therein prescribed any indemnification. It is true
that on the trial of the case the death of Frederick Braun was proven,
but it was only for the purpose of producing evidence against the
defendants and to assist the court in the exercise of its discretion,
so that the death penalty might be imposed on the defendants as
provided for by the law for this crime. The accused were only charged
with the crime of bandolerismo, and therefore can be sentenced only for that crime.

For the reasons stated above, we affirm the judgment below, except
as to the payment of 1,000 pesos to the family of the deceased
Frederick Braun. In this respect it is reversed. The defendants should
also pay the costs in this instance. So ordered.

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

Date created: March 15, 2010


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