This cause was commenced against defendants in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Sulu, Department of Mindanao and Sulu, Philippine Islands, by a criminal complaint that stated.
"The undersigned fiscal charges the Moros Landasan, Asari, Ilias, and Jamjali with the crime of robbery with homicide, committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That on or about the night of June 11, 1915, in the sitio of Tinglub, of the municipal district of Pangutaran, Province of Sulu, Department of Mindanao and Sulu, P. I., said accused in company with the Moros Daddani, Nasal, and one of unknown name (these last named have not yet been found or arrested), conspiring among themselves, mutually aiding each other and forming a band of robbers under the command of the accused Landasan as ringleader of said band, did willfully, unlawfully and criminally (all with the intent of unlawful gain, violence and intimidation against persons) seize and carry away with them a certain sum of money, two agungs, and several articles of jewelry and wearing apparel of the total value of P500 — equivalent to 2,500 pesetas Philippine currency — belonging to the Moro Dato Damsic and his wife the Mora Salip Aluya; that, by reason of or on the occasion of said robbery, the accused and their companions being armed some with barongs and others with lances did, with said arms, attack and assault the aforesaid Moro Damsic, and another Moro named Abdul Hamid in their own house and without provocation for such an occurrence; that said accused inflicted several fatal wounds from which the said Moros Damsic and Abdul Hamid immediately died; acts committed in violation of law."cralaw virtua1aw library
Attended by their respective counsel, the accused were arraigned; Landasan and Ilias pleaded guilty; the other two, Asari and Jamjali, pleaded not guilty; the court ordered that, in spite of the plea of guilty entered by said two, evidence should be presented in respect to all four. At the trial evidence was produced only by the prosecution as counsel for the defendants stated they had none to offer. On November 13, 1915, judgment was rendered sentencing the defendants Landasan, Asari and Jamjali, as guilty of the crime of robbery with double homicide — punished in article 503, paragraph 1, of the Penal Code — with the aggravating circumstances of treachery, nocturnity, premeditation and the commission of the crime in the dwelling of the offended parties, to the penalty of death with the accessory penalties of article 53 of the Penal Code; sentencing Ilias, as a minor 18 years of age, to the penalty of fourteen years eight months and one day of cadena temporal and to the accessory penalties of article 56 of the same code — all four to jointly and severally indemnify the heirs of the deceased Damsic in the sum of P500, the heirs of the other deceased, Abdul Hamid, in the sum of P500, and each of the defendants to pay one-fourth of the costs.
The trial record has come to us for a review of the judgment as regard the defendants Landasan, Asari, and Jamjali who were sentenced to the penalty of death. The other defendant, Ilias, did not appeal and with respect to him the judgment became final. After stating that, aside from the facts of defendants plea of guilty, unfortunately the charge under which they were prosecuted had been proven, counsel for the first three discussed only the trial court’s finding of the aggravating circumstances, contended that those of known premeditation, nocturnity and the commission of the crime in the dwelling of the offended parties should not apply to the present case, and on the other hand, begged in these defendants’ behalf the allowance of the benefits granted by article 11 of the Penal Code, as amended by Act No. 2142 of the Philippine Legislature, requesting that each of the defendants be sentenced to the penalty of cadena perpetua.
Upon a careful examination of the evidence presented at trial, together with the plea of guilty entered by the defendant Landasan, we find the following facts to have been proven beyond all doubt: That, after midnight of June 11, 1915, and before daybreak of the following day, the 16th [12th?], while the Moro Dato Damsic in company with his wife Salip Aluya, the men named Abdul Hamid and Dium — the latter an old man — and the two women named Halila and Aysa — the three last-named being sick — were in Damsic’s house in the barrio of Tinglub, of the municipality of Pangutaran, Province of Sulu, said house was assaulted by the defendants Landasan, Asari, Jamjali, and Ilias (accompanied by three other men named Basi, Nasal, and Daddani) all armed with barongs or cutting weapons; that all the defendants and their said companions had met previously in the house of the defendant Landasan who acted as the leader of the gang and there had agreed upon the robbery they were to commit; that while Nasal and Daddani stationed themselves as watchers outside the house, Landasan, Asari, Jamjali, Ilias, and Basi entered the building, the latter remaining as a watcher at the door of the room; that, while all the inmates of the house were asleep, except Damsic’s wife Salip Aluya who was taking care of her sick child, Landasan with his barong attacked Abdul Hamid; that Asari and Jamjali, with weapons of the same king, assaulted Dato Damsic; that Abdul Hamid was wounded in his back and breast; that Damsic was wounded in this throat and back; that these wounds a few moments afterwards caused their death; that on one of the defendants also wounded Salip Aluya, Damsic’s wife, in her ankle; that she did not recognize her aggressor because, upon wounding her, he instantly turned his back; that immediately thereafter said three defendants, with their two companions who were in the house at the time, seized the sum of P73 and several articles of wearing apparel and jewelry that were in a trunk, as well as two agungs belonging to Damsic and his wife Salip Aluya of the total value of P301; that a few days afterwards the two agungs, worth P90, were recovered; that some of the wearing apparel and jewelry, worth P97, were found in the possession of the defendant Landasan, that the rest of the stolen property, valued at P204, including the P73 in cash, was not recovered.
Such are the facts disclosed at the trial by the testimony of the woman Salip Aluya herself, and also by that of the man Basi who was one of those who helped Landasan, Asari, and Jamjali and their companions to commit the crime, by stationing himself, as aforesaid, as a watcher at the door of the room of the house while the others were performing what they had previously decided to do, as well as by the testimony of the defendant Ilias who, granted the permission of and duly advised by the court respecting his rights, was used as a witness against his codefendants Asari and Jamjali. Ilias admitted his own guilt and related the acts in which he and his companions took part. His testimony was corroborated by that of Salip Aluya, Damsic’s widow, and by Basi.
The above related facts constitute the complex crime of robbery with homicide committed by a band, inasmuch as it was perpetrated by more than three armed malefactors. This crime is provided for and punished in article 503, No. 1, in connection with articles 504 and 505 of the Penal Code, and the defendants Landasan, Asari, and Jamjali, as the perpetrators thereof by direct participation are criminally liable therefor.
As the crime was committed in the dwelling of the offended parties, this circumstance must be considered as one aggravating said liability, as also the circumstance of the commission of the crime in the nighttime, for it is unquestionable that the defendants purposely sought the nighttime and took advantage of same in order better to insure the realization of their criminal purpose.
The defendants committed the crime by employing in its execution means, methods or forms tending directly and especially to insure themselves against risk arising from any defense the offended persons might be able to make, because they took advantage of the circumstance that all the inmates of Dato Damsic’s house were asleep — with the exception of the latter’s wife Salip Aluya — and entered the building; because with their weapons they suddenly assaulted the sleeping Dato Damsic and Abdul Hamid and killed them both; because immediately thereafter they took possession of the money and effects aforementioned, belonging to said married couple, which were in the house. Wherefore the aggravating circumstance of treachery also attended the execution of the crime — though its presence does not vary the classification of said two homicides by qualifying them either as murder or as the crime of robbery with murder instead of robbery with homicide — because, as the supreme court of Spain held in a decision of December 17, 1875, it is immaterial, so far as the total liability for the complex crime of robbery and the treacherous killing of the person robbed is concerned whether or not the perpetrator contributes to the murder by material acts, since article 516 of the Code, paragraph No. 1 (article 503, paragraph No. 1, of the Philippine Code) pays no heed to the fact that the crimes provided for are two and are punished by another article of the same code, but, making a complete abstraction of the separate classification that might have been given to both crimes, has united them, thereby creating and constituting a special complex crime which makes the two one, single, indivisible for they are both joined together by the clause in consequence of or on the occasion of the robbery, wherefore the mere lack of this circumstance and this occasion could divide the two crimes but always considering the circumstances of each criminal act. Therefore neither the divisibility of this crime into two separate crimes, nor the divisibility of the liability of the criminals who took part is allowable. In another decision of September 11, 1878, the supreme court of Spain held also that the nature of the special and complex crime under consideration is not impaired by the circumstance that the killing of the person robbed may be termed a murder and not a homicide, because the greater term includes the lesser and because in said article 516 (which corresponds to article 503 of the Philippine Code) the code uses the word homicide in its broadest and most generic sense and does not make distinctions which have never been made in practice, and which though made, would be of no ultimate utility to the convicted who, in any event, would be sentenced to the same penalty. Finally, in a decision of May 26, 1877, said supreme court, held also that, "when there is a direct relation, an intimate connection, between the robbery and the killing — whether the latter be prior or subsequent to the former or whether both crimes be committed at the same time — it is unquestionable that they constitute the compels special crime provided for and punished in article 516, No. 1, of the Code," that is, article 503, No. 1, of ours.
But, in the commission of the crime under review, the circumstance, also aggravating, of known premeditation cannot be held to be present as the Attorney-General argues, because this circumstance is inherent in the crime of robbery, and, although, in the decision of March 1, 1880 — cited among others by the Attorney-General — the supreme court of Spain held that said aggravating circumstances of known premeditation can be considered in the crime of robbery with violence and intimidation against persons, in consequence of or on the occasion when a homicide was committed, yet the same decision contains the finding that "in order to warrant the holding that said circumstance attended the crime aforementioned, that is, the crime of robbery with killing, it is indispensable that the premeditation apply to the killing when there actually was previous concert among the culprits and a deliberate, heartless intention to cause death."cralaw virtua1aw library
Although the evidence shows that there was previous concert among the defendants, in the house of their leader Landasan, to commit the robbery in Dato Damsic’s house — for the witness Basi stated in his testimony that the defendants met in Landasan’s house and there planned the robbery, and that Landasan himself acted as their chief — yet there is no proof whatever that there was previous agreement among the defendants and their companions, nor that there was, on that occasion, a deliberate, heartless intention to kill Dato Damsic and Abdul Hamid, wherefore the known premeditation which existed between the said accused and his companions cannot be applied to the killing of these two men but the robbery and, consequently, the aforecited decision invoked by the Attorney-General shows that for the purpose of increasing the penalty that should be imposed, the circumstance of known premeditation cannot be considered to have attended the crime committed by the defendants.
On the other hand, taking into account that the defendants belong to a non-Christian race or tribe and that they are ignorant, they should be accorded the benefits of the provisions of article 11 of the Penal Code, as amended by Act No. 2142 of the Philippine Legislature. Wherefore the two defendants Asari and Jamjali should be sentenced to the lesser of the two indivisible penalties provided for the crime. However, the other defendant, Landasan, should be sentenced to the greater of said penalties, notwithstanding the considerations just above mentioned, because, as he was the leader of the men who committed these criminal and vandalic acts, the penalty that should be imposed, in accordance with paragraph 2 of article 504, is that immediately superior in degree to the one fixed by law for the crime. As there is none such, because the greater of the two indivisible penalties fixed by article 503, No. 1 of the Penal Code, is that of death, even taking into consideration, in behalf of the defendant, the provisions of article 11 of said code, as amended by said Act No. 2142, said last mentioned penalty, death, is the one that in justice and in accordance with the law should be imposed upon him, as it was by the trial court in the judgment under review.
For the foregoing reasons, we modify said judgment condemning the defendants Asari and Jamjali to the penalty of cadena perpetua, to the accessory penalties mentioned in article 54 of the Penal Code, and, besides, jointly and severally together with the other defendant and the man named Ilias, to return to the heirs of the deceased Damsic the P73 and the unrecovered articles taken away from him, or to pay, in lieu thereof, P204, the value of said articles, and we confirm said judgment in all other respects, without special finding as to the costs of this instance. So ordered.
Torres, Johnson, Carson, and Trent, JJ.
, concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
I concur. I desire only to call attention to the case of United States v. Ancheta (15 Phil. Rep., 471), and state that my understanding of the present case in so far as it discusses the aggravating circumstance of premeditation in connection with the crime of robo con homicidio is that it s not in conflict with the case referred to. In that case there was deliberate premeditation as to the killing. In the case at bar there was deliberate premeditation only as to the robbery.