Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1908 > December 1908 Decisions > G.R. No. 4434 December 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES, ET AL. v. LEODEGARIO HOCBO

012 Phil 304:



[G.R. No. 4434. December 21, 1908. ]

THE UNITED STATES and LAUREANA IGLE, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. LEODEGARIO HOCBO, Defendant-Appellant.

M. Legaspi Florendo and V. Ilustre, for Appellant.

No appearance for Appellees.


1. SEDUCTION; PRIVATE CRIMES; STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. — Under the Penal Code, seduction was a private crime, and the aggrieved person or her representative alone had the right to prosecute or to pardon the offender. Act No. 1773, amending the code, made the act a public crime to be prosecuted by the Government. In the present case the crime was committed before the enactment of the amendment: Held That all amendments to the law which are beneficial to the defendant should be given retroactive effect in so far as they favor the accused, and the acts having been committed while the old law was still in force, and the latter being more favorable to the defendant, the crime is governed by the provisions of the Penal Code.



On the 29th day of October, 1907, the plaintiff [Igle] presented the following complaint against the defendant in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Batangas, charging the defendant with the crime of

"The undersigned plaintiff, a resident of San Jose, Province of Batangas, having filed a previous complaint, through her father, against Leodegario Hocbo, for seduction, in April, 1907, when she was a minor, and having now become of age, files now a new complaint against the accused, with the permission of the court, granted during the trial.

"Laureana Igle accuses Leodegario Hocbo of the crime of seduction committed as follows: — That from the month of September, 1906, in the town of San Jose, the accused, Leodegario Hocbo, voluntarily, criminally and feloniously insisted in deceiving, by means of repeated promises of marriage, Laureana Igle, an honest maid and then under age, the seduction and deceit being of such a character that the most learned and prudent maid would have been the victim thereof, as in fact she was seduced by the said Hocbo, who had sexual intercourse with her, both of them living afterwards as husband and wife during two weeks in the month of April, 1907, in the house of Manuel Umali in San Jose, and the accused having abandoned her without fulfilling his promise of marriage, she was seriously ill on account of the moral affliction which his unfaithful love caused to her honor, more esteemed than life itself.

"Therefore, it is respectfully requested of the court that the accused be sentenced in accordance with the Penal Code, with all the accessories, to the recognition and support of the offspring, in case there should be any, and to indemnify the aggrieved person. All the above-mentioned acts of the accused being contrary to law."cralaw virtua1aw library

This complaint was signed and sworn to by the plaintiff’ [Igle].

The cause was duly tried, and after hearing the evidence, the lower court made the following findings of

"There is no doubt as to the fact that this accused seduced the young girl Laureana, causing the ruin of her reputation as an honest and respectable woman. Fifty love letters were introduced is evidence in the case, which the accused admitted to have addressed to the girl; he endeavored to gain the affection of the young girl, to obtain her confidence by maintaining long relations with her, and to overcome the obstacles opposed to the natural modesty and the honesty of the woman, in order to consummate his criminal designs, thereby abusing the weakness of a young girl blinded by the intensity of passion.

"There is not the slightest doubt as to the culpability of this accused. The penalty provided by the law for this crime is entirely inadequate: arresto mayor, in its medium degree, for having deceived a young girl in her affections and legitimate hopes to reach the most elevated condition between a man and a woman, which has been sanctified by God for the well being of the nations."cralaw virtua1aw library

And sentenced the defendant to be imprisoned for a period of four months of arresto mayor, "to pay the injured party, Lureana Igle, the sum of P1,000 as a dowry, to recognize and support the offspring, in case there should be any, and to pay the costs of the proceedings."cralaw virtua1aw library

From this sentence the defendant appealed and made the following assignments of

"1. The court erred in instituting a suit and issuing, summons for the trial without a previous complaint or verified information.

"2. In not dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction, because of the absence of any right on the part of Flaviano Igle to prosecute the crime tried by virtue of his complaint and information.

"3. In admitting and considering as valid the complaint signed by the offended party, filed long after the commencement of the trial.

"4. In declaring that the accused is guilty of seduction and that he should be sentenced to four months of arresto mayor, to pay Laureana Igle the sum of P1,000 as indemnity and all the other particulars stated in that part of the judgment.’’

With reference to the first above assignment of error, the fact is that the complaint above set out was actually signed and sworn to by the plaintiff’ [Igle]. There having been no objection presented at the time of the trial in the court below, in accordance with many decisions of this court, we refuse to consider the objections made here for the first time.

With reference to the second above assignment of error, to wit: that the plaintiff [Igle] had no authority to present the complaint in said cause by virtue of Act No. 1773 of the Philippine Commission, said law provides that the crimes of adultery, seduction, kidnapping, violacion, calumnia and injuria, which under the Spanish Penal Code were private crimes, shall, after the passage of said Act, be considered as public crimes. Section 1 of said Act is as

"SECTION 1. Hereafter the crimes of adulterio, estupro, rapto, violacion, calumnia, and injuria, as defined by the Penal Code of the Philippine Islands, shall be deemed to be public crimes and shall be prosecuted in the same manner as are a other crimes defined by said Penal Code or by the Acts of the Philippine Commission. . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

Said Act went into effect on the 11th day of October, 1907.

The appellant contends that, inasmuch as the complaint in the present case was not presented until the 29th day of October, 1907, it should have been presented by the prosecuting attorney of the province, and that, by virtue of said law, the plaintiff [Igle] had no authority to present the complaint in her name; that the offense being a public offense, it should have been prosecuted by the prosecuting attorney of the province.

All amendments of the law which are beneficial to the defendant shall be given a retroactive effect in so far as they favor the person charged with the crime or misdemeanor. (Art. 22, Penal Code.)

The crime in the present case was committed long before the change in the law. The question arises, is the new law favorable to the defendant? Act No. 1773 in no was changes the penalty fixed for the crimes mentioned in section 1 of said law. The Penal Code gave the offended party, in the crime of seduction, the right to pardon the offender. Section 2 of said Act No. 1773 expressly prohibits the remission or pardon of the penalty imposed by the law, by the aggrieved party. We believe that the right of remission or pardon on the part of the offended party was favorable to the offending party. We find nothing in Act No. 1773 which is more favorable to the defendant than the provisions of the Penal Code.

This court has decided in the case of The United States v. Jose Herrero, case No. 4148, 1 that, notwithstanding Act No. 1773, the offended party has still the right to pardon or remit the penalty imposed by law for offenses committed prior to the 11th of October, 1907. If then the offended party still has the right to pardon the offending party for these offenses committed prior to the 11th of October, 1907, we are of the opinion and so hold that, notwithstanding the provisions of Act No. 1773, it is still the duty of the offended party, in cases of private crimes, to prosecute such crimes, without the intervention of the prosecuting attorney. We believe that we are justified in this conclusion also by the language of said Act. Said Act says that "hereafter these private crimes shall be considered public crimes." We do not believe that the legislative department of the Government intended that the law should be made applicable to crimes already committed at the time of the passage of said Act.

With reference to the fourth assignment of error, a majority of the court is of the opinion that the fine of P1,000 should be reduced to P500. With this modification, the sentence of the lower court is hereby affirmed, with costs. So ordered.

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

Carson and Tracey, JJ., concur in the result.


1. 10 Phil. Rep., 752, note.

Back to Home | Back to Main

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. :
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review :
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online :
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man :

December-1908 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 3391 December 1, 1908 - JUAN N. PASAPORTE v. DOMINGO MARIN

    012 Phil 148

  • G.R. No. 3639 December 1, 1908 - RAMON M. DE VIADEMONTE v. M. G. GAVIERES

    012 Phil 155

  • G.R. No. 4797 December 1, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. GELASIO CASTELLON, ET AL.

    012 Phil 160

  • G.R. No. 4448 December 3, 1908 - ANGEL GUSTILO, ET AL. v. JUAN ARANETA

    012 Phil 167

  • G.R. No. 4292 December 4, 1908 - ARCADIO MAXILOM v. FELIX ESTRELLA, ET AL.

    012 Phil 170

  • G.R. No. 4490 December 4, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. FELICIANO DIVINO

    012 Phil 175


    012 Phil 191


    012 Phil 195

  • G.R. No. 4682 December 9, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. J. BRAGA

    012 Phil 202

  • G.R. No. 4696 December 9, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PIO VY GUICO

    012 Phil 209

  • G.R. No. 4690 December 10, 1908 - TEODORO M. BEECH v. JUANA JIMENEZ, ET AL.

    012 Phil 212

  • G.R. No. 4240 December 11, 1908 - C. E. HELVIE v. F. M. FARMER, ET AL.

    012 Phil 222


    012 Phil 227

  • G.R. No. 4504 December 15, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. EL CHINO CUNA

    012 Phil 241

  • G.R. No. 4416 December 16, 1908 - MODESTO ACUÑA CO CHONGCO v. EL CHINO DIEVAS

    012 Phil 250

  • G.R. No. 4497 December 16, 1908 - SPRUNGLI & CO. v. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

    012 Phil 257

  • G.R. No. 4888 December 16, 1908 - J. C. CHOY v. GENARO HEREDIA

    012 Phil 259

  • G.R. No. 3851 December 17, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. CHAN TOCO

    012 Phil 262

  • G.R. No. 4190 December 17, 1908 - IN RE: JOSE MA. CEBALLOS

    012 Phil 271

  • G.R. No. 4926 December 17, 1908 - GREGORIO DE LEON v. PADRE SATURNINO TRINIDAD

    012 Phil 274

  • G.R. No. 4625 December 18, 1908 - VICENTE BRIONES v. PETRA PLATON

    012 Phil 275


    012 Phil 277

  • G.R. No. 4630 December 19, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. TORCUATA GOMEZ, ET AL.

    012 Phil 279

  • G.R. No. 4655 December 19, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. ALEJANDRO DIONISIO, ET AL.

    012 Phil 283

  • G.R. No. 4782 December 19, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. EMILIANO ARONCE

    012 Phil 291

  • G.R. No. 4803 December 19, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. BALBINO ADOLFO

    012 Phil 296

  • G.R. No. 4434 December 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES, ET AL. v. LEODEGARIO HOCBO

    012 Phil 304

  • G.R. No. 4814 December 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. LUPO CORTES, ET AL.

    012 Phil 309

  • G.R. No. 4679 December 22, 1908 - GUEVARA v. CARMEN DE PASCUAL, ET AL.

    012 Phil 311

  • G.R. No. 5041 December 22, 1908 - ALFONSO DEBRUNNER v. JOAQUIN JARAMILLO

    012 Phil 316

  • G.R. No. 3394 December 23, 1908 - ACISCLO JIMENEZ, ET AL. v. TRINIDAD BAUTISTA

    012 Phil 322

  • G.R. No. 3677 December 23, 1908 - LUIS LLACER v. FRANCISCO MUÑOZ DE BUSTILLO, ET AL.

    012 Phil 328

  • G.R. No. 4361 December 24, 1908 - PEDRO ENDEISA v. JOSE M. TALEON, ET AL.

    012 Phil 336

  • G.R. No. 4429 December 24, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. SIXTO GALURAN, ET AL.

    012 Phil 339

  • G.R. No. 3942 December 26, 1908 - DAMIANA MANINANG v. AGUSTINA CONSOLACION

    012 Phil 342

  • G.R. No. 4214 December 26, 1908 - JOHN W. HAUSSERMANN, ET AL. v. B. F. RAHMEYER, ET AL.

    012 Phil 350

  • G.R. No. 4482 December 26, 1908 - GREGORIO N. LEGASPI v. ESTEBAN AGUILAR, ET AL.

    012 Phil 353

  • G.R. No. 4451 December 29, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. SIMPLICIO PEÑA

    012 Phil 362

  • G.R. No. 4650 December 29, 1908 - ANDRES GARCHITORENA v. AMBROSIA POSTIGO

    012 Phil 374

  • G.R. No. 4827 December 29, 1908 - RAFAEL ENRIQUEZ v. FRANCISCO ENRIQUEZ, ET AL.

    012 Phil 380