Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1908 > March 1908 Decisions > G.R. No. L-3780 March 23, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PEDRO SELLANO

010 Phil 498:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-3780. March 23, 1908. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PEDRO SELLANO, Defendant-Appellant.

A. Barretto, for Appellant.

Attorney-General Araneta, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. HOMICIDE; MURDER; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES. — Where the cause does not offer satisfactory proof as to how and in what manner was compassed the violent death of an individual, whose body was found a few house later by the authorities at the place where the death occurred, the crime should be qualified as that of homicide and not murder, by reason of the absence of proof of any of the specific circumstances which qualify the last-named crime, which circumstances must be derived from facts, duly proven, in the same manner as the main derived from facts, duly proven, in the same manner as the main fact, in order that the crime may be qualified as murder.


D E C I S I O N


TORRES, J. :


Pedro Sellano the accused, and Hilaria Almero lived for some time as husband and wife, but owing to certain troubles between them they separated, and Sellano left the house in which Hilaria was living with two nieces, one named Faustina Almero, of about 14 years of age, and the other Faustina Urgel, a mere child. At this time Graciano Tinasa, husband of Andres Sagun, whose house was but a short distance from that of Hilaria Almero, also contracted illicit relations with the latter, and although Pedro Sellano subsequently renewed his relations with his former mistress, Hilaria Almero, and returned to live in her house, still Graciano Tinasa continued to call at the house of Hilaria, sometimes in the daytime and at others at night. Jose Aslarona, a resident of Sanchez Mira, lived in said house in April, 1906.

On the morning of the 21st of said month, Pedro Sellano and Jose Aslarona left the house and went in the direction of the town of Aparri, and on the night of the same day Graciano Tinasa called at the house of Hilaria Almero where he remained until a late hour; Pedro Sellano returning and finding Graciano Tinasa there, a struggle ensued between them and as a consequence the body of Tinasa was found by the authorities on the following day in the house stretched on a mat with pillows and showing four wounds, which, according to the examination made by a practicante, had been inflicted with a pointed cutting weapon; one was in the left breast, one in the left coastal region, one in the left wrist, and the other in the calf of the left leg, said wounds causing his death. Pedro Sellano was not then found in the house.

After the preliminary proceedings instituted by the justice of the peace of Abulog on the day following the occurrence had been dismissed, the provincial fiscal filed a complaint on the 25th of June, 1906, charging Pedro Sellano with murder, for having committed the crime with known premeditation and treachery; the corresponding proceedings were instituted, and on the 24th of September of the same year the judge rendered a decision declaring that the offense committed only constituted the crime of homicide, and sentenced Pedro Sellano to the penalty of seventeen years and four months of reclusion temporal, to indemnify Andrea Sagun, the window of Graciano Tinasa, in the sum of P1,000, and to pay the costs of the proceedings. From said judgment the accused has appealed.

The violent death of Graciano Tinasa which occurred between the night of April 21, 1906, and the early morning of the 22d, is an unquestionable fact that has been fully proven, inasmuch as his body with the four more or less serious wounds, was found lying on the floor of the house of Hilaria Almero who had intimate relations with the deceased, and lived with Pedro Sellano as his wife.

The case does not offer any satisfactory proof as to how and in what manner the deceased Tinasa was killed, for which reason the crime must be only qualified as homicide, on account of the absence of sufficient proof that there were present in the commission of the crime any of the qualifying circumstances enumerated in article 403 of the Penal Code which determine the crime of murder and the infliction of a heavier penalty.

From the very beginning of the investigation the criminal charge was directed against Pedro Sellano, and, notwithstanding the fact that the first preliminary proceedings instituted by the justice of the peace of Abulug were wrongfully dismissed, a dismissal which was probably due to the action and efforts of the counsel for the accused, he was thereby set at liberty, yet, a complaint having been presented by the provincial fiscal of Cagayan one month and a few days thereafter, at the request of the wife and the sister of the deceased, the present proceedings were instituted wherein not only the existence and reality of the crime, which is at least that of homicide, have been fully proven, but also the culpability of the accused, Pedro Sellano, as the sole principal by direct participation, plainly convicted of the violent death of Graciano Tinasa, has been fully established.

The crime was committed at night and the interior of a house, and the only two eyewitnesses of the occurrence in the beginning pointed out Pedro Sellano as the only aggressor and the one who killed the deceased, but afterwards retracted their declarations, given immediately after the occurrence, and accused another person, Jose Aslarona, as principal in said crime. The latter was standing outside of the house and saw the occurrence, and learned of the struggle, the origin of the crime, from the housekeeper, Hilaria Almero, who at the commencement of the affair fled from the house. The case, however, contains conclusive circumstantial evidence of the guilt of the accused, based on actual and fully proven facts from which several grave indications are derived which determine the culpability of the accused, and are: The absence and disappearance of the accused from the house in which he was living with Hilaria Almero shortly after the death of Graciano Tinasa, inasmuch as the two agents of the authorities, who were called by the former, could not find him in the house where the crime was committed and wherein they saw the body of the deceased, no explanation having ever been given as to where he was at the time; the fact that the accused called at the house of Celedonia Jacinto, and also at that where lived Angel Cuntapay and Eduardo Rabang, in Aparri, at daybreak on the 22d of April, on the early morning of which the affray had taken place, and in an excited and nervous manner prayed the former to say, if anyone came there asking for him, that he, the accused, had been in her house during the whole of the previous night, adding that he had caused a misfortune, while the truth is that he was there that night with another man and told her that they had to again cross the river in order to go to Cabulnan on the same night; that the accused revealed to his friends, the two last named, that he had a quarrel on the previous night in his own house, and did not know whether owing to his well-aimed blows he had killed his antagonist, and prayed them to tell everybody that he had spent the night in the house of the said witnesses; and the fact that the accused and Jose Aslarona had been seen at about midnight on the 21st going in the direction of the barrio of Cabulnan, to the house of Hilario Almero, by Flaviano Acosta and another.

It is affirmed by Jose Aslarona, Lazaro Castañeda, and Anacleto Lira, the two last named being lieutenants of the barrio, that they had heard from Hilaria Almero that the accused had quarreled with a man whose name she did not state, uselessly trying to conceal the fact that the deceased was a lover of hers, and that for said reason she, in company with Aslarona, reported the affair to the aforesaid lieutenants.

The fact that the accused confessed extrajudicially to Alejandro Alvarado, the municipal president of Aparri, that he was the author of the death of Graciano Tinasa when the latter reprimanded him for deceiving him the president), by taking advantage of his good faith and credulity since in the beginning he thought him innocent and that he had spent the night in Aparri, all of which was untrue. At the time when the accused made said confession there were present his brother, Juan Sellano, and the brother of a brother-in-law of the same who testified solely as to the reprimand given by the witness Alvarado to the accused who did not confess the crime, nor did he make any reply.

In the declarations of Hilaria and Faustina Almero a few hours after the affair, Pedro Sellano is accused as the only author of the crime, which accusation is confirmed by the testimony of Jose Aslarona and the lieutenants Castañeda and Lira, and also by the chief of police of Aparri, Gregorio Litaua, who went to Cabulnan, the place of the crime, to make an investigation by order of the municipal president; said witness learned from Hilaria Almero that Pedro Sellano was the author of the death of Graciano Tinasa, with the particularity that, this witness passing afterwards on a certain occasion near the prison where the accused Sellano was confined, the latter called him and begged him to do him the favor of affirming that he had been seen him in Aparri on the evening of the 21st of April, and as Litaua declined to accede to his request, the accused then prayed him not to reveal what Hilaria Almero had told him in Cabulnan, which statement was heard by another witness, Marcos Aborde, Moreover, it is presumed that the said declarations of Almero were spontaneous and in accord with those given by the other witnesses of the prosecution, among whom is the justice of the peace of Abulug who for said reason ordered the detention of Pedro Sellano as the undoubted author of the crime.

The retractions by the above-named Hilaria and Faustina Almero and the fact of their subsequently imputing the crime to Jose Aslarona appear as contradicted in the proceedings and have not been confirmed by any proof, or even by circumstantial evidence, and were undoubtedly due to the influence which the accused exercised over them, particularly after he obtained his release on the dismissal of the preliminary proceedings. The record does not contain the least indication of the guilt of Jose Aslarona, because he was not denounced when these proceedings were instituted in spite of the fact that he went in company with Hilaria to report the affair to the lieutenants of the barrio; on the contrary, the whole of the data offered by the prosecution and other merits of the case clearly shows the guilt of Pedro Sellano.

Notwithstanding the efforts of the defense and the testimony of the witnesses, the evidence of the prosecution stands and sustained as has seldom been the case in a proceeding, without having been overcome or destroyed in any manner, as was uselessly attempted; by a careful examination of the numerous data offered by the prosecution, the mind is fully convinced, beyond all reasonable doubt, of the guilt of the accused.

In the commission of the crime no aggravating or mitigating circumstance is to be considered because the darkness and silence of the night were not expressly sought for its execution, and the house in which the same was committed was not the dwelling of the deceased, for which reasons the proper penalty for the crime of homicide should be imposed in its medium degree, as has been done by the trial judge.

For the considerations above set forth, and accepting the conclusions of the judgment appealed from, it is our opinion that the same should be affirmed, as we hereby do affirm it, provided, however, that Pedro Sellano shall be further sentenced to suffer the accessory penalties of article 59 of the Penal Code, and to pay the costs of this instance. So ordered.

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




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





March-1908 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-3457 March 2, 1908 - YU BUNUAN ET AL. v. ORESTES MARCAIDA

    010 Phil 265

  • G.R. No. L-4065 March 2, 1908 - BRUNO VILLANUEVA v. MAXIMA ROQUE

    010 Phil 270

  • G.R. No. L-3717 March 5, 1908 - FELIX VELASCO v. MARTIN MASA

    010 Phil 279

  • G.R. No. L-4237 March 5, 1908 - SERAFIN UY PIAOCO v. JOSE MCMICKING

    010 Phil 286

  • G.R. No. L-4447 March 6, 1908 - MURPHY v. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS

    010 Phil 292

  • G.R. No. 4438 March 7, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. JACINTO SUNGA, ET AL

    011 Phil 601

  • G.R. No. L-3811 March 7, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. FRANCISCO BLANCO

    010 Phil 299

  • G.R. No. L-4026 March 7, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PASCUAL DULAY

    010 Phil 302

  • G.R. No. L-3880 March 9, 1908 - TEOPISTA CASTRO v. ANTONIO MARTINEZ GALLEGOS

    010 Phil 306

  • G.R. No. 4131 March 9, 1908 - SERAPIO AVERIA v. LUCIO REBOLDERA

    010 Phil 316

  • G.R. No. 4347 March 9, 1908 - JOSE ROGERS v. SMITH

    010 Phil 319

  • G.R. No. 3279 March 11, 1908 - CITY OF MANILA v. INSULAR GOVERNMENT ET AL.

    010 Phil 327

  • G.R. No. L-2129 March 12, 1908 - C. HEINZEN & CO. v. JAMES J. PETERSON, ET AL.

    010 Phil 339

  • G.R. No. L-3523 March 12, 1908 - CARIDAD MUGURUZA v. INT’L. BANKING CORP.

    010 Phil 347

  • G.R. No. L-3855 March 12, 1908 - EUFEMIA LORETO v. JULIO HERRERA

    010 Phil 354

  • G.R. No. L-3907 March 12, 1908 - ROMAN ABAYA v. DONATA ZALAMERO

    010 Phil 357

  • G.R. No. L-4085 March 12, 1908 - CARLS PALANCA TANGUINLAY v. FRANCISCO G. QUIROS

    010 Phil 360

  • G.R. No. L-4087 March 12, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. AMADOR BARRIOS

    010 Phil 366

  • G.R. No. L-4341 March 12, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. MARCOS ROJO

    010 Phil 369

  • G.R. No. L-469 March 13, 1908 - T. H. PARDO DE TAVERA v. HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

    010 Phil 371

  • G.R. No. L-3848 March 13, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. ANDRES GIMENO

    010 Phil 380

  • G.R. No. 4146 March 13, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PETRA DE GUZMAN

    010 Phil 382

  • G.R. No. L-3951 March 14, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. FELICIANO GARCIA

    010 Phil 384

  • G.R. No. L-4169 March 14, 1908 - WILHELM BAUERMANN v. MAXIMA CASAS

    010 Phil 386

  • G.R. No. L-4205 March 16, 1908 - JULIAN CABAÑAS v. DIRECTOR OF LANDS

    010 Phil 393

  • G.R. No. L-4077 March 17, 1908 - MACARIA MATIAS v. AGUSTIN ALVAREZ

    010 Phil 398

  • G.R. No. L-4127 March 17, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. CHARLES J. KOSEL

    010 Phil 409

  • G.R. No. 4051 March 18, 1908 - CATALINA BERNARDO v. VICENTE GENATO

    011 Phil 603

  • G.R. No. L-3606 March 18, 1908 - IGNACIO ACASIO v. FELICISIMA ALBANO

    010 Phil 410

  • G.R. No. L-3699 March 18, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. BENITO CUSI

    010 Phil 413

  • G.R. No. L-4007 March 18, 1908 - WARNER BARNES & CO. v. E. DIAZ & CO.

    010 Phil 418

  • G.R. No. L-4213 March 18, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. POTENCIANO REYES

    010 Phil 423

  • G.R. No. L-4233 March 18, 1908 - EXEQUIEL DELGADO v. MANUEL RIESGO

    010 Phil 428

  • G.R. No. L-4318 March 18, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. GENEROSO ACADEMIA

    010 Phil 431

  • G.R. No. L-4147 March 19, 1908 - AGRIPINO DE LA RAMA v. CONCEPCION SANCHEZ, ET AL.

    010 Phil 432

  • G.R. No. L-4209 March 19, 1908 - INTERNATIONAL BANKING CORP. v. PILAR CORRALES

    010 Phil 435

  • G.R. No. L-3904 March 20, 1908 - KO POCO v. H. B. McCOY

    010 Phil 442

  • G.R. No. L-4104 March 20, 1908 - JAO IGCO v. W. MORGAN SHUSTER

    010 Phil 448

  • G.R. No. L-4155 March 20, 1908 - RUPERTO BELZUNCE v. VALENTINA FERNANDEZ

    010 Phil 452

  • G.R. No. L-4158 March 20, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. MATEO CARIÑO

    010 Phil 456

  • G.R. No. L-4196 March 20, 1908 - BENWIT ULLMANN v. FELIX ULLMANN and CO.

    010 Phil 459

  • G.R. No. L-4241 March 20, 1908 - AGUSTIN G. GAVIERES v. ADMIN. F THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF LUISA

    010 Phil 472

  • G.R. No. L-4399 March 20, 1908 - BENITO LEGARDA v. S. L. P. ROCHA Y RUIZDELGADO

    010 Phil 474

  • G.R. No. L-4436 March 20, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. FRANCISCO CASTRO DI TIAN LAY

    010 Phil 476

  • G.R. No. 4109 March 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. JULIANA TORRES

    011 Phil 606

  • G.R. No. L-3968 March 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. MARCOS LOPEZ

    010 Phil 479

  • G.R. No. L-3975 March 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. ANGEL MARIN

    010 Phil 481

  • G.R. No. L-4167 March 21, 1908 - RAFAELA SALMO v. LUISA ICAZA

    010 Phil 485

  • G.R. No. L-4300 March 21, 1908 - MARIA BARRETTO v. LEONA REYES

    010 Phil 489

  • G.R. No. L-4324 March 21, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. CASIMIRO OLLALES

    010 Phil 493

  • G.R. No. L-3550 March 23, 1908 - GO CHIOCO v. INCHAUSTI & CO.

    010 Phil 495

  • G.R. No. L-3780 March 23, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PEDRO SELLANO

    010 Phil 498

  • G.R. No. L-4132 March 23, 1908 - IN RE: MARIA SIASON Y MADRID DE LEDESMA

    010 Phil 504

  • G.R. No. L-4215 March 23, 1908 - LUCIO I. LIMPANGCO v. JUANA MERCADO

    010 Phil 508

  • G.R. No. L-4274 March 23, 1908 - JOSE ALANO v. JOSE BABASA

    010 Phil 511

  • G.R. No. L-4352 March 24, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. RICARDO BAYOT

    010 Phil 518

  • G.R. No. L-2674 March 25, 1908 - JOAQUIN JOVER Y COSTAS v. INSULAR GOV’T., ET AL.

    010 Phil 522

  • G.R. No. L-3357 March 25, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. A. W. PRAUTCH

    010 Phil 562

  • G.R. No. L-4012 March 25, 1908 - MAXIMO CORTES Y PROSPERO v. CITY OF MANILA

    010 Phil 567

  • G.R. No. L-4063 March 25, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. JUAN MARIÑO, ET AL.

    010 Phil 571

  • G.R. No. L-4091 March 25, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. BERNABE BACHO

    010 Phil 574

  • G.R. No. L-4354 March 25, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. CANDIDO POBLETE

    010 Phil 578

  • G.R. No. L-4418 March 25, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. ANDRES V. ESTRADA

    010 Phil 583

  • G.R. No. L-3339 March 26, 1908 - ROSA LLORENTE v. CEFERINO RODRIGUEZ

    010 Phil 585

  • G.R. No. L-3812 March 26, 1908 - PHIL. SUGAR ESTATES DEV’T. CO. v. BARRY BALDWIN

    010 Phil 595

  • G.R. No. L-4100 March 26, 1908 - MARIA SINGAYAN v. CALIXTA MABBORANG

    010 Phil 601

  • G.R. No. L-4121 March 26, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PEDRO GARCIA

    010 Phil 603

  • G.R. No. L-4175 March 26, 1908 - A. W. BEAN v. B. W. CADWALLADER CO.

    010 Phil 606

  • G.R. No. L-4207 March 26, 1908 - JUAN VALLE v. SIXTO GALERA

    010 Phil 619

  • G.R. No. L-4265 March 26, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. LUIS PASCUAL

    010 Phil 621

  • G.R. No. L-4322 March 26, 1908 - INOCENTE MARTINEZ v. G. E. CAMPBELL

    010 Phil 626

  • G.R. No. L-4376 March 26, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. LIM SIP

    010 Phil 627

  • G.R. No. L-4420 March 26, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. NARCISO CAGUIMBAL

    010 Phil 630

  • G.R. No. 4160 March 26, 1908 - ANGEL GUSTILO, ET AL. v. FEDERICO MATTI, ET AL.

    011 Phil 611

  • G.R. No. 3539 March 27, 1908 - MANUEL RAMIREZ, ET AL. v. INSULAR GOVERNMENT

    011 Phil 617

  • G.R. No. 4372 March 27, 1908 - ENRIQUE M. BARRETTO v. CITY OF MANILA

    011 Phil 624

  • G.R. No. L-3612 March 27, 1908 - DOMINGO LIM v. JOSE LIM

    010 Phil 633

  • G.R. No. L-3762 March 27, 1908 - GOV’T. OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. ALEJANDRO AMECHAZURRA

    010 Phil 637

  • G.R. No. L-4037 March 27, 1908 - LIM JAO LU v. H. B. McCOY

    010 Phil 641

  • G.R. No. L-4200 March 27, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. SEGUNDO SAMONTE

    010 Phil 642

  • G.R. No. L-4203 March 27, 1908 - MANUEL CRAME SY PANCO v. RICARDO GONZAGA

    010 Phil 646

  • G.R. No. L-4469A March 27, 1908 - FELIPE G. CALDERON v. JOSE MCMICKING

    010 Phil 650

  • G.R. No. L-4017 March 28, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. PEDRO MARIÑO

    010 Phil 652

  • G.R. No. L-3007 March 30, 1908 - ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH v. MUNICIPALITY OF BADOC

    010 Phil 659

  • G.R. No. L-4198 March 30, 1908 - JUAN MERCADO v. JOSE ABANGAN

    010 Phil 676

  • G.R. No. L-4222 March 30, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. BASILIO CERNIAS

    010 Phil 682

  • G.R. No. L-4281 March 30, 1908 - JOSE GARRIDO v. AGUSTIN ASENCIO

    010 Phil 691

  • G.R. No. L-4377 March 30, 1908 - UNITED STATES v. VICENTE GARCIA GAVIERES

    010 Phil 694

  • G.R. No. L-3469 March 31, 1908 - JOSEFA AGUIRRE v. MANUEL VILLABA

    010 Phil 701

  • G.R. No. L-4078 March 31, 1908 - CONCEPCION MENDIOLA v. NICOLASA PACALDA

    010 Phil 705

  • G.R. No. L-4257 March 31, 1908 - SIMON MOSESGELD SANTIAGO v. RUFINO QUIMSON ET AL.

    010 Phil 707