Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1912 > December 1912 Decisions > G.R. No. 7557 December 7, 1912 - UNITED STATES v. JOSE S. SERAPIO

023 Phil 584:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 7557. December 7, 1912. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. JOSE S. SERAPIO, Defendant-Appellee.

Attorney-General Villamor for Appellant.

W. A. Kincaid and Thomas L. Hartigan for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. LIBEL LAW; PRESCRIPTION OR LIMITATION OF ACTION; APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE PENAL CODE TO SPECIAL LAW. — S. was charged with a violation of the Libel Law (Act 277). His defense was that by virtue of the provisions of article 131 of the Penal Code said action had been prescribed. Held.

First. By reason of article 7 of the Penal Code, some of the general provisions of said code do not apply to the penal laws of the Philippine Commission, unless, by express provision of law, they are made applicable.

Second. That there is no general or special provision of law making any of the provisions of the Penal Code applicable to Libel Law of the Philippine Commission (Act 277), except the provisions as to subsidiary imprisonment when a fine is imposed (Act 1732);

Third. That the period of prescription fixed by article 131 of the Penal Code for calumny and insults does not apply to the crime of libel as defined and punished under Act 277 of the Philippine Commission;

Fourth. That unless a period of prescription or limitation is fixed by law for a particular offense or crime, the action for such offense or crime is not barred by lapse of time;

Fifth. That the law defining and punishing the crime of libel (Act 277) has not fixed a period of prescription or limitation within which an action for such crime shall be instituted.


D E C I S I O N


PER CURIAM:


This defendant was charged with the crime of libel, alleged to have been committed as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"I. On or about the month of December, 1907, in the municipality of Santa Maria, Province of Bulacan, P. I., the said accused, Jose S. Serapio, did willfully and criminally, with the intentions of attacking, reviling, and exposing to public hatred and scorn the good name, virtue, and reputation of Bonifacio Morales, write, publish, and send by mail addressed to the Executive Secretary, an anonymous communication, the pertinent portion whereof is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"II. Bonifacio Morales is the murderer of 12 peaceful and honest men, who are: Mariano Ramirez, municipal president of Bocaue; the teacher of the primary school of Mariano, Emigdio Perez, Candido del Rosario, Juan de Vera, Manuel Valderrama, a boy 13 years old of the barrio of Alangalang, one Budio, musician, Mariano Mendoza, all of Santa Maria, an old man of the barrio of Sapang-palay of San Jose and two brothers, sons of Francisco Pascual of Norzagaray. He has committed various assaults and robberies, which are: The robbery of Captain Ciano Caluloa of Meycauayan, the robbery of Simeona of Angat, whereby a girl 12 or 13 years old was killed, the robbery of P420 from Juana Reyes of Bocaue, all in the year 1899.’

"II. On the same date or time, to wit, December, 1907, in the municipality of Santa Maria, Province of Bulacan, P. I., the said accused, Jose S. Serapio, did willfully and criminally, with the intention of attacking, reviling, and exposing to public hatred and scorn the good name, virtue, and reputation of Bonifacio Morales, write, publish, and send by mail, addressed to the Executive Secretary, and anonymous communication, the pertinent portion whereof is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘12. Bonifacio Morales is known in the Secret Service Department of Manila as a criminal, whose crimes the detective Manuel Arbona discovered in the year 1903 . . .’

"III. At the same time, to wit, December, 1907, in the same place and province, the said accused, Jose S. Serapio, did willfully and criminally, with the intention of attacking, reviling, and exposing to public hatred and scorn the good name, virtue, and reputation of Bonifacio Morales, write, publish, and send by mail, addressed to the Executive Secretary, an anonymous communication, the pertinent portion whereof is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘15. Bonifacio Morales is an inveterate gambler and to get money he uses diabolical methods, as in the case of the General Santa Ana in 1903, who surrendered voluntarily in order to get within the pale of the law, but Morales tried to demonstrate to the Government that he was caught by him in order to secure the reward offered by the Government.

"‘All the foregoing is little, if the provincial government would get interested in discovering many crimes committed in the province by Morales and his people.’

"IV. All the facts above specified were written, published, and addressed to the Executive Secretary of the Islands by the said accused, maliciously, willfully, and at the time the slandered Bonifacio Morales was discharging the duties of the office of justice of the peace of the municipality of Santa Maria, Province of Bulacan, P. I., and all the acts above specified were committed in violation of the law."cralaw virtua1aw library

Upon said complaint the defendant was duly arraigned. Upon arraignment the defendant, by his attorney, presented the following demurrer.

"I. The facts alleged in the complaint do not constitute a crime.

"II. It appears from the allegation in the complaint that if there were a crime it has prescribed."cralaw virtua1aw library

The fiscal of the Province of Bulacan and the attorney for the defendant, each presented written and oral arguments against and in support of said demurrer. The attorney for the defendant (p. 82 of Expediente) seems to have waived his contention that the facts stated in the complaint were insufficient to constitute a cause of action.

After hearing the arguments of the respective parties, the Honorable Alberto Barretto, judge, in a very interesting opinion, decided that the first ground of said demurrer was not well founded, but sustained the second, and ordered the prosecuting attorney of the province to present a new complaint.

With reference to the second ground of the demurrer, Judge Barretto in his decision said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"With reference to the second ground for exception, counsel for the defense maintains that the crime has prescribed under the provisions of the laws in force in the Islands and supports such conclusion by asserting that in the absence of a definite provision in Act No. 277 of the Philippine Commission, which fixes the time during which the penal action arising from the crime of libel may be exercised, the time which article 131 of the Penal Code fixes for the prescription of the crimes of calumny and insults is strictly applicable.

"Against this contention of the defense, the Attorney-General and the private prosecutor maintain that the prescription of a general nature contained in said article 131 is not applicable, for two reasons:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"First, because the crime of libel is entirely distinct and independent from calumny and insults; and

"Second, because that provisions of the code in the matter of prescription of crimes is not applicable to the crimes created and punished by special laws promulgated by the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature.

"After carefully considering the case, the courts finds that while the crime of libel differs from that of calumny, defined and penalized in article 452, it is not so with respect to the crimes of insults provided for and penalized in articles 456 et seq. of the Penal Code. Under said articles and the first paragraph of article 277, the court does not understand to exist the same essential difference between the crime of insults in writing and that of libel. In both the object of the perpetrator of the crime is to attack the honesty, virtue, or the reputation of a person, exposing him to public hatred, scorn, or ridicule, characteristic elements that are likewise found in the crime of insults in writing, defined and penalized in article 456 of the Penal Code, in connection with 458 thereof. It is certain that Act No. 277 has not in any way fixed the prescription for the penal action in the crimes of libel. There is no provision in said Act that fixes the time within which the action arising from a libelous imputation may prescribe, but it is not less certain that by applying the rule that a criminal act is not prescriptible unless the law expressly fixes such prescription, the crime of libel and others could be prosecuted at any time, which would naturally make the provisions of the Act absurd, for a case might arise where a penal action might be exercised even after the person concerned in the crime or responsible therefor had died.

"In support of his contention, the Attorney-General cited the precedent established by the court in the cases of U. S. v. Lao Lock Hing (14 Phil. Rep., 86) and U. S. v. Calaguas (14 Phil. Rep., 739). What the Supreme Court has established in these cases is that the rules of the Penal Code cannot be applied in the penalty to be imposed in the crimes punished by a special Act, but only the characteristic and special American principles of discretion in the punishment. In said cases the Supreme Court has laid down no principle applicable to the case at bar, that is, to prescription of the crime.

"The court believes that the provisions of the Penal Code with reference to the extinction of penal responsibility are applicable to the case, like those of a general character included in Book I of the Penal Code, which refer to the essential requisites common to all crimes. No special law fixes these or defines crime, but starting from the definition previously laid down by the common penal legislation it defines and establishes the requisites peculiar to the special crime it is sought to correct; but still, the court think that no one can deny that before classifying an act as a special crime it becomes necessary to see whether or not the essential requisites common to every crime are present. If such principles are of undoubted application, even without express provision of the special law, the court thinks that those of the general legislation fixing the period within which the penal responsibility is extinguished are likewise, for both are essential to make the law consistent and reasonable. Under these considerations, the court holds that the ground for exception indicated should be sustained, and he therefore sustains the second ground of demurrer or exception, and understanding that said objection can be corrected, orders the presentation of a new complaint."cralaw virtua1aw library

From that decision an appeal was taken to this court by Mr. Imperial, acting for the Government, who made the following assignments of error:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The trial court incurred a legal error in sustaining the second ground of demurrer, and in describing that the crime alleged in the complaint has prescribed in accordance with the third paragraph of article 131 of the Penal Code of the Philippines."cralaw virtua1aw library

Under this assignment of error the only question presented by the appellant is, whether the prescription fixed by article 131 of the Penal Code for the offense of calumny and insults (arts. 452-457) is applicable to the crime of libel as defined and punished under an Act (No. 237) of the Philippine Commission.

Calumny, as defined by the Penal Code, is: "The false imputation of a crime upon which a prosecution might be instituted by the Government on its own motion." (Art. 452.) This false imputation of crime may be expressed publicly in writing (art. 453) or orally (art. 454). The punishment provided, when the calumny is expressed publicly in writing, "is prision correccional in its minimum and medium degrees" (imprisonment from six months and one day to four years and two months) "and a fine of not more than 12,500 pesetas" (P2,500) (art. 453). If the calumny is expressed orally simply, the punishment is "arresto mayor in its minimum degree (imprisonment from one month and one day to two months) and a fine of not less than 625 and not more than 6,250 pesetas" (P125 to P1,250) (art. 454).

It will be noted by reading said articles 453 and 454, that the punishment for calumny depends not only upon whether it was expressed publicly, in writing, or orally, but also whether the crime imputed was "a grave felony," or "a less grave felony." When a felony is grave or less grave is defined by the Penal Code. (Art. 6.)

In the case of the crime of "insults," it may either a statement or an act. In case it is a statement, it may also be either in writing or orally. The penalty fixed for insults also depends on whether the offense is "grave," "less grave," or "trifling." The punishment for the offense of "insults," "grave" or "less grave" is banishment, in its minimum and maximum degrees (for a period of two years four months and one day, to six years) "and a fine of not less than 325 and not more than 6,250 pesetas" (P65 to P1,250). (Art. 458.) If the insult is "trifling" the punishment is "arresto mayor in its minimum degree" (imprisonment for a period of one month and one day to two months) "and a fine of not less than 325 and not more than 3,250 pesetas" (P65 to P650).

The crime of libel is defined by the law (Act No. 277) of the Philippine Commission as "a malicious defamation, expressed either in writing, printing, or by signs or pictures, or the like, or public theatrical exhibitions, tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead or to impeach the honesty, virtue, or reputation, or to publish the alleged or natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule."cralaw virtua1aw library

Under this law (Act No. 277) it will be noted that the crime of libel can never be committed by oral expressions; it must always be expressed either in writing, printing, or by signs or pictures or the like, or public theatrical exhibitions. The punishment provided under said Act (No. 277) is always within the sound discretion of the court. The court, in fixing the penalty, is not limited by any of the rules of the Penal Code in relation to the grades of punishment therein prescribed.

It is contended by the appellee, that inasmuch as the Act (No. 277) of the Philippine Commission covers a part of the offenses of calumny and insults, that it is not a special law, as that phrase is used in article 7 of the Penal Code, and that the provisions of article 131 (of the Penal Code) relating to calumny and insults apply to the crime of libel as defined by said Act (No. 277). This contention makes it necessary to define "special laws," as that phrase is used in article 7 of the Penal Code. Does this phrase "leyes especiales," as used in the Penal Code (article 7) have the meaning applied to the phrase "special laws," as the same is generally used? Both under the common law and the civil law, one of the general classifications of laws is that (a) general and (b) special. The first, or general law, is defined as a law which applies to all of the people of the state or to all of a particular class of persons in the state, with equal force and obligation. A special law, as the phrase is generally used, is a law which applies to particular individuals in the state or to a particular section or portion of the state only. The phrase "general law" is sometimes substituted by the phrase "public law" in contra-distinction to special or private law. Mr. Black, as his very valuable law dictionary, defines a general law, as contradistinguished from one that is special or local, as a law that embraces a class of subjects or places, and does not omit any subject or place naturally belonging to such class. (Van Riper Et. Al. v. Parsons, 40 N. J. Law, 1.) It is confidently contended that the phrase "leyes especiales," as used in the Penal Code (article 7) is not used with this general signification: In fact, said phrase may refer not to a special law as above defined, but to a general law. A careful reading of said article 7 clearly indicates that the phrase "leyes especiales" was not used to signify "special laws" in the general signification of that phrase. The article, it will be noted, simply says, in effect, that when a crime is made punishable under some other law than the Penal Code, it (the crime) is not subject to the provisions of said code. We are confirmed in this opinion by an examination of the Spanish jurisprudence upon the same subject. Viada (1 Viada, 84), in his valuable commentaries on the provisions of the Penal Code, in discussing article 7, practically limits himself to an examination of "leyes especiales" to which the provisions of the Penal Code are not applicable. In answering the question: "Cuales son las leyes especiales que penan delitos," he simply enumerates such laws as follows, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

1. Ordenanza Militar;

2. Ley de Organizacion y Atribuciones de los Tribunales de Guerra:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

3. Codigo Penal del Ejercito;

4. Ley de Enjuiciamento Militar;

5. Delitos de Contrabando y Defraudacion;

6. Delitos Electorales;

7. Ordenanzas de Montes;

8. Ley Municipal;

9. Ley de Reclutamiento y reemplazo del Ejercito;

10. Ley sobre policia;

11. Ley sobre conservacion de los Ferrocarriles;

12. Ley de Caza;

13. Ley sobre Usurpacion;

14. Ley sobre la Falsificacion de Patentes de Invencion;

15. Ley sobre Proteccion a los Menores;

and others which might be mentioned.

An examination of these laws denominated "leyes especiales," as that phrase is used in the Penal Code, shows that, in fact, most of them are general laws in the sense that they apply to all the persons in the state or to all of a particular class. The rule which we now adopt, to wit: That, when a crime is made punishable by a law other than by the provisions of the Penal Code, the provisions of said code do not apply, as has been heretofore announced by this court. (U. S. v. Lao Lock Hing, 14 Phil. Rep., 86; U. S. v. Calaguas, 14 Phil. Rep., 739). In the case of U. S. v. Lao Lock Hing, supra, the defendant was charged with a violation of the Opium Law. (Sec. 31, Act No. 1761.) In deciding the case, the court, speaking through Mr. Justice Torres, said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The crime under consideration consists of the violation of a special law as referred to in article 7 of the Penal Code, and subsequently the provisions of said code and the clarification of the crimes comprised therein are not applicable in the present case. The crime must be punished under the provisions of the Act (No. 1761) which the sovereign power, by virtue of its authority, saw fit to enact for the good of the country and its inhabitants. Wherefore, inasmuch as it is an act which the lawmaker has declared to be invested with the attributed of a crime, the overruling of the demurrer and the prosecution of the case are in accordance with the law."cralaw virtua1aw library

In the case of U. S. v. Calaguas, supra, the defendant was charged with having, by means of a wrench, removed several screws and fishplates from the line of the railroad, in the municipality of Santa Rosa, Province of Nueva Ecija. It was alleged that he thereby damaged the line and that a derailment of the train would have occurred, had it not been discovered in time. The court decided that the "Ley de Ferrocarriles" was a ley especial, under said article 7, and that the general provisions of the Penal Code did not apply. This court, speaking through its chief justice, Mr. Arellano, said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Crimes which are punished by special laws are not subject to the provisions of this article (article 7 of the Penal Code). The act of wrenching off screws and fishplates from the rails of a railroad line is punished by a special law, that which governs the policing and preservation of railroads, amended by the law of November 23, 1877, made applicable to the Philippine by royal decree of August 6, 1875. In reality this provision relates to the law of November 14, 1855, one almost identical to that of 1877, article 16 of which reads: ’He who shall voluntarily destroy or damage a railway line . . . shall be punished with the penalty of prision correccional.’"

In the more recent case of U. S. v. Fuster (10 Off. Gaz., 1048) in a very brief opinion, when the question was squarely presented whether the provisions of the Penal Code relating to the prescription or limitation of an action for calumny and insults were applicable, this court refused to apply the rule of prescription or limitation of the Penal Code to the crime of libel as defined by the law of the United States Commission. (Act No. 277.)

This court has refused in many cases to apply some of the general provisions of the Penal Code to the laws of the United States Commission, or to special decrees of the Kingdom of Spain applicable to the Philippine Islands, thereby holding, in effect, that such laws, when they provided a penalty for their violation, were "leyes especiales," as that phrase is used in the Penal Code.

See U. S. v. Hutchinson (5 Phil. Rep., 343, November 21, 1905), where the court refused to apply the provisions as to subsidiary imprisonment for the nonpayment of a fine under Acts Nos. 610 and 652 of the United States Commission;

U. S. v. Glefonea (5 Phil. Rep., 570, January 24, 1906), where the court refused to apply the rule with reference to subsidiary imprisonment to article 8 of Act No. 619 of the United States Commission;

U. S. v. Lineses (5 Phil. Rep., 631, February 17, 1906), where the court refused to apply the provisions as to subsidiary imprisonment of the Penal Code, to Act No. 292 of the United States Commission.

U. S. v. Carvajal Et. Al. (4 Off. Gaz., 705, April 16, 1906), where the court refused again to apply the rules as to subsidiary imprisonment of the Penal Code to section 8 of Act No. 292 of the United States Commission; in this case, the court, speaking through Mr. Justice Torres, said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The provisions of the Penal Code which authorize the imposition of subsidiary imprisonment for the nonpayment of a fine imposed are not applicable to those guilty of crimes punished under said Act (No. 292) and other Acts of the Commission, the Penal Code being based upon an entirely different system of legislation."cralaw virtua1aw library

U. S. v. Ang Kan Ko (6 Phil. Rep., 376, August 22, 1906), where the court again refused to allow the application of the rules of the Penal Code to the laws of the United States Commission (Acts Nos. 355, 653 and 864);

U. S. v. Cortes Et. Al. (7 Phil. Rep., 149, December 7, 1906). In this case the court again refused to allow the provisions of the Penal Code to be applied to the laws of the United States Commission, or to the Law of Brigandage (Act No. 518);

U. S. v. Lopez Basa (8 Phil. Rep., 89, March 19, 1907). In this case the court refused to apply article 3 of the Penal Code relating to attempts to commit crimes, to the crimes defined and punished by the laws of the United States Commission (Act No. 82);

U. S. v. Macasaet (11 Phil. Rep., 447, October 15, 1908). In this case the court refused to apply the rules relating to subsidiary imprisonment of the Penal Code to sections 66 and 68 of Act No. 1189 of the United States Commission;

U. S. v. Servillas (12 Phil. Rep., 12, November 11, 1908), where the court again refused to allow the provisions of the Penal Code to be applied to Act No. 1461 of the United States Commission;

Ocampo v. Jenkins (14 Phil. Rep., 681, 683, December 24, 1909), where a court said it had, in numerous cases, decided that the provisions of the Penal Code were not applicable to crimes created by the laws of the United States Commission;

Cruz v. The Director of Prisons (17 Phil. Rep., 269, November 3, 1910), where this court again said, speaking through Mr. Justice Trent, "Prior to the enactment of Act No. 1732, the Courts of First Instance had no authority to impose subsidiary imprisonment for a failure to pay fines in cases of conviction for violation of Acts of the United States Commission;"

U. S. v. Kennedy (18 Phil. Rep., 122, December 29, 1910), where the court again refused to apply the provisions of the Penal Code to the Acts of the United States Commission.

This court has uniformly, through a long line of decisions, as above indicated, refused to apply some of the provisions of the Penal Code to leyes especiales, as that phrase is used in article 7; or, in other words, the court has refused to apply some provisions of the Penal Code to any general law of the Philippine Commission, which, within itself, defined the punishment of a crime.

The Honorable Alberto Barretto, judge, in his decision in the court below, very correctly says, among other things:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"But it is no less certain that by applying the rule that a criminal act is not prescriptible unless the law expressly fixes such prescription." In our opinion this is the correct rule. (Dover v. Maester, 5 Esp., 92 English Common Law Reports;. Hyde v. Partridge, 3 Salk, 223, 228 (E. C. L.); Reg. v. Hull, 2 Fast & F., 16 (E. C. L.) .) The doctrine of prescription or the limitation of time within which an action may be brought, is of purely statutory origin. Both under the common and the civil law a right of action never died by mere lapse of time. (Mackeldrey’s Roman Law, sec. 213; Gaius, 4, sec. 128.) The court, in the absence of express law, has no authority to fix a period of prescription or limitation. (Missouri v. Illinois, 200 U. S., 496; Reist v. Heilbrennan, 11 Serg. (Pa.) , 131; Battle v. Shivers, 39 Ga., 405; Buchannan v. Rowland, 5 N. J. Law, 721; Gray v. Hartford Ins. Co., 6 Fed. Cases, No. 3375; 1 Blatchford (U. S.) , 280; Williams v. Jones, 13 East, 439; The People v. Gilbert, 18 Johnson (N. Y.) , 227; Bell v. Morrison, 1 Peters (U. S.) , 351.)

Under the common law the word "prescription" is generally used with reference to the acquisition of a right by the lapse of time. It is said, for example, under the common law, that one may acquire a right to real property or to an easement by prescription."cralaw virtua1aw library

The word "limitation," as applied to actions under the common law, has reference to the time within which an action must be brought after the right of action has accrued. Under the Civil Code the word "prescription" is used to cover both of these ideas. (See Civil Code, arts. 1930-1975; 4 Escriche’s Diccionario de Legislacion y Jurisprudencia, 643-649.)

Under the Penal Code the word "prescription" is used with reference to the time within which the action must be brought. (See Penal Code, art. 130, paragraphs 6 and 7.)

By prescription or limitation of actions, the right of action is not extinguished, neither under the common nor under the civil law. Both the Civil and the Penal Codes provide when the action is extinguished and when it is prescribed simply. These statutes (of prescription or limitation) did not destroy the right. They simply prescribed by law, the defendant might object, if he desired, to being sued. If the defendant failed, in some proper way, to object, or, in other words, interpose the statutory defense, the action could be maintained. The statute provided a special defense simply. If the defense of prescription or limitation is not expressly raised, it is waived and is not available. It can not be raised by demurrer. It must be expressly pleaded. (Aldeguer Et. Al. v. Hoskyn, 2 Phil. Rep., 500; Domingo v. Osorio, 7 Phil. Rep., 405; Maxilom v. Tabotabo, 9 Phil. Rep., 390; Harty v. Luna, 13 Phil. Rep., 31; Sunicop v. Ramirez, 14 Phil. Rep., 500.)

Our conclusions, then, following the rule heretofore adopted by this court, are:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

First. That by reason of article 7 of the Penal Code, some of the general provisions of said code do not apply to the penal laws of the United States Commission, unless, by express provision of law, they are made applicable.

Second. That there is no general or special provision of law making any of the provisions of the Penal Code applicable to the Libel Law of the United States Commission (Act No. 277), except the provision as to subsidiary imprisonment when a fine is imposed. (Act No. 1732.)

Third. That the period of prescription fixed by article 131 of the Penal Code for calumny and insults, does not apply to the crime of libel as defined and published under Act No. 277 of the United States Commission.

Fourth. That unless a period of prescription or limitation is fixed by law for a particular offense or crime, the action for such offense or crime is not barred by lapse of time.

Fifth. That the law defining and punishing the crime of libel (Act No. 277) has not fixed a period of prescription or limitation within which an action for such crime shall be instituted.

For all of the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the lower court, sustaining the second ground of demurrer, is hereby reversed, and it is hereby ordered that the cause be remanded to the lower court from which it came, with direction that the defendant Jose S. Serapio be ordered to appear and plead to the complaint presented in this cause.

It is so ordered, without any finding as to costs.

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

Separate Opinions


TRENT, J., dissenting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

I dissent from both the reasoning and conclusion.




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