Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1914 > October 1914 Decisions > G.R. No. 9415 October 13, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. ONG TO

028 Phil 216:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 9415. October 13, 1914. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ONG TO, Defendant-Appellant.

Beaumont & Tenney, for Appellant.

Attorney-General Avanceña, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. OPIUM LAW; EVIDENCE; FORMER SEARCHES OF PREMISES. — The information in a criminal case charged the defendant with illegal possession of opium. Evidence was introduced as to the discovery of smoking utensils and opium in a room in his house in which the defendant was also found in company with another person who was smoking opium. Defendant claimed that the opium and, smoking utensils did not belong to him, and that they were the property of the person found smoking in his house. Held: that evidence as to the former searches of the same house resulting in the discovery of opium and smoking utensils under circumstances tending to disclose that the house was an "opium joint ’ was competent and admissible, provided it was further shown that the house had been in the possession and control of the defendant at the time of the former searches and seizures.


D E C I S I O N


CARSON, J. :


Ong To, the appellant in this case, and another Chinaman named Lim Cui, were arrested about midnight in a house of which Ong To was the lessee. The two were found in the same room. Lim Cui was on a bed smoking opium, and Ong To was standing near by. Opium and some smoking utensils were found in the room. At the time of the arrest Lim Cui at first denied ownership of the prohibited articles, but after being addressed in the Chinese language by Ong To, claimed that they belonged to him.

The only fact as to which there is any real dispute is as to the place of residence of Lim Cui, the contention of the defendant being that the opium and smoking utensils were his property and that he lived in the room where they were at an unknown number in Calle Dasmariñas, but at the trial he testified that he lived with the defendant Ong To. Cross-examination, however, developed that his wife lived on Calle Dasmariñas and that she kept his registration certificates and other papers. One of the witnesses for the prosecution testified that he lived with the defendant Ong To. Cross-examination, however, developed that his wife lived on Calle Dasmariñas, and that she kept his registration certificates and other papers. One of the witnesses for the prosecution testified that he knew all the residents at Ong To’s house, and that he had never seen Lim Cui there. The trial judge found that Lim Cui was not a resident of the house leased by Ong To, where the arrest was made; and we are of opinion that the evidence of records sustains this finding.

Evidence was admitted to show that the house had been searched on various former occasions, at which times smoking paraphernalia had been found there, the object sought to be obtained by the introduction of this evidence being to establish the contention of the prosecution that the house was what is commonly known as "an opium Joint. The admission of this evidence was strongly opposed in the court below on the ground that it was incompetent and immaterial, and its admission by the trial judge is now assigned as error. We think, however, that in cases of this kind such evidence is competent and admissible, provided it is shown that the former searches, resulting in the finding of opium or smoking utensils, took place at a time when the house was occupied by, and under the control of the defendant. who of course should not be held responsible for acts of former tenants or owners. (Underhill on Criminal Evidence, sec. 482.)

The evidence introduced at the trial as to the tenancy of the defendant and appellant at the time when the former searches were made is not satisfactory. It is true that there was no evidence to the contrary, but there is nothing in the record which would sustain an affirmative finding to that effect without unduly straining the testimony of the witnesses as to the facts connected with the previous searches. We do not however consider the failure of proof in this regard as vital, because the other evidence of record conclusively establishes the guilt of the defendant of the offense of which he was convicted. It is urged that under all the circumstances the presence of opium and smoking paraphernalia in Ong To’s house is not sufficient to sustain a conviction of the illegal possession of these articles. We are satisfied however, that the case comes clearly within the doctrine of United States v. Bandoc (23 Phil. Rep., 14), wherein it was held that proof of facts substantially similar established a prima facie case against the accused. There was no satisfactory explanation of the presence of these articles in the defendant’s house, and under all the circumstances we see no reason for disturbing the finding of the trial judge that the articles in question did in fact belong to the defendant and not to the defendant Lim Cui. It was shown at the trial that the accused had been previously convicted of the illegal possession of opium on April 23, 1910, and this fact, taken together with the fact that at the time of the arrest the accused was found furnishing his companion Lim Cui with the place and the means for indulgence in the prohibited vice, sufficiently maintains the, sentence imposed by the court below.

We find no error in the proceedings prejudicial to the rights of the accused. The judgment of the court below convicting and sentencing him is therefore affirmed, with the costs of this instance against him.

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

Moreland, J., concurs in the result.




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





October-1914 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 7760 October 1, 1914 - E. M. WRIGHT v. MANILA ELECTRIC R. R. & LIGHT CO.

    028 Phil 122

  • G.R. No. 9600 October 1, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. EUGENIO GACUTAN

    028 Phil 128

  • G.R. Nos. 9609, 9610 & 9611 October 2, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. ANASTASIA AVILLAR

    028 Phil 131

  • G.R. No. 8231 October 3, 1914 - PROSPERO K. ALAFRIZ v. PIA MINA

    028 Phil 137

  • G.R. No. 9791 October 3, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. VICENTE F. SOTELO

    028 Phil 147

  • G.R. No. 9378 October 6, 1914 - BENITO RABAJANTE v. P. M. MOIR, ET AL.

    028 Phil 161

  • G.R. No. 9475 October 6, 1914 - JOSE CALDERON v. LA PROVINCIA DEL SANTISIMO ROSARIO DE PP. DOMINICOS DE FILIPINAS

    028 Phil 164

  • G.R. No. 9679 October 6, 1914 - MATEO LABIANO v. W. E. McMAHON, ET AL.

    028 Phil 168

  • G.R. No. 9855 October 6, 1914 - CHUA SHUN v. INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

    028 Phil 175

  • G.R. No. 7690 October 9, 1914 - CHUA DOC DE v. ARTADI & COMPANY

    028 Phil 178

  • G.R. No. 7944 October 9, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. MASTER OF THE S. S. "TEAN"

    028 Phil 188

  • G.R. No. 8611 October 13, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. BONIFACIO GARING

    028 Phil 199

  • G.R. No. 8727 October 13, 1914 - SERAFIN UY PIAOCO v. J. MC-MICKING, ET AL.

    028 Phil 206

  • G.R. No. 9387 October 13, 1914 - TIBURCIA DE LIZA v. DIRECTOR OF LANDS

    028 Phil 208

  • G.R. No. 9415 October 13, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. ONG TO

    028 Phil 216

  • G.R. No. 9716 October 13, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. JUAN V. RAMOS

    028 Phil 219

  • G.R. No. 9247 October 15, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. GENARO PASCA

    028 Phil 222

  • G.R. No. 9030 October 16, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. PEDRO ROSALES, ET AL.

    028 Phil 228

  • G.R. No. 9772 October 16, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. AGAPITO SERRANO, ET AL.

    028 Phil 230

  • G.R. No. 9305 October 17, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. VICTOR VITUG

    028 Phil 232

  • G.R. No. 9459 October 19, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. SEVERINO CAMARA

    028 Phil 238

  • G.R. No. 9784 October 21, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. ONG SHIU

    028 Phil 242

  • G.R. No. 9197 October 22, 1914 - HERMOGENA SANTOS v. MIGUEL ROBLEDO ET AL.

    028 Phil 245

  • G.R. No. 8715 October 24, 1914 - MARIANO VELOSO v. LUCIA MARTINEZ

    028 Phil 255

  • G.R. No. 8938 October 24, 1914 - PETRONA VILORIA v. ESPERANZA AQUINO

    028 Phil 258

  • G.R. No. 8147 October 26, 1914 - G. URRUTIA & CO. v. AMALIA MORENO, ET AL.

    028 Phil 260

  • G.R. No. 9183 October 28, 1914 - EVARISTA SINAPILO v. PETRA GRACIA

    028 Phil 269

  • G.R. No. 9737 October 28, 1914 - HO NINA, ET AL. v. INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

    028 Phil 275

  • G.R. No. 9444 October 29, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. SOFRONIO DE LA CRUZ

    028 Phil 279

  • G.R. No. 9537 October 29, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. FILOMENO CASSION, ET AL.

    028 Phil 285

  • G.R. No. 8746 October 30, 1914 - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL. v. STEAMSHIP ISLAS FILIPINAS

    028 Phil 291

  • G.R. No. 9915 October 30, 1914 - UNITED STATES v. CHIEN SUEY

    028 Phil 300