Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1928 > January 1928 Decisions > G.R. No. 28377 January 24, 1928 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MACARIO MANGUIAT, ET AL.

051 Phil 406:



[G.R. No. 28377. January 24, 1928.]


James Ross, for Appellant.

Attorney-General Jaranilla, for Appellee.


1. CRIMINAL LAW; SINGLE ACT CONSTITUTING TWO OR MORE CRIMES; FORCIBLE ABDUCTION WITH RAPE, PENALTY. — Where a single act constitutes the two crimes of abduction and rape, and where aggravating circumstances offset by no mitigating circumstance are to be considered, the maximum of the maximum penalty provided by law should be imposed. One of the abductors of Ana Refresca sentenced to suffer twenty years’ imprisonment, reclusion temporal, together with the corresponding accessory penalties, endowment, and costs.

2. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN THE PHILIPPINES; DELAY IN THE PROSECUTION OF CRIMINALS CONDEMNED. — A delay in the prosecution of criminal cases of nearly eight years is to be strongly condemned. It indicates a breakdown of the administration of the law in the Philippines.



This is what is known in judicial and administrative circles as the Ana Refresca Case.

On June 18, 1920, Ana Refresca, a girl 19 years of age, resided in the barrio of La Huerta, municipality of Calamba, Province of Laguna. On the date mentioned, she went to the house of her aunt in the barrio of Putol of the same municipality to work in the rice fields. The next day, Ana decided to return home and, at the request of her aunt, Hilarion Sanqui agreed to accompany her. The two, Ana and Sanqui, left at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. After they had gone some distance, they were joined by Macario Manguiat. On coming to an uninhabited place on the way, Manguiat, assisted by Sanqui, forcibly abducted the girl against her strong protest and resistance. She was taken to the woods in Silang, Cavite, and later to other places where she was brutally raped by Manguiat several times while her hands were being held by Sanqui. By means of threats and intimidation, Ana was afterwards compelled to place her signature on a marriage certificate. Her brother, Domingo Refresca, found Ana crying in the house of Cirilo Reyes in Silang, Cavite, and escorted her back to Calamba, Laguna.

The foregoing are the principal points in the narrative of Ana Refresca. Notwithstanding the many occasions during the protracted trials that she was called to testify, her story remains consistently the same. She is corroborated by other witnesses. The marriage of Ana Refresca and Macario Manguiat not being voluntary and valid, cannot be permitted to extinguish criminal liability.

But that is not all there is to the case. The crimes were committed in June, 1920. An abortive start was made in the Laguna courts. Then the matter was permitted to lag. So Ana Refresca petitioned the Wood-Forbes Mission and the Governor-General for protection and for the punishment of the guilty. In 1922, new informations were presented in the Cavite courts. The trials dragged for five years. Three Judges of First Instance presided. The number of times that Ana Refresca came from her home in Calamba, Laguna, to Cavite, Cavite, to testify, and the number of times that she was required to tell her pitiful story are appalling. Eventually, in the coercion and falsification of public document cases, the accused were acquitted. During the trial of the abduction with rape case, Manguiat escaped from jail, and was later killed by members of the Philippine Constabulary. Only now is Sanqui’s conviction determined. Nearly eight years have elapsed since a young orphan girl who had been abducted and raped, and who had gone through harrowing experiences too terrible to describe, came to the courts asking for redress. And did she receive that prompt attention to which all complainants and litigants are entitled? Was there meted out that speedy and impartial justice which is one’s by right? This is a glaring example of the breakdown of the administration of the law in the Philippines.

The charge is forcible abduction with rape. The penalty is that for the more serious crime applied in its maximum degree. At least two aggravating circumstances offset by no mitigating circumstance are to be considered. The maximum of the maximum penalty provided by law is none too severe.

The judgment appealed from will be modified by sentencing the defendant and appellant to suffer twenty years’ imprisonment, reclusion temporal, with the accessory penalties, to endow the offended woman in the sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000), and to pay one-half of the costs of the first instance, and all of the costs of this instance.

Johnson, Street, Ostrand, Johns, Romualdez and Villa-Real, JJ., concur.

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