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[ GR No. 1312, Dec 21, 1903 ]



3 Phil 89

[ G. R. No. 1312, December 21, 1903 ]




On October 11, 1902, the provincial fiscal of Antique filed a complaint in  the  Court of First Instance  of  the province, charging the twenty-seven accused of the crime of double assassination,  punished in  article 403 of  the Penal Code, alleging  that at 7 o'clock on the night of  the 14th of April, 1902, with the pretext of going to  buy some aniseed wine, Tomas Mamega and Ignacio Bundal entered the house of Marcos  Buncag, municipal  president  of  the pueblo of Cagayancillo, in said town,  while fourteen of their companions remained outside, some in the street and others in hiding close to  the staircase  of the house; that Buncag,  on being told of  the object of the call of the two men first named, immediately went down into the bodega of the house, where the wine was kept, accompanied by Antonio Trinidad, who carried a lighted lamp; that as Buncag handed the bottle to Tomas Mamega the latter inquired the price of the wine, and when President Buncag replied that it cost 1 real, Tomas forthwith struck Buncag with a bolo which he carried,  inflicting a  serious wound on the  left cheek and jaw; that thereupon Buncag, crying out, "I am done for," ran out into the street, and then Santiago Madiong pursued him and struck him another blow on the neck, which caused him to fall down in the middle of the street, and then the other  defendants threw  themselves on the victim  and inflicted upon him innumerable wounds from head to foot; that after this the house of the deceased was watched by the assailants  until the following day, when the body was removed to the  municipal building; that the municipal secretary, Ciriaco Garrion, who lived in the same house, tried to escape,  but Ignacio Bundal prevented him from doing so and inflicted on him a serious wound on the back of the neck, in consequence of which he died nine days later; that likewise the vice-president, Francisco Magbanua, was charged with being an accessory to the crime because he had written a false report of the affair to the provincial authorities,  concealing the real facts which took place in the town on the night of April 14, 1902.

The complaint having been filed, the trial was held and evidence was taken as to the facts charged as having been committed  by the accused,  and  from the  testimony  of Antonio Trinidad, Apolonia Buncag, Domingo Buncag, and Maxima Buncag, witnesses who were present when the facts above  charged  were committed, and from the testimony of the principal defendant, Ignacio  Bundal, it appeared that on the Thursday preceding Monday, April 14, when the crime was committed, Bundal called a meeting which was held in his storehouse located in the barrio of Jilaga within the limits of said town, at which meeting Dionisio Conde, Pedro Elijan, Santiago Madiong, and Domingo Cardeno were present, for the "purpose of considering the grievances which all of them had against the president, Marcos Buncag; that on the following Friday, in. the same place, Gregorio Conde, Raymundo Condesa, Gregorio Elijan, Gavino Condesa, Juan Cardeno, and Ramon Condesa met again  with  Bundal;  on Saturday  there was another meeting at which Procedio Bonales,  Tomas Mamega, Modesto Bundac, Vicente Bombon, Jacinto Bongar, together with Bundal, were present, and that on Sunday Tomas Mamega,  Dionisio Conde, Pedro Elijan, Domingo Cardeiio, and  Bundal met again in the same place and agreed to kill  President Buncag on Monday night, when Bundal  and Tomas were to call on the deceased with the pretext of buying wine, it being agreed that Tomas was to strike the first blow and was to be seconded by Santiago Madiong, Dionisio  Conde,  and  the  others if it  became necessary; that in  the  meantime the other conspirators were to stay near the premises ready to fight in case the sons of the president or any  other persons offered resistance.  They bound themselves not to run away, and agreed that if anyone attempted to do so he was to be attacked by his companions; that once the president  was killed they would  expose his body to the  people.

At 6 o'clock p. m. on  Monday the conspirators met and about  7 o'clock they went to the house of  the president. Bundal, and  Tomas entered and stated  the object of their call.   After the president,  Marcos Buncag, was  told of what they wanted he at once went down to where the wine was stored, being accompanied by Antonio Trinidad, who carried a lamp, and after he had drawn  the  wine, when Buncag was delivering the bottle to Mamega,  after replying to his inquiry regarding the price, he suddenly received a  severe blow  with a  bolo,  inflicted  by  the  latter  on his cheek and left  jaw, whereupon,  saying, "I am done for," he instinctively ran toward the street.  Tomas then shouted for Santiago Madiong, Dionisio Conde, and Pedro Elijan, who came out and attacked the deceased, who was felled  to  the ground covered with  serious and  mortal wounds.   After this the other members of the party, named Procedio  Bonales,  Domingo  Cardeno,  Vicente Bombon, Gregorio  Conde,  Gregorio  Elijan,  Raymundo  Cardeno, Gavino Condesa, Jacinto Bongar, Modesto  Bundac, Ramon Condesa, and Juan Cardeno, came and flocked around the body of Buncag, crying out, "We have conquered."

While this was taking place in the wine  room and in the street,  Ignacio Bundal, avIio had left  the house,  reentered it, and on seeing Ciriaco Garrion, who was trying to leave the house, doubtless with the intent  of escaping, Bundal attacked him with the bolo which he  had in his hand and inflicted upon him a wound on the left shoulder and neck, in consequence whereof Garrion died nine days afterwards. The testimony of the person  who attended him, and the opinion of the physician called as an expert,  show that the wound inflicted tipon Garrion was very severe.

On this same night, a few  moments after the murders were committed, the wife, sons, and other members of the family of the president fled from the house, and the premises were abandoned and left in the possession of the criminals, some of whom kept watch upon it for nine days, after which Gervasio Buncag  (one of the sons of the deceased president) and his wife took charge of the house.

On the following day the body of President Buncag was removed to the municipal building and  exposed to the public.   Several of the conspirators went about the streets of the town informing the people of the death of  the president, defying all those who were inclined to resent it, and inviting all the men to go and see the corpse  in the municipal building, where all comers were asked by the rioters whether  they  approved  or did  not approve  of what had been done, and asked whose party they favored.

On the same night, the 14th of April, after committing these crimes, the accused, Dionisio Conde, Santiago Madiong, and Pedro Elijan, went to the dwelling  of Modesto Buncag, one of the sons of the deceased, in company with seven other persons, and looked for Modesto, who was  then hidden up a  cocoannt tree, but upon being informed by the father-in-law  of Modesto  that the latter was not in, they went away.   These people were all armed, as  well as those who  were guarding his father's house, which Modesto was able to see from his hiding place.

At the time of the murder the other son of the president, Gervasio Buncag, was absent in an adjacent  island called Dondonay.  Ignacio Bundal sent word to him to return to the town of Cagayancillo, which, according to  the messenger sent for him, had been attacked by bandits, and on receiving this message Gervasio returned  with  his family. As he was approaching the beach in the vessel  which  conveyed him he heard the bells tolling, and when  the boat anchored several armed men, among them Dionisio Conde, Pedro Elijan, Santiago Madiong, and Ramon Condesa, appeared on  the  beach  and the  first named  asked  him whether he carried any arms, and upon his saying that he did not, they  told him to lift up his shirt to see if he had any weapons  hidden, because the rioters were in fear of reprisals or vengeance on  the  part  of Gervasio for the killing of his father.  They then asked him with which party he was going to side, and he said that he would go with them, whereupon they stated to him that they had killed his father, and took him to the municipal building where he  was shown the  corpse, wrapped in matting, covered with wounds and with the head and face split in two.

It appears likewise from the record that on the morning of the 15th of April while the corpse of the president was exposed in the municipal building, a party commanded by Ignacio Bundal  overpowered the townspeople  and  succeeded in inducing the people through fear  to attend in large numbers a meeting convened in the municipal building, in which a session was held on that day, as well as on the following.  In these meetings it was resolved that the vice-president should replace the deceased and should address a false report to the governor of the province, stating that the town had been attacked by a party of  unknown bandits who had attacked the president's house and killed him and had robbed  the municipal treasury, the  record being signed by the vice-president, Francisco Magbanua, the councilors, and the son of the deceased, Gervasio Buncag.  The report  was signed by the vice-president, Magbanua, in obedience to the demand of Ignacio Bundal and his followers.  It is to be noted that the  person who prepared the minutes of the meeting and the false report was Ciriaco Garrion,  who, on  account of the seriousness of his wound, was taken  to the municipal building in a hammock by order of Bundal and his associates.

It does  not appear that  either in the house of the deceased or in the municipal building any robbery was committed, in spite of the fact that during nine  days Ignacio Bundal and his fifteen armed companions controlled and did whatever they pleased in the town.  On  the contrary, it appears that they mounted a guard of armed members of the band over the  house of the president, and  upon making delivery of the premises  and the  furniture and  other articles contained therein to the family  of  the  deceased nothing was  missing,  nor was there any money missing from  the  funds  of the municipal treasury,  which were removed from the house of the president to the municipal building.   Hatred and vengeance, due to outrages, abuses, and illegal exactions, and other grievances whereof Ignacio Bundal and his companions were alleged to be the victims, were the only motives which caused  them  to plan  and execute the violent death of the president, Marcos Buncag, who, according to his son Gervasio Buncag, during twenty successive years, with but slight intervals,  had held the offices of gobernadorcillo and municipal captain of the town of Cagayancillo under the  Spanish regime, and during the present regime that of presidente municipal of said town.  It appears that Ignacio Bundal and his followers were inhabitants of  the northern part of the island,  and were the enemies of those who resided in the southern part.

The judge, in view  of the result of the evidence, sentenced the accused Ignacio Bundal, Tomas Mamega, Santiago  Madiong, and Dionisio Oonde to the death penalty, as principals of the offense charged, and  the others, Pedro Elijan, Procedio  Bonales, Domingo Cardeiio,  Vicente  Bombon, Gregorio  Conde, Gregorio  Elijan, Raymundo"  Cardeiio, Gavino Condesa, Jacinto Bongar, Modesto  Bundac,  Ramon Condesa, and Juan Cardeiio, to the penalty of seventeen years and four  months of cadena temporal each one, and to the payment of an indemnity; Francisco Magbanua, as an  accessory, was  sentenced to four years  and  two months of presidio correccional.  The court stated  in its decision that  Bundal should be sentenced to suffer  the penalty of cadena perpetua for the murder of  Ciriaco Garrion, and to the payment of an indemnity, but in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of General Orders, No. 58, the proceedings should be set aside as regards the assassination of Garrion, as this crime should be the object of another information and a separate trial.  The ten remaining defendants  were acquitted and discharged  from custody.

The violent death of President Marcos Buncag has been fully proven in this case and constitutes the crime of assassination, because prior to its execution  it was concerted, meditated, and prepared by the authors, who to that end convened and held several meetings during  the four days preceding that of the commission of the crime, and in said meetings they discussed the means and manner of executing it, as has been confessed by the principal authors of the offense.  For  this reason it is undoubted that in the commission x>f the crime the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation, which characterizes murder according to article 403 of the Penal Code, existed.   The violent death of the secretary,  Ciriaeo  Garrion, is likewise  an assassination, since he was wounded in the back by treachery and by unexpected and sudden attack,  the criminal using for that purpose means and actions which secured directly  and especially the commission of the crime, without any  risk to his person which might proceed from the defense  of  the deceased,  although this  crime is  not  at present the subject of this decision.

The defendants  Ignacio Bundal,  Tomas  Mamega, Santiago Madiong, and Dionisio Conde  plead guilty to the murder of President Marcos Buncag, but Bundal did not plead guilty to the killing  of Ciriaeo Garrion, alleging that he had wounded him involuntarily.   Pedro Elijan, Procedio Bonales, Domingo Cardeno, Vicente Bombon, Gregorio Conde, Gregorio Elijan, Raymundo Cardeno,  Gavino Condesa, Jacinto Bongar,  Modesto  Bundac, Ramon  Condesa, and Juan Cardeiio did not plead guilty to the  murders, although they acknowledged having been present in the place where they were committed.

Vicente Conde, Laureano Cayao,  Mariano  Bundac, Sebastian Conde,  Leonardo Fabila, Antonio Tindoc, Nicolas Cardefio, Crisanto Trinidad, Alberto Carcuera,  Gregorio Namoco, and Francisco Magbanua plead not guilty.

According to article 13 of the Penal Code principals are those who take a direct part in the execution of the crime, or who compel  or  induce  others to execute it, as well  as those who cooperate in the execution thereof by means  of acts without which the crime  could not have been  committed.

According to these provisions of the law, the participation of the defendants Ignacio  Bundal, Tomas Mamega, Santiago Madiong, Dionisio Conde, and Pedro Elijan  in the execution of the violent death of  the late  president  of the pueblo of Cagayancillo, Marcos Buncag,  is evident, since Bundal was the first to conceive the commission of the crime, and he invited and convened the codefendants to discuss the means  of carrying it into effect, and he presided over several  meetings held four days prior for the purpose of determining the manner and  details of the execution  of the offense in such a way that resolutions were passed as to what was to be done in case the relatives and  friends  of the victim  should  offer  any  resistance. Finally, Bundal was the leader and was at the head of his codefendants, not only during  the execution of the crime but likewise nine days subsequent  thereto, during which period of time he and his companions overpowered the town and by their boldness and audacity  controlled the situation  and terrorized their  fellow-townsmen  with their threats.   Therefore, although  Bundal did not take any material part in the execution of the murder of President Buncag, it is nevertheless  beyond doubt that Bundal, for the reason  above stated,  was  the  author  bv direct inducement of the murder committed.  Soon after preparing the commission  of the crime he witnessed its execution and accompanied the material  executors to the house of the victim, with the purpose, undoubtedly, of securing the consummation of the crime.

The liability of the other defendants Tomas  Mamega, Santiago Madiong, Dionisio Conde, Pedro Elijan, Procedio Bonales, Domingo  Cardeilo,  Vicente Bombon,  Gregorio Conde, Gregorio Elijan, Raymundo  Cardefio, Gavino  Condesa,  Jacinto Bongar, Modesto  Bundae, Ramon  Condesa, and  Juan Cardeiio,  is  likewise established,  since  the three first named, as well as Bundal, have  confessed and been convicted of having taken  direct part in the murder of President Buncag, and the  other twelve of  them, although not pleading guilty, confine themselves to affirming having attended and been present during the commission of the crime,  accompanying the first four  named  and stationing  themselves around and underneath  the staircase of  the house, for which reason there  is more than sufficient proof to fully convince the mind  that these defendants are guilty.  Several witnesses who narrated the details of the killing of Buncag by Mamega, Madiong, and Conde in the presence  of Bundal, affirm that the other twelve defendants were present  in  the  place  where the crime was committed.

Although it is axiomatic that no one is liable for  acts other than his own,  when the evidence shows  as it does in this case  that the accused, under the command of Ignacio  Bundal, on the night of the murder placed themselves around the house of the deceased, it is evident, notwithstanding the fact that only two entered the house and only four actually attacked the victim, that all of the sixteen conspirators, impellecL by the same motive, were prepared to commit the crime or cooperate in its commission.  It is impossible to graduate the  separate liability of  each without taking into consideration the close and inseparable relation of each of them with the criminal  act, for the commission of which they all  acted by common agreement, their common purpose being the murder of Marcos Buncag. The crime must,  therefore, in view of the solidarity of act and intent which existed between the sixteen accused, be regarded as the act of the band or party created by them, and they  are all equally responsible for the murder in question.  The judgment of the supreme  court  of Spain of September 29,1883, establishes a doctrine on this subject similar to the American  rule laid down by Bishop (New Criminal Law, vol.  1, par. 630, and vol.  2, par. 629,  and cases there cited), and to the ruling of this court in the case of the United States vs. Pedro Teodoro.[1]

There is to be considered in the execution of the  said crime of  murder the concurrence  of  the  aggravating circumstances 8,  15, and 20, article 10 of the Penal Code, inasmuch  as the accused undoubtedly took advantage of the  darkness of night for the  consummation of the crime, and made use of deceit,  by means of a false pretext, in order to attack the deceased  unawares and while unable to defend himself against the attack made on him in  the lower story or bodega of his house.   Nevertheless, these circumstances  are compensated in their  effects by  the special  circumstance established in article 11, which is considered in mitigation  that is, the personal conditions of  race  and the ignorance of the accused.  This was  a murder  committed by  means of sedition or an uprising boldly carried out by  the sixteen defendants,  who were impelled thereto by  the  hatred  and ill  will which  they bore toward the victim on account of the abuses by him committed during a period of nearly twenty years, during which time he had been exercising the  functions of the highest  local  authority in the town and island  of Cagayancillo, a  period which commenced from the  previous sovereignty, and this  induced the mutineers to believe that such abuses would probably continue indefinitely and that it would be difficult, if  not impossible, to obtain any relief from the government  of the province owing to the distance that separates this small island from that  of Panay, wherein  the Province  of Antique  is located.  Therefore they sought relief by having recourse to violence and assassination.  This was due to  their ignorance and perhaps to the lack of Imeans .for obtaining justice.  For  all these reasons we  arelof the opinion that great weight  should  be given to the circumstance established in article 11, to such an extent mat it should be considered  as compensating in itself the three aggravating circumstances above enumerated.   Therefore the  sixteen  defendants are to be  condemned to the medium degree of the penalty prescribed in article 403 of the Penal Code.

As a consequence of what has been stated, the court considers that the assault committed by the accused upon the president of the pueblo of Cagayancillo certainly affected public order and the  principle of authority, and for  this reason is of a  political character  in a general sense.  But it is not a  political  offense  of the class covered by the amnesty  of July 4,1902, inasmuch as the defendants, when they resolved and carried into effect the death of Marcos Buncag,  did so under the provocation of certain abusive acts committed by Buncag, but it does not appear that the residents of the  town  seconded the  revolution against the  Government of Spain or  took part in the resistance against the sovereignty of the United States.   Neither does it appear that the deceased or his aggressors took part in the insurrection.   Nor has it been shown that this hatred and ill will arose from political motives or strife connected with  the past revolution, and it is therefore undeniable that the murder of the  said  president,  Buncag, did not have  the particular political  character  contemplated by said amnestv, and  that the case does not fall  within the letter or spirit of  the proclamation, especially paragraph 3 thereof.  It would, therefore, be  error to hold  that the defendants are covered by the  amnesty.

No appeal has been taken as to that part of the decision of the lower court by which the trial, as regards the murder of Ciriaco Garrion  by Ignacio Bundal, was  set aside, and this court is  therefore divested of any authority  whereby to make any finding as regards the said murder, and as to the liability of the alleged author thereof, since the lower court decided that the same should be the object of another information and a  separate trial, without any objection on the part of the prosecution.

With respect to the charge against the late vice-president of Cagayancillo, Francisco Magbanua, accused as  being an accessory to the offense, it appears that the latter,  when signing the minutes and  the report forwarded to the provincial government, wherein it Avas falsely stated that a band  of brigands had invaded the  pueblo and killed the president, Buncag, acted under the impulse of insuperable fear of a greater evil, which consisted in the threat and intimidations made by Bundal and  his followers after the murder of President Buncag, which  said intimidations and threats were of a serious and imminent character, in view of the, circumstances attending them, and caused the  other townspeople to submit thereto as well as the very sons of the deceased.  For this  reason the defendant  Magbanua is  not criminally liable.   The law does not consider this defendant guilty and consequently he should be acquitted. It is nevertheless to be noted that he allowed considerable time to pass  without having rectified the false report by giving the provincial authorities the real  facts which took place, and  that he  issued a passport to  Bundal  in order that lie might be,  able to  remove to and  land on other islands.  These  facts may be sufficient to  warrant the prosecution of this defendant for other offenses,  which however are not charged in the information in the present case.

The other defendants, Vicente Conde,  Laureano Cayao, Sebastian Oonde, Leonardo Fabila, Antonio Tindoc, Nicolas Cardeno, Crisanto  Trinidad, Alberto Carcuera, Gregorio Namoco, and Modesto Bundac, have been acquitted, and no appeal having been taken against this decision the sentence is final and therefore the court has no power to take any action as regards these ten defendants.

In view of the foregoing, in our opinion it is proper to sentence the accused,  Ignacio Bundal,  Tomas  Mamega, Santiago Madiong, Dionisio Conde, Pedro Elijan, Procedio Bonales, Domingo Cardeno, Vicente Bombon, Gregorio Conde, Gregorio Elijan, Raymundo Cardeno, Gavino Condesa,  Jacinto Bougar,  Modesto Bundac,  Ramon Condesa, and Juan Cardeno, each to the penalty of cadena perpetua, with the accessory penalties of civil interdiction, and being subject to the surveillance of the authorities during their lifetime, and even in case of being pardoned of the principal penalty they shall suffer the penalty of absolute perpetual disqualification, and to be subject  to the surveillance of the authorities during their lifetime, unless these penalties are especially included in the  pardon  of  the  principal penalty.  They  are  likewise  sentenced  to  the  payment jointly and severally of an indemnity of P1,000, Philippine currency, to the heirs of the deceased, and to the payment of one twenty-seventh part of the costs in  both instances.

It is held that the amnesty  of the 4th  of July, 1902, is not applicable to the sixteen defendants  because they are not comprised within the terms of the same.  The defendant Francisco Magbanua is  acquitted,  and one twenty-seventh part of the costs shall be paid dc oficio, the decision appealed from being reversed in so far as it  conflicts with this decision.

Let the record  be returned with  a certified copy of this decision for the execution of the judgment.   So ordered.

Arellano, C, J., Cooper, Willard, Mapa, and  Johnson, JJ.. concur.

[1] Not published



The object of the uprising and the killing of the president as shown in this case was of a political nature.   He had been in office about twenty years, and held over after Spanish power had been swept away.  The people of  the town were divided into two parties, one apparently supporting  the  president and his policy, the  other  against him, claiming  that he had oppressed and wronged  the people.  The motive  of the accused was not robbery  or personal revenge, but  rather to rid the people of what they deemed the tyranny of an obnoxious official  for during several days after  his death they guarded the treasure of the  town and the  house of the deceased, finally turning them over intact and without injury.

In view of these facts,  I am  of the opinion that  the petition  of the  defendants  to be included among those to whom amnesty  was given by the proclamation of the President, issued July 4,1902, should be granted.

By  this proclamation the  President  granted pardon, among others,  for all  offenses  political in  their character  "*  *   *  which resulted from internal political feuds or dissensions among the Filipinos themselves during either of said insurrections."

This crime  was  committed  during  the  period of  the revolutions  and grew out of such  political feuds or dissensions among Filipinos, and therefore the defendants are entitled to the benefits of the proclamation.