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[ GR No. 6896, Oct 23, 1911 ]



20 Phil. 376

[ G.R. No. 6896, October 23, 1911 ]




The hearing on  the appeal raised in this  case has disclosed the following facts: 
  1. The crime under prosecution consists of the making of a false entry in  a  registry book of births of the municipality of Libacaq, Province of Capiz, by recording therein that the girl Maxima, the daughter of Caridad Zausa, was the  latter's legitimate daughter  and that her father was Pedro Zausa, when in fact  he was not her father and she was not the legitimate, but the  natural  daughter of Caridad Zausa.   
  3. Antero Inosanto was charged with having committed this falsification in  an official register, as  he  was the municipal secretary whose duty it was to keep the same, and because,  according to the  complaint, he wrote  and recorded in the said register the following words:  "Maxima Zausa, legitimate daughter of Pedro Zausa and Caridad Zausa," which words are contrary to and different from those uttered by Pedro Zausa;  the  said Inosanto thus  perverting the truth in the narration of the facts.  
  5. Martin 0. Ruiz,  the successor of Antero Inosanto to the office of municipal secretary, a witness  for the  prosecution,  testified that he could not positively identify the writing  of  the entry  in  the register of births,  aforementioned,  as being that of Antero Inosanto, and, on cross- examination by the defense, stated that  he knew the writing of the accused and did not believe that the entry in  question was made  by Inosanto, while he did  identify  the handwriting of other entries in that register as  being that of the latter.
  7. According to this same witness, there is furthermore a  certificate of birth, and there was issued a corresponding birth certificate for Maxima Zausa, which  was presented as evidence in this case.  This birth certificate is a copy of the entry, and the witness positively asserts that  the handwriting is that  of Vicente Coronel, an assistant to the former municipal secretary, Antero Inosanto.
  8. Antero Inosanto also  issued a certificate  which, according to the same witness, is made out and delivered  when requested, and was presented in evidence  as Exhibit C. There is no doubt that this certificate was issued by Antero Inosanto.  It, also, is an exact reproduction of the falsified entry found in the register of births.
  10. The Court of First Instance  of  Capiz, which  tried the case, found from the evidence that it was not Inosanto, but his  clerk,  Vicente Coronel,  who  recorded  the  birth, and that, at the time Pedro Zausa presented himself, Inosanto was in the council chamber, where the council was holding a session.
  12. Although the trial court did not consider the defendant guilty of the falsification committed in tfre register itself, it  held him liable for the falsity contained in  the certificate, Exhibit C,  issued in accordance with that entry,  for the reason that he  knowingly  recorded  a falsehood,  for he knew that the child Maxima Zausa could not be  the legitimate daughter  of  Pedro and  Caridad, knowing that Caridad was Pedro's daughter,  and, instead of correcting and rectifying the entry in the  register book, ratified and sanctioned the falsification  therein committed, by his issuance of this certificate.

By  virtue of these findings the court held  that the  defendant was  guilty of the crime penalized by article 310 of the Penal  Code and  accordingly sentenced him to suspension from public office for a period of three years, four months and one  day, to pay a fine of 325 pesetas and, in case of insolvency, to the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment, and to the payment of the costs. The Attorney-General, in this  instance, is of the opinion that, leaving aside the question  as to whether the defendant could issue the certificate Exhibit C and record therein facts contrary to or  different from those contained in the register book without incurring the crime of falsification with  which he is charged, Antero  Inosanto certainly can not be sentenced under the said article 310 of the Penal Code, inasmuch as the Exhibit C is not a  certificate of  merit or service, of good conduct, of poverty or of other similar circumstances, that is to say, of purely personal things or accidentals, according to  the  interpretation given  to the words of  this last  phrase by the supreme court of Spain in its decision of February 17, 1877;  but  that it is a certificate of an inscription in a register under his charge, with the data of  which it  substantially agrees.  Therefore he concluded  that, with a reversal of the judgment appealed from, the defendant should  be acquitted, and the costs assessed de  oficio.

In  entire agreement  with the preceding opinion, the judgment appealed from  is reversed  and the defendant acquitted, with the costs  de oficio.

Torres,  Mapa,  Johnson, Carson,  Moreland,  and Trent, JJ., concur.