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[ GR No. 6128, Mar 23, 1911 ]



19 Phil. 175

[ G. R. No. 6128, March 23, 1911 ]




The accused was tried in the Court of First Instance and sentenced to pay a fine of P200 for a violation of the Election Law, because,  on  his registering as an  elector  of the  municipality of Badoc, Province of Ilocos Norte, for the general elections held in November, 1909, he took an oath before a memjber of the electoral board of the said municipality that he was not delinquent in the payment of  the land tax on his properties, while in  fact he was.

The  defendant  does  not deny the  charge made  in the complaint, but  on the  contrary confessed in his answer that he had taken the oath aforementioned and  that when he took it he had not yet paid the land tax on his real properties.  He alleged,  however,  in his defense that he  registered as an elector, notwithstanding his  delinquency in the payment of the said tax, because he was told by the election inspectors  that there was nothing to prevent  him from registering as  such  elector provided that he paid the tax before the day  of the election.   This allegation was fully proved at the trial.  The evidence shows in, an indubitable manner that, by a formal  resolution passed in the matter of a protest filed by  the accused himself, against the registration in the registry as voters of persons  who were delinquent in the payment of their  taxes, the board of election inspectors resolved and expressly declared that such delinquent parties could register as electors, though they could not vote  if they had not paid their respective taxes before the day  of the election.  This  resolution was published and notified to all who were interested in the matter, and  the defendant relying thereon, or,  better said, being  induced thereby,  decided  to register as  an elector, first having subscribed the oath aforementioned.

We do not doubt that, in view of the said resolution of the board of inspectors, the accused  believed in good faith that he could register as an elector even though he was delinquent in the payment of his taxes.   But this is riot the Question.  The point here at issue is the fact of his having sworn that he was not delinquent in the payment of his taxes when  in fact he was. With  respect  to  this point, which concretely and specifically forms the  charge  of the complaint, he can not allege, and in fact he does not allege, any good faith whatever, and good faith he  can not allege because his own  confession shows that he well knew that he was delinquent at the time that he averred and affirmed under oath that  he  was not.   With respect to this fact, inducement by another may not be alleged.  No one could induce him to believe in good faith that he had paid all his taxes, when the contrary was evident to him, when he was certain, according to his own testimony, that he actually had not paid them.  He swore falsely that he was not delinquent, being fully conscious and aware that he was, and knowing that  he was swearing falsely in the matter - facts  which fall fully within the sanction of paragraph 4 of section 30 of the Election Law.

The judgment appealed from  is affirmed in so far as it sentences the accused to the payment of the fine of P200, and is modified with respect to the part thereof  which imposes  upon him  subsidiary imprisonment  in  default of payment of the said fine and of the costs at the rate of one day for each P2 of  the same he should fail to  pay, in the sense that there shall be no subsidiary imprisonment imposed for insolvency in the payment of  the costs, and only for that of the fine at the rate of one day for each P2.60 thereof which may remain  unpaid.  The costs of  this instance  shall be borne by the appellant.  So  ordered.

Arellano, C. J,  Carson, Moreland, and Trent, JJ., concur.