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[ GR No. 5516, Feb 16, 1910 ]



15 Phil. 227

[ G. R. No. 5516, February 16, 1910 ]




Between 4 and 5 p.  m.  on the 23d of April, 1-908, Juana Sangalang, by  direction of Francisco Samea, a resident of the barrio of  Sapangbalen,  in the  pueblo of Mabalacat, Pampanga, hailed Braulio Magbag, the tenant of the former, because he had taken some straw to Samea's house,  instead of banana leaves as the latter had ordered.  When Magbag appeared  at the gate  of  Samea's yard the latter  insulted him, telling him that he had  not done as  ordered and was doing only what he pleased,  and immediately hit him with a bubuyan stick 1 1/2 inches in diameter, striking him on the left side of the neck, left  side of the body, and right thigh, and then kicked him in the abdomen and testicles, with his shoes  on.  In  consequence  of  this  maltreatment the  assaulted man fell to the ground, urinating.   At this moment his wife  came up; she embraced him and conducted him a distance of  about  30 yards where, after about an hour, he died.  His body was later  removed  to a near by house  belonging to Bonifacio David.

At the request of the provincial fiscal, Dr. Nicolas Angeles,  president of the municipal board of health of San Fernando, exhumed the body of Braulio Magbag, and made a post-mortem  examination on the 25th of the said month. He  certified as a result of his examination that, owing to the state of putrefaction, it was  impossible to  make a complete autopsy, and the data obtained both from the exterior of the body  and  the viscera did not permit  him to  state positively the cause of death, but, considering that he had not discovered  any traumatic injury of the  viscera; that the process of putrefaction  had altered  the  outer  color, consistency, and form  of  the soft tissues,  it  was not possible to detect  slight injuries, and there being no serious ones, and in view of the fact that the heart was abnormal and greatly hypertrophied, especially in its entire left auricle and right ventricle and auricle, it is probable that the said individual died of heart disease due to mitral  insufficiency.

In view of the foregoing, the provincial fiscal filed a complaint with the Court  of First Instance of Pampanga, on the 15th of June, 1908, charging Francisco  Samea  with the crime of homicide.  The trial judge entered judgment on the 23d of September of the same year, sentencing Francisco Samea to the penalty of six years of prision correccional,  with the accessory penalties, to indemnify the widow and heirs of the deceased in the sum of Pl,000 and, in case of insolvency, to suffer the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment, and to pay the costs, but to be credited with one-half of the period of detention.

From the  above-stated facts  it  is clearly  shown that Braulio Magbag died in consequence of the blows inflicted with a stick upon several parts of his body, and from kicks in the stomach and testicles, in consequence of which  ill treatment he fell to the ground, and after dragging himself, with the assistance of his wife, to a distance  of about 30 yards, there died.   The act constitutes the crime of homicide, defined and punished by article 404 of the Penal Code, because the deceased lost his life as a result of the violent aggression of which he was the victim, none of the circumstances which  characterize  it as  murder being present therein.

It is to be regretted that the post-mortem examination was made  on the third day, and after the body had been buried, for which reason the surgeon who made the autopsy stated that, owing to the putrified state of the  body it was impossible  to make a thorough examination, and the data obtained both from the outside of the body and from the viscera  did not permit him to  positively determine how Braulio Magbag met his death; but he stated in his certificate, and in  his testimony at the trial of the case, that he found a hypertrophy of the heart, for which reason he believed that the man  died  of heart disease due  to mitral insufficiency.

Three witnesses, Juliana David, Juana  Sangalang,  and Marcelina Tulabut, saw  the ill treatment  received by the deceased from  the accused  Samea on  the street near the gate of his yard and in  view of the entire neighborhood, and they so testified in the case; the first  of the above-named witnesses, who  was the wife of the deceased, together with several residents, among whom  was Damian Garcia, who responded to her cries, was foremost in rendering assistance to the ill-treated man who  was found in a dying state, so seriously injured that  he died shortly afterwards and his body was removed to  the  house  of Bonifacio  David who lived near by.   It should further be noted that it was young Juana Sangalang who  hailed the unfortunate  Braulio, by direction of the accused, and when the latter appeared the accused abused  and ill treated him as already stated.

The testimony of the witnesses introduced by the defense did not succeed in overcoming  that of the witnesses for the prosecution, as may be seen from the mere reading of the testimony of all of them, it appearing from the subsequent statements of the widow of the deceased and of the said eyewitness, Juana Sangalang, that friends of the defendant offered them money to conceal the real cause of the death of Braulio Magbag.

It being proven  that Braulio Magbag was maltreated by said blows and kicks, even though the heart trouble from which he suffered may have contributed in a great measure to his death, it can not be denied  that he would  probably not have  died  if  he  had  not been maltreated, as  the ill treatment must have produced such a great physical shock and other effects that, owing to  complications that ensued, perhaps partly  due to the heart trouble with which he was afflicted, his death ensued.  It is probable the same  results would not have occurred in the case  of a strong, healthy man.

The liability of the defendant as the sole author of the ill treatment inflicted  upon the deceased Magbag  is  manifest and  incontrovertible,  because if the  deceased  fell  to  the ground and died  shortly after  having been cruelly maltreated by Samea,  it can not be denied that the latter is the only one responsible for the crime of homicide arising from the violent death of the late Magbag.

It  may  be true that the latter was suffering  from heart trouble, judging from the statements of the physician who made the  autopsy, but it is none the less  true  that the ill treatment inflicted by the defendant was the cause of such fatal  result and hastened the death of a man who, a moment  previously,  was apparently  in  good health,  moved about freely, properly  performed his duties in the fields and otherwise  executed the orders of the accused, as stated by his widow.

Any person who commits an unlawful act is  responsible for all the consequences arising therefrom; the fact that he does not intend to cause the death of the party abused does not exempt him from liability.  Francisco Samea, willfully and without authority therefor, ill treated Braulio Magbag, beating him with a stick and kicking him, as aforesaid, thereby  committing illegal acts  contrary to  the  criminal law.  Being  the aggressor,  he is necessarily responsible for all  the consequences; the attempt to prove  that  the deceased  used  to suffer from fever and was in delicate health can not mitigate the  fatal result,  because  one who maltreats a sick person who dies from the result of such violence  is responsible for his death, that is to  say,  for the crime of homicide.

In  the  commission of the crime herein prosecuted  the presence of mitigating circumstance No.  3 of article 9 of the Penal Code must be considered, because we must assume that,  notwithstanding the cruelty with which  the  deceased was maltreated for such  trifling motive, the  accused  did not, as a matter of fact, intend to kill him; hence  the penalty should be imposed in  the minimum  degree Circumstance 7 of the same article can not be allowed in  his favor, for the reason that the conduct of the defendant in severely  and unreasonably maltreating the deceased was unjustifiable.  On the other hand, there is no aggravating circumstance present in the case.

For the reason above  set forth, by which  the alleged errors assigned in the judgment  appealed from have been refuted, it is our opinion that the same should be reversed, and that Francisco Samea should be and is hereby sentenced to the penalty of twelve  years and one  day  of reclusion temporal, to suffer the accessory penalties of article 59 of the code, to indemnify the widow and heirs in the sum of P1,000, and to pay the costs of both instances.   So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Mapa, Johnson,  Carson, and Moreland, JJ., concur.