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[PEOPLE v. FRANCISCO DE LA CRUZ ET AL.](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c1ced?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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[ GR No. 45284, Dec 29, 1936 ]

PEOPLE v. FRANCISCO DE LA CRUZ ET AL. +

DECISION

63 Phil. 874

[ G. R. No. 45284, December 29, 1936 ]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE, VS. FRANCISCO DE LA CRUZ ET AL., DEFENDANTS. FRANCISCO DE LA CRUZ, APPELLANT.

D E C I S I O N

AVANCEƃ'A, C.J.:

This case was prosecuted upon the following information:

That on or about the 30th day of May, 1936, in the City of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said accused Francisco de la Cruz, Fernando Legaspi and three other persons whose identities are  still unknown, confederating together and helping one  another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, and with intent of gain, attack, assault and use personal violence upon  one Yu Wan, by then and there giving him blows with his fist on the face and other parts of the body, thereby inflicting upon him physical injuries which have required and will require medical attendance for a period of more than  one but less than nine days and  have prevented and will prevent the said Yu Wan from engaging in his customary labor for the same period of time; and afterwards took, stole and carried away with him without  the consent of the owner thereof the following personal property,  to wit: 
Twenty-six (P26) pesos in cash, consisting of different denominations
P26.00
belonging to said Yu Wan, to the damage  and prejudice of the said owner in the said sum of P26, Philippine currency.

"That the said accused Francisco de la Cruz is a habitual delinquent under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, he having been previously convicted  once of the crime of  theft and twice of the  crime of estafa,  by virtue of final judgments rendered by  competent courts, having been last convicted on  July 24,1933."

Upon arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty.

During the trial and  after two witnesses for the prosecution had testified, the accused withdrew their plea of not guilty, substituting it by that of guilty.  The court sentenced Francisco de la Cruz to six months and one day of prision correctional  and,  considering him a habitual delinquent, sentenced him furthermore to the additional penalty of six years and one  day of prision mayor.  The  other accused Fernando Legaspi was  sentenced to ten months of prision correccional.  Francisco de  la Cruz  appealed from this sentence.

The facts charged constitute the crime of robbery defined in article 294 of the Revised Penal Code and punished by the penalty of prision correccional to  prision mayor in its medium period.

The allegations of the information with respect to the appellant Francisco de la Cruz are not sufficient to consider him a habitual delinquent (People vs. Venus, p. 435, ante). However, the facts  alleged in this respect constitute the aggravating circumstance of recidivism.

On the other hand, the appellant's plea of guilty does not constitute a mitigating circumstance under article 13, subsection 7,  of the  Revised Penal Code, which requires that this plea be spontaneous and that it be made prior to the presentation of evidence by the prosecution.  The confession of guilt, although subsequent to the consummation of the crime and entirely alien to  its  development, constitutes a cause for the mitigation of the penalty, not because it is a circumstance  modifying criminal responsibility already incurred and in the evolution of which it has not intervened absolutely, but because,  as an act of repentance and respect for the law, it indicates a moral disposition in the accused favorable to  his reform.  It is clear that these benefits are not deserved by the accused who submits to the law only  after the presentation of some evidence for the prosecution, believing that in the end the trial will result in his conviction by virtue thereof.

Wherefore,  eliminating the additional penalty by reason of habitual delinquency,  considering the  presence of an aggravating circumstance  in the commission  of the crime without any mitigating circumstance, and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the appellant is sentenced to the penalty of from six months of arresto  mayor, as minimum, to six years, ten months and one day of prision mayor,  as maximum,  affirming  the appealed  sentence in  all  other respects, with the costs.  So ordered.

Villa-Real, Abad Santos, Imperial, Diaz, Laurel, and Concepcion,  JJ., concur.

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