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[US v. GIL GAMAO ET AL.](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c99a?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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[ GR No. 6942, Aug 30, 1912 ]

US v. GIL GAMAO ET AL. +

DECISION

23 Phil. 81

[ G. R. No. 6942, August 30, 1912 ]

THE UNITED STATES, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE, VS. GIL GAMAO ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.

D E C I S I O N

TRENT, J.:

On August 17,  1909, the appellants, Mauricio  and Gil Gamao, were sentenced by the Honorable Albert E. McCabe, judge of the Court of First Instance of Occidental Negros, to life imprisonment  for the  crime  of  murder.  They appealed.

From October, 1907, to May 15, 1909, Father Victor Baltanas was the parish priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the municipality of Escalante, Province of Occidental Negros.  Baltanas was a  person of  peaceful disposition, devoting his attention to his religious duties, and taking no part in the political and factional troubles  of  his  town. He had created no enemies by any personal action or omission  on his part.  About 8 o'colck on the night of May 15,1909, Father Baltanas was in the house of Gregorio Pudanca, a friend of his.  The house of Pudanca was situated a short distance diagonally across the plaza from the convent in which Baltanas lived.  As was the custom, the church bell rang at 8 o'clock and the priest left the house of Pudanca and returned to the convent.  He entered the main door to the lower portion of the convent, and while in the space between that door and the stairs leading to the upper portion of the building, someone struck him a blow with  a bolo or sharp cutting instrument, which cut through his priestly cap and  inflicted a wound  on his head 8 inches in length, extending from the left eye to beyond the ear on the same side, the skull being fractured the entire length of the cut. After receiving this severe blow, the priest managed to make his way upstairs to his room.   His clerk and a servant, who were in the convent at the time, gave the alarm by calling for the police.  This alarm was given about fifteen or twenty minutes  after the priest had left the house of Pudanca. Several persons went to the convent and remained with the priest  until his death,  which  occurred  as a direct result of said wound at about 5 o'clock on the next morning, May 16. The foregoing facts stand undisputed.

In  1904,  litigation arose between  the  Roman  Catholic Church and the municipality of Escalante relative to  certain properties in that town.   Gil Gamao, one of the appellants, then a member of the Aglipayan  Church and a councilman, took a prominent part in naving the municipality contest the claim of the Catholic Church to this property. He acquired  a hatred  toward this church, its priest, representatives,  and the members of the friar orders.  The litigation over the property in question  came before this Supreme Court, where it was held that the property belonged to the Catholic Church.  The judgment thus rendered was returned to the municipality of Escalante for execution, and on the forenoon of May 15, 1909, said judgment was read at a session of the municipal council.   These facts are  not seriously disputed.

The  record before us  clearly shows that the  killing  of Father Baltanas was brought about through hatred of and in a spirit of revenge against that which  he represented in nationality and profession; that is, because he was a Spaniard, a member of a friar order, and a priest of the Roman Catholic Church.

On May 20, five days after the murder of Baltanas,  the Constabulary  officer detailed, to  investigate the  murder, finding that certain circumstances pointed to the appellant Mauricio Gamao as its author, but not having sufficient evidence,  in his  opinion, to justify charging Mauricio with its commission, caused his arrest on a charge of carrying concealed  weapons.  On May 24, Mauricio was bound over to the Court of First Instance on this charge.  On the 26th, he was transferred from the municipal jail at Escalante to the custody of the Constabulary.  On the next day,  May 27, Mauricio made a formal statement implicating in the murder of the priest his uncle, Gil Gamao, and others of the defendants named in the information, but exculpating himself, which statement constituted  the basis of a complaint, duly attested  and sworn to by him, upon which  his codefendants were arrested and remanded on the  31st of that month to the  Court of First Instance for trial.  After Mauricio had been transferred to Bacolod, a complaint was filed by the provincial fiscal before the justice of the peace of the capital,  charging  him also with the murder, upon  which latter complaint he was  bound over to answer the same charge that he had made against his codefendants.

The claim of the prosecution, as alleged in the information, is that the blow that caused the death of Father Baltanas was struck by the appellant Mauricio Gamao, and that in committing the deed he was instigated by his codefendants and was carrying out the directions given to him by them in  pursuance of an agreement entered into  by all of the defendants jointly at the  house of Gil Gamao a few hours. prior to the commission of the deed.

The defense in the court below was an alibi on the part of all the defendants save  Gil Gamao,  who admitted that he was at home on the afternoon in question, but claimed that he was confined to his bed  by paralysis, and that no meeting was held as alleged by the prosecution.

The lower court found  that the deed was committed  by the defendant Mauricio Gamao upon the procurement of his uncle Gil.  Also that five  of their  codef endants were present  in the house of Gil Gamao on the afternoon  of May 15th when Gil Gamao persuaded his nephew Mauricio  to do the deed.  All of the defendants except Gil  and Mauricio Gamao, were acquitted on the ground that Gil Gamao was the  only one who  actually influenced Mauricio to  murder the priest.   The trial court was not convinced that the other five  defendants, though  present when the  murder  was agreed upon and consenting thereto,  were factors in persuading the murderer to commit the crime.

It is strongly urged that the prosecution has failed  to establish the guilt of the  appellants  with such a degree of certainty as to justify a conviction.

The authors of the murder of the priest were unknown from the 15th to the 27th of May, when, on this latter date, Mauricio Gamao made  certain  disclosures which caused the arrest of his codefendants.   On that morning, the lieutenant of Constabulary received word from his guard that Mauricio wanted to  make a statement.  On  ascertaining that  his proposed  statement  had nothing to do with the charge under which he was then detained, but related to the murder of the priest,  the Constabulary officer sent for the justice of  the peace,  Pedro Amante, with whom Mauricio said  he desired a conference.  Pending the  arrival of the justice of the peace, Francisco Ferrer, a Spanish resident of Escalante, had an interview with Mauricio in which Mauricio told him that he did not want to suffer the fate of Pedro Git  (an Escalante  man hanged for an assassination  committed by the procurement of others  3 Phil. Rep., 414), and that he wished to tell everything he knew.  Ferrer testified: 

"He told me that at a meeting he was offered money to kill  the padre  and that he would  not  accept it, but Jose Patpat did, and that they came to the convent about eight o'clock P.  M. and  that when the padre passed  he (JosS) delivered a blow to  the padre."

Upon his arrival at  the convent, the justice of the peace asked Mauricio if he desired  to make a statement to him and  was answered  in the affirmative.  After having heard his statement, Mr. Amante requested Mauricio to repeat it, which was done, the justice of the peace meanwhile transcribing it in the form of a complaint.  The complaint being thus prepared,  the justice of the peace read it to Mauricio in Visayan, whereupon the latter made oatty to and signed the same with a cross attested by his thumbmafk.  These proceedings were had in the presence of the witnesses Lieutenant Lough of  the Constabulary, Francisco Ferrer, and Vicente Olmedo, each  of whom, as well as the  justice of the peace, testified to the fact that the statement was voluntary and upon the initiative of Mauricio himself.  Olmedo also  testified that he  heard  Mauricio say to one  of  the soldiers who had charge of  him, "If I am going to be taken alone to Bacolod, I might as well state everything."  In this complaint, Mauricio implicated all of the seven defendants in the murder of the priest except himself and Rufino Pineda.  In  place of  himself and Pineda he substituted the names of Domingo  Jaime and Jose Ilongo (Jose Patpat). Two days later, May 29,  the  justice of  the  peace  again examined Mauricio  as  to  the  facts sworn  to  by him on May 27th, and the latter ratified his previous statements.

At the trial in the Court of First Instance, Mauricio, on testifying in behalf of himself and his codefendants, sought to explain away his action  in thus  making the  original complaint against his codefendants.   He admits,  however, the genuineness of his thumbmark attached to the complaint of May 27, but claims that the document to which he affixed his thumbmark was never read to him and that he  supposed it was an order for his  release.

Dolores Labida [Labadia], a  widow, and who, as querida of Mauricio Gamao, resided with him, after having given an account of what she  claims to have accidently overheard at the house of Gil Gamao on the  afternoon of May 15th, testified that upon  the  return of Mauricio to their house the next morning  he admitted to her that the crime which she had  heard Gil Gamao direct him to  commit was already done, and in response to her question as to why he did it, answered: "What am I going to do?  Manong [referring to his uncle Gil Gamao]  ordered me to do it."  This witness (Labida) [Labadia]  further testified that after Mauricio's codefendants had.been arrested, she visited Mauricio at the convent where he was confined under a Constabulary guard, as she had previously done at the municipal jail;  and that he there said to her: 

"If they make you testify to the truth, you testify to the whole  truth, as I have done already;  so, regarding the killing of the priest, two of us killed the priest, and Jose was  my companion."

Also that Mauricio had  stated to  her that he had told the whole truth  because he was the first one to be. made to suffer, and he would tell the  whole truth so that all ihe rest  would suffer with  him  those who ordered him and directed  him to commit the crime.   This witness further says: 

"Mauricio stated that  the one who waited for the arrival of the priest at the stairway was Jose and he was the one who killed the priest, and that he (Mauricio)  waited at the doorway at the side of the convent."

Again, this witness testified that after the accused Pineda had been arrested and placed in confinement with Mauricio and as her testimony was about to be taken on the charge sworn to by Mauricio, the latter asked her not to testify to what he had previously told her,  and that Pineda  then stated to her: "Yes, Dolores, do not testify to  that.  Would not you pity your husband if he should be placed  in sorrow?"

Felicidad Mij ares, a fifteen-year old daughter of Dolores Labida [Labadia] testified that between five and six o'clock on the afternoon of Saturday, May 15th, while her mother was absent, Mauricio came to the house and immediately proceeded to  sharpen a long bob which  he was accustomed to carry when  he went  fishing;  that after  sharpening the bob Mauricio left the house, taking the bob  with him; and that on  leaving the house Mauricio wore gray knee trousers, a white undershirt, and a salacot  (native hat). The bolo referred to by Felicidad Mi j ares was subsequently found in Mauricio's house and specifically identified. 

Domingo Jaime was one of six buzos in the employ of Gil Gamao, who, between eight and nine o'clock on the night of the murder, transferred a load of corn from the seashore where they  had landed from a boat,  to the camarin in the rear of Gil Gamao's house.  This witness carried the last load of  corn from the cart to  the camarin.  As he passed near  the steps  at the side  of  Gil Gamao's house he testified that he recognized  the voice of captain Gil as the latter said: "What of you, Mauricio?" and then the voice of Mauricio in reply: "The thing is done.  The padre is dead."

Juan Batolinao, a former employee of Gil Gamao, stated that he began to work for Gil  in the year 1904 and left him in March, 1907, and that the  cause of his leaving was that Gil  Gamao had endeavored to induce him to  kill the then priest of Escalante.

Carlos Cabus, brother-in-law of Gil Gamao, testified that in March,  1909, two months prior to the murder, Rufino Pineda approached him with the proposition that he (Cabus) contribute one hundred pesos to a fund to be used in hiring Mauricio to kill  Father Baltanas, and that Pineda claimed that he made this proposition on  behalf of  Gil Gamao.

Jose Patpat testified that in the month of March,  1909, while he was employed by Gil Gamao, the latter offered him P50 if he would kill the priest; that the offer was made at the  house of Gil Gamao while he was stopping there  for the night on his return from a trip to Iloilo in company with Luis  Garcia, Gil's son-in-law; and that during this private conversation between  himself and Gil, the latter displayed his anger because the witness and Domingo Jayme had called upon the Roman Catholic priest to perform  the burial ceremonies on the occasion of the death of Domingo's brother.

Miguel Gamao, nephew of Gil Gamao, and president of Escalante at the time of the murder, testified that: 

"On  a day  in the month  of May,  I do not  remember  the date, I heard captain Gil say that an anarchistic society had been formed with the  object of killing the  friars.  If the municipal authorities should take part in the prosecution of these anarchists they would also be  assassinated."

Pedro Amante, the justice of the peace, testified that  the suit of the municipality of Escalante against the church was begun in the year 1904 or 1905, upon the motion of  Gil Gamao, who was then a member of the municipal council; that at the meeting of the council on May 15, 1909, the secretary  (Pineda) read part of the decree of the Supreme Court, and then threw the document on the table and at once left the room; that shortly  afterwards about 12  o'clock, he went to his house, which adjoined that of Gil Gamao, and from his window  noticed Pineda in the kitchen of Gil's house; that on the way  from the tribunal  to his house he was preceded by Luis Garcia, son-in-law of Gil, who lived in Gil's house; that Luis entered Gil's  house as he (the witness) entered his own; and that at about 3 o'clock that afternoon he saw Padre Sotero  Cuenca,  Aglipayan priest of Escalante, coming out of Gil Gamao's house.

With reference to  the meeting which the prosecution claims took place in the house of Gil Gamao  on the afternoon of May 15, Dolores Labida  [Labadia] testified in substance as follows: 

"About noon on Saturday, May 15, Mauricio came home and told me that he was going  to town as Manong (Gil Gamao) had some work for him  to do.  Being out of corn, which we were accustomed to get from Manong, I insisted on accompanying Mauricio.   When we arrived at captain Gil's house, I  noticed that Pineda entered just before  us. On entering the house from the side door of the kitchen, I saw the defendants in this case sitting at a long table in the kitchen.  After I had spoken to Gil about getting one thousand ears of corn I went to  the camarin, accompanied by a  servant of GiPs named Soria, who counted out  the corn for me.  After the corn was placed on the  ground in a separate heap,  a helper  of mine proceeded to transfer it in lots of two hundred ears to  our house, and during  the interval between each load I seated myself on the doorstep on the side of the house next to the camarin, from  whence I could watch the corn.   In this  way I heard from  time to time  certain portions  of conversation which was  taking place  between  Gil Gamao and the six defendants  sitting with him at the table, one of the six being Mauricio.  I heard  captain Gil say to the meeting that the way things were going they would never escape from the Romans, on whose account the revolution had started; to which Pineda and the Aglipayan padre responded that whatever  captain Gil desired to do they would  conform to.  I heard  captain Gil propose that Mauricio make  away with the priest.  In consideration therefor, he offered to release Mauricio from all of his indebtedness and give him  'fifty more.'   Upon hearing this proposition, Mauricio expressed his  fear of undertaking such work, but Gil  reassured him by  saying: 'I am here to  answer for you.'"

Apolinaria Bayhonan  testified that on the afternoon of May 15th she administered massage to Gil Gamao and that both on entering and leaving the house she saw Mauricio Gamao there, together with the other five defendants.

Serapia Fuente stated that  she saw three of the defendants at Gil's house that afternoon.

Asuncion Alfan testified that on the afternoon of Saturday, May 15th, the 4glipayan priest and  Segundo Canizares, the latter a brother-in-law of Gil Gamao, called at her house. Narciso Salgal, chief of police of Escalante and nephew of Gil Gamao, was there at the time, and after  a brief private interview with the chief of police, the two  left the house, going toward Gil's house.

As a witness in his own defense, Mauricio Gamao attempted to establish an alibi by claiming that he spent the afternoon of Saturday, May 15th, at the beach helping one Rufino  Caporas repair fishnets,  and that he  did not get home that evening, but remained at  the camarin all night. Rufino Gaporas, on behalf of Mauricio, testified to the same effect, claiming that he slept in the camarin  with Mauricio and  that on awaking Sunday morning they went out fishing together.  On cross-examination, Mauricio admitted that he had  previously stated to the fiscal that he had gone to the house of. one Carlos Cabus at four o'clock on Saturday afternoon and remained there until time  to go out in the  boat Sunday morning.   Gaporas also admitted on cross-examination  that he was examined before the  justice of the peace of Escalante, but denied that he there testified that he did not see Mauricio Gamao on the Saturday night of the murder. The  justice  of the peace,  Mr. Amante, testified that he transcribed  the questions and answers  that were put to Rufino Caporas and that the latter stated before him  that he spent the fifteenth of May at the beach, but that he did not  see Mauricio Gamao  there that day nor  that  night. The wife of Caporas testified that on the night of the murder she and her husband slept together  in their house at the beach, and that no one else was  there,  and that she  had since separated from her husband because he insisted upon  her testifying as Gil Gamao wanted her to do.  In surrebuttal, Rufino Caporas stated that his wife left him a week prior to  the death of  the priest.  The prosecution then showed by  the  notes of the stenographer that this same witness had testified before  the prosecuting attorney that his wife had not left him until after the  priest had been murdered.

The evidence  of the defense in support of the claim that no meeting  was held in the house of Gil Gamao on the day of the murder  and that Captain Gil himself was confined in his bed with paralysis consists of that of Mauricio Gamao and the following witnesses:

Inez Bais stated that she massaged Captain Gil on Saturday, the day of  the murder, and that half of his  body was paralyzed so that he was  unable to leave his house.  On cross-examination this  witness  denied that  she had previously testified  at Escalante that she had spent that Saturday in an outlying barrio and was not at Gil's house on that day.  On rebuttal it was shown by the stenographer's notes of this witness' testimony that she did testify in the preliminary investigation conducted by Mr. Adams at Escalante, that she was not at the house of Gil on that Saturday.

Patricia Tenebroso, a 14-year old servant in the house of Gil Gamao,  testified that he  was unable to get out of  his bed oh the Saturday that the priesi; was killed.   This witness admitted  having  testified at  Escalante  before the justice of the peace, but denied having there declared that she had spent the day in question away from home. The justice of the peace testified that this witness did swear before him  that she had spent that  Saturday  away from Gil's house.

Francisco Flores,  a tailor,  whose shop was in the lower part of Gil's house, testified  that  he had spent the entire day in question  cutting cloth for garments for a boy, and thus came to know that Gil was sick in his room all day. He claimed  that he did  this work upstairs because he had no table in  his  shop, but it  was shown that there  was a table downstairs in the shop of this  witness at that time.

Pelagia Majinay testified that on the day of the murder Gil was so ill that he  did not go out of his room all day, and that a few days after the arrest of Gil she met Ferrer at the house  of  Asuncion Alfan, where Ferrer tried to induce her by bribery and threats to testify that there had been a meeting in Gil's house; but Alfan stated that it was she  who  had  the  conversation  with Majinay  and  that although Ferrer  was  present,  he said nothing whatever to Majinay.

If the testimony for the witnesses for the prosecution is to be believed, Mauricio Gamao admitted his guilt to Dolores Labida  [Labadia]  on the morning after the murder occurred.   He likewise admitted his guilt in the confessions made before the  justice of the peace and other  witnesses. If Mauricio were innocent, it is almost inconceivable that he should have involved himself and his uncle, upon whom he was dependent for maintenance, in a crime which, prior to his confessions, remained a mystery.  If, on the other hand, Mauricio is guilty, the circumstances under which he was about to be removed from his home to Bacolod  were such as would induce him to  seek to free himself from the impending danger by implicating those who had involved him in this crime.  He must  have known that the real cause of his arrest and transfer to Bacolod was to procure his detention until evidence could be obtained against him for the murder of the priest.  The fact that those against whom he made complaint refrained from furnishing the bond of one hundred pesos (the amount fixed by the justice of the peace for Mauricio's provisional liberty on the charge of carrying concealed  weapons) that would have secured him his liberty, must have indicated to him that they intended to leave him to suffer the  fate of Pedro Git, themselves seeking to  avoid all suspicion by not interfering in his behalf.   Mauricio went to the house of Gil and reported to the latter that: "The thing is done.   The padre is dead."

The defense of Gil Gamao  was  directed almost solely to the proposition that his codefendants were not at his house on the day of the murder, and that on that day he himself was so ill that he did not leave his bed; consequently, that he did not conspire with his codef endants to induce Mauricio to kill the priest.

In summing up the case, the trial court, in determining the weight to be given to the testimony presented, after a very careful study and analysis of all the evidence, said: 

"In weighing this  testimony in the endeavor to sift the false from the true and to ascertain what is the fact, the court has sought to be careful  in considering the surrounding circumstances, the probabilities and improbabilities, the intelligence or lack  of intelligence and  personal  status of each witness,  whether  through enmity or for  any other reason a witness might have a motive for giving false testimony against any of the accused  or whether through a personal obligation,  friendship, relationship, menial condition or dependency a witness should have a motive or might be induced to  give false testimony in favor of any of them. And in trying to ascertain further, the credibility that should be given each  witness, the court has endeavored to consider carefully prior statements made, and former testimony given by these witnesses upon this  same matter  and when the former statements and testimony given differs from  that made  by the  same  witness here,  all of the  surrounding circumstances of this case and preliminary to its commencement have been considered in the effort to ascertain whether the  first was forced and  false,  and  the  last is true,  or whether the last is false and the first was voluntary and true."

The record in this case, which is voluminous, shows  that the trial judge  gave the appellants every opportunity  to present their defense.  He allowed the defense great latitude in the cross-examination of witnesses.  He had an  opportunity to see the witnesses, hear them testify, and note their demeanor on the stand.  He finally reached the conclusion, after a thorough study of the whole case, that the testimony of record established beyond a reasonable doubt that it was the appellant Mauricio Gamao who murdered Father Victor Baltanas on the night of May 15, and that the said Mauricio was directly induced to commit this crime by the other appellant, Gil Gamao.  We think these conclusions or findings of fact are fully sustained by the record.

The trial court classified the crime as that of assassination, there being present as to Mauricio Gamao the qualifying circumstance of alevosia,  and as to Gil  Gamao that of known  premeditation.  The court also found  that there were not  present  in  the  commission  of this  crime  any aggravating or extenuating circumstances,  except the  aggravating circumstance of known premeditation on the part of Mauricio Gamao.

Counsel  for the appellants  insists, among other things, that the court erred in finding that Gil Gamao  was guilty as a principal by induction.  Article 13 of the Penal Code provides: 

"ART.  13.  The following are considered as principals: 

"1. Those who take a direct part in the  commission of the act. 

"2. Those who  directly  force or  induce others  to commit it."

Viada, in his Commentaries, in discussing this No. 2, says: 

"But it must be borne in mind that these  acts of inducement must not consist of simple counsel before  the perpetration of the crime, nor of simple words at  the moment of its execution.   Such counsel or such  words constitute without doubt wrongful acts and a reprehensible incentive before the moral law.  But in order  that they may be  considered as a direct inducement according to the code it is necessary that he who gives such counsel or says such words must have a great control and a  great influence upon the person who is to act and is necessary  that this should be so direct, so efficacious, so powerful," as to make it  a physical  or moral coercion as powerful  as the violence itself."  (Vol. 1, p. 354.)

Mauricio  Gamao,  nephew of Gil  Gamao, was  a poor, ignorant  fisherman, and  more or less dependent upon  his uncle  for subsistence.  On  the other  hand, Captain  Gil Gamao was when this crime was committed, a man of great influence in Escalante.  He had a great number of people working for him, one of whom was his nephew Mauricio. He was the local political leader of his party.  One of his nephews was president of the town.  He had two brothers-in-law in the municipal council. of his nephews, one was chief of police and two others were members of the police force.  He had acquired,  as we  have said, a bitter hatred toward the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish friars and priests.  He called a  meeting in his own house on the afternoon of May 15th, where the question of murdering the priest was  discussed.   He was  the prime mover in this meeting.  He dominated all who were present.  He selected his nephew  Maurjcio to commit the  crime and directed him to do it.  Mauricio, immediately after murdering the priest, returned to  the house of his uncle Gil and reported the fact. The influence exercised by Gil Gamao over his nephew was so great  and powerful that the latter, through  fear,  could not resist it.  That Mauricio was directly induced to murder the priest by his uncle Gil we think there can be no  question.

Counsel also insist that  the court erred in classifying the crime as assassination,  On the  other hand,  the Attorney-General insists that  as to Mauricio Gamao,  there  were present, not only the  qualifying circumstance  of  alevosia, but also the aggravating circumstances of known  premeditation and hire or reward, and that as to Gil Gamao,  there was present, aside from the qualifying  circumstance of known premeditation,  the aggravating circumstance of having induced  the commission of this crime by hire or reward.

The deceased received the fatal blow while he was in the dark space between the door and the stairs leading to  the upper portion of the  convent.   He was  unable to see by whom the blow was struck.  He had no opportunity to offer any resistance whatever.  The murderer  taking advantage of the darkness was lying in wait for  his victim, thereby employing means or methods in the  execution of this crime which tended directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself, arising from the defense which the priest might make.  These facts clearly establish the qualifying circumstance of alevosia in so far as Mauricio Gamao is concerned.

It is true that the circumstance of alevosia cannot be used either as a qualifying or modifying circumstance, as to Gil Gamao, for the reason that there  is nothing in the record to show that Gil  Gamao directed or induced Mauricio to adopt the means or methods actually used by the latter in accomplishing the murder.  He only directed and induced Mauricio to  commit the murder, leaving the  details  as to how it was to be accomplished to Mauricio.  But as to  Gil Gamao  there was present the  qualifying circumstance of known  premeditation, which raises  his  offense to that of assassination, inasmuch as it has  been shown that as far back  as March,  1907, he attempted to induce Batolinao to kill the  priest who was then at Escalante.  In  March,  1909, two months  prior to  the murder,  Gil offered Jose Patpat fifty  pesos to kill the deceased.  Some  days  prior to,  the murder, Miguel Gamao  heard  his uncle Gil  say  that  an anarchistic society had been formed with the object of killing the  friars.   Again, Gil, on  the afternoon  of May 15th presided at the meeting held in his own house,  where it was agreed that the priest should be killed, and he there deliberately  selected his nephew to commit this crime, and directly induced him to do  it.  The determination  to  have the deceased murdered originated  in  his mind long before the crime was  actually committed.  This determination was constantly persisted in until he was successful.   He had full opportunity for  meditation and  reflection, and ample time to allow his conscience to overcome the determination of his will had he so desired.   All of these facts were certainly sufficient to justify the trial court  in holding that the crime, in so  far as Gil Gamao was concerned, was  committed with known premeditation.   (U. S. vs. Ricafor, 1 Phil. Rep., 173; U. S.  vs. Gil, 13 Phil. Rep., 530.)

If there were present, as to Mauricio Gamao, one, two, or more aggravating  circumstances,  the penalty would be the same in this case, as, owing to his extreme ignorance, this court would be compelled to give  him the benefits  of article 11.

We are unable to agree with the Attorney-General in his contention  that the aggravating circumstance that Gil Gamao forced or induced his nephew to murder the priest by hire or reward should be applied, for the reason that the record does not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Mauricio Gamao was forced or induced to commit this crime in this manner.  The only testimony upon this point is: (1)  That of the  witness Ferrer, who stated that Mauricio told him that he had been offered money to kill the priest but that he had refused to accept it.   (2) That of Carlos Cabus, wherein he stated that Rufino Pineda  approached him on behalf  of Gil Gamao and asked for a contribution of one hundred pesos to be used in hiring Mauricio to kill the deceased.   (3) That of Jose Patpat who testified that Gil Gamao offered him fifty pesos to kill Baltanas.   (4)  That of Dolores  Labida  [Labadia],  who testified that  during the meeting held at Gil's house on May 15th she overheard Gil propose that Mauricio murder the priest, which is the only direct testimony upon this  point.   Labida here states ,that Gil Gamao offered  to release Mauricio of  all  his indebtedness and give him "fifty more" if he would kill the priest.  Mauricio  stated, according to the testimony of Ferrer, that it was true that he had been offered money to kill the padre but that he would not accept it.   Accepting as true the  testimony of Labida [Labadia] and the statement of Mauricio  upon this point, it has been shown that Gil offered Mauricio a reward if he would dispose of the priest, but that Mauricio refused  to accept it.   The testimony of Cabus and Patpat shows that Gil had been attempting for a long time to  hire someone  to  kill  the  priest. This strongly tends to establish the fact that Mauricio was actually offered a reward to commit this crime by his uncle, but Mauricio flatly denies that he received any money or other reward for committing the murder.  This statement of Mauricio  was made at the time he made  his confessions, which were accepted by the court as true.  If it was a fact that Mauricio Gamao owed his uncle a sum of money, the latter could have used these obligations as a club in forcing his nephew to commit the crime.   For Mauricio, knowing his uncle's power and influence in the community, and his own insignificance, could well anticipate what would happen to one who incurred his displeasure, and having  received pecuniary assistance from his uncle, he could well expect a visitation of his displeasure in a more serious form than if he had never received such favors from his uncle.  It would also appear that if he had received a reward to commit the crime, he would have admitted it, as such  an admission would no doubt, in his opinion, have had great weight with the authorities in securing his release.   After an examination of the whole record upon this point, we agree with the trial court that it has not been shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Gil Gamao actually hired Mauricio to kill the deceased by giving him money or promising to release him from all his indebtedness.

While this case was pending  on appeal,  a motion was made on the 18th of December, 1909, for a new trial.   This motion complied  with the provisions of the statute on the subject and was accompanied by various affidavits.  Before the question of a new trial was passed upon by this  court, counsel presented another motion on October 9, 1910,  in which  it was alleged that one Crispulo Pavilona had been sentenced to life  imprisonment subsequent to the sentence which was rendered against the appellants in this case, for the same crime that of killing Father Baltanas and that the said Pavilona is now serving the sentence imposed upon him.  In view of the allegations made in these two motions and  the  affidavits accompanying  the  first, this court, on December 17, 1910,  granted a new trial as  prayed for, and the record was returned to the court from whence it came for this purpose.   Upon  the second trial, which took place in Bacolod about the first of April, 1911, in the presence of the appellants and their counsel, the entire record  in the former trial was introduced in due form, and the only further testimony presented was by the defense, who placed Miguel Gamao, the nephew of Gil Gamao, upon the stand, a witness for the prosecution in the former trial.   In this last trial this witness testified that the testimony given by him on the first trial was under compulsion.  The trial court again sentenced these two appellants to the same penalty, holding that the new testimony was not sufficient to cause a reasonable doubt in his mind as to the guilt of either  Mauricio or  Gil  Gamao.  The  two  condemned men again appealed,  and it is now insisted that the guilt of both Crispulo  Pavilona  and the appellants in the case at bar is incompatible,  for the reason  that if Pavilona murdered the priest, Mauricio Gamao did not. While it has been  suggested that the said Crispulo Pavilona was arrested, arraigned, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Father Baltanas, yet, notwithstanding the fact that this court granted the appellants a new trial,  they never introduced nor attempted to introduce the decision of the court  in the case against Pavilona, nor did they attempt to make any showing upon this question whatsoever.  On the other hand, it was suggested by means  of  an affidavit that Crispulo Pavilona stated that in killing the priest he operated with both these appellants and received  from Gil Gamao money for committing this crime.  These suggestions, however, not having been  established  nor even  an attempt made to establish them  on  the second trial,  we  cannot  take  them  into consideration.

For all of the foregoing reasons, the judgment condemning these appellants  to  life imprisonment, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of one thousand pesos, and to the payment of the costs of the cause, is hereby affirmed, with costs of this  instance against the appellants.

Arellano, C. J.,  Torres, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.


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