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April 29, 1957 (G.R. No. L-8957) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellant,vs. ANDRES O. FERRER, defendant-appellee.

Padilla, J.: This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, the dispositive part of which states: Five (5) days after receipt of a copy of this Order by the prosecution, the information in this case shall be deemed cancelled and released, unless in the meantime the prosecution amends the information so as to allege sufficient facts constituting an offense under section 51 of our Revised Election Code. The information held defective by the trial court reads as follows: The undersigned Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan and the Provincial Fiscals of Nueva Ecija and Batanes, on special detail in Pangasinan by Administrative Orders Nos. 6 and 13, dated January 12 and 27, 1954, respectively, of the Secretary of Justice, accuse Andres G. Ferrer of the offense violation of Sections 51 and 54 in the relation to Sections 51 and 54 in relation to Section 183, 184 and 185 of the revised Election Code, committed as follows: That on or about 10th day of November, 1953, (Election Day), and for sometime prior thereto in the municipality of Binmaley, province of Pangasinan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Andres G. Ferrer, being then and there a Foreign Affairs Officer, Class III, Department of Foreign Affairs, and classified civil service officer, duly qualified and appointed as such, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly, in utter disregard and defiance of the specific and several legal prohibition on the subject, and in disregard of the civil service rules and regulations, induce, influence, sway and make the electors vote in favor of the candidates of the Liberal Party in the following manner, to wit: (1) that sometime before the elections on November 10, 1958, the said accused, Andres G. Ferrer, delivered a speech during a political rally of the Liberal Party in Barrio Caloocan Norte, of the said municipality of Binmaley, Pangasinan, inducing the electors to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party but more particularly for President Quirino and Speaker Perez; that during said political meeting the said accused caused to be distributed to the people who attended said meeting cigarettes and pamphlets concerning the Liberal Party; and (2) that the said accused, Andres G. Ferrer, sometime prior to the last elections campaigned in the Barrio of Caloocan Norte, of the said municipality of Binmaley, going from house to house and induced the electors to whom he distributed sample, ballots of the Liberal Party. Contrary to sections 51 and 54 in relation to Sections 183, 184 and 185 of Republic Act No. 180, as amended. (Crim. Case No. 20320.)

The defendant moved to quash the information on the ground that it charges more than one offense and that the facts alleged in the information do not constitute a violation of either section 51 or section 54 of the Revised Election Code. The trial court is of the opinion that causing cigarettes or pamphlets concerning the Liberal Party to be distributed to the people who attended a political meeting, charged against the defendant, does not constitute a violation of section 51 of the Revised Election Code, because it is not giving "food" for tobacco is not food; nor does it constitute a violation of that part of section 51 which makes unlawfully the contributing or giving, directly or indirectly, of money or things of value, because the information merely charges the defendant with-having caused cigarettes, etc. to be distributed, and it does not state that the cigarette belonged to the defendant and were being given away by him as his contribution for electioneering purposes. True, cigarettes are not food, but they have and are of value and the charge that the defendant caused cigarettes and pamphlets concerning the Liberal Party to be distributed to the people who attended a political meeting mentioned in the information is a sufficient allegation that he gave or contributed things of value for electioneering purposes. If the cigarettes did not belong to him, that is a matter of defense. The trial court is also of the opinion that the defendant is not a classified civil service officer or employee, because to be such it is necessary that he be assigned in the Department of Foreign Affairs under section 6, Republic Act. No. 708 and if and when thus assigned he will for purposes of civil service law and regulations, be considered as first grade civil service eligible," and that even if the prosecution could establish that the defendant at the time of the commission of the violation charged was assigned in the Department of Foreign Affairs under the section just mentioned, still such assignment would not make him a classified civil service officer embraced within the provisions of section 54 of the Revised Election Code, for, according to the trial court, section 670 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that the classified civil service embraces all persons not expressly declared to be the unclassified civil service and section 671 enumerates the persons embraced in the unclassified civil service; and concludes; that the defendant is in the unclassified civil service under section 671, paragraph b, of the Revised Administrative Code, because the defendant was appointed by the President first as Foreign Affairs Officer Class III, Department of Foreign Affairs, and later on as Vice Consul the last appointment having been duly confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, and that the, assignment or detail in the Department of Foreign Affairs would make him by mere legal fiction a first grade civil service eligible under section 6, Republic Act No. 708 UvWORafE. The reason advanced by the trial court are defense matters. The allegation in the information that the defendant is "a classified civil service officer, duly qualified and appointed as such," for purposes the motion to quash, is deemed admitted. The trial court cannot go beyond the allegations of the information. Nevertheless, the information is defective, because it charges two violations of the Revised Election Code, to wit: section 51 to which a heavier penalty is attached, and section 54 for which a lighter penalty is provided. And the prosecuting attorneys had that in mind when at the end of the information filed by them they stated: "Contrary to Sections 51 and 54 in relation to Sections 183, 184 and 185 of Republic Act No. 180, as amended." Causing cigarettes which are things of value to be distributed, made unlawful by section 51 and punished by section 183, cannot be deemed a necessary means to commit the lesser violation of section 54 were the penalty attached

to it taken into consideration. The rule in the case of People vs. Buenviaje, 47 Phil. 536, cited and invoked by the State, has no application to the case, because there the defendant, who was not a duly licensed physician, gave medical assistance and treatment to a certain person and advertised himself and offered services as a physician by means of cards or letterheads and advertisement in the newspapers, latter being a means to commit the former, and both violations are punishable with the same penalty, whereas in the present case causing cigarettes or things of value to be distributed by the defendant to the people who attended a political meeting is a violation distinct from that of electioneering committed by a classified civil service officer or employee. The former has no connection with the latter. If the penalty provided for violation of section 51 and 54 were the same as in the case of the violation of the Medical Law, the rule in the case of People vs. Buenviaje supra, might be invoked and applied CzsF. That a violation of section 51 is distinct from that of section 54 is further shown by the fact that a violation of the former may be committed by any candidate, political committee, voter or any other person, whereas a violation of the latter may only be committed by a justice, judge, fiscal, treasurer or assessor of any province, officer or employee of the Army, member of the national, provincial, city, municipal or rural police force, and classified civil service officer or employee. Under the information in question, if the charges be proved, the defendant may be convicted and sentenced under either section or both. The rule enjoining the charging of two or more offenses in an information has for aim to give the defendant the necessary knowledge of the charge to enable, him to prepare his defense. The State should not heap upon the defendant two or more charges which might confuse him in his defense. The order appealed from is affirmed, not upon the grounds relied upon by the trial court, but on the ground that the information charges two different violations, without pronouncement as to costs

A.M. No. RTJ-94-1208 January 26, 1995 JACINTO MAPPALA, complainant, vs.JUDGE CRISPULO A. NUEZ, Regional Trial Court, Branch 22, Cabagan, Isabela, respondent. QUIASON, J.: This is an administrative complaint filed by Jacinto Mappala against Judge Crispulo A. Nuez, the presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 22, Cabagan, Isabela for gross inefficiency, serious misconduct and violation of the code of Judicial Ethics.I In 1989, the Provincial prosecutor of Isabela filed: (1) an information against Alejandro Angoluan for illegal possession of a firearm in violation of P.D. No. 1866 (Criminal Case No. 22-954); (2) an information against Angoluan and five other co-accused for frustrated murder (Criminal Case No. 22-955); and (3) an information against Alejandro and Honorato Angoluan for violation of the Omnibus election code (Criminal Case No. 22-965). The complaining witness in Criminal Case No. 22-955 was Jacinto Mappala, the complainant against respondent in this administrative case. All the actions were consolidated and assigned to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 22, Cabagan, Isabela, presided by respondent. On December 20, 1993, respondent rendered a consolidated decision in the aforementioned cases, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing facts and considerations, in Criminal Case No. 955, this Court finds that the accused ALEJANDRO ANGOLUAN is GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Homicide. The prescribed penalty is six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years orprision mayor. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum should be taken from the penalty one (1) degree lower which is prision correcional. He is therefore sentenced to suffer imprisonment from TWO (2) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS of Prision Correcional as Minimum, to SIX (6) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of Prision Mayor as maximum and to pay the complainant Jacinto Mappala the sum of P18,514.00 representing hospitalization and medical expenses; and to pay the costs. The accused Honorato Angoluan, Bienvenido Angoluan, Jr., Zaldy Angoluan, Teodoro Zipagan, Jr., and Ramon Soriano are hereby ACQUITTED FOR INSUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE. In Criminal Case No. 954, this Court finds the accused ALEJANDRO ANGOLUAN "GUILTY" beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Illegal Possession of Firearms in Violation of P.D. No. 1866. Presidential Decree No. 1866 is a special law. The penalty imposed is governed by the Indeterminate Sentence Law, Section 1 of which provides: Sec. 1 . . . If the offense is punished by other law, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same.

The prescribed penalty for Illegal Possession of Firearms under P.D. 1866 is Reclusion Temporal toReclusion Perpetua. The Court hereby sentences him to an imprisonment from TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY to SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS, FOUR (4) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY. The firearm, Exhibit "H", is forfeited to the government. And in Criminal Case No. 965, for Violation of the Omnibus election Code against Alejandro Angoluan and Honorato Angoluan, this Court finds both accused "NOT GUILTY" of the crime and therefore are ACQUITTED (Rollo, pp. 45-46). The said decision is now on appeal before the Court of Appeals. In his letter-complaint dated March 28, 1994, complainant alleged that while the trial of the three cases was terminated in December 1992 and the last pleading in the case, the prosecution's memorandum, was submitted on May 27, 1993, respondent rendered his decision only on December 20, 1993 ( Rollo, p. 14). Complainant charged respondent with: (1) gross inefficiency for rendering the decision beyond the reglementary period of ninety days or seven months after the cases were submitted for decision; (2) serious misconduct for acquitting Alejandro Angoluan of violation of the Omnibus Election Code in Criminal Case No. 22-965; and (3) violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics for giving credence to the alibi of the accused Rizaldy Angoluan in Criminal Case No. 22-955 in the absence of any corroborating testimony of any witness (Rollo, pp. 10-11). Complainant likewise accused respondent of accepting bribes in connection with cases pending before him (Rollo, p. 11). In his comment, respondent averred that the three actions involved grave offenses that required more time in the preparation of the decision. He alleged that he had to await the memorandum of the public prosecutors who requested additional time for the submission thereof (Rollo, p. 6). He justified the acquittal of Alejandro of violation of the Election Law in Criminal Case No. 965 on the ground that ". . . the firearm was not taken from his person within the precinct but was not taken . . . more than 50 meters away from the precinct" (Rollo, p. 7). Furthermore, he claimed that what the law considered as a crime was the "carrying of firearms within (50) or 100 meters away from the precinct. The firearm was not taken from the accused within the 50 or 100 meters distance from the precinct because in truth and in fact the said firearm was surrendered by the accused two (2) days after the elections. The mistake in the distance is merely a clerical error. But be it 50 meters or 100 meters, still the accused could not be convicted under the said provision, specifically Section 261, Subsection (p) of Article XXII of the Omnibus election Code" (Rollo, p. 7). Respondent claimed that the charge of violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics was utterly irresponsible and baseless, being the handiwork of a disgruntled litigant with the purpose of discrediting his reputation (Rollo, pp. 7-8). Respondent denied having received bribes.

II As to complainant's charge of gross inefficiency, we find that respondent rendered the decision beyond the reglementary period of ninety days, reckoned from May 27, 1993, the date when the last pleading was filed. We are not impressed with respondent's excuse that it took time to resolve the three consolidated actions involving grave offenses. If respondent required more time to resolve the cases, he is not without recourse. He should have asked for more time to decide the cases from this Court, giving the justification therefor. In Alfonso-Cortes v. Maglalang, 227 SCRA 482 (1993), we emphasized "for the guidance of the judges manning our courts, that cases pending before their salas must be decided within the aforementioned period and that failure to observe said rule constitutes a ground for administrative sanction against the defaulting judge" (citing Marcelino v. Cruz, Jr., 121 SCRA 51 [1983]). Respondent acquitted Alejandro Angoluan of violation of Section 261 (p) of the Omnibus Election Code. Said provision reads as follows: Deadly weapons. Any person who carries any deadly weapon in the polling place and within a radius of one hundred meters thereof during the days and hours fixed by law for the registration of voters in the polling place, voting, counting of votes, or preparation of the election returns. However, in cases of affray, turmoil, or disorder, any peace officer or public officer authorized by the Commission to supervise the election is entitled to carry firearms or any other weapon for the purpose of preserving and enforcing the law. In his decision, respondent found that Alejandro shot complainant herein inside Precinct No. 2 located at the elementary school building in Santo Tomas, Isabela, during the barangay elections on March 28, 1989. Respondent also found that Alejandro was the one who surrendered the gun. To respondent, the surrender of the weapon was an implied admission that it was the one used by Alejandro in shooting complainant. Inspite of all these findings, respondent acquitted Alejandro of illegally carrying a deadly weapon inside a precinct on the theory that the gun was not seized from him while he was the precinct. According to respondent: . . . With respect to the other accused Alejandro Angoluan, although there is evidence to prove that he shot the complainant Jacinto Mappala, the gun which he allegedly used was surrendered by him two (2) days after the incident and he was not apprehended in possession of the gun within 100 meters radius of the precinct. This Court believes that he should not be prosecuted (sic) in violation of Article 22, Section 261, Subsection (p) of the Omnibus Election Code (Rollo, p. 45; Emphasis supplied). To support a conviction under Section 261(p) of the Omnibus election Code, it is not necessary that the deadly weapon should have been seized from the accused while he was in the precinct or

within a radius of 100 meters therefrom. It is enough that the accused carried the deadly weapon "in the polling place and within a radius of one hundred meters thereof" during any of the specified days and hours. After respondent himself had found that the prosecution had established these facts, it is difficult to understand why he acquitted Alejandro of the charge of violation of Section 261(p) of the Omnibus election Code. The charge of serious misconduct and violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics in connection with the acquittal of Rizaldy Angoluan after sustaining his defense of alibi pertains to respondent's judicial functions in the appreciation and evaluation of evidence. there is not enough evidence to set aside said finding of fact. For failure of complainant to substantiate his charge that respondent accepted monetary favors in resolving the cases pending before him, we dismiss the same. While the Judiciary is in the process of cleansing its ranks, we do not favor complaints based on mere hearsay. WHEREFORE, respondent is FINED Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00), to be paid within thirty days from receipt hereof, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or of acts calling for disciplinary action will be dealt with more severely. SO ORDERED.

February 16, 1935 (G.R. No. L-42288) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,vs.CORNELIO BAYONA, defendant-appellant. Vickers, J.: This is an appeal from a decision of Judge Braulio Bejasa in the Court of First Instance of Capiz, finding the defendant guilty of a violation of section 416 of the Election Law and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment for thirty days and to pay a fine of P50, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. The facts as found by the trial judge are as follows: A eso de las once de la maana del dia 5 de junio de 1934, mientras se celebrahan las elecciones generales en el precinto electoral numero 4, situado en el Barrio de Aranguel del Municipio de Pilar, Provincia de Capiz, el aqui acusado fue sorprendido por Jose E. Desiderio, que era entonces el representante del Departamento del Interior para inspecionar las elecciones generales en la Provincia de Capiz, y por el comandante de la Constabularia F.B. Agdamag que iba en aquella ocasion con el citado Jose E. Desiderio, portando en su cinto el revolver Colt de calibre 32, No. 195382, Exhibit A, dentro del cerco que rodeaba el edificio destinado para el citado colegio electoral numero 4 y a una distancia de 22 metros del referido colegio electoral. Inmediatament Jose E. Desiderio se incauto del revolver en cuestion. [At about eleven o'clock in the morning of June 5, 1934, while celebrahan general elections in the precinct number 4, located in the Barrio de Aranguel TownshipPilar, Capiz Province, the accused here was surprised by Jose E. Desiderio, who was then the representative of the Department of Interior to inspect the general elections in the province of Capiz, and the commander of the Constabulary FBAgdamag that was on this occasion with that Jose E. Desiderio, carrying in his beltColt caliber revolver 32, No. 195382, Exhibit A, within the fence surrounding thebuilding intended for the said polling station number 4 and a distance of 22 metersof that polling station. Instantly Jose E. Desiderio seized the revolver in question.] La defensa, por medio del testimonio de Jose D. Benliro y de Dioscoro Buenvenida, trato de establecer que el aqui acusado paro en la calle que daba frente al colegio electoral numero 4 a invitacion de dicho Jose D. Benliro y con el objeto de suplicarle al mencionado acusado para llevar a su casa a los electores del citado Jose D. Benliro que ya habian terminado de votar, y que cuando llegaron Jose E. Desidierio y el comadante F.B. Agdamag, el aqui acusado estaba en la calle. Desde el colegio electoral hasta el sitio en que, segun dichos testigos, estaba el acusado cuando se le quito el revolver Exhibit a, hay una distancia de 27 metros. [The defense, through the testimony of Jose D. Buenvenida Dioscoro Benliro and I try to establish that the defendant stop here on the street that faced the polling station number 4 at the invitation of the Jose D. Benliro and in order to plead to the said defendant to take home to voters of that Jose D. Benliro who had alreadyfinished voting, and that when Jose E. Desidierio and comadante F.B. Agdamag, the defendant was here on the

street. Since the electoral college to the site where,according to these witnesses was the defendant when he took the revolver ExhibitA, is a distance of 27 meters.] Appellant's attorney makes the following assignments of error: 1. El Juzgado a quo erro al declarar que el apelante fue sorprendido con su revolver dentro del cerco de la casa escuela del Barrio de Aranguel, Municipio de Pilar, que fue habilitado como colegio electoral. 2. El Juzgado a quo erro al declarar al apelante culpable de la infraccion de la Ley Electoral querrellada y, por consiguiente, al condenarle a prision y multa miN4. [1. The court a quo erred in declaring that the appellant was caught with his guninside the fence of the home school district of Aranguel, Municipality of Pilar, whowas qualified as an electoral college. 2. The court a quo erred in declaring the appellant guilty of breach of the ElectoralAct querrellada and, therefore, to sentence him to prison and a fine miN4.] As to the question of fact raised by the first assignment of error, it is sufficient to say that the record shows that both Jose E. Desiderio, a representative of the Department of the Interior, and Major Agdamag of the Philippine Constabulary, who had been designated to supervise the elections in the Province of Capiz, testified positively that the defendant was within the fence surrounding the polling place when Desiderio took possession of the revolver the defendant was carrying. This also disposes of that part of the argument under the second assignment of error based on the theory that the defendant was in a public road, where he had a right to be, when he was arrested. The latter part of the argument under the second assignment of error is that if it be conceded that the defendant went inside of the fence, he is nevertheless not guilty of a violation of the Election Law, because he was called by a friend and merely approached him to find out what he wanted and had no interest in the election; that there were many people in the public road in front of the polling place, and the defendant could not leave his revolver in his automobile, which he himself was driving, without running the risk of losing it and thereby incurring in a violation of the law. As to the contention that the defendant could not leave his revolver in his automobile without the risk of losing it because he was alone, it is sufficient to say that under the circumstances it was not necessary for the defendant to leave his automobile merely because somebody standing near the polling place had called him, nor does the record show that it was necessary for the defendant to carry arms on that occasion. The Solicitor-General argues that since the Government does not especially construct buildings for electoral precincts but merely utilizes whatever building there may be available, and all election precincts are within fifty meters from some road, a literal application of the law would be absurd, because members of the police force or Constabulary in pursuit of a criminal would be included in that prohibition and could not use the road in question if they were carrying

firearms; that people living in the vicinity of electoral precincts would be prohibited from cleaning or handling their firearms within their own residences on registration and election days; That the object of the Legislature was merely to prohibit the display of firearms with intention to influence in any way the free and voluntary exercise of suffrage; That if the real object of the Legislature was to insure the free exercise of suffrage, the prohibition in question should only be applied when the facts reveal that the carrying of the firearms was intended for the purpose of using them directly or indirectly to influence the free choice of the electors (citing the decision of this court in the case of People vs. Urdeleon [G.R. No. 31536, promulgated November 20, 1929, not reported], where a policeman, who had been sent to a polling place to preserve order on the request of the chairman of the board of election inspectors, was acquitted); that in the case at bar there is no evidence that the defendant went to the election precinct either to vote or to work for the candidacy of anyone, but on the other hand the evidence shows that the defendant had no intention to go to the electoral precinct; that he was merely passing along the road in front of the building where the election was being held when a friend of his called him; that while in the strict, narrow interpretation of the law the defendant is guilty, it would be inhuman and unreasonable to convict him. We cannot accept the reasons advanced by the Solicitor-General for the acquittal of the defendant. The law which the defendant violated is a statutory provision, and the intent with which he violated it is immaterial. It may be conceded that the defendant did not intend to intimidate any elector or to violate the law in any other way, but when he got out of his automobile and carried his revolver inside of the fence surrounding the polling place, he committed the act complained of, and he committed it willfully. The act prohibited by the Election Law was complete. The intention to intimidate the voters or to interfere otherwise with the election is not made an essential element of the offense. Unless such an offender actually makes use of his revolver, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to prove that he intended to intimidate the voters. The rule is that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal intent, but in those mala prohibita it is sufficient if the prohibited act was intentionally done. "Care must be exercised in distinguishing the difference between the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate the act. ..." (U.S. vs. Go Chico, 14 Phil. 128.) While it is true that, as a rule and on principles of abstract justice, men are not and should not be held criminally responsible for acts committed by them without guilty knowledge and criminal or at least evil intent (Bishop's New Crim. Law, vol. I, sec. 286), the courts have always recognized the power of the legislature, on grounds of public policy and compelled by necessity, "the great master of things", to forbid in a limited class of cases the doing of certain acts, and to make their commission criminal without regard to the intent of the doer. (U.S. vs. Go Chico, 14 Phil. 128; U.S. vs. Ah Chong,15 Phil. 488.) In such cases no judicial authority has the power to require, in the enforcement of the law, such knowledge or motive to be shown. (U.S. vs. Siy Cong Bieng and Co Kong, 30 Phil. 577.)

The cases suggested by the Solicitor-General do not seem to us to present any difficulty in the enforcement of the law. If a man with a revolver merely passes along a public road on election day, within fifty meters of a polling place, he does not violate the provision of law in question, because he had no intent to perpetrate the act prohibited, and the same thing would be true of a peace officer in pursuing a criminal; nor would the prohibition extend to persons living within fifty meters of a polling place, who merely clean or handle their firearms within their own residences on election day, as they would not be carrying firearms within the contemplation of the law; and as to the decision in the case of People vs. Urdeleon, supra, we have recently held in the case of People vs. Ayre, and Degracia (p. 169, ante), that a policeman who goes to a polling place on the request of the board of election inspectors for the purpose of maintaining order is authorized by law to carry his arms. If we were to adopt the specious reasoning that the appellant should be acquitted because it was not proved that he tried to influence or intended to influence the mind of any voter, anybody could sell intoxicating liquor or hold a cockfight or a horse race on election day with impunity. As to the severity of the minimum penalty provided by law for a violation of the provision in question, that is a matter for the Chief Executive or the Legislature. For the foregoing reasons, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with the costs against the appellant.