Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

FACTS:

Defendant De Guzman, along with Pedro and Serapio Macarling,


was convicted of asesinato (murder) and sentenced to life
imprisonment.

The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that, on the day
and at place mentioned in the information, De Guzman who was
walking through a field with Pedro and Serapio Macarling and
Rufino Garin, deceased, struck the latter on the head, knocked him
down and held him on the ground while Pedro Macarling stabbed
him to death. Information was duly filed charging De Guzman,
jointly with the two Macarlings, with the murder of Guzman
entered into an agreement with the fiscal under the terms of which
he promised to appear and testify as a witness for the Government
at the trial of his coaccused, and to tell the truth as to all that
occurred, provided the information was dismissed as to him and he
himself was not brought to trial. With the consent of the court, and
in pursuance of this agreement, he was not arraigned nor brought
to trial, and the information was dismissed as to him. One of his
coaccused pleaded guilty and the other not guilty, and thereafter
the case came on for trial. after several witnesses had been called,
De Guzman was placed on the witness stand, and denied all
knowledge of the murder. He denied that he had ever said anything
implicating his coaccused, and swore that a statement made by him
before a justice of the peace was false, and that it had been made
through fear of certain police officer.

The Solicitor General relying on provisions of General orders


recommends the discharge of the appellant.

Section 34, 35, and 36 of General orders No. 58, upon which
counsel for defense and the Solicitor-General rely, are as follows:
SEC. 34. When two or more persons shall be included in the same
charge, the court, at any time before the defendants have entered
upon their defense or upon the application of the counsel of the
Government, may direct any defendant to be discharged, that he
may be a witness for the United States.

SEC. 35. When two or more persons shall be included in the same
charge, and the court shall be of opinion in respect to a particular
defendant that there is not sufficient evidence to put him on his
defense, it must order him to be discharged before the evidence is
closed, that he may be a witness for his codefendant.

SEC. 36. The order indicated in sections thirty-four and thirty-five


shall amount to an acquittal of the defendant discharged, and shall
be a bar to future prosecution for the same offense.

The question raised on this appeal being his right to exemption


from prosecution for the crime thus committed, on the ground that
a former information, charging the same offense, had been
dismissed as to him in order that he might testify as a witness for
the prosecution.

ISSUE: Should the defendant be discharged from prosecution even


if he did not faithfully comply as to the sworn agreement made
prior the trial which entitled him immunity as witness for the
States

HELD:

No, the defendant should not be discharged.

General rule of statutory construction that courts may take judicial


notice of the original and history of the statutes which they are
called upon to construe and administer, and of the facts which
affect their derivation, validity and operation. Looking at the
legislative history of the statute under the old system of criminal
procedure with a system borrowed on large part from English and
American precedents, it can be gleaned that faithful performance is
necessary to avail of the bar to criminal prosecution. Failure of the
Defendant in the case at bar to faithfully and honestly carry out his
undertaking to appear as witness and to tell the truth at the trial of
his co-accused deprived him of the right to plead his formal
dismissal as a bar to his prosecution.