Wednesday, October 2, 2019

US vs Bull H. N. GR No. L-5270

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5270 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
H. N. BULL, defendant-appellant.

Bruce & Lawrence, for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

ELLIOTT, J.:

The appellant was convicted in the Court of First Instance of a violation of section 1 of Act No. 55, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 275, and from the judgment entered thereon appealed to this court, where under proper assignments of error he contends: (1) that the complaint does not state facts sufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the court; (2) that under the evidence the trial court was without jurisdiction to hear and determine the case; (3) that Act No. 55 as amended is in violation of certain provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and void as applied to the facts of this case; and (4) that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction.

The information alleges:

That on and for many months prior to the 2d day of December, 1908, the said H. N. Bull was then and there master of a steam sailing vessel known as the steamship Standard, which vessel was then and there engaged in carrying and transporting cattle, carabaos, and other animals from a foreign port and city of Manila, Philippine Islands; that the said accused H. N. Bull, while master of said vessel, as aforesaid, on or about the 2d day of December, 1908, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and wrongly carry, transport, and bring into the port and city of Manila, aboard said vessel, from the port of Ampieng, Formosa, six hundred and seventy-seven (677) head of cattle and carabaos, without providing suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the said animals, in this, to wit, that the said H. N. Bull, master, as aforesaid, did then and there fail to provide stalls for said animals so in transit and suitable means for trying and securing said animals in a proper manner, and did then and there cause some of said animals to be tied by means of rings passed through their noses, and allow and permit others to be transported loose in the hold and on the deck of said vessel without being tied or secured in stalls, and all without bedding; that by reason of the aforesaid neglect and failure of the accused to provide suitable means for securing said animals while so in transit, the noses of some of said animals were cruelly torn, and many of said animals were tossed about upon the decks and hold of said vessel, and cruelly wounded, bruised, and killed.

All contrary to the provisions of Acts No. 55 and No. 275 of the Philippine Commission.

Section 1 of Act No. 55, which went into effect January 1, 1901, provides that —

The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep, swine, or other animals, from one port in the Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall carry with them, upon the vessels carrying such animals, sufficient forage and fresh water to provide for the suitable sustenance of such animals during the ordinary period occupied by the vessel in passage from the port of shipment to the port of debarkation, and shall cause such animals to be provided with adequate forage and fresh water at least once in every twenty-four hours from the time that the animals are embarked to the time of their final debarkation.

By Act No. 275, enacted October 23, 1901, Act No. 55 was amended by adding to section 1 thereof the following:

The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep, swine, or other animals from one port in the Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall provide suitable means for securing such animals while in transit so as to avoid all cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the animals, and suitable and proper facilities for loading and unloading cattle or other animals upon or from vessels upon which they are transported, without cruelty or unnecessary suffering. It is hereby made unlawful to load or unload cattle upon or from vessels by swinging them over the side by means of ropes or chains attached to the thorns.

Section 3 of Act No. 55 provides that —

Any owner or master of a vessel, or custodian of such animals, who knowingly and willfully fails to comply with the provisions of section one, shall, for every such failure, be liable to pay a penalty of not less that one hundred dollars nor more that five hundred dollars, United States money, for each offense. Prosecution under this Act may be instituted in any Court of First Instance or any provost court organized in the province or port in which such animals are disembarked.

1. It is contended that the information is insufficient because it does not state that the court was sitting at a port where the cattle were disembarked, or that the offense was committed on board a vessel registered and licensed under the laws of the Philippine Islands.

Act No. 55 confers jurisdiction over the offense created thereby on Courts of First Instance or any provost court organized in the province or port in which such animals are disembarked, and there is nothing inconsistent therewith in Act No. 136, which provides generally for the organization of the courts of the Philippine Islands. Act No. 400 merely extends the general jurisdiction of the courts over certain offenses committed on the high seas, or beyond the jurisdiction of any country, or within any of the waters of the Philippine Islands on board a ship or water craft of any kind registered or licensed in the Philippine Islands, in accordance with the laws thereof. (U.S. vs. Fowler, 1 Phil. Rep., 614.) This jurisdiction may be exercised by the Court of First Instance in any province into which such ship or water upon which the offense or crime was committed shall come after the commission thereof. Had this offense been committed upon a ship carrying a Philippine registry, there could have been no doubt of the Jurisdiction of the court, because it is expressly conferred, and the Act is in accordance with well recognized and established public law. But the Standard was a Norwegian vessel, and it is conceded that it was not registered or licensed in the Philippine Islands under the laws thereof. We have then the question whether the court had jurisdiction over an offense of this character, committed on board a foreign ship by the master thereof, when the neglect and omission which constitutes the offense continued during the time the ship was within the territorial waters of the United States. No court of the Philippine Islands had jurisdiction over an offenses or crime committed on the high seas or within the territorial waters of any other country, but when she came within 3 miles of a line drawn from the headlines which embrace the entrance to Manila Bay, she was within territorial waters, and a new set of principles became applicable. (Wheaton, Int. Law (Dana ed.), p. 255, note 105; Bonfils, Le Droit Int., sec 490 et seq.; Latour, La Mer Ter., ch. 1.) The ship and her crew were then subject to the jurisdiction of the territorial sovereign subject through the proper political agency. This offense was committed within territorial waters. From the line which determines these waters the Standard must have traveled at least 25 miles before she came to anchor. During that part of her voyage the violation of the statue continued, and as far as the jurisdiction of the court is concerned, it is immaterial that the same conditions may have existed while the vessel was on the high seas. The offense, assuming that it originated at the port of departure in Formosa, was a continuing one, and every element necessary to constitute it existed during the voyage across the territorial waters. The completed forbidden act was done within American waters, and the court therefore had jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the offense and the person of the offender.

The offense then was thus committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, but the objection to the jurisdiction raises the further question whether that jurisdiction is restricted by the fact of the nationality of the ship. Every. Every state has complete control and jurisdiction over its territorial waters. According to strict legal right, even public vessels may not enter the ports of a friendly power without permission, but it is now conceded that in the absence of a prohibition such ports are considered as open to the public ship of all friendly powers. The exemption of such vessels from local jurisdiction while within such waters was not established until within comparatively recent times. In 1794, Attorney-General Bradford, and in 1796 Attorney-General Lee, rendered opinions to the effect that “the laws of nations invest the commander of a foreign ship of war with no exemption from the jurisdiction of the country into which he comes.” (1, Op. U.S. Attys. Gen., 46, 87.) This theory was also supported by Lord Stowell in an opinion given by him to the British Government as late as 1820. In the leading case of the Schooner Exchange vs. McFadden (7 Cranch (U.S.), 116, 144), Chief Justice Marshall said that the implied license under which such vessels enter a friendly port may reasonably be construed as “containing exemption from the jurisdiction of the sovereign within whose territory she claims the rights of hospitality.” The principle was accepted by the Geneva Arbitration Tribunal, which announced that “the priviledge of exterritoriality accorded to vessels of war has been admitted in the law of nations; not as an absolute right, but solely as a proceeding founded on the principle of courtesy and mutual deference between nations.”
(2 Moore, Int. Law Dig., secs. 252 and 254; Hall, Int. Law, sec. 55; Taylor, Int. Law, sec. 256; Ortolan, Dip de la Mer, 2. C.X.)

Such vessels are therefore permitted during times of peace to come and go freely. Local official exercise but little control over their actions, and offenses committed by their crew are justiciable by their own officers acting under the laws to which they primarily owe allegiance. This limitation upon the general principle of territorial sovereignty is based entirely upon comity and convenience, and finds its justification in the fact that experience shows that such vessels are generally careful to respect local laws and regulation which are essential to the health, order, and well-being of the port. But comity and convenience does not require the extension of the same degree of exemption to merchant vessels. There are two well-defined theories as to extent of the immunities ordinarily granted to them, According to the French theory and practice, matters happening on board a merchant ship which do not concern the tranquillity of the port or persons foreign to the crew, are justiciable only by the court of the country to which the vessel belongs. The French courts therefore claim exclusive jurisdiction over crimes committed on board French merchant vessels in foreign ports by one member of the crew against another. (See Bonfils, Le Droit Int. (quat. ed.), secs. 624-628; Martens, Le Droit Int., tome 2, pp. 338, 339; Ortolan, Dip. de la Mer, tit. 1, p. 292; Masse, Droit Int., tome 2, p. 63.) Such jurisdiction has never been admitted or claim by Great Britain as a right, although she has frequently conceded it by treaties. (Halleck, Int. Law (Baker’s ed.), vol. 1, 231; British Territorial Waters Act, 1878.) Writers who consider exterritoriality as a fact instead of a theory have sought to restrict local jurisdiction, but Hall, who is doubtless the leading English authority, says that —

It is admitted by the most thoroughgoing asserters of the territoriality of merchant vessels that so soon as the latter enter the ports of a foreign state they become subject to the local jurisdiction on all points in which the interests of the country are touched. (Hall, Int. Law, p. 263.)

The United States has adhered consistently to the view that when a merchant vessel enters a foreign port it is subject to the jurisdiction of the local authorities, unless the local sovereignty has by act of acquiescence or through treaty arrangements consented to waive a portion of such jurisdiction. (15 Op. Attys. Gen., U. S., 178; 2 Moore, Int. Law Dig., sec. 204; article by Dean Gregory, Mich. Law Review, Vol. II, No. 5.) Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of the Exchange, said that —

When merchant vessels enter for the purpose of trade, in would be obviously in convinient and dangerous to society and would subject the laws to continual infraction and the government to degradation if such individual merchants did not owe temporary and local allegiance, and were not amendable to the jurisdiction of the country.

The Supreme Court of the United States has recently said that the merchant vessels of one country visiting the ports of another for the purpose of trade, subject themselves to the laws which govern the ports they visit, so long as they remain; and this as well in war as in peace, unless otherwise provided by treaty. (U. S. vs. Diekelman, 92 U. S., 520-525.)

Certain limitations upon the jurisdiction of the local courts are imposed by article 13 of the treaty of commerce and navigation between Sweden and Norway and the United States, of July 4, 1827, which concedes to the consul, vice-consuls, or consular agents of each country “The right to sit as judges and arbitrators in such differences as may arise between the captains and crews of the vessels belonging to the nation whose interests are committed to their charge, without the interference of the local authorities, unless the conduct of the crews or of the captains should disturb the order or tranquillity of the country.” (Comp. of Treaties in Force, 1904, p. 754.) This exception applies to controversies between the members of the ship’s company, and particularly to disputes regarding wages. (2 Moore, Int. Law Dig., sec. 206, p. 318; Tellefsen vs. Fee, 168 Mass., 188.) The order and tranquillity of the country are affected by many events which do not amount to a riot or general public disturbance. Thus an assault by one member of the crew upon another, committed upon the ship, of which the public may have no knowledge whatever, is not by this treaty withdrawn from the cognizance of the local authorities.

In 1876 the mates of the Swedish bark Frederike and Carolina engaged in a “quarrel” on board the vessel in the port of Galveston, Texas. They were prosecuted before a justice of the peace, but the United States district attorney was instructed by the Government to take the necessary steps to have the proceedings dismissed, and the aid of the governor of Texas was invoked with the view to “guard against a repetition of similar proceedings.” (Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, to Mr. Grip, Swedish and Norwegian charged, May 16, 1876; Moore, Int. Law Dig.) It does not appear that this “quarrel” was of such a nature as to amount to a breach of the criminal laws of Texas, but when in 1879 the mate for the Norwegian bark Livingston was prosecuted in the courts of Philadelphia County for an assault and battery committed on board the ship while lying in the port of Philadelphia, it was held that there was nothing in the treaty which deprived the local courts of jurisdiction. (Commonwealth vs. Luckness, 14 Phila. (Pa.), 363.) Representations were made through diplomatic channels to the State Department, and on July 30, 1880, Mr. Evarts, Secretary of State, wrote to Count Lewenhaupt, the Swedish and Norwegian minister, as follows:

I have the honor to state that I have given the matter careful consideration in connection with the views and suggestion of your note and the provisions of the thirteenth article of the treaty of 1827 between the United States and Sweden and Norway. The stipulations contained in the last clause of that article . . . are those under which it is contended by you that jurisdiction is conferred on the consular officers, not only in regard to such differences of a civil nature growing out of the contract of engagement of the seamen, but also as to disposing of controversies resulting from personal violence involving offense for which the party may be held amenable under the local criminal law.

This Government does not view the article in question as susceptible of such broad interpretation. The jurisdiction conferred upon the consuls is conceived to be limited to their right to sit as judges or abitrators in such differences as may arise between captains and crews of the vessels, where such differences do not involve on the part of the captain or crew a disturbance of the order or tranquillity of the country. When, however, a complaint is made to a local magistrate, either by the captain or one or more of the crew of the vessel, involving the disturbance of the order or tranquillity of the country, it is competent for such magistrate to take cognizance of the matter in furtherance of the local laws, and under such circumstances in the United States it becomes a public duty which the judge or magistrate is not at liberty voluntarily to forego. In all such cases it must necessarily be left to the local judicial authorities whether the procedure shall take place in the United States or in Sweden to determine if in fact there had been such disturbance of the local order and tranquillity, and if the complaint is supported by such proof as results in the conviction of the party accused, to visit upon the offenders such punishment as may be defined against the offense by the municipal law of the place.” (Moore, Int. Law Dig., vol. 2, p. 315.)

The treaty does not therefore deprive the local courts of jurisdiction over offenses committed on board a merchant vessel by one member of the crew against another which amount to a disturbance of the order or tranquillity of the country, and a fair and reasonable construction of the language requires un to hold that any violation of criminal laws disturbs the order or traquillity of the country. The offense with which the appellant is charged had nothing to so with any difference between the captain and the crew. It was a violation by the master of the criminal law of the country into whose port he came. We thus find that neither by reason of the nationality of the vessel, the place of the commission of the offense, or the prohibitions of any treaty or general principle of public law, are the court of the Philippine Islands deprived of jurisdiction over the offense charged in the information in this case.

It is further contended that the complaint is defective because it does not allege that the animals were disembarked at the port of Manila, an allegation which it is claimed is essential to the jurisdiction of the court sitting at that port. To hold with the appellant upon this issue would be to construe the language of the complaint very strictly against the Government. The disembarkation of the animals is not necessary in order to constitute the completed offense, and a reasonable construction of the language of the statute confers jurisdiction upon the court sitting at the port into which the animals are bought. They are then within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, and the mere fact of their disembarkation is immaterial so far as jurisdiction is concerned. This might be different if the disembarkation of the animals constituted a constitutional element in the offense, but it does not.

It is also contended that the information is insufficient because it fails to allege that the defendant knowingly and willfully failed to provide suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering. The allegation of the complaint that the act was committed willfully includes the allegation that it was committed knowingly. As said in Woodhouse vs. Rio Grande R.R. Company (67 Texas, 416), “the word ‘willfully’ carries the idea, when used in connection with an act forbidden by law, that the act must be done knowingly or intentionally; that, with knowledge, the will consented to, designed, and directed the act.” So in Wong vs. City of Astoria (13 Oregon, 538), it was said: “The first one is that the complaint did not show, in the words of the ordinance, that the appellant ‘knowingly’ did the act complained of. This point, I think, was fully answered by the respondent’s counsel — that the words ‘willfully’ and ‘knowingly’ conveyed the same meaning. To ‘willfully’ do an act implies that it was done by design — done for a certain purpose; and I think that it would necessarily follow that it was ‘knowingly’ done.” To the same effect is Johnson vs. The People (94 Ill., 505), which seems to be on all fours with the present case.

The evidence shows not only that the defendant’s acts were knowingly done, but his defense rests upon the assertion that “according to his experience, the system of carrying cattle loose upon the decks and in the hold is preferable and more secure to the life and comfort of the animals.” It was conclusively proven that what was done was done knowingly and intentionally.

In charging an offense under section 6 of General Orders, No. 58, paragraph 3, it is only necessary to state the act or omission complained of as constituting a crime or public offense in ordinary and concise language, without repitition. It need not necessarily be in the words of the statute, but it must be in such form as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended and the court to pronounce judgment according to right. A complaint which complies with this requirement is good. (U.S. vs. Sarabia, 4 Phil. Rep., 556.)

The Act, which is in the English language, impose upon the master of a vessel the duty to “provide suitable means for securing such animals while in transit, so as to avoid all cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the animals.” The allegation of the complaint as it reads in English is that the defendant willfully, unlawfully, and wrongfully carried the cattle “without providing suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering to the said animals in this . . . that by reason of the aforesaid neglect and failure of the accused to provide suitable means for securing said animals were cruelty torn, and many of said animals were tossed about upon the decks and hold of said vessels, and cruelty wounded, bruised, and killed.”

The appellant contends that the language of the Spanish text of the information does not charge him with failure to provide “sufficient” and “adequate” means. The words used are “medios suficientes” and “medios adecuados.” In view of the fact that the original complaint was prepared in English, and that the word “suitable” is translatable by the words “adecuado,” “suficiente,” and “conveniente,” according to the context and circumstances, we determine this point against the appellant, particularly in view of the fact that the objection was not made in the court below, and that the evidence clearly shows a failure to provide “suitable means for the protection of the animals.”

2. The appellant’s arguments against the constitutionality of Act No. 55 and the amendment thereto seems to rest upon a fundamentally erroneous conception of the constitutional law of these Islands. The statute penalizes acts and ommissions incidental to the transportation of live stock between foreign ports and ports of the Philippine Islands, and had a similar statute regulating commerce with its ports been enacted by the legislature of one of the States of the Union, it would doubtless have been in violation of Article I, section 3, of the Constitution of the United States. (Stubbs vs. People (Colo.), 11 L. R. A., N. S., 1071.)

But the Philippine Islands is not a State, and its relation to the United States is controlled by constitutional principles different from those which apply to States of the Union. The importance of the question thus presented requires a statement of the principles which govern those relations, and consideration of the nature and extent of the legislative power of the Philippine Commission and the Legislature of the Philippines. After much discussion and considerable diversity of opinion certain applicable constitutional doctrines are established.

The Constitution confers upon the United States the express power to make war and treaties, and it has the power possessed by all nations to acquire territory by conquest or treaty. Territory thus acquired belongs to the United States, and to guard against the possibility of the power of Congress to provide for its government being questioned, the framers of the Constitution provided in express terms that Congress should have the power “to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting territory and other property belonging to the United States.” (Art. IV, sec. 3, par. 3.) Upon the acquisition of the territory by the United States, and until it is formally incorporated into the Union, the duty of providing a government therefor devolves upon Congress. It may govern the territory by its direct acts, or it may create a local government, and delegate thereto the ordinary powers required for local government. (Binns vs. U. S., 194 U. S., 486.) This has been the usual procedure. Congress has provided such governments for territories which were within the Union, and for newly acquired territory not yet incorporated therein. It has been customary to organize a government with the ordinary separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial, and to prescribe in an organic act certain general conditions in accordance with which the local government should act. The organic act thus became the constitution of the government of the territory which had not been formally incorporated into the Union, and the validity of legislation enacted by the local legislature was determined by its conformity with the requirements of such organic act. (National Bank vs. Yankton, 11 Otto (U. S.), 129.) To the legislative body of the local government Congress has delegated that portion of legislative power which in its wisdom it deemed necessary for the government of the territory, reserving, however, the right to annul the action of the local legislature and itself legislate directly for the territory. This power has been exercised during the entire period of the history of the United States. The right of Congress to delegate such legislative power can no longer be seriously questioned. (Dorr vs. U. S., 195 U. S., 138; U. S. vs. Heinszen, 206 U. S., 370, 385.)

The Constitution of the United States does not by its own force operate within such territory, although the liberality of Congress in legislating the Constitution into contiguous territory tended to create an impression upon the minds of many people that it went there by its own force. (Downes vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 289.) In legislating with reference to this territory, the power of Congress is limited only by those prohibitions of the Constitution which go to the very root of its power to act at all, irrespective of time or place. In all other respects it is plenary. (De Lima vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 1; Downes vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S., 244; Hawaii vs. Mankichi, 190 U. S., 197; Dorr vs. U. S., 195 U. S., 138; Rassmussen vs. U. S., 197 U. S., 516.)

This power has been exercised by Congress throughout the whole history of the United States, and legislation founded on the theory was enacted long prior to the acquisition of the present Insular possessions. Section 1891 of the Revised Statutes of 1878 provides that “The Constitution and all laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and effect within all the organized territories, and in every Territory hereafter organized, as elsewhere within the United States.” When Congress organized a civil government for the Philippines, it expressly provided that this section of the Revised Statutes should not apply to the Philippine Islands. (Sec. 1, Act of 1902.)

In providing for the government of the territory which was acquired by the United States as a result of the war with Spain, the executive and legislative authorities have consistently proceeded in conformity with the principles above state. The city of Manila was surrendered to the United States on August 13, 1898, and the military commander was directed to hold the city, bay, and harbor, pending the conclusion of a peace which should determine the control, disposition, and government of the Islands. The duty then devolved upon the American authorities to preserve peace and protect person and property within the occupied territory. Provision therefor was made by proper orders, and on August 26 General Merritt assumed the duties of military governor. The treaty of peace was signed December 10, 1898. On the 22d of December, 1898, the President announced that the destruction of the Spanish fleet and the surrender of the city had practically effected the conquest of the Philippine Islands and the suspension of the Spanish sovereignty therein, and that by the treaty of peace the future control, disposition, and government of the Islands had been ceded to the United States. During the periods of strict military occupation, before the treaty of peace was ratified, and the interim thereafter, until Congress acted (Santiago vs. Noueral, 214 U.S., 260), the territory was governed under the military authority of the President as commander in chief. Long before Congress took any action, the President organized a civil government which, however, had its legal justification, like the purely military government which it gradually superseded, in the war power. The military power of the President embraced legislative, executive personally, or through such military or civil agents as he chose to select. As stated by Secretary Root in his report for 1901 —

The military power in exercise in a territory under military occupation includes executive, legislative, and judicial authority. It not infrequently happens that in a single order of a military commander can be found the exercise of all three of these different powers — the exercise of the legislative powers by provisions prescribing a rule of action; of judicial power by determination of right; and the executive power by the enforcement of the rules prescribed and the rights determined.

President McKinley desired to transform military into civil government as rapidly as conditions would permit. After full investigation, the organization of civil government was initiated by the appointment of a commission to which civil authority was to be gradually transferred. On September 1, 1900, the authority to exercise, subject to the approval of the President. “that part of the military power of the President in the Philippine Islands which is legislative in its character” was transferred from the military government to the Commission, to be exercised under such rules and regulations as should be prescribed by the Secretary of War, until such time as complete civil government should be established, or congress otherwise provided. The legislative power thus conferred upon the Commission was declared to include “the making of rules and orders having the effect of law for the raising of revenue by taxes, customs duties, and imposts; the appropriation and expenditure of public funds of the Islands; the establishment of an educational system to secure an efficient civil service; the organization and establishment of courts; the organization and establishment of municipal and departmental government, and all other matters of a civil nature which the military governor is now competent to provide by rules or orders of a legislative character.” This grant of legislative power to the Commission was to be exercised in conformity with certain declared general principles, and subject to certain specific restrictions for the protection of individual rights. The Commission were to bear in mind that the government to be instituted was “not for our satisfaction or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Island, and the measures adopted should be made to conforms to their customs, their habits, and even their prejudices, to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment of the indispensable requisites of just and effective government.” The specific restrictions upon legislative power were found in the declarations that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation; that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense; that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted; that no person shall be put twice in jeopardy for the same offense or be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; that the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist except as a punishment for crime; that no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed; that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or of the rights of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances; that no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed.”

To prevent any question as to the legality of these proceedings being raised, the Spooner amendment to the Army Appropriation Bill passed March 2, 1901, provided that “all military, civil, and judicial powers necessary to govern the Philippine Islands . . . shall until otherwise provided by Congress be vested in such person and persons, and shall be exercised in such manner, as the President of the United States shall direct, for the establishment of civil government, and for maintaining and protecting the inhabitants of said Islands in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion.” Thereafter, on July 4, 1901, the authority, which had been exercised previously by the military governor, was transferred to that official. The government thus created by virtue of the authority of the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy continued to administer the affairs of the Islands under the direction of the President until by the Act of July 1, 1902, Congress assumed control of the situation by the enactment of a law which, in connection with the instructions of April 7, 1900, constitutes the organic law of the Philippine Islands.

The Act of July 1, 1902, made no substancial changes in the form of government which the President had erected. Congress adopted the system which was in operation, and approved the action of the President in organizing the government. Substantially all the limitations which had been imposed on the legislative power by the President’s instructions were included in the law, Congress thus extending to the Islands by legislative act nor the Constitution, but all its provisions for the protection of the rights and privileges of individuals which were appropriate under the conditions. The action of the President in creating the Commission with designated powers of government, in creating the office of the Governor-General and Vice-Governor-General, and through the Commission establishing certain executive departments, was expressly approved and ratified. Subsequently the action of the President in imposing a tariff before and after the ratification of the treaty of peace was also ratified and approved by Congress. (Act of March 8, 1902; Act of July 1, 1902; U.S. vs. Heinszen, 206 U.S., 370; Lincoln vs. U.S., 197 U.S., 419.) Until otherwise provided by law the Islands were to continue to be governed “as thereby and herein provided.” In the future the enacting clause of all statutes should read “By authority of the United States” instead of “By the authority of the President.” In the course of time the legislative authority of the Commission in all parts of the Islands not inhabited by Moros or non-Christian tribes was to be transferred to a legislature consisting of two houses — the Philippine Commission and the Philippine Assembly. The government of the Islands was thus assumed by Congress under its power to govern newly acquired territory not incorporated into the United States.

This Government of the Philippine Islands is not a State or a Territory, although its form and organization somewhat resembles that of both. It stands outside of the constitutional relation which unites the States and Territories into the Union. The authority for its creation and maintenance is derived from the Constitution of the United States, which, however, operates on the President and Congress, and not directly on the Philippine Government. It is the creation of the United States, acting through the President and Congress, both deriving power from the same source, but from different parts thereof. For its powers and the limitations thereon the Government of the Philippines looked to the orders of the President before Congress acted and the Acts of Congress after it assumed control. Its organic laws are derived from the formally and legally expressed will of the President and Congress, instead of the popular sovereign constituency which lies upon any subject relating to the Philippines is primarily in Congress, and when it exercise such power its act is from the viewpoint of the Philippines the legal equivalent of an amendment of a constitution in the United States.

Within the limits of its authority the Government of the Philippines is a complete governmental organism with executive, legislative, and judicial departments exercising the functions commonly assigned to such departments. The separation of powers is as complete as in most governments. In neither Federal nor State governments is this separation such as is implied in the abstract statement of the doctrine. For instance, in the Federal Government the Senate exercises executive powers, and the President to some extent controls legislation through the veto power. In a State the veto power enables him to exercise much control over legislation. The Governor-General, the head of the executive department in the Philippine Government, is a member of the Philippine Commission, but as executive he has no veto power. The President and Congress framed the government on the model with which Americans are familiar, and which has proven best adapted for the advancement of the public interests and the protection of individual rights and priviliges.

In instituting this form of government of intention must have been to adopt the general constitutional doctrined which are inherent in the system. Hence, under it the Legislature must enact laws subject to the limitations of the organic laws, as Congress must act under the national Constitution, and the States under the national and state constitutions. The executive must execute such laws as are constitutionally enacted. The judiciary, as in all governments operating under written constitutions, must determine the validity of legislative enactments, as well as the legality of all private and official acts. In performing these functions it acts with the same independence as the Federal and State judiciaries in the United States. Under no other constitutional theory could there be that government of laws and not of men which is essential for the protection of rights under a free and orderly government.

Such being the constitutional theory of the Government of the Philippine Islands, it is apparent that the courts must consider the question of the validity of an act of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, as a State court considers an act of the State legislature. The Federal Government exercises such powers only as are expressly or impliedly granted to it by the Constitution of the United States, while the States exercise all powers which have not been granted to the central government. The former operates under grants, the latter subject to restrictions. The validity of an Act of Congress depends upon whether the Constitution of the United States contains a grant of express or implied authority to enact it. An act of a State legislature is valid unless the Federal or State constitution expressly or impliedly prohibits its enaction. An Act of the legislative authority of the Philippines Government which has not been expressly disapproved by Congress is valid unless its subject-matter has been covered by congressional legislation, or its enactment forbidden by some provision of the organic laws.

The legislative power of the Government of the Philippines is granted in general terms subject to specific limitations. The general grant is not alone of power to legislate on certain subjects, but to exercise the legislative power subject to the restrictions stated. It is true that specific authority is conferred upon the Philippine Government relative to certain subjects of legislation, and that Congress has itself legislated upon certain other subjects. These, however, should be viewed simply as enactments on matters wherein Congress was fully informed and ready to act, and not as implying any restriction upon the local legislative authority in other matters. (See Opinion of Atty. Gen. of U. S., April 16, 1908.)

The fact that Congress reserved the power to annul specific acts of legislation by the Government of the Philippine tends strongly to confirm the view that for purposes of construction the Government of the Philippines should be regarded as one of general instead of enumerated legislative powers. The situation was unusual. The new government was to operate far from the source of its authority. To relieve Congress from the necessity of legislating with reference to details, it was thought better to grant general legislative power to the new government, subject to broad and easily understood prohibitions, and reserve to Congress the power to annul its acts if they met with disapproval. It was therefore provided “that all laws passed by the Government of the Philippine Islands shall be reported to Congress, which hereby reserves the power and authority to annul the same.” (Act of Congress, July 1, 1902, sec. 86.) This provision does not suspend the acts of the Legislature of the Philippines until approved by Congress, or when approved, expressly or by acquiescence, make them the laws of Congress. They are valid acts of the Government of the Philippine Islands until annulled. (Miners Bank vs. Iowa, 12 How. (U. S.), 1.)

In order to determine the validity of Act No. 55 we must then ascertain whether the Legislature has been expressly or implication forbidden to enact it. Section 3, Article IV, of the Constitution of the United States operated only upon the States of the Union. It has no application to the Government of the Philippine Islands. The power to regulate foreign commerce is vested in Congress, and by virtue of its power to govern the territory belonging to the United States, it may regulate foreign commerce with such territory. It may do this directly, or indirectly through a legislative body created by it, to which its power in this respect if delegate. Congress has by direct legislation determined the duties which shall be paid upon goods imported into the Philippines, and it has expressly authorized the Government of the Philippines to provide for the needs of commerce by improving harbors and navigable waters. A few other specific provisions relating to foreign commerce may be found in the Acts of Congress, but its general regulation is left to the Government of the Philippines, subject to the reserved power of Congress to annul such legislation as does not meet with its approval. The express limitations upon the power of the Commission and Legislature to legislate do not affect the authority with respect to the regulation of commerce with foreign countries. Act No. 55 was enacted before Congress took over the control of the Islands, and this act was amended by Act No. 275 after the Spooner amendment of March 2, 1901, was passed. The military government, and the civil government instituted by the President, had the power, whether it be called legislative or administrative, to regulate commerce between foreign nations and the ports of the territory. (Cross vs. Harrison, 16 How. (U.S.), 164, 190; Hamilton vs. Dillin, 21 Wall. (U.S.), 73, 87.) This Act has remained in force since its enactment without annulment or other action by Congress, and must be presumed to have met with its approval. We are therefore satisfied that the Commission had, and the Legislature now has, full constitutional power to enact laws for the regulation of commerce between foreign countries and the ports of the Philippine Islands, and that Act No. 55, as amended by Act No. 275, is valid.

3. Whether a certain method of handling cattle is suitable within the meaning of the Act can not be left to the judgment of the master of the ship. It is a question which must be determined by the court from the evidence. On December 2, 1908, the defendant Bull brought into and disembarked in the port and city of Manila certain cattle, which came from the port of Ampieng, Formosa, without providing suitable means for securing said animals while in transit, so as to avoid cruelty and unnecessary suffering to said animals, contrary to the provisions of section 1 of Act No. 55, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 275. The trial court found the following facts, all of which are fully sustained by the evidence:

That the defendant, H. N. Bull, as captain and master of the Norwegian steamer known as the Standard, for a period of six months or thereabouts prior to the 2d day of December, 1908, was engaged in the transportation of cattle and carabaos from Chines and Japanese ports to and into the city of Manila, Philippine Islands.

That on the 2d day of December, 1908, the defendant, as such master and captain as aforesaid, brought into the city of Manila, aboard said ship, a large number of cattle, which ship was anchored, under the directions of the said defendant, behind the breakwaters in front of the city of Manila, in Manila Bay, and within the jurisdiction of this court; and that fifteen of said cattle then and there had broken legs and three others of said cattle were dead, having broken legs; and also that said cattle were transported and carried upon said ship as aforesaid by the defendant, upon the deck and in the hold of said ship, without suitable precaution and care for the transportation of said animals, and to avoid danger and risk to their lives and security; and further that said cattle were so transported abroad said ship by the defendant and brought into the said bay, and into the city of Manila, without any provisions being made whatever upon said decks of said ship and in the hold thereof to maintain said cattle in a suitable condition and position for such transportation.

That a suitable and practicable manner in which to transport cattle abroad steamship coming into Manila Bay and unloading in the city of Manila is by way of individual stalls for such cattle, providing partitions between the cattle and supports at the front sides, and rear thereof, and cross-cleats upon the floor on which they stand and are transported, of that in case of storms, which are common in this community at sea, such cattle may be able to stand without slipping and pitching and falling, individually or collectively, and to avoid the production of panics and hazard to the animals on account or cattle were transported in this case. Captain Summerville of the steamship Taming, a very intelligent and experienced seaman, has testified, as a witness in behalf of the Government, and stated positively that since the introduction in the ships with which he is acquainted of the stall system for the transportation of animals and cattle he has suffered no loss whatever during the last year. The defendant has testified, as a witness in his own behalf, that according to his experience the system of carrying cattle loose upon the decks and in the hold is preferable and more secure to the life and comfort of the animals, but this theory of the case is not maintainable, either by the proofs or common reason. It can not be urged with logic that, for instance, three hundred cattle supports for the feet and without stalls or any other protection for them individually can safely and suitably carried in times of storm upon the decks and in the holds of ships; such a theory is against the law of nature. One animal falling or pitching, if he is untied or unprotected, might produce a serious panic and the wounding of half the animals upon the ship if transported in the manner found in this case.

The defendant was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. The sentence and judgment is affirmed. So ordered.

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

US vs Tomas Umali GR No. L-5283

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5283 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
TOMAS UMALI, defendant-appellant.

Fernando Salas, for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

Except that in our opinion the amount of money obtained under false pretenses by the accused was P101, as alleged in the complaint, and not P87.40, as found by trial court, the material findings of fact by the trial court are fully sustained by the evidence adduced at the trial court, and these findings of fact leave no room for doubt as to the guilt of the accused of the crime of estafa of which he was convicted.

When the case was pending on appeal, appellant filed in this court the following affidavit in support of a motion for a new trial for the purpose of taking the testimony of the persons mentioned therein:

The undersigned, defendant and appellant in this case, stated the following, after having been duly sworn:

1. That in the trial of the present case in the first instance and during the period allowed to the defense for producing evidence, the said accused had summoned the witness Joaquin Garcia Lopez, who was ready to testify that the undersigned had placed at this disposal P50 for each hectare of the lands sold, belonging to the witness for the prosecution, Venancio Rodriguez, Ignacio de Gala, and other owners, immediately after the respective sales of the different parcels of land entrusted to the witness by several inhabitants of Sariaya, Tayabas.

2. That Mr. Pastor Espinosa, municipal president of Sariaya, was also summoned, and was ready to testify on the same occasion; that the undersigned asked Messrs. Venancio Rodriguez, Ignacio de Gala, and others, in the presence of the said president, if they consented to sell their lands to the railroad company at P50 each hectare, and that said owners agreed to it before signing the declaration of their respective property.

3. That if both witnesses were not produced it was due to the advice of his attorneys, who assured him (the defendant) that the evidence adduced by the prosecution was of no effect against the undersigned; and, therefore, it was unnecessary to strengthen his testimony by that of the above witnesses.

4. That the exponent, although he is a lawyer, was not able to understand what was the most necessary for his defense, on account of his condition at the time and owing to the natural disturbance of his mind, and that, for this reason, he was surprised by the advise and the opinion of his attorneys.

This motion must be denied.

In criminal as well as in civil cases, it has frequently been held that the fact that blunders and mistakes may have been made in the conduct of the proceedings in the trial court, as a result of the ignorance, inexperience, or incompetence of counsel, does not furnish a ground for a new trial. (14 Enc. Pl. & Pr., 733, “New Trial” and cases there cited.)

If such grounds were to be admitted as reason for reopening cases, there would never be an end to a suit so long as new counsel could be employed who could allege and show that prior counsel had not been sufficiently diligent, or experienced, or learned. (De Florez vs. Raynolds, 16 Blatchf. (U.S.), 397.)

So it has been that mistakes of attorneys as to the competency of a witness, the sufficiency, relevancy, materiality, or immateriality of certain evidence, the proper defense, or the burden of proof are not proper grounds for a new trial; and in general the client is bound by the action of his counsel in the conduct of his case, and can not be heard to complain that the result of the litigation might have been different had counsel proceeded differently.

The following citation from Darbey vs. State (3 S. E. Rep. (Ga.), 666), with which compare State vs. Elliot (16 Mo. App., 552), sets out the doctrine in all its rigor:

Another ground was that Mr. Jemison, who was counsel for the accused, was unwell at the time of the trial and neglected to put in some evidence in the case, and that on account of his ill health and irritability he would not allow associate counsel to control the case, and that in a few days after the trial he died. The court certified that Mr. Jemison’s mind was perfectly clear, and that he was himself. We can not relieve the accused under circumstances of this kind. He select Mr. Jemison as a lawyer; he was his leading counsel. He relied upon him, and the court says his mind was perfectly clear; and whether he was a man of a great ability as other counsel might have been can not avail the defendant here, if he employed counsel who conducted his case in such manner as to lead to his conviction. That is his misfortune, for which he alone must be responsible.

It must be admitted, however, that courts of last resort have occasionally relaxed the strict application of this rule in criminal cases, where the defendants, having otherwise a good case, were able to satisfy the court that acquittal would in all probability have followed the introduction of certain testimony, which was not submitted at the trial under improper or injudicious advice of incompetent counsel. (State vs. Williams, 27 Vt., 724; State vs. Jones, 12 Mo. App., 93, criticised and disapproved in a later decision by the same court in State vs. Dreher, 137, 137 Mo., 11.) But such cases are extremely rare, and while this court, to prevent a manifest miscarriage of justice in a jurisdiction wherein a wholly new system of judicial procedure is being implanted, might in an exceptional case relax the rigor of the rule, this would be done only under very exceptional circumstances, and in cases where a review of the whole record taken together with the evidence improvidently ommitted, would clearly justify the conclusion that the omission had resulted in the conviction of one innocent of the crime charged.

In case at bar, defendant himself is an attorney and his counsel appear to have made a vigorious and capable defense on behalf of their client. It is admitted that the testimony which was not offered at the trial was available and might have been introduced at the trial below. And we are satisfied that the desirability of putting the witnesses on the stand, whose testimony stand was not the result of surprise, accident, or the confusion of the trial. This seems clear from the fact that a continuance on motion of counsel for the defense was granted in the court below, based in part upon the absence of Lopez and the alleged importance of his testimony to the defense. We are disposed rather to believe that the reason for the failure to call these witnesses to the stand was that their testimony under strict cross-examination might not sustained the testimony of the accused in all the details as to the facts concerning which they were able to testify; and however this may be, accused and his counsel, having deliverately elected not to call on these witnesses at the trial, for reasons best known to themselves, the case should not now be opened after conviction to give them an opportunity to put a premium on the willful and intentional commission of errors by accused persons and their counsel, with a view to securing new trials in the event of conviction on the trial wherein the errors and mistakes were committed.

Furthermore, we do not think that the introduction into the record of the testimony which the affidavit alleges these witnesses would give on a new trial would or should affect the result.

We do not doubt that Rodriguez agreed to sell his land at the rate of 50 pesos per hectare, and indeed the sale could not have been made and the crime of estafa could not have been committed by the accused had he not done so. The vital question in the court below was the conduct of the accused in inducing him to give his consent and in concealing from him the fact that the purchaser was paying a much higher price than he was receiving.

Nor do we think that the testimony of Lopez, as set out in the affidavit, would materially strengthen the case for the defense. So far as it would tend to prove that the funds were paid over to Lopez immediately after the sale was made it appears to be in direct conflict with other credible evidence in the record, including the statements of the accused himself as set out in Exhibits A and B of the prosecution; and even if this fact were admitted as true, it would tend merely to disclose that the estafa committed by the accused was committed for the purpose of benefiting a third party rather than himself, a fact which would in no wise relieve him of criminal responsibility.

Modified by substituting P101 instead of P87.40 as the amount of money obtained under false pretenses, and to be returned to the offended party, the judgment of conviction and the sentence of the trial court should be and are hereby affirmed with cost against the appellant. So ordered.

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

Madrigal vs Stevenson GR No. L-5315

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5315 January 15, 1910

MADRIGAL & CO., plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
W. S. STEVENSON & CO., defendant-appellee.

Chicote & Miranda, for appellant.
Haussermann & Cohn, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

Plaintiff seeks to recover alleged to have been sustained by reason of the failure of defendant to fulfill an alleged contract to deliver to plaintiff 2,000 tons of coal in the month of July, 1908, at a price stipulated.

Plaintiff alleges that on the 7th of April, 1908, it entered into a verbal contract with one Armstrong, a broker, who was acting for and on behalf of defendant, whereby plaintiff agreed to buy of defendant and defendant to sell to plaintiff 2,000 tons of Duckenfield coal, to be delivered in the month of July, 1908, at the rate of P8.50 per ton; and that this contract was later reduced to writing in a memorandum executed in duplicate, one copy of which was signed by plaintiff and the other by defendant.

Defendant denies that it over entered into any such contract, or that the broker Armstrong had authority to enter into any such contract for or on its behalf, and alleges that, on the contrary the only authority it gave to Armstrong was to buy 2,000 tons of Duckenfield coal, at P8.50 per ton, to be delivered to it, the defendant, in the month of July; and defendant alleges further that the memorandum of the contract signed by defendant and introduced in evidence by the plaintiff is not a memorandum of a contract of sale by the defendant and purchase by plaintiff, but a memorandum of a proposed contract of purchase by defendant and sale by the plaintiff, wherein defendant signed as purchaser, and not as vender.

Plaintiff company is a retail coal dealer; defendant company is a wholesale merchant, whose business consists in part of the import of coal. On April 4, 1908, defendant received cable instructions from its London office to buy in the coal market 2,000 tons of Duckenfield coal for July delivery provided it could be bought at about P8.50 per ton. On the 6th of April, defendant’s agent, a Mr. Corbet, who was in charge of its coal department, informed Mr. Armstrong, of the brokerage firm of Armstrong & Mackay, that his company was in the market for 2,000 tons of Duckenfield coal, provided it could be bought for July delivery at a price not exceeding P8.50 per ton. Armstrong understood Corbet to say that the defendant company was in the market to sell day he called at the office of the defendant company and submitted a paper in words and figures, as follows:

“Coal contract between Messrs. Madrigal & Co., buyers, and Messrs. W. F. Stevenson & Co., sellers.

“Date of sale, Manila, 7th April, 1908.

“Quantity, 2,000 (two thousand) tons of 2,240 lbs.

“Description, Duckenfield.

“Delivery in July this year.

“Shipment, P8,50 per ton, eight pesos & fifty cents, of 2,240 lbs.

“Weight to be taken.

“Duty for account of sellers.

“Payable of delivery “the act of God, enemies, restraints, rulers, or princes, fire and all and every other dangers and accidents of the seas rivers, and navigation during the voyage, and riots, commotions by keelmen, strikes or lockouts of pitmen, or other handsm frost, floods, or any other accidents or causes beyond the control of the sellers which may prevent or hinder the loading or unloading the cargo always excepted. “(Signed) Brokers ARMSTRONG & MACKAY. “Accepted, …………………. buyers. “Accepted, …………………. sellers.” Mr. Stevenson, the manager of the defendant company, believing this document to be a memorandum of the terms of a proposed contract between his company and the plaintiff company, whereby plaintiff was to sell and defendant to buy coal in accordance with its stipulations, signed the name of the defendant company in the blank space opposite the word “buyer,” in token of his acceptance. This memorandum was immediately delivered to Armstrong, who in turn delivered it to Madrigal & Co. Two days afterwards, on April 9, Armstrong forwarded to the defendant company a duplicate of the above set out memorandum, with the name of the plaintiff company signed in the blank space opposite the word “buyer,” just as the name of the defendant company was signed in the duplicate memorandum delivered by it to the broker. Corbet, defendant company’s agent, immediately returned this memorandum to the broker, calling his attention to the fact that plaintiff had attached its name in the blank space for the buyer instead of the seller, and requesting the broker to have the memorandum corrected, and the name of the plaintiff attached thereto as seller instead of buyer. On the same day Armstrong communicated with the plaintiff company, and informed it of defendant company’s claim that it was the buyer and not the seller, and that it had signed the memorandum upon that understanding. A few days later, on the 13th of April, plaintiff company addressed a communication to the defendant company, calling defendant’s attention to the fact that the latter’s name was attached to the memorandum signed by it in the blank space reserved for the buyer error. In reply, defendant company, which had already stated its position to the broker, referred the plaintiff to the broker for explanation of its position. No further action appears to have been taken by either party until the month of July, when plaintiff formally demanded of defendant the fulfillment of its alleged contract for the sale of coal on the terms set out in the memorandum. Defendant, denying that it ever entered into a contract for the sale of coal on the terms set out in the memorandum, refused to make delivery, and this action was instituted for the recovery of alleged damages resulting therefrom. All of the above set-out fats are practically admitted, except that plaintiff denies of rather questions the findings of the trial court that Corbet, the defendant’s agent, when he originally treated with the broker, proposed a purchase and not a sale of coal; and that when the signature of Stevenson & Co. was attached to the memorandum of the transaction, it was attached in good faith as buyer and not as seller. In support of its contentions in this regard, plaintiff relies on the deposition of the broker who states that he understood Corbet to propose a sale; and upon the language of the title of the memorandum, which expressly states that it is a memorandum of a contract between Madrigal & Co., buyer, and Stevenson & Co., seller. But Corbet positively asserts that he told the broker that his firm was in the market as a buyer, and the broker admitted that he may have been, or rather must have been, mistaken; and the signature of defendant company on the memorandum, as buyers, rebuts the inference sought to be drawn from the title, which defendant’s manager states he did not observe at the time when he attached the company’s signature. Certainly in the absence of other evidence the signature of defendant company as buyer upon the memorandum is not sufficient in itself to sustain a finding that it was attached there as seller. The truth appears to be, as stated above, that both plaintiff and defendant throughout the transaction were dealing in good faith and that the confusion arose through the mistake of the broker. The bona fides of the plaintiff company is not questioned, and that of the defendant company is made clear by the evidence of the circumstances under which it entered on the transaction, and its conduct immediately thereafter. The proven copy of the cable from its London office, dated April 4, leaves no room for doubt that it was in the market as a buyer, and its cable to its London office immediately after the signing of the broker’s memorandum announcing its fulfillment of the instructions received in the former cable clearly disclose its understanding of the transaction; and all doubt of its good faith throughout would seem to be dispelled by its prompt action in calling attention to what it believed to be plaintiff’s mistaken in signing the broker’s memorandum as purchaser, and the return of the memorandum to the broker immediately after receiving it and observing that plaintiff’s signature was attached thereto as buyer. This, especially, in view of the fact that these transactions took place early in the month of April, and the proposed delivery of coal was not to be made until the following July. We are satisfied that the weight of the discloses that neither the defendant company nor any of its agents authorized the broker Armstrong to make the alleged sale on its behalf, and that no verbal contract for the sale of coal was entered into by the defendant company with the plaintiff company as alleged by the latter; and that the broker’s memorandum signed by the defendant company neither in intent nor by its express terms constituted a promise or agreement by the defendant company to sell and deliver coal.

As the trial court well says, “the minds of the parties never met upon a contract of sale by defendant to plaintiff,” or in other words, there was no mutual consent by the parties to the alleged contract, and, therefore, there was no contract, and the trial court properly declined to allow damages for an alleged breach. (Art. 1261, Civil Code; see also cases cited on this subject, 9 Cyc., 245.) The judgment of the trial court should be, and is therefore, affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.

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

US vs Chinaman Tonga GR No. L-5403

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5403 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
THE CHINAMAN TONGA, defendant-appellee.

Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellant.
No appearance for appellee.

JOHNSON, J.:

On the 23d day of November, 1907, the fiscal of said province presented a complaint against the defendant charging him with a violation of section 5 of Act No. 1461 of the Philippine Commission, as follows:

That the said Chinaman, Tonga, on or about the 9th day of July, 1907, and at Echague, Province of Isabela, P. I., sold a small amount of opuim valued at P0.60 to the Filipino Vicente Aron, who was not a physician, a pharmacist, a duly licensed seller, nor an inveterate user of opuim duly registered.

To this complaint the defendant presented the following demurrer:

1. That the complaint alleges that the defendant, on the 9th day of July 1907, in the town of Echague, Province of Isabela, P. I., violated the provisions of section 5 of Act No. 1461.

2. That said Act No. 1461 was abolished by Act No. 1761, passed by the honorable Philippine Commission on October 10, 1907, which became effective on the 17th day of October, 1907, and during the pendency of this case.

3. That said Act No. 1461 having been abolished while this action was pending and the repealing Act having no provision regarding pending cases, there is no law in force by which the alleged offense is punished. For this reason this court has no jurisdiction over the subject-matter.

In view of the foregoing the defendant asks the court to dismiss the case and to set him at liberty, with costs de oficio.

Upon a consideration of the demurrer the lower court rendered the following decision:

In this cause the accused is charged with the violation of Act No. 1461, the complaint alleging that on or about the 9th of July, 1907, in Echague, Province of Isabela, the accused did sell an amount of opuim of the value of sixty cents to one Filipino, Vicente Aron, who was neither a physician, pharmacist, not licensed seller or registered user of opuim.

To this complaint the accused filed a demurrer at the session held on the 25th of November, 1907, alleging that the court is without jurisdiction of this action for the reasons that said Act No. 1461 was repealed by Act No. 1761, approved by the honorable Commission of the Philippines on the 10th day of October, 1907, and which Act No. 1761 went into effect on the 17th day of October, 1907; that said Act No. 1761 makes no provision for the continuation of causes pending under the former Act No. 1461, and that there is no law now in force by which the accused can be furnished for any offense committed under Act No. 1461.

This demurrer came on for hearing before this court on the 26th day of November, 1907, the accused being represented by Mr. S. A. Harvey and the prosecution by Mr. Vicente Nepomuceno, district fiscal.

After hearing the arguments of the attorneys and examining the record, the court finds that at the time it is alleged that this accused committed the offense charged, Act No. 1461, known as the “Opuim Law,” was in force and continued so until the 17th of October, 1907, when it was succeeded by a new Act No. 1761, and which, in section 33, repeals Act No. 1461, making no provision whatever for the continuation of cases pending then for violation of Act No. 1461, or providing, in any manner, what disposition should be made of them.

The being true, the court is of the opinion that this case must be dismissed because there is no law now in force under which this accused, if tried and convicted, can be punished for the offense committed in July, 1907. (U. S. vs. Tynen, 11 Wall., 88; Mongeon vs. People, 55 N. Y., 613; State vs. Wilder, 47 Ga., 522.)

The court, therefore, sustains this demurrer and dismisses the case, the costs to be taxed de oficio.

From this judgment of the lower court, the prosecuting attorney appealed and in this court presented a brief asking that the judgment of the lower court be reversed and that the cause be remanded for further proceedings in accordance with law. The defendant and appellee presented no brief here. The questions presented by this appeal are identically analogous with the questions presented in the case United States vs. El Chino Cuna (alias Sy Conco) heretofore decided by this court (12 Phil. Rep., 241). After a full consideration of the questions then presented this court decided that —

Where an Act of the Commission or of the Philippine Lagislature which penalizes an offense repeals a former Act which penalized the same offense, such repeal does not have the effect of thereafter depriving the courts of jurisdiction to try, convict, and sentence offenders charged with violations of the old law prior to its repeal.

The doctrine established in this decision has been followed by this court in the following cases: U. S. vs. Juliana Aron (12 Phil. Rep., 778); U. S. vs. Filomena Bernarda (12 Phil. Rep., 778); U. S. vs. Raymunda Kulang (No. 5404); U. S. vs. Vicente Aron (No. 5405); U. S. vs. Catalino Gaffud (No. 5406); U. S. vs. Modesto Dumon (N0. 5407); U. S. vs. Sebastian Dayag (No. 5409). We see no reason for charging the doctrine established. The judgment of the trial court sustaining the demurrer to the complaint interposed by the accused is reversed and the record will be returned to the lower court for further proceedings in accordance with law. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Mapa, Carson, Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.

US vs Daniel Carlos GR No. L-5476

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5476 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
DANIEL CARLOS, defendant-appellant.

Mariano Monroy, for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

On the night of the 30th day of December, 1903, a band of from ten to twenty men, disguised as Constabulary soldiers, some armed with bolos and some with revolvers, entered the barrio of Carmen, in the municipality of Lubao, Province of Pampanga, and, pretending that they were officers of the law, forced their way into the house of Felix Maris, made him and his son prisoners, and carried them off with their arms tied behind their backs. From the house of Maris they went to the house of one of the headmen of the barrio, Joaquin Beltran, which they set on fire, and after capturing all the inmates, brought their prisoners to an estero called the “Pasag,” where they set them all at liberty, except Felix Maris and Isabel Beltran, a woman whom they had made prisoner in the house of Joaquin Beltran. These two they took away in a boat, and carried to a clump of manglares, at the edge of the estero, where Maris, still bound, was decapitated by one of the band with a single stroke of a bolo, and the woman set at liberty, after some debate among the members of the band as to whether they should or should not kill her also.

The defendant, Daniel Carlos, was positively and unmistakably identified by Isabel Beltran, Calixto Maris, Joaquin Beltran, Alipio Baluyot, and Alejandro Carreon, as a member of the band which made them prisoners upon the night in question. These witnesses testified that on that occasion he was clothed in a Constabulary uniform and carried a bolo and a revolver, and Isabel Beltran positively identified him as one of those who were present when the murder was actually committed. It is not clear from her testimony, however, whether he or some other member of the band inflicted the fatal blow.

Some attempt was made by the defense to prove an alibi, and three witnesses testified at the time the crime was committed, the defendant was living in the city of Manila. The testimony is not convincing, and we agree with the trial judge that it is wholly insufficient to raise a doubt as to the truth and accuracy of the identification of the defendant by the witnesses for the prosecution as one of the members of the band who entered the barrio of Carmen on the night in question.

The trial court properly found that the defendant was guilty, as a principal, of the crime of assassination, marked by the qualifying circumstance of alevosia (treachery), in that the deceased was done to death with his elbows tied behind his back, and marked further with the generic aggravating circumstances of nocturnity, its commission in a deserted place by disguised persons, and by the fact that the victim was carried off to his death from his own house. Upon this finding of facts, and in view of the further fact that the record discloses none of the extenuating circumstances set out in article 9 of the Penal Code, there can be no doubt that the capital penalty was properly imposed by the trial court, unless, in the exercise of the discretion vested in the courts, the extenuating circumstance of race should be taken into consideration in favor of the defendant, under the provisions of article 11 of the code.

With some hesitation, we have concluded to give the appellant the benefit of the provisions of this article. In doing so, we are largely influenced by the fact that the record fails to disclose the motive for the commission of the crime, and by the further fact that it was committed six years ago, at a period when any thousands of misguided persons were induced to become members of roving bands, organized ostensibly for political purposes, but in many cases, in truth and in fact, for robbery and pillage, and were thus drawn into a guilty participation in the commission of grave and heinous offenses.

To suppress these bands, the Brigandage Act was passed by the Commission fixing the penalty to be imposed upon members of such bands when convicted of the crime of brigandage at from twenty years’ imprisonment to death, in the discretion of the courts. In the exercise of this discretion this court has uniformly declined to affirm the imposition of capital penalties on members of such bands, unless the record affirmatively discloses that the convict was either a chief or one of the active leaders of a band which had been guilty of grave and heinous offenses other than robbery, or that he had directly and actively participated in the commission of such grave and heinous offenses. This rule, in effect, applies the principle involved in the provisions of article 11 of the Penal Code, whereby the ignorance and lack of instruction of native offenders may in proper cases be taken into consideration as an extenuating circumstances, recognizing as it does that, as a result of the unsettled conditions existing in many localities in these Islands for several years after the establishment of civil authority under American sovereignty, many ignorant and simple-minded natives were drawn into guilty participation, as members of brigand bands, in the commission of offenses by their more desperate leaders and associates, of which they would never have been guilty under normal conditions.

The facts disclosed by the record in the case at bar tend strongly to disclose that, when the crime in question was committed, the accused was a member of one of the roving bands of brigands which were so numerous at that time, although the absence of proof of a motive for the crime leaves the precise character of the band in doubt. But it is clear that in the absence of proof that the accused was a leader of the band, or that he directly and actively participated in the assassination of the prisoner taken by the band, he would not have been sentenced to the death penalty had the evidence disclosed that the band of which he was a member was a band of brigands, and had he been convicted under the provisions of the Brigandage Act. Under all the circumstances, we think that, taking into consideration the provisions of article 11 of the Penal Code as an extenuating circumstance, the penalty imposed upon the appellant should be reduced to life imprisonment, thus securing to him the exercise of a similar degree of leniency in the consideration of the facts proven at the trial as would have been accorded to him had been tried and convicted of the crime of brigandage.

The records of criminal cases submitted to this court so frequently disclose a lack of all effort to develop the motive for the commission of the crime charged, that we take advantage of this opportunity to direct the attention of all prosecuting officers, and especially of provincial fiscals, to the importance of definitely ascertaining and proving when possible the motives which actuated the commission of a crime under judicial investigation. It is true that it is not indispensable to conviction for murder that the particular motive for taking the life of a human being shall be established at the trial, and that in general when the commission of a crime is clearly proven conviction may and should follow even where the reason for its commission is unknown (151 U. S., 396); but in many criminal cases one of the most important aids in completing the proof of the commission of the crime by the accused is the introduction of evidence disclosing the motive which tempted the mind to indulge the criminal act; and in nearly every case wherein the law places the penalty to be imposed in the discretion of the courts within certain limits, it will be found that a knowledge of the motive which actuated the guilty person is of the greatest service in the exercise of this discretion.

Modified by substituting the penalty of the life imprisonment for that of death, the judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court should be and are hereby affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.

US vs Lim Chingco GR No. L-5482

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5482 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
LIM CHINGCO, defendant-appellant.

Vicente Miranda, for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

Two Chinamen, Lim Chingco and Go Chingco, were charged with a violation of the Opium Law in the Court of First Instance, upon a complaint couched in the following language:

That the said accused, on or about the 27th day of March, 1909, in the jurisdiction of the municipality of Tiwi, Province of Albay, P. I., knowingly and unlawfully, kept, possessed, and held in their possession and under their control, eleven (11) pills of opium and about two (2) grams of prepared opium, the said accused being not officers of the Government, nor having a legal permission from the Collector of Internal Revenue, nor being licensed physicians, all contrary to law.

Go Chingco on his plea of guilty was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of P125. Lim Chingco entered a plea of not guilty, but was nevertheless convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of P200. Go Chingco did not appeal, and the action is before us now upon the single appeal of Lim Chingco.

On the 28th of March, 1909, W. M. Paterson, an agent of the Internal Revenue Department, found a small quantity of opium and an opium-pipe cleaning instrument in the store of the defendant, Lim Chingco. Paterson filed a complaint against Lim Chingco in the court of the justice of the peace of Albay, wherein a preliminary investigation was held. Lim Chingco upon being asked whether he was guilty or not guilty replied that he was guilty in that the said opium and opium-pipe cleaner were found in his store, but that they did not belong to him and were the property of his employee, Go Chingco. Thereupon Go Chingco’s name was inserted, together with Lim Chingco’s, in the complaint, and he, upon being examined by the justice of the peace, admitted that the opium and pipe cleaner were his property.

At the trial in the Court of First Instance, W. M. Paterson, the internal-revenue agent who found the opium and pipe cleaner in the store of Lim Chingco, and Juan de Mata, the auxiliary justice of the peace, were the only witnesses who testified for the prosecution.

The first of these witnesses, W.M. Paterson, testified, in part, as follows:

Q. Was it you filed a complaint with the court of the justice of the peace against Lim Chingco?

A. Yes.

Q. And did you accuse him alone first?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And why did you accuse Go Chingco later on?

A. Because, when he was asked whether or not he was guilty at the court of the justice of the peace, he replied “guilty,” saying that the apparatus of opium and the other utensils belonged to his clerk, and that he knew that his clerk used these things.

Q. And was it Go Chingco who said that he was the owner of those articles?

A. Yes. Then I requested the court to include Go Chingco in that case.

The second witness, Juan de Mata, testified as follows:

On account of the motion presented by the complaining witness, the accused, after pleading guilty, made the additional statement that he is guilty because the corpus delicti was found in his store but that it did not belong to him, and he says that he is guilty because it was found in his store, but that it was not his property; and that when the complaining witness learned these words of the Chinaman, he told me that the Chinaman was guilty as charged because the said property was found in his store, but it did not belong to him; and then I asked the complaining witness who was the owner, and he then made the motion asking for the inclusion of the Chinaman Go Chingco in the complaint, and thereupon the motion was property granted and I afterwards ordered the president to arrest the other Chinaman, and, and when arrested, the latter was taken into the court and was instructed concerning the rights the law grants to him, and I read to him the complaint in Spanish and translated it for him into Bicol, asking him if he understood it, to which he answered affirmatively; and then I asked him whether or not he was guilty and he answered that he was guilty because the property belongs to him.

The appellant testifying in his own behalf admitted that the witness Paterson had found the opium and pipe cleaner in his store, but alleged that they were not his property but the property of his employee, Go Chingco, and in explanation of his alleged plea of “guilty” in the court of the justice of the peace said that he did not declare himself to be guilty of the crime as charged, but that he admitted that he was guilty of having the opium and pipe cleaner in his store, but explained that they were not his property but the property of his employee, Go Chingco; and that he knew that they were the property of Go Chingco, not because he had any acknowledge of the fact that Go Chingco had them in his possession before they were seized but because when Paterson discovered them and asked who was the owner, Go Chingco replied that they were his. Go Chingco, testifying as a witness, corroborated all that was said by the appellant, and again admitted that the opium and pipe cleaner were his exclusive property.

We do not think that the testimony sustains the judgment of conviction of the appellant by the trial court. The evidence of record does not sustain a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant, Lim Chingco, was in possession of the opium and pipe cleaner at the time when these articles were used. It is true that their discovery in his store tends to raise a presumption, prima facie, that these goods were in his possession and under his control, but the uncontradicted evidence of record conclusively establishes that the seized articles were in fact the property of Go Chingco, and that they were at the time of their seizure in his exclusive possession, and that the appellant, Lim Chingco, had no knowledge of the fact that his employee, Go Chingco, had these articles in his possession or control.

The following citation from the decision in the case of The United States vs. Tan Tayco and Co Sencho (12 Phil. Rep., 739), wherein the facts were somewhat analogous to those set out in the record in this case, is directly in point, and decisive as to the innocence of the accused of the offense with which he is charged (p. 743):

Possession has been defined to be the detention or enjoyment of a thing which a man holds or exercises by himself or by another who keeps or exercises it in his name. (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Rawles’s Revision, Vol. II.) Clearly it involves a state of mind on the part of the possessor whereby he intends to exercise and, as a consequence of which, he does exercise a right of possession, whether that right he legal or otherwise; and while the intention and the will to possess may be, and usually are, inferred from the fact that the thing in question is under the apparent power and control of the alleged possessor, nevertheless, the existence of the animus possidendi is subject to contradiction, and may be rebutted by evidence which tends to prove that the person under whose power and control the thing in question appears to be, does not in fact exercise such power of control and does not intend so to do. In order to complete a possession, two things are required — that there be an occupancy, apprehension, or taking; that the taking be with an intent to possess (animus possidendi). Hence, persons who have no legal wills, as children of insufficient understanding and idiots, can not possess or acquire a complete possession (Pothier, Etienne, see 1 Mer., 358; Abb. Sh., 9); so where stolen property is placed in the house or upon the premises of A, without his knowledge or consent, A is not properly speaking in possession of such property, so long as he does not assert a right to its control, and is not moved by the animus possidendi with reference thereto.

The statements of the witness Avila, if they can be believed, furnish a full, satisfactory, and sufficient explanation of the presence of the utensils for smoking opium in his house at the time of their seizure, which is entirely consistent with the allegations of the defendant that those utensils were not at the time in their possession; and, therefore, entirely consistent with the innocence of the defendants charged with a violation of the provisions of the above-cited section of the Opium Act.

The judgment of conviction of the appellant, Lim Chingco, and the sentence imposed upon him by the trial court should be, and are hereby, reversed, with his share of the costs in both instances de oficio, and the appellant is acquitted of the offense with which he is charged. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.

United States vs Tolentino Celestino GR No. L-5513

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5513 January 15, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
CELESTINO TOLENTINO, defendant-appellant.

Jose Ma. del Castillo, for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

On the 13th of June, 1906, Abdon Rufin instituted a civil action in the court of the justice of the peace of Calivo, Province of Capiz, against Victor Rivicencio, for unlawful detention of a certain parcel of land, and during the trial, the appellant, Celestino Tolentino, who was employed by the plaintiff to represent him as his counsel, submitted to the court an informacion posesoria (possessory title) in which the names of various persons are interlined so as to make it appear that they took part in the proceedings looking to the issuance of the said possessory title. The guilt of the accused of the crime of falsifying the document in question by interpolating the names of these persons, notwithstanding the fact that they took no part in the proceedings had pending the issuance of the same, is conclusively established by the evidence of record.

A mere inspection of the document itself clearly discloses that the names interlined therein are not written with the same ink as that with which the rest of the document was written, and the fresher appearance of these interlineations tends strongly to disclose that they were inserted recently and long after the original document was executed.

Catalino Macahilig, justice of the peace, who in the year 1895 executed the possessory title, swore that when executed it did not contain the names thus interlined are in the handwriting of the appellant Tolentino, with which the witness was thoroughly familiar, because the appellant had been employed by him for several years as escribiente (clerk).

Venancia Teodosio and Fermin Teodosio whose names appear interlined in the possessory title as present during the proceedings had prior to its issuance and as owners of property adjoining that described therein, testified that they took no part in the proceedings, and were not and are not as a matter of fact owners of any land adjoining that of Abdon Rufin.

And finally Rufin, who was a codefendant of the appellant, positively denied that he himself had made the interlineations and swore that the document was in the possession and under the control of the appellant for several days before its submission as proof at the trial in the court of the justice of the peace of Calivo.

The defendant did not offer any testimony in his own behalf, and his counsel on appeal relies solely upon his contention that the evidence for the prosecution fails to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant actually inserted the interlineations in question. We think the testimony above set out leaves no room for reasonable doubt upon this point, and that the finding by the trial court of the guilt of the accused of the crime of falsification of a public document, defined and penalized in section 6 of article 300, taken together with article 301, of the Penal Code, must be sustained.

The judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court should be affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.

Insular Government vs Ling Su Fan GR No. L-5038

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5038 January 24, 1910

THE INSULAR GOVERNMENT, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
LING SU FAN, defendant-appellant.

Lionel D. Hargis, and C. W. O’Brien, for appellant.
Solicitor-General Harvey, for appellee.

JOHNSON, J.:

The present action is one to declare forfeited the sum of P20,600 Philippine currency, which the defendant attempted to export from the Philippine Islands, in violation of the provisions of Act No. 1411 of the Philippine Commission.

On or about the 20th of December, 1906, a criminal action was commenced against the present defendant for his attempt to export said Philippine currency, in violation of said law. Upon a full consideration of all of the evidence presented in the criminal action, this court decided that the defendant was guilty of a violation of said law and sentenced him to be imprisoned for a period of sixty days and to pay a fine of P200.1 Later the Attorney-General of the Philippine Islands instituted the present action for the purpose of declaring forfeited to the Government, in accordance with the provisions of said Act No. 1411, the money which the defendant attempted to export from the Philippine Islands.

Upon the issues presented in said cause and after a stipulation by the respective lawyers that the evidence adduced during the trial of the criminal cause should be presented and accepted as proof in the civil cause, the lower court rendered the following decision:

As the British steamer Taming had weighed anchor and was about to sail from this port for Hongkong, China, in the afternoon of the 12th of December, 1906, the sum of 20,600 pesos, Philippine silver currency, coined under authority of the Act of Congress of the United States of March 2, 1903, was found in the cabin occupied by Ling Su Fan, the comprador or purser of said steamer, by agents of the customs secret service, who immediately seized the money and reported the matter to the proper authorities.

In view of the foregoing a criminal complaint was presented before this Court of First Instance on the 20th of said month of December, charging Ling Su Fan with attempting to ship Philippine silver currency out of the Philippine Islands, in violation of the provisions of Act No. 1411 of the Philippine Commission. The case proceeded to trial and evidence was adduced by the prosecution and by the defense. On the 15th of February, 1907, judgment was entered by this court in part 2, declaring Ling Su Fan guilty of the crime charged and sentencing him to imprisonment for sixty days and to pay a fine of P200, which judgment, the accused having appealed therefrom, was affirmed by the Supreme Court on the 10th of February of the present year 1908.

The Insular Collector of Customs, who had been informed of the matter after the seizure following the discovery of the P20,600, as hereinbefore stated, acting under the provisions of Act No. 864, and after notifying Ling Su Fan, investigated the matter administratively at a hearing held on the 5th of January, 1907; at the hearing evidence was adduced by the parties, the evidence in the previously cited criminal case prosecuted in this court against Ling Su Fan was taken into account as stipulated between the parties, and a conclusion was arrived at on the 23d of said month of January, holding that the owner and agent of the money had intended to export the same beyond the jurisdiction of the Philippines Islands to the port of Hongkong, a foreign country, and that the only circumstance that frustrated such intention was the seizure of the money by agents of the secret service of the Manila custom-house; in consequence thereof, the forfeiture or seizure of the said P20,600 was decreed, in accordance with the provisions of said Act No. 1411; it was thereupon directed that an order be immediately issued and that the money be retained subject thereto until the matter was finally disposed of; the order was issued on the same date, and the 20,600 pesos Philippine currency were formally deposited in the Insular Treasury where the money had been placed when it was seized by the agents immediately after it was found in the possession of Ling Su Fan, in his cabin on board the steamship Taming. The accused, Ling Su Fan, has interposed no appeal against the decision of the Insular Collector of Customs.

On the same day, December 20, the Attorney-General on behalf of the Government of the Philippine Islands, filed with this court the complaint that has given rise to these proceedings, herein alleging the fact of the discovery and seizure of the P20,600 that were in the possession of the Chinese comprador on board the said steamship Taming, and the confiscation of said money by the customs authorities, as well as the intent on the part of the said Chinese comprador to export the money from the Islands, in contravention of the provisions of Act No. 1411 of the Philippine Commission; he then prayed the court to declare said sum forfeited and to direct the Insular Treasurer to dispose of said Philippine currency in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of said Act, and to sentence the defendant to pay the costs.

Finally, on the 26th of March, 1907, an amended complaint was presented by said representative of the Insular Government, in which he made a more detailed statement of the facts previously set forth, as well as of the administrative proceedings taken by the Insular Collector of Customs in conformity with the provisions of section 3132 of said Act No. 864, of the hearing of the case before said officer, and of the decision rendered by him on January 9, 1907, and, presenting to the court below in compliance with the provisions of said section 313 the certified copies of said proceedings by the said Collector of Customs in connection with the confiscation of the money, finally prayed that judgment be entered as requested in the first or original complaint.

The complaint was answered by the defendant, Ling Su Fan, and, as stipulated between the parties, the evidence adduced in the criminal cause mentioned above was also offered as evidence in this case by the representative of the defendant, together with the depositions taken from witnesses in the British colony of Hongkong; several documents connected with the testimony of said witnesses were presented, and even though a part of the evidence was objected to as immaterial by the representative of the plaintiff, the first and main question to be resolved in this case is whether or not this Court of First Instance has jurisdiction to try and to decide the matter on its merits, that is, whether it should consider the result of the evidence in order to render judgment, or, whether the court should limit its action to a review and to a decision upon the regularity of the proceedings before the Insular Collector of Customs, for the purpose of confirming the decision entered by him ordering the confiscation of the 20,600 pesos because of the violation of Act No. 1411, as pretended by counsel for the plaintiff.

Section 1 of said Act prohibits the exportation from the Philippine Islands for Philippine silver coins, coined by authority of the Act of Congress approved March 2, 1903, or of bullion made by melting such coins, and provides that any of the aforementioned silver coins or bullion exported, or the exportation of which is attempted, subsequent to the passage of said Act, which was enacted on November 12, 1905, shall be liable to forfeiture by due process of law.

Section 2 of the same Act declares that the exportation or the attempt to export Philippine silver coins or bullion made from such coins is a criminal offense and fixes the penalty with which, in addition to the forfeiture, said crime shall be punished.

Section 3 thereof directs that the provisions of section 1 of said Act shall be enforced by the collectors of customs for the Philippine Islands, in accordance with the provisions of Acts Nos. 355 as amended, 864 as amended, and 1405.

As may be seen from section 3 of said Act No. 1411, collectors of customs for the Islands are authorized to try and to decide matters in connection with the violation of section of said Act, and to declare and make rulings with respect to the forfeiture of the silver coins or bullion made from such coins, that may be exported or attempted to be exported from the Islands, following the procedure mentioned in said section 3, to wit, such as prescribed by Acts Nos. 355, 864, and 1405 cited therein.

In these laws, the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance — the court that succeeded the now abolished Court of Customs Appeals — over the proceedings of the Collector of Customs is clearly shown. In proper cases the latter files with the court a record of the proceedings, together with a petition relating the facts, asking, under section 313 of Act No. 355, as amended by section 5 of Act No. 864, the judgment of the court upon the issue of fine or penalty, or confiscation or forfeiture. The said section toward the end reads; “The judgment of the court in such proceedings shall be limited to one in rem against the property seized.”

Nothing contained in the said laws authorizes the Court of First Instance to hold a new trial, or to admit new evidence in connection with the facts determined and decided upon by the Collector of Customs, in order to render judgment in view of the result thereof, and by the provision in section 313 that the judgment of the court in such proceedings shall be limited to one against the property seized, it must be clearly understood that it is not the duty of the court to make any declaration of rights in the matter submitted to it, but merely to decide with regard to the confiscation or forfeiture ordered by the Collector of Customs, either affirming or reversing it in view of the procedure followed before the Collector.

It appears in the present case that, after the confiscation of the P20,600 found in the possession of Ling Su Fan on the steamer Taming at the moment the steamer was about to sail for the port of Hongkong, apart from the criminal proceeding brought against Ling Su Fan for the punishment of the crime defined by section 2 of Act No. 1411, the Insular Collector of Customs took action in accordance with the provisions of law heretofore mentioned; that the matter was investigated and tried before said officer after the defendant Ling Su Fan, in whose possession the money was found, had been duly notified; that at the trial evidence was adduced by the defendant and, by stipulation of the parties, the proofs in the aforesaid criminal case were taken into account, and the allegations made by Ling Su Fan to the effect that the money did not belong to him but to Wong Tai of Hongkong, and was imported from said port to these Islands on the steamer Taming, were also considered; that in view of all said allegations and of the evidence adduced the Insular Collector of Customs entered his decision ordering that said money be confiscated, and to this effect issued the order providing that the money be retained until the matter was finally settled; and, finally, it also appears that, notwithstanding the fact that the defendant was notified he has interposed no appeal whatever, for which reason, taking into account the regularity observed in the proceedings had before the Insular Collector of Customs, and the fact that the decision rendered by him has now become final, nothing remains to be done except to affirm the decision.

Against such affirmation can not now be pleaded the fact that the defendant Ling Su Fan, as shown by the evidence, on being notified on December 20, 1906, that the trial would take place on the 22nd of said month before the Insular Collector of Customs, and that he should appear and present his proofs, was informed that the P20,600 found in his possession on board the steamer Taming had been seized or confiscated on account of an alleged violation of Act No. 1042 of the Philippine Commission, as stated in Exhibit 10, and not of Act No. 1411 as appears in Exhibit A attached to the complaint, because, although a mistake were made in the notice giving the defendant to understand that he was charged with a violation of Act No. 1042, which prohibits the importation of Mexican currency, instead of Act No. 1411 which prohibits and punishes the exportation of Philippine coins, such defect was cured by the defendant’s own act in consenting to said error by admitting that he was informed of the true meaning thereof when he appeared before the Collector of Customs at the trial, adducing evidence thereat, and stipulating for the admission therein of the evidence taken in the criminal case in which he was charged with the violation of Act No. 1411, and finally by admitting, through his own acts, that the charge made against him before the said Collector of Customs was for the violation of Act No. 1411 inasmuch as, in answer thereto, said proofs were made and presented; finally, he has waived all claims on account of such detect by not interposing any appeal whatever from the decision of the said Collector of Customs.

Although in Exhibit A the number of the Act referred to in said information appears to have been changed, the figures 1411 being placed over those which must have previously appeared in the document, the explanation given by counsel for the plaintiff as to how and why the alteration must have been made, and as to any, in the notification marked “Exhibit 10” and offered in evidence by counsel for the defendant No. 1042 appears an not No. 1411 as in said Exhibit A, shows that it must have all been due to a mistake which, according to the said counsel, and endeavor was made to correct in due course, that is, before the trial by the Collector of Customs; but be that as it may, and without producing the fact alleged by the counsel for the defendant, that the said document, Exhibit A, has been falsified, a fact which may be investigated if the representative of the defendant should insist upon it, it is evident that the error committed in said notice, Exhibit 10, although it constitute an irregularity in procedure, such irregularity has practically ceased to exist because of the defendant’s own acts; and since he did not in any manner protest against it, it can not now be considered for the purpose of annulling the proceedings before the Insular Collector of Customs and the decision rendered by him.

However, the defendant has alleged in his answer that he had not attempted to export the said P20,600 outside of these Islands, but that, on the contrary, the money belonged to Wong Tai, a merchant of Hongkong, and was brought by him from said colony on the Taming for the purpose of exchanging the same for Spanish and Mexican silver coins; this allegation has already been made in the criminal proceedings brought against said defendant, and was considered in the judgment rendered therein, evidence having been adduced by the representative of said defendant in connection with these same facts and, by stipulation between the parties, proof submitted in the criminal case was also admitted as evidence in the present one. Lastly, the said Wong Tai has filed a motion to intervene in this action, alleging himself to be the owner of said money and asking that judgment be entered in his favor therefor, with legal interest thereon from the 11th of December, 1906; this motion was admitted by the lower court, notwithstanding the objection of the plaintiff’s representative, because Wong Tai is an aider and abettor of the defendant and has a right to be heard in the proceedings. The result of said evidence therefore must be considered in this decision, for the purpose of also making the proper finding with respect to the decision entered in said case by the Collector of Customs.

As was said in the beginning hereof, the evidence taken in criminal cause No. 2947, brought before this court against Ling Su Fan wherein judgment was rendered by the Hon. A. S. Crossfield of Part II of the same, constitutes a part of these proofs. The said judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court on the 10th of February of the present year and was published in the Official Gazette of the 4th of March following. By reason of these said proofs the facts must be considered to have been proven that were so found by this court in its said judgment which reads as follows:

“That on the 12th day of December, 1906, an employee at the Manila custom-house found on board the steamship Taming in the bunk occupied by and in the exclusive use and control of the defendant, who was the comparador on board (said ship), 20,600 silver coins each of 1 peso, being coin made and issued by and under the direction of the Government of the Philippine Islands; that when the said coins were discovered as aforesaid and the defendant was confronted with the fact, he stated at first that he knew nothing about it, afterwards that they had been brought on board by different Filipinos whom he did not know and had been stored in the place in which they were found for transportation to Hongkong; that those statements were made by the defendant voluntarily; that the steamship Taming, on which these coins were found, had already been cleared from the port of Manila for Hongkong and that she was about ready to sail, and that the coins were not manifested either in the incoming or outgoing voyage of the said vessel; that the finding of the coins on board the said steamship Taming, as before stated, was admitted by the defendant at the trial; that the bullion value of the said coins at the time they were alleged to have left Hongkong was at least 9 per cent more than their apparent face value in the Philippine Islands.”

Concerning the said evidence the court said in the same judgment:

“Evidence was offered on the part of the defense to the effect that the said money was owned by a Chinaman in Hongkong, who shipped the same to the Philippine Islands by the defendant, for the purpose of purchasing Mexican silver coins and Spanish-Filipino silver coins, in accordance with an agreement made by the defendant with another person in Manila, under which for 82 Philippine pesos he was to receive 100 Spanish-Filipino pesos, and for 97 Philippine pesos he was to receive 100 pesos Mexican currency, and in corroboration of the shipment there was presented an insurance policy upon these coins, issued by an insurance company at Hongkong. The defendant testified that upon bringing the coins to Manila he ascertained that he could not purchase Mexican coins and Spanish-Filipino coins as advantageously as he had before agreed, and in accordance with his understanding with the owner of the Philippine silver coins, and so decided to take the Philippine coins back to Hongkong to the owner thereof.”

For the purpose of proving these facts, counsel for the plaintiff has offered the second part of the evidence. This consists of the testimony given by Wong Tai in the same criminal case, the deposition of several witnesses taken in Hongkong, and the production of several documents in relation with their testimony, whereby it was attempted to show that Wong Tai had acquired in Hongkong from two Chinamen residing there, the 20,600 Philippine silver coins a few days prior to the sailing of the Taming from that port on the 4th day December, 1906; that Wong Tai himself insured the money in a Japanese company of said city and received from said company an insurance policy therefor, of which he delivered one copy to Ling Su Fan when he gave him the money to be exchanged here in Manila for Spanish-Filipino and Mexican coins as stated above, and that all of said sum was shipped on the steamship Taming in gunny bags before the steamer’s departure from the port of Hongkong, on the 4th day of December.

In considering the value that should be attached to this testimony, and especially to that those persons who testified in Hongkong, and in relation with said testimony to the documents produced together with said deposition, the following must be taken into account:

First. That when the money was found by the customs secret agents in the possession of Ling Su Fan on the afternoon of December 12, on board the steamship Taming, and upon the defendant being there and then examined as to the origin of the money, he said nothing regarding the policy of insurance, which according to him and to Wong Tai, was given him by the latter when the money was delivered to him in Hongkong; neither was the policy produced at the time, but only when he testified in the criminal proceedings on the 7th of January, 1907, to wit, twenty-five days after the seizure, in spite of the fact that he testified in said case that when the seizure was made he already had policy in his possession.

Second. That after the seizure of the money, Ling Su Fan returned to Hongkong on the same steamer Taming and had an interview and conversation with Wong Tai concerning said matter, and the latter then told him to explain the matter of the policy, and shoe it to the authorities here, (Folio 47 of the testimony in the criminal cause.)

Third. That while Juan Ong King, the person who, according to Ling Su Fan, had agreed with him to exchange here the Philippine coins brought from Hongkong for Spanish-Filipino and Mexican silver coins, testified that the exchange was not effected because he wanted 86 pesos Conant for every 100 pesos of Spanish silver and 101 pesos Conant for every 100 pesos Mexican, Ling Su Fan mentioned only the former but not the latter, that is, of the exchange of 100 pesos Conant for 100 pesos Mexican, as the reason why the exchange was not made. (Folios 25 and 33 of the testimony in said criminal case.)

Fourth. That the said Juan Ong King was unable to give the name or address of the Filipino who, according to him, was to furnish the Mexican and the Spanish coins in exchange for the Philippine currency in the possession of Ling Su Fan, notwithstanding that Ling Su Fan said Juan Ong King knew him well and that the Filipino frequently called on him to talk over the matter.

Fifth. That as already stated in the judgments of both the lower court and of the Supreme Court, the Philippine silver coins were worth in Hongkong, at the time when the money was seized on board the Taming — that is, at the period alleged by the defendant that it was shipped to this port — 9 per cent more as bullion than as currency. It can not therefore be understood how Wong Tai preferred to ship them to this port to be exchange for Spanish and Mexican coins, incurring the risk of transportation, besides having to insure them as he claims to have done and without the certainly of obtaining the profit which without trouble or risk he could have obtained in Hongkong.

Sixth. That it was not explained how and why, if according to the statement of Wong Tai the 20,600 pesos were taken from the city of Hongkong to the steamer Taming in gunny bags and in the daytime, neither the captain, the officers, or the crew of said steamer became aware of it, and that the said bags of money which formed a large bulk were kept concealed in the bunk of the defendant, Ling Su Fan, without being discovered by the officers and crew of the steamer. The matter may be explained, on the contrary, as being more worthy of credit, that the money was introduced in several small packets of 50 pesos each, such as were found on board the Taming during the steamer’s sojourn in Manila Bay after its arrival from Hongkong.

Seventh. That the testimony given in Hongkong by both the manager and the clerks of the insurance company that, according to Wong Tai, issued the policy of insurance on the money; the testimony of other Chinamen who have testified in favor of Wong Tai in the said colony of Hongkong; the presentation of documents relating to the said insurance; and the alleged acquisition by Wong Tai in Hongkong of the 20,600 Philippine silver pesos took place on the 26th and 27th of March of this year — that is to say, one year and a few months after the facts had occured, and after Wong Tai had alleged that he was the owner of the money — and that he had shipped here to Manila from Hongkong in charge of Ling Su Fan, in order to exchange it for Spanish and Mexican silver coins, It is quite reasonable, in view of the period of time that has elapsed, to doubt the veracity of said statements and the truth and authenticity of such documents, above all if it is taken into account that they are not official, and can not be accorded more consideration that as mere private documents.

It can not therefore proven that the said 20,600 pesos Philippine currency belonged to Wong Tai of Hongkong, nor that he had shipped them to these Islands by the defendant Ling Su Fan in order to purchase or exchange them for Spanish or Mexican silver coins, and that, not having attained his object, the defendant was carrying them back to Hongkong when they were seized in his bunk on the steamship Taming. On the contrary, as the defendant, Ling Su Fan, was the holder of said money, it being in his possession at the time the seizure was made, and as the explanations he endeavored to make to induce the belief that the money was not his are not satisfactory nor have in any manner been proven he must be considered to be the owner thereof, not Wong Tai, whose intervention is for this reason contrary to law, and in any manner in which it may be shown, as it has been, that an attempt was made to exported from these Islands for Hongkong on the steamer Taming on the afternoon of December 12, 1906, in violation of the provisions of section 1 of Act No. 1411, the confiscation of the same was properly be creed by the Collector of Customs and the same should be affirmed.

It was finally by counsel for the defendant that the said Act No. 1411 is null and void as being contrary to the provisions of paragraph 1, section 5, of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, and to the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

In order to refute said allegation it is sufficient to cite the Supreme Court of these Islands, when dealing with the same question in the decision rendered on February 10 of the present year, in the aforesaid criminal case No. 2927 against Ling Su Fan for violation of the said Act.

In said decision, after stating that paragraph 1 of the Act Congress of July 1, 1902, is almost exactly the same in its phraseology as a portion of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, it is further said:

“Paragraph 1 of section 5 of the said Act of Congress is as follows:

“That no law shall be enacted in said Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal protection of the laws.”

“It will be noted that this amendment does not prohibit the enactment of laws by the legislative department of the Philippine Government depriving persons of life, liberty, or property. It simply provides that laws shall not be enacted which shall deprive persons of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The question, then, is presented, is the Act under which the defendant is prosecuted here, and under which it is sought to deprive him of the money which it is alleged he attempted to illegally export, in accordance with due process of law?

“The Congress of the United States, on the 2d day of March, 1903, passed an Act entitled “An Act to establish a standard of value and to provide for a coinage system in the Philippine Islands.”

“Section 6 of said Act is as follows:

“SEC. 6 That the coinage authorized by this Act shall be subject to the conditions and limitations of the provisions of the Act of July 1, 1902, entitled “An Act temporarily to provide for the administration of the affairs of civil government in the Philippine Islands, and for the other purposes,” except as herein otherwise provided; and the Government of the Philippine Islands may adopt such measures as it may deem proper, not inconsistent with said Act of July 1, 1902, to maintain the value of the silver Philippine peso at the rate of one gold peso, and in order to maintain such parity between said silver Philippine pesos and the gold pesos herein provided for.”

“In pursuance to the authority granted in said section 6, to wit, “the Government of the Philippine Islands may adopt such measures as it may deem proper, . . . to maintain the value of the silver Philippine peso . . .” the Civil Commission enacted Act No. 1411, dated November 17, 1905, which Act was entitled “An Act for the purpose of maintaining the parity of the Philippine currency in accordance with the provisions of sections one and six of the Act of Congress approved March 2, 1903, by prohibiting the exportation from the Philippine Islands of Philippine silver coins, and for other purposes.”

x x x x x x x x x

“It will be noted that the Civil Commission expressly relied upon the Act No. 1411.

“Under the question above suggested it becomes important to determine what Congress intended by the phrase “due process of Law.” . . .

x x x x x x x x x

“Due process of law” is process of proceedings according to the law of the land. “Due process of law” is not that the law shall be according to the wishes of all the inhabitants of the state, but simply —

“1. That there shall be a law prescribed in harmony with the general powers of the legislative department of the Government;

“2. That this law shall be reasonable in its operation;

“3. That it shall be enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and

“4. That it shall be applicable alike to all the citizens of the state and to all of a class.

“When a person is deprived of his life or liberty or property, therefore, under a law prescribed by the power lawmaking body of the state and such law is within the power of said department to make, and is reasonable, and is then enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed, and is applicable alike to all citizens or to all the citizens of a particular class within the state, such person is not deprived of his property or of his life or of his liberty without due process of law.

“When life, liberty, and property are in question there must be in every instance judicial proceedings, and that requirements implies a written accusation and hearing before an impartial tribunal with proper jurisdiction, an opportunity to defend, and a conviction and a judgment before punishment can be inflicted, depriving one of his life, liberty, or property, (Story on the Constitution, 5th ed., secs. 1943-1946; Principles of Constitutional Law, Cooley, 434.)”

“Such have been the views of able jurist and statemen; and the deduction is that life, liberty, and property are placed under the protection of known and established principles which can not be dispensed with either generally or specially, either by courts or executive officers, or by legislators themselves. Different principles are applicable in different cases, and require different forms and proceedings; in some they must be judicial; in other the government may interfere directly and ex parte; but “due process of law” in each particular case means such an exertion of the powers of government as the settled maxims of law permit and sanction, and under such safeguards for the protection of individual rights as those maxims prescribe for the class of cases to which the one being dealt with belongs. (Principles of Constitutional Law, Cooley, 224.)”

As Act No. 1411 was enacted by the Philippine Commission by the express authority of the Congress of the United States of America, by virtue of the Act of said Congress approved March 2, 1903, and as said Act provides that upon due process of law such Philippine silver coins as may be exported or attempted to be exported after the passage of said law shall be subject to confiscation, it is clear and evident that said Act No. 1411 is not unconstitutional nor does it contravene the provisions of paragraph 1 of section 5 of the Act of Congress of July 2, 1902, and of the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, and the seizure and confiscation of property therein ordered, if carried out upon due process of law, as in the case at bar, can not be illegal and null.

For the reasons above set forth the court declares the said sum of P20,600 Philippine currency, which the defendant Ling Su Fan attempted to export from these Islands in violation of the provisions of Act No. 1411 of the Philippine Commission, to be confiscated, thus affirming the decision of the Insular Collector of Customs rendered January 20, 1907; the Insular Treasurer is hereby directed to dispose of the said Philippine silver coins in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of said Act: the court also dismisses the motion for intervention filed by Wong Tai and denies the claim for the return of the 20,600 pesos to the defendant Ling Su Fan as made by him in his written answer, and finally sentences said defendant to pay the costs.

So ordered.

From this decision the defendant appealed and made the following assignments of error:

1. The court below had no jurisdiction of the subject of this collection.

2. The conclusions of fact were openly and manifestly contrary to the weight of the evidence.

3. Errors of law committed by the court below to the prejudice of the appellant;

4. The judgment is contrary to law.

These four assignments of error may be considered under two heads:

(1) That the lower court had no jurisdiction of the cause; and

(2) That the facts proven during the trial were not sufficient to justify the conclusions of the lower court.

With reference to the first assignments of error, while it may be admitted that the proceedings in the commencement of the present action in the Court of First Instance were somewhat anomalous and not in strict conformity with the provisions of Act No. 1411 of the Philippine Commission, in its relations with Acts Nos. 355 as amended, 864 as amended, and 1405, yet, nevertheless, we are of the opinion and so hold that under said Acts the Courts of First Instance are given jurisdiction for the purpose of deciding the question of the forfeiture of Philippine silver coins, coined by authority of the Act of Congress approved March 2, 1903, where the same are exported or where there is an attempt made to export the same from the Philippine Islands.

Even admitting that the original complaint filed in said cause was not sufficient upon its face to give the court jurisdiction under the provisions of said Acts, yet the amended complaint certainly set our all of the facts necessary to give the court jurisdiction of said cause. No question of the lack of jurisdiction of the court was raised until after the presentation of amended complaint. That fact, of course, could not prevent the appellant from raising the question of the jurisdiction of the court over the subject-matter of the action.

Under the second assignment of error, the appellant contends that the proof was not sufficient to show that he exported Philippine coins or attempted to export Philippine coins from the Philippine Islands in violation of Act No. 1411. During the trial of the present case, by stipulation of the respective parties, all of the evidence adduced during the trial of the criminal cause against the defendant, Ling Su Fan, was admitted in evidence as a part of the proof in the present cause. That proof was before this court in an action in which Ling Su Fan was prosecuted criminally for his attempt to export the coins in question from the Philippine Islands. (U.S. vs. Ling Su Fan, 10 Phil. Rep., 104.) After a due consideration of the evidence presented in that cause, this court found the defendant guilty of an attempt to export the coins in question. upon a reconsideration of that proof presented in the present cause, we find no reason for changing our findings of fact made in the criminal action. The additional evidence adduced during the trial of the present cause is not sufficient, in our opinion, to justify us in the conclusion that the defendant did not attempt to export the silver coins in question from the Philippine Islands in violation of said Act No. 1411. Neither is the additional evidence sufficient to justify a finding that the intervenor in the present action, Wong Tai, had shipped the money from Hongkong to Manila for the purpose of purchasing “old coins” of certain Filipinos in Manila.

Upon a full examination of all of the evidence adduced during the trial and of the law applicable thereto, we are of the opinion and so hold that the judgment of the lower court should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs. So ordered.

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

Footnotes

1 10 Phil. Rep., 104.

2 Sec. 5, amending sec. 313 of Act No. 355.

Arzadon vs Arzadon GR No. L-5095

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5095 January 24, 1910

LAUREANO ARZADON, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
CLOTILDE ARZADON, defendant-appellee.

A.M. Jimenez, for appellant.
Jose Ma. de Valle, and Lucas Paredes, for appellee.

ARELLANO, C.J.:

Laureano Arzadon, as administrator of the estate of Loreza Angco, demands the surrender of several rural properties which he states are held by the following persons: By Clotilde Arzadon, those describe in the complaint and indicated by the letters (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), ( f ), (g), (h), (i), ( j), (k), and (l); and by Maria Luna, Basilia Corpus, and Ponciano Tacmo those likewise described in the complaint and marked with the letters (m), (n), and (ñ). He states that the first-named parcels were taken possession of by Clotilde Arzadon immediately after the death of Lorenza Angco, and that she still retains them against the will of the heirs of the latter; and that the last three are also unlawfully held by Maria Luna, Basilia Corpus, and Ponciano Tacmo who took them from the possession of Clotilde Arzadon.

The evidence was presented in the manner contained in the following recorded statement:

At the trial of this case on the same day, the attorneys, to expedite the matter, agreed to file their allegations in writing in order that the trial court might render judgment at the hearing thereof, and the partied thereupon submitted their in written allegations in the form of statements of their respective witnesses.

These so-called proofs are nothing more than certain papers signed by the counsel of the contending parties, and containing averments seemingly made by various witnesses. At the bottom of that of the plaintiff, which is signed by Attorney A. M. Jimenez, there appears the following:

The undersigned attorney rejects all and each one of the immaterial proofs that the defendant may offer to the court, denies under oath the presentation of documents lacking legal validity, the declarations that may be in conflict with those made by the witnesses of the defendant, excepting therefrom in case of admission by the court, and, lastly, presents two documentary proofs, Exhibits A and B of the complaint.

That of the defendant, signed by Attorney Lucas Paredes, contains the following:

The defendants object to the documents which the plaintiff has offered as evidence, for the reason that they are immaterial, and in the event their objection is overruled they take exception thereto. As documentary proof they offer Exhibits 1, 2, and 3 of the defendants, and with this they rest their case.

On such proceedings the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte rendered the following judgment:

Inasmuch as the whole of the allegations of the complaint have not been proven as required by law, the court dismisses the same with respect to the parcels of land marked with the letter (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (k), (l) (m), (n), and (ñ), with the costs against the plaintiff. The latter may dispose as he wishes of the parcels indicated with letters ( f ), (g), (h), (i), and ( j ), inasmuch as no one is opposed thereto, without prejudice to attaching to the record hereof a copy of the plaintiff’s petition concerning the appointment of an administrator contained in the heading of civil case No. 569.

From the above decision the plaintiff has appealed, and assigned the following errors to the court below:

1. In having admitted the agreement presented by counsel in order to dispense with the trial of the case. 2. In having dismissed the complaint instead of holding it to be proven. 3. In overruling the motion for a new trial.

Among the irregularities contained in the case herein, the most remarkable is that which is alleged as the first error committed in the judgment, the attorney who alleges it being the same one who contributed thereto, and who also suffered therefrom by exposing his complaint to be dismissed on account of lack of legal proof. This lawyer, together with the counsel for the adverse party, moved that his proof be admitted in the form in which it was made, in order, as he now shows, to dispense can not constitute a trial. It is an open and manifest violation among others, of sections 132, 273, 274, and 381 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Act No. 190 of the Philippine Commission; of section 132, in so far as it establishes the order of the trial which in this cause has been entirely done away with; of section 273, which governs the manner in which the evidence shall be considered as regards “all the facts and circumstances of the case, the witnesses’ manner of testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying, the nature of the facts to which they testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony, their interest or want of interest, and also their personal credibility so far as the same may legitimately appear upon the trial;” of section 274, in so far as it provides that the rules of evidence shall be the same in all courts of the Islands, and upon every trial, unless otherwise expressly provide by statute; and of section 381, which prescribes that the testimony of all witnesses, except such as has been taken in writing in the form of depositions as otherwise provided by law, shall be given on oath in open court orally. It is also a singular circumstances that the appellant should claim to have proven his complaint by evidence which he now rejects and says was improperly admitted.

This supreme Court, before which the case is submitted for a review of the proofs thus presented, can not even admit them; they do not constitute legal proof of any kind. It is erroneous to say that it was the duty of the court below to accept the agreements of the parties, not with respect to the facts, but as to the manner of offering their respective proofs. The order of trials is not personal matter between the parties, one that they may ignore or renounce as if it only concerned them privately. The form of a trial is a matter of public order and interest.

A legal trial of the case must be held, and the judgment appealed from and all the proceedings, with the exception of the written allegations, are hereby set aside; a new trial is hereby ordered, to proceed form the time of the filling of the answer to the complaint, without any special ruling as to costs in this instance. So ordered.

Torres, Johnson, Carson, Moreland and Elliot, JJ., concur.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Consunji vs Tison GR No. L-5504

G.R. No. L-5504 January 24, 1910

ANTONIO CONSUNJI, petitioner-appellee,
vs.
MARIA D. TISON, opponent-appellant.

Ramon Salinas, for appellant.
Arcadio del Rosario, for appellee.

CARSON, J.:

The ground of appellant’s opposition to the adjudication and registry of the land in question in favor of the applicant therefor, under the provisions of the Land Registration Act, is her claim to an interest therein as one of the heirs of her deceased father, Domiciano Tison, who died in 1885, and in whose name a composition title to the land in question was issued on the 19th of March, 1883, by the Direccion General de Administracion Civil de Filipinas, which was duly registered in the old land registry.

Applicant for adjudication and registry does not deny the fact that the composition title was issued as alleged by the objector, nor does he question objector’s right to an undivided interest by inheritance in any property owned by Domiciano Tison at the time of his death.

Applicant relies on the terms of a notarial instrument dated April 12, 1904, whereby Dolores Singian, the widow of Domiciano Tison (the father of the objector), sold to the applicant the land in question, reserving a right to repurchase on the terms and conditions set out in the deed; and contends that the land in question was the separate property (bienes propios) of Dolores Singian, his vendor, inherited from her father, and that her husband Domiciano Tison, although he procured the granting of the composition title thereto in his own name, never had any real right of ownership in or to the land.

The evidence of record discloses that Domiciano Tison owned no real estate whatever in the vicinity wherein the land in question is located prior to the time when he secured the issuance of the composition title in his own name; and in a formal instrument (Exhibit H) executed by him less than a year prior to the issuance of the composition title (June 26, 1882), before a local official in San Fernando de Pampanga, styling himself juez mayor de sementeras, and in the presence of various members of the principalia, or headmen, of the locality, he acknowledge and declared that certain lands located in that vicinity were the separate property (bienes propios) of his wife, Dolores. This evidence together with the evidence contained in various other private documents, including the hijuela (apportionment instrument) setting out the share of the estate of her father which was apportioned to Dolores Singan, tends strongly to sustain the finding of the trial court that the greater part of the land described in the composition title was the property of her ancestor and was inherited by her from them, and that the remainder of the land described in the composition title was purchased by or for her from funds which constituted a part of her separate estate (bienes propios).

The only evidence tending to put these facts in doubts is the apparent discrepancy between the superficial extent of the land contained in the tract to which composition title was issued in the name of Domiciano Tison, and the amount of land which appears to have been apportioned to Dolores Singan from the state of her father, as shown by the hijuela (apportionment instrument) and by the other documents describing the land in that vicinity owned by her ancestors and claimed by her as her separate property (bienes propios). These discrepancies, however, may be and must be accounted for and explained by the fact that ancient documents describing lands in these Islands by metes and boundaries frequently set out extremely inaccurate estimate areas of the lands thus described, the superficial extent never having been ascertained by a formal survey.

Upon the whole record, we are of opinion that the evidence sustains the finding by the trial court that the greater part of the land described in the composition title was the separate property (bienes propios) of Dolores Singian acquired by her by inheritance from her father who died in 1879, and that the remainder was also her separate property (bienes propios) purchased by or for her with funds which constituted a part of her separate estate (bienes propios).

It does not appear that the wife consented to the taking by her husband of the title to her separate property (bienes propios) in his own name or that he had any lawful authority so to do, and after his death she appears to have asserted her separate right thereto, notwithstanding the fact that it was registered in her husband’s name, and to have exercised all the rights of ownership therein up to the time when she sold it to the applicant in these proceedings and put him in possession. Under these circumstances, we are of opinion that the husband had not and that his heirs have not such a right, title, or interest in or to the property in question as would sustain an opposition by them to the adjudication and registry of the land in question in favor of the applicant in these proceedings. At the time when the husband obtained the composition title to the land in his own name, he was the legal administrator of the conjugal property, and it is clear that in procuring the issuance of the composition title, in his own name, he must be held to have done so, first, merely as a step toward the placing of the title in her name by means of a later conveyance, which for some reason never was executed, or, second, by mistake either in the preparation of the formal documents or of his rights as legal administrator of the conjugal property or, third, in fraud of his wife’s rights thereto, for this purpose taking advantage of his position as administrator of the conjugal property. It is not necessary for us to determine the precise reason which induced him to act as he did, because it is quite clear that in any event, so long as the land remained in his name, his wife and her assigns had perfect right to compel him during his lifetime, or his heirs after his death, to make the necessary conveyance placing the property in her name on the old land registry.

The heirs of a deceased person can not be held to be “third persons” (as that phrase is used in article 27 of the Mortgage Law) in relation to any contracts touching the real estate of their decedent which comes into their hands by right of inheritance; they take such property subject to all the obligations resting thereon in the hands of him from whom they derive their rights. (Mojica vs. Fernandez, 9 Phil. Rep., 403; decisions of the supreme court of Spain of January 27, 1881, and January 28, 1892.)

The only question submitted on this appeal, resting as it does on the claim of appellant to an interest in the land in question, as heir of her father in whose name the composition title was issued, and it appearing that, as one of his heirs, she has no real interest or right of ownership therein and is under an obligation to join in a proper conveyance of the title to the land in question to Dolores Singian or her assignee, it is evident that the judge below properly rejected her opposition to the adjudication and registration of the land in favor of the applicant, and held that she could not be heard to deny the right of ownership set up by him or to assert title in herself.

It is not necessary for us to decide and we do not decide what would have been the effect of a transfer on the old land registry by Domiciano Tison or his heirs of title to the land in question to a third person, a purchaser in good faith, because the record clearly discloses that no such transfer of title was in fact made.

The judgment of the court below adjudicating the land in question in favor of the applicant and directing its registry in his name should be affirmed with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Moreland and Elliott, JJ., concur.