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1/11/2017 G.R. No. L-12686 | People v.

Hadji

ENBANC

[G.R.No.L12686.October24,1963.]

PEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,plaintiffappellee,vs.
KAMLONHADJI,ETAL.,defendants,KAMLONHADJI,
defendantappellant.

AlontoLawOfficesfordefendantappellant.
SolicitorGeneralforplaintiffappellee.

SYLLABUS

1. MURDERKIDNAPPINGWITHMURDERNOTABSORBEDBY
SEDITION.Theruleobtaininginthisjurisdictionallowsforthetreatmentof
thecommonoffensesofmurderetc.asdistinctandindependentacts
separablefromsedition.(Peoplevs.Cabrera,43Phil.64Peoplevs.Umali,
96Phil.,185.)
2. ID.ID.CASESOFHERNANDEZANDGERONIMODISTINGUISHED
FROMCASEATBAR.ThecasesofPeoplevs.Hernandez,etal.99Phil.,
51552Off.Gaz.,5506,andPeoplevs.Geronimo,100Phil.,9053Off.Gaz.,
No.1,p.68,wheretheactsofviolenceweredeemedabsorbedinthecrimeof
rebellion,arenotapplicabletothecaseatbarwhichinvolvessedition.
Besides,inthosecasesthecommoncrimesinvolvingactsofviolencewere
specificallychargedintheinformationforrebellion,butinthecaseatbarthe
informationmakesnoallegationofpoliticalmotivationand,onthecontrary,the
proofadducedshowsthatthekillingwaspurelymotivatedbypersonal
vengeance.
3. ID.DELAYINPROSECUTIONNOTUNFAVORABLEWHERE
IMPOSEDONGOVERNMENTBYCAUSESBEYONDITSCONTROL.
Theobservationthatunduedelayintheprosecutionofcriminalactions
speaksofthesuspiciousveracityofthestate'sclaim,cannotbemadewhere
thedelaywasimposedonthegovernmentbycausesoverwhichithasno
control.Inthecaseatbar,thedelaywasduetothereluctanceofwitnessesto
testify,andhishenchmen.

DECISION

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PERCURIAM : p

Kamlon Hadji, together with a number of other defendants, was


chargedintheCourtofFirstInstanceofSulufordifferentcrimesinvarious
cases,towitinCriminalCaseNo.1162forrebellioninCriminalCaseNo.
1162Ato1162Nand1348formultiplemurderandmultipleinjuriesandin
CriminalCaseNo.1353,togetherwithUllohKaddametal.,forkidnapping
withmurderandattemptedmurder.

Thepartiesstipulatedtohavethesecasestriedjointlywhereafterthetrial
courtrenderedjudgmentthedispositiveportionofwhichreads:
"WHEREFORE,inCrim.CaseNo.1162,theCourt
herebysentencestheaccusedKamlon,leaderofthesedition,to
anindeterminateimprisonmentofFOUR(4)YEARS,TWO(2)
MONTHSandONE(1)DAYofprisioncorreccionalasminimum
toSIX(6)YEARSandEIGHT(8)MONTHSofprisionmayoras
maximumtopayafineofP10,000.00withoutsubsidiary
imprisonmentincaseofinsolvencyandtopaytheproportionate
costs.
"Eachoftheaccused,AdjudiAsaraniandAmsajen
Jamahisherebysentencedtoanindeterminateimprisonmentof
THREE(3)YEARS,SIX(6)MONTHSandTWENTY(20)DAYS
ofprisioncorreccionalasminimumtoFIVE(5)YEARS,FOUR
(4)MONTHSandTWENTY(20)DAYSofprisioncorreccional
asmaximumtopayafineofP5,000.00each,andincaseof
insolvency,tosufferthecorrespondingsubsidiaryimprisonment
which,however,shallnotexceedonethirdoftheprincipal
penaltyandtopaytheproportionatecosts.
"EachandeveryoneoftheaccusedJumlaAbdukarim,
AbduljalimAdin,UllihUrongAngkangAdjad,AngkangIllama.
SahidulaAjad,IbbingJanah,KakariDamboa,Akbara
Abduhasman,HatibHalaAmsajen,HatibJaronaliasRaito
Haron,AwahKamsaWaliulAdjudiJaujaliGadjaliSuhalili
JamliSinihagSalihanSarahanIbbaisherebysentencedtoan
indeterminateofTWO(2)YEARS,FOUR(4)MONTHS
IMPRISONMENTandONE(1)DAYofprisioncorreccionalas
minimumtoFOUR(4)YEARSNINE(9)MONTHSandTEN(10)
DAYSofprisioncorreccionalasmaximumtopayafineof
P3,000.00andincaseofinsolvencytosufferthecorresponding
subsidiaryimprisonmentwhichhowever,shallnotexceedone
thirdoftheprincipalpenaltyandtopaytheproportionatecosts.
"EachandeveryoneoftheaccusedAmsahLaih,Jundai
Halisan.TaramanAdil,KahiralDastan,BoyonganSabiban,
SakkamHussin,BaybayanAsao,AbdurahmanSahol,Palicta

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DugongandKaligoganLadjalawanisherebyacquittedofthe
chargesagainsthimwiththeproportionatecostsdeoficio.Their
immediatereleasefromcustodyisherebyordered.
"Crim.CasesNo.1162Ato1162Nand1348arehereby
ordereddismissedwithcostsdeoficio.Thereleasefrom
custodyofalltheaccusedinthesecases,exceptthosewhoare
chargedorconvictedinanothercase,isherebyordered.
"InCrim.CaseNo.1353,theCourtherebysentencesthe
accusedKamlontothedeathpenaltyforthekidnappingof
JamalulAllingandHatibAjiboncomplexedwiththemurderof
JamalulAllingtoindemnifytheheirsofthedeceasedinthesum
ofP3,000.00,withoutimprisonmentincaseofinsolvencyandto
paythecosts."
TheinstantappealpertainssolelytoCriminalCaseNo.1353forwhichthe
accused,Kamlon,wasfoundguiltyandsentencedtothedeathpenalty.Aco
accusedinthiscase,Ulluh,wasstillatlargeatthetimethelowercourt
rendereditsjudgment.
InconnectionwiththeconvictionofKamlon,however,itmustbestatedthat
thetrialjudgerecommendedthecommutationofthepenaltyimposedtolife
imprisonment.Thetrialjudgebasedhisrecommendationuponhisfindingthat
thedefendantagreedtosurrenderprincipallybecausehewasmadeto
believebytheauthorities"thathewouldbeparoled."Inthewordsofthe
decisionofthelowercourt,"iftheConstabularyofficersconcerneddidnot
promiseanyconditiontoKamlonforhissurrender,saidofficersdeliberately
misledthenegotiatorArolasTulawieandKamlonintobelievingthatKamlon's
parolewouldberespectedorbeenforcedafteralloutlawshadsurrendered.In
oneword,theofficersconcerneddealtwithArolasTulawieandKamlonin
doubletalk.Theywerenotfrank."
Thetrialcourtrenderedthejudgmentofconvictionuponthefollowingfactual
findings:
Onemorningsometwoyearspriortothetrialofthiscase,theherein
defendant,togetherwithtwootherarmedcompanions,UlluhandAngkang,
setouttolookfortwomenwhomtheysuspectedwereresponsibleforthe
disappearanceoftwoofthefollowersofthedefendant.Thesearchended
whenthedefendantandhiscompanionschancedupontheirquarry,Hatib
AjibunandJamalulAlling,inthevicinityofBuhanginMahabagatheringvines.
Thereupon,threateningtokillunlessAjibunandAllingwentwiththem,
KamlonandhiscompanionsseizedthepairandbroughtthemtoTigbas,Luuk
Districtwhere,atthattime,Kamlonwasresiding.Atthemarketplaceof
Tigbas,Kamlonmadeknowntohiscaptivesthereasonfortheirabduction,
and,althoughAjibunandAllingdisavowedanyknowledgeorresponsibilityfor
thedisappearanceofthetwopersonsKamlonwasseekingtoavenge,their
protestationsofinnocenceweredisbelievedandaltogetherunheeded.

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HatibAjibunandJamalulAllingweredetainedovernight.Thefollowingday,
between2and3o'clockintheafternoon,theywerebroughttothemarket
placeand,inastore,theyweremadetositonchairs,onebesidetheother.
OnbeingorderedbyKamlon,theirhandswerethentiedtotheroofbyUlluh.
Thusseatedandwiththeirhandstiedtotheroof,Kamlonleveledhis
automaticcarbineatJamalulAllingandfired,killinghiminstantly.Kamlonthen
orderedUlluhtocuttheneckofthedeadmanwhereuponUlluh,withabarong
ornativebolo,didashewasbidden.
Ulluhthenbroughttheheadlessbodyandtheseveredheadtohisvintabythe
shoreandpaddledoutfarintothesea.Whenhereturned,henolongerhad
withhimhisgruesomeload.
Meanwhile,KamlondecidedtospareHatibAjibunfromthefateheimposed
onJamalulAlling.Instead,AjibunwasconductedbacktoKamlon'shouse
wherehewas"tried"byKamlonforhisallegedparticipationinthe
disappearanceoftwoofhisfollowers.The"trial"musthavecausedKamlonto
doubtAjibun'sguiltbecauseatitsend,hewasmerelytoldtoraisethesumof
P105.00asfineandthereafterhewassetfree.
TheaccountofAlling'smurderasaboveestablishedbythetrialcourtwas
denied,disavowedanddisputedbythedefendant.Heofferedanentirely
differentversionofthekilling.AccordingtoKamlon,thedeceasedwasshotto
death,notbyhim,butbysomerelativesofawomanwho,onthatoccasion,
JamalulAllingandHatibAjibunwereattemptingtoabduct.
Thedefendant'sversionofthekillingofJamalulAllingwassoughttobe
establishedbytwosisters,BarihaImamHabilulandMuhaylaImamHabilul,
whotestifiedthatonedaytheywenttotakeabathatawateringplacesome
100brazasfromwheretheywereliving.Whilewashingtheirclothesatthe
sameplaceandgatheringwaterinbambootubes,Barihasuddenlyheard
Muhaylashout:"Bariha,youbetterrunaway.Iambeingembracedandheld
byAjibunandJamalul."MuhaylamadetheoutcrybecauseJamalulandAjibun
whoemergedfromthenearbybushessuddenlytookholdofthehandsof
Muhaylaandpulledhertowardstheeasternpartoftheplace,asitiocalled
BuhanginMahaba.UponhearingthescreamofMuhayla,Bariharanawaybut
wasabletoseeAjibunandJamalulholdingthehandsofMuhayla.
Bariharanandscreamedforhelp.Amongthosewhocametohersuccorwere
heruncle,Adu,andsomeothermenfolkofthevillage,Biteng,Tanjiand
Uttung,whoforthwitharmedthemselveswithgunsandwentafterAjibunand
Jamalul.
Meanwhile,atBuhanginMahaba,JamalulandAjibuntriedtoforceMuhayla
intoavinta.AjibunwentinsidethevintaandpulledthehandsofMuhaylaas
Jamalulpushedherintothecraftinanefforttoplaceheronboard.Muhayla,
however,succeededinfrustratingtheireffortsbypushingthevinta,andwhile
beingengagedinthisstruggle,sheheardheruncleAduyell:"Muhayla,duck."

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Muhayladuckedbydroppingherselfonthesea,facedownwards,andasher
bodyhittheshallowwater,sheheardburstsofgunfirecomingfromtheplace
whereAduhadgivenouthisorder.

Aftertheshots,Muhaylarantowardsheruncle.TheburstoffirehitJamalul
whofellonthewateralmostfallingonMuhayla.Ajibunwasfiredupon,buthe
wasabletopaddlehimselfawayouttothesea.
Wecannotfindanyjustorvalidcauseforrejectingtheversionacceptedby
thetrialcourt.Whilethedefendanthadindeedinsistedthattheprosecution
versionwasfalseanduntrue,hehasfailedtodemonstratetothisTribunal
exactlyinwhatareaoftheproceedingorevidencesuchfallacyanduntruth
obtain.Thiscasehasresolveditselfintoaquestionofwhoamongthe
witnessesatthetrialweretellingthetruth.Wecanhardlyholdourselvesina
betterpositiontoanswerthatthanthetrialjudgewhohadhisfivephysical
sensestoaidhimreachthefair,correctandjustconclusion.WhileWehave
merelytherecordstoguideUsby,thetrialjudgesawthewitnesses,heard
themspeak,watchedthemmove.Hewas,therefore,inthefaradvantageous,
positionofbeingabletodiscriminatemorecompetentlythanUsthe
prevaricatorsamongthewitnessesfromthosewhotestifiedthetruth.
Consequently,astheevidenceonrecordsufficientlyattesttothefindingsof
thelowercourt,Weshallnotdisturbthesame.
Thedefendantcontendthatthelengthoftimewhichintervenedbetweenthe
actualcommissionofthecrimechargedandthefilingofthesameinthetrial
courtaperiodof21monthsatteststotheunreliabilityoftheprosecution
witnesses.Wearetoldthatifthosewhotestifiedforthegovernmentdid
actuallywitnessthedefendantcommitthemurder,theywouldhaveforthwith
reportedtheincidenttotheauthoritiesandthiscasewouldhavebeenfiled
sooner.ItisvigorouslyimpressedonUsthatthedelaybetraysthetruthfulness
ofthecasefortheprosecution.
Wecannotsustaintheviewofthedefendantonthelastpointraised.Although
itistruethatunduedelayintheprosecutionofcriminalactionsspeaksofthe
suspiciousveracityofthestate'sclaim,thesameobservationcannotbemade
wherethedelayorinaction,longthoughitmaybe,wasimposedonthe
governmentbycausesoverwhichithasnocontrol.Inthepremisesandas
explainedbytheSolicitorGeneral'sOffice,"theincidenttookplace15days
beforethelastmilitaryoperationsagainstKamlon.Peopleintheareaaffected
wereinthegripoffearandfeltnootherconcernthanfortheirpersonalsafety.
Thewitnessescouldhavepreferredtoremaininsilenceofwhattheyknew
againstKamloninthehope,however,thatwiththemilitaryoperationsaboutto
besetafoot,retributivejusticewouldcatchupwithKamlonandhishenchmen
thattheymightperishinthebattle."

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Themoretranscendentalaspectofthisappealreferstotheviewofthe
defendantthat,bythedoctrineenunciatedinthecasesofPeoplevs.
Hernandez,etal.,52O.G.,5506andPeoplevs.Geronimo53O.G.,No.1,p.
68,"thetrialcourterredinconvictinghereinaccusedforkidnappingwith
murderinspiteofthefactthatsaidactsofviolencewerecommittedin
furtheranceofseditionandthereforeabsorbedinthislattercrime."
ThereisneitherlawnorjurisprudencewhichcanallowthisCourttoupholdthe
defendant'sclaimthatactsofviolencelikemurderandkidnappingare
absorbedbysedition.TheaforecitedcasesofHernandezandGeronimo,
supra,cannotproperlybeinvokedasauthorityforthatlegalpropositionsince
thosetwocasesinvolvedthecrimeofrebellionandnotsedition.
Indeed,astheCourtadherestoandisguidedingreatmeasurebytheruleof
staredecisis,Wedeemourselvesunfreeatthemomenttodisregardour
rulingsinthecasesofPeoplevs.Cabrera,43Phil.64andPeoplevs.Umali,
G.R.No.L5803,Nov.29,1954.IntheCabreracase,thisCourtheld:
"Itismerelystatingtheobvioustosaythatseditionisnot
thesameoffenseasmurder.Seditionisacrimeagainstpublic
ordermurderisacrimeagainstpersons.Seditionisacrime
directedagainsttheexistenceoftheState,theauthorityofthe
government,andthegeneralpublictranquilitymurderisacrime
directedagainstthelivesofindividuals.(U.S.vs.Abad(1902),
1Phil.437).Seditioninitsmoregeneralsenseistheraisingof
commotionsordisturbancesinthestatemurderatcommonlaw
iswhereapersonofsoundmindanddiscretionunlawfullykills
anyhumanbeing,inthepeaceofthesovereign,withmalice
aforethought,expressorimplied.
"Theoffenseschargedinthetwoinformationsforsedition
andmurderareperfectlydistinctinpointoflawhowevernearly
theymaybeconnectedinpointoffact.Notalonearethe
offensescomnominedifferent,buttheallegationsinthebodyof
theinformationaredifferent.Thegistoftheinformationfor
seditionisthepublicandtumultuousuprisingofthe
constabularyinordertoattainbyforceandoutsideoflegal
methodstheobjectofinflictinganactofhateandrevengeupon
thepersonsofthepoliceforceofthecityofManilabyfiringat
theminseveralplacesinthecityofManilathegistofthe
informationinthemurdercaseisthattheConstabulary,
conspiringtogether,illegallyandcriminallykilledeightpersons
andgravelywoundedthreeothers.Thecrimesofmurderand
seriousphysicalinjurieswerenotnecessarilyincludedinthe
informationforseditionandthedefendantscouldnothavebeen
convictedofthesecrimesunderthefirstinformation."(Italic
supplied.)

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And,inthecaseofPeoplevs.Umali,supra,afterrejectingthegovernment's
theorythatthecrimecommittedwasrebellioncomplexedwithmultiplemurder,
frustratedmurder,arsonandrobbery,butratherseditionandthesaidcommon
crimes,Weproceededtoconvictthedefendantsthereinofthesaidcrimeof
seditionandthecommoncrimesofmurder,frustratedmurderetc.The
dispositiveportionofthislastcitedcaseread:"Inconclusion,wefind
appellantsguiltyofsedition,multiplemurder,arson,frustratedmurderand
physicalinjuries...."
Clearlythen,theruleobtaininginthisjurisdictionallowsforthetreatmentof
thecommonoffensesofmurderetc.asdistinctandindependentacts
separablefromsedition.
IncitingthecasesofHernandezandGeronimo,supra,itseemstoUsthatthe
hereindefendantmissedaverysignificantpoint.WhenWeheldinthosetwo
casesthatmurderandotheractsofviolencewereabsorbedby"rebellion,"the
commoncrimesallegedtohavebeencommittedinfurtheranceofthe
rebellionwerespecificallychargedintheinformationand,forthatreason,
wereconsequentlynecessarilyallegedtohavebeencommittedforpolitical
ends.Intheprosecutionatbar,however,aspointedoutbytheSolicitor
General,"theinformationmakesnoallegationofpoliticalmotivation,andthe
evidenceistotallydevoidofanysuchmotivation,foronthecontrary,theproof
adducedshowsthatthekillinghadnopoliticalorsocialcolor,butpurely
motivatedbypersonalvengeance."
Thereisyetonesignificantfactinthiscasewhichmustbemadeofrecord
beforethisTribunalhandsdownitsjudgmentonappeal.Thedefendant
Kamlon,priortohisprosecutionforthecaseatbar,hadbeenconvictedfor
rebellionwithmultiplemurderandmultiplephysicalinjuriesinCriminalCase
No.763oftheCourtofFirstInstanceofSulu.Soonafterhisconviction,
however,hewasextendedaconditionalpardonbythelatePresidentElpidio
Quirino.Therewerefour(4)conditionstothepardon,namely:(1)thatKamlon
wastoreportmonthlytothenearestconstabularyorJusticeofthePeace(2)
thatKamlonwouldassisttheauthoritiesinthesurrenderoffirearmsand(3)
thatKamlonwouldallowhimselftobevisitedbyanyauthorityofthe
Governmentandallowhimtoquestionhimfreely,and(4)thathewould
cooperatewiththeGovernmentinthesurrenderandapprehensionofwanted
personsinLuuk.
Insteadofhonoringtheaforementionedconditions,however,Kamlonbrazenly
violatedthesame.Hedidnotonlyfailtoreportregularlytotheauthoritiesas
requiredheevenviolentlypreventedlegitimategovernmentagentsfrom
visitingandquestioninghim.Itwastheselawlessnessanddefiancewhich
ultimatelyprecipitatedandresultedintothevariouscriminalprosecutions
enumeratedatthestartofthisdecision,includingthisoneonappeal.
INVIEWOFALLTHEFOREGOING,thisCourtaffirmsinfullthefindingsand
judgmentofthelowercourt.Thecrimecommittediskidnappingcomplexed
withmurder.Wefindthedeathpenaltyaswellastheindemnityintheamount
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ofP3,000.00imposedinaccordancewithlawandaffirmthesamewithcosts
againstthedefendant.
Bengzon,C.J.,Padilla,BautistaAngelo,Labrador,Concepcion,Reyes,J.B.
L.,Barrera,Paredes,Dizon,RegalaandMakalintal,JJ.,concur.

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