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G.R. No. L-3634, May 30, 1951
Bartolo Saladino and Anastacio Alejo have appealed from convicting them of the murder
of Luis Bernabe. They were grabted separate trials but were both guilty.
In the night of June 23, 1948, Saladino and Alejo was resting in a house in Abucay,
Paoay, Ilocos Norte with policemen Melchor Quevedo, Wilfredo Osman, and George Plan. They
were awakened by the cry for help by Felix Pasion who reported that he had been robbed, one of
the robbers being Luis Bernabe. They brought Bernabe to the residence of Felix Pasion in Barrio
Singao for questioning. Bernabe denied the charge and was beaten. He was left hanging in the air
while being repeatedly beaten by Saladino. Alejo was called for his turn and reluctantly whipped
Bernabe. Saladino continued the maltreatment in the belief that Bernabe would soon confess.
Plan intervened and said that it would be better to bring Bernabe to their headquarters for
questioning but Saladino ignored it. Osman noticed that Bernabe seems to be dead but Saladino
believed it to be a pretend on the part of Bernabe. After realizing his predicament, two civilians
were ordered to carry Bernabe down and told Alejo to shoot Bernabe and say that the victim ran
away. Three days after the internment of Bernabe, June 24, Saladino swore before the fiscal an
affidavit stating that the death of Bernabe was because the latter attempted to escape. This was
corroborated by the three policemen. However, after a days, Quevedo was interviewed and gave
a different story which accorded with the accounts of the witnesses during trial. Quevedo, Osman
and Plan agreed that that Bernabe was already dead even before Alejo was told to shoot Bernabe.
Saladino was firm in his version which was corroborated by Felix Pasion.
Issue: Whether or not Saladino and Alejo are liable to the death of Bernabe
Yes. The defendant is guilty of having cruelly tortured and treacherously caused the death
of Luis Bernabe. The trial court believed in the story of Osman and Quevedo, the two eye-
witnesses to be the manner on how the true case happened. Saladino must be declared guilty of
assassination. Anastacio Alejo does not appear to have conspired with him, and is not liable
either as principal or as accomplice of the murder. But he is guilty as accessory after the fact for
having performed acts tending to conceal Saladinos crime by making it appear that Bernabe had
run away. Alejo was found guilty of accessory after admitting that he whipped the Bernabe.
Alejo is sentenced to imprisonment for not less than three years of prison correctional nor more
than six years and two months, of prison mayor; and in the case of insolvency of Saladino to
indemnify the heliable to a penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the
consummated felony of murder, namely, prison correctional in its maximum period to prision
mayor in its medium period (Art 53 in connection of the Revised Penal Code)