G.R. No. L-11487 - UNITED STATES vs. MANUEL CATALAN - July 22, 1916



G.R. No. L-11487 July 22, 1916

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. MANUEL CATALAN, Defendant-Appellant.

Yulo and Ortiz for appellant.
Attorney-General Avanceņa for appellant.


The information in this case charges that:

On or about the month of May, 1900, within the municipality of Cabatuan, Province of Iloilo, P. I., the said accused voluntarily, illegally and criminally and with known premeditation and treachery, . . . killed Valentin Jordan by shooting him with a gun which he had on that occasion.

The accused was duly tried and found guilt of murder and sentenced to twenty years of cadena temporal. He appealed.

The Attorney-General recommends that the accused be acquitted on two grounds: That first on is that the guilt of the appellant has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt; and second, if it has been proved that the appellant killed the deceased, it was under such circumstances as exempt him from responsibility under the Amnesty Proclamation of the President of the United States issued the 4th of July, 1902.

We agree with the Attorney-General in his recommendation. The evidence of the prosecution is not satisfactory in the first place, and, in the second place, it has been clearly established by the defense that Jordan was shot by virtue of the decision of a court-martial instituted by officers of the revolutionary army in the Philippines in the month of May, 1900, finding the deceased guilty of being a spy and a bandolero. Nicanor Patrimonio who testified in the case for the defense said that he was an official of the revolutionary army of the Philippines and that he instituted a court-martial in May, 1900, for the purpose of trying the deceased Jordan on a charge of being a spy and a highway robber. He named the persons who were the members of the court-martial and the witnesses who testified before it and gave in substance their testimony; he said that the court-martial, after due deliberation, found Jordan guilty of being a spy acting for the American Army and of being also a bandolero; and that he was shot as a result of the judgment of conviction brought in against him by the court-martial. other evidence was presented in strong corroboration of the testimony of this witness, and we are satisfied that Jordan met his death in the manner related.

The judgment of conviction is reversed and the accused is acquired. An order will be immediately issued for his release from imprisonment, without waiting for the usual time for this judgment to become final. So ordered.

Torres, Johnson, Trent, and Araullo, JJ., concur.