[G.R. No. 9329. March 30, 1914. ]
THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SATURNINO AGUAS, Defendant-Appellant.
Aurelio Pineda for Appellant.
Attorney-General Villamor for Appellee.
1. GAMBLING; MONTE. — Held: That there is nothing in the record in this case nor in the facts set forth in the opinion which would justify us in holding that the trial judge erred in finding that appellant was guilty of participating in the game of "monte" mentioned in the opinion and in refusing to believe the explanation given by the appellant for his presence in the room where the game was in progress at the time of his arrest.
D E C I S I O N
The appellant herein, together with 26 other persons, was charged by the fiscal of Pampanga Province with gambling in violation of the provisions of section 7 of Act No. 1757 of the Philippine Commission. Upon the trial of the case all of the accused pleaded guilty with the exception of Saturnino Aguas and Marciano Ordoñez, who pleaded "not guilty." Upon the proof adduced at the trial of the case both were found guilty and each was sentenced to pay a fine of P30, to suffer subsidiary imprisonment as provided by law, and to pay his proportionate part of the costs of the trial. From this judgment of conviction Aguas alone appealed, and the case is now before us on his appeal.
The record establishes that on the night of April 13, 1913, the appellant and a number of other persons were present at the house of Candido Rivera in the municipality of Mexico, Province of Pampanga, where a game of "monte" was in progress; that about half past 10 o’clock a raid was made on the house by two Constabulary soldiers who suddenly entered the room where the gambling was in progress and seized some P20 in money, some cards and other gambling paraphernalia, and arrested the persons found in the room.
At the moment of the arrest this appellant was standing some 3 or 4 meters from the table where the gambling was in progress, engaged in a conversation with the owner of the house. Appellant claims that he had come to the house just a short while before for the purpose of seeing the owner on a matter of business and that he was discussing the business in hand at the time of the raid. But we agree with the trial judge that his explanation of his presence at the gambling game at the hour and under all the circumstances is not satisfactory. His story as it appears in the record is not convincing, and we are unable to say that the trial judge, who saw and heard him testify, erred in refusing to believe his testimony, and in finding him guilty as charged in the information.
The judgment convicting and sentencing the appellant should be and is hereby affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the Appellant.
Arellano, C.J., Moreland, Trent and Araullo, JJ., concur.