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[G.R. No. 979. February 12, 1903. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Complainant-Appellee, v. EUSEBIO SANTA CRUZ, Defendant-Appellant.

Emilio Gaudier, for Appellant.

Solicitor-General Araneta, for Appellee.


1. CRIMINAL LAW; SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE. — Where the testimony of the prosecuting witness is inherently improbable and is without corroboration it can not be said that all reasonable doubt of guilt is excluded.



The defendant was convicted in the court below of robbery with violence to the person, and has appealed. The case of the prosecution rests mainly upon the testimony of the person alleged to have been robbed — one Ri-Jhorumal, who is a young Hindoo boy employed in a shop on the Escolta in Manila. He testified — and to this extent his evidence is corroborated by his employer — that he was sent by the latter to the Tondo market to buy thread and given ten pesos in silver for that purpose. He states that he was robbed of this money in a street near the market by two men, one of whom held his hand over his month while the other took the money out of his pocket and ran away. He identifies the defendant as the man who held his hand over his mouth. He says this took place about 11 o’clock in the morning. He says that one Claudio Subit saw the occurrence, but Subit, having been called as a witness for the prosecution, denies this. On the part of the defense there was evidence from several witnesses which if believed establishes an alibi.

It is somewhat improbable that such an occurrence as that related by Ri-Jhorumal should have taken place in broad daylight in a central portion of a large city without attracting some one’s attention, and in view of this improbability, and in the absence of corroborating circumstances, we can not say that the evidence wholly excludes a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused.

The judgment of the court below is reversed with costs de oficio, the case to be returned to that court for proceedings in conformity with this opinion. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Cooper, Willard and Mapa, JJ., concur.

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