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[G.R. No. 11813. October 6, 1916. ]

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. HIGINIO SANTIAGO, Defendant-Appellant.

J. E. Blanco for Appellant.

Attorney-General Avanceña for Appellee.


1. CRIMINAL LAW; PLEA OF GUILTY. — It is settled doctrine that a plea of guilty admits the material facts alleged in the complain or information. (U.S. v. Barba, 29 Phil. Rep., 206; U. S. v. Look Chaw, 18 Phil. Rep., 573; Crow v. State, 6 Tex., 334; Meyers v. State, 156 Ind., 388; Dreyspring v. Loeb, 119 Ala., 282.)

2. ID.; ID. — A plea of guilty does not admit the existence of any fact not set out in the complaint or information.

3. ID.; ID.; AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES. — Where a plea of guilty is made to an information which alleges no aggravating circumstance and there is nothing before the trial court but the facts stated in the information admitted by the plea, it is error to find that the crime was committed with an aggravating circumstances and to impose the penalty in its maximum degree.

4. ID.; ID.; ID. — The existence of an aggravating circumstance cannot be legally found unless it is proved by the evidence or admitted by the accused.

5. ID.; ID.; INDEMNITY. — Where a complaint or information in a criminal action does not allege facts upon which civil liability may be predicated, a plea of guilty thereto does not authorize the trial court to enter a judgment for indemnity.

6. ID.; JUDGMENT FOR DAMAGES. — A judgment in a criminal action in favor of the injured persons for damages caused by the criminal acts of the defendant is erroneous where there is no evidence showing the amount thereof or from which the amount can be inferred.



The appeal in this case must be declared successful. The appellant was convicted of having inflicted minor injuries on one Federico Manalad, by cutting him in the face with a knife, and sentenced to six months of arresto mayor, to indemnify Manalad in the sum of P50, to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of neglect to pay, and to pay the costs of the trial. The information charges as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That the said accused, on or about the 28th day of January, 1916, in the municipality of Malolos, Province of Bulacan, P. I., voluntarily and criminally and without justification attacked Federico Manalad with a bolo, producing two wounds in the face which required ten days to be cured and the attendance of a physician during that period; and prevented him from following his usual occupation during the same number of days, in violation of law."cralaw virtua1aw library

The accused pleaded guilty to the charge framed by this information and the court sentenced him as heretofore stated.

On this appeal counsel deals exclusively with the penalty imposed, alleging that it is illegal and that the indemnity is excessive.

It will be observed that the penalty imposed by the trial court is in its maximum degree. It is, of course, unquestioned law that, under the system of penalties established by the Penal Code, a penalty cannot legally be imposed in its maximum degree without the presence of one or more aggravating circumstances; and that an aggravating circumstance cannot be held to be present in a case unless its existence is admitted by the accused or has been proved by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case before us no evidence was taken; and a mere glance at the information discloses that it contains no allegation with reference to the circumstances under which the crime was committed. It is settled doctrine that a plea of guilty admits only the material facts alleged in the information. Such being the law it is clear that, when the accused pleaded guilty to the information under which he was brought to trial, his plea did not admit the existence of an aggravating circumstance as none was alleged; and that the trial court, in sentencing him, was not authorized by law to take into consideration an aggravating circumstances, and, as a result, impose the penalty in its maximum degree. The penalty should have been in the medium degree, namely, two months and one day of arresto mayor.

The argument is similar with respect to the indemnity. There is no allegation in the information showing Manalad’s occupation or profession or the wages or salary he was earning at the time of the assault. Nor is there any allegation as to the amount expended in being cured of his injuries. There can be, then, no recovery as there is no evidence in the record upon which such recovery can be based.

The sentence of the trial court is hereby modified and the accused is sentenced to two months and one day of arresto mayor and to pay the costs of the trial. No costs in this instance. So ordered.

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

Johnson, J., did not take part.

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