[G.R. No. 26391. July 28, 1921. ]
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOAQUIN MIRABIEN, Defendant-Appellant.
Ricardo Navarro for Appellant.
Attorney-General Jaranilla for Appellee.
1. PROSTITUTION; VAGRANCY; KEEPERS OF HOUSES OF PROSTITUTION. — The keeper of a house of prostitution may be punished under the Vagrancy Law, Act No. 519.
D E C I S I O N
The question to be here determined is whether the keeper of a house of prostitution may be punished under existing law.
Joaquin Mirabien, the accused, was on February 20, 1926, and prior thereto, the proprietor of a bar and restaurant called "New Bohemian Refreshment," situated in the municipality of San Pedro Makati, Rizal. The true occupation, however, of the accused consisted in maintaining a house of prostitution. The restaurant was merely a means by which the exploitation of women could be carried on. This was the situation discovered when the Constabulary raided the place. Mirabien’s payment of the internal revenue and municipal licenses does not alter the facts.
The law pertaining to those who propagate and encourage prostitution leaves much to be desired. It is neither as clear nor comprehensive as it should be. We believe nevertheless that the Vagrancy Law, Act No. 519, is sufficiently broad when given an interpretation concordant with its purpose to cover the case. This law enumerates as one class included in the term "vagrant," "every lewd or dissolute person who lives in and about houses of ill fame."cralaw virtua1aw library
Giving application of the law to the admitted facts, the accused must be considered a lewd or dissolute person, for one dedicated to the sale of human flesh could hardly be otherwise. In the second place, the accused lived in the camouflaged restaurant for such is deduced from his own testimony. And lastly, the restaurant was a house of ill fame, for evidence proved it to be so and the trial judge made this his finding. Want of visible means of support is not made an ingredient of this part of the Vagrancy Law.
The decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila finding the accused guilty of a violation of the Vagrancy Law and sentencing him to six months’ imprisonment and to pay the costs being in accord with the facts and the law, is affirmed with costs.
Avanceña, C.J., Johnson, Street, Villamor, Johns, and Romualdez, JJ., concur.