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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila

DECISION

61 Phil. February 16, 1935 G.R. No. L !""## $%slan&s '. (ayona) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff appellee, 's. CORNELIO BAYONA, &efen&ant appellant. Gervasio Diaz for appellant. Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellee. Vickers, J.: *his is an appeal fro+ a &ecision of ,u&-e (raulio (e.asa in the /ourt of First %nstance of /api0, fin&in- the &efen&ant -uilty of a 'iolation of section !16 of the 1lection La2 an& sentencin- hi+ to suffer i+prison+ent for thirty &ays an& to pay a fine of P53, 2ith subsi&iary i+prison+ent in case of insol'ency, an& to pay the costs. *he facts as foun& by the trial .u&-e are as follo2s4 5 eso &e las once &e la +a6ana &el &ia 5 &e .unio &e 193!, +ientras se celebrahan las elecciones -enerales en el precinto electoral nu+ero !, situa&o en el (arrio &e 5ran-uel &el Municipio &e Pilar, Pro'incia &e /api0, el a7ui acusa&o fue sorpren&i&o por ,ose 1. 8esi&erio, 7ue era entonces el representante &el 8eparta+ento &el %nterior para inspecionar las elecciones -enerales en la Pro'incia &e /api0, y por el co+an&ante &e la /onstabularia F.(. 5-&a+a- 7ue iba en a7uella ocasion con el cita&o ,ose 1. 8esi&erio, portan&o en su cinto el re'ol'er /olt &e calibre 3", No. 1953#", 19hibit 5, &entro &el cerco 7ue ro&eaba el e&ificio &estina&o para el cita&o cole-io electoral nu+ero ! y a una &istancia &e "" +etros &el referi&o cole-io electoral. %n+e&iata+ent ,ose 1. 8esi&erio se incauto &el re'ol'er en cuestion. La &efensa, por +e&io &el testi+onio &e ,ose 8. (enliro y &e 8ioscoro (uen'eni&a, trato &e establecer 7ue el a7ui acusa&o paro en la calle 7ue &aba frente al cole-io electoral nu+ero ! a in'itacion &e &icho ,ose 8. (enliro y con el ob.eto &e suplicarle al +enciona&o acusa&o para

lle'ar a su casa a los electores &el cita&o ,ose 8. (enliro 7ue ya habian ter+ina&o &e 'otar, y 7ue cuan&o lle-aron ,ose 1. 8esi&ierio y el co+a&ante F.(. 5-&a+a-, el a7ui acusa&o estaba en la calle. 8es&e el cole-io electoral hasta el sitio en 7ue, se-un &ichos testi-os, estaba el acusa&o cuan&o se le 7uito el re'ol'er 19hibit a, hay una &istancia &e ": +etros. 5ppellant;s attorney +a<es the follo2in- assi-n+ents of error4 1. 1l ,u0-a&o a quo erro al &eclarar 7ue el apelante fue sorpren&i&o con su re'ol'er &entro &el cerco &e la casa escuela &el (arrio &e 5ran-uel, Municipio &e Pilar, 7ue fue habilita&o co+o cole-io electoral. ". 1l ,u0-a&o a quo erro al &eclarar al apelante culpable &e la infraccion &e la Ley 1lectoral 7uerrella&a y, por consi-uiente, al con&enarle a prision y +ulta. 5s to the 7uestion of fact raise& by the first assi-n+ent of error, it is sufficient to say that the recor& sho2s that both ,ose 1. 8esi&erio, a representati'e of the 8epart+ent of the %nterior, an& Ma.or 5-&a+a- of the Philippine /onstabulary, 2ho ha& been &esi-nate& to super'ise the elections in the Pro'ince of /api0, testifie& positi'ely that the &efen&ant 2as 2ithin the fence surroun&in- the pollin- place 2hen 8esi&erio too< possession of the re'ol'er the &efen&ant 2as carryin-. *his also &isposes of that part of the ar-u+ent un&er the secon& assi-n+ent of error base& on the theory that the &efen&ant 2as in a public roa&, 2here he ha& a ri-ht to be, 2hen he 2as arreste&. *he latter part of the ar-u+ent un&er the secon& assi-n+ent of error is that if it be conce&e& that the &efen&ant 2ent insi&e of the fence, he is ne'ertheless not -uilty of a 'iolation of the 1lection La2, because he 2as calle& by a frien& an& +erely approache& hi+ to fin& out 2hat he 2ante& an& ha& no interest in the election= that there 2ere +any people in the public roa& in front of the pollin- place, an& the &efen&ant coul& not lea'e his re'ol'er in his auto+obile, 2hich he hi+self 2as &ri'in-, 2ithout runnin- the ris< of losin- it an& thereby incurrin- in a 'iolation of the la2. 5s to the contention that the &efen&ant coul& not lea'e his re'ol'er in his auto+obile 2ithout the ris< of losin- it because he 2as alone, it is sufficient to say that un&er the circu+stances it 2as not necessary for the &efen&ant to lea'e his auto+obile +erely because so+ebo&y stan&in- near the pollin- place ha& calle& hi+, nor &oes the recor& sho2 that it 2as necessary for the &efen&ant to carry ar+s on that occasion. *he >olicitor General ar-ues that since the Go'ern+ent &oes not especially construct buil&in-s for electoral precincts but +erely utili0es 2hate'er buil&in- there +ay be a'ailable, an& all election precincts are 2ithin fifty +eters fro+ so+e roa&, a literal application of the la2 2oul& be absur&, because +e+bers of the police force or /onstabulary in pursuit of a cri+inal 2oul& be inclu&e& in that prohibition an& coul& not use the roa& in 7uestion if they 2ere carryinfirear+s= that people li'in- in the 'icinity of electoral precincts 2oul& be prohibite& fro+

cleanin- or han&lin- their firear+s 2ithin their o2n resi&ences on re-istration an& election &ays= *hat the ob.ect of the Le-islature 2as +erely to prohibit the &isplay of firear+s 2ith intention to influence in any 2ay the free an& 'oluntary e9ercise of suffra-e= *hat if the real ob.ect of the Le-islature 2as to insure the free e9ercise of suffra-e, the prohibition in 7uestion shoul& only be applie& 2hen the facts re'eal that the carryin- of the firear+s 2as inten&e& for the purpose of usin- the+ &irectly or in&irectly to influence the free choice of the electors ?citin- the &ecision of this court in the case of People 's. @r&eleon $G.R. No. 31536, pro+ul-ate& No'e+ber "3, 19"9, not reporte&), 2here a police+an, 2ho ha& been sent to a pollin- place to preser'e or&er on the re7uest of the chair+an of the boar& of election inspectors, 2as ac7uitte&A= that in the case at bar there is no e'i&ence that the &efen&ant 2ent to the election precinct either to 'ote or to 2or< for the can&i&acy of anyone, but on the other han& the e'i&ence sho2s that the &efen&ant ha& no intention to -o to the electoral precinct= that he 2as +erely passin- alon- the roa& in front of the buil&in- 2here the election 2as bein- hel& 2hen a frien& of his calle& hi+= that 2hile in the strict, narro2 interpretation of the la2 the &efen&ant is -uilty, it 2oul& be inhu+an an& unreasonable to con'ict hi+. Be cannot accept the reasons a&'ance& by the >olicitor General for the ac7uittal of the &efen&ant. *he la2 2hich the &efen&ant 'iolate& is a statutory pro'ision, an& the intent 2ith 2hich he 'iolate& it is i++aterial. %t +ay be conce&e& that the &efen&ant &i& not inten& to inti+i&ate any elector or to 'iolate the la2 in any other 2ay, but 2hen he -ot out of his auto+obile an& carrie& his re'ol'er insi&e of the fence surroun&in- the pollin- place, he co++itte& the act co+plaine& of, an& he co++itte& it 2illfully. *he act prohibite& by the 1lection La2 2as co+plete. *he intention to inti+i&ate the 'oters or to interfere other2ise 2ith the election is not +a&e an essential ele+ent of the offense. @nless such an offen&er actually +a<es use of his re'ol'er, it 2oul& be e9tre+ely &ifficult, if not i+possible, to pro'e that he inten&e& to inti+i&ate the 'oters. *he rule is that in acts +ala in se there +ust be a cri+inal intent, but in those +ala prohibita it is sufficient if the prohibite& act 2as intentionally &one. C/are +ust be e9ercise& in &istin-uishinthe &ifference bet2een the intent to co++it the cri+e an& the intent to perpetrate the act. ...C ?@.>. 's. Go /hico, 1! Phil. 1"#.A Bhile it is true that, as a rule an& on principles of abstract .ustice, +en are not an& shoul& not be hel& cri+inally responsible for acts co++itte& by the+ 2ithout -uilty <no2le&-e an& cri+inal or at least e'il intent ?(ishop;s Ne2 /ri+. La2, 'ol. %, sec. "#6A, the courts ha'e al2ays reco-ni0e& the po2er of the le-islature, on -roun&s of public policy an& co+pelle& by necessity, Cthe -reat +aster of thin-sC, to forbi& in a li+ite& class of cases the &oin- of certain acts, an& to +a<e their co++ission cri+inal 2ithout re-ar& to the intent of the &oer. ?@.>. 's. Go /hico, 1! Phil. 1"#= @.>. 's. 5h /hon-, 15 Phil. !##.A %n such cases no .u&icial authority has the po2er to

re7uire, in the enforce+ent of the la2, such <no2le&-e or +oti'e to be sho2n. ?@.>. 's. >iy /on- (ien- an& /o Don-, 33 Phil. 5::.A *he cases su--este& by the >olicitor General &o not see+ to us to present any &ifficulty in the enforce+ent of the la2. %f a +an 2ith a re'ol'er +erely passes alon- a public roa& on election &ay, 2ithin fifty +eters of a pollin- place, he &oes not 'iolate the pro'ision of la2 in 7uestion, because he ha& no intent to perpetrate the act prohibite&, an& the sa+e thin- 2oul& be true of a peace officer in pursuin- a cri+inal= nor 2oul& the prohibition e9ten& to persons li'in- 2ithin fifty +eters of a pollin- place, 2ho +erely clean or han&le their firear+s 2ithin their o2n resi&ences on election &ay, as they 2oul& not be carryin- firear+s 2ithin the conte+plation of the la2= an& as to the &ecision in the case of People 's. @r&eleon, supra, 2e ha'e recently hel& in the case of People 's. 5yre, an& 8e-racia ?p. 169, anteA, that a police+an 2ho -oes to a pollinplace on the re7uest of the boar& of election inspectors for the purpose of +aintainin- or&er is authori0e& by la2 to carry his ar+s. %f 2e 2ere to a&opt the specious reasonin- that the appellant shoul& be ac7uitte& because it 2as not pro'e& that he trie& to influence or inten&e& to influence the +in& of any 'oter, anybo&y coul& sell into9icatin- li7uor or hol& a coc<fi-ht or a horse race on election &ay 2ith i+punity. 5s to the se'erity of the +ini+u+ penalty pro'i&e& by la2 for a 'iolation of the pro'ision in 7uestion, that is a +atter for the /hief 19ecuti'e or the Le-islature. For the fore-oin- reasons, the &ecision appeale& fro+ is affir+e&, 2ith the costs a-ainst the appellant. 5'ance6a, /.,., >treet, 5ba& >antos, an& Eull, ,,., concur.