Republic of the Philippines


G.R. No. L-16898             March 25, 1961

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
PHILANDER LONGAO, defendant-appellant.

Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Apolinario Barrera for defendant-appellant.



Philander Longao was charged before the Justice of the Peace of Bontoc, Mountain Province, with the crime of homicide thru reckless imprudence. Upon arraignment, he pleaded guilty to the charge. Thereafter, he prayed for leave to prove voluntary surrender as additional mitigating circumstance in his favor. After hearing, the court rendered decision convicting him as charged and sentencing him to an indeterminate penalty of 2 months and 1 day of arresto mayor to 1 year and 8 months of prision correccional, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P6,000.00, plus the amount of P1,000.00 as moral damages, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. From this decision, he appealed directly to this Court and in due time both appellant and the government submitted their respective briefs.

On May 19, 1960, appellant filed a petition praying that the personal bond filed in his behalf by several persons for his provisional liberty in the amount of P4,000.00 be withdrawn and substituted for a surety bond for a reduced amount, and on June 28, 1960, this Court granted the substitution but for the same amount of P4,000.,00. But upon acting on the petition for the approval of the surety bond offered in substitution of the personal bond subscribed by the First Quezon Insurance Co., Inc., Baguio Branch, the attention of this Court was called to the fact that this case was originally filed in the Justice of the Peace Court of Bontoc, Mt. Province, and that after said court had rendered its decision against the accused he appealed directly to this Court. And considering that this cannot be done under our rules even if the appeal only involves questions of law because under Rule 40 an appeal from an inferior court can only be taken to the court of first instance, this Court resolved to dismiss the present appeal.

WHEREFORE, the present appeal is hereby dismissed. The petition for approval of the substituted bond is denied.

Bengzon, Actg. C.J., Padilla, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes and Dizon, JJ., concur.

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