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VOL. 6, SEPTEMBER 8, 1906 431

United States vs. Zabala

[No. 3045. September 8, 1906.]

THE UNITED STATES, complainant and appellee, vs.

TIBURCIO ZABALA, defendant and appellant.

1. ARSON; CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE.—One who, with the

sole motive of destroying his own property, starts thereon
a fire which, extending to the house of a neighbor,
consumes both buildings, is not guilty of the crime of
arson, but may be punished for reckless negligence under
article 568 of the Penal Code.

2. ID. ; ID.—It seems that the character of the offense is not

changed by reason of the fact that the son of the accused
was with him in the house when he set fire thereto.


1 4 Phil. Rep., 572.



United Stated vs. Zabala

APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of

The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.
W. H, Bishop, for appellant.
Solicitor­General Araneta, for appellee.


The accused, dissatisfied with his inheritance and with a

vague notion of forcing a readjustment of his relations with

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his brother, and while intoxicated, set fire to his own

house, his exclusive property. The fire consumed not only
his residence but the adjoining one belonging to a relative,
valued at 40 pesos. The neighbor's house was at the time
vacant, but in his own house there was himself and his son.
In the opinion of the majority of the court he is not
criminally liable for the fire set to his own house nor did he
intend or foresee the burning of the house of his neighbor;
consequently his act can not constitute the crime of arson.
It does, however, fall within the terms of article 568 of the
Penal Code, punishing as reckless negligence (imprudencia
temeraria) an act which if actuated by malice would have
constituted a grave crime.
The sentence of the court below is reversed and the
defendant, for the crime of criminal negligence
(imprudencia temeraria), is sentenced to six months
imprisonment (arresto mayor], the indemnification of 40
pesos to Mariano Tandoc, and, in case of failure to pay, to
the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment, with costs.
After the expiration of ten days let judgment be entered in
accordance herewith and ten days thereafter the record be
remanded to the court from whence it came for proper
action. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Torres. Mapa, Carson, and Willard,

JJ., concur.

Judgment modified.


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