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© 2004 Virgilio Rojas

Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, Virgilio.Rojas@ekohist.su.se

Abstract: This penal case directory and data-base covers a total of 750 radomly sampled criminal cases drawn on a five year interval basis
from the published proceedings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines during the American occupation between 1900-1935. It collates sets
of relevant parametric data which in sundry ways and levels help trace and track down structural and agency changes in late colonial criminal
behavior and criminal processing and disciplining institutions.

Three data sets are designed to address this task: a) Data set 1, gears towards structural trace elements of criminality, all of which feed into a
radomly sampled statistical reconstruction over time of as it were the broad landscape of late colonial criminal economy. b) Data set 2 has to
do with trace elements designed to map out and probe into what may analytically be labeled as the landscape of the institutional economy of
late colonial criminal processing and disciplining agencies. This set analytical employs the analogy of the integrated processing firm,
manufacturing & transacting relatively legally & procedurally secure & sustainable verdicts & disciplinary measures to contain & control
criminal action & behavior. In this sense, the court hierarchy, police, & penitentiary form interlocking divisions or departments in a
syndicated criminal justice transaction & throughput system. According to this model hence, the “life cycle” of judicial-disciplinary
“products” (i.e. criminal acts transformed formally into penal cases transacted throughout the late colonial criminal justice system) is tracked
down through 3 sub-accounts or “logs”: the product velocity log (pvl), product standardization log (psl), and the product logistics log
(pll).c) Data set 3, straddles the landscapes depicted in the preceding two sets, by exploring psychic (affect) structures & their relationship
with the changing character of social interaction and space as a consequence of colonial encounters. It traces such socio-psychic landscapes
thru individual case profiling of inter alia: criminal motives, forensic (argumentative) assignment of liabilities & penalties, the social features
of crime scenes.

Finally, a directory and data-base key followed by critical notes on source, data retrieval and processing will round off the introductory text;
the former, to facilitate data search , the latter, to indicate source limitations, including a detailed inventory of explicit and implicit material-
specific biases. Besides noted data-base key, the respective page locations of the data-base columns (A-W) appear in the Table of Contents in
the preceding title page.


Reconstructing structural and agency changes in criminal behaviour and colonial

criminal processing and disciplining institutions throughout the first 35 years
(1900-1935) of American occupation in the Philippines define the general
parameters of the current research project. Alongside a host of secondary
contemporary accounts, this task is empirically grounded on two major primary
serial sources: Report of the Philippine Commission-Report of the Governor
General (RPC-RGG)1 and the Philippine Reports (published proceedings and
decisions of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands).

Broadly, structural parameters are understood here as patterns of criminality

defined and classified by colonial state statutes in currency (i.e. incumbent Penal
Codes & Codes of Criminal Procedure). In an even wider sense it will also
imply mental, social, cultural & economic configurations inherent in such
patterns. Whereas agency parameters refer technically to institutional properties
like organisation, legal and disciplinary reforms and procedures which denote
specifically interlocking bureaucratic segments of the colonial state, viz.,
judicial, policing, and disciplinary agencies. Theoretically, strategic parametric
change in noted analytical units is seen here as a function of distinctive
“encounters” & the dynamics of negotiation evolving from the latter between
the colonial rulers and their native subalterns. Such “encounters” & negotiative
dynamics, will, as argued here, concurrently be reenacted or reflected process-
wise and multi-dimensionally at the levels of mentalité, social & institutional
practice, culture and economy.

Extractive work on the RPC-RGG material in Report # 1 Part I partially threshes

out these parametric changes, particularly in terms of agency. In a sense, this
serial source can be read as the institutional autobiography or logbook of the
caretaker civilian government, the Philippine Commission, although one written
from the rulers’ perspective, yet quite revealing in terms of conflicts and
resolutions arising from colonial institutional reforms in those bureaucratic
segments relevant to this study. The question of how these institutional changes
equi-historically jibe with and/or impact on colonial society and social relations
in the shape of criminal patterns is further addressed by the penal case directory
and statistical data-base presented in this third and concluding part of Report #
1. This data-base stems from a quinquennial random sampling survey of all
penal cases transacted by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands published
in the Philippine Reports between 1900-1935. It encompasses a total of 750
penal cases (514 and 236 of the sample lying respectively inside and instantly
outside designated quinquennial observation points), equivalent to 2519 JPeg
image files or roughly 5038 pages.2

See Report # 1 Part I, 1.1, pp 8-65.
For particulars on mode of retrieval and reproduction of primary & contemporary sources see Rojas, Virgilio.
“Digital Archive: Late Colonial Historiography, The Philippines Under US Occupation, 1900-1935.” Home
Page. 5 January 2004. 10 May 2004 <http://wl.880.telia.com/∼ u88003049/archivalwork.html>. To be more
precise, it should however be noted that not all of the penal cases transacted by the Supreme Court (SC) saw
print, in fact many do not appear in the Philippine Reports and still remain unpublished. Apart from those cases
now stored in and retrievable from this author’s digital archive, some of the landmark SC decisions are also
electronically available and downloadable at: ChanRobles Virtual Law Library. “Philippine Supreme Court
Decisions.” 10 May 2004. Chan Robles Publications Co. 10 May 2004 <http://www.chanrobles.com/

The Supreme Court (SC) proceedings from which this directory & data-base
derive do in sundry ways capture and integrate different facets of structure and
agency. Distinctively, these facets flow & radiate in two main directions from
the chain of narratives embedded in and encapsuled by the proceedings.
Vertically, from the ensemble of information or case briefs volunteered by the
lower courts – the local justice of peace courts (jpc) & the provincial or Courts
of First Instance (CFI) – which in varying degrees of completeness include
information on the original complaint, preliminary investigation, evidence and
related deliberations by prosecution and defense, legal & procedural
conclusions, decision & penalty held by said courts.

Horizontally, the critical deliberations conducted by the concurring and at times

even dissenting Supreme Court justices in response to the appealing party’s or
defendant’s assignment of errors to the lower court’s decision, contain data on
either legal or procedural twists or both. This direction provides one with rich
information to suggest either strategic synchronization or shifts in institutional
coordinates (standard statutes & procedures), insofar as the assignment of
purported errors usually prompt citation and critical comparative discussions of
precedents, as well as either the reversal, affirmation or fine-tuning of previous
decisions made by the lower courts.3


Certainly, the quality and quantity of parametric information along these

“flows” or layers vary from one penal case to another, yet the proceedings,
thanks to standard court reporting procedures, do contain a discernable set of
consistently recurring parametrically relevant data. The data-base taps into these
“flows” to systematically generate three distinct parametric data sets or


Directional or axial designations (vertical & horizontal) are employed here methodologically to distinguish
what are in fact parallell, multi- rather than single-stranded narratives that make up the proceedings. Thus,
vertically “flowing” information are those embedded narratives occuring in detached or “cinematic” time and
space; while movement along the horizontal axis refer to narratives running closer to “real” time & space. In the
context of the Supreme Court proceedings we trace vertically and horizontally moving narratives from,
respectively, any and all accounts & briefs originating from the lower courts & appellants and those adducing,
deliberating, concluding and sentencing portions produced by the Supreme Court justices themselves precisely
on the basis of said vertically as it were “played-back” or rerun accounts from the subordinate courts. For a
precursive, more sophisticated excogitation of noted concepts, see eg Gilles Deleuze’s excellent recap of
Bergson’s notions of movement, image, recognition and time, (1991) Bergsonism. New York: Zone Books; The
Cinema 2. Time-Image. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

The first set has exclusively to do with structural trace elements of criminality,
all of which feed into a radomly sampled statistical reconstruction over time of
as it were the broad landscape of late colonial criminal economy.4 Trace
elements singled out and enumerated from the sample include inter alia: types
(or the taxonomy) of criminal offenses, time & place of commission, class (or
social status or persona), gender, civil status, ethnic or racial denomination of
offender and victim, number of offenders & victims, rate of recidivism &
habitual delinquency, rate and taxonomy of convictions & penalties imposed.
This statistical first set narrative moves chronologically and vertically down the
data-base columns.



Flowing horizontally in contrast across the same we will find a second set of
trace elements designed to map out and probe into what may analytically be
labeled as the landscape of the institutional economy of late colonial criminal
processing and disciplining agencies. The analogy through which these
elements are deployed here is that of an integrated processing firm,
manufacturing & transacting relatively legally & procedurally secure &
sustainable verdicts & disciplinary measures to contain & control criminal
action & behavior. In this sense, the court hierarchy, police, & penitentiary form
interlocking divisions or departments in a syndicated criminal justice transaction
& throughput system. Upon entry into this system or institutional economy,
unclassified “raw” criminal acts or “products” are classified or eventually re-
classified, processed & “refined” into statutory and procedurally if relatively
standardized cases or judicial-disciplinary “products.” In terms of velocity &
level, product standardization & delivery – i.e the degree & distance/time by
which verdicts, executory orders and the practical application or enforcement of
ditto approximate established templates or doctrines of law and criminal
procedure, and the delivery of such within a reasonable time frame – will vary
more or less at interstitial or different points of the institutional economy at any
given time.

Indeed, transaction and throughput efficiency, as roughly indicated by the

velocity and level of product standardization, do lend itself to strict economic
calculations of bureaucratic maintenance, overhead & operational costs, and
resource allocation analysis. Estimates indulging the issue of how strict
economic variables impinge on late colonial production and delivery of judicial-
disciplinary “products,” fall, however, by virtue of the nature and type of data

Defined here as the socially reproduced pattern or structure of crimes formally detected, apprehended,
classified & processed by late colonial judicial, policing, and disciplinary institutions.

emanating from the proceedings, beyond the scope of this data-base. This issue
will suitably be addressed in a separate if parallel study of bureau-specific
budgetary, financial statements, & resource allocation reports available in the
other primary serial sources like the Census of the Philippine Islands 1903/1918
and RPC-RGG in Report 1 Part I, as well as contemporary appropriations

Instead, this data-base will cater to the seizure and apprehension of more non-
economic variables, a whole different set of potential6 “effective” costs or
practical constraints stemming from the process of institutional paradigm shift
(to new doctrines of law and procedure, new classification systems), technology
transfer (to new, purportedly more rational modes of organizing & managing
judicial, police & disciplinary power), socialization-hybridization7 effects
unravelling in the wake of new “corporate cultures” & related tension-
management (or ways of reconciling tensions arising from the push of “learning
how to do the new bureaucratic culture” versus the pull of resilient, time-
honored “ways of doing things”). Hence, noted second set of parametric data

Letter of the Assistant Executive Secretary Transmitting to the Philippine Assembly Appropriation Estimates,
as Submitted by the Chiefs of Insular Bureaus for the Fiscal Year 1909 Together with Other Data Regarding
Revenue and Expense Operations Concerning General Funds of the Philippine Islands for the Fiscal Years
1907, 1908 and 1909. (1908) Manila: Bureau of Printing. For a dry-run sample but more recent critical statistical
account of the economics of judicial institutions in the Philippines see Ibon Facts & Figures. “The Philippine
Judiciary On Trial.” Vol XIII, No. 15 (15 August 1990).
The word (potential) deserves accentuation here as the “real” effects of the process of institutional revamp
sponsored by the US colonial government cannot be safely validated solo on the basis of the institutional account
provided by our data-base, unless a reciprocal comparison of institutional efficiency of the previous Spanish
justice delivery system is made. This task is reserved to a prefatory chapter drawn from existing relevant critical
literature on criminal, legal, bureaucratic history of the Spanish period in the Philippines. Some of the genre’s
most pioneering accounts for that period are provided by: Corpuz, Onofre D (1957) The Bureacracy in the
Philippines. Institute of Public Administration, University of the Philippines; Robles, Eliodoro G (1969) The
Philippines in the Nineteenth Century. Quezon City: Malaya Books Inc.; Bankoff, Greg (1996) Crime, Society,
and the State in the Nineteenth Century Philippines. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. Thus
within the scope of this data-base we will confine ourselves to an account of potential “effective” costs or
practical constraints (as a result of contesting corporate cultural practices) on the American-led rationalising
institutional project as illustrated by changing procedures and legal reforms. The levy of constraints on the
American institutional project do originate not only from native subaltern resitance to American legal doctrines
and procedures, but also from segments of the American colonial community themselves. The latter explains for
instance why the American trial by jury model was never adopted in the Philippines; it was for all intents and
purposes viewed by many American expatriates as a bit far sophisticated if not a dangerous institutional device
for native predispositions to take stock of. See Rojas, Virgilio (2002) “Civilizing Colonialism and Taming the
Criminal Savage – Impression Management, and the Making and Un-making of Deviance and Discipline in Late
Colonial Philippines, 1900-1935.” Paper Presented at the Graduate Seminar (28 Feb). Dept of Economic History,
Stockholm University.
As a process, socialisation in new ”corporate cultures” is by no means straightforward. As recent cultural
studies on mimicry & cultural hybridity in colonial encounters do suggest, tutelage in new colonial bureaucratic
theory & practice is more accurately read in terms of hybrid cultures, mixing elements of new and old, colonial
& native or previously mastered institutional models and practices. Seminal works in this genre are provided by
i.a.: Bhaba, Homi (1997) “Of Mimicry & Man.” In Cooper & Stoler eds. Tensions of Empire. Berkeley: UCP;
Gouda, Frances (2000) “Mimicry and Projection in the Colonial Encounter: The Dutch East Indies/Indonesia as
Experimental Laboratory, 1900-1942.” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History. 1: 2; Benton, Lauren &
Muth, John (2000) “On Cultural Hybridity: Interpreting Colonial Authority and Performance.” Journal of
Colonialism and Colonial History. 1: 1.

seeks to trace the outlines and direction of change over time in the institutional
economy in the sense of reciprocal “corporate cultures” – a partial biographical
account of interactive institutional models and practices, if you like.

So tailored, the chronologically filed rows can be read like the micro-
biographies or track records of individual penal cases transacting the broad
course of the colonial criminal justice system. Through the case files one can
amply track down the “life” or “product-cycle” of each case along the horizontal
axis, as it enters, detours, refines, and exits the lower, middle, and higher circuits
(court-police-disciplinary hierarchy, cpd) of the system.

This “cycle” typically begins with a complaint filed by the offended party before
the local magistrate at the justice of the peace courts (jpc), who, with the aid of
the local police force, and later in ascending regularity the local sanitation and
health department physicians, will then conduct a preliminary investigation and
possibly an autopsy or medical examination, followed where necessary, by an
order of arrest and detention in the town jail of the suspected felon (s). Next,
criminal cases on appeal or review are duly referred to the regional or provincial
appellate Court of First Instance (CFI), where their legal or procedural merits
are considered and original decisions upheld, finetuned or overturned on the
basis of the briefs & transcipts submitted by the jpc, the prosecution and the
assignment of errors lodged by the appellant or defendant, all in resonance with
existing standards. As CFIs transact business regularly albeit less frequently, the
appellant or defendant is either held in detention in the provincial jail or
provisionally released on bail (when such practice eventually took root) while
the appeal is being processed.

Finally, contested CFI decisions or those involving capital felonies are appealed,
or, alternatively, by force of carryover praxis from the previous Spanish system
of criminal procedure, forwarded for review, before the higher appellate
Supreme Court (SC). At this terminal circuit, decisions are deemed final and
executory, at which stage it is adduced that even in the context of new evidence
produced by the appellant (s), quality-control or “product” standardization of
lower court decisions have fully & duly been exhausted. SC decisions
(sustaining, nullifying in the case of acquittals, finetuning in terms of upholding
some but revoking other parts of lower court decisions & convictions) are
usually remanded for execution to the lower court from whence it originated. At
the point of execution, the hyphenated state (signifying the on-going “product-
standardization” process) of “judiciary-disciplinary products” ceases to exist,
ultimately exiting the system either as falsified judicial (acquittals) or purely
penal or disciplinary “products” (legally & procedurally standardized prison
terms, capital punishment, banishment, transportation, etc.).

To trace the “product cycle” of each case, the following “log” designations can
be used to systematically group related categories of institutional data appearing
in the data-base.

a) the product velocity log (pvl) or an account of the time it takes for a case
to travel from one point of the court hierarcy to another (from the time the
original criminal complaint was issued, to the time appeals or reviews
were entered before the Court of First Instance and Supreme Court,
respectively, and ultimately to the time a decision by the Supreme Court
was rendered);

b) the product standardization log (psl) or the comparative account of

“applied standard deviations”8 between different circuits (i.e. jpc-CFI-SC
hierarchy and its policing & disciplining extensions) of the criminal
justice system. Most extensively, this log helps juxtapose inter-circuit
applications of extant standards of criminal law and procedures as
deduced from among others: the classification and rubrication of criminal
offenses, the calculation and determination of criminal liability, as well
as, principal and subsidiary penalties and indemnities, employed practices
in for example lower court quality-checking transactions (thru review
procedures) with the Supreme Court, securing and deploying evidence,
the conduct of prosecution and defense, the exercise of appeal,
enforcement of arrest warrants and detention orders. In the case of
American occupied early 20th century Philippines and its concomitant
hybridized brand of institutional re-programing & re-engineering of
colonial criminal processing and disciplinary agencies (where much of the
Spanish system was in fact retained or merely refurbished and where
indigenization gained ground first and fastest) towards modern, more
rational directions, it may logically be expected that synchronization
problems between new versus old institutional paradigms & practices will
abound, particularly during the early phase of adjustment, and should
increasingly decline as the new system takes hold towards the end of the
colonial mandate. By focusing “applied standard deviations” the log seeks
to tease out the nature, form and location of tensions and constraints,
coupled with the modes of tension-management on the ground – twin
instances generated by the encounter of contesting American versus
native “corporate cultures” in the process of late colonial institutional

The term is used here in an analogical rather than statistical sense. “Applied standard deviation” in the above
context simply denotes the degree of dissonance of observed institutionl practices with incumbent colonial
standards of law and procedures in noted bureaucratic agencies. That degree will predictably be greater or lesser
in any one case and at any given point in time and space in the colonial criminal justice system.

c) the product logistics log (pll) accounts for material and personnel
requisites of transacted penal cases, including among others: total number
of Supreme Court justices & ethnic composition (Americans vs Filipinos),
the prevalence and deployment of prosecution/state and defense
witnesses, forensic experts and medico-legal examiners in preliminary
investigations and hearings, the assignment & distribution of litigation
costs, the prevalence of bail.

Drawn from these data logs, individual case micro-biographies translate readily
into statistically composite annual case prosographies9 or collective biographies
as we go vertically down the data-base. Eight such comparative prosographies
amalgamate at consecutive quinqennial points (1900, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920,
1925, 1930, 1935) along a 35 year time-line to tell the full-length narrative of
long-run institutional change.



Finally, we log on the third set of trace elements, those projecting what may
generically be labelled as socio-psychic landscapes. This last set tunes in on the
interactive if contentious colonial and native mentality-sensibility10 structures
and the social sites or spaces in which these encounters occur and operate. It
splices the analytical split imposed by design upon late colonial society and state
institution, structure and agency, in the preceding data-sets.

Thus, where the first set plots social tensions indirectly as articulated in
changing patterns of criminality in late colonial society, the second set depicts
those tensions operating rather inside criminal processing & disciplining
agencies themselves, as a result of intersecting “corporate cultures” (American
versus native bureaucratic “think” or mental, cognitive frames and practices or
ways of “transacting business” within the criminal justice system) in the process
of institutional change. Data set 3 straddles these tension-sites by exploring how
both sync in with yet another possible source of tension – psychic (affect)
Otherwise commonly understood by historians as the collective study of the lives of a group of actors in
history, the term prosography as it is applied here denotes instead the collective history of individual case “life
cycles” in terms of contesting institutional practices by the late colonial criminal justice system in the
Philippines. For more literal applications of historical prosography see eg Gleeck, Lewis E Jr (1986) The
American Governors-General and High Commissioners in the Philippines, Proconsuls, Nation-Builders and
Politicians. Quezon City: New Day Publishers. For a recent critical state of the art review, see Cameron, Averil
ed (2003) Fifty Years of Prosography. The Later Roman Empire, Byzantium and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. A fecund application of this method in economic history is provided by Gratzer, Karl (1996)
Småföretagandets villkor. Automatrestauranger under 1900-talet. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International.
Deployment of the separate concepts of mentality and sensibility - i.e. the cognitive aspects of culture in terms
of mentalities and forms of thought versus ways of feelings, psychic structures arising from the former (in short,
emotions, sensibilities and structures of affect) – takes its cue from David Garland’s (1995) prescient critical
review of Elias, Spierenburg etc in Punishment and Modern Society. A Study in Social Theory. Oxford:

structures & their relationship with the changing character of social interaction
and space as a consequence of colonial encounters.

Here, we draw from Garland’s critical reflections (1995) on the theoretical

significance of cultural and psychic forces in historical studies of criminality and
criminal reform, dimensions which, as argued, do impose clear limits upon types
and extent of specific criminal reforms (e.g. penal) considered to be acceptable
within the frame of popular sensibilities. Refering to the works of Elias,
Spierenburg and others in the “civilizing process” fold of criminal historians of
early and late modern Western societies, he contends that such forces will
always be in tension with the instrumental, social control logic and functions of
specific penal forms embodied in modern criminal reform.11 For him, looking at
how affect structures affect the criminal reform process helps historical analysis
go beyond influential if somewhat “over-rational, over-calculated” approaches
to punishment like Foucault’s power-knowledge technology concept and his
primarily political account of its evolution, one he keys mainly on the functional
requirements of social control.12

The need to home in on socio-psychic landscapes to make more accurate

readings of criminality & criminal reform is all the more compelling in the
colonial context, where there is logically bound to be relatively greater or
sharper disjunction between rulers and ruled in terms of mentalité and psychic
predispositions. Moreso at historic junctures when declining imperial powers,
like the Spanish, with their decrepit criminal justice systems give way to new
regimes with modern civilizing projects, like “enlightened imperialism” a là
United States in the Philippines circa early 1900s.

Reasonably so, such disjunction would be sharpest at the point of transition,

when ruled populations were now being obliged, via a whole range of
institutional reforms, to superimpose on otherwise naturally and equi-distantly
“aged” or evolved mentalities and emotional predispositions (internalised in a
span of more than 350 years of Spanish rule), constrastingly novel worldviews,
modes of expressing feelings, and ways of organizing social life “incubated and
hatched” somewhere else. Consequently, although some of these early American
reforms did not cause much ruckus, even appearing to attract popular
approbation (e.g. mass education), some, like attempts to revise & modernize
the Hispanic criminal justice system in favor of its allegedly more rational US-
made equivalent, did antagonize sentiments as well as trigger off strong
symbolic resistance among segments of native and Spanish lawyers and court
functionaries. Ironically, rational reform proposals were sometimes effectively
aborted on account of the anxiety and aversion they were causing among
Garland, ibid.

sections of the American expatriate community itself. The dilatory transition of
official court language from Spanish to English, the retention of substantial
portions of Spanish criminal law and procedures, the notable exclusion and self-
censorship of the American jury trial system altogether portray instances of
tensions in the history of colonial institutional change mediated not only by the
functional requisites of social control, but also, and most importantly, by
intersecting if at times starkly polarized mentality-sensibility structures.
Concurrently, the way such socio-psychic tensions were managed determined in
the final analysis to a significant extent the “hybridities” and concrete directions
of the institutional project.

However there is a wide range of possible “frequencies” or contexts where

tensions of this sort are vulnerable to “sonar-sighting.” Some of these
“frequencies” evade the type of information volunteered by the court
proceedings on which the data-base rests. Rather, they are accessible through,
for instance, the kind of institutional auto-biographical account provided by the
earlier noted RPC-RGG serial source in Report # 1 Part 1. Despite, or perhaps in
spite, of the biases characterizing that source, the governor-generals’ and bureau
chiefs’ reports do, here and there, unitintentionally supply some incriminating
evidence on incidents of socio-psychic tensions generated by certain reforms.
Colonial mentality-affect structures are, not rarely, inadvertently self-confessed
by the colonial officials’ biased, emotionally charged descriptions of the
performance of their native subalterns (or even those concerning a few deviant
American bureaucrats) in the process of insitutional change. In contrast, the
biases of the counter-perspective (i.e. utterances by native bureaucrats about
their American superiors), if ever they appear in the text, might have more
relevance to a reading of socio-psychic phenomena of a different specie like
“impression management,”13 one that falls beyond the immediate scope of the
conceptual issues addressed by Data set 3.

Instead, we will here specifically tune in on three limited socio-psychic

tension-“frequencies,” those which are most reasonably and systematically
extractable from the court proceedings. Tension-frequency tuning will proceed
through individual case socio-psychic profiling at the following “channels” and
social “sites” or “spaces”:

Channel Site or Space

1.Criminal motive & type Society-Institution
2.Criminal liability & penalty Institution
3.Crime & Social Scene Society

Channel 1 amplifies socio-psychic tensions resonating from court deliberation

on issues of motive and type and nature of criminal offenses. At this
Rojas V (2002), op cit.

“frequency” one can pick up affective echoes from the rebuttals made by both
offending and offended parties (commonly natives of either sex) through
counsel, on the one hand, and those emanating from the judges’ evaluation of
the former, on the other. Where criminal motives are critically discussed, one
captures the sense of tension in one direction when some motives more than
others manifestly evoke greater repugnance in the evaluative arguments; in yet
another direction, the rebuttals may give a rough outline of native socio-psychic
pre-dispositions in a whole range of issues like sexuality, machismo and the
ethos of violence, the concept of “face” and honor, race, authority and
discipline. In similar vein, certain classes of crime or forms of social deviance
more than others tend to offend colonial judicial sensibilities, often exacerbated
or mitigated by the judges’ pre-conceptions and dispositions vis-a-vis properties
like class, social status, gender, age, ethnicity. Synchronically, therefore, this
channel registers tensions operating in native society and culture at large and
those originating within court institutions through the “gaze” of agents of
colonial authority evaluating and making sense of native offenders, criminal
motives & types, a “gaze” mediated by their distinctive socio-psychic furniture.

Channel 2 logs on tensions issuing from court discourses on criminal liability

and penalty. The tandem questions of social debt in equal proportion to the
payment (punishment) for injuries caused on person, property, honor, sexuality
& state are often the object of controversy and re-standardization in most of the
decisions drawn by the Supreme Court. The frequency of these errors or
“applied standard deviations” (as denoted in Data set 2) in lower court decisions
occurs in a hybridized context characterized by a modicum of American
procedural reform grafted unto largely recycled Hispanic standards of blame and
punishment as well as operational procedures (Penal Code & Criminal
Procedure). Under such conditions, it is not unusual to find a few American
judges and court personnel in the awkward position of simultaneously trying to
interpret and apply standards that at times might even go against the grain of
their own cognitive frames let alone socio-psychic predispositions about what
should appropriately be “rational” and “civilized” measures of blame and
punishment or for that matter the most effective and legally secure mode of
delivering justice. Of course, this tendency should be greater in the lower than
higher court circuits, as the latter is staffed by reputed American and native
experts in Hispanic and US law and procedures.

Beyond this type of disjunction, the Supreme Court proceedings do echo other
nuances of socio-psychic tension at this frequency. Some of those nuances
emerge in the forensics (argumentative exercise) of re-standardization and re-
calibration of liability and penalty, specially, though not exclusively, when the
final decision arbitrarily depart (even as this refer elsewhere in the text to
established precedents) from common-sensical, stereo-typical or lexical

(dictionary) notions (the judges’) of for instance: level of “moral education” or
“ignorance,” sexual “morality” and “chastity,” “justifiable violence,”
“dependents” or “minors,” “gender,” “time and space,” “passion and self-
gratification,” inclination to “prevaricate or dissimulate,” to name only a few.
All these notions, applied by and suggestive of the judges’ socio-psychic
inclinations, enter into the formal decision forensically via the critical assaying
and allocation of mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Ultimately, exact
measurement of penalty derives from the final ratio between these two
circumstances. In this sense, mentality-affect structures like invisible ink sets a
powerful mark indeed onto judicial decisions that ipso facto are thence
deployable as recognized authorities or precedents for future cases.

The mediating function of inclinations can similarly be observed in related

forensic evaluations of witnesses and other evidences. It should be noted
however that what we are dealing here with are essentially “cinematic”
evaluations or re-evaluations of lower court evaluations of witness evidence. In
the latter, beyond corroborating facts, the reliability or veracity of witness’
testimony is often largely infered by the judge from sense impressions of
witness’ demeanor in court. Insofar as higher court judges do not have this
opportunity, they are thus forced to rely on the accuracy of their lower court
peers’ inferences. Tensions may register at this point when the latter’s
conclusions are rejected. Otherwise the record shows they were often admitted,
in which case the contagion of potential socio-psychic biases would have been
transmitted upwards in the hierarchy from lower to higher court. Those biases
will probably be American increasingly shifting to native in origin, as we go
from early to late phases of American colonial rule.

Basically, tensions captured through this channel are those inside the hierarchy
of colonial institutions, operating among proprietors at different levels of the
colonial “gaze,” “gazing” at the “gaze,” so to speak.

Channel 3, shifts the locus of sightings largely in favor of native society by

focusing on court accounts of crime scene and the immediate social environment
where the crime was committed. Scenographic reconstruction at this frequency
will include details on: the various protagonists in the criminal drama, their
social persona (class, status, gender, ethnic denomination) and position, how
they acted out respective roles in relation to the alleged crime, the public mood
on site, personal and social injuries caused, how preliminary investigations,
through the local police force and sanitary and health department under the
direction of the justice of the peace, worked out on the ground, and many more.
Our intention at this frequency is to be able to get at least a rough reading of
“typical” collective and individual mentalité and emotional structures in local
society, structures presumably leaving their trace on the crime and social scene.

Certainly, here, as in other readings, we are aware of potential biases in the
accounts, but fortunately enough those very biases, where they are discernable
in the text, are the very signs that “squeel on” the hidden structures we seek.




A Year of transaction of Transaction time in Data set 2: 1-50

penal case chronological order Institutional
Product velocity
B Month & day of penal Transaction time in Data set 2: 1-50
case chronological order Institutional
Product velocity
C Name of appellee Colonial state versus Technical format 1-50
versus Name (s) of defendant(s) of report
appellant (s)
D Case & page number Loci in Supreme Court Technical format 1-50
docket & Philippine of report
E Remitting court Court-cum-geographical Technical format 1-50
(Justice of Peace- departure point of penal of report; Data
cum-Court of First case transacted by the set 1: Place of
Instance circuits) Supreme Court commission of
F Type of transaction: Review, Appeal or Data set 2: 1-50
Motion to Dismiss Institutional
G Classification (RC) Rubrication of offense, Data set 2: 1-50
concomitant decision, Institutional
penalties, liabilities by economy,
(RC) remitting Court of Product
First Instance standardization
(& where indicated, by log
the justice of the peace
H Classification (SC) Reiteration or Data set 2: 1-50
restandardization of Institutional
lower court economy,
classifications, Product
decisions, penalties on standardization

legal & procedural log
merits by the Supreme
I Decision/Judgement Affirmation, reversal, Data set 2: 51-100
modification of lower Institutional
court decision by economy,
Supreme Court, Product
assignment of standardization
circumstances & log
arguments; distribution
of dissenting versus
concurring, abstaining
justices & arguments
J Sentence Restandardization & Data set 2: 51-100
finetuning of penalties; Institutional
assignment of costs by economy,
Supreme Court Product
K Judges (no. & Size & ethnic Data set 2: 51-100
nationality) distribution of Supreme Product logistics
Court justices log
L Year: complaint : Time of case Data set 2: 51-100
appeal lodged: conception: successive Product velocity
decision held (crime inter-circuit chain of log
committed) court decison, appeal,
decision (Time alleged
offense was committed)
M Occupation (victim or Class/profession Data set 1: 51-100
complainant/ alternatively status Criminal
respondent) group or social economy as a
personality/status personality of offended function of
party class/social
status or
N Occupation Class/profession Data set 1: 51-100
(defendant)/ alternatively status Criminal
personality/status group or social economy as a
personality of offending function of
party class/social
status or
O Gender Male/Female Data set 1: 101-150
(victim/complainant) Criminal
economy as a
function of sex
P Gender (defendant) Male/Female Data set 1: 101-150
economy as a
function of sex
Q Civil status Married, single, Data set 1: 101-150
(victim/complainant) dependent or minor Criminal
economy as a
function of

R Civil status Married, single, Data set 1: 101-150
(defendant) dependent or minor Criminal
economy as a
function of
S Age Age when offense Data set 1: 101-150
(victim/complainant) occured Criminal
economy as a
function of
T Age (defendant) Age when offense Data set 1: 101-150
occured Criminal
economy as a
function of
U Nationality American (Am), Data set 1: 101-150
(victim/complainant) Chinese (Chin), Filipino Criminal
(Fil), Brit (British), Eur economy as a
(European) function of
V Nationality American (Am), Data set 1: 101-150
(defendant) Chinese (Chin), Filipino Criminal
(Fil), Brit (British), Eur economy as a
(European) function of
W Case Profile (Sighting Highlights tensions as a Data set 3: 151-200
Mental, Social & function of mental- Sighting Socio-
Institutional- Scapes) psychic or affect Psychic
structures & specific Landscapes
social spaces where
colonial & native
encounters (criminal
justice colonial officials,
subalterns, criminals,
victims, witnesses)
occur & operate
Note: The abbreviated entry, dna, appearing in the data-base cells further on indicates data not



The Philippine Reports (PR) compiles and publishes cases determined in the
Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. The first volume came out in 1904,
covering cases transacted between August 8 1901 and February 20 1903. The
insular Supreme Court then was headed by a native Chief Justice and 6 associate
justices (2 natives and 4 Americans), under which served an American attorney-
general, a native solicitor-general, and one American reporter. In the first

volume and subsequent ones, the table of contents usually includes: an
alphabetical list of cases reported as well as those cited in the reports.

In the immediately adjacent reference list are found consecutive indices on

citations and references from: articles of the civil code, penal code, code of civil
procedure (old and new), code of commerce, general orders of the military
governor of the Philippines, mortgage law, and miscellaneous statutes. For the
purpose of the study, strictly penal cases were selected. Save for the initial
period (1901-1904), selection was done on a five-year interval basis: 1905,
1910, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1935. Notably, the earliest phase of the American
occupation (1899-1902) was marked by a war of pacification and tantamountly
by the precedence of military over civilian courts. Civilian colonial rule and
judicial institutions were to be re-established in 1902 when the American anti-
insurgency campaign officially ended. Emblematic of this brief transition period
and its implications on the civilian judicial process, Volume I of the Supreme
Court’s Philippine Reports was not to see print until 1904, two years after
hostilities ceased.

Extraction covered all penal cases reported in complete sets of volumes for
selected years as indicated in the table below (with the exclusion of cases
occuring in the overlapping months of the years immediately preceding and/or
succeeding selected year):


1901 1 (August 1902– February 1903)
1905 4-5 (April 1904 – September 1905;
September 1905 – March 1906)
1910 14-18 (August 1909 – January 1910;
January – March 1910; March –
September 1910; September –
December 1910; December 1910 –
March 1911)
1915 29-33 (December 1914 – February
1915; March – October 1915; October
– December 1915; December 1915 –
February 1916)
1920 40-41 (August 1919 – March 1920;
March – 1921)
1925 47-48 (December 1924 – September
1925; September 1925 – March 1926)
1930 54-55 (October 1929 – October 1930;
October 1930 – August 1931)

1935 61-62 (December 1934 – August 1935;
September 1935 – January 1936)

Collation of cases proceeded systematically in the following mode: to begin

with, penal articles with their corresponding page designations enumerated in
the reference index “Article of the Penal Code Cited or Referred To in this
Volume,” were “distilled,” or “deflated,” i.e. as there was no necessary
correspondence between penal articles cited and absolute number of penal cases
reported in the volume. Either several articles could very well be cited in the
same case reported, or several cases reported cited the same penal article. Thus,
one first had to determine the pages registering one or more penal articles, on
the premise that those cited in a particular page and adjacent pages would most
likely indicate the location of at least one or two adjacent penal cases reported,
depending on the actual length of the corresponding case proceedings (length of
proceedings can vary from half or a whole page to tens of pages). A numerically
ordered page table by year/volume was created, and “hits” per cited penal article
tabulated accordingly. Using noted page “hit list” as compass, a systematic if
cursory perusal of the corresponding case proceedings followed, to effectively
determine actual number and chronology of individual penal cases contained in
the Reports. Having “distilled” or “deflated” penal cases in this manner, they
were then extracted, filed, and catalogued chronologically.

In sum this tedious process was designed: first, to enable one to determine more
exactly the absolute number of penal cases reported in the volume, insofar as the
relevant index volunteered information on penal articles cited alone rather than
transacted penal cases per se; second, to expedite chronological photographic
retrieval of selected cases from ditto. Selected cases were finally digitally photo-
graphed and stored in JPEG image-files, an inventory of which appears at the
end of this report.

A similar technical problem was encountered in determining the absolute

number of all cases reported, i.e. inclusive of all case categories (penal and
civil), insofar as these were listed alphabetically under the names of both
complainant/appellee and defendant/appellant. Here, the total number of cases
could be fixed after eliminating “double-accounting” instances, as it were.

Further, one should also bear in mind that there is necessarily a time-lag
between the actual commission of crimes, the judicial processing of those crimes
in the lower courts, the appeal and final litigation and resolution of the same by
the Supreme Court. In the analysis and reconstruction of crime frequencies and
trends over time therefore a certain degree of bias may enter into the data

depending on how huge the gap is in x number of cases for any of the designated
years under observation.

Last but not least, it is important to note that the cases included in the survey do
not even remotely approximate the total number of penal cases handled by the
whole gamut of colonial courts (Supreme Court, Courts of First Instance, justice
of the peace courts) throughout the Islands; cases accepted and transacted by the
Supreme Court, the highest appellate court, were of course those with
extraordinary legal & procedural relevance or precedence and would tend as
such to constitute only a small fraction of the total cases transacted by the
insular court system as a whole. Not to mention the fact that the Philippine
Report itself do not publish all penal & civil cases processed by the Supreme
Court. Furthermore, procedural reforms introduced by the Americans were
designed to impose stricter limitations on Supreme Court case throughput as an
antidote to notable dilatory workings of past Hispanic colonial judicial systems.

Having noted the limitations, the Supreme Court proceedings have nonetheless
few if no parallels among judicial sources in terms of providing unbroken serial
data on criminal and civil cases processed by the insular court system
throughout the American colonial period. Lower court proceedings for
concerned period were as this author understands largely both unpublished and
destroyed during the Second World War. A visit by the author at the Dept. of
Justice’s archives in Manila in the Spring of 1998 lent credence to this view,
suggesting indeed the main confinement of documentary availability at lower
court levels to the postwar era. Municipal and provincial court archives appeared
to replicate this post-war orientation.


Through the course of digesting the text of the court proceedings the following
inventory of explicit and implicit biases burgeoned. No attempt to systematically
register the frequency of these biases has been made. The following numbered
list is therefore an initial, raw enumeration of flaws. It may later be further
refined. Otherwise, we will for the moment retain the raw character of the
inventory to emphasize the need to exercise caution from drawing unqualified
general conclusions from the current serial source.

1. Commonly, CFI decisions in criminal cases are final and executory, unless
appealed from. Thus in general only a fraction of total criminal cases are
admitted and transacted at SC level, and only those containing unsettled if
controversial issues of law and procedure in relation to evidence and penalties

2. Crime perpetrated in group where some of those convicted waived appeal
before SC.

3. Victim/complainant of/to crime are duly documented, but criminal act in fact
affected a larger group or several individuals.

4. Crime perpetrated in group, sentenced by CFI, but some defendents died

before appeal/review was brought before the SC.

5. Crime in group arraigned separately, but only some were entered at SC level.

6. Date of decision in lower court or date of lodging of complaint usually

specified, however it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the two when only
either one or the other is specified; greater omission of information on date of
actual commission of crime. So beware: the statistics will show criminal trends
for say the first interval 1901-1905, resting on some cases that in fact occured 20
yrs ago and during the previous regime. If the frequency of such cases is
relatively high in the sample, then the resulting trend will actually represent that
of the previous period, not the current one.

7. Data on gender and nationality, presumed and usually not clearly spelled out.
It is of course easier and more straightforward to extrapolate gender than
nationality from the names appearing in the proceedings. For nationality, one
needs to read through the proceedings to make a more informed guess, insofar as
the text usually does not volunteer such information beyond those rare occasions
when American citizens were involved in the criminal case.

8. Data on age, civil status, and occupation are sporadic or simply excluded. By
and large only inferences and very rough estimates are possible. Thus, where
occupational data, basically an economic designation were unavailable, the
victim/complainant's as well as defendant's "personality" were recorded. The
latter understood in terms of the social relationship defining the victim/
complainant-defendant dyad at the time the crime was commited (eg debtor-
creditor, suitor-wife etc).

9. Several crimes committed by one person or same crime committed by several

persons, where not all cases are argued.

10. Some crimes/cases acquitted or dismissed on the basis of legal or procedural

technicalities, among which many in fact might have been true.

11. Some crimes might not have been true or really ever happened in reality, but
were litigated and sentenced at lower court anyway.

12. Lag between time of actual commission and formal litigation of crime.(see

13. Population under observation refer mainly to number of cases rather than
number of actual perpetrators of the crime.

14. Name of convicted criminal (s) appear as defendant/appellant together with

the designation et al (i.e. and others), although the individuals concerned are
deceased, and the et al who are still alive are the actual subjects of the case
under appeal or review.

15. In some cases, victims or complaining witnesses were proven to have filed
suit on questionable grounds such that after a reversal of judgement or acquittal
the defendant proves to be the actual victim of judicial murder, if you like. E.g.
a defendant is convicted of and sentenced for robbery in CFI. It turns out that he
had a legal warrant to enter and impound specific property from the house of the
complaining witness who had taken the action. In this context as acquittals
based on legal and not merely procedural grounds will tend to corrupt statistical
data on crime, they should either be eliminated from the count or at minimum
properly noted.

16. Cases where crimes other than those included in the complaint were, in the
process of review or appeal, deemed to have occured and thenceforth remanded
to prosecuting atty for proper action. E.g. Arresting officer in pursuit of robber
indiscriminately detains both suspects and victim of robbery, during which the
officer concerned commited theft.

17. Same case appealed and deliberated several times during the same year leads
to multiple accounting of single crime for that period.

18. If the defendant does not appeal for whatever reason from CFI judgement
SC doesn't have any power to change the decision, even if it should find strong
indications of innocence. Such convictions stick and are thus included in rather
than eliminated from criminal statistics had the case been appealed and re-
examined by the higher court.

19. Some crimes (brigandage, robbery in band, some cases of murder &
homicide commited "en cuadrilla") sometimes or often conflate with politically
motivated activities, particularly during the early 1900s; some, not all, of these
cases were dismissed by virtue of the 1902 general amnesty. Such cases were

written off as criminal acts, others which might have been dismissed remain in
the statistics.

20. Case within case, where one offense leads to sequential multiple offenses (eg
defendant sentenced for robbery, imprisoned, escapes and while doing that he
assaults and kills the guard; he is later captured, tried and found guilty of

21. Supreme Court cases are in essence cases of already convicted crimes under
appeal or review; the tip of the criminal statistical iceberg, the legally and
procedurally controversial cases.

22. Some cases are merely attempts or non-consummated criminal acts.

23. Some criminal cases are camouflaged by civil cases ex post facto. So
criminal cases we might not see in the statistics are actually there but had been
transacted in the form of civil damages suit. (E.g. civil action to claim damages
in previous criminal suit which plaintiff claims to be malicious prosecution.)



OCCUPATION, 1900-1935



© 2004 Virgilio Rojas

Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, Virgilio.Rojas@ekohist.su.se


I. Directory & Data-base Parameters ……………………………………………………… I

II. Directory & Data-base Design …………………………………………………………... III
Data Set 1: Landscape of Late Colonial Criminal Economy ……………………… IV
Data Set 2: Landscape of the Institutional Economy of Late Colonial
Criminal Processing and Disciplining Agencies ……………………… IV
Data Set 3: Sighting Socio-Psychic Landscapes at the Interstices
Late Colonial State and Society ……………………………………….. VIII
III. Directory & Data-base Key ………………………………………………………………. XIII
IV. Critical Notes on Source, Data Retrieval & Processing ………………………………. XV
Supreme Court Penal Cases: Implicit & Explicit Biases …………………………… XVIII
V. Data-base Columns
A: B-H …………………………………………………………………………. 1
A: I-N ………………………………………………………………………….. 51
A: O-V …………………………………………………………………………. 101
A: W ……………………………………………………………………………. 151
VI. Overlapping penal & civil cases instantly outside observation points ………………. (1-8)