MOTIN EN EL VAPOR DOS HERMANOS

CIELO ROJO VESPERTINO, LA ESPERANZA ES DEL MARINO

Telesforo Dasal fue el cabecilla de un motín acaecido a bordo del vapor DOS HERMANOS, en el que sucumbieron varios marinos y piratas, que merece nuestra atención y que podría ser el tema de una novela o podría dar lugar a la que seria una interesantisima película. Lo veremos desde tres puntos de vista; la traducción de un informe del policía americano que acabo con el motín; la visión bizarra, por decir alguna cosa, de un diario madrileño, y, la transcripción -en ingles debido a su extensión- del juicio establecido en la Corte Suprema filipina para la aclaración de los hechos.

Vapor DOS HERMANOS. Philippine Photographs Digital Archive. Special Collections Library. University of Michigan.jpg
Vapor DOS HERMANOS. Philippine Photographs Digital Archive. Special Collections Library. University of Michigan.jpg

El capitán del buque, Miguel Morales, otras fuentes citan Domingo Morales, herido de gravedad en el incidente, tuvo que hacer frente a un episodio de violencia extrema en que, de no ser por la suerte, habrian sido asesinados todos los oficiales y pasajeros. El primer maquinista Antonio Agudo, el mayordomo Vicente Amellategui y el carpintero chino Tan Chuen fueron cruelmente asesinados. El primer oficial Juan Zabala y el segundo maquinista, el filipino Fabian Rendon, también resultaron heridos.
…“El ANTONIO MUÑOZ era un barco con oficialidad montañesa como acabamos de leer y habia sido construido en 1882 por R. Napier, en Glasgow, para José Muñoz y Cia., armadores santanderinos (de Castillo Pedroso) establecidos en Manila. Era un barco de hierro, de 816 toneladas de registro y 76,2 metros de eslora, la firma Muñoz, que a poco paso a llamarse Muñoz Hermanos, poseía también los veleros CAZADOR y COLON.
El ANTONIO MUÑOZ era de lo mejorcito de las islas y buena prueba de ello es que en la acción de castigo sobre las Carolinas llevada a cabo por el general Weyler en agosto de 1890, participa de forma destacada…
…En 1893 paso a la propiedad de nuevos armadores, la firma Gutierrez Hermanos, también santanderinos, de que hablaremos enseguida y cambio su nombre por el de DOS HERMANOS”… Esta descripción del buque la hace Rafael Gonzalez Echegaray en su libro Capitanes de Cantabria (editado en 1970), y nosotros completaremos los datos tecnicos desde el Lloyd´s Register of Shipping, Año 1930, tomado desde la web Plimsoll Ship Data: …”Vapor a helice con casco de hierro; ex ANTONIO MUÑOZ; 1 cubierta corrida, Awning deck; registro bruto, 838 toneladas; under deck, 761; registro neto, 541; clasificado como +; botado en junio de 1882 por R. Napier & Sons, de Glasgow; armador, Gutierrez Hermanos; eslora entre perpendiculares, 204,5 pies; manga, 26,4 pies; puntal en bodega, 10,0 pies; 4 mamparos estancos cementados; maquina compound de dos cilindros; diámetro de los pistones, 26 y 45 pulgadas; carrera de los pistones, 36 pulgadas; 102 caballos nominales; maquinas construidas por R. Napier & Sons, de Glasgow”…
Tuvo el numero de grada 382 de los citados astilleros.
Volviendo al libro Capitanes de Cantabria, este nos indica que “los Gutierrez –oriundos de Udias y establecidos en el nº 116 de la calle Beaterio- que eran armadores desde que en 1889 compraron el MONTAÑES”…, tambien podemos decir que tuvieron el DOS HERMANOS y el SANTANDER, que sustituyo al incendiado DON JUAN.
Conservado por la Library of the University of California, y disponible en Internet, existe una copia de la revista The Pandex of the Press, edición de enero de 1907, editada por Arthur D. Street e impresa por The Calkins Newspaper Syndicate. Publishers, en que aparece un estracto titulado “How Fletcher Took a Ship”.
Es la narración de unos hechos, tristes y duros, que ocurrieron a bordo del vapor DOS HERMANOS, en aquel 1902 en que ya lucia bandera amaericana. El buque pertenecio, como hemos dicho, a la naviera de los santanderinos Gutierrez Hermanos, y los hechos son narrados, traducidos del ingles, de la siguiente manera: …”De todas las experiencias extraordinarias ocurridas a los oficiales de policia (Constabulary officers), quizas ninguna alcanza un ejemplo mas destacable de brabeza que la increíble aventura del segundo teniente (hoy capitan) Harrison O. Fletcher.
Acompañado de dos soldados nativos, el teniente Fletcher, entonces destacado en Virac, remo hacia el gran vapor DOS HERMANOS, del que se habia apoderado una tripulación amotinada, abordo el buque a pecho descubierto bajo fuego de fusileria, y capturo treinta y cuatro amotinados y un boy (¿?). Las circunstancias fueron estas, y no creo que puedan ser major narradas de lo que estan en el informe del capitan Fletcher hecho a sus superiors. Este informe refleja la personalidad modesta y concisa de Fletcher:”The Senior Inspector, Albay.
“Señor: Tengo el honor de informarle que a las 0830 p.m. del 13 actual, escuche disturbios a bordo del vapor DOS HERMANOS, que estaba anclado a doscientas yardas de la costa, cerca de mi cuartel, y pensando que era una reyerta de borrachos, tome dos guardas conmigo y sali hacia el buque en un pequeño bote con la intención de reprendar a los oficiales del buque por no mantener un buen orden a bordo del buque.
Cuando estaba a medio camino, el molinete de vapor comenzo a virar el ancla a toda velocidad. Pense entonces que habia un motin a bordo, y me apresure a alcanzar el buque. Al pasar por el centro del buque requeri a este que dieran fondo al ancla o dispararia. Como respuesta, alguien lanzo un pedazo de carbon al bote, que cayo corto. Vi al hombre que lanzo el carbón, y le dispare. Estaba en la cubierta alta del puente y cuando le dispare, cayo o salto por la otra banda del buque. Junto a los dos agentes, empezamos a disparar al molinete donde algunos hombres trabajaban. Se escondieron, despues me acerque a la proa del buque y volvi hacia donde estaba la escala real, pero estaba izada, y solo podia alcanzar la parte baja de esta con mis manos. El capitan comenzo a gritarme que subiese pronto a bordo. Consegui subir haciendo que mis dos hombres disparasen continuamente sobre mi cabeza para cubrirme”.
Bajo fuego.
El capitan Fletcher, modestamente, no menciona el hecho de que le disparaban mientras subia a bordo.
“Hasta este momento los oficiales y pasajeros estaban encerrados en sus camarotes, despues de haber sido gravemente heridos con bolos y cuchillos. Los guardas de los camarotes, despues de verme subir a bordo, escaparon hacia proa, y el capitan, el primer oficial y el segundo maquinista (todos heridos) se asomaron por los portillos. Comenze a ir hacia proa y tan pronto veia un hombre disparaba. Todos ellos saltaron del buque o bien se refugiaron en el castillo de proa. Dispare a tres hombres que estaban en el aparejo, aparentemente tratando de ocultarse. Primero les dije que bajaran, pero no hicieron caso, y, a cada disparo, uno caia al agua. Los acorrale a todos en el castillo y puse un guardia en las escalas. Volvi y pedi al cuarto de maquinas que cortase el vapor al molinete y parase la maquina que ya impulsaba la helice.
Despues de poner el otro guarda en la escala de la sala de maquinas con orden de matar a cualquiera que intentase subir, me reuni con el capitan, que estaba muy excitado, y fuimos a proa y paramos el molinete, cosa que habia intentado hacer pero que no habia podido encontrar la palanca.
Despues llame a mas guardas de tierra, que ya venian, y tome el control del buque. El capitan estaba enloquecido y habia sido herido con una barra de hierro.
El primer oficial y el segundo maquinista saltaron del buque justo cuando yo subia, el oficial nadando hasta la costa y el maquinista siendo recogido por mi bote. El jefe de maquinas fue asesinado al comienzo de los hechos, habiendo recibido diez puñaladas.
El tercer maquinista, que era uno de los conspiradores intento subir en ese momento y lo golpee y envie abajo de nuevo. El mayordomo y el carpintero chino fueron arrojados al agua y de momento no se han encontrado sus cuerpos.
Mis hombres en tierra recogieron cuatro hombres, marinos que habian nadado a tierra, y los recogieron.
Los incidentes previos a mi llegada a bordo fueron los siguientes: Los oficiales y pasajeros habian acabado de cenar y estaban cantando y tocando la guitarra a popa del buque y se encontraron en gran desventaja cuando repentinamente fueron atacados por diez hombres con cuchillos y barras de hierro. El capitan fue apuñalado en el muslo y alcanzado en la cabeza, siendo dado por muerto.
El oficial detuvo a uno de los hombres e intento quitarle el puñal, pero el la refriega resulto con un gran corte, mientras otro hombre al mismo tiempo le alcanzo con una barra de oji la cabeza y le dejo sin sentido. Los amutinados se volvieron entonces contra los pasajeros, y el segundo maquinista, que habia encontrado refugio en el saslon de popa, arratro al capitan y al oficial a este. Despues los amotinados volvieron y los encerraron, emplazando dos hombres de guardia. Los pasajeros, cuatro hombres y dos mujeres, pudieron alcanzar un salon, habiendo uno de los hombres recibido una herida en un brazo.
Un marinero que estaba de guardia fue requerido por el capitan para abrir la puerta. Empezo a hacerlo, pero el contramaestre, que era el cabecilla de toda la banda, casi le corta la mano con un bolo. El capitan pidio al muchacho que le diese su revolver, pero el revolver fue cogido por el contramaestre. Despues de subir yo a bordo, el capitan envio a este muchacho a por otro revolver; pero no se lo llevo, en vez de esto se fue hacia proa donde lo encontre con el”.
Todos confesaron.
“Todos confesaron que conocian de antemano lo que iba a ocurrir, pero temian al contramaestre, quien les amenazo de matarlos si no cumplian. Un marinero, que fue enviado a tierra sobre las 7.30 con un bote para traer una guitarra, permanecio en tierra. Dijo que sabia lo que iba a ocurrir y no queria estar involucrado. Todos los marineros, fogoneros y muchachos (del original), conocian de antemano, pero muchos de ellos tenian mucho miedo como para hacer nada.
Creo que muchos de ellos habian bebido bino, (del original),(wine), para tener coraje, ya que inmediatamente los acorrale, se fueron a dormir.
Los oficiales pueden identificar algunos de los hombres que los asaltaron, y el segundo maquinista conoce los dos hombres que mataron al jefe de maquinas.
El contramaestre y el intendente estan todavia desaparecidos. Creo que estan muertos. Dos cuerpos fueron recogidos hoy, un lamp trimmer y un marinero, ambos con disparos en la cabeza.
Creo que el contramaestre, que era el cabecilla de todo, era uno de los hombres que abati del aparejo. En el momento en que deje el buque, que se estaba moviendo, estaba a unas trescientas yardas de tierra, y se tenia que ser un buen nadador para alcanzar la costa despues de haber combatido y trabajado como lo hicieron.
Tengo treinta y cuatro prisioneros y un boy quien esta relacionados con los hechos como testigo.
Dejo a este ultimo con el capitan quien dice que se responsabiliza de el. Solo quedan dos ladrones desaparecidos, el contramaestre y el intendente. Son los dos hombres que mataron al primer maquinista y llevaron la jefatura de la lucha. Creo que estan muertos, ya que la playa estaba vigilada con agentes y ninguno ha visto a nadie nadar a tierra excepto los dos hombres retenidos por mis agentes”.
Planeaban matar a todos los oficiales.
“Si hubiese llegado cinco minutos mas tarde se habrian ido; estaban en camino, pero navegaban muy despacio, ya que el ancla todavia no habia sido levada. Su plan era matar a todos los oficiales, marcharse con el buque y robar los 15.000 pesos (7.500 $) que habia a bordo. Despues varar el buque y decir que todos habian desaparecido excepto ellos.
Enviare los prisioneros mañana en la lancha de aduanas SORA. Los cargos seran motin y pirateria. Los dos hombres que estuvieron conmigo se portaron muy bien todo el tiempo, eran los numeros Penaloso (seguramente Peñaloso) y Nolla.
Los heridos fueron llevados a tierra y sus heridas curadas con los primeros auxilios. El consignatario, Gil Hermanos, se hizo cargo del buque hasta su llegada a Manila.
Harrison O. Fletcher,
Second Lieutenant, P. C.”…
Este excelente relato tiene su versión, en castellano, en el diario El Dia, edición de 9 de octubre de 1.902, pàgina 2, en que leemos: …”En Filipinas. Tragedias del Mar.
Al amanecer el 6 de Agosto, zarpaba del puerto de Manila, con rumbo á Bulan, el vapor DOS HERMANOS.
Los pasajeros, apoyados en la borda, contemplaban el mar, tranquilo después de la tormenta, que ibaá morir en desmayos de espuma sobre las arenas caldeadas.
Discutían proyectos para el viaje, un delicioso viaje de recreo por el Sur de Luzón. De tiempo en tiempo, la voz vigorosa del capitán interrumpía bruscamente la charla del pasaje, y ahuyentaba la pereza de la tripulación indígena, 45 hombres contratados pocos días antes.
Si nos trasladamos á bordo -tarea bien fácil teniendo á la imaginación por guía- saldrá á recibirnos seguramente Domingo Morales, el joven capitán del DOS HERMANOS. Es hombre de temple, español, de mirada franca, alto y fornido; cuando ordena, su voz es imponente; cuando perdona, sé retrata en su semblante toda la piedad de un corazón magnánimo.
Más allá, formando grupo, el primer oficial, Zabala, vizcaíno, veintiséis años; Antonio
Agudo, marinero viejo, maquinista, montañés de origen, acostumbrado á combatir con la Naturaleza y con los hombies; Amillategui, mayordomo, y Mariano Rentod, filipino, segundo maquinista.
De los pasajeros, sólo nos interesan el señor Tremoya, recién llegado de España, y Concepción Hita, joven y graciosa, que acompaña á su padre enfermo.
Por la escotilla de proa aparece y desaparece á cada instante la figura desgarbada de un chino. Es el carpintero dea bordo.
El día 11, después de hacer escala en Bulan y Legazpí, el DOS HERMANOS fondea frente á Vivac, el pintoresco poblado, con sus casas de ñipa, que parece hundirse en Ja vegetación exuberante.
Muere el día 13, y la tripulación trabaja aún. Trabaja con entusiasmo, briosa y activa, como si disputase la posesión de un premio fabuloso. El sol se ha ocultado y la tonalidad roja de los crepúsculos filipinos se va debilitando lentamente.
Repiquetea la campana de á bordo; los indígenas ponen término á la faena, y el pasaje se va congregando alrededor de la mesa, colocada en la parte de popa, entre la cámara y
la rueda del timón.
Al otro lado de la cámara, en mesa más humilde, los maquinistas, atentos á la tripulación que devora su rancho de arroz, comen y charla alegremente. Es el último día de estación frente á Vivac, donde los negocios han ido bien, y justo es proporcionar ala gente trabajadora un poco de alegría. Y en diciendo alegría entre españoles, no es necesario preguntar por dónde so empieza. ¡Ea, ya está aquí la guitarra! Romero, el representante de los armadores en Vivac, rasguea un aire andaluz, y el capitán respira fuerte, como si le ahogara el ambiente sevillano. De pronto, un torrente de imprecaciones tagalas ahoga el alegre vocerío de la gente española. El segundo maquinista, con el rostro ensangrentado y la mirada suplicante, se acerca al grupo de pasajeros.
Apenas puede hablar. Tambaleándose, á la débil luz del farolillo de popa, parece borracho.
¡Perdidos, capitán!…
En la obscuridad de la noche brillan con resplandor siniestro hachas, bolos, cuchillos y espeques. Es la tripulación, que llega blandiendo las armas terribles.
Se oye un golpe, y otro y otro más; un grito de súplica y otro de rabia… El cuerpo del pobre carpintero chino cae al mar. Agudo, el viejo maquinista, con una pierna de menos y la frente partida de un hachazo, tiene aún fuerzas para pedir su revólver.
-¡A los camarotes!- grita el capitán con voz de trueno.- Y el pasaje, aterrorizado, sintiendo ya el frío de las hojas aceradas, huye atropelladamente.
A Tremoya le alcanza un golpe de bolo en el brazo derecho. Concepción Hita siente que desgarran su traje por la espalda… ¡Animo!
Y siguen corriendo, locos, desesperados mirando al mar como suprema salvación. Morales, el capitán bravo y resuello, no tiembla… ; ¡Atrás!;… la tripulación vacila; el contramaestre, riendo son risa de condenado, avanza, casi arrastrándose.,. ¡Atrás! Repite Morales, y estrella la guitarra en la cabeza del sedicioso, que antes de caer hunde su puñal en la pierna del capitán.
A unos cuantos pasos, Zabala también lucha. Quieren arrojarle al mar para que haga compañía al cadáver del mayordomo, del infeliz Amillategui, que aún flota junto al buque.
Sangre tagala y española tiñe la cubierta. Corren mezcladas como si se buscasen con cariño.
Morales, defendiendose con su guitarra rota, sigue avanzando. Al cruzar por el pasillo de refugiados, tropieza y cae. Una mano le sujeta débilmente y una voz entrecortada murmulla a sus oidos;—Capitan….mi revolver… ¡Adelante, adelante siempre!. ¡Animo, Zabala!…
¡No hay cuidado, capitán!
Al fin se encuentran en el camarote. Un tagalo echa la llave. Sobre cubierta se oye la voz del contramaestre, que ordena levar las anclas. La tripulación sublevada se ha hacho dueña del buque. El intento está visto. El DOS HERMANOS se hace á la mar. Lejos de la costa la matanza resultará menos difícil.
-Unos momentos de indecisión y estamos perdidos- dice Zabala, vendándose una herida extensa.
Y sin vacilar se arroja por la ventanilla del camarote. El capitán permanece inmóvil. Al oir el choque del cuerpo en el agua siente que los ojos se le humedecen.
Después… silencio, ni una voz. Más tarde, el crugido de los molinetes de proa; luego carreras, alaridos, disparos, gritos de perdón…
La puerta del cainarote salta hecha astillas, y el oficial Zabala, jadeante, mojado de pies á cabeza, se cuadra militarmente y dice: Capitán, el fefe del destacamento de Vivac solicita vuestro permiso. Hay dos tripulantes muertos y seis graves. Los demás, detenidos. La tropa yanqui los custodia.
Zabala había ido á nado hasta Vivac, dejando en las aguas, como estela de camino glorioso, un reguero de sangre española.
Al subir á.cubierta: Morales y su primero, el jefe de las tropas americanas, Mr. Fletcher, les tiende la mano y exclama entusiasmado: -¡Oh, siempre españoles!
Al llegar aquí, el lector dudará. ¿Es fantasía?
No; es suceso. Los periódicos de Manila llegados por el último correo nos traen detalles que no discrepan de nuestro relato.
Las víctimas de esta tragedia espantosa han sido.- e! maquinista Sr. Agudo, el mayordomo Amillategui y el carpintero chino.
Además de los Sres. Morales, Zabala, Tremoya, Rentand y de la señorita Concepción Hita, resultaron otros heridos graves.
Los constabularios que acudieron abordo, avisados por el heroico Zabala, dieron muerte
á dos indígenas ó hirieron á algunos más.
Se ignora el paradero del contramaestre y del primer ayudante, iniciadores de la rebelión.
El buque DOS HERMANOS, es propiedad de la casa Gutiérrez Hermanos, de Manila”…
Quizas la mejor versión de los hechos la ofrece el resumen del juicio contra los amotinados, de la Corte Suprema del Gobierno de Filipinas, que se encuentra en Internet, y que aqui transcribimos, en ingles, ya que por su extensión es complejo de traducir. Recomiendo leerlo con detenimiento, ya que se dan todos los nombres de los implicados y se detallan muy bien los hechos acontecidos: …”Republic of the Philippines.
Supreme Court.
Manila.
G.R. No. L-1271 December 4, 1903.
The United States, complainant-appellee, vs. Telesforo Dasal, Et Al., defendants-appellants. Ledesma and Sumulong and Nazario Constantino for appellants.
Office of the Solicitor-General Araneta for appellee.
Torres,J:
On September 11, 1902, an information was filed in the Court of First Instance by the assistant prosecuting attorney of the city of Manila, charging the thirty-five persons mentioned in the record with the crime of murder. The information alleged that on or about the 13th day of August, 1902, while the defendants were on board the DOS HERMANOS, an American steamer duly registered in the Philippine Islands, said steamer being at that time within the navigable waters of this Archipelago and at a distance of less than 1 mile from the beach of the town of Virac, Catanduanes Islands, Albay, they willfully, feloniously, treacherously, and with deliberate premeditation, assaulted, killed, and murdered one Antonio Agudo, striking and wounding him with daggers, iron bars, and other deadly weapons; and that afterwards, to wit, on or about the 2d of September of the same year, the said steamer DOS HERMANOS entered the port of Manila.
The information above mentioned refers to a crime committed on board a merchant steamer, registered as a coasting vessel in these Islands and at anchor in a port of one of the islands, therefore, under the provisions of section 1 of Act No. 400, passed by the Civil Commission on May 16, 1902, by which the organic law of the courts, Act No. 136, passed June 11, 1901, was modified and extended. The steamer DOS HERMANOS having, after the commission of the crime, put into this city, it is incontrovertible that the Court of First Instance thereof has sole jurisdiction, to the exclusive of all other courts of the Archipelago, for the trial of the case.
The information having been admitted and the defendants arraigned, the plea of not guilty was entered. Before the trial commenced Isidro del Valle and Tiburcio Soriano died; and with respect to the defendants Damaso Sopgang and Carlos Septimo the case was dismissed, the prosecuting attorney having entered a nolle prosequi.
From the evidence introduced at the trial, and especially from the testimony of Miguel Morales, captain of the steamer DOS HERMANOS, together with that of First Mate Juan Zabala, Second Engineer Fabian Rendon, and the other witnesses examined, the following facts established: Shortly after 8 o’clock on the evening of August 13, 1902, the steamer DOS HERMANOS, a vessel bearing license No. 72, dated January 11, 1900, authorizing her employment in the coastwise trade, was lying at anchor in the harbor of Virac, Catanduanes Islands, at a distance of some 40 yards from the beach, with the bow toward the shore and the stern seaward. The bow anchor was dropped and the stern made fast to the beach with a cable. Supper was just over, and Captain Morales, Zabala, the first mate, and five passengers, three of whom were men and two women, together with Don Joaquin Romero, a guest on the vessel, were sitting around the big table on the poop deck engaged in conversation. The first and second engineers were amidships on the port side, engaged in conversation just outside the officers’ staterooms. Suddenly the sound of the voices of many men rushing from the bow of the ship was heard. Upon this Captain Morales and the mate, Zabala, jumped up and went down toward the place where the tumult was in progress. Just at this moment the first engineer’s voice was heard shouting, “Quartermaster,” and at the same moment they saw the second engineer, Rendon, coming toward them on the run, pursued by the quartermaster, Pantaleon Cajilig, and several members of the crew, armed with knives, daggers, and iron bars. One of them attacked Rendon and wounded him in the back with a dagger or a knife, while the quartermaster, in turn, attacked Captain Morales, inflicting upon him a stab in the groin. Morales tried to get into the pantry. Some ten or fourteen men endeavored to prevent him and one of them, in the course of the struggle, cut him on the head with a knife. In the meantime First Mate Zabala, believing that the noise was due to a fight forward, went down the other side toward the scene of the disturbance. Upon seeing a number of the crew, armed and evidently in mutiny, approaching him, he retreated. He was, however, overtaken and Calker Elpidio Andrade attacked him with a knife. In the struggle another member of the crew approached him and endeavored to throw him into the sea, and immediately after another seaman, Rufino de Jesus, struck him on the head with an iron bar. Zabala, however, finally succeeded in shaking off his assailants and made his escape into the pantry, where the captain and the second engineer, Rendon, had taken refuge. They closed the door and five of the mutineers, who unsuccessfully endeavored to force an entrance, locked it with a key from the outside and remained on guard there. Some of them endeavored to stab the inmates of the stateroom with daggers and knives through the portholes. About the same time one of the passengers, Faustino Tremoya, was wounded on the arm, and, upon retreating, was pursued until he also took refuge in the pantry. He was unable to recognize his assailant. Chief Engineer Antonio Agudo was the officer first attacked when the mutiny broke out. He was assailed by several of the mutineers and was wounded in ten places with different weapons. The body of this officer was subsequently found in his stateroom. The steward, Vicente Amellategui, was also attacked, and, upon being struck with an iron hook, jumped overboard and disappeared. His body was never recovered. The Chinese carpenter, Tan Chuen, also disappeared and was not seen again after that night. While the attacked was in progress the mutineers lowered the side awnings, which up to the time of the commencement of the mutiny had been pulled up, the lights on the steamer were extinguished, three of the boats which had been in the water were raised, the cable by which the stern of the vessel was fastened to the shore was cut, the accommodation ladder was hauled up, the anchor raised with the donkey engine, the ship’s engine were started, and the steamer was put in motion, unquestionably with the intention of leaving the port of Virac for parts unknown, and thereby escaping the legal consequences of their acts. The record does not disclose the motive which led to the commission of the crime.
First Lieutenant Fletcher, of the Constabulary, who was on shore that night in the barracks near the beach, heard the shouting on board the steamer, and, believing a fight was in progress, got into a boat with two of his soldiers and headed for the steamer. This was at about 8.30 on the night in question. After covering half the distance to the steamer he found a man swimming. The latter was picked up, and, being barely able to breathe, could gasp only the word “fight.” This man proved to be Damaso Sopgang. In the meantime the anchor was raised and the steamer commenced to move. The boat containing the Constabulary officers ran along the port side of the ship, and Fletcher shouted to the men on board to drop the anchor, whereupon a man on the bridge threw a lump of coal at him. Fletcher replied by firing at the man, who fell from the starboard side of the bridge. Lieutenant Fletcher then commenced firing at several men who were running the donkey engine near the anchor and ran his boat around to the starboard accommodation ladder, but found this raised. However, finding a hanging stage at the stern, he managed to climb on board the ship, which was at that time in motion. When he got on deck the captain, who was near his stateroom, shouted to him to hurry. Lieutenant Fletcher ran to the engine room and fired a couple of shots into it from his revolver, ordering the men below to stop the engine, which order was immediately obeyed. He then ran down to the stern and fired several shots at some men he saw there, all of whom fled excepting three, who captured. Three or four others jumped into the water. A sailor shot and wounded one of the Constabulary men and was, in turn, fired at by Lieutenant Fletcher. During all this confusion the steamer ran aground near the mouth of the harbor, about 150 yards from the place where it had been anchored when the mutiny broke out. The first mate, Zabala, and the second engineer, Rendon, jumped overboard and swam ashore. The first engineer was found in his stateroom, dead, and covered with wounds. On the following morning, after the Constabulary had the situation under control, there were found scattered about the deck daggers, knives, hatchets, and iron bars, some of them spattered with blood, several piles of coal prepared for use as missiles, the captain’s swordstick, and later, hidden in a grease box in the engine room, one of his revolvers. Vicente Gallardo, Circiaco Silva, Gregorio Almondia, Pedro Rodriguez, Mamerto Avelilla, Rufino de Jesus, Marcelo Bertos, Pio Tionson, Felipe Almendras, Emilio Lebiga, Manuel Raon, Juan Briguela, Mariano Gunao, Antonio Villagracia, Pablo Concepcion, Dionisio de la Cruz, Luis Dialao, Estanislao de Castro, Damian Oseson, Macario Arevalo, Eugenio Olores, Severino Damagat, Cipriano Rizado, Luis Taunson, Exequiel Perez, and Antonio Villamor were arrested and taken ashore. Benigno Parra was apprehended on shore the next day, and several days later Telesforo Dasal, one of the men who escaped, was captured. Lieutenant Fletcher in his testimony stated that he could not remember where Victorino Villacarlos and Tranquilino Aga were apprehended; nor could he state whether the men arrested on board the ship and those who were identified by him took part in the mutiny and the assault upon the officers. He stated it was his belief that the purpose of the uprising was to steal the money on board the vessel and to carry off the vessel itself. He further testified that Pablo Concepcion and Benigno Parra were wounded, the former in the hand and the latter in the side, by shots fired by the Constabulary men. He stated that Telesforo Dasal was wounded in the leg by a policeman at the time of his arrest on shore, and that the quartermaster, Cajilig, who was seen with Dasal several days after the occurrence, managed to make his escape. With respect to the defendant Juan Briguela, Lieutenant Fletcher testified that after Briguela was told that unless be obeyed every order given him he would be killed he was asked why he had started the engines during the mutiny, and he thereupon replied that at about 7 o’clock on the night of the occurrence the quartermaster, revolver in hand, came to the engine room and told him he was to start the engines whenever the signal was given and that if he did not do so he would be killed. Other members of the crew who were interrogated concerning the occurrence replied evasively and said that they had not done anything. The Calker, Andrade, and the seamam who attacked the mate Zabala and tried to throw him into the sea were killed by the Constabulary in the course of the mutiny.
From the facts stated, it clearly appears that a number of men belonging to the crew of the steamer DOS HERMANOS conspired together to overcome the rest of the crew and kill the captain and officers of the steamer, with the intention of seizing the vessel and its contents and with it leaving for parts unknown. This outbreak resulted in the death of the first engineer, Antonio Agudo, the steward, Vicente Amellategui, and the Chinese carpenter, Tan Chuen, and in the wounding of Captain Morales, First Mate Zabala, Second Engineer Rendon, and the passenger Faustino Tremoya.
The killing of the first engineer, Antonio Agudo, must be classified as murder. He was put to death by several of the mutineers on the night of August 13, 1902, they acting with evident premeditation and after reflection concerning the perpetration of the crime, which they had conspired together to commit. This circumstance determines the nature of the crime and brings it within the provisions of article 403 of the penal Code. The circumstance of evident premeditation is present in a marked degree, for, without careful planning beforehand, the crime above related would not have been committed.
The court below, in its judgment of February 11, 1903, condemned Rufino de Jesus, Juan Briguela, and Telesforo Dasal to the penalty of death and the other defendants to the penalty of life imprisonment at hard labor, as authors of the crime of murder.
Although we agree with the judge below as to the classification of the crime and as to the guilt of some of the defendants, we can not agree with him as to that of others. With respect to some of the accused, the record contains no evidence whatever that they took part in the crime herein prosecuted. It is unquestionable that a portion of the crew of the steamer DOS HERMANOS participated in the mutiny and in the attack upon the captain and other officers, and more especially upon the first engineer, whose body was subsequently found wounded in ten places. The presumption that some 10 or 14 men took part in that attack is based upon the fact that in order to effect in so short a time the various acts performed, many men must have acted together, although not necessarily the 41 who composed the crew. It can not be denied that a large portion of the crew did not take any part in the mutiny and had nothing to do with the crime committed by the mutineers. Consequently it was error to hold that all of the members of the steamer’s crew should be regarded as coprincipals of the crime in question. The record does not disclose evidence of the guilt of all of the defendants, but only of some of them, and the degree of guilt of these varies.
Carlos Septimo, Damaso Sopgang, and Jorge Orlano were also members of the crew of the steamer, but nevertheless took no part in the commission of the crime. The evidence also shows that there were several other men who unquestionably were not implicated in the mutiny, but who had not sufficient courage to follow Sopgang’s example and jump overboard. These simply concealed themselves on board the steamer and waited for the termination of the mutiny, without attempting to escape, as did the ringleaders, the quartermaster, Pantaleon Cajilig, who has not been apprehended, and the helmsman, Telesforo Dasal, who was arrested on shore several days after the occurrence.
Although Telesforo Dasal, Rufino de Jesus, Pablo Concepcion, Gregorio Almondia, Emilio Lebiga, Benigno Parra, and Pedro Rodriguez pleaded not guilty, the evidence as to the guilt of these seven defendants, the first as co-principal with the quartermaster, Cajilig, and the two men who were killed by the Constabulary, and the other defendants as accomplices, is convincing.
Carlos Septimo testified that while he was going ashore in a boat on the afternoon of the day the crime was committed, accompanied by Andrade, the quartermaster, Cajilig, and the helmsman, Telesforo Dasal, he saw these three men conversing together and heard Cajilig say to the other two in Spanish, “Where shall we kill him?” although without stating who was to be killed. This conversation shows that the mutiny and the killing of the engineer Agudo and the other crimes committed had been planned beforehand by these three men, one of whom was the defendant Dasal, and that they were the ringleaders of the mutiny. While the mutiny was in progress, Dasal, armed with a knife, aided the other mutineers in the attack on the first engineer, Agudo, and also assisted the party led by the quartermaster and the Calker in their attack upon the second engineer, Rendon. This is the testimony of the latter and of the witness Jorge Orlano. Furthermore, he was one of the men who pulled up the accommodation ladder, directed that one of the boats be raised, and accompanied the quartermaster to the engine room to order Juan Briguela to get up steam. Consequently, it is unquestionable that he is guilty as principal by direct participation in the murder committed.
This evidence given by the first officer, Juan Zabala, witness for the prosecution, and by the defendants Benigno Parra, Juan Briguela, Pablo Concepcion, and Emilio Lebiga has not been overcome by the assertion of the defendant Dasal, who denies that he had anything to do with the mutiny or the murder of Agudo.
The cooperation in the commission of a crime which results in fixing upon the guilty agent the responsibility of an accomplice requires acts either prior to or simultaneous with the commission of the crime which constitute an aid and protection to the person guilty of the actual commission of the crime; that is, perpetration of acts of moral or physical aid given immediately by indirect means in such a way as to make it clearly appear that the principal and the accomplices acted upon a common agreement for the purpose of effecting some criminal act, although the means employed by each may have been distinct and separate. (Penal Code, art. 14; judgments of the supreme court of Spain of April 25, 1877, January 22, 1884, April 2, 1886, and June 7, 1886.)
The case contains sufficient circumstantial evidence to warrant the conviction of the other defendants Rufino de Jesus, Benigno Parra, Pablo Concepcion, Gregorio Almondia, Pedro Rodriguez, and Emilio Lebiga as accomplices in said murder. These six defendants were seen moving about the deck of the ship during the mutiny, which they would not have done had they not been implicated in the conspiracy. Some of them, as Lebiga, Rodriguez, and Parra, were seen hauling up a boat and the accommodation ladder, thereby making it impossible for Fletcher to board the ship by means of the latter. These facts are shown by the testimony of the witness Jorge Orlano. The acts referred to were performed in obedience to orders given by the quartermaster, Cajilig. Rufino de Jesus was one of the assailants of First Mate Zabala, although the assault upon him was not the object of this prosecution. The evidence during the prosecution does not show that Rufino de Jesus took a direct part in the murder; nevertheless, the acts committed by him during the mutiny must be regarded as acts of complicity or of aid or protection to the murderers of First Engineer Agudo. It is worthy of note that both Captain Morales and First Mate Zabala testified that the mutineers were from ten to fourteen in number, and to their number must be added as presumably guilty the quartermaster, Cajilig, who was not arrested, the two men killed on board, and Isidro del Valle and Exequiel Perez, who died after the trial commenced.
The defendant Parra was likewise ordered by the captain, who saw him go by the front of the stateroom where he had taken refuge with the other officers, to fetch him his revolver from his stateroom. Parra, although he obtained the revolver, did not deliver it as commanded, and it was subsequently found in his possession by one of the Constabulary.lawphil.net
The witness Concepcion testified that he was on watch at the stern of the vessel when the mutiny broke out; that he saw the quartermaster, the Calker, and the helmsman, Dasal, and one of the seamen run after the first engineer, and that thereupon the witness immediately concealed himself in one of the boats at the bow. This statement was incompatible with the proven fact that during the mutiny Concepcion was seen walking about the deck in front of the stateroom in which the captain and officers had taken refuge.
Apart from the testimony of First Officer Zabala to the effect that he saw Gregorio Almondia with the mutineers, Captain Morales affirms that on leaving the pantry he found on the deck near the bow a black hat, which turned out to be the property of the said Almondia. The latter, also, according to the statement of Mamerto Avelilla, was the one who woke him up when the mutiny broke out, he having been asleep in the forecastle at the time.
The six men took no direct part in the murder of the first engineer, nor did they induce the commission of the crime or cooperate in its commission by acts without which the crime could not have been perpetrated. Consequently, under article 13 of the Penal Code, they can not be regarded as principals. They did indeed perform acts of aid and assistance mediately and indirectly tending to the realization of the crime and in conformity with the intention and purpose of the principals; and therefore the responsibility of these six defendants with respect to the murder is that of accomplices, under the provisions of article 14 of the Penal Code.
The details of the attack upon the first engineer, Agudo, were not determined at the trial, and the evidence does not disclose how the attack commenced or what the position of the deceased was at the time. If he was sitting with the second engineer, Rendon, by the side of the table at which they had eaten, he must have noticed the approach of the assailants, as did Rendon, who was able to seize a bar of iron to defend himself. Consequently, as it does not appear that the deceased was attacked treacherously and under circumstances which gave him no opportunity to make a defense, it is improper to consider the qualifying circumstance of alevosia present. The facts constituting this circumstance must be proven with the same degree of certainty as the crime itself and can not be inferred or presumed.
Mutiny on board a vessel is, of itself, a crime severely punished by special maritime laws of the former sovereignty. However, this crime, as well as other punishable acts, such as that of piracy, which the record shows to have been committed, have not been the object of the prosecution, and this decision must be limited solely to the crime of the murder of Antonio Agudo.
In the commission of this crime it is proper to consider present the aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior power, nocturnity, and, with respect to the defendant Telesforo Dasal, abuse of confidence. As to the first of these, owing to the great number of wounds inflicted on the deceased, Agudo, it is to be presumed that he was simultaneously attacked by several persons, and that the number of his assailants prevented him from making a defense. With respect to the circumstance of nocturnity, there can be no doubt that the mutineers availed themselves of the darkness of the night, at a time when the officers and the rest of the crew were off their guard, for the purpose of committing the crime above related, and, with reference to Dasal, it is unquestionable that, as he held the position of helmsman on board the vessel, in placing himself, in company with the quartermaster, at the head of the mutineers, and thereby using the influence he possessed over the seamen and other members of the crew as a result of his position, he abused the confidence reposed in him by the captain and officers of the ship and committed an act of treachery with respect to them. On the other hand, no mitigating circumstances were present, and consequently the adequate penalty must be imposed in the maximum grade.
Against the other defendants, Estanislao de Castro, Circiaco Silva, Mamerto Avelilla, Manuel Raon, Luis Taunson, Mariano Gunao, Vicente Gallardo, Marcelo Bertos, Severino Damagat, Pio Tionson, Victorino Villacarlos, Antonio Villamor, Dionisio de la Cruz, Cipriano Rizado, Francisco Mendoza, Felipe Almendras, Macario Arevalo, Luis Dialao, Eugenio Olores, Damian Oseson, Antonio Villagracia, and Tranquilino Aga, the record contains no evidence, not even circumstantial, that they took any part whatever in the mutiny or in the crimes committed on the night of August 13, 1902, and more especially in the murder of Antonio Agudo. Consequently they must be acquitted.
The majority of the court are of the opinion that the same is true with respect to the assistant engineer, Juan Briguela, who they think should also be acquitted of the charge. It is believed that he started the engine under compulsion, the quartermaster having, revolver in hand, ordered him to do so, and having threatened him with death if he failed to obey, and, on the other hand, there is no evidence that he took part in the murder of the first engineer.
I do not concur in the opinion of the majority in this particular. I believe that, as the exculpatory allegation of the defendant Briguela has not been proved, and in consideration of the evidence against him, it having been proved that he performed acts of aid and protection to the principals of the crime both prior to and simultaneous with its commission, he should be convicted as an accomplice.
For the reasons stated, we are of the opinion that the judgment of the court below should be reversed. Telesforo Dasal should be convicted as coprincipal of the crime of murder and condemned to the penalty of death, to be executed in the interior of the prison and in the manner prescribed by article 101 of the Penal Code, the crime having been committed prior to the passage of Act No. 451 of the Civil Commission. In case defendant Dasal should be pardoned, he should be condemned to the accessory penalties of absolute perpetual disqualification and subjection to the vigilance of the authorities during his lifetime, unless these accessory penalties should be remitted in the pardon of the principal penalty. The other defendants found guilty as accomplices, Benigno Parra, Pablo Concepcion, Gregorio Almondia, Pedro Rodriguez, Emilio Lebiga, and Rufino de Jesus, should each be condemned to the penalty of seventeen years of cadena temporal, to the accessories of civil interdiction during the period of the principal penalty and to absolute perpetual disqualification and subjection to the vigilance of the authorities during their respective lives. The said defendants, including the said Dasal, are further condemned to the payment, pro rata or in solidum, of 1,000 Insular pesos to the heirs of the deceased, Antonio Agudo, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, owing to the gravity of the principal penalty, and to the payment each of one thirty-fifth part of the costs of both instances. The defendants Ciriaco Silva, Mamerto Avelilla, Manuel Raon, Luis Taunson, Mariano Gunao, Vicente Gallardo, Marcelo Bertos, Severino Damagat, Pio Tionson, Victorino Villacarlos, Antonio Villamor, Dionisio de la Cruz, Cipriano Rizado, Francisco Mendoza, Felipe Almendras, Estanislao de Castro, Macario Arevalo, Luis Dialao, Eugenio Olores, Damian Oseson, Antonio Villagracia, Tranquilino Aga, and Juan Briguela are acquitted. The case is finally dismissed with respect to Isidro del Valle, Tiburcio Soriano, and Exequiel Perez, deceased, with the remaining costs of both instances de oficio, including the share thereof pertaining to Carlos Septimo and Damaso Sopgang, as to whom the case was dismissed during the trial. At the expiration of the usual period the cause will be remanded to the court below, accompanied by a certified copy of this decision for the execution of the judgment. So ordered.
Arellano, C. J., Mapa and McDonough, JJ., concur.
Johnson, J., took no part.
Separate Opinions.
Willard, J., concurring: I concur with respect to the defendants acquitted and as to the defendant Telesforo Dasal, but do not agree with respect to the penalty imposed upon the others, because, in my opinion, the other defendants convicted in this case are not accomplices, but coprincipals.
The Lawphil Project – Arellano Law Foundation “…
Su final, requisado por los japoneses bajo el nombre de HIMENO MARU, lo narra la excelente web DANFS, del Naval Historical Center Homepage, al hablar de algunas de las correrias del submarino USS NARWHAL. Traducido, el apunte cita: …”La entrega de repuestos y municion y la recogida de una variada suerte de pasajeros, llego a ser una rutina para el NARWHAL. Salio para su octava patrulla de guerra (25 noviembre a 18 de diciembre) con 90 toneladas de carga y 11 oficiales del ejercito. Alcanzando la bahia de Butuan, en Mindanao, el 2 de diciembre, desembarco los pasajeros y la carga. Con siete evacuados a bordo, el NARWHAL navego hacia Masacalar Bay, llegando a la isla de Negros al siguiente dia. Aqui tomo otros nueve evacuados permaneciendo cerca de Alubijid despues de la medianoche del 5 de diciembre. Al alba de ese dia el submarino diviso y hundio el pequeño buque de carga HIMENO MARU (ex DOS HERMANOS filipino) en un derroche de fuego de cañon cerca de la isla de Camigüin. Despues de desembarcar los pasajeros en Darwin continuo hacia Fremantle, su base de submarinos en Australia”…
Esto ocurria el 5 de diciembre de 1943 en posición 09-10N, 124-30E.

Un comentario en “MOTIN EN EL VAPOR DOS HERMANOS

  1. segun Luis Maria del Busto y Mandalumiz , Capitan de la Marina Mercante en su trilogia “UN SIGLO CON LA MARINA MERCANTE TOMO III” pagina 455 el “dos hermanos” pertenecia a Antonio Millán Sanchez , de “Vapores Millan” el cual vendió el barco a Gutierrez Hermanos en 1903

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