Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Monograph 1: The Philippines at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century
Malcolm W Mintz
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
An attempt is made in this chapter to reconstruct the legal system in place during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, after the arrival of the Spanish in the Philippines, but before their influence could greatly alter Philippine society. The focus is on Bikol, a region of approximately five million people on the island of Luzon, south of the Tagalog-speaking areas around Manila.
Data come primarily from the seventeenth century Marcos de Lisboa Vocabulario de la Lengua Bicol compiled during his nine-year residence in the region between 1602 and 1611. Supplementary data come from the accounts of those who visited or were resident in the Philippines during the latter part of the sixteenth century or early part of the seventeenth century who wrote accounts of what they observed in the country.
The chapter begins with a brief examination of social stratification in early Philippine society. Following this is a short discussion of the promulgation of laws and the jurisdiction over which these laws applied.
Civil disputes and criminal cases form the two main sections of the chapter. Among the civil disputes are those arising from insults, adultery, deception and defaults on loans, while the section on criminal cases includes piracy, theft, assaults and murder. The final sections examine punishment and incarceration, the administration of justice, including trials and mediation, oaths, witnesses, testimony and sentences, and the miscarriage of justice.
In this section we will look briefly at social stratification in early Philippine society. This is necessary as those who took responsibility for promulgating and administering laws within society were what we might call the upper classes. The application of laws also differed depending upon whether crimes were committed among those belonging to one class, or those who crossed class boundaries. Penalties also involved payment of particular fines which, if beyond the means of the guilty, would result in enslavement.
The judges who presided over any dispute or served as mediators between the aggrieved parties were the high officials in the town. Among the Tagalogs in Manila and the surrounding areas, the richest of the 10-12 chiefs living in a particular town or barángay was chosen to lead the group in legal deliberations. Loarca comments that this was not the case in Visayan areas to the south since none of the village chiefs was willing to acknowledge the superiority of another. This primary leader was referred to by Plasencia as a dátoˈ, and the result of his investigations and any sentence imposed was declared in the presence of those from his barángay. The following entry is Bikol.
tungód MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to be used for s/t; to be meant for s/t; ...; KA‑‑AN: katungdán duty, obligation, role; standing, status; ... [+MDL: KA‑‑AN: katungdán employee or official (such as of the Ministry of Justice, Headmaster of a school); also: ownership, rights; ...]
dátoˈ headman, chief [+MDL: one who is rich and a leader of the community; MAKA‑, MA‑ to declare s/o a headman or chief; to raise s/o's status to that of a headman; PAGKA‑ the powerful and influential members of society; KA‑‑AN governing council of chiefs]
púnoˈ chief, head, headman, leader; an púnoˈ sa banwáˈan head of a village; PAKANG‑‑ON: pinakakangpúnoˈ to have the status and respect of a leader; (fig‑) Garó ka na binunoˈán nin púnoˈ It's as if you have been killed by a headman (Said when one is sad and melancholy) [MDL]
dulóhan the inhabitants of a particular village; tribe; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to govern or rule over a particular municipality; KAG‑ ruler, the head of a village, town; KA‑ s/o from the same village [MDL]
hádiˈ king, ruler; MAG‑ to reign as a king; MAG‑, ‑AN to rule; to reign or have dominion over an area; PAGKA‑ reign; KA‑‑AN realm, dominion, kingdom [+MDL: KA‑‑AN a council of kings]
após ... Naapós na bága an pagkaginoˈó niyá His estate is like burnt out coals (Meaning: It has dwindled to nothing)] [MDL]
lutós ... Nalutós an pagharóng-hárong ni kuyán, harí-hári idtóng mangá kaganák The household of that person is burning less bright, not like that of his parents (Said when one's family is no longer seen as leaders of the community) [MDL]
gugóm ... Sagkód ta na iní sa panggugóm We have reached the point where we just have a fistful (Said when one has become very poor) [MDL]
mákot ... Nagmamákot namán an pagharóng-hárong na kuyán Their house (family) is again in ascendancy (after being down and out) [MDL]
bátak freeman, describing a person who is no longer a slave; MAG‑ to free o/s or declare o/s free; MA‑, ‑ON to set s/o free; MA‑, ‑AN to set s/o free from a group of slaves [MDL]
gintúboˈ a slave born in one's own house or inherited from one's family; MA‑ or MAG‑ to possess such a slave; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to turn s/o into such a slave; (PAG‑)‑AN to be served by such a slave; PAGKA‑ slavery of this type [MDL]
híwas free; MAGPA‑ to look to obtain one's freedom; to seek one's freedom (a slave or one with other obligations); Mahíwas an buˈót ko taˈ nakabáyad na akóng si útang I feel free now that I have paid my debts
Most laws were simply the reflection of traditions or the codification of very old customs. New laws were made by a council of the village chiefs responding to a perceived or newly arising need in society. To announce new laws to inhabitants in the Tagalog areas, a crier would go from village to village ringing a bell. Once such an announcement was made to the villagers, they would then become subject to the laws. In Bikol, terms such as aklíhog and harubáy cover similar areas of meaning.
harubáy public pronouncement, proclamation; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to announce s/t publicly; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to announce s/t to the public; PARA‑ town crier [MDL]
lápas ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to break a law or commandment; to flaunt a rule or regulation; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to disobey s/o; PAG‑ or PAGKA‑ the breaking of laws] likbás MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to fail to comply with s/o's wishes or commands; to transgress laws; to violate an order or command; to break or fail to comply with the terms of a contract; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to disobey s/o; to break a contract with s/o [MDL]
Mangyán Negrito group, more primitive than the others; (fig‑) MAG‑ to flee to the forest or mountains [MDL]
luˈók MA‑ or MAG‑ to flee; to hide; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to flee to the mountains; to hide at a particular location [MDL]
lásay ... (fig‑) Liminásay namán si kuyán kainíng súgoˈ nin hukóm That person has run off, afraid of the sentence to be imposed by the judge [MDL]
gáwa MA‑ to leave; to go out (of the house, a village); to leave the mountains where one has been hiding and come to town; to appear or become visible at a particular location; ... [MDL]
tungá ... [+MDL: MA‑ or MAG‑ to come out into the open; to appear (as s/o hiding or s/t which was beneath the water which suddenly breaks the surface); ... an baˈgóng tungá referring to those who have recently come out of hiding; Dumán kamí pakatungá sa banwáˈan Let's go back to town (referring to those who have been in hiding, probably in the mountains)]
Legal infractions were many and varied. They ranged from insults, considered quite serious, especially when directed against a village chief, to stealing, burglary, assault and murder. The legal system could also be called upon to settle civil disputes, such as matters involving trade, land, loans and disputed possession.
Speaking disrespectfully or using insults or abusive language to a village chief in the Tagalog areas brought a penalty of death against the perpetrator. The same would be true if insulting a chief's wife or daughter. This penalty could be waived upon payment of a fine in gold, with failure to pay leading to enslavement.
Insult was also taken if anyone talked or was noisy during the burial of a chief. Dust falling from the house of a timáwaˈ on the chief or his wife when passing through the street was also taken as a grave insult, as was passing any area where the chief's wife was bathing.
An insult directed against someone having the same social rank, such as one timáwaˈ insulting another, would lead to the imposition of a penalty which was decided by a judge or arbiter. The greater the insult, the higher the fine. If the perpetrator could not pay a fine in excess of five taels of gold, he became a slave to the injured party. If he was able to borrow money from a relative, friend or chief, he then served the lender as a slave until the debt was paid back. A chief insulting a timáwaˈ received a light sentence, or none.
From the following Bikol entry we can see that not only did an insult have to be directed at a particular individual to cause offense, offense could also be taken by a relative of the one being insulted. In the same entry we can also see that a fine could be paid by a friend or relative.
What were these insults that were taken so seriously and could have such serious consequences? There are a number of terms which describe general categories of insults. Insults were used to dishonor or defame someone, something which was particularly offensive if done in front of others. People could be insulted when their wealth or status was compared unfavorably to others, or offense could be taken by particular actions of a house guest. There are also a number of terms which refer to the utterance of swear words or curses. Examples of these appear below.
puráˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to deride s/o; to insult s/o, embarrassing them in front of others [MDL]
táki MA‑, ‑ON or MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to insult or deprecate s/o by belittling their wealth or possessions; to belittle s/o due to their lack of wealth or possessions; MA‑, I‑ or MANG‑, IPANG‑ to disparage s/o's wealth or possessions [MDL]
támay MA‑, ‑ON or MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to belittle, insult or deprecate s/o, comparing one's own status or wealth to their lack of it; MA‑, I‑ or MANG‑, IPANG‑ to disparage or belittle s/o's status or wealth [MDL]
lápas MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take s/t done or said by a guest living in one's house as an insult or affront (the host); (PAG‑)‑AN to feel insulted by the actions of a house guest (the host) [MDL]
ráway ... [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use curse words or swear words; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to swear at s/o; to curse s/o; MA‑: maráway na táwo one who uses swear words]
sápa MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to curse or swear at s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to utter a particular oath [MDL]
tingdíl a woman's genitals; a woman's private parts; (fig‑) Katingdílon na babáyi What a liar this woman is; also used for men when calling them liars [MDL]
butandíng whale shark [+MDL]: Butandíng nang iyán You're a whale shark (Said in anger as an insult, equivalent to: Go to hell you big fool)]
lundón MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to get stuck in the throat (food); MA‑ to choke on s/t caught in the throat (a person); ... Uyá an lulundón mo Here, choke on this (Said to s/o when angry) [MDL]
raˈró MA‑ or MAG‑ to be taken suddenly ill (due to a serious wound); also used as a curse: Naraˈró kang iyán I hope you die from that [MDL]
tigbák ... [+MDL: ... MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to kill or fatally wound s/o in battle; MA‑ to be fatally wounded; Natitigbák ka May you die (Said as a curse) ...]
gánga MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to bite s/t hard with the teeth to see if it can be cracked or chewed (such as a betel nut mixture); to attempt to crack s/t with the teeth; ... (fig‑) Ginangáhan buˈáya May you be chewed up by a crocodile (Said as a curse) [MDL]
matá eye; ‑ON or MA‑ to get hit in the eye; ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN to add eyes to an image or statue; ... Namatá ka May your eyes be smashed (Said as a curse)]
babayó MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pound rice in a mortar; (fig‑) Pinagbabayó ka May you be pounded like rice (Said as a curse) [MDL]
báˈak crevice, fissure, rift; ... [+MDL: MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to break up or divide a number of things; ... MA‑, ‑ON to split s/t; ... (fig‑) Pinagbáˈak ka May you be split in two (used as a curse)]
duháng a large earthenware urn or spike used for trapping deer and wild boar; ... MA‑ to fall into such an urn or impale themselves on such a spike and be injured (game); (fig‑) Naduhangáng iyán May you be hurt in such a trap (Said as an insult to men) [MDL]
taruktók referring to the occurrence of many things stuck in the ground (such as spikes, posts or stakes along a road); ... MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to drive in a large number of such spikes, posts; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to drive such stakes or posts into the ground; (fig‑) used as a curse or insult: Pinagtaruktokán ka May you be impaled on many spikes; ... [MDL]
dukdók ... [+MDL: ... MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to pound or crush s/t in a mortar; ... (fig‑) used as a curse for men: Pinagdudukdók ka May you be pounded in a mortar]
rupók MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to smash s/t to pieces or fragments; ... MAKA‑, MA‑ to be smashed to pieces; (fig‑) Narupók an payó mo May your head be smashed to pieces (Said as a curse) [MDL]
púgot ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cut off the head, an arm, a leg; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to cut off s/o's head, arm or leg; Pinagpugótan ka May you be beheaded (Used as a curse among men)]
saksák ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cut s/t into small pieces; to dice taro, yam, fruit; also used as an insult for men: Pinagsaksák ka May you be cut up into little pieces ...]
sáraˈ ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to strain a liquid; ... also used as a curse: Pinagsáraˈ kang iyán May you be put through a strainer]
baliskád ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑ PAG‑‑ON to turn s/t over or turn s/t around; (fig‑) Pinagbaliskád ka Said as an insult to women]
bingát MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pull s/t open or apart with one's hands (as a split piece of bamboo, a trap); (fig‑) Pinagbingát ka Said as an insult to women [MDL]
biská MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to open s/t in the middle with the hands; to split s/t open into two parts with the hands; (fig‑) Pinagbiská ka An insult said to women [MDL]
dughól MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to thrust upward; to skewer or pierce s/t (as s/t on the roof, such as a rat); to thrust through the interior of a length of bamboo, breaking the nodes so that it may be used to channel water (see bungbóng); ... (fig‑) Pinagdughól ka Said as an insult directed at women [MDL]
pálo ... [+MDL: MA,‑ I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to drive in a post or stake; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to drive a post or stake into the ground; also used as a curse or insult directed toward women: Pinagpalóhan ka May you have a stake driven into you]
haˈót describing s/t so narrow as to prevent entry; constricted, tight; MA‑ or MAG‑ to grow narrow or constricted; (PAG‑)‑AN to be narrow or constricted (as a doorway); to be stuck in a tight space; ... (fig‑) Pinaghaˈotán ka Said as a curse to women who cannot have children [MDL]
Marriage, divorce and remarriage were common in Bikol society. When a marriage failed, an agreement was generally reached between the families of the husband and wife as to the custody of the children, commonly divided by gender, and to a redistribution of all or some of the dowry paid by the manˈs family at the time of the marriage. Return of all of the dowry, possibly with some additional remuneration, would result if the wife was seen to be at fault, and retention of all of the dowry by the wife was the outcome if the husband was seen to be the offending party. If both marriage partners shared blame for the marriage breakdown, a portion of the dowry would be returned, and a portion retained. One of the main causes for marriage breakdown was adultery. Two entries from Lisboa are presented below.
takpíl MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to accuse two people of having an affair; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to accuse a man of having an affair; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to accuse a man of having an affair with a particular woman [MDL]
Deception could take many forms. It could occur in trade, or be more general, describing one's disposition when dealing with others. There are a number of examples of deception in trade. I have chosen only two. In the first example we have an attempt to deceive in the sale of gold, not only used for its monetary value, but also for its artistic value, being worked into various forms of jewelry. In the second example we have deception regarding the mixture of liquids which includes wine, referring usually to the alcoholic beverage tubáˈ, widely drunk and highly valued in ritual and social interaction. If a particular deception could not be resolved by the parties involved, the dispute, as with other civil and criminal actions, would go to arbitration involving a council of the village chiefs. A decision by such a council could not be appealed or petitioned.
lahók referring to that which is mixed with a pure substance, such as wax, honey or wine, to increase its bulk (done in an attempt to deceive, making s/t appear more than it really is); MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to add s/t for this purpose; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mix s/t with a foreign substance for this purpose [MDL]
hiphíp MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to bribe s/o; to coerce s/o; MA‑, I‑ to offer a particular bribe [MDL]
kágod describing s/o who indulges excessively in a particular vice; ... MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to steal s/t; MA‑, ‑AN: kagorán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagkagorán to be particularly unscrupulous in one's dealings with others; to cheat or rob s/o [MDL]
kalít fraud, deceit; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to defraud or deceive s/o; to drive s/o out of a game by raising the stakes so that they cannot win back what they have lost; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to raise the stakes in a game by a particular amount; to deceive s/o with a particular trick or strategy [MDL]
amít MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to abscond with s/t; to obtain s/t by trickery or deceit; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to steal from s/o in this way [MDL]
Bikol society, as was the case throughout much of the Philippines, survived on a series of debt relationships. Someone always needed money, and there was always someone else who was willing to lend it. There are numerous entries in Lisboa which make this clear. To give some idea of how ingrained debt relationships were in the Bikol region, the following is a section of the index dealing with debt from the Bikol Dictionary.
Loarca gives some specific examples. One borrowing rice would be expected to return an equivalent amount the following year. If unable to do so, twice the borrowed amount would have to be paid back the second year, and four times that amount in the third year, with similar increases for subsequent years the rice was not repaid.
In the case of unpaid loans contracted across village boundaries, the creditor village had the right to seize anyone from the debtor village and demand payment. In this case, the amount asked to settle the debt was double the amount lent.
Loan relationships appear to have been legal and binding, with recourse to the courts as they were known at the time, that is appeal to a judge and subsequent mediation (see Section 5(i)) if the debt obligation could not be met. Debts which remained unpaid or could not be paid would inevitably end with slavery for the debtor.
The imposition of fines for theft, murder or other legal infringements could also lead to long term debt relationships. A fine, generally in gold, had to be paid immediately. If this could not be done, the convicted party would have to serve as a slave to the one who had won the case. He would also forfeit one-half the produce from all his cultivated lands, although, as a slave, all the food and clothing for his family would be provided by the successful litigant. When the original fine was finally paid, the lender could then lay a claim for additional payment based on his having supported the defaulter's family during this time. Failure to pay this additional amount could end with the enslavement of the defaulter's children in a relationship where freedom might never be achieved.
Whether piracy is considered a crime or not depends on whether one is a victim or perpetrator. Certainly among the perpetrators, most of whom would have at some point in their lives also been victims, the chance to obtain wealth from outside the village and from people toward whom one had no responsibility, could be too tempting to pass up. For those perpetually victimised by robbery or raids, the following entry might be particularly apt.
salákay ... MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to embark for the purpose of getting s/t or bringing s/t back; to disembark for the purpose of raiding a particular area; Bubuhíˈon tang daˈí masalákay iyán banwáˈan na iyán We can't pass up the chance to raid that town [MDL]
ngáyaw MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON or MAGPANG‑, PAGPANG‑‑ON to engage in piracy; to rob, pillage or plunder towns along the coast; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN or MAGPANG‑, PAGPANG‑‑AN to attack or raid coastal towns; MANG‑, IPANG‑ or MAGPANG‑, IPAGPANG‑ to carry particular arms in raiding coastal towns [MDL]
hampíl MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to embark on the boat of another for the purpose of piracy (see ngáyaw), providing one-half of the ship's stores in return for one-third of the bounty; MAG‑ to set off on a mission of piracy (two people having come to such an arrangement) [MDL]
síbag MA‑ to sound a conch shell (hamugyóng) or trumpet together with ringing bells as a sign of joy at the good luck of those who have returned from pirating; ... [MDL]
sabó a person captured by highwaymen or pirates [MDL]
tubós ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON to recover one's bond or what one has left for surety; to ransom s/o; MA‑, ‑AN to recover one's bond from s/o; to ransom s/o from s/o else; MA‑, I‑ to make a particular payment to recover one's bond or surety; to pay a particular ransom; MAG‑ to exchange captives, prisoners; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to exchange one captive for another; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to ransom one captive with the exchange of another]
Robbery may not have been rife, but it existed and was referred to any number of times by Lisboa in his Vocabulario. There are many references to both petty thieving and thefts that were more serious.
imít-imít MA‑ petty thief, kleptomaniac: Abóng imít-imít ni kuyán What a little thief that person is [MDL]
salimbágat eagle (typ‑); (fig‑) si salimbágat na táwo sa panhaˈbón a cunning thief [MDL]
sámok MA‑: masámok na táwo a petty thief; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take s/t on the sly; to take s/t when no one is looking, and if caught, say you were only joking; ... Abóng sámok mo doy What a little thief you are [MDL]
simít ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take s/t with the fingers; ... MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to take a number of things with the hand; to gather together a number of things of little value with the hand; ... MAKAPANG‑, MAPANG‑‑ON to steal food; to steal things of little value; simít-simít MA‑ a thief: Si masimít-simít na táwo si kuyán What a thief that person is]
ganíb ... [[MDL: a hunting dog; MA‑ or MAG‑ to develop into a hunting dog; ... (fig‑) Si ganíb na táwo si kuyán sa panhaˈbón That person is a great thief ...]
pákot terrible (a robber, a worker): Pákot sa panhaˈbón What a terrible robber (one who steals a lot or often); ... MA‑ or MAG‑ to become terrible [MDL]
bugkót MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to steal a boat; to make off with a boat [MDL]
líbon MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON ... to steal chickens, pigs; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN ... to steal s/o's pigs, chickens; PARA‑ robber of pigs, chickens [MDL]
sisiríb MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to make off with s/t on the sly; to steal s/t; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to steal s/t from s/o [MDL]
rapáy MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to take or grab whatever is in reach, being unable to get what one is really after (as when one in unable to steal a valuable item and settles for s/t else); MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to go after one thing and end up with another [MDL]
hinákoˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to claim s/t that rightfully belongs to another; ...; MA‑ or MAPAG‑: mapaghinákong táwo describing s/o who makes false claims ... [MDL]
ráway MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take s/t without due process or good cause; ... Rináway mo lámang idtóng urípon ko You tried to take away my slave without just cause [MDL]
saginunóng MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑AN to incite, stir up or inflame the emotions of one who is already angry with s/o else by saying s/t bad about that person; to encourage s/o to persist in some wrongdoing that they have already begun by saying that they won't be caught; MAPA‑, IPA‑ or MAGPA‑, IPAGPA‑ to say s/t to incite s/o; to take s/t on the sly after being encouraged to do so [MDL]
rarasíˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON / MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to steal or damage s/t knowing there is a good chance s/o else will get the blame; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to have the blame fall on another for s/t you have stolen or damaged [MDL]
lúpig MAG‑, ‑ON to rape or molest s/o; PAG‑ rape [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take s/t by force; to steal s/t; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to overpower s/o; to rob s/o; PAG‑ robbery]
dúhit penalty, fine; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give s/t in payment for a fine or penalty (such as gold or silver); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to clear an infraction or infringement by payment of a penalty or fine; MAKI‑, PAKI‑‑AN to impose a penalty or fine on s/o for some infraction; MAKI‑, PAKI‑‑ON to request a particular payment as a fine or penalty [MDL]
sílot ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to make s/o bear a particular punishment for a sin or wrongdoing; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to impose a particular fine or punishment; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to undergo a particular punishment for a sin or crime]
suksók MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to submit o/s to punishment after doing s/t wrong; to accept punishment for doing s/t wrong [MDL]
For a theft in excess of 16 taels of gold, the penalty was death, often commuted to enslavement not only of the perpetrator, but of his children as well as those of his household since they were assumed to have knowledge of the theft even if not being directly involved.
There were also differences in sentences depending upon the number of times an offence was committed. For a first offence among the Tagalogs the penalty was usually just a fine. For a second, slavery, and for a third, death or enslavement of the thief, his children and household.
Death penalties, while often imposed, were not frequently carried out. The same was true for exile and long periods of incarceration. Communities would be chronically short of labour, one of the reasons for slave-raiding, and individuals would also need help in running their household or working their fields. The opportunity for someone to work as a slave was a far more viable option than execution, incarceration or exile which not only reduced available manpower, but deprived individuals and the community of such labour. Additionally, land tenure was communal in nature. One's wealth was not determined by how much land was owned, but by how many people could be mobilised to work such land. The chance to add to the workforce would have been a powerful incentive against a sentence of death.
How does one catch a thief? They could be caught in the act, or potential targets could be warned so as prevent the theft from happening.
súlod MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to gather at or rush to a place where s/o is calling or where there is a commotion (such as to catch a thief) [MDL]
tukyáw MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to yell or shout at a robber or other trouble-maker; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to yell a warning to others about the presence of a robber [MDL]
ngaráˈ-ngáraˈ MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN or MAGPANG‑, PAGPANG‑‑AN to shout to warn s/o of approaching danger (such as when one sees a robber enter a neighbor's house at night); ... [MDL]
balód MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to manacle, tie or handcuff the hands behind the back; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use s/t for tying or manacling the hands [MDL]
gápos MAG‑, ‑ON to manacle or shackle s/o; to tie s/o's hands or feet; ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to tie s/o's hands or feet; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to tie s/o by the hands or feet]
dágon MAG‑ to help one another in subduing or manacling s/o who presents a great deal of resistence (two people or many); MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to come to the aid of s/o who is trying to subdue or manacle another; MINA‑: minadágon to come to s/o's aid in such circumstances [MDL]
pátoˈ a root or charm which causes s/o who steals from you to fall ill or die; ‑AN one possessing such a root or charm [MDL]
galínaw MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to see s/t beneath the surface of the water; ... (fig‑) Nagagalínaw ko iníng saímong buˈót; lulóng ka gayód ngápit It is clear to me that you are not to be trusted; Nagagalínaw ko si kuyán; índa kundí iyóng himinaˈbón I can see through that person; it's more than likely that he's the thief [MDL]
pális false or unfounded rumors; also a gossip known for spreading such false rumors; MAGKA‑, PAGKA‑‑AN to spread false rumors to s/o; Kapális mong magbabarétaˈ You spread unfounded rumors [MDL]
hátod-hátod MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to spread rumors about people, causing discord; MA‑, ‑AN: hatód-hatóran or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: paghátod-hatóran to tell a rumor to s/o; to cause discord among people by spreading rumors or gossip; MA‑ rumor monger, a gossip [MDL]
tungíˈ MA‑ or MAG‑ to become uneasy and touchy due to being overfull (an animal); ... (fig‑) Pinatungíˈ giráray nin pagkakán iníng urípon na iní, nanhahaˈbón pa nang gayód This slave is always fed more than he needs, and still it seems he goes around stealing [MDL]
ayáˈ pa although, even though: Ayáˈ pang lulóng an ákiˈ ko, daˈí siyá manhaˈbón Even though my child might not be very smart, he is not a thief; Ayáˈ pang dukháˈ, daˈí akó manhaˈbón Even though I might be poor, I'm not a thief; ... [MDL]
Larger towns in the Bikol region at the time of arrival of the Spanish would have had 300 to 400 families. A town such as Naga, later chosen as the administrative center of the region by the Spanish and renamed Nueva Cáceres, would probably have had an even larger population. Larger towns would be located along the coast or a major river. Each town comprised smaller units called barángay which would spread out from the center abutting the surrounding rice fields or forest. There were smaller towns as well comprising only a few families and these could be quite isolated.
Transportation between major towns was by sea, following along the coast, or by river. River transportation to lowland towns was frequently the only form of transportation during the rainy season when a major river such as the Bikol could spread across swampy lowlands outward to 15 kilometers from its main channel.
Towns were also connected by land via trails which varied in width depending upon how heavily they were traveled. Most land travel was by foot, although water buffalo pulling sleds would traverse trails for shorter distances.
We have already seen that travel by sea could be interfered with by pirates (see Section 3.2 (i)). It was also possible for boats to be interfered with when traveling alone along a river. Travel overland via trails presented particular dangers. These trails passed though isolated areas that could be heavily wooded. Considering the often testy relationships between towns, and the presence of criminal elements who had left the towns to take shelter in the mountains and forest, even daytime travel could be dangerous. There are a number of entries which deal with attacks and ambushes.
hípaˈ ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑ PAG‑‑ON to wait in ambush for s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to wait with a particular weapon (to be used to cause injury or death); PARA‑ waylayer, ambusher, highwaymen]
líbon MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to attack and kill s/o along a deserted stretch of road; ... MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to carry out an attack along a particular stretch of road; ... PARA‑ highwayman [MDL]
salagbát MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to waylay s/o at a place they normally frequent in order to rob or hurt them; to seize or grab s/o where they can normally be found in order to rob or hurt them [MDL]
úmag describing those who go about naked, like robbers or highwaymen; (fig‑) Garó na giráray úmag iníng ákiˈ This child always seems to walk around naked, like a highwayman [MDL]
salákat ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to enter s/o's house to pick a quarrel, steal or for other criminal purposes; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to pick a quarrel with s/o; to go to steal s/t from s/o's house; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to carry arms in such a robbery attempt]
bighóˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to stab, wound or poke s/o with a lance or spear from beneath the house [MDL]
íyaw-íyaw MAPA‑ or MAGPA‑ to shout in surprise (as when sensing there is a robber about at night, or when coming across s/t lost or misplaced); MAPA‑, IPA‑ or MAGPA‑, IPAGPA‑ to shout out s/t in surprise; MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN or MAGPA‑, PAGPA‑‑AN to shout a warning to s/o [MDL]
táwo MAKA‑, MA‑ to end s/o's life; to kill s/o; MAKA‑, IKA‑ to kill s/o with s/t [MDL]
budhíˈ MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to kill s/o from another town [MDL]
buˈók ... MANG‑ to be an outlaw; to be wanted by the law; to become infamous due to indiscriminate killing; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to kill indiscriminately [MDL]
If one chief was killed by another in Pampanga, the murdered chief's friends and relatives would go to war against the offending town. If the chief committing the murder was himself killed, hostilities would end and the matter would be considered settled. If this did not happen, as many of the chief's followers as possible would be killed.
To end hostilities, chiefs of the other villages would attempt to reconcile the two sides, usually asking that a large sum of money, between 70-100 taels of gold, depending on the prominence of the chief, be paid as a fine. Half of this would go to the murdered man's relatives, and half to the chiefs who brokered the reconciliation to be shared with the freemen (timáwaˈ) of the murdered man's village.
If this agreement was rejected by the murdered man's children, then war would continue, although in this case the chiefs brokering the failed agreement would take the side of the murderer and continue to fight on their side until an agreement was forced upon the murdered chief's family.
Revenge was a significant factor motivating relatives when a death occurred through violence. Those seeking revenge wore a band around their neck which they did not remove until a previously determined number of people were killed. These would not only include the murderer and his relatives, but also any number of innocent people. Only when these lives were taken would mourning come to an end. Two entries in Lisboa which deal with revenge are presented below.
tukól an eye for an eye; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to respond in kind (good deeds for good and bad deeds for bad); Tinukól kong pagratákan si tinanóm nindá I destroyed their crops since they did the same to mine; Kadaˈí matukól ni kuyán kan maraháy na buˈót ko saíya That person hasn't responded in kind to the good will I have shown him [MDL]
While the above example is not specifically mentioned as occurring in Bikol, it is possible that an entry such as the following indicates that the perpetrators of certain crimes were made an example of to discourage others from criminal activity.
Clearly, the death penalty was available and used as the ultimate punishment for crimes such as robbery and murder. This sentence could be carried out in a number of ways, such as by stabbing, hanging and possibly beheading, although hanging was probably the most common.
dagyóˈ MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to stamp on s/t with the feet, driving it into the ground or into another material (as a spike into wood); to stamp down on s/o who is being hanged, making sure the hanging is successful [MDL]
álang-álang ... Á lang-álang na daˈí bitáyon an parabúnoˈ It is unreasonable not to hang a murderer; ... [MDL]
tungól MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to cut off the head; MA‑, ‑AN: tunglán or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagtunglán to behead s/o; to cut off s/o's head [MDL]
turóˈ-turóˈ MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to treat everyone the same; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give everyone the same treatment (even with regard to the number of lashes given in punishment) [MDL]
timamlós MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to take revenge on s/o who has been the cause of your punishment or pain (as when a prisoner is whipped, and when released, whips those who accused him); ...) [MDL]
háyaw MAKA‑ to walk or roam free (one previously incarcerated); MAPA‑ to set s/o free (one who had previously been incarcerated or restrained in some way); ... [MDL]
lagáyaw free to move about; free to go anywhere one wishes; MAKA‑ to be free to move about, travel or go anywhere (not being confined or locked up); ... [MDL]
taltál MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to release or set s/o free from prison or from their shackles; ... [MDL]
tánan MA‑ or MAG‑ to escape from confinement (prisoners, animals, birds); ... [MDL]
palátaw a hobble, a restraint attached to the feet with a chain to keep fugitives from absconding; ...; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to hobble or shackle a fugitive in this way; ... [MDL]
súnoˈ ... [+MDL: ... MA‑, ‑AN ... to use the same shackles, manacles or chains for two people's hands or feet; ...; MAG‑ to share the same manacles; ...]
tálang rattan collar placed around the neck of a dog or cat, a prisoner or robber, or worn when mourning; MAG‑ to wear a rattan collar; ... [MDL]
tukóg a length of bamboo, stretching from the neck to the hands, to which one is tied; to truss s/o up in this way; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to tie one's hands and neck in this way; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a length of bamboo for this purpose [MDL]
pandóg pillory, stocks; ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place one in a pillory or stocks; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to use a pillory or stocks for punishment]
aríring a wooden wall or screen extending from beneath the knees and completely covering one who has been placed in the stocks; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to place such a wall or screen around s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to build such a wall or screen [MDL]
páˈot MAG‑ to be kept in a pillory, stocks: Paˈanó akó makapagbáyad saímo kainíng nagpáˈot na akó digdí sa pandóg? How am I going to be able to pay you if I'm stuck here in a pillory? [MDL]
purópot ... [MDL: ... (fig‑) Nagpurópot na sa pandóg si kuyán That person is firmly locked in the stocks]
sulbód MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to insert s/t into an opening where it is an exact or tight fit (such as the foot into the stocks for punishment; [MDL]
tuwáng ... [+MDL: MAG‑ ... to be on either side of a pillory or stocks (prisoners); MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to place prisoners on either side of a pillory or stocks; ... KA‑... a companion prisoner in a pillory or stocks]
tunóng a wedge used to lock or tighten a pillory or stocks (sipít, pandóg); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to lock a prisoner into a pillory or stocks; ... [MDL]
lulukón MA‑ to have one's feet go numb and have trouble walking; to have one's feet fall asleep (from being confined or placed in irons, or after being ill for a long time) [MDL]
A freeman or timáwaˈ could hold particular suspicions about the actions of a particular member of the community.
tuˈóm-tuˈóm ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to suspect s/o; ... MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to have particular suspicions; ... MA‑ suspicious; ...]
múlong MANG‑, IPANG‑ or MAGPANG‑, IPAGPANG‑ to accuse s/o of wrongdoing before a judge or other high official of the town so that they can be punished; to bring a charge against s/o; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN or MAGPANG‑, PAGPANG‑‑AN to bring an accusation before a particular judge [MDL]
apód ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to call s/o by name; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to name s/o in a legal suit or dispute]
pintakási mediator, defender; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to plead for s/o; to defend s/o; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to mediate on behalf of s/o; to intercede on behalf of s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to make a particular case; to put forth a particular plea; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to request that s/o intercede on your behalf; to request help from a mediator; ... ] [MDL]
suróg ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON to aid s/o in a struggle; to take s/o's side in a legal case; to favor s/o in a fight; MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to favor one person over another; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to fight over s/t where one is favored or aided over another; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to choose one as a favorite to aid in a fight against another; MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to aid or defend s/o who has done no wrong; ...]
gápil MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to lean against the raised side of a boat in order to level it out; ...; (fig‑) to join or take sides with s/o: Gápil an buˈót niyá ki kuyán She is on that person's side [MDL]
sulíˈ MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to do what is right, fitting or proper for s/o (such as defending one who deserves to be defended, accusing one who is guilty or helping one who deserves your help); MAPA‑, IPA‑ to cast blame on one who is guilty; MAKA‑, MA‑‑AN to blame one who is innocent; MAKA‑, IKA‑ to mete out punishment to one who is innocent; ... [MDL]
típan ... [MDL: a vow or pledge; MA‑, I‑ to make a vow or promise to do s/t; to pledge s/t; to take an oath MA‑, ‑AN to make a vow or promise to s/o; to form a covenant with s/o; ...]
sumpáˈ oath; ... [+MDL: MA‑, I‑ to take a particular oath, such as that one will die (see gadán, matáy), that one will be split asunder (see siˈsíˈ); MA‑, ‑AN to swear to do s/t or take an oath about s/t; ...]
gadán corpse, the deceased; ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON to kill s/o; ...; MA‑: magadán may I die, on my life; an oath taken where one utters these words; MAMA‑, MAMA‑‑AN or MAGMA‑, PAGMA‑‑AN to take such an oath]
matáy may I die; an oath taken whereby s/o swears to take their own life if not telling the truth; MA‑ or MAG‑ to take such an oath by repeating this word [MDL]
siˈsíˈ ... [+MDL: sisíˈ MA‑ or MAG‑ to rip or split; MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to rip or split s/t; ... ‑UM‑: simisíˈ uttered as an oath, indicating that one should be split apart if not telling the truth; ‑IMIN‑: Siminisíˈ ka used as curse when annoyed, indicating that one should be split asunder]
ináˈ mother; ... [+MDL: si ináˈ my mother; ... MASA‑ or MAGSA‑ to swear by your mother; MASA‑, SA‑‑AN or MAGSA‑, PAGSA‑‑AN to swear s/t is true by your mother; to take an oath on your mother; ...]
sulít an oath: Susulít pa May I be returned to the womb of my mother; MA‑ or MAG‑ to take such an oath; to be sworn in [MDL]
For the situation in Pampanga, Plasencia describes the calling of witnesses as follows. Each of the litigants would be asked to call on witnesses who could testify on their behalf. If each was able to call the same number of witnesses, then the judge would ask them to split any amount claimed in the suit. The assumption was that a witness agreeing take one side or the other would give testimony supporting the chosen side.
If the number of witnesses was unequal, the one with the greater number of witnesses would be seen as having won the suit. In this case the defendant would either be released from the claim, or would be asked to pay the full amount. Witnesses were paid, and since they were paid only if their testimony was given on the winning side, this must have led to some degree of favoritism and dishonesty. Any initial payment given to a witness on the losing side had to be returned. Payment to witnesses was also based on their rank or social status. In the case where a claimant won a large amount of money, witnesses would also share in this settlement (also see Section 3.2 (iii)).
While there is no record of the same or similar situation occurring in Bikol, Lisboa has a number of entries dealing with witnesses. Entries referred to the simple giving of testimony, such as the terms saksí, taksí and tandáˈ. Other entries referred to the disagreement of witnesses who gave contradictory evidence (saluhót, tumandáˈ, maˈmáˈ) or those who deliberately told a lie, thereby perjuring themselves (tugód-tugód, tuˈóm-tuˈóm, tuˈóm). As mentioned previously, oaths were taken by the litigants swearing to abide by the judge's decision. There are no entries in Lisboa indicating that witnesses were also sworn to tell the truth, although this was probably the case. Guido de Lavezaris states that those called to give testimony could be made slaves if the testimony they gave could not later be proved correct.
taksí MA‑ or MAG‑ to testify; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to testify on behalf of s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give a particular testimony; to swear that a particular testimony is true; MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to call s/o as a witness [MDL]
tandáˈ ... MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to have s/o take responsibility for s/o; to have s/o testify to s/t or bear witness to s/t; MAPA‑, PA‑‑AN to have s/o testify; MAPA‑, IPA‑ to take an oath; to swear to s/t [MDL]
saluhót MA‑, ‑AN to give testimony different from that given by another; MA‑, ‑ON to disagree with what has previously been said; to speak against s/t; MA‑, I‑ to present contradictory evidence; MAG‑ to hold contradictory positions or opinions (two people); MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to present two differing points of view, conflicting evidence or opinions; MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to present such contradictory evidence to s/o; MAG‑, IPAG‑ to present support for ones testimony or point of view; MAGKA‑, PAGKA‑‑AN to hold differing points of view (unaware of the opposing opinion); magkasaraluhót to all be of differing opinions (many different people) [MDL]
tumandáˈ MAKI‑, PAKI‑‑ON to testify or give evidence contrary to that given by another; to counter another's statement or claim; MAKI‑, PAKI‑‑AN to give particular evidence; to testify to s/t, making a counter claim [MDL]
maˈmáˈ ... MAPA‑, PA‑‑ON to place one thing on another; ... (fig‑) Harí múˈna pamaˈmáˈ ta an pagtarám ni kuyán Let's not rush into affirming what that person has said; ... [MDL]
tugód-túgod MAG‑, ‑AN to slander, libel or slur s/o; MAG‑, I‑ to say s/t libelous [+MDL: false testimony, perjury; MA‑ libeler, slanderer; MA‑ or MAG‑ to perjure o/s; MA‑, ‑AN: tugód-tugóran or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN: pagtugód-tugóran to give false testimony against s/o; to say s/t untrue about s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give false testimony; to knowingly say s/t which is untrue]
tuˈóm-tuˈóm ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN ... to bear false witness against s/o; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ ... to give false testimony; MA‑ ... one who bears false testimony]
tuˈóm ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to imagine s/t; to do s/t from memory; to make s/t up; to say s/t which is groundless; to give false testimony; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to bear false witness against s/o; ... PAG‑ memorization; false testimony]
tuksó MAG‑, ‑ON to cross-examine s/o; to interrogate s/o; MAG‑, I‑ to ask particular questions in an interrogation; PAG‑ cross-examination; interrogation; PARA‑ interrogator, cross-examiner; ... [MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to sound s/o out (to see what they know, think or feel); to question s/o in an attempt to find s/t out about them; to find s/t out about s/o by asking probing questions; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to ask s/o s/t; to put probing questions to s/o; ... MA‑ matuksóng táwo one who asks probing questions]
Plasencia describes for Pampanga what might be called trial by ordeal. When there is a theft, suspects are first given a chance to return any stolen merchandise and walk away without punishment. The suspects are asked to produce a package of cloth, leaves or other material which is tied so that its contents cannot be seen. The package is then untied, and if the stolen item is found within, the case proceeds no further. If, however, the item is not found, the suspects are asked to undergo particular tests.
In one test, suspects are asked to go to the deepest part of river holding a staff. They are then asked to hold their breath and go under the water. The first one to surface is taken to be the thief since the lack of breath is seen as a sign of a guilty conscience. Plasencia writes that there were numerous cases where innocent people drowned, afraid to surface and be accused of a crime they did not commit.
A further test involves the placing of a stone in a container of boiling water. The suspects are asked to place a hand in the boiling water to remove the stone. The one refusing to do so is considered guilty and is asked to return the stolen item, or pay for its replacement.
In one further trial, each suspect is given a candle of the same size and weight. These candles are lit. The person holding the candle which is first to go out is considered the guilty party.
The outcome of a trial did not necessarily have to be just. There could also be confusion where more than one person was implicated in a crime. A criminal could easily have an accomplice, and in this case it was in the interest of both to conceal a wrongdoing.
ráway MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON ... to frame s/o; to try to implicate s/o in wrong-doing without just cause; ... [MDL]
daráhig ... [+MDL: MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to involve or implicate another in your crime, or in your business affairs, without their knowledge; MA‑ to be punished due to being implicated in s/o else's crime; ...]
hangyób MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to singe or sear s/t by passing it through a flame; ... (fig‑) Nahangyób kitá kainíng panhaˈbón ni kuyán We have been inadvertently implicated in that person's crime [MDL]
líwag MA‑ iniquitous, unjust; malicious, vicious; ... MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to treat s/o wrongly or unjustly; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to carry out a particular iniquity or malicious action; ... KA‑‑AN iniquity, maliciousness, viciousness [MDL]
murángos MANGHING‑, PANGHING‑‑AN to take out anger on one who is blameless; to blame s/o unjustly [MDL]
rabáy MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to blame or punish everyone for the misdeeds of a few; MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to blame and punish the innocent along with the guilty; MA‑‑AN to be blamed or punished in this way (the guilty and innocent); IKA‑ to be blamed or punished (the innocent); ... [MDL]
lúgod-lúgod MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON / MA‑, I‑ or MAG‑, IPAG‑ to give s/o a name which suits their looks, status or actions; ... also: to do s/t one has been falsely blamed for or accused of: Malúgod-lúgod na akóng manhaˈbón taˈ pinagtugód-tugorán akóng nanhahaˈbón I've become a thief because I have been falsely accused of stealing [MDL]
The Spanish, arriving in the Philippines in the mid-sixteenth century, found indigenous systems of law in place that functioned adequately in the towns and villages they very quickly came to occupy and control. These laws were based on traditional beliefs and customs and were enforced by a recognised ruling elite who retained their status and control by maintaining a comparatively high level of wealth. New laws, when they were needed, were encoded by these elite groups and then announced to their respective communities. Those citizens who chose not to abide by a set of community laws, or who had broken them and feared the consequences, could leave, their option being residence outside of established villages, usually in the mountains. There they had little contact with their families, were forced into association with the Negritos who could be antagonistic, and often had little option but to continue or resort to criminal activity to derive some sort of income.
Those involved in disputes did not necessarily need recourse to the legal system to settle their differences. The law, however, was there and available if attempts at personal negotiation failed. Accusations could be made to a village chief acting as a judge and a case could be brought against an individual. If a judge could not settle the matter, it went to mediation and subsequently to what we may call a trial. Oaths were taken by the litigants that they would abide the judges decision, witnesses called, testimony heard, a decision reached and a sentence subsequently brought down.
Cases coming before a village judge ranged from the civil to the criminal. Matters such as insults, adultery, deception and defaults on loans were some of the civil cases heard. Thefts, assaults, ambushes, and murder were some of the criminal cases.
Punishment varied depending on the severity of the crime and the person against whom it was perpetrated. Death was a common sentence, although it may not have been commonly carried out. It was frequently commuted to a fine which the guilty party had to pay within a set period of time. Failure to pay would result in enslavement. The guilty could also be incarcerated. This usually meant being chained or placed in a pillory or stocks, although discrete rooms or buildings could have served as prisons in the larger towns.
The Spanish did not greatly alter this indigenous system of justice, although the system was to change as the society around it changed. The royal audiencia was established in the Philippines in 1583. This served as an overriding legal body, somewhat like a supreme court, but having administrative as well as legal functions. It took the decision to follow the traditional customs in place in the Philippines with regard to matters of slavery, inheritance, marriage, and other civil matters. This was codified in 1599 by Juan de Plasencia when the customary law of the Tagalogs was defined as the common law throughout the Philippines. Spanish law applied in all criminal cases and civil disputes not covered by customary law.
The Spanish retained this system of justice throughout their occupation of the Philippines, allowing the native population a substantial degree of autonomy in running their affairs. Even by the mid-19th century, each township in a province still had what was called a gobernadorcillo 'a petty governor' who was an elected magistrate for the town. He had a number of alguaciles 'assistants' in charge of the administration of justice. Each town was also divided into a number of barángay led by a cabeza de barángay 'a village headman' or 'chief' replacing the earlier dátoˈ and in charge of the 40 to 50 families resident there. To maintain law and order the gobernadorcillo also appointed officials called bilanggó' for each barángay. The gobernadorcillo, as a magistrate, tried civil cases involving small sums of money with appeals going to the alguaciles. For criminal cases and civil suits involving large sums of money, the gobernadorcillo acted as a court of first instance with appeals going to the audiencia.
When the Spanish outlawed slavery in 1591, this meant that the Spanish in the Philippines could not legally hold slaves. There were, however, inconsistencies in this policy. Negritos and Moslems, for example, who did not recognise Spanish authority, could be kept as slaves. This policy at first had little effect on slavery as practised by the native population. By the end of the seventeenth century, however, the Spanish legislated against the practice of inherited slavery. Children who were born to slaves (gintúboˈ) were now free. With regard to debt slavery, the Spanish were less successful in eliminating this practice. It can be argued that the existence of sharecropping in the present-day Philippines is really a system that evolved from this earlier practice.
Change also occurred with regard to the system of debts and loans. Usury was not in accordance with a Christian ideal and frowned upon by the missionaries as against the teachings of the church. While the greatest excesses of this system were mitigated, the practice continued and was still very much a part of individual and business activity to the end of the Spanish period in the Philippines.
A native system of justice not only survived under the Spanish, but was actually encouraged by them. It was, however, a system that was to change. From being the only system of justice, it became subsumed under a larger system of which it was only a part, just as the towns where the system functioned changed from being unique administrative units to become political units subsumed under a larger system in which they were parts of provinces and, in turn, part of a nation.
 This chapter was first published as 'Crime and Punishment in Pre-Hispanic Philippine Society', Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Issue 13, August 2006.
 Marcos de Lisboa, Vocabulario de la Lengua Bicol, Convento de Nuestra Señora de Loreto, Pueblo de Sampaloc, 1754; reprinted in 1865, Manila: Establecimiento Tipografico del Colegio de Santo Tomas.
 Miguel de Loarca, Relación de las Islas Filipinas, 1582, in Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson, The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, 55 vols, Cleveland: AH Clark, 1903-1909, CD-ROM version, Bank of the Philippine Islands, vol. 5, p. 141; and Andres de San Nicholas, Historia general de las religiosos descalzos del orden de San Agustin, 1664, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 21, pp. 140-141.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 175.
 Juan de Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, 1589, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 179.
 Perdo Chirino, S.J., Relación de las Islas Filipinas, 1604, Manila: Historical Conservation Society, 1969, Chapter 9.
 Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, 1609, Cambridge: The Hakluyt Society - Cambridge University Press, 1971, p. 275.
 William Henry Scott, Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society, Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994, p. 131.
 See Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, pp. 175-177; and Guido de Lavezaris, 1572, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, pp. 286-288 for a description of slavery among the Tagalogs; and Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 143 for a description of slavery among the Visayans.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 175, 177.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 181-183.
 Francisco Colín, Native Races and their Customs, 1663, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, pp. 93-94.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, pp. 181-183; also Morga, Sucesos, p. 277.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, pp. 326-327; also in Juan de San Antonio, Chronicas de las Apostolica Provincia de S. Gregorio de Religiosos Descalzos, Sampaloc: Convento de Nuestra Señora de Loreto, 1738, p. 162.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 187
 See Andres de San Nicholas, Historia general de las religiosos descalzos del orden de San Agustin, 1664, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 21, p. 141 for a general statement on the workings of such a council in Zambales.
 Malcolm W. Mintz, Bikol Dictionary, Perth, Western Australia: Indonesian / Malay Texts, vol. 1, 2004, p. 154.
 Morga, Sucesos, p. 276.
 Chirino, Relación, Chapter 46.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 161.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 180.
 Lavezaris, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, p. 287.
 Francisco Mallari, S.J., 'Muslim raids in Bicol: 1580-1792,' in Philippine Studies, vol. 34, (1986), pp. 257-286.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 151.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 325.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 179; and Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, pp. 325, 326.
 Scott, Barangay, p. 139.
 John Leddy Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, 1565-1700, 1959, Filipiniana Reprint Series, Manila: Cacho Hermanos, 1985. p. 117.
 'Conquest of the Island of Luzón, Manila, April 20, 1572,' in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, p. 171.
 Scott, Barangay, p. 181.
 Scott, Barangay, p. 139.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 185.
 Loarca, Relación, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 5, p. 185.
 Lavezaris, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, p. 287.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, pp. 323-325.
 Colin, Native Races and their Customs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 40, p. 82.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, pp. 323-325.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 179.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 179.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in San Antonio, Chronicas, p. 157.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 322-323.
 Lavezaris, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 3, p. 287.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 16, p. 325.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in San Antonio, Chronicas, pp. 162-164.
 Blair and Robertson, The Philippine Islands, vol. 11, p. 31; and Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines, p. 129.
 Sinibaldo de Mas, Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas, 1842, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 17, pp. 322-328.
 Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines, p. 129; for a full discussion of crime in the nineteenth century see Greg Bankoff, Crime, Society and the State in the Nineteenth Century Philippines, Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1996, Chapter 4.
 Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines, p. 94.
 Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines, pp. 114-116.
 Plasencia, Customs of the Tagalogs, in Blair and Robertson, vol. 7, p. 180.