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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS

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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW
DIGESTS
ATTY. ROMEO CALLEJO, SR.
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
BAYAN MUNA VS. ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS
CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
FACTS:
1. The Rome Statute established the International Criminal
Court (ICC) with "the power to exercise its jurisdiction over
persons for the most serious crimes (including genocide)
of international concern x x x and shall be complementary
to the national criminal jurisdictions." The RP is already a
signatory but pending ratification by Senate.
2. The RP entered into a Non-Surrender Agreement with
the US which provides that before a “person” (current or
former Government official, employee, or military
personnel or national of one party) is surrendered or
transferred to any international tribunal, express consent
of the other party is required.
3. Petitioner assails the validity of the Agreement because
it, among other things, (1) contravenes the Rome Statute;
and (2) amends and is repugnant to Sec. 17 of RA 9851
("Philippine Act on Crimes Against International
Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against
Humanity").
ISSUE: W/n the Agreement is valid.
HELD/RATIO: YES.
ROME STATUTE
Art. 1 of the Rome Statute pertinently provides that the
ICC x x x shall have the power to exercise its
jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of
international concern, as referred to in this Statute,
and shall be complementary to national criminal
jurisdictions. The jurisdiction and functioning of the
Court shall be governed by the provisions of this Statute.
Under par. 3 of Art. 20, Rome Statute, which again
underscores the primacy of the jurisdiction of a state vis-avis that of the ICC. As far as relevant, the provision states
that "no person who has been tried by another court for
conduct x x x [constituting crimes within its jurisdiction]
shall be tried by the [International Criminal] Court with
respect to the same conduct x x x."
The foregoing provisions of the Rome Statute,
taken collectively, show that the Rome Statute expressly
recognizes the primary jurisdiction of states, like the RP,
over serious crimes committed within their respective
borders, the complementary jurisdiction of the ICC coming
into play only when the signatory states are unwilling or
unable to prosecute.
Given the above consideration, petitioner's
suggestion--that the RP, by entering into the Agreement,
violated its duty required by the imperatives of good faith
and breached its commitment under the Vienna
Convention to refrain from performing any act tending to
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
impair the value of a treaty, e.g., the Rome Statute--has to
be rejected outright. For nothing in the provisions of
the Agreement, in relation to the Rome Statute, tends to
diminish the efficacy of the Statute, let alone defeats the
purpose of the ICC. Lest it be overlooked, the Rome
Statute contains a proviso that enjoins the ICC from
seeking the surrender of an erring person, should the
process require the requested state to perform an act
that would violate some international agreement it has
entered into. We refer to Art. 98(2) of the Rome Statute,
which reads:
“2.
The Court may not proceed with a
request for surrender which would require the requested
State to act inconsistently with its obligations under
international agreements pursuant to which the consent of
a sending State is required to surrender a person of that
State to the Court, unless the Court can first obtain the
cooperation of the sending State for the giving of consent
for the surrender.”
RA 9851
Sec. 17 of RA 9851 provides: In the interest of justice, the
relevant Philippine authorities may dispense with the
investigation or prosecution of a crime punishable under
this Act if another court or international tribunal is already
conducting the investigation or undertaking the
prosecution
of
such
crime. Instead,
the
authorities may surrender or extradite suspected or
accused persons in the Philippines to the appropriate
international court, if any, or to another State pursuant
to the applicable extradition laws and treaties.
Petitioner’s view (na mali naman):
That the Agreement amends existing municipal
laws on the State's obligation in relation to grave
crimes against the law of nations, i.e., genocide,
crimes against humanity and war crimes.
That the Philippines is required to surrender to
the proper international tribunal those persons
accused of the grave crimes defined under RA
9851, if it does not exercise its primary
jurisdiction to prosecute them.
That the Philippines has only two options, to wit:
(1) surrender the accused to the proper
international tribunal; or (2) surrender the
accused to another State if such surrender is
"pursuant to the applicable extradition laws and
treaties." But the Philippines may exercise these
options only in cases where "another court or
international tribunal is already conducting the
investigation or undertaking the prosecution of
such crime;" otherwise, the Philippines must
prosecute the crime before its own courts
pursuant to RA 9851.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
-
That the Agreement prevents the Philippines
without the consent of the US from surrendering
to any international tribunal US nationals accused
of crimes covered by RA 9851, and, thus, in
effect amends Sec. 17 of RA 9851.
According to the SC:
The Agreement merely reinforces the primacy of
the national jurisdiction of the US and the
Philippines in prosecuting criminal offenses
committed by their respective citizens and
military
personnel,
among
others.
The
jurisdiction of the ICC pursuant to the Rome
Statute over high crimes indicated thereat is
clearly and unmistakably complementary to
the national criminal jurisdiction of the
signatory states.
RA 9851 clearly: (1) defines and establishes the
crimes against international humanitarian law,
genocide and other crimes against humanity; (2)
provides penal sanctions and criminal liability for
their commission; and (3) establishes special
courts for the prosecution of these crimes and for
the State to exercise primary criminal jurisdiction.
Nowhere in RA 9851 is there a proviso that goes
against the tenor of the Agreement.
HON. SEC. PEREZ (AS DOE SECRETARY) V. LPG
REFILLERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILS.
Facts: B.P. Blg. 33 penalizes illegal trading, hoarding,
overpricing, adulteration, underdelivery, and underfilling of
petroleum products, as well as possession for trade of
adulterated petroleum products and of underfilled LPG
cylinders. The law set the monetary penalty for violators to
a minimum of P20,000 and a maximum of P50,000.
To implement the law the DOE issued Circular
No. 2000-06-010. Respondent LPG Refillers Association
of the Philippines, Inc. (LPG Refillers) asked the DOE to
set aside the Circular for being contrary to law. DOE
denied the request.
LPG Refillers then filed a petition for prohibition
and annulment of the Circular with the RTC. RTC nullified
the Circular on the ground that it introduced new offenses
not included in the law (per RTC: the Circular, in providing
penalties on a per cylinder basis for each violation, might
exceed the maximum penalty under the law).
DOE argued: penalties for the acts and
omissions enumerated in the Circular are sanctioned by
B.P. Blg. 33 and R.A. No. 8479. LPG Refillers countered:
enabling laws do not expressly penalize the acts and
omissions enumerated in the Circular. Neither is the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Circular supported by R.A. No. 7638 since the said law
does not pertain to LPG traders.
RTC denied MR. Hence this petition for review on
certiorari to SC.
Issue: W/N the DOE Circular is void on the ground that it
introduced new offences not punished under
B.P. Blg. 33?
Held & Ratio: DOE Circular is valid.
For an administrative regulation to have the force
of penal law (1) the violation of the administrative
regulation must be made a crime by the delegating statute
itself; and (2) the penalty for such violation must be
provided by the statute itself.
The Circular satisfies the first requirement. B.P.
Blg. 33, criminalizes illegal trading, adulteration,
underfilling, hoarding, and overpricing of petroleum
products. Under this general description of what
constitutes criminal acts involving petroleum products, the
Circular merely lists the various modes by which the said
criminal acts may be perpetrated, namely: no price display
board, no weighing scale, no tare weight or incorrect tare
weight markings, no authorized LPG seal, no trade name,
unbranded LPG cylinders, no serial number, no
distinguishing color, no embossed identifying markings on
cylinder, underfilling LPG cylinders, tampering LPG
cylinders, and unauthorized decanting of LPG
cylinders. These specific acts and omissions are
obviously within the contemplation of the law, which seeks
to curb the pernicious practices of some petroleum
merchants.
As for the second requirement: B.P. Blg. 33,
provides that the monetary penalty for any person who
commits any of the acts aforestated is limited to a minimum
of P20,000 and a maximum of P50,000. Under the Circular,
the maximum pecuniary penalty for retail outlets is P20,000,
an amount within the range allowed by law. However, the
Circular is silent as to any maximum penalty for
the refillers, marketers, and dealers. This mere silence,
does not amount to violation of the statutory maximum
limit. The mere fact that the Circular provides penalties on a
per cylinder basis does not in itself run counter to the law
since all that B.P. Blg. 33 prescribes are the minimum and
the maximum limits of penalties.
It is B.P. Blg. 33, which defines what constitute
punishable acts involving petroleum products and which
set the minimum and maximum limits for the
corresponding penalties. The Circular merely implements
the said law, albeit it is silent on the maximum pecuniary
penalty for refillers, marketers, and dealers.
Noteworthy, the enabling laws on which the
Circular is based were specifically intended to provide the
DOE with increased administrative and penal measures
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
with which to effectively curtail rampant adulteration and
shortselling, as well as other acts involving petroleum
products, which are inimical to public interest. To nullify
the Circular would be to render inutile government efforts
to protect the general consuming public against the
nefarious practices of some unscrupulous LPG traders.
Note: LPG Refillers filed an MR with the SC on Aug. 28,
2007 (G.R. NO. 159149) contending that the Circular, in
providing penalties on a per cylinder basis, is no longer
regulatory, but already confiscatory in nature. MR denied.
Circular is not confiscatory. The penalties do not exceed
the ceiling prescribed in B.P. Blg. 33, which penalizes “any
person who commits any act [t]herein prohibited.” Violation
on a per cylinder basis falls within the phrase “any
act.” To provide the same penalty for one who violates a
prohibited act in B.P. Blg. 33, regardless of the number of
cylinders involved would result in an indiscriminate,
oppressive and impractical operation of B.P. Blg. 33. The
equal protection clause demands that “all persons subject
to such legislation shall be treated alike, under like
circumstances and conditions, both in the privileges
conferred and in the liabilities imposed.”
© DE JOYA V. JAIL WARDEN
Doctrine: Positivist Theory of Criminal Law
Facts: Norma de Joya was charged with two counts of BP
22 or the bouncing checks law in a Batangas MTC.
Crim Case 25484 was for issuing a Solid Bank
check to Flor catapang de Tenorio worth 150,000 which
was dishonoured because the account was closed.
Crim Case 25773 was for issuing a Scurity Bank
and Trust Company check to Resurreccion Castillo for
225,000 which was also dishonoured because the account
was closed.
De Joya pleaded not guilty and then jumped bail
during trial. She was unable to present evidence and she
lost both cases. Both decisions were promulgated without
her being there despite due notice. Aside from being
ordered to pay the amounts, she was also given the
penalty of one year imprisonment.
In the meantime SC Admin Circular 12-2000 was
passed concerning punishments for BP 22 violations. Two
years later, de Joya was apprehended while applying for
an NBI clearance. She was jailed in Batangas and then
she asked to be released by virtue of the circular. She
thought that it could be applied retroactively and that it
meant imprisonment was no longer a punishment for bp
22 violations.
The RTC denied her motion hence this habeas
corpus petition.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Issues:
1. Should the Writ for Habeas Corpus be granted?
2. Is the SC Admin. Circular 12-2000 a penal law?
What does it really order?
3. What is the positivist theory of criminal law?
Held: 1. No!
2. No!
3. See Doctrine
Doctrine:
1. Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, as amended,
provides that the writ of habeas corpus is not allowed if the
person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the
custody of an officer under process issued by a court or
judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of
record. In this case De Joya was imprisoned by virtue of a
court judgment.
2. SC Admin. Circular No. 12-2000 is not a penal law;
hence, Article 22 of the RPC is not applicable. The
circular applies only to those cases pending as of the date
of its effectivity and not to cases already terminated by
final judgment. Also, it did not abolish imprisonment. It
merely lays down a rule of preference in the application of
the penalties for violation of B.P. Blg. 22. It says that when
imposing a fine would better serve the interest of justice,
the guilty party may just be fined instead of being
imprisoned.
3. In imposing penalties for crimes, the courts must bear in
mind that Philippine penal law is based on the Spanish
penal code and has adopted features of the positivist
theory of criminal law. The positivist theory states that the
basis for criminal liability is the sum total of the social and
economic phenomena to which the offense is expressed.
The adoption of the aspects of the theory is exemplified by
the indeterminate sentence law.
Philippine penal law looks at the convict as a
member of society. Among the important factors to be
considered in determining the penalty to be imposed on
him are (1) his relationship towards his dependents, family
and their relationship with him; and (2) his relationship
towards society at large and the State. The State is
concerned not only in the imperative necessity of
protecting the social organization against the criminal acts
of destructive individuals but also in redeeming the
individual for economic usefulness and other social ends.
The purpose of penalties is to secure justice.
The penalties imposed must not only be retributive but
must also be reformative, to give the convict an
opportunity to live a new life and rejoin society as a
productive and civic-spirited member of the community.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
LIANG VS. PEOPLE
FACTS: Jeffrey Liang is an economist working in the
Asian Development Bank (ADB). Sometime in 1994, he
was charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of
Mandaluyong City with two counts of grave oral
defamation for allegedly uttering defamatory words against
fellow ADB worker Joyce Cabal. Because of this, he was
arrested, but then, he was able to post bail, and so he was
released from custody.
The next day, the MTC judge received an “office
of protocol” from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
stating that Liang is covered by immunity from legal
process under Section 45 of the Agreement between the
ADB and the Philippine Government. Because of this, the
MTC judge dismissed the two criminal cases without
notice to the prosecution.
The
prosecution
filed
a
Motion
for
Reconsideration but it was denied. It then filed a Petition
for Certiorari and Mandamus with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Pasig City. The latter set aside the MTC ruling
and ordered for an enforcement of a warrant of arrest.
Liang filed a MR but it was denied. Hence, this Petition for
Review.
ISSUE: Whether or not Liang is covered by immunity
under the Agreement??? – NO.
HELD: The immunity mentioned in Section 45 of the
Agreement is not absolute, but subject to the exception
that the act was done in an “official capacity.” Slandering a
person could not possibly be covered by the immunity
agreement because our laws do not allow the commission
of a crime, such as defamation, in the name of official
duty. It is well-settled principle of law that a public official
may be liable in his personal private capacity for whatever
damage he may have caused by his act done with malice
or in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority or
jurisdiction.
Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations, a diplomatic agent enjoys immunity from
criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state except in the
case of an action relating to any professional or
commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in
the receiving state outside his official functions. The
commission of a crime is not part of an official duty.
CONCURRING OPINION, PUNO, J:
The phrase “immunity from every form of legal process” as
used in the UN General Convention has been interpreted
to mean absolute immunity from a state’s jurisdiction to
adjudicate or enforce its law by legal process, and it is
said that states have not sought to restrict that immunity of
the
United
Nations
by
interpretation
or
amendment. Similar provisions are contained in the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Special Agencies Convention as well as in the ADB
Charter
and
Headquarters
Agreement.
These
organizations were accorded privileges and immunities in
their charters by language similar to that applicable to the
United Nations. It is clear therefore that these
organizations were intended to have similar privileges and
immunities. From this, it can be easily deduced that
international organizations enjoy absolute immunity similar
to the diplomatic prerogatives granted to diplomatic
envoys.
On the other hand, international officials are
governed by a different rule. Section 18(a) of the General
Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United
Nations states that officials of the United Nations shall be
immune from legal process in respect of words spoken or
written and all acts performed by them in their official
capacity. The Convention on Specialized Agencies
carries exactly the same provision. The Charter of the
ADB provides under Article 55(i) that officers and
employees of the bank shall be immune from legal
process with respect to acts performed by them in their
official capacity except when the Bank waives
immunity. Section 45 (a) of the ADB Headquarters
Agreement accords the same immunity to the officers and
staff of the bank. There can be no dispute that
international officials are entitled to immunity only with
respect to acts performed in their official capacity, unlike
international organizations which enjoy absolute immunity.
Clearly, the most important immunity to an international
official, in the discharge of his international functions, is
immunity from local jurisdiction. There is no argument in
doctrine or practice with the principle that an international
official is independent of the jurisdiction of the local
authorities for his official acts. Those acts are not his, but
are imputed to the organization, and without waiver the
local courts cannot hold him liable for them. In strict law, it
would seem that even the organization itself could have no
right to waive an official’s immunity for his official
acts. This permits local authorities to assume jurisdiction
over and individual for an act which is not, in the wider
sense of the term, his act at all. It is the organization itself,
as a juristic person, which should waive its own immunity
and appear in court, not the individual, except insofar as
he appears in the name of the organization. Provisions for
immunity from jurisdiction for official acts appear, aside
from the aforementioned treatises, in the constitution of
most modern international organizations. The acceptance
of the principle is sufficiently widespread to be regarded as
declaratory of international law.
KHOSROW MINUCHER v. CA and ARTHUR SCALZO
Facts: Khosrow Minucher is an Iranian national who came
to study in the RP in 1974 and was appointed Labor
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Attaché for the Iranian Embassies in Tokyo, Japan and
Manila. When the Shah (monarch title) of Iran was
deposed, he became a refugee and continued to stay as
head of the Iranian National Resistance Movement.
Scalzo, on the other hand, was a special agent of the US
Drugs Enforcement Agency. He conducts surveillance
operations on suspected drug dealers in the Philippines
believed to be the source of prohibited drugs shipped to
the US and make the actual arrest.
In May 1986, Minucher (and one Abbas
Torabian) was charged with for the violation of RA 6425
(Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). The criminal charge was
followed by a “buy-bust operation” conducted by the
Philippine police narcotic agents in his house where a
quantity of heroin was said to have been seized. The
narcotic agents were accompanied by private respondent
Arthur Scalzo who became one of the principal witnesses
for the prosecution. They were acquitted.
On 03 August 1988, Minucher filed a case before
the RTC for damages on account of what he claimed to
have been trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made by
Arthur Scalzo. According to Minucher, he and Scalzo
conducted some business. Minucher expressed his desire
to obtain a US Visa for him and his Abbas’s wife. Scalzo
told him that he could help him for a $2,000 fee per visa.
After a series of business transactions between the two,
when Scalzo came to deliver the visas to Minucher’s
house, he told the latter that he would be leaving the
Philippines soon and requested him to come out of the
house so he can introduce him to his cousin waiting in the
cab. To his surprise, 30-40 armed Filipino soldiers came to
arrest him.
In his defense, Scalzo asserted his diplomatic
immunity as evidenced by a Diplomatic Note. He
contended that the US Government, pursuant to the
Vienna Convention, recognized it on Diplomatic Relations
and the Philippine government itself thru its Executive
Department and DFA.The courts ruled in favor of Scalzo
on the ground that as a special agent of the US Drug
Enforcement Administration, he was entitled to diplomatic
immunity.
RTC: decision in favor of plaintiff.
CA: Reversed. Scalzo was sufficiently clothed
with diplomatic immunity pursuant to the terms of the
Vienna Convention.
Issue: WON Scalzo is entitled to diplomatic immunity Yes.
Ratio: The Vienna Convention lists the classes of heads of
diplomatic missions to include: (a) ambassadors or
nuncios accredited to the heads of state, (b) envoys,
ministers or internuncios accredited to the heads of states;
and (c) charges d' affairs accredited to the ministers of
foreign affairs. Comprising the "staff of the (diplomatic)
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
mission" are the diplomatic staff, the administrative staff
and the technical and service staff. Only the heads of
missions, as well as members of the diplomatic staff,
excluding the members of the administrative, technical
and service staff of the mission, are accorded diplomatic
rank.
Scalzo was an Assistant Attaché of the US
diplomatic mission. Attaches assist a chief of mission in
his duties and are administratively under him, but
their main function is to observe, analyze and interpret
trends and developments in their respective fields in
the host country and submit reports to their own ministries
or departments in the home government. These
officials are not generally regarded as members of the
diplomatic mission, nor are they normally designated as
having diplomatic rank.
While the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo might
thus remain contentious, it was sufficiently established
that, indeed, he worked for the United States Drug
Enforcement Agency and was tasked to conduct
surveillance of suspected drugactivities within the country
on the dates pertinent to this case. If it should be
ascertained that Arthur Scalzo was acting well within his
assigned functions when he committed the acts alleged in
the complaint, the present controversy could then be
resolved under the related doctrine of State Immunity
from Suit.
The precept that a State cannot be sued in the
courts of a foreign state is a long-standing rule of
customary international law. If the acts giving rise to a suit
are those of a foreign government done by its foreign
agent, although not necessarily a diplomatic personage,
but acting in his official capacity, the complaint could be
barred by the immunity of the foreign sovereign from suit
without its consent. Suing a representative of a state is
believed to be, in effect, suing the state itself. The
proscription is not accorded for the benefit of an individual
but for the State, in whose service he is, under the maxim
– par in parem, non habet imperium – that all states are
sovereign equals and cannot assert jurisdiction over one
another. The implication is that if the judgment against an
official would require the state itself to perform an
affirmative act to satisfy the award, such as the
appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages
decreed against him, the suit must be regarded as being
against the state itself, although it has not been formally
impleaded.
A foreign agent, operating within a territory, can
be cloaked with immunity from suit but only as long as it
can be established that he is acting within the directives of
the sending state. The consent of the host state is an
indispensable requirement of basic courtesy between the
two sovereigns. The “buy-bust operation” and other such
acts are indication that the Philippine government has
given its imprimatur, if not consent, to the activities within
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Philippine territory of agent Scalzo of the United States
Drug Enforcement Agency. In conducting surveillance
activities on Minucher, later acting as the poseur-buyer
during the buy-bust operation, and then becoming a
principal witness in the criminal case against Minucher,
Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope
of his official function or duties.
SUZETTE NICOLAS v. ALBERTO ROMULO, in his
capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Facts: Respondent Lance Corporal (L/CPL) Daniel Smith
is a member of the US Armed Forces. He was charged
(along with 3 others) with the crime of rape committed
against a Filipina, Suzette Nicolas, inside the Subic Bay
Freeport Zone, Olongapo City (inside a Starex Van).
Pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between
the Philippines and the US, the US, at its request, was
granted custody of defendant Smith pending the
proceedings. During the trial, the US Government faithfully
complied with its undertaking to bring defendant Smith to
the trial court every time his presence was required. The
RTC of Makati found Smith guilty (others were acquitted
due to insufficiency of evidence) and sentenced him to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Pending
agreement of the parties as to where Smith shall be
detained, he was temporarily committed to the Makati City
Jail. However, defendant Smith was taken out of the
Makati jail and brought to a facility for detention under the
control of the US government due to new agreements
between the Philippines and the US, referred to as the
Romulo-Kenney Agreement. Under such agreement, the
DFA of the Philippines and the Embassy of the US agreed
that, in accordance with the VFA, Smith shall be detained
in a room at the U.S. Embassy Compound and guarded by
U.S. military personnel. The matter was brought before
the CA which dismissed the motion for having become
moot.
Issue: Does the US have custody over Smith from the
commission of the offense until completion of all
judicial proceedings? YES!
The VFA provides that in cases of offenses committed by
the members of the US Armed Forces in the Philippines,
the custody of any US personnel over whom the
Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately
reside with US military authorities, if they so request, from
the commission of the offense until completion of all
judicial proceedings. US military authorities shall make
such personnel available to those authorities in time for
any investigative or judicial proceedings relating to the
offense with which the person has been charged.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Nothing in the Constitution prohibits such
agreements recognizing immunity from jurisdiction or
some aspects of jurisdiction (such as custody), in relation
to long-recognized subjects of such immunity like Heads
of State, diplomats and members of the armed forces
contingents of a foreign State allowed to enter another
State’s territory.
The receiving State can exercise
jurisdiction over the forces of the sending State only to the
extent agreed upon by the parties. This is due to the
recognition of extraterritorial immunity given to bodies
such as visiting foreign armed forces.
Who has custody of Smith after conviction?
Applying the provisions of VFA, the Court finds that there
is a different treatment when it comes to detention as
against custody. The moment the accused has to be
detained after conviction, the rule that governs is that: the
confinement or detention by Philippine authorities of US
personnel shall be carried out in facilities agreed on by
appropriate Philippines and US authorities.
It is clear that the parties to the VFA recognized
the difference between CUSTODY DURING TRIAL and
DETENTION AFTER CONVICTION, because they
provided for a specific arrangement to cover detention.
And this specific arrangement clearly states that the
detention shall be carried out in facilities AGREED ON by
authorities of both parties AND that the detention shall be
“by Philippine authorities.”
Therefore, the Romulo-Kenney Agreements, which are
agreements on the detention of the accused in the US
Embassy, are not in accord with the VFA itself because
such detention is not “by Philippine authorities.”
The petitions were partly granted.
Side issue: WON the VFA was constitutional -YES!
It is constitutional as ruled by the court in the case of
Bayan v. Zamora. The VFA was duly concurred in by the
Philippine Senate and has been recognized as a treaty by
the United States as attested and certified by the duly
authorized representative of the United States
government.
NAVALES V ABAYA
Facts: Last July 27, 2003 more than 300 junior officers
and enlisted men – mostly from the elite units of the AFP
quietly entered the premises of the Ayala Center in Makati
City. They disarmed the security guards and took over the
Oakwood Premier Apartments (Oakwood). The soldiers
then made a statement through ABS-CBN News network
that they went to Oakwood to air their grievances against
the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
such as graft and corruption in the military, sale of arms
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
and ammunition to the ‘enemies’ of the State, etc. They
declared the withdrawal of support from the chain of
command and demanded the resignation of key civilian
and military leaders of the Arroyo administration.
After a series of negotiations between the
soldiers and the Government team led by Ambassador
Cimatu an agreement was forged between the two groups.
Subsequently DOJ charged the 3221 soldiers who took
part in the “Oakwood incident” with violation of Article 134A coup d’ etat of the RPC.
Thereafter several of the accused filed in the
RTC (branch 61) an Omnibus Motion praying that the RTC
assume jurisdiction over all charges filed before the
military tribunal.
While such motion was pending, DOJ issued a
Resolution finding probable cause for coup d’ etat against
only 31 of the original 321 accused and the charges
against them were dismissed.
RTC (branch 61) admitted the Amended
Information charging only 31 of the original accused with
the crime of coup d’ etat defined under Article 134-A of the
RPC.
However, 1Lt. Navales, et. al who were earlier
dropped as accused in the crime of coup d’ etat were
charged before the General Court Martial with violations of
the Articles of War.
At this point the RTC acted on the Omnibus
Motion filed by the 243 of the original accused declaring
the petition for the court assume jurisdiction over all
charges filed before the military court and requiring the
prosecution to produce evidence to establish probable
cause as MOOT AND ACADEMIC.
Furthermore, it
declared that all the charges before the court-martial
against the accused are hereby declared NOT SERVICE
CONNECTED
BUT
IS
ABSORBED
AND
IN
FURTHERANCE TO THE ALLEGED CRIME OF COUP D’
ETAT.
March 1, 2004, the General Court-martial has set
the arraignment/trial of those charged with violations of the
Articles of War.
Petitions for the issuance of temporary
restraining order were filed and the court directed that
parties to observe the status quo prevail before the filing of
the petition.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to the
writs of prohibition and habeas corpus.
Ruling: No. The Order of the RTC declaring that all the
charges before the court-martial against accused were not
service-connected but absorbed and in furtherance of the
crime of coup d’ etat, cannot be given effect.
When RTC resolved the Omnibus Motion to
assume jurisdiction over all the charges filed before the
military tribunal had already been rendered moot and
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
academic when the RTC accepted the Amended
Information under which only 31 of the accused were
charged and dismissing the case as against the other 290.
It has become moot against those charges that were
dismissed.
However in said order it further declared that “all
the charges before the court-martial against the accused
and former accused are not service-connected”, believing
that the crimes defined in and penalized by the Articles of
War were committed in furtherance of coup d’etat and thus
absorbed by the said crime.
Thus, insofar as those whose case against them
was dismissed, there was nothing left to be resolved after
the Omnibus Motion was considered moot and academic.
This dismissal made the petitioners no longer parties to
the case and no further relief could be granted to them.
1Lt Navales, et al. since they are strangers to the
proceedings in the criminal case are not bound by any
judgment rendered by the court, thus they cannot find
solace in the declaration of the RTC that the charges
filed against them before the General Court-Martial
were not service connected.
In view of the clear mandate of RA 7055 that
military courts have jurisdiction to try cases involving
violations of Articles 54 to 70, Articles 72 to 92 and Articles
95 to 97 of the Articles of War as these are considered
“service connected” crimes. It even mandates that it
should be tried by the court martial. The RTC thus has
no legal basis to rule that the violation of the following
Articles of War were committed in furtherance of coup
d’ etat and as such absorbed by the latter crime. In
making such a declaration the RTC acted without or in
excess of jurisdiction and is NULL AND VOID.
The writs of prohibition and habeas corpus
prayed for by the petitioners must fail.
As a general rule, the writ of habeas corpus will
not issue where the person alleged to be restrained of his
liberty is in custody of an officer under a process issued by
a court with jurisdiction and that the writ should not be
allowed after the party sought to be released had been
charged before any court or quasi-judicial body.
Thus, the rules apply to petitioners who were
detained under Commitment Order issued by the Chief of
Staff of the AFP.
On the other hand, the office of the writ of
prohibition is to prevent inferior courts, corporations,
boards or persons from usurping or exercising a
jurisdiction or power with which they have not been vested
by law.
In this case, the General Court Martial has
jurisdiction over the charges filed against 1Lt.
Navales, et. al under RA 7055. A writ of prohibition
cannot be issued to prevent it from exercising its
jurisdiction.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
© GONZALES v. ABAYA
*READ: concurring opinion of Justice Callejo
FACTS: This is about the Oakwood Mutiny (July 26, 2003)
where members of the AFP aimed to destabilize the
government with use of high-powered weapons and
explosive devices. Navy Lt. Trillanes IV & the troops
sported red armbands with the emblem “Magdalo.” They
broadcasted their grievances against GMA, such as the
graft and corruption in the military, the illegal sale of arms
& ammunition to the "enemies" of the State, and the
bombings in Davao City intended to acquire more military
assistance from the US government. They declared
withdrawal of support from the GMA & demanded her
resignation.
After several hours of negotiation, they eventually
surrendered. DOJ charged them with coup d’etat (defined
under Art. 134-A of the RPC) in RTC. Respondent Gen.
Narciso Abaya, then Chief of Staff, filed with the military
tribunal for violations of the Articles of War (Art. 63:
disrespect toward the Pres., Art. 64: disrespect toward a
superior officer, Art. 67: mutiny/sedition, Art. 96: for
conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and
Art. 97: conduct prejudicial to good order & military
discipline).
Following the doctrine of absorption, Gen. Abaya
recommended that those charged with coup d’etat with
RTC should not be charged before the military tribunal for
violations of Articles of War. The RTC decided that “all
charges before the court martial against the accused…are
hereby declared not service-connected, but rather
absorbed & in furtherance of the alleged crime of coup.”
However, Judge Advocate General’s Office of the AFP
(JAGO)’s Colonel recommended that 29 of the officers
(out of 321 coz DOJ dropped the case against the others)
be prosecuted before a general court martial for violation
of Art. 96. The AFP Judge Advocate General then directed
accused to answer the charge. Instead of complying, they
filed with the SC a Petition for Prohibition praying that the
respondents (JAGO) be ordered to desist from charging
them with violation of Art. 96.
Gonzales et al maintain that since the RTC has
made a determination in its Order of February 11, 2004
that the offense for violation of Article 96 (conduct
unbecoming an officer and a gentleman) of the Articles of
War is not service-connected, but is absorbed in the crime
of coup d’etat, the military tribunal cannot compel them to
submit to its jurisdiction.
ISSUE: Whether the petitioners (rebels) are entitled to the
writ of prohibition.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
HELD: NO. There is no dispute that Gonzales et al, being
officers of the AFP, are subject to military law according to
Commonwealth Act 408 (AKA Articles of War). Section 1
of R.A. 7055 provides that as a general rule, members of
the AFP and other persons subject to military law,
including members of the Citizens Armed Forces
Geographical Units, who commit crimes or offenses
penalized under the Revised Penal Code (like coup
d’etat), other special penal laws, or local ordinances shall
be tried by the proper civil court. It also provides the
exception to the general rule, i.e., where the civil court,
before arraignment, has determined the offense to be
service-connected, then the offending soldier shall be tried
by a court martial. Lastly, the law states an exception to
the exception, i.e., where the President of the Philippines,
in the interest of justice, directs before arraignment that
any such crimes or offenses be tried by the proper civil
court.
The same provision also identifies "serviceconnected crimes or offenses" as "limited to those defined
in Articles 54 to 70, Articles 72 to 92, and Articles 95 to 97"
of the Articles of War. Violations of these Articles are
within the jurisdiction of the court martial.
SC held that the offense for violation of Article 96
of the Articles of War is service-connected. This is
expressly provided in Section 1 (second paragraph) of
R.A. No. 7055. The charge against Gonzales et al
concerns the alleged violation of their solemn oath as
officers to defend the Constitution and the duly-constituted
authorities. Such violation allegedly caused dishonor and
disrespect to the military profession. In short, the charge
has a bearing on their professional conduct or behavior as
military officers. Equally indicative of the "serviceconnected" nature of the offense is the penalty prescribed
for the same – dismissal from the service – imposable only
by the military court. Such penalty is purely disciplinary in
character, evidently intended to cleanse the military
profession of misfits and to preserve the stringent
standard of military discipline.
There is no merit in Gonzales et al’s argument
that they can no longer be charged before the court
martial because the same has been declared by the RTC
as "not service-connected, but rather absorbed and in
furtherance of the alleged crime of coup d’etat," hence,
triable by said court (RTC). The RTC, in making such
declaration, practically amended the law which expressly
vests in the court martial the jurisdiction over "serviceconnected crimes or offenses." What the law has
conferred the court should not take away. Evidently, such
declaration by the RTC constitutes grave abuse of
discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and
is, therefore, void.
The trial court aggravated its error when it
justified its ruling by holding that the charge of Conduct
Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman is ‘absorbed and
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
in furtherance to the alleged crime of coup d’etat.’ Firstly,
the doctrine of ‘absorption of crimes’ is peculiar to criminal
law and generally applies to crimes punished by the same
statute, unlike here where different statutes are involved.
Secondly, the doctrine applies only if the trial court has
jurisdiction over both offenses. Here, Section 1 of R.A.
7055 deprives civil courts of jurisdiction over serviceconnected offenses, including Article 96 of the Articles of
War. Thus, the doctrine of absorption of crimes is not
applicable to this case.
Military law is sui generis, applicable only to
military personnel because the military constitutes an
armed organization requiring a system of discipline
separate from that of civilians.
Clearly, the instant petition for prohibition must
fail. The office of prohibition is to prevent the unlawful and
oppressive exercise of authority and is directed against
proceedings that are done without or in excess of
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, there being
no appeal or other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law. Stated differently, prohibition is
the remedy to prevent inferior courts, corporations,
boards, or persons from usurping or exercising a
jurisdiction or power with which they have not been vested
by law.
In fine, SC holds that herein respondents have
the authority in convening a court martial and in charging
petitioners with violation of Article 96 of the Articles of
War.
PEOPLE VS. LOL-LO
While a boat of Dutch possession was in the high seas,
Moros surrounded it with small boats. They robbed them
of food and cargo, attacked some of the men on board,
and brutally violated 2 women. Lo-lo and Saraw were two
of the moros responsible. Lo-lo and Saraw later returned
to Tawi-tawi where they were arrested and charged with
the crime of mutiny.
They were claiming that the
Philippine courts does not have jurisdiction since the
incident happened in the high seas. CFI still found them
guilty.
Issue: Can a piracy committed outside of the PH triable
here? – YES.
Held: YES.
All of the elements of the crime of piracy are
present. Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation
on the high seas, without lawful authority and
done animo furandi, and in the spirit and intention
of universal hostility.
Piracy is a crime not against any particular state
but against all mankind. It may be punished in the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
competent tribunal of any country where the
offender may be found or into which he may be
carried. The jurisdiction of piracy, unlike all other
crimes, has no territorial limits. As it is against all
so may it be punished by all.
© PEOPLE V. ROGER TULIN
MT Tabangao is a cargo vessel owned by PNOC. It was
sailing near the coast of Mindoro loaded with barrels of
kerosene, gasoline, and diesel oil with a total value of
40.4M. The vessel was suddenly boarded by 7 fully armed
pirates (accused in the case – Emilio Changco, Cecilio
Changco, Tulin, Loyola, Infante, etc.). they detained and
took control of the vessel. The name MT Tabangao and
the PNOC logo were painted over with black. Then it was
painted with the name Galilee. The ship crew was forced
to sail to Singapore.
In Singapore, the ship was awaiting another
vessel that did not arrive. Instead, the ship went back to
Batangas Philippines and remained at sea. Days later, it
went back to Singapore. This time, another vessel called
the Navi Pride anchored beside it. Another accused,
Cheong San Hiong, supervised the Navi’s crew and
received the cargo on board MT Tabangao/Galilee.
After the transfer of goods were completed, MT
Tabangao/Galilee went back to the Philippines and the
original crew members were released by the pirates in
batches. The crew was ordered not to tell authorities of
what happened.
The chief engineer of the crew, however,
reported the incident to the coast guard. Afterwards, a
series of arrests were effected in different places. An
information charging the accused with qualified piracy or
violation of the PD 532 – Piracy in the Philippine Waters –
was filed against the accused.
As it turns out, Navi Pride captain, Hiong, was
employed with Navi Marine Services ( a Singaporean firm,
I think). Before the seizure of the MT Tabangon, Navi
Marine was dealing for the first time with Paul Gan, a
Singaporean broker who offered to sell bunker oil to the
former. When the transaction pushed through, Hiong was
assigned to supervise a ship to ship transfer. He was told
that the Galilee would be making the transfer, so Navi
Pride ship-sided with Galilee and the transfer was
effected. Paul Gan received the payment. Upon arrival in
Singapore, Hiong was asked again to transact another
transfer of oil. The same procedure was followed. Hiong
then went to the Philippines to arrange another transfer
with Changco – the pirates head. This was how Hiong was
arrested by the NBI agents.
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All the accused put up denials and alibis. The trial
court, with ROMEO CALLEJO deciding, ruled that the
accused were all guilty.
ISSUE: w/n the accused are guilty of qualified piracy –
YES!
RULING: [only the important part for crim]
Hiong argues that he can not be convicted under PD 534
or Art 122 of the RPC as amended, since both laws punish
piracy committed in Philippine waters. Hiong also
contends that the court never acquired jurisdiction over
him since the crime was committed outside Philippine
waters.
Art. 122 of the RPC (piracy in general and mutiny
in the high seas) provided that piracy must be committed
in the high seas by any person not a member of its
complement nor a passenger thereof. It was amended by
RA 7659, which broadened the law to include offenses
committed in Philippine waters. PD 532 on the other hand,
embraces any person, including a passenger or member
of the complement of said vessel in the Philippine waters.
Passenger or not, member of the complement or not, any
person is covered by the law. No conflict exists among the
mentioned laws, they exist harmoniously as separate
laws.
The attack on and the seizure of MT Tabangao
and its cargo were committed in Philippine waters,
although the captive vessel was later brought by the
pirates to Singapore, where its cargo was off-loaded,
transferred and sold. Such transfer was done under
Hiong’s supervision. Although the disposition by the
pirates of the vessel and its cargo was not done in
Philippine waters, it is still deemed part of the same
act. Piracy falls under Title 1 of Book 2 of the RPC. It
is an exception to the rule on territoriality in criminal
law. The same principle applies to the case, even if
Hiong is charged with violation of a special penal law,
instead of the RPC. Regardless of the law penalizing
piracy, it remains to be a reprehensible crime against
the whole world.
GUEVARRA V. ALMODOVAR
Facts: John Philip Guevarra, an 11 year old, was playing
with his best friend Teodoro Almine, Jr. and three other
children in their backyard. They were target-shooting a
tansan using an air rifle borrowed from a neighbor. In the
course of their game, Almine was hit by a pellet on his left
collar bone which caused his unfortunate death.
After the preliminary investigation, the examining
Fiscal exculpated Guevarra due to his age and because
the unfortunate occurrence appeared to be an accident.
Almine’s parents appealed to the Ministry of Justice, which
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
ordered the Fiscal to file a case against Guevarra for
Homicide through reckless Imprudence.
Guevarra filed a motion to quash stating that the
information contains averments which if true would
constitute an excuse or justification. His primary argument
was that the term “discernment” connotes “intent” under
the exempting circumstance found under Art. 12 sec. 3 of
the RPC (9<x<15 exempting except if acting with
discernment). If this were true, then no minor between the
age of 9 to 15 may be convicted of a quasi offense under
Art. 365 (Criminal Negligence).
Issue: Is discernment the same as intent? – NO.
Held: Intent is defined as a determination to do certain
things. On the other hand, discernment is the mental
capacity to understand the difference between right and
wrong. They convey two distinct thoughts. It is therefore
incorrect to say that since a minor above nine but below
fifteen years of age acted with discernment, then he
intended such act to be done.
The second element of dolo (deceit) is
intelligence; without this power, necessary to determine
the morality of human acts to distinguish a licit from an
illicit act, no crime can exist. That’s why we have article
12.
In evaluating felonies committed by means of
culpa (fault), three (3) elements are indispensable,
namely, intelligence, freedom of action, and negligence.
Obviously, intent is wanting in such felonies. However,
intelligence remains as an essential element, hence, it is
necessary that a minor above nine but below fifteen years
of age be possessed with intelligence in committing a
negligent act which results in a quasi-offense. For him to
be criminally liable, he must discern the rightness or
wrongness of the effects of his negligent act.
As such, Guevarra was not exempted and the
case was remanded to the lower court.
PEOPLE vs OJEDA
PONENTE: Corona
FACTS: This is a case for estafa and violation of BP 22.
Cora Ojeda used to buy fabrics from Ruby Chua. All in all
Ojeda 228,306 pesos using 22 postdated checks. When
the checks were presented for payment, they were
dishonored due to “account closed”. Criminal charges
were lodged against Ojeda.
In defense Ojeda claims good faith, absence of
deceit, lack of notice of dishonor and full payment of the
amount of the checks. Also, Ojeda claims she advised
Chua not to cash the checks because they were not yet
sufficiently funded. Finally, she claims she made partial
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
payments worth 50,000 pesos in the form of finished
garments.
The trial court convicted her but only for 14
counts out of 22 bouncing checks issued. This was
because some checks were not covered by the indictment
and others were not signed by her but by her husband.
ISSUE: whether or not the defense of Ojeda for absence
of deceit is tenable. – YES.
HELD: Under Art. 315 of the RPC the following are the
requisites for estafa: first, a check is postdated or issued in
payment of an obligation contracted at the time it is
issued; second, lack or insufficiency of funds to cover the
check; third, damage to the payee thereof. Deceit and
damage are essential elements of the offense and must
be established by satisfactory proof to warrant conviction.
Deceit was not proven by the prosecution. In fact, Ojeda
not only made arrangements for the payment of the debts
but in fact paid (because during the pendency of the
appeal an affidavit of desistance was introduced by
Ojeda). This is a sign of good faith and absence of malice
– an essential element of estafa and crimes under the
RPC which are mala in se.
Minor ruling: there was also lack of notice of dishonor.
Prosecution merely presented a copy of the demand letter
and the registry receipt. However, the registry receipt does
not prove itself. It needs to be authenticated and identified.
In this case, it was not.
UNITED STATES vs. AH CHONG
Ah Chong was employed as a cook at Officers' quarters
No. 27 at Fort Mc Kinley and at the same place Pascual
Gualberto was employed as a house boy or muchacho.
No one slept in the house except the two servants,
ocuppying a small room toward the rear of the building.
The door of the room was not furnished with a permanent
bolt or lock, and occupants, as a measure of security, had
attached a small hook or catch on the inside of the door,
and were in the habit of reinforcing this somewhat
insecure means of fastening the door by placing against it
a chair.
Ah Chong was suddenly awakened by someone
who was forcing to open the door. He sat up in bed and
called out twice, "Who is there?" He heard no answer and
was convinced by the noise at the door that it was being
pushed open by someone bent upon forcing his way into
the room. Fearing that the intruder was a robber or a thief,
Ah Chong leaped to his feet and called out. "If you enter
the room, I will kill you."
At that moment he was struck just above the
knee by the edge of the chair which had been placed
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
against the door. In the darkness and confusion Ah Chong
thought that the blow had been inflicted by the person who
had forced the door open. Seizing a common kitchen knife
which he kept under his pillow, Ah Chong struck out wildly
at the intruder who, it afterwards turned out, was his
roommate, Pascual.
Pascual ran out upon the porch and fell down on
the steps. Seeing that Pascual was wounded, Ah Chong
called to his employers who slept in the next house, No.
28, and ran back to his room to secure bandages to bind
up Pascual's wounds.
The deceased and the accused had an
understanding to knock at the door and acquaint his
companion with his identity.
Ah Chong alleged that it was because of
repeated robberies that he kept a knife under his pillow for
his personal protection. He admitted that he had stabbed
his roommate, but said that he did it under the impression
that Pascual was "a ladron" (burglar) because he forced
open the door of their sleeping room, despite warnings.
TC: Ah Chong was guilty of simple homicide, with
extenuating circumstances. Ah Chong admitted that he
killed his roommate but insisted that he struck the fatal
blow without any intent to do a wrongful act, in the
exercise of his lawful right of self-defense.
ISSUE: WON one can be held criminally responsible who,
by reason of a mistake as to the facts, does an act for
which he would be exempt from criminal liability if the facts
were as he supposed them to be, but which would
constitute the crime of homicide or assassination if the
actor had known the true state of the facts at the time
when he committed the act
RULING: there is no criminal liability, provided always that
the alleged ignorance or mistake or fact was not due to
negligence or bad faith. Ah Chong acquiited.
There can be no doubt that defendant would be
entitle to complete exception from criminal liability for the
death of the victim of his fatal blow, if the intruder who
forced open the door of his room had been in fact a
dangerous thief or "ladron," as the defendant believed him
to be. No one, under such circumstances, would doubt the
right of the defendant to resist and repel such an intrusion,
and the thief having forced open the door notwithstanding
defendant's thrice-repeated warning to desist, and his
threat that he would kill the intruder if he persisted in his
attempt, it will not be questioned that in the darkness of
the night, in a small room, with no means of escape, with
the thief advancing upon him despite his warnings
defendant would have been wholly justified in using any
available weapon to defend himself from such an assault,
and in striking promptly, without waiting for the thief to
discover his whereabouts and deliver the first blow.
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But the evidence clearly discloses that the
intruder was not a thief or a "ladron." That neither the
defendant nor his property nor any of the property under
his charge was in real danger at the time when he struck
the fatal blow. That there was no such "unlawful
aggression" on the part of a thief or "ladron" as defendant
believed he was repelling and resisting, and that there was
no real "necessity" for the use of the knife to defend his
person or his property or the property under his charge.
ignorance or mistake of fact, if such ignorance or
mistake of fact is sufficient to negative a particular intent
which under the law is a necessary ingredient of the
offense charged (e.g., in larcerny, animus furendi; in
murder, malice; in crimes intent) "cancels the presumption
of intent," and works an acquittal; except in those cases
where the circumstances demand a conviction under the
penal provisions touching criminal negligence; and in
cases where, under the provisions of article 1 of the Penal
Code one voluntarily committing a crime or misdeamor
incurs criminal liability for any wrongful act committed by
him, even though it be different from that which he
intended to commit.
Ignorantia facti excusat ("Ignorance or mistake in
point of fact is, in all cases of supposed offense, a
sufficient excuse").
Since evil intent is in general an inseparable element in
every crime, any such mistake of fact as shows the act
committed to have proceeded from no sort of evil in the
mind necessarily relieves the actor from criminal liability
provided always there is no fault or negligence on his part;
That is to say, the question as to whether he honestly, in
good faith, and without fault or negligence fell into the
mistake is to be determined by the circumstances as they
appeared to him at the time when the mistake was made,
and the effect which the surrounding circumstances might
reasonably be expected to have on his mind, in forming
the intent, criminal or other wise, upon which he acted.
Ah Chong struck the fatal blow alleged in the
information in the firm belief that the intruder who forced
open the door of his sleeping room was a thief, from
whose assault he was in imminent peril, both of his life
and of his property and of the property committed to his
charge; that in view of all the circumstances, as they must
have presented themselves to the defendant at the time,
he acted in good faith, without malice, or criminal intent, in
the belief that he was doing no more than exercising his
legitimate right of self-defense; that had the facts been as
he believed them to be he would have been wholly exempt
from criminal liability on account of his act; and that he can
not be said to have been guilty of negligence or
recklessness or even carelessness in falling into his
mistake as to the facts, or in the means adopted by him to
defend himself from the imminent danger which he believe
threatened his person and his property and the property
under his charge.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
TORRES, J., dissenting:
the crime of homicide by reckless negligence, defined and
punishes in article 568 of the Penal Code, was committed,
inasmuch as the victim was wilfully killed, and while the
act was done without malice or criminal intent it was,
however, executed with real negligence, for the acts
committed by the deceased could not warrant the
aggression by the defendant under the erroneous belief on
the part of the accused that the person who assaulted him
was a malefactor; the defendant therefore incurred
responsibility in attacking with a knife the person who was
accustomed to enter said room, without any justifiable
motive.
© PEOPLE V. DELIM
FACTS: Marlon, Manuel and Robert Delim are brothers.
They are the uncles of Leon and Ronald Delim. Modesto
Delim, the victim (deceased), was adopted by the father of
the brothers.
On January 23, 1999, Modesto, Rita (wife),
Randy (son) and their 2 grandchildren were about to eat
their dinner when Marlon, Robert and Ronald barged into
the house. They were armed with a short handgun. Marlon
poked his gun at Modesto while Robert and Ronald
simultaneously grabbed and hog-tied the victim. A piece of
cloth was placed in the mouth of Modesto. They then
herded Modesto out of the house on their way towards the
direction of Paldit, Sison, Pangasinan. Leon and Manuel,
also armed with short handguns, stayed put by the door to
the house of Modesto and ordered Rita and Randy to stay
where they were. Leon and Manuel left the house at
around 7am the following day.
On January 27, 1999, Randy, in the company of
his relatives, found Modesto under thick bushes in a
grassy area. He was already dead. The cadaver was
bloated and in the state of decomposition. It exuded a bad
odor. Tiny white worms swarmed over and feasted on the
cadaver. Randy and his relatives immediately rushed to
the police station to report the incident and to seek
assistance.
According to the autopsy, the cause of death was
a gunshot wound at the head and the stab wounds
sustained by the victim on his left and forearm were
defensive wounds. The investigators confirmed that the
accused had no licenses for their firearms.
Only Marlon, Ronald and Leon were arrested.
Manuel and Robert were not found.
To exculpate themselves, Marlon, Ronald and
Leon interposed denial and alibi.
The trial court rendered judgment finding
accused-appellants guilty of aggravated murder (The trial
court appreciated treachery as a qualifying circumstance
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
and of taking advantage of superior strength, nighttime
and use of unlicensed firearms as separate of aggravating
circumstances in the commission of the crime) and
sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. The amount of
P75,000 for moral damages and P25,000 for exemplary
damages was awarded.
ISSUE:
1) WON the crime charged in the information is murder or
kidnapping – Murder
2) WON the prosecution mustered the requisite quantum
of evidence to prove that accused are guilty of murder
3) WON the qualifying circumstances should be
considered
HELD/ RATIO:
1) The crime charged is murder.
In determining what crime is charged in an information, the
material inculpatory facts recited therein describing the
crime charged in relation to the penal law violated are
controlling. Where the specific intent of the malefactor is
determinative of the crime charged such specific intent
must be alleged in the information and proved by the
prosecution. A decade ago, this Court held in People v.
Isabelo Puno, et al., that for kidnapping to exist, there
must be indubitable proof that the actual specific intent of
the malefactor is to deprive the offended party of his liberty
and not where such restraint of his freedom of action is
merely an incident in the commission of another offense
primarily intended by the malefactor.
If the primary and ultimate purpose of the
accused is to kill the victim, the incidental deprivation of
the victim's liberty does not constitute the felony of
kidnapping but is merely a preparatory act to the killing,
and hence, is merged into, or absorbed by, the killing of
the victim. The crime committed would either be homicide
or murder.
What is primordial then is the specific intent of
the malefactors as disclosed in the information or criminal
complaint that is determinative of what crime the accused
is charged with — that of murder or kidnapping.
Specific intent is used to describe a state of mind
which exists where circumstances indicate that an
offender actively desired certain criminal consequences or
objectively desired a specific result to follow his act or
failure to act. Specific intent must be alleged in the
Information and proved by the state in a prosecution for a
crime requiring specific intent. Kidnapping and murder are
specific intent crimes.
Specific intent may be proved by direct evidence
or by circumstantial evidence. It may be inferred from the
circumstances of the actions of the accused as
established by the evidence on record.
Specific intent is not synonymous with motive.
Motive generally is referred to as the reason which
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prompts the accused to engage in a particular criminal
activity. Motive is not an essential element of a crime and
hence the prosecution need not prove the same. As a
general rule, proof of motive for the commission of the
offense charged does not show guilt and absence of proof
of such motive does not establish the innocence of
accused for the crime charged such as murder. The
history of crimes shows that murders are generally
committed from motives comparatively trivial. Crime is
rarely rational. In murder, the specific intent is to kill the
victim. In kidnapping, the specific intent is to deprive the
victim of his/her liberty. If there is no motive for the crime,
the accused cannot be convicted for kidnapping. In
kidnapping for ransom, the motive is ransom. Where
accused kills the victim to avenge the death of a loved
one, the motive is revenge.
In this case, it is evident on the face of the
Information that the specific intent of the malefactors in
barging into the house of Modesto was to kill him and that
he was seized precisely to kill him with the attendant
modifying circumstances. The act of the malefactors of
abducting Modesto was merely incidental to their primary
purpose of killing him. Moreover, there is no specific
allegation in the information that the primary intent of the
malefactors was to deprive Modesto of his freedom or
liberty and that killing him was merely incidental to
kidnapping. Irrefragably then, the crime charged in the
Information is Murder under Article 248 of the Revised
Penal Code and not Kidnapping under Article 268 thereof.
2) YES
In this case, the prosecution was burdened to prove the
corpus delicti which consists of two things: 1) the criminal
act and 2) defendant's agency in the commission of the
act. Wharton says that corpus delicti includes two things:
1) the objective; 2) the subjective element of crimes. In
homicide (by dolo) and in murder cases, the prosecution is
burdened to prove: (a) the death of the party alleged to be
dead; (b) that the death was produced by the criminal act
of some other than the deceased and was not the result of
accident, natural cause or suicide; and (c) that defendant
committed the criminal act or was in some way criminally
responsible for the act which produced the death. To prove
the felony of homicide or murder, there must be
incontrovertible evidence, direct or circumstantial, that the
victim was deliberately killed (with malice); in other words,
that there was intent to kill. Such evidence may consist
inter alia in the use of weapons by the malefactors, the
nature, location and number of wounds sustained by the
victim and the words uttered by the malefactors before, at
the time or immediately after the killing of the victim. If the
victim dies because of a deliberate act of the malefactor,
intent to kill is conclusively presumed.
In the case at bar, the prosecution adduced the
requisite quantum of proof of corpus delicti. Modesto
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sustained 5 gunshot wounds. He also sustained 7 stab
wounds, defensive in nature. The use by the malefactors
of deadly weapons, more specifically handguns and
knives, in the killing of the victim as well as the nature,
number and location of the wounds sustained by said
victim are evidence of the intent by the malefactors to kill
the victim with all the consequences flowing therefrom.
3) NO
Qualifying circumstances such as treachery and abuse of
superior strength must be alleged and proved clearly and
conclusively as the crime itself. Article 14, paragraph 16 of
the Revised Penal Code provides that there is treachery
when the offender commits any of the crimes against the
person, employing means, methods or forms in the
execution thereof which tend directly and especially to
insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the
defense which the offended party might make. For
treachery to be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance,
the prosecution is burdened to prove the following
elements: (a) the employment of means of execution
which gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend
himself or retaliate; (b) the means of execution is
deliberately or consciously adopted. In this case, the
victim was defenseless when seized by Marlon and
Ronald. However, the prosecution failed to present any
witness or conclusive evidence that Modesto was
defenseless immediately before and when he was
attacked and killed. It cannot be presumed that although
he was defenseless when he was seized the victim was in
the same situation when he was attacked, shot and
stabbed by the malefactors. As to superior strength, what
is primordial is that the assailants deliberately took
advantage of their combined strength in order to
consummate the crime. In this case, the prosecution failed
to adduce evidence that Marlon and Ronald deliberately
took advantage of their numerical superiority when
Modesto was killed. The barefaced facts that the
malefactors outnumbered Modesto and were armed while
Modesto was not does not constitute proof that the three
took advantage of their numerical superiority and their
handguns when Modesto was shot and stabbed.
The aggravating circumstance of unlicensed
firearm and dwelling was not alleged in the information
thus, cannot be considered.
In sum, Marlon, Ronald and Leon are guilty only
of Homicide.
Separate Opinion: VITUG
The crime charged should be modified to
kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
The evidence would show that Modesto Delim
was forcibly abducted from his residence by appellants, all
armed, on the night of 23 January 1999. But to say that
the same group was also responsible for his death, days
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later, or that his violent end was the consequence of the
abduction, and nothing more, would be to unduly put to
risk our standard of moral certainty required for all
convictions.
The evidence would indeed point out that Marlon,
Ronald and Robert seized Modesto Delim from his house
while Leon and Manuel stood guard and stayed at the
door of the victim's house. Randy Manalo Bantas and Rita
Manalo Bantas, however, could only testify on the
participation of each of the malefactors in the abduction of
Modesto Delim but not on what might have happened to
him thereafter. In arriving at its verdict convicting
appellants for "aggravated murder," the trial court
considered the act of the accused of forcibly taking
Modesto Delim from his house as being likewise enough
to substantiate the killing by them of the victim. The
conclusion could rightly be assailed. The accounts of
Randy and his mother Rita would indicate that the forcible
taking of Modesto was carried out in absolute silence, with
not one of the five intruders uttering any word which could
give a clue on the reason for the abduction and, more
particularly, whether the same was carried out for the
purpose of killing Modesto. The two witnesses were
unaware of any existing grudge between the malefactors
and the victim that could have prompted them to violently
snuff out the life of the latter. While the motive of an
accused in a criminal case might generally be immaterial,
not being an element of the crime, motive could be
important and consequential when the evidence on the
commission of the crime would be short of moral certainty.
The facts point to only one established fact, i.e., that the
accused forcibly took Modesto Delim from his residence to
an unknown destination on the night of 23 January 1999,
would be scanty to support a conclusion that the five,
aside from abducting the victim, likewise killed him. There
was an unexplained gap in what ought to have been a
continuous chain of events. The body bore several
defensive wounds, which could give rise to the not too
unlikely scenario that Modesto might have ultimately been
released by his abductors sometime before he was killed.
RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
CORPORATION
vs.
FACTS: Romeo Dunca, driver of a trailer truck registered
under the name of Rafael Reyes Trucking Corp (RRTC),
was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in double
homicide and damage to property. The private offended
parties also instituted a separate civil action against RRTC
as employer of Romeo based on quasi delict. From the
records, it was shown that Romeo, while driving along the
national road in Isabela, approached a damaged portion of
the road, where the surface of the road was uneven.
However, the left lane parallel to this portion was smooth.
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Thus, they used the parallel lane to avoid taking the
damage road. However, at that moment, there was an
incoming Nissan vehicle causing the truck to ram with the
former. As a result, 2 of the passengers of the Nissan died
instantly. The RTC rendered a decision in the criminal
case, finding Romeo guilty of the crime of Double
Homicide through Reckless Imprudence with violation of
the Motor Vehicle Law (RA 4136) and ordering him to
indemnify the heirs of the victims. With regard to the civil
action filed against RRTC, the RTC ordered the company
to pay the offended parties actual damages. Both Romeo
and RRTC appealed, while the offended parties moved
that the dispositive portion be changed so as to hold
RRTC solidarily liable for the damages awarded in the
criminal case in case Romeo becomes insolvent. The trial
court granted the motion of the offended parties and
issued a supplemental decision declaring RRTC as
subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded in the criminal
case in the event of Romeo’s insolvency. RRTC appealed
the supplemental decision. However, during the pendency
of the appeal, Romeo jumped bail and fled to a foreign
country. The CA affirmed the trial court’s supplemental
decision.
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damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, arising from
the same act or omission of the accused.
When private respondents, as complainants in
the criminal action, reserved the right to file the separate
civil action, they waived other available civil actions
predicated on the same act or omission of the accuseddriver. Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity
under the Revised Penal Code, and damages under
Articles 32, 33, and 34 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
arising from the same act or omission of the accused.
The intention of offended parties to proceed
primarily and directly against RRTC as employer of
accused truck driver, Romeo, became clearer when they
did not ask for the dismissal of the civil action against the
latter based on quasi delict. Thus, the Court of Appeals
and the trial court erred in holding the accused civilly
liable, and petitioner-employer of the accused subsidiarily
liable for damages arising from crime (ex delicto) in the
criminal action as the offended parties in fact filed a
separate civil action against the employer based on quasi
delict resulting in the waiver of the civil action ex delicto.
People v Carmen
ISSUE: W/N RRTC may be held subsidiarily liable for
damages awarded to the offended parties in the
criminal action against Romeo despite the filing of a
separate civil action by the offended parties against it.
– NO.
HELD/RATIO: In negligence cases, the aggrieved party
has the choice between (1) an action to enforce civil
liability arising from crime under Article 100 of the Revised
Penal Code; and (2) a separate action for quasi delict
under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
Once the choice is made, the injured party can not avail
himself of any other remedy because he may not recover
damages twice for the same negligent act or omission of
the accused. This is the rule against double recovery. In
other words, "the same act or omission can create two
kinds of liability on the part of the offender, that is, civil
liability ex delicto, and civil liability quasi delicto" either of
which "may be enforced against the culprit, subject to the
caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the
offended party cannot recover damages under both types
of liability."
In this case, RRTC, as employer of the accused
Romeo, who has been adjudged guilty in the criminal case
for reckless imprudence, cannot be held subsidiarily liable
because of the filing of the separate civil action based on
quasi delict against it. In view of the reservation to file, and
the subsequent filing of the civil action for recovery of civil
liability, the same was not instituted with the criminal
action. Such separate civil action was for recovery of
Facts: A boy named Randy Luntayao was believed by his
father (Eddie) to have a ‘nervous breakdown’ manifested
by him talking and laughing by himself. He thinks that the
breakdown was caused by skipping meals whenever he
took the boy with him to the farm.
Upon the suggestion of one of the accused in this case,
Eddie, wife Perlita and their three children went with said
accused to Cebu. Upon arriving in Cebu they went to the
house of another accused Carmen and diagnosed the boy
to be possessed with a ‘bad spirit’ and that she could
exorcise. Warning that in conducting exorcism, the bad
spirit might transfer to Eddie it was best to do the healing
prayer without him. Eddie, wife and children were locked
inside a room in the house.
The exorcism conducted by Carmen was witnessed by
two children who were playing ‘takyan’ when they heard a
shout asking for help from his mother. They ran to the
direction of the house of Carmen and saw that Randy was
being immersed in water head first by the 4 accused.
They also saw him being tied on a bench while Carmen
poured water into the mouth of the boy. Each time the boy
struggled to raise his head, accused Alexander banged
the boy’s head against the bench. She also witnessed
accused Celedonia dropped her weight on the body of the
boy. They also took turns in pounding the boy’s chest with
their clenched fist. Then Carmen asked one of the
accused to get a knife and after which the knife was slowly
plunged into the left side of the boy’s body. Then the boy
was carried into the house.
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Around 5 o’clock in the afternoon Randy was already
dead.
After Eddie and his family returned to Negros Occidental,
Eddie sought the assistance from the Bombo Radyo
station in Bacolod City. As the incident took place in Cebu,
NBI in Cebu conducted the investigation and autopsy
report of the exhumed body.
The family filed a case in court against Carmen et.al of
murder. The trial court found them guilty of murder
arguing that killing a person with treachery is murder. It
cited a court decision stating that even if there is no intent
to kill, in inflicting physical injuries with treachery, the
accused in that case was convicted of murder.
Intent is presumed from the commission of an unlawful
act. In the case at bar, there is enough evidence that the
accused confederated with each other in inflicting physical
harm to the victim (illegal act).
These acts were
intentional and thus they should be liable for all the direct
and natural consequences of their unlawful act.
Issue: Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of
murder? – NO.
Ruling: There was no criminal intent on the part of the
accused to kill the boy. It was shown that the accused
are members of a cult and the bizarre ritual was
consented to by the parents of the boy. Their liability
arises from their reckless imprudence because they ought
to know their actions would not bring about the cure. They
are guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and
not murder.
The RPC states that reckless imprudence
consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or
failing to do an act from which material damage
results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on
the person performing such an act.
Intentional
felonies such as murder or homicide, what takes the
place of the element of is the failure of the offender to
take precautions due to lack if skill.
The accused lack medical skills in treating the
victim of his ailment, resulted in the latters death.
Treachery in this case cannot be appreciated
in the absence of intent to kill. The acts of the accused
therefore considered by the court as treachery are in fact
efforts by the accused to restrain the boy so that they can
cure him. Thus, the decision of the RTC is affirmed and
modified declaring the accused guilty of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide.
PEOPLE vs. ANTONIO Z. OANIS and ALBERTO
GALANTA
Facts: The Provincial Inspector at Cabanatuan, Nueva
Ecija, received a telegram: "Information received escaped
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convict Anselmo Balagtas with bailarina Irene. Get him
dead or alive."
Defendant corporal Galanta and chief of police
Oanis were 2 of the 5 who reported to the office of the
Provincial Inspector where they were shown a copy of the
telegram and a picture of Balagtas. They were instructed
to arrest Balagtas and, if overpowered, to follow the
instruction in the telegram (dead or alive).
The group of defendants Oanis and Galanta went
to the house where Irene was supposedly living. There
Oanis approached one Brigida Mallare who pointed to
them Irene’s room and said that Irene was sleeping with
her paramour at that time.
Defendants Oanis and Galanta then went to the
room of Irene, and seeing a man sleeping with his back
towards the door where they were, simultaneously or
successively fired at him with their .32 and .45 caliber
revolvers. Awakened by the gunshots, Irene saw her
paramour already wounded, and looking at the door where
the shots came, she saw the defendants still firing at him.
Later it was found that the person shot was not the
notorious criminal Anselmo Balagtas but one Serapio
Tecson, Irene's paramour.
Oanis and Galanta gave contradicting versions of
the incident and it was made apparent from these
contradictions that when each of the appellants tries to
exculpate himself of the crime charged, he is at once
belied by the other; but their mutual incriminating
averments corroborated substantially, the testimony of
Irene. A careful examination of Irene's testimony showed
that it contained all indicia of veracity. In her crossexamination, even misleading questions had been put
which were unsuccessful, the witness having stuck to the
truth in every detail of the occurrence.
LC: homicide through reckless imprudence
The LC took into consideration the fact that Oanis
and Galanta acted in innocent mistake of fact in the
honest performance of their official duties, both of them
believing that Tecson was Balagtas
Issue: WON Oanis and Galanta may be held responsible
for the death of Tecson
Held: YES. Murder, not homicide through reckless
imprudence with qualifying circumstance of alevosia
Although an officer in making a lawful arrest is justified in
using such force as is reasonably necessary to secure and
detain the offender, he is never justified in using
unnecessary force or in resorting to dangerous means
when the arrest could be effected otherwise.
It may be true that Anselmo Balagtas was a
notorious criminal, a life-termer, but these facts alone
constitute no justification for killing him when in effecting
his arrest, he offers no resistance or in fact no resistance
can be offered, as when he is asleep.
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A mitigating circumstance of weight consisting
in the incomplete justifying circumstance defined in article
11, No. 5, of the Revised Penal Code: a person incurs no
criminal liability when he acts in the fulfillment of a duty or
in the lawful exercise of a right or office.
There are two requisites in order that the
circumstance may be taken as a justifying one:
a) that the offender acted in the performance of a duty or
in the lawful exercise of a right; and
(b) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary
consequence of the due performance of such duty or the
lawful exercise of such right or office.
In the instance case, only the first requisite is present
PARAS, DISSENTING:
In my opinion, therefore, the appellants are not criminally
liable if the person killed by them was in fact Anselmo
Balagtas for the reason that they did so in the fulfillment of
their duty and in obedience to an order issued by a
superior for some lawful purpose (Revised Penal Code,
art. 11, pars. 5 and 6). They also cannot be held criminally
liable even if the person killed by them was not Anselmo
Balagtas, but Serapio Tecson, because they did so under
an honest mistake of fact not due to negligence or bad
faith. (U.S. vs. Ah Chong, 15 Phil., 488).
HONTIVEROS, DISSENTING:
Appellants found there asleep a man closely resembling
the wanted criminal. Oanis said: If you are Balagtas stand
up," But the supposed criminal showed his intention to
attack the appellants, a conduct easily explained by the
fact that he should have felt offended by the intrusion of
persons in the room where he was peacefully lying down
with his mistress. In such predicament, it was nothing but
human on the part of the appellants to employ force and to
make use of their weapons in order to repel the imminent
attack by a person who, according to their belief, was
Balagtas It was unfortunate, however that an innocent
man was actually killed.
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kept insisting that he should or could go back to the
restaurant while the latter prevented him from doing
so. Upon nearing their house, the appellant abruptly
stopped the pick-up and the victim alighted. Holding a
bottle of beer in his right hand, the victim raised both of his
hands, stood in front of the pick-up and said, "sige kung
gusto mo sagasaan mo ako, hindi ka makakaalis." The
appellant slowly drove the pick-up forward threatening to
run over the victim. At this juncture, the victim exclaimed,
"papatayin mo ba ako?”. The appellant backed-up almost
hitting an owner type jeep parked at the side of the road
and on board was prosecution eyewitness, Ma. Cecilia
Mariano. Then at high speed, the appellant drove the pickup forward hitting the victim in the process. Not satisfied
with what he had done, the appellant put the vehicle in
reverse thereby running over the victim a second time.
The appellant then alighted from the vehicle and walked
towards their house.
Witnesses rushed the victim to the Dolorosa
Hospital at Norzagaray, Bulacan where the victim expired
shortly thereafter.
The appellant was not immediately prosecuted
for the death of his father which he was able to pass off as
an accident. But when his older sister, Leslie C. Padilla,
arrived from the United States to attend her father's wake
and funeral, she made inquiries about the circumstances
surrounding his death and was given different versions of
the incident, some of which insinuated that her father did
not meet his demise accidentally. Later, a suspicion of foul
play moved her to engage the services of the NBI for a
formal investigation into the matter. An information for
parricide against appellant thereafter.
Issue: W/N Castillo Jr. is guilty of parricide. – YES.
Held: The prosecution has successfully established the
elements of parricide: (1) the death of the deceased; (2)
that he or she was killed by the accused; and (3) that the
deceased was a legitimate ascendant or descendant, or
the legitimate spouse of the accused.
PEOPLE V. CASTILLO JR.
Issue: W/N the parricide was committed thru reckless
imprudence as claimed by the appellant.
Facts: On Nov. 6, 1993, between 7:30 and 8:30 pm,
appellant Castillo, Jr. was in the D&G Restaurant in
Bulacan, with his father Castillo, Sr., who is the victim in
this case. They were drinking. After 2 hours, a group of
noisy customers arrived in the restaurant. Castillo Sr.,
aware of his son’s propensity to get into fights, urged
Castillo Jr. to go home with him. The 2 boarded a blue
pick-up truck and went.
Castillo Jr. drove the vehicle home with Castillo
Sr. in the passenger’s seat. During the trip home, an
argument ensued between the appellant and the victim
who were both a bit drunk already because the former
Held: Appellant claims that there was no intention on his
part to kill his father, and that he had accidentally stepped
on the gas pedal forcefully, causing the vehicle to travel, at
a fast speed.
The details of the incident as narrated by Mariano
and Agaran bespeak of a crime committed with full intent.
And we have held that a deliberate intent to do an unlawful
act is essentially inconsistent with the idea of reckless
imprudence. What qualifies an act as one of reckless or
simple negligence or imprudence is the lack of malice or
criminal intent in the execution thereof. Otherwise stated,
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in criminal negligence, the injury caused to another should
be unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act
done without malice but with lack of foresight,
carelessness, or negligence, and which has harmed
society or an individual.
Mariano testified that the blue pick-up truck
suddenly rushed forward at a high speed then stopped.
The victim alighted, went in front of the car and screamed
“papatayin mo ba ako” while the driver was trying to
intimidate him with the headlights. Then the truck backed
up, almost hitting them and then rushed forward hitting the
old man. Then afterwards, it even backed up on the body.
The records are bereft of any evidence that the
appellant had tried to avoid hitting the victim who
positioned himself in front of the pick-up. On the contrary,
Mariano's testimony is to the effect that prior to actually
hitting the victim, the appellant was "intimidating" him by
moving the pick-up forward, thus prompting the victim to
exclaim, "papatayin mo ba ako?". Worse, the appellant
backed-up to gain momentum, then accelerated at a very
fast speed knowing fully well that the vehicle would
definitely hit the victim who was still standing in front of the
same.
The appellant's actuations subsequent thereto
also serve to refute his allegation that he did not intend to
kill his father. Surely, the appellant must have felt the
impact upon hitting the victim. The normal reaction of any
person who had accidentally ran over another would be to
immediately alight from the vehicle and render aid to the
victim. But as if to ensure the victim's death, the appellant
instead backed-up, thereby running over the victim again.
PEOPLE V. NEPOMUCENO, JR.
Article 3 of RPC- Felonies are committed either thru
dolo (deceit) or culpa (fault)
Facts: Accused-appellant Guillermo Nepomuceno, Jr. has
appealed in regard to the decision finding him guilty of the
crime of parricide as defined and penalized under Article
246 of RPC for the death of Grace Nepomuceno. On May
2, 1994 in Manila, the said accused, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill and
with treachery and evident premeditation, attack, assault
and use personal violence upon the person of one
GRACE NEPOMUCENO Y BENITEZ, his wife, with whom
he was married in lawful wedlock, by then and there
shooting her with a gun of unknown caliber hitting her on
the left hip, thereby inflicting upon the victim a fatal
gunshot wound.
The prosecution presented Monserrat de Leon,
sister of the victim,who declared that Grace would confide
to her that accused-appellant was jobless and that Grace
had problems with the low income of the store she owned
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at Zurbaran Mart as compared to her expenses. Accusedappellant would force sex on Grace especially when he
was drunk. Defense claimed that the accused was initially
thinking about ending his life by shooting himself because
of the financial woes and his wife’s relentless pestering
and nagging, but in the process of both spouses’ struggle
to take possession of the gun, it went off and hit Grace.
Issue:
1) WON THE KILLING WAS ACCIDENTAL, AND THAT
THE DECEASED WAS EXEMPT FROM CRIMINAL
LIABILITY (NO!)
2) MAIN ISSUE AS TO ARTICLE 3: WON THE KILLING
WAS DUE TO SIMPLE NEGLIGENCE (NO!)
3) WON ACCUSED IS GUILTY OF PARRICIDE BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT (YES!)
HELD: 1) No. First, accused-appellant cannot Paragraph
4, Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code in order to be
exempted from criminal liability. Said provision pertinently
states:
Art. 12. Circumstances which exempt from
criminal liability. The following are exempt from criminal
liability: 4) Any person who, while performing a lawful act
with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without
fault or intention of causing it.
Accident to be exempting, presupposes that the
act done is lawful. Here, however, the act of accusedappellant of drawing a weapon in the course of a quarrel,
the same not being in self-defense, is unlawful -- it at least
constitutes light threats (Article 285, par. 1). There is thus
no room for the invocation of accident as a ground for
exemption. The gun was not even licensed or registered
hence, he could have been charged with illegal
possession of a firearm. Secondly, appellant's claim that
the shooting happened when he tried to prevent his wife
from killing herself and he and his wife grappled for the
possession of the gun is belied by the expert testimony of
Dr. Arizala of the who conducted a second post mortem
examination. Moreover, the act of accused ordering Eden
Ontog to call a taxi in which he brought the wounded
Grace to the hospital is "merely an indication or act of
repentance or contrition on the part of appellant. Accusedappellant's voluntary surrender is not sufficient ground to
exculpate him from criminal liability. The law merely
considers such act as a mitigating circumstance. Nonflight is not proof of innocence.
2) No. What qualifies an act of reckless or simple
negligence or imprudence is the lack of malice or criminal
intent in the execution thereof. Moreover, if the version of
grappling for the gun were to be believed, there should
have been nitrates on both hands of Grace, as examined
by the NBI doctor who conducted the post-mortem
examination on the cadaver of the victim. Thus, these
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
physical evidence, the lack of powder burns or nitrates on
the hands of Grace and the trajectory of the bullet that
entered her left thigh being slightly upwards and from left
to right instead of downwards, repudiate accusedappellant's claim of simple negligence.
3) Yes, but with mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender. The prosecution has sufficiently established the
elements of parricide by its evidence. These elements are:
(1) the death of the deceased; (2) that she was killed by
the accused; and (3) that the deceased was a legitimate
ascendant or descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the
accused (Article 246). The first and third elements were
stipulated during the pre-trial stage of the case, thus: the
victim and the accused are legally married, and that
immediately after the shooting, the accused voluntarily
and bodily carried the victim into a taxicab and proceeded
to the hospital where she died.” Further, accusedappellant having admitted that he shot his wife, he has the
burden of proof of establishing the presence of any
circumstance which may relieve him of responsibility.
PEOPLE vs. PUGAY & SAMSON (may 2 or more
persons kill the same victim)
FACTS: The deceased victim Miranda, a 25-year old
retardate, and the accused Pugay were friends. During a
town fiesta, Gabion, the witness, was sitting in the ferris
wheel and reading a comic book. He then saw Pugay and
Samson with several companions making fun of Miranda.
Pugay suddenly took a can of gasoline from under the
engine of the ferris wheel and poured its contents on the
body of the Miranda. The victim died due to the incident.
Gabion, Pugay, Samson and 5 others were brought to the
municipal building for interrogation. Pugay and Samson
gave statements to the police. Pugay admitted in his
statement that he poured a can of gasoline on the
deceased believing that the contents thereof was water
and Samson set the deceased on fire. Samson alleged in
his statement that he saw Pugay pour gasoline on
Miranda but did not see the person who set him on fire.
Pugay and Samson were found guilty on the crime of
murder but crediting in favor of the accused Pugay the
mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to commit so
grave a wrong.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a conspiracy?
HELD: None, there is nothing in the records showing that
there was previous conspiracy or unity of criminal purpose
and intention between the two accused-appellants
immediately before the commission of the crime. There
was no animosity between the deceased and the accused
Pugay or Samson. Their meeting at the scene of the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
incident was accidental. It is also clear that the accused
Pugay and his group merely wanted to make fun of the
deceased. Hence, the respective criminal responsibility of
Pugay and Samson arising from different acts directed
against the deceased is individual and not collective, and
each of them is liable only for the act committed by him
(U.S. vs. Magcomot, et. al. 13, Phil. 386; U.S. vs. Abiog,
et. al. 37 Phil. 1371).
ISSUE: What is the criminal responsibility of Pugay?
HELD: Homicide through reckless imprudence. Having
taken the can from under the engine of the ferris wheel
and holding it before pouring its contents on the body of
the deceased, this accused knew that the can contained
gasoline. Clearly, he failed to exercise all the diligence
necessary to avoid every undesirable consequence arising
from any act that may be committed by his companions
who at the time were making fun of the deceased.
A man must use common sense and exercise due
reflection in all his acts; it is his duty to be cautious,
careful, and prudent, if not from instinct, then through fear
of incurring punishment. He is responsible for such results
as anyone might foresee and for acts which no one would
have performed except through culpable abandon.
Otherwise his own person, rights and property, all those of
his fellow-beings, would ever be exposed to all manner of
danger and injury.
ISSUE: What is the criminal responsibility of Samson?
HELD: homicide with ordinary mitigating circumstance of
no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that
committed. His conviction of murder because of the
presence of treachery is improper. There is entire absence
of proof in the record that the accused Samson had some
reason to kill the deceased before the incident. On the
contrary, there is adequate evidence showing that his act
was merely a part of their fun-making that evening. For the
circumstance of treachery to exist, the attack must be
deliberate and the culprit employed means, methods, or
forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself
arising from any defense which the offended party might
make.
There can be no doubt that the accused Samson
knew very well that the liquid poured on the body of the
deceased was gasoline and a flammable substance for he
would not have committed the act of setting the latter on
fire if it were otherwise. Giving him the benefit of doubt, it
can be conceded that as part of their fun-making he
merely intended to set the deceased's clothes on fire. His
act, however, does not relieve him of criminal
responsibility. Burning the clothes of the victim would
cause at the very least some kind of physical injuries on
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
his person, a felony defined in the Revised Penal Code. If
his act resulted into a graver offense, as what took place
in the instant case, he must be held responsible therefor.
Article 4 of the aforesaid code provides, inter alia, that
criminal liability shall be incurred by any person
committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done
be different from that which he intended.
We are disposed to credit in his favor the
ordinary mitigating circumstance of no intention to commit
so grave a wrong as that committed as there is evidence
of a fact from which such conclusion can be drawn. The
eyewitness Gabion testified that the accused Pugay and
Samson were stunned when they noticed the deceased
burning.
Estrada v Sandiganbayan (GR No. 148560. November
19, 2001)
Facts: Petitioner Estrada, President of the Phililippines is
being prosecuted under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and
Penalizing the Crime of Plunder as amended by RA 7659.
He contends that the, Plunder law is unconstitutional for
being vague; second, The Plunder Law requires less
evidence for proving the predicate crimes of plunder and
therefore violates the rights of the accused to due process;
and third Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum
prohibitum, and if so, whether it is within the power of
Congress to so classify it.
Issues:
1.
WON Plunder Law is unconstitutional for being
vague
No. As long as the law affords some comprehensible
guide or rule that would inform those who are subject to it
what conduct would render them liable to its penalties, its
validity will be sustained. The amended information itself
closely tracks the language of law, indicating w/
reasonable certainty the various elements of the offense
w/c the petitioner is alleged to have committed.
We discern nothing in the foregoing that is vague
or ambiguous that will confuse petitioner in his defense.
Petitioner however bewails the failure of the law
to provide for the statutory definition of the terms
“combination” and “series” in the key phrase “a
combination or series of overt or criminal acts. These
omissions, according to the petitioner, render the Plunder
Law unconstitutional for being impermissibly vague and
overbroad and deny him the right to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him, hence
violative of his fundamental right to due process.
A statute is not rendered uncertain and void
merely because general terms are used herein, or
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
because of the employment of terms without defining
them.
A statute or act may be said to be vague when it
lacks comprehensible standards that men of common
intelligence most necessarily guess at its meaning and
differ in its application. In such instance, the statute is
repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects – it
violates due process for failure to accord persons,
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what
conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law enforcers unbridled
discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an
arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle.
A facial challenge is allowed to be made to vague
statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible
“chilling effect” upon protected speech. The possible harm
to society in permitting some unprotected speech to go
unpunished is outweighed by the possibility that the
protected speech of other may be deterred and perceived
grievances left to fester because of possible inhibitory
effects of overly broad statutes. But in criminal law, the law
cannot take chances as in the area of free speech.
2.
WON the Plunder Law requires less evidence
for providing the predicate crimes of plunder and
therefore violates the rights of the accused to due
process
No. Sec. 4 (Rule of Evidence) states that: For purposes of
establishing the crime of plunder, it shall not be necessary
to prove each and every criminal act done by the accused
in furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to amass,
accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth, it being sufficient
to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or
criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or
conspiracy.
In a criminal prosecution for plunder, as in all
other crimes, the accused always has in his favor the
presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Bill of Rights,
and unless the State succeeds in demonstrating by proof
beyond reasonable doubt that culpability lies, the accused
is entitled to an acquittal.
The “reasonable doubt” standard has acquired
such exalted stature in the realm of constitutional law as it
gives life to the Due Process Clause which protects the
accused against conviction except upon proof of
reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the
crime with which he is charged.
Not everything alleged in the information needs
to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. What is required
to be proved beyond reasonable doubt is every element of
the crime charged—the element of the offense.
Relative to petitioner’s contentions on the
purported defect of Sec. 4 is his submission that “pattern”
is a “very important element of the crime of plunder;” and
that Sec. 4 is “two-pronged, (as) it contains a rule of
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
evidence and a substantive element of the crime, “ such
that without it the accused cannot be convicted of plunder.
We do not subscribe to petitioner’s stand.
Primarily, all the essential elements of plunder can be
culled and understood from its definition in Sec. 2, in
relation to sec. 1 par. (d). Sec. 4 purports to do no more
than prescribe a rule of procedure for the prosecution of a
criminal case for plunder. Being a purely procedural
measure, Sec. 4 does not define or establish any
substantive right in favor of the accused but only operated
in furtherance of a remedy.
What is crucial for the prosecution is to present
sufficient evidence to engender that moral certitude
exacted by the fundamental law to prove the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt.
3.
WON Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum
prohibitum, and if so, whether it is within the power of
Congress to so classify it.
No. It is malum in se which requires proof of criminal
intent. Precisely because the constitutive crimes are mala
in se the element of mens rea must be proven in a
prosecution for plunder. It is noteworthy that the amended
information alleges that the crime of plunder was
committed “willfully, unlawfully and criminally.” It thus
alleges guilty knowledge on the part of petitioner.
In support of his contention In support of his
contention that the statute eliminates the requirement of
mens rea and that is the reason he claims the statute is
void, petitioner cites the following remarks of Senator
Tañada made during the deliberation on S.B. No.733
Senator Tañada was only saying that where the
charge is conspiracy to commit plunder, the prosecution
need not prove each and every criminal act done to further
the scheme or conspiracy, it being enough if it proves
beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal
acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or
conspiracy. As far as the acts constituting the pattern are
concerned, however, the elements of the crime must be
proved and the requisite mens rea must be shown.
The application of mitigating and extenuating
circumstances in the Revised Penal Code to prosecutions
under the Anti-Plunder Law indicates quite clearly that
mens rea is an element of plunder since the degree of
responsibility of the offender is determined by his criminal
intent.
Finally, any doubt as to whether the crime of
plunder is a malum in se must be deemed to have been
resolved in the affirmative by the decision of Congress in
1993 to include it among the heinous crimes punishable
by reclusion perpetua to death.
The evil of a crime may take various forms. There
are crimes that are, by their very nature, despicable, either
because life was callously taken or the victim is treated
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
like an animal and utterly dehumanized as to completely
disrupt the normal course of his or her growth as a human
being.
There are crimes however in which the
abomination lies in the significance and implications of the
subject criminal acts in the scheme of the larger sociopolitical and economic context in which the state finds
itself to be struggling to develop and provide for its poor
and underprivileged masses.
The legislative declaration in R.A. No.7659 that
plunder is a heinous offense implies that it is a malum in
se. For when the acts punished are inherently immoral or
inherently wrong, they are mala in se and it does not
matter that such acts are punished in a special law,
especially since in the case of plunder the predicate
crimes are mainly mala in se.
Held: PREMISES CONSIDERED, this Court holds that RA
7080 otherwise known as the Plunder Law, as amended
by RA 7659, is CONSTITUTIONAL. Consequently, the
petition to declare the law unconstitutional is DISMISSED
for lack of merit
FAJARDO V PEOPLE
Art 3-Mala Prohibita—Illegal possession of part of firearm
& plain view doctrine
Facts: Fajardo filed a Petition for certiorari on the decision
of CA and RTC finding Fajardo guilty of violating PD 1866
(illegal possession of firearms). The case stemmed from a
complaint filed by citizens that armed men were drinking
liquor and firing guns at Fajardo’s residence. The police
and the PISOG arrived at their residence to find men
scampering and then saw Valerio w/ 2 45 caliber pistols,
engaging in a shootout w/ the police before running into
Fajardo’s house. Fajardo was also seen tucking a 45
caliber pistol in her shorts before running into her home.
The police opted not to enter and just cordoned the area.
At around 2 and 4 am, Valerio was seen tossing 2
receivers (part ng pistol) which was recovered and
surrendered to SPo1 Tan who used them to apply for a
warrant. They found several ammos within the house and
filed for illegal possession of firearms against both parties
but Fajardo countered that the search warrant was
defective in that when it was issued it wasn’t based on
Tan’s personal knowledge and they didn’t accompany the
police while conducting the search. She also disowned the
ammos because they allegedly belonged to her brother
and also denied having the pistol when the police arrived.
RTC: Fajardo and her bodyguard Valerio is guilty
of illegal possession of firearm.
CA: Affirmed the findings but said that the search
warrant is void because it wasn’t based on Tan’s personal
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knowledge and so the ammo recovered was declared
inadmissible. But the 2 receivers retrieved before the
warrant were valid under the plain view doctrine.
Issues:
1. Do the 2 receivers come under plain view doctrine?
2. Is Fajardo guilty of illegal possession of part of firearm?
Held:
1. YES, Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in
the "plain view" of an officer, who has a right to be in
the position to have that view, are subject to seizure
and may be presented as evidence.
It applies when the following requisites concur:
(a) the law enforcement officer in search of the
evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is
in a position from which he can view a particular areaNava’s presence was justified because they saw
armed persons
(b) the discovery of the evidence in plain view is
inadvertent - Nava clearly saw the throwing of
suspicious objects
(c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the
item he observes may be evidence of a crime,
contraband, or otherwise subject to seizure. –
Considering that the sighting of Valerio holding a
pistol he had reasonable ground to believe Valerio
had thrown contraband items
2.
NO, illegal possession of firearms is committed when
the holder (1) possesses a firearm or a part thereof
and (2) lacks the authority or license to possess the
firearm.
The rule is that ownership is not an essential
element. What the law requires is merely possession
which includes not only actual physical possession
but also constructive possession or the subjection of
the thing to one's control and management. The
offense of illegal possession of firearms is a malum
prohibitum punished by a special law, in which case
good faith and absence of criminal intent are not valid
defenses.It is sufficient that the offender has the intent
to perpetrate the act prohibited by the special law.
Fajardo was neither in physical nor
constructive possession of the subject receivers. The
testimony of Nava shows that he only saw Valerio on
top of the house when the receivers were thrown.
None of the witnesses saw Fajardo holding the
receivers, before or during their disposal. At the very
least, Fajardo's possession of the receivers was
merely incidental because Valerio, the one in actual
physical possession, was seen at the rooftop of her
house.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
GARCIA V. CA
FACTS: Based on the complaint of Aquilino Pimentel who
ran in the senatorial elections, he charged elections officer
Arsenia Garcia for willfully decreasing the votes received
by senatorial candidate Pimentel from 6,988 votes, as
clearly disclosed in the total number of votes in the 159
precincts of the statement of votes by precincts of said
municipality to 1921 votes with a difference of 5,077. The
RTC convicted accused and gave a prison sentence. On
appeal however it was contended that there was no
criminal intent and bad faith in his actions. Respondent on
the other hand contends that a violation of an election law
is a mala prohibita and good faith is not a defense.
ISSUE: WON a violation of section 27b of R.A. 6646 is a
mala in se or mala prohibita? And could good faith and
lack of criminal intent be a valid defense?
HELD: mala in se
Generally, mala in se felonies are defined and penalized in
the Revised Penal Code. When the acts complained of are
inherently immoral, they are deemed mala in se, even if
they are punished by a special law. Accordingly, criminal
intent must be clearly established with the other elements
of the crime; otherwise, no crime is committed. On the
other hand, in crimes that are mala prohibita, the criminal
acts are not inherently immoral but become punishable
only because the law says they are forbidden. With these
crimes, the sole issue is whether the law has been
violated. Criminal intent is not necessary where the acts
are prohibited for reasons of public policy.
An election offense is defined as:
(b) Any member of the board of election inspectors or
board of canvassers who tampers, increases, or
decreases the votes received by a candidate in any
election or any member of the board who refuses, after
proper verification and hearing, to credit the correct votes
or deduct such tampered votes.
Clearly, the acts prohibited in Section 27(b) are
mala in se. For otherwise, even errors and mistakes
committed due to overwork and fatigue would be
punishable. Given the volume of votes to be counted and
canvassed within a limited amount of time, errors and
miscalculations are bound to happen. And it could not be
the intent of the law to punish unintentional election
canvass errors. However, intentionally increasing or
decreasing the number of votes received by a candidate is
inherently immoral, since it is done with malice and intent
to injure another.
*Only Valerio was found guilty.
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Criminal intent is presumed to exist on the part of
the person who executes an act which the law punishes,
unless the contrary shall appear. Thus, whoever invokes
good faith as a defense has the burden of proving its
existence.
During trial of this case, petitioner admitted that
she was indeed the one who announced the figure of
1,921, which was subsequently entered by then accused
Viray in his capacity as secretary of the board. Petitioner
likewise admitted that she was the one who prepared the
COC, though it was not her duty. To our mind, preparing
the COC even if it was not her task, manifests an intention
to perpetuate the erroneous entry in the COC.
Neither can this Court accept petitioner’s
explanation that the Board of Canvassers had no idea how
the SOV (Exhibit "6") and the COC reflected that private
complainant had only 1,921 votes instead of 6,921 votes.
As chairman of the Municipal Board of Canvassers,
petitioner’s concern was to assure accurate, correct and
authentic entry of the votes. Her failure to exercise
maximum efficiency and fidelity to her trust deserves not
only censure but also the concomitant sanctions as a
matter of criminal responsibility pursuant to the dictates of
the law.
Public policy dictates that extraordinary diligence
should be exercised by the members of the board of
canvassers in canvassing the results of the elections. Any
error on their part would result in the disenfranchisement
of the voters. The Certificate of Canvass for senatorial
candidates and its supporting statements of votes
prepared by the municipal board of canvassers are
sensitive election documents whose entries must be
thoroughly scrutinized.
TIGOY VS. PEOPLE
Doctrine: In offenses considered as mala prohibita or
when the doing of an act is prohibited by a special law, the
commission of the prohibited act is the crime itself. It is
sufficient that the offender has the intent to perpetrate the
act prohibited by the special law, and that it is done
knowingly and consciously.
FACTS: Nestor Ong (ONG), engaged in the trucking
business, entered into a ‘Contract to Transport’ with
Lolong
Bertodazo
(BERTODAZO),
to
transport
construction materials from Lanao del Norte to Dipolog
City. Ong instructed Rodolfo Tigoy (TIGOY) and
SUMAGANG, the former’s truck drivers, to bring his trucks
to BERTODAZO in Lanao del Norte for loading of
materials, leave it there, then go back at dawn to pick it up
for the trip to Dipolog City. The following morning, the
drivers arrived with the trucks loaded up with cement. After
a few checks of the trucks, they left.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Senior Inspector Rico Tome (TOME) received a
dispatch informing him that 2 trucks did not stop at
checkpoint. The trucks were then intercepted and the
drivers were interrogated. Tigoy was asked why he didn’t
stop at the checkpoint and followed up by what was
loaded in the truck. Tigoy replied that there is S.O.P
(grease money in street parlance), causing suspicion and
leading to the police finding piles of sawn lumber beneath
cement bags. Since the drivers didn’t have a permit, they
were turned over to an Investigator and was detained.
TIGOY was then charged with qualified theft (possessing
lumber without a permit in violation of the Revised
Forestry Code).
ISSUE: W/N Tigoy is guilty of conspiracy in possessing or
transporting lumber without the necessary permit in
violation of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines. YES
RATIO: In offenses considered as mala prohibita or
when the doing of an act is prohibited by a special
law, the commission of the prohibited act is the crime
itself. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to
perpetrate the act prohibited by the special law, and
that it is done knowingly and consciously.
Direct proof of previous agreement to commit an
offense is not necessary to prove conspiracy. Conspiracy
may be proven by circumstantial evidence. It may be
deduced from the mode, method and manner by which the
offense is perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the
accused when such acts point to a joint purpose and
design, concerted action and community of interest. It is
not even required that the participants have an agreement
for an appreciable period to commence it.
TIGOY’s defense was that he could not have
conspired with Bertodazo for he did not know about the
unlicensed lumber in the trucks as he believed that he was
transporting bags of cement and he was not around when
the trucks were with the lumber hidden under the bags of
cement. But his actions (not stopping at checkpoint,
offering S.O.P) adequately show that he intentionally
participated in the commission of the offense for which he
had been charged.
Digest of Digest:
FACTS: TIGOY, as truck driver, didn’t stop at a check
point, got intercepted by police, offered grease money
when asked what was loaded on the truck, and was
charged with qualified theft for illegal possession of lumber
in violation to the Revised Forestry Code when he was
found transporting lumber underneath cement bags
without a permit. He claimed he couldn’t have conspired
as he didn’t have knowledge of the lumber loaded.
ISSUE: same
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HELD: In offenses considered as mala prohibita or
when the doing of an act is prohibited by a special
law, the commission of the prohibited act is the crime
itself. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to
perpetrate the act prohibited by the special law, and
that it is done knowingly and consciously. The fact that
he didn’t stop at check point, offered grease money
pointed to the obvious fact that he knew lumber was
loaded in his truck. Conspirator? Yezzir!
PEOPLE v. MOLDES
Facts: Inocente Moldes was convicted of homicide by the
CFI of Leyte. On the night of April 3 in a barrio, there was
a dance in a private house, and the deceased was the
master of ceremonies. Moldes insisted on dancing out of
turn and was reproved by the deceased. Moldes went to
the porch and began cutting down the decorations with his
bolo. He went into the yard and challenged everyone to a
fight. Not attracting enough attention, he began chopping
bamboo trees.
The deceased, unarmed, spoke to him in a
friendly manner as he descended into the yard. But
Moldes struck him with his bolo, inflicting a wound on his
left arm (long incised wound on the lower portion directed
downwards). As the deceased fell, Moldes inflicted a
slight wound on his back and ran away. The wound was
treated the next morning. However, it failed to stop the
hemorrhage and the deceased died after 12 days.
Moldes’s defense was that he was behaving at
the dance, and it was the deceased who struck him on the
dance floor with a cane. He attempted to run away but the
deceased followed him with a cane and a bolo. He
succeeded in wrenching the bolo away and inflicted the
wounds in self-defense.
The CFI convicted him. The attorney urged that
Moldes did not intend to commit as serious a wound as
was inflicted but struck only in the dark and in selfdefense. It is also contended that had the deceased
secured proper surgical treatment, the wound would not
have been fatal (but such was not available in that barrio).
Issue: W/N he is guilty of homicide – YES
Ratio: The SC ruled that there was no element of selfdefense. When one resorts to the use of a lethal weapon
and strikes another with the force that must have been
used in this case, it is presumed that he realizes the
natural consequences of his act.
The GR is that he who inflicts the injury is not
relieved of responsibility if the wound inflicted is
dangerous, even though the immediate cause of the death
was erroneous or unskillful medical treatment. This rule is
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
founded on the principle that every person is to be held to
contemplate and to be responsible for the natural
consequences of his own acts. If a person inflicts a
wound with a deadly weapon in such manner as to put life
in jeopardy and death follows, it does not alter nor
diminish its criminality to prove that other causes cooperated in producing the fatal result.
© MELBA QUINTO
RANDYVER PACHECO
vs. DANTE
ANDRES
and
FACTS:
At around 7:30 a.m. on November 13, 1995, 11-year
old Edison Garcia, a Grade 4 elementary school pupil,
and his playmate, Wilson Quinto saw respondents
Dante Andres and Randyver Pacheco by the mouth of
a drainage culvert.
Andres and Pacheco invited Wilson to go fishing with
them inside the drainage culvert. Wilson assented.
When Garcia saw that it was dark inside, he opted to
remain seated in a grassy area about two meters from
the entrance of the drainage system.
Respondent Pacheco had a flashlight. He, along with
respondent Andres and Wilson, entered the drainage
system which was covered by concrete culvert about
a meter high and a meter wide, with water about a
foot deep.
After a while, respondent Pacheco, who was holding
a fish, came out of the drainage system and left
without saying a word. Respondent Andres also
came out, went back inside, and emerged again, this
time, carrying Wilson who was already dead.
Respondent Andres laid the boy’s lifeless body down
in the grassy area. Shocked at the sudden turn of
events, Garcia fled from the scene. For his part,
respondent Andres went to the house of petitioner
Melba Quinto, Wilson’s mother, and informed her that
her son had died. Melba Quinto rushed to the
drainage culvert while respondent Andres followed
her.
The police authorities of Tarlac, Tarlac, did not file
any criminal complaint against the respondents for
Wilson’s death.
Two weeks thereafter, investigators took the sworn
statements of respondent Pacheco, Garcia and
petitioner Quinto.
Respondent Pacheco alleged that he had never been
to the drainage system catching fish with respondent
Andres and Wilson. He also declared that he saw
Wilson already dead when he passed by the drainage
system while riding on his carabao.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
-
-
-
-
-
The cadaver of Wilson was exhumed. Postmortem
findings stated that the CAUSE OF DEATH: Asphyxia
by drowning; traumatic head injuries, contributory.
The NBI filed a criminal complaint for homicide
against respondents Andres and Pacheco in the
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, which found
probable cause for homicide by dolo against the two.
The respondents filed a demurer to evidence which
the trial court granted on the ground of insufficiency of
evidence, per its Order dated January 28, 1998. It
also held that it could not hold the respondents liable
for damages because of the absence of preponderant
evidence to prove their liability for Wilson’s death.
The petitioner appealed the order to the CA insofar as
the civil aspect of the case was concerned. In her
brief, she averred that – THE TRIAL COURT ERRED
IN DISMISSING THE CASE AND IN RULING THAT
NO PREPONDERANT EVIDENCE EXISTS TO
HOLD ACCUSED-APPELLEES CIVILLY LIABLE
FOR THE DEATH OF THE VICTIM WILSON
QUINTO
The CA rendered judgment affirming the assailed
order saying that the acquittal in this case is not
merely based on reasonable doubt but rather on a
finding that the accused-appellees did not commit the
criminal acts complained of. Thus, pursuant to the
above rule and settled jurisprudence, any civil
action ex delicto cannot prosper. Acquittal in a
criminal action bars the civil action arising therefrom
where the judgment of acquittal holds that the
accused did not commit the criminal acts imputed to
them. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: W/N the respondents are still liable for damages
upon extinction of criminal liability.
HELD/RATIO: NO.
The extinction of the penal action does not carry with
it the extinction of the civil action. However, the civil
action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if
there is a finding in a final judgment in the civil action
that the act or omission from where the civil liability
[23]
may arise does not exist.
Moreover, a person committing a felony is criminally
liable for all the natural and logical consequences
resulting therefrom although the wrongful act done be
different from that which he intended. “Natural” refers
to an occurrence in the ordinary course of human life
or events, while “logical” means that there is a rational
connection between the act of the accused and the
resulting injury or damage. The felony committed
must be the proximate cause of the resulting injury.
Proximate cause is that cause which in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient
-
-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without
which the result would not have occurred. The
proximate legal cause is that acting first and
producing the injury, either immediately, or by setting
other events in motion, all constituting a natural and
continuous chain of events, each having a close
causal connection with its immediate predecessor
There must be a relation of “cause and effect,” the
cause being the felonious act of the offender, the
effect being the resultant injuries and/or death of the
victim.
The felony committed is not the proximate cause of
the resulting injury when:
(a)
there is an active force that intervened between
the felony committed and the resulting injury, and the
active force is a distinct act or fact absolutely foreign
from the felonious act of the accused; or
(b)
the resulting injury is due to the intentional act
of the victim.
In the present case, the respondents were
charged with homicide by dolo. The prosecution was
burdened to prove the corpus delicti which consists of two
things: first, the criminal act and second, defendant’s
agency in the commission of the act.
In homicide (by dolo) and in murder cases, the
prosecution is burdened to prove: (a) the death of the
party alleged to be dead; (b) that the death was produced
by the criminal act of some other than the deceased and
was not the result of accident, natural cause or suicide;
and (c) that defendant committed the criminal act or was in
some way criminally responsible for the act which
produced the death. To prove the felony of homicide or
murder, it must be proved that there was intent to kill.
Such evidence may consist inter alia in the use of
weapons by the malefactors, the nature, location and
number of wounds sustained by the victim and the words
uttered by the malefactors before, at the time or
immediately after the killing of the victim. If the victim dies
because of a deliberate act of the malefactor, intent to kill
is conclusively presumed.
The trial court took into account the following
facts:
Again, it could be seen from the pictures
presented by the prosecution that there were stones inside
the culvert. The stones could have caused the victim to
slip and hit his head on the pavement. Since there was
water on the culvert, the portion soaked with water must
be very slippery, aside from the fact that the culvert is
round. If the victim hit his head and lost consciousness,
he will naturally take in some amount of water and drown.
That the deceased fell or slipped cannot be
totally foreclosed because even Garcia testified that the
drainage culvert was dark, and that he himself was so
afraid that he refused to join respondents Andres and
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Pacheco inside. Respondent Andres had no flashlight;
only respondent Pacheco had one.
The petitioner even failed to adduce
preponderance of evidence that either or both the
respondents hit the deceased with a blunt object or
instrument, and, consequently, any blunt object or
instrument that might have been used by any or both of
the respondents in hitting the deceased.
In sum, the petitioner failed to adduce
preponderance of evidence to prove a cause of action for
damages based on the deliberate acts alleged in the
Information.
PEOPLE V. DIEGO OPERO
Facts: Case is an automatic review of the death sentence
imposed on Diego Opero for robbery with homicide. Opero
was charged together with Reynaldo Lacsinto and
Milagros Villegas who were both convicted with a lesser
penalty; while another accused, Asteria Avila, was
acquitted.
Liew Soon Ping, wife of Dr. Hong, was found
dead in Room 314 of the House International Hotel in
Ongpin, Manila. Her body was discovered by Salvador
Oliver, a GSIS security guard assigned to the hotel when
he brought a little girl (found loitering by Barcing, another
nd
security guard at the 2 flr of the building) to Room 314
where she was said to be residing. Upon reaching the
room, Oliver knocked at the door, and when nobody
answered, he pushed the door open but he smelled foul
odor emanating from the room. Oliver covered his nose
with a handkerchief and together with Barcing and the little
girl, they entered the room where they saw prostrate on a
bed Liew Soon Ping with her face down and both feet and
hands tied. A towel was tied around her mouth. The room
was ransacked and personal belongings thrown all
around.
Opero admitted that he robbed the victim, he also
stated that he and his co-accused Lacsinto subdued the
victim by assaulting her, tying up her hands and feet
stabbing her and stuffing her mouth with a piece of
pandesal.
Dr. Singian, then Chief of the Medico Legal
Division of the Western Police District made the following
findings (among others) in his necropsy report: superficial
stab wound measuring 0.8 c.m. on the right side of the
chin caused by a sharp bladed instrument; superficial stab
wound on the mid-axilliary line caused by a sharp bladed
instrument; stab wound on the left forearm. However he
found the cause of death to be due to asphyxiation by
suffocation with an impacted bolus (read: pandesal) into
the oropharynx and compression of the neck with a broad
clothing around the neck.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Issue:
1.) W/N Court erred in convicting Opero for robbery with
homicide? [per Opero: he never intended to kill the
deceased, his intention being merely to rob her, had he
the intention to kill her he could have easily done so with
the knife]
2.) W/N Art.49, par.1 of the RPC [which provides that in
cases in which a felony committed is different from that
which the offender intended to commit and the penalty
prescribed for the felony committed is higher than the
offense to which the accused intended to commit, the
penalty corresponding to the offense which accused
intended to commit shall be imposed in its maximum
period] should apply to Opero?
Held & Ratio:
1.) Appellant's theory finds no basis in the law or in
jurisprudence. It was been repeatedly held that when
direct and intimate connection exists between the robbery
and the killing, regardless of which of the two precedes the
other, or whether they are committed at the same time, the
crime committed is the special complex crime of robbery
with homicide. If the circumstances would indicate no
intention to kill, as in the instant case were evidently, the
intention is to prevent the deceased from making an
outcry, and so a "pandesal" was stuffed into her mouth,
the mitigating circumstance of not having intended to
commit so grave a wrong may be appreciated. The
stuffing of the "pandesal" in the mouth would not have
produced asphyxiation had it not slid into the neckline,
"caused by the victim's own movements, " according to Dr.
Singian. The movements of the victim that caused the
"pandesal" to slide into the neckline were, however,
attributable to what appellant and his co-accused did to
the victim, for if they did not hogtie her, she could have
easily removed the "pandesal" from her mouth and
avoided death by asphyxiation.
It may not avail appellant to contend that the
death was by mere accident for even if it were so, which is
not even beyond doubt for the sliding of the pandesal into
the neckline to produce asphyxiation could reasonably
have been anticipated, it is a settled doctrine that when
death supervenes by reason or on the occasion of the
robbery, it is immaterial that the occurrence of death was
by mere accident. What is important and decisive is that
death results by reason or on the occasion of the
robbery. These Spanish doctrines were cited by this Court
in People vs. Mangulabnan, et al., 99 Phil. 992.
2.) Article 49, par. 1 of the RPC applies only to cases
when the crime committed befalls a different person from
the one intended to be the victim. This was the explicit
ruling in the case of People vs. Albuquerque, 59 Phil. 150153, citing Supreme Court of decisions Spain.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
In the instant case, the intended victim, not any
other person, was the one killed, as a result of an intention
to rob. As stated earlier, what may be appreciated in
appellant's favor is only the mitigating circumstance of not
having intended to commit so grave a wrong as that
committed, under paragraph 3 of Article 13 of the Revised
Penal Code, an entirely different situation from that
contemplated under paragraph 1, Article 49 of the same
Code, where as already explained, the different felony
from that intended, befalls someone different from the
intended victim, i.e. when the person intended to be killed
is a stranger to the offender, but the person actually killed
is the offender's father, thereby making the intended felony
which is homicide different from the crime actually
committed which is parricide.
Notwithstanding the presence of the mitigating
circumstance of not having intended to commit so grave a
wrong as that comitted, there still remains one aggravating
circumstance to consider, after either one of the two
aggravating circumstances present, that of superior
strength and dwelling, is offset by the mitigating
circumstance aforesaid. The higher of the imposable
penalty for the crime committed, which is reclusion
perpetua to death, should therefore be the proper penalty
to be imposed on appellant. This is the penalty of death as
imposed by the lower court.
PEOPLE VS. QUIANZON
FACTS: A novena for the suffrage of the soul of the
deceased person was being held in the house of Victoria
Cacpal in a barrio in Ilocos Norte. Andres Aribuabo, one of
the persons present, went to ask for food of Juan
Quianzon, then in the kitchen, who had the victuals in his
care. It was the second or third time that Aribuabo
approached Quianzon with the same purpose whereupon
the latter, greatly peeved, took hold of a firebrand and
applied to the neck of Aribuabo. The latter ran to the place
where the people were gathered exclaiming that he is
wounded and was dying. Raising his shirt, he showed to
those present a wound in his abdomen below the navel.
Aribuabo died as the result of the wound on the tenth day
after the incident.
There is no conflict between the prosecution and
the defense as regards the foregoing facts. However,
there is a question as to who wounded Aribuabo. The
prosecution claims that it was Quianzon. According to its
witnesses, Quianzon confessed that he had wounded
Aribuabo with a bamboo spit. On the other hand, it is
contended by the defense that granting that it was
Quianzon who inflicted the wound which resulted in
Aribuabo’s death, he should not be convicted of homicide
but only of serious physical injuries because said wound
was not necessarily fatal and the deceased would have
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
survived it had he not twice removed the drainage which
Dr. Mendoza had placed to control or isolate the infection.
ISSUE: Whether or not the removal of the drainage is the
real cause of death of Aribuabo??? – NO.
HELD:
It was a wound in the abdomen which
occasionally results in traumatic peritonitis. The infection
was caused by the fecal matter from the large intestine
which has been perforated. The possibility, admitted by
said physician that the patient might have survived said
wound had he not removed the drainage, does not mean
that the act of the patient was the real cause of his death.
Even without said act the fatal consequence could have
followed, and the fact that the patient had so acted in a
paroxysm of pain does not alter the juridical
consequences of the punishable act of the accused.
One who inflicts an injury on another is deemed
by the law to be guilty of homicide if the injury
contributes mediately or immediately to the death
of such other. The fact that the other causes
contribute to the death does not relieve the actor
of responsibility. . . . (13 R. C.L., 748.)
Furthermore, it does not appear that the patient,
in removing the drainage, had acted voluntarily and with
the knowledge that he was performing an act prejudicial to
his health, inasmuch as self-preservation is the strongest
instinct in living beings. It much be assumed, therefore,
that he unconsciously did so due to his pathological
condition and to his state of nervousness and restlessness
on account of the horrible physical pain caused by the
wound, aggravated by the contract of the drainage tube
with the inflammed peritoneum.
The question herein raised by Quianzon has
already been finally settled by jurisprudence. The
Supreme Court of Spain, in a decision of April 3, 1879,
said in the case similar to the present, the following:
"Inasmuch as a man is responsible for the consequences
of his act — and in this case the physical condition and
temperament of the offended party nowise lessen the evil,
the seriousness whereof is to be judged, not by the
violence of the means employed, but by the result actually
produced; and as the wound which the appellant inflicted
upon the deceased was the cause which determined his
death, without his being able to counteract its effects, it is
evident that the act in question should be qualified as
homicide, etc."
INTOD V CA
Facts: Petitioner, Sulpicio Intod, filed this petition for
review of the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming in
toto the judgment of the RTC, finding him guilty of the
crime of attempted murder.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Sulpicio Intod and 3 other men went to Salvador
Mandaya’s house to ask him to go with them to the house
of Bernardina Palangpangan. The group had a meeting
with Aniceto Dumalagan who told Mandaya that he
wanted Palangpangan to be killed because of a land
dispute between them and that Mandaya should
accompany the 4 men otherwise he would also be killed.
At 10:00 p.m. of that same day, Intod and companions, all
armed with firearms arrived at Palangpangan’s house.
Thereafter, petitioner fired at the said room. It turned out
the Palangpangan was in another city and her home was
then occupied by her son-in-law and his family. No one
was in the room when the accused fired. No one was hit
by the gunfire.
The RTC convicted Intod of attempted murder.
Intod seeks a modification of the judgment on the ground
that he is only liable for an impossible crime Art. 4(2).
Intod contends that, Palangpangan's absence from her
room on the night he and his companions riddled it with
bullets made the crime inherently impossible. On the other
hand, Respondent (People of the Phil) argues that the
crime was not impossible instead the facts were sufficient
to constitute an attempt and to convict Intod for attempted
murder. Respondent likewise alleged that there was intent.
Further, in its Comment to the Petition, respondent pointed
out that the crime of murder was not consummated, not
because
of
the
inherent
impossibility
of
its
accomplishment (Art 4 (2), RPC), but due to a cause of
accident other that petitioner’s and his co-accused’s own
spontaneous desistance (Art. 3). Palangpangan did not
sleep at her house at that time. Had it not been for this
fact, the crime is possible.
Issue: WON he is liable for attempted murder? – NO.
Held: Only impossible crime. Article 4, paragraph 2 is an
innovation of the Revised Penal Code. This seeks to
remedy the void in the Old Penal Code where:
. . . it was necessary that the execution of the act has
been commenced, that the person conceiving the
idea should have set about doing the deed, employing
appropriate means in order that his intent might
become a reality, and finally, that the result or end
contemplated shall have been physically possible. So
long as these conditions were not present, the law
and the courts did not hold him criminally liable.
This legal doctrine left social interests entirely
unprotected. The RPC, inspired by the Positivist School,
recognizes in the offender his formidability, and now
penalizes an act which were it not aimed at something
quite impossible or carried out with means which prove
inadequate, would constitute a felony against person or
against property. The rationale of Article 4(2) is to punish
such criminal tendencies. Article 4(2) provides and
punishes an impossible crime—an act which, were it not
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
aimed at something quite impossible or carried out with
means which prove inadequate would constitute a felony
against person or family. For this provision to apply, there
must be either (1) legal responsibility, or (2) physical
impossibility of accomplishing the intended act in order to
qualify the act as an impossible crime.
Legal impossibility occurs where the intended
acts even if completed, would not amount to a crime.
Thus, legal impossibility would apply to those
circumstances where: (1) the motive, desire and
expectation is to perform an act in violation of the law; (2)
there is no intention to perform the physical act; (3) there
is a performance of the intended physical act; and (4) the
consequence resulting from the intended act does not
amount to a crime. Factual impossibility occurs when
extraneous circumstances unknown to actor or beyond
control prevent consummation of intended crime. Factual
impossibility of the commission of the crime is not a
defense. If the crime could have been committed had the
circumstances been as the defendant believed them to be,
it is no defense that in reality, the crime was impossible of
commission. Legal impossibility on the other hand is a
defense which can be invoked to avoid criminal liability for
an attempt.
The factual situation in the case at bar presents a
physical impossibility which rendered the intended crime
impossible of accomplishment and under Article 4,
paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, such is sufficient
to make the act an impossible crime.
To uphold the contention of respondent that the
offense was Attempted Murder because the absence of
Palangpangan was a supervening cause independent of
the actor's will, will render useless the provision in Article
4, which makes a person criminally liable for an act "which
would be an offense against persons or property, were it
not for the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment . . .
GEMMA JACINTO VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Facts: Baby Aquino handed petitioner Jacinto with a
postdated BDO Check in the amount of P10,000.00 as
payment for Aquino's purchases from Mega Foam Int'l.,
Inc. (petitioner was then the collector of Mega Foam).
Somehow, the check was deposited in the Land Bank
account of Generoso Capitle, the husband of Jacqueline
Capitle, the sister of petitioner. Meanwhile, Rowena
Ricablanca, another employee of Mega Foam, received a
phone call from Land Bank looking for Generoso Capitle to
inform him that the BDO check deposited in his account
had been dishonored. Ricablanca then phoned accused
Anita Valencia asking her to inform Jacqueline Capitle
about the bounced check. Valencia told Ricablanca of a
plan to take the cash and invited Ricablanca to join the
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
scheme. Ricablanca, reported the matter to the owner of
Mega Foam, Joseph Dyhengco.
Verification from company records showed that
petitioner never remitted the subject check to Mega Foam.
However, Baby Aquino had already paid Mega Foam in
cash as replacement for the dishonored check.
Dyhengco filed a Complaint with the NBI and
worked out an entrapment operation with its agents. With
the help of Ricablanca, petitioner and Valencia were
arrested upon receiving the marked money. The NBI filed
a criminal case for qualified theft against the two. The RTC
found the accused guilty of qualified theft. The CA
modified the judgment by reducing the sentence of
Valencia and Capitle but Jaconto’s sentence remained.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
is deemed complete from the moment the offender gains
possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity to
dispose of the same.
There can be no question that as of the time that
petitioner took possession of the check meant for Mega
Foam, she had performed all the acts to consummate the
crime of theft, had it not been impossible of
accomplishment in this case. Since the crime of theft is not
a continuing offense, petitioner's act of receiving the cash
replacement should not be considered as a continuation of
the theft. At most, the fact that petitioner was caught
receiving the marked money was merely corroborating
evidence to strengthen proof of her intent to gain.
Petitioner Gemma T. Jacinto was found guilty of
impossible crime.
Issue: WON a worthless check can be the object of theft NO!
PEOPLE VS RAFAEL BALMORES Y CAYA
Ratio: Under Article 308, in relation to Article 310 of RPC,
the personal property subject of the theft must have some
value, as the intention of the accused is to gain from the
thing stolen. This is further bolstered by Article 309, where
the law provides that the penalty to be imposed on the
accused is dependent on the value of the thing stolen.
The requisites of an impossible crime are: (1) that
the act performed would be an offense against persons or
property; (2) that the act was done with evil intent; and (3)
that its accomplishment was inherently impossible, or the
means employed was either inadequate or ineffectual.
To be impossible under this clause, the act
intended by the offender must be by its nature one
impossible of accomplishment. There must be either (1)
legal impossibility, or (2) physical impossibility of
accomplishing the intended act in order to qualify the act
as an impossible crime. Legal impossibility occurs where
the intended acts, even if completed, would not amount to
a crime. Factual impossibility occurs when extraneous
circumstances unknown to the actor or beyond his control
prevent the consummation of the intended crime.
In this case, petitioner performed all the acts to
consummate the crime of qualified theft, which is a crime
against property. Were it not for the fact that the check
bounced, she would have received the face value thereof,
which was not rightfully hers. Therefore, it was only due to
the extraneous circumstance of the check being unfunded,
a fact unknown to petitioner at the time, that prevented the
crime from being produced. The thing unlawfully taken by
petitioner turned out to be absolutely worthless, because
the check was eventually dishonored, and Mega Foam
had received the cash to replace the value of said
dishonored check.
Side issue: When is the crime of theft produced? Theft
is produced when there is deprivation of personal property
due to its taking by one with intent to gain. Unlawful taking
Facts: Balmores is being prosecuted for the crime of
estafa through falsification of a security. It is alleged that
Balmores tore off the bottom (cross wise) of a genuine 1/8
unit Phil Charity Sweepstakes Ticket. This way, the real
number on such ticket was removed and that by
substituting and using an ink Balmores allegedly wrote
07400 instead which is actually the winning number. (the
removal of the bottom portion and writing in ink the
number was pleaded guilty to by Balmores)
Balmores presented the ticket as genuine to the
PCSO so he could claim the money. However, he was not
able to perform all the acts of execution which would
produce the crime of estafa through falsification of a
security because Bayani Miler, the employee to whom the
ticket was presented, immediately discovered the
falsification and caused Balmores’ apprehension. (in short,
no exchange of money and ticket took place)
Issue:
(real issue is actually whether there was estafa)
As to the impossible crime part: since the falsification of
the ticket was so obvious, is the consummation of the
crime actually impossible?
Digester’s explanation: the ticket was obviously falsified
(as in very patent on its face na spurious siya) hence, it is
argued that impossible naman maconsummate yung crime
of estafa since nobody will give the money in exchange for
the ticket (kasi nga obvious na fake --- as what happened
in the case).
So question is, do we have an impossible crime here?
Held: NO!
IMPOSSIBLE CRIME PART: the recklessness
and clumsiness of Balmores in falsifying the ticket did not
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
make the crime impossible under Art.4 Par.2. Examples of
impossible crimes are as follows: trying to kill another by
putting an arsenic substance in the latter’s soup but it
turns out the substance was just common salt; or when
one tries to murder a corpse. In this case, even if the ticket
was patently falsified on its face, it cannot be said that it
was impossible to consummate the crime of estafa thru
falsification.
OTHER MATTERS: It is argued that for the June
29, 1947 draw (which is the date when the winning
number of 07400 was drawn) there could’ve been no
genuine 1/8 unit PCSO ticket because the PCSO issued
only ¼ units for each ticket. Also, it was not shown that the
number removed from the ticket is not the same as that
written in ink.
The court will not take judicial notice of the fact
that only ¼ units of tickets has been issued because it is
not of common knowledge. Besides, if it were true that no
1/8 units were issued, then it only supports the
prosecution’s theory that balmores’ ticket was spurious.
Note that in this case, Balmores pleaded guilty to
removing the true and unidentified number of the ticket
and substituting in ink a new figure. There would’ve been
no need for such removal and substitution if the original
number was the same as that written in ink.
(note: in this case, SC said Balmores is merely guilty of an
attempt to commit estafa. But since what is involved here
is falsification of a government obligation --- sweepstake
ticket --- he still has to suffer the fully brunt of the penalty
of the law).
PARAS’ DISSENT: There was an impossible crime. The
falsification was inherently inadequate and is certainly to
be detected. In short, Balmores could not have succeeded
in chasing the ticket. In fact, the matter of falsification was
immediately detected by Miler.
Also the fact that only 1/4units of the ticket was
actually issued could’ve proved in court (thus taken judicial
notice of) if only Balmores had counsel to assist him.
(Balmores is actually an illiterate and during the entire
proceeding from the lower court, he waived his right to be
assisted by counsel)
© People vs. Lizada
*This is an automatic review of the decision of RTC finding
accused-appellant Freddie Lizada guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of 4 counts of qualified rape and meting
on him the death penalty for each count.
FACTS:

THE CHARGES: Lizada was charged with 4 counts of
qualified rape under 4 separate Information. That
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Lizada, on 4 different occasions (August “First Case”,
November 5 “Second Case”, October 22 “Third
Case”, and September 15 “Fourth Case” of 1998),
with lewd designs, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously had carnal knowledge with
the victim against her will and consent.

EVIDENCE OF THE PROSECUTION:
o Rose Orillosa had 3 children, Analia, Jepsy, and
Rossel. Orillosa after being separated to her
husband, met Lizada and lived together as
husband and wife.
o Sometime in 1996, Analia was in her room when
Lizada entered, laid on top of her, removed her
T-shirt and underwear. Lizada then inserted his
finger in her vagina. He removed his finger and
inserted his penis in her vagina. Momentarily, she
felt a sticky substance coming out from his penis.
She also felt pain in her sex organ. Satiated,
accused-appellant dismounted but threatened to
kill her if she divulged to anyone what he did to
her. Accused-appellant then returned to his room.
The incident lasted less than one hour. Petrified
by the threats on her life, Analia kept to herself
what happened to her.
o Sometime in August 1997, accused-appellant
entered again the room of Analia, placed himself
on top of her and held her legs and arms. He
then inserted his finger into her sex organ
("fininger niya ako"). Satiated, accused-appellant
left the room. During the period from 1996 to
1998, accused-appellant sexually abused private
complainant two times a week.
o On November 5, 1998, Analia was in the sala of
their house studying her assignments. Lizada
was also in the sala. Rossel tended the video
shop while his mother was away. Analia went into
her room and lay down in bed. She did not lock
the door of the room because her brother might
enter any time. She wanted to sleep but found it
difficult to do so. Lizada went to his room next to
the room of Analia. He, however, entered the
room of Analia. He was wearing a pair of short
pants and was naked from waist up. Analia did
not mind Lizada entering her room because she
knew that her brother, Rossel was around.
However, Lizada sat on the side of her bed,
placed himself on top of her, held her hands and
legs and fondled her breasts. She struggled to
extricate herself. Lizada removed her panty and
touched her sex organ. Lizada inserted his finger
into her vagina, extricated it and then inserted his
penis into her vagina. Lizada ejaculated. Analia
felt pain in her sex organ. Momentarily, Rossel
passed by the room of Analia after drinking water
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
o
o

from the refrigerator, and peeped through the
door. He saw Lizada on top of Analia. Lizada saw
Rossel and dismounted. Lizada berated Rossel
and ordered him to go to his room and sleep.
Rossel did. Lizada then left the room. Analia
likewise left the room, went out of the house and
stayed outside for one hour. Rose arrived home
at 6:00 p.m. However, Analia did not divulge to
her mother what Lizada had just done to her.
On November 9, 1998, Rose left the house.
Lizada was in the sala of the house watching
television. Analia tended the video shop.
However, Lizada told Analia to go to the sala.
She refused, as nobody would tend the video
shop. This infuriated Lizada who threatened to
slap and kick her. Analia ignored the invectives
and threats of Lizada and stayed in the video
shop. When Rose returned, a heated argument
ensued between Lizada and Analia. Rose sided
with her paramour and hit Analia. This prompted
Analia to shout. "Ayoko na, ayoko na." Shortly
thereafter, Rose and Analia left the house on
board the motorcycle driven by her mother to
retrieve some tapes which had not yet been
returned. When Rose inquired from her daughter
what she meant by her statement, "ayoko na,
ayoko na," she told her mother that accusedappellant had been touching the sensitive parts
of her body and that he had been on top of her.
Rose was shocked and incensed.
Analia and her mother went to the Police Station
where Analia gave her Affidavit-Complaint. Analia
was also examined by the medico-legal officer.
The following is the conclusion made by the
officer:
1). No evident sign of extragenital
physical injuries noted on the body of the subject
at the time of examination. 2). Hymen, intact and
its orifice small (1.5 cms. in diameter) as to
preclude complete penetration by an averagesized adult Filipino male organ in full erection
without producing any genital injury.
DEFENSES AND EVIDENCE OF THE ACCUSED:
Lizada denied any allegations and claimed that Rose
actually coached her children to testify against him
because Rose wanted to manage their business and
take control of all the properties they acquired during
their coverture. Also, Rose was so exasperated
because he had no job.
ISSUE:
1. First Criminal Case: W/N the information was
defective because the date of the offense “on or
about August 1988” is too indefinite.
2.
3.
HELD:
1.
2.
3.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
W/N Lizada is guilty of consummated acts of
lasciviousness defined in Article 336 of the
Revised Penal Code or attempted rape under
Article 335 of the said Code, as amended in
relation to the last paragraph of Article 6 of
the Revised Penal Code. (I think sir will focus
on this issue)
W/N Lizada is guilty beyond reasonable doubt
and also W/N Lizada is guilty of qualified rape.
NO.
Attempted Rape.
YES. NO, 2 counts of simple rape.
Summary:
First Criminal Case: guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
simple rape.
Second Criminal Case: guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
attempted rape.
Third and Fourth Criminal Case: guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of 2 counts of simple rape.
FIRST CRIMINAL CASE: SIMPLE RAPE
Lizada avers that the Information for this Case is defective
because the date of the offense "on or about August 1998"
alleged therein is too indefinite, in violation of Rule 110,
Section 11 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure
which reads:
"Sec. 11. Date of commission of the offense. — It
is not necessary to state in the complaint or information
the precise date the offense was committed except when it
is a material ingredient of the offense. The offense may be
alleged to have been committed on a date as near as
possible to the actual date of its commission.”
Lizada further asserts that the prosecution failed
to proved that he raped Analia in August 1988. The OSG
argued that that the date "on or about August 1998" is
sufficiently definite. After all, the date of the commission of
the crime of rape is not an essential element of the crime.
Failure to specify the exact dates or time when the rapes
occurred does not ipso facto make the information
defective on its face. The reason is obvious. The precise
date or time when the victim was raped is not an element
of the offense. The gravamen of the crime is the fact of
carnal knowledge under any of the circumstances
enumerated under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.
As long as it is alleged that the offense was committed at
any time as near to the actual date when the offense was
committed an information is sufficient.
SECOND CRIMINAL CASE: ATTEMPTED RAPE
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Lizada avers that he is not liable for rape. His
contention is correct. The collective testimony of Analia
and her younger brother Rossel was that on November 5,
1998, Lizada who was wearing a pair of short pants but
naked from waist up, went on top of her, held her hands,
removed her panty, mashed her breasts and touched her
sex organ. However, Lizada saw Rossel peeping through
the door and dismounted. He later left the room of Analia.
In light of the evidence of the prosecution, there was no
introduction of the penis of Lizada into the aperture or
within the pudendum of the vagina of private complainant.
Hence, Lizada is not criminally liable for consummated
rape.
In light of the evidence on record, we believe that
Lizada is guilty of attempted rape and not of acts of
lasciviousness.
Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code reads:
"Art. 336. Acts of Lasciviousness. — Any person who shall
commit any act of lasciviousness upon other persons of
either sex, under any of the circumstances mentioned in
the preceding article, shall be punished by prision
correccional."
For an accused to be convicted of acts of
lasciviousness, the prosecution is burdened to prove the
confluence of the following essential elements:
"1. That the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or
lewdness.
2. That it is done under any of the following
circumstances:
a. By using force or intimidation; or
b. When the offended party is deprived of reason
or otherwise unconscious; or
c. When the offended party is under 12 years of
age."
"Lewd" is defined as obscene, lustful, indecent,
lecherous. It signifies that form of immorality which has
relation to moral impurity; or that which is carried on a
wanton manner.
The last paragraph of Article 6 of the Revised
Penal Code reads:
"There is an attempt when the offender
commences the commission of a felony directly by overt
acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which
should produce the felony by reason of some cause or
accident other than his own spontaneous desistance."
The essential elements of an attempted felony
are as follows:
"1. The offender commences the commission of the felony
directly by overt acts;
2. He does not perform all the acts of execution which
should produce the felony;
3. The offender's act be not stopped by his own
spontaneous desistance;
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
4. The non-performance of all acts of execution was due
to cause or accident other than his spontaneous
desistance."
The first requisite of an attempted felony consists
of two elements, namely:
"(1) That there be external acts;
(2) Such external acts have direct connection with the
crime intended to be committed."
Acts constitutive of an attempt to commit a felony
should be distinguished from preparatory acts which
consist of devising means or measures necessary for
accomplishment of a desired object or end. One
perpetrating preparatory acts is not guilty of an attempt to
commit a felony. However, if the preparatory acts
constitute a consummated felony under the law, the
malefactor is guilty of such consummated offense. It must
be borne in mind, however, that the spontaneous
desistance of a malefactor exempts him from criminal
liability for the intended crime but it does not exempt him
from the crime committed by him before his desistance.
In light of the facts established by the
prosecution, we believe that Lizada intended to have
carnal knowledge of private complainant. The overt acts of
Lizada proven by the prosecution were not mere
preparatory acts. By the series of his overt acts, Lizada
had commenced the execution of rape which, if not for his
spontaneous desistance, will ripen into the crime of rape.
Although Lizada desisted from performing all the acts of
execution, his desistance was not spontaneous as he was
impelled to do so only because of the sudden and
unexpected arrival of Rossel. Hence, Lizada is guilty only
of attempted rape.
THIRD AND FOURTH CRIMINAL CASES: 2 counts of
SIMPLE RAPE
Lizada avers that the prosecution failed to prove
his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The physical evidence
belies Analia’s claim of having been deflowered by Lizada
on four different occasions. The contention of Lizada,
however, does not persuade the Court. The fact that
Analia remained a virgin from 1996 up to 1998 does not
preclude her having been repeatedly sexually abused by
Lizada. Analia being of tender age, it is possible that the
penetration of the male organ went only as deep as her
labia. Whether or not the hymen of private complainant
was still intact has no substantial bearing on Lizada's
commission of the crime. Even, the slightest penetration of
the labia by the male organ or the mere entry of the penis
into the aperture constitutes consummated rape. It is
sufficient that there be entrance of the male organ within
the labia of the pudendum.
SC agree with Lizada, however, that he is guilty
only of 2 counts of simple rape, instead of qualified rape.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
The evidence on record shows that Lizada is the commonlaw husband of Rose, the mother of private complainant,
Analia. As of October 1998, Analia was still 13 years old,
and under Article 335 as amended by Republic Act 7659,
the minority of the private complainant, concurring with the
fact that accused-appellant is the common-law husband of
the victim's mother, is a special qualifying circumstance
warranting the imposition of the death penalty. However,
said circumstance was not alleged in the Informations as
required by Section 8, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure which was given retroactive effect by
this Court because it is favorable to the accused. Hence,
even if the prosecution proved the special qualifying
circumstance of minority of private complainant and
relationship, the Lizada being the common-law husband of
her mother, Lizada is guilty only of simple rape.
-
-
PEOPLE VS LAMAHANG
Lamahang was caught by a policeman the act of making
an opening with an iron bar on the wall of a store of cheap
goods. The accused had only succeeded in breaking one
board and in unfastening another from the wall, when the
policeman showed up, who instantly arrested him and
placed him under custody. The lower court found him
guilty of attempted robbery.
Issue: Is he guilty of attempted robbery?
Held: NO. He is guilty of attempted trespass to dwelling
The attempt to commit an offense which the Penal
Code punishes is that which has a logical relation to a
particular, concrete offense; that, which is the
beginning of the execution of the offense by overt acts
of the perpetrator, leading directly to its realization
and consummation. The attempt to commit an
indeterminate offense, inasmuch as its nature in
relation to its objective is ambiguous, is not a juridical
fact from the standpoint of the Penal Code.
There is no doubt that in the case at bar it was the
intention of the accused to enter Tan Yu's store by
means of violence, passing through the opening
which he had started to make on the wall, in order to
commit an offense which, due to the timely arrival of
the police, did not develop beyond the first steps of its
execution.
But it is not sufficient, for the purpose of imposing
penal sanction, that an act objectively performed
constitute a mere beginning of execution; it is
necessary to establish its unavoidable connection,
like the logical and natural relation of the cause and
its effect, with the deed which, upon its
consummation, will develop into one of the offenses
defined and punished by the Code; it is necessary to
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
prove that said beginning of execution, if carried to its
complete termination following its natural course,
without being frustrated by external obstacles nor by
the voluntary desistance of the perpetrator, will
logically and necessarily ripen into a concrete offense.
Thus, in case of robbery, in order that the simple act
of entering by means of force or violence another
person's dwelling may be considered an attempt to
commit this offense, it must be shown that the
offender clearly intended to take possession, for the
purpose of gain, of some personal property belonging
to another. In the instant case, there is nothing in the
record from which such purpose of the accused may
reasonably be inferred.
in offenses not consummated, as the material
damage is wanting, the nature of the action intended
(accion fin) cannot exactly be ascertained, but the
same must be inferred from the nature of the acts
executed (accion medio).
Acts susceptible of double interpretation, that is, in
favor as well as against the culprit, and which show
an innocent as well as a punishable act, must not and
cannot furnish grounds by themselves for attempted
nor frustrated crimes.
PEOPLE V. EDUARDO SAMPIOR
No such thing as frustrated rape. Merest touch of the male
organ upon the labia of the pudendum, no matter how
slight, rape is consummated.
Evelyn Sampior (18) is the eldest of Eduardo’s 9 children.
She was left in their house with only 2 little kid sisters and
a baby brother, while Eduardo and his other sons went out
to harvest palay. Evelyn’s mom was also out then, selling
fruits in a trade center.
At 10am that day, Eduardo returned home, told
the 2 little girls to go out and play. The only ones left in the
house therefore, are Evelyn, her dad Eduardo and the
infant baby who was then sleeping. Eduardo suddenly
pulled Evelyn towards him and began to take off her shirt
and underwear. Evelyn resisted, but Eduardo persisted.
He was able to force her to lie down on the floor, then he
removed his clothes and mounted her. He held his penis
and inserted it into Evelyn’s vagina. Afterwards, he
ordered her to get dressed and to tell no one about it,
otherwise, he would kill the entire family. Then he left the
house.
At 3pm, Eduardo returned home smelling of
liquor. He sexually abused Evelyn again.
Days later, Evelyn told her mom about the
incident and reported the matter to the police. 2 separate
complaints for rape were filed against Eduardo (one for
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
the 10am session, the other for 3pm). Trial court found
Eduardo guilty.
In this appeal, Eduardo does not seek an
acquittal, but only a reduction of the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. He argues that no rape was consummated.
Evelyn was examined in a general hospital by Dr. Toledo
who found that her hymen was still intact. He also alleges
that when Evelyn was on the witness stand, she testified
that there was no full penile penetration. He wants to be
declared guilty only of frustrated rape.
ISSUE: w/n Eduardo Sampior is guilty of consummated
rape – YES!
RULING: Eduardo’s claim that according to Evelyn’s
testimony there was no full penile penetration is
contradicted by the records. On the witness stand, Evelyn
categorically and convincingly testified that there was
complete phallic penetration. A candid narration by a rape
victim deserves credence particularly where no ill motive is
attributed to her that would make her falsely testify against
the accused. No woman in her right mind would admit to
having been raped and subject herself and her family to
the shame concomitant with a rape prosecution unless the
charges are true. A daughter would not accuse her father
of incestuous rape unless it were true.
On the matter of the intact hymen, a.k.a the
VIRGO INTACTA THEORY: a broken hymen or laceration
of any part of the female genitalia is not a prerequisite for
rape conviction. Medical examination of the victim is only
corroborative evidence and is not required.
Eduardo points to the 1927 case of People v.
Erinia where the court found the accused guilty only of
frustrated rape because there was no conclusive evidence
of penile penetration. This ruling, however, has been
overturned. The crime of frustrated rape is non-existent
in our criminal law. The merest touch of the male
organ upon the labia of the pudendum, no matter how
slight, consummates the rape.
Accused guilty of 2 counts of rape. Reclusion
perpetua plus 50k civil indemnity, 50k moral damages,
exemplary damages for 25k all for both counts of rape.
PEOPLE V. CAMPUHAN
Facts: Ma. Corazon P. Pamintuan, mother of four (4)-year
old Crysthel, went down from the second floor of their
house to prepare Milo for her children. At the ground floor
she met Primo Campuhan, a helper of her brother, who
was then busy filling small plastic bags with water to be
frozen into ice in the freezer located at the second floor.
As she was busy preparing the drinks, she heard one of
her daughters cry, "Ayoko, ayoko!" prompting her to rush
upstairs. There, she saw Campuhan inside her children’s
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
room kneeling before Crysthel whose pajamas and panty
were already removed, while his short pants were down to
his knees. According to Corazon, Campuhan was forcing
his penis into Crysthel’s vagina.
Corazon called for help and Campuhan was
subdued. The barangay officials were called. Physical
examination of the victim yielded negative results. No
evident sign of extra-genital physical injury was noted by
the medico-legal officer on Crysthel’s body as her hymen
was intact.
Campuhan said he was innocent but the trial
court found him guilty of statutory rape and sentenced him
to the extreme penalty of death.
Campuhan’s defense was that it was almost
inconceivable that Corazon could give such a vivid
description of the alleged sexual contact when from where
she stood she could not have possibly seen the alleged
touching of the sexual organs of Campuhan on Crysthel.
He asserts that the absence of any external signs of
physical injuries or of penetration of Crysthel’s private
parts more than bolsters his innocence.
Issue: There is no doubt that Campuhan is guilty of rape.
However, is it attempted rape or consummated rape?
Held: It was attempted rape.
What consummates rape anyway? Statutory rape
is consummated by carnal knowledge of a woman below
12 years. Jurisprudence has held that in concluding that
carnal knowledge took place, full penetration of the vaginal
orifice is not an essential ingredient, nor is the rupture of
the hymen necessary; the mere touching of the external
genitalia by the penis capable of consummating the sexual
act is sufficient to constitute carnal knowledge. But the act
of touching should be understood here as inherently part
of the entry of the penis into the labias of the female organ
and not mere touching alone of the mons pubis or the
pudendum.
It was held that when an accused failed to
achieve an erection, had a limp or flaccid penis, or an
oversized penis which could not fit into the victim's vagina,
nonetheless rape was consummated if the accused
repeatedly tried, but in vain, to insert his penis into the
victim’s vagina and reaches the labia of her pudendum or
that the penis of the accused touched the middle part of
her vagina.
Thus, touching when applied to rape cases does
not simply mean mere epidermal contact, stroking or
grazing of organs, a slight brush or a scrape of the penis
on the external layer of the victim’s vagina, or the mons
pubis. There must be sufficient and convincing proof that
the penis indeed touched the labias or slid into the female
organ, and not merely stroked the external surface
thereof, for an accused to be convicted of consummated
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
rape because the labias, which are required to be
"touched" by the penis, are by their natural situs or
location beneath the mons pubis or the vaginal surface,
and to touch them with the penis is to attain some degree
of penetration beneath the surface. Thus, the conclusion
that touching the labia majora or the labia minora of the
pudendum constitutes consummated rape.
In this case, rape was not consummated because
it merely constitutes a "shelling of the castle of orgasmic
potency," or as earlier stated, a "strafing of the citadel of
passion." There was no “bombardment of the drawbridge"
according to Justice Bellosillo. Why? The prosecution
utterly failed to discharge its onus of proving that
Campuhan’s penis was able to penetrate Crysthel’s
vagina however slight. Furthermore Corazon’s testimony
could not prove that she saw inter-genital contact.
Campuhan’s kneeling position rendered an unbridled
observation impossible. Not even a vantage point from the
side of the accused and the victim would have provided
Corazon an unobstructed view of Primo’s penis
supposedly reaching Crysthel’s external genitalia.
Lastly, Crysthel said that Campuhan’s penis did
not
penetrate
her
organ.
Under
Art.
6
(attempted/frustrated), in relation to Art. 335 (rape), of the
RPC, rape is attempted when the offender commences
the commission of rape directly by overt acts, and does
not perform all the acts of execution which should produce
the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident
other than his own spontaneous desistance. All the
elements of attempted rape - and only of attempted rape are present in the instant case, hence, the accused should
be punished only for it.
SCIENCE BONUS (Justice Callejo says we should
know this):
The pudendum or vulva is the collective term for
the female genital organs that are visible in the perineal
area, e.g., mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, the
hymen, the clitoris, the vaginal orifice, etc.
The mons pubis is the rounded eminence that
becomes hairy after puberty, and is instantly visible within
the surface.
The next layer is the labia majora or the outer lips
of the female organ composed of the outer convex surface
and the inner surface. The skin of the outer convex
surface is covered with hair follicles and is pigmented,
while the inner surface is a thin skin which does not have
any hair but has many sebaceous glands. Directly beneath
the labia majora is the labia minora.
As stated above, the labia majora must be
entered for rape to be consummated, and not merely for
the penis to stroke the surface of the female organ. Thus,
a grazing of the surface of the female organ or touching
the mons pubis of the pudendum is not sufficient to
constitute consummated rape. Absent any showing of the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e., touching of
either labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no
consummated rape; at most, it can only be attempted
rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.
ARISTOTEL VALENZUELA vs. People and CA June 21,
2007
Valenzuela and Calderon were charged in an
information with the crime of theft. The two were sighted
outside the Super Sale Club (a supermarket within SM
North EDSA) by security guard Lago. Valenzuela, wearing
a Receiving Dispatching Unit ID, was seen hauling a push
cart with cases of Tide (twice) and unloading these cases
in an open parking space, where Calderon was waiting.
Valenzuela then called a cab and the two loaded the
cartoons of Tide and boarded the vehicle. Lago tried to
stop them by asking for a receipt, but the two reacted by
fleeing on foot, prompting Lago to fire a warning shot.
Valenzuela and Calderon were apprehended and 4 cases
of Tide Ultramatic, 1 case of Ultra 25 grams and 3 cases
of detergent were recovered.
Valenzuela and Calderon pleaded not guilty on
arraignment and claimed to be innocent bystanders.
According to Calderon, he went to the said supermarket
with his neighbor Rosulada to withdraw from his ATM. Due
to the long queue, they decided to buy snacks and went
outside after hearing a gunshot. Suddenly, they were
grabbed by a security guard. As for Valenzuela, he and his
cousin Gregorio were walking in the parking lot to ride a
tricycle when they saw Lago fire a shot. People started
running and he was apprehended by Lago. During
Valenzuela’s cross-examination, he admitted that he had
been employed as a “bundler” of GMS Marketing,
“assigned at the supermarket” though not at SM.
RTC: Valenzuela and Calderon guilty of consummated
theft. The RTC found credible the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses and established the convictions on
the positive identification of the accused as perpetrators of
the crime.
Only Valenzuela filed a brief with CA, causing the
dismissal of Calderon’s appeal. Valenzuela argued in CA
that he should only be convicted of frustrated theft since at
the time he was apprehended, he was never placed in a
position to freely dispose of the articles stolen.
CA: affirmed RTC (consummated theft). Valenzuela filed
Petition for Review.
ISSUE: WON the theft should
consummated or merely frustrated?
be
deemed
as
RULING: Consummated. Theft is already “produced”
upon the “taking of personal property of another
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
without the latter’s consent.” There is no frustrated
theft.
Each felony under the Revised Penal Code has a
“subjective phase,” or that portion of the acts constituting
the crime included between the act which begins the
commission of the crime and the last act performed by the
offender which, with prior acts, should result in the
consummated crime. After that point has been breached,
the subjective phase ends and the objective phase begins.
It has been held that if the offender never passes the
subjective phase of the offense, the crime is merely
attempted. On the other hand, the subjective phase is
completely passed in case of frustrated crimes, for in such
instances, subjectively the crime is complete.
Truly, an easy distinction lies between
consummated and frustrated felonies on one hand, and
attempted felonies on the other. So long as the offender
fails to complete all the acts of execution despite
commencing the commission of a felony, the crime is
undoubtedly in the attempted stage. Whether a crime is
frustrated or consummated necessitates an initial
concession that all of the acts of execution have been
performed by the offender. The critical distinction
instead is whether the felony itself was actually produced
by the acts of execution. The determination of whether the
felony was “produced” after all the acts of execution had
been performed hinges on the particular statutory
definition of the felony. It is the statutory definition that
generally furnishes the elements of each crime under the
Revised Penal Code, while the elements in turn unravel
the particular requisite acts of execution and
accompanying criminal intent.
there is only one operative act of execution by
the actor involved in theft ─ the taking of personal
property of another. It is also clear from the provision
that in order that such taking may be qualified as theft,
there must further be present the descriptive
circumstances that the taking was with intent to gain;
without force upon things or violence against or
intimidation of persons; and it was without the
consent of the owner of the property.
As applied to the present case, the moment Valenzuela
obtained physical possession of the cases of detergent
and loaded them in the pushcart, such seizure motivated
by intent to gain, completed without need to inflict violence
or intimidation against persons nor force upon things, and
accomplished without the consent of the SM Super Sales
Club, Valenzuela forfeited the extenuating benefit a
conviction for only attempted theft would have afforded
him.
the theft would have been frustrated only, once
the acts committed by petitioner, if ordinarily sufficient to
produce theft as a consequence, “do not produce [such
theft] by reason of causes independent of the will of the
perpetrator.” There are clearly two determinative factors to
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
consider: that the felony is not “produced,” and that such
failure is due to causes independent of the will of the
perpetrator. The second factor ultimately depends on the
evidence at hand in each particular case. The first,
however, relies primarily on a doctrinal definition attaching
to the individual felonies in the Revised Penal Code as to
when a particular felony is “not produced,” despite the
commission of all the acts of execution.
So, in order to ascertain whether the theft is
consummated or frustrated, it is necessary to inquire as
to how exactly is the felony of theft “produced.”
Parsing through the statutory definition of theft under
Article 308, there is one apparent answer provided in the
language of the law — that theft is already “produced”
upon the “tak[ing of] personal property of another
without the latter’s consent.”
The ability of the offender to freely dispose of
the property stolen is not a constitutive element of the
crime of theft. It finds no support or extension in Article
308, whether as a descriptive or operative element of theft
or as the mens rea or actus reus of the felony. To restate
what this Court has repeatedly held: the elements of the
crime of theft as provided for in Article 308 of the Revised
Penal Code are: (1) that there be taking of personal
property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that
the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking
be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the
taking be accomplished without the use of violence
against or intimidation of persons or force upon things.
For the purpose of ascertaining whether theft is
susceptible of commission in the frustrated stage, the
question is again, when is the crime of theft produced?
There would be all but certain unanimity in the
position that theft is produced when there is
deprivation of personal property due to its taking by
one with intent to gain. Viewed from that perspective, it
is immaterial to the product of the felony that the offender,
once having committed all the acts of execution for theft, is
able or unable to freely dispose of the property stolen
since the deprivation from the owner alone has already
ensued from such acts of execution.
We are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that
the taking by the petitioner was completed in this case.
With intent to gain, he acquired physical possession of the
stolen cases of detergent for a considerable period of time
that he was able to drop these off at a spot in the parking
lot, and long enough to load these onto a taxicab.
Indeed, we have, after all, held that unlawful
taking, or apoderamiento, is deemed complete from the
moment the offender gains possession of the thing, even if
he has no opportunity to dispose of the same.
Insofar as we consider the present question,
“unlawful taking” is most material in this respect.
Unlawful taking, which is the deprivation of one’s
personal property, is the element which produces the
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
felony in its consummated stage. At the same time,
without unlawful taking as an act of execution, the offense
could only be attempted theft, if at all.
With these considerations, we can only conclude
that under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, theft
cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft can only be
attempted or consummated. The presumed inability of the
offenders to freely dispose of the stolen property does not
negate the fact that the owners have already been
deprived of their right to possession upon the completion
of the taking. There is no language in Article 308 that
expressly or impliedly allows that the “free disposition of
the items stolen” is in any way determinative of whether
the crime of theft has been produced.
PEOPLE V. SALVILLA
FACTS: 4 were charged with the crime of robbery with
serious physical injuries and serious illegal detention but
only Salvilla appealed.
A robbery was staged by the 4 accused at the
New Iloilo Lumber Yard. They were armed with
homemade guns and hand grenade. They entered the
establishment and told Rodita (employee) that it was a
hold-up. Salvilla pointed his gun at Severino Choco
(owner), Mary and Minnie (2 daughters with one minor)
and told Severino that all they needed was money.
Severino told Mary to get a paper bag wherein he placed
P20,000.00 cash (P5,000.00, according to the defense)
and handed it to Salvilla. Thereafter, Severino pleaded
with the 4 accused to leave the premises as they already
had the money but they paid no heed. Instead, one
accused took the wallet and wristwatch of Severino after
which the latter, his two daughters, and Rodita, were
herded to the office and kept there as hostages.
Thereafter, Salvilla told Severino to produce
P100,000.00 so he and the other hostages could be
released. Severino answered that he could not do so
because it was a Saturday and the banks were closed.
In the meantime, police and military authorities
had surrounded the premises of the lumber yard. They
negotiated with the accused using a loud speaker and
appealed to them to surrender with the assurance that no
harm would befall them as he would accompany them
personally to the police station. The accused refused to
surrender or to release the hostages.
The OIC Mayor arrived and joined the
negotiations. Salvilla demanded P100,000.00, a coaster,
and some raincoats. She offered them P50,000.00
instead, explaining the difficulty of raising more as it was a
Saturday. The accused agreed to receive the same and to
release Rodita. The P50,000 was given and Rodita
released.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The authorities continued to appeal to the
accused to surrender peacefully but they refused. Finally,
the police and military authorities decided to launch an
offensive and assault the place. This resulted in injuries to
the girls, Mimie and Mary Choco as well as to 2 of the
accused Ronaldo and Reynaldo Canasares.
ISSUE:
1) WON the crime committed was merely attempted
2) WON the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender should be appreciated
HELD/ RATIO:
1) No!
The defense contends that the crime of
robbery/theft has three consecutive stages: 1) the giving
2) the taking and 3) the carrying away or asportation. And
without asportation the crime committed is only attempted.
There is no question that in robbery, it is required
that there be a taking of personal property belonging to
another. This is known as the element of asportation the
essence of which is the taking of a thing out of the
possession of the owner without his privity and consent
and without the animus revertendi. In fact, if there is no
actual taking, there can be no robbery. Unlawful taking of
personal property of another is an essential part of the
crime of robbery.
Salvillo insists that while the "giving" has been
proven, the "taking" has not. And this is because neither
he nor his three co-accused touched the P5,000.00 given
by Severino nor the latter's wallet or watch during the
entire incident; proof of which is that none of those items
were recovered from their persons.
However, Rodita testified that Severino put
P20,000.00 inside a paper bag and subsequently handed
it to Salvillo. Also, the other accused took the wallet and
wristwatch of Severino. In respect of the P50,000.00 from
the Mayor Rodita declared that the Mayor handed the
amount to her and that she thereafter gave the amount to
one of the holduppers. The "taking" was, therefore,
sufficiently proved.
It is no defense either that Salvillo and his coaccused had no opportunity to dispose of the personalities
taken. That fact does not affect the nature of the crime,
From the moment the offender gained possession of the
thing, even if the culprit had no opportunity to dispose of
the same, the unlawful taking is complete.
It has been held that the crime is consummated
when the robber acquires possession of the property,
even if for a short time, and it is not necessary that the
property be taken into the hands of the robber, or that he
should have actually carried the property away, out of the
physical presence of the lawful possessor, or that he
should have made his escape with it.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Therefore,
robbery is affirmed.
the
conviction
for
consummated
2) No!
To be mitigating, a surrender must have the
following requisites: (a) that the offender had not been
actually arrested; (b) that the offender surrendered himself
to a person in authority or to his agent; and (c) that the
surrender was voluntary.
In this case, the "surrender" by the accused
hardly meets these requirements. They were asked to
surrender by the police and military authorities but they
refused until only much later when they could no longer do
otherwise by force of circumstances when they knew they
were completely surrounded and there was no chance of
escape. The surrender of the accused was held not to be
mitigating as when he gave up only after he was
surrounded by the constabulary and police forces. Their
surrender was not spontaneous as it was motivated more
by an intent to insure their safety. And while it is claimed
that they intended to surrender, the fact is that they did not
despite several opportunities to do so. There is no
voluntary surrender to speak of.
© RIVERA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
FACTS: While Ruben went to a store to buy food,
Edgardo Rivera, one of the accused, mocked the former
for being jobless. A heated exchange of words between
the two soon followed. The following day, Ruben, together
with his 3-yr old daughter, went to the store, again, to buy
food. Then, accused Esmeraldo, Ismael and Edgardo
Rivera emerged from their house and ganged up on
Ruben. They mauled Ruben with fist blows and he fell to
the ground. While in that helpless position, Edgardo hit
Ruben three times with a hollow block on the parietal area,
while the other two continued mauling him. Although
feeling dizzy, Ruben managed to stand up. Ismael threw a
stone at him, hitting him at the back. When the policemen
arrived, the accused fled to their house. The Rivera
brothers were then convicted by the trial court of frustrated
murder. On appeal, the CA modified the RTC decision and
convicted the accused of attempted murder.
The accused insist that the prosecution failed to
prove that they had the intention to kill Ruben when they
mauled him with a hollow block. Furthermore, even if they
had intent to kill Ruben, the prosecution failed to prove
treachery, thus, they should be guilty only of attempted
homicide.
ISSUE: W/N the accused should be found guilty only
of attempted homicide instead of attempted murder. –
NO.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
HELD/RATIO: An essential element of murder and
homicide, whether in their consummated, frustrated or
attempted stage, is intent of the offenders to kill the
victim immediately before or simultaneously with the
infliction of injuries. Intent to kill is a specific intent
which the prosecution must prove by direct or
circumstantial evidence, while general criminal intent is
presumed from the commission of a felony by dolo.
evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against persons
may consist, inter alia, in the means used by the
malefactors, the nature, location and number of wounds
sustained by the victim, the conduct of the malefactors
before, at the time, or immediately after the killing of the
victim, the circumstances under which the crime was
committed and the motives of the accused. If the victim
dies as a result of a deliberate act of the malefactors,
intent to kill is presumed.
In the present case, the prosecution mustered the
requisite quantum of evidence to prove the intent of
petitioners to kill Ruben. Esmeraldo and Ismael
pummeled the victim with fist blows. Even as Ruben fell to
the ground, unable to defend himself against the sudden
and sustained assault of petitioners, Edgardo hit him three
times with a hollow block. Edgardo tried to hit Ruben on
the head, missed, but still managed to hit the victim only in
the parietal area, resulting in a lacerated wound and
cerebral contusions. In addition, even if Edgardo did not
hit the victim squarely on the head, petitioners are still
criminally liable for attempted murder.
Article 6 of the RPC provides for the essential
elements of an attempted felony, namely:
1. The offender commences the commission of the
felony directly by overt acts;
2. He does not perform all the acts of execution
which should produce the felony;
1. The offender’s act be not stopped by his own
spontaneous desistance;
2. The non-performance of all acts of execution was
due to cause or accident other than his
spontaneous desistance
The first element of an attempted felony consists of
two elements:
1. Presence of external acts; and
2. Such external acts have direct connection with
the crime intended to be committed.
In the case at bar, petitioners, who acted in concert,
commenced the felony of murder by mauling the victim
and hitting him three times with a hollow block; they
narrowly missed hitting the middle portion of his head. If
Edgardo had done so, Ruben would surely have died.
LEONIDAS EPIFANIO Y LAZARO VS PEOPLE
38
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Facts: Crisaldo and his cousin, Allan were walking to their
respective homes. Since the pavement going to Crisaldo’s
house was narrow, Allan walked ahead of Crisaldo.
Suddenly, Crisaldo felt the stab of a bladed
weapon on his back. His attacker was their uncle, Lazaro
(also known as uncle Iyo). Lazaro stabbed Crisaldo again
but only hit the latter’s left arm. When Allan heard
Crisaldo’s cry of pain, he rushed to help and upon seeing
their uncle, asked him why he did such a thing. Lazaro ran
away.
Crisaldo was first brought to Allan’s house where
the wound was wrapped in a blanket. Then he was
transferred to the Penaplata hospital where first aid
treatment was administered. Thereafter, he was
transferred to the Davao Medical Center where he stayed
for 3weeks to recuperate.
Lazaro was then charged with Frustrated Murder.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and instead set up an
alibi (he was sleeping at home when the incident took
place and that when he found out what happened he
rushed to help).
RTC: Guilty
CA: Affirmed
Issue: Whether or not the crime of frustrated murder was
proved beyond reasonable doubt?
Held: NO!
Lazaro does not question the conviction but
instead seeks that his offense be lowered to attempted
murder. It is alleged that there is no evidence to prove that
Crisaldo’s injuries were life-threatening that it would’ve
caused his death were it not for the timely medical
intervention. He noted that the physician’s findings said
the wounds would heal within 15-30days barring
complications. There was no notation that the injury was
life threatening.
It must be stressed that it is not the gravity of the
wounds alone which determines whether a crime is
attempted or frustrated. The question is whether the
assailant has passed the subjective phase of the
commission of the offense.
In the leading case of US vs Eduave, an
attempted crime is when the offender is thwarted by a
foreign force such that he is unable to perform all the acts
which should produce the crime as a consequence. The
subjective phase in the commission of a crime is that
portion of the acts from the time the commission of the
crime is instituted up until the time the last act is
performed. After that time, the phase is objective.
Note that in attempted crimes, the offender never
passes the subjective phase. He is unable to performs all
the acts of execution which would produce the crime. On
the other hand, a crime is frustrated when the offender has
passed the subjective phase (meaning, he has performed
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
all the acts to complete the commission of the crime) but
nevertheless, the crime is not consummated because of
the intervention of causes independent of the will of the
offender.
In homicide cases, all the acts of execution would
have been performed if the wound inflicted is mortal and
could cause the victim’s death barring medical
intervention. (if no intent to kill: consummated physical
injuries --- if with intent to kill: homicide)
Intent to kill may be proved by: 1) motive; 2)
nature or number of weapons used; 3) nature and number
of wounds inflicted; 4) manner by which the crime was
committed and 5) words uttered by the offender at the time
the injuries were inflicted.
In this case, intent to kill is very evident because
of the manner of execution and of the number of wounds
that was inflicted. However, Lazaro failed to perform all the
acts of execution because Allan came and he was forced
to run away. Lazaro did not voluntarily desist from
stabbing Crisaldo, he had to stop because Allan
recognized him. Hence, the subjective phase has not been
completed.
Moreover, no evidence was presented to prove
that Crisaldo would’ve died from the wounds were it not for
the timely medical attendance. Without such proof, the
character of the wound is doubtful.
JINGGOY ESTRADA V. SANDIGANBAYAN (Feb 26,
2002)
Facts: As an offshoot of the impeachment proceedings
against Joseph Estrada, five criminal complaints against
the former President and members of his family, his
associates, friends and conspirators were filed with the
Ombudsman. One of the charges was for plunder and
among the respondents was petitioner Jinggoy Estrada,
then mayor of San Juan, Metro Manila.
Estrada filed several motions (motion to quash
and suspend, very urgent omnibus motion) which were all
denied.
Estrada claims that respondent Sandiganbayan
acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in:
1) not declaring that R.A. No. 7080 as applied to him was
in denial of his right to the equal protection of the laws;
2) not holding that the Plunder Law does not provide
complete and sufficient standards;
3) sustaining the charge against petitioner for alleged
offenses, and with alleged conspirators, with which and
with whom he is not even remotely connected - contrary to
the dictum that criminal liability is personal, not vicarious results in the denial of substantive due process;
ISSUE/RATIO:
39
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
1) WON the Plunder law as applied to Estrada was in
denial of his right to equal protection-- NO
A careful examination of the Amended
Information will show that it is divided into three (3) parts:
(1) the first paragraph charges Erap with the crime of
plunder together with petitioner Jinggoy, Atong Ang, and
others; (2) the second paragraph spells out in general
terms how the accused conspired in committing the crime
of plunder; and (3) the following four sub-paragraphs
describe in detail the predicate acts constitutive of the
crime of plunder pursuant to items (1) to (6) of R.A. No.
7080, and state the names of the accused who committed
each act.
Contrary to petitioner’s posture, the allegation is
that he received or collected money from illegal gambling
“on several instances.” The phrase “on several instances”
means the petitioner committed the predicate act in series.
It matters little that sub-paragraph (a) did not utilize the
exact words “combination” or “series” as they appear in
R.A. No. 7080. These two terms are to be taken in their
popular, not technical, meaning, the word “series” is
synonymous with the clause “on several instances.”
2) WON plunder law provide sufficient and complete
standards to guide the courts in dealing with accused
alleged to have contributed to the offense?—YES
“Section 2. Any public officer who, by himself or in
connivance with the members of his family, relatives by
affinity
or
consanguinity,
business
associates,
subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates or
acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series
of overt or criminal acts as described in Section 1(d)
hereof in the aggregate amount or total value of at least
Fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the
crime of plunder and shall be punished by reclusion
perpetua to death. Any person who participated with the
said public officer in the commission of an offense
contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be
punished for such offense. In the imposition of penalties,
the degree of participation and the attendance of
mitigating and extenuating circumstances, as provided by
the Revised Penal Code, shall be considered by the court.
3) WON in sustaining the charge against petitioner for
alleged offenses, and with alleged conspirators, with which
and with whom he is not even remotely connected contrary to the dictum that criminal liability is personal, not
vicarious - resulted in the denial of substantive due
process; --NO
The allegations in the Amended Information, it is
clear that all the accused named thru their individual
acts, conspired with former President Estrada to
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
enable the latter to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten
wealth in the aggregate amount of P4,097,804,173.17. As
the Amended Information is worded, however, it is not
certain whether the accused conspired with each
other to enable the former President to amass the subject
ill-gotten wealth.
In light of this lack of clarity, petitioner cannot be
penalized for the conspiracy entered into by the other
accused with the former President as related in the
second paragraph of the Amended Information but only for
the predicate acts he allegedly committed as related in
sub-paragraph (a) of the Amended Information which were
allegedly done in conspiracy with the former President
whose design was to amass ill-gotten wealth amounting to
more than P4 billion.
There is no denying the fact that the plunder of
an entire nation resulting in material damage to the
national economy is made up of a complex and manifold
network of crimes. In the crime of plunder, therefore,
different parties may be united by a common purpose. In
the case at bar, the different accused and their different
criminal acts have a commonality to help the former
President amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth.
Sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) in the Amended Information
alleged the different participation of each accused in the
conspiracy. The gravamen of the conspiracy charge,
therefore, is not that each accused agreed to receive
protection money from illegal gambling, that each
misappropriated a portion of the tobacco excise tax, that
each accused ordered the GSIS and SSS to purchase
shares of Belle Corporation and receive commissions from
such sale, nor that each unjustly enriched himself from
commissions, gifts and kickbacks; rather, it is that each
of them, by their individual acts, agreed to participate,
directly or indirectly, in the amassing, accumulation
and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth of and/or for
former President Estrada.
In the American jurisdiction, the presence of
several accused in multiple conspiracies commonly
involves two structures: (1) the so-called wheel or circle
conspiracy, in which there is a single person or group (the
hub) dealing individually with two or more other persons or
groups (the spokes); and (2) the chain conspiracy, in
which there is successive communication and cooperation
in much the same way as with legitimate business
operations between manufacturer and wholesaler, then
wholesaler and retailer, and then retailer and consumer.
From a reading of the Amended Information, the case at
bar appears similar to a wheel conspiracy. The hub is
former President Estrada while the spokes are all the
accused, and the rim that encloses the spokes is the
common goal in the overall conspiracy, i.e., the amassing,
accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth.
40
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
4) WON the allegation of conspiracy in the Amended
Information is too general –NO
The requirements on sufficiency of allegations
are different when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in
itself but only as the mode of committing the crime as in
the case at bar. There is less necessity of reciting its
particularities in the Information because conspiracy is not
the gravamen of the offense charged. The conspiracy is
significant only because it changes the criminal liability of
all the accused in the conspiracy and makes them
answerable as co-principals regardless of the degree of
their participation in the crime.[49 The liability of the
conspirators is collective and each participant will be
equally responsible for the acts of others,[50 for the act of
one is the act of all
In the case at bar, the second paragraph of the
Amended Information alleged in general terms how the
accused committed the crime of plunder. It used the words
in connivance/conspiracy with his co-accused. These
words are sufficient to allege the conspiracy of the
accused with the former President in committing the crime
of plunder.
5. WON bail should be granted? – Hearings must be
conducted first to determine if the evidence of petitioner’s
guilt is strong as to warrant the granting of bail to
petitioner.
During the pendency of the case, Jinggoy prayed
that he be allowed to post bail due to his serious medical
condition which is life-threatening to him if he goes back to
his place of detention. Basing its finding on the earlier
testimony of Dr. Anastacio, the Sandiganbayan found that
petitioner “failed to submit sufficient evidence to convince
the court that the medical condition of the accused
requires that he be confined at home and for that purpose
that he be allowed to post bail.”
The crime of plunder is punished by R.A. No.
7080 with the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
Under our Rules, offenses punishable by death, reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment are non-bailable when the
evidence of guilt is strong, to wit:
The constitutional mandate makes the grant or
denial of bail in capital offenses hinge on the issue of
whether or not the evidence of guilt of the accused is
strong. This requires that the trial court conduct bail
hearings wherein both the prosecution and the defense
are afforded sufficient opportunity to present their
respective evidence. The burden of proof lies with the
prosecution to show strong evidence of guilt.[60]This
Court is not in a position to grant bail to the petitioner as
the matter requires evidentiary hearing that should be
conducted by the Sandiganbayan.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Vitug, Dissenting:
Allegation of conspiracy is not enough. It is neither right
nor just, to cast criminal liability on one for the acts or
deeds of plunder that may have been committed by
another or others over which he has not consented or
acceded to, participated in, or even in fact been aware of.
Such vicarious criminal liability is never to be taken lightly
but must always be made explicit not merely at the trial but
likewise, and no less important, in the complaint or
information itself in order to meet the fundamental right of
an accused to be fully informed of the charge against him.
Kapunan, and Buena, J, Dissenting:
The requirement for complete allegations on the
particulars of the indictment is based on the right of the
accused to be fully informed of the nature of the charge
against him, so that he may adequately prepare for this
defense pursuant to the due process clause of the
Constitution.
The fact, however, is that it is the
prosecution which determines the charges to be filed and
how the legal and factual elements in the case shall be
utilized as components of the information. It is not for the
accused, usually a layman, to speculate upon the
purposes and strategy of the prosecution and be
thereafter prejudiced through erroneous guesswork.
Thus, since the People dictate what he should be charged
with, fairness demands that he should not be convicted of
a crime with which he is not charged or which is not
necessarily included therein.
Ynares-Santiago, Dissenting:
There is no showing in the records that Mayor Estrada
consciously adopted a common plan or joined in
concerted action with President Estrada and Governor
Singson to commit any two of the four criminal acts in the
amended information or conspired to commit more than
once the receipt and transmission of jueteng money. If the
petitioner was aware that the money entrusted to him for
delivery came from illegal gambling, it is established that
“mere knowledge, acquiescence, or agreement to
cooperate (in the transmission of jueteng funds in this
case) is not enough to constitute one as a conspirator of
the crime (in this case, plunder) with a view to a
furtherance of the common design and purpose.”
Petitioner states that he is linked to only P2,000,000.00 of
jueteng money but the Ombudsman seeks to hold him
responsible with his father for the aggregate amount of
P4,097,804,173.17 of ill-gotten wealth.
Petitioner’s
criminal act is alleged to be “contributing to the crime of
plunder.” This construction of the law by the Prosecution
is dangerous if not ominous.
Sandoval-Gutierrez, Dissenting:
My theory is that there are four separate conspiracies with
no overall goal or common purpose to commit the crime of
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
plunder. For one, there is no allegation in the Amended
Information that petitioner agreed with the former
President and the other accused to acquire and amass illgotten wealth by misappropriating the tobacco excise tax
allocated for Ilocos Sur; by ordering the GSIS and SSS to
purchase shares of Belle Corporation and receive
commission from such sale; and enriching himself from
commissions, gifts and kickbacks
© PEOPLE V. PAGALASAN
Facts: Crime: Two counts of Kidnapping for Ransom (of
George Lim and son Christopher Lim-10yo)
Spouses George and Desiree Lim had 3 children,
one of whom is Christopher. They resided in Villa
Consuelo Subdivision in General Santos City. They hired
a security guard, Ferdinand Cortez.
On Sept. 4, 1994, around 11 pm, 4 armed men
barged into their house through the kitchen door. The
intruders all wore bonnets and when they entered through
the kitchen door, they dragged security guard Ferdinand
with them with his hands tied. The men barged into the
bedroom of the spouses Lim. They demanded that the
spouses cooperate with their demands if they didn’t want
to get hurt. They ransacked the house, got cash and other
valuables. Thereafter, the men gave wife Desiree a
handwritten note. The note threatened the spouses not to
get the military involved and that they will be getting in
touch with the couple soon.
The men demanded that George give them the
key to the car. He complied. The men dragged George
and one of his children, Christopher, to the car. The men
drove along the national highway and blindfolded George
and Christopher. After some time driving, the car stopped
at Sitio Tupi and 2 of the men alighted bringing with them
Christopher. Then the driver again started the car to
transport George to Maasim.
Meanwhile, the police were informed of the
kidnapping and policemen were dispatched for
investigation and set up a checkpoint. The masked driver
with George halted when he saw the checkpoint, switched
off the headlights and took off his mask. The driver turned
out to be the appellant in this case, Michael Pagalasan.
The policemen approached the car, indentified themselves
and asked for the passengers’ names. Although George
gave a false name, the policemen saw his hands were
shaking and they opened the door of the car. They
arrested Pagalasan and inspected the vehicle, finding a
handgun and a grenade.
At the police station, Pagalasan was placed
under custodial investigation. It is said that the police
inquired if Pagalasan wanted to execute an affidavit and if
he knew a lawyer. Pagalasan said he wanted to and that
he didn’t knew any lawyer. Thereafter, Atty. Falgui was
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
called upon to help him execute the affidavit. He gave his
confession thereafter with assistance of Atty. Falgui. He
admitted that he, together with the others, including
Ferdinand (security guard) planned the kidnapping.
Thereafter, the men that Pagalasan mentioned in
his confession were arrested. The men holding
Christopher learned about this and stated that the people
named and arrested were innocent and weren’t involved.
They also asked for a 3 million ransom. The following
morning however, the policemen were able to rescue
Christopher without paying the ransom money.
Pagalasan was thereafter charged with
kidnapping for ransom. However, after a few days, he
substituted his counsel Atty. Falgui with Atty. Fontanilla.
Pagalasan retracted his extrajudicial confession, saying
that he was tortured and held at gun point when he
executed it and that he wasn’t assisted by counsel of his
choice.
As a defense, Pagalan says that at the time of
the incident, he was riding a tricycle which stopped near
the Lim house. He saw the masked men who saw him as
well. He alleges that the men poked their guns at him and
forced him to participate in the kidnapping and he was
designated as the driver. He further claims that he was
tortured to force him to write the confession and that he
was mauled.
The cases filed against Pagalasan are illegal
possession of fire arms and kidnapping for ransom AND
serious illegal detention. He was acquitted for possession
and was convicted for kidnapping.
Issue: W/N Pagalasan should be convicted of kidnapping
with ransom.
Held: Pagalasan is convicted of only kidnapping, not
kidnapping with ransom, the latter being punishable with
death.
In this case, the evidence on record inscrutably
shows that the appellant and his three cohorts were armed
with handguns; two of them had hand grenades, and all of
them had masks over their faces. They gained entry into
the Lim residence after overpowering the security guard
Ferdinand and the housemaid Julita, and tying their hands
behind their backs. One of the masked men remained in
the sala, while the three others barged into the bedroom of
George and Desiree, and kidnapped George and his tenyear-old son Christopher. The appellant and his cohorts
forced father and son to board George’s car. The
appellant drove the car, dropped off Christopher and his
cohorts at Sitio Tupi, and drove on with George in the car
towards the direction of Maasim.
The collective, concerted and synchronized acts of
the appellant and his cohorts before, during and after the
kidnapping constitute indubitable proof that the appellant
and his three companions conspired with each other to
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attain a common objective: to kidnap George and
Christopher and detain them illegally. The appellant was a
principal by direct participation in the kidnapping of the two
victims.
HOWEVER, the prosecution failed to prove that he
had knowledge of and concurred with the said demand for
ransom so he cannot be convicted of the graver crime of
kidnapping for ransom, only kidnapping.
To warrant the imposition of the death penalty for the
crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for
ransom, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable
doubt the following: (a) intent on the part of the accused to
deprive the victim of his liberty; (b) actual deprivation of
the victim of his liberty; (c) motive of the accused, which is
extortion of ransom from the victim or any other
person. The qualifying circumstance which must be
alleged in the Information and proved by the prosecution
as the crime itself by words and overt acts of the accused
before, during and after the kidnapping and detention of
the victim. Neither actual demand for nor actual payment
of ransom is necessary for the crime to be committed.
In this case, the prosecution was able to prove
beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant conspired
with three others to kidnap the victims. However, it
failed to prove that they intended to extort ransom
from the victims themselves or from some other
person, with a view to obtaining the latter’s
release. The kidnapping by itself does not give rise to the
presumption that the appellant and his co-conspirators’
purpose is to extort ransom from the victims or any other
person.
The only evidence adduced by the prosecution to
prove the element of extorting ransom are the three
handwritten letters. There was no demand for ransom in
exchange for George and Christopher’s liberty. While
there is a demand for ransom of P3,000,000 in
the second letter, and a demand for the release of Ronie
Puntuan within three days in the third letter, the said
demands are in consideration of Christopher’s release
from custody, and not that of George.
There is no evidence that the signatory and sender
of the second letter is a co-conspirator of the appellant,
the latter is not bound by the said letter, conformably to
Section 28, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Evidence.
Issue: W/N Pagalasan should be convicted of slight illegal
detention under Article 268 of the Revised Penal Code, for
kidnapping George.
The prosecution may have failed to prove that the
appellant and his co-conspirators intended to extort
ransom for George’s release; however, as a matter of
substantive law, the appellant may be held guilty of
two separate crimes, although he and his coconspirators kidnapped George and Christopher on
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
the same occasion and from the same situs. As a
matter of procedural law, the appellant may be
convicted of slight illegal detention under the
Information for kidnapping for ransom as the former is
necessarily included in the latter crime.
The SC held that Pagalasan is guilty of slight illegal
detention. Article 268 of the Revised Penal Code which
reads:
Art. 268. Slight illegal detention. – The penalty
of reclusion temporal shall be imposed upon any private
individual who shall commit the crimes described in the
next preceding article without the attendance of any of the
circumstances enumerated therein.
The same penalty shall be incurred by anyone
who shall furnish the place for the perpetration of the
crime.
If the offender shall voluntarily release the person
so kidnapped or detained within three days from the
commencement of the detentio, without having attained
the purpose intended, and before the institution of criminal
proceedings against him, the penalty shall be prision
mayor in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not
exceeding seven hundred pesos. (As amended by
Republic Act No. 18).
While the epigraph or title of the article mentions only
slight illegal detention, kidnapping committed in
connection with the lower offense of slight illegal detention
is also covered by the article.
In this case, the appellant is a private
individual. George had been kidnapped and detained
illegally by the appellant and his cohorts, but only for less
than a day. George regained his freedom after the
appellant had been arrested at the intersection of the
national highway and Espina Road. There is no evidence
that the appellant and his cohorts kidnapped George for
the purpose of extorting ransom for his release. There is
likewise no evidence that they inflicted any serious
physical injuries on George, or simulated public authority,
or threatened to kill him. Furthermore, there is no evidence
that the appellant and his cohorts intended to detain the
victim for more than three days.
Although the appellant and his co-conspirators
kidnapped George and Christopher on the same occasion
and from the same situs, the appellant is guilty of two
separate crimes: kidnapping under Article 267 of the
Revised Penal Code, and slight illegal detention under
Article 268 of the Revised Penal Code. The appellant
and his co-conspirators were animated by two sets of
separate criminal intents and criminal resolutions in
kidnapping
and
illegally detaining
the
two
victims. The criminal intent in kidnapping Christopher
was separate from and independent of the criminal
intent and resolution in kidnapping and detaining
George for less than three days. In the mind and
conscience of the appellant, he had committed two
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separate felonies; hence, should be meted two
separate penalties for the said crimes: one for
kidnapping under Article 267 of the Revised Penal
Code and another for slight illegal detention under
Article 268 of the same code. The felony of slight illegal
detention is necessarily included in the crime of
kidnapping for ransom; thus, the appellant may be
convicted of the former crime under an Information for
kidnapping for ransom.
There is conspiracy when two or more persons
agree to commit a felony and decide to commit
it. Conspiracy as a mode of incurring criminal liability must
be proven separately from and with the same quantum of
proof as the crime itself. Conspiracy need not be proven
by direct evidence. To hold an accused guilty as a coprincipal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to
have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance
of the complicity. There must be intentional participation in
the transaction with a view to the furtherance of the
common design and purpose.
© SENOJA V. PEOPLE
Facts: Exequiel Senoja, Fidel Senoja (they were brothers),
Jose Calica and Miguel Lumasac were drinking gin in the
hut of Crisanto Reguyal. Leon Lumasac suddenly barged
in, holding a bolo and was looking for his brother Miguel
whom he suspected of drying up the ricefield he was
plowing. However, when Senoja (Exequiel) approached
Leon, the latter tried to hack him so he embraced Leon
and Jose took Leon’s bolo. After the confrontation, Leon
wanted to get his bolo back because he wanted to go
home. After getting it back, Leon walked out of the place
followed by Senoja. Suddenly, Senoja stabbled Leon at
the back. When Leon turned around, Senoja continued
stabbing him until he fell to the ground. Then petitioner ran
towards the barangay road and threw away the knife he
used to stab Leon.
Petitioner admitted killing the victim but invoked
the affirmative defense of self-defense. His version said
that after the commotion inside the house, Leon left but
with a threat that something will happen to Senoja. Senoja
followed Leon as the latter was making his way home.
When Leon realized that Senoja was following him, Leon
walked back towards him and suddenly hacked Senoja at
the left side of his head and right thigh. Unable to evade
the treacherous attack by Leon, Senoja drew his colonial
knife and stabbed Leon in self-defense, inflicting upon him
multiple wounds which caused his death.
Issue: W/N Senoja merely acted in self-defense
Held: No, Senoja is guilty of HOMICIDE.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The affirmative defense of self-defense may be
complete or incomplete. It is complete when all the three
essential requisites are present; it is incomplete if only
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim and any of
the two essential requisites were present. Unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim is a condition sine qua
non to self-defense, complete or incomplete.
The right of self-defense proceeds from necessity
and limited by it. The right begins where necessity does,
and ends where it ends. There is however, a perceptible
difference between necessity and self-defense. Selfdefense excuses the repulse of a wrong; necessity
justifies the invasion of a right. Hence, it is essential to
self-defense that it should be a defense against a present
unlawful attack.
Self-defense is an act to save life; hence, it is
right and not a crime. x x x It is a settled rule that to
constitute aggression, the person attacked must be
confronted by a real threat on his life and limb; and the
peril sought to be avoided in imminent and actual, not
merely imaginary. But what then is the standard? We rule
that the test should be: does the person invoking the
defense believe, in due exercise of his reason, his life or
limb is in danger? Hence, when an inceptual/unlawful
aggression ceases to exist, the one making a defense has
no right to kill or injure the former aggressor. After the
danger has passed, one is not justified in following up his
adversary to take his life.
IN THIS CASE, there were two events
concerned: 1) The arrival of Leon who was armed with a
bolo and 2) When Leon demanded for his bolo because
he wanted to go home already after the commotion inside
the house, and then eventually left with a threat. Quoting
the appellate court, the SC said that the victim had already
left the hut. At that point in time, the victim was simply
walking toward his home; he had stopped being an
aggressor. It was Senoja who wanted a confrontation this
time. It was Senoja who was now the unlawful aggressor
in this second phase of their confrontation.
UNITED STATES V. DOMEN
Facts: Domen and the deceased Victoriano Gadlit
quarrelled about a carabao of the defendant Domen which
Gadlit said had gotten into his corn patch. The deceased
attacked the defendant and struck him with a piece of
wood called “Japanese”, about a vara in length and about
the size of one’s wrist. The deceased struck at the
accused four or five times and that the accused did not
retreat but struck back wounding the deceased at the
forearm.
Issue: W/N there was reasonable necessity for the means
employed by the defendant to repel the attack?
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Held: Yes, defendant must be ACQUITTED.
Quoting US v. Molina, the Court said: 1) During
an unlawful attack by another and while a struggle is going
on and the danger to his person or to his life continues,
the party assaulted has a right to repel the danger by
wounding his adversary, and if, necessary, to disable him;
2) the fact that a person when assaulted does not flee
from his assailant is not sufficient reason for declining in a
proper case to uphold the rational necessity of the means
employed in repelling the illegal attack.
The “retreat to the wall” doctrine says that it is the
duty of a person assailed to retreat as far as he can before
he is justified in meeting force with force. This principle
has now given way in the United States to the “stand
ground when in the right” rule. A true man, who is without
fault, is not obliged to fly from an assailant, who, by
violence or surprise, maliciously seeks to take his life or do
him enormous bodily harm.
IN THIS CASE, the accused did not provoke the
assault. The accused was where he had the right to be.
The law did not require him to retreat when his assailant
was rapidly advancing upon him in a threatening manner
with a deadly weapon. The accused was entitled to do
whatever he had reasonable grounds to believe at the
time was necessary to save his life or to protect himself
from great bodily harm. The element of practicability made
it impossible for him to determine during the heat of a
sudden attack whether he would increase or diminish the
risk to which exposed by standing his ground or stepping
aside. His resistance was not disproportionate to the
assault. The wound was inflicted, not on what is usually a
vital part of the body but on the arm as one would naturally
strike to defend himself.
PEOPLE VS. YUMAN
Facts: Marciano Martin and accused Beatriz Yuman
without being married, lived as husband and wife for about
3 or 4 years until Marciano decided to leave their common
dwelling. Beatriz went to look for Marciano at the cockpit
of Mandaluyong. From there, they rode a vehicle wherein
they Marciano intimated to Beatriz his determination to
end their relations. After Marciano rudely shunned away
Beatriz’s suggestion that they go home together, Beatriz
pulled out a penknife and stabbed Marciano on the right
lumbar region which damaged his kidney. Thereafter,
Marciano ran away but Beatriz, with penknife in hand,
pursued him. Beatriz only stopped when Marciano came
across a traffic policeman, Eduardo Dizon. Beatriz was
then arrested and eventually charged with homicide –
because Marciano died the day after. Beatriz claims selfdefense.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Issue: W/N Beatriz has a legitimate claim for selfdefense?
Held: None!
There was no unlawful aggression on the part of
Marciano. Hence, there is no reason to consider the other
elements of self-defense – lack of sufficient provocation
and reasonable necessity of the means employed –
because these elements presuppose the existence of
unlawful aggression.
Beatriz alleges that before she stabbed
Marciano, he pushed her head on account of which she
felt dizzy and hit her leg against something. The court did
not believe this argument on the ground that it was not
supported by evidence. Moreover, even if this was to be
believed, the court said that a slight push of the head with
the hand does not constitute the unlawful aggression
contemplated by the law. Unlawful aggression as an
element of self-defense is not necessarily implied in any
act of aggression against a particular person, when the
author of the same does not persist in his purpose or
when he desists therefrom to the extent that the person
attacked is no longer in peril.
The court then gave certain doctrines which
illustrated certain acts which do not constitute unlawful
aggression, such as: hard blow on the head without
specifying whether he used his hand or any instrument,
this being the only act preceding the stabbing of the victim;
holding the accused by the necktie and giving him a blow
on the neck with the back of the hand without injuring him;
a shove or an attempt to strike with a bench or chair, all of
which took place in a bar. (NB: Names of these cases
were not stated, court only cited Gazette dates)
Court considered the following mitigating
circumstances: (1) obfuscation – because she was
abandoned by Marciano with whom she had been living
with for years; and (2) lack of instruction – she was an
illiterate.
PEOPLE VS. DE LA CRUZ
Facts: The deceased Leoncio Naños, together with the
spouses Cabasan, lived in a house owned by de la Cruz.
De la Cruz demanded that the spouses vacate the house.
Naños then intervened in behalf of the spouses and told
de la Cruz to permit them to stay. De la Cruz disliked this
intervention. The following day, de la Cruz, carrying his
loaded rifle and accompanied by 2 men, returned to the
place of the spouses. At that time, Naños had with him a
kris and a small bolo, as was his practice in going to the
field, for the purpose of defense against the Moros and the
animals. Both the kris and the bolo were sheathed. When
de la Cruz saw Naños approaching him he fired causing 9
wounds in the left leg and one in the right. TC found de la
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Cruz guilty of homicide. He argues that he was only acting
in self-defense.
Issue: W/N De la Cruz has a legitimate claim for selfdefense?
Held: None! There was no unlawful aggression!
According to the prosecution witnesses, Naños was about
15 yards away from de la Cruz when he fired his rifle. This
fact was also supported by the experiments made by the
Constabulary which showed that the distance of the
wounds in the leg of Naños could only have been made if
the latter was about 15 yards away. This means that
Naños, who was 15 yards away and had both his bolo and
kris sheathed at the time, did not pose any real and
imminent danger to the life and limb of de la Cruz.
The fact that de la Cruz had gone to the house
with his rifle loaded in advance, and the fact that he fired
at the deceased without any prior provocation which could
properly be considered as such, are indicative not only of
de la Cruz’s intention to defend himself in case of
aggression, but also to provoke and commit the same.
Furthermore, de la Cruz, apart from having a
loaded rifle in hand, was also accompanied by 2 men.
Naños would’ve been dumb had he attacked de la Cruz.
The point of the matter is that there was no real or at least
imminent aggression on the part of Naños.
Court considered 2 mitigating circumstances: (1)
lack of intention to cause so grave a wrong; and (2)
voluntary surrender.
© People v Cajurao
Memory aid: NIPPLE STAB
Cajurao was charged with murder (qualified by treachery)
for stabbing Santiago Betita.
On November 29, 1993, the residents of
Poblacion, Surallah, South Cotabato were in a festive
mood. There was carnival in the municipal plaza. There
was also a disco in the town gym. Pacita Pordios put up a
stall outside the gym. She used a makeshift lamp (a bottle
of Tanduay with kerosene) to light her stall.
Cajurao and his friend Danosos tried to enter the
gym, but as they didn’t have any tickets, they were refused
entry.
At around 10:30 PM, the victim Betita went to
Pordios’ stall and got her lamp. Pordios got angry with
Betita, but the latter just ignored Pordios. Suddenly,
someone threw a stone, prompting people to scamper
away. And then, out of nowhere, Cajurao sped towards
Betita and stabbed him on the right nipple. Cajurao ran
away but was soon caught by some volunteers, led by
Domingo Tecson.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Cajurao admitted the stabbing, but claimed he
was defending himself. He said that at around 9 PM,
Betita shouted at him, “Putang ina ka, ari pa na, nakit-an
na ta!” Betita also accused him of being a braggart and a
liar. At about 10:00 p.m., Cajurao went out of the gym and
seated himself on a concrete bench nearby, beside the
trunk of a mango tree. Betita followed and shouted at him
saying, “When you are in a group you are a braggart.
Now, we are here outside.” The Cajurao replied, saying,
“Boy, what is this?” Betita retorted, “You came here just to
look for trouble!” The appellant stood up and was about to
leave, but Betita slapped him on the face. Betita then fled
to the stall of Pordios and took hold of the makeshift lamp.
As he was about to throw the lighted lamp at the appellant
who was about four meters away, the latter walked slowly
to Betita and asked, “Why did you slap me, Boy?” The
appellant pushed Betita’s hand aside, the hand that held
the lamp, and pulled out a knife from his waist. The
appellant then stabbed Betita on his right nipple. He threw
his knife in a grassy area and fled from the scene.
Cajurao claims he stabbed Betita because the
latter took hold of the “Tanduay lamp” on the stall of
Pordios and was about to throw it at him. Cajurao’s
witness testified that Betita was about to throw the lamp at
Cajurao. This impelled the appellant to rush to where
Betita was. Before the lamp could be thrown at him, he
stabbed Betita. According to Cajurao, the victim’s act of
slapping him and attempting to throw the lighted lamp at
him constituted unlawful aggression on the part of the
latter. Thus, there was no provocation on his part; the
means he used to repel the unlawful aggression of Betita
was reasonable.
The trial court did not believe Cajurao’s claim of
self-defense.
Issue: Was this valid self-defense? – NO.
Held: Second (credible witnesses for prosecution), third
(prosecution witnesses immediately reported crime – a
day after, while defense witnesses did not), and fifth
reason (defense witness found not credible) are more
evidentiary issues, than crim issues. Read original if you
want to know in detail.
First. Like alibi, self-defense is a weak defense
because it is easy to fabricate. When the accused
interposes self-defense, he thereby admits having killed
the victim. The burden of proof is shifted on him to prove
with clear and convincing evidence the confluence of the
essential requisites of a complete self-defense, namely:
(a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b)
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or
repel it; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of
the person defending himself. The accused must rely on
the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness
of the evidence of the prosecution; because even if the
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prosecution’s evidence is weak, the same can no longer
be disbelieved. The appellant failed to discharge his
burden.
Fourth. The flight of the appellant, his throwing
away the knife used to stab the victim, his failure to report
the stabbing and to surrender himself to the police
authorities and to thereafter claim that he killed Betita in
self-defense, all these belie his claim that he killed the
victim in self-defense.
Sixth. There can be no self-defense, complete or
incomplete, unless there is clear and convincing proof of
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. The
unlawful aggression, a constitutive element of selfdefense, must be real or at least imminent and not merely
imaginary. A belief that a person is about to be attacked is
not sufficient. Even an intimidating or threatening attitude
is by no means enough.
Unlawful aggression
presupposes an actual or imminent danger on the life or
limb of a person. Mere shouting, an intimidating or
threatening attitude of the victim does not constitute
unlawful aggression. Unlawful aggression refers to an
attack that has actually broken out or materialized or at the
very least is clearly imminent; it cannot consist in oral
threats or merely a threatening stance or posture.he
settled rule in jurisprudence is that when unlawful
aggression ceases, the defender no longer has the right to
kill or even wound the former aggressor. Retaliation is not
a justifying circumstance.Upon the cessation of the
unlawful aggression and the danger or risk to life and limb,
the necessity for the person invoking self-defense to
attack his adversary ceases. If he persists in attacking his
adversary, he can no longer invoke the justifying
circumstance of self-defense. Self-defense does not justify
the unnecessary killing of an aggressor who is retreating
from the fray.
In this case, Pordios (the stall owner) testified
that the appellant stabbed Betita even as the latter moved
over to the next stall, still holding the lamp with the lighted
wick which he took from her stall to defend himself from
the appellant. Betita had anticipated that the appellant
would assault him. Betita’s fears proved to be wellfounded, as the appellant rushed to where he was and
stabbed him on the right nipple. Pordios did not testify
that before the stabbing, Betita was about to throw the
bottle at the appellant.
On cross-examination by defense counsel,
Pordios testified that before the appellant stabbed Betita,
the latter was merely holding the bottle in his right hand,
on the level of the right shoulder, with his elbow by the
side of the body.
In fine, Betita was in a defensive position when
he was stabbed. If, as claimed by the appellant, Betita
was about to throw the bottle at him, surely Betita’s right
hand would have been raised above his head, his body
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
and right hand arched backward, ready to throw the bottle
at the appellant. This was not the case.
Assuming that Betita did slap the appellant on the
face, the appellant’s evidence shows, however, that Betita
anticipated that the appellant would retaliate and forthwith
ran away to the stall of Pacita and took hold of the knife.
From that moment, the inceptive unlawful aggression on
the part of Betita had ceased to exist; there was no longer
a need for the appellant to still pursue the victim and kill
him. In fine, when the appellant stabbed the victim, he did
so to retaliate.
Court found that there was no treachery either.
So he was liable for homicide.
PEOPLE V CATBAGAN
(Pretty long case because it involved 3 victims Mickey).
Memory aid: 3 victims.
Catbagan was charged of homicide, murder and frustrated
murder. He claims self-defense and lawful performance of
duty.
A birthday party was being held for Danilo
Lapidante. A guest of his, Air Force and PSG man, Sgt
Suico was really excited and started firing shots into the
air with his armalite rifle. Policeman Catbagan heard the
shots, and since the election ban was at full effect that
time, he went to the house of Lapidante to investigate. No
one confessed to the shooting so Catbagan went home,
embarrassed.
Coincidentally,
before
Catbagan
got
to
Lapidante’s house, Sgt. Suico and his friend Lacaden,
went back home to exchange the armalite with a pistol.
After a while, Catbagan, along with his friend
Fababier, returned to the party to investigate again. Suico
told him that the shots were just part of the celebration.
Suddenly, a piece of stone hurled from the
direction of the celebrant’s house landed on a tree and
thence to the body of Catbagan. Irritated and reacting
thereto, Catbagan directed Fababier to look for the one
who threw the stone.
The prosecution claimed that at that moment,
Sgt. Suico got out of the pedestrian steel gate and
extended his hand towards Catbagan in the street as he
introduced himself as being a PSG. Completely ignoring
the gesture of the latter, Catbagan drew out his .9mm
automatic pistol and with both hands holding the gun, fired
successively at Suico, who when hit stretched out his
hand, shouting ‘Huwag (Don’t) Pare.’ Despite this
Catbagan fired more shots at the victim who fell on the
pavement, bloodied and dying from mortal wounds.
As the shots were fired, Jun Lacaden who was
taking a nap on the front seat of the owner-type jeep
parked on the other side of the street was abruptly
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awakened. Not fully aware of what happened, he
disembarked therefrom without knowing what to do.
Unexpectedly, two shots were also fired at him by
Catbagan. One bullet found its mark in the body of Jun
Lacaden who then fell down.
Almost simultaneously, Catbagan directed his
attention to Lapidante who was then inside their
compound in the vicinity of their steel main gate. Upon the
prompting of his wife Rosita for him to run and evade the
assailant, the celebrant turned towards the main door of
their house. But before he could reach the safety of their
abode, two rapid shots were aimed by Catbagan at him,
one of which hit him in the upper part of his body.
As a consequence of the injuries they sustained,
Sgt. Suico died on the spot; Lapidante later died in the
hospital in Lagro, Quezon City; whereas Jun Lacaden had
to be treated and confined at the East Avenue Medical
Center, Quezon City.
Appellant argues that he was justified in shooting
the victims, as he was merely defending himself and
fulfilling his sworn duties. He claims that upon reaching the
house of Lapidante, a rock was thrown at him. He also
claimed that two people rushed out to him - Lacaden who
had an ice pick and Suico who aimed a gun at him.
Threatened of his safety, he drew his own gun while
stepping backward and fired at the aggressors. After, he
saw Lapidante rushing back to his house, shouting “akin
na yung mahaba!” He fired a warning shot, uttering:
‘Tumigil ka, huwag kang kikilos’. Lapidante, however, did
not heed Catbagan’s warning and continued rushing
towards his house, as if to get something. Fearing that
Lapidante might be able to get hold of the long gun,
Catbagan fired a shot at him once.
Issue 1: Will the defense of fulfilling his lawful duties lie?
No.
Appellant invokes his lawful performance of duty as
one such circumstance, arguing that “his presence at the
scene of the incident… were all in consonance with the
legitimate performance of a sworn duty.” Citing these
specific facts (complaints of neighbors, indiscriminate
shots, the gun ban), he argues that he was justified in
shooting the victims. In effect, his contention is that he
was justified in maintaining public order, as well as in
protecting and securing life and property because he was
a policeman.
Although he is correct in arguing that he had the
legal obligation to maintain peace and order, he was not
justified in shooting the victims. Two requisites must
concur before this defense of lawful performance of duty
can prosper: 1) the accused must have acted in the
performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or
office; and 2) the injury caused or the offense committed
should have been the necessary consequence of such
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
lawful exercise.
These requisites are absent in this case. Appellant
was not performing his duties at the time of the shooting,
because the men he shot had not been indiscriminately
firing guns in his presence, as he alleges. The trial court
said that that Catbagan had no personal knowledge that it
was Suico who had been firing the Armalite.
At most, appellant was in the house of the
Lapidantes to determine who had fired the gunshots that
were heard by the neighborhood. But the fatal injuries that
he inflicted on the victims were not a necessary
consequence of the performance of his duty as a police
officer.
His presence at the scene of the incident should be
distinguished from his act of shooting them. His presence
was justified, his act of shooting was not. He was dutybound to find out who had fired the gun that day and to
maintain peace and order in the neighborhood. But his act
of shooting of the victims cannot be justified.
There is an important distinction between the
present case and People v. Cabrera. In the latter, the
disturbance had been created by the victim in the
presence of the accused, who therefore had the duty to
immediately intervene and subdue the former, who was
causing danger. In the present case, appellant had no
personal knowledge of who had fired the gunshots. Thus,
his duty at the time was simply to determine who was the
subject of the complaints of the residents of the village. It
was never shown, though, that the shooting was in
furtherance of or was a necessary consequence of his
performance of such duty.
To be sure, the right to kill an offender is not
absolute, and may be used only as a last resort, and
under circumstances indicating that the offender cannot
otherwise be taken without bloodshed. The law does not
clothe police officers with authority to arbitrarily judge the
necessity to kill. It must be stressed that the judgment and
discretion of police officers in the performance of their
duties must be exercised neither capriciously nor
oppressively, but within reasonable limits. In the absence
of a clear and legal provision to the contrary, they must act
in conformity with the dictates of a sound discretion, and
within the spirit and purpose of the law.
Issue 2: Is the defense of self-defense valid?
We should look at the circumstances of the shooting in the
case of each victim.
As to Suico, no valid self-defense because the
means employed were not reasonable, but he is granted a
mitigating circumstance because of lack of sufficient
provocation and the presence of unlawful aggression.
Unlawful aggression is an actual physical assault, or at
least a threat to inflict real imminent injury, upon a person.
In case of threat, it must be offensive and strong,
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
positively showing the wrongful intent to cause injury -- as
in this case. Thus, Suico’s act of aiming a cocked gun at
appellant is sufficient unlawful aggression.
The means employed by the person invoking
self-defense is reasonable if equivalent to the means of
attack used by the original aggressor. Whether or not the
means of self-defense is reasonable depends upon the
nature or quality of the weapon, the physical condition, the
character, the size and other circumstances of the
aggressor; as well as those of the person who invokes
self-defense; and also the place and the occasion of the
assault.
The nature and the number of gunshot wounds -debilitating, fatal and multiple -- inflicted by appellant on
the deceased shows that the means employed by the
former was not reasonable and commensurate to the
unlawful aggression of the latter. The unreasonableness
becomes even more apparent from the fact, duly admitted
by appellant himself, that Suico had obviously been
inebriated at the time of the aggression. It would have
thus been easier for the former to have subdued the victim
without resorting to excessive means.
Finally, as to the element of lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person resorting to selfdefense, appellant has sufficiently established that he
went to the house of the Lapidantes to find out who had
fired the gunshots earlier that day. There was therefore
absolutely no provocation from him, either by unjust
conduct or by incitement, that would justify Suico’s acts of
cocking and aiming a gun at him.
Not having proven all the elements of selfdefense, appellant cannot use it to justify sufficiently his
fatal shooting of Suico. Having proven a majority of the
elements, however, the former may still be credited with a
mitigating circumstance in accordance with Article 13 of
the RPC.
As to Lapidante, he allegedly rushed towards his
house to get hold of the “mahaba,” so appellant had no
other recourse but to shoot him. The purpose of the victim
in rushing towards his house was supposedly to recover
the advantage he had previously enjoyed. Hence, it is
argued that unlawful aggression was present.
No unlawful aggression. Unlawful aggression presupposes
an actual, sudden and unexpected attack or imminent
danger thereof. Such aggression refers to an attack that
has actually broken out or materialized or is at the very
least clearly imminent; it cannot consist merely of any oral
threat or intimidating stance or posture. Here, the
perceived danger was more in the mind of appellant than
in reality. His act of running towards his house can hardly
be characterized as unlawful aggression. It could not
have imperiled Catbagan’s life. Court ruled that “a threat
even if made with a weapon or the belief that a person [is]
about to be attacked, is not sufficient, but that it is
necessary that the intent be ostensibly revealed by an act
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
of aggression or by some external acts showing the
commencement of actual and material unlawful
aggression.
Catbagan also argued that Lapidante rushed
towards his house to take a more advantageous position.
Court ruled against him. Referred to here is the rule that if
it is clear that the purpose of the aggressor in retreating -or, as in this case, Lapidante’s rushing towards his house - is to take a more advantageous position to ensure the
success of the attack already begun, the unlawful
aggression is considered still continuing; and the one
resorting to self-defense has a right to pursue and disable
the former.
Obviously, this rule does not apply to Lapidante,
because 1) there was no clear purpose in his act of
retreating to take a more advantageous position; and 2)
since he never attacked appellant in the first place, the
former could not have begun any unlawful aggression and,
hence, would not have had any reason to take a more
advantageous position. How could there have been a
continuation of something that had never been started? If
any aggression was begun in this case, it was by Suico,
not by Lapidante.
As to Lacaden, Catbagan claims Lacaden rushed
towards him with an ice pick. But the evidence does not
support his cliam.
Moreover, the evidence showed that Lacaden
was shot in the BACK. The wound in the back of the victim
clearly shows that he was shot while his back was turned
to appellant. Hence, there was no unlawful aggression on
the part of the former.
SC: homicide for Suico (no treachery, plus mitigating
circumstance of incomplete self-defense and voluntary
surrender) and Lapidante (no treachery, mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender), less serious physical
injuries for Lacaden (no treachery, intent to kill, mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender ).
PEOPLE V. DECENA
FACTS:

Complainant Renelyn UDE (assisted by her
mother, Erlinda AGUIRRE) filed a complaint for
RAPE against Edwin DECENA before the RTC of
Aklan. The information stated:
“That on or about the 9th day of March,
1995, in the afternoon, in Barangay
Dumga,
Municipality
of
Makato,
Province of Aklan, Republic of the
49
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO



Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, with lewd design and with
intimidation, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have sexual
intercourse with the offended party,
RENELYN UDE, a woman, against her
will and without her consent thereby
inflicting upon the latter, physical
injuries, to wit:
xxx
CONTRARY TO LAW."
DECENA pleaded not guilty and testified in his
defense that AGUIRRE had a motive against him
[AGUIRRE wanted to reconcile with her legal
husband] and claimed that he was working in the
house of Perseverancia TUBAO on the date and
time in question. TUBAO testified to corroborate
the defense of alibi.
Prosecution presented UDE and Dr. Emma
CORTES, who rendered the medico legal report
on the examination conducted on UDE.
The evidence for the prosecution was
summarized by the trial court as follows:
o UDE is the 12-year old daughter of
AGUIRRE by her legal spouse, Ramon
Ude, from whom she is separated in
fact. DECENA is AGUIRRE’s commonlaw spouse, and has been living with
them since UDE was only in grade 3.
o On Mar. 9, 1995, AGUIRRE was asked
by DECENA to borrow the fishing net
(“hudhud”) of her uncle whose house
was around 1 km from their house.
DECENA accompanied her but left
ahead.
o AGUIRRE was not able to borrow the
fishing net so she returned home
immediately
o She found a naked DECENA on top of
her equally naked daughter UDE on the
stairs of her small nipa house. DECENA
was having sexual intercourse with
UDE. On UDE’s neck was a scythe held
by DECENA; UDE’s hands were bound
by a towel.
o After watching for 5 seconds, AGUIRRE
left and went to the back of her house
for air. She was so angry she boloed a
banana plant. She did not use the bolo
on DECENA because she was afraid
DECENA might use the scythe he was
holding on UDE’s neck.
o AGUIRRE confronted DECENA why he
did that to UDE. DECENA said that he


NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
would not allow UDE to go to another
man because UDE is for him.
o UDE
collaborated
AGUIRRE’s
declarations
on
material
points
regarding the incident of Mar. 9, 1995.
UDE told the Court in the afternoon of
the incident she was alone in their
house; her mother had gone some
place; DECENA took the top part of her
clothing and then totally undressed her;
DECENA tied her hands with a towel;
holding his scythe on her neck,
DECENA succeeded in having sexual
intercourse w/ her.
o According to UDE, DECENA has been
“using” her for around 6 months and for
more than 40 times.
o In the afternoon of Mar 12, 1995,
DECENA wanted to have sexual
intercourse w/ UDE but she ran away
and hid under the Dumga Bridge until
her mother found her. UDE was crying
because her vagina was swelling and
UDE did not want to go back to their
house. They went to the Brgy. Captain
of Dumga to report the incident. The
Brgy. Captain accompanied them to the
Makato Police Station. At about 5PM,
DECENA was arrested by the
policemen of their town, and UDE (w/
her mother AGUIRRE) was able to
return home.
On Mar. 12, 1995 at 5:45 PM, UDE was
examined by Dr. CORTES. Her internal
examinations as stated in the medico-legal report
were as follows: “admits 1 finger with ease; old
laceration 3:00 oclock position (Labia Minora); no
signs of external physical injuries” In her
testimony, she said that DECENA’s hymen was
quite thick and the old laceration was deep … it
was not a superficial [laceration]. Old laceration
was not connected w/ rape because a new
laceration in the hymen would have healed in 2 to
3 days. Old laceration was likely inflicted more
than 2 weeks before examination. Vaginal smear
revealed no semen.
Trial court ruled in favor of UDE claiming that her
testimony was credible [gave straightforward,
consistent, and intelligent answers even if she
was traumatized and accused exercised some
kind of moral ascendancy on her]. The defense of
alibi was rejected by the trial court because the
house of TUBAO was only 150 meters from the
house of AGUIRRE, where the rape took place.
50
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO


Trial court convicted DECENA for the crime of
Rape as defined and penalized under Art. 335 of
the RPC, as amended by (Sec 11) of the Death
Penalty Law, aggravated by the fact that said
accused is the common-law spouse of the
mother of UDE, the victim. DECENA was
sentenced to suffer DEATH. And ordered to
indemnify UDE w/ 50K for actual damages and
50K for exemplary damages.
The case is brought before the Supreme Court
on automatic review.
ISSUE: w/n trial court erred in imposing the death penalty
considering that the supposed qualifying circumstances
were not alleged in the information? YES. He should be
convicted only of simple rape. Penalty of death reduced to
reclusion perpetua.

DECENA
claims
that
the
qualifying
circumstances that a girl should be eighteen
years of age and that the offender is "the
common-law spouse of the parent of the victim"
were not alleged in the information. In his reply
brief, DECENA reiterates his plea for reduction of
the penalty for the reason that the information
charges only simple rape.

This Court has ruled that the circumstances
under the amendatory provisions of Section 11 of
Republic Act 7659, the attendance of any of
which mandates the single indivisible penalty of
death, are in the nature of qualifying
circumstances which cannot be proved as such
unless alleged with particularity in the information
unlike ordinary aggravating circumstances which
affect only the period of the penalty and which
may be proven even if not alleged in the
information.

It would be a denial of the right of the accused to
be informed of the charge against him and
consequently, a denial of due process, if he is
charged with simple rape and will be convicted of
its qualified form punishable by death although
the attendant circumstance qualifying the offense
and resulting in capital punishment was not
alleged in the indictment under which he was
arraigned.

Procedurally, then, while the minority of UDE and
her relationship to the DECENA were established
during the trial, DECENA can only be convicted
of simple rape because he cannot be punished
for a graver offense than that with which he was
charged. Accordingly, the imposable penalty
is reclusion perpetua.

NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Damages: 50K (civil indemnity) + 50K (moral
damages) – 50K (exemplary damages is deleted
absent aggravating circumstance)
PEOPLE V. ELYBOY SO
FACTS:



On June 10, 1991, Elyboy SO was charged with
murder before the RTC-Manila for the death of
Mario TUQUERO. The information reads:
That on or about June 3, 1991, in the
City of Manila, Philippines, the said
accused did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to
kill and with treachery and evident
premeditation, attack, assault and use
personal violence upon the person of
one Mario Tuquero y Alas by then and
there stabbing him several times with a
fan knife on different parts of his body,
thereby inflicting upon said Mario
Tuquero Y Alas mortal wounds which
were the direct and immediate cause of
his death thereafter.
Contrary to law.
SO pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution established the following facts:
o On June 2, 1991, at around 9PM, SO
met his lady friend, Teresita DOMINGO,
in a jeep in Quiapo bound for Pasig.
Since SO’s house is walking distance to
DOMINGO’s
house,
DOMINGO
requested SO to bring her home.
o While walking on their way to
DOMINGO’s house, they passed the
house of SO’s first cousins (Estbean,
Edgar, and Emy). SO saw his cousin
Edgar with Ronnie Tan and 3 others and
noticed that a drinking spree was taking
place.
o Upon seeing SO, Edgar greeted him by
saying that Bingbong Crisologo is
coming and then invited SO to drink and
requested that SO introduce DOMINGO.
SO answered that he cannot introduce
DOMINGO because she is his.
o SO proceeded to bring DOMINGO
directly to her house. After bringing
DOMINGO home, SO passed by his
cousins’ house to honor their invitation.
o After an exchange of pleasantries,
Edgar offered SO a bottle of beer. SO
declined because it was already passed
51
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
10PM and he was on his way home.
Edgar convinced SO to drink a little and
stay awhile so that SO could also meet
Edgar’s future brother-in-law TUQUERO
who was arriving with Emy. SO decided
to stay.
Soon after, Emy and TUQUERO
arrived. TUQUERO was a manager of a
restaurant in Paris and arrived in the
Philippines on March 7, 1991. Emy, a
registered nurse, met TUQUERO
sometime in March 1991 and they
started living in as husband and wife at
her
parents’
house.
TUQUERO,
unknown to Emy, was legally married to
a certain Evelyn Tuquero.
The group, consisting of Esteben,
Edgar, SO, Ronnie, TUQUERO, and
Emy resumed their drinking spree.
After the group consumed 4 cases of
beer and before 3AM, Emy went inside
the house to sleep. While Emy was
sleeping, she was awakened by noise
coming from the group outside. It turned
out SO had a misunderstanding and
altercation w/ somebody and he was
shouting loudly.
After
pacifying
the
protagonists,
TUQUERO advised SO to go home
because SO’s voice was disturbing the
neighbors. SO ran towards home.
At around 4:00AM of June 3,
TUQUERO and Emy decided to leave
for Fairview, Quezon City to get the
papers of a vehicle owned by
TUQUERO which is being held by the
Bureau of Customs.
While TUQUERO and Emy were waiting
for a taxi, SO suddenly appeared from
behind, and stabbed TUQUERO at the
back several times with an 11-in fan
knife with a white handle. Emy shouted
for help.
When TUQUERO was about to run, he
slid and fell to the ground lying on his
back. SO took advantage of the
situation and repeatedly stabbed
TUQUERO on the front part of his body.
Emy pleaded to SO to stop stabbing
TUQUERO but SO ignored her and
continued stabbing TUQUERO.
SO fled from the crime scene and ran to
a dark alley. Emy brought TUQUERO at
the UERMM Hospital.
o
o



NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
SO stayed in the alley for 30 minutes
until the policemen arrived. SO
surrendered.
As a result of the stabbing incident,
TUQUERO suffered 18 stab wounds on
different parts of his body, with at least 4
fatal wounds causing his death.
SO claimed self-defense alleging that it was his
cousins who started the fight.
The RTC convicted SO for MURDER qualified by
treachery and sentenced him to reclusion
perpetua.
SO appeals.
ISSUE/S: w/n RTC erred in disregarding his claim of selfdefense? NO.
w/n RTC erred in finding that there was
treachery? NO.
w/n RTC erred in disregarding the exempting
circumstance of insanity? NO
Self Defense:



SO maintains that he stabbed the victim in
legitimate self-defense and invokes in his favor
the constitutional presumption of innocence
claiming that, despite his plea of self-defense, the
prosecution retains the burden of proving his guilt
beyond
reasonable
doubt. This
argument
deserves no credit in light of the established and
time-honored rule that when self-defense is
invoked, the burden of evidence shifts to the
appellant to show that the killing was justified and
that he incurred no criminal liability therefor. He
must rely on the strength of his own evidence
and not on the weakness of the prosecution's
evidence, for, even if the latter were weak, it
could not be disbelieved after his open admission
of responsibility for the killing.
He must prove the essential requisites of selfdefense, to wit: (a) unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim, (b) reasonable necessity of the
means employed to repel the aggression, and (c)
lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
accused.
The initial and crucial point of inquiry is
whether there was unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim for absent this essential
element, no claim of self-defense can be
successfully interposed. If there is no unlawful
aggression, there is nothing to prevent or to repel
and the second requisite of self-defense would
have no basis.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO

SO’s claim that TUQUERO attacked him with a
knife fails to convince us. The record reveals
glaring and serious inconsistencies in SO’s
testimony that makes it totally unworthy of
credence. SO testified that he was able to wrest
the knife from TUQUERO because the latter's
thrust was slow. However, this contradicts his
statement during the same cross-examination,
“that the incident happened so fast and that
TUQUERO’s attack was sudden.”

Even if we allow SO’s contention that TUQUERO
was the initial unlawful aggressor, we still cannot
sustain his plea of self-defense. After SO
successfully wrested the knife from TUQUERO,
the unlawful aggression had ceased. After the
unlawful aggression has ceased, the one making
the defense has no more right to kill or even
wound the former aggressor.

Appellant's claim of self-defense is, likewise,
contradicted and negated by the physical
evidence on record. The victim sustained
eighteen (18) stab wounds on different parts of
his body. Of the eighteen (18), four (4) were fatal
stab wounds. The presence of a large number of
wounds on the part of the victim, their nature and
location disprove self-defense and instead
indicate a determined effort to kill the victim.
Treachery:
Considering the number and nature of the wounds inflicted
by appellant on the victim, the testimony of the
prosecution witness Emy So that appellant unexpectedly
and suddenly attacked the victim from behind, and the fact
that appellant suffered not a single injury, we agree with
the trial court that the killing was attended by treachery.
This clearly illustrates that appellant, in the commission of
the crime, employed means, methods and form in its
execution which tended directly, and especially to ensure
its execution without risk to himself arising from the
defense which the victim might make.
Insanity:


The law presumes every man to be sane. A
person accused of a crime who pleads the
exempting circumstance of insanity has the
burden of proving it.
In order that insanity may be taken as an
exempting circumstance, there must be complete
depreciation of intelligence in the commission of
the act or that the accused acted without the
least discernment. Mere abnormality of his
mental faculties does not exclude imputability.

NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The testimony of Dr. Omer Galvez, Chief of the
Child & Adolescent Service of the National
Center For Mental Health (NCMH) and attending
physician of SO when he was confined at the
National Center for Mental Health from June 8,
1985 to December 2, 1985, only established the
previous confinement of appellant at the NCMH
and that appellant showed signs of psychosis or
insanity at the time. The rest of his testimony
consisted merely of assumptions, possibilities,
and generalities.

A perusal of SO’s testimony further negates his
plea of insanity. SO’s recall of the events that
transpired before, during and after the stabbing
incident, as well as the nature and contents of his
testimony, does not betray an aberrant mind. His
memory conveniently blanks out only as to the
number of wounds he inflicted on the victim. This,
appellant attributes to insanity but we are far from
convinced. A man may act crazy but it does not
necessarily and conclusively prove that he is
legally so.

“The presence of his reasoning faculties, which
enabled him to exercise sound judgment and
satisfactorily articulate the aforesaid matters,
sufficiently discounts any intimation of insanity of
appellant when he committed the dastardly
felonies.” (citing People v. Aquino)


In the present case, the defense has failed to
adduce sufficient evidence to overthrow the
presumption of sanity. The State, thus, continues
its guard against sane murderers who seek to
escape punishment through a general plea of
insanity.
Appeal DISMISSED.
Side Issue: Credibility of Witness [Emy So]:
We give no credence to appellant's argument. Long
settled in criminal jurisprudence is the rule that when the
issue is one of credibility of witnesses, appellate courts will
generally not disturb the findings of the trial court,
considering that the latter is in a better position to decide
the question, having heard the witnesses themselves and
observed their deportment and manner of testifying during
the trial, unless it has plainly overlooked certain facts of
substance and value that, if considered, might affect the
result of the case.
In the instant case, although Emy So readily
admitted that her relationship with appellant was “not
close,” she explained that it was SO who had ill-feelings
against her family and bore a grudge. The defense has not
shown such degree of partiality on the part of prosecution
witness Emy So as would cast doubt on her credibility and
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
impeach her testimony, especially when said testimony is
"not inherently improbable in itself".
The fact alone that the victim was Emy So's
live-in partner does not impair her testimony. The Court
has time and again ruled that mere relationship of the
witness to the victim does not automatically impair his
credibility and render the testimony less worthy of faith
and credit.
JUSTO v. COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS: Appellant Justo was found guilty of the crime of
assault upon a person in authority. Offended party
Nemesio de la Cuesta is a duly appointed district
supervisor of the Bureau of Public Schools. De la Cuesta
was leaving the office in order to take his meal when he
saw appellant Justo conversing with Severino Caridad,
academic supervisor. Appellant Justo requested De la
Cuesta to go with him (Justo) and Caridad to the office of
the latter. In Caridad’s office, appellant Justo asked about
the possibility of accommodating Miss Racela as a teacher
in the district of De la Cuesta. Caridad said that there was
no vacancy, except that of the position of shop teacher.
Upon hearing Caridad’s answer, Appellant Justo sharply
addressed De la Cuesta:y “Shet, you are a double
crosser. One who cannot keep his promise.”
Appellant Justo then grabbed a lead paper weight from
the table of Caridad and challenged the offended party
De la Cuesta to go out. Hence, upon Justo’s
suggestion, De la Cuesta followed appellant Justo as
they went out of Caridad’s office. Before they could go
outside and when they were in front of the table of one
Carlos Bueno, a clerk in the division office, De la Cuesta
asked Appellant Justo to put down the paper weight but
instead Appellant Justo grabbed the neck and collar of
the polo shirt of de la Cuesta which was torn. This caused
De la Cuesta to box appellant Justo several times. De la
Cuesta raised the claim of self-defense which was upheld
by the lower courts. Hence, Appellant Justo now claims
that the claim of self-defense by De la Cuesta should not
have been appreciated by the lower courts because of the
lack of unlawful aggression on his (Justo’s) part.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was unlawful aggression on
Appellant Justo’s part despite the alleged fact that there
was a mutual agreement to fight.
HELD: Yes, there was unlawful aggression. Therefore the
lower courts did not err in upholding the self-defense claim
of De la Cuesta. (Appellant Justo loses)
RATIO: The argument that the offended party, De la
Cuesta, cannot claim to have been unlawfully attacked
because he had accepted the accused’s challenge to fight,
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
overlooks the circumstance that as found by the Court of
Appeals, the challenge was to “go out”, i.e., to fight outside
the building, it not being logical that the fight should be
held inside the office building in the plain view of
subordinate employees. Even applying the rules in
duelling cases, it is manifest that an aggression ahead of
the stipulated time and place for the encounter would
be unlawful; to hold otherwise would be to sanction
unexpected assaults contrary to all sense of loyalty and
fair play. In the present case, assuming that De la
Cuesta accepted the challenge of the accused, the
facts clearly indicate that he was merely on his way
out to fight the accused when the latter violently lay
hands upon him. The acceptance of the challenge did
not place on the offended party the burden of
preparing to meet an assault at any time even before
reaching the appointed place for the agreed
encounter, and any such aggression was patently
illegal.
PEOPLE v MARIVIC GENOSA
(January 15, 2004)
FACTS: Accused Marivic Genosa is charged with
parricide. She raises the claim of “Battered Woman
Syndrome” (BWS) which allegedly constitutes selfdefense. She suffered battery from her deceased husband
Ben Genosa whenever the latter is drunk. She testified
that one year after their marriage, her husband would slap
her, pin her down the bed and sometimes beat her. The
neighbors of the couple have witnessed their frequent
quarrels. Accused Marivic has also visited doctors and
psychiatrists during her marriage with deceased every
time she would be beaten by her husband.
On the day of the crime, accused was 8-months
pregnant and was looking for her husband as she was
afraid that he was gambling and might het drunk again.
Eventually that night, deceased came home from
gambling and was drunk.
Deceased Ben purportedly nagged accused
Marivic for following him, even challenging her to a fight.
She allegedly ignored him and instead attended to their
children who were doing their homework. Apparently
disappointed with her reaction, Ben switched off the light
and, with the use of a chopping knife, cut the television
antenna or wire to keep her from watching television.
According to Marivic, Ben was about to attack her so she
ran to the bedroom, but he got hold of her hands and
whirled her around. She fell on the side of the bed and
screamed for help. Ben left. At this point, Marivic
packed Ben’s clothes because she wanted him to leave.
Seeing his packed clothes upon his return home, Ben
allegedly flew into a rage, dragged Marivic outside of the
bedroom towards a drawer holding her by the neck, and
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told her ‘You might as well be killed so nobody would nag
me.’ Marivic testified that she was aware that there was a
gun inside the drawer but since Ben did not have the key
to it, Ben got a three-inch long blade cutter from his
wallet. She however, ‘smashed’ the arm of Ben with a
pipe, causing him to drop the blade and his wallet. Marivic
then ‘smashed’ Ben at his nape with the pipe as he was
about to pick up the blade and his wallet. She thereafter
ran inside the (children’s) bedroom.
According to Marivic, she thereafter ended the
life of her husband by shooting him. She supposedly
‘distorted’ the drawer where the gun was and shot Ben.
After the incident, Marivic and the children locked the
house and left. The lifeless body of Ben was discovered
by the neighbors due to the awful smell which emanated
from the couple’s house.
Accused Marivic raised the claim of self-defense
for her life and defense of her unborn child.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not there was a valid self-defense. –
NO
2. Whether or not Marivic is entitled to any
mitigating circumstance. –YES (psychological
paralysis and passion and obfuscation)
HELD: A battered woman has been defined as a woman
“who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or
psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to
do something he wants her to do without concern for her
rights. Battered women include wives or women in any
form of intimate relationship with men. Furthermore, in
order to be classified as a battered woman, the couple
must go through the battering cycle at least twice.
Any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship
with a man once. If it occurs a second time, and she
remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered
woman.”
More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is
characterized by the so-called “cycle of violence,” which
has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the
acute battering incident; and (3) the tranquil, loving (or, at
least, nonviolent) phase.
During the tension-building phase, minor battering
occurs -- it could be verbal or slight physical abuse or
another form of hostile behavior. The woman usually tries
to pacify the batterer through a show of kind, nurturing
behavior; or by simply staying out of his way. What
actually happens is that she allows herself to be abused in
ways that, to her, are comparatively minor. All she wants
is to prevent the escalation of the violence exhibited by the
batterer. This wish, however, proves to be double-edged,
because her “placatory” and passive behavior legitimizes
his belief that he has the right to abuse her in the first
place.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
However, the techniques adopted by the woman in
her effort to placate him are not usually successful, and
the verbal and/or physical abuse worsens. Each partner
senses the imminent loss of control and the growing
tension and despair. Exhausted from the persistent
stress, the battered woman soon withdraws emotionally.
But the more she becomes emotionally unavailable, the
more the batterer becomes angry, oppressive and
abusive. Often, at some unpredictable point, the violence
“spirals out of control” and leads to an acute battering
incident.
The acute battering incident is said to be
characterized
by
brutality,
destructiveness
and,
sometimes, death. The battered woman deems this
incident as unpredictable, yet also inevitable. During this
phase, she has no control; only the batterer may put an
end to the violence. Its nature can be as unpredictable as
the time of its explosion, and so are his reasons for ending
it. The battered woman usually realizes that she cannot
reason with him, and that resistance would only
exacerbate her condition.
At this stage, she has a sense of detachment from
the attack and the terrible pain, although she may later
clearly remember every detail. Her apparent passivity in
the face of acute violence may be rationalized thus: the
batterer is almost always much stronger physically, and
she knows from her past painful experience that it is futile
to fight back. Acute battering incidents are often very
savage and out of control.
The final phase of the cycle of violence begins when
the acute battering incident ends. During this tranquil
period, the couple experience profound relief. On the one
hand, the batterer may show a tender and nurturing
behavior towards his partner. He knows that he has been
viciously cruel and tries to make up for it, begging for her
forgiveness and promising never to beat her again. On
the other hand, the battered woman also tries to convince
herself that the battery will never happen again; that her
partner will change for the better; and that this “good,
gentle and caring man” is the real person whom she loves.
In the instant case, we meticulously scoured the
records for specific evidence establishing that appellant,
due to the repeated abuse she had suffered from her
spouse over a long period of time, became afflicted with
the battered woman syndrome. We, however, failed to
find sufficient evidence that would support such a
conclusion. More specifically, we failed to find ample
evidence that would confirm the presence of the essential
characteristics of BWS.
The defense fell short of proving all three phases
of the “cycle of violence” supposedly characterizing
the relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt
there were acute battering incidents. In relating to the
court a quo how the fatal incident that led to the death of
Ben started, Marivic perfectly described the tension-
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building phase of the cycle. She was able to explain in
adequate detail the typical characteristics of this stage.
However, that single incident does not prove the existence
of the syndrome. In other words, she failed to prove that
in at least another battering episode in the past, she
had gone through a similar pattern.
How did the tension between the partners usually
arise or build up prior to acute battering? How did Marivic
normally respond to Ben’s relatively minor abuses? What
means did she employ to try to prevent the situation from
developing into the next (more violent) stage?
Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in
regard to the third phase of the cycle. She simply
mentioned that she would usually run away to her
mother’s or father’s house; that Ben would seek her out,
ask for her forgiveness and promise to change; and that
believing his words, she would return to their common
abode.
In sum, the defense failed to elicit from appellant
herself her factual experiences and thoughts that would
clearly and fully demonstrate the essential characteristics
of the syndrome.
The Court appreciates the ratiocinations given by the
expert witnesses for the defense. Indeed, they were able
to explain fully, albeit merely theoretically and
scientifically, how the personality of the battered woman
usually evolved or deteriorated as a result of repeated and
severe beatings inflicted upon her by her partner or
spouse. They corroborated each other’s testimonies,
which were culled from their numerous studies of
hundreds of actual cases. However, they failed to present
in court the factual experiences and thoughts that
appellant had related to them -- if at all -- based on which
they concluded that she had BWS.
BWS as Self-Defense
In any event, the existence of the syndrome in a
relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the
woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be
considered in the context of self-defense.
From the expert opinions discussed earlier, the Court
reckons further that crucial to the BWS defense is the
state of mind of the battered woman at the time of the
offense -- she must have actually feared imminent harm
from her batterer and honestly believed in the need to kill
him in order to save her life.
Settled in our jurisprudence, however, is the rule that
the one who resorts to self-defense must face a real
threat on one’s life; and the peril sought to be avoided
must beimminent and actual, not merely imaginary.
Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of
self-defense. It presupposes actual, sudden and
unexpected attack -- or an imminent danger thereof -- on
the life or safety of a person. In the present case,
however, according to the testimony of Marivic herself,
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful
aggression of Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had
already been able to withdraw from his violent
behavior and escape to their children’s bedroom.
During that time, he apparently ceased his attack and
went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the
danger he posed had ended altogether. He was no longer
in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or
safety.
Had Ben still been awaiting Marivic when she came
out of their children’s bedroom -- and based on past
violent incidents, there was a great probability that he
would still have pursued her and inflicted graver harm -then, the imminence of the real threat upon her life would
not have ceased yet. Impending danger (based on the
conduct of the victim in previous battering episodes) prior
to the defendant’s use of deadly force must be shown.
Threatening behavior or communication can satisfy the
required imminence of danger. Considering such
circumstances and the existence of BWS, self-defense
may be appreciated.
We reiterate the principle that aggression, if not
continuous, does not warrant self-defense. In the
absence of such aggression, there can be no selfdefense -- complete or incomplete -- on the part of the
victim. Thus, Marivic’s killing of Ben was not completely
justified under the circumstances.
Mitigating Circumstances
It should be clarified that these two circumstances -psychological paralysis as well as passion and obfuscation
-- did not arise from the same set of facts.
On the one hand, the first circumstance arose from
the cyclical nature and the severity of the battery inflicted
by the batterer-spouse upon appellant. That is, the
repeated beatings over a period of time resulted in her
psychological paralysis, which was analogous to an illness
diminishing the exercise of her will power without depriving
her of consciousness of her acts.
The second circumstance, on the other hand,
resulted from the violent aggression he had inflicted on her
prior to the killing. That the incident occurred when she
was eight months pregnant with their child was deemed by
her as an attempt not only on her life, but likewise on that
of their unborn child. Such perception naturally produced
passion and obfuscation on her part.
Epilogue
We now sum up our main points. First, each of the
phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have
characterized at least two battering episodes between the
appellant and her intimate partner. Second, the final
acute battering episode preceding the killing of the
batterer must have produced in the battered person’s mind
an actual fear of an imminent harm from her batterer and
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an honest belief that she needed to use force in order to
save her life. Third, at the time of the killing, the batterer
must have posed probable -- not necessarily immediate
and actual -- grave harm to the accused, based on the
history of violence perpetrated by the former against the
latter.
Taken altogether, these circumstances could
satisfy the requisites of self-defense. Under the existing
facts of the present case, however, not all of these
elements were duly established.
PEOPLE v MARIVIC GENOSA
( GR No. 135981 September 29, 2000)
FACTS: This case involved the "battered woman
syndrome," which is alleged to be equivalent to selfdefense. RTC found appellant guilty of parricide
aggravated by treachery. Appellant has admitted the fact
of killing her husband and the acts of hitting his nape with
a metal pipe and of shooting him at the back of his head,
which of said acts actually caused the victim's death.
ISSUE: Whether the appellant should be examined by
qualified psychologists or psychiatrists in order to
determine her state of mind at the time of the killing.
HELD: Yes. The case is hereby REMANDED to the trial
court for the reception of expert psychological and/or
psychiatric opinion on the "battered woman syndrome"
plea.
RATIO: In seeking to be "examined and evaluated by
psychologists and psychiatrists to bring into evidence the
abuse inflicted upon her; [and] to determine whether such
abuse will support the 'battered woman syndrome'," she
asks the Court to "re-evaluate the traditional elements"
used in determining self-defense and to consider the
"battered woman syndrome" as a viable plea within the
concept of self-defense.
Allegedly, there are four characteristics of the
syndrome: (1) the woman believes that the violence was
her fault; (2) she has an inability to place the responsibility
for the violence elsewhere; (3) she fears for her life and/or
her children's lives; and (4) she has an irrational belief that
the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient. Living in
constant danger of harm or death, she knows that future
beatings are almost certain to occur and will escalate over
time. Her intimate knowledge of the violent nature of her
batterer makes her alert to when a particular attack is
forthcoming, and when it will seriously threaten her
survival. Trapped in a cycle of violence and constant fear,
it is not unlikely that she would succumb to her
helplessness and fail to perceive possible solutions to the
problem other than to injure or kill her batterer. She is
seized by fear of an existing or impending lethal
aggression and thus would have no opportunity
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
beforehand to deliberate on her acts and to choose a less
fatal means of eliminating her sufferings.
Appellant further alleges that the syndrome is
already a recognized form of self-defense in the United
States and in Europe. In the US particularly, it is classified
as a post-traumatic stress disorder, rather than a form of
mental illness. It has been held admissible in order to
assess a defendant's perception of the danger posed by
the abuser.
In view of the foregoing, Appellant Genosa pleads
that she be allowed to present evidence to prove that her
relationship with her spouse-victim had afflicted her with
the syndrome. Allegedly, an expert can explain how her
experiences as a battered woman had affected her
perception of danger and her honest belief in its
imminence, and why she had resorted to force against her
batterer.
Moreover, proof of insanity could have exempted
appellant from criminal liability. If the accused had not
performed the act voluntarily, then he could not have been
criminally liable. In the instant case, it is equally important
to determine whether Appellant Genosa had acted freely,
intelligently and voluntarily when she killed her
spouse. The Court, however, cannot properly evaluate her
battered-woman-syndrome defense, absent expert
testimony on her mental and emotional state at the time of
the killing and the possible psychological cause and effect
of her fatal act.
PEOPLE V. FLORES Y PARAS, G.R. No. 177355, 2010
Facts: Flores was charged with qualified rape. AAA was
the name of the 13 year-old victim (under RA 9262 VAWC, the names of women and child victims are withheld.)
That the crime of rape was committed with the qualifying
circumstances of victim being under 18 years of age, the
accused is her stepfather, being the common-law spouse
of her mother (BBB in this case), and that the rape was
committed in full view of the victim’s mother.
Rape details: fateful evening of July 18, 2001, at
around eight o’clock, Flores ordered her to ask her
daughter AAA to sleep with them. Both AAA and BBB
obeyed Flores for fear of his wrath. At around ten o’clock
in the evening, BBB was awakened by the pinch of her
daughter, BBB was then shocked to see that Flores was
already on top of her daughter, who was shouting “Aray,
Aray, Nanay, Aray.” She felt angry but could not do
anything because Flores not only had a bladed weapon
poked at her neck, but he also threatened to kill her if she
shouted. BBB endured this horrifying episode for the next
thirty minutes. Sweetheart defense of Flores was stricken
down by court.
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Issue: Death penalty properly meted? Considering the age
of the victim at time of rape incident was not sufficiently
established?
Held: Yes. But… Age not properly proven. In the case at
bar, not only did the prosecution fail to present AAA’s birth
certificate, but BBB, the victim’s mother herself, gave
contradictory statements on the true age of her daughter.
At one time she said that AAA was 13 years old, and yet
when asked about the year of AAA’s birthday, she
declared that it was 1982. STILL, Flores cannot escape
the penalty of death. Flores forgot the important fact that
aside from AAA’s minority, the qualifying circumstance
that the rape was committed in full view of AAA’s mother
was also alleged in the Information.
BUT (again!) despite this, the 2006 law
abolishing the death penalty in effect reduced his
sentence to reclusion perpetua.
PP VS GATUA
PEOPLE V DELA Cruz (1935 case)

1 braza is a measure of six feet
Francisco Ramos, his wife along with Ramos and Santoyo
(4 persons) went to the house of Remedios Dela Cruz
(defendant) and asked her to join the wake of Sion. The
defendant and her friends started to walk on their way to
their respective houses at around 9 P.M. They were later
on
followed,
5
minutes
later,
by
Francisco
Rivera(deceased-victim) and Bautista. Rivera and Bautista
overtook defendant’s party. When they reached a narrow
part of the path, Rivera went ahead of Bautista. At that
time the members of the defendant's party were walking in
single file and defendant was the hindmost. She was
about two brazas from the person immediately ahead of
her. Francisco Ramos heard someone cry out "Aruy, Dios
mio". He went back and found that Francisco Rivera had
been stabbed under the right breast. The wounded man
was taken to the hospital, where he died the next
afternoon.
Francisco Ramos testified that it took him about
two minutes to go back to the place where Rivera was. He
found and that Bautista was with the wounded man, and
the defendant had started back towards the house of
mourning. He overtook her. She had a knife in her hand.
When they reached the house where the wake was being
held, Remedios de la Cruz stuck the knife into a table and
said that she stabbed Francisco Rivera because he
embraced her.
Prosecution’s version:
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
According to Bautista, the defendant waited on
the right side of the path near some guava trees and
stabbed Francisco Rivera with a knife in her right hand
when he arrived in front of her; that the injured man cried
"Aruy, Dios mio", while the defendant turned around and
returned to the house of Maria Inguit, saying "Icao ay
malaon na" (hacia tiempo ya)
Defendant-appelant’s version:
After they reached a narrow part a man suddenly threw his
arms around her from behind, caught hold of her breasts
and kissed her, and seized her in her private parts; that
she tried to free herself, but he held her and tried to throw
her down; that when she felt weak and could do nothing
more against the strength of the man, she got a knife from
her pocket, opened it, and stabbed him in defense of her
honor. She further testified that the man who attacked her
did not say anything; that she asked him who he was but
he did not answer; that when she was assaulted she cried
for help, saying "Madre mia; Dios mio"; that when she was
seized, she was about two brazas behind her nearest
companion; that when she was face to face with her
assailant during the struggle she could scarcely recognize
his face in the darkness and could not be sure that it was
Francisco Rivera.
She further testified that she was engaged in
selling fruit, and that the fanknife in question was in a
pocket of the overcoat she was wearing that day; that she
went off with her friends without having an opportunity of
changing her clothes.
Issue: Whether appellant is guilty of homicide.
Held: No. This case is similar to the case of Ah chong. The
court held that a person is not criminally responsible when,
by reason of a mistake of facts, he does an act for which
he would be exempt if the facts were as he supposed
them to be, but would constitute murder if he had known
the true state of facts at the time, provided that the
ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or
bad faith
We cannot believe the testimony of Enrique
Bautista, because Francisco Ramos, one of the witnesses
for the prosecution, testified that it was a dark night, and
Bautista himself said that he could scarcely see anyone in
the darkness
The appellant is an illiterate barrio girl, unable to
write her name, and scarcely eighteen years old. We do
not believe her story is a fabrication. In this connection it is
to be noted that almost immediately after the incident in
question took place, the appellant said she stabbed
Francisco Rivera because he embraced her. It is not
improbable that she was reluctant to relate in the presence
of all the people in the house of Maria Inguit (where the
wake was held) the details of what had occurred.
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The appellant stabbed the deceased only once,
although she retained possession of the knife, and
undoubtedly could have inflicted other wounds on him if
she had desired. In other words she desisted as soon as
he released her
Appelant acquitted.
PEOPLE VS JAURIGUE
Facts: Defendant Avelina Jarigue(girl) and appellant
Amado Capino lived in the same barrio. Prior to the
incident at hand, Capino had been courting Jarigue to no
avail. A month prior to the incident, Capino stole a hanky
belonging to Jarigue bearing her nickname “aveling” while
I was being washed. On another night, Jarigue was
feeding a dog under her house, when Capino approached
her and spoke to her of his love, which she flatly refused,
and he thereupon suddenly embraced and kissed her and
touched her boobs. She thereafter kept a long fan knife to
protect herself. A few days later, Capino climbed up the
house of Jarigue and entered the room where she was
sleeping. He felt her forehead with the intention of raping
her. She immediately screamed for help, which awakened
her parents and brought them to her side. Capino then
came out from where he was hiding, under the bed, and
kissed the hand of Jarigue’s father to beg for forgiveness.
Several days later on the fateful night, her family went to
the local church where it was quite bright. When Jarigue
was left alone in the bench while her father tended to
some business, Capino sat beside Jarigue and placed his
hand on top of her thigh. On observing this highly
improper conduct, Jaurigue stabbed Capino in the neck,
fatally causing a single wound from which he died.
Jaurigue surrendered without question.
Issue: WON defendant acted in the legitimate defense of
her honor and should be completely absolved from all
criminal liability.
Side issue: WON there were mitigating and aggravating
circumstances.
Held: She is not absolved from criminal liability. If the
defendant had killed Capino when he climbed up her
house to rape her, she could have been perfectly justified
in killing him. However, when the deceased sat beside
defendant on the same bench in a well lit chapel with
several people inside, including her own father and the
barrio lieutenant where there is no possibility of being
raped. She cannot be legally declared completely exempt
from criminal liability for fatally wounding the deceased
since the means employer by her in the defense of her
honor was evidently excessive.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
On the side:
The fact that she voluntarily surrendered to the lieutenant
in the chapel and admitted to stabbing the deceased , and
the fact that she had acted in the immediate vindication of
a grave offense committed against her a few moments
before, and upon such provocation as to produce passion
or temporary loss of reason, should be considered as
mitigating circumstances in her favor.
The aggravating circumstance that the killing was
done in a place dedicated to religious worship cannot be
legally sustained as there is no evidence to show that
defendant had murder in her heart when she entered the
chapel. She should therefore be charged with homicide
without aggravating circumstances and with mitigating
circumstances.
PEOPLE VS. NARVAEZ
FACTS: Mamerto Narvaez has been convicted of murder
(qualified by treachery) of David Fleischer and Flaviano
Rubia. Narvaez shot Fleischer and Rubia when the two
were
constructing
a
fence
(that
would
prevent Narvaez from getting into his house and rice mill).
Narvaez, who was taking a nap when he heard sounds of
construction, awoke and asked them to stop destroying his
house and asking if they could talk things over. Fleischer
responded with "No, gadamit, proceed, go ahead."
Narvaez lost his "equilibrium," and shot Fleisher first, then
Rubia, who was running towards the jeep to get his gun.
Both died.
Narvaez voluntarily surrendered and claimed he
killed in defense of his person and of his rights. The CFI
convicted him of murder qualified by treachery with the
aggravating circumstance of evident premediation and the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender.
Prior to the shooting, Fleischer and Co. (the
company of Fleischer's family) was involved in a legal
battle with the Narvaez over certain pieces of property. At
the time of the shooting, the civil case was still pending for
annulment (settlers wanted granting of property to Fleisher
and Co. to be annulled). Narvaez had leased his property
from Fleisher (though case pending and ownership
uncertain) to avoid trouble. On June 25, Narvaez received
a letter terminating the contract because he allegedly
didn't pay rent. He was given 6 months to remove his
house from the land. Shooting was barely 2 months after
letter.
ISSUE: W/N CFI erred in convicting Narvaez despite the
fact that he was acting in defense of his person and of his
rights.
HELD/RATIO: YES (with respect to rights)  Narvaez
ordered released immediately coz his penalty was
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reduced and he had already served it as he was
imprisoned for 14 years.
Defense of his person - NO
The courts said that although the fencing of Narvaez’
house was indeed a form of aggression against him, this
aggression was not done against his person but rather on
his rights to property. However, in consideration of the
violation of property rights, the courts referred to Art. 30 of
the civil code, which recognizes the right of owners to
close and fence their land. But the Narvaez can’t
subscribe to the article because his ownership of the land
being awarded by the government was still pending,
therefore putting ownership into question. It is accepted
that Narvaez
Defense of his rights – YES (although incomplete)
The argument of the justifying circumstance of selfdefense is applicable only if the 3 requirements are
fulfilled, according to Art. 11(1) RPC:
1. Unlawful aggression.
2. Reasonable necessity of means employed to
prevent or repel attack.
3. Lack of sufficient provocation on part of
person defending himself.
Unlawful aggression due to the utterance of
Fleischer and the invasion of Narvaez’s property was
clear. The pending case regarding ownership was decided
only over a year after the incident, and even then,
Fleischer had given Narvaez until the end of the year to
leave the land. Lack of sufficient provocation was clear
because Narvaez was asleep in his house, then asked
Fleischer to stop so they could talk. Firing a shotgun from
a window, however, was a disproportionate means of
resistance.
Since not all requisites present, defendant is
credited w/ the special mitigating circumstance of
incomplete defense, pursuant to A13(6) RPC. These
mitigating circumstances are: voluntary surrender &
passion & obfuscation.
DISSENTS:
Abad Santos: Self-defense in the penal code refers to
unlawful aggression on persons and not property.
Gutierrez, Jr.: Appellant defended from an attack on his
property that was not coupled with an attack on his
person. There should be no special mitigating
circumstance of incomplete defense. The sentence should
have been modified to prision mayor and the defendant
should have been ordered released immediately.
PEOPLE v. IGNACIO
(There is treachery when the accused unexpectedly and
deliberately shoots an unarmed minor who is not in a
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
position to defend himself. Voluntary surrender is not
appreciated even if the accused submits himself to the
members of the barangay tanod who, by their presence in
his house, precluded his escape)
Facts: The victim, Jessie Lacson and Edwin Velasco were
gathering shells by the seashore. Because they were
thirsty, they went to the fishpond to get young coconuts.
The caretaker of said fishpond was Ignacio, who
sometimes stayed in the house located therein.
Jessie got a coconut. Ignacio shouted at him to
put it down, which he did. Edwin, whom Ignacio did not
see, saw Ignacio fire his homemade gun at Jessie who
was hit on the left breast (yes, he died). At that time,
Iganacio was 40 meters away from Jessie while Edwin
was 6 meters away. Then Ignacio cranked his gun and
aimed at Edwin but did not fire. Edwin reported the
shooting to the Barangay Tanod, who went to Ignacio’s
house (since he wasn’t there, they waited for him to
arrive). Upon arrival, the latter was asked to and did
surrender. When asked why he fired his gun at Jessie, he
replied that Jessie stole some young coconut.
Ignacio’s version was that he saw the two boys
coming out of his house with a basket. It so happened
that there were 28 pieces of crabs stocked in there. Since
the 2 did not stop upon his request, he fired his gun at
them (50 meters away) without intention to kill. He left and
informed the Kagawad about the incident and reported it
to the Barangay Tanod.
The RTC held that Ignacio failed to prove that he
acted in lawful defense of the landowner’s property. There
was no legal reason for him to shoot the victim, and
unarmed minor at that time. The court qualified the killing
to murder because of the presence of treachery.
Ignacio appealed, alleging that the RTC erred in
finding the qualifying circumstance of treachery attendant
in the case and in not appreciating the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender. He said he merely
acted on impulse to stop them from fleeing and did not
intend to kill anyone.
Issue: W/N he is guilty of murder – YES
Ratio: The testimony of Edwin disproves his claim. They
did stop after Ignacio shouted at them. In fact, they were
already facing him when he fired the shot. This was
affirmed by the forensic guy who testified that the entry
point of the bullet was at the chest and not at the back.
This clearly shows that Ignacio killed the victim and did so
without risk to himself. A killing is qualified by treachery
when the accused employs means, methods or forms of
execution therefore without risk to himself arising from the
defense which the offended party make. In this case,
there was no risk to Ignacio because Jessie was only 14
years old and unarmed.
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With respect to voluntary surrender, the SC did
not appreciate this. For a mitigating circumstance to be
appreciated, 3 requisites must be satisfied: 1) the offender
has not actually been arrested, 2) the offender surrenders
himself to a person in authority or the latter’s agent, and 3)
the surrender is voluntary. The defense must show an
intent to surrender unconditionally to the authorities,
because of an acknowledgment of guilt or because of a
wish to spare them the trouble and the expense
concomitant to the search and capture of the accused.
Ignacion’s surrender was not voluntary; rather, he was
forced to give himself up because the members of the
barnagay tanod were already inside his house, thereby
precluding his escape.
US V. AH CHONG
Facts: Ah Chong was a cook in Ft. McKinley. He was
afraid of bad elements. One evening, before going to bed,
he locked himself in his room by placing a chair against
the door. After having gone to bed, he was awakened by
someone trying to open the door. He called out twice,
“Who is there,” but received no answer. Fearing that the
intruder was a robber, he leaped from his bed & called out
again, “If you enter the room I will kill you.” But at that
precise moment, he was struck by the chair that had been
placed against the door, & believing that he was being
attacked he seized a kitchen knife & struck & fatally
wounded the intruder who turned out to be his roommate.
Trial Court convicted him of homicide.
Issue: W/n Ah Chong was liable for the death of his
roommate.
Held: NO. Ah Chong must be acquitted because of
mistake of fact.
Ratio: Had the facts been as Ah Chong believed them to
be, he would have been justified in killing the intruder
under Article 11, par. 1, of the RPC, which requires, to
justify the act, that there be:
1. Unlawful aggression on the part of the person killed,
2. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel it, and
3. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person
defending himself.
If the intruder was really a robber, forcing his way
into the room of Ah Chong, there would have been
unlawful aggression on the part of the intruder. There
would have been a necessity on the part of Ah Chong to
defend himself and/or his home. The knife would have
been a reasonable means to prevent or repel such
aggression. And Ah Chong gave no provocation at all.
Under A11 of the RPC, there is nothing unlawful in the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
intention as well as in the act of the person making the
defense.
PEOPLE V. CHUA HIONG
Doctrine: Self-defense is also available in libel cases
Facts: Federico Chua Hiong is the uncle of Cesareo
Gacheco. Gacheco and his family were defeated in a civil
case in the CFI of Manila, which, if not overturned by the
SC, would lead to Gacheco and co. losing 2/3s of the
inheritance left by a Paulino Gacheco.
Hiong sided with the party that defeated
Gacheco. This created tension and Gacheco wrote the
Chief Finance Agent of the Department of Finance
charging Hiong with tax evasion and using a fake
citizenship. He then wrote a letter to Vice-President
Fernando Lopez accusing Hiong of illegal transactions
with the government.
A letter was written by a certain Benito Solipco to
Hiong. (The SC says Solipco was undoubtedly if not
Gacheco himself, acting under Gacheco’s inducement.) It
said that the members of the Go Family Association, of
which Gocheco belonged, told Solipco that they will make
every vengeance against Hiong, such as paying some
persons to kill him, or reporting him to every Philippine
Government Authority that he is a communist and other
kinds of vengeance. The letter warned Hiong to be careful
as the Go Family wee all his enemies now and that they
will make every vengeance against him at all cost. The
letter was contained in an envelope along with a rope
which contained a note saying “this serves for your
personal use.” Hiong received threats on the phone and
was denounced as a communist through anonymous
letters.
Gocheco then caused to be published articles
entitled “Doubtful Citizenship” in the Feb 11, 1952 issue of
the Manila Chronicle. It said that while the Commissioner
of Immigration had certain evidences supporting the
Filipino citizenship of Hiong, the Commisisoner’s decision
was based on questionable proofs. It then proceeded to
enumerate the evidences such as:
1.
3.
4.
Mr. Frederico M. Chua Hiong and his amily, as
shown, by the Master List of alien registered in
1941 with the Bureau of Immigration, were
registered under reg no.s. 199-461 to 199466.
The proceedings of the Board of Special Inquiry
at the Port of Manila, under Chinese Board
Report No. 1451, show that Mr. Chua Hiong was
admitted into the country as legitimate minor son
of Chua Pe on September 23, 1913.
A certified Chinese Marriage Certificate secured
from the local Civil Registrar shows tha his
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marriage was performed by the Chinese Consul
at the Chinese YMCA in 1926.
5. Affidavits sworn to by residents of Aparri,
Cagayan, the place where the allaged mother (of
Hiong) lives, and submitted by the Chief of Police
at the instance of the investigator in this case,
show that the alleged mother has never left
Aparri, much less the Philippines, and therefore
could not give birth to Hiong who was born in
China.
In response, Hiong caused Seriously Speaking to
be published in the Manila Chronicle. It said:
“This investigation was only one of a series of
other investigations conducted by different agencies of our
government at the instigation of Mr. Gocheco, who
appears to be obsessed with a persecution mania in order
to besmirch my name and reputation and harass me and
my family.
To my eternal shame and misfortune, Mr.
Cesario T. Gocheco is my nephew. As such, he is
cognizant of all of the facts of my life for he has known me
for the past 25 years….Why then this sudden concern
over my citizenship? Why this mad desire to bring harm to
me and my family? The reason is not hard to find –
personal revenge is the moving passion in this drama of
intrigues and persecution to which I and my family have
been subjected.
….It is easy to imagine the gloom, despondency and
despair, that must have seized the Gocheco family when
the above decision was handed down as that would divest
them of everything that they now have and thus face stark
poverty.
…..It is obvious that the name “Benito Sulipco” is fictitious,
as it is the most natural thing that my enemies should
cowardly hide behind the cloak of anonymity, but, one
need not stretch the imagination too far to be able to
guess the “mastermind behind these threats.
…..For what could be better or more convenient to my
enemies than my untimely death, or for that matter, my
deportation from this country had they been able to prove
their charges filed with the different government agencies.
What better or more convenient weapon can my enemies
avail of then a this systematic and malicious persecution in
order to coerce or cajole me into submitting to their
demands that I should desist from proceeding with the civil
case I have instituted against the Gocheco family which
shall ultimately reduce them to the poverty of the
proverbial church-mouse?”
Because of the article above, Hiong was found
guilty of libel by the RTC. He now appeals.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Issue: Whether or not Hiong’s libelous publication was a
proper act of self-defense in relation to Gocheco’s earlier
“Doubtful Citizenship” article.
Held: Yes. Self-defense applies to the crime of libel.
Ratio: Self-defense is a man’s inborn right. In a physical
assault, retaliation becomes unlawful after the attack has
ceased, because there would be no further harm to repel.
But that is not the case when it is aimed at a person’s
good name. Once the aspersion is cast its sting clings and
the one thus defamed may avail himself of all necessary
means to shake it off. He may hit back with another libel
which, if adequate, will be justified.
Granting that the “Seriously Speaking” column of
the Manila Chronicle caused by Hiong was libelous, is it
unnecessarily libelous? It was intended to counteract the
impression left in the mind of the public by the article
“Doubtful Citizenship” which Gocheco caused to be
published in the Manila Chronicle on Feb. 11, 1952.
Hiong was living as a Filipino, his livelihood
depended mainly upon enterprises only Filipinos can
engage in. It is perfectly conceivable that any attempt to
assail his Filipino citizenship should meet the keenest
defense from him.
To flout in public the genuineness of one’s
citizenship is slanderous, nobody would dare deny, the
more so Hiong’s case for obvious reasons. The Doubtful
Citizenship column makes it appear that his citizenship
was acquired through questionable means and that an
investigation is currently being conducted with respect to
the legality of his citizenship. Gocheco’s purpose was to
malign Hiong. Because he lost in the civil case, Gocheco
decided to air his grievances through the press.
Hiong’s Seriously Speaking Column is not
necessarily libelous because Hiong is entitled to show
Gocheco’s motive behind Doubtful Citizenship and to
dispel the bad impression about him of those who had
read it.
PEOPLE VS. BATES
[penned by J. Austria-Martinez; Justice Callejo has a
concurring opinion in this case]
FACTS:
Version of the Prosecution
Edgar Fuentes, Simon Fuentes and Jose Boholst left
Barangay Esperanza, Ormoc City to deliver copra to a
certain Fely Rodado at Barangay Green Valley, Ormoc
City. After delivering the copra, the three went headed
back to Barangay Esperanza. As they were heading back,
Carlito Bates suddenly emerged from the thick banana
plantation, aiming his firegun against Boholst. The latter
grabbed Carlito’s right hand and elbow and tried to wrest
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possession of the firearm. While the two were grappling
for possession, the gun fired, hitting Carlito who
immediately fell to the ground. At that instant, Marcelo
Bates (brother) and his son, Marcelo Bates, Jr. (nephew)
emerged from the banana plantation, each brandishing a
bolo. They immediately attacked Jose, hacking him
several times. Jose fell to the ground but the two kept on
hacking him.
Version of the Defense
Ponciano Sano went to the house of Marcelo Bates to get
a chicken. While they were trying to catch a chicken, they
noticed Jose, Edgar, and Simon approach the house of
Carlito. Thereafter, they saw Jose drag Carlito out of the
house while both were arguing and grappling. When
Marcelo was about to approach them, Jose shot Carlito
with a gun. Marcelo attacked Jose but the latter also fired
a shot at him. However, Marcelo was able to duck and
avoid being shot. Jose was about to shoot Marcelo for the
second time but the latter retaliated by hacking Jose with a
bolo hitting him on the neck.
The RTC of Ormoc City held Marcelo guilty of the
crime of murder.
ISSUE: Whether or not Marcelo acted in self-defense???
RULING: NO.
Under Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, anyone who
acts in defense of his person or rights do not incur any
criminal liability provided that the following circumstances
concur: First, unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim; second, reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel it; and third, lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person defending himself. It
is a settled rule that when an accused admits killing the
victim but invokes self-defense, it is incumbent upon him
to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he acted in
self-defense; and as the burden of the evidence is thus
shifted to him, he must rely on the strength of his own
evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution.
After scrutiny of the evidence presented, we
agree with the trial court that self-defense was not
established by Marcelo. He testified that he initially
inflicted only a single hack wound on the neck of Jose
causing the latter to fall to the ground. He then went to the
aid of his brother Carlito but upon finding that he was
already dead, he went back to where Jose fell. Marcelo
admitted that at that time, Jose was in a lying position still
alive but hardly moving. Under such a situation, Jose
could have hardly put up any defense, much less, make
an aggressive move against appellant. Despite Jose’s
condition, Marcelo repeatedly hacked Jose. Granting that
Jose was the one who first committed unlawful
aggression, appellant was no longer justified in further
inflicting wounds upon Jose because at that time, the latter
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
was already lying helpless on the ground. At that moment,
unlawful aggression on the part of Jose had ceased. It is
a settled rule that when unlawful aggression ceases, the
defender has no longer any right to kill or wound the
former aggressor, otherwise, retaliation and not selfdefense is committed. Hence, the fact that unlawful
aggression on the part of Jose already ceased when
Marcelo repeatedly hacked him rules out the possibility of
self-defense, whether complete or incomplete.
Other Issues:
The circumstance that an attack was sudden and
unexpected to the person assaulted did not constitute the
element of alevosia necessary to raise homicide to
murder, where it did not appear that the aggressor
consciously adopted such mode of attack to facilitate the
perpetration of the killing without risk to himself. Treachery
cannot be appreciated if the accused did not make any
preparation to kill the deceased in such manner as to
insure the commission of the killing or to make it
impossible or difficult for the person attacked to retaliate or
defend himself.
There is nothing to indicate from the testimony of
Edgar that Marcelo and his son employed means and
methods to insure that they will be able to attack Jose
without risk to themselves arising from any defense that
Jose might make. There is no evidence to show that they
purposely remained hidden in the thick banana plantation
awaiting for the opportune time to attack Jose with
impunity.
Hence, for failure of the prosecution to prove
treachery or any other circumstance which would qualify
the killing of Jose to murder, appellant should only be held
liable for the crime of homicide punishable under Article
249 of the Revised Penal Code.
Appellant was able to prove the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender, as shown by the
testimony of Barangay Captain Feliseo Sano.
Passion and obfuscation may not be properly
appreciated in favor of Marcelo. To be considered as a
mitigating circumstance, passion or obfuscation must arise
from lawful sentiments and not from a spirit of lawlessness
22
or revenge or from anger and resentment. In the present
case, clearly, Marcelo was infuriated upon seeing his
brother, Carlito, shot by Jose. However, a distinction must
be made between the first time that Marcelo hacked Jose
and the second time that the former hacked the latter.
When Marcelo hacked Jose right after seeing the latter
shoot at Carlito, and if Marcelo refrained from doing
anything else after that, he could have validly invoked the
mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation. But
when, upon seeing his brother Carlito dead, Marcelo went
back to Jose, who by then was already prostrate on the
ground and hardly moving, hacking Jose again was a
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clear case of someone acting out of anger in the spirit of
revenge.
UBARRA V MAPALAD
FACTS: In a sworn letter-complaint dated 21 November
1991 and addressed to then Court Administrator, Josue N.
Bellosillo (Justice), complainant Atty. Manuel T. Ubarra, on
behalf of his client Juanito A. Calderon, charges Judge
Luzviminda Mapalad (Judge), the Presiding Judge of the
MTC of Pulilan, Bulacan, with grave misconduct, for
knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, violation of the
Canons of Judicial Ethics and the failure to decide within
the mandated ninety-day period Criminal Case
entitled Peo v.Cruda which involves the charge of Grave
Threats. There is also another action for Grave Threats
likewise entitled Peo v Cruda. T
Calderon is the offended party in the both
criminal cases. He alleges in his affidavit that in the course
of the trial of the first criminal case, he noted that accused
Roberto Crude worked as a houseboy of the Judge. By
that time, he had already observed the Judge's partiality in
favor of the said accused.
The case was submitted for decision on 27
March 1990. On 9 August 1991, Crude married
respondent's youngest sister. It was the respondent
herself who solemnized that marriage at her office, as
evidenced by the marriage contract. Despite such
marriage, respondent did not inhibit herself from hearing
the case and instead proceeded to render and
promulgate, on 17 October 1991, a judgment acquitting
Cruda, her brother-in-law.
The answer to the letter-complaint, filed by the
respondent was devoted mostly to a narration of her
sincere and honest efforts to reform and rehabilitate
Roberto Cruda. She denies having knowingly rendered an
unjust judgment in favor of her brother-in- law because
she "was persuaded to dismiss the same not on account
that the guilt of Cruda was not proven beyond reasonable
doubt but by the very reason that both the private
complainant and the accused therein were in pari delicto."
She admits, however, that she decided the case beyond
ninety (90) days from the date it was submitted for
decision, and pleads for this Court's understanding,
leniency and compassion considering that a MTC Judge is
saddled not only with judicial functions, but quasi-judicial
task as well which are enough to drain most of his/her
energy.
On 10 September 1992 the Court referred the
case to the Executive Judge of the RTC of Malolos,
Bulacan who recommended that proper penalty be
imposed upon the respondent Judge.
ISSUE: WON the respondent have knowingly rendered an
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
unjust judgment.
HELD: Under the pari delicto doctrine, where the parties
to a controversy are equally culpable or guilty, they shall
have no action against each other, and it shall leave the
parties where it finds them. This doctrine finds expression
in the maxims “ex dolo malo non oritur actio' and 'in pari
delicto potior est conditio defendentis.”The Court found the
application of the pari delicto theory in a criminal case to
be strange, to say the least. In the first place, “the rule on
pari delicto is a rule in civil law”. It is principally governed
by Articles 1411 and 1412 of the Civil Code under the
Chapter on Void or Inexistent Contracts, and presupposes
a situation where the parties are in culpability similarly
situated. That this rule can by no means apply in a
criminal ease is evidenced by the aforesaid Article 1411
which provides in part that "When the nullity proceeds
from the illegality of the cause or object of the contract,
and the act constitutes a criminal offense, both parties
being in pari delicto, they shall have no action against
each other, and both shall be prosecuted." Secondly, in
view of the broader grounds of public policy, the rule may
not be invoked against the State. Thirdly, in the
prosecution of public crimes, the complainant is the State
while the private offended party is but a complaining
witness. Any criminal act perpetrated by the latter on the
occasion of the commission of the crime, or which may
have given rise to the criminal act imputed to the accused
is not the act or conduct of the State and can by no means
bind it under the doctrine of pari delicto. To rule otherwise
would be to establish a dangerous doctrine which would
irreparably weaken the very foundations of the criminal
justice system and frustrate the administration of justice.
Whatever wrongful act may have been committed by the
offended party may only be invoked to justify the
accused's own act or mitigate his liability.
In spite of all this, however, the respondent may
not necessarily be liable for rendering an unjust judgment
as there is no convincing evidence on record to show that
she knew such judgment to be unjust and that she
rendered the same with the conscious and deliberate
intent to commit an injustice. She could only be, as she is
hereby found, guilty of gross ignorance of the law.
The Court noted with grave concern the
respondent's revelation in her Answer that "she interceded
in the settlement of the cases pending against" Roberto
Cruda. By such admission, it is clear that the respondent
acted as counsel for the accused. It is therefore evident
that she is guilty of improper conduct, which could only
serve to diminish public confidence in the integrity and
impartiality of the judiciary. Her behavior amounted to a
violation of Rule 2.01, Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial
Conduct.
The Court decided to dismiss the Judge from the
service with forfeiture of all benefits, except for the
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monetary value of her accrued leaves, and with prejudice
to re-employment in any branch or service of the
government, including government owned or controlled
corporations for grave misconduct, gross inefficiency and
neglect of duty, gross ignorance of the law and conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
© People of the Philippines vs. Jesus Retubado
Facts: Someone played a joke on Edwin Retubado, the
appellant’s younger brother who was mentally ill.
Someone inserted a lighted firecracker in a cigarette pack
and gave it to Edwin. While Edwin and his father were
having dinner, it exploded. The suspect was their neighbor
Emmanuel Caon, Jr. The matter was brought to the
attention of the barangay captain who conducted an
investigation. It turned out that Emmanuel Caon, Jr. was
NOT the culprit. The appellant, however, was bent on
confronting Emmanuel Caon, Jr. Thereafter, the father of
Emmanuel Jr., 50 y.o. Emmanuel Caon, Sr., (pedicab
driver) was confronted by Jesus when the former was on
his way home. Emmanuel Sr. ignored Jesus so the latter
pushed the pedicab which nearly fell into a canal. Jesus
followed Emmanuel Sr. to his house. His wife, Norberta
Caon was in the balcony of their house, above the porch
waiting for him to arrive. Emmanuel, Jr., meanwhile, was
already asleep. Emmanuel Sr. demanded to know why he
was being followed. Jesus told Emmanuel that he just
wanted to talk to Emmanuel Jr., but Emmanuel Sr. told the
appellant that his son was already asleep. Norberta went
down from the balcony and placed her hand on her
husbands shoulder to pacify him. Jesus forthwith pulled
out a handgun from under his T-shirt and shot Emmanuel
on the forehead. The latter fell to the floor as the appellant
walked away from the scene. Emmanuel was brought to
the Tuburan District Hospital, but he died shortly
thereafter. Jesus surrendered to the police but failed to
surrender the firearm he used to kill the victim.
Jesus admitted shooting the victim but claimed
that he was merely performing a lawful act with due care
hence, cannot be held criminally liable for the victims
death. He testified that when he insisted that Emmanuel
wake up his son, Emmanuel went to his room and
emerged therefrom holding a handgun. Jesus grabbed
Emmanuel’s hand, they struggled for the gun but
eventually, Emmanuel fell on his knees. Jesus pulled the
gun to the level of Emmanuel’s forehead, and the gun
suddenly went off. Jesus then rushed to his house to
change clothes. He placed the gun on the dining table.
When he went back to the dining room his sister told him
that their brother Edwin had taken the gun and thrown it
into the sea.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Trial court convicted Jesus of murder, and sentenced him
to reclusion perpetua.
Issue: WON Jesus was merely performing a lawful act
with due care hence, cannot be held criminally liable for
the victims death - No!
WON Jesus is liable for murder - No! Homicide only
Ruling: The phrase state of necessity is of German origin.
Countries which have embraced the classical theory of
criminal law, like Italy, do not use the phrase. The
justification refers to a situation of grave peril (un mal),
actual or imminent (actual o imminente). The word
propiedad covers diverse juridical rights (bienes juridicos)
such as right to life, honor, the integrity of ones body, and
property (la vida, la integridad corporal, el pudor, el honor,
bienes patrimoniales) belonging to another. It is
indispensable that the state of necessity must not be
brought about by the intentional provocation of the party
invoking the same.
The defense of a state of necessity is a justifying
circumstance under Article 11, paragraph 4 of the RPC. It
is an affirmative defense that must be proved by the
accused with clear and convincing evidence. By admitting
causing the injuries and killing the victim, the accused
must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on
the weakness of the evidence of the prosecution. Whether
the accused acted under a state of necessity is a question
of fact, which is addressed to the sound discretion of the
trial court.
There is no basis to deviate from the findings of
the trial court that the appellant was the provocateur, the
unlawful aggressor and the author of a deliberate and
malicious act of shooting the victim at close range on the
forehead. The court came to this conclusion based on:
1. Norberta Caon’s testimony.
2. There is no evidence that the appellant informed the
police authorities that he killed the victim in a state of
necessity and that his brother, Edwin, threw the gun into
the sea.
3. The appellant had the motive to shoot and kill the
victim.
There is no treachery in the present case to
qualify the crime to murder. To appreciate treachery, two
(2) conditions must be present, namely, (a) the
employment of the means of execution that give the
person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to
retaliate, and (b) the means of execution were deliberately
or consciously adopted. The prosecution failed to adduce
an iota of evidence to support the confluence of the
abovementioned conditions.
The appellant is entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender.
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VICKY TY VS PEOPLE
Facts: What we have here is 7 cases of violations of
BP22. Ty’s mother, Chua Lao So Un and her sister, Judy
Chua were confined at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital (note:
they were not confined at the same time. The mother was
confined from 1990 until 1992, while the sister was
confined from 1991-1992). Vicky Ty signed the
“Acknowledgment of Responsibility for Payment” for the
admission of the patients. The total hospital bills of the
2patients amounted to P1,075,592.95.
Ty then executed a promissory note to assume
payment of the obligation in instalments. Several
postdated checks against Metrobank and payable to the
hospital were drawn. 7checks, each covering an amount
of P30K were all deposited on their due dates only to be
dishonoured due to insufficiency of funds, with the
“account closed” advice. Demand letters were sent but the
obligation remained unpaid.
The defense of Ty was that she issued the
checks because of “an uncontrollable fear of greater
injury.” She was allegedly forced to issue the checks
because the hospital would not release her mother unless
the bills were paid. She alleges that because of the
unsettle bill, the hospital deprived her mother of room
facilities (no aircon, refrigerator, tv, telephone line, late
delivery of food, refusal to change hospital gown and
bedsheets). Also, the hospital allegedly suspended the
medical treatment of her mother. This “debasing
treatment” affected her mother’s mental, psychological
and physical health that her mother contemplated suicide.
Thus, fearing this, she was compelled to issue the PN and
the checks.
TC: Guilty
CA: Guilty but deleted the penalty of
imprisonment.
Issue: Whether Ty is justified because of the
“uncontrollable
fear”
and
“state
of
necessity”
circumstances?
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
that it reduced him to a mere instrument acting without
will.
In this case, Ty’s fear was not real and imminent.
Her fear that her mother’s health might deteriorate due to
the “inhumane treatment” of the hospital or that her mother
might commit suicide is speculative and not the
uncontrollable fear contemplated by law. Moreover, Ty
had sufficient knowledge that the issuance of checks
without funds may result in violation of BP22.
Ty also suggests that she may be exempted by
the justifying circumstance of state of necessity. For this,
the law prescribes the following requisites: 1) evil sought
to be avoided actually exists; 2) injury feared be greater
than that done to avoid it; and 3) there be no other
practical and less harmful means of preventing it.
In this case, the evil sought to be avoided is
merely expected or anticipated hence, this defense is not
applicable. Ty could have used other options to avoid
committing a crime such as giving jewelry or other forms
of security. Moreover, for the state of necessity to be
availing, the greater injury feared should not have been
brought about by negligence or imprudence, more so
inaction of the actor. In this case, the issuance of the
bounced checks was brought about by Ty’s failure to pay
the hospital bills.
Others: 1) BP22 punishes the mere act of issuing a
bounced check whether it was issued to pay an obligation
or to guarantee an obligation. The law itself creates a
prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of
funds. Deceit is not an essential element of BP22. The
gravamen of the offense is the issuance of a bad check.
2) CA is correct in deleting the penalty of
imprisonment. Ty was a first-time offender and she did not
act in bad faith. Administrative Circular 12-2000 merely
establishes a rule of preference in the application of the
penalty in BP22 but the discretion on what to impose rests
solely on the judge.
CABANLIG VS SANDIGANBAYAN
Held:
No! Ty is guilty!
The only question of law raised is whether the
defense of “uncontrollable fear” is tenable to warrant Ty’s
exemption from criminal liability. For this exempting
circumstance to be invoked successfully the following
must concur: 1) existence of an uncontrollable fear; 2) fear
must be real and imminent; and 3) the fear of an injury is
greater than or at least equal to that committed.
The threat that caused the uncontrollable fear
must be of such gravity that an ordinary man would have
succumbed to it. It should be based on a real, imminent or
reasonable fear for one’s life or limb. The threat must not
be speculative, fanciful or remote. A person invoking this
circumstance must show that the compulsion was so great
Prosection’s version:
A robbery occurred in Nueva Ecija but 4 days later, 3
suspects were caught. All items were recovered except
for a vase and a small radio. Valino, one of those
apprehended, knew where the location of the stolen items
were so 5 policemen decided to escort Valino to the place
where the stolen items were hidden. They rode a jeep.
While on their way, Valiano was able to grab one of the
police’s M16 armalite. Cabanlig, who was behind Valino
inside the jeep, saw what happened and decided to fire
one shot at Valino, and after 3 seconds, fired another 4
consecutive shots. Valino did not fire a shot. The next
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day, somebody heard the police talking to a fellow
policeman, saying that they “salvaged” Valino.
Defense’s version:
It was not a “salvage”. It was an act of self-defense and
performance of duty
Sandiganbayan: Cabanlig liable for homicide
since he failed to show that the shooting was the
necessary consequence of the due performance of duty
(but the 4 others were acquitted since there was no
evidence of conspiracy)
Issue: w/n Cabanlig is liable for Valino’s death
SC: NO. Acquitted.
Self-defense and fulfillment of duty operate on
different principles. Self-defense is based on the
principle of self-preservation from mortal harm, while
fulfillment of duty is premised on the due performance
of duty. The difference between the two justifying
circumstances is clear, as the requisites of selfdefense and fulfillment of duty are different.
While self-defense and performance of duty are two
distinct justifying circumstances, self-defense or
defense of a stranger may still be relevant even if the
proper justifying circumstance in a given case is
fulfillment of duty. For example, a policeman's use of
what appears to be excessive force could be justified
if there was imminent danger to the policeman's life or
to that of a stranger. If the policeman used force to
protect his life or that of a stranger, then the defense
of fulfillment of duty would be complete, the second
requisite being present.
Undoubtedly, the policemen were in the legitimate
performance of their duty when Cabanlig shot Valino.
Thus, fulfillment of duty is the justifying circumstance
that is applicable to this case. To determine if this
defense is complete, we have to examine if Cabanlig
used necessary force to prevent Valino from escaping
and in protecting himself and his co-accused
policemen from imminent danger.
In this case, Valino was committing an offense in the
presence of the policemen when Valino grabbed the
M16 Armalite from Mercado and jumped from the jeep
to escape. The policemen would have been justified
in shooting Valino if the use of force was absolutely
necessary to prevent his escape. But Valino was not
only an escaping detainee. Valino had also stolen the
M16 Armalite of a policeman. The policemen had the
duty not only to recapture Valino but also to recover
the loose firearm. By grabbing Mercado's M16
Armalite, which is a formidable firearm, Valino had
placed the lives of the policemen in grave danger.
Had Cabanlig failed to shoot Valino immediately, the
policemen would have been sitting ducks. All of the
-
-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
policemen were still inside the jeep when Valino
suddenly grabbed the M16 Armalite.
By suddenly grabbing the M16 Armalite from his
unsuspecting police guard, Valino certainly did not
intend merely to escape and run away as far and fast
as possible from the policemen. Valino did not have to
grab the M16 Armalite if his sole intention was only to
flee from the policemen. If he had no intention to
engage the policemen in a firefight, Valino could
simply have jumped from the jeep without grabbing
the M16 Armalite.
The Sandiganbayan had very good reasons in
steadfastly adhering to the policy that a law enforcer
must first issue a warning before he could use force
against an offender. However, the duty to issue a
warning is not absolutely mandated at all times and at
all cost, to the detriment of the life of law enforcers.
The directive to issue a warning contemplates a
situation where several options are still available to
the law enforcers. In exceptional circumstances such
as this case, where the threat to the life of a law
enforcer is already imminent, and there is no other
option but to use force to subdue the offender, the law
enforcer's failure to issue a warning is excusable.
PEOPLE VS ULEP
Wapili, having a high fever and insensibly talking to
himself, was acting strangely in his home (nasisiraan na
ng ulo). His brother in law was trying to calm him down
but to know avail. Wapili locked himself in his room. Later
on, he went out naked and chased his brother in law
(Leydan). Leydan and neighbours tried to tie him with
rope but to no avail so he got loose in the village. Leydan
went to a policewoman to report the incident and while this
was happening, Wapili turned up in front of the
policewoman’s house to bang her vehicle so she called for
assistance. Later on, SPO1 Ulep and 2 other police
officers went to the scene where they saw Wapili armed
with a bolo and a rattan stool (sabi naman ng relatives ni
Wapili wala siyang dalang bolo). Ulep fired a warning shot
but Wapili charged towards them so Ulep shot him. Wapili
fell to the ground. Ulep came closer then pumped another
bullet to his head, literally blowing his brains out. Ulep:
self-defense and fulfilment of a duty.
Issue: w/n Ulep is liable for the death of Wapili
SC: YES. Liable for homicide
Before the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of
a duty under Art. 11, par. 5, of RPC may be
successfully invoked, the accused must prove the
presence of two (2) requisites, namely, that he acted
in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise
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-
-
-
-
of a right or an office, and that the injury caused or the
offense committed be the necessary consequence of
the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of
such right or office. The second requisite is lacking in
the instant case.
During the first stage, the victim threatened the safety
of the police officers by menacingly advancing
towards them, notwithstanding accused-appellant's
previous warning shot and verbal admonition to the
victim to lay down his weapon or he would be shot. As
a police officer, it is to be expected that accusedappellant would stand his ground. Up to that point, his
decision to respond with a barrage of gunfire to halt
the victim's further advance was justified under the
circumstances. After all, a police officer is not required
to afford the victim the opportunity to fight back.
Neither is he expected - when hard pressed and in
the heat of such an encounter at close quarters - to
pause for a long moment and reflect coolly at his peril,
or to wait after each blow to determine the effects
thereof.
However, Ulep cannot be exonerated from overdoing
his duty during the second stage of the incident when he fatally shot the victim in the head, perhaps in
his desire to take no chances, even after the latter
slumped to the ground due to multiple gunshot
wounds sustained while charging at the police
officers. Sound discretion and restraint dictated that
Ulep, a veteran policeman, should have ceased firing
at the victim the moment he saw the latter fall to the
ground. The victim at that point no longer posed a
threat and was already incapable of mounting an
aggression against the police officers. Shooting him in
the head was obviously unnecessary.
Likewise, the evidence at hand does not favor his
claim of self-defense. The presence of unlawful
aggression is a condition sine qua non. There can be
no self-defense, complete or incomplete, unless the
victim has committed an unlawful aggression against
the person defending himself. In the present case, the
records show that the victim was lying in a prone
position on the ground - bleeding from the bullet
wounds he sustained, and possibly unconscious when accused-appellant shot him in the head. The
aggression that was initially begun by the victim
already ceased when accused-appellant attacked
him. From that moment, there was no longer any
danger to his life.
The Court appreciated the incomplete justifying
circumstance of fulfillment of a duty or lawful exercise
of a right. Under Art. 69 of RPC, "a penalty lower by
one or two degrees than that prescribed by law shall
be imposed if the deed is not wholly excusable by
reason of the lack of some of the conditions required
to justify the same or to exempt from criminal liability
-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
in the several cases mentioned in Arts. 11 and 12,
provided that the majority of such conditions be
present.
The Court likewise credited Ulep with the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender. The police
blotter of Kidapawan Municipal Police Station shows
that immediately after killing Wapili, accusedappellant reported to the police headquarters and
voluntarily surrendered himself
ORTEGA V. PEOPLE
Facts: Joemar Ortega raped AAA (name withheld), the
daughter of FFF who was a close friend of Joemar’s mom.
He was around 13 years old then and AAA was around 6
years old. During trial, the RTC and CA were not
impressed with the defense of denial and adjudged guilty
of rape.
The important issue arose during the pendency
of the case in the SC. In 2006 (while the case was still
pending), RA 9344 (The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act)
was passed. One of its provisions found in sec. 64 of the
act provides that “...cases of children fifteen (15) years old
and below at the time of the commission of the crime shall
immediately be dismissed and the child shall be referred
to the appropriate local social welfare and development
officer.” Thus, Ortega contends that he should not be
made to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua as he was
13 years old when the crime was committed.
The OSG argued that Ortega is no longer
covered by the provisions of Section 64 of RA 9344 since
as early as 1999, Ortega was convicted by the RTC and
the conviction was affirmed by the CA in 2001. RA 9344
was passed into law in 2006, and with Ortega now
approximately 25 years old, he no longer qualifies as a
child as defined by RA 9344. Moreover, the OSG claimed
that the retroactive effect of Section 64 of RA 9344 is
applicable only if the child-accused is still below 18 years
old as explained under Sections 67 and 68 thereof.
Issue: Should RA 9344 apply retroactively to Ortega’s
case?
Held: Yes.
A retroactive application of RA 9344 should be
given to Ortega pursuant to the well-entrenched principle
in criminal law - favorabilia sunt amplianda adiosa
restrigenda. Penal laws which are favorable to the
accused are given retroactive effect.
Furthermore, the deliberations of the Senate with
regard to RA 9344 show an intent for it to apply
retroactively. As stated by Senator Santiago “even after
final conviction if, in fact, the offender is able to prove that
at the time of the commission of the offense he is a minor
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under this law, he should be given the benefit of the law.”
Senator Pimentel concurred with this statement.
Ortega was only 13 years old at the time of the
commission of the alleged rape. This was duly proven by
the certificate of live birth, by his testimony, and by the
testimony of his mother. Furthermore, his age was never
assailed in any of the proceedings before the RTC and the
CA. As such, Ortega, at the time of the commission of the
crime, was below 15 years of age. Under R.A. No. 9344,
he is exempted from criminal liability. However, this does
not mean that he is exempted from civil liability.
© Llave vs People
FACTS: Neil Llave, a 12 year old boy, was charged with
raping Debbielyn, a 7 year old girl, in Pasay City. After
school, Debbielyn proceeded home, changed her clothes
and went to her mother’s store to bring home unsold quail
eggs. On her way, she passed by a vacant house adjacent
to Teofisto’s house (their neighbor). She was suddenly
pulled by petitioner to a pile of hollow blocks; forced her to
lay down on the cement. Petitioner removed his and the
victim’s clothes. He lay on top of the victim, started kissing
her and inserted his penis inside the victim’s vagina. The
victim resisted to no avail.
Thereafter Teofisto heard the victim’s cries and
went out to see what has happened. At that point, Llave
took off.
The parents of the victim, upon knowing the
incident, found petitioner in the latter’s grandparent’s
house. Llave was arrested by the tanod.
The victim was brought to the Child Protection
Unit of the PGH where Dr. Castillo found that no injury
was found on the hymen and perineum, there was a
scanty yellowish discharge between the labia minora.
There was also a fresh abrasion of the perineal skin at 1
o’clock position near the anus which can only be caused
by a blunt object such as erect penis or finger. The
findings, according to the Dr., were consistent with the
claim that victim was sexually abused.
The RTC and the CA both convicted petitioner of
the crime of rape. Both courts found that petitioner, by his
conducts during the incident, acted with discernment.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner acted with discernment
HELD: Yes he did! Article 12, par3 of the RPC exempts
from criminal liability persons who are over 9 years and
under 15 UNLESS he acted with discernment. The ratio
for the exemption is the absence of intelligence which is
an essential part of a felony whether by dolo or culpa.
Intelligence is the power to determine the morality of
human acts and to distinguish licit from illicit acts.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Discernment is the metal capacity to understand the
difference of right and wrong.
In this case, presence of discernment was
deduced from the calculated acts of petitioner i.e. dragging
the victim in the vacant house so as not to be discovered
and quickly taking off when Teofisto discovered the crime.
In fact, upon prodding of petitioner’s dad, he hid at his
grandmother’s house to evade arrest.
MINOR ISSUE:
Whether or not there petitioner, as he contends,
was deprived of preliminary investigation
No. No need for preliminary investigation.
According to the rules on criminal procedure, when there
is a valid warrantless arrest, preliminary investigation may
not be conducted provided there was an inquest. In this
case there was a valid warrantless arrest and inquest
PEOPLE OF
VALLEDOR
THE
PHILIPPINES
vs.
ENRICO
A.
3 informations were filed against Valledor: 1. murder (with
treachery and evident premeditation) for stabbing Elsa
Rodriguez on the chest; 2. Attempted murder (with
treachery and evident premeditation) for stabbing Ricardo
Maglalang but due to timely medical assistance, he was
able to survive; 3. Frustrated murder (with treachery and
evident premeditation) for stabbing Roger Cabiguen on his
right forearm but due also to timely medical assistance, he
was able to survive.
Victim Roger Cabiguen was inside his bedroom
working on a lettering job together with his first cousin,
victim Elsa Rodriguez, and his friends, Simplicio Yayen
and Antonio Magbanua. All of a sudden, Valledor entered
the room; uttered Rogers nickname (Jer) and immediately
attacked him with a knife, but Roger was able to evade the
thrust and was stabbed instead on the right forearm.
Valledor then stabbed Elsa Rodriguez on the chest and
said, I had my revenge, Elsa. Valledor then left.
Roger and Elsa were immediately brought to the
hospital. On their way out, Antonio noticed a commotion
and saw victim Ricardo Maglalang, a neighbor, wounded.
Antonio learned from the by-standers that Ricardo was
likewise stabbed by Valledor. Upon reaching the hospital,
Elsa was declared dead on arrival. Roger on the other
hand was treated for the 5-centimeter wound sustained by
him on his right forearm. Victim Roger Cabiguen testified
that Valledor suspected him of killing his dog. Valledor
also courted Elsa but she rejected him. Elsa even spat on
and slapped Valledor.
Valledor’s defense of insanity:
Valledor was employed as provincial jail guard. His mother
Pacita noticed that Valledor was behaving abnormally. For
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days he was restless and unable to sleep. He likewise
complained that their neighbors were spreading rumors
that he was a rapist and a thief, prompting Pacita to bring
his son to Dr. de Guzman. Pacita disclosed to Dr. de
Guzman that insanity runs in their family. After
examination, Dr. de Guzman diagnosed him as suffering
from psychosis with schizophrenia. He prescribed a
depressant (Thoracin), which kept Valledor sane for a
period two months.
Pacita noticed that Valledor was again acting strangely.
She left to buy Thoracin but when she returned he was
nowhere to be found. He was seen swimming across the
river and uttering that his family will be killed. The brgy.
Officials went to get him and on their way to the city,
Valledor jumped off the jeep. That afternoon, it was
learned that Valledor killed and wounded his neighbors.
Defense offered the findings of: Dr. MelendresValledor suffering from Psychosis or Insanity classified
under Schizophrenia (deterioration from previous level of
functioning, auditory hallucination, ideas of reference,
delusion of control, suspiciousness, poor judgment and
absence of insight), Psychoactive Substance Use
Disorder.
TC: Valledor guilty of Murder, Frustrated Murder
and Attempted Murder. But since he was confined at the
Mental Hospital, the service of his sentence was
suspended. Valledor appealed.
ISSUE: WON Valledor sufficiently invoked the defense of
insanity to exempt him from liability? No. WON Valledor
should be held liable of frustrated murder for stabbing
Roger? No. only Attempted murder because the wound is
not fatal.
RULING: In the eyes of the law, insanity exists when
there is a complete deprivation of intelligence in
committing the act. Mere abnormality of the mental
faculties will not exclude imputability. The accused must
be "so insane as to be incapable of entertaining a criminal
intent." He must be deprived of reason and act without the
least discernment because there is a complete absence of
the power to discern or a total deprivation of freedom of
the will.
Since the presumption is always in favor of
sanity, he who invokes insanity as an exempting
circumstance must prove it by clear and positive evidence.
And the evidence on this point must refer to the time
preceding the act under prosecution or to the very moment
of its execution.
In the case at bar, Valledor failed to discharge
the burden of overcoming the presumption of sanity at the
time of the commission of the crime. The following
circumstances clearly and unmistakably show that
Valledor was not legally insane when he perpetrated the
acts for which he was charged: 1) Simplicio Yayen was
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
positioned nearest to Valledor but the latter chose to stab
Roger and Elsa; 2) Valledor called out the nickname of
Roger before stabbing him; 3) Simplicio Yayen and
Antonio Magbanua who were likewise inside the room
were left unharmed; 4) Valledor, a spurned suitor of Elsa,
uttered the words, I had my revenge, Elsa, after stabbing
her; and 5) Valledor hurriedly left the room after stabbing
the victims.
Evidently, the foregoing acts could hardly be said
to be performed by one who was in a state of a complete
absence of the power to discern. Valledor was clearly
aware and in control of what he was doing as he in fact
purposely chose to stab only the two victims. His obvious
motive of revenge against the victims was accentuated by
calling out their names and uttering the words, I had my
revenge after stabbing them. Finally, his act of
immediately fleeing from the scene after the incident
indicates that he was aware of the wrong he has done and
the consequence thereof.
Valledor acts prior to the stabbing incident to wit:
crying; swimming in the river with his clothes on; and
jumping off the jeepney; were not sufficient to prove that
he was indeed insane at the time of the commission of the
crime.
As consistently held by this Court, A man may act
crazy but it does not necessarily and conclusively prove
that he is legally so. Then, too, the medical findings
showing that Valledor was suffering from a mental
disorder after the commission of the crime, has no bearing
on his liability. What is decisive is his mental condition at
the time of the perpetration of the offense. Failing to
discharge the burden of proving that he was legally insane
when he stabbed the victims, he should be held liable for
his felonious acts.
For stabbing Roger Cabiguen, Valledor should
only be liable of attempted murder (not frustrated) for the
wound sustained was not fatal. The settled rule is that
where the wound inflicted on the victim is not sufficient to
cause his death, the crime is only attempted murder, since
the accused did not perform all the acts of execution that
would have brought about death.
PEOPLE vs. JACINTO
FACTS: Herein accused Hermie Jacinto was charged with
the crime of raping a 5-year old child back in 2003. It must
be noted that at the time of the alleged commission of the
crime, Jacinto was still a minor, being only 17 years of
age. From the evidence of the prosecution, it was alleged
that the victim, AAA, together with her sister, CCC, were
sent by their father to buy cigarettes from the store. CCC
came back to the house without AAA in tow, but the father
was not alarmed thinking that she was watching TV at the
house of her Aunt Rita. At the same time, witness Julito
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testified that he saw Jacinto at the store as he placed AAA
on his lap. The three of them, Julito, Jacinto and AAA, left
the store at the same time. Julito went to the house of
Aunt Rita, while Jacinto, who held AAA’s hand, went
towards the direction of the “lower area or place”. They
walked towards the rice fields near the house of the
Perochos. There he made her lie down on harrowed
ground, removed her panty and boxed her on the chest.
Already half-naked from waist down, he mounted her, and,
while her legs were pushed apart, pushed his penis into
her vagina and made a push and pull movement. She felt
pain and cried. Afterwards, appellant left and proceeded to
the Perochos. She, in turn, went straight home crying. Her
father heard her crying and calling out his name. She was
without slippers. He found her face greasy. There was
mud on her head and blood was oozing from the back of
her head. He checked for any injury and found on her
neck a contusion that was already turning black. She had
no underwear on and he saw white substance and mud on
her vagina. AAA told her father what Jacinto did to her.
Enraged, her father confronted Jacinto.
In 2007, the RTC rendered its decision finding
Jacinto guilty of the crime charged, sentencing him with
the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The CA affirmed the
decision, but sentenced him with an indeterminate penalty
of from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years
of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) and four
(4) months of reclusion temporal, as maximum in
accordance with RA 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Law,
which was enacted on April 28, 2006.
ISSUE(s):
(1) W/N the CA was correct in applying RA 9344 in
computing the sentence of the accused.
(2) W/N Jacinto is entitled to the Automatic
Suspension of Sentence granted by RA 9344 to
children in conflict with the law (CICL).
HELD/RATIO:
(1) YES. He should have been sentenced with
reculusion perpetua because the crime involved is
statutory rape which is punishable by death penalty.
Sec. 6 of RA 9344 exempts a child above 15 years but
below 18 years of age from criminal liability, unless the
child is found to have acted with discernment, in which
case, “the appropriate proceedings” in accordance with
the Act shall be observed. Discernment is that mental
capacity of a minor to fully appreciate the consequences
of his unlawful act. Such capacity may be known and
should be determined by taking into consideration all the
facts and circumstances afforded by the records in each
case. The surrounding circumstances must demonstrate
that the minor knew what he was doing and that it was
wrong. Such circumstance includes the gruesome nature
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
of the crime and the minor’s cunning and shrewdness.
In the present case, we agree with the Court of
Appeals that: “(1) choosing an isolated and dark place to
perpetrate the crime, to prevent detection[;] and (2) boxing
the victim xxx, to weaken her defense” are indicative of
then 17 year-old Jacinto’s mental capacity to fully
understand the consequences of his unlawful action.
Nonetheless, the corresponding imposable
penalty should be modified considering that the victim is a
minor. Since the victim was only 5 years old when
appellant defiled her in 2003, the law prescribing the death
penalty when statutory rape is committed applies.
The following, however, calls for the reduction of
the penalty: (1) the prohibition against the imposition of the
penalty of death in accordance with Republic Act No.
9346; and (2) the privileged mitigating circumstance of
minority of the appellant, which has the effect of reducing
the penalty one degree lower than that prescribed by law,
pursuant to Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code.
Under Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code,
when the offender is a minor under 18 years, the penalty
next lower than that prescribed by law shall be imposed,
but always in the proper period. However, for purposes
of determining the proper penalty because of the
privileged mitigating circumstance of minority, the
penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned
with. Thus, the proper imposable penalty for the accusedappellant is reclusion perpetua.
(2) NO. Nevertheless, a CICL, whose judgment of
conviction has become final and executory only after
his disqualification from availing of the benefits of
suspended sentence on the ground that he/she has
exceeded the age limit of twenty-one (21) years, shall
still be entitled to the right to restoration,
rehabilitation, and reintegration in accordance with
RA 9344.
RA 9344 warrants the suspension of sentence of a child in
conflict with the law notwithstanding that he/she has
reached the age of majority at the time the judgment of
conviction is pronounced. Thus:
SEC. 38. Automatic Suspension of Sentence. Once the child who is under eighteen (18) years
of age at the time of the commission of the
offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the
court shall determine and ascertain any civil
liability which may have resulted from the offense
committed. However, instead of pronouncing the
judgment of conviction, the court shall place the
child in conflict with the law under suspended
sentence, without need of application: Provided,
however, That suspension of sentence shall
still be applied even if the juvenile is already
eighteen (18) years of age or more at the time
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
of the pronouncement of his/her guilt.
(Emphasis supplied.)
On 10 September 2009, this Court
promulgated the decision in Sarcia, saying:
The xxx provision makes no distinction as to the
nature of the offense committed by the child in
conflict with the law, unlike P.D. No. 603 and
A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC.
The said P.D. and
Supreme Court (SC) Rule provide that the benefit
of suspended sentence would not apply to a child
in conflict with the law if, among others, he/she
has been convicted of an offense punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. In
construing Sec. 38 of R.A. No. 9344, the Court is
guided by the basic principle of statutory
construction that when the law does not
distinguish, we should not distinguish. Since
R.A. No. 9344 does not distinguish between a
minor who has been convicted of a capital
offense and another who has been convicted of a
lesser offense, the Court should also not
distinguish and should apply the automatic
suspension of sentence to a child in conflict with
the law who has been found guilty of a heinous
crime.
The legislative intent reflected in the Senate
deliberations on Senate Bill No. 1402 (Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2005) further
strengthened the position of this Court to cover heinous
crimes in the application of the provision on the automatic
suspension of sentence of a child in conflict with the law.
The pertinent portion of the deliberation reads:
If a mature minor, maybe 16 years old to below
18 years old is charged, accused with, or may
have committed a serious offense, and may have
acted with discernment, then the child could be
recommended by the Department of Social
Welfare and Development (DSWD), by the Local
Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC), or
by
[Senator
Miriam
Defensor-Santiago’s]
proposed Office of Juvenile Welfare and
Restoration to go through a judicial proceeding;
but the welfare, best interests, and restoration of
the child should still be a primordial or primary
consideration.
Even in heinous crimes, the
intention should still be the child’s restoration,
rehabilitation and reintegration. xxx (Italics
supplied in Sarcia.)
On 24 November 2009, the Court En Banc
promulgated the Revised Rule on Children in Conflict with
the Law, which reflected the same position. These
developments notwithstanding, we find that the benefits of
a suspended sentence can no longer apply to appellant.
The suspension of sentence lasts only until the child in
conflict with the law reaches the maximum age of twenty-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
one (21) years. Section 40 of the law and Section 48 of
the Rule are clear on the matter. Unfortunately, appellant
is now twenty-five (25) years old.
Be that as it may, to give meaning to the
legislative intent of the Act, the promotion of the welfare of
a child in conflict with the law should extend even to one
who has exceeded the age limit of twenty-one (21) years,
so long as he/she committed the crime when he/she was
still a child. The offender shall be entitled to the right to
restoration, rehabilitation and reintegration in accordance
with the Act in order that he/she is given the chance to live
a normal life and become a productive member of the
community. The age of the child in conflict with the law at
the time of the promulgation of the judgment of conviction
is not material.
What matters is that the offender
committed the offense when he/she was still of tender
age.
Thus, appellant may be confined in an
agricultural camp or any other training facility in
accordance with Sec. 51 of Republic Act No. 9344.
Sec. 51. Confinement of Convicted Children in
Agricultural Camps and Other Training Facilities.
– A child in conflict with the law may, after
conviction and upon order of the court, be made
to serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement
in a regular penal institution, in an agricultural
camp and other training facilities that may be
established,
maintained,
supervised
and
controlled by the BUCOR, in coordination with
the DSWD.
Following the pronouncement in Sarcia, the case
shall be remanded to the court of origin to effect
appellant’s confinement in an agricultrual camp or other
training facility.
PEOPLE V. VALENTIN DOQUENA
Nature: Appeal from an order of the Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan (convicting Valentin Doquena, 13
yrs, 9 months, and 5 days old, of homicide; having acted
with discernment in committing the said act.)
Facts: Between 1-2 pm of Nov. 19, 1938, Juan Ragojos
and Epifanio Rarang were playing volleyball in the yard of
their school in Sual, Pangasinan. Valentin Doquena, the
accused, intercepted the ball, and threw it a Ragojos, who
was hit in the stomach. Miffed, Ragojos chased Doquena,
and upon catching him, slapped Doquena on the nape,
and punched him in the face. After doing this, Ragojos
went back to Rarang to resume playing volleyball.
Insulted, Doquena looked for something to throw at
Ragojos, finding none, he got his cousin’s (Romualdo
Cocal) knife, and confronted Ragojos. Ragojo’s denied
Doquena’s request for a fight and resumed playing.
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Doquena stabbed the unaware Ragojos in the chest,
thereby killing the latter. The court held that in committing
the act, the accused acted with discernment and was
conscious of the nature and consequences of his acts,
therefore his defense that he was a minor was untenable
(given that the Doquena was a 7th grade pupil, one of the
brightest in his class, and was an officer in the CAT
program), and thus convicted him of the crime of
homicide. The court ordered him to be sent to the Training
School for Boys until he reaches the age of majority. Thus,
the appeal by the accused, stating that to determine
whether or not there was discernment on the part of the
minor, the following must be taken into consideration:
a)
The facts and circumstances which gave rise to
the act committed.
b)
The state of mind at the time the crime was
committed
c)
The time he had at his disposal
d)
The degree of reasoning of the minor
Issue: WON the accused acted with discernment
Held: Decision affirmed. Yes, the accused acted with
discernment. Accused mistakes the discernment for
premeditation, or at least for lack of intention, as a
mitigating circumstance. However, the DISCERNMENT
that constitutes an exception to the exemption from
criminal liability of a minor under 15 years but over nine,
who commits an act prohibited by law, is his MENTAL
CAPACITY to understand the difference between right and
wrong, and such capacity may be known and should be
determined by taking into consideration all the facts and
circumstances afforded by the records in each case, the
very appearance, the very attitude, the very comportment
and behavior of said minor, not only before and during the
commission of the act, but also after and even during the
trial.
JARCO MARKETING, LEONARDO KONG, JOSE TIOPE
and ELISA PANELO, V. CA CONRADO C. AGUILAR
and CRISELDA R. AGUILAR
Facts: Jarco Marketing Corporation is the owner of
Syvel's Department Store. Petitioners Leonardo Kong,
Jose Tiope and Elisa Panelo are the store's managers.
Private respondents are parents of Zhieneth Aguilar
(ZHIENETH).
Criselda and Zhieneth (6 years old) were at the
department store. Criselda was signing her credit card slip
when she heard a loud thud. She looked behind her and
beheld her daughter pinned beneath the gift-wrapping
counter structure. She was crying and shouting for help.
She was brought to Makati Medical Center, where she
died after 14 days.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The Aguilars demanded upon Jarco Marketing
the reimbursement of the hospitalization, medical bills and
wake and funeral expenses which they had incurred but
Jarco refused to pay. Jarco’s argument was that it
observed the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection, supervision and control of its employees. Also,
that the mom was negligent in exercising care and
diligence over her daughter by allowing her to freely roam
around in a store. ZHIENETH too, was guilty of
contributory negligence since she climbed the counter,
triggering its eventual collapse on her. They also
emphasized that the counter was made of sturdy wood
with a strong support.
TC: Not liable. The proximate cause of the
accident was was Zhieneth’s act of clinging to it
CA: Liable. Jarco was negligent in maintaining a
structurally dangerous counter (defective, unstable); the
child was absolutely incapable of negligence or tort.
Issues:
(1) Whether the death of ZHIENETH was accidental or
attributable to negligence -- NEGLIGENCE
(2) In case of a finding of negligence, whether the same
was attributable to private respondents for maintaining a
defective counter or to the mother and ZHIENETH for
failing to exercise due and reasonable care while inside
the store premises – NEGLIGENCE OF JARCO
MARKETING
Ratio:
(1) An accident pertains to an unforeseen event in which
no fault or negligence attaches to the defendant. It is "a
fortuitous circumstance, event or happening; an event
happening without any human agency, or if happening
wholly or partly through human agency, an event which
under the circumstances is unusual or unexpected by the
person to whom it happens."
On the other hand, negligence is the omission to
do something which a reasonable man, guided by those
considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of
human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which
a prudent and reasonable man would not do. I is "the
failure to observe, for the protection of the interest of
another person, that degree of care, precaution and
vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby
such other person suffers injury." Test: Did the defendant
in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care
and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would
have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence.
The tragedy was no accident and ZHIENETH's
death could only be attributed to negligence. Petitioner
Panelo and another store supervisor were then already
personally informed of the danger posed by the unstable
counter. Yet, neither initiated any concrete action to
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
remedy the situation. They have miserably failed to
discharge the due diligence required of a good father of a
family.
(2) Conclusive presumption that favors children below 9
years old in that they are incapable of contributory
negligence. Even if we attribute contributory negligence to
ZHIENETH and assume that she climbed over the
counter, no injury should have occurred if we accept
petitioners' theory that the counter was stable and sturdy.
If that was the truth, a frail six-year old could not have
caused the counter to collapse.
The mother was also not negligent. She just
momentarily released the child's hand from her clutch
when she signed her credit card slip. At this precise
moment, it was reasonable and usual for her to let go of
her child. Further, at the time ZHIENETH was pinned
down by the counter, she was just a foot away from her
mother; and the gift-wrapping counter was just four meters
away from her mother and did not loiter as petitioners
would want to impress upon us.
G.R. No. 75256 January 26, 1989
JOHN PHILIP GUEVARRA, Petitioner, vs. HONORABLE
IGNACIO ALMODOVAR, Respondent.
FACTS:
Petitioner Guevarra was 11 years old when the incident
happened. He was playing with 4 other children, including
his best friend Almine, in their backyard one morning.
They were taget shooting tansan(s) with an air rifle
borrowed from a neighbor, around 15-20 meters away. In
the course of the game, Almine was hit by the pellet on his
left collar bone, causing his death.
The Fiscal exculpated Guevarra taking into
consideration his age and the fact that the occurrence
appeared to be an accident. As a result, the victim’s
parents appealed to the Ministry of Justice, and the latter
ordered the Fiscal to file a case for Homicide Through
Reckless Imprudence. It was stated in the information that
Guevarra was “over 9 years but below 15 years of age
and acting with discernment” fired the air rifle and due to
his carelessness and negligence, caused the death of
Almine. Guevarra’s parents filed a motion to quash,
contending that the Information contains averments which
if true would constitute a legal excuse or justification.
ISSUE: W/N Guevarra is guilty of the crime charged
despite his age (11) and “lack of discernment.”
HELD/RATIO: We learned earlier that “intent” and
“discernment” are different the former refers to the desired
of one's act while the latter relates to the moral
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
significance that person ascribes to the said act. Hence a
person may not intend to shoot another but may be aware
of the consequences of his negligent act which may cause
injury to the same person in negligently handling an air
rifle. It is not connect, therefore, to argue, as petitioner
does, that since a minor above nine years of age but
below fifteen acted with discernment, then he intended
such act to be done. He may negligently shoot his friend,
thus did not intend to shoot him.
The basic reason behind the enactment of the
exempting circumstances embodied in Article 12 of the
RPC: the complete absence of intelligence, freedom of
action, or intent, or on the absence of negligence on the
part of the accused. The element of “intelligence” is
necessary to determine the morality of human acts to
distinguish a licit from an illicit act. If absent, this would
mean that the accused-child would have no intelligence in
doing the crime and so the law exempts him from criminal
liability.
lt is for this reason, therefore, why minors nine
years of age and below are not capable of performing a
criminal act. On the other hand, minors above nine years
of appeal but below fifteen are not absolutely exempt.
However, they are presumed to be without criminal
capacity, but which presumption may be rebutted if it could
be proven that they were "capable of appreciating the
nature and criminality of the act, that is, that (they) acted
with discernment.”
“Intelligence" as an element of dolo actually
embraces the concept of discernment as used in Article 12
of the RPC and as defined in the aforecited case of
People vs. Doquena, supra. It could not therefore be
argued that discernment is equivalent or connotes 'intent'
for they refer to two different concepts. Intelligence, which
includes discernment, is a distinct element of dolo as a
means of committing an offense.
In evaluating felonies committed by means of
culpa, three (3) elements are indispensable, namely,
intelligence, freedom of action, and negligence. Obviously,
intent is wanting in such felonies. However, intelligence
remains as an essential element, hence, it is necessary
that a minor above nine but below fifteen years of age be
possessed with intelligence in committing a negligent act
which results in a quasi-offense. For him to be criminally
liable, he must discern the rightness or wrongness of the
effects of his negligent act. Indeed, a minor over nine
years of age but below fifteen may be held liable for a
quasi-offense under Article 365 of the RPC.
Case remanded to trial court for trial.
PEOPLE V. SARCIA (GR. No. 169641, 2009)
Facts: Sarcia was charged with rape. AAA was the five
year-old victim. Some rape details: In 1996, appellant
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removed AAA’s shorts and underwear. He also removed
his trousers and brief. Thereafter, he ordered [AAA] to lie
down on her back. Then, he lay on top of her and inserted
his penis into [AAAs] private organ. Appellant made an upand-down movement("Nagdapadapa tabi"), AAA felt
severe pain and exclaimed “Aray”. Sarica’s conviction was
then affirmed upon appeal, crediting AAA’s testimony and
her cousin’s as well, despite certain inconsistencies.
Relevant Fact: Meanwhile, when accusedappellant was detained at the New Bilibid Prison pending
the outcome of his appeal before this Court, (R.A.) No.
9344, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 took
effect on May 20, 2006. The RTC decision and CA
decision were promulgated on January17, 2003 and July
14, 2005, respectively. The promulgation of the sentence
of conviction of accused handed down by the RTC was
not suspended as he was about 25 years of age at that
time, in accordance with Article 192 of (P.D.) No. 603, The
Child and YouthWelfare Code, etc. He is now 31 years of
age. Thus, the retroactivity of RA 9344 is at issue which
affords the accused , so long as he was under 18 at the
time of the criminal incident. Automatic suspension of
sentence is also available even if the child reached 18
at the time of the promulgation of judgment(Sec. 38).
Relevant Issue: WON RA 9344 still applies in favor of
accused?
Held: NO. But death penalty reduced to reclusion
perpetua. Case remanded to court a quo for appropriate
disposition under Sec.51.
Firstly, Section 38 does not distinguish WON
child is guilty of capital offense or a lesser one, and so
automatic suspension of sentence can be afforded even in
a heinous crime. Nonetheless, while Sec. 38 of R.A. No.
9344 provides that suspension of sentence can still be
applied even if the child in conflict with the law is already
(18) years of age or more at the time of the
pronouncement of his/her guilt, Sec. 40 of the same law
limits the said suspension of sentence until the said child
reaches the maximum age of 21. Since he is now already
31 years old, the question on the suspension of sentence
is now moot and academic.
However, he is still entitled to the disposition
measure in Section 51 which reads:. Confinement of
Convicted Children in Agricultural Camps and Other
Training Facilities.—A child in conflict with the law may,
after conviction and upon order of the court, be made to
serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement in a regular
penal institution, in an agricultural camp and other training
facilities that may be established, maintained, supervised
and controlled by theBUCOR, in coordination with the
DSWD.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
ROWENO POMOY v. PEOPLE
The Case:
•
A petition for Review by Appellant Pomoy, against the
ruling of RTC Iloilo and the CA, that found him guilty
of homicide
•
The TC and CA found that the death of Tomas
Balboa, “who was shot with a .45 service pistol, with
deliberate intent and decided purpose to kill, and
without any justifiable cause or motive, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault” the
deceased Balboa. Hence this petition.
The Facts according to the Prosecution:
•
Balboa was a teacher in Concepcion College of
Science and Fisheries in Concepcion, Iloilo.
•
About 7:30 am of 4 January 1990, some policemen
arrived to arrest Balboa, allegedly due to a robbery
back in December 1989. Balboa complied and was
detained in Camp Jalandoni, Iloilo with Edgar
Samudio, another suspect of the robbery case.
•
About 2 pm, petitioner Pomoy, the police sergeant,
came for Balboa for tactical interrogation at the
investigation room. At that time, Pomoy had a service
gun (a .45 caliber pistol)
•
When Pomoy and Balboa were in the building near
the investigation room, and two (2) gunshots were
heard. When they came to the source of the gunshot
sounds, Pomoy was seen still holding the .45 caliber
pistol, facing Balboa, who was lying in a pool of blood,
about two (2) feet away.
•
When the Commanding Officer arrived, he disarmed
Pomoy, and had Balboa brought to the hospital but
was stopped by a doctor in the premises, saying it
was unnecessary as Balboa is already dead.
•
Upon the request of Mrs. Balboa, an autopsy was
conducted in NBI Iloilo with findings by the medicolegal officer, as follows: Cause of Death: Hemorrhage,
massive secondary gunshot wounds on chest and
abdomen.
The Facts according to the Defense:
•
Petitioner Pomoy generally adopts the narration of
facts in the trail court and CA decisions,
•
Defense had the following witnesses:
•
Erna Basa (the lone eyewitness to the incident)
who says, while she was working about 2pm,
heard some noise and exchange of words that
were unclear but seemed like trouble. She opens
the door, and seeing one meter away, finds
Pomoy and Balboa grappling for possession of
the gun from Pomoy’s holster. It all happened so
fast that the gun was pulled out of the holster, a
shot was fired, but she wasn’t sure who pulled
the trigger.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
•
•
•
Eden Legaspi, she also hears the commotion
from the outside, but remained seated where she
was. She witnesses Erna Basa go and open the
door. Eden Legaspi only stood up after shots
were fired and hears on of the two men fall down.
Dr. Salvador Mallo Jr., the medico-legal officer
who conducted the autopsy. He finds two (2)
entrance wounds on Balboa, one’s trajectory
going upward, and the other downward.
Pomoy the petitioner, he notes that once he
opened the door to meet Balboa, the latter
suddenly approached him to take hold of the gun
in the holster. Pomoy also notes he loaded and
cocked his gun before going to Camp Jalandoni
that day. Though Balboa is shorter, Pomoy notes
Balboa was bigger in build. Pomoy however,
prevented Balboa from taking his gun. After a few
seconds of grappling, the gun was forced out of
the holster, it fired to the right side of the victim.
Trial Court and CA Decisions:
•
Pomoy was held guilty based on the following: 1)
Petitioner had substantial control of the gun, 2) the
gun was locked prior to the grabbing incident, hence
unlocked by the petitioner, 3) location of the wounds
do not support the assertion of the grabbing of the
gun, 4) as the OSG said, an “accident” was unlikely
since there were two gunshot wounds, on two
different angles and distant parts of the body, instead
of merely one. The OSG said that it is an oft-repeated
principle that the location, number and gravity of the
wounds inflicted on the victim have a more revealing
tale of what actually happened during the incident.
•
The appellate court cited People v. Reyes saying that
revolvers are not prone to accidental firing since it
need to be cocked and pressure is needed to be
exerted on the trigger.
•
Furthermore, the CA debunked the alternative plea of
self-defense. It held that petitioner had miserably
failed to prove the attendance of unlawful aggression,
an indispensable element of this justifying
circumstance.
•
Also, the CA altered the trial court’s ruling in
appreciating the aggravating circumstance of abuse
of public position. The CA said that for the
aggravating circumstance to apply, he must use his
influence, prestige and ascendancy which his office
gives him in realizing his purpose. If the accused
could have perpetrated the crime without occupying
his position, then there is no abuse of public position.’
(People vs. Joyno, 304 SCRA 655, 670). The CA
ruled that in this case there was no showing of a
premeditated plan, nor did the petitioner take
advantage of his public position. Hence there were
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstances
proven.
Issues:
3. W/N the prosecution failed to overturn the defense?
YES, the prosecution failed.
a) Did Pomoy had “full control” of the gun, as the
CA ruled? NO.
b) Did the safety lock feature, requirement of
pressure and two gunshots necessarily conclude
a determined effort to kill instead of an accident,
as the CA held? NO.
c) Did the number and location of the gunshot
wounds necessarily conclude deliberate intent?
NO.
b) W/N there was a exempting circumstance of accident,
as in Art 12, par. 4.. YES.
c) W/N there was Self Defense. NO.
Held:
1. The CA failed to see the prosecution’s failure to
overturn the allegations of the accident, as an exempting
circumstance in Article 12, which exculpates the actor
when the harm was done without his fault or negligence
but rather on circumstances unforeseen or out of his
control. Thus, in determining whether an “accident”
attended the incident, courts must take into account the
dual standards of (1) lack of intent to kill and (2)
absence of fault or negligence. (See below)
a. POMOY HAD NO FULL CONTROL. According to
the facts, the Petitioner was NOT in control of the
gun when it fired, mainly through the testimonial
evidence of Erna Basa. According to the cross,
when she began to see the incident, the gun was
still in the holster, at the side of the petitioner. She
also mentioned both the petitioner and the deceased
had their hands on the gun, while it was INSIDE the
holster, at that point they were both already
grappling for possession. She mentions that both
gunshots happened during the grappling, but
because of the wrestling of the two, she could not
see where the gun was pointed towards. This was
because as Pomoy’s right hand and Balboa’s left
hand were scuffling for possession, Pomoy
continued to use his left hand to subdue Balboa.
The foregoing account clearly demonstrates that the
petitioner did NOT have control of the gun to
consider any willful intent to kill the deceased.
According to the witness, the deceased persistently
tried to wrest the weapon from the petitioner, while
he resolutely tried to thwart those attempts. The CA
therefore, had no firm basis to conclude that Pomoy
had full possession of the gun.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
b. NO CLEAR SHOWING OF DETERMINED
EFFORT. Since it is now undisputed that both
petitioner and victim struggled aggressively for
possession of the gun, the eyewitness account of
Basa clearly illustrated the fact that in the “fierce and
vicious” frenzied grappling, it supports the
conclusion that the safety lock was accidentally
released, and the force of either man was strong
enough to fire the gun, putting the necessary
pressure. Not to mention that it was admitted that
Pomoy cocked the gun earlier that day.
Also, the fact that two gunshots were fired were
attributed to the nature of the gun and not a
conclusion of deliberate intent. As the petitioner
himself testified, he said that “a caliber .45 semiautomatic pistol, when fired, immediately slides
backward throwing away the empty shell and returns
immediately carrying again a live bullet in its
chamber. Thus, the gun can, as it did, fire in
succession. Verily, the location of, and distance
between the wounds and the trajectories of the
bullets jibe perfectly with the claim of the petitioner:
the trajectory of the first shot going downward from
left to right thus pushing Balboa’s upper body, tilting
it to the left while Balboa was still clutching
petitioner’s hand over the gun; the second shot
hitting him in the stomach with the bullet going
upward of Balboa’s body as he was falling down and
releasing his hold on petitioner’s hand”.
Thus the reliance of the CA in People v. Reyes
was misplaced. This case involves a semi-automatic
pistol, the mechanism of which is very different from
that of a revolver, the gun used in Reyes. Unlike a
revolver, a semi-automatic pistol, as sufficiently
described by petitioner, is prone to accidental firing
when possession thereof becomes the object of a
struggle.
c. THE LOCATION OF THE WOUNDA ARE
IRRELEVANT, though ordinarily it would be. In this
case though, they are inconsequential where both
the victim and the accused were grappling for
possession of a gun, the direction of its nozzle may
continuously change in the process, such that the
trajectory of the bullet when the weapon fires
becomes unpredictable and erratic. In this case, the
eyewitness account of that aspect of the tragic
scuffle shows that the parties’ positions were
unsteady, and that the nozzle of the gun was neither
definitely aimed nor pointed at any particular target.
1. The ELEMENTS of ACCIDENT WERE ALL PRESENT
in this case.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The elements of accident are as follows: 1) the accused
was at the time performing a lawful act with due care; 2)
the resulting injury was caused by mere accident; and 3)
on the part of the accused, there was no fault or no intent
to cause the injury.
From the facts, it is clear that all these elements
were present. At the time of the incident, petitioner was
an investigator for the PNP. Thus, he was in the lawful
performance of his duties that, under the instructions of his
superior, he fetched the victim from the latter’s cell for a
routine interrogation. Also, it was in the lawful performance
of his duty as a law enforcer that petitioner tried to defend
his possession of the weapon when the victim suddenly
tried to remove it from his holster. As an enforcer of the
law, petitioner was duty-bound to prevent the snatching of
his service weapon by anyone, especially by a detained
person in his custody. Such weapon was likely to be used
to facilitate escape and to kill or maim persons in the
vicinity, including petitioner himself.
Petitioner cannot be faulted for negligence. He
exercised all the necessary precautions to prevent his
service weapon from causing accidental harm to others.
As he so assiduously maintained, he had kept his service
gun locked when he left his house; he kept it inside its
holster at all times, especially within the premises of his
working area. At no instance during his testimony did the
accused admit to any intent to cause injury to the
deceased, much less kill him.
The participation of petitioner, if any, in the
victim’s death was limited only to acts committed in the
course of the lawful performance of his duties as an
enforcer of the law. The removal of the gun from its
holster, the release of the safety lock, and the firing of the
two successive shots -- all of which led to the death of the
victim -- were sufficiently demonstrated to have been
consequences of circumstances beyond the control of
petitioner. At the very least, these factual circumstances
create serious doubt on the latter’s culpability.
3. There was NO SELF DEFENSE.
Pomoy put forth self defense as an alternative defense,
that granting arguendo that he intentionally shot Balboa,
he claims he did so to protect his life and limb from real
and immediate danger.
The SC said that Self-defense is inconsistent with the
exempting circumstance of accident, in which there is no
intent to kill. On the other hand, self-defense necessarily
contemplates a premeditated intent to kill in order to
defend oneself from imminent danger. Apparently, the
fatal shots in the instant case did not occur out of any
conscious or premeditated effort to overpower, maim or kill
the victim for the purpose of self-defense against any
aggression; rather, they appeared to be the spontaneous
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and accidental result of both parties’ attempts to possess
the firearm.
Since the death of the victim was the result of an
accidental firing of the service gun of petitioner -- an
exempting circumstance as defined in Article 12 of the
Revised Penal Code -- a further discussion of whether the
assailed acts of the latter constituted lawful self-defense is
unnecessary.
RULING: Though timeless is the legal adage that facts
found by the trial court and appellate court are conclusive,
the Supreme Court however may overturn the same when
certain crucial facts or details are overlooked and when
upon a petition, a reexamination is imperative. Due to the
appreciation of facts of the accident, credibility of the
witnesses creating a reasonable doubt, and upholding the
presumption of innocence, the appellant was therefore
ACQUITTED.
© Toledo v People (by Justice Callejo)
Prosecution’s version:
On September 16, 1995, appellant (Noe Toledo y
Tamboong) went to a black-smith who made the design of
his bolo. When he went home to Tuburan, Odiongan,
Romblon late in the afternoon, appellant saw the group of
Lani Famero, Michael Fosana, Rex Cortez and Ricky
Guarte (deceased) drinking gin at the house of the
Spouses Manuel and Eliza Guarte, Ricky’s parents.
Appellants house is about five (5) meters away from the
house of Spouses Guarte. Appellant requested the group
of Ricky to refrain from making any noise. Thereupon,
appellant proceeded inside his house and went to sleep.
Around 9:00 p.m., Gerardo Faminia, Eliza Guartes’ brother
arrived at the Guarte house and asked for any left-over
food. Eliza prepared dinner for him and after Gerardo
finished eating, he went home accompanied by Ricky.
Gerardos home is about twelve (12) meters away from the
Guarte home. Minutes later, Ricky came back and
together with Lani, Rex and Michael, went to sleep at the
Guarte house. They had not laid down for long when they
heard stones being hurled at the roof of the house. The
stoning was made three (3) times. Ricky rose from bed
and peeped through a window. He saw appellant stoning
their house. Ricky went out of the house and proceeded to
appellants house. Ricky asked appellant, his uncle, why
he was stoning their house. Appellant did not answer but
met Ricky at the doorstep of his (appellants) house and,
without any warning, stabbed Ricky on the abdomen with
a bolo. Eliza had followed his son Ricky and upon seeing
that Ricky was stabbed, shouted for help. Lani heard
Elizas cry for help and immediately rushed outside the
house. Lani saw Ricky leaning on the ground and
supporting his body with his hands. Lani helped Ricky
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
stand up and brought him to the main road. Lani asked
Ricky who stabbed him and Ricky replied that it was
appellant who stabbed him. Then Docloy Cortez arrived at
the scene on board his tricycle. Accordingly, Ricky was put
on the tricycle and taken to the Romblon Provincial
Hospital. He was sent to the Romblon provincial hospital
but died while being operated on.
Petitioner’s story:
Same story as the prosecution. . . . until. . .. he then went
to his house, locked the door with a nail, and went to
sleep. However, he was awakened at around 9:30 p.m. by
loud noises coming from Ricky and his three companions.
He peeped through the window grills of his house and
admonished them not to make any loud noises. Ricky,
who was then already inebriated, was incensed; he pulled
out a balisong, pushed the door, and threatened to stab
the petitioner. The petitioner pushed their sala set against
the door to block the entry of Ricky, but the latter
continued to push the door open with his hands and body.
The petitioner ran to the upper portion of their house and
got his bolo. He returned to the door and pushed it with all
his might using his left hand. He then pointed his bolo,
which was in his right hand, towards Ricky. The bolo
accidentally hit Ricky on the stomach, and the latter lost
his balance and fell to the floor. The petitioner, thereafter,
surrendered to the barangay captain at 11:00 a.m.
He claimed accidental death (Article 12 par 4) in the trial
court and CA then changed his theory to Self-defense
(Article 11 par 1)
Issue: Whether or not accidental death (article 12) or even
Self-defense (article 11) applies.
Held: No Accidental Death nor Self Defense. He is still
liable for the crime of homicide.
Rule on change of theory: It is a matter of law that when a
party adopts a particular theory and the case is tried and
decided upon that theory in the court below, he will not be
permitted to change his theory on appeal. The case will be
reviewed and decided on that theory and not approached
and resolved from a different point of view. To permit a
party to change his theory on appeal will be unfair to the
adverse party.
“It is an aberration for the petitioner to invoke the
two defenses at the same time because the said defenses
are intrinsically antithetical.(quoting People v Javier 377
SCRA 300 (2002). There is no such defense as accidental
self-defense in the realm of criminal law.
Self-defense under Article 11, paragraph 1 of the
Revised Penal Code necessarily implies a deliberate and
positive overt act of the accused to prevent or repel an
unlawful aggression of another with the use of reasonable
means. The accused has freedom of action. He is aware
of the consequences of his deliberate acts. The defense is
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based on necessity which is the supreme and irresistible
master of men of all human affairs, and of the law. From
necessity, and limited by it, proceeds the right of selfdefense. The right begins when necessity does, and ends
where it ends. Although the accused, in fact, injures or kills
the victim, however, his act is in accordance with law so
much so that the accused is deemed not to have
transgressed the law and is free from both criminal and
civil liabilities.
On the other hand, the basis of exempting
circumstances under Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code
is the complete absence of intelligence, freedom of action,
or intent, or the absence of negligence on the part of the
accused. The basis of the exemption in Article 12,
paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code is lack of
negligence and intent. The accused does not commit
either an intentional or culpable felony. The accused
commits a crime but there is no criminal liability because
of the complete absence of any of the conditions which
constitute free will or voluntariness of the act. An accident
is a fortuitous circumstance, event or happening; an event
happening wholly or partly through human agency, an
event which under the circumstances is unusual or
unexpected by the person to whom it happens.
Self-defense, under Article 11, paragraph 1, and
accident, under Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised
Penal Code, are affirmative defenses which the accused is
burdened to prove, with clear and convincing evidence.
Such affirmative defenses involve questions of facts
adduced to the trial and appellate courts for resolution. By
admitting killing the victim in self-defense or by accident
without fault or without intention of causing it, the burden is
shifted to the accused to prove such affirmative defenses.
He should rely on the strength of his own evidence and
not on the weakness of that of the prosecution. If the
accused fails to prove his affirmative defense, he can no
longer be acquitted.
Evidence of petitioner incredible and of barren weight.
Reasons:
A. If the testimony of the petitioner is to be
believed, the force of the struggle between him and the
victim would have caused the door to fall on the petitioner.
However, the petitioner failed to adduce real evidence that
the door of his house was destroyed and that he sustained
any physical injuries, considering that he was only five
inches away from the door.
B. If the door fell to the sala of the house of the
petitioner, the victim must have fallen on top of the door. It
is incredible that the bolo of the petitioner could have hit
the stomach of the victim. The claim of the petitioner that
he managed to step aside and avoid being crushed by the
door belies his claim that the bolo accidentally hit the
victim on the stomach.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
C. To prove self-defense, the petitioner was
burdened to prove the essential elements thereof, namely:
(1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) lack of
sufficient provocation on the part of the petitioner; (3)
employment by him of reasonable means to prevent or
repel the aggression. Unlawful aggression is a
condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstances of
self-defense, whether complete or incomplete. Unlawful
aggression presupposes an actual, sudden, and
unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and not
merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. We agree
with the ruling of the CA that the petitioner failed to prove
self-defense, whether complete or incomplete:
The evidence on record revealed that there is no
unlawful aggression on the part of Ricky. While it was
established that Ricky was stabbed at the doorstep of
appellants house which would give a semblance of verity
to appellants version of the incident, such view, however,
is belied by the fact that Ricky arrived at appellants house
unarmed and had only one purpose in mind, that is, to ask
appellant why he threw stones at his (Rickys) house. With
no weapon to attack appellant, or defend himself, no sign
of hostility may be deduced from Rickys arrival at
appellants doorstep.Ricky was not threatening to attack
nor in any manner did he manifest any aggressive act that
may have imperiled appellants well-being. Rickys want of
any weapon when he arrived at appellants doorstep is
supported by the fact that only one weapon was presented
in court, and that weapon was the bolo belonging to
appellant which he used in stabbing Ricky.Thus,
appellants version of the events does not support a finding
of unlawful aggression
Appellant was not justified in stabbing
Ricky.There was no imminent threat to appellants life
necessitating his assault on Ricky.Unlawful aggression is
a condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of
self-defense.For unlawful aggression to be appreciated,
there must be an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or
imminent danger thereof, not merely a threatening or
intimidating attitude.In the absence of such element,
appellants claim of self-defense must fail.
D. With the failure of the petitioner to prove selfdefense, the inescapable conclusion is that he is guilty of
homicide as found by the trial court and the CA.He cannot
even invoke Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal
Code
© TAMBOONG V. PEOPLE
Facts: After picking up his bolo from the blacksmith,
appellant went home late in the afternoon where he saw a
group of people including deceased drinking gin near his
house. He then requested the group to refrain from
making any noise, he then proceeded to his house and
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
slept. At around 9pm he was awakened by loud noises
coming from the drinking group, he peeped through the
window grills of his house and admonished them not to
make any load noises. The deceased, already drunk, was
incensed, he pulled out his balisong and pushed the door,
and threatened to stab the petitioner. Petitioner then
pushed the sala set against the door to block the entry of
the deceased, but the latter continued to push the door
open. It was then that petitioner ran up his house and got
his bolo. He returned to the door and pushied with all his
might , he then pointed his bolo towards the deceased.
The bolo accidentally hit the deceased on the stomach
and died. Petitioner thereafter surrendered to the tanod at
around 11a.m.
The trial court found him guilty of homicide with
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. The TC did
not give credence to the testimony of petitioner that his
bolo accidentally hit the victim on the stomach. CA
affirmed the judgment. Petitioner contends that he acted in
complete self-defense when the victim was hit accidentally
by his bolo.
attempt to prove his defense is based solely on his
testimony, but the courts did not think much of it. The
evidence on record reveal that there is no unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim, while it was
established that the deceased was stabbed at the
doorstop of the accused. The presence of the balisong on
the person of the deceased was also not fully established,
hence the deceased was approaching without any weapon
and no clear sign of hostility. For aggression to be
appreciated there must be an actual , sudden, unexpected
attack or imminent danger thereof. Not merely a
threatening or intimidating attitude and the accused must
present proof of positively strong act of real aggression.
Appelant was not justified in stabbing the victim.
There was no imminent threat to appelant’s life
necessitating his assault on the victim. Unlawful
aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying
circumstance of self-defense.
Issue: WON petitioner is guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of homicide.
Note: En Banc case (Callejo was part of this). Automatic
review coz they were charged with death penalty –
kidnapping with ransom
Held: He is Guilty of homicide. Petitioner claims Art 12 par
4 “any person who, while performing a lawful act with due
care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or
intention of causing it” is exempted from criminal liability.
However petitioner also claims Art 11 par 1 “anyone who
acts in defense of his person or rights” against “unlawful
aggression” cannot be criminally liable (justified). The
courts did not look kindly on this, it is an aberration for the
petitioner to invoke the two defenses at the same time
because the said defenses are intrinsically antithetical.
There is no such defense as accidental self-defense in
criminal law.
Self-D necessarily implies a deliberate and
positive overt act of the accused to prevent an unlawful
aggression of another with the use of reasonable means.
The accused has freedo of action. He is aware of the
consequences of his deliberate acts. Although the
accused in fact kills the victim, his act is in accordance
with law so much so that the accused is deemed not to
have transgressed the law and is free from both criminal
and civil liabilities. On the other hand, basis of exempting
circumstances is the complete absence of intelligence,
freedom of action or intent, or the absence of negligence
on the part of the accused. The basis therefore is lack of
negligence and intent. An accident is a fortuitous
circumstance, an event happening partly through human
agency, an event which under the circumstances is
unusual or unexpected by the person to whom it happens.
The petitioner however failed to prove that the victim was
killed by accident without fault or intention on his part. His
PEOPLE VS. MORALES
FACTS: On Nov 9, 1994 MORALES and MALIT et al.
(Morales and Malit lang ang na-charge coz the others
were at large), abducted 5 people while they were on
board a L-300 van at San Vicente, Bacolor, Pampanga, for
the purpose of extorting ransom money from the parents
of the said victims with threat to kill the said victims if their
parents failed to deliver the ransom money. The victims
were brought and detained in Bataan until the father of
victims, Feliciano Tan, paid and delivered to Morales et. al
the amount of P92,000.00. Morales was caught and
pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. After a series of
testimonies from the victims, the police and the prosecutor
(recounting the kidnapping), MORALES and MALIT
testified for their own defense. They denied under oath
that they willingly participated in the kidnapping,
interposing the defense of having acted under the impulse
of an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury.
They stated that they met the other co-accused because
they were supposedly invited for a construction job. On
their way to the construction site (via commute), one of
them flagged down an L300 (the one the victims were
riding) and poked a gun at the driver. Morales and Malit,
who got scared, started walking away but they were forced
into the van at gunpoint. They pleaded to be released
because they did not want any involvement with the crime
but, the other co-accused responded with more threats,
including threats to their families. Morales and Malit did a
number of acts (was involved in the initial abduction,
feeding/guarding the children while they are w/ them,
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
instructing the Feliciano to go to Gumi for the ransom)
before they were released. Notwithstanding their
defenses, both of them were charged by the RTC and
sentenced to death.
ISSUES:
1. W/N Morales can be granted the exempting
circumstances
of
irresistible
force
and/or
uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury. – NO
Under Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code, a person is
exempt from criminal liability if he acts under the
compulsion of an irresistible force, or under the impulse of
an uncontrollable fear of equal or greater injury, because
such person does not act with freedom. In the case of
People vs. Del Rosario, however, we held that for such
defense to prosper the duress, force, fear intimidation
must be present, imminent and impending, and of such
nature as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of
death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of
future injury is not enough. By not availing of the chance to
escape (since the other accused were waiting for them at
the distance of 1 kilometer) their allegation of fear or
duress becomes untenable. For it to apply: it is necessary
that the compulsion be of such a character as to leave no
opportunity to escape or self-defense in equal combat.
The fear (threats against family members), were not real
as they were not supported by evidence. And even if they
were real, they were not of imminence as to prevent any
chance of escape, and that this fear they allegedly
suffered does not suffice to grant them the exempting
circumstance.
2. W/N conspiracy was proven beyond reasonable
doubt – YES
The acts done by the appellants (was involved in the initial
abduction, feeding/guarding the children while they are w/
them, instructing the father to go to Gumi for the ransom)
clearly shows that there was close coordination, indicating
a common purpose or design. Conspiracy exists when two
or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Where all
the accused acted in concert at the time of the
commission of the offense, and it is shown by such acts
that they had the same purpose or common design and
were united in its execution, conspiracy is sufficiently
established. It must be shown that all participants
performed specific acts with such closeness and
coordination as to indicate a common purpose or design to
commit the felony.
PEOPLE v. TAMI
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Facts: Paderna, his girlfriend Amelita, and other teenagers
went to downtown General Santos City to witness the
commemoration of the landing of General Paulino Santos
and the first batch of National Land Settlement
Administration settlers in Dadiangas before WWII. They
stayed until 1am and boarded a tricycle on the way home,
which dropped them off in the Silway Bridge because the
driver refused to go further out of fear of hold-uppers.
When they reached the middle, another tricycle
arrived. On board were Tami and Bagatao, who ordered
them to stop. Bagatao was armed with a gun. Some of
the teenagers fled while four remained. Tami ordered
them to leave one girl, Amelita behind while the rest were
ordered to leave.
Tami and Bagatao took Amelita to the compound
of the beachhouse of the Shellane company where
Bagatao raped her. She was brought to the Veres Ice
Plant where he raped her again. She was raped a third
time when they took her to Bagatao’s uncle’s house. All
the while, Tami served as a look out and assisted Bagatao
by removing Amelita’s pants, underwear, and by
spreading her legs when she refused to do so, all on
Bagatao’s orders.
After, Amelita’s hands were tied up while
Bagatao slept. Tami told Amelita he would release her out
of pity and brought her to the Saavedra Saway Elementary
School. However, Tami raped Amelita twice, in two
separate rooms. After, she was brought to Silway Bridge
and was told to go home with the threat that if she told the
police, she and her family would be killed.
Naturally, Amelita told her family and her
boyfriend and they went to the police. The RTC found
Bagatao and Tami guilty for the crime of abduction with
rape on 3 counts committed with the use of a deadly
weapon and were sentenced to 3 reclusion pereptuas
each. Tami was additionally found guilty of rape on 2
counts and was sentenced an additional 2 reclusion
perpetuas (total of 5).
Tami appealed and denied participation in the
crimes charged. He maintained that he did not conspire
with Bagatao to abduct Amelita and that it was not proven
that he agreed to commit the crime. He claimed that he
was just following the orders of his cousin when he acted
as a lookout.
Issue: W/N he is guilty of conspiring with Bagatao – YES
Ratio: It is a well-settled rule that for collective
responsibility to be established, it is not necessary that
conspiracy be proved by direct evidence of a prior
agreement to commit the crime. It is sufficient that at the
time of the commission, all the accused acted in concert
showing that they had the same purpose or common
design and were united in its execution. In this case, the
simultaneous and participatory acts of Tami and Bagatao
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
reveal a community of design. To hold an accused liable
as co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown
to have performed an overt act pursuant to it. This may
consist of active participation in the actual commission of
the crime, or may consist of moral assistance to his coconspirators by being present at the time of commission or
by exerting moral ascendancy over the other conspirators
by moving them to execute or implement the conspiracy.
Tami was not only present; he actually took part in the
sexual assault.
To be free of culpability, a person invoking
irresistible force or uncontrollable fear must show that the
force exerted was such that it reduced him to a mere
instrument acting not only without his will but against his
will as well. Compulsion must be of such character as to
leave him no opportunity for self-defense in equal combat
or for escape. Tami failed to proved this, not taking
advantage of the numerous opportunities he had to leave
the scene.
-
-
-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Night: There’s a party at the house of Ruiz’s niece.
The policemen were invited. They parked in front of
the VISLU office. Ruiz arrived then started shouting
“WRONG PARKING! WRONG PARKING!” He sent a
companion to call the policemen. The policemen
obliged to talk to Ruiz. Pero nagkainitan na naman.
Ruiz left.
Later that night: Riding a pickup, Ruiz and his
companions went back to the VISLU office and
started firing at the policemen who were about to
leave. One died. Others were injured.
Ayun, they got convicted of murder and 2 counts of
frustrated homicide. Hence, this appeal.
The defense claims that the lower court failed to
appreciate in favor of Ruiz the mitigating
circumstances of (1) voluntary surrender, (2)
drunkenness which is not habitual and (3) having
acted in vindication of a grave offense.
ISSUE: W/N the erred in not appreciating the mitigating
circumstances.
Other stuff:
1. Tami said it was impossible for both of them to have
had multiple sexual intercourse with Amelita in such short
a time (around 2 hours) – Court said there is nothing
incredible about this, given their physical built and age
2. Tami claims the court erred in imposing the penalty of 5
reclusion pereptuas, at most it should only have been 2
counts of forcible abduction with rape. The SC said that
he was guilty of 1 forcible abduction with rape and 4
counts of rape pursuant to People v. Jose: Where the four
accused forcibly abducted Maggie de la Riva and each of
them raped her, the SC held that even while the first act of
rape was being performed, the crime of forcible abduction
had already been consummated, so that each of the three
succeeding crimes of the same nature cannot legally be
considered as still connected with the abduction. In other
words, they should be detached and considered
independently of the of forcible abduction and therefore,
the former can no longer be complexed with the latter.
VINDICATION
1. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiffappellee, vs. JESUS G. RUIZ and ALFREDO GUNO,
accused appellants.
FACTS:
Morning: Accused Ruiz [VISLU (a labor union)
president] fought with policemen because of the latter
allowed civilians to use the Honda the former
donated. He called the policemen stupid so medyo
nagkainitan. Ruiz left.
HELD/RATIO: NO to 1 and 2. YES to 3.
This Court finds that the first two alleged mitigating
circumstances cannot be appreciated in favor of said
accused. There is nothing in the affidavit and testimony of
Jesus G. Ruiz that he intended to surrender when he went
to the PC headquarters. The Idea of surrender must have
been far from his mind because according to him he just
reported the shooting incident to prevent further
bloodshed.
The defense claims that the accused Jesus G.
Ruiz was intoxicated at the time of the shooting incident
because he was allegedly drinking Tanduay liquor. He
even offered a prosecution witness to join him. This
conclusion is without any basis. Not all persons who drink
Tanduay liquor get drunk. In fact, the prosecution witness
did not testify that Jesus G. Ruiz was drunk or intoxicated.
The record has no evidence that shows that the liquor
taken by Jesus G. Ruiz was of such quantity as to have
blurred his reason and deprived him of self control. Said
circumstance must first be established before
drunkenness may be considered as a mitigating
circumstance. Although the last paragraph of Art. 15,
Revised Penal Code fails to provide for the degree of
intoxication needed to mitigate the penalty for an offense,
it should be such an intoxication that would diminish the
agent's capacity to know the injustice of his acts, and his
will to act accordingly.
However, this Court finds that the mitigating
circumstance of having acted in vindication of a grave
offense should be appreciated in favor of the accused
Ruiz in so far as the killing of Sgt. Bito is concerned.
The evidence shows beyond moral certainty that
accused Jesus G. Ruiz deeply offended as he was then
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called (abusador) and challenged by the policeman who
died to a draw.
The question of whether or not a certain personal
offense is grave is dependent upon such factors as the
social standing of the person, the place, and the time
when the insult was made. In the case at bar, the accused
Ruiz was the President of VISLU. Considering that he was
called an (abusador) and challenged to a draw by the
deceased in the presence of other policemen and right in
front of his own office building where his laborers were
then supposed to be reporting preparatory to a loading
job, the act of the accused Ruiz in subsequently killing the
policeman is attended by the mitigating circumstance of
having acted in vindication of a grave offense.
BACABAC V. PEOPLE
Facts: Hernani Quidato (the victim) was at a dance with
Eduardo Selibio (Eduardo) and Melchor Selibio (Melchor).
And so were Jonathan Bacabac (Jonathan) and Edzel
Talanquines (Edzel).
Jonathan and Edzel left the dance hall. Quidato’s
group also left. They encountered Jonathan and Edzel.
The two groups had a misunderstanding.
On his way home, Jesus Delfin Rosadio (Jesus),
noticed a commotion. He soon saw that Melchor was
"hugging" Edzel, and later "tying" Jonathan "with his
hands." He then saw the victim hit Edzel with a "stick." He
thus told the victim and his companions that Edzel is the
son of Councilor Jose Talanquines, Jr. (Jose), whereupon
Eduardo told Jesus to go away for they might shoot him.
Jesus left and went to Edzel's house to report to his father
what he had witnessed. Meanwhile, Edzel and Jonathan
escaped.
The victim and his companions then headed for
home. They met Pat. Ricardo Bacabac (Bacabac), with
Edzel and Jonathan who are Bacabac’s nephews; Also
there were Edzel's father, Jose, Edzel’s mother, and his
two sisters. Bacabac and Jose were carrying M-16
armalites, while Jonathan and Edzel had a piece of wood
and a revolver, respectively.
Jesus then pointed to the victim and his
companions as the ones who had manhandled Jonathan
and Edzel. The victim apologized, explaining that he and
his companions mistook Jonathan and Edzel for other
persons. Jesus blurted out, however, "You are just
bragging that you are brave. You are only bullying small
children. Bacabac, at that instant, fired his armalite into
the air, while Jose fired his armalite ("as if spraying his rifle
from right to left") at the victim and Eduardo, even hitting
Jonathan in the thigh as he (Jonathan) "was on the move
to strike Quidato with a piece of wood." Eduardo fell. And
so did Quidato who was in a kneeling position, and as he
was raising his hands in surrender, Jose shot him again.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Melchor escaped. Quidato, Eduardo, and Jonathan were
brought to the hospital. Quidato was pronounced dead on
arrival. Eduardo died two hours later.
Two informations were filed. One for the murder
of Quidato and the other for Eduardo’s.
The RTC found them (Bacabac, Jose, Jesus,
Edzel and Jonathan) all guilty. They all appealed but only
Bacabac filed a brief and only his was given due course.
Issue: Whether or not Bacabac should be credited with the
mitigating circumstance of immediate vindication of a
grave offense. – NO.
Ratio: Bacabac is not entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of immediate vindication of a grave offense.
For such mitigating circumstance to be credited, the act
should be, following Article 13, paragraph 5 of the Revised
Penal Code, "committed in the immediate vindication of a
grave offense to the one committing the felony
(delito), his spouse, ascendants, descendants,
legitimate, natural or adopted brothers or sisters, or
relatives by affinity within the same degree." The
offense committed on Edzel was "hitting" his ear with a
stick (according to Jesus), a bamboo pole (according to
Edzel). By Edzel's own clarification, "[he] was hit at [his]
ear, not on [his] head." That act would certainly not be
classified as "grave offense." And Edzel is Bacabac’s
nephew, hence, not a relative by affinity "within the same
degree" contemplated in Article 13, paragraph 5 of the
Revised Penal Code.
Note: There was a long discussion about conspiracy and
the SC said there was conspiracy. There was also
treachery. Bacabac is guilty of murder.
PEOPLE VS. IGNAS
June Ignas Y Sanggino and Wilma Grace Ignas are
husband and wife. However, Wilma was having an affair
with Nemesio Lopate.
Later on, Wilma left for Taiwan. She sent 4
letters, 2 of which are meant for Romenda Fogayao and
the other 2 for Nemesio. In her letter for Romenda, Wilma
instructed the latter to reveal to June her affair with
Nemesio.
Romenda informed June that Wilma was having
an affair with Nemesio. She added that the two had spent
a day and a night together in a room at Dangwa Inn in
Manila. June got furious. He uttered “There will be a day
for that Nemesio. I will kill that Nemesio.”
Two gunshots were heard by the witnesses in the
evening at the Trading Post (some kind of a vegetable
market) in La Trinidad, Benguet. The fallen victim was
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Nemesio. He was brought to the hospital but then he died
upon arrival.
The RTC found June guilty of murder aggravated
by treachery, nighttime, and specially aggravated by the
use of an unlicensed firearm, with no mitigating
circumstance and sentenced to the penalty of death by
lethal injection.
ISSUE:


Whether or not the RTC erred when it ruled
that the killing of the deceased was attended
by evident premeditation, treachery and
nighttime??? -- YES
Whether or not the RTC erred in
appreciating the alleged use of an
unlicensed .38 caliber firearm as an
aggravating circumstance??? -- NO
RULING: The amended information does not definitely
and categorically state that the unlawful killing was
attended by the aggravating or qualifying circumstances of
treachery, evident premeditation, and nocturnity.
The 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
requires that the qualifying and aggravating circumstances
must be specifically alleged in the information. Although
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure took effect only
on December 1, 2000 or long after the fatal shooting of
Nemesio, as a procedural rule favorable to the accused, it
should be given retrospective application. Hence, absent
specific allegations of the attendant circumstances of
treachery, evident premeditation, and nocturnity in the
amended information, it was error for the trial court to
consider the same in adjudging appellant guilty of murder.
As worded, we find that the amended information under
which June was charged and arraigned, at best indicts him
only for the crime of homicide. Any conviction should,
thus, fall under the scope and coverage of Article 249 of
the Revised Penal Code.
Under R.A. No. 8294, which took effect on
July 8, 1997, where murder or homicide is committed
with the use of an unlicensed firearm, the separate
penalty for illegal possession of firearm shall no
longer be imposed since it becomes merely a special
aggravating circumstance. This Court has held in a
number of cases that there can be no separate
conviction of the crime of illegal possession of firearm
where another crime, as indicated by R.A. No. 8294, is
committed. Although R.A. No. 8294 took effect over a
year after the alleged offense was committed, it is
advantageous to June insofar as it spares him from a
separate conviction for illegal possession of firearms and
thus should be given retroactive application.
PEOPLE v VICENTE MATBAGON
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
November 12, 1934
FACTS: Between 11 and 12 o'clock on the night of May
13, 1934, Marciano Retubado, the deceased, and Vicente
Matbagon, the defendant, had a fight at the cockpit in
Cebu Province. The fight resulted from a remark made by
the Matbagon respecting the tuba sold by the niece of
Retubado. Shortly after they bit each other, Retubado
called his son and they started home. When they came
opposite a colo tree, about fifty meters from the cockpit,
Matbagon approached Retubado and stabbed him in the
breast. Emiliano Retubado cried for help. Rufino Surigao
was the first to arrive. Retubado struck the Matbagon on
the head with the bottle that he was carrying. The bottle
was broken and the light went out. A struggle between the
accused and the deceased followed. Retubado received in
all four wounds. He died in a few minutes from the wounds
that he had received on the breast and on the left side of
the chest. The accused then ran away.
Lower Court: Guilty of murder because the crime
was committed with treachery; aggravating circumstance
of nocturnity was offset by the mitigating circumstance of
passion and obfuscation, crime committed a few minutes
after he was bitten by the deceased.
Issue: Whether the court erred in the appreciation of the
aggravating and mitigating circumstances. YES
SC: Evidence does not justify the finding of the trial judge
as to the classification of the crime or the appreciation of
the modifying circumstances. There could not be, under
the circumstances of this case, both treachery and the
aggravating circumstance of nocturnity, because the
nocturnity would be included in the treachery as an
inseparable incident, and should not be considered
separately (U. S. vs. Salgado).
With respect to the mitigating circumstance of
passion and obfuscation, it was improperly appreciated in
this case. At least half an hour intervened between the
fight at the cockpit and the stabbing. The accused in
waiting for the deceased near the colo tree and in
attacking him was actuated by a desire for revenge.
The attack was not the result of a sudden impulse of
natural and uncontrollable fury (People vs. Hernandez).
As to the question of whether or not the crime
was committed with alevosia or treachery, if the accused
had been hiding behind the tree and had stabbed the
deceased without warning, the crime would undoubtedly
have been committed with treachery, but that is not what
took place in this case. The accused was waiting near the
colo tree, and when a braza away he was seen by the son
of the deceased, and presumably by the deceased. The
accused with a knife in his hand walked up to the
deceased and stabbed him in the breast. Under these
circumstances we think it is clear that there was no
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treachery or alevosia as that term is used in the Revised
Penal Code.
As to whether or not nocturnity should be taken
into account as an aggravating circumstance in this case,
tt was said in the case of People vs. Trumata and
Baligasa, that nocturnity should not be estimated as an
aggravating circumstance, since the time for the
commission of the crime was not deliberately chosen by
the accused; that if it appears from the record that the
accused took advantage of the darkness for the more
successful consummation of his plans, to prevent his
being recognized, and that the crime might be perpetrated
unmolested, the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity
should be applied (U.S. vs. Billedo). In the present case
none of the foregoing reasons exists for appreciating
nocturnity as an aggravating circumstance.
Separate
Opinions
MALCOLM
and
GODDARD, JJ., dissenting: We are of the opinion that the
crime committed was murder qualified as such because of
the presence of treachery and that consequently the
judgment should be affirmed.
HULL, J., dissenting:
The RPC provides that
nocturnity is an aggravating circumstance when the
circumstance "may facilitate the commission of the
offense." This language is clear and contemplates that
each case will be considered on its merits. There is no
need of an elaborate argument to expound the meaning of
the section if the plain words therein used are given their
every-day current use.
The test fixed by the statute is an objective one. If I
read the majority opinion right, before nocturnity can be
considered, it must meet the objective test fixed by the
statute and a subjective test fixed by the majority opinion.
To hold that a sudden, murderous assault committed on a
dark night has no greater chance of success than if
committed in broad day-light, does violence to the
experience of mankind.
PEOPLE VS. ROBERTO PALABRICA
Facts: An information for murder was filed against Roberto
Palabrica alleging that he stabbed Vic Jun Silvano using a
bladed weapon, with intent to kill and with treachery and
evident premeditation, causing his death. Accusedappellant Palabrica testified solely in his defense.
Palabrica’s version: Palabrica’s family owned a store
along the national highway leading to San Carlos City,
Negros Occidental. One evening, the deceased, Silvano,
was in his store for some beer. Silvano had a quarrel with
another customer which Palabrica tried to pacify. Silvano
resented this and pulled out a knife. Palabrica broke a
bottle and, upon seeing this, the deceased ran away. The
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
deceased returned with a slingshot (Indian pana) which he
used, hitting accused-appellants father in the mouth.
Palabrica reported the matter to the police. The next day,
he was told by his sister that the deceased and some
companions were looking for him. He, therefore, looked for
the deceased and found him on Ylagan Extension Street,
playing billiards with some companions. When the
deceased saw him, he said, “so you are here“, while
drawing the knife tucked in his waist. Accused-appellant
claimed that he then stabbed the deceased in the stomach
with the knife he was carrying and ran away. (When asked
why the deceased had two stab wounds, accusedappellant said that after the deceased had been stabbed,
he fell down near a pedicab and that he may have
sustained injuries as a result).
Prosecution’s version: The prosecution presented an
eyewitness, Domingo Lombreno, Jr., the caretaker of the
billiard hall where the incident happened. He testified that
that night, Silvano played a billiard game with Andrew
Limpio. While the game was in progress, Lombreno, Jr.
said he noticed accused-appellant shoving people out of
his way as he walked towards the deceased, who was
then waiting for his turn at the billiard table. He said that
when accused-appellant arrived, he said to Silvano, “So
you are here!” Then accused-appellant stabbed the
deceased and quickly made his exit. According to
Lombreno, Jr., the deceased was unarmed.
Trial Court rendered a decision finding accusedappellant guilty of murder qualified by treachery with the
aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation
(penalty: death). Accused-appellants claims that he acted
in the immediate vindication of a grave offense committed
against his father (mitigating circumstance).
Issues:
1. WON the crime commited was murder qualified with
treachery with the aggravating circumstance of evident
premeditation -YES!
2. WON court erred in not appreciating the mitigating
circumstance of immediate vindication of a grave offense
committed against his father. -NO!
There was treachery in the commission of the crime as
shown by the following: (1) the employment of means of
execution which gave the deceased no opportunity to
defend himself or to retaliate and (2) the deliberate and
conscious adoption by accused-appellant of the means of
execution. The deceased Silvano was unsuspecting when
attacked as he was waiting for his turn at the billiard table
when accused-appellant stabbed him. Moreover, the
weapon used and the nature of the injuries inflicted,
showing that accused-appellant aimed at a vital spot of the
deceaseds body, establish that accused-appellant
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deliberately adopted the particular mode of attack to
ensure the commission of the offense with impunity.
The killing of Silvano was premeditated. Contrary
to his claim, accused-appellant had a reason for attacking
Silvano (Silvano hit his dad’s mouth using an Indian pana).
Although he denied it, accused-appellant could not have
helped harboring ill will towards the deceased. He even
admitted that on he went around looking for the deceased.
He went to many places and did not stop until he found
him at the billiard hall. In addition, it is to be noted that
accused-appellant armed himself throughout the search
with a long knife. All these convince us that the killing of
the deceased had been premeditated.
The accused-appellant had practically an entire
day to reflect on the consequences of his act. Thus, the
following elements of evident premeditation: (1) the time
when the accused determined to commit the crime; (2) an
act manifestly indicating that the accused had clung to his
determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between
such determination and execution to allow him to reflect
upon the consequences of his act were established in this
case.
Accused-appellant claims that the mitigating
circumstance of immediate vindication of a grave offense
should have been appreciated in his favor. The
circumstance cannot be appreciated where, as here,
the accused had sufficient time to recover equanimity.
For in this case, the incident at the store, from which
reason accused-appellant claims he stabbed the
deceased, happened the night before. Thus, he had
sufficient time to regain his composure. In fact, he
sought the assistance of the police. This cannot be
reconciled with his present claim that he acted in the
immediate vindication of a grave offense committed
against his father.
The killing is murder, qualified by treachery. As
the generic aggravating circumstance of evident
premeditation was alleged and proven and as there is no
mitigating circumstance, the trial court correctly sentenced
accused-appellant to death
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Caber admitted killing Ramirez but interposed
that he did so in self defense. Caber declared that he was
63yrs old, and that he worked at Caltex gasoline station.
One morning, on his way to work as he was alighting from
the pedicab, he heard someone shout “Manong Caber,
someone is going to kill you!” and turned to see Ramirez
who was about to stab him. He was able to parry the blow
and turn the knife towards his attacker and in the process
stabbing him. (back story to why Ramirez wanted to kill
Caber: Allegedly, Caber’s wife filed a rape case against
Ramirez as a result of which Ramirez was detained. So in
short, Caber is arguing that after being released, Ramirez
wanted to kill him because of revenge. Also, Caber insists
that he holds no grudge against Ramirez for what the
latter did to his wife)
TC: Caber is guilty with mitigating circumstance
of passion/obfuscation and qualifying circumstance of
premeditation and treachery.
Issue: 1) Whether there was self defense? 2) Whether
there was premeditation and treachery? 3) Whether there
was passion/obfuscation?43
PEOPLE VS FRANCISCO CABER
Held: 1) No self defense!
The defense that Caber killed Ramirez in self
defense has no merit. Upon invoking self defense, it was
the burden of Caber to prove that: 1) the victim was guilty
of unlawful aggression; 2) there was reasonable necessity
for the means employed; and 3) that there was no
sufficient provocation on part of the person making
defense.
Proof of unlawful aggression by the victim is an
indispensable element of self defense. But note that even
if there was unlawful aggression in the beginning, once it
has ceased, hostility on the part of the person making
defense should also cease.
The circumstance of running after Ramirez and
then stabbing him twice belies the argument of self
defense. Assuming that indeed, Ramirez initially attacked
Caber, the fact that the former ran away after doing so
means the unlawful aggression has ceased. Caber’s act of
pursuing Ramire when there was no more threat towards
him belies self defense.
Facts: Julian Rama saw Francisco Caber chasing
Teodolfo Ramirez with a bladed weapon which was locally
known as pisao. Rama was able to identify them because
Caber was his fellow tanod while Ramirez was his
kumpadre.
Ramirez ran towards Rama asking for help.
Rama raised his hands telling Caber to stop. Although
Ramirez used Rama as shield Caber was still able to stab
Ramirez on the chest, twice. Caber surrendered to Rama
whereas Ramirez was pronounced dead on arrival at the
hospital.
2) No premeditation and treachery!
For evident premeditation, prosecution failed to
prove: 1) the time when Caber determined that he will
commit the crime; 2) an act manifestly indicating that he
had clung to his determination; and 3) sufficient lapse of
time between the determination and execution to allow
him the opportunity to reflect on his actions. Prosecution
only presented the circumstance that Caber wanted
revenge because Ramirez raped his wife.
There’s also no treachery. To prove treachery it
must be shown that: 1) at the time of the attack, the victim
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
was not in a position to defend himself; and 2) the
accused consciously adopted the particular means,
methods or form of attack employed by him. In this case,
Ramirez sought cover behind Rama hence, he knew the
danger facing him and tried to escape it albeit
unsuccessfully. There can be no treachery under those
circumstances.
neighbors mauled him. He ran home to get a knife tapos
nagwala na siya, wanted to pick a fight to whoever he
sees. He claims that in the process, Alfredo tried to stab
him then the latter ran away pero nadapa daw so
nasaksak niya sarili niya
LC, CA: guilty of homicide but with a mitigating
circumstance: passion or obfuscation
3) No mitigating circumstance of passion/obfuscation!
In order that passion/obfuscation might be
appreciated it must be shown that: 1) an act both unlawful
and sufficient to produce such a condition of mind [of
passion/obfuscation]; and 2) said act which produced the
obfuscation must not be so far removed from the time of
the commission of the crime. This is because after a
considerable length of time, the perpetrator might have
already calmed down. Moreover, the act must be shown to
have arisen from lawful sentiments and not that of
lawlessness revenge
In this case, Caber admitted himself that he
harboured no ill feelings and that he didn’t even know
that Ramirez had already been released. This in itself
belies
the
claim
that
he
acted
out
of
passion/obfuscation. Furthermore, the stabbing
incident took place 3days after the rape took place.
Thus, the act which supposedly caused the
passion/obfuscation was so far removed from the
stabbing. In United States v. Sarikala the Court ruled that
the lapse of more than 24 hours, reckoned from the
commission of the act which produced the passion or
obfuscation up to the time of the commission of the felony,
constituted a considerable period of time after which such
circumstance would no longer be deemed present.
NOTE: mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender is appreciated. Caber has not yet been arrested
when voluntarily surrendered himself to a person in
authority.
Issue: tama ba na may passion or obfuscation?
DANAFRATA VS PEOPLE
Accused Danafrata and his wife were having an argument
in the streets when the latter hit the former with a plastic
chair while Danafrata hit her back (slugging match).
Accused ran home then came back again, kicking the
neighbours he encountered. Because of his behaviour, he
was mauled by 3 neighbors so he had no choice but to go
home again to get a knife. He went back to retaliate. He
saw the father of one of those who mauled him so
accused challenged him to a fight. However, he spotted
one of the 3 and so he stabbed Alfredo in the chest.
Accused’s version: inaway nga siya ng asawa niya so
napahiya siya sa mga tao sa paligid niya. He was so
humiliated he kicked a table but because of this, 3
SC: meron
Passion and obfuscation exist when
(1) there is an act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce
such a condition of the mind, and
(2) the said act which produced the obfuscation was not
far removed from the commission of the crime by a
considerable length of time, during which the perpetrator
might recover his normal equanimity.
There is passion and obfuscation when the
crime was committed due to an uncontrollable burst
of passion provoked by prior unjust or improper acts,
or due to a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to
overcome reason.
In this case it was established that petitioner
and his wife had a violent altercation and that
petitioner was mauled by his neighbors after he
kicked some of them for laughing at him. These
events and circumstances prior to the killing of
Alfredo Gonzales could have caused unusual
outbursts of passion and emotion on petitioner’s part.
These resulted in the tragic stabbing of the victim thus
entitling petitioner to the mitigating circumstance
analogous to passion and obfuscation.
PASSION AND OBFUSCATION
PEOPLE V. VENTURA
Spouses Jaime and Aileen Bocateja were sleeping in their
room. At around 2am, Jaime was roused from his sleep by
accused Felix Ventura (armed with firearm) and Arante
Flores (with a bladed weapon) who were able to stealthily
enter the house by cutting a hole in the kitchen door.
Ventura pointed the gun at Jaime’s face, announce a hold
up and hit Jaime on the head. The 2 then struggled for the
gun, and since Jaime was winning, Ventura called on
Flores to stab Jaime. Flores did stab him 3 times. When
wife Aileen saw her husband in danger, she cried for help
and Flores stabbed her 4 times (she died eventually). The
spouses’ niece who was sleeping upstairs, ran downstairs
and recognized Flores as a former employee of the
spouses’ butcher shop. She called on their neighbors for
help. Ventura and Flores then fled.
The police intercepted the accused and from
them recovered a .38 caliber revolver with bullets and a
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blood-stained knife. Bombo radio covered their arrest and
when asked why, Ventura answered that he suspects that
his wife was carrying on an affair with Jaime. It turned out
that Ventura’s wife was a maid for the Bocateja spouses.
Ventura saw his wife wearing a new ring, and the wife said
it was from Jaime who was courting her. She was
dismissed as a maid when Aileen found out their illicit
relations. After Ventura and his wife split, the former tried
to confirm the truth from Flores who worked for Bocatejas’
meat shop. He confirmed the affair and helped Ventura
with the crime.
Trial court: guilty of attempted murder (Jaime),
with aggravating circumstance of evident premediation,
dwelling, nighttime and breaking of door to gain entrance.
Reclusion temporal max. Also, guilty of murder (Aileen),
aggravated by abuse of superior strength, dwelling,
nighttime, breaking of door. Death.
Issue: w/n not guilty of murder (accused argue homicide
lang) – MURDER!
Ruling: [for passion and obfuscation] Court ruled out the
mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation
as mitigating circumstance. While it is true that
jealousy may give rise to P&O, it is necessary that the
act which produces the obfuscation was NOT far
removed from the commission of the crime by a
considerable length of time, during which the
perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity. This
is the same with immediate vindication of a grave
offense – it cannot be considered where sufficient
time elapsed for the accused to regain his composure.
Here, Ventura’s suspicions were aroused a
week before the stabbing incident, when he first
confronted his wife about the ring. Also, on the day
when they planned to commit the crime, 10 hours lapsed
from the time they left their home, armed with weapons
already, until they entered the Bocateja residence. Within
that time, Ventura even had time to change his clothes at
a relative’s house, accused even had dinner at the market.
At the victims’ residence, they waited 3 hours (because
they didn’t want to be caught) before they actually carried
out their plan. Certainly, there was enough time that
passed for Ventura’s emotions to cool.
Other crim-related things:
There was evident premeditation. The execution
of the act was preceded by cool thought. It
requires: (1) the time when the accused
determined to commit the crime; (2) an act
manifestly indicating that the accused clung to his
determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time
between such determination and execution to
allow him to reflect upon the circumstances of his
act. Also, the fact that they were armed only
-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
showed their careful and deliberate plan of
carrying out a killing.
There was clear conspiracy between the
accused. They’re both principals
There was taking advantage of superior strength
in killing Ailleen. To take advantage of superior
strength means to purposely use excessive force
out of proportion to the means of defense
available to the person attacked. It depends on
the age, size and strength of the parties, and is
considered whenever there is a notorious
inequality of forces between the victim and the
aggressor, which is taken advantage of by him in
the commission of the crime. Unlike in treachery,
where the victim is not given the opportunity to
defend himself or repel the aggression, taking
advantage of superior strength does not mean
that the victim was completely defenseless.
Abuse of superiority is determined by the excess
of the aggressor's natural strength over that of
the victim, considering the momentary position of
both and the employment of means weakening
the defense, although not annulling it. Hence, the
fact that Aileen attempted to fend off the attack
on her and her husband by throwing nearby
objects, such as an electric cord, at appellant
Flores does not automatically negate the
possibility that the latter was able to take
advantage of his superior strength.
PEOPLE V. SALAZAR
FACTS: The accused is a moro native of Zamboanga.
One morning, he invited his common-law wife to go with
him to gather nipa for the repair of their house. Romana
then arrived and invited Maxima to accompany her to her
house to get palay. Because of the invitation of Romana,
Maxima refused to go with her husband, which aroused
his anger. At that time, the accused already entertained
the suspicion that his wife was having illicit relation with
Fortunato, the husband of Romana, to the extent that he
believed that the child his wife was bearing was the result
of such illicit relation. This incident started the accused on
a killing rampage leaving in its wake sixteen dead and
some wounded.
ISSUE: W/N the accused may avail of mitigating
circumstance of obfuscation arising from jealousy? NO.
HELD: Such cannot be invoked in favour of the
accused considering that his relationship with his
common-law wife was illegitimate. In addition, many
days had already passed from the discovery of the
alleged infidelity of his common-law wife before he
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committed the crime allegedly in vindication of his
honor. As a matter of fact he admitted having planned
his vengeance long before the opportune moment
came to carry it out.
•
PEOPLE V. RUBEN TAKBOBO
Facts:
•
Accused Ruben Takbobo, a middle-aged fisherman
from Cebu, is charged with killing his wife, Lucia,
using a knife AND bolo, which instantaneously killed
her.
•
Though pleading guilty, the court still orders
prosecution and defense to submit evidence as to
motive.
•
Lucia was killed on March 25, 1991, at night time.
This was all witnessed by their youngest daughter
Madilyn, who woke up in the middle of the night due
to the noise of the quarreling.
•
She testifies as a child witness that she saw her
father grab the bolo and hunting knife towards her
mom, before hacking Lucia at the feet, then the neck,
then the hands, then the armpit, then on the breast.
•
Shortly after the incident, accused Ruben went to the
authorities voluntarily, explaining the story, without
any mention of his motive for killing her, nor the fact
that he came home from fishing shortly before the
killing.
•
However, it was mentioned that the accused has a
short temper, and on two separate occasions, wielded
the bolo to his other daughters, but only with minor
cuts.
•
Accused though, told the court that he killed Lucia
because he caught her sleeping with another man.
•
The testimony of the accused states that “coming
home at 3:00 am from fishing, he finds his neighbor,
Cadiz Catulong, sleeping with his wife and that his
wife isn’t wearing underwear. Accused tried to kill
Cadiz, but Lucia pushed him away, causing Cadiz to
escape through the window.
•
In the process, he struck his wife, then ran outside to
look for Cadiz but to no avail
•
In this appeal, Accused Ruben is claiming for
mitigating circumstances of (a) passion and
obfuscation, (b) voluntary surrender, and (c) voluntary
plea of guilty.
•
•
•
•
•
•
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
careful study, there is no evidence that supports
Ruben’s testimony.
Though the exceptional circumstance provided for in
Art 247 of the RPC could’ve been applied, but the
accused failed to present any evidence in his favor.
The Court ruled that for this to apply, there must be at
least clear and convincing evidence, to apply such
exemption. The burden of evidence now, has been
shifted to accused, which he failed to give credence
to. He needs strength of his own evidence and not the
weakness of the prosecution
Note also that the Court finds no reason to doubt the
testimony of the child.
Also, the Court held that his statement that he killed
his wife by accident AND that he was really aiming for
Cadiz for sleeping with her is NEGATED by the
number of stab wounds certified in the medico-legal
report, and affirmed by the testimony of the child. Also
the report shows that the deceased was wearing
panties.
Police Inspector Singco, who took accused’s affidavit
and statement also testified that accused did not
mention the act of infidelity at that time. The normal
human reaction to such incident is to include such fact
in the first step of the investigation.
THEREFORE, there being no passion or obfuscation
attending, the same cannot be appreciated. The dual
requisites therefor: (1) there be an act both unlawful
and sufficient to produce such condition of mind; and
(2) said act was not far removed from the
commission of the crime by a considerable length
of time, during which the perpetrator might recover his
moral equanimity.
HOWEVER, the mitigating circumstances of voluntary
surrender and voluntary plea of guilty (which was
made prior to the prosecution’s presentation of
evidence) must be appreciated.
SIDE NOTE: Though there are two mitigating and not
aggravating circumstances, the penalty for parricide
being reclusion perpetua, the same is indivisible.
Therefore, the penalty cannot be lowered to the next
lower degree. This doctrine is applicable to indivisible
penalties, thus no matter how many mitigating
circumstances you have in an indivisible penalty like
reclusion perpetua, you cannot lower it.
PEOPLE V. LOPEZ
Issue: Can those mitigating circumstances be claimed by
Ruben?
Ruling: Not for Passion and Obfuscation, only for
Voluntary Surrender and Voluntary Plea of Guilty
•
The reason why passion and obfuscation would not
apply is that, after the High Court’s thorough and
Doctrine: The exercise of a lawful right cannot be the
proper source of obfuscation that may be considered a
mitigating circumstance
Facts: The Lopez family (Placido, Luding, and their
children) lived in a shanty on a patch of land owned by
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one Perla Castro in Baguio City. Castro had been seeking
the ouster of the Lopezes from her land since 1993. In
fact, the Lopez spouses even signed an Acknowledgment
Receipt that they received the amount of five thousand
pesos (P5,000.00) as an assistance from Perla Castro to
transfer voluntarily their shanty which they have illegally
constructed on Castro’s land. The Lopezes never left
anyway.
Castro sold her land to Liwayway Maramat. One
day, Maramat and Castro decided to inspect the
excavations done over the land. When they arrived there,
Perla immediately confronted the Lopezes about their
digging and told them to stop. She told them to dig instead
on the fifty-square meter lot supposedly waived in their
favor by a certain Josie Ramos.
Perla then asked Maramat to see for herself the
new lot where the Lopezes were to transfer. As an
afterthought, Perla called on Joselito (the son of Lopez) to
show him the new site. While the 3 were talking, Joselito
suddenly grabbed the hair of Perla at the back and started
hacking her with a bolo. Perla died from the wounds.
Joselito was prosecuted for the crime of murder.
Joselito contends that the trial court should have
appreciated the mitigating circumstance of passion and
obfuscation.
Issue: Was there a mitigating circumstance of passion or
obfuscation? – NO.
Ruling: For passion and obfuscation to be properly
appreciated, it must arise from lawful sentiments. In this
case, the trial court was correct in not appreciating the
mitigating circumstance when it ruled that the act of Castro
in demanding that the Lopez family vacate her land and
transfer elsewhere and discontinue their excavation on the
land was not unlawful and unjust as she was exercising
her right to her land.
The exercise of a lawful right cannot be the
proper source of obfuscation that may be considered
a mitigating circumstance. Since 1993, Castro had been
seeking the ouster of the Lopezes who were unjustly
occupying her land. This was further bolstered by a written
promise manifested by the Lopezes in their
Acknowledgment Receipt to vacate the subject land and
after receiving P5,000.00 supposedly for their new house.
Despite the fact that was an exchange of harsh words
between Perla Castro and Luding Lopez, this cannot
overturn the fact that the Castro had long been unjustly
deprived of the possession of her own land.
UNITED STATES VS. HICKS (once you go black…)
Facts: Agustina Sola was the mistress of Augustus Hicks,
an afro-american. They lived together for about 5 years
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
until Sola decided to leave Hicks. Sola found another afroamerican lover in Wallace Current. When Hicks learned
about this he went to Current’s house to confront the two.
While conversing, Hicks said “God damn, I’ve made up my
mind” as he was about to grab his revolver. Current got
hold of Hicks’ hand but the latter slapped it away. Current
ran inside a room just as Hicks drew his revolver and shot
Sola, who was close by in the sala of the house, on the left
side of the breast. Sola died. Hicks was charged and
found guilty of murder, sentenced to death.
Issue: W/N there is the mitigating circumstance of passion
and obfuscation?
Held: None!
Generic aggravating circumstance of premeditation
SC held that the crime was attended with the aggravating
circumstance of premeditation because it found, according
to one of the witnesses, that before the crime, the witness
and Hicks were drinking and the latter, while cleaning a
revolver said that Sola’s time had come. SC found that
Hicks deliberately and after due reflection had resolved to
kill the woman who had left him for another man, and in
order to accomplish his perverse intention with safety,
notwithstanding the fact that he was already provided with
a clean and well-prepared weapon and carried other
loaded cartridges besides those already in his revolver, he
entered the house, greeting everyone courteously and
conversed with his victim, in what appeared to be a proper
manner, disguising his intention and claiming her by his
apparent repose and tranquility, doubtless in order to
successfully accomplish his criminal design, behaving
himself properly as he had planned to do beforehand.
Absence of mitigating circumstance
As against the two foregoing aggravating circumstances
no mitigating circumstances is present, not even that
mentioned in paragraph 7 of article 9 of the Penal Code,
to wit loss of reason and self-control produced by
jealousy as alleged by the defense, inasmuch as the
only causes which mitigate the criminal responsibility
for the loss of self-control are such as originate from
legitimate feelings, not those which arise from
vicious, unworthy, and immoral passions.
PEOPLE VS GUILLERMO BELLO
KEYWORD: White Slave Trade
FACTS: Bello is a 54 year old widower who was having a
common law relationship with Alicia Cervantes who was
then only 24 years old. Because of financial strain, Bello
induced Alicia to work as a public hostess in Maring’s Bar;
to which she agreed. Bello was very infatuated with Alicia
that he watched her dance all the time in the bar. One
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
night, Bello saw Alicia enter a movie house with another
guy. Bello took her out of the movie house and reminded
her to be discreet about her personal conduct.
One night, he approached Alicia while the latter
was working in the bar to ask for some money. He was
sent away by Maring, the bar owner, telling him to stop
bothering Alicia as he was already an old man. On his way
home, Bello encountered Justo and Luis Marasigan who
said “so this is the man whose wife is being used by
Maring for white slave trade”. Infuriated, Bello went to the
bar, got hold of Alicia from behind with his left hand and
stabbed her several times with a balisong his right hand.
He surrendered immediately by going to the municipal
building.
The trial court made a finding of “treachery,
evident premeditation, and in cold blood and without
provocation”. In the dispositive portion however, the trial
court considered the aggravating circumstances of (1)
nighttime (2) abuse of confidence and obvious
ungratefulness and (3) superior strength offset only by the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. Bello was
convicted to die through electrocution.
ABUSE
OF
CONFIDENCE
AND
OBVIOUS
UNGRATEFULNESS - There is nothing to show that the
assailant and his common-law wife reposed in one
another any special confidence that could be abused, or
any gratitude owed by one to the other that ought to be
respected, and which would bear any relation, or
connection, with the crime committed. None is inferable
from the fact that the accused was much older than his
victim, or that he was penniless while she was able to earn
a living and occasionally gave him money, since both lived
together as husband and wife. Neither is it shown that the
accused took advantage of any such special confidence in
order to carry out the crime.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the aggravating circumstances of
treachery, evident premeditation, superior
strength, nighttime and abuse of confidence and
obvious ungratefulness may be appreciated. –
NO

Whether or not the mitigating circumstance of
passion and obfuscation may be appreciated YES
Pelonia was charged with murder.
HELD:
TREACHERY – there was no treachery. True, Alicia may
have been stabbed at the back yet this is but a
continuation of earlier stabbing which Bello inflicted in the
breast, hypogastric region and left wrist. The back stab
was inflicted when Alicia was about to run.
EVIDENT PREMEDITATION – there was no evident premeditation. Bello carried the Balisong not because he
planned on killing Alicia but because he always brings it
for protection. The killing was a spur of the moment.
SUPERIOR STRENGTH – there was no superior strength.
Bello was an old man and invalid [baldado] while Alicia
was in the prime of her youth, and not infirm. The facts are
not sufficient to draw a comparison of their relative
strength.
NIGHTIME – although the killing was done at night, it was
not purposely sought or taken advantage of by Bello. In
fact, Maring’s bar was well lit.
PASSION AND OBFUSCATION – the remarks of the
Marasigan brothers hurt the feelings of Bello
prompting him to indulge in heavy drinking and
thereafter, plead to Alicia to leave her work. This
constitutes passion and obfuscation.
©Pelonia v People
There was a fiesta. Deceased Ignacio Nacilla and his
friends went with his friends to the house of Pelonia for
dinner. After preparing dinner (with a bolo!), Pelonia told
the group into the dining room. However, Nacilla refused
and said that he was not there to eat, but to kill.
Apparently, Nacilla had a grudge against Pelonia, because
Pelonia ratted him out to the Marines for being abusive,
and the Marines manhandled him for it. The deceased
was a head taller than Pelonia.
His friends tried to calm Nacilla down, but he was
really mad and told Pelonia that Pelonia was” depending
so much on his garrand rifle, his issued firearm as
member of the CHDF.”
Incensed at the comment and the fact that it was
spoken in his own home and in front of his visitors, and the
fact that Nacilla was not even invited, Pelonia went
upstairs to his room to get his rifle. He fired a warning
shot, but Nacilla did not budge. The accused wife even
pleaded with Nacilla to leave, but he refused. So, Pelonia
shot him.
Pelonia claimed self-defense. He claimed that
Nacilla got Pelonia’s cooking bolo and was about to thrust
it, so he shot him.
The CA gave Pelonia 3 mitigating circumstances:
voluntary surrender, immediate vindication of a grave
offense, and sufficient provocation.
Was there self-defense?
SC: No self-defense because no unlawful aggression.
Court did not believe that Nacilla was able to get the bolo
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during the time that Pelonia went to his room to get the
rifle.
Can immediate vindication and sufficient provocation
be appreciated together in this case?
SC: No. The mitigating circumstance of having acted in
the immediate vindication of a grave offense was properly
appreciated. Pelonia was humiliated in front of his guests
and kin in his own house. It is settled, however, that the
mitigating circumstance of sufficient provocation
cannot be considered apart from the circumstance of
vindication of a grave offense. These two
circumstances arose from one and the same incident
so that they should be considered as only one
mitigating circumstance.
Guilty of homicide.
People vs. EPIFANIO DIOKNO and ROMAN DIOKNO
Yu Hiong was a vendor of sundry goods in Lucena.
Salome Diokno, engaged to Yu Hiong, invited the latter to
go with her. Yu Hiong and Salome Diokno went to the
house of Vicente, Salome's cousin. As they found nobody
in the house, they went on their way up to San Pablo,
Laguna. Roman Diokno telegraphed his father Epifanio
Diokno, who was in Manila, informing him that Salome had
eloped with the Chinese Yu Hiong. Epifanio and Roman
went to San Pablo, Laguna. They saw Yu Hiong coming
down the stairs. When Yu Hiong saw them, he ran
upstairs and they pursued him. As the Chinese found the
door of the house locked, he shouted that it be opened for
him. At that moment, he was overtaken by the Epifanio
who carried balisong. Yu Hiong fell on his knees and
implored pardon. In that situation Roman Diokno stabbed
him with the knife in the back and later in the left side.
Epifanio Diokno also stabbed him once. Yu Hiong fell on
the landing of the stairs in the balcony, and there he was
again stabbed repeatedly. Then Roman Diokno said:
"Enough, father." Yu Hiong lost consciousness.
ISSUE: WON Ramon should be acquitted? No. WON
abuse of superior strength was present so as to qualify the
crime of murder? No. Guilty only of homicide.
RULING:The testimony of the eyewitnesses leave no
room for doubt that Roman Diokno cooperated with his
father and stabbed the deceased Yu Hiong with a knife in
different parts of the body. Furthermore, the deceased
stated in his ante mortem declaration that it was Roman
Diokno who inflicted the necessarily mortal wound in his
back, which caused his death.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The circumstance of abuse of superior strength, qualifying
the crime of murder, which the trial court found to have
been proven, has not been established beyond a
reasonable doubt. In the case of United States vs. Devela,
this court said that "the mere fact that the number of the
assailants is superior to that of those attacked by them is
not sufficient to constitute the aggravating circumstance of
abuse of superiority." In this case we have the
photographs of the body of the Yu Hiong showing that he
had a strong constitution: but there is no evidence of the
physical constitution of the accused Epifanio Diokno and
Roman Diokno. Therefore, we cannot determine whether
or not said accused were physically stronger than the
deceased and whether or not they abused such
superiority.
Neither does this court find the existence of the
other circumstance qualifying murder, that is, evident
premeditation, proven beyond a reasonable doubt
because, even assuming that both the accused went to
San Pablo, Laguna, each carrying the knife used by him in
attacking Yu Hiong, it being customary for the people of
said province to carry it, it cannot be inferred with certainty
from the mere fact that they carried knives that their
intention in going to San Pablo was to look for the
deceased in order to kill him. In order that premeditation
may be considered either as an aggravating circumstance
or as a qualifying circumstance, it must be evident, that is,
the intention to kill must be manifest and it must have
been planned in the mind of the offender and carefully
meditated. It is not enough that it arose at the moment of
the aggression.\
Therefore, there having been neither abuse of
superior strength nor evident premeditation, the crime
committed by the accused is simple homicide.
MITIGATING- *read Reyes book. As a general rule, you
cannot have both vindication of a grave offense and
passion or obfuscation in 1 case. This case is an
exception.
The presence of the immediate vindication of
a grave offense to said accused, may be taken into
consideration in favor of the two accused, because
although the elopement took place on January 4,
1935, and the aggression on the 7th of said month and
year, the offense did not cease while Salome's
whereabouts remained unknown and her marriage to
the deceased unlegalized. Therefore, there was no
interruption from the time the offense was committed
to the vindication thereof. Our opinion on this point is
based on the fact that the herein accused belong to a
family of old customs to whom the elopement of a
daughter with a man constitutes a grave offense to
their honor and causes disturbance of the peace and
tranquility of the home and at the same time spreads
AGGRAVATING
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uneasiness and anxiety in the minds of the members
thereof.
The presence of the having acted upon an
impulse so powerful as naturally to have produced
passion or ofuscation, may also be taken into
consideration in favor of the accused. The fact that
the accused saw the deceased run upstairs when he
became aware of their presence, as if he refused to
deal with them after having gravely offended them,
was certainly a stimulus strong enough to produce in
their mind a fit of passion which blinded them and led
them to commit the crime with which they are
charged.
The fact of surrendering himself immediately to
the agents of persons in authority, should also be taken
into consideration in favor of the accused Epifanio Diokno.
crime of homicide defined and punished in article 249 of
the Revised Penal Code. Three mitigating circumstances
must be taken into consideration in favor of the accused
Epifanio Diokno and two in favor of the accused Roman
Diokno, with no aggravating circumstance, thus
authorizing the imposition of the penalty next lower to that
prescribed by law (reclusion temporal in its full extent), or
prision mayor in its full extent, in the period that this court
deems applicable, which is the medium period in this
case, in accordance with the provisions of article 64, rule
5, that is eight years and one day of prision mayor.
LAUREL, J.,
Agree as to others, except: the mitigating circumstance of
immediate vindication of a grave offense. It should be
observed that the proximate cause of the tragedy was the
elopement of Salome, the daughter of Epifanio and the
sister of Roman. Salome and the deceased had been
engaged for about a year and the evidence shows that the
elopement took place at the instance of Salome herself.
Under existing legislation, a woman eighteen years of age
or over, can contract marriage without the consent of her
parents. If she leaves the parental home for this purpose,
neither she nor her lover commits any offense. The act of
the deceased in eloping with Salome, at the invitation of
the latter was not a "grave offense" which called for or
justified immediate vindication.
DIAZ, J.,
Crime should be murder. lIt is so qualified by the proven
fact that abuse of superior strength. said court, resolving
the question whether or not the circumstance of abuse of
superior strength should be taken into consideration in a
case where two persons attack another, there being no
disparity in physical strength between the attackers and
the attacked, and the former committed the aggression
with arms, the latter having only a small rod to defend
himself, sustained the affirmative.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RUFELINO
ZAPATA and FERNANDICO TUBADEZA
FACTS:
1. Feb 15, 1951; nighttime (around 8pm): Fausta
Tubadeza (“Fausta”), a 60 year old woman, was
cutting firewood when she was approached by
the two accused, Zapata and Tubadeza. Zapata
confronted her, saying “You are the woman who
bewitched my wife.”Using a piece of wood, he
then beat her while Tubadeza dragged her
towards the house Councilor Simeon Tubadeza.
Her husband Mariano heard what was happening
and rushed towards the commotion, but Zapata
threatened him. Being old himself, he was
helpless.
2. The Councilor told the two accused to go back to
Fausta’s house, and when they returned, they
brought back a bottle of wine & a bottle of oil,
saying “Here are the ingredients for witchcraft
which we took from her house.” The councilor
then wrote on a statement that Fausta practiced
witchcraft on Zapata's wife and had the same
thumbmarked by Fausta. Her husband was also
forced to sign it. Fausta died that same evening
due to her injuries.
3. Tubadeza’s defense: alibi; Zapata’s defense:
Fausta admitted being a witch and it was her
husband himself who kicked her to death. This
was held by the SC to be unworthy of belief.
4. Tubadeza was also held as co-principal: “while
there existed no previous understanding between
the tw, yet it may be implied from the acts of
Tubadeza (helping, dragging, accompanying),
that they had the same unity of purpose in the
execution of the act.”
ISSUE: What are the aggravating and
circumstances to be appreciated in this case?
mitigating
HELD:
Aggravating

Evident premeditation –not applicable

Nocturnity –not applicable; Evidence fails to show
that nighttime was purposely sought by
appellants to commit the crime

Abuse of superior strength –APPLICABLE.
Evidence positively demonstrates that they
disregarded the age and sex of the deceased, it
appearing that she was a frail woman of 65,
weighing only around 100 pounds and only 4 feet
and 8 inches in height, while Zapata and
Tubadeza were 32 and 27 years of age, when
the crime was committed.
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Mitigating:

Lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong –
APPLICABLE. It was evident that they merely
wanted to denounce her as a witch before
councilor Tubadeza when she was beaten and
dragged to the councilor's house, but that she
received a beating more than she could take.

Obfuscation: APPLICABLE. It clearly appears
that appellants committed the crime in the belief
that the deceased had cast a spell of witchcraft
upon the wife of Zapata which caused her
serious illness.
SENTENCE: 2 mitigating & 1 aggravating = penalty in its
minimum
period.
PEOPLE V. PANSENSOY
Facts: Accused-Pansensoy’s legally-married wife-Analie
had an affair with the victim-Reyes, a jeepney driver. The
victim-Reyes and wife-Analie were renting a house in
Rizal and this was the place where the accusedPansensoy caught the cheaters and is also where victimReyes was shot in the head at close range by the
Accused-Pansensoy.
Accused-Pansensoy learned of the house the
cheaters were hiding because of his friend “Bisaya” who
told him that he saw the cheaters together with accusedpansensoy’s son board a jeepney on their way to the
house. Bisaya accompanied accused to the house.
Accused knocked on the door of the house but
he was not able to enter because wife-analie prevented
him. Instead he sat on a bench outside the house.
Victim-Reyes went out and confronted the
accused. Accused asked victim-reyes whether he loved
Analie. Reyes answered “Yes”. Accused asked victimreyes whether he was single. Reyes answered Yes. At this
point, although not stated in the case, AccusedPansensoy must have pointed a .38 caliber to the head of
victim-reyes. [BTW, accused is a security guard] AccusedPansensoy counted one to three. ONE – TWO – BANG!
Victim-Reyes sprawled on the ground and died.
Issue: 1. Murder or Homicide?
2. Is the mitigating circumstance of passion and
obfuscation present?
Held:
CRIME - SC said HOMICIDE because there was
no treachery or evident premeditation. Further, the crime
is mitigated by passion and obfuscation.
1. Before discussing why there is no treachery or
premeditation. The mitigating of passion and obfuscation
must first be discussed. In order to be entitled to the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation, the
following elements should concur:
(1)
There should be an act both unlawful
and sufficient to produce such
condition of mind;
(2)
The act which produced the obfuscation
was not far removed from the
commission of the crime by a
considerable length of time, during
which the perpetrator might recover
his normal equanimity.
Accused-claims that he saw the cheaters in
their underwear. Wife-Analie claims that they were
merely lying down beside eachother. Nonetheless, in
either case it is easy to see how accused-Pansensoy
acted with obfuscation because of jealousy upon
discovering his legitimate wife in the company of
another man and the brazen admission by this man
that he loved his wife. Moreover, this is aggravated by
the fact that the cheaters brought with them the child
of Pansensoy.
Extreme emotional pain could result from
such a situation and produce such passion and
anguish in the mind of a betrayed husband as to
deprive him of self-control. To be blinded by passion
and obfuscation is to lose self-control. In this case,
there is a clear showing that there were causes
naturally tending to produce such powerful passion
as to deprive the accused of reason and self-control.
Further, the killing was not far removed from the
act producing the passion. Only a few minutes have
elapsed.
2.A. Treachery cannot co-exist with passion
and obfuscation. The reason for this is that in passion,
the offender loses his control while in treachery the means
employed are consciously adopted. One who loses
reason and self-control cannot deliberately employ a
particular means, method or form of attack in the
execution of the crime.
2.B. Similarly, the aggravating circumstance of
evident premeditation cannot co-exist with the
circumstance of passion and obfuscation. The essence of
premeditation is that the execution of the criminal act must
be preceded by calm thought and reflection upon the
resolution to carry out the criminal intent during the space
of time sufficient to arrive at a composed judgment.
PEOPLE vs. PAGAL – (NO USEFUL FACTS)
FACTS: Accused-appellants Pagal and Torcellino were
charged with the crime of robbery with homicide, with the
generic aggravating circumstances of nightime purposely
sought to better accomplish their criminal design; evident
premeditation; in disregard of the respect due the offended
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party; and with abuse of confidence, the accused being
then employees of the offended party. When the case was
called for arraignment, the accused entered a plea of
guilty but they were allowed afterwards to prove the
mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation or threat
on the part of the offended party immediately preceding
the act, and that of having acted upon an impulse so
powerful as to produce passion and obfuscation. The
RTC, after considering the 4 aggravating circumstances
and mitigating circumstance of only plea of guilt, found
them guilty of the crime charged, sentencing them with the
penalty of death. The case was elevated to the SC by
virtue of the mandatory review on account of the penalty of
death imposed on the accused.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC erred in not appreciating in favor of
the accused the mitigating circumstances of (1) sufficient
provocation and (2) passion or obfuscation.
HELD/RATIO: NO, the RTC is correct.
As a rule, two or more mitigating
circumstances arising from the same act cannot be
considered as separate and distinct circumstances
but should be treated as one. Thus, in this case, the
mitigating circumstance of sufficient provocation cannot be
considered because the alleged provocation which caused
the obfuscation arose from the same incident, which is the
alleged maltreatment and/or ill-treatment caused by the
victims towards the accused-appellants.
As to the circumstance of passion and
obfuscation, it cannot be treated as mitigating if the
crime involved was planned and calmly meditated
before its execution, such as in this case of robbery
where the appellants are expected to have carefully
planned its execution. Thus, in People vs. Daos, a case
of robbery with homicide, this Court rejected the claim of
the appellants therein that passion and obfuscation should
have been estimated in their favor, because the death of
the victim therein took place on the occasion of a robbery,
which, before its execution, had been planned and calmly
meditated by the appellants.
Finally, the maltreatment that appellants claim
the victim to have committed against them occurred much
earlier than the date of the commission of the crime.
Provocation in order to be a mitigating circumstance must
be sufficient and immediately proceeding the act. We hold
that the trial court did not commit any error in not
appreciating the said mitigating circumstances in favor of
the appellants.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
their way to the house of Didoy Elican. As they were
walking along the road at they met petitioner who collared
the victim, saying, Get it if you will not get it tonight, I will
kill you. Thereafter, petitioner immediately stabbed the
victim on the chest with a Batangueo knife. The place was
illuminated by a street light 3 to 4 arms length away from
the petitioner, enabling Dante Reginio to easily recognize
the latter who happened to be his barangay mate.
Dante Reginio and Nelson Magbanua executed a
sworn statement identifying the petitioner as the culprit.
On cross-examination, Dante Reginio was
confronted with an affidavit of desistance allegedly
executed by him and Nelson Magbanua stating, among
others, that they both realize that it might be another
person who stabbed Clemente Del Gracia since it was
dark that night of the incident.
Dante Reginio, however, denied knowledge of
the aforequoted affidavit and claimed that his signature
appearing thereon was a forgery.
On the other hand, the defense evidence
consisted of denial and alibi. Petitioner declared that at
6:00 pm. of the night of the incident, he was in San Jose,
Antique, waiting for the arrival of his wife from Iloilo City.
The following day, his friend told him that he was the
suspect in the killing of Clemente Dela Gracia. For fear
that he might be incarcerated, he went into hiding, but his
mother convinced him to surrender to the police station.
Nelson Magbanua admitted that he signed an
affidavit of desistance. He stressed, however, that he
knew it was the petitioner who stabbed the victim but he
yielded to the pleas of petitioners wife and signed the
affidavit because he pitied her as she was then pregnant.
The trial court found the petitioner guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide.
On appeal, petitioners conviction for the crime of
homicide was affirmed but the penalty was modified
appreciating the mitigating circumstance of VOLUNTARY
SURRENDER.
Issue:
1.
On the veracity of the affidavit of desistance
allegedly executed by Dante Reginio and Nelson
Magbanua shows that the prosecution failed to
establish beyond reasonable doubt the identity of
the culprit.
Held: The contention is without merit. Dante Reginio
declared that the signature appearing above his typewritten name on the affidavit of desistance was not his,
while Nelson Magbanua stated that he merely signed the
affidavit out of pity for the petitioners wife.
LUCES V PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPINES
2.
Facts: At 6:30 in the evening Dante Reginio, Nelson
Magbanua, and the victim, Clemente Dela Gracia, were on
The mitigating circumstance
surrender appreciated by the CA.
of
voluntary
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Held: The Court of Appeals erred in appreciating the same
in favor of the petitioner. To benefit an accused, the
following requisites must be proven, namely: (1) the
offender has not actually been arrested; (2) the offender
surrendered himself to a person in authority; and (3) the
surrender was voluntary. A surrender to be voluntary must
be spontaneous, showing the intent of the accused to
submit himself unconditionally to the authorities, either
because he acknowledges his guilt, or he wishes to save
them the trouble and expense necessarily incurred in his
search and capture. Voluntary surrender presupposes
repentance.
In the case at bar, petitioner surrendered to
the authorities in order to disclaim responsibility for
the killing of the victim. This hardly shows any
repentance or acknowledgment of the crime on the
part of the petitioner. Moreover, at the time petitioner
surrendered, there was already a pending warrant of
arrest against him. His arrest by that time was
imminent. Hence, he should not be credited with the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender.
offered to accompany her home. On their way they met
four men, one of whom turned out to be a brother of the
accused who identified Eddie Basite as the person
described by Sonia. They asked her to look for him but
she refused. Sonia proceeded instead to Monsoyohoy to
wait for her uncle Nazario Habungan who, she learned
earlier, was going home and would pass by Monsoyohoy.
When she was already with his uncle and on their
way to the police station, they saw the accused. Her uncle
asked him to go with them to the police station but Basite
fled. They pursued him and eventually caught him. Went
to the police station, underwent medical examination then
filed an Information for Rape against the accused.
TC found him guilty of rape. Basite contends the
TC should have considered the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender. He explains that he voluntarily
surrendered to then Barangay Captain Gilbert Sacla, and
willingly went with him and complainants relatives to the
police station.
PEOPLE V. BASITE
Voluntary Surrender | Justice Bellosillo
HELD: A surrender to be voluntary must be
spontaneous, showing the intent of the accused to
submit himself unconditionally to the authorities,
either because he acknowledges his guilt, or he
wishes to save them the trouble and expense
necessarily incurred in his search and capture. If none
of these two
reasons impelled the accused to
surrender,
because
his
surrender
was
obviously motivated more by an intention to insure
his safety, his arrest being inevitable, the surrender is
not spontaneous.
The conduct of accused-appellant after the
commission of the offense, of running away after having
been stabbed by Sonia and of fleeing from her relatives
when they tried to bring him to the authorities, do not show
voluntary surrender as contemplated under the law. It
appears that basite willingly went to the police
authorities only to escape the wrath of Sonia’s
relatives who were pursuing him and who appeared to
be thirsting for his blood.
FACTS: Sonia Pa-ay, (19 yo student of midwifery, polio
victim) was in Natuel, Buguias, Benguet, on her way to her
parents home in Tinoc, Ifugao, to get her allowance. As
she was walking, she met Eddie Basite who was headed
towards the opposite direction. A few seconds later, Sonia
heard footsteps behind her. When she looked back she
saw Eddie Basite following her. He reached her, held her
by both hands and told her to go down with him. Sonia
resisted. But the accused Eddie Basite pulled out a knife
from his waistband, thrust it at her neck and threatened to
stab her if she continued to resist. He ordered her to lie
down on the ground and out of fear she obeyed.
The accused committed the act. When he was
through with the sexual assault, he warned her not to
relate the incident to anyone or else he would stab her.
Upon seeing that the accused had laid down his knife
beside her head while he was putting on his clothes, Sonia
grabbed the knife and stabbed him on the left shoulder.
Wounded, the accused ran away.
Sonia tried to put on her clothes, but losing her
balance she rolled down the cliff and lost consciousness.
When she recovered, she felt pain all over her body and
could not find her bearings in her weakened state. She fell
asleep and woke up at around midnight. She made her
way up the mountain by the light of the moon. She
decided to continue on her way to her parents house in
Tinoc, Ifugao.
Along the way she passed by a house where she
was offered camote to eat. Some soldiers arrived and
ISSUE: WON voluntary surrender should be appreciated –
NO
21. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs. JUANITO
ABELLA,
DIOSDADO
GRANADA,
BENJAMIN
DE
GUZMAN,
and
EDGARDO
VALENCIA, accused-appellants.
FACTS: It all started with an altercation during a
basketball game. 3 days later, the 5 victims’ bodies were
found in the Pasig River. Victims were Marlon and Joseph
Ronquillo, Erwin and Andres Lojero and Felix Tamayo.
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Marlon’s hands were tied at the back with an
electric cord, he had wounds and died from a gunshot to
the head. Andres’ hands were also bound at the back with
a rope, his genitals were cut off and had wounds in his
body as well, cause of death was asphyxia by
strangulation. Joseph’s hands were tied at the back with a
basketball t-shirt, had wounds and died of strangulation as
well. Erwin’s and Felix’s body had abrasions and burns,
there were cord impressions on his wrists, a fracture in his
skull and died by drowning.
The accused are Abella, Granada, De Guzman,
Valencia (all surnames), for MURDER, qualified by
treachery and evident premeditation. There were other
accused but their names were dropped from the
information later on.
March 1992, the victims Ronquillo brothers were
played 3 rounds of basketball in Sta. Mesa Manila against
the team of Joey de los Santos. The Ronquillos brothers
rd
won the first 2 rounds but the 3 one ended in a brawl.
Later that afternoon, Joey went back to the place carrying
2 pillboxes but were apprehended. So, Joey and his
brother just threw stones at the Ronquillos’ house. The
neighbors saw this and ran after them and mauled them.
That night, the victims were in front of the
Ronquillos’ house. Suddenly, a white Ford Fiera without a
plate number stopped in front of the group. There were 1013 people on board, including Joey and his brother. The
passengers in the Fiera alighted, faces covered with
handkerchiefs and they were armed. The victims tried to
run but a shot was fired and Felix (victim) was shot. They
were boxed, kicked and hit and dragged into the van. They
were brought to a basement in a compound where witness
Elena saw them being mauled, whipped with a gun,
beaten with steel tubes and lead pipes. They also had a
blowtorch and the victims’ hands were tied. The victims
begged for mercy. Afterwards, they were herded back to
the car, seeming almost dead. 2 days later, their bodies
were found in the Pasig river.
Accused’ defense was an alibi, that they are INC
members and were attending a panata that night.
According to them, when they read their names in the
newspapers as the perpetrators of the crime, they
consulted the INC Central Office and were then
accompanied by a lawyer to go to the police station to
“clear their names,” They were later on identified in a
police line-up. The RTC convicted all of them for
MURDER, with a penalty of reclusion perpetua.
ISSUE: W/N the accused are entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender.
HELD/RATIO: No.
First of all, the witnesses were able to fully establish
and prove and connect the appellants-accused to the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
crime. The SC is sufficiently satisfied that their guilt was
proven beyond reasonable doubt.
The killing was characterized by treachery. Though
treachery should normally attend at the inception of the
aggression, the facts show that the victims were first
seized and bound and then slain, hence treachery is
present. In this case, it is enough to point out that the
victims’ hands were tied at the back when their bodies
were found floating in Pasig River. This fact clearly shows
that the victims were rendered defenseless and helpless,
thereby allowing the appellants to commit the crime
without risk at all to their persons. The circumstance of
abuse of superior strength was absorbed in treachery.
The appellants’ move to “clear their names” cannot
be accepted as voluntary surrender. For a surrender to be
voluntary, it must be spontaneous and should show the
intent of the accused to submit himself unconditionally to
the authorities, either because (1) he acknowledges his
guilt or (2) he wishes to save the government the trouble
and expense necessarily included for his search and
capture. When the accused goes to a police station
merely to clear his name and not to give himself up,
voluntary surrender may not be appreciated.
People v. Diva
FACTS:

Maximo and Cesaria Diva (DIVA Spouses) were
charged with the murder of Ananias Bano
(BANO) at the junction of the provincial road and
of a trail leading to the house of the Diva
Spouses in Barrio Santiago, San Francisco,
Cebu, on the afternoon of June 3, 1961.

The information alleged that on June 3, 1962,
DIVA Spouses w/ intent to kill, conspired and
mutually helped each other w/ evident
premeditation and treachery, and taking
advantage of superior strength, attacked BANO
w/ bolo weapons inflicting 8 wounds, 2 of which
were fatal.

Based on the evidence of the prosecution:
o Prior to the incident, BANO was a
resident of Barrio Himinsolan, 4 km.
away from Barrio Santiago, both of the
municipality of San Francisco, Cebu.
BANO married Alejandra Diva Aclon
(daughter of Teodora Diva de Aclon and
niece of Maximo Diva (ergo, Teodora is
the sister of Maximo’s father, Raymundo
Diva). BANO resided in Barrio
Himinsolan until Alejandra died in 1958.
o In 1961, BANO took Justa Senor as his
common law wife. He used to visit the
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o
o
o
o
land of his deceased wife w/c adjoins
the land of Raymundo Diva, about 150
meters to the house of the DIVA
Spouses. During this year, as adjoining
landowners, a boundary dispute arose
between BANO and Maximo, who was
then the caretaker of his father’s land.
The dispute was eventually brought to
court, and was still pending in the CFICebu at the time the incident in question
happened.
In September 1961, after the boundary
dispute case was filed in court, BANO
went to Barrio Santiago to attend the
wedding of a relative. On his return (at
the junction of the provincial road and
the road leading to the house of the
BANO Spouses [“junction”]), BANO was
ambushed by Maximo Diva and his
younger brother, who were both armed
with bolos. Nothing serious happened
because by-standers intervened. Until
his eventual death, no other unusual
event happened. Maximo didn’t show
any
belligerence
towards
BANO
whenever they saw each other.
On March 1962, BANO got ill of “El Tor”
and became well due to timely medical
assistance. On April, Justa Senor fell
seriously ill while giving birth but also
got well due to proper medical
assistance at the Southern Islands
Hospital where she was confined for 16
days.
To offer thanksgiving to the Lord and the
patron saint of Barrio Santiago, BANO
and Justa made a pilgrimage on June 3,
1962 to the chapel of Santiago, passing
by a road which was 150 meters from
the house of the BANO Spouses,
without any untoward incident. On their
return, BANO and Justa took the same
route, but at the “junction,” BANO was
suddenly rushed upon by the DIVA
Spouses. Maximo was armed with a
bolo while Cesaria with a bolo and a
“sangalab,” a sort of scythe used for
cutting grass.
The deceased retreated to avoid the
hacking blows of Maximo, but while he
was defending himself against Maximo,
Cesaria sneaked behind BANO and
delivered a bolo-blow on his back.
BANO continued to retreat while
Maximo continued to inflict blows on



NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
him. Already weak, BANO picked up a
piece of wood and with it, hit the bolo
held by Cesaria causing her to drop the
bolo on the ground.
o While picking the bolo, Maximo
delivered another blow on the right face
of BANO. BANO stopped retreating and
exchanged blow for blow w/ Maximo
(who received wounds on the face,
hand, and arms). Meanwhile, Cesaria
chickened out and ran away.
o Weak and bleeding, BANO was left on
the roadside by Maximo. Two persons,
together with Justa, approached the
scene of the fight. BANO turned over
the bolo to Justa w/ instructions to
deliver it to the authorities. The other 2
persons helped BANO and led him
towards to the Barrio. BANO died at the
steps of the stairs of the house of
Andres Icoy, a school teacher of
Santiago.
From the medical certificate issued by Dr. Olitres
who autopsied the cadaver, BANO suffered: (1)
wound at the right lower jaw; (2) wound near the
side of the mouth; (3) wound about the right
clavicle; (4) wound at the right side of the chest;
(5) wound at the side of the upper part of right
forearm; (6) wound at the left arm; (7) wound at
the medial side of the left scapular region; (8)
wound on his thigh. (3) & (4) were fatal and
BANO ultimately died of of hemorrhage and the
destruction of internal organs like the lung and
big blood vessels.
Based on the evidence, DIVA Spouses after the
incident nor did they surrender to the barrio
lieutenant Rosalio Diva, Maximo’s uncle, and a
resident of their immediate neighborhood. The
following day, the chief of police of San Francisco
was informed that Maximo Diva had surrendered
to the police authorities of the next town of Poro.
Defense: Maximo Diva admits killing BANO but
claims he acted in self-defense. Cesaria Diva
claims that she did not participate in the fight
between her husband and BANO. The theory of
the defense is: DIVA Spouses were working in
the coconut plantation of their father in the
afternoon of June 3, 1962, when BANO
introduced himself surreptitiously in the coconut
plantation and attacked Maximo Diva from
behind. So Maximo Diva had to defend himself.
The fight started in the coconut plantation about
five meters to the provincial road and lasted for
about fifteen minutes. Maximo Diva received nine
wounds in the different parts of his body,
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

although only six were listed by Dr. Olitres in his
medical certificate. On the other hand, Cesaria
Diva claims that while the fight between her
husband and the deceased was going on she
was all the time shouting for help but succor did
not come
TRIAL COURT found the SPOUSES guilty of
murder and sentenced them to reclusion
perpetua.
The accused appealed from the decision.
ISSUE/S:
(1) w/n DIVA Spouses are entitled to mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender? No.
(2) w/n there was conspiracy between DIVA Spouses? No.
(1) MITIGATING CIRCUSTANCE OF VOLUNTARY
SURRENDER
After the incident. Maximo Diva left the scene thereof,
went to the municipality of Poro, a neighboring town,
where Dr. Olitres lived to have his wounds treated by the
said doctor, and after the treatment of his wounds, he
surrendered to the chief of police of the said town. The
trial court considered this act of Maximo Diva as flight,
and, therefore, indicative of guilt.
To be entitled to the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender, the law does not require that the
perpetrator must give himself up to the authorities in the
municipality where the offense was committed. All that
the law requires is for the offender to surrender to the
authorities to save the government the trouble and
expense of looking for him in order to arrest him.
Appellant Maximo Diva surrendered to the authorities
the day following the incident. He did not wait for the
authorities to arrest him. Thus, an accused who
presented himself in the municipal building five days
after the commission of the crime to post the bond for
his temporary liberty was credited with the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender. The fact that a
warrant of arrest had already been issued is not a bar
to the consideration of this mitigating circumstance
because the law does not require that the surrender
be prior to the order of arrest.
By parity of reasoning, therefore, appellant
Maximo Diva's voluntary surrender to the chief of police of
the municipality of Poro should be considered to mitigate
his criminal liability because the law does not require
him to surrender to the authorities of the municipality
of San Francisco where the offense was committed.
(2) PARTICIPATION OF CESARIA DIVA
Cesaria Diva was on her six or seven months pregnancy
at the time of the incident, and in her condition then
obtaining, it is rather doubtful that she would take such
active part, as narrated by the witnesses for the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
prosecution, in the struggle between two giants who
fought for no less than fifteen minutes armed with mortal
weapons, without exposing herself to being hit by the
blows of one of them, nay, of the deceased, had she
approached them and mingled in the fight. We are
persuaded, that upon the evidence, the participation
of Cesaria Diva in the aggression of the victim is of
doubtful veracity. It is more reasonable to believe her
testimony that she has been crying and calling for help
during all the time the struggle was going on but that no
help came. Cesaria Diva did not take part in the
commission of the crime, and, therefore, conspiracy did
not exist.
DISPOSITION: Decision modified - Cesaria Diva is
acquitted of the offense charged on reasonable doubt and
Maximo Diva is found guilty of homicide, with the benefit of
the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender.
Side Issues:
1. There is lack of premeditation on the part of the
accused. The evidence reveals that until the
incident occurred (June 3, 1962) nor did Maximo
Diva show any belligerence towards BANO
whenever they saw each other in Himinsolan and
Santiago.
To
properly
appreciate
the
circumstance of evident premeditation, it is
necessary to establish with proof, as clear as the
proof of the crime itself, that (1) the time when
the offender determined to commit the crime; (2)
an act manifestly indicating that the culprit has
clung to his determination; and (3) a sufficient
lapse of time between the determination and the
execution to allow him to reflect. None of the
foregoing requisites are present in the case at
bar.
2. There is no treachery. The allegation of treachery
is not conclusively proven by the prosecution.
Although the deceased was suddenly attacked,
but the deceased was able to retreat to avoid
being hit by the hacking blows. So that he was
only hit when he was already in the act of
defending himself against the attack of the
accused.
3. Defense of self-defense is untenable. Evidence
showed Maximo laid in waiting behind a clamp of
“iring-iring” shrurbs beside the provincial road
armed w/ a bolo, w/o perhaps the knowledge of
his wife of his purpose and suddenly attacked
BANO.Having admitted the killing, it was
incumbent upon him to prove by positive
evidence or with convincing credibility his claim of
self-defense. A primordial requisite for selfdefense is unlawful aggression. This appellant
Maximo Diva failed to prove.
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4.
Prosecution is not guilty of willful suppression of
evidence.
PEOPLE v. QUIMPO
FACTS: Accused-appellant Jimmy Dela Cruz y Quimpo
was charged with and found guilty of the crime of murder
and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The Information
alleged that on or about the 1st day of September, 1998 in
the evening, in Barangay Tigayon, Municipality of Kalibo,
Province of Aklan, Republic of the Philippines, and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, while armed with a knife, with treachery and with
intent to kill, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and stab one Arnulfo
Inocencio, inflicting upon the latter physical injuries.
Two eyewitnesses, Jovelyn Felizario, cousin of
Arnulfo, and Glen Cipriano testified that in the evening of
September 1, 1998, several visitors were in her house at
Tigayon, Kalibo, Aklan since it was the birthday of her
brother, Jonel. At around 11:00 that evening, Arnulfo
Inocencio, appellant Jimmy dela Cruz, and brothers
Glenn, Gilbert and Greg Cipriano were having a drinking
session. Arnulfo played a guitar while appellant sang
along. Afterwards, appellant requested Arnulfo to give the
guitar to Gilbert. Arnulfo obliged and rose to hand the
guitar to Gilbert. When Arnulfo returned to his seat,
appellant suddenly drew his knife from his waist and
stabbed Arnulfo. According to the witness, appellant then
pointed at Arnulfo and said, "There, he is already dead."
The witness added she was just two meters away from the
victim and the appellant when the stabbing incident
happened.
Appellant admits that he killed the victim, Arnulfo
Inocencio. However, he avers he did it in self-defense. He
claims that it was Arnulfo who attacked him first and that
he had no recourse but to stab Arnulfo.
ISSUE: W/N Quimpo acted in self-defense – NO.
HELD: By invoking self-defense, the burden is placed
upon appellant to prove clearly and convincingly the
elements thereof: unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim, reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel the aggression, and lack of sufficient
provocation on his part. Although all the three elements
must concur, self-defense must rest firstly on proof of
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. If no unlawful
aggression has been proved, no self-defense may be
successfully pleaded, whether complete or incomplete. In
this case, appellant's testimony miserably failed to prove
the existence of unlawful aggression. He claims that it was
the victim who, without provocation on his part, suddenly
attacked him. To defend himself, he was constrained to
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
pull out the knife from his waist and stab the victim on the
chest. The one-inch long wound in appellant's left hand
was too superficial to support his claim that it was inflicted
while he was parrying the thrust of the victim. The mere
fact that he was wounded does not prove indubitably his
claim that he acted in self-defense. Nor that the victim and
not he was the aggressor. Note that appellant did not
present a knife during the trial to bolster his case. The
witnesses for the prosecution denied that the victim was
armed with a knife and, indeed, none was recovered from
the scene of the crime.
* The issue on voluntary surrender was not fully discussed
in the case. It was only mentioned at the end of the case,
as follows:
The trial court was correct when it considered
the mitigating circumstance of Quimpo’s voluntary
surrender to the barangay captain. Appellant
spontaneously and unconditionally placed himself in
the hands of the authorities, and saved them the time
and effort attendant to a search. The testimony of
barangay captain Isberto and the police officer on this
point was not contradicted by the prosecution. Thus, we
find that the trial court correctly imposed the minimum of
the penalty prescribed by law for the crime of murder
which isreclusion perpetua.
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER
NOTE: Know crimpro provisions
PEOPLE VS CALPITO
FACTS: Calpito was charged with Robbery with Homicide.
Initially, Calpito entered a plea of not guilty, but after
reinvestigation and re-arraignment, changed his plea to
guilty. Court then charged Calpito of Murder instead of
robbery with Homicide due to prosecution’s failure to
sufficiently prove robbery.
(Side facts for side issue) Calpito argued that
since he was a minor (16 years old) when he committed
the crime, although his birth certificate could not be
verified, he should be credited with mitigating
circumstance of minority. RTC didn’t consider this and no
mitigating circumstance was applied.
ISSUE: (related to topic – hinde expressly sinabi but I just
assumed given the topic) W/N Calpito should be credited
with mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty
even though he pleaded not guilty on the first arraignment.
– YES.
RATIO:
The requisites of this circumstance are:
(1) that the offender spontaneously confessed his guilt;
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(2) that the confession of guilt was made in open court,
that is, before the competent court that is to try the case;
and
(3) that the confession of guilt was made prior to the
presentation of evidence for the prosecution.
In this case, upon re-arraignment, appellant, in the
presence of his counsel, and in open court, voluntarily
pleaded guilty to the crime charged before the prosecution
presented its evidence. This mitigating circumstance
should therefore be considered in computing the proper
penalty.
SIDE ISSUE: W/N minority can be credited to Calpito
notwithstanding unverified birth certificate. – YES.
SIDE RATIO: It is established that during the crime,
Calpito is indeed below eighteen. Though his real age
cannot be ascertained and that the birth certificate that he
presented is not satisfactory, throughout the trial, however,
he has consistently stated his age as being below 18 at
the time of the commission of the crime. His conviction is
affirmed but his penalty is reduced.
PEOPLE v. TAKBOBO
Facts: Ruben Takbobo, a middle aged fisherman, was
charged with killing his wife, Lucia, by hacking and
stabbing the latter with a knife and bolo. Takbobo went to
the authorities and told them what happened.
Their daughter testified in court that Takbobo had
the propensity for inexplicable resort to violence against
members of his family (one of her fingers was cut and the
third finger of her older sister was split by a bolo wielded
by their father).
Takbobo said that the reason he killed his wife
was because he caught her sleeping with another man.
He arrived home at 3am from his fishing activity when he
his wife sleeping with their neighbor. He tried to kill him by
stabbing him but his wife pushed the man who
immediately jumped out the window. As a result, his wife
was hit by his thrust. He then found out that his wife had
no panty. He tried searching but failed to find the other
man. He immediately reported the incident to the police
though he was not able to execute his affidavit as he was
very confused.
Takbobo entered a plea of guilty. The RTC
found him guilty of parricide but did not appreciate the
mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation,
voluntary surrender and voluntary plea of guilty. Thus, this
appeal.
Issue: Did the court err in not considering the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty - YES
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Ratio: Takbobo admitted his guilt in open court prior
to the presentation of evidence by the prosecution,
which is a requisite for this mitigating circumstance.
But despite the presence of two mitigating circumstances
(other is voluntary surrender) without any aggravating
circumstance, the court did not agree with the
recommendation of the SG to reduce the penalty to
reclusion temporal. This would patently run counter to the
rules for the application of indivisible penalties under Art.
63.
Art. 246 defines the crime of parricide and
imposes the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
Applying Art. 63, when the penalty is composed of two
indivisible penalties, the penalty cannot be lowered by one
degree, no matter how many mitigating circumstances are
present. Par. 5 of Art 64 (Rules for application of penalties
with three periods) applies only to divisible penalties.
PEOPLE OF THE
MAGALLANES
[Doctrine: plea of Guilt]
PHILIPPINES vs.
GREGORIO
FACTS: Accused-appellant Magallanes was a "mananari"
or gaffer of fighting cocks. He and his friends were walking
towards the cockpit. Along their way, they met deceased
Virgilio Tapales who was drinking in a store. Tapales
called one of Magallanes’ friends (Cempron) who were
walking with him. For some unknown reason, Tapales
then directed his attention to the appellant who was
walking a few steps behind Cempron. Tapales held the
appellant by his shirt slapped him and strangled his neck.
But seeing a knife tucked in Tapales' waist, the appellant
pulled out the knife and slashed at Tapales to loosen his
grip. The appellant succeeded in wounding the face and
neck of Tapales who let go of the appellant and fled for his
life. Insatiated, the appellant pursued Tapales and when
the latter fell, the appellant stabbed him several more
times. Later, the appellant surrendered to the police
authorities. Accused-appellant Magallanes was charged
by the prosecution for Murder. During arraignment,
accused-appellant
Magallanes
expressed
his
willingness to enter a plea of guilty to the lesser
offense of homicide with the mitigating circumstances
of plea of guilty and voluntary surrender. The
prosecution refused to lower the charge from murder to
homicide, hence, trial ensued after which, a decision was
rendered finding the appellant guilty of the crime of
murder.
ISSUE: Whether or not accused Magallanes should be
convicted of Murder or homicide.
HELD: Homicide.
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The appellant asseverates that the killing of
Tapales was not attended by treachery which would
qualify it to murder, hence, he should have been convicted
of the crime of homicide only. On the other hand, the
prosecution insists that the killing was treacherous
because it was perpetrated while the defenseless Tapales
was running away from the appellant, thereby giving the
latter opportunity to stab Tapales at the back without
warning. On this issue we find for the accused-appellant.
Absent the qualifying circumstance of treachery,
we therefore find the appellant guilty only of the crime of
homicide. Moreover, a careful scrutiny of the records of
this case reveals that the trial court had erroneously failed
to appreciate in mitigation of the appellant's penalty the
circumstances of voluntary surrender and plea of guilty.
On record is the appellant's willingness to
enter a plea of guilty but to the lesser crime of
homicide. It only remains to consider briefly whether
the appellant's plea of guilty in the form it was entered
constitutes a voluntary confession of guilt before the
court as defined in paragraph 7 of Article 13 of the
Revised Penal Code. In People v. Yturriaga where the
accused who was charged with murder entered a qualified
plea of guilty by claiming that the alleged qualifying
circumstance of evident premeditation did not exist, we
said that:
Although the confession was qualified and
introduction of evidence became necessary, the
qualification did not deny the defendant's guilt
and, what is more, was subsequently fully
justified. It was not the defendant's fault that
aggravating circumstances were erroneously alleged
in the information and mitigating circumstances
omitted therefrom. If such qualification could deprive
the accused of the benefit of plea of guilty, then the
prosecution could nullify this mitigating circumstance
by counteracting it with unfounded allegations of
aggravating circumstances.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is
hereby MODIFIED by convicting the appellant Gregorio
Magallanes of the crime of homicide only with the
mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender and plea
of guilty in his favor.
[Note: In simple terms, a plea of guilt is a mitigating
circumstance. But the question is, how about if the
accused pleaded guilty of a lesser crime than that charged
against him? Will it be considered a mitigating
circumstance of “plea of guilt”? Yes! For example, in this
case, the Court is saying that accused-appellant’s
confession is qualified. It is qualified because although he
admitted the commission of a crime (homicide only), he
did not admit to the crime that was charged against him
(murder). However, this qualified confession, according to
the court, “did not deny the defendant’s [accused
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Magallanes’] guilt”. Hence, even though it was a
qualified confession, he still admitted his guilt
anyway. Otherwise, if we do not interpret the law this way,
then the effect would be that the prosecution would simply
counteract this “plea of guilt” with unfounded allegations of
aggravating circumstances.]
ZENON R. PEREZ, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES and SANDIGANBAYAN, respondents.
FACTS:
Petitioner was the town treasurer and used public
funds of a town in Bohol admitting that part of the
money was used to pay for the loan of his late
brother, another portion was spent for the food of his
family, and the rest for his medicine.
Filing of the appropriate criminal case against
petitioner was recommended by the Auditor.
An administrative case was filed against petitioner to
which he filed an answer reiterating his earlier verbal
admission before the audit team.
He eventually was able to remit amounts equivalent to
that which he used.
Later, petitioner was charged and conviction before
the Sandiganbayan with malversation of public funds.
ISSUE: W/N the penalty may be mitigated.
HELD/RATIO: YES.
In all cases, persons guilty of malversation shall also
suffer the penalty of perpetual special disqualification and
a fine equal to the amount of the funds malversed or equal
to the total value of the property embezzled.
The failure of a public officer to have duly
forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is
chargeable upon demand by any duly authorized officer,
shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing
funds or property to personal uses. (Underscoring
supplied)
The amount malversed totalled P72,784.57. The
prescribed penalty is reclusion temporal in its maximum
period to reclusion perpetua, which has a range of
seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to
forty (40) years.
However, the commission of the crime was
attended by the mitigating circumstance akin to
voluntary surrender. As correctly observed by the
Sandiganbayan, petitioner restituted the full amount even
before the prosecution could present its evidence. That is
borne by the records.
It bears stressing that the full restitution of the
amount malversed will not in any way exonerate an
accused, as payment is not one of the elements of
extinction of criminal liability. Under the law, the refund of
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
the sum misappropriated, even before the commencement
of the criminal prosecution, does not exempt the guilty
person from liability for the crime. At most, then, payment
of the amount malversed will only serve as a mitigating
circumstance akin to voluntary surrender, as provided for
in paragraph 7 of Article 1387 in relation to paragraph
1088 of the same Article of the Revised Penal Code.
But the Court also holds that aside from
voluntary surrender, petitioner is entitled to the
mitigating circumstance of no intention to commit so
grave a wrong, again in relation to paragraph 10 of Article
13.
The
records
bear
out
that
petitioner
misappropriated the missing funds under his custody and
control because he was impelled by the genuine love for
his brother and his family. Per his admission, petitioner
used part of the funds to pay off a debt owed by his
brother. Another portion of the misappropriated funds went
to his medications for his debilitating diabetes.
Further, as shown earlier, petitioner restituted all
but Eight Thousand Pesos (P8,000.00) of the funds in less
than one month and a half and said small balance in three
(3) months from receipt of demand of COA on January 5,
1999. Evidently, there was no intention to commit so grave
a wrong.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
store approximately two arms length from him. Then he
saw Rodrigo handing a bolo to his brother Rodolfo and an
ice-pick one foot long to their cumpadre, saying at the
same time, The one in white shirt. In a swift, sudden
motion, the cumpadre bluntly stabbed Carlos Reyes on
the chest, asking his companions, Ito ba? By this time,
Rodrigo was six arms length away watching the whole
incident. Meanwhile, Rodolfo, still holding the bolo, served
as a back-up, standing near his cumpadre. He also
shouted Walang makiki-alam! Carlos, wounded and
bleeding, fell on his back. After which, the three ran away
in the same direction. Danilo was able to clearly see what
transpired because the place was well-lighted by electric
lights emanating from the store and the lamp post.
Danilo helped the parents of Carlos Reyes
institute the case. Rodrigo Hilario said the event never
took place and that Danilo implicated him because Danilo
had a grudge against him. He said he was roving with his
fellow barangay tanods that night.
The RTC found Rodrigo Hilario guilty of murder,
qualified by evident premeditation, and with the generic
aggravating circumstance of treachery without any
mitigating circumstance, and sentenced him to reclusion
perpetua.
Issue: Whether or not the accused is liable despite the
error in personae.
PP v. HILARIO
Facts: One afternoon, accused Rodrigo Hilario, together
with his brother Rodolfo, and someone who appears to be
their cumpadre (whose name is uknown) went to the
house of Danilo Manzanares. Manzanares was a watch
repairman and the Hilarios, (Manzanares’ uncles because
they were the siblings of Danilo’s mom) visited him to have
the bracelet of Rodolfos watch restored. While Danilo was
busy fixing the bracelet, the three were conversing nearby.
He inadvertently heard Rodrigo saying, Pare, nandyan na
ang taong titirahin natin, si Berong. In response, Rodolfo
remarked, Padilim tayo. After 30 minutes, the three left
and proceeded to the Barangay Hall which is only two
houses away.
At about 8:30 in the evening, Danilo went to
Mang Jacks store. There, he saw Berong and the victim
Carlos Reyes in front of the store squatting and talking to
each other. Both were wearing white shirts. A little later,
Berong removed his white shirt. Fate must be smiling on
him that night because uncannily, this innocent act would
later save his skin at the expense of Carlos.
At this juncture, Danilo saw Rodrigo, Rodolfo and
their cumpadre approaching from the other side of the
Held: Yes! Sc affirms the conviction.
Ratio: The fact that the accused killed a person other than
their intended victim is of no moment. According to Art. 4
of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by
any person committing a felony although the wrongful act
done be different from that which is intended. One who
commits an intentional felony is responsible for all the
consequences which may naturally or logically result
therefrom, whether foreseen or intended or not. The
rationale of the rule is found in the doctrine, el que es
causa de la causa es causa del mal causado, or he who is
the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused. [10
The accused performed voluntary acts. Their purpose was
to kill. Hence, notwithstanding the mistake in the identity of
the victim, the accused are still criminally liable.
It is to be noted that the lower court, in finding the
appellant guilty of murder, qualified the killing by evident
premeditation. Evident premeditation, however, may not
properly be taken into account when the person whom the
defendant proposed to kill was different from the one who
became his victim. When the person decided to kill a
different person and premeditated on the killing of the
latter, but when he carried out his plan he actually killed
another person, it cannot properly be said that he
premeditated on the killing of the actual victim. Thus
premeditation was not aggravating in the case of People
vs. Guillen, where the accused had deliberately intended
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to assassinate former President Manuel Roxas but he
killed instead Simeon Varela and wounded others. This
doctrinal rule applies here.
PEOPLE VS. GEMOYA
The neighborhood of Barrio Malagamot, Panacan, Davao
City were awakened by a commotion. Armando Gemoya
and Candelario Aliazar, together with their relatives,
Ronilo and Rolly Tionko, went towards the house of Irene
Lantapon. They were armed with pipe, wood, and an
improvised bow and arrow locally called “Indian Pana”.
Addressing a group of people who were huddled together,
Ronilo stopped and demanded an explanation for what
happened to his brother-in-law. They replied that nothing
happened to him and advised them to go home. Ronilo
ignored them and the four went to the house of the
Alferezes. They saw Wilfredo Alferez standing by the road
waiting for a taxi. The four rushed at him. Ronilo beat him
with a cylindrical wood, Rolly with a pipe, while Candelario
held his arms behind him. Armando aimed his “Indian
pana” at Wilfredo and the latter was hit on his left chest.
Edgardo and his daughter, Rosalie Jimenez rushed to his
aid. But Rosalie was hit on the left ear by Armando. Then
the four ran away. Wilfredo was brought to the hospital but
he died upon arrival. Rosalie, on the other hand, was
declared out of danger.
The RTC found Armando and Ronilo guilty of
murder and frustrated homicide.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC erred in convicting
Armando and Ronilo of the crime of frustrated homicide for
the wounding of Jimenez??? -- YES
RULING: The hitting of Rosalie was accidental as the
second “Indian pana” was meant for Wilfredo. The intent
to kill Rosalie is absent. However, they are still liable for
the consequences of their felonious act. Mistake in the
identity of the victim, which may either be “error in
personae” (mistake of the person), or “aberratio ictus”
(mistake in the blow), is neither exempting nor
mitigating. They cannot therefore escape the criminal
liability resulting from the injury suffered by Rosalie.
NOTE: Gemoya is entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender.
PALAGANAS VS. PEOPLE (My Way)
CHICO-NAZARIO, J. (Panganiban, C.J., Chairperson,
Ynares-Santiago,
Austria-Martinez,
Callejo,
Sr.,
J.J., concur.):
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The song evokes the bitterest passions. This is not the
first time the song "My Way" has triggered violent behavior
resulting in people coming to blows. In the case at bar, the
few lines of the song depicted what came to pass when
the victims and the aggressors tried to outdo each other in
their rendition of the song.
FACTS: Brothers Servillano, Melton and Michael Ferrer
were having their drinking spree at their house but later
decided to proceed to Tidbits Videoke Bar to continue their
drinking spree and to sing. Thereafter, Jaime Palaganas
arrived together with Ferdinand Palaganas (nephew) and
Virgilio Bautista. When Jaime Palaganas was singing,
Melton Ferrer sang with him as the latter was familiar with
the song (My Way). Jaime Palaganas got irritated and
insulted. He felt that he was being mocked by Melton
Ferrer, that caused him to went to the Ferrer’s table and
uttered statements which began the fight.
Ferdinand sought help to Rujjeric Palaganas.
They went to the Bar and upon seeing the Ferrers outside,
Ferdinand pointing at the Ferrers instructed Rujjeric to
shoot them. Rujjeric Palaganas shot Servillano, Melton
and Michael with the use of unlicensed firearm. As a
result, Melton was killed, Servillano was fatally wounded
and Michael was shot in his right shoulder.
ISSUE: Whether or not the use of unlicensed firearm is a
special aggravating circumstance which should be
appreciated by the court at the case at bar? YES.
HELD: Both TC and the appellate court were correct that
the aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed must
be applied against petitioner since the same was alleged
in the informations filed against him before the RTC and
proven during the trial. However, such must be
considered as a special aggravating circumstance,
and not a generic aggravating circumstance.
Generic aggravating circumstances are those
that generally apply to all crimes such as those mentioned
in Article 14, paragraphs No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 18,
19 and 20, of the RPC. It has the effect of increasing the
penalty for the crime to its maximum period, but it cannot
increase the same to the next higher degree. It must
always be alleged and charged in the information, and
must be proven during the trial in order to be appreciated.
Moreover, it can be offset by an ordinary mitigating
circumstance. On the other hand, special aggravating
circumstances are those which arise under special
conditions to increase the penalty for the offense to its
maximum period, but the same cannot increase the
penalty to the next higher degree. Examples are quasirecidivism under Article 160 and complex crimes under
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. It does not change
the character of the offense charged. It must always be
alleged and charged in the information, and must be
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proven during the trial in order to be appreciated.
Moreover, it cannot be offset by an ordinary mitigating
circumstance.
It is clear from the foregoing that the meaning
and effect of generic and special aggravating
circumstances are exactly the same except that in case of
generic aggravating, the same CAN be offset by an
ordinary mitigating circumstance whereas in the case of
special aggravating circumstance, it CANNOT be offset by
an ordinary mitigating circumstance.
Aside from the aggravating circumstances
abovementioned, there is also an aggravating
circumstance provided for under Presidential Decree No.
1866, as amended by Republic Act No. 8294, which is a
special law. Its pertinent provision states: If homicide
or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed
firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be
considered as an aggravating circumstance.
We already held in several cases that with the
passage of RA8294 on 6 June 1997, the use of an
unlicensed firearm in murder or homicide is now
considered as a SPECIAL aggravating circumstance
and not a generic aggravating circumstance. RA 8294
applies to the instant case since it took effect before the
commission of the crimes in 21 April 1998. Therefore, the
use of an unlicensed firearm by the petitioner in the instant
case should be designated and appreciated as a
SPECIAL aggravating circumstance and not merely a
generic aggravating circumstance.
As was previously established, a special
aggravating circumstance cannot be offset by an ordinary
mitigating circumstance. Voluntary surrender of petitioner
in this case is merely an ordinary mitigating circumstance.
Thus, it cannot offset the special aggravating
circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm. In accordance
with Article 64, paragraph 3 of the Revised Penal Code,
the penalty imposable on petitioner should be in its
maximum period.
PEOPLE VS. WILSON LAB-EO
Facts: Segundina Cayno was engaged in the business of
selling rummage goods. One day, she displayed the
goods in front of the public market. Nancy Gaoan and
Julie Dangla went to see Segundina to be massaged by
the latter. Before noontime, while Nancy and Julie were
plucking the white hair strands of Segundina, appellant
Wilson Lab-eo arrived and approached his aunt,
Segundina. Appellant sat down in front of his aunt and
uttered something to her in a very soft voice. Nancy and
Julie did not hear what he said because of her distance
from them. What they only heard was Segundina’s answer
which was uttered in a loud angry voice saying ‘you get
out because I might suffer high blood‘. Appellant then
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
proceeded to the market place, which was just about 5
meters away. Thereat, he saw at a butchers shop a knife
which he took and he right away returned to the barangay
hall. When appellant returned, Segundina was sitting on a
low rattan stool. In front of her were Nancy and Julie. They
did not notice appellants return, especially Segundina who
had her back to appellant. Appellant suddenly stabbed
Segundina on the left portion of her back. He then ran
away leaving the knife at the victims back with the jacket
he had covered it with, hanging by the knife’s handle.
Appellant surrendered right away to the police. Segundina
died in the morning of the following day. The appellant
does not deny stabbing Segundina Cay-no. However, he
maintains that neither treachery nor evident premeditation
attended the commission of the crime. Appellant testified
that he was teasing Segundina that he be her baggage
boy of the clothes that she was vending. Segundina got
mad and humiliated him in front of many people. Trial
court found the appellant guilty of the crime of murder.
Issues:
1. WON the information for murder was sufficient -YES!
2. WON there was treachery -YES!
3. WON there is a mitigating circumstance of passion and
obfuscation and sufficient provocation -NO!
1. The Information, as written, consists of two paragraphs.
The first paragraph contains the allegations of the date,
time, place, the acts constituting the offense, and the
name of the victim. Written in a separate paragraph are
the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation,
treachery, abuse of superior strength and craft, alleged as
attending the commission of the crime.The fact that the
qualifying circumstances were recited in the second
paragraph and not in the first paragraph of the Information,
as commonly done, is a matter of form or style for which
the prosecution should not be faulted.
The test of sufficiency of Information is whether it
enables a person of common understanding to know the
charge against him, and the court to render judgment
properly. Significantly, the appellant never claimed that he
was deprived of his right to be fully apprised of the nature
of the charges against him because of the style or form
adopted in the Information.
The New Rules on Criminal Procedure now
require that both the qualifying and aggravating
circumstances must be specifically alleged in the
Information to be appreciated as such. Under the old
Rules, only the qualifying circumstances were required to
be alleged in the Information, and aggravating
circumstances, even if not alleged, could still be
appreciated, except in cases where an aggravating
circumstance would result in the imposition of the death
penalty.
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2. Treachery attended the stabbing of the victim. As a rule,
a sudden attack by the assailant, whether frontally or from
behind, is treachery if he deliberately adopted such mode
of attack with the purpose of depriving the victim of a
chance to either fight or retreat. To constitute treachery,
two conditions must concur: (1) the employment of means
of execution which tend directly and specially to insure the
accomplishment of the crime without risk to the assailant
arising from the defense the victim might make; and (2) a
deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of
execution. When a victim is unexpectedly attacked from
behind, depriving him of any opportunity to defend himself,
undeniably there is alevosia. Craft was likwise absorbed in
treachery as shown by the fact that the appellant hid the
knife under his jacket to prevent the victim from seeing it
and from being alerted of an impending assault.
3. In order to be entitled to the mitigating circumstance of
passion and obfuscation, the following elements should
concur: (1) there should be an act both unlawful and
sufficient to produce such condition of mind; (2) the act
which produced the obfuscation was not far removed from
the commission of the crime by a considerable length of
time, during which the perpetrator might recover his
normal equanimity. In asking the appellant to leave, the
victim did not do anything unlawful. There is an absolute
lack of proof that the appellant was utterly humiliated by
the victims utterance. Nor was it shown that the victim
made that remark in an insulting and repugnant manner.
Neither was the mitigating circumstance of sufficient
provocation by the victim proven. From the testimonies of
witnesses, it was shown that it was in fact the appellant
who provoked the victim. Moreover, this Court has held
that the provocation sufficient to mitigate an offense must
be proportionate to the gravity of the retaliatory act.
Treachery attended the stabbing of Segundina
Cay-no, thereby qualifying the killing to murder which is
punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. However, with
the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender, the
appellant shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
instead of death.
RA 8294 or RA 8353
PEOPLE V JOHN PETER HIPOL
Dunno why this is under firearms. Should be under
aggravating circumstance of taking advantage of public
office.
Facts: Hipol was employed as Cash Clerk II at the City
Treasurer’s office in Baguio. His duty included assisting
the cashier in the preparation of payments of vouchers,
correspondences, daily cash reports...etc., and other
communications and documents necessary in connection
with the handling of cash and other duties which may be
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
assigned to him. He was also tasked to make almost daily
deposits to the collections of the City Treasurer to the
PNB.
Whenever Hipol was absent, it was Lerma
Roque who was ordered to deposit money. Thus, one day,
Roque was instructed to gather all deposit slips covering
all deposits of funds of the City Treasurer’s Office with
PNB. Roque then opened the unlocked desk drawer of
Hipol as was her practice. She inadvertently stumbled
upon 3PNB deposit slips inside Hipol’s drawer which did
not appear to have been actually deposited. It was later on
verified that indeed they were not verified.
Upon further inspection, more slips that were not
deposited were found. The COA conducted an audit it was
found that around P2M++ collections were made but not
deposited. Hipol denies the accusation of malversation of
public funds.
TC: Guilty. Reclusion perpetua as penalty among
others.
Issue: Whether Hipol is guilty? And whether aggravating
circumstance of taking advantage of public office should
be appreciated?
Held: Hipol is guilty! But no aggravating circumstance.
(Constitutional and criminal procedure arguments
were made --- I won’t discuss this anymore). But the gist
is: Constitutional argument --- Hipol argues that there was
unreasonable search and seizure. But note that this
Constitutional proscription does not concern itself with the
relation between private individuals. Criminal Procedure --amendment of the information. But the Court said the
amendment only referred to the amount involved and not
to the crime charged.
Conviction for malversation of public funds or
property require proof that: 1) the offender is a public
officer; 2) he has the custody or control of funds or
property by reason of the duties of his office; 3) the funds
or property involved are public funds or property for which
he is accountable; and 3) he has appropriated, taken or
misappropriated, or has consented, or through
abandonment or negligence permitted, the taking by
another person of such funds or property.
In this case, the facts are clear that Hipol is a
public officer and that he is tasked to regularly handle
public funds. Even if the duty of depositing them is not his
official task, the fact remains that he had custody of the
money.
Hipol points the blame to the missing money to
the City Treasurer and the Cashier against whom the COA
also filed charges against for the shortage of city funds.
Nevertheless, under Article 217, the failure of the public
officer to present such public funds or property upon
demand by a duly authorized officer is prima facie
evidence that he has put such missing funds or property to
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
personal use. Being an accountable officer, Hipol may be
convicted of malversation even in the absence of direct
proof of misappropriation as long as there is evidence of
shortage in his accounts which he cannot explain.
Nevertheless, the aggravating circumstance
of taking advantage of public office cannot be
appreciated in this case. The element of taking
advantage of public office is inherent in the crime of
malversation of public funds or property. Said crime
cannot be committed without the abuse of public
office.
Also, Sol Gen said that the crime was already
economic sabotage. SC: No such thing as economic
sabotage as aggravating. (note: Mickey, from Glenn
notes)
PEOPLE V. VILLAMOR
Around dusk, brothers Jerry and Jelord Velez were on
their way home on board a motorcycle after having dinner
at a friend’s house. From behind them appeared a
speeding motorcycle, which they ignored. Suddenly,
gunshots rang out from behind them and they abruptly
turned towards the direction of the gunfire. The lights of
their motorbike fell on the attackers, and they clearly
identified the latter to be PO3 Renato Villamor and Brgy.
Capt. Jessie Maghilom (both accused). The assailants
fired at them a second time and then fled. Jerry the driver
sustained wounds in the abdomen and elbow, Jelord died
from the first gunshot (didn’t say which part).
Villamor and Maghilom were indicted for murder
(Jelord) with treachery and frustrated murder (Jerry) but
Maghilom remained at large. Villamor posted an alibi (he
was then acting as a security escort for Mayor Yap). Not
so important: the Velezes and the Yaps are political rivals.
Trial court: guilty of murder with aggravating circ
of taking advantage of his public position. Death. For
frustrated murder also with the aggravating circ of taking
advantage of public position as a policeman, guilty.
Reclusion temp, max.
Ruling: SC agrees with trial court ruling that there was
treachery BUT NO ABUSE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY.
There is treachery when the offender commits
any of the crimes against persons, employing means,
methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend
directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to
himself arising from the defense which the offended party
might make. The two conditions for the same are present
(1) that at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a
position to defend himself, and (2) that the offender
consciously adopted the particular means, method or form
of attack employed by him. The essence of treachery is
the swift, sudden and unexpected attack by the aggressor
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
on an unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any real
chance to defend himself, thereby ensuring its commission
without risk to the aggressor, and without the slightest
provocation on the part of the victim. The treacherous
manner in which the crime was committed is shown by the
sudden and unexpected attack upon the unsuspecting and
apparently unarmed victims and also by the deliberate
manner in which the assault was perpetrated. In this case,
a totally unsuspecting Jelord Velez held onto his brother
Jerry on board their motorcycle on their way home
blissfully unaware of the onrushing peril behind them. The
attendance of treachery qualifies the killing to Murder.
The trial court improperly applied the aggravating
circumstance of taking advantage of public position. To
appreciate this aggravating circumstance, the public
officer must use the influence, prestige or ascendancy
which his office gives him as a means by which he
realizes his purpose. Test: Did the accused abuse his
office to commit the crime? In this case, there was no
showing that Villamor took advantage of his being a
policeman to shoot Jelord or that he used his
influence, prestige or ascendancy in killing the victim.
Villamor could have shot Jelord even without being a
policeman. In other words, if the accused could have
perpetrated the crime even without occupying his
position, there is no abuse of public position. The
mere fact that accused-appellant is a policeman and used
his gun to kill is not sufficient to establish that he misused
his public position in the commission of the crime.
PEOPLE V. TABION
Where the information charging accused with rape failed
to allege minority and relationship (of victim to accused),
he cannot be convicted of qualified rape. Simple rape only,
as proved in trial.
Regin Tabion (16) was at home weaving baskets when
her dad, Dominador Tabion called her to wash plates. The
latter was her only companion. Tabion then told her to go
into their room, lie on the bed and remove her panty.
Tabion had with him a large hunting knife which he used
to threaten his daughter. He successfully raped his
daughter and warned the latter to not tell anyone about the
incident, otherwise, he’d kill her and the whole family. This
went on 10 times, until she couldn’t bear the pain
anymore. She confessed to her mom and a case was
filed. Tabion denied having raped his daughter and said
that his wife merely had a grudge on him because he was
an NPA.
Trial court ruling: guilty of qualified rape. Penalty
of death.
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Ruling: Tabion may only be convicted of simple, not
qualified rape.
The court is convinced that Tabion raped his own
daughter Regin. The testimony of the victim is replete with
details; she was categorical, straightforward, unshaken
and unwavering even during the grueling crossexamination. Victim’s
testimony
was
also
fully
corroborated with the testimony of the examining
physician. Accused’s defense of alibi cannot prevail over
victim’s testimony. Indeed, no young girl of decent repute
would allow an examination of her private parts or subject
herself to the shame, embarrassment and humiliation of a
public trial, if she has not in fact been raped.
However, it must be noted that the constitution
grants the accused the inviolable right “to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him.” This
means that every element of the offense must be alleged
in the complaint or information. The accused "is presumed
to have no independent knowledge of the facts that
constitute the offense" charged.
RA 7659, which took effect on December 31,
1993, imposes the death penalty in the event rape is
attended by any one of the “seven new special
circumstances” enumerated in the said statute.
Pursuant to the above-mentioned constitutional
right of the accused, the death penalty may be imposed
only if the information has alleged and the evidence has
proven both the age of the victim and her relationship to
the offender. In the instant case, the age of the victim
was not alleged in the Information filed against
appellant. Because not all the elements of qualified
rape were alleged in the Information, the death
sentence cannot be meted out to him.
In the crime of rape, the relationship between
the offender and the victim is aggravating.
Accused guilty of simple rape only, the
punishment was lowered (as to period of imprisonment)
but moral and exemplary damages were awarded.
policeman. Diosdada instinctively followed suit and sat
beside Mario.
They cruised towards Roxas Boulevard. The
driver then asked Mario why he was carrying a "deadly
weapon," to which Mario answered, "for self-defense since
he was a polio victim." The driver and another policeman
who were both seated in front grilled Mario. They
frightened him by telling him that for carrying a deadly
weapon outside his residence he would be brought to the
Bicutan police station where he would be interrogated by
the police, mauled by other prisoners and heckled by the
press. As they approached Ospital ng Maynila, the mobile
car pulled over and the 2 policemen in front told the
Montecillos that the bailbond for carrying a "deadly
weapon" was P12,000.00. At this point, the driver asked
how much money they had. Without answering, Mario
gave his P1,000.00 to Diosdada who placed the money
inside her wallet.
Diosdada was then made to alight from the car.
She was followed by the driver and was told to go behind
the vehicle. There, the driver forced her to take out her
wallet and rummaged through its contents. He counted her
money. She had P5,000.00 in her wallet. The driver
took P1,500.00 and left her P3,500.00. He instructed her
to tell his companions that all she had wasP3,500.00.
While going back to the car the driver demanded from her
any piece of jewelry that could be pawned. Ruefully, she
removed her wristwatch and offered it to him. The driver
declined saying, "Never mind," and proceeded to board
the car. Diosdada, still fearing for the safety of her brother,
followed and sat beside him in the car.
Once in the car, Diosdada was directed by the
policeman at the front passenger seat to place all her
money on the console box near the gearshift. The car then
proceeded to Harrison Plaza where the Montecillos were
told to disembark. From there, their dreadful experience
over, they went home to Imus, Cavite.
The three policemen were charged and convicted
with robbery. Court of Appeals affirmed.
FORTUNA V. PEOPLE
GR 135784, December 15, 2000
(Was given the wrong citation, so I just googled for
this case instead.)
ISSUE: W/N the aggravating circumstance of “abuse of
public position” should be appreciated against the
policemen? YES.
FACTS: While Diosdada Montecillo and her brother Mario
were standing at the corner of Mabini and Harrison Streets
waiting for a ride home, a mobile patrol car of the Western
Police District with 3 policemen on board stopped in front
of them. The policeman seated on the right at the front
seat alighted and without a word frisked Mario. He took
Marios belt, pointed to a supposedly blunt object in its
buckle and uttered the word "evidence." Then he motioned
to Mario to board the car. The terrified Mario obeyed and
seated himself at the back together with another
HELD: To our mind, the success of the accused in taking
their victims' money was premised on threats of
prosecution and arrest. This intense infusion of fear was
intimidation, plain and simple. As a police officer, it is
his primary duty to avert by all means the commission
of an offense. As such, he should not have kept his
silence but, instead, should have protected the
Montecillos from his mulcting colleagues. This
accused-appellant failed to do. His silence then could
only be viewed as a form of moral support which he
zealously lent to his co-conspirators.
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We however observe that the courts below failed
to appreciate the aggravating circumstance of "abuse of
public position." The mere fact that the 3 accused were
all police officers at the time of the robbery placed
them in a position to perpetrate the offense. If they
were not police officers they could not have terrified
the Montecillos into boarding the mobile patrol car
and forced them to hand over their money. Precisely it
was on account of their authority that the Montecillos
believed that Mario had in fact committed a crime and
would be brought to the police station for
investigation unless they gave them what they
demanded.
Accordingly, the penalty imposed should be
modified. Under Art. 294, par. (5), of The Revised Penal
Code, the penalty for simple robbery is prision
correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its
medium period. In view of the aggravating circumstance of
abuse of public position, the penalty should be imposed in
its maximum period while the minimum shall be taken from
the penalty next lower in degree, which is arresto
mayor maximum to prision correccional medium in any of
its periods the range of which is four (4) months and one
(1) day to four (4) years and two (2) months.
@ PP v. PEDRO
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
aggravating circumstances of treachery, nighttime, and
contempt of or with assault to public authorities.
De Mesa questions the inclusion of aggravating
circumstances of treachery, nighttime, and assault to
public authorities.
Issue: Was there an aggravating circumstance of
“contempt of or with assault to public authorities”?
Ruling: No.
The requisites of such circumstance are: (1) the
public authority is engaged in the discharge of his duties
and (2) he is not the person against whom the crime is
committed.
In this case, the aggravating circumstance
does not exist as the crime was committed against the
barangay chairman himself and at the time that he
was killed, he was not engaged in the discharge of his
duties as he was in fact playing a card game (tong its)
with his neighbors.
The case also mentioned that the other
aggravating circumstances of nighttime and treachery
were not present. Since the aggravating circumstances of
treachery, nighttime, and contempt of or with assault to
public authorities were not proved, De Mesa should be
held guilty of homicide and not of murder.
PEOPLE V. DE MESA
PEOPLE VS. TAC-AN (the BRONX Gang)
Doctrine: The requisites of aggravating circumstance of
“contempt of or with assault to public authorities” are: (1)
the public authority is engaged in the discharge of his
duties and (2) he is not the person against whom the
crime is committed.
Facts: In two criminal cases, the trial court found Renato
Tac-An guilty of qualified illegal possession of firearm and
murder, imposing upon him the penalty of death in both
cases. Tac-An was a good friend and fellow Bronx Gang
member of Francis Escano III. They were both attending
rd
3 year high school in Divine World College in Tagbilaran
City. Tac-An was 18 years old while Escano was 15.
Escano left the gang after his mom told him to stop
hanging out with Tac-An upon learning that the latter had
been carrying a gun around with him. From that point on,
their relationship soured. They got into a fist fight and
derogatory graffitis against the Bronx gang and Tac-An
were written on the walls of the school saying. Tac-An
blamed Escano for this.
During an English class Tac-An got up from his
chair and approached the teacher to ask a question,
leaving on his seat his scrapbook. When he returned to his
chair he found Escano sitting on his scrapbook. They got
into a fist fight. After they were seaparated, Tac-An
sneaked out of the school, went home and got his gun. He
returned 15mins later during math class, under Mr.
Pasilbas. Upon entering the room he fired his gun and
demanded for Escano. The students ran towards the
teacher for protection. As Escano was running towards the
door, Tac-An shot him on the head. The trial court found
Facts: Patricio Motas was a Barangay Chairman of
Barangay Sta. Cruz Putol, San Pablo City. One night, was
shot dead while playing tong-its with some townmates at a
neighborhood store. Hernando De Mesa was accused of
committing the crime. It was said that De Mesa harboured
ill feelings towards Motas. In one instance, he threatened
Motas saying "May araw ka rin Chairman. Papatayin kita."
After the crime was committed, one of the witnesses
overheard De Mesa conversing with other men after the
crime saying "Sigurado akong patay iyong putang inang si
Chairman."
De Mesa put up the defense of alibi saying that
he was not at the scene of the crime but was instead
watching tv at home. This was corroborated by his wife.
The trial court charged him guilty of murder
because of the circumstantial evidence of testimony of the
witnesses, flight of the accused, and motive to kill,
presented by the prosecution. It also appreciated the
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that the crime was aggravated with the circumstance of
contempt or insult to public authority.
Issue: W/N the crime was committed in contempt or with
insult to public authority?
Held: Nope!
A teacher or professor is not a public authority
Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Republic Act No. 1978 and Presidential Decree No. 299,
provides as follows:
Art. 152. Persons in authority and agents of
persons in authority. — Who shall be deemed as
such. — In applying the provisions of the
preceding and other articles of this Code, any
person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether
as an individual or as a member of some court or
government
corporation,
board,
or
commission, shall be deemed a person in
authority. A barrio captain and a barangay
chairman shall also be deemed a person in
authority.
A person who by direct provision of law
or by election or by appointment by competent
authority, is charged with the maintenance of
public order and the protection and security of life
and property, such as a barrio councilman, barrio
policeman and barangay leader and any person
who comes to the aid of persons in authority,
shall be deemed an agent of a person in
authority.
In applying the provisions of Articles 148
and 151 of this Code, teachers, professors and
persons charged with the supervision of public
or duly recognized private schools, colleges and
universities, and lawyers in the actual
performance of their professional duties or on the
occasion of such performance,shall be deemed
persons in authority.
Careful reading of the last paragraph of Article
152 will show that while a teacher or professor of a public
or recognized private school is deemed to be a "person in
authority," such teacher or professor is so deemed
only for purposes of application of Articles 148 (direct
assault upon a person in authority), and 151
(resistance and disobedience to a person in authority
or the agents of such person) of the Revised Penal
Code. In marked contrast, the first paragraph of Article
152 does not identify specific articles of the Revised Penal
Code for the application of which any person "directly
vested with jurisdiction, etc." is deemed "a person in
authority." Because a penal statute is not to be given a
longer reach and broader scope than is called for by the
ordinary meaning of the ordinary words used by such
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
statute, to the disadvantage of an accused, we do not
believe that a teacher or professor of a public or
recognized private school may be regarded as a "public
authority" within the meaning of paragraph 2 of Article 14
of the Revised Penal Code, the provision the trial court
applied in the case at bar.
In addition, the SC also found no aggravating
circumstance of evidence premeditation for the simple
reason that no sufficient evidence was presented to prove
that Tac-An had formed the intention and determination to
take Escano’s life.
Similarly, the special aggravating circumstance of
acting while under the influence of Dangerous Drugs was
also deleted because there was no medical proof
presented to show that Tac-An was ‘high’ when he
committed the crime.
So in the end, SC found no aggravating as well
as mitigating circumstances.
PEOPLE VS SAMUDIO
FACTS: Herein accused appellant Antonio Samudio was
with three friends having a drinking spree in his place
when they decided to transfer to Ely Samudio’s house.
While they were drinking there, the victim, Baldomero San
Juan, Barangay Captain, passed by and was offered some
drinks by Antonio’s group. Thereafter, Benjamin Samudio,
uncle of Antonio, whose house was located approximately
20 meters from Ely’s house, heard a commotion. When he
went there, Benjamin saw Antonio stab Baldomero twice
with a knife locally known as “palas”. While Antonio was
stabbing Baldomero, two of his companions held the
victim by his shoulder. Benjamin tried to intervene but to
no avail.
Antonio’s group went out of the house and when
he passed by the house of a barangay councilman,
Antonio told the latter that he had killed Baldomero.
Meanwhile, Ruben San Juan, the victim’s son,
rushed to Ely’s house upon knowing the incident.
Suddenly, Antonio came and threatened Ruben. Antonio
left Ely’s house again and proceeded to the house of
another barriomate where he asked that the members of
the CAFGU be called so he can surrender.
In his defense, Antonio admitted sole
responsibility but interposed self-defense. According to
him, Baldomero confronted him about a work which he
(Antonio) was contracted for by Baldomero; that Antonio
claimed he was not paid for such work and that Baldomero
suddenly hit him prompting him to get hold of the knife and
stab Baldomero.
Trial Court convicted Samudio of the crime of
murder and sentenced to reclusion perpatua.
It is alleged in the Information that the killing was
qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of
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superior strength and disregard of respect due to the
offended party on account of his rank.
ISSUE: Whether the aggravating
circumstances may be appreciated
and
mitigating
HELD:
TREACHERY – there was no treachery. When treachery
is alleged, the manner of the attack must be proven (to
show that the manner of attack was done to ensure the
victim’s defenselessness). In this case, the only
eyewitness to the stabbing, Benjamin, did not see the
initial stage and particulars of the attack
EVIDENT PRE-MEDITATION – the court simply said that
the 3 requisites of evident premeditation was not present
(bahala na kayo sa 3 elements nay un, hahaba lang
digest)
SUPERIOR STRENGTH – although the accusedappellants were many, number alone does not determine
superior strength especially when the aggressors took no
advantage of their combined strength such as in this case.
DISREGARD OF THE OFFENDED PARTY DUE TO HIS
RANK – this cannot be appreciated. Although
Baldomero was a barangay captain, there is no
showing that Antonio deliberately intended to
disregard or insult the respect due to Baldomero. It is
essential that the deliberate intent to offend or insult
the rank of the victim must be shown. The aggravating
circumstance of with insult or in disregard due to rank
is appreciated against an accused only when there is
proof of fact of disregard and deliberate intent to
insult the rank of the victim.
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER – all the requisites were
satisfied. Antonio was not yet arrested; he surrendered
before persons in authority (CAFGU) and his surrender
was voluntary
OTHER ISSUES:
SELF DEFENSE – there was no indication that there was
an unlawful aggression on the part of Baldomero.
CONSPIRACY – conspiracy was not proved. Benjamin,
the only witness of the prosecution, did not witness the
initial stage of the killing from which community of design
among the accused can be deduced. At most, the friends
of Antonio can only be convicted as accomplices.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Memory aid: Nawasi, pumatay!
Mangsant was charged with murder (qualified by
treachery) for killing a 14-year old girl by stabbing her in
the back multiple times. Charged with aggravating: evident
premeditation, disregard of sex and taking advantage of
superior strength.
Upon arraignment he pleaded "not guilty" but
during the trial and before the presentation of the evidence
for the prosecution, said plea was changed to that of
"guilty". He testified that the 14-year old girl and he, were
lovers, having agreed to marry in the following May; that
on the afternoon of April 7, 1937, the date alleged in the
information, he visited his fiancee, and as in the course of
the conversation, she revealed that she loved another
man, he became so obfuscated that he wounded her with
a knife until she was lifeless. Nasawi, pumatay!
SC:
As to aggravating:
No premeditation according to the description or
account of the crime given in the information.
Disregard of sex [or age] cannot be
considered because it has never been proved nor
admitted by the defendant that in committing the
crime he had intended to offend or insult the sex [or
age] of the victim.
Neither may the aggravating circumstance of
abuse of superior strength be taken into account just
because of the fact that the defendant is a man and the
deceased a woman, inasmuch as this circumstance is
inherent in the crime committed and is moreover absorbed
by the treachery which, in this case, qualifies the crime as
murder.
As to mitigating circumstances:
Not proper to consider lack of instruction,
inasmuch as he admitted that he had studied in the first
grade in a public elementary school. Lack of instruction
[alternative circumstance] cannot apply to one who has
studied in the first grade in a public school, but only to him
who really has not received any instruction.
Acted upon an impulse so powerful as naturally
to have produced obfuscation – NO. It can’t be considered
in his favor because the revelation by the deceased that
she loved another man, under the circumstances in which
it was made, was not sufficient to produce that mental
blindness which the RPC recognizes as mitigating. (tama
pa ba to? – mickey)
© PEOPLE VS. ANTONIO REYES
AGE
PEOPLE V. MANGSANT
Dr. Aurora Lagrada, a spinster of about70 years old, lived
alone in her 2-storey house. Reyes’ house was about 4-5
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
meters away from the doctor's house. Reyes was able to
gain entry into the house of Lagrada without the latter
knowing. Armed with a bolo, Reyes stole one Rolex
wristwatch, 1 gold bracelet, 1 gold ring with birthstone of
Jade, 1 pass book from Lagrada (amounting to P80,000).
On the occasion of the said robbery, Reyes stabbed
Lagrada several times in the different parts of her body
directly causing her death. The trial court convicted Reyes
of robbery with homicide and sentencing him to suffer the
penalty of death.
FACTS:
1.
Complainant, Vilma M. Concel (“Vilma”) is a 70
y.o. retired schoolteacher. She had 11 children
by her late husband, and was the recipient of an
award as one of the outstanding mothers of the
province of Negros Occidental. Accused Nerio is
a 28 y.o. field coordinator for ABS-CBN Radio.
Vilma, the victim, was his teacher in Grade 1.
2.
Vilma was lying asleep in her bedroom insider
her sari-sari store when she was awakened by
someone groping her breasts. The man
undressed her, lay on top of her, took off his
clothes, while poking a knife at her. She tried to
grapple for possession of the knife, suffering cuts
on her palm, but Nerio succeeded in ravishing
her. Before he left, he told her he would be back
the next day.
3.
Together with her daughter, Vilma went to the
police station a total of 3 times in connection with
the incident. At first she only complained of
Trespass to Dwelling, Physical Injuries and
Grave Threats. On the third time, she finally told
them about the rape and she was examined.
Upon filing of the complaint, Nerio fled to Capiz.
He stayed there until he was arrested by the
Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission.
4.
DEFENSE: Sweetheart theory and the sex was
consensual. Nerio told the Court that they were
lovers and had three trysts prior to the incident.
On the first, Vilma asked him to help her transfer
a potted plant. While he was washing her hands,
she groped his groin and pulled him into the
bedroom. She performed oral sex on him and he
complained about the pain. She removed her
false teeth (!!!) and they proceeded to have
intercourse. For the second incident, Vilma
allegedly gave him P300 after they had sex. The
third time he had trouble getting an erection so
she performed oral sex on him again, she
mounted him, they had sex, and she handed him
P100 this time.
5.
Trial Court found him guilty, hence this appeal.
ISSUE: WON the trial court is correct in convicting Reyes?
YES.
HELD: To sustain a conviction of the accused for robbery
with homicide, the prosecution is burdened to prove the
essential elements of the crime. The accused must be
shown to have the principal purpose of committing
robbery, the homicide being committed either by reason of
or on occasion of the robbery. The homicide may precede
robbery or may occur thereafter. What is essential is that
there is a nexus, an intrinsic connection between the
robbery and the killing. The latter may be done prior to or
subsequent to the former. However, the intent to commit
robbery must precede the taking of the victim's life.
Furthermore, the constituted crimes of robbery and
homicide must be consummated. A homicide is
considered as having been committed on the occasion or
by reason of the robbery when the motive of the offender
in killing the victim is to deprive the latter of his property, to
eliminate an obstacle to the crime, to protect his
possession of the loot, to eliminate witnesses, to prevent
his being apprehended or to insure his escape from the
scene of the crime. Appellant stated that he barged into
the house of the victim to rob her, and that he stabbed the
victim when she was about to shout and because he was
drunk. The appellant then took the victim's money and
personal belongings and fled from the scene of the crime.
The trial court correctly convicted the appellant of robbery
with homicide.
ART. 294. Robbery with violence against or
intimidation of persons Penalties. Any person guilty of
robbery with the use of violence against or any person
shall suffer:
(a)the taking of personal property with the use of violence
or intimidation against a person; (b) the property thus
taken belongs to another; (c) the taking is characterized by
intent to gain or animus lucrandi and (d) on the occasion
of the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide,
which is therein used in a generic sense, was committed.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HILGEM NERIO Y
GIGANTO
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
ISSUES
a) Whether or not guilt has been proven beyond
reasonable doubt; YES
b) Whether the court erred in appreciating the
aggravating circumstance of insult or in disregard
of the respect due the offended party on account
of her rank and age –YES
HELD:
a) Nerio: unbelievable that Vilma can identify him due to
her faulty eyesight and that even if he used to be her
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
pupil, his physical appearance has changed
considerably since then. Plus there was delay in
reporting the incident.
SC: Complainant recognized accused-appellant not
because he was once her former pupil but because
she had seen his face on the date in question. This is
the reason she was able to identify accused-appellant
when his photograph was shown to her. As for the
delay, complainant, an old lady, was ashamed to tell
the police that she had been raped. The defense has
utterly failed to show why complainant, a
septuagenarian in the twilight of her life, a widow, and
a mother of eleven children, who testified not knowing
accused-appellant except when she was his Grade 1
teacher, would file such a malicious charge against
him.
Vilma was, and is, respected not only in the
community, having once been a candidate of their
barangay, but in the entire province of Negros
Occidental, being one of the recipients of an awards
as Outstanding Mother of the said province. Why
would she take interest in prurient matters and even
want to engage in a sexual liaison when ladies of her
age and station in life are turning their thoughts to
virtues? Accused-appellant would want this Court to
believe that complainant was a sex-starved old
woman who found accused-appellant, then 28 years
of age, so virile and irresistible that she showed
sexual aggressiveness even in their first encounter.
Indeed, the picture painted of her by accusedappellant is that of the equivalent of the dirty old man.
The Court cannot believe this fantasy.
b)
Accused claims that, other than the bare allegation
that she is 70 years old and a retired public school
teacher, there is no proof that he deliberately intended
to offend or insult complainant’s rank or age.
The trial court properly appreciated the existence
of the aggravating circumstance of insult or disregard
of the respect due to the offended party on account of
her rank and age. Nerio knew that complainant was
his Grade 1 public school teacher and was already
quite old. These facts were admitted by accusedappellant in the stipulation of facts embodied in the
pre-trial order which he signed. As the Solicitor
General observes, accused was fully aware that he
was raping his old teacher. That complainant had
already retired from the service as a teacher did not
diminish the respect due her rank as a former Grade
1 teacher of accused-appellant.
DWELLING
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
PEOPLE V. JOSEPH MARQUITA AND ALEJANDRO
MARQUITA
Facts: Joseph, Alejandro and their friend the victimdeceased Sergio Pampilo were drinking in the house of
victim-Pampilo. A small altercation ensued among them
because Pampilo didn’t want Joseph and Alejandro to
pass through his dike [whatever this was, the case did not
explain]. But as the altercation was growing, victimPampilo grabbed a bottle of Tanduay Kulafu and struck
Joseph Marquita in the face. Joseph felt the blood on his
face and went on a rampage and stabbed the victimPampilo in the stomach with a bolo. Alejandro tried to
prevent what was happening but he couldn’t so he just ran
away.
After stabbing Pampilo, Joseph went on a
rampage and also stabbed the sleeping family of Pampilo,
his wife and 3 daughters. Two other children of Pampilo
survived and were able to escape.
Issue: Is the aggravating circumstance
appreciable against Joseph Marquita? NO
dwelling
Held: Joseph is guilty of Homicide for killing Pampilo and
Murder as to family of Pampilo because of the qualifying
circumstance of treachery since the wife was sleeping at
the time of the attack and was in no position to defend
herself and as to the children since they were mere
children of tender years who were killed while they were
sleeping. [Note that Treachery absorbs generic
aggravating of “abuse of superior strength”]
Note that Alejandro Marquita was charged and
convicted in the lower courts but the SC acquitted him
because there was no evidence to establish conspiracy as
it was shown that it was solely Joseph’s Hand which killed
the victims.
Dwelling Issue:
First as to the Homicide of Pampilo - The generic
aggravating circumstance of dwelling did not attend the
killing of Pampilo because he gave sufficient and
immediate provocation for the attack when he hit accusedJoseph with the tanduay bottle. Dwelling is aggravating
only if the offended party has not given provocation.
Second as to the murder of Pampilo’s Family –
The SC said that considering that the killings were
committed in the domicile of the four victims, without
provocation on their part, the aggravating circumstance of
dwelling is present. Dwelling is considered an aggravating
circumstance by reason of the sanctity of privacy the law
accords to human abode, for "he who goes to another’s
house to hurt him or do him wrong, is more guilty than he
who offends him elsewhere."
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PEOPLE vs. RIOS
FACTS: Appellant Rios was charged with the crime of
murder for the fatal stabbing of deceased Ambrocio
Benedicto. The spouses were owners of a sari-sari store
in their subdivision. According Anacita (wife of the victim),
Rios, their neighbor, was hurling stones at their house the
night of the incident. A few minutes later Rios bought
cigarettes from their store and Ambrocio confronted him
about the stoning incident and an altercation between
them ensued. While the two were engaged in a verbal
scuffle, barangay tanods, who were then roaming the
vicinity, intervened and requested both parties to part
ways. A few minutes later, Rios returned to the store. Just
then, Anacita saw her husband go to the terrace of their
house. Rios suddenly approached Ambrocio and stabbed
his right stomach. Anacita was only a meter away from the
antagonist; she was facing her husband's back while Rios
was standing in front of Ambrocio. As Anacita started
shouting, Rios fled. The tanods saw Anacita weeping
while Ambrocio was lying lifeless in the terrace of their
house. One of the tanods assisted Ambrocio but the latter
succumbed to death even before they could reach the
hospital. The postmortem certificate of death shows that
Ambrocio died of "shock due to a stab wound at the chest
around 3 cm. penetrating the right auricle (heart)."
RTC found Rios guilty. Furthermore, it found that
the killing of Ambrocio was attended by the qualifying
circumstance of treachery but that abuse of superior
strength is "comprehended" by said circumstance. It ruled
out the presence of evident premeditation. However, it
considered dwelling as aggravating to the effect that even
if the accused did not enter the victim's house, such as
when he shot the victim from under the house or when he
fired the shot that fell the victim who was inside his house,
said circumstance is aggravating.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC erred in considering dwelling as
a generic aggravating circumstance.
HELD/RATIO: NO. The trial court was correct in
appreciating the aggravating circumstance of dwelling
or morada in this case.
The
word
“dwelling”
includes
every
dependency of the house that forms an integral part
thereof and therefore it includes the staircase of the
house and much more, its terrace. When a crime is
committed in the dwelling of the offended party and the
latter has not given provocation, dwelling may be
appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. Provocation
in the aggravating circumstance of dwelling must be: (a)
given by the offended party, (b) sufficient, and (c)
immediate to the commission of the crime.
Considering these, the altercation between Rios
and Ambrocio that immediately preceded the latter's fatal
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
stabbing is not within the purview of the concept of
provocation under Article 14 (3) of the RPC. The
unrebutted facts established by the prosecution show that
it was Rios who started the events that led to his
unfortunate killing of Ambrocio, by stoning the latter's
house. In an apparent show of unmitigated braggadocio,
Rios even went to the victim's house on the pretext of
buying cigarettes after the stone-throwing incident. The
victim naturally confronted appellant about that incident.
As the two engaged in heated argument, the roving tanods
interved and two parted ways. However, a few minutes
later, appellant returned to the victim's house and right at
the latter's terrace, dealt him the fatal stab wound. Under
these circumstances, to cater to Rios' claim that the victim
provoked him would amount to erasing the duly
established fact that by stoning the victim's house,
appellant himself instigated the heated argument that
resulted in his physical assault upon the victim.
PEOPLE V DANIEL
Facts: 13 year old Margarita Paleng filed a complaint
against Amado Daniel alias “Amado Ato” for the crime of
rape. On September 20, 1965, Margarita, a native of Mt.
Province, arrived in Baguio City from Tublay in a Dangwa
bus. She was then en route to her boarding house in
Guisad as she was a highschool student at the Baguio
Eastern Highschool. While she was waiting inside the
bus, the accused Daniel came and started molesting her
by inquiring her name and getting hold of her bag. She
did not allow the latter and instead called the attention of
the bus driver and the conductor but was merely shrugged
off by them. It seemed that they were also afraid of the
accused. Despite the rain, she left the bus and went to
ride in a jeep parked some 100 meters away. The
accused followed her and rode and sat beside her. When
Margarita alighted in Guisad, she was again followed by
the accused. Reaching her boarding house, she opened
the door and was about to close it when the accused
dashed in and closed the door behind him. He pulled a
dagger 8 inches long and threatened her saying, “If you
talk, I will kill you.” Because of her fear, Margarita fell
silent. She was then forced to lie down with the accused
placing a handkerchief in her mouth and holding the
dagger to her neck. Her attempts to flee were to no avail
as she was only 4 ft and 8 inches tall and 95 lbs while
Daniel was 5 ft, 7 inches tall and weighed 126 lbs. The
accused was successful in having carnal knowledge of
Margarita. Thereafter she lost consciousness. When she
recovered, Daniel had already gone.
For his defense, Daniel asserts that he and
Margarita have known each other since 1963 and this was
in fact the second time he had carnal knowledge of her.
Also, he alleges that he promised to marry Margarita and
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was actually surprised that she filed the complaint against
him. Medico-Legal report indicated that Margarita was a
virgin before the incident complained of.
The Court found Daniel guilty of the crime of rape
with the use of a deadly weapon with the aggravating
circumstance of having been committed in the dwelling of
the offended party.
Issue: Whether or not a boarding house falls within the
definition of “dwelling” in the RPC?
Held: Yes. Although Margarita was merely renting a
bedspace in a boarding house, her room constituted for all
intents and purposes a “dwelling” as the term is used in
Art. 14 (3) RPC. It is not necessary under the law, that the
victim owns the place where he lives or dwells. But he a
lessee, a boarder, or a bed-spacer, the place is his home
the sanctity of which the law seeks to protect and uphold.
The correct penalty is death pursuant to Art. 335 of the
RPC. However, for lack of necessary number of votes,
the penalty next lower in degree is to be applied. Daniel is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and
ordered to indemnify Margarita Paleng by way of moral
damages of P12 K.
PEOPLE V SAPINOSO
FACTS: Yolanda Partida, a 15-year old barrio lass was
hired by Diosdado Castillo to work as a stay-in laundress
at his residence in Tagig. Castillo's residence,
parenthetically, also housed a shop for his stained glass
business.
At around 6 P.M. while Yolanda was lying on a
folding bed located near the door of the shop, three men,
later identified as Domingo Quila and accused-appellants
Noel Sapinoso and David Recreo, suddenly barged in.
Yolanda stood up at the intrusion, only to be boxed by
Sapinoso, causing her to lose consciousness.
When Yolanda came to, she found Sapinoso on
top of her. He was then inserting his penis inside her
vagina, all the while poking a knife at her. Meanwhile, the
two others stood by the side of the bed and watched.
Yolanda felt pain at Sapinoso's insertion of his penis. After
a while, she sensed Sapinoso ejaculate, which she
described as "pinutok po niya yung kanya." Recreo and
Quila took their turns. The three then departed.
Yolanda immediately reported the incident to her
employer, Castillo, when the latter arrived later that night.
They went to the Tagig police station to report the incident.
The three accused were arrested after Yolanda identified
them as her rapists
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
PERTINENT ISSUE: WON dwelling can be a aggravating
circumstance considering it was the house of Yolanda’s
employer – YES
RATIO: Although Yolanda was raped in a house belonging
to her employer, the same served as her residence, she
being a stay-in laundress of Castillo. For all intents and
purposes, the same constituted a dwelling as the term
is used in Article 14(3) of the Revised Penal Code, it
not being necessary, under the law, that the victim
own the place. Be she a lessee, a boarder, a bedspacer,
or a maid, the place is her home, the sanctity of which the
law seeks to protect and uphold. Dwelling is considered an
aggravating circumstance primarily because of the sanctity
of privacy the law accords to human abode. One's
dwelling place is a sanctuary worthy of respect and that
one who slanders another in the latter's house is more
guilty than he who offends him elsewhere. Cuello Calon
says the commission of the crime in another's dwelling
shows greater perversity in the accused and produces
greater alarm (People v. Monsayac, G.R. No.126787, May
24, 1999).
With the presence of one aggravating
circumstance, i.e. dwelling, the law has made it inevitable
that the greater penalty of death shall be applied.
Other crim related stuff: Three well-known
principles that guide the Court: (1) an accusation for rape
can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more
difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to
disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of
rape where two persons are usually involved, the
testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with
extreme caution; and (3) the evidence of the prosecution
must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed
to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for
the defense . Likewise, when the complainant in a rape
case, more so if she is a minor, testifies that she has been
raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show rape
has been committed , the offended party most often being
the only one available to prove directly the commission of
rape.
PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs.
FRANCISCO M. SANTIAGO alias "FRANCIS," appellant.
FACTS: Spouses Francisco and Tess Santiago rented a
room in the house under the care of Purita Sotero, in
Baler, Aurora. They had a baby. Purita occupied another
room in the house. The neighboring house belonged to
spouses Jaime and Marissa Nisperos, who sold liquor and
lambanog. When Francis (accused) failed to pay rent,
Purita got had the matter placed in a police blotter, which
infuriated the accused Francis. One night, Santiago went
to the Nisperos house, eyes all red and he was angry with
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Purita. He said “Pare, I will kill her.” Nisperos counseled
against killing her.
On Oct 11, 1995, around 5am, while Jaime went
to the store, Marissa hear Purita moaning in pain and
shouting for help. She rushed to the house of Purita but
couldn’t open the door. Jaime arrived thereafter and they
both tried to force open the door to no avail. Purita was
still moaning and shouting for help so the Nisparos
spouses went to the side of the house where Purita’s room
was. They peeped through the wall and saw Francis
Santiago stabbing Purita, who was lying on the floor. The
room was lighted by a lamp on the table.
The Nisparos went back to the store/house and
later on Francis passed by and told Marissa that he left his
baby in his room. Marissa replied: "Francis, lintek ka, bakit
mo sinaksak si Purita?" Santiago ignored Marissa and
rushed to the bus terminal and boarded a bus. Meanwhile
Purita managed to open her door and asked for help. They
rushed her to the hospital but she was dead on arrival.
She had 11 stab wounds.
Francis was later on found by policemen, hiding
in a jeepney after alighting from the bus, and he admit to
killing Purita. He was charged with MURDER, qualified by
treachery and evident premeditation. It was stated in the
Information that he entered Purita’s room, inside her
house, stabbing her thereafter.
The RTC convicted him of MURDER qualified by
treachery and evident premeditation, AGGRAVATED by
dwelling. He was sentenced to DEATH.
ISSUE: W/N prosecution was able to prove the
circumstances of treachery, evident premediation and
dwelling.
HELD/RATIO: Treachery not proven. No evident
premeditation. There is the circumstance of dwelling
BUT it was not alleged so it was not considered.
Guilty of HOMICIDE only.
The prosecution contends that appellant killed
Purita with treachery and evident premeditation beacuse
Purita was asleep and defenseless when the appellant
stabbed her. And there was evident premeditation
because the appellant told the Spouses Nisperos of his
intention to kill Purita.
SC held that treachery was NOT PROVEN.
Treachery is a qualifying circumstance that changes the
nature of the crime of homicide to murder. It must be
proven by the same quantum of proof as the crime itself.
There is no evidence that the victim was asleep when she
was stabbed by the appellant. Marissa testified that she
heard Purita shouting for help. When she peeped through
the hole, she saw the appellant stabbing the victim.
Marissa did not know how the stabbing commenced.
For treachery to be qualifying, the prosecution
must prove the confluence of the following requisites: (a)
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
the employment of means of execution that gives the
person attacked NO opportunity to defend himself or
retaliate; (b) that the accused deliberately and consciously
adopted the means of execution. The prosecution failed to
prove that the appellant deliberately or consciously
adopted a mode of attack to ensure the killing. There is
even no evidence of the particulars as to how the
aggression commenced or the events that led to the
stabbing.
As to evident premeditation, it was NOT
PROVEN as well. The prosecution failed to prove the
following: (1) the time when the accused decided to
commit the crime; (2) an overt act showing that the
accused clung to their determination to commit the crime;
and (3) the lapse of a sufficient period of time, as to allow
the accused to reflect upon the consequences of the act.
The appellant may have intended to kill the victim
even before however, there is no evidence on record that
from that time on, until the victim was stabbed and killed,
the appellant performed overt acts indicating his
determination to commit the crime.
The aggravating circumstance of dwelling is
present. Although the appellant and the victim lived in the
same house, the appellant and his family rented a room,
while Purita lived in another. However, dwelling was NOT
alleged in the Information as mandated by Rules of
Criminal Procedure. The rule is that when it is not alleged
in the Information, it will not be considered.
Hence, the accused is convicted only of
HOMICIDE. Reclusion temporal.
PEOPLE V. JOYA (1993)
AID: Rape- Store not Dwelling
Facts: accused Romeo Joya and Joselito Arbolante were
charged for rape. The aforesaid accused, together with
one Ismael Cervania who was then at large, conspired
and mutually assisted each other to have unconsented
carnal knowledge of 14-year old Maria Tolentino by means
of force and intimidation such felonious sexual assault
being attended by the aggravating circumstance of having
been committed in the dwelling of the offended party. The
rape was done in the store of the victim’s mother after a
drinking spree of the accused (Joya boxed Maria and
proceeded to rape her). Joya’s defenses (he was not at
the store, etc.) were denied by the court and credited
Maria’s testimony despite some inconsistencies.
Issue: WON the store of victim’s mom can be considered
a “dwelling” to justify aggravating circumstance? (NO.)
Held: the aggravating circumstance of dwelling can not be
considered in the case at bar. A dwelling must be a
building or structure, exclusively used for rest and comfort.
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The crime was committed in a store which was about
fifteen meters away from the complainant's house. It is
obvious that the store cannot be considered a dwelling, or
even a dependency of complainant's home.
THE PEOPLE OF THE
MASILUNGAN
PHILIPPINES v. PEDRO
Facts: On March 7, 1953, between eight and nine o'clock
in the evening while Jose Mendoza, then a barrio
lieutenant, was on the stairs of his house adjoining his,
someone called out saying that he wanted to buy some
cigarettes. Mendoza told the prospective customer to get
them himself because he was then resting, but the latter
insisted that Mendoza himself hand the cigarettes to him
outside. Mendoza entered his store and got the cigarettes,
but upon coming out to hand them over to his customer,
he was grabbed by four armed men who poked their guns
at him, warning him not to make any outcry if he wanted to
live. He was blindfolded and taken to a waiting pick-up
truck nearby.
Once in the truck, Mendoza's pockets were
searched and the amount of P817.00 was taken from him.
His blindfold was taken off, and it was then when he saw
and recognized appellant Pedro Masilungan and Arcadio
Mercado, whom he had known for a long time, they being
residents of the neighboring barrio and who used to ask
from him petty loans of money. The pick-up truck then
made a quite long trip, and along the way appellant and
Arcadio Mercado told Mendoza that he should not resent
the taking of his money and that which may thereafter be
taken from him because they would use it in buying
firearms. The ride ended in a house situated between a
rice field and a coconut grove where Mendoza was taken
upstairs. There he saw an elderly man, said to be chief of
the kidnappers. They told Mendoza and made him swear
that he should not make any move without their consent,
else he would be shot. They also demanded that he give
them P5,000, but he pleaded that he could not raise such
a big amount, but that, if released, he was willing to give
P700.00. Appellant said that this could not be; likewise the
elderly man told Mendoza that he would be killed if he did
not come across with the amount. The bargaining by
Mendoza was kept up for some days, and in the meantime
he was being continuously guarded in shifts by armed
men.
On the tenth day of his detention, Mendoza was
made to sign, at gunpoint poked at the opening of his ear
by the elderly man, a prepared note reading more or less
as follows "My dear wife, send me P5,000; if you fail, it
means my life." This note eventually got into the hands of
Mrs. Mendoza, who found it at her doorstep.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Between seven and eight o'clock on the night of
the 16th day of Mendoza's detention, there was a
commotion in the house due to the barkings and howlings
of dogs. Soon Mendoza observed that his guards were
getting farther from him. Seizing the opportunity, he
sprinted and was able to escape. He reached at around
midnight, where the Pasion was being chanted. He was
sent by the chief of police to the house of the town mayor
who told Mendoza to stay in the house.
Issue: WON the crime charged falls under Art. 267 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 18,
and carries with it the penalty of reclusion perpetua to
death? YES.
Held: The concurrence of the aggravating circumstances
of dwelling and use of motor vehicle having been shown
and proved, the Solicitor General recommends the
imposition of capital punishment, contending that the
penalty of reclusion perpetua imposed by the lower court
is not in accordance with law. We find this
recommendations to be well taken, for besides the two
aggravating circumstances mentioned above there also
concurred those of nocturnity and band, it having been
proven that the victim was kidnapped at about nine o'clock
in the evening and by four armed men.
Ratio: We have time and again held that alibi is the
weakness defense that an accused can avail of, and oral
proof thereof must be clearly and satisfactorily established
because it is so easily manufactured and usually so
unreliable that it cannot be given credit. In the present
case, the defense tried to established by the testimony of
appellant himself and his witness Daniel Laroza that
appellant was in the barrio in Mindoro, which involves an
11-hour trip from the province of Laguna by land and sea,
and that said appellant did not leave the place except
when he was arrested by Constabulary soldiers and taken
to Calapan. But analyzing their testimony, we are with the
lower court in not giving it any credence because of its
uncertainty and contradictory character.
Oral proof to establish and support an alibi must
not be loose, vague and doubtful as in this case, but firm,
consistent, and trustworthy that when hurled against the
evidence for the prosecution the impact must perforce
over helm the latter. In other words, such proof must not
leave any room for doubting its accuracy, plausibility and
verity. Certainly we cannot give any credit to the testimony
of the appellant and his witness as to the date of
appellant's arrival in Mindoro, for the fixing thereof is
merely the result of guesswork.
The incident between appellant and Jose
Mendoza which allegedly occurred on the day prior to
appellant's departure for Mindoro regarding collection of
debt and which appellant attributes as the motive for
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Mendoza's prosecuting him, cannot be believed, as it was
shown that Mendoza never bothered collecting the petty
debts of appellant during the course of years, and as
matter of fact, payment of such debts was left to
appellant's convenience. Appellant himself, on the other
hand, admitted that when he last borrowed P20 from
Mendoza three days prior to his departure, Mendoza did
not try to collect nor even mention the loan of P20 which
appellant had obtained earlier that month. Were we to
again assume that the collection incident were true, the
same is so trifling that certainly would not cause the
offended party to charge the appellant with the serious
crime of kidnapping.
PEOPLE v. TAÑO
FACTS: Amy de Guzman was tending a video rental
shop owned by her employer and cousin Ana Marinay.
Accused Alexander Taño, a relative of Ana’s husband
Gerry Marina, arrived at the shop and asked Amy what
time Gerry and Ana would be coming home to which Amy
replied that she did not know. Taño kept going in and out
of the shop and on the last time that he went inside the
shop, he jumped over the counter of the shop to where
Amy was and seized the latter by placing one of his arms
around Amy’s neck, while his other hand held a knife
which he poked at her neck. Amy started shouting for help
the volume of the karaoke drowned her cries of help.
Taño then dragged Amy to the kitchen of the shop where,
at knife point, he ordered the latter to undress and he
thereafter started raping her. However, while Taño was
raping Amy, somebody knocked at the door of the shop
prompting the former to stop what he was doing and
ordered Amy to put on her clothes. He told her to go
upstairs to the second floor to change clothes as he will be
taking her with him. Amy then pleaded with Taño to just
take anything inside the shop and to spare her life, to
which Taño replied ‘no, I will not leave you here alive.’
After a while and upon Amy’s pleading, Taño put
down his knife and while he was kissing Amy, the latter
got hold of the knife which she surreptitiously concealed
under the stairs. Suddenly, Taño became violent and
banged Amy’s head on the wall causing the latter to lose
consciousness. When she regained consciousness she
found herself and Taño inside the toilet of the shop and
the latter again banged her head, this time on the toilet
bowl, several times causing Amy to again lose
consciousness. Thereafter, Taño went upstairs and looted
the place of valuables belonging to Amy’s employer, Ana.
Amy, herself lost her ring, bracelet and wristwatch during
the incident in question.
Taño, while admitting to robbing the shop, denied
raping Amy.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
The RTC found Taño guilty of robbery with rape
and imposed upon him the penalty of death. The RTC
judge appreciated dwelling as an aggravating
circumstance because the incident took place supposedly
at the residence of private complainant's employer, "which
doubles as a video rental shop."
ISSUES:
1. W/N Taño is guilty of robbery with rape – GUILTY
OF TWO SEPARATE CRIMES OF RAPE AND
ROBBERY
2. W/N dwelling can be appreciated as an
aggravating circumstance – NO
HELD:
1.
Appellant is NOT guilty of the special complex
crime of robbery with rape. This felony contemplates a
situation where the original intent of the accused was to
take, with intent to gain, personal property belonging to
another; and rape is committed on the occasion thereof or
as an accompanying crime.
Such factual circumstance was not present in this
case. As related by Private Complainant Amy de Guzman,
accused-appellant suddenly jumped over the counter,
strangled her, poked a knife at the left side of her neck,
pulled her towards the kitchen where he forced her to
undress, and gained carnal knowledge of her against her
will and consent. Thereafter, he ordered her to proceed
upstairs to get some clothes, so he could bring her out,
saying he was not leaving her alive. At this point, appellant
conceived the idea of robbery because, before they could
reach the upper floor, he suddenly pulled Amy down and
started mauling her until she lost consciousness; then he
freely ransacked the place. Leaving Amy for dead after
repeatedly banging her head, first on the wall, then on the
toilet bowl, he took her bracelet, ring and wristwatch. He
then proceeded upstairs where he took as well the jewelry
box containing other valuables belonging to his victim's
employer.
Under these circumstances, appellant cannot be
convicted of the special complex crime of robbery with
rape. However, since it was clearly proven beyond
reasonable doubt that he raped Amy de Guzman and
thereafter robbed her and Ana Marinay of valuables
totalingP16,000, he committed two separate offenses -rape with the use of a deadly weapon and simple robbery
with force and intimidation against persons.
2.
Dwelling aggravates a felony when the crime was
committed in the residence of the offended party and the
latter has not given any provocation. It is considered an
aggravating circumstance primarily because of the sanctity
of privacy that the law accords to human abode. One’s
dwelling place is a sanctuary worthy of respect; thus, one
who slanders another in the latter’s house is more
severely punished than one who offends him elsewhere.
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In the case at bar, the building where the two
offenses were committed was not entirely for dwelling
purposes. The evidence shows that it consisted of two
floors: the ground floor, which was being operated as a
video rental shop, and the upper floor, which was used as
a residence. It was in the video rental shop where the rape
was committed. True, the victim was dragged to the
kitchen and toilet but these two sections were adjacent to
and formed parts of the store. Being a commercial shop
that caters to the public, the video rental outlet was open
to the public. As such, it is not attributed the sanctity of
privacy that jurisprudence accords to residential abodes.
Hence, dwelling cannot be appreciated as an aggravating
circumstance in the crime of rape.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
stepped back, revealing Sespene et al (3 total) armed with
a firearm. They fired four shots at Enerio. Enerio stood up
and tried to escape but was shot. After that, he was knifed
at the nape. Just like in pinoy action movies, Enerio was
still alive and tried to escape. But Sespene et al. caught up
to him and killed him eventually. A complaint for murder
(initially dismissed due to the absence of witnesses but
subsequently revived) was filed against Sespene et al by
the witnesses (Enerio’s wife and sister who witnessed the
whole thing). Sespene et al were found guilty of murder.
Sespene et al then argued against convicton, claiming
they were the real victims.
(topic) SolGen contends that crime was attended with
aggravating circumstance of dwelling, among other
circumstances.
PEOPLE VS DACIBAR
Facts: Welda was sitting behind their bed near her
husband, Josue(soon to die), who was sitting at the end of
the bed. Suddenly, there was an explosion followed by
sounds of footsteps. When Welda looked through their
window she saw appellant coming out from under their
house, stooping and carrying a long fire arm. Seeing as
her husband was shot she shouted for help. Josue soon
died thereafter. It appears that her husband was shot from
under the house.
Issue: WON the aggravating circumstance of dwelling is to
be considered in imputing liability
Held: yes
Ratio: Although the triggerman fired the shot from
outside the house, his victim was inside. For the
circumstance of dwelling to be considered, it is not
necessary that the accused should have actually entered
the dwelling of the victim to commit the offense, it is
enough that the victim was attacked inside his own house,
although he assailant may have devised means to
perpetrate the assault from outside the house. Thus, in
case at bar, although the attack was made from outside
the house, below the floor of the house, nevertheless, the
aggravating circumstance of dwelling may be considered
as attending the shooting. As in fact the victim was hit
inside his own house.
PEOPLE VS SESPENE
FACTS: Enerio was went to the field to tend his carabao.
When he got home and just as he was about to step on
the first rung of the ladder, Manglilog suddenly
appeared and attacked Enerio from the rear with a bolo,
striking both his shoulders. Enerio faced Mangilog, who
ISSUE: W/N aggravating
attended the crime. - NO.
circumstance
of
dwelling
RATIO: Dwelling not applicable as enerio was only about
to step on the first rung of the ladder of the house when he
was assaukted by Sespene et al.
US v. IBANEZ
(Dwelling as aggravating circumstance in adultery)
Facts and Ruling
Carmen Ibanez and Felix Alviola are lawfully married.
Alviola filed a case of adultery against Ibanez and her
paramour, Pacifico Manalili. It was proven that the two
had intimate relations:
1. They were alone together on a dry river bed in the
shade of bamboo trees
2. Paramour was accustomed to frequent the home of the
spouses when husbandwas absent. During these visits,
the doors and windows of the house were closed
3. Wife often absented herself from her home
4. On one occasion, husband followed her and saw her
with paramour. The two separated ways upon perceiving
his presence. When he asked where his wife had been,
she said she had been to the dressmaker’s
5. On another occasion, husband surprised paramour
going down the stairs of the conjugal home and that
paramour immediately mounted his bike and rode away.
It was proven that wife and paramour had sexual
intercourse in the conjugal home twice. Husband was
notified and went to his house with a policeman and
surprised paramour hiding behind the kitchen door. Wife
denied the presence of paramour despite being asked
who the bicycle outside the door belonged to.
The trial court found the defendants guilty of
adultery as principals by direct participation. SC affirmed
but considered the aggravating circumstance of the crime
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
having been committed in the house of the aggrieved
person in spite of the fact that the conjugal home was their
common domicile. Wife failed with her duty to be faithful
to her husband and paramour failed to respect the
sacredness of this conjugal home.
The aggravating circumstance of committing it in
his dwelling cannot be excused by the fact that the
dwelling was also the home of the adultress; aside from
the consideration that the stranger to the marriage who
violates the law in that domicile is not a member of the
community residing there, the adultress’s liability is morally
and legally accentuated by her lack of respect for the
domicile of the offended party.
PEOPLE v ROEL PUNZALAN et.al.
FACTS: There are four accused-appellants in this case,
namely: Roel Punzalan, Jose Besida, Marieta Mendoza
and Domingo Mendoza (husband of Marieta). Except for
Domingo, the rest of the accused are the domestic house
helpers of the deceased-victim Mrs. Fule. They have been
charged of the crime of robbery with homicide.
[note: this is how I imagine the house or compound of the
victim. The main house is where the victim Mrs. Fule lives.
Since she is old already, accused Marieta, one of the
domestic helpers, sleep near her bedroom to attend to her
(Mrs. Fule’s) medications. The helpers though have their
own “servants’ quarters, immediately beside the main
house of Mrs. Fule]
One night, after supper, domestic helpers
Punzalan and Besida went out of the house for their
servants' quarters while the victim, Mrs. Fule and accused
Marieta locked up all the doors to the house. Towards
midnight, Domingo parked his jeep outside Mrs. Fule’s
house and stayed there. Upon the signal of Marieta, the
two other accused-appellants Punzalan and Besida
forcibly entered the bedroom of Mrs. Lourdes Fule where
the latter was sleeping and once inside therein, jointly
attacked or assaulted and stabbed Mrs. Fule which
caused her instantaneous death and on the same
occasion and by reason thereof, with intent to gain,
ransacked the bedroom of the victim, Mrs. Fule and did
then take, steal and carry away cash money and pieces of
jewelry. Accused-appellant Marieta did nothing to prevent
the stabbing and the robbery.
ISSUE: Whether or not the crime charged should be
aggravated with the circumstance of dwelling.
HELD: No. Dwelling should be disregarded because the
accused (except Domingo Mendoza) all resided in the
servants' quarter of Mrs. Fule's residence. The servants'
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
quarter may be assimilated to the victim's house, the
former being an appendage of, or attachment to, the latter.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
RODOLFO LAGARIO, ANECITO SAYONG, RODRIGO
ENCISO and THREE JOHN DOES accused. RODOLFO
LAGARIO, ANECITO SAYONG, and RODRIGO
ENCISO, accused-appellants.
FACTS:
The Lagarios (pero hindi kasama si accused) were
having supper. Their dogs were barking loudly so they
checked what was wrong outside. They saw 6 men.
3 of the 6 men rushed to the door of the house and
demanded that it be opened. When the residents
refused, one proceeded to the kitchen door while
another and an unidentified companion rammed the
main door. They eventually gained entry through a
hole on the door. They were armed with bolos.
Hacking ensued. Matinding hacking (sa forehead, sa
kamay, etc.). Arms and fingers flew. The men were
after the money hidden in the trunk. (Alam na may
pera dun kasi anak nung bikitima yung isang
akusado.) They left after.
Shortly thereafter, the police arrived and investigated
the incident.
The named accused above were convicted of robbery
with homicide.
ISSUE (this case is under the heading “DWELLING” ha):
W/N dwelling needs to be alleged to be appreciated.
HELD/RATIO: NO.
The generic aggravating circumstance of dwelling,
although not specifically alleged in the information, was
duly proved without objection on the part of the accused.
In robbery with homicide, dwelling may be properly
appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. Dwelling is
not inherent in the crime of robbery with violence or
intimidation against persons because such crime can be
committed without violating or scaling the domicile of the
victim. (Ito lang yung dwelling part.)
Taking
into
account
the
aggravating
circumstance of dwelling, the penalty imposable would
have been death pursuant to the first paragraph of Article
63 of the Revised Penal Code. In view, however, of the
first paragraph of Section 19, Article III of the 1987
Constitution, which prohibits the imposition of the death
penalty, the penalty which must be imposed is reclusion
perpetua. The trial court imposed the penalty of life
imprisonment.
ABUSE OF CONFIDENCE
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
© PEOPLE V. OSTI
Facts: Spouses Ponciano Onato and Edita Onato lived
with their 4-year old daughter Beverly in Sto. Niño, Samar.
Ponciano was a fisherman and a farmer but was
employed by Tito Soria in his buy-and-sell of fish
business.
Roberto Ostia, a co-worker of Ponciano,
resided in the poblacion of Sto. Niño. Rufo Legaspi, a
carpenter and a Barangay Tanod, was a neighbor of
Ponciano.
On May 13, 1995, at about 7:00 p.m., Rufo was
seated near his house and resting before retiring for the
evening. Then, Rufo saw Roberto, with Beverly on his
right shoulder, walking towards the poblacion. Roberto’s
left hand was holding the right hand of Mary Donoso, a 9year old playmate of Beverly. The trio was in animated
conversation on their way towards the poblacion.
After an hour or so, Edita noticed that Beverly
had not returned to their house. She looked for her. Rufo
told Edita that he saw Beverly perched on the shoulder of
Roberto on their way towards the poblacion. Then,
Roberto passed by. However, Beverly was no longer with
him. Puzzled, Edita asked Roberto where Beverly was.
Instead of responding, Roberto fled.
Rufo, who witnessed the incident, advised Edita
to report the incident to the police authorities. Edita
rushed back home and woke up Ponciano. She told her
husband that Beverly had been taken by Roberto and that
Beverly had not yet returned home. The couple rushed
from their house and reported the incident to the police
authorities. With the help of their neighbors and police
officers Toribio and Espino, the couple looked for Beverly
but failed to locate her. They resumed their search the
next day. They found Beverly sprawled in a grassy portion
below a copra kiln about 120 meters away from the house
of the Onato couple and about 15 meters from the nearest
house. Beverly was already dead. Pictures of Beverly
were taken where her body was found.
Since the municipal health officer was not there,
the Municipal Santiary Inspector Lorenzo Bernabe
st
conducted the autopsy. He had 4 findings: 1 , a lacerated
nd
wound from Beverly’s vaginal wall to the anus; 2 a
rd
lacerated wound from the vagina to the mons pubis; 3 a
th
contusion in the lumbar area and 4 , blood clots in the left
ear.
Ponciano filed a crim complaint for rape with
homicide. An information for rape with homicide was then
filed.
On his arraignment, Ostia had no counsel so a
counsel de officio was assigned to him.
During trial, Ostia through counsel moved that he
be allowed to withdraw his plea of not guilty to rape with
homicide and to enter a plea of guilty to murder. Ponciano
and the public prosecutor agreed.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
In his testimony, Ostia admitted that he killed
Beverly by smashing a piece of rock bigger than the size
of his fist, about seven inches in diameter, on her head
and chest and on the other parts of her body because, in
the meantime, he lost control of himself.
The RTC found Ostia guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of murder with the qualifying circumstance of
evident premeditation and with the generic aggravating
circumstances of (a) abuse of confidence considering that
Roberto and Ponciano were co-workers, (b) nighttime
considering that Beverly was killed in the evening and (c)
despoblado considering that the nearest house to the situs
criminis was fourteen meters.
The death penalty was imposed so the case was
automatically appealed.
Note: The first ground for the appeal was Ostia’s
conviction despite his alleged improvident plea of guilty.
SC sided with Ostia on this issue and said the RTC judge
failed to adhere to the procedure accdg. to Rule 116 Sec.
3 with respect to plea of guilty.
The second ground was the qualifying
circumstance of evident premeditation. The SC said it was
not alleged in the information and it was also not proven
by the prosecution. Hence, it could not be used.
The third ground was about the generic
aggravating circumstances.
Issue: Whether or not there was abuse of confidence.
Held: None!
Ratio: The trial court likewise erred in appreciating
nighttime, despoblado and abuse of confidence as generic
aggravating circumstances in the commission of the crime.
The prosecution failed to prove that Ostia purposely
sought or took advantage of nighttime in killing Beverly.
There is no evidence that he sought or took advantage of
the solitude of the situs criminis in committing the crime.
Abuse of confidence could not be appreciated as generic
aggravating circumstance because the prosecution failed
to prove that (a) Ostia enjoyed the trust and confidence of
Beverly or her parents; (b) and that even if Ostia enjoyed
said confidence, he took advantage of said trust or
confidence to kill Beverly. The barefaced fact that Ostia
and Ponciano were co-workers does not constitute
evidence that the latter reposed trust and confidence in
Ostia. In the absence of any generic aggravating or
mitigating circumstances in the commission of the crime,
the Ostia is meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua
conformably with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code.
PEOPLE VS. ARROJADO
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Salvador Arrojado and Mary Ann Arrojado are first cousins
(their fathers are brothers). Alberto Arrojado, Mary Ann’s
father, suffered a stroke for which reason he decided to
come home to Roxas City and spend the remainder of his
days there. Mary Ann and Alberto settled in a house in
Barangay Tanque, Roxas City where they lived on the
financial support o f Asuncion and Buenaventura (sister
and brother of Mary Ann).
Later on, Salvador started living with Alberto and
Mary Ann. He helped care for Alberto for which he was
paid 1K salary.
One day, Salvador went to the house of his
cousin, Erlinda Arrojado Magdaluyo, and reported that
Mary Ann had committed suicide. He told Erlinda that he
was afraid he might be suspected as the one responsible
for the death of Mary Ann. The matter was reported to the
police.
The RTC found Salvador guilty of the crime of
murder with no aggravating circumstance.
ISSUE: Whether or not the aggravating circumstance of
abuse of confidence is present??? – YES.
RULING: For this aggravating circumstance to exist, it is
essential to show that the confidence between the parties
must be immediate and personal such as would give the
accused some advantage or make it easier for him to
commit the criminal act. The confidence must be a means
of facilitating the commission of the crime, the culprit
taking advantage of the offended party’s belief that the
former would not abuse said confidence. In this case,
while Mary Ann may have intimated her fear for her safety
for which reason she entrusted her jewelry and bank book
to Erlinda, her fears were subsequently allayed as shown
by the fact that she took back her personal effects from
Erlinda. Thinking that Salvador would not do her any
harm, because he was after all her first cousin, Mary Ann
allowed Salvador to sleep in the same room with her
father and left the bedroom doors unlocked.
The murder in this case took place after the
effectivity of R.A. No. 7659 on December 31, 1993 which
increased the penalty for murder from reclusion
temporal maximum to death to reclusion perpetua to
death. In view of the presence of the aggravating
circumstance of abuse of confidence and in accordance
with Art. 63(1) of the Revised Penal Code, the trial court
should have imposed the penalty of death on accusedappellant. However, on December 1, 2000, the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure took effect, requiring that
every complaint or information state not only the qualifying
but also the aggravating circumstances. This provision
may be given retroactive effect in the light of the well
settled rule that statutes regulating the procedure of the
court will be construed as applicable to actions pending
and undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
laws are retroactive in that sense and to that extent. The
aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence not
having been alleged in the information, the same therefore
could not be appreciated to raise accused-appellants
sentence to death.
PEOPLE
OF
VILLANUEVA
THE
PHILIPPINES
v. CAMILO
On December 5,1997, Reynaldo Gabuya received word
that a kissmark was on the neck of his younger sister, 11
year old Nia Gabuya, who was in her fourth grade. She
only knew her father by name for she had been living with
her mother and her stepfather, Camilo, since she came to
the age of reason. Reynaldo confronted and asked Nia
who planted said kissmark. He was told that it was their
stepfather. He immediately brought his sister to the Pardo
Police Station and had the incident blottered. Upon the
advice of the police officer, Nia was brought to the
hospital. He further testified that Nia told her that she was
allegedly raped for the first time by Camilo Villanueva in
May 1997 and the last time was on December 4, 1997 at
around 12:00 midnight (but no penetration because
according to them it was big for her). From May 1997 up
to December 4, 1997 she has been sexually abused by
the appellant for seven times already.
For the defense, accused Camilo Villanueva
denied having raped his step-daughter, Nia Gabuya. He
claimed that at about 7:00 P.M. of December 4, 1997, he
went to the mahjong place in order to sell the eggs which
he cooked earlier in the afternoon. At 10:00 in the
evening, he and Felipa Gabuya, his live-in partner and
mother of the victim went home and they arrived in the
house in ten minutes. Also, Camilo insisted that he did not
rape Nia and claimed that the spermatozoa found in the
victim’s organ was not his since he could not produce any
after he underwent vasectomy in 1976.
TC: CAMILO guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of rape as defined and penalized by Article 266A of the Revised Penal Code in relation to R.A. 7610 and
R.A. 8353
ISSUE:
1. Whether the TC did not abuse its discretion in
considering the fact of common law relationship
between the accused and the mother of the
complainant when the information that was read
to the accused only accused him of rape of one
NIA who was a step daughter of the accused.
YES
2. Whether there is a generic aggravating
circumstance of abuse of confidence. YES.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
SC: The trial court imposed the penalty of death after
taking into consideration the age of NIA who was then
eleven years old at the time of the incident and the fact
that CAMILO is the common-law spouse of NIA’s
mother. To justify the imposition of the death penalty
these two qualifying circumstances must be alleged in the
Information. A reading of the accusatory portion of the
information reveals that NIA is not the stepdaughter of
CAMILO because her mother is not married to CAMILO. A
stepdaughter is a daughter of one’s spouse by a previous
marriage or the daughter of one of the spouses by a
former marriage. The relationship of stepfather –
stepdaughter presupposes a legitimate relationship. A
stepfather is the husband of one’s mother by virtue of a
marriage subsequent to that of which the person spoken
of is the offspring.
This Court has consistently ruled that the
circumstances under the amendatory provisions of Section
11 of Republic Act 7659, the attendance of which
mandates the imposition of the single indivisible penalty of
death, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which
cannot be proved as such unless alleged in the
information, and even if proved, the death penalty cannot
be imposed. Unlike a generic aggravating circumstance
which may be proved even if not alleged, a qualifying
aggravating cannot be proved as such unless alleged in
the information although it may be proved as a generic
aggravating circumstance if so included among those
enumerated in the Code.
Since one of the twin qualifying circumstances
aforementioned, namely, relationship, specifically that NIA
is the daughter of CAMILO’s common-law wife, was not
alleged in the information, CAMILO cannot be convicted of
qualified rape and the death penalty cannot be imposed
upon him, for to do so would be to deprive him of his
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation.
This notwithstanding, the fact that CAMILO is the
common-law spouse of NIA’s mother and live with NIA
may constitute the generic aggravating circumstance of
abuse of confidence there being a relation of trust and
confidence between her and CAMILO, whom she grew up
with and whom she even called “papa.” However, this
aggravating circumstance cannot be appreciated in
determining the appropriate penalty in view of the fact that
the penalty prescribed for the offense of simple rape
is reclusion perpetua, an indivisible penalty. Under Article
63 of the Revised Penal Code in all cases in which the law
prescribes a single indivisible penalty, that penalty shall be
applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or
aggravating circumstances that may have attended the
commission of the deed. Nevertheless, this aggravating
circumstance could provide legal basis for the award of
exemplary damages. Under Article 2230 of the Civil
Code, exemplary damages may be awarded in criminal
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
offenses as part of the civil liability when the crime was
committed with one or more aggravating circumstances.
PEOPLE
VS.
RAELITO
LIBRANDO,
SURDILLAS AND EDDIE PURISIMA
LARRY
Facts: Edwin Labandero brought his 8 y.o. daughter
Aileen to market in Barangay Bunga, Don Salvador
Benedicto, Negros Occidental. On their way home, Edwin,
Aileen and a relative, Fernando de los Santos, traversed a
hilly portion of the trail leading when they met accusedappellants Raelito Librando, Larry Surdillas and Eddie
Purisima. Raelito inquired from Edwin the whereabouts of
Fernando and without any warning hit Edwin with a piece
of wood. Edwin ran but he was chased by Raelito.
Thereafter, the three men took turns hitting Edwin with
pieces of wood until the latter fell and died. Although it was
already dark at that time, Aileen had no trouble identifying
the accused-appellants since Edwin was carrying a lighted
torch. While the men took turns in mauling the deceased,
Edwin, Fernando took Aileen with him and ran to report
the incident to the Barangay Captain. The following day,
the police proceeded to the scene of the crime and saw
the remains of Edwin Labandero lying prostrate on the
ground with a wooden pole on his neck. Raelito voluntarily
surrendered himself to the police while Eddie and Larry
were invited for questioning at the police headquarters.
The three men were asked to participate in a police line up
during which Aileen positively identified them as her
father’s assailants. Raelito Librando claims that he merely
acted in self-defense and that it was Edwin who gave the
first blow. Raelito claims that his co-accused did not have
a hand in the killing of the deceased. The trial court
convicted them of murder qualified by abuse of superior
strength and taking into consideration the aggravating
circumstances of nighttime and uninhabited place,
considered only as one, and the mitigating circumstance
of voluntary surrender in favor of all the accused.
Issue: 1. WON the three accused-appellants are guilty of
murder -YES!
2. WON an 8 yr. old child is a competent witness -YES!
3. WON the court erred in not appreciating in Raelito’s his
favor the mitigating circumstances of a) incomplete self
defense and b) voluntary surrender -NO!
Ratio: 1. While it is true that only Raelito Librando was
shown to have any motive to assault the deceased,
nevertheless, it is hornbook knowledge that crimes have
been attributed to persons who appear to have no reason
for committing them as long as they have been clearly
identified as the offenders. 8 yr. old Aileen has
categorically stated that accused-appellants Larry
Surdillas and Eddie Purisima had a hand in the gruesome
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
killing of the deceased. Prosecution witness PO2 Dencing
also stated that Aileen positively identified the accusedappellants as her father’s assailants. It is basic that in the
absence of any controverting evidence, the testimonies of
police officers are given full faith and credence as they are
presumed to be in the regular performance of their official
duties. The testimony of a single witness, if positive and
credible, is sufficient to sustain a conviction even in the
absence of corroboration unless such corroboration is
expressly required by law.
While it is true that only Raelito was identified by
name in the police blotter entry, nevertheless, it was
stated in the same police blotter that three persons had a
hand in the killing of the deceased. Although Eddie and
Larry were not mentioned by name in the police blotter as
perpetrators of the crime, they were positively identified by
the child, Aileen, during trial.
2. Any child regardless of age can be a competent witness
if he can perceive and perceiving can make known his
perception to others and that he is capable of relating
truthfully facts for which he is examined. The child’s
competence as a witness are: (a) capacity of observation;
(b) capacity of recollection; and (c) capacity of
communication.
As noted by the trial court, Aileen during the trial was not
only a picture of innocence and honesty but was
possessed with a strong power of observation and recall.
3. The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender was
already appreciated for the accused appellants. To avail of
the mitigating circumstance of incomplete self defense,
there must be unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim. In the case at bar, prosecution witness Aileen
testified that it was in fact the said accused-appellant who
delivered the first blow without any warning to the
deceased. The severity of the injuries inflicted on the
deceased as well as the fact that Raelito who admitted
that he was of bigger built than the deceased, could hardly
present any evidence of injuries allegedly inflicted on him
by the deceased belie his claim of self defense.
Extra: In the case of People vs. Santos, it has been held
that if the aggravating circumstances of nighttime,
uninhabited place or band concur in the commission of the
crime, all will constitute one aggravating circumstance only
as a general rule although they can be considered
separately if their elements are distinctly perceived and
can subsist independently, revealing a greater degree of
perversity.
NIGHT TIME
PEOPLE V ERNESTO DELA CRUZ
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Facts: Aurelio Goze (the victim) and his wife Zenaida with
their children lived in a 3x5house with an extension called
pataguab. The extension had a door apart from the door at
the main house.
At 11pm, while the main house was lighted,
someone kicked open the door. 2persons forcibly took
nd
Aurelio while Ernesto Dela Cruz (2
cousin of the
deceased and with whom he had a land dispute) whom
Zenaida recognized waited downstairs. Zenaida lighted
another lamp.
By the moonlight, Zenaida saw these persons
take Aurelio to a place 30meters to the east of their house.
Ernesto Dela Cruz shot Aurelio with a long firearm. The
others then followed in the shooting.
The next morning, the body of Aurelio with
multiple gunshot wounds was discovered around
30meters away from their house. It was observed that
there were no trees or other structures which would
obstruct the view of the body if you were looking from the
house. The baranggay captain reported this to the SPO4
Franklin Tagupa. Zenaida identified Dela Cruz and his
companions as the ones who killed her husband.
During the investigation, Dela Cruz told Tagupa
that he knew who killed Aurelio. However, Tagupa testified
in court that he forgot the name Dela Cruz told him. The
next day, Tagupa then said that the person Dela Cruz
named was actually a military person and that he was
afraid of retaliation.
DEFENSE STORY:
At the time the killing took place, Dela Cruz was
sleeping the camp of the military. He was told to stay there
because threats from the NPA. They heard gunshots.
Sgts. Evoco and Cavila arrived with Lt. Lleto and they
were told to keep quiet about what happened otherwise
they will become the next victims. As already stated, he
told Tagupa that he knew who killed Aurelio. (for more
details, pls refer to the original of the case. I don’t think its
that important naman)
TC: Dela Cruz’ alibi was not believed. Zenaida’s
identification of the perpetrators were believed by the
court. Guilty of Murder qualified by treachery and evident
premeditation attended by aggravating circumstance of
nighttime.
Issue: Whether the crime is murder or just homicide?
Held: Just homicide! No treachery and evident
premeditation but there was abuse of superior strength.
Dela cruz assails the credibility of Zenaida as
witness. This isn’t a crim issue so I won’t discuss
anymore. Nevertheless, the Court believes Zenaida
because of her straightforward answers.
As to the identification of the witness, it was
established that there was sufficient light for Zenaida to
identify the perpetrators. Just because she lighted another
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
lamp after her husband was taken away does not mean
that there was no light inside the house. The Court has
held that a gasera or lampara has sufficient illumination for
identification. Moreover, Dela Cruz was known to Zenaida
as her husband’s cousin.
In this case, the defense belaboured the
argument that the killing took place under a moonless
night and that it was impossible for Zenaida to have seen
what happened. The defense even submitted a
certification from PAGASA as to the effect that at around
the time of the commission of the crime, there was no
moon in the sky in their area. Nevertheless, moon or no
moon, the fact remains that Zenaida was able to identify
Dela Cruz.
Here, Zenaida’s testimony that none of the
perpetrators even stopped the other from killing Aurelio
showed that conspiracy attended the commission of the
crime. For there to be conspiracy, it is sufficient that at the
time of the commission of the offense, all the accused has
the same purpose and were united in its execution.
Nevertheless, the Court agrees with Dela Cruz
that the crime committed is merely homicide aggravated
by the circumstance of abuse of superior strength but
which was not alleged in the information.
Treachery was not established. There is
treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons, employing means, methods or forms in
the execution thereof which directly and specially to insure
its execution without risk to himself arising from the
defense which the offended party migiht make. It must be
proved that: 1) there was employment of means that gives
the victim no opportunity to present a defense; and 2) that
means and mode of attack must be consciously adopted.
This the prosecution failed to prove. It appears that the
decision to kill Aurelio was a spur of the moment thing
because the perpetrators were only initially looking for
rice.
Abuse of superior strength was sufficiently
proven. What should be considered is not there are 3, 4 or
more assailants but whether the aggressors took
advantage of their combined strength to consummate the
offense. In this case, the number of attackers, the number
and extend of gunshot wounds sustained and the manner
of killing confirm the presence of this aggravating
circumstance.
Evident premeditation was not also sufficiently
proven.
NIGHT TIME PART: (super short lang sa case)
For there to be night time as an aggravating circumstance,
the accused must intentionally see the cover of the
darkness for the purpose of committing the crime. If the
place is lighted well enough for the offenders to be
recognized, night time cannot be said to be an aggravating
circumstance.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
61. P v Goquila 428 Phil 716
UNINHABITED PLACE
PEOPLE V. CABILES
Cabiles (uncle), Rudy Esparraguerra and his brother
Rogelio are the accused in this case. Cabiles however
remains at large.
Violeta was a fish vendorand is barriomates with
the accused. One night, she visited her daughter to borrow
1k. the daughter accompanied Violeta back to her house
seeing that she was tipsy and weak. On their way to
Violeta’s house, Cabiles and the Esparraguerra bros
appeared from nowhere and blocked their trail. The
daughter recognized the 3 men, knowing them since
childhood.
Rogelio demanded money from Violeta, who
refused. This infuriated Rogelio, so he forcibly took the
money from her and boxed her shoulders. Cabiles then
approached and twisted Violeta’s hands behind her. While
in that defenseless position, Rudy drew a bolo and hacked
her neck. The daughter, Salvacion was shocked and ran
away to go to her house. She immediately told her
husband of the incident.
The next day, Violeta’s death spread in the
barangay. Reynaldo, a resident thereof, apparently
encountered the accused the night before. He had with
him a bolo which he used for farming. For no reason,
Rogelio grabbed his bolo and attempted to hack him, but
he got away. It turned out, that same bolo was the one
used to kill Violeta.
All the accused put up alibis. But the trial court
found them guilty of robbery with homicide, with the
circumstances of disregard of sex and uninhabited place.
Reclusion perpetua.
Ruling: ruling affirmed, BUT THE AGGRAVATING
CIRCUMSTANCES WERE HELD NOT PRESENT.
As regards the aggravating circumstance of
uninhabited place (despoblado), the term uninhabited
place refers not to the distance of the nearest house to
the locus criminis. The more important consideration is
whether the place of commission affords a reasonable
possibility for the victim to receive some help. (note that it
was a sitio, so im assuming maraming bahay) Further,
before it could be appreciated against the accused, it must
be established that solitude was purposely sought or taken
advantage of to facilitate the commission of the crime.
This circumstance was not satisfactorily proven in this
case
Re: disregard of sex: That the aggravating
circumstance that the crime was committed with insult or
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in disregard of the respect due the offended party on
account of his rank, age or sex, may be taken into
account only in crimes against persons or honor, when in
the commission of the crime, there is some insult or
disrespect shown to rank, age or sex. It is not proper to
consider this aggravating circumstance in crimes against
property. Robbery with homicide is primarily a crime
against property and not against persons. Homicide is a
mere incident of the robbery, the latter being the main
purpose and object of the criminal. It is thus erroneous to
take this aggravating circumstance into account in robbery
with homicide.
PEOPLE V. LUNETA
FACTS: While Leon Gonzales and his wife Segunda
Fuentes were walking along an uninhabited place in the
municipality of Ivisan in Capiz, they were stopped by the
appellant and one Dominador who is still at large. The
appellant and his companion were both armed with
revolvers and represented themselves as MP soldiers.
Leon was asked whether he was an army man to which he
answered in the negative, whereupon appellant’s
companion gave him a fist blow on the stomach and
another blow with his revolver. In the meantime the
appellant was an onlooker with his revolver pointed at the
spouses. Dominador ordered Leon and his wife to take off
their clothes, a command which was obeyed. Dominador
asked appellant to take away and kill Leon. Dominador
then raped Segunda. Leon was able to escape though.
When Dominador found out that Leon escaped, he went
out to look for him. When appellant was left with Segunda,
the former also raped the latter. Dominador and appellant
left the scene and brought with them the clothes and other
stuff of the victims. After the victims reported the incident
to the police, the perpetrators were found in the house of a
lady doctor and were arrested.
ISSUE: W/N there was the aggravating circumstance of
commission of the crime in an uninhabited place? NO.
HELD: It has not been proven that the appellant and his
companion purposely chose said place as an aid either to
an easy and uninterrupted accomplishment of their
criminal designs or to a surer concealment of the offense.
On the contrary, it is not improbable that the offended
parties were casually encountered, there being no
evidence that the accused had previously sought the
former for any purpose whatsoever, or that said offended
parties were known by the accused to be habitual
travellers in the vicinity.
The offense committed is robbery with rape.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
P v Lubu 390 Phil 543
Uninhabited Place
Note: Lifted from Charm Calderini’s digest under “Abuse of
confidence”, but this digest will discuss more on
“Uninhabited Place”
PEOPLE
VS.
RAELITO
LIBRANDO,
SURDILLAS AND EDDIE PURISIMA
LARRY
Facts:
•
Edwin Labandero brought his 8 y.o. daughter Aileen
to the market in Negros Occidental. On their way
home, Edwin, Aileen and a relative, Fernando de los
Santos, traversed a hilly portion of the trail leading
when they met accused-appellants Raelito Librando,
Surdillas and Purisima.
•
Librando inquired from Edwin the whereabouts his
relative Fernando and then WITHOUT any warning,
hit Edwin with a piece of wood.
•
Edwin ran but he was chased by Raelito Librando.
Thereafter, the three men took turns hitting Edwin
with pieces of wood until the latter fell and died.
•
Although it was already dark at that time, young
Aileen had no trouble identifying the accusedappellants since Edwin was carrying a lighted torch
on their way home.
•
While the men took turns in mauling the deceased,
Fernando took Aileen with him and ran to report the
incident to the Barangay Captain.
•
The following day, the police proceeded to the scene
of the crime and saw the remains of Edwin Labandero
lying prostrate on the ground with a wooden pole on
his neck.
•
Librando voluntarily surrendered himself to the
police while Eddie and Larry were invited for
questioning at the police HQ. The three accused were
asked to participate in a police line up during which
Aileen positively identified them as her father’s
assailants.
•
Librando claims that he merely acted in self-defense
and that it was Edwin who gave the first blow.
•
Librando further claims that his co-accused did not
have a hand in the killing of the deceased.
•
RTC convicted all of them of murder qualified by
abuse of superior strength and taking into
consideration the aggravating circumstances of
nighttime and uninhabited place (the two
considered as one), and the mitigating circumstance
of voluntary surrender in favor of all the accused.
Issues:
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1. WON all the three accused-appellants are guilty of
murder -YES!
2. WON an 8 yr. old child is a competent witness -YES!
4. WON the court should apply the following:
a) (mitigating) voluntary surrender - Yes
b) (mitigating) incomplete self defense - No
c) (aggravating) uninhabited place - Yes
(considered as one with nighttime)
Held:
2. While it is true that only Raelito Librando was shown to
have any motive to assault the deceased, nevertheless,
crimes WILL BE attributed to persons who, though
appearing to have no reason or motive, as long as they
have been clearly identified as the offenders. Witness,
8 yr. old Aileen, categorically states that all three had a
hand in the gruesome killing of the deceased. The
testimony of a single witness, if positive and credible, is
sufficient to sustain a conviction even in the absence of
corroboration (unless such corroboration is expressly
required by law.)
2. Any child regardless of age can be a competent
witness if he/she satisfies the minimum requirement of
the law. The he can perceive and he can make known
his perception to others and that he is capable of
relating truthfully facts for which he is examined. The
child’s competence as a witness are: (a) capacity of
observation; (b) capacity of recollection; and (c)
capacity of communication. As noted by the RTC,
Aileen during the trial was not only a picture of
innocence and honesty but was possessed with a
strong power of observation and recall.
3.a) The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
was validly appreciated by the RTC.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
GENERAL RULE. However, as an exception, they can be
considered separately if their elements are distinctly
perceived and can subsist independently, revealing a
greater degree of perversity.
PEOPLE V. OCO
Facts: Hermigildo Damuag was driving his motorcycle
while Alden Abiabi was seated behind. A white tamaraw
FX blocked their path and thus they slowed down. Another
motorcycle appeared and started shooting. Abiabi was
killed as a result of the gunshots while Damuag was
wounded. There was also another motorcycle that passed
Damuag, with the driver firing shots at Damuag. Damuag
was thrown off his bike and fell to the gutter. He saw that
the driver of this motorcycle is Oco. He was able to identify
him because he was only wearing a towel around his
head, unlike the other riders who were wearing helmets.
Damuag ran towards safety while being chased
by Oco, who was on his bike. He was brought to the
hospital and he had his wounds treated. He survived
because of the prompt medical assistance.
Oco was charged of the crime of murder (Abiabi)
and frustrated murder (Damuag). The aggravating
circumstances of treachery, superior strength, motor
vehicle, nighttime, by a band, aid of armed men, evident
premeditation, and unlicensed firearm.
Oco raised the defense of alibi saying that he
was not there at the crime scene.
Issue: Oco is surely guilty of murder and frustrated
murder. However, what are the aggravating circumstances
present in the case? Which ones are absent?
Ruling: Aggravating circumstances present:
b) To avail of the mitigating circumstance of incomplete
self defense, there must be unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim. Here, Aileen testified that it was in fact
the Librando who delivered the first blow without any
warning to the deceased. The number and severity of the
injuries inflicted, the fact that Raelito Librando who admits
that he was of bigger built than Edwin, could hardly
present any evidence of injuries allegedly inflicted on him
by the deceased BELIE any claim of self defense.
Therefore, there it cannot apply.
1.
2.
c)The fact that the attack was at nighttime, and occurred
at a hilly portion of the trail leading to the three accused
was clearly in an uninhabited place. The Court however
deemed the two as one aggravating circumstance. This is
in consonance with People vs. Santos, ruling that if the
aggravating circumstances of “nighttime”, “uninhabited
place” or “band” concur in the commission of the crime, all
will constitute one aggravating circumstance AS A
3.
Treachery – In this case, The unexpected and
sudden attack on the victims, rendering them
unable and unprepared to defend themselves,
such suddenness having been meant to ensure
the safety of the gunman as well as the success
of the attack clearly constitutes treachery. The
gunshots fired against Abiabi and Damuag were
so sudden that they were not given an
opportunity to defend.
Abuse of superior strength – This was absorbed
in treachery. Not only did they outnumber the
victims,
they
were
also
armed.
The
circumstances clearly show that the assailants
deliberately took advantage of their combined
strength in order to consummate the crime.
Use of motor vehicle – The motorcycles were
used in going to the place of the crime, in
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carrying away the effects thereof, and in
facilitating the escape of the accused.
Aggravating circumstances absent:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Nighttime - This circumstance is considered
aggravating only when it facilitated the
commission of the crime, or was especially
sought or taken advantage of by the accused for
the purpose of impunity. In this case, a lamp post
illuminated the scene of the crime. Although the
offense was committed at night, nocturnity does
not become a modifying factor when the place is
adequately lighted, and thus could no longer
insure the offender’s immunity from identification
or capture.
By a band - A crime is deemed to have been
committed by a band when more than three
armed malefactors take part in its commission. In
this case, the evidence on record shows that only
two of accused carried firearms.
Aid of armed men - Aid of armed men or persons
affording immunity requires that the armed men
are accomplices who take part in minor capacity,
directly or indirectly. In this case, the so-called
“armed men” were never identified nor charged.
There was also no proof as to the participation of
these other men.
Evident premeditation – There was no direct
evidence showing a plan or preparation to kill, or
proof that the accused meditated and reflected
upon his decision to kill the victim.
Unlicensed firearms - no evidence was adduced
to prove that the firearms used in the shooting
incident were unlicensed.
ARMED MEN
PEOPLE VS. OCO
September 29, 2003
Facts: Herminigildo Damuag and Alden Abiabi were
travelling on a motorcycle when a white Tamaraw FX
overtook and blocked their path. Another motorcycle with
2 riders on it appeared behind Damuag and Abiabi. The
nd
2 motorcycle suddenly fired 2 shots in close succession.
Abiabi fell on the pavement. The Tamaraw sped away.
Another motorcycle (a 3rd one) appeared from behind
Damuag. Damuag tried to control his motorcycle but it
zigzagged towards the gutter, throwing him off on the
ground. Damuag then saw Oco, who was riding on the
rd
back of the 3 motorcycle, firing away at him. He realized
then that he was shot on the right side of his body.
Nonetheless, Damuag was still able to run, being chased
rd
by the 3 motorcycle, until he reached Five Brothers
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
rd
restaurant where he could not pass anymore. The 3
motorcycle again fired at Damuag and then sped off.
Damuag was able to survive because of prompt medical
treatment. Abiabi on the other hand, died. Damuag was
only able to identify Oco because the dumb bastard was
only wearing a towel tied behind his forehead while the
other malefactors were wearing helmets. Oco was
charged and found guilty of murder and frustrated murder,
imposing upon him the penalty of death.
Issue: What are the aggravating circumstances? (NB: In
Glenn Reviewer emphasis was given on commission of a
crime by a band.)
Held:
Treachery
First of all, the SC found that there was treachery as the
evidence showed that at the time the crime was
committed, the victims were in no position to defend
themselves and the malefactors consciously adopted
particular means to ensure the execution of the crime with
no risk to themselves.
Abuse of superior strength present but absorbed by
treachery
The trial court also found that the offenses were
committed with abuse of superior strength. The
malefactors not only outnumbered the victims; at least two
of them were armed. The assailants deliberately took
advantage of their combined strength in order to
consummate the crime. Nevertheless, the aggravating
circumstance of abuse of superior strength is absorbed by
treachery.
Use of motor vehicle present
We also agree with the trial court that the generic
aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle is
present. The appellant and his companions used motor
bicycles in going to the place of the crime, in carrying
away the effects thereof, and in facilitating their escape.
Nighttime absent
We do not agree with the trial court, however, in its
appreciation of the aggravating circumstance of
nighttime. This circumstance is considered aggravating
only when it facilitated the commission of the crime, or
was especially sought or taken advantage of by the
accused for the purpose of impunity. The essence of this
aggravating circumstance is the “obscuridad” afforded by,
and
not
merely
the
chronological
onset
of,
nighttime. Although the offense was committed at night,
nocturnity does not become a modifying factor when the
place is adequately lighted, and thus could no longer
insure the offender’s immunity from identification or
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
capture. In this case at bar, a lamp post illuminated the
scene of the crime.
By a band absent
Likewise, we find that the offenses were not
committed by a band. A crime is deemed to have been
committed by a band or en cuadrilla when more than three
armed malefactors take part in its commission. The four
armed persons contemplated in this circumstance must all
be principals by direct participation who acted together in
the execution of the acts constituting the crime. The Code
does not define or require any particular arms or weapons;
any weapon which by reason of its intrinsic nature or the
purpose for which it was made or used by the accused, is
capable of inflicting serious or fatal injuries upon the victim
of the crime may be considered as arms for purposes of
the law. In the case at bar, the prosecution alleged that the
accused and his three other co-conspirators used
unlicensed firearms in the perpetration of the
offenses. However, the evidence on record shows that
only two of them carried firearms. En cuadrilla, as an
aggravating
circumstance,
cannot
therefore
be
appreciated.
In aid of armed men absent
There was also no evidence presented to show that
the offenses were committed with the aid of armed men.
Aid of armed men or persons affording immunity requires
that the armed men are accomplices who take part in
minor capacity, directly or indirectly. We note that all four
accused were charged as principals. The remaining
suspects were never identified and charged. Neither was
proof adduced as to the nature of their participation.
Evident premeditation absent
There was also a paucity of proof to show that
evident premeditation attended the commission of the
crimes. For this circumstance to be appreciated, there
must be proof, as clear as that of the killing, of the
following elements: (1) the time when the offender
determined to commit the crime; (2) an act indicating that
he clung to his determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of
time between determination and execution to allow himself
time to reflect upon the consequences of his act. Evident
premeditation must be based on external facts which are
evident, not merely suspected, which indicate deliberate
planning. There must be direct evidence showing a plan or
preparation to kill, or proof that the accused meditated and
reflected upon his decision to kill the victim. No such
evidence was presented to prove the presence of this
circumstance.
Unlicensed firearm absent
In the same vein, no evidence was adduced to prove
that the firearms used in the shooting incident were
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
unlicensed, hence, this circumstance cannot be
appreciated.
In the end, the SC found that the only
aggravating circumstance present – use of motor vehicle –
should be offset by the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender. So ultimately, the penalty of death for
the crime of murder was reduced to reclusion perpetua.
And for frustrated murder, the indeterminate penalty of
prision mayor to reclusion temporal was imposed.
67. P v Viraya 400 Phil 202
FIRE ETC
PEOPLE V MALNGAN
Malngan was a yaya in Tondo. She burned down the
house of her employer because she wasn’t allowed to go
home to her province. Her employer told her, Sige umuwi
ka, pagdating mo maputi ka na. Sumakay ka sa walis,
pagdating mo maputi ka na! Incensed, she admitted that
“Naglukot ako ng maraming diyaryo, sinindihan ko ng
disposable lighter at hinagis ko sa ibabaw ng lamesa sa
loob ng bahay!”
Her employer’s family died because of the fire (6
of them!). and other houses in the neighborhood burned
down as well.
She was charged with arson with multiple
homicide. The RTC convicted her of such offense.
Issue: Is there such a thing as arson with multiple
homicide?
SC: No.
THERE IS NO COMPLEX CRIME OF ARSON WITH
(MULTIPLE) HOMICIDE.
The Information in this case erroneously charged
accused-appellant with a complex crime, i.e., Arson with
Multiple Homicide.
Art. 320 of the RPC1, as amended, with respect
to destructive arson, and the provisions of PD No. 16132
respecting other cases of arson provide only one penalty
for the commission of arson, whether considered
destructive or otherwise, where death results therefrom.
1 ART. 320. Destructive Arson. �x x x x
If as a consequence of the commission of any of the acts
penalized under this Article, death results, the mandatory penalty
of death shall be imposed. [Emphasis supplied.]
2 Presidential Decree No. 1613:
SEC. 5. Where Death Results from Arson. �If by reason of or on
the occasion of the arson death results, the penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death shall be imposed. [Emphasis supplied.]
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The raison d'etre is that arson is itself the end and death is
simply the consequence.
When fire is used with the intent to kill a particular
person who may be in a house and that objective is
attained by burning the house, the crime is murder only.
When the Penal Code declares that killing committed by
means of fire is murder, it intends that fire should be
purposely adopted as a means to that end. There can be
no murder without a design to take life. In other words, if
the main object of the offender is to kill by means of fire,
the offense is murder. But if the main objective is the
burning of the building, the resulting homicide may be
absorbed by the crime of arson.
If the house was set on fire after the victims
therein were killed, fire would not be a qualifying
circumstance. The accused would be liable for the
separate offenses of murder or homicide, as the case may
be, and arson.
Accordingly, in cases where both burning and
death occur, in order to determine what crime/crimes
was/were perpetrated whether arson, murder or arson and
homicide/murder, it is de rigueur to ascertain the main
objective of the malefactor:
(a) if the main objective is the burning of the building or
edifice, but death results by reason or on the occasion of
arson, the crime is simply arson, and the resulting
homicide is absorbed;
(b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is to kill a
particular person who may be in a building or edifice,
when fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish such
goal the crime committed is murder only; lastly,
(c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill a particular person,
and in fact the offender has already done so, but fire is
resorted to as a means to cover up the killing, then there
are two separate and distinct crimes committed
homicide/murder and arson.
Where then does this case fall under?
Arson, the information against her stated “with intent to
cause damage…” and that the deaths of her employers
were only on the occasion of the fire.
Hence, she is being charged with the crime of
arson. It is clear from the foregoing that her intent was
merely to destroy her employers house through the use of
fire.
PEOPLE
vs.ANTONIO
COMADRE,
GEORGE
COMADRE and DANILO LOZANO (critique this
decision by Tinga)
Robert Agbanlog, Jimmy Wabe, Gerry Bullanday, Rey
Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio (drinking grioup) were having
a drinking spree on the terrace of the house of Robert’s
father (Jaime).
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
As the drinking session went on, Robert and the
others noticed appellants Antonio Comadre, George
Comadre and Danilo Lozano (appellants) walking. The
three stopped in front of the house. While his companions
looked on, Antonio suddenly throw a hand grenade,
ripping a hole in the roof of the house.
Drinking group were hit by shrapnel (fragments of
the grenade) and slumped unconscious on the floor. They
were all rushed to the Hospital. However, Robert died
before reaching the hospital. TC: appellants guilty of
complex crime of murder with multiple attempted murder.
ISSUE: WON the trial court erred in convicting the
appellants?
RULING: It was established that prior to the grenade
explosion, Rey Camat, Jaime Agbanlog, Jimmy Wabe and
Gerry Bullanday were able to identify the culprits, namely,
appellants Antonio Comadre, George Comadre and Danilo
Lozano because there was a lamppost in front of the
house and the moon was bright.
No conspiracy. Only Antonio is liable for the crime.
When Antonio Comadre was in the act of throwing the
hand grenade, George Comadre and Danilo Lozano
merely looked on without uttering a single word of
encouragement or performed any act to assist him.
Similar to the physical act constituting the crime
itself, the elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. Settled is the rule that to establish
conspiracy, evidence of actual cooperation rather than
mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required.
The evidence shows that George Comadre and Danilo
Lozano did not have any participation in the commission of
the crime and must therefore be set free. Their mere
presence at the scene of the crime as well as their close
relationship with Antonio are insufficient to establish
conspiracy considering that they performed no positive act
in furtherance of the crime.
Neither was it proven that their act of running
away with Antonio was an act of giving moral assistance
to his criminal act. There being no conspiracy, only
Antonio Comadre must answer for the crime.
Antonio’s liability.
Treachery is present. Coming now to Antonio’s
liability, we find that the trial court correctly ruled that
treachery attended the commission of the crime.
For treachery to be appreciated two conditions
must concur: (1) the means, method and form of execution
employed gave the person attacked no opportunity to
defend himself or retaliate; and (2) such means, methods
and form of execution was deliberately and consciously
adopted by the accused. Its essence lies in the adoption of
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
ways to minimize or neutralize any resistance, which may
be put up by the offended party.
Antonio threw a grenade which fell on the roof of
the terrace where the unsuspecting victims were having a
drinking spree. The suddenness of the attack coupled with
the instantaneous combustion and the tremendous impact
of the explosion did not afford the victims sufficient time to
scamper for safety, much less defend themselves; thus
insuring the execution of the crime without risk of reprisal
or resistance on their part. Treachery therefore attended
the commission of the crime.
When the killing is perpetrated with treachery and
by means of explosives, the latter shall be considered as a
qualifying circumstance.
RA 8294 not applicable in this case
RA No. 8294 did not amend the definition of murder under
Article 248, but merely made the use of explosives an
aggravating circumstance when resorted to in committing
"any of the crimes defined in the Revised Penal Code."
The legislative purpose is to do away with the use of
explosives as a separate crime and to make such use
merely an aggravating circumstance in the commission of
any crime already defined in the Revised Penal Code.
Thus, RA No. 8294 merely added the use of unlicensed
explosives as one of the aggravating circumstances
specified in Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code.
Even if favorable to the appellant, R.A. No. 8294
still cannot be made applicable in this case. Before the
use of unlawfully possessed explosives can be properly
appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, it must be
adequately established that the possession was illegal or
unlawful, i.e., the accused is without the corresponding
authority or permit to possess.
© CONCURRING AND DISSENTING CALLEJO, SR., J.:
I concur with the majority that the appellant Antonio
Comadre is guilty of murder for the death of Robert
Agbanlog, and multiple attempted murder for the injuries
sustained by the other victims. I dissent, however, from
the ruling of the majority that the killing of Agbanlog is
qualified by the use of explosives and not by treachery.
Under Section 3 of P.D. No. 1866 which took
effect on June 29, 1983, any person who commits any of
the crimes defined in the Revised Penal Code with the use
of explosives, detonation agents or incendiary devices
which results in the death of a person shall be sentenced
to suffer the death penalty. However, the imposition of the
death penalty was suspended.
Under paragraph 3, Article 248 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, the
use of explosives in killing a person is a circumstance
which qualifies the killing to murder, the imposable penalty
for which is reclusion perpetua to death. When the crimes
were committed by the appellants on August 6, 1995, Rep.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Act No. 7659 was already in effect. But while the case was
pending, Rep. act No. 8294 was approved on June 6,
1997.Section 2 of the latter law provides that when a
person commits any of the crimes defined in the Revised
Penal Code with the use of explosives, detonation agents
or incendiary devices which results in the death of any
person or persons, the use of such explosives, etc. shall
be considered as an aggravating circumstance:
Paragraph 3 of Article 248 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by Rep Act No. 7659, was, thus,
amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 8294. Under the
latter law, the use of a hand grenade in killing the victim
was downgraded from being a qualifying circumstance to
a mere generic aggravating circumstance. Considering
that Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 8294 is favorable to the
appellant, the same should be applied retroactively.
Considering the factual milieu in this case, the generic
aggravating circumstance of the use of explosives is
absorbed by the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
PREMEDITATION
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
ANNIBONG y INGGAO
vs.
GABRIEL
FACTS:
1. Annibong, the accused, was a kitchen aide
assigned to the Army Camp Detachment in
Apayao. He was in the kitchen with Gabriel
Tallong (witness), a CAFGU member. Corporal
Obngayan, the victim, arrived perspiring and
thirsty. He went to get a drink and was irritated to
find all the water containers empty. He went to
Annibong, and boxed him three times in the
stomach and uttered: "Vulva of your mother, it is
better that I will kill you."
2. According to Annibong, he shot at Obngayan in
self defense. Obngayan allegedly took an M-16
and aimed it at the accused, who then shot him in
self-defense.
3. This was contradicted by Tallong. According to
the sole witness, the victim after boxing the
accused, was walking towards the bunkers when
Annibong suddenly attacked him from the back
with an M-16, then later on, a garrand gun.
Obngayan died instantaneously with his brain
splattered and an eye fallen on the ground.
4. The RTC found Annibong guilty of murder with
the special aggravating circumstance of with
insult or in disregard of the respect due the
offended party on account of his rank.
ISSUE:
a) Is the self-defense theory of Annibong credible?NO
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
b)
HELD:
a)
b)
What are the aggravating and mitigating
circumstances to be considered in this case?
There was no unlawful aggression. Granting that
the initial act of aggression came from the victim
when he cursed and then punched appellant
three times in the stomach, such aggression did
not amount to actual or imminent threat to
appellant's life as the victim already ceased and
desisted thereafter. As Tallong testified, the
victim was already walking slowly away towards
18
his bunker at the time appellant shot him
incessantly. At that point, it was no longer
necessary for appellant to shoot Obngayan in
order to protect himself. In legitimate self-defense
the aggression must still be existing or continuing
when the person making the defense attacks or
injures the aggressor. Thus when the unlawful
aggression ceases to exist, the one making the
defense has no more right to kill the former
aggressor."
Aggravating:

Treachery: YES. (1) the means of
execution employed gave the person
attacked no opportunity to defend
himself or to retaliate; and (2) the means
of execution were deliberately or
24
consciously adopted. In this case, the
victim was totally unprepared and
unarmed, while appellant was carrying a
weapon. When shot, the victim was
already slowly turning away towards his
bunker. He was clueless of appellant's
sudden attack. Annibong consciously
and purposely adopted the means of
attack to insure the execution of the
crime without risk to himself. Such
unexpected and sudden attack under
circumstances that render the victim
unable and unprepared to defend
himself constitutes alevosia. Thus, the
trial court did not err when it ruled that
treachery qualified the killing to murder.

Premeditation: NO. To prove this
attendant circumstance, evidence must
show: (1) the time the offender
determined to commit the crime; (2) an
act indicating that the offender had
clung to his determination; and (3)
sufficient lapse of time between the
determination to commit the crime and
the execution thereof to allow the
offender
to
reflect
upon
the
consequences of his act. There is no

NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
clear proof as to when the accused
hatched the murderous plan, and the
interval of time therefrom to its
commission.
Disregard of rank as well as respect due
to the offended party: NO. Cannot be
appreciated as this was not alleged in
the information.
Mitigating:

Voluntary Surrender: YES. It is
immaterial that appellant did not
immediately surrender to the authorities,
but did so only after the lapse of two
days. There is voluntary surrender if
three conditions are satisfied: (1) the
offender has not been arrested; (2) he
surrendered himself to a person in
authority or to an agent of a person in
authority; and (3) his surrender was
voluntary. There is no dispute that
appellant voluntarily surrendered to the
governor a person in authority, then to
the police, before he was arrested.
PEOPLE V. JOSE RODAS, SR. AND ARMANDO
RODAS
Facts: The two accused-appellants here were charged
together with 2 others who pleaded guilty to homicide
before the prosecution could rest its case.
Jose Rodas, Sr. with his 3 children, co-appellant
Armando Rodas, Charlito Rodas and Jose Rodas, Jr.,
were charged for murdering victim Titing Asenda.
Titing Asenda was at a dance near the presence
of Alberto Asonda and Ernie Anggot, the two
eyewitnesses to the crime. The two eyewitnesses testified
that they saw the Rodas family suddenly surround Titing
Asenda. Charlito stabbed Titing in the back. Then
Armando clubbed Titing with a chako [nunchucks] causing
him to fall. Then Jose Sr. handed Jose Jr. with a bolo
which Jr. used to hack Titing in the elbow.
The eyewitnesses tried to help Titing but
Armando pointed a gun at them. The Rodas Family left
and when the eyewitnesses approached Titing he was
already dead.
The defense of Appellants Jose Sr. and Armando
was alibi. That they were not present in the dance and it
was only Charlito and Jose Jr. who killed Titing, the two
who pleaded guilty.
Despite the alibi, the RTC convicted appellant
Jose Sr. and Armando of murder qualified by Treachery.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Issue: Appellants guilty of killing Titing? Aggravating
Circumstances?
Held: SC finds Jose Sr. and Armando guilty of Murder,
qualified by treachery. Denial or Alibi cannot override the
positive and credible testimony of two eyewitness.
NOTE – Justice Callejo assigned this case under Evident
Premeditation but because the SC had a short discussion
on this, I think we should discuss other circumstances
considered by the Court.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
immunity from identification or capture. Here, the dance
was adequately lighted which led to the positive
identification of the Rodas family.
D. Abuse of Superior attended the killing since there was
glaring disparity of strength between the victim and the
four accused. The victim was unarmed while the accused
were armed with a hunting knife, chako and
bolo. However, this is absorbed in Treachery.
© PEOPLE vs. BALDOGO
A. For evident premeditation to be appreciated, the
following elements must be established:
(1) the time when the accused decided to commit the
crime;
(2) an overt act manifestly indicating that he has
clung to his determination; and
(3) sufficient lapse of time between decision and
execution to allow the accused to reflect
upon the consequences of his act.
The essence of premeditation is that the execution of the
criminal act was preceded by cool thought and reflection
upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during a
space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment. All
the SC said was that the prosecution failed to establish
this circumstance.
B.
The essence of treachery is the sudden and
unexpected attack by the aggressor on an unsuspecting
victim, depriving the latter of any real chance to defend
himself, thereby ensuring its commission without risk to
the aggressor, and without the slightest provocation on the
part of the victim.
Here, Titing was completely unaware that he was
going to be attacked. He was not forewarned of any
danger to himself as there was no altercation or
disagreement between the accused and the victim. The
suddenness of the attack, the number of the accused and
their use of weapons against the unarmed victim prevent
the possibility of any defense or retaliation by the victim.
The fact that the victim was already sprawled on the
ground and still Jose Jr. hacked him with a bolo clearly
constitutes treachery.
C. Nocturnity cannot also be considered against the
appellants. Nocturnity is aggravating only when it
facilitated the commission of the crime, or was especially
sought or taken advantage of by the accused for the
purpose of impunity. The essence of this aggravating
circumstance is the obscuridad afforded by, and not
merely the chronological onset of, nighttime. Although the
offense was committed at night, nocturnity does not
become a modifying factor when the place is adequately
lighted and, thus, could no longer insure the offender’s
FACTS: Baldogo and Bermas were inmates who were
serving sentence in the Penal Colony of Palawan. They
were assigned as helpers of the Camacho family, who
resides within the Penal Colony. In the evening of Feb. 22,
1996, only siblings Jorge (14 y.o) and Julie (12 y.o.) were
left in their house together with the Baldogo and Bermas.
While Julie was studying in her room, she heard Bermas
calling from the kitchen ("Jul, tawag ka ng kuya mo"), but
she ignored him. A few moments later, Bermas called her
again, but Julie again ignored him. However, when Julie
heard a loud sound, akin to a yell (“Ahh, ahh!”), she got
out of the room and went to the kitchen, where she found
Jorge sprawled on the floor, lying face down and bloodied.
The vicinity was well lighted by a fluorescent lamp. Julie
saw Baldogo and Bermas standing over Jorge, each of
them armed with a bolo. She ran back to the sala but the
two pursued her. Baldogo tied her hands at her back with
a torn t-shirt and placed a piece of cloth in her mouth to
prevent her from shouting for help from their neighbors.
Baldogo dragged Julie outside the house and towards the
mountain. During their trek Baldogo and Bermas were
able to retrieve their clothing and belongings from a trunk
which was located under a Tamarind tree. The following
day, Bermas separated from Baldogo and Julie, who
continued their ascent to the mountain. The two stayed in
the mountains for a few days until Feb. 28, 1996, when
Baldogo left Julie in the mountains to fend for herself.
Julie went to the lowlands & there she asked for help from
Nicodemus. Nicodemus brought Julie to Balsaham where
they met some personnel of the penal colony and police
officers, and Nicodemus turned Julie over for custody to
them.
Two informations were filed accused-appellant
Baldogo and Bermas, one for crime of murder and the
second for kidnapping. Even before the arraignment,
Bermas died.
Baldogo denied killing Jorge and
kidnapping Julie. He contends that while he was preparing
for sleep he was approached by Bermas, who was armed
with a bloodied bolo. Bermas warned him not to shout,
otherwise he will also be killed. Baldogo maintained that
he did not intend to hurt Julie or deprive her of her liberty.
He averred that during the entire period that he and Julie
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were in the mountain before Bermas left him, he tried to
protect her from Bermas. Baldogo asserted that he wanted
to bring Julie back to her parents after Bermas had left
them and to surrender but Baldogo was afraid that Julio
Sr., the father, might kill him.
The RTC found Baldogo guilty of the two crimes
charged, appreciating the qualifying aggravating
circumstance of evident premeditation among many
others.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
establishing when Baldogo and Bermas hid the bag under
the tree. The prosecution even failed to adduce any
evidence of overt acts on the part of Baldogo, nor did it
present evidence as to when and how he and Bermas
planned and prepared to kill Jorge and kidnap Julie and to
prove that the two felons since then clung to their
determination to commit the said crimes. Although
Baldogo and Bermas were armed with bolos, there is no
evidence that they took advantage of their numerical
superiority and weapons to kill Jorge.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC erred in appreciating the
qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation
despite the failure of the prosecution to prove it?
PEOPLE V UBIÑA
HELD/RATIO: YES.
The trial court convicted accused-appellant of
murder with the qualifying aggravating circumstance of
evident premeditation, based on the following findings and
ratiocination:
"The slaying of Jorge Camacho took place about 8:30
o'clock in the evening of February 22, 1996. It was
carried out after the accused have been through
tidying-up the kitchen, the dining room and the kitchen
wares the family of the Camachos used in their early
dinner before 7:00 o'clock that evening. But even
before dinner, the accused have already made
preparations for their flight, shown by the fact that
they already had their clothes, other personal
belongings and food provisions stacked in their
respective travelling bags then placed in a spot where
they can just pick them up as they take to flight."
Although the SC agrees that Baldogo is guilty of
murder, it does not agree with the ruling of RTC that the
crime was qualified by evident premeditation. To warrant
a finding of evident premeditation, the prosecution
must establish the confluence of the following
requisites: (a) the time when the offender determined to
commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the
offender clung to his determination; and (c) a sufficient
interval of time between the determination and the
execution of the crime to allow him to reflect upon the
consequences of his act.
The qualifying aggravating circumstance of
evident premeditation must be proved with certainty as the
crime itself. A finding of evident premeditation cannot be
based solely on mere lapse of time from the time the
malefactor has decided to commit a felony up to the time
that he actually commits it. In this case, the prosecution
failed to prove evident premeditation. The barefaced fact
that Baldogo and Bermas hid the bag containing their
clothing under a tree located about a kilometer or so from
the house of Julio Sr. does not constitute clear evidence
that they decided to kill Jorge and kidnap Julie. It is
possible that they hid their clothing therein preparatory to
escaping from the colony. There is no evidence
Facts: Early in the evening of September 14, 1952,
Aureliano Carag, Mayor of Solana, Cagayan arrived on
horseback at the house of the spouses Esteban Tambiao
and Teodora Quilang in the barrio of Bañgag, Solana,
Cagayan. Upon arriving he tied his horse beside the
house, went up, and delivered a dead rooster which he
had brought along, to Teodora Quilang to be cooked.
Carag, Dionisia and Esteban had conversation
with Flora. Not long after this conversation, Teodora
Quilang called the three to go up for supper. Carag
thought of removing the saddle off his horse, so he
directed his steps towards the place where he had tied his
horse. It was then that the first gunshot was heard. Carag
was hit at the buttock and immediately called upon
Teodora for help. Teodora immediately went down,
accompanied by Dionisia and Esteban. Flora also heard
the call, so she also started to go down. It was then that
further shots were heard.
At that time, Proceso Ledesma, a policeman of
Carag, who had heard the shots and the call of Carag for
help, went down, stealthily approaching the besieged
house of the Tambiaos. Carag called upon Proceso to
help him, telling him to fire at his attackers and that Tomas
Ubiña and his companions were on the road. It was then
that a voice was heard in answer, "You call for all your
policemen, although they are many, we are not afraid.
The following morning, the police were called,
and upon examining the premises around the house, they
found the dead bodies of Aureliano Carag, Dionisia
Tambiao and Esteban Tambiao.
Eight witnesses testified to the facts which they
saw during that night. Circumstances not denied by the
defendants also indicate that all the other defendants must
have participated in the commission of the crime, as
pointed out by the testimonies of the witnesses for the
prosecution. Appellant Tomas Ubiña lost in the election for
Mayor to the deceased Aureliano Carag. Tomas Ubiña
filed a protest against him and utilized his two codefendant, Marcelo de Guzman and Loreto Mercado, as
witnesses in his favor. These two individuals together with
Ruben Francisco were living at his house evidently at
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Ubiña's own expense. He gave them work by which to
earn a living. The other defendants, namely, Romero
Pagulayan, Pascual Escote and Pablo Binayug, did not
live in Tuguegarao, but were tenants of or connected with
Tomas Ubiña in his business and in politics, and when the
party headed by Tomas Ubiña arrived at his other house
in barrio Andarayan together with his co-defendants, these
three were already there waiting for him. These are
circumstances which justify the conclusion that they
helped and joined Tomas Ubiña in his evil design.
Issue: Whether or not the lower court erred in ruling that
the commission of the crime was attended with an
aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation.
Held: There is no question that evident premeditation
was present. It has been held that if a crime was planned
at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon and carried out at 7:00
o'clock in the evening, or planned at 4:00 o'clock in the
afternoon and executed at 7:30 o'clock in the evening, the
aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation is
present because sufficient time has intervened between
the conception of the idea and the resolution to carry it out
and the fulfillment thereof This is what exactly took place
in the case at bar.
The court correctly found that the aggravating
circumstance of alevosia attended the commission of the
crime, with nighttime as having been included therein. The
scene of the crime was in a remote barrio where Carag
must have felt secure. This, together with the suddenness
of the attack and the darkness of the night, certainly
insured the success of the attack and shielded the
conspirators from risk or danger. There was, furthermore,
the additional circumstance of abuse of superior strength
because there were no less than eight of the attackers, all
acting in concert around the besieged house, three of
whom were armed with carbines, which are certainly
superior in deadliness and accuracy to the only pistol with
which the victim was armed.
We, therefore, find that three murders have been
committed, with the qualifying circumstances of treachery
and abuse of superior strength. In the commission of
these crimes, we hold that Tomas Ubiña, Jose Ubiña,
Loreto Mercado, and Marcelo de Guzman participated as
principals, whereas Romero Pagulayan, Pascual Escote
and Pablo Binayug took part as accomplices.
But as to Tomas Ubiña, who conceived the plan
and utilized his influence to carry out the offense, the show
marked determination, cruelty and depravity. He did not
wreak vengeance on his personal enemy alone, but gave
vent to his anger unnecessarily murdering two other
innocent and defenseless victims. For him justice cannot
be tempered with mercy; the law must be applied in its full
force and to its full extent.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
CRAFT
PEOPLE V. EMPACIS
FACTS: At about 9pm, as vicitms Fidel Saromines and his
wife Camila were about to close their small store in Cebu,
2 men, Romualdo Langomez and Crisologo Empacis,
came and asked to buy some sardines and rice. After
they finished eating, Langomez announced a hold-up and
ordered Fidel to give up his money. The latter started to
hand him PhP12K but suddenly decided to fight to keep it.
A struggle followed in the course of w/c Langomez
stabbed Fidel about 3 times. Empacis joined in and w/ his
own knife also stabbed Fidel. At this time, gunshots were
heard outside the house (im guessing the gun shots were
signals by the 3 other conspirators).
It was only when Peter, Fidel’s 13-yr old son,
saw his father fighting for his life and rushed to his father’s
defense w/ a pinuti (a long bolo) striking Empacis and
inflicting 2 wounds on him did the 2 men flee. Fidel died
from the fatal injuries, w/c penetrated his lungs and heart.
Empacis went to the clinic of Dr Eustaquio for the
treatment of his wounds inflicted by Peter. He told the
doctor that he was assaulted w/o warning by a young man
near the Papan Market.
The next day, police officers went looking for a
man who might have been treated for wounds from a
bladed weapon. They came to Dr Eustaquio’s clinic who
told them about Empacis. He was found at the public
market where they arrested him. He admitted going to the
store of Fidel but denied having joined Langomez in his
attack. He asserts that he tried to stop him but the latter
succeeded in stabbing Fidel. He further alleges that he
was brought by his neighbors to the clinic. The other 2
men, who were accused of firing the gun from outside,
denied any participation in the crime. They were both
absolved by the court. Langomez disappeared & could
not be found.
Several aggravating circumstances: 1. Dwelling of the
offended party 2. Nighttime 3. Employment of craft and
fraud. 4. Advantage being taken of superior strength
HELD:
1. CRAFT AND FRAUD was properly appreciated against
Empacis. Both men pretended to be bona fide customers
of the victim’s store and on this pretext gained entry into
the latter’s store and later, into another part of his
dwelling. In previous cases, the Court held the presence
of fraud or craft when one pretended to be constabulary
soldiers to gain entry into a residence to rob and kill the
residents, pretended to be needful of medical treatment
only killing the owner of the house, and pretended to be
wayfarers who had lost their way to enter into a house.
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
2. NIGHTTIME was also properly appreciated as nocturnity
was deliberately and purposely sought to facilitate the
commission of the crime. Nighttime is not per se
aggravating unless shown that it was deliberately and
purposely sought to facilate or actually facilitated the
commission of the crime. The lateness of the hour
prevented other customers from being there to defer the
act or coming to the aid of the victims.
near the National Highway. Conductor Eduardo Valle,
went down the minibus and allowed appellant to get inside
the bus. He observed that his clothes, particularly the right
side of his jacket and the right side of his pants, was
soaked with blood. When asked where he was going, he
didn’t answer, he just paid the fare. Conductor observed a
wad of cash in his breast pockets. Body of Bonifacio later
found with gunshot wounds and stab founds.
3. SUPERIOR STRENGTH properly appreciated. To be
deemed present, it doesn’t suffice to prove superiority in
number on the part of the malefactors but that they
purposely employed excessive force, force out of
proportion to the means of defense available to the person
attacked w/c was present in this case. Empacis & his
companion took advantage of their combined strength &
their bladed weapons to overcome their unarmed victim &
assure the success of their felonious design to take the
money.
ISSUE: W/N he is guilty of robbery with homicide,
aggravated by fraud and craft.
4. DWELLING also. The victim not having given
provocation.
PEOPLE
OF
THE
Appellee, v. VIVENCIO
DENCIO, accused-appellant.
PHILIPPINES,PlaintiffLABUGUEN
@
FACTS: Appellant Labuguen is accused of the crime of
Robber with Homicide, with the aggravating circumstance
of fraud and craft, hence the trial court sentencing him to
death.
The victim is Bonifacio Angeles, who was
engaged in the business of buying cows and selling them
at the public market. On Oct 27, 1994, a certain Tomas
Pagbigayan went to Bonifacio’s house, offering him 2
cows to sell. Bonifacio said that he would see the cows
when he has the time and offered to accompany him to
the crossing/terminal. They rode Bonifacio’s bike to go
there and when the latter came back to the house, the
appellant Labuguen was riding in the back of the
motorcycle with victim.
While in the house, Labuguen offered 3 cows for
sale to Bonifacio. The latter wanted to inspect the cows
because they were nearby so he got P40,000 cash and
went with Labuguen to where the cows supposedly were.
They rode Bonifacio’s motorcycle. Several witnesses saw
Bonifacio and Labuguen riding together off to the country
side. Between 11:00 to 12:00 o'clock noon on the same
day, Geronimo Rivera was driving a Challenger, a
passenger mini-bus in Isabela. His conductor was
Eduardo Valle.
At Nappaccu, Geromino Rivera (Rivera) saw at a
distance of 200 meters, a person behind some talahibs
HELD/RATIO: The testimonies of the prosecution witness
was able to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Circumstantial evidence was able to establish the guilt of
appellant beyond reasonable doubt. The time element of
the circumstances thus proven link each chain of
circumstances to another pointing to a reasonable
conclusion and no other but the guilt of appellant. From
the early morning of October 27, 1994 to 10:00 o'clock in
the morning of the same day, the prosecution has
sufficiently shown that the appellant was the last person
seen with the victim before the latter was killed. About
thirty minutes later, appellant was seen speeding away.
Appellant's intention to rob the victim can be
gleaned unerringly from the attendant circumstances.
Obviously, robbery was the motive that impelled appellant
to convince the victim to go with him. Under the pretext of
selling cows to him, appellant cajoled the victim to bring a
large sum of money and thereafter, lured him to a route
where appellant could divest him of his money with the
least danger of being caught. As aptly surmised by the trial
court, the two inches thick of one hundred peso bills in
appellant's pocket and the blood smeared on his clothes
are two vital chains of circumstances that undoubtedly
bespeak of the robbery with homicide appellant
committed.
Though not alleged in the Information, the
generic aggravating circumstances of fraud and craft were
properly appreciated by the trial court. Craft involves
intellectual trickery and cunning on the part of the
offender. When there is a direct inducement by insidious
16
words or machinations, fraud is present. By saying that
he would accompany the victim to see the cows which the
latter intended to buy, appellant was able to lure the victim
to go with him.
SUPERIOR STRENGTH
© PEOPLE V. LORETO (1993)
AID: 3 VICTIMS- ONE of which is MURDER-ABUSE OF
SUPERIOR STRENGTH
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Facts: Samuel Loreto of murder, homicide and of slight
physical injuries and meting on him the penalty of death
for murder. Leah Rondena (12) died, Lettymar Rondena
(9) died as well, while third victim Princess Rondena (3
month old baby) survived.
Facts are simple-- Witness Romeo (neighbor/trike driver)
witnessed the killing spree when he saw Leah Rondena
emerged from the house of Rolando (Leah’s half-brother)
and into the house of Dan (brother of accused) and
thereafter the whole incident occurred, leading sadly to
Leah (who was chased around) and Lettymar’s (already
found dead) death. NOTE: This killing spree of the two
young girls occurred while their half-brother Rolando was
away as a tricycle driver as well, with the latter entrusting
the babysitting of Princess to the two young ladies. NOTE
also: accused Loreto was previously charged with murder
before he came to the victims’ town in Puerto Princesa.
Issue: Aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior
strength and treachery applicable in the death of Leah
Rondena? (YES only to superior strength. No to
treachery.)
Held: Aside from the court affirming by circumstantial
evidence of the killing of Lettymar and physical injuries on
Princess, and more IMPORTANTLY in this case, The
victim, Leah, is a girl only (12) years of age unarmed when
brutally slain. On the contrary, the accused is a man of
legal age and armed with an eight inches knife.
Considering the gender, age, height, built, size, and agility
of the accused, he is much superior in strength and
disposition than the hapless and innocent victim. The use
of a bladed weapon even if already superior in physical
strength in killing the victim is indicative of the accused’s
unmistakable intent of taking advantage of his superior
strength. However, the trial court further declared that
treachery was attendant but can no longer be appreciated
against accused-appellant because treachery absorbed
abuse of superior strength.
However, the Court does not agree with the
ruling of the trial court that although treachery absorbed
abuse of superior strength, it is abuse of superior strength
and not treachery which qualified the crime. What should
qualify the crime is treachery as proved and not abuse of
superior strength. If treachery is not proved but abuse of
superior strength was proved by the prosecution, the
crime is qualified by abuse of superior strength. (IN
SHORT, treachery was not proven)
Moreover, superiority does not always mean
numerical superiority. Abuse of superiority depends upon
the relative strength of the aggressor vis-a-vis the victim.
There is abuse of superior strength even if there is only
one malefactor and one victim. Abuse of superiority is
determined by the excess of the aggressor’s natural
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
strength over that of the victim, considering the position of
both and the employment of means to weaken the
defense, although not annulling it.
Note: the minority of the Leah and Lettymar was
not sufficiently proven. IF It was proven, then such act of
Loreto would have automatically been qualified to murder.
PEOPLE V. ALARCON, TOMPONG, AND GUMAWA
Per Curiam Decision (EN BANC)
FACTS:

Three different informations were filed against
the accused (co-conspirators) WILFREDO
ALARCON, EDDIE TOMPONG, and EDUARDO
GUMAWA.
o Criminal Case No. 5630 for RAPE WITH
HOMICIDE
o Criminal Case No. 5631 for RAPE
(resulting to the death of Aisha Dava),
committed by more than 2 persons,
aggravated by superior strength
o Criminal Case No. 5632 for RAPE
resulting to the death of Aisha Dava),
committed by more than 2 persons,
aggravated by superior strength

ALARCON, TOMPONG, GUMAWA pleaded not
guilty. The three cases were heard jointly. The
prosecution presented five witnesses: Dr. Irma J.
Adayon, Lucia Dava, Melita Cancer, Ostimiano
Untalan and Amador Martinesio and rebuttal
witness Pedro Enque.

The evidence of the prosecution shows:
o At 7AM of May 26, 1995, accused
ALARCON (17 years old) was on his
way to Sitio Casoy, Bugasong, Antique
to gather firewood. On his way, he met
“Lola Magang,” the grandmother of
the11-year old victim, Aisha Dava
(AISHA), carrying goods to be sold at
the market in Valderrama.
o Upon reaching Sitio Casoy, ALARCON
saw TOMPONG (42 years old with his
wife Gloria) and GUMAWA gathering
firewood and tying them in bundles.
AISHA was watching the group bundle
firewood
while
TOMPONG
and
GUMAWA were teasing her (by telling
her that they will court her). AISHA
reacted by throwing pebbles at
TOMPONG and GUMAWA, and left the
place saying that she would just look for
the carabao she was tending.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
o
o
o
o
o
After finishing her task, Gloria left
TOMPONG, GUMAWA, and ALARCON
behind.
TOMPONG
approached
ALARCON and said that they will follow
AISHA. TOMPONG, GUMAWA, and
ALARCON went to the place where
AISHA was grazing her carabao.
AISHA saw the 3 of them approaching
and stood up and looked at them. Upon
reaching AISHA, TOMPONG pushed
ALARCON towards AISHA causing
them both to fall on the ground and roll
together. As they rolled, AISHA
scratched the face of ALARCON to
defend herself but while AISHA was
lying flat on her back, TOMPONG ran
towards her and got the knife tucked on
her waist. AISHA shouted and cried as
the 3 ganged upon her.
A t that instant, prosecution eyewitness
Melita Cancer, who was on her way
home after coming from AISHA’s house
(w/c was situated around 80m from the
crime scene), head the cry of the victim.
Cancer was supposed to collect money
from AISHA’s mother but left after
discovering that no one was home. After
hearing AISHA’s cry, she looked around
and saw TOMPONG, GUMAWA, and
ALARCON, holding and undressing
AISHA. Cancer immediately fled the
area started and afraid of what she saw.
Another person, Ostimiano Untalan (68
years old and a retired PC officer) saw
the incident as he was on his way to the
bamboo plantation of Salvador Dava to
inquire into the availability of bamboo
poled he intended to buy. Untalan heard
the shouts of AISHA but felt afraid and
took cover and concealed himself inside
a thick bush around 4 ft. tall. He saw 3
malefactors sexually molesting AISHA,
who was lying flat on her back with both
hands being held by ALARCON.
TOMPONG laid on top of the victim
while GUMAWA covered her mouth.
Untalan saw TOMPONG, GUMAWA,
and ALARCON take turns sexually
abusing AISHA for about half an hour.
Thereafter, ALARCON struck the neck
of AISHA w/ a piece of wood and
slashed further the throat and left check
of the victim using a knife. GUMAWA
dragged the body of AISHA towards the
canal. TOMPONG and ALARCON

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
5.
6.
7.

NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
followed and covered it w/ twigs of
“bungargar.” GUMAWA told the other 2
that they will separate and nobody will
tell what happened. Untalan left his
hiding place and went home 5 minutes
after the 3 fled.
Three days thereafter, the cadaver of AISHA, in a
state of decomposition, was found by the police
in Sitio Sio. The findings in the Autopsy Report
were:
General Appearance: Dead; lying with his
head and trunk slightly elevated from the
rest of the body; supine position; both arms
slightly flexed and perpendicular to the
body; both thighs and knees flexed; knees
separated from each other 40 cms. apart;
wearing T-shirt stained with blood and rolled
upward to the level just below the nipples;
wearing panty and short pants stained with
blood; short pants rolled upwards to the
inguinal area.
Wound, 6 cms. long, gaping, neck, right,
involving right sternocleidomastoid muscle,
right common carotid artery and vein.
Wound, stabbed, 2.5 cms. long, gaping, left
buccinator area, running mediolaterally,
involving buccinator muscle thru and thru.
Labia majora and labia minora; Medical
borders not prominent because it is
markedly covered by a swollen clittoris;
gaping.
Clittoris: Swollen and elevated by 2.5 cms.;
6.5 cms. long; 3 cms. wide; oblong in
shape; presence of somewhat fresh blood
in the superior third; wound in the inferior
half.
Vaginal canal: Presence of old mucus like
material in the opening, left, lower quadrant;
edges irregular; rugosities not discint;
admits one finger.
Fourchette: Rounded base.
Hymen: Not clearly identified because of the
extremely swollen clittoris.
Version of defense:
o ALARCON
(19
years
old),
(testifying on his own behalf) said
that after AISHA left to look for her
carabao,
TOMPONG
and
GUMAWA approached ALARCON
and told him to go with them to
follow AISHA. He refused but
TOMPONG pushed him. He fell on
the root of a santol tree and he
was leaning on it when GUMAWA
approached
him.
GUMAWA
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
o
pointed a bolo at him and
threatened him that if he did not go
with them, GUMAWA would hack
him. Scared, ALARCON went with
TOMPONG and GUMAWA to
follow AISHA. When they found
AISHA, TOMPONG and GUMAWA
allegedly instructed him to hold the
hands of AISHA while they took
turns raping her under the threat of
being hacked with their bolos. After
TOMPONG
and
GUMAWA
finished raping AISHA, TOMPONG
faced ALARCON and told him to
take his turn, but ALARCON cried
and said that he would not do it.
Because he did not, TOMPONG
told GUMAWA: "We cannot do
otherwise." GUMAWA then took a
piece of wood beside him and
struck the neck of AISHA, put on
her shorts and pulled her towards
a hole near some shrubs.
GUMAWA warned ALARCON not
to tell anybody about what
happened.
TOMPONG
then
slashed AISHA's neck with the
knife he took from her waist and
dropped the knife beside AISHA's
body. TOMPONG approached
ALARCON and told him not to tell
anybody about the incident and, if
he was caught, to just admit it.
GUMAWA and TOMPONG each
promised to pay ALARCON P500
if the latter admitted to the crime.
Richard Bernabe, first witness for
TOMPONG
and
GUMAWA,
declared that at around noon of 26
May 1995, his neighbor ALARCON
went to his house to ask for help
as he had raped a child.
ALARCON confessed to him that
he did it alone. Edna Apolinario,
the second witness for TOMPONG
and GUMAWA, testified that on 22
May 1995, TOMPONG, GUMAWA
and her husband began the
construction of her house in
Apgahan, Patnongon, Antique.
TOMPONG and GUMAWA worked
continuously from 22 May up to 27
May 1995. At six o'clock in the
morning of 28 May 1995, the two
went home. She expected them to


NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
come back the following Monday
as the house was not yet finished
but then she heard over the radio
that the two were arrested by
police. As laborers, TOMPONG
and GUMAWA worked the whole
day, from 7:30 in the morning to
about 4:30 or 5:00 in the
afternoon, and slept in her old
house adjacent to the one being
constructed.
o TOMPONG and GUMAWA raise
the defense of alibi. Accused
TOMPONG testified that he was
42 years old, married, a carpenter
and resident of Sitio Sio,
Bagtason, Bugasong, Antique. On
26 May 1995, when the crimes in
question
were
allegedly
committed, he and GUMAWA were
working on Edna's house and they
never left the site.
The prosecution presented Pedro Engue as
rebuttal witness. He testified that he had
resided in Sitio Sio for the last five years
and
TOMPONG
is
his
neighbor.
TOMPONG's usual work was selling
firewood which he gathered from the land
owned by the Davas. Engue did not know
whether TOMPONG had ever constructed a
house in Sitio Sio for other people. He
added though that GUMAWA is also a
firewood gatherer in Sitio Sio.
Trial
court
convicted
TOMPONG,
GUMAWA, and ALARCON. TOPONG and
GUMAWA were sentenced to death while
ALARCON faces reclusion perpetua. The
judgment
against
TOMPONG
and
GUMAWA is before the Supreme Court on
automatic review.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether the prosecution witnesses are
credible? Yes
(2) Whether defense satisfactorily established
the defense of alibi? No
(1) FINDINGS OF LOWER COURT ARE
BINDING
After a thorough review of the evidence on
record, we affirm the judgment of conviction of
accused-appellants TOMPONG and GUMAWA. At
the core of this petition is the credibility of
eyewitnesses. The trial court found worthy of belief
the accounts of Melita Cancer, Ostimiano Untalan
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
and co-accused ALARCON. We can do no less.
Appellate courts accord the highest respect to the
trial court's assessment of the testimonies of
eyewitnesses by the trial court because of its
unequaled opportunity to observe on the stand their
demeanor and manner of testifying and to detect
whether they are telling the truth or not. This rule
admits of exceptions, such as when the evaluation
was reached arbitrarily or when the trial court
overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied some
facts or circumstances of weight and substance
which could affect the result of the case. None of the
exceptions obtains in these cases.
TOMPONG and GUMAWA capitalize on Melita
Cancer's running away, not attempting to secure help
for AISHA, and not telling anybody what she had
witnessed, as attributes of the falsity of her
testimony. However, Cancer has clearly explained
that she was afraid when she saw what was
happening. As for not telling anybody, this was
adequately explained in her testimony. There is no
accounting for the varied reactions an eyewitness
might have relative to what he might be seeing.
There is no standard form of human behavioral
response when one is confronted with a strange,
startling or frightful experience. Fear has been
known to render some people immobile, if not
useless, in some life-and-death situations. As to
Ostimiano Untalan’s failure to report the matter to the
police and for inconsistencies in his testimony, it is
not uncommon for a witness to a crime to show
some reluctance about getting involved in a criminal
case, and in fact the natural reticence of most people
to get involved is of judicial notice. It is
understandable for a witness to fear for his safety
especially when townmates are involved in the
commission of the crime. Moreso in Untalan's
circumstances: he is old and disabled.
(2) ALIBI
TOMPONG and GUMAW claim that they could
not have raped AISHA since they were working that
day in Apgahan constructing the house of Edna
Apolinario. To establish alibi, an accused must show
that he was at some other place for such a period of
time that it was impossible for him to have been at
the place where the crime was committed at the time
of its commission. The trial court, after noting the
distance between Apgahan to Sitio Sio in Barangay
Bagtason where the crimes were committed, held
that it was not physically impossible for TOMPONG
and GUMAWA to be present in Bagtason at the
commission of the offenses. The burden of proving
alibi lies with TOMPONG and GUMAWA and they
have failed to discharge this burden. Justifiably,
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
courts have always looked upon the defense of alibi
with suspicion and have received the same with
caution, not only because it is inherently weak and
unreliable but also because of its easy fabrication. It
cannot prevail over, and is worthless in the face of,
positive identification by credible witnesses that the
accused perpetrated the crime.
RULING: We are convinced beyond any doubt that
TOMPONG, GUMAWA and ALARCON each raped
AISHA. Since the facts adduced prove beyond doubt
that they conspired and mutually helped each other
in committing the rapes, each should be held
criminally liable for these rapes. Since AISHA was
killed on the occasion thereof, each should be liable
for three complex crimes of rape with homicide.
SUPERIOR STRENGTH
Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by R.A. No. 7659, provides, inter alia:
when by reason or on the occasion of the rape,
homicide is committed, the penalty shall be
death.
Fortunately for TOMPONG and GUMAWA
it was only in Criminal Case No. 5630 that they
were charged with ALARCON with the crime of
rape with homicide. They were charged only
with rape in Criminal Case Nos. 5631 and
5632. The trial court imposed on them in each
of such cases the penalty of death because the
crime in each case was "committed by more
than two (2) persons, aggravated by superior
strength." We do not agree with the trial
court on this issue.
While it may be true that Article 335 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No.
7659 provides, inter alia, that: whenever the
rape is committed with the use of a deadly
weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty
shall be reclusion perpetua to death and that
the presence of an aggravating circumstance
would justify the imposition of the graver
penalty of death, the fact of commission "by
two or more persons," which partake of the
nature of a qualifying circumstance, was not
alleged in the information in Criminal Cases
Nos. 5631 and 5632. The mere fact that three
were accused therein did not amount to a
specification of the qualifying circumstance
in question and was insufficient for the
purpose
of
complying
with
the
constitutional requirement that the accused
be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against them.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Also, abuse of superior strength as a
generic aggravating circumstance, which
may be appreciated against the accused
even if not alleged, was not proven in this
case. Mere superiority in number is not
enough, there must be proof of deliberate
intent to take advantage of superior
strength.
SENTENCE: There being no evidence of any
modifying circumstance, the penalty to be imposed
pursuant to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code,
is reclusion perpetua, the lesser of the penalties
prescribed by Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code
as amended by R.A. No. 7659.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
HELD: The trial court correctly held that the qualifying
circumstance of abuse of superior strength was present
since accused-appellant was taller and stronger than the
victim. An attack made by an armed man upon a woman,
who died as result thereof, is murder, because his sex and
weapon gave him superiority of strength.
* The SC also held the attendant circumstance of
“outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse’ was not
present in this case. As the lower court correctly held, the
evidence fails to show this. The word "outrage" means to
subject to gross insult. "Scoff" means to show contempt by
derisive acts or language. There is no proof showing that,
in stabbing the dead body of the victim and stripping off
her garments, the purpose of accused-appellant was to
insult the victim or to show contempt for the dead.
PEOPLE v. OLIVO
79. P v Rivera(?) 402 Phil 547
FACTS: A body of a young Igorot woman was found in a
canal near the Athletic Bowl at Burnham Park in Baguio
City. The dead woman was identified by her granduncle,
Teodoro Incan, as his grandniece, Jane Lorielinda
"Lorie" Tacyo. The woman was naked from the waist
down, her bloody face crushed beyond recognition, her
mouth open in a silent scream. Her abdomen, partially
covered by a pink shirt, had several tiny stab wounds.
There were also wounds on her neck. Scattered around
the woman were a hairband, black shoes, white panties,
and a pair of dark blue pants. The police recovered from
the canal what appeared to be her personal effects,
together with two rough rocks stained with blood and a
screwdriver about 10 inches long, with a black handle
made of plastic or rubber. According to the police, she was
seen in the morning of June 13, 1996 at the Igorot
Garden, Burnham Park. She and two companions had
their picture taken in the garden by a street photographer.
The colored picture shows the victim smiling behind
accused-appellant Jessie Olivo and Maybelle Sacliwen.
Lorie wore earrings, a headband, dark blue pants, and the
pink shirt which the police found on her dead body the
following day.
The autopsy showed that the cause of death was
neurogenic shock due to massive crushing injuries of the
head.
Based on the testimonies of several witnesses,
the prosecution was able to prove that Olivo owned the
screwdriver used to stab Lorie and several other
circumstances which pointed to the guilt of Olivo. The RTC
found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpretua.
ISSUE: W/N Olivo was guilty of murder (with the attendant
circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength) –
YES
PEOPLE VS GALAPIA
FACTS: Galapia is married to Agudelo. Marriage became
difficult because they lived with Agudelo’s mom, so
Galapia left. One day, Galapia felt horny and went to see
Agudelo to have sex. He was denied entry to the house.
Galapia waited until everyone’s asleep then entered the
house through window. Galapia’s advances were met with
Agudelo’s refusal along with her threat to stab him of the
kitchen knife she was carrying. A commotion ensued,
which resulted to Galapia getting the knife from Agudelo,
killing her (stabbed her heart) along with her mom and a
nephew and injuring another nephew. Galapia afterwards
surrendered to a policeman (dapat kay brgy captain pero
maysakit siya). Galapia was then charged with parricide
(Agudelo), 2 Murders (mom-in-law + nephew1) and
Frustrated Murder.
ISSUE: W/N Galapia’s act of killing Agudelo can be
appreciated by the aggravating circumstance of abuse of
superior strength (as stated in the information). – NO.
RATIO:
(Agudelo) Abuse of superior strength cannot be
appreciated in this case for the reason that the said
circumstance is inherent in the crime of parricide where
the husband kills the wife. It is generally accepted that the
husband is physically stronger than the wife.
TREACHERY
© PEOPLE v. ESCOTE
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
(robbery wit homicide is classified as a crime against
property. Nevertheless, treachery is a generic aggravating
circumstance in said crime if the victim of homicide is
killed treacherously)
Facts: At past midnight, Rodolfo Cacatian (regular driver
of Five Star passenger bus, hereinafter referred as the
driver) drove the bus from Pasay City to Pangasinan. Six
additional passengers boarded the bus in Balintawak,
including Acuyan and Escote, who held up the bus (they
had handguns) as they were passing Bulacan. Both fired
their guns upward and accosted the passengers, divesting
them of their money and valuables. Apparently, SPO1
Manio was aboard the bus. When the felons went to him
and asked for his wallet and ID. When they found out his
was a police officer and saw his service gun, they said:
“Pasensya ka na Pare, papatayin ka namin, baril mo
rinangpapataysayo.” The police officer pleaded for mercy:
“Pare maawa ka sa akin. May pamilyaako.” But the two
ignored his plea and shot him on the mouth, right ear,
chest and rights side of the body. Manio sustained six
entrance wounds. The bus driver was ordered to maintain
the speed of the bus. He heard one of them say
“Ganyanlangangpumatayngtao.
Parangpumapatayngmanok.”
The
other
said,
“Ayosnanamantayo pare. Malaki-lakiito.” They alighted
from the bus and instructed the driver not to report the
incident (all in all, robbery was over in 25 mintues).
Naturally, the driver and conductor reported the
incident to police. Barely a month after at about midnight,
a team of policemen were at a checkpoint along the
national highway in Tarlac. A white taxi cab without a
plate was stopped and asked the driver, who was Escote,
for his ID. Escote said he was a policeman and handed
over the ID of SPO1 Manio and the money they had taken
from the heist. The police became suspicious because
the ID had already expired. He asked Escote if the latter
had a new payslip. When Escote could not produce any,
he finally confessed he was not policeman and was
brought to the station. He was frisked and they found five
bullets of a 9mm in his pocket. During investigation,
Escote admitted that he and Acuyan staged the robbery
on the bus and killed Manio. The RTC found both of them
guilty for the crime of robbery with homicide and was
sentenced to death.
They are now before the SC, appealing among
others, the propriety of the both the conviction and the
penalty. The highest penalty is meted out if there is an
aggravating circumstance.
Issues:Is the aggravating circumstance of treachery
present? - YES (But how can that be? Treachery is
considered in crimes against persons and in this case,
robbery with homicide is a crime against property. – see
discussion below)
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
(NOTE on the anticlimactic decision:
the SC said
treachery cannot be considered against the two because it
was not alleged in the Information. Nyark.)
Ratio:
General Discussion on the Crime of Robbery with
Homicide
To warrant the conviction of robbery with violence
against or intimidation of persons under Art. 294, the
prosecution was able to prove the following elements: 1)
taking of personal property with the use of violence or
intimidation against a person; 2) property taken belonged
to another; 3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain
or animus lucrandi, and 4) on the occasion of the robbery
or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide was
committed.
The intent to rob must precede the taking of
human life. In robbery with homicide, so long as the
intention of the felons was to rob, the killing may occur
before, during or after the robbery. Even if the victim of
robbery is other than the victim of the homicide, there is
only one single and indivisible felony of robbery with
homicide. All the crimes committed on the occasion or by
reason of the robbery are merged and integrated into a
single and indivisible felony. All those who took part as
principals in the robbery will also be held guilty as
principals of robbery with homicide although they did not
take part in the homicide, unless it appears they
endeavored to prevent it.
The Penalty of the RTC: Death (impliedly taking into
account treachery)
Under Art. 63, par.1, the felons shall be meted
out the supreme penalty of death when the crime is
committed with an aggravating circumstance absent any
mitigating. The RTC did not specify any aggravating
circumstance in its decision. However, it is evident from
the facts contained in the body of the decision that it
imposed the death penalty on its finding that they shot
Manio treacherously. Its elements were present: 1) at the
time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to
defend himself, and 2) the accused consciously and
deliberately adopted the particular means, methods or
forms of attack employed by him. The essence of
treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by an
aggressor on the unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter
of any chance to defend himself and thereby ensuring its
commission without risk to the aggressor. Treachery may
also be appreciated even if the victim was warned of the
danger to his life where he was defenseless and unable to
flee at the time of the infliction of the coup de grace. In
this case, the victim was shot when he was defenseless,
pleading for his life, and at short range. This killing is a
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
grim example of the utter inhumanity of man to his
fellowmen.
Treachery as an Aggravating Circumstance: Legal Basis
The SC has ruled over the years that treachery is a
generic aggravating circumstance in the felony of robbery
with homicide, a special complex crime and at the same
time a single and indivisible offense. However, in two
cases, the SC has held that robbery with homicide is a
crime against property. Treachery is appreciated only in
crimes against persons and hence, should not be
appreciated as a generic aggravating circumstance. It
held in another case that it is not appreciated in robbery
with rape precisely because it is a crime against property.
These ruling finds support in case law that in robbery with
homicide and rape, the latter are merely incidents of the
robbery with robbery being the main purpose and object of
the criminal. But the SC ruled otherwise in the later case
of People v. Cando when it ruled that treachery is a
generic aggravating circumstance in robbery with
homicide when the victim of homicide is killed with
treachery. The SC opted not to apply its earlier rulings
that same year (i.e. in People v. Bariquit).
Criminal law commentators are not in agreement
as well. Aquino and Reyes said it only applies to crimes
against persons. But Regalado says that it can be
appreciated insofar as the killing is concerned.
Turning to Spanish Construction
It must be recalled that the 1850 Penal Code of Spain,
amended by Penal Reform Code of 1870, was applied in
the Philippines.
The Penal Code of 1887 in the
Philippines was amended by Act 3815 (RPC), which was
enacted and published in Spanish. In construing the Old
and Revised Penal Code, the SC had accorded respect
and persuasive, if not conclusive, effect of the decision of
the SC of Spain in construing the 1850 Penal Code.
Art. 14, par. 16 on treachery is a reproduction of
the 1850 Penal Code of Spain with a slight difference. In
the latter law, the words “the persons” are used whereas
in the RPC, the words “the person” are used. Going by
the letter of the law, treachery is applicable only to crimes
against persons as enumerated in Title Eight (Chapts. 1
and 2), Book II of the RPC. However, the SC of Spain has
consistently applied treachery to robbery with homicide,
classified as a crime against property. The ratio behind it
is when robbery is coupled with crimes against persons,
the crime is not only an assault of the property but also of
the victims themselves. Treachery is not a qualifying
circumstance because the SC of Spain said that the word
“homicide” is used in its broadest and most generic sense.
Treachery is not an element of robbery with
homicide. Neither is it a crime specially punishable by law
nor is it included by the law in defining the crime of
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
robbery with homicide and prescribing the penalty. It is
neither inherent in the said crime. Hence, it should be
considered as a generic aggravating circumstance for the
imposition of the proper penalty. In applying this, the law
looks at the constituent crime of homicide which is a
crime against persons and not at the constituent
crime of robbery which is a crime against property.
The crime of robbery with homicide does not lose its
classification as a crime against property or as a special
complex and single and indivisible crime simply because
treachery is applied. Treachery only increased the penalty
in accordance with Art. 63.
SC’s Ruling on the Penalty
Despite the foregoing, treachery cannot be appreciated in
this case because it was not alleged in the Information, as
mandated by Sec. 8, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure. Hence, reclusion perpetua only.
PEOPLE V. WILLIAM ANCHETA3 (ET.AL)
G.R. No. 143935 June 4, 2004 (431 SCRA 42)
(Doctrine: Treachery)
FACTS: There are six accused charged in this case but
only accused Felipe Boy Ulep is appealing. The accused
were charges with the crime of robbery with homicide.
The accused took, robbed and carried away 30
cavans of clean palay belonging to Alfredo Roca, and in
order to successfully carry out the robbery, the accused,
pursuant to the same conspiracy, with treachery, and with
intent to kill, fired their guns at Marjune Roca, which
caused his death, shot at Benita Avendao Roca and Febe
Roca and hurled a grenade against them and both of them
died as consequence of the wounds they sustained; and
also fired upon Alfredo Roca with their firearms, thus
performing all the acts of execution which would produce
the crime of murder as a consequence but which,
nevertheless, did not produce it by reason of the timely
running for cover by the said Alfredo Roca. In the
commission of the crime, the lower courts appreciated the
generic aggravating circumstance of treachery.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the aggravating circumstance of
treachery should be appreciated.
2. Whether treachery may be appreciated in
robbery with homicide which is classified as a
crime against property.
3 Note: there are 3 cases entitled People v Ancheta. Two of them
involve Treachery. But I think this is the right one, because the
following website matched the SCRA number that Sir gave:
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2006/sep2006/gr_167693_2006.
html (People v Cabalquinto, [2006])
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HELD:
1. Yes. There was treachery as the events narrated
by the eyewitnesses pointed to the fact that the
victims could not have possibly been aware that
they would be attacked by appellant and his
companions. There was no opportunity for the
victims to defend themselves as the assailants,
suddenly and without provocation, almost
simultaneously fired their guns at them. The
essence of treachery is the sudden and
unexpected attack without the slightest
provocation on the part of the person attacked.
2. Yes. Treachery is a generic aggravating
circumstance to robbery with homicide although
said crime is classified as a crime against
property and a single and indivisible crime. In
fine, in the application of treachery as a generic
aggravating circumstance to robbery with
homicide, the law looks at the constituent crime
of homicide which is a crime against persons and
not at the constituent crime of robbery which is a
crime against property. Treachery is applied to
the constituent crime of homicide and not to the
constituent crime of robbery of the special
complex crime of robbery with homicide. The
crime of robbery with homicide does not lose its
classification as a crime against property or as a
special complex and single and indivisible crime
simply because treachery is appreciated as a
generic aggravating circumstance. Treachery
merely increases the penalty for the crime
conformably with Article 63 of the Revised Penal
Code
absent
any
generic
mitigating
circumstance. In sum then, treachery is a
generic aggravating circumstance in robbery
with homicide when the victim of homicide is
killed by treachery.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. RICARDO
SOLANGON “KA RAMIL”, appellant.
FACTS:
Ka Ramil with 6 other armed men blocked the party of
Ador Vidal, a mayoralty candidate in the 1992
elections.
Ka Ramil said he was a member of the NPA and
asked for campaign fees. Ador failed to give the fees
so he was abducted.
Ador’s wife eventually handed ransom money but Ka
Ramil failed to give Ador back. They did not know if
Ador was still alive.
Years later, Ka Ramil was arrested. A cadaver,
including a maong jacket and shorts believed to be
that of Ador were found and retrieved.
-
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Ka Ramil was convicted of the complex crime of
kidnapping with murder. CA affirmed. Hence, this
petition.
ISSUE: W/N accused is guilty of murder.
HELD/RATIO: YES.
As regards the crime of murder, it is true that there is no
direct evidence of the actual killing of the victim.
Nevertheless, direct evidence of the commission of the
crime is not the only matrix whereby the trial court may
draw its conclusions and findings of guilt. It is settled that
conviction may be based on circumstantial evidence
provided that the following requisites must concur: (a)
there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from
which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the
combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce
a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
The evidence is replete with details to prove that
appellant and his at-large co-accused were responsible for
the abduction and death of the victim. These are:
a) On March 26, 1992, appellant together with six
(6) other armed men, introducing themselves to be
members of the New People’s Army (NPA), blocked the
convoy of the victim and demanded payment of a
campaign fee of P50,000.00;
b) When the amount was not produced right
away, they hogtied the victim with a nylon rope and
brought him to the mountains;
c) Despite payment of the ransom money, the
victim was not released and was never seen alive again;
d) After his arrest, appellant disclosed to the
authorities the place where they buried the victim at Brgy.
Balao, Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, and thereat they
recovered the skeleton of Libertador from a shallow grave;
and
e) The victim’s relatives were certain that the
remains belonged to Libertador.
While the combination of said circumstances is
insufficient to establish the qualifying circumstance of
treachery, considering the absence of eyewitness to the
actual killing of the victim; however, it is enough to sustain
the guilt of appellant for the crime of murder qualified by
abuse of superior strength, which was alleged in the
information and proved during trial. This qualifying
circumstance is present where there is proof of gross
physical disparity between the protagonists or when the
force used by the assailant is out of proportion to the
means available to the victim.
In the case at bar, there was superiority not only
in strength but in number as well. The lone victim was
unarmed and was hogtied by seven (7) armed men who
demonstrably abused their excessive force which was out
of proportion to the defenses available to the deceased.
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Evident premeditation cannot be considered in
the instant case. The careful selection of an ideal site
wherein to block the convoy of vehicles may have been
premeditated so that the kidnapping of the victim would be
carried out successfully; but the same cannot be said as
regards the killing. It is not enough that evident
premeditation is suspected or surmised, but criminal intent
must be evidenced by notorious outward acts evincing
determination to commit the crime. In order to be
considered an aggravation of the offense, the
circumstance must not merely be "premeditation"; it must
be "evident premeditation."
So baka yung issue of treachery dito is that dapat
may eye witness to prove there was treachery? Baka lang
naman.
PEOPLE V. GARCIA
Facts: Major Ines Opina and SPO4 Paterno Oriña went to
Barangay Pugo, Bauang, La Union to serve a Warrant of
Arrest against Zaldy Garcia issued by Judge Adolfo
Alagar.
Garcia lived in a house inside a fenced
compound. The compound had two houses. One is a big
house, bungalow type while the other which was rented by
Zaldy Garcia is small, bungalow type made of concrete
hollow blocks. There is a perimeter fence, about 7 to 8 feet
high with 2 steel gates. The wider gate is about 6 to 7 feet
wide and the other is about 5 ft. wide. Both gates were
locked at that time.
They stood in front of the gate that was closed,
then a woman approached them. They told her that a
Warrant of Arrest was issued for the arrest of her
husband. While Major Opina and Garcia’s wife were
talking, Garcia came out from their house half naked. The
wife’s reaction was then normal and she told Major Opina
that they should just stay outside for she will get the key
from the caretaker and open the gate.
When Major Opina saw Zaldy Garcia, he pointed
his finger to Zaldy and said “Zaldy you better surrender,
you have a warrant of arrest.”(translated already) Zaldy
just waived his hands indicating as if he refuses, who was
then more or less 20 meters from the gate. After waiving
his hands, he went inside the house. From the gate to the
house, there were no obstruction and the ground was
clear.
At that instance, Oriña told Opina to call for a
back up. Major Opina then ordered him to do so. As they
were waiting for the back-up, they discussed the strategy
they would employ in order to arrest Zaldy Garcia. After 15
to 20 minutes, 3 policemen arrived.
Upon the arrival of the 3 policemen, Oriña and
Major Opina scaled the fence near the smaller gate and
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
the 3 policemen positioned themselves outside the
compound.
Both the big and small gates were closed. But
even if someone is outside the gate, the whole of the
house rented by Zaldy Garcia could still be seen.
Oriña and Major Opina were able to enter the
compound by scaling the fence. They proceeded to
Garcia’s house. The pathway leading to the house is plain
planted with Bermuda grass and is open. Aside from the
main door of the house, there is a screen, it’s a double
opening door. If somebody is outside about one meter
from the door, persons inside the house could be seen.
The door was open but the screen made of chicken wire
was closed.
While Oriña was walking side by side with Major
Opina approaching the door, Major Opina was on his left
side, and was ahead of him. Suddenly, they were shot at.
He was not hit but Major Opina who was about one meter
from the door was hit on the abdomen. After the shot was
fired, Oriña dived and positioned himself in a safety (sic)
place. Major Opina fell down and Oriña heard the sound of
"ehhh" from him.
Oriña then traded shots with Garcia. He called for
the back-up to enter. Since they did not come, and he had
run out of ammo, he had to escape from the compound
leaving Opina inside. Major Lunsad then arrived and was
able to negotiate for Garcia’s surrender. Garcia asked the
back-up policemen to leave. After this happened, he
surrendered to Major Lunsad and they were able to
retrieve Opina.
The RTC found Garcia guilty of murder qualified
by treachery and with the special aggravating
circumstance of "the use of unlicensed firearm" and
sentenced him to death.
Issue: Whether or not the murder was qualified by
treachery.
Held: Yes! There was treachery!
Ratio: There is treachery when the offender commits any
of the crimes against persons, employing means, method
or forms which tend directly and especially to ensure its
execution, without risk to the offender, arising from the
defense that the offended party might make.
To constitute treachery, two conditions must
concur: (1) the employment of means, methods or manner
of execution that would ensure the offender’s safety from
any defense or retaliatory act on the part of the offended
party; and (2) the offender’s deliberate or conscious
choice of the means, method or manner of execution.
Garcia seeks to negate these elements of
treachery by claiming to have acted out of fear and
nervousness; he was allegedly under these stresses
because persons who were armed, dressed in civilian
clothes and who did not identify themselves as members
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
of the police, scaled his fence. He simply reacted to the
intrusion and had no plan to shoot one of those who so
approached his house. Hence, he concludes that there
was no treachery and the killing could not have been
attended by this qualifying circumstance.
First, it is not disputed that the appellant went out
of his house to see for himself the two men who came.
Second, by his own testimony, he returned to his house to
get his gun. Third, no immediate shooting took place. The
two policemen still called for backup assistance, waited
and conferred on what to do, and only after the backup
came did they scale the fence. Twenty minutes must have
elapsed from the time the appellant went inside the house
up to the time of the actual shooting. Fourth, Major Opina
was almost at the door of the appellant’s house when the
shot that killed him rang out. Fifth, the shot came from
inside the house through a closed chicken wire screen
door that effectively hid a man from inside the house from
someone from the outside. Sixth, the first and fatal shot
was sudden, immediately hitting Major Opina.
We conclude from all these established facts that
indeed treachery had attended the killing of Major Opina.
While the original initiative originated from the police who
sought to arrest the appellant, the latter’s response was an
attack which showed, by its method and manner, that it did
not come at the spur of the moment. The appellant was
duly forewarned about the identities of Major Opina and
SPO4 Oriña. Not only was he forewarned, he had ample
time to reflect on what to do. His immediate response was
to arm himself and to lie in wait – in ambush, literally - and
to fire from a position of concealment and relative safety at
the two policemen who were fully exposed and in the open
at the time. The shooting distance of a little more than a
meter effectively gave Major Opina no chance. This, in our
view, is a classic example of treachery under the definition
of the Revised Penal Code of the term.
PEOPLE VS. ANTONIO
Alberto Antonio and Arnulfo Tuadles decided to play
“pusoy-dos”. When it came to tally their scores and collect
the winnings from the loser, an argument arose.
The prosecution alleged that in the course of an
argument, without warning or cause, Alberto pulled his
gun behind his back and shot Arnulfo at close range, thus
employing treacherous means to accomplish the nefarious
deed. On the other hand, the defense pointed out that
Arnulfo suddenly grabbed Alberto’s gun from atop a
sidetable. Fearing for his life, Alberto reached for Arnulfo’s
hand and they grappled for the possession of the gun. As
they wrestled, a single shot roared. Arnulfo fell face down
to the floor.
The RTC found Alberto guilty of the crime of
murder qualified by treachery.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC erred in holding that
treachery attended the commission of the crime of
murder??? -- YES
RULING: The RTC did not explain the basis for the
qualification of treachery except for a terse citation that
there was a sudden attack and that Arnulfo had no
opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate.
It is not only the sudden attack that qualifies a
killing into murder. There must be a conscious and
deliberate adoption of the mode of attack for a specific
purpose. All the evidence shows that the incident was an
impulse killing. It was a spur of the moment crime.
It is not enough that the means, methods, or form
of execution of the offense was without danger to the
offender arising from the defense or retaliation that might
be made by the offended party. It is further required, for
treachery to be appreciable, that such means, method or
form was deliberated upon or consciously adopted by the
offender. Such deliberate or conscious choice was held
non-existent where the attack was the product of an
impulse of the moment.
PEOPLE vs. PERICELITO VALLESPIN alias BOBOY
FACTS: PERICELITO VALLESPIN alias Boboy was
accused of the crime of Murder for assaulting, attacking
and hacking with treachery RICO QUIANOLA (Quainola)
several times with the use of an axe while the latter is
sleeping, hitting and wounding him on the head which
caused his instantaneous death.
Based on the testimony of the Mogote spouses,
Salvador and Juditha, on the night prior to the incident, at
around 9 pm, the victim Quianola, the Vallespin and a
certain Dodong Samson, all employees of the iron
workshop owned by the Mogotes, were drinking liquor in
the shop. At some point, the victim Quianola stood up to
urinate and, while urinating, fell down at the rip-rap portion
of the house. He thought that the group ganged up on him
and mauled him but his boss, Salvador Mogote, explained
that he was not mauled; he just fell. Vallespin suddenly
rushed towards the victim and strangled him, which
prompted Mogote and Samson to separate the two. The
Mogotes intervened and tried to pacify their workers but
Vallespin became unruly. For this reason, Samson
punched him. Mogote then asked someone to fetch
Vallespin’s mother in order to pacify him. After that,
Valespin left and the drinking session apparently
continued.
At around 1am, witness Mrs. Juditha Mogote
went to the kitchen to fix her husband a midnight snack.
On her way to the kitchen, she noticed that Quianola was
asleep inside the shop. It took her husband less than 20
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
minutes to finish his snack. She had just gone back to
sleep when she heard a sound which awakened her. She
then went to the bathroom to urinate and, while urinating,
heard a rasping sound. From the bathroom, which was
approximately five meters from the shop, she peeped into
the shop and saw the Vallespin hack Quianola three times
with a small axe.
For his part, Vallespin interposed the defense of
denial and alibi.
TC: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime
of Murder
ISSUE: Whether the qualifying circumstance of treachery
is present. YES.
SC: The trial court correctly found that treachery attended
the killing of victim Quianola. There is treachery when the
offender commits any of the crimes against persons,
employing means, methods or forms in the execution
thereof, tending directly and specially to insure its
execution without risk to himself arising from the defense
which the offended party might make. The essence of
treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by the
aggressor on the unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter
of any real chance to defend himself, thereby ensuring its
commission without risk to the aggressor and without the
slightest provocation on the part of the victim. It can exist
even if the attack is frontal, if it is sudden and unexpected,
giving the victim no opportunity to defend himself against
such attack. In essence, it means that the offended party
was not given an opportunity to make a defense. To prove
treachery, the following must be shown: (1) the
employment of such means of execution as would give the
person attacked no opportunity for self-defense and
retaliation, and (2) the deliberate and conscious adoption
of the means of execution.
We agree with the trial court that the crime was
committed with treachery.
Regarding the first element, the prosecution was
able to establish through the testimony of the spouses
Mogote that the victim was drunk and lying on his back
when he was attacked by the accused Vallespin. The
testimonies show that the victim Quianola had no
opportunity to defend himself. This Court has ruled in a
number of cases that treachery attends the killing of a
person who is drunk, unarmed, has no opportunity to
defend himself and the attack is sudden.
The second element of treachery is more difficult
to determine as it involves a subjective aspect. However,
Justice Reynato Punos dissenting opinion in People vs.
Antonio is instructive on this matter. In determining
whether the mode of execution was deliberately adopted,
three categories of evidence are considered: (1) planning
activity or what the accused did prior to the killing; (2)
motive or facts which show the accused’s prior
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
relationship or conduct with the victim, and (3) nature of
the killing or facts which show the manner of killing was so
particular that defendant must have intentionally killed
according to a preconceived design. The following
examples were given to illustrate each category: (1) prior
possession of the murder weapon or surreptitious
approach of the victim; (2) prior threats to do violence to
the victim or prior conduct of the victim known to have
angered the accused, and (3) evidence showing that the
wounds were deliberately placed at vital areas of the body.
The evidence of the prosecution proved the
deliberateness of the attack made by the accusedappellant Vallespin. The evidence showed the planning
activity of the accused-appellant the attack was carried out
surreptitiously, at two thirty oclock in the morning, after the
accused-appellant had left the shop at least an hour
earlier. The evidence also showed motive as it was proven
that prior conduct of the victim angered accused-appellant
the victim accused his co-workers of mauling him when he
fell which angered the accused-appellant. Furthermore,
the testimony of the medico-legal officer and the medicolegal report proved that three of the four hack wounds
were inflicted on the head of the victim and were
fatal. Based on these proven facts, it is obvious that the
mode of attack was consciously adopted by the accusedappellant Vallespin.
According to the accused-appellant, his act of
strangling the victim was a prior altercation that negates
treachery. We disagree. The strangling incident cannot
rule out treachery for the reason that it did not serve to
forewarn the victim about the impending danger of death.
In a case where this Court ruled out treachery, the prior
altercation between victim and accused served as a
warning of impending danger and alerted the victim to the
possible aggression of the accused. In the case at bar, no
altercation transpired.
Even assuming that the accused-appellants act
of strangling the victim put the latter on guard, treachery
may still be appreciated. This Court has ruled that
treachery may still be appreciated even when the victim is
warned of the danger to his person as long as the
execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to
defend himself or to retaliate. The essence of treachery is
the swift and unexpected attack by an aggressor on an
unarmed and unsuspecting victim who does not give the
slightest provocation, depriving the latter of any real
chance to defend himself. As the evidence presented has
proven, victim Quianola was drunk and lying on his back
when he was attacked and had no real chance to defend
himself against the fatal hack wounds inflicted by the
accused-appellant.
As the attendant circumstance of treachery
qualified the killing to murder under Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code, the imposable penalty is reclusion
perpetua to death. There being no aggravating or
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
mitigating circumstances, the lesser penalty of reclusion
perpetua must be imposed.
PEOPLE VS. NESTOR GO-OD, ALEJANDRO GO-OD
(DECEASED), SANCHO GO-OD, RUFO GO-OD AND
EMPE GO-OD
Facts: Prosecution’s version: In the afternoon of the
incident, accused Alejandro Go-od, Nestor Go-od, Sancho
Go-od, Rufo Go-od and Empe Go-od ganged up on
Aladino Ygot while the latter was looking for his goat. All
the accused after coming out from the banana plants
attacked at once and simultaneously hacked Ygot with
their bolos many times hitting him on different parts of the
body until he had fallen on the ground. Admittedly, the
victim had suspected the accused of having stolen the
goat. The victim was able to get hold of a bolo which in the
process wounded Nestor Go-od. Very near from the scene
of the crime Anecia Monsalud and Gaudioso Suson had
seen actually the killing. The victim died on the spot
suffering fifteen hack wounds.
Accused-appellant’s version: He interposed
denial and non-participation as his defense. He said in the
afternoon of the incident, Aladino Ygot (victim) and Anecia
Monsalud (witness) were in his house looking for a goat.
He told them that he had not seen a goat. They left
afterwards but returned immediately and asked to have his
cigarette lighted. While giving the piece of lighted wood,
Ygot stabbed him hitting his right chest. Whereupon,
Nestor Go-od ran away and fell on the ground. Then Ygot
pursued him. When he was about to be stabbed again, his
father Alejandro Go-od helped and parried Aladino's hand.
Nestor Go-od was confined for two weeks. He however
admitted that the victim had suspected him of being the
one who slaughtered the goat.
Only Nestor and Alejandro were arraigned. The
other accused, namely, Sancho, Empe and Rufo Go-od all
remained at large. Alejandro died before judgment. The
trial court relied chiefly on the positive identification of two
eyewitnesses
Issue: WON the guilt of the accused-appellant has been
established beyond reasonable doubt. YES!
WON
The acts of accused-appellant and his companions as
narrated by Anecia Monsalod and Gaudioso Suson
manifestly disclose their joint purpose and design,
concerted action and community of interest. The fact that
the victim, in the course of the assault against him, was
able to stab accused-appellant and disabled him does not
exculpate the latter from criminal responsibility.
The qualifying aggravating circumstance of
treachery which was alleged in the information was
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
correctly relied upon by the trial court to elevate the killing
to murder. However, the trial court erred in appreciating
abuse of superior strength in addition to treachery. It is
well-settled that where treachery qualifies the crime to
murder, it absorbs abuse of superior strength and the
latter cannot be appreciated even as a generic
aggravating circumstance. The aggravating circumstance
of abuse of superior strength, manifested by the presence
of five armed assailants against an unarmed victim,
cannot be appreciated independently because it is
considered absorbed in alevosia. Incidentally, evident
premeditation can not be considered for lack of evidence
that accused-appellant preconceived the crime.
There is treachery when the offender commits
any of the crimes against the person, employing means,
methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend
directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to
himself arising from the defense which the offended party
might make. The treacherous manner in which the
accused perpetrated the crime was shown by the sudden,
deliberate and unexpected attack upon the unsuspecting
Ygot.
Nestor Go-od was found guilty of MURDER and
was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
PEOPLE VS CHRISTOPHER AVILES
Facts: Novelito Contapay was driving his passenger
jeepney at less than 10km because it was traffic. Danilo
Arenas (deceased) was seated beside him. Arenas then
shouted “apaya”. Contapay turned his head towards
Arenas who was then being stabbed by Aviles. Note that
Aviles’ upper body was already inside the jeep and he had
his foot on the running board. Contapay stopped the jeep
and tried to help Arenas but Aviles stabbed him on the
knee. Aviles ran away and Contapay was not able to
chase him because of his wounded knee. Arenas died
because of cardio-respiratory arrest because of
hemorrhagic shock due to stab wound.
Aviles denied stabbing Arenas and instead said
that it was his half brother Cresencia who did the stabbing
(interview of the people in the crime scene showed that
Aviles and Cresencia were together on that day of the
stabbing).
On the other hand, Aviles version is that: he was
drinking with Cresencia and some others. He left to
accompany someone to the municipal hall. When he went
back, he told Cresencia that he was going him. Cresencia
asked him to stay and drink a little more. He then left. As
he was walking towards the marked, he saw Cresencia
running towards him with blood stains on his tshirt.
Cresencia told him that he stabbed someone.
TC: Aviles guilty of murder and slight physical
injuries.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
CA: Affirmed.
Issue: Whether Aviles is guilty of murder or just homicide?
Was there treachery?
Held: Just homicide! No treachery!
Aviles was arguing against Contapay’s
identification of him and the prosecution’s failure to
establish a case against him. Nevertheless, the Court
believed Contapay when he positively identified Aviles as
the one who stabbed Arenas and him.
Trial court is correct that with regard to Contapay,
the crime was only slight physical injuries as the
prosecution failed to prove intent to kill. Intent to kill is an
element of homicide. The facts show that Aviles stabbed
Contapay only for the purpose of preventing him from
helping Arenas.
There is treachery when the following requisites
are present: 1) the employment of means, methods, or
manner of execution to ensure the safety of the malefactor
from defensive or retaliatory action on the part of the
victim; and 2) the deliberate adoption of such means or
methods in the execution.
The CA ruled that the fact that Arenas shouted
“Apaya” (perhaps a shortened form of apay aya, which is
more accurately translated in Filipino as bakit ba) showed
that he was probably surprised to see Aviles trying to get
inside the jeepney which was moving slowly because of
heavy traffic. The testimony of Contapay that after
hearing Arenas shout “Apaya,” he saw Aviles already
stabbing Arenas, showed that the attack was sudden and
unexpected. Arenas was confused as to why Aviles was
doing what he was doing.
For treachery to be appreciated, it must be
present at the inception of the attack. If the attack is
continuous and treachery was present only at a
subsequent stage and not at the inception of the attack, it
cannot be considered.
Qualifying circumstances must be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. It cannot be considered on the strength
of evidence which merely tends to show that the victim
was probably surprised to see the assailant try get inside
the jeepney.
Moreover, the fact that Arenas was in between
Contapay and Aviles such that he had nowhere to run
does not mean that there was treachery. There was no
evidence to prove that this situation was deliberately and
consciously adopted by Aviles to protect himself from
defensive or retaliatory action.
© People vs Dela Cruz
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
There was a commotion. Then witnesses said they just
saw Florencio fleeing for dear life, chased by the 3 men.
Florencio retreated in a vacant lot. Florencio fell to the
ground and while in the process of standing up, Tamano
stabbed him at the back. Thereafter, Dela Cruz and boy
negro took turns in stabbing him. Florencio died.
The trial court convicted them of murder qualified by
treachery and evident premeditation (reclusion perpetua)
ISSUE: w/n there was treachery
SC: NO. They are liable for simple homicide only.
Treachery must be proved with the same quantum of
evidence as the crime itself. Treachery cannot be
presumed; nor can it be based on mere surmises or
speculations. In case of doubt, the same should be
resolved in favor of the accused.
For treachery to be appreciated, it must be
present at the inception of the attack, and if absent and
the attack is continued, even if present at the subsequent
stage, treachery is not considered as a qualifying or
generic aggravating circumstance. The prosecution must
adduce conclusive proof as to the manner in which the
altercation started and resulted in the death of the victim,
and if the prosecution fails to discharge its burden, the
crime committed is homicide and not murder.
In this case, the witness saw Dela Cruz, Tamano
and Boy Negro, armed with knives, chase and overtake
the victim in a vacant lot. The victim slipped and fell to the
ground. Dela Cruz, Tamano and Boy Negro forthwith took
turns in stabbing the victim as the latter tried to stand up.
The prosecution failed to adduce any evidence as to how
the aggression started and who started the same. The
barefaced fact that the victim was helpless when he was
stabbed does not constitute proof of treachery.
In every fight it is to be presumed that each
contending party will take advantage of any purely
accidental development that may give him an advantage
over his opponent in the course of the contest. It follows
that alevosia cannot be predicated of this homicide from
the mere fact that the accused overtook and slew the
deceased while the latter was endeavoring to rise from the
ground.
In light of the evidence, abuse of superior
strength was attendant in the commission of the crime.
However, said circumstance was not alleged in the
Information.
Evident premeditation was not attendant because
the prosecution failed to prove the elements thereof,
namely: (1) the time when the offender determined to
commit the crime; (b) sufficient lapse of time between the
determination and execution to allow himself to reflect
upon the consequence of his act.
At around 12 midnight, dela cruz, Tamano, and boy negro
went to the house of deceased Florencio to confront him.
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
PEOPLE V. BASE – Treachery – even a frontal attack
can be treacherous!
between determination and execution to allow reflection
upon the consequences of the act.
3 men arrived in the residence of Brgy. Capt. Julianito
Luna. 2 of these men introduced themselves as
policemen, and said they were looking for a certain
Hernandez. Luna said he didn’t know who that person
was, and 1 of the men shot him in the head. Then the men
ran towards their parked jeep and sped off. Luna was
rushed to the hospital but eventually died.
Reports reached the police and they immediately
tracked down the assasins. The jeep they used was found
in the house of a Mrs. Quizon without the men. The police
thought the vehicle would eventually be recovered by the
men, so they waited out. Base arrived to get the vehicle,
then he was collared by a team of PC (?) soldiers and
brought to the camp. In a line up, several people positively
identified Base as one of the passengers of the jeep.
While in the camp, Base executed a written
sworn statement with the assistance of a lawyer. In that
statement, Base admitted that he knew very well that there
was a plan to kill Luna. A week before the incident, he and
his other co-accused were surveilling the residence of
Luna. He also admitted that after the shooting, he was the
one ordered to recover the jeep. [ he alleges that he was
forced to make this admission, but he did not substantiate
his claims]
Trial court: Base guilty of murder, w/ treachery
and evident premeditation. Reclusion perpetua. His coaccused’s guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt
and was acquitted. His other co-accused remained at
large.
Other crim related stuff:
Base argues he was not assisted by a counsel of
his choice when the admission from him was
made. This was, however, found untrue as culled
from the testimonies of the lawyers and police
who interrogated him. Moreover, all the
constitution requires is that an accused be
assisted by a competent counsel. while the right
to counsel is immutable, the option to secure the
services of counsel de parte is not absolute. the
word "preferably" under Section 12 [1], Article 3
of the 1987 Constitution does not convey the
message that the choice of a lawyer by a person
under investigation is exclusive as to preclude
other equally competent and independent
attorneys from handling his defense. If the rule
were otherwise, then, the tempo of a custodial
investigation will be solely in the hands of the
accused who can impede the progress of the
interrogation by simply selecting a lawyer who for
one reason or another, is not available to protect
his interest. This absurd scenario could not have
been contemplated by the framers of the charter
There was conspiracy
Ruling: Murder!Evidenct premeditation and treachery
present.
The essence of treachery or alevosia is the swift
and unexpected attack on the unarmed victim without the
slightest provocation on his part. The fact that treachery
may be shown if the victim is attacked from behind does
not mean it cannot also be appreciated if the attack is
frontally launched. Even a frontal attack can be
treacherous when it is sudden and the victim is
unarmed. In this case, the suddenness of the shooting
without the slightest provocation from the victim who was
unarmed and had no opportunity to defend himself, clearly
qualified by the crime with treachery.
There was also evident premeditation. The oneweek interval when accused-appellant and his coconspirators first cased the victim's house up to the actual
date of the killing underscores the presence of evident
premeditation. For this aggravating circumstance to be
considered, there must be proof of the following elements
thereof, 1.] the time the offenders determined to commit
the crime; 2.] an act manifestly indicating that they clung to
their determination; and 3.] a sufficient lapse of time
91. P v Manolo 548 s 567
PEOPLE V. DEL CASTILLO
Facts:
•
About 6pm of November 25, 1962, Sedesias del
Castillo “SED”, Castromayor, Palencia and Patanao
came from a drinking session in one Badong;s house
in Sara, Iloilo.
•
It was slightly raining, so del Castillo, Castromayor
and Palencia, (not Patanao though), sought shelter in
the house of Nene Emak. There they saw Pedro del
Castillo, Sr. who also took refuge from the rain.
•
While waiting for the rain to stop a heated argument
ensued between Castromayor and Pedro del Castillo,
Sr. “PERDO SR” which resulted in a fist fight.
Castromayor had the upper hand but came out with a
torn shirt.
•
Sedesias del Castillo offered Castromayor his Tshirt following when the group went home.
•
While walking, Sedesias del Castillo told them to stay
on the side of the road as a jeep (driven by Pedro del
Castillo, Jr., “JUNIOR” (another character), his dad
PEDRO SR. was inside was well) was coming fast.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The jeep came swiftly, suddenly swerving and hit
SED, who was thrown about a meter away.
PEDRO SR, with a blunt instrument, jumped out and
struck SED at the back of the head. Then followed by
two more stab blows in the neck.
Realizing that the person he had assaulted was not
Castromayor, but SED, his first cousin, PEDRO SR
ran after Castromayor but failed to overtake him.
Meanwhile, JUNIOR (the son) upon realizing that he
ran over his Uncle SED, carried the latter in his jeep
and brought him to Dr. Javellana, Rural Health
Physician who examined the victim and found him to
have suffered injuries n the neck and jaw, abrasions
and contusions. The cause of death was determined
as due to shock.
Both PEDRO JR & SR. were charged with murder in
the Iloilo CFI, with penalties of reclusion perpetua
Their defense is denial and alibi.Though PEDRO SR
admitted that he and Castromayor met in the house of
Emak where they had heated discussion about
inheritance. Castromayor, apparently, was irritated at
PEDRO SR’s intervention in the discussion and, as a
consequence, Castromayor boxed appellant-accused
in the head.
They grappled and PEDRO SR was able to hit back
Castromayor who fell on the floor. Castromayor
accused SED of trying to take sides with PEDRO SR,
but SED explained that he was only trying to stop the
fight. Castromayor warned SED that time will come
when he will pay for it.
Thereafter, PEDRO SR arrived home at about 7pm
when he told his son, JUNIOR, to dress up as they
would go to the dance at the Sara Elementary School
with Mayor Ricardo Zerrudo.
With JUNIOR driving the jeep, they proceeded to the
mayor’s house who boarded the jeep and they all
went to Sara Elementary School
About 9pm, PEDRO SR noticed a commotion in the
street. He immediately notified Mayor Zerrudo about it
and together they went to the place of the commotion
and learned that something was going on inside the
house of Jose del Castillo.
They went inside and saw the body of SED lying on
top of the table. Mayor Zerrudo inquired from a peace
officer which told him that Castromayor and SED had
a quarrel which resulted in the death of the latter.
Further, appellants argue that the theory of the
prosecution is highly incredible in that it was
improbable for appellant not to have recognized his
own cousin SED and to have stabbed him TWICE on
the neck after turning him over on his face.
Issue:
5. WON there was treachery? YES
6. WON nighttime can be applied? NO
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
7. WON there was conspiracy YES
8. WON use of a motor vehicle can be applied? YES
Held:
d) The Court ruled against the appellants, mainly because
of the eyewitness testimony of Virgilio Palencia. He
testifies that he saw the jump drive by fast, driven by
JUNIOR, the jeep hitting SED. Also, Palencia testifies
that he saw PEDRO SR stab SED from behind, and a
few moments after, that PEDRO SR ran after
Castromayor. Palencia even adds that after seeing this
happen, he approached JUNIOR and said, “Why do
you not pity Toto Decias (SED)”. To which JUNIOR
replied, “Is that Toto Decias?”. When Palencia said yes,
JUNIOR asked for his help to bring him to the
poblacion doctor.
So clearly there was intent and an actus reus causing the
death of SED due to the treachery of PEDRO SR and
JUNIOR. It all makes sense that when JUNIOR hit SED, it
is because Castromayor is wearing SED’s shirt, thus
causing the mistake in identity. It clearly showed the
treachery of their act of killing Castromayor
supposedly.Considering that appellants employed means
which tended directly to especially ensure its commission
without risk to themselves, the killing of the victim was
qualified by treachery which whenever present in the
commission of the crime should be taken into account
whether or not the victim was or was not the same person
whom they have intended to kill.
e) The trial court erred in considering nighttime as a
generic aggravating circumstance since it is necessarily
included or absorbed in the qualifying circumstance of
treachery.
f) There was conspiracy between appellantsto commit the
crime as shown by the circumstance that immediately,
after Pedro Jr. had bumped the deceased with the jeep
he was driving, PEDRO SR jumped from the jeep and
with a blunt instrument stabbed his victim twice on the
neck.
4. Under paragraph 20, Article 14 of the RPC, motor
vehicle would be an aggravating circumstance if the crime
was committed by means thereof. There is no question
that in this case this aggravating circumstance should be
appreciated since the defendants used a jeep and it
facilitated the commission of the crime.
Note: Though the proper penalty should be death, due to
the lack of necessary votes, the Court decided to have
imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
PEOPLE V. ONG
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Doctrine: The elements of treachery are (1) at the time of
the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend
himself, and (2) the offender consciously adopted the
particular means, method, or form of attack employed by
him.
Abuse of superior strength is absorbed in
treachery. Nighttime is generally absorbed in the crime of
treachery although it was not applied in this case.
Facts: Benajmin Ong and Henry Chua used to play mahjong together. In those sessions Ong lost substantially that
at one time, it amounted to as much as P150,000.00. He
suspected that he lost in unfair games and was completely
cheated by Henry Chua and the his (Chua’s) companions,
who made things worse by pressing him to pay his
gambling debt with a threat of bodily harm upon his person
and that of his family. Ong was so embarrassed by Chua’s
pressing that he quit his job.
One night, Chua invited Ong at the Amihan
Nightclub and told Ong to bring with him the money owed
(P50,000.00). Ong, on the other hand, hatched a plan with
other men to kill Chua and avenge the embarrassment
and humiliation he suffered before the eyes of his
subordinates.
When Chua and Ong met in the club, they had a
few drinks and Ong asked for patience and leniency with
regard to his indebtedness and ample time for its
settlement. They partied hard that night.
Both men (Chua and Ong) left in Chua’s car.
They were discreetly followed by Ong’s men in another
car. When they reached a dark and secluded place, Ong
urged Chua to stop the car in order to urinate, to which the
latter obliged. Ong’s men stopped their car, alighted,
poked a gun at Chua, and told him to step out of the car.
He was made to lie, face up. His hands were tied and his
mouth gagged with a flannel cloth. They put him on the
trunk of Ong’s car.
They went to Caloocan and stabbed Chua twice
with an icepick. He was buried there with all his
belongings.
The trial court found Ong and his men guilty of
murder. The court found qualifying circumstances of
treachery and evident premeditation. They also found
aggravating circumstances of superior strength, nighttime,
uninhabited place, abuse of confidence, cruelty, and use
of a motor vehicle.
Ong questions the court’s ruling of finding
treachery. Assuming there was treachery, he stated that
superior strength and nighttime should be absorbed in
treachery.
2.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Are the aggravating circumstances of abuse
of superior strength and nighttime absorbed
in treachery?
Ruling: As to the first issue, yes, there was treachery.
The facts show that Henry Chua's hands were
tied and his mouth was gagged with a flannel cloth before
he was stabbed twice with an icepick and buried in a
shallow grave near a creek. These facts portray well that
the tied hands of the victim rendered him defenseless and
helpless thereby allowing the accused to commit the crime
without risk at all to their person.
There is treachery when the offender employs
means, methods, or forms in the execution of the crime,
which tend directly and specially to insure its execution
without risk to himself. Chua was not given opportunity to
make a defense in this case, and as such, there is an
aggravating circumstance of treachery.
As to the abuse of superior strength, it is
absorbed in the aggravating circumstance of treachery.
The case said that it is sustained in a long line of
decisions.
Nighttime, however, was not absorbed in the
aggravating circumstance of treachery in this case. The
court relied on the case of People v. Berdida, wherein
there was a special circumstance that showed that
nighttime was not absorbed in treachery. That case had
similar facts to this case of Ong. In both the Ong and
Berdida cases, the accused took advantage of nighttime in
committing the felonies charged and had evidently chosen
to execute their victims under the cover of darkness, at the
dead of night, when the neighborhood was asleep.
The Court, in Berdida, stated that “Inasmuch as
the treachery consisted in the fact that the victims' hands
were tied at the time they were beaten, the circumstance
of nighttime is not absorbed in treachery, but can be
perceived distinctly therefrom, since the treachery rests
upon an independent factual basis. A special case
therefore is present to which the rule that nighttime is
absorbed in treachery does not apply.”
Aggravating circumstances
uninhabited place, motor vehicle,
included:
nighttime,
Aggravating circumstances excluded: superior strength
(absorbed in treachery), abuse of confidence, cruelty
Barredo, concurring and dissenting:
He states that only evident premeditation and use of motor
vehicle should be the aggravating circumstances.
Issues:
1.
Was there treachery?
IGNOMINY
PEOPLE VS. FUERTES
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Facts: For gathering firewood and quenching their thirst
with
coconuts
gathered
from
a
tree
inside
a hacienda managed by Osmundo Fuertes, Napoleon
Aldeguer, aged 14, and Mateo Aldeguer, aged 16, were
bound, gagged, brutally hacked to death and thrown at the
bottom of a dried creek. Napoleon and Mateo were caught
gathering firewood and young coconuts inside the
hacienda of Fuertes. During the first instance they were
able to escape. Fuertes called upon Salva and Gibone (I
think they are employees of Fuertes) to accompany
Rolando Tano and Jack (I think these two are hired killers)
to the place where the two boys were seen. When the
boys returned, they captured them and brought them to
Fuertes. Thereafter, the boys were brought to the “dead
creek,” hand-tied. The shirts of the 2 boys were torn and
used to cover their mouths. Jack then stabbed Napoleon
with a bolo repeatedly even when the boy was already on
the ground. Jack gave the bolo to Rolando Tano who then
stabbed Mateo repeatedly, after which Tano gave the bolo
to Gibone and ordered him, under the threat of death, to
stab Mateo. Gibone complied. Jack then ordered Gibone
to hand the bolo to Salva who at first refused but again,
under the threat of being killed, succumbed to the orders
of Jack and eventually hacked the thigh of Napoleon.
Thereafter, Jack took the bolo and hacked the neck of
Napoleon. Rolando Tano and Jack were handed small
envelopes by Fuertes after the crime was committed. They
were found guilty of murder. However, Salva was used as
state witness.
Issue: W/N there was ignominy?
Held: None! But first…
Abuse of superior strength present but absorbed by
treachery
SC found that there was treachery, so the aggravating
circumstance of abuse of superior strength had already
been absorbed.
Evident premeditation present
Evident premeditation can be presumed where, as in this
case, conspiracy is directly established. The essence of
evident premeditation is that the execution of the criminal
act is preceded by cool thought and reflection upon the
resolution to carry out the criminal intent during the space
of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment. Its
requisites are: (1) the time the accused determined to
commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the
accused has clung to his determination: (3) a sufficient
lapse of time between such determination and execution
to allow him to reflect upon the circumstances of his act.
All of which are present in this case.
Crime committed in consideration of a price
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Also, there can be no question that the crimes were
committed in consideration of a price promise or reward
considering that Jack was hired by Fuertes for 5k to kill the
2 victims and in fact received P200 contained in an airmail
envelope as down payment with the assurance that the
balance would be paid after the job. However while this
circumstance is qualifying in murder, it would merely be
generic aggravating if it concurs with other qualifying
circumstances like treachery, as in this case.
Ignominy absent
Ignominy is a circumstance pertaining to the moral order
which adds disgrace and obloquy to the material injury
caused by the crime. The clause "Which add ignominy to
the natural effects of the act" contemplates a situation
where the means employed or the circumstances tend to
make the effects of the crime more humiliating or to put
the offended party to shame. In this case there is no
showing that the offenses were perpetrated in a manner
which tended to make its effects more humiliating to the
victims.
Neither can the act slicing the left leg of
Napoleon Aldeguer's lifeless body nor the stabbing of
Mateo Aldeguer's corpse in the stomach be considered
indications of ignominia because what is required is that
the crime be committed in a manner that tends to make its
effects more humiliating to the victim, that is, add to his
moral suffering. Thus, it was held that the fact that the
accused sliced and took the flesh from the thighs, legs and
shoulders of the victim with a knife after killing the victim
did not add ignominy to the natural effects of the acts.
In the end, the SC found that several aggravating
circumstances were present, with no mitigating
circumstances. Therefore, the penalty in its maximum
period which is death would be imposable. However
because of the suspension thereof, the imposable penalty
is only reclusion perpetua. This penalty is single and
indivisible, thus, it shall be imposed regardless of any
attending aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
PEOPLE VS VALLA
FACTS: Accused Vincente Valle is 28 years old and
married. He is the cousin of the victim, an 8 year old girl
named DyesebelDela Cruz. One night, a friend of
Dyesebel was walking along the road near the rice fields
when she heard and recognized the voice of Dyesebel
who was being strangled. The friend ran away out of
fright. Subsequently, the mother of Dyesebel approached
the barangay captain to report that Dyesebel was missing.
The barangay captain immediately ordered a search party.
The father of Dyesebel told the barangay captain that
Dyesebel was last seen with Vicente Valla. Valla was
summoned by the captain but the former did not report.
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NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
st
On the second day of searching, the search party
was trailed by Valla. They found the body of the victim
near the river with her dress on but her panties pulled
down until mid-thigh. The victims head was blue and her
vagina was bleeding. When confronted by the people,
Valla admitted to raping and killing the victim. Valla even
offered his own daughter as payment.
The accused was charged with “rape with
murder”.
The trial court convicted the accused of “rape
with homicide” and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua.
He had intercourse with her five times. 1 ,
nd
rd
th
missionary position. 2 , standing up. 3 , missionary. 4 ,
doggy-style (“he bent her body downwards with her hands
and knees resting on the ground When the latter was
already in this position, appellant then placed himself
behind her, inserted his penis into her vagina and
executed a push and pull movement in the dog's way of
th
sexual intercourse.”) 5 , missionary.
ISSUE: whether or not the trial court was correct in
convicting the accused of “rape with homicide” instead of
“rape with murder” - YES
SC: Yes.
The Court held that there was ignominy because the
appellant used not only the missionary position, i.e. male
superior female inferior, but also "The same position as
dogs do" i.e., entry from behind. The appellant claims
there was no ignominy because "The studies of many
experts in the matter have shown that this 'position' is not
novel and has repeatedly and often been resorted to by
couples in the act of copulation. This may well be if the
sexual act is performed by consenting partners but not
otherwise.
HELD: The trial court did not err in convicting the
accused of the special complex crime of “rape with
homicide” and not “rape with murder” as stated in the
information. Homicide is, herein, taken in its generic
sense.
Furthermore, The aggravating circumstance of
ignominy under Article 14, No. 17 of the Revised Penal
Code should be appreciated considering that the medicolegal officer testified that the pubic area of the victim bore
blisters brought about by a contact with a lighted cigarette.
This circumstance added disgrace and obloquy to the
material injury inflicted upon the victim of the crime.
OTHER ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the extrajudicial confession of the
accused is admissible – YES
a. An extrajudicial confession, to be valid,
needs only the corroboration of the
corpus delicti (other evidences which
tend to show the commission of the
crime independent of the confession
itself). In this case, the testimonies of
the barangay captain, parents of the
victim and others establish the corpus
delicti
2. Whether or not the statement of the accused
asking for forgiveness and offering his daughter
as payment is part of res gestae - YES
PEOPLE V SAYLAN
Memory aid: doggy-style rape
At 7 PM, accused accosted the victim Eutropia, a teacher,
(while she was with her kids) and forced her to have sex
with him by poking her with an 8-inch… dagger. (dirty
mind!) He brought her to a creek and told her to undress.
Her kids were left in a junction which was 400 meters from
the nearest house.
Issue: Is rape via doggy-style
circumstance (ignominy)?
an
aggravating
Other aggravating circumstances at issue:
Uninhabited place – yes. The accused dragged the
offended party, at the point of a dagger, to the carabao
trail, about 10 meters from the junction, but 40 to 50
meters below to better attain his purpose without
interference, and to better secure himself from detection
and punishment. Even the junction where the two children
were left is already 400 meters from the nearest house.
While there maybe occasional passersby, this does not
destroy its being an uninhabited place.
Superior strength – No. Already absorbed in rape.
Nocturnity – No. no evidence that it was sought to facilitate
the crime.
Rank – No. No deliberate intent to offend the rank.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RENE SIAO
Joy, Estrella and Reylan worked as house maids and
helper of Rene’s family. Rene ordered Reylan to dragged
Estrella to the women’s quarters. Once inside, Rene
pushed her to the bed and pointed a pistol at Reylan and
Estrella.
Rene then asked Estrella to choose one among a
pistol, candle or a bottle of sprite. He also told Reylan to
do something to Ester. Rene lighted the candle and
dropped the melting candle on her chest. Estrella chose a
bottle of sprite because she was afraid of the pistol. She
was made to lie down on her back on the bed with her
head hanging over one end. Rene then poured sprite into
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her nostrils as she was made to spread her arms and
pointed the pistol. Estrella tried to fold her arms to cover
her breasts but Rene ordered Reylan to hold her hands.
Rene ordered Estrella to remove her pants and
T-shirt and commanded her to take the initiative (ikaw ang
mauna sa lalaki.) She did not understand what Rene
meant and Rene poked the pistol at her temple.
Reylan was ordered to remove his shorts. Reylan
refused but let his penis out. Rene then ordered Reylan to
rape Estrella. Reylan refused and Rene warned to kill
them both if they did not obey.
Estrella was made to suck the penis of Reylan at
gunpoint. Reylan then did the sexual act to Estrella for 10
minutes. Rene ordered to repeat the act. They were made
to lay side by side while Rene kept on pointing the pistol at
them. After the side by side position, they were made to
assume the dog position. Reylan shouted for help.
Teresita, sister of Rene, knocked at the door but Rene
ignored. Thereafter, Rene ordered them to go to the boy’s
quarter and warned them: If you will tell the police, I will
kill your mothers."
Estrella and Joy sought permission to go home.
On their way home, they met an old man who saw Estrella
crying. The old man took them to his house. After the
incident was reported to the police, Reylan was arrested.
Rene Siao and Reylan Gimena were charged with rape.
Both pleaded not guilty.
TC: Siao convicted of rape as principal by
induction. Gimena acquitted because he acted under the
impulse of uncontrollable fear of an equal, if not greater
injury.
ISSUE: WON the trial court is correct? YES.
RULING: As to fact that Rene Siao forced and intimidated
at gunpoint Ester Raymundo and Reylan Gimena to have
carnal knowledge of each other, we are convinced that the
same has been adequately proved by the prosecutions
evidence. Even as under settled jurisprudence, the
evidence for conviction must be clear and convincing to
overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence, we
find the straightforward, consistent and candid manner in
which Ester Raymundo related her harrowing experience
in the hands of accused-appellant as bearing all the
earmarks of verity. Not only that, the corroborative
testimony of Reylan Gimena was consistent in material
respects with that of Ester Raymundo. The testimony of
Ester and Reylan were assessed by the trial court to be
credible.
The points raised by Rene are trite and of no
consequence. First of all, the important consideration in
rape is not the emission of semen but the penetration of
the female genitalia by the male organ. Well-settled is the
rule that penetration, however slight, and not ejaculation,
is what constitutes rape. Thus, this factor could not affect
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
the case for the prosecution. Second, accused-appellants
argument that it is impossible to commit a rape in house
where there are many occupants is untenable. We have
held in a number of cases that lust is no respecter of time
and place. It is not impossible to perpetrate a rape even in
a small room. Rape can be committed in a house where
there are many other occupants. Third, Ester and Reylan
could not be expected to flee or even to attempt to flee
under the circumstances. Undoubtedly, considering that
Ester was only fourteen-years old and a newly employed
housemaid, while Reylan Gimena a seventeen-year old
houseboy, they were easily intimidated and cowed into
submission by accused-appellant, who aside from being
their "amo" or employer, was menacingly threatening to kill
them or their family with a gun if they did not do as he
commanded them to do. Thus, it was not improbable for
them not to attempt to escape when as accused-appellant
perceived they had an opportunity to do so. Moreover,
while most victims will immediately flee from their
aggressors, others become virtually catatatonic because
of the mental shock they experience. It was also not
improbable for them to report the incident to an old man
they met on the road as there was no on else to turn to.
The rape was committed on May 27, 1994 or after the
effectivity of R.A. 7659 on December 31, 1993. The
governing law, Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as
amended by R.A. No 7659 imposes the penalty of
reclusion perpetua to death, if committed with the use of a
deadly weapon.
Accused-appellant was held guilty of rape with
the use of a deadly weapon, which is punishable by
reclusion perpetua to death. But the trial court overlooked
and did not take into account the aggravating
circumstance of ignominy and sentenced accusedappellant to the single indivisible penalty of reclusion
perpetua. It has been held that where the accused in
committing the rape used not only the missionary position,
i.e. male superior, female inferior but also the dog position
as dogs do, i.e. entry from behind, as was proven like the
crime itself in the instant case, the aggravating
circumstance of ignominy attended the commission
thereof.
However, the use of a weapon serves to increase
the penalty. Since the use of a deadly weapon increases
the penalty as opposed to a generic aggravating
circumstance which only affects the period of the penalty,
said fact should be alleged in the information, because of
the accuseds right to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation against him. Considering that the
complaint (which was later converted into the Information)
failed to allege the use of a deadly weapon, specifically,
that herein accused-appellant was armed with a gun, the
penalty to be reckoned with in determining the penalty for
rape would be reclusion perpetua, the penalty prescribed
for simple rape under Article 335, as amended by R.A. No.
155
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
7659. Simple rape is punishable by the single indivisible
penalty of reclusion perpetua, which must be applied
regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance
which may have attended the commission of the deed.
Hence, the penalty of reclusion perpetua imposed by the
trial court is correct.


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. DOMINADOR
CACHOLA y SALAZAR, et al.
FACTS:
1. 12 y.o. Jessie Barnachea was just about to leave his
house to watch cartoons in the house next door when
two armed men barged in his front door. They ordered
him to drop to the floor, then hit him in the back with
the butt of a long gun. The intruders then shot his
uncle, so Jessie crawled and hid under a bed,
whereupon the shooting continued. When the men
left, Jessie went into the kitchen where he saw his
mother, his brother and his cousin –all slaughtered.
2. There was a neighbor who saw men with bonnets on
outside the house, and neighbors also testified seeing
an owner-type jeep with ‘El Shaddai’ on the front and
a “Fruits & Vegetable Dealer’ at the side going toward
the house and leaving hurriedly after. A few hours
after the incident, the jeep was intercepted at a
checkpoint. The eight accused riding the vehicle were
brought to the police station.
3. Jessie positively identified two of the accused,
Cachola and Amay, as the armed men who killed his
relatives. The OSG recommended the acquittal of the
other 6 accused, who were just unfortunate enough to
be riding in the same jeep. There was no evidence of
previous or simultaneous to hold them responsible as
accomplices, hence the SC acquitted them.
4. The death certificate of Victorino Lolarga (uncle)
revealed that his penis was excised. Would such
circumstance amount to ignominy that can aggravate
the offense?
ISSUE: What aggravating circumstances should be
considered in this case?

HELD:
Treachery: YES. There is no doubt that the killings
were done with treachery, considering that the
assailants suddenly barged in and immediately went
on a shooting rampage. The Court has ruled time and
again ruled that when the attack is sudden and
unexpected, there is treachery.The presence of even
this single qualifying circumstance is sufficient to
qualify the killing to murder.

NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Evident Premeditation: NO. There is no evidence of
planning or preparation to kill, much less of the time
when the plot was conceived.
Ignominy: NO. For ignominy to be appreciated, it is
required that the offense be committed in a manner
that tends to make its effect more humiliating, thus
adding to the victim’s moral suffering. Where the
victim was already dead when his body or a part
thereof was dismembered, ignominy cannot be taken
against the accused. In this case, the information
states that Victorino’s sexual organ was severed after
he was shot and there is no allegation that it was
done to add ignominy to the natural effects of the act.
We cannot, therefore, consider ignominy as an
aggravating circumstance.
Dwelling: YES. As regards Carmelita and Felix, Jr.
(mother and brother of Jessie), we appreciate the
aggravating circumstance of dwelling, since it was
alleged in the information and proved during the trial
that they were killed inside their house. Accused
Cachola and Amay, therefore, violated the sanctity of
the said victims’ home.
CRUELTY
PEOPLE V. SITCHON
Facts: Sitchon beat up a little 2 year old boy named Mark
Anthony Fernandez to death. Victim mark spread his feces
all over the floor and this enraged Sitchon. Sitchon struck
him with a belt, 2x2 wood, and a hammer. He even
banged the little kid’s head on the wooden wall. This was
witnessed by victim-mark’s older brother Roberto. The
next door neighbor Lilia also witnessed the beating
through the open door after she heard the cries of victimmark. Later, Sitchon brought victim-mark to the hospital
but he was already dead then.
Sitchonis the live-in partner of Mark’s mom. He is
also a drug addict, he was then high from Valium 10.
Sitchonpleaded guiltyafter defense rested its
case and pleaded the defense of accident. The lower court
convicted him of murder, qualified by treachery,
aggravated by cruelty and alternative circumstance of
intoxication. Sitchon sentenced to death [note: 1998 RTC
decision and 2002 SC decision].
Issue: What are the different aggravating and mitigating
circumstances applicable in this case?
Held: Murder, qualified by treachery, mitigated by lack of
intention to commit so grave a wrong.
[Note: Callejo assigned this case under Cruelty, thus this
is to be discussed first]
156
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Cruelty is not present here. The test in
appreciating
cruelty
as
an
aggravating
circumstance is whether the accused deliberately
and sadistically augmented the wrong by causing
another wrong not necessary for its commission,
or inhumanly increased thevictim’s suffering or
outraged or scoffed at his person or corpse. The
nature of cruelty lies in the fact that the culprit
enjoys and delights in making his victim suffer
slowly and gradually, causing him moral and
physical pain which is unnecessary for the
consummation of the criminal act which he
intended to commit.The sheer number of
wounds, however, is not a test for determining
whether cruelty attended the commission of a
crime.
The prosecution failed to show that Sitchon
enjoyed the beating. The inordinate force
employed by appellant appears to have been
caused not by any sadistic bend but rather by the
drugs that diminished his capacity.
Treachery is evidently present here. Whenever
you beat up a two-year old kid, its treacherous.
Impossible for the kid to defend himself.
Mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty cannot
be appreciated here. It is well-settled that a plea
of guilty made after arraignment and after trial
had begun does not entitle the accused to have
such plea considered as a mitigating
circumstance. Here, Sitchon pleaded guilty only
after the prosecution rested his case.
Lack of intention to commit so grave a wrong is
present since his only intention was to maltreat
and not to kill mark. When he realized what he
did, he immediately brought mark to the hospital
but it was too late.
Voluntary surrender cannot be appreciated
because he failed to prove any of the
circumstances
The trial court appreciated intoxication as an
aggravating circumstance although it was clear
that Sitchon isn’t alcohol dependent but rather a
drug
addict.
SC
said that
alternative
circumstance of intoxication is clear when it
refers to alcohol and thus is not applicable to
Sitchon’s case. Article 14 on aggravating and
article 15 on alternative do not contain an
“Analogous provision” unlike Article 13 on
mitigating circumstances. Criminalstatutes are to
be strictly construed in favor of the accused. And
no person should be brought within its terms who
is not clearly covered by it.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
FACTS: One evening, witness Amanda Tabion was in her
house when she heard a motorcycle stop in front of her
house and loud voices outside. One of the voices sounded
as if someone was being tortured, so she went out to
investigate. Moonlight illuminated the area and she saw
the 4 accused, Allan Valdez, Ludring Valdez, Itong Tabion
and Jose Taboac, surrounding Eusebio Ocreto, whom she
knew since childhood. Ludring repeatedly hit Eusebio on
the head and body with large stones and boulders while
the other accused looked on. Eusebio remained lying on
the ground, unmoving. When Ludring stopped hitting
Eusebio, the 4 accused carried his body on their shoulders
and boarded a tricycle and drove off. Amanda returned to
her house, frightened by what she saw. The following
morning, she learned that Eusebio was missing. That
afternoon, the headless body of a man was found.
Policemen identified the body as Eusebio’s. Postmortem
examination of the body revealed that the victim sustained
13 stab wounds, which the doctor opined, as being caused
by 2 or more assailants. Two days later, the decapitated
head of Eusebio was found buried 1 foot deep, more than
100m away from where his body was found. When it was
dug up, it was already in the state of decomposition.
The 4 accused were charged with the crime of
murder, with aggravating circumstances of superior
strength, nighttime and cruelty, by decapitating the victim.
The RTC found Ludring Valdez and Jose Taboac guilty of
the crime of murder. Only Ludring Valdez appealed.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC erred in appreciating cruelty so
as to qualify the crime from homicide to murder?
HELD/RATIO: NO. The crime charged should be
murder.
The SC agrees with the finding of the trial court that the
killing was attended with cruelty, because the deceased
was stoned, stabbed and beheaded. There is cruelty
when the culprit enjoys and delights in making his
victim suffer slowly and gradually, causing him
unnecessary physical pain in the consummation of
the criminal act. The test is whether accused-appellant
deliberately and sadistically augmented the wrong by
causing another wrong not necessary for its commission
or inhumanly increased the victim's suffering or outraged
or scoffed at his person or corpse. In this case, evidence
showed that the deceased was inflicted with numerous
wounds before he was killed. Such acts increased the
victim's suffering and caused unnecessary physical pain
before his death.
PEOPLE V ABDUL
PEOPLE vs. VALDEZ
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Facts: That the five accused including appellant Abdul
when they were invited by the victims to a salo-salo
without any inkling that the accused have sinister plans
against their life and property since they were their friends.
One of the accused got hold of the armalite carried by one
of the victims asking it from him to test it, suddenly shoot
at the victims composed of Abraham Annudin, Annih
Tanjing, Abdulbaser Tanjiri, Idil Sahirul and Suri Jannuh
with their firearms, thereby inflicting gunshot wounds upon
their bodies which caused the death of Abraham Annudin
and Annih Tanjing while the three other companions were
mortally wounded. Taking advantage that the two were
mortally wounded, the said accused, took, stole and
carried away two M-14 rifles valued at P60,000.00; One
M-203 grenade launcher valued at P40,000.00; and One
wrist watch and jewelries valued at P5,000.00, or the total
amount of P105,000.00, all belonging to the victims.
The lower court rendered its decision finding the accused,
Minya Abdul, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of Robbery with double homicide and triple frustrated
homicide.
And since the crime was committed with the
attendance of the aggravating circumstances of evident
premeditation, treachery and by a band without any
mitigating to offset any of them, hereby sentences said
accused to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.
Hence, this appeal by accused-appellant Abdul.
Issue: Whether or not the accused-appellant participated
in the commission of the crime which occurred on August
19, 1988 at Langil Island.
Held: Yes.
1) Sahdiya Tanjings testimony is clear and straightforward.
At about five oclock in the afternoon of August 19, 1988,
she was at Langil Island, Tuburan, with the group of
Sahdiya Tanjing, Jubaira Tanjing, Annih Tanjing, Abraham
Annudin, Asuri Jannuh, Abdulbaser Tanjiri and Idil Sahirul
upon the invitation of Minya Abdul, Isa Abdul, Maldis
Abdul, Inggat Doe and Jowen Appang when she
witnessed the shooting.
2) we reject accused-appellants claim that the prosecution
failed to prove the fact of death of the victims for the
reason that no death certificate or testimony of an imam or
Muslim priest was presented in court to prove the fact of
death of Annih and Abraham. The absence of a death or
burial certificate does not negate the fact of the killing
since corpus delicti can be proved by testimonial
evidence.
3) a conspiracy existed between the accused-appellant,
Isa Abdul, Maldis Abdul, Jowen Appang, and Inggat Doe.
Evidence shows that the accused-appellant, together with
the other accused all acted in concert, one performing one
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
part and the other performing another part so as to
execute the crime of robbery with homicide. Annih Tanjing
was deceived into loaning his gun for the purpose of
testing and examination. Once he was disarmed, he was
immediately shot and killed. Almost simultaneously, they
the guns were grabbed from the victims and they were
also shot at, killing Abraham and wounding Abdulbaser as
a result. When the other members of Annih and Abrahams
group ran, the accused-appellant and his co-accused shot
at them. Thereafter, they smashed the faces of Annih and
Abraham to the point that their faces could no longer be
recognized. Then, the accused-appellant and his coaccused left and brought with them the firearms, a watch
and a necklace which they took from the dead bodies. The
chronology of events coupled with the simultaneous
execution of disarming the victims clearly shows that there
was a unity of purpose and unity in the execution of the
unlawful acts to enable them to commit the crime of
robbery with homicide.
3) However the lower court erred in convicting the
accused of the crime of robbery with double homicide and
triple frustrated homicide. There is no crime of robbery
with multiple homicide under the Revised Penal Code. The
crime is still robbery with homicide notwithstanding the
number of homicides committed on the occasion of a
robbery since the homicides or murders and physical
injuries committed on or on occasion or by reason of the
robbery are merged in the composite crime of robbery with
homicide. However, when two or more persons are killed
on the occasion of the robbery, the additional killings
should be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance to
avoid the anomalous situation where, from the standpoint
of the gravity of the offense, robbery with one killing would
be on the same level as robbery with multiple killings.
4) The court appreciated evident premeditation as an
aggravating circumstance.
We are not convinced that evident premeditation
was sufficiently proven. The prosecutions evidence did not
clearly establish beyond reasonable doubt two of the three
requisites of evident premeditation, viz., a.) the time when
Abdul and his co-accused determined to commit the
crime; and b.) a sufficient lapse of time between such
determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon
the consequences of his act. Although there are badges of
premeditation in the present case, we can only speculate
as to the time elements required to appreciate evident
premeditation. Evident premeditation must be established
by clear and positive evidence and cannot be inferred nor
presumed no matter how logical and probable such
inferences or presumptions might be.
5) The lower court also appreciated treachery as an
aggravating circumstance.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
The accused-appellant and his cohorts, relying
on the friendship they had with their victims, deceived
them into voluntarily giving their firearms to the accusedappellant for the purpose of testing and examining said
firearms. Thereafter, accused-appellant together with Isa
Abdul, suddenly, without warning, shot their victims who
were not aware of the danger against them and were not
in a position to defend themselves. The court therefore
correctly found the presence of treachery as an
aggravating circumstance.
6) The court also found the aggravating circumstance of
band attendant in the present case.
We do not agree. An offense is deemed
committed by a band when more than three armed
malefactors shall have acted together in the commission
thereof. This presupposes that from the onset four of the
malefactors were already armed in order to facilitate the
commission of the crime. In the present case, only two of
the five malefactors were armed at the start of the
commission of the offense. At any rate, even assuming
that the aggravating circumstance of band was attendant
in the commission of the crime, it is absorbed by
treachery.
The crime of robbery with homicide is a special
complex crime punishable under Article 294 of the
Revised Penal Code with reclusion perpetua to death.
Considering the presence of treachery and the additional
killing as aggravating circumstances, the maximum
penalty of death would be imposable under Article 63 of
the revised Penal Code. However, since the crime was
committed on August 19, 1988 which is prior to the
enactment of Republic Act No. 7659 entitled An Act to
Impose the Death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes
which reimposed the death penalty, the imposable penalty
is reclusion perpetua. Reclusion perpetua is a single
indivisible penalty which shall be imposed regardless of
the attending aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
102. P v Regala April 5, 2000
PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs.
EDUARDO DE JESUS y ENRILE, appellant.
FACTS: SPO3 Ybasco was a policeman at the Makati
Police Station. He had a part time job as a money
changer. Every afternoon he would deliver money for his
employer, carrying it in a plastic bag.
On February 1994, appellant De Jesus, together with a
guy named Manansala and another named Del Rosario
planned to stage a robbery. They had a financier, British
national Christopher Nash. They were planning to rob
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Ybasco when as there was information that he would
deposit $250,000 for his employer. They decided tp
waylay Ybasco on the way to the bank.
On the day of the heist, the robbers took a
Toyota Corolla owned by Nash and went to the Makati
area to do surveillance on Ybasco. At around 6:30 p.m.,
Ybasco emerged from the office of his employer holding a
plastic bag. Momentarily, Manansala and the appellant
confronted Ybasco and told him, “May warrant of arrest
ka.” They grabbed Ybasco, handcuffed him and dragged
him to the car. Manansala and the appellant had a scuffle
with Ybasco when they grabbed the plastic bag from
him. Roberto Acosta, a roving security guard, saw the
incident and pulled out his gun. He sped towards the
scene to investigate the incident. Del Rosario confronted
Acosta and grappled with him for the possession of the
gun. As Del Rosario managed to wrest possession of the
gun from Acosta, shot him in the mouth. They boarded
the car, and sped towards EDSA.
The robbers sped towards Laguna. When
Manansala looked inside the bag, he saw that it contained
only P5000 instead of $250,000 as he expected. He hit
Ybasco on the nape. Then the robbers Manansala,
appellant de Jesus and Del Rosario let Ybasco out in a
sugar farm in Laguna. They told hom that he would be
allowed to go home but he shouldn’t follow them because
de Jesus was a member of the NPA. But then suddenly,
de Jesus shot Ybasco on the head.
The robbers were later caught and one of them,
del Rosario, confessed guilt. With respect to appellant, the
trial court found de Jesus guilty of Robbery with homicide,
sentencing him to death.
ISSUE: W/N the appellant de Jesus is guilty of robbery
with homicide, despite the qualifying circumstances
present that would normally qualify murder.
HELD/RATIO: Yes, robbery with homicide.
The evidence on record shows that when the
appellant and Manansala abducted Ybasco in Makati, they
handcuffed the victim and transported him to a sugar field
in Cabuyao, Laguna. The appellant and Manansala
brought Ybasco out of the car. Still handcuffed, Ybasco
was shot by the appellant on the right cheek.
In People v. Escote, Jr., the trial court ruled that
treachery is aggravating in robbery with homicide. The
aggravating circumstance of the use of a vehicle in
committing robbery with homicide is also attendant in this
case. The appellant and his cohorts used a vehicle when
they abducted Ybasco and transported him to Cabuyao,
Laguna. However, the Information does not allege that
the appellant and his cohorts used a vehicle in committing
the crime charged as mandated by the Rules of Criminal
Procedure. Also, the additional killing is not an
aggravating circumstance in robbery with homicide.
159
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
In robbery with homicide, the original criminal design
of the malefactor is to commit robbery, with homicide
perpetrated on the occasion or by reason of the
robbery. The intent to commit robbery must precede the
taking of human life. The homicide may take place before,
during or after the robbery. There is no such felony of
robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or
simple negligence.
It is immaterial that the death would supervene by
mere accident; or that the victim of homicide is other than
the victim of robbery, or that two or more persons are
killed or that aside from the homicide, rape, intentional
mutilation, or usurpation of authority, is committed by
reason or on the occasion of the crime. Likewise
immaterial is the fact that the victim of homicide is one of
the robbers; the felony would still be robbery with
homicide. Once a homicide is committed by or on the
occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is robbery
with homicide. All the felonies committed by reason of or
on the occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and
indivisible felony of robbery with homicide. The word
“homicide” is used in its generic sense. Homicide, thus,
includes murder, parricide, and infanticide.
If a robber tries to prevent the commission of
homicide after the commission of the robbery, he is guilty
only of robbery and not of robbery with homicide. All
those who conspire to commit robbery with homicide are
guilty as principals of such crime. Homicide is said to have
been committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery
if, for instance, it was committed to (a) facilitate the
robbery or the escape of the culprit; (b) to preserve the
possession by the culprit of the loot; (c) to prevent
discovery of the commission of the robbery; or, (d) to
eliminate witnesses in the commission of the crime. As
long as there is a nexus between the robbery and the
homicide, the latter crime may be committed in a place
other than the situs of the robbery.
PEOPLE V. BELGAR (1991)
AID: Rape of 12 year-old retardate- Qualifying Aggravating
Circumstance of Drug Addiction
Facts: This is a case of rape of a 12-year old girl, a mental
retardate with the mentality of a 6-year old. The assailant
is a young man who is a habitual drug addict. Belgar
committed rape when he approached Lorelyn, the victim,
while watching television. Meanwhile, Edu, a nephew of
accused, four years of age, approached the mother of
Lorelyn and informed her "Lorelyn is pinapatungan by
Kuya Boy."
Belgar claims that Lorelyn herself testified that
she was not rape but only was kissed and fingered, and
that he came from a pot session just before the incident
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
occurred. The court later found out that Lorelyn was
deflowered by Belgar long before the current case.
Issue: was is the proper offense to be charged ?
(considering that she was already 12 at that time) and
MORE IMPORTANT: was
there any aggravating
circumstance involved?
Held: Article 335, paragraph 3, which states rape
committed against a woman under 12 years of age. In this
case, the appellant was charged with rape through force
and intimidation of the complainant who is a 12-year-old
minor, and a retardate. And although the complainant was
already 12 years old at the time, she was undeniably a
retardate with the mentality of a 6-year old child, so that
she also falls under the fourth category, for being under 12
years of age.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, Under Section 17 of the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended by Batas
Pambansa Blg. 179, "when a crime is committed by an
offender who is under the influence of dangerous drugs,
such state shall be considered as a qualifying aggravating
circumstance in the definition of a crime and the
application of the penalty provided for in the Revised
Penal Code." This should serve as a sufficient deterrent if
not a warning to those who are inclined to if not actually
habitually addicted to drugs. Their addiction will be no
excuse but will aggravate any offense they commit.
PEOPLE V. SITCHON
FACTS:

Emelito Sitchon (SITCHON) was charged for
murder after beating to death the 2-year old son
(MARK ANTHONY Fernandez) of his commonlaw wife. He was convicted and sentenced to
death. The case is before the Supreme Cout on
automatic review. Initially, SITCHON pleaded not
guilty. However, before testifying in his own
defense, he admitted killing the victim and
changed his plea to guilty.

Prosecution presented 5 witnesses: Lilia Garcia,
a neighbor; the victim's eight-year old brother
Roberto; the investigating officer, PO3 Paul
Dennis Javier; Dr. Manuel Lagonera, medicolegal officer of the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI); and Felicisima Francisco, a
forensic chemist of the same agency.
nd
o SITCHON lived in the 2 floor of a 3square meter house in Tondo. His
st
neighbor, Lilia, resided in the 1 floor.
o At about 10 AM of June 12, 1996, Lilia
was in front of her house attending to
her children when she heard the sound
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO




of a boy crying. Lilia went up the
stairway and through the open door,
Lilia saw SITCHON beating MARK
ANTHONY. Lilia saw SITCHON hit
various parts of MARK ANTHONGY’s
body w/ a piece of wood and banging
the head of the boy against the wooden
wall. The beating went on for about an
hour. After, Lilia saw SITCHON carry
MARK ANTHONY’s body down the
house to bring him to the hospital.
MARK ANTHONY was already black
and no longer moving.
o Eight-year old Roberto Fernandez is
the elder brother of the victim, also
known as Macky. According to Roberto,
Macky had scattered his feces all over
the house. Because of this, SITCHON
beat Macky with a belt, a hammer, and
a “2x2” piece of wood. Roberto could
not do anything to help his brother
because he was afraid SITCHON might
also beat him up. When SITCHON
brought Macky to the hospital, his little
brother, who could barely talk, was not
crying anymore.
o A
certain
Alice
Valerio
from
the Galang Medical Hospital informed
PO3 Paul Dennis Javier that a boy had
been admitted there. When PO3 Javier
went to the hospital where he found the
boy already dead. He observed that the
child had wounds on the left middle
finger, the right index finger, and both
feet, including lacerations in the upper
lip and contusions all over his head and
body.
PO3 Javier proceeded to SITCHON’s house and
found human feces and fresh blood splattered on
the floor. PO3 Javier recovered the broken
wooden sticks and the steel hammer, which were
allegedly used to beat up the boy, as well as a
bloodstained white T-shirt.
SITCHON surrendered to Station 3 of their
district that afternoon.
The following day, a staff member of the
television
program Magandang
Gabi
Bayan turned over to PO3 Javier a brown belt
which SITCHON allegedly also used in beating
the victim. Roberto Fernandez had given the belt
to the staff member.
Dr. Lagonera, medico-legal officer of the NBI,
conducted the postmortem examination of the
victim’s body. He found that the boy had suffered
many injuries, including three wounds at the head

NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
and the anterior chest, which could have been
inflicted with the use of blunt objects such as a
piece of wood or a fist. The child could have
been dead three to four hours, or not more than
eight
hours,
prior
to the
postmortem
examination. Dr. Lagonera concluded that the
victim died of “bilateral pneumonia secondary to
multiple blunt traversal injuries” or complication of
the lungs due to said injuries.
Defense:
o SITCHON, 40, a sidewalk vendor,
admitted killing MARK ANTHONY, the
son of his live-in partner. He claimed he
enjoyed a harmonious relationship with
his partner and that he killed MARK
ANTHONY (Macky) because he was
under the influence of shabu, marijuana,
and Valium 10 at that time. SITCHON
professed that he began using drugs in
1974 and that he had also taken drugs
two weeks before the incident.
o On June 12, 1996, SITCHON saw
Macky playing with his feces, scattering
them all over the pillow, the bed sheets
and the curtains. SITCHON scolded the
boy, “Putang-ina ka Macky! Bakit mo
ikinalat ng ganyan ang tae mo? Halika,
dadalhin
kita
sa
baba
para
hugasan!” SITCHON got hold of Macky,
but the boy struggled to free himself
from SITCHON’sgrasp. SITCHONt still
reeling from the Valium 10 he had just
taken, became so angry that he picked
up a broom with a wooden handle, and
hit the boy. SITCHON did not realize
that he had hit Macky hard until he saw
the boy sprawled on the floor, breathing
with difficulty. He dressed Macky and
brought
him
to
the
Galang Medical Center at the corner
of Abad Santos Avenue and Tayabas
Street, Manila. He prayed to God that
nothing serious would happen to the
boy.
o A lady doctor immediately attended to
Macky. SITCHON pleaded to the lady
doctor to do all she can to save the
child; otherwise, he would be in serious
trouble. After examining the child, the
doctor told SITCHON that she could not
do anything more – Macky was
dead. The same day, SITCHON
surrendered to the police. He was
brought to the Homicide Section at 3:00
p.m.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO

Explaining his change of plea, SITCHON that the
killing of the boy was "accidental." He reiterated
that he was under the influence of drugs, which
he had taken one after the other. He was a drug
dependent and, in fact, had been confined at
the Tagaytay Rehabilitation Center. Nevertheles
s, the trial court sentenced SITCHON to suffer
the death penalty.
ISSUE: Whether or not SITCHON is guilty of murder?
Yes.
GUILT
The Court entertains little doubt that appellant is
guilty of the killing of MARK ANTHONY. SITCHON’s guilt
was adequately established by the testimonies of Lilia
Garcia and Roberto Fernandez, who both saw appellant
beat Macky. These testimonies were further corroborated
by those of PO3 Paul Dennis Javier, Dr. Manuel Lagonera
and Felicisima Francisco, as well as the various pieces of
object evidence. Indeed, appellant in open court admitted
beating the poor child, which beating resulted in the
latter’s death.
That appellant purportedly did not intend to kill the
toddler would not exculpate him from liability. Article 4(1)
of the Revised Penal Code provides that criminal liability
shall be incurred by any “person committing a felony
(delito) although the wrongful act done be different from
that which he intended.” The rationale of the rule is found
in the doctrine that “el que es causa de la causa es
causa del mal causado” (he who is the cause of the cause
is the cause of the evil caused). Thus, where the accused
violently kicked the sleeping victim in vital parts of the
latter’s body, the accused is liable for the supervening
death as a consequence of the injuries. Assuming,
therefore, that appellant merely intended to inflict
physical injuries upon the boy, he is nevertheless
liable for the death of the victim caused by such
injuries.
AGGRAVATING: TREACHERY
The killing in this case was attended by
treachery. There is treachery when the offender commits
any of the crimes against persons, employing means,
methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend
directly and especially to insure its execution without risk
to himself arising from the defense which the offended
party might make. It is beyond dispute that the killing of
minor children who, by reason of their tender years,
could not be expected to put up a defense, is
treacherous.
AGGRAVATING: EVIDENT PREMEDITATION
Evident premeditation is absent. For the court to
appreciate evident premeditation, the prosecution must
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
prove: (a) the time the accused decided to commit the
crime; (b) an overt act manifestly indicating that he clung
to his determination; and (c) sufficient lapse of time
between the decision and the execution to allow the
[20]
accused to reflect upon the consequence of his act. The
prosecution failed to establish any of these requisites.
AGGARAVATING: CRUELTY
The trial court incorrectly appreciated cruelty
against the accused. The test in appreciating cruelty as
an aggravating circumstance is whether the accused
deliberately and sadistically augmented the wrong by
causing another wrong not necessary for its commission,
or inhumanly increased the victim’s suffering or outraged
or scoffed at his person or corps. The nature of cruelty lies
in the fact that the culprit enjoys and delights in making his
victim suffer slowly and gradually, causing him moral and
physical pain which is unnecessary for the consummation
of the criminal act which he intended to commit. The sheer
number of wounds, however, is not a test for determining
whether cruelty attended the commission of a crime The
prosecution did not show that appellant enjoyed
inflicting injuries upon the victim. The inordinate
force employed by appellant appears to have been
caused not by any sadistic bend but rather by the
drugs that diminished his capacity.
AGGRAVATING: INTOXICATION
The trial court also considered intoxication as an
aggravating circumstance.This Court does not
agree. Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code provides a
list of mitigating circumstances, which work to reduce the
accused’s penalty. Article 13(10) allows courts to consider
“any other circumstance of a similar nature and analogous
to those” mentioned therein. Neither Article 14 of the
same Code on aggravating circumstances nor Article 15
on alternative circumstances, however, contain a provision
similar to Article 13(10). Accordingly, the Court cannot
consider appellant’s drug addiction as an aggravating
circumstance. Criminal statutes are to be strictly
construed and no person should be brought within their
terms who is not clearly within them.
MITIGATING: PLEA OF GUILT
Appellant maintains that his plea of guilt mitigates his
criminal liability. To effectively alleviate the criminal liability
of an accused, a plea of guilt must be made at the first
opportunity, indicating repentance on the part of the
accused. In determining the timeliness of a plea of guilty,
nothing could be more explicit than the provisions of the
Revised Penal Code requiring that the offender voluntarily
confess his guilt before the court prior to the presentation
of the evidence for the prosecution. It is well-settled that a
plea of guilty made after arraignment and after trial had
begun does not entitle the accused to have such plea
162
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
considered as a mitigating circumstance. As appellant
changed his plea only after the prosecution had
rested its case and just when he was just about to
testify, said mitigating circumstance is unavailing.
MITIGATING: VOLUNTARY SURRENDER
The trial court credited appellant with the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender. For voluntary
surrender to be appreciated, these elements must be
established: (1) the offender has not been actually
arrested; (2) he surrendered himself to a person in
authority or an agent of a person in authority; and (3) his
surrender was voluntary. It is sufficient that the surrender
be “spontaneous and made in a manner clearly
indicating the intent of the accused to surrender
unconditionally, either because he acknowledges his guilt
or he wishes to save the authorities the trouble and
expense which will necessarily be incurred in searching
for and capturing him.
Appellant has failed to adequately prove
voluntary surrender. While he claimed that he
“surrendered” to the police on the same day that
the victim was killed, he did not detail the circumstances
like the time and place of such surrender. Neither did
appellant state to whom he surrendered. He did not
indicate if the person was a person in authority or an agent
of the latter. PO3 Javier’s testimony that he “learned” of
appellant’s alleged surrender is hearsay and does not
serve to corroborate appellant’s claim.
MITIGATING: NO INTENT TO COMMIT SO GRAVE
A WRONG
The Court, however, discerns no intention on the
part of appellant to commit so grave a wrong against
his victim. Appellant’s intention was merely to maltreat
the victim, not to kill him. When appellant realized the
horrible consequences of his felonious act, he immediately
brought the victim to the hospital. Sadly, his efforts were
for naught.
SENTENCE: In view of the attendance of the aggravating
circumstance of treachery, the killing of the victim is
qualified to murder, punishable under Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code by reclusion perpetua to death. The
murder was attended by the mitigating circumstance of
lack of intention to commit so grave a wrong and there is
no aggravating circumstance. Hence, the lesser penalty
of reclusion perpetua must be imposed upon appellant.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
companion. Not contented, they left and proceeded to the
seashore where in a cottage there were people also
drinking. Joining the group, Anthony and Dennis again
drank. Later, the two and their companion transferred to
another cottage and there they again drank now with gin
liquor except Dennis who did not anymore drink. For one
reason or another, because Dennis did not drink, Anthony
got angry and he then bathed Dennis with gin, and boxed
or mauled him and tried to stab him with a batangas knife
but failed to hit Dennis as the latter was crawling under the
table. He got up and ran towards home. His family was
awakened, his mother shouted as Dennis was taking a
knife and appeared bloodied. Manuel Torpio woke up and
tried to take the knife from Dennis but failed and, in the
process, wounded or cut himself in his left hand.
Dennis left with the knife, passed by another
route towards the seashore and upon reaching the cottage
where Anthony and their companion Porboy Perez were,
looked for Anthony. Anthony upon seeing Dennis sensed
danger and he fled by taking the seashore. But Dennis,
being accustomed to the place and having known the
terrain despite the darkness knew that there is only one
exit Anthony could make and, thus, he went the other way
through the nipa plantation and he was able to meet and
block Anthony. Upon seeing Dennis with a knife, Anthony
tried to evade by turning to his left and Dennis thus hit the
back portion of Anthony. Anthony ran farther but he was
caught in a fishing net across the small creek and he fell
on his back. Dennis mounted Anthony and continued
stabbing the latter. He left the place went to the grassy
meadow near the camp and there slept until morning. He
then went to a certain police officer to whom he voluntarily
surrendered and together they went to the police
headquarters.
The RTC convicted Torpio of murder qualified by
treachery or evident premeditation and appreciating in his
favor the following mitigating circumstances: (a) sufficient
provocation on the part of the offended party (the
deceased Anthony) preceded the act; (b) the accused
acted to vindicate immediately a grave offense committed
by the victim; and, (c) voluntary surrender.
Torpio alleged that the RTC erred in finding that
treachery and evident premeditation attended the
commission of the crime.
© PEOPLE v. DENIIS TORPIO
ISSUE: W/N treachery and evident premeditation attended
the commission of the crime – NO. Only guilty of homicide
(Mitigating circumstances were properly appreciated. But
sufficient provocation and immediate vindication of a grave
offense were considered as only one mitigating
circumstance since they arose from the same incident –
attach on Torpio by Anthony)
FACTS: Dennis Torpio and Anthony Rapas had some
round of drinks at a nearby store together with another
HELD:
Treachery
RA 9165, SEC 25
163
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
There is treachery when the offender employs
means, methods or forms in the execution of the crime
which tends directly and specially to insure its execution
without risk to himself arising from the defense which the
offended party might make. There must be evidence
showing that the mode of attack was consciously or
deliberately adopted by the culprit to make it impossible or
difficult for the person attacked to defend himself or
retaliate. Further, the essence of treachery is the swift and
unexpected attack without the slightest provocation by the
victim.
In this case, the record is barren of evidence
showing any method or means employed by the appellant
in order to ensure his safety from any retaliation that could
be put up by the victim. The appellant acted to avenge
Anthony’s felonious acts of mauling and stabbing
him. Although the appellant bled from his stab wound, he
ran home, armed himself with a knife and confronted
Anthony intentionally. When the latter fled, the appellant
ran after him and managed to stab and kill the victim.
Evident Premeditation
To warrant a finding of evident premeditation, the
prosecution must establish the confluence of the following
requisites: (a) the time when the offender was determined
to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that
the offender clung to his determination; and (c) a sufficient
interval of time between the determination and the
execution of the crime to allow him to reflect upon the
consequences of his act.
The
qualifying
circumstance
of
evident
premeditation requires that the execution of the criminal
act
by
the
accused
be
preceded
by cool
thought and reflection upon a resolution to carry out the
criminal intent during the space of time sufficient to arrive
at a calm judgment. Evident premeditation needs proof of
the time when the intent to commit the crime is
engendered in the mind of the accused, the motive which
gives rise to it, and the means which are beforehand
selected to carry out that intent.
The prosecution failed to prove the same.
According to Manuel, the father of the appellant, the latter
told him, “I have to kill somebody, ’Tay, because I was
boxed.” This utterance is not sufficient to show that the
crime was a product of serious and determined
reflection. The interval between the time when the
appellant made this statement and when he actually
stabbed Anthony was not sufficient or considerable
enough as to allow him to reflect upon the consequences
of his act. There was no sufficient interregnum from the
time the appellant was stabbed by the victim, when the
appellant fled to their house and his arming himself with a
knife, and when he stabbed the victim. In a case of fairly
recent vintage, we ruled that there is no evident
premeditation when the fracas was the result, not of a
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
deliberate plan but of rising tempers, or when the attack
was made in the heat of anger.
107. P v Navarre Nov. 18, 1998
(second paragraph of Section 1)The penalty of prision
mayor in its minimum period and a fine of Thirty thousand
pesos (P30,000) shall be imposed if the firearm is
classified as high powered firearm which includes those
with bores bigger in diameter than .38 caliber and 9
millimeter such as caliber .40, .41, .44, .45 and also lesser
calibered firearms but considered powerful such as caliber
.357 and caliber .22 center-fire magnum and other
firearms with firing capability of full automatic and by burst
of two or three: Provided, however, That no other crime
was committed by the person arrested.
(third paragraph) "If homicide or murder is committed
with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an
unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an
aggravating circumstance.
PEOPLE VS LADJAALAM
FACTS: Ladjaalam was charged with 4 informations, one
of them was for illegal possession of firearms and another
was for multiple attempted murder with direct assault (for
firing an M14 rifle to police men who were about to enter
his house to serve a search warrant). RTC found
Ladjaalam guilty of direct assault with multiple attempted
homicide (not murder since no policeman was hit and
injured) and sentenced a separate offense of illegal
possession of firearms under PD 1866, as amended by
RA 8294.
OSG’s contentions: [Ladjaalam shouldn’t be
convicted of separate offense of illegal possession]

RTC shouldn’t have applied the new law (RA
8294) but PD 1866 (penalized simple illegal
possession of firearms even if another crime is
committed at the same time) because provision
does not cover specific facts of the case since
another crime - direct assault with multiple
unlawful homicides -- was committed.

Since there was no killing in this case, illegal
possession cannot be deemed as an aggravating
circumstance under the third paragraph of the
provision.
RTC’s contentions:[Should be convicted of a
separate offense]

Second paragraph’s (see top) proviso (no other
crime), refers only to homicide or murder, in both
164
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO

of which illegal possession of firearms is an
aggravating circumstance.
In other words, if a crime other than murder or
homicide is committed, a person may still be
convicted of illegal possession of firearms. In this
case, the other crime committed was direct
assault with multiple attempted homicide; hence,
the trial court found appellant guilty of illegal
possession of firearms.
ISSUE (topic): Whose contentions are correct [W/N illegal
possession of firearms is a separate offense when
coupled with direct assault with multiple attempted
homicide] OR more specifically [W/N the proviso in the
second paragraph
RATIO:
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
paragraph. Verily, where the law does not
distinguish, neither should the SC.
NOTE: SC knows that this ruling exonerates Ladjaalam
from illegal possession of an M-14 rifle, an offense which
normally carries a penalty heavier than that for direct
assault. It even contemplated a situation where the
accused may evade conviction for illegal possession of
firearms by using such weapons in committing an even
lighter offense, like alarm and scandal or slight physical
injuries. But the Courts do not have discretion to question
the wisdom behind the language of RA 8294. The matter
should be addressed to Congress.
ENDING: (in relation to topic) Ladjaalam charged with
direct assault and multiple attempted homicide with the
use of a weapon lang (no separate offense nor
aggravating circumstance)
BOTH WRONG (eyng?)
A simple reading thereof shows that if an unlicensed
firearm is used in the commission of any crime, there can
be no separate offense of simple illegal possession of
firearms. Hence, if the “other crime” is murder or homicide,
illegal possession of firearms becomes merely an
aggravating circumstance, not a separate offense. Since
direct assault with multiple attempted homicide was
committed in this case, appellant can no longer be held
liable for illegal possession of firearms. Moreover, penal
laws are construed liberally in favor of the accused and
the plain meaning of RA 8294’s simple language is most
favorable to Lamjaalam. Since the crime committed was
direct assault and not homicide or murder, illegal
possession of firearms cannot be deemed an aggravating
circumstance.
OSG’s contentions:

Crime was committed on September 24, 1997,
while RA 8294 took effect on July 6, 1997.
Therefore, when crime was committed, PD
1866’s provision, which justified a conviction for
illegal possession of firearms separate from any
other crime, was amended by RA 8294 which
contained the specific proviso that “no other
crime was committed.”

The criminal case for homicide [was] not before
the SC for consideration (not those appealed)
RTC’s contentions:

Limiting the proviso in the second paragraph to
only murder and homicide is not justified. If the
intention of the law in the second paragraph were
to refer only to homicide and murder, it should
have expressly said so, as it did in the third
J. Panganiban’s opening statement:
Republic Act No. 8294 penalizes simple illegal possession
of firearms, provided that the person arrested committed
“no other crime.” Furthermore, if the person is held liable
for murder or homicide, illegal possession of firearms is an
aggravating circumstance, but not a separate
offense. Hence, where an accused was convicted of direct
assault with multiple attempted homicide for firing an
unlicensed M-14 rifle at several policemen who were
about to serve a search warrant, he cannot be held guilty
of the separate offense of illegal possession of
firearms. Neither can such unlawful act be considered to
have aggravated the direct assault.
Personal Opinion: Kalokohan yung law. (Thesis topicable?)
Crime charged with Illegal
Possession of Firearm

Murder

homicide
In connection with:

Rebellion,

Sedition,

Iinsurrection or

Attempted
coup
de'etat

Any other crime
Effect
Aggravating
Circumstance
Absorbed
Accused
will
be
prosecuted only
for the committed
crime without
any effect for the
unlicensed firearm
165
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
PEOPLE v. SABADAO
Facts: Defendants Sabadao, Valdez, Mayo, and Abangon
were accused of robbery with homicide and illegal
possession of firearm. Armed with loaded guns, they
entered RCBC in Ilocos Norte and ordered that the vault
be opened. Peace officers arrived (due to the burglar
alarm) and a shoot-out ensued. One police officer and
one security guard were shot and died as a result. Aside
from the 4, there was a fifth robber (but he was shot and
died after). The accused were able to escape with
P4,200. Valdez said he was in RCBC to solicit funds for a
seminar workshop while Sabadaoput up the defense of
alibi.
The RTC found them guilty of robbery with
homicide. It found that conspiracy took place because of
their previously designed scheme of entry and plan of
operation.
The crime was also attended by the
aggravating circumstance of band, having been
perpetrated by 4 armed malefactors who acted together in
the commission of the crime.
Before the SC, they argue that they were not
adequately identified s the perpetrators, claiming that
there was no clear and convincing proof that either of
them caused the death of the victims, and prosecution
was not able to establish who actually shot who. Plus, it
should have been attempted robbery only because they
were not able to perform all the acts of execution, i.e. that
the prosecution were not able to concretely establish that
they were able to take the money away.
Issue: Guilty? – YES
Ratio: The rule is well-established that whenever homicide
has been committed as a consequence of or on the
occasion of the robbery, all those who took part as
principals in the robbery will also be held guilty as
principals of the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide although they did not actually take part in the
homicide, unless it clearly appears that they endeavored
to prevent the homicide. Further, conspiracy can be
inferred from the acts of the malefactors before, during
and after the commission of the crime which are indicative
of a joint purpose, concerted action, and concurrence of
sentiments. In this case, their cooperative acts toward
their criminal objective render them equally liable as
conspirators:
Valdez gained foothold by holding the manager
and one of the two security guards captive. Further
deployment of reinforcement is shown by the concerted
th
entry of 2 or more of the conspirators follow by the 4 to
complete the strength of force that constituted conspiracy.
With this in place, the implementation of the plan of action
then started with the taking of valuables first, divesting the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
2 security guards of their firearms to weaken the capability
of the captives and then thereafter, effecting their final
mission, which was the grabbing of bundles of cash and
the opening of the vault. This taking of the cash by the
th
dead robber and then thereafter by the 4 robber and the
taking of the firearms completed the act of robbery.
PEOPLE v. ESTEBAN DOMACYONG (et.al)
[Doctrine: Unlicensed firearm]
(Note: this is one of the cases which Sir would like us to
criticize or compare with the other decisions)
FACTS: (Penned by Justice Puno). The accused in this
case were charged with the crime of robbery with
homicide. The information alleged that the accused were
conspiring, confederating and mutually aiding one another,
with intent to gain and being then armed with guns, and by
means of violence and intimidation, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously take, rob and carry away cash money from the
Victoria Supermart,; that on the occasion and by reason of
said robbery(,) and for the purpose of enabling them to
take, steal, rob and carry away the said amount of
money(,) the accused willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
and with intent to kill, engaged responding policemen and
law enforcing agents in a shootout, resulting to death and
grave injuries to some people in the vicinity. Accused
Domacyong and Paleyan were also separately charged
with the crime of Violation of P.D. No. 1866 (Illegal
Possession of Firearm and Ammunition).
ISSUE: Whether or not accused should be charged
separately for the crime of illegal possession of firearms?
HELD: No.
We now come to appellants guilt for the crime of
illegal possession of firearms. The trial court separately
convicted appellants of the crime of violation of Republic
Act No. 82944 amending Presidential Decree No. 1866.
The violation was also appreciated by the trial court to
aggravate their penalty in the crime of robbery with
homicide.
Republic Act No. 8294 provides that if homicide
or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed
firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be
considered as an aggravating circumstance. We have
4 AN ACT AMENDING THE PROVISIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL
DECREE NO. 1866, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "CODIFYING
THE
LAWS
ON
ILLEGAL/UNLAWFUL
POSSESSION,
MANUFACTURE,
DEALING
IN,
ACQUISITION
OR
DISPOSITION OF FIREARMS, AMMUNITION OR EXPLOSIVES
OR INSTRUMENTS USED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF
FIREARMS, AMMUNITION OR EXPLOSIVES, AND IMPOSING
STIFFER PENALTIES FOR CERTAIN VIOLATIONS THEREOF,
AND FOR RELEVANT PURPOSES."
166
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
consistently ruled that if an unlicensed firearm is used in
the commission of any other crime, there can be no
separate offense of simple illegal possession of
firearms. Thus, a simple reading thereof (R.A. No. 8294)
shows that if an unlicensed firearm is used in the
commission of any crime, there can be no separate
offense of simple illegal possession of firearms. Hence, if
the other crime is murder or homicide, illegal possession
of firearms becomes merely an aggravating circumstance,
not a separate offense. . . .
Moreover, penal laws are construed liberally in
favor of the accused. In this case, the plain meaning of RA
8294's simple language is most favorable to herein
appellant. Verily, no other interpretation is justified, for the
language of the new law demonstrates the legislative
intent to favor the accused.
In the cases at bar, the crime of robbery with
homicide with the use of unlicensed firearms was
committed by appellants. In line with law and
jurisprudence, the use of unlicensed firearms merely
aggravates the crime of robbery with homicide. It does not
constitute a separate crime. Necessarily, the conviction of
appellants for illegal possession of firearms has to be set
aside.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, vs. MARLON
ALBERT DE LEON y HOMO, Appellant.
FACTS:
Accused was found guilty of robbery with homicide of
only one count for robbing 4 gas stations and killing
one security guard. Modus nila ang magpa-gas then
say that their engine won’t start so they’ll ask the gas
boys or the employees to help them push. After
which, they’ll alight and announce a hold-up.
ISSUE: W/N the aggravating circumstance of use of an
unlicensed firearm should be appreciated.
HELD/RATIO: NO.
Generic aggravating circumstances are those that
generally apply to all crimes such as those mentioned in
Article 14, paragraphs No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19
and 20, of the Revised Penal Code. It has the effect of
increasing the penalty for the crime to its maximum period,
but it cannot increase the same to the next higher degree.
It must always be alleged and charged in the information,
and must be proven during the trial in order to be
appreciated. Moreover, it can be offset by an ordinary
mitigating circumstance.
On the other hand, special aggravating
circumstances are those which arise under special
conditions to increase the penalty for the offense to its
maximum period, but the same cannot increase the
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
penalty to the next higher degree. Examples are quasirecidivism under Article 160 and complex crimes under
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. It does not change
the character of the offense charged.64 It must always be
alleged and charged in the information, and must be
proven during the trial in order to be appreciated.65
Moreover, it cannot be offset by an ordinary mitigating
circumstance.
It is clear from the foregoing that the meaning
and effect of generic and special aggravating
circumstances are exactly the same except that in case of
generic aggravating, the same CAN be offset by an
ordinary mitigating circumstance whereas in the case of
special aggravating circumstance, it CANNOT be offset by
an ordinary mitigating circumstance.
Aside from the aggravating circumstances
abovementioned, there is also an aggravating
circumstance provided for under Presidential Decree No.
1866, as amended by Republic Act No. 8294, which is a
special law. Its pertinent provision states:
If homicide or murder is committed with the use
of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed
firearm shall be considered as an aggravating
circumstance.
In interpreting the same provision, the trial court
reasoned that such provision is "silent as to whether it is
generic or qualifying." Thus, it ruled that "when the law is
silent, the same must be interpreted in favor of the
accused." Since a generic aggravating circumstance is
more favorable to petitioner compared to a qualifying
aggravating circumstance, as the latter changes the
nature of the crime and increase the penalty thereof by
degrees, the trial court proceeded to declare that the use
of an unlicensed firearm by the petitioner is to be
considered only as a generic aggravating circumstance.
This interpretation is erroneous, since we already held in
several cases that with the passage of Republic Act No.
8294 on 6 June 1997, the use of an unlicensed firearm in
murder or homicide is now considered as a SPECIAL
aggravating circumstance and not a generic aggravating
circumstance. Republic Act No. 8294 applies to the instant
case since it took effect before the commission of the
crimes in 21 April 1998. Therefore, the use of an
unlicensed firearm by the petitioner in the instant case
should be designated and appreciated as a SPECIAL
aggravating circumstance and not merely a generic
aggravating circumstance.
After a careful study of the records of the present
case, this Court found that the use of unlicensed firearm
was not duly proven by the prosecution. Although
jurisprudence dictates that the existence of the firearm can
be established by mere testimony, the fact that appellant
was not a licensed firearm holder must still be established.
The prosecution failed to present written or testimonial
evidence to prove that appellant did not have a license to
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
carry or own a firearm, hence, the use of unlicensed
firearm as an aggravating circumstance cannot be
appreciated.
PEOPLE V. ABDUL
Facts: In the afternoon of Aug. 31, 1999, after Nestor
Gabuya, after closing his motorcycle and bicycle spare
parts shop, headed home on his bike. Unknown to him,
Abdul Aminola (defendant) and Alimudin Laminda were
observing him. Aminola followed Gabuya. Upon catching
up with Gabuya, Aminola put his arms around Gabuya and
wrestled for the bag Gabuya was carrying. Gabuya
refused to let go of his bag, whereupon Aminola pulled out
a gun and shot him. Gabuya fell to the ground but still
resisted, prompting Aminola to take another shot.
Mike Maitimbang (the other defendant in this
case) then approached and took something from Gabuya.
Maitimbang shot Gabuya behind and fled towards the
direction of eyewitness Oliva. Joel, Gabuya’s caretaker,
gave chase but was fired upon by Maitimbang.Oliva
testified seeing the incident.
Regina, Gabuya’s wife, reported the incident that
same afternoon. Based on her information, Major Migano
formed a team to investigate the crime.
Later that evening, an informant known as
"Abdul" (different from the defendant) told the police that
he witnessed what had happened to Gabuya and could tell
them where the suspects could be found. True enough,
Abdul led Major Migano and his men. A blocking force was
organized while Col. Bernido formed a team to make the
arrests on the suspects.
The following night, Major Migano’s team once
again went to the hideout, where Abdul identified four of
Gabuya’s assailants. One of them, Aminola, was found in
possession of an unlicensed .45 caliber gun with one (1)
magazine and two (2) ammunitions. The following night
Matimbang was also arrested.
Two informations were filed. One was against all
of them for robbing and killing Gabuya, The other one was
against Abdul Aminola only for unlicensed possession of
the gun and the ammo.
The defendants all denied any knowledge of the
crime. They said that they were arrested without warrants
and that they only found out about the charge after the
inquest proceedings.
The RTC found Abdul Aminola and Mike
Matimbiang guilty of robbery with homicide with the
aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm,
applying Section 1 of Republic Act 8294. They were
sentenced to death. The other were acquitted.
The CA affirmed but reduced the penalty to
reclusion perpetua in view of the abolition of the death
penalty.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Issue: Whether or not the defendants were guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime.
Held: Yes. Guilty!
Ratio: Elements of the Crime
The following elements must be established for a
conviction in the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide:
1. The taking of personal property is committed
with violence or intimidation against persons;
2. The property taken belongs to another;
3. The taking is animo lucrandi; and
4. By reason of the robbery or on the occasion
thereof, homicide is committed.
Essential for conviction of robbery with homicide
is proof of a direct relation, an intimate connection
between the robbery and the killing, whether the latter be
prior or subsequent to the former or whether both crimes
are committed at the same time.
The prosecution was able to establish that
accused-appellants committed robbery with homicide
through the totality of their evidence. The first three
elements were established when Oliva testified that he
saw, and positively identified, accused-appellants taking
Gabuya’s property by force and both shooting Gabuya.
Gabuya’s death resulting from their attack proves the last
element of the complex crime as duly confirmed by the
post-mortem report.
Defense of Alibi Unavailing
Accused-appellants cannot avoid liability by way of their
defenses. Alibi is the weakest of all defenses because it is
easy to concoct and difficult to disprove. To establish alibi,
an accused must prove (1) that he was present at another
place at the time the crime was perpetrated; and (2) that it
was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the
crime. Physical impossibility "refers to the distance
between the place where the accused was when the crime
transpired and the place where it was committed, as well
as the facility of access between the two places."
The fact that Aminola’s witness, i.e., SPO2
Lukman, corroborated Aminola’s testimony about not
being at the situs of the crime when Gabuya was robbed
and killed does not, without more, serve to strengthen
Aminola’s alibi. As the appellate court aptly observed,
SPO2 Lukman’s testimony did not prove the physical
impossibility for Aminola to be at the scene of the crime.
SPO2 Lukman did not categorically specify the time he
was with Aminola on the date of the incident. His
testimony did not preclude the possibility of Aminola
perpetrating the crime after their meeting. As the trial court
perceptively observed:
The time interval from Rogan Street to Bonifacio
Street is just five (5) or ten (10) minutes. Such distance
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does not preclude the accused from being at the place of
the crime at the time of its commission. Hence SPO2
Lukman’s testimony could not be given more weight than
prosecution witness Oliva’s testimony.
The defense of Maitimbang, likewise, cannot
overcome the positive identification by Oliva. Under oath,
Oliva testified seeing Maitimbang take Gabuya’s property
and shot Gabuya at the back while already prone on the
ground.
Denial and alibi cannot prevail over the positive and
categorical testimony of the witness identifying a person
as the perpetrator of the crime absent proof of ill motive.
No reason or motive was given for Oliva to falsely testify
against accused-appellants on such a serious crime. As
often noted, the trial court is in a better position to observe
the demeanor and candor of the witnesses and to decide
who is telling the truth.
PEOPLE VS. MENDOZA
Cecilia Mendoza and her 10 year old daughter, Charmaine
Mendoza, attended a birthday party of a relative of Octavio
Mendoza at Mcdo. Later on, Octavio left and went to KFC
and had some beer. When it was time to go home, Cecilia
and Charmaine could not find the accused and so they
decided to leave.
When they arrived home, Cecilia and Octavio
proceeded to the master’s bedroom. Charmaine heard
them quarreling regarding Octavio having left the party.
Suddenly, she heard 3 gunshots. Running out of her room,
Charmaine saw her mother lying on the floor bleeding.
Cecilia bled to death.
The RTC found Octavio guilty of the crime of
parricide and the crime of illegal possession of firearm and
ammunitions.
ISSUE: Whether or not the crime of illegal possession of
firearm must be considered as an aggravating
circumstance instead of a separate crime??? – YES
RULING: Although the prosecution duly established that
the crime of illegal possession of firearm under
Presidential Decree No. 1866 was committed, fortunately
for Octavio, Republic Act No 8294 which took effect on
July 7, 1997 amended the said decree and the law now
merely considers the use of an unlicensed firearm as an
aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide, and not
as a separate offense.
PRINCIPALS
© ALFREDO CHING, Petitioner, vs. SECRETARY OF
JUSTICE, ASST. CITY PROSECUTOR ECILYN
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
BURGOS-VILLAVERT, JUDGE EDGARDO SUDIAM of
the RTC, Manila; RCBC and THE PEOPLE
A corporate officer cannot protect himself behind a
corporation where he is the actual, present and efficient
actor - Chief Justice Earl Warren
Chingwas the Senior VP of Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc.
(PBMI). Sometime in September to October 1980, PBMI,
through Ching, applied with RCBC for the issuance of
commercial letters of credit to finance its importation of
assorted goods. RCBC approved the application, and
irrevocable letters of credit were issued in favor of Ching.
The goods were purchased and delivered in trust to PBMI.
Petitioner
signed
13
trust
receipts as
surety,
acknowledging delivery of various goods
Under the receipts, Chingagreed to hold the
goods in trust for the said bank, with authority to sell but
not by way of conditional sale, pledge or otherwise; and in
case such goods were sold, to turn over the proceeds
thereof as soon as received, to apply against the relative
acceptances and payment of other indebtedness to
respondent bank. In case the goods remained unsold
within the specified period, the goods were to be returned
to respondent bank without any need of demand. Thus,
said "goods, manufactured products or proceeds thereof,
whether in the form of money or bills, receivables, or
accounts separate and capable of identification" were
respondent bank’s property.
When the trust receipts matured, Chingfailed to
return the goods to RCBC, or to return their value
amounting toP6,940,280.66 despite demands. Thus, the
bank filed a criminal complaint for estafaagainst Ching.
Petitioner posits that, except for his being the
Senior Vice-President of the PBMI, there is no iota of
evidence that he was a participescrimines in violating the
trust receipts sued upon; and that his liability, if at all, is
purely civil because he signed the said trust receipts
merely as a xxx surety and not as the entrustee.
The RTC granted the Motion to Quash the
Informations. On February 27, 1995, respondent bank refiled the criminal complaint for estafa against petitioner.
The City Prosecutor ruled that there was no probable
cause. RCBC appealed the resolution. On July 13, 1999,
the Secretary of Justice issued Resolution granting the
petition and reversing the assailed resolution of the City
Prosecutor.
According to the Justice Secretary, the petitioner,
as Senior Vice-President of PBMI, executed the 13 trust
receipts and as such, was the one responsible for the
offense. Thus, the execution of said receipts is enough to
indict the petitioner as the official responsible for violation
of P.D. No. 115. Also, respondent bound himself not only
as a corporate official of PBMI but also as its surety.
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CA: Ching, being the Senior Vice-President of
PBMI and the signatory to the trust receipts, is criminally
liable for violation of P.D. No. 115
ISSUE: Whether there was sufficient babsis to continue
prosecution against Ching.
SC: "x xx it is apropos to quote section 13 of PD 115
which states in part, viz:
‘xxx If the violation or offense is committed by a
corporation, partnership, association or other judicial
entities, the penalty provided for in this Decree shall be
imposed upon the directors, officers, employees or other
officials or persons therein responsible for the offense,
without prejudice to the civil liabilities arising from the
criminal offense.’
There is no dispute that it was the respondent,
who as senior vice-president of PBM, executed the
thirteen (13) trust receipts. As such, the law points to him
as the official responsible for the offense. Since a
corporation cannot be proceeded against criminally
because it cannot commit crime in which personal
violence or malicious intent is required, criminal action is
limited to the corporate agents guilty of an act amounting
to a crime and never against the corporation itself (West
Coast Life Ins. Co. vs. Hurd, 27 Phil. 401; Times, [I]nc. v.
Reyes, 39 SCRA 303). Thus, the execution by respondent
of said receipts is enough to indict him as the official
responsible for violation of PD 115.
Though the entrustee is a corporation,
nevertheless, the law specifically makes the officers,
employees or other officers or persons responsible for the
offense, without prejudice to the civil liabilities of such
corporation and/or board of directors, officers, or other
officials or employees responsible for the offense. The
rationale is that such officers or employees are vested with
the authority and responsibility to devise means necessary
to ensure compliance with the law and, if they fail to do so,
are held criminally accountable; thus, they have a
responsible share in the violations of the law.
If the crime is committed by a corporation or
other juridical entity, the directors, officers, employees or
other officers thereof responsible for the offense shall be
charged and penalized for the crime, precisely because of
the nature of the crime and the penalty therefor. A
corporation cannot be arrested and imprisoned; hence,
cannot be penalized for a crime punishable by
imprisonment.However, a corporation may be charged
and prosecuted for a crime if the imposable penalty is fine.
Even if the statute prescribes both fine and imprisonment
as penalty, a corporation may be prosecuted and, if found
guilty, may be fined.
A necessary part of the definition of every crime
is the designation of the author of the crime upon whom
the penalty is to be inflicted. When a criminal statute
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
designates an act of a corporation or a crime and
prescribes punishment therefor, it creates a criminal
offense which, otherwise, would not exist and such can be
committed only by the corporation. But when a penal
statute does not expressly apply to corporations, it does
not create an offense for which a corporation may be
punished. On the other hand, if the State, by statute,
defines a crime that may be committed by a corporation
but prescribes the penalty therefor to be suffered by the
officers, directors, or employees of such corporation or
other persons responsible for the offense, only such
individuals will suffer such penalty. Corporate officers or
employees, through whose act, default or omission the
corporation commits a crime, are themselves individually
guilty of the crime.
The principle applies whether or not the crime
requires the consciousness of wrongdoing. It applies to
those corporate agents who themselves commit the crime
and to those, who, by virtue of their managerial positions
or other similar relation to the corporation, could be
deemed responsible for its commission, if by virtue of their
relationship to the corporation, they had the power to
prevent the act.Moreover, all parties active in promoting a
crime, whether agents or not, are principals. Whether such
officers or employees are benefited by their delictual acts
is not a touchstone of their criminal liability. Benefit is not
an operative fact.
In this case, petitioner signed the trust receipts in
question. He cannot, thus, hide behind the cloak of the
separate corporate personality of PBMI. In the words of
PEOPLE VS. BULU CHOWDURY
Facts: Bulu Chowdury and Josephine Ong were charged
with the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale. The
prosecution
presented
four
witnesses:
private
complainants Aser Sasis, Estrella Calleja and Melvin
Miranda, and Labor Employment Officer Abbelyn Caguitla.
Sasis testified that he first met Chowdury when
he applied with Craftrade Overseas Developers
(Craftrade) for employment as factory worker in South
Korea. Chowdury, a consultant of Craftrade, conducted
the interview. During the interview, Chowdury informed
him about the requirements and required him to undergo a
seminar. He advised him that placement would be on a
first-come-first-serve basis and charged a processing fee
of P25k. Sasis completed all the requirements and paid a
total amount of P16k. Sasis further said that he went to the
office of Craftrade three times to follow up his application
but he was informed that he would no longer be deployed
for employment abroad. This prompted him to withdraw
his payment but he could no longer find Chowdury. After
two unsuccessful attempts to contact him, he decided to
file with the POEA a case for illegal recruitment against
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Chowdury. Upon verification with the POEA, he learned
that Craftrade's license had already expired and has not
been renewed and that Chowdury, in his personal
capacity, was not a licensed recruiter. Similar facts were
given by the other witnesses, Calleja and Miranda. Labor
Employment Officer Caguitla of the Licensing Branch of
the POEA testified that Chowdury and his co-accused,
Ong, were not licensed recruiters nor were they connected
with any licensed agency.
For his defense, Chowdury testified that he
worked as interviewer at Craftrade. As a mere employee,
he only followed the instructions given by his superiors. He
never received money from the applicants and that he
already resigned from Craftrade. Citing the second
sentence of the last paragraph of Section 6 of RA 8042,
accused-appellant argues that the ones who should be
held liable for the offense are the officers having control,
management and direction of the agency.
The trial court found Chowdury guilty of illegal
recruitment in large scale.
Issue: WON accused-appellant knowingly and intentionally
participated in the commission of the crime charged. -NO!
The last paragraph of Section 6 of Republic Act (RA) 8042
states who shall be held liable for the offense, thus: "The
persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the
principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of
juridical persons, the officers having control, management
or direction of their business shall be liable."
he Revised Penal Code which supplements the
law on illegal recruitment defines who are the principals,
accomplices and accessories (Art. 17, 18,19).
An employee of a company or corporation
engaged in illegal recruitment may be held liable as
principal, together with his employer, if it is shown that he
actively and consciously participated in illegal recruitment.
It has been held that the existence of the corporate entity
does not shield from prosecution the corporate agent who
knowingly and intentionally causes the corporation to
commit a crime. The culpability of the employee therefore
hinges on his knowledge of the offense and his active
participation in its commission. Where it is shown that the
employee was merely acting under the direction of his
superiors and was unaware that his acts constituted a
crime, he may not be held criminally liable for an act done
for and in behalf of his employer.
At the time of the interview, appellant was
employed as interviewer of Craftrade which was then
operating under a temporary authority given by the POEA
pending renewal of its license. The evidence at hand
shows that accused-appellant carried out his duties as
interviewer of Craftrade believing that the agency was duly
licensed by the POEA and he, in turn, was duly authorized
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
by his agency to deal with the applicants in its behalf.
Accused-appellant in fact confined his actions to his job
description. Hence, we hold that the prosecution failed to
prove beyond reasonable doubt accused-appellant's
conscious and active participation in the commission of
the crime of illegal recruitment. His conviction, therefore, is
without basis.
This is not to say that private complainants are
left with no remedy for the wrong committed against them.
The DOJ may still file a complaint against the officers
having control, management or direction of the business of
Craftrade so long as the offense has not yet prescribed.
PEOPLE V. ROGER TULIN
MT Tabangao is a cargo vessel owned by PNOC. It was
sailing near the coast of Mindoro loaded with barrels of
kerosene, gasoline, and diesel oil with a total value of
40.4M. The vessel was suddenly boarded by 7 fully armed
pirates (accused in the case – Emilio Changco, Cecilio
Changco, Tulin, Loyola, Infante, etc.). they detained and
took control of the vessel. The name MT Tabangao and
the PNOC logo were painted over with black. Then it was
painted with the name Galilee. The ship crew was forced
to sail to Singapore.
In Singapore, the ship was awaiting another
vessel that did not arrive. Instead, the ship went back to
Batangas Philippines and remained at sea. Days later, it
went back to Singapore. This time, another vessel called
the Navi Pride anchored beside it. Another accused,
Cheong San Hiong, supervised the Navi’s crew and
received the cargo on board MT Tabangao/Galilee.
After the transfer of goods were completed, MT
Tabangao/Galilee went back to the Philippines and the
original crew members were released by the pirates in
batches. The crew was ordered not to tell authorities of
what happened.
The chief engineer of the crew, however,
reported the incident to the coast guard. Afterwards, a
series of arrests were effected in different places. An
information charging the accused with qualified piracy or
violation of the PD 532 – Piracy in the Philippine Waters –
was filed against the accused.
As it turns out, Navi Pride captain, Hiong, was
employed with Navi Marine Services ( a Singaporean firm,
I think). Before the seizure of the MT Tabangon, Navi
Marine was dealing for the first time with Paul Gan, a
Singaporean broker who offered to sell bunker oil to the
former. When the transaction pushed through, Hiong was
assigned to supervise a ship to ship transfer. He was told
that the Galilee would be making the transfer, so Navi
Pride ship-sided with Galilee and the transfer was
effected. Paul Gan received the payment. Upon arrival in
Singapore, Hiong was asked again to transact another
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transfer of oil. The same procedure was followed. Hiong
then went to the Philippines to arrange another transfer
with Changco – the pirates head. This was how Hiong was
arrested by the NBI agents.
All the accused put up denials and alibis. The trial
court, with ROMEO CALLEJO deciding, ruled that the
accused were all guilty.
ISSUE: w/n the accused are guilty of qualified piracy –
YES!
RULING: [only the important part for crim]
Hiong argues that he cannot be convicted under PD 534
or Art 122 of the RPC as amended, since both laws punish
piracy committed in Philippine waters. Hiong also
contends that the court never acquired jurisdiction over
him since the crime was committed outside Philippine
waters.
Art. 122 of the RPC (piracy in general and mutiny
in the high seas) provided that piracy must be committed
in the high seas by any person not a member of its
complement nor a passenger thereof. It was amended by
RA 7659, which broadened the law to include offenses
committed in Philippine waters. PD 532 on the other hand,
embraces any person, including a passenger or member
of the complement of said vessel in the Philippine waters.
Passenger or not, member of the complement or not, any
person is covered by the law. No conflict exists among the
mentioned laws, they exist harmoniously as separate
laws.
As regards the contention that the trial court did not
acquire jurisdiction over the person of accused-appellant
Hiong since the crime was committed outside Philippine
waters, suffice it to state that unquestionably, the attack on
and seizure of "M/T Tabangao" (renamed "M/T Galilee" by
the pirates) and its cargo were committed in Philippine
waters, although the captive vessel was later brought by
the pirates to Singapore where its cargo was off-loaded,
transferred, and sold. And such transfer was done under
accused-appellant Hiong's direct supervision. Although
Presidential Decree No. 532 requires that the attack and
seizure of the vessel and its cargo be committed in
Philippine waters, the disposition by the pirates of the
vessel and its cargo is still deemed part of the act of
piracy, hence, the same need not be committed in
Philippine waters.
Moreover, piracy falls under Title One of Book Two
of the Revised Penal Code. As such, it is an exception to
the rule on territoriality in criminal law. The same principle
applies even if Hiong, in the instant case, were charged,
not with a violation of qualified piracy under the penal code
but under a special law, Presidential Decree No. 532
which penalizes piracy in Philippine waters. Verily,
Presidential Decree No. 532 should be applied with more
force here since its purpose is precisely to discourage and
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
prevent piracy in Philippine waters (People v. Catantan,
278 SCRA 761 [1997]).
The attack on and the seizure of MT Tabangao and
its cargo were committed in Philippine waters, although
the captive vessel was later brought by the pirates to
Singapore, where its cargo was off-loaded, transferred
and sold. Such transfer was done under Hiong’s
supervision. Although the disposition by the pirates of
the vessel and its cargo was not done in Philippine
waters, it is still deemed part of the same act. Piracy
falls under Title 1 of Book 2 of the RPC. It is an
exception to the rule on territoriality in criminal law.
The same principle applies to the case, even if Hiong
is charged with violation of a special penal law,
instead of the RPC. Regardless of the law penalizing
piracy, it remains to be a reprehensible crime against
the whole world.
PEOPLE VS ISABELO PUNO Y GUEVARRA
Facts: Isabelo Puno is the driver of Mr. Socorro. While Mr.
Socorro was allegedly in Davao for a local election,
Isabelo arrived at Mrs. Socorro’s bakeshop to tell her that
her own driver had to go to Pampanga for an emergency.
Hence, Isabelo will take his place.
Isabelo was driving the Mercedes Benz to bring
Mrs. Socorro home Suddenly, accused Enrique Amurao
(nephew of Isabelo) boarded the car beside Isabelo and
poked a gun at Mrs. Socorro. An initial P7K was taken
from her which was in her bag. They demanded P100K
more. The whole time, the gun was pointed at Mrs.
Socorro’s neck. They then asked her to issue a check.
After drafting 3 checks (2 checks for P30K and 1 check for
P40K).
Isabelo kept on driving the car until Mrs. Socorro
jumped out and then ran. Both Isabelo and Enrique were
caught the next day when they were trying to encash the
checks they took. An information of kidnapping for ransom
was filed. Defense argues that it should be simple robbery
under Art294 of the RPC.
TC: guilty of violation of PD532 (Anti Pirac and
Anti Highway Robbery Law of 1974). SolGen agrees with
this based on the observation that PD532 modified art267
of the RPB.
Issue: What crime was committed? Robbery under
Art.294!
Held: The rule in crim law is that the motive and specific
intent of the accused in perpetrating the acts complained
of are invaluable aids at arriving at a correct determination
of the crime for which said accused should be held liable.
Thus, if murder was committed in furtherance of rebellion
then rebellion absorbs murder. Whereas, if murder was
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committed because the accused has his own personal
motive, rebellion and murder would constitute separate
offenses.
In this case, there is no showing that the accused
had any motive other than to extort money under the
compulsion of threats or intimidation. This was admitted
when Isabelo admitted to Mrs. Socorro that he needed
money because he had an ulcer and that he tried getting
advances from the office to no avail.
For the crime of kidnapping to exist, the rule is
that there must be an actual intent to deprive the offended
party of her liberty. This is different from the situation
wherein the restraint of freedom was only incidental to the
commission of another offense which was primarily
intended by the offenders. Thus, as early as US vs
Ancheta, it was held that, even if the victims were detained
or forcibly taken but the primary and ultimate purpose was
to kill them, the incidental deprivation of liberty does not
constitute kidnapping or serious illegal detention. In this
case, the testimonies of the accused show that they had
no intention to deprive Mrs. Socorro of her liberty.
There was no ransom either. Ransom is the
money, price or consideration paid or demanded for
redemption of a captured person or payment for release
from captivity. Here, the complainant readily gave the case
and checks when demanded from her at gun point. These
were merely amounts involuntarily surrendered by Mrs.
Socorro on the occasion of the robbery. Thus, while the
crime committed was indeed robbery, it is not the highway
robbery under PD532.
Contrary to what the SolGen postulates, PD532
does not modify Art267 (Kidnapping and serious illegal
detention). Instead, what it modifies is Art306 and 307 on
Brigandage. This is clear form the fact that under the PD,
highway robbery is synonymously used with brigandage.
This is in fact consistent with the SC’s earlier rulings that
highway robbers and brigands are synonymous.
Brigandage is indiscriminate highway robbery
(formation of a band by more than 3armed persons for the
purpose of committing robbery in the highway, or
kidnapping persons for the purpose of extortion or to
obtain ransom or for any other purpose to be attained by
means of force and violence, they shall be deemed
highway robbers or brigands --- art.306.) whereas, if the
purpose is only a particular robbery, then the crime is only
robbery.
Note also that PD532 punishes an act as
brigandage or highway robbery only when it is perpetrated
against any person/s indiscriminately (meaning: they don’t
choose who they will rob. Anyone will do. Whereas clause
of PD532 says, “committed upon the persons and
properties of innocent and defenceless inhabitants who
travel from one place to another”) as compared to acts of
robbery wherein the victim is predetermined --- as in this
case.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
It is true that PD532 introduced some changes to
Art306 and 307 of the RPC: increase of penalties; PD
does not require that there be at least 4armed persons
forming a band of robbers; the presumption that accused
are brigands if they use unlicensed firearms has been
removed in the decree. BUT, one thing has remained
unchanged and that is the definition of brigandage in the
code and in the PD --- acts are committed not against a
specific victim but against any and potential victim on the
highway.
Further, it is an absurd argument of the TC that
just because the robbery was committed on the highway it
is already covered by the PD. Thus, the crime committed
here is simple robbery. Accused have acted in conspiracy
as shown by their acts. Abuse of confidence also applied
with no mitigating circumstance. No procedural obstacle to
convict even if information was kidnapping for ransom
because simple robbery is necessarily included in
kidnapping with ransom.
FILOTEO VS. SANDIGANBAYAN
One morning, while the delivery mail van was traversing
McArthur Highway to deliver several mails in the Bulacan
area, an old blue Mercedes Benz overtook their van and
cut across its path. Eventually, armed men took over the
van after they introduced themselves as police officers.
The victims were ordered to stay at the back of the van
while it was driven in circles until the van stopped in
Caloocan. Eventually, petitioner and 10 others were
apprehended and were charged with robbery-in-band
(hijacking).
CA: they are guilty of brigandage and not
robbery
“Accused herein are charged with the violation of
PD 532. Under said decree, with respect to the highway
robbery aspect, the offense is committed on a “Philippine
Highway” which under Section 2 (c) thereof has been
defined as “any road, street, passage, highway and
bridges or any part thereof, or railway or railroad within the
Philippines, used by persons or vehicles, or locomotives or
trains for the movement or circulation of persons or
transportation of goods, articles or property or both”, while
under
Section
2
(e)
thereof
“Highway
Robbery/Brigandage” has been defined as the “the seizure
of any person for ransom, extortion or other unlawful
purposes or the taking away of property of another by
means of violence against or intimidation of persons nor
force upon things or other unlawful means, committed by
any person on any Philippine Highway”.
The offense described in the information and
established by the evidence presented by the prosecution
properly falls within the ambit of the aforesaid special law.
Therein, it was conclusively proven that a postal van
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containing mail matters, including checks and warrants,
was hi-jacked along the national highway in Bulacan by
the accused, with the attendant use of force, violence and
intimidation against the three (3) postal employees who
were occupants thereof, resulting in the unlawful taking
and asportation of the entire van and its contents
consisting of mail matters. Also the evidence further
showed that the crime was committed by the accused who
were PC soldiers, policeman (sic) and private individuals
in conspiracy with their co-accused Castro and Escalada
who were postal employees and who participated in the
planning of the crime. Accordingly, all the essential
requisites to constitute a consummated offense under the
law in point are present.”
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
From the above, it is clear that a finding of
brigandage or highway robbery involves not just the locus
of the crime or the fact that more than three persons
perpetrated it. It is essential to prove that the outlaws
were purposely organized not just for one act of robbery
but for several indiscriminate commissions thereof. In the
present case, there had been no evidence presented that
the accused were a band of outlaws organized for the
purpose of “depredation upon the persons and properties
of innocent and defenseless inhabitants who travel from
one place to another.” What was duly proven in the
present case is one isolated hijacking of a postal van.
There was also no evidence of any previous attempts at
similar robberies by the accused to show the
“indiscriminate” commission thereof.
Issue: are they guilty of brigandage or robbery?
SC: they are guilty of ROBBERY and not brigandage.
The CA labored under the belief that because the taking or
robbery was perpetrated on a national highway (McArthur
Highway), ergo, PD 532, otherwise known as the AntiPiracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974, must have
been the statute violated. Such reasoning has already
been debunked by this Court in the case of People vs.
Isabelo Puno, where it was ruled in unmistakable
language that it takes more than the situs of the robbery to
bring it within the ambit of PD 532.
“The following salient distinctions between
brigandage and robbery are succinctly explained in a
treatise on the subject and are of continuing validity:
‘The main object of the Brigandage Law is to
prevent the formation of bands of robbers. The heart of
the offense consists in the formation of a band by more
than three armed persons for the purpose indicated in art.
306. Such formation is sufficient to constitute a violation
of art. 306. It would not be necessary to show, in a
prosecution under it, that a member or members of the
band actually committed robbery or kidnapping or any
other purpose attainable by violent means. The crime is
proven when the organization and purpose of the band are
shown to be such as are contemplated by art. 306. On the
other hand, if robbery is committed by a band, whose
members were not primarily organized for the purpose of
committing robbery or kidnapping, etc., the crime would
not be brigandage, but only robbery. Simply because
robbery was committed by a band of more than three
armed persons, it would not follow that it was committed
by a band of brigands. In the Spanish text of art. 306, it is
required that the band ‘sala a los campos para dedicarse
a robar.’
In fine, the purpose of brigandage, is inter alia,
indiscriminate highway robbery. If the purpose is only a
particular robbery, the crime is only robbery, or robbery in
band if there are at least four armed participants.
ASTORGA V. PEOPLE
The Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the
DENR of Tacloban sent a team to the island Daram to
conduct intelligence gathering and forest protection
operations regarding illegal logging. The team was
composed of 5 EEs of DENR and escorted by 2
policemen.
They chanced upon the several yacht-like boats
being constructed in barangays in Daram. Astorga was
present at one. When one of the team members (Elpidio
Simon) approached Astorga to explain their purpose, he
was twice slapped hard on the shoulder and the Mayor
said in their dialect: I can make you swim back to
Tacloban. Dont you know that I can box? I can box. Dont
you know that I can declare this a misencounter? Mayor
Astorga then ordered for reinforcements and minutes later,
a banca with 10 men, dressed in fatigue uniforms and
armed with guns, arrived. They surrounded the DENR
team and pointed their guns at the team members. Simon
again tried to explain their purpose and took out a
handheld radio to contact DENR Catbalogan. Mayor
Astorga then forcibly grabbed the radio, and said Its better
if you have no radio so that your office would not know
your whereabouts and so that you cannot ask for help. He
again slapped Simon hard and said If you are tough guys
in Leyte, do not bring it to Samar because I will not
tolerate it here. If you really want to confiscate anything,
you start with the big-time. If you confiscate the boats of
Figueroa I will surrender mine. (Figueroa is also an owner
of several boats) When the team asked to leave, he said,
you cannot go home now because I will bring you to
Daram. We will have many things to discuss there.
The team was brought to a house where they
were fed dinner. They were allowed to go around, but not
leave the barangay. They were only allowed to leave at
2am the next day.
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The team filed a complaint, and the Ombudsman
filed an information against Astorga (Mayor of Daram,
Samar) and his men for arbitrary detention. During trial,
the complainants executed an affidavit of desistance. The
Sandiganbayan still found Astorga guilty of the crime.
Issue: Is astorga guilty? – YES!
Elements of arbitrary detention were all met.
1. Offender is a public officer or EE
2. He detains a person
3. The detention is without legal grounds
Clearly there was no legal ground for the detention. In fact
Astorga admitted that he was only motivated by instinct of
self-preservation.
Was there actual detention? Yes. The prevailing
jurisprudence on kidnapping and illegal detention is
that the curtailment of the victims liberty need not
involve any physical restraint upon the victims
person. If the acts and actuations of the accused can
produce such fear in the mind of the victim sufficient
to paralyze the latter, to the extent that the victim is
compelled to limit his own actions and movements in
accordance with the wishes of the accused, then the
victim is, for all intents and purposes, detained
against his will.
Here, the restraint resulting from fear is evident.
In spite of their pleas, complainants were not allowed to go
home. This refusal was followed by the call for
reinforcements, all armed with military-issue rifles, who
proceeded to encircle the team, weapons pointed at the
38
complainants
and
the
witnesses. Given
such
circumstances, it was not safe to refuse Mayor Astorga’s
orders. It was not just the presence of the armed men, but
also the evident effect these gunmen had on the actions of
the team which proves that fear was indeed instilled in the
minds of the team members, to the extent that they felt
compelled to stay in the barangay. The intent to prevent
the departure of the complainants and witnesses against
their will is thus clear.
Re: the Joint Affidavit of Desistance executed by
the complainants, it is merely an additional ground to
buttress the defenses of the accused, but not the sole
consideration that can result in acquittal. There must be
other circumstances which, when coupled with the
retraction or desistance, create doubts as to the truth of
the testimony given by the witnesses at the trial and
accepted by the judge. Here, there are no such
circumstances.
MILO V. SALANGA
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
FACTS: On October 12, 1972, an information for Arbitrary
Detention was filed against Juan Tuvera, Sr., Tomas
Mendoza and Rodolfo Mangsat, in the Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan. On April 4, 1973, Tuvera filed a
motion to quash the information on the ground that the
facts charged do not constitute an offense and that the
proofs adduced at the investigation are not sufficient to
support the filing of the information. The information reads
as follows:
“... accused Juan Tuvera, Sr., a barrio captain,
with the aid of some other private persons, namely Juan
Tuvera, Jr., Bertillo Bataoil and one Dianong, maltreated
one Armando Valdez by hitting with butts of their guns and
fists blows and immediately thereafter, without legal
grounds, with deliberate intent to deprive said Armando
Valdez of his constitutional liberty, accused Barrio captain
Juan Tuvera, Sr., Cpl. Tomas Mendoza and Pat. Rodolfo
Mangsat, members of the police force of Mangsat,
Pangasinan conspiring, confederating and helping one
another, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, lodge and lock said Armando Valdez inside
the municipal jail of Manaoag, Pangasinan for about
eleven (11) hours.”
Finding that respondent Juan Tuvera, Sr. was not
a public officer who can be charged with Arbitrary
Detention, respondent Judge Salanga granted the motion
to quash. Tuvera contends that the elements are lacking.
The public officers liable for Arbitrary Detention must be
vested with authority to detain or order the detention of
persons accused of a crime. Such public officers are the
policemen and other agents of the law, the judges or
mayors. He essentially says that he is not a public officer.
It was asserted that if Armando Valdez was ever
jailed and detained more than six (6) hours, Tuvera has
nothing to do with it because he is not in any way
connected with the Police Force of Manaoag, Pangasinan.
Granting that it was Tuvera, Sr., who ordered Valdez
arrested, it was not he who detained and jailed him
because he has no such authority vested in him as a mere
Barrio Captain of Barrio Baguinay, Manaoag, Pangasinan.
ISSUE: W/N Tuvera, Sr., a barrio captain is a public officer
who can be liable for the crime of Arbitrary Detention?
YES, THUS HE CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR
ARBITRARY DETENTION.
HELD: Arbitrary Detention is committed by a public officer
who, without legal grounds, detains a person. The
elements of this crime are the following: That the offender
is a public officer or employee, That he detains a person,
That the detention is without legal grounds.
Long before Presidential Decree 299 was signed
into law, barrio lieutenants (who were later named barrio
captains and now barangay captains) were recognized as
persons in authority. In various cases, this Court deemed
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them as persons in authority, and convicted them of
Arbitrary Detention.
One need not be a police officer to be chargeable
with Arbitrary Detention. It is accepted that other public
officers like judges and mayors, who act with abuse of
their functions, may be guilty of this crime. A perusal of
the powers and function vested in mayors would show that
they are similar to those of a barrio captain except that in
the case of the latter, his territorial jurisdiction is smaller.
Having the same duty of maintaining peace and order,
both must be and are given the authority to detain or order
detention. Noteworthy is the fact that even private
respondent Tuvera himself admitted that with the aid of his
rural police, he as a barrio captain, could have led the
arrest of petitioner Valdez.
From the foregoing, there is no doubt that a
barrio captain, like private respondent Tuvera, Sr., can be
held liable for Arbitrary Detention.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
PARULAN V. DIRECTOR OF PRISONS
Doctrine: Evasion of service of sentence is a continuing
crime. As long as the crime subsists, the offender may be
arrested without warrant, at any place where he may be
found. He may also be tried by the courts of that place.
Facts: Ricardo Parulan was serving a sentence of life
imprisonment, which was then commuted to 20 years, in
Muntinlupa. He was transferred to a military barracks in
Fort Bonifacio (situated in Makati). He escaped and was
recaptured in Manila. As a result, he was prosecuted for
the crime of evasion of service of sentence. The CFI of
Manila adjudged him guilty.
As a defense, Parulan argued that the court had
no jurisdiction over his person and over the offense
charged since he escaped from prison in Makati, but was
tried in Manila. He thus filed a petition for habeas corpus.
UMIL VS. RAMOS (Digest Online)
Facts: On 1 February 1988, military agents were
dispatched to the St. Agnes Hospital, Roosevelt Avenue,
Quezon City, to verify a confidential information which was
received by their office, about a "sparrow man" (NPA
member) who had been admitted to the said hospital with
a gunshot wound. That the wounded man in the said
hospital was among the five (5) male "sparrows" who
murdered two (2) Capcom mobile patrols the day before,
or on 31 January 1988 at about 12:00 o'clock noon, before
a road hump along Macanining St., Bagong Barrio,
Caloocan City. The wounded man's name was listed by
the hospital management as "Ronnie Javellon," twentytwo (22) years old of Block 10, Lot 4, South City Homes,
Biñan, Laguna however it was disclosed later that the
true name of the wounded man was Rolando Dural. In
view of this verification, Rolando Dural was transferred to
the Regional Medical Servicesof the CAPCOM, for
security reasons. While confined thereat, he was positively
identified by the eyewitnesses as the one who murdered
the 2 CAPCOM mobile patrols.
Issue: Whether or Not Rolando was lawfully arrested.
Held: Rolando Dural was arrested for being a member of
the NPA, an outlawed subversive organization.
Subversion being a continuing offense, the arrest without
warrant is justified as it can be said that he was
committing as offense when arrested. The crimes
rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit
such crimes, and crimes or offenses committed in
furtherance therefore in connection therewith constitute
direct assaults against the state and are in the nature of
continuing crimes.
Issue: Did the CFI of Manila have jurisdiction to try
Parulan’s case? – NO.
Ruling: The Rule of Court generally provide that in all
criminal prosecutions, the action shall be instituted and
tried in the court of the municipality of province where the
offense was committed or any of the essential ingredients
thereof took place.
This, however, does not apply to continuing
crimes. There are two classes of continuing crimes,
namely: (1) acts material and essential to the crime occur
in one province and some in another, and; (2) crimes
which although all the elements thereof for its
consummation may have occurred in a single place, yet by
reason of the very nature of the offense committed, the
violation of the law is deemed to be continuing. An
example of the first class would include estafa and
abduction, while the second class would include
kidnapping and illegal detention.
In this case, evasion of service of sentence
belongs to the second class. Such act of the escaped
prisoner is continuous (or a series of acts), set on foot by a
single impulse and operated by an unintermittent force,
however long it may be. It may not be validly said that
after the convict shall have escaped from the place of his
confinement the crime is fully consummated, for, as long
as he continues to evade the service of his sentence, he is
deemed to continue committing the crime, and may be
arrested without warrant, at any place where he may be
found. Since he was arrested in Manila, he may be tried
by the CFI of Manila.
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Soria and Bista vs. Desierto (OMB)
January 31, 2005
Facts: Soria and Bista were arrested for violating the
Omnibus Election Code (election gun ban). Soria was
found in possession of a .38 caliber revolver, while Bista
was found in possession of sub-machine pistol UZI, cal.
9mm and a .22 cal. revolver with ammunition. Here are the
pertinent dates:
May 13, 2001 (8:30pm) Soria and Bista were arrested.
Take note that this was a Sunday
and that the day following, May 14,
was election day.
May 14, 2001 (4:30pm) They were brought to the
residence
of
the
Provincial
Prosecutor where a joint-affidavit
was executed by the arresting
officers.
May 14, 2001 (6:30pm) Soria was released. He was
detained for 22 hours. Bista was
brought back to the police station
because there was a pending case
for violation of BP6 (illegal
possession of bladed weapons ata
to) against him.
May 15, 2001 (2:00pm) Bista was brough before the court
where the BP6 case was pending.
He posted bail.
May 15, 2001 (4:30pm) An
Information
for
illegal
possession of firearms and
ammunition was filed against
Bista.
June 8, 2001
Bista was finally released upon
posting bail. He was detained for a
total of 26 days.
The petitioners filed a complaint with the OMB
against the arresting officers for violating Article 125 of the
Revised Penal Code (Delay in the delivery of detained
persons to the proper judicial authorities). The
respondents argued that Sundays, holidays and election
days are excluded from the computation of the periods
provided in Article 125. The OMB agreed with the
respondents and dismissed the complaint.
Take note that for purposes of Article 125, the
penalty imposed by law on Soria was correccional, while
the penalty imposed by law on Bista was afflictive or
capital. According to Article 125, detained persons must
be delivered to judicial authorities within 18 hours for
correccional penalties, and 36 hours for afflictive or capital
penalties.
Issue: W/N Article 125 was violated?
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Held/Ratio: Nope!
An election day or a special holiday, should not
be included in the computation of the period prescribed by
law for the filing of complaint/information in courts in cases
of warrantless arrests, it being a "no-office day." (SC citing
Medina vs. Orosco, 125 Phil. 313) Here, while it appears
that the complaints against Soria for Illegal Possession of
Firearm and Violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 3328
were filed with only on May 15, 2001 at 4:30 p.m., he had
already been released the day before or on May 14, 2001
at about 6:30 p.m. by the respondents. Hence, there was
no violation of Article 125 insofar as Soria was concerned.
In relation to Bista, there was likewise no
violation of Article 125 because the running of the 36
hours was tolled by one day (election day). Moreover, he
has a standing warrant of arrest for Violation of B.P. Blg. 6
and it was only on May 15, 2001, at about 2:00 p.m. that
he was able to post bail and secure an Order of Release.
Obviously, however, he could only be released if he has
no other pending criminal case requiring his continuous
detention.
The Information against Bista was filed with on
May 15, 2001 but he was released from detention only on
June 8, 2001. Was there a delay in the delivery of
detained person to the proper judicial authorities under the
circumstances? The answer is in the negative. The
complaint against him was seasonably filed in the court of
justice within the 36 hour period prescribed by law.
Remember that he was detained in May 13 and the
information was filed on May 15. Furthermore, 13 was a
Sunday and 14 was election day.
The duty of the detaining officers is deemed
complied with upon the filing of the complaints. Citing the
case of Agbay, the SC said that upon the filing of the
complaint with the proper court, the intent behind Art. 125
is satisfied considering that by such act, the detained
person is informed of the crime imputed against him and,
upon his application with the court, he may be released on
bail.
ALBIOR v AUGUIS
FACTS: Edilberto Albior is the son of the
complainant/petitioner in this case> is the Clerk of Court of
the MCTC of Talibon Bohol. 2 informations for rape was
filed against Edilberto before the sala of Judge Avelino
Puracan of which Auguis was the clerk of court who
received the complaints. Auguis immediately issued an
order for the detention of Edilberto. This order was
directed to the BJMP. Edilberto was detained.
Claiming that his son was illegally detained
because no warrant was issued for his arrest and neither
was there a preliminary investigation, complainant filed a
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motion for the release of Edilberto but was ignored by
Auguis. This forced the complainant to sue for Habeas
Corpus. During the Habeas Corpus trial, Auguis testified
that this was not the first time he ordered the commitment
of persons but said he did so in the best interest of those
persons and upon request of the Chief of Police. He
justified his actions by saying that since PNP jails didn’t
have meal provisions for detainees, he ordered their
commitment to BJMP facilities.
The court, in the Habeas Corpus proceedings,
found the detention illegal and ordered the release of
Edilberto. On the same day, a preliminary investigation
was conducted and in an Omnibus Motion, confirmed the
arrest of the accused.
Complainant then filed an administrative case
against Auguis for usurpation of judicial functions before
the Office of the Court Administrator. The OCA found
Auguis administratively liable and imposed a fine of 3,000
with a warning not to repeat the violations anymore.
ISSUE: What crime is Auguii liable for? – Delay in the
delivery of detained persons to proper judicial authorities
HELD: The functions of the clerk of court are clearly
defined in Section 5 Rule 136 of the Rules of Court.
Nowhere in that provision does it provide that, absent a
judge, the clerk of court has the power to issue detention
orders which is clearly judicial in nature. The good faith
defense of Auguis does not excuse his behavior. If a judge
is not available, the detaining officer must release the
accused upon the expiration of the maximum period of
detention allowed in Art. 125 of the RPC. In this case,
Edilberto was detained for a period of 56 days from the
time he was unlawfully arrested.
ALEJANO, ET AL V CABUAY
(actually a habeas corpus case, but Justice talked about
the limitation on lawyers visits)
FACTS: Alejano, Trillanes, etc are all AFP men detained
for their participation in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny. They
were charged with coup d’etat and detained in the ISAFP
Detention Center under the command of General Cabuay.
The detainess claim that their right to counsel
was infringed upon because their counsels were only
allowed to meet with them from 8 am – 5 pm every day.
They wanted their counsels to visit them at any time of day
or night.
They also claim that their right to privacy was
infringed upon because Trillanes’ and Maestrecampo’s
private letters were being opened and read by the ISAFP
officials. The letters were not sealed in envelopes (they
were merely folded) because the ISAFP Detention Center
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
did not have envelopes available. CA ruled that their rights
were violated.
Issue:
1.
2.
Was their right to counsel being violated by the
regulated visiting hours?
Was their right to privacy being violated by the
opening of their letters?
Held:
1. No. Section 4(b) of RA 7438 provides the
standard to make regulations in detention centers
allowable: “such reasonable measures as may be
necessary to secure the detainee’s safety and prevent
his escape.” In the present case, the visiting hours
accorded to the lawyers of the detainees are reasonably
connected to the legitimate purpose of securing the safety
and preventing the escape of all detainees.
While petitioner-lawyers may not visit the
detainees any time they want, the fact that the detainees
still have face-to-face meetings with their lawyers on a
daily basis clearly shows that there is no impairment of
detainees’ right to counsel. Petitioners as counsels could
visit their clients between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. with a
lunch break at 12:00 p.m. The visiting hours are regular
business hours, the same hours when lawyers normally
entertain clients in their law offices. Clearly, the visiting
hours pass the standard of reasonableness. Moreover, in
urgent cases, petitioners could always seek permission
from the ISAFP officials to confer with their clients beyond
the visiting hours. The scheduled visiting hours provide
reasonable access to the detainees, giving petitioners
sufficient time to confer with the detainees.
2. No. (original went through a litany of US
cases, just read the original if you want to know) The
letters alleged to have been read by the ISAFP authorities
were not confidential letters between the detainees and
their lawyers. The petitioner-lawyer who received the
letters from detainees Trillanes and Maestrecampo was
merely acting as the detainees’ personal courier and not
as their counsel when he received the letters for mailing.
In the present case, since the letters were not
confidential communication between the detainees
and their lawyers, the officials of the ISAFP Detention
Center could read the letters. If the letters are marked
confidential communication between the detainees
and their lawyers, the detention officials should not
read the letters but only open the envelopes for
inspection in the presence of the detainees.
That a law is required before an executive
officer could intrude on a citizen’s privacy rights is a
guarantee that is available only to the public at large but
not to persons who are detained or imprisoned. The right
to privacy of those detained is subject to Section 4 of RA
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
7438, as well as to the limitations inherent in lawful
detention or imprisonment. By the very fact of their
detention, pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners have
a diminished expectation of privacy rights.
Side note: detainees also complained of the
living conditions of their detention cells because they were
boarded up and had iron bars. Their cells were dark and
had poor ventilation. They also complained that the iron
bars restricted their visits to non-contact ones. Court said
it was reasonable to put these iron bars to prevent the
escape of the detainees. The the separation of the
detainees from their visitors by iron bars is merely a
limitation on contact visits. The iron bars separating the
detainees from their visitors prevent direct physical contact
but still allow the detainees to have visual, verbal, nonverbal and limited physical contact with their visitors. The
arrangement is not unduly restrictive. In fact, it is not even
a strict non-contact visitation regulation like in Block v.
Rutherford. The limitation on the detainees’ physical
contacts with visitors is a reasonable, non-punitive
response to valid security concerns.
US vs. VALERIANO DE LOS REYES and GABRIELA
ESGUERRA
FACTS: Gabriella Esguerra visited the family of Valeriano
de los Reyes when certain revenue officials came to
search for opium. Valeriano refused entry due to the
absence of a search warrant. However, due to their
assertion that they were officers of the law, while not
consenting, Valeriano offered no physical resistance to
their entry and the search for the drug began. Later on,
one of the officers saw Gabriella threw a package (with
morphine) from the kitchen window into the grass behind
the house. There is no direct evidence of any kind
showing that the accused Valeriano had any knowledge
whatever of the fact that the accused Gabriela had
possession of the drug.
TC: by refusing entry, Valeriano had knowledge of the
drugs in his house. Otherwise, he would have offered no
objection to the search.
ISSUE: WON Valeriano can be held liable for the
morphine?
RULING: Valeriano acquitted. Gabriella convicted.
TC’s ruling not sufficient. The accused Gabriela was only
a visitor in the house of Valeriano. She had been there but
a short time. At the time of the search the morphine was
found exclusively in her possession and under her control.
It nowhere appears that any member of the family of
Valeriano had the slightest knowledge of its existence. It
was only when the accused herself was about to be
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
searched that she relinquished possession and control of
the drug in an effort to protect herself against the
consequences of the search. Rather than indicate that
anyone else had knowledge of her possession of the drug,
the proofs seem to suggest that it was her effort to keep
knowledge of such possession from every other person,
including Valeriano and his family.
The fact that Valeriano refused the officers
permission to search his house for opium can not be taken
against him. No public official or other person in any
country has the right to enter the premises of another
without his consent for the purpose of search or
seizure without first being provided with the proper
search warrant for the purpose, obtained in the
manner provided by law.
The warrant is not allowed for the purpose of
obtaining evidence of an intended crime; but only after
lawful evidence of an offense actually committed. Nor
even then is it allowable to invade one's privacy for the
sole purpose of obtaining evidence against him, except in
a few special cases where that which is the subject of the
crime is supposed to be concealed, and the public or the
complainant has an interest in it for in its destruction.
Those special cases are familiar, and well understood in
the law. Search-warrants have heretofore been allowed to
search for stolen goods, for goods supposed to have been
smuggled into the country in violation of the revenue laws,
for implements of gaming or counterfeiting, for lottery
tickets or prohibited liquors kept for sale contrary to law,
for obscene books and papers kept for sale or circulation,
and for powder or other explosive and dangerous material
so kept as to endanger the public safety.
The home, therefore, can not be guaranteed as a
shelter of crime and bad faith, and, for that reason, with
the formalities hereinafter enumerated, the public
authorities may enter the house of any citizen in the
following cases:
1. To arrest any person against whom a warrant of arrest
has been issued.
2. To capture the person of any known criminal, either
because of his having been caught in flagrante delicto,
or because there is reasonable ground to believe that
he is guilty, although no warrant for his arrest has been
actually issued.
3. To prevent the consummation of a crime the
commission of which is being planned of the same or
has already commenced.
4. To search for and seize the effects of the crime or the
evidence of the commission of the same and of the
identity of the guilty parties.
5. To detect and seize all contraband articles which are
the subject of state monopolies.
6. For the purpose of attaching property.
As a general rule, it may be stated that, in order
to enter a house for any purpose whatever, whether to
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
inspect the same, to arrest a person, or to attach property,
it is necessary to first obtain the consent of the occupant
of the same, as provided in article 6 of the constitution,
and, in his absence, an order of the court will be required
for the preliminary inquiry in each case, upon notice to the
person affected thereby, either immediately or at the most
within the twenty-four hours after the issuance of said
order.
MARCOS V MANGLAPUS
Facts: This case involves a petition of mandamus and
prohibition asking the court to order the respondents
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, etc. to issue a travel
documents to former Pres. Marcos and the immediate
members of his family and to enjoin the implementation of
the President's decision to bar their return to the
Philippines. Petitioners assert that the right of the
Marcoses to return in the Philippines is guaranteed by the
Bill of Rights, specifically Sections 1 and 6. They
contended that Pres. Aquino is without power to impair the
liberty of abode of the Marcoses because only a court may
do so within the limits prescribed by law. Nor the President
impair their right to travel because no law has authorized
her to do so.
They further assert that under international law,
their right to return to the Philippines is guaranteed
particularly by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which has been ratified by the Philippines.
Issue: Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers
granted by the constitution, the President (Aquino) may
prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.
Held: "It must be emphasized that the individual right
involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to
other countries or within the Philippines. These are what
the right to travel would normally connote. Essentially, the
right involved in this case at bar is the right to return to
one's country, a distinct right under international law,
independent from although related to the right to travel.
Thus, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treat
the right to freedom of movement and abode within the
territory of a state, the right to leave the country, and the
right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights.
What the Declaration speaks of is the "right to freedom of
movement and residence within the borders of each
state". On the other hand, the Covenant guarantees the
right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his
residence and the right to be free to leave any country,
including his own. Such rights may only be restricted by
laws protecting the national security, public order, public
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
health or morals or the separate rights of others. However,
right to enter one's country cannot be arbitrarily deprived.
It would be therefore inappropriate to construe the
limitations to the right to return to ones country in the
same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode
and the right to travel.
The Bill of rights treats only the liberty of abode
and the right to travel, but it is a well considered view that
the right to return may be considered, as a generally
accepted principle of International Law and under our
Constitution as part of the law of the land.
The court held that President did not act
arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining
that the return of the Former Pres. Marcos and his family
poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare.
President Aquino has determined that the destabilization
caused by the return of the Marcoses would wipe away
the gains achieved during the past few years after the
Marcos regime.
The return of the Marcoses poses a serious
threat and therefore prohibiting their return to the
Philippines, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.
From: http://cofferette.blogspot.com/2009/02/marcos-vsmanglapus-177-scra-668-gr-no.html
U.S. V. DORR
Facts: Dorr and others were convicted of publishing a
scurrilous libel against the Government of the United
States and the Insular Gov’t of the Philippine Islands.
Scurrilous libels are punished under Section 8 of Act No.
292 of the Commission:
Every person who shall utter
seditious words or speeches, write,
publish, or circulate scurrilous libels
against the Government of the United
States or the Insular Government of the
Philippine Islands, or which tend to
disturb or obstruct any lawful officer in
executing his office, or which tend to
instigate others to cabal or meet
together for unlawful purposes, or which
suggest or incite rebellious conspiracies
or riots, or which tend to stir up the
people against the lawful authorities, or
to disturb the peace of the community,
the safety and order of the Government,
or who shall knowingly conceal such evil
practices, shall be punished…
[Note: According to my Dictionary scurrilous means,
“making or spreading claims about someone with the
intention of damaging their reputation.” Thus perhaps it’s
the same as saying its malicious libels.]
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Anyway, the alleged libel was an editorial in the
issue of the Manila Freedom newspaper. The editorial
basically complains about the public officers then in
position describing them as notoriously corrupt, rascals,
and men of no personal character. The editorial continued
to go on complaining about the rotten system by which the
government was being run. [Note: As I gathered from the
decision, perhaps the reason why this “libelous” editorial
was made was because Filipinos were then being
appointed to government positions and these foreigners,
that includes Dorr who most likely is an American since in
another case he asked for a trial by jury, didn’t want a
government being run by Filipinos.]
Dorr and other defendants weren’t able to prove
any of their allegations in the Trial Court. They were
convicted and now appeal.
Issue: Does the publication constitute a scurrilous libel
against the Government?
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
sedition but when you merely attack officers of the
government it’s under the normal crime of libel.]
U.S. vs. ARCEO, et al.
FACTS: Alejo Tiongson, the victim, lived in his house
together with his wife (Alejandra) and sister-in-law
(Marcela). On the night of the commission of the crime,
the accused, one of whom was armed with a gun and the
other two each with a bolo, entered the victim’s house
without first getting permission. At that time, the spouses
were already sleeping while Marcela was still awake,
sewing. As soon as she discovered the presence of the
accused, Marcela woke the spouses. Immediately after,
one of the accused wounded Alejo by means of a bolo.
Then they took a certain amount of money that belonged
to Alejo and fled the scene. After trial, the court found the
accused guilty of the crime of entering the residence of
another against his will and with violence or intimidation.
Held: NO. SC acquits.
Ruling: First of all, there are many ways in which libel may
be committed such as when the libel obstructs an officer in
the performance of his functions but these were not
present. The Court here focused on the issue above
presented.
What does the term Government mean? Does it
mean in a general sense the existing laws and institutions
of the Islands, or does it mean the aggregate of the
individuals by whom the government of the Islands is, for
the time being, administered?
Government is the institution or aggregate of
institutions by which an independent society makes
and carries out those rules of action which are
necessary to enable men to live in a social state or
which are imposed upon the people forming that society
by those who possess the power or authority of
prescribing them. Government is the aggregate of
authorities that rule a society – it is the whole political
system. On the other hand, administration is the
aggregate of those persons in whose hands the reins of
government are for the time being.
Thus, when the attack is made only on the
individuals holding positions this is not a scurrilous libel
against the Government but rather this is adequately
covered by the general libel law. This is what the editorial
merely did.
On the other hand, when libel attacks the
established system or form of government and its authority
then this constitutes a scurrilous libel.
[Note: I think the modern “scurrilous libel” is the
crime of sedition; thus when you attack the government its
ISSUE:
(1) W/N the trial court was correct in finding the
accused guilty of the crime charged? (NOTE: The
violence was committed by the accused immediately
after their entry without the consent of Alejo.)
(2) W/N express prohibition to enter the dwelling is
necessary in order to be guilty of the crime charged?
HELD/RATIO:
(1) YES. Art. 491 of the (Spanish) Penal Code states
that: “He who shall enter the residence (dwelling
house) of another against the will of the tenant thereof
shall be punished with the penalty of arresto mayor
and a fine of from 325 to 3,259 pesetas. x x x If the
act shall be executed with violence or intimidation the
penalty shall be prision correccional in the medium
and maximum grade, and a fine of from 325 to 3,250
pesetas.” The SC is of the belief that said provision
does not only relate to the method by which one may
enter the residence of another without his consent,
but also pertains to one’s conduct immediately after
his entry. Thus, a person armed with deadly weapons
who enters the residence of another in the nighttime,
without consent, and immediately commits acts of
violence and intimidation, is guilty of entering the
house of another with violence and intimidation and is
punishable under Art. 491 of the Penal Code.
(2) NO. As a rule, the inviolability of the home is one of
the most fundamental of all the individual rights
declared and recognized in the political codes of
civilized nations. No one can enter into the house of
another without the consent of its owners or
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
occupants. Both the common and the civil law
guaranteed to man the right of absolute protection to
the privacy of his home. However, under the police
power of the state the authorities may compel
entrance to dwelling houses against the will of the
owners for sanitary purposes. The government has
this right upon grounds of public policy. It has a right
to protect the health and lives of all of its people. A
man can not insist upon the privacy of his home when
a question of the health and life of himself, his family,
and that of the community is involved. This private
right must be subject to the public welfare.
It may be argued that one who enters the
dwelling house of another is not liable unless he has
been forbidden — i.e., the phrase "against the will of
the owner" means that there must have been an
express prohibition to enter. In other words, if one
enters the dwelling house of another without the
knowledge of the owner he has not entered against
his will. This construction is certainly not tenable,
because entrance is forbidden generally under the
spirit of the law unless permission to enter is
expressly given. To allow this construction would
destroy the very spirit of the law. Under the law no
one has the right to enter the home of another without
the other's express consent. Therefore, to say that
one's home is open for the entrance of all who are not
expressly forbidden. This is not the rule. The statute
must not be given that construction. No one can enter
the dwelling house of another, without rendering
himself liable under the law, unless he has the
express consent of the owner and unless the one
seeking entrance comes within some of the
exceptions dictated by the law or by a sound public
policy.
(N.B. Under the present RPC, if a public officer enters
any dwelling against the will of the owner, they will be
liable under Art. 128 for Violation of Domicile.
However, if said act was committed by a private
individual, like in this case, the crime committed by
the offender will be Trespass to Dwelling under Art.
280.)
©
UNITED
LABORATORIES
PHILIPPINES/ ERNESTO ISIP
V.
SHALIMAR
FACTS: NBI Special Investigator III Rolando Besarra filed
an application in the RTC of Manila for the issusance of a
search warrant concerning the first and second floors of
Shalimar Building, located at No. 1571, Aragon Street
(formerly No. 1524, Lacson Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila)
occupied and/or used by Shalimar Philippines,
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
owned/operated by Ernesto Isip for the seizure of the
following items in violation of RA No. 8203 (IPCode):
a. Finished or unfinished products of UNILAB,
particularly REVICON multivitamins;
b. Other items such as tags, labels, boxes,
packages, wrappers, receptacles, advertisements
and other paraphernalia used for the sale and
distribution
of
counterfeit
REVICON
multivitamins;
c. Sales invoices, delivery receipts, official ledgers
and other books of accounts used in the
recording of the manufacture and importation,
sale of counterfeit REVICON multivitamins.
The application was supported by an affidavit by
Charlie Rabe, security guard of UNILAB who alalegedly
saw the manufacture and sale of fake drugs such as
Revicon by Shalimar Philippines. (He was renting a room
in the Shalimar Building).
The search warrant was implemented at 4:30 pm
on January 27, 2004 by NBI agents Besarra and
Divinagracia in coordination with UNILAB employees. No
fakfe Revicon multivitamins were found; instead there
were sealed boxes at the first and second floors of the
Shalimar Building which when opened by the NBI agents
contained bottles of Disudrin and Inoflox.
Respondents herein filed an “Urgent Motion to
Quash the Search Warrant or to Suppress Evidence.
They contended that the implementing officers of the NBI
st
nd
rd
th
conducted their search at the 1 , 2 , 3 floors and 4
floors of the building at No. 1524-A, Lacson Avenue, Sta.
Cruz, Manila, where items in “open display” were allegedly
found. These premises were different from the address
st
nd
described in the search warrant which is the 1 and 2
floors of the Shalimar Bldg. located at No. 1571, Aragon
St., Stsa. Cruz, Manila. The seizure of the Disudrin and
Inoflox products which were not included in the list of
properties to be seized in the search warrant were likewise
asserted by the respondents.
The RTC issued an Order sustaining that the
seizing officers were only authorized to take possession of
“finished or unfinished products of UNILAB particularly
Revicon multivitamins and documents evidencing
counterfeit products. No evidence was shown nor any
was given during the proceedings on the application for
search warrant relative to the seized products. THE
SEARCH WARRANT THUS SUFFERED A FATAL
INFIRMITY AND CANNOT BE SUSTAINED.
UNILAB filed the present petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the petitioner is the proper party
to file the petition at bench;
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
2.
3.
Whether or not it was proper for the petitioner to
file the present petition under Rule 45 of the
RoC?
Whether or not the seized bottles of Disudrin and
boxes of Inoflox are INADMISSIBLE as evidence
against the respondents because they constitute
the “fruit of a poisonous tree” or if it is justified
under the PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE and thus
legally inadmissible as evidence against
respondents.
RULING:
1. We agree with the petitioner’s contention that a
search warrant proceeding is, in no sense, a
criminal action or the commencement of a
prosecution. The proceeding is not one against
any person, but is solely for the discovery and to
get possession of personal property. It is a
special and peculiar remedy, drastic in nature,
and made necessary because of public
necessity. It resembles in some respect with
what is commonly known as John Doe
proceedings. While an application for a search
warrant is entitled like a criminal action, it does
not make it such an action.
A search warrant is a legal process which has been
likened to a writ of discovery employed by the State to
procure relevant evidence of crime. It is in the nature of a
criminal process, restricted to cases of public
prosecutions. A search warrant is a police weapon, issued
under the police power. A search warrant must issue in
the name of the State, namely, the People of the
Philippines.
A search warrant has no relation to a civil process. It
is not a process for adjudicating civil rights or maintaining
mere private rights. It concerns the public at large as
distinguished from the ordinary civil action involving the
rights of private persons. It may only be applied for in the
furtherance of public prosecution.
However, a private individual or a private corporation
complaining to the NBI or to a government agency
charged with the enforcement of special penal laws, such
as the BFAD, may appear, participate and file pleadings in
the search warrant proceedings to maintain, inter alia, the
validity of the search warrant issued by the court and the
admissibility of the properties seized in anticipation of a
criminal case to be filed; such private party may do so in
collaboration with the NBI or such government agency.
The party may file an opposition to a motion to quash the
search warrant issued by the court, or a motion for the
reconsideration of the court order granting such motion to
quash.
In this case, UNILAB, in collaboration with the NBI,
opposed the respondents’ motion to quash the search
warrant. The respondents served copies of their reply and
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
opposition/comment to UNILAB, through Modesto
Alejandro, Jr. The court a quo allowed the appearance of
UNILAB and accepted the pleadings filed by it and its
counsel.
The general rule is that the proper party to file a
petition in the CA or Supreme Court to assail any adverse
order of the RTC in the search warrant proceedings is the
People of the Philippines, through the OSG. However,
in Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals, the Court allowed a private corporation (the
complainant in the RTC) to file a petition for certiorari, and
considered the petition as one filed by the OSG. The
Court in the said case even held that the petitioners
therein could argue its case in lieu of the OSG.
In line with this ruling, the Court gives this petition
due course and will allow petitioners to argue their case
against the questioned order in lieu of the Solicitor
General.
2. The general rule is that a party is mandated to
follow the hierarchy of courts. However, in exceptional
cases, the Court, for compelling reasons or if warranted by
the nature of the issues raised, may take cognizance of
petitions filed directly before it. In this case, the Court has
opted to take cognizance of the petition, considering the
nature of the issues raised by the parties.
The jurisdiction of this Honorable Court is limited
to the determination of whether there is a legal basis to
quash the search warrant and/or to suppress the seized
articles in evidence.
2.
On the validity of the seizure of the sealed boxes
and its contents of Disudrin and Inoflox, the
Court, likewise, rejects the contention of the
petitioner.
A search warrant, to be valid, must particularly
describe the place to be searched and the things to be
seized. The officers of the law are to seize only those
things particularly described in the search warrant. A
search warrant is not a sweeping authority empowering a
raiding party to undertake a fishing expedition to seize and
confiscate any and all kinds of evidence or articles relating
to a crime. The search is limited in scope so as not to be
general or explanatory. Nothing is left to the discretion of
the officer executing the warrant.
3.
Objects, articles or papers not described in the
warrant but on plain view of the executing officer may
be seized by him. However, the seizure by the officer
of objects/articles/papers not described in the warrant
cannot be presumed as plain view. The State must
adduce evidence, testimonial or documentary, to
prove the confluence of the essential requirements for
the doctrine to apply, namely: (a) the executing law
enforcement officer has a prior justification for an
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
initial intrusion or otherwise properly in a position from
which he can view a particular order; (b) the officer
must discover incriminating evidence inadvertently;
and (c) it must be immediately apparent to the police
that the items they observe may be evidence of a
crime, contraband, or otherwise subject to seizure.
The doctrine is not an exception to the warrant. It
merely serves to supplement the prior justification –
whether it be a warrant for another object, hot pursuit,
search as an incident to a lawful arrest or some other
legitimate reason for being present, unconnected with
a search directed against the accused. The doctrine
may not be used to extend a general exploratory
search from one object to another until something
incriminating at last emerges. It is recognition of the
fact that when executing police officers comes across
immediately incriminating evidence not covered by
the warrant, they should not be required to close their
eyes to it, regardless of whether it is evidence of the
crime they are investigating or evidence of some
other crime. It would be needless to require the
police to obtain another warrant. Under the doctrine,
there is no invasion of a legitimate expectation of
privacy and there is no search within the meaning of
the Constitution.
The immediate requirement means that the
executing officer can, at the time of discovery of the object
or the facts therein available to him, determine probable
cause of the object’s incriminating evidence. In other
words, to be immediate, probable cause must be the direct
result of the officer’s instantaneous sensory perception of
the object. The object is apparent if the executing officer
had probable cause to connect the object to criminal
activity. The incriminating nature of the evidence
becomes apparent in the course of the search, without the
benefit of any unlawful search or seizure. It must be
apparent at the moment of seizure.
The requirement of inadvertence, on the other
hand, means that the officer must not have known in
advance of the location of the evidence and intend to
seize it. Discovery is not anticipated.
The immediately apparent test does not require
an unduly high degree of certainty as to the
incriminating character of evidence. It requires
merely that the seizure be presumptively
reasonable assuming that there is probable
cause to associate the property with criminal
activity; that a nexus exists between a viewed
object and criminal activity.
Incriminating means the furnishing of
evidence as proof of circumstances tending to
prove the guilt of a person.
Indeed, probable cause is a flexible,
common sense standard. It merely requires that
the facts available to the officer would warrant a
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
man of reasonable caution and belief that certain
items may be contrabanded or stolen property or
useful as evidence of a crime. It does not require
proof that such belief be correct or more likely
than true. A practical, non-traditional probability
In this case, Disudrin and/or Inoflox were not
listed in the search warrant issued by the court a quo as
among the properties to be seized by the NBI agents. The
warrant specifically authorized the officers only to seize
“counterfeit Revicon multivitamins, finished or unfinished,
and the documents used in recording, manufacture and/or
importation, distribution and/or sale, or the offering for
sale, sale and/or distribution of the said vitamins.” The
implementing officers failed to find any counterfeit Revicon
multivitamins, and instead seized sealed boxes which,
when opened at the place where they were found, turned
out to contain Inoflox and Disudrin.
It was thus incumbent on the NBI agents and the
petitioner to prove their claim that the items were seized
based on the plain view doctrine. It is not enough to prove
that the sealed boxes were in the plain view of the NBI
agents; evidence should have been adduced to prove the
existence of all the essential requirements for the
application of the doctrine during the hearing of the
respondents’ motion to quash, or at the very least, during
the hearing of the NBI and the petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration on April 16, 2004. The immediately
apparent aspect, after all, is central to the plain view
exception relied upon by the petitioner and the NBI.
There is no showing that the NBI and the
petitioner even attempted to adduce such evidence. In
fact, the petitioner and the NBI failed to present any of the
NBI agents who executed the warrant, or any of the
petitioner’s representative who was present at the time of
the enforcement of the warrant to prove that the enforcing
officers discovered the sealed boxes inadvertently, and
that such boxes and their contents were incriminating and
immediately apparent. It must be stressed that only the
NBI agent/agents who enforced the warrant had personal
knowledge whether the sealed boxes and their contents
thereof were incriminating and that they were immediately
apparent. There is even no showing that the NBI agents
knew the contents of the sealed boxes before they were
opened.
In sum then, the Court finds and so hold that the
petitioner and the NBI failed to prove the essential
requirements for the application of the plain view doctrine.
© PEOPLE V. HUA and LEE
FACTS: Police operatives of the Public Assistance and
Reaction Against Crime (PARAC) received word from their
confidential informant that Peter Chan and Henry Lao, and
appellants Jogy Lee and Huang Zhen Hua were engaged
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
in illegal drug trafficking. Surveillance operations verified
that Lao and appellant Lee were living together as
husband and wife.
PARAC secured 2 search warrants:
1. for violation of P.D. No. 1866 (illegal possession
of firearms and explosives)
2. for violation of Rep. Act No. 6425 (dangerous
drugs act)
First warrant (Medyo unimportant) While no
persons were found inside, the policemen found two kilos
of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as
shabu, paraphernalia, and machines and tools apparently
used for the production of fake credit cards.
Thereafter, the police operatives received
information that Lao and Chan would be delivering shabu
at the Furama Laser Karaoke Restaurant. They rushed to
the area and 2 of them approached Chan and Lao,
introduced themselves, but Chan and Lao fired shots. A
shoot-out ensued where Chan and Lao were shot to death
Second warrant (ito yung important) The
policemen then proceeded to Pacific Grand Villa to
nd
enforce 2 warrant. The policemen, Pangan and two
security guards of the Pacific Grand Villa proceeded to the
condominium unit. They knocked on the door until
finally appellant Lee peeped through the window. They
introduced themselves as policemen, but the appellant
could not understand them as she could not speak
English. The policemen allowed Pangan to communicate
with appellant Lee by sign language and pointed their
uniforms to her to show that they were policemen. The
appellant then opened the door and allowed the
policemen, Pangan and the security guards into the
condominium unit.
They searched the master’s bedroom plus
another bedroom where appellant Hua was sleeping.
The policemen brought the appellants to the
PARAC headquarters. The following articles were found
and confiscated by the policemen in the condominium unit:
2 Transparent Plastic Bags containing about one
Kilo each of white crystalline granules later tested to be
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or Shabu, a regulated
drug; Transparent Plastic Baby Feeding Bottle containing
an undetermined quantity of suspected Shabu; 1 Small
Plastic Cannister also containing undetermined amount of
suspected Shabu;
Assorted Pieces of Shabu
Paraphernalia consisting of Improvised Tooters used for
sniffing shabu, Improvised Burners used for burning
Shabu, aluminum foils, etc.
Lab test yielded positive result to the test for
Methamphetamine hydrochloride. Thus, the two were
charged for violation of DDA.
Trial court: both guilty
RULING: AS TO HUA (not important, for DDA lang): Not
guilty. Failure to establish her guilt beyond reasonable
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
doubt kasi she’s a foreigner na nag-visit lang in the
Phils for 4 days pa lang and it wasn’t established na in
those 4 days connected siya sa shabu-related
activities.
No regulated drug was found in his person or
inside his room or in his other belongings such as
suitcases, etc. Thus, he had no actual or constructive
possession of the confiscated "shabu."
Moreover, it is not disputed that Huang Zhen Hua
had only been in the country for barely four (4) days at the
time when he was arrested. The prosecution was unable
to show that in these four (4) days Huang Zhen Hua
committed acts which showed that he was in cahoots with
the drug syndicate Henry Lau and Peter Chan. It was not
even shown that he was together with Henry Lau and
Peter Chan on any occasion. There is no direct nor
circumstantial evidence, of any culpability. (He was only
staying in the condo of Lee as a guest).
Essential elements of the crime of possession of
regulated drugs: (a) the accused is found in possession of
a regulated drug; (b) the person is not authorized by law or
by duly constituted authorities; and, (c) the accused has
knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug.
This crime is mala prohibita, and, as such,
criminal intent is not an essential element. However, the
prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to
possess the drugs. Possession, under the law, includes
not only actual possession, but also constructive
possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in
the immediate physical possession or control of the
accused. On the other hand, constructive possession exits
when the drug is under the dominion and control of the
accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion
and control over the place where it is found. Exclusive
possession or control is not necessary. The accused
cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and
dominion over the place where the contraband is located,
is shared with another. In this case, the prosecution failed
to prove that the appellant, at any time, had actual or
constructive possession of the regulated drug found in the
master’s bedroom where appellant Lee was sleeping
AS TO LEE (important! Implementation of search
warrant): Guilty. His contention that the search warrant
was not implemented in accordance with the law was
baseless.
Appellant Lee avers that certain irregularities
were attendant in the issuance and implementation of
Search Warrant: (a) the policemen who implemented the
search warrant failed in their duty to show to her the said
warrant, inform her of their authority and explain their
presence in the condominium unit; (b) the policemen
gained entry into the condominium unit by force while she
was sleeping; and (c) articles and personal effects owned
by her and Lao were taken and confiscated by the
policemen, although not specified in the search warrant.
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She also contends that she was a victim of a frame-up
because the policemen planted the regulated drug on her
bed even before they searched the bedroom. She went to
the room of appellant Zhen Hua to find out if he was
already awake, and when she returned to the bedroom,
she noticed shabu on her bed.
The rule against unreasonable search and
seizure forbids every search that is unreasonable
Section 7, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure provides:
SEC. 7. Right to break door or window to effect search. –
The officer, if refused admittance to the place of directed
search after giving notice of his purpose and authority,
may break open any outer or inner door or window of a
house or any part of a house or anything therein to
execute the warrant or liberate himself or any person
lawfully aiding him when unlawfully detained therein.
The police officers were obliged to give the
appellant notice, show to her their authority, and demand
that they be allowed entry. They may only break open any
outer or inner door or window of a house to execute the
search warrant if, after such notice and demand, such
officers are refused entry to the place of directed search.
This is known as the "knock and announce" principle.
The method of entry of an officer into a dwelling and the
presence or absence of such notice are as important
considerations in assessing whether subsequent entry to
63
search and/or arrest is constitutionally reasonable.
In Gouled v. The United States, it was held that a
lawful entry is the indispensable predicate of a reasonable
search. A search would violate the Constitution if the entry
were illegal, whether accomplished by force, by illegal
threat or mere show of force.
Generally, officers implementing a search
warrant must announce their presence, identify
themselves to the accused and to the persons who
rightfully have possession of the premises to be searched,
and show to them the search warrant to be implemented
by them and explain to them said warrant in a language or
dialect known to and understood by them. The
requirement is not a mere procedural formality but is of the
essence of the substantial provision which safeguards
individual liberty. No precise form of words is required. It is
sufficient that the accused has notice of the officers, their
authority and the purpose of the search and the object to
be seized. It must be emphasized that the notice
requirement is designed not only for the protection of the
liberty of the person to be searched or of his property but
also the safety and well-being of the officers serving and
implementing the search warrant. Unless the person to
whom the warrant is addressed and whose property is to
be searched is notified of the search warrant and apprised
of the authority of the person serving the warrant, he may
consider the unannounced intrusion into the premises as
an unlawful aggression on his property which he will be
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
justified in resisting, and in the process, may cause injury
even to the life of the officer implementing the warrant for
which he would not be criminally liable. Also, there is a
very real possibility that the police serving and
implementing the search warrant may be misinformed as
to the name or address of the suspect, or to other material
affirmations. Innocent citizens should not suffer the shock,
fright, shame or embarrassment attendant upon an
unannounced intrusion.
Unannounced intrusion into the premises is
permissible when (a) a party whose premises or is entitled
to the possession thereof refuses, upon demand, to open
it; (b) when such person in the premises already knew of
the identity of the officers and of their authority and
persons; (c) when the officers are justified in the honest
belief that there is an imminent peril to life or limb; and (d)
when those in the premises, aware of the presence of
someone outside (because, for example, there has been a
knock at the door), are then engaged in activity which
justifies the officers to believe that an escape or the
destruction of evidence is being attempted. Suspects have
no constitutional right to destroy evidence or dispose of
evidence.
However, the exceptions above are not
exclusive or conclusive. At times, without the benefit of
hindsight and ordinarily on the spur of the moment, the
officer must decide whether or not to make an
unannounced intrusion into the premises. Although a
search and seizure of a dwelling might be constitutionally
defective, if the police officers’ entry was without prior
announcement, law enforcement interest may also
establish the reasonableness of an unannounced entry.
There is no formula for the determination of
reasonableness. Each case is to be decided on its own
facts and circumstances. In determining the lawfulness of
an unallowed entry and the existence of probable cause,
the courts are concerned only with what the officers had
reason to believe and the time of the entry.
Richards v. Wisconsin: In order to justify a "noknock" entry, the police must have a reasonable suspicion
that knocking and announcing their presence, under the
particular circumstances, would be dangerous or futile, or
that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime
by, for example, allowing the destruction of evidence.
Benefield v. State of Florida: what constitutes
breaking includes the lifting of a latch, turning a door knob,
unlocking a chain or hasp, removing a prop to or pushing
open a closed door of entrance to the house, even a
closed screen door. However, entry obtained through the
use of deception, accomplished without force is not a
"breaking" requiring officers to first announce their
authority and purpose because the reasons behind the
rule are satisfied – there was no real likelihood of violence,
no unwarranted intrusion or privacy and no damage to the
residence of the accused
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In this case, we rule that the policemen
complied with Section 7, Rule 126 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure before entering the
condominium unit. Appellant Lee admitted, when she
testified, that the police officers were accompanied by
Chuang, a Cantonese interpreter, who informed her that
his companions were police officers and had a search
warrant for the premises, and also explained to her that
the officers were going to search the condominium
unit. The appellant was sufficiently aware of the authority
of the policemen, who wore PARAC uniforms, to conduct
the search and their purpose.
PEOPLE V. CALERA AND CANTELA
FACTS: Juan CALINDONG was the municipal mayor of
Catarman, Samar. He issued a call to all the municipal
officials and employees of the municipality for a
conference/meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to
“readjust” the assignment of official duties of the
employees to assist or harmonize with the newly
established Commonwealth government at that time. So
the meeting was held at the municipal hall around 4pm on
November 17, 1945. Among those who attended the
meeting were municipal councilors, the mayor, vice mayor,
treasurer the chief of police of the town and his assistants.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor
Calindong who explained the purpose of the conference
and the importance of maintaining the law and public
order. He then called on municipal councilor
CAMPOSANO to speak before the audience. Councilor
Camposano asked the mayor whether he would take
responsibility for what he was about to say to the
audience. Then, the chief of police (and accused
appellant) CALERA stood up, quite agitated, telling
Camposano that the mayor cannot be responsible for
whatever he was going to say.
Basically, Councilor Camposano was supposed
to speak about a certain municipal ordinance and Calera
was disrupting him from speaking because he won’t sit
down even if ordered to by the mayor. Calera was agitated
because he feels that Camposano was going to criticize
and speak against the police force. As a result, there were
exchange of words, shouting between the mayor, the
councilor and the chief of police.
Due to the confusion, there was disorder in the
municipal hall and the audience rushed out of the hall and
the meeting was DISSOLVED. The justice of peace
present in the meeting tried to break up the fight between
the 3 but failed. SO the meeting was never finished. Now,
the Calera faces charges of violation of Art 131 of the RPC
(prohibition interruption, and dissolution of peaceful
meetings).
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
ISSUE: W/N Calera is guilty of dissolving
interrupting a meeting under Art 113. NO!
or
HELD/RATIO: The provision in Art 131 of the RPC is
intended to penalize the act of a public official who shall
prohibit, stop or otherwise interrupt the holding and/or
dissolve a peaceful meeting. But in order to be liable
under this provision, it is necessary that the accused be
a STRANGER, not a participant, of the meeting that
has been interrupted and eventually dissolved.
In this case, the said conference was called by
the mayor and one of the officials invited to attend the
same was the appellant Calera (chief of police). So he is
not a stranger to the meeting. He was not only present in
the meeting but he also took direct part in the said
proceeding.
Art 131 is found under the title Crimes Against
the Fundamental Laws of the State. It’s specific purpose is
to penalize the prohibition, interruption and dissolution of
peaceful meetings by a stranger. This is NOT that kind of
situation.
Side issues:
SC held that Calera cannot he held criminally
liable under Art 144 (disturbance of proceedings) either.
This is because the conference in question is not a
meeting of the municipal council. It was in fact convened
by the mayor. (the proceedings contemplated in this article
ata are legislative and quasi-legislative meetings).
However, the SC found Calera guilty of LIGHT
COERCIONS (art 287) instead. Evidence shows that he
was guilty of unjust vexation in causing the commotion.
ENRILE V. JUDGE AMIN
Facts: Together with the filing of an information charging
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as having committed rebellion
complexed with murder with the Rtc of Quezon City,
government prosecutors filed another information charging
him for violation of P.d. No. 1829, for obstructing and
impeding the Apprehension of ex. Lt. Col. Gringo honasan
by concealing him in his house.
Enrile assails this, stating that: The alleged
harboring or concealing of Col. Honasan in a supposed
meeting on 1 December 1989 is absorbed in, or is a
component element of, the "complexed" rebellion
presently charged against Sen. Enrile as alleged coconspirator of Col. Honasan on the basis of the same
meeting on 1 December 1989. (it was alleged that
Honasan and some 100 rebel soldiers attended the mass
and birthday party held at the residence of the petitioner in
that evening) .
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Issue: whether or not the petitioner could be separately
charged for violation of PD No. 1829 notwithstanding the
rebellion case earlier filed against him.(considering that
such presidential decree is a special law)
Held: petition granted. Judge enjoined from holding further
proceedings against Enrile. Offense mentioned in PD
1829 abZZZorbed in rebellion!
Ratio: as the Hernandez case states: The rejection of both
options shapes and determines the primary ruling of the
Court, which that Hernandez remains binding doctrine
operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with any
other offense committed on the occasion thereof, either as
a means to its commission or as an unintended effect of
an activity that commutes rebellion.
This doctrine is applicable in the case at bar. If a
person can not be charged with the complex crime of
rebellion for the greater penalty to be applied, neither can
he be charged separately for two different offenses where
one is a constitutive or component element or committed
in furtherance of rebellion.
The petitioner is now facing charges of rebellion
in conspiracy with the fugitive Col. Gringo Honasan.
Necessarily, being in conspiracy with Honasan, petitioners
alleged act of harboring or concealing was for no other
purpose but in furtherance of the crime of rebellion thus
constitute a component thereof. it was motivated by the
single intent or resolution to commit the crime of rebellion.
In the light of the Hernandez doctrine the
prosecution's theory must fail. The rationale remains
the same. All crimes, whether punishable under a
special law or general law, which are mere
components or ingredients, or committed in
furtherance thereof, become absorbed in the crime of
rebellion and can not be isolated and charged as
separate crimes in themselves.
BAYAN v. ERMITA
FACTS: Rallies of September 20, October 4, 5 and 6,
2005 is at issue. BAYAN’s rally was violently dispersed. 26
petitioners were injured, arrested and detained when a
peaceful mass action they was preempted and violently
dispersed by the police. KMU asserts that the right to
peaceful assembly, are affected by Batas Pambansa No.
880 and the policy of “Calibrated Preemptive Response”
(CPR) being followed to implement it. KMU, et al., claim
that on October 4, 2005, a rally KMU co-sponsored was to
be conducted at the Mendiola bridge but police blocked
them along C.M. Recto and Lepanto Streets and forcibly
dispersed them, causing injuries to several of their
members. They further allege that on October 6, 2005, a
multi-sectoral rally which KMU also co-sponsored was
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
scheduled to proceed along España Avenue in front of the
UST and going towards Mendiola bridge. Police officers
blocked them along Morayta Street and prevented them
from proceeding further. They were then forcibly
dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other
rallyists were arrested.
All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880
The Public Assembly Act of 1985, some of them in toto
and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as
well as the policy of CPR. They seek to stop violent
dispersals of rallies under the “no permit, no rally” policy
and the CPR policy.
Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that BP 880 is
clearly a violation of the Constitution and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human
rights treaties of which the Philippines is a signatory. They
argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can
stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or
absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the
choice of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of
expression clause as the time and place of a public
assembly form part of the message for which the
expression is sought.
Petitioners Jess del Prado, et al., in turn, argue
that B.P. No. 880 is unconstitutional as it is a curtailment
of the right to peacefully assemble and petition for redress
of grievances because it puts a condition for the valid
exercise of that right. It also characterizes public
assemblies without a permit as illegal and penalizes them
and allows their dispersal. Thus, its provisions are not
mere regulations but are actually prohibitions. Regarding
the CPR policy, it is void for being an ultra vires act that
alters the standard of maximum tolerance set forth in B.P.
No. 880, aside from being void for being vague and for
lack of publication.
KMU, et al., argue that the Constitution sets no
limits on the right to assembly and therefore B.P. No. 880
cannot put the prior requirement of securing a permit. And
even assuming that the legislature can set limits to this
right, the limits provided are unreasonable: First, allowing
the Mayor to deny the permit on clear and convincing
evidence of a clear and present danger is too
comprehensive. Second, the five-day requirement to
apply for a permit is too long as certain events require
instant public assembly, otherwise interest on the issue
would possibly wane. As to the CPR policy, they argue
that it is preemptive, that the government takes action
even before the rallyists can perform their act, and that no
law, ordinance or executive order supports the policy.
Furthermore, it contravenes the maximum tolerance policy
of B.P. No. 880 and violates the Constitution as it causes
a chilling effect on the exercise by the people of the right
to peaceably assemble.
ISSUES:
(1) Is BP 880 constitutional – YES.
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(2) Is the CPR policy valid? – NO.
HELD:
(1)
B.P. 880 is not an absolute ban of public
assemblies but a restriction that simply regulates the time,
place and manner of the assemblies. It refers to all kinds
of public assemblies that would use public places. The
reference to “lawful cause” does not make it contentbased because assemblies really have to be for lawful
causes, otherwise they would not be “peaceable” and
entitled to protection. Maximum tolerance is for the
protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of
the content of the expressions in the rally. There is,
likewise, no prior restraint, since the content of the speech
is not relevant to the regulation.
(2)
The Court ruled that in view of the maximum
tolerance mandated by B.P. No. 880, CPR serves no valid
purpose if it means the same thing as maximum tolerance
and is illegal if it means something else. Accordingly, what
is to be followed is and should be that mandated by the
law itself, namely, maximum tolerance, which means the
highest degree of restraint that the military, police and
other peace keeping authorities shall observe during a
public assembly or in the dispersal of the same. The policy
of "calibrated preemptive response" is in consonance with
the legal definition of "maximum tolerance" under Section
3 (c) of B.P. Blg. 880, which is the "highest degree of
restraint that the military, police and other peacekeeping
authorities shall observe during a public assembly or in the
dispersal of the same."
It should be emphasized that the policy of
maximum tolerance is provided under the same law which
requires all pubic assemblies to have a permit, which
allows the dispersal of rallies without a permit, and which
recognizes certain instances when water cannons may be
used. This could only mean that "maximum tolerance" is
not in conflict with a "no permit, no rally policy" or with the
dispersal and use of water cannons under certain
circumstances for indeed, the maximum amount of
tolerance required is dependent on how peaceful or unruly
a mass action is. Our law enforcers should calibrate their
response based on the circumstances on the ground with
the view to preempting the outbreak of violence.
Furthermore, there is need to address the
situation adverted to by petitioners where mayors do not
act on applications for a permit and when the police
demand a permit and the rallyists could not produce one,
the rally is immediately dispersed. In such a situation, as a
necessary consequence and part of maximum tolerance,
rallyists who can show the police an application duly filed
on a given date can, after two days from said date, rally in
accordance with their application without the need to show
a permit, the grant of the permit being then presumed
under the law, and it will be the burden of the authorities to
show that there has been a denial of the application, in
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
which case the rally may be peacefully dispersed following
the procedure of maximum tolerance prescribed by the
law.
The Court directed the Secretary of the Interior
and Local Governments to take all necessary steps for
the immediate compliance with Section 15 of Batas
Pambansa No. 880 through the establishment or
designation of at least one suitable freedom park or plaza
in every city and municipality of the country. After thirty
(30) days from the finality of this Decision, subject to the
giving of advance notices, no prior permit shall be required
to exercise the right to peaceably assemble and petition in
the public parks or plazas of a city or municipality that has
not yet complied with Section 15 of the law.
PEOPLE V. ASUNCION (en banc case)
FACTS: Respondents (Paterna Ruiz, Noli Narca, Fr. Nick
Ruiz, Lydia Narca, Rodolfo Corteza, and Tomas
Dominado) were charged with subversion under R.A.
1700. It was alleged that they were conspiring together,
confederating with and mutually helping one another by
overt acts with the common objective to overthrow the duly
constituted government of the Republic of the Philippines.
They were also members of the Communist Party of the
Philippines/National Democratic Front and/or its successor
or of any subversive association in violation of said law.
Another information was filed against them for violation of
P.D. 1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms).That they had
unlicensed firearms being used in support and furtherance
of the crime of subversion or rebellion.
Respondents argued that the filing of 2 separate
informations for each of the accused violates the rule on
double jeopardy, and that there being only a single
criminal intent, the other offense of illegal possession of
firearms, ammunition and explosives should be absorbed
in the charge of violation of R.A. 1700, following the
doctrine in People v. Hernandez.
The lower court agreed with the contention and
held that applying by analogy the doctrine laid down in the
case of People v. Hernandez (99 Phil. 515), the
possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives to
which all the accused are charged is a constitutive
ingredient of the crime of subversion and, hence,
absorbed by the same and cannot be punished
separately. Deadly weapons are needed and necessary to
generate the kind of force and violence to accomplish the
purpose of subversion. The elements of force, violence
and other illegal means mentioned in R.A. 1700 may be
done with the use of violence, explosives and ammunition
or the possession thereof.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS
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ISSUE: Whether the crime of illegal possession of
firearms, ammunition and explosives, punishable under
P.D. 1866 is absorbed by the crime of subversion
HELD/ RATIO: No. Subversion does not absorb crimes
under P.D. 1866
The case of People v. Hernandez and other
recent cases on the matter involve the crime of rebellion in
which it cannot be complexed with a violation of common
crimes, since force and violence are already necessary
ingredients of the same. Applying by analogy rebellion to
subversion because both are political offenses intended to
destabilize and overthrow the government with the use of
force, violence or other illegal means is untenable.
The Court held that to espouse such theory that
force and violence are the very essence of subversion,
then it loses its distinction from rebellion. Subversion is a
crime distinct from that of actual rebellion. The crime of
rebellion is committed by rising publicly and taking up
arms against the Government for any of the purposes
specified in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code; while
the Anti-Subversion Act (Republic Act No. 1700) punishes
affiliation or membership in a subversive organization as
defined therein. In rebellion, there must be a public
uprising and taking of arms against the Government;
whereas, in subversion, mere membership in a subversive
association is sufficient and the taking up of arms by a
member of a subversive organization against the
Government is but a circumstance which raises the
penalty to be imposed upon the offender.
Furthermore, subversion, like treason, is a crime
against national security, while rebellion is a crime against
public order. Rising publicly and taking arms against the
Government is the very element of the crime of rebellion.
On the other hand, R.A. 1700 was enacted to outlaw the
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), other similar
associations and its successors because their existence
and activities constitute a clear, present and grave danger
to national security.
The crime of subversion cannot absorb crimes
under P.D. 1866. In fact, the legislature provided for 2
distinct offenses: (1) illegal possession of firearms
qualified by subversion (P.D. 1866) and (2) subversion
qualified by the taking up of arms against the Government
(R.A. 1700).
The Supreme Court remanded the case to the
lower court for further proceedings and trial.
PEOPLE V. HERNANDEZ
FACTS: Amado HERNANDEZ5 (member of the CPP and
President of the Congress of Labor Organizations) re-filed
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
for bail (previous one denied) for his conviction of rebellion
complexed with murders, arsons and robberies. The
prosecution said to deny this again because the capital
punishment may be imposed. The defense however
contends that rebellion cannot be complexed with murder,
arson, or robbery. The information states that the
“…murders, arsons and robberies allegedly perpetrated by
the accused “as a necessary means to commit the crime
of rebellion, in connection therewith and in furtherance
thereof.”
ISSUE: W/N rebellion can be complexed with murder,
arson, or robbery. – NO! (deemed abzorbed, este
absorbed) Bail granted.
RATIO:
Under the allegations of the amended
information, the murders, arsons and robberies described
therein are mere ingredients of the crime of rebellion
allegedly committed by HERNANDEZ, as means
“necessary” for the perpetration of said offense of rebellion
and that the crime charged in the amended information is,
therefore, simple rebellion, not the complex crime of
rebellion with multiple murder, arsons and robberies.
Under Article 1346 and 1357, these five (5)
classes of acts constitute only one offense, and no more,
and are, altogether, subject to only one penalty. One of
the means by which rebellion may be committed, in the
words of said Article 135, is by “engaging in war against
the forces of the government” and “committing serious
violence” in the prosecution of said “war”. These
expressions imply everything that war connotes. Since
Article 135 constitute only 1 crime, Article 48 doesn’t apply
since it requires the commission of at least 2 crimes.
DISSENT: Montemayor
The murders, robberies and arsons are not necessary or
indispensable in the commission of rebellion and so are
6 The crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising
publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose
of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws,
the territory of the Philippine Islands or any part thereof, of any
body of land, naval or other armed forces, or of depriving the
Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of
their powers or prerogatives.
7 any person, merely participating or executing the commands of
others in a rebellion shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its
minimum period.”
The penalty is increased to prision mayor and a fine not to exceed
P20,000 for “any person who promotes, maintains or heads a
rebellion or insurrection or who, while holding any public office or
employment, takes part therein”:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
1. “engaging in war against the forces of the government”,
2. “destroying property”, or
3. “committing serious violence”,
4. “exacting contributions or”
5. “diverting public funds from the lawful purpose for which they
have been appropriated
5 Future National Artist
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
not ingredients or elements of the latter. When a crime is a
necessary means to commit another, he said, there is a
complex crime; but when it is indispensable, there is only
one crime. From this premise, one can commit rebellion by
rising publicly and taking arms against the government
without firing a single shot.
NOTE: Doctrine REVERSED. Rebellion can be complexed
with common crimes now.
Reason: Article 135 was amended by the
Republic Act No. 6968 (An Act Punishing the Crime of
Coup D’etat). Prior to its amendment by Republic Act No.
6968, Article 135 punished those “who while holding any
public office or employment, take part therein” by any of
these acts: engaging in war against the forces of
Government; destroying property; committing serious
violence; exacting contributions, diverting funds for the
lawful purpose for which they have been appropriated.
Since a higher penalty is prescribed for the crime
of rebellion when any of the specified acts are committed
in furtherance thereof, said acts are punished as
components of rebellion and, therefore, are not to be
treated as distinct crimes. The same acts constitute
distinct crimes when committed on a different occasion
and not in furtherance of rebellion. In short, it was because
Article 135 then punished said acts as components of the
crime of rebellion that precludes the application of Article
48 of the Revised Penal Code thereto. In the eyes of the
law then, said acts constitute only one crime and that is
rebellion.
To reiterate, before Article 135 was amended, a
higher penalty is imposed when the offender engages in
war against the government. "War" connotes anything
which may be carried out in pursuance of war. This implies
that all acts of war or hostilities like serious violence and
destruction of property committed on occasion and in
pursuance of rebellion are component crimes of rebellion
which is why Article 48 on complex crimes is inapplicable.
In amending Article135, the acts which used to be
component crimes of rebellion, like serious acts of
violence, have been deleted. These are now distinct
crimes. The legal obstacle for the application of Article 48,
therefore, has been removed.
PEOPLE v. KAMLON
Facts: Kamlon was convicted by the CFI of Sulu for being
the leader of a sedition (others were also convicted, but
not important).
In another criminal case, he was
sentenced to death for the kidnapping of Alling and Ajibun
complexed with the murder of Alling.
Here’s what happened (version which the CFI
believed): Two years prior to the trial, Kamlon together
with three armed companions set out to look for Alling and
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Ajibun, two men they suspected were responsible for the
disappearance of two of Kamlon’s followers.
They
chanced upon and abducted the two, who claimed they
had no knowledge of such disappearance. They were
detained overnight. The next day, they were brought to a
store in the market place and were made to sit with their
hands tied to the roof. Kamlon fired his automatic carbine
at Alling, who died instantly. He ordered one of his
followers, Ulluh, to cut off the dead man’s head. Ulluh
brought the head and body to his vinta and dropped these
into the sea. Kamlon spared Ajibun and “tried” him
instead for his alleged participation in the disappearance.
Kamlon merely fined him and set him free.
Kamlon’s version, which the courts did not
believe, was that Alling was shot to death not by him but
by some relatives of a woman who, on that occasion, he
and Ajibun were attempting to abduct.
In this petition for appeal before the SC, Kamlon
alleged, among others, that the CFI erred in convicting him
for kidnapping with murder in spite of the fact that the said
acts of violence were committed in furtherance of sedition
and therefore absorbed in the latter crime.
Issues:
Was the crime of kidnapping with murder
absorbed in the crime of sedition? – NO
Ratio: The cited cases of Hernandez and Geronimo are
inapplicable since these two cases involved the crime of
rebellion, not sedition.
There is neither law nor
jurisprudence that would allow the SC to uphold Kamlon’s
claim.
The SC adheres to the rule of stare decisis. It
cannot disregard its ruling in the case of Cabrera where it
held that sedition is not the same offense as murder, the
former being a crime against public order and the latter
that against persons. Sedition is a crime directed against
the existence of the State, the authority of the government,
and the genera public tranquility. Murder is a crime
against the lives of individuals. The offenses charged in
the two informations for sedition and murder are perfectly
distinct in point of law, however nearly they may be
connected in point of fact. In the case of Umali, the SC
convicted the accused separately of sedition, multiple
murder, etc.
Conclusion: The common offenses, such as
murder, are distinct and independent acts separable
from sedition.
Additional: The SC said that in citing the cases of
Hernandez and Geronimo, Kamlon missed a very
significant point. In those two cases, murder and other
acts of violence were absorbed by rebellion, the common
crimes alleged to have been committed in furtherance of
rebellion were specifically charged in the information. For
this reason, they were necessarily alleged to have been
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committed for political ends. In the case at bar, the
information made no allegation of political motivation. The
evidence showed that the killing had no political or social
color, but was purely motivated by personal vengeance.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
PEOPLE v. PEREZ
FACTS: Leonard Wood was the Governor-General of the
Philippines. One time, while holding a discussion with
several persons on political matters, including the
administration of Governor-General Wood, accused
Perez, shouted a number of times: "The Filipinos, like
myself, must use bolos for cutting off Wood's head for
having recommended a bad thing for the Filipinos, for he
has killed our independence."
disaffection among the people and a state of feeling
incompatible with a disposition to remain loyal to the
Government and obedient to the laws.
In the words of the law, Perez has uttered
seditious words. He has made a statement and done an
act which tended to instigate others to cabal or meet
together for unlawful purposes. He has made a statement
and done an act which suggested and incited rebellious
conspiracies. He has made a statement and done an act
which tended to stir up the people against the lawful
authorities. He has made a statement and done an act
which tended to disturb the peace of the community and
the safety or order of the Government. All of these various
tendencies can be ascribed to the action of Perez and
may be characterized as penalized by Act No. 292.
ISSUE: Is accused Perez liable of any crime? (Yes! He
violated Act No. 292, the Treason and Sedition Law)
PEOPLE V. RECTO
HELD: In criminal law, there are a variety of offenses
which are not directed primarily against individuals, but
rather against the existence of the State, the authority of
the Government, or the general public peace. The
offenses created and defined in Act No. 292 are distinctly
of this character. Among them is sedition, which is the
raising of commotions or disturbances in the State. It is a
revolt against legitimate authority. Though the ultimate
object of sedition is a violation of the public peace or at
least such a course of measures as evidently engenders
it, yet it does not aim at direct and open violence against
the laws, or the subversion of the Constitution.
It is of course fundamentally true that the
provisions of Act No. 292 must not be interpreted so as to
abridge the freedom of speech and the right of the people
peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for
redress of grievances. Criticism is permitted to penetrate
even to the foundations of Government. Criticism, no
matter how severe, on the Executive, the Legislature, and
the Judiciary, is within the range of liberty of
speech, unless the intention and effect be seditious. But
when the intention and effect of the act is seditious, the
constitutional guaranties of freedom of speech and press
and of assembly and petition must yield to punitive
measures designed to maintain the prestige of constituted
authority, the supremacy of the constitution and the laws,
and the existence of the State.
Here, the person maligned by the accused is the
Chief Executive of the Philippine Islands. His official
position, like the Presidency of the United States and other
high offices, under a democratic form of government,
instead, of affording immunity from promiscuous comment,
seems rather to invite abusive attacks. But in this instance,
the attack on the Governor-General passes the furthest
bounds of free speech was intended. There is a seditious
tendency in the words used, which could easily produce
FACTS:
There was a report about rice being stolen from a
bodega. The barangay captain and a barangay
kagawad went to the bodega to investigate. The chief
barangay tanod passed by and asked what they
were doing in the bodega.
The appellant and his group arrived and was begged
by the barangay captain not to start trouble. Despite
this, the appellant brought out a balisong which made
the barangay captain retreat. The barangay kagawad
approached and asked the appellant and his group to
surrender their weapons (may parang baril pa silang
dala) but the latter shot him instead. At this time, the
chief tanod was hiding in an old kubeta, where he saw
appellant’s group kill the kagawad.
The chief tanod and the barangay captain jumped out
from the window of the kubeta and ran but the former
was shot on his thigh while the latter was shot on his
elbow. Still, they were able to escape.
Several cases were filed against Recto and his group,
one of which concerned the injury inflicted upon the
chief tanod (which I think is the one important for the
class). Based on that, appellant was charged with
QUALIFIED DIRECT ASSAULT.
ISSUE: W/N appellant should be charged with qualified
direct assault for the injury of the chief tanod.
HELD/RATIO: NO.
Direct assault, a crime against public order, may be
committed in two ways: first, by any person or persons
who, without a public uprising, shall employ force or
intimidation for the attainment of any of the purposes
enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and
sedition; and second, by any person or persons who,
without a public uprising, shall attack, employ force,
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or seriously intimidate or resist any person in
authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the
performance of official duties, or on occasion of such
performance. The first mode is tantamount to rebellion or
sedition, without the element of public uprising. The
second mode, on the other hand, is the more common
form of assault, and is aggravated when: (a) the
assault is committed with a weapon, or (b) when the
offender is a public officer or employee, or (c) when
the offender lays a hand upon a person in authority.
An agent of a person in authority is any person
who, by direct provision of law or by election or by
appointment by competent authority, is charged with the
maintenance of public order and the protection and
security of life and property, such as barrio councilman,
barrio policeman and barangay leader, and any person
who comes to the aid of persons in authority. In the case
at bar, the barangay chief tanod of Ambulong,
Magdiwang, Romblon -- was clearly an agent of a
person in authority. However, contrary to the findings
of the trial court, he was not engaged in the
performance of his official duties at the time he was
shot. Neither was he attacked on the occasion of such
performance.
It must be emphasized that the chief tanod was
on his way home when he happened to pass by
the bodega. During trial, the chief tanod explained that
when appellant’s group arrived, it was the Barangay
Captain and the Kagawad who talked to the group.
Melchor did not do anything to avert the tension. He only
watched what was transpiring and later hid himself when
the first shot was fired.
Unquestionably,
he
was
a
barangay
chief tanod; however, at the crime scene he was a
mere bystander. Apparently, he was not acting and
had no occasion to act in the performance of his
official duties that afternoon. Thus, the attack on him
did not amount to direct assault.
JUSTO V. COURT OF APPEALS
Facts: Nemesio B. de la Cuesta was a district supervisor
of the Bureau of Public Schools, stationed in Ilocos Norte.
On the morning of Oct. 16, 1950, he was in the division
office in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. At 11:25 am., as he was
leaving to eat, he saw Severino P. Justo talking with
Severino Caridad, the academis supervisor.
Justo asked De la Cuesta to go with him and
Caridad to the office of the latter. They did and in the office
of Caridad, Justo asked about the possibility of
accommodating Miss Racela as a teacher in the district of
De la Cuesta. Caridad said that there was no vacancy,
except that of the position of shop teacher. Upon hearing
Caridad’s answer, Justo said to De La Cuesta: “cShet, you
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
are a double crosser. One who cannot keep his promise.”
Justo then grabbed a lead paper weight from the table of
Caridad and challenged De La Cuesta to go out.
Justo left Caridad’s office, followed by De la
Cuesta. When they were in front of the table of one Carlos
Bueno, a clerk in the division office, De la Cuesta asked
Justo to put down the paper weight, but instead
Justo grabbed the neck and collar of De La Cuesta’s polo
shirt and it was torn. Carlos Bueno separated them, but
not before De La Cuesta had boxed Justo several times.
The CF found Justo guilty of the crime of assault
upon a person in authority. The CA affirmed.
Issue: Whether or not there was still direct assault
considering De La Cuesta agreed to fight.
Held: Yes! Even if at the time of the assault the officer
was not performing his duties, as long as the attack was
by reason of his official duties, or past official duties, there
is direct assault. (This sentence is from an online Callejo
Reviewer made by 4A-2009)
Ratio: The character of person in authority is not
assumed or laid off at will, but attaches to a public
official until he ceases to be in office. Assuming that De
La Cuesta was not actually performing the duties of his
office when assaulted, this fact does not bar the existence
of the crime of assault upon a person in authority, so long
as the impelling motive of the attack is the
performance of official duty. This is apparent from the
phraseology of Article 148 of our Revised Penal Code, in
penalizing attacks upon person in authority “while
engaged in the performance of official duties or on
occasion of such performance”, the words “on occasion”
signifying “because” or “by reason” of the past
performance of official duty, even if at the very time of the
assault no official duty was being discharged.
The evident purpose of the law is that public
officials and their agents should be able to discharge their
official duties without being haunted by the fear of being
assaulted or injured by reason thereof.
The argument that De la Cuesta, cannot claim to
have been unlawfully attacked because he had accepted
the Justo’s challenge to fight, overlooks the circumstance
that as found by the CA, the challenge was to “go out”,
i.e., to fight outside the building, it not being logical that the
fight should be held inside the office building in the plain
view of subordinate employees. Even applying the rules in
duelling cases, it is manifest that an aggression ahead of
the stipulated time and place for the encounter would be
unlawful; to hold otherwise would be to sanction
unexpected assaults contrary to all sense of loyalty and
fair play. In the present case, assuming that De la Cuesta
accepted the challenge of the accused, the facts clearly
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indicate that he was merely on his way out to fight the
accused when the latter violently lay hands upon him. The
acceptance of the challenge did not place on him the
burden of preparing to meet an assault at any time even
before reaching the appointed place for the agreed
encounter, and any such aggression was patently illegal.
PEOPLE VS RELLIN
Doctrine: In all forms of assault, resistance or
disobedience, it is required that (a) the accused knew the
identity of the victim and (b) the victim was then acting in
the due and lawful performance of his duties, or the
reason for the attack against him was his performance of
such official duties
PEOPLE vs. CHAN FOOK.
FACTS: Chan Fook (accused/appelant), a Chinese subject,
was a passenger of the US Military Transport South Bend,
which arrived in Manila on April 6, 1920. Having been
allowed by the immigration authorities to land, he left the
boat on the same day. At about 3 or 4 pm of the following
day, he went to pier no. 1 to get his baggage. After the
search of the baggage, postcards of an indecent character
were found. Eugenio M. Cruz, a custom agent, attempted
to search the accused to which the Chan Fook objected.
The agent seized Chan Fook by the arm with intent to
search his body, after showing him his police badge. The
accused resisted and struck the secret agent on the
stomach. The latter in turn struck him on the neck. Here
the customs inspector, Anastacio Jacinto, intervened, and
explained to the accused that Cruz was a customs secret
service agent and had the right to search him. Then the
appellant made no further resistance and allowed himself
to be searched.
Appellant Chan Fook was prosecuted for the
crime of resistance and disobedience to the public
authority. The prosecution alleges that under section 1338
of the Administrative Code all persons coming into the
Philippine from foreign countries shall be liable to
detention and search by the customs authorities under
such regulations as may be prescribed relative thereto.
The defense, however, contends that once the accused
has arrived at the point of his destination by being allowed
to leave the boat and to land he was beyond the
jurisdiction of the customs authorities, and, therefore, not
liable to search without judicial warrant.
ISSUE: Whether the accused committed the crime of
resistance and disobedience to the public authority.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
HELD: No. To decide this question, it is first necessary to
determine whether Cruz was authorized to search the
person of the accused. We are of the opinion that after the
customs authorities have permitted the accused to land in
Manila, the terminus of his voyage, he ceased to be a
passenger within the meaning of said section 1338 of the
Administrative Code. The fact that the accused returned to
pier No. 1 to get the baggage that he had left there the day
before does not subject him to the operation of said
section.
The Jones Law provides “That the right to be
secured against unreasonable searches and seizures
shall not be violated.” That foreigners in the Philippines
are entitled to the benefits of the individual rights secured
by the Philippine Bill is undeniable. It was too late to look
for any contraband.
Commenting on the meaning and score of
resistance and disobedience, as elements of the crimes
against public authority and its agents, Groizard, among
other things, says:
A person in authority, his agent or a public
officer who exceeds his power can not be said to
be in the exercise of the functions of his office.
The law that defines and establishes his powers
does not protect him for anything that has not
been provided for.
The scope of the respective powers of
public officers and their agents is fixed, If they go
beyond, it and they violate any recognized rights
of the citizens, then the latter may resist the
invasion, specially when it is clear and manifest.
The resistance must be coextensive with the
excess, and should not be greater than what is
necessary to repel the aggression.
The invasion of the prerrogatives or rights
of another and the excess in the functions of an
office, are the sources that make for legitimate
resistance, especially, in so far as it is necessary
for the defense of the persons or their rights in
the manner provided for in article 8 of the Penal
Code. (3 Groizard, pp. 456, et seq.)
In the case at bar the action of the accused in
laying his hands on the agent Cruz is, in our opinion, an
adequate defense to repel the aggression of the latter,
who had seized him by the arm for the purpose of
searching him. In accordance with the repeated decisions
of the supreme court of Spain, the gravity of a
disobedience to an order of a person in public authority is
measured and graded by the circumstances surrounding
the act, the motives prompting it, and the real importance
of the transgression rather than by the source of the order
disobeyed. And, taking into consideration the
circumstances of the present case, wherein the agent
Cruz had exceeded his functions, and wherein the
accused acted in defense of the most highly esteemed of
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individual rights — the constitutional right to be secured
against unreasonable searches — we are of the opinion
that there is no ground for finding the accused guilty of the
crime defined in article 252 of the Penal Code.
US V. GUMBAN
FACTS: Accused is Nicomedes Gumban. He is charged
with the crime of assault upon agents of authority.
On Aug 13, 1917, Petronilo Gumban is the
municipal president of Jaro, Iloilo. He was with municipal
councilor Magdaleno Suliano who was reporting about the
condition of his animals. Suddenly, Gregorio Ismana, a
tenant of councilor Suliano arrived and reported to Mayor
P. Gumban an incident.
Ismana related that he had surprised a carabao
belonging to Policarpio Gumban and as a result, the
carabao destroyed the planted area belonging to councilor
Suliano. So Ismana seized the said carabao and brought it
to the police station in the barrio, which was within the
zone affected by the quarantine.
Thereafter, Epifanio Gumban and Nocomedes
Gumban (accused), who were brothers Policarpio, of the
owner of the carabao, arrived to where the municipal
president Petronilo Gumban was to protest the taking of
their carabaos. After hearing the protests Petronilo
(municipal president) said that in his opinion, Ismala had
the right to take the carabao to the police station. But he
promised that the following day, he was going to intervene
in the matter and telephone the man in charge of the
quarantine so that the said carabao would not be comingled with the other carabaos in quarantine. Upon
hearing this statement of the president, the accused
insulted the said president and gave him a slap on the
face which struck his left ear.
TC convicted him of assault upon an AGENT of
authority.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Article 250 says: The penalty for assaults falling
within the next preceding article shall be . . . when the
offense is committed under any of the following
circumstances:
3. When the offenders lay hands upon any
person in authority.
According to the above provisions of law, in order
that the crime of assault punishable by these articles may
exist, it is sufficient that there be an assault upon a person
in authority committed by laying hands upon him. The fact
of giving a slap to a person in authority should necessarily
be qualified in the sense of laying hands upon the same
person.
The facts proved in this case involve all the
necessary elements that constitute the crime of assault,
inasmuch as the offended party, being a municipal
president, was a person in authority, and was in the
performance of his official duties.
In the present case, the crime involved is that of
assault upon a person in authority, in which the force
necessary to constitute this crime is specifically defined by
the law and consists in laying hands upon the person. In
this case, it is not necessary to ascertain what force the
law requires in order to constitute an assault, since the law
itself defines concretely this force in providing that it
consists in laying hands upon the person. The law simply
mentions the laying hands without making any distinction
as to the different cases, and it would not be just to make
that distinction when the law does not make it. It is to be
noted that the same provision of the law with regard to
intimidation or resistance is not intended to be applied to
the case of laying hands.
The information qualifies the crime charged as an
assault upon an agent of authority. Inasmuch as the
offended party, as municipal president, is a person in
authority and not a mere agent of authority, the
designation of the crime given by the fiscal is erroneous.
ISSUE: W/N Nicomedes Gumban is guilty of direct
assault upon an AGENT of authority or did the TC
mean PERSON IN AUTHORITY.
PEOPLE VS LADJAALAM
(the case is really long but the relevant part is only 2
paragraphs short)
HELD/RATIO: The facts proved at the trial constitute the
crime of assault with the hands upon a person in authority
as defined in paragraph 2 of article 249 in connection with
paragraph 3 of article 250 of the Penal Code.
The offense of assault (atentado) is committed
by:
2. Any person who shall attack, employ force
against, or seriously resist or intimidate, any
person in authority, or the agents of such person,
while engaged in the performance of his official
duties, or by reason of such performance.
A search warrant was obtained to search the house of
Ladjaalam because there was information that the same
was being used as a drug den. After the warrant has been
issued, 30 police officers went to the house of Ladjaalam
but a few meters before reaching the house, Ladjaalam
was already informed about the raid so when the police
officers got to the front of the house, Ladjaalam started
firing his M-14 Armalite at the police officers. Eventually,
he was arrested together with other suspects for firing at
the police officers. Upon the search, several foils of
shabu, M-14 armalites and magazines, among others,
were discovered.
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LC: search warrant was void because it was issued for
more than one offense BUT since accused open fired at
the police officers, the subsequent arrest and search
became valid
Issue: w/n accused is guilty of direct assault with multiple
counts of attempted homicide
SC: YES
The trial court was correct in convicting appellant of direct
assault with multiple counts of attempted homicide. It
found that the act of the accused of firing an M-14 rifle at
the police officers, who were about to enter his house to
serve a search warrant constituted such complex crime.
We note that direct assault with the use of a weapon
carries the penalty of prision correccional in its medium
and maximum periods, while attempted homicide carries
the penalty of prision correccional. Hence, for the present
complex crime, the penalty for direct assault, which
constitutes the “most serious crime”, should be imposed
and applied in its maximum period.
PEOPLE V. RENATO TAC-AN
Tac-An was 18 years and 7 months, while his victim,
rd
Escano was 15. They were then classmates in 3 year
HS. They were good friends, both being members of the
Bronx Gang. Tac-An had been to Escano’s house a few
times, and the latter’s mother noticed that Tac-An carried
a handgun. Escano’s mom told her son to stay away from
Tac-An, so Escano withdrew from the Bronx Gang. This
caused their relations to turn sour. Tac-An and Escano
quarreled with each other, they were sent to the principal’s
office. Their fights worsened after that.
One day, when Tac-An left his math project on
his chair because he had to ask their teacher something,
Escano sat on the project. Angered by what he saw, TacAn kicked Escano out of the chair. A fist fight would have
ensued if not for the timely intervention of 2 teachers.
Then their class continued, at which point Tac-An went
home and got his got. He got back to the classroom
15mins later.
When their math class started, Tac-An suddenly
burst in the room and fired at Escano. He missed and hit a
desk instead. The students rushed towards the teacher for
protection. Tac-An fired another shot and hit the
th
blackboard. Third time hit the concrete wall. The 4 shot
hit Escano who was on his way to the only door of the
room to escape. He was hit on the head and fell bleeding.
Tac-An left the room.
Outside, Tac-An was spotted by another teacher,
who had no idea that he caused the commotion. That
teacher asked Tac-An to help Escano since he was still
alive. Tac-An reentered the room and upon confirming that
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
Escano was still alive, he fired at the latter’s chest while he
was sprawled face down.
Hindi pa nakuntento, he locked the room where
Escano was, and entered the faculty room.he found some
teachers and students and ordered them to lock doors and
close windows, holding them as hostages. Buti na lang the
police came with his family who pleaded to give himself
up, which he did.
He was convicted of qualified illegal possession
of firearm and ammunition and murder.
Issue: guilty? – Yez!
Was crime committed in contempt of or with insult to
public authorities?
(There were issues with regard to self-defense, double
jeopardy and certain aggravating circumstances here. I’m
skipping them and discussing only the part related to the
HW.)
The trial court held that since the crime was committed in
front of teachers, then it was done in contempt or with
insult to public authorities because RA 1978 provides that
a public school teacher is a person in authority.
SC: The trial court erred in finding such aggravating
circumstance. Art. 152 of the RPC as amended defines
who a person in authority is.
A careful reading of the last paragraph of Article
152 will show that while a teacher or professor of a public
or recognized private school is deemed to be a "person in
authority," such teacher or professor is so deemed only
for purposes of application of Articles 148 (direct
assault upon a person in authority), and 151
(resistance and disobedience to a person in authority
or the agents of such person) of the Revised Penal
Code. In marked contrast, the first paragraph of Article
152 does not identify specific articles of the Revised
Penal Code for the application of which any person
"directly vested with jurisdiction, etc." is deemed "a
person in authority." Because a penal statute is not to be
given a longer reach and broader scope than is called for
by the ordinary meaning of the ordinary words used by
such statute, to the disadvantage of an accused, we do
not believe that a teacher or professor of a public or
recognized private school may be regarded as a "public
authority" within the meaning of paragraph 2 of Article 14
31
of the Revised Penal Code, the provision the trial court
applied in the case at bar.
Tac-An is guilty, but sentence was changed.
SENATE V. ERMITA
(Note that this is a Consti case, so the Crim Law aspect of
this case was not thoroughly discussed, not even a single
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mention of the RPC. Hehe. So please just read in relation
to Art. 150 of the RPC which punishes, among others, the
refusal to answer any legal inquiry, or to produce books,
papers, documents or records in his possession, when
required by them to do so in exercise of their functions.)
FACTS: On September 21 to 23, 2005, the Committee of
the Senate as a whole issued invitations to various
officials of the Executive Department for them to appear
on September 29, 2005 as resource speakers in a public
hearing on the railway project of the North Luzon Railways
Corporation with the China National Machinery and
Equipment Group (hereinafter North Rail Project). The
public hearing was sparked by a privilege speech of
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile urging the Senate to
investigate the alleged overpricing and other unlawful
provisions of the contract covering the North Rail Project.
On September 28, 2005, the President issued
E.O. 464, “ENSURING OBSERVANCE OF THE
PRINCIPLE
OF
SEPARATION
OF
POWERS,
ADHERENCE TO THE RULE ON EXECUTIVE
PRIVILEGE AND RESPECT FOR THE RIGHTS OF
PUBLIC OFFICIALS APPEARING IN LEGISLATIVE
INQUIRIES IN AID OF LEGISLATION UNDER THE
CONSTITUTION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES,” which,
pursuant to Section 6 thereof, took effect immediately.
Also on September 28, 2005, Senate President
Drilon received from Executive Secretary Ermita a copy of
E.O. 464, and another letter informing him “that officials of
the Executive Department invited to appear at the meeting
[regarding the NorthRail project] will not be able to attend
the same without the consent of the President, pursuant to
[E.O. 464]” and that “said officials have not secured the
required consent from the President.” On even date which
was also the scheduled date of the hearing on the alleged
wiretapping, Gen. Senga sent a letter to Senator Biazon,
Chairperson of the Committee on National Defense and
Security, informing him “that per instruction of [President
Arroyo], thru the Secretary of National Defense, no officer
of the [AFP] is authorized to appear before any Senate or
Congressional hearings without seeking a written approval
from the President” and “that no approval has been
granted by the President to any AFP officer to appear
before the public hearing of the Senate Committee on
National Defense and Security scheduled [on] 28
September 2005.”
ISSUE: W/N the Congress had the power to compel their
attendance? YES, AS LONG AS IT IS IN AID OF
LEGISLATION. (Remember that ultimately, in this case,
the SC nullified Sections 2(b) and 3 of EO 464 which
provide who are covered by executive privilege and saying
that such officials must obtain the consent of the President
prior to appearing in either House of Congress. )
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
HELD: The testimony of the person summoned must be
upon matters, into which the National Assembly/Congress
has jurisdiction to inquire. (FROM REYES BOOK 2, 2008.
THIS IS NOT FROM THE CASE.)
The Congress power of inquiry is expressly
recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution
which reads:
SECTION 21.The Senate or the House of
Representatives or any of its respective
committees may conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation in accordance with its duly published
rules of procedure. The rights of persons
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected.
Citing Arnault v. Narazeno, the Court said: “That
this power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of
the executive branch may be deduced from the same
case. The power of inquiry, the Court therein ruled, is coextensive with the power to legislate. The matters which
may be a proper subject of legislation and those which
may be a proper subject of investigation are one. It
follows that the operation of government, being a
legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for
investigation.”
Since Congress has authority to inquire into the
operations of the executive branch, it would be
incongruous to hold that the power of inquiry does not
extend to executive officials who are the most familiar with
and informed on executive operations.
As discussed in Arnault, the power of inquiry,
“with process to enforce it,” is grounded on the necessity
of information in the legislative process. If the information
possessed by executive officials on the operation of their
offices is necessary for wise legislation on that subject, by
parity of reasoning, Congress has the right to that
information and the power to compel the disclosure
thereof.
In fine, the oversight function of Congress may
be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that
it is performed in pursuit of legislation. This is consistent
with the intent discerned from the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission.
Ultimately, the power of Congress to compel the
appearance of executive officials under Section 21 and the
lack of it under Section 22 (of the Art. VI of the 1987
Constitution) find their basis in the principle of separation
of powers. While the executive branch is a co-equal
branch of the legislature, it cannot frustrate the power of
Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its
demands for information.
When Congress exercises its power of
inquiry, the only way for department heads to exempt
themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege.
They are not exempt by the mere fact that they are
department heads. Only one executive official may be
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exempted from this power — the President on whom
executive power is vested, hence, beyond the reach of
Congress except through the power of impeachment. It is
based on her being the highest official of the executive
branch, and the due respect accorded to a co-equal
branch of government which is sanctioned by a longstanding custom.
ADAZA v SANDIGANBAYAN (From 4A – Yas Sanchez)
Facts: The DPWH awarded to the PTA of Manawan
National High School a contract for the construction of a
school building consisting of 2 classrooms. Although the
project was completed, the PTA failed to receive the last
installment payment for such.
Later, PTA President Mejorada was informed that
the check had been released to petitioner Adaza, who was
the municipal mayor at that time of Jose Dalman.
Petitioner went to the Office of the Auditor of the
DPWH and requested that he be furnished with certified
true copies of the relevant documents pertaining to the
contract, including the disbursement voucher and the
corresponding check representing the last payment made
by the DPWH for the project.
Confronted
with
Disbursement
Voucher,
Mejorada detected that the signature above his printed
name acknowledging receipt of the check was not his and
that petitioner’s signature was affixed on the voucher.
Mejorada saw that there were 2 signatures at the dorsal
portion, his forged signature and another which he found
to be that of Aristela Adaza (Aristela), wife of petitioner.
A case for falsification by taking advantage of
public office was filed against Adaza with the
Sandiganbayan. Adaza now contends that the
Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction.
Issues/Held:
W/n the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction - No
W/n the offender can be prosecuted for the crime of
falsification by a public officer- Yes
Ratio: For the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive
jurisdiction, it is essential that the facts showing the
intimate relation between the office of the offender
and the discharge of official duties be alleged in the
information.
Although the petitioner was described in the
information as “a public officer being then the Mayor with
salary grade 27 of Jose Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte,”
there was no allegation showing that the act of falsification
of public document attributed to him was intimately
connected to the duties of his office as mayor to bring the
case within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Neither
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
was there any allegation to show how he made use of his
position as mayor to facilitate the commission of the
crimes charged. The information merely alleges that
petitioner falsified the disbursement voucher by
counterfeiting therein the signature of Mejorada. For the
purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is this allegation that
is controlling, not the evidence presented by the
prosecution during the trial.
Under Article 172 of the RPC, the offender
must be a private individual or maybe a public officer,
employee or notary public who does not “take
advantage of his official position.”
Under Article 171, an essential element of the
crime is that the act of falsification must be committed
by a public officer, employee or notary who “takes
advantage of his official position.”
The offender “takes advantage of his official
position” in falsifying a document when (1) he has the duty
to make or to prepare or otherwise intervene in the
preparation of the document; or (2) he has the official
custody of the document which he falsifies.
It is thus apparent that for purposes of
acquisition of jurisdiction by the Sandiganbayan, the
requirement imposed by R.A. 8249 that the offense be
“committed in relation” to the offender’s office is
entirely distinct from the concept of “taking advantage
of one’s position” as provided under Articles 171 and
172 of the Revised Penal Code.
R.A. 8249 mandates that for as long as the
offender’s public office is intimately connected with the
offense charged or is used to facilitate the commission of
said offense and the same is properly alleged in the
information, the Sandiganbayan acquires jurisdiction.
Indeed, the law specifically states that the Sandiganbayan
has jurisdiction over all “other offenses or felonies whether
simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the
public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a
of Section 4 in relation to their office.” Public office, it
bears reiterating, need not be an element of the offense
charged.
On the other hand, the element of “taking
advantage of one’s position” under the RPC becomes
relevant only in the present case, not for the purpose of
determining whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction,
but for purposes of determining whether petitioner, if he is
held to be liable at all, would be legally responsible under
Article 171 or Article 172.
While the Sandiganbayan is declared bereft of
jurisdiction over the criminal case filed against petitioner,
the prosecution is not precluded from filing the appropriate
charge against him before the proper court.
SIQUIAN V. PEOPLE
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Facts: Jesusa Carreon went to the office of Manuel
Siquian, the municipal mayor of Isabela, to apply for a job
in the office of the mayor. Siquian then appointed her as a
clerk in the office of the municipal secretary and even said
that her salary would be included in the budget.
Accompanying her appointment is the certification, among
others, of the availability of funds through a form issued by
Siquian and addressed to the CSC, pursuant to the
requirements of the latter.
It should be noted that the Municipal council of
Isabela, failed to enact the annual budget for the
municipality for the Fiscal Year 1975-76. As such, the
annual budget for the previous Fiscal Year 1974-75, was
deemed re-enacted. No such position existed then.
Carreon worked for five months and was
supposed to receive her salary of P120. She approached
the municipal treasurer to ask for the money but the latter
said that there was no money yet. She then sued Siquian
for falsification of a public document.
The RTC and CA ruled in favour of Carreon.
Siquian interposed the defense of a lack of criminal intent.
Issue: Was Siquian guilty of falsification of public
documents?
Ruling: Yes.
He was found guilty under par 4 of art 171,
“making untruthful statements in a narration of facts”; the
elements of which are: (a) That the offender makes in a
document untruthful statements in a narration of facts; (b)
that he has a legal obligation to disclose the truth of the
facts narrated by him; and (c) That the facts narrated by
the offender are absolutely false.
In this case, all the elements for falsification were
met especially when Siquian stated that funds were
available for the position to which Jesusa Carreon was
appointed when he knew that, in reality, the position itself
did not even exist and no funds had been appropriated. It
is further bolstered by the fact that when the budget was
deemed re-enacted, there is no such position as Clerk to
the Municipal Secretary, the position to which Carreon
was appointed. And there is also no appropriation made in
the Annual Budget for the Fiscal Year 1974-75 for such
position, thus rendering Siquian's statement in his
certification utterly false.
Siquian also had the legal obligation to disclose
the truth of such facts. Under the civil service rules and
regulations, a certification of the availability of funds for the
position to be filled up is required to be signed by the head
of office or any officer who has been delegated the
authority to sign. As an officer authorized by law to issue
the certification, Siquian has a legal obligation to disclose
the truth of the facts narrated by him in said certification
which includes information as to the availability of the
funds for the position being filled up.
NOTE: © = Callejo Ponente
He also took advantage of his official position in
falsifying the document. Abuse of public office is
considered present when the offender falsifies a document
in connection with the duties of his office which consist of
either making or preparing or otherwise intervening in the
preparation of a document. In this case, Siquian was
charged with the duty of issuing the certification necessary
for the appointment of Carreon.
Lastly, the existence of a wrongful intent to injure
a third person is not necessary when the falsified
document is a public document. The SC relied on the Go
Tiok case in stating that wrongful intent on the part of an
accused to injure a third person is not an essential
element of the crime of falsification of public document.
This is because the principal thing punished in falsifying
public documents is the violation of the public faith and the
destruction of truth as therein solemnly proclaimed.
Siquian cannot raise the defense of good faith.
He presides at all meetings of the municipal council and
signs all ordinances and resolutions passed by the
municipal council. He was also aware that there was no
budget and no such position (clerk of municipal secretary)
existed.
SAMSON V. CA
FACTS: Lascano and his wife are entitled to some money
because their son was a soldier for the USAFFE during
nd
the 2 world war.
Amado Cruz was with 2 persons purporting to be
the Lascano spouses. Cruz asked the help of his friend
Rufino Samson, the appellant in this case, in order for the
Lascano spouses to get their checks. Samson “verified”
the identity of the purported Lascano’s by examining their
residence certificates. True enough, Samson had a friend
with the Finance Dept of the AFP, Lt. Valencia, and they
were able to get their checks that amounted to 12K.
The group then went to the Treasury Dept to
cash the checks. Samson also knew the teller and
represented that the “Lascano’s” were the real Lascano’s.
Mrs. Lascano placed her thumbprint on the back of the 2
checks while Mr. Lascano signed his name. SAMSON, on
the other hand, SIGNED ON THE BOTTOM AS THE
LAST INDORSER of the CHECK. The 12K was released.
The group went to Aristocrat with about 11 other persons.
They had their lunch and Samson was given P310 as
gratitude money. Thereafter, the purported Lascano’s
were never seen again.
Days later, Samson was informed that the
“Lascano’s” were not the real Lascano’s. Samson
investigated and found that real Mr. Lascano could barely
walk and the real Mrs. Lascano was a teacher who denied
receiving any money.
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JUSTICE ROMEO CALLEJO
Samson was charged together with Cruz, a Mr.
Vergara and two john does for estafa through falsification
of a commercial document.
RTC convicted all of them. On appeal to the CA,
Samson was only found guilty of Reckless Imprudence.
ISSUE: Can falsification
Negligence? YES.
be
committed
through
HELD: Samson was definitely grossly negligent in
assuring the identity of the impersonators to Lt. Valencia
and the Teller as a result of which the gov’t lost 12K.
Samson should not have relied on the mere
representations of his friend and the residence certificates
of the impersonators.
Samson cooperated in the commission of estafa
through falsification of a commercial document without
which the estafa would not have been accomplished.8
Insofar as the falsification is concerned the act of
endorsing the check constituted a written representation
that the true payees were the ones who indorsed and
cashed the checks, when in truth and fact the true payees
had no part in the endorsement.9
Falsification can be committed through
negligence since intent to cause damage is not an
element of falsification because what the law seeks to
ensure that the public has confidence in these
documents.10
SC affirmed the conviction for Reckless
Imprudence resulting in falsification under Art.365.11
DOCTRINE – FALSIFICATION CAN BE COMMITTED BY
NEGLIGENCE.
ANDAYA v PEOPLE
8 Note: J. Reyes dissented on this point such that, liability as a
principal by indispensable co-operation requires knowledge of the
criminal act and since Samson was ultimately made responsible
for his reckless negligence, its fallacious to argue that he
cooperated to the falsification through his negligence.
9 Article 171 – Paragraph 2 – “Causing it to appear that persons
have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in
fact so participate.”
10 Please be careful with this statement because I think the SC
made a mistake here since in Reckless Imprudence what is
punished is the negligence and the result merely determines the
penalty imposed. If inte