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2006 Criminal Law Case Digests

EVANGELINE LADONGA VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 141066. February 17, 2005

Facts: In 1989, spouses Adronico and Evangeline Ladonga became Alfredo Oculams regular customers in
his pawnshop business. Sometime in May 1990, the Ladonga spouses obtained a P9,075.55 loan from
him, guaranteed by United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) Check No. 284743, post dated to July 7, 1990
issued by Adronico; sometime in the last week of April 1990 and during the first week of May 1990, the
Ladonga spouses obtained an additional loan of P12,730.00, guaranteed by UCPB Check No. 284744, post
dated to July 26, 1990 issued by Adronico; between May and June 1990, the Ladonga spouses obtained a
third loan in the amount of P8,496.55, guaranteed by UCPB Check No. 106136, post dated to July 22,
1990 issued by Adronico; the three checks bounced upon presentment for the reason CLOSED
ACCOUNT; when the Ladonga spouses failed to redeem the check, despite repeated demands, he filed a
criminal complaint against them. While admitting that the checks issued by Adronico bounced because
there was no sufficient deposit or the account was closed, the Ladonga spouses claimed that the checks
were issued only to guarantee the obligation, with an agreement that Oculam should not encash the
checks when they mature; and, that petitioner is not a signatory of the checks and had no participation in
the issuance thereof. The RTC rendered a joint decision finding the Ladonga spouses guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of violating B.P. Blg. 22. Petitioner brought the case to the Court of Appeals. The Court
of Appeals affirmed the conviction of petitioner.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner who was not the drawer or issuer of the three checks that bounced
but her co-accused husband under the latters account could be held liable for violations of Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22 as conspirator.

Held: The conviction must be set aside. Article 8 of the RPC provides that a conspiracy exists when two
or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.
To be held guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, the accused must be shown to have performed
an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. The overt act or acts of the accused may consist
of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself or may consist of moral assistance to
his co-conspirators by moving them to execute or implement the criminal plan. In the present case, the
prosecution failed to prove that petitioner performed any overt act in furtherance of the alleged

conspiracy. Apparently, the only semblance of overt act that may be attributed to petitioner is that she was
present when the first check was issued. However, this inference cannot be stretched to mean concurrence
with the criminal design. Conspiracy must be established, not by conjectures, but by positive and
conclusive evidence. Conspiracy transcends mere companionship and mere presence at the scene of the
crime does not in itself amount to conspiracy. Even knowledge, acquiescence in or agreement to
cooperate, is not enough to constitute one as a party to a conspiracy, absent any active participation in the
commission of the crime with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. ANTONIO MENDOZA Y BUTONES


G.R. No. 152589 & 152758. January 31, 2005

Facts: Before us is the Motion for Reconsideration filed by herein accused-appellant of our Decision dated
24 October 2003 in G.R. No. 152589 and No. 152758. In said decision, we modified the ruling of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 61, Gumaca, Quezon, in Crim. Case No. 6636-G finding accusedappellant guilty of rape under Articles 266-A and 266-B of the Revised Penal Code and instead, we
adjudged him guilty only of attempted rape. We, however, upheld the ruling of the court a quo with regard
to Crim. Case No. 6637-G finding accused-appellant guilty of incestuous rape of a minor under Art. 266-B
of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 8353 and for this, we sentenced accusedappellant to suffer the ultimate penalty of death.

Issue: Whether or not the accused committed attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness.

Held: After a thorough review and evaluation of the records of this case, we find no sufficient basis to
modify our earlier decision convicting accused-appellant of attempted rape in Crim. Case No. 6636G.There is an attempt to commit rape when the offender commences its commission directly by overt acts
but 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. Upon the other hand, Article 366 of the Revised
Penal Code states: (a)ny person who shall commit any act of lasciviousness upon the other person of
either sex, under any of the circumstances mentioned in the preceding article, shall be punished by
prision correccional. As explained by an eminent author of criminal law, rape and acts of lasciviousness
have the same nature. There is, however, a fundamental difference between the two. In rape, there is the
intent to lie with a woman whereas this element is absent in acts of lasciviousness. In this case, the series
of appalling events which took place on the night of 18 March 1998 inside the humble home of private

complainant and of accused-appellant, establish beyond doubt that the latter intended to ravish his very
own flesh and blood. As vividly narrated by private complainant before the trial court, accused-appellant,
taking advantage of the cover of darkness and of the absence of his wife, removed her (private
complainants) clothing and thereafter placed himself on top of her. Accused-appellant, who was similarly
naked as private complainant, then proceeded to kiss the latter and he likewise touched her breasts until
finally, he rendered private complainant unconscious by boxing her in the stomach. These dastardly acts
of accused-appellant constitute the first or some subsequent step in a direct movement towards the
commission of the offense after the preparations are made. Far from being mere obscenity or lewdness,
they are indisputably overt acts executed in order to consummate the crime of rape against the person of
private complainant.

SALVADOR D. FLOR VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 139987. March 31, 2005

Facts: Information for libel was filed before the RTC, Branch 20, Naga City, against the petitioner and
Ramos who were then the managing editor and correspondent, respectively, of the Bicol Forum, a local
weekly newspaper circulated in the Bicol Region. It states: On or about the 18th day up to the 24th day of
August, 1986, in the Bicol Region comprised by the Provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate,
Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte, and the Cities of Iriga and Naga, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court under R.A. No. 4363, and B.P. Blg. 129, the above-named accused
who are the news correspondent and the managing editor, respectively, of the local weekly newspaper
Bicol Forum, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, without justifiable motive and with
malicious intent of impeaching, discrediting and destroying the honor, integrity, good name and
reputation of the complainant as Minister of the Presidential Commission on Government Reorganization
and concurrently Governor of the Province of Camarines Sur, and to expose him to public hatred, ridicule
and contempt, write, edit, publish and circulate an issue of the local weekly newspaper BICOL FORUM
throughout the Bicol Region, with banner headline and front page news item read by the public
throughout the Bicol Region VILLAFUERTES DENIAL CONVINCES NO ONE. The trial court found
the petitioner guilty. The Court of Appeals likewise upheld the decision of the trial court.

Issue: Whether or not the questioned news item is libelous.

Held: No. Libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or
imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor,
discredit, or contempt of a natural person or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is
dead. The law recognizes two kinds of privileged matters. First are those which are classified as
absolutely privileged which enjoy immunity from libel suits regardless of the existence of malice in fact.
The other kind of privileged matters are the qualifiedly or conditionally privileged communications which,
unlike the first classification, may be susceptible to a finding of libel provided the prosecution establishes
the presence of malice in fact. The exceptions provided for in Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code fall
into this category. The interest of society and the maintenance of good government demand a full
discussion of public affairs. Complete liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is a scalpel in the
case of free speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves the abscesses of officialdom. Men in public life
may suffer under a hostile and an unjust accusation; the wound can be assuaged with the balm of a clear
conscience. Rising superior to any official, or set of officials, to the Chief Executive, to the Legislature, to
the Judiciary to any or all the agencies of Government public opinion should be the constant source of
liberty and democracy.

NORMA A. ABDULLA versus PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. NO. 150129 April 6, 2005

Facts: Convicted by the Sandiganbayan in its Crim. Case No. 23261 of the crime of illegal use of public
funds defined and penalized under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code, or more commonly known as
technical malversation, appellant Norma A. Abdulla is now before this Court on petition for review under
Rule 45. Along with Nenita Aguil and Mahmud Darkis, appellant was charged under an Information
which pertinently reads: That on or about November, 1989 or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in
Jolo, Sulu, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused:
NORMA A. ABDULLA and NENITA P. AGUIL, both public officers, being then the President and cashier,
respectively, of the Sulu State College, and as such by reason of their positions and duties are accountable
for public funds under their administration, while in the performance of their functions, conspiring and
confederating with MAHMUD I. DARKIS, also a public officer, being then the Administrative Officer V of
the said school, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, without lawful authority, apply
for the payment of wages of casuals, the amount of FORTY THOUSAND PESOS (P40,000.00), Philippine
Currency, which amount was appropriated for the payment of the salary differentials of secondary school
teachers of the said school, to the damage and prejudice of public service .Appellants co-accused, Nenita

Aguil and Mahmud Darkis, were both acquitted. Only appellant was found guilty and sentenced by the
Sandiganbayan in its decision. Upon motion for reconsideration, the Sandiganbayan amended appellants
sentence by deleting the temporary special disqualification imposed upon her. Still dissatisfied, appellant,
now before this Court, persistently pleas innocence of the crime charged.
Issue: 1) Whether or not there was unlawful intent on the appellants part.

2) Whether or not the essential elements of the crime of technical malversation is present.

Held: The Court must have to part ways with the Sandiganbayan in its reliance on Section 5 (b) of Rule
131 as basis for its imputation of criminal intent upon appellant. The presumption of criminal intent will
not automatically apply to all charges of technical malversation because disbursement of public funds for
public use is per se not an unlawful act. Here, appellant cannot be said to have committed an unlawful act
when she paid the obligation of the Sulu State College to its employees in the form of terminal leave
benefits such employees were entitled to under existing civil service laws. There is no dispute that the
money was spent for a public purpose payment of the wages of laborers working on various projects in
the municipality. It is pertinent to note the high priority which laborers wages enjoy as claims against the
employers funds and resources. Settled is the rule that conviction should rest on the strength of evidence
of the prosecution and not on the weakness of the defense. Absent this required quantum of evidence
would mean exoneration for accused-appellant. The Sandiganbayans improper reliance on Sec. 5(b) of
Rule 131 does not save the day for the prosecutions deficiency in proving the existence of criminal intent
nor could it ever tilt the scale from the constitutional presumption of innocence to that of guilt. In the
absence of criminal intent, this Court has no basis to affirm appellants conviction. 2. The Court notes that
there is no particular appropriation for salary differentials of secondary school teachers of the Sulu State
College in RA 6688. The third element of the crime of technical malversation which requires that the
public fund used should have been appropriated by law, is therefore absent. The authorization given by
the Department of Budget and Management for the use of the forty thousand pesos (P40,000.00)
allotment for payment of salary differentials of 34 secondary school teachers is not an ordinance or law
contemplated in Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code. Appellant herein, who used the remainder of the
forty thousand pesos (P40,000.00) released by the DBM for salary differentials, for the payment of the
terminal leave benefits of other school teachers of the Sulu State College, cannot be held guilty of technical
malversation in the absence, as here, of any provision in RA 6688 specifically appropriating said amount
for payment of salary differentials only. In fine, the third and fourth elements of the crime defined in
Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code are lacking in this case. Acquittal is thus in order.

ENRIQUE TOTOY RIVERA Y DE GUZMAN VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 138553. June 30, 2005

Facts: On May 6, 1993, in the Regional Trial Court at La Trinidad, Benguet an information for direct
assault was filed against petitioner, allegedly committed, as follows: That on or about the 20th day of
March, 1993, at Tomay, Shilan, Municipality of La Trinidad, Province of Benguet, Philippines, and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously attack, employ force and seriously resist one Lt. EDWARD M. LEYGO,
knowing him to be a policeman, by then and there challenging the latter to a fistfight and thereafter
grappling and hitting the said policeman on his face, thus injuring him in the process while the latter was
actually engaged in the performance of his official duties. The trial court convicted petitioner of the crime
of direct assault. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.
Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the judgment of conviction rendered by the
trial court.

Held: 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, 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. Unquestionably, petitioners case falls under the second mode, which 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 hand upon a person in
authority. In any event, this Court has said time and again that the assessment of the credibility of
witnesses and their testimonies is best undertaken by the trial court, what with reality that it has the
opportunity to observe the witnesses first-hand and to note their demeanor, conduct, and attitude while
testifying. Its findings on such matters, absent, as here, of any arbitrariness or oversight of facts or
circumstances of weight and substance, are final and conclusive upon this Court and will not to be
disturbed on appeal.

FRUSTRATED HOMICIDE- ESSENTIAL REQUISITES FOR COMPLETE SELF-DEFENSE

CONRADO CASITAS VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No.152358, February 5, 2004

Facts: Early in the morning of August 25, 1994, Romeo C. Boringot was awakened by his wife Aida, the
latter having heard somebody shouting invectives at her husband, viz: You ought to be killed, you devil.
So Romeo stood up and peeped to see who was outside. When he did not see anybody, he proceeded
towards the road.
Upon passing by a coconut tree, he was suddenly hacked at the back with bolo which was more that 1 foot
long. He looked back at his assailant and he recognized him to be appellant Conrado whom he knew since
the 1970s and whose face he clearly saw as light from the moon illuminated the place. Appellant went on
hacking him, hitting him in different parts of the body, including ears and the head. While hitting him,
appellant was shouting invectives at him. Appellant also hit him with a guitar causing Romeo to sustain
an injury on his forehead. All in all, he sustained 11 wounds.
Petitioner invoked self-defense. The trial court rejected petitioners plea of self-defense and convicted him
of frustrated homicide.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner acted in self-defense.

Held: The petitioner was burdened to prove, with clear and convincing evidence, the confluence of the
three essential requisites for complete self-defense: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b)
reasonable means used by the person defending himself to repel or prevent the unlawful to repel or
prevent the unlawful aggression; (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending
himself. By invoking self-defense, the petitioner thereby submitted having deliberately caused the victims
injuries. The burden of proof is shifted to him to prove with clear and convincing all the requisites of his
affirmative defense. He must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not the weakness of that of the
disbelieved after the petitioner admitted inflicting the mortal injuries on the victim. In this case, the
petitioner failed to prove his affirmative defense.
The number, nature and location of the victims wounds belie the petitioners claim that the said wounds
or the victim were inflicted as they duel with each other.
Witness for the petitioner testified that the wounds sustained by petitioner could not have been caused by
bolo.
Petitioner never surrendered voluntarily to the police and admitted that he had injured the victim. This
would have bolstered his claim that he hacked the victim to defend himself. The petitioner did not do so.

BIGAMY; ELEMENTS, EFFECT OF DECLARATION OF NULLITY OFSECOND MARRIAGE ON THE


GROUND OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY; PENALTY

VERONICO TENEBRO VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 150758, February 18, 2004

Facts: Veronico Tenebro contracted marriage with Leticia Ancajas on April 10, 1990. The two were wed by
a judge at Lapu-Lapu City. The two lived together continuously and without interruption until the later
part of 1991, when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been previously married to a certain Hilda
Villareyes on Nov. 10, 1986. Tenebro showed Ancajas a photocopy of a marriage contract between him
and Villareyes. Invoking this previous marriage, petitioner thereafter left the conjugal dwelling which he
shared with Ancajas, stating that he was going to cohabit with Villareyes.
On January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage, this one with a certain Nilda Villegas.
When Ancajas learned of this third marriage, she verified from Villareyes whether the latter was indeed
married to the petitioner. Villareyes confirmed in handwritten letter that indeed Tenebro was her
husband.
Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for bigamy against petitioner. During trial, Tenebro admitted having
married to Villareyes and produced two children. However, he denied that he and Villareyes were validly
married to each other, claiming that no marriage ceremony took place. He alleged that he signed a
marriage contract merely to enable her to get the allotment from his office in connection with his work as
a seaman. The trial court found him guilty of bigamy.

Issues: (1) Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of the crime of bigamy.
(2) What is the effect of declaration of nullity of the second marriage of the petitioner on the ground of
psychological incapacity?

Held: (1) Yes, petitioner is guilty of the crime of bigamy. Under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, the
elements of the crime of bigamy are: (1) that the offender has been legally married; (2) that the first
marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not
yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code; (3) that he contracts a second or subsequent marriage;
and (4) that the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity. The
prosecution sufficient evidence, both documentary and oral, proved the existence of the marriage between

petitioner and Villareyes.


(2) A second or subsequent marriage contracted during subsistence of petitioners valid marriage to
Villareyes, petitioners marriage to Ancajas would be null and void ab initio completely regardless of
petitioners psychological capacity or incapacity. Since a marriage contracted during the subsistence of a
valid marriage is automatically void, the nullity of this second marriage is not per se an argument for the
avoidance of criminal liability for bigamy. Pertinently, Article 349 of the RPC criminalizes any person
who shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally
dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment
rendered in the proper proceedings. A plain reading of the law, therefore, would indicate that the
provision penalizes the mere act of contracting a second or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of
a valid marriage.

KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. ABDILA SILONGAN, ET. AL.


G.R. No. 137182, Apirl 24, 2003

Facts: On March 16, 1996, businessman Alexander Saldaa went to Sultan Kudarat with three other men
to meet a certain Macapagal Silongan alias Commander Lambada. They arrived in the morning and were
able to talk to Macapagal concerning the gold nuggets that purportedly being sold by the latter. The
business transaction was postponed and continued in the afternoon due to the death of Macapagals
relative and that he has to pick his brother in Cotabato City.
Then at around 8:30 PM, as they headed to the highway, Macapagal ordered the driver to stop. Suddenly,
15 armed men appeared. Alexander and his three companions were ordered to go out of the vehicle, they
were tied up, and blindfolded. Macapagal and Teddy were also tied and blindfolded, but nothing more was
done to them. Alexander identified all the abductors including the brothers of Macapagal.
The four victims were taken to the mountain hideout in Maguindanao. The kidnappers demanded P15,
000,000 from Alexanders wife for his release, but the amount was reduced to twelve million. The victims
were then transferred from one place to another. They made Alexander write a letter to his wife for his
ransom. But on several occasions, a person named Mayangkang himself would write to Alexanders wife.
The two other victims managed to escape but Alexander was released after payment of ransom. The trial
court convicted Macapagal and his companions of the crime of Kidnapping for Ransom with Serious
Illegal Detention.

Issue: Whether it is necessary that there is actual payment of ransom in the crime of Kidnapping.

Held: No, it is necessary that there is actual payment of ransom in the crime of Kidnapping. For the crime
to be committed, at least one overt act of demanding ransom must be made. It is not necessary that there
be actual payment of ransom because what the law requires is merely the existence of the purpose of
demanding ransom. In this case, the records are replete with instances when the kidnappers demanded
ransom from the victim. At the mountain hideout where Alexander was first taken, he was made a letter to
his wife asking her to pay ransom of twelve million. Also Mayangkang himself wrote more letters to his
family threatened the family to kill Alexander if the ransom was not paid.

ESTAFA; TRUST RECEIPTS LAW

EDWARD ONG VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 119858, April 29, 2003

Facts: Petitioner Edward Ong, representing ARMAGRI International Corporation (ARMAGRI), executed
two trust receipts acknowledging receipt from the Solid Bank Corp. of goods valued at P 2,532,500 and P
2, 050,000. In addition, he bounded himself to any increase or decrease of interest rate in case Central
Bank floated rates and to pay any additional penalty until the trust receipts are fully paid.
When the trust receipts became due and demandable, ARMAGRI failed to pay or deliver the goods to the
Bank despite several demand letters. The trial court convicted Ong of two counts of estafa for violation of
the Trust Receipts Law.

Issue: Whether the appellant is guilty of two counts estafa for violation of the Trust Receipts Law.

Held: Yes, he is guilty for failure by the entrustee to account for the goods received in trust constitutes
estafa. The Trust Receipts Law is violated whenever the entrustee fails to: (1) turn over the proceeds of the
sale of goods, or (2) return the goods covered by the trust receipts if the good are not sold. The mere
failure to account or return gives rise to the crime which is malum prohibitum. There is no requirement to
prove intent to defraud.
The Bank released the goods to ARMAGRI upon execution of the trust receipts and as part of the loan
transactions of ARMAGRI. The Bank had a right to demand from ARMAGRI payment or at least a return

of the goods. ARMAGRI failed tom pay or return the goods despite repeated demands by the Bank.
It is well-settled doctrine long before the enactment of the Trust Receipts Law, that the failure to account,
upon demand, for funds or property held in trust is evidence of conversion or misappropriation. Under
the law, mere failure by the entrustee to account for the goods received in trust constitutes estafa. The
Trust Receipts Law punishes dishonesty and abuse of confidence in the handling of money or goods to
prejudice the public order. The mere failure to deliver proceeds of the sale or the goods if not sold
constitutes a criminal offense that causes prejudice not only to the creditor, but also to the public interest.
Evidently, the Bank suffered prejudice for neither money nor the goods were turned over the Bank.

PARRICIDE; ELEMENTS

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. PO3 ARMANDO DALAG


G.R. No. 129895, April 30, 2003

Facts: Armando Dalag, a member of the Philippine National Police, was lawfully married to Leah Nolido
Dalag. They had three children. Their marriage was far from idyllic. Their covertures were marred by
violent quarrels, with Leah always at the losing end. Each time the couple had a quarrel, she sustained
contusions, bruises and lumps on different parts of her body.
On August 15, 1996, Armando was drinking when Leah admonished him not to do so. Leah was then
banged on the wall by Armando. Then he pushed and kicked Leah on the left side of her body which
caused her to fall on the ground. Even as Leah was already lying prostrate, Armando continued to beat her
up, punching her on the different parts of her body. Leah then fled to the house of Felia Horilla but
Armando ran after her and herded her back to their house. Leah fell again to the ground and lost her
consciousness. The trial court convicted Armando of parricide.

Issue: Whether the trial court correctly convicted the accused.

Held: Yes, the trial court correctly concluded that the injuries sustained by Leah that caused her death
were the consequence of the appellants deliberate and intentional acts.
The crime of parricide is defined by Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code thus: Any person who shall kill
his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants, or descendants, or
his spouse, shall be guilty of parricide and shall be punished by the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
The prosecution is mandated to prove the following essential elements: (1) a person is killed; (2) the

deceased is killed by the accused; and (3) the deceased is the father, mother or child, whether legitimate
or illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the
accused. The prescribed penalty for the crime is reclusion perpetua to death. The key element in parricide
of a spouse, the best proof of the relationship between the accused and the deceased would be the
marriage certificate.

STATUTORY RAPE; INFORMATION; TIME NOT AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. BENJAMIN HILET


G.R. No. 146685-86, April 30, 2003

Facts: Sometime in 1998, ten-year old Richelle Cosada was told by appellant Benjamin Hilet, the common
law husband of her mother not to go to school and watch the house. At about 10 AM, while her mother
was out selling fish, Richelle saw appellant sharpening his bolo. Moments later, appellant dragged her
towards the room and raped her. She kept the afternoon of March 17, 1999. Richelle finally confided to her
mother. The latter asked their neighbor to report the incident to the police. The trial court convicted the
appellant guilty of two counts of statutory rape.

Issue: Whether time is an essential element of statutory rape.

Held: No, time is not an essential element of statutory rape. An information is valid as long as it distinctly
states the elements of the offense and the acts or omission constitutive thereof. The exact date of the
commission of a crime is not an essential element of rape. Thus, in a prosecution of rape, the material fact
or circumstance to be considered is the occurrence of rape, not the time of its commission.
It is not necessary to state the precise time when the offense was committed except when time is a
material ingredient of the offense. In statutory rape, time is not an essential element. What is important is
the information alleges that the victim is a minor under twelve years of age and the accused had carnal
knowledge of her, even if no force or intimidation was used or she was not otherwise deprived of reason.

STATUTORY RAPE; INFORMATION; TIME IS NOT AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. LOZADA

Facts: Reynaldo Diaz, a tricycle driver, went to a coffee shop to meet Ronnie Sanchez and this Sanchez
disclosed to Diaz his plan to rob Rosita Sy. Thereafter Belleza Lozada arrived. They planned to wait Rosita
Sy as she would normally leave her drugstore between 10:30 and 11 PM. They have also planned to kill
Rosita Sy, upon realizing that Sy would be killed, Diaz excused himself on the pretext that he would get a
weapon but he delayed himself and the plan was not implemented that night because of the delay. They
have agreed to pursue it the next day. Diaz deliberately stayed away from their meeting place the next day.
The following day, he learned over the radio that a lifeless body of Rosita was found in a remote area.

Issue: Whether or not all elements of a Robbery with Homicide are present to constitute a penalty of
death.

Held: The SC ruled that all the elements were present. The taking with animo lurid or personal property
belonging to another person by means of violence against or intimidation of person or using force upon
thing constitutes robbery, and the complex crime of robbery with homicide arises when by reason or on
the occasion of robbery, someone is killed. All these elements have satisfactorily been shown by the
prosecution.

BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROMEAS A VIABLE PLEA WITHIN THE CONCEPT OF SELF-DEFENSE

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. MARIVIC GENOSA


G.R. No. 135981. September 29, 2000

Facts: On or about the 15th day of November 1995, at Barangay Bilwang, Municipality of Isabel, province
of Leyte, accused Marivic Genosa, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, did then
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, hit and wound BEN GENOSA, her
legitimate husband, with the use of a hard deadly weapon, which the accused had provided herself for the
purpose, inflicting several wounds which caused his death.
The lower court found the accused, Marivic Genosa y Isidro, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of parricide and sentenced the accused with the penalty of DEATH.
On appeal, the appellant alleged that despite the evidence on record of repeated and severe beatings she
had suffered at the hands of her husband, the lower court failed to appreciate her self-defense theory. She
claimed that under the surrounding circumstances, her act of killing her husband was equivalent to selfdefense.

Issue: Whether or not the battered woman syndrome as a viable plea within the concept of self-defense
is applicable in this case.
Held: No. The court, however, is not discounting the possibility of self-defense arising from the battered
woman syndrome. 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 persons mind an actual fear of an imminent harm, from her batterer and 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 probablenot necessarily immediate and actualgrave 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.

RAPE; TOUCHING WHEN APPLIED TO RAPE CASES

PEOPLE OF TH PHILIPPINES vs. LEVI SUMARAGO


G.R. No. 140873-77, February 6, 2004

Facts: The spouses Vivencio and Teodora Brigole had four children. Two of them were girls and namedNorelyn and Doneza. Teodora left Vivencio and kept custody of their fpur children. Then, Teodora and
Levi started living together as husband and wife.
Sometime in 1995, Norelyn, who was barely ten years old, was gathering firewood with the appellant Levi
in his farm. While they were nearing a guava tree, the appellant suddenly boxed her on the stomach.
Norelyn lost consciousness. She had her clothes when she woke up. She had a terrible headache and felt
pain in her vagina. She also had a bruise in the middle portion of her right leg. The appellant warned not
to tell her mother about it, otherwise he would kill her.
The sexual assaults were repeated several times so she decided to tell her sister and eventually her
mother. The trial court found the accused guilty of the crime rape and sentenced him to death.

Issue: Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime charged.

Held: Yes, the accused is guilty of the crime charged. For the accused to held guilty of consummated rape,
the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that: 1) there had been carnal knowledge of the

victim by the accused; 20 the accused achieves the act through force or intimidation upon the victim
because the latter is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. Carnal knowledge of the victim by the
accused may be proved either by direct evidence or by circumstantial evidence that rape had been
committed and that the accused is the perpetrator thereof. A finding of guilt of the accused for rape may
be based solely on the victims testimony if such testimony meets the test of credibility. Corroborating
testimony frequently unavailable in rape cases is not indispensable to warrant a conviction of the accused
for the crime. This Court has ruled that when a woman states that she has been raped, she says in effect all
that would necessary to show rape did take place. However, the testimony of the victim must be
scrutinized with extreme caution. The prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits.
The credibility of Norelyn and the probative weight of her testimony cannot be assailed simply because
her admission that it took the appellant only short time to insert his penis into her vagina and to satiate
his lust. The mere entry of his penis into the labia of the pudendum, even if only for a short while, is
enough insofar as the consummation of the crime of rape is concerned, the brevity of time that the
appellant inserted penis into the victims vagina is of no particular importance.
G.R. No. L-50884 March 30, 1988 CASE OF COMPLEX CRIME
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.FILOMENO SALUFRANIA, defendantappellant.
FACTS: On 7 May 1976, Filomeno Salufrania y Aleman was charged before the CFI of Camarines
Norte,with the complex crime of parricide with intentional abortion. It was alleged that on the 3rd day of
December, 1974, the accused Filomeno Salufrania y Aleman did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and
feloniously attack, assault and use personal violence on his wife, MARCIANA ABUYO-SALUFRANIA by
then and there boxing and stranging her, causing upon her injuries which resulted in her instantaneous
death; and by the same criminal act committed on the person of the wife of the accused, who was at the
time 8 months pregnant, the accused caused the death of the unborn child,committing both crimes of
PARRICIDE and INTENTIONAL ABORTION as defined and punished under Art. 246 and Art. 256,
paragraph I, of the Revised Penal Code.
At the trial court, Dr. Juan L. Dyquiangco Jr., Pedro Salufrania testified that,he was called upon by the
Municipal Judge of Talisay to examine the corpse of Marciana Abuyo-Salufrania that was exhumed from
its grave in which the cause of death was cardiac arrest.
Dr. Dyquiangco testified that after conducting the post mortem examination, he issued a certification
thereof (Exhibit "A"); that he issued a death certificate (Exhibit "B") for the deceased Marciano AbuyoSalufrania, bearing the date of 5 December 1974, made on the basis of the information relayed by a
certain Leonila Loma to his nurse before the burial, without mentioning the cause of death; that the cause
of death, as cardiac arrest, was indicated on said death certificate only after the post mortem examination
on 11 December 1974. The lower court allowed the son of the accused, Pedro Salufrania, The lower
court stated that, by reason of interest and relationship, before Pedro Salufrania was allowed to testify
against his father-accused Filomeno Salufrania, after careful examination by the prosecuting officer and
the defense counsel under the careful supervision of the court a quo, to determine whether, at his age of
13 years old, he was already capable of receiving correct impressions of facts and of relating them truly
and, also, whether he was compelled and/or threatened by anybody to testify against his fatheraccused.He stated that his father Filomeno Salufrania and his mother Marciana Abuyo quarrelled at about
6:00 o'clock in the evening of 3 December 1974, he saw his father box his pregnant mother on the
stomach and, once fallen on the floor, his father strangled her to death; that he saw blood ooze from the
eyes and nose of his mother and that she died right on the spot where she fell. His brother,Eduardo
Abuyo and had refused and still refused to live with his father-accused, because the latter has threatened

to kill him and his other brothers and sister should he reveal the true cause of his mother's death.The
brother in law and sister of the deceased victim,Narciso Abuyo also declared that after the burial of
Marciana Abuyo, the three (3) children of his deceased sisterrefused to go home with their father
Filomeno Salufrania; that when asked why, his nephew Alex Salufraa told him that the real cause of
death of their mother was not stomach ailment and headache, rather, she was boxed on the stomach and
strangled to death by their father; that immediately after learning of the true cause of death of his sister,
he brought the matter to the attention of the police authorities .
The CFI found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt, of the complex crime of Parricide with Intentional
Abortion, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of DEATH, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased
Marciano Abuyo in the sum of P12,000.00 and to pay the costs. "For unselfish, valuable and exemplary
service rendered by counsel de oficio, Atty. Marciano C. Dating, Jr., a compensation of P500.00 is hereby
recommended for him subject to the availability of fund. Since the accused was sentenced to death, this
becomes an automatic review before the Supreme Court.
The defense had for witnesses Geronimo Villan, Juanito Bragais, Angeles Liling Balce and the accused
Filomeno Salufrania.Geronimo Villan testified that he was a neighbor of Filomeno Sulfrania whio tried to
help him administer a native treatment around 6am in the morning of December 4, 1974, but she died
around 7am. Witness Juanita Bragais testified that he was fetched by Felipe Salufrania, another son of
Filomeno Salufrania Marciana Abuyo was already dead so he just helped Filomeno Salufrania in
transferring the body of his wife to the house of the latter's brother-inlaw.Angeles Liling Balce, who
claimed to be a former resident she arrived in the house of Filomeno Salufrania at about 6:00 o'clock in
the morning Marciana still in a coma lying on the lap of her husband who informed her that Marciana was
suffering from an old stomach ailment. The accused admitted that he was that lawful husband of the
deceased Marciana Abuyo; that he sent r Juanito Bragais but the latter was not able to cure his wife, that
there was no quarrel between him and his wife that preceded the latter's death, and that during the
lifetime of the deceased, they loved each other; that after her burial, his son Pedro Salufrania was taken
by his brother-in-law Narciso Abuyo and since then, he was not able to talk to his son until during the trial;
and that at the time of death of his wife, aside from the members of his family, Geronimo Villan Francisco
Repuya and Liling Angeles Balce were also present.Appellant alleges that the trial court failed to
determine the competence of Pedro Salufrania before he was allowed to testify. He also questions the
competence of Dr. Dyquiangco as an expert witness, and alleges that the findings of Dr. Dyquiangco and
the testimony of Pedro Salufrania do not tally. But this contention is without merit. The Court notes, first of
all, that appellant did not even bother to discuss his defense in order to refute the massive evidence
against him. This is tantamount to an admission that he could not adequately support his version of
Marciana Abuyo's death.Lastly, appellant alleges that, assuming he indeed killed his wife, there is no
evidence to show that he had the intention to cause an abortion. In this contention, appellant is correct.
He should not be held guilty of the complex crime of Parricide with Intentional Abortion but of the complex
crime of Parricide with Unintentional Abortion. The elements of Unintentional Abortion are as follows:
1. That there is a pregnant woman. 2. That violence is used upon such pregnant woman without intending
an abortion. 3. That the violence is intentionally exerted. 4. That as a result of the violence the foetus dies,
either in the womb or after having been expelled therefrom.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court erred in its ruling of complex crime with parricide and intentional
abortion?
HELD: According to the Supreme Court,
Trial judges are in the best position to ascertain the truth and detect falsehoods in the testimony of
witnesses. This Court will normally not disturb the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses,
in view of its advantage in observing first hand their demeanor in giving their testimony. Such rule applies
in the present case.
The Solicitor General's brief makes it appear that appellant intended to cause an abortion because he
boxed his pregnant wife on the stomach which caused her to fall and then strangled her. We find that
appellant's intent to cause an abortion has not been sufficiently established. Mere boxing on the stomach,
taken together with the immediate strangling of the victim in a fight, is not sufficient proof to show an
intent to cause an abortion. In fact, appellant must have merely intended to kill the victim but not

necessarily to cause an abortion. The evidence on record, therefore, establishes beyond reasonable
doubt that accused Filomeno Salufrania committed and should be held liable for the complex crime of
parricide with unintentional abortion. The abortion, in this case, was caused by the same violence that
caused the death of Marciana Abuyo, such violence being voluntarily exerted by the herein accused upon
his victim. It has also been clearly established (a) that Marciana Abuyo was seven (7) to eight (8) months
pregnant when she was killed; (b) that violence was voluntarily exerted upon her by her husband
accused; and (c) that, as a result of said violence, Marciana Abuyo died together with the foetus in her
womb. In this afternoon, Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code states that the accused should be punished
with the penalty corresponding to the more serious came of parricide, to be imposed in its maximum
period which is death. However, by reason of the 1987 Constitution which has abolished the death
penalty, appellant should be sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
In the present case, the Supreme Court modified, the judgment appealed from was AFFIRMED.
Accused-appellant was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The indemnity of P12,000.
00 awarded to the heirs of the deceased Marciana Abuyo is increased to P30,000.00 in line with the
recent decisions of the Court. With costs.