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1. People vs Wong Cheng
- There are two fundamental rules on this particular matter in connection with International
Law; to wit, the French rule, according to which crimes committed aboard a foreign
merchant vessel should not be prosecuted in the courts of the country within whose
territorial jurisdiction they were committed, unless their commission affects the peace
and security of the territory; and the English rule, based on the territorial principle and
followed in the United States, according to which, crimes perpetrated under such
circumstances are in general triable in the courts of the country within whose territory
they were committed. Of these two rules, it is the last one that obtains in this jurisdiction,
because at present the theories and jurisprudence prevailing in the United States on the
matter are authority in the Philippines which is now a territory of the United States.
- The mere possession of opium aboard a foreign vessel in transit was held by this court in
United States vs. Look Chaw (18 Phil., 573), not triable by our courts, because it being
the primary object of our Opium Law to protect the inhabitants of the Philippines against
the disastrous effects entailed by the use of this drug, its mere possession in such a ship,
without being used in our territory, does not bring about in the said territory those effects
that our statute contemplates avoiding. Hence such a mere possession is not considered a
disturbance of the public order. But to smoke opium within our territorial limits, even
though aboard a foreign merchant ship, is certainly a breach of the public order here
established, because it causes such drug to produce its pernicious effects within our
territory. It seriously contravenes the purpose that our Legislature had in mind in enacting
the aforesaid repressive statute, and is, therefore, triable in our courts.
2. U.S. vs Look Chaw

Although the mere possession of an article of prohibited use in the Philippine Islands,
aboard a foreign vessel in transit, in any local port, does not, as a general rule, constitute
a crime triable by the courts of the Islands, such vessel being considered as an extension
of its own nationality, the same rule does not apply when the article, the use of which is
prohibited in the Islands, is landed from the vessel upon Philippine soil; in such a case an
open violation of the laws of the land is committed, with respect to which, as it is a
violation of the penal law in force at the place of the commission of the crime, no court
other than that established in the said place has jurisdiction of the offense, in the absence
of an agreement under an international treaty.

3. U.S. vs Ah Sing
- Section 4, Act No. 2381 (the Opium Law) construed as follows: Any person unlawfully
imports or brings any prohibited drug into the Philippine Islands when the prohibited
drug is found under this person's control on a vessel which has come direct from a
foreign country and is within the jurisdictional limits of the Philippine Islands. In such
case, a person is guilty of illegal importation of the drug unless contrary circumstances
exist or the defense proves otherwise. United States vs. Look Chaw ([1910], Phil., 573),
and United States vs. Jose ([1916], 34 Phil., 840), distinguished.
- Defendant purchased opium in Saigon, brought it on ' 'board a foreign vessel, and had it
under his control when that vessel arrived after direct voyage in the port of Cebu. Held:
To constitute illegal importation of opium from a foreign country into the Philippine

1. Padilla vs Dizon (Mala in Se/Mala Prohibita)
- The respondent judge has shown gross incompetence or gross ignorance of the law in
holding that to convict the accused for violation of Central Bank Circular No. 960, the
prosecution must establish that the accused had the criminal intent to violate the law. The
respondent ought to know that proof of malice or deliberate intent (mens rea) is not
essential in offenses punished by special laws, which are mala prohibita. In requiring
proof of malice, the respondent has by his gross ignorance allowed the accused to go scot
free. The accused at the time of his apprehension at the Manila International Airport had
in his possession the amount of US$355,349.57 in assorted foreign currencies and foreign
exchange instruments (380 pieces), without any specific authority from the Central Bank
as required by law. At the time of his apprehension, he was able to exhibit only two
foreign currency declarations in his possession. These were old declarations made by him
on the occasion of his previous trips to the Philippines.
- Although lack of malice or wilfull intent is not a valid defense in a case for violation of
Central Bank Circular No. 960, the respondent nonetheless chose to exonerate the
accused based on his defense that the foreign currency he was bringing out of the country
at the time he was apprehended by the customs authorities were brought into the
Philippines by him and his alleged business associates on several previous occasions
when they came to the Philippines, supposedly to be used for the purpose of investing in
some unspecified or undetermined business ventures; that this money was kept in the
Philippines and he precisely came to the Philippines to take the money out as he and his
alleged business associates were afraid that the "attempted revolution" which occurred on
July 6, 1986 might spread. Such fantastic tale, although totally irrelevant to the matter of
the criminal liability of the accused under the information, was swallowed by the

respondent judge "hook, line and sinker." It did not matter to the respondent that the
foreign currency and foreign currency instruments found in the possession of the accused
when he was apprehended at the airport380 pieces in alland the amounts of such
foreign exchange did not correspond to the foreign currency declarations presented by the
accused at the trial. It did not matter to the respondent that the accused by his own story
admitted, in effect, that he was a "carrier" of foreign currency for other people. The
respondent closed his eyes to the fact that the very substantial amounts of foreign
exchange found in the possession of the accused at the time of his apprehension consisted
of personal checks of other people, as well as cash in various currency denominations (12
kinds of currency in all), which clearly belied the claim of the accused that they were part
of the funds which he and his supposed associates had brought to and kept in the
Philippines for the purpose of investing in some business ventures. The respondent
ignored the fact that most of the CB Currency declarations presented by the defense at the
trial were declarations belonging to other peeple which could not be utilized by the
accused to justify his having the foreign exchange in his possession. Although contrary to
ordinary human experience and behavior, the respondent judge chose to give credence to
the fantastic tale of the accused that he and his alleged business associates had brought in
from time to time and accumulated and kept in the Philippines foreign exchange (of very
substantial amounts in cash and checks in various foreign currency denominations) for
the purpose of investing in business even before they knew and had come to an
agreement as to the specific business venture in which they were going to invest. These
and other circumstances which make the story concocted by the accused so palpably
unbelievable as to render the findings of the respondent judge obviously contrived to
favor the acquittal of the accused, thereby clearly negating his claim that he rendered the
decision "in good faith." His actuations in this case amount to grave misconduct
prejudicial to the interest of sound and fair administration of justice.
He not only acquitted the accused Lo Chi Fai, but directed in his decision the release to
the accused of at least the amount of US$3,000.00, allowed, according to respondent,
under Central Bank Circular No. 960. This, in spite of the fact that forfeiture proceedings
had already been instituted by the Bureau of Customs over the currency listed in the
information, which according to the respondent should be respected since the Bureau of
Customs "has the exclusive jurisdiction in the matter of seizure and forfeiture of the
property involved in the alleged infringements of the aforesaid Central Bank Circular." In
invoking the provisions of CB Circular No. 960 to justify the release of US$3,000.00 to
the accused, the respondent judge again displayed gross incompetence and gross
ignorance of the law. There is nothing in the said CB Circular which could be taken as
authority for the tri al court to release the said amount of U.S. Currency to the accused.
According to the above-cited CB Circular, tourists may take out or send out from the
Philippines foreign exchange in amounts not exceeding such amounts of foreign

exchange brought in by them; for the purpose of establishing such amount, tourists or
non-resident temporary visitors bringing with them more than US$3,000.00 or its
equivalent in other foreign currencies must declare their foreign exchange at points of
entries upon arrival in the Philippines. In other words, CB Circular No. 960 merely
provides that for the purpose of establishing the amount of foreign currency brought in or
out of the Philippines, a tourist upon arrival is required to declare any foreign exchange
he is bringing in at the time of his arrival, if the same exceeds the amount of US$3,000.00
or its equivalent in other foreign currencies. There is nothing in said circular that would
justify returning to him the amount of at least US$3,000.00, if he is caught attempting to
bring out foreign exchange in excess of said amount without specific authority from the
Central Bank.
Accordingly, the Court finds the respondent Regional Trial Court Judge, Baltazar R.
Dizon, guilty of gross incompetence, gross ignorance of the law and grave and serious
misconduct affecting his integrity and efficiency, and consistent with the responsibility of
this Court for the just and proper administration of justice and for the attainment of the
objective of maintaining the people's faith in the judiciary (People vs. Valenzuela, 135
SCRA 712), it is hereby ordered that the Respondent Judge be DISMISSED from the
service, All leave and retirement benefits and privileges to which he may be entitled are
hereby forfeited with prejudice to his being reinstated in any branch of government
service, including government-owned and/or controlled agencies or corporations.

2. People vs Oanis (Mistake of Fact)

- Appellants Corporal Galanta and Chief of Police Oanis were under instructions to arrest
one, Balagtas, a notorious criminal and an escaped convict, and, if overpowered, to get
him dead or alive. Proceeding to the suspected house, appellants went into a room and on
seeing a man sleeping with his back towards the door, simultaneously or successively
fired at him with their .32 and .45 caliber revolvers, without 'first making any reasonable
inquiry as to his identity. The victim turned out to be an innocent man, Tecson, and not
the wanted criminal. Held: That under the circumstances, the crime committed by appellants is murder though specially mitigated by circumstances presently to be mentioned.
- In support of the theory of nonliability by reason of honest mistake of fact, appellants rely
on the case of United States vs. Ah Chong (15 Phil., 488). The maxim is ignorantia facti
excusat, but this applies only when the mistake is committed without fault or
carelessness. In the Ah Chong case, defendant therein after having gone to bed 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 and
called out again, "if you enter the room I will kill you." But at that precise moment, he
was struck by a chair which had been placed against the door and believing that he was
then being attacked, he seized a kitchen knife and struck and fatally wounded the intruder

who turned out to be his room-mate. A common illustration of innocent mistake of fact is
the case of a man who was masked as a footpad at night and in a lonely road held up a
friend in a spirit of mischief, and with leveled pistol demanded his money or life. He was
killed by his friend under the mistaken belief that the attack was real, that the pistol level
at his head was loaded and that his life and property were in imminent danger at the
hands of the aggressor. In these instances, there is an innocent mistake of fact committed
without any fault or carelessness because the accused, having no time or opportunity to
make a further injury, and being pressed by circumstances to act immediately, had no
alternative but to take the fact as they then appeared to him; and such facts justified his
act of killing. In the case, appeliants, unlike the accused in the instances cited, found no
circumstances whatsoever which would press them to immediate action. The person in
the room being then asleep, appeliants had ample time and opportunity to ascertain his
identity without hazard to themselves, and could even effect a bloodless arrest if any
reasonable effort to that end had been made, as the victim was unarmed, according to one
eyewitness. This, indeed, is the only legitimate course of action for appellants to follow
even if the victim was really Balagtas, as they were instructed not to kill Balagtas, at
sight, but to arrest him, and to get him dead or alive only if resistance or aggression is
oddered him.
Although an officer in making a lawful arrest is justified in using such force as is
reasonably necessary to secure and detain the offender, overcome his resistance, prevent
his escape, recapture him if he escapes, and protect himself from bodily harm (People vs.
Delima, 46 Phil., 738), yet he is never justified in using unnecessary force or in treating
him wanton violence, or in resorting to dangerous means when the arrest could be
affected otherwise (6 C. J. S., par. 13, p. 612). The doctrine is arrested in a new Rules of
Court thus: "No unnecessary of unreasonable force shall be used in making an arrest, and
the person arrested shall not be subject to any greater restraint than is necessary for his
detention." (Rule 109, sec. 2, par. 2) And a peace officer cannot claim exemption from
criminal liability if he uses unnecessary force or violence in making an arrest. (5 C. J., p.
753 U. S. vs. Mendoza, 2 Phil., 109). It may be true that Balagtas was a notorious
crimial, a life-termer, a fugitive from justice and a menace to the peace of the community,
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. This, in effect, is the principle laid down, although upon different facts, in United
States vs. Donoso (3 Phil., 234, 242).
It is suggested that a notorious criminal "must be taken by storm" without regard to his
right to life which he has by such notoriety already forfeited. This Court may approve of
this standard of official conduct where the criminal offers resistance or does something
which places his captors in danger of imminent attack. Otherwise, this court cannot see
how, as in the present case, the mere fact of notoriety can make the life of a criminal a

mere trifle in the hands of the officers of the law. Notoriety rightly sup-lies a basis for
redoubled official alertness and vigilance; it never can justify precipitate action at the cost
of human life. Where, as here, the precipitate action of the appellants has cost an innocent
life and there exist no circumstances whatsoever to warrant action of such character in the
mind of a reasonably prudent man, condemnationnot
condonationshould be the
rule; otherwise this Court would offer a premium to crime in the shelter of official
The crime committed by appellants is not merely criminal negligence, the killing
being intentional and not accidental. In criminal negligence, the injury caused to another
should be unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act performed
without malice. (People vs. Sara, 55 Phil., 939.) In the words of Viada. "para que
se califique un hecho de imprudencia es preciso que no haya mediado en l malicia ni
intencin alguna de daar; existiendo esa intencin, deber calificarse el hecho del delito
que ha producido, por ms que no haya sido la intencin del agente el causar un mal de
tanta gravedad como el que se produjo." (Tomo 7, Viada Cdigo Penal Comentado, 5."
ed.. pg. 7.) And, as once held by this court, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act is
essentially inconsistent with, the idea of reckless imprudence (People vs. Nanquil, 43
Phil. 232: People vs. Bindor. 56 Phil.. 16), and where such unlawful act is wilfully done,
a mistake in the identity of the intended victim cannot be considered as reckless
imprudence (People vs. Gona, 54 Phil., 605) to support a plea of mitigated liability.
As the deceased was killed while asleep, the crime committed is murder with the
qualifying circumstance of alevosa. There is, however, a mitigating circumstance of
weight consisting in the incomplete justifying circumstance defined in article 11, No. 5,
of the Revised Penal Code. According to such legal provision, a person incurs no criminal
liability when he acts in the fulfilment 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 dutv or the lawful exercise of sjich right or
office. In the instant case, onlv the first requisite is presentappellants have acted in the
performance of a dutv. The second requisite is wanting for the crime by them committed
be the necessarv conreouence of of a due performance of their duty. Their duty was to
arrest. Balagtas, or to get him dead or alive if resistance is offered by him and they are
overpowered. But through impatience or over-anxiety or in their desire to take chances,
they have exceeded in the fulfilment of such dutv bv killing the person whom they
believed to be Balagtas without anv resistance from him and without making any
previous inquiry as to his identity. According to article 69 of the Revised Penal Code, the
penalty lower bv one or two degrees than that prescribed by law shall, in such case, be

3. U.S. vs Ah Chong
- Defendant was a cook and the deceased was a house boy, and both were employed in the
same place and usually slept in the same room. One night, after the defendant had gone to
bed, he was awakened by some one trying to open the door, and called out twice, "Who is
there?" He received no answer, and fearing that the intruder was a robber, leaped from the
bed and again called out: "If you enter the room I will kill you." At that moment he was
struck by a chair which had been placed against the door. Believing that he was being
attacked, he seized a kitchen knife and struck and fatally wounded the intruder, who
turned out to be his roommate. Thereupon he called to his employers and rushed back
into the room to secure bandages to bind up the wound. Defendant was charged with
murder. While there can be no doubt of defendant's exemption from liability if the
intruder had really been a robber, the question presented is whether, in this jurisdiction, a
person can be held criminally responsible when, by reason of a mistake of f acts, 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.
- Held, That, under such circumstances, there is no criminal liability, provided that the
ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or bad faith. In other words, if
such ignorance or mistake of facts is sufficient to negative a particular intent which,
under the law, is a necessary ingredient of the offense charged it destroys the presumption
of intent and works an acquittal; except in those cases where the circumstances demand a
conviction under the penal provisions governing negligence, and in cases where, under
the provisions of article 1 of the Penal Code, a person voluntarily committing an act
incurs criminal liability even though the act be different from that which he intended to

A. Proximate Cause
1. U.S. vs Valdez
- If a person against whom a criminal assault is directed reasonably believes himself to be
in danger of death or great bodily harm and in order to escape jumps into the water,
impelled by the instinct of self-preservation, the assailant is responsible for homicide in
case death results by drowning.
- In a prosecution for homicide the case 'against the accused was that he had made a
criminal assault upon another person while the two were in a small boat, under such
circumstances that the party assailed, believing his life in danger, jumped into the river in
order to escape. His body disappeared beneath the surface and was seen no more. The
affair occurred in broad day light, and several spectators were so placed that they would

in all reasonable probability have seen the body if it had come to the surface in that
locality. Held: That the death of the party assailed was sufficiently proved, though the
body was not subsequently recovered or seen.
2. People vs Almonte
- When a person dies in consequence of an internal hemorrhage brought on by moving
about against the doctor's orders, not because of carelessness or a desire to increase the
criminal liability of his assailant, but because of his nervous condition due to the wound
inflicted by said assailant, the crime is homicide and not merely slight physical injuries,
simply because the doctor was of opinion that the wound might have healed in seven
- The accused is then liable for all acts contrary to law and their natural and logical
3. People vs Toling
- Where, as in this case, the events transpired in rapid succession in the coach of the train
and it was nighttime, it is not surprising that Rayel and Aldea would not give identical
testimonies. There is no doubt that Aldea and Rayel witnessed some of the acts of the
twins but they did not observe the same events and their powers of perception and
recollection are not the same. x x x On the other hand, the defense failed to prove that
persons, other than the twins, could have inflicted the stab wounds. There is no doubt as
to the corpus delicti. And there can be no doubt that the twins, from their own admissions
and their testimonies, not to mention the testimonies of Rayel, Aldea, Mrs. Mapa and the
CIS Investigators, were the authors of the killings.
- On the other hand, the twins theory of self-defense is highly incredible. In that crowded
coach No. 9, which was lighted, it was improbable that two or more persons could have
held up the twins without being readily perceived by the other passengers. The twins
would have made an outcry had there really been an attempt to rob them. The injuries,
which they sustained, could be attributed to the blows which the other passengers
inflicted on them to stop their murderous rampage.
- No one testified that those four victims jumped from the train. Had the necropsy reports
been reinforced by testimony showing that the proximate cause of their deaths was the
violent and murderous conduct of the twins, then the latter would be criminally
responsible for their deaths. x x x The absence of eyewitnesstestimony as to the jumping
from the train of the four victims already named precludes the imputation of criminal
responsibility to the appellants for the ghastly deaths of the said victims. The same
observation applies to the injuries suffered by the other victims x x x Unlike Mrs. Mapa,
the offended parties involved did not testify on the injuries inflicted on them.

The rule is that if a man creates in another mans mind an immediate sense of danger
which causes such person to try to escape, and in so doing he injures himself, the person
who creates such a state of mind is responsible for the injuries which result.
The eight killings and the attempted killing should be treated as separate crimes of
murder and attempted murder qualified by treachery. The unexpected, surprise assaults
perpetrate by the twins upon their co-passengers, who did not anticipate that the twins
would act like juramentados and who were unable to defend themselves (even if some of
them might have had weapons on their persons) was a mode of execution that insured the
consummation of the twins diabolical objective to butcher their co-passengers. The
conduct of the twins evinced conspiracy and community of design. The eight killings and
the attempted murder were perpetrated by means of different acts. Hence, they cannot be
regarded as constituting a complex crime under article 48 of the Revised Penal Code
which refers to cases where a single act constitutes two or more grave felonies, or when
an offense is a necessary means for committing the other.
As no generic aggravating and mitigating circumstances were proven in this case, the
penalty for murder should be imposed in its medium period or reclusion perpetua. The
death penalty imposed by the trial court was not warranted.

4. People vs Ortega, Jr.

- Because the trial court had the opportunity to observe the witnesses demeanor and
deportment on the stand as they rendered their testimonies, its evaluation of the
credibility of witnesses is entitled to the highest respect. Therefore, unless the trial judge
plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value which, if considered, might affect
the result of the case, his assessment of credibility must be respected.
- Although treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength were alleged in
the information, the trial court found the presence only of abuse of superior strength. We
disagree with the trial courts finding. Abuse of superior strength requires deliberate
intent on the part of the accused to take advantage of such superiority. It must be shown
that the accused purposely used excessive force that was manifestly out of proportion to
the means available to the victims defense. In this light, it is necessary to evaluate not
only the physical condition and weapon of the protagonists but also the various incidents
of the event.
- Article 4, par. 1, of the Revised Penal Code states 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 essential requisites for the application of this provision
are that (a) the intended act is felonious; (b) the resulting act is likewise a felony; and (c)
the unintended albeit graver wrong was primarily caused by the actors wrongful acts.
- In assisting Appellant Ortega, Jr. carry the body of Masangkay to the well, Appellant
Garcia was committing a felony. The offense was that of concealing the body of the crime
to prevent its discovery, i.e., that of being an accessory in the crime of homicide.

Although Appellant Garcia may have been unaware that the victim was still alive when
he assisted Ortega in throwing the body into the well, he is still liable for the direct and
natural consequence of his felonious act, even if the resulting offense is worse than that
intended. True, Appellant Garcia merely assisted in concealing the body of the victim.
But the autopsy conducted by the NBI medico-legal officer showed that the victim at that
time was still alive, and that he died subsequently of drowning. That drowning was the
immediate cause of death was medically demonstrated by the muddy particles found in
the victims airway, lungs and stomach.
The Information accused Appellant Garcia (and Appellant Ortega) of attack[ing],
assault[ing], and stab[bing] repeatedly with a pointed weapon on the different parts of the
body one ANDRE MAR MASANGKAY y ABLOLA. The prosecutions evidence itself
shows that Garcia had nothing to do with the stabbing which was solely perpetrated by
Appellant Ortega. His responsibility relates only to the attempted concealment of the
crime and the resulting drowning of Victim Masangkay. The hornbook doctrine in our
jurisdiction is that an accused cannot be convicted of an offense, unless it is clearly
charged in the complaint or information. Constitutionally, he has a right to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him. To convict him of an offense other
than that charged in the complaint or information would be a violation of this
constitutional right.
By parity of reasoning, Appellant Garcia cannot be convicted of homicide through
drowning in an information that charges murder by means of stabbing.
Although the prosecution was able to prove that Appellant Garcia assisted in concealing
x x x the body of the crime, x x x in order to prevent its discovery, he can neither be
convicted as an accessory after the fact defined under Article 19, par. 2, of the Revised
Penal Code. The records show that Appellant Garcia is a brother-in-law of Appellant
Ortega, the latters sister, Maritess, being his wife. Such relationship exempts Appellant
Garcia from criminal liability as provided by Article 20 of the Revised Penal Code:
ART. 20. Accessories who are exempt from criminal liability.The penalties prescribed
for accessories shall not be imposed upon those who are such with respect to their
spouses, ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural, and adopted brothers and sisters, or
relatives by affinity within the same degrees with the single exception of accessories
falling within the provisions of paragraph 1 of the next preceding article.
The award of actual damages should be reduced to P31,790.00 from P35,000.00. The
former amount was proven both by documentary evidence and by the testimony of Melba
Lozano, a sister of the victim. Of the expenses alleged to have been incurred, the Court
can give credence only to those that are supported by receipts and appear to have been
genuinely incurred in connection with the death of the victim. However, in line with
current jurisprudence, Appellant Ortega shall also indemnify the heirs of the deceased in

the sum of P50,000.00. Indemnity requires no proof other than the fact of death and
appellants responsibility therefor.
5. Urbano vs IAC
- In Vda. de Bataclan, et al. v. Medina (102 Phil. 1181), we adopted the following
definition of proximate cause: x x x A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found
in Volume 38, pages 695-696 of American Jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-appellants in
their brief. It is as follows: x x x that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence,
unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the
result would not have occurred. And more comprehensively, 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, the final event in the chain
immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first
acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as
an ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the
moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result
- The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct, natural, and logical
consequence of the wound inflicted upon him by the accused. (People v. Cardenas,
supra). And since we are dealing with a criminal conviction, the proof that the accused
caused the victims death must convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. The
medical findings, however, lead us to a distinct possibility that the infection of the wound
by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later or between the time Javier was
wounded to the time of his death. The infection was, therefore, distinct and foreign to the
- Doubts are present. There is a likelihood that the wound was but the remote cause and its
subsequent infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with tetanus may have
been the proximate cause of Javiers death with which the petitioner had nothing to do.
- It strains the judicial mind to allow a dear aggressor to go scot free of criminal liability.
At the very least, the records show he is guilty of inflicting slight physical injuries.
However, the petitioners criminal liability in this respect was wiped out by the victims
own act. After the hacking incident, Urbano and Javier used the facilities of barangay
mediators to effect a compromise agreement where Javier forgave Urbano while Urbano
defrayed the medical expenses of Javier. This settlement of minor offenses is allowed
under the express provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1508, Section 2(3).
- We must stress, however, that our discussion of proximate cause and remote cause is
limited to the criminal aspects of this rather unusual case. It does not necessarily follow

that the petitioner is also free of civil liability. The well-settled doctrine is that a person,
while not criminally liable, may still be civilly liable.
6. People vs Abarca
- We agree with the Solicitor General that the aforequoted provision applies in the instant
case. There is no question that the accused surprised his wife and her paramour, the
victim in this case, in the act of illicit copulation, as a result of which, he went out to kill
the deceased in a fit of passionate outburst. Article 247 prescribes the following elements:
(1) that a legally married person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person; and (2) that he kills any of them or both of them in the
act or immediately thereafter. These elements are present in this case. The trial court, in
convicting the accused-appellant of murder, therefore erred.
- Though quite a length of time, about one hour, had passed between the time the accusedappellant discovered his wife having sexual intercourse with the victim and the time the
latter was actually shot, the shooting must be understood to be the continuation of the
pursuit of the victim by the accused-appellant. The Revised Penal Code, in requiring that
the accused "shall kill any of them or both of them . . . immediately" after surprising his
spouse in the act of intercourse, does not say that he should commit the killing instantly
thereafter. It only requires that the death caused be the proximate result of the outrage
overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the basest act of infidelity.
But the killing should have been actually motivated by the same blind impulse, and must
not have been influenced by external factors. The killing must be the direct by-product of
the accused's rage.
- As may readily be seen from its provisions and its place in the Code, the abovequoted
article, far from defining a felony, merely provides or grants a privilege or benefit
amounting practically to an exemption from an adequate punishmentto a legally
married person or parent who shall surprise his spouse or daughter in the act of
committing sexual intercourse with another, and shall kill any or both of them in the act
or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury. Thus, in
case of death or serious physical injuries,
- 737
- VOL. 153, SEPTEMBER 14, 1987
- 737
- People vs. Abarca
- considering the enormous provocation and his righteous indignation, the accusedwho
would otherwise be criminally liable for the crime of homicide, parricide, murder, or
serious physical injury, as the case may beis punished only with destierro. This penalty
is mere banishment and, as held in a case, is intended more for the protection of the
accused than a punishment. (People vs. Coricor, 79 Phil., 672.) And where physical

injuries other than serious are inflicted, the offender is exempted from punishment. In
effect, therefore, Article 247, or the exceptional circumstances mentioned therein, amount
to an exempting circumstance, for even where death or serious physical injuries is
inflicted, the penalty is so greatly lowered as to result to no punishment at all. A different
interpretation, i.e., that it defines and penalizes a distinct crime, would make the
exceptional circumstances which practically exempt the accused from criminal liability
integral elements of the offense, and thereby compel the prosecuting officer to plead, and,
incidentally, admit them, in the information. Such an interpretation would be illogical if
not absurd, since a mitigating and much less an exempting circumstance cannot be an
integral element of the crime charged. Only "acts or omissions . . . constituting the
offense" should be pleaded in a complaint or information, and a circumstance which
mitigates criminal liability or exempts the accused therefrom, not being an essential
element of the offense chargedbut a matter of defense that must be proved to the
satisfaction of the courtneed not be pleaded.
It shall likewise be noted that inflicting death under exceptional circumstances, not being
a punishable act, cannot be qualified by either aggravating or mitigating or other
qualifying circumstances. We cannot accordingly appreciate treachery in this case.
The next question refers to the liability of the accused-appellant for the physical injuries
suffered by Lina Amparado and Arnold Amparado who were caught in the crossfire as the
accused-appellant shot the victim. The Solicitor General recommends a finding of double
frustrated murder against the accusedappellant, and being the more severe offense,
proposes the imposition of reclusion temporal in its maximum period pursuant to Article
48 of the Revised Penal Code. This is where we disagree. The accusedappellant did not
have the intent to kill the Amparado couple.
Although as a rule, one committing an offense is liable for all the consequences of his act,
that rule presupposes that the act done amounts to a felony. But the case at bar requires
distinctions. Here, the accused-appellant was not committing murder when he discharged
his rifle upon the deceased. Inflicting death under exceptional circumstances is not
murder. We cannot therefore hold the appellant liable for frustrated murder for the
injuries suffered by the Amparados.
This does not mean, however, that the accused-appellant is totally free from any
responsibility. Granting the fact that he was not performing an illegal act when he fired
shots at the victim, he cannot be said to be entirely without fault. While it appears that
before firing at the deceased, he uttered warning words ("an waray labot kagawas"), that
is not enough a precaution to absolve him for the injuries sustained by the Amparados.
We nonetheless find negligence on his part. Accordingly, we hold him liable under the
first part, second paragraph, of Article 365, that is, less serious physical injuries through
simple imprudence or negligence.

7. People vs Ulep

Preliminarily, having admitted the killing of Wapili, accused-appellant assumed the

burden of proving legal justification therefor. He must establish clearly and convincingly
how he acted in fulfillment of his official duty and/or in complete self-defense, as
claimed by him; otherwise, he must suffer all the consequences of his malefaction. He
has to rely on the quantitative and qualitative strength of his own evidence, not on the
weakness of the prosecution; for even if it were weak it could not be disbelieved after he
had admitted the killing.
Before the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of a duty under Art. 11, par. 5, of The
Revised Penal Code 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 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.
Accused-appellant and the other police officers involved originally set out to perform a
legal duty: to render police assistance, and restore peace and order at Mundog
Subdivision where the victim was then running amuck. There were two (2) stages of the
incident at Mundog Subdivision. During the first stage, the victim threatened the safety of
the police officers by menacingly advancing towards them, notwithstanding accusedappellants 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 victims 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 expectedwhen hard pressed and in the heat of such an encounter at close
quartersto pause for a long moment and reflect coolly at his peril, or to wait after each
blow to determine the effects thereof.
However, while accused-appellant is to be commended for promptly responding to the
call of duty when he stopped the victim from his potentially violent conduct and
aggressive behavior, he cannot be exonerated from overdoing his duty during the second
stage of the incidentwhen 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 accused-appellant, 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 elements in
order for self-defense to be appreciated are: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the
person injured or killed by the accused; (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.
This Court disagrees with the conclusion of the court a quo that the killing of Wapili by
accused-appellant was attended by treachery, thus qualifying the offense to murder. We
discern nothing from the evidence that the assault was so sudden and unexpected and that
accused-appellant deliberately adopted a mode of attack intended to insure the killing of
Wapili, without the victim having the opportunity to defend himself. On the contrary, the
victim could not have been taken by surprise as he was given more than sufficient
warning by accused-appellant before he was shot, i.e., accused-appellant fired a warning
shot in the air, and specifically ordered him to lower his weapons or he would be shot.
The killing of Wapili was not sought on purpose. Accused-appellant went to the scene in
pursuance of his official duty as a police officer after having been summoned for
assistance. The situation that the victim, at the time accused-appellant shot him in the
head, was prostrate on the ground is of no moment when considering the presence of
treachery. The decision to kill was made in an instant and the victims helpless position
was merely incidental to his having been previously shot by accused-appellant in the
performance of his official duty.
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. Considering the rule that treachery cannot be inferred but
must be proved as fully and convincingly as the crime itself, any doubt as to its existence
must be resolved in favor of accused-appellant. Accordingly, for failure of the
prosecution to prove treachery to qualify the killing to murder, ac-cused-appellant may
only be convicted of homicide.
Incomplete justification is a special or privileged mitigating circumstance, which, not
only cannot be offset by aggravating circumstances but also reduces the penalty by one or
two degrees than that prescribed by law. Undoubtedly, the instant case would have fallen
under Art. 11, par. 5 of The Revised Penal Code had the two (2) conditions therefor
concurred which, to reiterate: first, that the accused acted in the performance of a duty or
the lawful exercise of a right or office; and second, 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. But here, only the first condition was fulfilled. Hence, Art. 69 is
applicable, although its requirement that the majority of such conditions be present, is
immaterial since there are only two (2) conditions that may be taken into account under
Art. 11, par. 5. Article 69 is obviously in favor of the accused as it provides for a penalty
lower than that prescribed by law when the crime committed is not wholly justifiable.
The intention of the legislature, obviously, is to mitigate the penalty by reason of the

diminution of either freedom of action, intelligence, or intent, or of the lesser perversity

of the offender. 20, 2000
We likewise credit in favor of accused-appellant the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender. The police blotter of Kidapawan Municipal Police Station shows that
immediately after killing Wapili, accused-appellant reported to the police headquarters
and voluntarily surrendered himself.
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 may be true that police officers sometimes find themselves in a
dilemma when pressured by a situation where an immediate and decisive, but legal,
action is needed. However, 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. We cannot countenance trigger-happy law
enforcement officers who indiscriminately employ force and violence upon the persons
they are apprehending. They must always bear in mind that although they are dealing
with criminal elements against whom society must be protected, these criminals are also
human beings with human rights.

8. People vs Bindoy
- In struggling with another who sought to wrench away his bolo, the defendant
accidentally wounded a bystander, who died in consequence. Had the defendant tried to
wound his adversary and instead had hit the bystander, he would, of course, have had to
answer for his criminal act (art. 1, par. 3, Penal Code); but in view of the evidence, Held:
That the injury was accidental and the defendant should be acquitted.

B. Causes the Produce a Different Result

1. People vs Gona
- As a result of a quarrel, the defendant endeavored to kill D, but by mistake, killed M,
Held, that his mistake in killing one man instead of another did not relieve him from
criminal responsibility and could not even be considered a mitigating circumstance.
2. People vs Mabug-at
- Although the mere act of firing at a person is not proof per se of intent to kill, yet when
the surrounding circumstances of the act are such that they leave no room for doubt that

the intention was to kill the person fired upon, the crime is not simply "discharge of
firearm," but homicide or murder as the case may be.
The qualifying circumstance of premeditation may not be properly taken into account
when the person whom the defendant proposed to kill was different from the one who
became his victim.
The qualifying circumstance of treachery may properly be considered, even when the
victim of the attack was not the one whom the defendant intended to kill, if it appears
from the evidence that neither of the two persons could in any manner put up a defense
against the attack, or become aware of it.

3. People vs Cagoco
- Under the circumstances of this case the defendant is liable for the killing of the deceased
because his death was the direct consequence of defendant's felonious act of striking him
on the head. If the defendant had not committed the assault in a treacherous manner, he
would nevertheless have been guilty of homicide, although he did not intend to kill the
deceased, and since the defendant did commit the crime with treachery, he is guilty of
murder, because of the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
4. People vs Bindoy
- In struggling with another who sought to wrench away his bolo, the defendant
accidentally wounded a bystander, who died in consequence. Had the defendant tried to
wound his adversary and instead had hit the bystander, he would, of course, have had to
answer for his criminal act (art. 1, par. 3, Penal Code); but in view of the evidence, Held:
That the injury was accidental and the defendant should be acquitted.

1. Intod vs CA
- That the offense cannot be produced because the commission of the offense is inherently
impossible of accomplishment is the focus of this petition. 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. 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
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.

On the other hand, factual impossibility occurs when extraneous circumstances unknown
to the actor or beyond his control prevent the consummation of the intended crime. One
example is the man who puts his hand in the coat pocket of another with the intention to
steal the latters wallet and finds the pocket empty.
The aforecited cases are the same cases which have been relied upon by Respondent to
make this Court sustain the judgment of attempted murder against Petitioner. However,
we cannot rely upon these decisions to resolve the issue at hand. There is a difference
between the Philippine and the American laws regarding the concept and appreciation of
impossible crimes.
In the Philippines, the Revised Penal Code, in Article 4(2), expressly provided for
impossible crimes and made them punishable. Whereas, in the United States, the Code of
Crimes and Criminal Procedure is silent regarding this matter. What it provided for were
attempts of the crimes enumerated in the said Code. Furthermore, in said jurisdiction, the
impossibility of committing the offense is merely a defense to an attempt charge. In this
regard, commentators and the cases generally divide the impossibility defense into two
categories: legal versus factual impossibility.
To restate, in the United States, where the offense sought to be committed is factually
impossible of accomplishment, the offender cannot escape criminal liability. He can be
convicted of an attempt to commit the substantive crime where the elements of attempt
are satisfied. It appears, therefore, that the act is penalized, not as an impossible crime,
but as an attempt to commit a crime. On the other hand, where the offense is legally
impossible of accomplishment, the actor cannot be held liable for any crimeneither
for an attempt nor for an impossible crime. The only reason for this is that in American
law, there is no such thing as an impossible crime. Instead, it only recognizes
impossibility as a defense to a crime chargethat is, attempt.
This is not true in the Philippines. In our jurisdiction, impossible crimes are recognized.
The impossibility of accomplishing the criminal intent is not merely a defense, but an act
penalized by itself. Furthermore, the phrase inherent impossibility that is found in
Article 4(2) of the Revised Penal Code makes no distinction between factual or physical
impossibility and legal impossibility. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguiere
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.

2. People vs Domasian
- First, on the credibility of the witnesses. This is assessed in the first instance by the trial
judge, whose finding in this regard is received with much respect by the appellate court
because of his opportunity to directly observe the demeanor of the witnesses on the stand.
- Domasian's alibi cannot stand against his positive identification by Enrico, Grate and
Ferreras, let alone the contradictions made by his corroborating witness, Dr. Irene
Argosino, regarding the time he was in the optical clinic and the manner of his payment
for the refraction. Tan's alibi is not convincing either. The circumstance that he may have
been in Manila at the time of the incident does not prove that he could not have written
the ransom note except at that time.
- We have held that the value of the opinion of a handwriting expert depends not upon his
mere statements of whether a writing is genuine or false, but upon the assistance he may
afford in pointing out distinguishing marks, characteristics and discrepancies in and
between genuine and false specimens of writing which would ordinarily escape notice or
detection from an unpracticed observer. The test of genuineness ought to be the
resemblance, not the formation of letters in some other specimens but to the general
character of writing, which is impressed on it as the involuntary and unconscious result of
constitution, habit or other permanent course, and is, therefore itself permanent.
- Contrary to Tan's submission, this crime may consist not only in placing a person in an
enclosure but also in detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty. In the
case at bar, it is noted that although the victim was not confined in an enclosure, he was
deprived of his liberty when Domasian restrained him from going home and dragged him
first into the minibus that took them to the municipal building in Gumaca, thence to the
market and then into the tricycle bound for San Vicente. The detention was committed by
Domasian, who was a private individual, and Enrico was a minor at that time. The crime
clearly comes under Par. 4 of the above-quoted article.
- Even before the ransom note was received, the crime of kidnaping with serious illegal
detention had already been committed. The act cannot be considered an impossible crime
because there was no inherent improbability of its accomplishment or the employment of
inadequate or ineffective means. The delivery of the ransom note after the rescue of the
victim did not extinguish the offense, which had already been consummated when
Domasian deprived Enrico of his liberty. The sending of the ransom note would have had
the effect only of increasing the penalty to death under the last paragraph of Article 267
although this too would not have been possible under the new Constitution.
- On the issue of conspiracy, we note first that it exists when two or more persons come to
an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it, whether
they act through physical volition of one or all, proceeding severally or collectively.
- It is settled that conspiracy can be inferred from and proven by the acts of the accused
themselves when said acts point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and
community of interests. In the instant case, the trial court correctly held that conspiracy

was proved by the act of Domasian in detaining Enrico; the writing of the ransom note by
Tan; and its delivery by Domasian to Agra. These acts were complementary to each other
and geared toward the attainment of the common ultimate objective, viz. to extort the
ransom of P1 million in exchange for Enrico's life.
As for the allegation that the seizure of the documents used for comparison with the
ransom note was made without a search warrant, it suffices to say that such documents
were taken by Agra himself and not by the NBI agents or other police authorities. We
held in the case of People vs. Andre Marti, that the Bill of Rights cannot be invoked
against acts of private individuals, being directed only against the government and its
law-enforcement agencies as a limitation on official action.

3. Jacinto vs People
- As may be gleaned from the aforementioned Articles of the Revised Penal Code, 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. In this case, petitioner unlawfully took the postdated check belonging
to Mega Foam, but the same was apparently without value, as it was subsequently
dishonored. Thus, the question arises on whether the crime of qualified theft was actually
- 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. The aspect of the inherent impossibility of accomplishing the intended
crime under Article 4(2) of the Revised Penal Code was further explained by the Court in
Intod in this wise: Under this article, the act performed by the offender cannot produce an
offense against persons or property because: (1) the commission of the offense is
inherently impossible of accomplishment; or (2) the means employed is either (a)
inadequate or (b) ineffectual. That the offense cannot be produced because the
commission of the offense is inherently impossible of accomplishment is the focus of this
petition. 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.
- The fact that petitioner was later entrapped receiving the P5,000.00 marked money,
which she thought was the cash replacement for the dishonored check, is of no moment.
The Court held in Valenzuela v. People (525 SCRA 306 [2007]) that under the definition
of theft in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, there is only one operative act of

execution by the actor involved in theftthe taking of personal property of another.

Elucidating further, the Court held, thus: x x x 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 latters consent.
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. The circumstance of petitioner
receiving the P5,000.00 cash as supposed replacement for the dishonored check was no
longer necessary for the consummation of the crime of qualified theft. Obviously, the
plan to convince Baby Aquino to give cash as replacement for the check was hatched
only after the check had been dishonored by the drawee bank. Since the crime of theft is
not a continuing offense, petitioners 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.
The fact that petitioner further planned to have the dishonored check replaced with cash
by its issuer is a different and separate fraudulent scheme. Unfortunately, since said
scheme was not included or covered by the allegations in the Information, the Court
cannot pronounce judgment on the accused; otherwise, it would violate the due process
clause of the Constitution. If at all, that fraudulent scheme could have been another
possible source of criminal liability.

1. People vs Pancho
- Simple rape is committed under any of the following circumstances: 1. By using force or
intimidation; 2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and 3.
When the woman is under twelve years of age (statutory rape) or is demented.
- The gravamen of the offense of statutory rape is carnal knowledge of a woman below
twelve (12) years old. In statutory rape, force, intimidation or physical evidence of injury
is immaterial. Where the girl is below 12 years of age, violence or intimidation is not
required, and the only subject of inquiry is whether carnal knowledge took place.
- In rape cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the rape victim if
her testimony is credible, natural, and convincing.
- When a woman says she was raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that
rape had been committed, and if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused
may be convicted on the basis thereof.
- We have ruled that in rape cases the absence of fresh lacerations does not preclude the
finding of rape, especially when the victim is of tender age. Moreover, laceration of the

hymen is not an element of the crime of rape. Hymenal rupture or any indication of
vaginal laceration or genital injury is not necessary for the consummation of rape. Its
absence does not negate a finding of forced sexual coitus. For the rule is well settled that
rape is consummated by the slightest penile penetration of the labia majora or pudendum
of the female organ.
Inherently weak, denial as a defense crumbles in the light of positive identification of the
accused, as in this case. The defense of denial assumes significance only when the
prosecutions evidence is such that it does not prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Verily, mere denial, unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, is negative selfserving evidence which cannot be given greater evidentiary weight than the testimony of
the complaining witness who testified on affirmative matters.
In People vs. Campuhan, we held that the thin line that separates attempted rape from
consummated rape is the entrance of the male organ into the labial threshold of the
female genitalia. In that case, the accused was caught by the mother of the victim
kneeling on top of her. The victim testified that the accuseds organ merely touched but
did not penetrate her vagina. We held that he could not be convicted of statutory rape but
only attempted rape.
We have consistently ruled that upon a finding of the fact of rape, the award of civil
indemnity is mandatory. If the death penalty is imposed, the indemnity ex delicto should
be P75,000.00. Where, as here, the death penalty is not decreed, the victim should be
entitled to P50,000.00 only.

2. People vs Lamahang
- The attempt 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 thereof 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.
- It is not sufficient, for the purpose of imposing penal sanction, that an act objectively
performed should constitute a mere beginning of execution; it is necessary to establish its
unavoidable relation, like the logical and natural relation of the cause and its effect, to the
deed which, upon its consummation, will ripen into one of the crimes defined and
punished by the Code; it is necessary to prove that such 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.
- In order that a simple act of entering by means of force or violence another person's
dwelling may be considered as attempted robbery, 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 present case, there is no evidence' in the record from which
such purpose of the accused may reasonably be inferred.
From the fact established and stated in the decision, that the accused on the day in
question was making an opening by means of an iron bar on the wall of T. Y.'s store, it
may only be inferred as a logical conclusion that his evident intention was to enter by
means of force said store against the will of its owner. That his final objective, once he
succeeded in entering the store, was to rob, to cause physical injury to its occupants, or to
commit any other offense, there is nothing in the record to justify a concrete finding.
The fact under consideration does not constitute attempted robbery but attempted trespass
to dwelling (People vs. Tayag and Morales, 59 Phil., 606, and decisions of the Supreme
Court of Spain therein cited). The accused may be convicted and sentenced for an attempt
to commit this crime, in accordance with the weight of the evidence and the allegations
contained in the information.

3. Valenzuela vs People
- Article 6 defines those three stages, namely the consummated, frustrated and attempted
felonies. A felony is consummated when all the elements necessary for its execution and
accomplishment are present. It is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of
execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do
not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator. Finally, it is
attempted 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.
- 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,
[s]ubjectively the crime is complete.
- 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. Since the specific acts of execution that define each crime under the
Revised Penal Code are generally enumerated in the code itself, the task of ascertaining
whether a crime is attempted only would need to compare the acts actually performed by
the accused as against the acts that constitute the felony under the Revised Penal Code.
- In contrast, the determination of 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.
The long-standing Latin maxim actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea supplies an
important characteristic of a crime, that ordinarily, evil intent must unite with an
unlawful act for there to be a crime, and accordingly, there can be no crime when the
criminal mind is wanting. Accepted in this jurisdiction as material in crimes mala in se,
mens rea has been defined before as a guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose or
criminal intent, and essential for criminal liability. It follows that the statutory
definition of our mala in se crimes must be able to supply what the mens rea of the crime
is, and indeed the U.S. Supreme Court has comfortably held that a criminal law that
contains no mens rea requirement infringes on constitutionally protected rights. The
criminal statute must also provide for the overt acts that constitute the crime. For a crime
to exist in our legal law, it is not enough that mens rea be shown; there must also be an
actus reus.
We have long recognized the following elements of theft as provided for in Article 308 of
the Revised Penal Code, namely: (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
Cuello Calns submissions cannot be lightly ignored. Unlike Viada, who was content
with replicating the Spanish Supreme Court decisions on the matter, Cuello Caln
actually set forth his own thought that questioned whether theft could truly be frustrated,
since pues es muy dificil que el que hace cuanto es necesario para la consumacin del
hurto no lo consume efectivamente. Otherwise put, it would be difficult to foresee how
the execution of all the acts necessary for the completion of the crime would not produce
the effect of theft. This divergence of opinion convinces us, at least, that there is no
weighted force in scholarly thought that obliges us to accept frustrated theft, as proposed
in Dio and Flores. A final ruling by the Court that there is no crime of frustrated theft in
this jurisdiction will not lead to scholastic pariah, for such a submission is hardly
heretical in light of Cuello Calns position. Accordingly, it would not be intellectually
disingenuous for the Court to look at the question from a fresh perspective, as we are not
bound by the opinions of the respected Spanish commentators, conflicting as they are, to
accept that theft is capable of commission in its frustrated stage. Further, if we ask the
question whether there is a mandate of statute or precedent that must compel us to adopt

the Dio and Flores doctrines, the answer has to be in the negative. If we did so, it would
arise not out of obeisance to an inexorably higher command, but from the exercise of the
function of statutory interpretation that comes as part and parcel of judicial review, and a
function that allows breathing room for a variety of theorems in competition until one is
ultimately adopted by this Court.
The foremost predicate that guides us as we explore the matter is that it lies in the
province of the legislature, through statute, to define what constitutes a particular crime
in this jurisdiction. It is the legislature, as representatives of the sovereign people, which
determines which acts or combination of acts are criminal in nature. Judicial
interpretation of penal laws should be aligned with what was the evident legislative
intent, as expressed primarily in the language of the law as it defines the crime. It is
Congress, not the courts, which is to define a crime, and ordain its punishment. The
courts cannot arrogate the power to introduce a new element of a crime which was
unintended by the legislature, or redefine a crime in a manner that does not hew to the
statutory language. Due respect for the prerogative of Congress in defining
crimes/felonies constrains the Court to refrain from a broad interpretation of penal laws
where a narrow interpretation is appropriate. The Court must take heed of language,
legislative history and purpose, in order to strictly determine the wrath and breath of the
conduct the law forbids.
With that in mind, a problem clearly emerges with the Dio/Flores dictum. 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. Such factor runs immaterial to the statutory definition of theft, which is the taking,
with intent to gain, of personal property of another without the latters consent. While the
Dio/Flores dictum is considerate to the mindset of the offender, the statutory definition
of theft considers only the perspective of intent to gain on the part of the offender,
compounded by the deprivation of property on the part of the victim.
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. This conclusion is reflected in Chief Justice Aquinos
commentaries, as earlier cited, that [i]n theft or robbery the crime is consummated after
the accused had material possession of the thing with intent to appropriate the same,
although his act of making use of the thing was frustrated.
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. And long ago, we asserted in People v. Avila, 44 Phil. 720 (1923): x
x x [T]he most fundamental notion in the crime of theft is the taking of the thing to be
appropriated into the physical power of the thief, which idea is qualified by other
conditions, such as that the taking must be effected animo lucrandi and without the
consent of the owner; and it will be here noted that the definition does not require that the
taking should be effected against the will of the owner but merely that it should be
without his consent, a distinction of no slight importance.
Insofar as we consider the present question, unlawful taking is most material in this
respect. Unlawful taking, which is the deprivation of ones personal property, is the
element which produces the 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
Maybe the Dio/Flores rulings are, in some degree, grounded in common sense. Yet they
do not align with the legislated framework of the crime of theft. The Revised Penal Code
provisions on theft have not been designed in such fashion as to accommodate said
rulings. Again, 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. Dio itself did not rely on Philippine laws or
jurisprudence to bolster its conclusion, and the later Flores was ultimately content in
relying on Dio alone for legal support. These cases do not enjoy the weight of stare
decisis, and even if they did, their erroneous appreciation of our law on theft leaves them
susceptible to reversal. The same holds true of Empelis, a regrettably stray decision
which has not since found favor from this Court.
We thus conclude that under the Revised Penal Code, there is no crime of frustrated theft.
As petitioner has latched the success of his appeal on our acceptance of the Dio and
Flores rulings, his petition must be denied, for we decline to adopt said rulings in our
jurisdiction. That it has taken all these years for us to recognize that there can be no
frustrated theft under the Revised Penal Code does not detract from the correctness of this
conclusion. It will take considerable amendments to our Revised Penal Code in order that

frustrated theft may be recognized. Our deference to Viada yields to the higher reverence
for legislative intent.
4. People vs Erinia
- It has been suggested that the child was of such tender age that penetration was
impossible; that the crime of rape consequently was impossible of consummation; and
that, therefore, the offense committed should be treated only as abusos deshonestos. We
do not think so. It is probably true that a complete penetration was impossible, but such
penetration is not essential to the commission of the crime; it is sufficient if there is a
penetration of the labia. In the case of Kenney vs. State ([Tex. Crim. App ] 79 S. W., 817;
65 L. R. A., 316) where the offended party was a child of the age of 3 years and 8
months, the testimony of several physicians was to the effect that the labia of the privates
of a child of that age can be entered by a man's male organ to the hymen and the
defendant was found guilty of the consummated crime of rape.
5. People vs Orita
- We find no cogent reason to depart from the well-settled rule that the findings of fact of
the trial court on the credibility of witnesses should be accorded the highest respect
because it has the advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses and can discern if a
witness is telling the truth (People v. Samson, G.R. No. 55520, August 25, 1989).
- Clearly, in the crime of rape, from the moment the offender has carnal knowledge of his
victim, he actually attains his purpose and, from that moment also all the essential
elements of the offense have been accomplished. Nothing more is left to be done by the
offender, because he has performed the last act necessary to produce the crime. Thus, the
felony is consummated. In a long line of cases (People v. Oscar, 48 Phil. 527; People v.
Hernandez, 49 Phil. 980; People v. Royeras, G.R. No. L-31886, April 29, 1974, 56 SCRA
666; People v. Amores, G.R. No. L-32996, August 21, 1974, 58 SCRA 505), We have set
the uniform rule that for the consummation of rape, perfect penetration is not essential.
Any penetration of the female organ by the male organ is sufficient. Entry of the labia or
lips of the female organ, without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina is
sufficient to warrant conviction. Necessarily, rape is attempted if there is no penetration
of the female organ (People v. Tayaba, 62 Phil. 559; People v. Rabadan, et al., 53 Phil.
694; United States v. Garcia, 9 Phil. 434) because not all acts of execution was
performed. The offender merely commenced the commission of a felony directly by overt
acts. Taking into account the nature, elements and manner of execution of the crime of
rape and jurisprudence on the matter, it is hardly conceivable how the frustrated stage in
rape can ever be committed.
- The fact is that in a prosecution for rape, the accused may be convicted even on the sole
basis of the victims testimony if credible (People v. Tabago, G.R. No. 69778, November

8, 1988, 167 SCRA 65; People v. Aragona, G.R. No. L-43752, September 19, 1985, 138
SCRA 569; People v. Taduyo, G.R. Nos. L-37928-29, September 29, 1987, 154 SCRA
349). Moreover, Dr. Zamoras testimony is merely corroborative and is not an
indispensable element in the prosecution of this case (People v. Alfonso, supra).
6. People vs Labiaga
- Appellants feeble attempt to invoke self-defense in both cases was correctly rejected by
the RTC and the CA-Cebu. This Court, in People v. Damitan, 371 SCRA 629 (2001),
explained that: When the accused admits killing a person but pleads self-defense, the
burden of evidence shifts to him to prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements
of his defense. However, appellants version of the incident was uncorroborated. His bare
and self-serving assertions cannot prevail over the positive identification of the two (2)
principal witnesses of the prosecution.
- In People v. Mangune, 685 SCRA 578 (2012), we stated that: It is well settled that the
evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is a matter best undertaken
by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses first hand and
to note their demeanor, conduct, and attitude under grilling examination. These are
important in determining the truthfulness of witnesses and in unearthing the truth,
especially in the face of conflicting testimonies. For, indeed, the emphasis, gesture, and
inflection of the voice are potent aids in ascertaining the witness credibility, and the trial
court has the opportunity [to] take advantage of these aids.
- Treachery was correctly appreciated by the RTC and CA-Cebu. A treacherous attack is
one in which the victim was not afforded any opportunity to defend himself or resist the
attack. The existence of treachery is not solely determined by the type of weapon used. If
it appears that the weapon was deliberately chosen to insure the execution of the crime,
and to render the victim defenseless, then treachery may be properly appreciated against
the accused.
- In Serrano v. People, 623 SCRA 322 (2010), we distinguished a frustrated felony from an
attempted felony in this manner: 1.) In [a] frustrated felony, the offender has performed
all the acts of execution which should produce the felony as a consequence; whereas in
[an] attempted felony, the offender merely commences the commission of a felony
directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution. 2.) In [a] frustrated
felony, the reason for the non-accomplishment of the crime is some cause independent of
the will of the perpetrator; on the other hand, in [an] attempted felony, the reason for the
non-fulfillment of the crime is a cause or accident other than the offenders own
spontaneous desistance.
- In frustrated murder, there must be evidence showing that the wound would have been
fatal were it not for timely medical intervention. If the evidence fails to convince the
court that the wound sustained would have caused the victims death without timely

medical attention, the accused should be convicted of attempted murder and not
frustrated murder.
Since Gregorios gunshot wound was not mortal, we hold that appellant should be
convicted of attempted murder and not frustrated murder. Under Article 51 of the Revised
Penal Code, the corresponding penalty for attempted murder shall be two degrees lower
than that prescribed for consummated murder under Article 248, that is, prision
correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period. Section 1 of
the Indeterminate Sentence Law provides: x x x the court shall sentence the accused to an
indeterminate sentence the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of the
attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the rules of the [Revised
Penal] Code, and the minimum which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower
to that prescribed by the Code for the offense. Thus, appellant should serve an
indeterminate sentence ranging from two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of
prision correccional in its medium period to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision
mayor in its medium period.

1. Fernan vs People
- Our Constitution unequivocally guarantees that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused
shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. This sacred task unqualifiedly
means proving the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Definitely,
reasonable doubt is not mere guesswork whether or not the accused is guilty, but such
uncertainty that a reasonable man may entertain after a fair review and consideration of
the evidence. Reasonable doubt is present when after the entire comparison and
consideration of all the evidences, leaves the minds of the [judges] in that condition that
they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction, to a moral certainty, of the truth of the
charge; a certainty that convinces and directs the understanding, and satisfies the reason
and judgment of those who are bound to act conscientiously upon it.
- Petitioners were charged with the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public
documents as defined and penalized under Articles 318 and 171 in relation to Article 48
of the Revised Penal Code, thus: ART.318.Other deceits.The penalty of arresto mayor
and a fine of not less than the amount of the damage caused and not more than twice such
amount shall be imposed upon any person who shall defraud or damage another by any
deceit not mentioned in the preceding articles of this chapter. ART. 171. Falsification by
public officer, employee; or notary or ecclesiastical minister.The penalty of prision
mayor and a fine not to exceed 5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any public officer,
employee, or notary who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a
document by committing any of the following acts: x x x x 4. Making untruthful

statements in a narration of facts; ART. 48. Penalty for complex crimes.When a single
act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary
means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed,
the same to be applied in its maximum period. The complex crime is pruned into the
following essential elements: For estafa: 1. Deceit: Deceit is a specie of fraud. It is actual
fraud, and consists in any false representation or contrivance whereby one person overreaches and misleads another, to his hurt. There is deceit when one is misled, either by
guile or trickery or by other means, to believe to be true what is really false. 2. Damage:
Damage may consist in the offended party being deprived of his money or property as a
result of the defraudation, disturbance in property right, or temporary prejudice. For
falsification: 1. That the offender is a public officer, employee, or notary public; 2. That
he takes advantage of his official position; 3. That he falsifies a document by committing
any of the acts defined under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code.
By way of defense, petitioners posit that the tally sheets and other documents could in
fact be traced to genuine LAAs that were in the custody of the NBI. Unfortunately, these
genuine LAAs were not introduced in evidence. It is an age-old axiom that s/he who
alleges something must prove it. Petitioners assertion that the documents they signed
were all genuine and duly covered by genuine LAAs was substantiated only by their own
self-serving and uncorroborated testimonies. We hesitate to give much weight and credit
to their bare testimonies in the face of clear, convincing, overwhelming, and hard
evidence adduced by the State. If the genuine LAAs were vital to their defense, and they
firmly believed that the documents were indeed in the custody of the NBI, then
petitioners could have easily procured the compulsory process to compel the production
of said documents. However, petitioners miserably failed to avail of subpoena duces
tecum which the court a quo could have readily granted. The inability to produce such
important and exculpatory pieces of evidence proved disastrous to petitioners cause.
Their conviction was indeed supported by proof beyond reasonable doubt which was not
overturned by defense evidence.
The burden of proving the allegation of conspiracy falls to the shoulders of the
prosecution. Considering, however, the difficulty in establishing the existence of
conspiracy, settled jurisprudence finds no need to prove it by direct evidence. In People v.
Pagalasan, 404 SCRA 275 (2003), the Court explicated why direct proof of prior
agreement is not necessary: After all, secrecy and concealment are essential features of a
successful conspiracy. Conspiracies are clandestine in nature. It may be inferred from the
conduct of the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime, showing
that they had acted with a common purpose and design. Conspiracy may be implied if it
is proved that two or more persons aimed their acts towards the accomplishment of the
same unlawful object, each doing a part so that their combined acts, though apparently
independent of each other, were in fact, connected and cooperative, indicating a closeness

of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment. 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.
In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 377 SCRA 538 (2002), we categorized two (2) structures of
multiple conspiracies, namely: (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, usually involving the
distribution of narcotics or other contraband, 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. We find that the conspiracy in the instant cases resembles the wheel
conspiracy. The 36 disparate persons who constituted the massive conspiracy to defraud
the government were controlled by a single hub, namely: Rolando Mangubat (Chief
Accountant), Delia Preagido (Accountant III), Jose Sayson (Budget Examiner), and
Edgardo Cruz (Clerk II), who controlled the separate spokes of the conspiracy.
Petitioners were among the many spokes of the wheel.
After a close reexamination of the records, the Court finds no reason to disturb the
finding of the anti-graft court that petitioners are co-conspirators of the other accused,
headed by Chief Accountant Rolando Mangubat, who were similarly convicted in
practically all the 119 counts of estafa. Undisturbed is the rule that this Court is not a trier
of facts and in the absence of strong and compelling reasons or justifications, it will
accord finality to the findings of facts of the SB. The feeble defense of petitioners that
they were not aware of the ingenuous plan of the group of accused Mangubat and the
indispensable acts to defraud the government does not merit any consideration. The State
is not tasked to adduce direct proof of the agreement by petitioners with the other
accused, for such requirement, in many cases, would border on near impossibility. The
State needs to adduce proof only when the accused committed acts that constitute a vital
connection to the chain of conspiracy or in furtherance of the objective of the conspiracy.
In the case at bench, the signing of the fake tally sheets and/or delivery receipts, reports
of inspection, and requests for supplies and materials by petitioners on separate occasions
is vital to the success of the Mangubat Group in siphoning off government funds. Without
such fabricated documents, the general vouchers covering the supply of materials cannot
be properly accomplished and submitted to the disbursing officer for the preparation of

1. Go-Tan vs Go

Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 defines [v]iolence against women and their children as
any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife,
former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating
relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether
legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely
to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse
including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary
deprivation of liberty. While the said provision provides that the offender be related or
connected to the victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship,
it does not preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under the RPC.
Most recently, in Ladonga v. People, 451 SCRA 673 (2005), the Court applied
suppletorily the principle of conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC to B.P. Blg. 22 in the
absence of a contrary provision therein. With more reason, therefore, the principle of
conspiracy under Article 8 of the RPC may be applied suppletorily to R.A. No. 9262
because of the express provision of Section 47 that the RPC shall be supplementary to
said law. Thus, general provisions of the RPC, which by their nature, are necessarily
applicable, may be applied suppletorily. Thus, the principle of conspiracy may be applied
to R.A. No. 9262. For once conspiracy or action in concert to achieve a criminal design is
shown, the act of one is the act of all the conspirators, and the precise extent or modality
of participation of each of them becomes secondary, since all the conspirators are
It must be further noted that Section 5 of R.A. No. 9262 expressly recognizes that the acts
of violence against women and their children may be committed by an offender through
another, thus: SEC. 5. Acts of Violence against Women and Their Children.The crime
of violence against women and their children is committed through any of the following
acts: x x x (h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or
through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to
the woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts: x x x
It bears mention that the intent of the statute is the law and that this intent must be
effectuated by the courts. In the present case, the express language of R.A. No. 9262
reflects the intent of the legislature for liberal construction as will best ensure the
attainment of the object of the law according to its true intent, meaning and spiritthe
protection and safety of victims of violence against women and children.
Contrary to the RTCs pronouncement, the maxim expressio unios est exclusio alterius
finds no application here. It must be remembered that this maxim is only an ancillary
rule of statutory construction. It is not of universal application. Neither is it conclusive.
It should be applied only as a means of discovering legislative intent which is not
otherwise manifest and should not be permitted to defeat the plainly indicated purpose of
the legislature.

A. Proximate Cause
1. People vs Abrazaldo
- Consistent is the jurisprudence that where self-defense is invoked, it is incumbent upon
the accused to prove by clear and convincing evidence that (1) he is not the unlawful
aggressor; (2) there was lack of sufficient provocation on his part; and (3) he employed
reasonable means to prevent and repel an aggression. On appeal, the burden becomes
even more difficult as the accused must show that the court below committed reversible
error in appreciating the evidence.
- Time and again, we have said that we will not interfere with the judgment of the trial
court in determining the credibility of witnesses unless there appears on record some
facts or circumstances of weight and influence which have been overlooked or the
significance of which has been misinterpreted. This is so because the trial court has the
advantage of observing the witnesses through the different indicators of truthfulness or
- 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 defense which the
offended party might make. Treachery cannot be presumed, it must be proved by clear
and convincing evidence or as conclusively as the killing itself.
- Neither can we sustain the trial courts finding that the aggravating circumstance under
paragraph (5) of Article 14, Revised Penal Code, i.e., that the crime was committed in a
place where public authorities were engaged in the discharge of their duties, is present. It
must be pointed out that this aggravating circumstance is based on the greater perversity
of the offender, as shown by the place of the commission of the crime, which must be
respected. In this case, the crime was committed at the compound of the accusedappellant where no public function was being held. The arrival of the barangay
authorities was precisely due to the trouble that had commenced prior to the stabbing
- Moreover, under the present Rules, aggravating circumstances must be alleged,
otherwise, they cannot be appreciated. Being favorable to the accused, this new
procedure may be given retroactive effect.
- Thus, we now hold that where the amount of the actual damages cannot be determined
because of the absence of receipts to prove the same, but it is shown that the heirs are
entitled thereto, temperate damages may be awarded. Such temperate damages, taking
into account the current jurisprudence fixing the indemnity for death at P50,000.00,
should be one-half thereof, or P25,000.00. This makes temperate damages equal to the

award of exemplary damages, which is likewise fixed at P25,000.00 in cases where its
award is justified.
2. Dela Cruz vs People (Doctrine of Rational Equivalence)
- The essential requisites of self-defense are the following: (1) unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel
such aggression; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person resorting
to self-defense. In other words, there must have been an unlawful and unprovoked attack
that endangered the life of the accused, who was then forced to inflict severe wounds
upon the assailant by employing reasonable means to resist the attack.
- Considering that self-defense totally exonerates the accused from any criminal liability, it
is well-settled that when he invokes the same, it becomes incumbent upon him to prove
by clear and convincing evidence that he indeed acted in defense of himself. The burden
of proving that the killing was justified and that he incurred no criminal liability therefor
shifts upon him. As such, he must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the
weakness of the prosecution for, even if the prosecution evidence is weak, it cannot be
disbelieved after the accused himself has admitted the killing.
- Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. It presupposes actual,
sudden, unexpected or imminent danger not merely threatening and intimidating
action. There is aggression, only when the one attacked faces real and immediate threat to
his life. The peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not merely
speculative. In the case at bar, other than petitioners testimony, the defense did not
adduce evidence to show that Jeffrey condescendingly responded to petitioners questions
or initiated the confrontation before the shooting incident; that Jeffrey pulled a gun from
his chair and tried to shoot petitioner but failed an assault which may have caused
petitioner to fear for his life.
- When an unlawful aggression that has begun no longer exists, the one who resorts to selfdefense has no right to kill or even wound the former aggressor. To be sure, when the
present victim no longer persisted in his purpose or action to the extent that the object of
his attack was no longer in peril, there was no more unlawful aggression that would
warrant legal self-defense on the part of the offender. Undoubtedly, petitioner went
beyond the call of self-preservation when he proceeded to inflict excessive, atrocious and
fatal injuries on Jeffrey, even when the allegedly unlawful aggression had already ceased.
- The observation of the RTC dispels any doubt that the gun may have been shot
accidentally to the detriment of Jeffrey. The fire was neither a disaster nor a misfortune of
sorts. While petitioner may not have intended to kill Jeffrey at the onset, at the time he
clicked the trigger thrice consecutively, his intent to hurt (or even kill) Jeffrey was too
plain to be disregarded. We have held in the past that the nature and number of wounds
are constantly and unremittingly considered important indicia which disprove a plea of

self-defense. Thus, petitioners contention that an accident simultaneously occurred while

he was in the act of self-defense is simply absurd and preposterous at best. There could
not have been an accident because the victim herein suffered a gunshot wound on his
head, a vital part of the body and, thus, demonstrates a criminal mind resolved to end the
life of the victim.
With regard to the appreciation of the aggravating circumstance of use of an unlicensed
firearm, we deviate from the findings of the CA. A perusal of the Information will show
that the use of unlicensed firearm was expressly alleged in the killing of Jeffrey. This
allegation was further proved during trial by the presentation of the Certification from the
PNP Firearms and Explosives Division, dated November 11, 2005, certifying that
petitioner is not a licensed/registered firearm holder of any kind and calibre, per
verification from the records of the said Division. Accordingly, under Paragraph 3 of
Section 1 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8294, amending Section 1 of Presidential Decree
(P.D.) No. 1866, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating
circumstance, to wit: x x x x 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.
Under Article 249 of the RPC, the penalty for homicide is reclusion temporal. There
being an aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm, the penalty imposable on
petitioner should be in its maximum period. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law,
the petitioner shall be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from ten (10) years and
one (1) day of prisin mayor maximum, as the minimum penalty, to seventeen (17) years,
four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal maximum, as the maximum
As to the award of civil indemnity, moral damages, and damages for loss of earning
capacity in favor of private respondent, we sustain the findings of the CA insofar as they
are in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence. In addition, we find the grant of
exemplary damages in the present case in order, since the presence of special aggravating
circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm has been established. Based on current
jurisprudence, the award of exemplary damages for homicide is P30,000.00.
Pursuant to this Courts ruling in Nacar v. Gallery Frames, 703 SCRA 439 (2013), an
interest of six percent (6%) per annum on the aggregate amount awarded for civil
indemnity and damages for loss of earning capacity shall be imposed, computed from the
time of finality of this Decision until full payment thereof.

B. Defense of Property
1. People vs Apolinar

Defense of property is not of such importance as right to life, and defense of property can
be invoked as a justifying circumstance only when it is coupled with an attack on the
person of one entrusted with the property.

2. People vs Narvaez

3. People vs Genosa

C. State of Necessity
1. Ty vs People