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People v Gaffud, Jr When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less

566 SCRA 76 (2008) grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means

Topic: Pro Reo for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious
crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its
Facts: maximum period.
Gaffud Jr., along with two John Does, was charged with the crime
of Double Murder for killing Manuel and Analyn Salvador (father There are two kinds of complex crime (1) compound crime,
and daughter). when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave
felonies, and (2) complex crime proper, when an offense is a
Orly Salvador (nephew) was on his way to Manuel’s house when necessary means for committing the other.
he heard two gunshots. Afterwards, he saw his uncle’s house
burning. Due to the glow of the fire, he saw three people within The single act of Gaffud, Jr. burning the house of Manuel with the
the vicinity of the burning house and they were hurriedly leaving main objective of killing him and his daughter, resulting in their
the place towards Cagayan River. One of the three was holding a deaths resulted in the complex crime of double murder.
flashlight and was then identified to be Gaffud, Jr.
The CA has correctly imposed the penalty of death for the
Orly, and Brgy. Cpt. Ballang found the charred remains of Manuel complex crime of double murder instead of the two death
and Analyn inside the house. penalties imposed by the RTC for two counts of murder.
However, due to RA 9346 (Act Prohibiting the Imposition of
Dominga, Manuel’s common law wife, had filed an earlier Death Penalty in the Philippines), the penalty is reduced to
complaint in the barangay against Gaffud, Jr. for slaughtering her reclusion perpetua with no eligibility for parole.
pig. She also stated that she went to Gaffud’s house regarding
Manuel’s share in the construction of the barangay hall. Notes:
(1)The underlying philosophy of complex crimes in the RPC
Prior to the incident, it was stated that Brgy. Cpt. Ballang saw follows the Pro Reo principle. It is intended to favor the accused
Gaffud, Jr. a few meters away from the house of Manuel. When by imposing a single penalty irrespective of the crimes
asked, Gaffud, Jr. said that he was looking for his boat even committed.
though Brgy. Cpt. Ballang knew he did not own a boat.
The rationale is that the accused who commits two crimes with
Issue: single criminal impulse demonstrates a lesser perversity than
WON Gaffud, Jr is liable for the complex crime of double murder when the crimes are committed by different acts and several
or for two separate counts of murder criminal resolutions.

Art. 48 of the RPC states: