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As part of this law is the settled jurisprudence that he who seeks justification for his act must prove by
clear and convincing evidence the presence of the afore cited circumstances, the rationale being that
having admitted the wounding or killing of his adversary which is a felony, he is to be held criminally
liable for the crime unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the court the fact of legitimate self-


On the midnight of January 2, 1958, Francisco Caballero was stabbed by his wife, Cunigunda Boholst-
Caballero at Barrio Ipil, Ormoc City. On her defense, she stated that she only acted in self-defense.


• Cunigunda Boholst and Francisco Caballero, were married on June 7, 1956

• The marriage was not a happy one and before the end of the year 1957 the couple separated.

• Late in the evening of January 2, 1958, Francisco Caballero and two companions, namely,
Ignacio Barabad and Kakong Sacay, drank "tuba" in a certain house in barrio Ipil, Ormoc City.

• On the way home, they saw Francisco's wife, Cunigunda, standing at the corner of the yard of
Igmedio Barabad.

• Cunigunda called Francisco and when the latter approached her, Cunigunda suddenly stabbed
Francisco with a knife. Francisco called for help to his two companions.

• Dr. Cesar Samson, who attended to the victim and found a "punctured wound on the left

Cunigunda Caballero had gone to the Police Department of Ormoc City, surrendered to desk sergeant
Restituto Mariveles and informed the latter that she stabbed her husband. While Francisco Caballero
was confined at the hospital, he was interrogated by Patrolman Francisco Covero concerning the
identity of his assailant and he pointed to his wife Cunigunda.

• On Cunigunda’s defense, she stated that she only acted in self-defense:

o Boholst met Caballero who upon seeing her, manhandled her. There were an exchange of words
and later on, Caballero was already holding her by the hair and slapping her face until her nose bled.

o Caballero pushed her to the grounds, and to stop herself from falling, she held on to his waist.
As she did so, she grasped the knife tucked by the left side of his body.

o She fell to the ground then Caballero knelt over her and chocked her saying that he will kill her.
Because she had no other recourse, she pulled out the knife of her husband and thrust it at him, hitting
the left side of his body near the belt line.

o When she was finally free, she ran home and on the way, she threw the knife.

o Pat. Cabral then accompanied her to look for the weapon but because they could not find it the
policeman advised her to get any knife, and she did, and she gave a knife to the desk sergeant which is
the knife now marked as Exhibit C for the prosecution.

• The trial court found her guilty of PARRICIDE. She seeks for a reversal of the judgement


Whether or not Cunigunda Boholst-Caballero acted in a legitimate defense of her person

HELD/ RATIO:Yes. All the elements of self-defense are present.

Art. 11. Justifying circumstances. — The following do not incur any criminal liability:

1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following circumstances concur;

o First. Unlawful aggression.

o Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it.

o Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself

The trial court judge overlooked an important piece of evidence that could confirm the narration of the
appellant: location of the wound inflicted on the victim. As she was flat on her back and her husband
choking her, she had no other recourse but to pull out the knife inserted at the left side of her husband’s
belt and stabbed him hitting the left back portion just below the waist, as also described by the
attending physician as the left lumbar region. The fact that the blow landed in the vicinity from where
the knife was drawn is a strong indication of the truth of her testimony, for as she lay on the ground
with her husband bent over her it was quite natural for her right hand to get hold of the knife tucked in
the left side of the man’s belt and thrust it at that section of the body nearest to her hand at the
moment. This particular location of the wound negates the credibility of the prosecution witness that is
if it was true, then the wound should have been directed towards the front of the body of the victim
rather than at his back. The Court finds the location of the wound as a valuable circumstance which
confirms the plea of self-defense.

Appellant also lacks motive. She declared that she still loved her husband and for several months prior
to the incident, she appeared resigned to her fate. She also surrendered herself immediately the
morning after. The court also believed that the knife must be a blade of six inches as stated by Boholst
for it to penetrate through the left lumbar region to the victim’s large intestine and cause the discharge
of fecal matter.

Hence, all of the elements of self-defense are evident in this case

• Unlawful aggression as pointed out above (Holding her by the hair and slapping her face etc.)

• Reasonable necessity for means employed: Woman strangled and chocked by a furious
aggressor, rendered almost unconscious by the strong pressure on her throat. What is vital is the
imminent peril to Boholst’s life. The knife afforded appellant the only reasonable means with which she
could free and save herself. Necessity knows no law. (Necessitas Non habet legem)

• Lack of sufficient provocation: Boholst did not provoke Caballero. She gave a valid excuse that
she went caroling to earn money for their child.

Boholst acted in the legitimate defense of her person. Judgment of conviction set aside.


People v. Alconga

Facts: On May 27, deceased Silverio Barion, the banker of the card game, was playing black jack against
Maria De Raposo. De Raposo and Alconga were partners in the game, they had one money. Alconga was
seated behind Barion and he gave signs to De Raposo. Barion, who was suffering losses in the game,
found this out and he expressed his anger at Alconga. The two almost fought outright this was stopped.

The two met again on May 29. when Alconga was doing his job as a home guard. While the said accused
was seated on a bench in the guardhouse, Barion came along and said “Coroy, this is your breakfast”
followed by a swing of his “pingahan”, a bamboo stick. Alconga avoided the blow by falling to the
ground under the bench with the intention to crawl out of the guardhouse. A second blow was given by
Barion but failed to hit the accused, hitting the bench instead. Alconga managed to go out of the
guardhouse by crawling on his abdomen. While Barion was about to deliver the 3rd blow, Alconga fired
at him with his revolver, causing him to stagger and hit the ground. The deceased stood up, drew forth
his dagger and directed a blow to the accused who was able to parry the attack using his bolo. A hand to
handfight ensued. The deceased, looking already beaten and having sustained several wounds ran away.
He was followed by the accused and was overtaken after 200 meters.

A second fight took place and the deceased received a mortal bolo blow, the one which slashed the
cranium. The deceased fell face downward besides many other blows delivered. Alconga surrendered.

Issue: Whether or not self-defense can be used as a defense by Alconga

Held: No. Self-defense cannot be sustained. Alconga guilty of Homicide

The deceased ran and fled w/o having to inflicted so much a scratch to Alconga, but after, upon the
other hand, having been wounded with one revolver shot and several bolo slashes the right of Alconga
to inflict injury upon him has ceased absolutely/ Alconga had no right to pursue, no right to kill or injure.
He could have only attacked if there was reason to believe that he is still not safe. In the case at bar, it is
apparent that it is Alconga who is the superior fighter and his safety was already secured after the first
fight ended. There was no more reason for him to further chase Barion. The second fight will be treated
differently and independently. Under the first fight, self-defense would have been valid, but that is not
the case in the second fight. In the second fight, there was illegal aggression on the part of Alconga and
as a result, he is found guilty of Homicide with no mitigating circumstance (MC) of Provocation.

US vs. Mack


- Anderson Mack, a negro soldier, shot and killed a municipal policeman named Estanislao Indic.

- Just before the shooting, the accused was sitting on a bench between the tienda or content of a
woman named Olimpia and another building.

-The deceased, with another policemen, approached the place directed Olimpia to close her tienda, and,
later, ordered the accused and another soldier who was standing nearee by to go to their quarters. The
accused did not obey this order, and it is probable that some words passed between the soldiers.

The deceased, who was standing some 10 or 12 feet from the accused, cursing and abusing him for his
failure to obey the order, dragged himself free from his companion, who tried to restrain him and take
him away, and started toward the accused, at the same time drawing his bolo and brandishing it in a
threatening manner.

-Thereupon the accused got up, drew his revolver, and the deceased having then approached within a
distance of from 3 to 6 feet, the accused fired three shots, one of which took effect in the left breast of
the deceased and another in the back of his head.

- The defendant was charged with the crime of asesinato (assassination) and convicted of the crime of

-Upon the foregoing statement of facts the defendant's contention that he shot the deceased in self-
defense and is therefore exempt from punishment, must be sustained

ISSUE: WoN the defendant is found not guilty due to self defense?


For a plea of self-defense under the provisions of case 4 of article 8 of the Penal Code, an accused
person is not entitled to exemption from criminal responsibility unless each and all the following facts
are established to the satisfaction of the court:

1. That there was an unlawful aggression;

2. That there was reasonable necessity for the employment of the means taken to prevent or resist such
unlawful aggression;

3. That there was no sufficient provocation on the part of the accused.

The deceased waived a bolo at the defendant, which required him to defend himself. There was also
reasonable necessity to use the revolver, as it was late at night and difficult to see. Finally, there was no
proof that the defendant provoked the deceased in any way to start waiving the bolo. As all the
elements are present, the defendant can rightfully claim self defense and the trial court’s decision is



• Julian Sumicad was convicted of homicide, sentencing him to reclusion temporal and requiring him to
indemnify the family of the deceased of the amount of P1,000.

•Sumicad rendered hours of service for Cubol, the victim. Showing no signs of hostility, Sumicad asked
Cubol to be fairly compensated to which he was rudely denied.

•Cubol acted with much hostility, throwing his fists at Sumicad, forcing the latter to retreat. Cubol
corners Sumicad, forcing the latter to draw his bolo, striking a non-lethal blow on the former’s shoulder.
Cubol further lunges at Sumicad, again compelling the latter to inflict two other blows on the latter’s
forehead, one of which broke through the cranium.

•Cubol dies from the wounds inflicted while Sumicad surrendered himself to the authorities.


• W/N Sumicad, in causing the death of Cubol, acted in self-defense.


• From the facts presented, the quarrel which resulted to Cubol’s death was of his own making, and that
the accused was not to blame in bringing about the trouble.

•Two elements of self-defense were therefore clearly present: 1.) that the deceased was the aggressor
and 2.) that there was lack of sufficient provocation of the part of the accused.

• It is well established in jurisprudence that a man is not justified in taking the life of one who assaults
him with his fists only, without the use of a dangerous weapon. The person assaulted must, in such a
case, either resist with the arms that nature gave him or with other means of defense at his disposal,
short of taking life. But the rule contemplates the situation where the contestants are in the open and
the person assaulted can exercise the option of running away. It can, however, have no binding force in
the case where the person assaulted has retreated to the wall and uses in a defensive way the only
weapon at his disposal.

Doctrine: Battered Woman Syndrome - Someone who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or
psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without
concern for her rights.

Summary: This case stemmed from the killing of Ben Genosa, by his wife Marivic Genosa, appellant


FACTS: Marivic Genosa, the Appellant on the 15 November 1995, attacked and wounded his husband,
which ultimately led to his death. On the night of the killing, appellant and the victim were quarreled
and the victim beat the appellant. However, appellant was able to run to another room. Appellant
admitted having killed the victim with the use of a gun. The information for parricide against appellant,
however, alleged that the cause of death of the victim was by beating through the use of a lead pipe.

According to the appellant she did not provoke her husband when she got home that night it was her
husband who began the provocation. The Appellant said she was frightened that her husband would
hurt her and she wanted to make sure she would deliver her baby safely. In fact, The Appelant had to be
admitted later at the Rizal Medical Centre as she was suffering from eclampsia and hypertension, and
the baby was born prematurely on December 1, 1995.

The Appellant testified that during her marriage she had tried to leave her husband at least five (5)
times, but that Ben would always follow her and they would reconcile. The Apellant said that the reason
why Ben was violent and abusive towards her that night was because 'he was crazy about his recent
girlfriend, Lulu Rubillos.

The Appellant after being interviewed by specialists, has been shown to be suffering from Battered
Woman Syndrome.

The appellant with a plea of self defense admitted the killing of her husband, she was then found guilty
of Parricide, with the aggravating circumstance of treachery, for the husband was attacked while asleep.


1)Whether or not appellant herein can validly invoke the “battered woman syndrome” as constituting

2)Whether or not treachery attended the killing of Ben Genosa.


The Court ruled in the negative as appellant failed to prove that she is afflicted with the “battered
woman syndrome”.

A battered woman has been defined as a woman “who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical
or psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without
concern for her rights. Battered women include wives or women in any form of intimate relationship
with men. Furthermore, in order to be classified as a battered woman, the couple must go through the
battering cycle at least twice. Any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship with a man once. If
it occurs a second time, and she remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered woman.”

More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called “cycle of violence,”
which has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the
tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent) phase.

The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the “cycle of violence” supposedly characterizing the
relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there were acute battering incidents but appellant
failed to prove that in at least another battering episode in the past, she had gone through a similar
pattern. Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the cycle.

In any event, the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of
the woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense.
Settled in our jurisprudence, is the rule that the one who resorts to self-defense must face a real threat
on one’s life; and the peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not merely imaginary.
Thus, the Revised Penal Code provides that the following requisites of self-defense must concur: (1)
Unlawful aggression; (2) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3)
Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

In the present case, however, according to the testimony of the appellant there was a sufficient time
interval between the unlawful aggression of the husband and her fatal attack upon him. She had already
been able to withdraw from his violent behavior and escape to their children's bedroom. During that
time, he apparently ceased his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger
he posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her
life or safety.

2) NO.

There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing means, methods
or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from the defense that the offended
party might make.

The circumstances must be shown as indubitably as the killing itself; they cannot be deduced from mere
inferences, or conjectures, which have no place in the appreciation of evidence. Besides, equally
axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel, treachery cannot be
appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be said to have been forewarned
and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant.

In the present case, however it was not conclusively shown, that the appellant intentionally chose a
specific means of successfully attacking her husband without any risk to herself from any retaliatory act
that he might make. To the contrary, it appears that the thought of using the gun occurred to her only at
about the same moment when she decided to kill her spouse. In the absence of any convincing proof
that she consciously and deliberately employed the method by which she committed the crime in order
to ensure its execution, the doubt should be resolved in her favor.



● In the morning of February 18, 1935, while Natividad Luague was in her house and her husband
Wenceslao Alcansare went away, Paulino Disuadio came over and began to make love to her.

● When she resisted, Paulino got a knife from the kitchen, threatened her then began to embrace
her and touch her breasts.

● Preparing to lie with her, Paulino dropped the knife on the floor and then Natividad picked up
the weapon and stabbed him in the abdomen.

● Paulino ran away jumping through the window

● Natividad immediately went to the poblacion to surrender herself to the authorities and to
report the incident.

ISSUE: Whether or not Natividad Luague acted in legitimate self-defense.


Natividad Luague's act in mortally wounding Paulino Disuasido, constitutes the exempting circumstance
defined in article 11, subsection 1, of the Revised Penal Code, because, as stated by a commentator of
note, "aside from the right to life on which rest the legitimate defense of our person, we have the right
to party acquired by us, and the right to honor which is not the least prized of man's patrimony."

"Will the attempt to rape a woman constitute an aggression sufficient to put her in a state of legitimate
defense?" asks the same commentator. "We think so," he answer, "inasmuch as a woman's honor
cannot but be esteemed as a right as precious, if not more, cannot her very existence; this offense,
unlike ordinary slander by word or deed susceptible of judicial redress, in an outrage which impresses an
indelible blot on the victim, for, as the Roman Law says: quum virginitas, vel castitas, corupta restitui
non protest (because virginity or chastity, once defiled, cannot be restored). It is evident that a woman
who, imperiled, wounds, nay kills the offender, should be afforded exemption from criminal liability
provided by this article and subsection since such killing cannot be considered a crime from the moment
it became the only means left for her to protect her honor from so great an outrage."


DOCTRINE: A person is not criminally responsible when, by a reason of mistake of facts, he does an act
for which he would be exempt if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but would constitute
murder if he had known the true state of the facts at the time, provided that the ignorance or mistake of
fact was not due to negligence or bad faith.

CASE SUMMARY: On the evening of February 18, 1934, Remedios Dela Cruz stabbed Francisco Rivera in
defense of her honor.


• On the evening of February 18, 1934, about 9:00, Remedios Dela Cruz, an 18-year old illiterate
barrio girl (unable to write her name) along with Francisco Ramos, his wife Brigada Vistada, his sister
Baltazara Ramos, and another woman went to the wake in honor of one Sion, who had died in the house
of Maria Inguit.

• Five minutes later, they were followed by Enrique Bautista and Francisco Rivera, who had been
playing cards in the house where the wake was held. Bautista and Rivera overtook the defendant’s

• When they reached a narrow part, Rivera went ahead of Bautista. During that time, the
defendant’s party were walking in a single file and was being led by Ramos, with Dela Cruz at the rear
part; and suddenly, they heard a man cry out “Aruy, dios mio!” and eventually found Rivera stabbed
under the right breast. He died the next afternoon.

• They found Dela Cruz with a knife in her hand, and she said that she stabbed Francisco when he
embraced her. She was found guilty of homicide and was sentenced to suffer not more than 14 years, 8
months, and 1 day of reclusion temporal, and not less than 8 years and 1 day of prision mayor.

• In her defense, Dela Cruz said that on the narrow part of the street, a man suddenly threw his
arms around her from behind, caught hold of her breasts, and kissed her and tried to throw her down;
and that she felt weak and could do nothing more against his strength so she got a knife from her
pocket, opened it and stabbed him in defense of her honor.

• She also testified that it was a dark night; and that she stabbed him because he couldn’t see his
face, and that she only had a knife because she worked in the market selling fruit and she was not able
to change from her clothes after she came from work before going to the wake.


• Whether or not Remedios Dela Cruz is exempted from criminal liability


• Yes

• She was justified in making use of the pocket knife in repelling what she believed to be an attack
upon her honor, since she had no other means of defending herself.


• The decision appealed from is reversed, and Dela Cruz is acquitted.


• A person is not criminally responsible when, by reason of mistake of facts, he does an act for
which he would be exempt if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but would constitute murder if
he had known the true state of the facts at the time, provided that the ignorance or mistake of fact was
not due to negligence or bad faith. (United States v Ah Chong; 15 Phil. 488).



Inside the chapel of the 7th day Adventist Church, Amado Capina sat beside the appellant and with the
greatest of impudence, placed his hand on the upper part of her right thigh. On observing this highly
improper and offensive conduct, Avelina Jaurigue, conscious of her personal dignity and honor, pulled
out a fan knife and stabbed Amado once at the base of the left side of his neck. Amado Capina died from
the wound a few minutes later. Appellant Avelina Jaurigue was subsequently tried and convicted of the
crime of Homicide.


● One month before that fatal night (September 20, 1942), Amado Capina snatched Avelina’s
handkerchief bearing her nickname while it was washed by her cousin, Josefa Tapay.

● 7 days prior to incident (September 13, 1942), Amado approached her and professed his love for
her which she refused, and thereupon suddenly embraced and kissed her and touched her breasts. She
then slapped him, gave him fist blows and kicked him. She informed her mother about it and since then,
she armed herself with a long fan knife whenever she went out.

● 2 days after (September 15, 1942), Amado climbed up the house of Avelina and entered the
room where she was sleeping. She felt her forehead and she immediately screamed for help which
awakened her parents and brought them to her side. Amado came out from where he had hidden and
kissed the hand of Avelina’s father, Nicolas for forgiveness. The next morning, his parents had gone to
the house of Avelino to beg her parents for forgiveness.

● Avelina received information in the morning and again at 5:00 PM on the day of the incident
(September 20, 1942) that Amado had been falsely boasting in the neighborhood of having taken
liberties with her person and that she even asked him to elope with her.

ISSUE: W/N defendant appellant Jaurige acted in the legitimate defense of her honor and that she
should be completely absolved of all criminal responsibility

RULING: NO. The judgment of conviction is affirmed. The attempt to rape a woman constitutes an
unlawful aggression sufficient to put her in a state of legitimate defense inasmuch as a woman's honor
cannot but be esteemed as a right as precious, if not more than her very existence; and it is evident that
a woman who, thus imperiled, wounded, nay kills the offender, should be afforded exemption from
criminal liability, since such killing cannot be considered a crime from the moment it became the only
means left for her to protect her honor from so great an outrage (1 Viada, Codigo Penal, 5th ed., p. 301;
Peoplevs. Luague and Alcansare, 62 Phil., 504). As long as there is actual danger of being raped, a
woman is justified in killing her aggressor in the defense of her honor. When the deceased sat by the
side of the appellant on the same bench, near the door of the barrio chapel and placed his hand on the
upper portion of her right thigh without her consent, the said chapel was lighted with electric lights, and
there were already several people inside the chapel, including her own father and the barrio lieutenant
and other dignitaries of the organization; and under the circumstances, there was and there could be no
possibility of her being raped. And when she gave Amado Capina a thrust at his neck, inflicting upon him
a mortal wound and causing his death a few moments later, the means employed by her in the defense
of her honor was evidently excessive; and under the facts and circumstances of the case, she cannot be
legally declared completely exempt from criminal liability.

People v Apolinar

DOCTRINE: The right to property is not such importance as right to life, and defense of property can be
invoked as a justifying circumstances only when it is coupled with an attack on the person of one
entrusted with said property.e


This is an appeal from the judgment of of CFI of Pangasinan Anastacio Apolinario mistaken Domingo
Petras as a thief of his palay (sorry conyo explination) The latter was wounded in the back by the
accused using his shotgun. Apolinar used the defejse of property as a justifying circumstance to acquit
him of the crime.


● Midnight of December 22,1936, Anastacio Apolinar aka “Atong” was an occupant of a land
owned by Joaquin Gonzales.

● Armed with a shotgun, Atong had a shotgun that he fired at Domingo Petras because he mistook
him as a thief of palay and upon Atong calling out to the victim without receiving any response.

● The defendant surrendered to the authorities immediately and reiterated that he mistaken the
victim as a thief.

● The defendant said nothing on any aggression committed by the victim to barrio chief Bonifacio
Mendones, which he later on used as his defense before the CFI of Pangasinan when the issue was
raised, however facts show that the crime committed does not have connection with each other


Whether or not Apolinar can invoke defense of property as a justifying circumstance?


NO. The right to property is not of such importance as the right to life, and defense of property can be
invoked only when it is coupled with an attack on the person of one entrusted with such property.
However the Court lowered his sentence to prison mayor due to voluntary surrender and the presence
of the other two circumstances of aggravation circumstances reduce the sentence to the next lower
penalty for the sentence crime.

SC DECISION: DENIED but upon Modification as to the penalty.


FACTS: On Jan 2, 1909 - Rafael Bumanglag, an inhabitant of pueblo of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, missed 4
baares or 40 bundles of palay which were kept in his granary in Payas, barrio No. 16 
of the said pueblo.

He proceeded to search for them on the following morning and found them in an enclosed field planted
with sugar cane, at a distance of about 100 meters from his granary. For the purpose of ascertaining
who had done it, he left the palay there. That night, accompanied by Gregorio Bundoc, Antonio Ribao,
and Saturnino Tumamao, he waited near the said field for the person who might return to get the palay.

A man, who turned out to be Guillermo Ribis, appeared and approached the palay and attempted to
carry it away with him, but at that instant, Bumanglag, Bundoc and Ribao 
assaulted the presumed thief
with sticks and cutting and stabbing weapons. 

Ribis fell down and died instantly. Bumanglag et al presumed Ribis was the author of several 
and thefts that had occurred in the place. 

Provincial fiscal filed a complaint charging Bumanglag, Bundoc and Ribao with the crime of homicide.
The trial judge sentenced the 3 caused to the penalty of 14 years 8 months 1 day of reclusion temporal,
with accessories, and payment of P1,000 indemnities to the heirs of the deceased. 

Only Gregorio Bundoc appealed from the said sentence. He said he assaulted and killed the deceased,
with the help of his co-defendants, in order to defend himself from an attack made 
by deceased with a

ISSUE: W/N defense of property should extinguish the crime committed by respondents

HELD: NO. It is only a mitigating circumstance which will lower the penalty. 
Mitigating circumstance
No. 7 of Art 9 of Penal Code should be taken into account because the defendant acted with loss of
reason and self-control on seeing that Ribis was taking material possession of the palay seized and
hidden by him the previous night thus prejudicing the respondents who labored to provide themselves
and their families with subsistence. Special circumstance of Art 11 of Penal Code should also be
considered in favour of the accused, in view of the erroneous and quite general belief that it is legal to
punish a thief who deprived them the fruits of their arduous labours. These 2 circumstances (Arts 9 &
11) are considered especially admissible in the present case, without any aggravating circumstance, and
the determine (according to Art 81, Rule 5 of Penal Code), the imposition of the penalty immediately
inferior to that prescribed by law, and in its minimum degree.

People vs. Narvaez

Justifying Circumstances – Defense Against Property


Mamerto Narvaez has been convicted of murder (qualified by treachery) of David Fleischer and Flaviano
Rubia. On August 22, 1968, Narvaez shot Fleischer and Rubia during the time the two were constructing
a fence that would prevent Narvaez from getting into his house and rice mill. The defendant was taking
a nap when he heard sounds of construction and found fence being made. He addressed the group and
asked them to stop destroying his house and asking if they could talk things over. Fleischer responded
with "No, gadamit, proceed, go ahead." Defendant lost his "equilibrium," and shot Fleisher with his
shotgun. He also shot Rubia who was running towards the jeep where the deceased's gun was placed.
Prior to the shooting, Fleischer and Co. (the company of Fleischer's family) was involved in a legal battle
with the defendant and other land settlers of Cotabato over certain pieces of property. At the time of
the shooting, the civil case was still pending for annulment (settlers wanted granting of property to
Fleisher and Co. to be annulled). At time of the shooting, defendant had leased his property from
Fleisher (though case pending and ownership uncertain) to avoid trouble. On June 25, defendant
received letter terminating contract because he allegedly didn't pay rent. He was given 6 months to
remove his house from the land. Shooting was barely 2 months after letter. Defendant claims he killed in
defense of his person and property. CFI ruled that Narvaez was guilty. Aggravating circumstances of
evident premeditation offset by the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. For both murders,
CFI sentenced him to reclusion perpetua, to

indemnify the heirs, and to pay for moral damages.


1. Whether or not CFI erred in convicting defendant-appellant despite the fact that he acted in defense
of his person.

No. The courts concurred that the fencing and chiselling of the walls of the house of the defendant was
indeed a form of aggression on the part of the victim. However, this

aggression was not done on the person of the victim but rather on his rights to property. On the first
issue, the courts did not err. However, in consideration of the violation of property rights, the courts
referred to Art. 30 of the civil code recognizing the right of owners to close and fence their land.

Although is not in dispute, the victim was not in the position to subscribe to the article because his
ownership of the land being awarded by the government was still pending, therefore putting ownership
into question. It is accepted that the victim was the original aggressor.

2. WON the court erred in convicting defendant-appellant although he acted in defence of his rights.

Yes. However, the argument of the justifying circumstance of self-defense is applicable only if the 3
requirements are fulfilled. Art. 11(1) RPC enumerates these requisites:

Unlawful aggression. In the case at bar, there was unlawful aggression towards appellant's property
rights. Fleisher had given Narvaez 6 months and he should have left him in peace before time was up,
instead of chiseling Narvaez's house and putting up fence. Art. 536 of the Civil Code also provides that
possession may not be acquired through force or intimidation; while Art. 539 provides that every
possessor has the right to be respected in his possession

Reasonable necessity of means employed to prevent or repel attack. In the case, killing was
disproportionate to the attack.

Lack of sufficient provocation on part of person defending himself. Here, there was no provocation at all
since he was asleep

Since not all requisites present, defendant is credited with the special mitigating circumstance of
incomplete defense, pursuant to Art. 13(6) RPC. These mitigating circumstances are: voluntary
surrender and passion and obfuscation (read p. 405 explanation) Crime is homicide (2 counts) not
murder because treachery is not applicable on account of provocation by the deceased. Also, assault
was not deliberately chosen with view to kill since slayer acted instantaneously. There was also no direct
evidence of planning or preparation to kill. Art. 249 RPC: Penalty for homicide is reclusion temporal.
However, due to mitigating circumstances and incomplete defense, it can be lowered three degrees
(Art. 64) to arrestomayor.

3. WON he should be liable for subsidiary imprisonment since he is unable to pay the civil indemnity due
to the offended party.

No. He is not liable to be subsidiarily imprisoned for nonpayment of civil indemnity. RA 5465 made the
provisions of Art. 39 applicable to fines only and not to reparation of damage caused, indemnification of
consequential damages and costs of proceedings. Although it was enacted only after its conviction,
considering that RA 5465 is favorable to the accused who is not a habitual delinquent, it may be given
retroactive effect pursuant to Art. 22 of the RPC.

Judgment: Defendant guilty of homicide but w/ mitigating circumstances and extenuating circumstance
of incomplete self defense. Penalty is 4 months arresto mayor and to indemnify

each group of heirs 4,000 w/o subsidiary imprisonment and w/o award for moral damages. Appellant
has already been detained 14 years so his immediate release is ordered.

Gutierrez, dissenting. Defense of property can only be invoked when coupled with form of attack on
person defending property. In the case at bar, this was not so. Appellant should then be sentenced to
prision mayor. However, since he has served more than that, he should be released.

US vs Esmedia

Defense Against Relative


Esmedia and Abando family lived very near to each other and owned adjoining rice lands. Ciriaco
Abando instructed his son Santiago to go to the rice field to let out the water so that they could plant
rice in the said field. Gregorio Esmedia appeared on the scene and started a quarrel with Santiago.
Gregorio drew a dagger and stabbed Santiago in the back. Santiago fell to the ground but arouse
immediately and attacked Gregorio with his bolo. The two accused namely Potenciano and Mena
arrived on the scene about the time the fight between the Santiago and Gregorio was terminating, and
seeing their father lying in the mud and water, fatally wounded and dying and believing Santiago inflict
the wounds to their father, in defense immediately killed Santiago. Ciriaco was near the scene at this
time, the two accused attack him and as a direct result of the blows inflicted by them he fell to the
ground dying immediately.


Whether or not the two accused can be criminally responsible for the death of Ciriaco and Santiago


Potenciano and Mena Esmedia are exempted from criminal responsibility for causing the death of
Santiago Abando because, inasmuch as it has been shown that they inflicted these wounds upon him in
defense of their father who was fatally wounded at the time. Any person who, in defending his father
against an unlawful attack, while he still honestly believes him to be in a great danger, causes the death
of the attacking party, is exempt from criminal responsibility. But the two accused is guilty of homicide
with aggravating circumstance for the death of Ciriaco Abando. Considering the age of Ciriaco, 80 years
of age and arrives upon the scene of an altercation after it has terminated, and is thereupon attacked
and killed, the aggravating circumstance must be considered in fixing the penalty because of the
disregard and lack of respect for age.

Ty vs People

Justifying Circumstances → Avoidance of a greater evil

This case stemmed from the filing of 7 Informations for violation of B.P. 22 against Ty before the RTC of
Manila. The said accused drew and issue to Manila Doctors’ Hospital to apply on account or for value to
Editha L. Vecino several post-dated checks. The said accused well knowing that at the time of issue she
did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for payment of such checks in full upon
its presentment, which check when presented for payment within ninety (90) days from the date hereof,
was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for “Account Closed” and despite receipt of notice of
such dishonor, said accused failed to pay said Manila Doctors Hospital the amount of the checks or to
make arrangement for full payment of the same within five (5) banking days after receiving said notice.

Ty claimed that she issued the checks because of “an uncontrollable fear of a greater injury.” She claims
that she was forced to issue the checks to obtain release of her mother whom the hospital inhumanely
and harshly treated, and would not discharge unless the hospital bills are paid.

The trial court rendered judgment against Ty. Ty interposed an appeal with the CA and reiterated her
defense that she issued the checks “under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of a greater injury or in
avoidance of a greater evil or injury.” The appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court with
modification. It set aside the penalty of imprisonment and instead sentenced Ty to pay a fine of sixty
thousand pesos P 60,000.00 equivalent to double the amount of the check, in each case.

Issue: Whether or not the defense of uncontrollable fear is tenable to warrant her exemption from
criminal liability?

Held: No.

Uncontrollable fear

For this exempting circumstance to be invoked successfully, the following requisites must concur: (1)
existence of an uncontrollable fear; (2) the fear must be real and imminent; and (3) the fear of an injury
is greater than or at least equal to that committed.

In the instant case, the evil sought to be avoided is merely expected or anticipated. If the evil sought to
be avoided is merely expected or anticipated or may happen in the future, this defense is not applicable

It must appear that the threat that caused the uncontrollable fear is of such gravity and imminence that
the ordinary man would have succumbed to it. It should be based on a real, imminent or reasonable fear
for one’s life or limb. A mere threat of a future injury is not enough. It should not be speculative,
fanciful, or remote. A person invoking uncontrollable fear must show therefore that the compulsion was
such that it reduced him to a mere instrument acting not only without will but against his will as well. It
must be of such character as to leave no opportunity to the accused for escape.

Speculative fear

The fear harbored by Ty was not real and imminent. Ty claims that she was compelled to issue the
checks, a condition the hospital allegedly demanded of her before her mother could be discharged, for
fear that her mother’s health might deteriorate further due to the inhumane treatment of the hospital
or worse, her mother might commit suicide. This is speculative fear; it is not the uncontrollable fear
contemplated by law.

People v Norma Hernandez, 55 OG 8465

Lesson: Avoidance of a Greater Evil


Appellant had the right to avoid to herself the evil of going through a loveless marriage. (Art. 11 par.4,


Runaway bride case. She does not love him. Is it slander by deed? No


Maria Norma Hernandez and her parents were charged with serious slander by deed by Vivencio
Lascano. Vivencio had courted Maria and after months of courtship, Maria finally accepted Vivencio.
Vivencio brought his parents to Maria’s home so they could talk about marriage; when they came with
his 12 aunts, they brought 30 chickens and 3 goats and asked for Maria’s hand in marriage. The parents
of both parties agreed to the marriage. The date was set, Vivencio’s parents agreed to buy the wedding
dress among other clothes, to advance P20 for fetching the sponsors of the wedding and to repair the
rood of the house of one of Maria’s uncles. A marriage license was already secured and a wedding gown
sewn and bought. Vivencio and his parents made preparations for a wedding feast by cleaning their
house and yard, setting up a temporary shed and stove and slaughtering goats, pigs, and chickens. On
March 18, the guests came but Maria was nowhere to be found; Vivencio and his parents waited for her
up to 12 midnight but she never came which resulted to their great shame and humiliation. The CFI
acquitted her parents, but Maria was found guilty and sentenced her a fine and imprisonment. Maria
claims that she did not love Vivencio and her parents had forced her to agree to the marriage. On March
11, without her parent’s knowledge, she left for Mindoro to avoid the marriage. RTC convicted her of
serious slander by deed because she purposely and deliberately fled to prevent celebration of marriage.
Thus, she appealed.


WON Maria’s acts constituted serious slander by deed. – NO


Court reversed the RTC judgment and acquitted the appellant.

Maria’s act in going to Mindoro with the deliberate purpose of preventing the celebration of the
marriage with Vivencio because she did not love him, does not constitute the crime of slander by deed.
Malice, which is an essential requisite of slander, was absent because in changing her mind, she was
merely exercising her right not to give her consent to a marriage after mature deliberation. She had the
right to avoid to herself the evil of going through a loveless marriage pursuant to Art. 11, par. 4 of the
RPC. If a party to an agreement to marry who backs out should be liable for the crime of slander by
deed, then that would be an inherent way of compelling said party to go into a marriage without his or
her free consent.

People V. Delima


Any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office is a justifying


Delima killed Lorezon Napilon, who escaped from jail, in the performance of his duty. Delima was
convicted and this is an appeal from a judgment by the Court of First Instance.


● Lorenzo Napilon escaped from jail where he was serving sentence.

● After a few days, Felipe Delima, the accused policeman, was looking for Napilon and found him
in the house of Jorge Alegria and was armed with a pointed peace of bamboo in the shape of a lance.

● Delima demanded the surrender of Napilon. However, the fugitive answered with a stroke of his

● Delima dodged Napilon’s attack and to impose his authority fired his revolver, but the bullet did
not hit the fugitive.

● Napilon ran away withour parting with his weapon. Thus, Delima fired again, this time hitting
and killing him.

● Delima was tried and convicted for homicide and sentenced to reclusión temporal and the
accessory penalties before the Court of First Instance.

ISSUE: Whether or not Delima acted in his fulfillment of duty, thus should be considered as a justifying


Yes. That killing was done in the performance of a duty. The deceased, Napilon, was under the
obligation to surrender, and had no right, after evading service of his sentence, to commit assault and
disobedience with a weapon in the hand, which compelled the policeman, Delima, to resort to such an
extreme means, which, although it proved to be fatal, was justified by the circumstances.

Article 8, No. 11, of the Penal Code being considered, Felipe Delima committed no crime, and he is
hereby acquitted with the costs de oficio. So ordered.

PEOPLE v. BELBES (GR No. 124670)

Justifying Circumstances: Fulfillment Of Duty

DOCTRINE: For a person not to incur criminal liability when he acts in the fulfillment of a duty, 2
requisites must concur: (1) that the offender acted in the performance of a duty; (2) that the injury or
offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of such right or office.

CASE SUMMARY: Patrolman DOMINGO BELBES was convicted of murder. He interposed self-defense
and that he acted in the fulfillment of a duty.


● Patrolman Domingo Belbes was assigned to maintain peace and order at the prom night of Pili
Barangay High School.

● During the event, he responded to a report by two female students that someone was making
trouble at one of the school’s temporary building.

● He and Patrolman Jose Pabon found FERNANDO BATALLER, drunk, with his two companions,
and it appeared that Fernando was breaking the bamboo walls of the temporary building.

● BELBES, armed with an M-16 rifle, fired at BATALLER, who was hit at several different parts of
his body causing the latter’s death.

● RTC found BELBES guilty of murder.

● In his appeal, BELBES said he fired the shots at BATALLER out of self-defense and that he was
performing his official functions when he did so.


● On the evening of February 16, 1990, Patrolan Domingo Belbes (appellant) and Pat. Jose Pabon
were assigned to maintain peace and order at the Junior and Senior Prom of Pili Barangay High School,
Pili, Bacacay, Albay.

● 9:00 PM: Two female students approached Teacher-in-charge Mila Ulanca and said that
somebody was making trouble. Belbes (armed with an armalite rifle), and Pabon (armed with a .38
caliber revolver) responded to the scene.

● Meanwhile, Fernando Bataller, who was drunk, was with his cousin Carlito Bataller, and friend
Rosalio Belista. While vomiting and holding on to the bamboo wall of the school’s temporary building,
the bamboo splits broke. The policemen then arrived.

● Moments (six seconds according to Mrs. Mila Ulanca) after, bursts of gunfire “Rat-tat-tat-tat-
tat” were heard. Without warning, Belbes had fired his gun at Fernando Bataller, who was hit on
different parts of the body and died.


● He and Pabon found Fernando Bataller making trouble and destroying the wall of the temporary
building. Fernando was drunk or a little tipsy, and was not vomiting.

● The two approached Fernando and identified themselves as policemen, but the former ignored
them. Pabon was in front of Fernando (one meter away from each other). Fernando lunged with a knife
at Pabon, but the latter avoided it.

● Fernando then stabbed Belbes, hitting the latter’s left shoulder.

● Belbes filed a warning shot. Fernando’s companions (Carlito and Rosalio) became aggressive.
Fernando grabbed the armalite.

● While Belbes and Fernando were struggling, the gun went off once, hitting Fernando. He cannot
recall how many more shots were fired after – the gun was semi-automatic.


➢ W/N the RTC was correct in holding BELBES guilty for murder, NO


● Appellant offers no material evidence to sufficiently support his claim of self-defense on the
face of mortal danger while on police duty. Where the accused admits to killing the victim in self
defense, the burden of evidence shifts to him.

● However, the evidence reveals an incomplete justifying circumstance defined in Article 11,
paragraph number 5 of the Revised Penal Code. For a person not to incur criminal liability when he acts
in the fulfillment of a duty, 2 requisites must concur: (1) that the offender acted in the performance of a
duty; (2) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of
such right or office.

● Although Belbes did act in the performance of his duty (first requisite), the second requisite is
lacking, for the killing need not be a necessary consequence of the performance of his duty.


● RTC decision MODIFIED, BELBES is guilty only of HOMICED, MITIGATED by the INCOMPLETE

● Sentence MODIFIED to INDETERMINATE PENALTY of 8 years prision mayor minimum, as

minimum, to 14 years of reclusion temporal minimum, as maximum.



Lawful order of superior- where the accused acted upon orders of superior officers that they, as military
subordinates, could not question, and obeyed in good faith, without being aware of their illegality,
without any fault or negligence on their part, the act is not accompanied by criminal intent.


Beronilla et al. were convicted of murder for the execution of Arsenio Borjal in Abra pursuant to the
memorandum issued to all Military Mayors in Northern Luzon, authorizing them to try persons accused
of treason, espionage, or the aiding and abetting of the enemy.


● Beronilla was appointed Military Mayor of La Paz by Lt. Col. R. H. Arnold, operating as a guerrilla
unit in the province of Abra

● In a memorandum issued by Lt. Col. Arnold, it authorized them to appoint a jury of 12 bolomen
to investigate persons accused of treason, espionage, or aiding and abetting of the enemy. The list of
those persons included elected mayor of La Paz, Arsenio Borjal

● Beronilla, pursuant to his instructions, placed Borjal under custody and asked the residents of La
Paz to file complaints against him. Charges of espionage, aiding the enemy, and abuse of authority were
led against Borjal. The jury found Borjal guilty and imposed upon him, death penalty.

● A radiogram from Col. Volckmann, overall commander, to Lt. Col. Arnold, called the attention to
the illegality of Borjal’s conviction and sentence which was unknown to Beronilla

● Accused Manuel Beronilla, Policarpo Paculdo, Filipino Velasco, and Jacinto Adriatico were
convicted of murder for allegedly conspiring the execution of Borjal

● The late President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Proclamation No. 8, granting amnesty to all
persons who committed acts penalized under RPC anent the resistance to the enemy against persons
aiding in the war efforts of the enemy resulting the dismissal of some bolomen involved in the jury but
still convicting Beronilla, Paculdo, Velasco, and Adriatico because the crime was committed after the
expiration of the time limit fixed by the amnesty proclamation, hence this appeal.

ISSUE: W/N Beronilla et al’s actions are covered by justifying circumstances for obedience to lawful
order of superior


● Lt. Col. Arnold, failed to transmit the Volckmann message to Beronilla. And this being so, the
charge of criminal conspiracy to do away with Borjal must be rejected, because the accused had no need
to conspire against a man who was, to their knowledge, duly sentenced to death.

● The conduct of the appellants does not dispose that these appellants were impelled by malice
(dolo). The arrest and trial of Borjal were made upon express orders of the higher command; the
appellants allowed Borjal to be defended by counsel

● after finding that the late Arsenio Borjal had really committed treasonable acts, (causing soldiers
and civilians to be tortured, and hidden American officers to be captured by the Japanese) expressly
declared that "the Court is convinced that it was not for political or personal reason that the accused
decided to kill Arsenio Borjal"

● Appearing that the charge is the heinous crime of murder, and that the accused-appellants
acted upon orders, of a superior officers that they, as military subordinates, could not question, and
obeyed in good faith, without being aware of their illegality, without any fault or negligence on their
part, we cannot say that criminal intent has been established

● To constitute a crime, the act must, except in certain crimes made such by statute, be
accompanied by a criminal intent, or by such negligence or indifference to duty or to consequences, as,
in law, is equivalent to criminal intent. The maxim is, actus non facit reum, nisi mens rea-a is not
committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of be innocent."

SC DECISION: Judgement appealed from is reversed and the appellants are acquitted

People v. Bonoan

Exempting circumstances; Imbecility


Celestino Bonoan is charged with the crime of murder for stabbing Carlos Guison with a knife, which
caused his death three days afterwards. An arraignment was then called, but the defense objected on
the ground that the defendant was mentally deranged and was at the time confined at the Psychopatic
Hospital. After several months of summons for doctors, production of the defendant’s complete record
of mental condition from the hospital and defendant’s admission to the hospital for personal
observation, assistant alienist Dr. Jose Fernandez finally reported to the court that Bonoan may be
discharged for being a “recovered case”. After trial, the lower court found Bonoan guilty and sentenced
him to life imprisonment.

The defense now appeals, claiming the lower court made errors in finding Bonoan suffered dementia
only occasionally and intermittently, did not show any kind of abnormality, that the defense did not
establish the defendant’s insanity and finding accused guilty.


Whether or not the lower court erred in finding the accused guilty.


Yes. The Court finds the accused demented at the time he perpetrated the crime, which consequently
exempts him from criminal liability, and orders for his confinement in San Lazaro Hospital or other
hospital for the insane. This ruling was based on the following evidence:

Uncontradicted evidence that accused was confined in the insane department of San Lazaro Hospital
and diagnosed with dementia praecox long before the commission of the offense and recurrence of
ailments were not entirely lacking of scientific foundation.

l. Persons with dementia praecox are disqualified from legal responsibility because they have no control
of their acts; dementia praecox symptoms similar to manic depression psychosis.

Accused had an insomnia attack, a symptom leading to dementia praecox, four days prior to act
according to Dr. Francisco.

Accused was sent the Psychopatic hospital on the same day of crime and arrest, indicating the police’s
doubt of his mental normalcy

Defendant suffered from manic depressive psychosis according to Dr. Joson

dissenting (Justices Imperial, Diaz and Concepcion):

The dissenting opinions pose that the accused committed the crime when he was sane, or at least,
during a lucid interval.

The legal presumption is always in favor of sanity; no positive evidence of accused mental state was

Based on expert testimonies, accused was cured of dementia praecox and later manic depressive

Based on observance of arresting officer Damaso Arnoco, corrobating statement of Benjamin Cruz, and
other witnesses, accused appear sane at the time immediately after commission.

There is a motive of aggression on part of accused is real and positive fact: deceased’s failure to pay
borrowed money.


DOCTRINE: Art. 12 of the RPC: Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability… 1. An imbecile or an
insane person, unless the latter has acted during a lucid interval

An imbecile is exempt in all cases from criminal liability… exemption from punishment is based on the
complete absence of intelligence—complete deprivation of intelligence or that there be a total
deprivation of the freedom of the will

CASE SUMMARY: Ambal is guilty of killing her wife Felicula after a heated altercation. He pleaded not
guilty contesting that he was insane.

FACTS:● Honorato Ambal and Felicula Ambal were married for 15 years. They always quarreled
and argued which was intensified by the fact that the wife sometimes did not stay in the conjugal abode.

● Ambal killed his wife when the latter failed to buy a medicine for Ambal who was afflicted with
influenza. The two engaged in a heated altercation. Felicula told her husband that it would be better if
he were dead. That remark infuriated Ambal and impelled him to attack his wife.

● She sustained seven incised wounds in different parts of her body. Thus, she eventually died.

● On the same day, Ambal went to the barangay captain and informed that he killed his wife.
After making that oral confession, Ambal took a pedicab, went to the municipal hall and surrendered to
a policeman.

● Ambal pleaded not guilty contesting that he was insane through his counsel de oficio.

● During the trial, Dr. Balbas found that Ambal was a "passive-aggressive, emotionally unstable,
explosive or inadequate personality"

● Dr. Balbas testified that he was normal before and after the commission of the crime. But during
the commission of the crime, Ambal was experiencing psychosis due to short frustration tolerance

● Other doctors testified that Ambal was not insane having no mental disorder

● The trial court convicted him of parricide, sentencing him to reclusion perpetua and ordering
him to pay an indemnity of Php12,000 to the heirs of his deceased wife, Felicula Vicente-Ambal.

ISSUE:Whether or not Ambal was insane thus not guilty of the crime of parricide

HELD/ RATIO: Art. 12 of the Revised Penal Code exempts from criminal liability an imbecile or an insane
person unless the latter has acted during a lucid interval. The law presumes that every person is of
sound mind, in the absence of proof to the contrary (US vs. Martinez, 34 Phil 305). The law always
presumes all acts to be voluntary. It is improper to presume that acts were executed unconsciously. In
order that insanity may be taken as an exempting circumstance, there must be complete deprivation of
intelligence in the commission of the act or that the accused acted without the least discernment. Mere
abnormality of his mental faculties does not exclude imputability.

An imbecile is a person marked by mental deficiency while an insane person is one who has an unsound
mind or suffers from a mental disorder. In order that a person could be regarded as an imbecile
withinthe meaning of article 12 of the Revised Penal Code, he must be deprived completely a reason or
discernment and freedom of the will at the time of committing the crime /The alleged insanity of Ambal
was not substantiated by any sufficient evidence Moreover, the testimonies presented by the doctors
were sufficient enough to rule that Ambal is not insane. He was not completely bereft of reason or
discernment and freedom of will when he mortally wounded his wife. He was not suffering from any
disease or defect. The fact that immediately after the incident he thought of surrendering to the law-
enforcing authorities is incontestable proof that he knew that what he had done was wrong and that he
was going to be punished for it

SC DECISION: : Trial Court’s decision is affirmed. Ambal is guilty of parricide with the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender to the authorities

People vs. Puno

Exempting Circumstances: Insanity

This is a murder case where the accused interposed as a defense the exempting circumstance of


- Ernesto Puno, 28, jeepney driver, entered the bedroom of Francisca Col (Aling Kikay), 72, a

- Puno insulted her by saying: "Mangkukulam ka mambabarang mayroon kang bubuyog". Then he
repeatedly slapped her and struck her head several times with a hammer until she died.

- Hilaraia de la Cruz, 23, and Lina Pajes, 27, witnessed the assault and testified that Puno’s eyes
were reddish. His look was baleful and menacing and that he was a neighbor of Aling Kikay.

- After the killing Puno threatened Lina by saying: "Huwag kayong magkakamaling tumawag ng
pulis at sabihin ninyo na umalis kayo ng bahay at hindi ninyo alam kung sino ang pumatay sa matanda."

- Puno fled to his parents’ house and then to his second cousin’s house.

- Lina notified the police of the killing

- Puno’s father surrendered him to the police

- October 21, 1970, Puno was indicted for murder in the Circuit Criminal Court.

- The trial court concluded that Puno was sane or knew that the killing of Francisca Col was wrong
and that he would be punished for it, as shown by the threats which he made to Hilaria de la Cruz and
Lina Pajes, the old woman's companions who witnessed his dastardly deed.

- The trial court also concluded that if Puno was a homicidal maniac who had gone berserk, he
would have killed also Hilaria and Lina. The fact that he singled out Aling Kikay signified that he really
disposed of her because he thought that she was a witch.

Issue: Whether or not Puno should be exempted from criminal liability.

Held: No.

Ratio: When insanity is alleged as a ground for exemption from responsibility, the evidence on this point
must refer to the time preceding the act under prosecution or to the very moment of its execution (U.S.
vs. Guevara, 27 Phil. 547). Insanity should be proven by clear and positive evidence (People vs. Bascos,
44 Phil. 204).

The defense contends that Puno was insane when he killed Francisca Col because he had chronic
schizophrenia since 1962; he was suffering from schizophrenia on September 8, 1970, when he
liquidated the victim, and schizophrenia is a form of psychosis which deprives a person of discernment
and freedom of will.

Insanity under article 12 of the Revised Penal Code means that the accused must be deprived
completely of reason or discernment and freedom of the will at the time of committing the crime
(People vs- Formigones, 87 Phil. 658, 660).

Insanity exists when there is complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act, that is, the
accused is deprived of reason, he acts without the least discernment because there is complete absence
of the power to discern, or that there is total deprivation of freedom of the will. Mere abnormality of
the mental faculties will not exclude imputability." (People vs. Ambal, G.R. No. 52688, October 17, 1980;
People vs. Renegade, L-27031, May 31, 1974, 57 SCRA 275, 286; People vs. Cruz, 109 Phil. 288, 292. As
to "el trastorno mental transitorio as an exempting circumstance, see I Cuello Calon, Codigo Penal, 15th
Ed., 1974. pp. 498-504 and art. 8 of the Spanish Penal Code.)

After evaluating counsel de oficio's contentions in the light of the strict rule just stated and the
circumstances surrounding the killing, we are led to the conclusion that Puno was not legally insane
when he killed the hapless and helpless victim. The facts and the findings of the psychiatrists reveal that
on that tragic occasion he was not completely deprived of reason and freedom of will.

People vs Dungo

Facts: On March 16, 1987 between 2:00 and 3:00pm, the accused went to Mrs. Sigua's office at the
Department of Agrarian Reform, Apalit, Pampanga. After a brief talk, the accused drew a knife from the
envelope he was carrying and stabbed Mrs. Sigua several times. After which he departed from the office
with blood stained clothes, carrying a bloodied bladed weapon. The autopsy report revealed that the
victim sustained 14 wounds, 5 of which were fatal.

Rodolfo Sigua, husband of the deceased, testified that sometime in February 1987, the accused Rosalino
Dungo inquired from him why his wife was requiring so many documents from him. Rodolfo explained
to him the procedure at the DAR.

The accused, in defense of himself, tried to show that he was insane at the time of the commission of
the offense:

Two weeks prior to March 16, 1987, Rosalino's wife noticed that he appears to be in deep thought
always, maltreating their children when he was not used to it before. There were also times that her
husband would inform her that his feet and head were on fire when in truth they were not.

On that fateful day, Rosalino complained of stomachache but they didn't bother to buy medicine as the
pain went away immediately. Thereafter, he went back to the store. But when Andrea followed him to
the store, he was no longer there. Worried, she looked for him. On her way home, she heard people
saying that a stabbing occurred. She saw her husband in her parents-in-law's house with people milling
around. She asked her husband why he did the act, to which Rosalino answered, "That's the only cure
for my ailment. I have cancer of the heart. If I don't kill the deceased in a number of days, I would die.”
That same day, the accused went to Manila.

Dr. Santiago and Dr. Echavez of the National Center for Mental Health testified that the accused was
confined in the mental hospital, as per order of the trial court dated Aug. 17, 1987. Based on the reports
of their staff, they concluded that Rosalino was psychotic or insane long before, during and after the
commission of the alleged crime and classified his insanity as an organic mental disorder secondary to
cerebro-vascular accident or stroke. But Dr. Balatbat who treated the accused for ailments secondary to
stroke, and Dr. Lim who testified that the accused suffered dorm occlusive disease, concluded that
Rosalino was somehow rehabilitated after a series of medical treatment in their clinic.

Issue: Whether or not the accused was insane during the commission of the crime charged.

Held: No. For insanity to relieve the person of criminal liability, it is necessary that there be a complete
deprivation of intelligence in committing the act, that he acts w/o the least discernment and that there
be complete absence or deprivation of the freedom of the will.

Under Philippine jurisdiction, there's no definite test or criterion for insanity. However, the definition of
insanity under Sec 1039* of the Revised Administrative Code can be applied. In essence, it states that
insanity is evinced by a deranged and perverted condition of the mental faculties, which is manifested in
language or conduct. An insane person has no full and clear understanding of the nature and
consequence of his act.

Evidence of insanity must refer to the mental condition at the very time of doing the act. However, it is
also permissible to receive evidence of his mental condition for a reasonable period before and after the
time of the act in question. The vagaries of the mind can only be known by outward acts.

It is not usual for an insane person to confront a specified person who may have wronged him. But in
the case at hand, the accused was able to Mrs. Sigua. From this, it can be inferred that the accused was
aware of his acts. This also established that the accused has lucid intervals.

Moreover, Dr. Echavez testified to the effect that the appellant could have been aware of the nature of
his act at the time he committed it when he shouted (during laboratory examination) that he killed Mrs.
Sigua. This statement makes it highly doubtful that the accused was insane when he committed the act.

The fact that the accused was carrying an envelope where he hid the fatal weapon, that he ran away
from the scene of the incident after he stabbed the victim several times, that he fled to Manila to evade
arrest, indicate that he was conscious and knew the consequences of his acts in stabbing the victim.
(This was taken from the TC's decision).

People v. Yam-id,

Synopsis: Erlindo, herein appellant, was convicted of the crimes of murder and frustrated homicide for
the fatal stabbing of Jerry, 6 years old, and the wounding of Jerrys father, Danilo, respectively. At the
arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty and interposed the defense of self-defense claiming that he
merely retaliated by hacking Danilo who tried to kill him in firing his house because of a land dispute
between him (appellant) and the in-laws of Danilo. The trial court, however, found that appellant with a
bolo, stabbed Jerry on his back and hacked his nape. Appellant even sucked Jerrys blood. The trial court
appreciated the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and treachery. On automatic
review, appellant, represented by the Public Attorneys Office (PAO), admitted killing Jerry but pleaded
insanity. The PAO contended that at the time of the incident, appellant was suffering from
schizophrenia citing his gruesome act of sucking Jerrys blood after mercilessly stabbing Jerry to death.
However, this claim was not supported by any medical certificate nor any expert testimony. The People
assailed the change of theory of appellant.

Facts: On April 1, 1994, at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Julius Cantutay was with his 6-year-old
cousin Jerry to deliver benignit, a local delicacy, to his aunt Bebing Dequiado. On their way, they passed
by Yam-id’s house who greeted them “good evening.”

Yam-id suddenly unsheathed a long bolo. Julius pushed Jerry and told him to run but Yam-id caught up
with Jerry and stabbed him with the bolo on the left portion of his back, held him by his head and
hacked him on the nape and stabbed him on the right side of his back. Jerry died on the spot and Yam-id
knelt over the body and sucked the blood from his neck.

Julius ran towards the house of Danilo Tejamo, Jerry’s father, and narrated the harrowing incident to
Aniceta Tejamo, Jerry’s mother. They both ran to the site of the incident and Danilo asked Yam-id the
whereabouts of his son. Yam-id instead answered “I will kill all of you” and hacked Danilo.

Danilo was able to doge the attack but he slipped and fell to the ground. He got hit on the bridge of his
nose. He tried to stand but he was hit on the head and fell on the ground again, bloodied.

Aniceta shouted that Danilo was already dead. Yamid took hold of Danilo’s collar to finish him off but
the tip of the bolo hit his stomach and blood oozed from the wound. Yam-id ran towards his house and
threw the bolo on the ground. Danilo regained consciousness and sought treatment.

During trial, he denied killing Jerry and pleaded self-defense for his assault on Danilo. He contended that
Danilo fired at his house because of a land dispute between his family and the in-laws of Danilo.

Judgment of Trial Court: guilty of murder and sentenced with death penalty for killing Jerry; guilty of
frustrated homicide and imprisonment of 6 yrs and 1 day of prision mayor in its minimum to 10 yrs of
prision mayor in its maximum period.

In this automatic review, Yam-id admits killing Jerry and pleaded insanity and seeks reversal on his
attack on Danilo on the ground that prosecution failed to prove his intent to kill.

ISSUE: WON the appellant can invoke insanity as an exempting circumstance in this case.


RATIO: The Supreme Court ruled that an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole action for review on
any question including those not raised by the parties; that insanity as a defense must be proved beyond
reasonable doubt and cannot be proved by the PAO who is not an expert in medicine; that insanity, to
be exempting, must be present immediately before or at the very moment the crime is committed, and
not thereafter; that when an adult person illegally attacks a child of tender years and causes his death,
treachery exists; bad relationship does not in itself prove evident premeditation; and that where the
wounds suffered by the victim were not life-threatening, the crime committed constitutes only
attempted homicide. The trial court’s decision was modified finding him guilty of murder and
attempted homicide respectfully.

For insanity to be appreciated as an exempting circumstance, it must be present immediately before or

at the very moment the crime was committed. In this case, no evidence was presented to prove the
same. The defense of insanity was not raised during the trial of the case. It was only invoked on appeal,
giving the court the impression that is but an afterthought.

The only intimation of insanity could at is the non-medical opinion of the PAO that he was suffering from
schizophrenia because he sipped his victim’s blood and tried to kill himself afterwards. No medical
certificate was presented and no testimony was given to support the allegation.

There is also treachery when an adult person illegally attacks a child of tender years without any means
to defend himself.

On the assault on Danilo, it was reduced to attempted homicide because the wounds were not life

Judgment modified: Guilty of murder -- reduced penalty of reclusion perpetua (no aggravating nor
mitigating circumstance) and guilty of attempted homicide – 2 mos and 1 day of arresto mayor as
minimum to 2 yrs, 4 mos, and 1 day of prision correctional as maximum.

People v Valledor

G.R No 129291

July 3 2002

J. Ynares Santiago

Exempting Circumstances- Insanity


In the eyes of the law, insanity exists when there is a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing
the act. Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude imputiny. The accused must be "so
insane as to be incapable of entertaining a criminal intent." He must be deprived of reason and act
without the least discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern or a total
deprivation of freedom of the will.


● On March 6, 1991, at around 1:45 in the afternoon, Roger Cabiguen was in his house at Burgos
Street, Barangay Tagumpay, Puerto Princesa City. He was working on a lettering job inside his bedroom
together with his first cousin, then 25-year old Elsa Rodriguez, and his friends, Simplicio Yayen and
Antonio Magbanua.Roger was working at his table and seated on his bed while Elsa was across the
table. Antonio was on the left side, while Simplicio was seated near the door, on the right side of Roger

● All of a sudden, accused-appellant entered the room; immediately attacked Roger with a knife,
but he was able to parry the thrust and was stabbed instead on the right forearm. Accused-appellant
then stabbed Elsa Rodriguez on the chest and said, Ako akabales den, Elsa. (I had my revenge, Elsa).
Thereafter, accused-appellant fled, leaving the stunned Simplicio and Antonio unharmed

● Roger and Elsa were immediately brought to the hospital. On their way out, Antonio noticed a
commotion and saw that Ricardo Maglalang, a neighbor of the victim, was wounded. Antonio learned
from the by-standers that Ricardo was likewise stabbed by accused-appellant

● Elsa was declared dead on arrival. Roger on the other hand was treated for the 5-centimeter
wound sustained by him on his right forearm

● Accused-appellant, then 30 years of age, was employed as provincial jail guard at the Palawan
Provincial Jail. Pacita Valledor, his mother noticed that accused-appellant was behaving abnormally. For
days he was restless and unable to sleep. He likewise complained that their neighbors were spreading
rumors that he was a rapist and a thief. This prompted Pacita to bring his son to Dr. Deriomedes de
Guzman, a medical practitioner. Pacita disclosed to Dr. de Guzman that insanity runs in their family.
After examining accused-appellant, Dr. de Guzman diagnosed him as suffering from psychosis with

● Lower Court found him guilty of Frustrated Murder and of Attempted Murder and sentenced to
reclusion perpetua


Whether or Not the Lower Court erred in convicting accused despite his mental condition/illness?



● In the eyes of the law, insanity exists when there is a complete deprivation of intelligence in
committing the act. Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude impunity. The accused
must be "so insane as to be incapable of entertaining a criminal intent." He must be deprived of reason
and act without the least discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern or a
total deprivation of freedom of the will.

● Accused-appellant failed to discharge the burden of overcoming the presumption of sanity at

the time of the commission of the crime. The following circumstances clearly and unmistakably show
that accused-appellant was not legally insane when he perpetrated the acts for which he was charged:

1) Simplicio Yayen was positioned nearest to accused appellant but the latter chose to stab Roger and

2) Accused-appellant called out the nickname of Roger before stabbing him

3) Simplicio Yayen and Antonio Magbanua who were likewise inside the room were left unharmed

4) Accused-appellant, a spurned suitor of Elsa, uttered the words, Ako akabales den, Elsa. (I had my
revenge, Elsa) after stabbing her

5) Accused-appellant hurriedly left the room after stabbing the victims.

● The Court ruled however that it was attempted murder and not frustrated murder for the first
case since the wound of Roger Cabiguen was not fatal

● For the murder of Elsa Rodriguez, in Criminal Case No. 9359, the trial court correctly imposed
upon accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua, considering that no aggravating or mitigating
circumstance was proven by the prosecution


Insanity is evinced by a deranged and perverted condition of the mental faculties which is manifested in
language and conduct. An insane person has no full and clear understanding of the nature and
consequences of his acts. Hence, insanity may be shown by the surrounding circumstances fairly
throwing light on the subject, such as evidence of the alleged deranged person's general conduct and
appearance, his acts and conduct consistent with his previous character and habits, his irrational acts
and beliefs, as well as his improvident bargains. The vagaries of the mind can only be known by outward
acts, by means of which we read thoughts, motives and emotions of a person, and through which we
determine whether the acts conform to the practice of people of sound mind.

People v Belonio

429 SCRA 579 May 27, 2004

Per Curiam

CASE: Accused Randy Belonio, guilty of murder for stabbing Rammy Tamayo with a dagger in his right
chest, contesting that he is insane is not sufficient evidence to be exempted from the criminal offense.

DOCTRINE: A mere abnormality of mental faculties is not enough; there must be a complete deprivation
of intelligence in committing the act


-Rammy Tamayo who bought a cigarette from a store a few meters from their house was bumped by
the accused Randy Belonio in trying to force his way in the small opening of the store.

-Jennifer, Ramy’s first cousin saw that Randy gave Ramy a long and hard look.

-The accused left but after few minutes he returned and stabbed Ramy with a dagger in his right chest
which causes his death, then fled but was arrested from one of the houses near the barangay hall.

-The accused raise the defense of insanity for his mental sickness that he was not in his right mind when
the killing took place. Dr. Gauzon,certifies that he was suffering from schizophrenia.

-The accused was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death


-Whether or not the accused defense of insanity exempt him from his criminal offense of murder. NO


-The Supreme Court responds to the defense of the accused in negative, the defense utterly failed in
proving that the accused was insane.

-They found the evidence to be insufficient; there must be a complete deprivation of intelligence in
committing the act, to establish his claim that he was insane. And the crime of murder was affirmed and
sentenced him with death penalty Belonio, after giving the victim a hard and resentful look, sat near the
latter and conversed with him.

-Afterwards he stabbed Tamayo then escaped and went into hiding; these acts tend to establish that the
accused was well aware of what he had just committed.

-Philippine courts have established a more stringent criterion for acceptance of insanity as an exempting
circumstance. A mere abnormality of mental faculties is not enough; there must be a complete
deprivation of intelligence in committing the act. The appellants past does not discredit the facts that he
did not act with complete absence of power to discern, he was not deprived of reason and he was not
totally deprived of his will.

SC Ruling:

Convicting the appellant of the crime of murder and sentencing him to DEATH is AFFIRMED. The award
for loss of earning capacity is INCREASED to P1,362,545; moral damages is REDUCED to P50,000; actual
damages is DELETED but temperate damages of P25,000 and exemplary damages of P25,000 are

People v. Taneo

58 Phil. 255 (1933)


Facts: Potenciano Taneo and his wife lived in his parent's house in Dolores, Ormoc. On January 16, 1932,
a fiesta was being celebrated in the said barrio and guests were entertained in the house, among them
were Fred Tanner and Luis Malinao. Early that afternoon, Potenciano went to sleep and while sleeping,
he suddenly got up, left the room bolo in hand and, upon meeting his wife who tried to stop him,
wounded her in the abdomen. He also attacked Fred and Luis and tried to attack his father, after which,
he wounded himself. Potenciano's wife, who was 7 months pregnant at that time, died five days later as
a result of the wound.

The trial court found Potenciano guilty of parricide and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

It appears from the evidence that the day before the commission of the crime, the defendant had a
quarrel over a glass of "tuba" with Collantes and Abadilla, who invited him to come down and fight.
When he was about to go down, he was stopped by his wife and his mother. On the day of the
commission of the crime, it was noted that the defendant was sad and weak, had a severe stomachache
that's why he went to bed in the early afternoon. The defendant stated that when he fell asleep, he
dreamed that Collantes was trying to stab him with a bolo while Abadila held his feet. That's why he got
up and it seemed to him that his enemies were inviting him to come down; he armed himself with a
bolo and left the room. At the door, he met his wife who seemed to say to him that she was wounded.
Then, he fancied seeing his wife really wounded and in desperation wounded himself. As his enemies
seemed to multiply around him, he attacked everybody that came his way.

Issue: WON defendant acted while in a dream.

Held: Yes. The defendant acted while in a dream & his acts, therefore, weren’t voluntary in the sense of
entailing criminal liability.

The apparent lack of motive for committing a criminal act does not necessarily mean that there are
none, but that simply they are not known to us. Although an extreme moral perversion may lead a man
to commit a crime without a real motive but just for the sake of committing it. In the case at hand, the
court found not only lack of motives for the defendant to voluntarily commit the acts complained of
(read: he loved his wife dearly, he tried to attack his father in whose house the lived and the guests
whom he invited), but also motives for not committing the acts.

Dr. Serafica, an expert witness in the case, stated that considering the circumstances of the case, the
defendant acted while in a dream, under the influence of a hallucination and not in his right mind.

The wife's wound may have been inflicted accidentally. The defendant did not dream that he was
assaulting his wife, but that he was defending himself from his enemies.

People v. Doquena, 68 Phil. 580 (1939)


● Juan Ragojos, now deceased, was playing volleyball with Epifanio Rarang in the yard of the
intermediate school of the municipality of Sual, Province of Pangasinan.

● The herein accused, Valentin Doqueña, who was also in said yard, intervened and, catching the
ball, tossed it at Juan Ragojos, hitting him on the stomach, Juan Ragojos chased him around the yard
and, upon overtaking him, slapped him on the nape. Doquena then turned against the deceased
assuming a threatening attitude, for which the reason said deceased struck him on the mouth with his
fist, returning immediately to the place where Epifanio Rarang was in order to continue playing with

● The accused, offended by what he considered an abuse on the part of Juan Ragojos, who was
taller and more robust than he, looked around the yard for a stone with which to attack the now
deceased Juan Ragojos, but finding none, he approached a cousin of his named Romualdo Cocal, to ask
the latter to lend him his knife and somehow overtook the knife from him.

● Valentin Doqueña approached Juan Ragojos and challenged the latter to give him another blow
with his fist, to which the deceased answered that he did not want to do so because he (Juan Ragojos)
was bigger than the accused. Juan Ragojos, ignorant of the intentions of the accused, continued playing
and, while he was thus unprepared and in the act of stopping the ball with his two hands, the accused
stabbed him in the chest with the knife which he carried.

● Doquena was on the date of the crime, exactly thirteen years, nine months and five days old.

● Doquena was prosecuted for homicide in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, for having
killed Juan Ragojos by stabbing him in the breast with a knife on November 19, 1938, in the municipality
of Sual, Pangasinan. The court, held that the accused acted with discernment in committing the act
imputed to him and, proceeding in accordance with the provisions of article 80 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 99, ordered him to be sent to the Training School for Boys
to remain therein until he reaches the age of majority.


Did the accused-appellant Doquena, acted with discernment?


The proven facts, as stated by the lower court in the appealed order, convinces us that the appeal taken
from said order is absolutely unfounded, because it is error to determine discernment by the means
resorted to by the attorney for the defense, as discussed by him in his brief. He claims that to determine
whether or not a minor acted with discernment, we must take into consideration not only the facts and

circumstances which gave rise to the act committed by the minor, but also his state of mind at the time
the crime was committed, the time he might have had at his disposal for the purpose of meditating on
the consequences of his act, and the degree of reasoning he could have had at that moment. It is clear
that the attorney for the defense mistakes the discernment referred to in article 12, subsection 3, of the
Revised Penal Code, for premeditation, or at least for lack of intention which, as a mitigating
circumstance, is included among other mitigating circumstances in article 13 of said Code.

Wherefore, the appealed order is affirmed, with the costs to the appellant. So ordered.


The discernment that constitutes an exception to the exemption from criminal liability of a
minor under fifteen years of age but over nine, who commits an act prohibited by law, is his mental
capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong, and such capacity may be known and
should be determined by taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances afforded by the
records in each case, the very appearance, the very attitude, the very comportment and behaviour of
said minor, not only before and during the commission of the act, but also after and even during the trial
(U.S. vs. Maralit, 36 Phil., 155)

People v. Navarro

Doctrines of the Case:

From Ynares-Santiago v. Callejo G.R. No. 166040

Professor Ambrocio Padilla, in his annotation of Criminal Law (p. 375, 1998 Ed.), writes that discernment
is more than the mere understanding between right and wrong. Rather, it means the mental capacity of
a minor between 9 and 15 years of age to fully appreciate the consequences of his unlawful act (People
v. Navarro, [CA] [51 O.G. 4062])


No Exceptions Admitted.-- The rule is based on public interest and is designed precisely to avoid abuse
through allegation that the law has not come to the knowledge of a party. But it has been held by our CA
that the rule should not be applied w/ equal force to minors who, due to their lack of intelligence, must
be treated differently. (Peo. v. Navarro, 51 OG 4062.)

Jose v. People

-petition for review on certiorari of the CA affirming with modification the decision of RTC (Calamba,


On November 14, 1995, upon receiving information from an unnamed informant, a narcotics operation
was conducted by Fourth Regional Narcotics Unit. They were able to arrest Sonny Zarraga and Alvin Jose
(petitioner) who were alleged to be willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously selling Methamphetamine
Hydrochloride or shabu weighing approximately 100 grams, an illegal drug prohibited in R.A. 6425.

The trial court convicted both of the accused of the crime and sentencing each of them to an
indeterminate penalty.

The CA affirmed said judgement with modification upon finding that Alvin Jose (petitioner) was only
thirteen (13) years old when he committed the crime. Hence, he was entitled to mitigating
circumstances of minority and a reduction of the penalty by two degrees.


Whether or not Jose should be acquitted with reference to Article 12 of the RPC which exempts him
from criminal liability?


The petitioner, Alvin Jose, was acquitted of the crime for insufficiency of evidence.

It was accused Zarraga who drove the car and transacted with the poseur-buyer relative to the sale of
shabu. It was also accused Zarraga who received the buy-money from the poseur-buyer. Aside from
bringing out and handing over the plastic bag to accused Zarraga, the petitioner merely sat inside the car
and had no other participation whatsoever in the transaction between the accused Zarraga and the
poseur-buyer. There is no evidence that the petitioner knew what was inside the plastic and soft white
paper before and at the time he handed over the same to his cousin. Indeed, the poseur-buyer did not
bother to ask the petitioner his age because he knew that pushers used young boys in their transactions
for illegal drugs.


For a minor over nine years of age and under fifteen to be criminally liable, the prosecution is burdened
to prove beyond reasonable doubt, by direct or circumstantial evidence, that he acted with
discernment, meaning that he knew what he was doing and that it was wrong.—Under Article 12(3) of
the Revised Penal Code, a minor over nine years of age and under fifteen is exempt from criminal
liability if charged with a felony. The law applies even if such minor is charged with a crime defined and
penalized by a special penal law. In such case, it is the burden of the minor to prove his age in order for
him to be exempt from criminal liability. The reason for the exemption is that a minor of such age is
presumed lacking the mental element of a crime—the capacity to know what is wrong as distinguished
from what is right or to determine the morality of human acts; wrong in the sense in which the term is
used in moral wrong. However, such presumption is rebuttable. For a minor at such an age to be

criminally liable, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt, by direct or
circumstantial evidence, that he acted with discernment, meaning that he knew what he was doing and
that it was wrong. Such circumstantial evidence may include the utterances of the minor; his overt acts
before, during and after the commission of the crime relative thereto; the nature of the weapon used in
the commission of the crime; his attempt to silence a witness; his disposal of evidence or his hiding the
corpus delicti.

Conspiracy presupposes capacity of the parties to such conspiracy to discern what is right from
what is wrong.—The claim of the OSG that the prosecution was able to prove that the petitioner
conspired with his co-accused to sell shabu to the poseur-buyer, and thereby proved the capacity of the
petitioner to discern right from wrong, is untenable. Conspiracy is defined as an agreement between
two or more persons to commit a crime and decide to commit it. Conspiracy presupposes capacity of
the parties to such conspiracy to discern what is right from what is wrong. Since the prosecution failed
to prove that the petitioner acted with discernment, it cannot thereby be concluded that he conspired
with his co-accused.



RA 9344 exempts a child above fifteen but below eighteen years of age from criminal liability, unless the
child is found to have acted with discernment, in which case, the appropriate proceedings in accordance
with the Act shall be observed.


Appellant Hermie Jacinto was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the rape of the then 5-year-old
victim. The crime was committed when appellant was only 17; Judgment was rendered when appellant
was already 25.


AAA- child victim; FFF- father of the victim

● In the evening of January 28, 2003 at about 6 o’clock in the evening, FFF, the father of the victim
AAA, sent his 8 year old daughter CCC to buy cigarettes at the store of Rudy Hatague.

● AAA followed CCC.

● When CCC returned without AAA, FFF was not worried as he thought AAA was watching
television at her aunt Rita Lingcay’s house.

● Julito Apike went to the same store at around 6:20 PM to buy a bottle of Tanduay Rum and saw
appellant place AAA on his lap.

● Julito, Hermie and AAA left the store at the same time, Julito proceeded to Rita’s house while
Hermie and AAA went towards the direction of the “lower area or place.”

● AAA was brought by Hermie to the rice field near the house of spouses Alejandro and Gloria
Perocho, there AAA was made to lie down on the ground, her panties removed and was boxed by the

accused in the chest. Half-naked, accused mounted AAA and made a push and pull movement causing
AAA to cry.

● Appellant then went to the house of the Perochos while the victim went straight home crying.

● Medico-legal exam revealed hymenal laceration and multiple soft tissues injuries.

As per evidence for defense, the appellant gave a different version of the story contending that it is
JULITO who committed rape to AAA.

● RTC finds accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape and sentenced to death penalty but
was reduced to reclusion perpetua, a fine of PHP 75,000 as rape indemnity and PHP 50,000 as moral

● It was reduced because of the evidence stating that the appellant was a minor (17 years old)
when he commited the crime on January 28, 2003.

● CA on appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision with the following modifications: (1) accused
should suffer an indeterminate penalty from 6 years and 1 day to 12 years of prision mayor as minimum
to 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal as maximum and fined PHP 75,000 as civil indemnity,
PHP 75,000 as moral damages, and PHP 25,000 as exemplary damages.


Is the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape?



The Court considered three well-entrenched principles: (1) accusation of rape can be made with facility,
it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the accused, though innocent, to disprove, (2) testimony of
the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution, (3) evidence for prosecution must stand on
its own merit and not depend on the weakness of the defense.

The Court finds that the testimony of the victim was credible, natural and convincing as proven by
victim’s positive identification of the accused, description of what was done to her and how the accused
spread her legs, inserted his penis and made push and pull movements. This was corroborated by
medico-legal findings of hymenal lacerations.

Further, the defense of alibi cannot prevail over the victim’s positive identification of the perpetrator of
the crime, except when it is established that it was physically impossible for the accused to have been at
the locus criminis at the time of the commission of the crime.

The Court did not exempt accused of his criminal liability although he was only 17 during the
commission of the crime since, in view of the circumstances to which accused committed the felony, it
was proved that he acted with discernment. (Sec 6, RA 9344). There was showing that the accused
understood the consequences of his action.

Applying, the provision of RA 9346, the accused was meted with reclusion perpetua instead of the death

As to the civil liability of accused, his minority also had no bearing to the decision of the Court, ordering
accused to pay the victim for damages.

However, the Court afforded the accused the benefit of the suspension of his sentence provided in
Section 38 of RA 9344, which made no distinction to an accused found guilty of a capital offense. The
Court stated that what was important was the intent of the Act to uphold the welfare of a child in
conflict with the law. What was to be considered was the fact that accused committed the crime at a
tender age.

The Court held that accused may be confined in an agricultural camp or any training facility in
accordance with Sec 51 of RA 9344. The case was remanded to the court of origin to take appropriate
action in accordance to the said provision.

SC DECISION: Appellant, Hermie M. Jacinto is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified rape with the
following modifications: (1) the death penalty imposed on the appellant is reduced to reclusion
perpetua; and (2) appellant is ordered to pay the victim P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P75,000.00 as
moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages. The case is hereby REMANDED to the court of
origin for its appropriate action in accordance with Section 51 of Republic Act No. 9344.


Republic Act No. 9344 warrants the suspension of sentence of a child in conflict with the law
notwithstanding that he/she has reached the age of majority at the time the judgment of conviction is
pronounced. Thus:

SEC. 38. Automatic Suspension of Sentence. - Once the child who is under eighteen (18) years of age at
the time of the commission of the offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the court shall
determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted from the offense committed.
However, instead of pronouncing the judgment of conviction, the court shall place the child in conflict
with the law under suspended sentence, without need of application: Provided, however, That
suspension of sentence shall still be applied even if the juvenile is already eighteen (18) years of age or
more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt. (Emphasis supplied.)

People v. Arpon

FACTS: AAA was raped by his Uncle, Henry Arpon, once in 1995 when she was 8 years old and 7 times in
1999 when she was 12 years old. In defense, Arpon testified that the alleged first rape incident
happened when he was still 13 years old. He stated that in 1995 and 1999 he was living and working in
Tacloban City while the incident happened in a different municipality. Furthermore, he did not go to
AAA’s house because the latter’s parents were his enemies because he did not work with them in the
ricefield.However, in the cross-examination, he admitted that he visits his parents who are living 2
kilometers away from AAA’s house, once every month. RTC convicted Arpon of one count of statutory
rape and seven counts of rape which was qualified by AAA’s minority and relationship. It found more
credible the testimony of AAA as she was in tears, inconsistencies were understandable, and medical
findings confirmed that she was indeed raped. Alibi of Arpon was disregarded. Appealed to CA asserting
that trial court failed to consider his minority (13 and 17 years old) as privileged mitigating circumstance.
CA affirmed RTC’s decision.

ISSUE: Is Arpon entitled to exempting circumstance of minority

HELD: The RTC and the CA failed to consider in favor of the accused-appellant the privileged mitigating
circumstance of minority. In the case at bar, it was only the testimony of Arpon which showed that he
was a minor at the time the crime was committed. No other evidence was presented to prove his claim.
However, there was no objection from the prosecution and no contrary evidence was presented.
Although the acts were committed before the effectivity of RA 9344, it is still applicable to those
children who have been convicted and serving sentences, in the case of Sarcia, it further stressed that
with more reason that the act should be applicable to cases which are still in review, as in the instant
case. Thus, pursuant to RA 9344 Section (1), the Court, thus, exempts Arpon from the criminal liability
for the first count of rape but remains to be civilly liable thereof. For the second and third counts of
rape, the court held that Arpon was 17 years old and acted in with discernment because he threatened
AAA that he will kill her mother. Pursuant to Article 68 of the RPC, in Sarcia case, when the offender is a
minor under 18 years of age, the penalty next lower than that prescribed by law shall be imposed, but
always in the proper period. However, for purposes of determining the proper penalty because of the
mitigating circumstance of minority, the penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned with.

Petition is denied. Decision affirmed with modifications. Thus, 1.) For the first count of rape Arpon is
EXEMPTED from criminal liability. 2.) Second and Third counts, guilty of 2 counts of qualified rape
sentenced to suffer penalty of reclusion perpetua.

People vs. Bindoy

Ponente: VILLAMOR, J


• On May 6, 1930, Donato Bindoy offered some tuba to Tibay, Faustino Pacas' wife.

• She refused and Bindoy threatened to injure her if she did not accept.

• Pacas stepped in to defend his wife and attempted to take away from Bindoy the bolo he

• The disturbance attracted the attention of Emigdio Omamdam.

• In the course of the struggle, Bindoy succeeded in disengaging himself from Pacas, wrenching
the bolo from the latter's hand, with such violence that the point of the bolo reached Omamdam's
chest, who was then behind Bindoy.

• The trial court held that Bindoy was guilty of the crime of homicide. Bindoy appealed, alleging
that the death of Omamdam was caused accidentally and without malicious intent.

ISSUE: WON the crime of which Bindoy was found guilty of can be mitigated on the ground of accident.

HELD: Yes. Decision is reversed. Bindoy is acquitted according to Article 8, No. 8 of the Revised Penal


1. There is no evidence to show that Bindoy deliberately and intentionally killed Omamdam.

a. No evidence that Omamdam took part in the fight between Bindoy and Pacas.

b. No evidence that Bindoy was aware of Omamdam's presence.

c. No evidence that there was disagreement or ill feelings between Bindoy & Omamdam. On the
contrary, they were nephew & uncle, & were on good terms with each other.

2. The witness for the defense corroborates the defendant to the effect that Pacas and Bindoy were
actually struggling for the possession of the bolo, and that when the latter let go, the former had pulled
so violently that it flew towards Omamdam, who was therefore hit in the chest, without Bindoy's seeing
him, because Omamdam had passed behind him. The testimony of this witness was not contradicted by
any rebuttal evidence adduced by the fiscal.

3. If, in the struggle, the defendant had attempted to wound his opponent, and instead of doing so, had
wounded Omamdam, he would be liable for his act, since whoever willfully commits a felony or a
misdemeanor incurs criminal liability, although the wrongful act done is different from that which he
intended. This is not the case here. Bindoy did not try to wound Pacas. He was only trying to defend his
possession of the bolo, which Pacas was trying to wrench away from him. His conduct was perfectly



• The defendant was accused with the crime of murder as alleged in the information filed against
him. Tañedo allegedly intended to kill a certain Feliciano Sanchez when the former invited the latter to
hunt for wild chickens in the forest. Tañedo then fires his shotgun killing Sanchez and a chicken. Only
one shot was fired.

• He buried the body in the forest in hopes of hiding what happened, and he initially denied the
accusations against him. During the deliberations, the motive for the alleged crime was unidentified, but
there was little dispute to the general facts of the case.

• The guilty was then found guilty of homicide by the Court of First Instance. Then defendant

ISSUE: W/N defendant Tañedo is liable for the death of Feliciano Sanchez.


• It is uniformly held that if life is taken by misfortune or accident while in the performance of a
lawful act executed with due care and without intention of doing harm, there is no criminal liability.

• In this case there is absolutely no evidence of negligence upon the part of the accused. Neither
is there any question that he was engaged in the commission of a lawful act when the accident
occurred. Neither is there any evidence of the intention of the accused to cause the death of the
deceased. The only thing in the case at all suspicious upon the part of the defendant are his
concealment and denial.

• Evidence is insufficient to support the judgment of conviction. The judgment of conviction is,
therefore, reversed, the defendant acquitted, and his discharge from custody ordered, costs de oficio.

ROWENO POMOY, petitioner


Facts: --1990- Policemen arrested Tomas Balboa, a master teacher of the Concepcion College of Science
and Fisheries in Concepcion, Iloilo, for he was allegedly connected with a robbery. He was brought to
the Headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary Company at Camp Jalandoni in Iloilo where he was
detained. Roweno Pomoy, a member of the Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company, directed the latter
to come out, for tactical interrogation at the investigation room. Petitioner had a gun hanging from his
bolster. After that, 2 gunshots were heard. Petitioner was seen holding his .45 caliber pistol facing
Balboa who was lying in a pool of blood. Balboa died.

--Version of the Defense: (presented 2 witnesses + accused Pomoy) Self-defense:

Balboa allegedly tried to grab the handle of Pomoy’s gun. Balboa was not able to take actual hold of the
gun because of his efforts in preventing him. He and Balboa grappled in taking control of his gun. Balboa
was accidentally shot.

--RTC of Iloilo City found Pomoy guilty of the crime of homicide.

--CA modified the RTC decision (removed aggravating circumstance of abuse of public position) stating

1) the victim was not successful in his attempts to grab the gun, since petitioner had been in control of
the weapon when the shots were fired;

2) the gun had been locked prior to the alleged grabbing incident and immediately before it went off; it
was petitioner who released the safety lock before he deliberately fired the fatal shots; and

3) the location of the wounds found on the body of the deceased did not support the assertion of
petitioner that there had been a grappling for the gun. Thus, there is no unlawful aggression on the part
of the deceased to justify self-defense.

Issue: WON the shooting of Tomas Balboa was the result of an accident in his fulfillment of duty- YES. It
was in the lawful performance of his duty as a law enforcer that petitioner tried to defend his possession
of the weapon when the victim suddenly tried to remove it from his holster.


Petition is granted and the assailed decision REVERSED. Petitioner is ACQUITTED.


Article 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability. - The following are exempt from criminal
liability: Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere
accident without fault or intent of causing it.

Exemption from criminal liability proceeds from a finding that the harm to the victim was not due to the
fault or negligence of the accused, but to circumstances that could not have been foreseen or
controlled. Thus, in determining whether an “accident” attended the incident, courts must take into
account the dual standards of lack of intent to kill and absence of fault or negligence. This determination
inevitably brings to the fore the main question in the present case: was petitioner in control of the .45
caliber pistol at the very moment the shots were fired? YES. that petitioner did not have control of the
gun during the scuffle. The deceased persistently attempted to wrest the weapon from him, while he
resolutely tried to thwart those attempts.

Elements of Accident:

1) the accused was at the time performing a lawful act with due care;

2) the resulting injury was caused by mere accident; and

3) on the part of the accused, there was no fault or no intent to cause the injury

All these elements were present in this case


(Exempting circumstances – irresistible force)


● Defendants were sentenced to the penalty of seven years of presidio mayor as accessories for
the murder of four American school teachers because though they didn’t take part in the actual crime as
principals or as accomplices, they took part in the burial of the corpses of the victims in order to conceal
the crime.

● As regards to the case of defendant Roberto Baculi, although he confessed to having assisted in
the burial of the corpses, it appears he did so because he was compelled to do so by the murderers of
the four teachers. This was also affirmed by the sole eyewitness.

● The eyewitness, Sabante, said that Baculi was not a member of the group who killed the
Americans, and he was in a banana plantation on his property gathering some bananas when he heard
the shots. After hearing the shots, he began to run and he was seen by the leaders of the band of
murders. They called Baculi, and while striking him with the butts of their guns, they forced him to bury
the corpses.


Whether or not Roberto Baculi is an accessory to the crime.


No. The Penal Code exempts from liability any person who performs the act by reason of irresistible
force. Baculi acted under such circumstances when he executed the acts which were charged against


GR No. 1481 – FEBRUARY 17, 1904



The duress under which the defendants acted relieves them from criminal liability.


Liberato Exaltacion and Buenaventura Tanchinco were charged with the crime of rebellion, and they
alleged that they have done it under compulsion and force.


● On March 26, 1903, after the presentation of information by the provincial fiscal of Bulacan,
Liberato Exaltacion and Buenaventura Tanchinco were charged with the crime of rebellion for swearing
allegiance to the Katipunan Society – a group which aimed to overthrow the Government of the United
States in these Islands by force of arms.

● Days before they were captured, the police were able to seize documents from the
encampment of a so-called General Contreras which showed that both of the accused signed the
documents and made such allegiance to the group. However, they contended that they were captured
by the brigands who compelled them to take an oath supporting the Katipunan Society under
compulsion and force while they were held as captives.

● Exaltacion and Tanchinco were able to look for several witnesses which corroborated the facts
of their capture (Tanchinco was captured in the fields one day when he was going to work on his farm;
while Exaltacion was captured near Meycauayan by five unknown persons dressed as policemen) and of
their subsequent report to Don Tomas Testa, the president of Meycauayan, who was also kidnapped.


● Whether or not the duress Exaltacion and Tanchinco were under relieves them from criminal


● Yes

● The facts, established by evidence, that the defendants were kidnapped by brigands and that
they signed the said documents under compulsion while in captivity, relieve them from all criminal
liability from the crime of rebellion which they are charged.

● The conduct of the defendants in presenting themselves first to the local president of
Meycauayan as soon as they were released by the bandits is corroborative of their testimony; and is the
best demonstration of their innocence.


● Judgment is REVERSED and the defendants are ACQUITTED with costs de oficio.


FACTS: One morning, Valentin Aguilar saw his neighbor, Josefina Bandian, got to the bushes seemingly
to answer to the call of nature. A few minutes later, Bandian emerged from the bushes with her clothes
stained with blood both in the front and back, staggering and visibly showing signs of not being able to
support herself. Rushing to her aid, he brought her to her house and placed her on the bed. He called on
Adriano Comcom to help them Comcom saw the body of a newborn baby near a path adjoining the
bushes where the appellant had gone a few moments before. She claimed then claimed that the child
was hers. Dr. Emilio Nepomuceno declared that the appellant gave birth in her own house and then
proceeded to take her child into the bushes to kill it. The trial court gave credit to this opinion.

Issue: W/N Bandian is guilty of infanticide

Held: No. Infanticide and abandonment of a minor, to be punishable, must be committed willfully or
consciously, or at least it must be the result of a voluntary, conscious and free act or omission. The
evidence does not show that the appellant, in causing her child’s death in one way or another, or in
abandoning it in the bushes, did so willfully, consciously or imprudently. She had no cause to kill or
abandon it, to expose it to death, because her affair with a former lover, which was not unknown to her
second lover, Kirol, took place three years before the incident; her married life with Kirol—she considers
him her husband as he considers him his wife—began a year ago; as he so testified at the trial, he knew
of the pregnancy and that it was his and that they’ve been eagerly awaiting the birth of the child. The
appellant, thus, had no cause to be ashamed of her pregnancy to Kirol.

Apparently, she was not aware of her childbirth, or if she was, it did not occur to her or she was unable,
due to her debility or dizziness, which cause may be considered lawful or insuperable to constitute the
seventh exempting circumstance, to take her child from the bushes where she had given it birth, so as
not to leave it abandoned and exposed to the danger of losing its life. If by going into the bushes to pee,
she caused a wrong as that of giving birth to her child in that same place and later abandoning it, not
because of imprudence or any other reason than that she was overcome by strong dizziness and
extreme debility, she could not be blamed because it all happened by mere accident, with no fault or
intention on her part. The law exempts from liability any person who so acts and behaves under such
circumstances (Art. 12(4), RPC). Thus, having the fourth and seventh exempting circumstances in her
favor, she is acquitted of the crime that she had been accused of.


GR No. L-6082 MARCH 18, 1911



A policeman charged cannot be held liable for illegal detention, when after arresting his victim it took
him three days to reach the nearest judge. The distance which required the journey for three days was
considered to be an insuperable cause.


On March 18, 1911 a policeman in his legal authority was found guilty of “illegal and arbitrary
detention” for a period of three days.


● Vicentillo, a policeman was found guilty by the lower court of “illegal and arbitrary detention” of
the complaining witness for a period of three days, and sentenced to pay a fine of 625 pesetas, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the cost of the trial.

● Three days were expended in the detention, but it was conclusively proven at the trial that at
the time of the arrest neither the local justice of the peace nor his auxiliary were in the municipality, and
to reach the justice of the peace of either of the two adjoining municipalities, it was necessary to take a
long journey by boat.


W/N defendant is guilty of the performance of an act was prevented by some lawful or insuperable


The judgment of conviction of the lower court must therefore be reversed, unless the evidence discloses
that having made the arrest, the defendant arbitrarily and without legal authority, as it is alleged, cause
the complaining witness to be detained for a period of three days without having him brought before
the proper judicial authority for the investigation and trial of the charge on which he was arrested. But
so far as we can gather from the record in this case, the arrested man was in fact brought before a
justice of the peace as soon as “practicable” after his arrest.

The judgment of the lower court convicting and sentencing the defendant is reversed and he is hereby