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Table of Contents

Art.3: Felonies ................................................................................................................................ 6


Classification of Felonies According to the Means of Commission ............................................ 6
Calimutan v. People (G.R. No. 152133) .................................................................................. 6
Manuel v. People (G.R. No. 165842) ...................................................................................... 9
Mistake of Fact ......................................................................................................................... 12
U.S. v. Ah Chong (15 Phil. 488) ............................................................................................. 12
Diego v. Castillo (A.M. No. RTJ-02-1673) .............................................................................. 14
People v. Fernando (G.R. No. L-24978) ................................................................................ 16
Mala in se v. Mala prohibita ..................................................................................................... 18
Estrada v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 148560) ....................................................................... 18
People v. Go Shiu Ling (G.R. No. 115156) ............................................................................. 19
Art. 4: Criminal Liability ................................................................................................................ 20
Wrongful Act Done be Different from That Intended .............................................................. 20
Quinto v. Andres (453 SCRA 511) ......................................................................................... 20
People v. Ortega (276 SCRA 166) ......................................................................................... 21
People v. Pilda (405 SCRA 134)............................................................................................. 22
Impossible Crimes .................................................................................................................... 23
People v. Domasian (219 SCRA 245) .................................................................................... 23
Intod v. CA (215 SCRA 52) .................................................................................................... 25
Art. 6: Stages of Execution ........................................................................................................... 27
People v. Campuhan (G.R. No. 129433) ............................................................................... 27
Valenzuela v. People (G.R. No. 160188) ............................................................................... 29
People v. Orita (G.R. No. 88724) .......................................................................................... 31
Art. 8: Conspiracy ......................................................................................................................... 33
People v. Quirol (473 SCRA 509) .......................................................................................... 33
People v. Comadre (431 SCRA 366) ...................................................................................... 35
Sim v. CA (428 SCRA 459) ..................................................................................................... 37
Art. 11: Justifying Circumstances ................................................................................................. 40
Self-defense ............................................................................................................................. 40
People v. Sanchez (G.R. No. 161007) ................................................................................... 40
Soplente v. People (G.R. No. 152715) .................................................................................. 42
Urbano v. People (G.R. No. 182750) .................................................................................... 44
Defense of Relatives................................................................................................................. 46
Balunueco v. CA and People (G.R. No. 126968)................................................................... 46
Fulfilment of a Duty ................................................................................................................. 48
Mamangun v. People (GR 149152)....................................................................................... 48

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Baxinela v. People (G.R. No. 149652) ................................................................................... 50
Angcaco v. People (G.R. No. 146664) ................................................................................... 51
Obedience to an Order ............................................................................................................ 53
Tabuena v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. 103501-03)............................................................... 53
Art.12: Exempting Circumstances ................................................................................................ 55
Insanity/Imbecility ................................................................................................................... 55
People v. Rubiños (G.R. No. 138453).................................................................................... 55
People v. Valledor (G.R. No. 129291) ................................................................................... 58
Minority ................................................................................................................................... 61
Llave v. People (G.R. No. 166040) ....................................................................................... 61
Jose v. People (G.R. No. 162052).......................................................................................... 63
Declarador v. Judge Gubaton (G.R. No. 159208) .................................................................. 65
Accident ................................................................................................................................... 67
Toledo v. People (439 SCRA 94) ........................................................................................... 67
People v. Concepcion (386 SCRA 74) .................................................................................... 68
Irresistible Force/Uncontrollable Fear ..................................................................................... 70
Ty v. People (G.R. No. 149275) ............................................................................................. 70
Entrapment v. Instigation......................................................................................................... 72
People v. Sta. Maria (G.R. No. 171019) ................................................................................ 72
People v. Pacis (G.R. No. 146309) ........................................................................................ 74
Chang v. People (G.R. No. 165111) ...................................................................................... 76
Art. 13: Mitigating Circumstances ................................................................................................ 78
Incomplete Justifying or Exempting Circumstances ................................................................. 78
People v. CA and Tangan (G.R. No. 103613)......................................................................... 78
No Intention to Commit so Grave a Wrong .............................................................................. 81
People v. Callet (G.R. No. 135701) ....................................................................................... 81
Vindication of a Grave Offense ................................................................................................ 82
People v. Torpio (G.R. No. 138984) ...................................................................................... 82
Passion or Obfuscation ............................................................................................................ 84
People v. Lab-eo (G.R. No. 133438)...................................................................................... 84
People v. Bates (G.R. No. 139907)........................................................................................ 86
People v. Malejana (G.R. No. 145002).................................................................................. 88
Voluntary Surrender ................................................................................................................ 89
People v. Beltran (G.R. No. 168051) ..................................................................................... 89
Andrada v. People (GR No. 135222) ..................................................................................... 91
People v. Quimzon (G.R. No. 133541) .................................................................................. 93
Confession of Guilt ................................................................................................................... 95
People v. Montinola (G.R. Nos. 131856-57) ......................................................................... 95
People v. Dawaton (G.R. No. 146247) .................................................................................. 97

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Similar and Analogous Circumstances...................................................................................... 98
Canta v. People (G.R. No. 140937) ....................................................................................... 98
Art. 14: Aggravating Circumstances ........................................................................................... 100
Classes of Aggravating Circumstances ................................................................................... 100
People v. Evina (405 SCRA 152) .......................................................................................... 100
People v. Palaganas (501 SCRA 533) .................................................................................. 101
People v. Mendoza (327 SCRA 695) ................................................................................... 102
In Contempt or With Insult to the Public Authorities ............................................................. 103
People v. De Mesa (G.R. No. 137036) ................................................................................ 103
People v. Tac-an (G.R. No. 76338-39)................................................................................. 104
Abuse of Public Position ......................................................................................................... 106
Fortuna v. People (G.R. No. 135784) .................................................................................. 106
People v. Villamor (G.R. Nos. 140407-08) .......................................................................... 107
People v. Magayac (G.R. No. 126043) ................................................................................ 108
Nighttime, Uninhabited or Obvious Place or Band ................................................................ 109
People v. Villanueva (G. R. No. 135330) ............................................................................. 109
People v. Ancheta (G.R. No. 70222) ................................................................................... 112
People v. Baroy (G.R. Nos. 137520-22) .............................................................................. 114
Recidivism .............................................................................................................................. 116
People v. Dacillo (G.R. No. 149368) .................................................................................... 116
Reiteracion ............................................................................................................................. 118
People v. Cajara (G.R. No. 122498) .................................................................................... 118
By Means of Inundation, fire, etc. .......................................................................................... 121
People v. Malngan (G.R. No. 170470) ................................................................................ 121
People v. Comadre (G.R. No. 153559) ................................................................................ 123
Craft, Fraud or Disguise .......................................................................................................... 125
People v. Labuguen (G.R. No. 127849) ............................................................................... 125
Abuse of Superior Strength .................................................................................................... 127
People v. Amodio (G.R. No. 177356) .................................................................................. 127
People v. Jamon (413 SCRA 282) ........................................................................................ 129
People v. Calpito (416 SCRA 491) ....................................................................................... 131
Treachery ............................................................................................................................... 133
People v. Piedad (393 SCRA 488) ....................................................................................... 133
People v. Piliin (515 SCRA 207)........................................................................................... 135
People v. Ilo (392 SCRA 326) .............................................................................................. 137
Ignominy ................................................................................................................................ 139
People v. Salazar (G.R. Nos. 148712-15) ............................................................................ 139
People v. Bumidang (G.R. No. 130630) .............................................................................. 141
People v. Siao (G.R. No. 126021) ........................................................................................ 144

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Aid of Minor or By Means of Motor Vehicles ......................................................................... 146
People v. Mallari (404 SCRA 170) ....................................................................................... 146
People v. Enguito (326 SCRA 508) ...................................................................................... 148
Cruelty.................................................................................................................................... 151
People v. Guerrero (389 SCRA 389) .................................................................................... 151
Simangan v. People (434 SCRA 38) ..................................................................................... 153
People v. Catian (374 SCRA 514) ........................................................................................ 154
Art. 15: Alternative Circumstances ............................................................................................ 155
Relationship ........................................................................................................................... 155
People v. Calongui (G.R. No. 170566)................................................................................. 155
People v. Marcos (G.R. No. 132392)................................................................................... 156
Intoxication ............................................................................................................................ 157
People v. Marquita (G.R. No. 137050)................................................................................ 157
People v. Mondigo (G.R. No. 167954) ................................................................................ 159
Arts. 16-20: Persons Criminally Liable for Felonies .................................................................... 160
Principals ................................................................................................................................ 160
People v. Batin (GR No. 177223) ........................................................................................ 160
People v. Vasquez (G.R. No. 123939) ................................................................................. 162
People v. Dacillo (G.R. No. 149368) .................................................................................... 165
Accomplices ........................................................................................................................... 167
People v. Roche (G.R. No. 115182)..................................................................................... 167
Abarquez v. People (G.R. No. 150762) ............................................................................... 169
People v. Compo (G.R. No. 112990) ................................................................................... 171
Accessories............................................................................................................................. 173
People v. Tolentino (G.R. No. 139179) ............................................................................... 173
People v. Cui (G.R. No. 121982) ......................................................................................... 176
People v. Verzola (G.R. No. L-35022).................................................................................. 179
Accessories Exempt from Criminal Liability ............................................................................ 181
People v. Mariano (G.R. No. L-40527) ................................................................................ 181
Arts. 21-24: Penalties in General ................................................................................................ 184
Retroactive Effect of Penal Laws ............................................................................................ 184
People v. Evina (G.R. No. 124830-310)............................................................................... 184
People v. Lazaro (G.R. No. 112090) .................................................................................... 185
People v. Pacifador (G.R. No. 139405) ............................................................................... 186
Pardon by Offended Party ...................................................................................................... 187
Sta. Catalina v. People (G.R. No. 167805)........................................................................... 187
Balderama v. People (G.R. No. 147578-85) ........................................................................ 189
People v. Dimaano (G.R. No. 168168) ................................................................................ 191
Arts. 25-45: Penalties ................................................................................................................. 193

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Reclusion Perpetua ................................................................................................................ 193
People v. Novio (G.R. No. 139332) ..................................................................................... 193
People v. Zacarias (G.R. No. 138990) ................................................................................. 195
People v. Ramirez (G.R. No. 138261) ................................................................................. 196
Arts. 46-77: Application of Penalties .......................................................................................... 197
Complex Crime ....................................................................................................................... 197
People v. Latupan (G.R. Nos. 112453-56) ........................................................................... 197
People v. Pineda (G.R. No. L-26222)................................................................................... 199
People v. Sanidad (G.R. No. 146099) .................................................................................. 201
Delito Continuado .................................................................................................................. 203
Ramiscal v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. 169727-28) ............................................................ 203
Santiago v. Garchitorena (G.R. No. 109266)....................................................................... 205
Habitual Delinquency ............................................................................................................. 207
People v. Espina (G.R. No. 43556) ...................................................................................... 207
People v. De Jesus (G.R. No. 45198) ................................................................................... 208
Arts. 89-93: Total Extinction of Criminal Liability ....................................................................... 210
Death of the Accused ............................................................................................................. 210
De Guzman v. People (G.R. No. 154579) ............................................................................ 210
People v. Bayotas (G.R. No. 102007) .................................................................................. 211
People v. Abungan (G.R. No. 136843) ................................................................................ 213
Prescription of Offenses ......................................................................................................... 214
Panaguiton v. DOJ (G.R. No. 167571) ................................................................................. 214
Recebido v. People (346 SCRA 881) ................................................................................... 216
Caniza v. People (159 SCRA 16) .......................................................................................... 218
Amnesty ................................................................................................................................. 220
People v. Patriarcha (G.R. No. 135457) .............................................................................. 220
Arts. 100-103: Civil Liability ........................................................................................................ 223
Nuguid v. Nicdao (G.R. No. 150785) ................................................................................... 223
Subsidiary Civil Liability of Other Persons .............................................................................. 226
Nueva Espana v. People (460 SCRA 547) ............................................................................ 226
Pangonorom v. People (455 SCRA 211) .............................................................................. 229
Quinto v. Andres (453 SCRA 511) ....................................................................................... 231
Probation Law (P.D. No. 968) ..................................................................................................... 233
Francisco v. CA (G.R. No. 108747) ...................................................................................... 233
Lagrosa v. People (G.R. No. 152044) .................................................................................. 235
Vicoy v. People (G.R. No. 138203) ...................................................................................... 237
Anti-Fencing Law (P.D. No. 1612) ............................................................................................... 238
Francisco v. People (434 SCRA 122) ................................................................................... 238
Tan v. People (313 SCRA 220) ............................................................................................ 240

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John Aceveda
2008-0032

Art.3: Felonies
Classification of Felonies According to the Means of
Commission
Calimutan v. People (G.R. No. 152133)

Facts:

Victim Cantre and Sañano, together with two other companions had a
drinking spree in a videoke bar at ten o‘clock in the morning of February 4, 1996.
Thereafter, they decided to part ways and went to their respective houses. On
their way home, Cantre and Sanano met the petitioner and Michael Bulalacao.
Cantre suddenly punched Bulalacao because he is suspecting the latter as the
one responsible for throwing stones at his house on previous night. After being
hit, bulalacao ran away. Petitioner picked-up a stone which is as big as man‘s fist,
ran toward Cantre, and threw it to the latter, hitting him at the left side of his back.
When Cantre turned his attention to the petitioner, Sanano tried pacify the two.
Both Cantre and petitioner calmed down and went to their houses. When Cantre
arrived at his house, he complained of the pain in the left side of his back which
was hit by the stone. At that night, he again complained of backache and also of
stomachache. He‘s condition immediately became worst, and at around three
o‘clock in the following morning, Cantre died.

Right after his death, Cantre was examined by Dr. Conchita S. Ulanday,
the Municipal Health Officer and made a findings that the cause of death was
cardio-respiratory arrest due to suspected food poisoning. Unsatisfied, the
Cantre family requested for an exhumation and autopsy of the body of the victim
by the NBI. Dr. Mendez conducted an exhumation and autopsy and reported that
the cause of the death was traumatic injury of the abdomen. The victim suffered
from an internal hemorrhage and there was massive accumulation of blood in his
abdominal cavity due to his lacerated spleen caused by any blunt instrument,
such as a stone.

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Petitioner alleged that he only attempted to pacify the victim but the latter
refused and pulled out eight-inch Balisong. When he saw the victim was about to
stab Bulalacao, he picked up a stone and threw it at the victim Cantre. He was
able to hit the victim. He contended that the throwing of the stone was in defense
of his companion.

The RTC rendered a decision, which was later affirmed by the CA, holding
that petitioner was criminally liable for homicide and that the act of throwing a
stone from behind was a treacherous one and the accused committed a felony
which caused the death of the victim and held that the accused is criminally liable
for all the direct and natural consequences of this unlawful act even if the
ultimate result had not been intended. Hence, these case.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner has the intent to kill the victim and thus liable
for homicide?

Decision:

While the Supreme Court is in accord with the factual findings of the RTC
and the CA and affirms that there is ample evidence proving that the death of the
victim Cantre was caused by his lacerated spleen which is the result by the stone
thrown at him by petitioner Calimutan, it nonetheless, is at variance with the RTC
and the CA as to the determination of the appropriate crime or offense for which
the petitioner should have been convicted for.

Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code classifies felonies according to the


means by which they are committed, in particular: (1) intentional felonies, and (2)
culpable felonies. These two types of felonies are distinguished from each other
by the existence or absence of malicious intent of the offender.

In intentional felonies, the act or omission of the offender is malicious. In


the language of Art. 3, the act is performed with deliberate intent (with malice).
The offender, in performing the act or in incurring the omission, has the intention
to cause an injury to another. In culpable felonies, the act or omission of the
offender is not malicious. The injury caused by the offender to another person is
"unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act

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performed without malice." (People vs. Sara, 55 Phil. 939). As stated in Art. 3, the
wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight or lack of skill.
In the Petition at bar, this Court cannot, in good conscience, attribute to
petitioner any malicious intent to injure, much less to kill, the victim Cantre; and in
the absence of such intent, this Court cannot sustain the conviction of petitioner
Calimutan for the intentional crime of homicide, as rendered by the RTC and
affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Instead, this Court finds petitioner Calimutan
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the culpable felony of reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. The
prosecution did not establish that petitioner Calimutan threw the stone at the
victim Cantre with the specific intent of killing, or at the very least, of harming the
victim Cantre. What is obvious to this Court was petitioner Calimutan‘s intention
to drive away the attacker who was, at that point, the victim Cantre, and to
protect his helper Bulalacao who was, as earlier described, much younger and
smaller in built than the victim Cantre.

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John Aceveda
2008-0032

Manuel v. People (G.R. No. 165842)

Facts:

This is a case filed against Eduardo Manuel for bigamy by Tina B.


Gandalera. Complainant allege that she met the petitioner in Dagupan
City sometime in January 1996. When he visited her in Baguio, as one
thing led to another, they went to a motel where, Eduardo succeeded in
having his way with her. Petitioner proposed marriage and even brought
his parents to assure that he is single. Tina finally accepted the marriage
proposal and they were married on April 22, 1996. In their marriage
contract, it appeared that Eduardo is ―single‖. However, their happy
relationship turns into a disaster, Manuel started making himself scarce
and went to their house only twice or thrice a year. One day, petitioner
took all of his cloths, left and never returned. Out of curiousity, Tina went to
NSO in Manila where she found out that petitioner had been previously
married to Rubylus Gaña. She was so embarrassed and humiliated when
she learned that Eduardo was in fact already married when they
exchanged their own vows.

For his part, Eduardo testified that he informed Tina of his previous
marriage, but she nevertheless agreed to marry him. He abandoned her
when he noticed that she had a "love-bite" on her neck, suspecting it that
it come from another man. Eduardo further testified that he declared he
was "single" in his marriage contract with Tina because he believed in
good faith that his first marriage was invalid. He did not know that he had
to go to court to seek for the nullification of his first marriage before
marrying Tina.. Rubylus was charged with estafa in 1975 and thereafter
imprisoned. He visited her in jail after three months and never saw her
again. He insisted that he married Tina believing that his first marriage
was no longer valid because he had not heard from Rubylus for more than
20 years. After trial, the court rendered judgment finding Eduardo guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of bigamy. It declared that Eduardo‘s belief, that
his first marriage had been dissolved because of his first wife‘s 20-year
absence, even if true, did not exculpate him from liability for bigamy and
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that even if the private complainant had known that Eduardo had been
previously married, the latter would still be criminally liable for bigamy.
Eduardo appealed the decision to the CA maintaining his contentions. He
insisted that conformably to Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, there
must be malice for one to be criminally liable for a felony. He was not
motivated by malice in marrying the private complainant because he did
so only out of his overwhelming desire to have a fruitful marriage. Hence,
these case.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner has criminal intent to contract on the


second marriage to be liable for bigamy?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that the prosecution proved that the
petitioner was married to Gaña in 1975, and such marriage was not
judicially declared a nullity; hence, the marriage is presumed to
subsist. The prosecution also proved that the petitioner married the private
complainant in 1996, long after the effectivity of the Family Code. The
petitioner is presumed to have acted with malice or evil intent when he
married the private complainant. As a general rule, mistake of fact or good
faith of the accused is a valid defense in a prosecution for a felony
by dolo; such defense negates malice or criminal intent. However,
ignorance of the law is not an excuse because everyone is presumed to
know the law. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. It was the burden of the
petitioner to prove his defense that when he married the private
complainant in 1996, he was of the well-grounded belief that his first wife
was already dead, as he had not heard from her for more than 20 years
since 1975. He should have adduced in evidence a decision of a
competent court declaring the presumptive death of his first wife as
required by Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Article 41
of the Family Code. Such judicial declaration also constitutes proof that
the petitioner acted in good faith, and would negate criminal intent on his
part when he married the private complainant and, as a consequence, he
could not be held guilty of bigamy in such case. The petitioner, however,
failed to discharge his burden.

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Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code provides that
there is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate intent. Indeed, a
felony cannot exist without intent. Since a felony by dolo is classified as an
intentional felony, it is deemed voluntary. Although the words "with malice"
do not appear in Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, such phrase is
included in the word "voluntary."

Malice is a mental state or condition prompting the doing of an overt


act without legal excuse or justification from which another suffers
injury. When the act or omission defined by law as a felony is proved to
have been done or committed by the accused, the law presumes it to have
been intentional. Indeed, it is a legal presumption of law that every man
intends the natural or probable consequence of his voluntary act in the
absence of proof to the contrary, and such presumption must prevail
unless a reasonable doubt exists from a consideration of the whole
evidence.

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Gil Acosta
2008-0085

Mistake of Fact
U.S. v. Ah Chong (15 Phil. 488)

Facts:

Defendant herein a chinese man named Ah Chong is employed us a cook


at Fort Mckinley. At that time there were rumours and accounts of frequent
robbing of homes in the area.

On the night of the killing, Ah chong before going to bed, and afraid of the
rumoured robberies taking place in the vicinity locked himself in their room by
placing wooden blocks and chairs for the purpose of thwarting robbers in case
they tried to rob him.

After having gone to bed, he was awakened by the noise of someone


trying to open the door. Ah Chong for his part called out twice, ―Who is there, but
to no avail‖. Fearing that the person trying to enter was robber Ah Chong leaped
from his bed and shouted ―If you enter the room I will kill you‖. But at that precise
moment, he was suddenly struck by the chair that he had placed in the door, and
believing that he was being attacked he seized a knife and struck it on the
supposed assailant/robber, who was killed by the blow. However the deceased
was not a robber not intruder it turned out that the person was his roommate,
trying to enter their room.

Issue:

Whether or not Ah Chong is criminally liable?

Decision:

NO. Ah Chong must be acquitted on the basis of honest mistake of fact.


Where the facts been as Ah Chong perceived them to be, he would have been
justified in killing the intruder under Article 11 of the Revised, par. 1 of the
Revised Penal Code, which provides for a valid self-defense of his person. If the

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intruder was indeed a robber, forcing his way to enter the room, unlawful
aggression would be present. Also the necessity means to avoid or to repel the
attack would be reasonable. Using the knife to defend himself. And lastly Ah
Chong gave no provocation at all to warrant such aggression. The Supreme
Court Held that there is nothing unlawful in the intention as well in the act of Ah
Chong, his act would not have been a felony if the real scenario was the facts he
believed them to be.

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Gil Acosta
2008-0085

Diego v. Castillo (A.M. No. RTJ-02-1673)

Facts:

This is an administrative complaint filed against herein respondent for


Gross ignorance of the law in rendering his decision in a criminal complaint for
bigamy.

On 1965 Lucena Escoto contracted marriage with Jorge de Perio Jr. Both
of which were Filipino Citizens. However on February 15, 1978 the two acquired
a Decree of Divorce in Texas, USA.

On June 4, 1987 the same Lucena Escoto contracted marriage with herein
complainants brother Manule P. Diego, celebrated at Dagupan.

Judge Castillo held in this case the acquittal of Ms. Escoto on the basis of
good faith on her part. That Ms. Escoto believing that her previous marriage had
been validly dissolved by the divorce decree acquired in a foreign country and
that she was legally free to contract the second marriage. That according to
Judge Castillo as an ordinary laywoman , she entertains the impression that she
can contract a subsequent marriage. Furthermore Judge Castillo stressed that
knowledge of the law should not be exacted strictly from her since she is a lay
person, and that ineptitude should not be confused with criminal intent.

Issue:

Whether or not mistake of fact to cut-off the criminal liability of Ms. Escoto
was validly taken up by Judge Castillo?

Decision:

No. As carefully distinguished by the Supreme Court in its previous


decisions that mistake of fact, which would could be a valid defense of good faith
in a bigamy case, from mistake of law, which does not excuse a person, even a
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lay person, from liability. In People vs. Bidtu the Supreme Court held that even if
the accused, who had obtained a divorce decree under Mohammedan custom,
honestly believed that in contracting her second marriage she was not
committing any violation of law, and that she had no criminal intent, the same
does not justify the her act. The Court further that it is sufficient to say that
everyone is presumed to know the law, and the fact that one doe not know that
his act constitutes a violation of law does not exempt him from the consequence
thereof.

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Gil Acosta
2008-0085

People v. Fernando (G.R. No. L-24978)

Facts:

The residents of Barrio of Municahan of the Municipality of Zamboanga


were alarmed by the presence of 3 suspicious looking persons prowling around
the town, suspecting them as moro prisoners who recently escaped from Jail.

Fernando the accused herein was a policeman, when passing in front of


the house of Remigio Delgado he was called by the latters daughter and said to
him that her father wanted to talk to him. Remigio told Fernando that 3 unknown
and suspicious looking fellows were prowling around the house, dressed in blue
same as those purportedly worn by the escapees. Fernando stayed in the house
talking to the daughter of Remigio,, both seated in a bench near the window. At
about 7 o‘clock in the evening , there appeared a figure in the dark about 4
meters from the stairs, a person in dark clothes, calling Mang Miong. Fernando
and the daughter of Remegio had no idea who was calling. Fernando asked the
man what he wanted but instead of answering the question the man continued to
the walk with bolo in hand. Fernando upon seeing this took out his revolver and
fired a warning shot. Thereafter having fired a shot into the air the man continued
his ascend to the stairs, Fernando took a shot at him. However it was found out
that the unknown man was Buenaventura Paulino, nephew of Remigio.

The trial court held that Fernando was guilty of the crime of murder. Hence
this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not Fernando is criminally liable for his acts?

Decision:

Yes. But not for the crime of murder. The accused being agent of the law,
to whom notice was given of the presence of the suspicious looking persons who
might be the escapees. The appearance of a man unknown to him, dressed in
16 | P a g e
clothes as that of the escaped convicts, and calling to the owner of the house, of
which the daughter of the owner of the house did not also recognized, caused
the accused to suspect that the unknown man was one of the escaped convicts,
and after firing a warning shot, the man still did not halt his advance with bolo in
hand. In the midst of the circumstances and believing that the man was a
wrongdoer he tried to perform his duty and first fired into the air and then at the
allege intruder. At that psychological moment when the forces of far and the
sense of duty were at odds, the accused was not able to take full account of the
true situation. However, a circumstance that should have made him suspect that
the man was not only a friend but a relative when the man called ―Nong Miong,
and in not asking the daughter of the owner of the house who was it who was
calling to her father with such familiarity, he did not use the ordinary precaution
that he should have used before talking such fatal action. Hence he is liable for
homicide through reckless negligence.

17 | P a g e
Ranvylle Albano
2008-0052

Mala in se v. Mala prohibita


Estrada v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. No. 148560)

Facts:

Petitioner Former President Joseph Estrada was prosecuted for a crime of


violation of RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder), as
amended by RA 7659. Thus, he questions the constitutionality of the said Law.
One of the issues that was raised in the petition is whether Plunder as defined in
RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum, and if so, whether it is within the power of
Congress to so classify it.

Issue:

Whether or not Plunder is a crime malum prohibitum?

Decision:

The legislative declaration in R.A. No.7659 that plunder is a heinous


offense implies that it is a malum in se. For when the acts punished are
inherently immoral or inherently wrong, they are mala in se and it does not matter
that such acts are punished in a special law, especially since in the case of
plunder the predicate crimes are mainly mala in se. Indeed, it would be absurd to
treat prosecutions for plunder as though they are mere prosecutions for violations
of the Bouncing Check Law (B.P. BIg. 22) or of an ordinance against jaywalking,
without regard to the inherent wrongness of the acts.

18 | P a g e
Ranvylle Albano
2008-0052

People v. Go Shiu Ling (G.R. No. 115156)

Facts:

The Regional Trial Court of Pasay City finds accused-appellant Antonio


Comia guilty of conspiring with four others to import regulated drugs in violation
of Art. III, Section 14 in relation to Article IV, Section 21 of the Dangerous Drugs
Act (Rep. Act No. 6425, as amended).

Issue:

Whether or not a crime for violation of Dangerous Drugs Act is a crime


malum prohibitum?

Decision:

Even granting that Comia acted in good faith, he cannot escape criminal
responsibility. The crime with which he is charged is a malum prohibitum. Lack of
criminal intent and good faith are not exempting circumstances. As held inPeople
v. Lo Ho Wing:
Moreover, the act of transporting a prohibited drug is a
"malum prohibitum" because it is punished as an offense
under a special law. It is a wrong because it is prohibited by
law. Without the law punishing the act, it cannot be
considered a wrong. As such, the mere commission of said
act is what constitutes the offense punished and suffices to
validly charge and convict an individual caught committing
the act so punished, regardless of criminal intent.
Likewise, in People v. Bayona, it was held:
The rule is that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal
intent, but in those mala prohibita it is sufficient if the
prohibited act was intentionally done. "Care must be
exercised in distinguishing the difference between the intent
to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate to act."

19 | P a g e
Luis Celestino
2006-0354

Art. 4: Criminal Liability


Wrongful Act Done be Different from That Intended
Quinto v. Andres (453 SCRA 511)

Facts:

On Nov. 13,1995, Dante Andres and Randyven Pacheco invited Wilson


Quinto and Edison Garcia to go fishing with them inside a drainage culvert.
However, only Quinto joined the two, Garcia remain in a grassy area about two
meters from the entrance of the drainage system. After a while, Pacheco came
out, went back again, and emerged again carrying Wilson who was already dead.
He laid the boy‘s lifeless body down in the grassy area and went to the house of
Wilson‘s mother and informed her that her son had died. After more than three
months, the cadaver of Wilson was exhumed and the NBI performed an autopsy
thereon. An information was later filed with the RTC changing Andres and
Pacheco with homicide.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused has criminal liability for the death of the
victim?

Decision:

The prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond


reasonable doubt. It failed to prove the guilt of the accused is criminality liable
although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. The
Supreme Court agreed with the trial and appellate courts that the proximate
cause of the death of the victim was not cause by any wrongful act of the
accused. It is the burden of the prosecution to prove the corps delicti which
consists of criminal act and the defendant‘s agency in the commission of the act.
This, the prosecution failed to do.

20 | P a g e
Luis Celestino
2006-0354

People v. Ortega (276 SCRA 166)

Facts :

In 1992, Benjamin Ortega, Jr., Manuel Garcia and a certain John Doe
were changed with murder for the killing Andre Man Masangkay. As narrated by
a witness, the victim answered the called of nature and went to the back portion
of the house where they were having a drinking spree. Accused Ortega followed
him and later they heard the victim shouting for help and when they ran towards
the scene he saw the accused on top of the victim and stabbing the latter with a
long bladed weapon. Thereafter, Ortega and Garcia brought the victim to a well
and dropped him and placed stones into the well. The trial court found the
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The accused appealed averring that
the trial court erred in holding them criminally liable because at the time the
victim was dropped into the well, he was still alive.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused may be held criminally liable for the death of
the victim which is not attributable to the stab wounds but due to drowning?

Decision:

A person who commits a felony is criminally liable for the direct natural
and logical consequences of his wrongful act even where the resulting crime is
more serious than that intended. The essential requisites for this criminal liability
to attach are as follows :

1. the intended act is felonious ;


2. the resulting act is likewise a felony; and
3. the unintended graven wrong was primarily caused by the actor‘s
wrongful acts.

21 | P a g e
Luis Celestino
2006-0354

People v. Pilda (405 SCRA 134)

Facts:

Accused Edman Aguilos, Odilon Lagliba and Rene Pilola were changed
with murder for the death of Joselito Capa. Rene Pilola devised stabbing the
victim and interposed the defense of alibi. The trial count found all the accused
guilty and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua. Rene Pilola appealed the
decision by contending that there was no conspiracy and he may not be held
criminally liable as principal by direct participation. He argued that the
prosecution failed to prove that he conspined with the others in stabbing the
victim to death. He asserts that he is merely an accomplice.

Issue:

Whether or not the appellant may be held criminally liable as principal by


direct participation in the absence of proof of conspiracy?

Decision:

The court in applying paragraph 1, Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code


ruled that even if two or more offenders do not conspire to commit homicide or
murder, they may be held criminally liable as principals by direct participation if
they perform overt acts which immediately cause or accelerate the death of the
victim. They are all criminally liable although the wrongful act done be different
from that which he intended by reason of their individual and separate overt
criminal acts.

22 | P a g e
Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz
2007-0388

Impossible Crimes
People v. Domasian (219 SCRA 245)

Facts:

In the morning of March 11, 1982, while Enrico was walking with a
classmate along Roque Street in Lopez, Quezon, he was approached by a man
(Domasian) who requested his assistance in getting his father's signature on a
medical certificate.Enrico agreed to help and rode with Domasian in a tricycle to
Calantipayan. Enrico became apprehensive and started to cry when, instead of
taking him to the hospital, Domasian flagged a minibus and forced him inside,
holding him firmly all the while. Domasian told him to stop crying or he would not
be returned to his father.

Domasian talked to a jeepney driver and handed him an envelope


addressed to Dr. Enrique Agra, the boy's father. Then they rode a tricycle, the
driver got suspicious and reported the matter to two barangay tanods. The
tanods went after the two, Somehow, Domasian managed to escape, leaving
Enrico behind. Enrico was on his way home in a passenger jeep when he met his
parents, who were riding in the hospital ambulance and already looking for him.

At about 1:45 in the afternoon of the same day, after Enrico's return, Agra
received an envelope containing a ransom note. The note demanded P1 million
for the release of Enrico and warned that otherwise the boy would be killed. Agra
thought the handwriting in the note was familiar. After comparing it with some
records in the hospital, he gave the note to the police, which referred it to the NBI
for examination.The test showed that it bad been written by Dr. Samson Tan.
Domasian and Tan were subsequently charged with the crime of kidnapping with
serious illegal detention in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon.

Issue:

Whether or not the sending of the ransom note was an impossible crime?

23 | P a g e
Decision:

No. Even before the ransom note was received, the crime of kidnapping
with serious illegal detention had already been committed. The act cannot be
considered an impossible crime because there was no inherent improbability of
its accomplishment or the employment of inadequate or ineffective means. The
delivery of the ransom note after the rescue of the victim did not extinguish the
offense, which had already been consummated when Domasian deprived Enrico
of his liberty.

Moreover the trial court correctly held that conspiracy was proved by the
act of Domasian in detaining Enrico; the writing of the ransom note by Tan; and
its delivery by Domasian to Agra. These acts were complementary to each other
and geared toward the attainment of the common ultimate objective

24 | P a g e
Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz
2007-0388

Intod v. CA (215 SCRA 52)

Facts:

In the morning of February 4, 1979, Intod, Pangasian, Tubio and Daligdig


went to Mandaya's house in Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental and asked him to
go with them to the house of Palangpangan. Thereafter, Mandaya and Intod,
Pangasian, Tubio and Daligdig had a meeting with Aniceto Dumalagan. He told
Mandaya that he wanted Palangpangan to be killed because of a land dispute
between them and that Mandaya should accompany the four men, otherwise, he
would also be killed.

At about 10:00 o'clock in the evening of the same day, Petitioner,


Mandaya, Pangasian, Tubio and Daligdig, all armed with firearms, arrived at
Palangpangan's house in Katugasan, Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental. At the
instance of his companions, Mandaya pointed the location of Palangpangan's
bedroom. Thereafter, Petitioner, Pangasian, Tubio and Daligdig fired at said
room.It turned out, however, that Palangpangan was in another City and her
home was then occupied by her son-in-law and his family. No one was in the
room when the accused fired the shots. No one was hit by the gun fire.

Issue:

Whether or not said act constitutes an impossible crime?

Decision:

Yes. The factual situation in the case at bar present a physical


impossibility which rendered the intended crime impossible of accomplishment
and under Article 4, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, such is sufficient to
make the act an impossible crime.

To be impossible under this clause, the act intended by the offender must
be by its nature one impossible of accomplishment. There must be either
25 | P a g e
impossibility of accomplishing the intended act in order to qualify the act an
impossible crime. Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even if
completed, would not amount to a crime.Factual impossibility occurs when
extraneous circumstances unknown to the actor or beyond his control prevent
the consummation of the intended crime. The case at bar belongs to this
category.

In our jurisdiction, impossible crimes are recognized. The impossibility of


accomplishing the criminal intent is not merely a defense, but an act penalized by
itself. Furthermore, the phrase "inherent impossibility" that is found in Article 4(2)
of the Revised Penal Code makes no distinction between factual or physical
impossibility and legal impossibility.

To uphold the contention of respondent that the offense was Attempted


Murder because the absence of Palangpangan was a supervening cause
independent of the actor's will, will render useless the provision in Article 4, which
makes a person criminally liable for an act "which would be an offense against
persons or property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its
accomplishment . . ." In that case all circumstances which prevented the
consummation of the offense will be treated as an accident independent of the
actor's will which is an element of attempted and frustrated felonies.

26 | P a g e
Melencio S. Faustino
2008-0094

Art. 6: Stages of Execution

People v. Campuhan(G.R. No. 129433)

Facts:

On April 25, 1996 at around 4pm while Ma. Corazon Pamintuan was
downstairs busy preparing drinks for her two daughters, she heard Crysthel, one
of her daughters crying, ―Ayo‘ko, Ayo‘ko‖ prompting her to rush upstairs.
Thereupon, she saw Primo inside her children‘s room kneeling in front of her
four-year old daughter, whose pajamas were already removed, while his short
pants were down to his knees.

Primo was apprehended and was charged with statutory rape.

The trial court found him guilty and sentenced him to the extreme penalty
of death. In convicting the accused, the trial court relied quite heavily on the
testimony of Corazon that she saw Primo with his short pants down to his knees
kneeling before Crysthel whose pajamas and panty were supposedly ―already
removed" and that Primo was ―forcing his penis into Crysthel‘s vagina.‖

Issue:

Is Primo guilty of Consummated rape?

Decision:

Judgment modified into attempted rape.

In People vs. Dela Pena, the SC clarified that the decisions finding a case
for rape even if the attacker‘s penis merely touched the external portions of the
female genitalia were made in the context of the presence or existence of an
erect penis capable of full penetration. Where the accused failed to achieve an
erection, had a limp of flaccid penis, or an oversized penis which could not fit into

27 | P a g e
the victim‘s vagina, the Court nonetheless held that rape was consummated on
the basis of the victim‘s testimony that the accused repeatedly tried, but in vain,
to insert his penis into her vagina and in all likelihood reached the labia of her
pudendum as the victim felt his organ on the lips of her vulva, or that the penis of
the accused touched the middle part of her vagina.

Thus, touching when applied to rape cases does not simply mean mere
epidermal contact, stroking or grazing of organs, a slight brush or a scrape of the
penis on the external layer of the victim's vagina, or the mons pubis, as in this
case.

There must be sufficient and convincing proof that the penis indeed
touched the labias or slid into the female organ, and not merely stroked the
external surface thereof, for an accused to be convicted of consummated rape.
As the labias, which are required to be ―touched‖ by the penis, are by their
natural situs or location beneath the mons pubis or the vaginal surface, to touch
them with the penis is to attain some degree of penetration beneath the surface,
hence, the conclusion that touching the labia majora or the labia minora of the
pudendum constitutes consummated rape.

Judicial depiction of consummated rape has not been confined to the oft-
quoted ―touching of the female organ,‖ but has also progressed into being
described as ―the introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum,‖
or ―the bombardment of the drawbridge.‖ But to the SC's mind, the case at bar
merely constitutes a "shelling of the castle of orgasmic potency," or a "strafing of
the citadel of passion."

Under Art.6, in relation to Art. 335, of the Revised Penal Code, rape is
attempted when the offender commences the commission of rape directly by
overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce
the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident other than his own
spontaneous desistance. All the elements of attempted rape – and only of
attempted rape – are present in the instant case; hence, the accused should be
punished only for it.

28 | P a g e
Melencio S. Faustino
2008-0094

Valenzuela v. People (G.R. No. 160188)

Facts:

Aristotel Valenzuela and Jovy Calderon were charged with the crime of
theft.

On 19 May1994, Valenzuela and Calderon were seen outside the Super


Sale Club inside the SM Complex along North Edsa by Lorenzo Lago, SM
Security Guard. Valenzuela was hauling a push cart with cases of Tide
detergent and unloaded these cases of Tide in an open parking space
where Calderon was waiting. Valenzuela went inside the supermarket again and
came back with more cases of detergent.

Thereafter, Valenzuela left the parking lot and haled a taxi. He boarded
the cab and told the driver to go to the area where Calderon was waiting.
Calderon loaded the cases of Tide and boarded the taxi. Lago saw all of
this and proceeded to stop the taxi. W hen Lago asked for a receipt of the
merchandise, the two accused reacted by fleeing on foot. Valenzuela and
Calderon were apprehended at the scene.

Valenzuela and Calderon were both convicted by the trial court of


consummated theft.

It was only Valenzuela who filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals.
Petitioner contends that he should only be convicted of frustrated theft since at
the time he was apprehended, he was never placed in a position to freely
dispose of the articles stolen. The Court of Appeals rejected this contention,
hence, this Petition for Review.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner Valenzuela is guilty only of frustrated theft?

29 | P a g e
Decision:

Petition dismissed. Under the statutory definition of theft, free disposal of


the stolen items is not a constitutive element of theft.

Under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of theft is defined
as follows. ―Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without
force or violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall
take the property of another without the latter‘s consent xxx‖

On the face of the definition, there is only one operative act of execution
by the actor involved in theft – the taking of personal property of another. It is
also clear from the definition that in order such taking may be qualified as theft,
there must further be present the descriptive circumstances that the taking was
with intent to gain; without force upon things or violence against or intimidation of
persons; and is was without the consent of the owner of the property.

For the purpose of ascertaining whether theft is susceptible of


commissions in the frustrated stage, the question is again, when is the crime of
theft produced? There would be all but certain unanimity in the position that theft
is produced when there is deprivation of personal property due to to its taking by
one with intent to gain. Viewed from that perspective, it is immaterial to the
product of the felony that the offender, once having committed all the acts of
execution for theft, is able or unable to freely disposed of the property stolen
since the deprivation from the owner alone has already ensued from such acts of
execution.

Indeed the SC, after all, held that unlawful taking is deemed complete
from the moment of the offender gains possession of the thing even if he has no
opportunity to dispose of the same.

30 | P a g e
Melencio S. Faustino
2008-0094

People v. Orita (G.R. No. 88724)

Facts:

In the early morning of March 20, 1983, Cristina S. Abayan, a 19-year old
freshman student at the St. Joseph's College, arrived at her boarding house from
a party. All of a sudden, appellant held her and poked a knife to her neck.
Appellant dragged complainant up the stairs and with the Batangas knife still
poked to her neck, they entered complainant's room.

After removing his clothes and ordering her to remove hers, the appellant
began to rape the complainant. However as they were in a position where he
continued to poke the knife to her, appellant could not fully penetrate her.

Upon changing positions, the complainant managed to dash into the next
room. However, the appellant chased her until she jumped out of a window and
ran to a nearby municipal building where two policemen were on duty. Upon
being told what happened, the policemen rushed to the boarding house,
however, they failed to apprehend appellant.

The complainant was brought to a hospital where she was examined. The
medical Certificate stated Dr. Ma. Luisa Abude findings: ―No visible abrasions or
marks at the perineal area or over the vulva, errythematous (sic) areas noted
surrounding vaginal orifice, tender, hymen intact;‖

The trial court convicted the accused of frustrated rape.

The accused contends that there is no crime of frustrated rape and the
Solicitor General shares the same view.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in declaring that the crime of frustrated
rape was committed by the accused.
31 | P a g e
Decision:

The decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby MODIFIED. The


accused Ceilito Orita is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of rapeand sentenced to reclusion perpetua.There is no debate that rape
can be attempted and consummated. Our concern now is whether or not the
crime of rape can be frustrated. The requisites of a frustrated felony are: (1) that
the offender has performed all the acts of execution which would produce the
felony and (2) that the felony is not produced due to causes independent of the
perpetrator's will.

In the crime of rape, from the moment the offender has carnal knowledge
of his victim he actually attains his purpose and, from that moment also all the
essential elements of the offense have been accomplished (consummated). In
the consummation of rape, perfect penetration is not essential. Any penetration
of the female organ by the male organ is sufficient. Entry of the labia or lips of the
female organ, without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina is
sufficient to warrant conviction.

In the case of People v. Eriña, We found the offender guilty of frustrated


rape there being no conclusive evidence of penetration of the genital organ of the
offended party. However, it appears that this is a "stray" decision inasmuch as it
has not been reiterated in Our subsequent decisions. Article 335 of the Revised
Penal Code, which provides, in its penultimate paragraph, for the penalty of
death when the rape is attempted or frustrated and a homicide is committed by
reason or on the occasion thereof. We are of the opinion that this particular
provision on frustrated rape is a dead provision.

There was no conclusive evidence of penetration of the genital organ of


the victim, but neither was it ruled out. However the medical certificate stated that
the vulva was erythematous (which means marked by abnormal redness of the
skin due to capillary congestion, as in inflammation) and tender. However, Dr.
Zamora‘s (in place of Dr Abude) testimony is merely corroborative and is not an
indispensable element in the prosecution of this case. In a prosecution for rape,
the accused may be convicted even on the sole basis of the victim's testimony if
credible.

32 | P a g e
Jaypee Garcia
2007-0280

Art. 8: Conspiracy
People v. Quirol (473 SCRA 509)

Facts:

On December 4, 1993, in celebration of a fiesta in Apas, Lahug, Cebu City, a


―benefit disco dance‖ was held at the local UCMA Village. Appellants, Juanito
and Mario Quirol, and the two victims, Benjamin Silva and Roel Ngujo, attended.

At the dance, Juanito, Mario and Jed were together and drank all through the
night with some friends. The dance ended just prior to 4 a.m. and prosecution
principal witness Wilson Cruz testified that it was about that time when he was
asked by Benjamin and Roel to accompany them in escorting some ladies home.

Wilson told them to go ahead and that he would just follow. Wilson was
behind them at a distance of 7 to 10 fathoms when the group passed by the
house of Jed. From his vantage point, Wilson saw Jed stop the two victims in
front of his house and frisk them.

Thereafter, Wilson saw Jed bind Benjamin and Roel together with a pair of
handcuffs and lead them towards the control tower of the old airport of Lahug,
Cebu City. There, the three were met by Juanito and Mario and together they
proceeded to the airport runway.

Wilson, hidden behind a bush, said he could hear Benjamin plead for his life.
A few seconds later, Jed took out his .38 caliber service revolver and shot
Benjamin at point-blank range on the head. As Benjamin fell, Roel was dragged
down to his knees since he was handcuffed to Benjamin. Mario then held Roel
while Juanito started stabbing him using a Batangas knife. Jed finished it by
shooting Roel.

The lower court and Court of Appeals find that there was conspiracy and
convicting them despite their defense of alibi.

33 | P a g e
Issue:
Can there be a conspiracy based on the foregoing facts?

Decision:

Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence of prior agreement to


commit the crime.Neither it is necessary to show that all the conspirators actually
hit and killed the victim. What has to be shown is that all the participants
performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination as to unmistakably
indicate a common purpose and design. The conspiracy in the instant case was
sufficiently proven by Jed meeting with appellants at the old airport tower and
walking together with them towards the runway where appellants and Jed
performed acts in unison with each other as to unmistakably reveal a common
purpose and design.

Anent Mario‘s defense of alibi, despite corroboration from Exequiel


Aranas, it is still an inherently weak defense and cannot prevail over a positive
identification from a witness found credible by the trial court. Absent arbitrariness
or oversight of some fact or circumstance of significance and influence, we will
not interfere with the credence given to the testimony of Wilson over that of Mario
and that of Exequiel, as assessments of credibility are generally left to the trial
court whose proximate contact with those who take the witness stand places it in
a more competent position to discriminate between true and false testimony.
Moreover, as correctly discussed by the Court of Appeals, the distance between
the scene of the crimes and where Mario claims he passed out is not so far away
as to prevent him from being physically present at the place of the crimes or its
immediate vicinity at the time the crimes were committed.

34 | P a g e
Jaypee Garcia
2007-0280

People v. Comadre (431 SCRA 366)

Facts:

At around 7:00 in the evening of August 6, 1995, Robert Agbanlog, Jimmy


Wabe, Gerry Bullanday,Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were having a drinking
spree on the terrace of the house of Robert‘s father, Barangay Councilman
Jaime Agbanlog, situated in Barangay San Pedro, Lupao, Nueva Ecija. Jaime
Agbanlog was seated on the banister of the terrace listening to the conversation
of the companions of his son.

As the drinking session went on, Robert and the others noticed appellants
Antonio Comadre, George Comadre and Danilo Lozano walking. The three
stopped in front of the house. While his companions looked on, Antonio suddenly
lobbed an object which fell on the roof of the terrace. Appellants immediately fled
by scaling the fence of a nearby school.

The object, which turned out to be a hand grenade, exploded ripping a hole in
the roof of the house. Robert Agbanlog, Jimmy Wabe, Gerry Bullanday, Rey
Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were hit by shrapnel and slumped unconscious on
the floor.

The undisputed facts show that when Antonio Comadre was in the act of
throwing the hand grenade, George Comadre and Danilo Lozano merely looked
on without uttering a single word of encouragement or performed any act to
assist him. The trial court held that the mere presence of George Comadre and
Danilo Lozano provided encouragement and a sense of security to Antonio
Comadre, thus proving the existence of conspiracy.

Issue:

Can there be a conspiracy based on the foregoing facts?

35 | P a g e
Decision:

Similar to the physical act constituting the crime itself, the elements of
conspiracy must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Settled is the rule that to
establish conspiracy, evidence of actual cooperation rather than mere
cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required.

A conspiracy must be established by positive and conclusive evidence. It


must be shown to exist as clearly and convincingly as the commission of the
crime itself. Mere presence of a person at the scene of the crime does not make
him a conspirator for conspiracy transcends companionship.

The evidence shows that George Comadre and Danilo Lozano did not have
any participation in the commission of the crime and must therefore be set free.
Their mere presence at the scene of the crime as well as their close relationship
with Antonio are insufficient to establish conspiracy considering that they
performed no positive act in furtherance of the crime.

36 | P a g e
Jaypee Garcia
2007-0280

Sim v. CA (428 SCRA 459)

Facts:

Private complainant Jay Byron Ilagan is a tire supplier. He had been


dealing with accused Elison Villaflor for twenty years, as the latter is engaged in
the same business of selling tires and rims.

In March 1998, private complainant talked to Elison and expressed his


interest in buying a vehicle. Elison told him that he knew someone who sells
vehicles at a cheap price, and that he had bought a Toyota Tamaraw FX at lower
than the market price. Private complainant then asked Elison to ask if there was
an Isuzu pick-up for sale. A month later, Elison called private complainant to
inform him that he was able to find a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder. They agreed to
inspect the vehicle together.

On April 30, 1998, only Elison went to Dagupan City to get the Nissan
Pathfinder from his friend, petitioner Augusto Sim, Jr. Petitioner told Elison that
the Nissan Pathfinder was given to him by a customer in payment of a debt and
had been used only for a year.

Elison brought the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder to San Pablo City. Private
complainant at first did not like the vehicle since it was not the brand he was
looking for. Elison said that his kumpadre would look at the vehicle as the latter
was also interested in it.

Private complainant decided to buy the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder at the


agreed price of P480,000.00. The amount was paid in five checks issued by Fe
Ilagan. One check was dated May 6, 1998 in the sum of P350,000.00, and four
checks in the sum of P32,500.00 each was dated June 6, July 6, August 6 and
September 6, all in 1998.

Elison gave private complainant photocopies of the Certificate of


Registration (C.R.) and Official Receipt (O.R.) issued by the Land Transportation
Office (LTO) showing the name of the owner as one Henry Austria. After a week,
Elison brought the deed of sale which private complainant signed without the
37 | P a g e
signature of the owner, Henry Austria. After private complainant signed the deed
of sale, he gave it back to Elison to be brought back to Dagupan City for signing
by the owner/vendor and transfer of registration in the name of private
complainant.

On June 7, 1998, Elison returned and delivered to private complainant the


deed of sale signed by the owner/vendor, together with the new C.R. and O.R.
issued by the LTO of Lingayen, Pangasinan in the name of private complainant.
The checks given by private complainant in payment of the vehicle were
deposited by petitioner in his name at Solidbank-Dagupan Branch. All five checks
were debited in favor of petitioner. After receiving the registration papers from
Elison, private complainant was eventually able to use the Nissan Pathfinder.

On October 28, 1998, private complainants vehicle was apprehended by


Anti-Carnapping operatives of the Philippine National Police (ANCAR NCRTMO).
The vehicle and its registration papers were inspected and thereafter brought to
Camp Crame. It turned out that the vehicle was a "hot car."

Thereafter, Elison and petitioner were charged and convicted with estafa.
Further the court also ruled that conspiracy is present. With this, the accused
appealed.

Issue:

Whether there was conspiracy between petitioner and Elison Villaflor in


defrauding private complainant Jay Byron Ilagan?

Decision:

Even in the absence of direct evidence of prior agreement to commit the


crime, conspiracy may be deduced from the acts of the perpetrators before,
during and after the commission of the crime, which are indicative of a common
design, concerted action and concurrence of sentiments. Conspiracy is deemed
implied when the malefactors have a common purpose and were united in its
execution. Spontaneous agreement or active cooperation by all perpetrators at
the moment of the commission of the crime is sufficient to create joint criminal
responsibility.

38 | P a g e
In Erquiaga v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that conspiracy, as a rule, has to
be established with the same quantum of proof as the crime itself and shown as
clearly as the commission of the crime. However, conspiracy need not be shown
by direct evidence, but may take the form of circumstances which, if taken
together, would conclusively show that the accused came to an agreement to
commit a crime and decided to carry it out with their full cooperation and
participation.

As correctly pointed out by the appellate court, petitioners actions in


relation to the fraudulent sale of the Nissan Pathfinder to private complainant
clearly established conspiracy as alleged in the information, which acts transcend
mere knowledge or friendship with co-accused Elison. Notwithstanding the fact
that it was only Elison who dealt with or personally transacted with private
complainant until the time the sale was consummated, by his own testimony
petitioner admitted all the acts by which he actively cooperated and not merely
acquiesced in perpetrating the fraud upon private complainant. That petitioner is
a conspirator having joint criminal design with Elison is evident from the fact that
as between them, both knew that petitioner was the person selling the vehicle
under the false pretense that a certain Henry Austria was the registered
owner.Petitioner, together with Elison, clearly deceived private complainant in
order to defraud him in the amount of P480,000.00, to the latter‘s damage and
prejudice. In addition, the acts of petitioner in deliberately misrepresenting
himself to private complainant as having the necessary authority to possess and
sell to the latter the vehicle so that he could collect from him P480,000.00 only to
renege on that promise and for failure to reimburse the said amount he collected
from private complainant, despite demand, amount to estafa punishable under
Art. 315, par. 2 (a).

39 | P a g e
Shaun Jayoma
2005-0016

Art. 11: Justifying Circumstances


Self-defense
People v. Sanchez (G.R. No. 161007)

Facts:

Sanchez's account of the facts shows that he and Jamero were tenants of
adjacent lots located in San Jose, Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur. At about 7:00
o'clock in the morning of September 4, 1993, Sanchez saw Jamero destroying
the dike which served as the boundary between the two lots. Sanchez confronted
Jamero and told the latter that he was encroaching on his land. Jamero struck
him with a shovel. The shovel got stuck in the mud so Jamero resorted to
throwing mud at Sanchez. Fighting back, Sanchez hacked Jamero with a bolo,
resulting in the latter's death. Sanchez then proceeded to the municipal building
to surrender upon the advice of his son-in-law.

According to the OSG, Jamero's attack on Sanchez was unsuccessful


because the latter was able to evade it and Jamero's shovel got stuck in the mud.
Jamero fled toward the ricefield when Sanchez unsheathed his bolo. Sanchez
pursued him and struck his head with a bolo. Jamero fell down but was able to
stand up again. He ran away but after a short distance, fell down again. Sanchez
approached him and stabbed him several times. Not satisfied, Sanchez pushed
Jamero's face down into the knee-deep mud. After Jamero's aggression ceased
when he fled and left his shovel stuck in the mud, there was no longer any
justification for Sanchez to go after him and hack him to death.

Issue:

Whether or not unlawful aggression, if not continuous, does not constitute


aggression warranting self-defense?

Decision:

There can be no self-defense, complete or incomplete, unless the


accused proves the first essential requisite—unlawful aggression on the part of

40 | P a g e
the victim. Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden and unexpected
or imminent danger on the life and limb of a person – a mere threatening or
intimidating attitude is not sufficient. There must be actual physical force or a
threat to inflict physical injury. In case of a threat, it must be offensive and
positively strong so as to display a real, not imagined, intent to cause injury.
Aggression, if not continuous, does not constitute aggression warranting self-
defense.

In this case, the twin circumstances of Jamero's shovel getting stuck in the
mud and his running away from Sanchez convincingly indicate that there was no
longer any danger to the latter's life and limb which could have justified his
pursuit of Jamero and subsequent hacking and killing of the latter.

Sanchez's failure to prove unlawful aggression by Jamero and the


prosecution's evidence conclusively showing that it was Sanchez who was the
unlawful aggressor completely discounts Sanchez's claim of self-defense. Even
incomplete self-defense by its very nature and essence would always require the
attendance of unlawful aggression initiated by the victim which must clearly be
shown.

41 | P a g e
Shaun Jayoma
2005-0016

Soplente v. People (G.R. No. 152715)

Facts:

The cousins, Rogelio and Nicanor, watched the amateur singing contest
being held near the Sta. Cruz Chapel. While engrossed with the singing contest,
they were approached by two persons from the group of Leyson who then tapped
Nicanor‘s shoulder. They insisted on bringing Nicanor along with them so
Nicanor called for Rogelio‘s help. The latter immediately intervened to stop the
two from harassing Nicanor.

At about past eleven o‘clock in the evening (11:00 p.m.), before the
conclusion of the amateur singing contest, Rogelio and Nicanor decided to go
home. At past midnight, Bukay (their cousin‘s wife) asked Rogelio and Nicanor to
accompany her in looking for her children who had watched the singing contest.
They obliged but before they had gone about three hundred meters, Nicanor
separated from them to buy cigarettes from a nearby store. Rogelio and Bukay
went onwards but at a distance of about fifty meters from the stage, Rogelio
stopped and Bukay proceeded alone to look for her children. A few minutes later,
Bukay appeared with the children and they all headed home.

While on the way home, Rogelio suddenly found himself surrounded by


around ten persons led by Leyson. He shouted at Nicanor to run and the latter
immediately scampered away. Leyson drew his gun and fired at Rogelio but the
latter was able to parry it by tapping the base of Leyson‘s hand holding the gun.
Forthwith, Rogelio stabbed Leyson once. He was kicked by Notarte immediately
after he stabbed Leyson. Rogelio also stabbed Notarte. Rogelio managed to
escape after that and he sought refuge in the house of Susing (their cousin).

Before dawn, a policeman arrived at Susing‘s house and Rogelio


voluntarily gave himself up. The knife he used was also turned over to the police.
He was brought to the police substation at Lagao.

42 | P a g e
Issue:

Whether or not our laws on self-defense are suppose to approximate the


natural human responses to danger.

Decision:

At the commencement of the attack, Rogelio could not have been obliged
to view Notarte, or any other member of the posse for that matter, as a less
menacing threat than Leyson. We have to understand that these events occurred
spontaneously in a matter of seconds or even simultaneously. Rogelio bore no
superhuman power to slow down time or to prevent the events from unfolding at
virtual warp speed, to be able to assess with measured certainty the appropriate
commensurate response due to each of his aggressors. Even those schooled in
the legal doctrines of self-defense would, under those dire circumstances, be
barely able to discern the legally defensible response and immediately employ
the same. Our laws on self-defense are supposed to approximate the natural
human responses to danger, and not serve as our inconvenient rulebook based
on which we should acclimatize our impulses in the face of peril.

It would be wrong to compel Rogelio to have discerned the appropriate


calibrated response to Notarte‘s kicking when he himself was staring at the evil
eye of danger. That would be a gargantuan demand even for the coolest under
pressure.

43 | P a g e
Shaun Jayoma
2005-0016

Urbano v. People (G.R. No. 182750)

Facts:

Petitioner Urbano testified being, in the afternoon of September 28, 1993,


in the nearby town of Bugallon for a picnic. He was with Tomelden and several
others, including Dominador Navarro, Chairperson of Lingayen Water District. At
a restaurant in Bugallon, the group ordered goat‘s meat and drank beer. When it
was time to depart, Navarro asked petitioner to inform Tomelden, then seated in
another table, to prepare to leave.

When so informed, Tomelden insulted petitioner, telling the latter he had


no business stopping him from further drinking as he was paying for his share of
the bill. Chastised, petitioner returned to his table to report to Navarro. At that
time, petitioner saw that Tomelden had already consumed 17 bottles of beer. In
all, the group stayed at the picnic place for three and a half hours before
returning to the LIWAD. Upon reaching the LIWAD compound, Tomelden
allegedly slapped and hurled insults at him, calling him "sipsip" just to maintain
his employment as Navarro‘s tricycle driver. Tomelden allegedly then delivered
several fist and kick blows at petitioner, a couple of which hit him despite his
evasive actions. Petitioner maintained that he only boxed the victim in retaliation,
landing that lucky punch in the course of parrying the latter‘s blows.

Thereafter, Tomelden went to the hospital several times complaining of


dizziness, headache, and other pains. The last time he went to the hospital,
things turned for the worst. Tomelden died due, per Dr. Arellano, to "cardio-
respiratory arrest secondary to cerebral concussion with resultant cerebral
hemorrhage due to mauling incident."

Orje Salazar, their co-worker, attests to the provocative acts of Tomelden


and to his being the aggressor.

Issue:

Whether or not the victim‘s insulting remarks directed at the accused, and
uttered immediately before the fist fight constitute sufficient provocation?
44 | P a g e
Decision:

When the law speaks of provocation either as a mitigating circumstance or


as an essential element of self-defense, the reference is to an unjust or improper
conduct of the offended party capable of exciting, inciting, or irritating anyone; it
is not enough that the provocative act be unreasonable or annoying; the
provocation must be sufficient to excite one to commit the wrongful act and
should immediately precede the act. This third requisite of self-defense is
present: (1) when no provocation at all was given to the aggressor; (2) when,
even if provocation was given, it was not sufficient; (3) when even if the
provocation was sufficient, it was not given by the person defending himself; or
(4) when even if a provocation was given by the person defending himself, it was
not proximate and immediate to the act of aggression.

In the instant case, Tomelden‘s insulting remarks directed at petitioner and


uttered immediately before the fist fight constituted sufficient provocation. This is
not to mention other irritating statements made by the deceased while they were
having beer in Bugallon. Petitioner was the one provoked and challenged to a fist
fight.

45 | P a g e
Ray Nagrampa Jr. B.
2008-0061

Defense of Relatives
Balunuecov. CA and People (G.R. No. 126968)

Facts:

On May 2, 1982 at around 6:00 o‘clock in the evening Amelia Iguico saw
accused Reynaldo, his father Juanito and brothers Ricardo and Ramon, all
surnamed Balunueco, and one Armando Flores chasing her brother-in-law
Servando Iguico. With the five (5) individuals in hot pursuit, Servando scampered
into the safety of Amelia‘s house. Meanwhile Senando went out of the house fully
unaware of the commotion going on outside. Upon seeing Senando, Reynaldo
turned his attention on him and gave chase. Senando instinctively fled towards
the fields but Reynaldo, Ricardo, and Armando cornered him and ganged up on
him. To shield him from further violence, Amelia put her arms around her
husband but it was not enough to detract Ricardo from his murderous frenzy.
Amelia was also hit on the leg.

In his defense, accused Ricardo invoke defense of relatives. He testified


that at that time he was fetching water he heard somebody shout. When he
hurried to the place, he saw his brother Ramon embracing Senando who was
continuously hacking Reynaldo. Thereafter, Senando shoved Ramon to the
ground and as if further enraged by the intrusion, he turned his bolo on the fallen
Ramon. Ricardo screamed, "tama na yan, mga kapatid ko ‘yan." But the
assailant would not be pacified as he hacked Ramon on the chest. At this point,
Servando, the brother of Senando, threw an axe at him but Reynaldo picked it up
and smashed Senando with it.

The trial court found the accused guilty of homicide and frustrated
homicide. According to the trial court, the denial of Ricardo was self-serving and
calculated to extricate himself from the predicament he was in. Further, the trial
court added that the wounds allegedly received by Ricardo in the hands of the
victim, Senando Iguico, if at all there were any, did not prove that Senando was
the aggressor for the wounds were inflicted while Senando was in the act of
defending himself from the aggression of Ricardo and his co-conspirators.

46 | P a g e
The Court of Appeals sustained the conviction of accused Ricardo with
modification that his conviction for the wounding of Amelia Iguico, should be for
attempted homicide only.

Issue:

Whether or not there was a valid defense of relatives?

Decision:

Petitioner invokes the justifying circumstance of defense of relatives under


Art. 11, par. (2), of The Revised Penal Code. The essential elements of this
justifying circumstance are the following: (a) unlawful aggression; (b) reasonable
necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and, (c) in case the
provocation was given by the person attacked, the one making the defense had
no part therein.

Of the three (3) requisites of defense of relatives, unlawful aggression is a


condition sine qua non, for without it any defense is not possible or justified. In
order to consider that an unlawful aggression was actually committed, it is
necessary that an attack or material aggression, an offensive act positively
determining the intent of the aggressor to cause an injury shall have been made;
a mere threatening or intimidating attitude is not sufficient to justify the
commission of an act which is punishable per se, and allow a claim of exemption
from liability on the ground that it was committed in self-defense or defense of a
relative. It has always been so recognized in the decisions of the courts, in
accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code.

Having admitted the killing of the victim, petitioner has the burden of proving
these elements by clear and convincing evidence. He must rely on the strength
of his own evidence and not on the weakness of that of the prosecution, for even
if the prosecution evidence is weak it cannot be disbelieved if the accused has
admitted the killing.

In the case at bar, petitioner Ricardo utterly failed to adduce sufficient


proof of the existence of a positively strong act of real aggression on the part of
the deceased Senando. With the exception of his self-serving allegations, there
is nothing on record that would justify his killing of Senando.

47 | P a g e
Justiniano Quiza
2008-0290

Fulfilment of a Duty
Mamangun v. People (GR 149152)

Facts:

On July 31, 1992, at about 8:00 in the evening, a certain Liberty Contreras
was heard shouting, ―Magnanakaw…Magnanakaw.” Several residents
responded and thereupon chased the suspect who entered the yard of Antonio
Abacan and proceeded to the rooftop of Abacan‘s house.

At about 9:00 o‘clock that same evening, the desk officer of the
Meycauayan PNP Police Station, upon receiving a telephone call that a robbery-
holdup was in progress in Brgy. Calvario, immediately contacted and dispatched
to the scene the crew including herein petitioner PO2 Rufino S. Mamangun. With
the permission of Abacan, petitioner Mamangun, and two others went to the
rooftop of the house whereat the suspect was allegedly taking refuge.

The three policemen, each armed with a drawn handgun, searched the
rooftop. There, they saw a man whom they thought was the robbery suspect. At
that instance, petitioner Mamangun, who was walking ahead of the group, fired
his handgun once, hitting the man. The man turned out to be Gener Contreras
(Contreras) who was not the robbery suspect.

Contreras died from the gunshot wound.

Issue:

Whether or not the shooting in question was done in the performance of a


duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office?

Decision:

No. The justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty under paragraph 5,


Article II, of the Revised Penal Code may be invoked only after the defense

48 | P a g e
successfully proves that: (1) the accused acted in the performance of a duty; and
(2) the injury inflicted or offense committed is the necessary consequence of the
due performance or lawful exercise of such duty.

Concededly, the first requisite is present in this case. Petitioner, a police


officer, was responding to a robbery-holdup incident. His presence at the situs of
the crime was in accordance with the performance of his duty. However, proof
that the shooting and ultimate death of Contreras was a necessary consequence
of the due performance of his duty as a policeman is essential to exempt him
from criminal liability.

To be sure, acts in the fulfillment of a duty, without more, do not


completely justify the petitioner‘s firing the fatal gunshot at the victim. True,
petitioner, as one of the policemen responding to a reported robbery then in
progress, was performing his duty as a police officer as well as when he was
trying to effect the arrest of the suspected robber and in the process, fatally shoot
said suspect, albeit the wrong man. However, in the absence of the equally
necessary justifying circumstance that the injury or offense committed be the
necessary consequence of the due performance of such duty, there can only be
incomplete justification, a privileged mitigating circumstance under Articles 13
and 69 of the Revised Penal Code.

49 | P a g e
Justiniano Quiza
2008-0290

Baxinela v. People (G.R. No. 149652)

Facts:

Petitioner SPO2 Eduardo L. Baxinela was in a pub drinking with two other
policemen in as early as 11:00 p.m. of October 18, 1996. At around 12:00 a.m. to
12:30 a.m. there was a minor altercation between the deceased Sgt. Lajo and
another customer at the pub but eventually the two were able to patch things up.
While on his way out, Lajo was followed by Braxinela with a gun already drawn
out. From behind, Baxinela held Lajo‘s left arm and asked why he was carrying a
gun. Thereafter an explosion coming from Baxinela‘s gun was heard. Lajo, still
standing, took two steps and then fell down.

Issue:

Whether or not fulfilment of duty may validly be invoked by the petitioner?

Decision:

No. In order to avail of this justifying circumstance it must be shown that:


1) the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a
right or office; and 2) the injury caused or the offense committed is the necessary
consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of a right or
office. While the first condition is present, the second is clearly lacking.
Baxinela‘s duty was to investigate the reason why Lajo had a gun tucked behind
his waist in a public place. This was what Baxinela was doing when he
confronted Lajo at the entrance, but perhaps through anxiety, edginess or the
desire to take no chances, Baxinela exceeded his duty by firing upon Lajo who
was not at all resisting. The shooting of Lajo cannot be considered due
performance of a duty if at that time Lajo posed no serious threat or harm to
Baxinela or to the civilians in the pub.The Court will, however, attribute to
Baxinela the incomplete defense of fulfillment of a duty as a privileged mitigating
circumstance. In Lacanilao v. Court of Appeals, it was held that if the first
condition is fulfilled but the second is wanting, Article 69 of the Revised Penal
Code is applicable so that the penalty lower than one or two degrees than that
prescribed by law shall be imposed.
50 | P a g e
Justiniano Quiza
2008-0290

Angcaco v. People (G.R. No. 146664)

Facts:

At around 4 o'clock in the morning of September 25, 1980, Noe Bergante


and his brother Noel Bergante and his cousin Freddie Ganancial were awakened
by the sound of gunfire while they were asleep in their house. Petitioner John
Angcaco and his co-accused were serving a warrant of arrest issued on Restituto
Bergante, who was wanted in connection with a robbery case. Noel informed the
policemen that his father was not in the house, having gone to Puerto Princesa.
One of them ordered the men in the house to come out. Noel accordingly went to
the gate and later called Noe to also come out of the house. Noe and his cousin,
Freddie Ganancial, did as bidden.

Once they were outside the house, Noe and Freddie were flanked by
petitioner Angcaco on the right side and accused Ramon Decosto on the left
side. Decosto pointed an armalite at the two and warned them not to run. Noe
and Freddie joined Noel Bergante. Protacio Edep approached Freddie saying,
"You are tough," and pushed him. Then, shots rang out from the armalite and
short firearm of Decosto and Edep, as a result of which Freddie Ganancial turned
around and dropped to the ground face down.

Issue:

Whether or not the justifying circumstance of fulfilment of duty is


applicable in this case?

Decision:

No. For this justifying circumstance to be appreciated, the following must


be established: (1) that the offender acted in the lawful exercise of a right or a
duty; and (b) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence
of the due performance of such right or office.

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In this case, the mission of petitioner and his colleagues was to effect the
arrest of Restituto Bergante. The standard procedure in making an arrest was,
first, to identify themselves as police officers and to show the warrant to the
arrestee and to inform him of the charge against him, and, second, to take the
arrestee under custody. But, it was not shown here that the killing of Ganancial
was in furtherance of such duty. No evidence was presented by the defense to
prove that Ganancial attempted to prevent petitioner and his fellow officers from
arresting Restituto Bergante. There was in fact no clear evidence as to how
Freddie Ganancial was shot. Indeed, as already stated, any attempt by the victim
to arrest the wanted person was pointless as Restituto Bergante was not in his
house. As regards the second requisite, there can be no question that the killing
of Freddie Ganancial was not a necessary consequence of the arrest to be made
on Restituto Bergante.

52 | P a g e
Alexander Santos
2006-0205

Obedience to an Order
Tabuena v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. 103501-03)

Facts:

Luis A. Tabuena and Adolfo M. Peralta were convicted by the


Sandiganbayan of malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code in
the total amount of P55 Million of the Manila International Airport Authority
(MIAA) funds during their incumbency as General Manager and Acting Finance
Services Manager, respectively, of MIAA.

Then President Marcos instructed Tabuena over the phone to pay directly
to the president's office and in cash what the MIAA owes the Philippine National
Construction Corporation (PNCC), to which Tabuena replied, "Yes, sir, I will do
it." About a week later, Tabuena received from Mrs. Fe Roa-Gimenez, then
private secretary of Marcos, a Presidential Memorandum dated January 8, 1986
reiterating in black and white such verbal instruction, directed to pay immediately
the Philippine National Construction Corporation, thru this Office, the sum of
FIFTY FIVE MILLION (P55,000,000.00) PESOS in cash as partial payment of
MIAA's account with said Company signed by the then President Marcos.

In obedience to President Marcos' verbal instruction and memorandum,


Tabuena, with the help of Dabao and Peralta, caused the release of P55 Million
of MIAA funds

The disbursement of the P55 Million was, as described by Tabuena and


Peralta themselves, "out of the ordinary" and "not based on the normal
procedure". Not only were there no vouchers prepared to support the
disbursement, the P55 Million was paid in cold cash. Also, no PNCC receipt for
the P55 Million was presented.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners‘ defense of good faith is tenable?

53 | P a g e
Decision:

Yes. It is settled that this is a valid defense in a prosecution for


malversation for it would negate criminal intent on the part of the accused.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 sit rea — a crime is not committed if the mind
of the person performing the act complained of is innocent.Ordinarily, evil intent
must unite with an unlawful act for there to be a crime. Actus non facit reum, nisi
mens sit rea. There can be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting.

Tabuena had no other choice but to make the withdrawals, for that was
what the MARCOS Memorandum required him to do. He could not be faulted if
he had to obey and strictly comply with the presidential directive, and to argue
otherwise is something easier said than done. Marcos was undeniably Tabuena's
superior — the former being then the President of the Republic who
unquestionably exercised control over government agencies such as the MIAA
and PNCC. In other words, Marcos had a say in matters involving inter-
government agency affairs and transactions, such as for instance, directing
payment of liability of one entity to another and the manner in which it should be
carried out. And as a recipient of such kind of a directive coming from the highest
official of the land no less, good faith should be read on Tabuena's compliance,
without hesitation nor any question, with the MARCOS Memorandum. Tabuena
therefore is entitled to the justifying circumstance of "Any person who acts in
obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose." The
subordinate-superior relationship between Tabuena and Marcos is clear. And so
too, is the lawfulness of the order contained in the MARCOS Memorandum, as it
has for its purpose partial payment of the liability of one government agency
(MIAA) to another (PNCC).

Good faith in the payment of public funds relieves a public officer from the crime
of malversation.

54 | P a g e
Renato Segubiense
2006-0040

Art.12: Exempting Circumstances

Insanity/Imbecility
People v. Rubiños (G.R. No. 138453)

Facts:

Where the law prescribes a penalty consisting of two indivisible penalties,


as in the present case for parricide with unintentional abortion, the lesser one
shall be applied in the absence of any aggravating circumstances. Hence, the
imposable penalty here is reclusion perpetua, not death.

In an Information dated May 31, 1995, appellant was accused of killing his
pregnant wife and the fetus inside her. When arraigned on July 27, 1995,
appellant, with the assistance of his counsel, pleaded not guilty. After due trial,
the RTC convicted him.

Appellant does not refute the factual allegations of the prosecution that he
indeed killed his wife, but seeks exoneration from criminal liability by interposing
the defense of insanity.

Issue:

Whether or not the court a quo erred in not giving probative weight to the
testimony and psychiatric evaluation of Dr. Maria Mercedita Mendoza finding the
accused-appellant to be suffering from psychosis or insanity classified under
schizophrenia, paranoid type?

Whether or not the court a quo erred in disregarding accused-appellant's


defense of insanity?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that insanity presupposes that the accused was
completely deprived of reason or discernment and freedom of will at the time of

55 | P a g e
the commission of the crime. A defendant in a criminal case who relies on the
defense of mental incapacity has the burden of establishing the fact of insanity at
the very moment when the crime was committed. Only when there is a complete
deprivation of intelligence at the time of the commission of the crime should the
exempting circumstance of insanity be considered.

The presumption of law always lies in favor of sanity and, in the absence
of proof to the contrary, every person is presumed to be of sound mind.
Accordingly, one who pleads the exempting circumstance of insanity has the
burden of proving it. Failing this, one will be presumed to be sane when the crime
was committed.

A perusal of the records of the case reveals that appellant's claim of


insanity is unsubstantiated and wanting in material proof. Testimonies from both
prosecution and defense witnesses show no substantial evidence that appellant
was completely deprived of reason or discernment when he perpetrated the
brutal killing of his wife.

As can be gleaned from the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, a


domestic altercation preceded the fatal stabbing. Thus, it cannot be said that
appellant attacked his wife for no reason at all and without knowledge of the
nature of his action. To be sure, his act of stabbing her was a deliberate and
conscious reaction to the insulting remarks she had hurled at him as attested to
by their 15-year-old son Lorenzo Robiños.

Furthermore, appellant was obviously aware of what he had done to his


wife. He was even bragging to her brother, Benjamin Bueno, how he had just
killed her.

Finally, the fact that appellant admitted to responding law enforcers how
he had just killed his wife may have been a manifestation of repentance and
remorse -- a natural sentiment of a husband who had realized the wrongfulness
of his act. His behavior at the time of the killing and immediately thereafter is
inconsistent with his claim that he had no knowledge of what he had just done.
Barangay Kagawad Rolando Valdez validated the clarity of mind of appellant
when the latter confessed to the former and to the police officers, and even
showed to them the knife used to stab the victim. Clearly, the assault of appellant
on his wife was not undertaken without his awareness of the atrocity of his act.

56 | P a g e
Similarly, an evaluation of the testimonies of the defense witnesses hardly
supports his claim of insanity. The bulk of the defense evidence points to his
allegedly unsound mental condition after the commission of the crime. Except for
appellant's 19-year-old son Federico Robiños, all the other defense witnesses
testified on the supposed manifestations of his insanity after he had already been
detained in prison.

To repeat, insanity must have existed at the time of the commission of the
offense, or the accused must have been deranged even prior thereto. Otherwise
he would still be criminally responsible. Verily, his alleged insanity should have
pertained to the period prior to or at the precise moment when the criminal act
was committed, not at any time thereafter.

Indeed, when insanity is alleged as a ground for exemption from criminal


responsibility, the evidence must refer to the time preceding the act under
prosecution or to the very moment of its execution. If the evidence points to
insanity subsequent to the commission of the crime, the accused cannot be
acquitted.

Hence, appellant who invoked insanity should have proven that he had
already been completely deprived of reason when he killed the victim. Verily, the
evidence proffered by the defense did not indicate that he had been completely
deprived of intelligence or freedom of will when he stabbed his wife to death.
Insanity is a defense in the nature of a confession or avoidance and, as such,
clear and convincing proof is required to establish its existence. Indubitably, the
defense failed to meet the quantum of proof required to overthrow the
presumption of sanity.

57 | P a g e
Renato Segubiense
2006-0040

People v. Valledor (G.R. No. 129291)

Facts:

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; uttered Roger's


nickname ("Jer") and immediately attacked him with a knife, but Roger 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.

Prosecution witness Roger Cabiguen testified that sometime in 1980,


accused-appellant suspected him of killing his pet dog. In 1989, accused-
appellant courted Elsa but she jilted him. On one occasion, Elsa spat on and
slapped accused-appellant.

Accused-appellant's defense of insanity was anchored on the following


facts:

On March 11, 1991, Dr. Manuel Bilog, City Health Officer I of Puerto
Princesa City interviewed accused-appellant and thereafter made the following
conclusions and recommendation, that subject patient be committed to the
National Mental Hospital, Metro Manila for proper medical care and evaluation
soonest.

The defense offered in evidence the April 27, 1992 medical findings on
accused-appellant by Dr. Guia Melendres of the National Center for Mental
Health, pertinent portion of which reads: In view of the foregoing history,
58 | P a g e
observations, physical mental and psychological examinations the patient Enrico
Valledor y Andusay is found suffering from Psychosis or Insanity classified under
Schizophrenia. This is a thought disorder characterized by deterioration from
previous level of functioning, auditory hallucination, ideas of reference, delusion
of control, suspiciousness, poor judgment and absence of insight. Likewise, he is
found to be suffering from Psychoactive Substance Use Disorder, Alcohol,
abuse. This is characterized by a maladaptive pattern of psychoactive substance
use indicated by continued use despite knowledge of having a persistent or
recurrent social, occupational, psychological or physical problems.

Issue:

Whether or not the lower court erred in convicting the accused despite the
fact that when he allegedly committed the offense charged he was mentally ill,
out of his mind or insane?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that in considering a plea of insanity as a


defense, the starting premise is that the law presumes all persons to be of sound
mind. Otherwise stated, the law presumes all acts to be voluntary, and it is
improper to presume that acts were done unconsciously.

Since the presumption is always in favor of sanity, he who invokes insanity


as an exempting circumstance must prove it by clear and positive evidence. And
the evidence on this point must refer to the time preceding the act under
prosecution or to the very moment of its execution.

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.

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In the case at bar, 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 Elsa; 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; and 5) Accused-appellant hurriedly
left the room after stabbing the victims.

Evidently, the foregoing acts could hardly be said to be performed by one


who was in a state of a complete absence of the power to discern. Judging from
his acts, accused-appellant was clearly aware and in control of what he was
doing as he in fact purposely chose to stab only the two victims. Two other
people were also inside the room, one of them was nearest to the door where
accused-appellant emerged, but the latter went for the victims. His obvious
motive of revenge against the victims was accentuated by calling out their names
and uttering the words, "I had my revenge" after stabbing them. Finally, his act of
immediately fleeing from the scene after the incident indicates that he was aware
of the wrong he has done and the consequence thereof.

Accused-appellant's acts prior to the stabbing incident to wit: crying;


swimming in the river with his clothes on; and jumping off the jeepney; were not
sufficient to prove that he was indeed insane at the time of the commission of the
crime. As consistently held by this Court, "A man may act crazy but it does not
necessarily and conclusively prove that he is legally so." Then, too, the medical
findings showing that accused-appellant was suffering from a mental disorder
after the commission of the crime, has no bearing on his liability. What is decisive
is his mental condition at the time of the perpetration of the offense. Failing to
discharge the burden of proving that he was legally insane when he stabbed the
victims, he should be held liable for his felonious acts.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman
2010-0204

Minority
Llave v.People (G.R. No. 166040)

Facts:

On Sept. 24, 2002, on an errand from her mother, the victim, who was
only 7 years old at that time, proceeded to their house, where the accused waited
for her, and accosted her; he proceeded to sexually abuse her, while the victim
cried for help.

A barbecue vendor nearby heard her cries and came to the scene; the
accused fled, and the vendor told the victim to tell her parents what happened.

Together with her parents, the victim went to the police and reported the
incident; the vendor also testified to what he saw during that time.

The medical examiner found no injury on the hymen and perineum, but
found scanty yellowish discharge between the labia minora; there was also fresh
abrasion of the perennial skin at 1 o‘clock position near the anal opening.

The trial court found the victim guilty, declaring that he acted with
discernment, but crediting him with the special mitigating circumstance of
minority.

Issue:

W/N accused had carnal knowledge of the victim, and if yes, whether he
acted with discernment, being a minor of age more than 9 years old but less than
15?

Decision: YES

Penetration, no matter how slight, or the mere introduction of the male organ
into the labia of the pudendum, constitutes carnal knowledge. Hence, even if the

61 | P a g e
penetration is only slight, the fact that the private complainant felt pains, points to
the conclusion that the rape was consummated.

While it is true that medical examiner did not find any abrasion or laceration in
the private complainant‘s genitalia, such fact does not negate the latter‘s
testimony the petitioner had carnal knowledge of her. The absence of abrasions
and lacerations does not disprove sexual abuses, especially when the victim is a
young girl as in this case.
The court have held that when the offended party is young and immature, from
the age of thirteen to sixteen, courts are inclined to give credence to their
account of what transpired, considering not only their relative vulnerability but
also the shame and embarrassment to which they would be exposed if the matter
to which they testified is not true.

Discernment is the mental capacity to understand the difference between


right and wrong.

The accused, with methodical fashion, dragged the resisting victim behind the
pile of hollow blocks near the vacant house to insure that passers-by would not
be able to discover his dastardly acts.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman
2010-0204

Jose v. People (G.R. No. 162052)

Facts:

Accused was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation conducted by the police;


accused was a passenger in the car of Zarraga, whom allegedly made the deal
with the undercover in the said operation. They claimed that they were kidnapped
by the police and asked ransom for their release from one of the accused‘s wife.

The trial court found them guilty, and credited in their favour the preventive
imprisonment they had undergone.CA reduced the penalty on petitioner since he
was 13 years old at the time of the commission of the offense.

Issue:

W/N petitioner acted with discernment and that prosecution failed to allege
in the information that he acted with discernment?

Decision: NO

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.

The only evidence of the prosecution against the petitioner is that he was in a
car with his cousin, co-accused, when the latter inquired from the poseur-buyer, if
he could afford to buy shabu.

63 | P a g e
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.

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.

Miguel Paolo Soliman

64 | P a g e
2010-0204

Declarador v. Judge Gubaton (G.R. No. 159208)

Facts:

The accused, a 17-year old, minor, stabbed a teacher, wife of the


complainant, 15 times; he was charged with murder aggravated by evident
premeditation and abuse of superior strength, to which the accused plead guilty
to the crime charged.

In view of the accused‘s plea, RTC rendered judgment finding the accused
guilty, but the sentence was suspended by the judge automatically because the
accused was a minor at that time; he was ordered to be committed to the
Regional Rehabilitation for Youth.

The husband of the victim, herein petitioner, claimed that in Art. 192 of P.D.
No. 603, the benefit of a suspended sentence does not apply to a juvenile who
was convicted of a crime punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment.

Issues:

Whether or not respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion


amounting to lack of or excess in jurisdiction in ordering the suspension of the
sentence of the accused?

Decision: YES

The benefits of P.D. No. 603 shall not apply to a youthful offender who has
once enjoyed suspension of sentence under its provisions or to one who is
convicted for an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or to one who
is convicted for an offense by the Military Tribunals.

Furthermore, it shall not apply to a juvenile in conflict with law who has
once enjoyed suspension of sentence or, when at the time of the promulgation of
judgment, the juvenile is already 18 yrs. old.

65 | P a g e
The disqualification is based on the nature of the crime charged and the
imposable penalty therefor, and not on the penalty imposed by the court after
trial. It is not the actual penalty imposed but the possible one which determines
the disqualification of a juvenile.

Rep. Act No. 9344 only amended the disqualification of those juveniles in
conflict with law, who at the time of the promulgation of judgment, was already 18
years old, and allowed the benefits to apply to them. The other disqualification in
P.D. No. 603 remains unchanged. Hence, the accused is still disqualified under
law to benefit from such suspension of sentence.

Case law has it that statutes in pari materia should be read and construed
together because enactments of the same legislature on the same subject are
supposed to form part of one uniform system; later statutes are supplementary or
complimentary to the earlier enactments and in the passage of its acts the
legislature is supposed to have in mind the existing legislations on the subject
and to have enacted the new act with reference thereto.

Eddie Tamondong

66 | P a g e
2009-0178

Accident
Toledo v. People (439 SCRA 94)

Facts:

The accused Toledo was charged with homicide for the killing of one
Ricky Duarte. Toledo insisted that when he killed the victim, the same was purely
accidental. He claimed that the victim was so drunk that the same charged at the
door of his house. This prompted the accused to get his bolo and when he tried
to prevent Ricky from entering, he accidentally hit the latter whereby killing him.

But still the RTC and the Ca found him guilty.

And so, the accused goes to the SC wherein this time, he claims that his
actions were purely on self-defense. It was done when the victim attacked him
and in trying to defend himself, he accidentally killed Duarte.

Issue:

Should the Court find his actions exempting and/or justifying?

Decision:

The Sc ruled that there is no such thing as accidental self-defense. The


accused cannot claim the death purely accidental and when the findings of the
lower courts were unfavorable, later on change his defense by alleging that what
happened was purely self-defense.

The two defenses perpetuated by the accused are totally inconsistent with
each other. Although in the justifying circumstance of self-defense, an accused is
excused because of DELIBERATELY trying to repel an unlawful aggression
which could have killed or injure him. And so, such acts are not in tune with
ACCIDENT which presupposes an act which was not even contemplated or
planned but purely accidental.

Eddie Tamondong

67 | P a g e
2009-0178

People v. Concepcion (386 SCRA 74)

Facts:

The accused Concepcion is a police officer charged with murder for the
killing of one Lorenzo Galang. According to testimonies of both parties‘
witnesses, Lorenzo Galang was brought to the barangay hall because he was so
drunk and unruly at the town plaza and was continually disturbing the peace.

The accused then came to the barangay hall apparently to question


Galang. But herein lies the differences in the testimonies. The prosecution
witnesses (2 of them) testified that while interrogating Galang, Concepcion
suddenly fired two shots past the ear of the victim without injuring him. But later
on, he hit the victim in the abdomen and fired a shot which wounded Galang in
the thigh and then Concepcion fired three more shots which hit the victim in the
chest and killed him.

But according to the accused, he was merely pacifying Galang when the
victim became so unruly that the accused fired two warning shots. But instead of
scaring Galang, the latter tried to grab the gun from the accused. Two shots were
accidentally fired which hit Galang thus causing his death.

The accused claims that he should be exempted because he was just


performing his lawful duty as a police officer and that the shooting was purely
accidental.

The trial court found Concepcion guilty.

Issue:

Should the accused be exempted from criminal liability due to accident?

Decision:

Well settled is the rule in criminal cases, that the prosecution has
theburden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused. However, once the

68 | P a g e
defendant admits the commission of the offense charged, but raises an
exempting circumstance as a defense, the burden of proof is shifted to him. By
invoking mere accident as a defense, appellant now has the burden of proving
that he is entitled to that exempting circumstance under Article 12 (4) of the
Code.

Unfortunately for the accused, his testimony was too full of inconsistencies
which failed to discharge the burden . For one, Concepcion claims that when the
victim tried to grab his gun, said rifle was hanging on his shoulder on a swivel.
But then he claimed that Galang tried to rest the rifle away by grabbing the
BARREL OF THE GUN‖. This was very inconceivable. Furthermore, it was not
believable that a person so drunk would try to take away a rifle from a police
officer who also had a handgun tucked by his waist.

Lastly, the prosecution witness categorically testified that he saw


Concepcion shoot the victim with the M-16 rifle.

And so, the finding of guilt by the lower court was proper.

69 | P a g e
Mark Vergara
2008-0323

Irresistible Force/Uncontrollable Fear


Ty v. People (G.R. No. 149275)

Facts:

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?

70 | P a g e
Decision: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.

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.

71 | P a g e
Arlyn Barcelon
2006-0021

Entrapment v. Instigation
People v. Sta. Maria (G.R. No. 171019)

Facts:

On November 27, 2002, at around 10:00 o‘clock in the morning, P/Chief


Insp. Noli Pacheco, Chief of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Group of the
Bulacan Provincial Office based at Camp Alejo Santos, Malolos, Bulacan
received an intelligence report about the illegal drug activities in Sitio Gulod,
Barangay Pantubig, San Rafael, Bulacan of a certain "Fael," who later turned out
to be appellant Rafael Sta. Maria. P/Chief Insp. Pacheco formed a surveillance
team to look for a police asset to negotiate a drug deal with appellant. In the
morning of November 29, 2002, the surveillance team reported to P/Chief Insp.
Pacheco that a confidential asset found by the team had already negotiated a
drug deal for the purchase of P200 worth of shabu from appellant at the latter‘s
house at No. 123 Sitio Gulod, Barangay Pantubig, San Rafael, Bulacan between
7:00 and 7:30 in the evening of November 29, 2002. The surveillance team then
prepared for a buy-bust operation, with PO3 Enrique Rullan as team leader, and
PO1 Rhoel Ventura, who was provided with two (2) marked P100-bills, as
poseur-buyer. At the appointed time and place, PO1 Ventura and the confidential
informant proceeded to appellant‘s house and knocked at the door. Appellant
opened the door and the confidential informant introduced to him PO1 Ventura
as a prospective buyer. PO1 Ventura later handed the two (2) marked P100-bills
to appellant who, in turn, gave him a plastic sachet of shabu. Thereupon, PO1
Ventura sparked his cigarette lighter, which was the pre-arranged signal to the
other members of the buy-bust team that the sale was consummated. Appellant
was arrested and the two marked P100-bills recovered from him. Also arrested
on that occasion was one Zedric dela Cruz who was allegedly sniffing shabu
inside appellant‘s house and from whom drug paraphernalia were recovered.
Upon laboratory examination of the item bought from appellant, the same yielded
positive for methylampetamine hydrochloride or shabu weighing 0.041 gram.

The accused was charged of violation of Section 5, Article II of R.A. No.


9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

72 | P a g e
The trial court found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
offense charged. The Court of Appeals promulgated the assailed decision
denying the appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not instigation was the act which preceded Sta. Maria‘s arrest?

Decision:

In entrapment, the entrapper resorts to ways and means to trap and


capture a lawbreaker while executing his criminal plan. In instigation, the
instigator practically induces the would-be-defendant into committing the offense,
and himself becomes a co-principal. In entrapment, the means originates from
the mind of the criminal. The idea and the resolve to commit the crime come from
him. In instigation, the law enforcer conceives the commission of the crime and
suggests to the accused who adopts the idea and carries it into execution. The
legal effects of entrapment do not exempt the criminal from liability. Instigation
does.

It is no defense to the perpetrator of a crime that facilities for its


commission were purposely placed in his way, or that the criminal act was done
at the "decoy solicitation" of persons seeking to expose the criminal, or that
detectives feigning complicity in the act were present and apparently assisting its
commission. Especially is this true in that class of cases where the offense is one
habitually committed, and the solicitation merely furnishes evidence of a course
of conduct.

The solicitation of drugs from appellant by the informant utilized by the


police merely furnishes evidence of the course of conduct. The police received
an intelligence report that appellant has been habitually dealing in illegal drugs.
They duly acted on it by utilizing an informant to effect a drug transaction with the
appellant. There was no showing that the informant induced appellant to sell
illegal drugs to him.

73 | P a g e
Arlyn Barcelon
2006-0021

People v. Pacis (G.R. No. 146309)

Facts:

On April 6, 1998, Atty. Yap supervising agent of the Dangeroud Drugs


Division of the NBI, received an information that certain Roberto Pacis was
offering to sell ½ kilo of shabu for the amount of P950 per gram or a total of
P475,000.00. The NBI Chief of Dangerous Drugs Division approved the buy-bust
operation. Atty. Yap and Sr. Agent Congzon, Jr. were assigned to handle the
case. The two officer and an informant went to the house of the appellant at 375
Caimito Ville, Caimito Street, Valle Verde II, Pasig City. They negotiated the sale
of ½ kilo of shabu. The total price was reduced to P450,000.00. It was agreed
that the payment and delivery of shabu would be made the next day at same
place.

On April 17, 1998, NBI agents and the informant went to appellant‘s
house. Appellant handed to Atty. Yap a paper bag, the latter saw a transparent
plastic with white crystalline substance inside. Appellant asked for the payment.
Atty. Yap introduced Congzon to get the money from the car. When Congzon
returned, he gave the ―boodle money‖ to Atty. Yap who handed to the appellant.
Upon receipt of payment, the officers identified themselves as NBI agents and
arrested him.

The trial gave full credence to the testimonies of the prosecution


witnesses. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the ―buy-bust‖ operation that led to the appellant‘s arrest
was valid?

Decision:

In entrapment, ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of


trapping and capturing lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. In
instigation on the other hand, instigators practically induce the would- be
74 | P a g e
defendant into the commission of the offense and become co- principals
themselves. It has been held in numerous cases by this Court that entrapment is
sanctioned by law as legitimate method of apprehending criminal elements
engage in the sale and distribution of illegal drugs.

The records show that the operation that led to the arrest of the appellant
was indeed an entrapment, not instigation. Courts generally give full faith and
credit to officers of the law, for they are presumed to have performed their duties
in the regular manner. In entrapment cases, credence is given to the narration of
an incident by the prosecution witnesses who are officers of the law.

Jurisprudence has firmly entrenched the following as elements in the


crime of illegal sale of prohibited drugs: (1) the accused sold and delivered a
prohibited drug to another, and (2) he knew that what he had sold was a
dangerous drug. The elements were duly proven in the case herein. The record
shows that the appellant sold and delivered the shabu to NBI agents posing as
buyers.

75 | P a g e
Arlyn Barcelon
2006-0021

Chang v. People (G.R. No. 165111)

Facts:

Chang was the Municipal Treasurer of Makati who was tasked to examine
or investigate tax returns of private corporations and companies operating within
Makati and determine the sufficiency and insufficiency of the income tax
assessed on them and collect payments, San Mateo was the Chief Operations,
Business revenue Examination, Audit division, Makati Treasurer‘s office.

The examiners found that Group Developers, Inc. (GDI) incurred a tax
deficiency inclusive of penalty in the amount of P494,601.11. The assessment
notice was received by Mario Magat, Chief Operating Officer of GDI. Magat was
later able to talk to San Mateo via phone. On May 15, 1991, Magat and San
Mateo met for lunch at the Makati Sports Club. Chang later joined the two, the
three agreed that if GDI could pay P125,000 by the end of May 1991, the
assessment would be ‗resolved‘.

On June 6, 1991, Magat met again for lunch with San Mateo and Chang at
the Makati Sports Club. Magat tried to convince the two that GDI wanted to pay
the correct amount of tax to the municipality. He was advised by San Mateo and
Chang, however, that GDI had only two options: Pay the P494,601.11 to the
municipality or P125,000 to them.

On June 12, 1991, Magat met with the NBI Deputy Director Epimaco
Velasco who advised him to file a complaint with the NBI. Magat thus gave a
sworn statement. After several days, Magat contacted San Mateo and asked him
if their position was still the same to which the latter said yes. Magat thereafter
told San Mateo that he would deliver the P125,000 on June 19,1991 at the
Makati Sports Club.

On June 19, 1991, Magat informed the NBI that payment was to be made
that day around lunchtime. The NBI formed a team to conduct an entrapment.
The genuine money as well as the boodle money and the envelope where the
money was placed were then laced with fluorescent powder.

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San Mateo arrived and joined Magat at his table. Chang arrived and joined
the two. Magat told Chang and San Mateo that GDI was ready to pay and asked
them if they could give him the Certificate of Examination showing that GDI has
no more tax liability. Chang handed the Certificate while Magat gave the brown
envelope. At that instant, the NBI agents announced that they were being
arrested.

The Sandiganbayan convicted San Mateo and Chang of violation of sec


3(b) of R.A. No. 3019, otherwise known as Anti- Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Hence, this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not there was a valid entrapment operation?

Decision:

Petitioners were undisputedly public officers at the time of the commission


of the offense. The prosecution, not only established creditably how the offense
charged was committed. It is established just as creditably how petitioners
conspired to commit the crime.

There is entrapment when law officers employ ruses and schemes to


ensure the apprehension of the criminal while in the actual commission of the
crime. There is instigation when the accused is induced to commit the crime. The
difference in the nature of the two lies in the origin of the criminal intent. In
entrapment, the mens reoriginates from the mind of the criminal. The idea and
the resolve to commit the crime comes from him. In instigation, the law officer
conceives the commission of the crime and suggests to the accused who adopts
the idea and carries it into execution.

From the evidence of the prosecution, it was clearly established that the
criminal intent originated from the mind of the petitioner. Even before the June
19, 1991 meeting took place, petitioners already made known to Magat that GDI
only had two options to prevent the closure of the company, either to pay the
assessed amount of P494,601.11 to the Municipality or to pay the amount of
P125,000 to them.

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Jasmine Calaycay
2005-0049

Art. 13: Mitigating Circumstances


Incomplete Justifying or Exempting Circumstances
People v. CA and Tangan (G.R. No. 103613)

Facts:

On December 1, 1984, Navy Captain Eladio C. Tangan was driving alone


on Roxas Boulevard heading south and Generoso Miranda was driving his car in
the same direction with his uncle, Manuel Miranda. Generoso was moving ahead
of Tangan. Suddenly, firecrackers were thrown in Generoso's way, causing him
to swerve to the right and cut Tangan's path. Tangan blew his horn several times.
Generoso, slowed down to let Tangan pass. Tangan accelerated and overtook
Generoso, but when he got in front, Tangan reduced speed. Generoso tried four
or five times to overtake on the right lane but Tangan kept blocking his lane.
When Tangan slowed down to make a U-turn, Generoso passed him, pulled over
and got out of the car with his uncle. Tangan also stopped his car and got out.
Generoso and Tangan then exchanged expletives. Then Tangan went to his car
and got his .38 caliber handgun on the front seat.

According to the prosecution witnesses, Mary Ann Borromeo, Rosalia


Cruz and Manuel Miranda, the accused pointed his gun at Generoso Miranda
and when Manuel Miranda tried to intervene, the accused pointed his gun at
Manuel Miranda, and after that the accused pointed again the gun to Generoso
Miranda, the accused shot Generoso Miranda at a distance of about a meter.
The shot hit the stomach of Generoso Miranda causing the latter to fall. Manuel
Miranda grappled for the possession of the gun and during their grappling,
Rosalia Cruz intervened and took hold of the gun and after Rosalia Cruz has
taken hold of the gun, a man wearing a red T-shirt took the gun from her. The
man in T-shirt was chased by Manuel Miranda who was able to get the gun
where the man in red T-shirt placed it.

On the other hand, the defense, particularly the accused and his witness
by the name of Nelson Pante claimed that after the gun was taken by the
accused from inside his car, the Mirandas started to grapple for possession of
the gun and during the grappling, and while the two Mirandas were trying to

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wrest away the gun from the accused, they fell down at the back of the car of the
accused. The accused lost the possession of the gun after falling at the back of
his car and as soon as they hit the ground, the gun fell, and it exploded hitting
Generoso Miranda.

Tangan ran away while Generoso lay on the ground bloodied. Manuel looked for
the gun and ran after Tangan. Tangan found a policeman who allowed him to
enter his patrol car. Manuel arrived and told the policeman that Tangan had just
shot his nephew. Manuel went back to where Generoso lay and there found two
ladies, Mary Ann Borromeo and Rosalina Cruz, helping his nephew board a taxi.
Manuel suggested that Generoso be brought to the hospital in his car. He was
rushed to the Philippine General Hospital but he expired on the way.

Tangan was charged with the crime of murder with the use of an unlicensed
firearm. However, the information was amended to homicide with the use of a
licensed firearm, and he was separately charged with illegal possession of
unlicensed firearm. Tangan entered a plea of not guilty in the homicide case, but
moved to quash the information for illegal possession of unlicensed firearm on
various grounds. The motion to quash was denied, whereupon he filed a petition
for certiorari with this Court. On November 5, 1987, said petition was dismissed
and the joint trial of the two cases was ordered.

After trial, the lower court acquitted Tangan of illegal possession of firearm, but
convicted him of homicide. The privileged mitigating circumstance of incomplete
self-defense and the ordinary mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation
on the part of the offended party and of passion and obfuscation were
appreciated in his favor; Tangan was released from detention after the
promulgation of judgment and was allowed bail in the homicide case.

Tangan appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the judgment of the
trial court but increased the award of civil indemnity to P50,000.00. His
subsequent motion for reconsideration and a motion to cite the Solicitor General
in contempt were denied by the Court of Appeals.

The Solicitor General, on behalf of the prosecution, alleging grave abuse of


discretion, filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, naming as respondents the
Court of Appeals and Tangan, where it prayed that the appellate court's judgment

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be modified by convicting accused-appellant of homicide without appreciating in
his favor any mitigating circumstance.

Issue:

Whether or not Tangan acted in incomplete self-defense?

Decision:

Incomplete self-defense is not considered as a justifying act, but merely a


mitigating circumstance; hence, the burden of proving the crime charged in the
information is not shifted to the accused. In order that it may be successfully
appreciated, however, it is necessary that a majority of the requirements of self-
defense be present, particularly the requisite of unlawful aggression on the part
of the victim. Unlawful aggression by itself or in combination with either of the
other two requisite suffices to establish incomplete self-defense. Absent the
unlawful aggression, there can never be self-defense, complete or
incomplete, because if there is nothing to prevent or repel, the other two
requisites of defense will have no basis.

The element of unlawful aggression in self-defense must not come from


the person defending himself but from the victim.

A mere threatening or intimidating attitude is not sufficient. The exchange


of insulting words and invectives between Tangan and Generoso Miranda, no
matter how objectionable, could not be considered as unlawful aggression,
except when coupled with physical assault. There being no lawful aggression on
the part of either antagonists, the claim of incomplete self-defense falls.

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Heide Olarte-Congson
2007-0316

No Intention to Commit so Grave a Wrong


People v. Callet (G.R. No. 135701)

Facts:

Elbert S. Callet was charged and found guilty of the crime of Murder in the
death of Alfredo Senador. Callet used a 9-inch hunting knife in stabbing the
latter on the left shoulder near the base of the neck causing Senador‘s death
shortly thereafter. Callet appealed his conviction claiming that the Regional Trial
Court of Negros Oriental, Dumaguete City (Branch 30) gravely erred in failing to
consider the mitigating circumstance of the fact that he had no intention to
commit so grave a wrong thereforehis liability should be mitigated.

Issue:

Whether or not the criminal liability of Callet be mitigated in that he had no


intention to commit so grave a wrong?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The lack of ―intent‖ to commit a
wrong so grave is an internal state. It is weighed based on the weapon used, the
part of the body injured, the injury inflicted and the manner it is inflicted. The fact
that the accused used a 9-inch hunting knife in attacking the victim from behind,
without giving him an opportunity to defend himself, clearly shows that he
intended to do what he actually did, and he must be held responsible therefore,
without the benefit of this mitigating circumstance.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria
2006-0406

Vindication of a Grave Offense


People v. Torpio (G.R. No. 138984)

Facts:

In the evening of October 11, 1997, Anthony went to the house of Dennis
and invited the latter for a drinking spree. Afterwards both left the house of
Dennis and went to a nearby store and started drinking with a companion named
Porboy Perez. The three proceeded to Shoreline. In a cottage, Anthony tried to
let Dennis drink gin and as the latter refused, Anthony bathed Dennis with gin
and mauled him several times. Dennis crawled beneath the table and Anthony
tried to stab him with a 22 fan knife but did not hit him. Dennis got up and ran
towards their home.

Upon reaching home, he got a knife. Alarmed by the action of Dennis, his
mother shouted. Manuel, his father, tried to scold his son and confiscate from
him the knife but failed to do so, resulting to Manuel‘s incurring a wound in his
hand. He went back to the cottage. Upon seeing Dennis, Anthony ran towards
the creek but Dennis blocked him and stabbed him. When he was hit, Anthony
ran but got entangled with fishing net and fell on his back. Dennis then mounted
on him and continued stabbing him resulting to the latter‘s death. After stabbing,
Dennis left and went to Camp Downes and slept there. The next morning, Dennis
voluntarily surrendered himself to Boy Estrera, a well-known police officer.

The trial court rendered a judgment convicting Dennis for the crime of
Murder qualified by treachery or evident premeditation and appreciating three
mitigating circumstances. His father Manuel was acquitted. Not satisfied with the
judgment, Dennis appealed his case.

Issue:

Whether or not the mitigating circumstance of having acted in the


immediate vindication of a grave offense is appreciated?

Decision:

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The Supreme held that the mitigating circumstance of having acted in the
immediate vindication of a grave offense was properly appreciated. Dennis was
humiliated, mauled and almost stabbed by the Anthony. Although the unlawful
aggression had ceased when Dennis stabbed Anthony, it was nonetheless a
grave offense for which the Dennis may be given the benefit of a mitigating
circumstance.

However, the mitigating circumstance of sufficient provocation cannot be


considered apart from the circumstance of vindication of a grave offense. These
two circumstances arose from one and the same incident, i.e., the attack on the
appellant by Anthony, so that they should be considered as only one mitigating
circumstance.

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Maria Faye D. Dela Cruz
2005-0048

Passion or Obfuscation
People v. Lab-eo (G.R. No. 133438)

Facts:

Segundina Cayno was engaged in the business of selling rummage


goods. Early in the morning of October 21, 1996 her son, Jerry Cayno went to
the ―dap-ayan‖ or barangay hall, in front of the Tadian Public Market to display
the goods for sale. After displaying the goods, Segundina arrived and took over.
Before noontime, while Nancy and Julie were plucking the white hair strands of
Segundina, appellant Wilson Lab-eo arrived and approached his aunt,
Segundina. Upon seeing him, Nancy went to a distance of about two meters
while Julie was still near Segundina. Appellant sat down in front of his aunt and
uttered something to her in a very soft voice. Nancy did not hear what he said
because of her distance from them while Julie could not make out the
conversation because of the sound coming from a running motor engine. What
they only heard was Segundina‘s answer which was uttered in a loud angry voice
―koma-an ka tay baka mahigh bloodac‖ (―you get out because I might suffer high
blood‖). They saw appellant leave. When appellant returned about 3 to 5
minutes after, Segundina was sitting on a low rattan stool. In front of her were
Nancy and Julie, they did not notice appellant‘s return, especially Segundina who
had her back to appellant. When Julie saw appellant approach Segundina from
the back, Julie thought that he would just box his aunt because she did not see
the knife, which was wrapped in his blue jacket. Then appellant suddenly made
a thrusting motion and he stabbed Segundina on the left portion of her back. He
then ran away leaving the knife at the victim‘s back with the jacket he had
covered it with, hanging by the knife‘s handle. Appellant surrendered to the
police authorities. The appellant was indicted for murder. The appellant does not
deny stabbing Cayno. However, he maintains that neither treachery nor evident
premeditation attended the commission of the crime. The Trial Court found the
appellant guilty of the crime of murder and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua.

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Issue:

Whether or not the actuation of the accused can be properly appreciated


as passion or obfuscation in his favour?

Decision:

For a person to be motivated by passion and obfuscation, there must first


exist an unlawful act that would naturally produce an impulse sufficient to
overcome reason and self-control. There is passional obfuscation when the
crime is committed due to an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior
unjust or improper acts, or due to a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to
overcome reason. In asking the appellant to leave, the victim did not do anything
unlawful. There is an absolute lack of proof that the appellant was utterly
humiliated by the victim‘s utterance. Nor was it shown that the victim made that
remark in an insulting and repugnant manner. The victim‘s utterance was not the
stimulus required by jurisprudence to be so overwhelming as to overcome reason
and self-restraint.

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Maria Faye D. Dela Cruz
2005-0048

People v. Bates (G.R. No. 139907)

Facts:

Around 2:00 in the afternoon of November 28, 1995, Edgar Fuentes,


Simon Fuentes and Jose Boholst left Barangay Esperanza, Ormoc City to deliver
copra to a certain Fely Rodado at Barangay Green Valley, Ormoc City. After
delivering copra around 5:00 in the afternoon, the three men headed back to
Barangay Esperanza. While they were along a trail leading to the house of
Carlito Bates, the latter suddenly emerged from the thick banana plantation
surrounding the trail, aiming his firearm at Jose Boholst who was then walking
ahead of his companions. Jose grabbed Carlito‘s right hand and elbow and tried
to wrest possession of the firearm. While the two were grappling for possession,
the gun fired, hitting Carlito who immediately fell to the ground. At that instant,
Marcelo Bates and his son Marcelo Bates, Jr., brother and nephew of Carlito,
respectively, emerged from the banana plantation each brandishing a bolo. They
immediately attacked Jose hacking him several times. Jose fell to the ground
and rolled but Marcelo and his son kept on hacking him. Marcelo, then, turned to
Simon and Edgar and shouted ―huwes de kutsilyo‖. Upon hearing the same,
Simon and Edgar ran.

Upholding the prosecution evidence, the trial court rendered its Judgment,
finding Marcelo Bates guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder.

Issue:

Whether or not Marcelo could validly invoke the mitigating circumstance of


passion and obfuscation?

Decision:

Passion and obfuscation may not be properly appreciated in favor of


appellant. To be considered as a mitigating circumstance, passion or
obfuscation must arise from lawful sentiments and not from a spirit of
lawlessness or revenge or from anger and resentment. In the present case,
clearly, Marcelo was infuriated upon seeing is brother, Carlito, shot by Jose.

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However, a distinction must be made between the first time that Marcelo hacked
Jose and the second time that the former hacked the latter. When Marcelo
hacked Jose right after seeing the latter shoot at Carlito, and if appellant
refrained from doing anything else after that, he could have validly invoked the
mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation. But when, upon seeing his
brother Carlito dead, Marcelo went back to Jose, who by then was already
prostrate on the ground and hardly moving, hacking Jose again was a clear case
of someone acting out of anger in the spirit of revenge.

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Maria Faye D. Dela Cruz
2005-0048

People v. Malejana (G.R. No. 145002)

Facts:
Prosecution‘s witness Andres Madrid narrated that on July 28, 1990 at
around 7:15 p.m., while he was seated in front of his jeep parked at the side of
the road at Marisfoque, Pilar, Sorsogon in the company of Janus Roces, Antonio
Sy, Samuel Andrade, Bernarda Sy, Jose Belmonte and Ernesto Francisco, he
saw appellant at about 30 meters away heading towards their direction. Upon
reaching their group, appellant asked them where Roces was. When he noticed
Roces who was sitting at a distance of 1 meter beside Madrid, appellant
brandished an armalite rifle and fired a shot into the air. Then he pointed the
barrel of the gun at Roces and fired five (5) times, hitting Roces thrice. After the
victim fell to the ground, appellant left the scene of the incident and went ot his
house about 150 meters away. Madrid and his other companions tried to assist
Roces but discovered that the latter was already dead, presumably from the
gunshot wounds that were inflicted upon him by appellant.

Issue:
Whether or not the defense was able to establish that accused was
entitled to the mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation?

Decision:
Passion and obfuscation similarly cannot be appreciated in favor of the
appellant. To be entitled to this mitigating circumstance, the following elements
must be present: 1) There should be an act both unlawful and sufficient to
produce such condition of mind, 2) The act that produced the obfuscation was
not far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of
time, during which the perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity. The
bare assertion that the victim and appellant had an argument does not provide
justifiable basis for applying to him this mitigating circumstance. The cause that
produced the passion and obfuscation has not been established nor proven by
clear and convincing evidence. The defense advance mere speculations and
conjectures to gloss over the fact that there is lack of proof of the cause. Courts
are not permitted to render judgments upon guesses or surmises. Suspicion, it
has been said, cannot give probative force to testimony which in itself is
insufficient to establish or justify an inference of a particular fact.
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Maricris Ella
2007-0030

Voluntary Surrender
People v. Beltran (G.R. No. 168051)

Facts:

On November 3, 1999, appellant was indicted in an Information for Murder


allegedly committed as follows: That on or about October 25, 1999 at around
10:00 o‘clock in the evening at Velasquez Road, Brgy. Sta. Rita, Batangas City,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, while armed with a bolo, a deadly weapon, with intent to kill and with
the qualifiying circumstance of treachery, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously attack, assault and hack with the said bolo, suddenly and without
warning one Norman Conception y Habla while the latter was unarmed and
completely defenseless, thereby hitting him on the different parts of his body,
which directly caused the victim‘s death. When arraigned on November 9, 1999,
appellant pleaded ―Not Guilty‖ to the charge therein. Thereafter, trial ensued.

Appellant, on his defense admitted that he hacked Norman with a bolo but
insisted that he did the same in self-defense. Furthermore, appellant also
claimed that Norman is taller than him; that he was forced to kill Norman because
the latter insulted him and his mother; and that he was on his way to Bauan City
to surrender to police when he was apprehended by the barangay officers in Lipa
City.

The RTC rendered its Decision finding the accused Honorato Beltran, Jr.
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the RTC‘s Decision. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the appellant Honorato Beltran, Jr. is entitled to the


mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender?

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Decision:

Appellant is not entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary


surrender. Article 13, paragraph (7) of the Revised Penal Code states that the
offender‘s criminal liability may be mitigated if he voluntarily surrendered to a
person in authority or his agents. Accordingly, the essential elements of
voluntary surrender are: (1) that the offender had not been actually arrested or
apprehended; (2) that the surrender was voluntary and spontaneous; and (3) that
the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or his agent.

Appellant was already apprehended for the hacking incident by the


barangay officials of Lipa City just before he was turned over to the police by a
certain Tomas Dimacuha. Assuming that appellant had indeed surrendered to
the authorities, the same was not made spontaneously. Immediately after the
hacking incident, appellant, instead of proceeding to the barangay or police, went
to his brother, Sherman Beltran, in Bauan, Batangas, and the bext day, to his
sister in Lipa City. It took him three long days to surrender to the police
authorities. Moreover, the flight of appellant and his acts of hiding until he was
apprehended by the barangay officials are circumstances highly inconsistent with
the spontaneity that characterizes the mitigating circcumstance of voluntary
surrender.

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Maricris Ella
2007-0030

Andrada v. People (GR No. 135222)

Facts:

In an Information dated January 7, 1987, the Office of the City Prosecutor


of Baguio City charged petitioner with Frustrated Murder committed as follows:
That on or about the 24th day of September 1986, in the City of Baguio,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused with intent to kill, with evident premeditation and with treachery, did then
and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and hack one
Arsenio Ugerio on the head twice with a bolo thereby inflicting the latter: hacking
wound, head, resulting in (1) skull and scalp avulsion vertex; (2) depressed
comminuted skull fracture, right parieto occipital with significant brain laceration;
operation done; craciectomy; vertex debridement; craniectomy; right parieto
occipital; dural repair; debridement, thus performing all the acts of execution
which would produce the crime of Murder as a consequence thereof, but
nevertheless, the felony was not committed by reason of causes independent of
the will of the accused, that is, by the timely medical attendance extended to
Arsenio Ugerio which prevented his death. When arraigned on February 9,
1987, petitioner, with the assistance of counsel de parte, pleaded ―Not Guilty‖ to
the crime charged. Thereafter, trial ensued.

Petitioner interposed self-defense and invoked the mitigating circumstance


of voluntary surrender.

The RTC rendered its Decision finding the accused Peter Andrada guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder. On appeal, the
Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC‘s Decision. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused Peter Andrada is entitled to the mitigating


circumstance of voluntary surrender?

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Decision:

Evidence for the prosecution shows that petitioner, after attacking the
victim, ran away. He was apprehended by responding police officers in the
waiting shed at the corner of Cambas Road and Magsaysay Avenue. For
voluntary surrender to be appreciated, the surrender must be spontaneous,
made in such a manner that it shows the interest of the accused to surrender
unconditionally to the authorities, either because he acknowledges his guilt or
wishes to save them the trouble and expenses that would be necessarily incurred
in his search and capture. Here, the surrender was not spontaneous.

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Maricris Ella
2007-0030

People v. Quimzon (G.R. No. 133541)

Facts:

In an Information dated July 28, 1992, appellant, Ricky Quimzon and three
oher persons, namely Salvacion Lascarom, Canoto Cabero and Edgardo Detona
were charged with the crime of murder allegedly committed as follows: That on or
about the 7th day of March 1992, in the Municipality of Burauen, Province of
Leyte, Philipines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-
named accused, conspiring, confederating and helping one another with
treachery and abuse of superior strength, with intent to kill, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully, and feloniuosly attack, assault, strike, stab and wound one
Marlo Casiong with short bolos locally known as ―pisao‖ which accused provided
themselves for the purpose, thereby hitting and inflicting upon the said Marlo
Casiong with fatal wounds on the different parts of his body which caused his
death shortly thereafter.

Appellant surrendered to the police authorities on August 18, 1994 while


his other co-accused remain at-large. When arraigned on September 28, 1994,
appellant, with the assistance of counsel, entered a plea of not guilty to the crime
charged. Thereafter, trial ensued.

The RTC rendered its Decision finding the accused Ricky Quimzon guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the RTC‘s Decision. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the appellant Ricky Quimzon is entitled to the mitigating


circumstance of voluntary surrender?

Decision:

It appears in the Commitment Order, dated August 14, 1994, issued by


the Municipal Trial Judge of the MTC of Burauen, Leyte, that appellant
―voluntarily surrendered to SPO1 Josefino Agustin of PNP Burauen, Leyte on
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August 18, 1994.‖ An examination of the records reveals that it can not be
considered as a mitigating circumstance. For the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surreder to be appreciated, the accused must satisfactorily comply with
three requisites: (1) he has not been actually arrested; (2) he surrendered himself
to a person in authority or the latter‘s agent; and (3) the surrender is voluntary.
There must be a showing of spontaneity and an intent to surrender
unconditionally to the authorities, either because the accused acknowledges his
guilt or wishes to spare them the trouble and expense concominant to his
capture.

The surrender of appellant was far from being spontaneous and


unconditional. The warrant of arrest is date June 17, 1992 and all the accused,
including appellant, remained at-large, which prompted the Executive Judge of
the RTC of Palo, Leyte to achieve the case. It took appellant two years before he
finally surrendered to the police. In between said period, appellant, through
counsel, filed a Motion to Fix Bail Bond without surrendering his person to the
jurisdiction of the trial court. Records do not reveal that the motion had been
acted upon by the trial court. This act of appellant may be considered as a
condition set by him before he surrenders to proper authorities, thus preventing
his subsequent act of surrendering from being considered as a mitigating
circumstance.

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Maria Criselda Fojas
2010-0226

Confession of Guilt
People v. Montinola (G.R. Nos. 131856-57)

Facts:

On 18 November 1996, William Montinola, armed with an unlicensed Cal


.380 Pistol Llama deliberately, willfully and criminally with violence against or
intimidation of persons, with intent of gain, take and carry away cash amount of
P67,500.00 belonging to Jose Eduardo Reteracion. Montinola shot the victim on
the neck, killing Reteracion. Two criminal cases were filed against Montinola and
he was later on sentenced to reclusion perpetua for robbery with homicide and
death for illegal possession of firearm.

Issue:

Whether the use of an unlicensed firearm on the killing perpetrated by


reason or on occasion of the robbery may be treated as a separate offense or as
an aggravating circumstance in the crime of robbery with homicide?

Decision:

Sec. 1 of P.D.1866 provides that if homicide or murder is committed with


the use of an unlicensed firearm, the penalty of death shall be imposed. Said
Presidential Decree was however, amended by R.A. 8294, while Montinola‘s
case was still pending. R.A. 8294 provides that if homicide or murder is
committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed
firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. The Court held ―In
recent cases, we ruled that there could be no separate conviction for illegal
possession of firearm if homicide or murder is committed with the use of an
unlicensed firearm; instead, such use shall be considered merely as an
aggravating circumstance in the homicide or murder committed. Hence, insofar
as the new law will be advantageous to WILLIAM as it will spare him from a
separate conviction for illegal possession of firearm, it shall be given retroactive
effect.‖ Pursuant to the third paragraph of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866, as
amended by R.A. No. 8294, use of an unlicensed firearm is a special aggravating

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circumstance in the homicide or murder committed. ―At any rate, even assuming
that the aggravating circumstances present in the commission of homicide or
murder may be counted in the determination of the penalty for robbery with
homicide, we cannot appreciate in this case the special aggravating
circumstance of use of an unlicensed firearm mentioned in the third paragraph of
Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294. Such law was not yet
enacted when the crime was committed by WILLIAM; it cannot, therefore, be
given retroactive effect for being unfavorable to him.‖ The Court further held
―Under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7659,
robbery with homicide is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death, which are
both indivisible penalties. Article 63 of the same Code provides that in all cases
in which the law prescribes a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, the
greater penalty shall be applied when the commission of the deed is attended by
one aggravating circumstance. If we would apply retroactively the special
aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm under Section 1 of P.D.
No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294, the imposable penalty would be death.
Conformably with our ruling in People v. Valdez, insofar as the new law would
aggravate the crime of robbery with homicide and increase the penalty from
reclusion perpetua to death, it would not be given retroactive application, lest it
would acquire the character of an ex post facto law. Hence, we shall not
appreciate that special aggravating circumstance. There being no modifying
circumstances, the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon
accused-appellant WILLIAM.‖

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Maria Criselda Fojas
2010-0226

People v. Dawaton (G.R. No. 146247)

Facts:
Edgar Dawaton was found guilty by the trial court of murder qualified by
treachery and was sentenced to death. On 20 September 1998, Leonidas
Lavares and several companions, including Dawaton were drinking in the house
of the accused‘s uncle. Already drunk, Leonidas Lavares decided to sleep while
the accused and his companions continued drinking. Dawaton awakened
Lavares by stabbing him at the base of the neck. Dawaton continued stabbing
Lavares until the victim died. Dawaton then ran away to the house of his other
relative, where he was later on arrested by the police.

Issue:
Whether or not the penalty of death imposed by the trial court upon the
accused was correct?

Decision:
No. The Supreme Court held that the trial court erred in not considering
the alternative circumstance of intoxication in favor of the accused. ―Under Art.
15 of The Revised Penal Code, intoxication of the offender shall be considered
as a mitigating circumstance when the offender commits a felony in a state of
intoxication, if the same is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit said
felony. Otherwise, when habitual or intentional, it shall be considered as an
aggravating circumstance.The allegation that the accused was drunk when he
committed the crime was corroborated by the prosecution witnesses. The
accused and his drinking companions had consumed four (4) bottles of gin at the
house of Esmeraldo Cortez, each one drinking at least a bottle. It was also
attested that while the four (4) shared another bottle of gin at the house of
Amado Dawaton, it was the accused who drank most of its contents.‖ The Court
further stated that ―Under Art. 63, par. 3, of The Revised Penal Code, in all cases
in which the law prescribes a penalty composed of two (2) indivisible penalties,
such as in this case, when the commission of the act is attended by a mitigating
circumstance and there is no aggravating circumstance, the lesser penalty shall
be applied. Since no aggravating circumstance attended the killing but there
existed the mitigating circumstance of intoxication, the accused should be
sentenced only to the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua.‖

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Maria Garalde
2008-0326

Similar and Analogous Circumstances


Canta v. People (G.R. No. 140937)

Facts:

Narciso Gabriel owns a cow that was passed on from one person to another and
each person was responsible for the care and custody of the said cow. At the time the
cow got lost, it was under the care and custody of Gardenio Agapay. Agapay took the
cow in the mountain of Pilipogan, 40 meters away from his hut, at around 5:00 in the
afternoon. When he came back to get the cow at past 9 in the evening, the cow was
gone. However, Aagapay saw footprints that led to the house of Filomeno Vallejos.
Vallejos told Agapay that Exuperancio Canta took the cow.

Agapay and Maria were instructed by Narciso to get the cow and on their way to
Florenitno Canta‘s house, they saw Exuperancio. The latter told them that if it was really
Narciso who was the owner of the cow, he should get it himself. Exuperancia
accompanied the two to his father‘s house and both recognized the cow but Florentino
was not home. Exuperancio told Maria and Agapay that he would call them the next day
to talk about the matter with his father. Exuperancio never called. The matter was
reported to the police and Narciso and Exuperancio were called for investigation.
Exuperancio admitted taking the cow but claims that he was the real owner of the cow
and that it was lost on December 3, 1985. However, Narciso presented a certificate of
ownership issued on March 9, 1986, signed by the municipal treasurer, in which the cow
was described as two years old and female. Then, the petitioner also presented a
Certificate of Ownership of Large Cattle dated February 27, 1985 and a statement
executed by Franklin Telen, who was the janitor at the treasurer's office of the
municipality, that he executed the certificate of ownership in favor of Exuperancio. The
trial court rendered its decision finding petitioner guilty of the offense charged.
Exuperancio filed a Motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Court of Appeals
and affirmed the trial court's decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the lower courts were correct in sentencing Exuperancio to ten
(10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years, five (5)
months, and eleven (11) days of reclusion temporal medium, as maximum, and to pay
the costs?

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Decision:

No. The Supreme Court held that the trial court correctly found petitioner guilty
of violation of §2(c) of P. D. No. 533, otherwise known as the Anti-Cattle Rustling Law of
1974. However, it erred in imposing the penalty of 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor,
as minimum, to 12 years, 5 months and 11 days of reclusion temporal medium, as
maximum. The trial court apparently considered P. D. No. 533 as a special law and
applied §1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, which provides that "if the offense is
punished by any other law, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate
sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by said law
and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same."
However, as held in People v. Macatanda,P. D. No. 533 is not a special law. The penalty
for its violation is in terms of the classification and duration of penalties prescribed in the
Revised Penal Code, thus indicating that the intent of the lawmaker was to amend the
Revised Penal Code with respect to the offense of theft of large cattle. In fact, §10 of the
law provides:

The provisions of Articles 309 and 310 of Act No. 3815, otherwise known as the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, pertinent provisions of the Revised
Administrative Code, as amended, all laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules and
regulations which are inconsistent with this Decree are hereby repealed or
modified accordingly.

There being one mitigating circumstance and no aggravating circumstance in the


commission of the crime, the penalty to be imposed in this case should be fixed in its
minimum period. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, in relation to Art. 64 of the
Revised Penal Code, petitioner should be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty, the
minimum of which is within the range of the penalty next lower in degree, i. e.,prision
correccional maximum to prision mayor medium, and the maximum of which is prision
mayor in its maximum period.

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Katrina Garcia
2006-0127

Art. 14: Aggravating Circumstances


Classes of Aggravating Circumstances
People v. Evina (405 SCRA 152)

Facts:
Gerardo Gavina was serve sentence of Reclusion Pertpetua for
raping certain Ms. Maritess Catcharo. Based on the given facts, Gerardo
took advantage of the time when the victim‘s mother was not around. He
would likely forced Maritess to have carnal knowledged against her will
and even poked a knife at her while doing the deed in the victim‘s dwelling
and threthened the victim to kill her family should she tell her parents what
happened. On November 13, 1991 when the appellant arrived at the
Catcharro residence he proceeded inside the bedroom of Maritess, the
latter ran out of the bedroom and told her mother not to leave her because
her Papa Gerry might raped her again. Surprised by what he heard, the
following day Maritess was brought to Tacloban City Medical Center for a
check-up and found to have lacerations to the victims genitalia. Contrary
to the facts above, appellant claimed that the night of the incident he was
working as porter until 10 PM, thus it cannot be said that he committed the
crime accused of him. Based on the information submitted, aggravating
circumstances of use of weapon and dwelling were not alleged.

Issue:
Whether or not aggravating circumstances proved during trial but
was not alleged in the information may be considered?

Decision:
The supreme court held in the negative. Although the special
aggravating circumstance of the use of a weapon and the aggravating
circumstance of dwelling were proven, these aggravating circumstances
cannot be considered in fixing the penalty because they were not alleged
in the information as mandated by Rule 110, Sections 8 and 9 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Although the crimes charged were
committed before the effectivity of the said rule, nevertheless, the same
should be applied retroactively being favorable to the appellant.

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Katrina Garcia
2006-0127

People v. Palaganas (501 SCRA 533)

Facts:

On January 16, 1998 brothers Servillano and Michael Ferrer went to


Tidbits Videoke bar singing and drinking beer. On the same evening Jaime
Palaganas and Ferdinand Palaganas and Virgilio Bautista arrived. The two
groups occupied separate tables. After the Ferrer‘s singing Jaime Palaganas
started singing and was joined by Tony Ferrer who sang loudly and in mocking
manner. This insulted Jaime and soon a fight ensued between Ferrer‘s and
Palaganas. Ferdinand ran towards his house and sought help from his brother
Fuijeric, the latter went outside however he was stoned by the Ferrer brothers.
As they were continuously stoned the appellant Ferdinand suddenly pulled the
trigger with the gun in his hands. The trial court rendered a decision finding the
petitioner guilty of the crime of Homicide and Frustrated homicide but not guilty of
violation of COMELEC RES. 2958.

Issue:

Whether or not violation of COMELEC RES. 2958 may be considered as


Special aggravating circumstances which will negate consideration of mitigating
circumstances of voluntary surrender?

Decision:

With the passage of Republic Act. No. 8294 on 6 June 1997, the use of an
unlicensed firearm in murder or homicide is now considered as a SPECIAL
aggravating circumstance and not a generic aggravating circumstance. 68
Republic Act No. 8294 applies to the instant case since it took effect before the
commission of the crimes in 21 April 1998. Therefore, the use of an unlicensed
firearm by the petitioner in the instant case should be designated and
appreciated as a SPECIAL aggravating circumstance and not merely a generic
aggravating circumstance.

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Katrina Garcia
2006-0127

People v. Mendoza (327 SCRA 695)

Facts:

Efren Mendoza was charged with the crime of murder for killing Anchito
Nano. In this case Efren alleged that Anchito Nano arrived at their house and
upon arrival it started to destroy the house and that the her wife was shouting for
help. Efren immediately look for something to protect his family but found a bolo.
He approached Anchito but the latter tried to hacked him but he was able to
hacked him first on the right side of his neck resulting to the death of the victim.
Thereafter Mendoza went to Municipal Hall of Vinzon and voluntarily surrendered
to the police. He claimed that it was self defense. The autopsy revealed that
location of the wounds found on the body of the victim came from the back of the
victim‘s body. The court ruled rejecting appellant‘s self defense. This court finds
that the accused was not in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, an
attempt to defend himself by means which appeared unreasonable by using a
long bolo is unjustifiable. Hence this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not voluntary surrender was offset by the aggravating


circumstances of treachery?

Decision:

The Supreme Court held in the negative. A qualifying circumstance


changes the nature of the crime. A generic aggravating circumstance, on the
other hand, does not affect the designation of the crime; it merely provides for the
imposition of the prescribed penalty in its maximum period. Thus, while a generic
aggravating circumstance may be offset by a mitigating circumstance, a
32
qualifying circumstance may not.
Treachery in the present case is a qualifying, not a generic aggravating
circumstance. Its presence served to characterize the killing as murder; it cannot
at the same time be considered as a generic aggravating circumstance to
warrant the imposition of the maximum penalty. Thus, it cannot offset voluntary
surrender.
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Kristine Gonzales
2008-0192

In Contempt or With Insult to the Public Authorities


People v. De Mesa (G.R. No. 137036)

Facts:

Barangay Chairman Patricio Motas of Sta. Cruz Putol, San Pablo City was
pronounced dead on arrival on October 15, 1996 at San Pablo City District
Hospital. The autopsy report showed that the cause of death was shock and
hemorrhage due to gunshot wounds at the back of the victim.

Hernando De Mesa was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the
crime of murder by the Regional Trial Court of San Pablo City. He was sentenced
to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua, pay the costs and to indemnify the
heirs of the victim. Treachery, nighttime, in contempt of or with assault to public
authorities, were appreciated by the trial court as aggravating circumstances
attending the case thereby qualifying the crime committed to murder.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in determining the nature of the crime
committed and the corresponding penalty to be imposed?

Decision:

Yes. The prosecution failed to positively prove the presence of


anyqualifying aggravating circumstance whereby the crime committed is only
homicide for which the imposable penalty provided by the Revised Penal Code is
Reclusion Temporal.

Being the case, Indeterminate Sentence Law may now be applied and
absent any aggravating nor mitigating circumstance, the penalty that may be
imposed is prision mayor in its medium period as minimum to reclusion
temporal in its medium period as maximum.

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Kristine Gonzales
2008-0192

People v. Tac-an (G.R. No. 76338-39)

Facts:

Renato Tac-anand Francis Escanowere close friends being classmates in


high school and members of the local Bronx gang. Francis withdrew from the
gang on the advice of his mother who saw that Renato carried a handgun on his
visits to their home. Things started turning sour between the two, and came to a
head on Dec 14, 1984. After an earlier altercation on that day, Renato went
home and got his gun. He entered the Mathematics class under Mr. Damaso
Pasilbas in Rm15 and shouted for Francis. After locating the victim he fired at
him but missed. He was later able to hit him in the head as he was running to the
door with his classmates to escape. After this, Renato paced outside in the
hallway. A teacher unknowing that Renato was the culprit, asked him for help
unwittingly informing him that Francis was still alive. Renato immediately re-
entered the room and saying "So, he is still alive. Where is his chest?" Standing
over Francis sprawled face down on the classroom floor, Renato aimed at the
chest of Francis and fired once more. The bullet entered Francis' back below the
right shoulder, and exited on his front chest just above the right nipple.

Tac-an was charged with illegal possession of firearms under P.D. No.
1866. An amended information for murder was subsequently filed aggravated by
the use of illegal possession of firearms.

Issues:

Whether or not illegal possession of a firearm is a special aggravating


circumstance in crimes of homicide and murder?

Decision:

No.Under an information charging homicide or murder, the use of an


unlicensed firearm is not an aggravating circumstance nor can it be used to
increase the penalty for the second offense of homicide or murder to death or
reclusion perpetua. The character of the instrument used in taking or destroying

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human existence is not one of those included in the enumeration of aggravating
circumstances under Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code.

On the other hand, under an information for unlawful possession of a


firearm or ammunition, P.D. 1866 authorizes the increase of the imposable
penalty for unlawful possession if the unlicensed firearm was used to destroy
human existence. Though it is not one of the enumerated aggravating
circumstances in Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code, it may still be considered
to increase the penalty imposed because of the explicit provision of the said
special law.

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Lourizza Genabe
2008-0154

Abuse of Public Position


Fortuna v. People (G.R. No. 135784)

Facts:

On July 21, 1992, siblings Diosdada Montecillo and Mario Montecillo were
standing at the corner of Mabini and Harrison Streets. A mobile patrol car
stopped in front of them and a policeman alighted. The policeman frisked Mario
and took Mario‘s belt. He motioned Mario to enter the car. Mario obeyed and
was followed by Diosdada. While inside the car, the policemen told Mario that he
would be brought to the Bicutan police station where he would be interrogated,
mauled and heckled for carrying a deadly weapon. They told the Montecillos that
the bailbond for carrying a deadly weapon was P12,000. The Montecillos were
asked how much they had and then Diosdada was asked to alight from the car.
The driver followed her, took P1,500 from her wallet and instructed her to tell the
others that she only had P3,500. Inside the car, they were told to put all her
money on the box. The Montecillos were told to get off at Harrison Plaza. From
there, they went home. The 3 policemen, Fortuna, Garcia, and Pablo, were
charged with robbery and were found guilty of having conspired in committing the
crime with intimidation of persons.

Issue:

Whether or not abuse of public position should be taken as an aggravating


circumstance by the mere fact that the accused were police officers?

Decision:

The Supreme Courted held that the lower courts failed to appreciate the
aggravating circumstance of ―abuse of public position.‖
Being police officers, it placed them in a position terrify the Montecillos to
surrender their money as bail. It was on the account of their authority that
convinced the Montecillos that they had committed a crime and that they would
be taken to the police station. Had they not been police officers, they would have
not convinced the Montecillos into giving them their money.

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Lourizza Genabe
2008-0154

People v. Villamor (G.R. Nos. 140407-08)

Facts:

On November 25, 1995, brothers Jerry Velez and Jelord Velez were on
their way home on board a motorcycle. A motorcycle was speeding behind them
and as they were about to cross the bridge, they heard gun shots firing behind
them. As they turned around, Jerry identified PO3 Renato Villamor and Jessie
Maghilom riding the motorcycle behind them. Shots were fired at them and Jerry
sustained wounds on the abdomen and elbow while Jelord died on the spot. The
trial proceeded against PO3 Villamor while Maghilom was still at large. During
trial, the Trial Court found the PO3 Renato Villamor guilty of having commited
Murder aggravated by the circumstance of taking advantage of his public
position.

Issue:

Whether or not the Trial Court properly applied the aggravating


circumstance of taking advantage of public position?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that the aggravating circumstance of ―taking


advantage of public position‖ under paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Revised
Penal Code was improperly applied.

A public officer must use the influence that is vested in his office as a
means to realize the purpose of the crime to be appreciated as an aggravating
circumstance. The question ―Did the accused abuse his office to commit the
crime‖ must be asked in order to appreciate this circumstance as an aggravating
circumstance.

No proof was shown that Villamor took advantage of his position of being
a policeman when he shot Jelord Velez. Neither was his influence, prestige or
ascendancy used in killing Velez. Even without occupying a public position, the
accused could have committed the crime.
107 | P a g e
Lourizza Genabe
2008-0154

People v. Magayac (G.R. No. 126043)

Facts:

On February 11, 1994, Jimmy Lumague, Tino Magayac and Manuel


Magayac, were preparing for fishing along with other persons. Tino Magayac,
pushed Jimmy for no reason. When Jimmy asked why, Tino proceeded to hit
Jimmy at the back. Hours later, Tino hit Jimmy at the stomach and Manuel
proceeded to hit Tino as well. The fight, however, was intervened. The next day,
Jimmy and Manuel exchanged blows. They were, again, separated from each
other. On February 12, Manuel, while carrying a long rifle, approached Jimmy.
As the Jimmy was trying to leave, he was shot by Manuel right on his stomach.
Jimmy fell on the ground and was shot at the back several times. Afterwhich,
Manuel surrendered to the PC Mobile Force. An information for Murder with
the qualifying circumstance of treachery, evident premeditation and taking
advantage of public position as a member of the CAFGU. The Trial Court found
him guilty of Murder aggravated by cruelty and taking advantage of public
position, appreciated by the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender.

Issue:

Whether or not the circumstance of taking advantage of public position


should be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance considering the facts of
the case?

Decision:

The Supreme Court held that in the commission of the offense, there was
no aggravating circumstance, specifically ―abuse of public position‖.
Considering the facts of the case, Manuel was a member of the CAFGU
and the weapon used to shoot Jimmy was a government issued M-14 rifle.
These, however, do not necessarily prove that Manuel took advantage of his
public position as a member of the CAFGU when the crime of murder was
committed.

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Cheryl Navarro
2007-0026

Nighttime, Uninhabited or Obvious Place or Band


People v. Villanueva (G. R. No. 135330)

Facts:

For automatic review by the Supreme Court is the judgment of 12 May


1998, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 15, Cebu City, in Criminal Case No.
CBU-46026-A, finding accused-appellant Camilo Villanueva (hereafter Camilo)
guilty of the crime of rape committed on the victim, Nia Gabuya (hereafter Nia),
and sentencing him to suffer the extreme penalty of death and to pay Nia moral
damages in the amount of P50,000.

In an amended Information dated 16 January 1998, Camilo was charged


with rape as defined and penalized in R.A. No. 8353. The accusatory portion of
the indictment states:

That at midnight of 4 December 1997, in Cebu City, Philippines, and within


the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, with deliberate intent, with
force and intimidation upon person, did then and there willfully, feloniously and
unlawfully have carnal knowledge with Nia Gabuya, a minor of only 11 years of
age and step-daughter of the said accused, against the latter‘s will. CONTRARY
TO LAW.

Issues:

Whether the private complainant Nia Gabuya was really raped by the
accused Camilo Villanueva on 4 December 1997 at around midnight?

Whether the testimony of the private complainant Nia Gabuya is not


tainted with material inconsistencies and grievous falsity?

Whether the testimony of the private complainant is enough to convict the


accused for a crime punishable by death?

109 | P a g e
Decision:

The issue of credibility raised in the three assigned errors should be


resolved against Camilo.

Nia clearly testified that Camilo raped her. She recounted the details of her
harrowing experience in a credible, convincing and straightforward manner.

The prosecution was able to establish with moral certainty the fact of
penetration, although incomplete. In order that the crime of rape may be said to
be consummated, the successful penetration by the rapist of the female‘s genital
organ is not indispensable. Penile invasion, it has often been held, necessarily
entails contact with the labia and even the briefest of contacts under
circumstances of force, intimidation or unconsciousness, even without laceration
of the hymen, is deemed to be rape in our jurisprudence. It would, in fine, be
enough in a conviction for rape that there is an entrance of the male organ within
the labia of the pudendum of the female organ. Neither the penetration of the
penis beyond the lips of the vagina nor the rupture of the hymen is indispensable
to justify conviction.

Consequently, the finding that Nia‘s hymen is intact does not disprove that
rape was committed. Even the fact that there was no reddening or hematoma in
the external genitalia does not render the occurrence of rape improbable. The
doctrine is well settled that the absence of external injuries does not negate
rape.Even Camilo‘s claim that the sperm found in the vagina of NIA was not his
because he has undergone vasectomy, is inconsequential. The absence of
spermatozoa is not an essential element of rape. This is because in rape, the
important consideration is not the emission of semen but the penetration of the
female genitalia by the male organ.

On the issue of inconsistencies and discrepancies, these things on minor


matters neither impair the essential integrity of the prosecution‘s evidence as a
whole nor reflect on the witness‘ honesty. Such inconsistencies, which may be
caused by the natural fickleness of the memory, even tend to strengthen rather
than weaken the credibility of the witness because they erase any suspicion of
rehearsed testimony.

110 | P a g e
Camilo has moral ascendancy over Nia, being the common-law spouse of
her mother and the man who acted as her father since she reached the age of
reason. Nia‘s tender age and Camilo‘s custodial control and domination over her
had rendered her so meek and subservient to his needs and desires, thus,
becoming an easy prey to Camilo‘s lecherous advances. Moreover, Camilo
threatened her with a knife.

For rape to exist it is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed
be so great or of such character as could not be resisted. It is only necessary that
the force or intimidation be sufficient to consummate the purpose which the
accused had in mind. Intimidation must be viewed in the light of the victim‘s
perception and judgment at the time of the rape and not by any hard and fast
rule. It is enough that it produces fear that if the victim does not yield to the
bestial demands of the accused, something would happen to her at the moment
or thereafter, as when she is threatened with death if she reports the incident. It
is this form of intimidation which explains why there are no traces of struggle
which would indicate that the victim fought off her attacker.

Under the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, any physical overt act manifesting
resistance against the act of rape in any degree from the offended party, or
where the offended party is so situated as to render her/him incapable of giving
valid consent, may be accepted as evidence in the prosecution of the acts
punished in the new Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code.

111 | P a g e
Cheryl Navarro
2007-0026

People v. Ancheta (G.R. No. 70222)

Facts:

Juan Ancheta was charged in the Regional Trial Court of Aparri, Cagayan,
with the crime of robbery with arson, committed in conspiracy with two other
persons who could not be tried with him because they were then at large. He
asks for a reversal of the decision convicting him of the crime of arson and
sentencing him to the maximum penalty of reclusion perpetua plus civil indemnity
in the sum of P40,000.00 for the properties burned.

On 25 August 1980, at about 11 o'clock in the evening, Ancheta and his


two companions awakened Teresa Gorospe, forced their entry into her house,
demanded the amount of P1,000.00, and burned her house when the money was
not delivered. Later, while the house was in flames, the Ancheta, brandishing a
bolo, prevented the people from approaching and putting out the fire by warning
them that he had thirty companions.

Issues:

Whether or not there was conspiracy between and among the accused?

Whether or not the penalty imposed on Ancheta was proper?

Decision:

On whether or not there was conspiracy between and among the accused.
The Supreme Court agreed that there was a conspiracy among the accused-
appellant and his two companions when they forcibly entered the house of
Teresa Gorospe and burned it after their demand for P1,000.00.

A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement


concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it, whether they act
through the physical volition of one or all, proceeding severally or collectively. It is
settled that conspiracies need not be established by direct evidence of acts
charged, but may and generally must be proved by a number of indefinite acts,
112 | P a g e
conditions, and circumstances which vary according to the purpose to be
accomplished. The very existence of a conspiracy is generally a matter of
inference deduced from certain acts of the persons accused, done in pursuance
of an apparent criminal or unlawful purpose in common between them.

The conspiracy having been established, it should follow that the accused-
appellant is as guilty as his companions of the crime of arson, even if it be
conceded that he was not the one who actually poured the kerosene and ignited
it to burn Teresa Gorospe's house. When there is a conspiracy, the act of one is
the act of all and visits equal guilt upon every conspirator.

On whether or not the penalty imposed on Ancheta was proper. Under


Article 321 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty of reclusion temporal to
reclusion perpetua shall be imposed "if the offender shall set fire to any building,
farmhouse, warehouse, hut, shelter, or vessel in port, knowing it to be occupied
at the time by one or more persons. .... "

The aggravating circumstance of nighttime was correctly appreciated


because it was sought by the defendants to facilitate the commission of the
offense and their subsequent escape. Evident premeditation should also have
been applied because the offenders had deliberately plotted the crime, as early
as 9 o'clock of the night in question, or two hours before they actually burned the
house.

With these aggravating circumstances and no mitigating circumstances to


offset them, the proper penalty as imposed by the trial court is reclusion
perpetua. The civil indemnity of P40,000.00 is allowed, but the costs of the suit
shall be adjudged in toto against the accused-appellant and not to be shared, as
ordered by the trial court.

113 | P a g e
Cheryl Navarro
2007-0026

People v. Baroy (G.R. Nos. 137520-22)

Facts:

The Supreme Court, in its Decision promulgated on 9 May 2002, affirmed


the conviction of both appellants for three counts of rape with the use of a deadly
weapon. The penalty imposed upon them by the trial court was, however,
reduced from death to reclusion perpetua for each count of rape, because
aggravating circumstances had neither been alleged in the Information nor
sufficiently proven during the trial.

Appellant Alfredo Baroy has since then filed a Motion for a partial
reconsideration of the Court‘s Decision. He claims that he is entitled to the
privileged mitigating circumstance of minority and, hence, to a penalty two
degrees lower than reclusion perpetua. He presented various pieces of
conflicting documentary and testimonial evidence during the trial. He now prays
for the consideration and giving weight to his Birth Certificate as the best
evidence of his age. His Birth Certificate shows that he was born on 19 January
1984, while the crimes in question were committed on March 2, 1998.

Issue:

Whether or not Baroy's Certificate of Live Birth sufficiently proves his


minority when he committed the crimes?

Decision:

The Motion has merit.

Baroy‘s Birth Certificate -- the authenticity of which was confirmed by the


NSO -- outweighs the other evidence submitted to prove his date of birth. ―A birth
certificate is the best evidence of a person‘s date of birth.‖

The earlier evidence submitted by appellant during the trial did not
conclusively prove his age. However, since the OSG did not object to the belated
appreciation of Annex ―A‖ and left the matter to the sound discretion of this Court,
114 | P a g e
we resolve to rule in favor of the accused.

If the accused alleges minority and the prosecution does not disprove his
claim by contrary evidence, such allegation can be accepted as a fact.‖

Based on his Birth Certificate, it is clear that Baroy was only fourteen (14)
years old when he committed the crime of rape. Hence, a reconsideration of the
Court‘s 9 May 2002 Decision is proper.

Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code provides that ―when the offender is a
minor x x x under fifteen years x x x a discretionary penalty shall be imposed, but
always lower by two degrees at least than that prescribed by law for the crime
which he committed.‖ The penalty prescribed by law for the crime committed by
Baroy is reclusion perpetua to death. The penalty two degrees lower is prision
mayor.Additionally, Baroy is entitled to the benefits granted by the Indeterminate
Sentence Law.

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Christine Perez
2006-0104

Recidivism
People v. Dacillo (G.R. No. 149368)

Facts:

Appellant Dacillo together with Joselito Pacot were indicted for murder in
an information and that the commission of the foregoing offense was attended by
the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength.

The case against appellant‘s co-accused, Joselito Pacot, was provisionally


dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence to identify him with certainty.Appellant
was arraigned on February 21, 2001 and, assisted by counsel, pleaded not
guilty. Pre-trial was conducted on March 1, 2001 and trial ensued thereafter.

When the body was discovered in the evening of February 11, 2000,
appellant immediately left for Cebu City, arriving there the next day, February 12,
2000. He stayed in Cebu City until his arrest the following year.

On May 31, 2001, the trial court rendered judgment finding appellant guilty
of murder and imposed upon him the supreme penalty of death. The Court finds
the accused Francisco Dacillo, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
murder for the death of Rosemarie Tallada, as defined and penalized under Art.
248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. Considering the aggravating
circumstance of recidivism with no mitigating circumstance to offset the same, he
is hereby sentenced to the extreme penalty of death.

Issue:

Whether or not it is necessary, in recidivism as an aggravating


circumstance, to be alleged in the information?

Decision:

The Court, however, finds that the trial court erred in imposing the death
penalty on the ground that appellant admitted during re-cross examination that

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he had a prior conviction for the death of his former live-in partner. The fact that
appellant was a recidivist was appreciated by the trial court as a generic
aggravating circumstance which increased the imposable penalty from reclusion
perpetua to death.

In order to appreciate recidivism as an aggravating circumstance, it is


necessary to allege it in the information and to attach certified true copies of the
sentences previously meted out to the accused.This is in accord with Rule 110,
Section 8 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which states:

SEC. 8. Designation of the offense. - The complaint or information shall


state the designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the acts or
omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and
aggravating circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense,
reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute
punishing it.

The aggravating circumstance of recidivism was not alleged in the


information and therefore cannot be appreciated against appellant. Hence the
imposable penalty should be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

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Bernadette Remalla
2007-0392

Reiteracion
People v. Cajara (G.R. No. 122498)

Facts:

On 18 May 1994 16-year old Marita Cajote, a resident of Manila, arrived in


Basey, Samar, and stayed with her sister Marie. The following day, Marita was
fetched by another sister, Merly Tagana also known as Meling, and by the latter‘s
common law husband, accused Elmedio Cajara also known as Elming. Upon
being told by Meling that they would be going to Sulod to get copra, Marita went
with Meling and Elming to the couple‘s house in Sitio Catuhaan in Barangay
Serum. Since then until 30 May 1994 Marita stayed with Meling and Elming
together with their two (2) small children in a house consisting of only one room
without any partition.

In the evening of 30 May 1994 complaining witness Marita Cajote slept at


one end of the room with the two (2) children, with Meling and Elming at the other
end. At about two o‘clock the following morning Marita was awakened by the
weight of accused who was already on top of her. The accused who was holding
a bolo told her to keep quiet or he would kill her. He then placed his bolo aside
and held Marita‘s hands with his right hand. With his left hand accused lowered
Marita‘s pants as well as her panty down to her knees. Marita shouted for help
but her sister Meling just wrapped her head with their mosquito net and
pretended to be asleep. Marita struggled continuously against the advances of
the accused but he was much stronger, while she was getting weak. The
accused first inserted his fingers into Marita‘s private part and later succeeded in
inserting his penis into her vagina. Meling then pulled Elming away from Marita
and hit Elming in the eye. Elming boxed Meling on the mouth and kicked her
when she fell on the floor. Elming went back to Marita and continued with his
beastly acts. By this time, Marita was already too weak to resist. Elming inserted
his fingers first and then his penis into her private organ. The older of the two (2)
children of Meling cried. Meling who was holding her youngest child helplessly
watched the accused rape her younger sister.

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The trial court convicted him as charged and sentenced him to death. The
Office of the Solicitor General, in its brief, belittles the accused for failing to show
any compelling or justifiable reason to set aside his conviction for rape and his
penalty of death, citing Art. 335 of The Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA
7659.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is guilty of Qualified Rape.

Decision:

The Solicitor General is correct in finding the accused guilty of rape. The
bare denial of the accused and his common-law wife cannot overcome the
categorical testimony of the victim. Denial when unsubstantiated by clear and
convincing evidence is negative and self-serving evidence which deserves no
greater evidentiary value than the testimony of a credible witness on affirmative
matters. No woman, especially of tender age, would concoct a story of
defloration, allow an examination of her private parts and thereafter pervert
herself by being subjected to a public trial if she was not motivated solely by the
desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished. The Court likewise agrees
with the finding of the trial court that Marita‘s positive identification of the accused
as the person who raped her was given in a categorical, straightforward and
spontaneous manner which rendered it worthy of faith and belief.

Contrary to the ruling of the trial court and the stand of the Solicitor
General, the accused can only be convicted of simple rape punishable by
reclusion perpetua. It was error for the trial court to impose the penalty of death.
Although the circumstance of relationship by affinity within the third civil degree
was alleged in the Information, evidence for the prosecution clearly showed the
lack or absence of such circumstance to qualify the rape because the accused
and Merly Tagana, sister of the victim Marita Cajote, were mere common-law
husband and wife and were not legally married at the time of the rape. The
accused and the victim cannot be said to be related by affinity within the third civil
degree at the time of the commission of the crime.Neither can the accused be
convicted of qualified rape on the basis of the circumstance that the rape was
committed in full view of the relatives of the victim within the third degree of

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consanguinity because this qualifying circumstance was not pleaded in the
Information or in the Complaint against the accused.

The records show that the crime was aggravated by reiteracion under Art.
14, par. 10, of The Revised Penal Code, the accused having been convicted of
frustrated murder in 1975 and of homicide, frustrated homicide, trespass to
dwelling, illegal possession of firearms and murder sometime in 1989 where his
sentences were later commuted to imprisonment for 23 years and a fine of
P200,000.00. He was granted conditional pardon by the President of the
Philippines on 8 November 1991.Reiteracion or habituality under Art. 14, par. 10,
herein cited, is present when the accused has been previously punished for an
offense to which the law attaches an equal or greater penalty than that attached
by law to the second offense or for two or more offenses to which it attaches a
lighter penalty. As already discussed, herein accused can be convicted only of
simple rape and the imposable penalty therefor is reclusion perpetua. Where the
law prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied regardless of the
mitigating or aggravating circumstances attendant to the crime, such as in the
instant case.

The Decision of the trial court convicting the accused ELMEDIO CAJARA
alias Elming of Qualified Rape is MODIFIED to the effect that he is convicted
instead only of Simple Rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua.

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Michelle Ricaza
2008-0040

By Means of Inundation, fire, etc.


People v. Malngan (G.R. No. 170470)

Facts:

On January 2, 2001, Edna, one hired as a housemaid by Roberto Separa


Sr. was accused of setting fire the house of his employer resulted in the
destruction of his employer‘s house and the death of six persons including his
employer Roberto Separa Sr., some seven adjoining residential houses, were
also razed by fire.

She was apprehended by the Barangay Chairman and was brought to the
Barangay Hall. She was then identified by a neighbor, whose house was also
burned, as the housemaid of the Separas and upon inspection, a disposable
lighter was found inside accused-appellant‘s bag. Thereafter, accused-appellant
confessed to the Barangay Chairman.

On January 9, 2001, an information was filed before the RTC of Manila,


charging the accused-appellant with the crime of Arson with multiple homicide.
The RTC as well as the Court of Appeals finds the accused guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of Arson with multiple homicide.

Issue:

Whether or not Edna Malngan was guilty of the crime of destructive arson
or simple arson?

Decision:

The crime committed by the accused-appellant is Simple Arson and not


Arson with Multiple Homicide. The Supreme Court ruled that there is no complex
crime of Arson with Multiple Homicide. There are two laws that govern the crime
of arson where death results therefrom – Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code
and Section 5 of Presidential Decree 1613, quoted hereunder, to wit:

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Revised Penal Code
Art. 320. Destructive Arson – xxxx If as a
consequence of the commission of any of the acts penalized
under this Article, death results, the mandatory penalty of
death shall be imposed.
Presidential Decree No. 1613
Sec. 5. Where Death Results from Arson – if by
reason of or on the occasion of the arson death results, the
penalty of reclusion perpetua to death shall be imposed.

Both laws provide only one penalty for the commission of arson, whether
considered destructive or otherwise, where death results therefrom. The reason
is that arson is itself the end and death is simply the consequence.

The case falls under simple arson since from a reading of the body of the
information it can be seen that it states that ―the accused, with intent to cause
damage, xxx deliberately set fire upon the two-storey residential house, xxx that
by reason and on the occasion of the said fire, xxx which were the direct cause of
their death xxx.” It is clear that her intent was merely to destroy her employer‘s
house through the use of fire.

When fire is used with the intent to kill a particular person who may be in a
house and that objective is attained by burning the house, the crime is murder
only. When the Penal Code declares that killing committed by means of fire is
murder, it intends that fire should be purposely adopted as a means to that end.
There can be no murder without a design to take life. In other words, if the main
object of the offender is to kill by means of fire, the offense is murder. But if the
main objective is the burning of the building, the resulting homicide may be
absorbed by the crime of arson. The latter being the applicable one in this case.

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Michelle Ricaza
2008-0040

People v. Comadre (G.R. No. 153559)

Facts:

At around 7:00 o‘clock in the evening of August 6, 1995, Robert Agbanlog,


Jimmy Wabe, Gerry Bullanday, Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were having a
drinking spree on the terrace of the house of Robert‘s father, Jaime Agbanlog.
Jaime was seated on the banister of the terrace listening to the conversation of
the companions of his son.

As the drinking session went on, Robert and the others noticed appellants
Antonio Comadre, George Comadre and Danilo Lozano walking. The three
stopped in front of the house. While his companions looked on, Antonio suddenly
lobbed an object which fell on the roof of the terrace. Appellants immediately fled
by scaling the fence of a nearby school.

The object, which turned out to be a hand grenade, exploded ripping a


hole in the roof of the house. Robber Agbanlog and his companions were hit by
shrapnel and slumped unconscious on the floor. They were all rushed to the
hospital for medical treatment. However, Robert Agbanlog died before reaching
the hospital for wounds sustained which the grenade explosion inflicted. Robert‘s
companions sustained shrapnel injuries.

The appellants were arrested the following day but denied any
participation in the incident, claimed they were elsewhere when the incident
occurred and that they had no animosity towards the victims whatsoever.

After trial, the court a quo convicted appellants of the complex crime of
Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder for having conspiring, confederating and
mutually helping one another, with intent to kill and by means of treachery and
with the use of an explosive.

Issue:

Whether or not the use of explosive qualifies the crime to murder?

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Whether or not appellants conspired to kill the victims?

Decision:

Yes, the killing by means of explosives qualifies the crime to murder. The
information alleges that both treachery and the ―use of explosive attended the
crime.

Since both circumstances can qualify the killing to murder under Article 248
of the Revised Penal Code, the Supreme Court held that when the killing is
perpetrated with treachery and by means of explosives, the latter shall be
considered as a qualifying circumstance. Not only does jurisprudencesupport
this view but also, since the use of explosives is the principal mode of attack,
reason dictates that this attendant circumstance should qualify the offense
instead of treachery which will then be relegated merely as a generic aggravating
circumstance.

No, there was no conspiracy. The undisputed facts show that when Antonio
Comadre was in the act of throwing the hand grenade, George Comadre and
Danilo Lozano merely looked on without uttering a single word of encouragement
or performed any act to assist him.

A conspiracy must be established by positive and conclusive evidence. It


must be shown to exist as clearly and convincingly as the commission of the
crime itself. Mere presence of a person at the scene of the crime does not make
him a conspirator for conspiracy transcends companionship.

The evidence shows that George Comadre and Danilo Lozano did not have
any participation in the commission of the crime and must therefore be set free.
Their mere presence at the scene of the crime as well as their close relationship
with Antonio are insufficient to establish conspiracy considering that they
performed no positive act in furtherance of the crime. There being no conspiracy,
only Antonio Comadre must answer for the crime.

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Anna May Vallejos
2007-0140

Craft, Fraud or Disguise


People v. Labuguen (G.R. No. 127849)

Facts:

The deceased Bonifacio Angeles was engaged in buying cows and selling
them to the public market. One day, the accused Vivencio Labuguen went to him
and told him that he knows of three big cows for sale and that the place where
they are is near. Believing on such declaration, he took money from his cabinet
at his house amounting to P40,000 and then drove in his motorcycle with the
accused to see the cows. On their way to see the cows, they have been seen
together by several witnesses who later on identified them in court as the victim
and the accused respectively. The accused according to the witness was
wearing a jacket and with a handkerchief tied on his forehead. One of the
witnesses, a driver of a minibus testified that while driving on his way to his
destination, he saw a man behind the ‗talahibs‘ and he noticed that he was
wiping something from his head and right face. It was the same man whom his
conductor identified as the one who stopped their bus and rode on it. His
conductor testified further that he noticed that the man‘s jacket was soaked with
blood including his pants and that he did not talk when asked where he was
headed to and instead just gave his fare. The conductor even noticed that there
was a lot of money on the breast side pocket of his jacket and that one bill was
even falling. The man then alighted from the minibus after reaching his
destination without saying any word. Later that afternoon, a news broke out that
a man‘s body was found dead in the middle of the ricefield. He was later on
identified as Bonifacio Angeles. Based on the strength of the testimony of the
witnesses, complaint and information were filed against Vivencio and the
Regional Trial Court found him guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide and
sentenced with the penalty of death. The case was brought to the Supreme Court
for automatic review.

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Issue:

Whether or not the court has correctly appreciated the employment of


generic aggravating circumstance of fraud and craft in the commission of the
crime even if not alleged in the information?

Decision:

Though not alleged in the Information, the generic aggravating


circumstances of fraud and craft were properly appreciated by the trial court.
Craft involves intellectual trickery and cunning on the part of the offender. When
there is a direct inducement by insidious words or machinations, fraud is present.
By saying that he would accompany the victim to see the cows which the latter
intended to buy, appellant was able to lure the victim to go with him.

Under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for Robbery with
Homicide is reclusion perpetua to death Applying Article 63 of the same Code,
the imposable penalty under the premises is death in view of the presence of the
aggravating circumstances of craft and fraud and the absence of any mitigating
circumstance.

Four members of the Court are steadfast in their adherence to the


separate opinion expressed in People vs. Echegaray that Republic Act No. 7659
is unconstitutional insofar as it prescribes the death penalty. However, they bow
to the majority opinion that the aforesaid law is constitutional and therefore, the
penalty prescribe thereunder has to be imposed.

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Sheryll Tablico
2008-0341

Abuse of Superior Strength


People v. Amodio (G.R. No. 177356)

Facts:

On June 10, 2003 at about 3:00 a.m., Richard Avila Roda, an Assistant
Manager of Nognog Videoke Restaurant in Quezon City, went out of the
restaurant to invite customers. He noticed that three of the attackers, whom he
later identified as accused-appellants Amodia, Marino, and Lo-oc, were regular
customers of their restaurant. He saw Lo-oc hold the shoulders of the victim
while Marino and Amodia took turns in beating the victim.As a result of the
beating, the victim fell on the ground where Roda immediately approached the
victim and saw blood oozing out of the back of his head. One of the maulers was
about to deliver another blow on the victim but Roda was able to stop him,
thereafter the appellants then went inside the restaurant and drank one bottle of
beer each.But, Roda did not immediately report the incident because he was
threatened by accused-appellants who were still hanging around the area.

Later, in the early morning of the same day, there were already
some barangay tanods and police officers investigating the incident.The victim,
later identified as Jaime Bartina, was then brought to the Quezon City General
Hospital and died at around 5 o'clock in the afternoon of June 10, 2003.

Upon the advice of a person from the La Loma Police Station, Roda went
to Camp Karingal in Quezon City to report what he had witnessed.The police
then filed an investigation report which became the basis for the filing of an
Information against accused-appellants.

However, accused-appellants pleaded not guilty to the charge against


them by denying involvement in the death of the victim and averred alibi as their
defense.

The Regional Trial Court rendered a decision finding accused-appellants


guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder.

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The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals which in its decision
affirmed the trial court‘s decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the killing was qualified by the circumstance of abuse of


superior strength?

Decision:

No.The qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength had not


been sufficiently proved. To appreciate the attendant circumstance of abuse of
superior strength, what should be considered is whether the aggressors took
advantage of their combined strength in order to consummate the offense. Mere
superiority in number is not enough to constitute superior strength. There must
be clear proof that the assailants purposely used excessive force out of
proportion to the defense available to the person attacked.

In this case, although the victim was unquestionably outnumbered, it was


not shown that accused-appellants deliberately applied their combined strength
to weaken the defense of the victim and guarantee the execution of the crime.
Notably, accused-appellants took turns in boxing the victim. When the victim fell,
the prosecution witness was able to hold him, preventing accused-appellants
from further hurting him. Then accused-appellants simply turned away. To be
sure, had accused-appellants really intended to use their superior strength to kill
the victim, they would have finished off the victim, and probably even the lone
prosecution eyewitness.

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Sheryll Tablico
2008-0341

People v. Jamon (413 SCRA 282)

Facts:

Information was filed dated September 15, 1998 against appellant


charging him with murder for shooting Victoria Tacla at her left chest with the use
of a gun, thereby inflicting upon said victim serious and mortal wounds which
were the direct and immediate cause of her untimely death.

Upon arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, trial on the


merits ensued.

The prosecution presented as eyewitness Pilar Evangelista Tacla, the


appellant‘s wife and the victim‘s own mother as well as Dr. Wilfredo E. Tierra,
Medico Legal Officer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), also testified.

On the witness stand, Pilar said that on July 9, 1998, at around 9 o‘clock
in the morning, she had a heated altercation with appellant.Appellant warned
Pilar that once they moved out, she could never set foot in her daughter‘s house
again and he added in a threatening manner, with his eyes bulging that if Pilar
came back to Victoria‘s house, he would beat her up.

However, when appellant presented, he declared that the shooting was


unintentional.

The court disbelieved appellant‘s claim of accidental shooting whereby


convicting the appellant based on the evidence of the parties.Furthermore, the
court concluded that abuse of superior strength attended the commission of the
crime.
.
Issue:

Whether or notthe killing was attended by abuse of superior strength to


qualify the crime as murder?

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Decision:

Yes.The prosecution sufficiently proved the qualifying circumstance of


abuse of superior strength. Abuse of superiority is present whenever there is
inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor, assuming a situation
of superiority of strength notoriously advantageous for the aggressor and
selected or taken advantage of by him in the commission of the crime.

In the present case, the victim was a woman with a smaller build. She was
unarmed. Appellant was a fifty-one-year-old male, in the prime of his life, and
armed with a deadly weapon. The killing indubitably constitutes an instance of
abuse of superior strength, hence the offense is qualified to murder, and not
merely homicide.Thus, the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength,
as alleged in the information, attended the fatal shooting of Victoria Tacla.

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Sheryll Tablico
2008-0341

People v. Calpito (416 SCRA 491)

Facts:

That on or about the 21st day of November, 1990, appellant Francisco


Calpito armed with a deadly weapon, with intent to gain did, then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously by means of violence and intimidation on the
person of Florentina Villas rob, take and carry away a shoulder bag containing
cash in the amount of P15,000 and jewelries amounting to P30,000 belonging
to Florentina Villas.

The appellant attack and stab with the said weapon Florentina Villas and
Israel Montilla inflicting wounds on Florentina Villas which caused her death and a
wound on Israel Montilla which necessitated medical attendance on him for a
period of 5-7 days and which incapacitated him from performing his usual work
for the same length of time.

However, appellant entered a plea of not guilty and waived pre-trial. But
on June 15, 1993, appellant was re-arraigned and after being appraised of the
consequences of the nature of his offense, he changed his plea to one of guilty.

The court a quofinding the charge of Robbery with Homicide


unsubstantiated by evidence, convicted appellant of the crime of murder.

Appellant, thereafter, filed a Motion for Reconsideration arguing that the


trial court erred in convicting him of Murder instead of Homicide and in failing to
apply the mitigating circumstance of minority.

The court denied the motion and affirmed appellant‘s conviction for
murder.

Issue:

Whether or not the abuse of superior strength qualified the killing to


murder?

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Decision:

Yes.A perusal of the facts of the case readily reveals that abuse of
superior strength attended the crime. In several cases, this Court has ruled that
this circumstance depends on the age, size and strength of the parties. It is
considered whenever there is a notorious inequality of forces between the victim
and the aggressor, assessing a superiority of strength notoriously advantageous
for the aggressor which the latter selected or took advantage of in the
commission of the crime. In a recent case, it was held that an attack made by a
man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and defenseless woman
constitutes an abuse of the aggressor‘s superior strength. The circumstance
must apply with more reason in the present case, where the abuse of superior
strength is evident from the notorious disparity between the relative strength of
the victim, a 74-year-old unarmed woman, and the assailant, a young man armed
with a knife.

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Eileen S. Tan
2007-0027

Treachery
People v. Piedad (393 SCRA 488)

Facts:

On the night of April 10, 1996, victim Mateo Lactawan, and his friend
Andrew were drinking beer when he got involved in a fist fight with other people
drinking alcohol in the nearby store. That was when Luz, Mateo‘s wife arrived in
the scene of the crime and saw that a group of men were attacking his husband.
Among the other aggressors who continuedly boxed Mateo who‘s already lying
on the ground, Luz saw Niel struck Mateo on the head with a stone, and Lito
stabbed Mateo on the back, thereby inflicting traumatic head injuries and a stab
wound which eventually led to Mateo‘s death. Niel Piedad claims that the attack
on the victim was made upon an impulse of the moment and was not the product
of deliberate intent; while Lito Garcia contends that treachery cannot be
appreciated inasmuch as the attack was preceded by a quarrel and heated
discussion.

Issue:

Whether or not treachery must be appreciated as an aggravating


circumstance?

Held:

Yes. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons, employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof
which tend directly and especially to ensure its execution, without risk to himself
arising from any defense which the offended party might make. For treachery to
be appreciated, the prosecution must prove: a) that at the time of the attack, the
victim was not in a position to defend himself, and b) that the offender
consciously adopted the particular means, method or form of attack employed by
him.

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The essence of treachery is a deliberate and sudden attack, affording the
hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or to escape.
While it is true that the victim herein may have been warned of a possible danger
to his person, since the victim and his companion headed towards their
residence when they saw the group of accused-appellants coming back for them
after an earlier quarrel just minutes before, in treachery, what is decisive is that
the attack was executed in such a manner as to make it impossible for the victim
to retaliate.

In the case at bar, Mateo did not have any chance of defending himself
from the concerted assault of his aggressors, even if he was forewarned of the
attack. Mateo was obviously overpowered and helpless when accused-
appellants‘ group numbering around eight, ganged up and mauled him. More
importantly, Mateo could not have actually anticipated the sudden landing of a
large concrete stone on his head. The stone was thus treacherously struck.
Neither could the victim have been aware that Lito came up beside him to stab
his back as persons were beating him from every direction. Lito‘s act of stabbing
the victim with a knife, inflicting a 15-centimeter-deep wound shows deliberate
intent of using a particular means of attack. Considering the location of the
injuries sustained by the victim and the absence of defense wounds, Mateo
clearly had no chance to defend himself. In view of the foregoing, treachery was
correctly appreciated by the trial court.

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Eileen S. Tan
2007-0027

People v. Piliin (515 SCRA 207)

Facts:

On 19 November 1997, Rodrigo arrived at the gate of his house aboard on


an owner-type jeep he was driving. His wife, Norma Zayenis (Norma), who was
inside the house at the time, went out to open the gate. When Rodrigo was about
to park his jeep, a man, later identified as Piliin, suddenly approached him, poked
his gun, and fired at him, hitting the left side of his neck. Rodrigo fell unconscious
and the man quickly ran away. By reason of the gunshot wound, the victim
thereafter died. Piliin confesses killing Rodrigo and implicated Yu and Caballes
as his co-perpetrators. However, After trial, appellant was found guilty for
murder. The two other accused, Yu and Caballes were acquitted for insufficiency
of evidence.

During the stage of appeal, Piliin argues that the prosecution failed to
establish the existence of treachery. According to him, the witness failed to see
the inception of the attack because she was in the act of opening the gate for her
husband when the latter was shot. She lacked knowledge of the attending
circumstances prior to the shooting incident. Hence, the trial court‘s finding of
treachery becomes speculative.

Issue:

Whether or not treachery must be appreciated as an aggravating


circumstance?

Decision:

Yes. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons, employing means, methods or forms in their execution, without
risk to himself arising from the defenses which the offended party might make. To
establish treachery, two elements must concur: (1) that at the time of the attack,
the victim was not in a position to defend himself, and (2) that the offender
consciously adopted the particular means of attack employed. The essence of
treachery is the unexpected and sudden attack on the victim which renders the
135 | P a g e
latter unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and
severity of the attack. Appellant‘s wife witnessed the incident from its inception
up to its consummation.

In this case, the victim was about to park his car when appellant suddenly
appeared and shot him without any warning. The attack was so sudden that the
latter had no opportunity to repel it or defend himself. It can readily be inferred
that the manner of the attack adopted by appellant manifested treachery.
Furthermore, as correctly observed by the Solicitor General, the weapon used
and the nature of the injury inflicted, which pertained to the lone gunshot fatally
wounding appellant, established that appellant deliberately and consciously
adopted the particular mode of attack to ensure the commission of the offense
with impunity.

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Eileen S. Tan
2007-0027

People v. Ilo (392 SCRA 326)

Facts:

Amadeo, a witness declared that on the night of July 23, 1997 he and the
accused had a drinking spree in the latter‘s house. Moments later, appellant and
his live-in partner Virginia had a heated argument. Accused Ilo kicked her several
times.Ilo rushed to the kitchen, got hold of an old frying pan and struck Virginia
with it. She fell on the floor. Amadeo tried to placate his friend but was rebuffed
anew. Ilo got hold of a stone used as tripod in cooking and smashed Virginias
head with it. Consequently Virginia died. Thereafter the trial court rendered a
decision finding the Ilo guilty of Murder. On appeal, Appellant argues that the
injuries inflicted by him on the victim were spur-of- the- moment reflexes during a
passionate lovers quarrel, spawned by jealousy. He avers that the prosecution
failed to prove that the killing of Virginia by the Ilo was the product of a
preconceived plan. He further contends that his actuations were triggered by the
provocation emanating from the victim herself. Hence, appellant contends that he
is guilty only of homicide and not of murder.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in finding that treachery attended the
killing of the victim ?

Decision:

NO.Treachery is not presumed. The circumstances surrounding the


murder must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself. To constitute treachery,
two conditions must be present, namely: (1) the employment of means of
execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend or to retaliate;
and (2) the deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of execution. The
Court held that treachery cannot be appreciated if the assailant did not make any
preparation to kill the victim in such a manner as to insure the killing or to make it
impossible or difficult for the victim to defend herself. The prosecution must prove
that the killing was premeditated or that the assailant chose a method or mode of
attack directly and especially to facilitate and insure the killing without danger to
137 | P a g e
himself. The essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without
warning done in a swift and unexpected manner of execution affording the
hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. There
is no treachery where the attack is neither sudden nor preconceived and
deliberately adopted but just triggered by the sudden infuriation on the part of the
offender. To establish treachery, the evidence must show that the offender made
some preparation to kill the victim in such a manner as to insure the execution of
the crime or to make it impossible or difficult for the person attacked to defend
himself. The mode of attack must be planned by the offender and must not spring
from the unexpected turn of events. There is no treachery when the killing
results from a verbal altercation between the victim and the assailant such that
the victim was forewarned of the impending danger.

The prosecution failed to discharge its burden. The prosecution failed to


adduce evidence as to the relative positions of appellant vis--vis the victim.
Taking into account the sequential continuity and rapidity of the events resulting
in the death of Virginia, it cannot be gainsaid that appellant made preparations to
kill Virginia and adopted a mode of attack as to make it impossible or difficult for
her to defend herself.

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Marie Joan Tusi
2007-0276

Ignominy
People v. Salazar (G.R. Nos. 148712-15)

Facts:

On December 28, 1999, at 6:00PM, two armed men suddenly entered


Barnachea residence in Barangay Calumbaya, Bauang, La Union. The two
ordered a 12-year old boy, Jessie E. Barnachea, to drop the floor by hitting him in
the back with the butt of a long gun. They hurriedly proceeded to the living room
and shot Jessie‘s uncle, Victorino Lolarga, and continued shooting in the kitchen
hitting his mother Carmelita Barnachea, his brother Felix Barnachea, Jr., and his
cousin Rubenson Abance.

His eldest brother, Robert E. Barnachea, who then was in his uncle‘s
house, noticed a stainless jeep, with blue rim and marking "fruits and vegetables
dealer," and with the description of the "El Shaddai" parked in front of the fence
of their house. Also, the jeep did not go unnoticed by the neighbors, Russel
Tamba and Francisco Andrada.

The incident was immediately reported to the police and at around 7:45
p.m., the jeep was intercepted at a checkpoint set up in the highway by the police
force in Aringay, La Union. On board were the eight appellants. No firearms were
found in the vehicle. The jeep and the eight appellants were thereafter brought to
the Aringay police station and then turned over to the Bauang police. Jessie was
able to identify two of the eight appellants by the name of Cachola and Amay as
the two assailants who entered the house. The next day a paraffin test was
conducted on the appellants.

The Death Certificates attest to the gruesome and merciless killings.


Carmelita sustained one gunshot wound on her head and three on her body;
Felix, Jr., two gunshot wounds on his head and on his body, and stab wounds on
his chest and arms; Victorino, two gunshot wounds on his head, three on his
body, and with his penis excised;Rubenson, one gunshot wound on his head and
a stab wound that lacerated his liver.

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RTC convicted all the eight appellants but the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG) recommended the affirmance of the conviction for murder of
appellants Cachola and Amay, and the acquittal of the other appellants for failure
of the prosecution to establish their identity and participation beyond reasonable
doubt.

Issue:

Whether or not excising of penis amounts to ignominy that can aggravate


the offense charged?

Decision:

NO. For ignominy to be appreciated, it is required that the offense be


committed in a manner that tends to make its effect more humiliating, thus
adding to the victim‘s moral suffering. Where the victim was already dead when
his body or a part thereof was dismembered, ignominy cannot be taken against
the accused.

In this case, the information states that Victorino‘s sexual organ was
severed after he was shot and there is no allegation that it was done to add
ignominy to the natural effects of the act. We cannot, therefore, consider
ignominy as an aggravating circumstance.

SC sustained the conviction of Cachola and Amay but the rest of the six
appellants were acquitted for the crime charged for insufficiency of evidence.

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Marie Joan Tusi
2007-0276

People v. Bumidang (G.R. No. 130630)

Facts:

On September 29, 1996, at 2:00AM, accused Bumidang loudly called


Melencio Imbat (father of the victim) to open the latter‘s door. Melencio, an
octogenarian who was sleeping at that time, hurriedly opened the door as the
accused threatened to kill them if the door was not opened. The accused entered
and asked the old man to bring him upstairs where he and his 56-year old
unmarried daughter Gloria was sleeping. When they were in the room, the
accused got a spear at the side of Melencio‘s bed and ordered the latter to lie in
a prone position as he headed the daughter‘s bed. Gloria arose and screamed
for help but his old father was in no strength to help her and remained in a prone
position as told by the accused.

The accused approached Gloria and poked the spear at her. She recognized
him because he was lighting the room with a flashlight. The accused ordered her
to stand up and removed her pajama, with the panty going along with it. While
the accused was removing her clothes, she sat and struggled. The accused then
removed his short pants and became completely naked. He used the flashlight to
examine her genital. He placed the spear beside her and whenever she
attempted to move, he would point the spear at her. The accused then went on
top of her, inserted his penis into her pudenda, held her breasts and kissed her
until he became sated. The accused threatened the father and daughter that he
will kill them if they will report it to the authorities. Then he went to the door and
left after satisfying his lust.

Despite the threats, Gloria reported the incident to a Kagawad who handed a
note to be given to the authorities (security). The accused was immediately
arrested.

On October 1, 1996, Gloria submitted herself to a vaginal examination of Dr.


Quines, confirming a laceration of the hymen at 6:00 o'clock but no spermatozoa
were obtained. The laceration was about 3 to 5 days old at the time of the
examination.

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On 8 October 1996, a complaint for rape was filed before the MCTC of
Villaverde-Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, and found a prima facie case against
Bumidang. The records were forwarded to the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor.

When it reached RTC, it rendered a decision finding the accused guilty of


rape with the use of a deadly weapon under Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code
and was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

Issue:

Whether or not dwelling, nighttime and ignominy shall be appreciated as


aggravating circumstances of the crime of rape?

Decision:

YES. The trial court correctly appreciated the aggravating circumstance of


dwelling. There was a clear violation of the sanctity of the victim's place of abode
when Gloria, who apparently did not give any provocation, was raped in her own
house. Dwelling is considered an aggravating circumstance primarily because of
the sanctity of privacy the law accords to human abode.

Nighttime is an aggravating circumstance when (1) it is especially sought by


the offender; (2) it is taken advantage of by him; or (3) it facilitates the
commission of the crime by ensuring the offender's immunity from capture.

In this case, other than the fact that the crime was committed at about 2:00
o'clock in the morning, nothing on the record suggests that Bumidang
deliberately availed himself or took advantage of nighttime nor proved that
Bumidang used the darkness to facilitate his evil design or to conceal his identity.

The aggravating circumstance of ignominy shall be taken into account if


means are employed or circumstances brought about which add ignominy to the
natural effects of the offense; or if the crime was committed in a manner that
tends to make its effects more humiliating to the victim, that is, add to her moral
suffering.

In this case, it was established that Bumidang used the flashlight and

142 | P a g e
examined the genital of Gloria before he ravished her. He committed his bestial
deed in the presence of Gloria's old father. These facts clearly show that
Bumidang deliberately wanted to further humiliate Gloria, thereby aggravating
and compounding her moral sufferings. Ignominy was appreciated in a case
where a woman was raped in the presence of her betrothed or of her husband or
was made to exhibit to the rapists her complete nakedness before they raped
her.

SC sustained RTC‘s decision finding Baliwang guilty of rape with the use of a
deadly weapon and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death.

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Marie Joan Tusi
2007-0276

People v. Siao (G.R. No. 126021)

Facts:

On May 27, 1994, at about 3:00PM, accused-appellant Rene Siao, in his


residence, ordered Reylan Gimena, his family‘s 17-year old houseboy, to pull
Estrella Raymundo, their 14-year old housemaid, to the women‘s quarters. Once
inside, appellant Siao pushed her to the wooden bed and asked her to choose
one among a pistol, candle or a bottle of sprite. Appellant lit the candle and
dropped the melting candle on her chest. Estrella was made to lie down on her
back on the bed w/ her head hanging over one end.

Appellant then poured sprite into her nostrils as she was made to spread
her arms w/ his gun pointed to her face. Appellant Siao then tied her feet and
hands w/ an electric cord or wire as she was made to lie face down on the bed.
As Siao pointed his pistol at her, he ordered Estrella to undress and commanded
her to take the initiative on Gimena. Not understanding what he meant, appellant
motioned to her poking the gun at her temple. Gimena was then ordered to
remove his shorts. He did not do so but only let his penis out. Appellant Siao
spread the arms of Estrella and made her lie down spread-eagled. She felt dizzy
and shouted for help twice. Siao then ordered Gimena to rape Estrella. At first,
Gimena refused because he has a sister. However, Siao said that if they would
not obey, he would kill both of them.

Both Gimena and Estrella were forced and intimidated at gunpoint by Siao
to have carnal knowledge of each other. They performed the sexual act because
they were afraid they would be killed. Siao commanded Gimena to rape Estrella
in 3 diff positions (i.e. missionary position, side-by-side and dog position as
narrated vividly in the case), pointing the handgun at them the whole time.
Thereafter, Siao warned them, ―If you will tell the police, I will kill your mothers.‖

Appellant Siao, for his defense, denies the whole event. He asserts that
she retaliated through this accusation because Estrella herself was accused of
stealing many of his family‘s personal effects.

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Issue:

Whether or not ignominy, as an aggravating circumstance of the crime of


rape, is attendant to justify the award of exemplary damages?

Decision:

YES. The RTC overlooked and did not take into account the aggravating
circumstance of ignominy and sentenced accused-appellant to the single
indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. It has been held that where the accused
in committing the rape used not only the missionary position i.e. male superior,
female inferior but also the dog position as dogs do, i.e. entry from behind, as
was proven in the case, the aggravating circumstance of ignominy attended the
commission thereof.

Still, SC respected RTC‘s finding of facts and found any inconsistencies in


the witnesses‘ testimonies inconsequential considering that they referred to trivial
matters w/c have nothing to do w/ the essential fact of the commission of rape
that is carnal knowledge through force and intimidation. Ergo, even if it was
pointed out that in all 3 positions, Gimena ejaculated 3x in a span of less than 30
mins, w/c does not conform to common experience, rape was still present from
the evidence because rape is not the emission of semen but the penetration of
the female genitalia by the male organ. Penetration, however slight, and not
ejaculation, is what constitutes rape. Moreover, even if the house was occupied
by many people at the time of the crime, rape was still committed because lust is
no respecter of time and place. And Estrella‘s and Gimena‘s decision not to flee
proves only the fear and intimidation that they were under because Siao was
after all their ―amo‖ or employer who threatened to kill them or their family if they
did not succumb to his demands.

The governing law is Art 335 RPC as amended by RA 7659 w/c imposes
the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, if committed w/ the use of a deadly
weapon. Siao is further ordered to pay the offended party moral damages, w/c is
automatically granted in rape cases w/o need of any proof, in the amount of
PhP50K. Furthermore, the presence of the aggravating circumstance of ignominy
justifies the award of exemplary damages pursuant to Art 2230 CC. Judgment
affirmed w/ modification of damages awarded.

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Anna May Vallejos
2007-0140

Aid of Minor or By Means of Motor Vehicles


People v. Mallari (404 SCRA 170)

Facts:

Based on the accusatory portion of the Information filed against Rufino


Mallari, he was accused of hitting and bumping one Joseph Galang with an Isuzu
Canter Elf truck on or about July 7, 1996. The evidence for the prosecution
showed that the said incident was preceded by an altercation between Rufino
Mallari and Joseph Galang when the latter admonished the former not to drive
fast while passing by the latter‘s house. To end the situation Joseph, together
with his brothers, who were also present at that time, asked for apology from
Rufino. However, the conflict did not end there because when dusk came and
while Joseph was watching basketball game with his wife, Rufino arrived with
some companions and attacked Joseph with bladed weapons. They chased him
and when Joseph was able to run away, Rufino pursued him with the use of the
Isuzu Canter Elf truck. When he caught up with him, he bumped him which
resulted in his instant death. The doctor who conducted the medico-legal
inspection of the cadaver testified that Joseph‘s cause of death was ―crushing
injury on the head secondary to vehicular accident‖. The trial court found Rufino
liable with murder and sentenced with the penalty of death after considering the
qualifying circumstance of use of motor vehicle in committing the crime. The case
was brought to the Supreme Court pursuant to the requirement of automatic
review of cases penalized with death penalty based on Article 47 of the Revised
Penal Code. Rufino argued that the use of a motor vehicle was only incidental,
considering that he resorted to it only to enable him to go after Joseph after he
failed to catch up with the latter.

Issue:

Whether or not the qualifying circumstance of use of motor vehicle was


correctly appreciated by the trial court in imposing the death penalty?

146 | P a g e
Decision:

The evidence shows that Rufino deliberately used his truck in pursuing
Joseph. Upon catching up with him, Rufino hit him with the truck, as a result of
which Joseph died instantly. It is therefore clear that the truck was the means
used by Rufino to perpetrate the killing of Joseph.

The case of People v. Muñoz cited by Rufino finds no application to the


present case. In the said case, the police patrol jeep was merely used by the
accused therein in looking for the victim and in carrying the body of the victim to
the place where it was dumped. The accused therein shot the victim, which
caused the latter‘s death. In the present case, the truck itself was used to kill the
victim by running over him.

Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, a person who kills another
―by means of a motor vehicle‖ is guilty of murder. Thus, the use of motor vehicle
qualifies the killing to murder. The penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to
death. Since the penalty is composed of two indivisible penalties, we shall apply
Article 63(3) of the Revised Penal Code, which reads:
3. When the commission of the act is attended by some mitigating
circumstances and there is no aggravating circumstance, the lesser
penalty shall be applied.

In the present case, the aggravating circumstances of evident


premeditation and treachery, which were alleged in the information, were not
proved. What was proved was the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
through the testimonies of Rufino and Myrna, which were not rebutted by the
prosecution.

In view of the absence of an aggravating circumstance and the presence


of one mitigating circumstance, reclusion perpetua, not death, should be the
penalty to be imposed on Rufino.

147 | P a g e
Anna May Vallejos
2007-0140

People v. Enguito (326 SCRA 508)

Facts:

On or about September 22, 1991, Felipe Requerme was driving a


motorela, together with his wife Rosita and another passenger, Engr. Wilfredo
Achumbre, who is the deceased in this case. The deceased was picked up by
them on their way home and requested them to bring him to his house. While on
their way, a white vehicle, which was later on identified as a Ceres Kia
automobile bearing Plate No. 722, intentionally hit and pushed the motorela that
they were riding and violently kept pushing it causing it to turn around facing the
direction from where it came from and fell on its right side. Rosita testified that
while she was struggling out of the motorela she noticed that the white vehicle
went up the elevated catwalk or pathway pursuing Achumbre who was hit when
he was already at the railing (barandilla). Then she observed that the white
vehicle drove away without even caring to see what happened to them. The
spouses/victims were brought to the police station while the Achumbre was
brought to the hospital who was declared dead on arrival. It was later on found
out upon investigation that said incident was predicated on the earlier fight which
transpired between Achumbre and the driver of the motor vehicle, Thadeos
Enguito, the accused in this case. As a result of the death of Achumbre, his wife
filed a criminal complaint against the accused. The Regional Trial Court found
him guilty with the crime of Homicide with Less Serious Physical Injuries, taking
into consideration the aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle which
was alleged in the information. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the latter
modified the crime to Murder due to the aggravating circumstance. The accused
went to the Supreme Court imputing error on the decision of the Court of Appeals
with respect to the declaration of the crime of Murder against him on the ground
that he did not intentionally choose the motor vehicle he was driving as a means
of committing the offense, and that at most, the vehicle was the only available
means to stop the deceased from escaping. He argued that it was his intention to
apprehend and surrender the deceased to the police for his previous act of
mauling him but in the process, he killed the deceased.

Issue:
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Whether or not the aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle
should be considered in this case?

Decision:

The indictment against accused-appellant is murder attended by the use


of motor vehicle. The use of a motor vehicle qualifies the killing to murder if the
same was perpetrated by means thereof. Appellant's claim that he merely used
the motor vehicle, Kia Ceres van, to stop the victim from escaping is belied by his
actuations. By his own admission, he testified that there was a police mobile
patrol near the crossing. Accused-appellant could have easily sought the
assistance of the police instead of taking the law into his own hands. Moreover,
accused-appellant already noticed the deceased trying to jump out of the
motorela but he still continued his pursuit. He did not stop the vehicle after hitting
the deceased[16] who was hit when he (Achumbre) was at the railing of the
Marcos bridge. Accused-appellant further used the vehicle in his attempt to
escape. He was already more than one (1) kilometer away from the place of the
incident that he stopped his vehicle upon seeing the police mobile patrol which
was following him.

Appellant contends that he should have been convicted of the crime of


homicide with two (2) mitigating circumstances of acting in passion and voluntary
surrender; and had the charge been homicide he could have pleaded guilty. We
find that these mitigating circumstances cannot be appreciated in his favor.
Accused-appellant was allegedly "still very angry" while he was following,
bumping and pushing the motorela which was in front of him. He was previously
mauled by the deceased and he was allegedly rendered unconscious by the
blows inflicted on him. When he regained consciousness, he claims that he
wanted to look for a policeman to report that he was mauled. Clearly, accused-
appellant's state of mind after he was mauled and before he crushed Achumbre
to death was such that he was still able to act reasonably. In fact, he admitted
having seen a police mobile patrol nearby but instead, he chose to resort to the
dastardly act which resulted in the death of Achumbre and in the injuries of the
spouses Requerme. For passion to be considered as a mitigating circumstance,
facts must be proved to show causes sufficient to produce loss of self-control and
to overcome reason. The turmoil and unreason which naturally result from a
quarrel or fight should not be confused with the sentiment or excitement in the

149 | P a g e
mind of a person injured or offended to such a degree as to deprive him of his
sanity and self-control.

The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender cannot be appreciated.


Evidence shows that accused-appellant was further pursued by the police.
Appellant himself testified that he stopped his vehicle just after the police mobile
stopped but admitted having "stopped farther than the police mobile". SPO3
Catiil further testified that appellant did not surrender but only stopped his vehicle
when its right tire was already flat. His testimony was corroborated by PO3
Makiling who was patrolling the portion of Marcos Bridge. He testified that he saw
the vehicle being driven by accused-appellant already destroyed and the right
portion of the vehicle a little bit lower as it was running flat. Clearly, accused-
appellant could have eluded arrest but his situation became futile when his
vehicle suffered a flat tire.

The foregoing notwithstanding, the existence or non-existence of a


mitigating circumstance in the case at bar will not affect the penalty to be
imposed pursuant to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. The crime committed
by accused-appellant is the complex crime of murder with less serious physical
injuries. Under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for a complex
crime shall be the maximum period of the penalty for the most serious crime. The
crime was committed in 1992 where the penalty for the crime of murder, which is
the most serious crime, was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death
under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. The death penalty being the
maximum period of the penalty for murder should be imposed for the complex
crime of murder with less serious physical injuries considering that under Article
63, an indivisible penalty cannot be affected by the presence of any mitigating or
aggravating circumstance. And, consonant with the ruling in People vs. Muñoz
that Article III, Section 19 (1) of the 1987 Constitution did not change the period
of the penalty for murder except only insofar as it prohibits the imposition of the
death penalty and reduces it to reclusion perpetua, the Court of Appeals was
correct in imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

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Katherine Yarte
2011-0296

Cruelty
People v. Guerrero (389 SCRA 389)

Facts:

Orlando Guerrero, Jr., also known as Pablo, together with his father
Orlando Guerrero, Sr., nicknamed Dino, was accused of murder. The accuseds,
conspired, confederated and mutually helped one another, with deliberate intent
to kill and with evident premeditation and treachery, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously and without justifiable cause, attack, assault, club,
beheaded and cut off the penis of the victim Ernesto Ocampo, which caused his
death thereafter, to the damage and prejudice of his lawful heirs.

Upon arraignment, both pleaded not guilty. Orlando interposed self-


defense while his father, Dino, denied any complicity in the killing.

According to the the witness, Jacalne, he was informed that one Dino
Guerrero was inside the house nearby. Dino Guerrero came out with his hands
extended forward. SPO1 Emilio Taracatac immediately frisked and handcuffed
him. Before Dino was handcuffed, according to the witness, he said that it was
his son who had killed the victim. Thereafter, Dino was brought to the police
station for custodial investigation.

Further, Jacalne testified that appellant Orlando Guerrero, Jr., was not at
the scene of the crime during their investigation. But upon their return to the
police station, appellant was already there.[11 Appellant admitted killing the
victim, according to Jacalne, by clubbing the victim first with the wooden stick,
and then cutting his head and his penis with a knife.

Another withness, Ireneo Acierto, appellants brother-in-law, testified that


while he was resting in his house at past 11:30 in the morning of July 7, 1997, he
heard someone screaming. When he looked out from his window, he saw that
the person screaming was his sister-in-law, Ana. He went out of the house and
went near the porch of the Guerreros, where he saw Ernesto Ocampos head
about to be severed by appellant. When the head was cut off, appellant placed

151 | P a g e
the same on the right side of the victims trunk. After that, appellant cut off
Ernestos penis. Ireneo noticed that while the head was being severed, the victim
was lying down on the floor, but not moving. Ireneo then told appellant, That is
enough, bayaw. Stop it. According to the witness, his wife Ana was also saying,
That is enough, Manong. Appellant angrily turned to Ireneo, telling him not to
interfere or else he might also be implicated. Ireneo hurriedly went away after
that. Ireneo did not see his father-in-law, Dino, at the time of the incident and did
not know where Dino was.

The trial court convicted Orlando Guerrero, Jr. of murder while his father
Dino was acquitted.

Issue:

Whether or not the court a quo gravely erred in appreciating the qualifying
circumstance of cruelty and/or outraging and scoffing the corpse in order to
classify the killing as murder despite failure of the prosecution to allege the same
in the information

Decision:

The information alleges the qualifying circumstances of (1) treachery and


(2) evident premeditation. It also states that there was cruelty in the perpetration
of the crime, where there was deliberate and inhuman suffering of the victim and
the offender had scoffed at the victims corpse.

On treachery and evident premeditation, the trial court found that the
evidence adduced by the prosecution fell short of the requirements of the law.[
we hold that in the present case, the trial court did not err when it found neither
treachery nor evident premeditation. However, the trial court found there was
cruelty as well as outraging or scoffing at the corpse, thus, qualifying the crime to
murder.

152 | P a g e
Katherine Yarte
2011-0296

Simangan v. People (434 SCRA 38)

Facts:

On February 10, 1980 at about 8 pm, Simangan and four


other men wearing fatigues knocked on the door of the store owned
by Ernesto and Sofronia. The couple was having dinner with their
daughter Lorna. Simangan asked Ernesto to guide them on the
road as they were not familiar. Ernesto agreed, he then ordered his
houseboy Romeo to accompany him in guiding the group of
Simangan. The next morning, Romeo reported to Sofronia that
Ernesto is dead. Ernesto was found near a creek, he sustained 10
stab wounds.

Issue:

Whether or not Simangan is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Decision:

Yes. The testimonies of Romeo and Sofronia are credible.


Thus, Simangan‘s conviction is affirmed. It is found that Simangan
stabbed Ernesto 10 times, three of which were fatal. But the
number of stab wounds does not qualify as an aggravating
circumstance against Simangan for it must be proven that
Simangan intended to exacerbate the suffering of Ernesto. Nigh
time is also not appreciated as it was included in the original
information.

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Katherine Yarte
2011-0296

People v. Catian (374 SCRA 514)

Facts:

PEDRO CATACUTAN alias "Pedro Duling" was accused of murder and


frustrated murder.

The trial court adjudged the accused guilty of murder qualified by


treachery for the death of Ligaya Santos. For the injury sustained by Renato
Licup, the accused was adjudged guilty of attempted murder only because Licup
would not have died even without medical attention. Nocturnity was not
considered because the site of the shooting was well lighted and for lack of
evidence to indicate that nighttime was purposely chosen to facilitate the
commission of the crimes. Recidivism was also considered because the accused
"admitted that in 1963 he was convicted of murder and frustrated murder for
which he was sentenced to serve 8 years to 14 years imprisonment. As a matter
of fact, he was granted parole and at the time of the incident he was a parolee.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court erred in concluding that there was treachery?

Decision:

The record shows that the appellant had a previous misunderstanding with
Ligaya Santos; and that when he suddenly attacked her he was with a group of
armed men so that there was present not only the element of surprise but also
the advantage of no risk to himself.

Aleviosa was certainly present.

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Joseph Oseo
2006-0350

Art. 15: Alternative Circumstances


Relationship
People v. Calongui (G.R. No. 170566)

Facts:

Calonqui was found guilty for two counts of rape. On January 1, 1998
about 2 am in Tagbong, Camarines Sur, Calonqui was able to rape the 13 year
old girl Maricel in the latter‘s house. On September 26, 1998 at about three in the
morning, the accused again raped the victim. Both rape incidents were witnessed
by the brother of Maricel.

Issue:

Whether or not the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and relationship


be appreciated against Calonqui and the latter circumstance as an alternative
circumstance?

Decision:

Calonqui and Maricel live under the same shelter as they are first cousins.
At the time of the incident, both are living in the same house and in the same
room. Therefore, the supposed aggravating circumstance of dwelling cannot be
appreciated as there was no trespass to the sanctity of the house of the victim on
the part of Calonqui, while the aggravating circumstance of relationship is
likewise cannot go against Calongui, even as an alternative circumstance, as
being first cousins is not within the concept contemplated in Article 15 of the
Revised Penal Code. However, his conviction is nonetheless affirmed.

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Joseph Oseo
2006-0350

People v. Marcos (G.R. No. 132392)

Facts:

Prosecution, with the testimony of a lone eye-witness, who happened to


be the son of the victim, along with the admission of guilt, found Cesar Marcos
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Murder for the killing of his elder brother,
Virgilio, as aggravated by the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation.
During Appeal, the Solicitor General insisted that since the accused is a brother
of the victim, the alternative circumstance of relationship must be considered in
determining the imposable penalty.

Issue:

Whether or not the alternative circumstance of relationship shall be


considered in the imposition of the proper penalty?

Decision:

In order that the Alternative Circumstance of relationship may be taken


into consideration in the imposition of the proper penalty, Paragraph 2 of Article
15 of the Revised Penal Code provides that the offended party must either be the
(a) spouse, (b) ascendant, (c) descendant, (d) legitimate, natural or adopted
brother or sister, or (e) relative by affinity in the same degree, of the offender.
Relationship is Mitigating in Crimes against Property, while it must be considered
as Aggravating in Crimes against Persons where the offended party is a relative
of a higher degree than the offender or when in the same degree or level, as in
brothers.

Therefore, the Alternative Circumstance of relationship shall be


considered as Aggravating.

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Ray Nagrampa Jr. B.
2008-0061

Intoxication
People v. Marquita (G.R. No. 137050)

Facts:

On June 24, 1998, at about eleven o'clock in the evening, Junilla Macaldo
was sitting on a bench outside her house. While thus seated, Edlyn Gamboa
came to her asking for the whereabouts of Yen-yen Ibuña. Junilla noticed that
Edlyn was followed by accused George Cortes. Junilla then instructed Edlyn to
go upstairs of the house. When Edlyn was about to go upstairs, accused followed
her and successively stabbed her several times. Junilla tried to help Edlyn, but
was overpowered by the accused. Junilla shouted for help and the accused run
away. She was brought to the Babano Medical Clinic, where she expired.

On August 12, 1998, the provincial prosecutor filed with the Regional Trial
Court, Surigao del Sur, Branch 29, an Information for murder against accused
George Cortes y Ortega. Accused admitted that he stabbed Edlyn and enter the
plea of guilty of the said crime. The prosecution presented evidence to prove the
presence of intoxication as aggravating circumstances. The accused on the other
hand presented evidence proving the alternative mitigating of intoxication.

On September 2, 1998, the trial court rendered decision finding accused


guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, and sentence to suffer
the penalty of Death.

Issue:

Whether or not the crime committed by the accused was aggravated by


reason of intoxication?

Decision:

Ordinarily, intoxication may be considered either aggravating or mitigating,


depending upon the circumstances attending the commission of the crime.
Intoxication has the effect of decreasing the penalty, if it is not habitual or

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subsequent to the plan to commit the contemplated crime; on the other hand,
when it is habitual or intentional, it is considered an aggravating circumstance. A
person pleading intoxication to mitigate penalty must present proof of having
taken a quantity of alcoholic beverage prior to the commission of the crime,
sufficient to produce the effect of obfuscating reason. At the same time, that
person must show proof of not being a habitual drinker and not taking the
alcoholic drink with the intention to reinforce his resolve to commit the crime.

Accused argues that in the absence of any of the aggravating


circumstances alleged in the information and considering that there was one
mitigating circumstance attendant, that of plea of guilty, the penalty imposable is
not death but reclusion perpetua. The Solicitor General agrees with the accused
that "the only aggravating circumstance present was treachery which qualified
the killing to murder and that there were two mitigating circumstances of plea of
guilty and intoxication, not habitual. The penalty shall be reclusion perpetua, not
death, in accordance with Article 63 in relation to Article 248 of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 6759

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Ray Nagrampa Jr. B.
2008-0061

People v. Mondigo (G.R. No. 167954)

Facts:
On September 27 1998, appellant, Damaso Delima (Damaso), Damaso‘s
son Delfin and three other unidentified individuals were having a drinking spree in
Ligas, Malolos, Bulacan. Anthony (damaso‘s another son) joined the group. At
around 6:00 p.m., Mondigo, using a "jungle bolo," suddenly hacked Anthony on
the head, causing him to fall to the ground unconscious. Appellant next attacked
Damaso. A witness who was in the vicinity, Lolita Lumagi, hearing shouts coming
from the scene of the crime, rushed to the area and there saw appellant
repeatedly hacking Damaso who was lying on his back, arms raised to ward off
appellant‘s blows. Damaso later died from the injuries he sustained. Anthony
sustained wound on his left temporal area.Appellant was charged before the
RTC with Murder and Frustrated Murder. TheRTC found appellant guilty of
Murder for the killing of Damaso and Serious Physical Injuries for the hacking of
Anthony, mitigated by intoxication.

Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in giving credence of alternative circumstance
of intoxication to mitigate the crime?

Decision:
The trial court erred in crediting appellant with the circumstance of
intoxication as having mitigated his crimes because "the stabbing incident
ensued in the course of a drinking spree." For the alternative circumstance of
intoxication to be treated as a mitigating circumstance, the defense must show
that the intoxication is not habitual, not subsequent to a plan to commit a felony
and the accused‘s drunkenness affected his mental faculties. Here, the only
proof on record on this matter is appellant‘s testimony that before Damaso,
Anthony, and Delfin attacked him, he drank "about 3 to 4 bottles of beer." The
low alcohol content of beer, the quantity of such liquor appellant imbibed, and the
absence of any independent proof that appellant‘s alcohol intake affected his
mental faculties all negate the finding that appellant was intoxicated enough at
the time he committed the crimes to mitigate his liability.

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Alexander Santos
2006-0205

Arts. 16-20: Persons Criminally Liable for Felonies


Principals
People v. Batin (GR No. 177223)

Facts:

Eugenio‘s wife, Josephine Refugio testified she glanced to her left and
saw Neil Batin standing at the gate to their compound, looking towards her and
her husband. A few moments later, Neil went to one of the parked cars, opened
its door, and took a gun from inside. She next noticed Castor going towards Neil
as the latter stood at the side of the car and shouting: "Huwag!" Castor grabbed
the gun from Neil. After the gun was taken from him, Neil just proceeded towards
the right rear of the car. Castor followed Neil and handed the gun back to him.
When she shifted her glance from the Batins, Josephine heard Castor ordering
his son: "Sige, banatan mo na." Neil responded by drawing the gun from his
waistline, raising and aiming it at her and her husband, and firing twice from his
eye-level. Both Josephine and Eugenio fell to the ground, the former, backwards,
and the latter landing on top of her.

Neighbors testified that Neil went out to the street, went between the
parked white car and yellow taxicab, aimed the gun at Eugenio and Josephine
who were at the mango tree, and then asked Castor: "Tay, banatan ko na?"; that
Castor replied: "Sige, anak, banatan mo na."

Issue:

Whether or not the statement made by the father made him liable as
principal by inducement?

Decision:

The Court finds that Castor and Neil conspired in shooting Eugenio. This
finding is inexorable because the testimonies of the Prosecution witnesses that
Castor returned the gun back to Neil; that he instigated Neil to shoot by shouting:
"Sige, banatan mo na"; and that Neil then fired his gun twice – were credible and

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sufficed to prove Castor‘s indispensable cooperation in the killing of Eugenio.
Accordingly, Castor was as much liable criminally for the death of Eugenio as
Neil, the direct participant in the killing, was.

While Castor was indeed heard to have shouted "Huwag," this cannot be
considered as reliable evidence that he tried to dissuade Neil from firing the gun.
It was established by credible testimony that he handed back the gun to Neil and
urged him to shoot the Refugio spouses. Josephine Refugio plainly stated on
cross-examination that Castor shouted "Huwag" while inside the car grappling for
possession of the gun, and not when Neil was aiming the gun at the spouses.

As concluded by the trial court, the circumstances surrounding Castor‘s


utterance of "Huwag!" shows beyond doubt that Castor shouted the same, not to
stop Neil from firing the gun, but to force him to leave the use of the gun to
Castor. These circumstances only confirm the conspiracy between the Batins in
committing the crime: after the Batins grappled for the gun and Castor shouted
"Huwag," Castor finally decided to give the gun to Neil – a crystal-clear
expression of the agreement of the Batins concerning the commission of a
felony.

Conspiracy may also be deduced from the acts of the appellants before,
during, and after the commission of the crime which are indicative of a joint
purpose, concerted action, and concurrence of sentiments.Even if we pursue the
theory that the defense is trying to stir us to, the results would be the same.
Castor‘s argument is that "(h)is alleged utterance of the words ‗Sige, banatan mo
na‘ cannot be considered as the moving cause of the shooting and, therefore, he
cannot be considered a principal by inducement.

Inducement may be by acts of command, advice or through influence or


agreement for consideration. The words of advice or the influence must have
actually moved the hands of the principal by direct participation. We have held
that words of command of a father may induce his son to commit a crime. The
moral influence of the words of the father may determine the course of conduct of
a son in cases in which the same words coming from a stranger would make no
impression. There is no doubt in our minds that Castor‘s words were the
determining cause of the commission of the crime.

161 | P a g e
Alexander Santos
2006-0205

People v. Vasquez (G.R. No. 123939)

Facts:

The appellant drove the passenger jeepney with his cohorts on board
looking for Luable and Geronimo. When the appellant saw the two going in the
opposite direction, the appellant drove the vehicle and sideswiped Geronimo.
And when Geronimo fled, the appellant, armed with a bolo, pursued him. When
the appellant failed to overtake the victim, he returned to the passenger jeepney
and drove it to where his cohorts ganged up on the victim. The appellant urged
them on to kill Geronimo. Thereafter, he left the scene along with his cohorts,
leaving the hapless Geronimo mortally wounded.

After trial, the court rendered judgment acquitting Ramon, but convicting
the appellant of murder for the killing of Geronimo, and attempted homicide for
attempting to kill Luis.

The appellant avers that he and his brother Ramon had no motive to kill
Geronimo. The appellant contends that the witnesses for the prosecution were
not in agreement as to who killed Geronimo. The appellant noted that according
to the testimony of the witness, the appellant stayed in the jeepney and merely
yelled to his companions who ganged up on Geronimo, "Sige patayin ninyo,
patayin ninyo na, at huwag ninyong iwanang buhay!"

The appellant further posits that the prosecution witnesses were not even
in accord as to where Geronimo was stabbed to death. The appellant argues that
because of the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the witnesses of the
prosecution, it failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes
charged. Hence, he should be acquitted of the said charges.

Issue:

Whether the trial court erred in convicting the appellant when the
witnesses testimony didn‘t confirm who chased and stabbed the victims?

Decision:
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Whether Domingo Vasquez chased the deceased with a bolo was averred
by Luis Luable or whether the accused merely incited his companions in the
jeepney to kill the deceased as averred by Luisa Abellanosa, is immaterial in the
determination of his liability because a conspiracy among the occupants of the
jeepney has been established.

In order to hold an accused guilty as co-principal by reason of conspiracy,


it must be established that he performed an overt act in furtherance of the
conspiracy, either by actively participating in the actual commission of the crime,
or by lending moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the
scene of the crime, or by exerting moral ascendancy over the rest of the
conspirators as to move them to executing the conspiracy."

The Supreme Court, likewise, stressed that where there are several
accused and conspiracy has been established, the prosecution need not pinpoint
who among the accused inflicted the fatal wound. Where conspiracy has been
established, evidence as to who among the accused rendered the fatal blow is
not necessary. All the conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the
intent and character of their participation because the act of one is the act of all.

Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code provides that there is conspiracy


when two or more person agree to commit a felony and decide to commit it.
Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence. It may be inferred from the
conduct of the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime,
showing that they had acted with a common purpose and design. Conspiracy
may be implied if it is proved that two or more persons aimed by their acts
towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful object, each doing a part so
that their combined acts, though apparently independent of each other were, in
fact, connected and cooperative, indicting a closeness of personal association
and a concurrence of sentiment. Conspiracy once found, continues until the
object of it has been accomplished and unless abandoned or broken up. To hold
an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to
have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. There
must be intentional participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance
of the common design and purpose. Each conspirator is responsible for
everything done by his confederates which follows incidentally in the execution of

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a common design as one of its probable and natural consequences even though
it was not intended as part of the original design.

Responsibility of a conspirator is not confined to the accomplishment of a


particular purpose of conspiracy but extends to collateral acts and offenses
incident to and growing out of the purpose intended. Conspirators are held to
have intended the consequences of their acts and by purposely engaging in
conspiracy which necessarily and directly produces a prohibited result, they are,
in contemplation of law, chargeable with intending that result. Conspirators are
necessarily liable for the acts of another conspirator unless such act differs
radically and substantively from that which they intended to commit. When a
conspirator embarks upon a criminal venture of indefinite outline, he takes his
chances as to its content and membership, so be it that they fall within the
common purposes as he understands them."

All the foregoing constitutes evidence beyond cavil of conspiracy between


the appellant and the principals by direct participation. The appellant is, thus,
criminally liable for the death of the victim, although there is no evidence that he
did not actually stab the latter.

164 | P a g e
Alexander Santos
2006-0205

People v. Dacillo (G.R. No. 149368)

Facts:

Appellant was convicted by the trial court of the crime of murder for the
death of Rosemarie Tallada, with aggravating circumstance of recidivism with no
mitigating circumstance to offset the same, and sentenced to the extreme penalty
of death.

In his defense, appellant admitted complicity in the crime but minimized


his participation. Appellant alleged that he only held down Rosemarie‘s legs to
prevent her from struggling and, after the latter was killed by another man he
identified as Joselito Pacot, he encased the corpse in cement.

He claimed that Pacot, a co-worker at Davao Union Cement Corporation


(DUCC), was looking for a house where he and his girlfriend Rosemarie could
spend the night. He offered his brother‘s house which was under his care. In the
evening of February 6, 2000, he and Joselito Pacot brought Rosemarie to the
house at Purok No. 3, New Society Village, Ilang, Davao City.

After accompanying the couple there, he went home to take supper. Later
that evening, he returned to the house with the bottle of Sprite Pacot had
ordered. When he arrived, Pacot and Rosemarie were already grappling with
each other and Pacot was strangling the girl. He told Pacot to stop but instead of
heeding him, the latter ordered him to close the door. Pacot told appellant that he
was going to be implicated just the same so he closed the door as ordered and
helped Pacot "(hold) the feet of the woman" as "her feet kept hitting the walls."

The two men stopped only when Rosemarie was already motionless.
Pacot wanted to dump the body into the sea but appellant told him it was low
tide. Appellant then suggested that they entomb the body in cement for which
Pacot gave appellant P500.Pacot left the house at dawn the following day,
February 7, 2000. At past 10:00 a.m., appellant brought the concrete mixture and
cast the dead body in cement.

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Issue:

Whether or not appellant is liable as a principal?

Decision:

The rule is that any admission made by a party in the course of the
proceedings in the same case does not require proof to hold him liable therefor.
Such admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through
palpable mistake or no such admission was in fact made. There was never any
such disclaimer by appellant.

Moreover, despite appellant‘s self-serving, exculpatory statement limiting


his involvement in the crime, all circumstances pointed to his guilt. Assuming for
the sake of argument that Pacot was the mastermind, appellant‘s admission that
he participated in its commission by holding Rosemarie‘s legs made him a
principal by direct participation.

Two or more persons taking part in the commission of a crime are


considered principals by direct participation if the following requisites are present:
1.) they participated in the criminal resolution and 2.) they carried out their plan
and personally took part in its execution by acts which directly tended to the
same end.

Both requisites were met in this case. Two or more persons are said to
have participated in the criminal resolution when they were in conspiracy at the
time of the commission of the crime. To establish conspiracy, it is not essential
that there be proof of the previous agreement and decision to commit the crime,
it being sufficient that the malefactors acted in concert pursuant to the same
objective.

It is well-settled that a person may be convicted for the criminal act of


another where, between them, there is conspiracy or unity of purpose and
intention in the commission of the crime charged. Conspiracy need not be proved
by direct evidence of prior agreement on the commission of the crime as the
same can be inferred from the conduct of the accused before, during, and after
the commission of the crime showing that they acted in unison with each other
pursuant to a common purpose or design.

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Mark Vergara
2008-0323

Accomplices
People v. Roche (G.R. No. 115182)

Facts:

An information for the murder of Roderick Ferol was filed against accused-
appellant Restituto Roche and three others, namely, Marcelino Fallore, Francisco
Gregorio, and one John Doe. The Court found that the prosecution evidence has
established beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of accused Restituto Roche for
the crime of murder but could not make a pronouncement as to the guilt of
accused Dorico Caballes because he remained at large and therefore could not
be arraigned.Finding that the prosecution evidence failed to establish the guilt of
accused Francisco Gregorio and Marcelino Fallore, both accused were acquitted.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused-appellant should held liable for the killing of
Roderick Ferol on the ground of conspiracy?

Decision:

No. In the case at bar, Rogelio Rossel testified that he did not see
Restituto Roche at the time Dorico Caballes was stabbing Roderick Ferol.Apart
from Helen Amarille and Rodel Ferol, whose testimonies are highly suspect, no
other witness was presented to prove that accused-appellant directly participated
in the commission of the offense or performed an act which would show
community of purpose with Dorico Caballes. Even if it is assumed as true that
accused-appellant was responsible for telling Dorico Caballes it was Roderick
Ferol who had tripped him (Restituto), this would not suffice to find accused-
appellant in conspiracy with Dorico Caballes.

For conspiracy to exist, proof of an actual planning of the perpetration of


the crime is not a condition precedent. It may be deduced from the mode and
manner in which the offense was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the

167 | P a g e
accused evincing a joint or common purpose and design, concerted action and
community of interest.

In People v. Elijorde, Conspiracy must be proved as indubitably as the


crime itself through clear and convincing evidence, not merely by conjecture. To
hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be
shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the
complicity. Hence, conspiracy exists in a situation where at the time the
malefactors were committing the crime, their actions impliedly showed unity of
purpose among them, a concerted effort to bring about the death of the victim. In
a great majority of cases, complicity was established by proof of acts done in
concert, i.e., acts which yield the reasonable inference that the doers thereof
were acting with a common intent or design. Therefore, the task in every case is
determining whether the particular acts established by the requisite quantum of
proof do reasonably yield that inference.

Indeed, there is no proof to show accused-appellant, together with Dorico


Caballes, had resolved to attack Roderick Ferol. Instead, we think the assault on
Roderick Ferol was an impulsive act by Dorico Caballes borne out of the desire
to get even with him for the offense committed against his brother. In no way can
such act be attributed to accused-appellant.Neither can accused-appellant be
held liable as an accomplice for the crime charged. The following requisites must
concur in order that a person may be considered an accomplice: (a) community
of design, i.e., knowing that criminal design of the principal by direct participation,
he concurs with the latter in his purpose; (b) he cooperates in the execution of
the offense by previous or simultaneous acts; and, (c) there must be a relation
between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person
charged as accomplice.

There is no evidence to show that accused-appellant performed any


previous or simultaneous act to assist Dorico Caballes in killing Roderick Ferol.
In fact, it has not been proven that he was aware of Dorico Caballes plan to
attack and kill Roderick Ferol. Absent any evidence to create the moral certainty
required to convict accused-appellant, we cannot uphold the trial courts finding of
guilt. Our legal culture demands the presentation of proof beyond reasonable
doubt before any person may be convicted of any crime and deprived of his life,
liberty, or even property. The hypothesis of his guilt must flow naturally from the
facts proved and must be consistent with all of them.

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Mark Vergara
2008-0323

Abarquez v. People (G.R. No. 150762)

Facts:

The prosecution charged Abarquez with the crimes of homicide and


attempted homicide alleging in the two informations filed that said accused was
conspiring and confederating with one Alberto Almojuela in the killing of Ricardo
Quejong Bello, by stabbing him twice with a bladed weapon and hitting him with
a gun at the back.

The trial court found Abarquez guilty beyond reasonable doubt as an


accomplice in the crime of homicide.

Abarquez filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals. However the Court of


Appeals rejected Abarquez‘s allegation that he was merely at the crime scene to
pacify the quarreling parties.

Abarquez alleges that the prosecution‘s evidence does not satisfy the test
of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support his conviction as an accomplice.
He further alleges that there was a misapprehension of facts and that the trial
court and the Court of Appeals reached their conclusion based entirely on
speculation, surmises and conjectures. Abarquez also assails the credibility of
the witnesses against him.

Issue:

Whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prove that fact that Abarquez
was an accomplice in the killing of Ricardo Bello?

Decision:No.

Two elements must concur before a person becomes liable as an accomplice:

(1) community of design, which means that the accomplice knows of, and
concurs with, the criminal design of the principal by direct participation;
and
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(2) the performance by the accomplice of previous or simultaneous acts
that are not indispensable to the commission of the crime.Mere
commission of an act, which aids the perpetrator, is not enough.

The cooperation that the law punishes is the assistance knowingly


rendered, which cannot exist without the previous cognizance of the criminal act
intended to be executed. It is therefore required in order to be liable as an
accomplice; that the accused must unite with the criminal design of the principal
by direct participation.

The court held in one case that the mere presence of the accused at the
crime scene cannot be interpreted to mean that he committed the crime charged.

In convicting Abarquez in this case, the trial court and the Court of
Appeals relied mainly on the testimony of Paz. Paz testified that he was held by
Abarquez on the shoulders, thus preventing him from helping Quejong who was
grappling with Almojuela.

Paz‘s testimony does not show that Abarquez concurred with Almojuela‘s
criminal design. "Tumigil" literally means "stop." Clearly, Abarquez was trying to
stop Paz from joining the fray, not from helping Quejong. Paz claims that he was
only trying to talk to Almojuela. However, Paz could not have been merely talking
to Almojuela, as he tried to portray, because Almojuela was already grappling
with Quejong at that time. Paz interpreted Abarquez‘s action as an attempt to
prevent him from helping Quejong. His interpretation was adopted by the trial
court and sustained by the Court of Appeals. Yet, in his testimony, Paz admitted
that while restraining him, Abarquez was scolding or reprimanding him and telling
him to stop. It was not shown that Abarquez was stopping Paz from helping
Almojuela. It is more likely that Abarquez was trying to stop Paz from joining the
fight. Abarquez‘s act of trying to stop Paz does not translate to assistance to
Almojuela.

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Mark Vergara
2008-0323

People v. Compo (G.R. No. 112990)

Facts:

Mauricio Gonzaga and Lemuel Compo were charged conspiring in the


murder of Procopio Dales
.
Based on the statements of Libardo, Gonzaga, PO3 Pedro Wate, and the
post mortem findings the the Court held the accused Mauricio Gonzaga and
Lemuel Compo guilty of the crime of murder punished under Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code and sentenced each one of them to suffer an imprisonment
of Reclusion Perpetua.

Accused Lemuel Compo filed with the trial court a notice of appeal. In this
appeal, accused-appellant imputes a single assignment of error to the trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not the testimony of the witness Librado that he saw Lemuel
carrying an Indian Pana is sufficient to establish the latter is an accomplice to the
crime?

Decision: No.

The court held that the prosecution failed to overcome the constitutional
presumption of innocence. Basically, accused-appellant Lemuel was convicted
based on the testimony of the conductor of passenger bus Gilberto Libardo who
saw Lemuel carrying an ―Indian Pana‖ and a flashlight. Without any testimony
positively identifying accused-appellant as the assailant nor any evidence directly
linking him as the author of the crime, Lemuel Compo cannot be convicted of the
murder of Dales. The accused-appellant deserves an acquittal and must
forthwith be given back his liberty.

The testimony of witness Mauricio Gonzaga, states that Lemuel was


merely present before the stabbing incident, holding a flashlight. No other overt
act was established to prove that Lemuel shared and concurred with the criminal
171 | P a g e
design of Mauricio. The mere presence of Lemuel, who was not shown to be
armed, at the scene of the crime does not connote conspiracy.

Singularity of purpose and unity in the execution of the unlawful objective


are essential to establish conspiracy.
Mere knowledge, acquiescence, or agreement to cooperate, is not enough
to constitute one as a party to a conspiracy, absent any active participation in the
commission of the crime, with a view to the furtherance of the common design
and purpose.Conspiracy transcends companionship.The presence and company
of Lemuel were not necessary or essential to the perpetration of the murder.

Neither can Lemuel be considered an accomplice. Article 18 of the


Revised Penal Code provides that an accomplice is one who, not being a
principal, cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous
acts. To be convicted as such, it is necessary that he be aware of the criminal
intent of the principal and then cooperate knowingly or intentionally by supplying
material or moral aid for the efficacious execution of the crime.

The prosecution, however, failed to present convincing evidence


establishing that accused-appellant Lemuel knew of the other accused's intent to
kill Dales. Again, his mere presence at the scene of the crime and his flight
therefrom with the other accused are not proof of his participation in the crime.
The quantum of proof required in criminal prosecution to support a conviction has
not been reached with regard to accused-appellant Lemuel. The oft-repeated
truism that the conviction of an accused must rest not on the weakness of the
defense but on the strength of the prosecution‘s evidence applies.He must,
therefore, be acquitted on reasonable doubt.

Jasmine Calaycay
2005-0049

172 | P a g e
Accessories
People v. Tolentino (G.R. No. 139179)

Facts:

On February 28, 1996 appellant Jonathan Fabros and his cousins, Sheila
Guilayan and Merwin Ledesma, were at their house in Luyahan, Pasonanca,
Zamboanga City when their neighbor Wilfredo Tolentino called them. When
asked what it was all about, Wilfredo simply motioned to them to come to his
house located just across the road. Once they were inside the house, Wilfredo
immediately revealed his plan to kill Hernan Sagario, Sheila's stepfather. Wilfredo
explained that it was the only way to free Sheila's mother - appellant's aunt - of
the sufferings being caused by Hernan. Wilfredo then instructed Merwin to go
back to the house and get the bolo of Hernan. Merwin obliged, got the bolo, and
gave it to Wilfredo. Thereafter, they were told by Wilfredo to go home and wait for
Hernan.

Around 8:30 in the evening, Hernan arrived. He went directly to the


kitchen and fixed the bag of rice he was carrying. Jonathan together with Sheila
and Merwin, just stayed quiet in the living room.Later, Wilfredo with a 2"x2" piece
of wood in his hand entered the house. He then followed Hernan towards the
kitchen. When about an armslength away from Hernan, Wilfredo, immediately
walloped Hernan on the right side of the neck sending the latter unconscious and
falling face down to the ground. Wilfredo immediately instructed appellant and
Merwin to help him bring Hernan out of the house. Lifting Hernan out of the
house, Wilfredo held him by the neck while both appellant and Merwin grasped
his feet. They then carried Hernan towards the creek, upon reaching the
creekside, the three stopped, then Wilfredo successively stabbed Hernan on
different parts of the body causing the latter's instant death. After throwing the
victim's lifeless body in the creek, the three immediately left. Tolentino called
Jonathan, Sheila and Merwin and warned them that if they will tell other people,
he will kill them. Out of fear, they just followed whatever Tolentino told them.

On 01 March 1996, however, Jonathan was arrested for the death of


Hernan Sagario. Accused Jonathan Fabros and Wilfredo Tolentino both denied
killing the victim. Instead, they pointed to each other as the one who killed

173 | P a g e
Hernan Sagario. Fabros pointed to Tolentino as the assailant and the latter also
fingered the former as the killer of Sagario.

However, on 14 July 2000, long after the trial court's decision had become
final and executory on his part, Wilfredo Tolentino, apparently conscience-
stricken, executed an affidavit admitting sole responsibility for the death of
Hernan Sagario and retracted his testimony implicating accused-appellant
Jonathan Fabros.

The trial court held that the prosecution's evidence positively identified
Wilfredo Tolentino as the person who had hit the victim with a piece of wood and
later stabbed him with a bolo. It also ruled that the killing was qualified by
treachery and attended by the aggravating circumstance of dwelling.

The court a quo observed that overt and positive acts of appellant
(Jonathan Fabros) manifested his approval of the killing and the concurrence of
his acts with those of the other accused.8 Thus, the RTC concluded that Fabros
was a co-conspirator and should be held equally responsible for the murder.
Hence, this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not appellant (Jonathan Fabros) should be convicted as an


accessory?

Decision:

Appellant cannot be convicted as an accessory. Article 19 of the Revised


Penal Code defines an accessory as one who had knowledge of the commission
of the crime and did not participate in its commission as principal or accomplice,
yet took part subsequent to its commission by any of three modes: (1) profiting
oneself or assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the crime; (2)
concealing or destroying the body of the crime, or the effects or instruments
thereof, in order to prevent its discovery; and (3) harboring, concealing, or
assisting in the escape of the principals of the crime, provided the accessory acts
with abuse of his public functions or when the offender is guilty of treason,
parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive, or is
known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. To convict an accused as an

174 | P a g e
accessory, the following elements must be proven: (1) knowledge of the
commission of the crime and (2) subsequent participation in it by any of the three
above-cited modes.

Under paragraph 2 of said codal provision, the concealment or the


destruction of the body of the crime or of the effects or the instruments thereof
must have been done in order to prevent the discovery of the crime. That,
precisely, is wanting in the present case.

In his testimony, appellant stated that because he was afraid his co-
accused would hurt him if he refused, he agreed to assist the latter in carrying
the victim towards the river. The fact that appellant left thereafter likewise
indicated his innocence of the charge. Verily, he adequately explained his
conduct prior to the stabbing incident as one born of fear for his own life. It is not
incredible for an eyewitness to a crime, especially if unarmed, to desist from
assisting the victim if to do so would put the former's life in peril.

The presumption of innocence in favor of appellant has not been


overcome by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, he must be acquitted.

Jasmine Calaycay

175 | P a g e
2005-0049

People v. Cui (G.R. No. 121982)

Facts:

In the evening of December 5, 1990, ten (10) armed robbers raided the
compound of Johnny and Rose Lim on Edison Street, Lahug, Cebu City. The
Lims, their three (3) children, and the employees of the family-owned business,
were able to see the faces of the leader Wilfredo alias "Toto" Garcia and two of
his men, Mawe Garcia and a certain Edgar. The other robbers could not be
identified as they had flour sacks over their heads. The robbers carted away cash
and jewelries worth twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00). They also blindfolded
and forcibly abducted seventeen (17) year old Stephanie, the youngest daughter
of the Lims. They demanded a ransom of one million pesos (P1,000,000.00) for
her release.Johnny Lim turned over to Toto Garcia the ransom amount in the
afternoon of the next day at an arranged meeting place. Stephanie, in turn, was
released to her father.

Initially, the Lim‘s kept the crime a secret. But on the third day, they
reported the kidnapping to the Philippine National Police Cebu Metropolitan
District Command (Cebu Metrodiscom). The Metrodiscom Intelligence Security
Team (MIST) conducted an investigation and Johnny Lim identified one of the
suspects as Toto Garcia.

Toto Garcia was known as the leader of a group of armed robbers called
the Baong Gang. The gang's base of operation was pinpointed at Quiot, Pardo,
Cebu. When the police learned that Eduardo Basingan, hailed from Quiot, Pardo,
Cebu City, they decided to interrogate him.

Upon Basingan's interrogation, he identified Toto Garcia, Mawe Garcia


and Edgar as the three (3) who did not wear masks, Sadam and Rey as the two
(2) who held him and the Lims at gunpoint, and Tata Garcia, Yul Alvarez, a
certain Benjie, a certain Leos and a certain Laring as the look-outs who stayed
outside the Lim compound. He named Toto Garcia as the chief plotter of the
crime at bar, and revealed that his neighbor and close family friends, the spouses
Leonilo and Beverly Cui, participated in the plan. Basingan said he was asked to
join the plot and was assured that he would not be under suspicion because he

176 | P a g e
would be placed at gun point together with the other members of the Lim
household when the crime is committed. However, he refused to join the plot
during the December 2, 1990 meeting of the group at the residence of the Cuis in
Quiot, Pardo, Cebu City. Leonilo Cui even invoked their close ties as godfathers
of each other's children but he was unmoved. At the meeting were Toto Garcia,
Mawi Garcia, Edgar, Rey, Sadam and the Cuis.

On December 18, 1990, Basingan executed a sworn statement reiterating


these revelations in writing. Johnny and Rose Lim then formalized their complaint
by executing a Joint Affidavit. Assistant Prosecutor Bienvenido N. Mabanto, Jr.
filed an information for Kidnapping with Ransom against Basingan, the Cuis, and
the members of the group of Toto Garcia as identified by Basingan in his sworn
statement.On the same day, Basingan and Leonilo Cui were arrested.

On March 14, 1991, Joselito "Tata" Garcia, Hilaria Sarte and her live-in
partner, Luis Obeso, referred to by Basingan as "Laring" and "Leos",
respectively, were arrested in the neighboring Negros Island. The next day,
however, Tata Garcia died due to "hemorrhage, severe, secondary to gunshot
wounds." Upon presentation of his death certificate, the trial court ordered his
name deleted from the information.

After preliminary investigation, Prosecutor Manuel J. Adlawan found that


the participation of the Cuis was only that of accomplices amended the
Information downgrading the charge against the Cui‘s as mere accomplices in
the kidnapping with ransom of Stephanie Lim.

On May 15, 1991, Basingan, the Cuis, Obeso and Sarte were arraigned
and they all pleaded not guilty. On June 27, 1991, Basinga escaped from the
prison. Trial on the merit ensued against the Cuis, Obeso and Sarte. Basingan
was tried in absentia.

On February 13, 1992, Beinvenido Nacario, alias "Rey Nacario", was


arrested. On arraignment on April 13, 1992, he pleaded not guilty. However, on
May 5, 1991, he, too, escaped from detention and remains at large to this date.
On August 18, 1992, the prosecuting fiscal manifested before the trial court that,
per newspaper report, Toto Garcia had been killed in Davao. Thus, on December
6, 1993, the trial court convicted the Cuis, Obeso, Sarte, Basingan and Nacario.

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Obeso and Sarte filed their Notice of Appeal on May 19, 1994. The Cui‘s filed
theirs on May 31, 1994.

Issue:

Whether or not the Cui‘s are liable as accessories?


Decision:

Art. 19 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, penalizes as accessories


to the crime those who, subsequent to its commission, take part therein by
profiting themselves or assisting the offenders to profit by the effects of the crime,
without having participated therein, either as principals or accomplices.
Conviction of an accused as an accessory requires the following elements: (1)
that he has knowledge of the commission of the crime; and (2) that he took part
in it subsequent to its commission by any of the three modes enumerated in
Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. These twin elements are
present in the case of the Cui‘s, and indubitable proof thereof is extant in the
records of the case.

The Court held that the Cui‘s profited from the kidnapping of Stephanie
Lim and are liable as accessories.

178 | P a g e
Jasmine Calaycay
2005-0049

People v. Verzola (G.R. No. L-35022)

Facts:

On September 28, 1969, Bernardo Molina was clubbed to death by


Ricardo Verzola in the presence of appellant Josefina Molina inside Molina's
house at Barrio Lipcan, Bangued, Abra. The body of the victim was subsequently
carried by the two appellee to the ground and left at the foot of the stairs.
Appellant Verzola then went to his house, changed his clothes and threw his
bloodstained sweater undershirt and underwear, including the piece of wood be
used in clubbing the deceased, inside their toilet. Afterwards, he went to the
municipal building and reported to the police authorities that Bernardo had died in
an accident. The police authorities together with the Municipal Health Officer, the
Municipal Judge and a photographer went to Lipcan to conduct the investigation.
They found the body of the deceased Bernardo Molina sprawled at the foot of the
bamboo ladder. Blood had oozed from the mouth, nose and ears. There were
bloodstains on the floor of the bedroom of the house, on the mat, as well as on
the beddings of the deceased. The bloodstains led to the bamboo ladder where
some of the stains could be found on the steps of the ladder. When questioned
by the police, Josefina revealed that the assailant of her husband was Ricardo
Verzola.

Upon her request, she was brought to the Office of the Chief of Police of
Bangued, where at about 2:00 o'clock in the morning of September 29, 1969 she
gave a written statement narrating the circumstances surrounding the incident in
question and pointing to appellant Verzola as the assailant of her husband. In
that extra-judicial statement, she stated that immediately after 10:00 o'clock in
the evening of September 28. 1969, appellant Ricardo Verzola went to their
house in Barrio Lipcan, Bangued Abra entered the room where she was sleeping
with her husband, Bernardo Molina, woke her up and had carnal knowledge of
her; that when Bernardo Molina woke up and attempted to rise from the floor,
that was the moment when Verzola clubbed Bernards, hitting him on the head
several times that afterwards, she heard the sound of a body being dragged
downstairs and the voice of Verzola saying that he was leaving and warning her
not to say anything about the incident. She looked out of the door and saw her

179 | P a g e
husband already lying prostrate at the foot of the stairs. This statement was
sworn to by her before Municipal Judge Francisco T. Valera.

On that same morning, appellant Verzola was picked up by the police and
brought to the municipal building, and there he also executed a written statement
admitting that he clubbed the victim several times. Both appellants admit that it
was appellant Verzola who inflicted the fatal blows on the victim.

The trial court convicted Verzola as principal and Josefina Molina as an


accessory to the crime of murder.

Issue:

Whether or not assisting the principal in bringing the body of the deceased
to the ground will make one an accessory to the crime?

Decision:

An accessory does not participate in the criminal design, nor cooperate in


the commission of the felony, but with knowledge of the commission of the crime,
he subsequently takes part in three (3) ways: (a) by profiting from the effects of
the crime; (b) by concealing the body, effects or instruments of the crime in order
to prevent its discovery; and (c) by assisting in the escape or concealment of the
principal of the crime, provided he acts with abuse of his public functions or the
principal is guilty of treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the
Chief Executive or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime.

Even if she assisted her co-appellant without duress, simply assisting


Verzola in bringing the body down the house to the foot of the stairs and leaving
said body for anyone to see, cannot be classified as an attempt to conceal or
destroy the body of the crime. The concealing or destroying of the body of the
crime, the effects or instruments thereof, must be done to prevent the discovery
of the crime. In the case at bar, the body was left at the foot of the stairs at a
place where it was easily visible to the public. Under such circumstances there
could not have been any attempt on the part of Josefina to conceal or destroy the
body of the crime. Thus, Josefina Molina is acquitted.

180 | P a g e
John Kirvy
2008-0032

Accessories Exempt from Criminal Liability


People v. Mariano (G.R. No. L-40527)

Facts:

That on or about and during the period from May 11 and June 8, 1971, in
San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, the said accused Hermogenes Mariano, being
then appointed as Liaison Officer by the then incumbent Municipal Mayor,
Constantino Nolasco, acting for and in behalf of the municipality and authorized
to receive and be receipted for US excess property of USAID/NEC for the use
and benefit of said municipality, received from the said USAID/NEC the following
items with a total value of $717.50 or P4,797.35, involving the duty of making
delivery of said items to the said Municipal Mayor, but the said accused
Hermogenes Mariano once in possession of the said items and far from
complying with his aforesaid obligation and in spite of repeated demands, did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with grave abuse of confidence
and with deceit, misappropriate, misapply and convert to his own personal use
and benefit the said items valued at $717.50 or P4,797.35, belonging to the said
USAID/NEC, to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the said sum of
$717,50 or P4,797.35. On February 19, 1975, Hermogenes Mariano thru his
counsel Filed a motion to quash the Information on the following grounds:

1. That the court trying the cause has no jurisdiction of the offense
charged or of the person of the defendant;
2. That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;
3. That it contains averments which , if true, would constitute a legal
excuse or justification.

In his motion to quash, Mariano claimed that the items which were the
subject matter of the Information against him were the same items for which
Mayor Constantino A. Nolasco was indicted before a Military Commission under
a charge of malversation of public property, and for which Mayor Nolasco had
been found guilty and that inasmuch as the case against Mayor Nolasco had
already been decided by the Military Tribunal, the Court of First Instance of
Bulacan had lost jurisdiction over the case against him.

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On March 14, 1975 respondent Judge issued an Order granting the
motion to quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction reasoning as follows:

Considering that the Military Commission had already taken cognizance of


the malversation case against Mayor Nolasco involving the same subject matter
in its concurrent jurisdiction with this Court, the case involving the subject
properties had already been heard and decided by a competent tribunal, the
Military Commission, and as such this Court is without jurisdiction to pass upon
anew the same subject matter. (pp. 30-31, rollo, emphasis supplied)
Respondent Judge issued an order granting the motion to quash on the ground
of lack of jurisdiction but did not rule on the other grounds invoked in the motion
to quash.

Issue:

Whether or not Mariano can be held liable for estafa?

Decision:

The Supreme Court ruled that Respondent court gravely erred when it
ruled that it lost jurisdiction over the estafa case against respondent Mariano with
the filing of the malversation charge against Mayor Nolasco before the Military
Commission. Estafa and malversation are two separate and distinct offenses and
in the case now before the SC the accused in one is different from the accused in
the other.

The conferment of jurisdiction upon courts or judicial tribunals is derived


exclusively from the constitution and statutes of the forum. Thus, the question of
jurisdiction of respondent Court of First Instance over the case filed before it is to
be resolved on the basis of the law or statute providing for or defining its
jurisdiction. That, We find in the Judiciary Act of 1948 where in its Section 44 (f) it
is provided that Courts of First Instance shall have original jurisdiction In all
criminal cases in which the penalty provided by law is imprisonment for more
than six months,or a fine of more than two hundred pesos.The offense
of estafa charged against respondent Mariano is penalized with arresto mayor in
its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, or
imprisonment from four (4) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and four (4)
months. By reason of the penalty imposed which exceeds six (6) months

182 | P a g e
imprisonment, the offense alleged to have been committed by the accused, now
respondent, Mariano, falls under the original jurisdiction of courts of first instance.

The above of course is not disputed by respondent Judge; what he claims


in his Order is that his court exercises concurrent jurisdiction with the military
commission and because the latter tribunal was the first to take cognizance of
the subject matter, respondent court lost jurisdiction over it .That statement of
respondent court is incorrect. In People vs. Fontanilla, this Court speaking
through then Justice now Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro, categorically reiterated
the settled rule that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statute in force
at the time of the commencement of the action. In the case at bar, it is rightly
contended by the Solicitor General that at the time Criminal Case No. SM-
649 was filed with the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, that was December 18,
1974, the law in force vesting jurisdiction upon said court was the Judiciary Act of
1948, the particular provision of which was not affected one way or the other by
any Presidential issuances under Martial Law. The Military Commission is not
vested with jurisdiction over the crime of estafa.

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Heide Olarte-Congson
2007-0316

Arts. 21-24: Penalties in General


Retroactive Effect of Penal Laws
People v. Evina (G.R. No. 124830-310)

Facts:

Gerardo Evina was found guilty by the Regional Trial Court of Tacloban
City (Branch 9) of two counts of simple rape and sentenced to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua for each count. The crime of rape was committed on
November 3, 1991 and on November 7, 1991, in the City of Tacloban against
Marites Cacharo while she was sleeping in her bedroom. Evina tied Marites‘s
hands with a big handkerchief and poked a knife at her. This special aggravating
circumstance of the use of a weapon and the aggravating circumstance of
dwelling were both proven during the trial. However, these were not alleged in
the information.

Issue:

Whether or not the aggravating circumstances be considered in fixing the


penalty?

Decision:

The aggravating circumstances cannot be considered in fixing the penalty


because they were not alleged in the information as mandated by Rule 110,
Sections 8 and 9 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Although the
crimes charged were committed before the effectivity of the said rule,
nevertheless, the same should be applied retroactively being favorable to the
appellant. Although the aggravating circumstances in question cannot be
appreciated for the purpose of fixing a heavier penalty in this case, they should,
however, be considered as bases for the award of exemplary damages,
conformably to current jurisprudence.

184 | P a g e
Heide Olarte-Congson
2007-0316

People v. Lazaro (G.R. No. 112090)

Facts:
Lazaro was charged, tried and convicted for two separate crimes of illegal
possession of firearms/ammunition and homicide under Section 1 of P.D. No.
1866 which was the governing law at the time the crime was committed in 1991.
The two separate cases, Criminal Case No. 91-3487 (for homicide) and Criminal
Case No. 91-3483 (for illegal possession of firearm) were not tried jointly,
although filed in the same trial court. Republic Act No. 8294 has since amended
P.D. No. 1866 by reducing the penalties for simple and aggravated forms of
illegal possession and considering the use of an unlicensed firearm simply as an
aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide. R.A. 8294 took effect on July
6, 1997. The crime involved in the case at bench was committed on May 5, 1991.
In view of the amendments introduced by Republic Act 8294 to Presidential
Decree 1866, separate prosecutions for homicide and illegal possession are no
longer in order. Instead, illegal possession of firearms is merely to be taken as an
aggravating circumstance in the homicide case.

Issue:
Whether or not the accused can be rightfully convicted of the crime of
illegal possession of firearms separately from the crime of homicide under RA
8294 (amending PD 1866).

Decision:
No. As a general rule, penal laws will generally have prospective
application except where the new law will be advantageous to the accused. In
this case R.A. 8294 will spare accused-appellant Lazaro from a separate
conviction for the crime of illegal possession of firearm. Accordingly, said law
should be given retroactive application.

Accordingly, accused-appellant Lazaro should be spared from a separate


conviction for the crime of Illegal Possession of Firearms, which is the subject of
the present review. Accused-appellant Lazaro was hereby acquitted of the said
crime and the case was dismissed.

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Heide Olarte-Congson
2007-0316

People v. Pacifador (G.R. No. 139405)


Facts:
On October 27, 1988, Arturo F. Pacificador then Chairman of the Board of
the National Shipyard and Steel Corporation, a government-owned corporation,
and therefore, a public officer was charged before the Sandiganbayan with the
crime of violation of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The crime was committed from December
6, 1975 to January 6, 1976, in Metro Manila by Pacificador. After his
arraignment, the respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of
prescription of the offense. Sandiganbayan on November 10, 1998 dismissed
the Information against the respondent on the ground of prescription. The Urgent
Motion for Reconsideration of the Solicitor General was denied by the
Sandiganbayan. Republic Act No. 3019 provides for its own prescriptive period.
Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019, as amended by B.P. Blg. 195, provides that the
offenses committed under the said statute shall prescribe in fifteen (15) years. It
appears however, that prior to the amendment of Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019 by
B.P. Blg. 195 which was approved on March 16, 1982, the prescriptive period for
offenses punishable under the said statute was only ten (10) years.

Issue:
Whether or not the crime had not yet prescribed as the special law
governing the same have been amended increasing the prescriptive period from
ten (10) to fifteen (1) years.

Decision:
The longer prescriptive period of fifteen (15) years, as provided in Section
11 of R.A. No. 3019 as amended by B.P. Blg. 195, does not apply in this case for
the reason that the amendment, not being favorable to the accused, cannot be
given retroactive effect. Hence the crime prescribed on January 6, 1986 or ten
(10) years from January 6, 1976. The crime had already prescribed when the
Information in this case was filed with the Sandiganbayan on October 27, 1988.It
bears emphasis, as held in a number of cases that in the interpretation of the law
on prescription of crimes, that which is more favorable to the accused is to be
adopted. The said legal principle takes into account the nature of the law on
prescription of crimes which is an act of amnesty and liberality on the part of the
state in favor of the offender.

186 | P a g e
Ozelle Dedicatoria
2006-0406

Pardon by Offended Party


Sta. Catalina v. People (G.R. No. 167805)

Facts:

Lorenzo Ballecer entered into a joint business venture with Arnold Sta.
Catalina involving importation of Jute sacks from China. Petitioner told that he
had a ready buyer in the Philippines which was willing to buy the jute sacks at
P12.25 per piece. Convinced, Ballecer ordered one container to Sta. Catalina.

Thereafter, Ballecer and Sta. Catalina proceeded to Citytrust Bank to open


a letter of credit. They were required to post a marginal deposit amounting to
P100, 000. The two went to United Coconut Planters Bank to encash a check.
After the encashment, they went back to Citytrust but arrived after banking hours.
Sta. Catalina suggested that the money be deposited in his account which
Ballecer agreed.

Few days after, while preparing the supporting documents for the letter of
credit, Ballacer found that there was an overpricing on the cost of the jute sacks.
Realizing that his business venture was losing proposition he asked Sta. Catalina
to return the P100, 000, however, the latter failed to return the money despite
repeated verbal and formal demands made by the former.

Sta. Catalina as defense alleged that there was no misappropriation of the


money. He further claimed that the said money was spent and used for the office
expenses, salaries and other expenses of the office which both of the occupy.

The trial court convicted Sta. Catalina for the crime of Estafa. Aggrieved,
he appealed the decision of the trial court before the Court of Appeals. However,
the public prosecutor filed a manifestation stating that Ballecer is no longer
interested in pursuing his complaint and the case should be decided based on
Ballecer‘s Affidavit of Desistance. The Court of Appeals rendered a Decision
affirming the judgment of conviction by the trial court. Hence, this instant petition.

Issue:

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Whether or not the Affidavit of Desistance executed by Ballacer will justify
the dismissal of the action?

Decision:

The Supreme Court held that an Affidavit of Desistance is not a ground for
the dismissal of an action, once the action has been instituted in court. In the
case at bar, Ballecer made the so-called pardon of Sta. Catalina after the
institution of the action, almost two years after the trial court had rendered its
decision.

The court attaches no persuasive value to a desistance especially when


executed as an afterthought. It would be a dangerous rule to reject the testimony
taken before the court of justice simply because the witness who had given it
later on changed his mind for one reason or another. Such a rule will make a
solemn trial a mockery and place the investigation at the mercy of unscrupulous
witnesses.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria
2006-0406

Balderama v. People (G.R. No. 147578-85)

Facts:

Rolando Balderama and Rolando Nagal are employees of the Field


Enforcement Division of LTO. On the other hand, Juan Armamento is the
operator of SJ Taxi. On July 14, 1992, the team of Flying Squad flagged down
one taxi owned by Armamento. They impounded the taxi on the ground that its
meter was defective, however, upon inspection and testing by the LTO the
results showed that the meter was functioning normally.

Feeling aggrieved, Armamento filed a complaint for Bribery and violation


of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Ombudsman. He alleged that
prior to the impounding of his taxi, the four LTO officers had been collecting
protection money from him in exchange of non-apprehension and non-
impounding of his vehicles.

Eventually, the Office of the Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan


nine (9) Information for violation of Direct Bribery and Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act. During the pendency of the action, accused De Jesus died. The
cases against him were dismissed but the hearing proceeded against
Balderama, Nagal and Lubrica.

The Sandiganbayan rendered its Decision, convicting Balderama, Nagal


and Lubrica for the above violation. They filed a motion for reconsideration but
were denied by the former. Hence, this instant petition.

Issue:

Whether or not Armamento‘s affidavit of recantation will result to the


dismissal of the complaint?

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Decision:

The Supreme Court held that the complaint shall not be dismissed. A
recantation or an affidavit of desistance is viewed with suspicion and reservation.
The court looks with disfavor upon retractions of testimonies previously given in
court. It is settled that an affidavit of desistance made by a witness after
conviction of the accused is not reliable, and deserves only scant attention.

The rationale for the rule is obvious: affidavits of retraction can easily be
secured from witnesses, usually through intimidation or for a monetary
consideration. Only when there exist special circumstances in the case which
when coupled with the retraction raise doubts as to the truth of the testimony or
statement given, can retractions be considered and upheld.

In this case, there is indubitably nothing in the affidavit which creates doubts on
the guilt of the accused Balderama and Nagal.

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Ozelle Dedicatoria
2006-0406

People v. Dimaano (G.R. No. 168168)

Facts:

Maricar Dimaano is the daughter of the accused Edgardo Dimaano. A


complaint was filed by Maricar charging Edgardo with two counts of Rape and
one count of attempted rape. Maricar alleged that she was only 10 years old
when her father Edgardo started sexually abusing her. It was only on November
of 1995 that she confided the sexual abuses to her mother. The last sexual
assault happened in the afternoon of January 1, 1996.

Maricar and her mother went to Camp Crame upon the advised of a
relative. The Medico-Legal Officer at the PNP Crime Laboratory examined the
complainant and found her to have suffered deep healed hymenal lacerations
and was in a non-virgin state.

On the other hand, the accused denied such accusations. He contended


that he could not have raped Maricar because he was always in the office. He
claimed that it was impossible for him to rape his daughter because there were
other people in the house. He further argued that had he raped Maricar, then she
would have not accompanied him to the Paranaque Police Station to apply for
police clearance.

The trial court rendered its Decision, convicting Edgardo of the crime of
Rape. Aggrieved, he appealed his case before the Court of Appeals but the latter
affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not the voluntary and due execution of the Affidavit of


Desistance by Maricar is a ground for the dismissal of the complaint against
Edgardo?

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Decision:

The Supreme Court held that by itself, an Affidavit of Desistance is not a


ground for the dismissal of an action, once the action has been instituted in court.
A private complainant loses the right or absolute privilege to decide whether the
rape charge should proceed, because the case was already filed and must
therefore continue to be heard by the trial court.

The court attaches no persuasive value to a desistance, especially when


executed afterthought. The unreliable character of this document is shown by the
fact that it is quite incredible that a victim, after going through the trouble of
having the accused arrested by the police, enduring the humiliation of a physical
examination of her private parts and recounting her anguish in detail, will
suddenly turn around and declare that she is no longer interested in pursuing the
case.

In the case at bar, Maricar repudiated the affidavit of desistance in open


court by stating that no lawyer assisted her when she affixed her signature and
had shown her resolve to continue with the prosecution of the cases.

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Maria Garalde
2008-0326

Arts. 25-45: Penalties


Reclusion Perpetua
People v. Novio (G.R. No. 139332)

Facts:

On September 23, 1994, 13-year-old Maricel B. Talisay, together with her


minor brothers Jun and Joey slept side-by-side at their store. Their parents were
caretakers of a beach house and needed to sleep there at that time. At 3:00 in
the morning, a ticklish sensation and stabs of pain in her vagina awakened
Maricel. When she woke up, she saw the accused, Noli Novio, naked on top of
her. Her duster was rolled up to her neck and her panty has already been
removed by the accused. Noel Novio was able to penetrate his penis inside
Maricel‘s Vagina.

Meanwhile, Maricel‘s parents were awakened by their neighbor and


reported to them that a man was inside their store. Nenita, Maricel‘s mother
immediately got hold of her bolo and flashlight and proceeded to their store.
Nenita saw a man‘s sandals at the doorstep. Nenita knocked and called out to
Maricel and ordered her to open the door. Despite repeated demands to open
the door, Maricel was not able to do so. Nenita was able to forcibly open the
door and beamed the flashlight to Maricel and saw Noel Novio on top of her. The
accused was holding the hands of Maricel with his left hand and covered her
mouth with his right hand. Nenita mounted to hack Novio with her bolo but the
accused immediately took his jogging pants and ran away leaving his shirt,
wallet, underwear and sandals. Nenita immediately reported the incident to the
barangay and went to the police for investigation. Maricel submitted herself to
medical examination right after the incident.

Noli Novio denied the allegations and argued that Maricel and him are
sweethearts. The trial court found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt
for the crime of rape and sentenced him to 30 years of reclusion perpetua and to
indemnify the victim the sum of Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) pesos without
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the cost of these
proceedings.

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Issue:

Whether or not the trial court was correct in imposing the proper penalty
for the crime of rape?

Decision:

No, the Supreme Court held that the penalty imposed by the trial court is
void. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act
7659, the prescribed penalty for simple rape is reclusion perpetua. However, the
trial court sentenced the appellant to thirty years of reclusion perpetua. The
penalty imposed by the trial court is void.Although under Article 27 of the Revised
Penal Code as amended by Republic 7659, reclusion perpetua has a range of
twenty years and one day to forty years, by nature, the penalty remains a single
and indivisible penalty. It cannot be divided into periods or equal portions. If the
law prescribes reclusion perpetua as a single and indivisible penalty for a felony,
the trial court is mandated to impose said penalty, absent any privileged
mitigating circumstances conformably with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code.
The trial court is not authorized to vary the penalty provided for by law either in
the character or the extent of punishment inflicted.

There was no need for the trial court to specify the duration of thirty years
of reclusion perpetua whenever it is imposed as a penalty in any proper case.
The Court is not impervious to Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code which
pertinently provides that, in applying the so-called ―three-fold rule,‖ i.e., that
―(w)hen the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, . . . the maximum duration
of the convict‘s sentence shall not be more than three-fold the length of time
corresponding to the most severe of the penalties imposed upon him‖ – ―the
duration of perpetual penalties (penal perpetua) shall be computed at thirty
years.‖ The imputation of a thirty-year duration to reclusion perpetua in Article 70
is, as this Court recently held, ―only to serve as the basis for determining the
convict‘s eligibility for pardon or for the application of the three-fold rule in the
service of multiple penalties.

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Maria Garalde
2008-0326

People v. Zacarias (G.R. No. 138990)

Facts:
Sergio Pelicano, Sr., on direct examination, testified that on June 23, 1993
at about 12:30 in the morning while waiting for his son, he heard a commotion
outside his house. When he looked outside, he saw Christopher Sacay, son of
his long-time friend, being chased by Sammy Zacarias, Rodel Zacarias, Wally
Ticalo and Rene Matugas. The boy ran towards the Seventh Day Adventist
Church. Pelicano followed the group and when he was only about 10 meters
away from the four men, he saw Rodel Zacarias hold the victim while the rest
took turns in stabbing and hacking the boy.However, Ticalo claimed that on the
day of the said incident, he was working in the farm and had a drinking spree
with the owner of the farm until 10:00 in the evening. The owner of the farm even
contended that the town where his farm was was far distant from the town where
the stabbing incident took place. The trial court sentenced Ticalo to serve the
penalty of reclusion perpetua for the death of Christopher Sacay

Issue:
Whether or not the court a quo gravely erred in finding Ticalo guilty of the
crime charged?

Decision:
No, the Supreme Court is not convinced with the contention of Ticalo,
however, a word, in passing, about the manner the trial court imposed the
penalty. In the scales of penalties under the Revised Penal Code, reclusion
perpetua is the penalty immediately higher than reclusion temporal which has a
duration of twelve years and one day to twenty years. The minimum range of
reclusion perpetua should then, by necessary implication, start at 20 years and 1
day while the maximum thereunder could be co-extensive with the rest of the
natural life of the offender. Article 70, however, provides that the maximum
period in regard to the service of sentence shall not exceed 40 years. Reclusion
perpetua remains to be an indivisible penalty and, when it is the prescribed
penalty, should be imposed in its entirety, i.e., reclusion perpetuasans a fixed
period for its duration, regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance
that may have attended the commission of the crime. In prescribing the penalty
of reclusion perpetua,its duration in years, in fine, need not be specified.
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Maria Garalde
2008-0326

People v. Ramirez (G.R. No. 138261)

Facts:

On May 23, 1993, at 7:30 in the evening in Bgy. San Jose, Ormoc City,
Montano Banez, while strolling in the plaza, saw the victim Jonathan ‗Jojo‖
Alkuino. Since Jojo was a former resident of the barangay, Banez invited him to
have a drinking spree in the nearby store. The two sat side-by-side and were
exchanging stories when Pedro Ramirez suddenly came up to them. Ramirez hit
Jojo on the right side of his body just below his ribs. Jojo was immediately
brought to the hospital and was still alive on arrival but died the next day due to
hypovolemic shock or massive blood loss. The trial court found Ramirez guilty of
murder and sentencing him to "suffer imprisonment of forty (40) years reclusion
perpetua.‖

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court was correct in specifying the length of
imprisonment in the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua?

Decision:

No, the Supreme Court held that in sentencing appellant "to suffer
imprisonment of forty (40) years reclusion perpetua." There was no justification or
need for the trial court to specify the length of imprisonment, because reclusion
perpetua is an indivisible penalty. The significance of this fundamental principle
was laid down by the Court in People v. Diquit, "Since reclusion perpetua is an
indivisible penalty, it has no minimum, medium or maximum periods. It is
imposed in its entirety regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances
that may have attended the commission of the crime. (Art. 63, Revised Penal
Code) Reclusion perpetua is imprisonment for life but the person sentenced to
suffer it shall be pardoned after undergoing the penalty for thirty (30) years,
unless by reason of his conduct or some other serious cause, he shall be
considered by the Chief Executive as unworthy of pardon (Art. 27, Revised Penal
Code)."

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Christine Perez
2006-0104

Arts. 46-77: Application of Penalties


Complex Crime
People v. Latupan (G.R. Nos. 112453-56)

Facts:

On April 29, 1991, Ceferino Dagulo heard shouts of a woman and a child
coming from the north. He saw accused Gerardo Latupan walking in his
direction, carrying a thin, bloodied knife. Accused Latupan entered the house of
Ceferino and started chasing Ceferino's wife, who was able to run.

The house of Emilio Asuncion known as ―Emy‖ was 100 meters from
Ceferino's house. He reached his house and found his wife, Lilia, dead on the
ground with several stab wounds on her body and his 3 children (Leo, Jaime, and
Jose) wounded. Doctors treated the injuries of Leo and Jaime, However, Jose
was transferred to another hospital due to seriousness of his wounds. Jose was
declared dead on arrival.

On May 25, 1993, at arraignment, accused pleaded not guilty to the


charge of frustrated murder. During the pre-trial conference of the four cases
(Criminal Case No. 379-T, Criminal Case No. 380-T, Criminal Case No. 381-T,
Criminal Case No. 382-T), accused offered to change his plea of not guilty to
guilty of the complex crime of double murder and frustrated murder.

On August 25, 1993, the trial court rendered a decision finding the
accused Latupan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the complex offense of
Double Murder and sentenced him to suffer life imprisonment and to indemnify
the heirs.

Issue:

Whether or not trial court erred in convicting accused-appellant of the


complex crime of double murder?

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Decision:

The trial court, erred in convicting accused-appellant of the "complex


crime of double murder" and separate offenses of serious physical injuries.
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides: "When a single act constitutes
two or more grave or less grave felonies or when an offense is a necessary
means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be
imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period."

The instant case does not fall under any of the two mentioned instances
when a complex crime is committed. The killing of Lilia Asuncion and Jose
Asuncion and the wounding of Jaime and Leo Asuncion resulted not from a
single act but from several and distinct acts of stabbing. "Where the death of two
persons does not result from a single act but from two different shots, two
separate murders, and not a complex crime, are committed."

Thus, accused-appellant is liable, not for a complex crime of double


murder, but for two separate counts of murder, and separate counts of physical
injuries.

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Christine Perez
2006-0104

People v. Pineda (G.R. No. L-26222)

Facts:

On July 29, 1965, the occupants of the home of the spouses Teofilo
Mendoza and Valeriana Bontilao de Mendoza in Pugaan City of Iligan, were
asleep. It was then that guns (rifle, caliber 22) and paliuntod(homemade gun)
were fired in rapid succession from outside the house. Teofilo Mendoza fell dead.
Thereafter, defendants below destroyed the door of the house, entered therein,
and let loose several shots killing Neceforo Mendoza, all minor children of the
couple and wounding Valeriana Bontilao de Mendoza.

Two of the three defendants in the five criminal cases: Tomas Narbasa
and Tambak Alindo, moved for a consolidation thereof "into one (1) criminal
case." Their plea is that "said cases arose out of the same incident and
motivated by one impulse."

Respondent Judge directed the City Fiscal to unify all the five criminal
cases, and to file one single information in Case 1246. He also ordered that the
other four cases, Nos. 1247, 1248, 1249 and 1250 "be dropped from the docket."
The City Fiscal moved for reconsideration upon the ground that "more
than one gun was used, more than one shot was fired and more than one victim
was killed." Thereafter, the defense opposed.

On May 31, 1966, respondent Judge denied the motion to reconsider. He


took the position that the acts complained of "stemmed out of a series of
continuing acts on the part of the accused, not by different and separate sets of
shots, moved by one impulse and should therefore be treated as one crime
though the series of shots killed more than one victim;" and that only one
information for multiple murder should be filed, to obviate the necessity of trying
five cases instead of one."

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Issue:

Whether or not there should be one information, either for the complex
crime of murder and frustrated murder or for the complex crime of robbery with
multiple homicide and frustrated homicide or should the five indictments remain
as they are?

Decision:

Four separate crimes of murder and a frustrated murder result from the
firing of several shots at five victims. The crimes are not complex. Five
information should be filed. There is a complex crime where one shot from a gun
results in the death of two or more persons, or where one stabbed another and
the weapon pierced the latter‘s body and wounded another, or where a person
plant‘s a bomb in an airplane and the bomb explodes, with the result that a
number of persons are killed. When various victicms expire from separate shots,
such acts constitute separate and distinct crimes.

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Christine Perez
2006-0104

People v. Sanidad (G.R. No. 146099)

Facts:

On 16 January 1999, Marlon Tugadi, Jun Quipay, Raymund Fontanilla,


Rolando Tugadi, Pepito Tugadi, Delfin Tadeo, Ricardo Tadeo, Edwin Tumalip,
Bobby Velasquez and Dennis Balueg left Budac, Tagum, Abra, on board a
passenger jeepney driven by Delfin Tadeo to attend a barangay fiesta in the town
of Lagangilang, Abra. When they arrived they joined the residents in a drinking
spree that lasted the following morning.

Accused-appellants Jimmel Sanidad, Ponce Manuel alias Pambong and


several other residents of Lagangilang joined them in drinking. Marlon Tugadi
and accused Jimmel Sanidad were drinking buddies and members of the
CAFGU before then.

On 17 January 1999, Jimmel Sanidad and his companions finished


drinking and left. Shortly after, the group of Marlon Tugadi also stopped drinking
and headed home for Budac, Tagum, Abra, boarding the same jeepney driven by
Delfin Tadeo.

As the jeepney moved closer, the accused in a classic case of ambuscade


suddenly and without warning unleashed a volley of shots at the
jeepney.Miraculously, almost all of its passengers, with the exception of Rolando
Tugadi, survived the ambush and suffered only minor injuries.

Apparently shaken and dazed by their terrifying ordeal, the victims hid in a
culvert on the side of the road and did not come out until the police arrived at the
scene. Apparently shaken and dazed by their terrifying ordeal, the victims hid on
the side of the road and did not come out until the police arrived at the scene.

An Information for murder with multiple attempted murder and malicious


mischief was filed against Jimmel Sanidad, Ponce Manuel alias Pambong, John
Doe and Peter Doe. The defense of the accused rested on bare denial and alibi.

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The trial court disregarded the defense interposed by the accused and
convicted them of the complex crime of murder and multiple attempted murder,
and sentenced them to death.

Issue:

Whether or not accused-appellants are guilty of complex crime of murder


and multiple attempted murder and imposing upon then the supreme penalty of
death?

Decision:

The Supreme Court fully agreed with the lower court that the instant case
comes within the purview of Art. 48 of The Revised Penal Code which, speaking
of complex crimes, provides that when "a single act constitutes two or more
grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for
committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed in
its maximum period." In a complex crime, although two or more crimes are
actually committed, they constitute only one crime in the eyes of the law as well
as in the conscience of the offender.

Although several independent acts were performed by the accused in


firing separate shots from their individual firearms, it was not possible to
determine who among them actually killed victim Rolando Tugadi. Moreover,
there is no evidence that accused-appellants intended to fire at each and every
one of the victims separately and distinctly from each other. On the contrary, the
evidence clearly shows a single criminal impulse to kill Marlon Tugadi's group as
a whole. Thus, one of accused-appellants exclaimed in frustration after the
ambush: "My gosh, we were not able to kill all of them." Where a conspiracy
animates several persons with a single purpose, their individual acts done in
pursuance of that purpose are looked upon as a single act, the act of execution,
giving rise to a single complex offense.

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Bernadette Remalla
2007-0392

Delito Continuado
Ramiscal v. Sandiganbayan (G.R. Nos. 169727-28)

Facts:

Pursuant to the recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to


―prosecute and/or cause the prosecution of Gen. Jose Ramiscal Jr. (Ret), past
AFP-RSBS President, who had signed the unregistered deeds of sale covering
the acquisition of certain parcels of land,‖ Ombudsman Investigators Ricardo
Sullano, Rodil Buenaventura and Anatolio Alejandrino of the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for the Military conducted a fact-finding investigation. They
executed a Joint Affidavit-Complaint, stating that based on their findings, the
following may be charged with falsification of public documents and violation of
Section 3(e) and (g) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019: petitioner B/Gen. Jose
Ramiscal, Jr., former AFP-RSBS president; Atty. Meinrado Enrique Bello, Head
of the AFP-RSBS Legal Department in charge of Land Acquisition; Capt.
Perfecto Enrique Quilicot, AFP-RSBS Project Officer, Tanauan, Batangas, Land
Acquisition; and Notaries Public Alfredo Nasser and Manuel Satuito.

The matter was further looked into by a panel of Ombudsman


Investigators, which issued on March 30, 2001 a Joint Resolution finding
probable cause to file the corresponding Informations for 148 counts of violation
of Article 315, in relation to Article 171, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code,
and Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019 against Meinrado Bello and Atty. Manuel
Satuito. However, it was likewise recommended that the complaint against
petitioner be dismissed, without prejudice to a thorough fact-finding investigation
on his liability.

After conducting clarificatory hearings, the investigating panel issued a


Memorandum, recommending to the Ombudsman that petitioner be charged with
148 counts of estafa through falsification of public documents, and one count
violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019. The Ombudsman approved the
recommendation of the Panel of Prosecutors. Petitioner and his co-accused filed
their respective Motions for Reconsideration of the investigating panel‘s June 15,
2004 Memorandum.The Sandiganbayan denied the motion. It likewise denied the

203 | P a g e
motion for the consolidation of the cases, considering that the other cases filed
were pending in its other divisions.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the resolution which was


denied again by the Sandiganbayan. Motion to Quash was likewise denied.

Issue:

Whether or not only one information for estafa should be filed for all these
cases?

Held:

The petition has no merit.The Sandiganbayan, for its part, sustained the
contention of respondents and ruled that the determination of (a) the charge/s
and the person/s against whom the charge is filed are addressed to the sound
discretion of the Prosecutors based on the facts before them; and (b) the crimes
committed by petitioner are separate, and not a single crime consisting of series
of acts arising from a single criminal resolution.

When required to comment on the motion of petitioner and his co-


accused for a consolidation of the charges filed against them before the
Sandiganbayan, the Special Prosecutor objected thereto, insisting that there
were as many crimes committed by the accused as there were sales contracts
forged by them.

Indeed, the determination of what charges to file and who are to be


charged are matters addressed to the discretion of the Ombudsman, including
the matter of whether the crime perpetrated by petitioner and his co-accused
under the Informations pending in the Divisions of the Sandiganbayan constitute
delito continuado or classified as concurso de delitos; orinvolve separate crimes
under the category of concurso real delito involve factual issues. Such factual
issues should be resolved after trial on the merits, and not in this case. The Court
is being tasked to determine whether the several sales contracts executed by
petitioner and his co-accused were set afoot or triggered by a single impulse and
operated by an uninterrupted force however long a time it may occupy, which,
however, is a matter best left to the determination of the trial court, in this case,
the Sandiganbayan.

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Bernadette Remalla
2007-0392

Santiago v. Garchitorena (G.R. No. 109266)

Facts:

On May 1, 1991, petitioner was charged in Criminal Case No. 16698 of


the Sandiganbayan with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended,
otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, allegedly
committed by her favoring "unqualified" aliens with the benefits of the Alien
Legalization Program.

On May 24, 1991, petitioner filed with us a petition for certiorari and
prohibition, docketed as G.R. No. 99289-99290 (Santiago v. Vasquez, 205 SCRA
162 [1992]), to enjoin the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with Criminal Case
No. 16698 on the ground that said case was intended solely to harass her as she
was then a presidential candidate. The petition was dismissed on January 13,
1992.

On October 27, 1992, the Sandiganbayan (First Division), of which


Presiding Justice Garchitorena is a member, set the criminal case for
arraignment on November 13, 1992. The Sandiganbayan (First Division) denied
the motion to defer the arraignment. Petitioner filed a motion for a bill of
particulars. According to petitioner, unless she was furnished with the names and
identities of the aliens, she could not properly plead and prepare for trial.

On March 14, 1993, the Sandiganbayan (First Division) promulgated a


resolution, admitting the 32 Amended Informations and ordering petitioner to post
the corresponding bail bonds. Hence, the filing of the instant petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the 32 Amended Informations may be admitted?

Held:

The petition is denied.

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The Court find that, technically, there was only one crime that was
committed in petitioner's case, and hence, there should only be one information
to be file against her.The 32 Amended Informations charge what is known as
delito continuado or "continued crime" and sometimes referred to as "continuous
crime."

The original information charged petitioner with performing a single


criminal act - that of her approving the application for legalization of aliens not
qualified under the law to enjoy such privilege. The original information also
averred that the criminal act : (i) committed by petitioner was in violation of a law
- Executive Order No. 324 dated
April 13, 1988, (ii) caused an undue injury to one offended party, the
Government, and (iii) was done on a single day, i.e., on or about October 17,
1988. The 32 Amended Informations reproduced verbatim the allegation of the
original information, except that instead of the word "aliens" in the original
information each amended information states the name of the individual whose
stay was legalized.

The 32 Amended Informations aver that the offenses were committed on


the same period of time, i.e., on or about October 17, 1988. The strong
probability even exists that the approval of the application or the legalization of
the stay of the 32 aliens was done by a single stroke of the pen, as when the
approval was embodied in the same document. Likewise, the public prosecutors
manifested at the hearing the motion for a bill of particulars that the Government
suffered a single harm or injury.

The Resolution dated March 3, 1993 in Criminal Case No. 16698 of the
Sandiganbayan (First Division) is affirmed and its Resolution dated March 11,
1993 in Criminal Case No. 16698 is modified in the sense that the Office of the
Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman is directed to consolidate the
32 Amended Informations (Criminal Cases Nos. 18371 to 18402) into one
information charging only one offense under the original case number, i.e., No.
16698.

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Michelle Ricaza
2008-0040

Habitual Delinquency
People v. Espina (G.R. No. 43556)

Facts:

The appellant was charged in the lower court with the crime of theft of
articles valued at P 585.15 and, having pleaded guilty, was sentenced to six
months and one day of prision correccional and, being a habitual delinquent, to
an additional penalty of two years, four months and one day of prision
correccional. The appellant is a recidivist and plead guilty to the crime of theft. He
is also a habitual delinquent, this being his third conviction.

Issue:

Whether or not recidivism, as inherent in habitual delinquency, should still


be taken into consideration in fixing the principal penalty?

Decision:

Yes, recidivism should still be taken into consideration in fixing the


principal penalty even though it is inherent in habitual delinquency. The appellant
in this case is a habitual delinquent, this being his third conviction. Recidivism,
although inherent in habitual delinquency, should still be considered in fixing the
principal penalty. There is no doubt that the purpose of the law in imposing
additional penalty on a habitual delinquent is to punish him more severely.
However, the result would be otherwise if, for imposing the additional penalty,
recidivism could not be considered as an aggravating circumstance in fixing the
principal penalty. In the instant case, the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
plea of guilty is present. If the aggravating circumstance of recidivism is not to be
taken into consideration for imposing the additional penalty for habitual
delinquency, the mitigating circumstance would require that the penalty
prescribed by law be imposed in it minimum period. The imposition of the
additional penalty would make the penalty lighter, instead of more severe,
contrary to the purpose of the law.

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Michelle Ricaza
2008-0040

People v. De Jesus (G.R. No. 45198)

Facts:

Basilio de Jesus y Javier was convicted by the Court of First Instance of


Manila of the crime of theft of an umbrella and a buri hat valued at P 2.65
committed, according to the information, on April 28, 1936. He was therein
sentenced to one month and one day of arresto mayor with accessory penalties,
to indemnify Francis Liwanag the value of the umbrella which was not recovered,
and being a habitual delinquent, the additional penalty of two years, four months
and one day of prision correccional.

The accused plead guilty of the crime imputed to him in the information
filed against him. It was alleged in the information that he is a habitual delinquent,
having been convicted by final judgments of the crimes of theft and qualified theft
on January 4, 1933 and November 18, 1935 respectively, the date of his last
release being January 10, 1936.

Due to his admission of guilt of the crime imputed to him in the


information, it is well settled in this jurisdiction that when one pleads guilty of the
crime imputed to him in the information, it is understood that he admits all
material facts alleged therein, not excluding those alleging his former convictions
of other crimes.

Issue:

Whether or not the circumstance of recidivism can be and must be twice


taken into consideration, first as an aggravating circumstance, and second as a
qualifying circumstance or one inherent in habitual delinquency?

Decision:

Yes, recidivism can be considered as an aggravating circumstance in


determining the principal penalty and as a qualifying circumstance in habitual
delinquency.
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As to the principal penalty, there is the rule that in cases in which the
penalty prescribed by law contains three periods, the courts must take into
consideration, in the application of said penalty, the aggravating or mitigating
circumstances established at the trial if they do not appear to be compensated by
other circumstance. It is reiterated in People vs. Melendrez that the aggravating
circumstance of recidivism, even in cases of habitual delinquency, should be
taken into consideration in the application of the principal penalty in the
corresponding period.

The proposition that if recidivism is considered an inherent or qualifying


circumstance of habitual delinquency it should not be taken into account in the
imposition of the principal penalty, seems to be untenable because it is based
upon the erroneous assumption that habitual delinquency is a crime. It is simply
a fact or circumstance which, if present in a given case, gives rise to the
imposition of the additional penalties prescribed therein.

As to the additional penalty, if we must rely upon the spirit and letter of the
law, we would say that the purpose of the latter in establishing it was to prevent
those for the second time or more commit the crimes from relapsing thereafter at
least during the period fixed thereby. The lower court correctly ruled in imposing
the additional penalty.

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Ranvylle Albano
2008-0052

Arts. 89-93: Total Extinction of Criminal Liability


Death of the Accused
De Guzman v. People (G.R. No. 154579)

Facts:
On February 8, 1995, in the City of Makati, petitioner De Guzman, stole
several pieces of jewelry valued at P4,600,000.00 belonging to one Jasmine
Gongora.The trial court rendered its decision finding de Guzman guilty beyond
reasonable doubt and imposed a penalty of imprisonment, as well as the
penalties accessory thereto. The Court further finds the accused De Guzman
civilly liable and orders her to pay the private offended party. On appeal, the CA
affirmed the conviction but reduced the award of damages. During the appeal in
the Supreme Court, on January 30, 2003, counsel for the petitioner filed a
Manifestation informing the Court that the petitioner passed away on January 13,
2003.The death of the petitioner resulted from a vehicular accident, as indicated
in the Certificate of Death attached thereto.

Issue:
Whether or not the criminal and civil liability of the petitioner is
extinguished by reason of her death?

Decision:
Upon death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal
action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the
accused; the civil action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is
ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal.Although both the trial
and the appellate courts found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt, she
had the right to appeal her case to this Court of last resort and challenge the
findings of the two courts below. The judgment of conviction was pending review
until her untimely demise. It has, therefore, not yet attained finality. Thus,
pursuant to Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, it is incumbent upon the Court
to dismiss the instant petition for review. The Court is dismissing the case
because there is no longer a need to continue with the review of the appeal. The
lower court‘s decision has thus become ineffectual.

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Ranvylle Albano
2008-0052

People v. Bayotas (G.R. No. 102007)

Facts:

In Criminal Case No. C-3217 filed before Branch 16, RTC Roxas City,
Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova was charged with Rape and eventually convicted
thereof on June 19, 1991.

Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 at the


National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest secondary to hepatic
encephalopathy secondary to hipato carcinoma gastric malingering.

Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution of May 20, 1992


dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor
General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil liability arising from his
commission of the offense charged.

In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of
accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his
commission of the offense charged.

Issue:

Whether or not the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction
extinguish his civil liability?

Decision:

Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his


criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by
Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment
terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and
based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso
strictiore."

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Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of
accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than
delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of
obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or
omission:
a) Law
b) Contracts
c) Quasi-contracts
d) . . .
e) Quasi-delicts

Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action


for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil
action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against
the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source
of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above.

Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file
this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of
the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted
together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the
civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case,
conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby
avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription.

Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of
appellant Bayotas extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based
solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby
dismissed without qualification.

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Ranvylle Albano
2008-0052

People v. Abungan (G.R. No. 136843)

Facts:

On August 4, 1992, at Capulaan, Villasis, Pangasinan, the accused


conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, armed with long
firearms, attack, assault and shoot Camilo Dirilo, [Sr.] y Pajarito, inflicting upon
him wounds on the different parts of his body which directly caused his death.

An Information, dated March 9, 1993, was filed charging appellant Pedro


Abungan, together with Randy Pascua and Ernesto Ragonton Jr. (both at large),
with murder.

The trial court rendered a decision finding Abungan guilty beyond


reasonable doubt of the crime of murder.

During appeal, in a letter dated August 7, 2000, however, Joselito A.


Fajardo, assistant director of the Bureau of Corrections, informed the Court that
Appellant Abungan had died on July 19, 2000 at the NBP Hospital.

Issue:

Whether or not the criminal and civil liability of the appellant is


extinguished by reason of her death?

Decision:

In the present case, it is clear that, following the case of People


vs.Bayotas, the death of appellant extinguished his criminal liability. Moreover,
because he died during the pendency of the appeal and before the finality of the
judgment against him, his civil liability arising from the crime or delict (civil
liability ex delicto) was also extinguished. It must be added, though, that his civil
liability may be based on sources of obligation other than delict. For this reason,
the victims may file a separate civil action against his estate, as may be
warranted by law and procedural rules.
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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz
2007-0388

Prescription of Offenses
Panaguiton v. DOJ (G.R. No. 167571)

Facts:

Cawili and his business associate Tongson borrowed from Panaguiton


(petitioner) sums amounting to 1,979,459. They issued checks signed by both of
them to Panaguiton but these were dishonored upon presentation.Panaguiton
made demands to pay but to no avail. He formally filed a complaint on August 24,
1995 for violating BP 22 before the City Prosecutor‘s Office.

Tongson moved to drop his name from the case as his signatures were
allegedly falsified. Case against him was dismissed but afterwards upon finding
that Tongson might have indeed signed the checks, the chief state prosecutor
directed the city prosecutor to conduct a reinvestigation.Tongson moved for
reconsideration but denied.

In 1999 assistant prosecutor dismissed the complaint for the action has
prescribed pursuant to Act 3326, which provides for the prescriptive periods of
statutes without their own (4 years for BP22). She claims that the filing of the
complaint on August 24, 1995 did not interrupt the running of the period as the law
refers to judicial and not administrative proceedings.

Issue:

Whether or not the filing of the complaint in the prosecutor‘s office tolled
the prescriptive period?

Decision:

Yes. Filing of the complaint in the prosecutor‘s office tolls the prescriptive
period for violations of BP22.When Act 3326 was passed into law, preliminary
investigation of cases was done by the justices of peace, and not by agents of the
executive department (i.e. prosecutors). Thus, the prevailing rule at that time is

214 | P a g e
that prescription is tolled once filed with the justice of peace (a judicial process).
However, since then, the conduction of a preliminary investigation was moved to
the function of the executive department.

Today, the term proceedings must be understood to mean either


executive or judicial proceedings. With this interpretation, any type of
investigation may ultimately lead to sufficiently toll prescription.

To rule otherwise would deprive the injured party the right to obtain
vindication on account of delays not under his control. As seen in this case,
various conflicting opinions of the DOJ delayed his cause. Aggrieved parties who
do not sleep on their right should not be allowed to suffer simply because of
circumstances beyond their control.

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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz
2007-0388

Recebido v. People (346 SCRA 881)

Facts:

Sometime in April 1985, Caridad Dorol mortgaged her property--an


agricultural land located in Bacon, Sorsogon to her cousin Recebido.Dorol and
Recebido did not execute any mortgage document, but instead, the former gave
to the latter a copy of the Deed of Sale dated June 16, 1973 which was done by
Juan Dorol (father of Caridad).

On September 9, 1990, Caridad Dorol went to the house of Recebido to


redeem such property, wherein Recebido refused to allow claiming that Dorol
has already sold to him the land on 1979. Dorol, on the other hand, insisted that
the transaction between them was not a sale, but a mere mortgage.

Caridad Dorol, then, went to the Office of the Assessor in Sorsogon and
verified the existence of a file Deed of Sale dated August 13, 1979 in which she
knew that the property was already registered in Recebido‘s name.A comparison
of the specimen signatures of Caridad‘s other documents and that in the
questioned Deed of Sale was done, and NBI Document Examiner Antonio
Magbojas found out that in the latter‘s signature was falsified.

The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Sorsogon filed the information


indicting Recebido for Falsification of Public Document with the Regional Trial
Court of Sorsogon.

The trial court rendered the decision convicting the petitioner of the crime and
sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of one (1) year to three (3) years and six
(6) months of prision correccional as maximum and to pay a fine of Three
Thousand (P3,000.00) Pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment.

The defense of prescription was raised only during the motion for
reconsideration of the Court of Appeals.

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Issue:

Whether or not the crime charged had already prescribed at the time the
information was filed?

Decision:
No. Prescription, although not invoked in the trial, may, as in this case, be
invoked on appeal. Hence, the failure to raise this defense in the motion to quash
the information does not give rise to the waiver of the petitioner-accused to raise
the same anytime thereafter including during appeal.

Nonetheless, we hold that the crime charged has not prescribed. The
petitioner is correct in stating that whether or not the offense charged has already
prescribed when the information was filed would depend on the penalty imposable
therefore, which in this case is ―prision correccional in its medium and maximum
periods and a fine of not more than 5,000.00 pesos.‖

Under the Revised Penal Code, said penalty is a correctional penalty in the
same way that the fine imposed is categorized as correctional. Both the penalty
and fine being correctional, the offense shall prescribe in ten years. The issue that
the petitioner has missed, however, is the reckoning point of the prescriptive
period. The petitioner is of the impression that the ten-year prescriptive period
necessarily started at the time the crime was committed. This is inaccurate.
Under Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code, the period of prescription shall
―commence to run from the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended
party, the authorities, or their agents.

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Brian Bonifacio Dela Cruz
2007-0388

Caniza v. People (159 SCRA 16)

Facts:

OnMarch 20, 1974, Assistant City Fiscal of Manila filedan Information


for falsification of public documentsallegedly committed on Nov. 5, 1968 by
Caniza.

On May 24, 1974, Caniza filed Motion to Quash sayingthat allegations in


the information did not constitute an offense, and that the information contained
averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification.TheTrial
court granted Motion to Quash, dismissed case against Caniza. Fiscal‘s Motion
for Reconsideration of this Order was denied.

On June 13, 1979, a second Informationwas filed charging Caniza


with substantially the same offense as that charged under the previous
information.Caniza moved to quash this second information on the grounds that
1) the offense charged had already prescribed, 2)quashal of the first Information
had been on the merits, 3)the allegations of the second Information did not
constitute and offense.

The judge issued an order denying the motion to quash. He also


denied Caniza‘s motion for reconsideration.

Issue:

Whether or not the offense charged had already prescribed?

Decision:

No. 5 years, 4 months, and 16 days had elapsed between November 5,


1968 (the date of commission of the alleged offense) and March 20, 1974 (date
of filing the first information); 4 years, 2 months and 12days had elapsed
between April 3, 1975 (date of denial by the trial court of the Fiscal‘s motion for
reconsideration) and June 13, 1979 (date of filing of the second information). A
218 | P a g e
total of 9 years, 6 months and 28 days had been consumed by the time the
second Information was filed in court.

Under Article 90, in relation with Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code,
the crime of falsification of public document committed by a private individual -
the offense with which petitioner Cañiza is presently charged - prescribes in ten
(10) years. In this respect, Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code states further:
―Theperiod of prescription shall commence to run fromthe day on which the
crime is discovered by theoffended party, the authorities, or their agents,
andshall be interrupted by the filing of the complaint orinformation, andshall
commence to run again when such proceedings terminate without the accused
being convicted or acquitted,or are justifiably stopped for any reason not
imputable to him.‖

219 | P a g e
Alvin Ocampo
2011-0386

Amnesty
People v. Patriarcha (G.R. No. 135457)

Facts:

On August 16, 1990, an Information for murder was filed


against Jose Patriarca, Jr., alias "Ka Django," "Carlos Narra", "Ka
Jessie," et al., for killing Alfredo Arevalo.

Accused-appellant Jose Patriarca, Jr. was also charged with


Murder for the killing of one Rudy de Borja and a certain Elmer
Cadag under Informations docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 2665
and 2672, respectively.

On January 20, 1998, the lower court rendered its decision


convicting the herein accused-appellant.

Thus, Accused-Appellant filed his appeal. However, while his


appeal was pending, he applied for amnesty under Proclamation
No. 724 amending Proclamation No. 347, dated March 25, 1994,
entitled "Granting Amnesty to Rebels, Insurgents, and All Other
Persons Who Have or May Have Committed Crimes Against Public
Order, Other Crimes Committed in Furtherance of Political Ends,
and Violations of the Article of War, and Creating a National
Amnesty Commission." His application was favorably granted by
the National Amnesty Board.

After a careful verification and evaluation on the claims of


the applicant, the Local Amnesty Board concluded that his activities
were done in the pursuit of his political beliefs. It, thus,
recommended on 20 May 1998 the grant of his application for
amnesty.

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The Commission, in its deliberation on the application on 22
October 1999, resolved to approve the recommendation of the
Local Amnesty Board.

The Office of the Solicitor General, in its letter dated June


23, 2000 to the National Amnesty Commission, requested
information as to whether or not a motion for reconsideration was
filed by any party, and the action, if there was any, taken by the
NAC.
In his reply dated June 28, 2000, NAC Chairman Tadiar
wrote, among other things, that there has been no motion for
reconsideration filed by any party.

Accused-appellant Jose N. Patriarca, Jr. was granted


amnesty under Proclamation No. 724 on May 17, 1996.

Issue:

Whether or not the grant of amnesty in favor of Jose


Patriarca, Jr. - while the various criminal cases filed against him
were pending - shall completely extinguished his criminal liability?

Decision:

Amnesty commonly denotes a general pardon to rebels for


their treason or other high political offenses, or the forgiveness
which one sovereign grant to the subjects of another, who have
offended, by some breach, the law of nations. Amnesty looks
backward, and abolishes and puts into oblivion, the offense itself; it
so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged,
that the person released by amnesty stands before the law
precisely as though he had committed no offense.

Paragraph 3 of Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code


provides that criminal liability is totally extinguished by amnesty,
which completely extinguishes the penalty and all its effects.

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In the case of People vs. Casido, the difference between
pardon and amnesty is given:

"Pardon is granted by the Chief Executive and as such it is a


private act which must be pleaded and proved by the person
pardoned, because the courts take no notice thereof; while
amnesty by Proclamation of the Chief Executive with the
concurrence of Congress, is a public act of which the courts should
take judicial notice. Pardon is granted to one after conviction; while
amnesty is granted to classes of persons or communities who may
be guilty of political offenses, generally before or after the institution
of the criminal prosecution and sometimes after conviction. Pardon
looks forward and relieves the offender from the consequences of
an offense of which he has been convicted, that is, it abolishes or
forgives the punishment, and for that reason it does 'not work the
restoration of the rights to hold public office, or the right of suffrage,
unless such rights be expressly restored by the terms of the
pardon,' and it 'in no case exempts the culprit from the payment of
the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence' (Article 36,
Revised Penal Code). While amnesty looks backward and
abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks
and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person
released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he
had committed no offense."

This Court takes judicial notice of the grant of amnesty upon


accused-appellant Jose N. Patriarca, Jr. Once granted, it is binding
and effective. It serves to put an end to the appeal.

222 | P a g e
Renato Segubinese
2006-0040

Arts. 100-103: Civil Liability


Nuguid v. Nicdao (G.R. No. 150785)

Facts:

Accused Clarita S. Nicdao is charged with having committed the crime of


Violation of BP 22 in fourteen (14) counts. The criminal complaints allege that
sometime in 1996, from April to August thereof, [respondent] and her husband [,]
of Vignette Superstore [,] approached [petitioner] and asked her if they [could]
borrow money to settle some obligations. Having been convinced by them and
because of the close relationship of [respondent] to [petitioner], the latter lent the
former her money. Thus, every month, she was persuaded to release
P100,000.00 to the accused until the total amount reached P1,150,000.00.

As security for the P1,150,000.00, [respondent] gave [petitioner a open


dated Hermosa Savings Bank (HSLB) with the assurance that if the entire
amount is not paid within one (1) year, [petitioner] can deposit the check.

In June 1997, [petitioner] together with Samson Ching demanded payment


of the sums [above-mentioned], but [respondent] refused to acknowledge the
indebtedness. Thus, on October 6, 1977, [petitioner] deposited all
aforementioned checks in the bank of Samson Ching totaling P1,150,000.00
since all the money given by her to [respondent] came from Samson Ching. The
checks were all returned for having been drawn against insufficient funds (DAIF).
A verbal and written demand was made upon [respondent] to pay the amount
represented by the bounced checks, but [to] no avail. Hence, a complaint for
violation of BP 22 was filed against the [respondent].

Issue:

Whether respondent remains civilly liable to her for the sum ofP1,150,000.
In this connection, she asserts that respondent obtained loans from her in the
aggregate amount ofP1,150,000 and that these loans have not been paid?

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Decision:

From the standpoint of its effects, a crime has a dual character: (1) as an
offense against the State because of the disturbance of the social order and (2)
as an offense against the private person injured by the crime unless it involves
the crime of treason, rebellion, espionage, contempt and others (wherein no civil
liability arises on the part of the offender either because there are no damages to
be compensated or there is no private person injured by the crime). What gives
rise to the civil liability is really the obligation of everyone to repair or to make
whole the damage caused to another by reason of his act or omission, whether
done intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable by law.

Extinction of penal action does not carry with it the eradication of civil
liability, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in the final judgment
that the fact from which the civil liability might arise did not exist.

The basic principle in civil liability ex delicto is that every person criminally
liable is also civilly liable, crime being one of the five sources of obligations under
the Civil Code. A person acquitted of a criminal charge, however, is not
necessarily civilly free because the quantum of proof required in criminal
prosecution (proof beyond reasonable doubt) is greater than that required for civil
liability (mere preponderance of evidence). In order to be completely free from
civil liability, a person's acquittal must be based on the fact that he did not commit
the offense. If the acquittal is based merely on reasonable doubt, the accused
may still be held civilly liable since this does not mean he did not commit the act
complained of. It may only be that the facts proved did not constitute the offense
charged.

Acquittal will not bar a civil action in the following cases: (1) where the
acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is
required in civil cases; (2) where the court declared the accused's liability is not
criminal but only civil in nature and (3) where the civil liability does not arise from
or is not based upon the criminal act of which the accused was acquitted.

In this petition, we find no reason to ascribe any civil liability to


respondent. As found by the CA, her supposed civil liability had already been
fully satisfied and extinguished by payment. The statements of the appellate

224 | P a g e
court leave no doubt that respondent, who was acquitted from the charges
against her, had already been completely relieved of civil liability.

Likewise, [petitioner] admitted having received the cash payments from


petitioner on a daily basis but argues that the same were applied to interest
payments only. It however appears that [petitioner] was charging [respondent]
with an exorbitant rate of interest on a daily basis. In any event, the cash
payments [made] were recorded at the back of the cigarette cartons by
[petitioner] in her own handwriting as testified to by [respondent] and her
employees, Melanie Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao. Indeed, the daily cash
payments marked in evidence as Exhibits 7 to 15 reveal that [respondent] had
already paid her obligation to [petitioner] in the amount of P5,780,000.00 as of
July 21, 1997 and that she stopped making further payments when she realized
that she had already paid such amount.

From the foregoing, it would appear that [respondent] made a total


payment of P6,980,000.00, inclusive of the P1,200,000.00 Demand Draft, which
is definitely much more than P1,150,000.00, the amount she actually borrowed
from [petitioner]. These facts were never rebutted by [petitioner].

Moreover, we find no evidence was presented by the prosecution to prove


that there was a stipulation in writing that interest will be paid by [respondent] on
her loan obligations [as required under Article 1956 of the Civil Code].

By and large, the obligation of [respondent] has already been extinguished


long before the encashment of the subject checks. A check is said to apply for
account only when there is still a pre-existing obligation. In the case at bench, the
pre-existing obligation was extinguished after full payment was made by
[respondent]. We therefore find the clear and convincing documentary evidence
of payment presented by [respondent] worthy of credence.

225 | P a g e
Eddie Tamondong
2009-0178

Subsidiary Civil Liability of Other Persons


Nueva Espana v. People (460 SCRA 547)

Facts:

Petitioner Nueva Espana was found guilty of reckless imprudence resulting


into double homicide when the passenger bus he was driving rammed into a
Honda motorcycle driven by Reynard So with Nilo Castro as passenger resulting
into the death of both. An aggravating circumstance was also imposed as
Espana also left the scene of the crime without lending assistance to the victims.

During trial, the father of So and the mother of Castro were both called on to
testify as to the earning capacity of the two. So‘s father claimed that his son was
earning P80,000 a month while Castro‘s mother said that his son was bringing in
P8,000 a month. So‘s father additionally testified that the funeral expenses
incurred by them was P87,000 while Castro‘s mom stated that they spent
P30,000 for the funeral.

As a result the trial court, besides imprisonment, awarded the following


amounts to the heirs of the victims:

 TO THE HEIRS OF THE VICTIM REYNARD SO


 1) P2,997,000.00 – indemnity for loss of earning capacity of victim
 2) 14,200.00 – for expenses of the wake
 3) 20,000.00 – for funeral parlor
 4) 12,000.00 – for the tomb
 5) 53,000.00 – for cost of burial site
 6) 30,000.00 – for attorney‘s fees
 7) 200,000.00 – for moral damages
 8) 100,000.00 – for exemplary damages
 P3,429,200.00 – TOTAL AMOUNT

 TO THE HEIRS OF VICTIM NILO CASTRO


 1) P1,728,000.00 – indemnity for loss of earning capacity
 2) 20,000.00 – for funeral expenses
 3) 200,000.00 – for moral damages
 4) 50,000.00 – for exemplary damages
 P1,998,000.00 – TOTAL AMOUNT

The court based the amount of loss of earning capacity based on the
formula used by the Supreme Court as illustrated:

As to the civil liability, particularly the indemnity for the loss of the earning
capacity of the victims, the formula last enunciated by the Supreme Court is:

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―Net earning capacity (x) = life expectancy x gross-living
expenses annual (50% of
gross annual
income)‖

Thusly, since the victim Reynard So was earning P80,000 a month at the
time of his death when he was thirty (30) years old, his lost earning capacity
should be computed as follows:

x = 2 (80 ― 30) x [P960,000.00 ― P480,000.00)


3
x = 33.4 x P480,000.00
x= x P16,032,000.00

With respect to the victim Nilo Castro, he was earning P8,000.00 a month
when he died at the age of twenty-six (26). His lost earnings were:

x = 2 (80 ― 26) [P96,000.00 ― P48,000.00]


3

x = 36 x P48,000.00

x = P1,728,000.00

As a result, petitioner appeals to the CA but the appellate court affirmed the
decision of the trial court regarding the damages, Consequently, the CA declared
that Vallacar Transit Inc., should not yet be held subsidiary liable for the liability
of the petitioner as its driver. Thus, this petition for review with the SC.

Issue:

Was the award of damages amounting to P8 million proper?

Decision:

The SC modifies the award of damages mostly to the fact that loss of
earning capacity should be properly adduced and supported by competent
evidence to prove the same. This rule also applies to the funeral and burial
expenses. In the case at bar, the lower courts based their award for damages
solely on the testimony of SO‘s father and Castro‘s mother, even though both of
them never substantiated the amounts claimed with receipts, papers and other
evidence. And so the award is modified as follows:

To summarize, the heirs of the deceased Reynard So are entitled to the following:

P 50,000 — civil indemnity ex delicto


73,000 — actual damages
25,000 — temperate damages
50,000 — moral damages
25,000 — exemplary damages

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30,000 — attorney‘s fees
P 253,000 — TOTAL

The heirs of Nilo Castro are also entitled to the following:

P 50,000 — civil indemnity ex delicto


50,000 — temperate damages
50,000 — moral damages
25,000 — exemplary damages
30,000 — attorney‘s fees
P 205,000 — TOTAL

The SC meanwhile adopts the pronouncement of the Court of Appeals


regarding the subsidiary liability of petitioner‘s employer, Vallacar Transit Inc.,
under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. An employer may be subsidiarily
liable for the employee‘s civil liability in the criminal action if it can be shown that:
(1) the employer is engaged in any kind of industry; (2) the employee committed
the offense in the discharge of his duties and (3) the accused is insolvent.
However, subject to prevailing jurisprudence, the subsidiary liability may be
enforced only upon a motion for subsidiary writ of execution against Vallacar
Transit, Inc. and upon proof that petitioner is insolvent.

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Eddie Tamondong
2009-0178

Pangonorom v. People (455 SCRA 211)

Facts:

Pangonorom was the driver of a passenger bus owned and operated by


MMTC which collided with a Gemini Isuzu car driven by Carlos Berba, resulting
into the damage of the car and physical injuries obtained by Berba.

Pangonorom was found guilty of reckless imprudence resulting into


damage to property and physical injuries.

The trial court awarded damages amounting to P42,000 but was silent as
to the subsidiary liability of MMTC. Consequently, the CA affirmed the decision of
the trial court and also found MMTC subsidiary liable for the amount
notwithstanding the fact that the judgment of the trial court was silent as to said
matter.

Issue:

Did the CA err in not holding MMTC not subsidiary liable despite the fact
that the RTC did not mention anything to that effect?

Decision:

The SC ruled that even when the dispositive portion of an RTC decision
does not expressly pronounce subsidiary liability of the employer, they are
deemed written into the judgment whenever applicable.

But, he subsidiary liability of the employer arises only after conviction of


the employee in the criminal action. In the present case, there exists an
employer-employee relationship between petitioners, the MMTC is engaged in
the transportation industry, and Olimpio has been adjudged guilty of a wrongful
act and found to have committed the offense in the discharge of his duties.
However, there is no proof here of Olimpio‘s insolvency. The judgment of
conviction against Olimpio has not attained finality. This being so, no writ of

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execution can issue against him to satisfy his civil liability. Only after proof of the
accused-employee‘s insolvency may the subsidiary liability of his employer be
enforced.

In short, there is as yet no occasion to speak of enforcing the employer‘s


subsidiary civil liability unless it appears that the accused-employee‘s primary
liability cannot in the first instance be satisfied because of insolvency. This fact
cannot be known until sometime after the verdict of conviction shall have become
final. And even if it appears prima facie that execution against the employee
cannot be satisfied, execution against the employer will not issue as a matter of
course. The procedure for the enforcement of a judgment will have to be
followed. Once the judgment of conviction against Olimpio becomes final and
executory, and after the writ of execution issued against him is returned
unsatisfied because of his insolvency, only then can a subsidiary writ of
execution be issued against the MMTC after a hearing set for that precise
purpose. It is still too early to hold the MMTC subsidiarily liable with its accused-
employee considering that there is no proof yet of Olimpio‘s insolvency.

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Eddie Tamondong
2009-0178

Quinto v. Andres (453 SCRA 511)

Facts:

Petitioner Quinto is the mother of an 11-year old boy named Wilson who
died while going inside a drainage with the respondents Andres and Pacheco,
who were also of the same age.

What was clear according to a witness who was a friend of the victim was
that the three of them (Wilson and the respondents) went inside the drainage
filled with water. First to emerge was Pacheco who immediately went home, and
then next to come out was Andres who was already carrying the dead body of
Wilson.

After being charged with homicide, the trial court the respondents not
guilty and also found the same not civilly liable because of the absence of
preponderance of evidence to prove liability. QUinto appealed the civil aspect of
the decision which the CA affirmed.

Issue:

Petitioner comes to the Court and raises the following issues: 1) Does
extinction of criminal liability carry with it extinction of the civil liability; and 2)
was the prosecution able to establish preponderance of evidence.

Decision:

The civil action based on delict is not extinguished unless the court itself
finds that civil liability did not arise. In the case at bar, the trial court was very
clear that the prosecution was not able to establish a preponderance of evidence
to find the respondents liable.

As to whether preponderance of evidence should have been considered,


the trial court and the CA was correct in their findings. Preponderance of
evidence should not be based on the fact that the evidence of the defense is

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weaker. The evidence presented must be strong enough to SUFFICIENTLY
SUSTAIN THE CAUSE OF ACTION.

In the case at bar, the prosecution single prosecution witness testified that
the hematomas on the alleged victim may have been caused by either hitting
with a blunt object or slipping and falling on the hard pavement.

Even the friend of the deceased testified that the drainage was so dark
and this was the reason that he did not come with the other boys inside.

And so, the possibility of slippage by Wilson was very much a possibility.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman
2010-0204

Probation Law (P.D. No. 968)

Francisco v. CA (G.R. No. 108747)

Facts:

Petitioner, as President and General Manager of the company, humiliated


his employees and blurted out invectives against the latter. He was charged with
multip[le grave oral defamation by 5 of his employees who were allegedly the
recipient of the said invectives.

He was found guilty of oral defamation in 4 out of 5 cases filed against


him. Petitioner elevated the judgment from the MeTC to the RTC; however, the
latter affirmed his conviction, with modification, accrediting to him the mitigating
circumstance of passion or obfuscation. His appeal to the CA was to no avail
also.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is still qualified to avail of probation?

Decision: NO

Probation is a mere privilege, not a right. Its benefits cannot extend to


those not expressly included. Probation is not a right of an accused, but rather an
act of grace and clemency or immunity conferred by the state which may be
granted by the court to a seemingly deserving defendant who thereby escapes
the extreme rigors of the penalty imposed by law for the offense of which he
stands convicted.

The Probation Law should not therefore be permitted to divest the state or
its government of any of the latter's prerogatives, rights or remedies, unless the
intention of the legislature to this end is clearly expressed, and no person should
benefit from the terms of the law who is not clearly within them.

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That an appeal should not bar the accused from applying for probation if
the appeal is taken solely to reduce the penalty is simply contrary to the clear
and express mandate of Sec, 4 of P.D. No. 603, which states that no application
for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction.

The penalties imposed by the MeTC were already probationable. Hence,


there was no need to appeal if only to reduce the penalties to within the
probationable period.

The multiple prison terms are distinct from each other, and if none of the
terms exceeds the limit set out in the P.D. No. 603, then he is entitled to
probation, unless he is otherwise specifically disqualified.

Fixing the cut-off point at a maximum term of six (6) years imprisonment
for probation is based on the assumption that those sentenced to higher
penalties pose too great a risk to society, not just because of their demonstrated
capability for serious wrong doing but because of the gravity and serious
consequences of the offense they might further commit.

Considering that the multiple prison terms should not be summed up but
taken separately as the totality of all the penalties is not the test, petitioner should
have immediately filed an application for probation as he was already qualified
after being convicted by the MeTC, if indeed thereafter he felt humbled, was
ready to unconditionally accept the verdict of the court and admit his liability.
Consequently, in appealing the Decision of the MeTC to the RTC, petitioner lost
his right to probation. For, plainly, the law considers appeal and probation
mutually exclusive remedies.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman
2010-0204

Lagrosa v. People (G.R. No. 152044)

Facts:

Petitioners were found guilty by the RTC, of violation with Sec. 68 of P.D.
No. 705, for having found in possession of forest products without permit. They
appealed the decision to the CA, but it affirmed their conviction, with
modifications as to the penalty imposed by the lower court; from 2-8 years to 6
months to 1 year.

Petitioners applied for probation but was denied by the trial court, and
subsequently affirmed by the CA.

Issues:

Whether or not petitioner can still apply for probation?NO

Whether or not Fransisco v. CA applies in this case?YES

Decision:

The fact that petitioners put the merits of their conviction in issue on
appeal belies their claim that their appeal was prompted by what was admittedly
an incorrect penalty. Certainly, the protestations of petitioners connote a
profession of guiltlessness, if not complete innocence, and do not simply assail
the propriety of the penalties imposed.

For sure, petitioners never manifested that they were appealing only for
the purpose of correcting a wrong penalty – to reduce it to within probationable
range. Hence, upon interposing an appeal, more so after asserting their
innocence therein, petitioners should be precluded from seeking probation.

By perfecting their appeal, petitioners ipso facto relinquished the


alternative remedy of availing of the Probation Law, the purpose of which is
simply to prevent speculation or opportunism on the part of an accused who,

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although already eligible, does not at once apply for probation, but did so only
after failing in his appeal.

Although it has been suggested that an appeal should not bar the accused
from applying for probation if the appeal is solely to reduce the penalty to within
the probationable limit may be equitable, we are not yet prepared to accept this
proposition, especially given the factual circumstances of this case. Had the
petitioners‘ appeal from the decision of the trial court raised the impropriety of the
penalty imposed upon them as the sole issue, perhaps this Court would have
been more sympathetic to their plight. Unfortunately, their misrepresentation has
led to their own undoing.

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Miguel Paolo Soliman
2010-0204

Vicoy v. People (G.R. No. 138203)

Facts:

Petitioner was convicted for violation of an ordinance against peddling fish


outside of market, as well as for the crime of resisting and disobeying an agent of
a person in authority.

Petitioner filed an application for probation, but subsequently withdrew it


and filed a notice of appeal. MTCC granted the withdrawal of application for
probation butdenied her notice appeal for being filed out of time.The court
ordered petitioner to furnish the City Prosecutor‘s Office a copy of her
memorandum and the assailed judgement of conviction. Petitioner failed to do
so, and the court dismissed her special civil action for certiorari.

Issue:

Whether or not the RTC erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari on
ground of petitioner‘s failure to comply with the earlier Order of the same court?

Decision: NO

The fact that the City Prosecutor‘s Office has not yet entered its
appearance is no justification to petitioner‘s adamant and continued insistence
not to comply with a lawful order of the court. Every court has the power to
enforce and compel obedience to its orders, judgments, and processes in all
proceedings pending before it.

Section 7, Rule 120, of the Rules on Criminal Procedure is explicit that a


judgment in a criminal case becomes final when the accused has applied for
probation. This is totally in accord with Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 968,
which in part provides that the filing of an application for probation is deemed a
waiver of the right to appeal. Thus, there was no more opportunity for petitioner
to exercise her right to appeal, the judgment having become final by the filing of
an application for probation.

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Maria Criselda Fojas
2010-0226

Anti-Fencing Law (P.D. No. 1612)


Francisco v. People (434 SCRA 122)

Facts:

Pacita Linghon was the helper of Jovita Rodriguez. Pacita, through her
brother Macarion, sold to petitioner Ernesto Linghon several pieces of jewelry
stolen from Rodriguez. The Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 22,
found petitioner Ernesto Francisco guilty of violating Presidential Decree No.
1612, otherwise known as the Anti-Fencing Law, sentencing him to suffer the
penalty of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor maximum, as
minimum, to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal maximum, as maximum,
with the accessory penalties corresponding to the latter, and to pay the
corresponding value of the subject pieces of jewelry. The petitioner asserts that
the prosecution failed to prove his guilt for the crime charged beyond reasonable
doubt. He avers that the prosecution failed to prove that Pacita stole the jewelry
subject of the charge, and that Macario sold the said pieces of jewelry to him.

Issue:

Whether the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the trial court‘s decision
finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of the (sic)
Presidential Decree No. 1612, otherwise known as the Anti-Fencing Law?

Decision:

The essential elements of the crime of fencing are as follows: (1) a crime
of robbery or theft has been committed; (2) the accused, who is not a principal or
accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives,
possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in
any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which has
been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; (3) the accused
knew or should have shown that the said article, item, object or anything of value
has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and, (4)
there is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another.

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Macario Linghon testified that he sold the jewelry to petitioner. ―Although the well-
entrenched rule is that the testimony of a single witness is sufficient on which to
anchor a judgment of conviction, it is required that such testimony must be
credible and reliable. In this case, we find the testimony of Macario to be
dubious; hence, barren of probative weight.‖ The Court further held ―It bears
stressing that, in the absence of direct evidence that the accused had knowledge
that the jewelry was stolen, the prosecution is burdened to prove facts and
circumstances from which it can be concluded that the accused should have
known that the property sold to him were stolen. This requirement serves two
basic purposes: (a) to prove one of the elements of the crime of fencing; and, (b)
to enable the trial court to determine the imposable penalty for the crime, since
the penalty depends on the value of the property.‖

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Maria Criselda Fojas
2010-0226

Tan v. People (313 SCRA 220)

Facts:

Rosita Lim is the proprietor of Bueno Metal Industries; upon inventory, she
found that several pieces of equiptment were missing. Manuelito Mendez was a
former employee of Lim, who left her employment before Lim found out that her
goods were missing. Subsequently, Manuelito Mendez was arrested in the
Visayas and he admitted that he and his companion Gaudencio Dayop stole from
the complainants warehouse some boat spare parts such as bronze and
stainless propellers and brass screws. Manuelito Mendez asked for
complainant‘s forgiveness. He pointed to petitioner Ramon C. Tan as the one
who bought the stolen items and who paid the amount of P13,000.00, in cash to
Mendez and Dayop, and they split the amount with one another. Tan was found
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating the Anti-Fencing Law of 1979,
otherwise known as Presidential Decree No. 1612, and sentences him to suffer
the penalty of imprisonment of SIX (6) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY to TEN (10)
YEARS of prision mayor and to indemnify Rosita Lim the value of the stolen
merchandise purchased by him in the sum of P18,000.00.

Issue:

Whether or not the prosecution has successfully established the elements


of fencing as against petitioner?

Decision:

Fencing, as defined in Section 2 of P.D. No. 1612 is the act of any person
who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess,
keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner
deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be
known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or
theft. The essential elements of the crime of fencing are as follows: (1) a crime of
robbery or theft has been committed; (2) the accused, who is not a principal or
accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives,
possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in

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any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value, which has
been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; (3) the accused
knew or should have shown that the said article, item, object or anything of value
has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and, (4)
there is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for another. The
Supreme Court stated that there was no sufficient proof of the unlawful taking of
anothers property. The theft was not proved because complainant Rosita Lim did
not complain to the public authorities of the felonious taking of her property. She
sought out her former employee Manuelito Mendez, who confessed that he stole
certain articles from the warehouse of the complainant and sold them to
petitioner. Such confession is insufficient to convict, without evidence of corpus
delicti.The Court held that accused Tan could not be held guilty because there
was no showing at all that the accused knew or should have known that the very
stolen articles were the ones sold to him.

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