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Case No.

91
Topic: Justifying Circumstance; Self Defense; Elements; Unlawful Aggression
People v. Rey, G.R. No. 80089

Main Point:
One of the requisites of self-defense to be considered is Unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim. Mere intimidating or threatening attitude cannot be considered as
unlawful aggression.
Treachery is present when, there being no provocation on the part of the being, an attack
was made in a manner wherein the victim was not given the opportunity to defend himself
from the attack or repel the attack.
Facts:
On the evening of May 28, 1983, which was a fiesta day, while Rosette Pagayunan was
preparing to cook food at her house, she found out that there was no water. She then
instructed her two (2) children, Babette and Nicolas, to get water from the faucet of the
accused Saturnino Rey which was the only faucet with water at the neighborhood
because of the long drought. Babette and Nicolas proceeded towards the house of Rey
to get water. Babette and Nicolas found Roban Rey, son of the accused, near the faucet.
Roban was sitting atop the steps of the kitchen stairway talking with Nicolas. While
Nicolas was standing beside the faucet waiting for his pail to be filled with water, he was
shot twice by Saturnino Rey from the window of his bedroom which was about four (4)
meters away. The shooting was witnessed by Roban and Babette who were about three
(3) meters away from the faucet. After he was hit, Nicolas said to Roban: 'I was hit.' Soon
after, Nicolas fell in front of Roban. Roban went their house and told Saturnino Rey:
'Daddy you hit Colas.' Babette went home and reported the shooting incident to her
mother who fainted. Pagayunan sisters and their group went to the get the body of
Nicolas, who was taken to the Medicare Hospital in Pilar, Capiz, where he was given a
first-aid treatment. Thereafter, Nicolas was taken to Roxas City but died before reaching
the hospital. The accused was charged with Murder qualified by Treachery on Rey’s part.
Rey invoked self-defense. According to his testimony, he saw the man from his window
lift his hand. Rey also assailed the allegation of treachery on his part.
Issue 1:
Whether Rey’s invocation of Self-defense can be considered
Issue 2:
Whether there is Treachery in Rey’s act of firing the shot.
Answer 1:
No, Rey’s invocation of self-defense cannot be considered. One requisite of self-defense
as defense is that there must be unlawful aggression. For unlawful aggression to be
appreciated, there must be an actual sudden and unexpected attack or imminent danger
and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. In the present case, the mere lifting
of arm by an unarmed person cannot be considered unlawful aggression. Therefore, there
being no unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, the defense of self-defense cannot
be considered.
Answer 2:
Yes, there is treachery on the part of Rey. The essence of treachery is that a sudden and
unexpected attack, without the slightest provocation of the part of the person attacked.
The attack is done without giving the victim an opportunity to defend himself or repel the
aggression. In the present case, the victim was just waiting for his bucket to be filled when
he was shot without any warning shot. He did not even sense any danger that he would
be shot since there was no previous grudge or misunderstanding between them.
Therefore, since Rey shot the victim without any slightest provocation, treachery is
present on the part of Rey.
Conclusion:
Self-defense cannot be considered as Rey’s defense since he was not able to prove
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim which is one of the requisites for self-
defense. Treachery is also present on Rey’s part since he shot the victim without any
provocation on the part of the victim, and that he did it in a manner where the victim was
not given the opportunity to defend himself or repel the attack.