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Article 8 (Conspiracy)

FERNAN JR. VS. PEOPLE (G.R. NO. 145927 AUGUST 24, 2007)

COA Regional Director solicited for the authentication and report on the sub-allotment advises issued to highway
engineering districts in Cebu particularly Cebu City, Cebu 1st, Cebu 2nd and Mandaue City Highway Engineering Districts.
Apparently, the two sets of Letters of Advice of Allotments (LAA) were received by the districts. One set consists of regular
LAA’s in authenticated and normally processed manner while the other set consists of fake LAA’s all of these were
approved for the Finance Officer by Chief Accountant Rolando Mangubat. Mangubat, however, had no authority to
approve them because he had already been detailed to the MPH Central Office. It was found out that the practice of using
fake LAA’s had been going on for years.

Four of the accused hatched an ingenious plan to siphon off large sums of money from the government coffers using fake
LAA’s, vouchers and other documents to conceal the traces.

The anti-graft court has found the case has merit and that Fernan Jr. and Expedito Torrevilas along with the other accused
guilty as co-principals in the crime of Estafa through falsification of Public Documents as defined and penalized in
Articles 318 and 171, in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal code, and there being no modifying circumstances in
attendance, sentenced each of them to imprisonment and payment of the penalties.

Whether or not the honourable sandigan bayan erred in convicting petitioners as co-conspirators despite
the prosecution’s failure to specifically prove beyond reasonable doubt the facts and circumstances that would implicate
them as co-conspirators and justify their conviction.

No. The Sandigan Bayan has accurately ruled on conviction of the petitioners as co-conspirators in spite of the
prosecution’s failure to prove such. The court explained why direct proof of prior agreement is not necessary: “Secrecy
and concealment are essential features of a successful conspiracy. It may be inferred from the conduct of the accused
before, during and after the commission of the crime, showing that they had acted with a common purpose and design.
Conspiracy may be implied if it is proved that two or more persons aimed their acts toward 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, which indicates closeness of personal association and concurrence of sentiment. To
hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must have shown to have performed a concerted act
to the furtherance of the common design and purpose.

Article 10

GO-TAN V. SPOUSES TAN, G.R. No. 168852

Applicability of the doctrine of conspiracy under the Revised Penal Code to R.A. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women
and Children Act of 2004)

On April 18, 1999, Sharica Mari Go-Tan and Steven Tan were married. Out of this union, two female children were born,
Kyra Danielle and Kristen Denise. On January 12, 2005, barely six years into the marriage, petitioner Go-Tan filed a petition
with prayer for the issuance of a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) against Steven, in conspiracy with respondents, were
causing verbal, psychological, and economic abuses upon her in violation of Section 5, paragraphs (e) (2) (3) (4), (h) (5)
and (i) of Republic Act No. 9262.
Issue: Whether or not respondents-spouses, Perfecto and Juanita, parents-in-law of Sharica, may be included in the
petition for the issuance of a protective order, in accordance with RA 9262.

Yes, the Court ruled in favor of the petitioner. While the provisions of RA 9262 provides that the offender be related or
connected to the victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not preclude the
application of the principle of conspiracy under the RPC. In Section 47 of RA 9262, it has expressly provides for the
suppletory application of the RPC. Hence, legal principles developed from the Penal Code may be applied in a
supplementary capacity to crimes punished under special laws, such as RA 9262 in which the special law is silent on a
particular matter.

Article 11



FACTS: In July 1995, at about 10:00 in the evening, accused-appellant Abrazaldo, then intoxicated, attempted to hack his
uncle, Bernabe Quinto, but instead, hit the post of the latter’s house. The incident was reported to the barangay
authorities, prompting barangay tanods victim Guban, Fajardo, and Loceste to rush to the scene. Upon reaching the place,
Fajardo heard accused-appellant shouting at his uncle, ”I will kill you!”

Thereafter, he saw accused-appellant coming out of Quintos house with blood oozing from his forehead. At that time, the
place was well lighted by a fluorescent lamp. Guban tried to assist accused-appellant. However, for unknown reason,
accused-appellant and Guban shouted at each other and grappled face to face. Accused-appellant pulled out his knife,
stabbed Guban at the abdomen and ran away. Guban was rushed to the hospital but died after a few hours. The victim’s
father, testified that he was the one who spent for his sons funeral expenses.

On trial, the accused appellant invoked self defense saying that it was Guban who, armed with a knife, was the one who
attacked him. According to him, it was Guban who accidentally stabbed himself. However, accused-appellants very own
sister testified against him. The trial court appreciated treachery in the event and consequently found Abrazaldo guilty of
murder with the aggravating circumstances that the crime was committed while the public authorities were engaged in
the discharge of their duties and was committed at night-time. He was sentenced to suffer death and pay the heirs of
Guban their actual expenses.

ISSUE: Whether or not self-defense can be invoked by the accused-appellant

HELD: NO, Ingrained in jurisprudence is the doctrine that the plea of self-defense cannot be justifiably entertained where
it is not only uncorroborated by any separate competent evidence but in itself is extremely doubtful. In the present case,
accused-appellant’s showed ambivalence in invoking a melange of defenses. While he admitted the commission of the
crime in order to preserve his own life, he maintained that Guban accidentally stabbed himself. Certainly, the justifying
circumstance of self-defense or the exempting circumstance of accident cannot be appreciated considering accused-
appellants flight from the crime scene and his failure to inform the authorities of the incident. Furthermore, that he did
not surrender the knife to the authorities is inconsistent with a clean conscience and, instead, indicates his culpability of
the crime charged.


Nov 20, 2017 Gr. No. 215748

A witness testified that on January 9, 2009 at around 1:48 in the morning, she was awakened by someone calling for her,
uttering "Ninang". At that time she was inside her house she recognized the voice of the person as her godson named
Gilbert Grimaldo. She then asked why. Grimaldo replied from outside saying "Ninang tulungan mo ako yung taong ito ay
kinukursunada ako," "kinukursunada ako ng taong ito, me dala siyang baril". Then she opened the door for her godson.
She then saw the accused Paul Duran shot Grimaldo with a .38 caliber revolver from behind at a distance of 2 1/2 feet.
Grimaldo was hit at the nape, and then fell to the ground lying with his face down. Duran then left the place passing
between their houses. Moments later accused returned and shot Grimaldo three more times to make sure that the latter
was dead.

For his part, the accused countered that he merely defended himself, as Grimaldo initially tried to rob him. Such act of
Grimaldo resulted into an altercation, constraining the accused to chase and shoot Grimaldo. Accused Duran was charged
for murder.

(1) WON there was self-defense.
(2) WON there was treachery.

(1) NO. Unlawful aggression is an indispensable element of self-defense. Without unlawful aggression, self-defense cannot
and will not be appreciated, even if the other elements are present.

An accused who pleads self-defense admits the commission of the act charged as a crime. The burden of proving self-
defense rests on the accused. He must prove by clear and convincing evidence the concurrence of the following elements:
(1) unlawful aggression; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression; and
(3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself or at least any provocation executed by the
accused claiming self-defense was not the proximate and immediate cause of the victim's aggression.

The Court agrees with the RTC and CA that Duran was unable to prove the presence of unlawful aggression on the part of
the victim. Even if Duran's account of an attempted robbery against him is to be believed, his testimony also shows that
Grimaldo, albeit the initial aggressor, ceased to be the aggressor as Duran had successfully wrested the weapon from him.
Thereafter, Duran shot the gun at Grimaldo four times; three of which hit Grimaldo on vital parts of his body. 27 At this
moment, actions of the accused were already done in retaliation and not self-defense. In retaliation, the aggression
initiated by the victim had already ceased when the accused attacked him; in self-defense, the aggression from the victim
is continuing.

Duran's claim of self-defense is belied by his own testimony. As admitted by Duran himself, the unlawful aggression from
Grimaldo had ceased when he had been disarmed and had been shot. Moreover, the alleged companion of Grimaldo had
already run away, posing no threat to Duran.

(2) NO. The victim was able to seek help from the eyewitness, and it was not established that the accused intentionally
sought the means to insure the execution of his killing.

The prosecution did not prove that Duran intentionally sought the victim for the purpose of killing him. The confrontation
between Duran and Grimaldo appears to have been a chance encounter. It was also not proven that Duran deliberately
and consciously employed means, methods, or forms in the execution of the criminal act to ensure that Grimaldo could
not defend himself.

Notably, eyewitness Quilana only witnessed the moment of the actual shooting but did not witness the inception of the
fatal altercation. The prosecution failed to establish that Duran had deliberately adopted a treacherous mode of attack
for the purpose of depriving the victim of a chance to fight or retreat. In this case, Grimaldo was aware of the impending
attack and was even able to seek help from eyewitness Quilana.
Doctrine of Rational Equivalence


GR 189405

The petitioner was charged with a crime of homicide which alleged that: The accused with intent to kill with the use of
unlicensed firearm, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot one Jeffrey Wernher
Gonzales on the head, therby inflicting upon the latter serious and mortal gunshot wound which directly caused his death.

The accused went to the office at Sykes Asia, then to the workstation of the deceased who was seated facing his computer
with his back towards the aisle according to the witness Antonette Managbanag. As the petitioner was approaching the
victim, he was already holding a gun pointed at the back of the latter’s head. The victim managed to deflect the hand of
the petitioner holding the gun. A short struggle for the gun ensued. Petitioner won the struggle, remained in possession
of the gun, pointed the gun to the victim’s head, pulled the trigger 4 times, the fourth finally discharging the bullet which
hit the forehead. Petitioner fled the office afterwards.

The defense states that the petitioner went to Sykes Asia with his children to fetch his wife. Petitioner underwent the
regular security check-up procedures. He was frisked by the guards manning the main entrance of the said building. No
firearm was found in his possession. He registered his name at the logbook and surrendered a valid ID. He was frisked
again in the 25th floor, still no gun was found on him.

He did not find his wife at the table however. The petitioner approached a man and asked the whereabouts of his wife
after introducing himself. Petitioner was asked why he was looking for his wife, he replied that he was asked to fetch her.
To which the victim replied, “ayaw na nga ng asawa mo sinusundo mo pa!” which shocked and appalled the petitioner/

Petitioner inquired who he was, and the victim suddenly cursed at him. The victim suddenly picked up something in his
chair which happened to be a gun. The victim pointed it at the petitioner’s face followed by a clicking sound. The gun did
not fire.

Petitioner grappled with the victim for the possession of the gun. The gun clicked for two to three more times, still did not

Petitioner was able to wrest away the gun from the victim and tried to run away to avoid further confrontation. The victim
blocked the path and shouted “Guard! Guard”. The victim then took a fire extinguisher, aimed, and was about to smash
the same on petitioner’s head. Acting instinctively petitioner parried the attack while still holding the gun. The gun
accidentally fired and the single bullet hit the victim’s forehead, which caused the latter to fall on the floor.

ISSUE: WON all the requisites of self-defense are present

HELD: NO. Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. It presupposes actual, sudden, unexpected
or imminent danger – not merely threatening and intimidating action. There is aggression only when the one attacked
faces real and immediate threat to his life. The peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not merely
speculative. The defense did not adduce evidence to show that the victim condescendingly responded to petitioner’s
questions or initiated the confrontation before the shooting accident; that the victim pulled a gun from his chair and tried
to shoot the petitioner but failed – an assault which may have caused petitioner to fear for his life.

Even assuming that the gun originated from the victim and an altercation transpired and danger may have existed, the
imminence of that danger had already ceased the moment the petitioner disarmed the victim by wrestling the gun from
him. After he seized it, there was no longer any unlawful aggression to speak of that would have necessitated the need to
kill the victim. The petitioner had every opportunity to run away from the scene and seek help but refused to do so. It is
settled that when unlawful aggression ceases, the defender no longer has any right to kill or wound the former aggressor,
otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is committed.
Prosecution witness whose credibility was not impeached, both gave the impression that the victim got the fire
extinguisher to shield himself from the accused who was then already in possession of the gun.

Defense of Property


JULY 19, 1938

Midnight of December 22, 1936, the defendant and appellant Atong Apolinar was at that time the occupant of a parcel of
land owned by Joaquin Gonzales in Pangasinan. Armed with a shotgun, Atong was looking over said land when he observed
that there was a man carrying a bundle on his shoulder.

Believing that he was a thief (of palay), the defendant called his attention but he ignored him. The defendant fired in the
air and then at the person. The man, identified as Domingo Petras, was able to get back to his house and consequently
narrated to Angel Natividad, the barrio chief, that he had been wounded in the back by a shotgun.

He then showed the two wounds - one in each side of the spinal column - which wounds were circular in form and a little
bigger than a quarter of an inch, according to the medical report of Dr. Mananquil. Petras died of the wounds he sustained.
The defendant surrendered to the authorities immediately after the incident and gave a sworn statement (Exhibit F)
before the Justice of Peace of Umingan on December 23, 1936.

Issue: WON the killing of Petras was justified by defense property

Held: No. The right to property is not of such importance as right to life, and defense of property can be invoked as a
justifying circumstance only when it is coupled with an attack on the person of one entrusted with said property.

G.R. NOS. L-33466-67 (121 SCRA 389)

Mamerto Narvaez has been convicted of murder (qualified by treachery) of David Fleischer and Flaviano Rubia.

On August 22, 1968, Narvaez shot Fleischer and Rubia during the time the two were constructing a fence that would
prevent Narvaez from getting into his house and rice mill. The defendant was taking a nap when he heard sounds of
construction and found fence being made. He addressed the group and asked them to stop destroying his house and
asking if they could talk things over. Fleischer responded with "No, gadamit, proceed, go ahead."

Defendant lost his "equilibrium," and shot Fleisher with his shotgun. He also shot Rubia who was running towards the jeep
where the deceased's gun was placed. Prior to the shooting, Fleischer and Co. (the company of Fleischer's family) was
involved in a legal battle with the defendant and other land settlers of Cotabato over certain pieces of property.

At the time of the shooting, the civil case was still pending for annulment (settlers wanted granting of property to Fleisher
and Co. to be annulled). At time of the shooting, defendant had leased his property from Fleisher (though case pending
and ownership uncertain) to avoid trouble.

On June 25, defendant received letter terminating contract because he allegedly didn't pay rent. He was given 6 months
to remove his house from the land. Shooting was barely 2 months after letter. Defendant claims he killed in defense of his
person and property. CFI ruled that Narvaez was guilty. Aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation offset by the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. For both murders, CFI sentenced him to reclusion perpetua, to indemnify
the heirs, and to pay for moral damages.
(1) WON CFI erred in convicting defendant-appellant despite the fact that he acted in defense of his person.
(2) WON the court erred in convicting defendant-appellant although he acted in defence of his rights.

(1) No. The courts concurred that the fencing and chiselling of the walls of the house of the defendant was indeed a form
of aggression on the part of the victim. However, this aggression was not done on the person of the victim but rather on
his rights to property.

On issue, the courts did not err. However, in consideration of the violation of property rights, the courts referred to Art.30
of the civil code recognizing the right of owners to close and fence their land.

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

(2) Yes. However, the argument of the justifying circumstance of self-defense is applicable only if the 3 requirements are

Art. 11(1) RPC enumerates these requisites: Unlawful aggression. In the case at bar, there was unlawful aggression towards
appellant's property rights. Fleisher had given Narvaez 6 months and he should have left him in peace before time was
up, instead of chiselling Narvaez's house and putting up fence. Art. 536 of the Civil Code also provides that possession may
not be acquired through force or intimidation; while Art.539 provides that every possessor has the right to be respected
in his possession.

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

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

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


Marivic Genosa, the appellant, on November 15, 1995, attacked and wounded his husband which ultimately led to his
death. According to the appellant, she did not provoke her husband when she got home that night and it was her husband
who began the provocation. The appellant said she was frightened that her husband would hurt her and she wanted to
make sure she would deliver her baby safely.

The appellant testified that during her marriage she had tried to leave her husband at least five times, but that Ben would
always follow her and they would reconcile. The appellant said that the reason why Ben was violent and abusive towards
her that night was because he was crazy about his recent girlfriend, Lulu Rubillos. The appellant, after being interviewed
by specialist, has been shown to be suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome. The appellant with a plea of self-defense
admitted the killing of her husband. She was found guilty of the crime of parricide, with the aggravating circumstance of
treachery, for the husband was attacked while asleep.

(1) Whether or not appellant acted in self-defense.
(2) Whether or not treachery attended the killing.

For the first issue, the SC held that the defense failed to establish all the elements of self-defense arising from battered
woman syndrome, to wit: (a) Each of the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least
two battering episodes between the appellant and her intimated partner; (b) The final acute battering episode preceding
the killing of the batterer must have produced in the battered person’s mind an actual fear of an imminent harm from her
batterer and an honest belief that she needed to use force in order to save her life, and; (c) At the time of the killing, the
batterer must have posed probable – not necessarily immediate and actual – grave harm to the accused based on the
history of violence perpetuated by the former against the latter.

For the second issue, the SC ruled out treachery as an aggravating circumstance because the quarrel or argument that
preceded the killing must have forewarned the victim of the assailant’s aggression.

State of Necessity

G.R. No. 149275. September 27, 2004


Ty's mother and sister was confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital. The total hospital bills amounted to P1 million. After
signing a contract of responsibility with the hospital, Ty issued 7 checks to cover the said expenses, all of which were
dishonored for being drawn against a closed a account. Manila Doctors Hospital sued Ty for violation of BP 22. In her
defense, Ty alleged that she issued the checks because of an "uncontrollable fear of a greater injury". She averred that
her mother threatened to commit suicide due to the inhumane treatment she allegedly suffered while confined in the
hospital. Ty was found guilty by the trial court of 7 counts of violation of BP 22. Ty appealed wherein she 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.


Is the defense of uncontrollable fear or avoidance of a greater evil or injury tenable to warrant Ty's exemption from
criminal liability?


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.

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.

In this case, far from it, the fear, if any, 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.

To begin with, there was no showing that the mother’s illness was so life-threatening such that her continued stay in the
hospital suffering all its alleged unethical treatment would induce a well-grounded apprehension of her death. Secondly,
it is not the laws intent to say that any fear exempts one from criminal liability much less petitioner’s flimsy fear that her
mother might commit suicide. In other words, the fear she invokes was not impending or insuperable as to deprive her
of all volition and to make her a mere instrument without will, moved exclusively by the hospitals threats or demands.

Ty has also failed to convince the Court that she was left with no choice but to commit a crime. She did not take
advantage of the many opportunities available to her to avoid committing one. By her very own words, she admitted
that the collateral or security the hospital required prior to the discharge of her mother may be in the form of postdated
checks or jewelry. And if indeed she was coerced to open an account with the bank and issue the checks, she had all the
opportunity to leave the scene to avoid involvement.

Avoidance of a greater evil or injury

The law prescribes the presence of three requisites to exempt the actor from liability under this paragraph: (1) that the
evil sought to be avoided actually exists; (2) that the injury feared be greater than the one done to avoid it; (3) that there
be no other practical and less harmful means of preventing it.

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. Ty could have taken
advantage of an available option to avoid committing a crime. By her own admission, she had the choice to give jewelry
or other forms of security instead of postdated checks to secure her obligation.

Moreover, for the defense of state of necessity to be availing, the greater injury feared should not have been brought
about by the negligence or imprudence, more so, the willful inaction of the actor. In this case, the issuance of the
bounced checks was brought about by Ty’s own failure to pay her mother’s hospital bills.