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RODEL URBANO v. PEOPLE, GR No.

182750, 2009- Petitioner next contends that the mitigating


01-20 circumstances of no intention to commit so grave a
wrong and sufficient provocation on the part of the
Facts:
victim ought to be appreciated in petitioner's favor.
Information filed before the RTC, petitioner was
petitioner testified
charged with Homicide... at around 8:00 p.m., the
victim Brigido Tomelden and petitioner were at the At a restaurant in Bugallon, the group ordered goat's
compound of the Lingayen Water District (LIWAD) meat and... drank beer. When it was time to depart,
having just arrived from a picnic in the nearby town Navarro asked petitioner to inform Tomelden, then
where... they drunk beer in a restaurant. While seated in another table, to prepare to leave.
inside the compound, the two had a heated
When so informed, Tomelden insulted petitioner,
altercation in the course of which Tomelden hurled
telling the latter he had no business stopping him
insulting remarks at petitioner. Reacting, petitioner
from further drinking as he was paying for his share
asked why Tomelden, when drunk, has the
of the bill.
penchant of insulting petitioner.
Upon reaching the LIWAD compound, Tomelden
The exchange of words led to an exchange of blows.
allegedly slapped and hurled insults at him, calling
Then petitioner delivered a "lucky punch," as him "sipsip" just to maintain his employment as
described by... eyewitness... on Tomelden's face, Navarro's tricycle driver.
which made Tomelden topple down. Tomelden was
Petitioner maintained that he only boxed the victim
on the verge of hitting his head on the ground had
in retaliation, landing that lucky punch in the course
their companions not caught him and prevented the
of parrying the latter's blows.
fall. The blow, however, caused Tomelden's nose to
bleed and rendered him... unconscious. Issues:
Upon arriving home erred in not appreciating the mitigating
circumstances of sufficient provocation on the part
Tomelden informed his wife, Rosario,... of the fight
of the victim and lack of intent to commit so grave a
the previous night and of his having been rendered
wrong in favor of the petitioner.
unconscious. He complained of pain in his nape,
head, and ear Ruling:
The attending doctors observed the patient to be in petition is partly meritorious.
a state of drowsiness and frequent vomiting.
we agree with petitioner.
attending physician,... diagnosed Tomelden
suffering from "brain injury, secondary to mauling to Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Art. 13, RPC provide as
consider cerebral hemorrhage." follows:

Tomelden died... to "cardio-respiratory arrest Art. 13. Mitigating circumstances.--The following


secondary to cerebral concussion with resultant are mitigating circumstances:
cerebral hemorrhage due to mauling incident."... When the law speaks of provocation either as a
defense presented petitioner who denied having mitigating circumstance the reference is to an unjust
any intention to kill, asserting that hypertension, for or improper conduct of the offended party capable
which Tomelden was receiving treatment, was the of exciting, inciting, or irritating anyone;... it is not...
cause of the latter's death. enough that the provocative act be unreasonable or
RTC rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty as annoying;... the provocation must be sufficient to
charged excite one to commit the wrongful act... and should
immediately precede the act.
CA rendered a decision, affirming the conviction of
petitioner
In the instant case, Tomelden's insulting remarks PEOPLE v. JUNE IGNAS Y SANGGINO, GR Nos.
directed at petitioner and uttered immediately 140514-15, 2003-09-30
before the fist fight constituted sufficient
Facts:
provocation. This is not to mention other irritating
statements made by the deceased while they were Appellant is an elementary school graduate. He
having beer resided at Benguet, where he operated a bakery.
appellant's wife,... Wilma Grace Ignas,... confided to
Petitioner... was the one provoked and challenged
her close friend,... Romenda... that she was having
to a fist fight.
an affair with Nemesio Lopate.
It is abundantly clear from the above transcript that
Romenda and Nemesio were sending off Wilma
the provocation came from Tomelden. In fact,
Grace at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as
petitioner, being very much smaller in height and
she was leaving for Taiwan to work as a domestic
heft, had the good sense of trying to avoid a fight.
helper. Upon arrival in Manila, the trio checked...
But as events turned out, a fisticuff still ensued,
at... with Nemesio and Wilma Grace sharing a room.
suddenly ending when... petitioner's lucky punch
found its mark. All three of them stayed at the inn until
Moreover, the mitigating circumstance that Wilma Grace left for Taiwan.
petitioner had no intention to commit so grave a
wrong as that committed should also be Thereafter, Romenda received from Taiwan four
appreciated in his favor. While intent to kill may be letters written by Wilma Grace on various
presumed from the fact of the death of the victim, dates. Although all the letters were addressed to
this mitigating factor may still be... considered when Romenda, two of them were meant by Wilma Grace
attendant facts and circumstances so warrant to be read by her paramour, Nemesio.

Consider: Petitioner tried to avoid the fight, being In the other two letters,... Wilma Grace instructed
very much smaller than Tomelden. He tried to parry Romenda to reveal to appellant her affair with
the blows of Tomelden, albeit he was able, during Nemesio.
the scuffle, to connect a lucky punch... that ended Romenda, following her bosom friend's written
the fight. instructions, informed appellant about the
A bare-knuckle fight as a means to parry the extramarital affair
challenge issued by Tomelden was commensurate Romenda informed him that the two had spent a
to the potential violence petitioner was facing. It day and a night together in a room at
was just unfortunate that Tomelden died from that
lucky punch, an eventuality that could have possibly Inn in Manila.
been averted... had he had the financial means to Appellant became furious. He declared
get the proper medical attention.
(There will be a day for that Nemesio. I will kill that
Thus, it is clear that the mitigating circumstance of Nemesio)
"no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that
committed" must also be appreciated in favor of Appellant then got all... the letters... according to
petitioner while finding him guilty of homicide. another prosecution witness,... a trader in
That... petitioner landed a lucky punch at vegetables, she was at the Trading Post
Tomelden's face while their co-workers were trying Witness... said she was at the unloading area
to separate them is a compelling indicium that he (bagsakan), conversing with another dealer at the
never intended so grave a wrong as to kill the victim. latter's booth, when suddenly two gunshots
shattered the quiet evening.
She testified that she saw a person falling to the
ground.
Standing behind the fallen individual,... was another Issues:
person who... tucked a handgun into his waistband
is the appellant entitled to benefit from any
and casually walked away.
mitigating circumstance?
She immediately recognized him as the appellant
Ruling:
June Ignas.
we find that the prosecution's evidence suffices to
She said she was familiar with him as he was her
sustain the appellant's conviction for homicide.
townmate and had known him for several... years.
According to the OSG, for the mitigating
According to witness on the scene, responding
circumstance of vindication of a grave offense to
policemen immediately brought the victim,
apply, the vindication must be "immediate." This
Nemesio Lopate, to the Benguet General Hospital
view is not entirely accurate. The word "immediate"
where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
in the English text is not the correct translation of
SPO4 Arthur Bomagao... declared on the stand that the controlling Spanish text of... the Revised Penal
appellant voluntarily admitted to him that he shot Code, which uses the word "proxima."
the victim with a .38 caliber handgun.
The Spanish text, on this point, allows a lapse of time
Bomagao further testified that appellant between the grave offense and the actual
surrendered to him the letters of Wilma Grace, vindication.
wherein the latter admitted her affair with Nemesio.
we agree with the Solicitor General that the lapse of
Appellant interposed the defense of alibi. two (2) weeks between his discovery of his wife's
infidelity and the killing of her supposed paramour
He averred that he was baking bread... on the night
could no longer be... considered proximate. The
Nemesio was killed.
passage of a fortnight is more than sufficient time
trial court disbelieved appellant's defense and for appellant to have recovered his composure and
sustained the prosecution's version. assuaged the unease in his mind. The established
rule is that there can be no immediate vindication of
MURDER a grave offense when the accused had sufficient...
Appellant, firstly contends the lower court should time to recover his serenity.
have considered at least the mitigating Thus, in this case, we hold that the mitigating
circumstance of immediate vindication of a grave circumstance of immediate vindication of a grave
offense as well as that of passion and obfuscation. offense cannot be considered in appellant's favor.
Appellant points out that the... victim's act of
maintaining an adulterous relationship with We likewise find the alleged mitigating circumstance
appellant's wife constituted a grave offense to his of passion and obfuscation inexistent. The rule is
honor that the mitigating circumstances of vindication of a
grave offense and passion and obfuscation cannot
Even the mere sight of the victim must have be claimed at the same time, if they arise from the
triggered an uncontrollable emotional outburst... on same facts or... motive.
appellant's part, so that even a chance meeting
caused in him an irresistible impulse powerful In other words, if appellant attacked his victim in
enough to overcome all reason and proximate vindication of a grave offense, he could
restraint. Secondly, appellant points out that the no longer claim in the same breath that passion and
trial court failed to consider his voluntary surrender obfuscation also blinded him. Moreover, for passion
as a mitigating circumstance. and obfuscation to be well founded,... the following
requisites must concur: (1) there should be an act
both unlawful and sufficient to produce such
condition of mind; and (2) the act which produced
the obfuscation was not far removed from the
commission of the crime by a considerable length of Rolando did not come out of the house to take on
time, during which the... perpetrator might recover the petitioner; that Rolando later brought Jayson to
his moral equanimity the Legazpi City Police Station and reported the
incident; that Jayson also underwent medical
To repeat, the period of two (2) weeks which
treatment at the Bicol Regional Training and
spanned the discovery of his wife's extramarital
Teaching Hospital; that the doctors who examined
dalliance and the killing of her lover was sufficient
Jayson issued two medical certificates attesting that
time for appellant to reflect and cool off.
Jayson suffered contusions.
Appellant further argues that the lower court erred
in failing to consider voluntary surrender as a
Petitioner denied having physically abused or
mitigating circumstance.
maltreated Jayson. He explained that he only talked
Records show, however, that leaflets and posters with Jayson and Roldan after his minor daughters
were circulated for information to bring the killer of had told him about Jayson and Roldan’s throwing
Nemesio to justice. A team of police investigators stones at them and about Jayson’s burning
from La Trinidad,... Benguet then went to Kayapa, Cherrylyn’s hair. He denied shouting invectives at
Nueva Vizcaya to invite appellant for questioning. and challenging Rolando to a fight, insisting that he
Only then did he return to Benguet. But he denied only told Rolando to restrain his sons from harming
the charge of killing the victim. Clearly, appellant's his daughters.
claimed surrender was neither spontaneous nor
voluntary.
Crime charged: child abuse, an act in violation of
BONGALON vs. PEOPLE Section 10(a) of R.A. 7610

G.R. No. 169533, March 20, 2013


RTC: found and declared the petitioner guilty of
Not every instance of the laying of hands on a child child abuse as charged
constitutes the crime of child abuse under Section 10
(a) of Republic Act No. 7610. Only when the laying of
CA: affirmed the conviction, but modified the
hands is shown beyond reasonable doubt to be
penalty
intended by the accused to debase, degrade or
demean the intrinsic worth and dignity of the child
as a human being should it be punished as child ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner was guilty of
abuse. Otherwise, it is punished under the Revised the crime charged and that even assuming that he
Penal Code. was guilty, his liability should be mitigated because
he had merely acted to protect her two minor
daughters (ONLY SLIGHT PHYSICAL INJURIES;
FACTS: On May 11, 2002, Jayson Dela Cruz (Jayson)
PENALTY IS MITIGATED)
and Roldan, his older brother, both minors, joined
the evening procession for the Santo Niño at Oro
Site in Legazpi City; that when the procession passed HELD: Although the Court affirms the factual
in front of the petitioner’s house, the latter’s findings of fact by the RTC and the CA to the effect
daughter Mary Ann Rose, also a minor, threw stones that the petitioner struck Jayson at the back with his
at Jayson and called him “sissy”; that the petitioner hand and slapped Jayson on the face, it disagrees
confronted Jayson and Roldan and called them with their holding that his acts constituted child
names like “strangers” and “animals”; that the abuse within the purview of Section 3 (b) of Republic
petitioner struck Jayson at the back with his hand, Act No. 7610.
and slapped Jayson on the face; that the petitioner
then went to the brothers’ house and challenged
Rolando dela Cruz, their father, to a fight, but
The records did not establish beyond reasonable FELIX NIZURTADO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, GR No.
doubt that his laying of hands on Jayson had been 107838, 1994-12-07
intended to debase the “intrinsic worth and dignity”
Facts:
of Jayson as a human being, or that he had thereby
intended to humiliate or embarrass Jayson. The Felix Nizurtado of having committed the complex
records showed the laying of hands on Jayson to crime of malversation of public funds through
have been done at the spur of the moment and in falsification of public document
anger, indicative of his being then overwhelmed by
his fatherly concern for the personal safety of his Felix V. Nizurtado was the Barangay Captain of
own minor daughters who had just suffered harm at Barangay Panghulo, Malabon, Metro Manila from
the hands of Jayson and Roldan. With the loss of his 1983 to 1988.
selfcontrol, he lacked that specific intent to debase, Nizurtado and Romero,... Barangay Treasurer of
degrade or demean the intrinsic worth and dignity Panghulo, attended a seminar at the University of
of a child as a human being that was so essential in Life, Pasig, Metro Manila. The seminar was about
the crime of child abuse. the Barangay Livelihood Program
Under the program, the barangays in Metro Manila
It is not trite to remind that under the well- could avail of loans of P10,000.00 per barangay to
recognized doctrine of pro reo, every doubt is finance viable livelihood projects which the
resolved in favor of the petitioner as the accused. Barangay Councils would identify
Thus, the Court should consider all possible
circumstances in his favor. Considering that Jayson’s "After the seminar, Nizurtado received a check for
physical injury required five to seven days of medical P10,000.00 intended for Barangay Panghulo and
attention, the petitioner was liable for slight issued in his name. The check, however, could be
encashed only upon submission to the Secretariat of
physical injuries under Article 266(1) of the Revised
a resolution approved by the Barangay Council
Penal Code.
identifying the... livelihood project in which the loan
would be invested. He entrusted the check to
The penalty for slight physical injuries is arresto Romero for safekeeping.
menor, which ranges from one day to 30 days of
Nizurtado got back the check from Romero, saying
imprisonment. In imposing the correct penalty,
that he would return it because... the Councilmen
however, the Court has to consider the mitigating
could not agree on any livelihood project.
circumstance of passion or obfuscation under
Article 13(6) of the Revised Penal Code, because the Nizurtado asked Romero to sign an unaccomplished
petitioner lost his reason and self-control, thereby resolution in mimeograph form. All the blank spaces
diminishing the exercise of his will power. It is in the form were unfilled-up, except those at the
relevant to mention, too, that in passion or bottom which were intended for the names of the
obfuscation, the offender suffers a diminution of Barangay Councilmen, Secretary, and Captain,...
intelligence and intent. which were already filled-up and signed
In asking Romero to sign, Nizurtado said that the
Arresto menor is prescribed in its minimum period MMC was hurrying up the matter and that the...
in the absence of any aggravating circumstance that livelihood project to be stated in the resolution was
offset the mitigating circumstance of passion. that proposed by Romero -- barangay service
Accordingly, with the Indeterminate Sentence Law center. Trusting Nizurtado, Romero affixed his
being inapplicable due to the penalty imposed not signature above his typewritten name... the blank
exceeding one year, the petitioner shall suffer a but signed resolution was later on accomplished by
straight penalty of 10 days of arresto menor. writing in the blank space
Barangay Council now in this session had already manufacturing," had already been identified by the
identified one livelihood project with the following council.
title and description:
Accused... sought to justify the questioned act in
"the following: that it was only when the members of the Barangay
Council had realized that P10,000.00 was not
"Title: T-shirt Manufacturing
enough to support the T-shirt manufacturing
The application for loan having been approved,... project, that they decided to distribute the money
The purpose of the loan was stated to be T-Shirt in the form of loans to... themselves.
Manufacturing of round neck shirts of various sizes
Sandiganbayan has considered the mitigating
and colors.
circumstances of voluntary surrender and
Nizurtado encashed the check... and re-lent the cash restitution in favor of Nizurtado.
proceeds to himself, Sandel, Aguilar, Bautista,
Issues:
Dalmacio, and Roldan at P1,000.00, and to
Manalang and Oro Soledad, Barangay Court whether or not Nizurtado has indeed
Secretary and Barangay Secretary,... respectively, at misappropriated the funds.
P500.00 each.
Ruling:
They learned that the check for P10,000.00 was
The money,... however, instead of its being used for
indeed encashed by Nizurtado and that the blank
the project, was later lent to, along with petitioner,
resolution which they had signed was filled-up to
the members of the Barangay Council. Undoubtedly,
make it appear that in a Council meeting... where all
the act constituted "misappropriation" within the
councilmen were present on August 25, 1983, T-
meaning of the law.
shirt manufacturing was adopted as the livelihood
project of Panghulo. But no such meeting occurred Accused-appellant criticizes the Sandiganbayan for
on that day or on any other day. Neither was its having failed to consider the fact that no valid
Nizurtado authorized by the Council to submit T- demand has been made, or could have been made,
shirt Manufacturing as the... livelihood project of for the repayment of the loaned sum. Demand
Panghulo. merely raises a prima facie presumption that
missing funds have... been put to personal use. The
Romero and Gomez lodged their complaint against
demand itself, however, is not an element of, and
Nizurtado with the Office of the Tanodbayan. After
not indispensable to constitute, malversation. Even
due preliminary investigation, this case was filed.
without a demand, malversation can still be
Sandiganbayan convicted the accused of the offense committed when enough facts, such as here, are
charged. extant to prove it.
Nizurtado was a public officer, having been the Accused-appellant was charged with having
Barangay Captain of Panghulo, Malabon, Metro committed the crime through the falsification of a
Manila, from 1983 to 1988; in that capacity, he public document punishable under paragraph 2 of
received and later encashed a check for P10,000.00, Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code.
specifically intended by way of a loan to the
The pertinent provisions read:
barangay for its livelihood program;... and the funds
had come from the Ministry of Human Settlements, "ART. 171. Falsification by public officer, employee
the Metro Manila Commission and "Kilusang or notary or ecclesiastic minister. - The penalty of
Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran." prision mayor and a fine not to exceed 5,000 pesos
shall be imposed upon any public officer, employee,
Petitioner was able to encash the check on 18
or notary who, taking advantage of his official
October 1988 on the basis of a resolution of the
position,... shall falsify a document by committing
Barangay Council, submitted to the KKK Secretariat,
any of the following acts:
to the effect that a livelihood project, i.e., "T-shirt
"2. Causing it to appear that persons have impose only the minimum portion of that maximum
participated in any act or proceeding when they did period,... that is, from eight years, eight months and
not in fact so participate;" one day to nine years, six months and ten days, from
which range the maximum of the indeterminate...
In falsification under the above-quoted paragraph,
sentence shall be taken.
the document need not be an authentic official
paper since its simulation, in fact, is the essence of MARIANO VS. PEOPLE (self digest)
falsification. So, also, the signatures appearing
FACTS
thereon need not necessarily be forged.
At about 6:30 in the evening of September 12, 1999,
In concluding that the Barangay Council
Ferdinand de Leon was driving his owner type jeep
resolution,... was a falsified document for which
along Barangay Engkanto, Angat, Bulacan. With him
petitioner should be held responsible,... The
were his wife, Urbanita, and their two-year old son,
Sandiganbayan concluded that Nizurtado had
as they just came from a baptismal party. Luis de
induced
Leon, an uncle of Ferdinand, also came from the
Romero and Gomez to sign the blank resolution,... baptismal party and was driving his owner type jeep.
on the representation that Romero's proposal to Accused-appellant Reynaldo Mariano was driving
build a barangay service center would so later be his red Toyota pick-up with his wife, Rebecca, and
indicated in that resolution as the barangay their helper, Rowena Años, as passengers. They had
livelihood project. just attended a worship service in Barangay
Engkanto.
Voluntary surrender
therefore, may thus be treated as a modifying The Toyota pick-up overtook the jeep of Ferdinand
circumstance independent and apart from de Leon and almost bumped it. Ferdinand got mad,
restitution of the questioned funds by petitioner overtook the pick-up and blocked its path. Reynaldo
Mariano stopped the pick-up behind the jeep.
We are convinced, furthermore, that... petitioner Ferdinand alighted from his jeep and approached
had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that Reynaldo. Ferdinand claimed that he and Reynaldo
committed. (Art. 13, par. 3, Revised Penal Code), had an altercation. However, Reynaldo insisted that
entitling him to three distinct mitigating he just stayed inside the pick-up and kept quiet
circumstances. while Ferdinand hurled invectives at him. Urbanita
The actual attendance of two separate mitigating tried to pacify Ferdinand and sought the assistance
circumstances of... voluntary surrender and of Luis de Leon. Luis intervened and told Ferdinand
restitution, also found by the Sandiganbayan and and Reynaldo "magpasensiyahan na lamang kayo at
uncontested by the Solicitor General, entitles the pagpasensiyahan mo si Ferdinand." Ferdinand and
accused to the penalty next lower in degree. Reynaldo heeded the advice of Luis and they went
their separate ways.
This one degree lower penalty should,...
conformably with Article 48 of the Code (the penalty Instead of proceeding to his house in Norzagaray,
for complex crimes), be imposed in its maximum Ferdinand decided to drop by his mother's house in
period or from eight years, eight months and one San Roque, Angat to pick up some items. He parked
day to ten years. The presence of the third his jeep in front of the house of his mother and
mitigating circumstance of praeter intentionem alighted therefrom. However, he was bumped by a
(lack of intention to... commit so grave a wrong as moving vehicle, thrown four (4) meters away and
that committed) would result in imposing a period lost consciousness. Urbanita shouted, "Mommy,
the court may deem applicable. Mommy, nasagasaan si Ferdie." She identified the
Considering, however, that the penalty has to be fast moving vehicle that bumped Ferdinand as the
imposed in the maximum period, the only effect of same red Toyota pick-up driven by Reynaldo.
this additional... mitigating circumstance is to
On the other hand, Reynaldo and his wife, Rebecca, imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries and
tried to show that the jeep of Ferdinand stopped on is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
the road in front of the house of the latter's mother two (2) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as
about five (5) to six (6) meters away from their pick- minimum, to one (1) year, seven (7) months and
up. Reynaldo stopped the pick-up as he saw an eleven (11) days of prision correccional, as
oncoming vehicle, which he allowed to pass. maximum, and to indemnify Ferdinand de Leon in
Thereafter, Reynaldo made a signal and overtook the amount of P58,402.75 as actual damages and
the jeep of Ferdinand. However, Ferdinand P10,000.00 as moral damages.
suddenly alighted from his jeep, lost his balance and
was sideswiped by the overtaking pick-up. Reynaldo WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision
did not stop his pick-up and he proceeded on his promulgated on June 29, 2006, subject to the
way for fear that the bystanders might harm him modifications that: (a) the penalty to be imposed on
and his companions. After bringing his companions the petitioner shall be a straight penalty of two
to their house in Marungko, Angat, Bulacan, months of arresto mayor; and (b) the awards for
Reynaldo proceeded to Camp Alejo S. Santos in actual and moral damages shall earn 6% interest
Malolos, Bulacan to surrender and report the rate per annum commencing from the finality of this
incident. decision until fully paid.

Ferdinand was brought to the Sto. Niño Hospital in The petitioner shall pay the costs of suit.
Bustos, Bulacan, where he stayed for two and a half
days and incurred medical expenses amounting to
P17,800.00 On September 15, 1999, Ferdinand was
transferred to St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon
City, where he stayed until September 25, 1999 and
incurred medical expenses amounting to
P66,243.25. He likewise spent P909.50 for
medicines, P2,900.00 for scanning, P8,000.00 for
doctor's fee and P12,550.00 for the services of his
caregivers and masseur from September 12 to
October 31, 1999. Ferdinand suffered multiple facial
injuries, a fracture of the inferior part of the right
orbital wall and subdural hemorrhage secondary to
severe head trauma, as evidenced by the
certification issued by Dr. Hernando L. Cruz, Jr. of St.
Luke's Medical Center. Urbanita, received the
amount of P50,000.00 from Reynaldo Mariano by
way of financial assistance, as evidenced by a receipt
dated September 15, 1999

RULING
On appeal, the CA promulgated its assailed decision
on June 29, 2006,[5] modifying the felony committed
by the petitioner from frustrated homicide to
reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical
injuries, ruling thusly:

WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from


is MODIFIED and accused-appellant Reynaldo
Mariano is found guilty of the crime of reckless