Case Digest in CrimLaw

February 15, 2018 | Author: high protector | Category: Recklessness (Law), Intention (Criminal Law), Criminal Law, Felony, Negligence
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Facts: Dionesio Sr. and his children were ascending the curving road going to Bocboc, Bukidnon on their proper lane on the right side of the road when a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by Rogelio was swiftly descending the same lane from the opposite direction. Dionesio, Sr. blew the horn of his motorcycle to signal the Land Cruiser to return to its proper lane but the Land Cruiser remained. In order to avoid collision, Dionesio, Sr.tried to swerve to the left, but the Land Cruiser suddenly swerved towards the same direction and collided head-on with the motorcycle causing Dionesio’s death and his children’s injury. Hence, this case of Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide with Double Serious Physical Injuries and Damage to Property.

Issue: Whether or not Rogelio is guilty of Reckless Imprudence.

SC Ruling: YES. Reckless imprudence, as defined in Article 365 of the RPC, consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to perform such act, taking into consideration his employment or occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition and other circumstances regarding persons, time and place. In order to establish a motorist’s liability for the negligent operation of a vehicle, it must be shown that there was a direct causal connection between such negligence and the injuries or damages complained of. To constitute the offense of reckless driving, the act must be something more than a mere negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle – a willful and wanton disregard of the consequences is required. Willful, wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of others within the meaning of reckless driving statutes has been held to involve a conscious choice of a course of action which injures another, either with knowledge of serious danger to others involved, or with knowledge of facts which would disclose the danger to any reasonable person. Verily, it is the inexcusable lack of precaution or conscious indifference to the consequences of the conduct which supplies the criminal intent and brings an act of mere negligence and imprudence

under the operation of the penal law, without regard to whether the private offended party may himself be considered likewise at fault. Rogelio’s act of driving very fast on the wrong side of the road was the proximate cause of the collision, resulting to the death of Dionesio, Sr. and serious physical injuries to Dionesio, Jr. and Cherry. Notably, the road where the incident occurred was a curve sloping upwards towards Brgy. Bocboc where the Inguitos were bound and descending towards the opposite direction where Rogelio was going. Indeed, the very fact of speeding, under such circumstances, is indicative of imprudent behavior. Consequently, the Court finds that Rogelio acted recklessly and imprudently in driving at a fast speed on the wrong side of the road while approaching the curve where the incident happened, thereby rendering him criminally liable, as well as civilly accountable for the material damages resulting therefrom. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. 194390, August 13, 2014 VENANCIO M. SEVILLA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES REYES, J.:

Facts: Sevilla, a former councilor of Malabon City, was charged with falsification of public document due to a false narration he made in his Personal Data Sheet (PDS) when he answered “no” to the question of whether there is a pending criminal case against him despite the pendency of a criminal case against him for assault upon an agent of a person in authority The Sandiganbayan found him guilty of Falsification of Public Documents Through Reckless Imprudence. The Sandiganbayan opined that Sevilla cannot be convicted of falsification of public document under Article 171(4) of the RPC since he did not act with malicious intent to falsify the aforementioned entry in his PDS. However, considering that Sevilla’s PDS was haphazardly and recklessly done, which resulted in the false entry therein, the Sandiganbayan convicted Sevilla of falsification of public document through reckless imprudence under Article 365 of the RPC.

Issue: Whether or not Sevilla can be convicted of the felony of falsification of public document through reckless imprudence.

SC Ruling: YES. However, the designation of the felony is erroneous. The Sandiganbayan convicted Sevilla of reckless imprudence, punished under Article 365 of the RPC, which resulted into the falsification of a public document. However, the Sandiganbayan designated the felony committed as "falsification of public document through reckless imprudence." The foregoing designation implies that reckless imprudence is not a crime in itself but simply a modality of committing it. Quasi-offenses under Article 365 of the RPC are distinct and separate crimes and not a mere modality in the commission of a crime. Were criminal negligence is but a modality in the commission of felonies, operating only to reduce the penalty therefor, then it would be absorbed in the mitigating circumstances of Art. 13, specially the lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as the one actually committed. Furthermore, the theory would require that the corresponding penalty should be fixed in proportion to the penalty prescribed for each crime when committed willfully. For each penalty for the willful offense, there would then be a corresponding penalty for the negligent variety. But instead, our Revised Penal Code (Art. 365) fixes the penalty for reckless imprudence at arresto mayor maximum, to prision correccional[medium], if the willful act would constitute a grave felony, notwithstanding that the penalty for the latter could range all the way from prision mayor to death, according to the case. It can be seen that the actual penalty for criminal negligence bears no relation to the individual willful crime, but is set in relation to a whole class, or series, of crimes.

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