Crim Case Digest
criminal law book 1 case digest...
CRIMINAL LAW 1 REVISED PENAL CODE BOOK 1 CASE DIGEST
Submitted to: Atty. Nelson A. Salva Submitted by: Angel C. Navarroza Jr.
Calimutan v. People G.R. No. 152133, February 9, 2006
FACTS: February 4, 1996 around 10 am: Cantre and witness Sañano, together with two other companions, had a drinking spree at a videoke bar but as they were headed home, they crossed paths with Calimutan and Michael Bulalacao. Cantre, 26 years old and 5 ft. 9 inches, had a grudge against Bulalacao, a 15 year-old boy of 5ft. for suspecting that he threw stones at the his house on a previous night so he punched him Seeking to protect Bulalacao and to stop Cantre, Calimutan picked a stone, as big as a
man‘s fist and hitting Cantre at the left side of his back not noticing that Bulalacao was already able to ran away. Cantre stopped for a moment and held his back and Calimutan desisted from any other act of violence Witness Sañano then brought Cantre home where he complained of backache and also of stomach ache and was unable to eat By night time, he felt cold then warm then he was sweating profusely and his entire body felt numb Having no vehicle, they could not bring him to a doctor so his mother just continue to wipe him with a piece of cloth and brought him some food when he asked.
After eating a little, he vomited. Shortly after complaining again of his backache and stomach ache, he died. The Post-Mortem Examination Report and Certification of Death, issued and signed by Dr. Ulanday, stated that the cause of death of victim Cantre was cardio-respiratory arrest due to suspected food poisoning With the help of the Lingkod Bayan-Circulo de Abogadas of the ABS-CBN Foundation, an
autopsy was done by Dr. Ronaldo B. Mendez which showed that there was internal hemorrhage and massive accumulation of blood in his abdominal cavity due to his lacerated spleen caused by a blunt object like a stone. RTC issued a warrant of arrest and during arraignment Calimutan pleaded not guilty to the
crime of homicide RTC: Essentially adopting the prosecution‘s account of the incident, held that Calimutan was guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide with a penalty of imprisonment from 8 years of Prision Mayor as minimum, to 12 years and 1 day of Reclusion Temporal as maximum, and
to indemnify the heirs of Philip Cantre the sum of P50,000 as compensatory damages and the sum of P50,000 as moral damages NOT defense of stranger , because after the boxing Bulalacao, he was able to run thereby the unlawful aggression by Cantre ceased
The act of throwing a stone from behind which hit the victim at his back on the left side was a treacherous criminally liable for all the direct and natural consequences of this unlawful act even if the ultimate result had not been intended CA: Affirmed RTC Calimutan filed a petition for review on certiorari contending that the dissimilar findings on the cause of death constituted reasonable doubt
ISSUE: Whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide HELD: NO. MODIFIED Calimutan is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, and is accordingly sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum period of 4 months of arresto mayor to a maximum period of two years and one day of prision correccional. Petitioner Calimutan is further ORDERED to pay the heirs of the victim Cantre the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for the latter‘s death and P50,000.00 as moral damages o
Proof beyond reasonable doubt requires only a moral certainty or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind (NOT absolute certainty and the exclusion of all possibility of error) Dr. Mendez‘s testimony as an expert witness is evidence, and although it does not necessarily bind the courts, it is accorded great weight and probative value § may sufficiently establish the causal relationship between the stone thrown by the Calimutan and the lacerated spleen of the Cantre which resulted in the latter‘s death o Proximate cause - cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and WITHOUT which the result would NOT have occurred Prosecution was able to establish that the proximate cause of the death of the Cantre was the stone thrown at him by petitioner Calimutan. o Comparing the limited autopsy conducted by Dr. Ulanday and her unconfirmed suspicion of food poisoning of the victim Cantre, as opposed to the exhaustive autopsy performed by Dr. Mendez and his definitive finding of a ruptured spleen as the cause of death, then the latter, without doubt, deserves to be given credence by o
the courts Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code classifies felonies according to the means by
which they are committed, in particular: intentional felonies - existence of malicious intent act is performed with deliberate intent (with malice) culpable felonies - absence of malicious intent
act or omission of the offender is NOT malicious the wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight or lack of skill Absence of intent, Calimutan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the culpable felony of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code Reckless imprudence 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.
Manuel vs People of the Philippines EDUARDO P. MANUEL, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent G.R. No. 165842 November 29, 2005 FACTS: This case is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, convicting the petitioner for the crime of bigamy. Eduardo P. Manuel, herein petitioner, was first married to Rubylus Gaña on July 18, 1975, who, according to the former, was charged with estafa in 1975 and thereafter imprisoned and was never seen again by him after his last visit. Manuel met Tina B. Gandalera in January 1996 when the latter was only 21 years old. Three months after their meeting, the two got married through a civil wedding in Baguio City without Gandalera‘s knowledge of Manuel‘s first marriage. In the course of their marriage, things got rocky and Gandalera learned that Eduardo was in fact already married when he married him. She then filed a criminal case of bigamy against Eduardo Manuel. The latter‘s defense being that his declaration of ―single‖ in his marriage contract with Gandalera was done because he believed in good faith that his first marriage was invalid and that he did not know that he had to go to court to seek for the nullification of his first marriage before marrying Tina. The Regional Trial Court ruled against him sentencing him of imprisonment of from 6 years and 10 months to ten years, and an amount 0f P200,000.00 for moral damages. Eduardo appealed the decision to the CA where he alleged that he was not criminally liable for bigamy because when he married the private complainant, he did so in good faith and without any malicious intent. The CA ruled against the petitioner but with modification on the RTC‘s decision. Imprisonment was from 2 years, months and 1 day to ten years. Pecuniary reward for moral damages was affirmed. Hence, this petition.
ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed reversible error of law when it ruled that petitioner‘s wife cannot be legally presumed dead under Article 390 of the Civil Code as there was no judicial declaration of presumptive death as provided for under Article 41 of the Family Code. 2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed reversible error of law when it affirmed the award of Php200,000.00 as moral damages as it has no basis in fact and in law. Held: 1. The petition is denied for lack of merit. 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. Where a spouse is
absent for the requisite period, the present spouse may contract a subsequent marriage only after securing a judgment declaring the presumptive death of the absent spouse to avoid being charged and convicted of bigamy; the present spouse will have to adduce evidence that he had a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. Such judgment is proof of the good faith of the present spouse who contracted a subsequent marriage; thus, even if the present spouse is later charged with bigamy if the absentee spouse reappears, he cannot be convicted of the crime. The court rules against the petitioner. 2. The Court rules that the petitioner‘s collective acts of fraud and deceit before, during and after his marriage with the private complainant were willful, deliberate and with malice and caused injury to the latter. The Court thus declares that the petitioner‘s acts are against public policy as they undermine and subvert the family as a social institution, good morals and the interest and general welfare of society. Because the private complainant was an innocent victim of the petitioner‘s perfidy, she is not barred from claiming moral damages. Considering the attendant circumstances of the case, the Court finds the award of P200,000.00 for moral damages to be just and reasonable.
U.S. Vs. Ah Chong 15 Phil 488 Facts:
The defendant Ah Chong was a cook at "Officers' quarters, No. 27," Fort McKinley, Rizal Province. Pascual Gualberto, deceased, works at the same place as a house boy or muchacho. "Officers' quarters, No. 27" was a detached house some 40 meters from the nearest building. No one slept in the house except the two servants who jointly occupied a small room toward the rear of the building, the door of which opened upon a narrow porch running along the side of the building. This porch was covered by a heavy growth of vines for its entire length and height. The door of the room was not furnished with a permanent bolt or lock; the occupants, as a measure of security, had attached a small hook or catch on the inside of the door, and were in the habit of reinforcing this somewhat insecure means of fastening the door by placing against it a chair. On the night of August 14, 1908, at about 10:00 pm, the defendant was suddenly awakened by some trying to force open the door of the room. He called out twice, "Who is there?" He heard no answer and was convinced by the noise at the door that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon forcing his way into the room. The defendant warned the intruder "If you enter the room, I will kill you." Seizing a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out wildly at the intruder (when he entered the room) who turned out to be his roommate Pascual. Pascual ran out upon the porch heavily wounded. Recognizing Pascual, the defendant called to his employers who slept in the next house and ran back to his room to secure bandages to bind up Pascual's wounds. Pascual died from the effects of the wound the following day. The roommates appear to have been in friendly and amicable terms prior to the incident, and had an understanding that when either returned at night, he should knock that the door and acquaint his companion with his identity. The defendant alleges that he kept the knife under his pillow as personal protection because of repeated robberies in Fort McKinley. Defendant admitted to stabbing his roommate, but said that he did it under the impression that Pascual was "a ladron (thief)" because he forced open the door of their sleeping room, despite the defendant's warnings. Defendant was found guilty by the trial court of simple homicide, with extenuating (mitigating) circumstances, and sentenced to 6 years and 1 day presidio mayor, the minimum penalty prescribed by law.
Whether or not the defendant can be held criminally responsible.
No. By reason of a mistake as to the facts, the defendant did an act for which he would be exempt from criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be (i.e. if Pascual was actually a thief, he will not be criminally liable/responsible because it would be self-defense), but would constitute the crime of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the true state of the facts (i.e. if he knew that it was actually Pascual, he would be guilty of homicide/assassination). The defendant's ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or bad faith. "The act itself does not make man guilty unless his intentions were so". The essence of the offense is the wrongful intent, without which it cannot exist "The guilt of the accused must depend on the circumstances as they appear to him." If one has reasonable cause to believe the existence of facts which will justify a killing, if without fault or carelessness he does believe them, he is legally guiltless of the homicide. The defendant was doing no more than exercise his legitimate right of selfdefense. He cannot be said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness or even carelessness in falling into his mistake as to the facts.
People vs. De Fernando 49 Phil. 75 FACTS: The accused, a policeman, was informed that three convicts had escaped. In the dark, he saw a person going up the stairs of a house, carrying a bolo and calling for someone inside. The daughter of the owner of the house was at that time with the accused that fired a shot in the air. As the unknown person continued to ascend the stairs and believing that he was one of the escaped convicts, the accused fired directly at the man who turned out to be the nephew of the owner of the house ISSUE: Whether or not the appellant is exempt from criminal liability due to mistake of fact. HELD: An agent of the law, to whom notice had been given of the presence of suspicious looking persons, who might be escaped prisoners from a nearby penitentiary, prowling around the vicinity, and who enters a house to keep watch, and later in the evening sees a person with a bolo in hand, approaching the house in the attitude of going up the stairs, who does not answer the challenge of the officer of the law, and continues his advance not withstanding that the latter had fired a shot into the air, and the said agent of the law considering that the said stranger has not been recognized by any person in the household, and thinking him to be an evil-doer, shoots and kills him, is not guilty of murder or homicide. Taking into consideration the state of the mind of the accused at the time, and the meaning that he gave to the attitude of the unknown person, in shooting the latter, he felt that he was performing his duty by defending the owners of the house against an unexpected attack, and such act cannot constitute the crime of murder, but only that of a simple homicide. He cannot be held guilty, however as principal, with malicious intent, because he thought at the time that he was justified in acting as he did, and he is guilty only because he failed to exercise the ordinary diligence which, under the circumstances, he should have by investigating whether or not the unknown man was really what he thought him to be. In firing the shot, without first exercising reasonable diligence, he acted with reckless negligence. The crime committed by the accused, therefore is homicide though reckless negligence defined and punished in Article 568, in relation with Art. 404, of the Penal Code.
Diego Vs. Castillo A.M. No. RTJ-02-1673 August 11, 2004 FACTS: January 9, 1965: Crescencia Escoto contracted marriage with Jorge de Perio, Jr., both Filipinos, solemnized before then Mayor Liberato Reyna of Dagupan City February 15, 1978: Jorge filed a Decree of Divorce in Texas June 4, 1987: Crescencia Escoto using the name Lucena Escoto married Manuel P. Diego before the Rev. Fr. Godoy, parish priest of Dagupan City The sister of Manuel P. Diego filed a criminal case of bigamy against Escoto RTC: Acquittal since state failed to prove guilt beyond whisper of a doubt and gave credence to the defense of the accused that she acted without any malicious intent for believing in good faith that her marriage was already annulled by a foreign judgment An administrative case is filed against Judge Silverio Q. Castillo for Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment under Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code ISSUE: W/N Castillo should be liable against Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code HELD: NO. Regional Trial Court Judge Silverio Q. Castillo is FINED P10,000 with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely The law requires that (a) the offender is a judge; (b) he renders a judgment in a case submitted to him for decision; (c) the judgment is unjust; (d) he knew that said judgment is unjust even assuming that a judge erred in acquitting an accused, he still cannot be administratively charged lacking the element of bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose As a matter of public policy then, the acts of a judge in his official capacity are not subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts are erroneous. Good faith and absence of malice, corrupt motives or improper considerations are sufficient defenses in which a judge charged with ignorance of the law can find refuge. error committed by respondent Judge being gross and patent, the same constitutes ignorance of the law of a nature sufficient to warrant disciplinary action
Petitioner: Joseph Ejercito Estrada Respondents: Sandiganbayan (Third Division) and People of the Philippines Ponente: J. Bellosillo FACTS: Section 2 of R.A. No. 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder) as amended by R.A. No. 7659 substantially provides that any public officer who amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts in the aggregate amount or total value of at least fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the crime of plunder. Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada, being prosecuted under the said Act, assailed its constitutionality, arguing inter alia, that it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under The Revised Penal Code; and as such, a violation of the fundamental rights of the accused to due process and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. ISSUE: Whether or not the crime of plunder as defined in R.A. No. 7080 is a malum prohibitum. HELD: No. The Supreme Court held that plunder is malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent. Moreover, the legislative declaration in R.A. No. 7659 that plunder is a heinous offense implies that it is amalum in se. The predicate crimes in the case of plunder involve acts which are inherently immoral or inherently wrong, and are committed ―willfully, unlawfully and criminally‖ by the offender, alleging his guilty knowledge. Thus, the crime of plunder is a malum in se.
People Vs. Go Shiu Ling G.R. No. 115156 December 14, 1995 FACTS:
Middle of August 1992: Chief Inspector Amador Pabustan of the Criminal Investigation Section of the Philippine National Police received a report from the International Police Organization (Interpol) that a large shipment of narcotics was arriving in Manila by air mail so he conferred it to the Pastor Guiao, Collector of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, who ordered an inspection of parcels of commercial quantity
coming from Hongkong, Singapore,Indonesia and Bangkok September 3, 1992: Antonio Comia who works for TASCO, a brokerage firm engaged in freightfacilitating and forwarding, went to the Airmail Distribution Center (ADC) to inquire about packages of their client Mary Ong consisting of about 30 parcels which were addressed to various individuals and bearing the identifying marks "VGM" or "VGMO" which were supposed to have left the Hongkong Airport on September 2, 1992 Teresita Bajar informed him that they arrived but under inspection and that the packages marked "VGM" had arrived in bad order and that its contents, which turned out to be watches, had spilled out so Comia told TASCO Manager Lydia Dizon who relayed it to Mary Ong Upon failure to have the cargo to be released, Comia arranged an appointment for Teodoro Evangelista, the owner of TASCO and Comia's brother-in-law, to see Supervising Appraiser of the Air Parcel Division of the Airmail Distribution Center Emmanuel Laudit Evangelista came to see Laudit and suggested "Perahin na lang eka iyan." Laudit advised Evangelista to speak instead with Collector Guiao.
3 packages out of 9 where marked "VGMO" and addressed to comia was found to contain plastic bags of metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
Evangelista, who was present denied any knowledge of the importation and claimied that the cargo belonged to Mary Ong.
Mary Ong was called and she executed an affidavit admitting that the packages marked "VGM" were hers, but were actually meant for Mrs. Go Shiu Ling, the sister of the sender in Hongkong who asked her to facilitate the importation of the boxes of what she thought contained watches.
About September 9, 1992: An information against Comia was filed for conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one another, without authority of law, did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously import or bring into the Philippines Metamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated drug September 18, 1992: He pleaded not guilty on arraignment October 12, 1992: Information was amended to include Teodoro Evangelista, who remained at large RTC: o Dismissed the case against Bajar since she was merely of being in the working area of the customs examiners of the ADC, locating Comia's parcels, where she had no authority to be o granted the demurrers of Ong and Go since Evangelista's affidavitwas inadmissible as evidence because Evangelista was not presented to identify it. Likewise, Ong's own affidavit, in which she pointed to Go as the real consignee of the packages, was also held to be inadmissible on the ground that it had been taken while she was under custodial investigation without assistance of counsel. She also made no mention of the packages marked "VGMO" in her affidavit and admitted that the parcels were sent to her by Yu Yen Jian, whereas the three parcels appeared to have been shipped by a certain Ching Ming o Comia's demurrer was denied. He was found guilty and sentenced to suffer life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P30,000.00 Comia was persistent in his follow up showed that he knew the contents of the three parcels
He followed up even after becoming aware of the arrival of the packages is an indication that he was there not merely to know if they had arrived but to secure their immediate dispatch to the satellite office TASCO's modus operandi was to have the cargo of clients divided into parcels which were then addressed to different individuals in order to reduce or entirely avoid customs duties. The addressees were people close to Evangelista, such as Comia, who is his brother-in-law, Lydia Dizon, his sister-in-law, Joel Evangelista, his son, and Bert Tuazon, his neighbor and addresses were interchanged or fictitious addresses were given. The packages were coded with the initials of TASCO's clients so that they could be identified. The code names "VGM" and "VGMO" stood for Mary Ong. Teresita Bajar knew the coded initials of TASCO's clients, having been given a list of them so she monitors the packages and relays them to Comia. Comia appealed contending that if he knew that the packages contained shabu, he
would instead have gone into hiding Emmanuel Laudit of the ADC allegedly warned Lydia Dizon that the shipment was going to be discovered indicates the existence of an alliance with Laudit He had reason to work hard for the release of the packages, now that the watches had been discovered and ranking officials of the ADC presumably already knew that TASCO's packages had been misdeclared. He had to have them released before the
rest of the packages were inspected. When his efforts failed, Comia called on his brother-in-law, Teodoro Evangelista, who was the owner of the firm and a former customs policeman, so that the latter could use his influence. ISSUE: Whether Comia can escape criminal responsibility due to lack of criminal intent and good faith.
HELD: NO. AFFIRMED. MODIFIED to reclusion perpetua
crime of transporting a prohibited drug is a malum prohibitum o punished as an offense under a special law o wrong because it is prohibited by law regardless of criminal intent. acts mala in se - there must be a criminal intent 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 notwithstanding that a majority of the defendants have been acquitted, the accused had been held responsible for the crime charged.
U.S. Vs. Mallari 29 Phil. 14 July 7, 1996 Facts: On July 7, 1996 at 4 pm, Joseph Galang admonished Mallari for driving so fast in front of the farmer‘s house. Mallari got irked and challenged Galang into a fist fight. Galang did not accede and apologized instead. At about 6:30 pm, Mallari returned and tried to stab Galang but Galang was able to run. Mallari boarded his truck and drove after Galang until he was able to catch up with him. He bumped him and crushed Galang‘s head. Galang voluntarily surrendered. He was convicted for murder and was sentenced to death. ISSUE: Whether or not evident premeditation is attendant. HELD: No. Evident premeditation and treachery was not proven to be present. However, Mallari‘s use of a motor vehicle which is his truck qualifies him for the crime of murder. He used his truck in killing Galang. Voluntary surrender is to be appreciated in favor of Mallari. He is sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
Bataclan Vs. Medina 102 Phil. 181 September 1952 Facts: Pass-midnight in September 1952, Juan Bataclan rode a bus owned by Mariano Medina from Cavite to Pasay. While on its way, the driver of the bus was driving fast and when he applied the brakes it cause the bus to be overturned. The driver, the conductor, and some passengers were able to free themselves from the bus except Bataclan and 3 others. The passengers called the help of the villagers and as it was dark, the villagers brought torch with them. The driver and the conductor failed to warn the would-be helpers of the fact that gasoline has spilled from the overturned bus so a huge fire ensued which engulfed the bus thereby killing the 4 passengers trapped inside. It was also found later in trial that the tires of the bus were old. ISSUE: Whether or not the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan et al was their burning by reason of the torches which ignited the gasoline. HELD: No. The proximate cause was the overturning of the bus which was caused by the negligence of the driver because he was speeding and also he was already advised by Medina to change the tires yet he did not. Such negligence resulted to the overturning of the bus. The torches carried by the would-be helpers are not to be blamed. It is just but natural for the villagers to respond to the call for help from the passengers and since it is a rural area which did not have flashlights, torches are the natural source of lighting. Further, the smell of gas could have been all over the place yet the driver and the conductor failed to provide warning about said fact to the villagers. WHAT IS “PROXIMATE CAUSE”? Proximate cause is that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.
Quinto v. Andres G.R. No. 155791 March 16, 2005 FACTS:
November 13, 1995 7:30 am: Edison Garcia, 11 year-old and Grade 4 elementary school pupil, and his playmate, Wilson Quinto saw Dante Andres and Randyver Pacheco by the mouth of a drainage culvert. Andres and Pacheco invited Wilson to go fishing with them inside the drainage culvert. Wilson agreed while Garcia seeing that it was dark inside, opted to remain seated in a grassy area about two meters from the entrance of the drainage system Only Pacheco had a flashlight. Pacheco, who was holding a fish, came out of the drainage system and left without saying a word. Then, Andres came out, went back inside, and emerged again carrying Wilson who was already dead. He laid his body down in the grassy area. Garcia, shocked, fled from the scene. Andres went to the house of Melba Quinto, Wilson‘s mother, and informed her that her son had died. They rushed to the drainage culvert. Wilson was buried without any complaints filed. November 28, 1995: National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) took the sworn statements of Pacheco, Garcia and Quinto Pacheco alleged that he had never been to the drainage system catching fish with Andres and Wilson Dr. Dominic Aguda of the NBI‘s autopsy showed that the cause death is drowning with traumatic head injuries as contributory NBI filed a criminal complaint for homicide against Andres and Pacheco with the RTC Dr. Dominic Aguda testified that Wilson could have fallen, and that the occipital portion of his head could have hit a blunt object, That the 14x7-centimeter hematoma at the back of Wilson‘s head could have rendered the him unconscious so he drowned. The 4x3-centimeter abrasion on the right side of Wilson‘s face could have also been caused by rubbing against a concrete wall or pavement, or by contact with a rough surface. He also stated that the trachea region was full of mud, but that there was no sign of strangulation. RTC: granted demurer to evidence on the ground of insufficiency of evidence CA: Affirmed RTC
ISSUE: W/N Acquittal in criminal case bars a civil action where the judgment of acquittal holds that the accused did not commit the criminal acts imputed to them
HELD: YES. petition is DENIED
Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. The civil liability of such person established in Articles 100, 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code includes restitution, reparation of the damage caused, and indemnification for consequential damages GR: When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action EX: the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action With the implied institution of the civil action in the criminal action, the two actions are merged into one composite proceeding, with the criminal action predominating the civil.
The prime purpose of the criminal action is to punish the offender in order to deter him and others from committing the same or similar offense, to isolate him from society, to reform and rehabilitate him or, in general, to maintain social order. The sole purpose of the civil action is the restitution, reparation or indemnification of the private offended party for the damage or injury he sustained by reason of the delictual or felonious act of the accused While the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt for the crime charged, it is required to prove the cause of action of the private complainant against the accused for damages and/or restitution. Insofar as the civil aspect of the case is concerned, the prosecution or the private complainant is burdened to adduce preponderance of evidence or superior weight of evidence. – failed § That the deceased fell or slipped cannot be totally foreclosed because even Garcia testified that the drainage culvert was dark, and that he himself was so afraid that he refused to join respondents Andres and Pacheco inside § failed to adduce proof of any ill-motive on the part of either respondent to kill the deceased before or after the latter was invited to join them in fishing
GR: The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil action. EX: civil action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the civil action that the act or omission from where the civil liability may arise does not exist a person committing a felony is criminally liable for all the natural and logical consequences resulting therefrom although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended o o
Natural - an occurrence in the ordinary course of human life or events Logical - a rational connection between the act of the accused and the resulting injury or damage The felony committed must be the proximate cause of the resulting injury
Proximate cause § cause which in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred § acting first and producing the injury, either immediately, or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor There must be a relation of ―cause and effect,‖ § cause = felonious act of the offender § effect = resultant injuries and/or death of the victim. The ―cause and effect‖ relationship is not altered or changed because of the pre-existing conditions § pathological condition of the victim § predisposition of the offended party § physical condition of the offended party concomitant or concurrent conditions § negligence or fault of the doctors § conditions supervening the felonious act Ø tetanus Ø pulmonary infection Ø gangrene
not the proximate cause of the resulting injury when: 1. there is an active force that intervened between the felony committed and the resulting injury, and the active force is a distinct act or fact absolutely foreign from the felonious act of the accused; or 2. the resulting injury is due to the intentional act of the victim The offender is criminally liable for the death of the victim if his delictual act caused,
accelerated or contributed to the death of the victim. the prosecution was burdened to prove the corpus delicti which consists of two things: first, the criminal act - objective second, defendant‘s agency in the commission of the act - subjective element of crimes In homicide (by dolo) and in murder cases, the prosecution is burdened to prove: 1. 2.
the death of the party alleged to be dead that the death was produced by the criminal act of some other than the deceased and was
not the result of accident, natural cause or suicide 3. that defendant committed the criminal act or was in some way criminally responsible for the act which produced the death
People v. Pilola G.R. No. 121828 June 27, 2003 FACTS: February 5, 1988 11:30 pm: Elisa Rolan was inside their store waiting for her husband to arrive.Joselito Capa and Julian Azul, Jr. were drinking beer. Although already drunk, Edmar Aguilos and Odilon Lagliba joined them. Edmar had a heated argument with Julian. Elisa pacified Edmar and advised them to go home as she was already going to close up. Edmar and Odilon left then returned to block Joselito and Julian. Edmar took off his eyeglasses and punched Julian in the face. Elisa shouted: ―Tama na. Tama na‖ but she was ignored as they continued until they reached the end of the street. Odilon positioned himself on top of a pile of hollow blocks and watched as Edmar and Julian swapped punches. As Joselito tried to stop the fight, Odilon pulled out his knife with his right hand and stepped down from his perch. He placed his left arm around Joselito‘s neck, and stabbed him. Ronnie and Rene Gayot Pilola, who were across the street, saw their gangmate Odilon stabbing the victim and decided to join the fray. Ronnie took a knife from the kitchen of Teresita and rushed together with Pilola to the scene and stabbed Joselito. As Joeslito was stabbed 11 times (6 fatal stab wounds), he fell in the canal. Odilon and Pilola fled while Ronnie went after Julian who ran dear life. When Julian noticed that Ronnie was no longer running after him, he looked back and saw Ronnie pick up a piece of hollow block and bashed Joselito‘s head. Then, Ronnie got a piece of broken bottle and struck Joselito once more before fleing from the scene. Joselito died on the spot. Elisa rushed to Joselito‘s house and informed his wife and brother of the incident. Agripina Gloria, a female security guard, saw Ronnie repeatedly stabbed Joselito and fled towards the direction of the mental hospital. She did not see Odilon. Elisa cross-examination had an inconsistency, she stated that it was Edmar who struck the victim (before it was Ronnie) RTC: Pilola GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder qualified by treachery and sentenced to reclusion perpetua ISSUE: W/N Pilola is guilty of murder HELD: YES. Rene Gayot Pilola GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION
The identity of the person who hit the victim with a hollow block is of de minimis importance. Elisa‘s testimony is corroborated by the autopsy report of Dr. Bienvenido Muñoz. No showing of any improper motive on the part of a witness to testify falsely
against the accused or to falsely implicate the latter in the commission of the crime. The trial court gave credence and full probative weight to Elisa‘s testimony. There is conspiracy when two or more persons agree to commit a felony and decide to commit it. Conspiracy as a mode of incurring criminal liability must be proved separately from and with the same quantum of proof as the crime itself. Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence. After all, 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 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, indicating a closeness of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment. There may be conspiracy even if an offender does not know the identities of the other offenders, and even though he is not aware of all the details of the plan of operation or was not in on the scheme from the beginning. One need only to knowingly contribute his efforts in furtherance of it. One who joins a criminal conspiracy in effect adopts as his own the criminal designs of his co-conspirators. If conspiracy is established, all the conspirators are liable as coprincipals regardless of the manner and extent of their participation since in contemplation of law, the act of one would be the act of all. Each of the conspirators is the agent of all the others.
The mere presence of an accused at the situs of the crime will not suffice. There must be intentional participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. 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 mediately or immediately cause or accelerate the death of the victim. Art.
4. Criminal liability. – Criminal liability shall be incurred: 1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. Art. 18. Accomplices. – Accomplices are the persons who, not being included in Article 17, cooperate in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts. To hold a person liable as an accomplice, two elements must concur:
the community of criminal design; that is, knowing the criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose;
the performance of previous or simultaneous acts that are not indispensable to the commission of the crime Accomplices come to know about the criminal resolution of the principal by direct participation after the principal has reached the decision to commit the felony and only
then does the accomplice agree to cooperate in its execution. Accomplices do not decide whether the crime should be committed; they merely assent to the plan of the principal by direct participation and cooperate in its accomplishment However, where one cooperates in the commission of the crime by performing overt acts which by themselves are acts of execution, he is a principal by direct participation, and not merely an accomplice Odilon all by himself initially decided to stab the victim. However, while Odilon was stabbing the victim, the appellant and Ronnie agreed to join. All the overt acts of Odilon, Ronnie and the Pilola before, during, and after the stabbing incident indubitably show that they conspired to kill the victim. Since the victim is not yet dead, the crime is not yet consummated so Pilola is a principal by direct participation. Alibi is a weak, if not the weakest of defenses in a criminal prosecution, because it is easy to concoct but hard to disprove. To serve as basis for acquittal, it must be established by clear and convincing evidence. For it to prosper, the accused must prove not only that he was absent from the scene of the crime at the time of its commission, but also that it was physically impossible for him to have been present then. Pilola knew that he was charged for the stabbing but instead of surrendering to the police authorities, he evaded arrest and this flight is evidence of guilt 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 specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. The essence of treachery is the swift and unexpected attack on the unarmed victim without the slightest provocation on his part attack on the unarmed victim was sudden. The aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength is absorbed by treachery
People Vs. Balmores 85 Phil. 493
Facts: Balmores was found guilty of attempted estafa through falsification of a government obligation. He attempted to cash in a sweepstakes ticket that was obviously falsified (the ¼ ticket was split into ⅛, and the winning ticket number written in ink at the bottom left part of the halved ticket). He presented his falsified ticket to a PCSO booth. The PCSO employee manning the booth saw that the ticket was obviously falsified, and had Balmores arrested. Balmores waived the right to counsel, and pleaded guilty to the crime of attempted estafa.
Issue: WON Balmores committed an impossible crime.
Held: No; The recklessness and clumsiness of the act of falsification did not make the crime an impossible one under Paragraph 2 Article 4 of the RPC.1 The alteration of a losing sweepstakes ticket would constitute a crime only if an attempt to cash it were done, which is what occurred in this case.
Intod Vs. CA 215 SCRA 52 Facts: Intod and company were tasked to kill Palang-pangan due to land dispute. They fired at her room. However, she was in another city then thus they hit no one.
Issue: WON he is liable for attempted murder?
Held: No. Only impossible crime. In the Philippines, Article 4(2) provides and punishes an impossible crime—an act which, were it not aimed at something quite impossible or carried out with means which prove inadequate would constitute a felony against person or family. Its purpose is to punish criminal tendencies. There must either be (1) legal responsibility, or (2) physical impossibility of accomplishing the intended act in order to qualify the act as an impossible crime. Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts even if completed, would not amount to a crime. Thus: Legal impossibility would apply to those circumstances where: (1) The motive, desire and expectation is to perform an act in violation of the law; (2) There is no intention to perform the physical act; (3) There is a performance of the intended physical act; and (4) The consequence resulting from the intended act does not amount to a crime.
Factual impossibility occurs when extraneous circumstances unknown to actor or beyond control prevent consummation of intended crime. Factual impossibility of the commission of the crime is not a defense. If the crime could have been committed had the circumstances been as the defendant believed them to be, it is no defense that in reality, the crime was impossible of commission. Legal impossibility on the other hand is a defense which can be invoked to avoid criminal liability for an attempt. The factual situation in the case at bar presents 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.
Jacinto v People G.R. No. 162540, July 13, 2009
Facts: Jacinto along with Valencia and Capitle was charged with qualified theft for having stole and deposited a check with an amount of 10,000 php. Such check was issued by Baby Aquino for payment of her purchases from Mega Foam, but the check bounced. Dyhengco found out about the theft and filed a complaint with the NBI. An entrapment operation was conducted, with the use of marked bills. The entrapment was a success and the petitioner along with her co- accused was arrested.
Issue: Whether this can constitute as an impossible crime and not as qualified theft
Held: This constitutes as an impossible crime. The requistites of an impossible crime are: 1. that the act performed would be an offense against persons or property (all acts to consummate the crime of qualified theft was consummated – crime against property) 2. that the act was done with evil intent (mere act of unlawful taking showed intent to gain) 3. that its accomplishment was inherently impossible or the means employed was either inadequate or ineffectual – or the extraneous circumstance that constituted it as a factual impossibility (the fact that the check bounced) Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even if completed, would not amount to a crime. (Impossibility of killing a dead person) Factual impossibility – when extraneous circumstances unknown to the actor or beyond his control prevent consummation of the intended crime. (Like the example in the case of Intod: a man puts his hand on the coat pocket of another with intent to steal but gets nothing since the pocket is empty) From the time the petitioner took possession of the check meant for Mega Foam, she had performed all the acts to consummate the crime of theft, had it not been impossible of accomplishment in this case.
Replacement for the check was no longer necessary for the consummation of the crime since the crime of theft is not a continuing offense, petitioners act of receiving the cash replacement should not be considered as a continuation of the theft. The fact that the petitioner was caught receiving the marked money was merely corroborating evidence to strengthen proof of her intent to gain.
Valenzuela v. People G. R. No. 160188 June 21, 2007
FACTS: • May 19, 1994 4:30 pm: Aristotel Valenzuela and Jovy Calderon were sighted outside the Super Sale Club, a supermarket within the ShoeMart (SM) complex along North EDSA, by Lorenzo Lago, a security guard who was then manning his post at the open parking area of the supermarket. Lago saw Valenzuela, who was wearing an ID with the mark ―Receiving Dispatching Unit (RDU)‖ who hauled a push cart with cases of detergent of ―Tide‖ brand and unloaded them in an open parking space, where Calderon was waiting. He then returned inside the supermarket and emerged 5 minutes after with more cartons of Tide Ultramatic and again unloaded these boxes to the same area in the open parking space. Thereafter, he left the parking area and haled a taxi. He boarded the cab and directed it towards the parking space where Calderon was waiting. Calderon loaded the cartons of Tide Ultramatic inside the taxi, then boarded the vehicle. As Lago watched, he proceeded to stop the taxi as it was leaving the open parking area and asked Valenzuela for a receipt of the merchandise but Valenzuela and Calderon reacted by fleeing on foot. Lago fired a warning shot to alert his fellow security guards. Valenzuela and Calderon were apprehended at the scene and the stolen merchandise recovered worth P12,090. • Valenzuela, Calderon and 4 other persons were first brought to the SM security office before they were transferred to the Baler Station II of the Philippine National Police but only Valenzuela and Calderon were charged with theft by the Assistant City Prosecutor. • They pleaded not guilty. • Calderon‘s Alibi: On the afternoon of the incident, he was at the Super Sale Club to withdraw from his ATM account, accompanied by his neighbor, Leoncio Rosulada. As the queue for the ATM was long, he and Rosulada decided to buy snacks inside the supermarket. While they were eating, they heard the gunshot fired by Lago, so they went out to check what was transpiring and when they did, they were suddenly grabbed by a security guard • Valenzuela‘s Alibi: He is employed as a ―bundler‖ of GMS Marketing and assigned at the supermarket. He and his cousin, a Gregorio Valenzuela, had been at the parking lot, walking beside the nearby BLISS complex and headed to ride a tricycle going to Pag-asa, when they saw the security guard Lago fire a shot causing evryon to start running. Then they were apprehended by Lago. • RTC: guilty of consummated theft • CA: Confirmed RTC and rejected his contention that it should only be frustrated theft since at the time he was apprehended, he was never placed in a position to freely dispose of the articles stolen. ISSUE: W/N Valenzuela should be guilty of consummated theft. HELD: YES. petition is DENIED • Article 6 defines those three stages, namely the consummated, frustrated and attempted felonies. o A felony is consummated ―when all the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are present.‖ o It is frustrated ―when the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator.‖ o It is attempted ―when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason
of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance.‖ • Each felony under the Revised Penal Code has a: o subjective phase - portion of the acts constituting the crime included between the act which begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the offender which, with prior acts, should result in the consummated crime if the offender never passes the subjective phase of the offense, the crime is merely attempted o objective phase - After that point of subjective phase has been breached subjective phase is completely passed in case of frustrated crimes • the determination of whether a crime is frustrated or consummated necessitates an initial concession that all of the acts of execution have been performed by the offender • The determination of whether the felony was ―produced‖ after all the acts of execution had been performed hinges on the particular statutory definition of the felony. • ―actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea‖ - ordinarily, evil intent must unite with an unlawful act for there to be a crime or there can be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting • In crimes mala in se, mens rea has been defined before as ―a guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose or criminal intent‖ and ―essential for criminal liability.‖ • Statutory definition of our mala in se crimes must be able to supply what the mens rea of the crime is and overt acts that constitute the crime • Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code (Elements of Theft): 1. that there be taking of personal property - only one operative act of execution by the actor involved in theft 2. property belongs to another 3. taking be done with intent to gain - descriptive circumstances 4. taking be done without the consent of the owner - descriptive circumstances 5. taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things - descriptive circumstances • Abandoned cases: o U.S. v. Adiao: failed to get the merchandise out of the Custom House - consummated theft o Diño: Military Police inspected the truck at the check point and found 3 boxes of army rifles frustrated theft o Flores: guards discovered that the ―empty‖ sea van had actually contained other merchandise as well - consummated theft o Empelis v. IAC: Fled the scene, dropping the coconuts they had seized - frustrated qualified theft because petitioners were not able to perform all the acts of execution which should have produced the felony as a consequence cannot attribute weight because definition is attempted • The ability of the actor ―to freely dispose of the articles stolen, even if it were only momentary.‖ o We are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the taking by the petitioner was completed in this case. With intent to gain, he acquired physical possession of the stolen cases of detergent for a considerable period of time that he was able to drop these off at a spot in the parking lot, and long enough to load these onto a taxicab. • Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, theft cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft can only be attempted (no unlawful taking) or consummated (there is unlawful taking).
People v. Palaganas G.R. No. 165483 September 12, 2006
FACTS: • January 16, 1998 8pm: Brothers Servillano, Melton and Michael Ferrer were on a drinking spree in their house because Melton visited his brothers in Pangasinan all the way from San Fernando, La Union. • January 16, 1998 9:45 pm: The brothers decided to go to Tidbits Videoke bar to continue their drinking spree and to sing. They were the only customers • January 16, 1998 10:30 pm: Jaime Palaganas, Ferdinand Palaganas and Virgilio Bautista arrived and they occupied a different table. When Jaime sang ―My Way‖, Melton sang along. But, Jaime resented this, approached the brother and said in Pangasinan dialect "As if you are tough guys. You are already insulting me in that way." Jaime struck Servillano‘s head with the microphone and a fight ensued. Virgilio Bautista did not joined in and just left. During the rumble, Ferdinand went out of the bar. Michael was about to pursue him but was stopped by Servillano. They went back to continue to fight with Jaime. Edith Palaganas, sister of Jaime and the owner of the bar, arrived and pacified them. Servillano noticed that his wristwatch was missing. Since the brothers could not locate it inside the bar, they went outside. They saw Ferdinand at them and said to Rujjeric Palaganas "Oraratan paltog mo lara" meaning "They are the ones, shoot them." Rujjeric shot Servillano first at the left side of the abdomen penetrating his large intestine and urinary bladder causing him to fall on the ground then Melton with a fatal shot on the head and on the right thigh. When Servillano noticed that Melton was no longer moving, he told Michael "Bato, bato‖ and they threw stones at Rujjeric and Ferdinand. Michael was hit on the right shoulder. • The police came and took the Ferrer brothers to Manaoag Hospital and later to Villaflor Hospital in Dagupan. • Criminal Case No. U-9608: Shooting Servillano with unlicensed firearm • Criminal Case No. U-9609: Shooting Melton with unlicensed firearm • Criminal Case No. U-9610: Shooting Michael with unlicensed firearm • Criminal Case No. U-9634: using a caliber .38 without first securing the necessary permit/license in violation to Comelec Res. 2958 • Rujjeric and Ferdinand entered separate pleas of "Not Guilty" Upon motion of Ferdinand, the four cases were consolidated. • RTC: Rujjeric was guilty of the crime of Homicide and 2 counts of Frustrated Homicide but acquitted of the charge of Violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 2958 in relation to Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code while Ferdinand was acquitted of all the charges against him. • CA Affirmed • Rujjeric argued that all the elements of a valid self-defense are present in the instant case and, thus, his acquittal on all the charges is proper; that when he fired his gun, he was then a victim of an unlawful aggression perpetrated by the Ferrer brothers; that he, in fact, sustained an injury in his left leg and left shoulder caused by the stones thrown by the Ferrer brothers
ISSUE: W/N Rujjeric was guilty of the crime of Homicide and 2 counts of Frustrated Homicide HELD: YES. AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: • Criminal Case No. U-9608: Shooting Servillano with unlicensed firearm - attempted homicide. There being a special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm
and applying the Indeterminate Sentence of Law, the penalty now becomes four (4) years and two (2) months of arresto mayor as minimum period to six (6) years of prision correccional as maximum period • Criminal Case No. U-9609: Shooting Melton with unlicensed firearm - homicide is reclusion temporal - There being a special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty now is twelve (12) years of prision mayor as minimum period to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal as maximum period • Criminal Case No. U-9610: Shooting Michael with unlicensed firearm - frustrated homicide. There being a special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty now becomes six (6) years of prision correccional as minimum period to twelve (12) years of prision mayor as maximum period. • petitioner argued that all the elements of a valid self-defense are present in the instant case and, thus, his acquittal on all the charges is proper; that when he fired his gun on that fateful night, he was then a victim of an unlawful aggression perpetrated by the Ferrer brothers; that he, in fact, sustained an injury in his left leg and left shoulder caused by the stones thrown by the Ferrer brothers • ART. 11. Justifying circumstances. – The following do not incur any criminal liability: • 1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following circumstances concur; • First. Unlawful aggression; o no unlawful aggression on the part of the Ferrer brothers that justified the act of petitioner in shooting them. Ferrer brothers then were merely standing outside the videoke bar and were not carrying any weapon o When the Ferrer brothers started throwing stones, petitioner was not in a state of actual or imminent danger considering the wide distance (4-5 meters) of the latter from the location of the former. He was still capable of avoiding the stones by running away or by taking cover. He could have also called or proceeded to the proper authorities for help • Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; o gun was far deadlier compared to the stones thrown by the Ferrer brothers. • Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. x x x. • unlawful aggression is a primordial element in self-defense. It is an essential and indispensable requisite, for without unlawful aggression on the part of the victim • As the burden of evidence is shifted on the accused to prove all the elements of selfdefense, he must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution • 1.) In frustrated felony, the offender has performed all the acts of execution which should produce the felony as a consequence; whereas in attempted felony, the offender merely commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution. • 2.) In frustrated felony, the reason for the non-accomplishment of the crime is some cause independent of the will of the perpetrator; on the other hand, in attempted felony, the reason for the non-fulfillment of the crime is a cause or accident other than the offender's own spontaneous desistance. • when the accused intended to kill his victim, as manifested by his use of a deadly weapon in his assault, and his victim sustained fatal or mortal wound/s but did not die because of timely medical assistance, the crime committed is frustrated murder or frustrated homicide depending on whether or not any of the qualifying circumstances under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code are present. However, if the wound/s sustained by the victim in such a case were not fatal or mortal, then the crime committed is only attempted murder or attempted homicide.
• If there was no intent to kill on the part of the accused and the wound/s sustained by the victim were not fatal, the crime committed may be serious, less serious or slight physical injury • Michal‘s wound took six to eight days to heal - attempted homicide • use of an unlicensed firearm - special aggravating circumstance by Republic Act. No. 8294 on June 6, 1997 • Generic aggravating circumstances are those that generally apply to all crimes such as those mentioned in Article 14, paragraphs No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19 and 20, of the Revised Penal Code. It has the effect of increasing the penalty for the crime to its maximum period, but it cannot increase the same to the next higher degree. It must always be alleged and charged in the information, and must be proven during the trial in order to be appreciated. Moreover, it can be offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance. On the other hand, special aggravating circumstance, CANNOT be offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance
Rivera v. People G.R. No. 166326 January 25, 2006
FACTS: • April 1998: Ruben Rodil stopped working as a taxi driver after a would-be rapist threatened his life. He was cited as a Bayaning Pilipino by ABS-CBN for saving the would-be victim. His wife is a manicurist and they have 3 children. • May 2, 1998 1:00 pm: Ruben went to a nearby store to buy food. Edgardo, his neighbour, mocked him for being jobless and dependent on his wife for support and soon a heated exchange of words ensued. • May 3, 1998 7:30 pm (Sunday): Ruben with his 3 year-old daughter went to the store to buy food and to look for his wife. Suddenly, the brothers Esmeraldo, Ismael and Edgardo emerged from their house and ganged up on him. Esmeraldo and Ismael mauled Ruben with fist blows so he fell to the ground. While lying on the ground, Edgardo hit Ruben 3 times with a hollow block on the parietal area (narrowly missing the middle which is fatal) while Esmeraldo and Ismael continued mauling Ruben. People who saw the incident shouted: "Awatin sila! Awatin sila!" Ruben felt dizzy but managed to stand up. Ismael threw a stone at him, hitting him at the back. The policemen on board a mobile car arrived so Esmeraldo, Ismael and Edgardo fled to their house. • Ruben was brought to the hospital. The doctor declared his lacerated wound in the parietal area was slight and superficial and would heal from 1-7 days. • Esmeraldo: May 3, 1998 1:00 pm, Ruben arrived at his house, banged the gate and challenged him and his brothers to come out and fight. When he got out, Ruben punchd him and they wrestled but Edgardo pushed Ruben aside and Esmeraldo‘s wife pulled him away and brought to their house. • Ismael: He tried to pacify them but Ruben pulled his hair. Once he got free, he fled to their house and did not see Edgardo in the scene. • Edgardo: May 3, 1998 1:00 pm, he was throwing garbage in front of their house when Ruben arrived. He quickly went inside as Ruben banged the gate, ordered him to get out and even threatened to shoot him. Esmeraldo went out to ask what Ruben‘s problem was but it led to a fist fight. He rushed outside and pushed Ruben who fell to the ground. Ruben stood up, grabbed his hair and in the process, Rubn hit his head on a lamp post. • Eyewitnesses Alicia Vera Cruz and Lucita Villejo: revealed the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack of petitioners • RTC: Frustrated murder • CA: Attempted murder • Petitioned o They should be held criminally liable for physical injuries only since no intent to kill and even if they had intent to kill, the prosecution failed to prove treachery ISSUE: W/N the CA correctly held it as attempted murder. HELD: NO. petition is DENIED for lack of merit. CA AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATION indeterminate penalty of from two (2) years of prision correccional in its minimum period, as minimum, to nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its medium period, as maximum. No costs. •
When a wound is not sufficient to cause death, but intent to kill is evident, the crime is
attempted. • Intent to kill is a specific intent which the prosecution must prove by direct or circumstantial evidence, while general criminal intent is presumed from the commission of a felony by dolo. o evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against persons may consist, inter alia, in the means used by the malefactors, the nature, location and number of wounds sustained by the victim, the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time, or immediately after the killing of the victim, the circumstances under which the crime was committed and the motives of the accused Intent to kill was shown by the fact that the 3 brothers helped each other maul the defenseless victim, and even after he had already fallen to the ground; that one of them even picked up a cement hollow block and proceeded to hit the victim on the head with it 3 times; and that it was only the arrival of the policementhat made them desist from their concerted act of trying to kill Ruben o If the victim dies as a result of a deliberate act of the malefactors, intent to kill is presumed • The first requisite of an attempted felony consists of two elements, namely: (1) That there be external acts; (2) Such external acts have direct connection with the crime intended to be committed. • overt or external act - some physical activity or deed, indicating the intention to commit a particular crime, more than a mere planning or preparation, which if carried out to its complete termination following its natural course, without being frustrated by external obstacles nor by the spontaneous desistance of the perpetrator, will logically and necessarily ripen into a concrete offense o Reason: so long as the equivocal quality remains, no one can say with certainty what the intent of the accused is o overt acts must have an immediate and necessary relation to the offense • They attacked the victim in a sudden and unexpected manner as Ruben was walking with his 3-year-old daughter, impervious of the imminent peril to his life. He had no chance to defend himself and retaliate. He was overwhelmed by the synchronized assault of the 3 siblings. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack on the victim. Even if the attack is frontal but is sudden and unexpected, giving no opportunity for the victim to repel it or defend himself, there would be treachery o There being conspiracy by and among petitioners, treachery is considered against all of them.
People vs. Almazan G.R. Nos. 138943-44 September 17, 2001
Facts: -On September 28, 1996, at about 4:00pm, accused-appellant Henry Almazan went home accompanied by his friend Johnald Molina. His wife informed him upon his return that his twelve fighting cocks had been stolen. He then proceeded to search for them and ended up in Vicente Madriaga‘s house where the latter was playing chess with a certain Allan. The spectators were Vicente‘s son Noli carrying his 2-year old daughter, his grandson Noel, and neighbor Angel Soliva. -Henry Almazan brandished a .38 caliber revolver in front of the group since he suspected Angel to be the culprit behind the theft of his fighting cocks. He aimed at Angel and fired twice but to no avail. Vicente tried to calm Henry down while Angel ran away but the accusedappellant aimed instead at Noli, fired his gun, and killed him. He then turned to Noel and shot him on the thigh. Both Noli and Noel were rushed to the hospital; the former dying along the way and latter surviving from a mere minor injury from the gunshot. -Henry contested that his acts were in self-defense. According to him, upon arrival at Vicente‘s house, the group was drinking liquor, mocking him, and threatening him of physical violence. He claims that Angel was the one that pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and aimed at him but misfired twice that ensued in a struggle for the weapon between the two men. During the struggle, accused-appellant claims that Noli was accidentally shot. After successfully wrestling the weapon away from Angel, Henry claims to have received a blow from behind which caused him to fall and see Noel poised to attack him with a broken bottle so he fired at the latter‘s lower part of the body. His friend Johnald Molina corroborated his story. -Accused-appellant was charged with murder qualified by treachery for the death of Noli and frustrated murder for shooting Noel based on a statement of Noel‘s attending physician, Dr. Misael Jonathan Ticman, who said that if not medically treated, the wound might get infected or lead to the victim‘s death. He did send the victim home after undergoing treatment. -Accused-appellant went into hiding after the shooting incident and was caught eight months later.
Crime Commited: Murder and Frustrated Murder aggravated by treachery and evident premeditation.
Contention of the Accused: -Prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. -The testimony of Shirley Abordo, common-law wife of Nilo, is merely hearsay. -The testimony of Vicente has alleged inconsistencies in various vital points. -Evidence of the prosecution is impugned for its failure to present Angel who was primarily involved in the incident and whom the defense claims to be the real transgressor. -For frustrated murder, accused-appellant contends that the trial court erred in holding him guilty, as the wound sustained by Noel was not fatal and could not have caused his death. He also claims that his act was in self-defense. -The evidence sufficient to establish the absolute and moral certainty of the accused-appellant‘s guilt is absent and he should be acquitted.
Contention of the State: -Theft of Henry‘s fighting cocks constituted sufficient motive for the killing and that as a cockfight aficionado he must have found it imperative to exact vengeance on his suspected culprits. -Testimony of Johnald failed to create reasonable doubt on the guilt of Henry since he is a friend [and is] expected to extend relief to a friend, especially one in need. -The qualifying circumstance of treachery was appreciated on the ground that the victims were completely defenseless when attacked and did not commit the slightest provocation. -Frustrated murder charge is based on Dr. Ticman‘s statement where he says ―Noel could catch infection[from the gunshot wound].‖ -The witnesses for the prosecution were consistent in their narration of the manner by which the events transpired, and they remained steadfast in the identification of the perpetrator.
Held: -No justification for evident premeditation as there was no proof as to the manner and time during which the plan to kill was hatched. -Testimonial evidence to be credible should not only come from the mouth of a credible witness but should also be credible, reasonable and in accord with human experience, failing which, it should be rejected. -For the claim of self-defense to the charge of murder aggravated by treachery, the accusedappellant failed to discharge the burden of proof that rests upon him to prove by clear and
convincing evidence the elements thereof: (a) that there was unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b) that there was reasonable necessity for the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (c) that there was lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the defendant. -Accused-appellant should be held liable for attempted murder, not frustrated murder since the victim did not sustain a fatal wound that could have caused his death were it not for timely medical assistance. Dr. Ticman‘s statements are pure speculation and the nature of the wound was that of a mere minor injury. -The Joint Decision of the trial court finding accused-appellant Henry Almazan guilty of Murder is affirmed. However, his conviction for Frustrated Murder is modified by lowering the crime to Attempted Murder.
People Vs. Campuhan 329 SCRA 270 Facts: Primo Campuhan was accused of raping a four year old Crysthel Pamintuan. Campuhan was caught by child‘s mother on April 25, 1996 at around 4pm in their house. Campuhan, helper of Corazon‘s brother was allegedly kneeling in front of the child with both their pants down and child was crying ―ayoko, ayoko‖ while Primo forced his penis into child‗s vagina
Issue: WON crime is rape?
Held: No. Modified to attempted rape 1. Consummated rape: perfect penetration not essential. Slight penetration is equivalent to rape. Mere touching of external genitalia considered when its an essential part of penetration not just touching in ordinary sense (People v. Orita). Labia majora must be entered for rape to be consummated (People v. Escober) 2.
Attempted – no penetration or didn‗t reach labia/mere grazing of surface
3. Failed to prove that penetration occurred. Mother‗s testimony questionable with regards to her position relative to Primo and child. They failed to establish how she could have seen actual contact in her position 4. Man‗s instinct is to run when caught. Primo could not have stayed or to satisfy his lust even if .. seeing Corazon 5.
Child denied penetration occurred
People v. Villamor consummation even when penetration doubted: pain‗s felt, discoloration of inner lips of vagina or red labia minora or hymenal tags not visible. Now seen in case, Medico legal officer, though penetration not needed to prove contact, no medical basis to hold that there was sexual contact. Hymen intact.
PEOPLE vs. QUIROL GR 149259, October 2005, 473 SCRA 509
In celebration of a fiesta in Apas, Lahug, Cebu City, a ―benefit disco dance‖ was held. Appellants, Juanito and Mario Quirol, and the two victims, Benjamin Silva and Roel Ngujo, attended. Policeman PO3 Jed Daloso, a third accused who remains at large, was also there. At the dance, Juanito, Mario and Jed were together and drank all through the night with some friends. Jed was later seen in a drunken state chasing people around while Juanito was seen toying with a Batangas knife. 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. The ladies, perhaps not wanting to be delayed, went ahead. 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, could hear Benjamin plead for his life. 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. At around 7 a.m. that same morning, Juanito went to collect his wages at the house of Galileo Banate, a construction foreman for whom the former was working. Galileo observed Juanito to be somewhat in an inebriated state, and so when Juanito asked permission to sleep on the floor, Galileo acceded. Juanito was so sleepy that he unconsciously dropped his Batangas knife. Galileo later saw it beside him on the floor, picked it up and kept it as there were children around who could play with it. When he later gave Juanito his wages, he forgot to return the knife. Four days later, at the construction site, Mario arrived with a policeman and picked up Juanito. Before leaving the construction site, Juanito asked his knife back from Galileo. Galileo retrieved the knife from his house and turned it over to the policeman. A subsequent examination on the knife revealed that it
RULING: We sustain the finding of conspiracy. Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence of prior agreement to commit the crime. Neither is its 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.
PEOPLE vs. BULAN GR 143404, June 8, 2005, 459 SCRA 550 Facts: This case was certified by the Court of Appeals (CA) to this Court for review, in view of its finding in its Decision that appellants Jose Bulan and his son, Allan Bulan, are guilty of murder as principals by indispensable cooperation punishable by reclusion perpetua to death, and not merely as accomplices as found by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Virac, Catanduanes, Branch
On the night of June 6, 1994, a dance was taking place at Brgy Datag. Alberto Mariano, a barangay tanod in said barangay was assigned the task of seeing to it that anybody who entered the gate to the dance hall at the plaza must have a ribbon. Appellant Allan Bulan came to the dance and entered the gate without the required ribbon. Alberto Mariano followed appellant Allan Bulan into the dance hall and asked him why he entered the gate without a ribbon. Instead of answering Alberto‘s question, Allan boxed him on the head. Accused Estemson Bulan, Allan‘s brother, who had entered the dance hall, likewise, boxed Alberto. Estemson then held Alberto, while Allan boxed the latter on the chest. Perlita Mariano, Alberto‘s sister, who was present at the dance, embraced her brother as Allan and Estemson unceasingly pummeled him. The other barangay tanods Ceferino Ceballo and Juan Boribor, and a barangay kagawad, Dante Ereso, stopped Allan and Estemson from further beating Alberto. After being pacified by the barangay officials, Allan and Estemson left the dance hall. Alberto, on the other hand, went back to where he originally stood to resume his duty. His sister Perlita stood beside him. One Edwin Solo, a policeman, suddenly came into the dance hall and dragged Alberto into the street just outside the entrance. Perlita embraced Alberto as he was dragged outside the barangay plaza. Appellants Jose Bulan and Allan Bulan were waiting for Alberto and immediately held the latter by his shoulders. Jose held Alberto‘s right shoulder while Allan held his left shoulder. Perlita was still embracing her brother but she was pulled away from. Accused Estemson Bulan suddenly appeared behind Alberto and stabbed him twice in the back with a small bolo. Perlita screamed for help. However, despite the fact that there were people at the entrance gate, nobody came to help Alberto and Perlita. After stabbing Alberto, Estemson immediately escaped, while Jose and Allan dragged the fatally wounded Alberto away from the barangay plaza to the store of Valentin Talion, which was forty meters away from the scene of the stabbing. They dropped Alberto face down on the ground in front of Valentin‘s store and then left, running towards the direction of [the] barangay plaza. Perlita, who followed Jose and Allan as they dragged her brother, kept on shouting for help but nobody came to help them.
After Jose and Allan left, Perlita returned to the barangay plaza and sought help from her relatives who were at the dance. She, likewise, sought the help of the barangay officials present and informed them that Alberto was already dead. Minutes later, Nelson Rubio, a policeman, went to the place where Alberto lay. When the policeman tried to lift Alberto, the small bolo which was used in stabbing Alberto and which remained embedded in his back, fell to the ground.
ISSUE: Whether or not the appellants are guilty of the crime charged as principals by direct participation as ruled by the CA, or, as ruled by the RTC, mere accomplices to the crime of murder.
RULING: Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code provides that there is conspiracy when two or more persons agree to commit a crime and decide to commit it. Direct proof is not essential to prove conspiracy; it may be established by acts of the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime charged, from which it may be logically inferred the existence of a common purpose to commit the same. The prosecution must prove conspiracy by the same quantum of evidence as the felony charged itself. Indeed, proof of previous agreement among the malefactors to commit the crime is not essential to prove conspiracy. It is not necessary to show that all the conspirators actually hit and killed the victim; what is primordial is that all the participants performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination as to indicate a common purpose or design to bring out the victim‘s death. Once conspiracy is established, it is unnecessary to prove who among the conspirators inflicted the fatal injury. If conspiracy is proved, all the conspirators are criminally liable for the crime charged and proved. The act of one
In this case, the appellants were waiting outside the dance hall near the gate when Edwin Solo brought the victim towards them, onto the street. Jose held the victim by the right shoulder, while Allan held him by the left. Estemson suddenly appeared from behind the victim and stabbed the latter at the back with a small bolo. The appellants continued holding the victim as Estemson stabbed him yet again. Even as Estemson fled, the appellants dragged the victim from the gate, towards the store, where they dropped the victim‘s body and fled from the scene. Allan then left Catanduanes and hid in Pasay City where he was arrested by the NBI on August 7,
Considering the foregoing, the Court affirms the finding of the CA that the appellants are guilty as principals by direct participation in the killing of Alberto Mariano.
PEOPLE vs. COMADRE GR 153559, June 8, 2004 431 SCRA 366
At around 7:00 pm, Robert Agbanlog, Jimmy Wabe, Gerry Bullanday, Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were having a drinking spree. They 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 a 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. They were all rushed to the San Jose General Hospital in Lupao, Nueva Ecija for medical treatment. However, Robert Agbanlog
RULING: 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
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. Neither was it proven that their act of running away with Antonio was an act of giving moral assistance to his criminal act. The ratiocination of the trial court that ―their presence provided encouragement and sense of security to Antonio,‖ is devoid of any factual basis. Such finding is not supported by the evidence on record and cannot therefore be a valid basis of a finding of conspiracy. Time and again we have been guided by the principle that it would be better to set free ten men who might be probably guilty of the crime charged than to convict one innocent man for a crime he did not commit. There being no conspiracy, only Antonio Comadre must answer for the crime. Under the Article 48 (complex crimes), when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less
grave felonies the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period irrespective of the presence of modifying circumstances, including the generic aggravating circumstance of treachery in this case. Applying the aforesaid provision of law, the maximum penalty for the most serious crime (murder) is death. The trial court, therefore,
Antonio Comadre is convicted of the complex crime of Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. Appellants Gregorio Comadre and Danilo Lozano are ACQUITTED for lack of evidence to establish conspiracy, and they are hereby ordered immediately RELEASED from confinement unless they are lawfully held in custody for another cause.
People v. Ramos G.R. No. 120280 (12 April 2000) The appellant was convicted of raping his own 10-year old daughter and relies solely on the defense of denial of the said accusation against him. Held: A rape victim‘s testimony is entitled to greater weight when she accuses a close relative of having raped her, as in the case of a daughter against her father. Earlier and long-standing decisions of this Court have likewise held that when a woman testifies that she has been raped, she says all that is needed to signify that the crime has been committed. This is true when made against any man committing the crime; it is more so when the accusing words are said against a close relative.
PEOPLE Vs. PACIFICADOR, G.R. No. 129120, July 2, 1999, Facts: inter alia, that mere suspicion that a judge is partial is not enough; that there should be clear and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and partiality; that bare allegations of partiality and prejudgment will not suffice; and that bias and prejudice cannot be presumed especially if weighed against a judge‗s sacred obligation under his oath of office to administer justice . Thus: "X x x. In a string of cases decided by this Court we said that while bias and prejudice, which are relied upon by petitioner, have been recognized as valid reasons for the voluntary inhibition of the judge under Rule 137, sec.1, par. 2, the rudimentary rule is that mere suspicion that a judge is partial is not enough. There should be clear and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and partiality. Bare allegations of partiality and prejudgment will not suffice. Bias and prejudice cannot be presumed especially if weighed against a judge‗s sacred obligation under his oath of office to administer justice without respect to person and do equal right to the poor and the rich. In our more recent decisions, we reiterated parameters that mere suspicion that a judge was partial to a party is not enough; that there should be adequate evidence to prove the charge; that there must be showing that the judge had an interest, personal or otherwise, in the prosecution of the case at bar; and that to be disqualifying, the bias and prejudice must be shown to have stemmed from an extrajudicial source and result in an opinion on the merits on some basis other than what the judge learned from his participation in the case. The belief of the prosecution that Pacificador will be acquitted by Judge Duremdes for the same reasons he granted bail, has no basis and unduly imputes bias. An erroneous ruling on the grant of bail does not constitute evidence of bias. Aptly stated by respondent court, the erroneous order issued by the judge can be remedied and was actually corrected, as in this case militating against the disqualification of the judge on the ground of bias and partiality. To disqualify a judge on the ground of bias and prejudice, the movant must prove the same by clear and convincing evidence. Mere allegation and perception of bias from tenor and the language of a judge alone is insufficient to show prejudgment. Neither can the perception that the pleadings of the parties have become personal and loaded with insulting innuendoes be the basis for inhibition. Allowing inhibition for these reasons would open the flood gates to forumshopping. Unless, there is concrete proof that a judge has a personal interest in the case and his bias is shown to have stemmed from an extra-judicial source, this Court shall always commence from the presumption that a judge shall decide on the merits of a case with an unclouded vision of its facts.
Sanchez vs. People G.R. No. 179090, June 5, 2009
FACTS: Appellant was charged with the crime of Other Acts of Child Abuse in an Information dated August 29, 2001 which reads: The undersigned, Second Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, hereby accuses Leonilo Sanchez alias Nilo of Lajog, Clarin, Bohol of the crime of Other Acts of Child Abuse, committed as follows: That on or about the 2nd day of September, 2000 in the municipality of Clarin, province of Bohol, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, acting as a Family Court, the above-named accused, with intent to abuse, exploit and/or to inflict other conditions prejudicial to the child's development, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously abuse physically one [VVV], a sixteen (16) year old minor, by hitting her thrice in the upper part of her legs, and which acts are prejudicial to the child-victim's development which acts are not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, but the same are covered by Art. 59, par. 8 of P.D. No. 603 as amended; to the damage and prejudice of the offended party in the amount to be proved during the trial. The appellant argues that the injuries inflicted by him were minor in nature that it is not prejudicial to the child-victim‘s development and therefore P.D. No. 603 is not applicable and he should be charged under the Revised Penal Code for slight physical injuries.
ISSUE: Whether or not P.D. 603 as amended is applicable to the case at hand.
HELD: In this case, the applicable laws are Article 59 of P.D. No. 603 and Section 10(a) of R.A. No. 7610. Section 10(a) of R.A. No. 7610 provides: SECTION 10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child's Development. — (a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child's development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period.
As gleaned from the foregoing, the provision punishes not only those enumerated under Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 603, but also four distinct acts, i.e., (a) child abuse, (b) child cruelty, (c) child exploitation and (d) being responsible for conditions prejudicial to the child‘s development. The Rules and Regulations of the questioned statute distinctly and separately defined child abuse, cruelty and exploitation just to show that these three acts are different from one another and from the act prejudicial to the child‘s development. Contrary to petitioner‘s assertion, an accused can be prosecuted and be convicted under Section 10(a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610 if he commits any of the four acts therein. The prosecution need not prove that the acts of child abuse, child cruelty and child exploitation have resulted in the prejudice of the child because an act prejudicial to the development of the child is different from the former acts. Moreover, it is a rule in statutory construction that the word ―or‖ is a disjunctive term signifying dissociation and independence of one thing from other things enumerated. It should, as a rule, be construed in the sense which it ordinarily implies. Hence, the use of ―or‖ in Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610 before the phrase ―be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child‘s development‖ supposes that there are four punishable acts therein. First, the act of child abuse; second, child cruelty; third, child exploitation; and fourth, being responsible for conditions prejudicial to the child‘s development. The fourth penalized act cannot be interpreted, as petitioner suggests, as a qualifying condition for the three other acts, because an analysis of the entire context of the questioned provision does not warrant such construal. Appellant contends that, after proof, the act should not be considered as child abuse but merely as slight physical injuries defined and punishable under Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code. Appellant conveniently forgets that when the incident happened, VVV was a child entitled to the protection extended by R.A. No. 7610, as mandated by the Constitution. As defined in the law, child abuse includes physical abuse of the child, whether the same is habitual or not. The act of appellant falls squarely within this definition. We, therefore, cannot accept appellant's contention. Acts committed contrary to the provisions of Section 10(a) in relation to Sections 3(a) and 3(b) No. 1 of Rep. Act No. 7610 and Sec. 59(8) of PD 603, amended.
Urbano v. People G.R. No. 182750, Jan. 20, 2009 Facts: On October 23, 1980, petitioner Filomeno Urbano was on his way to his ricefield. He found the place where he stored palay flooded with water coming from the irrigation canal. Urbano went to the elevated portion to see what happened, and there he saw Marcelino Javier and Emilio Efre cutting grass. Javier admitted that he was the one who opened the canal. A quarrel ensued, and Urbano hit Javier on the right palm with his bolo, and again on the leg with the back of the bolo. On October 27, 1980, Urbano and Javier had an amicable settlement. Urbano paid P700 for the medical expenses of Javier. On November 14, 1980, Urbano was rushed to the hospital where he had lockjaw and convulsions. The doctor found the condition to be caused by tetanus toxin which infected the healing wound in his palm. He died the following day. Urbano was charged with homicide and was found guilty both by the trial court and on appeal by the Court of Appeals. Urbano filed a motion for new trial based on the affidavit of the Barangay Captain who stated that he saw the deceased catching fish in the shallow irrigation canals on November 5. The motion was denied; hence, this petition. Issue: Whether the wound inflicted by Urbano to Javier was the proximate cause of the latter‘s death Held: A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is... "that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred."And more comprehensively, "the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom." If the wound of Javier inflicted by the appellant was already infected by tetanus germs at the time, it is more medically probable that Javier should have been infected with only a mild cause of tetanus because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd dayafter the hacking incident or more than 14 days after the infliction of the wound. Therefore, the onset time should have been more than six days. Javier, however, died on the second day from theonset time. The more credible conclusion is that at the time Javier's wound was inflicted by the appellant, the severe form of tetanus that killed him was not yet present. Consequently, Javier's wound could have been infected with tetanus after the hacking incident. Considering the circumstance surrounding Javier's death, his wound could have been infected by tetanus 2 or 3 or a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died. The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct, natural, and logical consequence of the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. And since we are dealing with a criminal conviction, the proof that the accused caused the victim's death must convince a rational
mind beyond reasonable doubt. The medical findings, however, lead us to a distinct possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later or between the time Javier was wounded to the time of his death. The infection was, therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime. There is a likelihood that the wound was but the remote cause and its subsequent infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with tetanus may have been the proximate cause of Javier's death with which the petitioner had nothing to do. "A prior and remote cause cannot be made the be of an action if such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have happened but for such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in the condition except because of the independent cause, such condition was not the proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the instances which result in injury because of the prior defective condition, such subsequent act or condition is the proximate cause."
People v. Sanchez
[GR 121039-45, 18 October 2001]
Facts: (The Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay) On 28 June 1993, Luis and Rogelio "Boy" Corcolon approached Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez, forcibly took the two and loaded them at the back of the latter's van, this was parked in front of Café Amalia, Agrix Complex, Los Banos, Laguna. George Medialdea, Zoilo Ama, Baldwin Brion and Pepito Kawit also boarded the van while Aurelio Centeno and Vicencio Malabanan, who were also with the group, stayed in the ambulance. Both vehicles then headed for Erais Farm situated in Barangay Curba, which was owned by Mayor Antonio Sanchez of Calauan, Laguna. The two youngsters were then brought inside the resthouse where Eileen was taken to the Mayor‘s room. Allan was badly beaten up by Luis, Boy, Ama and Medialdea and thereafter thrown out of the resthouse. At around 1:00 a.m. of the next day, a crying Eileen was dragged out of the resthouse by Luis and Medialdea – her hair disheveled, mouth covered by a handkerchief, hands still tied and stripped of her shorts. Eileen and Allan were then loaded in the Tamaraw van by Medialdea, et. al. and headed for Calauan, followed closely by the ambulance. En route to Calauan, gunfire was heard from the van. The van pulled over whereupon Kawit dragged Allan, whose head was already drenched in blood, out of the vehicle onto the road and finished him off with a single gunshot from his armalite. The ambulance and van then sped away. Upon reaching a sugarcane field in Sitio Paputok, Kilometro 74 of Barangay Mabacan, Eileen was gang-raped by Luis Corcolon, Medialdea, Rogelio Corcolon, Ama, Brion and Kawit. After Kawit‘s turn, Luis Corcolon shot Eileen with his baby armalite. Moments later, all 8 men boarded the ambulance and proceeded to Calauan, leaving the Tamaraw van with Eileen‘s remains behind. Initially, the crime was attributed to one Kit Alqueza, a son of a feared general (Dictador Alqueza). Luis and Rogelio Corcolon were also implicated therein. However, further investigation, and forensic findings, pointed to the group of Mayor Sanchez. Centeno and Malabanan bolstered the prosecution's theory. On 11 March 1995, Judge Harriet O. Demetriou of the Regional Trial Court (Pasig City, Branch 70) found Mayor Sanchez, Medialdea, Ama, Brion, Luis Corcolon, Rogelio Corcolon and Kawit guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape with homicide, ordering them to pay Eileen Sarmenta the amount of P50,000 and additionally, the amount of P700,000.00 to the heirs of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez as additional indemnity. On 25 January 1999, the Supreme Court, through Justice Martinez, affirmed in toto the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court. Antonio Sanchez, Zoilo Ama, Baldwin Brion and Pepito Kawit seasonably filed their respective motions for reconsideration. The Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment on 6 December 1999. Sanchez avers that he is a victim of trial and conviction by publicity, besides claims that principal witness Centeno and Malabanan lack credibility, that the testimony of his 13-year old daughter should have been given full faith and credit, and that the gargantuan damages awarded have no factual and legal bases. Ama, Brion and Kawit maintain that Centeno and Malabanan were sufficiently impeached by their inconsistent statements pertain to material and crucial points of the events at issue, besides that independent and disinterested witnesses have destroyed the prosecution‘s version of events. On 2 February 1999, Justice
Martinez retired in accordance with AM 99-8-09. The motions for reconsideration was assigned to Justice Melo for study and preparation of the appropriate action on 18 September 2001.
Issue: Whether the publicity of the case impaired the impartiality of the judge handling the case.
Held: Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that the trial of Mayor Sanchez, et. al., was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. The right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. Responsible reporting enhances an accused's right to a fair trial. The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism. Our judges are learned in the law and trained to disregard off-court evidence and on camera performances of parties to a litigation. Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per se fatally infect their impartiality. To warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced by the barrage of publicity. Records herein do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against Mayor Sanchez, et. al., as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pretrial and trial of his case. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed position as a result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial. Mayor Sanchez, et. al., has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden.