JOSE vs PEOPLE FACTS: • • • Alvin Jose and Sonny Zarraga were charged with violation fo RA 6425 selling and

delivering sha!"# Trial co"rt convicted !oth and sentencing the$ with indeter$inate %enalty CA& affir$ed decision with $odification o A'()* J+S, was only -. years old when he co$$itted the cri$e/ 0e was entitled to %rivileged $itigating circ"$stance of $inority and to a red"ction of the %enalty !y two degrees/ )nfor$ation failed to allege that he acted with discern$ent when the cri$e was co$$itted and that the %rosec"tion failed to %rove the sa$e he sho"ld !e ac1"itted/


)SS2,: 3+* the %etitioner has discern$ent when the cri$e was co$$itted/ 0,'4: 2nder Article -2 .# of the R5C a $inor 6&-5 is e7e$%t fro$ cri$inal lia!ility/ The law a%%lies also in s%ecial %enal law/
The reason for the e7e$%tion is that a $inor of s"ch age is %res"$ed lac8ing the $ental ele$ent of a cri$e 9 the ca%acity to 8now what is wrong as disting"ished fro$ what is right or to deter$ine the $orality of h"$an acts: wrong in the sense in which the ter$ is "sed in $oral wrong/ 0owever; s"ch %res"$%tion is re!"tta!le/ For a minor at such an age to be criminally liable, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt, by direct or circumstantial evidence, that he acted with discernment, meaning that he knew what he was doing and that it was wrong. S"ch circ"$stantial evidence $ay incl"de the "tterances of the $inor: his overt acts !efore; d"ring and after the co$$ission of the cri$e relative thereto: the nat"re of the wea%on "sed in the co$$ission of the cri$e: his atte$%t to silence a witness: his dis%osal of evidence or his hiding the cor%"s delicti/ )n the %resent case, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the petitioner, who was thirteen (13) years of age when the crime charged was committed, acted with discernment relative to the sale of shabu to the poseur-buyer. he only evidence of the prosecution against the petitioner is that he was in a car with his cousin, co-accused !onny "arraga, when the latter in#uired from the poseur-buyer, !$%1 &onifacio 'uevarra, if he could afford to buy shabu. S5+- <"evarra re%lied in the affir$ative; after which the acc"sed Zarraga called the %etitioner to !ring o"t and hand over the sha!" wra%%ed in %lastic and white soft %a%er/ )t was acc"sed Zarraga who drove the car and transacted with the %ose"r&!"yer relative to the sale of sha!"/ )t was also acc"sed Zarraga who received the !"y&$oney fro$ the %ose"r&!"yer/ Aside fro$ !ringing o"t and handing over the %lastic !ag to acc"sed Zarraga; the petitioner merely sat inside the

its cross&e7a$ination of Rene did not. !ince the prosecution failed to prove that the petitioner acted with discernment. atte$%t to show his discern$ent/ 0e was $erely as8ed a!o"t what he 8new of the incident that trans%ired on -6 A%ril -66. the %ose"r&!"yer did not !other to as8 the %etitioner his age !eca"se he 8new that %"shers "sed yo"ng !oys in their transactions for illegal dr"gs/ (onspiracy presupposes capacity of the parties to such conspiracy to discern what is right from what is wrong. it cannot thereby be concluded that he conspired with his co-accused. even if he was. indeed. in any and had no other participation whatsoever in the transaction. a co-conspirator.4 . he would still be e)empt from criminal liability as the prosecution failed to rebut the presumption of non-discernment on his part by virtue of his age. no evidence that the %etitioner 8new what was inside the %lastic and soft white %a%er !efore and at the ti$e he handed over the sa$e to his co"sin/ )ndeed.and whether he %artici%ated therein/ Accordingly. he cross-e)amination of *ene could have provided the prosecution a good occasion to e)tract from him positive indicators of his capacity to discern / AC=2)TT.

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