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Soplente v. People (G.R. No.

Facts: The cousins, Rogelio and Nicanor, watched the amateur singing contest being held near the Sta. Cruz Chapel. While engrossed with the singing contest, they were approached by two persons from the group of Leyson who then tapped Nicanors shoulder. They insisted on bringing Nicanor along with them so Nicanor called for Rogelios help. The latter immediately intervened to stop the two from harassing Nicanor. At about past eleven oclock in the evening (11:00 p.m.), before the conclusion of the amateur singing contest, Rogelio and Nicanor decided to go home. At past midnight, Bukay (their cousins wife) asked Rogelio and Nicanor to accompany her in looking for her children who had watched the singing contest. They obliged but before they had gone about three hundred meters, Nicanor separated from them to buy cigarettes from a nearby store. Rogelio and Bukay went onwards but at a distance of about fifty meters from the stage, Rogelio stopped and Bukay proceeded alone to look for her children. A few minutes later, Bukay appeared with the children and they all headed home. While on the way home, Rogelio suddenly found himself surrounded by around ten persons led by Leyson. He shouted at Nicanor to run and the latter immediately scampered away. Leyson drew his gun and fired at Rogelio but the latter was able to parry it by tapping the base of Leysons hand holding the gun. Forthwith, Rogelio stabbed Leyson once. He was kicked by Notarte immediately after he stabbed Leyson. Rogelio also stabbed Notarte. Rogelio managed to escape after that and he sought refuge in the house of Susing (their cousin). Before dawn, a policeman arrived at Susings house and Rogelio voluntarily gave himself up. The knife he used was also turned over to the police. He was brought to the police substation at Lagao.

Issue: Whether or not our laws on self-defense are suppose to approximate the natural human responses to danger. Decision: At the commencement of the attack, Rogelio could not have been obliged to view Notarte, or any other member of the posse for that matter, as a less menacing threat than Leyson. We have to understand that these events occurred spontaneously in a matter of seconds or even simultaneously. Rogelio bore no superhuman power to slow down time or to prevent the events from unfolding at virtual warp speed, to be able to assess with measured certainty the appropriate commensurate response due to each of his aggressors. Even those schooled in the legal doctrines of self-defense would, under those dire circumstances, be barely able to discern the legally defensible response and immediately employ the same. Our laws on self-defense are supposed to approximate the natural human responses to danger, and not serve as our inconvenient rulebook based on which we should acclimatize our impulses in the face of peril. It would be wrong to compel Rogelio to have discerned the appropriate calibrated response to Notartes kicking when he himself was staring at the evil eye of danger. That would be a gargantuan demand even for the coolest under pressure.

Criminal Law- People vs. Genosa

THIS CASE IS WITH REGARD TO ART. 11 (1), AND ART 14 (16) OF THE R.P.C Case of People of the R.P. vs. Genosa G.R.No. 135981 15January2004 FACTS OF THE CASE: That Marivic Genosa, the Appellant on the 15November1995, attacked and wounded his husband, which ultimately led to his death. According to the appellant she did not provoke her husband when she got home that night it was her husband who began the provocation. The Appellant said she was frightened that her husband would hurt her and she wanted to make sure she would deliver her baby safely. In fact, The Appelant had to be admitted later at the Rizal Medical Centre as she was suffering from eclampsia and hypertension, and the baby was born prematurely on December 1, 1995. The Appellant testified that during her marriage she had tried to leave her husband at least five (5) times, but that Ben would always follow her and they would reconcile. The Apellant said that the reason why Ben was violent and abusive towards her that night was because 'he was crazy about his recent girlfriend, Lulu Rubillos. The Appellant after being interviewed by specialists, has been shown to be suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome. The appellant with a plea of self defense admitted the killing of her husband, she was then found guilty of Parricide, with the aggravating circumstance of treachery, for the husband was attacked while asleep. ISSUES OF THE CASE: Can Marivic Genosa be granted the Justifying circumstance of Selfdefense, and can she be held liable for the aggravating circumstance of treachery? No, Since self- defense since the existence of Battered woman syndrome, which the appellant has been shown to be suffering in the relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense. In the present case, however, according to the testimony of the appellant there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful aggression of the husband and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw from his violent behavior and escape to their children's bedroom. During that time, he apparently ceased his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger

he posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety. Without continuous aggression there can be no self-defense. And absence of aggression does not warrant complete or incomplete self-defense. No, There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from the defense that the offended party might make. The circumstances must be shown as indubitably as the killing itself; they cannot be deduced from mere inferences, or conjectures, which have no place in the appreciation of evidence. Besides, equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. In the present case, however it was not conclusively shown, that the appellant intentionally chose a specific means of successfully attacking her husband without any risk to herself from any retaliatory act that he might make. To the contrary, it appears that the thought of using the gun occurred to her only at about the same moment when she decided to kill her spouse. In the absence of any convincing proof that she consciously and deliberately employed the method by which she committed the crime in order to ensure its execution, the doubt should be resolved in her favor. HELD: The conviction of Appellant Marivic Genosa for parricide is hereby AFFIRMED. However, there being two (2) mitigating circumstances and no aggravating circumstance attending her commission of the offense, her penalty is REDUCED to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum. ADDENDUM: When can BWS (Battered Woman Syndrome) as self defense be appreciated? Where the brutalized person is already suffering from BWS, further evidence of actual physical assault at the time of the killing is not required. Incidents of domestic battery usually have a predictable pattern. To require the battered person to await an obvious, deadly attack before she can defend her life "would amount to sentencing her to 'murder by installment.' Still, impending danger (based on the

conduct of the victim in previous battering episodes) prior to the defendant's use of deadly force must be shown. Threatening behavior or communication can satisfy the required imminence of danger. Considering such circumstances and the existence of BWS, self-defense may be appreciated.

People v. CA and Tangan (G.R. No. 103613)

Facts: On December 1, 1984, Navy Captain Eladio C. Tangan was driving alone on Roxas Boulevard heading south and Generoso Miranda was driving his car in the same direction with his uncle, Manuel Miranda. Generoso was moving ahead of Tangan. Suddenly, firecrackers were thrown in Generoso's way, causing him to swerve to the right and cut Tangan's path. Tangan blew his horn several times. Generoso, slowed down to let Tangan pass. Tangan accelerated and overtook Generoso, but when he got in front, Tangan reduced speed. Generoso tried four or five times to overtake on the right lane but Tangan kept blocking his lane. When Tangan slowed down to make a Uturn, Generoso passed him, pulled over and got out of the car with his uncle. Tangan also stopped his car and got out. Generoso and Tangan then exchanged expletives. Then Tangan went to his car and got his .38 caliber handgun on the front seat. According to the prosecution witnesses, Mary Ann Borromeo, Rosalia Cruz and Manuel Miranda, the accused pointed his gun at Generoso Miranda and when Manuel Miranda tried to intervene, the accused pointed his gun at Manuel Miranda, and after that the accused pointed again the gun to Generoso Miranda, the accused shot Generoso Miranda at a distance of about a meter. The shot hit the stomach of Generoso Miranda causing the latter to fall. Manuel Miranda grappled for the possession of the gun and during their grappling, Rosalia Cruz intervened and took hold of the gun and after Rosalia Cruz has taken hold of the gun, a man wearing a red T-shirt

took the gun from her. The man in T-shirt was chased by Manuel Miranda who was able to get the gun where the man in red T-shirt placed it. On the other hand, the defense, particularly the accused and his witness by the name of Nelson Pante claimed that after the gun was taken by the accused from inside his car, the Mirandas started to grapple for possession of the gun and during the grappling, and while the two Mirandas were trying to wrest away the gun from the accused, they fell down at the back of the car of the accused. The accused lost the possession of the gun after falling at the back of his car and as soon as they hit the ground, the gun fell, and it exploded hitting Generoso Miranda. Tangan ran away while Generoso lay on the ground bloodied. Manuel looked for the gun and ran after Tangan. Tangan found a policeman who allowed him to enter his patrol car. Manuel arrived and told the policeman that Tangan had just shot his nephew. Manuel went back to where Generoso lay and there found two ladies, Mary Ann Borromeo and Rosalina Cruz, helping his nephew board a taxi. Manuel suggested that Generoso be brought to the hospital in his car. He was rushed to the Philippine General Hospital but he expired on the way. Tangan was charged with the crime of murder with the use of an unlicensed firearm. However, the information was amended to homicide with the use of a licensed firearm, and he was separately charged with illegal possession of unlicensed firearm. Tangan entered a plea of not guilty in the homicide case, but moved to quash the information for illegal possession of unlicensed firearm on various grounds. The motion to quash was denied, whereupon he filed a petition for certiorari with this Court. On November 5, 1987, said petition was dismissed and the joint trial of the two cases was ordered. After trial, the lower court acquitted Tangan of illegal possession of firearm, but convicted him of homicide. The privileged mitigating circumstance of incomplete selfdefense and the ordinary mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation on the part

of the offended party and of passion and obfuscation were appreciated in his favor; Tangan was released from detention after the promulgation of judgment and was allowed bail in the homicide case. Tangan appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the judgment of the trial court but increased the award of civil indemnity to P50,000.00. His subsequent motion for reconsideration and a motion to cite the Solicitor General in contempt were denied by the Court of Appeals. The Solicitor General, on behalf of the prosecution, alleging grave abuse of discretion, filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, naming as respondents the Court of Appeals and Tangan, where it prayed that the appellate court's judgment be modified by convicting accused-appellant of homicide without appreciating in his favor any mitigating circumstance. Issue: Whether or not Tangan acted in incomplete self-defense? Decision: Incomplete self-defense is not considered as a justifying act, but merely a mitigating circumstance; hence, the burden of proving the crime charged in the information is not shifted to the accused. In order that it may be successfully appreciated, however, it is necessary that a majority of the requirements of self-defense be present, particularly the requisite of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. Unlawful aggression by itself or in combination with either of the other two requisite suffices to establish incomplete self-defense. Absent the unlawful aggression, there can never be self-defense, complete or incomplete, because if there is nothing to prevent or repel, the other two requisites of defense will have no basis.

The element of unlawful aggression in self-defense must not come from the person defending himself but from the victim. A mere threatening or intimidating attitude is not sufficient. The exchange of insulting words and invectives between Tangan and Generoso Miranda, no matter how objectionable, could not be considered as unlawful aggression, except when coupled with physical assault. There being no lawful aggression on the part of either antagonists, the claim of incomplete self-defense falls.

PEOPLE vs NARVAEZ, 121 SCRA 389 (1983) (Makasiar) FACTS: At about 2:30 PM on August 22, 1968, Davis Fleischer, Flaviano Rubia and three other men were fencing the land of George Fleischer, father of Davis, in Maitum, South Cotabato. They were also chiseling the house of Mamerto Narvaez, who was sleeping in his house. Narvaez awoke and asked to talk to Fleischer from his window. Fleischer said, No, gademit, proceed, go ahead. Narvaez shot him with a shotgun from the window, then shot Rubia who was running towards his jeep where a gun was located. Both died. Narvaez voluntarily surrendered and claimed defense of his person and of his rights. The Court of First Instance of South Cotabato convicted him of murder qualified by treachery with the aggravating circumstance of evident premediation and the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. The incident was intertwined with a long legal battle between Narvaez and other settlers in Cotabato, and Fleischer and Co. Narvaez had settled in Maitum in 1937. George Fleischer, an American landowner in Negros Oriental, acquired 300 hectares after the war in a public auction where they were the only bidders and where settlers protested. After a long legal battle, in 1965, the Court of First Instance ruled against the settlers. To avoid trouble, Narvaez voluntarily dismantled the house and store he built in 1947 at a cost of P20,000 and transferred to another house he built in 1962 or 1963 which was near the highway. Narvaez also had his rice mill 15 meters away from the house. Although Narvaez joined in another suit in 1966, he signed a lease with Fleischer and Co. in 1967. He never paid the monthly rent of P16 but claimed that the milling jobs he did for Rubia constituted payment. He claimed he signed the lease to avoid trouble despite the uncertain ownership. On June 25, 1968, Davis Fleischer sent Narvaez a letter alleging that he had not paid rent for six months, and gave him six months until December 31, 1968 to remove his house, ricemill, bodega and water pumps from the land. Fleischer and Rubia began fencing on August 21, 1968, and this would have shut off

appellant from his house and rice mill from the highway. Narvaez appealed the decision. ISSUE: WON the lower court erred in convicting the defendant despite the fact that he was acting in defense of his person and of his rights. HELD: Yes RATIO: Defense of ones person or rights is a justifying circumstance, but three prerequisites must be present. Unlawful aggression due to the utterance of Fleischer and the invasion of Narvaezs property was clear. The pending case regarding ownership was decided only over a year after the incident, and even then, Fleischer had given Narvaez until the end of the year to leave the land. Lack of sufficient provocation was clear because Narvaez was asleep in his house, then asked Fleischer to stop so they could talk. Firing a shotgun from a window, however, was a disproportionate means of resistance. Narvaez was thus guilty of two counts of homicide with the special mitigating circumstance of incomplete defense under Article 13 of the RPC. Treachery could not be held because the shooting was not a sudden, unprovoked attack. Premeditation could not be held because the only evidence was the statement of one of Fleischers laborers that he was asked by Narvaez to tell Fleischer that he would break the latters head. There was no direct evidence or more credible witness. Moreover, the appellant pleaded with the victims to stop and talk. Voluntary surrender was present, but so was passion and obfuscation because the appellant awoke to find his house being damaged and his house and business being closed off from him. Given the long history of the land dispute, the appellant could have momentarily lost all reason and reached for his shotgun. Because of the aggravating reaction of the victim and that the actions were intended to humiliate the appellant who was married to a municipal councilor and enjoyed standing in the community, civil liability must be modified. The appellant also deserves leniency as his family never had sufficient means to fight the land accumulation of Fleischer and Co. despite its already extensive holdings in Central

Visayas. Article 249 of the RPC punishes homicide with reclusion temporal. This is lowered by two degrees because of incomplete defense, and one degree because of the two mitigating circumstances and lack of aggravating circumstances. The sentence was modified to four months of arresto mayor, indemnity of 4,000 pesos for each group of the heirs of Fleischer and Rubia, no subsidiary imprisonment, and no award for moral damages and attorneys fees. Because Narvaez had been imprisoned for 14 years, he was ordered immediately released. Decision modified. (dissent) Abad Santos: Self-defense in the penal code refers to unlawful aggression on persons and not property. (dissent): Gutierrez, Jr.: Appellant defended from an attack on his property that was not coupled with an attack on his person. There should be no special mitigating circumstance of incomplete defense. The sentence should have been modified to prision mayor and the defendant should have been ordered released immediately.


November 10, 2010

Facts: Cunigunda Boholst Caballero seeks reversal of the judgment of the CFI of Ormoc City finding her guilty of parricideshe allegedly killed her husband, Francisco Caballero, using a hunting knife. The couple was married in 1956 and had a daughter. They had frequent quarrels due to the husbands gambling and drinking and there were times when he maltreated and abused his wife. After more than a year, Francisco abandoned his family. In 1958, Cunigunda went caroling with her friends and when she was on her way home she met her husband who suddenly held her by the collar and accused her of going out for prostitution. Then he said he would kill her, held her by the hair, slapped her until her nose bled then pushed her towards the ground. She fell to the ground, he knelt on her and proceeded to choke her. Cunigunda, having earlier felt a knife tucked in Franciscos belt line while holding unto his waist so she wouldnt fall to the ground, grabbed the hunting knife and thrust it into her husbands left side, near the belt line just above the thigh. He died 2 days after the incident due to the stab wound. Then she ran home and threw the knife away. The next day, she surrendered herself to the police along with the torn dress that she wore the night before. Issue: WON Cunigunda, in stabbing her husband, acted in legitimate self-defense Held: Yes, she did. Acquitted Ratio: 1. Burden if proof of self-defense rests on the accused. In this case, the location and nature of the stab wound confirms that the said victim, the husband, was the aggressor.

With her husband kneeling over her and choking her, accused had no other choice but to pull the knife tucked in his belt line and thrust it into his side. The fact that the blow landed in the vicinity where the knife was drawn from is a strong indication of the truth of the testimony of the accused. Based on the re-enactment of the incident, it was natural for her to use her right hand to lunge the knife into husbands left side. 2. Three requisites of legitimate self-defense are present

Unlawful aggression. The husband resorting to pushing her to the ground then choking her just because she was out caroling at night constitutes unlawful aggression, There was imminent danger of injury. Reasonable necessity of means employed. While being choked, Cunigunda had no other recourse but to take hold of the knife and plunge it into husbands side in order to protect herself. Reasonable necessity does not depend upon the harm done but on the imminent danger of such injury. Lack of sufficient provocation. provocation is sufficient when proportionate to the aggression. In this case, there was no sufficient provocation on the part of the accused (Cunigunda) to warrant the attack of her husband. All that she did to provoke an imaginary commission of a wrong in the mind of her husband was to be out caroling at night.

People vs. Chua Hiong Facts: Cesario Gocheco, nephew of Federico Chua Hiong (accused-appellant), published an article in the Manila Chronicle on February 11, 1952 entitled Doubtful Citizenship questioning the latters citizenship. Aside from that, Gocheco also filed various charges against the appellant with different government agencies. To answer this, onFebruary 21, 1952, Chua Hiong published an article in the Manila Chronicle accusing Cesario Gocheco ofpersecution mania and sending the appellant a threatening letter under the pseudonym Benito Solipco. Chua Hiongalso alleged that Gocheco was trying to damage his reputation to retaliate. In an earlier case, Gocheco and his familylost 2/3 of the inheritance left by his father. Chua Hiong was behind the prevailing parties, helping them with theexpenses of the case.Thus, for the article, Chua Hiong was charged with and found guilty of the crime of libel.Issue: Whether or not the appellant was justified by virtue of defense of reputation when he published article in theManila Chronicle dated the February 21, 1952 containing libelous material1. Held: In a physical assault, retaliation becomes unlawful after the attack has ceased, because there would be no harm to repel. But that is not the case when it is aimed at a persons good name. Once the aspersion is cast, its sting clings and the one defamed may avail himself of all necessary means to shake it off. He may hit back with another libel, which, if adequate, will be justified. (emphasis supplied)Note: However, it is justified as self-defense only when it is clearly intended to explain or deny what was previouslysaid of the one making the libelous statement. (People vs. Pelayo)Appellant acquitted with costs de-officio.

People vs. Toring, et al 191 SCRA 38

Post under case digests, Criminal Law at Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind


A benefit dance was held in one sitio in Lapu lapu City for the last canvassing of votes for the candidates for princesses, attended by the entire family of one of the candidates. Also present were members of the kwaknit gang, headed by Toring, noted for their bird-like way of dancing and their propensity for drunkenness and provoking trouble.

Samuel, the father of the declared winner, while answering the call of nature, was approached by Toring and two others and was stabbed from behind by Toring using a knife handed to him by a companion. Samuel died of stab wound he sustained on the right side of his abdomen.

An information for MURDER was filed against Toring. The lower court rendered a decision discrediting Toring's claim that the killing of Samuel was justified because it was done in defense of a stranger. While Toring testified that Samuel was aiming his shotgun at the chest of Ely Amyon (Amion), prosecution witness Joel Escobia claimed that he was at the receiving end of Samuel's thrusts with the butt of his shotgun. To the court, such discrepancy is fatal to the defense because in appreciating the justifying circumstance of defense of a stranger, the court must know "with definiteness the identity of the stranger defended by the accused.

Upon appeal, Toring seeks his exoneration by contending that his assault on Samuel was justified because he acted in defense of his first cousin, Joel Escobia is the first cousin of Toring their fathers being brothers, although no explanation appears on record why they have different surnames. At any rate, this allegation on relationship was not rebutted by the prosecution. Escobia attested that as he was about to dance with a girl, Samuel

stopped him, pointed his shotgun at him, took a bullet from his jacket pocket, showed it to Escobia. Samuel pointed the shotgun at his chin and told him to eat the bullet.

Issue: Whether the act of Toring in stabbing Samuel was justified for being done in defense of his relative, Joel Escobia.

Held: NO. SC ruled that there was no reason to doubt Joel Escobia's assertion of Samuel's unlawful aggression and that prosecution failed to prove that Joel testified to favor Toring. However, the presence of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim and the lack of proof of provocation on the part of Toring notwithstanding, full credence cannot be given, to Toring's claim of defense of a relative.

Toring himself admitted in court that in 1979, he was shot with a .22 caliber revolver by Edgar Augusto, Samuel's brother. It cannot be said, therefore, that in attacking Samuel, Toring was impelled by pure compassion or beneficence or the

lawful desire to avenge the immediate wrong inflicted on his cousin. Rather, he was motivated by revenge, resentment or evil motive because of a "running feud" between the Augusto and the Toring brothers. Indeed, vendetta appears to have driven both camps to commit unlawful acts against each other.