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(G.R. No. 47722. July 27, 1943) Plaintiff-appellee: People of the Philippines Defendants-appellants: Antonio Z.

Oanis and Alberto Galanta Ponente: J. Moran FACTS: Upon receiving a telegram from Major Guido ordering the arrest of Anselmo Balagtas, Captain Godofredo Monsod, Constabulary Provincial Inspector at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, asked that he be given four men, one of whom who reported was defendant Alberto Galanta. The same instruction was given to defendant Antonio Oanis, chief of police of Cabanatuan, who was likewise called by the Provincial Inspector. The Provincial Inspector divided the party into two groups with defendants Oanis and Galanta taking the route leading to the house of a bailarina named Irene, where Balagtas was believed to be staying. Upon arriving, the group went to the Irenes room and on seeing a man sleeping with his back towards the door where they were, simultaneously or successively fired at him with their .32 and .45 caliber revolvers. It turned out later that the person shot and killed was not Balagtas but an innocent citizen named Serapio Tecson, Irenes paramour. ISSUE: 1) Whether or not the defendants are criminally liable for the death of Serapio Tecson. 2) Whether or not the defendants are entitled to a privileged mitigating circumstance in case they are found criminally liable HELD: 1) Yes. If a person acted in innocent mistake of fact in the honest performance of his official duties, then he incurs no criminal liability. Nonetheless, the maxim ignorantia facti excusat, applies only when the mistake is committed without fault or carelessness. In the instant case, the defendants found no circumstances whatsoever which would press them to immediate action, as the person in the room being then asleep would give them ample time and opportunity to ascertain his identity. Moreover, they were instructed not to kill Balagtas at sight but to arrest him, and to get him dead or alive only if resistance or aggression is offered by him. Thus, the crime committed by defendants was not merely criminal negligence, the killing being intentional and not accidental. 2) Yes. The Court held that the defendants committed the crime of murder with the qualifying circumstance of alevosia, but may be entitled to an incomplete justifying circumstance as provided in Article 11, No. 5, of the Revised Penal Code. There are two requisites in order that the circumstance may be taken as a justifying one: (a) that the offender acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right; and (b) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of such duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office. In the instant case, only the first requisite is present. Thus, Article 69 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides that a penalty lower by one or two degrees than that prescribed by law in case the crime committed is not wholly excusable, was imposed, entitling the defendants to a privileged mitigating circumstance.