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136149-51 The accused was convicted of the crime of direct assault with multiple attempted homicide for firing an M14 rifle to police men who were about to enter his house to serve a search warrant. Further, he was also convicted for illegal possession of firearm. HELD: RA no. 8294 penalizes simple illegal possession of firearms, provided that the pe rson arrested committed ―no other crime‖. Furthermore, if the person is held liable for murder or homicide, illegal possession of firearms is an aggravating circumstance, but not a separate offense. Hence, where an accused was convicted of direct assault with multiple attempted homicide for firing an unlicensed M14 rifle at several policemen who were about to serve a search warrant, he cannot be held guilty of the separate offense of illegal possession of firearms. Neither can such unlawful act be considered to have aggravated the direct assault. US vs. Go Chico (14 Phil 133) Post under case digests, Criminal Law at Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind Facts: On or about the 4th day of August, 1908, appellant Go Chico displayed in one of the windows and one of the show cases of his store in No. 89 Calle Rosario, Manila, a number of medallions, in the form of a small button, upon which were printed the miniature faces of Emilio Aguinaldo and the flag or banner or device used during the late insurrection in the Phil. Islands to designate and identify those in armed insurrection against the United States. On the day previous to the one set forth above, the appellant had purchased the said medallion sold at a public sale under the authority of the sheriff of the city of Manila. On the day in question, the appellant was arranging his stock of goods for the purpose of displaying them to the public, and in doing so, he placed the medallions in his showcase and on one of the windows of his store. The appellant was ignorant of any law against the display of such medallions and had consequently no corrupt intention. The facts stated above are admitted. The appellant has two propositions for his acquittal: first is that before a conviction can be had, a criminal intent upon the part of the accused must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Second is that the prohibition of law is directed against the use of identical banners, devices or emblems actually used during the Philippine insurrection by those in armed rebellion against the United States. Issue: Whether or not criminal intent is necessary in crimes punishable by special laws. Held: The court ruled that the act alone, irrespective of its motive, constitutes the crime. The words ―used during the late insurrection in the Philippine Islands to designate or identify those in armed rebellion against the United States‖ mean not only the identical flags actually used in the insurrection, but any flag which is of that type. The description refers not to a particular flag, but to a type of flag. The literal interpretation of a statute may lead to an absurdity, or evidently fail to give the real intent of the legislature.

CASE DIGEST ON ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN [369 SCRA 394 (2001)] November 10, 2010 Issues: 1. WON Plunder Law is unconstitutional for being vague No. As long as the law affords some comprehensible guide or rule that would inform those who are subject to it what conduct would render them liable to its penalties, its validity will be sustained. The amended information itself closely tracks the language of law, indicating w/ reasonable certainty the various elements of the offense w/c the petitioner is alleged to have committed. We discern nothing in the foregoing that is vague or ambiguous that will confuse petitioner in his defense. Petitioner however bewails the failure of the law to provide for the statutory definition of the term s ―combination‖ and ―series‖ in the key phrase ―a combination or series of overt or criminal acts. These omissions, according to the petitioner, render the P lunder Law unconstitutional for being impermissibly vague and overbroad and deny him the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, hence violative of his fundamental right to due process. A statute is not rendered uncertain and void merely because general terms are used herein, or because of the employment of terms without defining them. A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence most necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its application. In such instance, the statute is repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects – it

The legislative declaration in R. the elements of the crime must be proved and the requisite mens rea must be shown. is CONSTITUTIONAL. Sec. and unless the State succeeds in demonstrating by proof beyond reasonable doubt that culpability lies.‖ and that Sec. all the essential elements of plunder can be culled and understood from its definition in Sec. Sec. (as) it contains a rule of evidence and a substantive element of the crime. 4 (Rule of Evidence) states that: For purposes of establishing the crime of plunder. But in criminal law. 4 is ―two -pronged. For when the acts punished are inherently immoral or inherently wrong. Primarily. WON the Plunder Law requires less evidence for providing the predicate crimes of plunder and therefore violates the rights of the accused to due process No. 2. it being sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy. in relation to sec. No. by their very nature. this Court holds that RA 7080 otherwise known as the Plunder Law. No. It is noteworthy that the amended information alleges that the crime of plunder was committed ―willfully. either because life was callously taken or the victim is treated like an animal and utterly dehumanized as to completely disrupt the normal course of his or her growth as a human being. as amended by RA 7659. No. they are mala in se and it does not matter that such acts are punished in a special law. Precisely because the constitutive crimes are mala in se the element of mens rea must be proven in a prosecution for plunder. the petition to declare the law unconstitutional is DISMISSED for lack of merit . the accused always has in his favor the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. petitioner cites the following remarks of Senator Tañada made during the deliberation on S. Consequently. Relative to petitioner’s contentions on the purported defect of Sec. whether it is within the power of Congress to so classify it. 4 is his submission that ―pattern‖ is a ―very important element of the crime of plunder. WON Plunder as defined in RA 7080 is a malum prohibitum. Being a purely procedural measure. especially since in the case of plunder the predicate crimes are mainly mala in se. it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle. In a criminal prosecution for plunder. despicable. A facial challenge is allowed to be made to vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible ―chilling effect‖ upon protected speech. 2. There are crimes however in which the abomination lies in the significance and implications of the subject criminal acts in the scheme of the larger socio-political and economic context in which the state finds itself to be struggling to develop and provide for its poor and underprivileged masses.‖ It thus alleges guilty knowledge on the part of petitioner. In support of his contention In support of his contention that the statute eliminates the requirement of mens rea and that is the reason he claims the statute is void. Not everything alleged in the information needs to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. 3. 1 par.violates due process for failure to accord persons. The application of mitigating and extenuating circumstances in the Revised Penal Code to prosecutions under the Anti-Plunder Law indicates quite clearly that mens rea is an element of plunder since the degree of responsibility of the offender is determined by his criminal intent. Finally. any doubt as to whether the crime of plunder is a malum in se must be deemed to have been resolved in the affirmative by the decision of Congress in 1993 to include it among the heinous crimes punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. The possible harm to society in permitting some unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed by the possibility that the protected speech of other may be deterred and perceived grievances left to fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly broad statutes. ― such that without it the accused cannot be convicted of plunder – We do not subscribe to petitioner’s stand. There are crimes that are. the prosecution need not prove each and every criminal act done to further the scheme or conspiracy.B. The ―reasonable doubt‖ standard has acquired such exalted stature in the realm of constitutional law as it gives life to the Due Process Clause which protects the accused against conviction except upon proof of reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged. fair notice of what conduct to avoid. it shall not be necessary to prove each and every criminal act done by the accused in furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to amass. What is crucial for the prosecution is to present sufficient evidence to engender that moral certitude exacted by the fundamental law to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.A. the accused is entitled to an acquittal. The evil of a crime may take various forms. the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech. accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth. however. especially the parties targeted by it. As far as the acts constituting the pattern are concerned. and if so. unlawfully and criminally. 4 purports to do no more than prescribe a rule of procedure for the prosecution of a criminal case for plunder. (d). as in all other crimes. and. Sec. It is malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent. 4 does not define or establish any substantive right in favor of the accused but only operated in furtherance of a remedy.7659 that plunder is a heinous offense implies that it is a malum in se.733 Senator Tañada was only saying that where the charge is conspiracy to commit plunder. Held: PREMISES CONSIDERED. it being enough if it proves beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy. What is required to be proved beyond reasonable doubt is every element of the crime charged —the element of the offense.