Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. Nos. L-33466-67 April 20, 193
PEOPLE O! T"E P"#L#PP#NES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
MAMERTO NAR$AE%, defendant-appellant.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Gonzalo B. Callanta (counsel de oficio) for defendant-appellant.

MA&AS#AR, J.:
This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of irst !nstance of "outh Cotabato, Branch !, in
Criminal Cases Nos. #$#% and #$#& for murder 'hich, after a (oint trial, resulted in the conviction of the
accused in a decision rendered on "eptember $, #)*+, 'ith the follo'in, pronouncement-
Thus, 'e have a crime of M.R/ER 0ualified b1 treacher1 'ith the a,,ravatin,
circumstance of evident premeditation offset b1 the miti,atin, circumstance of
voluntar1 surrender. The proper penalt1 imposable, therefore, is REC2."!3N
PERPET.A 4Arts. 56$ and &6, Revised Penal Code7.
Accordin,l1, findin, Mamerto Narvae8 ,uilt1 be1ond reasonable doubt of the crime of
murder,
4a7 !n Criminal Case No. #$#%, he is hereb1 sentenced to REC2."!3N PERPET.A,
to indemnif1 the heirs of the deceased /avis 9. leischer in the sum of P #5,+++.++
as compensator1 dama,es, P #+,+++.++ as moral dama,es, P 5,+++.++ as attorne1:s
fees, the offended part1 havin, been represented b1 a private prosecutor, and to pa1
the costs;
4b7 !n Criminal Case No. #$#&, he is hereb1 sentenced to REC2."!3N PERPET.A,
to indemnif1 the heirs of the deceased laviano Rubia in the sum of P#5,+++.++ as
compensator1 dama,es, P#+,+++.++ as moral dama,es, P5,+++.++ as attorne1:s
fees, the offended part1 havin, been represent b1 a private prosecutor, and to pa1
the costs 4p. 6$, rec.7.
The facts are summari8ed in the People:s brief, as follo's-
At about 5-<+ in the afternoon of Au,ust 55, #)&$, =raciano >uan, >esus ?erano and
Cesar !bane8 to,ether 'ith the t'o deceased /avis leischer and laviano Rubia,
'ere fencin, the land of =eor,e leischer, father of deceased /avis leischer. The
place 'as in the boundar1 of the hi,h'a1 and the hacienda o'ned b1 =eor,e
leischer. This is located in the municipalit1 of Maitum, "outh Cotabato. At the place
of the fencin, is the house and rice drier of appellant Mamerto Narvae8 4pp. #*)-#$5,
t.s.n., Pie8a !!7. At that time, appellant 'as ta@in, his rest, but 'hen he heard that the
'alls of his house 'ere bein, chiselled, he arose and there he sa' the fencin, ,oin,
on. !f the fencin, 'ould ,o on, appellant 'ould be prevented from ,ettin, into his
house and the bode,a of his ricemill. "o he addressed the ,roup, sa1in, :Pare, if
possible 1ou stop destro1in, m1 house and if possible 'e 'ill tal@ it over 'hat is
,ood,: addressin, the deceased Rubia, 'ho is appellant:s compadre. The deceased
leischer, ho'ever, ans'ered- :No, ,ademit, proceed, ,o ahead.: Appellant
apparentl1 lost his e0uilibrium and he ,ot his ,un and shot leischer, hittin, him. As
leischer fell do'n, Rubia ran to'ards the (eep, and @no'in, there is a ,un on the
(eep, appellant fired at Rubia, li@e'ise hittin, him 4pp. #5*-#<<, t.s.n., /efense
transcript7. Both leischer and Rubia died as a result of the shottin,: 4pp. )-#6, t.s.n.,
Pie8a !, pp. $-), Appellant:s Brief, p.#&#, rec.7.
!t appears, ho'ever, that this incident is intert'ined 'ith the lon, dra'n out le,al battle bet'een the
leischer and Co., !nc. of 'hich deceased leischer 'as the secretar1-treasurer and deceased Rubia
the assistant mana,er, on the one hand, and the land settlers of Cotabato, amon, 'hom 'as appellant.
rom the available records of the related cases 'hich had been brou,ht to the Court of Appeals 4CA-
=.R. Nos. 5$$%$-R and %+%$<-R7 and to this Court on certiorari 4=.R. No. 2-5&*%* and 2-6%%+67, AE
ta@e (udicial notice of the follo'in, antecedent facts-
Appellant 'as amon, those persons from northern and central 2u8on 'ho 'ent to Mindanao in #)<*
and settled in Maitum, a former sitio of Biamba and no' a separate municipalit1 of "outh Cotabato. Ce
established his residence therein, built his house, cultivated the area, and 'as amon, those 'ho
petitioned then President Manuel 2. 9ue8on to order the subdivision of the defunct Celebes Plantation
and nearb1 Balaon, Plantation totallin, about 5,+++ hectares, for distribution amon, the settlers.
"hortl1 thereafter, leischer and Compan1, headed b1 =eor,e A. leischer, an American lando'ner in
Ne,ros 3riental, filed sales application No. 5#)$< on >une <, #)<* over the same area formerl1 leased
and later abandoned b1 Celebes Plantation Compan1, coverin, #,+#*.55<6 hectares.
Mean'hile, the subdivision 'as ordered and a public land surve1or did the actual surve1 in #)6# but
the surve1 report 'as not submitted until #)6& because of the outbrea@ of the second 'orld 'ar.
Accordin, to the surve1, onl1 <++ hectares !dentified as 2ots Nos. 55, 5& and <$, Ps. #*& Biamba, 'ere
set aside for "ales Application No. 5#)$<, 'hile the rest 'ere subdivided into sublots of % to & hectares
each to be distributed amon, the settlers 4pp. <5-<<, =.R. No. 2-6%%+67.
The <++ hectares set aside for the sales application of leischer and Compan1 'as declared open for
disposition, appraised and advertised for public auction. At the public auction held in Manila on Au,ust
#6, #)6$, leischer and Compan1 'as the onl1 bidder for P&,+++.++. But because of protests from the
settlers the correspondin, a'ard in its favor 'as held in abe1ance, 'hile an investi,ator 'as sent b1
the /irector of 2ands to Biamba in the person of Att1. >ose T. =o8on Att1. =o8on came bac@ after ten
da1s 'ith an amicable settlement si,ned b1 the representative of the settlers. This amicable settlement
'as later repudiated b1 the settlers, but the /irector of 2ands, actin, upon the report of Att1. =o8on,
1
approved the same and ordered the formal a'ard of the land in 0uestion to leischer and Compan1.
The settlers appealed to the "ecretar1 of A,riculture and Natural Resources, 'ho, ho'ever, affirmed
the decision in favor of the compan1.
3n Ma1 5), #)%+, the settlers filed Civil Case No. 56+ in the Court of irst !nstance of Cotabato 'hich
then consisted onl1 of one sala, for the purpose of annullin, the order of the "ecretar1 of A,riculture
and Natural Resources 'hich affirmed the order of the /irector of 2ands a'ardin, the contested land to
the compan1. The settlers as plaintiffs, lost that case in vie' of the amicable settlement 'hich the1 had
repudiated as resultin, from threats and intimidation, deceit, misrepresentation and fraudulent
machination on the part of the compan1. The1 appealed to the Court of Appeals 4CA-=.R. No. 5$$%$-R7
'hich li@e'ise affirmed on Au,ust #&, #)&% the decision of the Court of irst !nstance in favor of the
compan1.
This resulted in the ouster of the settlers b1 an order of the Court of irst !nstance dated "eptember 56,
#)&&, from the land 'hich the1 had been occup1in, for about <+ 1ears. Amon, those e(ected 'as the
appellant 'ho, to avoid trouble, voluntaril1 dismantled his house, built in #)6* at a cost of around
P5+,+++.++, and transferred to his other house 'hich he built in #)&5 or #)&< near the hi,h'a1. The
second house is not far from the site of the dismantled house. !ts ,round floor has a store operated b1
Mrs. >une Talens 'ho 'as rentin, a portion thereof. Ce also transferred his store from his former
residence to the house near the hi,h'a1. Aside from the store, he also had a rice mill located about #%
meters east of the house and a concrete pavement bet'een the rice mill and the house, 'hich is used
for dr1in, ,rains and copra.
3n November #6, #)&&, appellant 'as amon, the settlers on 'hose behalf >ose ?. =amboa and other
leaders filed Civil Case No. *%% in the Court of irst !nstance of Cotabato, Branch !. to obtain an
in(unction or annulment of the order of a'ard 'ith pra1er for preliminar1 in(unction. /urin, the pendenc1
of this case, appellant on ebruar1 5#, #)&* entered into a contract of lease 'ith the compan1 'hereb1
he a,reed to lease an area of approDimatel1 #++ to #6+ s0uare meters of 2ot No. <$ from the compan1
4EDh. ), p. #, older of EDhibits for /efense7 for a consideration of P#&.++ monthl1. Accordin, to him, he
si,ned the contract althou,h the o'nership of the land 'as still uncertain, in order to avoid trouble, until
the 0uestion of o'nership could be decided. Ce never paid the a,reed rental, althou,h he alle,es that
the millin, (ob the1 did for Rubia 'as considered pa1ment. 3n >une 5%, #)&$, deceased leischer
'rote him a letter 'ith the follo'in, tenor-
Eou have not paid siD months rental to leischers F Co., !nc. for that portion of land in
'hich 1our house and ricemill are located as per a,reement eDecuted on ebruar1
5#, #)&*. Eou have not paid as as even after repeated attempts of collection made b1
Mr. laviano Rubia and m1self.
!n vie' of the obvious fact that 1ou do not compl1 'ith the a,reement, ! have no
alternative but to terminate our a,reement on this date.
! am ,ivin, 1ou siD months to remove 1our house, ricemill, bode,a, and 'ater pitcher
pumps from the land of leischers F Co., !nc. This siD- month period shall eDpire on
/ecember <#, #)&&.
!n the event the above constructions have not been removed 'ithin the siD- month
period, the compan1 shall cause their immediate demolition 4EDhibit #+, p. 5, supra7.
3n Au,ust 5#, #)&$, both deceased, to,ether 'ith their laborers, commenced fencin, 2ot <$ b1 puttin,
bamboo posts alon, the propert1 line parallel to the hi,h'a1. "ome posts 'ere planted ri,ht on the
concrete drier of appellant, thereb1 cuttin, dia,onall1 across its center 4pp. 55*-55$, t.s.n., ?ol. 57, 'ith
the last post (ust ad(acent to appellant:s house 4p. 5<#, t.s.n., supra7. The fence, 'hen finished, 'ould
have the effect of shuttin, off the accessibilit1 to appellant:s house and rice mill from the hi,h'a1, since
the door of the same opens to the leischers: side. The fencin, continued on that fateful da1 of Au,ust
55, #)&$, 'ith the installation of four strands of barbed 'ire to the posts.
At about 5-<+ p.m. on the said da1, appellant 'ho 'as ta@in, a nap after 'or@in, on his farm all
mornin,, 'as a'a@ened b1 some noise as if the 'all of his house 'as bein, chiselled. =ettin, up and
loo@in, out of the 'indo', he found that one of the laborers of leischer 'as indeed chisellin, the 'all
of his house 'ith a cro'bar 4p. #5), t.s.n., ?ol. &7, 'hile deceased Rubia 'as nailin, the barbed 'ire
and deceased leischer 'as commandin, his laborers. The (eep used b1 the deceased 'as par@ed on
the hi,h'a1. The rest of the incident is narrated in the People:s Brief as above-0uoted. Appellant
surrendered to the police thereafter, brin,in, 'ith him shot,un No. ###)%*& and claimin, he shot t'o
persons 4EDh. Pp. <#, /efense EDhibits7.
Appellant no' 0uestions the propriet1 of his conviction, assi,nin, the follo'in, errors-
First Assignment of Error That the lo'er court erred in convictin, defendant-appellant
despite the fact that he acted in defense of his person; and
Second Assignment of Error That the court a 0uo also erred in convictin, defendant-
appellant althou,h he acted in defense of his ri,hts 4p. 5+ of Appellant:s Brief, p. #6%,
rec.7.
The act of @illin, of the t'o deceased b1 appellant is not disputed. Appellant admitted havin, shot them
from the 'indo' of his house 'ith the shot,un 'hich he surrendered to the police authorities. Ce
claims, ho'ever, that he did so in defense of his person and of his ri,hts, and therefore he should be
eDempt from criminal liabilit1.
/efense of one:s person or ri,hts is treated as a (ustif1in, circumstance under Art. ##, par. # of the
Revised Penal Code, but in order for it to be appreciated, the follo'in, re0uisites must occur-
irst. .nla'ful a,,ression;
"econd. Reasonable necessit1 of the means emplo1ed to prevent or repel it;
Third. 2ac@ of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defendin, himself 4Art.
##, par. #, Revised Penal Code, as amended7.
The a,,ression referred to b1 appellant is the an,r1 utterance b1 deceased leischer of the follo'in,
'ords- GCindi, si,ue, ,ademit, avanteG, in ans'er to his re0uest addressed to his compadre, the
deceased Rubia, 'hen he said, GPare, hinto mona nin1o at pa,-usapan natin @un, ano an, mabutiG 4pp.
55*-55), t.s.n., ?ol. &7. This 'as in reaction to his havin, been a'a@ened to see the 'all of his house
bein, chiselled. The verbal eDchan,e too@ place 'hile the t'o deceased 'ere on the ,round doin, the
fencin, and the appellant 'as up in his house loo@in, out of his 'indo' 4pp. 55%-55*, supra7. Accordin,
to appellant, leischer:s remar@s caused this reaction in him- GAs if, ! lost m1 senses and un@no'in,l1 !
2
too@ the ,un on the bed and un@no'in,l1 also ! shot Mr. leischer, 'ithout reali8in, it, ! shot Mr.
leischerG 4p. #<5, supra7. As for the shootin, of Rubia, appellant testified-
Ahen ! shot /avis leischer, laviano Rubia 'as nailin, and upon hearin, the shot,
Mr. Rubia loo@ed at Mr. leischer and 'hen Mr. leischer fell do'n, Mr. Rubia ran
to'ards the (eep and @no'in, that there 'as a firearm in the (eep and thin@in, that if
he 'ill ta@e that firearm he 'ill @ill me, ! shot at him 4p. #<5, supra, Emphasis
supplied7.
The fore,oin, statements of appellant 'ere never controverted b1 the prosecution. The1 claim,
ho'ever, that the deceased 'ere in la'ful eDercise of their ri,hts of o'nership over the land in
0uestion, 'hen the1 did the fencin, that sealed off appellant:s access to the hi,h'a1.
A revie' of the circumstances prior to the shootin, as borne b1 the evidence reveals that five persons,
consistin, of the deceased and their three laborers, 'ere doin, the fencin, and chisellin, of the 'alls of
appellant:s house. The fence the1 'ere puttin, up 'as made of bamboo posts to 'hich 'ere bein,
nailed strands of barbed 'ire in several la1ers. 3bviousl1, the1 'ere usin, tools 'hich could be lethal
'eapons, such as nail and hammer, bolo or bamboo cutter, pliers, cro'bar, and other necessar1
,ad,ets. Besides, it 'as not disputed that the (eep 'hich the1 used in ,oin, to the place 'as par@ed
(ust a fe' steps a'a1, and in it there 'as a ,un leanin, near the steerin, 'heel. Ahen the appellant
'o@e up to the sound of the chisellin, on his 'alls, his first reaction 'as to loo@ out of the 'indo'. Then
he sa' the dama,e bein, done to his house, compounded b1 the fact that his house and rice mill 'ill
be shut off from the hi,h'a1 b1 the fence once it is finished. Ce therefore appealed to his compadre,
the deceased Rubia, to stop 'hat the1 'ere doin, and to tal@ thin,s over 'ith him. But deceased
leischer ans'ered an,ril1 'ith :,ademit: and directed his men to proceed 'ith 'hat the1 'ere doin,.
The actuation of deceased leischer in an,ril1 orderin, the continuance of the fencin, 'ould have
resulted in the further chisellin, of the 'alls of appellant:s house as 'ell as the closure of the access to
and from his house and rice mill-'hich 'ere not onl1 imminent but 'ere actuall1 in pro,ress. There is
no 0uestion, therefore, that there 'as a,,ression on the part of the victims- leischer 'as orderin,, and
Rubia 'as actuall1 participatin, in the fencin,. This 'as indeed a,,ression, not on the person of
appellant, but on his propert1 ri,hts.
The 0uestion is, 'as the a,,ression unla'ful or la'fulH /id the victims have a ri,ht to fence off the
contested propert1, to destro1 appellant:s house and to shut off his in,ress and e,ress to his residence
and the hi,h'a1H
Article <+ of the Civil Code reco,ni8es the ri,ht of ever1 o'ner to enclose or fence his land or
tenements.
Co'ever, at the time of the incident on Au,ust 55, #)&$, Civil Case no. *%% for annulment of the order
of a'ard to leischer and Compan1 'as still pendin, in the Court of irst !nstance of Cotabato. The
parties could not have @no'n that the case 'ould be dismissed over a 1ear after the incident on Au,ust
55, #)&$, as it 'as dismissed on >anuar1 5<, #)*+ on ,round of res !udicata" in vie' of the dismissal in
#)&% 4b1 the Court of Appeals7 of Civil Case No. 56+ filed in #)%+ for the annulment of the a'ard to the
compan1, bet'een the same parties, 'hich the compan1 'on b1 virtue of the compromise a,reement in
spite of the subse0uent repudiation b1 the settlers of said compromise a,reement; and that such #)*+
dismissal also carried the dismissal of the supplemental petition filed b1 the Republic of the Philippines
on November 5$, #)&$ to annul the sales patent and to cancel the correspondin, certificate of title
issued to the compan1, on the ,round that the /irector of 2ands had no authorit1 to conduct the sale
due to his failure to compl1 'ith the mandator1 re0uirements for publication. The dismissal of the
,overnment:s supplemental petition 'as premised on the ,round that after its filin, on November 5$,
#)&$, nothin, more 'as done b1 the petitioner Republic of the Philippines eDcept to adopt all the
evidence and ar,uments of plaintiffs 'ith 'hom it (oined as parties-plaintiffs.
Cence, it is reasonable to believe that appellant 'as indeed hopin, for a favorable (ud,ment in Civil
Case No. *%% filed on November #6, #)&& and his eDecution of the contract of lease on ebruar1 5#,
#)&* 'as (ust to avoid trouble. This 'as eDplained b1 him durin, cross-eDamination on >anuar1 5#,
#)*+, thus-
!t happened this 'a1- 'e tal@ed it over 'ith m1 Mrs. that 'e better rent the place
because even thou,h 'e do not @no' 'ho reall1 o'ns this portion to avoid trouble.
To avoid trouble 'e better pa1 'hile 'aitin, for the case because at that time, it 'as
not @no'n 'ho is the ri,ht o'ner of the place. "o 'e decided until thin,s 'ill clear up
and determine 'ho is reall1 the o'ner, 'e decided to pa1 rentals 4p. #&), t.s.n.,
?ol.&7.
!n an1 case, leischer had ,iven him up to /ecember <#, #)&$ 4EDh.#+, p. 5, /efense EDhibits7 'ithin
'hich to vacate the land. Ce should have allo'ed appellant the peaceful en(o1ment of his properties up
to that time, instead of chisellin, the 'alls of his house and closin, appellant:s entrance and eDit to the
hi,h'a1.
The follo'in, provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines are in point-
Art. %<&. !n no case ma1 possession be ac0uired throu,h force or intimidation as lon,
as there is a possessor 'ho ob(ects thereto. Ce 'ho believes that he has an action or
a ri,ht to deprive another of the holdin, of a thin, must invo@e the aid of the
competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the thin,.
Art. %<). Ever1 possessor has a ri,ht to be respected in his possession; and should
he be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession b1 the
means established b1 the la's and the Rules of Court 4Articles %<& and %<), Civil
Code of the Philippines7.
Conformabl1 to the fore,oin, provisions, the deceased had no ri,ht to destro1 or cause dama,e to
appellant:s house, nor to close his accessibilit1 to the hi,h'a1 'hile he 'as pleadin, 'ith them to stop
and tal@ thin,s over 'ith him. The assault on appellant:s propert1, therefore, amounts to unla'ful
a,,ression as contemplated b1 la'.
!lle,al a,,ression is e0uivalent to assault or at least threatened assault of immediate
and imminent @ind 4People vs. Encomiendas, 6& "CRA %557.
!n the case at bar, there 'as an actual ph1sical invasion of appellant:s propert1 'hich he had the ri,ht
to resist, pursuant to Art. 65) of the Civil Code of the Philippines 'hich provides-
Art. 65). The o#ner or la#ful possessor of a thin, has the ri,ht to eDclude an1 person
from the en(o1ment and disposal thereof. For this purpose" he ma$ use such force as
3
ma$ %e reasona%l$ necessar$ to repel or pre&ent an actual or threatened unla#ful
ph$sical in&asion or usurpation of his propert$ 4Emphasis supplied7.
The reasonableness of the resistance is also a re0uirement of the (ustif1in, circumstance of self-
defense or defense of one:s ri,hts under para,raph # of Article ##, Revised Penal Code. Ahen the
appellant fired his shot,un from his 'indo', @illin, his t'o victims, his resistance 'as disproportionate
to the attac@.
AE find, ho'ever, that the third element of defense of propert1 is present, i.e., lac@ of sufficient
provocation on the part of appellant 'ho 'as defendin, his propert1. As a matter of fact, there 'as no
provocation at all on his part, since he 'as asleep at first and 'as onl1 a'a@ened b1 the noise
produced b1 the victims and their laborers. Cis plea for the deceased and their men to stop and tal@
thin,s over 'ith him 'as no provocation at all.
Be that as it ma1, appellant:s act in @illin, the deceased 'as not (ustifiable, since not all the elements for
(ustification are present. Ce should therefore be held responsible for the death of his victims, but he
could be credited 'ith the special miti,atin, circumstance of incomplete defense, pursuant to para,raph
&, Article #< of the Revised Penal Code.
The crime committed is homicide on t'o counts. The 0ualif1in, circumstance of treacher1 cannot be
appreciated in this case because of the presence of provocation on the part of the deceased. As AE
held earlier in People vs. Manlapa8 4%% "CRA %)$7, the element of a sudden unprovo@ed attac@ is
therefore lac@in,.
Moreover, in order to appreciate ale&osia" Git must clearl1 appear that the method of assault adopted b1
the a,,ressor 'as deliberatel1 chosen 'ith a special vie' to the accomplishment of the act 'ithout ris@
to the assailant from an1 defense that the part1 assailed mi,ht have made. This cannot be said of a
situation 'here the sla1er acted instantaneousl1 ...G 4People vs. CaIete, 66 Phil. 6$#7.
AE li@e'ise find the a,,ravatin, 40ualif1in,7 circumstance of evident premeditation not sufficientl1
established. The onl1 evidence presented to prove this circumstance 'as the testimon1 of Crisanto
!baIe8, <* 1ears old, married, resident of Maitum, "outh Cotabato, and a laborer of leischer and
Compan1, 'hich ma1 be summari8ed as follo's-
3n Au,ust 5+, #)&$ 4t'o da1s before the incident7 at about *-++ A.M., he 'as dr1in,
corn near the house of Mr. and Mrs. Mamerto Narvae8 at the crossin,, Maitum, "outh
Cotabato, 'hen the accused and his 'ife tal@ed to him. Mrs. Narvae8 as@ed him to
help them, as he 'as 'or@in, in the hacienda. "he further told him that if the1 fenced
their house, there is a head that 'ill be bro@en. Mamerto Narvae8 added :No1, it is
better that 1ou 'ill tell Mr. leischer because there 'ill be nobod1 'ho 'ill brea@ his
head but ! 'ill be the one.: Ce rela1ed this to Mr. laviano Rubia, but the latter told
him not to believe as the1 'ere onl1 !dle threats desi,ned to ,et him out of the
hacienda 4pp. 5)*-<+<, t.s.n., ?ol. 57.
This sin,le evidence is not sufficient to 'arrant appreciation of the a,,ravatin, circumstance of evident
premeditation. As AE have consistentl1 held, there must be Gdirect evidence of the plannin, or
preparation to @ill the victim, .... it is not enou,h that premeditation be suspected or surmised, but the
criminal intent must be evidenced b1 notorious out'ard acts evincin, the determination to commit the
crimeG 4People vs. 3rdioles, 65 "CRA 5<$7. Besides, there must be a Gsho'in,G that the accused
premeditated the @illin,; that the culprit clun, to their 4his7 premeditated act; and that there 'as
sufficient interval bet'een the premeditation and the eDecution of the crime to allo' them 4him7 to
reflect upon the conse0uences of the actG 4People vs. =ida, #+5 "CRA *+7.
Moreover, the obvious bias of 'itness Crisanto !baIe8, as a laborer of the deceased /avis leischer,
neutrali8es his credibilit1.
"ince in the case at bar, there 'as no direct evidence of the plannin, or preparation to @ill the victims
nor that the accused premeditated the @illin,, and clun, to his premeditated act, the trial court:s
conclusion as to the presence of such circumstance ma1 not be endorsed.
Evident premeditation is further ne,ated b1 appellant pleadin, 'ith the victims to stop the fencin, and
destro1in, his house and to tal@ thin,s over (ust before the shootin,.
But the trial court has properl1 appreciated the presence of the miti,atin, circumstance of voluntar1
surrender, it appearin, that appellant surrendered to the authorities soon after the shootin,.
2i@e'ise, Ae find that passion and obfuscation attended the commission of the crime. The appellant
a'o@e to find his house bein, dama,ed and its accessibilit1 to the hi,h'a1 as 'ell as of his rice mill
bode,a bein, closed. Not onl1 'as his house bein, unla'full1 violated; his business 'as also in dan,er
of closin, do'n for lac@ of access to the hi,h'a1. These circumstances, comin, so near to the time
'hen his first house 'as dismantled, thus forcin, him to transfer to his onl1 remainin, house, must
have so a,,ravated his obfuscation that he lost momentaril1 all reason causin, him to reach for his
shot,un and fire at the victims in defense of his ri,hts. Considerin, the antecedent facts of this case,
'here appellant had thirt1 1ears earlier mi,rated to this so-called Gland of promiseG 'ith dreams and
hopes of relative prosperit1 and tran0uilit1, onl1 to find his castle crumblin, at the hands of the
deceased, his dispassionate plea ,oin, unheeded-all these could be too much for an1 man-he should
be credited 'ith this miti,atin, circumstance.
Conse0uentl1, appellant is ,uilt1 of t'o crimes of homicide onl1, the @illin, not bein, attended b1 an1
0ualif1in, nor a,,ravatin, circumstance, but eDtenuated b1 the privile,ed miti,atin, circumstance of
incomplete defense-in vie' of the presence of unla'ful a,,ression on the part of the victims and lac@ of
sufficient provocation on the part of the appellant-and b1 t'o ,eneric miti,atin, circumstance of
voluntar1 surrender and passion and obfuscation.
Article 56) of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the penalt1 for homicide as reclusion
temporal. Pursuant to Article &), supra, the penalt1 lo'er b1 one or t'o de,rees shall be imposed if the
deed is not 'holl1 eDcusable b1 reason of the lac@ of some of the conditions re0uired to (ustif1 the
same. Considerin, that the ma(orit1 of the re0uirements for defense of propert1 are present, the penalt1
ma1 be lo'ered b1 t'o de,rees, i.e., to prision correccional And under para,raph % of Article &6, the
same ma1 further be reduced b1 one de,ree, i.e., arresto ma$or" because of the presence of t'o
miti,atin, circumstances and no a,,ravatin, circumstance.
The civil liabilit1 of the appellant should be modified. !n the case of Julueta vs. Pan American Aorld
Air'a1s 46< "CRA <)*7, the a'ard for moral dama,es 'as reduced because the plaintiff contributed to
the ,ravit1 of defendant:s reaction. !n the case at bar, the victims not onl1 contributed but the1 actuall1
provo@ed the attac@ b1 dama,in, appellant:s properties and business. Considerin, appellant:s standin,
in the communit1, bein, married to a municipal councilor, the victims: actuations 'ere apparentl1
desi,ned to humiliate him and destro1 his reputation. The records disclose that his 'ife, councilor eli8a
4
Narvae8, 'as also char,ed in these t'o cases and detained 'ithout bail despite the absence of
evidence lin@in, her to the @illin,s. "he 'as dropped as a defendant onl1 upon motion of the
prosecution dated 3ctober <#, #)&$. 4p. #6, C! rec. of Crim. Case No. #$#&7, but acted upon on
November 6, #)&$ 4p. %$, C! rec. of Criminal Case No. #$#%7.
Moreover, these cases arose out of an inordinate desire on the part of leischer and Compan1, despite
its eDtensive landholdin,s in a Central ?isa1an province, to eDtend its accumulation of public lands to
the resettlement areas of Cotabato. "ince it had the capabilit1-financial and other'ise-to carr1 out its
land accumulation scheme, the lo'l1 settlers, 'ho uprooted their families from their native soil in 2u8on
to ta@e advanta,e of the ,overnment:s resettlement pro,ram, but had no sufficient means to fi,ht the
bi, lando'ners, 'ere the ones pre(udiced. Thus, the moral and material sufferin, of appellant and his
famil1 deserves lenienc1 as to his civil liabilit1.
urthermore, Article <) of the Revised Penal Code re0uires a person convicted of prision
correccional or arrests ma$or and fine 'ho has no propert1 'ith 'hich to meet his civil liabilities to
serve a subsidiar1 imprisonment at the rate of one 4#7 da1 for each P 5.%+. Co'ever, the amendment
introduced b1 Republic Act No. %6&% on April 5#, #)&) made the provisions of Art. <) applicable to fines
onl1 and not to reparation of the dama,e caused, indemnification of conse0uential dama,es and costs
of proceedin,s. Considerin, that Republic Act %6&% is favorable to the accused 'ho is not a habitual
delin0uent, it ma1 be ,iven retroactive effect pursuant to Article 55 of the Revised Penal Code.
ACERE3RE, !N/!N= APPE22ANT =.!2TE BEE3N/ REA"3NAB2E /3.BT 3 3N2E TA3 457
C3M!C!/E", M!T!=ATE/ BE TCE PR!?!2E=E/ EKTEN.AT!N= C!RC.M"TANCE 3 !NC3MP2ETE
"E2-/EEN"E A" AE22 A" BE TA3 457 =ENER!C M!T!=AT!N= C!RC.M"TANCE" 3
?32.NTARE ".RREN/ER AN/ 3B."CAT!3N, A!TC3.T ANE A==RA?AT!N=
C!RC.M"TANCE, APPE22ANT !" CEREBE "ENTENCE/ T3 ".ER AN !MPR!"3NMENT 3
3.R 467 M3NTC" 3 ARRE"T3 MAE3R, T3 !N/EMN!E EACC =R3.P 3 CE!R" 3 /A?!"
2E!"CCER AN/ 3 2A?!AN3 R.B!A !N TCE ".M 3 3.R TC3."AN/ 4P 6,+++.++7 PE"3",
A!TC3.T ".B"!/!ARE !MPR!"3NMENT AN/ A!TC3.T ANE AAAR/ 3R M3RA2 /AMA=E"
AN/ ATT3RNEE:" EE".
C3N"!/ER!N= TCAT APPE22ANT CA" BEEN .N/ER /ETENT!3N 3R A2M3"T 3.RTEEN 4#67
EEAR" N3A "!NCE C!" ?32.NTARE ".RREN/ER 3N A.=."T 55,#)&$, C!" !MME/!ATE
RE2EA"E !" CEREBE 3R/ERE/. N3 C3"T".
"3 3R/ERE/.
Fernando" C.'." Teehan(ee" Concepcion 'r." Guerrero" )e Castro" *elencio-+errera" Escolin ,as-uez
and .elo&a" ''." concur.
A-uino" '." is on lea&e.
/lana" '." in the result.


S'p(r()' Opi*io*s

A+A, SANTOS, J., dissentin,-
! dissent. The self-defense of the Revised Penal Code refers to unla'ful a,,ression on persons, not
propert1 Plana, >., in the result.

GUT#ERRE%, -R., J., dissentin,-
Ahile ! a,ree 'ith the order to release the appellant, ! am constrained to dissent in part. !t is true that
Art. 65), Civil Code of the Philippines, provides that the o'ner or le,al possessor of a thin, ma1 use
such force as ma1 be reasonabl1 necessar1 to repel or prevent an actual or threatened unla'ful
ph1sical invasion or usurpation of his propert1. !t seems to me, ho'ever, that an attac@ on the person
defendin, his propert1 is an indispensable element 'here an accused pleads self-defense but 'hat is
basicall1 defended is onl1 propert1.
/efense of propert1 is not of such importance as the ri,ht to life and defense of propert1 can onl1 be
invo@ed 'hen it is coupled 'ith some form of attac@ on the person of one entrusted 'ith said propert1.
The defense of propert1, 'hether complete or incomplete, to be available in prosecutions for murder or
homicide must be coupled 'ith an attac@ b1 the one ,ettin, the propert1 on the person defendin, it.
!n the case no' before .s, there is absolutel1 no evidence that an attac@ 'as attempted, much less
made upon the person of appellant. The mere utterance GNo, ,ademit proceed, ,o aheadG is not the
unla'ful a,,ression 'hich entitles appellant to the pela of self-defense. ! a,ree 'ith the ma(orit1 opinion
that the crime is homicide but 'ithout an1 privile,ed miti,atin, circumstance.
Therefore, since the appellant is ,uilt1 be1ond reasonable doubt of t'o 457 homicides, miti,ated b1 the
t'o ,eneric miti,atin, circumstances of voluntar1 surrender and obfuscation, 'ithout an1 a,,ravatin,
circumstance, maDimum the sentence the appellant should have served 'as prision ma1or plus the
indemnification to each ,roup of heirs of /avis leischer and of lamiano Rubia of the sum of our
Thousand 4P6,+++.++7 Pesos, 'ithout subsidiar1 imprisonment, but 'ithout an1 a'ard for moral
dama,es and attorne1:s fees.
Considerin, that appellant has been under detention for almost fourteen 4#67 1ears no' since Au,ust
55, #)&$, he has served the penalt1 and should be released.

S'p(r()' Opi*io*s
A+A, SANTOS, J., dissentin,-
5
! dissent. The self-defense of the Revised Penal Code refers to unla'ful a,,ression on persons, not
propert1 Plana, >., in the result.

GUT#ERRE%, -R., J., dissentin,-
Ahile ! a,ree 'ith the order to release the appellant, ! am constrained to dissent in part. !t is true that
Art. 65), Civil Code of the Philippines, provides that the o'ner or le,al possessor of a thin, ma1 use
such force as ma1 be reasonabl1 necessar1 to repel or prevent an actual or threatened unla'ful
ph1sical invasion or usurpation of his propert1. !t seems to me, ho'ever, that an attac@ on the person
defendin, his propert1 is an indispensable element 'here an accused pleads self-defense but 'hat is
basicall1 defended is onl1 propert1.
/efense of propert1 is not of such importance as the ri,ht to life and defense of propert1 can onl1 be
invo@ed 'hen it is coupled 'ith some form of attac@ on the person of one entrusted 'ith said propert1.
The defense of propert1, 'hether complete or incomplete, to be available in prosecutions for murder or
homicide must be coupled 'ith an attac@ b1 the one ,ettin, the propert1 on the person defendin, it.
!n the case no' before .s, there is absolutel1 no evidence that an attac@ 'as attempted, much less
made upon the person of appellant. The mere utterance GNo, ,ademit proceed, ,o aheadG is not the
unla'ful a,,ression 'hich entitles appellant to the pela of self-defense. ! a,ree 'ith the ma(orit1 opinion
that the crime is homicide but 'ithout an1 privile,ed miti,atin, circumstance.
Therefore, since the appellant is ,uilt1 be1ond reasonable doubt of t'o 457 homicides, miti,ated b1 the
t'o ,eneric miti,atin, circumstances of voluntar1 surrender and obfuscation, 'ithout an1 a,,ravatin,
circumstance, maDimum the sentence the appellant should have served 'as prision ma1or plus the
indemnification to each ,roup of heirs of /avis leischer and of lamiano Rubia of the sum of our
Thousand 4P6,+++.++7 Pesos, 'ithout subsidiar1 imprisonment, but 'ithout an1 a'ard for moral
dama,es and attorne1:s fees.
Considerin, that appellant has been under detention for almost fourteen 4#67 1ears no' since Au,ust
55, #)&$, he has served the penalt1 and should be released.
6

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