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UPDATES IN CRIMINAL LAW

By:
JUDGE OSCAR B. PIMENTEL
Regional Trial Court, Branch 148
Makati City

BOOK 1
Self Defense as a Justifying Circumstance
One who invokes self-defense admits responsibility for the killing.
Accordingly, the burden of proof shifts to the accused who must then prove
the justifying circumstance. He must show by clear and convincing evidence
that he indeed acted in self-defense, or in defense of a relative or a stranger.
With clear and convincing evidence, all the following elements of self-defense
must be established: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2)
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3)
lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person claiming self-defense.

Unlawful Aggression; as a primodial element in justifying


circumstance.
Unlawful aggression is the first and primordial element of self-defense.
Of the three requisites, it is the most important. without it, the justifying
circumstance cannot be invoked. If there is no unlawful aggression, there is
nothing to prevent or repel.
Alevosia as an aggravating circumstance
There is alevosia when the offender commits any of the crimes against
persons employing means, methods, or forms in the execution thereof which
tend directly and especially to ensure the execution of the crime without risk
to himself from any defense which the offended party might make. (G.R. No.
135222. March 04, 2005)PETER ANDRADA, petitioner, vs. THE
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
Voluntary surrender, to be appreciated
For voluntary surrender to be appreciated, the surrender must be
spontaneous, made in such a manner that it shows the interest of the
accused to surrender unconditionally to the authorities, either because he

acknowledges his guilt or wishes to save them the trouble and expenses that
would be necessarily incurred in his search and capture. (G.R. No. 135222.
March 04, 2005)PETER ANDRADA, petitioner, vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondent.
No ex post facto Conspiracy
One who joins a conspiracy while the felony subject thereof is being
committed or before the said felony is committed and performs overt acts to
achieve the common design or purpose, is criminally liable for said felony.
On the other hand, one who joins a conspiracy after the felony subject of the
conspiracy has been completed or consummated is not criminally liable as a
conspirator. There can be no ex post facto conspiracy to do that which has
already been done and consummated. PREFERRED HOME SPECIALTIES
INC., and EDWIN YU,
vs. CA, (SEVENTH DIVISION) and HARLEY T.
SY G.R. No. 163593, December 16, 2005.
Conspiracy; Direct evidence of prior agreement not necessary;
Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence of prior agreement
to commit the crime. Neither is its necessary to show that all the conspirators
actually hit and killed the victim. What has to be shown is that all the
participants performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination as
to unmistakably indicate a common purpose and design. People vs. Quirol
et.al. G.R. No. 149259, October 20, 2005)
Conspiracy; must be established, not by conjectures, but by positive
and conclusive evidence.
Conspiracy transcends mere companionship and mere presence at the
scene of the crime does not in itself amount to conspiracy. Even knowledge,
acquiescence in or agreement to cooperate, is not enough to constitute one
as a party to a conspiracy, absent any active participation in the commission
of the crime with a view to the furtherance of the common design and
purpose. Evangeline Ledonga vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No.
141066, February 17, 2005.
Circumstantial evidence; test of moral certainty sufficient to convict
an accused
Circumstantial evidence has been defined as that which goes to prove
a fact or series of facts other than the facts in issue, which, if proved, may
tend by inference to establish a fact in issue. Circumstantial evidence may

be resorted to when to insist on direct testimony would ultimately lead to


setting felons free.
The standard that should be observed by the courts in appreciating
circumstantial evidence was extensively discussed in the case of People of
the Philippines v. Modesto, et al. thus:
. . . No general rule can be laid down as to the quantity of
circumstantial evidence which in any case will suffice. All the
circumstances proved must be consistent with each other,
consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at
the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is
innocent, and with every other rational hypothesis except that of
guilt.
It has been said, and we believe correctly, that the
circumstances proved should constitute an unbroken chain
which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion which points
to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty
person. From all the circumstances, there should be a
combination of evidence which in the ordinary and natural
course of things, leaves no room for reasonable doubt as to his
guilt. Stated in another way, where the inculpatory facts and
circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of
which is consistent with innocence and the other with guilt, the
evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not
sufficient to convict the accused.[17] (ORLANDO SOLIS
UNGSOD vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G. R. No.
158904, December 16, 2005)
Treachery; as an aggravating circumstance
There is treachery when the means, methods, and forms of execution
employed gave the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or
retaliate; and such means, methods and forms of execution were deliberately
and consciously adopted by the accused without danger to his person. What
is decisive in an appreciation of treachery is that the execution of the attack
made it impossible for the victim to defend himself. People of the
Philippines vs. Fabian Sades y Rodel, G.R. No. 171087, July 12, 2006)
Alibi and denial; They are worthless
identification of the accused.

in the face

of positive

The defense of denial and alibi must fail in light of the clear and
positive identification of appellant as the assailant of the deceased. The

positive identification of the assailant, when categorical and consistent


without any ill motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses, prevails over
alibi and denial which are negative, self-serving and undeserving of weight in
law. The defense of denial, like alibi, is considered with suspicion and is
always received with caution, not only because it is inherently weak and
unreliable, but also because it can be fabricated easily. Ibid.
Unlawful aggression; as an indispensable requisite of self defense
When the accused invokes self-defense, he in effect admits killing the
victim and the burden is shifted to him to prove that he killed the victim to
save his life. The accused must establish by clear and convincing evidence
that all the requisites of self-defense are present.
Under paragraph 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, the three
requisites to prove self-defense as a justifying circumstance which may
exempt an accused from criminal liability are: (1) unlawful aggression on the
part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel the aggression; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the
part of the accused or the person defending himself. Unlawful aggression is
an indispensable requisite of self-defense. Self-defense is founded on the
necessity on the part of the person being attacked to prevent or repel the
unlawful aggression. Thus, without prior unlawful and unprovoked attack by
the victim, there can be no complete or incomplete self-defense.( Ramonito
Manaban vs. Court of Appeals et.al. G. R. No 150723, July 11, 2006)
Obfuscation; as a mitigating circumstance
The mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation is appreciated
where the accused acted upon an impulse so powerful as naturally to have
produced passion or obfuscation. The requisites of the mitigating
circumstance of passion or obfuscation are:
(1) that there should be an
act both unlawful and sufficient to produce such condition of mind; and (2)
that the act which produced the obfuscation was not far removed from the
commission of the crime by a considerable length of time, during which the
perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity. Ibid.

Criminal Cases; Burden of Proof

The rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was never
intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal cases. It is basic
that the prosecution evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and
cannot draw strength from the weakness of the defense. Unless the
prosecution overturns the constitutional presumption of innocence of an

accused by competent and credible evidence proving his guilt beyond


reasonable doubt, the presumption remains. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
appellee, vs. RICO CALUMPANG and JOVENAL OMATANG, appellants. G.R.
No. 158203. March 31, 2005

Aggravating circumstance; Treachery when appreciated


Treachery is a sudden and unexpected attack under the circumstances that
render the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the
suddenness and severity of the attack. It is an aggravating circumstance
that qualifies the killing of the person to murder. Two essential
elements/conditions are required in order that treachery may be appreciated:
(1) The employment of means, methods or manner of execution that would
insure the offenders safety from any retaliatory act on the part of the
offended party, who has, thus no opportunity for self-defense or retaliation;
and (2) deliberate or conscious choice of means, methods or manner of
execution. Further, it must always be alleged in the information and proved
in trial in order that it may be validly considered. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES versus ZOSIMO AGUILA y ATIENZA,G.R. No. 171017
December 6, 2006
MALA IN SE AND MALA PROHIBITA
Generally, mala in se felonies are defined and penalized in the Revised Penal
Code. When the acts complained of are inherently immoral, they are
deemed mala in se, even if they are punished by a special law. Accordingly,
criminal intent must be clearly established with the other elements of the
crime; otherwise, no crime is committed. On the other hand, in crimes that
are mala prohibita, the criminal acts are not inherently immoral but become
punishable only because the law says they are forbidden. With these crimes,
the sole issue is whether the law has been violated. Criminal intent is not
necessary where the acts are prohibited for reasons of public policy. Garcia
v. CA, G.R. No. 157171, Mar. 14, 2006
SELF-DEFENSE; REQUISITES
In order to successfully claim that he acted in defense of a relative, the
accused must prove the concurrence of the following requisites: (1) unlawful
aggression on the part of the person killed or injured; (2) reasonable
necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful
aggression; and (3) the person defending the relative had no part in
provoking the assailant, should any provocation
been
given
by the
relative attacked. Unlawful aggression is a primary and indispensable
requisite without which defense of relative, whether complete or otherwise,

cannot be validly invoked.


It is well-settled in this jurisdiction that once an accused has admitted
that he inflicted the fatal injuries on the deceased, it is incumbent upon him
in order to avoid criminal liability, to prove the justifying circumstance
claimed by him with clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence. He cannot
rely on the weakness of the prosecution but on the strength of his own
evidence, for even if the evidence of the prosecution were weak it could not
be disbelieved after the accused himself had admitted the killing. Thus,
petitioner must establish with clear and convincing evidence that the killing
was justified, and that he incurred no criminal liability therefor.
(Sabang vs. People, G.R. No. 168818, March 9, 2007)

SELF-DEFENSE; ELEMENTS; BURDEN OF EVIDENCE;


In invoking self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, the onus
probandi is shifted to the accused to prove by clear and convincing evidence
all the elements of justifying circumstance, namely: (a) unlawful aggression
on the part of the victim; (b) the reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel it; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the
part of the person defending himself.
Unlawful aggression presupposes not merely a threatening or an
intimidating attitude, but an actual, sudden and unexpected attack or an
imminent danger thereof, which imperils ones life or limb. It is the first and
primordial element of self-defense. Without it, the justifying circumstance
cannot be invoked.
(People vs. Tabuelog, G.R. No. 178059, January 22, 2008, YnaresSantiago)
SELF DEFENSE
There can be no self-defense, complete or incomplete, unless the accused
proves the first essential requisiteunlawful aggression on the part of the
victim. Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden and unexpected
or imminent danger on the life and limb of a person a mere threatening or
intimidating attitude is not sufficient. There must be actual physical force or a
threat to inflict physical injury. In case of a threat, it must be offensive and
positively strong so as to display a real, not imagined, intent to cause injury.
Aggression, if not continuous, does not constitute aggression warranting selfdefense. Sanchez v. People G. R. No. 161007, Dec. 6, 2006
SELF DEFENSE

When self-defense is invoked, the burden of evidence shifts to the accused to


show that the killing was legally justified. Having owned the killing of the
victim, the accused should be able to prove to the satisfaction of the Court
the elements of self-defense in order to avail of this extenuating
circumstance. He must discharge this burden by clear and convincing
evidence. When successful, an otherwise felonious deed would be excused,
mainly predicated on the lack of criminal intent of the accused. Self-defense
requires that there be (1) an unlawful aggression by the person injured or
killed by the offender, (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel that unlawful aggression, and (3) lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person defending himself. All these conditions
must concur.
Unlawful aggression, a primordial element of self-defense, would presuppose
an actual, sudden and unexpected attack or imminent danger on the life and
limb of a person not a mere threatening or intimidating attitude but most
importantly, at the time the defensive action was taken against the
aggressor. To invoke self-defense successfully, there must have been an
unlawful and unprovoked attack that endangered the life of the accused, who
was then forced to inflict severe wounds upon the assailant by employing
reasonable means to resist the attack. People v. Reyes, G.R. No. 153875,
August 16, 2006
SELF-DEFENSE; ELEMENTS
To escape liability, the person claiming self-defense must show by
sufficient, satisfactory and convincing evidence that: (1) the victim
committed unlawful aggression amounting to actual or imminent threat to life
and limb of the person claiming self-defense; (2) there was reasonable
necessity in the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful
aggression; and (3) there was lack of sufficient provocation on the part of
the person claiming self-defense was not the proximate and immediate cause
of the victims aggression.
(Razon vs. People, G.R. No. 158053, June 21, 2007)
UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION
The condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of selfdefense is the element of unlawful aggression. There can be no self-defense
unless the victim committed unlawful aggression against the person who
resorted to self-defense. Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden
and unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof and not just a
threatening or intimidating attitude. In case of threat, it must be offensive,
strong and positively showing the wrongful intent to cause injury. For a
person to be considered the unlawful aggressor, he must be shown to have
exhibited external acts clearly showing his intent to cause and commit harm

to the other.
(Razon vs. People, G.R. No. 158053, June 21, 2007)
RETALIATION DISTINGUISHED FROM SELF-DEFENSE
It is settled that the moment the first aggressor runs away, unlawful
aggression on the part of the first aggressor ceases to exist; and when
unlawful aggression ceases, the defender no longer has any right to kill or
wound the former aggressor; otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is
committed. Retaliation is not the same as self-defense. In retaliation, the
aggression that was begun by the injured party already ceased when the
accused attacked him, while in self-defense the aggression was still existing
when the aggressor was injured by the accused.
(Razon vs. People, G.R. No. 158053, June 21, 2007)
AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES; TREACHERY
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons, employing means, methods or forms in their execution,
without risk to himself arising from the defenses which the offended party
might make. The essence of treachery is the unexpected and sudden attack
on the victim which renders him unable and unprepared to defend himself
due to the suddenness and severity of the attack.
(People vs. Dulay, G.R. No. 174775, October 11, 2007)
AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE; TREACHERY WHEN APPRECIATED
Treachery is a sudden and unexpected attack under the circumstances
that render the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of
the suddenness and severity of the attack. It is an aggravating circumstance
that qualifies the killing of the person to murder. Two essential
elements/conditions are required in order that treachery may be appreciated:
(1) The employment of means, methods or manner of execution that would
insure the offenders safety from any retaliatory act on the part of the
offended party, who has, thus no opportunity for self-defense or retaliation;
and (2) deliberate or conscious choice of means, methods or manner of
execution. Further, it must always be alleged in the information and proved
in trial in order that it may be validly considered. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES versus ZOSIMO AGUILA y ATIENZA,G.R. No. 171017
December 6, 2006
AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE; ABUSE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH

Abuse of superior strength requires deliberate intent on the part of the


accused to take advantage of such superiority. It must be shown that the
accused purposely used excessive force that was manifestly out of proportion
to the means available to the victim's defense. In this light, it is necessary to
evaluate not only the physical condition and weapon of the protagonists but
also the various incidents of the event. In the instant case, the prosecution
failed to establish the physical condition of the protagonists, much less that
appellants deliberately took advantage of their superior strength.
(People vs. Tan, G.R. No. 176526, August 8, 2007)
ABUSE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH
When treachery is present, an allegation of abuse of superior strength
can no longer be appreciated as an independent aggravating circumstance.
The same holds true with the circumstance of disregard of the respect on
account of rank, age, or sex, which in this case could not be aggravating.
EVIDENT PREMEDITATION
To prove evident premeditation, the prosecution is burdened to prove
the confluence of the following elements: (1) the time when the offender
determined to commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that he has
clung to such determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between the
determination and execution to allow the offender to reflect upon the
consequence of his act.
(People vs. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. 171272, June 7, 2007)
SELF DEFENSE; THERE CAN BE NO SELF-DEFENSE, COMPLETE OR
INCOMPLETE,
UNLESS
THE
ACCUSED
PROVES
UNLAWFUL
AGGRESSION ON THE PART OF THE VICTIM.
Clearly, the act of Romeo in answering back to petitioner is insufficient
to constitute unlawful aggression. There can be no self-defense, complete or
incomplete, unless the accused proves unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim. Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden and unexpected
or imminent danger on the life and limb of a persona mere threatening or
intimidating attitude is not sufficient. There must be actual physical force or a
threat to inflict physical injury. In the case at bar, there was no previous
attack that might have put petitioner on a defensive and violent stance. On
the contrary, Federico testified on cross-examination that Romeo was not
armed at that time.
(Beninsig vs. People, G.R. No. 167683, June 8, 2007)
CORPUS DELICTI SUFFICIENTLY PROVED

Basic is the principle in criminal law that the evidence presented must
be sufficient to prove the corpus delicti the body or substance of the crime;
and in its primary sense, refers to the fact that a crime has been actually
committed. The corpus delicti is a compound fact composed of two things: 1)
the existence of a certain act or result forming the basis of the criminal
charge; and 2) the existence of a criminal agency as the cause of this act or
result
(People vs. Barangan, G.R. No. 175480, October 2, 2007)
ALTERNATIVE CIRCUMSTANCE OF RELATIONSHIP
Under Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code, the alternative
Circumstance of relationship shall be taken into consideration when the
offended party is the spouse, ascendant, descendant, legitimate, natural or
adopted brother or sister, or relative by affinity in the same degree of the
offender. The relationship between appellant and AAA as first cousins is not
covered by any of the relationships mentioned. (People vs. Fernandez,
G.R. No. 176060, October 5, 2007)
Having sexual intercourse with a female whose mental age is below 12
years old, even if she voluntarily submitted herself to the sexual desires of
the accused without force or intimidation, is rape within the context of Article
335 of the Revised Penal Code. (People vs. Constantino, G.R. No.
176069, October 5, 2007)
THEFT; ELEMENTS
The elements of theft are: (1) that there be taking of personal
property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be
done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be done without the consent of
the owner; and (5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of
violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. Therefore, in
theft, corpus delicti has 2 elements, namely: (1) that the property was lost
by the owner, and (2) that it was lost by felonious taking.
(Galmatico vs. People, G.R. No. 146296, October 15, 2007)
QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF RELATIONSHIP
The qualifying circumstance of relationship cannot be established by
mere testimony or even by the accuseds very own admission.
Lest it be forgotten, elementary is the doctrine that upon the
prosecution lies the burden of proving all the elements of a crime including
the qualifying circumstances.
(People vs. Mangubat, G.R. No. 172068, August 7, 2007)

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CONSPIRACY

Their concerted efforts were performed with closeness and


coordination indicating their common purpose to inflict injury on the
victim. For conspiracy to exist, the evidence need not establish the
actual agreement which shows the preconceived plan, motive, interest
or purpose in the commission of the crime. Proof of publicly observable
mutual agreement is not indispensable to establish conspiracy. Hence,
there is conspiracy where two of the accused held the victim's hands
and the third stabbed the victim from behind. Conspiracy may be
implied from the concerted action of the assailants in confronting the
victim. In the instant case, the prosecution satisfactorily established
that Jemuel twisted and pinned Jessies hands at the back, after which
Charlie delivered the fatal blow. Since there was conspiracy between
the malefactors, the actual role played by each of them does not have
to be differentiated or segregated from the acts performed by the
other accused. As a conspirator, each would still be equally responsible
for the acts of the other conspirators.
MULTIPLE LEVELS OF CONSPIRACIES EXPLAINED

Petitioners first argument denigrates as grave abuse of


discretion the public respondents rejection of the theory of
overlapping conspiracies, which, in the abstract, depicts a picture of a
conspirator in the first level of conspiracy performing acts which
implement, or in furtherance of, another conspiracy in the next level of
which the actor is not an active party. As the petitioners logic goes
following this theory, respondent Jinggoy is not only liable for
conspiring with former President Estrada in the acquisition of ill-gotten
wealth from jueteng under par. (a) of the amended information. He
has also a culpable connection with the conspiracy, under par. (b), in
the diversion of the tobacco excise tax and in receiving commissions
and kickbacks from the purchase by the SSS and GSIS of Belle
Corporation shares and other illegal sources under par. (c) and (d),
albeit, he is not so named in the last three paragraphs. And since the
central figure in the overlapping conspiracies, i.e., President Estrada, is
charged with a capital offense, all those within the conspiracy loop
would be considered charged with the same kind of non-bailable
offense.
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Explaining its point, petitioner cites People v. Castelo which, as


here, also involves multiple levels of conspiracies. Just like in the
present case where the lead accused is a former President no less, the
prime suspect in Castelo was also a powerful high-ranking government
official a former Judge who later rose to hold, in a concurrent
capacity, the positions of Secretary of Justice and Secretary of National
Defense, to be precise. In Castelo, charges and countercharges were
initially hurled by and between Castelo and Senator Claro Recto, who
was then planning to present Manuel Monroy as star witness against
Castelo in a scandal case. Castelo left the Philippines for Korea. While
away, someone shot Monroy dead. Evidence pointed to a conspiracy
led by a certain Ben Ulo (who appears to be the mastermind) and a
group of confidential agents of the Department of National Defense,
one of whom was the triggerman. Coincidentally, Ben Ulo was a close
bodyguard of Castelo. In the end, the Solicitor General tagged Ben
Ulo (not Castelo) as the central figure in the conspiracy.
This
notwithstanding, the Court held Castelo guilty beyond reasonable
doubt for murder, because only he had a motive for desiring Monroys
demise. The conspiracy between Castelo and Ben Ulo was then
determined to be overlapping with the conspiracy between Ben Ulo and
the confidential agents, one of whom was the triggerman.
Further explaining the theory of overlapping conspiracies,
petitioner cites the ruling in People v. Ty Sui Wong, featuring a love
triangle involving a certain Victor and Mariano, each out to win the
heart of Ruby. Victor left Manila for Mindanao. While Victor was away,
the dead body of Mariano was found with multiple stab wounds in a
dark alley in Pasay.
Evidence pointed to a conspiracy among
Sampaloc hoodlums who had no direct link with Victor. However, one
of the neighbors of the Sampaloc hoodlums was a classmate of
Victor. In the end, on the basis of interlocking confessions, the Court
found Victor and his classmate together with all the Sampaloc
hoodlums guilty of murder.
(People vs. Sandiganbayan, et. al. G.R. No. 158754, August 10,
2007)
CONSPIRACY; DIRECT PROOF OF CONSPIRACY NOT REQUIRED

Indeed, the burden of proving the allegation of conspiracy falls


to the shoulders of the prosecution. Considering, however, the
difficulty in establishing the existence of conspiracy, settled
jurisprudence finds no need to prove it by direct evidence. In People
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v. Pagalasan, the Court explicated why direct proof of prior agreement


is not necessary:
After all, secrecy and concealment are essential
features of a successful conspiracy.
Conspiracies are
clandestine in nature. It may be inferred from the conduct
of the accused before, during and after the commission of
the crime, showing that they had acted with a common
purpose and design. Conspiracy may be implied if it is
proved that two or more persons aimed their acts towards
the accomplishment of the same unlawful object, each
doing a part so that their combined acts, though
apparently independent of each other, were in fact,
connected and cooperative, indicating a closeness of
personal association and a concurrence of sentiment. To
hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of
conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt
act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. There
must be intentional participation in the transaction with a
view to the furtherance of the common design and
purpose.
MULTIPLE CONSPIRACIES; STRUCTURE THEREOF

In Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, we categorized two (2) structures


of multiple conspiracies, namely: (1) the so-called wheel or circle
conspiracy, in which there is a single person or group (the hub)
dealing individually with two or more other persons or groups (the
spokes); and (2) the chain conspiracy, usually involving the
distribution of narcotics or other contraband, in which there is
successive communication and cooperation in much the same way as
with legitimate business operations between manufacturer and
wholesaler, then wholesaler and retailer, and then retailer and
consumer.
We find that the conspiracy in the instant cases resembles the
wheel conspiracy. The 36 disparate persons who constituted the
massive conspiracy to defraud the government were controlled by a
single hub, namely: Rolando Mangubat (Chief Accountant), Delia
Preagido (Accountant III), Jose Sayson (Budget Examiner), and
Edgardo Cruz (Clerk II), who controlled the separate spokes of the
conspiracy. Petitioners were among the many spokes of the wheel.
(Fernan, Jr., et.al. vs. People, G.R. No. 145927, August 24,
2007)

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PAROLE; GRANT THEREOF


LIABILITY OF OFFENDER

DOES

NOT

EXTINGUISH

CRIMINAL

Parole refers to the conditional release of an offender from a


correctional institution after he serves the minimum term of his prison
sentence. The grant thereof does not extinguish the criminal liability of
the offender. Parole is not one of the modes of totally extinguishing
criminal liability under Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code. Inclusio
unius est exclusio alterius.
(People vs. Abesamis, G.R. No. 140985, August 28, 2007)
CONSPIRACY, TO BE CONSIDERED, IT MUST BE ALLEGED IN THE
INFORMATION

Conspiracy must be alleged in the information in order that an


accused may be held liable for the acts of his co-accused. In the
absence of any averment of conspiracy in the information, an accused
can only be made liable for the acts committed by him alone and such
criminal responsibility is individual and not collective.
As explained in People v. Tampis,
The rule is that conspiracy must be alleged, not merely
inferred, in the information. Absence of a particular statement
in the accusatory portion of the charge sheet concerning any
definitive act constituting conspiracy renders the indictment
insufficient to hold one accused liable for the individual acts of
his co-accused. Thus, each of them would be held accountable
only for their respective participation in the commission of the
offense.

The rationale for this rule has long been settled.


Quitlong, the Court explained:

In People v.

Overwhelming, such as it may have been thought of by


the trial court, evidence of conspiracy is not enough for an
accused to bear and respond to all its grave legal consequences;
it is equally essential that such accused has been apprised when
the charge is made conformably with prevailing substantive and
procedural requirements. Article III, Section 14, of the 1987
Constitution, in particular, mandates that no person shall be
held answerable for a criminal offense without due process of

14

law and that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall first
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against
him. The right to be informed of any such indictment is likewise
explicit in procedural rules. x x x
xxx
x x x Quite unlike the omission of an ordinary recital of
fact which, if not excepted from or objected to during trial, may
be corrected or supplied by competent proof, an allegation,
however, of conspiracy, or one that would impute criminal
liability to an accused for the act of another or others, is
indispensable in order to hold such person, regardless of the
nature and extent of his own participation, equally guilty with
the other or others in the commission of the crime. Where
conspiracy exists and can rightly be appreciated, the individual
acts done to perpetrate the felony becomes of secondary
importance, the act of one being imputable to all the others.
Verily, an accused must know from the information whether he
faces a criminal responsibility not only for his acts but also for
the acts of his co-accused as well
WHEN EVIDENCE OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME IS PURELY
CIRCUMSTANTIAL OR INCONCLUSIVE, MOTIVE IS VITAL.

And when the evidence on the commission of the crime is purely


circumstantial or inconclusive, motive is vital. As held in Crisostomo v.
Sandiganbayan,
Motive is generally held to be immaterial because it is not an
element of the crime. However, motive becomes important
when the evidence on the commission of the crime is purely
circumstantial or inconclusive. Motive is thus vital in this case.

In this case, prosecution witness Perez testified that he did not


know of any motive on the part of Galvez to kill Enojarda. This is a
circumstance that should be taken in favor of Galvez.
In line with the ruling of the Court in Torralba v. People, to wit:
Time and again, this Court has faithfully observed and
given effect to the constitutional presumption of innocence
which can only be overcome by contrary proof beyond
reasonable doubt one which requires moral certainty, a
certainty that convinces and satisfies the reason and conscience
of those who are to act upon it. As we have so stated in the
past

15

Accusation is not, according to the


fundamental law, synonymous with guilt, the
prosecution must overthrow the presumption of
innocence with proof of guilt beyond reasonable
doubt. To meet this standard, there is need for the
most careful scrutiny of the testimony of the State,
both oral and documentary, independently of
whatever defense is offered by the accused. Only if
the judge below and the appellate tribunal could
arrive at a conclusion that the crime had been
committed precisely by the person on trial under
such an exacting test should the sentence be one
of conviction.
It is thus required that every
circumstance favoring innocence be duly taken into
account. The proof against him must survive the
test of reason; the strongest suspicion must not be
permitted to sway judgment. (Emphasis supplied)

There could not be any doubt that the facts, as established by


the circumstantial evidence, failed to exclude the possibility that
another person shot Enojarda. There were three other armed men,
any one of whom could be the culprit.
When a crime is committed, it is the duty of the prosecution to
prove the identity of the perpetrator of the crime beyond reasonable
doubt for there can be no conviction even if the commission of the
crime is established. Indeed, the State, aside from showing the
existence of a crime, has the burden of correctly identifying the author
of such crime. Both facts must be proved by the State beyond
reasonable doubt on the strength of its evidence and without solace
from the weakness of the defense.
(People vs. Galvez, G.R. No. 157221, March 30, 2007)
PRINCIPAL BY INDUCEMENT

Inducement may be by acts of command, advice or through


influence or agreement for consideration. The words of advice or the
influence must have actually moved the hands of the principal by
direct participation. We have held that words of command of a father
may induce his son to commit a crime. In People vs. Tamayo, we held
that the moral influence of the words of the father may determine the
course of conduct of a son in cases in which the same words coming
from a stranger would make no impression.
(People vs. Batin, G.R. No. 177223, November 28, 2007)

16

STAGES OF CRIMES

Article 6 defines those three stages, namely the consummated,


frustrated and attempted felonies. A felony is consummated when all
the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are
present. It is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of
execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which,
nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the
will of the perpetrator. Finally, it is attempted when the offender
commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and
does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the
felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own
spontaneous desistance.
(People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007)

SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE PHASES OF FELONY

Each felony under the Revised Penal Code has a subjective


phase, or that portion of the acts constituting the crime included
between the act which begins the commission of the crime and the last
act performed by the offender which, with prior acts, should result in
the consummated crime. After that point has been breached, the
subjective phase ends and the objective phase begins. It has been
held that if the offender never passes the subjective phase of the
offense, the crime is merely attempted. On the other hand, the
subjective phase is completely passed in case of frustrated crimes, for
in such instances, [s]ubjectively the crime is complete.
Truly, an easy distinction lies between consummated and
frustrated felonies on one hand, and attempted felonies on the other.
So long as the offender fails to complete all the acts of execution
despite commencing the commission of a felony, the crime is
undoubtedly in the attempted stage. Since the specific acts of
execution that define each crime under the Revised Penal Code are
generally enumerated in the code itself, the task of ascertaining
whether a crime is attempted only would need to compare the acts
actually performed by the accused as against the acts that constitute
the felony under the Revised Penal Code.
(People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007)

17

DISTINCTION BETWEEN FRUSTRATED AND CONSUMMATED CRIMES

In contrast, the determination of whether a crime is frustrated or


consummated necessitates an initial concession that all of the acts of
execution have been performed by the offender. The critical distinction
instead is whether the felony itself was actually produced by the acts
of execution. The determination of whether the felony was produced
after all the acts of execution had been performed hinges on the
particular statutory definition of the felony.
It is the statutory
definition that generally furnishes the elements of each crime under
the Revised Penal Code, while the elements in turn unravel the
particular requisite acts of execution and accompanying criminal
intent.
(People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007)

WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER A FELONY IS ATTEMPTED OR


FRUSTRATED IS WHETHER THE ASSAILANT HAD PASSED THE
SUBJECTIVE PHASE OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME;
CONCEPT OF SUBJECTIVE PHASE

It must be stressed that it is not the gravity of the wounds alone


which determines whether a felony is attempted or frustrated, but
whether the assailant had passed the subjective phase in the
commission of the offense.
The subjective phase in the commission of a crime is that portion
of the acts constituting the crime included between the act which
begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the
offender which, with prior acts, should result in the consummated
crime. Thereafter, the phase is objective.
(Epifanio vs. People, G.R. No. 157057, June 26, 2009)
ATTEMPTED AND FRUSTRATED FELONIES

In the leading case of United States v. Eduave, Justice Moreland,


speaking for the Court, distinguished an attempted from a frustrated
felony. He said that to be an attempted crime, the purpose of the
offender must be thwarted by a foreign force or agency which
intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when he has
performed all the acts which should produce the crime as a
consequence, which act it is his intention to perform.
18

In case of an attempted crime, the offender never passes the


subjective phase in the commission of the crime. The offender does
not arrive at the point of performing all of the acts of execution which
should produce the crime. He is stopped short of that point by some
cause apart from his voluntary desistance.
On the other hand, a crime is frustrated when the offender has
performed all the acts of execution which should result in the
consummation of the crime. The offender has passed the subjective
phase in the commission of the crime. Subjectively, the crime is
complete. Nothing interrupted the offender while passing through the
subjective phase. He did all that was necessary to consummate the
crime; however, the crime is not consummated by reason of the
intervention of causes independent of the will of the offender .
(Epifanio vs. People, G.R. No. 157057, June 26, 2009)
INTENT TO KILL; HOW PROVED

Intent to kill may be proved by evidence of: (a) motive; (b) the
nature or number of weapons used in the commission of the crime; (c)
the nature and number of wounds inflicted on the victim; (d) the
manner the crime was committed; and (e) words uttered by the
offender at the time the injuries were inflicted by him on the victim.
(Epifanio vs. People, G.R. No. 157057, June 26, 2009)
ACCIDENT; THE EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCE OF ACCIDENT IS
APPLICABLE ONLY WHEN THE ACCUSED IS PERFORMING A LAWFUL
ACT

The exempting circumstance of accident is not applicable in the


instant case. Article 12, par. 4 of the Revised Penal Code, provides:
ART. 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability.
The following are exempt from criminal liability:
xxxx
4.
Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due
care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of
causing it.

Accident is an affirmative defense which the accused is


burdened to prove, with clear and convincing evidence. The

19

defense miserably failed to discharge its burden of proof.


essential requisites for this exempting circumstance, are:
1.
2.
3.
4.

The

A person is performing a lawful act;


With due care;
He causes an injury to another by mere accident;
Without fault or intention of causing it.

By no stretch of imagination could playing with or using a deadly


sling and arrow be considered as performing a lawful act. Thus, on
this ground alone, appellants defense of accident must be struck down
because he was performing an unlawful act during the incident. As
correctly found by the trial court:
Furthermore, mere possession of sling and arrow is punishable
under the law.
In penalizing the act, the legislator took into
consideration that the deadly weapon was used for no legal purpose,
but to inflict injury, mostly fatal, upon other persons. Let it be
stressed that this crude weapon can not attain the standards as an
instrument for archery competitions.
To sustain the accuseds
assertion that he was practicing the use of said weapon at the time of
the incident is patently absurd. The defense even failed to rebut
Guillermo Antiportas testimony that the accused was keeping said
sling and arrow inside his house.

(People vs. Castillo, G.R. No. 172695, June 29, 2007)

It is enough to sustain the guilt of appellant for the crime of


murder qualified by abuse of superior strength, which was alleged in
the information and proved during trial. This qualifying circumstance is
present where there is proof of gross physical disparity between the
protagonist or when the force used by the assailant is out of proportion
to the means available to the victim.
It is not enough that evident premeditation is suspected or
surmised, but criminal intent must be evidenced by notorious outward
acts evincing determination to commit the crime. In order to be
considered an aggravation of the offense, the circumstance must not
merely be premeditation; it must be evident premeditation.
Abuse of Superior Strength when Present:

The penalty for kidnapping for the purpose of extorting ransom


from the victim or any other person under Article 267 of the Revised
Penal Code is death. However, the imposition of the death penalty has
been prohibited in view of the passage of R.A. No. 9346, An Act
Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines.
20

Thus, in lieu thereof, the penalty of reclusion perpetua should be


imposed on appellant, without eligibility for parole.
(People vs. Solangon, G.R. No. 172693, November 21,2007)

Clearly, the killing of April was attended by treachery and abuse


of superior strength. There is treachery when the mode of attack tends
to insure the accomplishment of the criminal purpose without risk to
the attacker arising from any defense the victim might offer.
Furthermore, an attack by a man with a deadly weapon upon an
unarmed and defenseless woman constitutes abuse of superior
strength as an aggravating circumstance is already absorbed in
treachery. (People vs. Brodett, G.R. No. 170136, January 18, 2008,
Carpio, J)

The applicability of PD No. 1613 is beyond cavil. The facts show


that the crime was committed in a place where bakeries, barber shops,
tailoring shops and other commercial and residential buildings were
situated. In fact, other structures where razed by the fire that
originated from petitioners establishment. It is clear that the place of
the commission of the crime was a residential and commercial building
located in an urban and populated area. This qualifying circumstance
places the offense squarely within the ambit of Section 2(7) of PD
1613, and converts it to destructive arson.
(Amora vs. People, G.R. No. 154466, January 28, 2008)
SELF DEFENSE AS A JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE

One who invokes self-defense admits responsibility for the


killing. Accordingly, the burden of proof shifts to the accused who must
then prove the justifying circumstance. He must show by clear and
convincing evidence that he indeed acted in self-defense, or in defense
of a relative or a stranger. With clear and convincing evidence, all the
following elements of self-defense must be established: (1) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient
provocation on the part of the person claiming self-defense.
UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION;
JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE.

AS

PRIMODIAL

ELEMENT

IN

Unlawful aggression is the first and primordial element of selfdefense. Of the three requisites, it is the most important. without it,

21

the justifying circumstance cannot be invoked. If there is no unlawful


aggression, there is nothing to prevent or repel.
ALEVOSIA AS AN AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE

There is alevosia when the offender commits any of the crimes


against persons employing means, methods, or forms in the execution
thereof which tend directly and especially to ensure the execution of
the crime without risk to himself from any defense which the offended
party might make. (G.R. No. 135222. March 04, 2005) PETER
ANDRADA, petitioner,
respondent.

vs.

THE

PEOPLE

OF

THE

PHILIPPINES,

VOLUNTARY SURRENDER, TO BE APPRECIATED

For voluntary surrender to be appreciated, the surrender must


be spontaneous, made in such a manner that it shows the interest of
the accused to surrender unconditionally to the authorities, either
because he acknowledges his guilt or wishes to save them the trouble
and expenses that would be necessarily incurred in his search and
capture. (G.R. No. 135222. March 04, 2005) PETER ANDRADA,
petitioner, vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
NO EX POST FACTO CONSPIRACY

One who joins a conspiracy while the felony subject thereof is


being committed or before the said felony is committed and performs
overt acts to achieve the common design or purpose, is criminally
liable for said felony. On the other hand, one who joins a conspiracy
after the felony subject of the conspiracy has been completed or
consummated is not criminally liable as a conspirator. There can be no
ex post facto conspiracy to do that which has already been done and
consummated. PREFERRED HOME SPECIALTIES INC., and EDWIN
YU,
vs. CA, (SEVENTH DIVISION) and HARLEY T. SY G.R. No.
163593, December 16, 2005.
CONSPIRACY;
NECESSARY;

DIRECT

EVIDENCE

OF

PRIOR

AGREEMENT

NOT

Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence of prior


agreement to commit the crime. Neither is its necessary to show that
all the conspirators actually hit and killed the victim. What has to be
22

shown is that all the participants performed specific acts with such
closeness and coordination as to unmistakably indicate a common
purpose and design. People vs. Quirol et.al. G.R. No. 149259,
October 20, 2005)
CONSPIRACY; MUST BE ESTABLISHED, NOT BY CONJECTURES, BUT
BY POSITIVE AND CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE.

Conspiracy transcends mere companionship and mere presence


at the scene of the crime does not in itself amount to conspiracy. Even
knowledge, acquiescence in or agreement to cooperate, is not enough
to constitute one as a party to a conspiracy, absent any active
participation in the commission of the crime with a view to the
furtherance of the common design and purpose. Evangeline Ledonga
vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 141066, February 17, 2005.
CIRCUMSTANTIAL
EVIDENCE;
TEST
SUFFICIENT TO CONVICT AN ACCUSED

OF

MORAL

CERTAINTY

Circumstantial evidence has been defined as that which goes to


prove a fact or series of facts other than the facts in issue, which, if
proved, may tend by inference to establish a fact in issue.
Circumstantial evidence may be resorted to when to insist on direct
testimony would ultimately lead to setting felons free.
The standard that should be observed by the courts in
appreciating circumstantial evidence was extensively discussed in the
case of People of the Philippines v. Modesto, et al., thus:
. . . No general rule can be laid down as to the quantity
of circumstantial evidence which in any case will suffice. All the
circumstances proved must be consistent with each other,
consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at
the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is
innocent, and with every other rational hypothesis except that of
guilt.
It has been said, and we believe correctly, that the
circumstances proved should constitute an unbroken chain
which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion which points
to the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the guilty
person. From all the circumstances, there should be a
combination of evidence which in the ordinary and natural
course of things, leaves no room for reasonable doubt as to his
guilt. Stated in another way, where the inculpatory facts and
circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of

23

which is consistent with innocence and the other with guilt, the
evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not
sufficient to convict the accused.[17] (ORLANDO SOLIS
UNGSOD vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G. R. No.
158904, December 16, 2005)
TREACHERY; AS AN AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE

There is treachery when the means, methods, and forms of


execution employed gave the person attacked no opportunity to
defend himself or retaliate; and such means, methods and forms of
execution were deliberately and consciously adopted by the accused
without danger to his person. What is decisive in an appreciation of
treachery is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the
victim to defend himself. People of the Philippines vs. Fabian Sades y
Rodel, G.R. No. 171087, July 12, 2006)
ALIBI AND DENIAL; THEY ARE WORTHLESS IN THE FACE OF
POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF THE ACCUSED.

The defense of denial and alibi must fail in light of the clear and
positive identification of appellant as the assailant of the deceased.
The positive identification of the assailant, when categorical and
consistent without any ill motive on the part of the prosecution
witnesses, prevails over alibi and denial which are negative, selfserving and undeserving of weight in law. The defense of denial, like
alibi, is considered with suspicion and is always received with caution,
not only because it is inherently weak and unreliable, but also because
it can be fabricated easily. Ibid.

UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION; AS AN INDISPENSABLE REQUISITE OF


SELF DEFENSE

When the accused invokes self-defense, he in effect admits killing


the victim and the burden is shifted to him to prove that he killed the
victim to save his life. The accused must establish by clear and
convincing evidence that all the requisites of self-defense are present.
Under paragraph 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, the
three requisites to prove self-defense as a justifying circumstance
which may exempt an accused from criminal liability are: (1) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the
24

means employed to prevent or repel the aggression; and (3) lack of


sufficient provocation on the part of the accused or the person
defending himself. Unlawful aggression is an indispensable requisite of
self-defense. Self-defense is founded on the necessity on the part of
the person being attacked to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression.
Thus, without prior unlawful and unprovoked attack by the victim,
there can be no complete or incomplete self-defense.( Ramonito
Manaban vs. Court of Appeals et.al. G. R. No 150723, July 11, 2006)
OBFUSCATION; AS A MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE

The mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation is


appreciated where the accused acted upon an impulse so powerful as
naturally to have produced passion or obfuscation. The requisites of
the mitigating circumstance of passion or obfuscation are:
(1) that
there should be an act both unlawful and sufficient to produce such
condition of mind; and (2) that the act which produced the obfuscation
was not far removed from the commission of the crime by a
considerable length of time, during which the perpetrator might
recover his normal equanimity. Ibid.
JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES OF FULFILLMENT OF DUTY

The justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty under


paragraph 5, Article II, of the Revised Penal Code may be invoked only
after the defense successfully proves that (1) the accused acted in the
performance of a duty; and (2) the injury inflicted or offense
committed is the necessary consequence of the due performance or
lawful exercise of such duty.
(Mamangun vs. People, G.R. No. 149152, February 2, 2007)
ACCOMPLICE

Article 18 of the Revised Penal Code defines accomplices as those


persons who, not being included in Article 17, cooperate in the
execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts. Two
elements must concur before a person becomes liable as an
accomplice:
(1) community of design, which means that the
accomplice knows of, and concurs with, the criminal design of the
principal by direct participation; and (2) the performance by the
accomplice of previous or simultaneous acts that are not indispensable
to the commission of the crime. Mere commission of an act, which

25

aids the perpetrator, is not enough.

Evangelista v. People, G.R. No.

150762, January 20, 2006

Treachery/ Abuse of Strength as aggravating circumstance;


There is treachery when the mode of the attack tends to insure the
accomplishment of the criminal purpose without risk to the attacker
arising from any defense the victim might offer. Furthermore, an
attack by a man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and
defenseless woman constitutes abuse of superior strength. However,
abuse of superior strength as an aggravating circumstance is already
absorbed in treachery. (PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.ROBERT
BRODETT y PAJARO,G.R. No. 170136 January 18, 2008)

Intoxication as alternative circumstance, when appreciated;


For the alternative circumstance of intoxication to be treated as a
mitigating circumstance, the defense must show that the intoxication
is not habitual, not subsequent to a plan to commit a felony and the
accuseds drunkenness affected his mental faculties. Here, the only
proof on record on this matter is appellants testimony that before
Damaso, Anthony, and Delfin attacked him, he drank about 3 to 4
bottles of beer. The low alcohol content of beer, the quantity of such
liquor appellant imbibed, and the absence of any independent proof
that appellants alcohol intake affected his mental faculties all negate
the finding that appellant was intoxicated enough at the time he
committed the crimes to mitigate his liability .( G.R. No. 167954.
January 31,
Abemalez.)

2008

People

of

the

Phil.

Vs.

Perlito

Mondigo

Elements of self defense;


By invoking self-defense, appellant admitted committing the felonies
for which he was charged albeit under circumstances which, if proven,
would justify his commission of the crimes.[5] Thus, the burden of
proof is shifted to appellant who must show, beyond reasonable doubt,
that the killing of Damaso and wounding of Anthony were attended by
the following circumstances: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the
victims; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent
or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself.[6]( same)

26

Good faith is immaterial in malum prohibitum


The claim of accused-appellant that she was a mere employee of
her other co-accused does not relieve her of liability. An employee of a
company or corporation engaged in illegal recruitment may be held
liable as principal, together with his employer, if it is shown that the
employee actively and consciously participated in illegal recruitment.
As testified to by the complainants, accused-appellant was among
those who met and transacted with them regarding the job placement
offers. In some instances, she made the effort to go to their houses to
recruit them. She even gave assurances that they would be able to
find employment abroad and leave for Taiwan after the filing of their
applications. Accused-appellant was clearly engaged in recruitment
activities, notwithstanding her gratuitous protestation that her actions
were merely done in the course of her employment as a clerk.
Accused-appellant cannot claim to be merely following the
dictates of her employers and use good faith as a shield against
criminal liability. As held in People v. Gutierrez:
Appellant cannot escape liability by claiming that she was
not aware that before working for her employer in the
recruitment agency, she should first be registered with the
POEA. Illegal recruitment in large scale is malum prohibitum,
not malum in se. Good faith is not a defense.

The claim of accused-appellant that she received no payment


and that the payments were handed directly over to her co-accused
fails in the face of the testimony of the complainants that accusedappellant was the one who received the money. In spite of the
receipts having been issued by her co-accused, the trial court found
that payments were directly made to accused-appellant, and this
finding was upheld by the CA. Nothing is more entrenched than the
rule that where, as here, the findings of fact of the trial court are
affirmed by the CA, these are final and conclusive upon this Court.
And even if it were true that no money changed hands, money is not
material to a prosecution for illegal recruitment, as the definition of
recruitment and placement in the Labor Code includes the phrase,
whether for profit or not. We held in People v. Jamilosa that it was
sufficient that the accused promises or offers for a fee employment to
warrant conviction for illegal recruitment. Accused-appellant made
representations that complainants would receive employment abroad,
and this suffices for her conviction, even if her name does not appear
on the receipts issued to complainants as evidence that payment was
27

made (G.R. No. 180926. December 10, 2008People of the Philippines


Vs. Lourdes V Alenciano Y Dacuba)

Direct proof is not essential to prove conspiracy;

Conspiracy exists when two or more persons agree to commit a felony


and decide to commit it. Direct proof is not essential to prove
conspiracy; it may be deduced by acts of the accused before, during,
and after the commission of the crime charged, from which it may be
indicated that there is a common purpose to commit the crime. In this
case, while Martin did not take part in stabbing the victim, his act of
stopping Dolores from seeking help implied his assent to Tanoans act
and ensured the completion of the criminal act.( G.R. No. 173791.
April 7, 2009 People of the Philippines Vs. Pablo Amodia)

en self-defense is invoked by an accused charged with murder or


homicide he necessarily owns up to the killing but may escape criminal
liability by proving that it was justified and that he incurred no criminal
liability therefor. Hence, the three (3) elements of self-defense,
namely: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (b)
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the
aggression; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself, must be proved by clear and convincing
evidence. However, without unlawful aggression, there can be no selfdefense, either complete or incomplete.

Upon the cessation of the unlawful aggression and the danger or risk
to life and limb, the necessity of invoking self-defense to attach his
adversary ceases;

Accused-appellant Ramon contends that the victim Rolando Sevilla


committed an act of unlawful aggression with no provocation on his
[Ramons] part. Ramon testified that he was trying to investigate a
commotion when, without warning, Rolando emerged from the group,
thrust and fired his gun at him, hitting him in the left shoulder. To
disable Rolando from firing more shots, Ramon struck the victims
head at the back with his nightstick, causing the victim to reel
backward and lean on the bamboo fence.
He continued hitting
Rolando to prevent the latter from regaining his balance and, as he
pressed on farther, the victim retreated backward.
28

The settled rule in jurisprudence is that when unlawful aggression


ceases, the defender no longer has the right to kill or even
wound the former aggressor. Retaliation is not a justifying
circumstance. Upon the cessation of the unlawful aggression and the
danger or risk to life and limb, the necessity for the person invoking
self-defense to attack his adversary ceases. If he persists in attacking
his adversary, he can no longer invoke the justifying circumstance of
self-defense. Self-defense does not justify the unnecessary killing of
an aggressor who is retreating from the fray. (G.R. No. 174483.
March 31, 2009 People of the Philippines vs. Ramon Regalado, et al.)
Insanity exists when there is a complete deprivation of intelligence
while committing the act; Mere abnormality of mental faculties is not
enough;

Insanity exists when there is a complete deprivation of


intelligence while committing the act; i.e., when the accused is
deprived of reason, he acts without the least discernment because
there is a complete absence of power to discern, or there is total
deprivation of freedom of the will. Mere abnormality of the mental
faculties is not enough, especially if the offender has not lost
consciousness of his acts. Insanity is evinced by a deranged and
perverted condition of the mental faculties and is manifested in
language and conduct. An insane person has no full and clear
understanding of the nature and consequences of his or her acts. (G.R.
No. 184343.
Domingo)

March 2, 2009 People of the Philippines Vs. Jesus

Buy bust operation as a form of entrapment;


Note that a buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment legally
employed by peace officers as an effective way of apprehending drug
dealers in the act of committing an offense. Such police operation has
judicial sanction as long as it is carried out with due regard to
constitutional and legal safeguards. The delivery of the contraband to
the poseur-buyer and the receipt by the seller of the marked money
successfully consummate the buy-bust transaction between the
entrapping officers and the accused.
Unless there is clear and
convincing evidence that the members of the buy-bust team were
inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their
duty, their testimony on the operation deserves faith and credit. (G.R.
No. 173483. September 23, 2008 People of the Philippines Vs. Merlie
Dumangay Y Sale)

29

Voluntary Surrender as a mitigating circumstance;

The essence of voluntary surrender is spontaneity and the intent of the


accused to give himself up and submit himself unconditionally to the
authorities either because he acknowledges his guilt or he wishes to
save the authorities the trouble and expense that may be incurred for
his search and capture.[69] Without these reasons and where the
clear reasons for the supposed surrender is the inevitability of arrest
and the need to ensure his safety, the surrender cannot be
spontaneous and cannot be the voluntary surrender that serves as a
mitigating circumstance. (G.R. No.174479. June 17, 2008 People of
the Phil. Vs. Zaldy Garcia Y Ancheta)
Treachery as an aggravating circumstance;

It is a well-entrenched rule that treachery is present when the


offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing
means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly
and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising
from the defense which the offended party might make. The essence
of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without warning, done
in a swift and unexpected attack, affording the hapless, unarmed and
unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape.
In the instant case, Nestor Estacio was attacked from behind and
assaulted without warning and provocation. Even when the already
wounded Nestor fell on the ground, accused-appellant mercilessly fired
several more shots at him. He obviously wanted to ensure the
execution of the killing, without risk to himself, and deprive Nestor of
any opportunity to retaliate or defend himself. The fact that accusedappellant brought a gun with him indicated that he made a deliberate
and conscious adoption of the means to kill Nestor. Further, the
autopsy conducted by Dr. Necessario revealed multiple gunshot
wounds at the lower back area of the lumbar region of Nestor. This
autopsy indubitably indicates that the shots were fired from behind on
the unsuspecting victim. Clearly then, treachery or alevosia has been
sufficiently established. (G.R. No. 177825. October 24, 2008 ,People
of the Phil. Vs. Rene Rosas)

30

TREACHERY

This qualifying circumstance can be appreciated when the killing


was sudden and unexpected and the victim is not in a position to
defend himself.
The essence of treachery is the sudden and
unexpected attack by the aggressor on an unsuspecting victim,
depriving the latter of any real chance to defend himself, thereby
ensuring its commission without risk to the aggressor. The existence or
non-existence of treachery is not dependent on the success of the
assault, for treachery may still be appreciated even when the victim
was forewarned of danger to his person. What is decisive is that the
execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend
himself or to retaliate. Thus, even a frontal attack could be
treacherous when unexpected and on an unarmed victim who would
be in no position to repel the attack or avoid it. Treachery may still be
appreciated even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his
person. ( G.R. No. 145002, People v. Malejana, January 24, 2006)
INTENT TO KILL
An essential element of murder and homicide, whether in their
consummated, frustrated or attempted stage, is intent of the offenders
to kill the victim immediately before or simultaneously with the
infliction of injuries. Intent to kill is a specific intent which the
prosecution must prove by direct or circumstantial evidence, while
general criminal intent is presumed from the commission of a felony by
dolo. ( Rivera v. People, G.R. No. 166326, January 25, 2006)
PRIVILEGED MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF MINORITY
The rationale of this is to show mercy and some extent of
leniency in favor of an accused who, by reason of his age, is presumed
to have acted with less discernment. (People v. Larranaga, G.R. Nos.
138874-75, Jan. 31, 2006)
MOTIVE

Motive is a state of (ones) mind which others cannot discern. It


is not an element of the crime, and as such does not have to be
proved. In fact, lack of motive for committing a crime does not
preclude conviction. It is judicial knowledge that persons have been
killed or assaulted for no reason at all. Even in the absence of a known
31

motive, the time-honored rule is that motive is not essential to convict


when there is no doubt as to the identity of the culprit. Motive
assumes significance only where there is no showing of who the
perpetrator of the crime was. In the case at bar, since petitioner has
been positively identified as the assailant, the lack of motive is no
longer of consequence.( Velasco v. People, G.R. No. 166479, Feb. 28,
2006)

TREACHERY
There is treachery when the following essential elements are
present, viz: (a) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a
position to defend himself; and (b) the accused consciously and
deliberately adopted the particular means, methods or forms of attack
employed by him.
The essence of treachery is the swift and
unexpected attack on an unarmed victim without the slightest
provocation on the part of the victim. It was clearly established that
private complainant, while washing his jeep, was suddenly fired upon
by petitioner for no reason at all. The suddenness of the shooting and
the fact that he was unarmed left private complainant with no option
but to run for his life. Velasco v. People, G.R. No. 166479, Feb. 28,
2006

UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION IS AN INDISPENSABLE REQUISITE OF


SELF-DEFENSE
When the accused invokes self-defense, he in effect admits
killing the victim and the burden is shifted to him to prove that he
killed the victim to save his life. The accused must establish by clear
and convincing evidence that all the requisites of self-defense are
present.
Under paragraph 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, the
three requisites to prove self-defense as a justifying circumstance
which may exempt an accused from criminal liability are: (1) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the
means employed to prevent or repel the aggression; and (3) lack of
sufficient provocation on the part of the accused or the person
defending himself. Unlawful aggression is an indispensable requisite of
self-defense. Self-defense is founded on the necessity on the part of
the person being attacked to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression.
Thus, without prior unlawful and unprovoked attack by the victim,
there can be no complete or incomplete self-defense.
32

Unlawful aggression is an actual physical assault or at least a threat to


attack or inflict physical injury upon a person. A mere threatening or
intimidating attitude is not considered unlawful aggression, unless the
threat is offensive and menacing, manifestly showing the wrongful
intent to cause injury.[ There must be an actual, sudden, unexpected
attack or imminent danger thereof, which puts the defendants life in
real peril. Manaban v. CA, G.R. No. 150723, July 11, 2006
PRESENCE OF DECEIT IS A QUESTION OF FACT AND LAW:

The issue of whether the element of fraud or deceit is present is both a


question of fact and a matter of defense, the determination of which is
better left to the trial court after the parties shall have adduced their
respective evidence.
It bears stressing that a preliminary
investigation is merely an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether
there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a
crime has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial. It does not call for the application
of rules and standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires
after trial on the merits. As implied by the words probably guilty,
the inquiry is concerned merely with probability, not absolute or moral
certainty.
At this stage, the complainant need not present proof
beyond reasonable doubt.
A preliminary investigation does not
require a full and exhaustive presentation of the parties evidence. A
finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that
more likely than not, a crime has been committed and was committed
by petitioner and his co-accused. Quesada v. DOJ, G.R. No. 150325,
Aug. 31, 2006
EVIDENT PREMEDITATION

Like any other circumstance that qualifies a killing as murder,


evident premeditation must be established by clear and positive
evidence; that is, by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The essence of
premeditation is that the execution of the act was preceded by cool
thought and reflections upon the resolution to carry out the criminal
intent during a space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment.
To be considered, the following elements must be proven: (1) the time
when the accused decided to commit the crime; (2) an overt act
manifestly indicating that he has clung to his determination; and (3)
sufficient lapse of time between the decision and the execution, to
33

allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act. People
v. Tubongbanua, G.R. No. 171271, Aug. 31, 2006

ATTEMPTED AND FRUSTRATED

Distinctions between
summarized as follows:

frustrated

and

attempted

felony

are

1. In frustrated felony, the offender has performed all the acts of

execution which should produce the felony as a consequence;


whereas in attempted felony, the offender merely commences
the commission of a felony directly by overt acts and does not
perform all the acts of execution.
2. In frustrated felony, the reason for the non-accomplishment

of the crime is some cause independent of the will of the


perpetrator; on the other hand, in attempted felony, the
reason for the non-fulfillment of the crime is a cause or
accident other than the offenders own spontaneous
desistance.
Palaganas v. People, G.R. No. 165483,
September 12, 2006

GRADUATION OF PENALTY DUE TO RA 9346


Henceforth, death, as utilized in Article 71 of the Revised Penal
Code, shall no longer form part of the equation in the graduation of
penalties. For example, in the case of appellant, the determination of
his penalty for attempted rape shall be reckoned not from two degrees
lower than death, but two degrees lower than reclusion perpetua.
Hence, the maximum term of his penalty shall no longer be reclusion
temporal, as ruled by the Court of Appeals, but instead, prision mayor.
There should be little complication if the crime committed was
punishable by the free-standing penalty of death, as utilized in Rep.
Act No. 7659, as opposed to the ranged penalty of reclusion perpetua
to death, as often used in the Revised Penal Code and other penal
laws. The facts of the present case do not concern the latter penalty,
hence our reluctance to avail of an extended discussion thereof.
However, we did earlier observe that both reclusion perpetua and
death are indivisible penalties. Under Article 61 (2) of the Revised
Penal Code, [w]hen the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed
of two indivisible penalties x x x x the penalty next lower in degree
34

shall be that immediately following the lesser of the penalties


prescribed in the respective graduated scale. Hence, as we earlier
noted, our previous rulings that the penalty two degrees lower than
reclusion perpetua to death is prision mayor. People v. Bon, G.R. No.
166401, Oct. 30, 2006
INTOXICATION

Appellants intoxication at the time of the commission of the crime,


being an alternative circumstance under Article 15 of the Revised Penal
Code, may be appreciated as aggravating if the same is habitual or
intentional, otherwise it shall be considered as a mitigating
circumstance. People v. Cudal, G.R. No. 167502, Oct. 31, 2006
FAILURE TO RENDER ACCOUNTS UNDER ARTICLE 218 IN RELATION
TO ARTICLE 222

The pertinent articles of the Revised Penal Code read:


Art. 218. Failure of accountable officer to render accounts.
Any public officer, whether in the service or separated therefrom by
resignation or any other cause, who is required by law or regulation to
render account to the [Commission on Audit], or to a provincial
auditor and who fails to do so for a period of two months after such
accounts should be rendered, shall be punished by prision correccional
in its minimum period, or by a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos,
or both.
Art. 222. Officers included in the preceding provision. The
provisions of this chapter shall apply to private individuals who, in any
capacity whatever, have charge of any [national], provincial or
municipal funds, revenues or property and to any administrator or
depository of funds or property attached, seized or deposited by public
authority, even if such property belongs to a private individual.

There are four elements of the crime under Article 218. First, the
offender is a public officer. Second, he must be an accountable officer
for public funds or property. Third, the offender is required by law or
regulation to render accounts to the COA, or to a provincial auditor.
Fourth, he fails to render an account for a period of two months after
such accounts should be rendered.
Campomanes is clearly not a public officer. He is the president of the
FIDE, a private foreign corporation with whom the PSC, through
Hechanova, negotiated to conduct the 1992 Chess Olympiad and
35

Congress in Manila.
The Sandiganbayan acknowledged that
Campomanes is not a public officer and applied Article 222 of the
Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 218. The Sandiganbayan
enumerated the elements of the crime as applied to Campomanes
thus:
1. That the offender is [a] private individual.
2. That he has charge of any insular (now national),

provincial, or
municipal funds, revenues, or property
or [is an] administrator or depository of funds, property
attached, seized, or deposited by public authority, even
if such property belongs to a private
individual.
3. That he is required by law or regulation to render

accounts to the Commission on Audit, or to a provincial


auditor.
4. That he fails to do so for a period of two months after
such accounts should be rendered. Campomanes v.
People, G.R. No. 161950, Dec. 19, 2006

VOLUNTARY SURRENDER
For voluntary surrender to be considered, the following requisites
must concur:
a) the offender was not actually arrested;
b) he surrendered to a person in authority or to an agent of a
person in authority
c) his surrender was voluntary.
There must be showing of spontaneity and an intent to surrender
unconditionally to the authorities, either because the accused
acknowledges his guilt or he wishes to spare them the trouble and
expense concomitant to his capture.
(People vs. Concepcion, G.R. NO. 169060, February 6, 2007)
CRIMINAL CASES; BURDEN OF PROOF

The rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was
never intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal
cases. It is basic that the prosecution evidence must stand or fall on
its own weight and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the
36

defense. Unless the prosecution overturns the constitutional


presumption of innocence of an accused by competent and credible
evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the presumption
remains. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, Vs. RICO
CALUMPANG And JOVENAL OMATANG, Appellants. G.R. No. 158203.
March 31, 2005
ALIBI; WHEN MAY BE APPRECIATED:

No jurisprudence in criminal law is more settled than that alibi is


the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to contrive and difficult to
disprove, and for which reason it is generally rejected. For the defense
of alibi to prosper, it is imperative that the accused establish two
elements: (1) he was not at the locus delicti at the time the offense
was committed; and (2) it was physically impossible for him to be at
the scene at the time of its commission. People of the Philippines vs.
Jose Alvizo Audine G.R. No. 168649 December 6, 2006

CONSPIRACY
When conspiracy or action in concert to achieve a criminal design
is shown, the act of one is the act of all the other conspirators, and the
precise extent or modality of participation of each of them becomes
secondary.
Corollarily, the rule is well-established that whenever homicide
has been committed as a consequence of or on the occasion of a
robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery will also
be held guilty as principals of the special complex crime of robbery
with homicide although they did not actually take part in the homicide,
unless it clearly appears that they endeavored to prevent the
homicide. In the present case, it has not been shown that the
appellants tried to prevent the shooting of the two (2) victims. Hence,
their cooperative acts toward their common criminal objective render
them equally liable as conspirators.
WHEN ABUSE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH IS PRESENT.
We find, however, that the aggravating circumstance of abuse of
superior strength attended the killing.
"To appreciate abuse of
superior strength as an aggravating circumstance, what should be
considered is not that there were three, four or more assailants of one
victim, but whether the aggressors took advantage of their combined
strength in order
to consummate the offense.
It is therefore
37

necessary to show that the attackers cooperated in such a way as to


secure advantage of their superiority in strength."
In this case, appellants and their companions purposely gathered
together and armed themselves to take advantage of their combined
strength to ensure that Reynaldo Danao would be able to kill the victim
without any interference from other bystanders.
However, not having been alleged in the Information, abuse of
superior strength can only be considered as a generic aggravating
circumstance.
(PP -vs- CIELITO BULURAN Y RAMIREZ and
LEONARDO VALENZUELA Y CASTILLO, Accused-Appellants. G.R. No.
113940, Feb. 15, 2000)
USE
OF
MOTOR
CIRCUMSTANCE

VEHICLE

AS

QUALIFYING

AGGRAVATING

The use of a motor vehicle qualifies the killing to murder if the


same was perpetrated by means thereof.
(PP
-vsTHADEOS
ENGUITO Defendant-Appellant. G.R. 128812, Feb. 28, 2000)
WHEN NIGHTTIME IS AGGRAVATING

Nighttime as an aggravating circumstance must have specially


been sought to consummate the crime, facilitate its success or prevent
recognition of the felon.
(PP -vs- CONSTANCIO MERINO and
ARNULFO SIERVO, Accused-Appellants. G.R. No. 132329, Dec. 17,
1999)
TREACHERY IS PRESENT ON SECOND STAGE OF ACCIDENT

There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes


against the person employing means, methods or forms in the
execution thereof which tend directly and specifically to insure its
execution without risk to himself arising form the defense which the
offended party might make. As earlier mentioned, the deceased was
already rendered completely helpless and defenseless when he was
stabbed by Pedro Lumacang. Although he was able to run a short
distance, he had absolutely no means of defending himself from the
three brothers who were armed with hunting knives, bent on finishing
him off. The wounded victim had not even so much as a stick or a
stone to parry off their blows. It should be noted, however, at this
point that inasmuch as treachery has been appreciated as a qualifying
38

circumstance, abuse of superior strength should not have been


considered separately inasmuch as it is absorbed in treachery. (PP
-vsPEDRO LUMACANG, PABLO LUMACANG and DOMINGO
LUMACANG, Accused-Appellants. G.R. No. 120283, Feb. 1, 2000)
WHY DWELLING IS AGGRAVATING

"The home is a sort of sacred place for its owner. He who goes
to another's house to slander him, hurt him or do him wrong, is more
guilty than he who offends him elsewhere."
(PP -vs- JOSE &
NESTOR BiAS, Accused-Appellant. G.R. No. 121630, Dec. 8, 1999)
EVEN FRONTAL ATTACK WOULD AMOUNT TO TREACHERY

Moreover, Milyn Ruales also testified that the knife used by


accused was hidden from view. Thus, Isabel Ruales was not prepared
for such a violent attack, especially considering that, at the time, she
was unarmed and was burdened with a large basket filled with about
six kilos of corn and dried fish hanging from her shoulders and thus,
could not have possibly warded off the blow or run away from her
assailant. Although Milyn Ruales described the attack having been
frontal, this does not negate treachery since the essence of treachery
is the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack, giving the victim
no opportunity to repel it or offer any defense of his person. Thus, we
hold that the trial court correctly appreciated the qualifying
circumstance of treachery. (PP -vs- CORNELIA SUELTO alias "ELY"
alias "ROGELIA SUELTO", G.R. No. 126097, Feb. 8, 2000)

BOOK 2
RAPE AS CRIME AGAINST PERSONS
(R.A. 8353)
Rape, When And How Committed

By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman


under any of the following circumstances:
"1)

"a)

Through force, threat, or intimidation;


39

"b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or


otherwise unconscious;
"c)
By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of
authority; and
"d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age
or is demented, even though none of the circumstances
mentioned above be present.
"2) By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned
in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by
inserting his penis into another person's mouth or anal orifice, or any
instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.
WHEN INEXCUSABLE IMPRUDENCE ON
PART OF VICTIM AS TO IDENTITY OF
OFFENDER IS NOT RAPE

The evidence shows that this mistake was purely a subjective


configuration of Zareen's mind an assumption entirely contrived by
her. Our impression is that Silvino had nothing to do with the
formulation of this belief; he did nothing to mislead or deceive Zareen
into thinking that he was Enrico. In fact, Silvino precisely, and
confidently, told her, "Zareen, it's not Ricky, it's Jun. I love you." It is
thus obvious that whatever mistake there was could only be
attributable to Zareen and her inexcusable imprudence and to
nobody else. Clearly, the fault was hers. She had the opportunity to
ascertain the identity of the man but she preferred to remain passive
and allow things to happen as they did. Silvino never used force on her
and was even most possibly encouraged by the fact that when he
pulled down her panties she never objected; when her legs were being
parted she never objected; and, when he finally mounted her she
never objected. Where then was force?
Third, Zareen was not deprived of reason or otherwise
unconscious when the accused had intercourse with her. Her lame
excuse was that she was half-asleep. However she admitted that in the
early morning of 1 May 1994 she woke up to find someone removing
her underwear. Thuswise it cannot be said that she was deprived of
reason or unconscious. She knew, hence was conscious, when her
panties were being pulled down; she knew, hence was conscious, when
her legs were being parted to prepare for the sexual act; she knew,
hence was conscious, when the man was pulling down his briefs to
prepare himself likewise for the copulation; she knew, hence was
40

conscious, when the man mounted her and lusted after her virtue. Her
justification was that she never objected to the sexual act from the
start because she thought that the man was her boyfriend with whom
she was having sex almost every night for the past three (3) weeks as
they were getting married and wanted already to have a baby. In other
words, her urge could not wait for the more appropriate time. (People
v. Salarza, Jr.)
NATURE OF INTIMIDATION
IN RAPE CASES

Intimidation is addressed to the mind of the victim. It is


subjective and its presence cannot be tested by any hard-and-fast
rule, but must be viewed in the light of the victims perception and
judgement at the time of the crime.
In the case at bar, at the time the crime was committed, the
victim was 40 yrs. old, 5 months pregnant, unarmed and married to a
person older than her by almost 20 yrs.. In contrast, appellant was in
his 20s, armed with a gun and purportedly in the company of several
NPA members. The crime happened in the evening and in a place
where help was impossible. The nearest neighbor of the victim is
some 3 kms. from their hut. Considering all these circumstances, we
hold that the victim was intimidated to submit to the lustful desire of
the appellant. (Pp. V. Mostrales; GR 125937, Aug.28, 1998)
WHEN INTIMIDATION IS SUSTAINED
BY MORAL ASCENDANCY IN RAPE

Intimidation in rape cases is not calibrated nor governed by hard and


fast rules. Since it is addressed to the victim's and is therefore
subjective, it must be viewed in light of the victim's perception and
judgment at the time of the commission of the crime. It is enough that
the intimidation produced fear fear that if the victim did not yield to
the bestial demands of the accused, something far worse would
happen to her at that moment. Where such intimidation existed and
the victim was cowed into submission as a result thereof, thereby
rendering resistance futile, it would be the height of unreasonableness
to expect the victim to resist with all her might and strength. If
resistance would nevertheless be futile because of intimidation, then
offering none at all does not mean consent to the assault so as to
make the victim's submission to the sexual act voluntary.
41

In any event, in a rape committed by a father against his own


daughter, as in this case, the former's moral ascendancy or influence
over the latter substitutes for violence or intimidation. Likewise, it
must not be forgotten that at her tender age of 14 years, EDEN could
not be expected to act with the equanimity of disposition and with
nerves of steel, or to act like a mature and experienced woman who
would know what to do under the circumstances, or to have courage
and intelligence to disregard the threat. Even in cases of rape of
mature women, this Court recognized their different and unpredictable
reactions. Some may shout; some may faint; and some may be
shocked into insensibility; while others may openly welcome the
intrusion. (People v. Agbayani; GR 122770, Jan. 16, 98)
TEST TO DETERMINE WHETHER A WOMAN VOLUNTARILY SUBMITTED
TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Physical resistance is not the sole test to determine


whether or not a woman involuntarily succumbed to the lust of an
accused. Jurisprudence holds that even though a man lays no hand on
a woman, yet if by array of physical forces he so overpowers her mind
that she does not resist or she ceases resistance through fear of
greater harm, the consummation of unlawful intercourse by the man is
rape. (Pp. V. Mostrales; GR 125937, Aug.28, 1998)
DATE OF COMMISSION OF RAPE NOT ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF SAID
CRIME

It is settled that even a variance of a few months between


the time set out in the indictment and that established by the evidence
during the trial has been held not to constitute an error so serious as
to warrant reversal of a conviction solely on that score. The failure of
the complainant to state the exact date and time of the commission of
the rape is a minor matter
(Pp. V. Bernaldez; GR 109780,Aug. 17, 1998)

EXAMPLE OF VIRTUAL CONFESSION OF FACT AND NOT IN LAW IN


CASES OF RAPE

It is conceded that after the rape, Accused sent


complainant two letters in which he implored her forgiveness and
offered to leave his wife so that he could be with her. In fine,
appellant sealed his own fate by admitting his crime under a seal of
virtual confession in fact, if not in law. (Pp. V. Prades; GR 127569,
July 30, 1998)
42

CHILD BORN BY REASON OF RAPE


MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY OFFENDER
UPON ORDERS OF THE COURT

Furthermore, since ANALIZA begot a child by reason of the rape,


DANTE must acknowledge and support the offspring pursuant to Article
345 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 201 of the Family
Code. (People v. Alfeche)
DWELLING AS AGGRAVATING
CIRCUMSTANCE IN RAPE CASES

It is clear, however, that the aggravating circumstance of


dwelling is attendant in the commission of the crime. Article 14(5) of
the Revised Penal Code provides that this circumstance aggravates a
felony where the crime is committed in the dwelling of the offended
party, if the latter has not given provocation. In the instant case, the
aforesaid circumstance of dwelling was definitely present in the
commission of the crime of rape with the use of a deadly weapon.
(Pp. V. Prades; GR 127569, July 30, 1998)
INDEMNITY IN CERTAIN CASES OF RAPE

The recent judicial prescription is that the indemnification for the


victim shall be in the increased amount of P75,000.00 if the crime of
rape is committed or effectively qualified by any of the circumstances
under which the death penalty is authorized by the applicable
amendatory laws. (Pp. V. Prades; GR127569, July 30, 1998)
MORAL DAMAGES NEED NOT BE ALLEGED
AND PROVED IN CASES OF RAPE

Indeed, the conventional requirement of allegata et probata in


civil procedure and for essentially civil cases should be dispensed with
in criminal prosecutions for rape with the civil aspect included therein,
since no appropriate pleadings are file wherein such allegations can be
made. (Pp. V. Prades; GR 127569, July 30, 1998)

43

MEANING OF DEADLY WEAPON


IN CASES OF RAPE

A deadly weapon is any weapon or instrument made and


designed for offensive or defensive purposes, or for the destruction of
life or thee infliction of injury; or one which, from the manner used, is
calculated or likely to produce death or serious bodily harm. In our
jurisdiction, it has been held that a knife is a deadly weapon. (Pp. V.
Alfeche; GR 124213, Aug. 17, 1998)
FORCE AND INTIMIDATION NOT
NEEDED IN RAPE OF RETARDATE

Although the information alleged force, threats, and


intimidation, it nevertheless also explicitly stated that Tessie is a
mentally retarded person. We have held in a long line of cases that if
the mental age of a woman above 12 years is that of a child below 12
years, even if she voluntarily submitted to the bestial desires of the
accused, or even if the circumstances of force or intimidation or of the
victim being deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious are absent,
the accused would still be liable for rape under the 3 rd circumstance of
Art. 335. The rationale therefor is that if sexual intercourse with a
victim under 12 years of age is rape, then it should follow that carnal
knowledge of a woman whose mental age is that of a child below 12
years would constitute rape. (People v. Hector Estares; 12/5/97)
USE OF FORCE OR INTIMIDATION NOT
AN ELEMENT OF STATUTORY RAPE

In any event, the use of force or intimidation is not an element


of statutory rape. The offense is established upon proof that the
accused sexually violated the offended party, who was below 12 years
of age at the time of the sexual assault. In other words, it is not
relevant to this case whether appellant slapped or boxed the victim, or
whether he used a single-bladed or a double-edged knife.
(People v.
Oliva; 12/5/97)
RAPE CAN BE COMMITTED IN
MANY DIFFERENT PLACES

It has been emphasized that rape can be committed in many


different places, including places which to many would appear to be
44

unlikely and high-risk venues for sexual advances. Thus, rape has
been committed even in places where people congregate, in parks,
along the roadside, within school premises, inside a house where
there are other occupants, and even in the same room where other
members of the family are also sleeping. (People
v.
Gementiza;
1/29/98)
WHEN SWEETHEART DEFENSE
IS TENABLE IN RAPE

The sweetheart defense put up by the accused merits serious


consideration. While the theory does not often gain favor with the
court, such is not always the case if the hard fact is that the accused
and the supposed victim are in fact intimately related except that, as is
true in most cases, the relationship is either illicit, or the parents are
against it. In such instances, it is not improbable that when the
relationship is uncovered, the victims parents would take the risk of
instituting a criminal action rather than admit to the indiscretion of
their daughter. And this, as the records reveal, is what happened in
this case. (People vs Rico Jamlan Salem, October 16/97)
A MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF VICTIM
IS NOT ELEMENT OF RAPE

A medical examination is not an indispensable element in a


prosecution for rape. The accused may be convicted on the sole basis
of complainants testimony, if credible, and the findings of the medicolegal officer do not disprove the commission of rape. People v Jenelito
Escober Y Resuento, Nov 6/97)
HEINOUSNESS OF RAPE OF
ONES DESCENDANT

In the case before us, the accused raped his own flesh and blood
at such a tender age of eleven. He thus violated not only he purity
and her trust but also the mores of his society which he has scornfully
defined. By inflicting his animal greed on her in a disgusting coercion
of incestuous lust, he forfeits all respect as human being and is justly
spurned by all, not least of all, by the fruit of his own loins whose
progeny he has forever stained with his shameful and shameless
lechery. People v jenelito Escober Y Resuento, Nov 6/97)
MERE DISCIPLINARY CHASTISEMENT

45

IS NOT ENOUGH TO DOUBT CREDIBILITY


OF RAPE VICTIM WHO IS A DESCENDANT

Mere disciplinary chastisement is not strong enough to make


daughters in a Filipino family invent a charge that would only bring
shame and humiliation upon them and their own family and make
them the object of gossip among their classmates and friends. It is
unbelievable that Jacqueline would fabricate a serious criminal charge
just to get even with her father and to emphasize with her sister. The
sisters would not contrive stories of defloration and charge their own
father with rape unless these stories are true. For that matter, no
young Filipina of decent repute would falsely and publicly admit that
she had been ravished and abused considering the social stigma
thereof. People v Tabugoca, GR No. 125334 )
SODOMY IS NOT THE SAME
CONSIDERED AS IGNOMINY.

AS

IGNOMINY

NOR

CAN

IT

BE

"Ignominy is a circumstance pertaining to the moral order, which


adds disgrace and obliloquy to the material injury caused by the
crime." Thus, for ignominy to be appreciated as an aggravating
circumstance in the instant case, it must be shown that the sexual
assault on Francis Bart was done by accused-appellant to put the
former to shame before killing him. This is clearly not the case here
for accused-appellant's intention was shown to be the commission of
sexual abuse on the victim as an act of revenge for his similar
experience as a child.

WHEN THE INFORMATIONS ON RAPE CASES FAILED TO ALLEGE


ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP ETC. HENCE DEATH PENALTY CANNOT BE
IMPOSED

In this case, the information's in Criminal Case Nos. 8899-8900


alleged that accused-appellant, "who is the stepfather of the private
offended party" by "force, violence and intimidation" succeeded in
having carnal knowledge of the latter when she was then 14 and 13
years old, respectively. On the otherhand, the information in Criminal
Case Nos. 8945-8946 alleged that accused-appellant, "who. is the
stepfather of victim Jenny Macaro" succeeded in having carnal
knowledge of the latter, who was a girl below 12 years old. As already
noted, contrary to these allegations, accused-appellant is not really the
stepfather of complainants Lenny and Jenny because accused46

appellant and complainants' mother were not legally married but were
merely living in common-law relation. In fact, Lenny and Jenny
interchangeably referred to accused-appellant as their stepfather,
"kabit," "live-in partner ng Mama ko," "tiyo," and
"tiyuhin."
Complainants' sister-in-law, Rosalie Macaro, also testified that her
"mother-in-law is not legally married to accused-appellant." Accusedappellant likewise said on direct and cross-examination that he was
not legally married to the mother of the complainants, and he referred
to her as his live-in partner. This was confirmed by Emma Macaro,
mother of the complainants. Although the rape of a person under
eighteen (18) years of age by the common-law spouse of the victim's
mother is punishable by death, this penalty cannot be imposed on
accused-appellant in these cases because this relationship was not
what was alleged in the information's. What was alleged was that he
is the stepfather of the complainants.

INFORMATION IN RAPE CASES WITH USE OF DEADLY WEAPON MUST


BE ALLEGED OTHERWISE DEATH PENALTY, CANNOT BE IMPOSED

Neither can accused-appellant be meted the death penalty in


Criminal Case No.
8900 where he committed the rape after
threatening the victim, Lenny Macaro, with a knife. Under Art. 335 of
the Revised Penal Code, simple rape is punishable by "reclusion
perpetua." When the rape is committed "with the use of a deadly
weapon," i.e., when a deadly weapon is used to make the victim
submit to the will of the offender, the penalty is reclusion perpetua to
death." This circumstance must however be alleged in the information
because it is also in the nature of a qualifying circumstance which
increases the range of the penalty to include death. In Criminal Case
No. 8900, while complainant Lenny testified that accused-appellant
raped her after threatening her with a knife, the "use of a deadly
weapon" in the commission of the crime was not alleged in the
information. Therefore, even if the same was prove, it cannot be
appreciated as a qualifying circumstance. The same can only be
treated as generic aggravating circumstance which, in this case,
cannot affect the penalty to be impose, i.e., reclusion perpetua.
Accordingly, the accused-appellant should be sentenced to the penalty
of reclusion perpetua. Accordingly, the accused-appellant should be
sentenced to the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each of the four
counts of rape. (PP -vs- FELIXBERTO FRAGA Y BAYLON, G.R. Nos.
134130-33, April 12, 2000)

47

MEDICAL EXAMINATION NOT REQUIRED IN RAPE CASES

This Court has also ruled that a medical examination is not


indispensable to the prosecution of rape as long as the evidence on
hand convinces the court that a conviction of rape is proper.

WHEN CARNAL KNOWLEDGE IS CONSUMATED

It is worth mentioning that in rape cases, the prosecution is not


required to establish penile penetration because even the slightest
touching of the female genitalia, or mere introduction of the male
organ into the labia of the pudendum constitutes carnal knowledge.
(PP -vs- FERNANDO CALANG MACOSTA, alias "DODONG" G.R. No.
126954, Dec. 14, 1999)

THE CHARGE OF RAPE DO NOT INCLUDE SIMPLE SEDUCTION.


HENCE, IF ONE IS CHARGE WITH RAPE AND IS NT PROVEN, ACCUSED
CANNOT BE HELD GUILTY OF SIMPLE SEDUCTION.

Even as the prosecution failed to proved the use of force,


violence and intimidation by the accused-appellant, we cannot convict
the accused-appellant of the crime of simple seduction without offense
to the constitutional rights of the accused-appellant to due process and
to be informed the accusation against him. The charge of rape does
not include simple seduction. (PP -vs LOLITO MORENO Y LANCION
alias "LOLOY" G.R. No. 115191, Dec. 21, 1999)

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF RAPE?

The elements of rape are: (1) that the offender had carnal
knowledge of a woman; (2) that such act is accomplished by using
force or intimidation; or when the woman is deprived of reason or
otherwise unconscious; or when the woman is under twelve years of
age or is demented.

MEANING OF TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH IN RAPE


CASES

48

Taking advantage of superior strength means to purposely use


excessive force out of proportion to the means available to the person
attacked. It is abuse of superior numbers or employment of means to
weaken the defense.
This circumstance is always considered
whenever there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim
and the aggressor, assuming a situation of superiority notoriously
advantageous for the aggressor deliberately chosen by him in the
commission of the crime. To properly appreciate it, it is necessary to
evaluate not only the physical condition of the parties and the arms or
objects employed but the incidents in the total development of the
case as well.
Moreover, like the crime of parricide by a husband on his wife,
abuse of superior strength Is inherent in rape. It is generally accepted
that under normal circumstances a man who commits rape on a
woman is physically stronger than the latter. (PP -vs- EDGARDO DE
LEON Y SANTOS, G.R. No. 128436, Dec. 10, 1999)

WHEN TESTIMONY OF VICTIM IS OVERLY GENERALIZED IN CRIME OF


RAPE

Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct crime so


that each of the sixteen other rapes charged should be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. The victim's testimony was overly generalized and
lacked specific details on how each of the alleged sixteen rapes was
committed. Her bare statement that she was raped so many times on
certain weeks is clearly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish
the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other sixteen rapes
charged are concerned. In People vs. Garcia, this Court succinctly
observed that:
xxx the indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was raped
every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly insufficient to
establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the required quantum of
evidence. So much of such indefinite imputations of rape, which are
uncorroborated by any other evidence fall within this category. (PP
-vs- EDMUNDO DE LEON Y JESUS, G.R. No 130985, Dec. 3, 1999

CONCURRENCE OF MINORITY OF VICTIM AND RELATIONSHIPS IN


RAPE MUST BE ALLEGED SO THAT DEATH PENALTY MAYBE IMPOSED

49

The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her


relationship to the offender should be specifically alleged in the
information conformably with the accused's right to be informed of the
accusation against him. In this case, although the minority of Poblica
and her relationship with appellant were established by the
prosecution beyond doubt, the death penalty cannot be imposed
because these qualifying circumstances were not specified in the
information. It would be a denial of the right of the appellant to be
informed of the charges against him and consequently, a denial of due
process if he is charged with simple rape and convicted of its qualified
form punishable by death although the attendant circumstances
qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment were not set
forth in the indictment on which he was arraigned.
(PP -vsCHARITO ISUG MAGBANUA, G.R. No. 128888, Dec. 3, 1999)

QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE IN RAPE CASES MUST BE ALLEGED IN


ORDER THAT DEATH PENALTY MAYBE IMPOSED

This Court has ruled in a long line of cases that the circumstance
under the amendatory provisions of Section 11 of Republic Act 7659,
the attendance of any of which mandates the single indivisible penalty
of death are in the nature of qualifying circumstances which cannot be
proved as such unless alleged with particularity in the information
unlike ordinary aggravating circumstances which affect only the period
of the penalty and which may be proven even if not alleged in the
information. It would be a denial of the right of the accused to be
informed of the charge against him and consequently, a denial of due
process, if he is charged with simple rape and will be convicted of its
qualified form punishable by death although the attendant
circumstance qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment
was not alleged in the indictment under which he was arraigned.
Procedurally, then, while the minority of Renelyn and her relationship
to the accused-appellant were established during the trial, the
accused-appellant can only be convicted of simple rape because he
cannot be punished for a graver offense that that with which he was
charged. Accordingly, the imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua.
(PP -vs- EDWIN R. DECENA, G.R. No. 131843, May 31, 2000)

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IN RAPE

50

Neither is the absence of spermatozoa in Delia's genitalia fatal to


the prosecution's case. The presence or absence of spermatozoa is
immaterial in a prosecution for rape. The important consideration in
rape cases is not the emission of semen but the unlawful penetration
of the female genitalia by the male organ. (PP -vs- RODOLFO BATO
alias 'RUDY BATO," G.R. No. 134939, Feb. 16, 2000)

WHEN RAPE IS NOT COMMITTED AND SWEETHEART THEORY GIVEN


CREDENCE

First.
Private complainant never objected or showed any
resistance when accused-appellant allegedly dragged her forcibly
across the pedestrian overpass and brought her to an undisclosed
place at Quiapo. Although he was holding her wrist tightly, she could
have easily extricated herself form him on several occasions: (a)
while they were inside the bus bound for Quiapo; (b) when they
alighted form the bus and roamed the sidestreets of Quiapo; and
especially so, (c) when they entered the hotel and finally the room
where the alleged rape took place. Accused-appellant was unarmed
and his tight grip could not have prevented private complainant from
at least shouting for help. Her demeanor was simply inconsistent with
that of the ordinary Filipina whose instinct dictates that the summon
every ounce of her strength and courage to thwart any attempt to
besmirch her honor and blemish her purity. True, women react
differently in similar situations, but it is too unnatural for an intended
rape victim, as in this case, not to make even feeble attempt to free
herself despite a myriad of opportunities to do so.
Second. The deportment of the private complainant after the
alleged rape accentuates the dubiety of her testimony. After the
alleged rape, she did not leave immediately but even refused to be
separated from her supposed defiler despite the prodding of the latter.
Worse, she went with him to the house of his sister and there they
slept together. Indeed this attitude runs counter to logic and common
sense. Surely private complainant would not risk a second molestation
and undergo a reprise of the harrowing experience. To compound
matters, it took her four (4) days to inform her parents about this
agonizing episode in her life. Truly, her insouciance is very disturbing,
to say the least.
Finally.
The prosecution failed to substantiated any of its
allegations. Instead, it opted to stand or fall on the uncorroborated
and implausible testimony of the private complainant. It is elementary
51

in our rules of evidence that a party must prove the affirmative of his
allegations.
(PP -vs- TOMAS CLAUDIO Y MENIJIE, G.R. No.
133694, Feb. 29, 2000)

WHEN TWO AFFIDAVITS ARE EXECUTED BY THE COMPLAINANT IN A


RAPE CASE, ONE FOR ATTEMPTED RAPE AND ANOTHER FOR
CONSUMMATED RAPE AND ARE INCONSISTENT WITH EACH OTHER,
CONVICTION CANNOT BE HAD

It is true that affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to


open court declarations. The general rule is that variance between an
extrajudicial sworn statement of the complainant and here testimony
in court does not impair the complainant's credibility when the said
variance does not alter the essential fact that the complainant was
raped. Variance as to the time and date of the rape, the number of
times it was committed or the garments which the accused or the
complainant wore at the time of the incident do not generally diminish
the complainant's credibility.
However, the serious discrepancy
between the two sworn statements executed a day apart by the
complainant in this case, bearing on a material fact, is very substantial
because it pertains to the essential nature of the offense, i.e., whether
the offense was consummated or merely attempted. In People vs.
Ablaneda, wherein a housewife executed a sworn statement for
attempted rape and later changed the accusation to consummated
rape without a rational explanation, this Court held that the general
rule does not apply when the complainant completely changed the
nature of her accusation. The contradiction does not concern a trivial
or inconsequential detail but involves the essential fact of the
consummation of the rape. (PP -vs- ALBERT ERNEST WILSON, G.R.
No. 135915, Dec. 21, 1999)

NATURE OF INCESTUOUS RAPE

Incestuous rape of a daughter by a father has heretofore been


bitterly and vehemently denounced by this Court as more than just a
shameful and shameless crime. Rape in itself is a nauseating crime
that deserves the condemnation of all decent persons who recognize
that a woman's cherished chastity is hers alone to surrender at her
own free will, and whoever violates this norm descends to the level of
the odious beast. But the act becomes doubly repulsive where the
52

outrage is perpetrated on one's own flesh and blood for the culprit is
further reduced to a level lower than the lowly animal and forfeits all
respect otherwise due him as a human.
(PP -vs- MELANDRO
NICOLAS Y FAVELLA, G.R. Nos. 125125-27, Feb. 4, 2000)

LOVE RELATIONSHIP DO NOT RULE OUT RAPE

Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that accused-appellant and


private complainant were indeed sweethearts as he claims, this fact
alone will not extricate him from his predicament. The mere assertion
of a "love relationship" would not necessarily rule out the use of force
to consummate the crime. It must be stressed that in rape case, the
gravamen of the offense is sexual intercourse with a woman against
her will or without her consent. Thus, granting arguendo that the
accused and the victim were really lovers this Court has reiterated
time and again that "A sweetheart cannot be forced to have sex
against her will. Definitely, a man cannot demand sexual gratification
from a fiance, worse, employ violence upon her on the pretext of
love. Love is not a license for lust."
(PP -vs- DANTE CEPEDA Y
SAPOTALO, G.R. No. 124832, Feb. 1, 2000)

PLACES NOTORIOUS FOR HOLD-UPS DONE


CONSIDERED AGGRAVATING AS NIGHT TIME

AT

NIGHT

IS

Considering that the place where the crime took place was
"notorious for hold-ups done at night, precisely to maximize the
advantage of darkness," we cannot but agree with the trial court that
nighttime was purposely sought by accused-appellants "for the more
successful consummation may be perpetrated unmolested or so that
they could escape more thoroughly." (PP -vs- FELIMON ALIPAYO Y
TEJADA, ET AL., G.R. No. 122979, Feb. 2, 2000)

RAPE MAY BE COMMITTED IN ALMOST ALL PLACES

Appellant considers it quite improbable for rape to be committed


at a place within a well-lighted and fairly well-populated neighborhood.
This argument does not hold water. Rape can be commi9tted even in
places where people congregate, in parks, along the roadside, within
53

school premises, inside a house where there are other occupants, and
even in the same room in the presence of other members of the
family. |An overpowering wicked urge has been shown not to be
deterred by circumstances of time or place.

DEATH PENALTY CANNOT BE IMPOSED WHEN INFORMATION FAILED


TO INDICATE THE AGE OF THE VICTIM AND HER CORRECT
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ACCUSED

The penalty of death cannot be properly imposed since the


indictment has failed to indicate the age of the victim and her correct
relationship with appellant, concurrent qualifying circumstances,
essential in the imposition of that penalty. Furthermore, appellant is
not a "parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the commonlaw spouse of the parent of the victim." The latter's grandmother,
Remedios Lustre, herself acknowledges that appellant has just for a
time been her common-law husband. (PP -vs- FEDERICO LUSTRE Y
ENCINAS, G.R. No. 134562, April 6, 2000)

COMPENSATORY DAMAGES IN CASES OF QUALIFIED RAPE

With regard to the award of compensatory damages, we have rule in


People vs. Victor, which was later reaffirmed in People vs. Prades,
that "if the crime of rape is committed or effectively qualified by any of
the circumstances under which the death penalty is authorized by the
present amended law, the indemnity of the victim shall be in the
increased amount of not less than P75,000.00." (PP -vs- ANTONIO
MAGAT Y LONDONIO, G.R. No. 130026, May 31, 2000)

NATURE OF INTIMIDATION IN CASE OF RAPE

In People vs. Luzorata, the Court held that intimidation was


addressed to the mind of the victim and therefore subjective, and its
presence could not be tested by any hard-and-fast rule but must be
viewed in light of the victim's perception and judgment at the time of
the crime. Thus, when a rape victim becomes paralyzed with fear, she
cannot be expected to think and act coherently, her failure to
immediately take advantage of the early opportunity to escape does
not automatically vitiate the credibility of her account. "Complainant
54

cannot be faulted for not taking any action inasmuch as different


people react differently to a given type of situation, there being no
standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted
with a strange, startling or frightful experience." (PP -vs- VICENTE
BALORA Y DELANTAR, G.R. No. 124976, May 31, 2000)

EACH AND EVERY RAPE ALLEGED MUST BE PROVEN

Each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct crime so


that each of the sixteen other rapes charged should be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. The victim's testimony was overly generalized and
lacked specific details on how each of the alleged sixteen rapes was
committed. Her bare statement that she was raped so many times on
certain weeks is clearly inadequate and
grossly insufficient to
establish the guilt of accused-appellant insofar as the other sixteen
rapes charged are concerned. In People vs. Garcia this Court succinctly
observed that:
xxx
the indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was raped
every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly insufficient to
establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the required quantum of
evidence. So much of such indefinite imputations of rape, which are
uncorroborated by any other evidence fall within this category.
(PP -vs- EDMUNDO DE LEON Y JESUS, G.R. No. 130985, Dec. 3,
1999)
AT THE START THERE MUST BE RAPE, BUT SUBSEQUENT EVENTS MAY
BECOME A FACTOR THAT THE REALTIONSHIP,
ALTHOUGH
INCESTOUS, CONVICTION FOR RAPE CANNOT BE HAD

"Complainant could have been raped the first time accusedappelant had carnal knowledge of her, when she was 13 years old. This
however, is not a prosecution for such rape. When she complained of
having been raped in this case, she was already 30 or 31 years old, 17
or 18 years after she had been allegedly ravished for the first time by
her father, the herein accused-appelant. During the said period of 17
or 18 years, neither complainant nor her parents denounced accusedappellant despite the fact that he continued to have sexual relation
allegedly without the consent of complainant. During this period, four
children were born to complainant and accused-appellant. Complainant
and accused-appellant practically cohabited, choosing the baptismal
sponsors for their children, and even inviting friends and relatives to
55

the feasts. The relationship was known to neighbors. Thus, their


relationship might be incestuous, but it was not by reason of force or
intimidation. For their part, while in the beginning complainant's
mother and sisters may have disapproved of the relationship, in the
end, it would appear that subsequently they just turned a blind eye on
the whole affair. Given these facts, we cannot say that on September
19, 1995 when accused-appellant had sexual intercourse with
complainant, he committed rape. (People v. Villalobos, G.R. 134294,
05/21/2001)

THE DELAY AND INITIAL RELUCTANCE OF A RAPE VICTIM TO MAKE


PUBLIC THE ASSAULT ON HER VIRTUE IS NEITHER UNKNOWN OR
UNCOMMON. AS HELD IN LTHE CASE OF PEOPLE VS. MALAGAR

"Vacillation in the filing of complaint by rape victim is not an


uncommon phenomenon. This crime is normally accompanied by the
rapist's threat on the victim's life, and the fear can last for quit a while.
There is also the natural reluctance of a woman to admit her sullied
chastity, accepting thereby all the stigma it leaves, and to then expose
herself to the morbid curiosity of the public whom she may likely
perceived rightly or wrongly, to be more interested in the prurient
details of the ravishment than in her vindication and the punishment of
the rapist. In People vs. Coloma (222 SCRA 255) we have even
considered an 8-year delay in reporting the long history of rape by the
victim's father as understandable and so not enough to render
incredible the complaint of a 13-year old daughter.
(PP -vsCONRADO CABANA @ RANDY, G.R. No. 127124, May 9, 2000)

WHEN THERE IS A SEPARATE CRIME OF RAPE AND ROBBERY IS


COMMITTED

As related by Private Complainant Amy de Guzman, accused-appellant


suddenly jumped over the counter, strangled her, poked a knife at the
left side of her neck, pulled her towards the kitchen where he forced
her to undress, and gained carnal knowledge of her against her will
and consent. Thereafter, he ordered her to proceed upstairs to get
some clothes, so he could bring her out, saying he was not leaving her
alive. At this point, appellant conceived the idea of robbery because,
before they could reach the upper floor, he suddenly pulled Amy down
and started mauling her until she lost consciousness; then he freely
ransacked the place. Leaving Amy for dead after repeatedly banging
her head, first on the wall, then on the toilet bowl, he took her
56

bracelet, ring and wristwatch. He then proceeded upstairs where he


took as well the jewelry box containing other valuables belonging to
his victim's employer.
Under these circumstance, appellant cannot be convicted of the special
complex crime of robbery with rape. However, since it was clearly
proven beyond reasonable doubt that he raped Amy de Guzman and
thereafter robbed her and Ana Marinay of valuables totaling
P16,000.00, he committed two separate offenses -rape with the use of
deadly weapon and simple robbery with force and intimidation against
persons.

CASES WHEREIN THE SCANDAL RESULTING FROM RELATIONS OF


COMPLAINANT AND ACCUSED IMPELS THE COMPLAINANT OR HER
RELATIVES TO FILE COMPLAINT OF RAPE AGAINST THE ACCUSED
BUT DID NOT PROSPER

Thus in People vs. Lamarroza, a case involving an eighteen-year


old woman "intellectually weak and gullible," the Court found that the
alleged victim's family was "obviously scandalized and embarrassed by
(the victim) Elena's 'unexplained' pregnancy," prompting them to cry
"rape." The Court acquitted the accused.
In People vs. Domogoy, private complainant was seen having
sexual intercourse in the school premises with appellant therein by the
latter's co-accused. "It is thus not farfetched," the Court held, "for
complainant to have instituted the complainant for rape against the
three to avoid being bruited around as a woman of loose morals."
Similarly, in People vs. Castillon, the Court considered the
complainant's agreement to engage in pre-marital sexual intercourse
"already a disgrace to her family, what more of her acquiescence to
have sexual intercourse on a stage near the vicinity where the JS
program was being held and prying eyes and ears abound."
In People vs. Bawar, the complainant was caught in flagrante by
her sister-in-law engaging in sexual intercourse with the accused, a
neighbor. The Court gathered from the complainant's testimony that
"she filed the case because she thought it would be better to cry 'rape'
and bring suit to salvage and redeem her honor, rather than have
reputation sullied in the community by being bruited around and
stigmatized as an adulterous woman."

57

People vs. Godoy also involved an adulterous relationship


between the accused, who was married, and his seventeen-year old
student. In acquitting the accused, the Court held:
The Court takes judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas
in the Philippines, young ladies are strictly required to act with
circumspection and prudence. Great caution is observed so that their
reputations shall remain untainted. Any breath of scandal which
brings dishonor to their character humiliates their entire families. It
could precisely be that complainant's mother wanted to save face in
the community where everybody knows everyone else, and in an
effort to conceal her daughter's indiscretion and escape the wagging
tongues of their small rural community, she had to weave the scenario
of this rape drama.
Here, the elopement of a thirteen-year old with her nineteenyear old second cousin no doubt caused quite a tempest in the
otherwise serene community of Vintar, Ilocos Norte.
That
complainant's parents were against their relationship, as evidenced in
one of her letters, makes it more likely that the charges of rape were
instigated to salvage the complainant's and her family's honor.
While the "sweetheart theory" does not often gain favor with this
Court, such is not always the case if the hard fact is that the accused
and the supposed victim are, in truth, intimately related except that,
as is usual in most cases, either the relationship is illicit or the victim's
parents are against it. It is not improbable that in some instances,
when the relationship is uncovered, the alleged victim or her parents
for that matter would take the risk of instituting a criminal action in
the hope that the court would take the cudgels for them than for the
woman to admit her own acts of indiscretion. (PP -vs- ERWIN
AGRESOR, G.R. Nos. 119837-39, Dec. 9, 1999)

JUDGES SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY PROTECTIVE OF EVERY WOMAN IN


RAPE CASES. THEY MUST LOOK AT THE CHARGE WITH EXTREME
CAUTION AND CIRCUSMPECTION

Rape is a very emotional word, and the natural human reactions


to it are categorical: sympathy for the victim and admiration for her in
publicly seeking retribution for her outrageous misfortune, and
condemnation of the rapist. However, being interpreters of the law
and dispensers of justice, judges must look at a rape charge without
those proclivities and deal and with it with extreme caution and
58

circumspection. Judges must free themselves of the natural tendency


to be overprotective of every woman decrying her having been
sexually abused and demanding punishment for the abuser. While
they ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation the rape
victim goes through as she demands justice, judges should equally
bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice based on the
law. (PP -vs- EDWIN LADRILLO, G.R. No. 124342, Dec. 8, 1999)
Rape; Victim is a minor
It is well established that the testimony of a rape victim is generally
given full weight and credit, more so if she is a minor. The revelation of an
innocent child whose chastity has been abused deserves full credit, as her
willingness to undergo the trouble and the humiliation of a public trial is an
eloquent testament of the truth of her complaint. In so testifying, she could
only have been impelled to tell the truth, especially in the absence of proof of
ill motive. ( People of the Philippines vs. Edgardo Dimaano. G.R. No.
168168. September 14, 2005)

Rape; Victim is under twelve years old;


The gravamen of the offense of rape is sexual congress with a woman
by force and without consent. If the woman is under 12 years of age, proof
of force and consent becomes immaterial not only because force is not an
element of statutory rape, but the absence of free consent is presumed.
Conviction will therefore lie, provided sexual intercourse is proven. But if the
woman is 12 years of age or over at the time she was violated, sexual
intercourse must be proven and also that it was done through force, violence,
intimidation or threat. Ibid.

Rape; Incestous
In incestuous rape of a minor, actual force or intimidation need not
even be employed where the overpowering moral influence of appellant, who
is private complainants father would suffice.
The moral and physical
dominion of the father is sufficient to cow the victim into submission to his
beastly desires. Ibid.

Rape; Degree of force/intimidation;


For rape to exist it is not necessary that the force or intimidation
employed be so great or of such character as could not be resisted. It is only
necessary that the force or intimidation be sufficient to consummate the
purpose which the accused had in mind. Intimidation must be viewed in the

59

light of the victims perception and judgment at the time of the rape and not
by any hard and fast rule. It is therefore enough that it produces fear fear
that if the victim does not yield to the bestial demands of the accused,
something would happen to her at the moment or thereafter, as when she is
threatened with death if she reports the incident. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES vs.EMETERIO RICAMORA Y SUELLO,.G.R. No.
168628 December 6, 2006.

LACERATIONS IN RAPE
It is well-settled that lacerations, whether fresh or healed, are
the best physical evidence of forcible defloration.
(People vs. Miranda, G.R. No. 176064, August 7, 2007)
GUILTY OF RAPE WITH A FEMALE WHO WAS SUFFERING FROM A
BORDERLINE MENTAL DEFICIENCY

At this juncture, it is no longer necessary for the prosecution to


prove that appellant forced AAA into sexual intercourse for it to be
considered rape. Article 266-A of the RPC, as amended, provides, to
wit:
Art. 266-A. Rape; When and How Committed.Rape is committed
1) xxxx
xxxx
d. When the offended party is under twelve
(12) years of age or is demented, even though none
of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
It was established that AAA has moderate mental retardation
with the mentality of a four to six years old given her IQ of only 40.
(People vs. Miranda, G.R. No. 176064, August 7, 2007)

RAPE: Failure to Resist does not mean consent:


As pointed out by this Court in People v. Ilao(418 SCRA 391):
The fact that the private complainant did not resist or attempt
to flee or shout for help does not negate force or intimidation.
Different people react differently when confronted by a shocking or a
harrowing and unexpected incident, for the workings of the human
mind when placed under emotional stress are unpredictable. Some
people may cry out, some may faint, some may be shocked into
insensibility, while others may appear to yield into intrusion.

60

Besides, in rape cases, physical resistance need not be established


when intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits
herself out of fear. Intimidation is addressed to the mind of the victim
and is therefore subjective. Here, AAA categorically described the force
and intimidation exerted upon her person by appellant who covered
her mouth while ravishing her and even threatened to kill her and her
mother after satisfying his bestial lust.(People vs. Castro, G.R. No.
172691, August 10, 2007

RAPE
In the review of rape cases, the credibility of the private
complainant is the single most important factor for consideration. The
case of the prosecution stands or falls on the credibility of the victim.
This rule is in accordance with the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape
where only two parties, namely the victim and the accused, are usually
involved. In this regard, the appellate court will generally not disturb
the assessment of the trial court on matters of credibility owing to its
unique opportunity to observe the deportment and manner of
testifying of witnesses firsthand during the trial unless certain facts of
substance and value were overlooked which, if considered, might
affect the result of the case. People v. Bang-ayan, G.R. No.
172870, Sept 22, 2006
GUIDED PRINCIPLES IN RAPE CASES;

In People v. Bidoc, this Court reiterated the well-entrenched


guiding principles in reviewing rape cases:
In reviewing rape cases, the Court is guided by these
principles: First, the prosecution has to show the guilt of the accused
by proof beyond reasonable doubt or that degree of proof that, to an
unprejudiced mind, produces conviction. Second, unless there are
special reasons, the findings of trial courts, especially regarding the
credibility of witnesses, are entitled to great respect and will not be
disturbed on appeal. Third, the disposition of rape cases are governed
by the following guidelines: (1) an accusation for rape can be made
with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person
accused, though innocent, to disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic
nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually
involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized
with extreme caution, and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must
stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the

weakness of the evidence of his defense. (Italics in the original, emphasis


and underscoring supplied)
(People vs. Perez, G.R. No. 172875, August 15, 2007)

61

IF CHARGE OF RAPE IS THRU CARNAL KNOWLEDGE ACCUSED


CANNOT BE CONVICTED OF SECUAL ASSAULT:

With the enactment of Republic Act No. 8353 (R.A. No. 8353),
otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, the concept of rape
was revolutionized with the new recognition that the crime should
include sexual violence on the womans sex-related orifices other than
her organ, and be expanded as well to cover gender-free rape. The
transformation mainly consisted of the reclassification of rape as a
crime against persons and the introduction of rape by sexual assault
as differentiated from the traditional rape through carnal knowledge
or rape through sexual intercourse.
Section 2 of the law provides:
Sec. 2. Rape as a Crime Against Persons. The crime of rape shall
hereafter be classified as a Crime Against Persons under Title Eight of
Act No. 9815, as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal
Code. Accordingly, there shall be incorporated into Title Eight of the
same Code a new chapter to be known as Chapter Three on Rape, to
read as follows:
Article 266-A.
Committed

Rape; When And How Committed.

Rape Is

1)
By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a
woman under any of the following circumstances:
(a)

Through force, threat, or intimidation;

(b)
When the offended party is deprived of
reason or otherwise is unconscious;
(c)
By means of fraudulent machination or
grave abuse of authority; and
(d)
When the offended party is under twelve
(12) years of age or is demented, even though none
of the circumstances mentioned above be
present.
2)
By any person who, under any of the circumstances
mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault
by inserting his penis into another persons mouth or anal orifice, or
any instrument or
object,
into the genital or anal orifice of
another person.

62

Paragraph 1 under Section 2 of R.A. No. 8353, which is now


Paragraph 1 of the new Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code,
covers rape through sexual intercourse while paragraph 2 refers to
rape by sexual assault. Rape through sexual intercourse is also
denominated as organ rape or penile rape. On the other hand, rape
by sexual assault is otherwise called instrument or object rape, also
gender-free rape, or the narrower homosexual rape.
In People v. Silvano, the Court recognized that the fathers
insertion of his tongue and finger into his daughters vaginal orifice
would have subjected him to liability for instrument or object rape
had the new law been in effect already at the time he committed the
acts. Similarly, in People v. Miranda, the Court observed that
appellants insertion of his fingers into the complainants organ would
have constituted rape by sexual assault had it been committed when
the new law was already in effect.
The differences between the two modes of committing rape are
the following:
(1)In the first mode, the offender is always a man, while in the
second, the offender may be a man or a woman;
(2)In the first mode, the offended party is always a woman,
while in the second, the offended party may be a man or a
woman;
(3)In the first mode, rape is committed through penile
penetration of the vagina, while the second is committed
by inserting the penis into another persons mouth or anal
orifice, or any instrument or object into the genital or anal
orifice of another person; and
(4)The penalty for rape under the first mode is higher than that
under the second.
In view of the material differences between the two modes of
rape, the first mode is not necessarily included in the second, and
vice-versa. Thus, since the charge in the Information in Criminal Case
No. SC-7424 is rape through carnal knowledge, appellant cannot be
found guilty of rape by sexual assault although it was proven, without
violating his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation against him.
(People vs. Abulon, G.R. No. 174473, August 17, 2007)

STATUTORY RAPE
63

The phrase under twelve years of age makes the offense Statutory
Rape, and is punishable by reclusion perpetua under Art. 266-B of the
Revised Penal Code.
Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code,
however, also states that the death penalty shall be imposed in the
crime of rape if any of the aggravating/qualifying circumstances
mentioned in Article 266-B is present.
Aggravating/qualifying
circumstances are circumstances that change the nature of the crime
when these circumstances are present in the commission of the crime.
Particularly, qualifying circumstances are aggravating circumstances,
which, by express provision of law, change the nature of the crime to a
higher category. In this case, such qualifying circumstance is that the
victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent
of the victim. The presence of the foregoing qualifying circumstance
raised the crime of Statutory Rape to Qualified Rape. Simply stated,
under the circumstances obtaining in this case, Qualified Rape is
Statutory Rape in its qualified form.
As previously stated, under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code,
an accused found guilty of Qualified Rape is meted out the supreme
penalty of death. Republic Act No. 9346 enacted on June 24, 2006,
however, prohibited the imposition of the death penalty and
repealed/amended all the laws insofar as they impose the death
penalty. In lieu thereof, the penalty of reclusion perpetua without
eligibility for parole is imposed. People v. Gloria, G.R. No. 168476,
Sept/ 27, 2006
SWEETHEART DEFENSE, NOT CREDIBLE IN RAPE CASES
Absent any other tangible and concrete evidence of a
relationship beyond acquaintanceship or neighborly relations, we
cannot give credence to accused-appellants self serving claim of
intimate association.
(People vs. Barangan, G.R. No. 175480, October 2, 2007)

In order for sweetheart defense to prosper, it should be


substantiated by some documentary or other evidence of the
relationship- like mementos, love letters, notes, pictures and the like.
(People vs. Oliquino, G.R. No. 171314, March 6, 2007)

RAPE VICTIM

64

To recapitulate, the guiding rule in rape cases is that the lone


testimony of the victim, if credible, is enough to sustain a conviction.
XXXs testimony, given in a straightforward manner amidst sobs as she
recounted her harrowing experience, is indubitably credible especially
considering that there is no showing that she was motivated by any
evil motive to falsely testify against appellant who is a complete
stranger to her. As we see it, XXX, innocent and nave as she is to the
ways of the world, would not concoct a tale of defloration or bestiality
and consequently subject herself to an examination of her private
parts, undergo the trauma and humiliation of a public trial, and
embarrass herself with the need to narrate in sordid details how she
was raped, if she was not in fact raped, unless motivated by her quest
to right an injustice done to her. People v. Mendoza, G.R. No.
168444, Dec. 13, 2006
RAPE

In rape cases, courts are guided by the following principles: (1)


to accuse a man of rape is easy, but to disprove it is difficult though
the accused may be innocent; (2) considering that in the nature of
things, only two persons are usually involved in the crime of rape, the
testimony of the complainant should be scrutinized with great caution;
and (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own
merit and not be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the
evidence for the defense. People v. Ocampo, G.R. No. 171731,
Aug 11, 2006

IRRESISTIBLE FORCE OR INTIMIDATION

On the degree of force as an element of rape, this Court finds it


not necessary to show that irresistible force or intimidation
accompanied the crime of rape; it suffices to show that force or
intimidation was present and did result in the accused copulating with
the offended woman against her will.
(People vs. Cabierte, G.R. No. 170477, August 7, 2007)
VICTIMS CHARACTER IS IMMATERIAL

The victims character in rape is immaterial. Even the fact that


the offended party may have been of unchaste character constitutes
no defense to the charge of rape, provided that it is proved that the
65

illicit relations described in the complaint was committed with force


and violence.
(People vs. Cabierte, G.R. No. 170477, August 7, 2007)
RAPE; DEGREE OF FORCE/INTIMIDATION;

For rape to exist it is not necessary that the force or intimidation


employed be so great or of such character as could not be resisted. It
is only necessary that the force or intimidation be sufficient to
consummate the purpose which the accused had in mind. Intimidation
must be viewed in the light of the victims perception and judgment at
the time of the rape and not by any hard and fast rule. It is therefore
enough that it produces fear fear that if the victim does not yield to
the bestial demands of the accused, something would happen to her at
the moment or thereafter, as when she is threatened with death if she
reports the incident. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.EMETERIO
RICAMORA Y SUELLO,.G.R. No.

168628 December 6, 2006.

STATUTORY RAPE
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. LAYCO, SR., GR NO. 182191, MAY 8,
2009

Statutory rape is committed by sexual intercourse with a woman


below twelve (12) years of age regardless of her consent, or the lack
of it, to the sexual act. To convict an accused of the crime of statutory
rape, the prosecution carries the burden of proving: (1) the age of the
complainant; (2) the identity of the accused; and (3) the sexual
intercourse between the accused and the complainant.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. NATAN, GR NO. 181086, JULY 23,
2008

Under paragraph 3, Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code,


statutory rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman
below 12 years of age. In this specie of rape, neither force by the man
nor resistance from the woman forms an element of the crime and
apparent consent thereto will be of no avail, any more than in the case
of a child who may actually consent but who by law is conclusively
held incapable of legal consent. The law presumes that the victim on
account of her tender years, does not and cannot have a will of her
own. The heart of the matter is the violation of a childs incapacity to
discern evil from good.
66

Rule on venue in criminal cases;


In criminal actions, it is a fundamental rule that venue is
jurisdictional. Thus, the place where the crime was committed
determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential
element of jurisdiction. ALLEN A. MACASAET, NICOLAS V. QUIJANO,
JR., and ALFIE LORENZO, vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and
JOSELITO TRINIDAD G. R. No. 156747. February 23, 2005

Estafa, to exist:
In order for estafa to exist under Article 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal
Code, it is essential that the false pretense or fraudulent
representation be made prior to or at least simultaneously with the
delivery of the thing or property, it being essential that such false
statement or representation constitutes the very cause or the only
motive which induces the offended party to part with his money.[55] In
the absence of such requisite, any subsequent act of the accused,
however fraudulent and suspicious it might appear, cannot serve as
basis for prosecution of estafa under the said provision.The
representor must have knowledge of the falsity of his representation or
his ignorance of the truth. He must have the intention that his false
representation be acted upon by the representee and in the manner
reasonably contemplated. The representee must be ignorant of the
falsity of the representations, must have relied on the truth thereof,
and as a consequence, must have sustained injury.Material injury,
however, is not essential in the crime of estafa. It is enough that there
is disturbance of personal rights. PREFERRED HOME SPECIALTIES
INC., and EDWIN YU,
T. SY G.R. No. 163593

vs. CA, (SEVENTH

DIVISION) and HARLEY

Estafa; thru bouncing checks


Negotiability is not the gravamen of the crime of estafa through
bouncing checks. It is the fraud or deceit employed by the accused in
issuing a worthless check that is penalized.
Deceit, to constitute estafa, should be the efficient cause of
defraudation. It must have been committed either prior or
simultaneous with the defraudation complained of.[ There must be
concomitance: the issuance of a check should be the means to obtain
money or property from the payee. Hence, a check issued in payment
67

of a pre-existing obligation does not constitute estafa even if there is


no fund in the bank to cover the amount of the check. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. ALOMA REYES AND TRICHIA MAE REYES
(AT LARGE), accused. ALOMA REYES, appellant. G.R. No. 154159.
March 31, 2005.

Estafa; with abuse of confidence; ELEMENTS


The elements of estafa with abuse of confidence are as follows:
a) that money, goods or other personal property is received by the
offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or under any
other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return the
same; b) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such money
or property by the offender; or denial on his part of such receipt; c)
that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice
of another.
The words convert and misappropriate as used in the
aforequoted law connote an act of using or disposing of anothers
property as if it were ones own or of devoting it to a purpose or use
different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate a thing of value
for ones own use or benefit, not only the conversion to ones personal
advantage but also every attempt to dispose of the property of
another without a right. Misappropriation or conversion may be proved
by the prosecution by direct evidence or by circumstantial evidence.
ROBERT CRISANTO D. LEE, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES and ATOZ TRADING CORPORATION, respondents. G.R.
No. 157781. April 11, 2005

Estafa with abuse of confidence; Demand not a condition


precedent
Demand is not an element of the felony or a condition precedent to the

filing of a criminal complaint for estafa. Indeed, the accused may be


convicted of the felony under Article 315, paragraph 1(b) of the
Revised Penal Code if the prosecution proved misappropriation or
conversion by the accused of the money or property subject of the
Information. In a prosecution for estafa, demand is not necessary
where there is evidence of misappropriation or conversion. However,
failure to account upon demand, for funds or property held in trust, is
circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. Ibid.
68

ELEMENTS OF COMPLEX CRIME OF ESTAFA THRU FALSIFICATION.

The complex crime is pruned into the following essential


elements:
For estafa
1. Deceit: Deceit is a specie of fraud. It is actual fraud,
and consists in any false representation or contrivance
whereby one person overreaches and misleads another, to
his hurt. There is deceit when one is misled, either by
guile or trickery or by other means, to believe to be true
what is really false.
2. Damage: Damage may consist in the offended party
being deprived of his money or property as a result of the
defraudation, disturbance in property right, or temporary
prejudice.
For falsification
1. That the offender is a public officer, employee, or notary
public;
2. That he takes advantage of his official position;
3. That he falsifies a document by committing any of the acts
defined under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code.
ESTAFA
ORTEGA VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. NO. 177944,
DECEMBER 24, 2OO8

Estafa committed thru False Pretenses is defined under Article


315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code. Under said provision,
the offense is committed as follows:
Article 315. Swindling (estafa). Any person who
shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned
hereinbelow shall be punished by:
69

xxxx
2. By means of any of the following false pretenses
or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with
the commission of fraud:
(a) by using fictitious name, or falsely pretending to
possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit,
agency, business or imaginary transactions, or by means of
other similar deceits.
From the foregoing, swindling or estafa by false pretenses
or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the
commission of the fraud is committed by using fictitious name,
or falsely pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications,
property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or
by other similar deceits.
In order to sustain a charge and conviction under paragraph 2(a)
of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, the prosecution must be able
to prove beyond reasonable doubt the concurrence of the following
elements:
(1) the accused has defrauded another by abuse of confidence
or by means of deceit; and
(2) damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is
caused to the offended party or third person.
Fraud, in its general sense, is deemed to comprise
anything calculated to deceive, including all acts, omissions, and
concealment involving a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust,
or confidence justly reposed, resulting in damage to another, or
by which an undue and unconscientious advantage is taken of
another. On the other hand, deceit is the false representation of
a matter of fact, whether by words or conduct, by false or
misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should
have been disclosed; and which deceives or is intended to
deceive another so that he shall act upon it, to his legal injury.

ESTAFA IN ART. 315, par 2 (a) in Relation to PD 818

70

JUDY JOBY LOPEZ VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. NO.


166810, JUNE 26, 2008

By settled jurisprudence, the elements of the crime of estafa, as


defined in the above quoted provision of law, are as follows: (1) the
offender has postdated or issued a check in payment of an obligation
contracted at the time of the postdating or issuance; (2) at the time of
postdating or issuance of said check, the offender has no funds in the
bank or the funds deposited are not sufficient to cover the amount of
the check; and (3) the payee has been defrauded. Damage and
deceit are essential elements of the offense and must be established
with satisfactory proof to warrant conviction, while the false pretense
or fraudulent act must be committed prior to, or simultaneous with,
the issuance of the bad check. The drawer of the dishonored check is
given three days from receipt of the notice of dishonor to cover the
amount of the check, otherwise, a prima facie presumption of deceit
arises.
Further it is settled that it is criminal fraud or deceit in the
issuance of a check which is made punishable under the Revised Penal
Code, and not the nonpayment of a debt. Deceit is the false
representation of a matter of fact whether by words or conduct by
false or misleading allegations or by concealment of that which should
have been disclosed which deceives or is intended to deceive another
so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury. Concealment which the
law denotes as fraudulent implies a purpose or design to hide facts
which the other party ought to have. The postdating or issuing of a
check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in
the bank or his funds deposited therein are not sufficient to cover the
amount of the check is a false pretense or a fraudulent act.

ESTAFA
JOSON VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. 178836, JULY 23,
2008

Fraud, in its general sense, is deemed to comprise anything


calculated to deceive, including all acts, omissions, and concealment
involving a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust, or confidence justly
reposed, resulting in damage to another, or by which an undue and
unconscientious advantage is taken of another. It is a generic term
embracing all multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise,
and which are resorted to by one individual to secure an advantage
71

over another by false suggestions or by suppression of truth and


includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling and any unfair way by
which another is cheated. On the other hand, deceit is the false
representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or conduct, by
false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should
have been disclosed which deceives or is intended to deceive another
so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury.

Reimbursement in Estafa Extinguished Civil Liability only:


AURORA TAMAYO VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET. AL. , G.R.
NO. 174698, JULY 28, 2008

In Firaza v. People and Recuerdo v. People, we emphasized that


in a crime of estafa, reimbursement or belated payment to the
offended party of the money swindled by the accused does not
extinguish the criminal liability of the latter. Thus:
The reimbursement or restitution to the offended party of
the sums swindled by the petitioner does not extinguish
the criminal liability of the latter. It only extinguishes pro
tanto the civil liability. Moreover, estafa is a public offense
which must be prosecuted and punished by the State on its
own motion even though complete reparation had been
made for the loss or damage suffered by the offended
party. The consent of the private complainant to
petitioners payment of her civil liability pendent lite does
not entitle the latter to an acquittal. Subsequent
payments does not obliterate the criminal liability already
incurred. Criminal liability for estafa is not affected by a
compromise
between
petitioner
and
the
private
complainant on the formers civil liability.
ONE CANNOT JUST CLAIM THAT A CERTAIN DOCUMENT IS FALSIFIED
WITHOUT FURTHER STATING THE BASIS FOR SUCH CLAIM,

It must be emphasized that the affidavit of the complainant, or


any of his witnesses, shall allege facts within their (affiants) personal
knowledge. One cannot just claim that a certain document is falsified
without further stating the basis for such claim, i.e., that he was
present at the time of the execution of the document or he is familiar
with the signatures in questions.
72

(BORLONGAN, JR. et. al vs. Pea G.R. No. 143591, November 23,
2009)

ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE, INTRODUCTION


DOCUMENT IN A JUDICIAL PROCEEDING.

OF

FALSIFIED

The elements of the offense are as follows:


1. That the offender knew that a document was falsified by
another person.
2. That the false document is embraced in Article 171 or in any
subdivisions No. 1 or 2 of Article 172.
3. That he introduced said document in evidence in any judicial
proceeding.
The falsity of the document and the defendants knowledge of its
falsity are essential elements of the offense.
Falsification of private document; elements:
The elements of the crime of falsification under Article 171 (6) of
the Revised Penal Code are: (1) that there be an alteration (change)
or intercalation (insertion) on a document; (2) that it was made on a
genuine document; (3) that the alteration or intercalation has changed
the meaning of the document; and (4) that the changes made the
document speak something false. When these are committed by a
private individual on a private document the violation would fall under
paragraph 2, Article 172 of the same code, but there must be, in
addition to the aforesaid elements, independent evidence of damage
or intention to cause the same to a third person. (AVELLA GARCIA,
Petitioner, versus- THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 128213. December 13,
2005.)
Bigamy: Petitioner liable for contracting a second marriage without
obtaining a judicial declaration of the presumptive death of his first
wife;

In the present case, the prosecution proved that the petitioner


was married to Gaa in 1975, and such marriage was not judicially
declared a nullity; hence, the marriage is presumed to subsist. The
prosecution also proved that the petitioner married the private
complainant in 1996, long after the effectivity of the Family Code.

73

The petitioner is presumed to have acted with malice or evil


intent when he married the private complainant. As a general rule,
mistake of fact or good faith of the accused is a valid defense in a
prosecution for a felony by dolo; such defense negates malice or
criminal intent. However, ignorance of the law is not an excuse
because everyone is presumed to know the law. Ignorantia legis
neminem excusat.
It was the burden of the petitioner to prove his defense that
when he married the private complainant in 1996, he was of the wellgrounded belief that his first wife was already dead, as he had not
heard from her for more than 20 years since 1975. He should have
adduced in evidence a decision of a competent court declaring the
presumptive death of his first wife as required by Article 349 of the
Revised Penal Code, in relation to Article 41 of the Family Code. Such
judicial declaration also constitutes proof that the petitioner acted in
good faith, and would negate criminal intent on his part when he
married the private complainant and, as a consequence, he could not
be held guilty of bigamy in such case. The petitioner, however, failed
to discharge his burden.( EDUARDO P. MANUEL vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 165842. November 29, 2005.)

Malversation of Public funds; Possession of forged checks gives


rise to the presumption that the possessor is the forger ;
By mere comparison with the signatures of Dacanay and
Bernaldez in the checks that they had actually signed, Check No.
00000163230-BB and Check No. 0000096515-CC, it was proven that
the signatures in the other two checks, Check No. 0000026186-CC and
Check No. 0000026624-CC, were falsified. Furthermore, it is
indisputable that said checks were in the possession of appellant, as
proven by the fact that he was the Disbursing Officer; and that
possession of such checks was within his functions. Also, the fact that
his signatures appeared at the back of the checks further proves that
he was in possession of them, that he was the one who presented
them for payment, and that he received their proceeds and therefore
used and profited by such checks. Since he could not adequately
explain the foregoing facts, the presumption defined in Maliwat v. CA
applies. He is therefore presumed to be the forger of the signatures of
Dacanay and Bernaldez. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. ANGEL A.
ENFERMO, G. R. No. 148682-85, November 30, 2005.

74

Malversation of public funds or property.


Any public officer who, by reason of the duties of his office is
accountable for public funds or property, shall appropriate the same, or shall
take or misappropriate or shall consent, or through abandonment or
negligence, shall permit any other person to take such public funds or
property wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of the
misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES VS. ANGEL A. ENFERMO, G. R. No. 148682-85,
November 30, 2005.
Presumption of malversation- the failure of a public officer to have
duly forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable,
upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence
that he has put such missing funds or property to personal uses. Ibid.
Malversation may be committed either through a positive act of
misappropriation of public funds or property or passively through
negligence by allowing another to commit such misappropriation;
Malversation may be committed either through a positive act of
misappropriation of public funds or property or passively through negligence
by allowing another to commit such misappropriation. To sustain a charge of
malversation, there must either be criminal intent or criminal negligence and
while the prevailing facts of a case may not show that deceit attended the
commission of the offense, it will not preclude the reception of evidence to
prove the existence of negligence because both are equally punishable in
Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.
More pointedly, the felony involves breach of public trust, and whether
it is committed through deceit or negligence, the law makes it punishable and
prescribes a uniform penalty therefor. Even when the information charges
willful malversation, conviction for malversation through negligence may still
be adjudged if the evidence ultimately proves that mode of commission of
the offense. ( People of the Philippines vs. Jose Ting Lan Uy., etc. Et.
al. G.r. No. 157399, November 17, 2005)

Perjury, Elements;
Perjury is the willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under
oath or affirmation administered by authority of law on a material
matter. The elements of the felony are:
(a)
That the accused
made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material
matter. (b)
That the statement or affidavit was made before a
competent officer, authorized to receive and administer oath. (c)
That in that statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and
75

deliberate assertion of a falsehood. d)


That the sworn statement
or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal
purpose.
A mere assertion of a false objective fact, a falsehood, is not
enough. The assertion must be deliberate and willful. Perjury being a
felony by dolo, there must be malice on the part of the accused.
Willfully means intentionally; with evil intent and legal malice, with the
consciousness that the alleged perjurious statement is false with the
intent that it should be received as a statement of what was true in
fact. It is equivalent to knowingly. Deliberately implies meditated
as distinguished from inadvertent acts. It must appear that the
accused knows his statement to be false or as consciously ignorant of
its truth.
Perjury cannot be willful where the oath is according to belief or
conviction as to its truth.
Homicide; positive identification of the accused
There is nothing in law or jurisprudence which requires, as a
condition sine qua non, that, for a positive identification of a felon by a
prosecution witness to be good, the witness must first know the
former personally. The witness need not have to know the name of
the accused for so long as he recognizes his face. We ruled that
knowing the identity of an accused is different from knowing his
name. Hence, the positive identification of the malefactor should not
be disregarded just because his name was supplied to the eyewitness.
The weight of the eyewitness account is premised on the fact that the
said witness saw the accused commit the crime, and not because he
knew his name.
Actual malice test to cover not just public officials, but also
public figures.

A public figure has been defined as a person who, by his


accomplishments, fame, or mode of living, or by adopting a profession
or calling which gives the public a legitimate interest in his doings, his
affairs, and his character, has become a 'public personage.' He is, in
other words, a celebrity. Obviously to be included in this category are
those who have achieved some degree of reputation by appearing
before the public, as in the case of an actor, a professional baseball
player, a pugilist, or any other entertainer. The list is, however, broader
76

than this. It includes public officers, famous inventors and explorers,


war heroes and even ordinary soldiers, an infant prodigy, and no less a
personage than the Grand Exalted Ruler of a lodge. It includes, in
short, anyone who has arrived at a position where public attention is
focused upon him as a person. (Ciriaco Boy Guingguing vs. The
Honorable Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128959, September 30, 2005).

Criminal Libel; Actual Malice rule


A public official may not successfully sue for libel unless the
official can prove actual malice, which was defined as with knowledge
that the statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether
or not it was true. Ibid.

Direct assault; how committed


Direct assault, a crime against public order, may be committed in
two ways: first, by any person or persons who, without a public
uprising, shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of
the purposes enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and
sedition; and second, by any person or persons who, without a public
uprising, shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist
any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the
performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance.
Unquestionably, petitioners case falls under the second mode,
which is the more common form of assault and is aggravated when:
(a) the assault is committed with a weapon; or (b) when the offender
is a public officer or employee; or (c) when the offender lays hand
upon a person in authority. ENRIQUE TOTOY RIVERA Y DE GUZMAN,
petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. G.R. No.
138553. June 30, 2005

Large Scale Illegal Recruitment; how committed:

Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if


committed against three or more persons individually or as a group.
In this case, five complainants testified against appellants acts of
illegal recruitment, thereby rendering his acts tantamount to economic
sabotage. Under Section 7 (b) of RA No. 8042, the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine of not less than P500,000.00 nor more than
77

P1,000.000.00 shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes


economic sabotage.
It must be shown that appellant gave complainants the distinct
impression that he had the power or ability to send complainants
abroad for work such that the latter were convinced to part with their
money in order to be employed.(People of the Philippines
vs.Capt.Florencio O. Gasacao G.R. No. 168445 Novembr 11, 2005).

Large Scale Illegal Recruitment; rule on employees of a


company.
Even assuming that appellant was a mere employee, such fact is not
a shield against his conviction for large scale illegal recruitment. In
the case of People v. Cabais, we have held that an employee of a
company or corporation engaged in illegal recruitment may be held
liable as principal, together with his employer, if it is shown that he
actively and consciously participated in the recruitment process. Ibid.
Bigamy;
For the accused to be held guilty of bigamy, the prosecution is
burdened to prove the felony: (a) he/she has been legally married;
and
(b) he/she contracts a subsequent marriage without the
former marriage having been lawfully dissolved. The felony is
consummated on the celebration of the second marriage or
subsequent marriage. It is essential in the prosecution for bigamy that
the alleged second marriage, having all the essential requirements,
would be valid were it not for the subsistence of the first marriage. . (
EDUARDO P. MANUEL vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
165842. November 29, 2005.)
Alibi; when may be appreciated:

G.R. No.

No jurisprudence in criminal law is more settled than that alibi is


the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to contrive and difficult to
disprove, and for which reason it is generally rejected. For the defense
of alibi to prosper, it is imperative that the accused establish two
elements: (1) he was not at the locus delicti at the time the offense
was committed; and (2) it was physically impossible for him to be at
the scene at the time of its commission. People of the Philippines vs.
Jose Alvizo Audine G.R. No. 168649 December 6, 2006

DIRECT BRIBERY; ELEMENTS;


78

The crime of direct bribery as defined in Article 210 of the


Revised Penal Code contains the following elements: (1) that the
accused is a public officer; (2) that he received directly or through
another some gift or present, offer or promise; (3) that such gift,
present or promise has been given in consideration of his commission
of some crime, or any act not constituting a crime, or to refrain from
doing something which is his official duty to do; and (4) that the crime
or act relates to the exercise of his functions as a public officer.
(Balderama vs. People, G.R. No. 147578-85; Nagal vs. Armamento
G.R. No. 147598-605, January 28, 2008)
PETITIONER, AS MUNICIPAL MAYOR, IS AN ACCOUNTABLE PUBLIC
OFFICER (MALVERSATION)

Under the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines an


accountable public officer is a public officer who, by reason of his
office, is accountable for public funds or property. The Local
Government Code expanded this definition with regard to local
government officials. Section 340 thereof provides:
Section 340. Persons Accountable for Local Government Funds.
Any officer of the local government unit whose duty permits or
requires the possession or custody of local government funds shall be
accountable and responsible for the safekeeping thereof in conformity
with the provisions of this title. Other local officials, though not
accountable by the nature of their duties, may likewise be similarly
held accountable and responsible for local government funds through
their participation in the use or application thereof.
Local government officials become accountable public officers
either (1) because of the nature of their functions or (2) on account of
their participation in the use or application of public funds.
Public officers are accountable if they, as part of their duties,
receive public funds or property which they are bound to account for
but fail to do so. (Frias Sr. vs. People, G.R. No. 171437, October 4,
2007)

FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS; ELEMENTS

The elements of the offense are:


79

1. That the offender makes in a document statements in a


narration of facts;
2. That he has a legal obligation to disclose the truth of the facts
narrated by him;
3. That the facts narrated by the offender are absolutely false;
and
4. That the perversion of truth in the narration of facts was
made with the wrongful intent of injuring a third person.
Criminal intent must be shown in felonies committed by means of dolo,
such as falsification. (De Jesus vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 164166
& 164173-80, October 17, 2007
INCRIMINATING INNOCENT PERSON; ELEMENTS

Article 363 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes any person who,
by any act not constituting perjury, shall directly incriminate or impute
to an innocent person the commission of a crime. The crime known as
the incriminating innocent person has the following elements: (1) the
offender performs an act; (2) by such act he directly incriminates or
imputes to an innocent person the commission of a crime; and (3)
such act does not constitute perjury.
Article 363 does not, however, contemplate the idea of malicious
prosecution-someone prosecuting or instigating a criminal charge in
court. It refers to the acts of PLANTING evidence and the like, which
do not in themselves constitute false prosecution but tend directly to
cause false prosecutions. (Campanano, Jr. vs. Datuin, G.R. No.
172142, October 17, 2007)

ELEMENTS OF FAILURE OF ACCOUNTABLE OFFICER TO RENDER AN


ACCOUNT UNDER ARTICLE 218 OF RPC

Article 218 consists of the following elements :


1. that the offender is a public officer, whether in the
service or separated therefrom;
2. that he must be an accountable officer for public
funds or property;
3. that he is required by law or regulation to render
accounts to the Commission on Audit, or to a
provincial auditor; and
4. that he fails to do so for a period of two months
after such accounts should be rendered.
80

Nowhere in the provision does it require that there first be a


demand before an accountable officer is held liable for a violation of
the crime. The law is very clear. Where none is provided, the court
may not introduce exceptions or conditions, neither may it engraft into
the law qualifications not contemplated. Where the law is clear and
unambiguous, it must be taken to mean exactly what it says and the
court has no choice but to see to it that its mandate is obeyed. There
is no room for interpretation, but only application.
(Manlangit vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, et. al., G.R. No. 158014, August
28, 2007)
MURDER; CIVIL LIABILITIES OF OFFENDER

The Court of Appeals also correctly awarded the amounts of


P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and another P50,000.00 as moral
damages in line with recent jurisprudence. Civil indemnity is
mandatory and is granted to the heirs of the victim without need of
proof other than the commission of the crime. Moral damages on the
other hand are awarded in a criminal offense resulting in physical
injuries, including death.
Under Art. 2206 of the Civil Code, the heirs of the victim are
also entitled to indemnity for loss of earning capacity. To be entitled to
such an award, documentary evidence is necessary. By way of
exception, testimonial evidence would suffice: (1) if the victim was
self-employed, earning less than the minimum wage under current
labor laws and judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the
victims line of work, no documentary evidence is available; or (2) if
the victim was employed as a daily wage worker earning less than the
minimum wage under current labor laws.
In this case, the victims widow testified that her husband
manages the small business of his parents of supplying Baguios native
products, for which he earns a monthly income of P10,000.00. Thus,
the award of P2,040,000.00 representing lost earnings is proper.
(People vs. Barlaan, G.R. No. 177746, August 31, 2007)
PERJURY; ELEMENTS

Perjury is the willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under


oath or affirmation administered by authority of law on a material
matter. Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code states the definition of
and penalty for perjury, thus:
81

Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn


affirmation. The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to
prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any
person who, knowingly make untruthful statements and not being
included in the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify
under oath or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a
competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which
the law so requires.
Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of
an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods mentioned made in this
and the three preceding articles of this section shall suffer the
respective penalties provided therein.

As can be gleaned from the foregoing, the elements of perjury


are as follows:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

That the accused made a statement under oath or


executed an affidavit upon a material matter.
That the statement or affidavit was made before a
competent officer, authorized to receive and administer oath.
That in the statement or affidavit, the accused made a
willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood.
That the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity
is required by law or made for a legal purpose.

The third element of perjury requires that the accused had


willfully and deliberately asserted a falsehood. A mere assertion of a
false objective fact is not sufficient. The assertion must be deliberate
and willful.
Perjury being a felony by dolo, there must be malice on the part
of the accused. Willfully means intentionally, with evil intent and legal
malice, with consciousness that the alleged perjurious statement is
false with the intent that it should be received as a statement of what
was true in fact. It is equivalent to knowingly. Deliberately implies
meditated as distinguished from inadvertent acts. It must appear
that the accused knows his statement to be false or is consciously
ignorant of its truth.
(Monfort III, et.al. vs. Salvatierra, G.R. No. 168301, March 5, 2007)

SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURIES; ELEMENTS

Article 263, paragraph 4, of the Revised Penal Code, states that


the crime of serious physical injuries is committed when a person has
wounded, beaten or assaulted another and that the physical injuries
82

inflicted shall have caused the illness or incapacity for labor of the
injured person for more than 30 days, viz:
Art. 263. Serious physical injuries. Any person who shall
wound, beat, or assault another, shall be guilty of the crime of serious
physical injuries and shall suffer:
xxxx
4. The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to
prision correcional in its minimum period, if the physical injuries
inflicted shall have cause the illness or incapacity for labor of the
injured person for more than thirty days. x x x.

Based on this provision, the elements of the crime of serious


physical injuries under paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code may be
deduced as follows:
1. That the offender has wounded, beaten, or assaulted another;
and
2. That the physical injuries inflicted shall have caused the
illness or incapacity for labor of the injured person for more
than 30 days.
Further, there must be no intent to kill on the part of the
offender in inflicting the injury.
(Pilares, Sr. vs. People, G.R. No. 165685, March 12, 2007)
TREACHERY AS QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE

Appellants attack was treacherous; it was sudden and made


from behind, catching the victim unaware and unable to defend
himself, thus:
Treachery attended the killing of the deceased. The
attack was not only from behind but was also sudden,
unexpected, without warning and without giving the victim
an opportunity to defend himself or repel the aggression,
as in fact, the deceased did not sense any danger that he
would be assaulted by the accused as there was no grudge
or misunderstanding between them.

83

Treachery under paragraph 16 of Article 14 of the Revised Penal


Code is defined as the deliberate employment of means, methods, or
forms in the execution of a crime against persons which tend directly
and specially to insure its execution, without risk to the offender
arising from the defense which the intended victim might raise. For
treachery to be present, two conditions must concur: (a) the
employment of means of execution which would ensure the safety of
the offender from defensive and retaliatory acts of the victim, giving
the victim no opportunity to defend himself; and (b) the means,
method and manner of the execution were deliberately and consciously
adopted by the offender.
(People vs. Cabinan, G.R. No. 176158, March 27, 2007)
LACK OF PHYSICAL RESISTANCE CANNOT BE CONSIDERED CONSENT

At any rate, resistance is not an element of rape as rape could


be perpetrated through the use of force or intimidation. Lack of
physical resistance can not be considered consent. In People v.
Loyola, this Court held that:
The test is whether the threat or intimidation
produces a reasonable fear in the mind of the victim that if
she resists or does not yield to the desires of the accused,
the threat would be carried out. Where resistance would
be futile, offering none at all does not amount to consent
to the sexual assault. It is not necessary that the victim
should have resisted unto death or sustained physical
injuries in the hands of the rapist. It is enough if the
intercourse takes place against her will or if she yields
because of genuine apprehension of harm to her if she did
not do so. Indeed, the law does not impose upon a rape
victim the burden of proving resistance.
In the instant case, complainant believed that her life was in
danger; that appellant was a person in authority determined to arrest
or even salvage her; and that appellant had other companions looking
after her which would make her escape impossible. Indeed, all these
led her to believe that it would be futile for her to resist appellant.
Failing to resist the advances of her malefactor is not a manifestation
of consent, but rather an indication of involuntary submission.
(People vs. Durano, G.R. No. 175316, March 28, 2007)

84

TECHNICAL MALVERSATION

The elements of the offense, also known as technical


malversation, are: (1) the offender is an accountable public officer; (2)
he applies public funds or property under his administration to some
public use; and (3) the public use for which the public funds or
property were applied is different from the purpose for which they
were originally appropriated by law or ordinance. It is clear that for
technical malversation to exist, it is necessary that public funds or
properties had been diverted to any public use other than that
provided for by law or ordinance. To constitute the crime, there must
be a diversion of the funds from the purpose for which they had been
originally appropriated by law or ordinance. ( Tetangco v.
Ombudsman, G.R. No. 156427, Jan. 20, 2006)
ALIBI

Alibi is the weakest of all defenses because it is facile to fabricate


and difficult to disprove, and is generally rejected. For alibi to prosper,
it is not enough to prove that the defendant was somewhere else when
the crime was committed, but he must likewise demonstrate that it
was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the
crime at the time. ( G.R. No. 145002, People v. Malejana, January 24,
2006)
PASSION

Passion and obfuscation similarly cannot be appreciated in favor


of appellant. To be entitled to this mitigating circumstance, the
following elements must be present: (1) There should be an act both
unlawful and sufficient to produce such condition of mind; (2) the act
that produced the obfuscation was not far removed from the
commission of the crime by a considerable length of time, during
which the perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity. (G.R. No.
145002, People v. Malejana, January 24, 2006)
MALVERSATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS

The crime of malversation of public funds is defined and


penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, viz:
ART. 217.
Malversation of public funds or property.
Presumption of malversation. Any public officer who, by reason of
the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property,
shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate or shall
85

consent, or through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any


other person to take such public funds or property, wholly or partially,
or shall otherwise be guilty of the misappropriation of malversation of
such funds or property, shall suffer:
xxx

xxx

xxx

The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public


funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any
duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put
such missing fund or property to personal uses.
The elements essential for the conviction of an accused under the
above penal provision are:
1.

That the offender is a public officer;

2.

That he has the custody or control of funds or property by


reason of the duties of his office;

3.

That the funds or property are public funds or property for


which he is accountable; and

4.

That he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented or


through abandonment or negligence, permitted another
person to take them.

In the crime of malversation all that is necessary for conviction is


sufficient proof that the accountable officer had received public funds,
that he did not have them in his possession when demand therefor
was made, and that he could not satisfactorily explain his failure to do
so. Direct evidence of personal misappropriation by the accused is
hardly necessary as long as the accused cannot explain satisfactorily
the shortage in his accounts. Davalos v. People, G.R. No. 145229,
April 20, 2006
FALSIFICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENT

The elements of Falsification under Paragraph 2 of Article 172 are as


follows:
1. That the offender committed any of the acts of falsification,
except those in par. 7, enumerated in Art. 171;
86

2. That the falsification was committed in any private document;


3. That the falsification caused damage to a third party or at
least the falsification was committed with intent to cause such
damage.
Under Article 171, par. 2, a person may commit falsification of a
private document by causing it to appear in a document that a person
or persons participated in an act or proceeding, when such person or
persons did not in fact so participate in the act or proceeding. On the
other hand, falsification under par. 4 of Article 171 is perpetrated by a
person who, having a legal obligation to disclose the truth, makes in a
document statements in a narration of facts which are absolutely false
with the wrongful intent of injuring a third person. Dizon v. People,
G.R. No. 144026, June 15, 2006
FALSIFICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENT

The elements of falsification of private document under Article 172,


paragraph 2[17] in relation to Article 171[18] of the Revised Penal
Code are: (1) the offender committed any of the acts of falsification
under Article 171 which, in the case at bar, falls under paragraph 2 of
Article 171, i.e., causing it to appear that persons have participated in
any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate; (2) the
falsification was committed on a private document; and (3) the
falsification caused damage or was committed with intent to cause
damage to a third party. Andaya v. People, G.R. No. 168486, June 27,
2006

MALVERSATION
To find an accused guilty of malversation, the prosecution must prove
the following essential elements:
a.] The offender is a public officer;
b.] He has the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the
duties of his office;
c.] The funds or property involved are public funds or property for
which he is accountable; and
d.] He has appropriated, taken or misappropriated, or has consented
to, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted the taking by
another person of, such funds or property.

87

An accountable officer under Article 217 is a public officer who, by


reason of his office is accountable for public funds or property. Sec.
101 (1) of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines (PD No.
1455) defines accountable officer to be every officer of any
government agency whose duties permit or require the possession or
custody of government funds or property and who shall be accountable
therefor and for the safekeeping thereof in conformity with law.
In the determination of who is an accountable officer, it is the nature of
the duties which he performs and not the nomenclature or the
relative importance the position held which is the controlling factor.
Radan v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 165711, June 30, 2006

FALSIFICATION
Although the offense charged in the information is estafa through
falsification of commercial document, appellant could be convicted of
falsification of private document under the well-settled rule that it is
the allegations in the information that determines the nature of the
offense and not the technical name given in the preamble of the
information. In Andaya v. People, we held:
From a legal point of view, and in a very real sense, it is of no
concern to the accused what is the technical name of the crime
of which he stands charged. It in no way aids him in a defense
on the merits. x x x That to which his attention should be
directed, and in which he, above all things else, should be most
interested, are the facts alleged. The real question is not did he
commit a crime given in the law some technical and specific
name, but did he perform the acts alleged in the body of the
information in the manner therein set forth. x x x The real and
important question to him is, Did you perform the acts alleged
in the manner alleged? not, Did you commit a crime named
murder? If he performed the acts alleged, in the manner
stated, the law determines what the name of the crime is and
fixes the penalty therefor. x x x If the accused performed the
acts alleged in the manner alleged, then he ought to be
punished and punished adequately, whatever may be the name
of the crime which those acts constitute.
The elements of falsification of private document under Article 172,
paragraph 2[36] of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) that the offender
committed any of the acts of falsification, except those in paragraph 7,
88

Article 171; (2) that the falsification was committed in any private
document; and (3) that the falsification caused damage to a third
party or at least the falsification was committed with intent to cause
such damage. Batulanon v. People, G.R. No. 139857, Sept. 15, 2006

POSSESSION OF FALSIFIED DOCUMENT


Apropos in this regard is the rule that in the absence of satisfactory
explanation, one who is found in possession of, and who has used, a forged
document is the forger and therefore, guilty of falsification. Undoubtedly, the
fact that the petitioner benefited and even profited from the falsified
notarized Release of Real Estate Mortgage are strong indications that she
participated in the falsification of the same document. Nierva v. People,
G.R. No. 153133, September 26, 2006
UNJUST VEXATION

Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code reads:


Art. 287. Light coercions. Any person, who by means of
violence, shall seize anything belonging to his debtor for the
purpose of applying the same to the payment of the debt, shall
suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period and a
fine equivalent to the value of the thing, but in no case less than
75 pesos.
Any other coercions or unjust vexations shall be punished by
arresto menor or a fine ranging from 5 to 200 pesos, or both.
The second paragraph of the Article is broad enough to include any
human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or
material harm, could unjustifiably annoy or vex an innocent person.
Compulsion or restraint need not be alleged in the Information, for the
crime of unjust vexation may exist without compulsion or restraint.
However, in unjust vexation, being a felony by dolo, malice is an
inherent element of the crime. Good faith is a good defense to a
charge for unjust vexation because good faith negates malice. The
paramount question to be considered is whether the offenders act
caused annoyance, irritation, torment, distress or disturbance to the
mind of the person to whom it is directed. The main purpose of the
law penalizing coercion and unjust vexation is precisely to enforce the
principle that no person may take the law into his hands and that our
89

government is one of law, not of men. It is unlawful for any person to


take into his own hands the administration of justice.
Maderazo v.
People, G.R. No. 165065, Sept. 26, 2006

ELEMENTS OF HOMICIDE

Elements of homicide are as follows: 1) a person was killed; and 2) the


accused killed him without any justifying circumstance; 3) the accused
had the intention to kill, which is presumed; and 4) the killing was not
attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of murder, or by that
of parricide or infanticide. Yadao v. People, G. R. No. 150917, Sept.
27, 2006
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE

In the offense of robbery with homicide, a crime primarily classified as


one against property and not against persons, the prosecution has to
firmly establish the following elements: (a) the taking of personal
property with the use of violence or intimidation against the person;
(b) the property thus taken belongs to another; (c) the taking is
characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and (d) on the
occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide,
which is therein used in a generic sense, was committed. The accused
must be shown to have the principal purpose of committing robbery,
the homicide being committed either by reason of or on occasion of
the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life.
So long as the intention of the felons was to rob, the killing may occur
before, during or after the robbery. The original design must have
been robbery, and the homicide, even if it precedes or is subsequent to
the robbery, must have a direct relation to, or must be perpetrated
with a view to consummate the robbery. The taking of the property
should not be merely an afterthought which arose subsequently to the
killing. People v. Lara, G.R. No. 171449, October 23, 2006
MALVERSATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS
Conviction of malversation of public funds or property under Article 217 of

the Revised Penal Code requires proof that (a) the offender is a public
90

officer; (b) he has the custody or control of funds or property by


reason of the duties of his office; (c) the funds or property involved
are public funds or property for which he is accountable; and (d) he
has appropriated, taken or misappropriated, or has consented to, or
through abandonment or negligence permitted, the taking by another
person of such funds or property.
Pursuant to Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, the failure of the
petitioner to have duly forthcoming such public funds or property upon
demand, is prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds to
personal use.
Being an accountable officer, petitioner may be
convicted of malversation even in the absence of direct proof of
misappropriation so long as there is evidence of shortage in his
accounts which he is unable to explain. Cabarlo v. People, G.R. No.
172274, November 16, 2006
MALVERSATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS

The crime has the following elements:


(1) the offender is a public officer;
(2) he has custody or control of funds or property by reason of the
duties of his office;
(3) the funds or property are public funds or public property for which
he was accountable and
(4) he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented, or through
abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take them.
Magnanao v. People, G.R. No. 140833, Nov. 29, 2006
PROOF IN MALVERSATION

Article 217, as amended by Republic Act 1060, no longer


requires proof by the State that the accused actually appropriated,
took, or misappropriated public funds or property.
Instead, a
presumption, though disputable and rebuttable, was installed that
upon demand by any duly authorized officer, the failure of a public
officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property with
which said officer is accountableshould be prima facie evidence that
he had put such missing funds or properties to personal use. When
these circumstances are present, a presumption of law arises that
91

there was malversation of public funds or properties as decreed by


Article 217.
A presumption of law is sanctioned by a statute
prescribing that a certain inference must be made whenever facts
appear which furnish the basis of the interference. This is to be set
apart from a presumption of fact which is a [conclusion] drawn from
particular circumstances, the connection between them and the sought
for fact having received such a sanction in experience as to have
become recognized as justifying the assumption. When there is a
presumption of law, the onus probandi (burden of proof), generally
imposed upon the State, is now shifted to the party against whom the
interference is made to adduce satisfactory evidence to rebut the
presumption and hence, to demolish the prima facie case. Wa-acon v.
People, G.R. No. 164575, Dec. 6, 2006.

THE RULES DO NOT LAY A DISTINCTION THAT ONLY THOSE ACTIONS


FOR CRIMINAL LIBEL LODGED BY PUBLIC OFFICERS NEED BE FILED
IN THE PLACE OF PRINTING AND FIRST PUBLICATION.

The rules on venue in Article 360 may be restated thus:


1.

2.

3.
4.

Whether the offended party is a public official or a private


person, the criminal action may be filed in the Court of
First Instance of the province or city where the libelous
article is printed and first published.
If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal
action may also be filed in the Court of First Instance of
the province where he actually resided at the time of the
commission of the offense.
If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in
Manila at the time of the commission of the offense, the
action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila.
If the offended party is a public officer holding office
outside of Manila, the action may be filed in the Court of
First Instance of the province or city where he held office
at the time of the commission of the offense.

The rules, as restated in Agbayano v. Sayo (No. l-47880,30 April


1979), do not lay a distinction that only those actions for criminal libel
lodged by public officers need be filed in the place of printing and first
publication. In fact, the rule is quite clear that such place of printing
and first publication stands as one of only two venues where a private
person may file the complaint for libel, the other venue being the place
92

of residence of the offended party at the time the offense was


committed. The very language itself of Article 360, as amended, does
not support petitioners thesis that where the complainant is a private
person, a more liberal interpretation of the phrase printed and first
published is warranted than when a public officer is the offended
party.
(Chaves, et.al. vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 125813,
February 6, 2007)

DIRECT ASSAULT; HOW COMMITTED

Direct assault, a crime against public order, may be committed in


two ways: first, by any person or persons who, without a public
uprising, shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of
the purposes enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and
sedition; and second, by any person or persons who, without a public
uprising, shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist
any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the
performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance.
Unquestionably, petitioners case falls under the second mode,
which is the more common form of assault and is aggravated when:
(a) the assault is committed with a weapon; or (b) when the offender
is a public officer or employee; or (c) when the offender lays hand
upon a person in authority. ENRIQUE TOTOY RIVERA Y DE GUZMAN,
petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. G.R. No.
138553. June 30, 2005

LARGE SCALE ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT; HOW COMMITTED:

Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if


committed against three or more persons individually or as a group.
In this case, five complainants testified against appellants acts of
illegal recruitment, thereby rendering his acts tantamount to economic
sabotage. Under Section 7 (b) of RA No. 8042, the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine of not less than P500,000.00 nor more than
P1,000.000.00 shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes
economic sabotage.
It must be shown that appellant gave complainants the distinct
impression that he had the power or ability to send complainants
abroad for work such that the latter were convinced to part with their
93

money

in order to be employed. (People of the Philippines


vs.Capt.Florencio O. Gasacao G.R. No. 168445 Novembr 11, 2005).

LARGE SCALE ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT; RULE ON EMPLOYEES OF A


COMPANY.

Even assuming that appellant was a mere employee, such fact is not
a shield against his conviction for large scale illegal recruitment. In
the case of People v. Cabais, we have held that an employee of a
company or corporation engaged in illegal recruitment may be held
liable as principal, together with his employer, if it is shown that he
actively and consciously participated in the recruitment process. Ibid.
THEFT

Elements of the crime of theft may be deduced as follows:


1.

That there be taking of personal property;

2.

That said property belongs to another;

3.

That the taking be done with intent to gain;

4.

That the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and

5.
That the taking be accomplished without the use of violence
against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. Baltazar v.
People, G.R. No. 164545, Nov. 20, 2006

For one to be guilty of theft, the accused must have an intent to


steal (animus furandi) personal property, meaning the intent to
deprive another of his ownership/lawful possession of personal
property which intent is apart from, but concurrent with the general
criminal intent which is an essential element of a felony of dolo (dolos
malus). The animo being a state of the mind may be proved by direct
or circumstantial evidence, inclusive of the manner and conduct of the
accused before, during and after the taking of the personal property.
General criminal intent is presumed or inferred from the very fact that
the wrongful act is done since one is presumed to have willed the
natural consequences of his own acts. Likewise, animus furandi is
presumed from the taking of personal property without the consent of
94

the owner or lawful possessor thereof. The same may be rebutted by


the accused by evidence that he took the personal property under a
bona fide belief that he owns the property. Gaviola v. People, G.R. No.
163927, Jan. 27, 2006
STATUTORY DEFINITION OF THEFT; OPERATIVE ACT OF CRIME

Article 308 provides for a general definition of theft, and three


alternative and highly idiosyncratic means by which theft may be
committed.] In the present discussion, we need to concern ourselves
only with the general definition since it was under it that the
prosecution of the accused was undertaken and sustained. On the face
of the definition, there is only one operative act of execution by the
actor involved in theft the taking of personal property of another. It
is also clear from the provision that in order that such taking may be
qualified as theft, there must further be present the descriptive
circumstances that the taking was with intent to gain; without force
upon things or violence against or intimidation of persons; and it was
without the consent of the owner of the property.
(People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007)

ELEMENTS OF THEFT

Indeed, we have long recognized the following elements of theft


as provided for in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, namely: (1)
that there be taking of personal property; (2) that said property
belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4)
that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that
the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or
intimidation of persons or force upon things.
UNLAWFUL TAKING CONSUMMATES THEFT

Indeed, we have, after all, held that unlawful taking, or


apoderamiento, is deemed complete from the moment the offender
gains possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity to dispose
of the same. And long ago, we asserted in People v. Avila:
x x x [T]he most fundamental notion in the crime of theft is the
taking of the thing to be appropriated into the physical power of
the thief, which idea is qualified by other conditions, such as
that the taking must be effected animo lucrandi and without the

95

consent of the owner; and it will be here noted that the


definition does not require that the taking should be effected
against the will of the owner but merely that it should be
without his consent, a distinction of no slight importance.

Insofar as we consider the present question, unlawful taking is


most material in this respect. Unlawful taking, which is the deprivation
of ones personal property, is the element which produces the felony in
its consummated stage. At the same time, without unlawful taking as
an act of execution, the offense could only be attempted theft, if at all.
(People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007)
THEFT MAY EITHER BE ATTEMPTED OR CONSUMMATED

With these considerations, we can only conclude that under


Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, theft cannot have a frustrated
stage. Theft can only be attempted or consummated.
Neither Dio nor Flores can convince us otherwise. Both fail to
consider that once the offenders therein obtained possession over the
stolen items, the effect of the felony has been produced as there has
been deprivation of property. The presumed inability of the offenders
to freely dispose of the stolen property does not negate the fact that
the owners have already been deprived of their right to possession
upon the completion of the taking.
We thus conclude that under the Revised Penal Code, there is no
crime of frustrated theft.
(People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007)

ESTAFA BY MISAPPROPRIATION

The elements of estafa under paragraph 1(b), Article 315 of the


Revised Penal Code are:
(1)

the offender receives the money, goods or other personal


property in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or
under any other obligation involving the duty to deliver, or to
return, the same;

(2)

the offender misappropriates or converts such money or


property or denies receiving such money or property;

96

(3)

the misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the


prejudice of another; and

(4)

the offended party demands that the offender return the


money or property. G.R. No. 150443, Perez v. People,
January 20, 2006

ESTAFA THROUGH ISSUANCE OF POST DATED CHECK

The elements of the offense as defined and penalized by Article 315,


paragraph 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, are:
(1)

postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an


obligation contracted at the time the check was issued;

(2)

lack of or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and

(3)

the payee was not informed by the offender and the payee
did not know that the offender had no funds or insufficient
funds. Andan v. People, G.R. No. 136388, Mar. 14, 2006

ESTAFA & TRUST RECEIPT

The crime defined in P.D. No. 115 is malum prohibitum but is classified
as estafa under paragraph 1(b), Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code,
or estafa with abuse of confidence. It may be committed by a
corporation or other juridical entity or by natural persons. However,
the penalty for the crime is imprisonment for the periods provided in
said Article 315. Ching v. Sec. of Justice, G. R. No. 164317, Feb. 6,
2006
COMPLEX CRIME OF ESTAFA THROUGH FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC
DOCUMENT

For an accused to be convicted of the complex crime of estafa through


falsification of public document, all the elements of the two crimes of
estafa and falsification of public document must exist.
To secure conviction for estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of
the Revised Penal Code, the Court has time and again ruled that the
following requisites must concur:
97

1. that the accused made false pretenses or fraudulent


representations as to his power, influence, qualifications,
property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions;
2. that such false pretenses or fraudulent representations were
made prior to or simultaneous with the commission of the fraud;
3. that such false pretenses or fraudulent representations
constitute the very cause which induced the offended party to
part with his money or property; and
4. that as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage.
The deceit must have been committed prior to or simultaneous with
the fraudulent act because this was the only way that said deceit could
become the efficient cause or primary consideration which could have
induced the offended party to part with his money or property.
Gonzaludo v. People, G.R. No. 150910, Feb. 6, 2006

IF ELEMENTS OF ESTAFA ARE NOT PROVEN IN COMPLEX CRIME OF


ESTAFA THROUGH FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT

The lack of criminal liability for estafa, however, will not


necessarily absolve petitioner from criminal liability arising from the
charge of falsification of public document under the same Information
charging the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public
document. It is settled doctrine that when a complex crime has been
charged in an information and the evidence fails to support the charge
on one of the component offenses, can the defendant still be
separately convicted of the other offense? The question has long been
answered in the affirmative. In United States vs. Lahoylahoy and
Madanlog (38 Phil. 330), the Court has ruled to be legally feasible the
conviction of an accused on one of the offenses included in a complex
crime charged, when properly established, despite the failure of
evidence to hold the accused of the other charge. Gonzaludo v.
People, G.R. No. 150910, Feb. 6, 2006

ELEMENTS OF ESTAFA UNDER PAR. 1(B)

The elements of estafa in the above provision are as follows:


98

a) That money, goods or other personal property is received by


the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration or under
any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return
the same;
b) That there be misappropriation or conversion of such money
or property by the offender or denial on his part of such receipt; and
c) That such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the
prejudice of another.
The essence of estafa under this paragraph is the appropriation
or conversion of money or property received, to the prejudice of the
owner thereof. It takes place when a person actually appropriates the
property of another for his own benefit, use and enjoyment. In a
prosecution for estafa, demand is not necessary where there is
evidence of misappropriation or conversion; and failure to account,
upon demand for funds or property held in trust, is circumstantial
evidence of misappropriation.
MEANING; MISAPPROPRIATE OR CONVERT;

The words misappropriate and convert as used in the said


provision of law connote an act of using or disposing of anothers
property as if it were ones own or of devoting it to a purpose or use
different from that agreed upon. Misappropriation or conversion may
be proved by the prosecution by direct evidence or by circumstantial
evidence.
In an agency for the sale of jewelries, as in the present case, it
is the agents duty to return the jewelry upon demand of the owner
and failure to do so is evidence of conversion of the property by the
agent. In other words, the demand for the return of the thing
delivered in trust and the failure of the accused to account for it are
circumstantial
evidence
of
misappropriation.
However,
this
presumption is rebuttable. If the accused is able to satisfactorily
explain his failure to produce the thing delivered in trust or to account
for the money, he may not be held liable for estafa.
(Ceniza-Manantan vs. People, G.R. No. 156248, August 28, 2007)
ESTAFA BY MISAPPROPRIATION

99

The essence of estafa under Article 315 (1)(b), RPC is the


appropriation or conversion of money or property received, to the
prejudice of the owner. The words convert and misappropriate
connote an act of using or disposing of anothers property as if it were
ones own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that
agreed upon.
In an agency for the sale of jewelry, it is the agents duty to
return the jewelry on demand of the owner. The demand for the return
of the thing delivered in trust and the failure of the accused-agent to
account for it are circumstantial evidence of misappropriation.
Bonifacio v. People, G.R. No. 153198, July 11, 2006
ESTAFA THROUGH FALSIFICATION OF PRIVATE DOCUMENT

As there is no complex crime of estafa through falsification of private


document, it is important to ascertain whether the offender is to be
charged with falsification of a private document or with estafa. If the
falsification of a private document is committed as a means to commit
estafa, the proper crime to be charged is falsification. If the estafa can
be committed without the necessity of falsifying a document, the
proper crime to be charged is estafa. Batulanon v. People, G.R. No.
139857, Sept. 15, 2006
ESTAFA THROUGH FALSE PRETENSE

Estafa through false pretense or fraudulent act under Paragraph 2(d)


of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act
No. 4885, is committed as follows:
By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an
obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his
funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount
of the check. The failure of the drawer of the check to deposit
the amount necessary to cover his check within three (3) days
from receipt of notice from the bank and/or the payee or holder
that said check has been dishonored for lack or insufficiency of
funds shall be prima facie evidence of deceit constituting false
pretense or fraudulent act.
The essential elements of the felony are: (1) a check is postdated or
issued in payment of an obligation contracted at the time it is issued;
100

(2) lack or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and (3) damage
to the payee thereof. It is criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a
check which is made punishable under the Revised Penal Code, and
not the non-payment of a debt. Deceit is the false representation of a
matter of fact whether by words or conduct by false or misleading
allegations or by concealment of that which should have been
disclosed which deceives or is intended to deceive another so that he
shall act upon it to his legal injury. Concealment which the law denotes
as fraudulent implies a purpose or design to hide facts which the other
party ought to have. The postdating or issuing of a check in payment
of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank or his
funds deposited therein are not sufficient to cover the amount of the
check is a false pretense or a fraudulent act.
There is no false pretense or fraudulent act if a postdated check is
issued in payment of a pre-existing obligation. Estafa is a felony
committed by dolo (with malice). For one to be criminally liable for
estafa under paragraph (2)(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal
Code, malice and specific intent to defraud are required. Recuerdo v.
People, G.R. No. 168217, June 27, 2006
ESTAFA BY MISAPPROPRIATION

The elements of estafa under Article 315(1)(b) of the Revised Penal


Code are: (1) the offender receives the money, goods or other
personal property in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or
under any other obligation involving the duty to deliver, or to return,
the same; (2) the offender misappropriates or converts such money or
property or denies receiving such money or property; (3) the
misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another;
and (4) the offended party demands that the offender to return the
money or property. Pucay v. People, G.R. No. 167084, October 31,
2006

ESTAFA WITH ABUSE OF CONFIDENCE; DEMAND NOT A CONDITION


PRECEDENT

Demand is not an element of the felony or a condition precedent


to the filing of a criminal complaint for estafa. Indeed, the accused
may be convicted of the felony under Article 315, paragraph 1(b) of
the Revised Penal Code if the prosecution proved misappropriation or
conversion by the accused of the money or property subject of the
101

Information. In a prosecution for estafa, demand is not necessary


where there is evidence of misappropriation or conversion. However,
failure to account upon demand, for funds or property held in trust, is
circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. Ibid.

THERE IS NO COMPLEX CRIME OF ARSON WITH HOMICIDE.

There is no complex crime of Arson with (Multiple) Homicide.


The Information in this case erroneously charged accused-appellant
with a complex crime, i.e., Arson with Multiple Homicide. Presently,
there are two (2) laws that govern the crime of arson where death
results therefrom Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as
amended by Republic Act (RA) No. 7659,[22] and Section 5 of
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1613[23], quoted hereunder, to wit:
Revised Penal Code:
ART. 320. Destructive Arson. x x x x
If as a consequence of the commission of any of the acts
penalized under this Article, death results, the mandatory
penalty of death shall be imposed.
Presidential Decree No. 1613:
SEC. 5. Where Death Results from Arson. If by reason of or on
the occasion of the arson death results, the penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death shall be imposed.
Art. 320 of the RPC, as amended, with respect to destructive arson,
and the provisions of PD No. 1613 respecting other cases of arson
provide only one penalty for the commission of arson, whether
considered destructive or otherwise, where death results therefrom.
The raison d'tre is that arson is itself the end and death is simply the
consequence.
Whether the crime of arson will absorb the resultant death or will have
to be a separate crime altogether, the joint discussion of the late Mr.
Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino and Mme. Justice Carolina C. Grio-

102

Aquino, on the subject of the crimes of arson and murder/homicide, is


highly instructive:
Groizard says that when fire is used with the intent to kill a
particular person who may be in a house and that objective is
attained by burning the house, the crime is murder only. When
the Penal Code declares that killing committed by means of fire
is murder, it intends that fire should be purposely adopted as a
means to that end. There can be no murder without a design to
take life.[26] In other words, if the main object of the offender is
to kill by means of fire, the offense is murder. But if the main
objective is the burning of the building, the resulting homicide
may be absorbed by the crime of arson.[27]
xxxx
If the house was set on fire after the victims therein were killed,
fire would not be a qualifying circumstance. The accused would
be liable for the separate offenses of murder or homicide, as the
case may be, and arson.[28]
Accordingly, in cases where both burning and death occur, in order to
determine what crime/crimes was/were perpetrated whether arson,
murder or arson and homicide/murder, it is de rigueur to ascertain the
main objective of the malefactor: (a) if the main objective is the
burning of the building or edifice, but death results by reason or on the
occasion of arson, the crime is simply arson, and the resulting
homicide is absorbed; (b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is
to kill a particular person who may be in a building or edifice, when fire
is resorted to as the means to accomplish such goal the crime
committed is murder only; lastly, (c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill
a particular person, and in fact the offender has already done so, but
fire is resorted to as a means to cover up the killing, then there are
two separate and distinct crimes committed homicide/murder and
arson. People v. Mayo, G. R. No. 170470, September 26, 2006

ARSON
There are two (2) categories of the crime of arson: 1)
destructive arson, under Art. 320 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended by Republic Act No. 7659; and 2) simple arson, under
Presidential Decree No. 1613. Said classification is based on the kind,

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character and location of the property burned, regardless of the value


of the damage caused, to wit:
Article 320 of The Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 7659,
contemplates the malicious burning of structures, both public
and private, hotels, buildings, edifices, trains, vessels, aircraft,
factories and other military, government or commercial
establishments by any person or group of persons.
The
classification of this type of crime is known as Destructive Arson,
which is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. The reason
for the law is self-evident: to effectively discourage and deter
the commission of this dastardly crime, to prevent the
destruction of properties and protect the lives of innocent
people. Exposure to a brewing conflagration leaves only
destruction and despair in its wake; hence, the State mandates
greater retribution to authors of this heinous crime. The
exceptionally severe punishment imposed for this crime takes
into consideration the extreme danger to human lives exposed
by the malicious burning of these structures; the danger to
property resulting from the conflagration; the fact that it is
normally difficult to adopt precautions against its commission,
and the difficulty in pinpointing the perpetrators; and, the
greater impact on the social, economic, security and political
fabric of the nation.
On the other hand, PD 1613 which repealed Arts. 321 to 326-B of The
Revised Penal Code remains the governing law for Simple Arson. This
decree contemplates the malicious burning of public and private
structures, regardless of size, not included in Art. 320, as amended by
RA 7659, and classified as other cases of arson. These include houses,
dwellings, government buildings, farms, mills, plantations, railways,
bus stations, airports, wharves and other industrial establishments.
Although the purpose of the law on Simple Arson is to prevent the high
incidence of fires and other crimes involving destruction, protect the
national economy and preserve the social, economic and political
stability of the nation, PD 1613 tempers the penalty to be meted to
offenders. This separate classification of Simple Arson recognizes the
need to lessen the severity of punishment commensurate to the act or
acts committed, depending on the particular facts and circumstances
of each case.
To emphasize:

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The nature of Destructive Arson is distinguished from Simple


Arson by the degree of perversity or viciousness of the criminal
offender. The acts committed under Art. 320 of the Revised
Penal Code (as amended) constituting Destructive Arson are
characterized as heinous crimes for being grievous, odious and
hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or
manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are
repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms
of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society.
[51] On the other hand, acts committed under PD 1613
constituting Simple Arson are crimes with a lesser degree of
perversity and viciousness that the law punishes with a lesser
penalty. In other words, Simple Arson contemplates crimes with
less significant social, economic, political and national security
implications than Destructive Arson. However, acts falling under
Simple Arson may nevertheless be converted into Destructive
Arson depending on the qualifying circumstances present.
People v. Mayo, G. R. No. 170470, September 26, 2006

LIBEL
Publication, in the law of libel, means the making of the defamatory
matter, after it has been written, known to someone other than the
person to whom it has been written. If the statement is sent straight
to a person for whom it is written there is no publication of it. The
reason for this is that a communication of the defamatory matter to
the person defamed cannot injure his reputation though it may wound
his self-esteem. A mans reputation is not the good opinion he has of
himself, but the estimation in which others hold him. Writing to a
person other than the person defamed is sufficient to constitute
publication, for the person to whom the letter is addressed is a third
person in relation to its writer and the person defamed therein.
Magno v. People, G.R. No. 133896, Jan. 27, 2006
LIBEL; REQUISITES

Thus, for an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites


must be present: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be malicious;
(c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable.
Absent one of these elements, a case for libel will not prosper.
(Diaz vs. People, G.R. No. 159787, May 25, 2007)

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DEFAMATORY STATEMENT; HOW TO DETERMINE

We find the first element present. In determining whether a


statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed in their
entirety and should be taken in their plain, natural, and ordinary
meaning as they would naturally be understood by the persons
reading them, unless it appears that they were used and understood
in another sense. In the instant case, the article in question details
the sexual activities of a certain Miss S and one Philip Henson who
had a romantic liaison. In their ordinary sense, the words used cast
aspersion upon the character, integrity, and reputation of Miss S.
The words convey that Miss S is a sexual libertine with unusually
wanton proclivities in the bedroom. In a society such as ours, where
modesty is still highly prized among young ladies, the behavior
attributed to Miss S by the article in question had besmirched both
her character and reputation. (Diaz vs. People, G.R. No. 159787, May
25, 2007)
MALICIOUS IMPUTATION; DEFAMATORY STATEMENT PRESUMED TO
BE MALICIOUS

As to the element of malice, we find that since on its face the


article is defamatory, there is a presumption that the offender acted
with malice. In Article 354 of the same Code, every defamatory
imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good
intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. There is
malice when the author of the imputation is prompted by personal illwill or spite and speaks not in response to duty but merely to injure
the reputation of the person who claims to have been defamed. We
agree with the Court of Appeals that there was neither good reason
nor motive why the subject article was written except to embarrass
Miss S and injure her reputation.
(Diaz vs. People, G.R. No. 159787, May 25, 2007)
IDENTITY OF PERSON LIBELED

The last element of libel is that the victim is identified or


identifiable from the contents of the libelous article.
In order to
maintain a libel suit, it is essential that the victim be identifiable,
although it is not necessary that the person be named. It is enough if
by intrinsic reference the allusion is apparent or if the publication
contains matters of description or reference to facts and
circumstances from which others reading the article may know the
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person alluded to, or if the latter is pointed out by extraneous


circumstances so that those knowing such person could and did
understand that he was the person referred to. Kunkle v. CablenewsAmerican and Lyons laid the rule that this requirement is complied
with where a third person recognized or could identify the party vilified
in the article.
The libelous article, while referring to Miss S, does not give a
sufficient description or other indications which identify Miss S. In
short, the article fails to show that Miss S and Florinda Bagay are
one and the same person.
(Diaz vs. People, G.R. No. 159787, May 25, 2007)
LIBEL

Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel as a public


and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or
imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance
tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or
juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.
For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must
concur: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be malicious; (c) it
must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable.
Any of the imputations covered by Article 353 is defamatory;
and, under the general rule laid down in Article 354, every defamatory
imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good
intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. Thus, when the
imputation is defamatory, the prosecution need not prove malice on
the part of petitioner (malice in fact), for the law already presumes
that petitioners imputation is malicious (malice in law).
Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
Art. 354.
Requirement for publicity. Every
defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even
if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for
making it is shown, except in the following cases:
1. A private communication made by any person to
another in the performance of any legal, moral, or
social duty; and

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2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any


comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative, or
other official proceedings which are not of confidential
nature, or of any statement, report, or speech delivered
in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by
public officers in the exercise of their functions.
Clearly, the presumption of malice is done away with when the
defamatory imputation is a qualified privileged communication.
In order to prove that a statement falls within the purview of a
qualified privileged communication under Article 354, No. 1, as claimed
by petitioner, the following requisites must concur: (1) the person who
made the communication had a legal, moral, or social duty to make
the communication, or at least, had an interest to protect, which
interest may either be his own or of the one to whom it is made; (2)
the communication is addressed to an officer or a board, or superior,
having some interest or duty in the matter, and who has the power to
furnish the protection sought; and (3) the statements in the
communication are made in good faith and without malice. Buatis v.
People, G.R. NO. 142509, Mar. 24, 2006
SLANDER
Slander is libel committed by oral (spoken) means, instead of in
writing. The term oral defamation or slander as now understood, has
been defined as the speaking of base and defamatory words which
tend to prejudice another in his reputation, office, trade, business or
means of livelihood.
There is grave slander when it is of a serious and insulting
nature. The gravity of the oral defamation depends not only (1) upon
the expressions used, but also (2) on the personal relations of the
accused and the offended party, and (3) the circumstances
surrounding the case. Indeed, it is a doctrine of ancient respectability
that defamatory words will fall under one or the other, depending not
only upon their sense, grammatical significance, and accepted ordinary
meaning judging them separately, but also upon the special
circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between the
offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the
intention of the offender at the time.

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In our previous rulings, we held that the social standing and


position of the offended party are also taken into account and thus, it
was held that the slander was grave, because the offended party had
held previously the Office of Congressman, Governor, and Senator and
was then a candidate for Vice-President, for which no amount of
sophistry would take the statement out of the compass of grave oral
defamation.
However, we have, likewise, ruled in the past that
uttering defamatory words in the heat of anger, with some provocation
on the part of the offended party constitutes only a light felony.
Villanueva v. People, G.R. No. 160351, April 10, 2006

CRIMINAL LIBEL; ACTUAL MALICE RULE

A public official may not successfully sue for libel unless the
official can prove actual malice, which was defined as with knowledge
that the statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether
or not it was true.
ACT OF POKING A DIRTY FINGER IS SLIGHT SLANDER BY DEED.

Following the same principle as enunciated in our foregoing


discussion of the first issue, we find petitioner guilty only of slight
slander by deed in Criminal Case No. 140-94 inasmuch as we find
complainants unjust refusal to sign petitioners application for
monetization and her act of throwing a coke bottle at him constituted a
perceived provocation that triggered the poking of finger incident.
Slander by deed is a crime against honor, which is committed by
performing any act, which casts dishonor, discredit, or contempt upon
another person. The elements are (1) that the offender performs any
act not included in any other crime against honor, (2) that such act is
performed in the presence of other person or persons, and (3) that
such act casts dishonor, discredit or contempt upon the offended party.
Whether a certain slanderous act constitutes slander by deed of a
serious nature or not, depends on the social standing of the offended
party, the circumstances under which the act was committed, the
occasion, etc. It is libel committed by actions rather than words. The
most common examples are slapping someone or spitting on his/her
face in front of the public market, in full view of a crowd, thus casting
dishonor, discredit, and contempt upon the person of another.
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Pointing a dirty finger ordinarily connotes the phrase Fuck You,


which is similar to the expression Puta or Putang Ina mo, in local
parlance. Such expression was not held to be libelous in Reyes v.
People, where the Court said that:
This is a common enough
expression in the dialect that is often employed, not really to slander
but rather to express anger or displeasure. It is seldom, if ever, taken
in its literal sense by the hearer, that is, as a reflection on the virtues
of a mother. Following Reyes, and in light of the fact that there was a
perceived provocation coming from complainant, petitioners act of
pointing a dirty finger at complainant constitutes simple slander by
deed, it appearing from the factual milieu of the case that the act
complained of was employed by petitioner "to express anger or
displeasure" at complainant for procrastinating the approval of his
leave monetization. While it may have cast dishonor, discredit or
contempt upon complainant, said act is not of a serious nature.
Villanueva v. People, G.R. No. 160351, April 10, 2006
KIDNAPPING
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. MAMANTAK, G.R. No. 174659, July
28, 2008

The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation


of the victims liberty coupled with the intent of the accused to effect
it. It includes not only the imprisonment of a person but also the
deprivation of his liberty in whatever form and for whatever length of
time. And liberty is not limited to mere physical restraint but embraces
ones right to enjoy his God-given faculties subject only to such
restraints necessary for the common welfare.
ROBBERY
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. DE LA CRUZ, ET. AL., G.R. NO.
168173, DECEMBER 24, 2008

The elements of the crime of robbery under Article 293 of the


Revised Penal Code are: (a) the unlawful taking (b) of personal
property belonging to another (c) with intent to gain, and (d) with
violence against or intimidation of person or force upon things. Under
Article 296 of the same Code, "when more than three armed
malefactors take part in the commission of robbery, it shall be deemed
to have been committed by a band.
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There is robbery with homicide when a homicide is committed


either by reason, or on occasion, of the robbery. To sustain a
conviction for robbery with homicide, the prosecution must prove the
following elements: (1) the taking of personal property belonging to
another; (2) with intent to gain; (3) with the use of violence or
intimidation against a person; and (4) on the occasion or by reason of
the robbery, the crime of homicide, as used in its generic sense, was
committed. A conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the
main purpose and objective of the malefactor and the killing is merely
incidental to the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of
human life but the killing may occur before, during or after the
robbery.
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE
PEOPLE VS. SORILA, JR., G.R. NO. 178540, June 27, 2008

Article 294 (1) of the Revised Penal Code classifies robbery with
homicide as a crime against property with the following elements: 1)
the taking of personal property with the use of violence or intimidation
against persons; 2) personal property thus taken belongs to another;
3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and
4) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of
homicide, which is therein used in its generic sense, was committed.
The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life. So long as
the intention of the felons was to rob, the killing may occur before,
during or after the robbery. It is immaterial that death would
supervene by mere accident or that the victim of homicide is other
than the victim of robbery or that two or more persons are killed. It is
likewise not necessary to identify who among the conspirators inflicted
the fatal wound on the victim. Once a homicide is committed by
reason or on the occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is the
special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide.
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. BULLAN, G.R. NO. 178196, AUGUST
6, 2008

To warrant conviction for the crime of robbery with homicide,


one that is primarily classified as a crime against property and not
against persons, the prosecution has to firmly establish the following
elements: (1) the taking of personal property with the use of violence
or intimidation against the person; (2) the property thus taken belongs
to another; (3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animus
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lucrandi; and (4) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof,


the crime of homicide, which is therein used in a generic sense, is
committed.
In Robbery with Homicide, so long as the intention of the felon
is to rob, the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery. It is
immaterial that death would supervene by mere accident, or that the
victim of homicide is other than the victim of robbery, or that two or
more persons are killed. Once a homicide is committed by reason or
on the occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is the special
complex crime of Robbery with Homicide.
The original design must have been robbery; and the homicide,
even if it precedes or is subsequent to the robbery, must have a direct
relation to, or must be perpetrated with a view to consummate, the
robbery. The taking of the property should not be merely an
afterthought, which arose subsequently to the killing.
HIGHWAY ROBBERY
RUSTICO ABAY, JR. VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No.
165896, September 19, 2008

As defined under Section 2(e) of Presidential Decree No. 532,


Highway Robbery/Brigandage is the seizure of any person for ransom,
extortion or other unlawful purposes, or the taking away of the
property of another by means of violence against or intimidation of
person or force upon things or other unlawful means, committed by
any person on any Philippine highway. Also, as held in People v. Puno:
In fine, the purpose of brigandage is, inter alia, indiscriminate
highway robbery. If the purpose is only a particular robbery, the
crime is only robbery, or robbery in band if there are at least four
armed participants
Further, that Presidential Decree No. 532 punishes as highway robbery
or brigandage only acts of robbery perpetrated by outlaws
indiscriminately against any person or persons on Philippine
highways as defined therein, and not acts of robbery committed
against only a predetermined or particular victim[Emphasis
supplied.]

QUALIFIED THEFT

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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. PUIG, G.R. NO. 173654-765,


AUGUST 28, 2008

The Bank acquires ownership of the money deposited by its clients;


and the employees of the Bank, who are entrusted with the possession
of money of the Bank due to the confidence reposed in them, occupy
positions of confidence. The Informations, therefore, sufficiently allege
all the essential elements constituting the crime of Qualified Theft.
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE
PEOPLE VS. SAMUEL BONDA ALGARME, ET. AL., G.R. NO. 175978,
FEBRUARY 12, 2009

A special complex crime of robbery with homicide takes place


when a homicide is committed either by reason, or on the occasion, of
the robbery. To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the
prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the taking of
personal property belonging to another; (2) with intent to gain; (3)
with the use of violence or intimidation against a person; and (4) on
the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as
used in its generic sense, was committed. A conviction requires
certitude that the robbery is the main purpose, and objective of
the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the
robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life but
the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery.
In People v. Salazar, this Court expounded on the concept of
robbery with homicide under Article 294(1) of the Revised Penal Code,
thus:
The Spanish version of Article 294 (1) of the Revised Penal Code
reads: 1.0--Con la pena de reclusion perpetua a muerte, cuando con
motivo o con ocasion del robo resultare homicidio. Chief Justice
Ramon C. Aquino explains that the use of the words con motivodel
robo permits of no interpretation other than that the intent of the
actor must supply the connection between the homicide and the
robbery in order to constitute the complex offense. If that intent
comprehends the robbery, it is immaterial that the homicide may in
point of time immediately precede instead of follow the robbery. Where
the original design comprehends robbery, and homicide is perpetrated
by reason or on the occasion of the consummation of the former, the
crime committed is the special complex offense, even if homicide
precedes the robbery by an appreciable interval of time. On the other
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hand, if the original criminal design does not clearly


comprehend robbery, but robbery follows the homicide as an
afterthought or as a minor incident of the homicide, the
criminal acts should be viewed as constitutive of two offenses
and not of a single complex offense. Robbery with homicide
arises only when there is a direct relation, an intimate
connection, between the robbery and the killing, even if the
killing is prior to, concurrent with, or subsequent to the
robbery.

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