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PERSONS CRIMINALLY LIABLE

I. Who Are Criminally Liable

A. For Grave and Less Grave Felonies they are the principals, accomplices and accessories. For
light felonies they are the principals and accomplices only. Accessories are not liable.

B. The classification into principals, accomplices and accessories is based on the Degree of
Participation in the commission of a crime where at least two persons participated.

1. This classification does not apply to violations of special laws where the violators are referred to
plainly as offenders, violators, culprits or criminals.
2. The classification into the three major classes does not apply if the several offenders acted in
conspiracy as all will be considered as principals.
3. The purposes of the classification is to determine the proper penalty to be imposed upon the
accused. This is one of the factors in determining the proper penalty to be actually imposed.

II. Principles of Criminal Liability

A. To be guilty of a crime, one must commit the crime himself (principal) or if committed by another,
he must, in some manner, participate either in its commission ( accomplice) or in the fruits thereof
( accessory).

B. As a rule only natural persons who are alive can beheld criminally liable. The reasons are: (i) The
element of mens rea can only be found in natural persons: malice in intentional felonies and
indifference in culpable felonies are attributes of natural persons (ii) juridical persons cannot be
arrested (iii) the principal penalties consisting of deprivation of life or of liberty, restriction of liberty,

deprivation of rights, and the accessory penalties of disqualification, cannot be served by juridical
persons.

C. When may a juridical entity be held criminally liable? A juridical entity may be prosecuted and held
liable if the offense is punishable by a fine.

D. For what acts may a juridical person be held liable?

1. For acts committed by its responsible officers, policy makers or those having charge of the
management and operation of the entity.
2. A corporation also incurs criminal liability for the acts of its employees or agents if (i) the employee
or agent committed the offense while acting within the scope of his employment and (ii) the offense
was committed with at least an intent to benefit the employer ( PP. vs. Chowderry, 235 SCRA 572)

E. Who are liable if the violation was made by a juridical entity? Per Ching vs. Secretary of Justice
( Feb. 06, 2006) the principles maybe summarized as follows

1. The juridical entity itself where the penalty is one which can properly be imposed on it, such as
fine or revocation of license

2. The officers, employees or agents who actually executed the prohibited act or incurred the
omission
Example: LLamado vs. CA ( 270 SCRA 423) it was held that even if the officer of the corporation had
no involvement in the negotiation of the transaction for which he, as treasurer of the corporation,
issued a postdated check which bounced, he is liable for Violation of B.P. 22

3. The person specifically mentioned by law violated to be held liable. Examples:

a). Section 8 of R.A. 8042 (Migrant and Overseas Filipino Act of l995) provides: In cases of
juridical persons the offices having control, management, and direction of their business shall be
held liable
b). P.D. 1612 (Anti Gambling Law) provides that the President shall be liable if gambling is carried on
by a juridical entity
c). In case of libel under Art. 360 the persons liable shall be the editor of a book or pamphlet,
business manager of a daily newspaper, magazine or serial publication

4. a). An employee or officer even if not among those enumerated by the law violated, if, with
knowledge of the illegal act/business, he consciously contributes his efforts to its conduct or
promotion ( PP. vs. Chowderry)
b). The culpability of the employee hinges on his knowledge of the offense and his active
participation on its commission. Where it is shown that the employee was merely acting under the
direction of his superiors and was unaware that his acts constituted a crime, he may not be held
criminally liable for an act done for and in behalf of his employer ( PP. vs. Corpuz, October 1, 2003)

5. Those who, by virtue of their managerial position or similar relations to the corporation could be
deemed responsible for its commission, if by virtue of their relations to the corporation, they had the
power to prevent the act

F. Where the act is a violation by a juridical entity, the officers or employee cannot put up the
following defenses:
1. It is no defense that he did not benefit from the act
2. The accused cannot hide behind the principle of separate corporate personality of the juridical
entity in order to escape liability

G. A person cannot escape punishment when he participates in the commission of a crime on the
ground that he simply acted as an agent or representative of a party

H. Criminally liability is purely personal and is limited to the acts/omissions of an accused and not for
the acts or omissions of third persons ( res inter alios acta rule) .Except when there exists a
conspiracy between two or more persons where the act of one becomes the act of all resulting to a
joint criminal responsibility or collective liability.

ART. 17. PRINCIPALS

I. There are three kinds of principals depending on the nature of their participation in the commission
of the crime. However, irrespective of what type of principal they belong, their penalty will be the
same. They are the following:

A. Principal by Direct Participation


B. Principal by Indespensable Cooperation
C. Principal by Inducement
.

A. BY DIRECT PARTICIPATION (PDP)

I. INTRODUCTION :

A. This refers to those who actually and directly take part in the execution of the act. In all crimes
there must always be those who actually perform the act which brings about the crime. They may be
only one person or more. Whenever there are two or more involved in a crime, it becomes necessary
to find out those who actually executed the act so that all may be held equally liable.

B. To hold two or more persons as principals by direct participation, it must be shown that there
exists a conspiracy between and among them. This is not the conspiracy punished as a crime but
the conspiracy as a mode or manner of incurring criminally or that legal relationship whereby, in the
eyes of the law, it may be said that the act of any one is the act of all.

II. For conspiracy to exist, there be an intentional felony, not a culpable felony, and it must be proved
that all those to be considered as PDPs performed the following:

A. ( Unity of Intention) They participated, agreed, or concurred in the criminal design, intent or
purposes or resolution.

1. This participation may be prior to the actual execution of the acts which produced the crime
( Anterior Conspiracy ) or it may be at the very moment the acts are actually being executed and
carried out ( Instant Conspiracy).
2. Hence it is not necessary to prove that before the commission of the crime, the several accused
actually came and met together to plan or discuss the commission of the crime.

3. Spontaneous agreement or active cooperation by all perpetrators at the moment of the


commission of the crime is sufficient to create a joint criminal responsibility ( Sim Jr. vs. CA, 428
SCRA 459)

B. (Unity of Action ). All participated in the execution or carrying out of the common intent, design,
purpose or objective by acts intended to bring about the common objective.

1. Each must have performed an act, no matter how small or insignificant so long as it was intended
to contribute to the realization of the crime conspired upon. This requires that the principal by direct
participation must be at the crime scene, except in the following instances:

a). When he is the mastermind


b). When he orchestrates or directs the actions of the others from some other place
c). His participation or contribution was already accomplished prior to the actual carrying out of the
crime conspired such: his role was to conduct surveillance or to obtain data or information about the
place or the victims; to purchase the tools or weapons, or the get away vehicle, or to find a safe
house
d). His role/participation is to be executed simultaneously but elsewhere, such as by crating a
diversion or in setting up a blocking force
e). His role/participation is after the execution of the main acts such as guarding the victim; looking
for a buyer of the loot; laundering the proceeds of the crime

III. Participation in both ( Intention and Action) is necessary because:

A. Mere knowledge, acquiescence 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 criminal design and purpose. Conspiracy transcends companionship

B. He who commits the same or similar acts on the victim but is a stranger to the conspiracy is
separately liable. Simultaneous acts by several persons do not automatically give rise to conspiracy.

C. Examples:
1. X joined in the planning of the crime but was unable to join his companions on the day of the
crime because he was hospitalized. He is not liable.
2. X is the common enemy of A and B who are strangers to one another. Both A and B chanced
upon X. A stabbed X while B shot him. A and B will have individual liabilities.

D. Exception: When a person joins a conspiracy after its formation, he thereby adopts the previous
acts of the conspirators which are admissible against him. This is under the Principle of Conspiracy
by Adoption.

IV. Proof of Conspiracy


A. Direct proof of conspiracy is not necessary. The existence thereof maybe inferred under the
Doctrine of Implied Conspiracy which directs that if two or more persons:

(i). Aimed by their acts towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful object
(ii). Each doing a part so that their acts, though apparently independent, were in fact connected and
cooperative
(iii). Indicating a closeness of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment
(iv).A conspiracy maybe inferred though no actual meeting among them to concert is proved.

V. Effect of Conspiracy. There will be a joint or common or collective criminal liability, otherwise each
will be liable only to the extent of the act done by him.

VI. For what crime will the co-conspirators be liable?

A. For the crime actually committed if it was the crime agreed upon
B. For any other crime even if not agreed upon, provided it was the direct, natural, logical
consequence of, or related to, or was necessary to effect, the crime agreed upon. Otherwise only the
person who committed the different crime will be held liable.

VII. When is a co-conspirator freed from liability?

A. Only if he has performed an overt act either to:


1. Disassociate or detach himself from the plan
2. Prevent the commission of the second or different or related crime

B. Likewise, if for any reason not attributable to the law enforcement agents, he was not able to
proceed to the crime scene and/or execute an act to help realize the common objective, then he can
not be held liable as a co-conspirator. Thus he is not liable if he got sick, overslept, or forgot about it,
but not when law agents took him into custody to prevent him from doing his part of the agreement.

Thus in Robbery with Homicide, all who conspired in the robbery will be liable for the homicide
unless one of the conspirators proved he tried to prevent the homicide.

B. PRINCIPALS BY INDUCEMENT (PI)

I. Concept: Those who induce (PDP) to commit a crime either by: (a) force (b). inducement

II. The use of force involves the application of either:

A. Active force or material force upon the person of the PDP, resulting to serious bodily injury, to such
a degree that the PDP is left with no choice but to do as ordered or
B. Instilling fear of the commission or infliction of an equal or greater injury or evil either to the PDP
or the latters family or even to a third person.

The PDP may set up the use of force as an exempting circumstance.

III. Inducement connotes that there was an agreement or conspiracy between the PI and the PDP.
The inducement assumes several forms such as the following:

A. By the giving of a price, promise or reward. This must be made with the intention of procuring the
commission of the crime and not as an expression of appreciation. The same must be the sole
reason for the commission of the crime.
This also serves as an aggravating circumstance which will affect both the giver and the recipient.

B. By giving Words of Command.


1. The utterer must have an ascendancy or influence over the PDP, or is one entitled to obedience
from the PDP
2. The words must be so direct, so efficacious, so powerful and persistently made, as to amount to
physical or moral force
3. Must be made directly with the intention of procuring the commission of the crime and is therefore
the determining cause and it thus precedes the crime
4. They do not include thoughtless or imprudent utterances. Mere advises, counsel or suggestions or
exhortations.

C. By the use of Inciting Words. These are words uttered while a crime is going on by one who is
present and are directed to a participant in the crime, such as the words sige pa, kick him, kill him,
bugbugin mo. The following must however be considered
1. Whether the words were uttered by one with moral ascendancy over the accused and to whom
obedience is due from the accused
2. Whether the utterances were the result of the excitement generated by the situation or that the
utterer was caught up in his own excitement or emotion, or whether the uttrerer was coolly and
deliberately uttering such words with the intention that they be acted upon
3. Whether the crime would be committed anyway even without the utterances, or if such utterances

were the moving cause of the crime

D. By earnest and persistent solicitation or cajoling amounting to moral force by one with authority or
influence over the accused

C. PRINCIPALS BY INDISPENSABLE COOPERATION ( PIC)

I. Refers to those who cooperate in the commission of the offense by another act without which it
would not have been accomplished. There must be a community of design or common purpose
between the PIC and the PDP, but not a conspiracy. The PIC knows or is aware of the intention or
purpose of the PDP and he cooperates or concurs in its realization by performing an act without
which the offense would not have been accomplished.

II. The cooperation may be:

A. By moral cooperation such as (i) providing technical advise, expertise on how to execute the crime
such as on how to avoid security arrangements (ii) revealing the combination numbers of a bank
vault, or the location of warning devices (iii) revealing the whereabouts of a victim:

B. By Physical external acts such as:


1. Providing the weapon or tools, or the key to open the building
2. Providing the mode of transportation to enable the accused to reach the place of the scene of the
crime
3. Dragging he victim to the place of execution
4. Leaving open the doors, giving the key to open the building
5. Holding on to a victim to preventing him victim from resisting or drawing a weapon

6. Holding back a person from going to the assistance of a victim

C. Through Negligent Acts such as


1. The bank employee who failed to ascertain the identity of the presenter of a check and who initials
it
2. The guarantor who failed to ascertain the identity of the holder of a check presented for
encashment
3. A security guard whose laxity enabled a killer to enter the compound and kill an occupant therein

ART. 18. ACCOMPLICES

I. Concept: Those persons who, not being included in article 17, cooperate in the execution of the
offense by previous or simultaneous acts They are also referred to as the Accessories Before the
Fact.

II. There is no conspiracy between the accomplice and the PDP but there is community of design
between them i.e the accomplice knows and is aware of the intent, purpose or design of the PDP. He
then concurs, or approves of the intent of the PDP by cooperating in the accomplishment of the
purpose through an assistance given the PDP.

III. The cooperation of the accomplice is not indispensable in that the crime would still be
accomplished even without his cooperation. His cooperation or assistance may facilitate or make
easier the commission the crime but the crime would still be accomplished anyway. The acts of the
accomplice must however be related to the acts of the PDP but they merely show that the
accomplice agrees, approves or concurs with what the PDP intends to do or what he has done.

IV. The cooperation may be in the following forms:

A. Moral as in word of encouragement or advises


B. Through external acts which are either previous or simultaneous to the execution of the criminal
acts, such as :
1. Giving of additional weapons or ammunition or a faster mode of transportation, or food to the
accused
2. Blocking, or tripping a person who intends to assist the victim
3. Throwing stones, spitting, kicking, or delivering a blow, at the victim
4. Continuing to choke the victim after seeing that a deadly or fatal blow had been inflicted on the
victim

Note: The act of the accomplice should not be more fatal or more deadly or mortal than that
delivered by the PDP

Example: (PP. vs. Cual, Mach 9, 2000). X and the victim Y were fighting and grappling for the
possession of a steel pipe. B arrived and hacked at Y who ran away. X stood by while B pursued Y
and killed him. Is X an accomplice?

V. Distinction between an Accomplice and a Principal By Indispensable Cooperation.


A. The acts of an accomplice are not indispensable to the consummation of the offense in that the
crime would still be consumated even without his cooperation, whereas the cooperation of the PIC is
one without which the offense would not have been accomplished
B. There is no conspiracy between the accomplice and the PDP but which exist between the PIC
and the PDP
C. Example: PP. vs. Roland Garcia: Jan. 15, 2002
FACTS: In a case of kidnapping for ransom, the police arrested the accused who received the money

from the wife of the victim. They learned the victim was kept in a house. The police proceeded to the
house where they surprised X and Y who were seated and who tried to enter a room to get guns.
The two were not among the four who actually kidnapped the victim. The victim was found in a room
handcuffed and blindfolded.

QUESTION: What is the criminal liability of X and Y?

HELD: At the time X and Y were caught, the victim had already been rendered immobile, his eyes
blindfolded and his hands handcuffed. He could not have gone elsewhere and escaped. It is clear X
and Y were merely guarding the house for purpose of either helping the other accused in facilitating
the successful denoument of the crime or repelling any attempt to rescue the victim. They thus
cooperated in the execution of the offense by previous and/or simultaneous acts by means of which
they aided or facilitated the execution of the crime but without indispensable act for its
accomplishment. They are merely accomplices.

A co-conspirator us distinguished from an accomplice, thus:


Conspirators and accomplices have one thing in common: they know and agree with the criminal
design. Conspirators, however, know the criminal intention because they themselves have decided
upon such course of action. Accomplices come to know about it after the principal reached the
decision and only then do they agree to cooperate in its execution. Conspirators decided that a crime
should be committed; accomplices merely concur in it. Accomplices do not decide whether te crime
should be committed; they merely assent tot eh plan and cooperate in its accomplishment.
Conspirators are the authors of a crime; accomplices are merely their instruments who perform acts
not essential to the perpetration of the offense.

Further, the crime could have been accomplished even without the participation of X and Y. In some
exceptional cases, having community of design with the principal does not prevent a malefactor from
being regarded as an accomplice if his role in the perpetration of he crime wasof minor character.

NOTE: Had it been that the victim as not immobilized and could still escape, then X and Y would be
considered as principals as they would still be considered as detaining and preventing the escape f
the victim.

ART. 19 ACCESSORIES

I. Introduction:
A. They are referred to as the Accessories Proper or the Accessories- After- the-Fact. This is
because their participation in the crime comes only after the crime has been committed by others. It
is only then that they enter into the picture.
B. Requirement of Scienter: All 3 kinds of accessories require that they must have knowledge of the
commission of the crime otherwise they are not liable even if they did an act described in Article 19.

II. The First Kind: By profiting themselves or assisting the offender profit by the effects of the crime.

A. The effects of the crime includes the property taken as well as the price, promise or reward given
as the determining cause of the crime.

B. Profiting themselves include any act of dealing with the property including accepting as a gift,
donation, security or purchasing it a lower price. The transaction involving the property however must
be mutual and voluntary with whosoever the accessory dealt with otherwise he is liable as the
principal in theft or robbery.

Example: X pick-pocketed the money stolen by Z from another. X is not an accessory even if he
profited himself but is liable for theft. Or if X poked a gun at Z and took the money, he would be liable
for robbery. If Z dropped some of the money he stole which X picked up, X is liable for theft not as an
accessory.

C. Assisting the offender profit includes acts of looking for a buyer, though no commission is
received, or of secreting it away or joining in its disposal.

D. Relation to Pres. Decree No. 1612 or The Anti Fencing Law

1. If the crimes involve theft or robbery, the acts may be punished as FENCING i.e. the act of any
person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, etc. or in any
manner deal in any article, item, object, or anything of value which he knows or should be known to
him, to have been derived from the proceeds of robbery or theft
2. The knowledge (scienter) may be actual or constructive
3. The venue is where the property is found
4. The prior conviction of the thief/robber is not required to convict the fence. But it be proved the
property came from robbery/theft, not any other offense such as estafa, malversation, kidnapping.
5. An accessory cannot again be prosecuted for fencing and vise-versa

E. If the property was the proceeds of Highway Robbery or Piracy, the dealer is not liable as an
accessory but for Violation of P.D. 532 for the crime of Aiding/Abetting Brigands or Pirates

III. The Second Act: By concealing or destroying the body of the crime or the effects or instruments
in order to prevent its discovery.

A. To conceal or destroy the body of the crime includes all manner of interfering with, or altering the
original conditions of the crime scene, or of anything therein which may be considered as evidence,
prior to a completion of the evidence gathering by the law enforcers. Examples:
1. Changing the position of the body of the victim
2. Placing a weapon or removing one or replacing a weapon
3. Throwing pieces of evidence as cigarettes butts
4. Washing off the blood stains or cleaning the crime scene

5. Placing a suicide note


6. Making unnecessary foot prints

B. The object or purpose must be to prevent the authorities from discovering what truly transpired
such as the number and identity of the assailants; how the crime was committed, and all matters
related to the solution of the crime and prosecution of the offenders.

1. Thus one who help moved the body not knowing the reason why is not an accessory
2. One who acted out of curiosity or who moved the body for fear of reprisal or of being blamed as
the killer is not an accessory

IV. The Third Act: By harboring, concealing or assisting in the escape of the principal.

A. There are two kinds of accessories under this mode:


1. A Public Officer- he must abuse his public function and the crime by the principal maybe any
crime. If there was no abuse then he will be considered as a private person.
Example: The Mayor hides a suspect in his office to prevent identification or provides a false alibi for
him

2. A Private Person- the principal must be guilty of treason, parricide, murder, attempt on the life of
the chief executive, or is habitually guilty of some other crime.

B. Meaning of the term guilty. For purposes of charging a person as an accessory, the term does
not mean a judicial pronouncement of guilt but means probably guilty of. But where the court later
finds that the crime committed by the principal is not any of the enumerated offenses, then the
private person who assisted him escape is not an accessory.

C. The acts include (i) giving of material help such as food, money or clothing (ii) providing shelter, a
safe house or hideaway (iii) providing a mode of transportation (iv) providing disguises, false
identification papers, as well as by (v) refusing to cooperate with the authorities or to identify the
principal or (vi) giving disinformation or false data

D. Under Pres. Decree No. 1829, the same act maybe punished as Obstruction of Justice - the
crime committed by any person who assist in the escape of a person who committed any crime.

V. May the Accessory be tried and declared guilty ahead of the principal?

A. As a rule the answer is no because of the principle that the liability of the Accessory is
Subordinate to that of the Principal. There must first be a person convicted as a principal before
there can be an accessory.

B. However, the accessory maybe prosecuted ahead of the principal even if the principal has not yet
been identified or arrested or has surrendered if: First; the act of the accessory is under either
paragraph (a) or (b) or Second; even under paragraph C if the principal has not yet been placed
under the jurisdiction of the authorities.

C. Once the principal is later tried but the case against the accessory has not yet been terminated,
the trial against the accessory must be suspended to await the out come of the trial against the
principal. However the two cases maybe consolidated and tried jointly, if proper.

VI. If the principal is acquitted, should the accessory be also acquitted?

A. If the principal was acquitted by reason of a justifying circumstance, then the accessory must also

be acquitted.

B. If the principal was acquitted due to an exempting circumstance, the accessory may still be
convicted.

C. If the ground is that the guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, the accessory may still be
convicted if his acts fall under either paragraph (a) or (b)

VII. If the principal dies, may the accessory still be prosecuted?

A. Yes, if the act is under either paragraph (a) or (b)

B. But if his act falls under paragraph there are two views on the matter. The first view holds that
he cannot be prosecuted for in legal contemplation there was no principal whom he assisted. The
second view holds that the accessory may still be prosecuted because the death merely
extinguished the liability of the principal but the crime remains and the participation of the accessory
in it may still be proved.

ART. 20. ACCESSORIES EXCEPT FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY

1. Who are exempt:

A. Those who are accessories under paragraph (b) and (c) if the principal is a relative. This is in
recognition of the ties of blood and is an absolutory cause. The relatives are the same as those
under Article 15 (Relatives by consanguinity within the 4th civil degree are excluded)

Note: A person is not liable for defending his blood relatives within the 4th civil degree. But he is
liable if he helps them escape or if he destroys the evidence against them.

B. Those under paragraph (a) are not exempt because it is presumed what motivated them is greed,
rather than ties of blood.

C. Accessories to a light offense

States define criminals in different ways -- principals, accomplices,


accessories, aiders, abettors, and conspirators -- depending on how the
person participates in the crime. For instance, in a bank robbery, one person
may enter the bank and conduct the holdup, while another person is waiting in
the getaway car and a third person is positioned at a different location as a
spotter.

Principals and Accomplices


As a general rule, the law refers to the main actor in a crime as the principal
and to assisting persons as accomplices. Technically, an accomplice is one
who intentionally helps another to commit a crime.
Even if an accomplice does not carry out the crime, in the eyes of the law the
accomplice's pre-crime assistance makes him or her just as guilty as the
person who does the deed itself. For example, assume that Lars Senny
breaks into a warehouse and steals property belonging to the warehouse
owner. Hal Perr would be Lars's accomplice and just as guilty as Lars if Hal
takes any of the following steps to assist Lars to commit the theft:

Hal works in the warehouse and drugs the warehouse nightwatchman


before leaving work on the day of the theft.
Hal cuts the wires to the burglar alarm (or cuts a hole in the fence) so
that Lars can enter the warehouse without being detected.
Hal is a designer of warehouses and meets with Lars a week before the
theft to review warehouse layouts and exit routes.
Hal rents a U-Haul and parks it outside the warehouse on the night of
the robbery.
Knowing what Lars has in mind, Hal agrees to babysit for Lars's infant
child while Lars goes to the warehouse.
To prove that a defendant is an accomplice, the government must prove that
he or she intentionally aided in the commission of a crime. This means that
the defendant must realize that the principal is going to commit a crime and
that the accomplice intends to help the crime succeed.
Accomplices, Accessories, Aiders and Abettors, and Principals
To distinguish the criminal culpability of one from another, the common law
developed specialized terms for the various ways in which one could be an
accomplice. For instance, a "principal in the first degree" was the person who
actually carried out a crime. A "principal in the second degree" (an "aider and
abettor") was a helper who was present at a crime scene but in a passive role,
such as acting as a "lookout." An "accessory before the fact" was a helper
who was not present at the crime scene. While some state laws retain the
common law terminology, few states make any distinction between the
criminal liability of crime perpetrators and their accomplices. All can be
punished equally, whether they actually perpetrate a crime or only help bring it
about.

Accessory After the Fact


An accessory after the fact is someone who, knowing that a felon has finished
committing a crime (usually the crime has to be a felony), helps the felon avoid
arrest or trial. In most states, accessories after the fact face far less
punishment than accomplices or principals.

Conspirators
Conspirators are two or more people who agree to commit a crime. (The
distinction between accomplices and conspirators is that the former are
"helpers," while each conspirator is a principal.) Conspiracy is a controversial
crime, in part because conspirators can be guilty even if the crime that they
agree to commit never occurs. As a result, conspirators can be punished for
their illegal plans rather than for what they actually do. As some protection
against convicting people purely for their private thoughts, in most states
conspirators are not guilty of the crime of conspiracy unless at least one of
them commits an "overt act." An "overt act" is an activity that in some way
moves a conspiracy into motion.
Treachery

PEOPLE VS. CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR. (CASE


DIGEST)
By: Atty.Fred | October 4, 2007 in Criminal Law, Digests
2 Replies | Related posts at the bottom of article

(This is a digest of People vs. Claudio Teehankee, Jr., G.R. Nos. 111206-08, 6 October 1995)
The facts:
In 1991, Jussi Olavi Leino was taking Maureen Hultman to her home at Campanilla Street,
Dasmarinas Village, Makati. Roland John Chapman went with them. When they entered the village,
Maureen asked Leino to stop about a block away from her house, as she wanted to walk the rest of
the way for she did not want her parents to know that she was going home that late. Leino offered to
walk with her while Chapman stayed in the car and listened to the radio.

While Leino and Maureen were walking, a light-colored Mitsubishi box-type Lancer car, driven by
accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr., came up from behind them and stopped on the middle of the road.
Accused alighted from his car, approached them, and asked: Who are you? (Show me your) I.D.
When Leino handed his I.D., the accused grabbed and pocketed the I.D., without bothering to look at
it.
Chapman saw the incident. He stepped down on the sidewalk and asked accused: Why are you
bothering us? Accused pushed Chapman, dug into his shirt, pulled out a gun and fired at him.
Chapman felt his upper body, staggered for a moment, and asked: Why did you shoot me?
Chapman crumpled on the sidewalk. Leino knelt beside Chapman to assist him but accused ordered
him to get up and leave Chapman alone. Accused then turned his ire on Leino. He pointed gun at
him and asked: Do you want a trouble? Leino said no and took a step backward.
The shooting initially shocked Maureen. When she came to her senses, she became hysterical and
started screaming for help. She repeatedly shouted: Oh, my God, hes got a gun. Hes gonna kill us.
Will somebody help us? All the while, accused was pointing his gun to and from Leino to Maureen,
warning the latter to shut up. Accused ordered Leino to sit down on the sidewalk. Leino obeyed and
made no attempt to move away. Accused stood 2-3 meters away from him. Maureen continued to be
hysterical. She could not stay still. She strayed to the side of accuseds car. Accused tried but failed
to grab her. Maureen circled around accuseds car, trying to put some distance between them. The
short chase lasted for a minute or two. Eventually, accused caught Maureen and repeatedly enjoined
her to shut up and sit down beside Leino. Maureen finally sat beside Leino on the sidewalk.
For a moment, the accused turned his back from the two. He faced them again and shot Leino.
Leino was hit on the upper jaw, fell backwards on the sidewalk, but did not lose consciousness.
Leino heard another shot and saw Maureen fall beside him. He lifted his head to see what was
happening and saw accused return to his car and drive away. Leino struggled to his knees and
shouted for help. He noticed at least 3 people who saw the incident.
As a result of the incident, 3 separate criminal cases were filed against accused Claudio Teehankee,
Jr. Initially, he was charged with: MURDER for the killing of ROLAND CHAPMAN, and two (2)
FRUSTRATED MURDER for the shooting and wounding of JUSSI LEINO and MAUREEN
HULTMAN. When Hultman subsequently died after 97 days of confinement at the hospital and
during the course of the trial, the Information for Frustrated Murder was amended to MURDER.
The defense:
Accused relied on the defense of denial and alibi. Accused claimed that during the shooting incident,
he was not anywhere near the scene of the crime, but in his house in Pasig. Accused averred that he
only came to know the 3 victims in the Dasmarinas shooting when he read the newspaper reports
about it. Accused admitted ownership of a box-type, silver metallic gray Mitsubishi Lancer, with plate

number PDW 566. He, however, claimed that said car ceased to be in good running condition after
its involvement in an accident. Until the day of the shooting, his Lancer car had been parked in the
garage of his mothers house in Dasmarinas Village. He has not used this car since then. Accused
conceded that although the car was not in good running condition, it could still be used.
The ruling:
Eyewitness identification and out-of-court identification.
The accused was convicted on the strength of the testimonies of 3 eyewitnesses who positively
identified him as the gunman. However, he vigorously assails his out-of-court identification by these
eyewitnesses.
He starts by trying to discredit the eyeball account of Leino, the lone surviving victim of the crimes at
bar. Appellant urges: First, that Leinos identification of him outside an unoccupied house in Forbes
Park was highly irregular; Second, that Leino saw his pictures on television and the newspapers
before he identified him; Third, that Leinos interview at the hospital was never put in writing; Fourth,
that the sketch of appellant based on the description given by Leino to the CIS agents was
suppressed by the NBI. It is surmised that the sketch must have been among the evidence turned
over to the NBI when the latter assumed jurisdiction over the investigation; and, lastly, that Leino
could not have remembered the face of the accused. The shooting lasted for only five (5) minutes.
During that period, his gaze could not have been fixed only on the gunmans face. His senses were
also dulled by the five (5) bottles of beer he imbibed that night.
It is understandable for the accused to assail his out-of-court identification by the prosecution
witnesses in his first assignment of error. Eyewitness identification constitutes vital evidence and, in
most cases, decisive of the success or failure of the prosecution. Yet, while eyewitness identification
is significant, it is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence
such as the fingerprint or DNA testing. Some authors even describe eyewitness evidence as
inherently suspect. The causes of misidentification are known, thus:
Identification testimony has at least three components. First, witnessing a crime, whether as a victim
or a bystander, involves perception of an event actually occurring. Second, the witness must
memorize details of the event. Third, the witness must be able to recall and communicate accurately.
Dangers of unreliability in eyewitness testimony arise at each of these three stages, for whenever
people attempt to acquire, retain, and retrieve information accurately, they are limited by normal
human fallibilities and suggestive influences.
Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police in various ways. It is done thru show-ups where
the suspect alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification. It is done thru mug shots

where photographs are shown to the witness to identify the suspect. It is also done thru line-ups
where a witness identifies the suspect from a group of persons lined up for the purpose. Since
corruption of out-of-court identification contaminates the integrity of in-court identification during the
trial of the case, courts have fashioned out rules to assure its fairness and its compliance with the
requirements of constitutional due process. In resolving the admissibility of and relying on out-ofcourt identification of suspects, courts have adopted the totality of circumstances test where they
consider the following factors, viz: (1) the witness opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the
crime; (2) the witness degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description given
by the witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; (5) the
length of time between the crime and the identification; and, (6) the suggestiveness of the
identification procedure.
Using the totality of circumstances test, the alleged irregularities cited by the accused did not result in
his misidentification nor was he denied due process. There is nothing wrong in Leinos identification
of the accused in an unoccupied house in Forbes Park. The records reveal that this mode was
resorted to by the authorities for security reasons. The need for security even compelled that Leino
be fetched and escorted from his house in Forbes Park by U.S. embassy security officials and
brought to the house where he was to make the identification. The Leinos refused to have the
identification at the NBI office as it was cramped with people and with high security risk. Leinos fear
for his safety was not irrational. He and his companions had been shot in cold blood in one of the
exclusive, supposedly safe subdivisions in the metropolis.
There is no hard and fast rule as to the place where suspects are identified by witnesses.
Identification may be done in open field. It is often done in hospitals while the crime and the criminal
are still fresh in the mind of the victim.
Accused cant also gripe that Leino saw his pictures and heard radio and TV accounts of the
shooting before he personally identified him. The records show that while Leino was still in the
hospital, he was shown 3 pictures of different men by the investigators. He identified the accused as
the gunman from these pictures. He, however, categorically stated that, before the mug shot
identification, he has not seen any picture of accused or read any report relative to the shooting
incident. The burden is on accused to prove that his mug shot identification was unduly suggestive.
Failing proof of impermissible suggestiveness, he cannot complain about the admission of his out-ofcourt identification by Leino.
There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the accuseds identification by Leino. The scene of
the crime was well-lighted by a lamp post. The accused was merely 2-3 meters away when he shot
Leino. The incident happened for a full 5 minutes. Leino had no ill-motive to falsely testify against the

accusedt. His testimony at the trial was straightforward. He was unshaken by the brutal crossexamination of the defense counsels. He never wavered in his identification of the accused. When
asked how sure he was that the accused was responsible for the crime, he confidently replied: Im
very sure. It could not have been somebody else.
The accused cannot likewise capitalize on the failure of the investigators to reduce to a sworn
statement the information revealed by Leino during his hospital interviews. It was sufficiently
established that Leinos extensive injuries, especially the injury to his tongue, limited his mobility. The
day he identified appellant in the line-up, he was still physically unable to speak. He was being fed
through a tube inserted in his throat. There is also no rule of evidence which requires the rejection of
the testimony of a witness whose statement has not been priorly reduced to writing.
The SC also rejected the accuseds contention that the NBI suppressed the sketch prepared by the
CIS on the basis of the description given by Leino. There is nothing on the record to show that said
sketch was turned over by the CIS to the NBI which could warrant a presumption that the sketch was
suppressed. The suspicion that the sketch did not resemble the accused is not evidence. It is
unmitigated guesswork.
The SC was also not impressed with the contention that it was incredible for Leino to have
remembered the accuseds face when the incident happened within a span of 5 minutes. Five
minutes is not a short time for Leino to etch in his mind the picture of the accused. Experience shows
that precisely because of the unusual acts of bestiality committed before their eyes, eyewitnesses,
especially the victims to a crime, can remember with a high degree of reliability the identity of
criminals. The natural reaction of victims of criminal violence is to strive to see the appearance of
their assailants and observe the manner the crime was committed. Most often, the face end body
movements of the assailant create an impression which cannot be easily erased from their memory.
In this case, there is absolutely no improper motive for Leino to impute a serious crime to the
accused. The victims and the accused were unknown to each other before their chance encounter. If
Leino identified the accused, it must be because the accused was the real culprit.
The SC also gave credence to the testimony of the other two witnesses. As to the testimony of
Cadenas, his initial reluctance to reveal to the authorities what he witnessed was sufficiently
explained during the trial he feared for his and his familys safety. The Court has taken judicial
notice of the natural reticence of witnesses to get involved in the solution of crimes considering the
risk to their lives and limbs. In light of these all too real risks, the court has not considered the initial
reluctance of fear-gripped witnesses to cooperate with authorities as an authorities as an indicium of
credibility. As to the testimony of Mangubat, the SC found nothing in the records to suspect that
Mangubat would perjure himself.

2. Proof beyond reasonable doubt


According to the the accused, the trial court erred in not holding that the prosecution failed to
establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. First, he claims the trial court erred in citing in its
Decision his involvement in previous shooting incidents. Second, the NBI failed to conduct an
examination to compare the bullets fired from the gun at the scene of the crime with the bullets
recovered from the body of Chapman. Third, the prosecution eyewitnesses described the gunmans
car as white, but the trial court found it to be silver metalic gray. Fourth, the accused could not have
been the gunman, for Mangubat said that he overheard the victim Hultman plead to the gunman,
thus: Please, dont shoot me and dont kill me. I promise Mommy, Daddy. The accused also
contends that a maid in a house near the scene of the crime told Makati police Alberto Fernandez
that she heard Maureen say: Daddy dont shoot. Dont. Fifth, the NBI towed accuseds car from
Dasmarinas Village to the NBI office which proved that the same was not in good running condition.
Lastly, the result of the paraffin test conducted on appellant showed he was negative of nitrates.
The accused points to other possible suspects, viz:. ANDERS HULTMAN, since one of the
eyewitnesses was quoted in the newspapers as having overheard Maureen plead to the gunman:
Huwag, Daddy.; and, (b) JOSE MONTAO, another resident of Dasmarias Village, who had a
white Lancer car, also bearing license plate number 566.
The accused, however, cannot hope to exculpate himself simply because the trial judge violated the
rule on res inter alios acta when he considered his involvement in previous shooting incidents. This
rule has long been laid to rest. The harmless error rule is also followed in our jurisdiction. In dealing
with evidence improperly admitted in trial, the court examines its damaging quality and its impact to
the substantive rights of the litigant. If the impact is slight and insignificant, the court disregards the
error as it will not overcome the weight of the properly admitted evidence against the prejudiced
party.
In the case at bar, the reference by the trial judge to reports about the troublesome character of
appellant is a harmless error. The reference is not the linchpin of the inculpatory evidence
appreciated by the trial judge in convicting the accused. As aforestated, the accused was convicted
mainly because of his identification by 3 eyewitnesses with high credibility.
The NBI may have also failed to compare the bullets fired from the fatal gun with the bullets found at
the scene of the crime. The omission, however, cannot exculpate the accused. The omitted
comparison cannot nullify the evidentiary value of the positive identification of the accused.
There is also little to the contention of the accused that his Lancer car was not in running condition.
Allegedly, this was vicariously proved when the NBI towed his car from Dasmarias Village where it
was parked to the NBI office. Again, the argument is negated by the records which show that said
car was towed because the NBI could not get its ignition key which was then in the possession of the

accused. Clearly, the car was towed not because it was not in running condition. Even the accuseds
evidence show that said car could run. After its repairs, the accuseds son, Claudio Teehankee III,
drove it from the repair shop in Banawe, Quezon City to Dasmarinas Village, in Makati, where it was
parked.
Nor was the SC impressed by the alleged discrepancies in the eyewitnesses description of the color
of the gunmans car. Leino described the car as light-colored; Florece said the car was somewhat
white (medyo puti); Mangubat declared the car was white; and Cadenas testified it was silver
metallic gray. These alleged discrepancies amount to no more than shades of differences and are
not meaningful, referring as they do to colors white, somewhat white and silver metallic gray.
Considering the speed and shocking nature of the incident which happened before the break of
dawn, these slight discrepancies in the description of the car do not make the prosecution
eyewitnesses unworthy of credence.
The accuseds attempt to pin the crimes at bar on Anders Hultman, the adoptive father of Maureen
Hultman, deserves scant consideration. The accused cites a newspaper item where Maureen was
allegedly overheard as saying to the gunman: Huwag, Daddy. Huwag, Daddy. The evidence on
record, however, demonstrates that Anders Hultman could not have been the gunman. It was clearly
established that Maureen could not have uttered said statement for two (2) reasons: Maureen did not
speak Tagalog, and she addressed Anders Hultman as Papa, not Daddy. Moreover, Leino
outrightly dismissed this suspicion. While still in the hospital and when informed that the Makati
police were looking into this possibility, Leino flatly stated that Anders Hultman was NOT the
gunman. Leino is a reliable witness.
The accused cannot also capitalize on the paraffin test showing he was negative of nitrates.
Scientific experts concur in the view that the paraffin test has . . . proved extremely unreliable in use.
The only thing that it can definitely establish is the presence or absence of nitrates or nitrites on the
hand. It cannot be established from this test alone that the source of the nitrates or nitrites was the
discharge of a firearm. The person may have handled one or more of a number of substances which
give the same positive reaction for nitrates or nitrites, such as explosives, fireworks, fertilizers,
pharmaceuticals, and leguminous plants such as peas, beans, and alfalfa. A person who uses
tobacco may also have nitrate or nitrite deposits on his hands since these substances are present in
the products of combustion of tobacco. In numerous rulings, we have also recognized several
factors which may bring about the absence of gunpowder nitrates on the hands of a gunman, viz:
when the assailant washes his hands after firing the gun, wears gloves at the time of the shooting, or
if the direction of a strong wind is against the gunman at the time of firing. In the case at bar, NBI
Forensic Chemist, Leonora Vallado, testified and confirmed that excessive perspiration or washing of
hands with the use of warm water or vinegar may also remove gunpowder nitrates on the skin. She

likewise opined that the conduct of the paraffin test after more than seventy-two (72) hours from the
time of the shooting may not lead to a reliable result for, by such time, the nitrates could have already
been removed by washing or perspiration. In the Report on the paraffin test conducted on appellant,
Forensic Chemist Elizabeth Ayonon noted that when the accused was tested for the presence of
nitrates, more than 72 hours has already lapsed from the time of the alleged shooting.
3. The right to an impartial trial.
The the accused blames the press for his conviction as he contends that the publicity given to his
case impaired his right to an impartial trial. He postulates there was pressure on the trial judge for
high-ranking government officials avidly followed the developments in the case (as no less than then
Vice-President Estrada and then DOJ Secretary Drilon attended some of the hearings and,
President Aquino even visited Hultman while she was still confined at the hospital). He submits that
the trial judge failed to protect him from prejudicial publicity and disruptive influences which attended
the prosecution of the cases.
The SC did not sustain the accuseds claim that he was denied the right to impartial trial due to
prejudicial publicity. Its true that the print and broadcast media gave the case at bar pervasive
publicity, just like all high profile and high stake criminal trials. Then and now, we rule that the right of
an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. To be sure, responsible reporting
enhances an accuseds right to a fair trial for, as well pointed out, a responsible press has always
been regarded as the handmaiden of effective judicial administration, especially in the criminal
field . . . The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the
miscarriage of justice by subjecting in the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to extensive
public scrutiny and criticism.
Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that
the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the
publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. For one, it is
impossible to seal the minds of members of the bench from pre-trial and other off-court publicity of
sensational criminal cases. The state of the art of our communication system brings news as they
happen straight to our breakfast tables and right to our bedrooms. These news form part of our
everyday menu of the facts and fictions of life. For another, our idea of a fair and impartial judge is
not that of a hermit who is out of touch with the world. We have not installed the jury system whose
members are overly protected from publicity lest they lose their impartiality. Our judges are learned in
the law and trained to disregard off-court evidence and on-camera performances of parties to a
litigation. Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per se fatally infect their
impartiality.

At best, the accused can only conjure possibility of prejudice on the part of the trial judge due to the
barrage of publicity that characterized the investigation and trial of the case. The SC had previously
rejected this standard of possibility of prejudice and adopted the test of actual prejudice as we ruled
that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the judges
have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage of publicity. In the case at
bar, the records do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against appellant as a
consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The totality of
circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed opinion as a result of
prejudicial publicity which is incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial. The
accused has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden. There is no
evidence showing that the trial judge allowed the proceedings to turn into a carnival. Nor did he
consent to or condone any manifestation of unruly or improper behavior or conduct inside the
courtroom during the trial of the case at bar.
Parenthetically, the accused should be the last person to complain against the press for prejudicial
coverage of his trial. The records reveal he presented in court no less than 7 newspaper reporters
and relied heavily on selected portions of their reports for his defense. The defenses documentary
evidence consists mostly of newspaper clippings relative to the investigation of the case at bar and
which appeared to cast doubt on his guilt. The press cannot be fair and unfair to appellant at the
same time.
Finally, it would not be amiss to stress that the trial judge voluntarily inhibited himself from further
hearing the case, but the SC, nothing in the conduct of the proceedings to stir any suspicion of
partiality against the trial judge, directed the trial judge to proceed with the trial to speed up the
administration of justice.
4. The presence of treachery
The accused claims that treachery was not present in the killing of Hultman and Chapman, and the
wounding of Leino for it was not shown that the gunman consciously and deliberately adopted
particular means, methods and forms in the execution of the crime. The accused asserts that mere
suddenness of attack does not prove treachery.
The 3 Informations charged the accused with having committed the crimes with treachery and
evident premeditation. Evident premeditation was correctly ruled out by the trial court for, admittedly,
the shooting incident was merely a casual encounter or a chance meeting on the street since the
victims were unknown to the accused and vice-versa. It, however, appreciated the presence of the
qualifying circumstance of treachery.

On the other hand, the prosecution failed to prove treachery in the killing of Chapman. Prosecution
witness Leino established the sequence of events leading to the shooting. He testified that for no
apparent reason, the accused suddenly alighted from his car and accosted him and Maureen
Hultman who were then walking along the sidewalk.
Appellant questioned who they were and demanded for an I.D. After Leino handed him his I.D.,
Chapman appeared from behind Leino and asked what was going on. Chapman then stepped down
on the sidewalk and inquired from appellant what was wrong. There and then, the accused pushed
Chapman, pulled a gun from inside his shirt, and shot him. The gun attack was unexpected. Why
did you shoot me? was all Chapman could utter. Concededly, the shooting of Chapman was carried
out swiftly and left him with no chance to defend himself. Even then, there is no evidence on record
to prove that the accused consciously and deliberately adopted his mode of attack to insure the
accomplishment of his criminal design without risk to himself. The accused acted on the spur of the
moment. Their meeting was by chance. They were strangers to each other. The time between the
initial encounter and the shooting was short and unbroken. The shooting of Chapman was thus the
result of a rash and impetuous impulse on the part of the accused rather than a deliberate act of will.
Mere suddenness of the attack on the victim would not, by itself, constitute treachery. Hence, absent
any qualifying circumstance, the accused should only be held liable for Homicide for the shooting
and killing of Chapman.
As to the wounding of Leino and the killing of Hultman, treachery clearly attended the commission of
the crimes. The evidence shows that after shooting Chapman in cold blood, the accused ordered
Leino to sit on the pavement. Maureen became hysterical and wandered to the side of appellants
car. When the accused went after her, Maureen moved around his car and tried to put some distance
between them. After a minute or two, the accused got to Maureen and ordered her to sit beside
Leino on the pavement. While seated, unarmed and begging for mercy, the two were gunned down
by the accused . Clearly, the accused purposely placed his two victims in a completely defenseless
position before shooting them. There was an appreciable lapse of time between the killing of
Chapman and the shooting of Leino and Hultman a period which the accused used to prepare for a
mode of attack which ensured the execution of the crime without risk to himself.
Penalties:(Note: Mr. Teehankee was pardoned in 2008)
(1) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide for the shooting of Roland John
Chapman. He was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of 8 years and 1
day of prision mayor as minimum to 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as
maximum, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts: P50,000 as indemnity
for the victims death; and, P1,000,000 as moral damages.

(2) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, qualified by treachery, for the shooting of
Maureen Navarro Hultman. He was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of reclusion perpetua, and to
pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts: P50,000 as indemnity for her death;
P2,350,461.83 as actual damages; P564,042.57 for loss of earning capacity of said deceased;
P1,000,000 as moral damages; and P2,000,000 as exemplary damages.
(3) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder, qualified by treachery, for the
shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino, and sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of 8 years of prision
mayor as minimum, to 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal as maximum, and to pay the
said offended party the following amounts: P30,000 as indemnity for his injuries; P118,369.84 and
equivalent in Philippine Pesos of U.S.$55,600.00, both as actual damages; P1,000,000 as moral
damages; and, P2,000,000 as exemplary damages.
(4) In all three cases, to pay each of the 3 offended parties the sum of P1,000,000, or a total of
P3,000,000, for attorneys fees and expenses of litigation; and
(5) To pay the costs in all 3 cases.
Aggravating circumstance; treachery. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the
crimes against persons, employing means, methods or forms which tend directly and specially to
ensure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense, which the offended party might
make. For treachery to be appreciated, two conditions must concur: (a) the employment of means,
methods or manner of execution that would ensure the offenders safety from any defense or
retaliatory act on the part of the offended party; and (b) the offenders deliberate or conscious choice
of means, method or manner of execution. People of the Philippines vs. Albert Sanchez y
Galera, G.R. No. 188610, June 29, 2010.
Aggravating circumstance; treachery. The essence of treachery is the sudden attack by an
aggressor without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim, depriving the latter of any real
chance to defend himself, thereby ensuring the commission of the crime without risk to the
aggressor. Jurisprudence teaches that there is treachery when an adult person attacks and causes
the death of a child of tender years. As the Supreme Court elucidated in People vs.
Cabarrubias, the killing of a child is characterized by treachery even if the manner of assault is not
shown. For, the weakness of the victim due to his tender years results in the absence of any danger
to the accused. People of the Philippines vs. Albert Sanchez y Galera, G.R. No. 188610,
June 29, 2010.

June 2010 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Criminal Law and Procedure
Posted on July 19, 2010 by Dominador Maphilindo O. Carrillo Posted in Criminal Law Tagged burden
of proof, contempt,damages, dangerous drugs, dishonesty, estafa, evidence, evident
premeditation, illegal recruitment, kidnapping, murder,parricide, perjury, qualified
rape, rape, robbery, treachery

Here are selected June 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on criminal
law and procedure:
Criminal Law
1. Revised Penal Code
Aggravating circumstance; evident premeditation. In order for evident premeditation to
be appreciated, the following requisites must be proven: (1) the time when the offender
determined to commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the culprit has
clung to his determination; and (3) a sufficient lapse of time between the determination
and execution, to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act and to allow his
conscience to overcome the resolution of his will. In the instant case, appellant uttered
the words iyang mama na iyan, may araw din siya sa akin. Even conceding that these
utterances were in the form of a threat, it still cannot be presumed that at the time they
were made, there was indeed a determination to kill and that appellants had indeed
clung to that determination, planning and meditating on how to kill the victim. People of
the Philippines vs. Jonel Falabrica Serenas, et al, G.R. No. 188124, June 29, 2010.
Aggravating circumstance; evident premeditation. For evident premeditation to be
considered, the following must be established: (1) the time when the accused
determined (conceived) to commit the crime; (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that
he clung to his determination to commit the crime (kill his victim); and (3) a sufficient
lapse of time between the decision to commit the crime and the execution thereof to
allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act. Premeditation
presupposes a deliberate planning of the crime before executing it. The execution of the
criminal act, in other words, must be preceded by cool thought and reflection. In this
case, there was a showing of a plan or preparation to kill, or proof that the accused
meditated and reflected upon his decision to execute the crime. People of the
Philippines vs. Albert Sanchez y Galera, G.R. No. 188610, June 29, 2010.