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People vs Dagani

G.R.no. 153675 August 16,2006


Facts:
This is a murder case filed against Otello Sanitano and Rolando Dagani for the killing of
Ernesto Javier. At about 4:45 in the afternoon of September 11, 1989, a group composed of
Ernesto Javier (Javier), Lincoln Miran (Miran), and two other individuals had been drinking at
the canteen located inside the compound of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) along
C.M. Recto Avenue, Tondo, Manila. All of a sudden, appellants, who were security officers of
the PNR and covered by the Civil Service Rules and Regulations, entered the canteen and
approached the group. Appellant Dagani shoved Miran, causing the latter to fall from his
chair. Dagani then held Javier while Santiano shot Javier twice at his left side, killing the
latter. The RTC ruled that Otello Santiano and Rolando Dagani are guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of Murder defined and punished under Art. 248, RPC, with the presence of
the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. Appellants invoked the justifying
circumstances of self-defense and lawful performance of official duty as PNR security
officers. They also argued that the prosecution failed to establish treachery and conspiracy.
Issues:
1. Wether or not the lower erred in not appreciating self-defense on the part of the
accused
2. Wether or not it was a performance of lawful duty
3. wether or not there was a conspiracy
Held:
1. The defense was unable to prove that there was unlawful aggression on the part of
Javier. They were unable to present evidence that the victim actually fired his gun. No
spent shells from the .22 caliber pistol were found and no bullets were recovered
from the scene of the incident. Javier also tested negative for gunpowder residue.
Moreover, the trial court found appellant Daganis account of the incident to be
incredible and self-serving. In sum, the defense presented a bare claim of selfdefense without any proof of the existence of its requisites.
2. The defense failed to prove that the security officers were in fact on duty at the time
they were at the canteen. The trial court gave weight to the fact that the appellants
were unable to submit their daily time records to show that they were on duty at the
time. Appellants assertion that they were ordered to go on 24-hour duty was belied
by PNR Security Investigator Rolando Marinays testimony that PNR security officers
work in two 12-hour shifts, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00
a.m.
3. The Supreme Court cannot agree with the findings of the courts a quo that the
appellants were in conspiracy simply because there is no evidence presented to show
that the appellants planned to kill Javier.
Wherefore the decision of the Court of Appeals is modified. Appellant Otello Santiano is
found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Homicide. Appellant Rolando Dagani is hereby
acquitted.

RUJJERIC Z. PALAGANAS,
petitioner,vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
respondent
G.R. No. 165483 September 12, 2006
FACT:
On January 16, 1998, around 8:00 in the evening, brothers Servillano, Melton, and Michael Ferrer were
having their drinking spree at their house but later decided to proceed to Tidbits Videoke Bar to continue
their drinking spree and to sing. Thereafter, Jaime Palaganas arrived together with Ferdinand Palaganas
(nephew) and Virgilio Bautista. Later, when Jaime was singing, Melton Ferrer
sang along with him as he was familiar with the song My Way. Jaime got irritated and insulted. He
felt he was being mocked by Melton Ferrer that caused him to go to Ferrers table and utter statements
which began the fight. With this, Ferdinand, Jaimes nephew, sought help to his brother, Rujjeric Palaganas,
who was now the petitioner in this case. They went to the bar and upon seeing the Ferrer outside,
Ferdinand, pointing at the Ferrers, instructed Rujjeric to shoot them. Rujjeric Palaganas shot Servillano,
Melton, and Michael with the use of unlicensed firearm. As a result, Melton was killed, Servillano was fatally
wounded, and Michael was shot in his right shoulder. On October 28, 1998, RTC of Pangasinan decided in 3
Criminal Cases finding the petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide and two (2)
counts of frustrated homicide of Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code. On September 30, 2004,
Court of Appeals AFFIRMED the decision of the lower court with modifications considering his voluntary
surrender as ordinary mitigating circumstance. However, on November 16, 2004, petitioner prayed for the
reversal of thedecision holding that the CA erred in affirming the judgment of conviction of RTC and in not
acquitting him on the ground of self-defense.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the use of the unlicensed firearm is a special aggravating circumstance which should be
appreciated by the court at the case at bar
HELD:
YES. An aggravating circumstance was provided for under PD No. 1866 as amended by RA8294 which is
a special law that was passed on June 6, 1997.
Its pertinent provision states: If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such
use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance.
This special aggravating circumstance cannot be offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance. Voluntary
surrender of petitioner in this case is merely an ordinary mitigating circumstance. Thus, it
cannot offset the special aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm. In accordance with Article
64, paragraph 3 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty imposable on petitioner should be in its maximum
period. Therefore, decision was AFFIRMED by SC with certain modifications appreciating the special
aggravating circumstance in the case at bar.