135981, January 15
People of the Philippines vs. Marivic Genosa
FACTS: This case stemmed from the killing of Ben Genosa, by his wife Marivic Genosa, appellant herein.
During their first year of marriage, Marivic and Ben lived happily but apparently thereafter, Ben changed
and the couple would always quarrel and sometimes their quarrels became violent. Appellant testified that
every time her husband came home drunk, he would provoke her and sometimes beat her. Whenever
beaten by her husband, she consulted medical doctors who testified during the trial. On the night of the
killing, appellant and the victim were quarreled and the victim beat the appellant. However, appellant was
able to run to another room. Appellant admitted having killed the victim with the use of a gun. The
information for parricide against appellant, however, alleged that the cause of death of the victim was by
beating through the use of a lead pipe. Appellant invoked self defense and defense of her unborn child.
After trial, the Regional Trial Court found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
parricide with an aggravating circumstance of treachery and imposed the penalty of death.
On automatic review before the Supreme Court, appellant filed an URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION praying
that the Honorable Court allow (1) the exhumation of Ben Genosa and the re-examination of the cause of
his death; (2) the examination of Marivic Genosa by qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to determine
her state of mind at the time she killed her husband; and finally, (3) the inclusion of the said experts’
reports in the records of the case for purposes of the automatic review or, in the alternative, a partial reopening of the case a quo to take the testimony of said psychologists and psychiatrists. The Supreme
Court partly granted the URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION of the appellant. It remanded the case to the trial
court for reception of expert psychological and/or psychiatric opinion on the “battered woman syndrome”
plea. Testimonies of two expert witnesses on the “battered woman syndrome”, Dra. Dayan and Dr.
Pajarillo, were presented and admitted by the trial court and subsequently submitted to the Supreme
Court as part of the records.
1. Whether or not appellant herein can validly invoke the “battered woman syndrome” as constituting self
2. Whether or not treachery attended the killing of Ben Genosa.
Ruling: 1. The Court ruled in the negative as appellant failed to prove that she is afflicted with the
“battered woman syndrome”.
A battered woman has been defined as a woman “who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or
psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without
concern for her rights. Battered women include wives or women in any form of intimate relationship with
men. Furthermore, in order to be classified as a battered woman, the couple must go through the
battering cycle at least twice. Any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship with a man once. If it
occurs a second time, and she remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered woman.”
More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called “cycle of violence,”
which has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the
tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent) phase.
The Court, however, is not discounting the possibility of self-defense arising from the battered woman
syndrome. First, each of the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least
two battering episodes between the appellant and her intimate partner. Second, the final acute battering
episode preceding the killing of the batterer must have produced in the battered person’s mind an actual
fear of an imminent harm from her batterer and an honest belief that she needed to use force in order to
save her life. Third, at the time of the killing, the batterer must have posed probable -- not necessarily
immediate and actual -- grave harm to the accused, based on the history of violence perpetrated by the

not merely imaginary. Under the existing facts of the present case. It presupposes actual. . In any event. she had gone through a similar pattern. equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel. Thus. the Revised Penal Code provides that the following requisites of self-defense must concur: (1) Unlawful aggression. NO. The first circumstance arose from the cyclical nature and the severity of the battery inflicted by the batterer-spouse upon appellant. during which the accused might recover her normal equanimity. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense. To appreciate this circumstance. these circumstances could satisfy the requisites of selfdefense. which overcame her reason and impelled her to vindicate her life and that of her unborn child. not all of these elements were duly established. 2. As to the extenuating circumstance of having acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion and obfuscation. The mitigating factors of psychological paralysis and passion and obfuscation were.former against the latter. The acute battering she suffered that fatal night in the hands of her batterer-spouse. however. treachery must be proved as conclusively as the killing itself. the method of assault adopted by the aggressor must have been consciously and deliberately chosen for the specific purpose of accomplishing the unlawful act without risk from any defense that might be put up by the party attacked. the repeated beatings over a period of time resulted in her psychological paralysis. sudden and unexpected attack -. the following requisites should concur: (1) there is an act.or an imminent danger thereof -.on the life or safety of a person. Besides. and the peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual. both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition of mind. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety.did not arise from the same set of facts. which was analogous to an illness diminishing the exercise of her will power without depriving her of consciousness of her acts. he apparently ceased his attack and went to bed. Moreover. and (2) this act is not far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of time. Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. it has been held that this state of mind is present when a crime is committed as a result of an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or improper acts or by a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to overcome reason. The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the “cycle of violence” supposedly characterizing the relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa.psychological paralysis as well as passion and obfuscation -. Settled in our jurisprudence. according to the testimony of Marivic herself. It should be clarified that these two circumstances -. Taken altogether. She had already been able to withdraw from his violent behavior and escape to their children’s bedroom. The appellant acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion or obfuscation. treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance. is the rule that the one who resorts to self-defense must face a real threat on one’s life. in order to appreciate alevosia. In the present case. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he posed had ended altogether. That is. the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the woman to kill her abusive partner. Because of the gravity of the resulting offense. however. however. No doubt there were acute battering incidents but appellant failed to prove that in at least another battering episode in the past. Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the cycle. overwhelmed her and put her in the aforesaid emotional and mental state. in spite of the fact that she was eight (8) months pregnant with their child. because the deceased may be said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. During that time. there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful aggression of Ben and her fatal attack upon him. and (3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. (2) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it. taken in favor of appellant.

Victim-survivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from battered women syndrome do not incur any criminal and civil liability nothwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code. Inasmuch as appellant has been detained for more than the minimum penalty hereby imposed upon her. along a highway.The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of appellant for parricide. 26 of said law provides that "xxx.html) FACTS Glen Remigio (Glen). Admitting having stabbed Glen. They picked up two hitch hikers. Nila Remigio (Nila). It was opined that the position of the stab wound would suggest that had the assailant used his left hand. unless she is being held for some other lawful cause. 9262. He claimed that the Tamaraw FX driven by Glen was a passenger taxi. Glen was driving. that when he was about to alight in front of Rempson Supermarket after arguing with Glen on the overcharged fees. his wife. R. MELANIO MAPAIT (Criminal Law: Self-Defense. NOTE: After this case was decided by the Supreme Court. Glen died and his body was brought for autopsy which revealed that Glen had sustained a fatal stab wound on the left side of his neck. named Nugas and Araneta. not a family vehicle. while Nila sat to his extreme right because their children sat between them. he was probably directly behind the" PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. Thereafter. the penalty is reduced to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum. considering the presence of two (2) mitigating circumstances and without any aggravating circumstance. he replied that he needed the knife for protection because he was living in a squatter’s area. the hitch hikers pointed knives at Glen and Nila’s necks demanding that they be brought to a mall. the man behind Glen suddenly stabbed Glen on the neck.A. Treachery) *Read full text:http://www. that thinking that Glen was reaching for a gun inside the clutch bag. the two men alighted and fled. he stabbed Glen with his left hand from where he was seated in order to protect himself (Inunahan ko na sya). . when they passed a village. Despite undergoing treatment. Nugas maintained that he did so in self-defense. the director of the Bureau of Corrections may immediately RELEASE her from custody upon due determination that she is eligible for parole. Upon the vehicle reaching Kingsville Village. were traveling on board their family vehicle. and their two young children. and that when asked why he carried a knife. Raymond and Genevieve. Later. a Tamaraw FX.html http://w ww. otherwise known as Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 was enacted. Glen punched him and leaned forward as if to get something from his clutch bag that was on the dashboard.lawphil.lawphil. to 14 years 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum.

making Nugas believe that he had a gun . and (b) imminent unlawful aggression. the accused must establish the concurrence of three elements of unlawful aggression. and (c) the attack or assault must be unlawful. such as pressing his right hand to his hip where a revolver was holstered. Imminent unlawful aggression means an attack that is impending or at the point of happening. Actual or material unlawful aggression means an attack with physical force or with a weapon. In the case. but must be offensive and positively strong (like aiming a revolver at another with intent to shoot or opening a knife and making a motion as if to attack). accompanied by an angry countenance. nor must it be merely imaginary. There was no unlawful aggression on the part of the victim as to justify self-defense. it must not consist in a mere threatening attitude. an offensive act that positively determines the intent of the aggressor to cause the injury. Unlawful aggression is of two kinds: (a) actual or material unlawful aggression. imminent. or like aiming to throw a pot. Unlawful aggression on the part of the victim is the primordial element of the justifying circumstance of self-defense. there can be no justified killing in defense of oneself. the peril must not be an imagined or imaginary threat. (b) the attack or assault must be actual. namely: (a) there must be a physical or material attack or assault. Imminent unlawful aggression must not be a mere threatening attitude of the victim.ISSUE Whether there was unlawful aggression on the part of the victim as to justify selfdefense. RULING No. at least. or. The test for the presence of unlawful aggression under the circumstances is whether the aggression from the victim put in real peril the life or personal safety of the person defending himself. Accordingly. Nugas did not credibly establish that Glen had first punched him and then reached for his clutch bag on the dashboard. Without unlawful aggression.

accused-appellant Nugas was seated directly behind the victim. deliberate and unexpected. of the Penal Code. can launch an attack against the latter. The essence of treachery lies in the attack that comes without warning. and affords the hapless. it cannot be considered as a defense but as the punishment which the injured party inflicts on the author of the provocation. thereby ensuring its accomplishment without the risk to the aggressor. in relation to accused-appellant Nugas position. Consequently. First. the indispensable foundation of self-defense. unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. Third. methods and forms of execution were deliberately and consciously adopted by the accused without danger to his person. without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim. and (b) that such means. nay risky for the victim’s family. namely: (a) that the means. Carrero: Unlawful aggression is the main and most essential element to support the theory of self-defense and the complete or incomplete exemption from criminal liability. the victim was at the driver’s seat and seated between him were his wife and two children. With unlawful aggression. it is highly improbable. is defenseless and unable to flee at the time of the infliction of the coup de grace. the victim was driving the FX vehicle. it is superfluous to still determine whether the remaining requisites of self-defense were attendant. When an act of aggression is in response to an insult. although warned of the danger to his life. Nugas admitted not actually seeing if Glen had a gun in his clutch bag. Treachery may also be appreciated when the victim. affront. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend himself or to retaliate. not having been established by Nugas. as the Court Appeals pointed out. without such primal requisite it is not possible to maintain that a person acted in selfdefense within the terms under which unlawful aggression is subordinate to the other two conditions named in article 8. Nugas had absolutely no basis for pleading self-defense because he had not been subjected to either actual or imminent threat to his life. for him to launch an attack. All things considered.there. No. As the Court made clear in People v. except in violation of the provisions of the Penal Code. (emphasis supplied) Treachery is present when two conditions concur. 4. methods and forms of execution employed gave the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate. . For one. and the attack is swift. and in such a case the courts can at most consider it as a mitigating circumstance. or threat. He had nothing to prevent or to repel considering that Glen committed no unlawful aggression towards him. Second. but never as a reason for exemption. It is also highly improbable that the victim.

Oanis and Galanta could have checked whether it is the real Balagtas. In this case. 1943 (74 Phil 257) PARTIES: Plaintiff and appellee: People of the Philippines Defendants and appellant: Antonio Oanis. only the first requisite is present. Alberto Galanta FACTS: Antonio Oanis and Alberto Galanta were instructed to arrest a notorious criminal and escaped convict. No. The fact that the supposedly suspect was sleeping. (2) that the injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of such duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office. 2. No. A person incurs no criminal liability when he acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office. an innocent man.People vs. 2. HELD: 1. . They went to the suspected house then proceeded to the room where they saw the supposedly Balagtas sleeping with his back towards the door. Anselmo Balagtas. and if overpowered. ISSUE: 1. The supposedly Balagtas turned out to be Serepio Tecson. WON Oanis and Galanta incur no liability due to innocent mistake of fact in the honest performance of their official duties. Innocent mistake of fact does not apply to the case at bar. There are 2 requisites to justify this: (1) the offender acted in teh perfomance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office. Oanis and Galanta are criminally liable. WON Oanis and Galanta incur no criminal liability in the performance of their duty. Oanis July 27. “Ignorance facti excusat” applies only when the mistake is committed without fault or carelessness. Oanis and Galanta simultaneously or successively fired at him which resulted to the victim’s death. to get him dead or alive.