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People v.

11 Feb L 4445, February 28, 1955
The defendant-appellants namely, Manuel Beronilla, Policarpio Paculdo,
Filipino Velasco and Jacinto Adriatico file an appeal from the judgment of the
Abra Court of First Instance (CFI), which convicted of murder for the
execution of Arsenio Borjal, the elected mayor of La, Paz, Abra (at the
outbreak of war), which was found to be aiding the enemy.
Borjal moved to Bangued because of death threats was succeeded by
Military Mayor Manuel Beronilla, who was appointed by regimental
commander of the 15th Infantry of the Phil. Army, operating as guerilla unit
in Abra. Simultaneously upon his appointment, Beronilla received a
memorandum which authorized him to appoint a jury of 12 bolo men to try
persons accused of treason, espionage and aiding or supporting the enemy.
Borjal upon return was placed under custody and tried and sentenced to
death by the jury based on various complaints made by the residents.
Two years thereafter, Beronilla, along with the executioner and jury, were
indicted for the murder of Borjal. Soon after, President Manuel Roxas issued
Executive Proclamation 8, which granted amnesty to persons who committed
acts in furtherance of the resistance to the enemy against persons aiding in
the war efforts of the enemy. The rest of defendants applied and were
granted amnesty, but Beronilla and others were convicted on the grounds
that the crime was made on purely personal motives and that the crime was
committed after the expiration of time limit for amnesty proclamation.
Whether or not the defendant-appellants actions are covered by justifying
circumstances for obedience to lawful order of superior?
Held: Yes. The accused acted upon orders of their superior officers, which as
military subordinates, they could not question and obeyed in good faith
without the being aware of its illegality.
The evidence is sufficient to sustain the claim of the defense that arrest,
prosecution and trial of Borjal was done in pursuant to express orders of
superiors. The conduct of the accused also does not show malice on their
part because of the conduct of the trial, defense through counsel given to

Borjal, suspension of trial based on doubts of illegality and death sentence

review sent to the superior officers.Criminal intent then could not be
established. The maxim here is actus non facit reum, nisi mens rea (Crime is
not committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of to
be innocent).
Additionally, the lower court should not have denied their claim to the
benefits of the Guerilla Amnesty Proclamation No. 8 inspite of contradictory
dates of liberation of La Paz, Abra. Even if the dates were contradictory, the
court should have found for the Beronila, et al because if there are any
reasonable doubt as to whether a given case falls within the (amnesty)
proclamation should be resolved in favor of the accused.
Judgement reversed, appellants acquitted.

People v. Cario
G.R 123325, 31 March 1998, 288 SCRA 404
This is an appeal of finding the accused guilty of murder.
Accused, then being armed with an improvised shotgun or sumpak shot
one Rolando B. Sobreo, thereby inflicting upon the latter gunshot wounds
affecting his internal organs such as heart, lung, liver, stomach and part of
intestine, which ultimately caused his death.
Arlene Sobreo testified that she was on her way home when she heard a
shot. As she passed by the store she saw accused-appellant carrying a
sumpak, a homemade shotgun. When she got home, Bernadette Mata, a
neighbor, told Arlene that her husband was shot by accused-appellant.
Arlene rushed to the scene of the incident, which was a short distance from
Nognog store, only to find her husband wounded and lying on the ground
in front of Medy store. While there were people milling around at the crime
scene, she was unable to recognize them as she was thinking of her
husband. Roberto Maxwell testified that he was able to positively identify
accused-appellant as the one who shot the victim as Roberto had been
seeing accused-appellant at the public market.
Accused-appellant maintains that granting arguendo that Roberto Maxwells
testimony was credible, it could not support a conviction for murder since the
elements of treachery were not proven. In his defense, while accusedappellant expressly admits having killed Rolando Sobreo, he interposes a
combination of accident and what appears to be self-defense.
Whether or not the accused-appellant acted in self-defense.
Where an accused admits killing the victim but invokes self-defense, it is
incumbent upon him to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he acted
in self-defense; and as the burden of the evidence is thus shifted to him, he
must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of
that of the prosecution for, even if the latter were weak, it could not be
disbelieved after the accuseds open admission of responsibility for the

Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden and unexpected attack,

or an imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating
attitude. Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying
circumstance of self-defense. In other words, there can be no self-defense,
complete or incomplete, unless the victim has committed unlawful
aggression against the person defending himself. Simply put, unlawful
aggression is indispensable, it being the main ingredient of self-defense.
However, with accused-appellant and the Solicitor General that treachery
was not duly proved. To qualify a killing to murder it must be shown that the
same was committed with either treachery or evident premeditation, or
cruelty; or in consideration of a price, reward or promise; or through means
involving great waste or ruin, or on the occasion of a calamity. The crime
thus committed is only homicide, not murder as held by the trial court.

People vs. Alconga

78 Phil. 366
The conflict began when Silverio Barion (deceased), the banker of the card
game was playing black jack against Maria De Raposo. The banker was losing
in the game, unknowingly because Alongca gave signs to De Raposo which
seated at his back. Barion then found this out and he expressed his anger at
Alconga. The two almost fought outright this was stopped.
The two crossed their paths again sometime on May 29 when Alconga was
doing his job as a home guard. While the said accused was seated on a
bench in the guardhouse, Barion came along and swing his pingahan, a
bamboo stick to Alconga which he avoided by falling to the ground. A second
blow was given by Barion but failed to hit the accused, hitting the bench
instead. Alconga managed to go out of the guardhouse by crawling on his
abdomen. While Barion was about to deliver the third blow, Alconga then
fired at him with his revolver, causing him to stagger and hit the ground. The
deceased stood up, drew forth his dagger and directed a blow to the accused
that was able to parry the attack using his bolo. A hand to hand fight ensued.
The deceased, looking already beaten and having sustained several wounds
ran away. But he was followed by the accused and was overtaken after 200
meters. A second fight took place and the deceased this time he received a
mortal bolo blow, the one which slashed the cranium which causes his death.
Whether or not self-defense can be used as a defense by Alconga
No. Self-defense cannot be sustained, Alconga is guilty of Homicide. The very
moment that Barion ceases the perils to one life ceases too. He could have
only attacked if there was reason to believe that he is still not safe. In the
case at bar, it is apparent that it is Alconga who is the superior fighter and
his safety was already secured after the first fight ended. There was no more
reason for him to further chase Barion. The second fight will be treated
differently and independently. Under the first fight, self-defense would have
been valid, which differ in the case of second fight. In the second fight, there
was illegal aggression on the part of Alconga and as a result, he is found
guilty of Homicide with no mitigating circumstance of provocation

Provocation in order to be an mitigating circumstance must be sufficient and

immediately preceding the act. It should be proportionate to the act
committed and adequate to stir one to its commission

Ladiana vs. People

393 SCRA 419
The accused, a public officer, being then a member of the Integrated
National Police (INP now PNP) assigned at the Lumban Police Station,
Lumban, Laguna, acting in relation to his duty which is primarily to enforce
peace and order within his jurisdiction, taking advantage of his official
position confronted Francisco San Juan why the latter was removing the steel
pipes which were previously placed to serve as barricade to prevent the
entry of vehicles along P. Jacinto Street, Barangay Salac, Lumban, Laguna,
purposely to insure the safety of persons passing along the said street and
when Francisco San Juan told the accused that the latter has no business in
stopping him, said accused who was armed with a firearm, attacked and shot
Francisco San Juan with the firearm hitting Francisco San Juan at his head
and neck inflicting upon him fatal wounds thereby causing the death of
Francisco San Juan.
Whether or not he acted in self-defense is entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender.
In general, admissions may be rebutted by confessing their untruth or by
showing they were made by mistake. The party may also establish that the
response that formed the admission was made in a jocular, not a serious,
manner; or that the admission was made in ignorance of the true state of
facts. Yet, petitioner never offered any rationalization why such admissions
had been made, thus, leaving them unrebutted. Having admitted that he had
fatally shot the victim, petitioner had the duty of showing that the killing was
justified, and that the latter incurred no criminal liability therefor.
Petitioner should have relied on the strength of his own evidence and not on
the weakness of that for the prosecution. Even if his evidence be weak, it
cannot be disbelieved after the accused has admitted the killing. Petitioner
argues that it was the prosecution that indirectly raised the issue of selfdefense. Hence, he could not be bound by it. This argument deserves scant
consideration. Therefore, petitioner can no longer invoke his constitutional
right to be presumed innocent of the crime charged. As far as he is

concerned, homicide has already been established. The fact of death and its
cause were established by his admissions coupled with the other prosecution
evidence including the Certificate of Death, the Certificate of Post-Mortem
Examination and the Medico-Legal Findings. The intent to kill is likewise
presumed from the fact of death.
The only pieces of evidence in support of the plea of voluntary surrender
made by petitioner are statements made by two (2) prosecution witnesses
that they were allegedly told by other people that he had already gone to the
police station. There is no showing that he was not actually arrested; or that
when he went to the police station, he surrendered himself to a person in
authority. Neither is there any finding that he has evinced a desire to own to
any complicity in the killing.
Thus, he could not be deemed to have voluntarily surrendered. In the
absence of sufficient and convincing proof showing the existence of
indispensable circumstances, we cannot appreciate voluntary surrender to
mitigate petitioners penalty. Petition is DENIED.

People v. Lagata (1949)

82 Phil. 159
Ignacio Lagata (accused), a provincial guard of Catbalogan, Samar, was in
charge of 6 prisoners namely (Jesus, Tipace, Eusebio, Mariano, Labong &
Abria) which is assigned to work in the capitol plaza of Samar.He then
ordered the prisoners to go to the nursery to pick up gabi. Not long
afterwards, they were called to assemble. He noticed that Labong was
missing so he ordered the 5 remaining prisoners to go look for him. Abria
said that while they were gathering gabi, he heard 3 shots and was wounded
by the 2nd one. They were already assembled by the 1st shot and that he
did not see Tipace being shot. They all ran away due to fear that they might
be also shot.
Another prisoner, Mariano Ibaez stated that Labong did not answer their call
so Lagata ordered to go look for him in the mountain. He said that Abria
went to the camote plantation and found footprints and called on Lagata to
inform him about the footprints. When Abria told Lagata of the flattened
grass and that he was unable to look for Labong, Lagata fired at him and he
was hit on his left arm. Abria told Lagata he was wounded and in turn, Lagata
told them to assemble. Once they were assembled, Lagata cocked his gun
and shot Tipace. Mariano said that when he saw Tipace was shot, he ran
away because he also could have been shot. However, Eustaquio Galet,
another detainee, received good treatment from Lagata though his
testimony corroborated those of the other prisoners.
Pedro Mayuga, chief of Samar Provincial Hospital & Gilberto Rosales, Sanitary
Division president, verified the gunshot wound and that the death of Tipace
resulted therein. Lagata, however, said that he fired his gun because the
prisoners were running far from him when he already ordered them to stop.
He said that he would be the one in jail if a prisoner escaped under his
custody. Furthermore, he would be discharged from duty like the others.
Whether or not the accused act in the fulfilment of a duty or in the lawful
exercise of a right or office?
Court ruled that Lagata should be sentenced for homicide and serious
physical injuries. Appellant was entitled to the benefit of mitigating

circumstance of incomplete justifying circumstance. (Art.11 par.5, RPC) It

was clear that Lagata had absolutely no reason to fire at Tipace. Even if
Lagata sincerely believed that he acted in the performance of his duties, the
circumstances show that there was no necessity for him to fire directly
against the prisoners as to wound them seriously and even kill one of them.
While custodians should take care for prisoners not to escape, only absolute
necessity would authorize them to fire against them.

U.S. vs. Ah Chong

(15 Phil. 488)
The defendant Ah Chong and his roommate agreed to always say their
names upon entering the room or knocking on it because there were a lot of
thieves around the place. Ah Chong, was employed as a cook at Officers
quarters. On the night, the defendant was suddenly awakened by some
trying to force open the door of the room. He sat up in bed and called out
twice, Who is there? He heard no answer and was convinced by the noise
at the door that it was being pushed open by someone bent upon forcing his
way into the room. The defendant, fearing that the intruder was a robber or a
thief, leaped to his feet and called out: If you enter the room, I will kill you.
He was struck just above the knee by the edge of the chair and he thought
that the blow had been inflicted by the person who had forced the door open,
whom he supposed to be a burglar. Seizing a common kitchen knife which he
kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out wildly at the intruder who, it
afterwards turned out, was his roommate. The roommate eventually died.
Whether or not Ah Chong is liable for the death of his roommate.
No, Ah Chong was acquitted. The decision of the lower court was reversed.
The case was a mistake of fact resulting to self-defense justified under
Article 11(1) of the Revised Penal Code where there is (1) unlawful
aggression, (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. Had the deceased be a robber as he thought, his actions
would not be criminally liable.

Ulep v. People
G.R 132547, September 20, 2000
On Dec 22 1995, Buenaventura Wapili appeared to have gone crazy and kept
on running without any particular direction.
SPO1 Ulep, together with Espadera and Pillo, arrived at the scene armed with
M-16 rifles and saw the naked Wapili approaching them. The police claimed
that Wapili was armed with a bolo and a rattan stool, while Wapilis relatives
and neighbours said he had no bolo, but only a rattan stool. SPO1 Ulep fired
a warning shot in the air and told Wapili to put down his weapons ar they
would shoot him.
When Wapili was only about 2-3 meters away from them, SPO1 Ulep shot the
victim with his M-16 rifle, hitting him in various parts of his body. As the
victim slumped to the ground, SPO1 Ulep came closer and pumped another
bullet into his head and literally blew his brains out.
Whether or not the accused should be acquitted on the basis of his claim
that the killing of the victim was in the course of the performance of his
official duty as a police officer, and in self-defense
It cannot be said that the fatal wound in the head of the victim was a
necessary consequence of accused-appellants due performance of a duty or
the lawful exercise of a right or office. The evidence does not favor his claim
of self-defense. Accused-appellant is found guilty of Homicide, instead of
The accused must prove the presence of 2 requisites: (1) that he acted in the
performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or an office, and (2)
the injury caused or the offense committed is the necessary consequence of
the due performance of the duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office.
The aggression that was initially begun by the victim already ceased when
accused-appellant attacked him. From that moment, there was no longer any
danger to his life. No treachery, thus the offense is only murder. Victim was
given more than sufficient warning before he was shot.

Incomplete justification is a special or privileged mitigating circumstance,

which, not only cannot be offset by aggravating circumstances but also
reduces the penalty by one or two degrees than that prescribed by law.
The instant case would have fallen under Art. 11, par 5 had the two
conditions therefore concurred.

People vs. Mondijar

392 SCRA 356
On appeal is the decision of the RTC of Masbate, finding appellant Pedro
Mondijar guilty of the murder of Pamfilo Aplacador and imposing upon him
the penalty of death. Because appellant was more than 79 years old at the
time of the commission of the offense, the sentence was commuted to
reclusion perpetua.
Appellant and the victim were neighbors. Although appellant was the fatherin-law of the victim, there was bad blood between them. In a previous
incident, the son-in-law (Aplacador) had stabbed appellant. Whatever their
quarrel, it was never patched up. A month later, the ill feelings erupted anew
with fatal results for Aplacador. At about 6:30pm the accused stabbed and
hacked with the use of a sharp and pointed bolo, one Pamfilo Aplacador
hitting him at the different parts of his body which was the direct and the
logical cause of his instantaneous death.
Appellant admitted killing the victim, but claimed that he only acted in selfdefense.
Whether or not the accused acted in self-defense.
Appellant failed to establish unlawful aggression on the part of the victim,
one of the elements necessary for self-defense to be sustained. Appellant
exceeded the limits of necessity to suppress an alleged attack, and the
number and location of the hacking wounds sustained by the deceased
belied appellants claim of self-defense.
When an accused invokes self-defense, he effectively admits the killing, and
the onus probandi shifts upon him to show clearly and convincingly that the
killing is justified and that no criminal liability is incurred. For self-defense to
prosper, the accused must satisfy the following requisites: (a) unlawful
aggression by the victim, (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel it, and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
accused. The accused must rely upon its own evidence and not on the
weakness of the prosecution in order to establish self-defense.

Assuming arguendo that the victim, Aplacador, did try to stab appellant,
appellant went beyond reasonable necessity in trying to prevent or repel the
assault. The victim was not only disabled by multiple hack wounds; he was in
fact decapitated. The nature and number of wounds inflicted upon the victim
show that appellants intentions went beyond trying to protect his person but
sought to deliver serious harm, thus rendering self-defense unavailing in this
case. Appellants claim of self-defense is dubious. A plea of self-defense
cannot be appreciated where it is not only uncorroborated by independent
and competent evidence but is extremely doubtful by itself.
Prosecution failed to properly prove the qualifying circumstances of
treachery, abuse of superior strength, and evident premeditation. Appellant
could only be declared guilty of homicide.

US v. Laurel
G.R No 7037 22 Phil 252 15, March 1912
On the night of December 26, 1909, while Concepcion Lat was walking with
his suitor Exequiel Castillo and several male friends, abruptly Jose Larel
approached and kissed her then ran towards his house. The male
companions tried to run after him but did not overtake him.
The following day December 28 when an entertainment was going on, Laurel
and Castillo gave contradicting stories as to who called who to clarify to
explain what happened two nights ago. Suffice to say, at the ground floor
where Laurel and Castillo spoke at the distance from the others, suddenly
Castillo struck Laurel with his cane twice prompting the other to stab him
with a penknife. Castillo contended that after asking him to explain for his
actions against Lat, Laurel stabbed him and he was forced to defend himself.
Castillo managed to go to a nearby drugstore to have his wounds tended as
he suffered serious injuries. Court of First Instance found Laurel and his
companions guilty of frustrated murder.
Whether or not Laurel and his co-defendants are guilty of a crime against
Judgment reversed. Laurel and his co-defendants are acquitted. The court is
forced to think that the person who would consider himself aggrieved at the
kiss given to Lat is her suitor Castillo and it would appear a reasonable
conclusion that it is Castillo who was offended for the boldness of Laurels
action and would demand an explanation of the offense. The invitation
coming from Castillo and by testimonies of the witnesses, it was Castillo who
provoked and commenced the assault. A person who uses a pocketknife to
seriously wound him on the head with a cane and continues to beat him
employs rational means of self-defense.