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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila

ENBANC

G.R.No.L25459August10,1926

THEPEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINEISLANDS,plaintiffappellee,
vs.
RAMONMABUGAT,defendantappellant.

VicenteSottoforappellant.
AttorneyGeneralJaranillaforappellee.

ROMUALDEZ,J.:

TheCourtofFirstInstanceofOrientalNegrosimposeduponRamonMabugatthepenaltyoftwelveyearsand
onedaycadenatemporal,withtheaccessoriesofthelaw,toindemnifytheoffendedpartyinthesumofP700and
topaythecosts,forthecrimeoffrustratedmurder.

Theappellantappealedfromthisjudgment,makingtwoassignmentsoferrorascommittedbythetrialcourt,to
wit:

1.Inholdingthatthecrimecommittedisfrustratedmurder,and

2.Innotgivinganycredittotheevidencepresentedbythedefense,findingthedefendantguiltybeyonda
reasonabledoubt.

The evidence of the prosecution shows that the accused and Juana Buralo was sweethearts. Juana had been
jealousoftheaccusedonaccountofthelatterhavingfrequentlyvisitedthehouseofoneCarmen.Theirrelations
weresuchthattheaccusedinvitedJuanatotakeawalkontheafternoonofAugust9,1925.Juanarefusedhim,
later sending him a note of excuse. On the third day, or the night of August 11th, the accused went to the
threshold of Cirilo Banyan's house where Juana Buralo had gone to take part in some devotion. There the
accused,revolverinhand,requestedFranciscoAbellontoaskJuanatocomedownstairsandasAbellonrefused
todoso,theaccusedsaid:"Ifyoudonotwanttogoupstairs,IwillgetJuanaandifanyonetriestodefendherI
willkillhim."

TheaccusedwaiteduntilJuanaandherniecePerfectaBuralocamedownstairs,whentheywentinthedirection
oftheirhouse.Theaccused,whowasseenbythetwogirls,followedthemwithoutsayingaword.Itisonlyashort
distancefromthehousewherethedevotiontookplacetothatoftheoffendedparty,thehousesbeingadjacent.
Asthetwogirlsweregoingupstairs,theaccused,whilestandingatthefootofthestairway,firedashotfromhis
revolver which wounded Perfecta Buralo, the bullet passing through a part of her neck, having entered the
posterior region thereof and coming out through the left eye, which was completely destroyed. Due to proper
medicalattention,PerfectaBuralodidnotdieandisoneofthewitnesseswhotestifiedatthetrialofthiscase.

The defense, without abandoning its allegation that the accused is not responsible for the crime, contends that
thecrimeprovenisnotfrustratedmurderbutthedischargeofafirearm,withinjuries,itnothavingbeenproven
thatitwastheaccused'sintentiontokill.

The relations existing between the accused and Juana Buralo, his disappointment at her not accepting his
invitationtotakeawalk,thefactthattheaccused,revolverinhand,wenttolookforJuanaBuraloatthehouse
wherethedevotionwasbeingheld,laterfollowinghertoherhouse,andespeciallyhavingaimedatherperson
the headare facts which, in our opinion, permit of no other conclusion than that, in firing the shot, it was the
accused'sintentiontokill.

InthedecisionofthiscourtinthecaseofUnitedStatesvs.Montenegro(15Phil.,1),itwasheld:

We do not doubt that there may be cases wherein the discharge of a firearm at another is not in itself
sufficient to sustain a finding of the intention to kill, and there are many cases in the books wherein the
attendantcircumstancesconclusivelyestablishthatondischargingafirearmatanothertheactorwasnotin
fact animated by the intent to kill. But, in seeking to ascertain the intention with which a specific act is
committed, it is always proper and necessary to look not merely to the act itself but to all the attendant
circumstancessofarastheyaredevelopedbytheevidenceandwhere,asinthecaseatbar,arevolveris
twice discharged pointblank at the body of another, and the shots directed at the most vital parts of the
body,itneedsbutlittleadditionalevidencetoestablishtheintenttokillbeyondareasonabledoubt.
Thefactthatapersonreceivedtheshotwhichwasintendedforanother,doesnotalterhiscriminalliability.(Art.
1,par.3,PenalCode.)

Thecircumstancesqualifyingthemurderallegedinthecomplaintareevidencepremeditationandtreachery.Even
whenthereissufficientproofofpremeditation(whichwedonotbelievehasbeensufficientlyestablished),yet,it
cannotbeconsideredasaqualifyingcircumstanceinthepresentcase,becausethepersonwhomtheaccused
intended to kill was not Perfecta Buralo, who was hit by the bullet, but her aunt Juana Buralo. Had evident
premeditationbeenproven,andtherebeingnootherqualifyingcircumstanceoffrustratedmurderpresentinthis
case, the acts should be held to be frustrated homicide and punished with the maximum degree of the penalty
prescribedbylaw.(Question2,p.28,1890ed.,Viada'sPenalCode.)But,thefactisthattreacherywasproven
and must be taken into consideration in this case, because the accused fired at Perfecta Buralo, employing
meanswhichtendedtoinsuretheexecutionofthecrimewithoutrunninganyriskhimselffromanyonewhomight
attempttodefendthesaidoffendedparty.Thetreacherywhich,accordingtotheevidence,wouldhaveattended
thecrimehadthebullethitJuanaBuralowaspresentinthiscasebecausetheoffendedpartyPerfectaBuraloand
Juanaweregoingupstairswiththeirbackstowardstheaccusedwhenhefiredhisrevolver.TheSupremeCourt
ofSpain,inadecisionofMay7,1885(Viada,do.,pp.29,30),inholdingacrimetobemurderandnothomicide,
statedthefollowing:

Considering that, according to the concept of treachery as it is explained in article 10 of the Civil code
dealingwithsaidcircumstance,itisevidentthatinfiringthegunwhichAlejandroSolawascarryingwhich
causedthedeathofNazarioIigo,heemployedmeanswhichtendedtoinsurethecommissionofthecrime
withoutanyrisktohimselfarisingfromanydefensethatmightbemadebytheoffendedparty,forneither
thewoundedpartyBartolomeLobejano,atwhomtheshotwasaimedinordertokillhimsothathemight
not testify as to the assault committed upon him shortly before, as held by the trial court, was not in a
positiontodefendhimselfinanyway,norcouldNazarioIigobecomeawareofanyattacksounjustified,
rapid and unforeseen considering, further, that the purely accidental circumstance that as a result of the
shot a person other than the one intended was killed, does not modify, in the instant case, the elements
constituting the crime of murder qualified by the treachery with which Alejandro Sola acted, whether with
respecttothewoundedBartolomeLobejanoortothedeceasedNazarioIigo,forwhichreasontherulesof
article 65 are not applicable herein, the culprit not having, in fact, committed a crime different from that
whichheintended,takingintoconsiderationthesubstantialandintrinsicalmeaningthereof,etc.

Although the case just cited refers to the crime of consummated murder, the doctrine sustained therein is
applicabletothecaseatbarsofarastheconcurrenceoftreacheryasaqualifyingcircumstanceisconcerned.

Thecrimenowbeforeusisfrustratedmurder,theaccusedhavingintendedtokillandperformedalltheactsof
execution,whichwouldhaveproducedthecrimeofmurderbutwhich,nevertheless,didnotproduceitbyreason
ofcausesindependentofhiswill.(Art.3,PenalCode.)

Wefindnomeritinthefirstassignmentoferror.

In regard to the second, it appears beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts enumerated above constitute the
crimeoffrustratedmurder.

Withtheexceptionofthequalifyingcircumstanceoftreachery,wefindnootheraggravatingcircumstance.

Thejudgmentappealedfrombeinginaccordancewiththelawandthefactsproven,thesameisherebyaffirmed
inallitspartscostsagainsttheappellant.Soordered.

Avancea,C.J.,Street,Villamor,Ostrand,JohnsandVillaRealJJ.,concur.

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