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US v. CUNA / GR No.

L-4504 / December 15, 1908

Cuna, on June 30, 1907, sold opium to Apolinanaria Gumpal, Filipina,
who was not a doctor or a registered user of the drug. He was charged
in violation of Sec.5 of Act No. 1461 of the Philippine Commission.
Cuna demurred on the ground that the said act was repealed by Act no.
1761 on October 10, 1907 and because having repealed during the
pendency of the case with no exception regarding the pendency, there
was no law in force thus no jurisdiction of any courts.
The trial court dismissed the case. The Government appealed and argued
that both Acts penalizes the same crime and should not be construed as
having the courts deprive Cuna of trial.

ISSUE: Whether Cuna, who committed the crime before the repeal, should
be convic
The trial court cited the American and English common-law doctrine in
their deci
sion. The Supreme Court (SC), although they consider it right, said
that those l
aws were not in force in the country.
The SC said that no retroactive effect of the law shall take effect
except when
the punishment will be more favorable to the accused. Being that the
new law pen
alized the same act in the repealed law, there is no retroactivity.
The old law
should still be prescribed.
The SC decided that the Courts have jurisdiction over the case. The
decision of
the trial court was reversed.

People v. Sindiong / GR No. L-335 / February 12, 1947

Geronima Sindiong de Pastor and Santos T. Pastor were charged of
violating Secti
ons 1458 and 1459 of the Revised Administrative Code. They
deliberately evaded p
aying the percentage tax while being owners of Magazine Center, an
establishment d
evoted to selling of newspapers from 1936 to1938.
Sindiong said that the laws accused to him were repealed by
Commonwealth Act (C
A) No. 466 and CA No. 503 which were in force in 1939. The new law
provides that
Sindiongs business does not require paying taxes.
ISSUE: Whether defendants are guilty even if the law charged against
them has be
en repealed and not reenacted.
The Supreme Court pointed out that upon the enactment of the National
Internal R
evenue Code (CA 466, 503), the defendants were ceased to be bound in
paying taxe
The SC cited doctrines in other cases in which courts can be deprived
of jurisdi
ction if the new law fails to penalize the offenses in the repealed
law. Because
CA 466 and CA503 fails to penalize defendants, the SC affirmed their

People v. Gatchalian / G.R. Nos. L-12011-14 / September 30, 1958

Alfonso Gatchalian was charged with a violation of Section 3 of
Republic Act No.
602 when he mishandled the wages of his employees.
The trial court dismissed the case with his counsel citing that the
violation wa
s did not constitute a criminal offense but only civil liability and
even if it
was the law violated does not carry any penalty.
ISSUE: Whether the law at bar carries both criminal and civil
The Supreme Court points out that the intention of the law is clear.
Sec. 18of R
A 602 provides the penalty of the accused making the offense both
civil and crim
The SC also stated that even though Sec. 18 was not mentioned in the
, it cannot be used in deciding. There is no law which requires that
in order th
at an accused may be convicted the specific provision which penalizes
that act c
harged be mentioned in the information.
The SC found the law clear and unambiguous. They decided that the
trial court er
red in dismissing the case and be remanded to the court.

People v. Gonzales / G.R. No. 80762 / March 19, 1990

Fausta Gonzales, Augusto Gonzales, Custodio Gonzales Sr., Custodio
Gonzales, Jr., Nerio Gonzales and Rogelio Lanida were all found guilty
of murder for killing Lloyd Peacerrada. All of them except for
Custodio Sr. withdrew their appeal.
The decision of the trial court was based on the testimony of witness
Jose Huntoria. Huntoria said that appellant was also one of the
attackers of the deceased. Appellant maintained that he was asleep at
the moment.
The trial court and the Court of Appeals rejected appellants defense
of alibi.
ISSUE: Whether appellant was guilty.
The Supreme Court found Huntoria to be an unreliable witness. Huntoria
admitted during cross-examination that he cannot determine the group
of people stabbing the deceased. He failed to point definitely that
appellant also did the crime.
As stated in Arts. 3 and 4 of the Revised Penal Code, for one to be
criminally liable, an act should be committed. The SC found no
sufficient proof that appellant has acted.
Lastly, the SC found Huntoria was an interested witness as he was also
the tenant of the deceased. His testimony was sought to ingratiate
himself with the deceaseds family.
The SC found appellants guilt not proven by reasonable doubt thus
acquitting him.

People v. Wong Cheng / GR No. L-18924 / October 19, 1922

Wong Chen, while onboard an English ship, smoked opium while the ship
was anchor
ed in the Manila Bay. The lower court dismissed the case and alleged
lack of jur
ISSUE: Whether the Philippines has jurisdiction if an offense was held
in a ship
that is anchored in Philippine territory.
The Supreme Court noted that the English rule, that is followed by the
United St
ates, in which crimes perpetrated under such circumstances can be
tried in the
courts of the country within territory they were committed.
The SC also said the mere possession is not considered disturbance of
public but
usage within territorial limits even though aboard on a foreign ship
The SC remanded the earlier decision to the court of origin.
People v. Silvestre / December 14, 1931 / G.R. No. L-35748
Romana Silvestre was found guilty by the trial as accomplice to arson
with Marti
n Atienza as the principal.
Silvestre and Atienza were illicit partners and they were charged of
adultery by
Domingo Joaquin, Silvestre second husband. After pleading to Joaquin,
he droppe
d the charges and Atienza lived in another barangay.
Silvestre still secretly met with Atienza with the pretense of meeting
her son f
rom his first husband Nicolas de la Cruz. On the day of the incident,
Atienza bu
rned the de la Cruz house with Silvestre silently watching.
ISSUE: Whether Silvestre was an accomplice.
An accomplice means doing nothing on the crime itself but cooperated
by executin
g acts before or after the crime.
The Supreme Court found mere presence and silence do not constitute
She did not encouraged Atienza to do the act.
The SC reversed the decision on Silvestre while they affirmed the
decision on At
PEOPLE v. SUNICO, ET AL / C.A., 50 OG 5880
The accused were election inspectors and poll clerks who were to
transfer the na
mes of voters in other precincts to the list of a newly created
precinct. Severa
l voters were omitted in the list thus, disallowing them to vote. They
were pros
ecuted for violation of Secs. 101 and103 of the Revised Election Code.
They clai
med that they made the omission in good faith.
The trial court found the accused guilty. The crime, even though there
was no ba
d faith in the act of the accused was decided to be malum prohibitum.
Even witho
ut criminal intent, their act was still criminally punishable.
ISSUE: Whether the act was mala in se or mala prohibita.
The Supreme Court decided that the acts of the accused was mala in se.
They find
that failure to include a voters name in the registry was not only
prohibited bu
t it is wrong because it excludes a person from one of his fundamental
rights, t
o vote. For the accused to be punished, there should be intentional or
willful o
mission on their part, which the accused at bar did not do.
Because the accused was charged in relation to the Revised Election
Code and not
the Revised Penal Code or its amendments, they cannot be criminally
PEOPLE v. CAGOCO / GR No. L-38511 / October 6, 1933
The RTC found Francisco Cagoco guilty of killing Yu Luon in a
treacherous manner
when he hit him on the back of his head and fell down causing a
laceration on h
is neck. During the incident, Cagoco was not quickly caught but was
when he was place on a line. Yu Yee, the victims father, along with 2
witnesses p
ointed him without hesitation. They also identified him through his
facial featu
Cagoco argued that there was doubt on whether he was the attacker and
if he was,
the crime committed was only physical injuries and not murder.
ISSUE: Whether Cagoco committed murder.
The Supreme Court found the testimony of all the witnesses to be
credible especi
ally when Yee picked him in a group of eleven.
On whether he should be guilty of murder, the SC said that even if
there was no
intention to kill, he acted in a treacherous manner. He was found
guilty of murd
er with treachery becoming a qualifying circumstance. His contention
of killing
with without bad faith only becomes a mitigating circumstance.
7, 1988
In 1980, Filomeno Urbano went to his ricefield where he found his
sacks of palay
soaked from an overflowing canal. He saw Marcelo Javier and Emilio
Erfe at the
scene and asked who did it. Javier admitted and Urbano got angry and
struck him
with his bolo on his right palm.
No charges were filed as Javier and Urbano had an amicable settlement
wherein he
paid some of the medical dues. A few days later, Javier died from
The family of Urbano filed a homicide charge against him and was found
guilty af
terwards. Then the IAC, through a petition, affirmed the RTCs
decision. A motion
for a new trial was based on their barangay captain where he saw
Javier catching
fish in the dirty irrigation water days before his death.
ISSUE: Whether Urbanos act was the direct cause of Javiers death.
Urbano argues that it was Javiers fault that he got infected with
tetanus because
his hands were healing days before his death. Javier was not infected
days afte
r the hacking incident.
The SC found that the wound was infected but it was not because of the
hacking a
s Javier would only have mild tetanus if that were true. The SC found
that the a
ct of Urbano was not the proximate cause of Javiers death.
The SC acquitted him of the homicide charge but direct him to pay
civil liabilit
US v. AH CHONG / G.R. No. L-5272 / March 19, 1910
Because of recent bouts of burglaries, Ah Chong kept a knife under his
pillow fo
r protection. On the day of the incident, he also placed a chair in
front of the
door for further protection. He was awakened when someone was trying
to open to
door. Ah Chong asked who the person was, twice, but did not reply
until the cha
ir was struck above his knees. In a fit of panic and confusion and
believed that
he was being attacked, he grabbed his knife and stabbed the intruder
who turned
out was his roommate, Pascual. He died after and Ah Chon was charged
of murder.
ISSUE: Whether was guilty?
The Supreme Court decided that it was mistake of fact. Ah Chong
thought that the
person behind the door was an intruder. The SC was convinced that he
acted in g
ood faith and was defending himself. There was no malice and he only
protected h
is life and property.
PEOPLE v. OANIS / G.R. No. L-47722 / July 27, 1943
Policemen, Antonio Oanis and Alberto Galanta, received information
regarding whe
reabouts of the criminal Anselmo Balagtas who is with Irene Requinea.
Once, on t
he location, Oanis and Galanta found a man with his back towards and
started sho
oting him. The man found to be Serapio Tecson, Requineas paramour.
Oanis and Galanta gave the trial court contradictory testimonies which
they did
not believe and held them guilty of homicide through reckless
ISSUE: Whether Oanis and Galanta was guilty.
The Supreme Court said that the most important fact was that Tecson
was shot wit
h his back towards the respondents. Even though they acted in mistake
of fact an
d honest performance of their duty, they found respondents guilty of
The SC said that both men had time not to use violent means. Tecson
was not resi
sting or showing signs of defense. Also, both men committed treachery
making it
a qualifying circumstance to murder.
Their arguments of mistake of fact and honest performance was held as
PEOPLE v. MOSENDE / G.R. No. 137001 / December 5, 2001
Cayetano Mosende was sentenced to suffer the death penality when he
y stabbed and killed Enrique Sefriuto.
Leticia Sapupo, witness, saw Mosende waited and followed Sefriuto when
he urinat
ed inbetween his sleep. When he faced Mosende, Mosende stabbed him.
Sefriuto cal
led for help while shouting that Mosende stabbed him.
Mosende was sentenced to death by the trial court with the aggravating
nces of evident premeditation and intoxication.
ISSUE: Whether evident premeditation and intoxication was present.
The Supreme Court found that the evident premeditation and
intoxication were not
present during the crime.
Evident premeditation requires time and reflection upon a criminal
act. The test
imonies of the witnesses were only before and during the commission of
the crime
Intoxication was also not present. Sapupo said that she saw Mosende
drank alcoho
l earlier, but there was nothing to show that he was in drunken
condition during
the commission of the crime.
The SC modified Mosendes penality reducing it to reclusion perpetua.
PEOPLE v. GUILLEN / G.R. No. L-1477 / January 18, 1950
Julio Guillen planned to assassinate then president Manuel Roxas as he
was disil
lusioned by the presidents promise. He threw two grenades during Roxas
speech in P
laza Miranda which killed Simeon Valera and injured four other people
The trial court sentenced Guillen to death for murder and multiple
frustrated mu
Guillens counsel contended that trial court erred in finding him
guilty of Valeras
death, in declaring his crimes to be murder and multiple frustrated
murder, and
that Art. 49 of the RPC should be ruled.
ISSUE: When Guillens contentions were valid.
The evidence presented by Guillen was enough to prove that he did try
to blow up
the Roxas meeting. Even though he did not intentionally kill and
injure other pe
ople, he still had the intention and malice of the doing the act
making him resp
The Supreme said that Guillen committed multiple attempted murder and
not frustr
ated as there he did succeed in killing the others by reason of some
cause or ac
cident which is not his own desistance.
The SC also found Art 48 to rule out instead of Art. 49 as it clearly
follows th
e first paragraph of the provision and it was ruled that Guillens act
was intenti
Although there were other aggravating circumstances, the SC found it
necessary a
s the maximum penalty of murder was death.
The SC affirmed the trial courts decision.
PEOPLE v. QUIANZON / G.R. No. 42607 / September 28, 1935
Juan Quianzon, after being fed up with Andres Aribuabo applied a
firebrand on hi
s abdomen. He died after 10 days. Three witnesses corroborated to
facts and Quia
nzon also owned up to his act.
The trial court charged Quianzon of homicide. His counsel argued that
it should
only be convicted serious physical injuries as Aribuabo died because
of his care
lessness and his disobedience to his doctors.
ISSUE: Whether Quianzon committed homicide.
The Supreme Court said that Quianzons contention was without merit.
The doctor ev
en said that it was difficult if the victim would survive or not. His
act was th
e direct cause of the victims death
The SC held that Quianzon was guilty of murder with additional
mitigating circum
stance because of his admission to the crime.
US v. MARASIGAN / G.R. No. L-9426 / August 15, 1914
Filemeno Marasigan struck and slashed the hand of Francisco Mendoza
after a scuf
As a result of the fight Mendoza received three wounds, two in the
chest and one
in the left hand, with his middle finger of the left hand was
rendered useless.
Marasigan asserts that he should be given a new trial as the useless
middle fing
er would be healed through a surgical operation.
ISSUE: Whether Marasigan should be allowed to be given a new trial
based on his
The Supreme Court ruled that the offended party is not obliged to
offer himself
to surigical operation.
It does not matter whether the finer can be used again but the fact
that his fin
gered as rendered useless because of Marasigans act.
The SC denied Marasigans petition.
PEOPLE v. MARTIN / GR No. L-3002 / May 23, 1951
Aniceto Martin was charged of parricide and sentenced to suffer
reclusion perpet
On the night of the incident, Anselma Martin, found Laura Luiz,
respondents wife,
dead with a rope on her neck. When respondent was going to give his
statement t
o the police, he admitted quickly that he did the act. The couple had
a commotio
n and while respondent was in the bathroom, Luiz, placed the rope
around his nec
k. He took it off, snatched it, and used it against Luiz. Luiz was
eight months
pregnant at that time.
During the trial in the RTC, he cited self-defense.
ISSUE: Whether Martin can cite self-defense.
The Supreme Court was not convinced of respondents contention that it
was self-de
fense. The statement he gave to the police was different from his
confession. Th
ere was clearly no self-defense as Luiz was weakened by her disease
and being pr
The SC found him guilty of parricide but considered unlawful
aggression on Luiz p
art and the lack instruction as mitigating circumstances.

Gabato, Vinson Lance S.

Arellano University School of Law
PEOPLE v. TAN G.R. No. L-21805 February 25, 1967
The CFI denied an appeal for the re-arrest of Fidel Tan.
Tan was to suffer TWO (2) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS, as minimum, to
RS and TWO (2) MONTHS, as maximum. The sentence became final and was
committed t
o the Director of Prisons. However, provincial warden did not commit
Tan to the
national penitentiary and retained him in the provincial jail. The
warden, then,
applied Art. 97 and 99 of the RPC and released
Tan before serving his maximum sentence.
The warden said that the transfer was not made because of the
congestion and blo
ody riots in the Bilibid.
ISSUE: Whether Tan should be re-arrested.
The SC found the warden's reasons unacceptable. Being sentenced to
more than one
year of imprisonment, the convict should be confined in a national
Also, the warden applying Arts. 97 and 99 was unjustified as the
Director of Pri
sons is the only one who vests the authority.
Assuming that Tan was enititled to good conduct time allowance, he
would still h
ave 11 months and five days.
The SC explained the defendants argument in the lower court. The SC
said that th
e lower has not lost jurisdiction to amed the judgment of conviction
as they als
o have the prerogative to see if the convict has served his sentence
There is no double jeopardy in the re-arrest as it is merely a
continuation of
the penalty. Lastly, the application of the service of penalties is
governed by
the RPC and does not depend on the good faith of the warden or
The SC ordered the re-arrest, and the continuance of the imprisonment
Tan, for o
ne (1) year, five (5) months and eleven (11) days more.
PEOPLE v. MACEDA / G.R. No. L-48224 / September 23, 1942
Generoso and Corazon Maceda was filed for slight slander. The MTC
dismissed the
case citing prescription as it has been three months since the action
was filed
and the commission of the crime.
ISSUE: Whether the crime has prescribed.
Art. 90 of the RPC states that offenses of oral defamation and slander
in six months and light offenses prescribe in two months. As slight
slander is
a light offense, it prescribes in two months. The case, therefore, was
rightly d
PEOPLE v. MANEJA / G.R. No. L-47684 / June 10, 1941
Dionisio Maneja was charged of false testimony. He did such act on
1933. The cas
e he testifed to became final in 1938. Maneja contends that his
offense has pres
ISSUE: Whether the crime has prescribed.
The SC ruled that the period of prescripton shall start from the day
the crime w
as discovered by the offended party, the authorities or their agents.
With false
testimony, it is not an actionable offense until the case is decided.
For one t
o be judged of falsely testifying, there should a decision on the case
he testif
ied to. In short, there is no prescription present yet.
The SC reversed the dismissal and remanded it to the court of origin.

Gabato, Vinson Lance S.

Arellano University School of Law