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Circumstances with Affect to Criminal Liability Case No.

86
Source: Defense of Relative
US v. Esmedia

17 Phil 260 (1910)


FACTS:

Ciriaco Abando, his wife, and their son, Santiago, lived in Sibalom, Bongbongan,
Antique. Gregorio Esmedia, Ciriaco Abando and Santiago Abando, lived in the same
barrio. These tow families lived very near to each other and owned adjoining rice
lands. There had been a dispute between these two families relative to the
ownership of the rice land then occupied by Ciriaco Abando. About 2 o'clock on the
afternoon of the 24th of June, 1909, Ciriaco Abando instructed his son, Santiago, to
go to a certain place in his rice field to let out the water in order that they could
plant rice the said field. In compliance with these instructions of his father, Santiago
proceeded to the place designated. Gregorio Esmedia appeared on the scene and
started a quarrel with Santiago. Soon thereafter Gregorio drew a dagger and stabbed
Santiago in the back. Santiago fell to the ground, but arose immediately and
attacked Gregorio with his bolo, inflicting several wounds on the said Gregorio in
consequence of which he fell to the ground. Before this trouble finally terminated
the two accused and Ciriaco Abando appeared in that immediate vicinity.

The two accused contend that they were working in their rice field near by, and
on seeing Ciriaco Abando and Santiago Abando attacking their father, Gregorio, they
started to the place to render their father assistance, Ponciano starting first; that
when Ponciano got near the place of the trouble he was met by Ciriaco and Santiago
who attacked him with bolos and clubs and that he, Ponciano, in self-defense,
knocked them both down, and after they had fallen the other accused, Mena
Esmedia, arrived. Ponciano further contends that he did not use a bolo in this fight,
but used a club only.

The prosecution in the court contended that when these two accused saw the
fight between their father and Santiago they rushed to the place and proceeded to
kill, as they thought, Santiago, and on seeing Ciriaco approaching they met him and
killed him outright.

As a result of this fight Ciriaco was left dead on the scene, Gregorio received fatal
wounds from which he died within about four hours, and Santiago also received fatal
wounds from which he died five days later.
ISSUE: Whether or not the two accused can be criminally responsible for the death
of Ciriaco and Santiago Abando

RULING: YES

RATIO DECIDENDI:

Under the provisions of No. 5, article 8 of the Penal Code, the two accused are
exempt from criminal responsibility for having caused the death of Santiago Abando,
inasmuch as it has been shown that they inflicted these wounds upon him in defense
of their father who was fatally wounded at the time. They honestly believed, and
had good grounds upon which to found their belief, that Santiago would continue his
attack upon their father. They are, however, guilty of having caused the death of the
old man, Ciriaco Abando. When they attacked and killed him the other trouble had
terminated and they were not in danger of bodily harm from him. But the
twoaccused is guilty of homicide with aggravating circumstance for the death of
Ciriaco Abando. Consideringthe age of Ciriaco, 80 years of age and arrives upon the
scene of an altercation after it has terminated,and is thereupon attacked and killed,
the aggravating circumstance must be considered in fixing thepenalty because of the
disregard and lack of respect for age