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SECOND DIVISION Upon arrival in the municipal building at around eight of the latter, is guilty of the crime of homicide, and the
o'clock, he witnessed an extraordinary occurrence. He fact that the injured person did not receive proper
saw Policeman Ural (with whom he was already medical attendance does not affect the criminal
acquainted) inside the jail. Ural was boxing the responsibility" (U.S. vs. Escalona, 12 Phil. 54). In
detention prisoner, Felix Napola. As a consequence of the Escalona case, the victim was wounded on the wrist.
G.R. No. L-30801 March 27, 1974
the fistic blows, Napola collapsed on the floor. Ural, the It would not have caused death had it been properly
tormentor, stepped on his prostrate body. treated. The victim died sixty days after the infliction of
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- the wound. It was held that lack of medical care could
appellee, not be attributed to the wounded man. The person who
Ural went out of the cell. After a short interval, he
vs. inflicted the wound was responsible for the result
returned with a bottle. He poured its contents on
DOMINGO URAL, accused-appellant. thereof.
Napola's recumbent body. Then, he ignited it with a
match and left the cell. Napola screamed in agony. He
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio, Assistant shouted for help. Nobody came to succor him. The crime committed by appellant Ural was murder by
Solicitor General Antonio A. Torres and Solicitor Vicente means of fire (incendio) (Par. 3, Art. 248, Revised Penal
P. Evangelista for plaintiff-appellee. Much perturbed by the barbarity which he had just Code; People vs. Masin, 64 Phil. 757; U.S. vs. Burns, 41
seen, Alberto left the municipal building. Before his Phil. 418, 432, 440).3
Vicente Cerilles and Emeliano Deleverio for accused- departure, Ural cautioned him: "You better keep quiet of
appellant. what I have done" (sic). Alberto did not sleep anymore The trial court correctly held that the accused took
that night. From the municipal building, he went to the advantage of his public position (Par. 1, Art. 14, Revised
FACTS OF THE CASE crossing, where the cargo trucks passed. He hitchhiked Penal Code). He could not have maltreated Napola if he
in a truck hauling iron ore and went home. was not a policeman on guard duty. Because of his
position, he had access to the cell where Napola was
Doctor Luzonia R. Bakil, the municipal health officer, confined. The prisoner was under his custody. "The
certified that the thirty-year old victim, whom she policeman, who taking advantage of his public position
This is an appeal of defendant Domingo Ural from the maltreats a private citizen, merits no judicial leniency.
treated twice, sustained second-degree burns on the
decision of Judge Vicente G. Ericta of the Court of First The methods sanctioned by medieval practice are surely
arms, neck, left side of the face and one-half of the
Instance of Zamboanga del Sur, convicting him of not appropriate for an enlightened democratic
body including the back (Exh. A). She testified that his
murder, sentencing him to reclusion perpetua, and civilization. While the law protects the police officer in
dermis and epidermis were burned. If the burns were
ordering him to indemnify the heirs of Felix Napola in the proper discharge of his duties, it must at the same
not properly treated, death would unsue from toxemia
the sum of twelve thousand pesos and to pay the costs time just as effectively protect the individual from the
and tetanus infection. "Without any medical
(Criminal Case No. 3280). abuse of the police." U.S. vs. Pabalan, 37 Phil. 352).
intervention", the burns would cause death", she said.
She explained that, because there was water in the
The judgment of conviction was based on the testimony burnt area, secondary infection would set in, or there But the trial court failed to appreciate the mitigating
of Brigido Alberto, a twenty-six year old former would be complications. circumstance "that the offender had no intention to
detention prisoner in Buug, Zamboanga del Sur. He had commit so grave a wrong as that committed" (Par. 3,
been accused of murder and then set at liberty on June Art. 13, Revised Penal Code). It is manifest from the
Napola died on August 25, 1966. The sanitary inspector
9, 1966 after posting bail. He went to Barrio Camongo, proven facts that appellant Ural had no intent to kill
issued a certificate of death indicating "burn" as the
Dumalinao where his father resided. On July 31, 1966, Napola. His design was only to maltreat him may be
cause of death (Exh. B).
he intended to go to his residence at Barrio Upper because in his drunken condition he was making a
Lamari, Buug but night overtook him in the town. He nuisance of himself inside the detention cell. When Ural
decided to sleep in the Buug municipal building where RULING
realized the fearful consequences of his felonious act, he
there would be more security. allowed Napola to secure medical treatment at the
There is a rule that "an individual who unlawfully inflicts municipal dispensary.
wounds upon another person, which result in the death


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Lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong offsets the clavicular bone. The wound was directed downward and him. Alfredo replied that the accused stabbed him. The
generic aggravating, circumstance of abuse of his slightly to the right.which injury or wound caused the accused was then standing at the basketball court.
official position. The trial court properly imposed the death of said ALFREDO SENADOR shortly thereafter. Manuel helped Lecpoy and Eduardo carry Alfredo under
penalty of reclusion perpetua which is the medium a mango tree. He thought of bringing Alfredo to the
period of the penalty for murder (Arts. 64[4] and 248, Contrary to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. hospital when he saw blood oozing from his mouth.
Revised Penal Code). After a moment, Alfredo died.
When arraigned on June 11, 1997, the accused pled not
Finding no error in the trial court's judgment, the same guilty. [2] Dr. Rogelio Kho, Municipal Health Officer at Tayasan,
is affirmed with costs against the appellant. autopsied the body of Alfredo on September 16, 1996.
The doctor found a stab wound on the left shoulder of
The prosecution presented the testimonies of Dr.
So ordered. Alfredo, near the base of the neck. He opined that the
Rogelio Kho, Lecpoy Senador, Eduardo Perater, Manuel
victim died due to severe hemorrhage and irreversible
Gabonales and Francisca Senador. For the defense, the
shock due to stab wound.[3]
FIRST DIVISION accused, Elbert Callet, PO3 Roy Balasabas, Barangay
Captain Dominador Calijan and Nilo Callet testified.
The defense gave a different account of the stabbing
[G.R. No. 135701. May 9, 2002]
The evidence for the prosecution shows that on
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. September 15, 1996, at 5:00 p.m., the victim, Alfredo
Senador, his 12-year old son, Lecpoy Senador, and Allegedly, at 3:00 p.m., the accused, Elbert Callet,
ELBERT CALLET y SABANAL, accused-appellant.
Eduardo Perater were at the flea market of barangay played volleyball near the flea market. After two (2)
Tambulan, Tayasan, Negros Oriental. There were many games, he stopped playing. It was past 4:00 p.m. He
DECISION stayed at the flea market and watched as others played
people in the vicinity. Some were playing cara y cruz
while others were playing volleyball. volleyball. While watching the game, he was hit on the
PUNO, J.: left side of the body by Alfredos elbow. He asked
Alfredo why he hit him. Alfredo retorted, Are you angry?
Alfredo, Lecpoy and Eduardo were beside each other as
Next, Alfredo grabbed his left arm and tried to twist it.
The accused, ELBERT CALLET y SABANAL was charged they watched a cara y cruz game. Alfredo sat close to
He pleaded with Alfredo to let go of his arm, but Alfredo
with Murder before the Regional Trial Court of Negros the ground, with his buttocks resting on his right foot.
warned that he would be his third victim if he would get
Oriental, Dumaguete City, Branch 30. The crime was Lecpoy and Eduardo sat on a piece of wood and on a
angry with him. As Alfredo was pulling out a hunting
allegedly committed as follows:[1] stone, respectively.
knife from his waist, he (the accused) managed to stab
him first. Thereafter, he ran towards the municipal hall
That on or about 5:00 oclock in the afternoon of Out of nowhere, the accused, Elbert Callet, appeared to surrender.
September 15, 1996, at Barangay Tambulan, Tayasan, behind Alfredo and stabbed the latter on the left
Negros Oriental, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction shoulder near the base of the neck with a 9-inch
Dominador Calijan, the Barangay Captain of Tayasan,
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused with hunting knife. Instinctively, Alfredo stood up and
happened to be at the basketball court near the scene
intent to kill, evident premeditation and treachery, did managed to walk a few meters. When he fell on the
of the crime. He encountered Alfredo along the road
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously ground, Lecpoy and Eduardo rushed to help him but to
after the stabbing incident. Alfredo had a stab wound on
attack, assault and stab one ALFREDO SENADOR with no avail. Alfredo died shortly thereafter.
the lower nape. Calijan asked Alfredo who stabbed him
the use of a knife with which the said accused was then
and the latter gave the name of the accused. He
armed and provided, thereby inflicting upon said victim
Manuel Gabonales was also at the flea market at that directed his barangay tanods to arrest the accused.
the following injury, to wit:
time. At 5:00 p.m., he saw people running away from
the place where there was a cara y cruz game. Next, he
A stab wound measuring two (2) cm. in length, 0.3 cm. saw Alfredo and the accused. Alfredo was soaked in
in width and eleven (11) cm. in deepness located at the blood while the accused was running towards the
left side of the trunk, about two (2) cm. above the left basketball court. He asked Alfredo what happened to


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Barangay tanods Nilo Callet and Jesus Dagodog were tucked at his left side. However, the victim was not able Treachery or alevosia exists when the offender commits
able to catch up with the accused three (3) kilometers to pull out the knife because it got entangled with his any of the crimes against the person, employing means,
away from the scene of the crime. He was still holding shirt tucked in his pants. In defense, the accused methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend
the hunting knife and refused to surrender it for fear allegedly pulled out his own knife that was tucked in the directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk
that the relatives of Alfredo would retaliate. The right side of his waist using his left arm and stabbed the to himself arising from the defense which the offended
barangay tanods escorted him to the municipal hall. victim on the left shoulder. He then retreated and left as party might make.[19]
Along the way, they asked him why he stabbed Alfredo. the victim was still trying to approach him.[13]
The accused replied that he could not help it and that The trial court correctly held that treachery qualified the
everything happened too fast. Upon reaching the The version of the accused does not inspire belief. The killing of the victim to murder. The stabbing was from
municipal hall, the accused surrendered the hunting incident happened in plain view of many witnesses at behind, done in a sudden and unexpected manner while
knife. He was turned over to PO3 Roy Balasbas for the flea market. He even claimed he was with a certain the victim was sitting close to the ground, with his
investigation. Guale and one Sonny Boy at that time.[14] Yet, nobody buttocks resting on his right foot, and while his attention
corroborated his story. Indeed, his narration on how the was focused on the on-going cara y cruz game.[20]
After the trial, the accused was found guilty of murder. victim attacked him is improbable. In the witness chair, Clearly, the victim was not able to defend himself from
The fallo of the trial courts decision[4] states: he admitted that the victim was bigger than him and the mode of attack.
that his left hand was restrained by the victim.[15] It is
WHEREFORE, finding the accused ELBERT CALLET Y thus incredible how he could pull out his knife from his The trial court also correctly credited the accused with
SABANAL guilty beyond a scintilla of doubt for the crime right side, with the use of his left hand,[16] raise that voluntary surrender to mitigate his liability. Voluntary
of MURDER penalized under Article 248 of the Revised knife high enough to hit the shoulder of the victim and surrender requires that the offender had not been
Penal Code, taking into account the mitigating inflict an 11-cm. deep wound upon him. It is more actually arrested; that he surrendered himself to a
circumstance of voluntary surrender without any probable that the victim was sitting down when the person in authority or to the latters agent; and that the
aggravating circumstance, the accused is hereby accused attacked him from behind as the prosecution surrender was voluntary.
sentenced to RECLUSION PERPETUA with all the witnesses testified. Equally incredulous is the claim that
accessory penalties provided under Article 41 of the after being injured, the victim still tried to approach and
The records reveal that the accused ran toward the
Revised Penal Code. attack him, hence, he had to retreat. The accuseds
municipal building after the stabbing incident. On his
uncorroborated plea of self-defense cannot be
way to the municipal building, he admitted to Barangay
entertained, especially when it is, in itself, extremely
RULING Tanods Nilo Callet and Jesus Dagodog that he stabbed
the victim. Although he did not immediately turn over
The accused invokes self-defense for his acquittal. In his weapon to them for fear of retaliation from the
The Information charged that evident premeditation and victims relatives, he did so as soon as they reached the
self-defense, the burden of proof rests upon the
treachery attended the commission of the crime. The municipal building. Undoubtedly, the conduct he
accused. Thus, he must present clear and convincing
evidence failed to prove evident premeditation. Evident displayed was spontaneous as it shows his interest to
evidence that the following elements are present, to wit:
premeditation requires proof of: (1) the time when the give himself up unconditionally to the authorities, thus
(1) unlawful aggression; (2) reasonable necessity of the
accused decided to commit the crime; (2) an overt act saving the State the trouble and expenses necessarily
means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of
manifestly indicating that he has clung to his incurred in his search and capture.[21]
sufficient provocation on the part of the person
determination; and (3) sufficient lapse of time between
defending himself.[12] The accused failed to discharge
the decision and the execution to allow the accused to
this task. The accused also claims that his liability should be
reflect upon the consequences of his act.[18] The
mitigated by the fact that he had no intention to commit
records show that the prosecution did not adduce any
The accused alleged that he and the victim had hunting so grave a wrong. We are not persuaded.
evidence to prove these elements.
knives during their encounter. After the victims elbow
hit the left side of his body, the victim grabbed his left
arm and tried to twist it with his right arm. A verbal
exchange ensued between them and then the victim,
using the left arm tried to unsheathe the knife that was
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The lack of intent to commit a wrong so grave is an In the decision[1] of 22 March 1996 in Criminal Case Pepa, Beverly Vidanes, Dr. John Enrique Franco,
internal state. It is weighed based on the weapon used, No. 95-212, the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque, Branch Fernando Tarlengco, Geraldine Tarlengco, Joseph
the part of the body injured, the injury inflicted and the 274, found accused-appellant Christopher Caa Leonor Sumalbar, and Asst. Public Prosecutor Elizabeth Yu
manner it is inflicted. The fact that the accused used a guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery Guray. The defense presented CHRISTOPHER, Leopoldo
9-inch hunting knife in attacking the victim from behind, with homicide and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of Leonor Leonidas, Dr. Alfredo Besa, Renato Leonor and
without giving him an opportunity to defend himself, death and to pay the heirs of the victim P50,000 as death Alexander Pagubasan.
clearly shows that he intended to do what he actually indemnity; P44,318 as actual damages; P2 million as
did, and he must be held responsible therefor, without moral damages; and P50,000 as attorneys fees. The Office of the Solicitor General partly
the benefit of this mitigating circumstance.[22] summarized the evidence for the prosecution as follows:
CHRISTOPHER was charged in an
information[2] whose accusatory portion reads as follows: In the morning of May 15, 1995, Dr. Maria Teresa
As the killing was attended by treachery, the accused is
liable for the crime of murder. The prescribed penalty Tarlengco, a dentist by profession, was at her clinic at
therefor is reclusion perpetua to death.[23] In view of That on or about the 15th day of May 1995, in the the third floor of the Hermanos Building, Bicutan,
the presence of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary Municipality of Paraaque, Metro Manila, Philippines and Paraaque, Metro Manila, when a man entered and
surrender, the trial court correctly meted the penalty of within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the inquired about the cost of tooth extraction. After Dr.
reclusion perpetua against the accused. above-named accused, with intent to gain and against Tarlengco quoted her professional fee, the man, who
the will of complainant Ma. Teresa Tarlengco and by was later on identified as Christopher Leonor, said that
means of force, violence and intimidation employed he would come back and then left in a hurry. Minutes
The civil indemnity awarded in favor of the legal heirs of upon the person of said complainant did then and there later, Leonor came back[,] and Dr. Tarlengco told him to
the victim, Alfredo Senador, in the amount of willfully, unlawfully and feloniously divest her cash take a seat and wait. Dr. Tarlengco was preparing her
P50,000.00 is in accord with the Courts current policy. money worth P900.00 and Titus wrist watch valued at dental instruments when Leonor barged in and
an undetermined amount, belonging to said Ma. Teresa demanded money. Dr. Tarlengco told Leonor that her
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision appealed from, finding Tarlengco, to the damage and prejudice of the latter, in money [was] on the table. On hearing this, Leonor
the accused, ELBERT CALLET, guilty beyond reasonable the aforementioned amount; that on the occasion of the stabbed Dr. Tarlengco, grabbed her watch and ran
doubt of Murder in Criminal Case No. 12995, and said Robbery, the above-named accused, with intent to away. Dr. Tarlengco struggled out of the clinic and saw
sentencing him to suffer reclusion perpetua and to pay kill, without justifiable reason, did then and there the man running out of the building, Dr. Tarlengco
the legal heirs of the victim, ALFREDO SENADOR, the willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shouted for help.
amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, and to pay the stab said Ma. Teresa Tarlengco, thereby inflicting upon
costs, is AFFIRMED. the latter serious stab wounds which caused her death. Reynaldo Baquilod, building security guard, heard Dr.
Tarlengco shouting, Tulungan ninyo ako, sinaksak ako
At his arraignment on 14 June 1995, CHRISTOPHER ng taong iyon. Baquilod noticed that Dr. Tarlengco was
entered a plea of not guilty.[3] referring to the man running out of the building, coming
[G.R. No. 125053. March 25, 1999] from upstairs. Baquilod chased Leonor up to Daang Hari
It is undisputed that on 15 May 1995 at the Street where he was joined by traffic policeman Luis
Hermanos Building in General Santos Avenue, Bicutan Galeno who was alerted by people running after a
Extension, Paraaque City, at around 11:30 a.m., person with bloodied shirt. When Galeno and Baquilod
CHRISTOPHER stabbed dentist Dr. Maria Teresa caught up with Leonor, Baquilod grabbed Leonors hand
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, Tarlengco, which wound ultimately led to her death. That
vs. CHRISTOPHER CAA LEONOR, accused- and took therefrom a Titus wristwatch and P900
much is admitted by CHRISTOPHER. The prosecution and cash. When queried, Leonor readily answered, Sir, hindi
appellant. the defense differ, however, in the circumstances ko naman gusto po ito. Ginawa ko lang ito dahil
surrounding the incident. kailangan ng pamilya ko. Leonor was brought to the
The prosecution had as witnesses Reynaldo Paraaque Police Block Station, PO3 Interia who was
DAVIDE, JR., C.J.: Baquilod, SPO1 Luis F. Galeno, PO3 Mateo Interia, Dr. instructed to investigate proceeded to Dr. Tarlengcos
Ravell Ronald Baluyot, Dr. Edgardo de Guzman, Dr. Paul clinic, where they saw, among other[ ] [things], a
bloodied balisong (fan knife) at the ground floor of the


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Hermanos building. Baquilod turned over the watch and A: After that, in tears, she said that Dad, I dont know, leading to the stabbing precluded any natural tendency
money he took from Leonor to Interia. Thereafter, why inspite of getting my money this man to produce a powerful excitement in CHRISTOPHER.
Galeno and Interia returned to the police station where stabbed me and I was numbed at that point of
they were interrogated. time, I [could not] talk anymore, I [could not] CHRISTOPHER did not voluntarily surrender either
tell anything to her anymore, I just combed her to a person in authority or to any other person. While he
hair with my fingers. was being pursued by Security Guard Baquilod, he
Dr. Tarlengco was brought to the South Super Highway intentionally went to where there were many people,
Medical Center where she underwent an emergency presumably to confuse Baquilod. Fortunately, Police
operation for a stab wound on her chest. After the Officer Galeno was able to grab him by the hand and
operation, Dr. Tarlengcos father, with the doctors prevented him from further eluding justice. There is
permission, was allowed to talk to his daughter inside RULING nothing in the record which can lead us to conclude that
the operating room. Although Dr. Tarlengco was he surrendered to anyone.
gasping for breath, she spoke to her father, viz:
Lastly, we find no mitigating circumstance in this
Neither was there voluntary confession in the
case. CHRISTOPHER claims that he did not intend to
Q: So were you able to talk with your daughter while instant case. The mitigating circumstance contemplated
commit so grave a wrong as the act committed; that
in the Operating Room? What did she say, if by law is a plea of guilty made spontaneously and
there was sufficient provocation by the offended party
any, Mr. Tarlengco? unconditionally in open court before the presentation of
immediately preceding the offense; that he acted upon
evidence for the prosecution.[36] CHRISTOPHER made no
A: She said that this man pretended to be a patient. an impulse so powerful as to have produced in him
such plea.
passion and obfuscation; that he voluntarily surrendered
Q: And what else did she say? to a person in authority; and that he voluntarily confessed What remains to be resolved is the penalty to be
having committed homicide. imposed. The penalty for robbery with homicide
A: He asked her how much would it cost to pull a
is reclusion perpetua to death.[37] There being no
tooth and then she said, Dad, when I quoted my Lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong does not
evidence of aggravating or mitigating circumstance
price, he said that he would come back and left mitigate in homicide cases where the accused used a
against or in favor of CHRISTOPHER, the lower of the two
in a hurry. deadly weapon in inflicting mortal wounds on vital organs
indivisible penalties shall be imposed,[38] without the
of the victim,[31] as in this case.
Q: What else did she say, if any, Mr. Tarlengco? benefit of the Indeterminate Sentence Law.[39] We
The provocation sufficient to mitigate an offense likewise believe that the awards in favor of Dr. Tarlengcos
A: After a minute, he came back, I told him to wait, must be proportionate to the gravity of the retaliatory family of moral damages of P2 million and attorneys fees
to sit down first at my Waiting Area because I act.[32 of P500,000 are excessive. We reduce them to P50,000
[had] to still prepare the instruments needed. and P25,000, respectively.
CHRISTOPHER is thus claiming that a push and bad
Q: Then, what happened after that? words justify retaliation with a knife. Such claim is WHEREFORE, the decision of Branch 274 of the
undeserving of belief and does not entitle CHRISTOPHER Regional Trial Court of Paraaque in Criminal Case No. 95-
A: She said, while I was busy preparing my
to the benefit of the mitigating circumstance prior 212 is hereby MODIFIED. As modified, accused-appellant
instrument, Dad, this man barged in. He
provocation by the offended party. CHRISTOPHER CAA LEONOR is found guilty beyond
demanded for my money. I told him it [was] on
reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of robbery with
my table. And after telling that, Dad, he stabbed CHRISTOPHER could not have been provoked by homicide, and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty
me and then he grabbed my watch and he [ran] passion or obfuscation as, according to him, he of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim,
away and she said, I struggled Dad, to come out momentarily blacked out and instantly found his fan knife Dr. Teresa Tarlengco, P50,000 as indemnity for
of the clinic and when I was on the porch, I saw embedded in Dr. Tarlengcos chest. To be blinded by death; P44,318 as actual damages; P50,000 as moral
this man coming [sic] out of the building. I passion and obfuscation is to lose self-control,[34] not damages; and P25,000 as attorneys fees, without
shouted for help, I said Saklolo, saklolo, consciousness. Moreover, courts cannot appreciate subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
sinaksak ako ng taong iyan. Hulihin ninyo. passion and obfuscation unless there is a clear showing
that there were causes naturally tending to produce such Costs against accused-appellant.
Q: Then what else did she say after she narrated to
you that incident, Mr. Tarlengco? powerful excitement as to deprive the accused of reason
and self-control.[35] As we discussed earlier, the events
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FIRST DIVISION taken advantage of by the accused to facilitate the afternoon, Romeo again demanded another bottle of
commission of the crime.[2] kulafu wine from accused-appellant but this time, the
latter refused to give in to the demand. (p. 4, January
For Illegal Possession of Firearms, the information stated: 21, 1997, TSN) Romeo then proceeded to where
[G.R. Nos. 132325-26. July 26, 2001] accused-appellant was playing cards and without any
warning, urinated on the latter and clipped him under
That on or about the 30th day of September, 1992, in his (Romeo) arms. (p. 4, August 23, 1996, TSN)
the municipality of Tubigon, province of Bohol,
Accused-appellant got angry. He however did not
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
engage Romeo in any altercation but instead turned
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- Court, the abovenamed accused, with intent to possess
away and went home. (p. 5, May 9, 1995, TSN)
appellee, vs. ROMEO ESPINA, accused- firearm and ammunition did then and there willfully,
appellant. unlawfully and criminally keep, carry and have in his
possession, custody and control a short firearm and Later on in the evening, at about 9:00 p.m., while
ammunition without first obtaining the necessary permit Romeo, Rogelio and Samson were still having a drinking
DECISION spree at the store of Eufronia Pagas, they heard
or license to possess the said firearm and ammunition
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: from competent authority, which firearm and accused-appellant calling Romeo from outside, saying,
ammunition were carried by the accused outside of his Borgs, get out because I have something to say. The
residence and used by him in committing the crime of trio came down from the house. Rogelio went down
This is an appeal from the Decision[1] of the first, followed by Samson and Romeo (pp. 5-
Regional Trial Court of Tagbilaran, Branch 47, in Criminal Murder of which one Romeo Bulicatin was the victim; to
the damage and prejudice of the Republic of the 6, ibid.) When Rogelio reached the ground, accused-
Case Nos. 8194 and 8155 convicting accused-appellant of appellant told him to drop down while Samson also
the crime of Murder qualified by Illegal Possession of Philippines. Acts committed contrary to the provisions of
Presidential Decree No. 1866.[3] dropped himself to the ground when he saw accused-
Firearms under P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. appellant about to draw his firearm. At that juncture,
8294; and sentencing him to suffer the penalty Romeo was still at the stairway and when he turned his
of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the heirs of the Upon arraignment on June 27, 1994, accused-
back towards accused-appellant, the latter shot him,
deceased the sum of P50,000.00 and the costs. appellant pleaded not guilty to both charges;[4] thereafter
hitting him at the back. Romeo ran away but he was
trial followed.
The information for the crime of murder alleged: chased by accused-appellant who fired two (2) more
The facts as adduced by the prosecution are shots at him. (p. 5, March 19, 1996, TSN; p. 7, May 9,
synthesized in the Peoples Brief, thus - 1995)
That on or about the 30th day of September, 1992, in
the municipality of Tubigon, province of Bohol,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable In the afternoon of September 30, 1992, the members Samson ran away from the scene of the incident and
Court, the abovenamed accused without justifiable of an association locally known as the ripa-ripa went to upon reaching the house of Poloy Concha, he saw
motive, with treachery and abuse of superior strength, the house of Eufronia Pagas located at sitio Batic, Tan- Romeo outside the house asking for help. Samson asked
the accused being then armed with a short firearm and awan, Tubigon, Bohol for their scheduled contribution to some of residents to help him bring Romeo to barangay
without giving opportunity to the victim to defend a fund intended for a wedding celebration. (p. 3, August Cawayanan. (pp. 14-15, March 19, 1996, TSN) They
himself, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and 23, 1996, TSN; p. 3, January 21, 1997, TSN) Among loaded Romeo in a rattan cradle and upon reaching the
feloniously attack, assault and shoot one Romeo those present thereat were Romeo Bulicatin, Rogelio said barangay at about 3:00 oclock of the following
Bulicatin, with the use of said firearm, hitting the latter Espina, Samson Abuloc who were having a drinking morning, they transferred him to the vehicle owned by a
on the vital part of his body resulting to his death; to spree and playing chikika, a card game. (p. 4, May 9, certain Emiliano Fucanan. From the said barangay,
the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the deceased. 1995, TSN). Romeo was taken to the house of Mayor Placing
Mascarinas in Poblacion, Tubigon, Bohol where he was
transferred to the ambulance which took him to the
Acts committed contrary to the provisions of Article 248 When accused-appellant arrived, Romeo asked three (3)
Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran
of the Revised Penal Code with the aggravating bottles of kulafu wine from him and he acceded by
City. On the way to the hospital, Felix Celmar asked
circumstance of nighttime being purposely sought for or buying three (3) bottles of kulafu wine from the store of
Romeo what happened to him and the latter answered
Eufronia Pagas. Later on, at around 4:00 of that


Page |7

that he was shot by accused-appellant. (pp. 4-8, July 30, 1992, he was in the house of Eufronia Pagas, having RULING
29, 1996, TSN) Romeo was brought to the emergency a drinking spree with Romeo Bulicatin and Samson
room and underwent operation. He however died at Abuloc, while his brother, herein accused-appellant, was In convicting accused-appellant, the trial court
about 5:00 p.m. of October 2, 1992, due to septic shock playing cards. At around 3:00 oclock p.m., he saw appreciated the special aggravating circumstance of use
irreversible, generalized peritonitis, gunshot wound, Bulicatin approach accused-appellant and forthwith of unlicensed firearm, pursuant to P.D. No. 1866, as
perforating ileum. (pp. 7 & 11, June 18, 1996, TSN)[5] urinated on him. Thereafter, Bulicatin grabbed accused- amended by R.A. No. 8294.Considering the penalty
appellant under his arms but the latter was able to provided for in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as
extricate himself from the hold of Bulicatin and ran amended by R.A. No. 7659, the trial court imposed the
The defense presented four witnesses, namely: penalty of death on accused-appellant. However, in view
Rogelio Espina, Dr. Harold B. Gallego, Maximiano Dormal away. Rogelio wanted to follow accused-appellant but
was prevailed upon by Bulicatin to stay. They then of the suspension of the imposition of the death penalty
and accused-appellant himself. then, accused-appellant was sentenced to suffer the
continued their drinking spree until 9:00 oclock
The testimonies of accused-appellant and p.m. When they were about to go home, Rogelio heard penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Maximiano Dormal may be summarized as follows: somebody calling Bulicatin, saying - Get out, Borgs, as I The third paragraph, Section 1, of R.A. No. 8294
have something to tell you. According to Rogelio, he is (which took effect on July 6, 1997), amending P.D. No.
At around 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of certain that the voice was not that of accused-
September 30, 1992, accused-appellant was in the house 1866, provides that If homicide or murder is committed
appellant. When they decided to go home, he was the with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an
of Eufronia Pagas to represent his father in a meeting to first one to go downstairs, followed by Samson Abuloc,
prepare for a wedding celebration.Among those present unlicensed firearm shall be used as an aggravating
and then by Bulicatin. Upon reaching the ground, Rogelio circumstance. This amendment, however, cannot be
in the said gathering were accused-appellants brother, heard a gunshot and immediately scampered away
Rogelio Espina, and the deceased, Romeo Bulicatin who applied in the present case. It bears stressing that when
without looking back to see who was shot. He claimed the offenses at bar were perpetrated on September 30,
were having a drinking spree. When accused-appellant that it was only two days after the incident that he came
arrived thereat, Bulicatin asked him to buy 3 bottles of 1992, the unlicensed firearm used in taking the life of
to know who the victim of the shooting incident was. He another was not yet a special aggravating circumstance
kulafu wine to which he acceded. At around 4:00 oclock added that from the house of Eufronia Pagas, he directly
of the same afternoon, Bulicatin again demanded another in murder or homicide. Not being favorable to the
went home where he was told by his mother that accused, the amendatory provision cannot be applied to
bottle of kulafu wine from accused-appellant. The latter, accused-appellant was stabbed and was brought to the
however, refused to obey, prompting Bulicatin to urinate accused-appellant, lest it acquires the character of an ex
hospital. post facto law.[22]
on accused-appellant. This infuriated accused-appellant,
but instead of assaulting Bulicatin, he turned his back and On August 25, 1997, the trial court rendered the Likewise, the trial court erred in
walked away because he knew that Bulicatin always assailed decision, holding as follows: treating alevosia merely as a generic aggravating
carried a knife. When accused-appellant was about 12 circumstance, moreso in offsetting the same by the
meters away from the house of Eufronia Pagas, Bulicatin WHEREFORE, Premises Considered, the Court finds the generic mitigating circumstance of having committed the
pursued him.Accused-appellant tried to evade Bulicatin accused, Romeo Espina, guilty beyond reasonable crime in immediate vindication of a grave offense. The
but the latter caught up with him and stabbed him on his doubt, for the crime of Murder defined and penalized by treachery employed by accused-appellant in shooting the
side. Consequently, accused-appellant sustained a deep Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and Qualified victim is actually a circumstance that qualified the killing
punctured wound but was fortunately able to escape until Illegal Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree to murder. Such being the case, treachery cannot be
he passed out.[6] No. 1866, as amended by Republic Act No. 8294 and offset by a mitigating circumstance.
At around 6:00 oclock p.m. of the same day, sentences him to suffer the straight penalty
ofimprisonment of RECLUSION PERPETUA with the The trial court correctly appreciated the mitigating
Maximiano Dormal who was then on his way home, saw circumstance of having acted in immediate vindication of
accused-appellant wounded and lying on the inherent accessory penalties provided by law, there
being a mitigating circumstance of vindication for a a grave offense. As the evidence on record show,
ground. Recognizing the latter, Dormal immediately accused-appellant was urinated on by the victim in front
informed and accompanied accused-appellants parents grave offense committed on the accused; to indemnify
the heirs of the deceased, Romeo Bulicatin, in the of the guests. The act of the victim, which undoubtedly
who lost no time in bringing him to the hospital.[7] insulted and humiliated accused-appellant, came within
amount of Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos; and to
On the other hand, defense witness Rogelio Espina pay the costs. the purview of a grave offense under Article 13,
(Rogelio), declared that in the afternoon of September paragraph 5, of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, this


Page |8

mitigating circumstance should be appreciated in favor of Ramon Diokno and Gabriel N. Trinidad for 4. The lower court erred in sentencing
accused-appellant. appellants. the appellant Epifanio to reclusion
As to the imposable penalty, the applicable Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for perpetua.
provision is Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code before appellee.
its amendment by R.A. No. 7659 on December 31, 1993, The following facts have been proven beyond a
the crime having been committed on September 30,
reasonable doubt during the trial:
1992. Thereunder, the penalty for murder was reclusion
temporal in its maximum period to death. With one
generic mitigating circumstance and no aggravating The deceased Yu Hiong was a vendor of sundry
circumstance to offset it, the penalty should be imposed VILLA-REAL, J.: goods in Lucena, Tayabas. At about 7 o'clock in
in its minimum period, i.e., reclusion the morning of January 4, 1935, Salome Diokno,
temporal maximum. Applying the Indeterminate to whom Yu Hiong was engaged for about a
Sentence Law, accused-appellant should be sentenced to Epifanio Diokno and Roman Diokno appeal to
an indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) this court from the judgment of the Court of year, invited the latter to go with her. Yu Hiong
day of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) First Instance of Laguna, the dispositive part of accepted the invitation but he told Salome that
years, four (4) months, and one (1) day of reclusion which reads as follows: her father was angry with him. Salome
temporal, as maximum. answered him: "No matter, I will be
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial In view of the foregoing considerations, responsible." At about 6 o'clock in the afternoon
Court of Tagbilaran, Branch 47, in Criminal Case Nos. the court finds the accused Epifanio of said day, Yu Hiong and Salome Diokno took
8194 and 8195 finding the accused-appellant Romeo Diokno and Roman Diokno guilty of the an automobile and went to the house of Vicente
Espina guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
crime of murder, beyond a reasonable Verina, Salome's cousin, in Pagbilao. As they
murder, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the found nobody in the house, they went on their
accused-appellant is hereby sentenced to suffer the doubt, and sentences each of them
to reclusion perpetua, to indemnify way up to San Pablo, Laguna. On January 5th or
indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day
of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years, jointly and severally the heirs of the 6th of said year, Roman Diokno telegraphed his
four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, deceased in the sum of P1,000 and to father Epifanio Diokno, who was in Manila,
as maximum; and to pay the heirs of Romeo Bulicatin the pay the costs of the suit. It is so informing him that Salome had eloped with the
sum of P50,000.00 as death indemnity and to pay the
ordered. Chinese Yu Hiong. On the morning of January 7,
costs. 1935, Epifanio Diokno and Roman Diokno went
to San Pablo, Laguna, in search of the elopers.
In support of their appeal, the appellants assign
EN BANC Having been informed that the latter were
the following alleged errors as committed by the
stopping at the house of Antonio Layco, they
court a quo in its judgment in question, to wit:
G.R. No. L-45100 October 26, 1936 went there. Upon arriving near the house, they
saw Yu Hiong coming down the stairs. When Yu
1. The lower court erred in accepting
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE Hiong saw them, he ran upstairs and they
Exhibit E as evidence.
ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee, pursued him. As the Chinese found the door of
vs. the house locked, he shouted that it be opened
2. The lower court erred in admitting for him. At that moment, he was overtaken by
Exhibit K as evidence. the accused who carried knives locally known
DIOKNO, defendants-appellants.
as balisong, of different sizes. Yu Hiong fell on
3. The lower court erred in not his knees and implored pardon. In that situation
acquitting the appellant Roman.
Page |9

Roman Diokno stabbed him with the knife in the The accused, testifying as witnesses in their because although the elopement took place on
back and later in the left side. Epifanio Diokno own behalf, stated that they had not gone to January 4, 1935, and the aggression on the 7th
also stabbed him once. Yu Hiong fell on the San Pablo together on the day in question; that of said month and year, the offense did not
landing of the stairs in the balcony, and there when Roman Diokno arrived, his father Epifanio cease while Salome's whereabouts remained
he was again stabbed repeatedly. Then Roman Diokno was coming down the stairs of Antonio unknown and her marriage to the deceased
Diokno said: "Enough, father." Yu Hiong lost Layco's house with a knife in his hand; that unlegalized. Therefore, there was no
consciousness. Juan Alcantara, who lived on the Epifanio Diokno told his son Roman to go home interruption from the time the offense was
same street, Hermanos Belen, in front of and tell their relatives what had happened; that committed to the vindication thereof. Our
Antonio Layco's house, saw the accused pursue when Epifanio Diokno overtook Yu Hiong on the opinion on this point is based on the fact that
Yu Hiong and fired shots for the police to come. landing of the stairs of Antonio Layco's house, the herein accused belong to a family of old
Upon hearing the shots, municipal policeman he asked Yu Hiong whether he was willing to customs to whom the elopement of a daughter
Francisco Curabo appeared and found Yu Hiong marry his daughter; that the Chinese answered with a man constitutes a grave offense to their
pale and lying on the landing of the stairs. He him in the negative and at the same time tried honor and causes disturbance of the peace and
then asked who had wounded the Chinese and to take something from his pocket; that as tranquility of the home and at the same time
the accused Epifanio Diokno answered that it Epifanio knew that Yu Hiong carried a revolver, spreads uneasiness and anxiety in the minds of
was he. The policeman took the knife (Exhibit he feared the Chinese might harm him; he the members thereof.
C) which Epifanio Diokno carried in his right became obfuscated, drew his knife and knew
hand and brought him to police headquarters. not what happened afterwards. The presence of the sixth mitigating
Roman Diokno had left before the policeman circumstance of said article 13, consisting in
arrived and he was not located until after three The first question to be decided in the present having acted upon an impulse so powerful as
days. The municipal president of San Pablo, appeal is whether or not the court a quo erred naturally to have produced passion or
Laguna, also went to the scene of the crime, in admitting as evidence Exhibit E, consisting in ofuscation, may also be taken into consideration
found the Chinese almost unconscious and the investigation conducted by the municipal in favor of the accused. The fact that the
questioned him, putting down his answers in president of San Pablo in the same place where accused saw the deceased run upstairs when he
Exhibit E. The Chinese was brought to the Yu Hiong had fallen a few minutes before, at became aware of their presence, as if he
provincial hospital of San Pablo where he was about 1.30 p. m. on January 7, 1935, and refused to deal with them after having gravely
examined by Drs. David Evangelista and Manuel wherein Yu Hiong, answering the questions offended them, was certainly a stimulus strong
Quisumbing, who found that he had five incised asked by said municipal president, stated that it enough to produce in their mind a fit of passion
wounds in different parts of the body, one of was Ramon Diokno and Epifanio Diokno who which blinded them and led them to commit the
them at the back and about three and a half had wounded him. crime with which they are charged, as held by
inches long, piercing the pleura and penetrating the Supreme Court of Spain in similar cases in
the lower lobe of the right lung about an inch, RULING its decisions of February 3, 1888, July 9, 1898,
which wound was necessarily mortal and which February 8, 1908, May 25, 1910, July 3, 1909,
caused the death of the victim. On January 8, The presence of the fifth mitigating and in other more recent ones.
1935, while the said Chinese was in a serious circumstance of article 13 of the Revised Penal
condition in the hospital, he made a statement Code, that is, immediate vindication of a grave The seventh circumstance of article 13 of the
telling how he was attacked by the accused offense to said accused, may be taken into Revised Penal Code, consisting in having
(Exhibit K). consideration in favor of the two accused, surrendered himself immediately to the agents


P a g e | 10

of persons in authority, should also be taken Wherefore, this court declares the accused As the case turns entirely on the credibility of witnesses,
into consideration in favor of the accused Epifanio Diokno and Roman Diokno guilty of the we should of course not interfere with the findings of
the trial court. In ascertaining the penalty, the court,
Epifanio Diokno. crime of homicide and sentences each of them
naturally, took into consideration the qualifying
to an indeterminate penalty from two years and circumstance of alevosia. The court, however, gave the
In view of the foregoing considerations, this one day of prision correccional to eight years accused the benefit of a mitigating circumstance which
court concludes that the accused are guilty and one day of prision mayor, crediting them on cursory examination would not appear to be justified.
beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime of with one-half of the time during which they This mitigating circumstance was that the act was
have undergone preventive imprisonment, and committed in the immediate vindication of a grave
homicide defined and punished in article 249 of
offense to the one committing the felony.
the Revised Penal Code, the penalty prescribed to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the
therein being reclusion temporal in its full sum of P1,000, with the costs of both instances.
The authorities give us little assistance in arriving at a
extent. Three mitigating circumstances must be So ordered.
conclusion as to whether this circumstance was rightly
taken into consideration in favor of the accused applied. That there was immediate vindication of
Epifanio Diokno and two in favor of the accused EN BANC whatever one may term the remarks of Patobo to the
Roman Diokno, with no aggravating accused is admitted. Whether these remarks can
circumstance, thus authorizing the imposition of G.R. No. L-12883 November 26, 1917 properly be classed as "a grave offense" is more
uncertain. The Supreme court of Spain has held the
the penalty next lower to that prescribed by law
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, words "gato que arañaba a todo el mundo,"
(reclusion temporal in its full extent), or prision "landrones," and "era tonto, como toda su familia" as
mayor in its full extent, in the period that this vs.
CLEMENTE AMPAR, defendant-appellant. not sufficient to justify a finding of this mitigating
court deems applicable, which is the medium circumstance. (Decisions of January 4, 1876; May 17,
period in this case, in accordance with the 1877; May 13, 1886.) But the same court has held the
Filemon A. Cosio for appellant. words "tan landron eres tu como tu padre" to be a
provisions of article 64, rule 5, that is eight Acting Attorney-General Paredes for appellee. grave offense. (Decision of October 22, 1894.) We
years and one day of prision mayor.
consider that these authorities hardly put the facts of
the present case in the proper light. The offense which
Both accused should be granted the benefits of MALCOLM, J.: the defendant was endeavoring to vindicate would to
the indeterminate sentence provided in Act No. the average person be considered as a mere trifle. But
4103, as amended by Act No. 4225, which A fiesta was in progress in the barrio of Magbaboy, to this defendant, an old man, it evidently was a serious
matter to be made the butt of a joke in the presence of
prescribes a penalty the minimum of which shall municipality of San Carlos, Province of Occidental
Negros. Roast pig was being served. The accused so many guests. Hence, it is believed that the lower
be taken from that next lower to prision mayor, court very properly gave defendant the benefit of a
Clemente Ampar, a man of three score and ten,
or prision correccional of from six months and mitigating circumstance, and correctly sentenced him to
proceeded to the kitchen and asked Modesto Patobo for
one day to six years. Taking into account the some of the delicacy. Patobo's answer was; "There is no the minimum degree of the penalty provided for the
circumstances of the case, the indeterminate more. Come here and I will make roast pig of you." The crime of murder. lawph!
penalty to which each of said accused must be effect of this on the accused as explained by him in his
sentenced is fixed at from two years and one confession was, "Why was he doing like that, I am not a Judgment of the trial court sentencing the defendant
day of prision correccional to eight years and child." With this as the provocation, a little later while and appellant to seventeen years four months and one
the said Modesto Patobo was squatting down, the day of cadena temporal, with the accessory penalties
one day of prision mayor, crediting each with
accused came up behind him and struck him on the provided by law, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased,
one-half of the time during which they have head with an ax, causing death the following day. Modesto Patobo, in the amount of one thousand pesos,
undergone preventive imprisonment (art. 29, and to pay the costs is affirmed, with the costs of this
Revised Penal Code). instance against the appellant. So ordered.


P a g e | 11

Arellano, C.J., Torres, and Araullo, JJ., concur. a vital part of the body, thereby Appellant Pajares pleaded not guilty to both charges
Johnson, J., concurs in the result. inflicting upon the said DIOSDADO (Original Records of Criminal Case No. 85-40579, p. 5;
Street, J., did not sign. VIOJAN Y SABAYAN a club wound on Original Records of Criminal Case No. 85-40580, p. 8).
the head which was the direct and Upon the petition of herein appellant that the two (2)
SECOND DIVISION immediate cause of his death. cases be consolidated, a joint trial ensued.

G.R. No. 96444 June 23, 1992 Contrary to law. (Original Records of The prosecution presented Renato R. Perez, Cpl.
Criminal Case No, 85-40579, p. 1) Benigno Dong, Salud Manguba, Pat. Conrado Bustillos,
Dr. Norman Torres, Dr. Prospero Cabanayan, Rosita
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
He was likewise charged with the crime of Frustrated Viojan and Arlene Viojan as witnesses while only
Homicide in an Information which reads as follows: appellant Leandro Pajares took the witness stand for the
That on or about the 11th day of
October, 1985, at night time, Renato R. Perez, a resident of 1386-K Burgos St., Paco,
purposely sought to insure and better Manila, is the same Renato Perez who is the victim in
accomplish his criminal design, in the Criminal Case No. 85-40580 for Frustrated Homicide. He
This is an appeal from the decision * of the Regional testified that at about 11:30 p.m. on October 11, 1985,
City of Manila, Philippines, the said
Trial Court, NCJR, Branch VIII, Manila dated October 25, he and the deceased Diosdado Viojan were on their way
accused, conspiring and confederating
1990 in Criminal Case No. 85-40579 entitled "People of to a store located at Gomez St., Paco, Manila to buy
together with five (5) others whose
the Philippines v. Leandro Pajares y Florentino" something. They were walking abreast with each other,
true names, real identities, and
convicting herein appellant Pajares of the crime of the deceased was at his right side and was a bit ahead
present whereabouts are still
Murder. of him, when appellant Pajares suddenly appeared from
unknown, and helping one another,
with intent to kill, did then and there behind and hit Viojan with a baseball bat at the back of
Herein appellant was charged with the aforementioned willfully, unlawfully and feloniously his head. The latter ran a short distance and fell down
crime in an Information which reads as follows: attack, assault and use personal near the store of one Alex Blas. When Perez tried to
violence upon one RENATO PEREZ Y help Viojan. he, too, was attacked by Pajares with the
RUIDERA, by mauling and hitting him baseball bat hitting him at the back below the left
That on or about the 11th day of
with a baseball bat at the back, a vital shoulder. He then grappled with the appellant for the
October, 1985, at night time,
part of the body, thereby inflicting possession of the baseball bat but the latter's
purposely sought to insure and better
upon him a club wound at the back companions, namely: Rudy Dokling, Popoy, Inggo and
accomplish his criminal design, in the
which is necessarily mortal and fatal, Lauro Duado mauled him until he lost consciousness. He
City of Manila. Philippines, the said
thus performing all the acts of was brought to the Philippine General Hospital by
accused, conspiring and confederating
execution which would have produced Eugene Panibit and Joselito Perez where he was treated
together with five (5) others whose
the crime of homicide, as a for the injuries he sustained (TSN, Hearing of January 7,
true names, real Identities, and
consequence, but nevertheless did not 1986, pp. 4-23). He identified in court the baseball bat
present whereabouts are still
produce it by reason of causes used by Pajares (TSN, Hearing of September 16, 1986,
unknown and helping one another,
independent of the will of the p. 36).
did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously, with intent to kill, accused, that is, because of the timely
evident premeditation, and treachery, and able medical attendance rendered RULING
attack, assault. and use personal upon the said RENATO PEREZ
violence upon one DIOSDADO VIOJAN RUIDERA which prevented his death. Appellant Pajares asserts that the trial court
Y SABAYAN, by then and there gravely erred in imposing the penalty of reclusion
mauling him and hitting him with a Contrary to law (Original Records of perpetua upon him. He avers that such a penalty is
baseball bat at the back of the head, Criminal Case No. 85-40580, p. 1) tantamount to a cruel, degrading or inhuman


P a g e | 12

punishment which is prohibited by the Constitution. Arroyo, G.R. No. 99258, September 13, 1991 [201 SCRA of immediate vindication of a grave offense can be
Appellant points out that hours before the clubbing 616]). appreciated in his favor. While it may be true that
incident, Roberto Pajares, appellant's younger brother, appellant's brother Roberto Pajares was mauled by the
was mauled by the group of Diosdado Viojan as cited by Appellant's sole defense is alibi. According to him, he companions of the deceased at about 11:30 a.m. of
the lower court referring to the entry in the Police was inside the store of Alex Blas, watching television, October 11, 1985 as show in the entry in the Police
Blotter and the sworn statement of Roberto Pajares. when the incident occurred, Alex Blas even advised him Blotter (Exhibits "A" to "A-3", Original Records of
The mauling of the latter is a big insult and truly to go home so as not to be involved in the incident. Criminal Case No. 85-40579. pp. 30-33) and by
offending to the appellant and his family. Hence, the However, the latter was not presented to corroborate appellant's brother himself (Exhibits "G", "Q" and "A"
clubbing of Diosdado Viojan by herein appellant was a appellant's testimony. Alibi is the weakest defense an Nos. 7-9, Ibid., p. 219), it must be emphasized that
vindication of the grave offense committed against his accused can concoct. In order to prosper, it must be so there is a lapse of about ten (10) hours between said
family. a mitigating circumstance under paragraph 5 of convincing as to preclude any doubt that the accused incident and the killing of Diosdado Viojan. Such interval
Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code. Considering could have been physically present at the place of the of time was more than sufficient to enable appellant to
further that the appellant was just nineteen (19) years crime or its vicinity at the time of the commission recover his serenity (People v. Benito, G.R. No. L-32042,
old at the time he committed the offense the penalty (People v. Lacao, Sr., G.R. No. 94320, September 4. December 17, 1976 [74 SCRA 271]). Hence, the
imposed by the court a quo should have been seventeen 1991 (201 SCRA 317]). In the case at bar, appellant was mitigating circumstance of immediate vindication of a
(17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day (Brief for within the vicinity of the scene of the crime at the time grave offense cannot be appreciated in his favor.
the Appellant, Rollo, pp. 52-58). of its commission.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed
The appeal is devoid of merit. Furthermore, appellant was Positively identified by from is AFFIRMED with modification that the indemnity
Renato Perez as the perpetrator of the crime. In the is increased to P50,000.00 in accordance with the policy
In convicting herein appellant of the crime of murder, face of the clear and positive testimony of the of this Court on the matter.
qualified by treachery, the trial court relied heavily on prosecution witness regarding the participation of the
the testimony of prosecution witness Renato Perez accused in the crime, the accused's alibi dwindles into SO ORDERED.
which it found to be credible. According to the lower nothingness. The Positive identification of the accused
court, the latter "gave his account on what was done to by the witness as the perpetrator of the crime cannot be
them by the accused and his companions in a simple, overcome by the mere denial of the accused. Such
candid, straightforward manner" (RTC Decision. Rollo, p. positive identification of the accused that he killed the
36). victim establishes the guilt of the accused beyond moral
certainty (People v Arroyo, supra).
[G.R. No. 131839. January 30, 2002]
It is doctrinally entrenched that the evaluation of the
testimony of witnesses by the trial court is received on The trial court correctly ruled that the crime was
appeal with the highest respect because it is the trial attended by treachery. There is treachery, the law says,
court that has the opportunity to observe them on the when the offender adopts means, methods or forms in
stand and detect if they are telling the truth or lying in the execution of the felony which ensure its commission PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
their teeth (People v. Santito, Jr., G.R. No. 91628, without risk to himself arising from the defense which vs. ARANDE COLINA ADLAWAN @
August 22, 1991 [201 SCRA 87]). The appellate court the offended party might make (People v. Cuyo, G.R. RANDIE, accused-appellant.
can only read in cold print the testimony of the No. 76211, April 30, 1991 [196 SCRA 447]). As found by
witnesses which commonly is translated from the local the trial court, appellant Pajares hit Diosdado Viojan DECISION
dialect into English. In the process of converting into with a baseball bat from behind without any warning
written form the statement of living human beings, not thereby precluding any possible retaliation from the YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
only fine nuances but a world of meaning apparent to victim.
the judge present, watching and listening, may escape This is an appeal from the June 23, 1997
the reader of the written translated words (People v. Having established the guilt of herein appellant. the next Decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City,
question is whether or not the mitigating circumstance Branch 28, in Criminal Case No. DU-3463, convicting


P a g e | 13

accused-appellant of the crime of Murder and sentencing canal and landed on his belly with his head resting on the him, he saw the deceased about 2 1/2 arms length away,
him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years bank of the canal. Accused-appellant followed the holding a gun and told him, Do you want to follow your
and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to deceased, turned the latters head and delivered a fatal father?[7] Thereafter, accused-appellant lunged at the
seventeen (17) years and one (1) day of reclusion shot hitting him above the right ear. Thereafter, accused- deceased, twisted his hand, forcing the muzzle of the gun
temporal, as maximum; and to pay the heirs of the appellant surrendered the gun to a group of Barangay to be pointed at the deceaseds chest. Suddenly, the gun
deceased the sum of P50,000.00 as death indemnity, Tanod.[5] went off, causing the deceased to fall in a canal. Accused-
P18,850.00 as actual damages and the costs. appellant was able to get hold of the gun and again fired
The Necropsy Report shows the postmortem at the deceased. Thereafter, he fled and hid in
The Information against accused-appellant reads: findings and the cause of death of the victim, thus: Manila[8] until January 23, 1997, when he finally decided
to surrender to Mayor Alfredo M. Ouano and P/Supt.
That on or about the 15th day of November, 1992, in II. Pertinent Findings: Rolando Borres.[9]
the City of Mandaue, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the aforenamed After trial, the court a quo rendered the assailed
1. Gunshot Wound, Entrance, 0.5 cm. x 0.5 cm., located
accused, with deliberate intent to kill, treachery and decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
at the left parietal region 4 cm. above the right ear. The
evident premeditation, did then and there wilfully, entrance wound has an inverted periphery. The bullet
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, and shot slug went thru the brain tissues and pierced thru the WHEREFORE, finding the herein accused ARANDE
Nequito Ortizano with a revolver, thereby inflicting upon right parietal bone, where the slug was embedded and COLINA ADLAWAN @ RANDIE guilty beyond reasonable
the latter mortal wound at his vital portion which caused extracted at the scalp of the right parietal region. doubt for the crime of Murder, the said accused is
his death soon thereafter. hereby sentenced to undergo the indeterminate penalty
by imprisonment of TEN (10) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY
2. Gunshot Wound, Entrance, 0.5 cm., located at the
CONTRARY TO LAW.[2] of prision mayor as minimum to SEVENTEEN (17)
left supraclavicular at the medial part, with inverted
YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of reclusion temporal as
periphery and contusion, collar. The bullet slug went
maximum, with the accessories of the law, to indemnify
Upon arraignment on March 31, 1997, accused- downward and backwards hitting the upper lobes of the
the legal heirs of Nequito Ortizano the amount of Fifty
appellant pleaded not guilty.[3] Thereafter, trial ensued. left and right lungs and exited thru the inferior border of
Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos by reason of his death,
the right scapula. The exit wound measures 1 cm. x 1
The prosecutions account of the antecedent facts P18,850.00 as actual damages, and to pay the costs.
cm. with irregular everted edges.
are as follows: At dawn of November 15, 1992, the
deceased, together with prosecution witnesses Benjamin The accused, being a detention prisoner, shall be
Basubas and Quirino Cinco, and a certain Oliver Bonayan, Gunshot Wounds Number 1 and 2 resulted to a massive
credited in the service of his sentence full time during
were inside a fenced disco area in Sitio Oril, Mandaue hemorrhage of the brain, the left and right lungs.
which he has undergone preventive imprisonment.
City. At 2:00 a.m., Benjamin Basubas and Quirino Cinco
were alerted by a commotion outside. When they rushed III. Cause of Death:
out, they saw the deceased raising his hands in front of
accused-appellant, who was then in the company of SHOCK, IRREVERSIBLE. Secondary to Massive
Barangay Tanod Jerry Diaz and Jet Bonita. Likewise Hence, the instant appeal. Accused-appellant
Hemorrhage due to Multiple Gun Shot Wounds.[6]
present was accused-appellant's father, Barangay Tanod contends that:
Crispulo Adlawan, who was lying on the ground RULING
On the other hand, the defense averred that at
unconscious. Prosecution witnesses Benjamin Basubas
around 2:00 in the morning of November 15, 1992, while
and Quirino Cinco stood approximately one meter away The appeal has no merit.
accused-appellant was inside a fenced disco area in Sitio
from the deceased. All of a sudden, accused-appellant
Oril, Mandaue City, he heard somebody shouting and The task of assessing the conflicting versions of the
drew a gun from his waist, pointed it at the deceased,
when he turned to the source of the disturbance, he saw defense and the prosecution is a matter best determined
saying, this is the one.[4] He immediately fired the gun,
his father, lying on the ground unconscious and with a by the trial court who had the untrammeled opportunity to
hitting the deceased on the chest. The latter staggered
bloodied face.Accused-appellant dashed to his father observe the witnesses demeanor and deportment on the
toward the direction of Benjamin Basubas. He was able
whom he thought was already dead. As he tried to lift witness stand, and therefore could better discern if such
to hold on to a deaf-mute bystander, but fell on a shallow witnesses were telling the truth or not. Hence, unless the
P a g e | 14

trial judge plainly overlooked certain facts of substance threat.[16] In his direct testimony, accused-appellant did his father, satisfies the requisite of the mitigating
and value which, if considered, might affect the result of not categorically declare that the deceased was aiming circumstance of passion or obfuscation under Paragraph
the case, his assessment on credibility of witnesses must the gun at him, or about to shoot him. Right after he 6, Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code.
be respected.[12] allegedly heard the deceaseds remark, Do you want to
follow your father, he immediately lunged at him, twisted The penalty for Murder at the time of the
Likewise, the trial court correctly appreciated the the gun toward his chest and fired.Clearly, therefore, commission of the offense is Reclusion Temporal in its
qualifying circumstance of treachery. The essence of there was no real peril to the life of accused-appellant. maximum period to Death. There being one mitigating
treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack, depriving In People v. Escoto,[17] we held that the mere circumstance of passion or obfuscation, and no
the victim of any real chance to defend himself, thereby apprehension that the supposed aggressor would shoot aggravating circumstance to offset it, the penalty shall be
ensuring its commission without risk to the the person invoking self-defense is not justified. Failing to imposed in its minimum period, i.e., Reclusion
aggressor.[13] At the time accused-appellant fired the first discharge the burden of proving unlawful aggression, Temporal maximum. Applying the Indeterminate
shot, the deceased was unarmed and had his hands accused-appellant's claim of incomplete self-defense Sentence Law, the maximum sentence shall be reclusion
raised. The deceased was therefore in no position to put cannot prosper. temporal in its maximum period and the minimum shall be
up any defense such as would present a risk to accused- taken from the next lower penalty, which is prision
appellant. Moreover, the second shot fired by accused- The trial court, however, erred in appreciating the mayor maximum to reclusion temporal medium. Hence,
appellant clearly foreclosed any doubt as to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender in favor of accused-appellant should be meted the penalty of ten
attendance of treachery. When he turned the head of the accused-appellant. To be considered a mitigating (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum
deceased before he fired the second shot, accused- circumstance, voluntary surrender must be to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months, and one (1) day
appellant was manifestly determined to have a better shot spontaneous. The conduct of the accused, and not his of reclusion temporal as maximum.
at the head of the deceased who was already lying intention alone, after the commission of the offense,
helpless on the ground. determines the spontaneity of the surrender. In People v. As to accused-appellant's civil liability, we agree
Mabuyo,[18] we held that the surrender is not spontaneous with the accused-appellant that the award of P18,850.00
The privileged mitigating circumstance of where it took the accused almost nine months from the as actual damages to the heirs of the deceased lacks
incomplete self-defense cannot be appreciated in favor of issuance of the warrant of arrest against him before he basis. In lieu of actual damages, the heirs of the
accused-appellant. Unlawful aggression is a presented himself to the police authorities. With more deceased are entitled to temperate damages in the
condition sine qua non for self-defense, whether reason then that we should not appreciate the mitigating amount of P10,000.00. Temperate damages are
complete or incomplete.[14] From the version of the circumstance of voluntary surrender in the case at bar awarded where pecuniary loss is proved but not the
prosecution, which the Court finds credible, the deceased since it took accused-appellant more than three years amount thereof.[20]
did not commit any unlawful aggression towards from the issuance of the warrant of arrest on September
accused-appellant. On the contrary, it was accused- Moral Damages in the amount of P50,000.00 should
23, 1993 before he finally decided to surrender on likewise be awarded for the emotional suffering of the
appellant who was the aggressor when he shot the January 23, 1997.
deceased who was unarmed and raising his hands. deceased's heirs.[21]
Nevertheless, the mitigating circumstance of The wife of the deceased testified that her husband,
In the same vein, the circumstance of incomplete passion or obfuscation should be appreciated to mitigate
defense of a relative is unavailing. It is settled that a a 29-year old driver and spray man at the time of his
accused-appellant's criminal liability. The requisites of death, was earning P100.00 daily.[22] Using the American
person making a defense has no more right to attack an this mitigating circumstance are: (1) that there be an act,
aggressor when the unlawful aggression has Expectancy Table of Mortality,[23] the loss of his earning
both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition capacity should be computed as follows:
ceased.[15] In the instant case, accused-appellant was not of mind; and (2) said act which produced the obfuscation
justified in attacking the deceased as the latter had his was not far removed from the commission of the crime by
hands raised and was no longer poised to attack a considerable length of time, during which the
accused-appellant's father at the time he was shot. perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity.[19]
Furthermore, the acts of the deceased immediately In the case at bar, accused-appellant thought his
prior to the shooting did not constitute unlawful father whose face was bloodied and lying unconscious on
aggression. Unlawful aggression requires an actual, the ground was dead. Surely, such a scenario is sufficient
sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger to trigger an uncontrollable burst of legitimate
thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating passion. His act, therefore, of shooting the deceased,
attitude. It must be such as to put in real peril the life of right after learning that the latter was the one who harmed
the person defending himself and not a mere imagined
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