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CA & People of the Philippines, respondents [July 8, 1999] Facts (respondents): • July 15, 1989, 8:30 am: Cynthia Sapa, wife of victim Noe Sapa, was in her mom’s house in Burabud, Laoang, Northern Samar where she & her H were staying. • Someone on the street called on her H but Noe was still asleep since he went to bed late as he is part of loc Bantay Bayan who makes rounds at night. • Cynthia saw 3 petitioners/accused + Estrella Pepito. Felipe & Estrella are sps & Sinonor & Sonny are their kids. She saw that they were armed w/various weapons such as depang, Indian pana, sagangat. She was frightened so she ran to neighbor’s house where she sought refuge. • She met her mom-in-law, Urdanita Sapa. She told her about the incident. Urdanita went back to her house & told accused to leave Noe for he didn’t do anything wrong to them. • The accused went inside house while Estrella stood by the door. After w/c a commotion was heard. Then the 3 went out of the house w/their weapons bloodied. Sinonor announced that Noe was dead. • Noe was found dead in a pool of blood on kitchen floor. He sustained 19 stab, incise & hack wounds. Facts (petitioners): • July 15, 1989, bet 6 & 7 a.m.: Noe was drunk & armed w/bolo & Indian pana. He made trouble in the neighborhood w/c prompted Estrella to report matter to brgy capt. Espino who then brought Noe home. • After half an hour: Noe challenged family of accused to a fight. He chased Felipe who ran towards their house & so Noe didn’t pursue him anymore. He went home. • Sinonor thought dad was hurt so he grabbed a bolo, rushed out of house & ran after Noe. Noe hit Sinonor w/pana & struck him w/bolo on rt arm. Sinonor was able to grab rt arm of victim w/c held bolo & stabbed him several times. Noe tried to flee but Sinnonor pursued him til they reached Noe’s house. Noe staggered inside the house, fell on kitchen floor & died. Sinonor was met by his family as he came out w/bloodied bolo, clothes & hands. RTC gave credence to respondent’s evidence. All 3 accused were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide. Appreciated testimonies of witnesses, police officer as well as municipal court resolution re incident, autopsy report. Found defenses of Felipe & Sonny that they didn’t participate as incredible, preposterous & not convincing. Sinonor’s plea of self-defense not appreciated since he became offender & not defender and means employed was not reasonable to prevent/repel aggression since 19 wounds were sustained. Plea of voluntary surrender not appreciated since such was not proven in court. Estrella acquitted. CA: affirmed RTC. Number of wounds would show that not only one person committed crime. Witnesses testified that they saw all 4 Pepitos go to the house of Noe. Gave much weight to testimony of Amanda Bantilo. Bolstered by fact that prior to incident Noe has challenged Pepitos to a fight. Although Sinonor’s desire to exculpate dad is understandable, it can’t be considered where common design & concerted action is evident. MC of sufficient provocation on part of Noe is considered.
Issues & Ratio: 1. WON guilt of Felipe & Sonny was proven beyond reasonable doubt and if yes, WON conspiracy was established. - NO • Amada Bantillo, witness for petitioners, claim that she her house was only more than an armslength away from Noe’s house and their houses were derived by a bamboo fence. She testified that she was doing the laundry at the time the incident occurred. She claims that she saw all 4 Pepitos pass by one minute after the other. She saw that they all had weapons. Then she heard a commotion as if a kitchen was being butchered so she stopped work & ran towards main highway. She saw Sinonor w/stains of blood in front of him. He came out fr house of Cynthia. Bantilo testi corroborated by Genaro Tepace, Cynthia & Urdanita. • Venancio Laguitan, witness for respondents, claim that only Sinonor & Noe grappled w/o other people joining them. He further stated that Sinonor alone successively stabbed Noe & pursued him up to time when Noe staggered towards his house. He also claims that he only saw Sinonor come out of Noe’s house w/o Felipe, Sonny or Estrella. Corroborated by Rodolfo Tepace & Felipe, Sinonor, Sonny & Estrella Pepito. • Court convinced w/respondents’ evidence: 1. Pablo Pulga who photographed victim’s body & was presented as witness testified that bolo was in Noe’s rt hand belying claim that Noe was asleep when he was attacked & supporting Pepito’s claim that Noe died while fighting w/Sinonor. 2. Noe was found in kitchen & not in living room. Negates claim that he was asleep & bolsters allegation that Sinonor finished him off as he retreated to his house. 3. Dr. Ver who examined victim couldn’t make a categorical statement re certainty of 19 wounds being inflicted by different weapons. She also claims it’s possible. 4. There are only suspicions, surmises, & guesses on guilt of Felipe & Sonny. They can’t be found guilty simply because of these. Guilt must flow naturally from facts proved & must be consistent w/all of them. 2. Mitigating/aggravating circumstances. • MC incomplete defense of relative can’t be appreciated in favor of Sinonor. Even if based on mistaken belief, such can be appreciated only if act done would have been lawful had facts been as accused believed them to be. No more rt to attack when unlawful aggression has ceased. In this case, even if Noe killed Felipe, Sinonor can’t still claim this MC because Noe already stopped about 8 meters fr door of Pepito’s residence & turned back to go home. Aggression already ceased to exist. • MC of sufficient provocation/threat on part of offended party immediately preceding act is appreciated. Provocation: unjust/improper conduct or act of offended party capable of exciting, inciting or irritating anyone. Sufficient: adequate to excite person to commit a wrong w/c must be proportionate in gravity. Immediately precede act: no interval of time bet provocation by offended party & commission of crime by provoked. Provocation on Noe’s part: challenging Pepitos armed w/bolo & pana and chasing Felipe. Witnesses testified that Sinonor attacked Noe shortly after provocation. • AC of dwelling not appreciated since Noe gave provocation. • MC of passion or obfuscation disregarded since sufficient provocation/threat MC was already appreciated. Should be treated as one if based on same facts.
Held: CA decision as to Felipe & Sonny reversed. They are acquitted. Affirmed WRT Sinonor. There being one MC & no AC, penalty should be imposed in its min period thus, he is sentenced to prision mayor min to reclusion temporal max & ordered to pay indemnity & moral damages to heirs of Noe. PEOPLE v. PARAISO 319 SCRA 422 (1999) Facts: Roland Paraiso was found guilty of the special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death. Confederating with John Doe he entered the house of Lolita Alipio Tigley, and stole several items and on the occasion thereof, with intent to kill, dragged Tigley inside a room, and thereafter assaulted, attacked and stabbed the latter on the different parts of the body which caused her death shortly thereafter. Issues: 1. WON Paraiso was guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. Yes. The essential elements of the special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide (Art. 249, RPC) are: (1) the taking of personal property with the use of violence or intimidation against a person; (2) the property thus taken belongs to another; (3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and, (4) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of homicide which is therein used in a generic sense, was committed. The evidence for the prosecution showed that appellant and his companion, with a gun and a knife, took possession of personal properties belonging to the victim, with intent to gain, and on the occasion thereof, the victim was killed. 2. WON aggravating circumstances were rightly appreciated No. Dwelling and abuse of superior strength may be appreciated but not disregard of respect due the offended party on account of her sex. Dwelling. Dwelling aggravates a felony where the crime was committed in the dwelling of the offended party, if the latter has not given provocation or if the victim was killed inside his house. Here, robbery was committed in the house of the victim without provocation on her part. In robbery with violence and intimidation against persons, dwelling is aggravating because in this class of robbery, the crime may be committed without the necessity of trespassing the sanctity of the offended party's house. Dwelling is considered aggravating primarily because of the sanctity of privacy the law accords to human abode. He who goes to another's house to hurt him or do him wrong is more guilty than he who offends him elsewhere. Abuse of superior strength. While abuse of superior strength may be considered when there is an inequality of comparative force between the victim and the aggressor, there must, nonetheless, be a situation of strength notoriously selected and made use of by the latter in the commission of the crime. What should be considered is whether the aggressors took advantage of their combined strength in order to consummate the offense. Abuse of strength is present not only when the offenders enjoy numerical superiority, or there is a notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor but also when the offender uses a powerful weapon which is out of proportion to the defense available to the offended party. Here, the victim was totally helpless in the face of two (2) perpetrators who were armed with a gun and a knife. Disregard of respect due to sex. However, the aggravating circumstance of disregard of the respect due to the victim by reason of her sex cannot be
appreciated. This aggravating circumstance can be considered only in crimes against persons and honor. The special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide is a crime against property not against persons. Moreover, nothing appears in the record that appellant deliberately intended to offend or insult the age or sex of the offended party. Moreover, such an aggravating circumstance would be absorbed by the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength. Judgment: Penalty of reclusion perpetua to death is composed of 2 indivisible penalties. Applying Art. 63, RPC, penalty that should be imposed is death which is the maximum provided for by law in the absence of any mitigating circumstance to offset the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and abuse of superior strength. These aggravating circumstances need not be alleged in the information since they are mere generic aggravating circumstances which have the effect of increasing the penalty to the maximum period which is death. But in accordance with Sec. 25 of R.A. 7659, amending Art. 83 of the RPC, upon finality of this decision, certified true copies thereof, as well as the records of this case, are forthwith forwarded to the Office of the President for possible exercise of the pardoning power. People vs. Rodil [November 20, 1981] Automatic Review of the judgement of the Circuit Criminal Court Facts: Floro Rodil was found guilty of the crime of murder by the Circuit Criminal Court for the death of Lt.Masana. Version of the prosecutor April 24, 1971 around 1:00 pm – Masana together with Fidel, Ligsa and Mojica was having lunch inside a restaurant in front of the Indang Market. While they were eating, their attention was called by Rodil who was outside blowing his whistle. Masana, in civilian clothing, accompanied by Fidel went outside and asked Rodil, after identifying himself as a PC officer, whether the gun that was tucked under his shirt had a license Instead if answering Rodil attempted to draw his gun but Fidel grabbed the gave and gave it to Masana. The three went inside the restaurant and Masana wrote a receipt for the gun and he asked Rodil to sign it but the appellant refused to do so. Masana refused to return the gun to Rodil and as Masana was about to stand up Rodil pulled out his dagger and stabbed Masana several times on the chest and stomach causing his death after several hours. The companions of Masana took the accused into custody. Version of the defense Rodil is claiming self-defense Rodil together with his wife were eating inside the restaurant and while they were waiting for their food Masana approached and inquired whether he was a member of the Anti-smuggling Unit. Rodil answered in the affirmative and Masana invited him to join him in his table. Rodil accepted the invitation. During their conversation Masana asked for identification of Rodil and the latter showed his ID. Masana told Rodil that his ID was fake and Rodil insisted that it was genuine. Masana was demanding that Rodil surrender his ID to him but Rodil refused. When Rodil refused Masana pulled out his gun and hit the accused on the head with its handle for 2 times and as a result blood gushed out from his head and face.
Rodil pulled out his dagger and stabbed Masana and then ran out of the restaurant. Rodil went to the direction of the Municipal building where he intended to surrender. On his was he met the Chief of Police and he was accompanied to the municipal building and was given first aid treatment.
Issues 1. WON self-defense can be availed by Rodil 2. WON the crime committed was murder or homicide merely or murder or homicide complexed with assault upon an agent of authority. 3. WON the aggravating circumstance of disregard of rank should be appreciated Ratio: 1. No Self-defense must be proven by clear, sufficient, satisfactory and convincing evidence Accused must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution. Having admitted the wounding or killing of the victim, the accused must be held liable for the crime unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the court the fact of legitimate self-defense. Court cannot perceive how the refusal of the accused to give his ID could have provoked or enraged the deceased to the extent of initiating the aggression by drawing his pistol and hitting the accused with its butt. It is the accused who had every reason to be resentful of the deceased and to be enraged after the deceased refused to heed his plea that his gun be returned. 2. Crime committed was homicide (No complex crime but there is a general aggravating circumstance. ) Murder – it was established by the prosecution that during the stabbing incident, appellant suddenly and without giving the victim a chance to defend himself, stabbed the latter several times with a dagger, inflicting mortal wounds. No treachery – assailant and victim was face to face. Attack was not treacherous because the victim was able to ward off the same with his hand. Force of warding off the attack was so strong that the accused bump his head on a table nearby, causing injuries to him. Failed to show that the accused made any preparation to kill his victim so as to insure the commission of the crime, making it at the same time possible or hard for the victim to defend himself or retaliate. Treachery exists when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person employing means, methods, or forms in the execution thereof which tend to directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. Information does not allege the fact that the accused then knew that, before or at the time of the assault, the victim was an agent of a person in authority.
accused must have the intention to offend, injure, or assault the offended party as a person in authority or agent of a person in authority. Yes Whenever there is a difference in social condition between the offender and the offended party, this aggravating circumstance sometimes is present. Mesana identified himself as a PC officer and the accused is merely a member of the Anti-Smuggling Unit and therefore inferior both in rank and social status. Rank – refers to a high social position or standing Cases wherein the aggravating circumstance of disregard of rank was appreciated a. People vs. Benito – clerk murdered assistant chief of the personnel transaction division b. People vs. Torres – murder of Col. Salgado and injuries to Gen. Castaneda c. People vs. Valeriano – murder of district judge Chief of Police (Panaligan) was present during the incident. Panaligan was the one who wrested the dagger from Rodil and the accused knew him to be the chief of police. Chief of police is considered a public authority or a person in authority for he is vested with jurisdiction or authority to maintain peace and order and is specifically duty bound to prosecute and to apprehend violators of the law
Dissent: Melencio-Herrera Contempt of, or which insult to public authorities to be considered as aggravating, it is essential that: o Crime is committed in the presence of a public authority, not a mere agent of the authorities o Public authority is engaged in the exercise of his functions and is not the person against whom the crime is committed. Masana is not a public authority nor a person in authority he is a mere agent of a person in authority Disregard of the respect due to rank o There must be a difference in social condition of the offender and the offended party o Offender and offended are of the same rank the aggravating circumstance does not apply Difference in rank bet a lieutenant and officer of anti-smuggling unit is not such of a degree as to justify consideration of disrespect of rank due to the offended party. PEOPLE v. DANIEL Appeal from the judgment of CFI Baguio City, Belmonte. 1978. FACTS: 13-yr old Margarita Paleng filed complaint against Amado Daniel alias “Amado Ato” for the crime of rape. On Sept 20, 1965, Margarita, a native of Mt Province, arrived in Baguio City from Tublay in a Dangwa bus. She was then en route to her boarding house in Guisad as she was a high school student at the Baguio Eastern High School. While she was waiting inside the bus, the accused Daniel came and started molesting her by inquiring her name and getting hold of her bag. She did not allow the latter and instead called the attention of the bus driver and the conductor but was merely shrugged by them. It seemed that they were also afraid of the accused. Despite
Such knowledge must be expressly and specifically averred in the information; otherwise, in the absence of such allegation, the required knowledge would only be appreciated as a generic aggravating circumstance. It is essential that the accused must have knowledge that the person attacked was a person in authority or his agent in the exercise of his duties, because the
the rain, she left the bus and went to ride in a jeep parked some 100meters away. The accused followed her and rode and sat beside her. When Margarita alighted in Guisad, she was again followed by the accused. Reaching her boarding house, she opened the door and was about to close it when the accused dashed in and closed the door behind him. He pulled a dagger 8 inches long and threatened her saying, “If you will talk, I will kill you.” Because of her fear, Margarita fell silent. She was then forced to lie down w/ the accused placing a handkerchief in her mouth and holding a dagger to her neck. Her attempts to flee was to no avail as she was only 4 ft 8 inches tall & 95 lbs while Daniel was 5 ft 7 inches tall and weighed 126 lbs. The accused was successful in having carnal knowledge of Margarita. Thereafter she lost consciousness. When she recovered, Daniel had already gone. For his defense, Daniel asserts that he and Margarita have known each other since 1963 and this was in fact the 2nd time he had carnal knowledge of her. Also, he alleges that he promised to marry Margarita and was actually surprised the she filed the complaint against him. Medico-Legal report indicated that Margarita was a virgin before the incident complained of. HELD: The crime committed by Daniel is rape w/ the use of a deadly weapon w/ the aggravating circumstance of having been committed in the dwelling of the offended party. Although Margarita was merely renting a bedspace in a boarding house, her room constituted for all intents and purposes a “dwelling” as the term is used in Art 14 (3) RPC. It is not necessary, under the law, that the victim owns the place where he lives or dwells. Be he a lessee, a boarder, or a bed-spacer, the place is his home the sanctity of w/c the law seeks to protect and uphold. The correct penalty is death pursuant to Aft 335 RPC. However, for lack of the necessary number of votes, the penalty next lower in degree is to be applied. Daniel is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordered to indemnify Margarita Paleng by way or moral damages of PhP12K. PEOPLE v. BAÑEZ 301 SCRA 248 (1999) Nature: Appeal from a decision of the RTC of Urdaneta, Pangasinan Facts: Wilfredo Bañez was found by the RTC to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt of parricide for the killing of his father, Bernardo Bañez, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. Accused was living with in his parents' house. On August 14, 1994, his sisters, Elvira Bañez-Bustamante and Emelinda Bañez-Antiado came to the house because their father complained that the accused made trouble whenever drunk. They were discussing the plan for putting up the accused in another house or sleeping quarters. Afterwards, the accused, who looked drunk because he was red in the face, ran into the kitchen, got 2 knives, went into his father's room and stabbed him. Elvira tried to take away the knives but he lunged at her and stabbed he. Emelinda also tried to stop him. He chased her while Elvira locked herself in their father's room. After the accused had left, she rushed their father to the hospital but he was already dead. The accused entered a plea of insanity. Elvira testified that the accused had been staying in their father's house for 4 years after the accused separated from his wife; that he was confined at the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center for addiction to gasoline and was discharged; that
he was also treated at the Baguio General Hospital for addiction to gasoline, and; that he had not shown any indication that he was crazy. Dr. Gerona III of the NCMH (National center for Mental Health) testified that accused was admitted to the NCMH 20 days after the crime; that the accused was suffering from schizophrenia, described as a mental disorder characterized by thought disturbances, hallucination, suspiciousness, and deterioration in areas of work, social relations and self-care; that schizophrenia can be caused by use of substances (inhaling gasoline and alcoholism); that he could not say whether the accused was insane at the time he committed the crime. Marina Gabel-Banez, mother of the accused, testified that he had been confined for more than a year at the Bicutan rehab Center; that he was also treated at the Baguio General hospital; that after killing his father, he was confined at the Mandaluyong mental hospital for treatment; that his wife left him and he blamed his in-laws for his marital troubles; that he resorted to gasoline to forget his problems, and; that he was not a drunkard. The trial court found him guilty of parricide with the aggravating circumstance of dwelling and habitual intoxication and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death
Issues: 1. WON he was insane at the time of the commission of the crime and should be exempt from criminal liability under Art. 12 of the RPC. - No. Accused must prove that he was completely deprived of reason when he killed his father in order to be considered exempt from criminal liability In People vs. Formigones: "it is necessary that there be a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act; that the accused be deprived of reason; that there be no responsibility for his own acts; that he acts without the least discernment; that there be a complete absence of power to discern...insanity at the time of the commission of the act should absolutely deprive a person of intelligence or freedom of will, because mere abnormality of his mental faculties does not exclude imputability." People vs. Rafanan, Jr: "Formigoens established 2 distinguishable tests: (a) the test of cognition...and (b) the test of volition..But our caselaw shows common reliance on the test of cognition, rather than on a test relating to 'freedom of the will.'" Burden to prove his insanity at the time of the commission of the act rests on the defense. But he was not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt his insanity at the time immediately preceding the killing or at the very moment of the killing. Evidence merely consisted of the testimony of his mother regarding his treatments. The testimony of Dr. Gerona III is inconclusive as to whether the accused was insane at the time immediately preceding the killing or at the very moment of the killing. He could not have testified to this effect, considering that he treated the accused after the accused was confine at the NCMH. 2. WON there exists the aggravating circumstances of intoxication and dwelling in the commission of the crime - No. Dwelling cannot be considered aggravating because accused and his father were living in the same house where the crime was committed. The rationale for considering dwelling as an aggravating circumstance is the violation by the offender of the sanctity of the home of the victim by trespassing therein to commit the crime. The reason is entirely absent in this case. Regarding the aggravating circumstance of intoxication, it has
not been shown that it is habitual or intentional as required by Art 15 of the RPC. Even assuming that the accused was drunk at the time he committed the crime, it was not shown that he is a habitual and excessive drinker or that he intentionally got drunk. Neither can intoxication be mitigating because there is no showing that he accused was so drunk that his will power was impaired or that he could not comprehend the wrongfulness of his acts. WON the trial court gravely erred in imposing the death penalty upon the accused instead of reclusion perpetua on the assumption that he was sane at the time of the killing. - No. Under RA 7659, the penalty for parricide is reclusion perpetua to death. Since in this case there was neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstances, the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua should be imposed.
Judgment: the decision of the RTC is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the accused-appellant is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
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