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MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF ILLNESS

NOTES:
People v. Javier There is passional obfuscation when the crime is committed due to an
uncontrollable burst of passion so provoked by prior unjust or improper acts, or
Automatic Review of decision of RTC of Agoo, La Union (1999) due to a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to overcome reason.

FACTS: People vs. Parazo
→ Dec 1954: Accused-appellant Eduardo Javier was married to Motion for Reconsideration of a decision of the Supreme Court
Florentina Laceste. They begot 10 children.
→ June 1996: After 41 yrs of marriage, Javier admitted killing his wife. Facts:
→ Testimonies of SPO1 Rotelio Pacho, a desk investigator, and  Marlon Parazo was convicted for rape and frustrated homicide.
Consolacion Javier Panit & Alma Javier, daughters of the sps:  May 29, 1997 – Parazo filed a motion for reconsideration which
 Between 2:00 – 3:00 a.m., Consolacion, who lived 10-15 alleged that Parazo was not provided with a sign language expert.
meters away, heard her mom shouting, “your father is going to If the allegation should be proven the judgement of conviction
kill me!” (translated from local dialect). She ran outside and should be set aside.
met her sister Alma who was weeping and informed her of  February 10, 1998 the court resolved to grant the urgent omnibus
their parents’ quarrel. Together, they went to their brother motion
Manuel’s house, about 70-80 meters away from their parents’ o To hold in abeyance consideration of his motion
house. pending his medical examination
 Upon reaching the latter, Manuel, who entered first, found the o To allow a supplemental motion for
lifeless body of his mother in their bedroom and his father, reconsideration after his medical examination
wounded in the abdomen. o To submit the appellant for examination by a
 Their father, Eduardo, confessed to son Manuel that he killed physician of the Supreme Court.
his wife and thereafter stabbed himself.
→ April 1997: RTC held Javier guilty of the crime of parricide and Issue: WON the judgement of conviction should be set aside
sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death, and to indemnify the
heirs of the victim in the amount of PhP50K as moral damages and Held: Yes
PhP21,730 as actual expenses.
→ In his appeal, Javier claims he killed his wife because he was Ratio:
suffering from insomnia for a month and at the time of the killing,  Appellant was examined by Beatriz O. Cruz (SC Medical
his mind went totally blank and he did not know what he was doing. Services Psychologist). The result of her examination was
He claims that he was insane then. that Mr. Parazo’s intelligence function based on the
Goodenough is gauged on the mild to moderate degree of
ISSUES: mental retardation with an estimated IQ of 60. His mental
1) WON accused-appellant Javier can claim mitigating circumstances age on the other hand, is equivalent to 7 years and 9
of illness and of passion and obfuscation months.
2) WON he should be sentence to suffer a lower penalty  July 29, 1998 Memorandum report – Problem of Marlon
Parazo is the severe defect or deafness. The presence of
HOLDING: Appealed decision affirmed w/ modification. Javier to suffer an organic disorder cannot be determined because of the
reclusion perpetua and PhP50K imposed as civil indemnity instead of latter’s inability to communicate. However, some degree of
moral damages. mental retardation was gathered with the use of ‘Paper and
Pencil Test.’ His mental age is seven years and nine months.
RATIO: His IQ is 60.
1) NO to both.  Memorandum report of Dr. Rosa Mendoza of PGH – Mr.
On illness, since Javier has already admitted to the killing, it is Marlon Parazo is indeed hearing impaired and suffers from
incumbent upon him to prove the claimed mitigating circumstance. mental retardation.
OSG found no sufficient evidence or medical finding to support his  Testimonies of the people who have known Marlon Parazo
claim. For the mitigating circumstance of illness of the offender to be since childhood corroborated the testimonies of the medical
appreciated, the law requires the presence of the ff requisites: experts. The mother of Parazo, barangay chairman, school
→ Illness must diminish the exercise of the willpower of the offender, teacher stated that the appellant was deaf and mute.
and  Based on the collateral information gathered from persons
→ Such illness should not deprive the offender of consciousness of who have known the patient since childhood, together with
his acts. the result of the diagnostic test at UP-PGH and evidenced by
the psychological report, it is now established that Marlon
For the circumstance of passion and obfuscation of the offender to be Parazo is suffering from (1) Profound Hearing Loss, left ear;
appreciated, the law requires the presence of the ff requisites: (2) Severe Hearing Loss, right ear (3) Mental Retardation,
→ There should be an act both unlawful and sufficient to produce Mild.
such condition of mind, and  Records show that Parazo was tried without the benefit of a
→ Such act w/c produced the obfuscation was not far removed from sign language expert and he was only assisted by a person
the commission of the crime by a considerable length of time, who has been known to him since 1983.
during w/c the perpetrator might recover his moral equanimity.  People v. Crisologo – absence of an interpreter in sign
The defense never presented any medical record of the accused nor language who could have conveyed to the accused, a deaf
was a psychiatrist presented to validate the defense of insanity. None of mute, the full facts of the offense with which he was charged
the elements-requisites were proved to be present and in his testimony, and who could also have communicated the accused’s
Javier even stated that he was not jealous of his wife. Equally important, version of the circumstances which led to his implication in
the defense, during the trial, never alleged the above-claimed mitigating the crime, deprived the accused of a full and fair trial and a
circumstances of illness and passion and obfuscation, thus weakening reasonable opportunity to defend himself. Not even the
the case of accused-appellant. The alleged mitigating circumstances accused’s final plea of not guilty can excuse these inherently
are mere afterthought to whittle (to shape) down his criminal liability. unjust circumstances. The absence of a qualified interpreter
in sign language and of any other means, whether in writing
2) Yes. The crime of parricide, not being a capital crime per se is not or otherwise, to inform the accused of the charges against
punishable by mandatory death penalty but by the flexible penalty him denied the accused his fundamental right of due process
of reclusion perpetua to death, two indivisible penalties. The of law. The accuracy and fairness of the factual process by
application of the lesser of greater penalty depends on the which the guilt or innocence of the accused was determined
presence of mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Thus, in was not safeguarded. The accused could not be said to
the absence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstance for the have enjoyed the right to be heard by himself and counsel,
accused, the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua should be and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
imposed. against him in the proceedings where his life and liberty
were at stake.