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Garcia vs.

Court of Appeals Facts:

A. Kinds of Criminal Acts

Acts committed in violation of the Election Law are mala in se (criminal intent is needed in order to prove ones crime. If this was strictly just prohibited by law, then errors committed in fatigue of counting would be counted as a violation. Intentional increasing or decreasing count is injurious to affected party. Garcia and party was charged with unlawfully decreasing Pimentels votes by 5077. She was found guilty of the crime defined under Republic Act 6646, Section 27b (Election Offense) with Petitioners appeal, will undergo one year in prison with disq from holding a position in pub office and is deprived of her right of suffrage (vote) Issue: Does the courts manner of deciding fall under mala in se or mala prohibita? Did Garcia act without criminal intent? Holding: The court finds Garcias appeal/petition be denied. She shall sustain the previous conviction of 1 year. Ratio: Garcias points of appeal: it could not have been Viray who decreased the number of votes because he relied on what the petitioner dictated, tabulators were not the one who would have decreased the votes because the Garcia was the one who read the adding machine, Garcia did not produce the tapes during the trial because it wouldve been adverse to her, Garcia was the one who entered the figure 1921 in the COC even though it wasnt her duty, reduction of votes was not willful or intentional. The court argues that it rests upon the election officers to ensure that the votes are counted accurately. A measly sum of 77 votes were counted out of Pimentels actual number of votes that can be due to fatigue. But a decrease of 5000 votes between the SoV and the CoC is substantial. Public policy dictates that extraordinary diligence should be exercised by the members of the board of canvassers in canvassing the results of the election. Because of this, the decision regarding Garcias conviction is sustained.

United States vs. Go Chico


Facts: Go Chico was charged with the violation of Section 1 of Act 1696 of the Philippine Commision, The Flag Law. He placed a number of medallions in the form of a small button, upon the faces of which were the pictures of Emilio Aguinaldo, and the flag or banner or device used during the late insurrection in the Philippine Islands to identify those in armed insurrection against the US. Go Chico was tried and found guilty. He was to pay an amount of P500 and to suffer subsidiary imprisonment until said fine is paid. Issue: The issue at hand: Is it necessary that criminal intent is present in the violation of the Flag Law? Holding: Appeal of Go Chico is denied and sentence imposed is affirmed. Ratio: Go Chicos points of appeal: before conviction under the law cited can be had criminal intent must be established and proved beyond reasonable doubt of the accused, the prohibition is directed against the use of IDENTICAL banners actually used during the insurrection of the Philippine Islands against the United States. Court argues that it is not necessary that the appellant should have acted with criminal intent. Intent = immaterial if the act is mala prohibita. If not, said law would be worthless in itself. The act is that which produces a destructive effect the law seeks to avoid. The act/display is EVIL in itself. Display may incite public disorder. If the act was decided illegal under the law, the intent, whatever it may be is deemed useless. Go Chicos first appeal is denied because intent is not under question because the act itself is prohibited. The second appeal was raised into question regarding the technicality of the duplication of the flag or banner or device. The court rules that anything that has the effect of a flag or banner or device on the public mind is like the act of displaying the original object itself. The language is plain. The wording of the law is such that the intent and the act are inseparable. The act is the crime. The accused intended to put the device in his window. Nothing more is required to commit the crime.

Lim vs. People


Facts: Rosa Lim was found guilty of twice violating Batas Pambansa 22 with a punishment of two one-year imprisonment for each of the two violations and ordered her to pay a fine of 200,000 each, trial court ordered Lim to return jewelry to Seguan, with interest, to pay moral damages, att fees and costs. Lim bought jewelry worth 300,000 and wrote out a check payable to cash for Seguan. She made another transaction, wrote out a check payable to cash in the amount of 241668 and sent the check to Seguan through a certain Aurelia Nadera. When claimed both checks were returned with a notice of dishonor stating Lims accounts were closed. Lim never settled the payments. Lim appeals to court regarding decision: She denies having any transaction with Seguan and her transactions were only with Aurelia Nadera and the checks were a security arrangement between Lim and Nadera. She never denies having issued the checks. Issue: Is Lims acts still punishable by law even if the act is not directed against complainant? Holding: Court affirms the decision of the Court of Appeals. Lim is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of BP 22. Imprisonment is set aside and she is sentenced to pay a fine of 200,000 in each case, imprisonment if not paid exceeding 6 months. Moral damages and attorneys fees are deleted. Ratio: Elements of BP Blg 22 are: (1) The making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2) The knowledge of the maker, drawer or issuer that at the time of issue, he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and (3) The subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for the insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer without any valid cause ordered the bank to stop payment. For her appeal to work, she must prove (2) was absent or she did not know that her funds were insufficient. She did not prove this. The issue isnt her transaction with Seguan. The issue is that she still pushed through issuing bouncing checks in her full knowledge and the court finds that damaging to the banking system and to the general order. Her act is malum prohibitum and is destructive to public welfare. Court modifies sentence due to the philosophy that is to redeem valuable human material, and to prevent unnecessary deprivation of personal liberty and economic usefulness with due regard to the protection of social order (Indeterminate Sentence Law) The law punishes the issuance of a bouncing check and not the purpose for which it was issued nor the terms and conditions relating to its issuance. Mere act of issuing a worthless check being malum prohibitum (taken from the readings).

U.S. vs. Ah Chiong

Facts: Justifiable Homicide; Self-Defense; Mistake of Facts. Ah Chiong, the cook kills his roommate Pascual Gualberto, a muchacho. Ah Chiong mistakenly took his roommate as a robber who was at that time trying to go in their room forcibly. Ah Chiong fatally wounded Gualberto in belief that he was doing it out of self defense. Defendant was charged with murder, tried and was found guilty with homicide. Art 8 of the Penal Code states that -- the ff are not delinquent and are therefore exempt from crim liability: He who acts in defense of his person or rights provided there are the following circumstances: (1) illegal aggression, (2) Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it (3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. The intruder was not a thief, the defendant nor his property under his charge was in real danger at the time when he struck the fatal blow, there was no unlawful aggression on the part of the thief, no real necessity to use the knife at that time to defend. Issue: Can one be held criminally responsible who by reason of a mistake as to the facts does an act for which he would be exempt from crim liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but which would constitute the crime of the homicide... if the actor had know the true state of the facts at the time when he committed the act (taken directly from the text) Holding: The judgement was reversed and the defendant acquitted. Ratio: Ah Chiong struck the aggressor in the belief that the intruder was a thief and whose imminent attack may cause the defendant danger; Ah Chiong acted in good faith without criminal intent in the belief he was doing no more than exercising his legitimate right to self-defense; Ah Chiong would have been wholly exempt from the criminal liability on account of his act if the facts had been what he believed them to be; Ah Chiong could not have been guilty of negligence or recklessness in falling to his mistake as to the facts.