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Petitioner Nippon is a Japanese consultancy firm providing technical and management support in the infrastructure projects of foreign governments. It entered into an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) with respondent Kitamura, a Japanese national permanently residing in the Philippines. The ICA was entered into and perfected in Tokyo, Japan and written wholly in the Japanese language.
The agreement provided that Kitamura extend services for a year. Nippon assigned Kitamura as project manager of the Southern Tagalog Access Road Project in the Philippines. Respondent was named project manager of the Bongabon-Baler Road Improvement Project when the Southern Tagalog Project was near completion.
Later, Hasegawa, Nippon's general manager for its International Division, informed respondent that the company had no more intention of automatically renewing his ICA. Respondent demanded that he be assigned to the Bongabon project.
Nippon insisted that respondent’s contract was for a fixed term that had already expired. Respondent initiated a civil case for specific performance and damages with the RTC of Lipa.
Petitioners, contending that the ICA had been perfected in Japan and executed by and between Japanese nationals, moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. They asserted that the claim for improper pre-termination of respondent's ICA could only be heard and ventilated in the proper courts of Japan following the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus.
The RTC denied the motion to dismiss invoking the ruling of the SC in Insular Government v. Frank that matters connected with the performance of contracts are regulated by the law prevailing at the place of performance.
MR was denied. The CA dismissed the petition for lack of statement of material dates and for insufficient verification and certification against forum shopping.
A second petition was filed with the CA. The CA ruled that the principle of lex loci celebrationis was not applicable to the case, because nowhere in the pleadings was the validity of the written agreement put in issue. The CA thus declared that the trial court was correct in applying instead the principle of lex loci solutionis.MR was denied by the CA.
Whether the subject matter jurisdiction of Philippine courts in civil cases for specific performance and damages involving contracts executed outside the country by foreign nationals may be assailed on the principles of lex loci celebrationis, lex contractus, the "state of the most significant relationship rule," or forum non conveniens.
No. The subject matter jurisdiction of the Philippine courts in civil cases for specific performance and damages involving contracts executed outside the country by foreign nationals may not be assailed on the principles of lex loci celebrationis, lex contractus, the "state of the most significant relationship rule," or forum non conveniens.
The Court found the invocation of these grounds unsound.
Since these three principles in conflict of laws make reference to the law applicable to a dispute, they are rules proper for the second phase of judicial resolution of conflicts problems- the choice of law. They determine which state's law is to be applied in resolving the substantive issues of a conflicts problem. Necessarily, as the only issue in this case is that of jurisdiction, choice-of-law rules are not only inapplicable but also not yet called for.
Thus the SC elucidated on the three consecutive phases involved in the judicial resolution of conflicts problems: jurisdiction, choice of law, and recognition and enforcement of judgments.
Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state; choice of law asks the further question whether the application of a substantive law which will determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties. The power to exercise jurisdiction does not automatically give a state constitutional authority to apply forum law. While jurisdiction and the choice of the lex fori will often coincide, the "minimum contacts" for one do not always provide the necessary "significant contacts" for the other. The question of whether the law of a state can be applied to a transaction is different from the question of whether the courts of that state have jurisdiction to enter a judgment.
In this case the SC said, only the first phase is at issue—subject matter jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by law. It is further determined by the allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. To succeed in its motion for the dismissal of an action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim, the movant must show that the court or tribunal cannot act on the matter submitted to it because no law grants it the power to adjudicate the claims.
Lex loci celebrationis relates to the "law of the place of the ceremony" or the law of the place where a contract is made. The doctrine of lex contractus or lex loci contractus means the "law of the place where a contract is executed or to be performed." It controls the nature, construction, and validity of the contract and it may pertain to the law voluntarily agreed upon by the parties or the law intended by them either expressly or implicitly. Under the "state of the most significant relationship rule," to ascertain what state law to apply to a dispute, the court should determine which state has the most substantial connection to the occurrence and the parties. In a case involving a contract, the court should consider where the contract was made, was negotiated, was to be performed, and the domicile, place of business, or place of incorporation of the parties. This rule takes into account several contacts and evaluates them according to their relative importance with respect to the particular issue to be resolved.
Further, petitioners' premature invocation of choice-of-law rules is exposed by the fact that they have not yet pointed out any conflict between the laws of Japan and ours. Before determining which law should apply, first there should exist a conflict of laws situation requiring the application of the conflict of laws rules. Also, when the law of a foreign country is invoked to provide the proper rules for the solution of a case, the existence of such law must be pleaded and proved.
It should be noted the SC said that when a conflicts case, one involving a foreign element, is brought before a court or administrative agency, there are three alternatives open to the latter in disposing of it: (1) dismiss the case, either because of lack of jurisdiction or refusal to assume jurisdiction over the case; (2) assume jurisdiction over the case and apply the internal law of the forum; or (3) assume jurisdiction over the case and take into account or apply the law of some other State or States. The court’s power to hear cases and controversies is derived from the Constitution and the laws. While it may choose to recognize laws of foreign nations, the court is not limited by foreign sovereign law short of treaties or other formal agreements, even in matters regarding rights provided by foreign sovereigns.
Neither can forum non conveniens, be used to deprive the trial court of its jurisdiction. First, it is not a proper basis for a motion to dismiss because Section 1, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not include it as a ground. Second, whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of the said doctrine depends largely upon the facts of the particular case and is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. In this case, the RTC decided to assume jurisdiction. Third, the propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle requires a factual determination; hence, this conflicts principle is more properly considered a matter of defense.
Hence, the SC ruled that since the RTC is vested by law with the power to entertain and hear the civil case filed by respondent and the grounds raised by petitioners to assail that jurisdiction are inappropriate, the trial and appellate courts correctly denied the petitioners’ motion to dismiss.
Milagros Morada was hired as a flight attendant of Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and was based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. During a lay-over in Indonesia, Morada, together with other crew members - Thamer and Allah went disco dancing. The three of them returned to their hotels when it was almost morning and agreed to have breakfast in the room of Thamer. However, Thamer attempted to rape Morada. Hotel personnels rescued Morada while Thamer and Allah were both arrested by the Indonesian police.
Upon Morada's return to Jeddah, she was interrogated by SAUDIA officials regarding the incident. They even requested for her to help arrange the release of the two in Indonesia - to which she refused to do so. Later, she learned that after two weeks of imprisonment, Thamer and Allah were allowed to deported through the help of the Saudi Arabian government. Eventually, the two were again in service at SAUDI while Morada was transferred to the Philippines. When Morada was requested by her superiors, her passport was taken from her and was pressured to drop the case or her passport will not be returned. She eventually agreed to such request just to get her passport back.
Years later, Morada was once again summoned by SAUDIA to Jeddah for further investigation. Morada agreed when she received assurance from SAUDIA's Manila Manager, Aslam Saleemi, that the investigation was routinary and that it posed no danger to her. She was once again interrogated by the judge about the incident.
When she was about to board her flight back to the Philippines, she was forbidden by the authorities, was escorted back to court, interrogated and was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment and 286 lashes due to violation of Islamic laws on dancing and socializing with men.
She sought help from the Philippine Embassy in Jeddah. To earn her upkeep, she worked on domestic flights of SAUDIA while Thamer and Allah continued to serve in international flights.
Since Morada was wrongfully convicted, the Prince of Makkah dismissed the case and allowed her to leave Saudi Arabia. However, shortly before her return to Manila, her services were terminated by SAUDIA, without being informed of the cause.
Thus, Morada filed a case for damages against SAUDIA and its country manager.
SAUDIA field a motion to dismiss contending that:
(1) that the Complaint states no cause of action against Saudia;
(2) that the claim or demand set forth in the Complaint has been waived, abandoned or otherwise extinguished; and
(3) that the trial court has no jurisdiction to try the case.
1. Whether the case involves conflict of laws
2. Whether the trial court has jurisdiction over the case
Conflict of Laws
There is a foreign element in this case, hence, it involves a conflict of laws question.
Foreign elements may appear in different forms. It may simply consist of the fact that one of the parties to the contract is an alien or has a foreign domicile or that a contract between nationals of one State involves properties situated in another State. In other cases, the foreign element may assume a complex form.
Here, the foreign element comes from the fact that the plaintiff, Morada was a resident Philippine National while SAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation. Moreover, through Morada's employment as a flight stewardess of SAUDIA, the occurrences surrounding the case transpired while she was on her travels which was across national borders. This caused a "conflicts" situation to arise.
Weighing the relative claims of the parties, the court found it best to hear the case in the Philippines. If it refused to take cognizance of the case, it would be forcing Morada to seek remedial action elsewhere, i.e. in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she no longer maintains substantial connections. That would have caused a fundamental unfairness to her.
Moreover, by hearing the case in the Philippines no unnecessary difficulties and inconvenience have been shown by either of the parties. The choice of forum of the Morada should be upheld.
Similarly, the trial court has also acquired jurisdiction over the persons of the parties in this case. By filing her Complaint and Amended Complaint with the trial court, Morada has voluntary submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the court. Similarly, SAUDIA has filed several motions asking the court for relief. This indicates that SAUDIA indeed has submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court.
Discussion as to what applicable law in case of conflict of laws; Choice-of-laws
As to the choice of applicable law, we note that choice-of-law problems seek to answer two important questions:
(1) What legal system should control a given situation where some of the significant facts occurred in two or more states; and
(2) to what extent should the chosen legal system regulate the situation.
Several theories have been propounded in order to identify the legal system that should ultimately control. Although ideally, all choice-of-law theories should intrinsically advance both notions of justice and predictability, they do not always do so. The forum is then faced with the problem of deciding which of these two important values should be stressed.
Before a choice can be made, it is necessary for us to determine under what category a certain set of facts or rules fall. This process is known as "characterization", or the "doctrine of qualification". It is the "process of deciding whether or not the facts relate to the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule." The purpose of "characterization" is to enable the forum to select the proper law.
Our starting point of analysis here is not a legal relation, but a factual situation, event, or operative fact. An essential element of conflict rules is the indication of a "test" or "connecting factor" or "point of contact". Choice-of-law rules invariably consist of a factual relationship (such as property right, contract claim) and a connecting factor or point of contact, such as the situs of the res, the place of celebration, the place of performance, or the place of wrongdoing.
The relevant point of contact in this case is Lex Loci Actus.
(4) the place where an act has been done, the locus actus, such as the place where a contract has been made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or a tort committed. The lex loci actus is particularly important in contracts and torts.
Considering that the complaint in the court a quo is one involving torts, the "connecting factor" or "point of contact" could be the place or places where the tortious conduct or lex loci actus occurred. And applying the torts principle in a conflicts case, we find that the Philippines could be said as a situs of the tort (the place where the alleged tortious conduct took place). This is because it is in the Philippines where petitioner allegedly deceived private respondent, a Filipina residing and working here.
According to her, she had honestly believed that petitioner would, in the exercise of its rights and in the performance of its duties, "act with justice, give her due and observe honesty and good faith." Instead, petitioner failed to protect her, she claimed. That certain acts or parts of the injury allegedly occurred in another country is of no moment. For in our view what is important here is the place where the over-all harm or the totality of the alleged injury to the person, reputation, social standing and human rights of complainant, had lodged, according to the plaintiff below (herein private respondent). All told, it is not without basis to identify the Philippines as the situs of the alleged tort.
Other point of contacts:
(1) The nationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of sojourn, or his origin;
(2) the seat of a legal or juridical person, such as a corporation;
(3) the situs of a thing, that is, the place where a thing is, or is deemed to be situated. In particular, the lex situs is decisive when real rights are involved;
(4) the place where an act has been done, the locus actus, such as the place where a contract has been made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or a tort committed. The lex loci actus is particularly important in contracts and torts;
(5) the place where an act is intended to come into effect, e.g., the place of performance of contractual duties, or the place where a power of attorney is to be exercised;
(6) the intention of the contracting parties as to the law that should govern their agreement, the lex loci intentionis;
(7) the place where judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted or done. The lex forithe law of the forumis particularly important because, as we have seen earlier, matters of procedure not going to the substance of the claim involved are governed by it; and because the lex fori applies whenever the content of the otherwise applicable foreign law is excluded from application in a given case for the reason that it falls under one of the exceptions to the applications of foreign law; and
(8) the flag of a ship, which in many cases is decisive of practically all legal relationships of the ship and of its master or owner as such. It also covers contractual relationships particularly contracts of affreightment
Velasquez vs. People
G.R. No.195021, March 15, 2017
On May 24, 2003 in the evening, Velasquez (accused) while armed with stones and wooden poles, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and abuse of superior strength, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, maul and hit Jesus del Mundo inflicting upon him injuries in the vital parts of his body, the said accused having thus commenced a felony directly by overt acts, but did not perform all the acts of execution which could have produced the crime of Murder but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of some causes or accident other than their own spontaneous desistance to his damage and prejudice.
The accused invoke the first and second justifying circumstances under Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code reiterating that it was Jesus, who was supposedly inebriated, vented his ire upon Nicolas and the other accused, as well as on Mercedes. The accused thus responded and countered Jesus' attacks, leading to his injuries.
Petitioners Nicolas Velasquez and Victor Velasquez, along with four others -Felix Caballeda, Jojo Del Mundo, Sonny Boy Velasquez, and Ampong Ocumen - were charged with attempted murder under Article 248, in relation to Article 6, of the Revised Penal Code.
Whether or not petitioners may be held criminally liable for the physical harm inflicted on Jesus Del Mundo.
Yes. A person invoking self-defense (or defense of a relative) admits to having inflicted harm upon another person - a potential criminal act under Title Eight (Crimes Against Persons) of the Revised Penal Code. However, he or she makes the additional, defensive contention that even as he or she may have inflicted harm, he or she nevertheless incurred no criminal liability as the looming danger upon his or her own person (or that of his or her relative) justified the infliction of protective harm to an erstwhile aggressor.
The accused's admission enables the prosecution to dispense with discharging its burden of proving that the accused performed acts, which would otherwise be the basis of criminal liability. All that remains to be established is whether the accused were justified in acting as he or she did. To this end, the accused's case must rise on its own merits:
It is settled that when an accused admits harming the victim but invokes self-defense to escape criminal liability, the accused assumes the burden to establish his plea by credible, clear and convincing evidence; otherwise, conviction would follow from his admission that he harmed the victim. Self-defense cannot be justifiably appreciated when uncorroborated by independent and competent evidence or when it is extremely doubtful by itself. Indeed, in invoking self-defense, the burden of evidence is shifted and the accused claiming self-defense must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution.
People vs. Villanueva
G.R. No.226475, March 13, 2017
At around past 5:00 a.m. of January 1, 2012, Amie Bafiaga (Bañaga) was selling tapsilog to a group of persons playing cara y cruz at the comer of an alley in Summitville, Barangay Putatan, Muntinlupa City. Thereupon, Bafiaga saw the accused-appellants and Valencia arrive and ask the group if they know Enrico Enriquez, to which they answered in the negative. Thereupon, the accused-appellants and Valencia went to the tricycle terminal, which was about 10 to 15 meters away, where they saw Enrico. They then simultaneously attacked Enrico. Villanueva punched Enrico on the face twice while Sayson hit the latter at the back of the head with a stone wrapped in a t-shirt. Valencia then stabbed Enrico on the left side of his armpit twice. Enrico tried to fight back to no avail.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) and Court of Appeals (CA) agreed on their conviction of the crime of murder and appreciated the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength considering that Enrico was all alone when he was attacked by the accused-appellants and Valencia.
Whether or not the RTC and CA improperly appreciated the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength
Yes. While abuse of superior strength is one of the circumstances mentioned in Article 248 which qualifies the killing of the victim to murder, the prosecution failed to establish the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength. The fact that the accused-appellants and Valencia, armed with a knife and a stone, ganged up on Enrico does not automatically merit the conclusion that the latter's killing was attended by the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength. Abuse of superior strength is present whenever there is a notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor/s that is plainly and obviously advantageous to the aggressor/s and purposely selected or taken advantage of to facilitate the commission of the crime. Evidence must show that the assailants consciously sought the advantage, or that they had the deliberate intent to use this advantage. To take advantage of superior strength means to purposely use force excessively out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. The appreciation of this aggravating circumstance depends on the age, size and strength of the parties. In the present case, the prosecution failed to present evidence to show a relative disparity in age, size, strength, or force, except for the showing that two assailants, one of them armed with a knife, attacked the victim. The presence of two assailants, one of them armed with a knife, is not per se indicative of abuse of superior strength. Mere superiority in numbers does not indicate the presence of this circumstance. Nor can the circumstance be inferred solely from the victim's possibly weaker physical constitution. In fact, what the evidence shows in this case is a victim who is taller than the assailants and who was even able to deliver retaliatory fist blows against the knife-wielder.
Accordingly, the Court is compelled to disregard the finding of the existence of abuse of superior strength by the lower courts. The accused-appellants' guilt is, thus, limited to the crime of homicide.
People vs. Sarcia
G.R. No.169641, September 10, 2009
Sometime on December 16, 1996, five-year-old [AAA], together with her cousin and two other playmates, was playing in the yard of Saling Crisologo near a mango tree. Suddenly, appellant appeared and invited AAA to go with him to the backyard of Crisologo’s house. Upon reaching the place, appellant removed AAA’s shorts and underwear. He also removed his trousers and brief. Thereafter, he ordered AAA to lie down on her back. Then, he lay on top of her and inserted his penis into AAA’s private organ. Appellant made an up-and-down movement ("Nagdapadapa tabi"). AAA felt severe pain inside her private part and said "aray." She also felt an intense pain inside her stomach.
At home, AAA did not tell her mother what appellant had done to her because she feared that her mother might slap her. Later, when her mother washed her body, she felt a grating sensation in her private part. Thereafter, AAA called for her cousin. AAA’s cousin came to their house and told AAA’s mother again that appellant had earlier made an up-and-down movement on top of AAA. AAA’s mother, however, did not say anything. At that time, AAA’s father was working in Manila. After almost four years, AAA’s father filed a complaint for acts of lasciviousness against herein accused-appellant on July 7, 2000. Upon review of the evidence, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor at Ligao, Albay upgraded the charge to rape. On September 30, 2005, the case was elevated to the Supreme Court for further review.
Whether or not the suspension of sentence under the R.A. No.9344 is applicable to the appellant.
No. While Section 38 of R.A. No. 9344 provides that suspension of sentence can still be applied even if the child in conflict with the law is already eighteen (18) years of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt, Section 40 of the same law limits the said suspension of sentence until the said child reaches the maximum age of 21. Accused-appellant was about 31 years of age on the date of the appeal, and the judgment of the RTC had been promulgated, even before the effectivity of R.A. No. 9344. Thus, the application of Sections 38 and 40 to the suspension of sentence was already moot and academic. However, accused-appellant shall be entitled to appropriate disposition under Section 51 (Confinement of Convicted Children in Agricultural Camps and Other Training Facilities) of R.A. No. 9344, which provides for the confinement of convicted children: “A child in conflict with the law may, after conviction and upon order of the court, be made to serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement in a regular penal institution, in an agricultural camp and other training facilities that may be established, maintained, supervised and controlled by the Bureau of Corrections, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development.”
People vs. Salvador
G.R. No.201443, April 10, 2013
On April 7, 2002, at around 7:30 p.m., Albert rode his Toyota Prado with Plate No. UTJ-112 and drove out of the Coliseum’s parking lot. Ahead was a white Honda Civic car, while behind was a Toyota Hi-Ace van. Upon reaching Imelda Avenue, the Hi-Ace overtook the Civic. Albert was about to follow suit, but the Hi-Ace suddenly stopped and blocked the Civic. Six men with long firearms alighted from the Hi-Ace. Jubert and Morey approached the Civic, which was just about two to two and a half meters away from Albert, pointed their guns at the driver, who turned out to be Pinky, and motioned for her to step out of the car and ride the Hi-Ace. Two men ran after the "watch-your-car" boy in a nearby parking lot, but Albert no longer noticed if the two still returned to the Hi-Ace. Roger and Robert came near the Prado and gestured for Albert to likewise alight from the vehicle and ride the Hi-Ace.
Albert and Pinky were handcuffed together and made to wear dark sunglasses. The men took Albert’s wallet containing Php9,000.00, his driver’s license and other documents. They also took his Patek Philippe watch which costs Php400,000.00. Albert and Pinky stayed in the house and were fed food mostly bought from Jollibee until they were rescued on April 12, 2002.
Albert and Pinky were brought to Camp Crame between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. of April 12, 2002. Some time after lunch, a police line-up with about 15 men was presented. Albert identified seven persons, to wit, Marcelo, Ricky, Jubert, Morey, Jose, Robert and Roger, as among his abductors. Around an hour later, Betty arrived and introduced herself as the owner of the house. She inquired why the police officers were shooting at her house. She was invited by the police to Camp Crame to answer queries anent why a crime was committed in her house. While in Camp Crame, Albert and Pinky identified her as the person who brought them food while they were detained in the safehouse. Betty was thus arrested.
Whether or not the accused-appellants conspired in the commission of the crime.
Yes. The SC believes that the Court of Appeals correctly found that the essential elements comprising the crime of kidnapping for ransom were present and that the accused-appellants conspired in its commission. In the case at bar, Monico’s assistance extended to Albert when the latter descended the basement stairs and Betty’s visit to the safehouse to bring food could not automatically be interpreted as the acts of principals and conspirators in the crime of kidnapping for ransom.
In a conspiracy to commit the crime of kidnapping for ransom, the place where the victim is to be detained is logically a primary consideration. In the case of Betty and Monico, their house in Lumbang Street, Amparo Subdivision has a basement. It can be reasonably inferred that the house fitted the purpose of the kidnappers. Albert's detention was accomplished not solely by reason of the restraint exerted upon him by the presence of guards in the safehouse, but by the circumstance of being put in a place where escape became highly improbable. In other words, Betty and Monico were indispensable in the kidnapping of Albert because they knowingly and purposely provided the venue to detain Albert. The spouses' ownership of the safehouse, Monico's presence therein during Albert's arrival on the evening of April 7, 2002 and Betty's visits to bring food reasonably indicate that they were among those who at the outset planned, and thereafter concurred with and participated in the execution of the criminal design.
People vs. Rubiso
G.R. No.128871, March 18, 2003
On November 6, 1992, According to the accused, while he was welding a tiller Serafin Hubines, Jr. passed by and kicked it. When he confronted appellant, the latter asked, "Why, do you want to fight?" Then Hubines boxed appellant on his chest. He fell down on a sitting position. At that point, Hubines pulled his gun. Appellant immediately stood up and held Hubines’ hands. They grappled for its possession and both fell on the ground. Then the gun exploded. According to appellant, he was not sure who "caused" the shot. He noticed that many people approached them. Appellant lied down on his stomach and covered his ears. That was the time he heard three or more shots. He stood up and saw Hubines lying on the ground full of blood. He walked a few steps and met PO3 Danilo Opong. Appellant told the latter that he was only defending himself. Patrolman Opong then arrested him and brought him to the Pavia Police Station for investigation. Meanwhile, Romeo Zuspa, a worker in the compound, took the firearm and gave it to Patrolman Opong who, in turn, "surrendered" it to his station.
Whether or not the lower court erred in finding that accused failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence the elements of self-defense despite the fact that the accused proved the three elements of self-defense.
No. To successfully claim self-defense, the accused must prove the existence of the following: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed by the person being attacked to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of self- defense. It contemplates an actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. The person defending himself must have been attacked with actual physical force or with actual use of weapon. Appellant insists that when the victim pulled out his gun, both grappled for its possession. They fell and there were bursts of gunfire. He must have killed the victim but he was only defending himself. Assuming that Hubines had a gun and pulled it, however, records show that he did not manifest any aggressive act which may have imperiled the life and limb of herein appellant. It is axiomatic that the mere thrusting of one’s hand into his pocket as if for the purpose of drawing a weapon is not unlawful aggression. Even the cocking of a rifle without aiming the firearm at any particular target is not sufficient to conclude that one’s life was in imminent danger. Hence, a threat, even if made with a weapon, or the belief that a person was about to be attacked, is not sufficient. It is necessary that the intent be ostensibly revealed by an act of aggression or by some external acts showing the commencement of actual and material unlawful aggression. Another factor which militates against appellant’s claim of self-defense is the nature and number of wounds suffered by the victim. Further, the location and presence of gunshot wounds on the body of the victim eloquently refute appellant’s allegation of self-defense. It is an oft repeated rule that the presence of a large number of wounds, their location and their seriousness would negate self-defense. Instead, they indicate a determined effort to kill. The appellant was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder.
People vs. Recto
G.R. No.129069, October 17, 2001
On April 18, 1994, early afternoon, while SPO4 Rafol and SPO1 Male were leaving the premises, the group of appellant Julio Recto arrived. Barangay Captain Orbe advised them not to create trouble, but Dante Regis pulled a piece of wood and threw it towards them. Thereafter, appellant Recto, while holding a balisong or fan knife, approached Barangay Captain Orbe. The latter responded by telling the former to surrender the balisong. Appellant stepped backward, opened his jacket and pulled out a gun. Upon seeing the gun, Barangay Captain Orbe retreated, while Barangay Kagawad Antonio Macalipay stepped forward with both arms raised and uttered the words: 'Do not do it. We'll just settle this.' Julio Recto, however, immediately pulled the trigger, hitting Barangay Kagawad Macalipay, causing him to fall down on the ground. Then Cornelio Regis, Jr. approached the fallen Macalipay and flipped his bolo at the latter who rolled and fell into the rice paddy. Melchor Recto saw the shooting from his hiding place behind a concrete pillar. He then ran inside the old dilapidated bathroom of the bodega. Barangay Captain Orbe also followed. Inside the bathroom, Melchor Recto peeped through the window and saw appellant Recto fire his gun at Emilio Santos. Santos also fired his revolver at appellant and later, turned around and crawled. While crawling, Santos fired another shot towards Regis, Jr., but the latter was able to reach and hack the former with a bolo. When Melchor could no longer see Julio Recto, he jumped out of the bathroom window and ran. While running, Julio Recto shot him hitting the latter's thigh. Barangay Captain Orbe also got out of the bathroom through the top and landed onto the ricefield. Before he could take a step, he was also shot by appellant Julio Recto at his right elbow, but was still able to continue running and cross the southern portion of the ricefield. He caught up with the wounded Melchor Recto and both went their separate ways. On the other hand, both Barangay Kagawad Antonio Macalipay and Emiliano 'Renato' Santos died due to multiple wounds inflicted on them by herein appellant.
Whether or not the lower court erred in finding the accused-appellant guilty of direct assault in Criminal Case Nos. 1970 and 1972 which accordingly resulted in his being convicted of complex crimes in those cases
Yes. First, in Criminal Case No. 1970. Direct assault, a crime against public order, may be committed in two ways. One of which is by any person or persons who, without a public uprising, "shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance.” One way to aggravate this mode is when the offender lays a hand upon a person in authority. In this case, Melchor Recto was clearly an agent of a person in authority. Unquestionably, he was a barangay chief tanod; however, at the crime scene he was a mere bystander. Apparently, he was not acting and had no occasion to act in the performance of his official duties that afternoon. Thus, the attack on him did not amount to direct assault. Thus, appellant's liability amounted only to attempted, not frustrated, homicide. Appellant shall be convicted of attempted homicide. Second, in Criminal Case No. 1972. The court erred in finding the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery. Evidently, the victim had all the opportunity to escape or defend himself from the aggression that was to ensue, yet chose not to grab the opportunity and instead placed himself in a position more open to attack. Equally important, his vulnerable position had not been deliberately sought by appellant. It was thrust on the latter by the former himself. In short, appellant did not deliberately choose the mode of attack to kill the victim with impunity and without risk to himself. Absent treachery, the killing is homicide, not murder. Appellant shall be convicted of qualified direct assault with homicide aggravated by the use of a weapon.
People vs. Real
G.R. No.93436, March 24, 1995
On March 17, 1978, at around 9:00 a.m., in the public market of Aroroy, Masbate, appellant and Edgardo Corpus, both vendors, engaged in a heated argument over the right to use the market table to display their fish. The two protagonists momentarily kept their peace but after awhile Corpus raised his voice again and said something to appellant. When Corpus kept on walking to and fro near the disputed fish table, appellant started to sharpen his bolo while murmuring to himself. Once Corpus turned around with his back towards appellant, the latter hacked him on the nape. The blow caused Corpus to collapse. He was rushed to a medical clinic. Appellant admitted hacking Corpus but claimed that he did so out of humiliation and anger when the victim threw his fish in the presence of so many people.
After trial, the court convicted appellant and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the victim the sum of P30,000.00 and costs. Hence, this appeal.
Whether or not the trial court and the Solicitor General are in error when they held that the attendant aggravating circumstance was reiteracion and not reincidencia
Yes. In recidivism or reincidencia, the offender shall have been previously convicted by final judgment of another crime embraced in the same title of the Revised Penal Code. In reiteracion, the offender shall have been punished previously for an offense to which the law attaches an equal or greater penalty or for two or more crimes to which it attaches a lighter penalty. Unlike in reincidencia, the offender in reiteracion commits a crime different in kind from that for which he was previously tried and convicted. Appellant was previously convicted of ill-treatment by deed (Revised Penal Code, Article 266, Title Eight) and grave threats (Revised Penal Code, Article 282, Title Nine). He was convicted of homicide in the instant criminal case (Revised Penal Code, Article 249, Title Eight). Inasmuch as homicide and ill- treatment by deed fall under Title Eight, the aggravating circumstance to be appreciated against him is recidivism under Article 14[g] rather than reiteracion under Article 14 (10) of the Revised Penal Code. There is no reiteracion because that circumstance requires that the previous offenses should not be embraced in the same title of the Code. Appellant is therefore convicted of homicide, appreciating in his favor the mitigating circumstance of passion and obfuscation, which is offset by the aggravating circumstance of recidivism.
People vs. PO3 Fallorina
G.R. No.137347, March 04, 2004
On September 26, 1998, at around 2:30 p.m., Vincent asked permission from his mother Felicisima if he could play outside. Together with his playmate Whilcon "Buddha" Rodriguez, Vincent played with his kite on top of the roof of an abandoned carinderia beside the road in Sitio Militar, Barangay Bahay Toro. Beside this carinderia was a basketball court, where fourteen-year-old Ricardo Salvo and his three friends, nicknamed L.A., Nono and Puti, were playing backan, a game of basketball.
Ricardo knew that the appellant abhorred children playing on the roof of the carinderia and berated them for it. His friend Ong-ong had previously been scolded by the appellant for playing on the roof. Ricardo called on Vincent and Whilcon to come down from the roof. When the appellant saw Vincent and Whilcon, the former stopped his motorcycle and shouted at them, "Putang inang mga batang ito, hindi kayo magsibaba d'yan!" After hearing the shouts of the appellant, Whilcon immediately jumped down from the roof. Vincent, meanwhile, was lying on his stomach on the roof flying his kite. When he heard the appellant's shouts, Vincent stood up and looked at the latter. Vincent turned his back, ready to get down from the roof. Suddenly, the appellant pointed his .45 caliber pistol towards the direction of Vincent and fired a shot. Vincent was hit on the left parietal area. He fell from the roof, lying prostrate near the canal beside the abandoned carinderia and the basketball court.
Whether or not the appellant is exempt from criminal liability with his affirmative defense that the victim's death was caused by his gun accidentally going off, the bullet hitting the victim without his fault or intention of causing it
No. Under Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code, the basis for the exemption is the complete absence of intent and negligence on the part of the accused. For the accused to be guilty of a felony, it must be committed either with criminal intent or with fault or negligence. In this case, the appellant failed to prove his defense. First, when the investigating prosecutor propounded clarificatory questions on the appellant relating to the pictures, the latter refused to answer. Second, the appellant did not see what part of the gun hit the victim. There is no evidence showing that the gun hit a hard object when it fell to the ground, what part of the gun hit the ground and the position of the gun when it fell from the appellant's waist. Third, the appellant admitted that even if he pulled hard on the trigger, the gun would not fire if the hammer is moved backward with the safety lock in place. Fourth, the gun accidentally dropped on the cemented floor of the courtroom and the gun did not fire and neither was the safety lock moved to its unlock position to cause the hammer of the gun to move forward. Fifth, after the shooting, the appellant refused to surrender himself and his service firearm. He hid from the investigating police officers and concealed himself in the house of his friend. The conduct of the appellant after the shooting belies his claim that the death of the victim was accidental and that he was not negligent. As a police officer, it is hard to believe that he would choose to flee and keep himself out of sight for about three (3) days if he indeed was not at fault. The appellant even uttered invectives at the victim and Whilcon before he shot the victim. In fine, his act was deliberate and intentional.
People vs. Pantoja
G.R. No.223114, November 29, 2017
On July 22, 2010, at around 8:00 o'clock in the morning, Cederina and Pantoja-the accused-appellant were inside their house. She kept an eye on him from time to time but, eventually, she noticed that accused-appellant was gone. She went outside to look for him and noticed that the front door of the house where six-year-old AAA resided was open. She entered the house and, sensing that the cry emanated from upstairs, she went up.
Cederina then saw accused-appellant holding a knife and the victim sprawled on the floor, bloodied. She took the knife from him and asked him what happened. He did not respond and appeared dazed. She took him downstairs and out of the house where she called out for help for the victim. Nobody responded, until she saw Glenda, who immediately ran to their house when Cederina told her that her son AAA had been hurt.
After a while, barangay officials arrived and brought the accused-appellant with them. Cederina later learned that the victim had died.
Whether or not the accused-appellant must be exempt from criminal liability on the grounds of insanity
No. While insanity is one of the exempting circumstances enumerated in Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), the courts have established a more stringent criterion for insanity to be exempting as it is required that there must be a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act, i.e., the accused is deprived of reason; he acted without the least discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern, or that there is a total deprivation of the will. For the defense of insanity to prosper, two (2) elements must concur: (1) that defendant's insanity constitutes a complete deprivation of intelligence, reason, or discernment; and (2) that such insanity existed at the time of, or immediately preceding, the commission of the crime.
The proof proffered by accused-appellant is insufficient to sustain his defense of insanity. The accused-appellant’s seemingly odd behavior of repeatedly going in and out of the house in the days prior to the incident does not, in any way, demonstrate his insanity. For purposes of exemption from criminal liability, mere behavioral oddities cannot support a finding of insanity unless the totality of such behavior indubitably shows a total absence of reason, discernment, or free will at the time the crime was committed. In addition, prior confinement at a mental institution does not, by itself, constitute proof of insanity at the time of the commission of the crime. The accused-appellant’s insanity was clearly not continuous, he had lucid intervals. Consequently, it is presumed that he was sane, or was in a lucid interval, at the time he committed the crime. Further, the fact that he was able to escape unnoticed from the institution and to return home by himself is indicative of reasonable intelligence and free will merely a week before the commission of the crime.
People vs. Pacificador
G.R. No.139405, March 13, 2001
That on or about and during the period from December 6, 1975 to January 6, 1976, in Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Arturo Pacificador, then Chairman of the Board of the National Shipyard and Steel Corporation, a government-owned corporation, and therefore, a public officer, and Jose T. Marcelo, Jr., then President of the Philippine Smelters Corporation, a private corporation, conspiring and confederating with one another and with other individuals, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and knowingly, and with evident bad faith promote, facilitate, effect and cause the sale, transfer and conveyance by the National Shipyard and Steel Corporation of its ownership and all its titles, rights and interests over parcels of land in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte where the Jose Panganiban Smelting Plant is located including all the reclaimed and foreshore areas of about 50 hectares to the Philippine Smelters Corporation by virtue of a contract, the terms and conditions of which are manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the Government as the consideration thereof is only P85,144.50 while the fair market value thereof at that time was P862,150.00 thereby giving the Philippine Smelters Corporation unwarranted benefits, advantages and profits and causing undue injury, damage and prejudice to the government in the amount of P777,005.50.
Respondent, and his erstwhile co-accused, Marcelo were charged before the Sandiganbayan with the crime of violation of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Petitioner contends that, contrary to the ruling of the Sandiganbayan, the provision of Act No. 3326 on prescription of offenses punishable under special laws is not applicable to the instant criminal case for the reason that R.A. No. 3019 provides for its own prescriptive period. Section 11 thereof provides that offenses committed and punishable under the said law shall prescribe in fifteen (15) years.
Whether or not the fifteen-year prescriptive period shall be applied in this case
No. Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019, as amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang (B.P. Blg.) 195, provides that the offenses committed under the said statute shall prescribe in fifteen (15) years. It appears however, that prior to the amendment of Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019 by B.P. Blg. 195 which was approved on March 16, 1982, the prescriptive period for offenses punishable under the said statute was only ten (10) years. The longer prescriptive period of fifteen (15) years, as provided in Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019 as amended by B.P. Blg. 195, does not apply in this case for the reason that the amendment, not being favorable to the accused (herein private respondent), cannot be given retroactive effect. Hence the crime prescribed on January 6, 1986 or ten (10) years from January 6, 1976.
People vs. Macaspac
G.R. No.198954,February 22, 2017
On July 7, 1988, Macaspac was having drinks with Ricardo Surban, Dionisio Barcomo, Jimmy Reyes, and Jebulan on Pangako Street, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. In the course of their drinking, an argument ensued between Macaspac and Jebulan. It became so heated that, Macaspac uttered to the group: Hintayin nyo ako d'yan, wawalisin ko kayo, and then left. After around three minutes Macaspac returned wielding a kitchen knife. He confronted and taunted Jebulan, saying: Ano? Jebulan simply replied: Tama na. At that point, Macaspac suddenly stabbed Jebulan on the lower right area of his chest, and ran away. Surban and the others witnessed the stabbing of Jebulan. The badly wounded Jebulan was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. The case was archived for more than 15 years because Macaspac had gone into hiding and remained at large until his arrest on July 28, 2004. Upon his arraignment on August 31, 2004, he pleaded not guilty to the foregoing information.
Whether or not evident premeditation must be appreciated in the case instead of treachery
No. The requisites for the appreciation of evident premeditation are: (1) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the accused had clung to his determination to commit the crime; and (3) the lapse of a sufficient length of time between the determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act. The first and second elements of evident premeditation were thereby established, but the third requisite is absent in this case; such that by quickly returning to the group with the knife, Macaspac let no appreciable time pass to allow him to reflect upon his resolve to carry out his criminal intent. It was as if the execution immediately followed the resolve to commit the crime. Accordingly, we cannot appreciate the attendance of evident premeditation in the killing.
Without the Prosecution having sufficiently proved the attendance of either treachery or evident premeditation, Macaspac was guilty only of homicide for the killing of Jebulan.
People vs. Jugueta
G.R. No.202124, April 05, 2016
On June 06, 2002, The family of Norberto Divina were all lying down side by side about to sleep at around 9:00 o’clock in the evening, when suddenly their wall made of sack was stripped off by accused-appellant Ireneo Jugueta, Roger San Miguel and Gilberto Alegre. They ordered him to go out of their house and when he refused despite his plea for mercy, they fired at them having hit and killed his two daughters. The family of Norberto Divina were unarmed and his children were at very tender ages. Mary Grace Divina and Claudine who were shot and killed were 13 years old and 3 1⁄2 years old respectively.
The Court finds accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt for double murder defined and punished under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and is hereby sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua for the death of Mary Grace Divina and to indemnify her heirs in the amount of Php50,000.00 and another to suffer reclusion perpetua for the death of Claudine Divina and accused is further ordered to indemnify the heirs of Claudine Divina in the sum of Php50,000.00. In addition, he is hereby ordered to pay the heirs of the victims actual damages in the amount of Php16,150.00 and to pay for the costs.Aggrieved by the trial court's and Court of Appeal’s judgments, appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.
Hence, this appeal
Whether or not the lower court imposed proper award of damages on the accused-appellant
No. The lower court failed to take into account dwelling as an ordinary aggravating circumstance. In view of the attendant ordinary aggravating circumstance, the Court must modify the penalties and award of damages imposed on accused-appellant. In the case at bar, the crimes were aggravated by dwelling, and the murders committed were further made atrocious by the fact that the victims are innocent, defenseless minors – one is a mere 31⁄2-year-old toddler, and the other a 13-year-old girl. The increase in the amount of awards for damages is befitting to show not only the Court's, but all of society's outrage over such crimes and wastage of lives.
People vs. Glino
G.R. No.173793, December 04, 2007
At around 7:20 p.m., On November 15, 1998, Spouses Domingo and Virginia Boji hailed a passenger jeepney and sat on the two remaining vacant seats on opposing rows of the jeepney. Moments later, the woman seated next to Virginia alighted. Accused-appellant Conrado Glino took her place. He was reeking of liquor. As the jeepney ran its normal route, Virginia noticed accused-appellant inching closer to her. His head eventually found its way on Virginia's shoulder. Irked, Virginia sought accused-appellant's attention and asked him to sit properly, citing adequate space. Accused-appellant angrily replied, "Oh, kung ayaw mong may katabi, bumaba ka, at magtaxi ka!" Virginia decided to ignore his snide remarks. After the heated verbal tussle, accused-appellant and Baloes appeared to have calmed down, confining themselves to whispering to one another.
When the jeepney approached Casimiro Village, Baloes turned to the driver and told him that he and Glino were about to alight. As the jeepney ground to a halt, Baloes unexpectedly drew an improvised knife and stabbed Domingo in the chest. Accused-appellant then unfolded a 29-inch Batangas knife and joined Baloes in stabbing Domingo. Surprised and shocked at the sudden attack, Domingo failed to offer any form of resistance to the duo's vicious assault. Virginia tried vainly to shield Domingo from his assailants. She tightly embraced Domingo. Virginia's efforts, however, all went for naught as accused- appellant Glino and Baloes were unrelenting. When the senseless assault ceased, Virginia found herself bloodied from incised wounds in her fingers.
1.Whether or not Glino must have a lower penalty because it was Baloes who stabbed Domingo 2.Whether or not accused-appellant is guilty of homicide and attempted homicide only, not murder and attempted murder, due to the absence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery
1. No. Even assuming, for the nonce, that it was Baloes who inflicted the fatal stab, accused- appellant cannot escape culpability. There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it. Proof that accused acted in concert, each of them doing his part to fulfill the common design to kill the victim will suffice to support a conviction. In conspiracy, it matters not who among the accused actually killed the victim. The act of one is the act of all; hence, it is not necessary that all the participants deliver the fatal blow. Tersely put, each of the accused will be deemed equally guilty of the crime committed. The acts of Glino and Baloes before, during and after the killing of Domingo are indicative of a joint purpose, concerted action and concurrence of sentiment.
2. No. Treachery or alevosia’s presence is incontrovertible. The essence of this qualifying circumstance is the sudden and unexpected attack by the assailant on an unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any real chance to defend himself. The attack was executed in a manner that the victim was rendered defenseless and unable to retaliate. Concededly, Domingo was caught unaware that an attack was forthcoming. Although he had a verbal exchange with accused-appellant and Baloes, the assault was sudden, swift and unexpected. All of the passengers inside the jeepney, including Domingo, thought all along that the tension had ceased and that Glino and Baloes were about to alight.
People vs. Deliola
G.R. No.200157, August 31, 2016
Sometime in the month of June, 2002 and on or about the 1st day of July 2002, in the Municipality of Manapla, Province of Negros Occidental, Philippines, accused, Deliola, 15 years old, with the use of a bladed weapon, through force, threat and intimidation, with the attendant qualifying aggravating circumstances of relationship and minority, the accused being the uncle of herein victim who was less than eighteen years of age, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of one MMM, a minor, 11 years old, against her will, to the damage and prejudice.
Afraid of accused appellant's threats of killing her, MMM kept mum and did not disclose to anyone the tragedy that happened to her. MMM' s grandmother noticed that there was something unusual in the way MMM was walking. This prompted her to confront MMM. Upon learning of what happened to MMM, the victim's aunt, brought the former to the Municipal Health Office of Manapla, Negros Occidental for examination, and thereafter to the police authorities, before whom the victim executed her sworn statement.
1) Whether or not the minor accused-appellant shall be held criminally liable for the crime
2) Whether or not the accused-appellant shall be confined in a regular penal institution
1. Yes. The Supreme Court in A.M. No. 02-l-18- SC49 defined the age of criminal responsibility as the age when a child, 15 years and one (1) day old or above but below 18 years of age, commits an offense with discernment. In this case, that the accused-appellant acted with discernment when he raped the victim as demonstrated by the following surrounding circumstances: (1) the victim was a helpless minor; (2) accused-appellant secured the consummation of the offense with a weapon; (3) he satisfied his lust by penetrating the victim from behind; and (4) he threatened the victim not to report what happened. Accused-appellant shall be criminally liable for the crime of Qualified Statutory Rape.
2. No. Due to the accused-appellant’s age when the crime was committed, the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority should be appreciated; thus, the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law shall be imposed. In accordance with the controlling jurisprudence on the matter, the penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned with. Thus, the ruling of the lower courts was affirmed and impose upon accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Although it is acknowledged that accused-appellant was qualified for suspension of sentence when he committed the crime, Section 40 of R.A. 9344 provides that the same extends only until the child in conflict with the law reaches the maximum age of 21 years old.
People vs. Campuhan
G.R. No. 129433, March 20, 2000
On April 25,1996, Ma. Corazon P. Pamintuan, mother of four (4)-year old Crysthel Pamintuan, went down from the second floor of their house to prepare chocolate drinks for her two (2) children. At the ground floor she met Primo Campuhan, the accused who was then busy filling small plastic bags with water to be frozen into ice in the freezer located at the second floor. Primo was a helper of Conrado Plata Jr., brother of Corazon. As Corazon was busy preparing the drinks, she heard one of her daughters cry, "Ayo'ko, ayo'ko!" prompting Corazon to rush upstairs. Thereupon, she saw Primo Campuhan inside her children's room kneeling before Crysthel whose pajamas or "jogging pants" and panty were already removed, while his short pants were down to his knees.
As seen by Corazon, Primo was forcing his penis into Crysthel's vagina. Horrified, she cursed the accused, "P - t - ng ina mo, anak ko iyan!" and boxed him several times. He evaded her blows and pulled up his pants. He pushed Corazon aside when she tried to block his path. Corazon then ran out and shouted for help thus prompting her brother, a cousin and an uncle who were living within their compound, to chase the accused. Seconds later, Primo was apprehended by those who answered Corazon's call for help. They held the accused at the back of their compound until they were advised by their neighbors to call the barangay officials instead of detaining him for his misdeed. Physical examination of the victim yielded negative results. No evident sign of extra-genital physical injury was noted by the medico-legal officer on Crysthel's body as her hymen was intact and its orifice was only 0.5 cm. in diameter.
Whether or not accused is guilty of consummated statutory rape.
No. Accused is guilty of attempted rape and be sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of 8 years 4 months and 10 days of prision mayor as minimum, to 14 years 10 months and 20 days of reclusion temporal medium as maximum.
Under Art. 6, in relation to Art. 335, of the Revised Penal Code, rape is attempted when the offender commences the commission of rape directly by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. All the elements of attempted rape — and only of attempted rape — are present in the instant case, hence, the accused should be punished only for it.
People vs. Barde
G.R. No.183094, September 22, 2010
Around 12:00 midnight on April 15, 1999, Elmer, who was only more or less three (3) meters away from the appellant, saw the latter get a rounded object from his belt bag, which he believed to be a hand grenade as he has previously seen one from military men when he was in Manila. Later, appellant pulled something from that rounded object, rolled it to the ground towards the center of the dancing place where the people were dancing, and left immediately. Five seconds thereafter, the rounded object exploded. At that moment, appellant was already one-half meter away from the gate of the dancing place. The lights went off, people scampered away, and many died and were seriously injured as a result of the said explosion. Hence, this appeal on the decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed with modifications, the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) finding herein appellant Reynaldo Barde guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the complex crime of multiple murder with multiple frustrated murder.
Whether or not the trial court properly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the complex crime of murder committed by the appellant, per Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code
Yes. Article 48 of the RPC provides that “When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period.” A complex crime is committed when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies. Appellant’s single act of detonating an explosive device may quantitatively constitute a cluster of several separate and distinct offenses, yet these component criminal offenses should be considered only as a single crime in law on which a single penalty is imposed because the offender was impelled by a single criminal impulse which shows his lesser degree of perversity. Thus, applying the aforesaid provision of law, the maximum penalty for the most serious crime, which is murder, is death. Pursuant, however, to Republic Act No. 9346 which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty, the appellate court properly reduced the penalty of death, which it previously imposed upon the appellant, to reclusion perpetua
People vs. Baldogo
G.R. No.128106, January 24, 2003
Julio Camacho, Sr. and his wife had four children, which include a fourteen-year old Jorge and twelve-year old Julie. He and his family lived in a compound inside the sub-colony. Accused-appellant and Bermas, inmates of the penal colony, were assigned as domestic helpers of the Camacho family. One evening on February 22, 1996, accused-appellant and Bermas served dinner in the house of the Camachos. Afterwards, Julio Sr. left the house. Only Jorge and Julie were left in the house. Momentarily after Julio Sr. had left, Julie was perturbed when she heard a loud sound. This prompted Julie to stand up and run to the kitchen. She was appalled to see Jorge sprawled on the ground near the kitchen, face down and bloodied. Standing over Jorge were accused-appellant and Bermas, each armed with a bolo. The accused-appellant overtook Julie, tied her hands at her back and placed a piece of cloth in her mouth to prevent her from shouting for help. The three then proceeded to climb the mountain. The moment when Bermas and accused-appellant had left, Julie decided to return to the lowlands and sought help from a certain Nicodemus who turned over Julie to police officers. The trial court convicted accused-appellant of murder with the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength, and recidivism.
Whether or not the trial court erred in appreciating the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation, taking advantage of superior strength, and quasi-recidivism
Yes. While the Court agrees that accused-appellant is guilty of murder, it does not agree with the rulings of the trial court that the crime was qualified by evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength. A finding of evident premeditation cannot be based solely on mere lapse of time from the time the malefactor has decided to commit a felony up to the time that he actually commits it. In this case, the prosecution failed to prove evident premeditation. The barefaced fact that accused-appellant and Bermas hid the bag containing their clothing under a tree not constitute clear evidence that they decided to kill Jorge and kidnap Julie. It is possible that they hid their clothing therein preparatory to escaping from the colony. Hence, abuse of superior strength cannot be deemed to have attended the killing of Jorge. What is clear is that the killing of Jorge was qualified by treachery. The Court has previously held that the killing of minor children who by reason of their tender years could not be expected to put up a defense is attended by treachery. Furthermore, quasi-recidivism as defined in Article 160 of the Revised Penal Code is alleged. In the present case, the prosecution adduced in evidence merely the excerpt of the prison record of accused-appellant showing that he was convicted of homicide by the trial court with a penalty which he was serving at the penal colony. The excerpt of the prison record is not the best evidence under Section 3, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court, said excerpt is merely secondary or substitutionary evidence which is inadmissible, absent proof that the original of the judgment had been lost or destroyed or that the same cannot be produced without the fault of the prosecution. Therefore, the aggravating circumstance of quasi- recidivism cannot be appreciated in this case.
People vs. Adriano
G.R. No. 205228, July 15, 2015
In March of 2007 in Nueva Ecija, Rolly Adriano, with his three others, overtook a policecar and a maroon Honda CRV. With intent to kill, treachery, and abuse of superior strength, willfully shot Danilo Cabiedes, the driver of CRV, resulting from his instant death.
The shooting incident caused a bystander, Ofelia Bulanan, to be hit by a stray bullet and eventually die.
Two policemen was able to trace the car used in the incident and ended up arresting Adriano. RTC found accused Rolly Adriano guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Murder, as charged, for the death of Danilo Cabiedes, and also guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Homicide, as charged, for the death of Ofelia Bulanan.
CA affrimed the decision of RTC.
Whether or not Adriano is responsible for the death of Ofelia Bulanan, a bystander.
YES. Evidently, Adriano’s original intent was to kill Cabiedes. However, during the commission of the crime of murder, a stray bullet hit and killed Bulanan. Adriano is responsible for the consequences of his act of shooting Cabiedes. This is the import of Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, pursuant to the doctrine of aberratio ictus, which imposes criminal liability for the acts committed in violation of law and for all the natural and logical consequences resulting therefrom. While it may not have been Adriano’s intention to shoot Bulanan, this fact will not exculpate him. Bulanan’s death caused by the bullet fired by Adriano was the natural and direct consequences of Adriano’s felonious deadly assault against Cabiedes.
Nacnac vs. People
G.R. No.191913, March 21, 2012
On February 20, 203, Petitioner, the victim and a number of other police officers were on duty. Petitioner, being the highest ranking officer during the shift, was designated the officer-of-the-day. In the evening, the victim, together with then SPO1 Basilio, took the patrol tricycle from the station grounds. When petitioner saw this, he stopped the victim and his colleague from using the tricycle. The victim told petitioner that he (the victim) needed it to go to Laoag City to settle a previous disagreement with a security of a local bar. Petitioner still refused. He told the victim that he is needed at the station and, at any rate, he should stay at the station because he was drunk. This was not received well by the victim. He told petitioner in Ilocano: "Iyot ni inam kapi" (Coitus of your mother, cousin!). The victim alighted from the tricycle. SPO1 Basilio did the same, went inside the office, and left the accused-appellant and the victim alone. The victim took a few steps and drew his .45 caliber gun which was tucked in a holster on the right side of his chest. Petitioner then fired his armalite upward as a warning shot. Undaunted, the victim still drew his gun. Petitioner then shot the victim on the head, which caused the latter’s instantaneous death. The trial court found the accused guilty of the crime charged and held that the claim of self-defense by the accused was unavailing due to the absence of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the findings of the trial court and held that the essential and primary element of unlawful aggression was lacking.
Whether or not the justifying circumstances of the petitioner’s acts constitute as valid self- defense.
Yes. Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code provides the requisites for a valid self-defense claim. Unlawful aggression is an indispensable element of self-defense. "Without unlawful aggression, self- defense will not have a leg to stand on and this justifying circumstance cannot and will not be appreciated, even if the other elements are present." Ordinarily, there is a difference between the act of drawing one’s gun and the act of pointing one’s gun at a target. The former cannot be said to be unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. Unlawful aggression requires an actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude x x x. The victim here was a trained police officer. He was inebriated and had disobeyed a lawful order in order to settle a score with someone using a police vehicle. A warning shot fired by a fellow police officer, his superior, was left unheeded as he reached for his own firearm and pointed it at petitioner. Petitioner was, therefore, justified in defending himself from an inebriated and disobedient colleague. Even if we were to disbelieve the claim that the victim pointed his firearm at petitioner, there would still be a finding of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. Hence, it now becomes reasonably certain that in this specific case, it would have been fatal for the petitioner to have waited for the victim to point his gun before the petitioner fires back. The petitioner was therefore acquitted of homicide on reasonable doubt.
Maruhom vs. People
G.R. No.206513, October 20, 2015
On September 24, 2005, in the City of Las Piñas, accused, with lewd designs, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit a lascivious conduct upon the person of one AAA, who was then a sixteen year old minor, by then and there embracing her, touching her breast and private part against her will and without her consent and the act complained of is prejudicial to the physical and psychological development of the complainant. After trial, the RTC promulgated its Decision which convicted petitioner of the crime charged. Feeling aggrieved, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA) arguing, among other things, that even assuming he committed the acts imputed, still there is no evidence showing that the same were done without the victim’s consent or through force, duress, intimidation or violence upon her. The CA rendered a Decision adopting the recommendation of the OSG. Petitioner received a copy of CA Decision on July 6, 2012. Instead of further appealing the case, he filed on July 23, 2012 before the CA a manifestation with motion to allow him to apply for probation upon remand of the case to the RTC.
Whether or not the petitioner can avail the benefits of Probation Law
No. Section 4 of the Probation Law prohibits granting an application for probation if an appeal from the sentence of conviction has been perfected by the accused. In this case, petitioner appealed the trial court’s judgment of conviction before the CA alleging that it was error on the part of the trial court to have found him guilty of violating Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7610. Accused already perfected his appeal and it is late in the day to avail the benefits of probation.
In the Year 1996, Malto and private respondent AAA started to frequently exchange messages and calls. Their conversation always started innocently but he had a way of veering the subject to sex. Soon, they had a "mutual understanding" and became sweethearts. On November 19, 1997, AAA agreed to have lunch with petitioner outside the premises of the college. She was surprised when he brought her to Queensland Lodge on Harrison St. in Pasay City. Once inside the motel room, he kissed her at the back and neck, touched her breasts and placed his hand inside her blouse. She resisted his advances but he was too strong for her. He stopped only when she got angry at him.
On November 26, 1997, Malto asked AAA to come with him so that they could talk in private. He again brought her to Queensland Lodge. As soon as they were inside the room, he took off his shirt, lay down in bed and told her, "halika na, dito na tayo mag-usap." She refused but he dragged her towards the bed, kissed her lips, neck and breasts and unsnapped her brassiere. She struggled to stop him but he overpowered her. He went on top of her, lowered her pants and touched her private part. He tried to penetrate her but she pushed him away forcefully and she sat up in bed. He hugged her tightly saying, "Sige na, AAA, pumayag ka na, I won’t hurt you." She refused and said, "Mike, ayoko." Pressured and afraid of his threat to end their relationship, she hesitantly replied "Fine." On hearing this, he quickly undressed while commenting "ibibigay mo rin pala, pinahirapan mo pa ako" and laughed. They had sexual intercourse.
In July 1999, AAA ended her relationship with petitioner. She learned that he was either intimately involved with or was sexually harassing his students in Assumption College and in other colleges where he taught. On learning what her daughter underwent in the hands of petitioner, BBB filed an administrative complaint in Assumption College against him. She also lodged a complaint in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay City which led to the filing of Criminal Case No. 00-0691.
Whether or not the Indeterminate Sentence Law can be applied
Yes. The penalty prescribed for violation of the provisions of Section 5, Article III of R.A. 7610 is reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua. In the absence of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance, the proper imposable penalty is reclusion temporal in its maximum period, the medium of the penalty prescribed by the law. Notwithstanding that RA 7610 is a special law, petitioner may enjoy the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Since the penalty provided in RA 7610 is taken from the range of penalties in the Revised Penal Code, it is covered by the first clause of Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Thus, he is entitled to a maximum term which should be within the range of the proper imposable penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period and a minimum term to be taken within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the law: prision mayor in its medium period to reclusion temporal in its minimum period (ranging from 8 years and 1 day to 14 years and 8 months).
Petitioner, Gemma Jacinto was an employee of Megafoam International, received a check amounting to Pho 10, 000 as payment of Baby Aquino to her purchase to Megafoam. However, instead of delivering it to Megafoam, she deposited it to her bank account. The check was later discovered to be unfunded. Both RTC and CA ruled that the petitioner was guilty of qualified theft. Petitioner filed a petition for review of certiorari to SC.
Whether or not petitioner is correctly convicted for the crime of Qualified Theft.
NO. Petitioner is guilty of committing an impossible crime of theft only. The requisites of an impossible crime are: (1) that the act performed would be an offense against persons or property; (2) that the act was done with evil intent; and (3) that its accomplishment was inherently impossible, or the means employed was either inadequate or ineffectual. Petitioner’s evil intent cannot be denied, as the mere act of unlawfully taking the check meant for Mega Foam showed her intent to gain or be unjustly enriched. Were it not for the fact that the check bounced, she would have received the face value thereof, which was not rightfully hers. Therefore, it was only due to the extraneous circumstance of the check being unfunded, a fact unknown to petitioner at the time, that prevented the crime from being produced. The thing unlawfully taken by petitioner turned out to be absolutely worthless, because the check was eventually dishonored, and Mega Foam had received the cash to replace the value of said dishonored check.
Imbo vs. People
G.R. No.197712, April 20, 2015
While their entire household was asleep and had retired for the night, she was awakened by petitioner, her own father, licking her vagina and mashing her breasts. At the time, AAA was sleeping at the second level of their residence with her younger sister, BBB. AAA immediately and repeatedly shouted for her mother, CCC, who was sleeping outside the room, but to no avail. AAA continued to shout for her mother prompting petitioner to leave and run out of the room. AAA cried herself to sleep, and on the very next day told her mother of what her father, petitioner, had done to her.
Adamant on his innocence, petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal to the appellate court maintaining that he did not commit Acts of Lasciviousness against his own daughter, AAA; the charge was only concocted by his wife who, for some reason, wanted to separate from him.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's conviction of petitioner for Acts of Lasciviousness under Article 336 of the RPC in relation to Section 5 of R.A. No. 7610.
Whether or not the penalty imposed by the lower court failed to properly apply R.A. No. 4103, the Indeterminate Sentence Law
Yes. Section 5(b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610 provides the imposable penalty for Acts of Lasciviousness when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age, albeit the offense is prosecuted under Article 336 of the RPC, is reclusion temporal in its medium period. The range of the imposable penalty on petitioner of reclusion temporal in its medium period is fourteen (14) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months. The Indeterminate Sentence Law is applicable to prison sentence both for an offense punished by the RPC and an offense punished "by any other law." The correct application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law has long been clarified in People v. Simon which ruled that the underscored portion of Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, i.e. the "offense is punished by any other law," indubitably refers to an offense under a special law where the penalty imposed was not taken from and is without reference to the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Hence, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, petitioner is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as minimum and seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal as maximum.