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.