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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.