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Serrano vs. People
G.R. No.175023, July 05, 2010
A brawl involving 15 to 18 members of two rival groups resulted to the stabbing of Anthony Galang, the victim, by the herein petitioner, Serrano. During the rumble, the victim was stabbed at the left side of his stomach and was beaten until he fell into a nearby creek. In his fallen position, Anthony Galang claimed that when he inspected his stabbed wound, he saw a portion of his intestines showed. The victim received medical attention, stayed in the hospital for one week and thereafter stayed home for one month to recuperate.
The RTC held that the crime committed reached the frustrated stage since the victim was stabbed on the left side of his stomach and that the victim had to be referred from an infirmary to hospital for medical treatment. On the other hand, the CA ruled that the crime committed only reached the attempted stage as there was lack of evidence that the stab wound inflicted was fatal to cause the victim’s death. It was observed that the attending physician did not testify in court and that the Medical Certificate and the Discharge Summary issued by the hospital fell short of “specifying the nature or gravity of the wound”.
Whether or not the accused is guilty of attempted homicide instead of frustrated homicide.
Yes. The crucial point to consider is the nature of the wound inflicted which must be supported by independent proof showing that the wound inflicted was sufficient to cause the victim’s death without timely medical intervention. When nothing in the evidence shows that the wound would be fatal without medical intervention, the character of the wound enters the realm of doubt; under this situation, the doubt created by the lack of evidence should be resolved in favor of the petitioner.
Intent to kill is a state of mind that the courts can discern only through external manifestations, i.e., acts and conduct of the accused at the time of the assault and immediately thereafter. The court considered the following factors to determine the presence of an intent to kill: (1) the means used by the malefactors; (2) the nature, location, and number of wounds sustained by the victim; (3) the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time, or immediately after the killing of the victim; and (4) the circumstances under which the crime was committed and the motives of the accused. We also consider motive and the words uttered by the offender at the time he inflicted injuries on the victim as additional determinative
Thus, the crime committed should be attempted, not frustrated homicide.