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Sept 11, 2007 | CARPIO-MORALES

P: Ricardo Bacabac
R: People of the PH
TOPIC: Mitigating Circumstance
RTC Convicted policeman Bacabac, Jose,
Edzel, Jonathan, and Jesus of murder
qualified by treachery.
Evening of Dec 23, 1990: 2 groups of
people were at a dance hall in Purok 4, San
Joaquin, Iloilo City.
- Group 1: Hernani Quidato (victim)
and companions Eduardo and Melchor
- Group 2: Jonathan and Edzel
- Also at the dance hall: Jesus
On their way home, the 2 groups
encountered each other and had a
Jesus, also on his way home, witnessed the
- Saw that Melchor "hugging" Edzel, and
"tying" Jonathan "with his hands."
- Also saw the victim hit Edzel with a
- He told Group 1 that Edzel is the son
of Councilor Jose Talanquines, Jr.
- Eduardo told Jesus to go away for they
might shoot him
- Jesus thus left and went to Edzel's
residence to report to his father what
he had witnessed.
Edzel and Jonathan managed to flee.
Group 1 headed back home but they again
encountered Group 2. This time, Group 2 was
with their uncle Ricardo Bacabac, Edzel's
father, Jose, mother, and 2 sisters
- Bacabac and Jose were carrying M-16
armalites, while Jonathan and Edzel
were carrying a piece of wood and a
revolver, respectively
Jesus pointed to Group 1 and told Group 2
companions that they were the ones who
manhandled Jonathan and Edzel. The victim
apologized, explaining that he and his
companions mistook Jonathan and Edzel
for other persons.

Jesus blurted out: "You are just bragging that

you are brave. You are only bullying small
Bacabac fired his armalite into the air.
Jose also fired his armalite, but directed
at Group 1, "as if spraying his rifle from
right to left"
- He hit Jonathan in the thigh as he
moved to strike the victim with a piece
of wood.
- Eduardo and the victim fell. As the
victim was raising his hands in
surrender, Jose shot him again
Melchor escaped. The victim, Eduardo, and
Jonathan were brought to the hospital.
- Victim pronounced DOA
- Eduardo died 2 hours later
RTC Convicted Bacabac, Jose, Edzel,
Jonathan, and Jesus of murder qualified by
- But there is a mitigating circumstance
o Immediate vindication for Jose
and Jesus
o Voluntary surrender for
Bacabac argues that there is no conspiracy
to kill
- He merely fired a warning shot into
the air to respond to a public
disturbance, to avert further acts of
violence, in pursuance of his duty
as police officer to keep peace in
the community
- There was no unity of purpose and
execution. Witnesses said after
Jose fired, Bacabac merely stood
there, doing and saying nothing.
Bacabac said this is because he
was stunned by the events
- Bacabac immediately reported the
incident to their office
- His action were not something a coconspirator would do
- RTC gave credence to an improbable
and unnatural scenario where the men
let their daughters and wife become
exposed to danger
1. W/N there was conspiracy and
treachery between Bacabac and Joses
company YES

2. W/N the mitigating circumstance of

immediate vindication absolves him of
liability NO
1. There was conspiracy because
- Bacabacs failure to assist the victims
after the shooting reinforces the
conspiracy between him and his coaccused to harm the victims. That it
was he who first officially reported the
shooting to the police station does not
make him any less a conspirator.
- A conspirator who wants to free
himself from criminal liability usually
performs an overt act to dissociate or
detach himself from the felony while
the commission of the felony is in
o He only reported the shooting
after it had taken place
o Voluntary surrender and
non-flight do not
conclusively prove
Once conspiracy is established, the act
of one is the act of all even if not all
actually hit and killed the victim

There was also treachery because victim

and companions had no chance to defend
themselves were not armed, the attack
was unexpected, and the victim already
2. Bacabacs invocation of the mitigating
circumstance of immediate vindication
of a grave offense fails because for it to
be credited, the act should be committed
in the immediate vindication of a
grave offense to the one committing the
felony, his spouse, ascendants,
descendants, legitimate, natural or
adopted brothers or sisters, or relatives
by affinity within the same degree
[RPC Article 13 (5)]
- The offense committed on Edzel was
"hitting" his ear with a stick (according
to Jesus), a bamboo pole (according to
- By Edzel's own clarification, "he was
hit at his ear, not on his head"
- Edzel is petitioner's nephew, hence,
not a relative by affinity "within
the same degree"