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SURVEY OF CASES IN CRIMINAL LAW

January-December 2013
Atty. Ramon S. Esguerra

As in the instant case, if the evidence fails to convince the


court that the wound sustained would have caused the victims
death without timely medical attention, the accused should be
convicted of attempted murder and not frustrated murder. Here, it
does not appear that the wound sustained by the victim was
mortal. Since the said wound was not mortal, Labiaga should be
convicted of attempted murder and not frustrated murder.

Book I
ATTEMPTED FELONY

There is an attempt when the offender commences the


commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and does not perform
all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason
of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous
desistance.

People v. Barra, G.R. No. 198020, 10 July 2013.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals (CA)


conviction of accused Barra for committing the crime of attempted
robbery with homicide. The facts of the case show that, upon
entering the victims house, Barra demanded money from the
former while poking his gun against the formers victim. Barra shot
the victim when the latter stated that he did not have the money.

CONSPIRACY

Barras intention was to extort money from the victim. By


reason of the victims refusal to give up his personal property, the
victim was shot in the head, causing his death. The element of
taking was not complete, making the crime one of attempted
robbery with homicide.

Accused were convicted of the crime of illegal sale of


dangerous drugs.
When conspiracy is shown, the act of one is the act of all
conspirators. Direct evidence of conspiracy is not necessary as it
can be clearly deduced from the acts of the accused.

The fact of asportation must be established beyond


reasonable doubt. Since this fact was not duly established, Barra
should be held liable only for the crime of attempted robbery with
homicide as defined and penalized under Article 297 of the Revised
Penal Code (RPC).

There is conspiracy in the instant case. Although the plastic


bags containing shabu were found solely in the possession of
accused Chua, it was evident that co-accused Yen-E had knowledge
of its existence. As the records would show, Yen E negotiated for
the sale of dangerous drugs. When Chua arrived in the vicinity, she
approached Yen E before delivering the shabu. Accuseds acts
indubitably demonstrate a coordinated plan on their part to actively
engage in the illegal business of drugs.

Barra is guilty of attempted robbery with homicide only


when he commenced the commission of robbery directly by overt
acts and did not perform all the acts of execution which would
produce robbery by reason of some causes or accident other than
his own spontaneous desistance.

People v. Hong Yeng E, G.R. No. 181826, 9 January


2013.

People v. Labiaga, G.R. No. 202867, 15 July 2013.

People v. Seraspe, G.R. No. 180919, 9 January 2013.

Appellants Espiritu and her mother, Seraspe, were convicted


of conspiring to sell, transport, deal in, administer, deliver,
negotiate, and distribute shabu.

The lower court convicted accused Labiaga of the crime of


frustrated murder. The Supreme Court, however, held that Labiaga
committed the crime of attempted murder.

The Supreme Court did not uphold Seraspes claim that she
did not conspire with Espiritu in committing the crime. Both the
prosecutions evidence and Seraspes testimony sufficiently prove
that conspiracy existed. As in here, an accepted badge of
conspiracy is when the accused by their acts aimed at the same
object, one performing one part and another performing another so
as to complete it with a view to the attainment of the same object.
Also, their acts, though apparently independent, were in fact
concerted and cooperative, indicating closeness of personal
association, concerted action, and concurrence of sentiments.

Pondividas argument does not hold water. Conspiracy may


be deduced from the mode, method, and manner in which the
offense has been perpetrated. It may be inferred from the acts of
the accused when those acts point to a joint purpose and design,
concerted action, and community of interests. Proof of a previous
agreement and decision to commit the crime is not essential, but
the fact that the malefactors have acted in unison pursuant to the
same objective suffices.

People v. Valdez, G.R. No. 175602, 13 February 2013.

Eduardo and Edwin, the accused, were convicted of the


crime of murder.Here, both accused were convincingly shown to
have acted in concert to achieve a common purpose for assaulting
their unarmed victims with their guns. Proof of the actual
agreement to commit the crime need not be direct because
conspiracy may be implied or inferred from their acts.To be a
conspirator, one did not have to participate in every detail of the
execution; neither did he have to know the exact part performed by
his co-conspirator in the execution of the criminal acts.

In the instant case, while there is no evidence of any


previous agreement among Pondivida, Reyes, and Alvarico to
commit the crime, their concerted acts before, during, and after the
incident establish a joint purpose and intent to kill.

In the instant case, the accuseds acting in concert was


manifest not only from their going together to the betting station
on board a single motorcycle, but also from their joint attack that
Eduardo commenced by firing successive shots at one of the
victims and immediately followed by Edwins shooting of the other
victims. It was also significant that they fled together on board the
same motorcycle as soon as they had achieved their common
purpose.

People v. Salvador, G.R. No. 201443, 10 April 2013.

Accused Betty and Monico were convicted of conspiring to


commit the crime of kidnapping for the purpose of extorting
ransom.
The Supreme Court held that Betty and Monico acted as
conspirators and not as accomplices.
While conspirators and accomplices both know and agree
with the criminal design, they differ in that:

People v. Pondivida, G.R. No. 188969, 27 February


2013.

Conspirator
Knows
the
criminal
intention because he
himself
has
decided
upon such course of
action
Decides that a crime

Accused Pondivida was convicted for the crime of murder.


He counters that the prosecution has not established his conspiracy
with persons named Reyes and Alvarico.

Accomplice
Comes to know about the course of
action after the principals have
reached the decision, and only does
he agree to cooperate in its execution
Merely

assents

to

the

plan

and

should be committed
Author of a crime

In the instant case, a cash advance request cannot be


approved and disbursed without passing through several offices,
including those of accused. It is outrageous that they would have
the courts believe that they did not conspire when over hundreds of
vouchers were signed and approved by them in a course of 30
months, without their noticing irregularities therein that should
have prompted them to refuse to sign the vouchers.

cooperates in its accomplishment


Merely the principals instrument who
performs acts not essential to the
perpetration of the offense

AccusedMonicos assistance to the victim when the latter


descended the basement stairs and Bettys visit to the safehouse
to bring Jollibee food items were not indispensable acts in the
commission of the crime of kidnapping for ransom. However, what
spells the difference on why we still find the Betty and Monico as
principals and co-conspirators in the kidnapping is the
circumstance that their acts of assisting the victim to the safehouse
and bringing of food to the latter coincide with their ownership of
the safehouse.

Clearly, they were in cahoots in granting the cash advances


to Gonzales. By these acts, accused defrauded the government of
such a large sum of money that should not have been disbursed in
the first place, had they been circumspect in performing their
functions.

People v. Collado, G.R. No. 185719, 17 June 2013.

Posadas and Dayco v. Sandiganbayan and People,


G.R. Nos. 168951 & 169000, 17 July 2013.

Only accused Ranada was convicted of violation of Section


14 of R.A. 9165. Mere presence at the scene of the crime does not
imply conspiracy.

Petitioners were convicted of violating Section 3 (e) of R.A.


No. 3019. In insisting on their innocence, they deny having acted in
conspiracy as there is no evidence to prove it.

In the instant case, it is clear that it was only Ranada who


was caught having in his possession an aluminum foil intended for
using dangerous drugs. As to his co-accused, not one drug
paraphernalia was found in their possession. The police officers
were only able to find the other drug paraphernalia on top of a
table. Thus, there is no conspiracy between Ranada and his coaccused.

Conspiracy was sufficiently proven here. For accused to be


held as conspirators, it is not necessary to show that two or more
persons met together and entered into an explicit agreement
setting out the details of an unlawful scheme or the details by
which an illegal objective is to be carried out. Therefore, if it is
proven that two or more persons aimed by their acts towards the
accomplishment of the same unlawful object, each doing a part so
that their acts, though apparently independent, were in fact
connected and cooperative, indicating a closeness of personal
association and a concurrence of sentiment, then a conspiracy may
be inferred though no actual meeting among them to concert
means is proved.

Bacasmas v. People, G.R. Nos. 189343, 189369, and


189553, 10 July 2013.
Accused were convicted of violating Section 3 (e) of R.A. No.

3019.

Here, despite the claim of accused Posadas that he just saw


the appointment papers in question on his desk when he returned
from his trip, the admitted fact is that co-accused Dayco made
those appointments for Posadas and the latter acted upon the
same favorably as he collected the compensation therein.

In order to establish the existence of conspiracy, unity of


purpose and unity in the execution of an unlawful objective by the
accused must be proven. Direct proof is not essential to show
conspiracy. It is enough that there be proof that two or more
persons acted towards the accomplishment of a common unlawful
objective through a chain of circumstances, even if there was no
actual meeting among them.

People v. Alawig, G.R. No. 187731, 18 September


2013.

Accused were convicted of the crime of murder.

People v. Maglente & Velasquez, G.R. No. 201445, 27


November 2013. (same doctrines as discussed above)

Conspiracy was found to be attendant in this case.


Conspiracy must be proven during trial with the same quantum of
evidence as the felony subject of the agreement of the parties
either by direct or circumstantial evidence of the conspirators
conduct before, during and after the commission of the felony to
achieve a common design or purpose.
Here, by manipulating the entries in the logbook, accused
conspired to make it appear that they were in some place other
than where the killing took place and that they were performing
acts independent of each other. The entries were recorded with the
concurrence of all the accused.

JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES; SELF-DEFENSE; DEFENSE OF


RELATIVE

Accused Flores was convicted of the crime of homicide.

People v. Gambao, et al., G.R. No. 172707, 01 October


2013.

Flores did not act in self-defense in committing the crime.


Relating to the second element constituting self-defense, the
Supreme Court has held that the means employed by a person
claiming self-defense must be commensurate to the nature and
extent of the attack sought to be averted. It must also be rationally
necessary to prevent or repel an unlawful aggression.

The accused were convicted of the crime of kidnapping for


ransom.
Proof of the conspiracy need not rest on direct evidence, as
the same may be inferred from the collective conduct of the parties
before, during, or after the commission of the crime indicating a
common understanding among them with respect to the
commission of the offense.

In the instant case, the continuous shooting by Flores which


caused the fatal gunshot wounds were not necessary and
reasonable to prevent the claimed unlawful aggression from the
victim as the latter was already lying flat on the ground after he
was first shot on the shoulder.

In the instant case, the testimonies, when taken together,


reveal the common purpose of the accused and how they were all
united in its execution from beginning to end. There were
testimonies proving that:

Sombol v. People, G.R. No. 194564, 10 April 2013.

Accused Sombol was convicted of the crime of homicide. He


argued that he should be acquitted from this charge because he
only acted in self-defense.

1. Before the incident, two of the accused kept coming


back to the victims house;
2. During the kidnapping, accused changed shifts in
guarding the victim; and
3. Accused were those present when the ransom money
was recovered and when the rescue operation was
conducted.

Flores v. People, G.R. No. 181354, 27 February 2013.

Sombols argument cannot be upheld. For the element of


unlawful aggression to be present, there must be an actual physical
assault, or at least a threat to inflict real imminent injury upon a
person. It presupposes actual, sudden, unexpected, or imminent
dangernot merely threatening and intimidating action. It is
present only when the one attacked faces real and immediate
threat to ones life.

People v. Dela Rosa, G.R. No. 201723, 13 June 2013;


People v. Credo, G.R. No. 197360, 3 July 2013; People
v. Niegas, G.R. No. 194582, 27 November 2013, and

Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for selfdefense to be appreciated. Without unlawful aggression, the
accused has nothing to prevent or repel, and there is then no basis
for appreciating the two other requisites.

Accused were found guilty of committing the crime of


murder. Accused counter that they merely acted in self-defense in
committing the crime.
This, however, cannot be upheld because the element of
unlawful aggression on the part of the victim is absent. By the
testimonies of all the witnesses, the victims actuations did not
constitute unlawful aggression to warrant the use of force
employed by accused-appellant. The records reveal that the victim
had been walking home albeit drunk when he passed by accused.
However, there is no indication of any untoward action from him to
warrant the treatment that he had by accused-appellants hands.

In the instant case, while Sombol testified that the victim


attacked him with a soldering iron, this self-serving testimony was
belied by the testimonies of two prosecution witnesses who never
mentioned any attack, and by the testimony of his own defense
witness, who categorically stated that the victim did nothing with
the soldering iron.

Labiaga, G.R. No. 202867.

When the accused admits killing a person but pleads selfdefense, the burden of evidence shifts to him to prove by clear and
convincing evidence the elements of his defense. However,
accused Labiagas version of the incident was uncorroborated. His
bare and self-serving assertions cannot prevail over the positive
identification of the two principal witnesses of the prosecution.

For the accused to be entitled to exoneration based on selfdefense or defense of relatives, complete or incomplete, it is
essential that there be unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim, for if there is no unlawful aggression, there would be
nothing to prevent or repel. For unlawful aggression to be
appreciated, there must be an actual, sudden and unexpected
attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a threatening or
intimidating attitude.

Labiagas failure to present any other eyewitness to


corroborate his testimony, and his unconvincing demonstration of
the struggle between him and the victim before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), led the Court reject his claim of self-defense. In
contrast, the witness account of the incident is persuasive. Both
the CA and the RTC found that the testimonies of the Condes were
credible and presented in a clear and convincing manner.

There can be no unlawful aggression on the part of the


victim because at the time of the incident, he was only holding a
lemon and an egg. The fact that he was unarmed effectively belied
the allegation of the accused that he was prompted to retaliate in
self-defense when the victim first hacked and hit him on his neck.

People v. Ramos, G.R. No. 190340, 24 July 2013;


People v. Roman, G.R. No. 198110, 31 July 2013.

Since the criterion for determining whether there is a valid


self-defense and a valid defense of relatives require that there be
unlawful aggression perpetrated by the victim on the one making
the defense or on his relative, it is safe to conclude that when the
trial court held that there can be no valid self-defense because
there was no unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, it was,
in effect, likewise saying that there can be no valid defense of a
relative for lack of an essential requisite. In other words, when the
trial court made a ruling on the claim of self-defense, it, at the
same time, also necessarily passed upon the issue of defense of a
relative.

Unlawful aggression is the indispensable element of selfdefense, for if no unlawful aggression attributed to the victim is
established, self-defense is unavailing as there is nothing to repel.
The unlawful aggression of the victim must put the life and
personal safety of the person defending himself in actual peril. A
mere threatening or intimidating attitude does not constitute
unlawful aggression.

Credo, G.R. No. 197360.

People v. Vergara, G.R. No. 177763, 3 July 2013.

EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCE; INSTIGATION

committing an offense which he


or she would otherwise not
commit and has no intention of
committing

People v. Tapere, G.R. No. 178065, 20 February 2013.

Accused Tapere was found guilty of illegally selling shabu.


He counters that his arrest has resulted from an instigation, not
from a legitimate entrapment.
The difference between entrapment and instigation lies in
the origin of the criminal intentin entrapment, the mens rea
originates from the mind of the criminal, but in instigation, the law
officer conceives the commission of the crime and suggests it to
the accused, who adopts the idea and carries it into execution.

Where law enforcers act as coprincipals, the accused will have


to be acquitted

Here, the police officer offered to buy from Tapere a definite


quantity of shabu. Even if, as Tapere claimed, he was unaware that
the police officer was then working as an undercover agent for the
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, he had no justification for
accepting the latters offer to buy the shabu. What is clear to the
Supreme Court is that the decision to peddle the shabu emanated
from Taperes own mind, such that he did not need much prodding
from the police officer or anyone else to engage in the sale of the
shabu.

Law
enforcement
officials
merely
facilitate
the
apprehension of the criminal
by employing ruses and
schemes. Thus, the accused
cannot justify his or her
conduct.
Cannot bar prosecution and
conviction

As a general rule, a buy-bust operation, considered as a


form of entrapment, is a valid means of arresting violators of R.A.
No. 9165. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a crime
originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding
him to commit the offense.
In the instant case, the accused was not arrested following
an instigation for him to commit the crime. Instead, he was caught
in flagrante delicto during an entrapment through buy-bust. In a
buy-bust operation, the pusher sells the contraband to another
posing as a buyer; once the transaction is consummated, the
pusher is validly arrested because he is committing or has just
committed a crime in the presence of the buyer.

People v. Bartolome, G.R. No. 191726, 6 February


2013.

Accused Bartolome was convicted with the crime of illegal


sale of shabu. In insisting on his innocence, Bartolome claims that
the police officers involved have merely instigated him in
committing the said crime.

People v. Rebotazo, G.R. No. 192913, 13 June 2013.

Accused Rebotazo was convicted of violating Sections 5 and


11, Article II, of R.A. No. 9165.

Bartolomes argument cannot be upheld. There is a definite


distinction between instigation and entrapment:
Instigation
Means by which the accused is
lured into the commission of the
offense charged in order to
prosecute him
Officers of the law or their
agents incite, induce, instigate,
or
lure
an
accused
into

accused.

The Supreme Court upheld Rebotazos conviction. At the


outset, buy-bust operations are legally sanctioned procedures,
provided they are undertaken with due regard for constitutional and
legal safeguards. They are one form of entrapment employed by
peace officers as an effective way of apprehending a criminal in the
act of committing an offense, and must be undertaken with due
regard for constitutional and legal safeguards.

Entrapment
Employment of such ways and
means for the purpose of
trapping
or
capturing
a
lawbreaker
The criminal intent or design
to commit the offense charged
originates in the mind of the

In the instant case, the prosecution was able to comply with


said safeguards. In particular, it has sufficiently established the
chain of custody required in prosecuting dangerous drugs cases.

1. The best evidence to prove the age of the offended party is


an original or certified true copy of the certificate of live
birth of such party.
2. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, similar authentic
documents such as baptismal certificate and school records
which show the date of birth of the victim would suffice to
prove age.
3. If the certificate of live birth or authentic document were
shown to have been lost or destroyed or otherwise
unavailable, the clear and credible testimony of the victims
mother or a member of the family, either by affinity or
consanguinity, who is qualified to testify on matters
respecting pedigree shall suffice. This rule shall apply under
the following circumstances:
a. If the victim were alleged to be below three years of
age and what is sought to be proved is that she is
less than seven years old;
b. If the victim were alleged to be below seven years of
age and what is sought to be proved is that she is
less than 12 years old; and
c. If the victim were alleged to be below 12 years of
age and what is sought to be proved is that she is
less than 18 years old.
4. In the absence of a certificate of live birth, authentic
document, or the testimony of the victims mother or
relatives concerning the victims age, the complainants
testimony will suffice, provided that it is expressly and
clearly admitted by the accused.
5. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving the age
of the offended party. The failure of the accused to object to
the testimonial evidence regarding age shall not be taken
against him.
6. The trial court should always make a categorical finding as
to the age of the victim.

Seraspe, G.R. No. 180919.

Appellants Espiritu and her mother, Seraspe, were convicted


of conspiring to sell, transport, deal in, administer, deliver,
negotiate, and distribute shabu.
Seraspe raises the defense of instigation to gain her
acquittal. Her defense cannot be upheld, however. Entrapment in
this case has been clearly established. It was only upon receipt of a
report of Espiritus drug trafficking activities from the confidential
informant that a buy-bust team had been formed and negotiations
for the sale of the shabu had been made.
Seraspe also testified that she had agreed to the transaction
of her own free will, seeing it as an opportunity to earn money.
Equally notable is that she quickly produced a sample of the drug.
Clearly, she was never forced, coerced, or induced through
incessant entreaties to source the prohibited drug for the buy-bust
teama fact which even she admitted in her testimony.

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE; MINORITY

People v. Buado, Jr., G.R. No. 170634, 8 January 2013.

Accused Buado was convicted of two counts of of rape of his


two minor daughters. He was not otherwise penalized for the crime
of qualified rape, for the prosecutions failure in proving the
minority of one of the victims.

People v. Pamintuan, G.R. No. 192239, 5 June 2013.

Accused Pamintuan was convicted of committing the crime


of rape against his niece, a minor.

Jurisprudence has previously settled the guidelines in


establishing the age of the minor victim, either as an element of a
crime or a qualifying circumstance:

Article 266-A (1)(d) provides for the crime of statutory rape.


Its elements are:

1.
and

2.
demented.

That the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman;


1. The time when the accused determined to commit the
crime;
2. An act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung
to his determination; and
3. Sufficient lapse of time between the determination and
execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences
of his act.

That such woman is under 12 years of age or is

In the instant case, the lower courts should have recognized


the victims entitlement to exemplary damages, considering that
the crime which accused Pamintuan has been convicted of has as
aggravating circumstances the victims minority and Pamintuans
common-law relationship with the victims mother.

The essence of evident premeditation is that the execution


of the criminal act must be preceded by cool thought and reflection
upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during a space
of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment.

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE; EVIDENT PREMEDITATION

People v. Peteluna, G.R. No. 187048, 23 January


2013.

In the instant case, in razing the victimshouse in order to


drive him out and shooting the latter the moment he appears at his
front door, Alinao clearly had a previously and carefully crafted plan
to kill his victim. The time it took Alinao and his son to device their
plan, plot where the gasoline should be poured, and procure the
gasoline and the firearms, as well as the time it took to go to the
victims house, and even the time when they waited for the victim
to come out of the house, all afforded Alinao sufficient opportunity
to reflect upon (1) the consequences of his act to kill the victim and
(2) his determination to commit the cold-blooded deed from the
time of its conception until it was carried out.

The accused were convicted of the crime of murder.


Accuseds claim that the prosecution failed to establish the
qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation, however, cannot
be upheld. This circumstance could only be appreciated when there
is evidence showing the following:
1.

The time when the offender was determined to commit the


crime;
An act manifestly indicating that the accused clung to his
determination; and
A sufficient lapse of time between determination and
execution to allow himself time to reflect upon the
consequences of his act.

2.
3.

None of these circumstances were shown in the instant

AGGRAVATING
STRENGTH

case.

Alawig, G.R. No. 187731 and People v. Dearo, et al.,


G.R. No. 190862, 9 October 2013. (same doctrines as
discussed above)

People v. Alinao, G.R. No. 191256, 18 September


2013.

CIRCUMSTANCE;

ABUSE

OF

SUPERIOR

Credo, G.R. No. 197360.

Accused-appellants were convicted of murder. There can be


no denying that they have taken advantage of their superior
strength to ensure the successful execution of their crime. This was
evident from the fact that there were three of them against the
victim who was alone. Also, the victim was unarmed while the three
of them were each armed with a bolo.

Together with his son, accused Alinao was convicted of the


crime of murder with the use of illegally possessed firearm. Among
others, Alinao claims that there is no evidence categorically
showing evident premeditation.
For evident premeditation to be appreciated, the following
elements must be proved:

There is abuse of superior strength when the perpetrators of


a crime deliberately used excessive force, thereby rendering the

victim incapable of defending himself. The notorious inequality of


forces creates an unfair advantage for the aggressor.

sudden that he has clearly no inkling of what the assailant is about


to do. This is the case here because, while the victim was sitting
down before a table, busily writing, Zapuiz came up behind him
and, without warning, shot him at the back of the head. Evidently,
the victim, who was unarmed and unaware, had no opportunity at
all to defend himself.

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE; TREACHERY

People v. Rarugal, G.R. No. 188603, 16 January 2013.

Rarugal was convicted for the crime of murder.


As an aggravating circumstance, treachery is present when
the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing
means, methods, or forms in the execution, which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution, without risk to the offender arising
from the defense which the offended party might make.

Accused Bernardo was found guilty of the complex crime of


murder with attempted murder.
The presence of treachery qualifying the killing was clearly
manifested in the facts of this case. The presence of two conditions
is necessary to constitute treachery:

This circumstance was present in the instant case when


Rarugal suddenly stabbed the victim while the latter was innocently
cycling along the street. Here, Rarugal suddenly and swiftly
attacked and stabbed the victim. The swift turn of events left the
victim defenseless to protect himself, allowing Rarugal to commit
the crime without risk to his own person.

The victim was not in the position to defend himself at the time of
the attack; and
The means of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted.
Here, the prosecution established that the victims were
unarmed aboard a motorcycle when another motorcycle suddenly
appeared and shot them several times. This clearly showed that
the victims were totally defenseless when they were fired upon by
Bernardo.

Peteluna, G.R. No. 187048.

The essence of treachery is a deliberate and sudden attack,


affording the hapless, unarmed, and unsuspecting victim no chance
to resist or to escape. It may still exist even if the attack were
frontal, so long as the same is sudden and unexpected.

People v. Calara, G.R. No. 197039, 5 June 2013.

Accused Calara was convicted of the crime of murder. In


insisting his innocence, Calara argues that treachery is not present
as to have qualified the crime to that of murder.

In the instant case, it was clear that the victim had no


inkling of the impending danger against him. The attack was
sudden, despite appellants act of placing their arms around the
victim in a friendly manner.

Calaras argument was not upheld.The essence of treachery


is the sudden and unexpected attack on an unsuspecting victim by
the perpetrator of the crime, depriving the victim of any chance to
defend himself or repel the aggression, thus insuring its
commission without risk to the aggressor and without any
provocation on the part of the victim.

Also, the victim was 57 years old at the time of his death.
His age then may have slowed down his thought processes and
reflexes in understanding appellants intentions. The attack was,
therefore, clearly sudden and unexpected.

People v. Bernardo, G.R. No. 198789, 3 June 2013.

In the instant case, the post-mortem findings indicate that


the victim has sustained a fatal wound on his back chest. The
position of the fatal wound is more than clear indication that the

People v. Zapuiz, G.R. No. 199713, 20 February 2013.

Accused Zapuiz was convicted of the crime of murder. There


is treachery when the attack against an unarmed victim is so

victim has been stabbed from behind, leaving him in a defenseless


state.

victim defenseless, then treachery may be properly appreciated


against the accused.
In the instant case, the victims were unarmed when accused
Labiaga shot them. The use of a 12-gauge shotgun against two
unarmed victims is undoubtedly treacherous, as it denies the
victims the chance to fend off Labiaga.

Vergara, G.R. No. 17763.

Treachery is present when the offender commits any of the


crimes against persons, employing means, methods, or forms in
the execution, which tend directly and specially to insure its
execution, without risk to the offender arising from the defense
which the offended party might make.

Avelino and his co-accused were convicted of the crime of


murder.

Here, accused Vergara after exchanging words with the


victim, threw his arm around the victims shoulder and proceeded
to stab him. The number and severity of the wounds received by
the victim indicated that he was rendered immobile and without
any real opportunity to defend himself other than feebly raising his
arm to ward off the attack.

The qualifying circumstance of treachery was properly


appreciated in this case. The elements of treachery are established
by the testimony of one of the witnesses, showing Avelinos
unexpected attack on the unsuspecting victim whose vehicle was
suddenly blocked by three men, at least one of whom was armed
with a firearm. The victim was then unarmed and had no
opportunity to defend himself.

People v. Hatsero, G.R. No. 192179, 3 July 2013.

Accused Hatsero was convicted of the crime of murder.


Hatsero claims that it has not been established that he has
consciously and deliberately used the icepick in killing the victim in
such a way as to insure his safety from any retaliation or that the
attack is sudden as to give the victim no opportunity to defend
himself.

Alawig, G.R. No. 187731.

The circumstances surrounding the killing must be proved as


indubitably as the crime itself. Treachery cannot be presumed.

Hatseros defense cannot be upheld. The essence of


treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without warning, done
in a swift and unexpected manner, affording the hapless, unarmed
and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. The manner
by which the victim was stabbed by Hatsero is obviously indicative
of treachery, when the latter would make the friendly gesture of
offering a drink to a person he intended to kill, intentionally luring
the latter into a false sense of security.

Avelino v. People, G.R. No. 181444, 17 July 2013.

Treachery is present in the instant case. Considering the


contusions, abrasions, and puncture wounds sustained by the
victim, it is clear that he was first manhandled prior to the
shooting. The location of the gunshot wounds is likewise indicative
of the relative positions of the assailants vis--vis the victim. More
importantly, the assailants were positioned on a higher level than
the victim which could mean that the victim was in a kneeling or
stooping position.

Labiaga, G.R. No. 202867.

A treacherous attack is one in which the victim was not


afforded any opportunity to defend himself or resist the attack. The
existence of treachery is not solely determined by the type of
weapon used. If it appears that the weapon was deliberately
chosen to insure the execution of the crime, and to render the

People v. Ibanez, G.R. No. 197813, 25 September


2013.

Accused Edwin and Alfredo were convicted of murder.


Indeed, nothing can be more sudden and unexpected than when

10

accused Edwin and Alfredo attacked the victim. The latter did not
have the slightest idea that he was going to be attacked because
he was urinating and his back was turned from his assailants. The
prosecution was able to establish that petitioners attack on the
victim was without any slightest provocation on the latters part
and that it was sudden and unexpected. This is a clear case of
treachery.

threat. He was merely sitting on the bench in front of a sari-sari


store eating bananas when Zulieta, without any provocation or
prior argument, suddenly stabbed him on his chest, piercing the
right ventricle of his heart thus causing his instantaneous death.
The stabbing was deliberate, unexpected, swift and sudden which
foreclosed any escape, resistance or defense coming from the
victim.

People v. Dearo, et al., G.R. No. 190862, 9 October


2013.

Accused were convicted of the crime of murder. The


Supreme Court has ruled that treachery is present when an
assailant takes advantage of a situation in which the victim is
asleep, unaware of the evil design, or has just awakened.

Accused was convicted of the crime of murder.


The Supreme Court held that treachery, as a qualifying
circumstance that raised the crime to that of murder, was not
present here. Treachery is not present when the killing is not
premeditated, or where the sudden attack is not preconceived and
deliberately adopted, but is just triggered by a sudden infuriation
on the part of the accused as a result of a provocative act of the
victim, or when the killing is done at the spur of the moment.

Here, it has been established by the prosecution, and even


confirmed by the defense, that the victims were sleeping when
they were shot. It was also clear that the women were in no
position to defend themselves, having been rudely awakened by
the shooting of their companion. The fact that they shouted for
help also showed their loss of hope in the face of what was coming
rapid gunfire from long firearms.

In the instant case, there was no time for accused


Canavares and his companions to plan and agree to deliberately
adopt a particular means to kill the victim. Even the choice of
weapon, a beer bottle readily available and within grabbing range
at the table as Canavares followed outside, shows that the intent to
harm came about spontaneously.

People v. Villarmea, G.R. No. 200029, 13 November


2013.

Accused was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the


crime of murder. Clearly, there was treachery in the case at bar.
The victim was stabbed without warning. There was no showing
that he was armed. The attack was unexpected and sudden, giving
the unarmed victim no opportunity to resist the assault. The
numerical superiority of the assailants left the victim with zero
means of resistance or defense. Before he could fight back or run
away, his attackers pounced on him like some prized animal.
Finally, the wounds located in the trunk are too many to disregard
or negate treachery.

People v. Canaveras, G.R. No. 193839, 27 November


2013

People v. Valdez, G.R. No. 175602, 13 February 2013;


Dela Rosa, G.R. No. 201723; People v. Mores, G.R. No.
189846, 26 June 2013; People v. Jalbonian, G.R. No.
180281, 1 July 2013 (same doctrines as discussed
above).

PERSONS CRIMINALLY LIABLE

Collado, G.R. No. 185719.

People v. Zulieta, G.R. No. 192183, 11 November


2013.

Some of the appellants were found guilty as accessories for


the crime of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Accused Zulieta was convicted of murder. Treachery was


present in this case as the victim had been totally unaware of the

The lower court erred, however in convicting the appellants


as accessories. In the instant case, what has been violated is

11

Section 14 of R.A. No. 9165, which is a crime of malum prohibitum.


The degree of participation of the offenders then is not considered.
All who have perpetrated the prohibited act are penalized to the
same extent. There is no principal or accomplice or accessory to
consider. In short, the degree of participation of the offenders does
not affect their liabilities, and the penalty on all of them are the
same, whether they are principals or merely accomplices or
accessories.

liabilities. It is likewise mandated that a civil indemnity of P75,000


be imposed if the crime were qualified by circumstances that
warrant the imposition of the death penalty.

Accused Vitero was found guilty of qualified rape under


Article 266-A of the RPC. While the Supreme Court upheld here the
CAs ruling that Vitero be sentenced to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua in lieu of death, he is not eligible for parole.
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9346 provides that persons convicted of
offenses punished with reclusion perpetua, or whose sentences will
be reduced to reclusion perpetua, by reason of the said law, shall
not be eligible for parole under the Indeterminate Sentence Law
(ISL).

R.A. No. 9165 itself likewise provides that, notwithstanding


any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, the provisions of the
RPC, as amended, shall not apply to the former law, except in the
case of minor offenders.

People v. Eusebio, G.R. No. 182152, 25 February


2013.

The accused were convicted of conspiring with each other in


committing the crime of murder. The Supreme Court held, however,
that the accused should be convicted as accomplices instead of as
conspirators because there is doubt as to their degrees of
participation in committing the crime.

People v. Suansing, G.R. No. 189822, 2 September


2013

Suansing was convicted of qualified rape. In convicting


Suansing, however, the lower courts did not consider the victims
mental retardation as a qualifying circumstance that would make
the crime of rape punishable by death.

The line that separates a conspirator by concerted action


from an accomplice by previous or simultaneous acts is indeed
slight. Accomplices do not decide whether the crime should be
committed. But, they assent to the plan and cooperate in its
accomplishment.

Paragraph 10 of Article 266-B of the RPC expressly provides


that the penalty of death shall be imposed "when the offender
knew of the mental disability x x x of the offended party at the time
of the commission of the crime." The supreme penalty of death
should have been imposed on the appellant due to the special
qualifying circumstance of knowledge at the time of the rape that
"AAA" was mentally disabled.

As in here, the solution in case of doubt is that it be resolved


in favor of the accused. Pertinently, previous jurisprudence has held
that, when there is doubt as to whether a guilty participant in a
homicide has performed the role of principal or accomplice, the
court should favor the milder form of responsibility. He should be
given the benefit of the doubt and can be regarded only as an
accomplice.

However, the enactment of RA 9346 prohibited the


imposition of the death penalty. In lieu thereof, the penalty of
reclusion perpetua is imposed in accordance with Section 2 of RA
9346. In addition, as provided under Section 3 thereof, appellant
shall not be eligible for parole.

PENALTIES

People v. Vitero, G.R. No. 175327, 3 April 2013.

COMPLEX CRIMES

Buado, Jr., G.R. No. 170634.

Republic Act No. 9346 prohibited only the imposition of the


death penalty. It did not affect the corresponding pecuniary or civil

12

Bernardo, G.R. No. 198789.

Accused Bernardo may be convicted only of the complex


crime of murder with attempted murder, not of the two separate
crimes of murder and attempted murder. The evidence does not
conform to the information, which contains no allegation that the
accused was actuated by more than one criminal impulse. In fact,
the information merely alleges that the accused shot the victim,
but it does not allege that he did so several times.

Applying the ISL, and there being no aggravating or


mitigating circumstance that has attended the commission of the
crime, the maximum period is prision correccional in its medium
period, which has a duration of two years, four months, and one
day to four years and two months. The minimum period is within
the range of the penalty next lower in degree which is arresto
mayor, the duration of which is one month and one day to six
months.

In the absence of such a clear statement in the information,


the accused may be convicted only of the complex crime of murder
with attempted murder. After all, the concept of complex crimes is
intended to favor the accused by imposing a single penalty,
irrespective of the number of crimes committed.

In the instant case then, the Supreme Court affirms the


penalty of six months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to four years
and two months of prision correccional, as maximum, imposed
upon Fernandez. It likewise affirms the CAs deletion of the fine
imposed by the RTCs since the law only provides for the penalty of
imprisonment.

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW

Escalante v. People, G.R. No. 192727, 9 January 2013.

The lower court erred in imposing the applicable penalties


against petitioner Escalante for having violated the election gun
ban. The Omnibus Election Code pertinently provides that any
person found guilty of any election offense imposed therein shall be
imprisoned for not less than one year but not more than six years
and shall not be subject to probation.

shabu.

Accused Linda was convicted of the crime of illegal sale of

Under R.A. No. 9165, the quantity of shabu is not material in


the determination of the corresponding penalty therefor.
Meanwhile, the ISL provides that, if the offense were punished by
any other law, the court shall sentence the accused to an
indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not
exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not
be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same.

Meanwhile, the ISL provides in part that, if the offense were


punished by any other law, the court shall sentence the accused to
an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not
exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not
be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same.

Here, considering the absence of any mitigating


circumstance, the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of
P500,000.00 were, thus, correctly imposed. They are within the
period and range of the fine prescribed by law.

Applying the ISL then, the imposable penalty for violation of


the election gun ban should have a maximum period, which shall
not exceed six years, and a minimum period which shall not be less
than one year.

People v. Linda, G.R. No. 200507, 26 June 2013.

People v. Fernandez, G.R. No. 188841, 6 March 2013.

Bacolod v. People, G.R. No. 206236, 15 July 2013

The information specifically alleged that the house burned


by the accused was an inhabited dwelling. Pursuant to Section 3(2)
of Presidential Decree No. 1613 (Amending the Law on Arson), the
penalty to be imposed if the property burned is an inhabited house
or dwelling is from reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua.

Accused Fernandez was found guilty of unauthorized


possession of 2.85 grams of shabu. This quantity is less than the
ceiling of 200 grams provided in R.A. No. 6425, as amended, the
imposable penalty of the unauthorized possession of which is
prision correccional.

13

Not being composed of three periods, however, such penalty


should be divided into three equal portions of time, and each
portion forms one period of the penalty. Yet, reclusion perpetua,
being an indivisible penalty, immediately becomes the maximum
period, leaving reclusion temporal to be divided into two in order to
fix the medium and minimum periods of the penalty. The three
periods of the prescribed penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion
perpetua are then as follows:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

It is also well-settled that the ordinary or qualifying nature of


an aggravating circumstance is a distinction that should only be of
consequence to the criminal, rather than the civil, liability of the
offender. In fine, relative to the civil aspect of the case, an
aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or qualifying, should
entitle the offended party to an award of exemplary damages
within the unbridled meaning of Article 2230 of the New Civil Code.

Minimum period 12 years and 1 day to 16 years;


Medium period 16 years and 1 day to 20 years;
Maximum period reclusion perpetua.

Section 1 of the ISL requires the court, in imposing a prison


sentence for an offense punished by the RPC, or its amendments,
to sentence the accused "to an indeterminate sentence the
maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of the
attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the
rules of the said Code, and the minimum which shall be within the
range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code for
the offense." Accordingly, the maximum of the indeterminate
penalty in this case should be within the range of the medium
period of the penalty, i.e., from 16 years and 1 day to 20 years,
because neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstance attended
the commission of the crime; and the minimum of the
indeterminate sentence should be within the range of the penalty
next lower in degree to that prescribed for the crime, without
regard to its periods.

People v. Cabungan, G.R. No. 189355, 23 January


2013.

Accused was convicted of the crime of rape. Insofar as the


award of damages is concerned, the Supreme Court has ruled here
that moral damages in rape cases should be awarded without need
of showing that the victim has suffered trauma or mental, physical,
and psychological sufferings constituting the basis thereof.
Meanwhile, when a crime is committed with an aggravating
circumstance, either as qualifying or generic, an award of
exemplary damages is justified under Article 2230 of the New Civil
Code.

CIVIL PENALTIES; AWARD OF DAMAGES

Civil indemnity ex delicto for the victims death;


Actual or compensatory damages;
Moral damages;
Exemplary damages;
Attorneys fees and expenses of litigation; and
Interest, in proper cases.

People v. Deligero, G.R. No. 189280, 17 April 2013.

In rape committed by close kin, such as the victims father,


stepfather, uncle, or the common-law spouse of her mother, it is
not necessary that actual force or intimidation be employed. Moral
influence or ascendancy takes the place of violence and
intimidation.

Rarugal, G.R. No. 188603.

For suddenly stabbing the victim, who was cycling along a


street, accused Rarugal was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of the crime of murder. The lower court found that treachery was
present, considering Rarugals sudden and swift attack on the
victim.

Exemplary damages can be awarded, not only in the


presence of an aggravating circumstance, but also where the
circumstances of the case show the highly reprehensible or
outrageous conduct of the offender.

As to the award of damages, the Supreme Court held that,


when death occurs due to a crime, the following may be recovered:

14

Pamintuan, G.R. No. 192239.

Accused Pamintuan was convicted for committing the crime


of rape against his niece, a minor.

In conformity with prevailing jurisprudence, the award of


P50,000.00 as civil indemnity to the heirs of the victim is affirmed.
This is given without need of proof other than the fact of death as a
result of the crime and proof of appellants responsibility for it. The
Court also affirmed the grant of P50,000.00 as moral damages. This
is mandatory in cases of murder and homicide without need of
allegation and proof other than the death of the victim. In addition,
the award of actual damages is sustained but only to the amount of
P103,472.00 representing expenses incurred during the wake of the
victim supported by uncontroverted receipts. "Credence can be
given only to claims which are duly supported by receipts or other
credible evidence." The award of exemplary damages was also
sustained but in the increased amount of P30,000.00 to conform to
prevailing jurisprudence. The Court also imposed interest at the
rate of 6% per annum on all damages awarded from date of finality
of this Decision until fully paid.

Article 266-A (1)(d) provides for the crime of statutory rape.


Its elements are:
and

1.

2.
demented.

That the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman;


That such woman is under 12 years of age or is

In the instant case, the lower courts should have recognized


the victims entitlement to exemplary damages, considering that
the crime which accused Pamintuan has been convicted of has as
aggravating circumstances the victims minority and Pamintuans
common-law relationship with the victims mother.

People v. Piosang, G.R. No. 200329, 5 June 2013.

An award of civil indemnity ex delicto is mandatory upon a


finding of the fact of rape, and moral damages may be
automatically awarded in rape cases without need of proof of
mental and physical suffering. Exemplary damages are also called
for, by way of public example, and to protect the young from sexual
abuse.

The entire amount of the civil liabilities should be


apportioned among all those who cooperated in the commission of
the crime according to the degrees of their liability, respective
responsibilities and actual participation. Hence, each principal
accused-appellant should shoulder a greater share in the total
amount of indemnity and damages than Perpenian who was
adjudged as only an accomplice.

People v. Manalili, G.R. No. 191253, 28 August 2013.

Pursuant to recent jurisprudence, there is no longer any


debate that the victim in statutory rape is entitled to a civil
indemnity of P50,000.00, moral damages of P50,000.00, and
exemplary damages of P30,000.00. The award of civil indemnity of
P50,000.00 is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape.
Similarly, the award of moral damages of P50,000.00 is mandatory,
and made without need of allegation and proof other than that of
the fact of rape, for it is logically assumed that the victim suffered
moral injuries from her ordeal. In addition, exemplary damages of
P30,000.00 are justified under Article 2229 of the Civil Code to set
an example for the public good and to serve as deterrent to those
who abuse the young.

Gambao, G.R. No. 172707.

People v. Galagar, Jr., G.R. No. 202842, 9 October


2013.

As to the award of damages, the trial court awarded


P50,000.00 as civil indemnity. The Court of Appeals, in addition
thereto, awarded moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00.
Under the present law, an award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity is
mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. This is exclusive of
the award of moral damages of P50,000.00, without need of further
proof. The victims injury is now recognized as inherently
concomitant with and necessarily proceeds from the appalling
crime of rape which per se warrants an award of moral damages.
Exemplary damages should likewise be awarded pursuant to
Article 2230 of the Civil Code since the special aggravating

Alawig, G.R. No. 187731.

15

circumstance of the use of a deadly weapon attended the


commission of the rape. When a crime is committed with an
aggravating circumstance, either qualifying or generic, an award of
P30,000.00 as exemplary damages is justified. This kind of
damages is intended to serve as deterrent to serious wrongdoings,
as a vindication of undue sufferings and wanton invasion of the
rights of an injured, or as punishment for those guilty of outrageous
conduct.

that civil indemnity, which is distinct from moral damages, is


mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape.
People v. Lomaque, G.R. No. 189297, 5 June 2013; People v.
Penilla, G.R. No. 189324, 20 March 2013; Dela Rosa, G.R.
No. 201723, 13 June 2013; Zulieta, G.R. No. 192183. (same
doctrines as discussed above).
o0o

People v. Garcia, G.R. No. 206095, 25 November


2013.

AAA is entitled to moral damages as they are automatically


awarded to rape victims without need of pleading or proof. The
award of civil indemnity is likewise proper in the light of the ruling

16